Pakistan’s ISI Gave Shelter To Mullah Omar, Hillary Clinton’s Email Dump Reveals

Mullah OmarBy

Pakistani spy agency ISI sheltered Taliban leader Mullah Omar after he had run away from Afghanistan in 2001, reveals an email dated Aug. 25, 2010 that was received by the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Pakistan has long denied ISI connections with the Taliban leader, who died at a Karachi hospital in 2013. U.S. authorities claimed there was no evidence of the alleged connection between Omar and the Pakistani spy agency.

However, the email written by “Sid” gives a different picture. “I’m sure you know the facts in this well-informed piece, how Mullah Omar was saved by ISI, for example, but the idea of Afghanistan as an aspect of lndo-Pak war is the best and overarching strategic concept,” Business Standard quoted the email sent to Clinton.

The email is one among several emails released by the U.S. State Department. Clinton received these emails on her private server while she served as the secretary of state.

The email also contains an article “The military and the mullah” written by William Dalrymple. The article was published on New Statesman Aug. 23, 2010. Dalrymple gave details in the article how Pakistan supported the Taliban to dominate Afghanistan and the “Hindu-dominated Indian army in Kashmir.”

Read more » INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES
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Canada – Group layoffs soar in Alberta

economyBy MARIO TONEGUZZI, CALGARY HERALD

With hundreds more announced job cuts looming, group layoffs in Alberta this year have surpassed 11,000 workers, according to employer data.

Companies are required to notify the province if they intend to terminate 50 or more employees within a four-week period. The government has received 72 such notices affecting 11,399 workers, said Pam Sharpe, a Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour Ministry spokesperson.

For all of 2014, the province received 35 notices involving 7,508 employees.

Of the announced 2015 layoffs, almost 75 per cent were related to the energy sector, while about one quarter involved the retail, food and financial services. Just this week Cenovus said it was cutting 300 to 400 office jobs in Calgary.

Read more » Calgary Herald
See more » http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/group-layoffs-soar-in-alberta-to-more-than-11000-so-far-this-year

“If India tries to impose war on Pakistan, heavy losses will be inflicted on India which it will remember for decades,” – Pakistan’s defence minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif says.

Asif accused India of interfering in Pakistani affairs, saying Islamabad had proof to back it.

India will suffer if it attacks Pakistan: Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Defence minister

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s defence minister today warned India that it will suffer “heavy losses” which it would “remember for decades” if it tries to “impose” a war on his country.

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said “Pakistan’s armed forces will defend every inch of their motherland at every cost”.

He was talking to media during his visit to village Kundunpur along the international border in Sialkot.

“If India tries to impose war on Pakistan, heavy losses will ..
See more » The Economic Times
Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/48732332.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Aurangzeb Road Renamed After APJ Abdul Kalam, Arvind Kejriwal Tweets ‘Congrats’

Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road will be renamed after former president APJ Abdul Kalam, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Twitter.

Edited by Deepshikha Ghosh

Delhi – One of Delhi’s most elite addresses, Aurangzeb Road, will be renamed after former president APJ Abdul Kalam, and it was announced on Friday by someone who was not involved in the decision – Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“Congrats. NDMC jst now decided to rename Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road,” tweeted Mr Kejriwal, who has been locked in a fierce turf war with the Centre over who controls the reins of the capital.

The decision was taken by the civic body in charge of central Delhi, after an all-clear from the union home ministry.

Within an hour, Mr Kejriwal’s comment had been re-tweeted over 900 times and favourited 600 times. Many comments accused him of taking credit for a BJP lawmaker’s proposal.

The BJP’s Mahesh Girri wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month suggesting that Aurangzeb Road should be named after Dr Kalam, who died on July 27.

“As a tribute to the People’s President, I propose to rename the ‘Aurangzeb Road’ in New Delhi to ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road’. In my opinion, this will be a great way of preserving his memories and legacy forever,” wrote Mahesh Girri.

Speaking to NDTV, Mr Girri said, “Do we ever name our children by the name of a devil? We can’t change history but we can try to correct some wrongs.”

Read more » NDTV
See more » http://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/delhis-aurangzeb-road-to-be-named-after-president-apj-abdul-kalam-tweets-arvind-kejriwal-1211984

China launches Yaogan-27 remote sensing satellite

By Xinhua

A Long March-4C rocket carrying the Yaogan-27 remote sensing satellite blasts off from the launch pad at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China’s Shanxi Province, Aug. 27, 2015. The satellite will mainly be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster prevention. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)

TAIYUAN, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) — China’s Yaogan-27 remote sensing satellite was sent into space on Thursday at 10:31 a.m. Beijing Time, from Taiyuan launch site in Shanxi Province, north China.

The satellite will mainly be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster prevention.

Yaogan-27 was carried by a Long March-4C rocket, the 207th mission for the Long March rocket family.

China launched the first “Yaogan” series satellite, Yaogan-1, in 2006.

News courtesy: People’s Daily
Read more » http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0827/c90000-8942511.html

China finally wins Thailand railway project

(Photo/Xinhua)

By Kong Defang (People’s Daily Online)

After many ups and downs, China has finally won the railway cooperation project with Thailand. Zhu Xijun, general manager of the Southeast Asia Company of China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), said on Aug. 26 that after six rounds of negotiation,both sides plans to sign the inter-governmental framework agreement on the China-Thailand Railway project in early September, and the commencement ceremony of the project is expected to be held in the end of October, Xinhua reported.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China-Thailand diplomatic ties and the first yearof implementation of the “One Belt and One Road”initiative proposed by China. The China-Thailand Railway, which has a historical significance, has attracted tremendous attention.

According to Zhu Xijun, the project, which will be completed in 3 years, will bring actual benefits to the socioeconomic development of Thailand. After the railway puts into use,people will enjoy a much more convenient and cheaper transportation between China and Thailand. The price of a railway passenger ticket between Kunming and Bangkok will be about 3600 Thai Baht or 700 yuan, which is about a half or a third of an airline ticket, and the railway freight cost is only one ninth of the air freight.

The railway is estimated to add 2 million more Chinese tourists to Thailand every year andwill provide further convenience to its agricultural product export. With this railway,Thailand will be a new transportation hub of ASEAN countries.

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Pakistan’s federal anti-corruption court issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Gilani, the former prime minister of Pakistan

A federal anti-corruption court here on Thursday issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Yousuf Raza Gilani and Makhdoom Amin Fahim.

A federal anti-corruption court here on Thursday issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Yousuf Raza Gilani and Makhdoom Amin Fahim.

Arrest warrants issued for senior PPP leaders Gilani, Amin Fahim

BY ISHAQ TANOLI | SHAFI BALOCH

KARACHI: A federal anti-corruption court here on Thursday issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Yousuf Raza Gilani and Makhdoom Amin Fahim.

The order against the former prime minister and the senior PPP leader was issued after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) presented achallan (charge sheet) with 12 new cases — relating to multi-billion rupee scandal in the Trade Development Authority (TDAP) — registered against the two before the court.

Cases against the two PPP leaders, some former and serving senior officials of the TDAP and others were registered by FIA for their alleged involvement in approving and disbursing fraudulent trade subsidies of billions of rupees to several fake companies through fictitious claims and backdated cheques.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1203171/

Largest Military Satellite Successfully launched by India

A file photo of GSLV-2 at Isro’s launching pad in Sriharikota. (HT Photo for representative purpose)

Isro launches communication satellite GSAT-6

By Vanita Shrivastava, Hindustan Times

New Delhi – Isro’s large GSAT-6 communication satellite which has several strategic applications was on Thursday placed in orbit by a rocket powered by a home-made cryogenic engine.

The Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D6) rocket lifted off from Sriharikota spaceport at 4.52pm on Thursday carrying the satellite. This was the ninth flight of the GSLV and the third development flight using a cryogenic engine.

Just after the lift-off the second stage  was ignited successfully, followed by the crucial third stage of cryogenics. After some time the   GSLV-D6 with indigenous cryo engine successfully placed  GSAT-6 in orbit.

Isro chairman Kiran Kumar told Hindustan Times: “One of the advanced features of GSAT 6  satellite is its S Band unfurlable  antenna of 6 m diameter. This is the largest satellite antenna made by our space agency. The antenna will be utilised for five spot beams over the Indian main land.”

GSAT-6 is the twenty fifth geostationary communication satellite of India built by ISRO and twelfth in the GSAT series. Five of GSAT-6’s predecessors were launched by GSLV in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2014 respectively.

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Global shares nosedive on China woes

FTSE 100 and European markets rattled by losses in China

Stock markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt have fallen sharply as fears of a Chinese economic slowdown continue to haunt investors.

London’s FTSE 100 index was down by 4% in early afternoon trade, with major markets in France and Germany down by 4.6% and 4.4% respectively.

Shares in Asia were hit overnight, with the Shanghai Composite in China closing down 8.5%, its worst close since 2007.

Global investors worry about growth in the world’s second largest economy.

China’s central bank devalued the country’s currency, the yuan, two weeks ago, raising fresh concerns that a slowdown in the country’s economy was worse than originally feared.

Currencies and commodities are also falling sharply, because those markets rely heavily on strong demand from China.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34038147

World’s largest solar power station to come up in Madhya Pradesh

Solar energyBy PTI

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh will house world’s largest 750 Mega Watts(MW) solar power station in Rewa district, state’s energy minister Rajendra Shukla said today.
“Global tenders for commissioning the solar power station in an area over 1,500 hectares at Bandwar region in Gudh tehsil of Rewa, will be invited shortly,” Shukla told PTI.
He said that if all goes well, the plant will start generating solar energy by March 2017.

Read more » The Economic Times

The Tesla battery heralds the beginning of the end for fossil fuels

The new Tesla Energy Powerwall Home Battery during an event at Tesla Motors in Hawthorne, California, April 30, 2015. Tesla unveiled Tesla Energy — a suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities — a highly anticipated plan to expand its business beyond electric vehicles.

BY JOHN MATTHEWS, THE CONVERSATION

While wind and solar power have made great strides in recent years, with renewables now accounting for 22% of electric energy generated, the issue that has held them back has been their transience. The sun doesn’t shine at night and the wind doesn’t blow year-round — these are the mantras of all those opposed to the progress of renewables.

Now the renewable-power billionaire Elon Musk has just blown away that final defence. Last Thursday in California he introduced to the world his sleek new Powerwall — a wall-mounted energy-storage unit that can hold 10 kilowatt hours of electric energy, and deliver it at an average of 2 kilowatts, all for $3,500.
See more » Business Insider
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-tesla-battery-heralds-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-fossil-fuels-2015-5#ixzz3jeRuPDIx

Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting ‘foreigners out’

BY SHEHAB KHAN

Up to 1,000 protesters have clashed with police in eastern Germany in riots reportedly sparked by the arrival of 250 migrants.

Police said protesters shouting “foreigners out” and carrying banners against the “asylum flood” threw bottles and stones at busloads of asylum seekers arriving in Heidenau, near Dresden.

Read more » The Independent
See more » http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/dresden-riots-protesters-in-germany-attack-refugee-buses-shouting-foreigners-out-10467287.html

Four Pakistani soldiers killed in Afghan rocket attack: ISPR

talibanKARACHI: At least four soldiers of the Pakistan Army were killed and four others were injured on Sunday as militant groups fired rockets from across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Khyber Agency.

“Four Pakistan Army soldiers were killed and four others were injured due to rocket fire,” an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/943312/four-pakistani-soldiers-killed-in-cross-border-shelling-ispr/

Asian shares continue global downward trend

Asian stocks saw sharp falls on Friday as mounting concerns over China’s slowing economy continued to affect global markets.

It follows big falls in US and European markets on Thursday, with the Dow Jones dropping more than 2%.

China’s Shanghai Composite index closed down 4.27% at 3,507.74 points.

Data released on Friday morning showed Chinese factory activity falling to its lowest level in more than six years.

The private Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 47.1 from 47.8 in July. A figure below 50 shows contraction in the sector and one above means growth.

As domestic and export demand dwindle, Friday’s data is likely to add to global worries that the Chinese economy is set for a continued slowdown.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index followed the mainland’s trend and was 1.53% lower at 22,409.62 points.

Global market woes

Asia’s largest stock market, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index, dropped sharply, finishing 2.98% down at 19,435.83 points.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34013405

Syriza split as elections loom

By

Alexis Tsipras has become another austerity politician. Once the expression of the hopes of workers across Europe- Syriza have now joined the austerity consensus. Therefore the announcement that the left of Syriza are splitting to form a new party, Popular Unity, is to be welcomed.

Syriza were elected on a platform of reforms- promising to end the humanitarian crisis in Greece. But the leading members of Syriza believed that it was possible to both end austerity and save Greek capitalism- and this miracle was to be performed while remaining in the Eurozone.

The bullying of the EU exposed this political weakness and laid the basis for a complete capitulation by Tsipras. Syriza labour minister, George Katrougalos, said the government needed to “reconfirm its mandate” to implement austerity in the form of the third Greek bailout and that the party is “crippled by a number of dissident MPs”.

25 left MPs have quit to form the new party. The anti-capitalist coalition, Antarsya, of which the Greek SWP is part, has called for a united movement to oppose the bailout deal and the cuts. It’s vital that the new party links up with the anti-capitalists and helps to focus the battles ahead.

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US Set to Suspend Military Aid to Pakistan

The U.S. government will withhold certification of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism operations against the Haqqani network.

By Ankit Panda

The United States government will not certify Pakistan’s counter-terrorism operations in North Waziristan over recent months as adequately damaging to the Haqqani network, a U.S.-designated terror group. The U.S. Department of Defense has reportedly notified the Pakistani embassy in Washington of the development, according to a report by Dawn. The non-certification of the Pakistani counter-terror campaign, known as Operation Zarb-e-Azb, will block the release of a new tranche of U.S. financial assistance for the Pakistani military from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). CSF support had been extended for a year with a specific stipulation that the U.S. Department of Defense would certify the effectiveness of Pakistani military operations in North Waziristan against the Haqqani network.

The development would drive a major wedge between the United States and Pakistan, two allies who have grown apart over their divergent interests and priorities in stabilizing the broader Afghan-Pakistan border. Beyond the financial implications of the blocked CSF tranche, the development will deal Islamabad a politically damaging blow. As the Dawn report notes, given the recent deterioration in ties with Kabul amid allegations from the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, that Pakistani has inadequately reigned in cross-border terrorists, including militants affiliated with the Haqqani network, the U.S. government’s decision to withhold certification vindicate Afghan perceptions.

Read more » The | Diplomat
See more » http://thediplomat.com/2015/08/us-set-to-suspend-military-aid-to-pakistan/

Islamic call on rich countries to end fossil fuel use

Islamic environmental and religious leaders have called on rich countries and oil producing nations to end fossil fuel use by 2050.

The Islamic Climate Declaration says that the world’s 1.6bn Muslims have a religious duty to fight climate change.

It urges politicians to agree a new treaty to limit global warming to 2C, “or preferably 1.5 degrees.”

The Declaration asks Muslims, in the words of the Koran, “not to strut arrogantly on the Earth”.

Drafted at an international symposium in Istanbul, the Declaration calls for “all people, leaders and businesses …to commit to 100% renewable energy”.

It also argues for increased financial support for communities vulnerable to climate change.

The main focus though is on “well-off nations and oil-producing states,” who are urged to lead the way in phasing out greenhouse gases, no later than the middle of this century.

The Declaration calls on the rich countries, to recognise their “moral obligation to reduce consumption so that the poor may benefit from what is left of the Earth’s non-renewable resources”.

“People need to be told and politicians need to stop misleading their people, in telling them they can go on increasing their standards of living for ever and ever and ever,” Fazlun Khalid, a long time Islamic environmentalist involved in drawing up the Declaration, told BBC News.

“Someone should be articulating this because it’s an impossibility, they can’t do it – And this applies not just to Muslim countries.”

The call has been supported by religious leaders including the Grand Muftis of Uganda and Lebanon, the president of Indonesia’s major body of religious scholars as well as environmental groups and government officials from Morocco and Turkey.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33972240

Clash reported between Afghan and Pakistan forces along Durand Line

By KHAAMA PRESS

A member of the Afghan Border Police was martyred following heavy clashes have been reported between the Afghan and Pakistani security forces along the Durand Line on Sunday afternoon.

The incident took place around 2:00 pm local time after the Pakistani security forces launched an attack on the Afghan Border Police and Afghan National Police outposts in Nari district of eastern Kunar province.

Provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Habib Syed Khel confirmed that a member of the Afghan Border Police lost his life during the gun battle.

A local official earlier said the Pakistani forces used heavy and lights weapons to target the Afghan security forces.

This comes as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul last month to protest against border violation and cross-border shelling.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the Pakistani soldiers were trying to establish military installations inside the Afghan territory in Angor Ada area in Barmal District of Paktika province when the skirmish took place.

News courtesy: Khaama Press
Read more » http://www.khaama.com/clash-reported-between-afghan-and-pakistan-forces-along-durand-line-1399

As it happened: PM Modi’s UAE visit

PM Modi on Monday addressed a packed house at the Dubai Cricket Stadium, sending out a strong message on terror and reaching out to Indians across the globe.

Key Highlights

We have undertaken an extensive infrastructure development programme on the eastern coast of India.10:21 PM
Our government is visible everywhere and all the time.10:09 PM
Good Taliban and bad Taliban, good terrorism and bad terrorism won’t work any more. People have to decide if they are with humanity or with terrorism.10:01 PM
The reason why the world looks at India differently today is the will-power of 1.25 crore Indians.09:52 PM
A clear indication against terrorism has been given in a united voice from UAE.09:48 PM
The UAE Crown Prince has agreed to invest Rs 4.5 lakh crores in India.09:44 PM
People who are associated with Abu Dhabi know how big a decision it is to give land for a temple here. The Crown Prince deserves a standing ovation for it.09:40 PM
People from Kerala are there in large numbers. And I am specially talking about them due to the New Year festival today.

News courtesy: The Times of India
Read more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/PM-Modi’s-UAE-visit/liveblog/48507741.cms

UAE supports India’s candidature for permanent seat in UN Security Council

Prime Minister thanked UAE for its support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council.

By: PTI | Abu Dhabi – The UAE on Monday extended support to India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council as the two countries called for an expeditious reform of the UN body. The assurance came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with the UAE leadership, including Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayad Al Nahyan. “The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is an occasion to press for early reforms of the United Nations, and that the Inter-Governmental Negotiations on the reforms of the UN Security Council should be concluded expeditiously,” a joint statement issued after the talks said. Prime Minister thanked UAE for its support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council.

News courtesy: The Indian Express
Read more » http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/uae-supports-indias-candidature-for-permanent-seat-in-unsc/- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/uae-supports-indias-candidature-for-permanent-seat-in-unsc/#sthash.4qJSYlvi.dpuf

Islamic State leader Baghdadi ‘raped Kayla Mueller’

An American aid worker who was killed in February while held hostage by Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, was sexually abused by the group’s top leader, US officials told ABC news.

Kayla Mueller, 26, was repeatedly raped by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, they said.

Counter-terrorism officials made her family aware of the abuse in June.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33941913

Outgoing US Army Chief Urges Considering Boots on the Ground In Islamic State Fight

By VICE News

The outgoing US Army chief of staff has said that the United States should increase efforts to fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), and that putting military forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria might be the only way to do so.

General Raymond Odierno said at a Wednesday press conference that current US strategy in the region has helped deter IS in some ways, but that there is a long way to go to fully address the deeper economic and political issues facing Iraq and Syria.

“We should probably absolutely consider embedding some soldiers (with Iraqi forces), then see if that would make a difference,” Odierno said in response to whether he thought the US should deploy ground forces if the situation does not improve.

“I think that’s an option we should present to the president when the time is right,” he added.

Read more » Vice News
See more » https://news.vice.com/article/outgoing-us-army-chief-urges-boots-on-the-ground-in-islamic-state-fight

Pakistan to host 48th International Chemistry Olympiad next year

KARACHI: Pakistan will be hosting the 48th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in Karachi next year at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (KU).

“For the first time in the history of IChO since 1968, Pakistan will be hosting this mega event,” announced Prof Dr Attaur Rahman, IChO 2016 president and former Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairperson.

He was addressing a press conference held at Hussain Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry on Monday.

“Around 400 young chemists and 150 experts from more than 75 countries are expected to participate in this global chemistry competition,” Rahman revealed. The event will be held from July 20 till July 29 next year, he said. “This event will help us portray a positive image of Pakistan in the world and provide a platform to the local populace to showcase their talents.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/935755/for-the-love-of-science-pakistan-to-host-48th-international-chemistry-olympiad-next-year/

Texas-based Golden Chick Restaurants preparing to land in Pakistan

Golden Chick Restaurants preparing to land in Pakistan

KARACHI: An upcoming Pakistani food company has formally signed a franchise agreement with Texas-based Golden Chick Restaurants, a fast-food chain with a global presence.

Crescent Star Insurance, which is the 100% owner of the recently established Crescent Star Foods, said in a notice on Monday that its food subsidiary signed the agreement with the American company on August 7.

In its annual report, Crescent Star Insurance had hinted at making a long-term investment of Rs70 million in Crescent Star Foods.

The company will roll out as many as 30 food outlets in the next 10 years in different cities of Pakistan. The first outlet is expected to be operational by December 2015.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/935784/fast-food-joint-golden-chick-restaurants-preparing-to-land-in-pakistan/

China devalues the yuan, cutting rates by 1.9%

China Rattles Markets With Yuan Devaluation

China devalued the yuan in a move that rippled through global markets, as policy makers stepped up efforts to support exporters and boost the role of market pricing in Asia’s largest economy.

The central bank cut its daily reference rate by 1.9 percent, triggering the yuan’s biggest one-day drop since China ended a dual-currency system in January 1994. The People’s Bank of China called the change a one-time adjustment and said its fixing will become more aligned with supply and demand.

Read more » Bloomberg
See more » http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-11/china-weakens-yuan-reference-rate-by-record-1-9-amid-slowdown

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani slams Pakistan over recent Kabul attacks

By AFP

KABUL: Afghan president Ashraf Ghani lambasted neighbouring Pakistan today over a recent wave of insurgent attacks in the capital Kabul that killed at least 56 people.

“The last few days have shown that suicide bomber training camps and bomb-producing factories which are killing our people are as active as before in Pakistan,” Ghani told a news conference.

“We hoped for peace but we are receiving messages of war from Pakistan.”

Pakistan has historically supported the Taliban insurgents and many Afghans accuse it of nurturing militant sanctuaries on its soil in the hope of maintaining influence in Afghanistan.

Read more » The Times of India
See more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghan-president-Ashraf-Ghani-slams-Pakistan-over-recent-Kabul-attacks/articleshow/48424463.cms
– – – –
More details » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.com/urdu/regional/2015/08/150810_kabul_blast_fz

IS ‘abducts Syrian Christians’

Islamic State militants ‘abduct Christians’ in Syrian town

Islamic State militants have abducted dozens of people, many Christian, from a Syrian town captured on Thursday from pro-regime forces, reports say.

They were seized when the jihadists swept through al-Qaryatain in Homs province, monitoring groups say.

Many of the Christians had fled to al-Qaryatain to escape fighting in Aleppo province to the north.

Islamic State (IS) has treated Christians harshly in other places under its control.

The group follows its own extreme version of Sunni Islam and has previously ordered Christians to convert, pay jizya (a religious levy), or face death.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33818386

Indian Air Force fighters makes first staging visit to Saudi Arabia

IAF fighters makes first staging visit to Kingdom

Royal Air Force and Indian Air Force jets and tankers participating in Exercise “Indradanush. The 2-week exercise has seen the Indian Su-30MKI jets deploy to RAF Coningsby to train with the RAFs Typhoon FGRA4 Fighters. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — A flying contingent of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are on a maiden visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are in the Kingdom from Aug. 1-4.

Indian Embassy Charge d’Affaires Hemant Kotalwar, while addressing a press conference, called the visit significant, and yet another feature that is set to give the Indo-Saudi relations a boost.

“The visit underscored the close defense ties between India and Saudi Arabia, which received a fillip following Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s visit to New Delhi, when he was Crown Prince in February 2014, to sign a Bilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement,” he said.

Kotalwar thanked King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salam, minister of defense, for the support and cooperation rendered during the visit.

The contingent consisting of 110 IAF officers and airmen onboard Sukhoi 30MKI fighter aircraft, C-17 Globe Masters, C-130 Super Hercules and IL-78 aircraft while en route to United Kingdom for a multinational exercise landed at King Fahd airbase in Taif.

Read more » Saudi Gazette
See more » http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150803252312

Mullah Omar: Taliban leader ‘died in Pakistan in 2013’

Taliban leader Mullah Omar died two years ago in Pakistan, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s security services says.

Abdul Hassib Seddiqi told the BBC’s Afghan Service that Mullah Omar had died of health problems at a hospital in Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s government says information on his death is “credible”.

The latest reports of Mullah Omar’s death are being taken more seriously than previous such reports. The Taliban is expected to issue a statement soon.

Sources at the Taliban’s two main councils in Quetta and Peshawar in Pakistan told the BBC they were in intensive talks to agree on a replacement for Mullah Omar.

A statement from the office of Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said that it believed, “based on credible information”, that Mullah Omar died in April 2013 in Pakistan.

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