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PM ‘stable’ after open-heart surgery in UK
PTI, MQM chiefs send bouquets as both supporters and detractors pray for speedy recovery.
Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, 68, is a dad to twins  

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood is a father once again at age 68, his publicist announced on Tuesday.

Wood and wife Sally, 38, released a statement to the BBC about the birth of twin girls, Gracie Jane and Alice Rose.

"The girls arrived on 30 May at 22:30 and all are doing brilliantly. The babies are perfect," the statement said.

Wood is already the father of four other children to two previous wives.

Daesh urges Muslims to destroy satellite TV sets  

Daesh (Islamic State) on Tuesday urged Muslims to destroy their satellite TV sets to prevent hostile channels "destroying their beliefs and polluting their ethics".

The ultra-hardline group issued its call as military pressure increased against it with offensives targeting its strongholds in Raqqa, Syria, and in Falluja, west of Baghdad.

"The enemies of Islam are waging a media war on the Daesh that is no less dangerous than the military campaign," the group said in a video on its official Telegram account, filmed in Raqqa and monitored in Egypt.

It did not say whether it would try to enforce its appeal in the territory under its control in Syria and Iraq.

It singled out religious channels funded by Saudi Arabia and also showed the logos of al-Jazeera and Orient TV, a channel close to the Syrian opposition, as well as the Egyptian religious channel al-Nas.

The video ended with a scene showing people stamping on satellite dishes to destroy them.

Daesh declared a caliphate over the territory of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

Microsoft sells patents to Xiaomi, builds 'long-term partnership'  

Software maker Microsoft Corp is selling about 1,500 of its patents to Chinese device maker Xiaomi, a rare departure for the U.S. company and part of what the two companies say is the start of a long-term partnership.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, also includes a patent cross-licensing arrangement and a commitment by Xiaomi to install copies of Microsoft software, including Office and Skype, on its phones and tablets.

Both companies declined to discuss financial terms of the deal.

"This is a very big collaboration agreement between the two companies," Wang Xiang, senior vice president at Xiaomi, said by telephone ahead of the deal.

Analysts said Xiaomi's ambitions to be a major player outside China were hampered by weak patent protection and a fear of a prolonged legal battle.

"This deal might just give them enough of a patent trove to move to Western markets," said Sameer Singh, a UK-based analyst. "Their position in China has been under constant attack from even lower-end Android vendors, so moving overseas is now a necessity."

Shipments of Xiaomi phones fell 9 percent year-on-year in China in the first quarter, according to Strategy Analytics, and its market share dipped to 12 percent from 13 percent, squeezed not only by Huawei and Samsung Electronics but also smaller contenders including Oppo and Vivo.

Wang said the acquisition of Microsoft patents, which included voice communications, multimedia and cloud computing, on top of some 3,700 patents the Chinese company filed last year, were "an important step forwards to support our expansion internationally."

Xiaomi launched its first U.S. device earlier this month, a TV set-top box it developed in cooperation with Alphabet Inc's Google, which owns the Android operating system it and most Xiaomi devices run on. Xiaomi has also launched a tablet which runs a version of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Jonathan Tinter, corporate vice president at Microsoft, said the company was keen to tap into Xiaomi's young, affluent and educated users by having its products pre-installed on their devices. He declined to go into detail about the patent deals, but said the overall deal was something "we do only with a few strategic partners."

Microsoft has cut licensing deals with many Android device makers over the years, but has had less luck with Chinese manufacturers.

Florian Mueller, a patents expert who consulted for Microsoft in the past, said it was rare for Microsoft to actually sell its patents, adding "it's possible Microsoft found it easier to impose its Android patent tax on Xiaomi as part of a broader deal that also involved a transfer of patents."

Ohio zoo defends shooting of gorilla  

CINCINNATI: The director of the Cincinnati Zoo on Monday stood by the decision to shoot dead a gorilla as he dragged a 4-year-old boy around by the ankle, saying the ape was not simply endangering the child who fell into his enclosure but actually hurting him.

"Looking back, we would make the same decision" to shoot the gorilla, Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, told a news conference.

"The gorilla was clearly agitated. The gorilla was clearly disoriented," Maynard said, while lamenting the loss of Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla, whose species is listed as endangered.

The boy's head was banging on the concrete as he was being dragged through the enclosure, which was one factor in the decision to shoot Harambe on Saturday.

Shooting the ape with a tranquilizer dart would have further agitated him and further endangered the child, so zoo keepers made the decision to shoot Harambe. The zoo's dangerous animal response team shot Harambe dead about 10 minutes after he encountered the child.

Animal lovers mobilized on Monday as outrage mounted over the killing.

More than 200,000 people had signed online petitions on Change.org to protest the shooting. Some petitions urged police to hold the child's parents accountable.

However, Maynard said the zoo had also received thousands of messages of sympathy and support, including from other zoos.

Maynard maintained that the exhibit was safe and the zoo was not negligent. The boy apparently climbed over a 3-foot (one-meter) barrier, he said.

"People can climb over barriers. That's what happened," he said.

"The barrier's adequate," Maynard said.

The zoo would review the barrier to see if it could be improved, he said.

Army Chief witnesses military exercise in Turkey  

ISLAMABAD: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif witnessed multi national military exercises ‘EFES’ being held in Turkey.

The Army Chief witnessed the exercise in two separate sittings one on Monday night and another on Tuesday, according to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) here Tuesday.

Upon arrival at the exercise area, Turkish Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar welcomed the COAS.

Along with Turkish troops US, UK, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Azerbaijan and a contingent of Pakistani Armed Forces is participating in the joint exercises.

Turkish President and Defence Minister also attended the Exercise.

Turkish President held separate meeting with the COAS and thanked him for Pakistan’s participation and his personal presence for witnessing the exercise.

He said the exercise will enhance the existing close friendly ties between Pakistan and Turkey with special regard to the Armed Forces.

Turkish President also praised Pakistan Army’s accomplishments in Operation Zarb-e-Azb and contributions towards regional peace and stability.

COAS appreciated Turkish armed forces for an outstanding conduct of the Exercise of such magnitude and scope.

In bid to share military experiences and enhance training exchanges Pakistan Army in the last three years has conducted 52 joint military exercises both inland and abroad with partner countries.

Almost 46 mn people trapped in slavery with N. Korea, India key offenders  

LONDON: Almost 46 million people are living as slaves globally with the greatest number in India but the highest prevalence in North Korea, according to the third Global Slavery Index launched on Tuesday with Australian actor Russell Crowe.

The index, by Australia-based human rights group Walk Free Foundation, increased its estimate of people born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, or trapped in debt bondage or forced labour to 45.8 million from 35.8 million in 2014.

Andrew Forrest, founder of Walk Free, said the rise of nearly 30 percent was due to better data collection, although he feared the situation was getting worse with global displacement and migration increasing vulnerability to all forms of slavery.

Forrest, an Australian mining billionaire and philanthropist, urged businesses to check their supply chains for worker exploitation, saying he found thousands of people trapped in slavery making goods for his company Fortescue Metals Group.

"But I've had some of some biggest entrepreneurs in the world look me in the eye and say I will not look for slavery in case I find it," he said at the launch of the index in London.

Crowe, who played Roman general-turned-slave Maximus in the 2000 movie "Gladiator", described the plight of people "in our communities who are stuck, utterly helpless and trapped in a cycle of despair and degradation with no choice and no hope."

"As an actor, my role is often to portray raw human emotion, but nothing compares with the people's lives reflected in the report published today," he said.

"The shock of reading the Global Slavery Index was one that I wouldn't step away from."

Incidences of slavery were found in all 167 countries in the index, with India home to the largest total number with an estimated 18.4 million slaves among its 1.3 billion population.

But Forrest said India deserved credit for starting to address this problem with the government this week unveiling a draft of its first comprehensive anti-human trafficking law to treat survivors as victims rather than criminals.

North Korea ranked as worst in terms of concentration with one in every 20 people - or 4.4 percent of its 25 million population - in slavery and its government doing the least to end this with reports of state-sanctioned forced labour.

"We need to make it clear we're not going to tolerate slavery and when there is slavery in a regime we should not trade with them," Forrest told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

NUMBERS CRITICISED

Forrest acknowledged the latest data was likely to attract criticism with some researchers accusing the index of flawed methodology by extrapolating on-the-ground surveys in some countries to estimate numbers for other nations.

The 2016 index was based on interviews with about 42,000 people by pollster Gallup in 53 languages in 25 countries.

But Forrest said a lack of hard data on slavery in the past had held back efforts to tackle this hidden crime and it was important to draw a "sand in the line" measurement to drive action. He challenged critics to produce an alternative.

The United Nation's International Labour Organization estimates 21 million people globally are victims of forced labour but this does not take into account all forms of slavery.

"Without measurement you don't have effective management and there's no way to lead the world away from slavery," he said.

Forrest said the Global Slavery Index aims to measure the prevalence of slavery in the 167 most populous countries as well as the level of vulnerability of people to enslavement and strength of government efforts to combat this.

The 2016 index again found Asia, which provides low-skilled labour in global supply chains producing clothing, food and technology, accounted for two-thirds of the people in slavery.

About 58 percent of people living in slavery are in five countries - India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.

However the countries with the highest proportion of their population enslaved were North Korea, Uzbekistan, and Cambodia.

The governments taking the least action to tackle slavery were listed as North Korea, Iran, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, and Hong Kong.

By contrast the governments taking most action were the Netherlands, the United States, Britain, Sweden and Australia.

Forrest said a reason for launching the index in Britain was to acknowledge the lead set by the UK government which last year brought in the 2015 Modern Slavery Act.

While Europe has the lowest regional prevalence of slavery, Walk Free said it was a source and destination for forced labour and sexual exploitation. The impact of a mass influx of migrants and refugees fleeing conflicts and poverty has yet to be seen.

Crowe said slavery was a problem that was not going away.

"I think all of us should keep focused on it until we get to that point ... where it just gets pushed over the edge and it's finished," he said.

Lionel Messi misses first day of tax fraud trial  

The trial of Lionel Messi on charges of tax evasion opened in Barcelona on Tuesday, but injury prevented soccer's five-times World Player of the Year from attending. The Barcelona star will be in court on Thursday to testify.

Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, are accused by the Spanish tax office of defrauding the government of 4.2 million euros ($4.7 million) between 2007 and 2009. They could face jail terms of up to 22 months if found guilty.

Both have denied the allegations and missed Tuesday's hearing, which lasted over an hour. The 28-year-old player and his father are not obliged to attend the court every day, but they will have to testify on Thursday.

"The intention of Mr. Lionel was to attend the plenary hearing, but he has suffered an injury," Messi's lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Vera, said in court. He presented a medical report.

The Barcelona forward hurt his back during Argentina's international friendly against Honduras last Friday. Asked by the judge whether Messi would attend Thursday's hearing, the lawyer said he would.

The case centres on the player's image rights and a web of shell companies allegedly used to evade taxes on income from those rights. Tuesday's hearing showed that Spain's tax office made 20 inspections of Messi during its two-year investigation.

According to the prosecutors' office, revenue was hidden using shell companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Messi and his father paid five million euros to the tax authorities as a "corrective" measure after being formally investigated in June 2013.

In addition to Messi, Spain's tax office has also begun investigating the finances of high-profile Barcelona players such as Neymar Jr, Javier Mascherano and Adriano.

A resident in Barcelona since 2000, Messi became a Spanish citizen in 2005. He is 10th on Forbes Magazine's list of the world's highest-earning athletes over the past decade, with an income of $350 million.

Messi has scored 314 goals in 348 appearances for Barca. His five World Footballer of the Year titles are a record.

He has also won eight La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey trophies and four Champions League crowns with Barca.

The Shield' actor Michael Jace convicted of murder in wife's death

LOS ANGELES: Michael Jace, an actor in the television drama "The Shield," was found guilty on Tuesday of second-degree murder in his wife's 2014 shooting death in Los Angeles, the county district attorney's office said.

Jace, 53, faces a sentence of 40 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on June 10, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office spokesman Greg Risling said in an email.

The jury also found that Jace used a handgun in the crime, a special circumstance that could increase his prison time, Risling said.

Jace, whose trial began on May 23, shot to death his 40-year-old wife April on May 19, 2014, in their South Los Angeles home before calling authorities to report an emergency, prosecutors said.

The couple's two children, who were both younger than 10, were home at the time of the shooting and were placed in the care of relatives, authorities said.

The jury began deliberations late on Friday and resumed on Tuesday morning, spending a total of two to three hours considering the case before reaching the verdict, Risling said. Second-degree murder is an intentional killing that was not premeditated.

"The Shield" was a police drama set in Los Angeles that ran from 2002 to 2008.

SHC orders LEAs to find ?missing? KDA official

Karachi

The Sindh High Court directed the federal and provincial law-enforcement agencies on Tuesday to make efforts to find Karachi Development Authority anti-encroachment cell chief Jameel Baloch, who is missing since May 27.

The directives came on a petition filed by Syed Sultan Ahmed against KDA officer Baloch’s “abduction” near Civic Centre.

The petitioner submitted that Baloch, who was very active in the anti-encroachment and anti-land grabbing drive in the city, was abducted by some people soon after he left his office at the Civic Centre and his car was found abandoned near the Aziz Bhatti police station.

IGP AD Khowaja informed the court that a case had been registered and an investigation was under way.

In their separate replies, the SSP East and the SHO Aziz Bhatti police station said a case had been registered under sections 365 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the missing director’s relative, Abdul Karim.

They said the Anti-Violent Crime Cell and the Citizens-Police Liaison Cell had also been requested to help trace the missing official.

They added that the statements of Baloch’s colleagues, his staff and relatives were also being recorded.

Besides, the call record of Baloch’s cell phone had also been obtained.

Police authorities said they had inspected the site and information was being collected from a nearby hospital’s security guard, Amir.

They added that surveillance too was under way to learn the whereabouts of the KDA official.

The IGP informed the court that every possible step were being made to find the KDA ACE director.

He added that SSP Zulfiqar Mahar was personally supervising the investigation. The police chief assured that weekly reports would be submitted to the court for its
perusal.

The Rangers law officer also denied the paramilitary force’s involvement in the arrest or abduction of the KDA officer.

An SHC division bench headed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah directed police and other law-enforcement agencies to ensure that the missing official was found and submit a progress report on June 2.

 

Milk price case

The SHC ordered the Karachi commissioner, the dairy farmers association and others to not increase the retail price of fresh milk.

Hearing petitions on the fixing of the retail prices of dairy products, the court also made it clear that any decision in this regard should be taken strictly in accordance with the law.

Karachi commissioner Syed Asif Hyder Shah filed a report on the action taken against the shopkeepers involved in overcharging.

He said since March 2 this year, action was taken against 306 shopkeepers for selling fresh milk at higher rates than the officially fixed one.

He added that fines worth Rs1,885,000 had also been imposed on the violators. The commissioner said 103 shopkeepers had been sent to the jail for overcharging.

The representatives of the dairy farmers’ association alleged that shopkeepers were facing action even though they were selling fresh milk at Rs70 per litre.

Additional advocate-general Ghulam Mustafa Mahesar said dairy farmers wanted to increase the price of milk ahead of the month of Ramazan.

He pleaded to the court to restrain them from doing so.

The court ordered that the price of fresh milk should not be increased further till its final orders.

It told the dairy farmers association to submit an application to the Karachi commissioner for addressing their grievances on the alleged illegal action against shopkeepers.

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