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Apex court directs NAB courts to decide on NICL references within 10 days

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Supreme Court ordered accountability courts to decide National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) the mega land corruption case within 10 days.

Former NICL chairperson Ayaz Khan Niazi, Mohsin Habib Warraich, and then commerce minister (late) Makhdoom Amin Fahim, and several others were accused mega corruption case and in the purchase of official land.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar headed the special three member bench on Thursday at the Lahore registry. The bench directed the accountability courts of Lahore and Karachi to decide all four references in the case within 10 days.

The bench also ordered to arrest Mohsin Habib Warraich, the main accused in the scandal and presented him before it. The apex court also summoned records of all cases pending in the accountability courts of Karachi and Lahore.

During the hearing, Supreme Court shows displeasure over the lack of headway in to the NICL corruption case, CJP Mian Saqib Nisar it looks like the NAB is not interested in ending the case which will not allowed delaying the case.

Ayaz Khan Niazi, the other central figure in the land scam, was arrested earlier this month on the directives of the Supreme Court.


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Imran Khan is a master of U-turn, says Shehbaz Sharif  

F.P. Report

LAHORE: President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Shehbaz Sharif has criticized the Imran Khan for his immature politics and adding that if a leader who constantly takes U-turns, how he can lead a country.

Shehbaz Sharif said this while addressing to media persons on Thursday at Lahore Press Club. Chief Minister Shehbaz added that Imran Khan is not rightful persons for the prime minister of the country as he is constantly taking u-turn on every statement and termed Imran Khan as master of u-turn.

Regarding the caretaker CM Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif said that they held discussion with the opposition with good intend and both the parties were agreed on the name of former bureaucrat Nasir Mahmood Khosa for the interim chief minister but later they dismissed the name which shows the mentality of this Niazi Khan.

Shehbaz also criticized the Balochistan assembly for approving the resolution seeking one month delay in the general election.

He added that delay in election is not in the favor of the country and adding that timey election is the solution of all problems facing by Pakistan.

Earlier on Saturday, President Mamnoon Hussain approved a summary sent by the Election Commission of Pakistan recommending that the general elections be held on July 25, 2018.


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Khursheed Shah slams Balochistan Assembly resolution seeking delay in polls

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in National Assembly (NA) Khursheed Shah has criticized Balochistan Assembly for passing approving resolution, presented by Sarfaraz Bugti seeking one-month delayed in general elections 2018.

Khursheed Shah said this on Thursday, Shah said that the elections should not be delayed and adding that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will not accept any delay in the polls as it is not in the better interest of the country.

Shah added that it is very unfortunate that the interior minister of Balochistan demanding the delay of polls for one month and adding he didn’t what’s the motive behind this resolution.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Punjab (CM) Shehbaz Sharif has termed the resolution as bad omen for the political situation of Pakistan. Talking to Press Club members, he said the future of the country is linked with the fair and transparent elections.

Earlier, Balochistan Assembly had passed a resolution seeking one-month delay in elections in the country. Provincial Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti tabled the resolution.

Pakhtunkhwa Milly Awami Party and Awami National Party (ANP) opposed the resolution and staged a walk out from the assembly after the passage of resolution.

It is pertinent to mention here that the date of the general elections has been decided as July 25. Polls for both National Assembly (NA) and provincial assemblies will be held simultaneously on the same date.



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Pakistan, China, Afghanistan agree to strengthen alliance against terrorism

F.P. Report

BEIJING: Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan agreed to strengthen their relation and alliance in fighting terrorism in the better interest of the region.

The Chinese foreign ministry issued a statement on Wednesday on its website. According to the statement, Chinese vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuan You, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai, and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tamina Janjua co-chaired the meeting on Monday.

Statement read that the three neighboring countries discussed the relation and exchange in-depth views on political mutual trust and also discussed the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

It added that all the three countries agreed to develop the trust between the three countries and also focused on developing mechanism of cooperation among Pakistan, China and Afghanistan. All the parties agreed to strengthen the communication to enhance the mutual trust.

Pakistan and China mentioned that they highly appreciated the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), with Afghanistan expressing its willingness to maintain a dialogue and the practical implementation of the action plan to promote continuous improvement of friendly relations.

The three nations agreed to continue well-established training and humanities exchanges, they also prepared for a second trilateral meeting, scheduled to be held in Kabul later this year.



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Nasir Khosa excuses from taking charge as caretaker CM Punjab

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Nasir Khan Khosa rejected to resume the charge as the caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab before the general elections of 2018.

While talking to private news channel, Khosa said that he was not taken into confidence before suggesting his name the interim CM slot.

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) took another u-turn and withdrew its nominee Nasir Khan Khosa for the post of caretaker Punjab CM.

Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed told media that party would announce new name for the same after holding consultation.

Rasheed said that Imran Khan suggested the names of Tariq Khosa and Nasir Khosa and adding that announcement was made in haste.

Meanwhile, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had termed withdrawal of Nasir Khan Khosa’s name for Punjab’s caretaker CM as a joke.

There is no space to take back Khosa’s name at present”, Sanaullah asserted.

It is worth here to mention that general elections for both National Assembly and provincial assemblies will be held on July-25

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Singapore Airlines to launch world’s longest flight in October

Monitoring Desk

SINGAPORE: The world of aviation is awash with one-upmanship and superlatives – biggest, fastest, most spacious, and anything else that can be crammed into a headline. So it should be no surprise that, this week, the question as to what is the world’s longest flight has pinged on the radar for the third time in just over a year.

This time, the crown is being lifted towards the head of Singapore Airlines, via its announcement of a regular scheduled link between its home base, Changi Airport, and Newark Liberty International – the busy American hub which serves New York from the other side of the state line, in New Jersey.

At a scheduled 18 hours 45 minutes in length, and a distance of 9,537 miles, this “Singapore-New York” connection will be the world’s longest passenger service.

It is due to begin operations on October 11, and will run three times in its first week on the schedules, taking off from Singapore on the Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Daily flights will commence on October 18, when an additional aircraft will be ready.

Its addition to the global skymap will eclipse the route between Doha and New Zealand’s biggest city Auckland, flown by Qatar Airways. At 9,032 miles and 17 hours 40 minutes, this has been the world’s longest flight since it first took to the heavens in February 2017.

It will lose its title in the autumn, but will remain longer than the air-link between London Heathrow and Perth which launched in March of this year. At the time, there were suggestions that this Qantas connection would be the planet’s lengthiest, but it falls just short of Qatar Airways’s offering, at 9,010 miles and 17 hours 20 minutes.

Keen observers of aviation trends will point out that the “new” Singapore Airlines flight to Newark is not really new at all. It is a reinstation of a service which existed earlier this millennium, but was pulled from the timetables in 2013.

Its return will see the first use of the Airbus A350-900ULR.

A variant of the A350 XWB, the aircraft is specially designed for ultra-long-haul flights (“ULR” stands for “Ultra Long Range”), its extra fuel capacity giving it a maximum range of 19 hours and 9,700 nautical miles (11,163 miles).

Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the plane, with seven on order from Airbus.

There is, though, a catch for travellers who wish to fly on a budget. To save on fuel costs, the aircraft will have space for just 161 passengers – and no economy class cabin.

Singapore Airlines will configure it in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy seats. Ticket prices will be released tomorrow.

The Singapore Airlines service will not have an economy cabin

“Singapore Airlines has always taken pride in pushing the boundaries,” says the airline’s CEO, Goh Choon Phong. “We are pleased to be leading the way with these new non-stop flights using the latest-technology, ultra-long-range Airbus A350-900ULR.”

“The flights will offer our customers the fastest way to travel between the two cities.”

The airline also has plans to launch a non-stop Singapore-Los Angeles service using the A350-900ULR.

It also serves New York’s JFK airport, and Houston in Texas – although both these connections currently involve a pause, in Frankfurt and Manchester respectively.



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Nutritional supplements not useful in heart health: Study

Monitoring Desk

WASHINGTON: People who use vitamin and mineral supplements to keep their heart in tiptop shape probably aren’t getting much out of it, suggests a new review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study found that most popular supplements, such as vitamin C and calcium, seemed to provide no benefits in preventing cardiovascular disease or early death. Some even appeared to slightly raise the risk of death.

Researchers analyzed more than 150 randomized clinical trials published from 2012 to 2017. In total, they looked at trials of 15 vitamin and mineral supplements, including multivitamins. The four most commonly used supplements in the US—vitamins C and D, calcium, and multivitamins in general—were found to have no significant effects on any cardiovascular health outcomes, or on the chances of dying prematurely.

Across 43 studies, for instance, there were 2,908 deaths among 18,719 people who took vitamin D, compared to 2,968 deaths among 18,831 people in control groups.

“We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume,” said lead author David Jenkins, a professor in the department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto in Canada, in a statement. “Our review found that if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm—but there is no apparent advantage either.”

Jenkins and his team also found there was a very small but noticeable risk of early death from trials of vitamin B3, or niacin, as well as combined supplements containing two or more antioxidants such as Vitamin A, E, β-carotene, selenium, and zinc.

This isn’t the first review to find that most supplements do nothing to help heart health. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a government-appointed but independently staffed panel of experts that guide nationwide screening and preventive care practices, came to a similar conclusion in 2014. But their takeaway wasn’t entirely the same as this new study’s.

Back then, the USPSTF found that taking vitamin B9, or folic acid, supplements didn’t prevent cardiovascular problems. But their conclusion was based on a single study. Looking at other trials, including new research published since 2014, the current review found that taking folic acid supplements was associated with a lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, as was taking supplements that had folic acid in combination with B6 and B1.

Jenkins and his team say there’s still more research that needs to be done in studying folic acid’s possible benefits. Even if it does help the heart, it might not be worth taking in supplement form for people in the US, since many products here are already fortified with it. The single new study after the USPSTF review that found a heart-boosting effect was conducted in China, where most products aren’t fortified with folic acid. And taking it as a supplement might not be entirely risk free, because some research has suggested folic acid could raise the risk of certain cancers.

It’s estimated that around 50 percent of Americans regularly take at least one vitamin supplement, and around 30 percent take a multivitamin. And while most of these products aren’t doing any damage, the researchers think their findings offer a clear lesson on priorities.

“In the absence of significant positive data—apart from folic acid’s potential reduction in the risk of stroke and heart disease—it’s most beneficial to rely on a healthy diet to get your fill of vitamins and minerals,” he said. “So far, no research on supplements has shown us anything better than healthy servings of less-processed plant foods including vegetables, fruits, and nuts.”


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Samsung showcases its latest OLED displays

Monitoring Desk

Samsung is showcasing its OLED technological dominance at the SID DisplayWeek by showing off its latest flexible and rollable OLED displays. A big part of the company’s booth at the trade event is dedicated to its automotive OLED technologies which feature a variety of flexible and rollable OLED displays. The products on display include flexible, transparent, rollable and a lightfield display.

Perhaps the most impressive installation at Samsung’s booth was its 14-inch 960×540 rollable OLED panel that has a bending radius of 10R. The impression Samsung seems to be giving off here is that it’s mulling commercializing rollable OLED displays in the not too distant future.

The company also demonstrated its 4.94-inch 360×112 transparent AMOLED panel with a transparency of 44 percent and a 7-inch 1280×800 lightfield display with support for 18 view points through Samsung Display’s binocular disparity vergence motion parallax technology.

For potential automotive customers, Samsung is showcasing its “unbreakable” 6.22-inch 1440×2960 display with an all-plastic design that promises additional durability for an automotive environment.

Samsung also revealed an OLED display that doubles as a speaker for the first time. The technology is similar to LG’s crystal-sound OLEDs. Samsung calls the 6.22-inch 1440×2960 panel its “Sound on display” prototype which was configured as a telephony receiver. That wasn’t the only unorthodox product Samsung Display has at its booth. There’s also one with a force sensor that can work underwater and Samsung is calling it the “Aqua-force” OLED panel. The prototype was a 5.77-inch 1440×2960 panel that can work underwater.

We’ve already reported that Samsung showcased a new 1200 ppi AMOLED display for virtual reality yesterday. It lines up with recent reports that Samsung may be working on a standalone Gear VR headset.


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I hope Sanjay sir will like me in ‘Sanju’, says Ranbir Kapoor

Monitoring Desk

MUMBAI: Ranbir who plays the actor, Sanjay Dutt in the film shared how he was a huge fan of the senior actor saying, “I really want Sanju Sir to like me. I can never be the man he is, I can never be the person he is. But in every which way I go about my career, as a person and even through this film, He’s a man I respect a lot, I really look up to him and I really hope that he feels I’ve represented his life in an honest and true way.”

At the trailer launch, Ranbir also shared how he is not as courageous as Sanjay Dutt to put out his life story in the public view. Especially regarding the count of his girlfriends, which is lesser than what is shown of Sanjay Dutt’s in an interesting scene from the trailer of Sanju.

On a funnier note, Ranbir chuckled revealing some secrets from his real life, “I’m shy in real life but when the camera is on, I’m not shy at all. I was nude for my first film. Mera towel gir gaya tha.” He laughs reminiscing his Saawariya days.

Ranbir also shared that he is a romantic at heart and likes doing romantic films. He also clarified that he’s not at all ‘Tharki’.

While an almost teary-eyed Rajkumar Hirani expressed his gratitude towards actor and friend, Sanjay Dutt after he launched the Trailer of Sanju, “What you’ve just witnessed in these 5 minutes, its journey has begun many years ago. It started with a word, with a thought.” Adding further he said, “Thank you to Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) for sharing that one little thought which finally became a film. The journey began and people kept joining us in its path. It’s always a collaborative effort. We live together, breathe together, laugh together, fight together and then the film reached where it reaches.”

Actress Sonam, who plays Sanjay Dutt’s wife in the film, shared that she was only happy to work with Rajkumar Hirani through Sanju, the film.

Actor Paresh Rawal, who plays Sanjay Dutt’s father, Sunil Dutt in the film is a happy man. He shared that he got to work with his favorite actor Ranbir Kapoor and favorite director, Rajkumar Hirani and so it was a win-win situation for him.


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Salman Khan to be seen in a double role in upcoming thriller ‘Race’

Monitoring Desk

MUMBAU: Salman Khan’s much-awaited next – Race 3 – is all set to hit the theatres on June 15 and the buzz around the film is soaring high. While film’s trailer and songs are already breaking the internet, here’s a new update on the film, which will leave you super excited.

If the latest reports are to be believed, Salman Khan might be seen in a double role in the film. It was just a few days ago when it was said that there might be two different endings of the film. This new update has left us guessing about more is in store for the audiences.

Helmed by Remo D’Souza, Race 3 also stars Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Jacqueline Fernandez, Saqib Saleem and Daisy Shah in interesting roles. Just today, Salman even took to his Instagram to share the new version of film’s title track Allah Duhai hai. The actor took to his social media handle and shared the teaser of the song saying, “Nashaa .. Teraa .. Nasha tera Nashila Hai !!