UAE court jails seven for Hezbollah links

ABU DHABI: A top Emirati court on Monday sentenced seven people to up to life in prison after convicting them of forming a cell linked to Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, state media said.

One Emirati national and two Lebanese men were given life sentences, while an Iraqi and another Lebanese man were jailed 15 years each, according to state news agency WAM.

An Egyptian woman and another Emirati man were each jailed for 10 years, it said.

The charges included “passing classified information about a governmental department to Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist (group) and for the benefit of a foreign country,” WAM said.
The defendants were also accused of passing information about “oil production in one of the emirates as well as maps of oil and gas fields,” it said.

They were also charged with “forming and managing an international group belonging to the (Hezbollah) party without a license from the government,” it added.

The trial at the state security court was attended by some of the defendants’ family members, as well as lawyers and representatives of local media, WAM said. Foreign press are not usually given access to state security trials.

The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council in March declared Hezbollah a “terrorist” group over the movement’s backing for the Syrian regime.


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Bilawal demands from PM to immediately pass Panama Bill

KARACHI: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday said the country could no more be run without accountability. Hence, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should right away pass Panama Bill, ARY News reported.

“Nawaz Sharif should tell if democracy and peace is desired. Everybody is watching what is going on in Islamabad,” he said while talking to media after participating in Diwali events at Shiv Mandir in Clifton.

“I repeat it. Accept our four demands,” he said.

The PPP chairman said he came to meet Hindu community, who have announced to celebrate Diwali with simplicity following Quetta police training center attack.

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Hafeez dropped from New Zealand Tests

LAHORE: Pakistan Monday left out experienced but out-of-form opener Mohammad Hafeez from the 16-man squad for the two-match Test series in New Zealand next month.

The 36-year-old had a wretched time on the team’s England tour this summer, scraping together 102 runs in three Tests before being axed for the final match.

He also failed in the three-day side game against West Indies in Sharjah earlier this month, falling for zero and nine which also kept him out of the ongoing three-match series against the same opponents.

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq told AFP Hafeez must clear his bowling action.

“Hafeez will be going for his bowling action tests soon and once he is cleared he will definitely be considered,” said Inzamam of the 50-Test veteran.

Hafeez’s bowling action was reported in November 2014 for the first time and again in June 2015, leading to a 12-month ban from bowling at international level.

His place went to 27-year-old left-hander Sharjeel Khan, who has played 20 one-day internationals and 15 Twenty20s but has yet to experience the five-day format.

“Sharjeel has been playing well in limited overs cricket so we have given him a chance as an attacking option,” said Inzamam.

The squad has five fast bowlers in Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali and Imran Khan with Yasir Shah and Mohammad Nawaz as two spinners.

Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar, playing in the ongoing third Test against West Indies in Sharjah, failed to land a place in the New Zealand trip.

“We took into account the conditions in New Zealand and then selected the squad and it’s a balanced mix of youth and experience,” said Inzamam.

Misbah-ul-Haq will skipper the Test team.

The first Test starts in Christchurch from November 17 followed by the second in Hamilton from November 25.

After New Zealand Pakistan fly to Australia, where they play three Tests and five one-day internationals. Squads for these will be announced later.

Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan.

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Maryam Aurengzeb appointed new information, broadcast minister

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appointed Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Maryam Aurengzeb on the seat of information and broadcast minister after Pervaiz Rasheed was sacked over ‘failing to stop’ the controversial news being termed as national security breach.

The parliamentarian Maryam Orangzaib will take oath for the ministry at President House on Tuesday. The oath taking ceremony will be administered by President Mamnoon Hussain.

Maryam is elected member of National Assembly on specified seat for women. Earlier, she has been a member of Standing Committee of NA on Information and Broadcast.

Daughter of the prime minister, Mayram Nawaz Sharif has congratulated the minister and wished her success.

“Congratulations to the new MOS MOIB Maryam Aurengzeb, one of our most dynamic and diligent team members. May The Almighty bless you with success,” she wrote on her Twitter account.

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Imran asks supporters to rescue CM KP from Punjab police

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has asked his supporters to rescue Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak from Punjab police.

“(I) want all PTI workers and democratic people of KP to go to Haroonabad bridge and support brave CM and his entourage being shelled by Punjab police,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

The PTI chief expressed pity how the Punjab government is treating CM KP. He called it violation of the constitution to stop an elected representative of people from travelling.

“CM KP and his entourage being prevented violently from exercising their democratic right to travel to Bani Gala,” he said.

Read More: Police fire tear gas shells at PTI’s convoy near Attock

Imran Khan said: “It was a shameful act how KP CM was under attack by the Punjab govt. The constitution is being violated shamelessly by the federal and Punjab governments.”

He was impressed by the way Khattak and PTI supporters were dealing pacifically with all the situation.

“Despite shelling by Punjab police, PTI workers and CM KP not using violence or KP police to show their commitment to peaceful protest,” he said.





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Afghan elders killed in suicide attack on meeting

JALALABAD: A suicide bomber killed at least four people and wounded seven at a meeting of tribal elders on Monday in the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghan officials said, blaming Islamic State militants for the attack.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar, the main stronghold of Islamic State in Afghanistan, said the meeting of elders had been called to settle a dispute when the bomber struck.


“Elders from Pachiragam district had gathered in Jalalabad city at a house to resolve their internal disputes and make a front against Daesh but a suicide bomber disrupted the meeting, killed and wounded several people including elders,” he said, referring to Islamic State.

According to Malek Ghyas, an elder who was wounded in the attack, the bomber first opened fire and then detonated his explosives, causing many casualties.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.


Councils of tribal elders are a fundamental means of managing affairs in many parts of Afghanistan where government control is weak but they have been targeted by Islamic State as it seeks to establish its own authority in eastern Afghanistan.

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Police fire tear gas shells at PTI’s convoy near Attock

ISLAMABAD: Police on Monday resort to fire tear-gas shells at hundreds of PTI workers and supporters as they tried to cross the Haroonabad Bridge in a bid enter Punjab from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  

A huge crowd of PTI protesters from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa led by provincial Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has also left Peshawar to reach Islamabad anytime today.

In a bid to welcome them, police had taken their positions on the Haroonabad Bridge.

A huge contingent of Frontier Constabulary (FC) and police has taken positions around Islamabad with prison vans.

Massive crackdown against the leaders, workers and supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has been underway in the federal capital and Punjab, after party chairman Imran Khan asked them to reach Bani Gala by Monday.

Fearing the government would take an extreme step before November 2, Khan has informed his party members to escape captures and arrests and prepare for the grand protest.

However, the government launched an overnight crackdown against PTI party workers across the Punjab and arrested hundreds of its members by late on Sunday.

“Under which law the PTI workers are being arrested,” Khan asked the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government on Monday.


Arif Alvi, Imran Ismail released after detention

On the orders of the interior ministry, PTI leader sArif Alvi and Imran Ismail have been released who were arrested by police despite an Islamabad High Court (IHC) order that bars the government from arresting the protesting parties’ members.

The PTI leaders wanted to enter Bani Gala, the residence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, in a bid to join a party meeting when the police did not allow them to enter the premises.

After police refused them an entry into Bani Gala, the PTI leaders staged a sit-in as a protest after which they were arrested.

Television footages showed police officials forcibly pushing the two leaders in a van before whisking them away in a van.

Imran Ismail tweeted saying the two PTI leaders were taken to the Secretariat police station.


Crackdown against opposition

Crackdown around Bani Gala continued throughout the day on Monday where several PTI workers including women were taken into custody by police officials.

On Monday, two women activists of PTI were shown being dragged into a police van by women police officials as they tried to reach Bani Gala by walking across steep and inhospitable terrains after they were denied entry from the main entrance.

Only in Punjab on Sunday, police have arrested dozens of PTI workers and supporters from various areas of the walled city.

According to sources raids were conducted by police in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad and Sargodha including other regions in a bid to stop local party representation and workers to reach Islamabad on the call of Khan ahead of a mass protest in the capital.

Besides PTI activists, members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q) were also arrested for supporting PTI’s November protest.

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Centre asks KP to stop ‘movement of mobs’ towards Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Ministry has asked the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take effective measures to stop any movement of organized or armed mobs towards Islamabad, ARY News reported.

Federal Interior Secretary in a letter written to Chief Secretary of KP asking the provincial government to take necessary steps to prevent unlawful congregations within the limits of the province.

The letter citing various intelligence reports said that a selected group of people want to march on to Islamabad on Wednesday from KPK with a declared intention of paralyzing the city and holding the people and government institutions hostage in the capital city.

The letter also said that certain ministers of the province and members of the KPK Assembly intend to lead some of these processions along with their official and personal armed body guards. If it happens it will be a grave violation of law and complete breach of public order since no permission has been given for such processions or protests, the letter said.

The interior ministry letter warned that not discharging the responsibility shall amount to a violation of the constitutional obligation on the part of the government of the province, for which it will be responsible.

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World acknowledging Pakistan’s economic progress, says Dar

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar has said that the whole world is acknowledging Pakistan’s economic development, ARY News reported.

Addressing Cotton Advisory Council on Monday, Dar said that the growth rate has increased due to improvement in the agricultural sector of the country.

He also said Pakistan’s economic development is being lauded on international level.

The finance minister, in his message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said that the cotton and textile sector of Pakistan is of key importance.

He added that Pakistan will be an attractive destination for investment and trade due to China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Dar stated that the federal government is working hard to make Pakistan a protective country for international trade.

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12th May case: Akhtar pleads court to include Musharraf, others in probe

KARACHI: Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar has filed a petition to include former president Pervez Musharraf, then prime minister Shaukat Aziz and chief minister of Sindh Arbab Ghulam Raheem in the investigation of the May 12th violence in Karachi, ARY News reported.

Four cases regarding 12th May, 2007 violent incidents in Karachi were heard in an Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday.

Akhtar said that Musharraf and other top functionaries of then government are also responsible for the violence. He pleaded to the court to include them in the probe as well.

The plea said that the officials were present in the meetings, in which the security plans for the visit of the ex-chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry were being hammered out.

“I have been released on bail in three other cases. I plead to the court to grant me bail in this case also,” Akhtar said.

The prosecution, in its arguments, said that violence erupted in Karachi on the incitement of the existing Karachi mayor and they have the statement of an eye-witness Ilyas in this regard.

The court, after listening to the arguments of defence and prosecution, reserved its verdict over the petition of the mayor.

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Defying IHC’s order, police arrest PTI’s Arif Alvi and Imran Ismail

ISLAMABAD: Police in the federal capital on Monday arrested Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Arif Alvi and Imran Ismail despite a court order that bars the government from arresting the protesting parties’ members.

The PTI leaders wanted to enter Bani Gala, the residence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan when the police took the two leaders in their custody.

Television footages showed police officials forcibly pushing the two leaders in a van before whisking them away in a van.

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ECP to hear Imran Khan’s disqualification reference on November 2

ISLAMABAD: As the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) gears up to hold a mass protest in the capital on November 2, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said it would hear a reference against Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, seeking his disqualification on the same date.

The reference filed by Talal Chaudhry of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and six other members of the National Assembly sought disqualification of Imran Khan as MNA under clause (2) of article-63 of the 1973 constitution of Pakistan.

The ECP had already served a notice to Khan for appearing before the commission in person or through his counsel on November 2 at 10 am at its secretariat in Islamabad in connection with the references.

Chairman PTI is also due to lead a mass protest and sit-in in Islamabad on November 2 over the infamous Panamagate Scandal.

Names of several Pakistanis including Nawaz Sharif’s children Maryam, Hussain, and Hasan surfaced in one of the world’s biggest ever data leaks through an online searchable database made public by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in April 2016, following which the prime minister had formed an inquiry commission to probe his family’s alleged links to offshore accounts.

Unfortunately, the federal government and the opposition could not agree on drafting joint terms of reference (ToR) for the, which would probe Panama Papers Leaks.

Later, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) failed to conduct investigations into the case.

Khan has announced to go for a street agitation next month, demanding Nawaz Sharif to step down as premier.

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Cibulkova storms to first WTA Finals title triumph

SINGAPORE: Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, who pulled off a stunning upset over world number one Angelique Kerber to scoop the WTA finals Sunday, credited her mental strength for her winning performance.

Runner-up at the 2014 Australian Open, the former seventh seed denied Kerber a chance to end a remarkable year on a high, defeating her in a nail-biting 6-3, 6-4 final in Singapore that lasted 76 minutes.


“It’s a big thing now in my tennis that I work with a mental coach. I’ve worked with him for one and a half years.

“This is something very important for me, because as you can see, on the court I put a lot of emotions, and emotions just affect me,” she told reporters after her win.

Cibulkova turned the tables on Germany’s Kerber a week after losing to her in the first of three round-robin stage matches.

“This is a big moment for me. It’s the biggest moment in my career,” Cibulkova said at the presentation.

“It’s hard to describe in words (how I feel). I have to congratulate Angelique Kerber, you are an inspiration for me to play hard this year. With hard work, everything is possible.”

Kerber went into the final as the overwhelming favourite to win after taking this year’s Australian Open and US Open titles but the 28-year-old was powerless to stop her diminutive opponent, whose shock win capped an inspired return to the game’s elite that saw her named as this season’s WTA Comeback Player of the Year.

Cibulkova only just snuck into the WTA Finals, restricted to the world’s top eight players, when she won this month’s Linz Open in Austria but was facing an early exit from Singapore after losing her first two matches.

Bouncing back

She only qualified for the semi-finals on a countback when Kerber did her a huge favour by beating American Madison Keys in straight sets, and Cibulkova herself and fought back from a set down to win against Svetlana Kuznetsova.

For her win over Kerber, Cibulkova was presented with the Billie Jean King trophy by tennis legend Monica Seles and a cheque for $2.05 million.

Kerber on the other hand was left wondering what went wrong at the end of a stellar year.

Oozing with self-belief after making the quantum leap from another promising player to the woman who dislodged Serena Williams at the top of the world rankings, Kerber had done everything right this week, giving up just set one in the four matches she played en route to the final.

The left-hander had won each of her last five matches with Cibulkova, but did not bank on her playing the match of her life, hitting winners from every part of the court, eliciting huge roars and gasps from the crowd.

“It was a tough year with a lot of matches, so I give everything on court today, the rest (of the) energy I had left,” Kerber told reporters.

“Of course when I’m looking back it’s one of my best years… I will just think about the best moments and the positive emotions.”

There were some anxious moments too for Cibulkova at the end.

She squandered three golden opportunities as her nerves started to fray, but regained her composure and was rewarded for her aggressive approach with a slice of luck, hitting a ferocious forehand that clipped the tape and landed on the other side of the net just as she fell to the court in disbelief at her achievement.

Russia’s Olympic gold medallists Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won the doubles final, beating US Open winners Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova 7-5 (7-5) 6-3.

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Confident Khan demonstrates fitness by performing pushups

ISLAMABAD: PTI Chief Imran Khan on Monday demonstrated his fitness by performing pushups alongside other PTI workers and supporters at his residence in Bani Gala.

Grinning from ear to ear and dressed in an all-black tracksuit, the confident PTI chairman ahead of a mass protest against the government counted the pushups and claimed, “I am still not tired.”

A huge group of PTI activists kept cheering and clapping during the pushups.

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Sharjah Test: West Indies’ top order crumbles before lunch

SHARJAH: West Indies lost three wickets before lunch as the side were 38/3 against Pakistan on the second day of the Sharjah test match, ARY News reported.

Earlier, Pakistan were dismissed after scoring 281 runs in their first innings. They had started the second day’s play 255/8 with Yasir Shah and Mohammad Amir on the crease.

The hosts lost their ninth wicket at the score of 280 as Mohammad Amir was bowled by Alzarri Joseph. He made 20 runs for the team.

West Indies wrapped up Pakistan’s innings as Shah was cleaned up by Joseph after contributing 12 runs with the blade.

Pakistan got their first breakthrough at the score of six runs as Wahab Riaz dismissed Leon Johnson, who was trapped leg before after making one run for the team.

The Caribbean side was reduced to 32/2 as Darren Bravo was caught by Mohammad Amir from the bowling of spinner Zulfiqar Babar.

West Indies lost their third wicket with 38 runs on the board as Marlon Samuels was out lbw from Yasir Shah’s bowling after scoring a duck.

West Indies trail by 243 runs with 7 wickets remaining.

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Let us enter Islamabad, we do not want run-in with govt, clarifies Khattak

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak said on Monday that the government was distancing his province from the capital by blocking roads, an act certainly against the principles of democracy.

Meanwhile, security arrangements along the Peshawar Motorway and Grand Trunk Road have been ramped up today in anticipation of a group of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) protesters marching from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Islamabad on Monday.

Speaking to ARY News in Swabi before leaving for the capital along with PTI members and supporters, Khattak said people of Pakistan were given an opportunity to get on to the roads for their rights and warned that if anyone tried to harm any PTI activist, he would take the federal government to the court.

“Why the government was creating hurdles for us?,” the provincial chief minister asked the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in the centre.

He clarified and warned that PTI was not willing to engage in a dispute with the government but if they tried to stop us, they would see a strong reaction.

Addressing a huge gathering of PTI supporters in Manki Sharif on Sunday, Khattak said the Islamabad and Punjab police could not stop the ‘tsunami’ of PTI workers from marching on the federal capital on Monday from KPK.

He had also threatened to stop Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from entering KPK to address public meetings if his cavalcade was barred from entering Punjab for the PTI’s protest planned for November 2.

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‘Boo! A Madea Halloween’ scares off ‘Inferno’ at North American box office

LOS ANGELES: Boo! A Madea Halloween” — the latest installment in Tyler Perry’s Madea comedy franchise — beat out “Inferno” to top the North American box office for a second weekend, industry estimates showed Sunday.

Lionsgate’s “Boo!” — in which Perry reprises his role as a tough-talking matriarch — took in $16.7 million for a total of $52 million, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

“Inferno,” the third installment of Sony’s “Da Vinci Code” franchise, directed by Ron Howard, fizzled during its debut weekend to take second place with $15 million.

Based on Dan Brown’s bestselling book series, the film stars Felicity Jones and Tom Hanks, who returns to the lead role of Harvard professor Robert Langdon, this time seeking to stop an evil billionaire from killing off the world’s population by releasing a deadly virus.

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” slipped a spot from last week to take third place with $9.6 million. The sequel to the 2012 film “Jack Reacher” stars Tom Cruise as a former Army soldier now going it alone, based on the book series by British author Lee Child.

The financial thriller “The Accountant,” starring Ben Affleck, held on to its number-four spot from last week with $8.5 million.

The film follows an autistic mathematics savant who capitalizes on his fondness for numbers by becoming an undercover forensic accountant for criminal organizations.

Horror sequel “Ouija: Origin of Evil” — about home seances gone wrong — dropped two spots to take fifth place during its second weekend with $7.1 million.

Rounding out the top 10 films were:

“The Girl on the Train” ($4.3 million)

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” ($4 million)

“Keeping Up with the Joneses” ($3.4 million)

“Storks” ($2.8 million)

“Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” ($2.1 million)

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Asia stocks shaky as FBI review of Clinton emails rattles markets

SINGAPORE: Most Asian stocks struggled higher on Monday but investors were rattled by news that the FBI is planning to review more emails related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private server, just a week before the election.

European markets also looked set for a shaky start, with financial spreadbetter CMC Markets expecting Britain’s FTSE 100, France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX <.GDAXI to all open down 0.1 percent.

Federal investigators have secured a warrant to examine newly discovered emails, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Clinton had opened a recent lead over her unpredictable Republican rival Donald Trump in national polls, but it had been narrowing even before the email controversy resurfaced. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Sunday showed Clinton with a statistically insignificant 1-point national lead.

The Mexican peso, which strengthens along with the chances for a Clinton win, remained weak, while the U.S. dollar edged up against other major currencies.

“There seems little doubt that a Trump victory would trigger selling in stock markets from current levels,” Rick Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, wrote in a note.

“This has traders nervous as they start the week assimilating fresh news on Hillary Clinton’s email problems.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit a six-week low on Monday before recovering 0.3 percent. It is set to end the month down 1.6 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei, which touched a six-month high on Friday, closed 0.1 percent lower on Monday, but is up 5.9 percent in October.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid to a two-month low but revived to gain 0.2 percent, on track for a 1.35 percent loss in October. China’s Shanghai Composite index fell 0.1 percent, paring gains this month to 3.2 percent.

On Friday, Wall Street and the dollar closed lower, after Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey sent a letter to the U.S. Congress informing it that the agency is again reviewing emails related to the private server Clinton used when she was secretary of state.

Markets have tended to see Clinton as a candidate who will largely maintain the status quo, while there is greater uncertainty over what a victory for Trump might mean for U.S. foreign policy, international trade deals and the domestic economy.

Comey had decided in July that the FBI was not going to seek prosecution of Clinton for her handling of classified materials.


The dollar hit a three-week high against the Mexican peso on Friday before closing up 0.7 percent. It retreated 0.1 percent to 18.9322 peso on Monday.

A Trump victory has been viewed as a key risk for the Mexican currency given his promises to clamp down on immigration and redraw trade relations with the country.

The dollar was little changed at 104.76 yen on Monday, and remains up 3.3 percent for the month.

On Friday, it hit a three-month peak after third-quarter U.S. economic growth beat expectations, before ending the day down 0.4 percent on the news about the Clinton email investigation.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six global peers, added 0.1 percent to 93.43, shrinking Friday’s 0.6 percent loss. It is set to end October with a 3.1 percent gain.

The euro retreated 0.2 percent to $1.09655 after jumping 0.9 percent on Friday. It is poised to end October with a 2.5 percent loss.

Adding to the list of potential market-moving events this week is a raft of factory activity surveys on Tuesday for many economies; central bank policy meetings, including Japan and Australia on Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday and the Bank of England on Thursday; and U.S. October non-farm payrolls on Friday.

Oil prices extended their slide – driven by renewed oversupply concerns – and have surrendered most of the gains made in the first half of October. They are set to end the month with meager gains.

The latest oil woes came after non-OPEC producers failed to make any specific commitment to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in limiting output to support prices on Saturday.

U.S. crude slid 0.4 percent to $48.52 a barrel on Monday, but looked set to edge up 0.6 percent for the month, while global benchmark Brent also retreated 0.4 percent to $49.50, up 0.9 percent in October.

“There was a lot of talk and nobody managed to agree on anything. That has been pushing the market down,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA brokerage in Singapore.

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Eight inmates flee Indian jail after slashing guard’s throat

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Eight suspected members of a banned group escaped from a high-security prison in India on Monday after slitting the throat of a guard with steel plates, police said.

The inmates staged the breakout in the early hours after attacking the unarmed guard with sharpened steel plates before tying together bedsheets to scale up and down several walls in the jail in the city of Bhopal.

Most of the group, who are accused of being members of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), have been in custody awaiting trial for “terror-related activities” for the last three years, although two of them were only detained in February.

“Right now we are focussing on catching them. Investigations are on to know how did they manage to escape,” Yogesh Choudhary, Bhopal’s inspector general of police said.

Choudhary said the inmates were housed in the same cell and staged the break-out sometime between midnight and 2 am after overpowering the guard and slashing his throat with the prison-issue meal plates.

The break-out happened on the evening of Diwali, a major Hindu festival when revellers traditionally set off fireworks which can shroud the night skies in mist.

Police insisted that there had been no breakdown in security at the prison, which has a round the clock electronic surveillance system.

“The jail authorities are investigating. We have to wait and see if there was an insider hand,” Choudhary said.

Indian authorities have accused SIMI of carrying out several deadly bombings.

Police blamed the group for the serial bombing of Mumbai commuter trains in 2006 which killing 187 people, as well as bomb blasts in New Delhi.

The government banned the group in 2001 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington.

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Brad Hogg thought of committing suicide, reveals in book

SYDNEY: Former Australia Test spinner Brad Hogg has revealed in a new book that retirement and a marriage breakdown led him to contemplate ending his life.

After seven Tests and being a key part of Australia’s 2003 and 2007 winning World Cups, Hogg said he had no other option than to initially retire from all forms of cricket in 2007-08 in a bid to save his marriage to former wife Andrea.

In his autobiography, “The Wrong ‘Un”, released on Monday, he details the depths he plummeted to in the next three years when, with the marriage over, he turned to alcohol and was unable to find contentment in an office job.

“I parked my car at (Fremantle’s) Port Beach and went for a walk,” he writes.

“I’d stare at the sea and think, I could swim out to that groyne (stone or concrete structure), and if I make it back, fine. If I don’t make it back … well, hard luck.

“I was prepared to let fate decide. I was in a really dark place. I did that drive four times. And each time I thought about doing something really drastic.

“Thinking and doing are two completely different things, thankfully.”

He bounced back and Hogg, one of cricket’s fun-loving characters, was an ever-present in Australia’s one-day side in the latter stages of his international career, taking 156 wickets and averaging 20.25 with the bat in 123 one-dayers.

Last year he became the oldest player ever to feature in an Indian Premier League match at the age of 44 for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

The quirky left-arm spinner, now 45, is still playing for the Melbourne Renegades in this season’s Big Bash League.

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PTI’s Gandapur booked over posession of illegal arms, liquor

ISLAMABAD: Police has filed a First Information Report (FIR) against KP’s Revenue Minister Ali Amin Gandapur over having illegal weapons and liquor in possession, ARY News reported.

It should be noted that Gandapur’s car was stopped and searched at a check post at the Rukhsana Bangash road, when he was going to the residence of Imran Khan in Bani Gala.

Police searched the car and claimed to have recovered the weapons and ammunition from the vehicle.

The weapons were displayed at Bara Kahu police station of Islamabad, which included four Kalashnikovs, ammunition, tear-gas fire gun and bullet proof vests.

PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaking to ARY News claimed that the story was concocted and planted by the Islamabad Police to justify their action and the arrests of the PTI activists.

The case was filed at Bara Kahu Police Station by policeman named Younis. The provincial minister is booked over posessing illegal weapons and drugs. He is also accused of violating Section 144.

The FIR mentions that Gandapur escaped on foot after he was stopped by the law enforcement personnel near Rukhsana Bangash road.

It also states that weapons, bullet-proof jackets and alcohol bottles were recovered from his vehicle during the search.

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Sharjah Test: Pakistan dismissed for 281 in first innings

SHARJAH: Pakistan were all out after scoring 281 runs on the second day of the third test match against West Indies at Sharjah, ARY News reported on Monday.

Pakistan started the second day’s play at 255/8 with Yasir Shah and Mohammad Amir at the crease.

Sami Aslam was the top scorer for Pakistan in the first innings as he made 74 runs from 172 deliveries with seven fours and a six to his name.

Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq made 53 runs from 123 balls with the help of three boundaries and a maximum.

Younis Khan and Sarfraz Ahmed scored 51 runs each.

Mohammad Amir contributed 20 runs with the blade whereas Yasir Shah scored 12 runs with the bat for Pakistan.

Devendra Bishoo was the stand out bowler for West Indies as he took four wickets while Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph dismissed three and two Pakistani batsmen respectively.

Roston Chase also grabbed a wicket as well.

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Supreme Court stays execution of schizophrenic prisoner

ISLAMABAD: A Supreme Court bench on Monday stayed the execution of Imdad Ali, a schizophrenic prisoner convicted in 2002 for killing a cleric.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard the case.

The bench also issued notices to Advocate General Punjab, Prosecutor General Punjab and Attorney General, for their comments over the issue.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan in a recent decision had said that the state could proceed with the execution of paranoid schizophrenic patient, Imdad Ali.

Imdad Ali was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2012 that doctors said impaired his “rational thinking and decision-making capabilities”, and was declared clinically insane in a medical report the following year.

The judges in a recent verdict ruled that the execution can go ahead, after finding that schizophrenia of the convict is not a permanent condition and varies according to the level of stress.

Ali has been on death row since he was convicted in 2001 of murdering a religious scholar.

The wife of Imdad Ali had sought a stay order against his hanging scheduled for Nov 2 through an application filed before the Supreme Court.

Safia Bano, wife of Imdad Ali, had requested the court to hear her review petition by Oct 31 against the Sept 27 Supreme Court verdict confirming the death sentence.

These were the second black warrants issued for the execution of Imdad Ali. Earlier, the warrants were issued on July 26.

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Be prepare to fight opponents of accountability, Imran tells workers

Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has told his activists to prepare themselves to fight all those opposing the party’s accountability movement, ARY News reported.

Speaking to media on Monday, PTI chairman said that the law enforcement agencies are launching a crackdown against his party and arresting party workers from their homes.

“Under which law the PTI workers are being arrested,” Khan asked.

He asked Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) to take suo-moto notice of the arrest of PTI workers calling arrests as abduction.

He further said that the prevailing situation in the country is a trial for the judicial system as they are responsible to protect the democracy.

“I am ready to go to jail. I will again launch my protest on the streets when released,” Khan said.

Terming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a product of Martial Law, the PTI chairman said that he only knows how to plunder the country. “Whenever he is been asked to present himself for accountability, he whines about a threat to the country, CPEC and the national development” Imran said.

He alleged that Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif are be-fooling the nation for last 30 years.

“They want to destroy the state institutions and protect their corruption. They create theatrics and tell us to wait for general elections in 2018,” Khan said.

Imran Khan said that if this is democracy, then former army chief General (retd.) Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorial regime was much better.

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Smashing Taboos: Pakistan’s mother-daughter boxing duo

KARACHI: Slim, powerful, and with an unwavering gaze, 19-year-old Razia Banu jabs at the face of her opponent – her own mother, a widow inspired to join her daughter in smashing taboos in Pakistan’s sultry port city Karachi.

Mother and daughter are both dressed in loose athletic gear, with scarfs wrapped around their heads instead of helmets, as they punch one another in an exhibition bout at the Pak Shaheen Boxing Club in Lyari, Karachi’s most restive – and sporty – neighbourhood.


Banu was drawn into the ring last year, after watching the grand funeral of legendary boxer Mohammad Ali.

He was “my favourite personality”, she said after “losing” to her mother, pointing with a smile to a small framed poster hung on a pillar that read Ali’s famous “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”.

She went to her mother to seek permission to join the club, started just last year, the first for women in all of Pakistan.


Haleema Abdul Aziz worried about her daughter’s request. There were financial considerations – her husband had passed away five years back, and she was struggling to afford even school fees for her children.

And then there was Pakistani society. Deeply conservative, it has seen women fight for their rights for decades – and, sometimes, in a country where acid attacks and honour killings are still commonplace, their lives.

The violence weighs on Aziz.

“I believe that all the males become beasts when a woman goes out alone from her home,” the 35-year-old single mother says.


“But I did not disappoint her (Banu) because I wanted her to be successful in her life.”

Her husband was a good man who encouraged his daughter to take part in sports, she says. Yet Banu echoes her mother’s wariness when it comes to men and violence.

“Males think that they are strong so they could beat females and force them to be confined to the home,” she says.

“But I think that when you have strength you should provide safety to people instead of beating them.”

Her passion – and penchant for practising at home – soon inspired her mother also, who followed her daughter in joining the club.


Aiming for gold

Banu leaves home early every morning for her job as a receptionist in a school, before going on to college, where she studies commerce.

She reaches the boxing club in the evenings. There she drills: punching bags and balloons, skipping rope, then practise bouts with some of the other 20 young girls who make up the club.


The club is sparse, its facilities comprising the ring, three punching bags, and a boxing balloon in a corner. Money, says the club’s founder and coach, Yunus Qanbarani, is tight: few of the boxers can afford to even pay their fees.

“We don’t even have a proper changing room for the girls to put their kit on. We don’t even have the right rubber mounting on the ring ropes,” he says.


Then there is the social backlash. “At one point, some people plotted to attack the club to force me to close it down. But I am determined to carry on,” he says.

Qanbarani, who has been a boxing coach for 40 years, has sent his own two daughters and other women from his family to be trained at the club.

“I want our daughters to go to the international level and hoist the Pakistani flag in foreign lands,” he vows.

Pakistan’s boxing community agrees, with former boxers who competed internationally visiting the club regularly to offer encouragement.

“We don’t have a dearth of talent in Pakistan,” says Sher Mohammad, who took a bronze medal at the 1993 Asian Games. “We improvise and use alternatives to make up for our lack of resources.”

The support inspires Aziz and Banu to new heights. Aziz plans to become good enough to coach girls herself one day. Banu aims even higher.

“I wish to box in the Olympics – and not just participate, but to win the gold,” she says, her eyes sparkling.

“I will keep striving for my goals. The hard work does not go waste.”

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One in seven children suffer high air pollution – UNICEF

GENEVA: Almost one in seven children worldwide live in areas with high levels of outdoor air pollution, mostly in South Asia, and their growing bodies are most vulnerable to damage, the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said on Monday.

UNICEF called on almost 200 governments, which will meet in Morocco from Nov. 7-18 for talks on global warming, to restrict use of fossil fuels to give twin benefits of improved health and slower climate change.

About 300 million children, or almost one in seven worldwide, lived in areas where outdoor pollution was highest, defined by UNICEF as at least six times international guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), it said.

Of the total, 220 million lived in South Asia. It identified the regions with satellite imagery developed by NASA.

UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake said air pollution was a “major contributing factor in the deaths of around 600,000 children under five every year”, causing illnesses such as pneumonia.

“Pollutants don’t only harm children’s developing lungs – they can actually cross the blood-brain barrier and permanently damage their developing brains – and, thus, their futures,” he said in a statement.

“Air pollution affects poor children the most,” Nicholas Rees, a UNICEF specialist on climate and economic analysis who wrote the report, told Reuters.

Worldwide, the WHO estimates that outdoor air pollution killed 3.7 million people in 2012, including 127,000 children aged under five. Factories, power plants and vehicles using fossil fuels, dust and burning of waste were among sources.

Indoor air pollution, often caused by coal- or wood-burning cooking stoves used in homes in developing nations, killed even more people, 4.3 million, of whom 531,000 were aged under five, it said.

UNICEF called on the U.N.-led meeting in Morocco to hasten a shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energies such as wind or solar power, to improve children’s access to health care, limit children’s exposure to pollution and to step up monitoring of the air.

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FBI obtains warrant to examine Clinton emails – source

Hillary Clinton

WASHINGTON: Federal investigators have secured a warrant to examine newly discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton’s private server, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday, as a prominent Democrat accused FBI Director James Comey of breaking the law by trying to influence the election.

The warrant will allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to examine the emails to see if they are relevant to its probe of the private email server used for government work by Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

Comey came under heavy pressure from Democrats on Sunday to quickly provide details of the emails, as Clinton allies worried the prolonged controversy could extend beyond the Nov. 8 election and cast a shadow over a Clinton transition if she wins the White House.

Comey’s disclosure of the email discovery in a letter to Congress on Friday plunged the final days of the White House race between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump into turmoil. Clinton had opened a recent lead over Trump in national polls, but it had been narrowing even before the email controversy resurfaced.

The unexpected turn in the email controversy shook financial markets’ conviction of a Clinton victory in the election and the U.S. dollar slipped against major currencies in early Asian trading on Monday.

U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid sent a letter to Comey on Sunday suggesting he violated the Hatch Act, which bars the use of a federal government position to influence an election.

“Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law,” Reid, a senator from Nevada, said in the letter to Comey.

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook questioned Comey’s decision to send a letter notifying Congress of the email review before he even knew whether they were significant or relevant.

Comey’s letter was “long on innuendo, short on facts,” Podesta said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, and accused the FBI chief of breaking precedent by disclosing aspects of an investigation so close to the election.

“We are calling on Mr. Comey to come forward and explain what’s at issue here,” Podesta said, adding the significance of the emails was unclear.

“He might have taken the first step of actually having looked at them before he did this in the middle of a presidential campaign, so close to the voting,” Podesta said.

Comey’s letter was sent over the objections of Justice Department officials. But those officials did not try to stop the FBI from getting the warrant, a source familiar with the decision said, because they are interested in the FBI moving quickly on the probe.

Sources close to the investigation have said the latest emails were discovered as part of a separate probe of former Democratic U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Weiner is the target of an FBI investigation into illicit text messages he is alleged to have sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. The FBI already had a warrant to search Weiner’s laptop in that probe, but needed a warrant to look at the material that might be related to Clinton.


Sources familiar with the matter said FBI agents working on the Weiner investigation saw material on a laptop belonging to Weiner that led them to believe it might be relevant to the investigation of Clinton’s email practices.

Trump has highlighted the issue as proof for his argument that Clinton is corrupt and untrustworthy.

“We have one ultimate check on Hillary’s corruption and that is the power of the vote,” Trump told a rally in Las Vegas on Sunday. “The only way to beat the corruption is to show up and vote by the tens of millions.”

Comey, who announced in July that the FBI’s long investigation of Clinton’s emails was ending without any charges, said in his letter the agency would review the newly surfaced emails to determine their relevance to the investigation of her handling of classified information.

Richard Painter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and the chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, said he filed a complaint over Comey’s actions with the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations.

“We cannot allow F.B.I. or Justice Department officials to unnecessarily publicize pending investigations concerning candidates of either party while an election is underway. That is an abuse of power,” he said in a column in the New York Times.

But Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches at Columbia Law School, called the allegations that Comey improperly tried to influence the election “inane.”

“Comey’s critics cannot show his letter violated the Hatch Act unless they can prove that the FBI director was intending to influence the election rather than inform Congress, which was Comey’s stated aim,” said Richman, who said he had advised Comey on law enforcement policy but not this issue.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Sunday showed Clinton with a statistically insignificant 1-point national lead on Trump. About a third of likely voters in the poll said they were less likely to back Clinton given Comey’s disclosure.

Clinton, who told a Florida rally on Saturday that Comey’s letter was “deeply troubling,” did not address the issue directly on Sunday but referred vaguely to voters overcoming a “distraction.”

“There’s a lot of noise and distraction but it really comes down to the kind of future we want and who can get us there,” she told a packed gay nightclub in Wilton Manors, Florida, where hundreds of supporters who could not get in lined the streets outside.

“We don’t want a president who would appoint Supreme Court justices to overturn marriage equality,” she said.

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Saudi says foiled plot to bomb World Cup qualifier


RIYADH: Saudi authorities said Sunday they had foiled a plot to bomb a football stadium during a World Cup qualifying match and dismantled two “terrorist” cells linked to the Islamic State group.

The interior ministry said in a statement that four suspects from each cell had been arrested.

One of the cells had planned to park a bomb-laden vehicle outside Al-Jawhara stadium in the Red Sea city of Jeddah during an October 11 World Cup 2018 qualifying football match between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the ministry said.

The other group had been plotting attacks against security forces and its members had received orders from an IS leader in Syria, the ministry said.

Its alleged members were based in Shaqra, northwest of Riyadh, and are all Saudis, the ministry statement said, adding that the suspects had all confessed.

Six other Saudis were detained and were being questioned over alleged links to the cell, it said.

Since late 2014, IS has claimed a series of bombings and shootings against Shiites in the Sunni-majority kingdom, as well against security forces.

In another statement, the interior ministry published a list of nine suspects — eight Saudis and a Bahraini, wanted for their alleged involvement in “terrorist” acts in the eastern provinces of Qatif and Dammam, home to most of the kingdom’s Shiite minority population.

The suspects were allegedly involved in attacks against civilians and members of the security forces, the statement said.

It urged the suspects to surrender and offered financial rewards for those who could provide information leading to their arrests.

Eastern areas have seen repeated security incidents since 2011, when a wave of protests began among Shia demanding reform in the Sunni-majority kingdom.

IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called for attacks against Saudi Arabia, which belongs to the US-led coalition bombing the jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

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Turkey detains mayors on ‘terrorism’ links


DIYARBAKIR: A Turkish court has ordered the detention of the two mayors of Diyarbakir, the largest city in the predominantly Kurdish southeast of the country, accusing them of “terrorist” activities linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli, jointly elected in 2014, were Sunday accused of “belonging to an armed terrorist organisation” and providing “logistical support to an armed terrorist organisation”, according to a statement by the court in Diyarbakir.

Their detention comes five days after they were taken into police custody Tuesday evening, which sparked an outbreak of violence in the southeast.

Ayla Akat Ata, a former lawmaker from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which Kisanak and Anli belong to, was also detained Sunday night.

The moves come at a tense time, with multiple arrests and suspensions of local officials accused of links to the PKK and the closure of a dozen pro-Kurdish media ordered by official decree Saturday night.

Three policemen were seriously wounded Sunday night in a bomb attack against the offices of the ruling AKP party in Mardin province, which neighbours Diyarbakir, according to the Dogan news agency, which attributed the attack to the PKK.

Several hundred people held demonstrations Sunday to demand the release of the mayors in Diyarbakir and in Istanbul, where police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, an AFP journalist said.

Speaking to about 500 people gathered near the town hall in Diyarbakir on Sunday, Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), accused the authorities of holding the mayors “hostage”.

“All those who do not say ‘Erdogan is our sultan’ are declared ‘terrorists’,” said Demirtas, calling on “democratic forces” to mobilise.

“We will not retreat, whatever the cost,” he added.

Erdogan accuses the HDP and BDP of being linked to the PKK, which is listed as a terror group by Ankara, the European Union and the United States.

In September, 24 mayors in the southeast suspected of links to the PKK were suspended and replaced with officials close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by Erdogan, a move that triggered protests in several cities in the region.

In the same month, the government suspended 11,500 teachers suspected of links to the PKK.

Southeast Turkey has seen near daily attacks and clashes between the PKK and security forces since a fragile ceasefire collapsed in July last year.

More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 with the aim of creating an independent Kurdish state.

The group has since scaled back its demands to greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority, who make up a fifth of the population and form a majority in the southeast.

A soldier was killed on Sunday by members of the PKK, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

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Crackdown Begins: Punjab police arrest actor Kashif Mehmood, thousands others

LAHORE: Punjab police have arrested Ashiana actor and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporter Kashif Mehmood here on Sunday, ARY News reported.

Punjab police have started crackdown against PTI leaders and workers across province and arrested a large number of activists from different cities including Multan, Lahore and Faisalabad.

ARY News reporter Babar Khan said thousands of PTI workers have so far been arrested across the province.

Police have prepared category-wise lists of PTI leaders to be arrested.

The ruling government had last Sunday devised a policy to systematically counter PTI’s proposed sit-in on November 02.

Sources said lists of PTI leaders were divided into three categories – A, B and C.

“Category A includes names of central leadership and elected assembly members of PTI, category B includes names of district and divisional officials and category C includes names of mobilizers, facilitators, activists and financers other than chairmen and councilors,” they said.

Read More: Govt devises policy to systematically counter PTI sit-in


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Iceland PM quits after Pirates advance in vote

REYKJAVIK: Iceland was gearing up Sunday for tough horsetrading over its next government after the anti-establishment Pirate Party and its allies gained ground against the ruling centre-right in a vote triggered by the Panama Papers scandal.

Prime Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson announced his resignation after his centrist Progressive Party — which had been governing in a coalition with the conservative Independence Party — suffered a drubbing in Saturday’s vote.

Final figures from the election, called after Johannsson’s predecessor was forced out over revelations in the Panama Papers of a hidden offshore account worth millions, pointed to a deadlocked outcome.

The Independence and Progressive parties together won 29 seats in the 63-member parliament or Althingi, down nine from the outgoing assembly.

The Pirates and its three centre-left allies won 27 seats, reaping gains from a wave of popular anger with the establishment parties but falling short of a majority.

Johannsson, an unpopular figure over his perceived closeness to business, said he will remain in office until a new government is formed in the volcanic island nation.

President Gudni Johannesson is set to task Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson of the Independence Party, which won 21 seats, with trying to form a new government.


‘Open to compromise’ 

Pirate Party co-founder Birgitta Jonsdottir said she was “thrilled” after the movement created by anarchists, hackers and activists picked up 10 seats, more than tripling its representation.

“We will carry on no matter what’s going to happen in the next few days,” she told a news conference, saying her party is “open to compromise”.

The Left-Green Movement also picked up 10 seats, the Social Democrats three, and the centrist Bright Future Movement four. The centrist Regeneration Party, which won seven seats, could determine the fate of coalition talks but negotiations with the Independence Party could be tough.

The two parties fell out over holding a referendum on resuming the nation’s EU membership talks which were stalled by the incumbent government.

“We have not been negative towards other parties or how governments should be formed,” said Regeneration leader Benedikt Johannesson.

The election was triggered after the Panama Papers revealed in April that 600 Icelanders including bankers, business leaders and cabinet ministers, including the then premier, had holdings stashed away in offshore accounts.

The episode revived the seething public anger that erupted during the 2008 financial crisis, which wrecked Iceland’s banking industry and plunged the country into recession, prompting it to seek a humiliating IMF bailout.

“The Independence Party is being rewarded for its role in corruption,” one Pirate Party cofounder, Smari McCarthy, told RUV.


‘Like Robin Hood’

The Pirate Party has a five-point programme that includes holding a referendum on EU membership, constitutional change to make leaders more accountable, greater protection of natural resources and the closure of tax loopholes for large corporations.

“We are a platform for young people, for progressive people who shape and reshape our society,” said Jonsdottir.

“Like Robin Hood because Robin Hood was a pirate, we want to take the power from the powerful to give it to the people.”

Gretar Eytorsson, professor of political science at the University of Akureyri, said the Pirates did not gain a majority because not enough young people voted despite a near 80 percent overall turnout.

“What was suspected happened. The young voters did not show up,” he said.  “That was most likely the biggest reason for their loss… compared with the polls. But let’s not forget that they are a much bigger party now.”

Iceland, a volcanic island with a population of just over 330,000, has returned to prosperity since its 2008 financial meltdown.

Gross domestic product growth is expected to be above four percent this year thanks to tourism revenues and a recovering financial system.


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Murray wins Vienna title to close on No.1 spot

PARIS: Andy Murray continued his march towards the world number one slot by winning the Vienna Open on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Scot swept past Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) in the final to earn his seventh title of the year.

The Olympic and Wimbledon champion can take over the world number one ranking from Novak Djokovic if he wins next week’s Paris Masters and the Serb fails to reach the final.

He can also take over top spot if he reaches the final and Djokovic loses before the semis in the French capital.

Murray took his recent run to 15 straight victories in which he has picked up the China Open and Shanghai Masters titles as well.

He now has 42 career titles and second in Vienna after also winning in 2014.

He was in total command against Tsonga, breaking early in each set before his only blip allowed the Frenchman and sixth seed to break back and level at 4-4 in the second set.

It was a 14th defeat in 16 meetings with Murray for Tsonga, whose run to the final did at least keep alive his slim hopes of reaching the season ending World Tour Finals in London.


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Shahid Hayat admitted in Nairobi in critical condition

KARACHI: Former Director of the Federal Investigation Agency Sindh Shahid Hayat has reportedly fallen severely sick in Nairobi and has been admitted to a hospital in critical condition.

Hayat is currently present in the Kenyan capital on a private visit, where he reportedly suffered from a collapsed lung.  He was admitted to the Agha Khan University Hospital there and is placed in intensive care.

Family sources confirmed that Hayat is in a critical condition, and doctors have conducted several tests and will be operated upon soon. They also said that doctors have barred him from travelling back to the country.

Hayat has also been the former Additional Inspector General in Karachi until he was removed on the orders of the Supreme Court in 2014.

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Punjab, Islamabad police violating constitution, says Pervez Khattak

NOSHERA: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak on Sunday said police of Punjab and Islamabad were violating the constitution of Pakistan by arresting protesters, ARY News reported.

“I ask from Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan that under which law are police not allowing workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to hold protest? Our constitution gives right to protest and every kind of political activity,” he said while addressing a rally in Noshera.

He said shutting down Islamabad was their constitutional and democratic right and nobody could stop them from it. He also dared the government that nobody could harm Chairman PTI Imran Khan.


“We will leave tomorrow morning at 10:00am from Sawabi Interchange for Islamabad to get our leader released,” he said.

The CM KP reiterated that the country was being looted. The country was not founded for robbers. He would not rest till elimination of the ruling government, he said.


He expressed resolve that they would reach Bani Gala, residence of PTI chairman, by crossing all the barricades.

“We stand for an ambition today. We have to dethrone the government. Limbs of the government are already trembling,” he said.


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Who is in Hillary Clinton’s inner circle? Her allies and aides

WASHINGTON: After more than three decades at the heart of US public life, White House front-runner Hillary Clinton has acquired an impressive list of political friends and enemies.

But she also has a famously tight-knit inner circle of veteran allies and aides who will stick with her to the bitter end of the long presidential campaign and maybe even to the Oval Office itself.

Who are they?

The faithful 

Huma Abedin: The 40-year-old vice chair of the Clinton campaign has been by her side since 1996, when she joined the then-first lady’s staff as a White House intern. A true confidante, she is seen as almost a second daughter and was deputy chief of staff at the State Department under Clinton between 2009 and 2013.

Cheryl Mills: a lawyer by profession, 51-year-old Mills has been fighting in the legal and political trenches alongside Clinton since she was deputy White House counsel in President Bill Clinton’s scandal-prone era. She too transitioned to the State Department and remains close to Clinton.

John Podesta: Campaign chairman Podesta, 67, was Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and a senior advisor to President Barack Obama before signing on as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. His private email account was hacked but the messages published by WikiLeaks seem only to have confirmed his reputation as a consummate political operator.

Neera Tanden: The Center for American Progress think tank serves as a policy shop and waiting room for Democratic administrations, so its 46-year-old head Tanden is well-placed for her role headhunting talent for Clinton’s future White House as part of her official transition team.

The new guard

Jake Sullivan: When Clinton’s official email from her time as secretary of state was released following a freedom of information request, 39-year-old Sullivan’s name was at the heart of all the major internal debates. He took part in a secret diplomatic back channel to Iran while still working for Vice President Joe Biden. He’s now Clinton’s foreign policy brain and a hot tip to become her National Security Adviser.

Robby Mook: At 36, Mook is young to be Clinton’s campaign manager, but he was even younger when he lead her primary campaign in three states in 2008. That run ended in defeat, but Mook’s mastery of management and the political machine has seen him move into a key behind-the-scenes role.

Jennifer Palmieri: While she is another veteran of Clinton’s husband’s White House, 49-year-old Palmieri’s career really began to take off under President Barack Obama, whom she served as director of communications until last year, when she stepped down to help in the race to succeed him.

Brian Fallon: Clinton’s young spokesman has already worked in the same role for leading Democrats Senator Chuck Schumer and former attorney general Eric Holder.

The transition team

A “transition team” smooths the hand-over between an outgoing administration and the new one, hiring and vetting new senior staff outside the White House while shadowing the lame duck president’s team in their final weeks.

Some transition officials will find themselves in the new White House, others will return to their own careers or retirement once the newly elected chief executive is installed.

Ken Salazar: Clinton’s transition team chairman Salazar, 61, is a veteran of the halls of power: a former senator and interior secretary under Obama.

Salazar has four co-chairs, former national security adviser Tom Donilon — tipped by some for a top role in the new administration — and former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm. Tanden is on the team, as is Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager Maggie Williams.


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VIDEO: Official trailer of ‘3 Bahadur – The Revenge of Baba Balaam’ released

KARACHI: The official trailer and track ‘Band Baj Gaya’ for ‘3 Bahadur: The Revenge of Baba Balaam’ has been released with the introduction of a new character, Mitthu.

This film is a joint production of ARY Films and Waadi Animation and is the sequel to Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s 2015 animated blockbuster, 3 Bahadur.

Releasing on 15th December 2016, 3 Bahadur: The Revenge of Baba Balaam, features voice overs by Fahad Mustafa, Behroze Subzwari, Sarwat Gillani, Ahmad Ali Butt, Khalid Malik, Zeba Shahnaz, Zuhab Khan, Arisha Razi Khan, Hanzala Shahid, Ali Gul Pir, Mustafa Changezi, Badar Qureshi and Bassam Shazzali. Shiraz Uppal has composed the soundtrack of the film.

The story line:

The story line revolves around three friends who find themselves at odds with each other after successfully reclaiming their town from Mangu the villain. When Deenu their trusted friend lands into trouble they have to find a way to come together again. They know that only then can they defeat the all powerful Baba Balaam who seems to have cast a spell on their bustling Roshan Basti.

What makers of the film have to say:

Academy Award winning film director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said, “Revenge of Baba Balaam is a family entertainer. You will laugh at the antics of Mithu the parrot and be in awe at the courage displayed by the 3 Bahadur.

“At Waadi Animations we create films so that children can see a reflection of themselves on the big screen. We want them to go home from the cinema feeling that they too can be tomorrow’s heroes.”

She also expressed her love for working with ARY Films.

Salman Iqbal, President ARY Group stated, “We are pleased to be a part of this venture as 3 Bahadur was the biggest animated venture in Pakistan. With the sequel, we hope to surpass and exceed all viewer expectations”.

Jerjees Seja CEO ARY Digital Network shared: “3 Bahadur is another entertainment venture for the children of Pakistan – which hopes to show them that it is only when we work together that we can overcome the greatest obstacles.”

The sequel also introduces new characters as well as sponsors to the animation industry.

Aly Mustansir – CMO, Bank Alfalah said: “As part of its brand ideology, Bank Alfalah is committed to supporting talent in various areas including film, fashion, sports and innovation.”

Director Marketing and Development McDonalds Jamil Mughal said: “When 3 Bahadur took on their first case last year, we were there in knuckle-biting excitement to support them. So when Baba Balam decided to make a mischievous comeback, how in the world could we stay away?!”

Ziad Bashir, Director – Ideas comments: ‘We are proud to be a part of such a promising initiative that teaches kids to raise their voice against evil and unjust behavior and to have the courage to make a difference in society. At ideas we firmly believe that nurturing kids to be leaders at a very young age will result in a very bright and prosperous nation.’

About ‘3 Bahadur The Revenge of Baba Balaam’:

Mangu has been vanquished along with the evil key of power. Roshan Basti is once again safe thanks to Amna, Saadi and Kaamil. However, unbeknownst to anyone, Baba Balaam, the sly and villainous sorcerer who gave Mangu his powers has returned to take revenge on the 3 Bahadur and gather an army to defeat the powers of good once and for all.

About Waadi Animations:

Waadi Animations is a joint venture company by SOC Films and ARY Films.

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Abraaj sells K-Electric shares to Shanghai Electric worth $1.77 bn

The Abraaj Group on Sunday announced that it has agreed to divest its 66.4% shareholding in K-Electric to the Shanghai Electric Power Company Limited for US$ 1.77 billion.

In a press statement, the company said that this is one of the largest private sector transactions in Pakistan and represents one of the most well-recognised operational turnaround stories.

K-Electric (formerly Karachi Electric Supply Corporation) was privatised in 2005, and Abraaj bought a majority stake in 2009 which transformed the strategic asset into a leading energy player, serving 2.3 million consumers.

The company was successful in reducing transmission and distribution losses by over 12 percentage points and recorded a net positive income for the first time in seventeen years.

Arif Naqvi, founder and Group Chief Executive, Abraaj Group said: “Today marks a milestone in that partnership as we enter into a definitive agreement to divest our stake in a high performance business and market leader to a strategic buyer who is fully committed to continuing this success story into the future.”

He said that K-Electric is symbolic of a successful public private partnership model where the government of Pakistan is a core stakeholder.

Chairman of SEP Wang Yundan said that the signing of the definitive agreement is a result of collaborative efforts Abraaj and the Shanghai Electric.

He said that they appreciate what Abraaj has achieved at K-Electric over the past seven years and recognizes the performance and capability of their management team.

“SEP will leverage its own strengths as a strategic investor and further realize K-Electric’s potential to provide better services to the people of Pakistan and the government of Pakistan,” he said.

He expressed confidence that the SEP would work together with Abraaj in the future to transform K-Electric into one of the best companies in Pakistan.

The SEP is a state-owned enterprise controlled by State Power Investment Corporation, and a Fortune 500 company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The transaction will close once customary closing conditions and requisite regulatory approvals are obtained.

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No threat to CPEC from Nawaz Sharif’s ouster: Elahi

ISLAMABAD: Former Chief Minister Minister Punjab Pervaiz Elahi has said that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor would not be affected by the ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) leader, while speaking to a delegation, said that the CPEC is not an agreement with Nawaz Sharif but between China and Pakistan.

He also said that the Pakistan Army would protect and safeguard the project, and there was no threat to it from anyone.

He said that the government was given an impression as if the CPEC would be in jeopardy if Nawaz Sharif was ousted. In fact, he said, the CPEC will be more transparent and reach its conclusion without them.

He also said that the real threat was not to CPEC but the government of Nawaz Sharif. Therefore, he said that Sharif was given an impression that the project would be halted without him.

Elahi has previously voiced his support behind the protest by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on 2nd November.

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A step forward

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