Jan 312016
 
LEED Platinum Certified Guangzhou Peaower: a Big Draw to Multinationrl River Tal Enterprises

GUANGZHOU, China, Feb. 1, 2016 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/ — The Pearl River Tower, an environmentally-smart building that stands as a landmark within the Guangzhou skyline, has passed LEED-CS platinum certification – the highest LEED rating, thus becoming a big draw to multinational enterprises. The 71-storey skyscraper is the first project in Guangzhou that achieves the LEED-CS platinum certification. So far, it has been home to a number of well-known multinational enterprises. They include ABB (China), Otis (China), Carrier, SGD Asia Pacific, Regus, Ford Motor, HBA Design, Alpine Electronics (China), Chugai Pharma, PCM (China), Jotun Group, CITIC Securities, Shenyin & Wanguo Securities, CNINSURE Inc., China Railway Oil, China Huaneng, Ping An Group, etc. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998, LEED or Leadership in Energy & Environment Design, is internationally recognized as a green building rating system that sets up the benchmark in project planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance. It is the most systematic and influential assessment standard for measuring building sustainability. Having attained the rigorous level of LEED certification, the Pearl River Tower is considered as China’s first true green skyscraper and labeled the greenest building in China. Rising at the heart of Pearl River New City, the tower has garnered global attention by virtue of its innovative green initiatives, including the design concept of zero energy consumption. At 309 meters with 71 floors, the tower redefines what is possible in sustainable design by incorporating an array of cutting-edge eco-friendly technologies and engineering advancements. It is the collaboration [Read More…]

Jan 312016
 
Migrant crisis: More than 10,000 children 'missing'

More than 10,000 migrant children may have disappeared after arriving in Europe over the past two years, the EU’s police intelligence unit says. Europol said thousands of vulnerable minors had vanished after registering with state authorities. It warned of children and young people being forced into sexual exploitation and slavery by criminal gangs. Save the Children says some 26,000 child …

Jan 312016
 
Germany accused of ‘paying’ African countries to take back ‘foreign’ asylum seekers

Germany has been giving “financial incentives” to the embassies of some African countries to accept asylum seekers from third states who have been rejected by Germany without the consent of the migrants, a refugee aid organization claims.Berlin has been adding specific “Readmission Agreements” to development aid accords with African countries in order to deport asylum …

Jan 312016
 
Email Hillary received shows Maleeha acted as Kayani’s messenger

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s current envoy to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi apparently acted as an informal messenger between the Obama administration and former army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, according to an email former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received from a senior aide. On Friday, the US State Department released some 1,000 pages of emails of Ms Clinton when she headed the department but sometimes used a private email and a private server to communicate. In one of the emails, Vali Nasr, then a senior adviser in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, informs Secretary Clinton that Ms Lodhi had shared with him a message from Gen Kayani. “I got a call from Maleeha Lodhi, who is in London. She gave a message from Kayani,” Mr Nasr wrote on January 21, 2011. But the entire message that Ms Lodhi supposedly shared with Mr Nasr has been edited out. Ms Lodhi, who has also served as Pakistan’s ambassador in the US and Britain, was not a government official when she supposedly conveyed this message. She was a prominent columnist for Pakistani and international newspapers. Mr Nasr, a prominent academic, has lived in Pakistan and has many friends in the country. The text shows that Mr Nasr’s message ran into two paragraphs and was sent three days after Raymond Davis was arrested on charges of killing two men in Lahore. The incident had resulted in a crisis in the US-Pak relationship. On Jan 30, 2011, Secretary Clinton [Read More…]

Jan 312016
 
Elite school chains in Punjab, KP to remain closed

LAHORE / PESHAWAR: All public and most private schools in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will reopen on Monday after remaining closed for a few days for security reasons. But, at least 12 chains of major schools have refused to follow suit till the government resolves the ‘security’ issue. The Punjab government had closed all schools from Jan 26 to 31 because of ‘extreme cold weather’. On Sunday, the government held talks with the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF) and claimed to have redressed its grievances. However, it did not discuss the matter with representatives of the elite schools. Most other private schools in Punjab to reopen today “The government has not taken us on board. We will not reopen our schools till the government ensures security and stops harassment,” a spokesman for the elite schools told Dawn. When asked whether the APPSF did not represent the elite schools, he said: “The association (APPSF) did not take us on board while holding talks with the education minister.” He urged the government to discharge its duty and assume the responsibility of providing security to their students and institutions. The schools not reopening in Punjab on Monday are Lahore Grammar School, and institutions belonging to Beaconhouse Group (including BN and TNS-B), City School Network, LACAS, Salamat School System, Kids Kampus, Learning Alliance and Lahore Preschool, Resource Academia, LGS Landmark Schools, Allied Schools, Smart Schools and the Educators. These schools informed the parents through mobile SMS that their campuses would remain closed on [Read More…]

Jan 312016
 
Three children among 12 killed in Moscow factory fire

MOSCOW: At least 12 people, including three children, perished in a fire in a Moscow factory that caused the roof to collapse, Russian authorities said on Sunday. Investigators said the blaze engulfed an area covering over 32,000 square feet in a factory situated in the east of the Russian capital, which makes clothing according to local media. “Twelve bodies were recovered” at the site, emergency ministry spokeswoman Oksana Zolotova told TASS news agency. Authorities said the victims of the fire were likely migrants who worked and lived at the factory. Russia’s child rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, wrote on Twitter that three children had died in the blaze. “Three children were killed, one of whom was a baby,” Astakhov wrote. “Preliminary evidence suggests that migrants lived at their workplace, some even with their children.” The fire broke out at around 1800 GMT on Saturday and was only extinguished around five hours later, authorities said. The cause of the blaze remained unknown. A criminal investigation was launched to determine whether it might have erupted due to negligence or arson. The emergency situations ministry initially reported that there had been no fatalities in the fire, but investigators later said that bodies had been found at the site. Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2016

Jan 312016
 
The end of reconciliation?

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is said to have expressed concern over the Sindh Rangers’ handling of cases of corruption allegedly committed by politicians. In recent meetings, including Friday’s top-level meeting with the party’s senior leaders, the issue of the ongoing Rangers operation in Karachi and PPP’s concerns regarding the paramilitary force came under discussion, sources told Dawn. The government, a ruling party insider said, wasn’t opposed to action against politicians in cases where there was hard evidence to prove their connivance with terrorist or militant organisations. However, he said, “The PM is against the arrest of politicians on mere corruption charges because the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) are fully empowered to deal with such crimes.” When asked, he said the government was in touch with the PPP leadership and had conveyed to them that the paramilitary force would move only against those politicians found to be directly or indirectly linked to terrorists. Following in the footprints of PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had pledged to uphold the same mantra of political reconciliation for the greater good of democracy in the country, as was espoused by the PPP during its term in power. Arrest of Uzair Baloch, Dr Asim Hussain poses threat to PML-N-PPP ties However, the pace at which events have been unfolding in recent months has made it difficult for the ruling party chief to keep this broad political consensus intact, sources close to the PM’s Office said. The [Read More…]

Jan 312016
 
Fazl assails action against seminaries  and ulema

ISLAMABAD: Expres­sing ‘dissatisfaction’ over the law and order situation in the country, the JUI-F criticised the Punjab government on Sunday for its alleged action against seminaries and ulema in the name of operation against terrorism. Briefing media on decisions taken by his party’s Central Majlis-i-Shoora at its two-day session, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called for reviewing the decisions taken a year ago by the country’s national leadership and the government to counter terrorism. “There is a need to review decisions. We need to see if the policy of using power for elimination of terrorism is successful or not?” The maulana said he had expressed reservations over the National Action Plan (NAP) when it was being finalised. “But I was left alone at that time.” He said his party had supported NAP and the 21st Constitution Amend­ment and setting up military courts only for the sake of national unity. “NAP and 21st Amendment are not divine revelations. Operation Zarb-i-Azb has not been started as a result of a divine injunction,” he said while stressing the need for reviewing the counter-terrorism strategy. Accompanied by the Deputy Chairman of the Senate, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, and Federal Minister for Housing and Works Akram Durrani, the JUI-F chief claimed that religious seminaries and mosques were being raided on a daily basis in Punjab. “Both the federal and provincial governments know about the existence of armed organisations in the country but they are raiding only Madaris and mosques in search of one or two [Read More…]

Jan 312016
 

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of gullible, poor citizens continue to be cheated by con men who use the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) rewards for swindling people. So far, the government has not been able to apprehend the fraudsters. Scammers usually contact their victims by sending them an SMS, telling them that they have won a cash reward of Rs25,200 (the sum varies) under the BISP scheme and that they then need to contact a particular number to claim the prize. Once the victim calls the number, a man identifying himself as ‘Zeeshan’ answers through a recorded message and directs the victim to approach any easy-paisa store and then contact a second number. The victim is told to keep the details of the process secret otherwise the prize would be forfeited. When the victim visits an easy-paisa store and calls the second number, a man called ‘Rashid’ at the other end directs them to hand the phone over to the shopkeeper to explain the process and complete the transfer. When The Express Tribune retraced the steps, the shopkeeper said that the man on the other end had first enquired about the commission the shopkeeper would charge on a sum of Rs15,000. Rashid then told the shopkeeper to follow an elaborate set of instructions on the cellular instrument for carrying out a transaction. However, the shopkeeper said that if he conducted the transaction, it would see a transfer of Rs15,000 from his account to the one specified by Rashid. In such an event, the [Read More…]

Jan 312016
 

QUETTA:  Three suspected militants of a banned organisation were killed in Quetta’s Hazar Gunjir neighbourhood on Sunday. According to sources in the police, officials from security agencies and the police were conducting a search operation when they traded fire with the militants. As a result one official was injured while three militants were killed. Sources added that they had recovered a hand grenade and an improvised explosive device from their possession. Separately, law enforcement agencies apprehended three suspected saboteurs in Killi Nabi area of Dera Bugti on Sunday. The Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan said security forces had conducted a search in the area based on a tip-off. After an exchange of fire three militants were arrested while two FC officials were injured. Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st,  2016. The post 3 militants killed in Quetta (Page 9) appeared first on The Express Tribune.