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Nisar announces to contest 2018 polls from three constituencies

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has announced to contest general elections 2018 from three constituencies.

He stated this while taking to a delegation comprising chairmen and vice chairmen of 27 union councils (UCs) of NA-59 which called on him here on Monday.

Chuadhry Nisar said he will contest 2018 general elections from National Assembly seat NA-59 and provincial assembly seats PP0-10 and PP-14.

Decision regarding contesting from NA-63 will be made after consultation, he added.

It’s worth mentioning here that the announcement has been made before the PML-N awarded ticket to Ch Nisar.

The delegation lauded the services of the PML-N leader for people his constituency and assured him of all sorts of cooperation during the upcoming election.

Nisar thanked the local bodies representatives for their support and well wishes for him.

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Didn’t hand any Pakistani over to US: Musharraf

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Former president Pervez Musharraf Monday brushed aside allegations of handing Pakistanis over to the United States, saying he had not handed over any Pakistani to the US.

“Neither had I ever indulged in corruption nor have I had foreign assets,” the former military dictator said while addressing a gathering of the All Pakistan Muslim League via video link.

He added that former premier Nawaz Sharif had dug himself into a hole. He alleged that former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was a front man of Nawaz Sharif.

He said that he would soon return to Pakistan when condition would be “favorable”.

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Two Commodores of Pakistan Navy promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral

Naimat Khan

ISLAMABAD: Two Commodores of Pakistan Navy, namely Mirza Foad Amin Baig and Mian Zakirullah Jan have been promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral with immediate effect.

Rear Admiral Mirza Foad Amin Baig was commissioned in Operations Branch of Pakistan Navy in 1990 after completion of initial training at Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth UK. He is a graduate of Pakistan Navy War College Lahore, National Defence University Islamabad and has also done Armed Forces Staff Course from Malaysia.

His various Command and Staff appointments include Commander 18th Destroyer Squadron, Commanding Officer PNS ZULFIQUAR, Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy, Principal Secretary to Chief of the Naval Staff (PSC), Director Naval Operations and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Operations) at Naval Headquarters.

The officer has also served as Naval Attache of Pakistan at Beijing, China. Consequent upon promotion, Rear Admiral Mirza Foad Amin Baig has been appointed as Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST). In recognition of his meritorious services, he was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military).

Rear Admiral Mian Zakirullah Jan was commissioned in Operations Branch of Pakistan Navy in 1990. He is a graduate of Pakistan Navy War College Lahore, National Defence University Islamabad and has also done International Fellowship Programme at USA.

His various Command and Staff appointments include Commanding Officer 27 Squadron, Chief Staff Officer to Commander Pakistan Fleet, Director Naval Aviation, Head of P3C Mission USA, Staff Officer (Aviation) at Headquarters NAVCENT, Bahrain and DS National Security College, NDU Islamabad.

Consequent upon promotion, Rear Admiral Mian Zakirullah Jan has been appointed as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Admin) at Naval Headquarters. In recognition of his meritorious services, he was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military).

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Sajid Javid appointed New Britain’s Home secretary

Monitoring Desk

LONDON: British Prime Minister, Theresa May has appointed a British politician of Pakistani origin, Sajid Javid as the new home secretary of the United Kingdom.

Sajid Javid was appointed as home secretary after Amber Rudd resigned from his post as she was in under immense pressure over the handling of immigration policy.

PM Theresa May office confirmed the appointment of Javid through tweet.

The 48-year-old Sajdi Javid is the first Muslim to serve as the Brtish home secretary but he is not the only Pakistani to have been appointed to the crucial position in the British administration.

Earlier, in 2016, Sadiq Khan became the Mayor of London after he bagged support of Britishers against Conservative’s Zac Goldsmith.

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Zimbabwe govt to issue cannabis licenses to growers

Monitoring Desk

HARARE: Zimbabweans can now apply for licenses to grow cannabis for medical and research purposes, the government has said in a legal notice, making the southern African nation the second country in Africa to legalize the cultivation of the plant.

Lesotho last year announced the continent’s first license to grow cannabis legally.

Until now, it has been illegal to grow, possess or use cannabis in Zimbabwe, with offenders facing up to 12 years in jail.

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa published new regulations, seen by Reuters on Saturday, allowing individuals and companies to be licensed to cultivate marijuana, known locally as mbanje.

The five-year renewable licenses will allow growers to possess, transport and sell fresh and dried cannabis as well as cannabis oil.

Applications should include plans of the growing site, quantity to be produced and sold and the production period.

A license can be refused when information has been received from a “peace officer, a competent authority or the United Nations” that an applicant was involved in the diversion of a controlled substance or precursor to an illicit market or use”, the regulations said.

“The Minister may not oblige if the issuance, renewal or amendment of the license is likely to create a risk to public health, safety or security.”

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Oil falls as US pointed to increase production  

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices dipped on Monday after a rising rig count in the United States pointed to higher production there, but markets held near their highest in over three years and remained set for a second straight month of gains.

Oil prices were supported by supply concerns amid prospects that the United States could reimpose sanctions on Iran, while OPEC-led producers continue to withhold output.

Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark, had dipped 50 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $74.14 a barrel by 0633 GMT. Prices climbed as high as $75.47 last week, levels not seen since November, 2014.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $67.82 a barrel, down 28 cents, or about 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.

“Oil prices are hanging tight as the market remains fundamentally optimistic with declining stockpile levels and on prospective sanctions on Iran,” Benjamin Lu, commodities analyst at Singapore-based broker Phillip Futures, said in a note.

U.S. drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 27, bringing the total count to 825, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said.

Crude production in the United States C-OUT-T-EIA has soared more than 25 percent since mid-2016 to a record 10.59 million barrels per day (bpd). Only Russia currently produces more, at around 11 million bpd.

Meanwhile, Brent prices have gained nearly 6 percent this month, buoyed by expectations the United States will renew sanctions against Iran.

U.S. President Donald Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to restore the sanctions on Iran that were lifted after an agreement over its disputed nuclear programme.

“Things are not quite the same as in the previous decade, when Iran was regarded as a menace and a threat. Over the last three-four years Iran has behaved itself – according to everybody,” said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta.

“It’s only Trump who wants to back out of the deal, but he wants to back out of so many deals … If you keep saying about backing out, you lose credibility as a state. Everyone is feeling the pinch of OPEC cuts anyway,” Vijayakar added.

Re-imposed sanctions on Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, would probably result in a reduction of Iranian oil exports, tightening global supplies even more.

Further backing oil prices are declining output in Venezuela, OPEC’s biggest producer in Latin America, and Angola, Africa’s second-largest exporter.





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Arjun Kapoor appreciates Ranbir Kapoor marvelous performance in ‘Sanju’

Monitoring Desk

MUMBAI: Arjun Kapoor, who has been busy shooting for Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and Namaste England since the past few months, will soon be starting work on Panipat, the film that is being helmed by Ashutosh Govariker and stars Sanjay Dutt and Kriti Sanon apart from him.

At a recent event Arjun was asked about his co-star in Panipat, Sanjay Dutt and what he felt about working with him. To which Arjun said, “I am excited, the nervousness will happen when I finally reach the sets. When films of these scales are announced, you look forward to them as an actor, because you have grown up wanting to do such films. Sanjay Dutt is a benchmark when it comes to the action genre and to do a proper action film with him is very exciting. I hope to enjoy more.”
Talking about the biopic that has been made on Sanjay Dutt starring Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun said, “I think Ranbir has done an amazing job. He is an amazing actor that goes without saying but there is a lot of pressure doing roles like these.” Well, we can’t wait to watch Sanju, what about you?


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Avengers: Infinity War earns Rs 60 crores in India

Monitoring Desk

MUMBAI: Being deemed as the biggest Marvel movie made till date, Avengers: Infinity War released with sky high expectations. However, seems like there is no shying away from the fact that the film is breaking box-office records left, right and centre. Avengers: Infinity War collected Rs 31.1 crores on the day of its release. But,the numbers remained rock steady on day two as well. Saturday being the second day after its release, saw fans turning out in huge numbers to catch the much awaited film.

On Day 2, the film collected over Rs 30. 25 crores. The total collection of the film in two days is a majestic Rs 61 crores. Avengers: Infinity War is not just sprinting towards the prestigious Rs 100 crore club, it is also being appreciated by its fans as well as the critics. If the film enters the Rs 100 crore club, which it is likely to, it will become the second Hollywood film to do so after The Jungle Book, which earned Rs 180 crores at the domestic market. Well, with a blockbuster cast and a hit script, this one’s surely going to break all box-office records.


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Imran, Zardari two sides of same coin, alleges Tallal

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Interior Affairs Tallal Chaudhry has said that PTI chairman Imran Khan and former president Asif Ali Zardari have joined hands and working against the democracy.

This he said while talking to media persons on Monday outside the Supreme Court. Chaudhry said that Imran and Zardari are the two sides of one coin and after the recent senate elections it was confirmed now that they are backing each others in their secret agenda.

He added that general election will be held in polling stations and adding that it will not be decided in the drawing rooms as they planned the senate election.

He also lashed out the PTI chief Imran Khan for his 11-point agenda and leveling baseless allegations against PML-N leadership.

Chaudhry added that PTI chief is failed product of secret agencies and adding that people have rejected the Imran and investment of some hidden forces.



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Facebook records $10m loss on Australia Taxation Offic bill

Monitoring Desk

SYDNEY: Facebook’s Australian business burned through $10 million in 2017 after settling unpaid back taxes with the Australian Taxation Office.

Facebook’s accounts for its local business were filed yesterday as were Google’s which confirmed its total business in Australia surpassed $3 billion for the first time last year.

The accounts highlight the ongoing strength in the Australian businesses of the two members of the so-called digital duopoly, amid concerns about their dominance of the digital advertising market.

The also suggest a changing relationship with the ATO, following Senate enquires, and federal legislation designed to curb multinational corporate tax minimisation.

Facebook’s accounts show its revenue in Australia soared to 32 per cent to $479 million in the 2017 calendar year.  But the social media behemoth swung to a bottom line loss of $9.6 million in Australia last year, from a profit of $3 million a year earlier, after a one-off payment to the tax office.


The social media behemoth’s tax bill spiked to $42 million, up from $3.2 million in 2016. Most of the tax increase came from a one-off $31 million payment to the ATO following a previously undisclosed audit of the tax it paid between 2009 and 2016.

Excluding the one off tax settlement, Facebook made a profit of $33 million in Australia last year, and will still pay $9.9 million of corporate tax on that.

Facebook declined to comment further on the ATO payment and its corporate results.

Google, meanwhile voluntarily disclosed that its gross Australian advertising revenue was $3 billion in 2017. It paid about $2 billion of this back to Google parent entities in the form of licensing fees.

The results are the first since the search advertising giant restructured its Australian operations in 2016 following fierce criticism over its tax bill, and after the Federal government enacted legislation to claw back more tax from multinationals.

Net revenue in Australia in 2017 was $1.02 billion. The company booked a pretax profit of $149 million, and an corporate income tax expense for the year of $24 million. Its bottom line profit was $125 million.

“We invested more than $500 million in our Australian operations, and signed on to Australia’s Voluntary Tax Transparency Code (VTTC) for the 2018 financial year,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Apple have faced criticism in Australia and other countries for the amount of tax they pay relative to their size of their businesses, and for re-re-routing sales in some countries to jurisdictions where tax rates are lower.

Last year, the Federal Senate conducted into an inquiry into the taxes paid by tech companies and other multinationals.

Australia’s competition watchdog is conducting a separate inquiry over the digital giants dominance of advertising markets and the impact of that on traditional media.

And the Federal privacy commissioner recently said it would investigate Facebook after it confirmed as many as 310,000 Australians might have been affected by a data breach.