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Attackers kill 50 villagers in Afghanistan

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 16:15

KABUL: Insurgents attacked a village in the northern Afghan province of Sar-e Pul, killing as many as 50 people, including women and children, officials said on Sunday.

Zabihullah Amani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the fighters, who included foreign militants, attacked a security outpost in the Mirza Olang area of Sayaad district overnight, torching 30 houses.

He said fighting was still going on but as many as 50 people, including children, women and elderly men, most of them members of the largely Shia Hazara community, may have been killed, according to local village elders.

“They were killed in a brutal, inhumane way,” he said.

Suicide bomber kills NATO soldier in Afghanistan: official

Seven members of the Afghan security forces were also killed as well as a number of insurgents.

Many details of the attack, including the identity of the insurgents, were not immediately clear.

Amani said they were a mixed group of Taliban and Islamic State fighters but the Taliban itself denied any involvement, dismissing the claim as propaganda.

A senior government official in Kabul said that security forces, including Afghan Air Force attack aircraft, were being sent to the scene.

Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the reported massacre of dozens of civilians in a remote area of the war-torn country where the Taliban claimed a victory against military forces.

“Criminal terrorists have once again killed civilians, women and children in Sayad district of Sar-e Pul province, adding to their crimes.

“This barbaric act of them is deemed a direct violation of human rights and a war crime,” Ghani said in a statement.

Mohammad Zaher Wahdat, the provincial governor, added that several mosques were set ablaze while an unknown number of villagers had also been taken hostage following a 48-hour battle between insurgents and Afghan security forces.

The village is situated in an extremely remote part of the country, where both the Taliban and Islamic State group fighters have a presence, and AFP was unable to confirm the reports with independent sources.

The Taliban said in a statement that it had captured Mirza Olang village but rejected reports of civilian casualties, calling it ‘hollow propaganda by the enemy’.

Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to boost cooperation for peace, stability

The incident comes after the Afghan government claimed last month that Taliban fighters had killed 35 people in an attack on a hospital in central Ghor province.

Officials later backtracked though, underscoring the difficulty of verifying information from poor, mountainous areas of Afghanistan made inaccessible by fighting and with patchy communications.

The Taliban is at the peak of its summer fighting season and has carried out a number of deadly attacks in recent days, including the killing of two US soldiers in a suicide bomb attack in Kandahar on Wednesday.  Agencies

The post Attackers kill 50 villagers in Afghanistan appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Four dead, eight injured as soldier opens fire on Iran military base

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 12:56

TEHRAN: At least four soldiers were killed and eight injured when one of their colleagues opened fire on a military air base in southern Tehran on Sunday, the Iranian military said in a statement.

The incident was “probably related to psychological problems of the soldier who suddenly started firing on his comrades,” the statement said.

It took place on a shooting range, and could also have been the result of a gun misfiring, the statement added.

“The injured were transported to a medical centre and an investigation has been opened,” it said.

Iran hits back at missile test criticism

State television reported a similar incident last month when a serviceman opened fire at a barracks in Abyek, around 40 kilometres northwest of Tehran, killing three and injuring six.

The gunman in that incident, who had reportedly been denied a transfer to his home town, shot himself but survived his injuries, according to the ISNA news agency.

Military service of two years is mandatory for Iranian men when they turn 19.

The post Four dead, eight injured as soldier opens fire on Iran military base appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Indian company launches achaar-flavoured condoms, wins the internet

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 12:30

KARACHI  : It’s all about adding some spice to your sex life, in the literal sense, for Indian brand Manforce Condoms, which made social media waves this week with the launch of its line of achaar-flavoured condoms.

In an announcement on its Facebook page, which has more than 200,000 likes, the popular Indian brand stated, “Presenting the very Indian, Tangy and Tantalizing, ACHAARI Flavoured Condoms.”

The post has been shared around 2,500 times since the company posted the announcement on August 3.

Flavoured condoms have been around for decades and companies have come up with increasingly bizarre offerings to one-up each other, ranging from bacon-flavoured to whiskey, tropical fruits, cannabis, and even garlic-flavoured options!

Durex, an international brand, also announced the launch of the bizarre brinjal-flavoured condom last year, which it later said was a marketing tactic to get people to have the conservation about safe sex.

But this may be the first time that a condom company has targeted South Asians’ love for spicy condiments.

Pemra bans ‘immoral’ condom advertisement

Twitter users, naturally, couldn’t keep it on a leash.

There were questions.

Manforce came up with new condom flavor, achari.
What are you manforce, our grandmother?

— Jivya (@jivyaA) August 4, 2017

And suggestions for more options.

Achaari Flavoured Condoms? Seriously?
What next; bhel puri, vada paav, chicken momo?? #manforce #achaari

— me_gauri (@gauri_mehendale) August 3, 2017

Soon, Manforce will come out with garam masala and imli ka murabba flavour as well.

— Vishal Mehra (@capturethecatch) August 4, 2017

Waiting for Raita flavoured condoms now #Manforce

— Mahendra (@DeadMaddy) August 3, 2017

On launching or manforce ACHAARI flavour.
Me inside – bas aab CHAI wala bhi aajaye to nashta or sex dono ek sath ho jaega @jack_of_creek

— Neeraj Arya (@nrj_arya) August 3, 2017

Some wondered if Master Chef India had anything to do with the ad.

Meanwhile at the Manforce Condom RnD lab…. pic.twitter.com/TrYFUDxjzQ

— Kajol Srinivasan (@LOLrakshak) August 4, 2017

Others thought it may be a means to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Around a third of married women use contraceptives in Pakistan

India : how do we control our population and starvation

Manforce : pic.twitter.com/mWOaloX345

— hooman of Jupiter (@apka_hamdard_) August 4, 2017

Then, there were the jokers.

Manforce taking the phrase 'Aachaar daalna' to a whole new level. pic.twitter.com/sSK4AMIKzW

— ZΣHΣR (@galat_fehmi) August 3, 2017

You either go Brahmachaari or Achaari #Manforce

— Avinash Iyer (@IyerAvin) August 3, 2017

The need to talk about birth control

Keeping the unusual approach adopted by Manforce to promote condoms aside, hilarious and sometimes controversial marketing techniques are the best means for contraceptive-producing companies to get their messages heard in traditionally conservative countries like India and neighbouring Pakistan, where condom ads are regularly banned from airing over ‘indecent content’.

Population control and planning is the need of the hour for both South Asian giants which rank second and sixth, respectively, on the list of the world’s top 50 most populated countries.

In 2014-15, the contraceptive prevalence rate in India was 53.3% while in Pakistan it was only 25.54%. The governments of both countries are making efforts to increase the use of contraceptives in both countries, which would not only help avoid unplanned pregnancies but also lifelong and potentially fatal diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS.

The post Indian company launches achaar-flavoured condoms, wins the internet appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad: Four terrorists killed in Balochistan, hideouts destroyed

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 11:11

Four terrorists were killed in Kohlu and Dera Bugti, Balochistan in intelligence-based operations conducted by the FC on terrorist hideouts during Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.

According a statement by the ISPR, the terrorists tried to fight back and four were killed in the subsequent exchange of fire.

A soldier sustained minor injuries in the shootout.

12 arrested in Radd-ul-Fasaad raids in Balochistan

The statement added that the terrorists’ camps were dismantled, while IEDs, explosives and communication equipment was seized.

The killed militants were involved in extortion, kidnapping for ransom, attacks on security forces and other sabotage activities, it said.

Earlier, the FC had also carried out an intelligence-based operation in Kuchmina, Zhob on August 3 and foiled a terrorism bid aimed to sabotage Independence Day celebrations.

The post Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad: Four terrorists killed in Balochistan, hideouts destroyed appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Three terrorists involved in attacks on Karachi police arrested

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 10:34

KARACHI  : Three terrorists belonging to a banned outfit and said to be involved in attacks on police have been arrested by law-enforcement agencies in a crackdown in Karachi.

The agencies carried out operations in various parts of the city and took three suspects into custody who belong the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Swat group.

On the basis of forensics reports from the crime scenes, investigators had believed that the same group of militants was behind the attacks.

According to sources within the Counter-Terrorism Department, the detained men have been identified as Nasir, Irfan and Liaqat who had targeted police in separate attacks in Korangi and Abul Hasan Isphahani Road.

Three policemen martyred in Karachi gun attack

Law enforcement authorities, including the Sindh IGP spokesperson did not confirm the arrests.

On July 24, the traffic police’s head constable Muhammad Khan was martyred and Constable Kamran was critically wounded when a gunman shot them while they were performing their duties at the traffic intersection near Paradise Bakery on Abul Hassan Isphahani Road.

Moreover, on July 21, three policemen were martyred when gunmen on a motorbike opened fire at a police van in Korangi. The attack also left a minor boy dead and a teenager injured.

The post Three terrorists involved in attacks on Karachi police arrested appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Let’s talk on Kashmir, new FM Khawaja Asif tells India

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 10:31

The only panacea to achieve peace between Pakistan and India is finding a solution to the Kashmir issue, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Sunday.

“We know how to secure our borders, however, lasting peace can only be attained through solving the Kashmir issue,” he said while speaking to media in Sialkot, according to Express News.

The former defence minister said Pakistan’s options become limited if India is not willing to meet us halfway. “We want to dissipate tensions with India but they are not willing to do the same,” he added.

Pakistan, he added, wants friendly relations with Afghanistan as well but India must also play a part to make it a reality.

At last a foreign minister

“Pakistan has been fighting the war on terror for a long time now and the threat has decreased now owing to the great sacrifices made by the Pakistan Army,” he said.

Asif said peace between the two countries is intertwined with Kashmir dispute and in light of the UN agreement, the people of Kashmir want the right to vote for self determination.

“Our foreign policy will be in accordance with the wishes of the people, and in view of what is in the best interest of Pakistan,” he said. “Both countries want the continuity of the Indus Waters Treaty, however, any violation would worsen relations even further.”

He said Pakistan will help Kashmiris achieve their right to hold a referendum, which has also been recognised by the United Nations and the global community.

The post Let’s talk on Kashmir, new FM Khawaja Asif tells India appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Nawaz calls himself a victim of witch-hunt

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 10:09

ISLAMABAD: More than a week after Nawaz Sharif was disqualified in a landmark judgement by the top court, without mincing his words former prime minister said on Sunday that he did not want a clash between institutions but would expose the ‘conspiracy’ behind his disqualification.

“I will not yield to pressure despite the fact that I was subjected to exploitation under the garb of accountability,” Nawaz said during an informal talk with businessmen in Rawalpindi.

The deposed premier disclosed that he knows his fate but will not resort to any action that would result in instability.

“I have a clear idea about what is going to happen to me,” Nawaz said, adding that he would not resort to any measure that goes against the interest of the country.

“I would soon expose the conspiracy being hatched against me and this country.”

The continued statements against Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Panamagate are coming from Nawaz at a time when the ex-premier is desperate to garner public support reportedly because the public’s general response favouring the court’s decision has alarmed Nawaz and his aides.

“There were no protests, no agitation, no big rallies, nothing. On the other hand, sweets were distributed and there were scenes of jubilation [after Nawaz’s disqualification]. For a political party in power, this is a nightmare,” a PML-N’s senator commented, requesting anonymity.

A source privy to Nawaz-businesspersons meeting said the former premier did not elaborate on the presumed threats.  “He didn’t say what context he was referring to and what exactly was going to happen to him but the way he phrased his words—it is clear that nothing positive is expected,” the source said.

Nawaz bent on destroying democracy, judiciary after disqualification: Imran

He said Nawaz minced no words to declare that he was a victim of ‘witch-hunt’ in the name of accountability. “Is it about corruption? Is my family the only one named in Panamagate?” Sharif reportedly asked.

Lately, Nawaz has taken certain actions following public statements that are not likely to go down well with the security establishment.

PML-N sources said party circles were against Khawaja Asif’s elevation as Foreign Minister and bringing back Mushahidullah Khan as Climate Change Minister after two years. Both are known for their critical views about the security establishment.

However, Nawaz himself put weight behind both the candidates and played a direct role in their induction in the cabinet of the new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The cabinet members took oath on Friday.

Just a day later on Saturday, Nawaz, who travelled from Murree to Bhara Kahu, took on former dictator General (retd) Pervaiz Musharraf, daring him to land back home and face cases pending against him. The ex-premier also specifically mentioned the 1971 debacle saying no lessons were learnt from this tragedy.

Requesting anonymity, another senior PML-N leader said Nawaz had been advised against speaking about judiciary in the present scenario given that the Sharif family is set to file a review petition against the PM’s disqualification at the hands of the top court in Panamagate case on July 28.

On the other hand, the insider said, PML-N leadership believes that the representatives of security agencies in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed Sharif family’s offshore companies on the directions of Supreme Court played an active role in preparing a damning report which eventually paved way for Sharif’s ouster from power.

“He is aggrieved and has become confrontational,” the source mentioned of Sharif’s recent statements to target the security establishment— but in implied vibes.

Meanwhile, Nawaz again said on Saturday that the people of Pakistan did not accept Panamagate verdict. “Those who broke Constitution and committed high treason have never been arrested,” Nawaz said in an obvious reference to Musharraf.

Nawaz, however, skipped mentioning that it was his government that was apparently instrumental in giving a safe refuge to the ex-dictator who was facing cases in Pakistan. “The looters and plunderers of billions of rupees are also let go scot-free,” the ex-premier said.

Still, Nawaz said he does not advocate clash between institutions and believe in the policy of reconciliation and inclusion. “Clash between institutions weakens the country.”

Later, Nawaz chaired a meeting of PML-N’s federal and Rawalpindi chapters to review the arrangements for his travel from Islamabad to Lahore on Wednesday. Party sources said the ousted PM took suggestions from party stalwarts on the designated route for Wednesday’s programme but no final decision was made in this regard till Sunday night.

The post Nawaz calls himself a victim of witch-hunt appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Minnesota mosque attacked with bomb, nobody hurt

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 09:34

MINNEAPOLIS: The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday took over the investigation of an early-morning bombing of a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota. While the explosion caused some damage, nobody was hurt.

Anti-Muslim incidents have risen sharply in the US over the past year, according to a review by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Minneapolis area bomber.

Police in Bloomington, Minnesota, were called at 5:05am  about an explosion at the Dar al-Farooq mosque, after a bomb was thrown through the window of the imam’s office while worshippers were gathered for morning prayers.

Mohamed Omar, the mosque’s executive director, told reporters in Bloomington that a member of the congregation saw a pickup truck speeding away from the building’s parking lot just after the blast.

Quebec’s Muslim to have their own cemetery

“Preliminary investigation indicates the explosion was caused by a destructive device in violation of federal law,” the FBI’s Minneapolis division said on Twitter.

The Bloomington Police Department said on Twitter that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had also joined the probe.

“When officers and fire personnel arrived, what they found there was some smoke, some damage to the building, but no one was injured,” Police Chief Jeff Potts said at a news conference broadcast by local media.

Several other area religious leaders joined members of the mosque on Saturday to express support.

“It’s a tragedy that we have to gather here today,” Curtiss DeYoung, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches, told reporters shortly after Omar spoke.

Water thrown on two Muslim women in UK ‘fake acid attack’

“We are here showing solidarity and support for Muslims, not only in this centre but Muslims across our state and our country that are under these kind of attacks.”

A May analysis by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found 2,213 anti-Muslim bias incidents in the US last year, up 57 per cent from 2015.

The council urged US mosques to increase their security following the Bloomington incident.

The post Minnesota mosque attacked with bomb, nobody hurt appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Twelve killed in Nigeria church shooting

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 09:33

WARRI: Gunmen stormed a Catholic church in a town in southeast Nigeria early Sunday, killing 12 worshippers, hospital sources and witnesses said.

The attack took place at around 6am at St. Philip’s church in Ozubulu, near the city of Onitsha, witnesses said.

“So far, 12 persons have been confirmed dead and deposited in the mortuary here while several persons are receiving medical attention,” a staff worker at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, where the victims were admitted, told AFP.

Several worshippers with gunshot wounds were receiving treatment at the hospital, the source said.

Witnesses said five gunmen in masks stormed the church and opened fire on worshippers. They feared that up to 20 people may have died.

Three killed in northeast Nigeria suicide attacks

In contrast, Anambra State Police Commissioner Garba Umar said the attacker was a lone gunman, who “went on a shooting spree, killing and wounding” worshippers.

Witness Chukwuma Emeka said he had just stepped out of the church to stretch his legs “when I heard gunshots and screaming and people running inside.”

Malala urges Nigeria to prioritise education system

“When the chaos subsided I went inside, I saw my fellow church members dead in a pool of their own blood and many others were screaming in pain.”

Security agents were said to have cordoned off the church.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Five-star Jadeja hands India eighth successive series victory

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 09:31

COLOMBO: Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke the back of Sri Lanka’s resistance after lunch on fourth day to secure India’s series-clinching victory by an innings and 53 runs in the second Test on Sunday.

The all-rounder claimed his ninth five-wicket haul as Sri Lanka, forced to follow on after being shot out for 183 in the first innings, made 386 in the second before collapsing minutes before the tea break on the penultimate day.

It was a first victory by an innings or more for India in Sri Lanka and, following their biggest victory by runs in Galle last week, ensured an eighth straight series triumph under Virat Kohli.

Skipper Chandimal returns for struggling Sri Lanka

“We said this morning that even if we don’t get wickets early on, we are going to enjoy the tough times because they really improve you as a side and you need those tough times to improve as cricketers,” said Kohli. “We were very happy that we went through that difficult phase as well, for you never want to get complacent as a side.”

Kohli will fancy equalling Australia’s modern era record of nine consecutive Test series wins when India host Sri Lanka for three matches later this year.

Sri Lanka will take a modicom of confidence into that series from a second innings resurgence that was built around the 191-run stand between Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis, who fell for 110 on Saturday.

India to host Sri Lanka for three Tests, ODIs and T20Is

Lefthander Karunaratne’s gallant 141 merely delayed the inevitable on Sunday, though, as Jadeja (5-152) and spin partner Ravichandran Ashwin (2-132) tormented Sri Lanka on a worn-out track where the ball spun alarmingly and often kicked off.

Sri Lanka had resumed the fourth day on 209-2 at the Sinhalese Sports Cricket Ground with Karunaratne continuing his grim battle with the Indian bowlers.

Nightwatchman Malinda Pushpakumara threw away his wicket, attempting a bizarre reverse slog against Jadeja who dismissed Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal for two in his next over.

Karunaratne and former captain Angelo Mathews resisted India for a while during a 69-run stand but Jadeja returned to wreck Sri Lanka after the lunch break.

Karunaratne’s defiant knock, which included 16 boundaries, came to a cruel end when he was presented with an unplayable delivery that reared up, hit his gloves and ballooned into the air for Ajinkya Rahane to catch behind the wicketkeeper.

Mathews followed next, edging Jadeja to perish caught behind for 36 and Hardik Pandya claimed a couple of late wickets to hasten Sri Lanka’s collapse.

“We were outplayed in the first innings both with bat and ball,” said Chandimal after his team lost another Test inside just four days. “Credit goes to them, they batted brilliantly in the first innings and put us under huge pressure. I’m really happy the way guys played in the second innings.”

Jadeja, who smashed 70 not out and claimed seven wickets from the Test, was adjudged man-of-the-match.

Rahane was the bright exception in India’s otherwise poor catching display, grabbing four in Sri Lanka’s second innings alone.

Wriddhiman Saha also shone behind the stumps, taking a couple of spectacular catches, effecting a stumping and conceding only four byes on a pitch where the ball frequently misbehaved.

Pallekele hosts the dead rubber third and final Test from Saturday. Reuters

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Security forces kill 4 militants in Awaran

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 16:31

Four suspected militants were killed in an exchange of fire in Awaran District on Sunday.

According to Balochistan Levies sources, an exchange of fire took place between security forces and the suspected militants in Gishkur area of Awaran district. Four militants were killed as a result, they said.

The militants’ bodies were shifted to Awaran hospital for identification.  Three of them were identified as Abdul Majeed, Mohammad Hasil and Sadiq. The fourth could not be identified.

On May 22 this year, four suspected militants were killed and two were arrested in during a search operation in Awaran launched as part of Operation Radd-ul-Fassad. Many hideouts and camps of the militants were destroyed in that operation. A huge quantity of arms and ammunition was also recovered.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

US successfully tests missile intercept system

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 12:37

WASHINGTON: American forces successfully tried out Sunday a missile interception system the US hopes to set up on the Korean peninsula, military officials said following a trial just days after North Korea’s second test of an ICBM.

In the American test of the so-called THAAD system, a medium-range missile was launched from a US Air Force C-17 aircraft flying over the Pacific and a THAAD unit in Alaska “detected, tracked and intercepted the target,” the US Missile Defence Agency said.

It said this was the 15th successful intercept in 15 tests for the weapons system known as THAAD, which stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defence.

South Korea said Saturday it will speed up deployment of a THAAD battery on its territory because of the latest North Korean test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea tests another ICBM, claims all of US in strike range

Parts of the THAAD defence system were brought into South Korea under the government of ousted president Park Geun-Hye. But new leader Moon Jae-In suspended deployment of the programme last month, citing the need for a new environmental impact assessment.

However, South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-Moo said Saturday that Seoul will now begin consultations on the “tentative deployment” parts of the THAAD battery in response to the latest North Korean test.

The THAAD deployment has infuriated China, which has long argued it will destabilise the region.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Zambia arrests 3 Chinese for rhino horn trafficking

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 12:24

LUSAKA: Zambian authorities on Sunday said they had arrested three Chinese nationals and two locals found carrying pieces of rhino horn at the border with Mozambique.

Parks and wildlife ministry spokesman Sakabilo Kalembwe said the five were arrested at the Chanida border post.

They were held for “illegal possession of 25 rhino pieces weighing 32.2 kilograms,” Kalembwe said in a statement.

The origins of the horns could not be immediately confirmed.On Wednesday a 24-year-old Chinese woman flying from Zambia with 20 kilograms of rhino horn was arrested at South Africa’s main airport on her way to Hong Kong.

But Kalembwe said no rhino has been reported poached in Zambia nor were any horns missing from its stockpiles in recent days.

Four decades ago, Zambia boasted a healthy rhino population of around 12,000 but by 1998 the animal was declared extinct due to rampant poaching. A few dozen have now been reintroduced into the country.

Poachers kill rare one-horned rhino in Nepal

Rhino poaching is rife in southern Africa, especially in South African game reserves, fuelled by cross-border syndicates who are feeding an insatiable demand for their horn in Asia.

Rhino horn is mistakenly believed to have medicinal powers including being anti-carcinogenic.

Roughly a quarter of the world rhino population has been killed in South Africa, home to 80 percent of those remaining, in the last eight years.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

After Nawaz’s ouster, Imran targets Zardari

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 11:56

ISLAMABAD: Setting out his vision for Naya Pakistan, a triumphant Imran Khan has said his fight was solely against corruption, nepotism, bribery and dishonesty — not against the Sharif family, cautioning PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to be ready for their turns.

“Asif Ali Zardari, I caution you that after Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Shehbaz Sharif your turn is next,” the PTI chairman told a mammoth crowd in the federal capital on Sunday.

Former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will most likely be approved as a stop-gap prime minister on Tuesday (tomorrow), at a special session of the National Assembly, where the ruling PML-N party holds a strong majority.

Abbasi will hold the position until Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif is elected to National Assembly and can take over.

Hundreds of thousands of PTI supporters congregated at the Parade Ground for what had been termed a ‘thanksgiving day’ after Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court, disqualifying Nawaz Sharif as prime minister.

In front of flag-flying party cadres dressed in the red and green colours of the PTI, Khan also targeted Maulana Fazlur Rehman and warned him to be ‘prepared’ for accountability.

Targeting Zardari, Khan asked how come the PML-N top leadership – which was itself involved in money laundering – could hold Zardari accountable who, according to him, was a money launderer too.

He said the PTI’s war against corruption was midway and yet to be over but added the party would certainly win that war.

The PTI chairman said the PML-N should not think that with the ouster of Nawaz Sharif the fight was over. “I will come after you (Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Shehbaz Sharif) now,” he said.

Khan has called for a future of ‘real democracy’ in the country. “We are thankful to the judiciary because with their judgment, they brought us a new hope.”

Chairman @ImranKhanPTI on stage; melodious national anthem "Dil Se Maine Dekha Pakistan" echoing in Parade Ground #GameOverNawaz pic.twitter.com/PLc1I9VnVn

— PTI (@PTIofficial) July 30, 2017

Chairman @ImranKhanPTI arrives on stage at Parade ground, meets @SaifullahNyazee and rest of the leadership. #YaumETashakur pic.twitter.com/RLl2zqBWPw

— PTI (@PTIofficial) July 30, 2017

He likened the rulers to “mafia who safeguard personal interests at any cost”.

“When we decided to move against Nawaz in the Panamagate case, everyone said it was a mistake because in the past, the powerful and mighty ones have been protected. But today I salute the court for giving hope to people for a new Pakistan,” he said.

Infuriated over the statement of AJK PM in which he reportedly criticised the Supreme Court decision and was quoted as saying “We will think to which country to make annexation to”, Khan said he should be ashamed of his statement in support of a corrupt mafia.

“I ask the people of AJK to stand up and hold protest gatherings against their PM,” he said about Raja Farooq Haider, dubbing him a traitor.

Khan said he was pretty much sure that now the Sharif mafia would seek help from foreign enemy forces to save their corruption-tainted kingdom.

“I bet they will sell Pakistan to its enemies. The Dawn leaks saga is a testimony to this fact,” he said.

Singers Abrarul Haq and Salman Ahmad sung songs and enthralled the audience. While, showbiz personalities Hamza Ali Abbasi, Malko, Sher Miandad, Asad Khattak, Veena Malik, etc., were also present on the stage.

Moreover, documentaries covering PTI chief’s political struggle spanning over two decades were also telecast.

Khan said he had been facing a case in the Supreme Court about his assets and income details.

“If it (SC) finds any single evidence stating that I have lied to the court about the London flat’s money trail, then I will resign even from the PTI,” Khan challenged.

He said it’s shameful that after Sharif’s ouster the PML-N had found no one but his younger brother to be elevated as prime minister.

Mohabaton ka wohi samandar…..
That's how he is being greeted by the public… Titles don't matter. #Murree pic.twitter.com/YGsNVk1oMN

— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) July 30, 2017

“The PML-N faced problems while choosing the next prime minister. This does not happen in real democracies. It only happens in a monarchy,” he said.

The PTI chief said during his last 21 years political struggle he faced various hardships at the hands of the Sharif mafia but he never bowed down.

“Don’t judge them from their innocent faces” he said, adding they targeted my father and ex-wife.

“She (Jemima Khan) was 21 years old; she embraced Islam; left her home and came to Pakistan. They declared him a representative of the Jewish lobby; nominated in a false case of smuggling tiles and registered an FIR against her. She was pregnant at that time,” Khan emotionally said.

“This is the reality behind their innocent faces. I lost my children as my wife departed because of difficult life in Pakistan. Money is everything to them (Sharifs) — but for me, my children [are dearer],” he said.

He said the thing that hurt him most was that the PML-N goons targeted Shaukat Khanam hospital.

The PTI chairman said when he called off his November 2 sit-in party supporters, allied parties and the media got disheartened, saying courts had failed to dispense justice against the powerful in the past, adding but today SC had given a new hope to the people of Pakistan.

‘Sharifs’ will keep making comebacks through ‘court of masses’: Saad Rafique

“The match for Naya Pakistan has yet to be concluded but I want to tell you all that we will win this match,” he said.

Naya Pakistan

Khan used the opportunity to give the outline of Naya Pakistan he imagines.

He talked about the reforms his party would introduce in tax collection system — to the extent that no poor will be left in Pakistan to collect charity money — health, education, justice and accountability.

The plan the PTI chief had suggested was almost similar to the one he had been talking about since long.

“Right now, it seems impossible to achieve this dream. But one day, nation will see it in reality,” he said.

Talking about a would-be effective accountability system, Khan said a number of people had been complaining that the PTI had been welcoming corruption-tainted politicians to its folds but he assured no one would be spared due to his/her association in Naya Pakistan as NAB would be given a free hand.

“I will show you how to collect money from Pakistanis and nation will no further beg from foreign countries and international [donor] organisations. Pakistan will be made a welfare state,” he said.

He announced that prominent symbols of colonialism – Governor Houses across Pakistan – will be converted into public places.

“Governor House in Lahore will be demolished and converted into either a library or Park. Similar facilities in Murree and Nathia Gali will be converted into hotels, while the Governor house in K-P will be converted into a women park,” he claimed.

He said a strong taxation culture will be introduced in the country and unemployment would be uprooted by bring merit-based employments in all state departments.

“I promise that I will never bow before anyone and never allow my nation to do so,” Khan said.

The rally was also addressed by PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, PTI General Secretary Jahangir Khan Tareen and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Judges uphold Israeli soldier’s manslaughter conviction

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 11:45

TEL AVIV: A military court on Sunday upheld a manslaughter conviction and 18-month prison sentence for an Israeli soldier who shot dead a prone Palestinian assailant in a case that deeply divided the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately repeated his call for a pardon for the soldier, Elor Azaria, whose actions drew harsh criticism from the military’s top brass.

In addition to upholding the conviction, military judges also rejected an appeal by prosecutors to increase the sentence for Azaria, a sergeant and military medic at the time of the incident, Israeli media reported.

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian gunman dead: army

“My opinion has not changed when it comes to granting pardon to Elor Azaria and remains consistent to what I said after the verdict,” Netanyahu said on Twitter.

דעתי לא השתנתה בדבר מתן חנינה לאלאור אזריה, כפי שהבעתי אותה לאחר הכרעת הדין. כשהנושא יעלה לדיון מעשי אעביר המלצתי לחנינה לגורמים הרלוונטיים

— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) July 30, 2017

“When the subject is discussed concretely, I will give my recommendation to the competent authorities.”

The 21-year-old French-Israeli was convicted in January and sentenced the following month.

He later appealed the verdict, while military prosecutors asked for an increased sentence after having initially requested between three and five years.

Azaria arrived at the military court in Tel Aviv on Sunday in a white V-neck shirt, smiling and hugging family members as he has done at previous hearings.

He completed his mandatory three-year military service on July 20 and was moved from confinement to his base to house arrest.His imprisonment had been postponed pending his appeal.

He can still appeal to the country’s supreme court, though Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on him not to and to request a pardon from the military chief of staff.

Azaria can also ask for a pardon from President Reuven Rivlin. A source close to Rivlin said that no request had yet been filed.

“This is not an easy day, but it is the verdict, and the court must be respected,” Lieberman said.

“I am asking the Azaria family not to continue the appeal process… and to bring an end to this matter as quickly as possible for the good of Elor, his family and the Israeli people.”

The March 2016 shooting in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron was caught on video by a rights group and spread widely online.

It showed Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, lying wounded on the ground, shot along with another Palestinian after stabbing and wounding a soldier, according to the army.

Azaria then shot him in the head without any apparent provocation.
He said he feared Sharif was wearing an explosive belt and could blow himself up, a claim judges rejected.

Three attackers shoot at Jerusalem police before being killed: police

“His motive for shooting was that he felt the terrorist deserved to die,” Judge Colonel Maya Heller said when reading out the verdict in January.

The trial captivated Israel and highlighted deep divisions in public opinion between those who decry the shooting and those who say he was justified.

Military leaders have sharply condemned Azaria’s actions. However, right-wing leaders, including Netanyahu, have called for him to be pardoned in an extraordinary public rift between politicians and the military.

Rights group Amnesty International has said Azaria’s sentence does “not reflect the gravity of the offence”, and the UN human rights office said it was an “unacceptable” punishment for “an apparent extra-judicial killing”.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

12 arrested in Radd-ul-Fasaad raids in Balochistan

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 11:09

QUETTA: Police and security forces arrested 12 suspects following raids carried out as part of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad in different parts of Balochistan on Sunday.

Eleven of them were arrested during a joint operation conducted by Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan and local police in the Killi Deba area of Quetta, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

According to the military’s media wing, the joint police-FC ‘sanitisation’ operation was launched in parts of Quetta late Friday night in view of the recent spate of target killings and bombings in the provincial capital. “More than 3,000 security personnel and 208 teams – also comprising 208 women personnel – are participating in the operation,” Quetta FC Commander Brigadier Khalid Baig told the media on Saturday.

More than 190 weapons, along with caches of ammunition, were also seized during the Killi Deba raid, ISPR said. It added that four medical camps were also established during the operation and as many as 2,420 locals were provided medical treatment.

 

House-to-house search launched in Quetta

Meanwhile, another wanted terrorist suspect was apprehended in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in Killa Abdullah on Sunday.

According to reports, FC troops and intelligence officials arrested a ‘notorious terrorist’ belonging to a banned organisation from the Killi Segi area of Killa Abdullah.

Rocket launchers and other weapons were also recovered during the operation. ISPR said interrogation of the terror suspect is under way.

 

 

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Libya’s militant kill 5 in attack on strongman’s forces

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 10:32

BENGHAZI: Militant on Sunday killed five members of a force led by military strongman Khalifa Haftar in the country’s east, a pro-Haftar news agency reported.

“Terrorist groups attacked at dawn Sunday three sites under the control” of Haftar’s forces south of the eastern city of Derna, it said.

Four of Haftar’s forces were also wounded, it added.

Militants battle Libya forces in ‘liberated’ Benghazi

Derna was known for being a bastion for militant even before the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

Haftar’s forces are waging a campaign against militant groups, including efforts to capture the eastern city from the “Revolutionary Shura Council of Derna”, a coalition of militias close to Al-Qaeda.

On Saturday, a pro-Haftar fighter group died as he took part in a mission to try and rescue a pilot whose plane had crashed in the same area.

France sets plans for Libyan centre to stem migrant crisis

The pilot who died in the crash, had been carrying out a raid against jihadist positions when his fighter jet was hit by a missile, the news agency said.

Haftar’s forces have lost several aircraft in recent months.

The controversial strongman supports an administration based in the country’s east that has refused to recognise the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in Tripoli.

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Archbishop of Canterbury declares Sudan new Anglican province

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 10:24

KHARTOUM: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Sunday declared Sudan the 39th province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, six years after the predominantly Christian south gained independence from the north.

The Anglican church in Sudan, a majority Muslim country, has been administered from South Sudan since the 2011 split which followed a civil war that left more than two million people dead.

Sunday’s ceremony in Khartoum added Sudan to the 85 million-strong worldwide Anglican communion’s 38 member churches — known as provinces — and six other branches known as extra provincials.

Washington extends review period for Sudan sanctions

Welby said that creating a 39th Anglican province with its own Khartoum-based archbishop was a “new beginning” for Christians in Sudan.

He installed Ezekiel Kondo Kumir Kuku as the country’s first archbishop and primate at a ceremony in the capital’s All Saints Cathedral attended by American, European and African diplomats and hundreds of worshippers.

“We welcome the new primate with jubilation,” Welby announced to a cheering crowd as he handed a cross to Kuku.

Welby, spiritual head of the Church of England and of the global Anglican Communion, said it was a rare opportunity for an archbishop to declare a new primate.

Suspected diarrhoea kills 279 people in Sudan: UN

“It is a responsibility for Christians to make this province work, and for those outside (Sudan) to support, to pray and to love this province,” he said.

“The church must learn to be sustainable financially, to develop the skills of its people, and to bless this country as the Christians here already do.”

The idea of a separate Anglican province in Sudan was first discussed in 2009 as it became clear that the south would secede.

Human rights and Christian campaign groups have regularly accused the Sudanese authorities of persecuting Christians and even destroying churches in the capital since the split.

Since the 1989 coup that brought Islamist backed President Omar al-Bashir to power, authorities in Khartoum have pursued Arabising and Islamising policies in a bid to unify the country.

This has stirred resentment and helped trigger a devastating civil war that ended with the secession of the mainly Christian south.

Christian communities in Sudan today are mostly found in the Nuba mountains of South Kordofan state. Exact numbers are unavailable.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Ex-minister says Imran was used as a pawn

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 10:18

LAHORE: No state institution orchestrated the Panama case controversy but we still have our reservations about certain individuals, says former minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Sunday.

Speaking at a press conference here, Khawaja Saad said that Imran Khan was used as a pawn and no reprisals were planned against any particular individual or even PTI.

Imran, he said, would soon realise his fault.

Criticising the SC verdict, he said there was no precedent that a serving prime minister had been disqualified for not drawing his supposed salary.

He said that nothing much had changed as their political rivals expected, adding that one Sharif was shown the door but another replaced him.

“Even if this Sharif meets a similar fate, there will be another Sharif to replace him,” he said.

According to him, PML-N cadre and leadership didn’t believe in aggression, but “if our leader is attacked, we will come to his rescue”.

“People will not accept this decision,” he said.

PML-N keeps city peaceful, vows to bounce back

“What is Imran Khan happy about? All of his allegations, just like his allegation about rigging in the previous election, would be proven wrong.

He said that the PM had not been disqualified over charges of money laundering, corruption or embezzlement as claimed in the Panama Case.

He contended that the prime minister had been disqualified for not drawing a salary. For this, he said, he was branded dishonest.

He wondered why the same yardstick should not be applied on ‘PCO judges’, dictators and those who collaborated with them.

Referring to the Panama case, he said a lot had happened for the first time in the country’s history.

Enumerating unprecedented events in this case, he said for the first time ever, the Supreme Court formed a JIT. He said that when the SC formed the JIT, they were left with no forum to file an appeal.

“In this situation, our party has decided to file an appeal before the people of Pakistan and Allah Almighty. We respected courts despite deep reservations over members of courts and the way they investigated.”

He said: “Our party leader Nawaz Sharif reposed full trust in the system and this is why his family appeared before the JIT despite knowing the outcome beforehand.”

Panama ‘drama’ engineered from abroad: Saad Rafique

He said that there was a tacit decision to accept the supremacy of law and avoid any rift between various institutions.

He said: “Our legal team wanted to challenge the court’s jurisdiction and object over remarks portraying individuals as members of Sicilian Mafia and terming them Godfather by honourable judges, but our leader advised restraint.”

He said they were not satisfied over the response when a controversy raged over a leaked picture.

“Our concerns regarding family links of two JIT members were not addressed.”

Expressing surprise over the quantum of paperwork done by the JIT in just two months, he said: “We still have our reservation, but we continue to respect the national institutions.”

Pointing towards the Dhaka Debacle, he pointed out that the nation had already paid the ultimate price when popular mandate was disrespected.

He wondered how long should the nation listen to policy-makers and minority while ignoring the will of majority. He said: “People have lost confidence over politicians.”

Acknowledging that not amending Articles 62 and 63 was “our biggest mistake”, he said: “If we had opted to amend these constitutional rules, people would have accused us of paving the way for corrupt and dishonest politicians.”

Unflinching support: PML-N leaders’ rally behind Nawaz Sharif

Dispelling the impression about sycophancy in party meetings as alluded to by Chaudary Nisar, he maintained: “We speak fearlessly before our leaders … Our leader patiently listens to us.”

He denied that Shehbaz Sharif had been selected as the next PM just because he was Nawaz’s younger brother and said that he was selected purely on merit and because of his exceptional leadership skills he amply demonstrated in Punjab.

He urged the apex court to take action against Sheikh Rashid for claiming that judges were offered bribes worth billions of rupees in the Panama Case and Imran Khan for claiming that a judge had requested him to call off the Islamabad lockdown and bring the matter to court.

According to him, swift action would have been taken if any PML-N leader had uttered anything like this.

He said: “We want to know if these allegations are true and if it was who told them.”

“If these allegations were not true, they are also not honest and righteous.”

“Soon, the same articles on honesty and righteousness will haunt PTI chief Imran Khan.”

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

We will complain to UEFA about PSG: La Liga chief

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 09:31

MADRID: Spain’s football league chief Javier Tebas said he will file a complaint with UEFA for financial fair play breaches against Paris Saint-Germain  (PSG) over their pursuit of Brazilian superstar Neymar.

PSG are rumoured to be weighing up a bid for the Barcelona forward at more than €200 million, enough to trigger the 25-year-old’s transfer release clause.

“La Liga will file this complaint because it’s a problem for La Liga’s competitiveness. Today it’s happened to Barca, tomorrow it could happen to Real Madrid, it’s happened to Atletico Madrid,” Tebas, the La Liga chairman, told Mundo Deportivo.

Neymar impresses in Juventus friendly

Should PSG bid, and then pay, the €222 million needed to prise Neymar from the Catalan capital, they would struggle to meet UEFA’s financial fair play conditions that limit a team to losses of no more than €30 million over a three-year cycle.

And that is despite a mega-money sponsorship deal with the Qatar tourism board.

According to Tebas, “no-one believes” the commercial revenue figures presented by PSG to justify their spending.

Pique strike hands Barcelona El Clasico victory

“PSG cannot have figures in which PSG’s commercial rights exceed those of Real Madrid and Barcelona,” said Tebas. “No-one believes that. We’ve carried out economic studies and it’s impossible. It means that the Qatari state is injecting money and that violates UEFA’s financial fair play rules and the European Union’s norms of economic competition, and we’re going to file a complaint.”

In 2014, PSG were fined €60 million and handed transfer spending restrictions by UEFA for breaching financial fair play rules.

UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) has also stated that PSG’s €200 million a year image rights contract with the Qatari tourist board is inflated and double its “true value”.

PSG are owned by Oryx Qatar Sports Investments.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News