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ZODIAC

Found 1,880 results

  1. ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar said Sunday that the prevalent wheat crisis will be solved tomorrow (Monday). Bakhtiar was speaking during a press conference during which he said the crisis will be solved by Monday as the government currently had 4 million tonnes of wheat in its stock. He said that Sindh government's "late lifting" of the wheat from Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) had resulted in the artificial crisis taking place in the province. He said that the transport strike in the province made matters worse. "Sindh did not even procure a grain of wheat this year whereas their target was 700,000 tonnes," he said. "The NLC has gave 9,000 tonnes of wheat to the Sindh government only for Karachi. Today, they will provide 10,000 tonnes [of wheat]. "Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was receiving 2,000 tonnes of wheat daily while Sindh was only lifting 150 tonnes," he added. Speaking about the flour crisis in KP, Bakhtiar said the Punjab government's food department noticed that wheat was being provided to KP "more than the necessary amount" saying that as checks and balances were introduced by the provincial government, it led to a "suspension in the supply chain". The federal minister said as flour mills open from Monday, wheat prices will start declining. He said about 40,000 metric tons of wheat were smuggled to Afghanistan per month and special measures were also made to check this smuggling to keep the supply smooth in local markets. Bakhtiar said a special helpline was also established to monitor the wheat supply in local markets and wheat procurement targets were also enhanced from six million tons to eight million tons to keep the strategic reserves for local requirements. To a question, he said incumbent government has attached higher priorities with the agriculture sector and initiated development projects worth Rs 300 billion to enhance the output of major crops including wheat.
  2. Filmmaker Sarmad Khoosat on Thursday drew Prime Minister Imran Khan's attention towards hurdles being created in the release of his upcoming film "Zindagi Tamasha". Taking to Twitter, Khoosat shared an open letter addressed to the prime minister and others concerned. "24th of January was set as the release date. However, a 'complaint' was registered against the writer, the producer and myself, based on assumptions made from the two and a half minute long trailer," He wrote. Sarmad Khoosat further said, "As a law-abiding citizen and with full conviction that there is nothing offensive or malicious in the film, in response I submitted the film for another review to the censor board. It was cleared once again with a few cuts to appease the complainants. I launched the promotional campaign and now, just a week before the film's release, another attempt is being made by the some group to stop the release of the film and this time they are hell-bent on using pressurising tactics". "I am bringing this to your notice not just because my team and I are being bullied and pressurised but also because this series of episodes undermines a state institution like the Central Board of Film Censors and strips it of its authority and stature. The space for rational and artistic thinking and expression must not be annexed by a few troublemakers for their political ends but I fear this is what will happen if we buckle under this time. Sincerely, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat," Read Khoosat's letter. Directed and co-produced by Sarmad along with his sister Kanwal Khoosat, Zindagi Tamasha is a bilingual movie, which has been shot in the beautiful city of Lahore. Written by Nirmal Bano, a fresh graduate from NCA, it features model turned actress Eman Suleman, Samiya Mumtaz, Arif Hasan and Ali Qureshi in pivotal roles, while Sarmad will have a special appearance in the upcoming film.
  3. OnePlus, as we all know, will launch its new phone for 2020 very soon. Although we don't know much about the phone just yet, we believe it's going to be a premium device with snappy performance, just like their current phones in the market. And now the CEO of OnePlus, Pete Lau, has just confirmed that their next phone will have a 120Hz display. Now, that's just awesome because we already love the 90Hz panel on the OnePlus 7T and the OnePlus 7T Pro. In fact, Pete believes that it'll be the best smartphone display in 2020. © MensXP/ Akshay Bhalla We're glad that OnePlus has decided to push the boundaries when it comes to display tech and come up with this new 120Hz panel for their next phone, which is believed to the OnePlus 8. As revealed by OnePlus, the new display feature the most rigorous hardware configuration in the industry and a handful of exciting technologies including MEMC technology for smoother video playback and a QHD+ resolution. The display also has the most accurate colour accuracy and 4096-level of automatic brightness control, four times of average android flagships. All that sounds super exciting, doesn't it? Well, now we just can't wait to check out the device in person and feel for it. © Reuters Pete Lau says, "We believe that the smoothest smartphone display must also be able to deliver a superior visual quality and viewing comfort. We're sure that OnePlus's new 120Hz Fluid Display will be the best you'll lay eyes on in 2020." As of now, we don't know when the company is planning to release its next phone. But they recently showcased a concept phone with a really cool feature, so be sure to check it out. View the full article
  4. FAISALABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan's mission to woo the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) will prove fruitless, said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart Rana Sanaullah on Sunday. The former Punjab law minister was addressing a rally when he made the statement. He cautioned the MQM-P from reverting to the coalition government, saying that if it does, the party "will go back" on its stance. He said the government did not have any policy hence it was not possible for them to mend fences with any party. Sanaullah's comments came a few hours after the MQM-P's Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, resigned. Siddiqui cited the government's inability to fulfill promises made to the MQM-P as the reason for parting ways with the federal cabinet. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui resigns from federal ministry "We had promised the government to help with the formation of the government and we held our end of the deal. However, none of the promises made to us have seen any progress,” Siddiqui said while addressing a press conference in Karachi along with senior Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leaders in Karachi. “It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to remain a part of the federal cabinet as questions are being raised upon my presence in the cabinet,” he explained. Speaking about the agreement with the government, the MQM-P convener told the media that two agreements were made with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), one in Bani Gala, the other in the Bahadurabad, in the presence of Jahangir Tareen. Siddiqui said that they [MQM-P] had supported the federal government in every difficult phase but "injustice was still being done with Sindh". In response to a question regarding the ending of its alliance with the government, Siddiqui said, “We did not ask for the law ministry neither did we propose Farogh Naseem’s name. The two names that we had proposed for the ministry did not include [Farogh] Naseem’s name. The government had selected his [Farogh Naseem] name on its own.” Siddiqui denied that his decision had anything to do with the recent proposal of provincial ministries by Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Siddiqui in exchange for MQM-P's help in toppling the government. “This has nothing to do with PPP’s offer,” Siddiqui said.
  5. Photo: FileThe Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecast light rain in Karachi on Sunday evening after a westerly weather system entered the country from neighbouring Iran led to heavy rains and snowfall in Balochistan, reported The News. “Light rain is expected in Karachi on Sunday evening or night through a westerly disturbance that would cause rains in most of the Sindh province. This system is already resulting in heavy rains and snowfall in the Balochistan province,” Anjum Nazir, a spokesman for PMD in Karachi, said on Saturday. Like other parts of the country, the port city is also in the grip of a cold wave although the temperature in the metropolis remains pleasant as compared to other cities and regions of the country, Nazim said. Read also: Freezing winds grip Karachi as winter cold intensifies The official added that despite gusty cold winds, the minimum temperature remained 12°C on Friday night, while maximum daytime temperature was 24°C. “Cloudy/partly cloudy weather is expected on Sunday in Karachi with chances of light rain. There would also be cold winds, but their gust would be lesser than what it is today.”
  6. LONDON: Discussions regarding future plans for Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are progressing well and should conclude within days not weeks, a royal source said on Saturday. The couple, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, blindsided the rest of the royal family on Wednesday by unexpectedly announcing they would be stepping back from their roles to spend more time in North America and earn an income. They did not consult Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, or other members of the royal family before making their surprise announcement on a new website, https://sussexroyal.com. Officials spent Friday holding behind-the-scenes meetings about new arrangements for Harry and Meghan and things were progressing well, according to the royal source, who added that the aim was to reach agreement within days. The source said officials had consulted the British and Canadian governments about the issue of the couple’s future. Meghan is in Canada with the couple’s baby son, Archie, and she and Harry are reported to be considering basing themselves in that country. Separately, the London Times newspaper reported that Meghan, a former TV actress, had agreed to record a voiceover for Disney in return for the company making a donation to a charity that works to protect elephants. The Times gave no details about what Meghan’s voiceover would involve, but said Disney would make a donation to the charity Elephants Without Borders. The newspaper did not say where the information had come from. An official spokeswoman at Buckingham Palace had no immediate comment on the report. Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  7. Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane. Photo: Deccan Herald Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane on Saturday said if his army receives orders from the Indian parliament to 'reclaim' Azad Kashmir from Pakistan, it will take action, India Today has reported. Addressing the media, the newly-appointed Indian army chief said: “If the [Indian] parliament wants [Azad] Kashmir to be a part of India, then we will take the necessary action to achieve that goal.” “There is a parliamentary resolution that entire Jammu and Kashmir is part of India. If Parliament wants it, then, that area [AJK] also should belong to us,” he added. This is not the first time the new Indian general has indulged in provocative posturing. In an earlier statement, Gen Naravane had said that India "reserve[d] the right to preemptively strike at sources of terror". He had told the Press Trust of India that India had "evolved a strategy of resolute punitive response against sponsored terrorism". Pakistan had rejected the statement, calling it 'irresponsible'. The Foreign Office in its statement had said Pakistan was fully able to respond to any Indian aggression in AJK and that New Delhi should not forget Islamabad's befitting response to its aggression in Balakot last year. Read: FM Qureshi warns of false flag operation by India in Kashmir Tensions have been high between the two nuclear-armed neighbours since New Delhi revoked the special status of India-occupied Kashmir on August 5 of last year, imposing a military lockdown in the valley. The two countries had in February last year engaged in cross-border aerial missions, which had resulted in the capture of Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistani forces. The captured pilot was eventually let go by Pakistan as a gesture of peace. Read also: Indian army chief Bipin Rawat beats war drums over Azad Kashmir Pakistan army vows 'even stronger' response if India attempts military action Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan's armed forces will give an 'even stronger' response than that of February, if India attempts any military action across the Line of Control (LoC). The Indian army chief’s statement on Azad Kashmir was a part of routine rhetoric to divert attention from domestic issues in India, said the DG ISPR. The DG ISPR, in a tweet, said that Pakistan’s armed forces are ready to respond to any Indian aggression. “Statements by Indian COAS to undertake military action across LOC are routine rhetoric for domestic audiences to get out of ongoing internal turmoil. Pakistan Armed Forces are fully prepared to respond to any act of Indian aggression," he tweeted. The DG ISPR called the Indian COAS' statement a latest manifestation of extremist indoctrination in India’s state institutions. ‪"We are aware of the dangers of belligerent fascist mindset in IOJ&K and to regional peace. World needs to take notice of Indian atrocities in IOJ&K and against minorities across India,” he said. ‪He added that India has experienced Pakistan’s response on Feb 27, 2019. “Same shall be even stronger next time,” said the DG ISPR. Pakistan Army 'ready for India'Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing a rally in Pind Dadan Khan on December 26, had said Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has assured him that the country's military is "ready for India" in case of an attack on Azad Kashmir. "I am telling you now, [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi will use this [protests against anti-Muslim laws in India] to do something in Azad Kashmir. I informed Gen Bajwa about this and he told me that Pakistan Army is ready for India," the premier had said.
  8. Geo.tv/Files Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said Khawaja Saad Rafique was not welcome in the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s party meetings anymore as major rifts existed within the party. “There are rifts in the PML-N leadership, and I have also head that party leaders have asked Khawaja Saad Rafique to not attend PML-N meetings anymore,” he said while addressing an event on Friday. The minister prayed for Nawaz Sharif’s health and hoped the former prime minister will return to the country and face cases against him. He said the government had allocated a huge portion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the Science and Technology sector. “We have to efficiently run science departments of schools and colleges across the country,” he said. “Unfortunately, even after being a nuclear power we [Pakistanis] have still not been able to build a TV set,” he said. Talking about the prime minister’s Ehsaas Programme, he said the main objective of the government's initiative was to help uplift the poor. “The opposition parties displayed responsibility in the Army Act amendment,” he said while referring to the recently passed bill. "We are trying to build a consensus with the opposition over National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance, and will also consider their rightful demands," Fawad said. He continued his criticism of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) saying that the institution was a powerful one but had failed to live up to its role. The council was also not able to prove itself responsible in several matters, he remarked. Fawad Chaudhry questions role of CIIEarlier, Fawad questioned the performance of the religious body, which is responsible for reviewing the laws in the light of Islamic principles. “There are serious questions on the CII as the religious class has never got any meaningful guidance from the body," he said in a tweet.
  9. Deepika Padukoneâs much-talked-about movie Chhapaak has finally hit the screens today and her husband Ranveer Singh is all praises for his talented wife's stellar performance as Malti in the movie. Even before its release, Chhapaak generated a lot of buzz and just the trailer alone left everyone in awe of Deepika and her incredible acting. Ranveer, recently, took to social media after watching Chhapaak and joined the chorus of people hailing Deepika. In his post, Ranveer did not hold back from being emotional in praising his wife and stated how Deepikaâs performance moved him completely. He took to Instagram to write a long, heartfelt note for Deepika and director Meghna Gulzar. Praising Meghna, he wrote, âMeghna, your film gives the audience hope and courage. It shows you the best and worst of humanity in a kaleidoscopic cinematic spectrum. It elucidates a subject that weâve only ever heard of but never really fully understood. It offers a definitive and insightful deep-dive into the horrific gamut of acid violence. The story shakes you to your core and then lifts you heroically until your emotions soar. Talvar, Raazi and now Chhapaak..may I say Bravo!â He then went on to praise Deepika for the strength that she displayed for her role as Malti. It could not have been easy, in any way, for Deepika to play the role of an acid attack victim on the big screen, emotionally and physically, and Ranveer acknowledged his wife's efforts to create this masterpiece. He wrote, âMy baby. Iâve witnessed you toil relentlessly to create this special piece of work. Youâve been an engine behind the project, and are the soul of the film. This is the most important instalment in your body of work. You laboured with such honesty in intent and action. You dug deep and fought through your challenges, faced your fears, overcame your struggles and today you and your team stand triumphant as the creators of one of the films of our times. Your performance is way more than everything I thought it could and would be. Itâs moved me, stirred me and stayed with me. You blended strength with vulnerability and lent dignity to an immensely complex portrayal in such a fine manner that Iâm simply awestruck at your craft. It's staggering and astonishing what youâve achieved with Malti. A glowing gem in your repertoire. I love you, baby. Iâve never been more proud of you. @deepikapadukone #chhapaakâ added Ranveer. Check out the post: View this post on InstagramMeghna, your film gives the audience hope and courage. It shows you the best and worst of humanity in a kaleidoscopic cinematic spectrum. It elucidates a subject that weâve only ever heard of but never really fully understood. It offers a definitive and insightful deep-dive into the horrific gamut of acid violence. The story shakes you to your core and then lifts you heroically until your emotions soar. Talvar, Raazi and now Chhapaak..may I say âBravo!â And âEncore!â â¤ï¸ My baby. Iâve witnessed you toil relentlessly to create this special piece of work. Youâve been an engine behind the project, and are the soul of the film. This is the most important instalment in your body of work. You laboured with such honesty in intent and action. You dug deep and fought through your challenges, faced your fears, overcame your struggles and today you and your team stand triumphant as the creators of one of the films of our times. Your performance is way more than everything I thought it could and would be. Itâs moved me, stirred me and stayed with me. You blended strength with vulnerability and lent dignity to an immensely complex portrayal in such a fine manner that Iâm simply awestruck at your craft. Its staggering and astonishing what youâve achieved with Malti. A glowing gem in your repertoire. I love you baby. Iâve never been more proud of you. @deepikapadukone #chhapaakA post shared by (@ranveersingh) Ranveer and Deepikaâs photos from the special screening of the movie have been going viral. © Viral Bhayani Deepika got the loudest cheer from her actor-husband Ranveer, who showered her with hugs and kisses on the red carpet. Check out the video here: View this post on InstagramA post shared by (@viralbhayani) Talking about the movie, Deepika, as Malti, initiates the conversation on completely banning the sale of acid, besides portraying the immense struggle in the life of an acid attack survivor and has done a stellar job in Chhapaak. The movie has hit the screens today. Are you planning on catching a screening? Let us know in the comments section below. View the full article
  10. Photo: FileKARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased $14 million to $11.503 billion during the week ended January 3 from $11.489 billion a year ago, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Thursday. Total liquid foreign exchange reserves held by the country stood at $18.084 billion, compared with $18.081 billion in the previous week. The forex reserves held by commercial banks; however, fell to $6.581 billion from $6.592 billion, it added. Also read: Pakistan's net foreign reserves increase by $36mn: SBP SBP reportThe SBP, in its first quarterly report on the State of Pakistan’s Economy for FY20, had on Monday said, "Pakistan's economy moved progressively along the adjustment path, but inflation reached the highest level during the last seven years." Pakistan’s economic growth is unlikely to meet the target of 4 percent this fiscal, due to soft trends in agriculture and manufacturing production, the central bank said, advising the government to address structural vulnerabilities to put the economy on a sustainable growth trajectory.
  11. Internet and prepaid mobile services in Kashmir are yet to be restored. Photo: ReutersNEW DELHI: India's Supreme Court ruled on Friday that shutting down the internet in the occupied region of Kashmir was unconstitutional in a rebuke for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. New Delhi imposed a communications lockdown in August after it withdrew the Muslim majority region's autonomy, aiming to control unrest, reported Reuters news agency. An indefinite suspension of the internet is a violation of the country's telecoms rules, the court said, ordering authorities in occupied Kashmir to review all curbs in a week's time. Also read: 'Free Kashmir' poster surfaces at Delhi university Diplomats visit occupied territory in state-run visitForeign diplomats visited Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) on Thursday for the first time since August, but some European nations and others declined to go after being refused permission to travel independently. Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India’s foreign ministry, said diplomats of 15 countries, including the United States, were on a two-day trip “to see first-hand the efforts that have been made by the government to normalize the situation”. Also read: EU envoys refuse Kashmir visit, say don’t want a ‘guided tour’ The trip includes meetings with the army, politicians, civil society groups and journalists selected by the security services, two officials familiar with the plans said. The diplomats will not be given access to Omar Abdullah or Mehbooba Mufti, the leaders of the two political parties that have historically dominated occupied Kashmir. Also read: Facebook blocks Radio Pakistan’s live streaming of Kashmir coverage: report Both were among hundreds of political and civil society leaders detained during the August crackdown and remain in custody, and their plight was raised with the delegation, said Ghulam Hassan Mir, a politician that met the group. Also read: US ambassador Alice Wells to arrive in Pakistan on January 19 The August crackdown drew international criticism, and diplomats from several countries say they have raised concerns about human rights in occupied Kashmir with foreign ministry officials. Access to the region for foreign observers, including diplomats, rights groups and journalists, is tightly controlled. Foreign envoys are rarely granted permission to travel outside of Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar. Foreign journalists have not been granted permission to visit since August.
  12. Why do some politicians even open their mouths? They don't have the brain cells to form any intelligent thought but are still so entitled to share their idiotic and downright sexist opinion. And then we have to suffer the pain of listening to them. As we all saw recently, Deepika Padukone just showing up at JNU and standing in solidarity with the students who were brutally attacked caused a controversy. While half the people praised her for her powerful gesture, the other half attacked her and her upcoming movie Chhapaak. © Twitter One person, however, was so bothered by Deepika's presence at JNU, he resorted to saying something very misogynistic about 'heroines' of Bollywood. Madhya Pradesh BJP leader Gopal Bhargava said, "Heroines should dance in Mumbai. Why should she go to JNU? I do not know. There are many people like her. If they want to do politics then you should enter politics and contest elections." © Twitter There's a lot to unpack here; first of all, is he saying a heroine's job is just to dance in movies? Just to be objectified for sleazy people like him? Moreover, how is her going to JNU related at all? She didn't go there as an actress, she went there to stand with the students and show her solidarity. Also, I'm pretty sure he doesn't know that this is a democracy where every citizen has a right to comment and criticize. You don't need to enter politics to have an opinion on what's happening in the country. He, obviously, got called out for his sexist remarks, and rightly so. Politicians shld STFU and do their work. 'Heroines should be in Mumbai and dance': BJP's Gopal Bhargava takes dig at Deepika Padukone over JNU visit | India News - Times of India https://t.co/6KNZptN9tt — manjula narayan (@utterflea) January 10, 2020 It's so problematic and disgusting. 'Can it get more disgusting. People like these spread the idea of females being the lower *** and a commodity. 'Heroines should be in Mumbai and dance': BJP's Gopal Bhargava takes dig at Deepika Padukone over JNU visit | India News - Times of India https://t.co/sEcK1K5ui6 — Sapangeet Rajwant (@Sapangeet) January 10, 2020 Sad that it's so common. I give you today your daily sexist remark by a politician. 'Heroines should be in Mumbai and dance': BJP's Gopal Bhargava takes a dig at Deepika Padukone over JNU visit. Read more at:https://t.co/OxIcbvtSE2 — Kiran Manral (@KiranManral) January 10, 2020 How to fight stupidity with sarcasm. This is just no way to talk about ministers in your party. So what if they've been actresses before? Today they are capable members of the governing party ! Sheesh. So sexist! https://t.co/UfHMbt1Fjd — TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) January 10, 2020 Every year? That's being generous. Wow. Every year without fail. One minister has to make at least one misogynistic comment about an actress. https://t.co/GwaXqUGecO — Brown Sahiba (@Rajyasree) January 10, 2020 View the full article
  13. The wreckage of the Ukrainian airliner that crashed, killing all 176 on boardIran said Thursday media reports from the United States that Tehran had accidentally shot down a Ukrainian aircraft — killing all 176 people on board two days ago — made "no sense". A Ukraine airliner had crashed outside Tehran after taking off, just a few hours after Iran fired missiles at two military bases in Iraq that housed US troops, escalating tensions with Washington. US media reported that unnamed American officials had claimed Iran had shot down the plane mistakenly. President Donald Trump had hinted towards the possibility, saying "something terrible had happened". "I have my suspicions," he had said. "It was flying in a pretty rough neighbourhood and somebody could have made a mistake. Some people say it was mechanical. "I personally don't think that's even a question." Analysts pointed to pictures shared widely online of the aircraft's wrecked fuselage showing multiple apparent puncture holes consistent with a rocket that detonated just outside the plane, blasting shrapnel into it. "Similar marks were visible on wreckage of MH17," CNN reporter Jim Sciutto said, referring to the Malaysian Airlines flight that was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Eastern Ukraine by a Russian-designed surface-to-air missile. Iran, on the other hand, denied the reports, saying many international airliners were at the time flying over the country. "Several internal and international flights were flying at the same time in Iranian airspace at the same altitude of 8,000 feet (2,440 metres)," Iran's transport ministry said. The head of Iran's civil aviation organisation and deputy transport minister, Ali Abedzadeh, responded to the rumours on social media that the Revolutionary Guards had fired missiles at the aircraft by mistake. He said Tehran was in the process of retrieving information from the aircraft's black box to ascertain the cause of the crash. "But if more specialised work is required to extract and analyse the data, we can do it in France or another country," he said. Iranian authorities said there were indications the plane had turned back after facing problems. A team of Ukrainian experts flew in and joined the investigation on the ground on Thursday.
  14. The wreckage of the Ukrainian airliner that crashed, killing all 176 on boardTehran said on Thursday US media reports that Iran had had accidentally shot down a Ukrainian aircraft--killing all 176 people on board two days ago--made 'no sense'. A Ukraine airliner crashed outside Tehran after taking off, a few hours after Iran fired missiles at two military bases in Iraq that housed US troops, escalating tensions with Washington. US media reported that unnamed American officials had claimed Iran had shot down the plane mistakenly. President Trump hinted towards the possibility, saying "something terrible had happened". "I have my suspicions," he said. "It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood and somebody could have made a mistake. Some people say it was mechanical. I personally don´t think that´s even a question." Analysts pointed to pictures shared widely online of the wrecked fuselage of the aircraft showing multiple apparent puncture holes consistent with a rocket that detonated just outside the plane, blasting shrapnel into it. "Similar marks were visible on wreckage of MH17," CNN reporter Jim Sciutto said, referring to the Malaysian Airlines flight which was shot down only July 17, 2014 over Eastern Ukraine by a Russian-designed surface-to-air missile. Iran, on the other hand, denied the reports, saying that many international airliners were at the time flying over the country. "Several internal and international flights were flying at the same time in Iranian airspace at the same altitude of 8,000 feet (2,440 metres)," said Iran's transport ministry. Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran´s civil aviation organisation and deputy transport minister, responded to rumours on social media networks that the Revolutionary Guards' had fired missiles at the aircraft by mistake. He said Iran was in the process of retrieving information from the black box of the aircraft to ascertain the cause of the crash. "But if more specialised work is required to extract and analyse the data, we can do it in France or another country," he said. Iranian authorities said there were indications the plane had turned back after facing problems. A team of Ukrainian experts flew in and joined the investigation on the ground Thursday.
  15. Iranian experts begin their investigation into why a Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran with the loss of all 176 people on board. IRNA/Akbar Tavakoli/via AFPIranian authorities have said a Ukrainian airliner, which crashed outside Tehran with the loss of all 176 people on board, had turned back after suffering a problem, as Ukrainian experts joined the investigation Thursday. Both Canada and the United States called for a full investigation to determine the cause of Wednesday's crash, which came shortly after Tehran launched missiles at US forces in Iraq in response to the killing of a top Iranian general in a US drone strike in Baghdad. There was no immediate indication that foul play may have caused the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) plane to go down soon after take-off, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned against speculating on the crash causes. "The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash," the Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation said on its website late Wednesday. "The plane disappeared from radar screens the moment it reached 8,000 feet (2,400 metres). The pilot sent no radio message about the unusual circumstances. "According to eyewitnesses, a fire was seen on board the plane which grew in intensity," the organisation added, reporting the first findings of its investigation into the crash. The organisation said it had questioned witnesses both on the ground and on board a second aircraft which was flying above the Ukrainian Boeing 737 as the disaster unfolded. Santa doll in wreckageHeartbreaking details started emerging about the victims, most of them from Iran and Canada. Body bags were lined up on the ground, and the passengers' personal items — including luggage, clothes, a Santa Claus doll, and a boxing glove — were scattered in the debris. According to Ukraine, 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three Britons were on board, as well as 11 Ukrainians — including nine crew. About 30 came from the Iranian community around Edmonton, capital of Alberta province in western Canada, where resident Payman Parseyan described the tragedy as "devastating". "Every one of our community members was touched in one way or another," Parseyan told Canada's national broadcaster CBC. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his "sincere condolences" to the bereaved families. No cooperation with USSome 45 Ukrainian aviation experts and security officials flew to Tehran early Thursday to participate in the investigation, including "deciphering the black boxes" discovered by Iranian authorities at the crash site, Ukraine's President Zelensky said. They will also seek to identify the remains of Ukrainian victims with a view to repatriating them. Iran's civil aviation chief, Ali Abedzadeh, said Iran would cooperate with Ukraine, but not send the black boxes to the United States, with which it has had no diplomatic relations for four decades. Without naming Iran directly, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement calling for "complete cooperation with any investigation into the cause of the crash". According to aviation experts, only a handful of countries are capable of analysing black boxes — notably Britain, France, Germany, and the US. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would ensure a "thorough investigation" and that "Canadians' questions are answered". Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne spoke by telephone on Thursday with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, Tehran said. Canada is home to a large Iranian diaspora, and UIA offers relatively inexpensive flights between Toronto and Tehran, with a layover in Kiev. UIA, the ex-Soviet country's privately-owned main carrier, said flight PS752 took off from Tehran airport at 6:10AM and disappeared from radars minutes later. It slammed into farmland at Khalaj Abad, in Shahriar county, about 45 kilometres (just under 30 miles) northwest of the airport, Iranian state media said. A video aired by Iran's state broadcaster appeared to show the plane already on fire as it fell. The airline said the Boeing 737 had been built in 2016 and checked only two days before the accident. It was UIA's first fatal crash.
  16. US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft. Photo: Reuters The United States' Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said on Thursday that Washington was now “ready to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran”. The statement came after US President Donald Trump showed restraint following Tehran’s missile attacks on two US bases in Iraq, deciding not to launch into yet another armed conflict in the Middle East. In a letter to the UN's Security Council, Craft said the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani last week was 'self-defense' and vowed to take additional action “as necessary” in the Middle East to protect US personnel and interests. She added the US stood “ready to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran, with the goal of preventing further endangerment of international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime.” The killing of Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday was justified under Article 51 of the UN Charter, wrote Craft in the letter, seen by Reuters. She added that, “the United States is prepared to take additional actions in the region as necessary to continue to protect US personnel and interests.” Read also: US has restored 'level of deterrence' on Iran, says Pentagon chief. Craft added Soleimani’s death and US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on December 29 against an Iran-backed militia group were “in response to an escalating series of armed attacks in recent months by the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran-supported militias on US forces and interests in the Middle East.” She said the aim was to deter Iran from conducting or supporting attacks and degrade its ability to conduct attacks. Iran had retaliated on Wednesday for Soleimani’s death by firing missiles at military facilities housing US troops in Iraq. President Donald Trump said no Americans were hurt, soothing fears that Soleimani’s death and the Iranian response could spark a wider conflict in the Middle East. Iran's UN envoy dismisses any cooperation with TrumpIran’s UN ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi dismissed President Trump’s call for cooperation as “unbelievable” and said Tehran “does not seek escalation or war” after exercising its right to self-defense by taking a “measured and proportionate military response targeting an American air base in Iraq.” “The operation was precise and targeted military objectives, thus leaving no collateral damage to civilians and civilian assets in the area,” Ravanchi wrote in his letter to UN. Read also: Trump says Iran standing down, US 'ready to embrace peace' “Seriously warning about any further military adventurism against it, Iran declares that it is determined to continue to, vigorously and in accordance with applicable international law, defend its people, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity against any aggression,” he said. With reporting by Reuters.
  17. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Division Dr Moeed Yusuf. Photo: FileSpecial Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Division Dr Moeed Yusuf has said the United States has sought Pakistan’s help to defuse tensions in its conflict with Iran. “Washington asking Islamabad to play a role in the Middle East row shows Pakistan’s international standing as a peacemaker," Yusuf said while speaking to Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath. The situation in the Gulf region escalated after Iran, in retaliation to the killing of its military commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone attack last week, fired missiles at US bases in Iraq on Tuesday night. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper had made phone calls to Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa in the past few days to discuss the conflict. Read also: PM Imran calls for de-escalation, says Pakistan will not be part of conflict General Bajwa told the US officials that the region cannot afford another war and dialogue is the only way forward. Yusuf added that Pakistan has made its stance very clear to the US that we don’t want conflict here. “We hope that the situation would de-escalate. PM Imran has instructed the foreign minister and army chief to approach major countries,” he said. “Pakistan is trying to play the role of a mediator for the sake of peace in the region and no Muslim country other than Pakistan could do that,” Yusaf added. ‘Won’t become part of new war now’Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday asked Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to visit Iran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the US to convey the message that Pakistan was ready to play its role for peace, but it would never again be a part of any war. Read also: Gen Bajwa speaks to US defence secretary, urges Washington and Tehran to 'avoid rhetoric' The prime minister also asked the army chief to contact relevant military leaders of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the US to convey the same message. “I have asked FM Qureshi to visit Iran, KSA and USA to meet with respective foreign ministers, Secretary of State; and COAS Gen Bajwa to contact relevant military leaders to convey a clear message: Pakistan is ready to play its role for peace but it can never again be part of any war,” the prime minister had said in a tweet. US 'ready to embrace peace’: Trump US President Donald Trump on Wednesday pulled back from the brink of war with Iran on Wednesday, saying that Tehran appeared to be "standing down" after firing missiles — without causing casualties — at US troops based in Iraq. In a televised address to the nation from the White House, Trump emphasised there were "no Americans harmed" in the ballistic missile salvo aimed at two bases. Read also: Trump says Iran standing down, US 'ready to embrace peace' While he promised to immediately impose "punishing" new economic sanctions on Tehran, Trump welcomed signs the Islamic republic "appears to be standing down" in the tit-for-tat confrontation. He also offered peace to Iran, saying Tehran was "standing down" after missile strikes on US troop bases in Iraq that resulted in no American or Iraqi deaths.
  18. United States President Donald Trump Wednesday offered peace to Iran, saying Tehran was "standing down" after missile strikes on US troop bases in Iraq that resulted in no American or Iraqi deaths. Trumps comments came as tensions between Washington and Tehran soared after two military bases housing American troops in Iraq were attacked with missiles from Iran. Will strike 'resounding blow' if Israel is attacked: Netanyahu warns Iran Addressing a press conference at the White House, Trump said the targeted military bases suffered 'minimal damage' owing to "precautions and an early warning system" that helped save lives when the missiles were fired. "The American people should be happy. I am pleased to announce that no US soldiers were hurt in the attack last night by the Iran regime," he said. "Iran seems to be standing down which is good for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world," he said. "No American or Iraqi lives were lost." Can the Iranian army confront the might of the American military? Further sanctions against IranThe US president said Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism and their pursuit of nuclear weapons puts the entire world at risk. Trump said the US "will never let that happen" referring to Iran's attempts to secure nuclear warheads. Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed by US drone strike last week that sparked further tensions between the two nations."We are constructing many hypersonic missiles. The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. As long as I am President, Iran will never be allowed to have nuclear weapon," he said. Trump lashed out at late Iranian commander, Qassem Soleimani, saying that his "hands were drenched with the blood" of thousands of innocents. He accused Soleimani of "fuelling civil wars" and carrying out bloodshed in other countries. "Soleimani's hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood," he said. "By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists--if you value your lives, you will not continue to threaten the lives of our people," he said. "Your campaign of murder and hate will not be tolerated further," he said in a message to the state of Iran. "It will not be allowed to go on further." He called on NATO to increase its role in the Middle East. Trump said Iran will have to forego its nuclear programme at any cost. Saying that the US was considering a wide range of options on how to respond to Iran's aggression, Trump said the US was imposing "punishing economic sanctions until Iran changes its behaviour." US President Donald Trump(C) speaks about the situation with Iran in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, DC, January 8, 2020.—AFP photoHe said Iran was emboldened by the "foolish nuclear deal" through which Tehran received $150 billion out of which $1.8 billion were paid in cash. Trump said that money was used by Iran to carry out terrorist activities in other Middle East countries. "Instead of saying thank you to us, they chanted 'death to America'," he said. US 'ready to embrace peace'The American president said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was organising ISIS into a real threat. He said it were the US forces that took him out and ensured the world remained a safer place. "Al Baghdadi was trying to rebuild ISIS which failed," he said. "ISIS is a natural enemy of Iran. The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran. We should work on this and other shared priorities together," he said. He gave a message to the "people and leaders of Iran" that the US was "ready to have peace with all those who seek it". Trump said the US wanted Iran to have a "great and prosperous future with other countries of the world".
  19. Photo: Reuters Kuwait's government Wednesday said that reports of US troops withdrawal Camp Arifjan were incorrect and that the state news agency was hacked which had made the claim. Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) apparently reported on Wednesday that Kuwait's defence minister received a letter from the commander in chief of a US military camp in Kuwait "declaring imminent withdrawal of all US military forces in three days." "Receiving such letter from Camp Arifjan was unexpected and we are communicating with US Department of Defense for more details and information,” the agency had reported the minister as saying. Also read: Aramco shares hit lowest level since market debut as US-Iran tensions rise Top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed last week in a US strike on Baghdad´s international airport, which led to escalation of tension between the two countries. The Pentagon had said US President Donald Trump ordered Soleimani's "killing," after a pro-Iran mob this week laid siege to the US embassy. Declaring three days of mourning across the country, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to take "severe revenge" for Soleimani´s death. In a response to the US strike that killed Al Quds commander Qassem Soleimani, Iran fired multiple surface-to-surface ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq that housed American troops. This was the first time that Iran has directly engaged the US military in conflict as previously the two countries waged battles against each other through proxies and militias.
  20. After nearly eight years of proceedings, personal anguish and public outrage, the horrific Nirbhaya rape case has finally come close to an end, as a Delhi court has issued death sentences against the four convicts, who are scheduled to hang on the 22nd of January. Soon after the announcement made national headlines, Pawan Jallad, a third-generation hangman, shared that he may be the one to end the lives of the four men, now on death row. © India Today/Yasir Iqbal “I am ready for it. A few days ago, I was asked by Tihar to remain on standby for the executions in the Nirbhaya case. Being a father, I will be satisfied if I get to hang those rapists,” Jallad explained to news agency PTI. “I have to check the strength of the rope and the platform needed for hanging besides attending to the lever used for it.” He added that the actual preparation is undertaken two to three hours before an execution early in the morning - revealing a bit of what to expect as the hanging date draws close. Back in December, UP's Additional Director General (Prisons) Anand Kumar had confirmed Tihar jail's correspondence for a hangman. “The Tihar Jail had asked Uttar Pradesh to provide two hangmen at short notice but since one of them in Lucknow is unwell, the other one in Meerut (Jallad) has been asked to remain prepared,” he said. © Reuters/Police stand guard at Tihar Jail, where the convicts are currently imprisoned. Jallad's profession runs in the family, it seems. “My grandfather Kallu Jallad and father Babbu Jallad had done this job. I personally helped my grandfather in five executions,” Pawan claimed. He also asserted that his grandfather played the role of hangman in the case of PM Indira Gandhi's assassination, back in the eighties. Despite this apparent legacy, Jallad himself has yet to take a life since he was hired in 2013. He came close to four years ago when the High Court commuted Surinder Koli's death sentence to life imprisonment in the Nithari case. “For seven days, I strenuously prepared for the execution. But he got away,” Pawan said. This time however, Pawan seems confident that the criminals will be at the end of his rope. View the full article
  21. English wicket-keeper Jos Buttler is facing massive backlash for using cuss words against South African all-rounder Vernon Philander during the second of four Test matches. Buttler was apparently frustrated with the slow pace with which Philander was batting as the Protea went on to score just 8 runs off 51 deliveries and when the batsman blocked the keeper's view while collecting an incoming throw, he decided to voice his feelings. Staring the South African right in the eye, the Englishman called him a “f*cking knobhead” followed by a rant which consisted of a bunch of 'F' words. What made the incident even worse for Buttler was the fact the South African legend had announced that he would be retiring from the game of cricket after the Test series against England. Don't you just love English athletes? They're such a classy bunch ð¤¦‍âï¸#SAvENG pic.twitter.com/R1b6bMg5Yl — JAKE BUCKLEY ð¦ðº (@TheMasterBucks) January 7, 2020 Buttler's captain Joe Root decided to mellow down the situation doubt by calling it “playing hard Test cricket” and said that the incident would not lead to any sort of animosity between the two sides. "I don't think it was anything serious," Root said. "It was just two guys playing hard Test cricket. Emotions were running quite high and I don't think anyone overstepped the mark. You want a bit of spice on the TV anyway, don't you?" However, Indian commentator and cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle called it a “pity” the way Buttler swore at the 34-year-old Philander. What a pity... https://t.co/JV9ni9Vyfy — Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 8, 2020 And while Bhogle is the voice of Indian cricket and tries to look at a situation rationally, this time the fans of Indian cricket are calling him biased towards our own cricketers like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. And when Virat does that so many times on the field,no one says anything???Why is that Soo? Sad part is that we Indians are to biased?? isn't it Sir @bhogleharsha — Vaibhav Tripathi (@V_Trips7781) January 8, 2020 you cant say "f" words but our players can abuse in hindi as much as they want. Rohit said to pujara "bhen**od" they took lightly and trended ben stokes. Everyday kholi says it but then we dont criticize and trolls again benstokes. Such level of hypocricy. Dude enjoy game. — Democracyð®ð³ (@hum_leke_rahege) January 8, 2020 Really disappointing that you would say that. As a person who has seen a lot of cricket around the world you would know things are said in the heat of the moment, India players have done so too, and there is no need to go hard on a person for that. — Abhishree Jain (@AbhishreeJ) January 8, 2020 That's all well Harsha, hopefully you'll have the same reaction to Virat mouthing B....d and M.....d! — Mira Viswanathan (@miraviswanathan) January 8, 2020 U need @imVkohli to reply such ppl !!! Anyways, they will not take any chance against Virat...ð — Chetan Jangale (@ChetanJangale) January 8, 2020 Mc, bc is not equal to what buttler uttered????? — K.Raj kumar 45ð®ð³ (@imraj264) January 8, 2020 View the full article
  22. India is the best country in the world if you’ve a Canadian citizenship, says Indian artist Bollywood stars are reacting to a recent incident of violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) that saw several students injured at the hands of ruling party supporters. Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and many other actors have condemned the use of force against the students, expressing their support to the victims of the violence. Joining the chorus of condemnations, Indian comedian Kunal Kamra lamented the state of affairs in his country. The artist took a jibe at India with a sarcastic tweet that read: "India is the best country in the world if you’ve a Canadian Citizenship..." The JNU incident comes on the heels of a wave of protests that gripped the entire South Asian country over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a law that discriminates against Muslims.
  23. Missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on display at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran, September 27, 2017. Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/TIMA via REUTERS/FilesTEHRAN: Iran on Sunday announced its fifth step back from a nuclear deal, saying it will forego the "limit on the number of centrifuges", amid mounting tensions with the United States. The announcement came after a US drone strike Friday killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, sparking fury in Iran which has vowed to avenge his death. Read more: Iran condemns Trump as 'terrorist in a suit' after attack threat Earlier in the day, Iran condemned US President Donald Trump as a “terrorist in a suit” after he threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites hard if Tehran attacked Americans or the US assets in retaliation for Soleimani's killing. As the two countries assailed each other in a war of words, the European Union (EU), Britain, and Oman urged the parties to seek to de-escalate the crisis. Also read: Two rockets target Iraqi air base housing US troops Soleimani, Iran’s pre-eminent military commander, was killed on Friday in a US drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport, an attack that took long-running hostilities between Washington and Tehran into uncharted territory and raised the spectre of wider conflict in the Middle East. Related:Iraq calls for foreign forces to leave after US killing of Iran commander 'Iranian hackers' claim breach of US govt website American strike in Iraq prompts anti-war protests in US cities
  24. Education truly is an important factor in our lives. It's what shapes us, and makes us who we really are. And if we get good quality education, we have more to be grateful for! But some of our ministers happen to disagree with the quality of education we're receiving and they have their own opinions and views on how they perceive education entirely. I remember I had a friend who studied in a convent school and even though her schooling environment was quite strict and orthodox, the school emphasised on secularity quite heavily. I found that rather remarkable and engaging as kids were exposed to not just studying the Bible, but also the Bhagavad Gita, the Quran and even the Guru Granth Sahib. All festivals were celebrated equally, be it Christmas, Diwali or even Eid and I thought there was no education as fulfilling as the one my friend's school provided. But in lieu of the same, perceptions have changed and how and our authorities have actually questioned the sanctity of education provided to students by convent or missionary schools. © Twitter Union Minister of Animal Husbandry, dairy and fisheries, Giriraj Singh said that students from missionary and convent schools aren't 'sansakari' enough, as he negated the fact that they've received any form of quality education at all. According to a report by The Hindu, this is what the Union Minister said while addressing a gathering at Begusarai recently: “The students who go to missionary schools, though qualify IIT and become engineers, but when they go abroad most of them start eating beef because they do not know about our 'sanskaar' and 'sanskriti' (traditional values and culture).” If this wasn't enough, the Hindustan Times reported that Singh also made comments on how every missionary school should teach 'shlokas' (verses) from religious texts such as the Bhagvat Gita and the Hanuman Chalisa as a sure shot way to resolve the 'problem'. © BCCL Well, as shocking as this statement may sound, it's actually now a normal occurrence and expectancy from the current government. Their constant absurd statements to promote Hindu ideology has become a part and parcel of how the government actually functions. But even so, Twitter didn't take this statement sitting down and people reacted in the funniest way to what our beloved Union Minister had to say about 'quality' education in the country. Don't tell Giriraj Singh. ð Enjoy! — Suvendu Rout (@suvendu_bapu) January 4, 2020 Is Giriraj Singh paying for what Indians are eating abroad https://t.co/44ZrkhVqOP — sanjoy adhikari (@sanjoy1110) January 3, 2020 Children who study in missionary schools lack 'sanskaar' - Giriraj Singh Advani ji studied in St Patrick's High School, Karachi! — Rashid Hussain (@koolrash2002) January 3, 2020 So the biggest concern this government has is indians eating beef..this is what we have come to...the cow is holier than thou!Indians abroad eating beef, a matter of concern, says Union Minister Giriraj Singh | City - Times of India Videos https://t.co/nJofQ3UbHj — Rana (@Rana52762809) January 3, 2020 Of course it's a matter of concern. Why are Indians going abroad? Only to eat delicious beef steaks? #GirirajSingh — Hubert D S Fernandes (@Hubert75000680) January 3, 2020 Very bad, Howdies! Preaching to Indians from foreign shores and then sneaking off to eat beef. Good that Giriraj Singh has called out the hypocrisy of Howdies! https://t.co/HzbN1jW5aK — Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) January 2, 2020 By the way we are second largest exporter of Beef After Brazil. We are only sending that beef for our NRIs. — Sakshi Joshi (@sakshijoshii) January 2, 2020 Do our food and education choices really define how 'sanskari' we are? Well, given the current situation, I believe they really do! View the full article
  25. LONDON: Former England captain Wayne Rooney has revealed a gambling addiction threatened to damage his glittering career. Rooney, who made his debut for Championship side Derby this week, said he was sucked in by his initial success as a gambler. Manchester United´s record goalscorer then lost large amounts of money and started "chasing his bets" to try and win it back. Speaking on a video for 32Red´s Stay In Control gambling awareness campaign, the 34-year-old Rooney said: "I was a young lad who´d just come into a lot of money. "For an away game with Manchester United you stay in a hotel -- and with England you´re in a hotel for seven to 10 days. You get bored and do things to fill the time. At that time gambling was one of them." Rooney, who has since managed to quit gambling, decided to speak out about the problem after facing criticism over Derby´s decision to give him the number 32 shirt in association with a betting sponsor. "It was easy to place bets by phone. It didn´t feel like real money. It wasn´t like I had to go into a bookies and put bets where there are limits," he said. "Before you know it you´ve lost a good bit and you don´t realise the amount you´re putting on at the time. I won at the start and thought it was easy money. It sucks you in a bit more and I ended up losing, ended up down. "I was chasing my bets trying to win my money back. You´re there to play for your country or club and when you´re losing money the way I was, then it will affect you. "Thankfully I managed to pay up what I lost and I didn´t gamble again. I´ve learned from my mistakes. If you carry on gambling, you lose more. That´s when you can get sucked into a bad situation."
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