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Found 20 results

  1. NDMA issues advisory for all departments concerned to remain alert and vigilant as series of heavy rains expected to start
  2. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecast light to moderate rain in the metropolis in the next 24 hours
  3. Austrian Severe Weather Centre says that large parts of the country are set for severe winter weather this week
  4. Photo: FileKARACHI: The Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecast that weather will remain pleasant and there are chances of rain over the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.Director MET Abdul Rasheed has predicted that Karachi will receive light rain on...
  5. eFil Photo SAN FRANCISCO: International Data Corporation forecast Wednesday that global smartphone sales would cool this year before heating up with help from new 5G networks and India's vibrant market.An IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker...
  6. International Data Corporation forecast Wednesday that global smartphone sales would cool this year before heating up with help from new 5G networks and India's vibrant market. Photo: AFP/fileSAN FRANCISCO: International Data Corporation forecast...
  7. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) attends a news conference on the world economic outlook during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on January 22, 2018?REUTERS photo DAVOS: The International Monetary Fund on Monday revised up its forecast for world economic growth in 2018 and 2019, saying sweeping US tax cuts were likely to boost investment in the world's largest economy and help its main trading partners. However, the IMF, in an update of its World Economic Outlook, also added that US growth would likely start weakening after 2022 as temporary spending incentives brought about by the tax cuts began to expire. The tax cuts would likely widen the US current account deficit, strengthen the US dollar and affect international investment flows, IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said. "Political leaders and policymakers must stay mindful that the current economic momentum reflects a confluence of factors that is unlikely to last for long," Obstfeld told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He said economic gains from the tax cuts would be partially paid back later in the form of lower growth as temporary spending incentives, notably for investment, expired and as rising federal debt took a toll. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde pointed to a "troubling" increase in debt levels across many countries and warned policymakers against complacency, saying now was the time to address structural deficiencies in their economies. Growth in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan also expected to pick up in 2018 and 2019 but remains subdued at 3.6 percent this year, says IMF Obstfeld said a sudden rise in interest rates could lead to questions about the debt sustainability of some countries and lead to a disruptive correction in "elevated" equity prices. IMF raises Saudi growth prospects over high oil prices The Saudi economy is also projected to grow by 2.2 percent next year US President Donald Trump signed Republicans´ massive $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law in December, cementing the biggest legislative victory of his first year. The tax package, the largest such overhaul since the 1980s, slashed the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and temporarily reduced the tax burden for most individuals as well. Pointing to growth in the United States and China, the IMF forecast global growth to 3.9 percent for both 2018 and 2019, a 0.2 percentage point increase from its last update in October. The US economy has been showing steady but underwhelming annual growth since the last recession in 2007-2009. The IMF now expects it to expand by 2.7 percent in 2018, much higher than the 2.3 percent the fund forecast in October. US growth was projected to slow to 2.5 percent in 2019, it said. The IMF also revised up its growth forecasts for the euro area, especially for Germany, Italy and the Netherlands "reflecting the stronger momentum in domestic demand and higher external demand". However, it cut its forecast for Spain's growth for 2018 by 0.1 percentage point, saying political uncertainty linked to the Catalonia region's independence push was expected to impact business confidence and demand. The IMF revised up its growth forecast for Japan to 1.2 percent this year and 0.9 percent in 2019. It maintained its projection for Britain's growth at 1.5 percent this year. The IMF maintained its forecast for growth in emerging markets and developing countries for this year and next. China's economy was expected to expand 6.6. percent this year and slow to 6.4 percent in 2019. It said growth in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan was also expected to pick up in 2018 and 2019 but remain subdued at 3.6 percent this year. The IMF revised down its growth estimate for South Africa to 0.9 percent for this year and next amid concerns over political uncertainty. In Latin America, it said growth would be weighed down by an economic collapse in Venezuela despite a pick-up in economic activity in Brazil and Mexico.
  8. Japan´s economy expanded in the April-June period, marking six straight quarters of gains in its longest winning streak for more than a decade. Photo: Reuters TOKYO: The International Monetary Fund Tuesday raised its growth forecast for Japan´s economy this year and next, but warned that a shrinking labour force and weak inflation will be a drag on the country´s prospects. The IMF said it now expects the world´s number three economy to post 1.5 percent GDP growth in 2017 and 0.7 percent next year, up from a July projection of 1.3 percent and 0.6 percent respectively. The fund cited a pickup in exports and stronger consumer spending for the upgraded outlook, after Japan´s economy grew 1.0 percent in 2016. "Stronger private consumption, investment, and external demand bolstered overall growth momentum in the first half of the year," it said in its latest World Economic Outlook. But the pace of expansion would weaken after this year as government stimulus fades, consumer spending moderates and a boost from investments linked to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is "offset by higher imports and slower projected growth in foreign demand", it added. The 2018 growth estimate factors in the likelihood of the Bank of Japan tightening its record monetary easing policy, the IMF said. Japan´s economy expanded in the April-June period, marking six straight quarters of gains in its longest winning streak for more than a decade. Business confidence is also at its highest in a decade, but the country is still grappling with low birthrates, a shrinking labour force and years of on-off deflation. The inflation rate is nowhere near the Bank of Japan´s 2.0-percent target, despite years of record monetary easing. The IMF said higher energy prices would boost prices this year. "But inflation rates are projected to remain below the Bank of Japan´s target throughout the forecast horizon," it added. The report repeated calls to bring more women into the workforce -- something Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to do -- with flexible work schedules and more daycare spots, while it also called on Tokyo to boost near-zero immigration. "In ageing societies, ensuring the affordability of elderly care is also crucial, given that, if care is too expensive, it would typically be the secondary earners in households -- typically women -- who shoulder the burden of unpaid work at home," the report said. Another key issue is a planned sales tax rise in 2019. Abe -- facing an election this month -- has said he would press on with the increase, even after the economy was pushed into a brief recession following a 2014 rise. "Japan should withdraw fiscal support very gradually, including through a gradual increase in the consumption tax rate over several years," the IMF report said. Japan´s national debt is now more than twice the size of its economy -- one of the world´s biggest -- as it wrestles with spiralling social welfare costs.
  9. This NOAA satellite image ? released on September 1, 2017 ? shows what the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite captured in a photo of Hurricane Irma at 11:15 AM (Eastern time) on August 31, 2017. AFP/NOAA/Handout MIAMI: Hurricane Irma in the central Atlantic is expected to remain a "powerful hurricane" as it heads towards the Caribbean, US weather monitors said Friday. Irma ? a Category 2 storm ? formed just days after the first major hurricane of the Atlantic season, Harvey, unleashed massive rain and floods over Texas. The hurricane is packing winds of 175 kilometres (110 miles) per hour and is moving west at a speed of 13 miles per hour. Irma is swirling in the mid-Atlantic some 1,580 miles east of the Leeward Islands, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said at 8 PM PST. Its tropical storm-strength winds extend outward up to 90 miles ? meaning these strong winds have already reached Puerto Rico and the Antilles Islands. The storm reached powerful Category 3 status on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale Thursday when its winds were clocked at 115 miles per hour. "Irma is forecast to remain a powerful hurricane for days," the NHC said, adding that strength fluctuations "are possible" over the weekend. The hurricane's centre is forecast to reach the Lesser Antilles islands on Tuesday. South Florida meteorologist Craig Setzer said it was too early to tell if the storm would impact Florida or the Gulf of Mexico region. Anxiety is running high over the risk of another storm in the southern United States after Harvey pounded the Texas coast, making landfall last week as a Category Four hurricane.
  10. Commuters walk through water-logged roads after heavy rains in Mumbai MUMBAI: Two toddlers were among at least six people who died after floods caused by heavy seasonal monsoon rains destroyed homes and disrupted traffic in India?s financial capital, police said on Wednesday. Train services resumed slowly and dozens of commuters began walking to work in Mumbai, a city of 20 million people that is home to India?s two biggest stock exchanges and the headquarters of several major companies. Some low-lying areas remained under water, causing vehicle pile-ups, after the city received nearly a month's equivalent of rainfall in a single day. Authorities ordered schools and colleges to shut following forecasts of more rain. ?There are several stranded cars and two-wheelers on the roads that we are clearing,? said traffic police official Amitesh Kumar. ?We are not expecting any major traffic jams as the machinery is geared up and the rain forecast is also not as bad.? Police said a 45-year-old woman and a 1-1/2-year-old child, members of the same family, died after their home in the northeastern suburb of Vikhroli crumbled late on Tuesday, while a 2-year-old girl died in a wall collapse. In the neighboring city of Thane, three people died after being swept away by floods, police added. Several firms made arrangements to provide food and rest areas for employees stuck in offices, while officials of temples and religious bodies offered help to those stranded on streets. Flights faced delays of up to 15 minutes, a spokeswoman for the Mumbai airport said, following several cancellations late on Tuesday. The deluge revived memories of 2005 floods that killed more than 500 people, the majority of them in shantytown slums where more than half the city?s population lives. Unabated construction on floodplains and coastal areas, as well as stormwater drains and waterways clogged by plastic garbage have made the city increasingly vulnerable to storms. In a message on social network Twitter, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered crisis-mitigation assistance to the government of Maharashtra, the western state whose capital Mumbai is. More than 1,200 people have died across India, Bangladesh and Nepal in the worst floods to strike South Asia in years.
  11. This photo ? taken on December 28, 2016 ? shows logos of US online social media and social networking service Facebook in Vertou, France. AFP/Loic Venance/Files SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook use in the US will slow as teens and young adults opt for smartphone image-sharing services Instagram and Snapchat, according to an eMarketer forecast released on Tuesday. The market tracker expected Facebook's online community to grow, saying it would be due mainly to increased adoption by older folks while use by those 24 years of age or younger sags. "We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram," said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco. "Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate ? that is, using visual content." And while there are 'Facebook-nevers' ? children entering their teenage years without engaging on the leading social network ? the Silicon Valley company owns Instagram so is still making connections with the demographic, according to the analyst. Meanwhile, eMarketer increased its projection for the number of people using Snapchat on a monthly basis in the US this year, forecasting it will grow 25.8 percent to 79.2 million. The biggest jump in Snapchat use was expected to be among young adults. Instagram use will likely grow 23.8 percent this year to 85.5 million people monthly, according to eMarketer. "Facebook is fortunate that it owns Instagram, which remains a strong platform for teens," said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. "Although usage of the main Facebook app is declining among teens, marketers will still be able to reach them on Instagram." The market tracker predicted that this year Snapchat will overtake Instagram and Facebook for the first time when it comes to the number of users ages 24 or younger. Snapchat was first released five years ago and became popular among young smartphone users for its disappearing messages, often photos or video. Growth pressure Analysts say it needs to show strong growth to keep pace in the rapidly evolving social media sector dominated by Facebook. Although Snapchat is best known for its smartphone messaging, it has also developed partnerships with numerous media outlets eager to reach its audience with news, video and other content. Shares of Snapchat parent company Snap fell to new lows this month after the company reported that its revenue more than doubled but its loss soared in the quarter that ended June 30. The average number of people using the vanishing message service daily rose 21 percent to 173 million when compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the earnings release. Market watchers had expected the ranks of users to grow to 175 million, with Snap missing the mark. Analysts have been concerned about the ability of Snap to effectively serve up ads given the ephemeral nature of the messaging service. Snap was the largest IPO of 2017 and rose more than 40 percent from initial trades to give it a market value of some $34 billion, but the recent slide has cut its valuation by more than half. Meanwhile, Instagram has unabashedly put its spins on popular Snapchat features and Facebook has been devoting engineering resources to enhance Instagram with artificial intelligence and advertising tools.
  12. French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at his home on a bicycle in Le Touquet, on the eve of the first round of the parliamentary election, France June 10, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer PARIS: French voters head to the polls on Sunday for the first of two rounds of a parliamentary election expected to give new President Emmanuel Macron a solid majority that should allow him to carry out far-reaching reforms. Just a month after the 39-year old ex-banker defied the odds to be elected to the head of the euro zone's second-largest economy, opinion polls forecast his one-year-old party will top voting this Sunday and win most seats in the June 18 run-off. "We want a big majority to be able to act and transform France over the next five years," Mounir Mahjoubi, a junior minister in Macron's government, told Reuters as he was canvassing for support in the northern Paris constituency where he is a candidate. The latest opinion polls forecast that Macron's centrist Republic On the Move (LREM) party and its center-right Modem allies will get at least 30 percent of the votes on Sunday, with the conservative The Republicans and its allies at around 20 percent and the far-right National Front around 17 percent. That outcome would transform into a landslide majority in the second round, opinion polls show. While elections in the lower house of parliament's 577 constituencies can be tricky to predict, especially with a total of 7,882 candidates vying for those seats, even LREM's rivals have been saying they expect Macron to get a majority. Their strategy over the past days has rather been to urge voters to make sure the opposition will be big enough to have some weight in parliament. "We shouldn't have a monopolistic party," ex-prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a Socialist, told Reuters. The survival of the Socialist Party, which ruled France for the past five years but is forecast to get just between about 15 and 30 seats, is at stake, as is the unity of The Republicans, which poll second but are divided on whether to back Macron. The National Front, reeling from a weaker-than-expected score for chief Marine Le Pen in the presidential election, could miss its target to get enough lawmakers to form a parliamentary group, though it is expected to do much better than the two deputies it had in the previous legislature. Macron pledged overhaul In a country with unemployment hovering near 10 percent and that is at risk of breaking its public deficit commitments, Macron was elected president in May on pledges to overhaul labour rules to make hiring and firing easier, cut corporate tax and invest billions in areas including job training and renewable energy. "If we really want him (Macron) to change things he needs a majority," 67-year-old voter Irena Plewa, a pensioner, said at a bustling Paris food market. Polling stations open at 8 AM (11 PM PST) and close at 6 PM (9 PM PST) in most cities and two hours later in Paris and other big cities. Results will then slowly start trickling in, alongside opinion polls estimates of the results. Very few lawmakers are expected to be elected directly in the first round. To achieve that, a candidate would need more than half of the votes and that must account for at least a quarter of registered voters. With many fresh faces among the candidates, a political landscape divided among many forces from the far-left to the far-right and abstention predicted to be at over 40 percent, that is unlikely to happen in many constituencies.
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