Monday, February 7, 2011

Pakistan board says bans "regrettable"

KARACHI — The head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday said lengthy bans given to three Pakistani players for spot-fixing were "regrettable" but promised to help them in their rehabilitation.

An International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal on Saturday banned former Pakistan captain Salman Butt for ten years, Mohammad Asif for seven years and Mohammad Aamer for five years after a hearing in Doha.

The charges against them related to alleged incidents during the Test against England at Lord's last year, when Britain's News of the World newspaper claimed the players were willing to deliberately bowl no-balls.

The newspaper alleged the three had colluded in a spot-fixing betting scam organised by British-based agent Mazhar Majeed.

"PCB terms the verdict against the three players as regrettable and a sad reality which must be faced," PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said in a statement.

Butt said the PCB had "full confidence" in the investigation and tribunal, but admitted the spot-fixing episode had been a gruelling time for Pakistani cricket.

"The time since August last year, when the spot-fixing case came to light, has been an extremely painful one for Pakistan cricket. I now hope that this unfortunate saga is put to rest and we can concentrate on cricket," Butt said.

"We will continue to work with ICC on this sensitive matter in future also. We will also see how we can help the three players with their education and rehabilitation programme."

Butt said the PCB was determined to root out corruption, which has dogged cricket in Pakistan in the past.

"The PCB is determined to ensure the threat of corruption is dealt with severely and will do everything in its power to ensure the integrity of cricket is protected," he said.

"Like all my colleagues in the ICC, I am determined to maintain the integrity of our sport. This is fundamental."

Since the spot-fixing scandal, the PCB has taken important steps, including the introduction of a corruption code in domestic cricket, he said.

The PCB had formed an integrity committee to check players and held lectures to create awareness against corruption and these steps were praised by the ICC, Butt said.

On Friday British prosecutors charged the three players as well as Majeed with corruption offences and summoned them to appear in a London court on March 17.

Salman and Aamer have indicated they wish to appeal against the ICC tribunal's verdict, but Asif till now has given no reaction.

The players have 21 days to appeal against the sanctions at the Court of Arbitration for Sports, based in Switzerland.

An untethered Iphone jailbreak is out for Windows and MacIF YOU FANCY escaping from Apple's walled garden, Greenpoison has the answer with an untether

IF YOU FANCY escaping from Apple's walled garden, Greenpoison has the answer with an untethered jailbreak hack for Mac and Windows.

Working for IOS 4.2.1, the current version of the operating system used on Apple's Ipad, Iphone and Ipod touch devices, this jailbreak is different from ones we've seen before. Previously, every time you rebooted your device you would have to connect it to your computer to start using it again.

This was quite an issue if you weren't near a PC, as your Iphone would basically be dead once the battery ran out. But the latest versions of the jailbreak released this weekend for Mac and Windows, but not yet for Linux, have got over this problem.

Whenever criticism of IOS devices comes up, the fact the company closes it off is a stick used to bash it repeatedly. But jailbreaking now is perfectly legal, even if Steve Jobs would give you the evil eye for doing it.

There are perfectly valid reasons for doing it. There might be apps you can't buy in the App Store, or maybe you want to give your older device a bit of extra functionality and pep.

As with all tools like this, you jailbreak it at your own risk and you could void the warranty. It might not even work. But in the majority of cases, just like with Android devices, putting the device back in its original state is usually easy to do. µ

Fire injures 27 in Lahore

LAHORE, Pakistan — A fire blazed in several buildings and injured at least 27 people on Monday in a commercial area of Pakistan's eastern cultural hub Lahore, officials said.

"The fire started early Monday at the 10-story Bahria Centre commercial building in old Lahore city, and the flames spread to three other buildings, one mosque and two houses," rescue services chief Rizwan Naseer told AFP.

Local administration head Ahad Cheema said that at least 27 people were hurt.

"At least 27 people were wounded in the fire incident. We have asked Islamabad to send us a helicopter to extinguish the fire," Cheema said.

Naseer said that the narrow lanes of old Lahore -- known as the "walled city" -- hampered rescue efforts as fire engines could not enter and the hoses were not long enough to reach the multi-storey building in the congested neighbourhood.

Officials said that they were estimating the losses caused by the massive fire, which took place in an area famous for wholesale businesses.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pak, India foreign secretaries to meet in Bhutan

Updated at: 1426 PST, Sunday, February 06, 2011
Pak, India foreign secretaries to meet in Bhutan NEW DELHI: The top diplomats of India and Pakistan are due to meet Sunday in Bhutan in the first high-level meeting between the two countries since July.

Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir were to hold talks on the sidelines of a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting in Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital.

India suspended a peace dialogue with Pakistan in the wake of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, which claimed 166 lives, but the two countries last year began to explore a resumption of structured talks.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held a meeting with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna in Islamabad in July.

"Dialogue between India and Pakistan is necessary and a must if we are to satisfactorily resolve the outstanding issues between our two countries," Rao was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.

"We have a number of outstanding issues. So we are going into this with an open mind and constructive attitude."

PTI quoted Bashir as saying that the talks on Sunday would focus on making progress towards another meeting between the countries' foreign ministers.

"My expectations are that we should be working towards continued engagement," he said.

Egypt's Brotherhood to enter crisis talks

Egypt's most influential opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, says it will enter talks with officials on ending the country's political crisis.

The group said Sunday's talks would assess how far the government was ready to "accept the demands of the people".

The negotiations would be the first ever to be held between the government and the officially banned Brotherhood.

Meanwhile many banks are opening for the first time in a week, amid fears of panic withdrawalsDivided?

President Hosni Mubarak has rejected protesters' demands that he quit now, as he says it would cause chaos.

But Mr Mubarak - who has been in office since 1981 and has tolerated little dissent - has said he will not stand in elections due in September.

Huge crowds have been on the streets of Cairo and other cities in the past two weeks demanding his immediate resignation and calling for democratic reforms......