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One killed, several injured as 5.4 magnitude earthquake jolts Northern areas
Low magnitude jolts were also felt in the valley after the tremor.
Erdogan slams US Congress over Saudi 9/11 law

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Saturday a US Congress vote to override Barack Obama´s veto of a bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia, saying he expected the move to be reversed as soon as possible.

Relations between Ankara and Riyadh have tightened considerably in the past months as they pursue joint interests in Syria. Erdogan had just the day earlier hosted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef for talks at his palace.

"The allowing by the US Congress of lawsuits to be opened against Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 attacks is unfortunate," Erdogan said in a speech for the opening of parliament.

"It´s against the principle of individual criminal responsibility for crimes. We expect this false step to be reversed as soon as possible," he added.

Families of 9/11 victims have campaigned for the law, convinced the Saudi government had a hand in the attacks that killed almost 3,000 people.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens, but no link to the government has been proven. The Saudi government denies any ties to the plotters.

Obama called the vote a "dangerous precedent" while Saudi Arabia warned it risked having "disastrous consequences".

The visit by the Saudi crown prince to Ankara was the latest sign of the burgeoning relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two mainly Sunni Muslim powers who both support rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Erdogan told Nayef Friday that the expanding ties "offer opportunities for regional and global stability", the Anadolu news agency said. Nayef said Riyadh was pleased that the two countries "have the same thinking on all issues".

Erdogan also bestowed on Nayef Turkey´s second highest state decoration for foreign nationals, the Order of the Republic.

The Turkish president earlier this year also backed Saudi Arabia in a diplomatic crisis with Iran over Riyadh´s execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in January.

PTI steadfast to erase corruption, dictatorship of rulers

LAHORE: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has said that his party is steadfast against the corruption and dictatorial attitude of the ruling elite.

In a message on social media website tweeter on Saturday, Imran Khan said that PTI is not afraid of any threat and will continue its struggle for inborn rights of the countrymen.

He thanked the participants of Lahore march despite what he claimed hurdles created in the way of their presence in Raiwind and threats of possible terror attack by Indian intelligence agency RAW .

The PTI chief said that he is proud of his workers who ignoring these threats took to streets on his call to give a message to the rulers they will not allow them to plunder the national exchequer anymore.

He said that the time is ripe for the national institutions to take notice of corruption of the rulers and initiate probe.

“If the state institutions failed to hold the corrupt rulers accountable, PTI will hold massive gathering in the federal capital Islamabad once the deadline ends.” Imran added. (INP)

Ton-up Tamim leads Bangladesh to 279-8

DHAKA: Opener Tamim Iqbal scored a record century but Afghanistan managed to restrict Bangladesh to 279-8 in the series-deciding third one-day international in Dhaka on Saturday.

Tamim made the most of an early life to hit 118 in as many balls to give Bangladesh a platform for a big total but the home side lost the momentum once he fell to Mohammad Nabi.

Substitute fielder Naveen-ul-Haq took the catch at long-off to end the onslaught of Tamim, who hit 11 fours and two sixes in his seventh ODI hundred, the most by a Bangladesh cricketer.

Dropped by Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai when he was only on one run Tamim never looked back and completed his century with a single off Dawlat Zadran before hitting Rahmat Shah two sixes off successive balls.

Tamim got very good support from one down Sabbir Rahman, who scored his career best 65 off 79 balls and put 140 runs for the third wicket with the left-hander after the early dismissal of opener Soumya Sarkar (11).

Needing a win for their sixth consecutive series victory at home soil, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza elected to bat first and was looking for exactly this kind of platform from his top-order batsmen.

Bangladesh looked on course to well excess of 300 runs when the duo batted but dramatically lost their way, something that has typified their batting throughout the series.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan stopped the run flow, along with Nabi, with two crucial wickets and finished with 2-39.

Medium pacer Mirwais Ashraf also played his part with two wickets for 43 runs.
Mahmudullah staged a late recovery for Bangladesh with an unbeaten 32 from 22 balls.

The three-match series is currently locked at 1-1 after Bangladesh won the first match by seven runs before Afghanistan avenged the defeat with a two-wicket win in the second match.

Pak Navy will give befitting response to any kind of aggression: Admiral Arifullah

KARACHI: Commander Pakistan Fleet, Admiral Syed Arifullah Hussaini on Saturday warned of giving befitting response to any kind of aggression.

Pakistan Navy has also pulled up socks to fight against enemy as operational preparations in North Arabian Sea have been speeded up.

According to Pakistan Navy Spokesman, Admiral Syed Arifullah Hussaini inspected the arrangements and lauded the efforts and spirit of the officers and sailors.

He said that Pakistan Navy is strictly monitoring the security of maritime borders while the morale of personnel and sailors deployed on warship fleet tankers is high.

He also said, “Pakistan Navy is ready to give befitting response to the enemy if it tries to trigger war in the region.”

The Commander Pakistan Fleet further added that Pakistan is a peace loving nation and desires peace in the region but added that if any incursion is attempted it will be given a befitting reply. (INP)

US government cuts cord on internet oversight

WASHINGTON: The US government on Saturday ended its formal oversight role over the internet, handing over management of the online address system to a global non-profit entity.

The US Commerce Department announced that its contract had expired with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which manages the internet´s so-called "root zone."

That leaves ICANN as a self-regulating organization that will be operated by the internet´s "stakeholders" -- engineers, academics, businesses, non-government and government groups.

The move is part of a decades-old plan by the US to "privatize" the internet, and backers have said it would help maintain its integrity around the world.

US and ICANN officials have said the contract had given Washington a symbolic role as overseer or the internet´s "root zone" where new online domains and addresses are created.

But critics, including some US lawmakers, argued that this was a "giveaway" by Washington that could allow authoritarian regimes to seize control.

A last-ditch effort by critics to block the plan -- a lawsuit filed by four US states -- failed when a Texas federal judge refused to issue an injunction to stop the transition.

Lawrence Strickling, who heads the Commerce Department unit which has managed these functions, issued a brief statement early Saturday confirming the transition of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

"As of October 1, 2016, the IANA functions contract has expired," he said.

Stephen Crocker, ICANN´s board chairman and one of the engineers who developed the early internet protocols, welcomed the end of the contract.

"This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality," he said in a statement.

"This community validated the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today."

The Internet Society, a group formed by internet founders aimed at keeping the system open, said the transition was a positive step.

"The IANA transition is a powerful illustration of the multi-stakeholder model and an affirmation of the principle that the best approach to address challenges is through bottom-up, transparent, and consensus-driven processes," the group said in a statement.

Kvitova ends title drought with Wuhan win

WUHAN, China: Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova ended her 13-month title drought with a straight set win over Dominika Cibulkova at the Wuhan Open on Saturday.

The former world number two appeared to be in a hurry to secure the crown -- her second in Wuhan -- taking just over an hour to defeat Cibulkova 6-1, 6-1.

Kvitova has had a year of stark highs and lows -- scooping an Olympic bronze medal but failing to get further than the round of 16 at any of the Grand Slams.

Cibulkova, meanwhile, is assured of a new career-high ranking on Monday -- rising to number eight.

She also now sits at number seven on the Road to Singapore leaderboard but needs a strong run in Beijing next week to guarantee her first ever qualification in the elite eight-player event.

Wuhan was the fifth final of the season for the newly-wed Slovak who also reached the quarter finals of Wimbledon, saving a match point in a three set thriller against fourth-ranked Agnieska Radwanska, and won two titles this year.

It marks an impressive comeback after surgery on her left Achilles tendon forced her off the court for four months in 2015.

After a three-and-a-half-hour epic against new world number one Angelique Kerber in the third round, Kvitova has looked untouchable on court -- hitting 143 winners in four matches.

The first point of the final went to Cibulkova but Kvitova then dominated for the next three games until the Czech double faulted to concede the fourth.

The Olympic bronze medallist bagged the first set on an ace -- her seventh of the match.

Kvitova was two points up in the second when Cibulkova held her service game to take the score to 2-1.

But the six-foot Czech towered over her 5´3" opponent for the rest of the match, breaking her serve to snatch the title on the first match point.

Both Kvitova and Cibulskova now travel to Beijing for the China Open where they have first round byes.

Sindh cabinet decides to lift ban on govt jobs

KARACHI: Sindh Cabinet has decided to lift ban on all kind of recruitments. This step would help improve the performance of the government departments where positions are vacant and reduce poverty in the province through employment opportunities.

This was stated by Sindh Chief Minister while presiding over fourth cabinet meeting since he has taken over as a chief minister two month ago. The meeting strongly condemned India aggression and paid tribute to the soldiers killed by Indian Army on the border. The cabinet on behalf of people of Sindh assured Pakistan Army their full support.

The cabinet demanded the prime minister to convene All Parties Conference on issue of tension on the borders so that national unity and strategy could be developed on this important national issue.

The chief minister said that the unemployed youth were looking towards the government to lift the ban. "It is an appropriate time to lift ban on recruitment - because the government is trying to improve the efficiency of all the government department," he said and added this would be possible when all the vacant positions would be filled on merit.

The chief minister ordered all the departments to start holding departmental Promotional Committee (DPCs) meetings so that promotion posts could be filled and rest be advertised in the national press.

It may be noted that there are around 90,000 positions vacant in the province, almost half of them are promotion posts; therefore, about 50,000 vacancies would be filled through selection committees and Sindh Public Service Commission, according to their pay and scale. The chief minister clarified to all the cabinet members that there would not be any compromise on merit. "I need efficient people to make the departments efficient," he said.

The meeting also discussed the ToRs and SOP of Special Security Division - South (Sindh & Balochaitn) being created by the federal government to provide security to the CPEC projects. In the SSD there would be nine infantry battalions comprising a force of 9000 soldiers and six wings of 4502 civil and military force.

The cabinet discussed shisha smoking /cafe, gutka and manpuri at length and decided to impose ban on them. Secretary Health briefing the cabinet said that shisha smoking is equal to smoking 150 cigarettes in single time. About nine liters smoke is inhaled when a person smokes shesha in a session. The cabinet imposing ban on shehsh, gutka and manpuri directed the IG police to implement the decision.

Shah taking the cabinet into confidence said that he had taken a decision to fix operation timing of shops and markets from 9 am to 7pm while the closing time of marriage halls would be 10 pm.

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