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Found 102 results

  1. ISLAMABAD: The US Department of State?s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ambassador Alice Wells on Tuesday said that the US seeks to move toward a new relationship with Pakistan. In her meetings with different Pakistani officials, she said that the new relationship should be based on mutual interest in realising a stable and prosperous region, according to a press statement issued by the US Embassy in Pakistan. Acknowledging Pakistan?s considerable sacrifices in fighting terrorism, Wells emphasised that the US South Asia strategy represents an opportunity to work together for the establishment of a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, the defeat of Daesh in South Asia, and the elimination of terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the United States. Earlier on Monday, top US military officer Marine General Joseph Dunford had said he was committed to the US-Pakistan relationship, which has been strained in recent weeks as Washington piles pressure on Islamabad to crack down on militants. ?Do we agree on everything right now? No we don?t. But are we committed to a more effective relationship with Pakistan? We are. And I?m not giving up on that,? Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had told a small group of reporters during a trip to Brussels. The United States has long blamed militant safe-havens in Pakistan for prolonging the war in neighbouring Afghanistan, giving insurgents a place to plot attacks and rebuild their forces. Pakistan is a crucial gateway for US military supplies destined for US and other troops fighting a 16-year-old war in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump?s administration, demanding ?do more? from Pakistan, had announced a plan to suspend up to roughly $2 billion in US security assistance. An outcry was triggered in Islamabad following Washington's statement. Pakistan?s military had said its army chief told US General Joseph Votel, head of the US military?s Central Command, that Pakistan ?felt betrayed? by US criticism.
  2. Acting Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Alice Wells. Photo: File ISLAMABAD: Acting Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Alice Wells said that the United States consider Pakistan?s enemy as its own enemy, while speaking to senior journalist Hamid Mir on Tuesday. Mir informed that the US diplomat also said that the US doesn?t support the separation movement in Balochistan. Wells also stated that the US desires to continue the longstanding bilateral partnership with Islamabad. Earlier on Monday, Ambassador Wells called on Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua at the Foreign Office. Alice Wells was accompanied by senior officials from US National Security Council and Ambassador David Hale. Pak support critical for US to succeed in Afghanistan: Senior State Dept official This is third visit by Alice Wells to Pakistan since August 2017 Noting the importance of the longstanding bilateral relationship, Ambassador Wells acknowledged Pakistan's efforts in eradicating terrorism and conveyed the US desire to work with Pakistan in furthering the shared objectives of stabilizing Afghanistan. She argued that as an immediate neighbour and important country of the region, Pakistan's support was critical to the success of the US strategy for Afghanistan. To this end, Ambassador Wells underlined the need for strengthening intelligence cooperation between the two sides to improve coordination in counter-terrorism efforts. The two sides agreed that all initiatives owned and led by the Afghans for seeking a peaceful solution should be supported by the regional countries. Pakistan's positive role in several peace initiatives was appreciated. This is third visit by Wells to Pakistan since August 2017 and the first of a senior US government official following the US president's Twitter outburst against Pakistan earlier this month.
  3. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua meeting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells on Monday. Photo: Geo News ISLAMABAD: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells reached Pakistan on Monday, informed the foreign office. The US official had a meeting with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, in which bilateral relations between Islamabad and Washington were discussed. Matters related to regional security situation were also discussed by the officials, the foreign office informed the press. This is third visit by Wells to Pakistan since August 2017. Earlier, US President Donald Trump in his New Year tweet, accused Pakistan of lies and deceit. "They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" he said on January 1. The incident led to heightened tensions between Pakistan and the US. Later, on January 5, the US announced that it is suspending the transfer of military equipment and security-related funds to Pakistan. On January 12, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa received two phone calls from US Centcom Commander General Joseph Votel and one from a US senator over the week to discuss Pak-US security cooperation following the controversial tweet, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) informed. The army chief told the US officials that Pakistan will continue its "sincere counter-terrorism efforts" even without US financial support in accordance with its own national interest and will remain committed to bringing the effort to its logical conclusion along with other stakeholders.
  4. A rescue ship works to extinguish the fire on the stricken Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea, on January 10, 2018 in this photo provided by Japan?s 10th Regional Coast Guard. Photo: Reuters1 BEIJING: An Iranian oil tanker has sunk after burning for more than a week following a collision on January 6 in the East China Sea, Chinese state media said on Sunday, adding that large amounts of oil are burning in the surrounding waters. The stricken tanker, called the Sanchi, which had been adrift and on fire following the accident with the freighter CF Crystal, had ?suddenly ignited? around noon (0400 GMT), China Central Television (CCTV) said. ?Currently it has already sunk,? CCTV said, citing the Shanghai maritime search and rescue centre. It showed video of a tower of billowing black smoke and flames on the surface of the water. The ship sank before 5pm (0900 GMT), CCTV said. China?s State Oceanic Administration said that because the hull of the ship had detonated, a large amount of oil in surrounding waters was on fire, according to the official Xinhua news agency. The administration said it would expand the scope of its monitoring and ?quickly ascertain the spread and drift of overflowing oil? from the wrecked ship. A Chinese salvage team on Saturday recovered two bodies from the tanker. Another body, presumed to be one of the Sanchi?s sailors, was found on Monday and brought to Shanghai for identification. The Sanchi?s crew consisted of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had told his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif by telephone that ?as long as there is 1 per cent of hope, China will continue to make 100 per cent effort? to rescue and recover other members of the crew. The tanker, owned by National Iranian Tanker Co, was carrying almost one million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light crude oil, to South Korea. It collided with the CF Crystal, which was carrying grain from the United States, about 160 nautical miles (184 km) off China?s coast near Shanghai.
  5. Binladin, which had over 100,000 employees at its height, is the biggest builder in the country and important to Riyadh?s plans for large real estate-Photo: File RIYADH/DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is taking managerial control of Saudi Binladin Group and discussing a possible transfer of some of the giant construction group?s assets to the state while its chairman and other family members are in detention, sources told Reuters. Binladin, which had over 100,000 employees at its height, is the biggest builder in the country and important to Riyadh?s plans for large real estate, industrial and tourism projects to help diversify the economy beyond oil. However, the group has been hurt financially in the past couple of years by a slump in the construction industry and a temporary exclusion from new state contracts after a crane accident killed 107 people at Mecca?s Grand Mosque in 2015. It was forced to lay off thousands of employees. Riyadh?s move to take control appears aimed at ensuring the group can continue to serve Saudi Arabia?s development plans, said banking and industry sources, who declined to be named due to the political and commercial sensitivity of the matter. The government detained scores of senior officials and businessmen in October as part of a sweeping crackdown on corruption. The Binladin group?s chairman Bakr Bin Laden and several family members have been held, the sources said. Saudi officials are trying to negotiate settlements with detainees, saying they aim to claw back some $100 billion of funds that rightfully belong to the state. The talks on Binladin?s future are part of this effort, the sources said. Since the detention of Bin Laden family members, the finance ministry has formed a five-member committee, including three government representatives, to oversee the group?s business and handle relations with suppliers and contractors, the sources said. Binladin executives did not respond to phone calls seeking comment. Finance ministry officials and the government media office also did not respond to requests for comment. Setting a precedent? Although ownership of Binladin currently remains with the family, the group is in negotiations with the government about the potential transfer of some assets to the state, or possibly reducing or eliminating the government?s outstanding debts to Binladin, the sources said. One banking source with detailed knowledge of the group said the debt might total around $30 billion - the legacy of a period about 18 months ago when the government held off from settling many of its debts as its finances were hurt by low oil prices. It is not clear whether the government?s handling of Binladin may set a precedent for the cases of other businessmen detained in the corruption purge. They include one of the kingdom?s most prominent businessmen, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is chairman and owner of global investment firm Kingdom Holding 4280.SE. Because of Binladin?s strategic importance to the construction industry and development projects, as well as its financial struggle, it may be treated differently from the assets of other detained suspects. The new management committee?s government representatives include Abdulrehman al-Harkan, a former chief executive of Saudi property company Dar Al Arkan, and Khaled Nahas, a board member of petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp, the sources said. There are also two family members on the committee: Yehia Bin Laden and Abdullah Bin Laden. Previously, the family was in total control of the group, with Bakr Bin Laden taking most decisions, the sources said. Although Osama Bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda who was killed by US forces in 2011, was part of the same family, the company did not have any ties to him.
  6. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi speaks during his joint news conference with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Amman, Jordan, January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed AMMAN: Arab states will soon embark on a diplomatic drive to persuade the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war, Jordan?s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said. Six Arab foreign ministers met in Amman on Saturday to follow up on earlier decisions taken by the Arab League to counter US President Donald Trump?s move in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel?s capital, a decision that overturned decades of US policy on the Middle East. A committee ? made up of Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinians and headed by Jordan ? was set up after an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo shortly after Trump?s decision that called on Washington to abandon its decision. The Arab League said at the time the move would spur violence throughout the region and described Trump?s announcement as a ?dangerous violation of international law? which had no legal impact. Safadi said the ministers would recommend a series of moves to a full ministerial meeting of the Arab League due later this month. ?We will confront the decision by seeking a (UN) resolution, an international one, to recognize a Palestinian state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,? said Safadi. He did not elaborate on the timing of the diplomatic moves nor say whether he was referring to a UN Security Council or General Assembly resolution. Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the ministerial meeting would also discuss Washington?s role in future Arab-Israeli peacemaking that members states said was now jeopardized by what they see as US bias towards Israel. ?We want to lessen any losses on the Palestinian side and lessen the Israeli gains,? Aboul Gheit added. Arab states would also discuss whether to convene an extraordinary summit of their leaders or wait until a scheduled summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh at the end of March, he added. Trump?s recognition of Jerusalem has infuriated the Arab world and upset Western allies, who say it is a blow to peace efforts and risks sparking more violence in the region. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Israel regards Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital. Most countries consider East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after capturing it from Jordan in a 1967 war, to be occupied territory, and say the status of the city should be decided at future Israeli-Palestinian talks. On December 18, the United States blocked a UNSC call for Trump?s declaration on Jerusalem to be withdrawn. Three days later, more than 120 countries defied Trump and voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution calling for the US to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel?s capital. In 2012, the UNGA overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine in a resolution that said the status of Jerusalem should be resolved through negotiations.
  7. RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Friday intercepted a ballistic missile over the kingdom's south near the border with Yemen, state media reported, hours after Yemeni rebels said they had launched an attack. The Houthi rebels, locked in a war against Yemen's Saudi-backed government, said they had fired a missile at the kingdom's southwestern province of Najran in a statement tweeted by their Al-Masirah television channel. Saudi air defences intercepted the ballistic missile over Najran, according to the kingdom's state-owned Al Ekhbariya news channel. A spokesman for the Saudi-led military alliance fighting the Houthis in Yemen did not immediately respond to a request for further details. Saudi Arabia, which has been targeted by multiple rocket attacks in recent weeks, has blamed its regional rival Iran for arming the Houthis in the Yemen war. The kingdom denounced the threat of "Iranian-manufactured ballistic weapons" after it intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen over Riyadh in December. No casualties have been reported in the attacks. The Saudi-led coalition intervened in support of President Abedrabbo Mansur Hadi's government in March 2015, after the Huthis took over the capital Sanaa and much of the rest of the country. But despite the coalition's superior firepower, the rebels still control the capital and much of the north. More than 8,750 people have been killed since the coalition intervened, according to the World Health Organization.
  8. An Egyptian military vehicle is seen on the highway northern Sinai, Egypt May 25 - Reuters/file CAIRO: Egypt is to extend its nationwide state of emergency for three months from Jan. 13 to help tackle ?the dangers and funding of terrorism?, state news agency MENA said on Tuesday. Egypt first imposed the current state of emergency last April after two church bombings killed at least 45 people. It was extended in July and again in October. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is widely expected to run for a second term in an election due early this year, issued a decree on Tuesday to extend the state of emergency. The latest extension was to allow security forces to ?take (measures) necessary to confront the dangers and funding of terrorism and safeguard security in all parts of the country,? MENA reported, citing Egypt?s official gazette. Egypt faces a Daesh insurgency in the remote North Sinai region that has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen in recent years and has expanded to include attacks on civilians. Other militants operating in the western desert bordering Libya have also attacked security forces. Attacks south of Cairo in the past week, one of them claimed by Daesh, have targeted Christians. The election date is to be announced next Monday, local media reported.
  9. TEHRAN: Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran's "enemies" were orchestrating a plot to infiltrate and target the regime as he broke his silence Tuesday on the days of unrest rocking the country. "In the events of recent days, the enemies have united and are using all their means, money, weapons, policies and security services to create problems for the Islamic regime," Khamenei said in a statement shown on state television. "The enemy is always looking for an opportunity and any crevice to infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation," he added. A total of 21 people have died in five days of unrest across the country which began as protests over the economy before quickly turning against the Islamic regime as a whole. "What can stop the enemy from acting is the spirit of courage, sacrifice and faith of the people," he said, speaking to a gathering of war widows and their families.
  10. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah in Faisalabad on Monday. Photo: Geo News FAISALABAD: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Monday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed are in a state of panic. He referred to Imran as "Pagal [crazy] Khan" and Rasheed as "Pindi ka Shaitan [devil of Rawalpindi]". Speaking to the media in Faisalabad, Sanaullah said those who got Nawaz disqualified are embarrassed as the nation is supporting the former prime minister. "The whole world considers qualified the one whose disqualification was attempted," he said, referring to Nawaz. The Pakistan Muslim League-N leader said Nawaz believes in working on merit, transparency and has not hidden anything about himself. Talking about the Model Town inquiry report, Sanaullah, who figures prominently in the judicial report into the 2014 violence, said the report does not contain anything despite claims that it had many "secrets". Referring to reports that Nawaz and brother Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif are in Saudi Arabia seeking a 'deal' out of their present predicament, the law minister said they are discussing issues confronting the Muslim World during their visit. He added that the treason case verdict against former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf should be announced soon.
  11. File Photo ISLAMABAD: The war against state institutions will be dealt with, Dr Asim Hussain ? leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) ? said Friday morning as he flew back to the country from Dubai. The political belief some of the nation's strategic players hold ? that they can upend the game if they are ousted from it ? will not be allowed to continue, Hussain said, adding that the Parliament will decide whether to exercise the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in the cases of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Dr Asim Hussain's name removed from ECL: notification A month after the Dr Asim Hussain left the country on the orders of the Supreme Court the interior ministry issued a notification removing his name from the ECL. The ex-petroleum adviser added that the Sharif brothers ? including Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif ? are off to Saudi Arabia to ask forgiveness for their "sins". Earlier, on Thursday, Hussain's name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) by the interior ministry, which disclosed the decision through a notification. Hussain was in London since November after the Supreme Court of Pakistan granted him permission to travel. Sources had claimed then that he was in Dubai but will return soon.
  12. The State Department on Thursday said it will fully resume US visa services in Turkey after an earlier diplomatic row over local employees and US citizens who had been arrested during a state of emergency in Ankara. The United States had stopped issuing visas in Turkey after two staff members had been detained but partially resumed issuing visas in November. ?The Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the full resumption of visa services in Turkey,? it said in a statement, adding that ?serious concerns? remained.
  13. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) walks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov before their meeting at the State Department in Washington, US, May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/Files WASHINGTON: The United States and Russia have agreed to continue diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis over North Korea?s development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States and emphasized that neither accept Pyongyang as a nuclear power, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by telephone on Tuesday after Washington and the United Nations both announced sanctions against North Korea in recent days. ?The two discussed concerns related to the DPRK?s destabilizing nuclear program and emphasized that neither the United States nor Russia accepts the DPRK as a nuclear power,? Nauert said in a statement, using the acronym for North Korea?s official name, the Democratic People?s Republic of Korea. She said both sides agreed to continue working toward a diplomatic way to achieve a denuclearized Korean peninsula. On Tuesday, Russia reiterated an offer to mediate to ease tensions between Washington and Pyongyang that have raised fears of a new conflict on the peninsula. Moscow said Lavrov told Tillerson ?Washington?s aggressive rhetoric? and beefing up of its military presence in the region had heightened tension and was unacceptable. Russia has repeatedly called for talks to resolve the crisis and said Lavrov underscored the need for ?the fastest move to the negotiating process from the language of sanctions.? Tillerson has emphasized diplomacy but the administration of President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that all options, including military ones, are on the table regarding North Korea. In October, Trump said Tillerson was ?wasting his time? trying to negotiate with North Korea and this month the White House followed up an offer by the secretary of state to begin talks with no pre-conditions by saying that no negotiations could be held until North Korea improves its behaviour. Washington announced sanctions on two of the most prominent officials behind North Korea?s ballistic missile program on Tuesday, its latest steps in a global campaign aimed at forcing North Korea to abandon its weapons programs. On Friday the U.N. Security Council agreed on new sanctions in response to North Korea?s November 29 test of a missile that Pyongyang said put all of the U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons. North Korea declared the U.N. steps to be an act of war and tantamount to a complete economic blockade.
  14. Rana Afzal Khan takes oath as State Minister of Finance ISLAMABAD: Member National Assembly Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan took oath as Minister of State of Finance, in a ceremony held in the federal capital on Tuesday. President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath of office to the new minister and expressed hope that he would discharge his professional responsibilities efficiently. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also present at the occasion. According to reports, the decision to appoint Rana Afzal as the minister of state was taken during a meeting between Prime Minister Abbasi and Nawaz Sharif earlier this month. Rana Afzal Khan appointed State Minister of Finance The MNA has confirmed his appointment to Geo News In November, Prime Minister Abbasi had accepted Ishaq Dar?s request to be relieved of his duties as finance minister. Dar has been receiving medical treatment in London and has been declared a proclaimed offender by an accountability court hearing the corruption reference against him.
  15. MOSCOW: Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said they both supported creating a Palestinian state, the Kremlin said the day after the UN rejected the decision by Washington to recognise Jerusalem as Israel´s capital. In a phone call, the two leaders "discussed the situation of Middle East peace talks in the context of the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on the status of Jerusalem," the Kremlin said in a statement. They "confirmed the mutual disposition to continue to assist in resolving the Palestine-Israeli conflict on the basis of international norms and realisation of the right of the Palestinian people to create an independent state," it said. US President Donald Trump decided on December 6 to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The status of the Holy City is one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides claiming it as their capital. On Thursday, the 193-member General Assembly adopted the motion to reject Trump´s decision by 128 to nine with 35 abstentions, though the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the vote would make no difference in Washington´s decision.
  16. File Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on Friday said the absolute majority won by separatists in a regional election on Thursday was a victory of the ?Catalan republic? over the Spanish state. Puigdemont was speaking from Brussels, where he went into self-imposed exile after his government was sacked by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in October when it declared independence from Spain.
  17. Workers had cleared all the wrecked train cars blocking a major West Coast highway by Wednesday morning, two days after the Amtrak train derailed in Washington state while speeding onto a bridge, state transportation officials said. It took about a day longer than hoped, but crews had carted off the biggest chunk by the afternoon: the 270,000-pound (122,470-kg) locomotive involved in the Monday morning rush-hour crash in the city of Dupont, which killed three train passengers and sent about 100 people to hospitals. The affected southbound stretch of Interstate 5, which runs from the Canadian border to Mexico, will remain closed indefinitely, the Washington State Department of Transportation has said. Workers were clearing debris and may need to make repairs to the road surface, the department said. Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are seeking answers about the crash?s cause in interviews with the train?s engineer and a trainee conductor who were in the locomotive?s cab. NTSB members say they are focused on whether the engineer was distracted, but are timing their interviews with the crew this week around their recuperation from injuries. Investigators are also examining the wrecked train cars, which have been taken to a nearby US military base. ?The debris is being taken to the same place where all the rail cars are and I am sure it will be inspected just as if it is evidence,? Washington State Patrol Captain Dan Hall told a news conference. ?There is still some debris down there that is significant in size.? The accident occurred during the train?s inaugural run on a new, slightly quicker route between Olympia and Tacoma, with 86 people aboard, 80 of them passengers, Amtrak said. It was traveling at 80 miles (129 km) per hour, more than twice the speed limit for the curved portion of track leading to the bridge. NTSB investigators have found that the train?s emergency brakes were automatically activated during the derailment rather than being engaged manually by the engineer. They also said a safety system known as positive train control, which automatically slows trains if they go too fast, was not installed on the rail line. Congress had extended a mandatory deadline for having the system installed on all passenger railways to 2018. The derailment placed Amtrak, the country?s main passenger rail service, under renewed scrutiny following a series of fatal incidents. At least two of the three people killed in the derailment were transit enthusiasts who wanted to ride the inaugural run along the new route. The Pierce County Medical Examiner?s Office identified the third victim through fingerprints as Benjamin Gran, 40, of Auburn, Washington, on Wednesday afternoon.
  18. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/70e8d6de688ddbcfb07c46e553fbade3.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MTIvMTgvMjAxNyA2OjIzOjE1IFBNJmhhc2hfdmFsdWU9YlFFMzkxcVpzUEh1ZEhQaEVNVEw5dz09JnZhbGlkbWludXRlcz02MCZpZD0x style=center] LOS ANGELES: "Multiple" people were killed early Monday when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Washington state near the city of Tacoma, sending cars flying off a bridge and onto a busy interstate, officials said. Pictures from the scene showed one train car overturned and crushed on the interstate highway and another dangling down from the overpass above. The train, which was carrying 78 passengers and five crew, was part of a newly expanded faster rail service along the route linking Seattle and Portland, Oregon - featuring new locomotives. It derailed during the morning rush hour at about 7:40 am, about halfway between Tacoma and Olympia, the capital of Washington state. "There's multiple fatalities," said Ed Troyer, spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff´s Department. "It's pretty horrific," he said. Troyer put no number on the fatalities, but local media said at least three people were killed. None of the people in vehicles travelling on the highway below the train were killed, according to Troyer. Local news outlets reported that dozens of people were taken to area hospitals for treatment. "When we got to the scene, it was obvious there were fatalities and injuries, and some people were able to get off the train," Troyer said. "No fatalities on the roadway. As you can see by the large response, we have taken them out and people that were able to walk are under the tents being cared for by multiple groups," he said. Photographs posted online from the scene showed multiple cars had derailed from the train. At least two dropped onto the roadway below, a busy highway that connects Olympia to the busy Seattle metro area just to the north. The accident snarled morning rush hour traffic and officials warned the highway, Interstate 5, would be blocked in that area for a long period of time. "We had just passed the city of DuPont and it seemed like we were going around a curve," passenger Chris Karnes told local CBS News affiliate KIRO-TV. "All of a sudden, we felt this rocking and creaking noise, and it felt like we were heading down a hill," said Karnes, adding that several cars had gone off the tracks and passengers kicked out the windows to escape. "The next thing we know, we're being slammed into the front of our seats, windows are breaking, we stop, and there's water gushing out of the train. People were screaming." Karnes said the tracks were supposed to have been upgraded to accommodate higher speeds. "I'm not sure what happened," he said.
  19. Tom Hanks as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee in The Post. Photo: The Film Stage WASHINGTON: Steven Spielberg?s new movie ?The Post? isn?t just a 1971 tale of press freedom or the place of women in the workplace. It poses key questions about the United States today, star Tom Hanks says. ?I think it?s a very good patriotic movie about ?what is the state of America?',? Hanks told Reuters at the world premiere in Washington DC on Thursday night. ?This is about a women?s place and equality in the workplace ... It is definitely about the legacy of the Vietnam War and what 40 years of policy did to the United States of America. And it?s also about the journalistic integrity of people who view it as not their job, but their responsibility to go out and get the truth,? Hanks added. Starring Hanks as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, ?The Post? dramatises the battle by newspapers in 1971 to publish the leaked Pentagon Papers detailing the US government?s misleading portrayal of the Vietnam War. Steven Spielberg's 'The Post' aimed at people 'starving for the truth' The film is about a battle by newspapers to publish the leaked Pentagon Papers detailing the US government?s misleading portrayal of Vietnam War Spielberg has said he rushed to film and release the movie within a year because the parallels between 1971 and 2017 were ?terrifyingly similar.? The movie, opening in US movie theaters on December 22, arrives at a time when the media has been under attack by US President Donald Trump since his election in November 2016. On Thursday, Spielberg said the theme of press freedom goes beyond any single government. ?Everybody goes through a tug of war with the media, with the press. Obama went through it. Bush goes through it, Clinton went through it. The current administration is going through it,? he said. ?The Post? was nominated this week for six Golden Globes and is seen as a front-runner for Oscar nominations when they are announced in January.
  20. Photo: FILE PESHAWAR: A fire broke out at the offices of state TV in Peshawar early Friday, according to police and firefighting officials. The blaze has engulfed part of the building housing state TV offices, police said. Several fire tenders have been busy dousing the inferno, it has been learnt. The blaze will be extinguished soon, firefighting officials say.
  21. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: AFP file WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday that he does not enjoy dealing with Pakistan. Tillerson?s statement was made during a town hall meeting held with employees of the US State Department. When asked if he enjoyed his job, Tillerson replied that he was learning to enjoy it but did not enjoy the task of dealing with countries such as Pakistan and North Korea. According to the US Secretary of State, relations with Pakistan which he termed an important and valued partner had drifted and had to be brought back to one of common interest. Tillerson visited Pakistan in October and held meetings with the country?s top political and military leadership. "Pakistan is important regionally to our joint goals of providing peace and security to the region and providing an opportunity for greater economic relationship," Tillerson was quoted as saying during his meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The US Embassy, in a statement released, said the secretary of state reiterated President Trump?s message that Pakistan must increase its efforts to ?eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country?. ?The Secretary outlined the United States? new South Asia Strategy and the vital role that Pakistan can play in working with the United States and others to facilitate a peace process in Afghanistan that can bring stability and security to the region,? said the statement from the US embassy. During the meeting, Tillerson also expressed appreciation for Pakistan?s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism. ?The Secretary also expressed his gratitude to the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistani Army for their cooperation in securing the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity,? added the statement.
  22. It was found after the exams that more than half the questions were copied from www.cssforum.com.pk. Photo: Times of India Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) in its competitive preliminary exams copied questions from a Pakistani website, reported Hindustan Times. It was found after the exams that more than half the questions were copied from www.cssforum.com.pk, which is a resource website for civil services examinations in Pakistan. The APPSC examinations also lifted questions from the 2008 Union Public Service Commission exams but without proper options to choose from. About 90% of questions in sociology were allegedly taken from an online discussion forum. The veterinary paper too had 60 questions taken from an online question bank Vetscan. ?Some of the questions in general studies, sociology and political science were in the context of a foreign country. We cross-checked and found they were straight out of the Pakistani resource site,? said a candidate Tapi Omo. ?As most of the question papers of the examination were photocopied and some were also tampered with, we cannot deny the possibility of a leak. Moreover, too much copy-pasting has been done while setting up the papers, which is illegal,? Nani Bath, member of a steering committee formed to demand a re-examination of the prelims, said. Bath said the committee set a deadline for APPSC to re-conduct the preliminary exams within three months. Speaking on the issue, social activist Patey Tayum remarked that making errors has become a habit for APPSC, and the state government needs to take a firm stand on the fiasco that could destroy the career of many young people. This is not the first time that APPSC has been embroiled in a controversy of this nature. In 2015, it dismissed four officials after a paper was leaked before the exams.
  23. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing the OIC summit ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday slammed Israel as a state defined by ?occupation? and ?terror? as he opened the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit on the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Leaders of the Muslim world are attending the OIC summit in Istanbul, looking to rally for a coordinated response to the US move on Jerusalem. "Israel is a state of occupation. Besides this, Israel is a state of terror," Erdogan told leaders from the OIC gathered for an emergency meeting in Istanbul. The Turkish president urged the world to recognise occupied East Jerusalem as the "capital of Palestine" in response to the recognition of the city by President Donald Trump as Israel's capital. "I am inviting the countries who value international law and fairness to recognise occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine," Erdogan said, adding that Muslim countries would "never give up" on this demand. ?Flagrant violation of international law? Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas in his address called the decision of US President Donald Trump a ?flagrant violation of international law?. According to the Palestinian President, the decision of Trump could be used by extremists to ?turn a political struggle into a religious one.? Abbas warned that there could be "no peace or stability" in the Middle East until Jerusalem is recognised as the capital of a Palestinian state. Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday to attend the summit accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif. This is a developing story and will be updated when further details are made available.
  24. International travellers (reflected in a closed door) arrive on the day that US President Donald Trump's limited travel ban ? approved by the US Supreme Court ? goes into effect, at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, US, June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files WASHINGTON: The US State Department said it began fully implementing President Donald Trump?s travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries on Friday, four days after the Supreme Court ruled the order could be enforced while legal appeals continue. Trump?s order ? which calls for ?enhancing vetting capabilities? at US embassies and consulates overseas ? directs the departments of State and Homeland Security to restrict the entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries, which comprise Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen as well as from Venezuela and North Korea. The State Department said in a statement on Friday that no visas would be revoked under the new vetting procedures. It said the restrictions were not intended to be permanent and could be lifted as ?countries work with the US government to ensure the safety of Americans?. Trump promised as a candidate to impose ?a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States? and his effort to implement a travel ban has run into repeated legal challenges since he first announced it a week after taking office. The current ban is the third version from the administration. Lower courts allowed the provisions covering North Korea and Venezuela to go into effect. Challenges continue for the six predominantly Muslim countries, charging that the ban discriminates on the basis of religion in violation of the US Constitution and is not permissible under immigration laws. The Supreme Court on Monday granted the administration?s request to lift two injunctions that partially blocked the ban. The decision allows the restrictions to go into force, even as legal challenges continue in lower courts. Two liberal justices dissented.
  25. KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan has received $2.5 billion earned from the recent issuance of euro and sukuk bonds. Last week, Pakistan raised $1 billion in a five-year Sukuk and $1.5 billion in ten-year Eurobond transactions. After the receiving of payments, the foreign exchange reserves of the country have increased to $22 billion, according to an official handout. According to a Finance Ministry handout after the issuance last week, the profit rate for the Sukuk is 5.625 per cent and for the Eurobond is 6.875 per cent, respectively. The order book for Pakistan?s sovereign papers was over $8 billion but Pakistan picked up only $2.5 billion in order to ensure low final yields on the Sukuks and Eurobonds. Pakistan raises $2.5 billion through Sukuk, Eurobond The profit rate for the Sukuk is 5.625% and 6.875% for the Eurobond The 6.875 per cent rate for the 10-year Eurobond was said to be the lowest ever rate, as no 10-year bond has ever been sold at a cheaper rate by Pakistan in the international capital markets. Pakistan has never executed multiple tranche transactions worth $2.5 billion simultaneously, the ministry had stated further. About 44 per cent of the orders were placed by investors from Europe, 24 per cent from Asia, 20 per cent from North America, eight per cent from Middle East and 12 per cent from other regions. The process of issuance of Sukuk and Eurobond included roadshows in Dubai, London, Boston and New York by a team comprising Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Economic Affairs Miftah Ismail, Finance Secretary Shahid Mahmood and State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa. Pakistan plans to raise $500 mn to $1 bn via sukuk or Eurobond: sources Govt said it would raise $1 billion via sukuk bond in the 2017/2018 fiscal year The approval to issue Euro and Sukuk bonds was accorded by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The roadshows ended on November 28, 2017 and book building process closed on November 29, 2017. The subscription agreement with the joint lead managers provides that the certificates or interests therein will not be offered, sold or transferred directly or indirectly in Pakistan, to residents of Pakistan, or for the account or benefit of such persons.