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Pakistan rejects report on fastest growing nuclear arsenal

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Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday strongly rejected a report published by a US think tank, which claimed that Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. “The report is utterly baseless,” said Qazi Khalilullah, the foreign office spokesperson, Dawn reported. “Such reports have the effect of diverting attention from the exponential increase in India’s fissile material stockpiles,” added the spokesperson. The spokesman stated that as a nuclear state, Pakistan’s policy is characterized by utmost restraint and responsibility.

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“Pakistan strictly abides by the concept of credible minimum deterrence and our nuclear program is only aimed at maintaining peace and stability in South Asia. Pakistan has no desire to engage in nuclear arms race,” stated Khalilullah. It was also said that Pakistan remains committed to the global objective of disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. Pakistan has put forward several initiatives to promote conventional and strategic stability in South Asia, including the proposed Strategic Restraint Regime but India has failed to respond positively towards Pakistani initiatives, according the spokesperson.

Earlier, the Washington Post reported that Pakistan could become the third largest nuclear stock pile within the next five to ten years, behind only the US and Russia, quoting reports published by two American think tanks. The report published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center, said that Pakistan, out of its fear of India, was far outpacing its rival neighbour in the development of nuclear warheads and may be building 20 nuclear warheads annually.

(IANS)

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Local News Dry up for Facebook Media Project in US

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms

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A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

Facebook is having trouble finding enough local news to feed its new journalism initiative, because hundreds of newspapers have shut down in the US.

“About one in three users in the US live in places where we cannot find enough local news on Facebook to launch ‘Today In’,” Facebook wrote in a blog post on Monday.

In those “news deserts” – communities with little or no local reporting – Facebook hasn’t been able to find “five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns” for its news feature “Today In” that was launched in November last year.

“In the last 28 days, there has not been a single day where we’ve been able to find five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns.

“This does not vary much by region: 35 per cent of users in the Midwest, Northeast, and South — and 26 per cent in the West a” live in places where we can’t find much local newson Facebook,” said the social networking company.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Today In” has been rolled out to over 400 cities in the US.

“We’re also announcing a new pilot programme, the Facebook Journalism Project Community Network, to support projects aimed at building community through local news,” said Facebook.

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According to Engadget, nearly 1,800 papers have shut down in the US since around the time Facebook came online 15 years ago.

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms. (IANS)