WORLD IN FOCUS August ‘Sep 2011


Fata people get political rights: President Asif Ali Zardari signed on August 12 amendments made to the century-old Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) which will give the people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) for the first time the right of appeal against decisions of the political agent.

The president also signed the Extension of the Political Parties Order, 2002 to the tribal areas where, after appropriate regulations to be framed later, political parties can operate freely and present their socio-economic programmes.

The amendments envisage setting up of a three-member Fata tribunal headed by a chairman. It will exercise the powers of revision against orders/judgments of an appellate authority having powers similar to a high court under Article 199 of the Constitution — a provision dealt with the jurisdiction of the high court.

Considered always a black law the FCR was devised by British colonialists in 1848 as an instrument of subjugation meant to discipline the Pakhtun population and establish the writ of colonial authority. Innocent men, women and children become victims of the draconian regulations. Even family members were handed a jail term for no crime of their own under the FCR. People were sentenced to jail for the alleged crimes of their father, uncle or any of their blood relatives.
Under the FCR, the government had the powers to raze the houses of criminals and their relatives to ground as a punishment.

Main features
Women, children and those over the age of 65 will no longer be arrested or detained under the concept of collective responsibility. However, collective    responsibility has not been abolished completely.

    Women, children and those over the age of 65 will no longer be arrested or detained under the concept of collective responsibility. However, collective responsibility has not been abolished completely.

    For the first time Fata residents will have right to appeal against PA’s decisions.

    The appeals will be heard by an appellate authority comprising a commissioner and a dedicated additional commissioner who will be notified by the governor.

    The decisions of the appellate

authority can be challenged by a three member Fata tribunal that will be equal to a high court.
Accused have been given the right to bail.
If wrongly punished in civil or criminal matters, people will be for the first time entitled to compensation.
The funds at the disposal of political agents will now be audited by the auditor general of Pakistan.

Rangers sentenced to death: A Rangers constable was sentenced to death and five other personnel and a civilian to life imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court on August 12 for shooting an unarmed youth to death in a public park.

Constable Shahid Zafar was given death sentence and sub-inspector Bahaur Rehman, lance naik Liaquat Ali, constables Mohammad Tariq, Manthar Ali and Afzal Khan and civilian Afsar Khan were ordered jailed for life.

Ex-armyman gets death for GHQ attack: A military court in Rawalpindi has sentenced to death a former soldier over an attack in 2009 on the Pakistan Army Headquarters (GHQ) and awarded prison terms to the others.

Aqeel alias Dr Usman, a former soldier of the army’s medical corps, was given the maximum punishment of death while another retired soldier, Imran Siddiq, was awarded life imprisonment.

Three civilians ‘Khaliqur Rehman, Mohammad Usman and Wajid Mehmood’ were given life terms while two others, Mohammad Adnan and Tahir Shafiq (both civilians), got eight and seven years jail sentence, respectively.

Rains cause Rs 23 billion loss to crops in Sindh: Recent rain in southern Sindh have resulted in loss of more than Rs. 23 billion to major Kharif crops and vegetables, a growers’ body has estimated.

The rain-hit areas grow paddy on 900,000 acres, cotton on 200,000 acres and sugarcane on 150,000 acres.

Besides, these areas grow onions and tomatoes at 80,000 acres and fodder at 15,000 acres.

US links Pak aid to performance: The US has started conditioning the award of billions of dollars in security assistance to Pakistan on whether Islamabad shows progress on a secret scorecard of US objectives to combat al-Qaeda and its militant allies.

‘Rising inflation causing food insecurity in Pakistan’: Rising inflation, especially of food, which is in double-digit for the last several years, is causing severe food in-security in Pakistan, as millions of Pakistanis have limited access to food due to its high prices and the United Nations have time and again pinpointed this threat to the country.

According to the United Nation World Food Programme (WFP), more than 48 percent Pakistanis facing food insecurity.

Pakistan’s agriculture growth is 1.2 per cent in 2010/11, which is less than the official annual growth, while the rate of population of 2.1 per cent; a sure sign of decline in per capita availability of food.

Annual inflation went up by 13.92 per cent in the fiscal 2010/11, leapt on the back of double-digit food inflation rising oil prices in world market.

Floods make 60,000 homeless; world aid sought: Devastating rains have triggered floods in southern Pakistan, affecting at least 700,000 people and forcing 60,000 from their homes.

Villages have been flooded and crops destroyed in Pakistan’s bread basket of Sindh, one of the worst-hit areas in the unprecedented floods of 2010 that affected 21 million people and caused losses of $10 billion. ‘At least 700,000 people have been affected by the recent rains in the six districts of Sindh’ Sajjad Haider Shah, an official in the provincial disaster management authority, told AFP. ‘Some 60,000 people have been migrated to safer areas,’ Sajjad said, adding that 30 people had been killed in the past week.

Third FIA chief quits in a year: FIA Director General Syed Tehseen Anwar Ali Shah sent on August 17 his resignation to Interior Minister Rehman Malik, becoming the third chief of the premier investigation agency to have quit the post in less than one year as a result of the executive-judiciary tussle.

Oxfam for effective disaster reduction steps: International aid agency Oxfam has said that an effective disaster reduction mechanism could have prevented the effects of fresh flooding in southern areas of Pakistan. It urged the government to urgently spend at least two per cent of its district budget on disaster risk reduction measures.

Failure to develop and implement effective disaster reduction relief measures after the lessons learnt from mega floods of 2010 will keep crippling country’s economy’ Oxfam said in a statement issued on August 18 to mark the World Humanitarian Day.

The fresh flooding has increased the number of those needing shelter, making 60,000 people homeless together with 800,000 people who are still without proper homes after the 2010 floods.

Suicide blast in mosque during Friday prayers: At least 47 tribesmen were killed and 70 others injured when a teenage suicide bomber blew himself up on August 19 in a mosque during Friday prayers in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency.

Pakistan critical front in war against terror, says US: While drawing a list of states sponsoring terrorism, the US State Department has resisted calls to place Pakistan on the list and instead depicted it as ‘a critical front’ in the war against terror.

Since the May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, some US lawmakers and a strong Indian lobby in Washington have been campaigning hard to place Pakistan among the states that sponsor terrorism.

But the State Department’s latest report on terrorism, issued on August 18, only listed Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria among such states.

Afghan-based militants raid Chitral posts: Hundreds of Afghanistan-based terrorists on August 27 staged yet another cross-border raid into Pakistan, killing 25 security personnel and capturing two border posts in Chirtal. The assault prompted the military to accused regional Afghan authorities of aiding the attackers.

Court orders seizure of Mush-arraf’s property: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on August 27 ordered seizure of Pervez Musharraf’s property and freezing of his bank accounts while declaring him absconder in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

Foreign hand in Balochistan Karachi can’t be ruled out: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said the involvement of foreign hand in Karachi and Balochistan can’t be ruled out besides asserting that army doesn’t want to be controversial by indulging itself in Karachi situation.

Moreover, the prime minister also hoped for a major breakthrough with Iran and Central Asian Republics for importing electricity and gas to Pakistan.

Mirza lashes out at Malik, MQM: Hurling serious allegations against the United States, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and its chief, Dr Zulfikar Mirza announced that he had resigned from the Sindh cabinet, the assembly and as senior vice-president of PPP’s provincial chapter.

The PPP government was swift to distance itself from Dr Mirza’s trenchant diatribe against the MQM. Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan told reporters that the views expressed by Dr Mirza were his own and had nothing to do with the PPP.

Highlights of remarks

  • Rehman Malik is a habitual liar, protector of terrorists
  • Hope Chief Justice summons me and asks for evidence about MQM’s involvement
  • Altaf told me he works with US for Pakistan’s dismemberment
  • Twenty-five murderers released on parole since Mus-harraf
  • Ajaml Paharai involved in over 100 murders. Several others also in jail for killings, awaiting trial
  • Accuses MQM of killing journalist Wali Khan Babar
  • I respect President Zardari, but his mistake was to appoint Rehman Malik as interior minister
  • CPLC chief Ahmed Chinoy not apolitical; knows who the ‘extortionists’ are Now it’s for Chief Justice and Army Chief to work out the course of action

SC rejects govt report on Karachi: The Supreme Court rejected on August 29 the government’s report on targets killings in Karachi and asked the attorney general to place on record reports from intelligence agencies on investigation into the matter.

MQM rejects Dr Mirza’s allegations: Rebutting the allegations levelled by Sindh’s former home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement said on August 30 that the allegation relating to a US plot to dismember Pakistan was not only ridiculous but also grave and malicious.

Speaking at a press conference, Muttahida leader Faisal Subzwari said the MQM and Altaf Hussain were not against Pakhtuns and the conversation attributed by Dr Mirza to Mr Hussain regarding the killing of Pakhtuns ‘is an unabashed lie, baseless and a figment of imagination of his devious mind’.

Pakistan denied stay order: In a massive jolt to top leadership of the incumbent regime and establishment, a seven-member bench of International Court of Arbitration (COA) has refused to extend the stay order to Pakistan against the construction of much touted and controversial 330MW Kishanganga hydropower project being build by India.

Military wants indiscriminate operation: The military establishment is sitting uneasy over the way civilian law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are carrying out ‘surgical operations’ against miscreants in Karachi and has demanded an indiscriminate and effective action for restoration of peace.

Its discontentment aside, the army, however, is still keeping itself away from the imbroglio.

‘The operation should be broad-based and targeted at real culprits’ a senior military official said in a background discussion on the situation in Karachi, where Rangers and police, who were given additional powers, launched an operation on August 24 to end violence.

Al-Qaeda’s ‘foreign minister’ captured: The military on September 5 announced the arrest of senior al-Qaeda operative Sheikh Younis Al Mauritani, a confidant of Osama bin Laden and the central character in the terror group’s ‘Europe plot’ last year, in a joint operation with CIA.

Sheikh Al Mauritani, described by a website as al-Qaeda’s ‘foreign minister’, was arrested from a compound on the suburbs of Quetta on an unspecified date along with two of his accomplices ‘Abdul Ghaffar Al Shami (Bachar Chama) and Messara Al Shami (Mujahid Amino).

Insurgents want to join national politics: PPP Senator Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani, who is the younger brother of Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, said on September 5 that Baloch insurgents had contacted him and they wanted to peacefully join the mainstream politics.

He said that old policies about Balochistan were still being pursued and if the situation did not change, he could also think of going to the mountains like others. He said judiciary should also play its role to protect democracy and national integrity.

Pakistan, Kazakhstan sign pact to boost trade: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on September 7 said Pakistan believed that the creation of economic opportunities for people would help efforts to eliminate extremism and illegal drug trafficking.

He was exchanging views with his Kazakh counterpart Karim Massimov on a whole range of bilateral, regional and international issues, in a meeting held at the Government House, followed by delegation-level talks. This is also the first bilateral visit by Pakistani leadership to this Central Asian state in 16 years after Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto visited in 1995. The two leaders discussed ways to broaden the canvas of bilateral cooperation in the fields of economic, energy, communications and defence. They also witnessed the signing of an agreement between the two countries in which they agreed to enhance bilateral trade and facilitate their businessman to promote investment in diverse areas.

Sindh govt appoints six ATC judges: The Sindh government notified on September 7 the appointment of six district and sessions judges to fill vacancies in six Anti-Terrorism Courts in Sindh.

Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Hussain Wasan said at a press conference that the appointments had been made in compliance with the Supreme Court’s directive.


Man who designed Berlin Wall: Hagen Koch was a fresh-faced 21-year-old Stasi recruit whose background in technical draughts-manship would suit him for a unique job in Germany history: he mapped out the Berlin Wall.

In the summer of 1961, Erich Honecker, then secretary general of the ruling SED party, needed a personal cartographer to map the east-west border. On 15 August, two days after soldiers had laid the foundations for the wall with fencing and barbed wire, plans were well underway to start building up the fortifications into something more permanent ‘and impermeable. Koch was called to report to his commandant, who ordered him to buy a new pair of boots.

May 8, 1945 ‘The end of the second world war and the Red Army captures Berlin. The city is divided in half; the Soviet Union in the east, and the British, Americans and French in the west.
June 24, 1948′ The Soviets begin the Berlin blockade.
June 25, 1948′  The United States begin the Berlin airlift delivering food and fuel supplies to the city.
May 12, 1949′ The Federal Republic of Germany, West Germany is founded.
May 24, 1949′ The German Democratic Republic, East Germany is founded.
Sept 30, 1949′ End of Berlin airlift.
June 17, 1953′ The Red Army steps in to suppress riots by East Berlin workers over work conditions.
Aug 13, 1961′ The border between East and West Berlin is closed. Soldiers start to build the wall, at first with barbed wire and light fencing which in the coming years develop into a heavily complex series of wall, fortified fences, gun positions and watchtowers that are heavily guarded. The wall ended up being 154 km long and the average height of the concrete divide was 3.6 metres.
Aug 14, 1961′ Brandenburg Gate is closed.
June 26, 1963′ US President John F Kennedy visits the wall vowing to protect East Berlin, famously declaring ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ (I am a Berliner).
May 1973′ East and West Germany establish formal diplomatic ties.
June 12, 1987′ President Ronald Reagan visits Berlin calling for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the wall.
Sept 10, 1989′ Hungary opens its border with Austria. More than 13,000 refugees flee into Austria.
Nov 4, 1989′ More than a million people attend a pro-democracy rally in East Berlin’s central square resulting in the resignation of the East German government within days.
Nov 9, 1989′ The wall is pulled down as thousands of East German protesters celebrate their entry into West Berlin.

General, 27 others go on trial in Turkey: A four-star general and dozens of other Turkish officers appeared in court on August 15 charged with plotting to overthrow the country’s Islamist-rooted government in a coup.

General Bilgin Balanli and 27 others face between 15 and 20 years in jail if they are found guilty of planning to unleash a series of attacks designed to cause panic across the country, allowing them to launch a coup to unseat the government which took power in 2002.

Police charge over 1,000 for rioting in London: Police in London on August 17 said they have charged more than 1,000 people over rioting in the British capital last week, but warned of more to come as officers trawl through 20,000 hours of CCTV footage.

A total of 1,005 people have been charged with various offences out of the 1,733 arrested in London so far, although nationwide some 1,179 people had been brought before the courts.

Iran, Russia claim ‘first step’ to nuclear breakthrough: Russia and Iran said on August 17 a new Russian plan had a real chance of solving the standoff over the Iranian nuclear drive, despite the failure of past initiatives to end a decade of deadlock.

Indian parliament impeaches judge for corruption: India’s upper house of parliament voted to impeach a High Court justice on corruption charges on August 18 against a backdrop of mass anti-graft protests across the country. For the first time ever a sitting judge, Soumitra Sen, 53, was found guilty by parliament’s upper house of ‘misappropriating’ large sums of public funds in an abuse of his position as a justice of the Kolkata High Court.

A total of 189 members of the appointed Rajya Sabha voted in favour of the impeachment while only 17 voted against a motion that holds Sen guilty on three counts.

US imposes fresh sanctions on Syria: US President Barack Obama issued an executive order on August 18 implementing new US sanctions on Syria as part of an effort to financially isolate the government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Following are the main points included in the executive order, the latest in a series of sanctions against Syria.

Freezes all Syrian assets in the United States or held under US jurisdiction.
Bars US citizens from making new investments in or exporting services to Syria.
Bans US imports and transactions of Syrian-origin petroleum or petroleum products.
Prohibits exportation, sale or supply ‘directly or indirectly’ of any services to Syria from the United States or by a US citizen.

Work to expand Makkah mosque starts: King Abdullah laid the foundation on August 19 of a massive project for expansion of Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah.

Considered to be the biggest expansion project ever to be undertaken at the holy site, it will create an additional space for 1.2 million worshippers in the mosque.

The king also inaugurated the giant Makkah Clock, the world’s largest. The clock is installed at the height of 402 metres with a 46-metre diameter. It is topped by a 208 metre gold minaret. Green and white lights emanating from its crescent during the call for prayer will be seen from 30km away. The project covering an area of 400,000 square metres has been divided into three sections.

The first section focuses on expanding the building of the mosque to accommodate an additional one million plus worshippers and the second to expand and develop the mosque’s external courtyards will include work on restrooms, passages, tunnels and other components to facilitate the entry and exit of people.

The third section will cover the services zone, which includes air-conditioning system, electricity, water plants and other utilities that support the Haram area.

Suu Kyi meets president: Myanmar’s government invited democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi to a meeting on August 19 with the president, state-run television reported, in her high est contact with the new, nominally civilian government since her release from house arrest in November.

Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein held ‘frank and friendly discussions’ to ‘find ways and means of cooperation’ the state-run broadcast reported while airing video of them greeting each other.

95-year combined rule of 3 Arab dictators to end: Should the incumbent Libyan President Muammar al-Qaddafi be deposed with the widely-anticipated fall of Tripoli in foreseeable future at the hands of the rebel forces, the event would also signal an end to a nearly 95-year long combined rule of three Arab world dictators during the eventful first eight months of 2011.

The total throne occupancy of former Egyptian President Air Chief Marshal (retd) Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak, the ousted Tunisian head of state, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and the still sitting Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi currently rests at 94 years, five months and three days till August 23, 2011. While the 83-year-old currently under-trial Hosni Mubarak had rule Egypt for 29 years, three months and 28 days between October 14, 1981 and February 11, 2011 since the assassination of his predecessor Anwar El Sadat, the 75-year old Tunisian President Zine Ben Ali had reigned supreme for 23 years, two months and eight days between November 7, 1987 and January 14, 2011, after he had ousted his forerunner Habib Bourguiba by declaring him incompetent for the job.

Turkey claims killing 100 Kurdish rebels: The Turkish military said on August 23 its air attacks on northern Iran had killed between 90 and 100 Kurdish rebels and injured another 80 over the past few days as an Iraqi Kurdish leader called for an end to the rids.

Case against ex-chief of IMF dismissed: A New York judge officially dismissed all charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on August 23, allowing him to leave the country more than three months after he had been arrested and accused of sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid.

Da Vinci portrait back in Germany: Leonardo da Vinci’s treasured painting Lady with an Ermine’ a work belonging to Poland that was stolen by the Nazis, has gone on display in Germany for the first time since World War II.

The 15th century portrait of a young woman holding a white ermine ‘otherwise known as a stoat or short-tailed weasel’ has pride of place in a major exhibition of Renaissance art to open at Berlin’s Bode Museum.

Along with the Mona Lisa, the work is one of just four paintings of women by the famed Italian Renaissance master.

Stolen by Hitler’s troops during World War II, the masterpiece was later returned to Poland.

The culture ministry in Warsaw was initially hostile to the idea of the painting on wood leaving the country, fearing it could be damaged.

Merkel named world’s most powerful woman: Forbes magazine on August 24 named German Chancellor Angela Merkel the world’s most powerful woman, calling her the ‘undisputed’ leader of the European Union and head of its only ‘real global economy’.

Merkel, who has topped the list of the world’s 100 most powerful women in all but one of the years since she became chancellor in November 2005, beat out US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and, in 3rd place, Dilma Rousseff, who became Brazil’s first woman president on January 2011.

‘German Chancellor Angela Merkel is head of the one real global economy in Europe and is the ‘undisputed’ leader of the EU’ Forbes said.

A planet made of diamond: Astronomers have spotted an exotic planet that seems to be made of diamond racing around a tiny star in our galactic backyard.

The new planet is far denser than any other known so far and consists largely of carbon. Because it is so dense, scientists calculate the carbon must be crystalline, so a large part of this strange world will effectively be diamond.

Lying 4,000 light years away, or around an eighth of the way towards the centre of the Milky Way from the Earth, the planet is probably the remnant of a once massive star that has lost its outer layers to the so-called pulsar star it orbits.

Beleaguered Japan PM quits: Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan stepped down as president of the ruling party, paving the way for the selection of the disaster-hit nation’s sixth new premier in five years.

Kan’s resignation comes after nearly 15 turbulent months in power during which his response to the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear plant accident drew fierce criticism and sent his approval ratings plummeting.

Hurricane menaces US East Coast cities: Some 65 million people along the densely-populated US East Coast waited warily on August 26 for a dangerous hurricane that could inflict billions in damages in an arc from Washington to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

Maoist ideologue becomes Nepal’s new PM: Nepal’s new prime minister, Baburam Bhattarai, is a Maoist party ideologue who played a key role in transforming the rebel guerillas into a political set-up that won elections in 2008.

The 57-year-old engineer from rural western Nepal, is the vice chairman of Maoist party, which waged a decade-long ‘People’s War’ that ended in 2006 after the deaths of 16,000 people.

US-educated Estonian president re-elected: Former US citizen Toomas Hendrik Ilves was easily re-elected president of Estonia in a vote in parliament, providing further political stability in the euro zone nation.

Work less and eat more chocolate, say heart experts: Eat dark chocolate, watch funny movies, avoid stressful jobs, and pedal hard when biking are all ingredients in the recipe for a healthy heart, according to experts meeting in Paris this week.

Whether one is afflicted by a heart attack, high blood pressure or constricted arteries depends in large measure on a host of lifestyle choices. But the ideal formula for avoiding heart problems remains elusive: it is hard to tease apart the factors that impact cardiovascular health, and the right mix of things to do or not do ‘can vary from person to person.

West Bengal becomes ‘Paschim Banga’: The Indian state of West Bengal will now be known as ‘Paschim Banga’ after state lawmakers voted unanimously in favour of the name change on September 2, despite some high-profile opposition.

The state becomes the latest in a long list of Indian places to have their anglicised titles dropped and replaced by a name drawn from the local or regional language.

‘Paschim Banga’ is a literal Bengali-language translation of West Bengal.

Other prominent name changes in recent years include Bombay (now Mumbai), Madras (Chennai) and the West Bengal state capital Calcutta (Kolkata).

Banga is pronounced ‘Bongo’ in the Bengali language.

Dushanbe summit pledges to boost regional trade: The quadrilateral meeting of heads of state of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Russia ended on September 2 adopting a joint statement pledging to strengthen regional trade and to fight terrorism and Narco trade.

The summit focused on joint efforts for peace and security in the region and for increased cooperation in communication, transportation and energy.

The joint declaration at Dushanbe pledged to implement joint projects in energy, transport, communication and infrastructure development. It also accepted President Zardari’s invitation to hold next quadrilateral in Islamabad next year.

EU lifts Libya sanctions, discusses future help: The European Union lifted sanctions on Libyan ports, oil firms and banks on September 2 as foreign ministers met to discuss how to help the country’s transition from four decades of Muammar Qadhafi’s rule.

Sudan bans main opposition party: Sudan has banned the main opposition party, closed its offices and made sweeping arrests across the country, its secretary general said on September 4, as fighting continued in a key SPLM stronghold.

The (ruling) National Congress Party has banned the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in all states and arrested a large number of its members and seized property and documents belonging to it in different states and localities Yasser Arman said in a statement.

750,000 face death in Somalia famine: On September 5, Famine spread to a sixth southern Somali region and will likely extend further in the coming four months with 750,000 people at risk of death, the United Nations said on September 5.

Tens of thousands of people have already died, over half of whom are children according to a statement from the UN’s food security analysis team for Somalia, which said the Bay region was now declared a famine zone.

Cambridge remains world’s best university: Cambridge has topped a league table of the world’s best universities, with Harvard and MIT ranked second and third. The annual QS World University Rankings remain dominated by US institutions, which took 13 of the top 20 places.

There are five British universities in the top 20. Oxford ranks fifth, Imperial sixth, UCL seventh and Edinburgh 20th. The only university in the top 20 which is not from the English-speaking world is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, at 18. The highest-ranking Asian universities are Hong Kong at 22, Tokyo at 25, and the National University of Singapore at 28. King Saud University, in Saudi Arabia, made the top 200 for the first time. At 200, it was the highest-rated institution in the Arab world.

China revises economic growth up to 10.4pc: China said on September 7 it had revised its 2010 economic growth up to 10.4 per cent from the 10.3 per cent announced previously, due mainly to higher-than-estimated output in its service sector.

The National Bureau of Statistics announced the gross domestic product (GDP) for last year totalled 40.12 trillion yuan ($6.3 trillion) — 321.9 billion yuan more than the previously-released figure.

Gene that controls chronic pain discovered: British scientists have identified a gene responsible for regulating chronic pain, called HCN2, and say their discovery should help drug researchers in their search for more effective, targeted pain-killing medicines.

Obama unveils plan to save jobs, re-election: US President Barack Obama, in a televised address to his nation on September 8 night, unveiled a $447 billion package to deal with unemployment, an issue that many believe could cause him to lose re-election if not checked.

Mr Obama, speaking before a joint session of Congress, demanded six times that lawmakers act ‘right away’ on his plan but the Republicans, who now control the lower house, appear unwilling to do so.


Waqar quits Pakistan coaching: Differences with the chief selector Mohsin Khan have led to Waqar Younis resignation from the coaching assignment after the tour to Zimbabwe.


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