Sep 112017
Ignored by the world

It has been observed on several occasions that Pakistan is clearly lacking a coherent foreign policy. For the past few years, the country was without a foreign minister. Today, the world is changing its dimensions at a fast pace. From Kashmir to Myanmar, the Middle East to Central Asia and Europe to America, the world is experiencing enormous changes. Russia and China are seemingly establishing new block to counter the US. Under the prevailing situations, it is important for Pakistan to safeguard its own interests. It is no myth that despite several sacrifices the country has made in the war on terror, its role is hardly appreciated and its sacrifices are barely acknowledged – in fact many countries consider Pakistan a safe haven for terrorists. All of this is a result of a weak foreign policy. The government should take the matter seriously and should come up with an effective foreign policy to deal with foreign affairs in an efficient manner. Adeel Ahmad Sattar (Peshawar) Click for detailed story

Sep 072017
Premier League to close transfer window before 2018 season start

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave his backing to the decision to close the 2018 transfer window early before it was announced – AFP LONDON: English Premier League clubs voted on Thursday to close the 2018 close-season transfer window before the start of the 2018-19 campaign.Following complaints by managers that transfer activity disturbs their preparations, Premier League clubs will not be able to register new players after 1600 GMT on the Thursday before the season starts.The transfer window in Europe’s other major leagues runs until August 31, meaning clubs outside England could buy players from English top-flight teams after the new Premier League deadline.“Premier League clubs have today agreed to a rule amendment that will see the summer transfer window in any year end at 17:00 on the Thursday before the start of the season,” the Premier League said in a statement.“This is for Premier League clubs only and has no bearing on other leagues and competitions.”The move was announced following a meeting of Premier League club officials and is not believed to have been agreed unanimously.Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave his backing to the decision before it was announced.“Even in the games, you sit there before the games and even in players’ minds they have no clarity,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference.“Are they in? Are they out? Are they half in? Are they half out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out? It’s not the way to [Read More…]

Aug 252017
Alex sets early pace at Canadian Pacific Open

MONTREAL: Marina Alex set the early pace, and her five-under par 66 was good for a one-shot lead on Thursday after the first round of the LPGA’s Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in Ottawa. Alex, who just missed out on a berth in last week’s Solheim Cup, at least had the luxury of being well rested as she tackled the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club course. And her early tee time meant she enjoyed great scoring conditions at the start of her round. “They were rolling unbelievably well,” she said of the greens. “Really quick. The nice thing is they’re still a bit soft, so the shots are holding into the greens, so it kind of makes for a good combo. Alex said her performance on the greens was the key to her round.South Korea’s Chun In-Gee and England’s Holly Clyburn shared second on 67.Seven golfers were a shot further back on 68 — China’s Feng Shanshan, South Korea’s Kim Sei-Young and Kang Hae-Ji, Thailand’s Pavarisa Yoktuan and Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong, and Americans Brittany Lincicome and Angel Yin. Both Lincicome and Yin played on the US team that beat Europe in the Solheim Cup match play showdown last week.  Click for detailed story

Jul 232017

BEIJING: Yang Qianqian holds out her smartphone to scan a barcode on the mobile of a vendor selling fresh fruit and vegetables at a bustling outdoor market in Beijing. The dance student is part of an explosion in the use of mobile payment platforms in China as consumers increasingly take out phones instead of cash to pay for everything from a coffee to a language class or a gas bill. “Even though I have cash on me it’s not convenient to get it when I am carrying a lot of bags,” said Yang, 25, clutching plastic bags filled with pears, potatoes and watermelon. China was the first country in the world to use paper money but centuries later the soaring popularity of mobile payment has some analysts forecasting it could be the first to stop. The gross merchandise value of third party mobile payment rose more than 200 per cent to 38 trillion yuan (about $5.6 trillion) in 2016 from a year earlier, according to China-based iResearch. Samsung to launch web payments service for Android phones in South Korea The growth of the cash-free system has been supported by China’s rapidly expanding e-commerce market as Chinese shoppers increasingly shun bricks and mortar stores. “I think it’s really very possible that China becomes the first or one of the first cashless societies in the next decade,” said Ben Cavender, a director at China Market Research Group. Cavender estimates China’s mobile payment market is already 40-50 times larger than the United States. Alipay, [Read More…]

Jun 192017
Record Heat Recorded Worldwide

GENEVA � The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports the planet Earth is experiencing another exceptionally warm year with record-breaking temperatures occurring in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States.At least 60 people have been killed in the devastating forest fires in central Portugal. The World Meteorological Organization says one of the factors contributing to these run-away wildfires are very high temperatures that have exceeded 40 degrees Celsius.Extremely high temperatures also have been recorded in Spain and in France, which issued an Amber alert, the second highest alert level on Tuesday. WMO reports near record heat is also being reported in California and in the Nevada deserts.Meteorologists report North Africa and the Middle East are experiencing extremely hot weather with temperatures topping 50 degrees Celsius. But WMO spokeswoman Claire Nullis says the hottest place on Earth appears to be the town of Turbat in southwestern Pakistan, which reported a temperature of 54 degrees Celsius in May.It seems like this is a new temperature record for Asia. If it is verified, it will equal a record … which was set in Kuwait last July. So, we will now set up an investigation committee to see if that indeed is a new temperature record for the region, Nullis said.WMO Senior Scientist Omar Baddour says the world heat record of 56 degrees Celsius was recorded in Death Valley in the United States in 1913.It is very difficult to break a world record because it is not easy to have all the [Read More…]

Jun 182017
Learning Chinese Trending in Pakistan Amid Deepening Ties With China

ISLAMABAD � China is investing billions of dollars in extensive roads, railways, special industrial zones and energy infrastructure in Pakistan. The massive collaboration dubbed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, is generating interest among Pakistani students and professionals to learn Mandarin.Li Xue Mei teaches compulsory Mandarin lessons to around 300 students ranging from grade five to middle school. She is one of the Chinese instructors at the private Roots millennium schools, where more than 7,000 children are learning the language.They are good and they are very excited to learn Chinese, she said.She adds that writing Chinese language characters is challenging for her students, but they quickly master it. The instructor underscores the urgency of learning Mandarin.I think they need to learn more Chinese to learn Chinese culture and they can communicate more and they can cooperate better with Chinese people and they can work better, she said.China’s investment of around $60 billion under CPEC collaboration is expected to bring around 20,000 Chinese to Pakistan.A large number of them have already moved to the country, mostly running private businesses.Public and private institutions are establishing links with Chinese counterparts to promote exchanges in higher education and provide research opportunities on both sides of the border.Beijing regards CPEC as a pilot flagship project of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is a massive trade and connectivity venture aimed at linking China to the rest of Asia, Africa and Europe through both land and maritime routes.While both countries have traditionally enjoyed close political [Read More…]

May 232017

MANCHESTER: Police on Tuesday named a young man – reportedly British-born of Libyan descent – as the suspect behind a suicide bombing that ripped into young fans at a concert in Manchester, killing 22 including an eight-year-old girl. Manchester police identified the suspect as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, but declined to give any further details. British media said he was born in the northwestern English city and that his Libyan parents had fled the regime of Muammar Qaddafi. Prime Minister Theresa May vowed “terrorists will not prevail”, after the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack at the conclusion of US pop star Ariana Grande’s concert late Monday at the Manchester Arena, one of Europe’s largest indoor venues. Manchester terror attack: What we know Threatening more attacks, IS said in a statement published on its social media channels: “One of the caliphate’s soldiers placed bombs among the crowds.” Manchester police chief constable Ian Hopkins told reporters: “The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.” Witnesses described the horror when the suicide bomber blew himself up and anguished parents appealed for information on their loved ones, as Mancunians opened their doors to shelter people lost in the confusion, and taxi drivers offered free rides. “There were fathers carrying their little girls in tears. People were pushing down the stairs. It was just… chaos,” Sebastian Diaz, a 19-year-old from Newcastle, said. Manchester attacker aimed to cause ‘maximum carnage’: May Britain’s worst terror bloodshed for [Read More…]

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