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Government determined to revive economy, says President

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Monday said the revival of economy was top priority of the government that  was committed to take every measure to facilitate businesses.

He said the government was committed to developing private sector through investment promotion, improving the ease of doing business, employment generation and fast growth of  manufacturing sector.

The President was talking to chairman Amreli Steels Abbas Akberali, who called on him, a  press release said.

He underscored that investment in value added products where the country enjoyed comparative  advantage, was lifeline for the revival of the economy.

He said despite all the challenges, the incumbent government was working hard to develop an  ecosystem to attract investment in the country.

He stressed that industrial sector should use cutting-edge technology of modern era in order  to further enhance their capacity and quality which would resultantly lead to increase in exports  of the country.

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Amla hits century on slow pitch to set Pakistan 267 target

PORT ELIZABETH (AFP): Hashim Amla hit his 27th one-day international century as South Africa made 266 for two in the first of five matches against Pakistan at St George’s Park on Saturday.

Amla (108 not out) shared a second-wicket partnership of 155 with debutant Rassie van der Dussen (93) but the pair were unable to dominate against steady bowling on a slow pitch.

“It was a tough wicket,” Amla told SuperSport television as he left the field at the end of the innings. “You have to bide your time. I think it’s a good total.”

Although Pakistan were only able to claim two wickets, they bowled well on a windy day, with captain Sarfraz Ahmed juggling his bowlers in short spells.

Scoring was slow during the middle overs with seamer Hasan Ali and leg-spinner Shadab Khan bowling particularly well. They took one for 42 and one for 41 respectively in their ten overs.

Amla and Reeza Hendricks (45) put on 82 off 105 balls for the first wicket before Van der Dussen made a slow start in his first one-day international, taking ten balls to score his first run.

But the scoring rate picked up and Van der Dussen hit six fours and three sixes in a 101-ball innings. Amla made his runs off 120 balls with seven fours and a six.

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Flower discloses current atmosphere of Pakistan dressing room

CAPE TOWN (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower has conceded that the current atmosphere of the Men in Green dressing room is not an ideal one.

Flower — who was appointed as the team’s batting coach in 2014 — said that you can’t expect a losing team’s dressing room to be a cordial one.

“The atmosphere isn’t the best at the moment,” said Flower according to ESPNcricinfo. “Not many losing teams’ atmosphere will be the best. No one likes to lose. You don’t want to become happy losers.”

The 48-year-old also shed light on Arthur’s strong words to the players after the second day’s play during the first Test in Centurion. He added that sometimes such a thing is important in order to ensure that players realise their mistakes.

“Mickey had some strong words with the players; there was quite a bit of honesty from him. I think the guys were a bit shell-shocked, but they’ve heard Mickey, everyone knows he can come down harshly on the boys at times. But sometimes that’s needed and the guys needed to be told a few home truths,” he said. “Mickey won’t be the first or last coach to do that. If the guys do have strong character, they’ll bounce back from it and take that as a challenge.”

He also revealed that positions of some of the players in the side are under threat bearing in mind their lacklustre performances in the recent past. “I’m not involved in selection, but there are quite a few guys with their places under threat. It’s not just one or two batsmen, you could point fingers at a few players,” he said.

Although Flower was disappointed that news of dressing room unrest was leaked out to the media.

“We don’t know who it is [the leaker]. But they’ve got to look at themselves in the mirror. It should never happen,” he said. “On tour it’s all about teamwork, you’re supposed to be a family and trust each other. But I’ve been with the team over four years and there have been constant leaks all the time. It’s nothing new for me, so it doesn’t really come as a surprise.”

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Eight Taliban, three ANA soldiers killed

Monitoring Desk

QALAT: At least eight Taliban insurgents and three Afghan National Army soldiers have been killed during a clash in Arghandab district of Zabul province, officials said Wednesday. Governor’s spokesman, Gul Islam Seyal, told Pajhwok that Taliban militants launched an attack on two security posts in Darwazagi area of Arghandab district Tuesday night.

He said eight insurgents and three ANA soldiers were killed during the battle. The Taliban were pushed back from the area and Afghan forces are currently in control of the situation, he said.

On the other hand, the Taliban also confirmed the clash. The group’s spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed that 14 Afghan soldiers were killed and three others wounded during the fight in Arghandab.

He said that the Taliban also seized weapons and some ammunition from Afghan forces. A security post was also captured.

However, he did not provide information about the Taliban fighters’ casualties in the clash. (Pajhwok)

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APS martyrs alive in our heart: Palwasha

Ahmad Nabi

LANDI KOTAL: Secretary information Awami National Party (ANP) youth organization Palwasha Bibi said that memories of 144 martyrs of Army Public School (APS)Peshawar incident were still fresh in the mind of every citizen of the country and their sacrifice, they rendered for the sake of the country will never be forget.

Speaking to a gathering organized in the memory of forth anniversary of APS attack Palwasha Bibi said that happen was nightmare not only for the Pakistan but for the whole civilized world in which 144 innocent students and teachers were massacre brutally.

He added that the perpetrators of the scheme intended to stay away the Pakhtun children of education but with collective effort of the nation their mal-design was foiled and the institution was still spreading light of knowledge in the mind of the students of the area. “One should never forget 16 December 2014 nightmare of APS, Peshawar that gave a new life to the nation”, he remarked. She paid rich tribute to the martyrs of the APS and said their matchless sacrifice would not be wasted. At the end prayers were offered for the departed souls of the martyrs.

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China’s crude oil imports climb record high

BEIJING (RT): China’s crude oil imports averaged more than 10 million bpd for the first time ever in November, as they beat the previous record for highest crude imports set in October, according to Chinese customs data, as carried by Reuters.

Chinese crude oil imports surged to an all-time high of 10.43 million bpd (barrels per day) last month, up by 8.5 percent compared to November 2017 and beating the previous record of 9.61 million bpd, which was set just a month earlier and was driven by smaller independent refiners who were rushing to fulfill their 2018 oil import quotas before they expire.

In November, independent refiners – the so-called teapots – continued to buy high volumes and some of them increased intake as they start trial runs at newly-built oil refineries.

Private firm Hengli is planning trials at its new 400,000 bpd refinery at Dalian, a port city in northeastern China, while Zhejiang Petrochemical is also expected to begin trial runs at some units of its refinery with 400,000 bpd capacity at Zhoushan. According to Reuters, Zhejiang Petrochemical has imported several cargoes of crude oil from Oman this quarter.

Two months ago, China raised by 42 percent the oil import quota for its non-state refiners—most of which are the independent refiners—for 2019 as new refinery capacity is planned to enter into operation next year. China is allocating a total of up to 202 million tons, or 4.06 million bpd, of import quota to non-state refineries for next year, according to S&P Global Platts. Independent refiners had until November 10 to apply, and those who haven’t imported crude oil in 2018 will not be allocated quotas for next year.

This weekend, Chinese customs data also showed that crude oil imports between January and November averaged 9.17 million bpd, higher than the level of imports in the same period last year, and putting China on course to set a new record for crude oil imports in 2018.

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NAB to continue pursuing corrupt untouchables: Javed

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal on Wednesday said the Bureau,  committed to curbing corruption across-the-board, has taken action against those influential persons during last few months who considered themselves as “untouchable.”

He was addressing a seminar entitled `Our Faith Corruption Free Pakistan’ arranged here by Faisal Masjid campus of International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) in connection with commemoration of anti-corruption week. The chairman said the Bureau started investigations, inquiries and even filed references against corrupt powerful persons and it would continue pursuing such corrupts as per law.

The NAB chairman said corruption was root cause of every evil and it has become one of the greatest challenges of modern era.

“Some have called the corruption as ‘Deemak’ but in our society it has become a cancer and only treatment of this  menace is surgery,” he said, adding that the Bureau and other anti-corruption agencies were working hard to curb corruption through various designed strategies.

He was of the view that economy and social development of Pakistan has suffered immensely from detrimental effects of corruption.

Justice Javed Iqbal said it was very pride that Pakistan is considered as role model for SAARC countries in eradication of corruption due to NAB efforts as Pakistan is the only country whose Corruption Perception Index (CPI) according to Transparency International Report has been decreased from 175 to 116.

He said that 59 per cent people of the country in a latest survey have shown confidence on NAB due to its actions across the board, especially against corrupt influential persons.

The NAB chairman said courts in Pakistan were independent and showing improvement and added the day would soon come when a common man would be able to say for having a decent and respectable life in this country.

He said corruption was a menace and its best solution was to promote self-accountability concept. “We need to pursue self-accountability in our life and I request you to adopt this approach to get positive results.”

He said one of major achievements of NAB during last one year was distribution of Rs2.5 billion recovered amount to various affected persons of different housing societies.

He said that NAB has also taken various initiatives and devised a system to review and further improve its performance. Under grading system, all regional bureau’s are being evaluated at a given criteria which has proved very successful and performance of NAB’s regional bureaus is increasing day by day due to regular monitoring and inspection.

The NAB chairman said youth was future of Pakistan that make up over 60 per cent of country’s population so their role was crucial for eradicating corruption.

He said corruption was far more prevalent in developing countries as compared to the developed ones and it badly impacts society, governance and youth.

He urged the students to develop zero tolerance for corruption and play their due role in inculcating positive behaviour and good deeds in their surroundings.

Students must play a pivotal role in promoting awareness and taking steps for eradication of corruption to make the country prosperous, he added. “We have also signed an MOU with Higher Education Commission (HEC). Both NAB and HEC are undertaking joint efforts for sensitizing the youth against corruption,” he said and urged all the universities to join hands to eliminate corruption from the society.

In his welcome address, Rector IIUI, Dr Masoom Yasinzai said that corruption was a global phenomena which has crippled the societies. He said that youth were the best utilizable source to get rid of the menace of corruption.

He assured that IIUI would be found in leading ranks against corruption and such activities would continue from varsity platform.

The event was also attended by Director General NAB, other high officials of both organizations, varsity’s Deans, faculty members, journalists and students.

 

 

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CM announces to visit merged tribal districts

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR:  Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan said he owned the merger of erstwhile FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with its challenges that included removing the sense of deprivation of the people, extending efficient governance structure and social sectors services to facilitate the hapless poor of FATA as expeditiously as possible.

This he revealed while talking to Provincial Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai, Spoke Person Ajmal Wzir, MNA Iqbal Afridi, members of Provincial Assembly here on Friday.

During meeting, the mainstreaming of erstwhile tribal areas, good governance, developmental strategy for the whole of the province, transparency and merit based decision making were discussed.

Mahmood Khan Spoke out his mind about the overall mainstreaming of erstwhile tribal areas and the government planning for the rapid developmental activities in order to facilitate the hapless people there through efficient services adding that constitutionally, the new districts have become part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

He said his government would focus on the natural advantages of the new districts using them for the development for these areas because it was necessary to stand these districts on their own feet that would not only generate industrialization and trade activities but would also create jobs to the locals.

Chief Minister said that tourism promotion would also be the area of focus in the overall planning of the government. The overall planning would encompass all areas of the new districts where the developmental and exploration of natural potential would be carried out through federal transfers and the province would also contribute its own expertise.

Mahmood Khan revealed to visit all the new districts and he will first visit district Khyber where he would meet the locals, listen to them personally and resolve their problems as expeditiously as possible adding that there would be mass scale recruitment in police in the new districts and the locals would get special age relaxation.

Regarding the problems raised by the MPAs, the Chief Minister assured that he would focus on resolving the basic problems of the people and assured that each and every area would get their development share in the overall developmental strategy.

He directed the MPAs to monitor the development activities in their respective areas with focus on merit and transparency. The government would continue working in consonance with the people’s aspirations.

He said he would visit Batagram to inaugurate the sub campus of Hazara University soon adding that the burn centre in Peshawar was ready for inauguration adding that the project of shelter homes for the shelter-less people would be started soon.

 

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India death sentence over anti-Sikh riots

Monitoring Desk

New Delhi: An Indian court Tuesday handed down a rare death sentence over anti-Sikh riots in 1984 that left nearly 3,000 dead following the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Relatives of victims rejoiced in New Delhi after the judge announced the death sentence, the first since 1996. It follows the setting up of a special probe in 2015.

The 1984 carnage erupted just hours after then-premier Gandhi was killed by her Sikh bodyguards.

It lasted three days with Sikhs molested and murdered, their homes and businesses torched.

The violence across the country but mostly in New Delhi saw people dragged from their homes and burned alive. Few have been brought to justice over the massacre, with government-appointed commissions in the past failing to prosecute more than a handful of minor cases.

Gandhi was shot dead after ordering Indian troops to storm the Golden Temple, Sikhism’s holiest shrine in the northern state of Punjab.

 

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How to Prepare for the Harsh Winter Climate

To some, it’s a wonderful time of year but to others, it’s a time that cannot be over fast enough and the thought of it arriving fills them with a sense of resigned dread. That’s right – the winter season is fast approaching and bringing with it cold temperatures, snow, sleet, ice and having to bundle up in twenty layers before leaving the house. It brings shorter days and even longer nights, with time changes making it so it seems you leave your house in the dark and return home in the dark; only seeing the daylight in glimpses from your workplace and those favored days off.

Why You Should Be Ready

Although there are warning signs that winter is coming, from the drop in temperatures to the shorter days; a lot of people can find themselves wholly unprepared for the winter season. Part of that is because they think “this snow won’t last and it’s too soon for winter to set in” and another part of that is because there is a fair amount of prep work to be done to get ready for the winter. You need to prepare yourself, your home, your vehicle, and even your backyard. Today we are going to run through some helpful guidelines and tips to get yourself in the winter mode and become more prepared to meet Old Man Winter.

How to Prepare the Home

When it comes to preparing the home for the winter season, you almost need to look at the home as a whole and also look at it in terms of rooms that are high-traffic areas. A few helpful guidelines to help prepare your home for winter include but are not limited to:

Use a window insulation kit on the windows of your home to prevent heat escaping from miniscule leaks in the window seals and prevent condensation that can cause rot over time.
Install weather strips on the doorframes of your home to prevent heat from escaping through ill-fitting seams or seals.
Ensure there is a supply of candles, propane heaters, spare blankets and even a propane camping stove in the home in the case of a power outage.
Ensure that there is a supply of bottled water, dry goods, and medications in the case of a power outage.
Inspect the roof of your home for potential leaks or loose shingles.
Turn off any water sources that exist on the outside of the home to prevent pipes from leaking, freezing and breaking.
Clean the chimney, especially if your main source of heat is wood, to prevent chimney fires and smoke inhalation.

How to Prepare the Outside of the Home

When it comes to preparing the home for winter, sometimes people tend to focus and concentrate on just the inside of the home to ensure that heat doesn’t escape during the colder months, pipes stay intact and the home can be easily transitioned back to springtime mode. This is all wonderful, but the outside of the home also can benefit from some wintertime preparation such as:

Ensure that you have an adequate supply of de-icing salt for the driveways and pathways surrounding your home to avoid injury.
Cover and/or store furniture, outdoor appliances such as BBQs in an area that will be protected from heavy snowfall to avoid damage.
Install backyard space heaters on the patio of your home for the crisper but clear nights that you want to enjoy some outdoor fun such as building a snowman, having a bonfire, etc.
Backyard Boss has the best collection of reviews for the hottest space heaters on the market today for the cold winter ahead.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle

Now that we have discussed some ways to prepare the home both inside and out for the upcoming winter season, let’s take a look at some ways to prepare your vehicle as well. Some tips to follow are, but not limited to:
Make an appointment for a maintenance check at your local service shop to ensure that all engine, coolant, and antifreeze levels are where they should be for peak performance.
Install winter tires on your vehicle that have good pressure and a high amount of thread to ensure safety during drives on precarious roads covered in snow, ice and slush.
Have a winter box in your car that consists of a spare set of warm clothes, gloves, first aid kit, flashlights, road flares, a bag of sand (for traction should you go into deep snow) and high-energy snacks that don’t expire.
Check road conditions and upcoming weather conditions before leaving the home during the winter and plan the safest route to arrive at your destination.

How to Prepare Yourself and Your Family

Last but certainly not least, people need to prepare themselves and their family for the winter ahead. To prepare everyone for a safe and happy winter, make sure that you do the following:

Stay active during the winter to maintain good physical and mental health.
Maintain a good skin care routine that will prevent dry skin, scaly patches, rashes and splits in the skin. Use a hydrating moisturizer on the skin, lips and hands and a humidifier in the winter months to add moisture back into the air of the home.
Avoid viruses and illness by instilling a good hygienic routine – wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough, take a multivitamin on a daily basis and visit your doctor to see if there are any levels in the body that are low.

Conclusion

By following these tips and guidelines, you won’t be taken aback when winter is suddenly upon the area that you live in. While winter is never pleasant unless you are an avid enthusiast for winter activities and even then when there is nothing but storms in the forecast, it can be draining on your mental health.

The sense of dread that winter can invoke is eased when you are ready for it and ready to make a stand against the cold temperatures, heavy snowfall and shorter days. While preparing yourself, home and vehicle against the winter season, use this time to create bonding experiences for you and your family. Enlist your children and partner to help in the tasks that come with preparing for winter and turn it into a fun game by setting challenges for the most tasks completed in a set timeframe.

Unless you can afford to travel south for the winter, you, unfortunately, have to face it, so why not take some time to make sure that you are putting your best winter-booted foot forward this season?