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Arrest of Wikileaks founder is top “priority” says US Attorney General

WASHINGTON: The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a US “priority,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday, as media reports indicated his office was preparing charges against the fugitive anti-hero. “We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” Sessions, America’s top cop, said at a news conference in response to a reporter’s question about a US priority to arrest Assange. The Justice Department chief said a rash of leaks of sensitive secrets appeared unprecedented. “This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number ...

April 21, 2017 at 11:48 am | News Desk

Trade associations see stability

KARACHI: The leaders of major trade associations heaved a sigh of relief at the Supreme Court’s verdict. They said it cleared the clouds of uncertainty that was causing an adverse impact on business activities for the past few weeks. Talking to media, most businessmen sounded happy over the outcome. A leader articulated the community’s sentiment and said it was ‘like a big storm passing away without causing devastation’. Zubair Tufail, president Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) advised political parties to accept the SC verdict with an open heart and try to work for the stability of the country. He appealed not to adopt a path of agitation till the investigations under the JIT were complet...

April 21, 2017 at 11:35 am | News Desk

KSE-100 surges 1,800 points after Panamagate case verdict

The benchmark KSE-100 index has reacted positively to the Panama case verdict, with the index surging more than 1,869 points in the moments following the verdict. Volumes surged as 126 million shares worth Rs12.46 billion were traded. However, the benchmark index could not maintain the full momentum and adjusted to a gain of approximately 1,000 points in the hour after the verdict was announced. The Panama Papers scandal had taken a toll on the stock exchange in recent weeks, with the market mostly hovering between 47,000 and 49,000 points. Yesterday’s trading session had seen the greatest single day volatility when the benchmark index made an enormous swing of 1,668 points between the intra-day high and low.

April 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm | News Desk

Panamagate verdict: Supreme Court orders JIT probe of Sharif family

Neither a clean chit nor a conviction: the drawn out Supreme Court (SC) case probing the Sharif family’s alleged corruption ended today as the court ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe how money was transferred to Qatar. The prime minister and his party breathed a sigh of relief, as the fear of an 'extreme verdict' — the premier's ouster — dissolved and gave way to celebrations. A five-judge bench, comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, had examined arguments presented by the PTI, the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the Watan Party and the All Pakistan Muslim League, who framed the case out of court as a campaign against ...

April 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm | News Desk

British PM calls for early general election on June 8

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May called Tuesday for an early general election on June 8 in a surprise announcement as Britain prepares for delicate negotiations on leaving the European Union. "We need a general election and we need one now. We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done... before the detailed talks begin," May said, despite previously denying that she would do so. Speaking outside her Downing Street residence in London, May warned that "division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit". She said parliament would be asked to vote Wednesday to decide on whether or not to hold an election. The dramatic announcement comes after months of tumult in British politics followi...

April 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm | News Desk

Pakistan’s economy to grow 5.2% in 2017: World Bank

ISLAMABAD – With growth prospects continuing to improve and inflation remaining contained, the Pakistani economy would continue to grow at 5.2 percent in 2017, the World Bank (WB) predicted in its recent report. In its report, the Bank said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has supported construction activity, which is expected to stimulate industrial sector growth. It said that these projects should help accelerate growth in the domestic construction industry and increase electricity generation, adding that sustainable and inclusive growth and poverty reduction will require greater private sector investment and longer-term development of infrastructure. “In Pakistan, economic activity expanded by 4.7 percent in 2016 and i...

April 18, 2017 at 4:21 pm | News Desk

Trump congratulates Erdogan on disputed Turkey poll

Donald Trump called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on winning a referendum granting him sweeping new powers that exposed bitter divisions in the country. The White House said they also discussed a US missile strike in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State group. Trump's congratulations on Monday were in contrast with EU leaders who have been reserved in their reaction to the narrow victory and even his own State Department, which earlier noted concerns expressed by international observers over the "uneven playing field". Returning in triumph to his presidential palace in Ankara, Erdogan angrily rejected the criticism, telling the monitors: "Know your place." The referendum was seen as crucial ...

April 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm | News Desk

Delhi seeks ICJ intervention to secure Jadhav release

A PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking international court's intervention in securing the immediate release of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death over spying allegations by a military court in Pakistan. The PIL seeks response from the Centre on exploring remedies via International Court of Justice (ICJ) for securing Kulbhushan Jadhav's release. The move comes a day after Pakistan's Army categorically ruled out consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav despite the Indian government making a strong case for gaining access to the Indian prisoner on death row. Jadhav, 46, was awarded death sentence by the Field General Court Martial last week, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warne...

April 18, 2017 at 3:39 pm | News Desk

UN rejects Saudi-led coalition call to supervise Yemen port

The United Nations on Monday rejected a call by the Saudi-led coalition battling rebels in Yemen for the key port of Hodeida to be placed under its supervision. The coalition made the appeal following an attack on a boat carrying Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen that killed 42 people, and as the country faced famine. UN spokesman Farhan Haq said the warring sides in Yemen have a responsibility to protect civilian infrastructure and civilians. “These are not obligations they can shift to others,” Haq said. Hodeida, which is a key transit point for desperately-needed imports, is controlled by Houthi rebels fighting the Saudi-backed government. The coalition said in a statement Sunday that it was not responsible for th...

March 21, 2017 at 12:50 pm | News Desk

Turkish giant Arcelik, to focus on Pakistan

LONDON: Arcelik, the home appliances arm of Turkey's biggest industrial conglomerate Koc Holding, is working on acquisitions to speed up its international expansion, particularly in Asia, its chief executive said on Monday. The company, which sells washing machines, dryers and refrigerators under labels including Beko and Grundig, wants more such "white goods" brands, but could also look at small appliances such as coffee makers and food processors. "(M&A) is important because we have global ambitions," CEO Hakan Bulgurlu told Reuters in an interview in London. He forecast "significant demand growth" in southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, including Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as Bangladesh, Pakistan ...

March 21, 2017 at 12:26 pm | News Desk

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