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Second Pakistan Film Festival to kick off in New York

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Second Pakistan Film Festival to kick off in New York

Second Pakistan Film Festival to kick off in New York

NEW YORK: There has been an enthusiastic response to the second two-day Pakistan Film Festival that opens on Saturday organised by the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said: “We are delighted with the response and hope that this effort at cultural diplomacy will help put our rising film industry on the international map”.

Several celebrities participating in the festival have already started arriving in New York and are looking forward to the festival. The first edition was held in December 2016 and was also organised by Pakistan’s mission to the UN.

Mikaal Zulfikar, who appears in two of the films being screened, said the festival was an important way of showing “the other side of Pakistan”, which the media abroad rarely reflects in its coverage.

In a video message from the airport, before leaving for New York, he said that he was “super excited to be in the Big Apple and represent Pakistan”. Other actors participating in the festival include Mahira Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Asim Abbasi, Shayan Farooqi, Ali Kazmi, Ayesha Omar, Angeline Malik, and Aamina Sheikh, directors Nadeem Baig and Mehreen Jabbar

Oscar award winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy will also participate in the festival in a special segment titled ‘Beyond the Oscars’, in which she will discuss her present and future work as well as challenges faced by the Pakistani film industry.

The festival will be followed by a reception on July 9 at the UN where a large number of ambassadors, UN officials and media representatives accredited to the UN as well as members of the Pakistani diaspora are expected to attend.

“By organizing the Pakistan Film Festival in New York Ambassador Lodhi is providing a platform to introduce the Pakistani style of film making to the world and ensure that it goes international”, said Mumtaz Hussain, a New York based Pakistani-American film director, writer and producer.

A prominent New York-based Pakistani banker said, “Events like the Film Festival provide multiple benefits to the community – both abroad and home- while projecting the softer image of Pakistan and its vibrant arts industry.

“These events keep the diaspora connected to Pakistani culture, while also providing international exposure to our artists and their work. This creates a virtuous cycle- the quality and revenue potential both improve over time, which in turn encourages more development”.

Mr. Sajjad Qamar, member of Pakistan American Business Association (PABA) said, “PABA would like to congratulate Pakistan’s Mission to the UN and especially Dr. Maleeha Lodhi for her tireless efforts to organise the second Pakistan Film Festival in New York.

As a PABA board member, I would like to stress the fact that such events highlight Pakistan’s culture, traditions which in turn enhance cultural understanding. Further it unites and energizes Pakistan’s diaspora to continue to expand efforts to enhance Pakistan’s international stature”.

The festival will conclude with the performance by popular singer, Zeb Bangash with her band Sandaraa. Zeb is part of the first generation of Pakistani musicians to have established themselves internationally.

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NAB decides to arrest Nawaz, Maryam on return from London

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NAB decides to arrest Nawaz, Maryam on return from London
NAB decides to arrest Nawaz, Maryam on return from London
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KARACHI: The National Accountability Court (NAB) has decided to arrest the convicts, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, on their return from London, ARY News reported.

NAB sources said the relevant authorities of the institution had issued order to arrest Nawaz and Maryam upon their landing in Pakistan.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police will also be contacted to arrest former MNA and Nawaz’s son-in-law captain (retd) Safdar as the authorities have decided to arrest all those who have been convicted by NAB court, the sources said.

Read more: Red warrant to be issued for Nawaz’s extradition: Farogh Naseem

An accountability court handed Nawaz Sharif 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond income and 1 year for not cooperating with NAB in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

His daughter Maryam Nawaz was given 7 years for abutment, and 1 year for non-cooperation with the anti-graft authority.

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Red warrant to be issued for Nawaz’s extradition: Farogh Naseem

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Red warrant to be issued for Nawaz’s extradition: Farogh Naseem
Red warrant to be issued for Nawaz’s extradition: Farogh Naseem
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KARACHI: Legal expert Farogh Naseem on Friday said help will be sought through red notice and red warrant to extradite former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, if he does not return to Pakistan, ARY News reported.

An accountability court handed Nawaz Sharif 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond income and 1 year for not cooperating with NAB in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

His daughter Maryam Nawaz has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for abetment, and one year for non-cooperation with the anti-graft authority.

Explicating the court verdict, the counsel Farogh said Maryam’s disqualification term will begin after she would have served her jail term, which means that she has in total been disqualified for 17 years. While, he said, likewise Nawaz has been disqualified for 20 years.

A red notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition. While, a red notice is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant. Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organization) circulates notices to member countries and the required person can be extradited through formal application, after he has been found.

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Nawaz gets 10 years in prison and Maryam 7 in Avenfield case

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Nawaz gets 10 years in prison and Maryam 7 in Avenfield case
Nawaz gets 10 years in prison and Maryam 7 in Avenfield case
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ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Friday sentenced former premier Nawaz Sharif to a total of 10 years in prison and directed him to pay a fine of £8 million after finding him guilty on different charges in the Avenfield properties case.

Judge Muhammad Bashir found Mr. Sharif guilty of accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income.

He handed out seven-year imprisonment to the former premier’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and a fine of £2 million. She has been awarded an additional one year’s imprisonment on charges of using Calibri font to fabricate Avenfield properties trust deeds.

Whereas, her husband Captain retired Safdar has been awarded one year’s jail term.

Highlights

  • Nawaz Sharif handed out 10-year imprisonment and £ 8m fine

  • Maryam Nawaz gets seven years in prison and a fine of £ 2m

  • Captain Safdar to undergo rigorous imprisonment of one year

  • Avenfield properties to be confiscated

Moreover, the judge ordered confiscation of the Sharif family’s London properties in question in the case.

Four members of the Sharif family ─ Nawaz, Maryam, Hasan and Hussain ─ who have been named in the case – are in London, while Captain Safdar is in Pakistan, but didn’t appear in court to hear the verdict.

The judge earlier rejected an application filed by the former prime minister seeking a seven-day postponement of the verdict.

He reserved the verdict on the application after hearing arguments from the Sharif family’s lawyer Amjad Pervez and NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar.

At the outset of the hearing, the lawyer argued that the former premier and his daughter are not proclaimed offenders and added they will show up in court upon return from London after seven days.

Opposing the plea, the NAB prosecutor contended a reserved verdict is not deferred and pleaded that the application be dismissed for being non-maintainable.

Security has been beefed up in and outside the court to avoid any untoward incident.

The accountability judge had earlier set July 6 (today) for pronouncement of the verdict in the Avenfield case against Mr. Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain retired Safdar.

A day earlier, the former premier’s lawyer filed the application, stating that the ex-PM wanted to hear the judgment while standing in the courtroom with his people whom he wanted to hold as witnesses.

He said Mr. Sharif and his daughter traveled to London on June 14 for tending to ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing cancer treatment there. Upon arrival in London, they discovered that she suffered a cardiac arrest and was put on a ventilator.

He said the former premier wanted to return to Pakistan if his wife had recovered sufficiently.

Not only is delay in the interest of justice, but in consonance with the spirit and requirement of Section 366 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1989, the counsel argued.

He pleaded that the announcement of the order in the reference be postponed for a minimum period of seven days so that Mr. Sharif and his daughter could return home.

A report about the condition of ailing Kulsoom Nawaz was also attached to the application, which stated, “she continues to be ventilator-dependent. Whilst last week it did look as if she might be able to [be] weaned, her respiratory indices deteriorated and she has required pressure control ventilation.”

Background

The Avenfield reference is among four corruption references filed against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his three children and former finance minister Ishaq Dar in compliance with the July 2017 Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Papers case.

On July 28, the apex court disqualified Mr. Sharif in a unanimous verdict, thus cutting short his third stint in power.

The court directed the anti-graft watchdog to file references against the former premier and members of his family in the wake of the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report leveling serious corruption allegations against them.

Subsequently, three references were filed against Sharifs, which pertained to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.

Nawaz sharif and his two sons – Hussain and Hasan – have been named in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt. Safdar have been nominated in the Avenfield reference only.

As per Avenfield Properties reference, Sharif, his brood and his son-in-law had purchased four flats in Park Lane, UK, without legitimate financial means. However, the former premier and his family members have consistently claimed that the apartments were purchased with legal means.

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Lucky People in 2018

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Lucky People in 2018

Lucky People in 2018

‘It’s a miracle’: 81-year-old man survives attack from hundreds of bees

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Bees

An 81-year-old man in Texas is thankful to be alive after being stung by hundreds of bees.

Fox 26 reports that Thomas Mizell, a farmer who lives in Liberty County, was clearing land for a fence line on his property when he was suddenly attacked by a massive number of bees.

No one was around and he did not have a cellphone on him.

“He didn’t know where they came from, the bees just attacked him,” his daughter Tresh Holt told Fox 26.

“I walk by faith and not by sight. I couldn’t see, hardly, the bees had done got in my eyes and ears,” said Mizell.

Mizell stumbled and ran toward a pond that was about 200 yards away as hundreds of bees continued to sting him. He had plans with his wife Mary and their son Joey for lunch that day at noon, but something prompted Mary to leave early.

Bees
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“That day, it was something gnawing at me. It wasn’t just right,” Mary told Fox 26.

Mizell was in severe pain and his family rushed him to the hospital, where nurses immediately began removing the stingers. He had more than 135 stings on his head alone, his daughter said.

“I got a new hairdo,” joked Mizell, who was released from the hospital on his 81st birthday. “A miracle. It is. It’s a miracle. God spared my life and I’m thankful.”

“Doctors said if my mom and my brother wouldn’t have showed up when they did, my dad wouldn’t have had much longer to live,” said Holt.

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Person scales Statue of Liberty following anti-ICE protests

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Protestor caught climbing the Statue of Liberty

 

At least one person is reportedly scaling the Statue of Liberty after an “Abolish ICE” protest resulted in multiple arrests.

The person appears to be sitting near the feet of Lady Liberty, as seen in helicopter video footage. National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis says police are trying to persuade the climber to descend.

 

The park was shut down and is being evacuated as a precaution, an official told Fox News.

Earlier Wednesday, at least six people were arrested after they hung a banner emblazoned with a message about abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

Activists with the group Rise and Resist say they hung the banner to protest U.S. immigration policy. In a tweet, the group said the person climbing the statue has no affiliation with the earlier protest.

 

The Trump administration has been heavily criticized by those on both sides of the aisle after thousands of minors were separated from their families at the border after crossing it illegally. After national outrage, President Trump signed an executive order in late June allowing families to remain together in detention.

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Greenpeace activists ‘crash’ drone into French nuclear plant

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Greenpeace activists flew a drone into the nuclear energy plant operated by EDF in Saint-Vulbas, southeast France, on Tuesday
Greenpeace activists flew a drone into the nuclear energy plant operated by EDF in Saint-Vulbas, southeast France, on Tuesday
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Greenpeace activists said Tuesday they had flown a drone fitted out as a flying Superman into a nuclear energy plant in southeast France, aiming to show how the country’s reactors are vulnerable to terror attacks.

A video released by the environmental group shows the drone zipping through restricted airspace above the Bugey plant about 25 kilometers (16 miles) outside Lyon before crashing into a building on site.

It said the drone struck a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel next to a reactor, one of the most radioactive areas at the site.

“This is a highly symbolic action: it shows that spent fuel pools are very accessible, this time from the air, and therefore extremely vulnerable to attack,” Yannick Rousselet, head of Greenpeace France’s anti-nuclear campaign, in a statement.

French electricity group EDF played down any security risk, saying police forces had intercepted one of two drones launched by Greenpeace at dawn on Tuesday.

“The fuel building is key for security, designed in particular to withstand natural or accidental damage, which ensures its high degree of robustness,” the company said, adding that it would lodge a complaint with police.

Greenpeace has carried out several actions aimed at highlighting the danger posed by French nuclear plants, which generate the bulk of the country’s electricity needs.

In February, eight activists were sentenced to jail terms or fines after breaking into a plant and setting off fireworks last year.

After Greenpeace activists broke into another nuclear plant last November, the French government opened a parliamentary inquiry into nuclear safety and security.

The findings of the report, which include an analysis of potential risks of drones equipped with explosives, are expected to be released soon.

In 2014 and 2015, drone flights were reported over several French nuclear plants, including Bugey, though Greenpeace denied any involvement.

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Bolivia to build museum at bottom of ‘sacred lake’

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Titicaca is considered a sacred lake by locals, from which legendary figure Manco Capac is said to have emerged
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Bolivia is to build an underwater museum in its sacred Lake Titicaca, the culture minister said.

The move comes after thousands of priceless artifacts were discovered at the bottom of the abyss.

“It will be both a tourist complex and a centre for archeological, geological and biological research, which will make it the only one in the world,” culture minister Wilma Alanoca said on Tuesday.

The museum will cost $10 million (8.6 million euros) to build, in partnership with Belgian development agency Enabel. Alanoca said Belgium and Unesco would contribute $2 million to the project.

Titicaca holds an important place in the hearts of local people — legend has it that Manco Capac, the son of the Sun God and his wife Mama Ocllo, emerged from its waters.

One of the main figures in Inca mythology, Manco Capac is believed to have founded the Peruvian city of Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th to 16th centuries.

Titicaca spans an area of 8,500 square kilometres (3,300 square miles) and straddles the border between Bolivia and Peru. At more than 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) altitude, it is the world’s highest body of fresh water that is navigable by large vessels.

It was the birthplace of several local cultures before the arrival of Spanish colonialists.

The most recent excavations turned up 10,000 artefacts, made from bone, ceramics and metal, cooking utensils, as well as human and animal remains, dating back to the pre-Tiwanaku (before 300 AD), Tiwanaku (300-1100) and Inca (1100-1570) eras.

The museum will be situated close to the town of San Pedro de Tiquina, around 100 kilometers from the capital La Paz.

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