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  1. Last night, a bunch of prominent Twitter accounts were hacked by Cryptocurrency scammers that included accounts of Elon Musk, Kanye West, Bill Gates, Apple, amongst many others. The hack was soon noticed and even more, accounts started to get compromised. © Reuters Scammers tweeted a Bitcoin wallet address on behalf of these accounts promising to send double the amount of BTC if a user sent $1000 worth first. The scam took place in two rounds where the first tweet was deleted after which a similar post was posted again. NEW: Hackers take over Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and many more. pic.twitter.com/UGXEkYunHb — Norbert Elekes (@NorbertElekes) July 15, 2020 The tweets posted from Musk’s account were indeed fake and read as “You know I living giving back to my community. I’m doubling all BTC payments sent to my address. You send $1,000 and I will send #$2,000 back! Tell your family & friends! Only going on for 30 minutes. (sic).” Similarly, a tweet with a subtle change was posted to Many Wests’ accounts as well with the slight change reading as “I’m Giving Back to my fans, I’m doubling all BTC payments sent to my address. You send $1,000 and I will send #$2,000 back! Tell your family & friends! Only going on for 30 minutes.” © Reuters Soon after, accounts of Jeff Bezos, Warran Buffet, Apple, Uber amongst many others also posted similar messages. Twitter accounts getting hacked is a fairly common occurring, however, it is the first time high-profile accounts were targeted. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to the hack tweeting “We all feel terrible this happened. We're diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened,” According to blockchain.com that has been tracking the scammer’s account, the perpetrator was able to gather as much as $118,211.37 in Bitcoin currency and almost the entire amount has already been withdrawn. When converting the total amount to Indian currency, the scammer was able to get Rs 88,93,927.95. How Did It Happen?According to Twitter Support, the attach was carried out by people who “successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools”. “We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf. We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it,” as tweeted by the official account. Twitter also said the social media giant has restricted access to internal systems and tools as well as limited functionality to affected accounts. In Twitter’s investigation, everything points to the same perpetrate who was behind the cryptocurrency scam. View the full article
  2. MNA Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan confirmed that a bill in this regard has been submitted in the National Assembly.
  3. Have you ever been to a shop where you saw the sign âIf Broken, Considered Sold?â Well, it seems the Chinese government just got a taste of that very medicine. © Twitter/memelord As per an article by the English daily newspaper, The Daily Express, Germany has sent a bill to the Chinese Government for all the loses that the European country had to put up with because of the novel Coronavirus. © Reuters No matter where one stands on the virusâ origin, whether it was manmade or it originated in the wet markets of Wuhan, one cannot deny the haphazard manner in which the Chinese state authorities have handled the outbreak and the manner in which it tried to cover up certain facts, and at times straight-up lied, both to its citizens and international regulatory bodies. © Reuters Naturally, the world right now is not looking at China with a favourable lens. Nevertheless, that anger and frustration could not be taken as the excuse of the racial bigotry and xenophobia that has been observed to becomes the norm. People with mongoloid facial features all over the world have been targeted, abused and attacked. Delhi man spat at Manipur girl shouting Corona. If you think that this is unacceptable, can you stop addressing North Easterners as Chinki, Momo etc and stop your friends from doing same, if applicable?#NoToRacism #Respect #NorthEast #NoChinki #India pic.twitter.com/obj0uXcfem â Raaj Biswas (@xploreraj) March 23, 2020 The Germans, though, have a different way of doing things. Instead of indulging in idiotic and xenophobic rhetorics, a German national daily, which goes by the name Bild has come up with an itemised bill or invoice as to what the Republic of China owes to Germany. © Twitter/Disclose.tv The bill has broken pretty much everything down - losses from tourism, losses from the film industry, losses from small business, and losses from airlines, among other things. The bill comes up to be 149 Billion Euros, which we converted into Indian Rupees, just for fun. In Indian Rupees, the figure stands at Rs 1,24,15,00,00,00,000. For those of us who had to pay a little extra attention at school during maths classes, Thatâs Rs1.24 Lakh-Crore. © Reuters As big and as hefty as these figures are, they represent something significant. According to the article, Germany is the fourth country after the UK, France, and the USA in calling out the actions of the Chinese state authorities. © Reuters The invoice, which wasnât a government document, but what a newspaper has put together, actually, has Beijing riled up, and furious, with Chinese state authorities calling the move to be xenophobic, and an action that instils nationalistic pride in the wrong way. © Reuters However, given how the Asian community has been attacked in North America and Europe, and how people with mongoloid facial features are being targeted, we think the Chinese state authorities might want to look up the word 'xenophobia' in a dictionary. If only there was a way to communicate with them. Perhaps over Twitter? Oh right, sorry, they donât have Twitter in China... View the full article
  4. This is a 27-year-old story where two titans of the technology world were competing with each other for the dominant personal computer spot. In August of 1997, Bill Gates saved Apple, which at the time was on the brink of bankruptcy. While most companies would let their rivals die out, this is the story of when two companies decided to help each other out instead of letting one fold. © Pinterest âBill, thank you. The worldâs a better place,â Jobs told Gates when Microsoft invested $150 million in Apple and offered free access to use Microsoft Office on Mac personal computers. This historic move saved Apple from going down under and in exchange, Apple dropped their lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming the company copied their operating system. 20 years ago this week, Steve Jobs was on the cover of @TIME, thanking @BillGates for "saving Apple." pic.twitter.com/AhUnLnOZ8t â Codecademy (@Codecademy) August 24, 2017However, 10 years later, the two CEOs met on-stage at the D5 tech conference and relived the memory of coming together. In the interview, Jobs said "Apple was in very serious trouble,â and what was really clear was that "if the game was a zero-sum game where for Apple to win, Microsoft had to lose, then Apple was going to lose.â âThere were too many people at Apple and in the Apple ecosystem playing [that] game,â he explained. âAnd it was clear that you didnât have to play that game because Apple wasnât going to beat Microsoft.â © Pinterest âTo me, it was pretty essential to break that paradigm,â Jobs said. âAnd it was also important that you know, Microsoft was the biggest software developer outside of Apple, developing for the Mac. So it was just crazy what was happening at that time. And Apple was very weak and so I called Bill up and we tried to patch things up.â For Microsoft, it was a new business opportunity as well as a way to get Apple back on its feet. While Gates did end up with 18.2 million Apple shares, but these were non-voting shares as Microsoft was their fiercest rival. Eventually, Gates sold all of Apple shares in 2003, however as of 2019, those shares would have been worth $40-50 billion. âThatâs worked out very well,â said Gates at the D5 tech conference. âIn fact, every couple years or so, thereâs been something new that weâve been able to do on the Mac and itâs been a great business for us.â Well, many thought that this tech mythic story wasnât true until the two CEOs met for an interview together. Thereâs no doubt it is a great story about the two rivals. It proves eliminating competition isnât the only way to win and in turn, working together helped both companies to become the richest organisations in the world. What makes this story extraordinary is the fact that Bill Gates at the time was a cut-throat businessman and had a reputation for not being apologetic. Today, Bill Gates is known for his generosity and philanthropy, but he was a very different person in 1997 who chose to save his rival rather than see it sink. View the full article
  5. 'It will establish toll free helplines, lay down framework for quick police & admin response,' he said
  6. One wonders whether the young, 13-year old computer hobbyist from Seattle, Washington knew just how far his passion would take him in the decades ahead. William Henry Gates III ended up forging a path that didnât just make him one of the most powerful and influential men in the world, but also simultaneously changed the course of humanity. From hacking campus software to signing deals with IBM at the age of 25, Gates knew how to play the game, and he did so with ruthless tenacity - behind the coderâs screen and in front of the entire world, as the 65-year old tech titan steps down from Microsoft's board of directors this Friday. Here are some of the most incredible things heâs created and achieved over the years.. BASIC Interpreter © CNBC Gatesâ early career was one hell of a story to begin with - somewhat reminiscent of Mark Zuckerbergâs actions in 2004, Gates dropped out of Harvard University on a mission to start his own company. It all began in 1975, when, on reading the January issue of Popular Electronics, he noticed a demonstration of the Altair 8800 microcomputer platform. Partnering with Paul Allen, Gates set up a meeting with Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), while doing three very important things - writing code to emulate Altair, creating the BASIC interpreter software and finding a name for his new company - Allen named their partnership "Micro-Soft", a combination of "microcomputer" and "software". The IBM Partnership © Washington(dot)edu Perhaps the most important, crucial catalyst for modern computing to bloom, this key series of events began with IBM approaching Microsoft in 1980 to develop software for the original IBM Personal Computer. After learning that IBM was interested in getting someone to develop an operating system for the iconic machine, Gates and Allen cut a deal with the owners of QDOS, or the âQuick & Dirty Operating Systemâ. Soon, âPC-DOSâ was delivered to IBM for a one-time fee of $50,000. This deal spurred massive global interest in Microsoft, which sold âMS-DOSâ to the tune of 100 million copies in subsequent years, and truly transformed Gatesâ life. The Launch Of Windows © Microsoft The mid-eighties were a trying time for Gates. He had already lost one of his best friends to a mountain climbing accident in college, and after heated fights over assets with his partner Paul Allen, he learnt that he is suffering from Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of blood cancer. He then left Microsoft in 1983. It was during these dark days that Gates presided over the development and launch of a program originally known as âInterface Managerâ, that would eventually form an extension of MS-DOS known as Windows 1.0. Introducing Calculator, Calendar, Cardfile, Clipboard viewer, Clock, Control Panel, Notepad, Paint, Reversi, Terminal and Write, the new operating system duelled against Apple until eventually dominating 77% of the worldâs computers. Becoming The Worldâs Youngest Self-Made Billionaire © Fortune Magazine âI don't think anyone at the company is in it for the money," Gates said in a 1984 interview. Just 3 years later, however, he would make it to the cover of Fortune magazine, as the youngest person to make it to a billion bucks. Still, despite the fame and (pun intended) fortune, Gates kept his focus on bringing accessible computing to the world. "It's a much more exciting field than trying to measure exactly how much we're selling or how much it's worth,â he continued. âThe creation of these programs is something you can sit down and see people enjoying and solving real problems.â The Launch Of Windows 95 © Microsoft Looking back at the history of computing, Windows 95 truly was the gamechanger that led to the experience we have with using PCs today. The original Windows 1.0 OS was essentially a graphical version of MS-DOS, born to compete against the GUI on Apple's 'Lisa'. In comparison, Windows 95 was designed to replace MS-DOS and enabled revolutionary features such as multi-tasking, Plug and Play and a modern desktop experience we can still effectively use today. Becoming The Worldâs Richest © Reuters Bill Gates became the richest man on the planet at the age of 39, and he stayed at number one on the Forbes list of the World's Richest People until 2007, just a year before stepping away from the CEOâs office. Gates was worth more than $101 billion in 1999; while Wired reports that, when Microsoft stock hit a high in 1996, he was earning $30 million a day. To Becoming The Worldâs Most Generous © Reuters If revolutionising the world wasnât enough, once Gates stepped down as CEO in 2008, he and his wife Melinda Gates put all their attention towards charity work, focusing on building up global initiatives in healthcare, agriculture, gender equality and especially education. With a total donation grant corpus of over $50 billion, their foundation became the most generous charitable organisation in the world. View the full article
  7. According to bill, the maximum sentence handed down to child sexual abusers would be life imprisonment, with a Rs1-million fine
  8. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says govt will start reaching out to parties for passage of the bill
  9. If the bill passes in Senate, it will be implemented across the country, as compared to the previous version which was applicable only in the capital.
  10. Wyman, 83, who quit the Stones in 1993, is auctioning more than 1,000 items from a personal collection of instruments
  11. Bill Gates is no longer the world's richest man. He's currently ranked the worldâs second-richest man with a $118 billion fortune. That, in case you can't figure out, is still a ton of money, plenty to afford a luxury Superyacht. Bill Gates, 64, is just an ordinary holidaymaker who has not previously owned a yacht. He used to rent them out whenever he wanted to get a breath of fresh air on the sea. But he now decided to invest in a one-of-a-kind Yacht that's worth more any of us can even imagine. Here are a few things to know about Bill Gates' new purchase, the Aqua Ship - Liquid Hydrogen As Fuel The Aqua ship is fitted with two 28-tonne vacuum-sealed tanks that are cooled to extremely cold temperatures. We're talking temperatures around -423F (-253C) and filled with liquid hydrogen. It's the only fuel that's used to power the ship. © Sinot In case you don't know, the emissions from the industry and transport make up for over 75-percent of the world's carbon footprint and it's highly important that we extend any help to bring down that number. Bill Gates is just doing his part, which often involves a lot of money. This, by the way, isn't the only investment he's made on his quest to find alternative fuels. He is also an investor in Heliogen, a startup that aims to turn sunlight into a fossil furl replacement. It's the first company in the world to concentrate sunlight to reach temperatures that are high enough to power heavy machinery without carbon emissions. Pricing & Availability The Aqua ship is truly one of the luxurious transport that I've ever seen. It's both beautiful and functional at the same time, with hardly anything to complain about. Speaking about the yacht, the marine designer Sander Sinot said, "For the development of Aqua we took inspiration from the lifestyle of a discerning, forward-looking owner, the fluid versatility of water and cutting-edge technology, to combine this in a superyacht with truly innovative features." Aqua isn't expected to hit the shores until 2024 and Bill Gates is the first one to order the vessel that's estimated to cost a whopping $644m i.e roughly Rs 4,600 crores. Well, Bill Gates used to rent out Yachts worth $300m, so if anything this is only going to save him money in the long run. Oh, and it's cheaper what India is spending on the custom jets for the President and the PM. Just saying. Check out the Aqua here. View the full article
  12. Bill Cosby is serving a 10-year jail term after being convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman
  13. PESHAWAR: A bill tabled in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Saturday sought to provide care and rehabilitation for beggars while at the same time suggests punishment for 'habitual' vagrants or alm-seekers. . According to a copy of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Vagrancy Restraint Act 2020, the provincial government will form an institute known as the Dar-ul-Kifala which will serve as a shelter for vagrants. The shelter will be responsible for providing food, shelter, education and skills training for vagrants or alms-seekers who seek refuge or are brought there. The bill makes it possible for any vagrant to seek shelter at the Dar-ul-Kifala by proving to a Special Magistrate that he or she has no means of livelihood or a shelter. The vagrant will be kept there till such period as he/she is not provided a source of livelihood or applies for release himself/herself. The Act empowers police to search and arrest vagrants without warrant and seize any item liable to be confiscated from them as well. The bill also calls for a one-year jail term or a fine of Rs500,000 or both for anyone who "causes any person to solicit or receive alms". The legislation states that if the court finds a person to be a vagrant, then the said person can be sent to the Dar-ul-Kifala where he will be 'detained' for a period not exceeding three years. The bill seeks an imprisonment sentence not exceeding three years for persons who are deemed habitual vagrants or who have committed offences previously under the same Act.
  14. National Assembly passed the Zainab Alert Bill for recovery of missing children on Friday. Photo: File On Friday, the parliament passed the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act, 2020, eight months after it was first tabled. The bill, which will become law once approved by the Senate, aims to protect and raise alert when a child goes missing or is abducted. The legislation has been named after Zainab, a six-year-old girl, who was kidnapped from her home in Kasur, and then raped and killed in 2018. The Act applied to only Pakistan’s capital city, Islamabad and defines the child as anyone under the age of 18 years. National Assembly passes Zainab Alert Bill for recovery of missing children Other salient features in the Act:-Under the new law, a Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Agency (ZARRA) will be set up. The director general of the Agency will be appointed by the prime minister. It will be tasked to maintain a database of missing and abducted children, and work closely with the helpline, 1099, which will forward all reported cases to the Agency. -In case a child is reported missing, the ZARRA will activate alerts across the federal capital. Information, such as the child’s physical characteristics, habits, clothes ect, will be send to all relevant law enforcement agencies and the public at large. -In coordinate with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, messages will generated to all service providers regarding the child. Also the information will be sent to all electronic and print media as well as radio stations to disseminate. A helpline, 1099, will be set up to help the public report a missing or abducted child or any information related to a missing child. ZARRA will also issue monthly public reports and updates on its website about missing children. The Agency will set up a mobile application where the public can access all data related to missing and abducted children. In addition, a Child Protection Advisory Board will be established to ensure ZARRA is effectively preforming its functions from the registration of a FIR to the safe recovery of a child and the referral for rehabilitation. The police station, where a case of missing or abducted child is reported shall, immediately, within two hours, inform ZARRA. The bill also prescribes punishment for police officers who are do not comply, or hinder the process of reporting a missing child. The maximum sentence to a perpetrator will be life imprisonment and the minimum sentence will be 10 years.
  15. Restaurant reservation app Dineout recently published a fascinating annual report, and amongst a list of interesting statistics, one in particular stands out. It seems like the city of Bengaluru has become an undisputed dining hotspot, with one man footing a bill of Rs 2,76,988 at a pub, while another watering hole clocked in over 1 million diners. That's a lot of dishes to wash and bottles to recycle. In fact, the bill is so ridiculous, it's just about what you'd pay to step out of a showroom with a brand new Maruti Alto or Datsun Redi-Go. Not interested in a car? The bill could also cover a trip to London and back again - in Emirates first class seats. Meanwhile, Udaipur stepped up as well - it seems like the 'City of Lakes' played host to the biggest number of couples, with the highest number of 'tables for two'. Indore had the most 'tables for four' reservations and oddly enough, seemed to dine out most often on Thursdays - 60% of Indians dined out on weekends, specifically. With the rise of restaurant culture in India's metros and a no-cooking lifestyle emerging across India's urban youth, it's not surprising that Indians dined out over 5 billion times last year, with 52% of us preferring to dine at casual restaurants as opposed to fast food outlets and fine dining options. Close to 4566 tables were reserved per hour, and the average bill value for dining out was Rs 1600, whereas for ordering in, it was Rs 300. It's also interesting to note that Indians are pretty late eaters - the global average dinnertime sits between 6PM and 8PM, while desi dinners usually happen between 8PM and 10PM. Gotta' blame post-work traffic for that one. So if you're worried that you've been spending too much on dining out, don't worry. You're certainly not alone. View the full article
  16. Bill, presented by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, gets support from PPP. Photo: ReutersThe National Assembly on Friday passed the Zainab Alert Bill 2019, which will introduce a response and recovery mechanism for missing children. The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights had unanimously passed the Zainab Alert Bill on October 8, 2019. The bill was presented in the National Assembly today by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari to mark the second death anniversary of seven-year-old Zainab Ameen Fatima, who was brutally raped and murdered in January 2018. Addressing the floor of the House, Mazari thanked Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Asad Umar and Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Mahreen Razaque Bhutto for expediting the bill's passage. The bill will pave the way for the setting up of the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Agency (ZARRA), where missing child cases will be reported. The bill also proposes a maximum life imprisonment and action action against those police officials who delay the investigation. Read also: Rape, murder of minor Zainab sparks outrage; two killed in Kasur protests The powers and functions of Zarra include the activation of alerts at the federal capital level whenever there is a report about a missing or abducted child. These alerts will include information on the physical characteristics of the missing or abducted child as well as any other data that will help in the child’s identification. The proposed authority will also coordinate with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for issuance of Zainab Alert SMSes and MMSes, and with the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to run tickers on television channels or any other available medium. It also envisions the setting up of a nationwide telephonic toll-free hotline number where any person may report a missing or abducted child. It also calls for the maintenance of an online database both in the National Commission of the Rights of the Child (NCRC) and the division concerned of every reported incident of a missing or abducted child. Read also: Violent protests against Zainab’s rape, murder continue in Kasur Zainab abduction caseZainab, to whom the bill is dedicated, was kidnapped on January 4, 2018, from near her aunt’s house in Kasur. Five days later, she was found dead in a garbage heap. On January 23, authorities had apprehended Imran Ali — a serial killer involved in other similar crimes — through a DNA match. Ali's DNA had matched samples taken from seven other minor girls who were abused and murdered earlier in Kasur. The suspect had also confessed to his crimes following his arrest. Satisfied over justice being served: Zainab’s father On February 17, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing the case had sentenced Imran to death on four counts. Appealing the verdict, Imran had claimed innocence before the Lahore High Court and pleaded for the verdict to be declared null and void. On June 12, the Lahore High Court had dismissed Imran's appeal against the death sentence handed to him for raping and murdering the minor girl. On October 17, 2018, Ali was executed at the Kot Lakhpat Central Jail in Lahore.
  17. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, in this weird yet funny scenario of seeking revenge, it was indeed served on the table in the form of a lavish dinner. A Reddit user shared his story of break up on the internet that has cracked up everyone on social media. He met his girlfriend while finishing his lifeguard certification course and everything was going fine until their mutual friend found out that the only reason this woman in question was involved with the guy was that he used to take her out for fancy meals. “I've really liked this girl for a while that I met at a lifeguard certification course, and I talked to her while I was there and we (I thought) ended up hitting it off. We exchanged numbers and social media and all that and we messaged for a few weeks before I asked her out to a movie, which she accepted,” he wrote. He added, “We'd been going on casual dates, nothing too serious and we weren't hanging out at my place or her place even though I'd hinted at the idea, for a few weeks before one of her friends (someone that was also at the lifeguarding course that I met and kept in contact with because he was cool) sends me this screenshot.” © Reddit Unfortunately hurt and deceived, the guy decided to take his girlfriend out on a date and make her pay the bill instead. “After seeing this, I asked her to go on a nice date with me to a hibachi grill restaurant. $20-$40 dollar plates and premium desserts are served here. I got the most expensive thing they had and so did she. We both got fancy ice cream and multiple refills on drinks,” he wrote. “I complimented her a lot and smiled consistently, before getting up to go to the bathroom and leaving. (I was also her ride). About 45 minutes after, I get furious texts from her saying that she had to have her mom come down and pay for it because she didn't have the money on her and that we were done. I know it's not a lot and it sucks because I thought she was actually into me but it felt pretty nice leaving her that way,” he revealed. Opinions on this was actually divided and everyone shared their take on this incident. © Reddit If there is any truth in this story, then we do feel bad for our bro out here. Hurting feelings to get some extra food is actually not a cool idea. Rest, the next time you date someone, make sure they aren't using you to buy them food! First world problems today are hilarious. View the full article
  18. An important session of the National Assembly got under way around noon on Tuesday to legislate on the tenure of the services chiefs' tenure. Prime Minister Imran Khan made a rare appearance in the Lower House as the assembly passes three amendment bills to formalise the tenures of the army, navy and air force chiefs. Before the start of the voting, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak took the floor to request the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to take back amendments it had suggested in the bills, saying he was making the request "keeping in mind the regional and national situation". Naveed Qamar, who spoke on behalf of the PPP in response to Khattak's request, noted that the amendments had been suggested to improve the bills but, after being approached by a government delegation and consulting with the rest of the opposition, the party had decided to withdraw them. Voting commenced shortly thereafter, with Speaker Asad Qaiser asking legislators to express their assent or dissent with 'Ayes' and 'Nays'. The bills were voted on clause by clause. Some opposition lawmakers, including MNAs from the Jamaat-e-Islami and representatives from erstwhile Fata walked out in protest over the bills. They had earlier announced they would not be supporting the bill on principle. All major parties had, however, lent their consent to it. In order to pass the bills, lawmakers in the lower house of Parliament on Monday adopted a resolution to suspend private members day to take up government business, reported The News. The private members day was scheduled to be held today (Tuesday) but now has been deferred to Wednesday. The National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence had been summoned on Monday to discuss amendments to the Army Act, Air Force Act, and Navy Act. The committee had to reconvene just three days after it initially 'approved' the three bills aimed at regularising the tenure of the services chiefs. Also read: COAS service extension: Army Act amendment bill to make future extensions airtight The committee had to be summoned again after it was established that the rules and regulations of parliament were violated in the January 3 session of the committee. After the National Assembly's approval, the bills will be approved by the Senate Standing Committee on Defence before bills are passed by the Senate. The bills would become acts of Parliament once signed by the president. Law Minister Farogh Naseem had said that all political parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N ) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have approved the amendment bills. PTI, PML-N hold meetings Prior to the National Assembly session major parties held meetings to prepare strategy for the legislation. PM Imran chaired a meeting of parliamentary party of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and allied parties. All the MNAs were directed to ensure their presence in the assembly during the ongoing session. According to sources, PML-N reiterated its earlier decision of supporting the bills as decided by the party leadership. Former defence minister and senior PML-N leader Khawaja Asif said the members were bound to follow the party policy. Meanwhile, federal ministers Pervez Khattak and Azam Swati met with the PPP leaders and requested to maintain a peaceful environment in the assembly during the prime minister's presence. Changes sought in lawThe proposed amendments set the maximum age limit of the three services chiefs — chief of army staff, chief of air staff and chief of naval staff — at 64 years. If the bills get passed, the prime minister will have the power to extend the tenure of any service chief and the president will give his final nod to the extension or reappointment. Under clause 8B of Army Act Amendment Bill, the president, on the advice of the prime minister, may “reappoint the Chief of the Army Staff for an additional tenure of three (03) years, on such terms and conditions, as may be determined by the president on the advice of the prime minister, in the national security interest or exigencies, from time to time”. “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law, or any order or judgement of any Court, the appointment, reappointment or extension of the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), or the exercise of discretion by the appointing authority in this regard, shall not be called into question before any court on any ground whatsoever,” the bill states. Also read: Cabinet approves amendment to Army Act SC directs govt to legislate on COAS tenureBack in November 2018, the Supreme Court had asked the government to legislate on an extension in the COAS's services within six months, allowing General Qamar Javed Bajwa to stay in office until then. Prior to that, PM Imran in August had approved the extension in the COAS's services through an executive order. Former chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa had in late November taken up a petition challenging the extension in service of the COAS, deeming it 'in the public interest'. The court had subsequently suspended the notification of the extension in General Bajwa's tenure. Last month, after the top court issued the detailed verdict in the case, the government had filed a review petition in the SC, pleading the court to form a larger bench to hear the case, and requesting it to keep the proceedings in-camera. Side by side, it had launched the formalities to formulate a bill formalising the rules governing the army chief's extension and have it passed through parliament.
  19. Photo: FileFederal Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak on Friday presented the amendment bills regularising services chiefs' appointment and tenure to Parliament after winning near unanimous backing of the opposition parties. Khattak introduced the Pakistan Army (Amendment Act), the Pakistan Navy (Amendment Act) and the Pakistan Air Force (Amendment Act) separately, according to local media. The bills were, under legislative procedures, initially referred to the Defence Committee, which according to Law Minister Farogh Naseem, accorded them unanimous approval. The bills will now be presented in the National Assembly for approval on Monday, January 6. The amendments sought through the bill seek to make future extensions of army, navy and air force chiefs 'airtight' as the bills state categorically that the decision to do so "shall not be called into question before any court on any ground whatsoever". While the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had decided to 'unconditionally support' the Army Act amendment, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had insisted that 'democratic legislative process' be followed as the bill is approved. Also read: Army Act amendment: PML-N lends unconditional support, PPP urges parties to follow democratic process 'Matter should not be politicised'Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq, while speaking about the army amendment bill the same day, said that a shortcoming in the law was being 'corrected' through the "people’s elected parliament”. Talking to reporters outside the National Assembly, Awan said the matter is "a constitutional and legal issue and should not be politicised". What amendments are being made to the armed services acts? According to a copy of the Army Act (Amendment) Bill available with Geo News, an extension in the tenure of an army chief (and other services chiefs) will not be challenge-able in any court of law in the future if the bill is approved by both houses of Parliament. Under clause 8-B of the bill, the president, on the advice of the prime minister, may “reappoint the Chief of the Army Staff for additional tenure of three (03) years, on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the president on the advice of the prime minister, in the national security interest or exigencies, from time to time”. “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law, or any order or judgement of any court, the appointment, reappointment or extension of the chief of the army staff, or the exercise of discretion by the appointing authority in this regard, shall not be called into question before any court on any ground whatsoever,' the bill states. Also read: COAS service extension: Army Act amendment bill to make future extensions airtight Cabinet approves amendments to billsThe federal cabinet, in an emergency meeting on Wednesday, had accorded its approval to the amendments required in the armed services acts under which the prime minister will be empowered to extend the tenure of all services chiefs, including the army, air force and naval heads. Earlier, on Wednesday, President Dr Arif Alvi had convened a session of the Parliament's upper and lower houses on a 24-hour notice. The move was unexpected as the upper house of the legislature had not met for 124 days apart from a requisitioned session. Also read: ECP issues list of lawmakers failing to disclose asset details SC directs govt to legislate on COAS tenureBack in November, the apex court had asked the government to legislate on an extension in the COAS's services within six months, allowing General Bajwa to stay in office until then, after briefly suspending the notification of the extension in his tenure. Prior to that, PM Imran in August had approved the extension in the COAS's services through an executive order. Also read: Govt files review petition in army chief extension case Former chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa had in late November taken up a petition 'in public interest', challenging the extension in service of the COAS. A three member bench of the top court had heard the case. Last month, after the top court issued the detailed verdict in the COAS case, the government had filed a review petition in the SC, pleading the court to form a larger bench to hear the case, and requesting it to keep the proceedings in-camera.
  20. Not everyone uses a smartphone as companies like Reliance Jio, Nokia and others have launched feature phones with 4G capabilities in the past. These phones are particularly popular amongst users who don't really know how to work smartphones or just prefer using feature phones. Having said that, digital payments took off with a great start in India with UPI payments being the most popular payment mode. © HMD-Global However, over half a billion users in India are not able to use digital payments simply because they use feature phones instead. In order to tackle this problem, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) collaborated with CIIE.CO and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to kickstart a competition for anyone who can figure out digital payments on feature phones. © Youtube/Microsoft The competition can be taken up by individuals or by enterprises and the best solution will win a total amount of Rs 35 lakh or $50,000. The second place will get a prize money of $30,000 while a prize money of $20,000 is up for grabs for the third spot. The last date to file your application for the competition is January 12, 2020. © HMD-Global One can apply for the competition via an online process and CIIE.CO & NPCI will select the most viable and promising solutions. Shortlisted individuals or enterprises will then be granted access to NPCI's API to start building their solutions. As per the website, the selected candidates will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to CIIE.CO team during the contest. “CIIE.CO can also facilitate introductions to other investors on a case to case basis. Winners will be evaluated for further acceleration/investment support via the Bharat Inclusion Initiative,” it said. View the full article
  21. Bill Gates as our Secret Santa, who wouldn't want that right? During this time of merry-making and joyful exchanges, a Reddit user hit a jackpot when she received a bunch of priceless gifts from her Secret Santa, who to her utter amazement turned out to be none other than Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The 33-year-old woman who goes by the name Shelby on the platform, had signed up for her 95th RedditGifts exchange and received the best Christmas present from her Secret Santa which included 14 sets of gifts weighing close to 37 kgs. Raise your hand if matching with Bill Gates for #RedditGifts Secret Santa is a life goal. ð‍âï¸Just when she needed it most, one lucky giftee (u/szor) struck Secret Santa gold & was blessed with the Christmas of a lifetime. Well done, @BillGates. https://t.co/pZelK3ao9v pic.twitter.com/RY4DrKHU6g — Reddit (@reddit) December 21, 2019 With things such as a manuscript copy of The Great Gatsby, memorabilia from Twin Peaks and a donation to the American Heart Association in memory of her late mother amongst a whole lot of other stuff is sure to top every Christmas wish. Shelby took to Reddit to share her joy and thank Bill Gates for the thoughtful gifts and said, "Bill Gates, you are a blessing. This year has been a complete rollercoaster of emotions for me; in March, I lost my mother completely unexpectedly only 10 days before my destination wedding. It has been hard to drum up holiday spirit this year, and this has been a zap taser of Christmas cheer. I have felt like I've been on another planet the past few days and I still cannot believe how lucky/cool/honored/all the adjectives I am to have had someone craft such a special and personal set of gifts just for little ol' me. And your donation to The American Heart Association in my mom's memory is the most special gift of all. It means more to me than I can express." © Reddit Reportedly, Bill Gates participates in the RedditGifts exchange every year and Shelby turned out to be the lucky one to match with him this year. The gift came with a personalised message from the man himself and read, "Wow, I'm impressed that this is your 95th Reddit gift exchange! You seem like a very generous person, and I hope my gift makes you smile this Christmas. I've included some fun things to enjoy both at home and outdoors - plus a couple of great books I think you'll like. At the same time, I know no gift will ever make up for losing someone so important to you. I was very sorry to hear about your mom, and I've made a donation to the American Heart Association in her memory. I hope you and your family find your "new normal" this holiday season." © Reddit If this itself isn't amazing, here is the list of gifts he sent Shelby. â Bill's Deck of Books 2019! â A Harry Potter santa hat â Hylian shield earrings â A very heavy and beautiful handmade Zelda quilt â A hammock (with bug net!) â Almond Rocca, Seattle mint chocolates, Jelly Belly's â Toys for her cat, Emmy! â Seven packs of assorted Oreos â A cat-themed logic game â Eight hardcover books â An extremely fancy manuscript copy of The Great Gatsby â A candle with a passage from The Great Gatsby inscribed â Two exceptional adult-level LEGO sets: Microscale Hogwarts and the retired UCS R2D2 (truth be told, I had previously splurged on both of these sets already; you must have gotten a perfect read on my interests so color me impressed!) â A plethora of Twin Peaks gifts including a shirt and sweatshirt; a book by director Jonathan Sanger and some memorabilia from his collection including 5 scripts from season 2 of Twin Peaks, and an embroidered L.L. Bean jacket worn by crew members during the second season of the show. View the full article
  22. Indian Home Minister Amit Shah. Photo: AFPNEW DELHI: The lower house of the Indian legislature passed controversial legislation early Tuesday that will grant citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries, but not Muslims, amid raucous scenes in parliament and protests in the northeast of the country.The Citizenship Amendment Bill provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan can be granted citizenship. It comfortably passed the lower house with 311 votes in favour and 80 against just after midnight."This bill is in line with India’s centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, adding that he was "delighted" about its passage. But to Muslim organisations, rights groups and others, the bill is part of Modi’s push to marginalise India’s 200-million-strong Islamic minority. The Indian government denies the charges. "This is not a bill that is discriminatory," Home Minister Amit Shah said. "This is a bill to give rights, not to take them away from anybody."Testy debateModi’s government had tried to shepherd the legislation through parliament during its first term in power, but it failed in the upper house, where Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies lack a majority.After sweeping to victory in the April-May national elections, the BJP is now more confident it can push the bill through both chambers.During a lengthy debate marked by angry exchanges, opposition Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor said the bill "infringes upon the principle of equality before law" guaranteed to all persons, including non-citizens.The legislation seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955, which prohibits illegal migrants from applying for Indian citizenship.Under Modi, several cities perceived to have Islamic-sounding names have been renamed, while some school textbooks have been altered to downplay Muslims’ contributions to India.In August, his administration rescinded the partial autonomy of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, and split it into two. On Monday, 100 scientists and scholars at institutions in India and abroad published a joint letter expressing their "dismay" at the legislation, saying the constitution called for members of all faiths to be treated equally.But, they wrote, Modi’s "proposed bill would mark a radical break with this history and would be inconsistent with the basic structure of the constitution". The letter said such a careful exclusion of Muslims would "greatly strain" India’s pluralism.'Against infiltrators'The government has defended the bill, saying it was only aimed at flushing out infiltrators, and that Muslims did not face persecution in the three neighbouring countries."I say this again and again that this bill has nothing to do with the Muslims in this country. The Muslims in this country will be able to live here with dignity, are living here, and will continue to do so," Shah said."What are we doing now? We are giving the minority their rights." Shah has recently also proposed a "national register of citizens" that would see "each and every infiltrator identified and expelled" from India by 2024.The citizenship bill has led to protests in India’s northeastern states, where residents are unhappy about an influx of Hindus from neighbouring Bangladesh.In Guwahati in Assam state, protestors set fire to tyres, while tribal groups staged protests in Tripura. On Monday, prominent political groups opposing the bill called for a complete shutdown across all the states in the northeast on Tuesday.
  23. Demonstrators display placards during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, a bill that seeks to give citizenship to religious minorities persecuted in neighbouring Muslim countries. Photo: Reuters Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly condemned controversial legislation passed by the Indian Parliament which will grant citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries, but not Muslims.“We strongly condemn Indian Lok Sabha citizenship legislation which violates all norms of international human rights law and bilateral agreements with Pakistan,” PM Imran tweeted Tuesday morning.The premier described the move as “part of the RSS Hindu Rashtra design of expansionism propagated by the fascist Modi government.”. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan can be granted citizenship of India. There are no similar provisions for Muslim refugees.The bill sailed through the lower house with 311 votes in favour and 80 against shortly after midnight on Monday.The Foreign Office in a statement called the move “a complete violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international covenants on elimination of all forms of discrimination based on religion or belief”."The Lok Sabha legislation is also in complete contravention of various bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India, particularly the one concerning security and rights of minorities in the respective countries,” the statement read.Read also: India passes religiously discriminatory citizenship bill amid global outcryIt added, "The latest legislation is another major step towards the realisation of the concept of ‘Hindu Rashtra’, idealised and relentlessly pursued by the right-wing Hindu leaders for several decades. It is driven by a toxic mix of an extremist ‘Hindutva’ ideology and hegemonic ambitions in the region.”"We condemn the legislation as regressive and discriminatory, which is in violation of all relevant international conventions and norms, and a glaring attempt by India to interfere in the neighboring countries with malafide intent," the statement added.US proposes sanctioning top Indian officialsThe United States on Tuesday also expressed concerns over the passage of the discriminatory bill."The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said it will propose sanctions against senior members of the Indian political leadership if the bill is enacted as law.The USCIRF in its statement noted that the bill specifically excluded Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion."The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism," the statement said.The commission also condemned the bill as a ‘violation’ of the Indian constitution, relating it to recent efforts to introduce the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and nationwide. The NRC, like the citizenship bill, is widely believed to be the brain-child of the Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah."USCIRF fears that the Indian government is creating a religious test for Indian citizenship that will strip citizenship from millions of Muslims," the USCIRF warned.Read also: US considering sanctions on top Indian officials, including Home Minister Amit ShahIn a statement made separately early Tuesday, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee also condemned the passage of the contentious bill through the Indian lower house, saying that the so-called ‘religious test’ for citizenship undermined basic democratic tenets shared by the US and India.The ruling BJP in India had included the passage of the CAB as part of its manifesto released ahead of elections in May 2019.Protests erupt as India pushes for citizenship billThe citizenship bill also sparked protests in India’s northeastern states, where residents are unhappy about an influx of Hindus from neighbouring Bangladesh.In Guwahati in Assam state, protesters set fire to tyres, while tribal groups staged protests in Tripura. Student groups called for dawn-to-dusk shutdown in four districts of the state, while shops, businesses, educational and financial institutions remained shut and public transport stayed off the roads.“We will fight and oppose the bill till the last drop of our blood,” All Assam Students’ Union adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya told Reuters, underlining the region’s resistance against migrants amid fears that tens of thousands of settlers from neighbouring Bangladesh would gain citizenship.In Modi’s home state of Gujarat and the city of Kolkata, hundreds of people staged protests and marched against the proposed law.
  24. Twelve hours in debate, three years of buildup and one shredded document - the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019, was passed in the Lok Sabha at midnight, as the world celebrates Human Rights Day on December 10. Needless to say, the new law almost instantly sent the country into an uproar across social media. Shortly after leaving the Parliament, BJP stalwarts Amit Shah and Narendra Modi congratulated each other on achieving the long-standing party goal. Thank you honourable PM @narendramodi ji. You are an inspiration and under your leadership we all strive harder each day to build a #NewIndia for our future generations. https://t.co/TZlR3QuUEL — Amit Shah (@AmitShah) December 9, 2019 Several party supporters joined in to support the duo - who have been on a hot streak of sweeping legislative movements through their 2019 terms. Triple Talaq - Done Article 370 and 35A - Done Ram Mandir - Done CAB - Done in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha next NRC - Next then UCC Coming All the mistakes done by one family in India is being corrected by @narendramodi Ji & @AmitShah ji .... but Hindus worried about ONIONS — Saffron Soul 2.0 ð®ð³ ð© (@SaffronS0ul) December 9, 2019 Hats off to #MotaBhai speaking since hours and giving his job more than 100%, at this age. I mean what a heroð #CABBill — kajal vador (@kajalvador) December 9, 2019 Meanwhile, opposition supporters vehemently argued against the act - both in Parliament and after the session was concluded. While the BJP argues that the CAB aims to support religiously persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries, the list - which mentions Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians - clearly excludes Muslims. With India having the world's largest Muslim population (over 20 crore), several people shared anger and resentment against the bill's passing. BJP: "Don't complain about lynching of Muslims in India. Go to Pakistan and see how Shias, Ahmedis and Balochs are being killed." Also BJP: "How can Muslims be persecuted in a Muslim nation? It's implausible. Citizenship only for non-Muslims." ð¤ð#IndiaRejectsCAB — Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) December 6, 2019 Deeply ashamed that Edapadi Palanisamy represents my state and our people. Supporting the #CAB shows his true colours, his lack of integrity and his desperate need to remain powerful at any cost. You will all be held accountable. Enjoy your temp power till then. #IndiaRejectsCAB — Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) December 9, 2019 All of this has occurred against the backdrop of massive protests erupting in states such as Assam, where indigenous populations fear that the bill - along with looming NRC revisions - will result in their language and culture being eclipsed. #BREAKING Students from Gauhati University Cotton University JB law college GU staff Gu law college Silpi Samaj Assam Engineering College takes out a huge rally in protest against the #CitizenshipAmendmentBill2019 in Jalukbari, Assam#IndiaRejectsCAB#IndiaAgainstCAB pic.twitter.com/ZXNwLqLQHP — Siddharth Setia (@ethicalsid) December 9, 2019 The Indian state of #Assam shuts down today to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (#CAB) amid tight security in Guwahati. #IndiaRejectsCAB pic.twitter.com/WovdCheo8z — Ahmer Khan (@ahmermkhan) December 10, 2019 Others simply argued that the government is drawing away attention from more immediate matters. Biggest problems faced by Indians today : unemployment, air pollution & water scarcity, state of public education and health, women's safety, rising income inequality, sinking economy, state of farmers, state of banks, corruption BJP's priority : CAB, NRC#IndiaRejectsCAB — Official PeeingHuman (@thepeeinghuman) December 9, 2019 While Indian economy is moving with 0% rate and the actual GDP is below 2.5%, the government wants to introduce NRC that would swallow of billions of dollars with no significant results. The state of Assam is a perfect example. #IndiaRejectsNRC#CABAgainstConstitution — Dr Yasir Nadeem (@Mufti_Yasir) December 5, 2019 Either way you look at it, the bill has split clear lines between its supporters and detractors. View the full article
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