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Found 32 results

  1. A pedestrian walks past a Zara shop on Oxford Street, London, December 11, 2008. REUTERS/Andrew Winning/Files LONDON: Workers in Turkey who stitched pleas for help into clothing sold by retailer Zara are ?just the tip of the iceberg? and highlight the need for mechanisms to address concerns about labour conditions, a top human rights expert said on Wednesday. Shoppers in Istanbul discovered notes in clothing saying workers had not been paid at the Bravo Tekstil factory in Turkey, according to widespread media reports this month. Zara?s parent company Inditex has said it will launch a fund to help compensate the unpaid workers, but such funds can fall short or even backfire, said John Morrison, chief executive of Britain?s Institute for Human Rights and Business. ?Workers are often very scared to (publicly complain), so you can imagine how bad the situation is,? Morrison said on the sidelines of the Thomson Reuters Foundation?s annual two-day Trust Conference that focuses on forced labour and other issues. ?I think it?s the tip of the iceberg,? Morrison said. Bravo Tekstil, which supplied garments to Zara and other brands, shut down in 2016 owing wages and severance payments to 140 workers, according to reports. Inditex, a Spanish retail giant whose brands include Zara, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Since the campaign began, thousands of people have been posting support for the workers on social media using the hashtag #BravoIscileriIcinAdalet, which translates as ?Justice for Bravo workers?. Morrison said such a move by desperate workers shows a need for effective mechanisms that allow them to air grievances and complaints and seek justice without fear of retribution. ?When factories have a grievance mechanism that the workers actually trust and they think is going to be effective, they don?t do things like that,? he said. Zara has said its so-called hardship fund would help the affected workers who, according to reports, are seeking 2,739,281 Turkish Lira ($705,000). Reparation funds are valuable but can be tricky to implement, Morrison told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. ?They?re not tackling the underlying issue,? he said. ?They?re important for individual victims, but if there?s a system that?s wrong, then you?re going to have more and more victims coming.? Also, he said, corrupt labour recruiters who connect workers with jobs can get their hands on that money as well. ?You?ve got to make sure when you do that, that you?re not just putting more money into a corrupt system,? he said. ?via Thomson Reuters Foundation
  2. (L-R from top): US film producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, Director James Toback, Producer Brett Ratner, French-Polish director Roman Polanski and comedian Bill Cosby. Combination photo created on November 3, 2017. AFP/Getty Images North America/Yann Coatsaliou, Frederic J. Brown, Tiziana Fabi, Frederick M. Brown, Laurent Emmanuel, Don Emmert NEW YORK: During her thirties, Kate was groped twice by a colleague, another pressed his leg against her during a meeting and a boss turned hostile after she rebuffed his advances. On some mornings, she vomited before going to work because she was so anxious about seeing a manager who made endless sexual innuendos - which eventually drove her to quit. ?That guy was motivated by real contempt for women,? said Kate, 43, by phone, declining to give her surname. Kate said she did not dare speak out until her last day at the Boston firm when she complained to human resources. Such reluctance to report sexual harassment is common, experts said, as people often fear they will not be taken seriously, be branded a complainer, get colleagues fired or lose their own jobs. While allegations of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein?s predatory sexual behaviour have moved millions of women to share their stories of abuse on social media with the hashtag #MeToo, experts doubt there will be much change in the workplace. ?In the aftermath of the Weinstein scandal, we have not been informed about any new commitments ... companies are taking to fight against sexual harassment,? said Deborah Gillis, head of Catalyst, a non-profit advocating for women in business. Only one of the 20 top Fortune 500 largest US companies responded to queries from the Thomson Reuters Foundation as to whether the recent scandals had prompted them to revisit their sexual harassment policies. ?Harassment, even in its most subtle forms, directly conflicts with company policy,? a spokeswoman for Exxon Mobil said in emailed comments, adding that the oil producer had a zero-tolerance policy toward harassment. The remainder declined to comment or did not respond. Yet sexual harassment in the workplace is ubiquitous, experts say. Between 25 to 85 percent of women reported being sexually harassed at work, a 2016 report by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found. But the federal agency, which is responsible for handling such allegations, received less than 10,000 complaints a year between 2011 and 2016. The EEOC found that employees routinely fail to report harassment because they anticipate negative reactions, such as being blamed for undermining morale or subjected to retaliation that could damage their career or personal reputation. Zero tolerance US companies? reaction to the raging public debate about harassment has been muted. Experts said it was unlikely that corporations would take significant actions that could end a culture of silence over workplace abuse. ?These scandals, if anything, are going to get organizations to dust off their copies of their (harassment) policies,? Margaret Stockdale, a professor of psychology at the Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI), said by phone. Some firms would also likely retrain employees and issue notices that sexual harassment is not tolerated, she added. Managers at Amazon and the global advertising firm Interpublic Group of Companies sent zero tolerance memos to their staff last month, according to media reports. Fidelity Investments chairman, Abigail Johnson, also sent a video message to staff about the Boston-based company?s ?no tolerance? policy, after two managers accused of sexual harassment were fired. But such policies risk backfiring, said Meg Bond, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. ?If immediately the axe will always fall, it sounds tough. But what (research) found is that it sometimes discourages people from raising those issues,? she said. ?You?re not ready to raise it in a way that is going to get somebody fired,? she said in a phone interview. Zoe Chance, an assistant professor of marketing at Yale University who has written on sexual harassment, said new approaches are necessary - but it is not clear what works. ?Doing more of what companies are already doing, I don?t think will yield positive results,? she said. Up-and-coming initiatives include training bystanders to speak up when witnessing harassment, and to assess employees? ability to treat colleagues with respect as part of their performances reviews, Bond said. Stockdale of IUPUI said programs which track acts of retaliation by those accused of harassment also appear promising in encouraging victims to speak out. Back in Boston, Kate, who told her story as part of the #MeToo movement, has modest expectations. She first went public on Twitter a year ago, when the nation was abuzz over a video showing Donald Trump brag about grabbing women by the genitals as he was running for the presidency. ?I hope this isn?t a blip,? she said. ?We had this identical conversation last year.? ?via Thomson Reuters Foundation
  3. PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz assured disenchanted local leaders and party workers in the NA-120 constituency that their reservations will be addressed. Photo: Geo News LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz on Monday assured disenchanted local leaders and party workers in the NA-120 constituency that their reservations will be addressed. "The reservations of upset workers must be addressed and resolved," she said, adding that a weekly contact with the constituency's party workers and citizens is imperative. Maryam also visited old Anarkali, and assured residents that the area's issues will be resolved on a priority basis. The former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter stood victorious in the NA-120 by-polls that she campaigned for on behalf of the PML-N candidate and her mother Kulsoom Nawaz, who was under treatment for lymphoma in London during the elections. Maryam Nawaz denies saying family asked her to take party charge The former first daughter says Nawaz Sharif will lead the party and she is not even an aspirant The 44-year old, who happens to be one of her father's closest advisers, is a recent entrant in the political arena. Her successful campaign in the NA-120 by-polls is one of the most significant feats in her political career. She has repeatedly quashed news of internal strife within the family and the party. Despite the news of differences that recently emerged between Maryam and her uncle, Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif and his children, she has publicly praised her family.
  4. DOHA: World Cup 2022 host Qatar, under global scrutiny over its alleged ill-treatment of migrant labourers, is to introduce a minimum wage for workers, official state media said Wednesday. Qatar News Agency also announced that the gas-rich emirate has signed bilateral accords with 36 countries from which it draws most of its two-million-strong foreign workforce, to provide legal protection for workers headed to the Gulf. The announcements came on the eve of an International Labour Organisation (ILO) meeting that could see the launch of a formal investigation by the UN agency into Qatar's treatment of migrant workers. The minimum wage initiative and the agreements were announced by Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi, minister of administrative development, labour and social affairs, during a meeting with foreign diplomats. A minimum wage would aim to "meet the necessary needs of the worker to live at an appropriate humanitarian level", said the minister, quoted by QNA. No details were given of when the minimum wage would be introduced or at what level. Workers in Qatar, unions and rights groups have claimed that many have been lured to work in the Gulf for wages considerably less than they had been promised. There has also been widespread criticism that a large number of workers are not paid their salaries on time, leading to hardship for the most vulnerable. In February 2015, Qatar introduced the Wage Protection System, a major reform, designed to ensure workers receive their salaries electronically, either fortnightly or monthly. The ILO meeting starting on Thursday in Geneva is expected to run until November 9, with Qatar being discussed towards the end of the meeting. If the UN agency decides to launch an investigation, it could prove embarrassing for Qatar and other organisations, including world football's governing body, FIFA.
  5. ISLAMABAD: On this year?s World Polio Day, the National Islamic Advisory Group for Polio Eradication (NIAG) has paid tribute to all of Pakistan?s valiant ?Sehat Muhafiz? who are setting an inspiring example of dedication on the frontlines in the fight against polio. Pakistan stands today on the brink of ending the scourge of polio, and ?Sehat Muhafiz? are leading the charge. ?What all these 250,000 men and women have in common is commitment. By vaccinating every child and ensuring that no child is missed, they are building community immunity?a critical step on the road to eradication,? said Dr. Sohail Hassan, Director of the Dawah Academy at International Islamic University and Chairman of NIAG. Maulana Hanif Jalandhry, general secretary of Wifaq-Ul-Madarris and president of NIAG Core Group said, ?With courage and perseverance, our Sehat Muhafiz supported by more than 1,000 religious support persons to travel the length and breadth of the country to educate their communities, spread awareness about the compliance of polio vaccine with Islamic Sharia and vaccinate children to make polio in Pakistan history.? Every year on the World Polio Day, the world is reminded that a disease that has paralyzed and killed children for thousands of years still remains among us. While most of the world is polio-free, Pakistan, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, remain the last three countries where the poliovirus still circulates, threatening the wellbeing and future of children. Only a few years ago, polio eradication in Pakistan was hindered due to misperceptions and lack of safe access to children by vaccination teams. The Pakistan polio programme has come a long way. The progress achieved since the beginning of 2015 is now visible in the declining number of wild poliovirus cases. From 306 in 2014, the number of cases declined to 54 in 2015, and 20 in 2016. So far in 2017, the total number of cases reported stands at five, compared to 16 this time last year. NIAG reiterated its full endorsement of the oral polio vaccine. ?We call on all parents to vaccinate their children against this debilitating but preventable disease,? said NAIG member and Chairman of the Rotary Ulama Committee Haji Hanif Tayyab. Guided by the irrefutable words of the Almighty Allah in Surrah Al-Anaam verse 140: ?They are losers who foolishly have slain their children without knowledge.? Maulana Sami Ul Haq, NIAG member and Head of Jamia Haqqania Akora Khattak, said, ?It is every individual?s duty to protect themselves and their communities from diseases. Believing in rumors and depriving our children of their right to good health is not only sinful, but also believing in falsehood.? Although there is no cure for polio, the virus can be prevented and eliminated through immunization. As long as the purpose of vaccination is the welfare of people and the substance used to make vaccines was uncontaminated and not forbidden, it is therefore ?acceptable to Sharia? ? or Islamic law. All parents are called on to step forward and allow their children under the age of five to be vaccinated against polio every time the vaccine is offered. To fulfill our national promise of a polio-free Pakistan to future generations, NIAG has called upon all learned religious leaders to continue enlightening communities about the rights of children to the best start in life and protection against polio and all other childhood diseases. ?Crippled children lead to a crippled Muslim Ummah. May Allah protect our children from all harm and bring them up to be healthy and productive members of the Ummah they deserve to be,? said NIAG Chairman Dr. Sohail Hassan. ? Originally published in The News
  6. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz on Monday thanked the workers for extending their support to the party leadership. Maryam Nawaz, and her husband MNA Captain (retd) Safdar appeared before the accountability court in a NAB reference case, in light of the Supreme Court's orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz speaking to workers outside Chaudhry Muneer's residence. Photo: Geo News After the hearing, Maryam and her husband went to the house of their daughter's father-in-law, Chaudhry Muneer, in Sector F-6. Later, Maryam tweeted that "one comes, the other goes. [but] at least we have come unlike others who run away". Speaking outside the residence of Munir to party activists, she said: "from the bottom of my heart I thank you all, you come here to support us leaving aside your work. We get courage from your passion. Without you all we are nothing." Without taking any name, she said: "Our workers have done tremendous work in NA-120. You all know, who you have defeated?" Earlier, Maryam while speaking to the media after appearing before the accountability court, she said those who appear in court are being arrested form the airport while absconders are running free and holding rallies. Court approves Maryam, Safdar's bail; separates cases of Nawaz's sons The hearing has been adjourned until Oct 13 when Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar are expected to be indicted "But we are not ones to be afraid of being arrested," she added. "Judges will have to answer as questions are raised when a case over Panama [Papers] ended up on the Iqama [foreign work permit which led to Nawaz's disqualification]," she remarked. The court on Monday approved Safdar's bail and ordered him to submit a surety bond worth Rs50 million. He was also directed to take the court's permission before leaving the country. After providing a copy of the reference ? spread over 53 volumes ? to Maryam and Safdar, Judge Mohammad Bashir also directed her to submit a surety bond of Rs5 million. [embed_video1 url= style=center]
  7. LAHORE: PML-N chief and former Nawaz Sharif will address a workers convention in Alhambra Hall. Nawaz was flanked by senior party leaders including, Shehbaz Sharif, Pervaiz Rashid, Saad Rafique and Asif Kirmani. Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the party's victory in the recently held NA-120 by-polls was a historic win for the PML-N government. He also said the government of Nawaz Sharif was responsible for bringing the crippling energy crisis in the country under control. The younger Sharif laid heavy criticism on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan and said the PTI government does not even know the amount of electricity produced in the province. "There was a dengue virus outbreak in the province and Imran Khan was touring the northern areas of the country," said the Punjab chief minister.
  8. source: Doha News DUBAI: World Cup 2022 host Qatar must urgently introduce laws to protect the lives of up to 800,000 migrant construction labourers working in scorching temperatures, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday. The New York-based organisation also called on the Gulf state to investigate workers´ deaths and make those findings public. "The Qatari authorities' failure to put in place the most basic protection from the heat, their decision to ignore recommendations that they investigate worker deaths, and their refusal to release data on these deaths, constitutes a willful abdication of responsibility," said report author Nicholas McGeehan. He also called on football's world governing body, FIFA, national associations and World Cup sponsors to demand further protection from heat and humidity for Qatar's workers. McGeehan added: "They should also be demanding answers to two simple questions - how many workers have died since 2012 and how they have died?" Qatar has introduced laws to stop people working outside between 11:30 am and 3:00 pm annually from June 15 to August 31, when temperatures can reach around 50 degrees Celsius. But HRW says these measures do not go far enough. "Limiting work temperatures to safe temperatures - not set by a clock or calendar - is well within the capacity of the Qatari government and will help protect hundreds of thousands of workers," said Sarah Leah Whitson. Temperatures in Qatar are currently in the high 30s Celsius and humidity levels are above 50 percent. The HRW says medical research suggests heat stress is a genuine risk to those working outside, and it has called for greater flexibility by Qatari authorities. In rare praise for Qatar's World Cup organisers, it said the government should follow the example of compulsory work-to-rest ratios introduced for the 12,000 helping build venues for 2022. "If Qatar's World Cup organisers can mandate a climate-based work ban, then the Qatar government can follow its lead," added Whitson. However, it called for much greater transparency by Doha on the vexed issue of worker deaths. It said figures were last made available in 2012. Out of the 520 deaths then for workers from Bangladesh, India and Nepal, 385, or 74 per cent, were "neither explained nor investigated". The HRW said there had been 10 deaths reported by World Cup organisers between October 2015 and July 2017, eight classified as "non-work related".
  9. Post office employees pose on a 900 square meters farm garden on the rooftop of their postal sorting center, as part of a project by Facteur Graine (Seed Postman). Photo: REUTERS PARIS: An urban agriculture initiative to make Paris more environmentally sustainable, mainly through farming on the capital?s rooftops, has been such a success that the mayor is unveiling a new round of projects this week. Rooftop farming has boomed in the past years from New York to Tokyo via London and Paris. By 2020, the French capital will host more than 100 hectares (0.39 square mile) of rooftop gardens and planted walls, the Paris City Hall said. Of this, one-third will be devoted to urban farming. The first wave of projects will lead to the cultivation on 32 sites of 425 tonnes of fruits and vegetables, 24 tonnes of mushrooms, 30,000 flowers, the production of 8,000 litres of beer and 95 kilogrammes of honey. A box of vegetables is displayed at a 900 square meters farm garden on the rooftop of a postal sorting centre, as part of a project by Facteur Graine. Photo: REUTERS These include a 900 square metre rooftop farming project on top of a French Post Office building housing around 500 employees in northern Paris. Surrounded by high towers, postal workers grow fruit and vegetables including lettuces, aubergines and tomatoes, and breed chickens on 90 tonnes of earth deposited on the roof. ?We are postal workers who thought it was nice to be able to fulfil our dream, which is to work for a more edible city,? said Sophie Jankowski, head of Facteur Graine (Seed Postman), which manages the Post Office?s rooftop garden, told Reuters TV. One of the association?s commitment is to use old vegetable varieties, such as high-quality tomatoes which do not travel well over long distances, she said. ?We want to give taste to life but also to plates.? The project also changed the way employees see their workplace. ?It helps us connect with nature. We?re in front of computers, we live in a virtual world, so doing those little things help people reconnect with each other, with the living,? Corinne Lienhart, communications officer and volunteer, said.
  10. One of the four workers who fell into the tank, identified as Abu Bakar, was rescued: Photo: Geo News KARACHI: Three factory workers lost their lives after they fell in a chemical tank in Karachi's Ibrahim Haidri vicinity late Saturday. One of the four workers who fell into the tank, identified as Abu Bakar, was rescued. Three factory workers lost their lives after they fell in a chemical tank in Karachi's Ibrahim Haidri vicinity late Saturday. Photo: Geo News "He is in critical condition and has been transferred to Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre," a rescue worker said. The bodies were recovered soon after the incident was reported. Four labourers died after falling into an underground chemical tank of an industrial unit one after another in the Bin Qasim area earlier this year on July 21. The incident comes as a grim reminder of last year?s tragedy that resulted in the loss of five lives in a Korangi factory.
  11. SITTWE: Relief agencies struggling to reach hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims displaced by strife in northwestern Myanmar are facing rising hostility from ethnic Rakhine Buddhists who accuse the United Nations and foreign aid groups of only helping Muslims. So far, the Myanmar government has only granted Red Cross organisations access to the area. The United Nations suspended its activities and evacuated non-critical staff after the government suggested it had supported Rohingya insurgents. Already battling against bad weather, tough terrain and obstructive bureaucracy, the Red Cross also ran into an angry mob, who believe the foreign aid agencies have ignored the suffering of Rakhine Buddhists in Myanmar?s poorest state. On Wednesday a mob in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, tried to block a boat carrying International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) aid to the north, where attacks by Rohingya militants on Aug 25 prompted Myanmar?s generals to order a sweeping counter-insurgency offensive. The mob was armed with sticks, knives and petrol bombs, and only dispersed after police fired rubber bullets. Four days earlier a Myanmar Red Cross truck was stopped and searched by Rakhine residents in Sittwe. ?With heightened tensions in Rakhine State, humanitarian staff and private contractors are facing serious challenges in implementing life-saving activities,? said Pierre Peron, spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Myanmar. In the past month, 420,000 Rohingya have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh to avoid what the U.N. human rights chief has called ethnic cleansing. Foreign aid groups are now scaling up to help Bangladesh cope with a humanitarian disaster of biblical proportions. Back in Myanmar, a separate crisis is unfolding on multiple fronts, many of them much harder to reach. ?Many ongoing humanitarian activities that existed before August 25th have still not resumed,? said Peron. ?For the sake of vulnerable people in all communities in Rakhine State, urgent measures must be taken to allow vital humanitarian activities to resume.? In northern Rakhine, tens of thousands of people, most of them Rohingya, are displaced but haven?t crossed into Bangladesh. Closer to Sittwe, 140,000 Rohingya displaced by previous religious unrest are confined to squalid camps. They depend on foreign aid that has been severely restricted since Aug. 25. About 6,000 Buddhists have also fled to Sittwe, where they are cared for at monasteries by the government and Rakhine volunteers. Broken trust Ethnic Rakhine have long complained that foreign aid agencies have given generously to Muslims while ignoring other equally needy people. ?All people in Rakhine are suffering, but only Muslims get help,? said Htun Aung Kyaw, chief of the Arakan National Party (ANP). Rakhine residents of Sittwe interviewed by Reuters said they believed that UN estimates of refugee numbers were exaggerated and that Rohingya camps near the city faced no shortages. ?They have more than enough,? said Kyaw Sein of Rakhine Alin Dagar, a Rakhine advocacy group in Sittwe. Kyaw Sein said she hadn?t visited the camps, but said in the past she had seen Muslims selling oil, rice and other aid in local markets. She said relations between the foreign aid groups and the Rakhine people had been poisoned by years of neglect and favouritism. ?It?s difficult to say what they can do to win back our trust,? she said. ?Bigger attacks? Further eroding that trust are rumours that aid deliveries could be used to smuggle weapons to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), the militant group behind the attacks on security forces last month and in October 2016. ?The Rakhine have no weapons to protect themselves with,? said the ANP?s Htun Aung Kyaw. ?That?s why they?re so terrified.? Such fears have been stoked by social media and by the discovery of World Food Program-branded biscuits at a suspected militant camp on July 30. They have also prompted the authorities to restrict humanitarian access to some Rohingya villages on security grounds, say aid workers. Htun Aung Kyaw predicted ?bigger and bigger attacks?, especially if ARSA drew support from groups such as Daesh. Those concerns were echoed on Thursday by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy, who warned of ?a more significant terrorism problem? if the Rakhine crisis was not properly addressed. Murphy also criticized the Myanmar security forces for ?a response that is disproportionate and failed to protect all local populations.? The United Nations rights body has called it ?a textbook example of ethnic cleansing?, with reports of hundreds of Muslim villages razed and abuses by soldiers, police and Rakhine vigilantes. Even so, many people in Myanmar - not just Rakhine - appear to believe the military?s explanation: the Rohingya set their own houses alight before fleeing. Rakhine interviewed by Reuters said the Rohingya did this to win sympathy from aid groups, galvanize opposition in the Muslim world and ensure that nearby Rakhine houses burned down too. Some aid workers privately scoffed at such views, but they also admitted that their early failure to engage and understand the Rakhine has made their current work more difficult. Graziella Leite Piccoli, the ICRC?s regional spokesperson, said aid workers ?should never be targeted?, and her colleagues were working to convince local communities that they are there to help everyone.
  12. source: UPS Twitter WASHINGTON: US package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc said on Wednesday it expected to hire about 95,000 seasonal employees for the upcoming, crucial peak holiday season. These employees would support the expected increase in package volume that will begin in November and continue through January, UPS said. Peak season begins on Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in November, and runs through early January when there is a large wave of returns. The number of seasonal workers UPS hires for the holiday season has not changed since 2014. The company has about 355,000 permanent employees in the United States. Up to 35 percent of seasonally hired employees over the last three years have become full-time employees, UPS said. UPS has been working closely with retailers to manage the holiday season surge in demand, since struggling with deliveries in 2013 and 2014. The company had grappled with bad weather and a late surge in e-commerce orders during the 2013 holiday season. On some days during last year?s holiday season, UPS?s average daily volume surpassed 30 million packages, far exceeding its normal daily average of more than 19 million. FedEx Corp, UPS?s main rival, is yet to announce its seasonal hiring plans. But both UPS and FedEx, often considered bellwethers for the US economy, have spent billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to handle rapidly rising e-commerce package volumes, leaving investors chafing over the expense. UPS said in June it would levy surcharges on US residential packages during the holiday season. US retailers, such as Target Corp and Macy?s Inc, also announced holiday hiring to improve customer service on their sales floors and better handle the use of their stores to fulfill online orders.
  13. In a yet another terror attack in London, a homemade bomb exploded on the District Underground Line during rush hour in the morning. The explosion, that has left more than 20 people with severe burn injuries, brings the number of terror attacks in the country this year to five! The bomb, which was hidden in a plastic bucket inside a supermarket freezer bag, was described by witnesses as a ‘wall of fire'. The bomb reportedly went off at about 8:2AM, while the train was at the Parsons Green station in southwest London, and now the British police are now on a massive manhunt to track down the suspect. As soon as the news of the explosion spread, a lot of people came forward on Twitter to condemn this heinous terror attack. And, obviously, the social media site was filled with messages praying for the country and the people affected. Just like always, there are some people who become the silver lining during times like these, selflessly helping out as much as they can. One such man created a lot of buzz on Twitter by giving out free pizzas and water bottles to people affected by the blast. The kind man, identified as Teo, owns a local Italian pizza parlour called Pagliaccio, set up a stall at the bottom of Parsons Green and handed out water and 200 free pizzas – with police officers, firefighters and NHS staff all getting a piece of the pie. Soon, his pictures and videos started circulating online, with everyone praising him for his kind gesture. Local business handing out free pizza for police #ParsonsGreen #ParsonsGreenExplosion — Sara Spary (@saramayspary) September 15, 2017 Wonderful. I hope this guy gets loads more business for his pizza place after this, wonderful gesture. #ParsonsGreen — David Atkins ð¬ð§ (@DavidAtkins42) September 15, 2017 Man giving out free pizza at #parsonsgreen ð — ðFreddieFoxFloatsð (@Wuulffish) September 15, 2017 Teodoro from @ilpagliaccio giving out free pizza and water to emergency services at #parsonsgreen. A top man. — Hugh Coyne (@HughCoyne) September 15, 2017 This nice chap is dishing out free pizza and water on the scene at #ParsonsGreen - lots of police officers have been fed by him — Paul McNamara (@PGMcNamara) September 15, 2017 Local restaurant @ilpagliaccio gives away free pizza and water to police and emergency services #parsonsgreen true spirit! — Deborah Lewis (@DeborahInComms) September 15, 2017 Pizza delivery! Officers at the cordon offered some free food. It's the little things! #ParsonsGreen @GetWestLondon — Shona Duthie (@ShonaDuthie4) September 15, 2017 And, he wasn't the only one. There were so many others who came out to selflessly help out in any way they could – from offering free cab rides to opening their homes to the people affected. It's incredible to see the united front all the citizens put up at times like these.
  14. LAHORE: Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, addressed a workers convention in the provincial capital on Monday. While addressing the convention, Maryam said her mother Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is not contesting the NA-120 by-election only as the wife of the former president. But, Maryam added, Kulsoom Nawaz stood up for the party at a time when the party?s leader, Nawaz, was sent into exile. "When I stepped out to campaign for the NA-120 by-elections I wanted to present Nawaz Sharif's case before the public's court," Maryam maintained. "But with the passage of time I have realised that the public has not accepted the injustice meted out to Nawaz Sharif." Maryam also appreciated the party workers for their discipline, saying it is often difficult to keep a political party event going on in an organised manner. "But today I can see discipline." The workers? convention is held in connection with the campaign for NA-120 by-election that is due on September 17. The NA-120 seat fell vacant following the disqualification of Nawaz as the prime minister by the Supreme Court on July 28. In the 2013 General Elections, Nawaz had won the seat by a substantial margin, defeating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf?s Yasmin Rashid, who will be contesting for the seat this time around too.
  15. LONDON: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in London on Thursday to tend to his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, however, a crowd of workers gathered to welcome him didn?t let the former prime minister's speech upon arrival go smoothly. Nawaz Sharif left Lahore on Wednesday to meet his wife and sons who are present in London these days due to the ongoing cancer treatment of Kulsoom Nawaz. When the former prime minister arrived in London early morning, where party workers got uncontrolled and unruly, following which police was summoned. The Pakistan Muslim League?s former president had barely delivered a few words that the disorder among workers made him leave immediately for his residence. The former prime minister said that he would address the media after a few days. Nawaz off to London to meet ailing wife The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader will be abroad with his wife and sons during Eid-ul-Azha PML-N leader Zubair GUl while speaking to Geo News said that the disorder was caused due to inadequate security measures in place. Nawaz Sharif will spend Eid-ul Azha with his wife and sons in London, whereas, his daughter Maryam Nawaz is in Lahore managing the NA-120 election campaign in absence of her mother. Maryam Nawaz has taken charge of running election campaign of her mother in the constituency. Maryam Nawaz disclosed last week that Kulsoom was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes on the left side of her neck. Doctors have said that Kulsoom?s ailment is curable and the ?treatment shouldn?t be too complicated.? Meanwhile, a party source in London had informed that a public rally would be held in West London where Nawaz would speak to his supporters from across the United Kingdom. Following Nawaz?s disqualification by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, the NA-120 seat had fallen vacant. The PML-N then nominated Kulsoom Nawaz as their candidate for the by-poll scheduled for Sept 17.
  16. As many as two people were killed in the clash between workers of PTI and PML-N. Photo: Geo News screen grab KHANEWAL: One person was killed and two others injured in a clash between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers in Khanewal early Friday morning. According to the police, the workers of the opposing political parties had clashed during Independence Day rally. However, the workers again clashed near Khanewal?s Al-Hadees Chowk. The workers attacked each other with sticks and iron rods. As a result, a second-year student, identified as Aalim Amir, was killed and two others injured. One person also went missing in the clash. The injured were shifted to District Headquarters Hospital. Police have registered a case and conducting operations to arrest suspects, who managed to escape after the clash.
  17. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday condemned the 'attack' by PML-N workers at Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rasheed's residence. Imran added that they "will not tolerate such intimidation". The PTI chairman also claimed that the ruling PML-N has gone back to its old ways of attacking and intimidating their opponents and institutions. The opposition PTI and the ruling PML-N have been trading allegations recently, after the apex court's verdict in the Panama Papers case and the allegations brought forward by MNA Ayesha Gulalai. PTI has alleged that Gulalai has been bribed by the ruling party, while at the same time denying her allegations.
  18. The North Korean flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files WASHINGTON: Journalists and humanitarian workers may apply for exceptions to a new ban on US citizens' travel to North Korea, the State Department said in a public notice on Wednesday. The US government last month said it would bar Americans from travelling to North Korea due to the risk of "long-term detention" in the country. American student Otto Warmbier, sentenced last year to 15 years' hard labour in North Korea, returned to the United States in a coma on June 13 after being released on humanitarian grounds and died June 19. The circumstances surrounding his death are not clear, including why he fell into a coma. North Korea has said through its state media that Warmbier's death was "a mystery" and dismissed accusations that he had died as a result of torture and beating in captivity. The State Department issued a notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday declaring US passports invalid for travel to, in or through North Korea. The restriction takes effect in 30 days and applies for one year unless extended or revoked by the secretary of state. Professional reporters or journalists, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross or the American Red Cross traveling on official missions, those traveling to North Korea for "compelling humanitarian considerations", and those whose requests are "in the national interest" may ask for a special validation of their passports in order to travel to the country, the State Department said. North Korea is currently holding two Korean-American academics and a missionary, a Canadian pastor, and three South Korean nationals who were doing missionary work. Japan says North Korea has also detained at least several dozens of its nationals.
  19. Opponents of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz shout slogans after the Supreme Court´s decision to disqualify Nawaz, in Islamabad. Photo: Reuters LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz workers protested and confronted their counterparts from rival political parties in different cities of the country, specifically in Punjab on Friday. Clashes and protests began before and after the Supreme Court?s verdict disqualifying Nawaz Sharif. In Lahore, PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party workers came face-to-face n front of the press club. The PPP workers were chanting slogans against Nawaz, while those from PML-N were shouting statements in favour of their party chief. Later, after the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif, workers of both the parties hurled harsh statements at each other. While expressing their excitement over Nawaz?s disqualification, PPP workers were seen dancing outside the press club. As more workers of PML-N reached the site to counter the celebrations, measures were taken to avoid any untoward incident ? heavy contingents of police were called and barbed wires were set up. At the gathering, a woman from PML-N fell unconscious while shouting slogans. A supporter of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz passes out during a gathering in Lahore. Photo: Reuters Besides, PML-N workers organised a rally in Johar Town and some protested near Liberty Chowk in Gulberg. In Gujranwala, PML-N workers took to the streets against the apex court?s decision. When police tried to stop them, again harsh words were exchanged between law-enforcers and PML-N workers. Some party workers also burnt tyres on Jinnah Road, blocking the route for traffic. In Islamabad, PML-N workers confronted those from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf outside the Supreme Court. There too workers chanted slogans against each other?s parties. On the other hand, PML-N workers had started gathering at Shahra-e-Dastoor in Islamabad before the verdict was announced. The party workers were holding placards inscribed with slogans against Imran Khan. The apex court announced Nawaz?s disqualification after three judges of the five-member bench gave their statements ? two had already given their decision during an earlier hearing.
  20. A PTI protesters during an anti-govt rally in Rawalpindi in October 2016. Photo: Reuters ISLAMABAD: Workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) taken into custody during the party?s ?November 2 lockdown? last year were acquitted of all charges on Friday. Golra police had registered an FIR against several PTI workers, armed with ?dandas? [sticks] for indulging in ?unlawful? activity when the party initiated its protest ?lockdown? of the capital. The suspects, already out on bail, had sought their acquittal under Section 249-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The plea stated that no evidence was recovered against the accused, adding that they were taken into custody while travelling in a vehicle. Police push Khattak-led PTI caravan back to Swabi Interchange Police used tear gas on PTI workers after they tried to remove barricades placed to prevent them from entering Punjab The magistrate accepted the petition and ordered acquittal of all the accused in the case seeing ?no chances of their conviction?. The magistrate also ordered for their bail bonds to be released and sureties discharged. PTI had announced that it will ?lockdown? Islamabad on November 2 to pressurise the prime minister to hold himself accountable for his alleged association with offshore accounts owned by his family that were identified in the Panama Papers.
  21. PTI, PML-N workers clash outside SC after Panama case hearing ISLAMABAD: Workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday faced off outside the Supreme Court after the hearing of the Panama case. Workers chanted slogans and later clashed after the leaders of the two parties held media talks following the hearing, prompting the police to intervene and disperse the workers. The Supreme Court bench today resumed hearing the case after the petitioners presented their arguments in favour of the Joint Investigation Team?s (JIT) final report a day earlier. Bench to review material before deciding on PM's disqualification, NAB reference At Monday's hearing, petitioners? counsels pleaded for PM?s disqualification The three-member special Supreme Court bench hearing the Panama Papers case observed that it would examine all the material and then decide on disqualifying the premier or sending the matter to an accountability court. PM's imprisonment, disqualification highly likely: Fawad Chaudhry PTI leaders lashed out against the ruling party during recess outside the Supreme Court where the defence was presenting its arguments. ?The matter seems to be going towards the imprisonment of Hussain, Hasan, and Maryam Nawaz,? said PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry, adding, ?only a miracle can save Nawaz Sharif?s family from 14 years imprisonment and 10 years of disqualification.? Panamagate about power, not accountability: Talal PML-N leader Talal Chaudhry on Tuesday declared the Panama case saga a ?game of power, not accountability?. ?Those who could not become ministers or prime ministers are sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with the court. This [Panama case] game is not about accountability, it?s about power,? said Talal, as he lashed out at opponents while addressing media on day two of the Panama case hearing. Taking aim at the JIT, the PML-N leader said the team collected incomplete and faulty material. ?The JIT itself kept violating the law,? he alleged.
  22. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan on Sunday warned the government that if any obstructions are introduced in the way of justice he would invite his workers to ensure justice is served. Addressing the party?s workers convention here, Imran mocked claims by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that the report by Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is a conspiracy against democracy. PTI hopes Panama case will reach 'logical conclusion' by week's end PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry says those looking for conspiracies should first read the report ?I hear them saying it?s a conspiracy?a sponsored conspiracy?against democracy. They are calling it a conspiracy because for the last 30 years they sailed through it [without being caught],? the PT chief said. He added that the prime minister had employed tactics like bribing to escape justice. He asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to present answers to questions raised by the JIT instead, adding the team?s report has come up with evidence which leaves no scope for doubt.
  23. Cambodian migrant workers carry their belonging as they walk to cross the border at Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaeo June 15, 2014. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that over the past week 100,000 Cambodians have poured over the border, as the military that seized power in a May 22 coup intensifies lax measures to regulate illegal labour. Photo: Reuters Tens of thousands of workers have fled Thailand, most of them for homes in neighbouring Myanmar, immigration officials said on Monday, after new labour regulations adopted by the military government sparked fear and panic among the migrant community. Millions of workers from poor neighbours, such as Cambodia and Myanmar, form the backbone of Thailand's manual labour force, with industries such as the multi-billion-dollar seafood business heavily reliant on foreign workers. Since taking power in a 2014 coup, Thailand's ruling junta has attained varying degrees of success in campaigns to regulate the foreign workforce, spurred partly by media reports that unregulated workers faced exploitation by employers. About 60,000 workers left between June 23 and 28, and the number has risen since, an Immigration Bureau official said. "They were of all nationalities, but the biggest group was from Myanmar," Deputy Commissioner Pornchai Kuntee told Reuters. "They are probably very scared." Following news of the exodus, Thailand on Friday promised a 120-day delay in enforcing parts of the decree, including fines that can range up to 800,000 baht ($23,557) for employers who hire unregistered foreign workers without permits. Geta Devi, 28, a Myanmar worker based in Bangkok, the Thai capital, said some of her friends panicked after hearing about the decree. "They went back to Myanmar," she added. The mass movement leaves undocumented workers vulnerable, said Andy Hall, a British specialist in migrant workers' rights who has monitored such migration in Thailand for more than a decade. "It's clear to me tens of thousands of migrants only move like this after instigation," Hall, who has worked extensively with Myanmar workers, told Reuters. He said "corrupt officials" would try to take bribes from fleeing migrants despite the threat of punishment. "Mass profit is to be made in a short time from the panic and commotion," Hall added. Police officers who try to extort money from employers or migrant workers will be punished, Thai police chief Chaktip Chaijinda said on Friday, in a bid to discourage exploitation of undocumented workers. Last month, the United States kept Thailand on a trafficking watch list, saying it did not meet the minimum standards to end human trafficking. Thailand defended its efforts to stop trafficking and urged US officials to visit and gauge its campaign. More than three million migrants work in Thailand, the International Organization for Migration has said, but rights groups put the figure higher.
  24. Looking at the pace of the investigation it seems that the verdict will be announced soon, said Fawad Chaudhry. Photo: Geo News screen grab LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry advised the party workers on Sunday to be prepared for all eventualities. While addressing a press conference, he said that after the verdict of the Supreme Court in the Panama Leaks case, any sort of emergency situation can arise; either announcement of general elections or another movement. The Joint Investigation Team is going to present its 15-day report to the Supreme Court before Eid. ?Looking at the pace of the investigation it seems that the verdict will be announced soon. The court can give the verdict at any time.? Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders failed to submit a reply to the Supreme Court pertaining to their apartments in United Kingdom, he said, adding these people want to hide statements of witnesses. The more the ruling leaders are trying to escape from this quicksand, the more they are getting trapped in it. The leaders have entangled themselves in a maze, remarked Chaudhry. [embed_video1 url= style=center] Hudaibiya Papers Mills is quiet a big scandal, he said, alleging that the funds for Hudaibiya Mills came from motorway commission. Corruption has been rampant in many development projects. If the records are made public, then people will find out about these robberies, he claimed. ?Corruption is a menace but money laundering is a bigger crime.? ?They [PML-N] don?t need to write history they need to return the money.? First, the money was made through corruption and then the money was sent abroad, he claimed. PTI Chairman Imran Khan has advised everyone to be prepared for any eventuality, he added.
  25. ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has asked Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)?s passionate supporters to refrain from assembling at the Federal Judicial Academy on Thursday, when the premier will make his appearance in front of the Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT). In a special message to party workers across the country, the premier said you [PML-N workers] are our strength. The prime minister also asked them to remember him in their prayers, relayed the prime minister?s special secretary Asif Kirmani on Tuesday. Federal Judicial Academy gets makeover ahead of PM's visit CDA workers are busy tending plants and paving road outside the academy Kirmani explained that the premier was informed of party workers? ?wishes? to assemble at the academy as a show of support. Also on Tuesday, banners expressing support for the prime minister sprang up in the capital?s Red Zone. They bore pictures of the premier, his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz. The person behind putting up the posters was identified as senator Abbas Afridi. Afridi recently retired as a senator and minister in the federal government. Earlier on Tuesday, PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi had visited the academy ? declared the secretariat of the JIT ? to supervise 'arrangements' ahead of the premier?s appearance. Talking to Geo News, Abbasi had said party workers and leaders would wholeheartedly welcome their leader on Thursday. The JIT has directed the prime minister to appear before it in light of its investigation into the premier?s family?s financial dealings abroad.