Dec 312015
 

BERLIN: Germany shut down two train stations in Munich about an hour before midnight on Thursday following a tip from the intelligence service of a friendly country that the Islamic State (IS) militant group was planning a suicide bomb attack. The action by German authorities added to jitters in many capitals as Europe ushered in the New Year with heightened security after a year of militant attacks, the biggest of which killed 130 in Paris in November. The stations — Munich’s central station and Pasing station some 8 km (5 miles) away — reopened several hours later after the tip-off could not be substantiated. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told a news conference on Friday that Germany had received a tip from another country’s intelligence service that IS planned to attack Munich. He did not name the country but German television said in an unsourced report that the tip-off came from France. Five to seven suicide bombers were to take part in the attack, Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said at the same conference. “The Federal Criminal Police Office informed the Bavarian police on New Year’s Eve of the existence of a tip-off from a friendly intelligence agency that Islamic State plans a concrete attack, attacks tonight, at midnight at the Munich central station or/and Pasing (station),” Herrmann told reporters. “I believe this decision was right because I think we cannot take unnecessary risks when we are dealing with such concrete threats, concrete locations, and a concrete time,” he said. Security [Read More…]

Dec 312015
 

Aries | March 20 – April 19 Over the past month or so, events have focused your attention on certain close alliances, almost to the exclusion of everything else. While you’ve accomplished a great deal, practical matters have suffered. Now that your ruler Mars is moving to accent these, you’ll be able to make up for lost time. Taurus | April 20 – May 20 Some say issues with others should be acknowledged and put to rest the moment they arise. As a peaceable Taurus, you’d rather wait until everybody feels ready to tackle any such matters. Not only is this wise, judging by early January’s unsettled planetary activity, those discussions had best wait until mid-month. Gemini | May 21 – June 20 Planning ahead may be wise, but currently it’s tricky. Since early December, your ruler Mercury’s been in Capricorn. On the 2nd, it moves into Aquarius, then goes retrograde on the 5th, and on the 8th returns to the earthy, practical Capricorn. While, obviously, this is unsettling, you’ll learn a lot. Cancer | June 21 – July 22 Sometimes minor mix-ups are no more than that. However, several are coming to a head, and many of them are the result of misunderstandings from the past that either weren’t acknowledged or were dealt with, but only in part. Knowing that, ensure this time, you get to the bottom of these. Leo | July 23 – August 22 Every Leo knows certain individuals who are compulsive planners. You enjoy their [Read More…]

Dec 312015
 

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis’s Jubilee Year of Mercy has got off to a sluggish start, to the disappointment of Rome’s hoteliers, restaurateurs and souvenir sellers. Far from being flooded with pilgrims, as the Italian authorities had anticipated, the streets around St Peter’s basilica have been eerily quiet over the end-of-year holiday season, following attacks in France in November. Pope urges return to simple values at Christmas “There seems to be the same number of people about as this time last year,” said one of the street traders in the Via della Conciliazione, who did not want to give his name. “But it is clear the crowds we were told to expect have not materialised.” The view from the street is confirmed by official figures from the Vatican, which revealed earlier this week that the number of people attending papal audiences were 30 percent down from the same time last year. Italian media have jumped on the figures to predict that the Jubilee year, which runs until November 20, is set to be a flop, largely as a result of the impact of the militant attacks on Paris. During the last Catholic Jubilee year, in 2000, nearly 150 pilgrims went through the doors of St Peter’s every minute and a total of 32 million visited Rome during the year. According to the Eternal City’s hotel and restaurant federation, hotel occupancy rates are running at 70 percent currently, down from 90 percent at this time last year. But it seems likely that is [Read More…]

Dec 312015
 

A 25-year-old man accused of planning to attack a restaurant in upstate New York on New Year’s Eve has been arrested and charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State militant group, the US Justice Department said on Thursday. Emanuel L Lutchman, who claimed to have received direction from an alleged member of Islamic State, also known as IS, wanted to target a restaurant in Rochester, New York, where he lives, according to a criminal complaint. Lutchman was arrested on Wednesday. Life sentences for Muslim couple who plotted London terror attack The complaint said Lutchman told a paid informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation that they could plant a bomb inside the establishment and also kidnap and kill people. “I will take a life. I don’t have a problem with that,” Lutchman said, according to the complaint, which said he planned to use knives during the attack. The complaint described Lutchman as a “self-professed Muslim convert with a criminal history dating back to approximately 2006 … as well as previous state mental hygiene arrests.” Lutchman appeared in US District Court for the Western District of New York on Thursday. The charge he faces carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The City of Rochester said on Twitter it had canceled a fireworks display set for Thursday night. Police Chief Michael Ciminelli said there was no credible threat but cancelling the fireworks would allow more police officers to be available elsewhere [Read More…]

Dec 312015
 

MONTREAL: Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, recent recipient of one of Europe’s most prestigious human rights awards, has suffered fainting spells and deteriorating health because of a lengthy hunger strike, his wife said on Thursday. Ensaf Haidar, who was granted asylum in Canada with the couple’s three children, said by phone she hoped her husband would end a hunger strike he initiated more than 20 days ago to protest his transfer to a different prison in Saudi Arabia. Imprisoned Saudi blogger on hunger strike, wife says A member of Amnesty International in Canada said by email they were not able to confirm the hunger strike. Badawi, who created and managed an online forum, was found guilty in 2014 of breaking Saudi Arabia’s technology laws and of insulting Islam. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. Badawi received his first 50 lashes in January, prompting strong criticism in Western countries of the kingdom’s human rights record. “I am very worried about him,” Haidar said Thursday in Arabic through an interpreter. “His health, both physical and mental, is very poor.” She said she had last spoken with her husband two weeks ago, and had been kept informed of Badawi’s condition by a contact in Saudi Arabia whom she declined to identify. Saudi blogger’s wife accepts EU Sakharov prize for jailed husband Reuters was unable to independently verify Badawi’s condition. Haidar said she was thankful to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion, who recently asked his Saudi counterpart for [Read More…]

Dec 312015
 
Taurus Securities Limited Market Roundup

Karachi, January 01, 2016 (PPI-OT): KSE-100 index lost 9 points yesterday, to close at 32,816 with 100mn shares being traded. Top performance as per index points was witnessed in PAKT, MCB and FEROZ; top decliners were HBL, HUBC and PPL. Activity was mainly concentrated in Cement, Commercial Banks and Power Generation and Distribution. Taurus Securities Limited recommends investors to Buy on Dips.

Dec 312015
 
Shaban Khalid takes over as President Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs-Asia

Islamabad, January 01, 2016 (PPI-OT): Shaban Khalid, former President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chairman, ICCI Young Entrepreneurs Forum has taken over the charge as President, Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs-Asia (CAYE-Asia) from 1st January for the year 2016. He was unanimously elected for this position during the 4th CAYE-Asia Summit held in Putrajaya, Malaysia from 30th October to 1st November 2015. ICCI Young Entrepreneurs would host the next CAYE-Asia Summit at Islamabad in 2016. After taking over charge, Shaban Khalid vowed that as President CAYE-Asia, he would focus on promoting entrepreneurship culture in the youth of the country as well as the Commonwealth member nations. He said he would make efforts to promote Pakistan’s economic interests in member countries of CAYE-Asia. He said CAYE-Asia member nations have huge potential to enhance intra-regional trade and he would play positive role to further strengthen linkages between the young entrepreneurs of these countries for boosting regional trade. Congratulating Shaban Khalid on taking over the Presidency of CAYE-Asia, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that he should use this platform to promote a soft image of Pakistan in the member nations. He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was destined to create lot of business and investment opportunities and Shaban Khalid should use this platform to bring young investors of CAYE-Asia member nations to Pakistan to explore prospects of investment and joint ventures in CPEC projects. Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs-Asia (CAYE-Asia) was formed in 2011 comprising of [Read More…]

Dec 312015
 
IGI Securities Limited – Investor Kit

Karachi, January 01, 2016 (PPI-OT): Autos Strong sales, robust growth: One can officially now wave good bye to 2015 with the sector left awaiting the policy that would have given some direction to the automotive industry in Pakistan. Despite all these uncertainties, auto sales continued to grow during 2015. The figures, to be announced later, are expected to see higher sales in comparison to previous years. However, there are some factors that will dent auto sales in six months (Jan-Jun 2016). Apna Rozgar Scheme is going to end in February 2016 while Honda Civic lovers are waiting for its new model which is expected to be launched sometime in mid-2016. Despite this, auto sales have had some strong backings. Strong macroeconomic indicators and 42-year low interest rates that boosted auto car financing will continue to remain the dominant factors helping the local auto sales.

Dec 312015
 
Prime Minister visits Gohar Ayub’s residence and offers condolence on sad demise of his wife

Islamabad, January 01, 2016 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif visited Mr Gohar Ayub (former speaker National Assembly) at his personal residence in Islamabad. The Prime Minister offered condolence on the demise of his wife (late) Zeb Gohar. For more information, contact: Haji Ahmed Malik Principal Information Officer Press Information Department (PID) Tel: +92-51-9252323 and +92-51-9252324 Fax: +92-51-9252325 and +92-51-9252326 Email: piopid@gmail.com

Dec 312015
 
Air Chief calls on the Prime Minister

Islamabad, January 01, 2016 (PPI-OT): Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of Air Staff called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PM House Islamabad today. The Chief of Air Staff apprised the Prime Minister regarding various professional matters pertaining to Pakistan Air Force. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif appreciated the effective role of Pakistan Air Force in the successful military operation Zarb-e –Azb. For more information, contact: Haji Ahmed Malik Principal Information Officer Press Information Department (PID) Tel: +92-51-9252323 and +92-51-9252324 Fax: +92-51-9252325 and +92-51-9252326 Email: piopid@gmail.com