Will Qadri’s hanging lead to blasphemy law reforms in Pakistan?

Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of former Governor Salman Taseer, has been hanged in a prison in Rawalpindi. Is Qadri’s death a victory for anti-blasphemy law campaigners or will it fuel more religious violence in the nation?

Excerpt:

Arshad Mahmood, an activist based in Islamabad, lauded Prime Minister Sharif and his government for not pardoning Qadri. “I am glad that Sharif didn’t succumb to the pressure from religious groups, who are extremely powerful in Pakistan. The hanging will yield positive results for the future of the country,” Mahmood told DW.

Read more » DW
See more » http://www.dw.com/en/will-qadris-hanging-lead-to-blasphemy-law-reforms-in-pakistan/a-19082554

‘I Am Truly and Deeply Concerned’ – Gorbachev

 

Excerpt:

Gorbachev Interview: ‘I Am Truly and Deeply Concerned’

Interview Conducted by and Britta Sandberg

SPIEGEL: Do you think it is possible there could be another major war in Europe?

Gorbachev: Such a scenario shouldn’t even be considered. Such a war today would inevitably lead to a nuclear war. But the statements from both sides and the propaganda lead me to fear the worst. If one side loses its nerves in this inflamed atmosphere, then we won’t survive the coming years.

SPIEGEL: Aren’t you overstating things a bit?

Gorbachev: I don’t say such things lightly. I am a man with a conscience. But that’s the way things are. I am truly and deeply concerned.

SPIEGEL: The new Russian military doctrine labels NATO’s eastern expansion and the “reinforcement of NATO’s offensive capabilities” as one of the primary threats facing Russia. Do you agree?

Gorbachev: NATO’s eastward expansion has destroyed the European security architecture as it was defined in the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. The eastern expansion was a 180-degree reversal, a departure from the decision of the Paris Charter in 1990 taken together by all the European states to put the Cold War behind us for good. Russian proposals, like the one by former President Dmitri Medvedev that we should sit down together to work on a new security architecture, were arrogantly ignored by the West. We are now seeing the results.

SPIEGEL: The Ukraine conflict is a personal one for you — and not just for political reasons.

Gorbachev: That is correct, and anything else would be strange. I am, after all, half Ukrainian. My mother was Ukrainian and my wife Raisa was too. I spoke my very first words in Ukrainian, and the first songs I heard were Ukrainian. The southern Russian region of Stavropol, where I come from and where I once served as party chief, had a partnership during Soviet times with Ukraine’s Donetsk region, where this terrible war is raging today. Back then we offered each other mutual help. We were friends and we lived in one state. Still, even today I have friends and relatives in Ukraine — as do most Russians.

SPIEGEL: As general secretary of the Communist Party, you fought for glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in your country. Has everything that you pushed for during your political life fallen into ruin under Putin?

Gorbachev: I take an entirely different view. Glasnost isn’t dead and neither is democracy. A new generation has grown up in Russia under entirely different conditions — and it is much freer than in the Soviet Union. The clock can no longer be turned back. Nothing has fallen into ruin.

Read more » SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL
See more » http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/gorbachev-warns-of-decline-in-russian-western-ties-over-ukraine-a-1012992.html

Sharmeen Obaid wins second Oscar award

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on Sunday became the first Pakistani to win two Oscar awards.

Sharmeen won in the Best Documentary Short Subject for A Girl In The River in the 88th Academy awards. The documentary which sheds light on honour killings in Pakistan follows the story of a teenage girl shot in the face by her own family.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/1056327/sharmeen-obaid-bags-second-oscar-award/

Taseer’s killer Mumtaz Qadri hanged

RAWALPINDI: Mumtaz Qadri, an Elite Force commando convicted of killing former Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was executed at the Adiala Jail at around 4.30am on Monday, police said.

Qadri shot Taseer 28 times in broad daylight in Islamabad’s Kohsar Market on January 4, 2011. He was sentenced to death for assassinating Taseer on Oct 1 the same year.

Qadri said he killed Taseer over what he called the politician’s vocal opposition to blasphemy laws of the country.

His mercy appeal was rejected by President Mamnoon Hussain.

“I can confirm that Qadri was hanged in Adialia jail early Monday morning,” senior local police official Sajjid Gondal told AFP.

A prison official confirmed the execution of Qadri.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1242637

ROBOTS ARE BEING MADE TO REPLACE MEN BY 2025

Futurologist Ian Pearson has some very surprising predictions of what is going to be commonplace, when it comes to s*x, in less than 10 years.

 

According to him, having s*x with humanoid robots will be the new thing by 2025! It will even become more popular than having s*x with one another! One of the leading s*x toy shops in the UK, Bondara, has partnered with this published report by Pearson.

So let’s fast forward a few more years. Remember browsing p*rn on the web? No longer a thing. In 2030 it will be replaced with actually having virtual s*x, instead of just looking at it. Five years later toys will interact with this virtual reality. The rich may actually begin partaking in robot s*x by 2025. Then in 2050, it’s game over. ALL s*x will be with robots!

Read more » Idealist4Ever
See more » http://idealist4ever.com/robots-in-relationships/

Why Stephen Hawking is more afraid of capitalism than robots

by

In October, a Reddit user asked Stephen Hawking if he thinks robots are coming to take all of our jobs.

“In particular, do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated?” the user asked the renowned physicist on an Ask Me Anything thread.

The question isn’t crazy. Computers are getting smarter and more efficient all the time. It’s conceivable that we one day will reach a point where machines’ output is simply much more valuable than humans’.

Hawking didn’t discount the notion that machines may replace us. But he said whether this is good or bad depends on how the wealth produced by machines is distributed. That is, Hawking is more concerned about capitalism than he is about robots. He wrote:

..Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

We could be headed toward a work-free utopia where machine-produced goods and services are cheap and plentiful for all. Or, as Hawking suggests, the coming robot age will just exaggerate the income inequality that’s rampant across the globe. (Hawking is generally ambivalent on the advent of artificial intelligence. “We are facing potentially the best or worst thing to happen to humanity in history,” he has said.)

Read more » Vox
See more » http://www.vox.com/2016/2/27/11119804/stephen-hawking-robots

The Indus Inland Waterways System – the next big thing for Asia?

A new Indus waterways transport system could revolutionise the economies of South Asia.

BY HASSAN ABBAS

indus_river_bridge

There are few river systems in the world as long and as reliable as the Indus. The river and its tributaries connect most major cities of Pakistan with each other and the Arabian Sea, but also Kabul in Afghanistan and the towns such as Gurdaspur and Ludhiana in India.

If a carefully engineered Indus Inland Waterways System (IIWS) is developed, connecting several cities in the three countries with the Arabian Sea, it could bring a huge economic boon in the entire region inhabited by 500 million people, including western China and Central Asia.

The economics and advantages of inland waterways are well documented, including in trade, commerce and engineering.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1241827

Pakistan – Punjab Assembly approves Women Protection Bill

LAHORE (Dunya News) – Punjab Assembly on Wednesday has approved Women Protection Bill calling for end to violence against the female gender. Those convicted of serious crimes such as throwing acid on women will now have to wear a GPS tracker and face various other consequences.

According the bill passed in the Assembly, those accused of throwing acid on women, rape and other grave offences will be restrained from visiting the concerned female’s work place or areas frequented by her. The offender may also be restrained by the court from contacting the woman based on the evidence submitted by her. The accused person will have to maintain the stated distance from the concerned female as ordered by the court in view of the events.

The Bill also states that female victims of domestic violence cannot be evicted from homes without their consent and in case of such an event; the court will reinstate the concerned female’s position.

Read more » Dunya News Tv
See more » http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/324600-Punjab-Assembly-approves-Women-Protection-Bill

Australia to boost defence spending

Australia has announced a surge in defence spending, a move that reflects concern over military expansion in the region.

Military spending will grow by A$29.9b ($21.4b, £15.4b) over next 10 years, the 2016 Defence White Paper outlined.

The largest investment will be made in submarines, with investment also being made in additional naval vessels, fighter jets and personnel.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-35657021

Pakistan at tenth place in list of world’s largest arms importers for 2015

BEIJING: Pakistan was the tenth largest arms importer in the world in 2015, down one spot from number nine the previous year, a military think tank database reveals, while Saudi Arabia was the leading arms importer in the world, followed closely by India.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1241157/pakistan-at-tenth-place-in-list-of-worlds-largest-arms-importers-for-2015

Shuja Pasha admitted ISI’s role in Mumbai attack: ex-CIA chief

In his latest book ‘Playing to the Edge’, Michael Hayden, the former CIA Director, expressed his deep frustration of the “duplicity” of the Pakistani leadership when it came to taking action against terrorist groups.

Read more » The Hindu
See more » http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/shuja-pasha-admitted-isis-role-in-mumbai-attack-excia-chief/article8271880.ece

It’s official: Native Americans and Siberians are cousins

After more than a century of speculation, an international group of geneticists has conclusively proven that the Aztecs, Incas, and Iroquois are closely related to the peoples of Altai, the Siberian region that borders China and Mongolia.

Scientists have suspected for a long time that Native Americans are closely related to the peoples of Altai. The theory of the Altai peoples migrating from Siberia across Chukotka and Alaska, down to the Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America, appeared almost a century ago.

Since then researchers have tried to prove this, and in late 2015 the famous Russian geneticist, Oleg Balanovsky, finally confirmed the theory. In addition, Dr. Balanovsky’ss tudies also proved that some Native Americans have kinship with the indigenous populations of Australia.

“The current study confirms the theory that the Altai peoples are closely related to Native Americans,” said geneticist Valery Ilyinsky at the RAS Institute of General Genetics. “We now have clear proof, and it is useless to contest it.”

Read more » RBTH
See more » http://rbth.com/science_and_tech/2016/02/23/its-official-native-americans-and-siberians-are-cousins_569517

The lost Jewish history of Rawalpindi

“There were Jews living in the city till late 90’s. Although the family moved to some other city, they still come and visit these streets.”

By Saif Tahir

While roaming the streets of Babu Mohallah, one singles out this old yellow building with its distinct features. The abundance of old and new buildings of Nishtar Street fails to overshadow the tall, three story building with peculiar texture and strong colonial features. What makes this old yellowish facade even more intriguing is the Star of David’s situated on its top that have survived almost a century despite the predisposed hatred and revulsion. The building, former coal centre and the present Rehman Manzil, is the only intact Jewish architecture in Rawalpindi. 

Rawalpindi, a 1000 BC historical city, General Headquarters of Pakistan Army and the twin city of Islamabad has a lot more to tell than its bureaucratic ties and military tales.

Babu Mohallah is one of the oldest neighbourhoods and business hubs of the city. Known today as Asia’s leading car parts market, its rich and diverse cultural heritage makes it deceptively fascinating. On one side stands the grand Bohra Mosque with a thriving Bohra community. Right next to it you’ll find an old Victorian church and a Hindu temple right in the back street. The Jewish building on Nishtar Street lies in the middle.

Continue reading The lost Jewish history of Rawalpindi

Opposition leader warns Turkey in process of ‘Pakistanization’

By TODAYSZAMAN.COM

 

ISTANBUL – The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, slammed the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leaders for “turning Turkey into a bloodbath” and said they should be tried for “aiding and abetting terrorist organizations.”

In a speech to members of the CHP İstanbul branch, Kılıçdaroğlu said neighboring Syria has become a new Afghanistan, an operational center for all jihadist groups. “They went there under the protection offered by the government. Turkey has become embroiled in a process of Pakistanization,” he said.

The CHP leader noted 234 people were killed in six bombings across Turkey over the past six months. “No country that is not in a war has been through such a deep trauma. How can it be that 234 people have been killed over the past six months but no is held accountable politically?” he said.

Read more » TodayZaman
See more » http://mobile.todayszaman.com/national_opposition-leader-warns-turkey-in-process-of-pakistanization_412857.html

Embracing Punjabi

By Obed Pasha

Rabindranath Tagore was once asked why he got the Nobel Prize for literature and Allama Iqbal did not. Tagore replied “Probably because I write in my mother tongue and Iqbal doesn’t.”

With this answer Tagore touched on two important points. First, that people can best express themselves through the language they grow up speaking. And second, that the Muslim Punjabi intelligentsia has stopped using its native language as a medium of expression.

Read more » The News
See more » http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/44143-embracing-punjabi

Pakistan lifts sanctions on Iran

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan formally lifted sanctions on Iran on Friday, a move which is expected to open a new era of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of banking, trade and energy.

“Pursuant to UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution of 2231, Pakistan has decided to lift sanctions against Iran,” read a finance ministry announcement. The modalities for the restrictions sanctions were finalised in an inter-ministerial meeting, it said.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/1050792/pakistan-lifts-sanctions-on-iran-2/

History Is Going Russia’s and China’s Way, Not Obama’s

After another failed “summit” attempt to turn the ASEAN countries against China, Barack Obama spent his Feb. 16 press conference denouncing and attempting to denigrate Russia, and particularly Russian President Putin’s success in changing the situation in the Mideast.

Read more » Larouche|Pac
See more » https://larouchepac.com/20160217/history-going-russias-and-chinas-way-not-obamas

Humanity is a bond that is shared without boundaries and barriers. Iranian initiative of The Wall of Kindness reached Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan.

By: Social media

Humanity is a bond that is shared without boundaries and barriers. Iranian initiative of The Wall of Kindness reached Pakistan and now our lovely city Hyderabad has its wall all set to help needy people with help of ‪#‎PUAN‬ Jamshoro chapter. Tomorrow all youngesters, elders and social activists are invited to join hands together, own Dewaar e Meharbaani and donate as many clothes, shoes and school bags as you can.
Venue: Near Giddu traffic chowky, Thandi Sarak. Timing: 2 to 3 pm. Date: 19 Feb 2016

Courtesy: via Facebook

Train service between Pakistan and Turkey on the cards

ISLAMABAD: A new train service between Asia and Europe is on the cards. The service will enable Pakistani exports to reach Turkey via Iran in 15 days.

Pakistani exports to Turkey include: rice, sesame seeds, leather, textiles, fabrics, sports’ goods and medical equipment. Turkey’s exports to Pakistan are wheat, chickpeas, lentils, diesel, chemicals, transport vehicles, machinery and energy products.

Read more » Customs Today
See more » http://www.customstoday.com.pk/train-service-between-pakistan-and-turkey-on-the-cards/
More detials: BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan/2016/02/160219_turkey_pak_rail_link_fz?ocid=socialflow_facebook

Make in India boost: Lockheed Martin ready to manufacture F-16 jets in India

By PTI

SINGAPORE: US fighter jet maker Lockheed Martin today said it is ready to manufacture F-16 aircraft in India and supports the ongoing talks between the two countries to set up the first manufacturing facility, one of the largest projects under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

“We are ready to manufacture F-16 in India and support the Make in India initiative,” Phil Shaw, chief executive of Lockheed Martin India Private Ltd told reporters at the Singapore Airshow 2016.

Read more » THE ECONOMICS TIMES
See more » http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/make-in-india-boost-lockheed-martin-ready-to-manufacture-f-16-jets-in-india/articleshow/51037000.cms

The final frontier: What the government and media aren’t telling you about the JNU controversy

KaniyaBy Saib Bilaval

In the light of recent controversies, JNU currently occupies centre stage in media coverage and the public gaze. Most of the media, especially Zee News, NewsX, IndiaTV and Times Now, is portraying the government as justifiably taking action on students who insult the country. Needless to say, public opinion mirrors that.

What the government is really doing is attacking social science, and democratic socialism, in the name of coming after 15 ultra-Left students. That they arrested Kanhaiya Kumar, the JNUSU president who was not shouting slogans, makes it clear that the government just needed an excuse to ‘crack down’ on JNU.

It is attacking the centres of the most systematic and sharp critiques of state policy in the country. This objective is tied to their notions of repainting history in saffron. The Indian Council for Historical Research has been taken over, as has the University Grants Commission, the Indian History Congress is being starved and discredited.

Hyderabad Central University has been hijacked, Delhi University courses professionalized, and Mamata Banerjee has already done to the institutions in West Bengal in her reign what the Modi government is just starting to do in the rest of the country. JNU is indeed the final frontier of political and policy dissent.

Read more » First Post
See more » http://www.firstpost.com/india/the-final-frontier-what-the-government-and-media-arent-telling-you-about-the-jnu-controversy-2633586.html

Finning swings to loss; to cut 400 to 500 more jobs

catBy Reuters

Canada’s Finning International Inc, the world’s biggest dealer of Caterpillar Inc equipment, posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and said it would cut more jobs.

The company, which cut 13 per cent of its global work force last year, said it would cut another 400-500 jobs by mid-2016.

Finning had about 14,500 employees as of Dec. 31, 2014.

Shares of the Vancouver-based company were down 7.4 per cent at $17.29 in early trade.

Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, has been hit by weak mining, drilling and construction activity around the world.

Finning in November shut 11 facilities in Western Canada, in addition to previously announced 16 closures, to cut costs.

Read more » The Globe And Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/finning-swings-to-loss-to-cut-400-500-more-jobs/article28794252/

Kurds Warn Turkey of ‘Big War’ With Russia If Troops Enter Syria

By   meyerhenry4

Russia has promised to protect Kurdish fighters in Syria in case of a ground offensive by Turkey, a move that would lead to a “big war,” the Syrian group’s envoy to Moscow said in an interview on Wednesday.

“We take this threat very seriously because the ruling party in Turkey is a party of war,” Rodi Osman, head of the Syrian Kurds’ newly-opened representative office said in Kurdish via a Russian interpreter. “Russia will respond if there is an invasion. This isn’t only about the Kurds, they will defend the territorial sovereignty of Syria.”

Read more » Bloomberg
See more » http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-18/kurds-warn-turkey-of-big-war-with-russia-if-troops-enter-syria

Sindhi (Pakistan and India) was the native language of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the “Father of the Nation” of Pakistan”, says BBC in its article about adding Sindhi to Google translation list

Google Translate introduces 13 new languages including Scots Gaelic and Sindhi

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/35602377/google-translate-introduces-13-new-languages-including-scots-gaelic-and-sindhi

‘IT park to improve trade between Pakistan, S. Korea’

ISLAMABAD: South Korea wants to improve trade ties with Pakistan and the establishment of an IT park in Islamabad is a step towards doing so, South Korean Ambassador Dr Song Jong-Hwan said at a gathering at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

South Korea will establish one of the biggest and most advanced IT parks in Islamabad in an area of about one million square feet.

The Exim Bank of Korea has agreed to provide $50 million for the establishment of the park and South Korean teams are expected to conduct a feasibility study with assistance from the Ministry of IT and Pakistan Software Exports Board (PSEB).

It is expected that the IT park will attract international companies to develop software and hardware solutions and will also help boost the country’s IT exports.

“Establishing the park will promote small and medium enterprises as well,” Dr Song said.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1240330/

Google Translate adds 13 more languages for a total of 103

Now you can chat with people from Ethiopia and Kyrgyzstan.

By Mariella Moon , @mariella_moon

Google Translate could help connect even more people now that it’s added13 more languages to its roster. Those 13 are Amharic (Ethiopia), Corsican (Corsica island in France), Frisian (Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands), Kyrgyz (Kyrgyzstan), Hawaiian, Kurdish/Kurmanji (Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria), Luxembourgish, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Shona (Zimbabwe), Sindhi (Pakistan), Pashto (Afghanistan) and Xhosa (South Africa). Google says all of Translate’s 103 available languages cover 99 percent of the online population.

Read more » Engadget
See more » http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/18/google-translate-adds-13-languages/

Bombardier to cut 7,000 jobs as it enters ‘year of transition’

By BERTRAND MAROTTE

MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail – Bombardier Inc. chief executive officer Alain Bellemare is vowing that 2016 will be a “year of transition” for the Montreal-based plane and train maker after significant rounds of cost cutting last year.

But many investors, analysts and observers were disappointed by worse-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and surprised by the magnitude of a new wave of cost cutting – 7,000 jobs to be slashed over the next two years –

Read more » The Globe And Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/bombardier-to-slash-7000-jobs/article28779506/

Freedom 251 ‘Cheapest Smartphone’ to Launch on Wednesday

Considered a luxury not too long ago, smartphones have reached a point that they can now be considered a commodity. But on Wednesday, things will reach a whole new level.

By Manish Singh

As part of its attempt to connect every Indian, local smartphone manufacturer Ringing Bells ‘with immense support’ from the India government will launch an affordable smartphone called the Freedom 251 on Wednesday. The Freedom 251, touted as India’s cheapest smartphone -and likely the most affordable smartphone in the world as well – will sport a price tag below Rs. 500 (approximately $7).

Read more » NDTV
See more » http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/indian-company-to-launch-7-smartphone-on-wednesday-802668