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Stalled India-Pakistan talks to figure in Sharif-Obama meeting

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Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will discuss the stalled dialogue between Pakistan and India with US President Barack Obama during their upcoming meeting on October 22, adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs and national security Sartaj Aziz said.

“A number of other issues would also be discussed between the US president and Sharif,” Dawn quoted Aziz as saying on Monday.

He said Indian state institutions, including the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), are involved in terror activities in Pakistan, adding that there would be no compromise on Pakistan’s foreign policy. Rising tensions between the two countries are “hazardous to world peace”, he added.

Aziz said the dossier alleging Indian involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan, which was given to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last month, would also be shared with other friendly countries.

The comments came after the Delhi-bound Samjhauta Express, carrying both Indian and Pakistani passengers, was recently called back from the Wagah border to the Lahore railway station after Indian authorities cautioned their Pakistani counterparts of disruptive farmers protests in India’s Punjab province.

(IANS)

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Ex-Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif Indicted on Corruption Charges

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Muhammad Safdar
Muhammad Safdar, husband of Maryam Nawaz, daughter of ousted Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif, waves from a a vehicle as he arrives at an accountability court in Islamabad. VOA

Islamabad, October 19: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been indicted on corruption charges stemming from information taken from the so-called “Panama Papers.”

The country’s anti-corruption court indicted the 67-year-old Sharif during a hearing Thursday in Islamabad. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammed Safdar were also indicted. Maryam Sharif and Mohammed Safdar appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A lawyer for the elder Sharif, who is in London with his wife as she undergoes cancer treatment, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Maryam Sharif angrily dismissed the allegations as “baseless.”

Sharif was disqualified by Pakistan’s Supreme Court and removed from office in July after leaked documents last year from a Panama-based law firm revealed the family held a number of unreported overseas assets.(VOA)

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Did You Hear about the New Species of Spiders Named After Leonardo DiCaprio, Bernie Sanders and Barrack Obama?

The new species of spiders have been named in honor of leaders and artists who promoted sensible approaches for a better world

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Did you hear about the Bernie Sanders spider? (representational image) Pixabay

Vermont, September 30, 2017 : What if we tell you that a team of researchers has recognized and named 15 new species of spiders in the Caribbean after your favorite stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders?

Not in Hollywood, Washington, DC or Vermont – but you might now be able to catch a glimpse of Spintharus davidattenboroughi, S. barackobamai, S, michelleobamaae, S. berniesandersi, S. davidbowiei along with S. leonardodicaprioi on the Caribbean islands and some other southern spots.

Ingi Agnarsson, expert of spiders and professor of biology at University of Vermont, who led the new study revealed the rationale behind the undergraduate study and on choosing the intriguing names. “(We) wanted to honor people who stood up for both human rights and warned about climate change—leaders and artists who promoted sensible approaches for a better world”, he said.

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The Smiley-Faced Spider

Popularly recognized as a global hotspot for biodiversity, there continues to be several species in the Caribbean that are outside the spectrum of research and study. This includes the ‘smiley faced’ spider in the genus Spintharus- named for a smiley face pattern on their abdomens.

Previously recognized as one widespread species, researchers from the UVM discovered that there exist many more endemic species within the genus, 15 of which have been recognized in the research.

These samples were collected from Florida, South Carolina, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, the Lesser Antilles and Columbia.

Each team member got to decide names for the new species of spiders. Alongside naming them after friends and family members, many species have been named after distinguished figures.

“We all named the Bernie Sanders spider together,” said Lily Sargeant, one of the students who worked on the project. “We all have tremendous respect for Bernie. He presents a feeling of hope.”

Some of the other names include,

Spintharus davidbowiei

Named after the great artist David Bowie, who passed away in 2016. His music will continue to inspire generations and the authors decided to honor his legacy by naming a spider in his name.

Spintharus barackobamai

Named after the widely popular, and largely loved, former President of the United States Barack Obama. The authors love him for his statesmanship and humanitarianism, and named the spider species after him, to honor their president and his devoted service.

Spintharus michelleobamaae

Named in honor of the Former First Lady of the United States for her poise, confidence and elegance, her fight for human rights and for always striving to uphold the principles of justice, fairness and equality for all.

Spintharus davidattenboroughi

The authors of the research also named a species of spiders after the naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, to recognize and celebrate his efforts to educate people of the wonders of the natural world and sowing a seed of caring for nature in humanity.

The study has been published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

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NAB Court Issues Arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif’s Children, Son in Law on Corruption Charges

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Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz Sharif. wikimedia

Islamabad, Sep 26: The National Accountability Bureau court in Pakistan issued arrest warrants for the children and son-in-law of the former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The arrest warrants were issued after they failed to appear for a hearing in the court on Tuesday.

The court also announced that it would indict next week Nawaz Sharif for corruption, reports Efe news.

“Judge Mohammed Bashir issued arrest warrants with the possibility of bail against his children Hasan, Husain and Maryam and her (Maryam’s) husband Mohamed Safdar Awan because they did not appear before the court and ordered them to do so on October 2,” the court’s spokesperson Mohamed Irfan said.

The bail amount was fixed at 1 million rupees ($9,490) for each.

Khawaja Haris, the lawyer of the Sharifs, argued that Sharif’s children could not appear before the court as they were in London with their mother Kulsoom, who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

The former Prime Minister, after missing the first hearing on September 19 because he was in London, attended Tuesday’s hearing to request permission to miss the next hearing due to his wife’s illness.

The judge said the court would indict him on corruption charges on October 2, for which his presence would be necessary. After that, it would decide if he was required to continue to appear for the hearings.

The Sharifs had been summoned before the court on September 15 after the National Accountability Bureau, an anti-corruption body, opened three cases against them following an order by the Supreme Court on July 28.

The three cases are related to ownership of the property at an exclusive zone in London, the creation of the firms Azizia Steel and Hill Metal and the Flagship investment firm as well as another 15 companies.

On July 28, Sharif was disqualified from serving as Prime Minister for not declaring income from his son’s company, following investigations into the so-called Panama Papers.