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Found 47 results

  1. Imran Khan in Multan today. Photo: Geo News MULTAN: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Thursday that the long, dark night will end after the general elections are held this summer. The PTI chairman was referring to the "30-year-rule of the Sharifs". Addressing party supporters at Double Phaatak Chowk area of the city, which he is touring as part of the party's membership campaign, Imran said the PTI is on its way to do politics of the 21st century. "People need hospitals, clean water and good universities," Imran said, claiming that Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif launched the metro bus to make money. "We have chucked out your brother now it is your turn," Imran said, referring to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister. He claimed that making the metro bus in Multan was akin to giving a motorcycle to a patient who is lying in hospital and needs medicines. "You are a big fraud Shehbaz," he said further. On Wednesday, addressing PTI workers in Jhelum, Imran said that he has no personal enmity with political opponents Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari and that his fight is against corruption. No personal enmity with Nawaz, Zardari: Imran 'Our fight is against thieves,' Imran said ?I didn?t have any personal enmity with Nawaz or Zardari. Both of them take looted money abroad. Our fight is against thieves,? Imran said ?Shehbaz, it is your turn now,? he said further. The PTI chief vowed to defeat "theives" and said his party will emerge victorious in the upcoming general elections. A scuffle broke out at the gathering later, barely a day after a similar fight broke in the party's workers convention in Gujrat.
  2. Smoke rises from the besieged Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria. Photo: Reuters Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed to continue an offensive in eastern Ghouta near Damascus on Sunday as his forces advanced into the last major rebel enclave near the capital. The offensive is one of the deadliest in the war and one local insurgent group called it a ?scorched earth? campaign. The government is pressing on despite Western calls for it to abide by a 30-day, countrywide ceasefire demanded by the UN Security Council. ?We will continue fighting terrorism ... and the Ghouta operation is a continuation of fighting terrorism,? Assad said in comments to journalists broadcast on state TV. The advances have forced thousands of civilians to flee deeper into the rebel-held territory, where some 400,000 people live, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a resident said on Sunday. Government forces need to advance just a few more kilometres (miles) further to split the enclave in two, said a commander in the military alliance that backs Assad. The Observatory said government forces had seized a quarter of the territory. Assad said there was no contradiction between daily, five-hour humanitarian ceasefires called by his ally Russia, and ongoing combat operations, noting that advances by government forces in the last few days had occurred during the truce. The Russian ceasefire plan calls for five-hour pauses to allow for aid deliveries and evacuations of civilians and wounded. The U.S. State Department has called the Russian plan a?joke? and the White House on Sunday accused Russia of killing Syrian civilians. Assad, in his first comments on the offensive, said most people in Ghouta wanted to return to state rule. ?Therefore we must continue with the operation and in parallel open the way for civilians to leave,? he said. Russia and Damascus have accused rebels of preventing civilians from leaving eastern Ghouta during the daily ceasefires. Rebels have consistently denied this accusation and say people will not leave because they fear the government. A UN humanitarian official said people in eastern Ghouta were being subjected to unacceptable?collective punishment?, which is illegal under the Geneva Conventions. Assad dismissed Western statements about the humanitarian situation in eastern Ghouta as?a ridiculous lie?. With the war entering its eighth year, capturing the eastern Ghouta area would be a major victory for Assad, who has steadily recovered control of rebellious areas with Russian and Iranian support. The White House, in its strongest accusations of Moscow?s complicity in the offensive to date, said on Sunday that Russian military aircraft carried out at least 20 daily bombing missions in Damascus and eastern Ghouta between February 24 and February 28. ?Russia has gone on to ignore (a UN ceasefire?s) terms and to kill innocent civilians under the false auspices of counter-terrorism operations,? the White House said in a statement, saying the Russian aircraft had taken off from Syria?s Humaymim Airfield. French President Emmanuel Macron asked his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to put pressure on the Syrian government to end attacks against the Ghouta region and to allow humanitarian aid to flow. British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed in a phone call with US President Donald Trump that Russia must use its influence to make Damascus cease the eastern Ghouta campaign, May?s office said. Without decisive Western pressure to halt the offensive, eastern Ghouta appears on course to meet the same fate as other rebel areas retaken by Assad, such as eastern Aleppo, recovered using similar tactics of siege, bombardment and ground assaults. Rebels eventually withdrew from eastern Aleppo in late 2016 in a mediated deal, leaving to opposition-held territory near the Turkish border. The multi-sided war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people since 2011, has escalated on several fronts this year, as the collapse of Islamic State has given way to other conflicts between Syrian and international parties. ?Scorched earth? One of the main insurgent groups in eastern Ghouta, Jaish al-Islam, said the government?s?scorched earth policy? had forced rebels to retreat and regroup, but vowed to recover lost territory. One resident estimated that thousands of people were on the move and seeking shelter in areas further from the frontlines. The Observatory estimated that between 300 to 400 families, which is likely several thousand people, had fled areas seized by government forces since Saturday. The pro-Assad commander said civilians were fleeing to the town of Douma. The Observatory says government shelling and air strikes have killed 659 people in eastern Ghouta since February 18, while rebel shelling of Damascus has killed 27. UN regional humanitarian coordinator Panos Moumtzis said violence has escalated in eastern Ghouta and mortars fired into Damascus had killed and injured scores of civilians. ?Instead of a much-needed reprieve, we continue to see more fighting, more death, and more disturbing reports of hunger and hospitals being bombed,? Moumtzis said in a statement. The United Nations later issued a statement saying it had received approval for a 46-truck convoy to the Ghouta town of Douma on Monday, carrying health and nutrition supplies, and food for 27,500 people. A second trip was planned for Thursday. Earlier, a UN official in Syria told Reuters a humanitarian convoy carrying life-saving supplies would not enter eastern Ghouta as had been planned on Sunday, citing a lack of permission. ?Disturbing reports? Moumtzis also expressed concern about the situation in Afrin, a Kurdish region under Turkish assault since January, saying there were ?disturbing reports? of civilian deaths and injuries and restrictions on civilian movement. Turkey, backed by Syrian militias, has gained ground in recent days in Afrin. The Observatory said the advancing forces could soon besiege Afrin city, where 1 million people live. The Observatory said Turkish forces had advanced to within 12 km of Afrin. Turkey?s army said on Sunday it captured seven settlements including the town of Sheikh Hadid. Turkish forces have taken control of the roads from Rajo and Jandaris to Afrin, it also said in a statement. Turkey has rejected Western calls for it to suspend the Afrin assault in line with the U.N. ceasefire, which does not apply to Islamic State, al Qaeda and groups associated with it, or other groups deemed terrorists by the Security Council. Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade insurgency in Turkey and is deemed a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union and Turkey. The YPG has been an important ally for the United States in the fight against Islamic State.
  3. PTI chief Imran Khan speaks at a press conference in Peshawar on Thursday. ? Geo News screengrab PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday said that his party would win General Elections 2018 and change the procedure of Senate polls first of all. Holding a press conference at the CM House here, Khan said they would get the Senate elections conducted directly and change the system that allows horse-trading. He said that he held a meeting with party members with regard to Senate polls, adding, "Even I was made an offer for Senate election; everybody knows it involves money." The PTI chief said the parties with merely 2, 4 candidates also take part in Senate polls, regretting that no one tried to fix the system. 2018 Senate elections: What?s up for grabs? Take a look at what's up for grabs in the key elections on 52 seats of Pakistan's upper house of parliament Noting that senators are directly elected in the United States, he lamented that in Pakistan, corruption is promoted through the [present] system of Senate polls. Khan also said the PTI had suggested to hold Senate elections directly, but it was turned down. "Those having interests would have opposed direct elections for the Senate," he said. Commenting on party differences, the PTI chief said differences do emerge within political parties and every single party has experienced it. "These differences emerged in the absence of an accord." He, however, said that their basic objective was to change the obsolete system. In response to Pakistan's placement on FATF watchlist, Khan said it was a failure of the ministry of foreign affairs.
  4. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/75de486b5e6bfcc21e9cf4ca7f46bc80.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Mi8yMS8yMDE4IDEwOjA5OjI3IEFNJmhhc2hfdmFsdWU9V2xrbDdDck9CQnI2L2wraDZSOUtWZz09JnZhbGlkbWludXRlcz02MCZpZD0x style=center] Video: Geo News ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan vowed on Thursday to hold a 'grand public rally' in Islamabad, the date of which he will announce later, to show that the people of Pakistan stand with the judiciary. Addressing the media after a meeting of the PTI's parliamentary party, Imran said he will show Nawaz Sharif why he was deposed, referring to the oft-repeated question of the former prime minister. The PTI chief said he will announce the date of the rally after touring the country for the party's membership drive and consulting with party leaders. "They [Nawaz] are now heading for a clash of institutions on the basis of having a people?s mandate. I will show them that the public stands with justice, not them," said Imran. Earlier, Imran criticised the former prime minister for damaging the country's institutions. He claimed that Nawaz has destroyed organisations like the Federal Board of Revenue and National Accountability Bureau in a bid to protect his corruption. The PTI chief also condemned the ruling party members for helping hide their leader's corrupt wealth instead of exposing it in the national interest.
  5. President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa addresses MPs after being elected president in parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 15, 2018. ? Reuters CAPE TOWN: Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as South Africa?s president in a parliamentary vote on Thursday and pledged to tackle endemic corruption after scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma resigned on orders from the ruling African National Congress. The road back to prosperity and self-respect under Ramaphosa, 65, who became ANC head in December, will be long and hard in a nation still polarised by race and inequality more than two decades after the end of white-minority rule. Still, Zuma?s departure late on Wednesday provided evidence of the strength of South Africa?s democratic institutions, from the courts to the media and the constitution. Ramaphosa, in brief remarks to parliament ahead of his first state of the nation address expected on Friday, said he would work hard ?not to disappoint the people of South Africa.? ?The issues that you have raised, issues that have to do with corruption, issues of how we can straighten out our state-owned enterprises and how we deal with state capture (influence-peddling) are issues that are on our radar screen,? he said. Ramaphosa was elected unopposed as Zuma?s permanent successor by parliament, and confirmed in the post by South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who had earlier read out the former president?s resignation letter. Ramaphosa was expected to be sworn in later on Thursday, and to make any changes to the cabinet after his address on Friday. The rand, which has gained ground whenever Zuma ran into political turbulence, soared to a near three-year high against the dollar on word of his resignation. South Africa's Zuma and his numerous scandals A list of the main scandals, involving Zuma, dating from before he became president in 2009 South Africa?s main stock market index jumped nearly 4 percent and headed for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors hailed Zuma?s exit after nine years in office rife with allegations of sleaze and mismanagement. Ratings agency Moody?s said it was closely monitoring developments in South Africa, focusing on the policy implications of Zuma?s political demise. The S&P Global agency said South Africa?s sovereign credit ratings and outlook will not be immediately affected by the change of the country?s leadership. Uphill challenge Ramaphosa, who will be president until elections next year, faces an uphill battle to earn back public and investor support. But his stated commitment to boosting growth and stamping out graft has gone down well with foreign investors and ANC members who felt Zuma?s handling of the economy could seriously damage the party in the 2019 election. Africa?s most developed economy needs faster economic growth if it is to reduce high unemployment - currently at 27 percent - and alleviate persistent, widespread poverty that aggravates inequality and stokes instability. The economy, Africa?s most advanced, remains largely under the control of whites who held power under apartheid. The 75-year-old Zuma said in a 30-minute farewell address to the nation he disagreed with the way the ANC had thrust him toward an early exit after Ramaphosa replaced him as party president, but would accept its orders. ?Zuma did the right thing to resign. Yes, let?s see what Ramaphosa is having for us, thank you,? said Hlengiwe Mswazi, an office worker in the capital Pretoria. Tshepo Kgobane, also in Pretoria, said: ?So it is a good thing that he resigned. We must have a party, a big party, we must throw a party because he resigned. We wanted to see that.? Zuma bowed out hours after police raided the luxury home of the Gupta family, the Indian-born billionaire allies of the former president who have been at the center of corruption accusations against Zuma and his circle for years. Zuma and the Guptas have always denied wrongdoing. 'Going, going, gone' ?Defiant in defeat? and ?Going, Going, Gone? were among the newspaper headlines that captured Zuma?s unwillingness to leave. ?South Africa?s long nightmare is over,? read the headline from online political news website Daily Maverick. Julius Malema, leader of the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led his party in a mass walkout from parliament on Thursday, saying it would not take part in the election of a new president so as not to legitimise an ANC candidate. Zuma quits as President of South Africa The ruling party had said it would vote him out on Thursday The EFF, which has six percent of the seats in parliament, had sponsored a no-confidence motion in Zuma that would have gone ahead on Thursday had Zuma not jumped. The foundation set up to guard the legacy of the late anti-apartheid icon and first black South African president Nelson Mandela said Zuma?s departure brought to an end ?a painful era for the country.? ?One chapter in South Africa?s political soap opera has finally ended with the resignation last night of President Jacob Zuma,? NKC African Economics analysts wrote in a note. ?It would be gratifying to see the dedication and purpose the ANC put into ridding itself of Zuma now be directed into rebuilding the economy, dealing with the corruption still residing in the ANC and improving its shoddy governance record.? South African police said officers had arrested eight people so far in its investigations into high-echelon influence-peddling revolving around the Gupta family. Chief prosecutor Shaun Abrahams declared Ajay Gupta, one of the three Gupta brothers, a ?fugitive from justice? after he failed to hand himself in. Abrahams provided no further details. State broadcaster SABC said a Gupta family member was among those detained, while a senior judicial source said police were expected to arrest up to seven more people and that Gupta family members would be among them. Police said the raid on the Gupta estate was in connection with a state-funded dairy farm, which prosecutors last month called a ?scheme designed to defraud and steal.?
  6. Bangladesh players return to the dressing room, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 1st day, February 8, 2018/BCB DHAKA: Bangladesh´s cricket board Thursday promised to improve pitches for international Tests after its two best venues were rated "below average" by the sport´s governing body following the Sri Lanka series. The International Cricket Council penalised the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka for its subpar pitch a week after rebuking Bangladesh´s other top venue in Chittagong for its shoddy ground. The latest Test against Sri Lanka ended inside three days, with the visitors thrashing Bangladesh by 215 runs in a match that saw both sides all-out twice in less than eight sessions. The Chittagong Test, however, saw batsmen plunder more than 1,500 runs, with Sri Lanka declaring at a colossal 713 for nine in their first and only innings. ICC match referee David Boon -- who issued a demerit point to both venues for below-average pitches -- said the Dhaka ground was poor from day one. "There was evidence of the ball breaking the pitch surface, which resulted in uneven bounce throughout the match, along with inconsistent turn, which was even excessive at times," he said in a statement. "This pitch produced a contest that was too heavily skewed in favour of the bowlers, and didn´t give the batsmen a fair chance to display their skills." The opposite problem prevailed in Chittagong last week, when Boon said the pitch provided no seam movement and favoured batsmen, who smashed five centuries and six half-centuries over five days. The Bangladesh Cricket Board said it would consider appealing the demerit points but promised to take more precautions in future. "Since we received this rating, we will be more careful about preparing the venues," said the board´s chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury. Any ground that receives five demerits from the ICC over five years is suspended from hosting international cricket for a year. In September, the ICC rated the outfield of the Dhaka ground "poor" after the hosts defeated Australia by 20 runs in a Test. But a demerit point was not issued as ICC guidelines for pitch and outfield monitoring were revised in January, a spokesman for the council said.
  7. Pakistan Foreign Office. Photo: File ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Foreign Office on Wednesday strongly condemned the killing of a Chinese citizen in Karachi and vowed to bring the culprits under the fold of law. Chen Zhu, 45, was shot dead in a suspected targeted attack in Karachi?s Defence locality by an unknown assailant on Monday. The Chinese national was in his car when at least 10 shots were fired at him. He suffered bullet wounds to his head, according to police. "We are deeply saddened at the death of Chinese national Mr. Chen Zhu in Karachi on 5 Feb & condemn his killing in strongest possible terms," FO spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted. "Pakistan will take all possible measures to apprehend the culprits and carry out thorough investigation against perpetrators of the crime," he added. Chen Zhu was the Managing Director of Cosco Saeed Karachi Shipping Pvt Ltd. China condemned the apparent targeted-killing following the incident. ?We strongly condemn the extremist and violent action against Chinese citizens and will continue to closely monitor the progress of the case and provide active assistance to the families of the victims in dealing with the aftermath," said spokesperson Geng Shuang of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. China condemns murder of Chinese citizen in Karachi Spokesperson expresses hope that Pakistan will continue to take measures to guarantee the security of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan The spokesperson added that the Chinese consulate general has demanded the police to do their "utmost to solve the case and bring the murderers to justice as soon as possible". China has noticed that in recent years, the Pakistani government has taken a series of anti-terrorism and social security governance actions, said Shuang when asked if the country worries about the safety of Chinese citizens in Pakistan. Chinese national shot dead in Karachi's Defence area Another person was injured in the incident, nine bullet casings recovered ?We support the Pakistani side's continuous efforts to promote relevant actions and safeguard domestic security and stability?. The foreign ministry's spokesperson expressed hope that Pakistan will continue to take measures to guarantee the security of Chinese institutions and personnel in the country.
  8. LAHORE: A large contingent of police stands guard at the Punjab University where two groups clashed over a cultural event in the wee hours of Monday morning. Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and ordered CPO Lahore to submit a report. Speaking to Geo News, Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zakria Zakar said the situation was under control and those involved in disturbing the peace at the varsity were being identified using CCTV footage adding that strict action would be taken against them. "Not only will they be removed from the university, there will be legal action against them," Prof Zakar said. The clash broke out late Sunday night when one student group attacked another over their preparations for the 'pioneer festival' in the Electrical Engineering Department. Students attacked each other with batons and bricks. They also torched a room inside the department and a number of cars parked on the varsity?s premises. Last year in March the Punjab University had imposed a ban on student organisations from holding any kind of event. The ban came as a reaction to a brawl between two student groups at the university on March 21, 2017 in which 18 students were injured. A student group was celebrating their cultural day outside the Faisal Auditorium when a rival student group arrived and began chanting slogans against them which led to the clash.
  9. This file photo taken on July 10, 2008, shows a Chinese soldier next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India's northeastern Sikkim state. Photo: AFP/file NEW DELHI: India will handle China's growing assertiveness and has stepped up patrols on their disputed border to head off more standoffs, the country's top army officer declared Friday. The nuclear-armed neighbours have in the past gone to war over their border and last year were involved in a showdown over a Himalayan plateau claimed by China and Bhutan which is an ally of India. Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat said a military hotline was being set up between the two sides but insisted his troops are ready for new tensions. "We understand China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation," Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat told a press conference when asked about the border dispute. "We have increased our troop levels... we have increased our patrolling intensity. We are capable of handling China´s assertiveness. "We will not allow our territory to be invaded upon. Whenever intrusions take place we will defend because that´s there in our charter." Hundreds of Chinese and Indian troops faced off last year on the Doklam plateau, a small strip close to the intersection between China, India and Bhutan. Rawat said Indian soldiers crossed into foreign territory during the standoff but only because Chinese forces had "big equipment and they meant business". "We knew they will try and claim the whole of Doklam. We felt a change in the status quo..(but) all effort was made by us to ensure it does not lead to a conflict. "Even if it would have escalated we were prepared (as) the terrain usually favours us." The border dispute began in mid-June after Chinese troops started building a road on the Himalayan plateau. India has an army base nearby and moved soldiers into the flashpoint zone to halt the work, prompting Beijing to accuse it of trespassing on Chinese territory. The two nations finally pulled back their troops in mid-August, averting a full-blown crisis. India and China fought a 1962 war over Arunachal Pradesh state and have a history of mistrust as they jostle for regional supremacy. China has fostered closer ties with India´s arch-rival Pakistan in recent years. It has also invested in other countries in the region in a bid to win friends. India is revamping its military and bolstering its partnership with the United States and Japan. Both nations say they are committed to solving their border disagreements through dialogue, but progress has been glacial. Rawat said a military hotline with China was in the works to help defuse future border tensions. "We are moving very fast, very soon we will have a hotline with the Chinese. "As we are seeing increased activity along the LAC (Line of Actual Control), this can be de-escalated through one-to-one talk at the highest level at the borders."
  10. Pyongyang dramatically ramped up its efforts to become a nuclear power in 2017, despite a raft of international sanctions and increasingly bellicose rhetoric from the United States-AFP SEOUL: Kim Jong-Un vowed North Korea would mass-produce nuclear warheads and missiles in a defiant New Year message Monday suggesting he would continue to accelerate a rogue weapons programme that has stoked international tensions. Kim, who said Monday that he always had a nuclear launch button on his desk, has presided over multiple missile tests in recent months and the North´s sixth and most powerful nuclear test -- which it said was a hydrogen bomb -- in September. "We must mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and speed up their deployment," said Kim in his annual address to the nation. He reiterated his claims that North Korea had achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear state but insisted its expansion of the weapons programme was a defensive measure. "We should always keep readiness to take immediate nuclear counter-attacks against the enemy´s scheme for a nuclear war." Pyongyang dramatically ramped up its efforts to become a nuclear power in 2017, despite a raft of international sanctions and increasingly bellicose rhetoric from the United States. The North claims it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from a hostile Washington and has strived to create a warhead capable of targeting the US mainland. US President Donald Trump has responded to each test with his own amplified declarations, threatening to "totally destroy" Pyongyang and taunting Kim, saying the North Korean leader was on "a suicide mission". But far from persuading Kim to give up his nuclear drive, analysts say Trump´s tough talk may have prompted the North Korean leader to push through with his dangerous quest. "(The North) can cope with any kind of nuclear threats from the US and has a strong nuclear deterrence that is able to prevent the US from playing with fire," Kim said Monday. "The nuclear button is always on my table. The US must realise this is not blackmail but reality." ´Incredibly dangerous´ Kim´s comments come after a former top US military officer warned that the Trump presidency had helped create "an incredibly dangerous climate". "We´re actually closer, in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been," said Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, in an interview on ABC´s "This Week" Sunday. When asked for a response to Kim´s claim that he had a nuclear button on his desk, Trump said "We´ll see, we´ll see", in comments to reporters during the New Year´s Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Pyongyang sees American military activities in the region -- such as the joint drills it holds with the South -- as a precursor to invasion. It has rattled the international community by testing increasingly longer-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) throughout 2017. But any military intervention by the US could escalate rapidly into a catastrophic conflict that would threaten the lives of millions. Critics say Pyongyang wants to forcibly reunify the peninsula -- divided by a demilitarised zone since the end of the 1950-53 Korean war. But Kim also sugared his speech Monday with a conciliatory tone towards Seoul, indicating for the first time that the North is considering taking part in the South´s Winter Olympics next month. "(The Olympics) will serve as a good chance to display our Korean people´s grace toward the world and we sincerely hope the Games will be a success," Kim said, urging the South to cease its "nuclear war exercise" with the US. At a time when the risk of a US pre-emptive strike is "higher than ever", Koh Yu-Hwan, Political Science Professor at Dongguk University, said the speech indicated Kim was using the Olympics gesture as a means to "shift from confrontation to peaceful co-existence with the United States". "When he said a nuclear launch button is always on his desk, he is hinting it is not necessary for the North to stage nuclear or ICBM tests in the foreseeable future," he told AFP, adding however that Kim also wanted to build "massive nuclear retaliation capabilities". In December the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed new, US-drafted sanctions against Pyongyang, restricting oil supplies vital for the impoverished state. The third raft of sanctions imposed last year, which the North slammed as an "act of war", also received the backing of China -- the country´s sole major ally and economic lifeline. Observers say Washington must open talks with the North to defuse tensions -- but that remains a challenge. Pyongyang has always said it will only deal with the US from a position of equality as a nuclear state. Washington has long insisted that it will not accept a nuclear-armed North and Pyongyang must embark on a path towards denuclearisation before any talks.
  11. President-elect George Weah ? of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) ? attends a news conference at party headquarters, after the announcement of the presidential election results, in Monrovia, Liberia, December 30, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon MONROVIA: Liberian President-elect George Weah on Saturday declared the country open to investment and pledged to tackle entrenched corruption, in his first speech to the nation since decisively winning an election this week. Speaking in front of reporters and aides packed into a small conference room at his party headquarters, Weah thanked his predecessor, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for enabling Liberia?s first democratic transition in over 70 years but said he was determined to usher in sweeping changes. ?Those looking to cheat the Liberian people through corruption will have no place,? said Weah, 51, alluding to a series of high-profile scandals that have tarnished Johnson Sirleaf?s 12-year presidency. Weah, a former soccer star who became the only African to win FIFA World Player of the Year in 1995, scored a landslide victory over Vice President Joseph Boakai in Tuesday?s run-off. He faces sky-high expectations from his base of young supporters, who want him to fix rampant unemployment and poverty, but deep scepticism from others who see him as lacking the experience and knowledge for the job. His campaign was thin on policy specifics and he will now be faced with the messy realities of reviving an economy gutted by low prices for chief exports rubber and iron ore and dwindling foreign donor support. Weah said he would assemble his cabinet in the coming days ahead of his inauguration in mid-January and work to expand the country?s revenue base. ?To investors, we say Liberia is open for business,? he said. He also urged Liberians overseas ? whose remittances account for over a quarter of national GDP ? to return home, calling for national unity in a country that was devastated by civil war from 1989 to 2003 and remains riven by divisions based on ethnicity, class, and political affiliation. ?We are not enemies,? he said in comments addressed to his political opponents. ?We welcome you with open arms as we try to build our country.? ?Two days ago the world watched me cry. I did not cry because I won. I cried that many people lost their lives in the struggle for change.? The speech was closely followed across the country of five million people. ?The main thing I took from him was that Liberia is open for business,? said John Davies, a 30-year-old businessman. ?We need Liberians to come home and work for our country.?
  12. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a four-finger (rabia) sign during his speech on December 15, 2017 in Istanbul.?AFP photo ISTANBUL: Turkey will open an embassy in East Jerusalem, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, days after leading calls at a summit of Muslim leaders for the world to recognise it as the capital of Palestine. "God willing, the day is close when officially, with God's permission, we will open our embassy there," Erdogan said in a speech, maintaining his fierce criticism of the United States' decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
  13. President Emmerson Mnangagwa received a statue of a crocodile -- his nickname -- after planting a tree at the party conference. ? AFP HARARE: Zimbabwe?s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, drew a firm line under the 37-year reign of Robert Mugabe in a keynote speech to the ruling ZANU-PF party on Friday. Mnangagwa took office last month after Mugabe was forced to quit when the military took power and ZANU-PF lawmakers launched impeachment proceedings against their veteran leader. Until recently, the new president was one of Mugabe?s closest allies, and critics say he is another authoritarian hardliner. But Mnangagwa used his much-awaited speech to an extraordinary congress of the ZANU-PF to declare the party had been defiled, and was now on a "new trajectory". "The party ideology, rules and regulations were being desecrated daily," Mnangagwa, 75, said at the one-day gathering in Harare. "Clearly this was no longer the ZANU-PF you and I pledged loyalty to. We must never lower our guard again," he said. Mugabe?s final years in power were marked by a bitter inter-party succession battle between Mnangagwa, who was covertly backed by the military, and supporters of Mugabe?s wife Grace. Mnangagwa has appointed military officials to key government positions and pledged to revive the shattered economy by boosting farm production and luring foreign investment. "Party work must not be in the old mould. Now we must be about politics and economics," he said, wearing a jacket decorated in party colours and images of himself. "We must embrace each other and other nations. This congress must define a new trajectory for the party." ?Free and fair elections? The conference also confirmed Mnangagwa as the party?s presidential candidate in next year?s general elections and named a military major-general, Engelbert Rugeje, to the secretary-level post of political commissar. Takavafira Zhou, a political scientist at Masvingo State University, said the appointment of a general to an influential party position was worrying and could pose a threat to the credibility of next year?s general elections. "It confirms our fear that ZANU-PF is being further militarised and this has a negative bearing on the forthcoming elections," Zhou told AFP. "We are likely to see the army playing a big part in the election in support of ZANU-PF. They will not give power to anyone except their preferred candidate. This will militate against the holding of free and fair elections," he said. But Mnangagwa vowed that the vote will be "credible, free and fair. There is no need for violence." David Coltart, a lawyer and opposition politician, said the meeting was "to consolidate President Mnangagwa?s position within the party and to ensure that (Grace?s supporters) are put firmly in their place." "Many people see this administration as a thin veneer over a military junta, and the question is whether the veneer is going to get thinner," he added. Forgiven, but not forgotten Mnangagwa has been keen to avoid any public sign of friction within Zimbabwe?s ruling elite, and he paid tribute both to Mugabe, 93, and the army chief who forced him out. "I would like to salute the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantino Chiwenga for standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow Zimbabweans," Mnangagwa said. He also paid homage to "party comrade Robert Mugabe, who steered the ship of our party and its government." Mugabe was photographed by AFP walking out of a lift at a hospital in Singapore on Friday, the first time he has been seen since his resignation on November 21. The former president was undergoing a routine medical check-up, government spokesman George Charamba told AFP. Mugabe, who had ruled Zimbabwe from its independence from Britain in 1980, is in increasingly frail health and has reportedly battled prostate cancer. Many Zimbabweans took to the streets to celebrate the end of Mugabe?s long rule, but many have also expressed fears that Mnangagwa could oversee a repressive regime of his own. Mnangagwa, who is widely referred to as the Crocodile for his ruthlessness, also appeared to reach out to Grace Mugabe?s younger supporters, who were known as the G40 (Generation-40) group. He declared that the "era of factionalism is behind us. We cannot be hostages of past grievances. Let bygones be bygones". "However those we have forgiven should not think we have forgotten," Mnangagwa warned in his closing address.
  14. With three medals in the Commonwealth Games, two in the Asian Games, one in the World Championships and a bronze in the Olympics; Vijender Singh had already proved his mettle fighting some of the fiercest opponents and bringing laurels to his country. But, he is not done yet, as his pro-boxing career has proved so far. After representing India in various tournaments, Vijender has been on a sensational run in his pro-boxing career. The Haryana boxer has won nine times in as many professional bouts including seven KOs. He retained his WBO Asia-Pacific Super Middleweight title and claimed his opponent's WBO Oriental Super Middleweight belt after beating China's Zulpikar Maimaitiali in the much-anticipated 'Battleground Asia' bout. Reuters But, despite his success and impeccable skills, Vijender's next opponent Ernest Amuzu claims that he will take great delight in handing the Indian boxer his first loss after leaving him beaten and broken in front of his home crowd. The African Champions, who holds a decent record of 25 fights with 23 wins (21 KOs) and two losses, will take on Vijender whose WBO Asia-Pacific and Oriental Super Middleweight belts will be on the line in the bout scheduled on 23 December at the Sawai Mansingh Indoor stadium in Jaipur. While the exciting fight is still over a week away, the verbal volleys have already started to shape up the upcoming bout with the Ghanaian boxer taking the first shot. "I have just heard his name and have never seen him fight. I will take great delight in handing Vijender Singh his first loss and leave him beaten and broken in front of his home crowd. Twitter In fact, I will tell you what I will do to him, I will smash him to the body to loosen him up and then a right hand to knock him out, just watch me on 23rd December," he added. Amuzu also said that his experience in the professional circuit will hold him in good stead against Vijender. "I am a more experienced fighter in the professional circuit than Vijender. He has never, never met any experienced and tough boxer like me and he will realise what it is like facing a real professional boxer in Jaipur. Reuters I know he has an Olympic medal but I have boxed as a successful amateur in Africa winning many tournaments, I also believe I have plenty of good experience in my 25 fights to give hard time to Vijender Singh," he said. Amuzu further went on to claim that the Beijing Olympic bronze medallist boxer will realise his mistake of fighting someone like him at the end of the bout. "I know that Vijender is a hero there. But I am going to knock your hero out. He doesn't belong in a boxing ring with me. I am insulted that he thinks he can just walk over me and beat me easily," he said. When he is lying on the canvas and I am standing with my hands raised above him he will realise he has made a huge mistake fighting me. He should stick to acting in films as he is just an actor in boxing," added Amuzu. Reuters Well, it's not the first time an opponent has fired verbal volleys at Vijender in a bid to throw him off his game, but going by his pro-boxing career so far, the Indian boxer has never paid heed to the comments and always managed to come out on top in the end - something Amuzu must consider before potentially joining the ever-growing list of big-mouth losers.
  15. The North has continued to lob missiles, posing a major challenge to US President Donald Trump SEOUL: Kim Jong-Un has vowed to make North Korea the "world´s strongest nuclear power," state media reported Wednesday, as the reclusive nation shows little sign of reining in a weapons programme fuelling global alarm. The North has rattled the international community with a flurry of missile launches and its largest ever nuclear test in recent months in its bid to develop a warhead capable of striking the United States. Kim told workers behind the recent test of a new missile Pyongyang said was capable of that feat, that his country "will victoriously advance and leap as the strongest nuclear power and military power in the world," in a ceremony on Tuesday, according to state news agency KCNA. His comments come as global powers scramble for a response to the crisis, with the US backing stringent economic and diplomatic sanctions on Kim´s regime to halt its nuclear drive. But the North has continued to lob missiles, posing a major challenge to US President Donald Trump. Fears of a catastrophic conflict with the nuclear-armed regime have spiked as the leaders have taunted each other, with the US President pejoratively dubbing his rival "Little Rocket Man." Tension flared anew in the flashpoint peninsula after the November 29 launch of the Hwasong-15 ICBM, which the North claimed could deliver a "super-large heavy warhead" anywhere on the US mainland. Many analysts suggest that the rocket is capable of reaching the US mainland but voice scepticism that Pyongyang has mastered the advanced technology needed to allow the rocket to survive re-entry to the Earth´s atmosphere. Last month´s launch was the first test of any kind since September 15, and quashed hopes that the North may have held back in order to open the door to a negotiated solution to the nuclear standoff. Tillerson: My failure if US resorts to force on North Korea Washington has pledged to deliver denuclearised Korean peninsula, but strategy hinges on China maintaining pressure and Kim agreeing to talk US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he was confident that Washington is doing all it can to force North Korea to discuss nuclear disarmament. "As I´ve told people many times, I will continue our diplomatic efforts until the first bomb drops," he said in a speech to the Atlantic Council policy forum. But he also warned that the US military stands ready to act if necessary. Washington has ramped up the pressure on the North and last week the United States and South Korea launched their biggest-ever joint air exercise. Pyongyang slammed those manoeuvres as a provocation, accusing the drills of "revealing its intention to mount a surprise nuclear pre-emptive strike."
  16. French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday proposed a raft of measures to combat the "horrific and shameful" violence against women. Photo: AFP file PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday proposed a raft of measures to combat the "horrific and shameful" violence against women, as he pledged to make gender equality a major cause of his administration. "Our entire society is sick with sexism," Macron said in a speech in Paris to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The 39-year-old leader began with a minute of silence to remember the 123 women killed in 2016 in France by their partner or ex-partner. "France must no longer be one of those countries where women are afraid," he said. Public awareness of sexual assault and harassment has been heightened following the charges levelled by women against Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The scandal has touched off a worldwide wave of such allegations by women on the internet under the hashtag #MeToo -- in French called #balancetonporc which has seen 500,000 tweets since mid-October. Macron outlined three priorities over the five-year term of his presidency from fostering gender equality to giving better assistance to victims of sexual abuse and enforcing harsh measures against aggressors. Nearly 225,000 women are said to have been victims of physical or sexual violence by their partner in France, but fewer than one in five have made a complaint to authorities. Macron proposed new measures against this scourge including making a sexual insult an offence in order to combat harassment in the street. He also called for making 15 the minimum age of consent for *** -- there is currently no such law in France. To make it easier for women to file a complaint, they will be able to go online from their homes and speak directly with people at police stations and learn what steps they can take. The French president said he wants "to fight for the non-negotiable equality of both sexes" making it a "major cause" during his term in office.
  17. Egypt´s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi/File photo CAIRO: Egypt´s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has vowed to respond forcefully after attackers killed at least 235 worshippers in a packed mosque in restive North Sinai province, the country´s deadliest attack in recent memory. Al-Sisi declared three days of mourning would begin Saturday, the day after the gun and bomb assault on the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish. In a televised speech the president pledged to "respond with brutal force", adding that "the army and police will avenge our martyrs and return security and stability with force in the coming short period". Several hours later Egyptian air force jets destroyed vehicles used in the attack and "terrorist" locations where weapons and ammunition were stocked, an army spokesman said. Witnesses said assailants had surrounded the mosque with all-terrain vehicles and detonated a bomb. They then mowed down panicked worshippers as they tried to flee and used congregants´ vehicles they had set alight to block routes to the mosque. Egyptians gather around ambulances following a gun and bombing attack on the Rawda mosque near the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish on November 24, 2017/AFP The state prosecutor´s office said in a statement that 235 people were killed and 109 wounded in the attack, the scale of which is unprecedented in a four-year insurgency by extremist groups. AFP photographs of the scene indicated that children were among the dead. World leaders condemned the attack. US President Donald Trump condemned on Twitter the "horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenceless worshippers". The grand imam of Cairo´s Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, condemned "in the strongest terms this barbaric terrorist attack". Daesh targeting of Sufis There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bloodshed. The Daesh group´s Egypt branch has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, and also civilians accused of working with the authorities, in attacks in the north of the Sinai peninsula. They have also targeted followers of the mystical Sufi branch of Islam as well as Christians. A tribal leader and head of a Bedouin militia that fights Daesh told AFP that the mosque is known as a place where Sufis gather. The Daesh group shares the puritan Salafi view that Sufis are heretics for seeking the intercession of saints. The militants had previously kidnapped and beheaded an elderly Sufi leader, accusing him of practising magic, and abducted Sufi practitioners later released after "repenting". The group has killed more than 100 Christians in church bombings and shootings in Sinai and other parts of Egypt, forcing many to flee the peninsula. The military has struggled to quell militants who pledged allegiance to Daesh in November 2014. Mosque attack death toll in Egypt rises to 235 Victims included civilians and conscripts praying at the mosque The militants have since increasingly turned to civilian targets, attacking not only Christians and Sufis but also Bedouin Sinai inhabitants accused of working with the army. The Gaza Strip´s border crossing with Egypt that had been due to reopen Saturday will remain closed until further notice because of the attack, a Palestinian official said. Aside from Daesh, Egypt also faces a threat from Al-Qaeda-aligned militants who operate out of neighbouring Libya. A group calling itself Ansar al-Islam -- Supporters of Islam in Arabic -- claimed an October ambush in Egypt´s Western Desert that killed at least 16 policemen. Many of those killed belonged to the interior ministry´s secretive National Security Service. The military later conducted air strikes on the attackers, killing their leader Emad al-Din Abdel Hamid, a most wanted militant who was a military officer before joining an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Libya´s militant stronghold of Derna.
  18. About the Qandeel murder case, Qavi said that the entire thing is in front of everyone and alleged that failed attempts are being made to twist the case-Geo News MULTAN: Mufti Abdul Qavi, who is on trial in Qandeel Baloch murder case, said on Wednesday that he will make suggestions for improving the conditions of prisons. ?During my detention, I saw problems in jails up-close," he said during a media talk here, adding that he will extend maximum cooperation to the families of the prisoners if they contact him. About the murder case, Qavi said that the entire thing is in front of everyone and alleged that failed attempts are being made to twist the case. He said that everything will become clear once the charge-sheet in the case is submitted. Mufti Qavi granted bail in Qandeel Baloch murder case Presenting arguments, the suspect?s lawyer said that an accused, Aslam Shaheen, has been granted bail but Qavi, who is suspected of inciting Qandeel?s brother to murder her, is being denied bail A sessions court on Tuesday granted bail to Mufti Abdul Qavi, a suspect in the murder of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch, a day after his judicial remand was extended. On October 18, Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Pervez issued non-bailable warrants for Qavi after investigation officer Noor Akbar requested the court to do so on the grounds that the cleric is not cooperating with the police. The cleric was later arrested after reportedly attempting to escape. After being arrested, Qavi complained of chest pain and was admitted to a hospital. He also underwent angiography in the following days and was discharged later.
  19. geo_embedgallery ANGOOR ADDA: Pakistan's military took the rare step of flying international media to the border with Afghanistan Wednesday to showcase its efforts to harden the porous, militancy-wracked frontier: a chain-link fence shrouded in barbed wire. The roughly 10-foot tall fence ? which Pakistan announced it had begun building in March ? stretches through parts of the rugged tribal districts of North and South Waziristan along the Afghan border. Over recent decades militants from the Afghan Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other groups have operated with impunity in the region, crossing the colonial-era frontier at will. A top Pakistani officer in South Waziristan told foreign media at Angoor Adda's Hamza Fort that the fence was an "epoch shift" in control of the border. To date, only 43 kilometres of the border have been separated by the fence, but the officer said the entire length would be covered by the end of next year. "There'll not be an inch of the international border that shall not remain under observation by December of (20)18," said the officer, who the military requested not be named. Trump backs off Afghan withdrawal, slams Pakistan over ?terrorist safe havens? Trump warns vital aid could be cut if Pakistan does not stop "By the time we are done, Inshallah (God willing), we'll be very sure of one thing, that nobody can cross this place." Pakistani soldiers at the forts spaced along the frontier scanned the rolling, bush-covered hills on the other side. Inside the forts, more troops monitored CCTV cameras trained on the fence, illuminated by solar power at night. The military also took reporters by helicopter to Kitton Orchard Fort near Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan, more than 200 kilometres away. Pakistan and Afghanistan have long accused one another of offering safe havens in the border region, from where militants could launch devastating cross-frontier attacks. In August, US President Donald Trump lambasted Islamabad for harbouring "agents of chaos" on its soil. Washington has for years accused Pakistan of allowing Afghan Taliban fighters to regroup inside its borders and target NATO and Afghan troops inside Afghanistan. Islamabad has repeatedly denied the accusations and claimed the US has ignored the price it has paid in thousands of lives as it grapples with militancy. Fencing Problems: Torkham border remains closed for third day LANDIKOTAL: The Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained closed for the third consecutive day on Thursday after talks between Pakistani and Afghan authorities failed to reduce... Kabul, meanwhile, has denounced the fence, which threatens to upset the daily lives of communities who have traditionally paid little mind to the border. Afghanistan has refused to recognise the Durand Line ? a 2,400-kilometre frontier drawn by the British in 1896 ? as it splits the Pashtun ethnic group between the nations. Some villages straddle the frontier, with mosques and houses with one door in Pakistan and another in Afghanistan. Residents there now face stricter controls and are obliged to use official crossing points, which are subject to delays and frequent closures, including one that was lifted last week after a full month. The media visit to the fence came after a US drone targeted a compound along the border used by Taliban-allied Haqqani fighters late Monday, killing over two dozen militants. The barrage was initially reported to have struck inside Pakistan but this was later refuted by Islamabad, highlighting the opaque nature of where the border exactly lies.
  20. Manal al-Sharif SYDNEY: A Sydney-based Saudi rights activist who led a campaign for women to drive in the conservative kingdom Thursday vowed to return and become one of the first to legally get behind the wheel. Manal al-Sharif was imprisoned for nine days after posting a video of herself on YouTube and Facebook driving her car around the eastern city of Khobar in 2011 at the height of the "Women2Drive" protest movement. She said King Salman's historic decree this week allowing women to drive from next June brought her to tears. "I can't describe the joy I am feeling. This is a truly historic day," she told The Australian newspaper. "I'm being honest. I just cried. There had been rumours but you never dare believe them." Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to ban women driving, and it was seen globally as a symbol of repression in the Gulf kingdom. The king's decree is part of an ambitious reform push that runs the risk of a backlash from religious hardliners. "I'm going back, I'm going to drive -- legally!" said al-Sharif, who came to Australia after she was released from jail for the crime of "driving while female". "My car is still there, the one I drove. I refused to give it up. My family kept it for me. But I will drive legally this time." Manal al-Sharif /Twitter Despite the breakthrough that won plaudits internationally and from inside Saudi Arabia, she refused to take any credit, saying: "No, no, it wasn't me, it was everyone doing everything." Al-Sharif, 38, has long campaigned for women's rights in Saudi Arabia and this year published a memoir "Daring To Drive", which became a worldwide bestseller. In an opinion piece for The New York Times in June, she recounted how she narrowly avoided a public whipping for her driving exploits. "I was threatened -- imams wanted me to be publicly lashed -- and monitored and harassed," she wrote. "I was pushed out of my job. After that, I had to move from my home. "Without a safe place to work or live, with other Saudis calling for my death, I had no choice but to leave the only country I had ever known." She added: "I had driven with the hope of freeing women in Saudi society -- and by freeing women, I also hoped to free men." Saudi Arabia has some of the world's tightest restrictions on women. Under the country's guardianship system, a male family member -- normally the father, husband or brother -- must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and other activities. It was unclear whether women would require their guardian's permission to apply for driving licence.
  21. Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that she would talk with all mainstream parties about trying to form a "good, stable" government after Germany's watershed election, and vowed to try to win back voters who supported an upstart nationalist force. Sunday's election saw the rightwing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party poach one million votes from Merkel's conservatives, leaving her without an obvious coalition to lead Europe's largest economy. "We had hoped for a better result," she admitted, referring to her CDU/CSU bloc's score of 33 percent, its worst outcome since 1949. Merkel, 63, said she would now seek exploratory talks on an alliance with two smaller parties, the pro-business Free Democrats and the ecologist Greens. And she said she would extend an olive branch to the Social Democrats, her junior partners for eight of her 12 years in power, who suffered a crushing setback with just 20.5 percent share of the vote and pledged to go into opposition. The vote marked a breakthrough for the anti-Islam AfD, which with 12.6 percent became the third-strongest party, and it vowed to "go after" Merkel over her migrant and refugee policy. Merkel herself acknowledged that she had been a "polarising figure" to many people who ultimately gave their vote to the AfD, noting that voters in the AfD's strongholds in depressed corners of the ex-communist east felt "left behind". She said she believed that not all were diehard supporters of the AfD and that at least some could be won back "with good policies that solve problems". News weekly Der Spiegel said Merkel had no one but herself to blame for her election bruising. "Angela Merkel deserved this defeat," the magazine's Dirk Kurbjuweit wrote, accusing her of running an "uninspired" campaign and "largely ignoring the challenges posed by the right". 'Invasion of foreigners' The entry of around 90 hard-right MPs to the glass-domed Bundestag chamber breaks a taboo in post-World War II Germany. While joyful supporters of the AfD -- a party with links to the far-right French National Front and Britain's UKIP -- sang the German national anthem at a Berlin club as the results came in late Sunday, hundreds of protesters outside shouted "Nazis out!"shouted "Nazis out!" The AfD's top candidate in the election, Alexander Gauland, told reporters Monday that the party was the one true defender of a Germany for the Germans. "I don't want to lose Germany to an invasion of foreigners from foreign cultures," he said. He refused to back away from recent comments urging Germans to be proud of their war veterans, and calling for a government official who is of Turkish origin to be "dumped in Anatolia". But just hours after its triumph, the party's long-simmering infighting between radical and more moderate forces spilled out into the open at a dramatic news conference.spilled out into the open at a dramatic news conference. The AfD co-leader Frauke Petry stunned her colleagues by saying she would not join the party's parliamentary group and would serve as an independent MP. Another leading figure in the party, Alice Weidel, accused Petry of "irresponsibility" and urged her to quit. Political scientist Suzanne Schuettemeyer of Halle University in eastern Germany said the AfD's presence in parliament would harm the country's image abroad. "It's Germany and it will change the way we are perceived, because AfD will speak a language that we thought... was outside of our political consensus," she told AFP. 'Bitter disappointment' All other political parties have ruled out working with the AfD, whose leaders call Merkel a "traitor" for allowing in more than one million asylum seekers since 2015. Merkel said that while she was not seeking a repeat of the influx, she stood by her decision made on "humanitarian" grounds. But the leader of her Bavarian CSU allies, Horst Seehofer, a vocal critic of Merkel's asylum policy, called the vote outcome a "bitter disappointment" and pledged to close the "open flank" on the right before state elections next year. The Social Democrats' leader Martin Schulz, putting a brave face on his defeat, said the 150-year-old party, traditionally the voice of the working classes, would be "a strong opposition force in this country, to defend democracy in this country against those who question it and attack it". 'Shape continent's future' This will probably force Merkel to team up with two smaller, and very different, parties to form a lineup dubbed the "Jamaica coalition" because the three parties' colours match those of the Caribbean country's flag. One is the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), which with 10.7 percent made a comeback after crashing out of parliament four years ago. The other is the left-leaning Greens party, which won 8.9 percent on campaign pledges to drive forward the country's clean-energy transition. But with marked differences on issues ranging from EU integration to immigration, months of horse-trading could lie ahead to build a new government and avert snap elections. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker urged Merkel to form a stable government as soon as possible. "Europe needs a strong German government now more than ever, one able to actively shape the future of our continent," he said.
  22. OTTAWA: Admitting Canada has failed its indigenous people, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the United Nations on Thursday his government would do better to improve the lives of aboriginal Canadians and achieve reconciliation. Trudeau used his second-ever speech to the UN General Assembly to frankly acknowledge the dark history of Canada?s colonization and promise to do more to help the nation?s 1.4 million indigenous people. ?We have been working hard, in partnership with other orders of government, and with indigenous leaders in Canada, to correct past injustices and bring about a better quality of life for Indigenous Peoples in Canada,? Trudeau said in prepared remarks. ?Though this path is uncharted, I am confident that we will reach a place of reconciliation,? Trudeau later added. While Trudeau used his UN speech last year to highlight Canada?s strengths, a discourse the New York Times summed up as ?We?re Canadian and we?re here to help,? the prime minister took office in 2015 pledging to fix its relationship with aboriginals. Still, two years into Trudeau?s mandate, many accuse the prime minister of not doing enough to help indigenous Canadians, who make up about 4 percent of the population, and the UN speech follows a recent Cabinet shakeup aimed at revamping the government?s approach to aboriginal affairs. Many aboriginal communities do not have access to safe drinking water, and suicides have plagued several isolated communities in recent months. Acknowledging Canada?s attempt to force assimilation through residential schooling and other repressive policies, Trudeau called the high levels of poverty and violence aboriginals face ?the legacy of colonialism in Canada.? Trudeau promised to move forward with a review of federal laws and policy, and to support indigenous self-determination. Trudeau in August reshuffled his Cabinet to put more emphasis on helping aboriginal people, splitting the federal indigenous and northern affairs ministry in two.
  23. AD Khawaja speaks to media in Sukkur SUKKUR: Inspector-General Police Sindh AD Khawaja on Monday vowed to bring improvement in the police department with the cooperation of the Sindh government. Speaking to media here earlier today, AD Khawaja said it was not possible for the IG to operate without the support of the provincial government. ?IG is part of Sindh government. We have full backing of the Sindh government, that is why we are able to operate,? he said. The IG Police further pointed out that the powers of his position are set by the Sindh High Court. ?I want to honestly give my 100%, will bring improvement in the [police] department with the cooperation of the [Sindh] government.? Khawaja said the police force will ensure strict security arrangements for the month of Muharram. Not disappointed by court's verdict in IGP case: CM Sindh 'We have a few reservations [with the IGP's case] but consultations are underway, Last week, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah had said he was not disappointed with the verdict in AD Khawaja's case, according to which the Sindh High Court had dismissed the provincial government's order to remove Khawaja as Sindh Police?s top boss.
  24. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/facf480bd6359942815e83b0d5f339aa.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9OS8xNy8yMDE3IDU6NTU6MDkgUE0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT1HaWlSZTlWeWZLc0laMWx5dE1kOUVRPT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr. Yasmin Rashid Sunday vowed that she would be approaching the courts against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over alleged registration of 29000 bogus votes in NA-120, Lahore. ?We have reservations against the election commission and will approach the court against them,? Rashid said while speaking to reporters here on Sunday. "I had said whether I win of lose, I will go against the ECP." Rashid referred to the 29000 votes registered in NA-120, which her party claims are ?bogus and belong to areas outside of the constituency?, and has filed a petition in the ECP pertaining to it. Alleging pre-poll rigging, the PTI nominee said "our fight has not ended. It will continue as long as the ECP does not become an independent institution". According to Rashid, the PTI would announce its next course of action during a news conference on Monday. Thanking supporters, Rashid said during this by-election a new trend had been created for Pakistan. ?You showed us that middle class people like us can also contest election,? she added.
  25. LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz met Jamiat Ulema Pakistan leader Pir Ijaz in the provincial capital on Wednesday. While speaking to the media on the occasion, Ijaz vowed to support PML-N in the NA-120 by-election that is around the corner. He said JUP and Muslim League worked together for the formation on Pakistan. Therefore, he added, they would back PML-N in its endeavours for the country?s prosperity. Maryam spoke to the media after meeting Ijaz, saying she is representing the entire Sharif family as her mother was away for treatment in London and her father and uncle were also there. Speaking about former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar, Maryam said she respected him regardless and what he said was his way of expressing his thoughts. Earlier, Nisar had said Maryam should only be considered Nawaz's daughter. "Children are only children, they cannot be accepted as leaders," Nisar had said, adding that they are "non-political". The ex-minister had stressed that Nawaz's daughter needed to prove her mettle first by engaging in real politics. "Maryam Nawaz should understand and partake in practical politics. Only then can she be considered a leader," Nisar had said.