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June, 2018

 

Facebook Abandons Plans to Build Its Own Internet Drones

JUN 27, 2018 (BE2C2): Facebook announced it would be scrapping plans to develop its own flying Internet drones, an initiative that started four years ago. In a Tuesday blog post, the social network said work on Project Aquila, which was intended to bring Internet access to remote parts of the world by using gigantic drones running on solar power, would come to an end. Facebook said it had two successful full-scale test flights during the years spent working on the project and noted the initiative took lots of “trial andRead More


“Oil Is Now Front And Center Of Conflict In Libya”

Libyan oil production has been hampered by conflicts stemming from civil war that erupted in the wake of Arab Spring movements JUN 27, 2018 (BE2C2): Libya’s National Oil Corp. said it rejected a move by the Libyan National Army to move on exports from the Gulf of Sirte. The move followed militant raids on oil storage depots in the east of the country earlier this month that sidelined production from the member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. “The Libyan army lacks authority to take control over oil exports”,Read More


End Of The Road For Expat Drivers, With Emergence Of ‘New Normal’ In Saudi Arabia

JUN 26, 2018 (BE2C2): The recruitment of foreign drivers in Saudi Arabia will decrease by 50 percent over the next 10 years due to the new law allowing women to drive, according to some experts. The ban was lifted on June 24 — the world’s only ban on women driving. It’s part of a series of reform that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been pushing to restructure the socio-economic ecosystem of the country. Increasing household income and re-calibrating the spending of disposal income of an average SaudiRead More


Murad Ali Shah Criticizes Shahbaz Sharif For Making Tall Claims Of Solving Karachi Issues

JUN 26, 2018: The former chief minister Sindh and senior PPP leader, Murad Ali Shah, on Tuesday criticized the former chief minister Punjab and PML-N President, Shahbaz Sharif, for campaigning in Karachi with “tall claims” about what he [Sharif] can do for the metropolis — the country’s largest city with more than 20 million population and in need of urgent attention to alleviate water shortages, provision for safe drinking water, adequate power supply, waste management and mass transit. Earlier in the day, Shahbaz had spoken at a campaign rally inRead More


NAB to Bring Back Nawaz’s Sons, Former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Through Interpol

JUN 26, 2018: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) decided on Tuesday to bring back deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz and former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar through Interpol over pending corruption cases against them. Nawaz’s sons, who have been accused by the NAB in corruption reference following the Supreme Court’s verdict in Panama Papers case, have been declared absconders by an accountability court. Hussain and Hassan have also been accused in the Avenfield properties reference case, which is in progress and expected to conclude at theRead More


Migrant Arrivals Drop 51 Pct; Italian PM Says Migration Threat to EU Border-Free Travel Zone

* Migration threat to EU’s 26-country border-free travel zone, says Italian prime minister. * Arrival figures for refugees and migrants currently 51% down on last year and 81% down on 2016. JUN 26, 2018: The United Nations Migration Agency IOM reports that 40,944 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first six months of 2018. That total compares to 84,675 at this time last year, and over 215,997 at this time in 2016. In other words, Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at significantly belowRead More


Bahrain to Receive Sixteen F-16s Worth More Than $1 Billion

JUN 25, 2018: Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract for F-16 production for the kingdom of Bahrain. The deal, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $1.124 billion under the terms of a fixed-price-incentive-firm contract that enables Lockheed Martin to provide 16 F-16 V Block 70 aircraft, according to the Pentagon. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine, multi-role fighter jet that is primarily used for air-to-air and air-to-surface missions, according to the U.S. Air Force. The Block 70 version of the aircraft isRead More


NAB Receives Bomb Threats, Completes Probe Against 179 Mega Corruption Cases

JUN 25, 2018: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, retired Justice Javed Iqbal, on Monday revealed that the anti-corruption watchdog had received threats that its headquarters would be blown up, DawnNewsTV reported. He said the threats had been received after the bureau initiated investigations in mega corruption scandals, but did not specify a time period. The chief of country’s top anti-corruption watchdog, who made the revelation during a visit to a bureau office in Lahore, asserted that NAB officials were not afraid and would continue to perform their duties withRead More


Shahbaz Begins Poll Campaign From Karachi–‘Gotham City’ In Search of ‘Spiderman’

IRSHAD SALIM (JUN 25, 2018): Former Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif arrived in Karachi today on a two-day visit to kick-start Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s (PML-N) election campaign from NA-249 Karachi West-II constituency vowing to be an ‘agent of change’ for the metropolis’ down and under neighborhoods facing basic needs and civic issues for decades. Addressing an event at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Karachi, the president of PML-N said,”Karachi is the nerve center of Pakistan” — a reality long ignored by partiesRead More


Ch. Shujaat: Intl Forces Influenced 2013 Polls, Have Made Inroads in Parties

JUN 25, 2018: Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) President and former Prime Minister Ch. Shujaat Hussain has expressed grave concern over statement of the Secretary Election Commission to the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that international forces want to sabotage 2018 election and he is ready to give in-camera briefing about these dangers. On May 28, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob had stated, “We think that an effort will be made at an international level to sabotage the elections but it would not be appropriate to share details here. We are readyRead More


Renowned Pak Economist Dr Shahid Hassan Honored With Special Russian Award

JUN 25, 2018: Russia has honored renowned Pakistani economist Dr Shahid Hassan with a special award in recognition of his contribution towards betterment of friendly relations between the two countries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov conferred the award on Dr Hassan on behalf of his government in a ceremony hosted by the Association of Pakistani Graduates from Russia & CIS in Islamabad on Sunday. Russian ambassador Alexey Yourivich Dedov was the chief guest while the National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua was the guest of honor at the event. ARead More


Islamist Erdogan Or Secularist Ince, Turkey Will Be Radically a Changed Country

JUN 24, 2018: Turkish voters are going to the polls today for what are seen as the most crucial elections in Turkish modern history as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s gamble on snap elections (18 months earlier) could backfire. The Turkish people feeling the pinch of soaring inflation, a plunging currency and high interest rates will decide whether to grant Erdogan a second five-year term, in the most fiercely fought elections in the country in years. As BBC reports from Istanbul, “Worshiped by his supporters, abhorred by his critics, this isRead More


MMA Announces Candidates for Karachi Seats, Plans ‘Biggest Rally’ in City’s History

JUN 24, 2018: Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a coalition of the religious right, unveiled its list of candidates vying for Karachi-based seats in the national and provincial assemblies elections on July 25. Liaquat Baloch, the secretary-general of MMA, announced the candidates for 21 National Assembly seats and 44 Sindh Assembly seats. Asadullah Bhutto, Maulana Noorul Haq, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, Dr Mairajul Huda and Hafiz Hamdullah Haqqani are on the list. “Karachi and its people want good leadership,” said Hafiz Naeemur Rehman. “MMA will provide that leadership.” He also said that the coalitionRead More


Act Now Or Cry Later, FBR Chief Warns Businesses As Tax Amnesty Deadline Nears

JUN 24, 2018 (BE2C2): The head of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Saturday warned business community that the government has collected virtually the entire data related to hidden and undeclared assets held inside and outside the country, therefore the tax amnesty scheme gives them an opportunity to whiten such assets on paying tax at a nominal rate. FBR Chairman Tariq Mahmood Pasha while speaking at an interactive session at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FPCCI) office in Karachi, said that due to rapidly changing globalRead More


Military Spokesperson Launches ‘Positive Image of Pakistan’ Contest On Twitter

JUN 24, 2018: The chief military spokesperson has organized an “activity” on the popular micro-blogging site Twitter calling upon users to post pictures projecting positive image of Pakistan and win prizes. Major General Asif Ghafoor, the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), used his personal, not official, Twitter handle on Saturday to seek submissions. “Dear all. Let’s have an activity. Post a pic projecting positive image of Pakistan here. Best 3 posts will get a prize. Request NO politics, No foreign enmity! Any negative post from anyone/ abroad beRead More


Tahirul Qadri Pulls PAT Out Of Electoral Race Calling ‘Entire System Flawed’

JUN 24, 2018: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri has announced his party will not contest the forthcoming General Election 2018 because “the entire system” was “flawed and could not be called a democracy”. Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Saturday, Qadri stressed the need for making the electoral process transparent and raising awareness about Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution. “Everything that is being done in the name of democracy is wrong and we don’t want to be a part of this,” he said in clearRead More


100,000 Rally Against Brexit in London, Almost Half Of Britons Want 2nd Referendum

JUN 24, 2018: Ten of thousands of people opposed to Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union marched in London on Saturday, two years after the referendum in favor of Brexit as new poll shows almost half of British people want a second referendum on Brexit. Polling suggests shift in favor of a new public vote, which has received support from the Liberal Democrats, Green Party, and some Labor MPs Organizers of the march, called People’s Vote, estimated the attendance at 100,000, according The Guardian and The Independent. The march —Read More


BISP Chief Marvi Memon to Be Shown the Door, Summary Moved By Interim PM

JUN 23, 2018: The caretaker Prime Minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk has sent a summary to President Mamnoon Hussain for removal of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Marvi Memon as chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP). The interim government reportedly took the decision for removal as BISP chief after Memon did not resign like other cabinet members when the five-year term of the PML-N government dissolved on May 31 and continued to work as chief of the BISP. Sources privy to the development said that the prime ministerRead More


Another PML-N Leader Parts Ways With The Party

JUN 23, 2018: PML-N leader and Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor Khan announced on Saturday that he is parting ways with the party. Talking to SAMAA TV, Khan said he cannot be a part of a maligning campaign against intel agencies and state institutions. Khan said he had remained loyal to the party for 28 years but was ‘hard done’ by the Sharifs. “The Sharif brothers act like monarchs, they don’t have hearts in their chests,” he added. He lamented that the PML-N has become aRead More


Tax Amnesty Scheme Gets Overwhelming Response, Says FBR

Global tax laws were being changed and soon it would become difficult for Pakistanis to hide their assets overseas: FBR Chairman JUN 23, 2018 (BE2C2 Report): Tax Amnesty Scheme was receiving encouraging results and its success would help resolving the current account deficit and balance of payment issues. This was stated by spokesman for Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Dr Muhammad Iqbal on Friday while addressing a press conference in Islamabad at FBR House. Dr. Iqbal said the number of beneficiaries under tax amnesty scheme was increasing every day. HeRead More