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Vietnam rice paper artisans roll with tradition

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:42

CAN THO, VIETNAM: Stuffed, rolled, baked or fried: rice paper rules in food-obsessed Vietnam, where diners have spurned factory-made versions for homespun ones, propping up a thriving cottage industry in the Mekong Delta.

They’re a staple on dinner tables from north to south, eaten fresh with fish, fried with pork, or baked on an open flame and eaten like crackers — a popular bar snack.

PHOTO: AFP

But regardless of how they’re prepared, one thing most people in Vietnam agree on: homemade is always better.

“It’s better than the factory version, try it, it’s tastier,” Nguyen Thi Hue told AFP, offering a baked coconut version at her roadside snack stop in southern Can Tho province.

She sources her ‘banh trang’ in nearby Thuan Hung village, known for producing some of the finest in the Mekong Delta, long renowned as the “rice bowl of Vietnam”.

Ha Thi Sau (top) pours a rice and sesame mixture onto a hot fire stove as her 16-year-old daughter Dang Thi Bich Thien (bottom) rolls rice paper onto a mat for drying at their home in Thuan Hung Village in the Mekong Delta. PHOTO: AFP

Some families earn a living making rice paper, even as factories have popped up producing creative flavours like salted shrimp, coconut or versions made with the notoriously potent durian fruit.

“Customers prefer those produced handmade in the village. We don’t use chemicals, they’re just natural,” said 26-year-old Bui Minh Phi, a third-generation rice paper maker in Thuan Hung.

He can earn $65 per day spinning the trade, or double that during the busy lunar new year period.

It’s a common sentiment in Vietnam, where many diners eschew fast food joints for home-style restaurants serving pho noodle soup or banh mi sandwiches like their grandmothers might have made it.

A vendor takes a nap after the morning rush at a market where rice paper is sold in Can Tho, in the Mekong Delta. PHOTO: AFP

Rice paper making is a matter of family heritage for many like Ha Thi Sau.

On a recent morning in Thuan Hung, she tutored her daughter on the age-old technique she learned from her aunt: pour the sweetened batter — a secret family recipe — onto a pan, before transferring to a bamboo mat.

PHOTO: AFP

The operation remains a family affair: Sau’s son-in-law feeds the fire with rice husks, while her 83-year-old mother washes dishes on the river bank. Though other jobs are available in her village — once a rural backwater now dotted with modern cafes and mobile phone shops — she doesn’t dream of abandoning her trade.

“I’ve been making rice paper for so long, I don’t want to leave it for another job,” she said, as the scent of coconut wafted in the air.

 

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Conte, Chelsea fans sing Morata’s praises

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:38

STOKE-ON-TRENT: Alvaro Morata will approach Chelsea’s Champions League trip to Atletico Madrid next week in top form after his hat-trick inspired his side to a 4-0 win at Stoke City.

Morata struck three times at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday to take his Chelsea tally to seven goals in six games since his close-season move from Atletico’s local rivals Real Madrid.

There was also relief, for Morata and manager Antonio Conte, that Chelsea’s fans dropped a controversial chant about the Spain striker that contained an anti-Semitic reference to rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

“Our fans were fantastic today and they pushed a lot the team in every moment of the game,” said Conte, whose side follow their trip to Spain with a home game against Manchester City next weekend. “In this stadium the crowd push a lot and I want to thank our fans because I repeat they helped a lot the team today. It was great also to change it (the song). I am also pleased about this.”

Regarding his in-form striker, the former Juve boss added: “I think Alvaro performed very well. He scored a hat-trick and for our strikers it’s very important. It means we created chances for our strikers to take, but I am pleased for his performance and I’m pleased for the performance of the team.”

Morata had previously asked Chelsea’s fans not to sing the song about him and they responded by dreaming up a different chant in his honour.

He opened the scoring after just 81 seconds and added two more goals in the second half after Pedro had punished Darren Fletcher’s error to make it 2-0.

“It’s not easy to win away against Stoke. This game is always difficult,” added Conte, whose side trail leaders Manchester City and Manchester United by three points. “I remember very well last season when we struggled a lot to win and we also won at the end of the game. Today we started very well and then we started to suffer and it was important not to lose our composure, to always stay in the game.”

Conte confirmed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had suffered no ill-effects from a heavy landing on his neck during the second half and will be fit to face his former club Atletico.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes had no such comfort after he saw his side undone by horrible defensive errors, then reported his centre-back crisis could extend into next week’s home game against Southampton.

Hughes will have Kurt Zouma available after the Chelsea defender was prevented from playing against Conte’s men by the terms of his loan to Stoke.

But Bruno Martins Indi, the only central defender who was available to start against Chelsea, has joined Ryan Shawcross, Geoff Cameron and Kevin Wimmer on the injured list after limping off with a groin problem.

Hughes said: “There were extenuating circumstances with our difficulties with personnel at the back and with Bruno coming off. We’ve got Kurt back next week, but all the others are out so we could struggle again next week.”

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Zapata, Alvarez help Sampdoria down Milan

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:33

MILAN: Duvan Zapata and Ricky Alvarez scored as Sampdoria condemned big-spending AC Milan to their second defeat of the Serie A campaign 2-0 in Genoa on Sunday.

Zapata broke through after a terrible clearance by his cousin and fellow Colombia international Cristian Zapata after 72 minutes with substitute Alvarez getting the second just before the whistle.

Chinese-owned Milan again showed their difficulty against teams in the top half of the table as they stay fifth after six games with Sampdoria, who have a game in hand, moving sixth just a point behind.

Serie A: Juventus host plucky Chievo

“We deserved this victory, we fought to the end and must build on this performance,” said Zapata. “It’s important for us to keep a clean sheet too, now we need to rest and prepare for another important match.”

Milan had problems defensively with Cristian Zapata having a forgettable afternoon and Leonardo Bonucci and Alessio Romagnoli performing little better.

Sampdoria dominated from the outset with the visitors having a scare after two minutes when Ivan Strinic’s cross hit Franck Kessie on the arm and the referee awarded a penalty.

Dybala hat-trick pushes Juve to top

However, the decision was overturned by the video assistant referee.

After Saturday’s victories of leaders Juventus and Napoli, Sunday’s action will be dominated by the clash between Inter Milan, in third, and struggling Genoa, which would allow Inter to stay withing two points of the leaders.

Paulo Dybala scored a double as Juventus outclassed 10-man Torino 4-0 in the Turin derby to stay top of Serie A alongside Napoli who battled past SPAL 3-2.

The Argentine striker has now scored an impressive ten goals in six Serie A games with Miralem Pjanic and Alex Sandro also on target at the Allianz Stadium. AS Roma cruised past Udinese 3-1.

The post Zapata, Alvarez help Sampdoria down Milan appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Acting Indian HC summoned over killing of Pakistani civilians in LoC ceasefire violations

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:26

The acting director general of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summoned acting Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh on Sunday to condemn the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian army on the Line of Control (LoC) causing the death of Pakistani civilians.

He condemned Indian aggression in Kotli and Nikial Sub Sector back on September 22 wherein a 22-year-old woman, Tashiba, was martyred and two others were seriously injured.

Despite calls for restraint India continues to break the ceasefire with 873 violations by their army which has resulted in the martyrdom of 39 civilians as well as injuries to 144 in this year alone along the LoC.

Civilian martyred, two injured in Indian firing along LoC

He implored the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement as well as calling for a probe into the incidents.

He said that the deliberate targeting of civilians is deplorable and contrary to international human rights and humanitarian laws.

He urged the Indian side to permit the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to play its role mandated as per the UN security council resolutions.

The post Acting Indian HC summoned over killing of Pakistani civilians in LoC ceasefire violations appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Recent results means nothing: Mourinho

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:18

SOUTHAMPTON: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says it is too early to talk about a challenge for the Premier League title despite watching his side win their fifth match out of six.

United, who have not won the title since Alex Ferguson was at the helm in 2013, are second in the table, level with Manchester City on 16 points, but with an inferior goal difference.

The Portuguese manager conceded his team have started better than last season but sees next month, when they face Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, as more significant.

It will be hard without Pogba, says Mkhitaryan

“I know that last season (by) this fixture I think we would have, maybe, five or six points less than we have this season,” he said. “So we are better this season than last. But this is nothing. It’s just a start. A difficult period with an accumulation of matches, that comes in October. I really think that six teams are going to fight for the title.”

Manchester City’s 5-0 demolition of Crystal Palace on Saturday took them clear of United at the top but the hard-fought 1-0 win at Southampton showed off United’s battling qualities instead of the attacking prowess they have demonstrated in recent weeks.

But United’s victory was marred by more crude chanting from the away fans about goalscorer Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku urged to gobble up Toffees

United looked likely to win comfortably after Lukaku’s 19th-minute goal, but had to rely on a hard-pressed defence in the second half and Mourinho praised Phil Jones and Eric Bailly’s performance in the centre of the defence.

“And also Chris Smalling,” he said. “We did for the last 20 minutes what the majority of the Premier League teams are doing, which is to play defensively with five at the back. We had chances to kill the game and score the second goal, but didn’t.”

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Imran demands immediate general elections, FATA’s merger with K-P

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:17

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan demanded on Sunday that the general elections be held immediately and also that Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) be merged with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

“We have lost confidence in the incumbent Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),” he told reporters.

“The Supreme Court should dissolve the ECP and reconstitute a new one for holding early elections,” he added.

Imran files petition against ECP in IHC

“The ECP doesn’t have the right to issue contempt notices to anyone.”

The PTI chief said the new PM (Shahid Khaqan Abbasi), to justify continue holding his seat, should seek a fresh mandate from the masses.

He went on to demand that the names of deposed PM Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and the National Accountability Bureau chief should be placed on the exit control list.

Talking about Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s iqama case, Khan said the minister would meet the same fate as Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified by the top court on July 28.

ECP directs Islamabad police to arrest PTI chief

Earlier this month, the ECP had issued a bailable warrant for the arrest of Khan after he failed to personally appear before the polls supervisory body in a contempt case.

A show-cause notice for contempt, dated August 24, was issued on an application filed in January this year by Akbar S Babar – a former PTI leader and the main petitioner in an already pending case with regard to the PTI’s alleged funding by foreign sponsors.

However, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had suspended the bailable warrants of arrest issued by the ECP against the PTI chairman.

An IHC bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, suspended the top electoral body’s order while directing counsel for the PTI Babar Awan to submit a reply to the show-cause notice duly signed by Khan before the ECP by September 25.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Laver Cup: Not partnering up full-time, clarify Nadal, Federer

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:12

PRAGUE: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer ruled out a full-time partnership on the tour as the world’s highest ranking duo handed Team Europe, skippered by Bjorn Borg, a 9-3 lead over Team World, captained by John McEnroe, after two days of action in Prague.

After Nadal and Federer had won their singles rubbers, all eyes at Prague’s sold-out O2 Arena were then on the two legends who played on the same side of the net for the first time in careers which have stretched the best part of two decades.

They started the doubles against Sam Querrey and Jack Sock on a high, earning a break in the first set to win 6-4.

They visibly enjoyed the experience, with Federer laughing off a massive air shot halfway through the set.

However, they were in far more serious mood in the second set as both lost their serve, allowing the American pair to level with a 6-1 win.

Much to their relief, the world’s top two players, with 35 Grand Slam singles titles between them, regained their composure in time to sweep their rivals 10/5 in a super tie-break.

But they both denied planning a future as a doubles pair, saying it was “not a good idea”.

“I don’t want to kill your expectations,” Federer told Nadal.

Nadal, 31, said he will remember the night he teamed up with his old rival and close friend for the first time.

“It was unforgettable for both of us after the history we have behind us as rivals. Something we really enjoyed a lot,” said the Spanish star. “To have the possibility to have Roger next to me is a huge privilege… something I wanted to make happen at some point and today I made it happen.”

Federer felt the same way. “He said it all,” chuckled 36-year-old Federer. “For me personally it was a great moment too. After this we’ll be rivals again, thanks God or unfortunately, but… this was something very special. This is a memory for the rest of the lifetime. My last doubles was so long ago that I hardly remembered how to react at the net,” said Federer, forcing “You did extremely well!” from Nadal.

On Sunday, three singles and one doubles will close the tournament, with the players earning three points for each win after two on Saturday and one on Friday.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Aubameyang hits three in Monchengladbach rout

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:03

BERLIN: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed a hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund romped to a 6-1 home thrashing of Borussia Monchengladbach to regain top spot in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Gladbach had no answer to Peter Bosz’s fleet-footed Dortmund, who opened a two-point lead over Hoffenheim at the top in a perfect confidence boost before Tuesday’s Champions League clash with holders Real Madrid.

Aubameyang, last season’s top scorer in Germany’s top flight, has now netted eight goals in six league games — one ahead of main rival Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich.

Dortmund thrash Hamburg to claim top spot

Left winger Maximilian Philipp scored Dortmund’s first two goals before Aubameyang’s hat-trick, with defensive midfielder Julian Weigl scoring a superb sixth.

“We were very dominant. It was an intense game and we can be very satisfied,” said Philipp, who also scored two goals against Cologne last weekend.

Weigl was delighted to score on only his second game back from injury.

Beating Dortmund ‘massive’ for confidence: Pochettino

“It feels great, the goal was the icing on the cake,” said the Germany midfielder. “We were lucky that Gladbach did not use their chances and usually they have the quality to fix problems.”

After third-placed Bayern threw away a two-goal lead on Friday in a 2-2 draw at home to Wolfsburg, Dortmund are now three points ahead of the defending champions.

Bayern could finish the weekend in fourth if Hanover 96 beat bottom side Cologne on Sunday.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Kane one of world’s best, says Pochettino

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 08:53

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is “in love” with Harry Kane after the red-hot forward took his tally to six goals in four games.

Kane’s brace helped Spurs secure a 3-2 win at West Ham United on Saturday that helped ensure they did not risk losing further ground on early Premier League pacesetters Manchester City and Manchester United.

And Pochettino said the forward’s display reinforced his view that the England international is one of the best strikers in the world and deserving of every accolade directed his way.

Revenge not on our mind, says Tottenham’s Pochettino

“He is one of the best strikers anywhere, not only in England,” he said. “I find it hard to find the words to describe him. I am in love like the fans are in love, like his team-mates are in love. He is so humble, he keeps all the values that managers like me appreciate a lot. That is why I am in love with him for different reasons.”

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said he shared Pochettino’s glowing assessment of Kane.

“The best compliment I can give him is put it like this — we played with three centre-backs and they had a really good game,” said Bilic. “They are mostly against him and (Dele) Alli, and still he was using those situations and decided the game for them. He is definitely one of the best in the world. He is doing it week in week out now.”

Beating Dortmund ‘massive’ for confidence: Pochettino

It was Tottenham’s third away win of the campaign, a record that stands in sharp contrast to their problems at home, where they have collected just two points from their opening three games at Wembley.

“Now we need to start to feel good at Wembley, to make it feel like home,” said Pochettin. “The next challenge is to win there.”

Kane struck twice in four first-half minutes at London Stadium to put Tottenham in control of the meeting with their London rivals before Christian Eriksen added a third on the hour.

But Pochettino’s side were forced to endure a nervy ending after Javier Hernandez kickstarted West Ham’s response with a 65th-minute header.

Spurs full-back Serge Aurier was sent off after collecting a second yellow card in the 70th minute and Cheikhou Kouyate fuelled West Ham’s hopes of claiming a point with an 87th-minute header.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Sarfraz and co leave for UAE ahead of Sri Lanka series

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 08:52

KARACHI: Pakistan are all set to step into a new era in their storied Test history as they travelled to the UAE early on Sunday to take on Sri Lanka under new skipper Sarfraz Ahmed.

The travelling entourage comprises of 16 members of the team and nine officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The two-Test series begins on Thursday, September 28, with the second match taking place on on October 6.

Fit-again Yasir retained for Sri Lanka Tests

The Test team was announced on Saturday, where five uncapped players were included in the team as the team looks to move on from the retirements of legends Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq.

That doesn’t mean the Test team won’t have familiar faces in it, with Yasir Shah being passed fit for the first Test despite fears that he may be sidelined due to fitness issues; the primary reason the announcement of the team was delayed.

The Test team’s most consistent batsman of the last couple of years, Azhar Ali, also makes it despite struggling with a knee injury.

The squad

Chief selector Inzamamul Haq, addressing a press conference, announced the names of the 16 players in the squad, which includes five fast-bowlers and two specialist spinners as Sarfraz looks to find the arsenal required to take 20 wickets on the dry unresponsive pitches of the Middle Eastern desert.

In pictures: Pakistan train for Sri Lanka series with practice match

Batsmen Haris Sohail and Usman Salahuddin are in line to play the five-day game for the first time, having already featured in ODIs previously. The duo will be looking to make the spots left behind by Misbah and Younus their own.

Spin-bowling all-rounder Bilal Asif and left-armer Mohammad Asghar are the other players in the squad yet to play in Tests along with fast-bowler Mir Hamza.

The players featured in a five-day training camp before leaving for the UAE, while they will also be taking part in a practice session in the UAE on Monday morning.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka will also play five ODIs and three T20Is; the last of which is scheduled to be in Lahore on October 29.

India thrashing boosted morale, says Sri Lanka coach before Pakistan series

Sarfraz, leading the side in whites for the first time, has warned his charges that victory against Sri Lanka will not come easy for the team.

The skipper admitted Younus and Misbah’s departure has left a team with a void that needs to be filled as soon as possible.

Batting coach Grant Flower, on the other hand, has earmarked Usman Salahuddin and Babar Azam are potential players to fill the gap of two legendary players.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Pakistan responds to India’s UN delegate: ‘This too, shall fail’

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 19:35

NEW YORK: Pakistan has gracefully responded to the comments made by Indian delegate Eenam Gambhir in which she criticised Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s forceful address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.

PM Abbasi had urged the world body to fulfill its promises and grant the struggling people of Kashmir their due right to self-determination in his speech to the UN.

Maiden UN address: Stop fuelling terror in Pakistan, PM tells India

Taking exception to the accusations Gambhir had leveled against Pakistan in her commentary on the premier’s speech, Pakistani delegate Tipu Usman said that PM Abbasi was only reflecting the sentiments and aspirations of the oppressed and suffering people of Kashmir, who had been living under India’s brutal occupation since decades.

Earlier, Eenam Gambhir had said that Pakistan regularly indulged in cross-border terrorism. She also claimed that Kashmir was an “integral part” of India.

“The root cause of all the ills plaguing South Asia is the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” the Pakistani delegate told the 193-member Assembly.

PM Abbasi heads to New York to represent Pakistan at UN

He pointed out that Indian troops had indulged in cross-border shelling across the Line of Control on the Pakistani side of Jammu and Kashmir, just before Abbasi was about to address the UN, killing 10 civilians.

“A sad reminder of Indian intransigence and stubbornness. This too, shall fail,” Usman said, referring to the incident.

Usman also stressed that Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s strategy of “offensive defence and double squeeze”, aspiring towards regional hegemony, would never succeed.

Meeting with Pence: Abbasi to convey Pakistan’s concerns over Afghan policy

The Pakistani delegate said that Kulbhushan Jadhav, “the Indian operator of mayhem and terrorism,” was caught red-handed in Pakistan while spying for the enemy. Jadhav had pleaded guilty to the charges of sabotage, terrorism and espionage brought against him.

“The Indian dream of dominating the region will remain just that – a dream,” Usman told the assembly.

Responding to an Afghan delegate who had accused Pakistan of failing to eliminate terrorist safe havens in the country, Tipu Usman urged the Kabul government to stop blaming others for its own problems and instead work towards eliminating the threat of terrorism on both sides of the border.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Trump poised to drop limits on drone strikes and raids

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 16:00

The Trump administration is considering removing the restrictions placed on drone strikes and commando raids conducted outside conflict zones, according to officials familiar with internal discussions.

The restrictions relating to the conduct of drone operations were put in place by former US President Barack Obama.

The changes, if enacted, would possibly give the US security apparatus the authority to target militants in countries where the US is not officially engaged as a party to the war.

According to officials, the national security team of President Trump has already suggested two changes to the protocol surrounding drone operations.

Trump seen hardening line toward Pakistan after Afghan war review

One of the proposed change recommends the expansion of the drone campaign to target militants that are not defined as ‘high priority targets’ for the US. Previously, drone strikes have been limited to hitting ‘high-priority’ figures who pose a direct and continuous threat to the American citizens.

Another change seeks to dismantle the elaborate vetting process which surrounds the ordering of a drone strike.

Despite the proposals, key figures within the US government have assured that drone strikes which are given the final go-ahead will still be required to demonstrate “near-certainty” that no civilian by-stander is killed or injured. The reforms now await the signature of US President Donald Trump.

Trump to meet with top executives on wireless tech, drones

The suggestions will draw severe criticism from human rights groups all over the world if they are approved, even as the US government scrambles to allay fears that civilians will be protected from harm under new regulations.

The policy aims to broaden the field of operations against Al-Qaeda, Islamic State and other militant groups the US is currently targetting in the Middle East and South Asia.

New rules could allow the US to hit countries like Yemen, Libya and Somalia, as well as regions of Africa and Asia, more frequently. These countries lie outside the traditional conflict zones which United States usually targets.

Trump-era’s first drone strike kills 2 in Kurram

Trump had earlier vowed to undo restrictions aimed at hitting terror targets in a speech outlining his new policy towards Afghanistan and South Asia.

“The killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might and American arms,” Trump said. “Retribution will be fast and powerful.”

The move comes as the CIA is looking to expand the covert drone strike programme, which has until now been mostly limited to the tribal region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

One inside official described the new plan as aimed at making Obama-era ‘bureaucratic hurdles’ disappear.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Textbook recalled in Saudi Arabia over Star Wars character with King Faisal image

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 15:09

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia scrambled on Friday to withdraw a school textbook that accidentally included a doctored photograph of a former ruler sitting next to a Star Wars character, prompting ridicule on social media.

The black-and-white image shows King Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s third monarch, signing the United Nations Charter in 1945, with the diminutive Jedi master Yoda perched next to him.

The image was created by 26-year-old Saudi artist Abdullah al Shehri, who has gained renown for mixing pop culture icons into historic photographs.

“The Ministry of Education regrets the inadvertent error,” Saudi Education Minister Ahmed al Eissa said on Twitter.

Saudi cleric suspended over ‘quarter-brain’ women drivers quip

He said the ministry had begun recalling the textbook and printing a corrected version, adding that a legal committee would be formed to determine the source of the error.

Al Sheri told The New York Times that he was surprised to see the photograph end up in the school textbook.

He said he paired the king and Yoda as they were both intelligent and because Yoda’s green skin and light saber matched the green of the Saudi flag.

Saudi to allow women into stadium for national day

He stressed he had meant no offence to the king, seen widely as the architect of Saudi Arabia’s modernisation. But the error prompted light-hearted banter on social media.

One Saudi schoolteacher jested that this error symbolised “payback” after the education ministry introduced an extra hour of classes in schools earlier this year.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Kurdish referendum matter of Turkey’s national security, PM Yildirim says

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 14:36

ISTANBUL: Turkey made a direct appeal to the president of the Iraqi Kurdish region on Friday, urging him to cancel an independence referendum planned for Monday and saying that Ankara viewed the vote as illegal and unacceptable.

In a statement, Turkey’s National Security Council called on Massoud Barzani to stop the referendum, saying it retained the rights defined in bilateral and international agreements if the vote were held. It did not elaborate on the nature of those rights.

Iraq VP warns against ‘second Israel’ in Kurdistan

The statement followed a meeting of the council, which was chaired by President Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan is also due to hold a cabinet meeting later on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the referendum was a matter of national security for Turkey and Ankara would never accept a change of status in Iraq or Syria.

“An action that will change the status in Syria and Iraq is an unacceptable result for Turkey, and we will do what is necessary,” Yildirim said.

Turkey says Kurdish Iraq’s referendum could worsen situation, lead to civil war

Erdogan has threatened to impose sanctions against Kurdish northern Iraq, saying the government would consider counter-measures against the vote at a cabinet meeting later on Friday.

The parliament will convene for an extraordinary meeting on Saturday in order to discuss policy on Iraq.

Turkey, home to the largest Kurdish population in the region and fighting a Kurdish insurgency, has warned that any breakup of neighbouring Iraq or Syria could lead to a global conflict.

Israel endorses independent Kurdish state

On Monday, the Turkish army launched a highly visible military drill near the Habur border crossing, which military sources said was due to last until Sept. 26, a day after the planned referendum.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

UK envoy, army chief discuss regional security: ISPR

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 14:18

British High Commissioner Thomas Drew called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Friday.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), matters of mutual interest and regional security were discussed.

The visiting dignitary acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s continuous efforts for peace and stability in the region.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

‘Eternal youth’: German actress injects herself with 3.5 million-year-old bacteria from Siberia

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:20

An actress is risking her life for ‘eternal youth’ by injecting herself with doses of a 3.5 million year-old bacteria discovered in Siberia, Mail Online reported.

The 45-year-old from Munich, Germany, who goes by the moniker Manoush, has been pumping an extract of Bacillus F into her blood stream for the past three months and says it has made her look and feel younger.

The ancient bacteria was discovered in the permafrost of north-west Russia by scientists in 2009 and some have hailed it a ‘scientific sensation’.

Offbeat: What’s ugly, has a tail and holds the secret to eternal youth?

The team, who unlocked its DNA code in 2015, say that unlike most cells in nature, Bacillus F shows no signs of aging and believe it could hold the key to unlocking improved human health and longevity.

PHOTO COURTESY: Mail Online

Samples containing extracts of the bacteria have been given to Manoush by Doctor Anatoli Brouchkov, head of the Geocryology Department at Moscow State University.

The injections are just the latest in a longline of procedures for mother-of-one Manoush who has already spent £36,800 (€41,700) on plastic surgery over the last 20 years.

“My skin is as soft as a baby’s bottom,” she said. “You can’t really see it in the photos but if you see me in person you can see there are no marks or blemishes.

“I have never felt better. I have never slept better, deeper or longer. When I work out I can workout longer. I can run three miles instead of the usual two miles.

“I think my skin looks good. These are just the little things that have got better.”

She added: ‘This summer we had huge temperature changes and normally I would get a cold. I didn’t this time.

‘I can’t prove that it is because I have been injecting this bacteria. It could be other reasons but I do believe that it is the effects of using the bacteria on myself.’

Manoush, had blood tests taken before she started injecting Bacillus F on July 22, so that they can be analysed along with blood samples she’s having each month.

The sample was given to her by Doctor Anatoli Brouchkov, head of the Geocryology Department at Moscow State University, at a meeting in London.

As the procedure is experimental, no doctor would inject her, and would most likely lose their license.

Instead she performed the procedure herself, with friends and a local doctor there for support in case of an emergency.

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Manoush, who has appeared in niche horror movies such as Cannibal and Seed 2, said: “Dr Brouchkov has been taking this for years now and he has fabulous skin, like a young man. He is doing me a big favour, he is doing science a favour. I am happy to be a part of this.

‘My family is absolutely against this. They are going up and down the wall about this. They refuse to have anything to do with it.

“Sometimes I look in the mirror and think I am a freak – but I know what I am doing to myself. This is all planned and I am not planning on stopping.

“Some people can’t accept that for me when it comes to anti-aging there are no limits.

“This is not going to make me 20 years younger. But I think it will help me live to 80 or 90 and age as disgracefully as I can in artificial health and beauty.

“I want to die in a fully functional body and if this helps then it would have all been worth it.”

With no adverse reaction during the initial injection, she has been ‘shooting up’ every two weeks and is hoping to up the dosage and frequency soon.

PHOTO COURTESY: Mail Online

She said: “There is no knowing what effects this may have in the long-term – but no risk, no success.

“I want to see what happens when you use more of the material. How does it work?”

But Dr Brouchkov himself has also taken the bacteria extract, albeit orally, and reported positive results.

He also says he advised Manoush not to inject the sample.

He added: “These microorganisms have some kind of amazing mechanism of survival which keeps them alive for millions of years. Just imagine if we were able to use it and prolong our lives for thousands of years.

“We have something here alive on earth which lives millions of years, in our own hands. We shouldn’t miss that opportunity, that’s my strong belief.”

Manoush doesn’t believe the injections will give her eternal life but hopes it will help her achieve her of “dropping dead at 90 looking half that age or younger”.

Over the last 20 years she has had more than 40 cosmetic procedures, including breast implants, face lifts and nose jobs.

She still plans on having more work done including repairs to two surgeries on her face and nose she says were botched.

Encouraged by her use of the bacteria, Manoush, who lived in New York from 2006-2013, is looking to other new forms for extreme ant-aging.

“Aging is a disease. It is a genetic flaw to me. Even as a teenager I could never accept the concept of getting older one day,” she said.

“I don’t care what people think. I will stop at nothing to look and feel younger. Nothing.”

The post ‘Eternal youth’: German actress injects herself with 3.5 million-year-old bacteria from Siberia appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Muharram security: Sindh govt mutes 161 firebrand clerics for 60 days

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:40

KARACHI: Sindh government has imposed a 60-day ban on 161 religious scholars and clerics under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) to maintain peace during the month of Muharram.

“The inter-city movement of 161 religious scholars and clerics has been banned, while restrictions will also be imposed on their speech at any forum for the next 60 days,” read a notification issued by provincial home department.

“The ban has been imposed to prevent such scholars from delivering inflammatory speech and to maintain the law and order situation during the month,” it added.

Firebrand clerics banned from entering capital during Muharram

The clerics who have been slapped the ban hail from various parts of the country and are affiliated with different religious organisations.

According to the notification, the majority of the scholars and clerics belong to Sukkar, Khairpur, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Larkana and Shikarpur.

On Thursday, Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) barred 11 firebrand clerics from making speech during Muharram, while banning 14 others from entering the capital for two months.

The post Muharram security: Sindh govt mutes 161 firebrand clerics for 60 days appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Ukraine envoy loses iPhone to snatcher in broad daylight on Delhi street

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:29

Losing smartphones to snatchers is a common practice on the streets of Delhi. The latest victim is none other than the Ukraine ambassador to India.

According to Hindustan Times, Dr Igor Polikha was trying to get a good shot of the Red Fort when a man snatched his iPhone and ran off.

The envoy left his official car and driver in a parking lot at Daryaganj and wandered alone towards Red Fort around 9am on Wednesday. An enthusiastic photographer, the ambassador took out his iPhone while standing on a road in Angoori Bagh.

The Red Fort in Delhi. PHOTO COURTESY: RAZA RUMI

But he had barely taken a photo or two when an unidentified man dashed towards him, snatched his phone and ran away.

The snatcher was so quick that the ambassador couldn’t even think of chasing him. He did, however, note some details of the thief and has provided the description to the police.

According to sources, the stolen iPhone was found switched off immediately after the crime. The phone contained mostly personal data and information of the ambassador.

“The ambassador said he must have used his iPhone to take photos of thousands of places and people in Delhi, but this was the first time he found himself in such a situation,” said a senior investigator.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Pillion-riding banned in Islamabad from Sept 27 to Oct 1 for Muharram

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:11

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Capital Territory Administration has decided to ban pillion-riding as part of security measures for Muharram processions and gatherings.

The ban will come into effect from September 27 and end on October 1, according to an order issued by a district magistrate on Thursday.

“Certain pillion riders are likely to resort to violence and acts of sabotage aimed at disrupting peace and tranquility causing damage to public life and property during Muharram-ul-Harram,” it read.

Over the past few years, the district administration has imposed a ban on pillion-riding on Ashura in the capital.

While pillion-riding will remain prohibited for five days, the authorities have not yet taken a decision as to whether cellular services will be suspended or not.

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The authorities have also banned the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) including drone cameras, terming them a security threat.

“These UAVs can be used by miscreants to conduct terrorist acts in areas that have been secured and safeguarded against ground attacks. Any possible terrorist attack would jeopardise security of the processions and religious gathering like ongoing Muharram and Safar Majalis/Processions besides posing threat to residents of ICT,” the magistrate’s order said.

The use of UAVs by the law-enforcement agencies, however, is exempted from the ban, which will be effective for two months.

The district magistrate has also imposed a ban on the sale of toy guns in Islamabad on the recommendation of the police.

The order stated that the toy guns which were being sold in some shopping malls could be a security risk for important personalities and diplomats in the capital.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Saudi cleric suspended over ‘quarter-brain’ women drivers quip

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:07

DUBAI: A Saudi cleric who said women should not drive because their brains shrink to a quarter the size of a man’s when they go shopping has been banned from preaching, state television said.

Saad al-Hijri was suspended from all religious activity after advising against allowing women to drive in a speech that contained comments “diminishing human value”, the broadcaster quoted a spokesperson for the governor of Asir province as saying.

Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women from driving, despite ambitious government targets to increase their public role, especially in the workforce.

Women in the kingdom are also bound by law to wear long robes and a headscarf and require the consent of a male guardian for most legal actions.

In a video identifying him as the head of the religious edicts department in the southern province, Hijri asked what the traffic department would do it if it discovered a man with only half a brain. “Would it give him a license or not? It would not. So how can it give it to a woman when she has only half?” he said. “If she goes to the market she loses another half. What is left? A quarter…We demand the traffic department check because she is not suitable to drive and she has only a quarter.”

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The comments sparked anger on social media, which is hugely popular in the kingdom.

Twitter users shared the video, many criticising it and making jokes about his remarks, under the Arabic hashtag “Al-Hijri_women_quarter_brain”.

Some users posted pictures of Saudi female scientists and academics in response and questioned Hijri’s own intellectual capacities. His suspension, ordered by the provincial governor, was aimed at preventing the spread of views that spark controversy and do not serve the national interest, the provincial spokesperson said, according to Ekhbariya TV‘s official Twitter account.

Any others who used religious platforms to preach such views would also be banned. The government’s modernising reforms, backed by Saudi Arabia’s business class, have sparked tensions with influential clerics upon whose support the ruling family relies. Some clerics have millions of followers on social media.

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