January Edition 2018

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End of Year Property Report

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International Human Rights Day Observed

Poetry Page 10

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CUT PIECE Page 22-23

Celebrating 8 years of


ILM NEWS wishes all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year

Theresa May’s New Year Message Calls For British ‘Pride’ With Brexit Talks

Britons will feel "renewed confidence and pride" in 2018, Theresa May has said in her new year message. The prime minister said that while Brexit will be "crucial" in the coming year, it is "not the limit" of the government's ambitions. It will focus on schools, the police and NHS to change people's daily lives. Whilst 2017 was a turbulent year for Mrs May, she described it as one of progress, with the first stage of Brexit talks completed in December. "Most people just want the government to get on and deliver a good Brexit, and that's exactly what we are doing", she said. Mrs May said 2018 would also see her move closer to her goal of a "stronger and fairer" society.

On a successful 8 years of publishing, ILM NEWS would like to congratulate all our writers, novelist, poets, correspondents, photographers, camerapersons, contributors, and religious scholars, notable persons of the community, columnists, designers, web designers, contributors from Spain, Germany, Pakistan, Scotland, and all our readers. Thank You.

Council Tax Rise Expected

Council tax for the average household will rise by £107 after local governments have been given permission to raise the tax by 6% to local town halls. The announcements have been made by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid. The police will also be allowed to charge households an extra £12 per year, the minister has revealed. Council tax of every band will increase by the same percentage. Band A is the cheapest band, while those in band H currently pay the most at £3,182. However, this will go up substantially by almost £200 per year. Council tax rises per band for 2018 A - £64 - new rate = £1125 B - £74 - new rate = £1311 C - £85 - new rate = £1499 D - £95 - new rate = £1698 E - £117 - new rate = £2074 F - £138 - new rate = £2448 G - £159 - new rate = £2823 H - £191 - new rate = £3385

Council tax is how most councils make the majority of their income. It goes towards services such a transport links, buses and trains, road maintenance, social care, social housing and keeping parks and streets clean. Your council tax depends on a valuation of your house, the Government revealed on their website. It said: “The value is based on the price the property would have sold for on the open market on 1 April 1991 in England and 1 April 2003 in Wales.” Houses worth less than £40,000 are in band A, while houses worth more than £330,000 are in band H. The Department for Communities and Local Government said: “This settlement strikes a balance between giving councils the ability to make decisions to meet pressures and ensure that our most vulnerable in society get the support they need while protecting residents against excessive council tax bill rises.” Elsewhere, with the advent of the new year, average rail ticket prices have risen by 3.4% across the UK, in the biggest increase to fares since 2013.

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DISCLAIMER ILM (The Knowledge) Newspaper does not represent any political, religious or any other group. It is purely for providing general information, entertainment and knowledge to its readers. ILM News does not take any responsibility of any views expressed by authors.

Hotel Plan Shelved For Central Library Plans to turn Sheffield’s listed Central Library into a five star hotel have been abandoned on grounds of cost with Sheffield Council now exploring the building’s renovation as a cultural hub. Plans to build a new library elsewhere in the city remain on the table and are expected to require around £20 million investment if they are to proceeed. Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, said talks about other potential projects remain ongoing with Chinese investment partner, Sichuan Guodong Group.

Sheffield Hospitals Raked In More Than £3M In Car Parking Charges Last Year Patients, visitors and staff were charged more than £3 million to park at Sheffield hospitals in a year, new figures reveal. Critics have now branded the policy a 'tax on sickness' after the statistics showed Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of the country's highest earners making £3,073, 222 in car parking charges in 2016/17.


City-Wide Campaign To Tackle Child Sexual Abuse And Exploitation

The Budget 2018/19: Sheffield Council Wants Your View

Hundreds of parents, teachers, social workers, and nursery staff have attended workshops, and training sessions as part of the NSPCC and Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board campaign to tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation, ‘it’s not okay’. The yearlong campaign which began in May 2017 aims to educate children, parents and the wider public about abuse and exploitation, and to improve cross-organisational working in the fight against sexual offences committed against children. Since it began in May: ~Over 350 social workers, teachers and nursery workers have attended lunch time training events ~Thousands of posters and resource packs have been sent out to schools, nurseries and children centres ~NSPCC and 02 have delivered 18 online safety workshops to parents, teachers and young people ~NSPCC have delivered 6 workshops to schools teaching children that their their body belongs to them In January the campaign will rollout it’s programme to all Sheffield secondary schools with, a theatre production and workshop for all year seven pupils devised to explore themes of abuse and exploitation. Schools and people working with children and young people can continue to request training, workshops, resources and the theatre production. For more information visit www.itsnotokay-sheffield.org.uk Jane Haywood, Independent Chair of Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board said: “This campaign goes to the heart of our work to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse. The support the campaign has gained could not have been predicted and shows that there really is a need for more information and awareness around child sexual abuse. “It’s Not Okay, builds on our partnership work with colleagues from Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Police, health and the voluntary sector to help make sure that children, young people and parents are able to recognise the signs and indicators of child sexual exploitation, as well as raise awareness of the issue with people of all ages across the city, helping to protect future generations.”

Ahead of more anticipated cuts to local councils by the government, Sheffield city council is asking for the people of the Steel City to have their say in next year’s budget. The council has begun a consultation with the public by announcing an online survey, which asks what area needs to be prioritised in terms of funding. Despite cuts from the central government, there has been an increase in demand for services – in particular adult’s and children’s social care. The council say plans to increase the social care precept by 3% will not cover the demand in the city. Councillor Olivia Blake, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance at Sheffield city council, said: “Next year we’re expecting to have to make further savings of more than £30 million. At the same time, demand for our services is increasing. “We want to make sure people have the chance to tell us their priorities and where they think the opportunities are to invest or save more. “We’ve been put in financial stranglehold by the Government cuts and need to continue to provide essential services, including to the most vulnerable in our city. SCC want to hear from residents and businesses to help decide spending priorities so they can set the Council’s budget for the next year (April 2018 to March 2019). To help inform its approach to the budget, it also wants to hear about your experiences of using services in Sheffield. As well as this survey, SCC are holding public meetings across the city where you can learn more about the Council’s budget and ask questions of senior Councillors and Council officers. The budget consultation runs from Monday 11th December 2017 until Friday 19th January 2018. There will also be more detailed consultations conducted with service users on specific proposals – which will also contribute to the decision making process. The results of the consultation will then be considered and reviewed before final decisions are made on the 2018-19 Budget in by Full Council in March 2018.

Hundreds Of Flats To Be Built On Park Hill Two separate developments have been approved by Sheffield council in December as more than 250 new flats will be built in the area. The “second phase” development at Park Hill sees the continuation of Urban Splash’s redevelopment project, which has already seen 260 homes built on the historic site. A further 199 homes will be built as a result of this approval, as well as spaces for offices, cafes and other retail units. A separate seven story apartment block will be built yards away from Park Hill on Stepney Street. Despite being approved by the council, the development has been met with a backlash from local tenants, whose view of the city will be obscured by the new building.

Millions Of Pounds Unspent From Our Budgets Figures show Yorkshire authorities have failed to spend millions of pounds of the ‘community’ cash. The money was earmarked for social projects from developers to boost some cities budgets. In Rotherham more than £2m was still unspent as of March this year and in Doncaster more than £4m as of July, requests under the Freedom of Information Act show. Elsewhere in the region Sheffield has collected £16.7m of Section 106 funding in the last five years, of which £13m has been allocated, but, the remaining £3.7m has not yet been formally committed.

Where Does Foreign Aid Go? Rich countries are giving away more in aid than at any other time on record. In 2016 more than $140 billion was distributed around the world. According to the latest breakdown in 2015 America gave the most money nearly $31 billion to at least 40 countries and organisations such as the World Bank. This included $770 million to Pakistan and $250 million to Mexico. This may sound generous but the United States has the largest economy in the world. American foreign aid spending in 2015 was only 0.17% of the country’s gross national income - Far less than other rich countries. Sweden and Norway are the biggest givers, donating over 1% of the gross national Income to foreign aid. The biggest receivers of aid in 2015 where Afghanistan, India, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Afghanistan received $3.8 billion and India $3.1 billion. Despite being the second biggest economy in the world China received $1.5 billion in development aid. This included around $750 million from Germany and $67 million from Britain. The total amount of foreign aid is at an all time high - up nine percent in 2016. This is largely down to the generosity of six countries to meet or exceed the United Nations foreign aid target, donating more than 0.7% of gross national income.

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Muslims Spread Universal Message Of Peace And Love Saturday was a wonderful day for Muslims to spread the Universal Message of Peace and Love by distributing Roses and Sweets Sheffield City Centre on Saturday 9th of December 2017. This coincided with the Birthday month (Rabbi-ul-Awwal) of their beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW - PBUH) the Mawlid in the city event - as one of the most auspicious months of the Islamic calendar and part of a number of events arranged by British Muslims in South Yorkshire; including the Sheffield city centre which was organised by An Nasiha.

Zia Khan

Sheffield MP Campaigning To Keep NHS Services Open Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh is campaigning to keep the minor injuries unit at the Hallamshire Hospital and the walk-in centre on Broad Lane open. The Clinical Commissioning Group for the city is planning to move both services to the Northern General Hospital more than two miles away, and is running a consultation until the end of January about the changes. Ms Haigh is campaigning on this because she claims it would mean a bus journey of more than an hour for some of her constituents. Speaking about why the current services are important to students, the Labour MP said: “The proposed closures would hit people across Sheffield, but particularly

students, who are heavily reliant on public transport and for whom getting to Northern General can be an ordeal. “I’m also aware that appointments at the University Health Service can be hard to come by, and that for urgent appointments, the Broad Lane walk-in centre is a lifeline. “If students are concerned about losing urgent care services local to them, I’d urge them to respond to the CCG’s consultation by January 31st and help persuade the CCG to reconsider. If you have any experiences with the walk-in centre you’d like to share, please get in touch with me.” Louise Haigh is also running a petition against the changes, which at the time of writing has 459 signatures.

Tel: 0114 399 7111 Mob: 07806662220

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Happy New Year And Mubarak on 8th Year of ILM News


Happy New Year And Mubarak on 8th Year of ILM News

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Driving Laws Could Be About To Change On Motorways Drivers who ignore smart motorway lane closures could be fined from March. Highways England believes ignoring red X signs on overhead gantries is ‘dangerous’ and expects penalties to be introduced next spring. It has issued around 80,000 warning letters to drivers who have broken smart motorway rules since December 2016, with around a third relating to driving in closed lanes. Road-side cameras which automatically detect lane violations are currently being tested by the Home Office. Incidents could be treated like passing through a red traffic light, which carries a fixed penalty of £100 and three penalty points. Highways England issued this advice on how to drive on a smart motorway Smart motorways involve using the hard shoulder for traffic unless a red X indicates it is closed, normally because of an accident or broken down vehicle. Sections of the M1, M4, M5, M6 and M42 have already been modified, with 480 lane miles being added to England’s motorway network. Motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, warned the extra capacity is ‘a welcome move, only so long as it can be delivered safely’. It said: ‘The best laws are those that no-one breaks, not

just because the penalties for doing so are severe but also because they are well understood and accepted. ‘We need to see a redoubling of communications by Highways England to leave no doubt in motorists’ minds as to what a red X sign means. ‘It’s important that drivers understand that where the carriageway has been blocked by a collision or a breakdown, the price for ignoring the red X could be a lot higher than a fixed penalty notice.’ A Highways England spokesman said: ‘Safety is at the heart of everything we do and our roads are among the safest in the world. ‘We close lanes for a reason and drivers ignoring red Xs puts them and others at risk. ‘Since we started issuing warning letters we have seen a decrease in the number of drivers ignoring lane closures.’ Motoring groups have raised concerns about the spacing of emergency refuge areas on smart motorways. Highways England guidance is for the lay-bys to be no more than around 1.5 miles apart, but campaigners believe this distance should be at least halved to reduce the chances of a broken down vehicle stopping in a live running lane.

UK To Tackle Race Disparity In The Criminal Justice System

Justice Secretary David Lidington announced how he will take forward the recommendations made by David Lammy MP in his Governmentcommissioned review of race disparity in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The Lammy review, published in October, found evidence that people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds have a worse experience of the CJS. David Lammy’s findings included striking statistics which show starkly the work that will be required to address this deep-rooted problem – this includes the fact that BAME men and women represent 25% of prisoners, despite making up just 14% of the population. The Ministry of Justice also committed to doing everything possible to encourage and support other organisations to take action to meet their specific recommendations. David Lammy made a range of recommendations, including that data should be published and analysed regularly on ethnicity and the CJS, and that deferred prosecution models should be explored further. The Justice Secretary pledged to take forward work around each of the 35 recommendations – making clear that action had been taken on several already – and went even further by challenging all parts of the criminal justice system to seek out further opportunities to challenge race bias. While some of the changes will take longer to achieve than others, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has already made progress on several recom-


mendations. For example, prison governors have been asked to immediately implement the recommendation to establish a diverse forum in prisons to review the use of force. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice has met several recommendations by publishing data that has never been compiled or released before on race bias in the CJS. This includes a breakdown by ethnicity of parole board hearing outcomes and the educational background of offenders, linking with data held by the Department for Education – and the MoJ will take every opportunity to keep adding new data. The response builds on the work already announced by Prime Minister Theresa May earlier last year when she published the Race Disparity Audit. The Prime Minister challenged society to “explain or change” the disparities which were uncovered. Academics, campaigners and thinktanks will have an open invitation to scrutinise data on race bias. Where the MoJ cannot explain discrepancies in the way different groups are treated – it will make reforms to address them. Where a recommendation in the Lammy review cannot be implemented in full or exactly as recommended, further work will be carried out and an alternative approach will be found that achieves the same aim. Ministers have also started discussions with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime about piloting a deferred prosecution scheme in the capital. Work will be driven forward by a new Race and Ethnicity Board, made up of the key partners in the CJS responsible for implementing the Lammy recommendations. The Board will work with external stakeholders to inform and encourage challenge on its progress. Extensive publication of data will ensure the Ministry of Justice and partners across the CJS are held to account for reducing race bias.

Shumile Chishty Awarded The Greatest Distance Award, For The Most Progress Made (left to right )- Roisin Paul (Executive Headteacher) , Sarah Sims (Deputy Headteacher) , Shumile Chishty (student) ,Chas Ponsford (Deputy Headteacher)

Fake Banknotes In the first half of 2017, around 237,000 fake banknotes were removed from UK streets: if they were real, these notes would have been worth £4.88 million. Even though genuine banknotes are getting more sophisticated, we are asking for your help to find those making, buying or selling fake notes. Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime – it affects your community. Use of fake money in the UK has seen retailers, businesses, schools, charities, the elderly and vulnerable conned out of their hard earned cash. Christmas is a time when more cash changes hands, especially £20 and £50 notes, and fraudsters take advantage of the festive season by targeting busy shops and those with temporary staff. How do i check if a banknote is genuine Checks can be made quickly and easily using the security features on the £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes. Signs to look for include: Paper banknotes Check the image flip. On the £20, the hologram flips between a £ symbol and the number 20. On the £50, the motion thread flips between a £ symbol and the number 50. Check the watermark. Hold the note up to the light and you will see an image of the Queen’s portrait. On the £20 and £50 notes, a bright £20 or £50 is also visible. Check the feel of the paper and raised print. Ban-

knotes are printed on special paper that gives them their unique feel. By running your finger across the front of the note you can feel raised print in areas such as the words ‘Bank of England’. On the £20 and £50 notes, there is also raised print in the bottom right corner around the number 20 or 50. On the new polymer £5 and £10 notes Check the see-through window and the portrait of the Queen. The metallic image of the Elizabeth Tower on the £5 note and Winchester Cathedral on the £10 note are gold on the front and silver on the back of the notes. Check the foil patches. The image flips between the words “Five” and “Pounds” on the £5 note and “Ten” and ”Pounds” on the £10 note. Check the polymer and raised print. Polymer is a thin and flexible plastic material. Counterfeiters target vulnerable people, such as the elderly, and businesses and even charity shops. Scams include: attempting to purchase low value items and pocketing the change; passing a fake note within a number of genuine notes; and asking to swap fake notes for a different denomination. It is a criminal offence to knowingly use, or be in possession of, fake notes. The maximum sentence under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 is 10 years’ imprisonment.

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End Of Year Property Report

Mohammed Mahroof BSc (Hons) MRICS Consultant Mark Jenkinson & Son It has been another incredible year in the property market, there has not been a week that property has not featured in the news. There has been a lot of talk and debate about the crises in the housing property market, which began after the election in May 2015 when almost every party had a statement on housing and how it should be tackled. It is without doubt we need new homes with Central Government pushing Local Authorities to come up with five year supply targets which are the blue print for future development. The latest solution in the housing supply debate, is introducing new building materials and flat pack homes which are manufactured in a factory and assembled on site. There are a number of firms who are thinking about setting up operations in the UK to cater for this emerging market. Other sectors of the market have also seen significant interest. As always, I will run through the popular sectors of the market: Residential Property It is again this year without any contradiction a hot topic, the subject of press coverage discussion at social gatherings and political debate. I feel it is discussed even more than the weather and Brexit. So why is there such fascination with residential property, the answer is demand seems to be outweighing supply, I would like to caveat this by saying in the right areas. So what is fuelling this demand, the answer is not enough new homes are being built, which is leading to rising prices in the market. I believe it is safe to say this phenomenon is across the country. If you take Sheffield as an example, the demand in the South West has increased tremendously, with many people chasing a property as it comes onto the market, a simple three bedroom semi will be well over £250k, with no shortage of interest. I know this is also the case for many Towns and Cities up and down the country. Talking to Simon Wortley a Chartered Surveyor and Partner at Mark Jenkinson who has over 30 years of experience, he says “The residential market has shown continued growth in activity in 2017, reflected in the number of survey instructions received” resulting in another busy year. It is clear 2017 has been a significant year in the

residential market, I believe 2018 will continue to looking for smaller units, the days of large lettings be a strong year with many new initiatives com- seems to have disappeared at least in the short ing forward. term. One of the key changes in this sector has been Commercial Property the change of use to residential, this is a good Talking to people in this sector of the market, in- and bad scenario. Good in the sense it is helping dustrial, commercial and retail sectors continue the residential market, bad because office space to attract strong demand and yields continue to is being lost. compress, expectations are we will see capital The sector is arguably going through a major values rising across all sectors for the coming structural change which will continue in 2018 and year. beyond, after which we will see a changed prodIt is clear this sector of the property market has uct adapting to the new market, signs of which continued to perform well with a steady increase are clear with the take up of space in Sheffield in demand in particular for investments, although this year under £400k as opposed to £59k - £216k the owner occupier sector is just as strong. The sq ft in 2016. main problem in this sector of the market is the reducing supply of good quality investment prop- Development Lane erties. The development sector in particular for residenIt is clear there are opportunities for developers tial land has definitely seen a change in 2017, to look at developing commercial property as de- there is a sense of activity which did not exist a mand remains fairly strong 2017 has seen the re- few years ago, this does not mean we are seeturn of developers building for owner occupation ing more development, but the beginnings of a and rental. It is arguably a growth sector of the renaissance. property market. The last five or six years have been difficult for The prediction for 2018 is it will continue to be an this sector of the market with little or no demand. area where demand will outstrip supply. It is a state of affairs which cannot continue, demand for new housing needs to be accommodatPrivate Rented Sector ed along with other uses. As I have mentioned in my previous articles, What has happened in the meantime is landholdwe are actually seeing a structural and strategic ers have worked on developing schemes through change in tenure choice with more people choos- the planning process in readiness for the inevitaing to rent rather than buy. New corporate inves- ble upturn that is now showing the first signs of tors are actively getting involved in this market, happening. building homes for rent. In areas like London The demand for land is beginning to return, esthis is the only choice for a lot of people, a trend pecially in all parts of the country, the North is which is spreading across the country's property a little behind but will catch up as demand rises. hotspots. It is certainly an opportune time to invest in land, Some recognisable developers coming into this as 2018 is going to see more demand, as it is a market has helped and will continue to do so in finite commodity, prices can only go one way. improving the quality of homes that are provided and long germ security for tenants. Agricultural Land I think “Generation Rent” began after 2015 and The last year has seen this area of the market is becoming stronger as we move into 2018 and bucking the trend, which has seen strong debeyond. mand and prices. There does not seem to be a lack of interest, especially for small holdings, Offices grazing land and small farms. There is clearly a It is a sector of the market which has seen a fascination with people wanting to live simpler steady increase in good quality accommodation, lives, which is driving the demand for rural smallit is far from where it was at its peak people are holdings. Every year there is a trend, this is one

January To Bring Dazzling Array Of Spectacles In The Night Sky Finding one supermoon might be lucky. But running into three counts for a stunning spectacle. And that's not all: this year will see one of the Supermoons – a so-called Blue Moon – combine with a solar eclipse, making for three special celestial moments in one night. Together, that makes for something Nasa has referred to as the "super blue blood moon". We've already had one of the three Supermoons, on 3 December. That was the biggest of the year and made for stunning pictures. But it was just the beginning of a big run of three Supermoons. The other two remaining ones will come on 1 January, and then on 31 January. All of them will look much larger than normal – about 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than usual. And that will be caused by the fact that moon will be at perigee, or the part of its oval-shaped orbit where it's closest to the Earth. The Supermoon is in many cases the easiest of all to actually see: it requires no special equipment, lasts all night, and is usually visible even in bad weather and through light pollution. All you have to do is look up at the moon, though it helps to do so as the moon rises or sets so that you get a full view of its huge size. But if you're only able to catch the one, then Nasa recommends making sure you see the last, on 31 January. The sky is saving the best of the trilogy until last. That moon will also coincide with a lunar eclipse, where the Earth perfectly moves between the Sun and the Moon, blocking out the light that would


normally be reflected from its surface. That will turn the moon darker than normal and give it a strange, eerie look as it loses its light. Often, the effect of that is to turn the moon red, because of the way that the light bends around the Earth. That has led to lunar eclipses being turned "blood moons", since they take on the same deep red colouring. The 31 January Supermoon will also be the second full moon in the month, which some people refer to as the Blue Moon. That happens once every two-and-a-half years – though obviously them lining up with a supermoon is even more rare. All that together has led to the strange name of super blue blood moon, and a pair spectacular sights that will appear at the beginning and end of January.

of them. In the auction room figures of £15/20k are being achieved per acre, I can only predict these figures are likely to go up. It is definitely a market that is suffering a heatwave. Care Homes & Retirement Villages It is a topic which has attracted a lot of attention in the last few years and will continue to do so as we move deeper into the 21st century, the reason is quite simple, people are living longer with life expectancy rising, demand for Retirement Villages/Care Homes will rise. There are a number of corporate developers who are looking into this market and beginning to invest, it is clear that more needs to be done where support from Central Government will be key. Conclusion It has been a very interest year for property with the market generally getting stronger. In the North the recovery is fragile, whilst the South is most definitely heated. The market in all sectors seems to be getting stronger but is still sensitive to economic changes. It has been a turbulent year with Brexit negotiations, a lot of commentators expected a huge impact on the property market, it is arguably the effects have not been as strong as people expected. It would be interesting to seen how 2018 pans out, as details around actually leaving the European Union become clearer. There has been a clear increase in foreign investment and I predict this will continue to be the case in 2018. A lot of property people are talking about a strengthening of the housing rented sector as more corporate investors enter the market, this is fuelled by a lack of new homes to buy at affordable prices. It is also clear the Country needs to build more houses, which is very much on the political agenda. There are also many forecasts predicting house prices rising in the next ten years by up to 50#%, but you need to take this with a pinch of salt. One issue is for sure we need to build new homes for rent and purchase. The year 2018 is certainly going to be eventful, especially with Brexit in the mix.

Price Hikes For Bus And Tram Passengers Transport bosses have announced price hikes for bus passengers buying multi-operator tickets in Sheffield and South Yorkshire. A Sheffield CityBus ticket - which allows passengers to board any bus in the city on a particular day - is going up from £4.30 to £4.50. A weekly CityBus ticket is set to rise from £15 to £15.80 while a monthly pass will increase by £3 to £59. CityWide passes, which include Supertrams, will rise from £4.50 a day to £4.80 and weekly tickets will rise 80 pence to £16.80. Transport bosses said the price hikes have being implemented following an 'extensive price review' and are 'intended to help continue to offer a high-quality public transport service for passengers in South Yorkshire'. They claim the prices are still some of the 'best value' multioperator and multi-modal tickets in the country with passengers in some cases 'paying over 30 per cent more for equivalent tickets in Leeds and up to 50 per cent more in equivalent tickets in Manchester'.

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This Sweet Gull Wonders This sweet gull wonders Why is he all alone? He supplicates for an answer A cry is heard, a lugubrious moan The snow swallowed his only friend His shadow The gull would drink on his own His time with his friend was very narrow He feels guilty stepping on the snow The sweet gull’s friend is beneath it Trapped under the milky flannel Suffocated in a snowy pit The gull slurped through his incarnadine straw Tasting the gelid winter White varnished trees The trees are crying splinters The gull won’t have to wait long His friend will soon be with him to share a drink and dinner When the sun sits on its white fluffy throne It will shine and grow back the dark figure The gull doesn’t have to walk alone anymore He can now flutter and dance with his friend symmetrically It was something he missed They will do this for the rest of their life, energetically Written By: Shaheryar A. Chishty

Online Banking: What You Need To Know Online banking has certainly made life more convenient, making it easier for people to manage basic transactions from the comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, it does come with a few risks which means you need to be careful when logging into your account from an unknown computer. Follow these basic online security tips the next time you log into your account. Don’t click through emails Beware of phishing emails that redirect the user to a malicious version of the bank’s website. Hackers create such websites to steal details such as your username and password. While your bank may send you updates via email, it is wiser to log into your bank account manually instead of clicking on a link. Monitor your bank account To report fraudulent activity on the spot, monitor your bank accounts regularly to make sure all transactions have been made by you. If you notice anything suspicious, report it to your bank immediately. Make it a habit to monitor your bank account after every few days especially if you shop online. It is important to make sure your account is not being used to pay for purchases you didn’t make. Log into accounts from a secure loca-


tion Don’t use unsecured wireless networks to log into your online bank account. This includes wireless access points found in hotels, coffee shops or airports. These unsecured networks are easier to intercept, allowing hackers to collect information without much difficulty. Run an anti-virus programme on your computer Take steps to guarantee the safety of your computer by running anti-virus software and enabling firewall on your web browser. This will ensure your computer is not vulnerable to any kind of virus that may be downloaded from the internet. At the same time, steer clear of malicious websites. Update your system Whether you are using a desktop computer or a laptop, download the latest updates on your system. Some Trojan viruses only affect outdated systems so your computer is likely to be more vulnerable if you do not download necessary upgrades. Check for encryption When logging into your bank account online, make sure the URL starts with “https” on your web browser. The ‘s’ indicates that you are accessing your account over a safe connection and the data is being encrypted.

2017 Was One Of Warmest Years On Record Last year was Britain's fifth warmest on record, provisional Met Office statistics suggest. According to the forecaster, the average temperature for 2017 was be warmer than both 2015 and 2016, but cooler than 2014, 2006, 2011 and 2007. The nine warmest years since 1910 have occurred after 2000, with 2014 clinching the title as the hottest when the mean temperature was 9.91C, the Met Office said. Provisional figures for the past 12 months suggest the mean UK temperature to be 9.56C, or 0.72C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. Dr Mark McCarthy, manager of the Met Office's National Climate Information Centre, said: "Although the year is likely to be the fifth warmest in the UK since 1910, many people will probably remember the year for some of its more notable weather events. "Events like ex-hurricane Ophelia, which

in October brought high winds and disruption to parts of Ireland and the UK, and memorably for some drew up dust from the Sahara and smoke from the wildfires in Iberia, giving us the appearance of sunset at midday." Despite recent snowfall and plunging temperatures, the Met Office said the mean temperature for December is likely to be 0.4C above the 1981-2010 longterm average. The forecaster said that when considered as a whole, 2017 has been a rather average year for rain, with a UK-wide average rainfall of just 1,106.8mm - 95.9% of the long-term average. According to Met Office figures, all of the UK countries received below-average rainfall, with Scotland being the driest relative to average, where only 94.9% of the long-term average fell. Meanwhile Wales was the wettest, with 98.6% of the long-term average rainfall.

Learning New Language Popular Resolution For 2018 With Christmas and New Year over-indulgence out of the way, thoughts are turning to resolutions - and for many, that means learning a new language, a survey suggests. Around one in five (21%) are planning to make language learning a goal for 2018, according to a poll commissioned by the British Council. It found that more than half (58%) of the 2,000 UK adults questioned believe that learning another language is a worthwhile resolution to make, while the same proportion agreed that it is more important than ever for people in the UK to make the effort to learn another language. Nearly two thirds (64%) said that they have always wanted to speak another language fluently, while 56% agreed that they regret never making the effort to speak another language fluently. And while 16% said they can speak a foreign language to a high standard, and a third (33%) said they are able to hold a basic conversation, nearly half (45%) admitted that they are embarrassed by the level of their foreign language skills. The survey also asked which language

people would most like to learn, with Spanish the most popular answer, followed French and then Italian. A recent British Council report identified Spanish as the top language the UK will need after Brexit, followed by Mandarin Chinese, French, Arabic and German based on a range of economic, geopolitical, cultural and educational factors. The report called for "a bold new policy" to improve foreign language learning, and suggested that languages be given the same priority as maths and science in schools Official figures have shown a continued drop-off in French and German A-level entries this summer, while the numbers taking Spanish rose slightly. There were increases in entries for a number of other foreign languages, including Arabic, Chinese and Italian. At GCSE, there was a 9.9% fall in entries for French this year, compared with last year, with numbers plummeting by more than a quarter (down 26.5%) since 2010, while German saw a 13.2% fall compared with last year, and the numbers are down by more than a third (38%), since 2010.

Election Races Around the Globe in 2018 Mexico will pick a new President on July 1. Corruption scandals, anaemic growth and drug-related violence have boosted support for veteran leftist Andre’s Manuel Lo’pez Obrador. Brazil will vote on October 7, with hopes to turn the corner after economic doldrums and spiking crime following the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff. Venezuela’s Nicola’s Maduro has vowed to seek re-election as President as crisiswracked the country in 2018, although whether a vote will be free and fair, or will even happen, is anyone’s guess. Egypt will vote around April. Exiled former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has announced his intention to unseat President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who is expected

to seek a second term. Pakistan will decide its fate, as general elections are to be held by September 3, following the judicial ouster of pro-U.S. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Former cricket captain Imran Khan is leading the main opposition charge by courting the nation’s Islamists. Cambodia will vote on July 29 against the backdrop of a serious crackdown on democracy and free speech. Strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen has locked up rivals in a worrying lurch toward outright dictatorship. Thailand will have an election in November, according to its ruling junta. Unrest around the vote is a distinct possibility in the politically driven kingdom.

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Ministers Say They Are Putting Rogue Landlords On Notice Rogue landlords face being banned from the private rented sector as part of a raft of measures announced by the Government aimed at helping tenants. Housing minister Alok Sharma said he was putting landlords "on notice" that they must meet minimum standards or face the consequences. Under the changes, anyone renting out properties to five or more people in future will need to be licensed. From April next year, someone convicted of offences such as burglary and stalking will be added to a database of rogue landlords and barred from renting properties. New rules will also come into force setting minimum size requirements for bedrooms in houses of multiple occupation to prevent overcrowding.

Any landlords flouting the new rules could be hit with fines of up to £30,000. Mr Sharma said: “Every tenant has a right to a safe, secure and decent home. But some are being exploited by unscrupulous landlords who profit from providing overcrowded, squalid and sometimes dangerous homes. “Enough is enough and so I’m putting these rogue landlords on notice - shape up or ship out of the rental business. “Through a raft of new powers we are giving councils the further tools they need to crack down on these rogue landlords and kick them out of the business for good." Meanwhile, Labour leader Jedremy Corbyn has announced that his party's next manifesto will ban so-called "no fault" evictions, where tenants are kicked out of their property on a whim.

The Government Is Considering Introducing Pay-Per-Mile Tolls The Government is considering introducing the UK’s first pay-per-mile system for drivers in a bid to cut emissions and traffic. The Department for Transport would charge lorry drivers using mileage and emissions-based charges in a bid to raise funds to improve existing roads. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "What e have not been doing is sorting out the next tier down of roads, the trunk roads which used to be A roads..what we are doing is looking to start to improve those roads. I dub this new fund 'the bypass fund'. It's all about medium-sized towns on those A roads that have clogged up centres, that have got lorries waiting at traffic lights, that have got pollution at the centre." The system is being drawn up for heavy good vehicles which suggests it could replace existing fuel duty taxes. The revenue collected from fuel duty is expected to fall this year as more drivers use electronic and hybrid cars. Sources maintained the pricing plan was aimed only at heavy goods vehicles, but industry insiders believe the scheme will be rolled out to

all users. Only one motorway in the UK charges drivers for use – the M6 toll road in the West Midlands costs up to £5.90 for cars and £11 for HGVs. There are also congestion charges for drivers in London. However, Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he would prefer to move to a pay-as-you-go model. The DfT said: “We are consulting on the HGV levy to help hauliers make more efficient use of our roads and improve environmental performance . . . HGVs cause greater wear and tear to road surfaces than many other vehicle types, and are responsible for a significant proportion of transport emissions, which is why we are reviewing the levy.”

NHS Parking Charges Hospitals in England made a record £174m last year in charging for parking, an investigation has found. The figure for 2016-17 was 6% up on the previous financial year, data collected by the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act showed. The figures also showed a growing amount of revenue being made from fines - up by a third to £950,000. The system has been branded a "tax on sickness", but hospitals said charging was needed and money made reinvested. Car parking is largely free in Scotland and Wales. Data was obtained from 111 hospital trusts out of the 120 approached on charges for patients, visitors and staff. The results also showed: Half of all trusts charged disabled people for parking in some or all of their disabled parking spaces The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust took the most money - over £4.8m Two-thirds made more than £1m in each of the last three years The most expensive place for a one-hour stay was the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guild-

ford at £4 Labour shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, added: "Hospital parking charges are an entirely unfair and unnecessary burden, which disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people." Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said the current state of NHS finances meant it was sometimes hard to blame hospitals for trying to find money. But she said that did not make the current situation acceptable. "For patients, parking charges amount to an extra charge for being ill," she said. Hospitals have defended their approach to charging. Those in urban areas believe the parking will be used by shoppers without having a system of charging, while the money raised is used to maintain car parks, grounds and - in some cases reinvested in patient care. Concessions are available in many places for those who need to make repeat visits, such as chemotherapy patients. A Department of Health spokesman said charges were a matter for local hospitals. But he added: "We want to see them coming up with flexible options that put patients and their families first."

Thousands Caught For Using Mobile Phone More than 6,000 motorists have been caught at least twice for driving while distracted, including using a mobile phone, in the past four years. Figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association highlight the problem of repeat offenders. Over 400 drivers were caught three times, 20 were caught four times and three were even caught five times. Motoring groups warned the figures illustrate how a perceived lack of enforcement means some drivers ignore the rules banning hand-held phone use. The data relates to the number of CU80 endorsements held on driving records. They are handed out to drivers found not in full control of their vehicle, such as by using a phone illegally. The


endorsements are only erased after four years. Almost 174,000 drivers have at least one CU80 endorsement but just 309 were disqualified because of it. Since March 1, motorists caught using a handheld phone have faced receiving six points on their licence and a £200 fine – up from the previous penalty of three points and £100. Drivers can lose their licence if they receive 12 points within three years, or six points in the first two years after passing the test. Repeat mobile phone offenders often believe there is “little chance of seeing a traffic police officer” as the number of road police officers in England and Wales has declined by 27% in the past decade.

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Overseas Pakistanis Are Ambassadors Of The Country

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistani expatriates are the ambassadors of the country and Punjab government has formed an institution named Overseas Pakistanis Commission (OPC), to resolve the problems of these expatriates. Talking to a delegation of overseas Pakistanis in London on December 16th, Shehbaz Sharif said that the institution constituted by the Punjab government is discharging its duty to protect the hard-earned income of overseas Pakistanis. He added that this institution is the guarantee of the protection of property of overseas Pakistanis and playing an effective role to resolve their problems. He said through this institution overseas Pakistanis have been given their rights and thousands of overseas Pakistanis have got benefits from this

commission. He added that overseas Pakistanis have a very important role in the economy of the country and “we will make Pakistan a great country through unity and harmony.” The chief minister said that properties or land of expatriates cannot be grabbed after the formation of the commission. He added that the commission has set the great example of teamwork and has served without fear and lust. Shehbaz further stated that overseas Pakistanis have proved their talent in various fields of life including education, games, technology and others. He added that “Pakistan will progress when we will work together with determination and coordination.” The chief minister went on to say that Pakistan is facing numerous problems, and collective efforts and vision can steer the country out of these problems and put it on the path to progress.

Trump To Hold $225 Million Fund To Pakistan The Trump administration may withhold $225 million in government aid to Pakistan over frustration with the country’s handling of terror groups within its borders. Administration officials met recently to decide whether to cancel the aid, officials told The New York Times. The aid package was already delayed in August. A final decision is expected to come in the next few weeks, officials said. They did not detail what conditions Pakistan would have to meet to receive the aid. US officials have long expressed frustration with Pakistan, accusing the government of being slow to stamp out terrorist networks. Raising pressure on Pakistan, Trump in August, unveiled a new US strategy for the war in Afghanistan aimed at defeating the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, an affiliated group that operates in Pakistan. Trump at the time said Pakistan “gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror” and vowed the administration would be tougher on the country. The US President again singled out Pakistan for criticism when he announced his national security strategy earlier this month. “We make massive payments every year to Pakistan,” he said. “They have to help.” Vice President Mike Pence reinforced that message in a visit to Afghanistan just before Christmas, telling cheering American troops that “President Trump has put Pakistan on notice”. The reaction of his audience was notable, analysts said,

since the Pentagon has historically been one of Pakistan’s defenders in Washington because of its longstanding ties to the Pakistani military. Defence Secretary James Mattis previously stalled a $50 million aid package to the country in July by withholding a certification that Pakistan had done enough to fight the Haqqani Network. The certification is required by Congress for the yearly military grant made to Pakistan, a nation classified as a major non-NATO US ally. Pakistan “did not take substantial action against the Afghan Taliban or (the Haqqani Network) or substantially limit their ability to threaten US interests in Afghanistan,” stated an annual State Department report on terrorism. A State Department official said Pakistan’s actions will ultimately determine the course of “security assistance in the future”.

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‘Iconic’ Blue British Passport To Return After Brexit


British passports will change from burgundy to blue after Britain leaves the EU, the Home Office has said. Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said he was delighted to return to the "iconic" blue and gold design which came into use almost 100 years ago. The new passports will be issued to those renewing or applying for a passport from October 2019. Burgundy passports were first issued in 1988. The EU has never compelled the UK to change the colour of its passport. The European Union has never had the power to force the UK to change the colour of the British passport. Dumping the blue for burgundy was a decision taken by the UK in the 1980s after the then EEC (European Economic Community) member states tried to harmonise designs to make life easier for travellers and border officials. So this wasn't a decision forced on the UK by Brussels Eurocrats. Ministers could have ignored it. Croatia retained its blue passport after it joined the EU in 2013. In a similar vein, the EU has never had the power to order the UK to remove references to Her Majesty The Queen from the passport. It is still a British document, but with added EU wording to guarantee freedom of movement. The only legal requirement to harmonise EU passports related to security standards, part of a global governmental effort to combat forgery. If the EU wanted passports to change in any other way, the plans would need each government to agree. According to the Passport Index, 76 countries have blue passports, including a number of former colonial and Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, the United States, Canada, India and Hong Kong. Several Caribbean coun-

tries also have blue passports, including Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines. In Europe, people from Iceland and Bosnia and Herzegovina both carry blue passports, while it is also a popular colour in central and south America - Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela are among those that have them. Others include Israel, Iraq, Syria and North Korea. The new passports will also have updated security features to protect against fraud, Mr Lewis said. The Home Office said there was no need for British passport holders to do anything ahead of their current passport renewal date, adding that the changes would be introduced in phases. When the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, burgundy passports will continue to be issued but with no reference to the European Union. The blue passports will be issued later the same year, after a new contract for their production is negotiated. "Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world", Mr Lewis said. History of the passport - First introduced during the reign of Henry V in the form of a "safe conduct", passports were granted from at least 1540. One of the earliest still in existence was issued on 18 June 1641 and signed by Charles I. A passport photograph became a requirement in 1914, upon the outbreak of World War One The blue British passport came into use in 1921, with the last expiring in 2003. The first burgundy, machine-readable, UK passports were issued in Glasgow, in September 1988.

Experts Warn The Deadly ‘Aussie Flu’ Outbreak Has Hit The UK Experts have warned the deadly ‘Aussie flu’ has hit the UK as figures reveal 1,111 people have been infected by the virus. Cases of flu infection have more than doubled in the past week, with Public Health England reporting a 156% jump on the previous seven days. This winter’s outbreak has already killed 23 people, with experts blaming the H3N2 strain which caused carnage in Australian hospitals and is thought to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. The so-called ‘Aussie flu’, a particularly virulent strain of influenza A, is said to have helped trigger the huge rise in cases along with an aggressive B subtype. Usually just one subtype, either influenza A or B, is responsible for the majority of cases but last week 522 cases of type A and 546 cases of type B were recorded in England and Wales. A total of 43 cases have not been identified, and nearly one third of people died last week.


The so-called ‘Aussie flu’ – or strain H3N2 – is a mutated strain, meaning it is less effective against vaccination. It is feared the outbreak could mirror the deadly Hong Kong Flu in 1968 which killed one million people. Public Health England, said: ‘Flu activity, as measured by a number of different systems, has continued to increase in the last week or two. ‘This is to be expected as the season progresses and at this point the numbers are in-keeping with previous years. ‘The circulating flu strains match those in the current flu vaccine, so the vaccine remains the best defence against the virus.’ Doctors have urged all eligible people to get the free flu jab as those most at risk at the over 65s, pregnant women, young children and those suffering from chronic conditions.

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Why Does Chemotherapy Cause Hair Loss?

Mr Shumile J. Chishty

Not until you lose something will you then realize how important it truly was. For those who undergo chemotherapy, hair loss is very common, and this is one of the most feared side effects men and women both come across. The amount of hair loss sometimes does depend on the drug dosage. Chemotherapy simply is a systematic treatment which utilizes cytotoxic drugs to destroy cancer cells but simultaneously it can attack other rapidly growing cells in your body, including those in your hair roots. Hair loss can be apparent in all places over your body for example your eyelashes, armpits and scalp. Hair loss from chemotherapy is known as chemotherapyinduced alopecia (CIA), and the level of hair loss is all dependent on the type of cancer and the drug the patient has. The hair that is actively growing the most will be most affected. Patients experience the first wave of CIA during the first 3 weeks of starting their treatment. Hair has its important roles in health and cultures, which is why CIA is probably the most traumatic event cancer patients may come across. Some people during the 1970’s did attempt to come out with a treatment where you would cool the scalp with an ice pack or special cap, which cooling the scalp would have thought to narrow the blood vessels leading to the hair follicles, but more effective treatment is required. Hair follicles is a sac from which hair grows and into which the sebaceous glands (a gland which releases oils) open. People who aren’t cancer patients may not know that the effects of chemotherapy is only short-lived, so it is up to an average of 6-weeks, so the new hair maybe curlier than before, be a different colour or be Grey due to the cells that control the pigments in your hair to become active again. Lots of effective CIA inhibitors are still in production to prevent patients stepping away from the chemotherapy treatment. There are a few ways in which hair loss can be prevented during chemotherapy treatments, one treatment is called cryotherapy, which uses ice packs or similar

Just 6% Of UK Land Is Built On A new land cover atlas of the United Kingdom, created by a University of Sheffield professor, has shown that just six per cent of UK is built on. More than half of the UK land is used for agriculture, according to a new set of maps created by Professor Alasdair Rae from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Only around six per cent of the country is built on with 83 per cent of its population living in towns and cities. The most built up of the home nations is England with nine per cent of the land built on. Professor Rae said: “It may feel like a very densely populated urban nation, but the reality is that the vast majority of the land area of the UK is not built on.” The BBC have also used this data to create an interactive online tool, showing how the land is used, classifying it in four broad categories: ‘farmland’, ‘natural’, ‘built on’ and ‘urban green’. In the UK the most built up local authority is the City of London with 98 per cent of its area built on. Professor Rae added: “At a local level things can be very different from the national picture, so it is important to know how land is being used as there are often competing needs. “By knowing the makeup of the local landscape it is easier to make informed decisions about how land should be used and plan for the future.”

How Land Is Used In The UK


devices to place on your head to slow the blood flow to your scalp so the drug is less likely to take effect on your scalp. However, the negative aspect to this is, cryotherapy only works to some individuals and does encourage a minor risk of cancer recurring, as that area is not receiving the same dosage of chemotherapy as the rest of the body, and some patients do come across constant headaches, which is why this method is not preferred as much. The other treatment for CIA is Roganine, a drug which is applied to the scalp before and during chemotherapy, this doesn’t prevent hair loss but it does encourage hair growth much quicker straight after the chemotherapy treatment being complete.

OIC Declares East Jerusalem As Palestinian Capital The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has declared East the Middle East, to North Africa, with tens of thousands of people Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, rejected the US stance as taking to the streets to denounce his decision. "dangerous" and called on the international community to follow in its footsteps. At a summit held in Turkey a week after US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the group of Muslim leaders called on all countries to "recognise the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital". In a statement, the OIC added that the 57-member group remains committed to a "just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution". It also called on the UN to "end the Israeli occupation" of Palestine and declared Trump's administration liable for "all the consequences of not retracting from this illegal decision". "[We] consider that this dangerous declaration, which aims to change the legal status of the [city], is null and void and lacks any legitimacy," the group said. The summit in Istanbul highlighted that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims continue to be committed to peace. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the US had "disqualified" itself from future Israel-Palestine peace talks after proving its "bias in favour of Israel". Founded in 1969, the OIC bills itself as "the collective voice of the Muslim world". Trump announced on December 6 that the US formally recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the city, breaking with decades of US policy. The decision violated international law, according to Abbas. "We shall not accept any role for the United States in the peace process, they have proven their full bias in favour of Israel," he said. "Jerusalem is and always will be the capital of Palestine." Palestinians envisage East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Israel, meanwhile, says Jerusalem, which is under Israeli occupation, cannot be divided. The Istanbul summit was attended by just over 20 heads of state. Saudi Arabia, the host of the OIC headquarters, sent only a senior foreign ministry official. Others, including Egypt, deployed their foreign ministers. The extraordinary OIC summit was called for by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following Trump's announcement. Trump's move has provoked a wave of protests from Asia, through

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Spending Time Outdoors Could Help Your Child’s Eyesight Kids seem to spend endless hours on smartphones, games consoles, computers and tablets these days. Playing on electronic devices certainly doesn't help their waistlines, but do you ever wonder what regular device use is doing to their eyesight? While there isn't much research out there yet about the impact of screens on eyesight - after all the iPhone was first unveiled by Apple in only 2007 - experts are concerned about growing levels of short-sightedness in children. And they suggest the best thing parents can do to prevent it is to encourage youngsters to spend more time outdoors in the sunlight. How short-sightedness is on the rise There has been a massive rise around the globe in short-sightedness - or myopia as it's officially known - over recent decades. It has reached epidemic levels in East Asia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, where approaching 90% of 18-year-olds are now short-sighted. In Europe, it's potentially getting up to 40% to 50% of young adults in their mid-20s who are short-sighted now in Western Europe. It's been gradually rising over the decades of the 20th Century from around 20-30%. Why has it become so much more common? Moorfields Eye Hospital in London says lack of natural light seems to be the key issue. The main factor seems to be a lack of exposure to direct sunlight, because children who study a lot and who use computers or smartphones or tablet computers a lot have less opportunity to run around outside and are less exposed to sunshine and because of that seem to be at more risk of developing short-sightedness. It may be that there's no coincidence that in East Asian countries, the most myopic ones all correlate with the maths league tables. Kids are being pushed with very intensive education from a very young age and spend a lot of time indoors studying everything close up and very little time outdoors. Therefore the concern is that all close work like playing with the iPad and iPhone - carries the potential that it could make them more short-sighted. So should we stop or limit screen use? Well that's much easier said than done! Any parent will know that youngsters are like dogs with bones when it comes to their beloved phones and trying to get them off their devices is pretty much impossible - certainly without a massive argument. Trying to stop screen use is probably an unrealistic aspiration. You can only tell them that it might make their eyes uncomfortable, it might make them short-sighted and they should not use it as much as they like to, but we cannot get away from this because they also have to

do their school homework on laptops and iPads and they do their searches for background information on screens. If you're a teenager and you have got revision to do for GCSEs or A-levels then you can't really switch off, can you? So it’s unlikely we will be reducing the screen use, really, in years to come. Time outdoors is the key The best thing to do, say the experts is to get

children playing outside as much as possible. Protective of myopia development is time outdoors - sport and leisure outdoors are protective of eyesight. Myopia research done in Sydney, Australia showed that only 3% of Chinese-heritage children living in Sydney - who spent two hours a day outdoors - were short-sighted by the age of six, compared to nearly 30% of six-year-olds in Singapore. And don't forget your veg Diet is also an area where families can help with eyesight. It’s about omega-3 essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, C and E and nutrients that are good for the back of the eye. A healthy diet really is important - in terms of getting oily fish, avocados, green vegetables, and green leafy vegetables as much as possible. Supplements that you can buy over the counter that are good for the brain also happen to be good for the eyes - they're just not marketed for that. Regular annual eye checks are also recommended. How would I know if my child was becoming short-sighted? According to NHS Choices, signs that your child may be short-sighted include: needing to sit near the front of the class at school because they find it difficult to read the whiteboard sitting close to the television complaining of headaches or tired eyes regularly rubbing their eyes When someone's short-sighted, the eyes have grown slightly too long, which means light rays focus just in front of the retina, at the back of the eye, so distant objects to appear blurred, but close objects are seen clearly.

World Could See 1.8 Billion Tourists By 2030 By 2030, there could be 1.8 billion tourists – just over one in five persons in the world – travelling around the globe, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has said. The Secretary-General of UNWTO, highlighted the role of travel and tourism in impacting global developments and making the world a better place. "It is bringing the world together in an incredibly impressive way: it is making the world smaller, more connected, more informed, and therefore… a more caring world,” he said.


At the same time, the global phenomenon has also brought about serious challenges, including pollution, waste, labour exploitation, prostitution and abuse of children, and looting of natural resources. Given that all human activity has both advantages and disadvantages, it is up to people to ensure that the impacts from tourism are positive and contribute to sustainable development. 1.8 billion travellers by 2030 could be 1.8 billion opportunities or 1.8 billion disasters and it is up to us to choose.

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International Human Rights Day Observed In London A large number of the Baluch and Sindhi community members gathered at Trafalgar Square, London to demonstrate against enforced disappearances, torture, killings, dumping of the bodies of social and political activists in Pakistan. It also raised voice against CPEC projects in Baluchistan and Sindh and increased violence against Shia second most majority and other Religious minorities in Pakistan. The event was organized by Sindhi Baloch Forum in collaboration with World Baloch Organization (WBO), Baloch National Movement (BNM), World Sindhi Congress (WSC), Baloch Human Rights Council UK (BHRC-UK), Baloch Student Organization-Azad (BSO-Azad). The demonstration took a procession from Trafalgar Squire to

10 Downing street. The participants were holding placards and raised slogans “release, release Sindhi people”, “release, release Baloch people”, Pakistan stop killing Sindhi/Baloch People”, to highlight heinous crime being committed by Pakistani security agencies in Baluchistan and Sindh. Mr Nooruddin Mengal, Dr Lakhu Luhana spoke at the rally and told the participants that Pakistani agencies are committing crime against humanity in Baluchistan and Sindh. Dr Syed Alam Shah also spoke at the rally saying, “today we are entering the threshold of new world order, predictably uncertain, chaotic and highly miserable. Pakistan is going to initiate a terror crime in South Asia by projecting new economic war zoon and making Sindh and Baluchistan subject to economic colonialism by the China’s vehement presence via CEPEC in the region.CPEC is not an economic corridor but the corridor of making Sindhi and Baloch people non-existent in their native lands. Pakistan Army tries to justify the CPEC as if it is the corridor of gigantic progress

The 10 Greatest Scientific Breakthroughs Of 2017 New superconductor – Harvard physicists turned liquid hydrogen into metal. Metallic hydrogen has no resistance, can give us high-speed trains and give us rocketry. New way to find water in the desert – researchers came up with a device that pulls water out of thin air. The invention will help areas with little acWhen it comes to amazing discovercess to clean water, including many ies, 2017 will be remembered as the year when what was once only sci- places in Africa. ence fiction became science fact. Motherless births – scientists grew a CRISPR gene editing – scientists in lamb in an artificial womb. This uterthe US edited genes inside the hu- us imitation would lower the mortalman body. Gene editing may allow ity and disease rates of premature us to eliminate genetic diseases, and babies. maybe even create a new class of Quantum breakthrough – physicists ‘super humans’. created time crystals, an entirely SpaceX relaunched a recycled rocket new form of matter. The crystals are making space travel even cheaper. so unique and exotic, even scientists Reusing a falcon9 rocket booster can can’t understand their full potential yet. save over $18million per launch. Regenerative medicine – major strides were made in growing human tissue and even organs in a lab. These breakthroughs could let us repair nerve damage and grow entire organs and limbs.

Super earth LHS 1140B – scientists found a planet beyond our solar system where life could exist. The exoplanet orbiting a quiet red star in our galactic neighbourhood holds the best hope for alien life so far.

Googles Artificial Intelligence – researchers at DeepMind taught AI to navigate complex environments. It may look goofy to us, but it’s a major step forward in making self-governing robots.

A new era of astronomy – astronomers have detected gravitational waves formed when two stars collided. For the first time, they observed the neutron star crash 130 million light years away.


By Dr Syed Alam Shah

of native people of our provinces, but the reality is bitter and still precarious when they let millions of Chines occupying our land like the way East India Company did to Hindustan in the history”. The speakers not only lambasted the negative role of Army involved in the enforced abductions of Sindhi and Baloch people, but also strongly condemned the abduction of Baloch women and children by Pakistani agencies. They requested the international committee to press upon Pakistani state to stop the atrocities against the Sindhi and Baloch people, they also declared the military oppression recently begun against them very deplorable. At the end of protest a petition was submitted to the British Prime Minister at 10 Downing requesting to use her influence for the establishment of an international commission to investigate crimes against humanity being perpetrated by Pakistan security agencies in Sindh and Baluchistan.

Volunteers Could Guard Some UK Borders, Home Office Says The plans under consideration are for "Border Force Special Volunteers" to be used at small air and sea ports. A Home Office spokesman said it was "considering the potential benefits" and looking at how they are used by police forces. The proposal comes after recent reports have raised concerns over "poor" coverage of some minor harbours and landing places. The Border Force carries out immigration and customs controls for people and goods entering the UK. But an assessment by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration,published in July, said there were long periods of non-attendance by Border Force at some locations as well as a shortage of staff able to use specialist scanners. It looked at 62 normally unmanned ports on the east coast and found that Border Force officers had not visited 27 of the sites between April 2015 to June 2016.

Reports also revealed the number of clandestine migrants detected at the ports had almost doubled in 12 months rising from 233 to 423. Another report by David Anderson QC, former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said there were similar issues with smaller south and east coast ports, marinas and landing places, adding it was "conceivable" they might be an option for returning foreign fighters or other terrorists. The Home Office said if it was to introduce volunteers, they would be used to "bolster" Border Force staffing levels and would not be used by Immigration Enforcement. Mr Elphicke, MP for Dover, said he would "urge great caution before seeking to adopt a model like that used by the police, with special constables". "Border security is a skilled job, which takes many years of training."

Handwriting To Help Govt Catch Gangs Behind Benefit Fraud Artificial intelligence will be used to clamp down on fraudsters claiming millions of pounds of bogus benefit payments. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said its new state-of-the-art algorithms can detect a number of identity cloning techniques which have been commonly used by organised criminal gangs committing mass-scale benefit fraud. Under the system, investigators will be alerted to fraudsters who use the same phone number or a similar writing style while filling out different false claims. The connections are buried in billions of files, and it is thought the intelligent computer software will be able to increase prosecutions for whole groups of gangs. Currently, investigators target individual criminals after Jobcentre Plus workers raise concerns.

The DWP says it has extensively trialled the technology, which will scan across the benefit system, including Universal Credit, Jobseeker's Allowance and Personal Independent Payments. Last year, about 5,000 people were prosecuted for benefit fraud and a record £1.1bn in overpaid benefits was recovered. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke, said: "We are committed to tackling benefit fraud, especially from organised crime gangs, because it diverts money from the people who really need it. "Our fraud investigators work tirelessly to bring criminals to justice and this is just one of the latest and innovative ways we are using cutting-edge technology to protect taxpayer's money." In November, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced £75m in funding for artificial intelligence.

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Al-Quds and the Muslim World Dr A Q Khan

We have come to expect anything from President Trump, as we did from President Bush. The latter showed his character by attacking Iraq (together with PM Blair) on flimsy grounds, and President Trump has shown his hand by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, known as Al-Quds, Baitul Maqdis and Baitul Muqaddas to Muslims. Here we see the double standards of the West at work. When Saddam Hussain was (falsely) accused of violating UN resolutions, they went all out to bomb Iraq back to the stone age; PM Blair later conveniently salved his conscience by saying it was a mistake. There were no war crime proceedings against them for the murder of millions of men, women and children. When Israel (and India) violate UN resolutions, no action is taken against them either. After the US announcement, the Turkish president reacted strongly and called for a meeting among Muslim countries, which our PM and foreign minister attended. There were furious speeches by the 57 participating countries. But, with none of them having any real world power, the end result was still zero. Our PM also joined in the threats to Israel and the US. How strange that an atomic power with more than half a million soldiers, yet unable to vacate Faizabad Chowk for three weeks and D-Chowk for six months, should make such threats. The Muslim world has reached this situation because of laziness and ignorance in pursuing science and technology, which we dominated from the 7th to 11th centuries. The saying by Prof Dr Alfred North Whitehead: “A nation that does not honour her intellectuals is bound to face disgrace and be destroyed and all past glorious victories will be of no avail if she did not pursue science and technology” amply describes the situation. Up to the 16th century, the Turks were an overwhelming force to be reckoned with to which all the mighty emperors and kings of Europe and China sent expensive gifts. They even laid siege to Vienna while the Moors had reached Tours, south of Paris. Ever since the Israeli aggression and occupation of the West Bank and Al-Quds, the US and Western countries have been paying lip service and dangling a carrot of a two-state solution in front of the Arabs. But quietly and secretly they made sure that Israel annexed all the occupied Arab lands. A few words here about the Palestinians. After World War I, France and the UK distributed the Arab World amongst themselves. The mischief and brutalities undertaken against the Islamic World are well known and documented. They cheated the Muslims, colonised them, looted their natural resources and pushed their

people into the dark ages. We have more recent examples of Bush and Blair, who lied to the whole world, destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan and murdered almost one and a half million innocent people. After the Second World War, all the efforts of the Western countries have been directed at harming Islamic countries, Kashmir and Palestine being the two most notable cases. The Palestinians have been told that they are still unfit to rule themselves while quite a few backward countries have been considered capable of ruling themselves. The Jews had suffered so much at the hands of the so-called ‘civilised’ Germans. But now Zionists are perpetrating the worst atrocities on the Palestinians, who had nothing to do with WWII. The UN resolution of 1947 envisaged two states – Israel and Palestine. Israel exists and has meanwhile usurped much of the land reserved for the Palestinians, but there are no powers clamouring for the enforcement of this resolution. Such conflicts go back to the time of the Crusades. After many wars between the Crusaders and the Muslims, Salahuddin inflicted a humiliating defeat on the combined forces of England, France, Germany and other European countries. The treatment meted out to the wounded and captive Crusaders by Salahuddin is a golden chapter in the history of the Islamic World. Until WWI, things were more or less normal in Palestine, but then Britain, as an occupying power, allowed thousands of Jews to come into Palestine and enabled them to buy and occupy large tracts of Palestinian lands. Most of these Jews came from Europe. The Turkish caliph had forbidden the migration of Jews to Palestine and the purchase of land by them, but this changed with the British occupation. Up till then, all Muslim countries, except Morocco and Mauritania, had been under Turkish rule. Their downfall in Spain, Central Asia and the Middle East was due to in-fighting and intrigues. The Arabs played a very dirty and treacherous game during WW1. Sharif Hussain of Makkah was the governor of Hijaz under the Turkish government and he, his sons and some other joined the British. Col T E Lawrence of the British Army was accepted as their leader and they attacked the Turkish army and destroyed the infrastructure on the (false) promise that, after the war, all Arab lands would be made into an independent Arab country. The Arabs also destroyed the most useful railway network between Turkey, Baghdad, Basra, Damascus and Madina. It is rather ironic to see the Israelis, who had suffered so much at the hands of the Germans, now being so cruel and brutal against the Palestinians. They seem to have forgotten that when they were persecuted and thrown out of Spain, it was the

Saudi Arabia Demands $6 Billion For The Release Of Prince Al-Waleed The Saudi Arabian authorities are demanding $6 billion from Prince AlWaleed Bin Talal, in return for his release after he was arrested in and anticorruption purge. But the prince has refused to pay any fee for his release, as he claims paying the fee would amount of an admission of guilt.


Sultan of Turkey who had welcomed them and treated them with dignity and respect and as equal citizens. There are still many Jews in Turkey to this day. Unfortunately, the aggressive attitudes of presidents Gemal Nasser and Yasser Arafat, and later the indifferent attitudes by both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, were of no help in solving the Palestinian problem. As I said, we have come to expect anything from President Trump (nuclear war not exempted) as we did from President Bush. It is also painful to have to accept that the conference held in Turkey, which was called by President Erdogan, achieved nothing. “They came, they sat down, they talked, they ate and they dispersed”, to use the words of the famous Iranian poet, Firdausi. The cunning West managed to cheat the Arabs after World War I. The Arabs had been promised an independent, unified Arab country after the Turks had been pushed out of Arabia. Instead of the promised independence, they got Israel planted in their midst, which the West then proceeded to arm to the teeth and let loose like a bull in a china shop. The Arabs were no match for the Israelis thanks to the latter’s massive armaments. All subsequent wars resulted in the defeat of the Arabs. Throughout history, Palestine has been a hotbed of intrigues – wars, crusades, murder and massacre. After Salauddin defeated the Crusaders, the region witnessed peace for a long time and under the Turks it developed. But the advent of easy money has spoiled the Arabs. Look back in history at the periods of Hazrat Umar (RA) and of Amir Muawia (RA). Their suzerainty ranged over an area almost eight times larger than Pakistan. Western kings and emperors were in awe of them and fearful lest the Islamic forces turn towards them. They presented many precious gifts to them through their emissaries. We also know that these ‘mighty’ caliphs and amirs lived extremely simple, religious lives. What we must remember is that, while we can, and should, have friendly, mutually beneficial trade relations with many nations, we should always safeguard our national interests. This means we cannot become their stooges or mercenaries for their causes or stand in front of the world holding a begging bowl. The moment you lose your independence and self-respect, you become a beggar to be kicked around at will by all. This we see in the American attitude towards us every day. We are being threatened, insulted, bullied and blackmailed. Compare this with their attitude towards India. For the last 17 years our country has been bleeding and paying a very heavy price for the follies of a dictator. Had he not bowed down to President Bush, we would have been a peaceful nation and a relatively prosperous one.

Imran Khan Voted Samaa’s Person Of The Year In Poll The results of Samaa’s person of the year poll is out. The winner is Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan. A total of 23,978 votes were cast. A whopping majority of the votes – 14,929 – went to Imran Khan.

We should not have any illusions about Western attitudes. In the 1980s, the then British PM Margaret Thatcher openly said that now that communism was no longer a threat, the only remaining opponent (read: enemy) was Islam and that it had to be dealt with. During the Gulf War, George Bush is on record as having said: “We are fighting a Crusade”. It looks like the Almighty has sealed the hearts, the eyes and the minds of Muslims for their wrongdoings. The results/consequences are obvious. On the one side we have Israel, armed to the teeth with nuclear and modern weapons, and on the other side we have luxury-loving rulers with no guts. The occupation of Al-Quds and the West Bank is not the end of the story. Gaza, south of Lebanon and north of Syria, will fall in due course and Israel will be the winner in the end game. The political situation for Muslims in the Middle East is bleak. The Saudis are being seen as having chosen to stand with the West when it comes to dealing with Syria, Yemen and Iran. Don’t be under any illusions. Our number can come up too at any time. We saw what happened in Spain and Central Asia. UN resolutions (128 vs 9) to condemn the US move are no more than lip service, which won’t have any affect. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Dr Maleeha Lodhi made a very good speech but, unfortunately, good speeches have never, on their own, given positive results. If the horse is lame, the jockey can’t help it win the race. The whole of the Western world, whether covertly or openly, fully supports Israel. The indifferent attitudes of the Saudi Arabian and Egyptian government have added to the situation. Being very good friends of the US, they could have been instrumental in getting this problem solved a long time ago for the sake of peace in the region. Had the Arabs had the insight of Z A Bhutto, they, with all their money, could have become a nuclear power with a lot of clout. But they lacked foresight and did not bother to make the effort. The consequence is a bleak future for the Palestinians. PS: Former PM Nawaz Sharif and his associates are continuing with their unwise talk. Many people wish them well, but they should show maturity and fight legal battles, not verbal ones. Let us pray for patience, courage and wisdom to get through the current unpleasant situation. It is painful, but the law is the law and the judges know what they are doing. Even if you have 90 percent votes but do something wrong, the law will still get you. Email: dr.a.quadeer.khan@gmail.com

UN Warns Of Surging E-Waste 44.7 million tonnes of E-waste was generated around the world in 2016. The UN warned that waste from discarded electronics like mobile phones, laptops and refrigerators are piling up worldwide. The UN has urged for better recycling.

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A Shift In Favour Of Staying In EU? As the enormity of the mess over Brexit becomes clearer by the day, public opinion on Brexit itself seems to be in the process of a seismic shift. A recent poll has found that now, as many as 51 per cent people think that the UK is better off in the EU, while only 41 per cent feel that Brexit is the better option. Again, the total number of people polled was only 1400 so this too is a small sample and cannot be taken as the final word. But now a series of polls are coming out showing that a serious rethink is on its way. In the poll mentioned above, a lot of people said they could not make up their mind. This in spite of the fact that newspapers and TV programmes have been full to the point of spilling over on Brexit and begs the question: what are these people waiting for to make up their minds? Signs from heaven are rare these days and one has to go by more mundane guidelines. However, when these people were pushed by pollsters to go for one option or the other, the ultimate result came out to be 55.5 per cent in favour of remaining in the EU and 44.5 per cent in favour of leaving. It needs to be clarified though that much of this swing away from Brexit is due to the views of people who, although are registered voters, did not bother to vote in the June 2016 referendum. Views among those who voted one way or the other in June last year do not seem to have moved a great deal with 90 per cent still sticking to their guns. Nevertheless, the shift, such as it is, is beginning to be problematic for the government. It has always been said that if the swing reached the mark where 60 per cent or so favoured staying in the EU, it would then become dif-


ficult for the government to deny a second vote on the final Brexit deal, something the government has firmly stood against. In fact, the government was not even inclined to give Parliament a ‘meaningful’ vote on the deal and has only now been forced to do so as it was defeated on this point in its Brexit bill with a dozen Tory MPs voting against the government. In something which is perhaps not even seen in the murky world of Pakistani politics, the so-called ‘rebels’ have received a volley of abuse on the social media, not even excluding death threats. It is very rare for British politics to see such division and while on one level, it is heartening to see that the influence of Pakistan on British life goes so much beyond culinary delights, one is not quite sure if this is the way to go. As Britain prepares to enter more rounds of talks with the EU to determine the future relationship between these two entities, such figures will not be helpful for the British negotiating team – and could well drive the EU team to take up a harder stand. Not that they seem to be in any need of encouragement to do that.

Maryam Nawaz Featured On New York Times’ Powerful Women List Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has been featured on The New York Times list of 11 powerful women who the publication's correspondents wrote about in 2017. Maryam along with 10 other women from around the world have been chosen for the article run under the NYT's Saturday Profile section, which "aims to bring to readers people around the world they probably have never heard of, but who have led interesting lives and done extraordinary things, or perhaps recently gone through a remarkable experience". The curated list references to the NYT article published on October 27, "In Pakistani Fray, Maryam Sharif Is on the Edge of Power, or Prison", that focuses on "how she emerged as the right hand of her father" while also facing corruption charges. “I am undeterred, unperturbed, fighting,” she is quoted as saying while "constantly clicking on a diamond-andsapphire prayer counter" in the article. Other powerful women on the NYT list include Henda Ayari, a French citizen of North African heritage and anti-Salafist activist who accused a prominent Oxford professor of raping her; Yu Xiuhua, one of China’s most read poets; and Manal al-Sharif, the "Saudi woman who got behind the wheel and never

looked back", among others. Maryam, as well as her father Nawaz Sharif and her husband retired Capt Mohammad Safdar, are still facing a trial in an accountability court on a reference pertaining to the Avenfield flats in London. The case was filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the orders of the Supreme Court in its Panama judgement on July 28. The daughter of the former premier has been vocal on social media about Nawaz Sharif's trial, the verdict that disqualified him, and the references filed against him, often openly referring it to his ouster as "victimization". Maryam also led the campaign for the NA-120 byelections on behalf of her mother Kulsoom Nawaz who was undergoing medical treatment in London. The National Assembly seat was left vacant by Nawaz Sharif's ouster in the Panama case verdict.

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Malala Was The Most Popular Pakistani On Wikipedia In 2017 Malala Yousufzai topped the list of most searched Pakistanis on Wikipedia for a second year in a row, revealed a report of the Pakistan affiliate of The Wikimedia Foundation. The list, which tabulates Wikipedia searches of Pakistani personalities, is based on searches carried out from January 1, 2017 to December 20, 2017.

Vin Diesel Named 2017’s Top Grossing Actor

Here's who all made it to the top 20: 1) Malala Yousufzai (2,558,980 pageviews) 2) Mahira Khan (2,035,441 pageviews) 3) Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1,339,159 pageviews) 4) Saba Qamar (910,102 pageviews) 5) Imran Khan (884,206 pageviews) 6) Nawaz Sharif (867,548 pageviews) 7) Fawad Khan (860,213 pageviews) 8) Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (838,527 pageviews) 9) Benazir Bhutto (794,442 pageviews) 10) Abdul Sattar Edhi (664,107 pageviews)

Vin Diesel has beaten his Fast And Furious costar Dwayne Johnson to be named last year's top grossing actor. The action star's latest addition to the xXx franchise, xXx: Return Of Xander Cage, topped up the 1.2 billion dollars (£897 million) that The Fate Of The Furious raked in worldwide to see his films make 1.6 billion dollars (£1.2 billion) combined in 2017, according to Forbes. Box office flop Baywatch was unable to buoy The Rock, whose releases this year have so far pulled in 1.5 billion dollars (£1.12 billion) with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle still out in cinemas. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot came in third after her films, also including Justice League, made 1.4 billion dollars (£1.05 billion) globally. Britons are well represented in the annual list, with Harry Potter favourite Emma Watson stepping out of Hermione's shadow to star as Belle in Disney's live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast - the year's highest grossing film so far with global takings of 1.26 billion dollars (£942

million). Daisy Ridley pipped fellow Londoner John Boyega in the list, as combined takings of 1.08 billion dollars (£807 million) from star turns in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Murder On The Orient Express helped her to sixth place. The Last Jedi's takings of nearly 800 million dollars (£597 million) in its first two weeks helped Boyega, who also starred in smaller movies Circle and Detroit, place 10th. Tom Holland made it to seventh place with global earnings of 888 million dollars (£664 million) mostly bolstered by his revival of a comic book hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Johnny Depp, Chris Pratt and Chris Hemsworth make up the top 10, finishing fifth, eighth and ninth respectively. Forbes calculated the ranking by adding up global ticket sales of top actors' films using data from Box Office Mojo, and animated movies with voiceovers or actors in minor roles were excluded.

Time To Get Your School Applications In Council leaders are urging families to apply for their child’s primary school before the closing date of 15 January and use all three preferences. Parents will find out the outcome of their primary school application on 16 April 2018. Parents are encouraged to make sure they fill in all three preferences in order to keep their options open. Parents can express up to three preferences but some parents choose not to. Putting down three preferences does not reduce the chance of parents getting their preferred option, but does provide alternatives if the preferred school is over-subscribed. Families are also encouraged to name their catchment school as places cannot be reserved for catchment pupils where a positive preference for this school has not been expressed. Sheffield City Council’s admissions team deals with thousands of applications for secondary and primary schools every year. This year is the first year parents can apply to the city’s new school; Astrea Academy on the Old Pye Bank site, in the North East of the city.

Astrea Academy will provide places for children and young people aged two-19. A new secondary school Mercia Academy, on the Bannerdale site, in the South West will also open in September 2018. Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “All families deserve great schools close to where they live. With birth rates rising we are seeing an increase in pressure on school places. This is why we are building two new schools, Astrea in the North East and Mercia in the South West of the city, and planned for additional primary school places at Ecclesall Infants and Totley Primary school. “I would encourage all parents and carers to fill in their application form for a school place as soon as possible and most importantly please fill in all three preferences. “ If families need help with the form they should contact 0114 273 5790 or email ed-admissions@ sheffield.gov.uk

India’s Economy Will Be Worth $5 Trillion By 2025. But Why Is It Growing So Fast? Innovation – India’s start up ecosystem is the third largest in the world. Workforce – by 2050 India will have the world’s largest working-age population and also the youngest. Spending power – the number of middle class households will be more than double by 2050. Urbanization – 40% of India’s population will live in cities by 2050. Economic Development – currency and tax re-


forms modernizing the economy are in process. Low unemployment – jobless figures have halved from 9.5% in 2016 to 4.8% in 2017. Low Inflation – it has been falling in recent years and is now at 2.3%. India is the world’s seventh largest economy, but forecasts say it will be the second largest by 2050, overtaking the US, Germany, Japan and the UK. Could this be the Indian century?

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Sindhi Nationalists Go Missing The fresh wave of enforced abductions in Sindh Province begun when dozen of the people are supposed to have been disappeared on 22 Dec 2017. The families of abducted people are either intimidated by the security agencies, or they are unable to raise the voice against the enforced disappearances of their loved ones due to severe threats to torture. Gulam Murtaza Solangi S/O Abdul Latif Solangi, from UC Wada Phull went missing on 21 November from near his home. He was low profile Jeay Sindh activists. The number of Sindhi political activists went missing from the town Larkana recently. These people are known as 1. Sabir Hussain S/O Allah Dinno resident of village Muhammad Ibrahim Chandio, near Qambar-Shedadkot, Larkana, 2. Pathan Khan from Village Baqrani, 3. Khadim Hussain S/O Muhammad Daood Aareejo resident of village Khair Muham-

By Ahmed Nawaz Sindhi

mad Aareejo, Baqrani Larkana, 4. Zaheer Ahmed S/O Gulam Abbas, Dokri Larkana, 5. Khalid Hussain S/O Nizamuddin Solangi resident of Dokri Larkana, 6. Muhammad Ihsan S/O Nazar Muhammad Mangi resident of Rehmat purr Muhalla Larkana. These political activists disappeared in months of November and December 2017. The member of WSC and Human right activist, Dr Syed Alam Shah’s father was abducted on Tuesday 12 Dec 2017 by the security agencies of Pakistan. Mr Syed Sinkandar Ali Shah was abducted from near his house in Block C, Lahori Muallah Larakana. While Shah’s house at Karachi came under search oppression when some gunmen entered the house and pushed the family members to wall. Dr Shah’s wife Saba was threatened when she resisted gunmen searching the shelfs. They kept searching the house and took some documents in their possession.

The Humble Orange One Orange provides 47 calories per 100gm; 0.1g fat, 0.9g of protein, 12g of carbohydrates and 181mg of potassium. Interesting facts • Oranges have been grown since ancient times and originated in Southeast Asia. It is believed that Christopher Columbus was the first to bring orange seeds to America during his second voyage to the region in 1493. • As of 2010, Brazil grows one-third of all the world’s oranges. • Around 85% of all oranges produced are used for juice. • There are now over 600 varieties of oranges worldwide. • Because oranges do not spoil easily and are full of vitamin C, during the years of world exploration, sailors planted orange and other citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy, which is a disease that develops from a deficiency of vitamin C. Health facts • Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C which is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body. It disarms free radicals and prevens damage in the aqueous environment both, inside and outside the cells. • Vitamin C, which is also vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, is good for preventing colds and may be helpful in preventing recurrent ear infections. • A diet high in citrus fruit provides a statistically significant protective effect against some types of cancer. Citrus appears to offer the most significant protection against esophageal, laryngeal and stomach cancers, reducing the risks up to 40-50%. • Citrus fruits also offer protection against cardiovascular diseases. Folate in them helps lower blood pressure, protecting against stroke and cardiac arrhythmias. • An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong antioxidant effects.

Syed Sikander Ali Shah went missing in December Gulam Murtaza S/O Abdul Rasool Solangi abducted in November

Youthquake Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year 2017 has been judged as not only reflective of the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past year, but as having lasting potential as a word of cultural significance. Youthquake is defined as ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people’. As per statistics, the usage of this word saw a fivefold increase in 2017 compared to 2016, with most

of its usage in June during UK’s general election. It was in September that the second, and largest spike in its usage was recorded. Diana Vreeland, editor-in-chief of Vogue, coined youthquake in 1965 – based on the pattern of ‘earthquake’ – to describe the youth-led fashion and music movement of the swinging 60s, which saw baby boomers reject the traditional values of their parents.

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag The saying means to reveal a secret or disclose facts that were previously hidden. It can also be used to refer to someone who is a ‘blabbermouth’ and provides quite the visual – a cat, playing the part of the secret, coming out of the bag which plays the role of where the secret was hiding. The first recorded use of this phrase comes from a book review in a 1760 edition of London Magazine, where the reviewer wished the author had not spoiled a surprise or secret in the book.

Feminism Defined as ‘the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes’, the word ‘feminism’ has been named word of the year by the American dictionary Merriam-Webster. The dictionary claims to have seen a 70 per cent increase in online searches for the word in 2017 as compared to 2016. How-

ever, the largest spike in searches came during the last weeks of January 2017, following the Women’s March in Washington DC, as well as around the world. The word gained more popularity in terms of its search on the internet after revelations about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein went viral.

Revised Trans-Pennine Tunnel To Be Shorter Revised proposals for a road tunnel between Sheffield and Manchester have been drawn up as part of a transport plan for the north. The new TransPennine tunnel would be shorter than the 20-miles currently proposed and include major upgrades to the A628. Transport for the North (TfN) said the new route would also be cheaper to construct. The revised idea will be presented to the Government by the end of next year. Last year, the Department for Transport unveiled five possible routes for a multibillion-pound tunnel to link the M60 motorway east of Manchester to the M1 north of Sheffield. The revised plans include: A shorter tunnel starting within the existing Woodhead Pass route


Improvements to roads between Liverpool and Hull A spokeswoman for Transport for the North said the original proposal was shown to be too expensive and did not address the network beyond Sheffield. The new idea has been set out in the draft Strategic Transport Plan, and addresses infrastructure needs over a 30-year period. It highlights two priority areas: A high-speed line connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull, and a London-style smart travel system allowing people to move easily between different modes of transport. The draft plan will be published in January with a public consultation running until April.

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