0 The News

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri arrives in Pakistan to ‘save state’
Manchester City’s Yaya Toure named CAF player of the year
Hopes dive of deal to avoid US fiscal cliff
Drones to be used for food delivery
Would-be Governor Punjab Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood resigned from PML-F: Imtiaz Sheikh
Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to be completed on time: FM Hina Khar
Bollywood star Govinda turns 49
FCC announces admissions in MPhil Chemistry
Senate by-elections to be held on January 7: ECP
Three killed as gunmen attack passenger buses near Quetta

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri arrives in Pakistan to ‘save state’

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 03:48 PM PST

Lahore: Pakistani Sufi scholar Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, chairman of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and the founder of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, has arrived Pakistan from Canada on Friday with an aim to "save state" without getting into politics.

Qadri is set to address a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan on December 23 (Sunday) at 10am.

He left for his residence without facing the media and his supporters because of "security reasons".

Talking to a local news channel, his son Dr Hussain Mohiuddin said that he was expecting a massive gathering of around two million people from all walks of life on Sunday.

Mohiuddin said that Minhaj-ul-Quran was not against democracy and was hoping the general election in the country would be held on time. But he said elections could not prove fruitful unless the voting process is transparent.

Meanwhile, chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain had earlier urged his party members to support and join Qadri at his Lahore rally.

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure named CAF player of the year

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 03:01 PM PST

Accra: Ivorian Yaya Toure of Manchester City won Africa’s top football honour on Thursday, beating out his countryman Didier Drogba and Alexandre Song of Cameroon for the CAF player of the year award.

Toure, 29, claimed the prize for the second consecutive year, capping a season where he helped guide his club to the English Premier League title, their first in 44 years.

His crucial double against Newcastle in May made for a dramatic chapter in City’s championship bid as the club ultimately edged out bitter rival Manchester United on goal differential in a nailbitting finish.

The giant midfielder appeared to tear up as his name was called at the ceremony in Ghana’s capital.

“I have a lot of emotion,” he said after climbing the stage to accept the award. “I think this night is so special for me.”

He has been praised by City’s manager Roberto Mancini for his ability to fill so many roles.

Toure has voiced hope of a prolonged stay at the club and has predicted that more titles could be on the way.

He also remains a crucial component of the Ivory Coast national side, a perennial contender for the African Cup of Nations crown.

Ivory Coast narrowly lost to Zambia at the last continental tournament, reaching the final thanks in part to strong play from Toure, who said the side will have to win some hard contests if it hopes to reclaim the cup.

“I think this this year is going to be tough. I think there’s going to be a fight to be at the top,” he said after accepting the award.

Toure’s second CAF honour came on a night when Drogba, the former Chelsea star now playing Shanghai Shenhua, was in line for his third win.

Drogba was seeking to take a step closer to to Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o's record four trophies but described his fellow Ivorian as a deserving winner who has played with impressive “consistency over the last two years.”

“Being in competition against Yaya and Alex was for me very difficult,” said the striker. “For me, I don’t mind if Yaya wins. I’m very proud.”

Song, a 25-year-old up-and-coming midfielder, was nominated for the first time this year, after a season that included strong play for Arsenal before his transfer to Barcelona.

Hopes dive of deal to avoid US fiscal cliff

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 03:00 PM PST

Washington: The White House accused Republicans Thursday of walking away from a deal and mounting futile diversionary votes as hopes plunged of a deal to stave off a damaging year-end fiscal crisis.

If the two sides cannot reach a deficit-cutting agreement before the end of the year, taxes for all Americans will rise and huge automatic spending cuts will be triggered, which could cause a recession and jolt the global economy.

But talks between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on averting the “fiscal cliff” have stalled and Republicans now plan to vote on a fallback “Plan B” that the White House sees as pointless grandstanding.

“Plan B… is a multi-day exercise in futility at a time when we do not have the luxury of exercises in futility,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said hours before the vote in the House of Representatives.

“It cannot pass the Senate. The president would veto it.”

Plan B would effectively extend George W. Bush-era tax breaks for everyone apart from those earning more than $1 million a year and also redirect automatic spending cuts away from defense to other programs.

US President Barack Obama walks to board Marine One at the White House December on 20, 2012 in Washington, DC

But the White House charges that the bill would offer big tax breaks to wealthy Americans earning less than $1 million who do not need them.

Obama originally insisted on letting Bush tax cuts expire on households earning more than $250,000 and has since upped the threshold to $400,000 in a bid to reach a compromise with Boehner.

The president says the United States cannot afford to extend the cuts, and wants to spend extra revenues paying down the deficit and rebooting the economy through educational programs and infrastructure spending.

The showdown, part of now traditional festive season brinkmanship between Republicans and Democrats in divided Washington, has shown that Obama’s re-election win did nothing to ease the dysfunction gripping US politics.

But neither side is willing to give an inch, as they know the episode has deep implications for the balance of power in Obama’s second term.

Boehner’s tactics have mystified many Washington watchers, with some believing that he is unable to sell any deal with Obama to his restive caucus and so is looking to defer the blame for the failure to reach an accord.

His move also found some opposition from the right — with conservatives who see raising taxes as apostasy balking at being asked to hike any rates.

Republican deficit hawks were also initially unhappy that the bill did nothing to cut government excess — which they see as the main driver of the runaway deficit — prompting their leaders to sweeten the pot with a companion spending cut bill.

Sen. Richard Durbin (R) speaks as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid listens at a news conference on December 20, 2012

After a frantic spell of arm twisting by Republican bosses, the party’s House leader Eric Cantor said Thursday “we’re going to have the votes.”

The bill is almost certain to die in the Democratic-led Senate however, leaving efforts to avert the fiscal cliff down a dead end — barring any resumption of bargaining between Boehner and Obama.

The White House insists the two sides are not that far apart and officials privately say Obama has compromised on issues like Social Security retirement benefits and tax rates that have already angered liberal supporters.

Boehner has said he would be satisfied with a balanced $1 trillion in tax revenues and $1 trillion in spending cuts, much of it from entitlement programs like Medicare health care for the elderly, as part of a 10-year deal.

Obama’s plan offers approximately $1.2 trillion in new tax revenues, with just under $1 trillion in spending cuts — though Republicans dispute whether all of the austerity measures are real.

“They’re a couple hundred billion dollars apart. This is absolutely senseless that the speaker is doing what he’s doing. These are gyrations that I’ve never seen before,” said Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid.

But Boehner warned that if Democrats and the White House do not budge: “they’ll be responsible for the largest tax hike in American history.”

“Their Plan B is just to slow-walk us over the fiscal cliff.”

With no end in sight to the crisis, Reid and Cantor have both warned lawmakers they will have to traipse back to Washington between the Christmas and New Year holidays when Washington is normally shut down.

The stalemate is also likely to play havoc with Obama’s plans to return to his native Hawaii for his annual Christmas vacation, as he seeks to recharge after an exhausting year and lay plans for his second term.

Drones to be used for food delivery

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 02:43 PM PST

Mexico City: Unmanned planes or drones, known for surveillance and lethal attacks, will be used for food delivery in the federal capital of Mexico by 2015.

Drone industry has now proceeded to civil commercial area after successful military purposes.

Research lab Darwin Aerospace have designed the Burrito Bomber, the "world's first airborne Mexican food delivery system."

Under FAA guidelines, this food delivery drone is not available for commercial use until 2015 (when regulations get updated).

It works like this:

You connect to the Burrito Bomber web-app and order a burrito. Your smartphone sends your current location to our server, which generates a waypoint file compatible with the drone's autopilot.

We upload the waypoint file to the drone and load your burrito in to our custom made Burrito Delivery Tube.

The drone flies to your location and releases the Burrito Delivery Tube. The burrito parachutes down to you, the drone flies itself home, and you enjoy your carne asada.

Would-be Governor Punjab Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood resigned from PML-F: Imtiaz Sheikh

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 02:16 PM PST

Karachi: Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, who is likely to replace Latif Khosa as Governor Punjab, has left his party the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) on Friday.

PML-F General Secretary Imtiaz Sheikh has confirmed Mehmood's resignation.

Imtiaz added that Mehmood—a member of the Punjab Assembly from PP-292, Rahim Yar Khan—resigned in a meeting with PML-F chief Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi.

The general secretary said that if Mehmood chose to become governor of Punjab, it would be his own decision.

Mehmood was PML-F Parliamentary leader in Punjab and earlier reports said he would take oath as Punjab governor on Saturday.

Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to be completed on time: FM Hina Khar

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 01:29 PM PST

Islamabad: Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Thursday President Asif Ali Zardari will soon visit Iran and the gas pipeline project would be completed according to schedule.

Speaking to media representatives outside the Parliament House, she said Pakistan and Iran have been enjoying good relations and the present government has further strengthened its ties with the neighbour.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan categorical opposes the US drone attacks on its land which is violation of its sovereignty.

She said Pakistan's bilateral relations have improved with India, Afghanistan and United States during the current year.

Speaking on Afghanistan, Khar said peace and stability in Afghanistan is in Pakistan's favour and the entire region supports peace process in the war-torn country.

Condemning attacks on polio workers, the minister vowed to provide "fool proof security" to the health workers and said the government is in touch with the international health workers organisations.

Bollywood star Govinda turns 49

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 01:23 PM PST

Mumbai: Bollywood superstar Govind Arun Ahuja is celebrating his 49th birthday today.

Born in Thane city Maharashtra state of India on December 21, 1963, Govinda is also known to be professional dancer. He started his film career from 'Ilzam'.

From romance to action, he appeared in different genres, but comedy remained his distinct identity.

Shola aur Shabnam (1992), Coolie No. 1 (1995), Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999), Bhagam Bhag (2006) and Partner (2007) are a few of his successful films.

Govinda was also successful in politics as he served in Indian parliament for five years.

FCC announces admissions in MPhil Chemistry

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 01:12 PM PST

Lahore: Forman Christian College (FCC) on Thursday announced admissions in MPhil-Chemistry program for spring session 2013.

FCC also issued admission criteria and schedule for admissions for the session starting from January 07, 2013.

Candidate having B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry/relevant field or conventional M.Sc. in Chemistry/relevant field with a minimum 2.5 CGPA or 60% marks will be eligible for the admission.

Last date to submit applications is January 14, 2013.

The names of shortlisted candidates will be announced on January 18 and interviews will be conducted on January 21.

Final merit list will be issued on January 24 and classes will start from February 11, 2013.

Senate by-elections to be held on January 7: ECP

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 01:03 PM PST

Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced that by-elections on the two vacant seats of the Senate would be held on January 7, 2013.

The seats have been vacant since the deaths of Malik Salahuddin Dogar and Mir Wali Muhammad Badini.

Salahuddin was member of the Senate from Punjab representing the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Wali was from Balochistan representing Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q) on general seats.

Nomination papers will be accepted on December 21 and 22 and polling will be held in respective provincial assemblies on January 07, 2012 from 9am to 4pm.

Three killed as gunmen attack passenger buses near Quetta

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 12:50 PM PST

Quetta: Three people were killed and six others injured after unknown assailants fired indiscriminately upon two passenger buses on Thursday in Mach area of Bolan district.

The buses were on their way to Lahore and Sadiqabad. The sources said the attackers also kidnapped two passengers.

Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) Mach said two inured were in critical condition. He added that a search operation in the area is under way.


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