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WORLD IN FOCUS 11th March-10th April 2012

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

12-03-2012    Dawn
Change of guard goes off smoothly in Senate: Senate’s new Chairman Nayyer Hussain Bokhari and Deputy Chairman Sabir Baloch took oath of office after their unanimous election. In accordance with an agreement among various parties, the opposition did not field any candidate against the PPP nominees.

13-03-2012    Dawn
Chinese bank ditches Iran gas project: A consortium led by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has ‘run away’ from providing financial advisory services for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project apparently because of the US opposition to the plan and forced the government to look for alternative financing options.

13-03-2012    The News
President approves Hilal-i-Imtiaz for Sharmeen Chinoy: President Asif Ali Zardari, on the advice of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, approved the conferment of the prestigious Hilal-i-Imtiaz upon filmmaker and recent Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

14-03-2012    Dawn
NA’s unanimous call for law to tame agencies: The National Assembly came out strongly to account for so-called missing persons and, through a unanimous resolution, called for enacting a comprehensive law to regulate intelligence and security agencies often blamed for disappearances and extra-judicial killings of dissidents.

14-03-2012    Dawn
Ishaq Dar new leader of opposition in Senate: Backed by all 24 opposition members, including seven from Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), Ishaq Dar of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) was declared as the new opposition leader in the Senate.

18-03-2012    Dawn
Unesco declines heritage status to three sites: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has declined Pakistan’s request for heritage status for its three cities of historical importance citing the government’s neglect of these ancient treasures as a major reason.

In 2010, Pakistan sent 10 entries for the Unesco world heritage status. The government was particularly pushing for recognition of the 7,000 BC Mehergarh in Balochistan, one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, the pre-Harappa 4,000 BC Rehman Dheri in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the 2,600 BC Harappa site in Punjab, with one of the most fascinating and mysterious cultures of the world.

18-03-2012    The News
Sitara-i-Imtiaz to Qavi Khan: President Asif Zardari has approved conferment of Sitara-i-Imtiaz on renowned actor Qavi Khan in recognition of his services in the field of performing arts.

Qavi Khan is among the few artists who have earned great fame in all the fields of performing arts. Qavi has also been among the pioneers of theatre in Pakistan.

19-03-2012    Dawn
Gen Zahirul Islam assumes ISI command: The new chief of Inter Services Intelligence, Lt Gen Zahirul Islam, assumed the office with prime ministerial advice for tuning the working of the spy outfit in accordance with ‘national aspirations’ in his hand.

Air Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman handed over command of the Pakistan Air Force to Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt on his retirement.

19-03-2012    Dawn
Hashmi made PTI president: Veteran politician Javed Hashmi has been made president of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf. This was announced by PTI chairman Imran Khan at a press conference. He said the decision had been taken by the party’s central executive committee.

20-03-2012    Dawn
Parliament sets out to reorder US ties: On a dusty day, parliament set out on an unfamiliar road to guide foreign policy, with a key committee demanding that the United States ‘review its footprints’ in Pakistan at the cost of some money, ego and military tactics.

The much-awaited report of the all-party Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS), presented in a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate, included calls for US and Nato forces in Afghanistan to pay charges for the transit of their supplies via Pakistan, an ‘unconditional’ US apology for a deadly attack on Pakistani border posts in November and a halt to drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Key recommendations

The US must review its footprints in Pakistan which means cessation of drone attacks
No hot pursuit or boots on Pakistani territory
Activities of foreign private security contractors must be transparent, subject to Pakistani law
Pakistan should seek civilian nuclear treaty with the US similar to the one signed by India
Government should seek an unconditional apology from the US over the attack on border posts

No use of Pakistan bases or airspace by foreign forces without parliamentary approval
Any consideration regarding reopening of Nato supply routes must be contingent upon a thorough revision of terms and conditions of arrangement

verbal agreement regarding national security shall be entered into by the government its ministries, departments or organisations with any foreign government.

There should be prior permission and transparency on number and presence of foreign intelligence operatives in country

Taxes and other charges must be levied on all goods imported in or transiting through Pakistan

Pakistan should actively pursue gas pipeline with Iran

20-03-2012    The News
Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for Ishtiaq Baig: On the occasion of Pakistan Day (March 23), President Asif Ali Zardari will confer Civil Award Tamgha-e-Imtiaz on Ishtiaq Baig, Founding President of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Pakistan at a ceremony at President House Islamabad for his outstanding services in the field of social work.

20-03-2012    Tribune
Hilal-e-Pakistan Thai princess honoured: President Asif Ali Zardari decorated Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand with Hilal-e-Pakistan for her outstanding public service, promotion of international goodwill and cooperation and for her contribution to promote Pakistan-Thailand bilateral relations.

21-03-2012    Dawn
PM launches plan to end hunger: The government launched a ‘Zero Hunger Action Plan’ with a view to reducing the number of food insecure people in the country.

The number of people facing food insecurity has been estimated at 50 per cent of the country’s population by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.

23-03-2012    Dawn
Top national award for Nusrat Bhutto, Salman Taseer: President Asif Ali Zardari conferred national civil awards on 67 distinguished individuals, including five foreign nationals, at a ceremony held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr.

President Zardari had approved 189 civil awards on August 14 last year. Nine of them were approved later as special cases.

President Zardari conferred Nishan-i-Imtiaz on late Begum Nusrat Bhutto and former Punjab governor late Salman Taseer (posthumously) and on Dr Fehmida Mirza, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, former Senate chairman Farooq H. Naek and Secretary General to the President M. Salman Faruqui in recognition of their public services.

23-03-2012    Dawn
Pakistan shines through world’s largest painting: A group of 1,000 or so students of colleges and universities from all over Punjab made the world’s largest painting 41,685 square feet at the National Hockey Stadium.

It is learnt that the previous record of 33,000 square-foot painting had been acclaimed by the Guinness World Records. According to the organisers, the world’s largest painting was accomplished in seven hours. A large number of people attended the festivity at the stadium.

24-03-2012    Dawn
Former air chief appointed PIA MD: Pakistan Air Force’s former chief Rao Qamar Suleman was appointed managing director of PIA, Radio Pakistan and TV channels reported.
According to the report, PIA managing director Nadeem Yousafzai has been transferred and posted as director general of the Civil Aviation Authority.

24-03-2012    The News
Law and Justice Commission members appointed: On the recommendation of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who is also Chairman of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, the federal government appointed members of the Law and Justice Commission for a period of 3 years with effect from March 30.

According to a press release of the Commission Justice (retd) Raja Fayyaz Ahmed from Balochistan, Syed Iqbal Haider, Senior Advocate Supreme Court (SC) from Sindh, Justice (retd) Abdul Karim Khan Kundi from Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Abid Hassan Minto, Senior Advocate of Supreme Court from Punjab have been appointed as members of the Law and Justice Commission.

24-03-2012    Daily Times
Balochistan gets new chief secy: Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, presently posted as Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir Affairs secretary, has been transferred to the post of Balochistan chief secretary, according to a statement issued by the PM’s House.

25-03-2012    The News
Pak, Afghan, Iran, Tajik leaders vow to promote regional trade: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan reiterated their resolve to promote and strengthen trade and economic cooperation in the region besides joining hands to fight the menace of terrorism, militancy and drug trafficking for a win-win situation.

This was agreed during a quadrilateral meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe.

25-03-2012    The News
Pakistani troops awarded UN medal in Congo: Pakistani troops serving in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were awarded UN medals in an impressive medal parade ceremony held in Bukavu on March 23.

25-03-2012    The News
Pak student wins World Math contest: A 13-year old student Moosa Firoz, from Phalia in Punjab secured first position in online World Mathematics Competition held in Australia and was awarded gold medal. Firoz secured 4,405 points while another Pakistani student Hasnain got second position with 4,303 points in 11-13 years age category. In the category of 14-18 years age, another Pakistani student Osama got second place with 3,318 points. About 1.57 million students took part in the competition from across the world.

26-03-2012    Dawn
Gilani stresses joint efforts for N-safety: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani emphasised ‘national responsibility’ for strengthening nuclear security as he renewed demand for access to civilian nuclear energy and made a strong pitch for Pakistan’s membership of atomic cartels, in particular the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

National measures are the most important part of our efforts to enhance nuclear security. If nations do not move, nothing would move. If nations move feebly, nuclear risks increase many times’ Mr Gilani said at a dinner attended by world leaders participating in the Nuclear Security Summit.

27-03-2012    Dawn
Pakistan wants result-oriented talks: The widely anticipated but eventually unscripted and informal meeting between the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers in Seoul has nudged the dialogue process between their officials to be a result-oriented exercise, scant insights into the brief meeting on the margins of an international nuclear summit there indicated.

30-03-2012    Dawn
SC scraps deals on rental power plants: The Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to the policies of the previous as well as present governments on rental power projects when in an overarching verdict it held the RPP contracts non-transparent and ordered that these to be rescinded.

The court also ordered National Accountability Bureau chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari to proceed with corruption references against those who were at the helm of affairs when the contracts were signed between 2006 and 2008 to overcome the energy shortfall through RPPs as a stopgap arrangement.

30-03-2012    Dawn
Medal for Asma: Ms Asma Jehangir, former president of SCABA, was awarded the Butcher Medal in Washington.

The Butcher Medal is awarded annually in recognition of recipient’s contribution to the development or effective realisation of international human rights law. Ms Jehangir has spent a lifetime championing human rights and democratic freedom in Pakistan and around the world.

30-03-2012    Daily Times
Govt., WWF sign MoU to curb environmental pollution: A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Punjab government and the World Wide Fund (WWF) for cooperation in overcoming environmental pollution.

02-04-2012    Dawn
US puts $10m bounty on Hafiz Saeed: The United States placed Lashkar-i-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, along with his brother-in-law Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, on the most-wanted terrorist list.
The $10 million reward brought Hafiz Saeed at par with Taliban founder Mullah Omar, who the US holds responsible for 9/11. Saeed was designated global terrorist in December 2008 and Makki in November 2010.

02-04-2012    The News
UK announces new education package for KP: The United Kingdom (UK) announced a new package of education support for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which will get more than 800,000 girls and boys to schools and build over 2,000 new classrooms by 2015.

A statement said that Adam Thomson, British High Commissioner to Pakistan and George Turkington, Head of Department for International Development (DFID) in Pakistan, announced the new package at the launch of this year’s school enrolment campaign with Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti.

05-04-2012    Dawn
Women posted as judges in Malakand: In a first, the Peshawar High Court has appointed three women civil judges as Aala Ilaga Qazi to the once militancy-infested Malakand division.

05-04-2012    The News
Hafiz Saeed issue is Pakistan’s internal matter: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani maintained that the Hafiz Saeed issue was an internal matter and one that concerned Pakistan only, adding that any concrete proof against the accused should be provided to Islamabad which has an independent judiciary.

07-04-2012    The News
135 buried alive as avalanche hits Siachen camp: An avalanche smashed into a Pakistan Army camp burying at least 135 soldiers and civilians in the area on the border with India billed as the world’s highest battleground, the military said.

As many as 135 persons including 124 army soldiers of the 6th Northern Light Infantry Battalion and 11 civilians came under a huge snow slide in the Gayari Sector near Skardu, says an ISPR press release.

07-04-2012    The News
Pak student wins US contest: Mohammad Nafeel Irfan, a student of Prep School, Aitchison College, has won the first prize of ‘The Space Foundation Student Art Contest’ in which 1500 students participated. The Space Foundation had invited students from around the world in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade to submit original artwork depicting the theme, ‘Space is Infinite-Explore’. More than 1500 students from 17 US States, Turkey and Pakistan participated in it.

09-04-2012    Dawn
Uniform power hardship for all provinces: The second national energy conference decided to introduce uniform power loadshedding across the country and to take a number of energy conservation measures.

The decisions were announced by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the presence of chief ministers of the four provinces.

Current Pakistan International Affairs

11-03-2012    The News

US military unveils ray beam as latest non-lethal weapon: A sensation of unbearable, sudden heat seems to come out of nowhere ‘this wave, a strong electromagnetic beam, is the latest non-lethal weapon unveiled by the US military.

12-03-2012    Daily Times
North African countries adopt plan to secure borders: Nine northern African countries including Libya, Algeria and Egypt agreed to work together to secure their borders in a move to clamp down on militia clashes and weapons smuggling in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.
Under the Tripoli Plan, countries will adopt stronger measures including sharing intelligence and pouring more money into border towns.

13-03-2012    Dawn
China taken to WTO over rare earth dispute: The EU, US and Japan joined forces against China by taking a so-called “rare earths” trade dispute, critical to high-tech industries, to the World Trade Organisation.

13-03-2012    The News
Asia climate disasters displace 42m: ADB: Climate-related disasters have displaced more than 42 million people in Asia over the past two years, the Asian Development Bank said in a report calling for swift action to avert future crises.

13-03-2012    Dawn
Assad calls elections on May 7: Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad ‘whose armed forces are in the midst of a bloody crackdown on opponents of his rule ‘has called parliamentary elections for May.

The elections ‘set to take place on May 7’ were called under a new constitution passed last month. However Assad’s opponents say the constitution is illegitimate while he still clings to power.

13-03-2012    Daily Times
Manila’s anti-graft court orders arrest of Arroyo, three others: The Philippines’ anti-graft court ordered the arrest of former leader Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, her husband and two former officials in a case which President Benigno Aquino sees as a key to cleaning up the government and attracting investors.

14-03-2012    Dawn
More phones than toilets in Indian homes: Indian census data has revealed that more homes in the country of 1.2 billion people have a telephone than a toilet.
The figures, collected during the 2011 census, shed a light on how India’s rapid communication revolution has spread through society but that basic sanitation is still scarce.
Data said 47 per cent of the country’s 330 million households have toilet facilities, but that 63 per cent of homes have telephone connections ‘ mostly mobiles.

14-03-2012    Dawn
Bangladesh wins sea claim battle with Myanmar: Bangladesh’s foreign ministry said that the UN’s International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea has recognised the South Asian nation’s claims to a full 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone in the Bay of Bengal.
The verdict issued in Hamburg, Germany, settled a long-standing dispute between Bangladesh and neighbouring Myanmar.

14-03-2012    Dawn
Human-like fossil in China caves puzzle scientists: The most recent fossils ever found of a human-like species in southeast China have presented scientists with a mystery about what may be an unknown Stone Age culture, researchers said.
Sometimes called the ‘red deer people’ the remains are about 11,500 to 14,500 years old and appear to show a mix of modern and archaic peoples, said an Australian and Chinese team of researchers in the journal PLOS One.

14-03-2012    The News
Congolese warlord convicted in first ICC verdict: The International Criminal Court convicted Congolese militia chief Thomas Lubanga of war crimes for conscripting children into his rebel army, the tribunal’s first ever verdict.

Lubanga, 51, was found guilty in The Hague of abducting children as young as 11 and forcing them to fight and commit atrocities in a bloody war in a gold-rich region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

15-03-2012    Dawn
India’s claim of support for UNSC seat belied: Despite India’s two-year efforts to secure a permanent seat in the powerful UN Security Council along with Brazil, Germany and Japan most UN members remain unconvinced by the rationale given by the so-called G-4 countries.
Many UN delegates say G-4 countries seeking expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership have even failed to prove their last year’s claim of having enlisted the support of 80 countries ‘a figure below the majority required for any proposal to succeed in the 193-member General Assembly.

15-03-2012    Dawn
South Korea’s Shin wins Asia’s top literary award: South Korean author Shin Kyung-sook won Asia’s most prestigious prize for literature for her novel about a family’s guilty soul-searching after the disappearance of their elderly mother.
Judges of the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize described Shin’s novel ‘Please Look After Mom’, which has already sold almost two million copies in South Korea, as the clear stand-out in a strong field dominated by South Asians.

15-03-2012    Dawn
$36.7bn IMF loan for Greece okayed: The International Monetary Fund approved a new 28 billion euro ($36.7 billion) loan for Greece, as part of European Union’s huge new bailout plan for the debt-riddled country.

16-03-2012    The News
India hikes defence spending by 17 per cent: India boosted military spending by 17 per cent to $40 billion for the coming year as it seeks to counter China’s rapid military build-up and its traditional rival Pakistan.

19-03-2012    Dawn
Solar power station in Spain works at night: A unique thermosolar power station in southern Spain can shrug off cloudy days: energy stored when the sun shines lets it produce electricity even during the night. The Gemasolar station, up and running since last May, stands out in the plains of Andalusia.
‘It is the first station in the world that works 24 hours a day, a solar power station that works day and night!’
Energy is stored in a vat filled with molten salts at a temperature of more than 500oC (930o F). Those salts are used to produce steam to turn the turbines and produce electricity.

19-03-2012    Dawn
India and Pakistan among top arm importers: Asia leads the world when it comes to weapon imports, according to a study released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).
Globally the volume of international transfers of major conventional weapons was 24 per cent higher in the period 2007-11 compared to the 2002-06 period, the report said.

19-03-2012    Tribune
S. Arabia and Iraq agree to repatriate prisoners:
Iraq has agreed to repatriate Saudi prisoners who fought alongside Islamist insurgents against US-led forces under a deal that signals further improvement of relations between the two major Arab countries.

26-03-2012    Dawn
Islam won’t be basis of new Tunisian constitution: Islamic law will not be enshrined in Tunisia’s new constitution, preserving the secular basis of the North African nation, Tunisia’s ruling Islamist Ennahda Party said.

26-03-2012    Dawn
Israel cuts contact with UN rights council: The Israeli foreign ministry decided to cut contact with the United Nations Human Rights Council after it said last week it would investigate Israeli settlements, a spokesman said.
‘There was a decision by the foreign ministry to sever work contacts with the organisation’ ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, adding that Israel had yet to formally inform the council of its decision.

26-03-2012    The News
Global warming close to becoming irreversible: The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned.
Scientific estimates differ but the world’s temperature looks set to rise by six degrees Celsius by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to rise uncontrollably.

27-03-2012    Dawn
Syria accepts Annan’s peace plan: Syria has accepted a proposal crafted by Kofi Annan that aims to end the bloodshed roiling the country, the envoy’s spokesman said, in a move cautiously welcomed by Western states.

27-03-2012    Dawn
Role of IAEA stressed: The Nuclear Security Summit concluded in Seoul by underscoring the centrality of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the global nuclear security structure and issuing voluntary guidelines for participating states to maintain effective security of radioactive material.

27-03-2012    Dawn
World leaders agree to work on securing N-material by 2014: World leaders including US President Barack Obama and China’s Hu Jintao agreed to work on securing and accounting for all nuclear material by 2014, wrapping up a 53-nation summit overshadowed by North Korea’s planned rocket launch.

27-03-2012    The News
Senegal’s Sall wins presidential election: Senegal’s Macky Sall won the presidential election with 65.8 percent, a crushing victory over outgoing presidential Abdoulaye Wade who trailed with 34.2 percent, official result showed Tuesday.

28-03-2012    The News
Climate change to drive weather disasters: Climate change is amplifying risks from drought, floods, storms and rising seas, threatening all countries but small island states, poor nations and arid regions in particular, UN experts warned.
In its first-ever report on the question, the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said man-made global-warming gases are already affecting some types of extreme weather.

28-03-2012    The News
Tens of billions’ of habitable worlds in Milky Way: Astronomers hunting for rocky planets with the right temperature to support life estimate there may be tens of billions of them in our galaxy alone.
A European team said that about 40 percent of red dwarf stars ‘the most common type in the Milky Way ‘have a so-called ‘super-Earth’ planet orbiting in a habitable zone that would allow water to flow on the surface.

29-03-2012    Dawn
Turkey supports Iran’s N-plan: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced his country’s unwavering support for Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in a meeting with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to an official statement.

29-03-2012    Dawn
Al Azhar withdraws from Egypt’s constitution panel: Al-Azhar, highest religious authority in Egypt, said it was withdrawing from a disputed panel dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood to draft a new constitution, following the example of liberals.

29-03-2012    The News
Scientists pin down historic sea level rise: The collapse of an ice sheet in Antarctica up to 14,650 years ago might have caused sea levels to rise between 14 and 18 meters (46-60 feet), a study showed, data which could help make more accurate climate change predictions.

30-03-2012    Daily Times
N. Korea test-fires short-range missiles: North Korea fired two short-range missiles off its west coast believed to be part of a test upgrade capabilities, said news reports, quoting South Korean military officials.
North Korea has raised tensions in recent weeks by announcing it would launch a rocket to put a satellite into orbit, but regional powers are urging Pyongyang to drop the plan, saying it would violate UN Security Council resolutions.

30-03-2012    Dawn
Fai jailed in US over Kashmir lobbying charge: A US-based Pakistani who allegedly concealed his true role while lobbying American politicians for decades over Kashmir was sentenced to two years in jail, justice officials said.
Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai was arrested in July and charged with conspiracy for using at least $3.5 million from the Islamabad-based government to lobby US lawmakers to support Pakistan’s goal of self-determination for Kashmiris.

31-03-2012    The News
Syria declares it has defeated revolt: Syria’s regime declared it has defeated those seeking to bring it down while reiterating support for a UN-Arab peace plan, as its troops reportedly shelled rebels in the city of Homs.

01-04-2012    Dawn
Former Mexican president Miguel Madrid dies: Former Mexican president Miguel de la Madrid, who struggled to overcome one of the country’s worst economic crises and a devastating earthquake in the 1980s, died at the age of 77.

02-04-2012    Dawn
Senegal’s new president takes oath of office: Senegal’s new president Macky Sall took the oath of office in a ceremony held one week after the country’s long-time incumbent conceded defeat only hours after polls closed.

02-04-2012    Dawn
Neighbours launch sanctions against Mali: Leaders of the 15-state West African bloc ECOWAS have decided to impose diplomatic, trade and financial sanctions on Mali’s junta with immediate effect, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said after a regional summit.

03-04-2012    The News
Suu Kyi’s party sweeps landmark polls: Democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won almost all the seats it contested in Myanmar elections, becoming the main opposition force in the national parliament, official results showed.
The veteran dissident’s National League for Democracy stormed to victory in 43 of the 44 constituencies where it fielded candidates.

03-04-2012    Dawn
Neslisah Sultan, last of the Ottoman dynasty, dies: Neslisah Osmanoglu, an Ottoman princess who married an Egyptian prince and was twice forced into exile when both royal households were abolished, has died. She was 91. Neslisah Sultan, or Princess Neslisah, died in Istanbul.
Neslisah Sultan was born in Istanbul on February 4, 1921, two years before the Turkish Republic replaced the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled Turkey, parts of the Middle East and eastern Europe for 600 years. Her grandfather, the last Ottoman Sultan Vahdettin, and all other members of the dynasty were sent into exile in 1924, and the princess spent her childhood and adolescence in Nice, France, before moving to Egypt.

03-04-2012    Dawn
Timbuktu wonders in danger, fears UN: The ‘outstanding architectural wonders’ in the fabled city of Timbuktu could be damaged in the fighting that has engulfed northern Mali as rebels push forward, the UN cultural agency warned.
Timbuktu, which was put on Unesco’s World Heritage List in 1988, bears witness to the golden age of Timbuktu in the 16th century and to a history that stretches even further back to the 5th century.
Mali has three other world heritage sites beside Timbuktu ‘the old towns of Djenne, the cliff of Bandiagara in the Land of the Dogons, and the Tomb of Askia.

03-04-2012    Tribune
Theory of moon’s creation undermined by new samples: Astronomers have long theorised that the Moon was formed when an object the size of Mars slammed into Earth, sending a huge mass of rock into orbit around it. ‘According to the prevailing model prediction, approximately half of the Moon-forming material should come from the Mars-size impactor’ said Junjun Zhang, an isotope geochemist at the University of Chicago and the study’s first author.
But samples of isotopic titanium from the Moon and from Earth now suggest that material from Earth is predominant on the Moon, researchers report in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The prevailing model of the giant impact probably needs to be revisited’ Ms. Zhang said.

05-04-2012    Dawn
Sri Lanka records best-ever economic growth: Sri Lanka’s economy grew by 8.3 per cent last year, the quickest expansion since independence from Britain in 1948, the census and statistics department said.
The rate compared with an expansion of 8.0 per cent in 2010, the first full year after government forces defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 and declared an end to nearly 40 years of fighting.

05-04-2012    Dawn
Particle collider cranks up to new world record: The world’s largest particle collider notched up a new record as it escalated its quest to find fundamental matter and explore the origins of the Universe, CERN said.
The collision energy of 8 TeV is a new world record, and increases the machine’s discovery potential considerably’ it said.

06-04-2012    Dawn
IDB sets up bank with $1bn capital: The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Saudi Arabia’s top lender Dallah Albaraka Group and Qatar have agreed to set up an Islamic bank in Doha with a paid-up capital of $1 billion.

06-04-2012    Dawn
Tuareg independence in Mali rejected: The United States rejected a declaration of independence by Tuareg rebels in northern Mali, joining international refusal to support the move by the insurgents.
Africa and Europe earlier roundly rejected the MNLA’s independence bid, which was also shot down by Islamist forces who have fought alongside the ethnic insurgents to seize vast parts of the west African nation.

07-04-2012    Dawn
Chinese dissident Fang Lizhi dies: Fang Lizhi, one of China’s best-known dissidents whose speeches inspired student protesters throughout the 1980s, has died in the United States, where he fled after China’s 1989 military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. He was 76.

07-04-2012    Dawn
Banda sworn-in as Malawi’s president with call for unity: Joyce Banda was sworn-in as Malawi’s new president, calling for reconciliation after the divisive Bingu wa Mutharika died in office.

08-04-2012    Dawn
Mali’s president resigns: Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Toure resigned, paving the way for the soldiers who ousted him in a coup to stick by a deal to restore civilian rule and hand power to the president of the National Assembly.

09-04-2012    Dawn
Indian SC grants bail to Dr Chishti: ‘Let there be more such good news’ Indian Supreme Court commented on the bonhomie between India and Pakistan during the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to the country, while granting bail to 80-year-old Pakistani virologist Dr Mohammad Khalil Chishti who is undergoing life imprisonment in an Ajmer jail for killing a man in 1992.

09-04-2012    The News
Ex-KGB agent wins in South Ossetia: A former top KGB agent Leonid Tibilov won a tense run-off to lead Georgia’s rebel pro-Russian region of South Ossetia after two earlier polls ended in turmoil and no recognition from the West.

10-04-2012    Dawn
Investigators clear Modi over anti-Muslim riots: An investigation team appointed by India’s Supreme Court has found no evidence against Gujarat’s chief minister over deadly anti-Muslim riots in the state a decade ago, a court said.

Narendra Modi has been accused by rights groups of having turned a blind eye to the violence that swept the state in 2002 claiming as many as 2,000 lives, mostly Muslims, and of failing to bring to justice the perpetrators of the killings.

10-04-2012    Dawn
Egypt court suspends constitutional panel: An Egyptian court suspended a 100-member panel selected by lawmakers from the Islamist-dominated parliament and tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.

SPORTS

14-03-2012    The News

Pak Army bag 12 medals in Saarc sports: In a six-day long championship played between armies of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries, Pakistan Army athletes excelled with four gold, four silver and four bronze medals.

15-03-2012    Dawn
Tendulkar scores century of centuries: Sachin Tendulkar finally ended his year-long wait to score a record 100th international century against Bangladesh during the Asia Cup tournament.

Tendulkar, who had gone 33 innings without scoring an international ton since chalking up 111 against South Africa last March, stroked a single off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan to square leg in the 44th over to reach the landmark.

22-03-2012    Dawn
Pakistan emerge Asia Cup winners in spine-tingling final: Pakistan claimed the Asia Cup with a thrilling two-run victory over a dogged Bangladesh, breaking the hearts of home supporters who saw their unfancied side take the game to the wire.
The visitors-tournament winners in 2000 held Bangladesh to 234-8, agonisingly short of Pakistan’s 236-9 despite impressive half-centuries from Shakib Al Hasan (68) and opener Tamim Iqbal (60).

22-03-2012    The News
Afghanistan qualify for World Twenty20: Afghanistan reached the 2012 World Twenty20 with a 47-run win over Namibia, a second successive appearance at the showpiece coming just four years after they were playing division five cricket.
In a battle of two undefeated teams, Afghanistan were bowled out for 146 in their 20 overs before Namibia were dismissed for 99 in the 19th over.

26-03-2012    Dawn
ACC rejects Bangladesh Asia Cup objection: Cricket’s governing body in Asia rejected a complaint from Bangladesh that one of their batsmen was obstructed by a Pakistani bowler in their recent Asia Cup final defeat.
The complaint was rejected on the grounds that it was not reported by on-field umpires, an official said.

26-03-2012    The News
Tseng clinches second straight LPGA Tour title: World No. 1 Yani Tseng captured her second straight LPGA Tour title with a commanding six shot victory at the Kia Classic.

27-03-2012    The News
Pak lifters return home with 11 medals: Pakistani weightlifting team returned home after showing extraordinary lifting abilities to scoop 11 medals in the South Asian weightlifting championship in Neap Gunj, Nepal.

28-03-2012    Dawn
Ihsanullah on song as Pakistan win Baseball Cup: Heroic efforts from pitcher Ihsanullah helped Pakistan clinch the 10th West Asia Baseball Cup as the hosts drafted a 4-1 victory against Sri Lanka in the last league match at the Punjab Stadium.

01-04-2012    Dawn
China beat Germany to claim World TT team title: China won the men’s world team table tennis championship with a 3-0 victory over hosts Germany in final to continue their domination of the sport.

01-04-2012    Dawn
Radwanska shocks Sharapova to win Miami title: Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska used her wits to defeat world number two Maria Sharapova 7-5, 6-4 to win the Sony Ericsson Open final and once again deny the Russian.

01-04-2012    Dawn
Sialkot Stallions breeze to eight-wicket win: Six-time National T20 Cup winners, Sialkot Stallions became the champions of the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup when they defeated Karachi Dolphins by a huge margin of eight wickets after an interesting contest in front of a jam-packed Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

02-04-2012    Dawn
Djokovic beats Murray for Miami treble: World number one Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) to win his second straight ATP Miami Masters title and third overall.

06-04-2012    Dawn
Pendleton clinches sixth sprint world title: Victoria Pendleton clinched her sixth world sprint title after Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite was disqualified for not holding her line at the end of the second round of their best-of-three final at the Melbourne velodrome.

09-04-2012    Dawn
Ayouri wins Asian title: Reigning world champion Hossein Vafaei Ayouri of Iran added another feather in his cap when he won the 13th edition of the Asian Snooker Championship, beating Anda Zhang of China 6-2 in the final in Goa.

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