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Saturday, 13 February 2016

 

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UN voices concern over Europeís restrictive measures as refugee and migrant influx continues -
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 13 (APP): With the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe showing no signs of easing in 2016, the United Nations refugee agency has expressed its concern over increasing restrictive measures on the part of European Member States and called for protecting the human rights of the more than 2,000 people who continue risking their lives every day to reach Europe. Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, Melissa Fleming, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), underscored that despite rougher seas, harsh winter weather and numerous hardships endured upon arrival, more than 80,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by boat during the first six weeks of 2016, with more than 400 dying in their attempt. Comparably, large numbers began arriving in Europe only by July 2015.


Pakistan snubs NYT for allegation over ISIS, Afghanistan -
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12  (APP): The Pakistan Embassy in the U.S. rejected a report carried out by the New York Times  (NYT) that blamed Pakistan for  deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, adding such accusation would harm the reconciliation process in that country. In a strong rejoinder to the editor, a spokesman for the embassy challenged the assertions made in the report titled "Pakistan's Hands in the Rise of International Jihad" and drew the attention of the author to the world praise for Pakistan for its role in fighting global terrorism.     



UN marks 1st Intíl Day of Women and Girls in Science -

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 12 (APP): More than ever today, the world needs science and science needs women, the head of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said Thursday, marking the first International Day of Women and Girls in Science. “UNESCO’s message is clear “the new [2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development] will not meet its promise without investing in women’s and girls’ empowerment through and in science,” Director-General Irina Bokova highlighted in a message.



At Chicago event, Pakistani diplomat says ending polio top national priority -
faisal_niaz_tirmizi.jpgCHICAGO, Feb. 12 (APP): Over 500 people in Chicago on Thursday attended an event organized by Rotary International, in collaboration with the Pakistani Consulate Genetral, to honour the ‘selfless commitment’ of the people and the government of Pakistan for their tireless work to eradicate polio from the country. “Polio eradication is our national priority and the prime minister of Pakistan is supervising efforts to eliminate this debilitating disease,”  Pakistani Consul Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, told the gathering in the course of discussion on “Ending Polio in Pakistan”. 


Pakistan rejects claims of its role in deteriorating situation in Afghanistan -
NEW YORK, Feb 12 (APP): A Pakistani diplomat has debunked allegations made in an article published in a leading American newspaper last week  that Pakistan had facilitated the recent Taliban offensive in Afghanistan. The article, titled ‘Pakistan’s Hand in the Rise of International Jihad’, was written by Carlotta Gall, a New York Times correspondent who reported from Pakistan from 2001-13.


Sport News
Pakistan beat India 1-0 to claim hockey gold in SAG
ISLAMABAD, Feb 12 (APP): Pakistan continued their supremacy in men's hockey in the region as they defeated historical rivals India 1-0 in the summit clash to clinch gold in the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) at the Moullana Tayabullah Hockey Stadium Guwahati, India on Friday. According to information received here, Awais-ur-Rehman scored the lone goal of the match in dying moments of the first half as Pakistan clinched a hat-trick of titles in the SAG.

 
BCCI has banned me without any evidence: Asad Rauf
ISLAMABAD, Feb 12 (APP): Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf Friday hit out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for imposing a five-year ban on him for corruption, saying that the Indian Board did not have any evidence to pronounce him guilty. "What authority does the BCCI or IPL have to ban me when the court in Mumbai told the police they had no evidence against me," Rauf asked.

 
World Champion Asif gearing up to regain National Snooker crown
KARACHI, Feb. 12 (APP)- Former IBSF World Amateur Snooker Champion Muhammad Asif was gearing-up to regain his crown in the 41st edition of National Snooker Championship which break-off here from February 15. "Yes I am fully ready to regain my crown after last winning it in 2012," country's premier cueist told APP in an interview on Friday as he prepared to travel to Karachi from Faisalabad to figure in prestigious national event.

 
Zeeshan/Saif steers Pakistan 5th spot in ICC U19 CWC
KARACHI, Feb. 12 (APP)- Pakistan ended its campaign in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup on a winning note, defeating England by seven wickets in Fatullah on Friday to finish fifth in the 16-nation tournament. Batting duo of opener Zeeshan  Malik and Saif Badar starred in their team's triumph with sizzling batting.

 
TDCP Cholistan Jeep Rally starts
BAHAWALPUR, Feb 12 (APP): Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) 11th Cholistan jeep rally has started here Friday. A total of 80 vehicles have got registered in 8 different categories. Two female drivers are also participating in the event. Qualifying round of the rally will be held on Saturday.

 
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Aafia didnít shoot at US agents, no fingerprints on gun: Defence lawyer PDF Print E-mail
NEW YORK, Jan 12 (APP) “A lawyer for Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist accused of shooting at FBI agents in Afghanistan, told a pre-trial hearing on Monday that the defence team rejected the charge since there were no fingerprints or other forensic evidence that she even picked up the gun. “We’re not saying she did it in self-defence. We’re not saying it was an accident. We’re saying she simply did not do it,” Defence attorney Linda Moreno told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ahead of Ms.  Siddiqui’s trial on January 19.
At a previous pre-trial hearing, Ms. Siddiqui, 37, had also forcefully denied the charge. “I didn’t fire any bullets,” she had told the court. “I am innocent of all the charges and I can prove it, but I will not do it in this court.”
Meanwhile, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher La Vigne Christopher Levine made it clear that the government will not argue that Ms. Siddiqui was a member of Al-Qaeda, Taliban or any other terrorist organization.    
Lawyer Moreno argued that a jury, which will be selected on Wednesday, should only consider whether Ms. Siddiqui fired a weapon not her motive.
Under questioning from the judge, the lawyer indicated that the defence would question the credibility of the eye-witnesses that the prosecution will call to testify in support of the charge.
Since the very beginning, Ms. Siddiqui has said that she has no confidence in the American judicial system or the lawyers appointed for her by the court—even those retained by the government of Pakistan—and that she wants to make peace and knows how to do it.
“They are not my attorneys,” Ms. Siddiqui said moments after being escorted into a Manhattan courtroom Monday. “I have fired them many times.” She later said: “There’s too many injustices in this court.” Ms. Siddiqui is accused of grabbing a U.S. Army officer’s rifle during an interrogation in Afghanistan in July 2008 and exchanging gunfire with U.S. soldiers and FBI agents.
No American was hit, but she survived a gunshot wound to the stomach and was brought to the United States in August to face federal charges of attempted murder and assault.
On Monday, defence attorneys asked judge Berman to bar testimony and evidence from Siddiqui’s capture in Afghanistan the day before the shooting.
Prosecutors allege she was carrying a list naming the Stature of Liberty and other New York landmarks, and notes about chemical and biological weapons.
La Vigne, the government attorney, told the judge that the material found on Siddiqui should be allowed as evidence to “provide context to these events.” The judge said he would rule Wednesday morning before jury selection begins.
 
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