Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ICC: New Zealand v England today

ICC: New Zealand v England today JOHANNESBURG: England will take on New Zealand in ICC Champions Trophy match today.

Geo Super will live broadcast the match at 06:30 PST.

This is 3rd match of the tournament between New Zealand and England; however English team has already qualified for semi-final.

It is New Zealand's turn to do or die. A victory will take them through to the semi-finals, but a defeat will almost certainly see them heading home. England, though, can already think about the knockout stage after their slick performance against South Africa. This tournament continues to confound, and what excitement that has brought.

New Zealand produced an outstanding performance against Sri Lanka to keep their tournament hopes alive. It was typical of them to bounce back so impressively after a heavy defeat against South Africa. There was grit, determination and no little flair as they out-gunned a talented Sri Lankan team that haven't found their top gear in this tournament. They might still survive, but need England to do them a favour.

Daniel Vettori's team often lift themselves at global events and if they don't make the semi-finals it will be something of a surprise - they are almost always there. However, their hopes have taken a blow with Jesse Ryder ruled out of the tournament after the injury he picked up during his destructive 58-ball 74 against Sri Lanka and his departure leaves a hole in the top order. But Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill have shown good form and it is up to them to take the strain. The captain, too, is leading from the front and his bowling spell was crucial to defeating Sri Lanka.

England, for their part, won't want to take their foot off the gas. Having waited so long to find winning form in one-day cricket it would be careless to let it slip now. There are also areas to tighten up on despite two hefty victories. In both games the support bowling for James Anderson - especially from his fellow quicks - has been lacking with Stuart Broad particularly culpable of pitching too short. They also dropped two catches against South Africa - one by Paul Collingwood, the other by Owais Shah - and although neither cost them the match those types of mistakes will eventually be punished. link...

ECC approves 0.6m tons of urea import

ECC approves 0.6m tons of urea import ISLAMABAD: Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) in a meeting held here has approved the import of 0.6 million tons of urea.

Federal Minister for oil and gas and privatization, Syed Naveed Qamar on the special directive of the prime minister presided over the meeting.

The meeting decided to import 0.6 million tons of urea for the Rabi crops, which would be imported by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) and later distributed by the National Fertilizer Marketing Company.

The import of urea aims at ensuring sufficient supply of fertilizer for Rabi season without any interruption. On the other hand, ministry of food and agriculture officials told Geo News that the government would have to give subsidy of Rs230 per bag in view of the existing international market price of urea. link..

Typhoon Kestana Bears Down On Hainan

Typhoon Kestana Bears Down On Hainan BEIJING: Tropical storm Kestana became a typhoon yesterday as it approached south China's island province of Hainan, the provincial meteorological station said.

The station said the typhoon was packing winds up to 110 kilometres per hour.

The beach resort Sanya City closed all scenic spots, banned tourists from swimming in the sea and called 1,567 fishing vessels back to harbour.

Cheng Hong, deputy director of the city's flood control headquarters, said the city has prepared for a possible "frontal attack" of the typhoon.

Forecasters said the storm's northern section might hit the island today. link..

Major Taliban commander arrested in Boner

BONER: Security forces have arrested a major Taliban commander and mastermind of bomb blasts Raza Khan in Jor Bazaar area of Boner. According to sources Raza Khan is a mastermind of bomb attacks on security forces and other terror activities. Raza Khan has also been involved in attacks on convoys of security forces. He has been moved to unknown place. link..

Hearing against PTCL privatisation in SHC

Hearing against PTCL privatisation in SHC KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) will conduct the final hearing on October 27th against the privatisation of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) on a constitutional petition filed by the labour union of the company.

The Judiciary has also stopped the PTCL administration either to sell off or mortgage the assets of the telephone company.

Abdul Majeed Pirzada – the Council of PTCL labour union President, Haji Khan Bhatti – pleaded in the Court that the process of privatization is unconstitutional and non-transparent.

Making his plea the Council further said that the new PTCL administration is paying of the outstanding dues either by selling off the company’s assets or by mortgaging them.

The defendant’s Council did not appear in the Court.

SHC issued a stay order after hearing the arguments of the plaintiff’s Council and fixed the date of October 27th for the final hearing. link..

Sunday, September 20, 2009

5-wicket blow to Australia saves England from whitewash5-wicket blow to Australia saves England from whitewash

Updated at: 2256 PST, Sunday, September 20, 2009
5-wicket blow to Australia saves England from whitewash CHESTER-LE-STREET: Graeme Swann's maiden ODI five-wicket haul ensured England avoided the humiliation of becoming the first side to lose a one-day series 7-0 with a four-wicket win over Australia on Sunday.

World champions Australia still clinched the series 6-1, but surrendered their recently-regained status as the leading one-day side.

The Riverside win did little to paper over the cracks in England's line-up as Andrew Strauss's side head for South Africa and the Champions Trophy which starts on Tuesday.

Although James Anderson and debutant Graham Onions set the tone with some disciplined new-ball bowling, in complete contrast to the visitors' ragged efforts, Swann proved the match-winner on an unusually spin-friendly pitch.

Yet despite bowling Australia out for 176, the lowest score of the series and posting a 106-run opening stand, England managed to make a meal of chasing the total, losing four wickets in five overs and six in all.

Swann took the key wicket of Australia captain Ricky Ponting to set himself on the way to career-best figures of 5-28 and precipitate an Australian collapse from 96-2 to 176 all out.

Ponting came to the crease in the first over after Shane Watson's four-ball duck and instantly looked in imperious form, punching Anderson through the covers for four while contributing 41 to a 59-run stand with Michael Clarke.

But Swann produced a wicket maiden from his first over to dismiss the left-hander for 53 and start the collapse.

Ponting mistimed a drive to Paul Collingwood at mid-on, the first of three wickets in 24 balls.

Clarke was run out by Eoin Morgan's throw from short fine leg and Cameron White played onto a ball which turned into him.

James Hopes played across the line and spooned a return catch to Swann and Mitchell Johnson tried to turn him to leg and was caught by Anderson to complete Swann's haul. Only Mike Hussey offered any further resistance, the highlight of his 54-ball 49 a towering six into the top tier of the County Durham Stand before he was last out after 17 balls of batting powerplay.

England were 73 runs short of victory before Strauss reverse-swept to Ben Hilfenhaus on 47 to give Australia their first wicket and were further helped by some dreadful bowling from the visitors, who conceded 21 extras.

Joe Denly completed only his second ODI 50 (his first came against Ireland) in typical style, hitting eight fours.

But he became Ponting's third run-out victim in four days and was quickly followed by Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah and Matt Prior, all of whom would have benefitted from time at the crease after poor series and with the challenge of the Champions Trophy just around the corner. link..

FBR sets up TFCs across country

FBR sets up TFCs across country ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has set up facilitation desks/kiosks all across Pakistan to help taxpayers filing their income tax returns before the September 30 deadline.

The kiosks and Tax Facilitation Centers (TFCs) have been established in all major urban centres to provide technical support to taxpayers.

A formal ceremony to mark the opening of the TFCs will be held in Lahore tomorrow (Saturday) where FBR Chairman Sohail Ahmad will speak as chief guest at the inauguration of a facilitation desk/kiosk in Liberty area.

The board has further clarified that e-filing mode for the submission of income tax returns is required only for individuals and companies with whose declared income is Rs 500,000 or more per annum and not for ordinary traders and individuals whose income falls below the specific threshold. link..

Eid in Gulf countries, mammoth congregations at Makkah, Tehran

Eid in Gulf countries, mammoth congregations at Makkah, Tehran MAKKAH MUKARRAMA: Eid is being celebrated with great zeal and religious devotion, as Shawwal moon was sighted in different countries of the world including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Palestine, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Japan, London, France etc.

Shawwal moon sighting was announced in Europe also, while in all the countries of the continent unanimously observing Eid today. Grand Paris and Auqaf’s Turkish authorities announced the sighting of Shawwal moon. In Asian countries, Japan and Iran are also celebrating Eid with religious fervor and great enthuthsiasm. Mammoth Eid congregation was held in Tehran, the capital of Iran, where Ayatollah Khamenei led the Eid prayer, while in India Eid would be celebrated tomorrow.

On the other hand, Islamic Circle of North America decided to celebrate Eid in accordance with the local tradition. Eid is being celebrated today at Makki Masjid Brooklane, New York and according to the Muslim Council of North America and Islamic Circle of North America celebrating Eid today. link..

Musharraf to return Pakistan under good circumstance

PHILADELPHIA: Former president Pervez Musharraf said he will not retaliate against those, who are demanding to try him under Article 6. Talking to Geo News Sammi Ibrahim after Eid prayer in Philadelphia, he said he will return Pakistan when circumstances improve. Former president ruled out the possibility of another coup, however said that he will return home under pleasant conditions. link..

Nation celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr with religious fervour

Nation celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr with religious fervour ISLAMABAD: Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated throughout the country, including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan today with great religious fervour and festivity, marking the culmination of the holy month of Ramadan.

Big ‘Eid’ congregations are being held across the country. Special arrangements have been made to offer Eid prayer across the country including Faisal Masjid, Islamabad; Badshahi Masjid, Lahore, Memon Masjid, Karachi and Binori Town.

Immediately after the announcement that the Shawwal moon has been sighted previous night, a wave of happiness surged through the masses.

People swarmed the markets and Eid bazaars for shopping and women crowded the beauty parlours and shops, selling bangles and mehndi. Till late night people were busy in shopping in the markets.

Meanwhile foolproof security measures have been adopted on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. Policemen have been deputed outside the bazaars, shopping centres and sensitive public and private buildings.

Strict security measures have also been adopted outside the ‘Eidgahs’, while police and Rangers will keep patrolling. link..

Friday, September 18, 2009

ICC Champions Trophy unveiling ceremony

ICC Champions Trophy unveiling ceremony NEW DELHI: ICC Champions Trophy will formally kick off from September 22 in South Africa, while the event’s unveiling ceremony held here was participated by Wasim Akram and Sanjay Manjrikar.

ICC Champions Trophy is beginning September 22 in South Africa, which the cricket world is anxiously awaiting and all eyes are focused on the Gold and Silver Trophy, as to which team is going to lift.

The glittering trophy’s unveiling ceremony was held here, when Pakistan’s former captain Wasim Akram and former Indian test cricketer Sanjay Manjrikar were present, while ICC was represented by its General manager Cambell Jemison, who said that hard work has been done for making the event successful and he firmly believed that it would a memorable event,

Eight best teams of the world are participating in the Champions Trophy, while excellent arrangements have been made for the event.

Wasim Akram on this occasion said that South African wickets would be bouncy and fast, therefore, it would be a trying event for the Asian players. link..

Bulls push KSE-100 Index to 9438 points

Bulls push KSE-100 Index to 9438 points KARACHI: Hectic buying pushed up prices of leading scrips at Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) Friday as 100-Index surged by 213.43 points to close at 9438.82.

The turnover volume was high at 244.564 million shares on the weekend as prices of 254 scrips advanced and 87 sustained loss while24 remained unchanged.

The market capitalization was improved by Rs 45 billion to Rs2.727 trillion.

Shahid Jamil, a dealer at a leading brokerage house said that market was opened with a positive sentiment taking 100-Index above 9400 level on heavy buying. At this point of time, some profit taking trimmed values, but that too, for a while and market remained high on buying spree.

Jahangir Siddiqui Co was the volume leader with a turnover of 30.898 million shares followed by Arif Habib 13.006 million shares, PTCL 12.442 million shares, NBP 12.284 million shares and Pak PTA10.543 million shares.

NBP closed at 84.23, Engro Chemical 170.70, Bank Al-Falah 12.99,Pak PTA 5.38, Nishat Mills 70.10, Arif Habib Sec 40.42 and Jahangir Siddiqui 30.53.

Unilever Food recorded the highest increase of Rs 60 to 1400followed by Siemens Pak which moved up by 45 to 1190 while Pak Services dipped by 10.30 to 212 and Treet Corp went down by Rs 10 to 340.

US backs India's demand to arrest Saeed

US backs India NEW DELHI: United States’ Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer on Friday met Home Minister P Chidambaram and reiterated that six suspects of Mumbai terror attacks should be punished.

Roemer is now scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

Noticing that nothing significant has done by Pakistan to punish Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed for 26/11 attacks, Roemer today cleared that Islamabad should take substantial action against the JuD chief.

He further said that swift and lengthy punishment for six suspects of Mumbai attacks in Pakistan is important for the US and India.

Funding to banned Lashker-e-Toiba, formed by Saeed, should be stopped, the US envoy stressed.

"Going after Hafiz Saeed and dismantling terror infrastructure in that region is extremely important for both US and India," he said.

The statement by the US envoy came a day after Pakistani police registered two cases against Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11 attacks, and one against his close aide Abu Jandal under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Notably, the FIRs were registered for inciting people to wage "jehad" (holy war) against "infidels”.

Saeed was placed under house arrest in December last year after the UN Security Council declared the JuD a terrorist organisation. He was freed on the orders of the Lahore High Court in June this year.

India has been insisting that Pakistan must take action against Saeed for his role in the Mumbai attacks but Islamabad has said the evidence provided by New Delhi against him is not adequate for arresting or prosecuting the JuD chief.

The US envoy's comments came ahead of the meeting of Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly session. link..

Musharraf driven out under ‘settlement’ not deal: Kaira

Musharraf driven out under ‘settlement’ not deal: Kaira ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira Friday said no deal was struck with former president Pervez Musharraf, rather it was a settlement under which he was driven out of Presidency.

Talking to media here, the Minister said those countries which want to see stability in Pakistan have always extended their cooperation and that their help cannot be described as interference.

He said the incumbent government has received the mandate for five years.

Qamar Zaman Kaira said that Pakistan People’s Party has prepared Balochistan package and consultations are being held with the entire political leadership of the country in this regard. link..

Baitullah Mehsud mindset responsible for Benazir’s killing: Zardari

Baitullah Mehsud mindset responsible for Benazir’s killing: Zardari LONDON: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the strong army is the need of Pakistan and the entire country would crumble if the institution of armed forces gets dismantled.

The President made this comment in his wide ranging address and discourse with British intelligentsia gathered at London’s International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) - a prestigious and one of the high profile Think Tanks, a day after he arrived in the British capital from Dubai.

He said people with Baitullah Mehsud mindset are behind the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto.

President Zardari said the extremists and militants were created decades ago by a deliberate policy to employ religious fanaticism for the achievement of certain strategic objectives.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Spokesman to the President Farhatullah Babar, Secretary General to the President Salman Farooqi, Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, Sanam Bhutto, Pakistan High Commissioner to UK Wajid Shamsul Hassan, writers, intellectuals and diplomats were also present on the occasion.

Militants and militancy were not created in a vacuum, the President said adding, they have been the product of a deliberate policy to fight the rival ideology.

The free world adopted a novel strategy that was based on the exploitation of religion to motivate Muslims around the world to wage Jihad, stated President Zardari.

To drive home the point the President reminded the audience Afghan Jihadi leaders were described as “Moral equivalents of George Washington.”

President Zardari further said that the strategy may have worked well but some serious mistakes were also made as the world abandoned Afghanistan in a hurry and no thought was given to its stability after the withdrawal of foreign forces.

After the retreat of foreign forces, Afghanistan was abandoned and left at the mercy of the warlords and the jehadis which, he said was a grave mistake.

The President also recalled the conversation Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had with the then American President George Bush Sr. in 1989.

Warning of the grave implications of abandoning Afghanistan in a hurry she told the US President, “Mr. President, I fear we have created a Frankenstein that will come back to haunt us,” President Zardari told the audience.

President Zardari said that Pakistan paid the heaviest price of this policy as it ended up with over 2.5 million drug addicts, stunted economic activity and millions of Afghan refugees on its soil which it has been hosting for decades and is still hosting.

He said that the situation of Pakistan was further compounded when the international community gave material and moral support to dictatorships in Pakistan for its own ends.

The dictatorship in Pakistan has been running with the hare and hunting with the hound and played hide and seek with militants for its own political survival, the President viewed adding, “Years of dancing with the dictator has encouraged the crisis of today.”

About fighting the militants the President said that there was no doubt that Pakistan faced enormous challenges but “greater is our resolve to overcome those challenges.”

He said it was a crisis situation which also offered opportunities. “In times like these we must recognize and seize opportunities, he said and called for taking urgent and bold decisions.

“We can no longer avoid taking firm decisions,” the President said adding also that a decision delayed was “not a problem avoided but a crisis in waiting.”

He said that contrasted with the dictatorship of the past the democracy in Pakistan had taken on the militants head on. “We are determined to fight and we know how to fight,” he said.

He said that democracy in Pakistan had given political ownership to the war against militants as a result of which the Parliament, the state institutions and the whole nation was united against terrorists.

The initial successes against militancy were a great example of democracy at work, the President said.

About the wonders achieved by national consensus against militancy the President said that the dramatic power of national consensus was demonstrated recently in Swat and Malakand where the militants were on the run and the internally displaced persons had started returning their homes in safety.

The President also declared the government’s determination not to allow anyone to use our territory against a third country.

Extremists and militants who challenge the state and our ideology wherever they may be in Pakistan will be chased and eliminated, the President said.

Reinforcing his commitment to end militancy, the President declared, “Let me assure you that we have not come this far at this price, to fail.”

The President also urged the international community for its support and understanding in “our national efforts to fight militants.”

“We expect our friends and allies to make a correct assessment of the challenges we face and to help us,” the President said.

While acknowledging that some support had come from the world community the President said, “This support needs to be reinforced.”

President Zardari also rejected the blames that were being laid at the door of Pakistan and said “We need active regional co-operation and understanding rather than resorting to blame game.”

He said that Pakistan was doing more not at the behest of anyone else but “in self interest.”

The President also reminded the audience of the struggle in Pakistan for the restoration of democracy. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto made the ultimate sacrifice, so that our nation may live in democracy, he said.

President Zardari said that democracy was gaining ground in Pakistan. Today there was a functional Parliament, an independent judiciary, a vibrant civil society, a fiercely free media and a robust political discourse among political parties, he added.

The President said that the real challenge that lay ahead was “to make democracy sustainable, indeed irreversible.”

“The challenge could be met easily if we demonstrated to our people and the world that democracy indeed was delivering,” he observed.

He said that for the democracy to deliver in a real sense, fellow democracies must support Pakistan in this common cause. Pakistan was also faced with the challenge of consolidating economic stability, he expressed.

The President said that although some difficult decisions had already been taken to stabilize the economy, Pakistan needed greater economic opportunities to better the lot of its teeming millions.

“It is important that Pakistan is allowed market access to the countries of European Union. We need trade and not aid,” he stressed.

About peace in the region the President said that Pakistan was confronted with the challenge of building a peaceful neighborhood.

The government was pursuing a conscious policy of building cooperative relationships with Afghanistan and India, he stated adding, “We believe that regional dialogue and cooperation is the way forward.

The President said that after the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan had bilateral engagements at leadership level. The President stressed the need for revival of the composite dialogue.

“Pakistan is convinced that revival of the composite dialogue process is necessary and in the mutual interest of the two countries,” the President said.

Pakistan also believed that meaningful progress towards resolution of the Kashmir dispute is necessary for durable peace and stability in South Asia, the President said.

The president further said that the terrorist attacks were also directed against the peace process with India.

“Terrorist attacks are always directed at democracy. They are also directed against the peace process with India that we have initiated,” is how the President described the terror attacks.

The non-state actors and supporters of dictatorship have vested interest in fanning conflict in the region, the President said adding, “They (the militants) do not want change in Pakistan to take root.”

The President called upon the international community to beef up support for the democratic government to fight the militants by strengthening Pakistan’s economy and democracy.

President Zardari also appreciated Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s role in the Friends of Democratic Pakistan process and the enhanced economic aid of 665 million pounds to Pakistan over the next four years.

The President pleaded for “trade and not aid” on the one hand and assistance to strengthen “civilian law enforcement and counter-terrorism capabilities” on the other.

He also called for turning the Friends of Democratic Pakistan process into “a truly successful enterprise.”

Voicing hope that the democratic world will play its part in assisting Pakistan, the President assured that “Pakistan will deliver on its part to make the world a safer and better place to live.”

The President said that a democratic Pakistan is the world’s best guarantee for the triumph of moderation among Muslims of the world. link..

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HIV & AIDS news

How HIV cripples immune cells

How HIV cripples immune cells

This is the actin cytoskeleton of human T-lymphocytes (red) in the presence of the stimulus CCL-19. An HIV-1 infection (HIV-1 protein CA in green) leads to the loss of actin reorganization and therefore of cell motility. Credit: Source: Hygiene Institute, Heidelberg University Hospital.In order to be able to ward off disease pathogens, immune cells must be mobile and be able to establish contact with each other. The working group around Professor Dr. Oliver Fackler in the Virology Department of the Hygiene Institute of the Heidelberg University Hospital has discovered a mechanism in an animal model revealing how HIV, the AIDS pathogen, cripples immune cells: Cell mobility is inhibited by the HIV Nef protein. The study was published in the highly respected journal "Cell Host & Microbe". This discovery may have pointed the way towards a new treatment approach.

Over 30 million persons worldwide are infected with HIV. Typically, after the initial infection accompanied by acute symptoms, there is a latency period of several years before the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) manifests. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has developed numerous strategies for eluding the body's defenses and the medications administered. The prerequisite for efficient reproduction of the virus in the patient's body is the virus's own Nef protein. Without Nef, the development of AIDS is significantly slowed or even stopped completely. The underlying mechanism of this observation was a complete mystery up to now, however.

HIV modifies the cell structure system of the host cells

Viruses alter the support structures of affected cells, enabling them to enter the cells more easily. The cell structure element actin, which also gives muscles their mobility, aids in the motility of immune cells. This is necessary for immune cells to be able to establish contact with each other and combat the virus. After each movement, actin must be returned to its original state in order to be available once again. HIV especially attacks immune cells of the T-helper type. These cells support not only direct "defense against the enemy", but are also necessary for building sufficient antibodies against the invader. For this, they must rely on their mobility.

Short-circuiting of two different signal paths in the cell by Nef

The researchers examined the movement of cells in living zebra fish embryos and were able to show that cell mobility is inhibited by the HIV Nef protein. As they continued their experiments on cell cultures, they were able to explain the underlying mechanism: Nef causes an enzyme that normally has nothing to do with cell mobility to deactivate a regulator for actin regeneration. Nef therefore causes a short-circuit of two cellular mechanisms, thus inhibiting the reorganization of the cell structure element actin and the cell's ability to move. Thus, the affected immune cells can no longer fulfill their function.

"We speculate that the negative effect of Nef on the mobility of T-helper cells has far reaching consequences for the efficient formation of antibodies by B-lymphocytes in the patient. The mechanism we have described could be involved in the increasingly observed malfunction of B-lymphocytes in AIDSpatients", explains Professor Fackler. Up to now, Nef has not been a target of antiviral therapy. Since one of the first molecular mechanisms has now been decoded, however, and the importance of Nef for the disease has become clearer, this could change in the future. link...

Terror incidents disturb a lot: Younis

Terror incidents disturb a lot: Younis KARACHI: Pakistani Cricket team captain Younis Khan Wednesday said the country can be steered onto the right path, if it is rid of the issues of terrorism and extremism.

Talking to Geo News, he said these disruptive incidents, wherever they may happen whether within Pakistan or abroad, disturb us a lot.

Younis Khan urged the nation to pray for the success of the national team, and hoped that the success would come to their way, Insha Allah. link..

Three die as container falls on car in Karachi

KARACHI: At least three including two children were killed when a container fell on a car at a Quaidabad Bridge here, Geo News reported Wednesday.

According to Chhipa sources, at least two children have reportedly been killed in the incident.

Heavy machinery was called to cut the car so that the bodies could be taken out from the vehicle. A five-year old child has been recovered from the car

According to eyewitness, the container turned over the car while overtaking the car on the bridge. link...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tennis: Clijsters wins US Open, second time

Tennis: Clijsters wins US Open, second time

NEW YORK: Kim Clijsters of Belgium won the US Open on Sunday by defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 7-5, 6-3 in the final.She is the first mother to win a Grand Slam title since Evonne Goolagong in 1980, the victory coming just five weeks after she returned to the sport following a 27-month retirement. She was the first wildcard, man or woman, to win a US Open title in the history of the tournament. link...

$200 million investment back to Pak stock markets

$200 million investment back to Pak stock markets KARACHI: Seventy-eight per cent of the amount withdrawn by foreign investors from January to May 2009 has been returned to Pakistan stock markets.

As per statistics released by National Clearing Company, foreign investors withdrew an amount of $261 million in January-May 2009 while they brought back the amount of $203 million in June-September 2009 which is 78 per cent of the total amount withdrawn.

After an improvement by world rating agencies – Modis International and Standard and Pores, confidence of foreign investors in stock markets is increasing and investment in Pakistan’s stock markets is being considered as the most attractive in Asian countries. link...

Mirwaiz elected head of Hurriyat moderate faction

Mirwaiz elected head of Hurriyat moderate faction SRINAGAR: Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was today unanimously re-elected chairman of the moderate faction of separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference for a two-year term.

The re-election of Mirwaiz, who heads Awami Action committee (AAC), as Chairman of the separatist amalgam for the third time in a row - was unanimous, a spokesman of the Hurriyat said after a meeting of the Executive council held here.

"Mirwaiz was choosen as chairman in accordance with the constitution of the Hurriyat. The election took place as per the democratic norms," the spokesman said.

He said the election of the chairman was originally scheduled in June this year but delayed by three months due to "ups and downs" in the situation. link..

63 militants surrendered in Tehsil Kabal

63 militants surrendered in Tehsil Kabal SWAT: Fourteen militants were killed in clashes with security forces in Malakand and Swat.

Meanwhile, 44 militants, including Nazim-e-Ala of outlawed Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi Maulana Safiullah, were presented before media while 63 militants surrendered.

Sources said that militants running away from Batkhela, Swat clashed with security forces in Derai Jolgraham, an area of Malakand and resultantly eight militants were killed while one official was also wounded and a vehicle was partly damaged.

According to sources, five militants were killed also in clash with security forces in tehsil Charbagh of Swat while a security official was also injured.

Earlier, one militant was killed in Matta, too.

Meanwhile, local people formed a lashkar against militants in Peochar, Matta after which a large number of lashkar people began operation along with the security forces.

In Peochar, 44 militants were produced before media . They included six suicide bomber children who were looking less than 15 years of age.

Nazim-e-Ala of outlawed Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi Maulana Safiullah, was also included in the militants presented before media.

In various areas of Kabal, a tehsil of Swat, 63 militants surrendered their weapons. link..

Fourteen killed in Karachi stampede

Fourteen killed in Karachi stampede KARACHI: Fourteen people including women and children were crushed and suffocated to death due to stampede during free distribution of ration in Khori Garden area here on Monday.

Singh Government has announced Rs100,000 each for the bereaved families.

Like previous years, the ration was distributed free this year too by a trader Chaudhry Iftikhar in a densely populated area of Khori Garden in Jodia Bazar where hundreds of women had come for ration collection.

But the crowed went out of control running over one another in an attempt to collect the ration which led to a stampede and as a result 14 people including women and children died of suffocation and crush injuries.

The bodies and injured were taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi.

CCPO Karachi Wasim Ahmed said that adequate arrangements were not in place at the distribution point while police was also not informed about the program.

The Karachi police chief said that trader Chaudhry Iftikhar has been arrested and it will be determined after proper investigation as to what extent the responsibility of the incident falls on him.

Meanwhile, taking notice of the incident President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah ordered for submission of investigation report. Directives have also been given for provision of best medical facilities to the wounded. link...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bin Laden Warns Americans in Tape

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) — Osama bin Ladenapparently issued a new audio message on an Islamist Web site on Monday, warning the American people about their government’s close ties to Israel.

The message, titled “A statement to the American people,” was approximately 10 minutes long and appeared on a Web site often used by supporters of Al Qaeda.

The same site said this month that it would soon carry a “present” to Muslims from Mr. bin Laden — who is thought to be hiding in the mountainous terrain along the Afghan-Pakistani border — on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

The message comes a few days after the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001, in which nearly 3,000 people died in the United States.

In the last message attributed to him in June, Mr. bin Laden said President Obama had planted new seeds of “revenge and hatred” toward the United States in the Muslim world.

Those remarks were issued just before a major speech by Mr. Obama in Egypt.

In the speech, Mr. Obama said he sought a “new beginning” between the United States and the Muslim world.


US drone strike kills four in Pakistan: officials

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan — A US drone missile attack Monday killed four militants in a remote Pakistani tribal town bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

The missile targeted a militant vehicle in Toori Khel village in North Waziristan region, they said.

"Four militants were killed," a local government official said, requesting anonymity. He added the number of wounded was not immediately known.

A security official, however, said four people were wounded.

He said "two of the militants killed in the vehicle were believed to be foreigners" but details were not immediately available.

The word "foreigners" is official jargon in Pakistan for Al-Qaeda militants.

"The missile was fired from a US drone," he said.

Monday's drone strike was the third within a week in North Waziristan, where militants linked to Taliban and Al-Qaeda are said to have sanctuaries.

At least three militants were killed in a similar attack in the area last Tuesday.

Last Monday a strike targeting a madrassa (Islamic seminary) and an adjoining house killed five people.

Washington alleges Al-Qaeda and Taliban rebels who fled Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion are holed up in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt.

The US military does not, as a rule, confirm drone attacks, but its armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in neighbouring Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy pilotless drones in the region.

A US drone attack on August 5 in neighbouring tribal district of South Waziristan killed Pakistan's feared Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud.

Pakistan's previous government accused Mehsud of masterminding the 2007 assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto and a string of other attacks that have killed hundreds of people here over the last two years.

Islamabad publicly opposes suspected US missile strikes, saying they violate its territorial sovereignty and deepen resentment among the populace. Since August 2008, nearly 60 such strikes have killed more than 550 people.

However some analysts and observers believe that the government tacitly supports the attacks, as it shares the US goal of eliminating Mehsud's network.

Pakistan in April launched a punishing military offensive against the Taliban in the northwest, targeting the rebels in the districts of Swat, Buner and Lower Dir after militants advanced towards Islamabad.

The military claimed to have cleared the area of Taliban and vowed to turn their attention to the mountainous tribal belt along the border where Mehsud and his Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have thrived since 2007.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September is Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Month

blood test tubeSeptember is Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month, highlighting two of the most invasive hematologic cancers ravaging the planet

Butt to meet Giles Clarke today

Butt to meet Giles Clarke today KARACHI: Pakistan's cricket chief Ijaz Butt will hold an important meeting with his England Cricket Board (ECB) counterpart Giles Clarke in London today(Saturday).

Butt to meet Clarke, the ECB chief, who is also the chairman of an ICC task force that has been assigned to devise ways of helping Pakistan to maintain its international fixture schedule.

According to details, Butt and Clarke are expected to ink a deal over Pakistan's 'home' series against Australia scheduled to take place in England next summer.

Butt is also expected to finalise details of Pakistan's Test series against England to be held there after the matches against Australia.

Pakistan will host Australia for two Tests and a couple of Twenty20 Internationals next July. The Tests were supposed to be held in Pakistan last year but were scrapped because of security apprehensions.

Apart from finalising Pakistan's long summer in England next year, Butt will also share his ideas with the ECB chairman regarding the return of international cricket to Pakistan.

Earlier this summer, Clarke declared that the ECB will support Pakistan in their effort to revive international cricket in the country. link...

CCP begins probe against sugar mills

CCP begins probe against sugar mills KARACHI: Competitive Commission of Pakistan (CCP) kicked off investigations against sugar mills, Geo News reported Saturday.

According to sources, the CCP aims to find out from these investigations how sugar mills owners determine the sugar price and that how far the sugar cost told by them is correct.

Furthermore, the commission will take stock of how the statistics regarding sugar reserves and produce are elicited.

Besides, the commission will review the sugar stocks in various areas of Sindh and Punjab. link..

Two killed in IHK blast

Two killed in IHK blast SRINAGAR: At least two people were killed late Saturday in a powerful blast set off by Islamic militants near the main jail in Indian Held Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar, police said.

"So far we have two people dead and 10 others injured. The toll is likely to rise as four people are in critical condition," a police spokesman told a foreign news agency, asking not to be identified.

The police spokesman said the "powerful" explosion was the work of Islamic militants.

An insurgency against Indian rule in the Muslim-majority region has left more than 47,000 people dead since it began twenty years ago, according to official figures.

The explosion, which took place 150 meters (164 yards) from Srinagar's central jail, shattered nearby windows and could be heard in a five-kilometre (three-mile) radius.

"It was a deafening blast. The impact has smashed all the window panes of our home and damaged several other houses," one witness, Sabeya Hameed, said by telephone.

She said she saw some of the casualties being loaded into ambulances to be taken to hospital but she did not know whether they were civilians or security personnel.

One police vehicle and one private car were badly damaged in the blast, police said.

Ramadan, which started August 13, has been marked by increased violence in Kashmir in the past as some militants believe those who die fighting during the holy month gain more heavenly rewards.

However, late last month, officials said violence in heavily militarised Kashmir had fallen to its lowest level since the rebellion started in 1989.

According to official police records, killings have dropped to one a day, from 10 daily in 2001 and a peak of 13 in 1996 when the uprising was at its height with daily bomb attacks and gunbattles.

The level of violence declined sharply after India and Pakistan, whose territorial dispute over Kashmir has triggered two wars, embarked on a peace process in 2004.

The peace process was suspended in the wake of the militant attacks last November on India's financial capital Mumbai in which 166 people died.

Indian officials also attribute the decline in unrest to fencing off the border between the two countries and what they say are more effective counter-insurgency tactics. link..

KPT land scam: PAC demands report within 7 days

KPT land scam: PAC demands report within 7 days ISLAMABAD: Chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, taking notice of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) land embezzlement, directed the concerned authorities to present report on the issue within seven days.

According to PAC officials, Chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan took notice of a news story of Geo News and The News regarding apportionment of KPT land worth billions to the influential people and undue pressure from the federal government in this regard.

He directed Federal Secretary of Ports and Shipping to table report on KPT land scam within seven days. Chairman PAC directed an elaborate briefing on the scam at PAC meting on October 2.

It should be mentioned that PAC meeting will begin on September 28.

According to the committee officials, Chairman PAC summoned Capital Development Authority (CDA) for not completing Islamabad Highway and Service Road by April 2009 as was pledged.

Meanwhile, he also took notice of Kashmir Highway Toll Plaza scandal and directed CDA Chairman and Additional Cabinet Secretary to give explanation before the PAC session on October 1. link..

Pak to reply to India’s latest dossier next week: Malik

Pak to reply to India’s latest dossier next week: Malik ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Senator Rehman A Malik on Saturday directed that due process of law be completed efficiently, transparently to ensure that all the culprits involved in the Mumbai attacks are brought to book.

He stated this while chairing a high level meeting which discussed the progress made with regard to investigations of Mumbai attacks, said a press release issued here.

The meeting expressed satisfaction over the progress made in the investigation so far as well as reviewed the latest information recently supplied by India.

The Minister said that Pakistan would send response to India on its latest dossier during the next week.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Law, Ch. Muhammad Afzal Sindhu, Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, senior officers of the Ministry of Interior, DG FIA and the head of the investigation team on Mumbai attacks. link..

Friday, September 11, 2009

Salman Butt says will make come back soon

Salman Butt says will make come back soon

KARACHI: Pakistani batsman Salman Butt said he is not disappointed for not being a part of Champions Trophy squad instead of it, he got batting tips from batting maestro Javed Miandad to improve batting.

Talking to Geo News, Salman Butt said he would perform well in domestic tournaments to get the place in national team. He said he is going through tough training sessions to make come back. Butt said he took the batting tips from Javed Miandad which was very useful. link..

Fresh buying adds 63 points to KSE-100 Index

Fresh buying adds 63 points to KSE-100 Index KARACHI: The benchmark KSE-100 Index advanced by 63 points to close at 9,058 on Friday.

Today’s trade began in the green territory and remained positive throughout the session on the last trading day of the week.

The trade volume stood at 190 million shares today.

Jehangir Siddiqui Company emerged as today’s volume leader which slipped 83 paisas to close at Rs28.14.

KSE-30 Index surged by 83 points to finish the day at 9,699. link..

US marks 8th anniversary of 9/11

US marks 8th anniversary of 9/11 WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama led a moment of silence Friday to launch eighth anniversary commemorations of the September 11 attacks in 2001 when 3,000 people died in the world's deadliest terror strike.

At exactly 8:46 am (1246 GMT) when the first plane piloted by Al-Qaeda hijackers slammed into the North tower of New York's World Trade Center, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stood with heads bowed outside the White House.

On a rain-swept day so different than that crisp September morning eight years ago, ceremonies were also being held in New York, at the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field where a fourth plane crashed short of its target.

The solemn ceremonies were marred by a security scare in Washington after a Coast Guard training event on the Potomac River prompted unfounded reports that a suspicious boat had been fired on.

It was the first time that Obama, who was driving to work as a state senator in Illinois when he learned of the attacks on the radio, had led the national remembrance ceremonies as president.

At New York's Ground Zero, all that is left of the two huge towers that were toppled in wave of fire and debris by fuel-laden planes, volunteers read the names of the 2,752 people killed in the strike at the heart of US might.

Obama stepped out in front of the South Portico of the White House, with First Lady Michelle Obama, who was wearing a black dress.

After three chimes played by a US Marine in ceremonial dress, the first couple bowed their heads and observed the moment of silence, joined by around 150 members of the White House staff.

Obama raised his head, and put his hand over his heart as a Marine bugler played a haunting rendition of Taps, the military lament played over soldiers' graves.

Above, the huge American flag on top of the White House hung limply at half-mast. For hours before the ceremony, rain had sluiced Washington, but moments before Obama and the First Lady appeared the rain tapered off and they were able to stand bare-headed.

As soon as they returned to the White House, the deluge resumed.

The President later headed to the Pentagon to lay a wreath and make remarks at the spot where another hijacked airliner crashed, on a day which sent shock waves around the world and left a political legacy Obama is still trying to master.

One US cable news network, MSNBC, marked the anniversary by replaying the terrifying minute-by-minute video of the first moments of the attacks when planes hit the world Trade Center.

The Pentagon memorial is the only major official monument to the victims of the September 11 attacks, with plans for similar sites in New York and Pennsylvania held up in part by financial and legal wrangling.

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in an open field after passengers overwhelmed the hijackers, tributes begin Friday with a reading of victims' names.

Many believe the hijackers intended to crash the plane into the Congress building in Washington.

Prayer services and interfaith remembrances are scheduled throughout the day, with a candlelight "peace vigil" closing out the commemorations.

In a message carried on the front page of the New York Daily News, Obama declared "we are all New Yorkers" and that the attacks "will be forever seared in the consciousness of our nation."

The president wrote that his controversial and increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan was part of his strategy "to take the fight to the extremists who attacked us on 9/11."

Washington, he said, was committed to preventing nuclear weapons proliferation and to ensuring that all "loose nuclear weapons" be accounted for and secured within four years. link..

500 Khasadars quit service for fear of extremists

500 Khasadars quit service for fear of extremists PESHAWAR: Political Agency of Khyber Agency Friday confirmed that at least 500 personnel of Khasadar force abandoned their duties for fear of extremists.

According to Geo News correspondent, Political Agent Tariq Hayat said the Khasadars who do not report on duty by tomorrow would be dismissed from service.

Tariq said important targets in Bara operation have been achieved; subsequently, the army has left Bara and Frontier Corps contingents have taken over.

Tariq Hayat Khan said 107 extremists have been killed and 120 others arrested during Bara Operation, adding 127 houses of the extremists and 15 centers have been destroyed.

Two important commanders were also killed in the operation, he added.

Mangal Bagh, Amir of outlawed Lashkar-e-Islam will have to unconditionally surrender himself to the forces, he said ruling out negotiations with the militants.

The PA said the operation will continue until the acquisition of the targets, adding Bara Market has been opened and curfew there will be relaxed from 11am to evening. link..

Rehman says Saeed was released by court

Rehman says Saeed was released by court ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that India should refrain from leveling allegations against Pakistan, Geo News reported Friday.

Talking to media at PMS Hospital after visiting ailing father of Federal Minister for environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi, he said India needs to give Pakistan chance to investigate in Mumbai attacks and stay away from leveling allegations against Pakistan.

The case against five accused Mumbai attacks is being heard; furthermore, two other important accused have been arrested, he said adding Hafiz Saeed was released by the court.

Rehman urged India to respect Pakistani courts and wait until the trial is over, saying, ‘India said on our demand that their courts have forbidden to leak the information.’

‘We arrested Hafiz Saeed soon after the UN announcement banning Jamaatud Dawa…later on our court released Hafiz on bail…Indians should respect our courts just as we respect their courts,’ Malik said.

‘We should bring to the fore those who are creating misunderstandings between the two nations, he said urging his Indian counterpart to exercise discretion, as this is not a time for allegations.

‘Had he come to Pakistan instead of visiting US, he would have been apprised of the actual situation, which his national institutions are holding back from him.’

‘Our nation wants to catch the culprits involved in Samjhota Express tragedy,’ Rehman said.

‘Muslim Khan and his confederates were arrested during the operation,’ Malik said warning other militants to surrender or they would be killed.

He rule out any negotiations with the militants.

Rehman lauded Pak security forces who established the writ of the government by clearing the area of the extremists.

The interior minister said he had positive meeting with Akhtar Mengal, adding the Balochistan issue would be resolved in a few days for which people would have to wait with patience. link..

‘If I have to go to Brahamdagh Bugti to bring him round, I would do so,’ he said.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Safina, Sharapova crashed out of US Open Tennis

Safina, Sharapova crashed out of US Open Tennis NEW YORK: World number one Dinara Safina and three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova crashed out of the US Open at
the hands of teen titans on Saturday, aiding fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova's title bid.

Petra Kvitova, a 19-year-old Czech who won her first WTA title in January at Hobart, and US giant-killer Melanie Oudin, two weeks shy of her 18th birthday, became the darlings of Flushing Meadows after their third-round shockers.

Kvitova, ranked 72nd, saved three match points in the 12th game of the final set and eliminated Safina 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5).

Safina will remain atop the rankings after the Open but is still searching for a first Grand Slam title and a way to play her best when it matters most.

Oudin stunned former world number one Sharapova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 at Arthur Ashe Stadium by holding serve in the final game after six consecutive service breaks to book a quarter-final berth against Russian 13th seed Nadia Petrova.

Reigning French Open champion and sixth seed Kuznetsova dispatched Israel's Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-1, to become the highest remaining seed in her half of the draw with dangerous Sharapova also gone.

Oudin followed her upset of former world number one Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon with a second-round US Open ouster of fourth seed Elena Dementieva and added Sharapova to her victims list.

Sharapova, who returned from right shoulder surgery in May, double faulted 21 times and committed 63 unforced errors, 19 more than Oudin, who converted on only 8-of-26 break-point chances.

There was no such optimism for Safina, who made 39 unforced errors and nine double faults with only 12 winners. While Kvitova had 59 unforced errors, she fired 47 winners with only five double faults.

Critics says Safina is less worthy of the top ranking than US Open second seed Serena Williams, the 11-time Slam winner who holds the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles.

Safina, who was upset that officials moved her match off Ashe stadium due to night session time issues, spoke of wanting to ease her tension but said losing the top ranking would not bring her relief.

Safina did nothing to support her cause with a third consecutive match in which she lost the first set, roared back to win the second, then gave away an early break in the third.

This time, she could not overcome her mistakes to advance.

Safina forced three match points on Kvitova's serve in the 12th game of the last set, but the Czech sandwiched a backhand and forehand winner around a Safina mis-hit backhand to escape the threat and reach the tie-break, which she won on her second match point when Safina sent the ball long.

Kvitova plays for a quarter-final spot against Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, who beat Italy's Sara Errani 6-3, 6-4.

Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open winner, plays Danish ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki - who beat Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 6-2 - for a last-eight spot against Oudin or Petrova, who ousted China's Zheng Jie 6-4, 6-1.

Argentina's Gisela Dulko ousted Kazak Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3, 6-4, and will next face Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko, who eliminated Australian qualifier Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4. link..

Rs796 billion tax evaded in Pakistan: WB

Updated at: 1931 PST, Sunday, September 06, 2009
Rs796 billion tax evaded in Pakistan: WB ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) has said that every Pakistani citizen evaded tax amounting to Rs 4800 in the year 2007-08, while the total tax evaded in the period stood at Rs 796 billion.

The World Bank’s Pakistan Tax Policy Report 2009 revealed this — Tapping Tax Base for Development released on Saturday.

The report has been jointly prepared by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Andrew Young School of Public Policy, Georgia State University.

The report said a large tax gap in the country suggested that the tax system was likely to under perform in terms of revenue, efficiency, equity and administration.

The federal tax gap in Pakistan for 2007-2008 estimated in the report is around 79 percent of the actual tax receipts.

In 2007-08, total tax revenue collection stood at Rs 1.1 trillion or 10.3 percent of the GDP.

It said there is a broader consensus that the country’s tax system under performed as it had a narrow base, with taxes being levied on a limited number of sectors, businesses and individuals.

The WB report also said it feared that when the fiscal pressure began to ease, tax reform pushback would be in full swing. “Even modest reform proposals to curb tax exemptions and tax evasion will come under fire and the government will be subject to pressure to back down and return to business as usual,” it said.

Such meagre revenue would leave the government with little options to cover its targeted expenditure, with the result that the government would invoke unsustainable budget deficits or major cuts in spending, which in turn would make it impossible to maintain social and infrastructure sector-spending at the level required for development, the report added.
The tax policy report said structural tax policy reforms outlined could produce substantial revenue increases for the government.

3 Hitler paintings to go up for auction

3 Hitler paintings to go up for auction BERLIN: A German auction house today sell three watercolor paintings attributed to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

The works, depicting cottages, mills, and churches nestled in rural landscapes, will go under the hammer on Sept. 5, Weidler’s auction house in Nuremberg said.

The three paintings are dated from 1910 and 1911 and originate from Vienna, where a young Hitler spent several years as a struggling artist. He then joined the army and fought in World War I.

One of the paintings, “White church in the Wachau,’’ was authenticated in 1963 by the late Peter Jahn, a renowned expert on Hitler’s early pieces.

Although the precise number of works by Hitler is unknown, Weidler said there were an estimated 723 pictures, including sketches, in existence. The auction house is expecting a five-figure sum for each picture. Earlier this year they sold two other watercolors by Hitler for a total of $45,530. link..

Nation celebrating Defence Day with renewed commitment

Nation celebrating Defence Day with renewed commitment KARACHI: The nation celebrating the Defence Day today, Sunday to commemorate the great sacrifices for guarding the country against aggression and renew the pledge to make country's defence invincible.

The nation paid homage to the heroes of September 6 besides the change of guards ceremonies were held at the Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam and Mazar-e-Iqbal.

The day dawned with the Quran Khawani particularly for Martyrs in the unit mosques after Fajr prayers and for the solidarity of the country. Flag hoisting ceremonies held at unit and formation level and floral wreath laid at the Mazar-e-Quaid on behalf of the three services. Special prayers were held for all those who laid their valuable lives for the safety of the country and the nation, while the nation along with the Armed Forces of Pakistan celebrating the Defence Day with the pledge to leave no stone unturned in rendering any kind of sacrifice for the security of our country.

Change of Guards ceremony at the Mazar of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of the nation was held in the city. Pakistan Air Force cadets presented the Guard of Honour and hoisted the national flag, while assuming the Guard duty at the Mazar-e-Quaid.

In Lahore, change of guards’ ceremony was held at the Mazar of the poet laureate, Allma Muhammad Iqbal. Garrison Commander Major General Shafqat Ahmad laid the wreath on the Mazar. Brigadier Imtiaz Haider laid wreath at the grave of Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfooz located on Kahuta Road in the outskirt of Rawalpindi and offered ‘Fateha’. Brigadier Syed Hussain Shah Abbas laid wreath on the mazar of Captain Col Sher Shaheed (Nishan-e-Haider) at Swabi and an elegant and smart contingent of Pak Army presented guard of honour. Station Commander Okara Garrison, Brigadier Manzoor Ahmad laid wreath at the mazar of Major Tufail Muhammad Shaheed (Nishan-e-Haider) at Boreywala and offered’Fateha’. link...

13 superior courts judges to take oath tomorrow

13 superior courts judges to take oath tomorrow ISLAMABAD: The two newly appointed judges of the Supreme Court will take oath of their office on Monday while the oath taking of 7 new additional judges of Peshawar High Court and 4 of Balochistan High Court will also be held tomorrow.

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Rehmat Hussain Jafri have been inducted as SC judges and they will be taking oath of their offices here at the Supreme Court building tomorrow. Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will administer the oath.

The total number of SC judges will become 17 after addition of the above two judges who hail from Sindh province.

President Asif Ali Zardari granted approval to the appointment of 13 judges – two judges for Supreme Court and 11 additional judges for NWFP and Balochistan high courts.

Additional judges appointed in Peshawar High Court include Abdul Aziz Kundi, Fasih-ul-Mulk, Liaquat Ali Shah, Mazhar Alam Mina Khel, Attaullah Khan, Mohammad Safdar Khan and Mufftahuddin.

Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Tahira Safdar, Justice Mohammad Noor Muskan Zai and Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mengal have been inducted in Balochistan High Court as additional judges. link..

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Williams sisters, Nadal reach 4th round at US Open

Williams sisters, Nadal reach 4th round at US Open NEW YORK: Seeking her third grand slam victory of the year, Serena Williams withstood a strong test from Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the fourth round of the U.S.Open.

No. 3 Venus Williams, the 2000-01 Open champion, avoided adding to the list of stunning results when she got past 46th-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-2, 7-5. Next up for the elder Williams. Other winners included No. 7 Vera Zvonareva of Russia, No. 10Flavia Pennetta of Italy, No. 18 Li Na of China and No. 26 Francesca Schiavone of Italy.

No. 1 Dinara Safina made it to Saturday's third round, but barely. She needed more than 4 hours to get through two three-set victories.

The best men have faced no such problems: No. 3 Rafael Nadal's 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory Friday night in the last match of Day 5means the men seeded 1-16 all reached the third round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in the 41-year Open era.

Friday's other winners included No. 2 Andy Murray, No. 7Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 9 Gilles Simon. None of the top 10 men had even dropped a single set much less lost until 2008runner-up Murray's little slip in his 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 win over87th-ranked Paul Capdeville of Chile on Friday afternoon. link..

US jobless rate hits 26-year high in August

Updated at: 1250 PST, Saturday, September 05, 2009
US jobless rate hits 26-year high in August WASHINGTON: The pace of United States job losses hit a one-year low last month but the unemployment rate jumped to a 26-year high of 9,7%, the government said in a report showing a slowly improving labour market.

The Labour Department said employers cut 216 000 jobs, the smallest since August 2008, and revised job losses for June and July to show 49 000 more jobs lost than previously reported.

Analysts had expected non-farm payrolls to drop 225 000 in August and the unemployment rate to rise to 9,5%.

US stock index futures rose after the jobs data, while the dollar weakened against the euro. US government debt fell on the data.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the US economy has shed 6,9-million jobs, the department said. Stubbornly high unemployment is wearing on consumer confidence and crimping domestic demand, pointing to an anaemic recovery from the worst slump in 70 years. Consumer spending accounts for over two-thirds of US economic activity.

However, the August report confirmed the pace of layoffs was easing from early this year, when nearly three quarters of a million jobs were lost in January. link..

3 Hitler paintings to go up for auction

3 Hitler paintings to go up for auction BERLIN: A German auction house today sell three watercolor paintings attributed to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

The works, depicting cottages, mills, and churches nestled in rural landscapes, will go under the hammer on Sept. 5, Weidler’s auction house in Nuremberg said.

The three paintings are dated from 1910 and 1911 and originate from Vienna, where a young Hitler spent several years as a struggling artist. He then joined the army and fought in World War I.

One of the paintings, “White church in the Wachau,’’ was authenticated in 1963 by the late Peter Jahn, a renowned expert on Hitler’s early pieces.

Although the precise number of works by Hitler is unknown, Weidler said there were an estimated 723 pictures, including sketches, in existence. The auction house is expecting a five-figure sum for each picture. Earlier this year they sold two other watercolors by Hitler for a total of $45,530. link..

Security forces destroyed Lashkar-e-Islam headquarter in KA

Security forces destroyed Lashkar-e-Islam headquarter in KASecurity forces destroyed Lashkar-e-Islam headquarter in KA
Updated at: 1026 PST, Saturday, September 05, 2009

BARA: Security forces destroyed headquarter of outlawed outfit Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) in Khyber Agency.According to Khasadar forces sources, security forces helicopters pounded LeI headquarter in Tirah valley in Khyber Agency. The headquarter has been destroyed completely in the shelling. Other hideouts of militants also targeted during action. However, no causality was reported. link..

Two mln sugar bags recovered from Punjab mills

Two mln sugar bags recovered from Punjab mills LAHORE: Crackdown against sugar hoarders has been kicked off across Punjab following Lahore High Court (LHC) ruling, setting per kilogram sugar price at Rs40 as administration deployed heavy police contingents on sugar mills on the directives of Punjab government and seized two million bags of sugar.

Provincial government has commenced raids on sugar mills across Punjab province in order to comply with LHC verdict, sources said.

According to sources, hundreds of thousands of maund sugar has been seized from the godowns of five sugar mills in Rahim Yar Khan, 2 mills in Kot Addu, Sadiqabad and Nankana Sahib each whereas one sugar mill in Bhawalpur, Bhawalnagar, Rajanpur, Pattuki and Mandi Bahauddin each.

DCO Rajanpur said 2,92,780 sugar pouches have been seized from Rajanpur sugar mills and police have been deployed whereas DDO Revenue Kotaddu said more than 400,000 sugar bags recovered from two sugar mills in tehsil.

Similarly, 2,91,305 sugar pouches from Phalia Sugar Mill and 3,50,000 sugar sacks stocked in Patoki sugar mill have been taken into custody following police raid on stockroom.

Police troops have been deployed on most of sugar mills throughout Punjab to stop sugar hoarding, provincial sources concluded. link...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Guatemala Considers Legalizing Community Radio

WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (OneWorld.net) - After a protracted pressure campaign led by some of the country's most marginalized groups, the Guatemalan legislature is considering a bill to protect community radio stations, which are often the only local-language source of information but have been raided and closed in regions where indigenous people are resisting infringements on their rights.Some 1,000 community radio volunteers from all over Guatemala and their supporters traveled to Guatemala City by bus and by truck for the occasion of the bill's introduction into Congress. © Cultural Survival, Inc. link..

Aid Worker Killings Spiking

WASHINGTON, Aug 19 (OneWorld.net) - The people who spend their days and nights handing out food, treating the sick, counseling traumatized refugees, and educating at-risk children are facing greater personal risks than ever before.

Pakistani aid worker Zill-e Usman was shot dead at a camp in northwest Pakistan. He is the third United Nations refugee agency staff member to be killed in the country in the last six months. © UN News CenterPakistani aid worker Zill-e Usman was shot dead at a camp in northwest Pakistan. He is the third United Nations refugee agency staff member to be killed in the country in the last six months. © UN News CenterWhat's the Story?

Some 260 aid workers were killed, kidnapped, or seriously injured during the past year, the highest yearly toll ever recorded.

"Our ability to assist those who need it most is being severely tested....The nature of conflict is changing, with a multiplicity of armed groups -- some of whom view humanitarians as legitimate targets," wrote António Guterres, head of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in a statement marking World Humanitarian Day, being celebrated for the first time today.

Over the last decade, 700 humanitarian workers have lost their lives. But the frequency of attacks has increased dramatically over the past few years -- the number of attacks during only the past three years was triple the level of the previous nine years.

Today, Aug. 19, commemorates the day in 2003 when the UN office in Baghdad was bombed, killing 22 people including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top UN envoy for Iraq. Increasing violence against humanitarian workers is causing many groups to rethink the level of risk to which staff is exposed -- a factor that could limit vital aid to people in conflict zones.

Just yesterday, two more UN staff died during a suicide bombing in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. And at least 95 people were killed and over 500 wounded in attacks across Baghdad today -- the bloodiest day in the city all year.

"World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity both to remember those who have been killed or injured and to honor those continuing to carry out their humanitarian work despite the danger, link...

Gunman Attacks Women's Village in Kenya

WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (OneWorld.net) - A gunman attacked a women's village Tuesday in northern Kenya, threatening and chasing women from their homes, an advocacy group reported. The police have yet to take any action to stop the man, the former husband of the village's founder.

Women living in Umoja Uaso, an all-female village in Kenya. © The Advocacy ProjectWomen living in Umoja Uaso, an all-female village in Kenya. © The Advocacy ProjectWhat's the Story?

The gunman, Fabiano David Lolosoli, allegedly came to the village looking for his former wife. Rebecca Lolosoli founded the village of Umoja Uaso in 1990 as a refuge for Samburu women abused by their husbands. Witnesses say he was threatening to kill her, but she was not at home.

When Ms. Lolosoli founded the village, the deed for the land was in the name of Umoja Uaso. Her ex-husband, a highly connected local businessman, has since succeeded in having the deed changed into Ms. Lolosoli's name, so he now stands a better chance of inheriting the land.

The 48 women living in Umoja Uaso have fled the village, and sources say Mr. Lolosoli is still lurking in the area with his gun. Groups like the Advocacy Project, which supports women's organizations in the region and worldwide, are urging police to protect the women there from further violence, but authorities have yet to take any action.

Sources close to the Advocacy Project say local officials told Ms. Lolosoli that the attack is considered a domestic issue and police would not intervene.

Until now, the village has been a peaceful haven for abused women. The women work together to raise livestock and support themselves by selling hand-made, beaded jewelry. [See the full story from The Advocacy Project below.]

Women's Rights Limited in Kenya

The reaction of Rebecca Lolosoli's former husband is not unusual in Kenya, where sexist attitudes are widespread. In 2002 Human Rights Watch conductedinterviews of Kenyan men, who typically said women were "untrustworthy, incapable of handling property, and in need of male protection."

Patriarchal customs in the country dictate that men inherit and control land, leaving women with very few property rights. In Kenya, a woman's access to property usually hinges on her relationship to a man. This helps explain Mr. Lolosoli's threatening reaction to his ex-wife and the village she founded -- the traditional view is that women do not deserve to own or manage land.

Even though Kenya's constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, this protection is widely undermined by local customs. The government and local leaders often ignore women's property claims, saying they do not want to interfere with culture.

Women seeking to assert their rights are often ignored, and may be beaten, raped, or ostracized from society. "A woman is nothing in our community," said Ms. Lolosoli.

Denying women the right to own land is hindering Kenya's development. International organizations have identified women's insecure property rights as contributing to low agricultural production, food shortages, underemployment, and poverty.

Fighting for Change in Kenya

The Umoja Uaso women's group is a pioneering village helping to fight the many inequalities faced by women in Kenya. Besides limited property rights, women are plagued by sexual harassment, forced marriage, genital mutilation, and rape.

"You aren't able to answer men or speak in front of them whether you are right or wrong," said Ms. Lolosoli. "That has to change. Women have to demand rights, and then respect will come. But if you remain silent, no one thinks you have anything to say. Then again, I was not popular for what I was saying."

Many residents of the all-female village said they had been raped and, as a result, abandoned by their husbands. Umoja Uaso was founded as a refuge for these ostracized women -- Umoja means unity in Swahili. What started as a group of homeless women has now become a successful and happy village. The women also run a cultural center and camp site for tourists visiting the nearby Samburu National Reserve.

The village has attracted attention, locally and internationally. In 2005, Ms. Lolosoli was invited by the United Nations to attend a conference on gender empowerment in New York City. She told the Washington Post that local men threatened to kill her just before her trip to the United States. link..