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Found 377 results

  1. ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that it is not right to say that we have resisted or had differences with all army chiefs. He added that he and his government has also had cordial relations with certain army chiefs. The former premier said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was affected due to the month long sit-ins "but inspite of that, the country progress". Sharif said this in an interview with the BBC on Thursday ? his first detailed interview with foreign news media since his ouster as prime minister after the Supreme Court disqualified him on July 28 in the Panama Papers case. Nawaz was ousted by former army chief Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup in 1999. After the coup, he was jailed and later allowed to leave the country and go into exile.
  2. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan lashed out at PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and said he hopes that Bilawal does not cry during his Mansehra rally. Imran also said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was a victim of his own misdeeds. He also likened the killing of PAT workers in Lahore's Model Town to a noose around the neck of Sharif brothers. Earlier today, Bilawal Bhutto and his father, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, criticized the PTI chairman and had said: "Imran Khan is playing a full toss and they will deal with him when he comes towards no-balls".
  3. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson alleged on Wednesday that religious freedom was ?under attack in Pakistan, where more than two dozen people were on death row or serving a life imprisonment for blasphemy?. Tillerson made the comments at the US State Department while introducing the agency's annual report on religious freedom, required by a 1998 act of Congress. The report is the first to be released during the Trump administration and covers 2016. ?It is my hope that the new prime minister [Shahid Khaqan Abbasi] and his government will promote interfaith harmony and protect the rights of religious minorities,? Tillerson said. In 2016, violence committed by armed sectarian groups connected to outfits banned by the government, as well as abuses by individuals and groups designated as terrorist organisations by the US and other governments continued, the report said. The report also highlighted attacks in India by cow protection groups against people accused of bovine trafficking or having beef in their refrigerators or vehicles. The chapter on India stated that in 2016, ?there was an increase in violent incidents by cow protection groups against mostly Muslim victims, including killings, mob violence, assaults and intimidation?. Tillerson said US allies including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain did not uphold principles of religious freedom in 2016, while Daesh has carried out "genocide" against religious minorities. Saudi Arabia, Tillerson said, ought to "embrace greater degrees of religious freedom for all of its citizens." He cited criminal penalties for apostasy, atheism, blasphemy, and insulting the Saudi state's interpretation of Islam, as well as attacks and discrimination targeting minorities. The report said Saudi Arabia has used counter-terrorism laws to target atheists and minority communities. The United States and Saudi Arabia have long been close partners in counter-terrorism efforts and the kingdom was the first stop on US President Donald Trump's maiden international visit. Tillerson singled out another Gulf Arab state, Bahrain, saying it "must stop discriminating against? the minority communities. Bahrain's foreign ministry said Tillerson's remarks were "inappropriate" and showed "a deep misunderstanding of the facts." It called on the State Department to discuss such matters directly with the kingdom before making statements. "The history of the Kingdom of Bahrain is characterized by coexistence and religious harmony," the ministry said in a statement. It said Bahrainis of different sects served as government officials, judges, diplomats and other professions. Tillerson said that in Turkey, a NATO ally, "authorities continued to limit the human rights of members of some religious minority groups." American pastor Andrew Brunson has been jailed in Turkey since October on charges of being part of a terrorist organization, according to news reports. Tillerson said Iran targeted religious minorities and in 2016 executed 20 people on charges including "waging war against God." He also called out China and Sudan in his remarks. The Chinese government tortures and imprisons thousands for practicing their religious beliefs, Tillerson said, citing the targeting of Falun Gong members, Uighur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists. And in Sudan, the government arrests and intimidates clergy and blocks the construction of churches while tearing down existing ones, he said. Tillerson's decision to introduce the report contrasted with how he handled the State Department's annual human rights report in March. He declined to unveil it in person, breaking with precedent, and drew criticism he was not giving rights issues adequate attention. The report did not address Trump's attempt this year to temporarily suspend refugee admissions and his decision to impose a lower cap on the number of those admissions. The report stated that resettlement is a "vital tool for providing refugees protection." Many refugees admitted to the United States in 2016 were fleeing religious intolerance and persecution, it said. With additional input from Reuters
  4. LAHORE: Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said on Wednesday that positive change in Pakistan will only come through vote ? not through any other means. Speaking at an event, Rafique said that the people of Pakistan will not accept any other change brought from any undemocratic process, further adding that the country?s future is linked with democracy. ?Pakistan was formed after a long democratic process. Vote must be respected by accepting the authority of elected representatives,? adding government is not fighting against any institution to avoid chaos in the country. We wont make Pakistan next Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan,? he said. ?We as a country have not yet defeated poverty, terrorism and hunger.? The federal minister further added that there remains no space for technocrat government, and days of Marshal law are over in the country, adding that Pakistan will be in reverse gear if people?s mandate are not accepted. ?If someone thinks that a politician can be disqualified over executive orders. It is not right,? he said. Separately, Rafique said that Railways profit has crossed over Rs 400 million. "Railways is being managed without any single penny of foreign funding, massive improvement is going on in the department," he said. Rafique claimed that the turnover profit of railways would be between Rs 50 to Rs 53 million.
  5. US Vice President Mike Pence attends a health care listening session at the White House in Washington, DC, US, June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files BUENOS AIRES: US Vice President Mike Pence said in Buenos Aires on Tuesday he was confident about reaching a "peaceable" solution for Venezuela through economic and diplomatic pressure on the country's president, Nicolas Maduro. Speaking at a joint news conference with Argentina's center-right President Mauricio Macri, Pence said they had agreed in closed-door talks on the need to keep up pressure on Maduro for elections and the release of political prisoners. As in Colombia, his first stopover on a Latin American tour, Pence struck a more conciliatory tone than US President Donald Trump, who threatened military intervention in Venezuela last week to resolve the political crisis in the OPEC member. Still, Pence reiterated that Venezuela was "sliding into dictatorship and the United States would not stand by" while that happened. "The US has many options and reserves those options in Venezuela," he said. On Monday, Pence said he and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos had discussed possible further sanctions against the leftist-ruled country. The United States imposed sanctions on Maduro and other Venezuelan officials in July after Maduro established a constituent assembly run by his Socialist Party loyalists to expand his powers amid a crackdown on political opposition groups. Trump's threat on Friday of military action in Venezuela was widely condemned across the region and sparked the Mercosur trade bloc, of which Argentina is a member, to reject any use of force. Macri, a longtime critic of Maduro, said on Tuesday political pressure rather than the use of force was the path forward to address the situation in Venezuela. Pence applauded Macri's "bold reform agenda" in his remarks and said he and the Argentine leader had spoken of increasing two-way trade during their meeting, particularly in agricultural goods. He said officials had spoken in the last week about expanding access of American pork to the Argentine market and had made "great progress". "We also discussed the interest in exporting and importing beef on both sides," Pence said. He did not answer a question about a US Commerce Department investigation into alleged dumping and unfair subsidies of biodiesel fuels from Argentina. Argentina against Trump's military threat Pence heard more complaints from Latin American allies Tuesday about President Donald Trump's warning of a possible US military option to deal with the crisis in Venezuela. "The use of force is not the way," but rather political pressure, Macri said at a news conference alongside Mike Pence. Trump on Friday had warned he was considering various possible means to resolve the Venezuela crisis, "including a possible military option if necessary". Maduro responded by ordering his armed forces to carry out a national exercise next week. The United States, along with Argentina and other regional allies, have joined in international calls for Maduro to respect democracy. He has been tightening his grip on power in response to the economic chaos and angry street protests by opponents demanding elections. Nearly 130 people have died in recent months of unrest. Pence in Buenos Aires reiterated his earlier assurance that the United States preferred diplomatic steps and economic sanctions to pressure Maduro. Pence earlier visited Colombia and is due to travel next to Chile and Panama. He said a million Venezuelans had fled to Colombia and more than 60,000 to Argentina to escape the chaos in their country. Threat to America Pence on Monday had said the United States would bring all its economic and diplomatic power to bear to see democracy restored in Venezuela, saying a failed state there threatens Americans. Trump "has made it very clear that we will not stand by while Venezuela collapses into [the] dictatorship", Pence told reporters in Cartagena, Colombia. "A failed state in Venezuela threatens the security and prosperity of our entire hemisphere and the people of the United States of America." Pence did not answer directly when asked whether he was making an argument for regime change in the South American country. "The regime is experiencing change right now and what we're witnessing is Venezuela is collapsing into dictatorship," he said. Drugs via Venezuela US anti-drug officials have long identified Venezuela as a leading transhipment point for South American cocaine destined for the US market. Pence said the flow of narcotics could pick up due to Venezuela's crisis which could also trigger increased illegal immigration into the United States, "compromising our borders, compromising our economy, and in some cases compromising the security of our families and communities". Maduro intends to capitalize on local outrage over Trump's comments by holding an "anti-imperialist" protest on Monday.
  6. Ukrainian space agency acting chief Yuriy Radchenko talks to journalists during a press conference in Kiev on August 15, 2017. AFP/Genya Savilov KIEV: Ukraine's space agency said Tuesday that an engine type reportedly used in North Korean missiles was made at a Ukrainian factory, but solely for use in space rockets supplied to Russia. The development came after an expert report published Monday said Pyongyang's recent rapid progress in developing a long-range missile appeared to have come after it refurbished rocket engines procured from a plant in the former Soviet Union. These could have been bought from corrupt workers at arsenals in Russia or Ukraine and smuggled to North Korea by criminal networks at some point between the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and Ukraine's current crisis, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said. "Such engines were made up to 2001 by Ukraine's Yuzhmash (plant)," Ukraine's acting space agency chief Yuriy Radchenko told journalists. He said the RD-250 engines were used in Cyclone-2 and Cyclone-3 space rockets supplied to Russia. Both the engines and the space carrier rockets "were made at Yuzhmash in the interests of Russia," Radchenko said. In total, 233 such rockets were produced, used in space launches. The space agency chief said that according to Ukrainian information, "Russia today has between 7 and 20" of the Cyclone rockets and could do whatever it wanted with the engines and blueprints. "They have these engines, they have the documentation. They can supply these engines from the finished rockets to whoever they want." - Questions over rocket fuel - The IISS report suggests Kim Jong-Un's regime, which successfully tested intercontinental ballistic missiles in July that are believed to have brought the US mainland within reach, has abandoned attempts to modify the Russian-built OKB-456 rocket engine and has now switched to the once Ukrainian-made RD-250. During the Soviet era, the RD-250 was produced at the Yuzhmash plant in Dnipro, a city that is today in Kiev government-held central Ukraine, around 150 kilometers (80 miles) from an active frontline held by Russian-backed separatists. Ukraine did not act as a supplier of the engines to any other country, Radchenko said. "Ukraine did not carry out any supplies of engines during the whole period of its independence (from the USSR), since it started producing the technology." Radchenko also said that in his view, it was only possible to use these engines with technology for producing rocket fuel that only Russia and China have at their disposal. "In order to use these engines and a missile properly, you need to have access to technology to produce rocket fuel. North Korea doesn't have such technology and basically only two countries have this: Russia and China." Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said it was not possible for North Korea to have copied such engines without help from Ukrainian specialists and smuggled engines or blueprints. "In order to make a copy, you need to have either the original engine or detailed blueprints," he wrote on Facebook. "And you can't manage without the Ukrainian specialists capable of and ready to set up production. "So in one way or another, we are talking about smuggled supplies, evading all the current extremely harsh international bans," he concluded.
  7. Iran?s President Hassan Rouhani TEHRAN: Iran?s President Hassan Rouhani warned on Tuesday that Iran could abandon its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers within hours if the United States keeps on imposing new sanctions. In a speech to parliament, he also hit out at US counterpart Donald Trump saying that he had shown the world that Washington was "not a good partner". Rouhani´s comments come with the nuclear deal under mounting pressure after Tehran carried out missile tests and strikes, and Washington imposed new sanctions -- with each accusing the other of violating the spirit of the agreement. Rouhani warned that Iran was ready to walk out of the 2015 deal, which saw the lifting of most international sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme, if Washington persisted. "Those who try to return to the language of threats and sanctions are prisoners of their past delusions," he said in the televised address. "If they want to go back to that experience, definitely in a short time -- not weeks or months, but in the scale of hours and days -- we will return to our previous situation very much more stronger." He said Iran did prefer to stick with the nuclear deal, which he called "a model of victory for peace and diplomacy over war and unilateralism" but that this was not the "only option". Rouhani said Trump had shown he was an unreliable partner not just for Iran but for US allies. "In recent months, the world has witnessed that the US, in addition to its constant and repetitive breaking of its promises in the JCPOA (nuclear deal), has ignored several other global agreements and shown its allies that the US is neither a good partner nor a reliable negotiating party," he said. He highlighted Trump´s decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and international trade deals. Iran´s parliament on Sunday approved more than half a billion dollars in funding for the country´s missile programme and foreign operations of the elite Revolutionary Guards in response to the new US sanctions. ´Wanted to nominate women´ Rouhani was addressing lawmakers as deliberations start over his new ministerial line-up, which must be approved by lawmakers in the coming days. The president, who started his second term a fortnight ago, has faced criticism from reformists over his elderly and all-male cabinet. "I wanted to nominate three women ministers but it did not happen," he said, without explaining why. "All ministers must use women in high-ranking positions... and especially female advisers and deputies," he added. Rouhani, a 68-year-old moderate cleric, won a resounding re-election victory in May in large part due to the backing of reformists who supported his message of greater civil liberties and equality. Many felt let down by the lack of women ministers, saying he had bowed to pressure from the conservative religious establishment, although he did appoint two female vice presidents and a senior aide -- positions which do not require parliamentary approval. He defended his cabinet selections on Tuesday, and pointed to his choice for a new telecoms minister, 35-year-old Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, as "our first experience in choosing from the youth, someone who has grown up after the revolution".
  8. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be 38 in 2019 Mahendra Singh Dhoni is no longer an automatic choice in one-day internationals and the former India captain needs to keep performing to be involved in the 2019 World Cup, chief selector MSK Prasad has said. The wicketkeeper-batsman announced his sudden and stunning retirement from test cricket midway through an Australia series in 2014, with the Boxing Day match in Melbourne being the last of his 90 appearances in the longer format. He has continued to compete in 50-over and Twenty20 internationals but questions are being asked in the local media if Dhoni, who will be 38 in 2019, will still be in the India side at the England and Wales-hosted tournament. "Whenever a player keeps ageing... I was just reading (Andre) Agassi´s book "Open", his life actually started after 30 years," Prasad told reporters in Pallekele on Monday as India completed a 3-0 test series sweep of Sri Lanka. "Till then he won two or three (grand slams). His actual life started after that. "He lived with media pressure, ´When are you going to retire?´ But he played till 36 and he won so many grand slams. So you never know. "We don´t say it is an automatic this thing... but we will see. We are all stakeholders. We all want the Indian team to do well. If he is delivering, why not? If he is not, we will have to look at alternatives." Dhoni talks to chairman of selectors MSK Prasad/File photo Press Trust of India Dhoni, who stepped down as limited-overs captain in January, was once considered India´s best finisher and no target was deemed out of reach with the boundary-hitting right-hander at the crease. Although Dhoni remains supremely fit and his glove work is still of the highest quality, opinions are divided over whether age is catching up with his batting abilities. Prasad said the selection committee has had discussions about Dhoni but refused to answer when asked if he would also be occasionally rested as India worked towards their core group for the 2019 World Cup. "We will see, we will see. The legend that he is, we don´t want to make it? but yes we have a plan," he said. India omitted 35-year-old batsman Yuvraj Singh from their squad for the upcoming limited-overs series in Sri Lanka but Prasad clarified it was part of their rotation policy ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
  9. An effigy of US President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, a skeleton, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are displayed as demonstrators protest against hate, white supremacy groups, and Trump on Sunday, August 13, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. AFP/Joshua Lott UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations on Monday condemned violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in the southern US college town of Charlottesville in Virginia. "We're against all racism and bigotry," UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. "We believe that there must be no place in our societies for the violent racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and discrimination that we've seen in Charlottesville, Virginia that we've seen in recent days," he said.
  10. White nationalists carry torches during the rally CHARLOTTESVILLE: US President Donald Trump´s remarks condemning violence at a white nationalist rally were meant to include the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups, the White House said on Sunday, a day after he was criticized across the political spectrum for not explicitly denouncing white supremacists. US authorities opened an investigation into the deadly violence in Virginia, which put renewed pressure on the Trump administration to take an unequivocal stand against right-wing extremists occupying a loyal segment of the Republican president´s political base. A 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 people were injured, five critically, on Saturday when a man plowed a car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally in the Southern college town of Charlottesville. Another 15 people were injured in bloody street brawls between white nationalists and counter-demonstrators who fought each other with fists, rocks and pepper spray. Two Virginia state police officers died in the crash of their helicopter after assisting in efforts to quell the unrest, which Mayor Mike Signer said was met by the presence of nearly 1,000 law enforcement officers. Former US Army enlistee James Alex Fields Jr., 20, a white Ohio man described by a former high school teacher as having been "infatuated" with Nazi ideology as a teenager, was due to appear in court on murder and other charges stemming from the deadly car crash. The federal "hate crime" investigation of the incident "is not limited to the driver," a US Justice Department official told Reuters. "We will investigate whether others may have been involved in planning the attack." Democrats and Republicans criticized Trump for waiting too long to address the violence - his first major crisis on the domestic front that he has faced as president - and for failing when he did speak out to explicitly condemn white-supremacist marchers who ignited the melee. Trump on Saturday initially denounced what he called "this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides." On Sunday, however, the White House added: "The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together." The statement was emailed to reporters covering Trump at his golf resort in New Jersey and attributed to an unidentified "White House spokesperson." SOLIDARITY WITH CHARLOTTESVILLE Memorial vigils and other events showing solidarity with Charlottesville´s victims were planned across the country on Sunday to "honor all those under attack by congregating against hate," a loose coalition of civil society groups said in postings on social media. Virginia police have not yet provided a motive for the man accused of ramming his car into the crowd. But US prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have opened a civil rights investigation, FBI and Justice Department officials said. Democrats and Republicans criticized Trump for waiting too long to address the violence Derek Weimer, a history teacher at Fields´ high school, told Cincinnati television station WCPO-TV that he remembered Fields harboring "some very radical views on race" as a student and was "very infatuated with the Nazis, with Adolf Hitler." "I developed a good rapport with him and I used that rapport to constantly try to steer him away from those beliefs," Weimer recounted, adding that he recalled Fields being "gung-ho" about joining the Army when he graduated. The Army confirmed that Fields reported for basic military training in August 2015 but was "released from active duty due to a failure to meet training standards in December of 2015." The Army statement did not explain in what way he failed to measure up. Fields is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and a single count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, authorities said. REPUBLICAN SENATORS CRITICIZE RESPONSE On Sunday before the White House statement, US Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, who chairs the Republican Party´s Senate election effort, urged the president to condemn "white supremacists" and to use that term. He was one of several Republican senators who squarely criticized Trump on Twitter on Saturday. "Calling out people for their acts of evil - let´s do it today - white nationalist, white supremacist," Gardner said on CNN´s "State of the Union" program on Sunday. "We will not stand for their hate." Virginia police, FBI probe deadly violence at white nationalist rally The clashes highlight how the white supremacist movement has resurfaced under the 'alt-right' banner Sunday´s White House statement elaborating on Trump´s initial comment on the Charlottesville clashes was followed hours later by even tougher rhetoric against white nationalists from Vice President Mike Pence, on a visit to Colombia. "We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo Nazis or the KKK," Pence said. "These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms." Mayor Signer, a Democrat, blamed Trump for helping foment an atmosphere conducive to violence, starting with rhetoric as a candidate for president in 2016. "Look at the campaign he ran, Signer said on CNN´s State of the Nation." "There are two words that need to be said over and over again - domestic terrorism and white supremacy. That is exactly what we saw on display this weekend." Jason Kessler, an organizer of Saturday´s "Unite the Right" rally, which was staged to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate army commander General Robert E. Lee from a park, said supporters of the event would not back down. The rally stemmed from a long debate over various public memorials and symbols honoring the pro-slavery Confederacy of the US Civil War, considered an affront by African-Americans. Kessler attempted to hold a press conference outside city hall in Charlottesville on Sunday but was quickly shouted down by counter-protesters.
  11. An undated photo from the Facebook account of Heather Heyer, who was killed August 12, 2017 when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, US. Photo: Reuters Heather Heyer came to downtown Charlottesville with her friends to make a stand against white nationalists who converged on the Virginia college town to demand the city keep a statue honouring a Confederate war hero, her boss said on Sunday. The 32-year-old paralegal wanted to send a clear message to the neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan sympathisers who planned to stage one of the largest far-right rallies in recent US history that people abhor their views in the city where she was born, he said. But her decision to join counter-protesters on Saturday resulted in tragedy when a 20-year-old Ohio man drove his car at high speed into a line of marchers, killing Heyer and injuring at least 19 others. A strong sense of social justice was a constant theme in Heyer's personal and working life, said Alfred Wilson, bankruptcy division manager at the Miller Law Group. "There have been times that I've walked back to her office and she had tears in her eyes" for various injustices she saw in the world, said Wilson, such as the time she was weeping after reading anti-Muslim comments online, Wilson said. Heyer was "a very strong, very opinionated young woman" who "made known that she was all about equality," he told Reuters on Sunday. The two have worked closely since Heyer joined the firm a little more than five years ago. "Purple was her favourite colour," said Wilson, recalling that Heyer shared a duplex apartment in Charlottesville with a beloved pet Chihuahua named Violet. "She would wear purple a lot, and she would wear it every day if she could get away with it." Flowers and a photo of car ramming victim Heather Heyer lie at a makeshift memorial in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters Born in Charlottesville, the home of the University of Virginia's main campus, Heyer was raised in a nearby town and graduated from William Monroe High School in Stanardsville. A big part of Heyer's job was to help people who were trying to avoid being evicted from their homes, or have their cars repossessed, or needed help paying medical bills, he said. Heyer was a supporter of Bernie Sanders, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination won by Hillary Clinton, Wilson said. As a white woman, she thought it unfair that she enjoyed liberties that Wilson, as a black man, did not, he said. "You're college-educated, but if you walk into the store you may have people following you, and it's not fair," Wilson quoted Heyer as having said to him often. Heyer, said Wilson, was strongly opposed to President Donald Trump, and she also spoke out against Jason Kessler, the blogger who organised the "Unite the Right" rally that was broken up before it began on Saturday. "A big thing that bothered Heather was this whole past election," said Wilson. "She would literally sit in the office and cry at times because she was worried about what was going to happen to the country."
  12. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/2cb3f895f314bce04d78f0bd2be21bf5.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9OC8xMy8yMDE3IDU6NDY6NTAgQU0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT0xWis2ZllGcVdva1JiRE9jZHJzbjRnPT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member Ayesha Gulalai, in a video message released late Saturday, wished the country on its 70th Independence Day. In the statement, Gulalai said a sacrifice by two million Muslim led to freedom from British rule. The disgruntled PTI leader, who has accused PTI chief Imran Khan of harassment and condoning corruption, said: ?Imran Niazi gives examples of the British but has failed to mentally free himself from their servitude?. She added that Imran shouldn?t lead the youth into mentally serving the British. With regards to the formation of a parliamentary committee to probe her allegations, Gulalai said Imran first welcomed the committee but then backtracked. ?Imran has now demanded a commission akin to those in Britain,? she argued. Will not resign from seat, says Gulalai amid ruckus during NA address Gave voice to weak women and never compromised over integrity, says Gulalai Gulalai said Britain has its own traditions, culture and that decisions taken in Pakistan will be as per our Constitution. I, alongside fellow Pakistanis, have full faith in the Constitution, shared Gulalai. Continuing her critique of Imran, Gulalai said he should explain why he does not trust our Constitution. ?Imran says he will deliberate before giving election tickets to women,? she said, adding that Imran shouldn?t give tickets to decent, educated people in the future as they can be dangerous to him. ?Won?t resign from National Assembly? Gulalai, who is still a member of the National Assembly from the PTI ticket, said last Monday that she will not resign from her seat, amid a ruckus from the PTI members. Addressing the assembly after taking permission from the deputy speaker, Gulalai said she was elected on merit and would continue her duties as a lawmaker. Sports should not be dragged into politics: Maria Toorpakai to critics She added that she gave voice to weak women and added that she never compromised over integrity. ?Imran is not a deity that he cannot be criticised,? said Gulalai. She further said that allegations were hurled at her family and she received death and acid attack threats. The allegations Earlier this month, Gulalai, claimed Imran had sent inappropriate text messages to her and hinted at tying the knot. She claimed to have informed her father that the party chief had asked her to meet him alone but she took her father and brother along with her to meet the PTI chief, which irked him. Gulalai also said her father asked Imran about his intentions but he dodged the question. "I am ready to sit in front of Imran and can confront him on the obnoxious messages that he sent. He put me through mental torture and pain," explained Gulalai. As per Gulalai, Khan first sent inappropriate messages to her in 2013.
  13. LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said restoring an economy on the brink was Nawaz Sharif's crowning achievement. Shehbaz also said that PML-N's popularity among the masses has damaged the politics of their opponents. He further said that the welcome given to Nawaz Sharif by the people proves that he is still the people's leader. "Opponents are scared of Nawaz's popularity among the masses," said Shehbaz and added that any political moves by PML-N's opponents can not erode the love of the people for Nawaz. "The dharna group has sown seeds of hatred in the society," said Punjab's chief minister. The statement from Shehbaz comes on day four of Nawaz's 'homecoming' rally. The former premier set-off from Islamabad on Wednesday with a caravan of PML-N supporters and made stops along the way, addressing and mobilising PML-N's voter base.
  14. SEOUL: North Korea said on Saturday that nearly 3.5 million workers, party members and soldiers volunteered to join or rejoin its army to resist new UN sanctions and to fight against the United States in the current geopolitical tension between Pyongyang and Washington. Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's official newspaper, said the volunteers had offered to join or rejoin the People's Army after the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) issued a statement on Monday condemning new sanctions imposed by the United Nations in retaliation for North Korean missile tests. Earlier this week, nuclear-armed North Korea threatened to strike the United States and its Pacific territory of Guam. KCNA said on Wednesday a mass rally was held in Pyongyang to support the government. North Korea has previously mobilized large crowds to show its resolve when tensions escalate. In August 2015, 1 million North Koreans offered to enlist or re-enlist in the army when a mine exploded in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, raising additional tensions. North Korea warned foreign diplomats to leave Pyongyang in 2013 when it suspended work at a joint inter-Korean industrial park and threatened missile strikes on US Pacific bases, notably in Guam and Hawaii.
  15. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been voicing his concerns about Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Twitter and recently said that people should be more concerned about the upcoming technology threat than the risk posed by escalating tensions between U.S. and North Korea. "If you're not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea," Musk tweeted on Friday. Musk was talking in reference to his nonprofit start-up, OpenAi, which managed to defeat several of the world's best video game players. Musk had called for the regulation of AI in the past and tweeted saying “by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it's too late.” If you're not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea. https://t.co/2z0tiid0lc">pic.twitter.com/2z0tiid0lc — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/896166762361704450">August 12, 2017 OpenAI first ever to defeat world's best players in competitive eSports. Vastly more complex than traditional board games like chess & Go. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/896163163581825025">August 12, 2017 Nobody likes being regulated, but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that's a danger to the public is regulated. AI should be too. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/896169801277517824">August 12, 2017 He continued to say that the heightened tensions between North Korea and the U.S. are not as dangerous as compared to threats AI can pose in the future. The communist regime has continued to test and expand their nuclear program and repeatedly threatened the United States with attacks. North Korea revealed earlier this week that the country can now fit nuclear warheads on missiles. (c) Reuters A Facebook research team had to recently shut down an AI system (http://www.mensxp.com/technology/social-media/38580-facebook-pulls-plug-on-artificial-intelligence-system.html) which went out of control as the two bots invented their own language to communicate with each other. Facebook was forced to shut down the system as the research team could not decipher the communications and could not control the two bots' interaction.
  16. Former US Vice President Al Gore attends a screening of 'An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power' in Los Angeles, California, US, July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files LONDON: Former US Vice President Al Gore said on Friday that President Donald Trump's rejection of the Paris climate change agreement was fueling, rather than weakening, momentum among environmental activists. Gore, whose follow-up to his 2006 Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth is showing in movie theatres worldwide this month, said governments and companies had stepped up since Trump's decision in June to withdraw from the 2015 global pact. "The entire world the next day re-doubled their commitments to the Paris agreement and in the US, the governors of our largest states and hundreds of mayors, thousands of business leaders all stood up to fill the gap and said 'We are still in the Paris agreement,'" Gore told Reuters Television. "I do think that the reaction to Donald Trump is actually driving much more momentum in the climate movement," he added. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power ? Gore's new documentary ? argues that fighting climate change is a moral battle, on a par with the civil rights movement in the United States or the fight for gay rights. Shot mostly before Trump's election, it also shows the Republican on the 2016 campaign trail promising to abolish environmental regulations and boost the coal and oil industries. An Inconvenient Truth is credited with bringing climate change into the mainstream political discourse in the United States a decade ago. It won the best documentary Oscar in 2007 and helped propel Gore to a Nobel Peace Prize, which he shared with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  17. US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after a security briefing at his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, US, August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst BEDMINSTER: President Donald Trump said on Friday he was being sarcastic when he thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for saving the United States money by ordering cuts in US diplomatic staff in Russia. Asked whether he was being sarcastic, Trump told reporters, "In order to reduce our payroll, absolutely. I think you know that," Trump said without explicitly criticising the move. Breaking nearly two weeks of silence on Putin's July 30 order cutting US embassy and consulate staff by nearly two thirds, Trump said on Thursday: "I'm very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll," adding "there's no real reason for them to go back". Trump's remarks rekindled criticism of his kid-glove handling of Putin, especially as he has not shied away from being highly critical of members of his own party, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Putin, reacting to new sanctions imposed by the US Congress and reluctantly signed into law by Trump, ordered Washington to cut its diplomatic and technical staff by 755 people by September 1. Many of those affected likely will be local Russian staffers. It was also a reaction to former President Barack Obama expelling 35 Russian diplomats from the United States last December over the intelligence agency reports. "I was just speaking to the Secretary (of State Rex Tillerson) and we're talking about coming up with an answer [?] by September 1st we'll have a response," Trump said. Congressional committees and a special counsel are investigating the conclusions of US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election campaign by hacking and other methods to help Trump, a Republican. They are also looking into possible collusion between the campaign and Russian officials. Moscow has repeatedly denied meddling in the election and Trump denies any campaign collusion. During his campaign and since becoming president, Trump has consistently called for better ties with Russia, declined to criticise Putin and refused to unequivocally embrace the conclusions of the intelligence agencies. Trump's remarks were immediately denounced by current and former US officials who have served both Republican and Democratic administrations. The remarks also raised some eyebrows in Europe. ?I would have to say in my experience (it is) one of the most bizarre things I have ever heard from any government official, not just the US," Ojars Kalnins, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Latvian parliament, told Reuters earlier on Friday. "Thanking another foreign leader for firing people from their embassy is unprecedented. It?s bizarre."
  18. Manchester United's transfer business is "75 percent" complete but the club is still looking for a winger, manager Jose Mourinho said ahead of their Premier League opener against West Ham on Sunday. United have added striker Romelu Lukaku, midfielder Nemanja Matic and defender Victor Lindelof to their squad. However, they have been unable to sign a wide player, and a move for Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic, who has been linked in the British media with a transfer to Old Trafford, looks unlikely. "Twenty-five per cent means one of four," Mourinho told a news conference on Friday. "We got a central defender who can play many other positions which is very important. Victor can play right-back and centre midfield. "We have a central midfielder and striker, so obviously another player would be one coming from the sides." Mourinho acknowledged this week that Real Madrid's Gareth Bale was out of reach after the Welshman started for the Spanish side in their 2-1 European Super Cup win over United. The manager confirmed that the Manchester club is in talks to re-sign striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is recovering from a knee ligament injury. The 35-year-old, who scored 28 goals for United last season, has been at the club during his rehabilitation and Mourinho said the Swede could feature in the second half of the season. "You know he's injured, he needs time to recover, he's not ready to play tomorrow," Mourinho said. "It's not something urgent, that we are desperate to have it done or not done, I just think that he was very clear by showing what he did last year was not enough for him. "He wants more at the highest level so we are having conversations and we are discussing the possibility of him to stay with us for the second part of the season." Centre-backs Eric Bailly and Phil Jones return to the Manchester United squad for West Ham's visit to Old Trafford on Sunday, after being suspended for Tuesday's Super Cup defeat by Real. Defenders Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and winger Ashley Young are out with long-term injuries.
  19. President Donald Trump on Friday turned up the heat on North Korea, warning Pyongyang that the US military is "locked and loaded" in the event of a misstep by the totalitarian state, despite mounting international calls for restraint. Trump launched another salvo at the regime of Kim Jong-Un to keep its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in check, as the North's official news agency accused the US of driving the situation "to the brink" of war. The latest Twitter threat from the Republican billionaire leader came as concerns swelled worldwide that a miscalculation by either side could trigger a catastrophic conflict on the Korean peninsula. "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!" Trump wrote from his golf club retreat in New Jersey, where he is spending two weeks. The official KCNA news service countered in an editorial that "Trump is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war," calling the US "the mastermind of nuclear threat, the heinous nuclear war fanatic." Earlier on Friday, China - Pyongyang's main diplomatic ally - had urged Trump and Kim to tone down the saber-rattling. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called on both sides to avoid "going down the old path of alternately showing strength and continuously escalating the situation." "We call on the relevant parties to be cautious with their words and actions, and contribute more toward easing tensions and enhancing mutual trust," Geng said in a statement. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was "very alarmed" at Trump's tough talk, saying Washington should take the first step toward cooling tensions. "When a fight has nearly broken out, the first step away from the dangerous threshold should be taken by the side that is stronger and smarter," Lavrov said. International calls for restraint Beijing has repeatedly pushed resuming long-dormant six-party talks to peacefully resolve the mounting tensions, but its position has been overshadowed by Trump and Kim's emerging game of brinkmanship. China's proposal for North Korea to halt its weapons programs in exchange for a suspension of military drills by the United States and South Korea - seen by Pyongyang as provocative - has essentially been ignored. Trump has progressively ramped up the tone throughout the week -- after brandishing a threat of unleashing "fire and fury" on North Korea, he said Thursday maybe that statement "wasn't tough enough." He warned Pyongyang it should be "very, very nervous" of the consequences if it even thinks of attacking US soil, after Kim's regime said it was readying plans to launch missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam. Trump also called on China to "do a lot more" to heap pressure on Kim. German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined the intensifying chorus of calls for restraint, saying diplomacy was the answer. "Germany will very intensively take part in the options for resolution that are not military but I consider a verbal escalation to be the wrong response," she said. Nearly a week ago, the UN Security Council unanimously passed fresh sanctions against Pyongyang over its weapons program, including export bans, a new punishment that could cost North Korea $1 billion a year. Tragedy of war US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis appeared intent Thursday on easing the tension, describing the prospect of war as "catastrophic" and saying diplomacy remained the priority. Asked Friday if Mattis was aware of Trump's latest tweet, spokesman Colonel Rob Manning simply said the Pentagon chief was "in close and constant contact with the president." Concerning the prospect of forthcoming military action, Manning told AFP: "We maintain a high state of readiness to deal with the North Korean threat in conjunction with our allies and partners in the region." A White House official noted: "There are military plans for just about any crisis we may face in the world. (...) This isn't anything new." In China, the state-run Global Times said Friday that Beijing should not intervene on Pyongyang's side if it triggered a conflict. Beijing should "make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral," it said in an editorial. Meanwhile in South Korea, calls mounted for Seoul to develop atomic weapons of its own, with the Korea Herald saying in an editorial: "Now is time to start reviewing nuclear armament." Bereft of reason Relations between Washington and Pyongyang have been tense for months, in the wake of the North's repeated missile tests, including two successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test launches in July that brought much of the US mainland within range. North Korea raised hackles in the United States when it announced a detailed plan to send four missiles over Japan and towards Guam, an island territory of some 165,000 people, where some 6,000 US soldiers are based. Pyongyang said the scheme to target the island, a key US military outpost in the western Pacific, was intended to "signal a crucial warning" as "only absolute force" would have an effect on a US leader "bereft of reason." The tough talk has caused global markets to plunge this week, with stocks in the red again Friday. Tensions on the Korean peninsula tend to increase when Seoul and Washington launch major military joint exercises, and the next, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, is set to kick off around August 21.
  20. US President Donald Trump speaks during a security briefing on August 10, 2017, at his Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey. AFP/Nicholas Kamm BEDMINSTER: President Donald Trump said Thursday that he did the US military a "great favor" by banning transgender troops from the armed forces. Trump, speaking to reporters at his New Jersey country club, said the issue of transgender service members had been "complicated" and "confusing" for the military. "Look, I have great respect for the (transgender) community," Trump said. "I think I have great support ? or I've had ? great support from that community. "I got a lot of votes." But Trump said the issue of transgender troops has been a "very difficult situation" for the US armed forces. "As you know, it's been a very complicated issue for the military," he said. "It's been a very confusing issue for the military. "I think I'm doing the military a great favor." In a series of three tweets last month, Trump upended an Obama-era policy of more than a year that allowed transgender troops to serve openly. His announcement came with little or no coordination with the Pentagon and landed while Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was on vacation, leaving the astonished department scrambling to come up with a coherent response. Five transgender women in the US military filed suit against Trump and the Pentagon this week over the ban. In a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, the five plaintiffs from the Air Force, Coast Guard and the Army said they faced uncertainty about their futures, including whether they would be fired or lose post-military and retirement benefits. The lawsuit was filed against Trump, Mattis and various other senior military officials by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLAAD, a legal advocacy group. All the unidentified "Jane Doe" plaintiffs were previously men who have transitioned to being female. The number of transgender troops among America's 1.3 million active duty service members is small, with estimates ranging from between 1,320 and 15,000. In the two weeks since Trump's tweets, the White House has still not provided the Pentagon with clear directives on how it should implement a transgender ban, so the current policy remains in place for now.
  21. A sketch of Taylor Swift (L) and her attorneys in Denver Federal Court with plaintiff David Mueller (2nd R) during the Swift groping trial in Denver, US. August 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jeff Kandyba DENVER: Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Taylor Swift testified on Thursday she was subjected to a "very long" and "intentional" grope by a Colorado disc jockey who appeared to be drunk during a photo session four years ago. The 27-year-old pop star was testifying for the first time for a US District Court jury weighing her accusation that David Mueller grabbed her backside during a pre-concert fan reception in 2013 against Mueller's assertion that she falsely accused him and then got him fired. Swift ? one of America's most successful recording artists, whose hits include "Fearless" and "Fifteen" ? spoke forcefully under questioning by Mueller's attorney, Gabriel McFarland. She said several times, "Your client grabbed my [backside]," at one point calling it a "devious and sneaky act." "It was a definite grab? a very long grab," she said. "It was intentional. He stayed latched onto my [backside]". Mueller, 55, testified on Tuesday that he may have made innocent contact with Swift but denied any inappropriate behaviour. Asked if he grabbed her backside, the former disc jockey for Denver radio station KYGO-FM replied, "No, I did not." Swift spent an hour on the witness stand on Thursday and said it appeared both Mueller and his girlfriend, who stood on the other side of her for the photo, had "had a few cocktails." The photograph, repeatedly displayed in court, shows the pop star in a black skirt and top, flanked by Mueller and his girlfriend, all three smiling for the camera. Mueller has his right hand concealed behind her rear end, and Swift appears to have shifted her hip slightly away from him. Asked by McFarland why her bodyguard did not step in when "this big drunk guy" groped her, Swift replied: "No one could have expected this to happen? It had never happened before. It was horrifying and shocking." 'That's him' Swift also sharply denied McFarland's suggestion that Mueller was the victim of mistaken identity. "He had a handful of my [backside]. I know it was him," she fired back. Swift's account was backed by subsequent testimony from her photographer, Stephanie Simbeck, who recalled seeing Mueller "put his hand on (Swift's)" backside through the camera's viewfinder. She said it was clear to her that Swift "was trying to get away" from Mueller. Once he and his girlfriend left, Simbeck testified, Swift said aloud: "Dude, that guy grabbed my [backside]," to which Simbeck responded, "I knew it. I have the photograph." They quickly found the Mueller image in her camera, and Swift said, "That's him," Simbeck told jurors. Explaining why she did not report the incident to her managers and security detail right away, Swift said she still had more fans to meet and ?didn?t want to ruin their concert experience?. Questioned about her reaction to learning Mueller had been fired, Swift replied, "I just never wanted to see him again. And here we are years later, and I'm being blamed for the unfortunate events in his life." Mueller initiated the litigation, claiming Swift fabricated the story and put pressure on KYGO to fire him from his $150,000-a-year job. Swift then countersued for assault and battery, asking for symbolic damages of $1. Swift asserts she never demanded Mueller be fired. The former DJ is seeking lost earnings and to clear his name, telling the court this week that it was humiliating to be accused of "something so despicable." Following Swift to the witness stand was KYGO manager Robert Call, who fired Mueller two days after the alleged incident, acting on a complaint from Swift's liaison to radio stations, Frank Bell. Call testified that he had known Bell for many years and had no reason to doubt him. Call said Mueller at first denied to him that he had touched Swift at all. But when shown the photo in question, Call said, Mueller responded: "Well, if it did happen, it was accidental." Call said he fired the DJ because of his shifting accounts of the incident, and because the photo showed that Mueller's hand was "not where it was supposed to be." Swift, who has 85 million followers on Twitter and 102 million followers on Instagram, earned $170 million in the year to June 2016 following a world tour and her best-selling 1989 album, according to Forbes Magazine.
  22. We have all loved the street smart Bronn till now. The man can fight like a badass but he's got no morals or loyalty to hold him back. The only thing he is loyal to is wealth, and understandably so. In a world where loyalty gets you beheaded and what not, perhaps the lack of it is not so bad. But the 4th episode of ‘Game of Thrones' changed all that. The minute Bronn ran towards Qyburn's massive scorpion-bow and aimed at Drogon, he lost all fans; even the diehard ones. Why would you do that, Bronn?! Guess that's the downside of fighting for money. Take a look at the explosive scene again: Jerome Flynn, the actor who plays Bronn, is well aware of the lost fandom. In an interview for ‘Making Game of Thrones', he confessed how his postman has stopped talking to him because he attempted to kill the dragon! “I was surprised when I was watching it. I spent weeks on that sequence, but I was on the edge of my seat, the adrenaline was running — they really nailed it. Although since the day the battle aired, I've been a little unpopular, I have to say. My postman won't speak to me because I shot the dragon.” © HBO No doubt that scene was impressive as hell. Flynn himself was overwhelmed when he watched the scene again in its entirety even though he was the one in it! He further said in the interview, “It took four or five weeks to film that sequence, but the actual “death run” to Qyburn's scorpion happened over a couple of days. And that one particular sequence was some of the most most exciting filming I've had.” The visual effects in ‘Spoils of War' were one of the best in the show so far, and we still can't get over that image of Dany riding her dragon like a badass. Watch how the GOT team managed to pull off this epic ‘Loot Train attack' scene: H/t – Making of Game Of Thrones
  23. Snap Inc Chief Executive Evan Spiegel said on Thursday neither he nor co-founder Bobby Murphy would sell shares of the Snapchat parent this year, but that failed to soothe investors after quarterly results fell short of analyst expectations. Shares of the Los Angeles company slumped nearly 17 percent in extended trading. The expiration at the end of July of a lock-up period preventing insiders from selling shares came as the stock was already under pressure from worries about user growth. "Given the amount of speculation around the lock-up expiration, I feel it is important to note that Bobby and I will not sell any of our shares this year," Spiegel said on a call with analysts. "We believe deeply in the long-term success of Snap." Snap reported daily active users and second-quarter revenue that came in below analyst expectations on Thursday, sending shares down to $12 in extended trading. The stock debuted on March 2 at $24, compared with an initial public offering price of $17. Investors worry about the company's ability to vie for users and advertising dollars with rivals like Facebook Inc's Instagram, which has features similar to the Snapchat disappearing messaging app. Snap said its daily active users (DAUs) rose to 173 million in the second quarter, short of the 175.2 million DAUs expected by analysts according to financial data analytics firm FactSet. DAUs were 143 million in the year-earlier quarter and 166 million in the previous quarter. Average revenue per user was $1.05 in the quarter, Snap said, below the $1.07 expected by analysts according to FactSet but up from 50 cents a year earlier. "There is a lot of heavy competition and the company has not figured out how to monetize its audience yet," said Salvatore Recco, executive vice president at 50 Park Investments, an investment advisory service. "Until they do, investors will likely continued to be disappointed." Instagram Stories allows users to post images and video that disappear after 24 hours, a feature that replicates Snapchat and is fast becoming more popular than Snapchat itself. Now one year old, Instagram Stories had more than 250 million users as of Aug. 2, up from about 250 million in June and 200 million in April. Since its debut on the public markets, Snap has described itself as a "camera company," but has given little indication on plans to move into hardware or its broader strategy. "If that's how (Spiegel) wants to play his cards that's fine, but there's going to be a trade off," said Jason Moser, analyst for Motley Fool. "And that's going to be reflected in the stock price.? Spiegel said the company's focus will be on building creative tools that give users more ways to create snaps. Spiegel said this plan creates a cycle where users create and view more snaps. As an example, Spiegel cited the company's World Lenses feature released this quarter. The executive pointed to Snapchat's dancing hot dog, saying the animated character was viewed more than 1.5 billion times in the app. "Our dancing hot dog is most likely the world?s first augmented reality superstar," Spiegel said. Snap said its revenue more than doubled to $181.7 million in the quarter, below analyst expectations for $186.2 million. The company earns some revenue from branded or sponsored filters and lenses, but the bulk comes from advertisements. Net loss widened to $443.1 million, or 36 cents per share, from $115.9 million, or 14 cents per share. Excluding certain items, Snap lost 16 cents per share in the latest quarter. Snap?s results came on the heels of Blue Apron Holdings Inc reporting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, erasing nearly a fifth from the meal-kit delivery service?s market value on Thursday.
  24. Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said midfielder Philippe Coutinho would not be sold at any price, as British media reported the club had rejected a second bid worth 100 million euros (90.19 million pounds)from Barcelona. Barcelona had already been rebuffed last month in an 80 million euro bid for the 25-year-old, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for 8.5 million pounds in 2013. The 24-time Spanish league champions increased the offer to 85 million euros (76.66 million pounds) plus 15 million in add-ons but Liverpool have rejected the second bid, maintaining their stance that the player is not for sale, according to the reports. "Liverpool is not a club that has to sell players. That is set in stone. So what they offer in the end doesn?t matter," Sky Germany quoted Klopp as saying. "From a financial standpoint, there is no price limit to let him go. No price at which we are ready to give in. Our goal is to have the best possible team. So we want to keep our guys and add new ones. That is our plan." The Merseyside club's position on the Brazil international, who was a key player in Klopp's squad last campaign, is boosted by Coutinho's signing of a new five-year contract last season. Media reports indicate that Barcelona are targeting Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele as replacements for Brazil forward Neymar, who joined Paris St Germain last week for a world record transfer fee of 222 million euros (200.23 million pounds). While Spanish media have suggested that a deal for Coutinho's move to Barcelona was close to completion, British media say Liverpool have not and will not make any plans to discuss the player's future with the Catalan club.
  25. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Central Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood on Thursday said it is concerning to see that a three-time prime minister is using words against the judiciary. Speaking at a press conference, the PTI MNA from Lahore said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in his speech insulted the constitution and the institutions of the country. ?Yesterday they threw leaflets against the judiciary from helicopters. They used the same tactics in the 90s by throwing fake pictures to malign late Benazir Bhutto,? Mahmood said. ?When you are leading any movement against the constitution, in reality, you are attempting to sabotage the judiciary.? The PTI leader also alleged that the main aim of the GT Road rally is to target the armed forces of the country. ?Their real target is Pakistan Army, they are trying to prove to the people that on the direction of the armed forces Nawaz Sharif has been disqualified,? Mahmood further alleged. ?A campaign is being conducted against the judiciary as they are see more disqualifications after NAB investigations. Government officials have been assigned to make the rally successful.? Mahmood also claimed that there is a feud going on within the Sharif family after Nawaz?s disqualification. ?Shehbaz?s wife, Tehmina Durrani, said that the GT Road rally has brought forth issues for her husband as the entire provincial state machinery is being utilised for the rally,? he added, ?The differences within the Sharif family are quite visible.?