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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Pakistani telecom company Ufone becomes part of “Tobacco-Smoke Free Islamabad”

Pakistani telecom company Ufone becomes part of “Tobacco-Smoke Free Islamabad”

Pakistani telecom company Ufone becomes part of “Tobacco-Smoke Free Islamabad”

Dr Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health Services, Regulations & Coordination unveiling a plaque to profess Ufone Tower Islamabad tobacco-smoke free facility, along with Naveed Khalid Butt, Ufone’s Chief Officer Legal & Regulatory Affairs and Dr. Minhaj us Siraj, Deputy DG Health.

Islamabad. 25 April 2019: Ufone Tower is now among the 216 Tobacco-Smoke free public spaces in the capital. The Pakistani telecom company joined the initiative which is the brain child of the Federal Ministry of Health. 

Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of National Health Services; Regulations & Coordination professed Ufone tower a tobacco-smoke free facility in a ceremony held here today. A letter of Intent was also signed between the Ministry and Ufone regarding the initiative. Speaking on the occasion Dr. Nausheen Hamid said, “The Government attaches highest priority to health sector of the country and is working on National Cancer Control Plan for which control of tobacco use is the most effective prevention strategy”.

Chief Officer Legal and Regulatory Affairs Ufone, Naveed Khalid Butt eulogized the efforts of Federal Government towards prevention of health hazards especially related to control of Cancers and other life style related diseases. “We as a leading Pakistani company and a responsible corporate organization are honoured to be part of an initiative that places public health at the forefront by making work places tobacco-smoke free”, he said.

Dr. Minhaj us Siraj, Project Director, Tobacco Smoke free Islamabad and Deputy DG Health, while speaking at the ceremony to announce Ufone Tower a smoke free facility, discussed the ill-effects of tobacco use as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, in line with theme of World Health Organization (WHO) i.e. Tobacco; a threat to Development. He emphasized on the development goals related to poverty, health, child education, gender equity, climate, life under the water, Peace and justice; being damaged due to tobacco industry. 

He highlighted the role of awareness among population for implementing the tobacco control Laws and how the preventive measures protect the health and environment. 

A third party evaluation report, regarding Licensing of Tobacco Vendors through the campaign on making Islamabad a Smoke free zone, was launched in a local hotel last week. Smoke Free Capital Project, Ministry of National Health Services; Regulations & Coordination will be completing the licensing of tobacco vendor by “World No Tobacco Day” 31st May, this year. 

Tobacco use is a major cause of non-communicable diseases which include fifteen  types of cancers. 160,000 Pakistan die every year due to illness caused by the use of tobacco products. In Pakistan over 20 million population smokes tobacco which include children and women.

Why Imran Khan said 'Sahiba' about Bilawal Zardari – See this video

Why Imran Khan said 'Sahiba' about Bilawal Zardari – See this video

Why Imran Khan said 'Sahiba' about Bilawal Zardari – See this video

Why Imran Khan said 'Sahiba' about Bilawal Zardari – See this video
Why Imran Khan said 'Sahiba' about Bilawal Zardari – See this video

McDonald’s Pak, PIA take happiness to new heights

McDonald’s Pak, PIA take happiness to new heights

McDonald’s Pak, PIA take happiness to new heights

Karachi: On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, McDonald’s Pakistan and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) inkeda Memorandum of Understanding to put together a special offer for the passengers of the national carrier, in a ceremony held at McDonald’s Airport Branch, Karachi.

As part of the agreement, McDonald’s will be branding the boarding passes with its special offer that will be valid on all nationwide restaurants for PIA passengers. This is sure to be a valuable proposition for both the brands as PIA has over 6 million passengers, including local and international flyers. To propel things further ahead, both the brands are looking to explore multiple collaborative opportunities, such as serving McCafe coffee during all PIA flights and at various airport lounges.

Chief Operations, Marketing, Development & Supply Chain Officer, McDonald’s Pakistan, Jamil Mughal along with the President & CEO PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik with the airline’s management attended the ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Jamil Mughal said, “The collaboration between McDonald’s and PIA is a perfect coupling.

Indian Court Moves To Lift Ban On Chinese Video App TikTok

Indian Court Moves To Lift Ban On Chinese Video App TikTok

Indian Court Moves To Lift Ban On Chinese Video App TikTok

NEW DELHI (Reuters): An Indian state court on Wednesday moved to lift a ban on popular video app TikTok in the country, two lawyers involved in the case said, in a boost for its developer Beijing Bytedance Technology Co.

Earlier this month, the court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu ordered the federal government to prohibit TikTok downloads, saying the app was encouraging pornography and could expose children to sexual predators.
Acting upon subsequent instructions from the federal IT ministry, Apple Inc and Alphabet Incs Google last week removed TikTok from their Indian app stores.

But on Wednesday, hearing a plea from Bytedance, the state court reversed its April 3 decision pushing for the ban, K. Neelamegam, a lawyer who argued against Bytedance in the case, told Reuters.

Neelamegam added that his client, an individual who had filed a public interest litigation calling for the ban, did not plan to appeal the courts latest decision.

A senior government official told Reuters the IT ministry, once it received the courts order, would ask Apple and Google to allow the TikTok app to return on their platforms.

A spokesman for TikTok said the company welcomed the courts decision. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our users better, he said.

TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with special effects and is one of the worlds most popular apps. It has been downloaded by nearly 300 million users so far in India, out of more than 1 billion downloads globally, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.

TikTok features memes and music videos, with some clips showing youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-syncing and dancing to popular tunes. Some Indian politicians and parents say its content is inappropriate.

A second lawyer involved in the case, who declined to be named, said Bytedance argued in the state court that TikTok was just a platform where users upload their videos and the company should not be held liable for their actions.

A very minuscule proportion of TikToks videos were considered inappropriate or obscene, the company has previously said in a court filing.

Bytedance had also urged Indias Supreme Court to quash the ban, but the case was referred back to the state court. The ban was resulting in financial losses of up to $500,000 a day for Bytedance, and had put more than 250 jobs at risk, the company had said.

The ban worried the social media industry in India as it sees legal worries mounting if courts increasingly regulate content on their platforms.

PMN and Telenor Microfinance Bank sign an agreement to digitize Pakistan’s Microfinance Industry

PMN and Telenor Microfinance Bank sign an agreement to digitize Pakistan’s Microfinance Industry

PMN and Telenor Microfinance Bank sign an agreement to digitize Pakistan’s Microfinance Industry

Aslam Hayat, acting CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank and Syed Mohsin Ahmed, CEO, Pakistan Microfinance Network signing the agreement along with senior representatives of both organizations.

Aiming to further its efforts towards bringing the unbanked and underbanked into the fold of financial services, Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) has signed an agreement with Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), in the presence of the management of both institutions, to digitize Pakistan’s microfinance industry through ‘Digital Services Platform (DSP).’ PMN is grateful for the support being provided by the UKAID’s DFID for this initiative. DSP will enable Microfinance Providers (MFPs) to ride on the rail road of Digital Financial Service Providers with the twin objectives of increasing accessibility for clients and bringing efficiency through available distribution channel. The agreement will help the microfinance sector to achieve its goal of reaching out to 10m borrowers, 50m deposit accounts and 11m insurance clients by 2020. 

PMN aims to leverage the capabilities of Telenor Microfinance Bank’s branchless banking solutions to power its Digital Services Platform that will offer digital payments services in a shared hosting environment. Building such a platform for the microfinance sector is pivotal to increase outreach of financial services as envisaged by National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) and Financial Inclusion Programme (FIP). 

DSP will be integrated with Telenor Microfinance Bank for its agent network for disbursement and repayment transactions. PMN will also be using the bank’s services for daily settlement of funds with its members. This collaboration will allow clients of PMN member institutions to receive loans and deposit loan repayments at Telenor Bank’s agents as well as through mobile wallets. This will help in increasing the outreach of microfinance institutions by leveraging the outreach of TMB’s wide agent network. 

Speaking on the occasion, Syed Mohsin Ahmed, CEO at PMN said, “This agreement is beginning of a long journey, a journey in which we want to keep a lens on our clients and work with our members towards end to end digitization of the Microfinance operations – from loan acquisition to recovery and from opening of m-wallet accounts to increased usability of those accounts. Our aim is to create a network effect that transforms the way we have been working and move towards digital transactions at the chabriwala level” 

Aslam Hayat, acting CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank commented, “Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB) aims to enable the underserved people of Pakistan to transform their lives, by creating a digital ecosystem, whereby mobile wallets become a central platform, which will help achieve economic empowerment and rapid growth. This collaboration with PMN will enable their member institutions to receive and deposit loan repayments by leveraging TMB’s agents and wallets, thereby providing more convenience and wider accessibility.”

Shell Tameer Shaping The Future Of Youth Entrepreneurship In Pakistan

Shell Tameer Shaping The Future Of Youth Entrepreneurship In Pakistan

Shell Tameer Shaping The Future Of Youth Entrepreneurship In Pakistan

The Institute of Business Administration-(IBA) Center for Entrepreneurial Development held a business start-up competition, ‘Invent -2019’at IBA Main Campus, Karachi. The objective of the event was to foster a start-up friendly ecosystem for young innovators from across Pakistan.

The event attracted over 100 young innovators from eight cities that submitted their ideas under the event’s thematic areas of Health & Agriculture, Technological and information, System Health & Agriculture, Shell Tameer Social and STEM Education and General & Traditional.

For the 35 finalists selected, a series of mentoring sessions and workshops were delivered by industry experts, professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs to prepare the best entrepreneurial potential for the final round.

The final pitch was before a panel of judges comprising subject matter experts from industry, academia and SME sectors.

At the closing ceremony Mr. Habib Haider – Country Head of External Relation, Shell Pakistan Limited said’My heartiest congratulations to our country’s young talent. It is heartening to see events like these bringing like-minded entrepreneurs together from across the country for greater exchange of innovative ideas and thinking. Shell Tameer has always been at forefront to collaborate with key stakeholders to encourage an enterprise-friendly ecosystem and provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs to contribute towards a brighter and prosperous future for Pakistan.”

Following Mr. Habib, Dr. Farrukh Iqbal-Executive Director Institute of Business Administration Karachi said “Entrepreneurship is the need of the moment for this country and is taken very seriously at IBA, this is the reason we have a dedicated Center for Entrepreneurial Development at IBA where different initiatives are underway to promote the entrepreneurial culture among our youth including certificate courses, summer schools and engaging competitions.”

The winner of the category ‘Shell Tameer Social and STEM education’ was Green Energy Revolution Now, a social entrepreneur creating biogas for rural areas in Sindh to address the reduction of CO2 emissions caused by the burning of wood for cooking and saving more land from deforestation.  The Runner-up was a female entrepreneur running a local Air B&B“Lets Home” for the residents of Hunza and Gilgit to earn additional income during the few months of tourism in the country. The third winner “Walk way School” works with students belonging to lower social-economic backgrounds to bridge the gap in the private and public education system and providing a better chance of enrollment in universities.

All three winners of each category will receive token seed money to invest in their hard build enterprises.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Zong 4G partners with PTCL for Network Expansion in Remote areas of Pakistan

Zong 4G partners with PTCL for Network Expansion in Remote areas of Pakistan

Zong 4G partners with PTCL for Network Expansion in Remote areas of Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and Zong 4G have entered into a strategic partnership for network expansion in remote and far-flung areas of Pakistan. The collaboration will ensure provision of VSAT services by PTCL to further support and expand the network coverage across the country.

The agreement was signed by Saad Muzaffar Waraich, Chief Technology & Information Officer, PTCL, and Li Wenyu, Chief Financial Officer, ZONG 4G, during the ceremony held at Zong 4G Headquarters in the presence of the senior management and officials of respective companies.

The collaboration will ensure state-of-the-art VSAT satellite services to further enhance the network coverage and enabling customers from remote areas to enjoy increased speed through Zong 4G’s  widest coverage. Being the most experienced in the domain of satellite communication, PTCL also has extensive ground support, operation and implementation infrastructure to serve a variety of satellite communication applications. The company will offer a complete spectrum of end-to-end connectivity to Zong 4G designated sites.

Speaking on the occasion, ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Saad Muzaffar Waraich, Chief Technology & Information Officer, PTCL, said, “We are pleased to sign the agreement with ZONG 4G. PTCL has been serving as the communication backbone of the country since inception of Pakistan and this partnership will help them to expand their high-quality voice and data services to the underserved markets of Pakistan. We are at the forefront of leading the digitization across Pakistan through such partnerships. PTCL continues to play its role in the development of telecom infrastructure, contributing to the overall economic growth of the country.”

Zong 4G partners with PTCL for Network Expansion in Remote areas of Pakistan 
Commenting on the partnership, Mannan Shabbir, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs Division & Company Spokesperson, said, “Being the first and the only operator with more than 10,000 4G sites across the country, Zong 4Gis providing the widest 4G coverage to the largest 4G subscriber base in the Pakistan at an unprecedented scale. Our partnership with PTCL is a testament to our customer-centric approach by providing our customers with the best possible services and solutions through our ever-expanding data network. Leading digitalization efforts across Pakistan, we continue to thrive, not only in the mainstream cities, but also in far-flung and remote areas of Pakistan providing reliable and seamless connectivity.”

As the winner of ‘Best in 4G services’ award by the Consumers Association of Pakistan and with more than 11 Million 4G customers, Zong 4G is the leading 4G operator of the country. Through its continued investment in the network and infrastructure, the company is enabling its customers in every nook and corner of the country to experience world-class 4G services. The collaboration will further enhance the digital agenda of Zong 4G and PTCL in empowering millions to remain connected anywhere and everywhere.

Unilever & Telenor Pakistan Partner to Enhance Digital Inclusion in Pakistan

Unilever & Telenor Pakistan Partner to Enhance Digital Inclusion in Pakistan

Unilever & Telenor Pakistan Partner to Enhance Digital Inclusion in Pakistan

Unilever has joined hands with Telenor Pakistan to enable digital and financial inclusion in Pakistan through mainstream access to digitalized retail services, digital financial solutions, digital products and skill enhancement across Pakistan.

Through this collaboration, both companies will integrate their expertise in the telecom and consumer goods industries to build a digitally inclusive ecosystem. This partnership aims to reimagine how business should be run, harnessing the power of technology and big data to bring convenience and security for retailers and create seamlessly integrated shopping experience for consumers. Together, the two companies aim to introduce cashless payment models, transform small and medium retailers access to financial capital, identify and generate livelihood and elevate the standard of living in less accessible and remote areas. As socially responsible organizations, both Unilever and Telenor Pakistan have also committed to building a platform to bring differently abled workforce into mainstream roles and to promote a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Shazia Syed, Chairperson & CEO, Unilever Pakistan, highlighted, “The merger of our expertise promises a highly disruptive and scalable approach for the accelerated digitization of Pakistan. In line with the government’s vision for a more digital economy, we aim to empower all those who are part of our value chain, including distributors, sellers, consumers and ultimately the larger communities that we work in.”

Irfan Wahab Khan, Head of Emerging Asia & CEO Telenor Pakistan, added, “As country’s leading digital services provider, Telenor Pakistan is fully geared to impact and transform various sectors of the economy and empower the masses. Through our partnerships with Unilever, we aim to bring together our respective strategic advantages to lay the ground for a digitally and socially inclusive Pakistan, which is in line with our purpose of connecting people to what matters most to them.  We believe in the value of collaborative business models which is instrumental for the rapid adoption of innovative technologies and a faster shift towards a digitally-enabled national infrastructure to cater to those needs.

Do you know: Telenor has some really good call packages for you in 2019.

Amir Paracha, Vice President Customer Development, Unilever Pakistan, concluded: “Our goal is to create a smarter end-to-end digitally enabled retail ecosystem that has the potential to reshape the way businesses operate within the country. The success of this collaboration could propel Pakistan at par with global standards with regards to digital adoption.

Sardar Abubakr, Chief Digital and Strategy Officer, Telenor Pakistan added “In today’s age, there is a need to look outside our traditional lens when we think of partnerships – real disruption for customer benefit often takes place when like-minded yet different industries come together and leverage unique skill sets and competencies for empowering society – which is precisely Telenor and Unilever’s aim with this partnership’.

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TAF Foundation celebrates 7th Graduation Ceremony

TAF Foundation celebrates 7th Graduation Ceremony

TAF Foundation celebrates 7th Graduation Ceremony

92% of TAFF graduates have found gainful employment
Nearly 400 graduates have received TAFF certification

(Karachi) The Abbassciy Family Foundation (TAFF) marked the graduation of its seventh cohort of students from its Vocational Training Institute (TAFF-VTI) today at a ceremony held in Karachi. Attended by faculty, staff, industry partners, students and their families, and alumni of TAFF, the ceremony was a great success at marking a key milestone in the lives of the graduates. 

Ms. Frieha Altaf, CEO of Catwalk event management and productions, leading entrepreneur, business woman, and supporter of women’s empowerment, was the Guest of Honor at the ceremony. Addressing the occasion, she said “As a female entrepreneur, I strongly support women achieving economic independence, equality and freedom. 60% of educated Pakistani women are not working after marriage. By maximizing women’s economic participation, Pakistan can accelerate its economic growth, and eradicate poverty. I admire and appreciate TAF Foundation’s role for women in the field of vocational educational & training.” 

Course completion certificates were distributed among graduates who had successfully completed the 4-month intensive training program in the fields of Customer Service & Retail Sales, Elderly Care Assistant and Cooking & Housekeeping. Shields were awarded to the top 3 position holders and appreciation certificates were presented to students who maintained 100% attendance throughout the course. 
Mr. Azfar Saeed Baig, CEO, TAF Foundation, while addressing the gathering, said: “Women are society’s backbone. TAFF’s mission is to eliminate injustice against women by empowering them to become economically independent. Around 400 women have graduated from TAFF-VTI; 92% of them have found gainful employment subsequently, earning about Rs. 21,000 per month.” 

Pride and pique as Louboutin takes Pakistani chappal global - French shoe designer Christian Louboutin has taken inspiration for a new sandal from Pakistan

Pride and pique as Louboutin takes Pakistani chappal global - French shoe designer Christian Louboutin has taken inspiration for a new sandal from Pakistan

Pride and pique as Louboutin takes Pakistani chappal global

Peshawar (AFP: Famed for luxury red-soled stilettos, French shoe designer Christian Louboutin has taken inspiration for a new sandal from Pakistan´s tribal frontier, sparking claims of cultural appropriation along with grins from grizzled Pakistani cobblers.

A post on Louboutin´s Instagram last month announcing the release of the shoe sparked a social media frenzy in Pakistan, with fans praising the latest homage to the country´s rich artisan traditions -- and critics rolling their eyes.

The "Imran" -- a flamboyant sandal complete with metal studs along with splashes of orange and silver -- is inspired by the country´s traditional Peshawari chappal, according to the fashion house.

The chappal has long been a staple for ethnic Pashtuns -- from ordinary labourers to the country´s political elite -- in Pakistan´s northwest.

The sandal is distinguished by its overlapping leather strips that cover the foot and has a small heel with a hardy rubber sole.

Louboutin´s version was named after famed Pakistani contemporary artist and friend of the designer, Imran Qureshi.

While most celebrated the shoe´s debut, others jeered at the thought of paying designer prices -- Louboutins often retail for upwards of $500 -- for the ubiquitous sandals, which can cost as little as $5.50 in Pakistan.

Some social media users also suggested that the European brand was the latest perpetrator of cultural appropriation.

"Highly recommend asking your friend to rename it though, so that it doesn´t become another culturally appropriated thing," wrote Instagram user Mehreenfkhan under a post by Qureshi about the shoe.

Louboutin later removed the Instagram announcement, saying the sandal was just the latest creation expressing his "love for embellishments from different cultures" and was sorry some people felt "offended".

"My designs often pay tributes to artisanship, craftsmanship, traditions or various cultures," Louboutin said in a statement. "The world and its diversity has always been the core of my work."

The chappal is no stranger to controversy.

In 2014, British designer Paul Smith released a sandal that looked strikingly similar to the chappal with no initial mention of the Pakistani shoe, sparking fiery protests online and in the press in Pakistan.

Pakistani fashion designer Kamiar Rokni praised Louboutin´s latest creation, saying claims of cultural appropriation were misplaced in this instance.

"When you visit different parts of the world, you do get inspired... and that seeps into your design," said Rokni.

"There´s nothing wrong with somebody being inspired by the Peshawari chappal," he explained.

Far from the shoe boutiques of Paris, chappal makers and wearers in Peshawar, the northwestern Pakistani city near the Afghan border, greeted the arrival of the "Imran" with bemusement, pride, and some confused shrugs.

"I´m totally amazed," said Ghazan Khan -- a self-proclaimed chappal fanatic who has bought more than 20 pairs of the sandals in recent years alone.

"People are getting addicted to this kind of chappals, so it´s good," he added, while suggesting that local designers deserved a cut of the profits from the "Imran".

"[The chappal] is long-lasting and comfortable," said resident Abdul Rehman, adding that the sandal´s ventilation helped keep the foot cool in the area´s stifling heat. "I have been wearing chappals for all of my life and never used any other shoe," he added.

The shoe´s popularity had been in decline for years, according to chappal makers in Peshawar, as the country´s youth adopted more modern footwear tastes.

The trend was only reversed with the political ascent of former World Cup cricketing captain Imran Khan and his fondness for the shoe, spotlighted as he led mass protests in 2014.

Khan´s adoption of the chappal was part and parcel of a makeover the former cricketer and playboy has embraced since retiring from the sport, taking on a pious image in Pakistan to accompany his crusading populist agenda.

The ploy has largely succeeded, with Khan elected prime minister last year on promises to reign in corruption and cut back on excessive spending, while chappal sales have boomed as the youth seek to imitate the country´s new, stylish leader.

"I made chappals for Imran Khan when he was holding the protests in Islamabad... that´s why it has become famous and people overwhelmingly like them," explains Chacha Noor Din -- the owner of a string of shoe stores in Peshawar -- who counts the premier as a loyal customer and named a version of the shoe after him.

And while the chappal´s popularity continues to thrive in Peshawar and throughout the country´s northwest, fans of the traditional sandal are less convinced by Louboutin´s new take.

"I will not wear this shoe because it´s a ladies shoe," said Riaz-u-Din after looking at a picture of the "Imran" on a phone as he shopped for a pair of chappals. He insisted: "No one will wear it here in Peshawar."

#SriLankan MP calls for #burqa ban to prevent terrorists using face-covering garment to cover up their identity

#SriLankan MP calls for #burqa ban to prevent terrorists using face-covering garment to cover up their identity

#SriLankan MP calls for #burqa ban to prevent terrorists using face-covering garment to cover up their identity

Professor Ashu Marasinghe posted a picture of the proposed bill on Facebook

  • Sri Lankan MP said the face-covering garment is not traditional Muslim attire
  • Comes as PM Ranil Wickremesinghe warned there are more militants 'out there'

A Sri Lankan MP has called for the burqa to be banned across the country to prevent male and female terrorists using it to cover up their identity.

Professor Ashu Marasinghe, who is a member of the United National Party, declared on Facebook that he was going to present a private member's bill about the issue.

Posting a copy of the bill, Marasinghe said that the garment is not traditional Muslim attire, reports Ada Derana.

He went on to claim that both male and female terrorists have used the burqa in the past while committing atrocities. Marasinghe also called for the niqab to be outlawed.

On Easter Sunday, 321 people were killed - including at least 45 children - when seven suicide bombers attacked three luxury hotels and three churches.

Defence sources told Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror that female accomplices had escaped from a Dematagoda apartment complex wearing burqas.

Officers had been questioning a suspect in the building hours after the initial attacks when they set off a suicide bomb, killing three police officers.

Also Read: Four Bomb Blasts in Sri Lanka - death toll rises to 290 in 'brand-new type of terrorism'

Three suspects were detained there.
State minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said today that two different local Islamist groups were to blame for the co-ordinated blasts, but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe admitted there may be 'some links' with ISIS.

Wijewardene also told parliament that preliminary investigations suggested the co-ordinated blasts were 'in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch'. 

Marasinghe's call for a ban on the face-covering garments comes as Sri Lanka's prime minister warned there are more explosives and militants 'out there'.

Also Read: Three Sons of Asos billionaire killed in Sri Lanka attacks

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made the comment today at a news conference, and said some officials will likely lose their jobs over intelligence lapses surrounding the attack.

Security sources said a warning was sent from India two hours before the strike warning of a specific threat against churches.

One Sri Lankan source said a warning was also sent by the Indians on Saturday night.

The Indian government source said similar messages had been given to intelligence agents on April 4 and April 20.

Source Daily Mail

Professor Ashu Marasinghe posted a picture of the proposed bill on Facebook

Woman wakes up from from coma after 27-YEAR - who suffered brain injury protecting her son during a car crash in UAE

Woman wakes up from from coma after 27-YEAR - who suffered brain injury protecting her son during a car crash in UAE

Mother wakes up from 27-YEAR coma: Woman who suffered brain injury protecting her son during a car crash in UAE wakes up when she hears him arguing in her hospital room

  • Munira Abdulla, from United Arab Emirates, was involved in a car crash in 1991 
  • She suffered a brain injury after being hit by a school bus and fell into a coma
  • Spent the next 27 years in a vegetative state before showing signs of awareness 
  • Last year she regained the ability to speak, and can now have conversations 

A woman from the United Arab Emirates has regained consciousness after spending 27 years in a vegetative state. 

Munira Abdulla was aged 32 when she suffered a traumatic brain injury after the car she was riding in was hit by a bus near Al Ain in 1991.

But last year, following rehabilitation in Germany, she began to make noises as she tried to call out to son Omar after hearing him arguing in her hospital room.

Days later she uttered his name for the first time in decades, and now she is able to recite prayers and hold conversations with her loved ones.

Omar revealed her miraculous recovery in an interview with The National, describing how he was 'flying with joy' when she began speaking again.

He described how the accident occurred when he was four years old and needed to be brought home from kindergarten because there were no buses available.

Ms Abdulla's brother-in-law drove her to school to collect Omar and the family were driving home, with mother and child in the back seat, when they were hit by the bus.

What did she miss? 

Ms Abdulla fell into a vegetative state in 1991 before regaining consciousness last year.

Here are some of the events she will have missed in that time:

  • 1991: The collapse of the Soviet Union
  • 1993: Internet launched to the public
  • 1994: OJ Simpson murder trial
  • 1997: Death of Princess Diana 
  • 2001: First iPod launched
  • 2003: America invades Iraq 
  • 2007: First iPhone launched 
  • 2009: Michael Jackson dies
  • 2011: Osama bin Laden is killed
  • 2013: Nelson Mandela dies
  • 2016: Donald Trump elected 

As the bus hit, Ms Abdulla threw herself around her son to protect him from the impact. While she suffered a severe head injury, he escaped with just a bruise.

Omar described how his mother was left untreated for hours because the family were unable to call for help, before she was transferred to a clinic in London.

There, doctors diagnosed a vegetative state, meaning she was completely unresponsive but able to feel pain.

She was transferred back to the UAE and put on a ventilator and feeding tube to keep her alive, spending the next few decades hooked up to machines.

But in April 2017, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, heard of her case and gave her family a grant for treatment.

Ms Abdulla was flown to Germany where she underwent surgeries to repair her muscles while being given medication to improve her sleep patterns.

Around a year later she began making strange sounds, and within three days she called out to Omar using his name.

'It was her! She was calling my name, I was flying with joy; for years I have dreamt of this moment, and my name was the first word she said,' he said.

Now, she is able to call the names of her loved ones, recite prayers and hold conversations with people.

A medical report issued from Mafraq Hospital last month says that she is 'currently able to communicate with self and surrounding in a very reasonable manner especially in familiar situations.'

However, the report adds that she still needs regular physiotherapy to treat issues with her muscles.

Read more on Daily Mail

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

OLX Carfirst Holds another ‘Car-Bazaar’ In Lahore

OLX Carfirst Holds another ‘Car-Bazaar’ In Lahore

OLX Carfirst Holds another ‘Car-Bazaar’ In Lahore

OLX & CarFirst are holding another mega event to facilitate car-transactions. The CarBazaar event will now be held at the Packages Mall in Lahore on 28th April, with a commitment to provide the best deals for all segments of consumers.

The previous CarBazaar was held in November 2018, attracting over 10,000 visitors and this time, even more, turn out is expected.

OLX & CarFirst CarBazaar is a must-go event for buyers and sellers, who are looking for amazing offers on a wide range of automobiles. The visitors are invited to come and explore the free-to-enter event from 3 PM to 11 PM and check-out a large number of vehicles on display.

OLX and CarFirst have collaborated to promote the trading of used cars, while creating innovative digital and social platforms for the convenience of their customers. PSO has also joined as the title sponsor of CarBazaar, along with Bank Alfalah.

Usually, the other auto-shows, try to lure the customers by putting some flashy sports and vintage cars on display. The OLX and CarFirst CarBazaar is a unique event where serious business happens.

It serves as a one-stop solution for anyone who wants to buy and/or sell cars. Buyers and sellers can also avail the OLX ‘CarPro’ inspection service at the event and get a detailed digital report of 200 checkpoints on their car, within 15 minutes.

Sellers can bring their cars to this Free-Entry event, for display and trading. Before the event, the professional teams of OLX and CarFirst will thoroughly inspect every car, using state-of-the-art equipment.

Only the cars in suitable condition, with credible documentation, are approved. OLX & CarFirst have already selected more than 150 certified, used cars to be offered to the car-enthusiasts visiting the event.

The buyers will get the opportunity to choose and purchase the best-suited automobiles, along with selling their used cars at the best prices, on the spot, in the most convenient, transparent and secure manner. In addition to these facilities, the latest models offered by Mercedes Benz Pakistan will also be showcased at this CarBazaar.

Visitors will also have access to the largest number of dealers and partners of OLX and CarFirst, all under one roof, during the auction event. They can also evaluate the available inventories, featured on OLX with more than 20 Million page views daily, while the App has been downloaded by 5 million users. Over 50,000 conversations take place on OLX every day, with an ad being posted every 2 seconds.

A research study by Nielsen, validates these facts by indicating 87% awareness and preference level of OLX, in comparison with all other tech-company operating in classified and shopping category of Pakistan. According to another analytic website – Similar Web, OLX is Pakistan’s No.1 web platform (in terms of Engagement and Traffic in a local domain).

Three Sons of Asos billionaire killed in Sri Lanka attacks

Three Sons of Asos billionaire killed in Sri Lanka attacks

Three Sons of Asos billionaire killed in Sri Lanka attacks

All but one of Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children have died after series of explosions

Three children of the billionaire fashion tycoon behind Asos have been killed in the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks.

Anders Holch Povlsen is Denmark’s wealthiest man with a net worth of $7.9bn (£6.1bn), according to the business magazine Forbes, and is believed to be the largest landowner in Scotland after buying a string of historic estates.

He and his wife, Anne Storm Pedersen, hold an estimated 80,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of the Highlands, and plan to rewild the landscape to preserve it for future generations.

The bombings at churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday killed at least 290 people. An investigator said seven suicide bombers had taken part in the attacks.

Jesper Stubkier, the communications manager for Holch Povlsen’s wholesale clothing business, Bestseller, said: “I can confirm that three children have been killed. We have no further comment and we ask that the family’s privacy is respected at this time.”

Also Read: Four Bomb Blasts in Sri Lanka - death toll rises to 290 in 'brand-new type of terrorism'

The spokesman declined to comment on which of Holch Povlsen’s four children had died, or whether other members of the family had been visiting Sri Lanka.

Holch Povlsen is best known in the UK for being the largest shareholder in Asos. His 26.7% stake in the group, mostly built during a spell of share-buying between 2010 and 2012, is worth about £866m.

Though Asos’s stock market value has halved since March 2018, Povlsen has made a substantial profit from the investment, with his holding worth about double what he paid for it, according to calculations made by the Guardian.

Polvsen’s fortune includes his ownership of the Bestseller fashion business – which was founded by his parents, includes brands such as Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, and sold more than £40m of products to Asos last year. He took over the business when he was 28.

He also has a string of investments in land and property. The Povlsens have acquired five country sports estates between Ben Loyal and Eriboll, close to the village of Tongue in the Highlands, as well as several stalking estates further south such as Glenfeshie, the couple’s home in the Cairngorms. Many include luxury holiday and hunting lodges for rent.

Through one of his UK companies, Polvsen also owns Berkertex House, a commercial property on Oxford Street in London, which he acquired in 2014 for £105m.

He has also been touted as one of the tycoons who could cause the Shard to lose its title as the tallest skyscraper in western Europe. This year, Povlsen announced plans for a 320-metre (1,050ft) skyscraper, nicknamed Bestseller Tower, which is expected to be built in Brande, a town of 7,000 people in rural Jutland.

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Tecno Camon i4 – Campaign that Rocked the Minds!

Tecno Camon i4 – Campaign that Rocked the Minds!

Tecno Camon i4 – Campaign that Rocked the Minds!

Tecno Mobile is one of a leading mobile company, has recently launched Camon i4 in a seamless way. The hype in the local newspapers took a serious toll; TECNO gradually revealed their phone by launching the different aspects one by one in the newspaper. The four advertisements were being featured in the local newspaper of which the first one had a teaser that the new launch is named as Camon i4.

Second day the Dot Notch Display feature was focused in the advertisement that holds the selfie camera along with proximity and light sensors. Dot-notch is the latest trend in the market and gives away more of screen space to user.

Third day featured the Triple Rear AI Cameras, teasing the audience the upcoming phone will have triple camera feature and finally right after the launch event the specifications and price of the phone was revealed.
The entire process of the launch was one of the most appealing process because TECNO unveiled its phone with a great hype and suspense. Initially, the phone was being rumored to be launched followed by a collaboration with an RJ and the people who pre-booked their phone were also invited to their launch event as well followed with creative campaign in local newspaper. 

Furthermore launch event of Camon i4 took place and it was hosted by none other than the most humorous public figures being Cybil Chauhdary and Ahmed Ali Butt. This event was also attended by numerous celebrities and the event also featured some remarkable words by the directors and managers of the Tecno Mobile.

Camon i4 stands out with the product slogan of “Capture More Beauty” which reflects the triple camera, which is one of the most breathtaking feature in this mobile phone added with 6.2 inch dot-notch display in the Camon Series. The best part is the reasonable price of just Rs.21, 499/-.

TECNO has given share of introduction of Camon i4 really well and this shows how much of their creativity exists in their ideas and will be expected in the mobile too.

Monday, April 22, 2019

LG Electronics unveils its latest lineup of 2019 audio systems

LG Electronics unveils its latest lineup of 2019 audio systems

LG Electronics unveils its latest lineup of 2019 audio systems

From sound bars and mini components to portable speakers, new audio systems from LG deliver superior sound at home and on-the-go

Karachi / Dubai: 22 April 2019 – LG Electronics (LG) recently unveiled its latest lineup of 2019 audio systems set to transform the way people experience sound in the Middle East and Africa region.

At InnoFest MEA, LG’s annual celebration of innovation, the company’s flagship SoundBar for 2019 was showcased. The SL10YG features a powerful output of 5.1.2ch 570W sound bar and superior technology from Meridian Audio, housed in an elegant body, with understated design. Meridian’s Bass & Space technology enables the SL10YG to create strong bass, alongside a rich, textured sound for a definitive listening experience. Meridian Image Elevation works to enhance the listener’s sense of immersion, lifting audio to create sound that not only surrounds the room, but also complements what is on screen to provide a greater sense of realism.

With up-firing and side-firing speakers, the SL10YG supports widely acclaimed Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X technologies to provide an added layer of precision and clarity. LG’s SL10YG SoundBar also supports high-resolution audio via an advanced processing algorithm that can upconvert conventional audio file formats, bringing output closer to studio quality. For ultimate convenience, the LG Soundbar also features Google Assistant – requests are simply a voice command away.

For a more streamlined form, the sleek SL9YG SoundBar can be installed flush to the wall to save space. Its unique design also saw the SoundBar honored in the ‘Best of Innovation’ category at the CES 2019 Innovation Awards. With an integrated gyroscope sensor, the SoundBar can determine its own position to adjust sound directionally and provide an optimal listening experience. Meanwhile, LG’s SL8YG has been designed with Adaptive Sound Control – analyzing frequency levels to refine sound, based on the content being watched. For added comfort, the sound bars feature high quality audio is delivered via both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Built-in Google Chromecast enables users to play their favorite tracks, podcasts or footage via their smartphone. 

The sound bars also feature Meridian UpMixer to provide users with the ability to up-mix two-channel audio to multiple, distinct channels. Through LG’s partnership with Meridian, audio distortion is eliminated, and clarity and tonal balance maintained.

For supercharged audio, LG’s XBOOM Mini has been designed with parties in mind. The flagship CL98 features a solid output of 3,500W, complete with deep, resonant low-frequency performance courtesy of its powerful 10-inch subwoofer. Its Compression Horn generates crisper and more detailed audio across higher frequencies, whilst LG’s Party Accelerator+ feature enables users to build their music to a pulsating crescendo, complete with flashing lights. An easy-to-use DJ App (available for Android and iOS devices) provides access to a range of effects such as Scratch Mixing and DJ Loop.

The LG XBOOM Mini CL65D offers a 950W output and has a built-in DVD player to enable users to enjoy a cinematic experience at home. To entertain the household and guests further, the CL65D also features Karaoke Star – with 18 vocal effects to give each person their own unique sound. Multi Color Lighting adds to the party-like atmosphere, with various presets and the ability to sync tracks with the lighting system. Listeners can even use LG’s Bluetooth App to connect the mini component with up to three smartphones simultaneously. Users can take turns to play tracks or collaborate and make shared playlists to carry the party on into the night.

At InnoFest MEA, LG also showcased its XBOOM OneBody speakers. The OL100 and OL55D boast Grab & Move Handles for portability and added durability. The 2,000W Output OL100 features LG’s Blast Horn technology to with a folded air duct behind the driver to improve high-frequency sound and bass reproduction. Through LG’s partnership with Meridian, the XBOOM OneBody speakers use Clear Vocal and Enhanced Bass features to provide strong audio performance in a single unit, without compromise.

Catering to people on the move, XBOOM Go Bluetooth speakers offer the superior sound quality LG is synonymous with, encapsulated in portable, easy-to-carry forms. The XBOOM Go PK7 is designed with dual tweeters which create a wide sound field, alongside fine detail. The PK7, PK5 and PK3 are all equipped with Dual Passive Radiators to ensure that exceptional bass performance is available in a range of sizes. LG’s XBOOM Go speakers are designed with outdoor use in mind. 

The PK7 and PK5 are weatherproof (IPX5), whilst the PK3 (IPX7) is waterproof – enduring splashes by the poolside with ease. With Dual Play Connectivity and long lasting battery life (PK7: 24hrs, PK5: 15hrs, PK3: 11hrs), each of the XBOOM Go speakers ensures that a premium listening experience can be achieved on-the-go.

Four Bomb Blasts in Sri Lanka - death toll rises to 290 in 'brand-new type of terrorism'

Four Bomb Blasts in Sri Lanka - death toll rises to 290 in 'brand-new type of terrorism'

Four Bomb Blasts in Sri Lanka - death toll rises to 290 in 'brand-new type of terrorism'

(CNN)At least 290 people are now known to have died in a coordinated attack on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, in what officials have called a "brand-new type of terrorism."

Police have arrested 24 people in connection with the suicide bombs, which injured at least 500 people, in the worst violence the South Asian island has seen since its bloody civil war ended 10 years ago.

Authorities were facing accusations that they had failed to act on a warning received ten days before the atrocity that an Islamist group was preparing an attack.

There were fears of more devices: A ninth improvised explosive device (IED) was defused near the capital's Bandaranaike International Airport on Sunday evening, according to an Air Force spokesman.

Most of the dead and injured were Sri Lankan. Of the foreign nationals who died, five were British citizens, two of whom held dual US-UK nationality; as well as three Indians, two Australians, two Chinese cousins, one person from the Netherlands, two Turkish citizens and one Portuguese national. The blasts appears to have targeted tourism hotspots, as well as churches, in an effort to gain maximum global attention.

No group has claimed responsibility, but Sri Lankan Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said the "terrorist incident" was carried out by followers of "religious extremism."

On Sunday evening, a leaked memo revealed that police were warned of a potential attack by an Islamist group known as the Nations Thawahid Jaman (NTJ), ten days before the Easter Sunday bombings. It is unclear whether the details contained in the warning matched the atrocity that eventually took place.

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said the intelligence was not shared with him or other ministers. Sajith Premadasa, minister of housing construction and cultural affairs, said officers were guilty of "negligence and incompetence."

There were doubts that the NTJ, a little-known group which has previously defaced Buddhist statues, would have had the capacity to carry out such a sophisticated and coordinated attack alone. Transnational Islamists are known to operate in places like Pakistan, Malaysia and the Philippines.

But Dhruva Jaishankar, a fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at Brookings India, said that little is known about Islamic radicalism in Sri Lanka and that it was "premature" to speculate on which organizations might have been involved.

A social media blackout was enforced in the aftermath of the attacks as authorities attempted to contain the violence and establish who carried out the attacks. A curfew was imposed from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. local time.


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