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Updated: 22 hours 31 min ago

US to ban travel to North Korea after Warmbier death

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:56

BEIJING: The United States will bar Americans from travelling to North Korea in the coming weeks, travel agencies said Friday, a month after a US tourist, student Otto Warmbier, died following his imprisonment by Pyongyang.

China-based Young Pioneer Tours, which had taken Warmbier to North Korea, and Koryo Tours said the ban will come into force on July 27 – the anniversary of the end of the Korean War – with a 30-day grace period.

“We have just been informed that the US government will no longer be allowing US citizens to travel to the DPRK (North Korea),” Young Pioneer Tours said on its website. “After the 30-day grace period any US national that travels to North Korea will have their passport invalidated by their government.”

The company did not say who had notified it of the ban, which followed its earlier announcement that it would no longer take Americans to North Korea in the wake of Warmbier’s death last month.

Koryo Tours general manager Simon Cockerell told AFP that his company was notified by the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang, which usually acts on behalf of the United States in North Korea since Washington has no diplomatic ties with the isolated regime.

The official announcement “will basically end American tourism” in North Korea, Cockerell said.

“It remains to be seen what the exact text is, but the indication is it’s just a straight up ban on Americans going,” he said.

His company currently takes between 300-400 Americans to the country each year, he said, adding that the company has begun informing American customers who had reserved tours of the ban. While the decision will be bad for business, he sees it as more damaging to “North Koreans who are interested in having a balanced portrayal of what Americans are really like”.

A US embassy spokesman in Seoul could not be reached for comment, while his counterpart in Beijing said she would check with Washington. It was unclear whether the ban would be imposed by a US executive order.

A foreign affairs subcommittee of the US House of Representatives is scheduled to take up draft legislation on July 27 that would forbid Americans from travelling to North Korea. According to its text, at least 17 US citizens had been detained in North Korea as of May. At least three remain in the country’s custody.

“The government of North Korea has repeatedly detained United States citizens to be used as bargaining chips in negotiations over a variety of issues,” it says, including “North Korea’s illegal nuclear weapons program.”

The bill would require Senate approval and the president’s signature before becoming law. Travellers wanting to visit the North must go with a tour company. Americans are required to fly to Pyongyang from Beijing, while other nationalities are allowed to go by train.

But the US State Department has strongly warned US citizens against travelling there. Warmbier, 22, died after being medically evacuated to the United States suffering from severe brain damage. He had spent 18 months in captivity in North Korea. US President Donald Trump had blamed Pyongyang’s “brutal regime” for his plight.

North Korea accused the United States of waging a “smear campaign” and denied that Warmbier was tortured or abused. Young Pioneer Tours, founded in 2008 by a British expat, came under fire after Warmbier was flown home in a coma following a flurry of secret diplomatic negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

The University of Virginia student was arrested at the airport as he was leaving Pyongyang in January last year and sentenced at a show trial to 15 years of hard labour for stealing a political poster from a hotel. His case added to already high tensions in the region over North Korea’s weapons ambitions, culminating in the country’s successful test launch earlier this month of an intercontinental ballistic missile that experts say could reach Alaska.

The post US to ban travel to North Korea after Warmbier death appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Hairstyles to ace this summer without spending a penny at the salon

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:40

Beauty standards vary from culture to culture – but for us South Asians, long lustruous locks have long been associated with beauty and charisma. But looks like new-fangled trends are up for grabs and shorter, more sleek hairdos are all the rage this season.

Marx, ‘Kelay’ and Khaadi

Long hair, after all is hard to maintain and not always desirable. Whether it is to beat the summer heat or try a new look, its time redefine hair fashion!

Emily Blunt 

emily-blunt-braid

The Edge Of Tomorrow diva’s hairline braid is not just simple and convenient to replicate, but also uber chic and stylish. It works as a rejuvenated spin to ‘work hair’ plus can make you a head-turner at an evening party. And you don’t have to spend a bunch at a salon to get it! If you know how to make a simple braid, that’s all it’ll take!

Margot Robbie

margot-robbie

Or… you could style your hair in a loose, casual bun by tying a pony-tail at the nape of your head and then looping the rest of the length through the strands. Make sure to pull out a couple strands around the forehead to look effortlessly dapper – like this Suicide Squad hottie.

Fashion shows

Deepika Padukone

deepika-in-a-ballerina-bun-tbd

Looking for a classier, more polished look that radiates finesse? A ballerina bun with pearl earrings will surely be the ultimate look for you – and it is a piece of cake to make!  Twist your hair in a tight bun and take a thin lock of hair to loop around the bun, covering the elastic band and there, you have it. To go ultra sleek, grab a dash of hair serum before styling to get that dazzling shine.

Armeena Khan

armena khan

For the ultimate nonchalant street style, look no further than the Janaan stunner. This bride-to-be just revamped her hair, giving plenty of us hair-transformation goals. All you need to do is go to a stylist to get this edgy lob – and once that’s done, you need some styling mousse to add texture to the waves and you’re all set to slay.

Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.

The post Hairstyles to ace this summer without spending a penny at the salon appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

A man commutes six hours daily to get to work

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:32

A mechanical engineer and co-founder of a San Francisco-based tech company commutes six hours daily from Los Angeles – and most of it is by plane, reported BBC.

Five days a week, he starts his journey at 5:00 am; a 15-minute to drive to Bob Hope Burbank airport for a 90-minute flight to Oakland, located 568 km North West. He parks close to the departure building of Surf Air, a California-based airline that offers unlimited flights on a single engine turboprop plane, for a monthly fee.

This company will pay you £8,000 a month to travel in luxury around the world

Curt Von Badinski pays $2,300 to take return flights from Burbank to Oakland. He usually boards the plane within minutes after the background check, skipping most of the security procedures.

He claims that the second leg of his journey is more environment friendly, he keeps a plug-in hybrid vehicle at Oakland airport to drive to San Francisco. He knows that his flights come with a significant carbon footprint, he tries to curb that with the hybrid vehicle.

A commute as long as this one in a region where there are massive discrepancies in the climate, poses additional challenges. It can be humid in Los Angeles, but San Francisco is likely to be cooler at that point in time. “The first several months that I was doing this commute, I was always caught off guard,” he says. “The first several months that I was doing this commute, I was always caught off guard,” he tells BBC.

Elderly Muslim man told to ‘go back to Pakistan’ on Delhi Metro

Von Badinski gets to the office by 08:30 and leaves by 17:00, allowing time for busy traffic on his drive back to Oakland airport to catch his return flight at 19:15. He is home in Burbank shortly after 21:00.

“The way I justify a six-hour commute is having the ability to have all the things that I want,” he explains.

“I am always excited to start the day.”

The post A man commutes six hours daily to get to work appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Underwater robot probes inside Fukushima reactor

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:28

TOKYO: The operator of Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant said Friday it is using an underwater robot in a renewed attempt to inspect damage suffered in a tsunami-induced meltdown.

A massive undersea earthquake on March 11, 2011 sent a huge wave barrelling into Japan’s northeast coast, killing more than 18,500 people, and sending three reactors into meltdown at the plant in the worst such accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

This frame grab taken from handout video from an underwater robot and provided by Japan’s International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRID) on July 19, 2017, shows a part of the platform inside reactor No. 3 at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture. PHOTO: AFP

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) in February sent a remote-controlled robot into one of three damaged reactors where radiation levels have hit record highs.

But the mission was aborted at the No. 2 reactor after the robot could not reach its target destination beneath a pressure vessel through which nuclear fuel is believed to have melted as the robot had difficulty moving.

Locating the fuel debris is part of the decommissioning process for the plant expected to take decades.

This frame grab taken from handout video from an underwater robot and provided by Japan’s International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRID) on July 19, 2017, shows a part of the platform inside reactor No. 3 at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture. PHOTO: AFP

On Wednesday, TEPCO sent a robot measuring 13 centimetres (5.1 inches) wide and 30 centimetres long to the No. 3 reactor and conducted another inspection on Friday, a spokesman said.

But the company has yet to find the fuel debris.

“Today the robot went deeper inside the containment vessel” of the reactor, he said, referring to the Friday probe, adding that TEPCO will analyse the images.

The Japanese government said in December that it expects total costs including compensation, decommissioning and decontamination to reach 21.5 trillion yen ($192.5 billion) in a process likely to take at least four decades as high radiation levels slow operations.

The post Underwater robot probes inside Fukushima reactor appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

I’ve encountered racism all my life: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:23

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the ebony-complexioned superstar of Bollywood whom every producer wants to sign at any cost. He is barely out of one highly-lauded role in Mom when hes already looking at another crowd-pleasing role as a hoodlum dancer in Munna Michael.

Many consider Nawazuddin to be one of the finest, if not the finest actor of Hindi cinema today. Therefore when he speaks the world listens.

Nawazuddin opens up about discrimination over appearance

Last week after casting director Sanjay Chouhan spoke about how co-actors cast with Nawazuddin have to be dark-skinned, the actor raised the question of racism through a tweet that said, “Thank you for making me realise that I cannot be paired along with the fair and handsome because I’m dark and not good looking.”

A lot has been said and written about his words. Finally he clarified the whole issue in an interview which threatened to go into tricky tangents on societal prejudice.

The actor with a deep sigh said, “I was reacting to what I read about this gentleman’s statement on the kind of actors I need to be cast with. I found the statement very strange. Did film-makers actually consider the colour of my co-stars’ skin before casting them with me? Yeh ladki gori hai yeh nahin chalegi…yeh ladka saawla hai issko banao Nawaz ka dost. Is that how actors are cast in our films? I thought actors were chosen for suitability and merit. Anyway, this gentleman says he was misquoted.”

Nawazuddin Siddiqui slaps back religious intolerance with this badass video

Nawazuddin says he hates playing the victim card. “But the fact is, I have faced prejudices all my life because of my dark complexion, because of my humble background and because I come from a small village. Prejudice is embedded deep in our minds. All of us are prejudiced. It begins at home where the mother says, ‘Beta gori bahu le aao tab bachche kale nahin honge.’ As if my criteria for choosing a life partner must be the colour of her skin.”

Nawaz doesn’t want to point fingers at any particular section of society.

“I am not saying there is more prejudice in the film industry. It exists in every profession, every walk of life. In cinema. I don’t think I’ve been rejected for being dark-skinned. Nor has any heroine refused to work with me for the way I look. But yes, you can’t deny that leading men are supposed to look a particular way. Hero ka matlab hota hai gora-chitta (hero means fair-complexioned),” asserted Nawaz.

He went on to add, “There is a lot of curiosity to see the children from film families. And invariably the question of how fair-skinned he or she is, comes up. Someone like me with no connection in the industry has to prove myself. Because I’ve no background in cinema and I don’t look like a film actor. Yeh kya karega? That’s how I was initially welcomed.”

‘Manto’ has been a great experience: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Nawaz feels we take no pride in our talent.

“We wait for our artists to be endorsed in the West before celebrating their talent. When I was in New York I went to Broadway to watch the rehearsal for a play. I was introduced to an actor as the best actor in the world. To them in America everything they have is the best. We have far less confidence in our talent.”

The actor also doesn’t want to take away from the struggle of actors from film families.

“Look at Tiger Shroff. See how hard he works. I got a chance to watch him dance in Munna Michael. Believe me, he is miraculous. Though he is the son of a star like Jackie Shroff he never tried to use that as a calling card in the industry. In fact I think he worked towards being a fantastic dance as that was one area where his father was not skilled.”

Nawaz himself has tried some dancing in Munna Michael.

“I am very nervous. I want to know what people think about my dancing. Because I’ve always had a mental block about dancing. Dancing on screen was challenge for me as an actor. I hope I’ve pulled it off.”

Have something to add in the story? Share it in the comments below. 

The post I’ve encountered racism all my life: Nawazuddin Siddiqui appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Amid VPN crackdown, China eyes upgrades to Great Firewall

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:23

A Chinese telecoms carrier said it had begun closing virtual private networks (VPNs) and other tools that can bypass the so-called Great Firewall, which state authorities use to filter and block traffic between Chinese and overseas servers.

A spokesman for Guangzhou Huoyun Information Technology Ltd, which operates in around 20 cities across China, told Reuters the company received a directive from authorities to start blocking services from midday on Tuesday.

Enlisting telecoms firms will extend China’s control of its cyberspace – which it believes should mimic real-world border controls and be subject to the same laws as sovereign states.

While the Great Firewall blocks access to overseas sites, much like a border control, the telecoms firms can filter and censor online access at a more granular level, in the home and on smartphones.

Facebook accounts could be hacked without ever needing a password

“The telcos have methods at their disposal that the Great Firewall may not,” said Philip Molter, Chief Technology Officer at Golden Frog, which operates VyprVPN, a popular VPN in China. “Because these routers deal with far less traffic, they can block more aggressively using more resource intensive methods.”

The telecoms firms have taken up their new filtering roles under a law introduced in January, and set to come into full effect next March. Experts say this could lead to increasingly targeted attacks on VPNs, one of the few tools Chinese can use to access overseas internet services.

A member of China-based anti-censorship site GreatFire.org, who goes by the pseudonym of Charlie Smith, said the authorities were shifting the responsibility to the telecoms firms.

“This is a major step toward closing whatever windows are still left open,” he said.

New Attacks

The latest moves come after dozens of popular China-based VPNs have been shut down in recent weeks, and there have been rolling attacks on overseas VPNs.

This week, users also reported partial blocks and delays in the encrypted messaging app WhatsApp, the latest western social media tool to be hit. And researchers found that messages related to Liu Xiaobo, a dissident and Nobel laureate who died from cancer in custody last week, disappeared from local messaging apps.

VPN services say they are bracing for further blocks in the run-up to this autumn’s Communist Party Congress.

President Xi Jinping, who has overseen a marked sharpening of China’s cyberspace controls, including tough new data surveillance and censorship rules, is expected to consolidate his hold on power at the Congress, which takes place every five years.

The January regulations make telecoms providers and other internet service providers (ISPs) liable for filtering and blocking unlawful network tools, according to the Ministry of Information Industry and Technology (MIIT).

Beyond VPNs, experts say the telecoms firms could potentially bar a range of services, and even prevent mobile apps from being installed.

“Much of the usage we see from China is via mobile devices, so limitations on this kind of functionality would hit a large number of Chinese,” said Golden Frog’s Molter.

Yet, despite the ambitious plans, the authorities will likely struggle to put up the blanket safeguards necessary to cripple foreign VPNs by March, experts say.

“There’s been an ongoing game of cat-and-mouse with China and VPNs… we’re optimistic that VPNs will continue to be accessible from China for the foreseeable future,” said a spokesman for ExpressVPN, noting its user numbers continue to grow in China.

Small Businesses

While VPNs with foreign servers, including VyprVPN and ExpressVPN, play cat-and-mouse with regulators, quickly patching blocks and developing workarounds, small business owners say they have been hard hit by the rapid loss of local VPNs.

“Our small logistics business has just imploded”, said one business owner on the Weibo microblogging site, adding she could no longer access foreign sites despite trying several new VPNs.

China orders tech firms to ramp up censorship

Large numbers of free or low-cost VPN services flourished in Chinese app stores in the 18 months or so prior to the recent blocks.

“The ministry says we must apply for a license [VPN] and we have to buy Chinese services,” one person operating a small online media site told Reuters, asking not to be named. “If the website touches on social and political news, we have to hand over the platform account passwords. Of course, if we still had a VPN this wouldn’t be the case.”

The MIIT did not respond to a request for comment. It said last week that the new measures were not intended to harm business interests, and has previously said it would allow businesses to operate VPNs licensed by the government.

“These newest measures are one more hurdle for Chinese users to jump, in what is turning out to be an extremely long steeplechase,” said GreatFire.org’s Smith.

The post Amid VPN crackdown, China eyes upgrades to Great Firewall appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

British woman, Pakistani man jailed in Dubai for ‘having consensual sex’

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:19

A British woman and Pakistani man have been jailed in Dubai for having consensual sex, Gulf News reported.

Court records show the woman got acquainted with the Pakistani man on Facebook three years ago. In 2016, she flew in to Dubai for a week during which she stayed with the man at a hotel.

The man claimed that he picked her up at Dubai International airport and drove to a flat in Sharjah where a Pakistani religious scholar got them married verbally.

The woman denied the Pakistani man’s marriage claims.

Pakistani man jailed in UAE for having sex with friend’s wife

When the man learnt that the woman was preparing to get married to another man in London earlier this year, the Pakistani man began threatening to shame her and reveal to her family that they were married, records show.

In her court statement, the woman claimed that when she told the man that she was calling off their three-year relationship, he rejected the idea.

According to the woman’s statement, the man then threatened to publish their photos together on Facebook.

He also called up the potential husband’s family and told them that the woman was married to him and he has a paper corroborating his claims.

She also claimed in court that he threatened to kill her if she married someone else and sent their photos to her potential in-laws.

Records also show that the woman and her father flew in to Dubai and lodged a criminal complaint against the man, who was then arrested by Dubai Police.

South Korea’s top court says no divorce rights for adulterers

Upon interrogation, he countered the woman’s threat claims and told the police that she had sent him messages on Facebook requesting him not to divorce her as she was being pressured by her family to keep him out of her life.

The case was referred to the public prosecution. Investigations then revealed that the couple had consensual sex during their meeting in the UAE.

The Dubai Misdemeanours Court sentenced the couple to one year in jail followed by deportation.

The defendants pleaded not guilty and appealed the primary judgement before the Appeal Court, seeking leniency.

The defendants are expected to provide the appellate court with documents as part of their defence.

The post British woman, Pakistani man jailed in Dubai for ‘having consensual sex’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Saudi Arabia curtails crude flow to United States: Kemp

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:12

LONDON: Saudi Arabia is making good on promises to curtail oil shipments to the United States with the likely intention to drain visible inventories and support prices.

The United States imported an average of 524,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Saudi Arabia in the week ending July 14, the lowest volume for more than seven years. Imports from Saudi Arabia averaged just 810,000 bpd over the last four weeks, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the slowest rate since January 2015.

Pakistan draws redlines for joining Saudi alliance

Crude arrives on supertankers carrying an average of around 2 million barrels so the weekly import numbers exhibit a lot of volatility linked to the timing of tanker arrivals. Imports are only reported to the US Energy Information Administration when the crude has cleared US customs so weekly volumes are sensitive to the precise timing of customs clearance.

But there is no mistaking the downtrend in imports of Saudi Arabian crude since the start of June which seems set to continue until at least the end of August. On July 20, there were 15 very large crude carriers and 3 Suezmax tankers identified en route from Saudi Arabia to the United States, according to Kpler, a global cargo-tracking firm based in Paris.

The number included some partially loaded tankers already off the U.S. coast waiting to complete discharging, according to an analysis by Kpler. There are also a couple of Saudi cargoes with unclear final destinations. But at the same point in 2016, there were 25 very large or ultra large crude carriers and 3 Suezmax tankers voyaging from Saudi Arabia to the United States.

Saudi officials have openly discussed reducing shipments to the United States in recent weeks. Saudi crude exports to the United States will be below 800,000 bpd in August, a Saudi industry source familiar with production policy told Reuters. Crude and product stocks in the United States are the most transparent and high-profile element of global inventories thanks to the weekly records published by the EIA.

Many traders and analysts use weekly stock data from the EIA as a proxy for changes in the global supply-demand balance, even though they may not be representative of the whole market. Saudi Arabia and its OPEC and non-OPEC allies are keen to demonstrate to a sceptical market that output cuts are finally drawing down bloated stocks. So it makes sense to curb shipments to the United States to try to accelerate the reduction in the highly visible stocks held in North America.

PM arrives in Saudi Arabia to attend US-Arab-Islamic Summit

Crude and fuels markets are global not regional, and oil will find a way of flowing to where it is most needed or convenient to store. Total crude imports to the United States have fallen in recent weeks which, coupled with heavy refinery runs, has helped cut domestic crude stocks faster than normal for the time of year.

But there are indications reduced Saudi shipments to the United States are being partially replaced by increased shipments from Iraq as refiners seek the closest alternative medium-heavy sour grades. And Saudi shipments have increased to India and Japan, according to vessels and cargoes tracked by Kpler, which may be offsetting some of the reduction to the United States.

The post Saudi Arabia curtails crude flow to United States: Kemp appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

People took pictures, videos of IT engineer as he bled to death in India

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:05

An IT engineer bled to death in Indrayani, India while passers-by clicked pictures and took videos of him instead of coming forward to help on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old, Satish Prabhakar Mete had been riding on a motorcycle when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle. However, no one came forward to help the man as he bled away till after 30 minutes when a dentist, Dr Kirtiraj Kate, finally stopped to help him.

Dr Kate gave CPR to Satish and rushed him to the hospital but it was too late and he was declared dead, the Indian Express reported.

Police said Mete’s motorcycle was hit by a vehicle, which we are yet to identify. “There were some by-standers, but they don’t have any details of the vehicle. We were informed about the incident after Mete was taken to the Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (YCMH) and declared dead,” senior inspector Bhimrao Shingade of the Bhosari MIDC police station said.

Man beats sister to death with bricks

Meanwhile, the doctor who had tried to rescue Satish told Pune Newsline that he had been walking home when he saw a group of people and approached them and tried to help Satish who had “already lost a lot of blood”.

He also expressed shock “that the by-standers, instead of taking the injured to the hospital, were clicking photos and taking videos.”

Dr Kirtiraj had stopped a rickshaw and taken him to the YCMH hospital, which is about 15 minutes away. “On the way to the hospital, he was breathing for a while… but he was declared dead at the hospital. Had the passers-by helped him in time, he could have been saved,” he said.

Satish’s body was handed over to family members after the post-mortem.

The post People took pictures, videos of IT engineer as he bled to death in India appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Ryanair sets deadline for Brexit air travel deal

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 06:52

FRANKFURT: Ryanair will slash flights between Britain and the EU if London and Brussels fail to agree on terms for post-Brexit air travel by September next year, a senior executive said Friday.

EU citizens face uncertain future in Brexit Britain

If there is no ‘clarity’ on the issue by September 2018, the Irish no-frills airline will remove flights from and to the UK from its summer 2019 timetable, chief commercial officer David O’Brien told German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Ryanair will also remove some 85 aircraft currently based in Britain to airports on the European mainland or in Ireland, he added.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary made similar comments to the European Parliament’s transport committee earlier this month. The outspoken airline boss has repeatedly criticised the British government for its approach to post-Brexit air travel. He said London ministers “don’t have an idea” of the possible impact on the industry, speaking at a Frankfurt press conference in February.

Last week, British competitor EasyJet said it would create a new division based in Austrian capital Vienna to avoid Brexit fallout. Britain’s airline industry has soared over the past two decades under the Single European Sky system, which lifted trade restrictions on EU airlines.

Unless British negotiators manage to secure preferential conditions, British airlines could lose this status once the country leaves the EU.
This will mean they no longer enjoy rights including being able to freely set airfares, and to launch any route in Europe without getting prior authorisation.

May to unveil plans to ‘protect’ EU citizens’ rights after Brexit

Passengers leaving or arriving in the United Kingdom will face new taxes and British airlines face obstacles and delays in developing new routes. Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019 after voting in a shock referendum last year in favour of departure.

The post Ryanair sets deadline for Brexit air travel deal appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Irfan Pathan’s wife ‘exposing’ arms photo causes internet frenzy

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 13:47

Indian all-rounder cricketer Irfan Pathan on Monday posted a picture with his wife Safa Baig on Facebook which created a heating debate among his fans.

The photo portrays the couple as they are sitting in a car happily. The caption reads: “This girl is trouble” accompanied the picture alongside the hashtags #love and #wifey.

It seemed like a generic post of a couple being cute, until people started commenting negatively on how Baig who is a model by profession,  is ‘exposing’ her arms in the picture. Yes, her arms.

This wasn’t even a few comments but a chain of hate-laden remarks tinged with tones of policing the woman for being ‘unislamic’.

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Pakistani women who have been body-shamed

The backlash, however, did not end there. People also seemed to raise concern about the fact that Baig was wearing nail polish. This proceeded to turn into a frenzy of arguments on the post, regarding how a woman should and should not dress in public.

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To shut his critics up, the star cricketer tweeted:

Kuch to log kahenge logo ka kaam hai kehna but always #love #travel pic.twitter.com/aERzXr0g2j

— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) July 17, 2017

In all this hatred, however, there were also some people who defended Pathan’s wife and called out the people who were posting hate comments.

Women are trolled all the time, it has nothing to do with Ramazan: Richa Chadha

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PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

As absurd as it seems, this isn’t the first time a woman has been policed and shamed for wearing certain kinds of clothes that do not allegedly measure up to the standards of these people who then proceed to tell the woman what or what not to wear on a public post.

A couple of months ago, Priyanka Chopra was shamed for showing her legs during her meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In addition to that, Dangal actress Fatima Sana Shaikh was also shamed for wearing a swimsuit during the month of Ramazan.

The post Irfan Pathan’s wife ‘exposing’ arms photo causes internet frenzy appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

US sanctions Iran over missiles, despite nukes compliance

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 13:04

WASHINGTON: The US slapped fresh sanctions on Iran Tuesday over its ballistic missile programme, just hours after Washington admitted the Islamic Republic was complying with a landmark nuclear deal signed two years ago.

Iran’s parliament retaliated by voting for extra funding for the missile programme, a move that speaker Ali Larijani said would show the Americans that Iran “will resist them with all its power.”

The heightened tensions came after President Donald Trump was forced to back off from a key campaign promise to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran, which eased sanctions in return for limiting its ability to produce material for atomic weapons.

Trump had described it as “the worst deal ever” and accused Iran of continuing to back terrorism in the Middle East. But on Monday the White House admitted that the Islamic Republic was sticking to the nukes agreement.

It noted, however, that while Iran might be meeting its requirements on paper, it was unquestionably in default of the spirit” of the accord.

In announcing the new sanctions against 18 individuals and entities in Iran, the State Department said it “remains deeply concerned about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity.”

US sending mixed messages on Iran nuclear deal: Zarif

It cited Iran’s support for Hezbollah, Hamas, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Huthi rebels in Yemen fighting a US-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

In addition to earmarking an additional $260 million for its ballistic missile Iran’s parliament retaliated by voting for extra funding for the missile programme, Iran’s parliament also agreed Tuesday to allot a similar amount to the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations wing, the Quds Force, accused by Washington of fomenting unrest across the region.

The Pentagon has also repeatedly voiced concern over a string of high-profile incidents in waters off Iran involving Iranian vessels.

It has accused the Revolutionary Guards of conducting risky maneuvers around US warships in the Gulf, some of which resulted in the Americans firing warning shots.

“These sanctions target procurement of advanced military hardware, such as fast attack boats and unmanned aerial vehicles, and send a strong signal that the United States cannot and will not tolerate Iran’s provocative and destabilising behavior,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Washington is also concerned about the fate of Xiyue Wang, a 37-year-old Chinese-American researcher at Princeton University who was recently sentenced to 10 years in Iranian prison.

Iran pushback

While the US complained about Iran’s defiance of the spirit of the nuclear accord, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he would make his own complaints about US non-compliance when representatives of the five nuclear powers — China, Russia, France, Britain, the United States — plus Germany meet in Vienna on Friday to take stock of the deal.

Zarif accused the Trump administration of failing to lift sanctions in line with the deal.

US-China citizen given 10 years for espionage in Iran: media

He said he had no communication with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in stark contrast to his predecessor John Kerry, with whom Zarif negotiated the groundbreaking nuclear deal.

“It doesn’t mean there can’t be. The possibilities for engagement… have always been open,” said Zarif in New York, where he was attending a UN forum on development.

He said he was willing to discuss Wang’s case “on humanitarian grounds” but stressed that Iran’s courts were independenpent of the government.

Trump and his top security officials have always taken a tough line on Iran: his defense secretary, Jim Mattis, fought Iranian-backed militias during the US occupation of Iraq while serving as a Marine general, and memories are still fresh of Hezbollah’s attack on the Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon in 1983.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

LHC scraps PEMRA’s ban on airing of Indian dramas

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 12:59

LAHORE: Noting that “the world has become a global village”, the Lahore High Court (LHC) lifted on Tuesday a ban on the airing of Indian drama serials imposed by the broadcast media watchdog last year.

Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah passed the order after hearing arguments on a petition filed by a local media company praying that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (Pemra) prohibition be set aside.

Through its counsel Advocate Asma Jehangir, the petitioner, Leo Communications, owner of the entertainment channel Filmazia, contended that while Indian drama series were banned in the country, Bollywood movies were being widely exhibited.

PEMRA puts blanket ban on airing of Indian content in Pakistan

The petitioner said Pemra had granted a licence to the company for 15 years to operate a cable channel. Under the licence conditions, the channel was allowed to broadcast 10 per cent foreign content, including that of India.

The channel became very popular, however, without any prior notice Pemra issued a circular on October 19, 2016 and banned all Indian content on cable channels in Pakistan, the petitioner further said, adding that Pemra’s ban caused serious damage to the company because it had done substantial investment in purchasing Indian content.
Pemra’s counsel argued that the ban was placed on Indian content because Pakistani movies and dramas were banned in India. To this, the court observed that Indian programming could be censored if it contained immoral or anti-Pakistan content.

PEMRA to suspend channels airing Indian content

The high court also asked Pemra’s counsel to present a copy of the notification, if any, about the restriction on the airing of Pakistani content in India.

The court also wondered that if there was content in Indian broadcast shows or movies that was spoiling Pakistani culture and tradition or having a bad impact on the youth, why did Pemra choose not to mention it in its reply to the court.

Stating that Pemra should review its policy because the world had become a global village and “how long could we continue putting bans”, the court disposed of the petition and allowed the airing of Indian content in the country.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Market watch: Relief rally at PSX as KSE-100 gains 2.5%

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 12:31

KARACHI: Major sectors led the way as stocks rebounded on the back of strong local institutional investor interest, a relief rally coming after a bloodbath in the past couple of weeks.

The index started on a positive note and maintained its momentum to finally breach the 45,000 mark, a whole week after the JIT submitted its report on the Panama case to the Supreme Court.

Volume of shares traded also doubled to 158 million as stock accumulation due to selling pressure in the last few days came into play. Individual investors, however, still remained on the side-lines due to lack of clarity on the political landscape.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index finished with an increase of 1,113.15 points, to end at 45,636.36.

KSE-100 ends positive, but volume lowest in 3 years

Elixir Securities, in its report, said that institutional cherry-picking helped KSE-100 index to surge by as much as 2.5% and settle over 45,600 level.

“Stocks opened on a positive note yet traded lacklustre in the early hours. However, activity in Index names started to pick up as the day progressed on buying interest reportedly from local institutional investors,” the report said.

“All major sectors including financials, cements, oils and fertilisers garnered interest. Major positive contribution to the benchmark Index came from United Bank UBL 3.4%, Lucky Cements 3.4%, Oil & Gas Development Company OGDC 3.4%, Engro Corp 3.3% and Hub Power 2.8%.

“For the Supreme Court, it was again a busy day as it resumed hearing of First family’s case and news flow suggested that the outcome on on-going proceedings will likely come sooner than expected.

Weekly review: KSE-100 Index loses 885 points, down 1.96%

“Despite today’s recovery, we don’t expect Index to see any major upside in days ahead as on-going political crisis will continue to keep gains in check,” the report added.

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla echoed a similar sentiment, attributing recovery to attractive valuations of the KSE-100 Index stocks.

“Volumes also improved and stood at 158 million shares as compared to 75 million shares in the previous trading session,” he said.

“TRG (+5%) from the technology sector led the volumes with 11 million shares being traded during the day. UBL (+3.42%), ABL (+2.31%) and MCB (+2.33%) were the major gainers from the commercial banking sector, cumulatively contributing +113 points to the market Index.

“SSGC (+3.85%) from the utilities sector saw significant gains to close in the green zone on back of news that SSGC is set to complete the 24-inch diameter gas pipeline from Shikarpur to Jacobabad in Sindh by the end of next month.

“After weeks of speculation and volatility in the market resulting from events on the political front, market has reached to attractive levels. Many stocks offered at rates lower than their intrinsic values have encouraged investors into stock accumulation.

KSE-100 ends with 554-point gain amid low turnover

“We expect market to continue its positive momentum, however we recommend investors to reduce their short term positions on expectations of profit booking at these levels,” he added.

Overall, trading volumes rose to 158 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 75 million.

Shares of 373 companies were traded. At the end of the day, value of 307 stocks closed higher, 56 declined while 10 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9 billion.

TRG Pak was the volume leader with 11.2 million shares, gaining Rs1.79 to close at Rs37.79. It was followed by K-Electric with 8.9 million shares, gaining Rs0.08 to close at Rs6.69 and Aisha Steel Mill with 7.19 million shares, gaining Rs0.59 to close at Rs19.51.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs131 million during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Court dismisses PTI plea to disqualify Shehbaz Sharif

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 12:30

LAHORE: A court dismissed on Tuesday a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman seeking the Punjab chief minister’s disqualification for “violating his oath and setting up an illegal business”.

Lahore High Court’s Justice Shahid Karim announced the verdict after PTI chief Imran Khan’s counsel Advocate Babar Awan finished presenting his argument.

At the start of the proceedings, Justice Karim had asked the PTI counsel to explain whether any court had declared the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report on Panama Papers case effective or not.

He was also reminded that the LHC had dismissed the petition against Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s personal business.

PTI seeks Shehbaz’s disqualification

Awan said the court was right in its observation but the chief minister had concealed facts in his nomination papers.

He added that besides the exposures in the JIT report, Shehbaz’s influence as the chief minister in the setting up and relocation of certain sugar mills was also quite clear.

Therefore, he pleaded , that Sharif should be disqualified.

After hearing Awan’s arguments, Justice Karim reserved the verdict and later announced the dismissal of the petition.

Awan had also mentioned PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen’s petition against the Punjab government for allowing the shifting and relocation of sugar mills. He pointed out the LHC’s observation in that case that the government had crafted a policy to benefit selected sugar mills.

Ready for a disqualification reference, CM Shehbaz tells Imran

Tareen in his petition had alleged that the Punjab chief minister had misused his powers by allowing his relatives and others to set up new sugar mills and their relocation to South Punjab through an illegal notification.

Earlier, the PTI chairman had said Shehbaz was ruling Punjab for about nine years and despite being the custodian of all fiscal resources and assets of the province, he was acting contrary to it.

Justifying the submission of his petition before the court, Imran said the PTI had also moved a reference in the Punjab Assembly for Shehbaz’s disqualification but Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan had dismissed it.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Saudi police arrest woman for wearing miniskirt in video

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 12:09

RIYADH: Saudi police said Tuesday they were questioning a woman who appeared in an online video in a miniskirt and crop top walking through a historic site in the ultraconservative kingdom.

A series of videos, initially posted over the weekend to the Snapchat account of Model Khulood, show a young woman in a high-waisted miniskirt walking through a fort in Ushaiqer, outside the capital Riyadh, playing with sand in the dunes and turning towards the camera for a close-up, her long hair uncovered.

The videos have since been uploaded to YouTube and tweeted by different users.

Saudi media, including the main dailies Sabq and Okaz, on Tuesday quoted a spokesman for police in Riyadh as saying the woman was being questioned and had confessed to visiting the site with her male guardian.

Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system mandates accompaniment by or written permission from a male relative — usually a father, husband or brother — for women to study, work or travel.

The woman denied that she had uploaded the clips and that the Snapchat account was hers, the spokesman said.

The case has now been referred to the public prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether to prosecute the woman.

The local government of Riyadh had issued a memo saying authorities were searching for the woman who had been “walking around… in indecent clothing”.

The snaps have sparked heated debate, with social media users in the region and beyond weighing in on questions of gender and rights in the kingdom, where women are required to wear long black abaya robes and cover their hair in public.

Saudi girl draws ire after posting video of herself wearing miniskirt in public

Many have come to the defence of the young woman, pointing out the privileges afforded to Western women by Saudi authorities. US First Lady Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, daughter of the president, did not cover their hair when they visited Saudi Arabia in May.

“If it were Trump’s daughter, we would have braced ourselves for the flood of compliments and love poems,” read one tweet.

“Problem solved,” tweeted Shahd bint Fahd alongside a picture of the model with Ivanka Trump’s face superimposed over the original.

Others expressed outrage and derided those speaking out in support of the model.

“These are the demands of the liberal ignorant community: a naked woman, a co-ed movie theatre, and music and dance. That’s progress to them! Not health care and not education,” read one tweet.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Only two proper U-turns in Islamabad: traffic police

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 11:53

ISLAMABAD: There are only two U-turns in the capital that are designed as per traffic rules, which is why there’s a rise in road accidents in the federal capital, the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) have revealed.

Traffic SSP Malik Matloob told The Express Tribune on Tuesday that the capital city had 381 U-turns in all. “[However], there are only two U-turns, which are actually designed according to the road traffic engineering standards… the rest are all blind U-turns.”

He was referring to the two ‘fish belly U-turns’ recently built at Zero Point and Sector F-7 U-turn on Faisal Avenue.

The Traffic SSP said that they were designed by the ITP and then put in place by the Capital Development Authority.

A total of 79 road accidents were reported in 2016, while 123 in 2015.

ITP provides road safety tips 

He said the ITP, despite its limited resources was doing its best to regulate traffic in the capital, however, the road infrastructure development was lagging behind with the growing burden on the city’s roads.

“The road furniture we have today is more or less the same that we had in 1992 with no new roads having been built since the development of the Islamabad Expressway and the IJP Road in 2005.”

“When these two roads were built [in 2005], the total influx of traffic into Islamabad was between 20,000-22,000 vehicles per day,” he said.

In contrast, today 0.575 million vehicles enter the capital every day,” he added.

“Most of the traffic accidents were reported from the Islamabad Expressway and the IJP Road which connect Punjab, Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir,” Matloob added.

The SSP said that the Expressway was highway in only, since it had no service road and entrances to a number of housing societies were directly located on it.

“If there are 31 housing societies located on the Expressway from Faizabad to Rawat without a service road, then traffic police cannot be blamed [for traffic issues],” he said.

The Expressway, he added, was under-construction at many places and would remain so for the next 18 months.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

K-P govt announces Rs30,000 every month for selected artistes and singers

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 11:52

PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government announced on Tuesday a monthly stipend of Rs30,000 for selected talented artistes and singers of the province.

“The government is making efforts to revive cultural activities in the province by facilitating artistes in producing quality work,” said Ajmal Khan, the head of the Directorate of Culture, Peshawar.

Funds were allocated for this project in the 2016-17 budget. The move aims at assisting artistes, singers, poets and painters, whose work has suffered greatly because of the militancy in the province.

Creative grants: K-P funds artists to promote local culture

“These remunerations will play a positive role in supporting and honing the talent in the province” said Khan.

This will be the second phase of the stipends similar to the previous year when the provincial government provided stipends to 500 artists.

The beneficiaries were selected through a committee comprising senior artists, singers and writers from different parts of the province.

The K-P government has to re-start the project as a large number of artists are approaching the directorate of culture for financial assistance.

Stipend: Artists, singers to be given Rs30,000 per month

“The criterion for the stipends does not require the artists to be poor but those artists will be provided who have produced quality work in their field of arts and literature” said Khan.

He added, “The construction of cultural complexes in each division of the province and art academy in Peshawar will soon be completed to provide artistes with more venues to perform at.”

Endowment fund for the welfare of artists; writers and artisans will also be set up.

Besides the monthly stipends, the directorate will also give away Rs300,000 each to the best drama artiste, writer and singer of the year.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Trump blames Democrats for failure of bill to replace Obamacare

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 11:46

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump blamed Democrats and a few holdouts in his own party Tuesday for the collapse of the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare — one of Trump’s key campaign pledges.

A Republican drive in the Senate to come up with a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act fell apart Monday when two more Republican senators came out against their party’s legislation.

That made for a total of four holdouts — the party has 52 seats in the 100-member legislature — and effectively doomed the legislation.

Members of US Congress use Game of Thrones to take a jab at Trump

The collapse is a stinging blow to Trump and Republicans who have vowed for seven years that they would quickly dump former president Barack Obama’s signature health care reform as soon as they could.

“We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans. Most Republicans were loyal, terrific & worked really hard. We will return!” Trump said in a tweet Tuesday morning.

We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans. Most Republicans were loyal, terrific & worked really hard. We will return!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017

“As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!,” he added.

As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017

Actually, Trump has consistently advocated repealing and replacing Obamacare at the same time, rather than doing it in stages, and has said it could be done quickly.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Smriti Irani of Kyunke Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi-fame is India’s new info minister

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 11:37

India’s actor-turned-politician Smriti Zubin Irani was appointed the country’s new information and broadcasting minister, Variety reported on Tuesday.

Irani is already in the cabinet as the union minister of textiles and the information and broadcasting is an additional portfolio.

She is the fourth information and broadcasting minister in three years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Was denied job for not having good personality: Indian minister

The cabinet reshuffle was necessitated by the decision of outgoing minister Venkaiah Naidu to stand as a candidate for India’s vice presidency.

Irani was a finalist at the Miss India pageant in 1998. She then became a television actress and was best known for her lead role in the soap “Kyunke Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.”

The Ekta Kapoor-produced show on Star Plus made her a household name across India and won her five best actress prizes at the Indian Television Academy awards.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News