Rauf Siddiqui, Anees Qaimkhani released from jail

Rauf Siddiqui, Anees Qaimkhani released from jail

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Pakistan leader Abdul Rauf Siddiqui and Pak Sarzameen party leader Anees Qaimkhani were released on bail on Wednesday after over three months in prison.

The two leaders were taken into custody in July for their alleged involvement in securing medical treatment for criminals at former federal minister Dr. Asim Hussain’s Ziauddin hospital in Karachi.

The two political leaders were released on the condition that they would surrender their passports to the court and submit bail bonds of Rs0.5 million each. The court has also ordered authorities not to issue new passports to the two suspects.

Siddiqui, a senior MQM Pakistan leader, was accompanied by party convener Farooq Sattar to the party’s offices in PIB Colony.

“We hope that innocent MQM activists will be released soon,” said Sattar. “We are also hopeful that the arrests of our peaceful workers will also end.”

Anees Qaimkhani, a prominent former member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, was expected to address the media later in the day. Qaimkhani is one of many MQM leaders who defected to join Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen party earlier this year.

The Sindh High Court had granted bail to Rauf Siddiqui, Anees Qaimkhani, Dr Asim Hussain, and Pasban leader Usman Moazam on Tuesday in the case pertaining to the charges of harbouring and providing medical treatment to terrorists.

The medical treatment and shelter to terrorists was allegedly provided on the instructions of MQM leaders Abdul Rauf Siddiqui, Waseem Akhtar, Saleem Shahzad, PSP leader Anis Qaimkhani, PPP leader Qadir Patel and Pasban leader Usman Moazam.

 source Geo news

Aggressive Imran pins hopes on Supreme Court, demands PM’s resignation

Aggressive Imran pins hopes on Supreme Court, demands PM’s resignation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down as an inquiry commission appointed by the Supreme Court investigates allegations of corruption linked to the Panama Papers leaks.

PTI workers and supporters had gathered at the Parade Ground in Islamabad for a celebratory rally after the party postponed its planned November 2 ‘lockdown’ following the apex court’s decision of appointing the inquiry commission.

Speaking during party ‘celebratory’ rally in Islamabad, he said that Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid was told to resign for his comments so a fair investigation can take place.

“The same is the case for you. You must also resign”, Imran Khan said of PM Nawaz.

“If the NAB chairman has even the slightest bit of shame, he should resign after what the Supreme Court said. But these are all shameless people”, he added.

He declared Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak a ‘hero’ for facing ‘brutal tactics’ of Punjab government.

“Pervez Khattak, why did I ask you to go back? Because I was afraid that blood of youth would be split”, he said.

Once again criticising the Prime Minister and Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, he said: “Nawaz Sharif, I am waiting for the day when you and your younger brother are in jail”.

“When I heard the remarks of the Supreme Court judges, I thanked God Almighty and called you all here for celebrations because, for the first time, God Almighty is taking Pakistan to a point where the Supreme Court has summoned a sitting prime minister”.

Imran Khan said that PTI never played politics of anarchy. “In its 30 years, has PTI ever played politics of anarchy?”

He said that people protested in South Korea and Guatemala too but no one baton charged the protestors, saying that peaceful protest was the right of a free nation.

PTI chairman said that institutions were not working properly in the country, adding that Pakistan cannot progress without strong institutions.

He said that opposition’s job is to speak out against corruption.

Earlier, workers and supporters of the PTI gathered in Islamabad for a rally celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision of appointing an inquiry commission to probe the Panama Papers corruption allegations.

Speaking to Geo News earlier, Khattak said that the people of Punjab were his friends and he did not say anything against them. He said that he and his party workers were treated brutally in Swabi.

“We were attacked the same way Indian forces attack Kashmiris,” said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister.

According to a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, 10,000 police personnel have been deployed as part of the security detail for the rally. The PTI leadership has officially informed Islamabad administration that the rally would conclude at 10 PM.

+2

The rally is being held after PTI postponed its planned November 2 ‘lockdown’ of the federal capital. PTI chairman Imran Khan has claimed that one million people would attend the rally tonight.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been under growing pressure from opposition parties to hold an independent investigation into allegations of corruption against the prime minister’s family.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court began hearing a case into the “Panama Papers” leaks and offered to form a commission to investigate revelations that Sharif’s children held offshore bank accounts.

“We are determined to resolve this issue. We will solve it and we will solve it as soon as possible. Now the highest forum in the country in regards to dispute resolution has taken up this matter, so now you hold your positions, please restrain,” Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of the five judges hearing the case, told the court.

The ruling was applauded by Khan, who held a press conference at his home on the outskirts of Islamabad to declare victory.

“I am so happy that the Supreme Court has directed the prime minister to present himself for accountability,” Imran told supporters in Bani Gala following the apex court decision.

The government also welcomed the court’s ruling. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said from day one that he’s ready for complete and transparent accountability,” said minister of state Miftah Ismail, adding he was confident the premier would be exonerated.

But the government claimed calling off the march was a face-saving measure by Imran. “I think PTI was unable to get a sizeable crowd together and felt under pressure to call off their lockdown and save themselves embarrassment. That is why they took this opportunity provided to them by the court and cancel their promised agitation,” said Ismail.

The move brought an anti-climactic end to what observers believed could have become a protracted confrontation, similar to a four-month sit-in led by Imran Khan in 2014.

But although Khan had repeatedly vowed to bring a million protesters to the capital, disruption had been thus far limited to a few areas around the city and to the Peshawar-Islamabad highway, where some 5,000 PTI supporters were blocked from entering the capital.

Saudi advisory council rejects study of women driving

Saudi advisory council rejects study of women driving

RIYADH: 

Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council, which advises the cabinet, has turned down a proposal to study the issue of women’s driving, a Shura member said on Wednesday.

The kingdom has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive.

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At a meeting this week, a male member of the appointed council suggested the study, said another member who declined to be named.

He said the enquiry would have looked at: “What are the difficulties if they start? What is required to allow them to drive?”

But the proposal failed to get the required 50 percent plus one support among the council’s 150 members, who include 30 women.

The council can make non-binding recommendations to the government but it has no legislative powers.

Petition to end male guardianship of women in Saudi Arabia gains traction

Activists say women’s driving is not technically illegal but that the ban is linked to tradition and custom.

A slow expansion of women’s rights began under the late king Abdullah, who named them to the Shura Council in 2013.

He also announced that women could for the first time vote and run in municipal elections. At least 20 women were elected for the 2,106 contested council seats last December.

Some activists have challenged the driving ban by getting behind the wheel and posting images of themselves online.

Other Saudi women, however, believe change cannot be forced – a message the kingdom’s powerful Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31, gave in April when he unveiled the Vision 2030 plan for economic diversification and social change.

“So far the society is not persuaded – and it has negative influence – but we stress that it is up to the Saudi society,” he said, commenting on whether women should drive.

The Vision and its associated National Transformation Programme target an increase in the proportion of female workforce participation from 23 to 28 percent by 2020.

source The Express Tribune news

Meet the man who spent $9 million on a licence plate

Meet the man who spent $9 million on a licence plate

A Dubai property developer Balwinder Sahni has spent $9 million on a highly coveted plate bearing the number 5.

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Explaining why he bought the plate, Sahni said he sees the hefty licence plate purchases as his contribution to the public coffers since Dubai has no income tax. The property developer said he believes the money will go to charity and towards improving the city’s infrastructure. “I believe in giving back,” he said. “This city has given me a lot.”

“I always like to give myself a gift every year,” the billionaire futher told CNN Money. “When you work very hard, you need to present yourself with something,” he added.

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This is not the first time Sahni has spent serious money on a licence plate. He secured a number 9 plate with a winning bid of $6.7 million at a government auction last year. His number plate has also given him a lot of attention. The billionaire said he can’t go out in public without people stopping him and asking to take a photo. Many accuse him of wasting his money, but he describes himself as “a simple man.”

“It’s hard, people giving comments without knowing the type of person I am,” Sahni told CNN Money.

Sahni bid $9 million for the number plates at a government auction earlier this month that now adorn two of his six Rolls Royce cars. He also has two more of the luxury vehicles on order. It was one of the largest sums ever spent on a licence plate, although still lower than the $14 million record set in 2008 by an Abu Dhabi businessman.

The auction is held every year, but Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority has declined to comment on how the proceeds from the licence plate auctions are spent. Bids can start in millions of dirhams. Private companies in the UAE are also trying to cash in on the licence plate business. A secondary market where the more sought-after plates are traded has sprung up.

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Abdulkerim Arsanov and his brother set up a website, numbers.ae, to link sellers with buyers. The biggest deal through their website so far was for a two-digit plate that sold for $735,000. “Number plates have become more luxurious than the cars themselves,” Arsanov said.

The brothers started their business two years ago after struggling to find ways to sell their own collection of unique plates. Their website isn’t making them any money yet, but Arsanov hopes to expand it into markets beyond the UAE, like the UK and Russia. They plan to start charging for the services at a later stage.

The site usually gets 500 to 800 visitors a day. but the auction where Sahni bid $9 million set off a wave of new interest. More than 8,000 views caused the site to crash and forced the brothers to upgrade their server.

This article originally appeared on CNN.

Facebook-owned Instagram getting into shopping

Facebook-owned Instagram getting into shopping

SAN FRANCISCO: 

Instagram on Tuesday said it will start testing features that let smartphone or tablet users easily buy items they find on the popular photo and video sharing service.

The test slated to begin next week in the US will be tailored for Instagram applications on Apple mobile devices, according to a blog post by the Facebook-owned service.

The move will build on a strategy by the world’s leading online social network to connect shoppers and shops, earning revenue from purchases.

“Mobile has changed the way people shop,” Instagram said in the blog post. “We’re excited to announce an easier experience to shop the products you love on Instagram.”

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Instagram cited industry statistics indicating that smartphone purchases are commonly used in the US to browse or research options regarding potential purchases.

Twenty US retailers including Kate Spade and JackThreads will take part in the Instagram e-commerce test, sharing posts that provide more information along with “Shop Now” icons for streamlined purchasing, according to the blog post.

“This test is going to change the scope of what we, as retailers, are capable of offering on mobile,” JackThreads chief marketing officer Ryan McIntyre said in the post.

“Our customers will be able to shop seamlessly from their social media feeds – allowing us to reach guys where they’re already hunting for what’s new.”

Rival firm Pinterest last year dove into e-commerce with “pins” that let people buy items they like at the popular online bulletin board.

Pinterest became a hit, particularly among women, by giving people virtual bulletin boards that they can decorate with pictures showcasing interests in anything from food to sports, to fashion or travel.

source The Express Tribune news

Israeli ministers vote to keep lists of online porn users

Israeli ministers vote to keep lists of online porn users

Israeli ministers on Sunday voted to give government backing to a bill that would require internet service providers to block access to pornographic websites, as well as other sites defined as offensive, by default.

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To remove the block, users will be required to contact the internet provider, which would lead to the creation of lists of internet users requesting access pornographic sites.

The bill is sponsored by 26 legislative members from different political parties. Only MKs from the left-wing Meretz party refused to support the proposed law.

“The damaging influence of watching, and addiction to, pornographic and severe violence has been proven in many studies, with great harm to children,” said the bill’s chief sponsor MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli. “Today, it is easier for a child to consume harsh content on the internet than to buy an ice cream at the local kiosk,” she added. “We must prevent such access by making the default of the internet provider to filter such content, unless the customer has asked to be exposed to it.”

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But attorney Jonathan Klinger from the Digital Rights Movement warned against such a bill. “The Ministerial Committee for Legislation today added the State of Israel to a list of countries that censor the internet, joining China, Iran, Turkey and other non-democratic countries,” he said on Sunday. “Under the guise of protecting children, the state promotes invasion of privacy by creating a database of blacklists of those interested in full-access internet, while expensive and inefficient filters… that will harm the population.”

This is not the first attempt to pass such a law. Five similar bills were introduced in the past but none of them were passed. The present initiative is expected to receive a large majority in Israel’s parliament due to widespread support from both the governing coalition and opposition parties.

Famous porn site’s account holders exposed by hackers

The bill would require ISPs to supply a free-of-charge filter against offensive websites and content. Any customer wishing to remove the filter will be required to make a request in writing, by telephone or through the company’s website.

This article originally appeared on Haaretz.

UK working to resolve banking concerns to boost trade with Iran

UK working to resolve banking concerns to boost trade with Iran

Trade is growing between Britain and Iran and the government is working to resolve banking sector concerns which are limiting its further expansion, British trade minister Liam Fox said on Wednesday.

Iran, South Korea to begin trade in euros

Despite the removal of international banking restrictions in January, Tehran has secured ties with only a limited number of smaller banks as US sanctions remain in force and large foreign institutions still fear potential fines.

Iran offers Pakistan to join Chabahar port deal

“Slowly but with increasing enthusiasm, British companies are starting to do business with Iran again … we are seeing the first signs of growing trade between the UK and Iran,” Fox told a City and Financial Global conference.

The banking sector’s ongoing concerns about facilitating payments or providing financial services means that the benefits of sanctions relief are not yet being fully realised, resolving these problems remains a priority for this government.”

Iraq PM warns Turkey as Ankara deploys troops

Iraq PM warns Turkey as Ankara deploys troops

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday warned Turkey against provoking a confrontation while saying he does not want war, after Ankara deployed tanks and artillery near the border.

Turkey has insisted that it will play a role in the battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group, but Baghdad has rejected this assertion and repeatedly called on Ankara to withdraw troops it has deployed near the jihadist-held city.

“The invasion of Iraq will lead to Turkey being dismantled,” Abadi said at a televised news conference.

“We do not want war with Turkey, and we do not want a confrontation with Turkey,” he said.

“But if a confrontation happens, we are ready for it. We will consider (Turkey) an enemy and we will deal with it as an enemy,” Abadi said.

Turkish military sources said Tuesday that it had deployed tanks and artillery to southeastern districts near the Iraqi border. The 30-vehicle convoy left Ankara for Silopi, the sources told AFP, adding that it was now close to Adana province in southern Turkey. Turkey’s Defence Minister Fikri Isik said the deployment was part of Ankara’s preparation for “important developments in the region”, referring to Kurdish rebels inside the country and events in Iraq.

“Turkey is preparing in advance for whatever happens (and) this is one element of that,” he said, quoted by the official news agency Anadolu.

Iraq forces launch operation to cut Mosul off from Syria

It is the latest escalation in a protracted dispute between Baghdad and Ankara that has seen repeated calls from Baghdad for Turkish troops to be withdrawn, and increasingly belligerent and dismissive remarks from top Turkish officials.

A military confrontation between the two countries would be a disaster for Iraq, whose forces are tied down in the battle for Mosul that it launched on October 17.

Swiss police arrest imam, four suspects after raid on mosque

Swiss police arrest imam, four suspects after raid on mosque

ZURICH: 

Swiss authorities have arrested four people on suspicion of inciting violence and crime after a raid on a mosque in the northern city of Winterthur, the Zurich chief prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

According to local media, the An’Nur mosque is suspected of links to extremism and several young men who used to frequent it have reportedly gone to join the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq.

Suspected New York imam killer in custody: police

Prosecutors and police also searched the homes of three suspects on Wednesday morning, a statement from the prosecutor’s office said, and criminal proceedings have been launched against all four people.

The raids followed reports to police that an Ethiopian imam called in a sermon last month for the murder of Muslims who refused to join communal prayers in the mosque, it said. The imam was also said to have urged the congregation to denounce any Muslims who shunned the communal prayers, it added.

Imam arrested for inciting violence after boy cuts hand off in blasphemy error

The imam and three persons whose homes were raided were arrested and brought in for questioning, it said without indicating what the three persons were suspected of doing.

Four other persons were found in the mosque who were suspected of violating Swiss immigration laws, it added.

The prosecutor’s office said it would issue no further information for the moment and the mosque did not respond to requests for comment.

Australia opt for Siddle in first Test against South Africa

Australia opt for Siddle in first Test against South Africa

PERTH: 

Australia have chosen the experience of Peter Siddle over the potential of the uncapped Joe Mennie as their third seamer for the opening Test against South Africa, which starts on Thursday.

Captain Steve Smith announced the team in his pre-match news conference at the WACA on Wednesday with Mennie the man to miss out from the 12-man squad announced last week.

Siddle, 31, played the last of his 61 Tests against New Zealand in Wellington in February and proved he had recovered from the back injury that ruled him out for much of the year by playing for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield last week.

Recovering Starc declares he’s ready for Proteas

Mennie was a surprise inclusion in the squad ahead of Jackson Bird having been part of the bowling unit on the recent ODI tour of South Africa, where he took 0-82 on debut as the tourists were whitewashed 5-0.

“They’re both bowling well,” Smith told reporters. “They’re the sort of bowlers who can bowl in consistent areas, keeping runs down. I guess it complements the other guys.”

He added: “We’ve gone with Siddle on this occasion and it’s good to have him back after a fair injury layoff.”

Siddle joins Josh Hazlewood and left-armer Mitchell Starc in the bowling attack and will be hoping for a WACA wicket with more pace and bounce than that prepared for the visit of West Indies last year.

Mennie in Australia squad for South Africa

With Starc also only having one Sheffield Shield match as preparation after requiring surgery on a nasty gash he suffered in training in September, Australia’s pace attack looks a little short on match fitness.

However, Smith said that Siddle and Starc had been impressive in the WACA nets this week.

“They’re quite fresh so they might be able to sustain things a little bit longer than maybe the medical staff would like them to,” he said Smith. “They’re fresh and ready to go.”

Team

Shaun Marsh, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon.