Tag: news

What happened when French President called Prime Minister of Pakistan?


French President Emmanuel Macron was put on hold by Prime Minister Imran Khan after the former dialed an unscheduled call during the premier’s meeting with senior media persons at prime Minister’s Office.

According to details which were later confirmed by various sources, PM Khan received an unscheduled call from Macron on Friday during his meeting with top anchorpersons associated with various media organisations.

During the meeting, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua asked the premier to attend a telephone call from the French president, however, Imran Khan told her that he was busy.

The incident was also confirmed by anchorperson Hamid Mir in a tweeet.

“New Pakistan.French President @EmmanuelMacron called Prime Minister of Pakistan @ImranKhanPTI today but he was busy in a meeting with journalists including me Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua wanted PM to attend the call but PM said I am busy here tell them to call in 30 minutes,” the journalist tweeted.


Headlines to start your Day


Here is what you need to know on Tuesday

• Fears of a global contagion.

Turkey’s currency hit another record low, dragged down by soaring inflation, economic mismanagement and tensions with the U.S. There are growing fears of an impending economic meltdown that could spread to other emerging economies.

The plunge of the lira hit stocks in Asia and Europe, and played havoc with currency markets. The Indian rupee dropped to a record low against the dollar; the Indonesian rupiah flirted with a three-year low.

China’s main stock index lost nearly 2 percent at one point on Monday, but largely recovered. In Tokyo, the main index closed 2 percent lower. Stocks in Seoul fell 1.5 percent. European markets fared only slightly better. U.S. markets dipped but didn’t sag..

Beijing also further weakened its currency, the renminbi, against the dollar, setting the benchmark rate for trading in Shanghai at its weakest level in 15 months.


Carlos Barria/Reuters

• President Trump signed a defense-spending bill named in honor of Senator John McCain — without once mentioning Mr. McCain — at Fort Drum Army Base in New York.

The bill authorizes $717 billion for military funding over the next year. Mr. Trump called it the most significant investment in the military in modern history.

As is often the case, there were many threads to follow in news related to the president.

Peter Strzok, the F.B.I. senior counterintelligence agent who disparaged Mr. Trump in text messages, was fired for violating F.B.I. policies. He helped oversee the Hillary Clinton email and Russia investigations.

And as the fraud trial of Paul Manafort enters its second week, Times reporters looked back at his lobbying career.

Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• “There is no such thing as re-education centers.”

China on Monday flatly denied accusations from U.N. experts that it had detained more than a million ethnic Uighur Muslims in re-education camps in its western Xinjiang region. The denial came after a U.N. official last week spoke of Xinjiang becoming “something resembling a massive internment camp,” with mass detention and disappearances.

But China stood firm: A senior Chinese Communist Party official said the country’s ethnic minorities lived in peace and contentment enjoying freedom of religious belief. Above, Chinese military police at a rally in Xinjiang, last year. Beijing has progressively tightened security in the region.


• In Afghanistan, after four days of fighting, the Taliban appear to control most neighborhoods in the city of Ghazni. They have also taken over most of the province’s rural areas.

That raises the prospect that if the insurgents do fully take the city, they may be in a position to control an entire province for the first time in the 17-year war in Afghanistan.

• “besity in our monks is a ticking time bomb.”

Buddhist monks are at the front lines of a fight against obesity in Thailand, which is the second-heaviest nation in Asia, after Malaysia. A study found that nearly half of Thai monks are obese, more than 40 percent have high cholesterol, nearly 25 percent have high blood pressure and one in 10 are diabetic.

But the monks consume fewer calories than the general population, and are forbidden to eat after midday. Researchers found one major culprit: To keep their energy up, many monks rely on highly sweetened beverages, including sugary drinks.


Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press

• Elon Musk offered a fuller explanation of his “funding secured” Twitter post on Aug. 7 about taking Tesla private. He said, among other things, that he had held meetings with representatives of a Saudi sovereign wealth fund who expressed an eagerness to help him take the electric-car maker private.

• Biometrics beyond fingerprints: To fight fraud, some large banks and retailers are amassing tens of millions of profiles that can identify customers by how they touch, hold and tap their devices.

• Independent music labels called on European antitrust regulators to block Sony’s $2.3 billion bid for control of EMI, saying the merger would give the Japanese conglomerate too much market power.

• Most U.S. stocks were lower. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News

Ritchie B Tongo/EPA, via Shutterstock

• In Taiwan, a fire raged through a floor of Taipei Hospital filled with elderly patients, killing at least nine people and injuring two dozen more. [The New York Times]

• Aretha Franklin, 76, the legendary “Queen of Soul,” is gravely ill, family members told a Detroit news outlet on Monday. [Variety]

• The U.S. is set to return three church bells to the Philippines that were taken as war trophies 117 years ago. Their ringing set off the worst U.S. defeat in the Philippine-American war and spurred retaliation that left thousands dead. [The New York Times]

• President Moon Jae-in of South Korea will visit Pyongyang next month for his third summit meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. [The New York Times]

• A Swedish doctor visited Gui Minhai, the Hong Kong publisher who has been held by Chinese authorities off and on since 2015, when he was abducted in Thailand. [Reuters]

Smarter Living

Tips for a more fulfilling life.

Lars Leetaru

• How to enjoy nature on your next urban getaway.

• Five cheap(ish) things for every college dorm.

• Recipe of the day: Keep pasta simple: Zucchini, good ricotta and basil will do the tri

• The top of Mt.

Fuji is one of the few places in Japan where a postmark is still more coveted than a “like” on Instagram or Facebook. But hauling all that mail down takes effort, even in the absence of snow. That’s where the bulldozer comes in.

• In memoriam: Bui Tin, 90, a North Vietnamese colonel who accepted the surrender of South Vietnam in 1975, but who later fled Vietnam and became a critic of its ruling Communist Party. And mourners mobbed the funeral of Ellen Joyce Loo, 32, a singer-songwriter and advocate of LGBT rights in Hong Kong who suffered from bipolar disorder.

• And cautious hope for hemophiliacs. After trying for decades to develop a gene therapy to treat hemophilia, the inability to form blood clots, researchers are starting to succeed.

Back Story

Twentieth Century Fox

It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right. Put your hands on your hips, and bring your knees in tight.

But as fans of the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” well know, it’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane. The cult classic film opened in London on this day in 1975.

Often described as a campy take on horror and science fiction films, the movie originally premiered on the London stage in 1973, and was summed up in one breathless sentence by a Times review: “Two young innocents are entrapped by Frank N. Furter, a mad, transvestite inventor from outer space, who has created a beefcake monster, Rocky Horror, who looks as though he has just stepped from the centerfold of Playgirl.”

Shortly after the premiere of the film version, it was briefly shelved before being resurrected at a midnight screening in New York. A group of fans made weekly pilgrimages to the small theater, sat in the front row and screamed for their favorite characters. A social phenomenon was born, and the film has remained in theaters ever since.

Audience participation, props and costumes are widely encouraged at regularly scheduled screenings around the world.

We’ll end with the words of Frank N. Furter: Don’t dream it. Be it.

Remy Tumin wrote today’s Back Story.


This briefing was prepared for the Asian morning.

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Emirates A380 World’s Largest landed at this airport for the first time.

Its a moment of immense pleasure for us that Emirates have shared its confidence and trust in us and landing its fleet biggest airbus A380 here for the first time making history.

Emirates on Tuesday announced that it will deploy a one-off A380 service to Islamabad on July 8, 2018, with the airline’s iconic double-decker making its inaugural arrival in Islamabad on a special flight EK2524/EK2525.

The A380 flight will depart Dubai at 8am and arrive in Islamabad at 12.10pm. The flight will depart Islamabad at 3.40pm, arriving in Dubai at 5.45pm on the same day.

“We are proud to bring our flagship A380 aircraft to Islamabad and we look forward to showcasing our innovative products on board this iconic aircraft with the signature Emirates service. While this is a special flight, we are very keen to launch a scheduled A380 service to Pakistan and will continue to work with authorities to realise these plans,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, divisional senior vice-president, commercial operations centre, Emirates.

The Emirates A380 aircraft on this special one-off service will be in a two-class configuration offering seats in economy class and seats in business class as well as Emirates’ onboard lounge. Passengers in all classes enjoy free Wi-Fi.

Emirates and Pakistan have a shared history tracing back over 30 years when the airline’s flight landed in Karachi on October 25, 1985. In the last three decades, Emirates has progressively expanded its operations and offering global connectivity to Pakistan’s major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Sialkot, and Multan.

United States or United Kingdom’s which has worst society system and why?

Rodrigo seems like many of the bright young men of Silicon Valley. He graduated from one of the best universities in the world, and at 36, he now works for a tech startup. In his free time, he likes earnest chats – one of his favorite topics is how to improve urban infrastructure.

But Rodrigo’s story is unusual in a way that offers some perspective on class mobility in America versus that of the UK.

Rodrigo is Welsh and grew up on the dole, living in a council flat (the UK’s equivalent to social housing). He, his siblings and his single mother dwelled on the edge of a mining community that has been in economic decline since the 1980s. Rodrigo excelled in school, though, so he ultimately left his town and his neighborhood, which people “made jokes about”, and where his family “didn’t have a car, rode the bus a lot”.

He attended Oxford University with grants, which he thinks was “super lucky”. His mother initially worried about her son going the Oxbridge route, wondering if he would be able to make that cultural transition or thrive there. In the end, he found the university to be a supportive place, despite the “pockets that conform to stereotypes” about public school boys (we call them private school in the US).

In England, Rodrigo was initially somewhat ashamed of his origins, “trying to pass as much as I could”. This is no longer the case.

I sought Rodrigo out because I wanted to see how the cliches around American and British class identity play out on a person’s life today. In both countries, people may feel uncomfortable talking about their class position publicly – which was part of why Rodrigo asked me not to use his last name.

A hackneyed storyline is that we in the US have a covert class system: we supposedly measure people on merit, but we actually measure people on their skills, credentials, college educations and earning power. Meanwhile, the UK has an overt one: everyone knows who is a toff and who is a yob, and British people’s ears are supersonic when it comes to accents, and class markers are carefully noticed: the wine a person drinks, how they cut their food.

America is supposed to have greater social mobility. In the UK, everyone ostensibly has a rung but they are also trapped in that position.

Nowadays, these once-clear binaries are muddled. By some measures, America’s class mobility has foundered in recent decades. According to a 2015 Pew study, only 64% of Americans now believe that opportunities for mobility are broadly accessed, the lowest rate in around three decades.

Numbers bear out this pessimism. As economist Raj Chetty explained in a 2016 lecture at the London School of Economics, the probability of a child born to parents in the bottom fifth of the incomes reaching the top fifth is 7.5% in America. In the UK, this number is 9%, according to research by economists Jo Blanden and Stephen Machin.

There is, in short, less mobility in the US, says Richard Reeves, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution as well as the author of the book Dream Hoarders. Reeves, who is British, describes “the big focus of his work” the comparison of the two countries’ attitudes towards and expressions of social class.

I myself am acutely aware that something has changed. I grew up in New York City and in London. In the local state school I attended in England, I saw and heard far more awareness of where a person stood in the social hierarchy than I had ever heard stateside. Some of my British classmates would say they wanted to do exactly what their fathers did; none of the kids I knew at school back in New York shared this sentiment. Thirty years later, many of the American kids I grew up with, despite their best efforts, have not reached the level of financial comfort of their parents.

That lack of mobility is something Eliot Bamford, a New Hampshire-dwelling Englishman and public school teacher, can see in his adopted home. Some of his fellow rural teachers are squeezed economically, he says – they drive Uber during the summer holidays, for instance – though he and his wife “squeak by”.

Bamford says that despite the fact that he encounters a great deal of poverty among the Special Education students he teaches – some of who live in trailer parks or come to school hungry – few discuss or label themselves in class terms.

Bamford, who left England 20 years ago, grew up living on the edge of a council estate in Nottingham. He says that the Americans he interacts with socially in New Hampshire are also less diverse economically than his range of friends in Britain, where he was the first in his family to go to college. In England, Bamford feels you are “up against different kinds of people more often, living in closer communities”. He also spoke of extreme inequality expressed openly and through physical adjacency – like affluent houses nextdoor to these trailer parks – that he never saw in England.

For Reeves, the biggest shocker has been that in America, people convince themselves that the system is meritocratic “and thus they don’t feel any shame about broadcasting the internships they got through nepotism, or that they got into colleges as legacies, or that they paid for private SAT prep for their kids”.

Reeves argues there is a cognitive dissonance at play. In one captivating and acrid riff, he describes parents who “may be Rachel-Maddow-all-in-no-toy-guns-in-the-house kind of people, but they send all three of their kids to pricey Georgetown Day School without any moral perturbation”.

“The UK, with all of it class consciousness, brings class guilt, which is a good thing. But the agonizing discussions over whether British liberal parents should send their children to public [private] schools doesn’t happen here. In the US, parents are aware of structural unfairness but with a total lack of moral queasiness.”

While the British middle class remains one of the smallest and poorest in Europe – according to the Pew Research Center, a middle-class family of four in the UK is one of the poorest in Europe, with a disposable income of between $29,000 and $87,300 – the share of adults living in middle-income households has increased in the UK, from 61% to 67% between 1991 and 2010, according to Pew Global in 2017.

This uptick is not true in the US. America’s middle-class share was a mere 59% in 2010 (with the caveat that middle-class people’s salaries in the US tend to be higher than in the UK).

Meanwhile, wealth inequality in the US today also resembles that before the Great Depression. Social networks matter greatly, and our class calibrations are often around what college one attended, leading to gruesome institutional divisions between those who attend, say, community colleges and those who attend top-tier universities. In England, despite the recent rise in student fees, university is far cheaper. The epidemic of student loans that has weighed down young Americans and older American alike simply doesn’t exist.

It was no accident that a saving grace for Rodrigo – who eventually moved to California and married an American – was the lack of copious student debt from his days at Oxford. And paradoxically, he feels that America’s attitude towards English people has given him a lift up when he moved to the US, as some Americans’ understanding of England is entirely derived from the aristocrats of imported television.

Few Americans would admit to this or, of course, talk about class at all. As Reeves says, “a bit of [British] class consciousness, on balance, would be better for the US”.

News Republic wins Asia Mobile Award for best media app

 The awards, which were hosted by popular TV personality Bai Xuxu, honour achievement, excellence and innovation in mobile communications across the dynamic and incredibly diverse Asia Pacific region.

The GSMA announced the winners of the 2016 Asia Mobile Awards, which were presented last evening at the AMO Awards Ceremony and Dinner Reception, held at DaGuan Theatre in Pudong, Shanghai.






We extend our congratulations to all of the winners and nominees at our first Asia Mobile Awards here at Mobile World Congress Shanghai,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “The AMOs recognise everything from game-changing mobile devices and technologies to applications and services available in all Asian markets, but perhaps more importantly, they underscore the hugely positive impact of mobile communications for people, business and society. Many thanks to all of our entrants, judges, sponsors and partners for supporting the 2016 Asia Mobile Awards.”

Outcomes after Trump’s conclusive remarks on Iran

President Trump concluded his announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Iran deal with a message of peace: “Great things can happen for the peace and stability that we all want in the Middle East,” he said. “There has been enough suffering, death, and destruction. Let it end now.”

1. Confusion in the United States

Outside of satisfying a grudge against President Obama, it’s been hard to comprehend Trump’s rationale for pulling out of the deal. France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and Russia all advised Trump to remain in the agreement, as did a bipartisan coalition of over 100 national security veterans, a group of more than 90 atomic scientists and scores of other experts. By opting to tear up the deal rather than work to amend it, Trump has destabilized the Middle East, further distanced himself from world powers and opened the door for Iran to develop new nuclear weapons.

2. Iran suggests it could resume its nuclear program

The day after Trump’s announcement, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano noted that Iran was still complying with the deal. “As of today, the IAEA can confirm that the nuclear-related commitments are being implements by Iran,” he said in a statement.

3. Saudi Arabia is ready for a nuclear arms race

In announcing his decision, Trump used a bizarre bit of logic while attempting to make the point that keeping the deal intact would lead to nuclear proliferation. “If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” he said. “Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.”

4. Oil prices have started rising

There are more than a few economic implications to the United States reimposing sanctions on Iran. Several of America’s overseas allies are engaged in trade with the nation, and Trump said that the U.S. could impose sanctions not only on Iran, but any nation “that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons.”

The most immediate effect has been a spike in oil prices. On Wednesday, they rose around three percent, reaching their highest point since late in 2014, and concern is growing as to how the market will respond in the coming months once the reimposed sanctions begin to take effect. Iran is responsible for a significant portion of the world’s oil, and sanctions will reduce the amount they’re able to export. Though prices have risen since Trump’s announcement, it’s impossible to predict how they will respond in the future. If the situation plays out how the Trump administration hopes, the market should be fine. If tearing up the deal leads to confrontation, maybe not so much.

5. Iran has executed its first direct assault on Israeli troops

Experts have warned that Trump’s decision to back of of the deal might lead to Iran taking a more aggressive approach in its conflict with Israel in Syria. “U.S. withdrawal has accelerated the escalation between Israel and Iran,” Ofer Zalzberg, analyst at International Crisis Group, told the Washington Post. “Iran faces less restraint in terms of the timing for a retaliation.”

It didn’t take long after Trump’s announcement for Iran to retaliate. On Thursday morning, the nation launched 20 missiles at Israel’s position in Golan Heights, according to an Israeli military spokesperson. The attack appears to have been in response to Israeli attack on southern Syria on Wednesday.


There are few issues more important to the security of the US than the potential spread of nuclear weapons or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. Today’s decision to put the JCPOA at risk is a serious mistake

What Roma tweeted Mohamed Salah after he reached CL final with Liverpool is pure class

Liverpool reached the Champions League final on Wednesday night thanks to a 7-6 aggregate victory over AS Roma.

Jurgen Klopp’s side lost the second leg 4-2 at the Stadio Olimpico but still progressed to the final thanks to their 5-2 win at Anfield last week.

Salah, who scored twice and provided two assists in the first leg, failed to get himself on the scoresheet back at his former stomping ground.

However, he did receive an incredibly classy tweet from Roma’s Twitter account shortly after the final whistle.


The Italian outfit tweeted a drawing of the 25-year-old in a half-Roma, half-Liverpool shirt alongside the words: “It hurts so much that #ASRoma’s incredible dream of going all the way to Kiev is over but you’ll be there in your new colours. Good luck in the #UCL final @MoSalah #ForzaRoma #YNWA”

That tweet deserves a lot of respect.

 Everybody associated with AS Roma was understandably devastated after the final whistle, but their English-language Twitter account still took the time to send that tweet.

Liverpool fans were full of praise for Roma, whose tweet will help to further strengthen the relationship between the clubs.