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Chinese Muslims Protest Against Plan to Demolish Mosque

AUG 10, 2018: Hundreds of ethnic Hui Muslims are staging a sit-in protest in China’s western region of Ningxia against government plans to demolish a huge new mosque, amid tightening curbs on Islam to pull its practice in line with the Chinese mainstream. China officially guarantees freedom of religion, but in recent years officials nervous about the possibility of radicalization and violence have tightened controls in heavily Muslim areas. The Weizhou grand mosque, with numerous domes and minarets in a Middle Eastern style, had not received proper permits before construction,Read More

MQM-P: Firdous Naqvi’s Appointment as Opp leader May Strain Ties

AUG 9, 2018: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan on Thursday warned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against selecting Firdous Naqvi as leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly. “His selection will definitely strain our ties with them [PTI],” he added. “We under any circumstances cannot accept Naqvi’s appointment and if by any chance he is given the position, it will definitely effect our alliance,” Hasan said, who is the former opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly. “If statements like this continue to come out of the PTI ranksRead More

Saudi-Canada Diplomatic War: Riyadh Sells Assets, Orders Patients Out

AUG 9, 2018: Saudi Arabia has started selling off Canadian assets and removing Saudi patients from Canada hospitals, as the countries’ diplomatic dispute escalated Wednesday. The fallout is from a call via a two-sentence tweet last week from Canadian to Saudi officials demanding the release of imprisoned women’s rights activists. The Kingdom has cut diplomatic ties with Canada, expelled the Canadian ambassador, frozen trade and investment between Riyadh and Ottawa and halted flights to and from Canada. Riyadh has also frozen student exchange programs and ordered about 16,000 Saudi studentsRead More

Saudi Arabia Orders Thousands of Its Students Studying in Canada to Come Home

AUG 8, 2018: The Saudi government has canceled scholarships for thousands of Saudi students studying in Canada and ordered them to come home. The Kingdom has also cancelled flights to Toronto by its national airline and halted purchases of Canadian wheat and barley as it ramps up retaliation for Ottawa’s criticism of its human rights and detention of activists. And on Wednesday, Saudi authorities said it was considering further punitive measures and ruled out mediating the dispute. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, said atRead More

Foreign Minister Clarifies ‘Exxon Exploration’ of Oil Reserves in Pakistan’s Deep Sea

AUG 8, 2018 (BE2C2 Report): Clarifying media reports regarding exploration of oil reserves in Pakistan’s deep sea continental shelf, Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon on Wednesday said the drilling was yet to start. “On my return to Islamabad, a statement in Dawn newspaper dated August 4, was brought to my attention which required elucidation,” the Foreign Minister said in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here. “For information, ExxonMobil has purchased a block of Pakistani deep sea drilling rights off the Indus delta for exploration. Their drillingRead More

Opposition Parties Protest Election 2018 Results

AUG 8, 2018: Opposition parties parliamentarians and supporters of grand opposition alliance on Wednesday staged a sit-in outside the election commission headquarters in capital Islamabad. The opposition alliance says it has rejected the results of July 25 election results as “rigged” and “manipulated” vowing to continue the protest outside the parliament and across the country. “We don’t accept rigged elections,” “Down with rigged elections” and “Fake elections are unacceptable” were among slogans chanted by protesters belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s party (PPP), five-party religious alliance Muttahida MajlisRead More

US Envoy Meets Imran Khan, Congratulates Him on Election 2018 Victory

AUG 8, 2018: The acting Ambassador of US to Pakistan, John Hoover called on prime minister in-waiting and PTI Chairman Imran Khan at latter’s Banigala residence in capital Islamabad. The US Ambassador congratulated Imran Khan over the victory of his party in elections 2018. Khan and Hoover exchanged views on Pak-US relations and matters of mutual interest. The US envoy expressed willingness to improve relations between Pakistan and the United States. Khan said “Tehreek-e-Insaf is adamant to establish good relations with US based on mutual trust and respect. We viewRead More

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Charged With Money Laundering

AUG 8, 2018: Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency has charged former prime minister Najib Razak with three counts of money laundering as part of its investigation into the multi-billion dollar 1MDB scandal. The charges – which Najib denies – relate to three transfers totaling US$10m into his bank accounts from SRC International, a former unit of the 1MDB fund that US investigators say was looted of billions by Najib’s associates. A money laundering offense carries a penalty of a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine of at leastRead More

More Than 600,000 Foreigners Overstayed U.S. Visas in 2017

AUG 8, 2018: More than 600,000 foreign travelers who legally entered the United States in 2017 overstayed their visas and remained in the country by the end of the year, according to Department of Homeland Security data released Tuesday. That figure represents only 1.15 percent of the more than 52 million foreigners who legally entered the U.S. through air and seaports in 2017, and is down from 1.25 percent the year before. But it marked the second straight year that more than 600,000 visitors stayed past the expiration of theirRead More

Around 400 Irregular Migrants From Afghanistan, Pakistan Held in Turkey

AUG 7, 2018: At least 391 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said on Tuesday. The sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said 45 migrants, including women and children, were rounded up off Ayvacik by local gendarmerie forces in the northwestern Canakkale province. The migrants — all Afghan nationals — were illegally attempting to cross to Greece’s Lesbos island, the sources added. In a separate operation, the coast guard stopped an inflatable boat carrying some 42 irregular migrants offRead More

MQM and PTI: Humsafar Now, Humnawa in the Making

Forming a common council of elders from both sides could be a starting point. IRSHAD SALIM: Years back I had written that MQM and PTI are separated twins, and could develop into two sides of the same coin in Karachi and beyond. Their politics and polemics for survival have been by and large similar over the years on philosophical level, though on strategic and tactical levels they have been dabbling in numbers game, making them shift poles apart until the results got upended this time — MQM’s election losses haveRead More

Imran to Appear Before NAB to ‘Set An Example Of Rule of Law’, Shuns PM Protocol

AUG 6, 2018: Hours after being nominated as the next prime minister of the country, former legendary cricketer turned politician Imran Khan has been summoned by National Accountability Bureau, the anti-corruption watchdog for allegedly misusing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s helicopter, his party and local media said on Monday. A senior PTI leader who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity confirmed the summoning and said that Khan had decided to appear before the NAB in Peshawar, the KP capital on Tuesday. “He wants to set an example that no oneRead More

Was the 2018 Pakistan Election Rigged?

ABEEHA FAROOQI: I worked as a Presiding officer in a polling station this elections. When I was on training, I heard a lot of stories about rigging and attacks on polling stations etcetera. These stories made me literally frightened. The Tehsil where I was appointed is ruled by a feudal Lord who spends a lot of money and power to ensure his seat. I have heard a lot of stories about all of his heinous crimes in this regard. When my father heard about it, he became worried. He askedRead More

Javed Jabbar’s Letter to The Economist On ‘Foul Editorial’

AUG 4, 2018 — Dear Mr. Editor, Greetings: Regardless of whether this letter is or is not published in the Letters section of your journal, I hope it is processed for your personal attention rather than be consigned to the bin by your esteemed colleague who oversees the Letters section. This is with reference to the editorial “Foul Play” on Pakistan’s elections in the issue of 21st – 27th July, 2018. (Read below) While I am a regular subscriber to The Economist for multiple decades and greatly appreciate the highRead More

Trump Privately Brooding and Publicly Roaring On Mueller’s Russia Probe

AUG 5, 2018: President Donald Trump has decamped to his New Jersey golf estate for an 11-day working vacation as he finds himself at a precarious moment in his presidency. The move comes at a critical juncture in the investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 campaign as the US President decides in coming days whether to sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller or defy investigators and risk being issued a subpoena. For months, Mueller has been seeking to question the president as part of his investigation,Read More

New Cinemas in Saudi Arabia Record 95Pct Occupancy

AUG 5, 2018 (BE2C2 Report): Majid Al Futtaim’s cinemas in Saudi Arabia have achieved a 95% occupancy rate since their inauguration in April, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas Cameron Mitchell told Russia’s Sputnik news agency. Saudi cinemas have received 75,000 visitors of different ages, Mitchell added. The U.A.E.-based Majid Al Futtaim’s Vox Cinemas is investing SAR 2 billion in the Saudi cinema sector to open 600 new screens in the kingdom within the coming 5 years, the top official revealed. Since April when Saudi Arabia’s culture and information ministerRead More

‘Iran’s role in protecting its integrity is very commendable’: Imran Khan

AUG 4, 2018: Pakistan is ready to play a constructive and positive role between Iran and Saudi Arabia, said prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan to Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost on Saturday at his Bani Gala residence in capital Islamabad. The Iranian envoy had called on the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman to congratulate him on his party’s victory in the 2018 general elections, a press release issued by the party said. Ambassador Honardoost also conveyed congratulatory wishes to the prime minister-in-waiting from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Khan told the envoy ‘‘Iran’s roleRead More

How Much Imran Khan Not Using PM House Could Fuel Other Initiatives Over Next 5 Yrs

AUG 4, 2018 (BE2C2 Report): Imran Khan, the next-in-line prime minister has decided not to live in the PM House Complex in capital Islamabad. Khan’s decision not to live in the Prime Minister House is expected to save billions of Pakistani rupees annually. “The PM House is a royal palace. I feel ashamed of sitting there,” Imran had said in his victory speech . According to reports, some Rs1.85 billion will be saved annually. It comprises Rs980 million in security budget for the complex, while Rs700 million are allocated forRead More

China Bird Drones to Watch Over Citizens

Called “Dove” they are part of China’s Social Credit System AUG 3, 2018: Look! Up there! A pretty little bird gliding majestically through the sky, encapsulating the beauty of natu — oh wait. It’s a high-tech surveillance drone. Over recent years, more than 30 Chinese military and government agencies have reportedly been using drones made to look like birds to surveil citizens in at least five provinces, according to the South China Morning Post. The program is reportedly codenamed “Dove” and run by Song Bifeng, a professor at Northwestern PolytechnicalRead More

Canadian Tennis Star Teases Fans With VIDEO of ‘Wet T-Shirt Contest’

AUG 5, 2018: Eugenie Bouchard teasingly offered an alternative version of the contest, which may have not been as provocative as the original, but was a hit with fans, who appreciated her sense of humor. In a playful Instagram post, Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard, 24, shared a video of her wringing out a sweaty T-shirt on the court in Montreal post-practice, as she was gearing up for the 2018 Rogers Cup. “Wet T-shirt contest (sweat version),” the caption reads. “I’ll take the shirt to the laundry for you, Eugenie!”Read More