International cricket returns to Pakistan

Fresh from hosting the Pakistan Super League final, there is more good news for Pakistan cricket as the International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering sending a World XI side to Lahore to play a four-match T20 series in September.

The series, which will be another giant leap towards restoring foreign players’ confidence in visiting Pakistan, has been named ‘The Independence Cup’.

“The desire is to give cricket-starved Pakistani supporters the chance to see some of the world’s finest players in live action,” said the ICC’s Pakistan Task Force head Giles Clarke. “The world of cricket needs to help Pakistan, who cannot continue to play their home fixtures overseas.

“The youth need inspiring, and the national teams need far more cricket played in familiar terrain. Furthermore, the terrorists cannot win and cricket must not give up on Pakistan.”

The announcement also gave PSL mastermind Najam Sethi an opportunity to gloat and show his critics how wrong they were when they doubted that the PSL final in Lahore would do nothing.

No further details of the World XI side have yet been released, although the matches will be staged on September 22, 23, 28 and 29.

 Since the infamous terrorist attack of 2009 on Sri Lanka cricket team on their soil, all the teams have refused to tour Pakistan, with Zimbabwe being the only exception two years ago.

During this time, the cricket-frenzied nation’s national team has played their home series in their adopted home ground of the UAE.

Self-driving bus with no back-up driver nears California street

A pair of $250,000 autonomous buses began driving around an empty San Francisco Bay Area parking lot on Monday, preparing to move onto a local public road in California’s first pilot program for a self-driving vehicle without steering wheel or human operator.

California and other states are weighing the opportunities of becoming a hub of testing a technology that is seen as the future of transportation and the risks from giving up active control of a large, potentially dangerous vehicle.

In most tests of self-driving cars there is still a person seated at the steering wheel, ready to take over, although Alphabet Inc’s Waymo tested a car with no steering wheel or pedals in Austin, Texas, as early as 2015.

easymile-reuters-2-1488865515The bus project in San Ramon, at the Bishop Ranch office park complex, involves two 12-passenger shuttle buses from French private company EasyMile.

The project is backed by a combination of private companies and public transit and air quality authorities, with the intention of turning it into a permanent, expanded operation, said Habib Shamskhou, a program manager who strolled in front of a moving bus to show that the vehicle would notice him and react. It stopped.
In a test for reporters, one bus cruised a block-long circuit so consistently that it created a dirt track on the tarmac.

California legislators late last year passed a law to allow slow-speed testing of fully autonomous vehicles without steering wheels or pedals on public roads, with the Bishop Ranch test in mind.

The shuttle buses will test for a few months in the parking lots before operators apply for Department of Motor Vehicles approval under the new law. The vehicles are expected to swing onto the local street late this year or early in 2018.

Samsung delays release of Galaxy S8

Samsung fans have been anxiously waiting for the release of new flagship devices Galaxy S8 and S8+. The wait has been extraordinarily long given the fact that its last flagship device Note 7 went up in flames and had to be recalled.

However, it now seems Samsung fans will still have to wait a little longer as report claims the South Korean smartphone manufacturer might push the release date of Samsung S8 duo by a week. According to the company’s original plans, Samsung intended to release the devices on April 21, after unveiling it on March 29.
Noted phone leaker Evan Blass claims that his trusted sources have told him Samsung’s moving the global release of Galaxy S8 by a week to April 28.

Imran Khan in eye of storm over ‘vile’ comments about foreign PSL players

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was at the receiving end on Monday after a video surfaced in which the party leader made derogatory comments about international players who attended the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore.
In what seems to be an internal party meeting, Khan is seen branding international players who came for the PSL final as ‘phateechar’.

“I don’t even know the name of any of these so-called foreign players. It seems they just picked up players from wherever. Picked some from Africa and called them foreign players,” said Khan.

The video quickly went viral on social media where the PTI chief was heavily censured for using ‘vile’ and ‘racist’ language against foreign players, such as Darren Sammy who helped make the event a success.

Two army men killed during operation in Swabi

ISLAMABAD: Two Pakistan Army officials, including a captain, were killed during an exchange of fire on Tuesday in the Malikabad area of Swabi.

Security forces were conducting an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in the area when they came under attack, military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

The deceased were identified as Captain Junaid and Sepoy Amjad.

Immediately after the incident, the troops cordoned off the area while the exchange of fire continued till the filing of this report, the ISPR statement added.

The raid was being conducted under newly-launched Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad which was initiated after a wave of terrorists’ attack across the country last month.
Meanwhile, at least five terrorists were killed in exchange of fire with troops in Swabi, ISPR said in a statement. “5 terrorists who were killed during an IBO in Malikabad, Swabi today were planning to target educational institutions and judicial complexes,” it said.

“Sacrifice of our Shaheeds will not go waste. Terrorist will be brought to their end and held accountable for their Fasaad,” the military’s media wing quoted Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa as saying.

According to ISPR, three terrorists were identified, including Majid alias Khalid, Yousaf alias Chota Khalid and Jawaad. All three belong to proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)’s Swabi chapter.
The TTP claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s clashes with the security forces.

In a message sent to media, TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khorasani said the outlawed terror outfit was involved in clashes with the security forces in Swabi.

A day earlier, five Pakistan Army soldiers were killed in cross fire as militants from Afghanistan attacked three border posts in Mohmand Agency. “Last night terrorists from across the border attempted physical attack on three Pakistan border posts in Mohmand Agency,” ISPR said.

Perspective: Only through acts of solidarity we achieve real peace | Ijaz Ahmed

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community launched the True Islam campaign (trueislam.com) to educate all American Muslims and non-Muslims about the true teachings of Islam.

Hundreds of tombstones were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia over the weekend. Hearing about this was both shocking and upsetting. As a Muslim American, I condemn this cowardly act and pray that the culprits be brought to justice. With the wave of bomb threats to Jewish centers and this recent horrific act, we will stand by our Jewish brothers and sisters across the nation during this time.

In Islam, it is our duty outlined by the Quran to defend all churches, synagogues and all places of worship. Any threat to the freedom of religion should be denounced and you can expect members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, as Muslims who believe in the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, to be at the front lines defending freedom of conscience and belief. We stand ready to serve and protect our Jewish neighbors against acts of intolerance and hatred.

This is not a progressive idea; rather, it is something that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be on him, advocated during his lifetime. The battles fought during his lifetime were only defensive and sought to protect the freedom of all people.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has petitioned for peace and justice across the world for over 100 years through the peaceful institution of Khilafat. His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the current Khalifa of Islam and head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, has stressed the importance of peace and justice by addressing civic servants and religious leaders for over a decade.

He has said that justice must exist on all levels for us to have a practical path to peace.
Immediately following the incident in Philadelphia, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community extended their hands in peace and solidarity with the Jewish Community. Ahmadi Muslims, young and old, were one of the first people to visit the cemetery and helped to clean up and restore the area.

This is the type of community that is required in such a polarized political climate. It is only through acts of solidarity and by standing together can we achieve real peace in our communities. It’s important for us to get to know one another and understand each other’s beliefs. With that in mind, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community launched the True Islam campaign (trueislam.com) to educate all American Muslims and non-Muslims about the true teachings of Islam.

All our fellow Americans are invited to join us in our effort to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. We are stronger when we are united. I end with the words of Robert F. Kennedy:

“But we can perhaps remember — even if only for a time — that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek — as we do — nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can. Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.”

__________________
Ijaz Ahmed, Ph.D., is on the adjunct faculty at Worcester State University and is a QCC process chemist for Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He lives in Worcester.

Read original post here: Perspective: Only through acts of solidarity we achieve real peace | Ijaz Ahmed

Canada: Muslims ‘normal people’ says Vaughan Ahmadiyya woman at conference

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association hosted a peace conference on the role of religion in the 21st century on Sunday. 

“Come spend a day with me and I’ll show you how a Muslim lives.”

What Naheed Khokhar really wants you to know is “Muslims are normal people like everybody else.”

The national outreach secretary for the women’s auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslims joked she watches the sexy, sleek, legal drama ‘Suits’.

“Come spend a day with me and I’ll show you how a Muslim lives,” Khokhar said Sunday at a peace conference the Ahmadiyya Muslim’s women’s association, hosted for 300 women of all faiths to promote understanding in light of International Women’s Day, March 6.

Khokhar said the conference brought together women from six faith groups — Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Bahais — to talk together about the role of religion in the 21st century and seek greater understanding.

“We have to start the conversation and try to make a difference.” she said.

She said in light of issues like Islamophobia and the shooting death of six Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Quebec last month, it’s important to get the message out that what people see on TV is not a true image of Islam.

“What people are seeing on TV is not Islam; terrorism doesn’t have a faith,” she said. Not knowing people of different faiths is, “the same apprehensions you have about the neighbour you don’t know,” she said.

Tim Kelly is a reporter with the Markham Economist and Sun. He can be reached at tkelly@yrmg.com . Follow him on Twitter and YRMG on Facebook

http://www.yorkregion.com/

Perspective: Time for Trump to stop ‘fear-mongering rhetoric’ against Muslims | Zohaib Zafar

If President Trump does not bring the jobs back and the economy becomes worse, I fear that they will succumb to President Trump and blame Muslims for the problems that the country faces.

The 9th Circuit recently ruled against reinstating President Trump’s temporary executive order last month, which banned citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. This was the right decision and contrary to what the Trump administration is claiming, this executive order was unconstitutional and discriminated against Muslims.

Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani revealed in an interview on Fox News that President Trump asked him how to do a Muslim ban legally and that this executive order was what they then formulated. President Trump has also referred to his actions as a ban on Twitter.

It is becoming increasingly evident that President Trump wants to wage a war against an entire group of people based on their religion. They number 1.7 billion and are the fastest growing religion in the world. Trump, who may be looking for a scapegoat, has chosen the wrong one.

This situation will only get worse. If, God forbid, a Muslim commits another terrorist attack on American soil or anywhere in the world for that matter, it will push President Trump to further extremes. In addition, one of President Trump’s advisors, Kellyanne Conway, has made up terrorist attacks that never happened. A few weeks ago, she cited the “Bowling Green Massacre”, something that never occurred. She has gone unpunished and President Trump has already incited more hatred against Muslims.

A Trump supporter massacred Muslims in Quebec, and two mosques were burned down in Texas and Washington state. President Trump has not condemned these attacks probably because they do not go along with his narrative in which Muslims are the enemy by definition.

Countless protesters have shouted the slogan, “Not My President” in the past few months. The truth is that President Trump does not even claim to be the President for Muslim-Americans. President Trump has made false claims that thousands of Muslim-Americans celebrated 9/11, repeatedly dismissed anti-Muslim bigotry among many policies that he proposed as a presidential candidate that targeted Muslims. However, he has never made a public visit to a mosque and has never shown a rudimentary understanding of the religion.

Many Ohioans voted for President Trump because of his populist ideas. If President Trump does not bring the jobs back and the economy becomes worse, I fear that they will succumb to President Trump and blame Muslims for the problems that the country faces.

Ohioans needs to remember that there is no war between Islam and America. Muslims have been in America since before President Trump’s paternal grandparents immigrated to America from Germany and before President Trump’s mother immigrated to America from Scotland. Indeed, thousands of African slaves who came to America were Muslim and they did not even want to come here. If we did not fear Muslims then, we should not fear them now.

Pope Francis said when asked about the worldwide populist surge that “Hitler did not steal power…He was elected by his people and then he destroyed his people.” It is time that President Trump to respect the judicial branch and stop his fear-mongering rhetoric before it is too late.

Have something to say about this topic? Use the comments to share your thoughts, and stay informed when readers reply to your comments by using the Notification Settings (in blue) just below.
_______________________
Zohaib Zafar, a Brecksville resident, is a student at Davidson College in North Carolina, where he is a member of the Muslim Student Association.

UK: East London communities come together to promote Ahmadiyya Charity Walk For Peace

As part of the promotion of the Walk regional dinners are being held so that charities can find out more information about the Walk and how they may be nominated as a beneficiary of the Walk.

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association (AMEA) in East London held their second annual Pre Charity Walk for Peace Dinner in Stratford on Friday 3rd March 2017.  They were joined by John Barber, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of London for the Borough of Newham, Mike Gapes MP for Ilford South, Councillor Peter Herrington Mayor of Waltham Forest as well as local police representatives,other localdignitaries and representatives from 60 charities based throughout the UK.eastlondon-charity-prep2

The Charity Walk for Peace (CWFP – Registered Charity Number 1161567) raises and distributes money to UK charities.  Funds are raised through Charity Walks which have been held all over the UK.  The first Walk in 1998 raised only £1,500 but the amount raised in 2016 was an amazing £504,000.  The target for the 2017 Walk which is to be held on 14 May 2017 in Silvertown, London is £750,000 and cumulative funds raised stand over £3.5 million.

As part of the promotion of the Walk regional dinners are being held so that charities can find out more information about the Walk and how they may be nominated as a beneficiary of the Walk.

Following an introduction to the work of the Charity Walk For Peace presented by Mr Rafi Ahmad (National Vice Chairman of CWFP) various dignitaries including John Barber,Mike Gapes MP, Councillor Peter Herrington, Ian Larnder, Chief Superintendent of Newham Police, and Councilor Paul Sathianesan, East Ham Civic Leader spoke about their connection to the Charity Walk For Peace and the positive impact it and members of AMEA have had on the local community.  eastlondon-charity-prep3

Charity representatives, who had attended the Charity Walk in previous years, also spoke about their experiences and how funds raised from the Walk have helped the work that they are doing.  All the various charity representatives who spoke said that they looked forward to participating in the Walk on 14 May 2017.

Dr Ch Ijaz Ur Rehman, National President of AMEA thanked all the charities who attended and praised the work that they are doing.

In the final address Mr Rafiq Ahmad Hayat, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK, gave an introduction to the beliefs of the community and their motto of Love For All Hatred For None.  He stated that there was a great responsibility on all Muslims to be loyal to their country and to engage with and help their local community through charitable works and fundraising.

In total 300 guests attended the function held at The Old Town Hall in Stratford.  Before leaving they were served with a three course meal prepared by volunteer members of AMEA.

Some of the other guests who attended or spoke at the function included:-

  • Mrs Patsy Robertson from The Ramphal Institute
  • Unmesh Desai – Member of the London Assembly for City and East
  • Councillor Gurdial Bhamra – Mayor of Redbridge
  • Councillor Ian Payne – Mayor of Bromley
  • Steve Howey – Ambassador at Richard House Children’s Hospice
  • Keith Fernett- Chief Executive of Caritas Anchor House
  • Helen Bigham from The Mill E17
  • Rose Adrahart from Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity)
  • Eleanor Harrison OBE from GlobalGiving UK

Further information about the Walk and how to participate or be nominated as a beneficial charity can be found at http://charitywalkforpeace.org/ or contact on info@charitywalkforpeace.org

— UK: East London communities come together to promote Ahmadiyya Charity Walk For Peace