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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Dunya TV News

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Zardari to appear before Accountability Court today


KARACHI (Dunya News)) - Former president Asif Ali Zardari will appear before Accountability Court today (Thursday) to submit his response on references filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Former president is expected to be indicted on his appearance.Asif Ali Zardari was earlier summoned in court on at least five corruption references filed by NAB but didn't appear before the court due to security issues and presidential immunity when he was still in the office.Zardari's cases were reopened in October with NAB submitting that his presidential immunity ended as he stepped down. Defense attorney Farooq H. Naek had pleaded the extensions owing to the pertinent threats faced by the former president.Sindh High Court had earlier permitted the former president to use bullet proof vehicles with tinted glass and bear additional security on his own expenses. Former president had failed to appear three times and the court had adjourned the hearing until January 9.Zardari is now ready to face charges and will appear before Accountability Court on the summoned date to submit his response. Former president might be indicted on his appearance before the court.

13,000 families flee Fallujah: Iraqi Red Crescent


BAGHDAD (AFP) - More than 13,000 families have fled Fallujah in the past few days amid clashes and shelling after the city fell to Al-Qaeda-linked militants, the Iraqi Red Crescent said on Wednesday.Most of them are now living in schools, public buildings or with relatives, Red Crescent official Mohammed al-Khuzaie said in a statement.Khuzaie said the organisation had provided humanitarian assistance to more than 8,000 families in the past three days across predominantly Sunni Arab Anbar province.Fallujah and parts of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi farther west have been outside government control for days -- the first time militants have exercised such open control in major cities since the height of the insurgency that followed the US-led invasion of 2003.The violence in Anbar, which began on December 30 with the removal of a Sunni Arab anti-government protest camp, has killed more than 250 people -- the worst unrest to hit the province in years.

US Energy Secretary cancels India visit


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will no longer travel to India as planned next week, an official of theU.S. Energy Department said on Wednesday, the most serious repercussion yet in a row over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York.I can confirm that Secretary Moniz is no longer traveling to India next week, the official told Reuters. We have been in conversation with Indian counterparts about the dates, and we have agreed to hold the dialogue in the near future at a mutually convenient date.Monizs trip is the latest and most serious casualty in an escalating row over the treatment of Devyani Khobragade, Indias deputy consul in New York. India is furious at her arrest, handcuffing and strip search last month after being accused by U.S. prosecutors of underpaying her nanny and lying on a visa application.

Tennis: Del Potro to face Czech hero in Sydney quarters


SYDNEY (AFP) - Juan Martin del Potro dropped the opening set before beating Nicolas Mahut to secure a quarter-final spot against Czech Davis Cup hero Radek Stepanek at the Sydney International on Wednesday.The Argentine, playing his first match of the year, rallied from a set down to beat Frenchman Mahut 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in his tournament opener after receiving a first-round bye.World number five Del Potro will play Stepanek on Thursday for a place in the semi-finals after Stepanek defeated Spaniard Albert Ramos 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).For my first match in two months it was okay, Del Potro said. The court and the balls are really fast and it's tough to play long rallies.Mahut serves really well and he played a lot of slices and volleys, so it was tough to feel the ball on the baseline.In the end I broke his serve in the third set, only once, and that was enough to close the match.Del Potro said Stepanek will be a tough opponent early in the season.They won the Davis Cup, so he must feel confident playing on this surface. He has experience. We play many times. Every match was close, he said.I need to improve my game a little bit from the start of the match and then see what happens.Stepanek became the first player to win decisive fifth rubbers in consecutive Davis Cup finals, against Serbia in Belgrade in November.Del Potro is seeded to meet former champion Dmitry Tursunov in the last four after the Russian fourth seed eliminated Czech Lukas Rosol 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in his second-round match on Wednesday.Tursunov has a last eight encounter with Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, who ousted seventh seed Marin Cilic of Croatia, 6-3, 6-4.Bernard Tomic kept his Sydney title defence on track with a three-set victory over Slovenian qualifier Blaz Kavcic, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.Tomic's controversial father John, who was banned from gaining accreditation to ATP events for 12 months, was spotted in the stands with tournament organisers allowing him to attend as a spectator.It was Kavcic's third or fourth match. He qualified and won against Jarkko Nieminen, who was a winner here in the past, Tomic said.I knew his scores were solid and it was going to be a tough match. Would have loved to finish it off in two sets, but I'm happy I won in the end.Tomic will face Alexandr Dolgopolov in the quarters after the Ukrainian knocked out Polish second seed Jerzy Janowicz 6-2, 6-2. Australian wildcard Marinko Matosevic upset Italian third seed Andreas Seppi, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last eight.Matosevic, the world No.56, had never won a main-draw match in Australia before this new season but is now through to back-to-back quarter-finals after also reaching the last eight at last week's Brisbane International.Matosevic, 28, dominated Seppi from the outset and was impressive on serve, going 10 service games without facing a break point.I do it regularly overseas (reach quarters), but to do it in Australia feels good. And to beat someone like Andreas who is 20 in the world, he's a quality player, Matosevic said.Matosevic, who lost to Roger Federer in Brisbane, will next face Ukraine qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky, who ousted French sixth seed Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday.

Tennis: Greats Federer and Laver trade shots in Melbourne


MELBOURNE (AFP) - Two of the greatest ever tennis players, Rod Laver and Roger Federer, traded a few shots for the first time on Wednesday, with the usually unflappable Swiss champion admitting he was nervous.Australian legend Laver, the only man twice to have won all four grand slam tournaments in a calendar year, surprised 17-time grand slam tournament winner Federer at the charity event in Melbourne.The 75-year-old took to the Melbourne Park court named in his honour wearing a vest, shorts and tennis shoes. He briefly traded shots with Federer before the Swiss player took on Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in an exhibition match.Federer admitted he was nervous about rallying with Laver.The racquet feels a little heavy right now, I must say, he said.The 32-year-old Swiss famously showed his deep respect for the Australian when he burst into tears after winning the 2006 Australian Open, with Laver watching on the winner's dais.Wednesday's exhibition match at the Rod Laver Arena was organised by Federer to raise money for his foundation, which supports education for underprivileged children in southern Africa.

Tennis: Kvitova, Pironkova, Keys, Kerber into Sydney semis


SYDNEY (AFP) - Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova won the battle of the Czech left-handers to reach the semi-finals of the Sydney International on Wednesday.The second seed overcame world number 27 Lucie Safarova 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 for her 300th career win to advance to the last four, where she will face Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who upset top seed Agnieszka Radwanska, retired with a back injury while trailing fellow American Madison Keys 3-2 in their night quarter-final.Keys will face German fifth seed Angelique Kerber, who ousted Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-4.It was only the second meeting between Kvitova and Safarova, who are Fed Cup teammates.Lucie's a good friend of mine. We know each other well on and off court because we practised a lot together in the Fed Cup team, Kvitova said.So I exactly know what she can play. I knew what she will try, and I try to do my best there.Kvitova thrashed American Christina McHale 6-1, 6-0 in her opening match and is in a better frame of mind than last year, when she was a first-round loser to Slovakia's Dominika Cibulokva. I'm feeling much better than last year and the results show it, she said.I was really glad I started here better than last year. I didn't have really nice memories from my last year here.Kvitova, who beat Maria Sharapova for the Wimbledon crown three years ago, is the highest seed left in the Sydney draw following Tuesday's defeat of Agnieszka Radwanska.My serve was great today. It helped me a lot. She's a lefty so it's tricky, too. It's tough to play her for sure, she said.Pironkova, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2010, upset third seed Sara Errani of Italy 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.Mattek-Sands said she withdrew to nurse her body through to next week's Australian Open and beyond.I've been through my share of injuries. Once you start compensating too much on the court other things start hurting, she said.For me, I want to take care of my body. It's not even just about Australian Open, it's about the rest of my year.

Football: Stomach bug sidelines Barcelona's Neymar


MADRID (AFP) - Barcelonas Brazilian forward Neymar has come down with a stomach bug and will miss the domestic Kings Cup clash at home to Getafe on Wednesday, the club said.The Brazilian striker turned up this morning at the stadium with a bout of gastroenteritis. After the doctors saw him, they recommended that he go home and rest, the club said in an online statement.The 21-year-olds last-minute withdrawal led coach Tata Martino to call up Xavi Hernandez to complete the 18-player squad for Wednesdays match at the Camp Nou, Barcelona said.Star striker Lionel Messi has been included in the team after recovering from a hamstring injury.The 26-year-old four-time World Player of the Year has not played since tearing his hamstring in Barcas 4-1 win over Real Betis on November 10.After beginning his treatment for the injury in Barcelona, Messi returned to his native Argentina to continue his recovery in December.He returned to Barcelona last week and resumed training with his teammates.

Oil market edge higher before US stockpiles report


LONDON (AFP) - Global oil prices held firm on Wednesday, as dealers sat on the sidelines ahead of an upcoming US stockpiles report, while a record-breaking North American cold snap provided support. New York's main contract West Texas Intermediate for February delivery added just four cents to $93.71 a barrel.Brent North crude gained 12 cents to stand at $107.47 a barrel in early afternoon London deals.Crude futures have been hit in recent days as an oil field in Libya stepped up production after the government there convinced residents to lift a five-month blockade.The market has just pulled a bit (higher) at this stage after a few days of steep decline for WTI, Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP.I think investors have gone into the wait-and-see mode prior to the release of the inventory data, he said.The US Energy Information Administration will release the official stockpiles report later Wednesday. Estimates from 11 analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal showed US stockpiles are projected to have fallen 600,000 barrels on average in the week to January 3.US stockpile levels are keenly monitored by investors as it is an indicator of demand in the world's largest largest economy and the biggest oil consuming nation.Prices were also underpinned by a boost in demand for heating fuel following a record-breaking cold snap in North America. All of Canada and all the US states bar tropical Hawaii recorded temperatures below freezing on Tuesday, even usually sunny and warm Florida and California.The drastic drop in temperatures has been attributed to a shift in a weather pattern known as the polar vortex, which has coincided with wind chill warnings across the eastern seaboard. Spooner said a prolonged spell of bad weather could put pressure on prices because the whole economy loses production due to disrupted services.

New Pietersen row reveals old tensions


LONDON (AFP) - Controversy has been as much a part of Kevin Pietersen's career as linseed oil in an old bat, so the fact several British newspapers carried reports Wednesday of England coach Andy Flower issuing a 'he goes or I go' ultimatum came as no great surprise.Both the 33-year-old Pietersen, who finished as the tourists' top scorer in the series despite managing just 294 runs at a rate of 29.40, and Flower did their best to rubbish the reports in bland public statements.But it seems new England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Paul Downton will have to decide if the talented shotmaker remains 'worth the trouble'.According to former England seamer Mike Selvey, the long-serving cricket correspondent of the Guardian, Flower's view was clear.Detrimental to the future development of the side'So adamant is Flower that the presence of Pietersen in the dressing room is detrimental to the future development of the side that he is believed to be prepared to resign his position should Downton, James Whitaker, the new national selector, and Alastair Cook -- if he retains the captaincy -- insist that Pietersen should be a part of that process, Selvey wrote.There is also the question of whether Pietersen's chronic knee injury means his best days are now behind him, despite his stated desire to score 10,000 Test runs -- a goal which, if he reaches it, is likely to help, not hinder, England's prospects.Indeed Pietersen's maiden Test century has a claim to being England's most important of the 21st century so far, given that it secured the draw that saw England regain the Ashes in 2005 after a 19-year gap since their last series win over Australia.On a day when conventional 'bat for a draw' tactics simply led a to a flurry of wickets at the other end, Pietersen audaciously counter-attacked bowlers of the calibre of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Shane Warne.And in Mumbai in 2012 he made 186 against India on a spinners' pitch where most batsmen were struggling just to stay at the crease.England's desire to have a captain across all three formats saw the lanky shotmaker given the job in 2008.But a falling-out with coach Peter Moores -- not to mention his then assistant Flower -- meant Pietersen's tenure lasted barely five months before both men lost their posts. Last year's Headingley Test against South Africa encapsulated Pietersen's England career.Having produced a match-saving century where Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were treated like club bowlers, Pietersen gave an equally stunning post-match press conference in which he proclaimed it's tough being me in this dressing room.The comments chimed with the idea of Pietersen the mercenary, after he clashed with England's management over his desire to play more often in the lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League.Soon afterwards it emerged he'd sent provocative texts allegedly critical of then England captain Andrew Strauss to South African players. Pietersen was briefly dropped by England, only to be recalled when Cook took over following Strauss's retirement.Few people were more admiring of Pietersen's innings at Headingley than Geoffrey Boycott, coincidentally the most controversial England player of his generation, although in his case he faced accusations of not being a team man on account of scoring too slowly.Roll on a few months, and Boycott was calling Pietersen a mug and all the top order one-day clowns.There is a case for saying a truly great batsman would, at least at some point, have found a way to steer a middle course.But, as former England captain Mike Brearley once wrote, it's wishful to think a tortoise can ever jump like a gazelle.And after the Sydney thrashing, Michael Vaughan -- the first England captain Pietersen played under -- said: I hope England do not take the easy way out of this mess by making Kevin Pietersen the victim for the Ashes whitewash.Speaking late last month, Pietersen put his own case: Clearly I've made a few mistakes -- and that's been highlighted -- but I won't change the way I play for anybody because I think I've been pretty successful.You take the rough with the smooth. That is what happens.Yet successive England teams have appeared to put as high a price on social conformity as actual playing ability.They don't want me but they want my runs, Boycott once remarked of his England career. The same rueful 'epitaph' may yet apply to Pietersen too.

England duo bring down bridge 'jump' man


LONDON (AFP) - England cricketers Matt Prior and Stuart Broad helped rescue a man preparing to jump off a bridge near the team hotel in Sydney.Britains Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday that wicketkeeper Prior helped pull the man away from the edge of the bridge in Darling Harbour and chatted to him along with fast bowler Broad for almost an hour before New South Wales police arrived on the scene.We just did what anybody would do in that situation, said Prior.We were trying to help a bloke who was struggling and in a bad way. I look back and Im just glad we left the bar when we did and we were there for him.The players believe the unnamed man was British. He had thrown his telephone, passport and wallet in the water. Initially the players thought he was standing on the railings of the bridge for a dare before realising the seriousness of the situation.They were returning from a Barmy Army supporters event on Tuesday night raising funds for the Broad Appeal, a charity founded in honour of Broads late stepmother to raise money and awareness to combat Motor Neurone Disease.Terry Minish, the teams security officer, was with the England pair and claimed the man -- who said he was from Cheltenham, south-west England -- had indicated he wanted to drown. He had reportedly already thrown his telephone, passport and wallet into the water.Walking back to the hotel we spotted a young man on the edge of the bridge about to jump, Minish said.He was saying he just wanted to drown. Matt helped to pull him down off the edge of the bridge and sat with him until the police arrived.It all happened very quickly and we acted on impulse. It is what you do in these situations.

Attorney General Munir A Malik to step down


KARACHI: (Dunya News) – Attorney General of Pakistan Munir A Malik has decided to resign and will step down from the post in next 48 hours, Dunya News reported. Malik was appointed by the government on the said position six months ago.Attorney General says he's unable to continue performing his duties due to ageing and has thus decided to resign. Other reports also suggested that the Attorney General wants to go abroad for treatment of his wife. According to sources, Malik will leave office in next forty eight hours.Malik had played a vital role during Lawyers Movement for restoration of judiciary and was considered a close ally of the former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Munir A Malik has also served as president Supreme Court Bar Association.

England cricketers talk man out of suicide bid


(Reuters) - England cricketers Matt Prior and Stuart Broad turned Good Samaritans after talking a man out of jumping off a bridge in Darling Harbour, Sydney, media reports said on Wednesday.Wicketkeeper Prior was with fast bowler Broad and England security officer Terry Minish when they spotted the unnamed man, who was thought to be English, about to jump.We just did what anyone would do in that situation, Prior was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph.It all happened very quickly and we acted on impulse, said Prior, who was dropped after the third test of England's 5-0 Ashes thrashing by Australia.Broad and Prior had been at a fund-raising event organized by the Barmy Army (England's fan club) before spotting the man, said Minish. They talked to him for almost an hour before police arrived.We were trying to help a bloke who was struggling and in a bad way. I'm just glad we left the bar when we did and we were there for him, he said.Broad said on Twitter: I'm very proud of him (Prior). It was a tough situation but so glad he was there.

Aam Aadmi Party office attacked over Prashants Kashmir remarks


NEW DELHI (Web Desk) - The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) office at Kaushambi, in neighbouring Ghaziabad, was attacked on Wednesday by workers of a fringe Hindu group - Hindu Raksha Dal - who were protesting party leader Prashant Bhushan's remarks on Kashmir.A mob of about 50-60 workers pelted stones at AAP's Kaushambi office around 11.00am.Bhupender Tomar spokesperson of the Hindu Raksha Dal's Ghaziabad wing said that the act was carried out to oppose Bhushan's statement over Kashmir and insisted that Kashmir is an inseparable part of India.When Prashant Bhushan had said this earlier, I had beaten him up in his chamber as well. We can't tolerate this, said Vishnu Gupta, an activist of the Hindu Raksha Dal.Bhushan had said that a referendum should be carried out in Kashmir before deployment of the army to deal with internal security threats in the Valley.In a statement on Monday, Bhushan had said that he believed Kashmir is an integral part of India.Any reference to referendum should not be misconstrued to mean plebiscite on Kashmir's relationship with India, Bhushan said.In 2011, Bhushan supported a plebiscite in Kashmir and told a TV channel that a referendum should be carried out in Kashmir to decide on deployment of the army in the Valley.The AAP office at Kaushambi is located not far from the residence of AAP convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. The incident also raises questions over Kejriwal's decision to deny security cover.They barged into the AAP office, stoned it heavily shattering windows, broke flower pots and abused AAP leaders, said AAP leader Dilip Pandey.Pandey said they were from a group called Hindu Raksha Dal.All our volunteers were asked to get inside (the office) when the attack took place, Pandey said, adding the attackers raised slogans against a particular community.The attackers, in their 20s and 30s, came in four or five cars. Before fleeing after some 20 minutes, the attackers threatened to attack AAP leaders in the future too.They had lathis and threw bricks at us. Fortunately our door was closed, otherwise many would have been injured, said an AAP volunteer.

PIA privatization approved: 26pc shares up for grabs


ISLAMABAD: (Dunya News) – Zubair Umer, chairman Privatization Commission Board chaired the first meeting here on Wednesday and approved the proposed strategies and roadmaps to privatize at least three national institutions, one of which is national airline Pakistan International Airline. Other two are National Power Construction and Heavy Electric Complex.According to the approved strategy, 26% of the shares of national airline will be sold and the privatization will be akin to that of PTCL where liabilities will not be transferred to the buyer. National airlines' losses have crossed rupees 180 billion as of last week as per reports.Session of Privatization Commission Board will resume on Thursday where OGDCL and PPL are expected to be approved for privatization.Statement from the privatization commission board says that the board will take every step to ensure protection of rights of the employees during the process.According to British media, government is expected to gain at least 20 billion rupees by selling 5% shares of Pakistan Petroleum Limited, 70 to 80 billion rupees by selling 10% shares of Oil and Gas Development Company, 15 billion rupees by selling 10% shares of United Bank Limited, 40 to 50 billion rupees by selling 20% shares of Habib Bank Limited and another 10 billion rupees by selling 10% shares of Allied Bank Limited.The discussion about pros and cons of selling shares of Pakistan Steel Mills, Heavy Electrical Complex, Faisalabad and Islamabad electric supplying companies and thermal power station Muzaffargarh also came under advisement during the session.As per the loan agreement with International Monetary Fund (IMF), government is supposed to privatize 32 entities within next three years.Government had appointed Muhammad Zubair of its economic think tank as the chief of Privatization Commission.Interestingly, Muhammad Zubair is brother of Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf leader Asad Umer.

Space weather forces Orbital to postpone cargo launch


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Turbulent space weather forced Orbital Sciences on Wednesday to postpone the launch of its unmanned Cygnus spacecraft on its first regular contract flight to supply the International Space Station.The Cygnus spacecraft had been set to take off at midday atop an Antares rocket carrying 2,780 pounds (1,260 kilograms) of gear including science experiments, supplies and hardware.However, a potent solar flare caused increased levels of space radiation that might have damaged the spacecrafts electronics.Early this morning the Antares launch team decided to scrub todays launch attempt due to an unusually high level of space radiation, Orbital said in a statement.The levels were caused by solar eruptions late Tuesday that exceeded by a considerable margin the constraints imposed on the mission to ensure the rockets electronic systems are not impacted by a harsh radiation environment.Orbital said it would consult with NASA and space weather experts and continue to monitor the levels of space radiation with a goal of setting a new launch date as soon as possible.If Thursday is approved for a launch attempt, the liftoff time from Wallops Island, Virginia would be 1:10 pm (1810 GMT), allowing the cargo ship to reach the ISS by January 12.The attempt was previously delayed in December due to a cooling system breakdown at the ISS, which required American astronauts to make two spacewalks in order to replace an ammonia cooling pump.When the launch goes ahead, it will mark the companys second trip to the orbiting outpost, coming on the heels of a successful demonstration launch in September.That mission proved that the company can reliably carry out regularly scheduled operational missions to the ISS for NASA, said David Thompson, Orbitals chairman and chief executive officer.Orbital has a contract with NASA worth 1.9 billion dollars for eight cargo resupply missions to the global space lab.Orbital and SpaceX are two private companies that have stepped in to ensure the United States ability to reach the orbiting outpost, after the retirement of the 30-year space shuttle program in 2011.SpaceX, owned by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, became the first commercial entity to reach the space station with its Dragon cargo ship in 2012, and has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.Unlike SpaceXs Dragon capsule, Cygnus cannot return to Earth intact but will burn up on re-entry into Earths atmosphere, disposing of any unwanted cargo.
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