Welcome to Fundayforum.com - Pakistani Urdu Community Forum

Guest Image

Welcome to Fundayforum.com - Pakistani Urdu Community Forum, like most online communities you must register to view or post in our community, but don't worry this is a simple free process that requires minimal information for you to signup. Be apart of Fundayforum.com - Pakistani Urdu Community Forum by signing in or creating an account via default Sign up page or social links such as: Facebook, Twitter or Google.

  • Start new topics and reply to others
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get email updates
  • Get your own profile page and make new friends
  • Send personal messages to other members.
  • Upload or Download IPS Community files such as:  Applications, Plugins etc.
  • Upload or Download your Favorite Books, Novels in PDF format. 

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'votes'.

More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Help Support
    • Announcement And Help
    • Funday Chatroom
  • Poetry
    • Shair-o-Shaa'eri
    • Famous Poet
  • Islam - اسلام
    • QURAN O TARJUMA قرآن و ترجمہ
    • AHADEES MUBARIK آحدیث مبارک
    • Ramazan ul Mubarik - رمضان المبارک
    • Deen O Duniya - دین و دنیا
  • Other Forums
    • Chitchat and Greetings
    • Urdu Adab
    • Entertainment
    • Common Rooms
  • Music, Movies, and Dramas
    • Movies Song And Tv.Series
  • Science, Arts & Culture
    • Education, Science & Technology
  • IPS Community Suite
    • IPS Community Suite 4.1
    • IPS Download
    • IPS Community Help/Support And Tutorials


  • Ishq_janoon_Dewanagi
  • Uzee khan
  • Beauty of Words
  • Tareekhi Waqaiyaat
  • Geo News Blog
  • The Pakistan Tourism
  • My BawaRchi_KhaNa
  • Mukaam.e.Moahhabt
  • FDF Members Poetry
  • Sadqy Tmhary
  • FDF Online News
  • Pakistan
  • Dua's Kitchen
  • Raqs e Bismil
  • HayDay Game


  • Books
    • Urdu Novels
    • Islamic
    • General Books
  • IPS Community Suite 4
    • Applications
    • Plugins
    • Themes
    • Language Packs
    • IPS Extras
  • IPS Community Suite 3.4
    • Applications
    • Hooks/BBCodes
    • Themes/Skins
    • Language Packs
    • Miscellaneous XML Files
  • XenForo
    • Add-ons
    • Styles
    • Language Packs
    • Miscellaneous XML Files
  • Web Scripts
  • PC Softwares


  • Articles


  • Community Calendar
  • Pakistan Holidays


  • English
  • New Movie Songs
  • Old Movies Songs
  • Single Track
  • Classic
  • Ghazal
  • Pakistani
  • Indian Pop & Remix
  • Romantic
  • Punjabi
  • Qawalli
  • Patriotic
  • Islam


  • Islam
  • Online Movies
    • English
    • Indian
    • Punjabi
    • Hindi Dubbed
    • Animated - Cartoon
    • Other Movies
    • Pakistani Movies
  • Video Songs
    • Coke Studio
  • Mix Videos
  • Online Live Channels
    • Pakistani Channels
    • Indian Channels
    • Sports Channels
    • English Channels
  • Pakistani Drama Series
    • Zara Yaad ker
    • Besharam (ARY TV series)
  • English Series
    • Quantico Season 1
    • SuperGirl Season 1
    • The Magicians
    • The Shannara Chronicles
    • Game of Thrones

Found 27 results

  1. File photo ISLAMABAD: With just two days remaining until the election of the Senate Chairman, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have sped up consultations to appoint the candidate of their choice. In last-minute meetings, the PML-N has secured the support of MQM senators as well with all allies affirming support for whichever candidate PML-N backs. The election for Senate Chairman will be held on March 12, but neither the ruling PML-N nor the opposition parties are in a position to claim the numbers game with absolute certainty. There are a total of 104 members of the Senate. 53 votes are needed to elect a chairman and deputy chairman. PML-N's numbers Currently there are 33 PML-N members in the Senate, and if you add the party?s alliances: 5 senators of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), 5 of the National Party, 4 of the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and 1 from Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), then the count goes up to 48. The PML-N and its allies claim that they are ahead in the numbers game, and are certain of support from 5 senators of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), 2 out of 8 from FATA, 1 from ANP and 1 from Balochistan National Party (Mengal). If the PML-N indeed gets support from these 9 senators, then the party will have a total of 57 members. A day ago, both the factions of the MQM-P appeared willing to support PML-N. To cross the number 53, support from FATA senators will be important, who demanded the post of deputy chairman in their meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi earlier. Today, the FATA senators will meet with PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif. PML-N meeting An important session of the PML-N, chaired by Nawaz Sharif, was held in Islamabad on Saturday and was attended by PM Abbasi, Raja Zafarul Haq, Mushahidullah Khan, Amir Muqam, Shah Mohammad Shah and Musadiq Malik. The meeting discussed the matter of the election of Senate chairman and deputy chairman and devised a strategy accordingly. Reports from the allies as well as the opposition parties were presented during the meeting. PPP consultations According to sources, the PPP has started consultations for a Plan B after getting rebuffed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Sources claim that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is playing a key role in the party's Plan B and it is only after Raza Rabbani's meeting with Bilawal that work on the plan has picked up pace. Meanwhile, Asif Ali Zardari has also sought support from Jamat-e-Islami (JI). Senate session on March 12 President Mamnoon Hussain has summoned a session of the Senate on March 12, in which newly-elected senators will be sworn in at 10am. Nomination papers for Senate chairman and deputy chairman will be submitted on the same day, in the Senate Secretariat. The nomination papers will be reviewed at 2pm on March 12, and another session will be summoned at 4pm on the same day, where the chairman and deputy chairman will be elected. Following the election, the Senate chairman will take oath, and will then swear in his deputy. After the oath-taking, the session will be adjourned until further notice.
  2. Senate of Pakistan. Photo: File ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has also claimed to have the required number of votes to elect their own Senate chairman and deputy chairman. Earlier, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which won the most seats in the Senate elections on March 3, had claimed to possess the required number of votes for electing its own chairman and deputy chairman. The PML-N's strength in the Senate is now 33 while the PPP comes in second with 20 senators. PPP leader Dr Qayyum Soomro, who is leading efforts regarding the Senate chief?s race, told Geo News on Friday the party has the support of 59 senators out of the total 104. A total of 53 senators are needed to ensure victory in the Senate chairman race. Raza Rabbani ignored Nawaz's constitutional violations: Zardari 'Rabbani ignored Nawaz's constitutional violations...this may be the reason the two are close' He claimed to have the support of 13 senators of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), eight independents from Balochistan and six from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), five Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), four Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and one each from PML-Functional and Awami National Party. He claimed that Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has assured them of the PTI's votes. 'PML-N considering Raja Zafarul Haq for chairman' Meanwhile, sources have revealed that the PML-N is considering party chairman Senator Raja Zafarul Haq as its Senate chairman candidate. Senator Mushahidullah Khan is presently in Karachi where he, along with Governor Sindh Mohammad Zubair, held meetings MQM-P chief Farooq Sattar and the party's dissident 'Bahadurabad faction'. Moreover, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazul Rehman has said he will again talk to the PPP for the reappointment of present Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, a veteran PPP leader, after party chief Asif Ali Zardari's decision to not consider him owing to several differences. After meeting Bizenjo on Thursday, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had said he has placed his 13 senators with the Balochistan chief minister to hold dialogue with other parties to bring a joint candidate. The same day, Zardari also held a meeting with Bizenjo in Islamabad where he said Rabbani had ignored Nawaz Sharif's constitutional violations in the past three years.
  3. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/3e3ba750a4f89a9b028d444fd80426e8.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9My81LzIwMTggNzo1MjowOSBBTSZoYXNoX3ZhbHVlPVFUNWh4NWF0Y3lKazlpaVFHeHJYTkE9PSZ2YWxpZG1pbnV0ZXM9NjAmaWQ9MQ== style=center] PTI Chairperson Imran Khan speaks to the media in Karachi here on Monday, March, 5, 2018. Video: Geo News KARACHI: The members of provincial assembly gave into horse-trading in Senate elections that were held on March 3, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan. Speaking to the media on Monday in Karachi, Imran said he was not sure who exactly took money to change loyalties during the Senate polls, but was sure PTI MPAs were involved in the act. The price of Rs40 million was set to buy the conscience of each MPA, the PTI chief alleged. ?The chief justice of Pakistan should take notice of the use of money in the Senate elections.? Imran added that whatever happened in relation with the Upper House polls was against democracy, demanding that investigative agencies should find out who was involved in horse-trading. Karachi like an heirless property: Imran Speaking to journalists, Imran also criticised the state of affairs in Karachi, saying no one owned the city which is why it is like an heirless property where politics of anarchy is practiced. He said the educated people in Karachi stayed away from politics because of terrorism and fear that had taken over the city. ?Had politics of anarchy not been practiced in Karachi, the city would have been like Dubai.? Imran claimed that the Pakistan Peoples Party took Karachi ?as a cow that ought to be milked?, adding that ?the godfathers? of Karachi went to London, referring to the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement. About the administrative structure of the city, Imran said there was a need to strengthen the local government in Karachi. The PTI chief also said that Karachi needed a more powerful mayor who could solve the issues of citizens. Imran said that seeing the problems pertaining to the city he has decided to contest the 2018 elections from Karachi. The PTI chairman was addressing the media after some prominent members of the entertainment industry announced joining the party.
  4. Shilpa Shinde is making waves for all the right reason right now. She entered the 'Bigg Boss' house with a string of controversies attached to her name, then her mess with Vikas Gupta was like dirty linen being washed in public and obviously it boosted the TRP's of the show. Eventually, she also took the trophy home with an insane amount of money as well. © Colors Her constant competition was the strong and vocal Hina Khan who has her own stellar fan following. She might have lost the trophy to Shilpa but that's not a big issue. Apparently Hina has taken a fatter cheque back home. According to SpotboyE.com, Hina has earned a whopping amount of Rs 1.75 Cr. While Shilpa earned Rs 1.29 Cr, which means that Hina is richer by 46 lakhs. © Colors If reports are to be believed, then as per Hina's contract, she has received Rs 1.25 Cr for her stay in the house for 10 weeks, and she got Rs 50 lakh for the last 5 weeks in the house. On the other hand, Shilpa received Rs 6 lakh per week for 10 weeks and then Rs 5 lakh per week later. Phew, that's a lot of moolah!
  5. Supporter of Net Neutrality Lance Brown Eyes protests the FCC's recent decision to repeal the program in Los Angeles, California, November 28, 2017-Reuters A group of 21 US state attorneys general filed suit to challenge the Federal Communications Commission?s decision to do away with net neutrality on Tuesday while Democrats said they needed just one more vote in the Senate to repeal the FCC ruling. The state attorneys, including those of California, New York and Virginia as well as the District of Columbia, filed a petition to challenge the action, calling it ?arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion? and saying that it violated federal laws and regulations. The petition was filed with a federal appeals court in Washington as Senate Democrats said on Tuesday they had the backing of 50 members of the 100-person chamber for repeal, leaving them just one vote short of a majority. Even if Democrats could win a majority in the Senate, a repeal would also require winning a vote in the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a greater majority, and would still be subject to a likely veto by President Donald Trump. Senator Ed Markey said in a statement that all 49 Democrats in the upper chamber backed the repeal. Earlier this month, Republican Senator Susan Collins said she would back the effort to overturn the FCC?s move. Democrats need 51 votes to win any proposal in the Republican-controlled Senate because Vice President Mike Pence can break any tie. Trump backed the FCC action, the White House said last month, and overturning a presidential veto requires a two-thirds vote of both chambers. States said the lawsuit was filed in an abundance of caution because, typically, a petition to challenge would not be filed until the rules legally take effect, which is expected later this year. Internet advocacy group Free Press, the Open Technology Institute and Mozilla Corp filed similar protective petitions on Tuesday. The FCC voted in December along party lines to reverse rules introduced in 2015 that barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic or offering paid fast lanes, also known as paid prioritisation. The new rules will not take effect for at least three months, the FCC has said. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the issue would be a major motivating factor for the young voters the party is courting. A trade group representing major tech companies including Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and Amazon.com Inc said it would support legal challenges to the reversal. The FCC vote in December marked a victory for AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and handed them power over what content consumers can access on the internet. It was the biggest win for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in his sweeping effort to undo many telecommunications regulations. While the FCC order grants internet providers sweeping new powers it does require public disclosure of any blocking practices. Internet providers have vowed not to change how consumers obtain online content. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, a Republican, said in an interview on Tuesday he planned to hold a hearing on paid prioritisation. He has urged Democrats to work constructively on a legislative solution to net neutrality ?to bring certainty and clarity going forward and ban behaviors like blocking and throttling.? He said he does not believe a vote to overturn the FCC decision would get a majority in the US House. Representative Mike Doyle, a Democrat, said Tuesday that his bill to reverse the FCC decision had 80 co-sponsors. Paid prioritisation is part of American life, Walden said. ?Where do you want to sit on the airplane? Where do you want to sit on Amtrak?? he said.
  6. The US Capitol building is lit at dusk ahead of planned votes on tax reform in Washington, US, December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files WASHINGTON: Republicans in the US Congress on Thursday advanced stopgap legislation to keep the federal government operating past Friday when funding expires, seeking to avert a self-inflicted disaster just before the Christmas holiday season. The House of Representatives passed a bill by a vote of 231 to 188 that would keep federal agencies humming along at current funding through January 19 and prevent a shutdown that would trigger political havoc in Washington. The Senate could take up the measure on Thursday night, even as some Democrats pushed to include protections for young immigrants who entered the country illegally as children, popularly known as ?Dreamers.? Republicans were able to pass the bill without much Democratic support in the House, but they will need at least eight Democratic votes in the Senate. Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer declined to say whether Democrats would unite to defeat the bill in that chamber. ?We need more senators voting with us,? Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham ? one of more than a dozen House Democrats who met with Schumer to urge a ?no? vote ? said. The House also passed an $81-billion disaster aid bill by a vote of 251 to 169 that would help Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and several states hit by this year?s hurricanes or wildfires. If Congress passes the temporary spending bill, lawmakers will have less than a month to negotiate broader budget issues. Republicans are pushing for an increase in military spending, while Democrats want increases for medical research, opioid treatment, and ?anti-terrorism? activities. The House bill includes a modest increase of $4.7 billion for the Department of Defense to be used for missile defence and ship repair. As the House began debate on the bill, Hispanic lawmakers pressed Schumer to oppose the bill if it does not shield Dreamers from deportation. President Donald Trump has eliminated protections for Dreamers but has asked Congress to come up with a permanent solution by March. McConnell said the Senate could hold a vote to protect the young immigrants if a bipartisan deal is struck in January. Trump accused Democrats of pushing for a shutdown to shift attention from the tax cut plan that passed Congress this week. ?House Republicans, don?t let this happen,? he wrote on Twitter. The Trump administration does not want other elements added to the spending bill, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. The House bill includes $2.85 billion to fund the Children?s Health Insurance Program through March and funding for community health centres and the Indian Health Service. The plan also would extend the National Security Agency?s expiring internet surveillance program ? known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ? through January 19. Other provisions address funding for veterans, the Coast Guard, and flood insurance. Most government programs would be temporarily extended for a month at fiscal 2017 levels. Fiscal 2018 began October 1 but Congress has failed to approve any of the regular funding bills for this year and instead has kept agencies running on a temporary basis.
  7. United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, addresses the General Assembly prior to the vote on Jerusalem. -AFP UNITED NATIONS: The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted by a decisive vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, a motion rejecting the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel´s capital. President Donald Trump had warned ahead of the vote in the 193-nation assembly that "we're watching" and threatened reprisals against countries that back the measure. His warning did appear to have some impact with nine countries voting against the resolution and 35 abstaining. The motion was put forward by Yemen and Turkey on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries. "They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us," Trump had said at the White House. "Well, we're watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We'll save a lot. We don't care." Diplomats had expected strong support for the resolution, which is non-binding, despite the US pressure to either abstain, vote against it or simply not turn up for the vote. On Tuesday, US Ambassador Nikki Haley sent an email to fellow UN envoys to put them on notice that "the president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us." "We will take note of each and every vote on this issue," she wrote in the message seen by AFP. On Twitter, Haley posted that "the US will be taking names" when the ambassadors of the 193-nation assembly cast their vote on Thursday. "Nikki, that was the right message," Trump said. A council diplomat said Canada, Hungary and the Czech Republic might bow to US pressure, but the motion is all but certain to be approved. No country has veto powers in the General Assembly, contrary to the council where the United States, along with Britain, China, France and Russia, can block any resolution.
  8. CARACAS: President Nicolas Maduro has set his sights on Venezuela?s 2018 presidential election after the ruling Socialist Party dominated mayoral polls with the help of a partial boycott by a divided opposition. Enjoying a political breather after a year of ferocious domestic protests and damaging foreign sanctions, the 55-year-old successor to Hugo Chavez said the government had won at least 90 percent of the 335 mayorships in Sunday?s election. Latest official results gave him 21 of 23 state capitals as well as Caracas? main district, with full results due later on Monday. The landslide win for the socialists was no surprise, given three of the biggest opposition parties did not field candidates. The elections left Maduro favorite to be the socialist candidate in next year?s presidential race, despite the ambitions of rivals within government and an economic crisis that has pummeled the OPEC nation since his 2013 election. ?Let?s get ready for 2018!? he told cheering supporters in a Caracas square shortly before midnight on Sunday, next to a statue of Venezuela?s independence hero Simon Bolivar. Maduro also declared fixing Venezuela?s broken economy a priority. But opponents and even some government dissenters say it is his stubborn adherence to Chavez-era economic policies, such as currency controls, that is to blame for the crisis. Venezuela?s 30 million people are enduring one of the worst economic meltdowns in recent Latin American history. Millions are skipping meals, missing medicines, and lining up for hours at shops during acute shortages and crippling inflation. Opposition parties said Sunday?s vote was full of irregularities and meaningless, and reiterated demands for changes to the electoral system for the 2018 vote. ?What we saw yesterday was an electoral farce that in no way represents the will of the people,? said Popular Will party leader Juan Andres Mejia, citing abuse of state resources and coercion of government employees to vote. MADURO ?WELL-POSITIONED? FOR RE-ELECTION Three of the opposition coalition?s main parties - Popular Will, Justice First and Democratic Action - boycotted Sunday?s polls, saying the election board was a pawn of the government. But other opposition parties did put up candidates, adding to confusion and acrimony within opposition ranks. Maduro said the three abstaining parties should be banned from participating in future elections. That brought a rebuke from the U.S. State Department, which called his remarks ?another extreme measure to close democratic space in Venezuela and consolidate power in his authoritarian dictatorship.? Venezuela?s presidential election has traditionally been held in December, but there is speculation in political circles that it will be brought forward to the first half of 2018 so the socialists can take advantage of the opposition?s disarray. ?Despite the regime?s economic incompetence and the inherent weaknesses of Maduro?s authoritarianism, he is well positioned to achieve re-election next year,? said Nicholas Watson, of the Teneo Intelligence consultancy. With its most popular leaders barred - Leopoldo Lopez is under arrest and Henrique Capriles is prohibited from office - the opposition may struggle to find a flagbearer. Uniting parties and reigniting enthusiasm among despondent grassroots supporters will also be huge challenges. Street protests earlier in 2017 put pressure on Maduro and left 125 people dead. Foreign pressure hardened too, with U.S. President Donald Trump imposing sanctions on Venezuela for alleged government rights abuses and corruption. Yet after facing down demonstrators, pushing through a controversial legislative superbody in a July vote also boycotted by the opposition, and notching a majority in October gubernatorial polls, Maduro has ridden out the storm for now. ?I think the current government can fix things if they are allowed to get on with it,? said mechanic Melix Jordan, 56, voting for the government in a rural part of Paraguana. Social discontent is running deep, however. There is no sign so far of an alternative presidential candidate, despite calls in some quarters for popular billionaire businessman Lorenzo Mendoza to run. ?My vote maybe doesn?t change anything,? said gardener Hector Machado, 64, who voted for the opposition in Tachira state. ?But I still have hope for something better next year.?
  9. KATHMANDU: Nepal on Sunday votes in historic elections for new national and provincial assemblies that many hope will bring much-needed stability to the desperately poor country, which has cycled through 10 leaders in the last 11 years. The elections are the first under a new post-war constitution that paved the way for a sweeping overhaul of the political system intended to devolve power away from a top-heavy central government to seven newly created provinces. The constitution, adopted in 2015, is aimed at cementing Nepal´s transformation from a feudal monarchy to a federal democratic state and giving historically marginalised groups greater access to power. It followed a 10-year civil war between Maoist insurgents and the state that led to the downfall of a deeply unpopular monarch, but also ushered in a long period of political instability that has hampered development. "It really signals the end of a post conflict transition that was so elongated that we forgot where we were heading," said George Varughese of the Asia Foundation think tank. "These elections remind us that we are heading towards stability." The vote will be carried out in two phases and most seats are expected to go to the three parties that have dominated the political stage for the last decade, regularly swapping power in a series of short-lived coalitions. But some hope the devolution of power to the provinces will diminish their influence and alleviate the political impact of frequent changes of government. "There is the chance, that although the musical chairs will continue, the effect it will have on national progress will be reduced," said Varughese. Slow growth The Maoist Party, formed by the ex-guerrillas after the war ended in 2006, has entered an electoral alliance with the communist CNP-UML party, creating a political behemoth that will be tough to beat. That has left the ruling party, the centrist Nepali Congress, struggling to form links with smaller parties in a bid to remain in power. Both have focused their election promises on the economic growth desperately needed in the landlocked country of 29 million, which suffered a devastating earthquake in 2015. Nepal has one of the slowest growth rates in South Asia and relies for more than a third of its GDP on the remittances from its huge overseas workforce. Last year nearly 400,000 Nepalis left the country for work, mostly on construction sites in the Gulf and Malaysia. The Communist alliance has pledged to increase per capita GDP from $760 to $5,000 in 10 years -- a feat that would require annual growth of over 20 percent -- while the Nepali Congress promised to create up to 500,000 jobs a year. Few see those promises as realistic, however. "The election declarations of the main parties would be hilarious if they were not proof of hallucination," read a recent editorial in the Nepali Times newspaper. India and China In recent years Kathmandu has played diplomatic ping-pong with its two large neighbours, India and China, who use big-ticket infrastructure projects to vie for influence. India has traditionally played the role of big brother to its small Himalayan neighbour, but a more nationalistic government led by the CPN-UML from 2015 to 2016 aggressively courted Beijing and Kathmandu-Delhi relations reached a nadir. Relations have since improved and observers say that, if elected, the communist alliance will likely take a softer line on India. Nepal began its rocky transition from a Hindu monarchy to a federal democracy a decade ago with a peace deal that ended the brutal civil war, which had claimed the lives of at least 17,000 people. The Maoist insurgency and the drawn-out peace process that followed were intended to create a more equal society in Nepal, but political instability and endemic corruption has undermined that goal. A proportion of the 275 seats in the new national parliament will be allocated to women and people from indigenous communities and the lowest Dalit caste. But political analyst CK Lal says the inequalities that sparked the insurgency persist. "The aspirations of the different ethnic communities: they were not addressed. Secondly, a massive inclusion programme to address inequalities that exist in government mechanisms: it stands where it was," Lal said. "Third was economic transformation to decrease inequalities, if not remove (them) altogether, that has not taken place." More than 300,000 members of the security forces will be deployed for the two-stage election, with northern provinces voting on Sunday and southern areas and Kathmandu going to the polls on December 7. Results are expected a few days after the second vote
  10. As polling officials tallied votes, Kenyans counted the cost Friday of a deeply-divisive election marred by an opposition boycott and protests that left at least four dead and scores wounded. The country's second presidential election in three months plunged into chaos on Thursday as supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga attempted to block voting, clashing with police who fired tear gas, water cannon and live bullets. The election came after a two-month political drama that began when the Supreme Court overturned the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta in August 8 elections due to "irregularities". However, although the ruling was initially hailed as a chance to deepen democracy in one of East Africa's most stable nations, its impact quickly soured, unleashing weeks of angry protests, acrimonious political rhetoric and intimidation of election officials. And Odinga's boycott of the re-run, on grounds the election commission had failed make the necessary changes to ensure a free and fair vote, has assured Kenyatta a landslide victory. But as polling officials carefully counted the ballots, some under close police protection, difficult questions remained over the credibility of an election boycotted by a large part of the 19 million registered voters. Estimated figures compiled by the election board pointed to a turnout of just 48 percent. If confirmed, it would be a huge fall from the nearly 80 percent rate in the August poll, which was won by Kenyatta but overturned by the Supreme Court in an unprecedented ruling that has sparked weeks of protest and acrimonious debate. While the August election saw long queues of voters and ballots being cast long after closing time in some places, Thursday's vote was a different story with many polling stations empty or welcoming only a trickle of people. Election chief Wafula Chebukati said the ballot would be postponed until Saturday in four protest-hit counties in the country's west: Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori and Siaya. The move, he said, was due to "security-related" challenges. 'They're shooting at us!' But the governor of Kisumu, an opposition stronghold in western Kenya where violence raged on Thursday, rejected the move, saying people would not vote while they were "mourning". He said he had invited Odinga and top leaders of his National Super Alliance coalition (NASA) to visit the city on Friday. At least four people were shot dead and around 50 others wounded, most of them by live bullets, on Thursday, according to an AFP tally of figures from officials and medics. At Kisumu's Jaramogi hospital, an AFP correspondent saw several people arriving covered in blood. "This is crazy, they are shooting at us -- we are demonstrating and they shoot us!" said Samuel Okot, 20, who was sitting with his friend Joseph Ouma who had been shot in the knee and was howling in pain. "What kind of country is this?" One of the dead was 19-year-old George Odhiambo who died from blood loss after being shot in the thigh during clashes in Kisumu, police and hospital sources said. A second person died from a gunshot wound to the leg in Kisumu, police said, after a polling centre was "stormed" by a mob. Police said another man was shot dead in Homa Bay, also in the west, "where a large mob attacked a small police facility" prompting officers to open fire "to protect themselves". And a fourth man was shot dead in Nairobi's Mathare slum, another hotspot in the capital where police fired water cannon and teargas to disperse demonstrators. The confirmed casualties raised to 44 the tally of people killed in election-related violence since the August poll. The crisis is the worst since a 2007 election sparked politically-driven ethnic violence that left 1,100 dead. In the first election, turnout was nearly 80 percent among the 19 million registered voters. Kenyatta secured victory with 54 percent of the vote, while Odinga came second with 45 percent. Odinga, 72, is a veteran opposition leader who followed in the footsteps of his father and inherited a dynastic rivalry with Kenyatta whose father was the country's first post-independence president.
  11. STRASBOURG: The European Parliament Tuesday called for the controversial weedkiller glyphosate to be banned by 2022 amid fears it causes cancer, a day before EU states vote on whether to renew its licence. MEPs approved a resolution which is not binding but will add fresh pressure on the European Commission, the bloc´s executive arm, which has recommended the licence for the herbicide be renewed for 10 years. Glyphosate critics, led by environmental campaigners Greenpeace, are calling for an outright ban in Europe and on Monday activists handed the EU a petition signed by more than 1.3 million people backing such a move. Experts from the EU´s 28 member states are due to vote on the commission recommendation on Wednesday, just as a row escalates over claims that US agro giant Monsanto unduly influenced research into its weedkiller´s safety. MEPs criticised the commission´s proposal, saying it "fails to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment (and) fails to apply the precautionary principle". They called for a halt to non-professional use of glyphosate when its licence runs out in December 15 and for its use to end near public parks and playgrounds. Opponents of glyphosate, used in Monsanto´s best-selling herbicide Roundup, point to a 2015 study by the World Health Organization´s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer that concluded it was "probably carcinogenic". This contradicted findings by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency, which both said glyphosate was unlikely to cause cancer in humans, in line with a 2016 review carried out by other WHO experts and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
  12. TOKYO: Shinzo Abe may have seized a "super-majority" in Japan´s parliament but he has failed to win the hearts and minds of voters suspicious of his nationalist instincts and who do not share his fixation on changing the country´s pacifist constitution. Having trounced a disorganised opposition to secure two-thirds of seats, Abe has the parliamentary numbers to start a process that would bolster the role of the military -- an ambition he has long cherished. But the victory was far from a ringing endorsement of the 63-year-old veteran, more a win by default. The election confirmed Abe´s "difficult relations with the Japanese people," said Tobias Harris, Japanese politics expert at the Washington-based Teneo Intelligence consultancy. "There is a certain amount of appreciation for certain aspects of what he has done." But, said Harris: "He is not loved." An exit poll conducted by Kyodo News showed more than half of voters (51 percent) do not trust their prime minister, while a survey by the liberal Asahi Shimbun found 47 percent of those questioned would like to see someone else in charge of Japan. Party of (no) Hope Only a few months ago, that was starting to look like a possibility. Abe was fighting for his own political survival, embroiled in scandal and smarting from an embarrassing defeat in Tokyo municipal elections. When he suddenly announced snap polls last month, critics saw it as an opportunistic manoeuvre to take advantage of a weak opposition and divert attention from his own woes, including allegations of favouritism to a friend in a business deal -- which the premier strongly denies. For a short moment, it looked as if Abe´s gambit could backfire spectacularly. The media-savvy and charismatic Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, unveiled a new party in a blaze of publicity and dominated TV broadcasts and the front pages for days. The creation of her Party of Hope sparked an unprecedented transformation in the lethargic world of Japanese politics. The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) effectively disbanded as scores of lawmakers jumped aboard Koike´s bandwagon, which, while ideologically similar to Abe´s, at least had the whiff of a fresh coat of paint. Meanwhile, left-leaning DP members banded together to form a new progressive party, the Constitutional Democrats. In the event, neither party was able to organise a nationwide campaign in the short time available, and both fizzled. "As it turned out, the Party of Hope is hopeless," said Michael Cucek from Temple University. It could be ten years before there is an effective opposition capable of forming a government, said Teneo´s Harris. Constitutional battle Having seen off all-comers and secured a two-thirds majority in the lower house, Abe now has effective control of the executive and the legislature. He will likely use the victory to start the lengthy process of amending the constitution, a personal passion for Abe and a select band of fellow right-wingers, but largely an anathema for most Japanese. The hawkish premier wants to change the US-imposed document, seen by conservatives as an outdated legacy of wartime defeat, so Japan can formally transform its well-equipped and well-trained "Self Defense Force" into a full-fledged army. The trouble for the PM is that many Japanese feel deep affection for, and pride in, the constitution´s peace provisions, which they believe have served them well over the last seven decades. China and the two Koreas -- both victims of Japan´s 20th century adventurism -- are also deeply hostile to anything that could be seen as re-militarisation. Despite his personal ambitions, Abe is sensitive to public antipathy on the issue. He knows he cannot railroad the constitutional change, said Naoto Nonaka of Gakushuin University. Immediately after his victory, he pledged to "deepen" parliamentary debate, and vowed not to use his super-majority to ram changes through. In any case, there are brakes on his ambitions -- any changes need to be put to a referendum. Polls continually show that voters are far more concerned about Japan´s flaccid economy than about Abe´s pet projects. The prime minister would be unwise to take his thumping electoral win for endorsement of his nationalist views, said Mikitaka Masuyama, professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. He won Sunday´s election because the opposition "could not put up a united front" against him. "But this doesn´t mean that the Japanese voters are leaning towards conservative causes," he said.
  13. German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a breakfast with supporters at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party election campaign meeting centre in Berlin, Germany, September 23, 2017. Photo: Reuters BERLIN: Germans vote in a national election today that is likely to see Chancellor Angela Merkel win a historic fourth term and a far-right party enter parliament for the first time in more than half a century. Merkel?s conservative bloc is on track to remain the largest group in parliament, opinion polls showed before the vote, but a fracturing of the political landscape may well make it harder for her to form a ruling coalition than previously. With as many as a third of Germans undecided in the run-up to the election, Merkel and her main rival, centre-left challenger Martin Schulz of the Social Democrats (SPD), urged them on Saturday to get out and vote. ?We want to boost your motivation so that we can still reach many, many people,? the chancellor, 63, said in Berlin before heading north to her constituency for a final round of campaigning. In regional votes last year, Merkel?s conservatives suffered setbacks to the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which profited from resentment at her 2015 decision to leave German borders open to over one million migrants. Those setbacks made Merkel, a pastor?s daughter who grew up in Communist East Germany, wonder if she should even run for re-election. But with the migrant issue under control this year, she has bounced back and thrown herself into a punishing campaign schedule, presenting herself as an anchor of stability in an uncertain world. Visibly happier, Merkel campaigned with renewed conviction: a resolve to re-tool the economy for the digital age, to head off future migrant crises, and to defend a Western order shaken by Donald Trump?s US election victory last November. 'Gravediggers for democracy' Both Merkel and Schulz worry that a low turnout could work in favor of smaller parties, especially the AfD, which is expected to enter the national parliament for the first time. On Friday, Schulz described the AfD as ?gravediggers of democracy.? An INSA poll published by Bild newspaper on Saturday showed sliding support for Merkel?s conservatives, who dropped two percentage points to 34 per cent, and the SPD, down one point to 21 per cent ? both now joined in an unwieldy ?grand coalition?. The anti-immigrant AfD, rose two points to 13 percent ? a result the poll showed would make it the third largest party. Should she win a fourth term, Merkel will join the late Helmut Kohl, her mentor who reunified Germany, and Konrad Adenauer, who led Germany?s rebirth after World War Two, as the only post-war chancellors to win four national elections. The AfD?s expected entry into the national parliament will herald the beginning of a new era in German politics that will see more robust debate and a departure from the steady, consensus-based approach that has marked the post-war period. Coalition building after the election will be an arduous process that could take months as all potential partners are unsure whether they really want to share power with Merkel. All major parties refuse to work with the AfD. Electoral arithmetic might push Merkel to renew her grand coalition with the SPD, or she might opt for a three-way alliance with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and environmentalist Greens.
  14. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique said on Tuesday that God willing, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be elected the prime minister today with 235 votes. In a series of tweets, the PML-N leader from Lahore said: ?Who all will you stop and till how long ? PML-N members are sadiq [honest], amin [truthful] and Nawaz Sharif?. Rafique vowed that despite the hurdles and conspiracies, they will take forward Nawaz Sharif?s Pakistan. Rafique is a veteran PML-N politician and was the railways minister in the Nawaz Sharif cabinet which stood dissolved following his disqualification from the Supreme Court on Friday. Sharif was disqualified under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution over his failure to disclose un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from a UAE-based company. It implied he was not ?honest? and ?truthful?, as per the country?s Constitution. The National Assembly meets today to elect a new prime minister. PML-N?s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is poised to become the country?s 18th prime minister owing to the party?s majority in the Lower House.
  15. LEFT: Senator John McCain leaves after a procedural vote on health care on Capitol Hill, July 25, 2017, in Washington, District of Columbia. AFP/Brendan Smialowski; RIGHT: The early morning light begins to appear behind the US Capitol on July 25, 2017, in Washington, DC. AFP/Mark Wilson WASHINGTON: The US Senate voted Tuesday to proceed with a debate on Republican plans to repeal Barack Obama's health care reforms, thanks to a tie-breaking vote on the divisive issue from Vice President Mike Pence. The vote was a victory for President Donald Trump, who had warned his party's senators that they would face strong repercussions if they failed to advance the measure, which has been stuck in Congress for months. Senator John McCain, who announced last week he is suffering from brain cancer, cast a vote for the measure, leaving the total at 50-50. Pence broke the tie, as the US Constitution calls on him to do in the case of a tie. McCain received a standing ovation from his colleagues as he entered the chamber.
  16. Ram Nath Kovind, the candidate of Modi´s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a former lawyer and state governor from the Dalit community, is certain to win NEW DELHI: Indian lawmakers voted Monday for a new president certain to come from the bottom of the Hindu caste system, in an election seen as strengthening Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s grip on power. Some 4,900 legislators nationwide voted in what Modi termed a "historic" election to choose the titular head of state. Ram Nath Kovind, the candidate of Modi´s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a former lawyer and state governor from the Dalit community, is certain to win. His main rival is Meira Kumar, the nominee of the Congress-led opposition and also a Dalit. But the BJP, which won a landslide in a general election in 2014, has for the first time assembled enough electoral college votes across the country to push through its presidential candidate. Congress has traditionally dominated the post. "There is no rocket science, Ram Nath Kovind will win today," Praful Patel, a leader of the small opposition Nationalist Congress Party, conceded as he cast his vote. Modi was among the first to vote, using a specially approved violet ink pen. The election commission barred the use of personal pens to ensure clean voting. The result will be announced Thursday. "The presidential poll this time is historic. Probably for the first time no party has made any undignified or unwarranted comment on the rival candidate," Modi tweeted on the eve of the poll. Dalit attack "Every political party has kept in mind the dignity of this election." India´s prime minister wields executive power, but the president can send back some parliamentary bills for reconsideration and also plays a guiding role in the process of forming governments. Analysts said the elction of Kovind, 71, would help Modi tighten his grip on power and accrue political capital by sending an important message to the Dalits, a long-disdained electoral group once known as "untouchables". Dalits, who number around 200 million in the nation of 1.3 billion, are among India´s poorest communities and relegated to the margins of society. Despite legal protection, discrimination is rife and Dalits are routinely denied access to education and other advancement opportunities. On the day of the vote, media reported the case of a Dalit labourer allegedly beaten to death by upper-caste attackers, highlighting the plight of the "untouchable" caste. Modi´s rivals have protested at Kovind´s nomination, citing his association with the radical right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological power behind the BJP. The opposition nominee Kumar, the daughter of freedom fighter Babu Jagjivan Ram, was a diplomat before entering politics in 1985 and became India´s first woman speaker in 2009. Her nomination, which followed Kovind´s, was seen by many as an opposition attempt to counter Modi´s move to woo Dalits. Congress president Sonia Gandhi rallied opposition ranks before the vote, calling the contest a "clash of ideas and a conflict of disparate values". "We cannot and must not let India be hostage to those who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision," Gandhi said. Votes from the BJP´s traditional Hindu base propelled Modi to his 2014 legislative victory, especially in the battleground states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Dalit support will be key for the BJP before the 2019 general election as the party has been largely shunned by Muslims, who make up about 14 percent of the population. "The Dalit community has bases across the country especially in all the big, electorally significant states," said Nistula Hebbar, political editor of The Hindu newspaper. "The community´s vote is important for all, especially for the BJP. In a democracy, their numbers matter a lot," she told AFP
  17. ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan adjourned on Monday the hearing over recounting of votes in PS-114 by-elections as the petitioner?s lawyer could not attend the proceeding. According to the petitioner, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan?s Kamran Tessori, his lawyer has suddenly fallen ill, which is why he could not attend the hearing. Tessori requested the court to adjourned the hearing for two days. Therefore, the hearing will now be held on July 19. PS-114 by-election: Saeed Ghani denies rigging allegations MQM-P has challenged Ghani's victory in ECP saying polls were tampered However, the chief election commissioner said if the lawyer does not appear in the next hearing, a verdict would be announced. MQM-P chief Farooq Sattar and leaders of different political parties were present on the occasion. Pakistan Peoples Party?s Aitzaz Ahsan called the case baseless. The by-election on Sindh Assembly?s seat of PS-114 was held on July 9. PPP?s Saeed Ghani, MQM?s Tessori, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf?s Najeeb Haroon, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz?s Ali Akbar Gujjar and Jamaat-e-Islami?s Jadoon contested the polls. PPP wins PS-114 Karachi by-polls PPP's Saeed Ghani bagged 23,840 votes, followed by MQM-P's Kamran Tessori with 18,106 votes However, after PPP?s Ghani emerged victories, questions were raised on the transparency of the election process. Tessori, who stood second, requested the ECP to order a recount in the entire constituency and National Database and Registration Authority to verify thumb impressions of all the voters.
  18. Babar Awan addresses media in Islamabad ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Babar Awan on Monday remarked that all that is needed for the Supreme Court to adopt the ?Go Nawaz Go? slogan is one more judge?s vote against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. ?Two out of five judges of the Supreme Court already believe PM should be disqualified. If one more judge votes for PM?s disqualification then [we will hear] ?Go Nawaz Go? [chants] from the Supreme Court as well,? he said while speaking to media during the apex court?s hearing of Panama case post-JIT report. Awan asserted that the entire nation has full confidence in the Supreme Court and its proceedings in the high-profile case. ?We trust the Supreme Court. The entire nation, the PTI, the lawyers, everyone stands with the court,? he said, adding that Maryam group has defeated Nawaz Group within PML-N. PTI leader Naeem-ul-Haque reiterated the call for PM?s resignation, calling the PM a ?blemish? on Pakistan?s name. ?PM violated the Constitution and the public?s trust. He lied to the cabinet, his family, and the entire public,? he said. ?The Supreme Court?s decision in the case will be a beacon of guidance for the coming generations,? he added. Panama case: Opposition leaders express confidence in Supreme Court Opposition leaders addressed media outside the apex court prior to the start of the Panama case hearing Opposition leaders expressed confidence in the apex court ahead of the Panama case earlier today. Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid ? one of the petitioners in the original Panama Papers case ? addressed the media saying the entire nation stands behind the apex court. ?I?ll first see what the court says before submitting another petition to disqualify Nawaz Sharif,? he said. PTI?s Shah Mehmood Qureshi said PTI is among other opposition parties that are demanding the resignation of the prime minister. "The government?s strategy since day one has been to delay the proceedings," he said. Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, one of the petitioners in the case, said there is no hidden agenda here, the nation only wants a corruption-free country. "Nawaz Sharif has to go now, there is no other way. We want no one in Parliament who does not adhere to articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution," he said.
  19. Gunmen in Venezuela shot into a crowd of voters on Sunday, activists said, killing one woman and wounding three others during an unofficial referendum organised by the opposition to push for an end to two decades of socialist rule. The opposition Democratic Unity coalition said a pro-government "paramilitary" gang opened fire in Caracas' poor neighbourhood of Catia, where thousands were participating in the opposition event. Video footage showed people scattering as gunshots rang out, many taking sanctuary inside a church. "The day was stained by the killing of a Venezuelan woman who protesting and exercising her rights," said opposition leader Freddy Guevara of the killing of Xiomara Escot. "But violence cannot hide what has happened. The people are not afraid and are clear in their decision." Sunday's symbolic poll, which asked voters' opinion on President Nicolas Maduro's plan for a controversial new congress, was aimed at denting his legitimacy further amid a crippling economic crisis and months of anti-government protests in which some 100 people have been killed. Maduro, 54, has denounced the plebiscite as illegal and meaningless. Instead, the former bus driver and union leader is campaigning for an official July 30 vote in support of the proposed new assembly, which would have the power to rewrite the constitution and dissolve state institutions. The opposition cast Sunday's unofficial referendum as an act of civil disobedience that will be followed by "zero hour," a possible reference to a national strike or other escalated actions against the president. Lines formed early at makeshift polling stations at theatres, sports fields, and traffic circles in the oil-rich nation of 30 million as Venezuelans furious over food shortages and rampant inflation sought to make their voices heard. There was a festive atmosphere under the Caribbean sun in most places, with people blasting music, honking car horns, waving Venezuelan flags, and chanting "Yes we can!" More than five million people had cast ballots at 2,000 centres, the opposition said, as voting was extended into early evening so everyone still waiting in line could have their say. "Maduro has done everything very badly, and now, via a fraudulent constituent assembly, he wants to gain time, but his time is up," said shopkeeper Rafael Betancourt, voting in late leftist leader Hugo Chavez' home state of Barinas, which has flipped to the opposition. "This is the proof that the people will kick out whoever submits us to hunger and despair," he added, as hundreds waited to cast their ballot. Crowds gathered to vote in other former "Chavista" strongholds too, such as the poor slums of Caracas. Despite a strong turnout, the opposition vote does not appear to augur a short-term change of government or a solution to the country's political stalemate. Voters were asked if they reject the proposed new assembly, whether they want the armed forces to defend the existing constitution, and if they want elections before Maduro's term in office ends in 2018. Diaspora Votes The vote also included participation by swelling ranks of Venezuelans who have moved abroad, from Miami to Madrid, to escape the OPEC nation's dire economy. Some public employees in Venezuela, under government pressure not to participate in opposition events, sought creative ways to vote without being noticed, such as travelling across town or even going in disguise. The opposition promised results by Sunday evening. But they could not use the country's electoral infrastructure for the hastily convened vote. The elections council -- which the opposition calls a pawn of Maduro -- was simultaneously holding a test-run for the July 30 vote. Also, state telecommunications regulator Conatel ordered radio and TV stations not to use the word "plebiscite" on air and told them to pull opposition ads for the vote, according to Venezuela's main organisation of media workers. There were also lines for the July 30th test run in Caracas on Sunday, though the mood was notably more subdued than at the opposition polling stations. "We poor are going to be represented now," said retirement home worker Iraiz Alfonzo, 45, as she stood in line for the assembly vote test run. A high opposition turnout would reflect widespread national dissatisfaction with Maduro and bolster the campaign to remove him, while low attendance would give the ruling Socialist Party a boost for the constitutional assembly. In a phone call to state TV, Maduro acknowledged the opposition event but called it an "internal consultation." "I urge the opposition: 'Don't go crazy, calm down.' As president of the republic, I make a call for peace," he said. Sunday's referendum came against the backdrop of near daily anti-government protests. Masked youths with stones, Molotov cocktails and homemade mortars have battled riot forces using tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets since April. The unrest has resulted in fatalities among both demonstrators, government supporters and security forces, mostly from gunshots, as well as hundreds of arrests and thousands of injuries. Maduro has refused to recognise the authority of the National Assembly since the opposition won control of it in a 2015 landslide election, which his critics call evidence he is eroding democratic institutions in order to retain power. He says the country is the victim of an "economic war" and that opposition protests are an effort to overthrow him with US connivance, which the United States has denied.
  20. The censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani is famous for coming up with bizarre problems when it comes to clearing a film. Nihalani who himself has made some good numbers of raunchy films recently objected to the usage of word ‘intercourse' in the mini trailers of Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal'. In the Trailer Sejal (Anushka) clearly tells Harry (SRK) that he is absolved of all legal charges in the case of sexual intercourse between them. And the CBFC being its extreme sanskari self is bound to have a problem with this word. As per Nihalani's standards, man you can do it but dare not say it! Importantly, he is ready to clear it if he gets 1 lakh people voting in favour of the usage of the word. But conditions apply: Millennials can't really vote. The minimum age to vote is 36-year-old and you should be married, as the boss man won't settle for votes from unmarried people. FYI: Mr. Nihalani we are the land of Kamasutra, how about just broadening your horizons a little bit...just a bit? With this controversy going around finally, Shah Rukh Khan finally shared his views. During a media interaction he gave an epic reply being his witty self and said, “I think I am below 18, so I cannot vote.” He also added that the film has nothing derogatory in it and will be a fun to watch. © Facebook "On a serious note, neither I nor anyone in the film - Imtiaz, Irshad sahab, Pritam or anyone would use any disrespectful word, that hurts a family or anyone's sentiment. We are yet to send the film to the censors and they should watch the whole film to decide," King Khan said. “The film has still not gone to the censors. Maybe out of context things they didn't like. But when they see the whole film, they will understand the context and hopefully everything will be okay,” added SRK and said if still, censor has issues they are open to changing it. Other than this, SRK and Anushka are also working together for Aanand L Rai's film. Well, it's no doubt that this Jodi does wonders on box office and we can't wait to watch them again. ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal' is scheduled to hit the theatres on August 4.
  21. The next time you're hoping for *** over Tinder, Pahlaj Nihalani might come running for you. Reason being, your bedtime stories are now at the whip of the Indian movie censor board. As quoted to Indian Express in an interview recently—the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification has cited his displeasure over the usage of the word 'intercourse' in the second promo of 'Jab Harry Met Sejal'. Why? Because apparently—Indian families are not in favour of their kids knowing the meaning of the word 'intercourse'. These are not my words, but of sanskari, Mr. Nihalani. TBH: I'm wondering if I'm even sitting in 2017 and if, *** education is a prevelant reality in India... ©Indian Express In the second promo of the movie, 'Jab Harry Met Sejal'—Anushka Sharma uses the word 'intercourse' in a discussion with Shah Rukh Khan. In order for JHMS to attain a U/A certificate, they might have to do away with the 'highly inappropriate' word. But wait, that's not what's funny! ©Jackace If reports are to be believed, Mr. Nihalani is ready to change his mind over this issue if 1 lakh Indians vote in favour of it. Not sure if this joke is off 'The Kapil Sharma Show' or another example of 'easier said than done'. All I know is, I couldn't care less.
  22. French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Reuters PARIS: French voters went back to the polls on Sunday for the first round of parliamentary elections that are tipped to give President Emmanuel Macron´s centrist party a commanding majority. Polling stations opened across France at 8:00 am (0600 GMT) and voting will continue in the largest cities until 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) with exit polls released immediately afterwards. Macron has enjoyed a smooth start in the five weeks since he beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen to become France´s youngest-ever president, naming a cabinet that crosses left-right lines and making a big impression at international summits. His untested Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM) party, which he only founded in April 2016, now needs a clear majority in the National Assembly for him to push through the reforms he has promised. A host of opinion polls show Macron´s party taking around 30 percent of the vote on Sunday, putting it in pole position to secure a landslide in the second round next Sunday. Some predictions show REM could take around 400 seats in the 577-seat chamber. The party has already had a boost after its candidates came first in 10 of the 11 French overseas constituencies that voted before the mainland. If no candidate wins over 50 percent in the first round, the two top-placed go into the second round -- as well as any candidate who won the votes of over 12.5 percent of the electorate. More than 50,000 police will be on patrol in a country still under a state of emergency following a wave of attacks that have killed more than 230 people since 2015. In the latest incident, which took place on Tuesday, a 40-year-old self-radicalised Algerian was shot and wounded after attacking a policeman with a hammer outside Paris´ Notre Dame cathedral. Breaking the mould French voters have traditionally rallied behind their new leader in the legislative elections that follow the presidential ballot. Macron´s predecessors Francois Hollande in 2012, Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007 and Jacques Chirac in 2002 all won outright majorities. Unlike Macron, however, they all came from long-established parties. REM reflects the president´s desire for a new brand of politics. Initially dismissed by Macron´s opponents as a movement of young activists without any real roots, it will field 530 candidates on Sunday. In a bid to renew the political scene, many have never stood for office before, such as Marie Sara, a rare female bullfighter, who is taking on a senior member of Le Pen´s National Front in southern France, Gilbert Collard. Cleaning up politics Macron has banned all REM candidates from employing family members if elected and they must not perform consultancy work while lawmakers. The edicts follow the scandal that sunk the presidential chances of Francois Fillon, candidate for the rightwing Republicans party, who is facing criminal charges for paying his wife Penelope more than 900,000 euros ($1.0 million) as his parliamentary assistant. Fillon denies the charges. Given Macron´s attempts to clean up French politics, he faced embarrassment on Friday when his small centrist ally, the MoDem party, was placed under preliminary investigation on suspicion of employing fake parliamentary assistants at the European Parliament. One of Macron´s ministers, Richard Ferrand, is also being probed over a property deal involving his wife. With the political tide turning against the main parties of left and right, they have warned that a landslide could be bad for democracy. "I don´t think it would be healthy for the democratic debate over the next five years," said Francois Baroin, who is leading the Republicans as they try to bounce back from Fillon´s failure in the presidential election. The Socialists of former President Hollande fear heavy losses after a disastrous performance in the presidential election. Le Pen defiant Le Pen´s party meanwhile looks set to struggle to win 15 seats nationally, a score that would represent another deep disappointment after she was soundly beaten by Macron. But Le Pen remains defiant, telling AFP this week that with other parties likely to agree to work with Macron, "we will be the only opposition force." Macron has appealed to voters to give him a strong mandate to overhaul the labour market whose rigid rules on hiring and firing are blamed by many economists for preventing growth. The president was economy minister in the previous Socialist government that began introducing the reforms, sparking mass demonstrations in 2016 that lasted for months.
  23. KATHMANDU: Nepal held local-level polls on Sunday, the first since 1997 and a key step in its rocky road to democracy more than a decade after a civil war ended. Around a third of registered voters across three provinces were eligible to vote, with the rest of the country due to do so in a month´s time. The Election Commission estimated turnout of at least 71 percent as preliminary data trickled in Sunday evening. The vote has been split into two phases because of unrest in the southern plains bordering India, where the minority Madhesi ethnic group is refusing to take part until an amendment to the constitution is passed. Local representatives were last elected in 1997 and their five-year terms expired at the height of the brutal Maoist insurgency. The 10-year war ended in 2006 and the country began a fraught transition from a Hindu monarchy to a secular federal republic, which has seen it cycle through nine governments. The long gap between polls has left an institutional void at the local level and graft has become a way of life in Nepal, hampering the delivery of basic services as well as the recovery from a devastating 2015 earthquake. "It is difficult to expect much from our politicians -- they have always been selfish and not worked for the people -- but I hope that with this election things will change," housewife Shova Maharjan, 41, told AFP after casting her vote in the capital. With nearly 70 percent of the population aged under 35, many were voting for their local representatives for the first time. Polls opened at 7:00 am (0115 GMT) and closed at 5:00 pm, with each voter casting a ballot for seven local representatives: mayor, deputy mayor, ward chairman and four ward committee members. The ballot paper in the capital Kathmandu -- one of the largest constituencies -- was around one metre long (three feet) to accommodate the 878 candidates. Nearly 50,000 candidates were standing for election across 283 local municipalities in the first phase. Many registered as independents or with a number of small reformist parties hoping to grab some votes from the traditional political heavyweights. While the youth vote is seen as key in undermining the grip of the three main political parties, the elderly were also out in force, including an 105-year-old man who cast his ballot in Gorkha, the epicentre of the 2015 earthquake, according to the election commission. Drawn-out peace process There were sporadic reports of violence on Sunday, with one person killed when police opened fire on a group attempting to raid a polling station in Dolakha district, 180 kilometres (110 miles) northwest of the capital Kathmandu, police told AFP. A bomb was also found early Sunday outside the house of a mayoral candidate for the main opposition CPN-UML party in Bhaktapur, 15 kilometres east of Kathmandu. It was defused. The remaining four provinces, considered potential flashpoints for election-related violence, will vote in the second phase on June 14. But with results expected from Sunday´s vote later this week, observers have expressed concern that the first phase will influence the outcome of the second. As part of the deal that ended the civil war, a new constitution was written and finally adopted in September 2015. The charter mandated that local elections, followed by provincial and then national elections, be held by January 2018 -- the final step in the drawn-out peace process. But the constitution sparked protests by the Madhesi community -- who say the document leaves them politically marginalised -- and led to a months-long blockade of the India-Nepal border in 2015 that caused a crippling shortage of goods across the country. The Madhesi threatened to boycott the local polls unless the constitution is amended. This forced the government to split the vote into two phases. The government has promised a vote on an amendment to the constitution after Sunday´s election, but the fragile ruling coalition is struggling to get a majority in parliament to pass the bill.
  24. The fate of the European Union and the euro could hang on the outcome of Sunday's French presidential election. The expected victory of centrist, pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron would be taken by markets as a sign that political risk in Europe is receding; a surprise win for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen would raise the risk that the euro zone's number two economy could abandon the single currency and even leave the EU. Surveys on Friday showed Macron ahead by 62 percent to 38, but investors are wary of opinion polls after recent political shocks such as Donald Trump's election to the White House and Britain's decision last year to leave the EU. Le Pen has lately played down her plans to quit the EU and the euro, saying this may not be her top priority. But if she wins, the euro will fall around 5 percent in the immediate aftermath, a Reuters poll found this week. No major survey sees her becoming president, but a victory would increase volatility in financial markets, particularly in European equities, bonds, and currencies. A vote for Macron would retain the status quo. "We expect Macron to win the second round of the French presidential election on Sunday. This outcome should usher in a period of subsiding political risk in the euro zone," said Valentin Marinov at Credit Agricole. Economic growth in the bloc will be steady but modest over the coming year, but that will depend partly on Macron getting the keys to the Elysee Palace, a Reuters poll of economists showed last month. There is no major data due from the currency bloc in the coming week to shed light on how the economy has fared at the start of the second quarter, but numbers on Friday will show how industry rounded out the first quarter. Purchasing manager surveys earlier this week showed euro zone businesses raced into the second quarter, increasing activity at the fastest rate in six years in April, suggesting the bloc's economic recovery is broad-based and sustainable. STEADY AS SHE GOES Across the Channel in Britain, whose economy has performed surprisingly well since the Brexit vote, the Bank of England meets to decide monetary policy but no surprises are expected. None of 62 economists polled by Reuters expects the bank rate to be adjusted from its record low of 0.25 percent on Thursday. A recent Reuters survey found there would be no change until 2019 at least as the central bank waits to see how EU divorce negotiations pan out. Fractious talks are the biggest risk to the British economy while a smooth running of negotiations would be the most beneficial factor for growth, polls have shown. Having called a snap election for June 8, Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party has a runaway lead over the opposition so will likely decide Britain's stance in the talks. If opinion polls are right, May will win a strong new mandate endorsing her vision for Brexit, which sees the country leaving the EU's single market - a potential negative for growth - in order to win more freedom to set its own laws, control immigration and seek its own trade deals. "Politics is also likely to be a major focus with less than five weeks until the UK's General Election on 8 June. One potential date to look out for is Monday, where there are tentative reports that the Conservative Party will release its manifesto," noted Investec economists. Adding to the central bank's deliberations, inflation is above its 2 percent target and will outpace wage growth this year, hitting the shoppers who have been shoring up the economy. The Bank will also publish its Quarterly Inflation Report, while sector detail in the form of industrial production and construction output will be revealed by the Office for National Statistics, as well as the RICS housing survey and March trade figures. Other central banks meeting in the coming week include those from New Zealand, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines. None of them are expected to change tack either. China will draw some attention with the start of the usual monthly run of data. Chinese authorities are addressing financial stability risks and looking closely at credit, so April's figures will be of interest There is little hard data expected from the United States, but retail sales and core inflation data on Friday could cement expectations for a June tightening by the Federal Reserve.
  25. WASHINGTON: US lawmakers will vote Thursday to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republican House leaders said, in the latest effort to provide President Donald Trump a crucial legislative victory in his first months in office. The announcement comes after a new health care reform bill gained momentum Wednesday when two key Republican representatives -- Fred Upton of Michigan and Billy Long of Missouri -- reversed course and threw their support behind the measure following intense lobbying by the president himself. "We will be voting on the health care bill tomorrow. Because we have enough votes," Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters late Wednesday. "It´ll pass. It´s a good bill." The vote, which follows weeks of tweaking to the controversial bill in order to bring enough Republicans on board, is expected to be very close. With no Democrats supporting the revision, Republicans will need to cobble together the 216 votes necessary to pass the legislation exclusively within their own party, despite internal differences on the way forward. They can afford just 22 defectors. The effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has been seven years in the making. Republicans including Trump have campaigned relentlessly on pledges to dismantle Obamacare. An earlier version of the Republican plan collapsed in March, when opposition from both moderates and conservatives torpedoed their own party´s attempt to do away with former president Barack Obama´s Affordable Care Act of 2010. But leadership apparently won over enough skeptical members with an amendment drafted by Upton which adds $8 billion to help cover insurance costs for people with pre-existing conditions. Trump has touted the amended draft multiple times in recent days, and engaged personally in the arm-twisting, reaching out to several Republicans by phone and in person. "The president said ´Billy we really need you. We need you, man.´ I said ´You don´t have me,´" Long told reporters at the White House, describing an extended back-and-forth with Trump over what it would take for Long to back the bill. Long says he jumped on board after the president gave his blessing to the amendment that adds the supplemental $8 billion, which would bu used to cover health care costs for people in so-called "high-risk pools" that Upton previously opposed the legislation, saying he was uncomfortable with a provision allowing states to remove coverage guarantees for people with pre-existing conditions -- guarantees that were provided under Obamacare. Many health policy experts and Democrats, however, say $8 billion will not be enough to help provide coverage for sick people. "This craven bill is going to hurt many, many more Americans," Democratic Senator Cory Booker told MSNBC. The bill faces a steeper path in the Senate, where Republican moderates are almost certain to change the legislation, a move that would prompt a new round of negotiations.