Oct 162017

Regulators and programme makers are at odds over whether small children should be banned from watching television or using tablets and smartphones. France urges parents not to allow children under three to watch TV, and American paediatricians also favour a total ban on screen time until at least 18 months. Carole Bienaime-Besse, who sits on France’s TV regulator, the CSA, claimed Sunday that overexposing babies and small children to digital devices has become a “public health issue”. “People are realising that screens can cause addiction even among very small children, and in extreme cases autistic problems, what is called virtual autism,” she said. Google announces new Pixel smartphone “Silicon Valley also knows this. There are lots of educational apps for babies, but in the end the results are counterproductive,” Bienaime-Besse told AFP. Studies show that “children over-exposed to them are the ones who find it hardest at school,” she said. France banned its broadcasters from targetting under-threes in 2008, and blocked Fox-owned BabyTV from launching there. But some programme-makers insist that bans do not work, especially with so many parents using television and devices to “babysit” their children. “It is admirable, but probably unrealistic” to try to keep small children away from screens, said Alice Webb, who heads the BBC’s children’s arm, CBBC, and the CBeebies network for pre-school children. “Those times are long gone. Digital is everywhere. This is a tide you cannot get ahead of,” she told top TV executives Sunday at the MIPJunior gathering at Cannes on [Read More…]

Oct 142017
Pakistan?s hostage rescue hailed, but tensions with US remain

ISLAMABAD: The freeing of a hostage US-Canadian family by Pakistan´s army has been hailed by officials as a positive step in mending ties between Washington and Islamabad, but those hoping for… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Click for detailed story

Oct 132017

WASHINGTON: Facebook announced on Friday a new feature to make it easier for users to order meals from nearby restaurants and service providers without leaving the social network. A new “Order Food” feature rolled out for US users lets Facebook users order delivery or takeout from restaurant chains such as Papa John’s and Panera, and on-demand services including Delivery.com and DoorDash. “People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about them. So, we’re making it even easier,” read a blog post by Facebook Vice President Alex Himel. Facebook launches portable VR headset “From local spots to national chains, Facebook connects you with old favourites and new discoveries in just a few taps. You can even check out what your friends have to say about a restaurant before you order your food.” Facebook has been testing this feature since last year and is rolling out the service to users in the United States on its desktop, iOS and Android applications, with new partners. The move expands Facebook’s ability to keep users on its platform, with services such as money-transfer, business services and ride-hailing available from its main application or messaging services. The world’s largest social network has more than 2 billion active users. The post Facebook now lets you Order Food too appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Oct 122017
President Donald Trump thanks Pakistan for ‘doing more’

US President Donald Trump has praised Pakistan for the safe recovery of a Canadian-American couple and their three children from Taliban’s captivity. “This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan. The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honouring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House. A still image from a video posted by the Taliban on social media on 19 December 2016 shows American Caitlan Coleman, left, speaking next to her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their two sons. PHOTO: REUTERS The unusual praise came less than two months after Trump pilloried Pakistan for aiding and sheltering ‘agents of chaos’ – a reference to the Taliban. Islamabad shot back to the allegation, saying that it could not be made scapegoat for failures in Afghanistan. Pakistan Army recovers US-Canadian family abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 “We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations,” said President Trump. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan Army, aided by intelligence agencies, recovered the Canadian-American couple and their children on Thursday. “They were captured by terrorists from Afghanistan in 2012 and kept as hostages there,” it added. On his part, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US expresses ‘deep gratitude’ to Pakistan. With new Af-Pak policy, US downfall has begun: Senator Mushahid Hussain [Read More…]

Oct 122017

PARIS: The United States announced on Thursday that it was withdrawing from UNESCO, the UN’s cultural and educational agency, complaining about how it is run and about what Washington described as bias against Israel. “This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias,” State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. The withdrawal of the US, which provides a fifth of UNESCO’s funding, is a severe blow for the Paris-based organisation which began work in 1946 and is known for designating World Heritage sites such as the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and the Grand Canyon National Park. UNESCO report places Pakistan in bottom 10 in female education Under UNESCO rules, the withdrawal will become effective as of the end of December 2018. Until that time, the US, which provides around $80 million to UNESCO annually, will remain a full member. The organisation, which employs around 2,000 people worldwide, most of them based in Paris, has long been the object of criticism over its use of resources and resolutions that have been perceived by Israel and other countries as biased. Director General Irina Bokova expressed disappointment at the US decision. “At the time when conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack,” she said. “This is a loss to the United [Read More…]

Oct 072017
Solar energy

It is likely that by the end of November 2017, Pakistan will become a loadshedding-free country. However, since most of the villages in Pakistan are outside national grid, the country still needs to use the unused solar power. Take the example of the US which, despite having an abundance of fossil fuel, has 9,000 companies that are expert in solar technology. Pakistan must also adopt the same policy so that electricity can be brought to remote villages through solar power. In this regard, I’d like to bring forward a proposal. Instead of spending a huge amount of money on imports, the country should start manufacturing solar panels. Industries in Karachi, Lahore and other cities can be assigned to manufacture required items including invertors and racks. This will not only be cost effective, but it will also engage the unemployed youth of the country. Solar energy is eco-friendly. Solar panels can easily be installed on the roof of and can easily be cleaned. It is hoped that the Ministry of Energy will look into this proposal which is in the best interest of the people. Engr Riaz Akbar Wah Cantt Click for detailed story

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