Main Menu

May, 2018


Gas Prices Close to a Psychological Threshold in the U.S.

Memorial Day weekend gas prices highest in four years May 27, 2018 (BE2C2) — Consumer gas prices in the U.S. for the Memorial Day weekend was the highest they’ve been in four years and will likely stay that way through the summer, the U.S. government said. The three-day holiday weekend in the U.S. (May 26-May 28) marks the de facto start of the summer holiday season ending in September. According to reports, retail gasoline prices have moved toward a national average of $3 per gallon, a psychological threshold indicative ofRead More

U.S. Authorizes 15,000 Additional Visas to Help Struggling Companies

May 27, 2018 (BE2C2) — The Department of Homeland Security will provide 15,000 additional H-2B visas to at-risk businesses to bring in low-skilled foreign labor this summer. The move lifts the number of these H2-B visas for summer work from the cap of 66,000 under statute to 81,000, the Wall Street Journal reported. It is made possible by Congress giving Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen the authority to issue up to 69,000 more visas this summer, if necessary, after negotiations in the spring with 81,000 people having applied forRead More

Qatar Bans Saudi, UAE Goods From Stores

May 27, 2018 (BE2C2) — Days before embargo anniversary, Qatar has banned goods from 4 nations. A directive from the economy ministry ordered shops to immediately strip shelves of products from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. Inspectors will visit stores to ensure they comply with the order, the ministry said. The government will also try and stop products such as Saudi dairy goods from entering Qatar via a third country. The gas-rich country’s Government Communications Office (GCO) said it was trying to “protect the safety of consumers”. “ProductsRead More

Only Anti-Corruption Drive Can Pull Pakistan Back From Brink of Chaos: Imran Khan Interview

“Extremism is not Pakistan’s problem. Pakistan’s problem is governance”; “Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore and Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia as examples of men who made their countries advance because they cleaned them up” SIMON HEFFER: To many of a certain age, Imran Khan is first and foremost the great all-rounder who captained Pakistan’s cricket team and played the international game from the 1970s to the 1990s. But these days, following an impressive career in philanthropy, Imran leads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, and after elections in early July hopes toRead More

Corruption Doesn’t Matter: It’s The Numbers Game in Pakistan Politics

IRFAN HUSAIN — The other day as I was flipping channels, I came across an interesting two-part interview with Dr Ijaz Gilani, founder and chairman of Gallup Pakistan. I was so fascinated by the facts and figures he discussed that I watched the program online the next day so I could take notes. Relying on data from all the elections held in Pakistan from 1970 onward, he made the point that while there had been rigging against the PPP in the 1988 and 1993 polls, it was no longer possibleRead More

Islam and the West: British Royalty’s Inclusiveness

The West and Islam are not two separate entities. Islam has done much to shape Western civilization and given Europe and the world the fabulous example of the era of Convivencia AKBAR AHMED — I was fortunate to be in England during the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. I watched on television with millions of others, Prince Charles extend his hand to the bride and take the place of her absent father. It was symbolic of the inclusiveness of British royalty. It took me back to October 1993Read More

‘No Party Will Hold The Majority In The Next Assembly’: Asif Ali Zardari

May 27, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Former President and Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday predicted no party will hold the majority in the next assembly — a view many observers have been voicing in the print media and on talk shows lately. However, if Gallup Pakistan’s most recent opinion poll is to be considered, PML-N — the ruling party, with Punjab as its bastion of power could swing results in its favor with enough seats to form the next  government also in the Center — other thingsRead More

Islamabad’s Top Envoy to US Will Take Charge From May 29, Amid Challenges Ahead

May 26, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Pakistan’s ambassador-designate to the United States Ali Jahangir Siddiqui will take charge of his post on May 29, two days before the end of the current government. Foreign Office spokesperson confirmed the latest development to DawnNewsTV on Saturday. Siddiqui left for Washington on Saturday night, Geo News reported. Considered an investment banking expert, Siddiqui will take over from Aizaz Chaudhry – a career diplomat, who will step down on the same day. The Foreign Office has informed the Pakistan Embassy in Washington regarding Siddiqui takingRead More

Editorial: Nawaz Should Ask For The Nation’s Forgiveness For His Past Mistakes

THE latest allegations are unsurprising and have been made by others before, but the bluntness and detail with which they have now been spelled out are remarkable and potentially dangerous. Former prime minister and under-trial PML-N supremo, Nawaz Sharif, has once again set the cat among the pigeons by claiming that his quest to put former president and military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf on trial for treason was the trigger for a campaign to oust Mr Sharif from public office and front-line politics. Mr Sharif’s further claim that theRead More

Saudi Arabia To Exclude German Firms From Government Tenders

May 27, 2018 (BE2C2) — Saudi Arabia has ordered that no more government contracts be awarded to German companies, in a sign of continued irritation over Berlin’s foreign policy in the Middle East, German magazine Der Spiegel and the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) report. Citing no sources, it said the move was likely to hit major companies such as Siemens, Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim as well as carmaker Daimler. Relations between Germany and Saudi Arabia have been strained, and Saudi Arabia last year summoned its ambassador in Germany homeRead More

Turkey, Russia Sign Retroactive Deal Granting 10.25 Pct Discount, End Gas Dispute

Turkey has also purchased S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia, a deal that has raised concern among Turkey’s NATO partners May 27, 2018 (BE2C2) — Russian state gas giant Gazprom said on Saturday it had signed a protocol with the Turkish government on a planned gas pipeline and agreed with Turkish firm Botas to end an arbitration dispute over the terms of gas supplies. The protocol concerned the land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gas pipeline, which Gazprom said meant that work to implement it couldRead More

Over 150 Detained in Dhaka’s Camp Geneva Raid Amid Accusations of Extrajudicial Killings

Geneva Camp is a crammed slum home to more than 40,000 Urdu-speaking people called “Stranded Pakistanis”. May 26, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Security forces in Bangladesh raided an area in capital Dhaka on Saturday and detained at least 150 suspects as part of a nationwide anti-drug crackdown, amid accusations that extrajudicial killings have taken place during the drive. Over 60 suspected drug peddlers have been killed and over 3,000 suspects detained across Bangladesh in the crackdown, according to tallies by officials and local media. The campaign was launched earlier this monthRead More

All Eyes On Afghan Sensation Rashid Khan As Hyderabad Face Chennai In IPL Final

May 27, 2018 (AFP) — Sunrisers Hyderabad are banking on Afghan sensation Rashid Khan to fire one more time against the Chennai Super Kings in Sunday’s Indian Premier League final. After a string of brilliant performances in India’s cash-rich Twenty20 league, the 19-year-old will be in the spotlight as the Sunrisers seek a second title — and a $4-million prize — against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Super Kings. Khan’s spin bowling has made him one of the hottest properties in cricket over the past year. But he has shown in theRead More

Violence in Kashmir: Impact on Students and Their Education

SHEHRYAR ALI – Kashmir has been the epicenter of conflict between India and Pakistan since the lines of partition were drawn in 1947. Historically, there have been four wars between the two nations; in 1947-48, 1965, 1971, and in 1999. The most recent of these saw over 30,000 soldiers and civilians being killed. Besides these wars, both nuclear nations have been continuously at low-level conflict, with skirmishes breaking out on a regular basis. In recent years, ground operations have seen attacks on civilians and soldiers by both countries’ forces. ExplosiveRead More

Sting Operation Reveals Plot to Fix England-Sri Lanka Test in November

Sri Lanka’s Galle International Stadium pitch curator caught in match-fixing sting May 26, 2018 (DESPARDES) — A covert investigation has exposed a plot to fix England’s Test against Sri Lanka in Galle later this year — the sting operation also reveals that the pitch for the Sri Lanka-India Test at the same venue in 2017 was doctored to favor batsmen, An undercover journalist, posing as a businessman looking to place bets, caught a match fixer and the groundsman at Galle International Stadium  agreeing to rig the outcome of England’s first TestRead More

IMF Holds Talks With Pakistan On Economic Issues, As Islamabad Seeks Lifeline With China Loans

China helping Pakistan avert foreign currency crisis: “The money strengthens the financial, political and military ties between the two countries” May 26, 2018 (BE2C2 Report) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has invited a number of renowned economists, academicians and former senior government officials to Washington for consultations on a future roadmap on economic challenges of Pakistan and possibility for extending another bailout package in case Islamabad made a formal request. “Yes, the IMF has held broad-based informal consultations with eminent economists, academicians and retired senior government officials from PakistanRead More

$4 Billion Karachi To Peshawar High Speed Rail Under CPEC Inches Forward

Last month, Pakistan delayed approval of the Mainline-I project after Beijing tagged the phase-I of the scheme at $4 billion, which was $627 million higher than Pakistan’s estimates May 26, 2018 (BE2C2) — The last meeting of the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) under the current PML-N led government was called on Thursday to clear the 1600KM long Karachi to Peshawar railway track capacity expansion project under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Informed sources said the initial total cost of the Mainline-1, also called ML-1 (Karachi to Peshawar) was initially estimated atRead More

Italy Brings Pakistani Teenage Student Back After Forced Abortion

May 25, 2015 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Italy’s foreign minister proudly announced the return to Italy on Thursday of a 19-year-old Pakistani engineering student who was taken by her family to Pakistan to have an abortion against her will after she got pregnant. In February, Farah, was taken back to Pakistan by her family. Pakistani police conducted a rescue for her in Islamabad last week. For several days, Farah was cared for at the residence of the Italian ambassador in Islamabad until she returned to Italy. In a message published by theRead More

Video Showing Brave Sikh Police Officer Protecting Muslim Boy From Hindu Mob Goes Viral

May 25, 2018 (DESPARDES) — Video showing rare act of valor by a Sikh police officer shielding a Muslim man from being violently attacked by an angry mob in the Indian state of Uttarakhand has gone viral. The viral video posted on Facebook said, “Hats off to Gagandeep, he saved an innocent Muslim from the midst of wild goons in the hundreds of hundreds.” The incident took place on May 22 in Ramnagar, the local media reported. The mob, comprising extremist Hindus, wanted to lynch the boy, who was allegedlyRead More

Pakistan All Set to Launch Ferry Service to Iran, Oman, UAE

Last year, Mwani Qatar announced launch of a new shipping route between Hamad Port and Karachi Port May 25, 2018 (BE2C2) — Pakistan is planning to launch ferry services from Karachi port to Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Oman with an aim to enhance connectivity and provide more services to its nationals and business community. The draft Ferry Service Policy would be presented at the next Cabinet meeting for approval, said Federal Minister for shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, reports Iranian news agency Tasnim. “In the draft policy weRead More