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Palestine Urges Britain For an Apology
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah called on Britain to apologize for the Balfour declaration that has aided the establishment of Israel on the lands of Palestine, instead of celebrating it. Hamdallah said that Britain “should undertake its responsibility and apologize for the historic injustice that it has caused for the Palestinian people and rectify it instead of celebrating it.” He described Britain’s centennial celebration of the declaration as a “defiance of international public supporters of the Palestinian cause and supporters of justice, freedom and human rights”. November 2 marks 100 years since the Balfour declaration, which is the name given to the letter dated in 1917 from Britain’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, who was then a leader of the British Jewish community, announcing British support for the Jewish people to build their state on the lands of Palestine. Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, announced that her country “will certainly mark the centenary with pride.” “We must also be conscious of the sensitivities that some people do have about the Balfour declaration and we recognize that there is more to be done. We remain committed to the two-state solution in relation to Israel and the Palestinians,” she added. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded during his UN General Assembly speech last September that Britain apologize for the Balfour declaration and compensate Palestinians for the occupation of their lands after that letter paved the way for it.
Child Poverty In Britain Set To Climb To New Record
IFS forecast that 37% of children will be in relative poverty by 2022 would see all progress made in the last 20 years undone. The number of children living in poverty will soar to a record 5.2 million over the next five years as government welfare cuts bite deepest on households with young families, a leading UK thinktank has said. New research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts an increase of more than a million in the number of children living in poverty, more than reversing all the progress made over the past 20 years. The IFS said freezing benefits, the introduction of universal credit and less generous tax credits would mean a surge in child poverty and that the steepest increases would be in the most deprived parts of the country.
The report’s findings, which also predict a widening of the gap between rich and poor and four more years of weak income growth, pose a direct challenge to Theresa May, who arrived in Downing Street pledging to help those “just about managing”. May has slightly softened the impact of the £12bn of welfare cuts announced by the then chancellor George Osborne after the 2015 general election, but the IFS said the impact on poor families would still be severe. By 2021-22, the IFS expects 37% of children to be livingin relative poverty – defined as a household where the income is less than 60% of the UK median – after housing costs have been taken into account. The thinktank said this was the highest percentage since modern records began in 1961.
Election For South Yorkshire Mayor To Go Ahead
A £1 million election will be held to choose a South Yorkshire mayor next year — who will have no powers or budget. Sheffield City Region’s near £1 billion devolution project came to an end last month as Barnsley and Doncaster councils pulled out. But speaking during a special debate on South Yorkshire devolution, Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry confirmed an election for a mayor for the Sheffield City Region Mayor will be held on May 3, 2018. He said: “It is the law of the land that
the election for a Sheffield City Region Mayor will take place on May, 3 2018. “We (The Conservative Party) stand ready and are proceeding to select our candidate for South Yorkshire Mayor election.” A city region spokesman said: “As things stand, a mayoral election is still set to go ahead in May 2018, to elect a mayor for the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority. “This mayor will chair the combined authority, have equivalent voting rights to existing local authorities at its meetings, and also have some powers relating to bus franchising.”
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Nearly 1,000 new houses to be built in Sheffield More than 850 new homes are set to be built across Sheffield – including areas of Manor, Norfolk Park and Parson Cross. Sheffield Housing Company, set up by Sheffield City Council in partnership with Keepmoat and Great Places in 2011 to kickstart housebuilding in the city has delivered more than 400 new homes and developed skills and apprenticeship opportunities with local firms. Now Sheffield City Council will be loaning £3million to kick-start the next phase of the project which will build around 850 new homes and deliver over £1bn of private sector investment into housing in Fir Vale, Manor, Norfolk Park and Parson Cross, in addition to the 450 they have already built. Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “We all know that there has been a failure in this country to deliver the housing that we need, particularly for our young people and families. That is why we are acting locally thorough our programme to create an additional 1,000 new council homes in Sheffield to kick-start housing development in the city where we have land available.” The work being commissioned for new housing estates such as Cutler’s View and Brearley Forge is benefitting local businesses’ to the tune of £18m, 200 jobs have been created with 46 apprentices. And more than 170 training initiatives have been created by the company, which first formed in 2011 and is one of the few examples – although more are being inspired to follow – of a council linking up with house builders to kick-start the housing market. In 2015, England’s local authorities built fewer than 3,000 new homes, just a tiny fraction of the estimated 250,000 new homes needed every year to meet demand. Sheffield Housing Company has built 450 homes over the last five years. Semi-detached houses – all with gardens – are selling from £99,995 for a twobed, £152,00 for a three-bed and just over £200,000 for a fourbed.
Coldest Winter In Years On Way For The UK Sheffield had its first touch of frost of the season in the past days and it could just be the start of things to come, warn forecasters. Toward the end of the year bitterly cold weather is set to take charge over much of the country as freezing air sweeps down from the Arctic. Forecasters believe this coming winter will be the coldest to hit the country since 2012/13 and there are fears snow and ice will lead to widespread travel disruption. December and January are expected to be colder than usual with the north of England and Scotland hardest hit. The Weather Company, said: “We expect the coldest winter in the UK since 2012-13. “We expect extended spells with a ridge of pressure in the North Atlantic, especially in early winter. “This forces the jet stream up to the Arctic and back down into Europe, releasing Arctic high pressure from near the Pole directly into northern Europe, with colder-than-normal temperatures."
Sheffield Labour Councillors Call On Government To Pause Rollout Of Universal Credit Labour Sheffield City Councillors argued at Octobers Full Council meeting (a monthly meeting which all of the city’s councillors attend) that the government should pause the roll-out of Universal Credit. Currently the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) are failing to pay one in four new claims within their six week period and that this is having a hugely detrimental impact on claimants as it is driving debt, arrears and even evictions. Nationally half of families in arrears under Universal Credit have said that their rent arrears started after they made their claim, with 42% of families in arrears stating that this is due to the long waiting times to receive payment, support being delayed or stopped, or administrative errors in the system; The changes to benefit payments will see benefits going to the claimant rather than straight to the landlord, as was the established system. This change was originally piloted for council homes in Sheffield, and in the piloted areas there was a 43% increase in arrears, and this was for people who were not in arrears beforehand. Should similar results be found when Universal Credit be rolled out completely the Council will be faced with a huge shortfall, and this in turn will have a significant effect on the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), and the council’s ability to build and repair council homes, and the council have already had to make millions of pounds of provision in the HRA for loss of income. Councillor Mohammad Maroof, Nether Edge & Sharrow, is proposing the motion to Full Council to get cross party support for Labour’s campaign to get the government to immediately halt the implementation of Universal Credit. “Our Labour council has been clear with our concerns for some time about the proposed changes to Universal Credit, and I wanted to put it forward to the entire council that we need to send the government another clear message. We believe the changes could have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable – a large proportion of whom will be single parents and/or from the BME community “The way they are going about the changes will be extremely damaging for many. We have seen already that Labour have forced the government into scrapping the 55p a minute telephone call service for people calling for help affected by the benefit changes, and I hope that we can go one step further - getting this policy stopped
Sheffield Drivers To Car Insurance Hikes Hit Face 20Mph City Centre Sheffield Drivers Speed Limit
Drivers in Sheffield are facing a 15 per cent increase in car insurance compared to last year, with an average vehicle insurance cost of £952, according to a new report. The figures have been published by price comparision website, Confused.com, and are similar to trends across the country.
immediately until all of the issues around its implementation have been resolved” Councillor Jim Steinke, Nether Edge & Sharrow, will also be speaking at Full Council tomorrow: “I find it incredible that the government are pressing ahead with the roll-out of Universal Credit despite the widespread outcry. It is even more incredible that they are doing so given that they are closing job centres, such as Eastern Avenue, and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau are unlikely to be able to cope with an increased demand”. “The CAB play an essential role in providing support and advice to a great many people but that resources are becoming increasingly stretched; and that government cuts to local authorities coupled with cuts to the welfare state since 2010 have created a perfect storm – with advice agencies unable to cope with demand. “We need not only a change of government policy but a change in the actual government itself! “This government are freezing the value of crucial support that 11 million families receive. Both nationally and locally Labour are the only party who can stand against this and effectively challenge the Conservatives’ austerity programme”.
A new 20mph per hour speed limit is to be introduced in Sheffield’s city centre following a Council-led public consultation. The aim is to cut speed and accidents as well as reducing pollution. Sheffield Council are planning for the new speed limit to come in to effect by the end of the year.
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Hate Crimes Rose To 80,393 In 2017 The Brexit vote and terror attacks in London and Manchester fueled the largest annual rise in hate crime since records began, according to new figures. The number of hate crimes recorded by police has increased by 29% since last year as offences spiked after the EU referendum and Westminster Bridge terror attack in particular. The Home Office data showed total hate crimes rose from 62,518 offences in 2015/16 to 80,393 in 2016/17. Its report noted four spikes in racially or religiously aggravated offences in England and Wales in the last year: in June 2016 and March, May and June 2017. These spikes coincided with Britain voting to leave the EU, the Westminster Bridge attack, the Manchester Arena bombing and the attacks at Borough Market and Finsbury Park Mosque. The Home Office report said: "The increase over the last year is thought to reflect both a genuine rise in hate crime around the time of the EU referendum and following the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack, as well as ongoing improvements in crime recording by the police." The data, which the government began collecting in 2011/12, splits hate crime into five categories: offences motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity. Racially aggravated offences were the most common to be documented by police, making up 78% of last year's hate crimes. The new figures come after it was revealed fewer alleged hate criminals were prosecuted last year. In 2016/17 a total of 14,480 hate crime pros-
ecutions were completed across England and Wales, down 6.2% from the previous year. Police forces recorded 110 hate crimes directed at mosques between March and July this year, up from just 47 over the same period in 2016. Racist abuse and threats to "bomb the mosque" feature heavily among the hate crimes, as do incidents of offenders smashing windows on buildings and parked cars. Other records include offensive graffiti sprayed on to buildings, violent assaults on worshippers, two cases of arson and two cases of individuals leaving bacon on door handles at mosques. The data was obtained by the Press Association through Freedom of Information requests to UK police forces. The figures, based on 42 responses from 45 forces, also show: :: 25 forces saw a year-on-year increase in hate crimes directed at mosques, with the biggest rise reported by Greater Manchester Police (nine crimes, up from zero) and London's Metropolitan Police (17 crimes, up from eight). :: Threats, harassment or other intimidating behaviour more than tripled, from 14 crimes in 2016 to 49 in 2017. :: Violent crime against individuals more than doubled from five recorded crimes against worshippers at mosques in 2016 to 11 crimes in 2017. :: Crimes recorded as vandalism or criminal damage increased from 12 in 2016 to 15 in 2017. Due to differences in how police forces record their statistics and the fact that not all forces are included in the figures, the true number of hate crimes directed at mosques is likely to be higher still.
Sheffield MP Backs Campaign Against School Cuts Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield joined campaigners in Parliament to lobby against school cuts, after figures showed that nearly £2 million will be cut from schools in his constituency by 2020. Parents joined headteachers, teachers, and school support staff in Westminster to tell MPs about the impact of cuts on their schools and colleges. Every primary school in Sheffield Central will face annual cuts of up to £487 per pupil, as detailed in the figures produced by the campaign coalition led by the National Association of Head
Teachers and the Association of School and College Leaders. After meeting campaigners, Mr Blomfield said: “The cuts hitting Sheffield schools are deeply concerning. We will be losing teachers who are performing vital roles and those that remain will face even greater pressures. Our children deserve better; their whole lives will be shaped during their school days. It doesn’t have to be like this. The crisis is the result of Government choices and the wrong priorities. I’m calling on the Government to think again in next month’s Budget and invest in our children’s future .” In June Mr Blomfield spoke in a House of Commons debate on education and called on the Government to reassure schools that they wouldn’t cut funding.
Trump Blames Islamic Extremists For Violence In UK US President Donald Trump said that violence by Islamic extremists was behind an increase in criminal offences in the UK. Trump was referring to a report published by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) which said that between June 2016 and June 2017, the police recorded 5.2 million crimes in England and Wales, up by 13 per cent from the previous 12-month period. “Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ Not good, we must keep America safe!” Trump said in a tweet. The ONS report referred to terrorist attacks in London and Manchester in providing its figure on homicides, which totalled 664 between June
2016 and June 2017. The report said the “recent trends in homicide have been affected by the recording of incidents where there were multiple victims” such as the attack in March at the Westminster Bridge and the Manchester Arena bombing in May. The ONS said that “of the 664 homicides recorded in the year ending June 2017, there were 35 relating to the London and Manchester terror attacks”, both of which were determined to be Islamist-related terrorist incidents.
The Most Powerful Passport In The World Collecting passports has become a status symbol for the super-rich — or those who simply love to travel. However, some are much more sought-after than others. And Singapore has been named as the country with the most powerful passport in the world in a new report. The 2017 Global Passport Power Rank, produced by advisory firm Arton Capital, put Singapore at the top of its list. It ranked all of the passports of the world by their "total visa-free score," where a point is given for each country that their holders can visit without a visa, with a visa on arrival, or using electronic travel authorisation. It gave Singapore a score of 159, meaning holders of a Singaporean passport can now easily visit 159 countries, either visa-free or by gaining a visa on arrival. The top ranking for Singapore is thanks to a recent decision by Paraguay to remove visa requirements for passport holders of the Asian city-state. Until this decision, Singapore was tied with Germany at 158. Germany now holds the spot for the second most powerful passport at 158, closely followed by Sweden and South Korea at 157.
The United Kingdom got a score of 156, while the United States got 154. This is the first time an Asian country has had the most powerful passport in the world, according to Arton Capital. Meanwhile, the least mobile passport in the world is Afghanistan, with a score of 22, followed by Pakistan and Iraq at 26.
A Third Of Drivers Handed Fines Each Year As Use Of Cameras Grows A third of motorists in the UK are handed fines each year as police and local authorities increase the use of remote cameras to catch drivers, new research has revealed. Each year sees 12 million drivers in the UK handed fines by the police and local authorities, according to a new report by the RAC Foundation. At eight million, parking fines represented the overwhelming majority of fines, though local authorities were found to hand 2.5 million penalties for box junction and bus lane violations, as well. A further one million speed and red light camera fines were issued in the same 12 month period along with 500,000 fines for late licensing and a lack of insurance. However, the actual number of fines and penalties could be higher if drivers weren't currently given educational courses as alternatives to fines. The 12 million total does not include the annual 1.2 million drivers who are given speed awareness courses as alternatives to speeding fines and the 200,000 drivers who were given driver awareness courses as an alternative. The study cites growing use of cameras as a rea-
son for the increased number of fines issued. In 2011, 52 per cent of fixed penalty notices were camera-detected. This rose to 74 per cent in 2015, while private parking fines have risen three-fold since 2012. The use of cameras is likely to grow as police forces face diminishing budgets and staff levels. Previous research has found road police numbers have fallen by nearly a third in the last decade. While wrongdoing should be punished and not excused, a decline in frontline policing risks an imbalanced approach to enforcement. Millions of motorists are being caught by camera, often for arguably minor misdemeanours, whilst more serious and harmful behaviour goes undetected. When it comes to civil enforcement of bus lane and parking infringements authorities should constantly be asking themselves whether the number of notices issued suggest a different method is needed: some bus lanes and box junctions have become renowned as money spinners. If thousands of drivers a day are getting tickets this is a clear indication of a system that is failing.
NHS To Ban Chocolate Bars NHS England will ban “super-sized” chocolate bars from hospital shops, canteens and vending machines to curb an escalating obesity epidemic The health department is saying sweets and chocolate sold in hospitals should be 250 calories or under and pre-packed savoury meals and sandwiches must also contain no more than 5g of saturated fat per 100g. NHS staff are also being targeted as part of the move to tackle unhealthy eating, including those on overnight shifts. Public Health England says hospitals have an “important role” in addressing obesity and not just dealing with the
consequences. In April, NHS England said it would ban sugary drinks if hospital outlets did not cut down on the number they sell.
The 100-Year-Old Balfour Declaration That Led To Israel’s Creation Britain's Balfour Declaration turns 100 this week, hailed by Israel for helping lead to its founding, but viewed by Palestinians as contributing to a catastrophe that stole their land. The November 2, 1917 declaration by then British foreign minister Arthur Balfour said his government viewed “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. It was only one sentence of 67 words, but it was the strongest support yet from a world power for the goals of the Zionist movement — Jews, including those facing persecution, resettling in the land of their ancient ancestors. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will commemorate the anniversary in London, where he will attend a dinner in honour of the declaration with his British counterpart Theresa May. May has said she will mark the date with “pride”, but there is also criticism in Britain over the anniversary because of Israel's continuing half-cen-
tury occupation of the West Bank. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour party has said he cannot attend the dinner -without explaining further -- although shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry will. Palestinians are planning a demonstration in Ramallah as part of their campaign calling on Britain to apologise for the declaration. They have also explored suing Britain over it. Netanyahu said that the declaration “advanced the international moves that established the state of Israel”. “While the state would not have arisen without settlement, sacrifice and a willingness to fight for it, the international impetus was, undoubtedly, the Balfour Declaration,” he said. For Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah, Britain should apologise for a “historic injustice it committed against our people and to correct it instead of celebrating it”. "The international community is obliged, while we approach the first centennial of the ominous Balfour Declaration, to end the historic injustice that has been inflicted on our people." The declaration came in a letter from Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the Jewish community in Britain, and had British cabinet approval.
Some argue today that later events — conflicting policies from Britain and the Zionists' own efforts to realise their dream -- diminished the Balfour Declaration's importance. But others see it as monumental, having helped lay the groundwork not only for the creation of the modern state of Israel, but also the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. British leaders saw the Jewish community as capable of helping them win World War I due to its perceived influence in finance and within Russia, he said. Others say that Britain was also seeking a firm foothold in the Middle East after the war. For Palestinians, the declaration is colonialist and even racist. It mentions that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine". Not only were they left nameless in the document, Palestinians say, but Britain has also failed to ensure the pledge was maintained. It was written "as if the Palestinians did not exist", said Nabil Shaath, a senior adviser to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. "We were referred to as 'others', others in Palestine who had civilian and religious rights but no political rights whatsoever." It would be another 31 years before the state of Israel would be founded in 1948. The war surrounding its creation saw 750,000 Palestinians either expelled or fleeing from their homes. In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. It later annexed east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state. Hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are greatly diminishing as Israeli settlement building continues in the West Bank.
Theresa May sought to acknowledge those concerns in her recent comments. "We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of the state of Israel and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride," she said. "We also must be conscious of the sensitivities that some people do have about the Balfour Declaration, and we recognise that there is more work to be done. We remain committed to the two-state solution in relation to Israel and the Palestinians."
Sharrow’s Autumn Carnival Returns This November Community groups in Sharrow are coming together again to celebrate the season with a second Autumn Carnival in Highfield Adventure Playground on Saturday November 4th, 3-8pm. There will be local music, food and free family activities, including a parade of lights leaving Highfield Adventure Playground (HAP) at 6pm. People can make amazing light creations at a free drop-in family workshop between 3-5pm at Highfield Adventure Playground. All materials will be provided, along with support from professional artists. This is a repeat of the event that happened in 2016, attended by 350 people. Local councillors Mohammad Maroof described last year’s event as, “an excellent example of community cohesion.” Lanterns made at school workshops and earlier in the day can be collected from 5pm. There will then be entertainment from a fire spinner at 5.30pm, before the parade leaves at 6pm. The parade will travel up South View Road and down Vincent Road, led by the Rotherham African drummers. The parade will also include the musical talents of Sheffield Music Hub Children’s Samba band, with the University of Sheffield’s Samba band bringing up the rear. Families are welcome to bring what they have made in one of the free workshops or something created at home, such as lights, lanterns and glow in the dark costumes. The celebrations will end back at Highfield Adventure Playground with food provided by local volunteers followed by dance performances from 6.45pm including classical Indian dance, flamenco, street dance and Bollywood. For further information please contact. Cllr Mohammad Maroof Councillor for Nether Edge & Sharrow Ward
Town Hall Surrey Street Sheffield S1 2HH Tel. 0114 2735588 (Office) Mob: 07790017297 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @CllrMaroof Facebook: Mohammad Maroof
Fly-Tipping Costs Taxpayers £58M At a cost of £58m, more than one million incidents of fly-tipping were dealt with by councils in England in 2016-17. It was the fourth year in a row that incidents increased. Around 56,000 fixed penalty notices were handed out by councils to people caught illegally dumping. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said household waste accounted for two-thirds of fly-tipping. Between April 2016 and March 2017, there were 1,002,000 cases of fly-tipping handled by councils in England, equivalent to 114 every hour – 66,000 (7%) more than the year before. There was a slight decrease in the number of enforcement actions taken by councils, such as investigations and warning letters. In England in 2016-17, there were 474,000 enforcement actions carried out, a drop of 20,000 on the year before, although 56,000 fixed penalty notices were given for small scale dumping. In May of last year, all councils across the country were granted additional powers that allowed them
to give fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping as well as their existing powers to use them for littering and anti-social behaviour. The most common place for waste to be dumped was at the side of the road. Defra said two-thirds (67%) of fly-tips “involved household waste”. “Total incidents involving household waste increased by 8% from 2015/16.” In a report accompanying the statistics Defra said, “Many local authorities have started to improve the way they capture and report fly-tips over the past few years, so the increase over time should be interpreted with some care.” A Defra spokesman said: “Fly-tipping is an unacceptable blight on our landscape, which is why we have cracked down on offenders by strengthening sentencing guidelines and giving councils the powers to hand out on-the-spot fines to fly-tippers. “We have made it easier for vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping to be stopped, searched and seized and will continue to work with local partners to stop this inexcusable crime.”
Drop-Off And Pick-Up Charges Soar At UK Airports People dropping off or picking up friends and family at UK airports are facing higher than ever charges, according to RAC research. This year, drop-off fees have increased at a quarter of the UK’s busiest 20 airports, while eight have put up the initial price of pick-up parking, with price rises on initial tariffs of between 20p and £1. The most expensive dropping off charge is £3.50 for just 10 minutes at London Stansted Airport, up from £3 last year, while when it comes to picking up London Luton tops the table at £7 for 40 minutes. Both Glasgow International and Southampton previously offered 10 minutes’ free parking for drivers making drop offs, but have now introduced charges of £2 and £1 respectively. However, here is some good news for drivers volunteering for airport drop-offs and pickups. London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester, Belfast City, Cardiff, London City and Jersey airports all offer free spaces for people making drop offs, while when it comes to picking up, Belfast Airport allows drivers ten minutes free. Liverpool John Lennon and Leeds Bradford are the most generous airports, offering 40 minutes and an hour respectively for free to drivers collecting people. It’s also worth noting that even if you get a taxi to and from the airport, some firms may add
any parking costs to the fare. Here are five top tips to avoid the stress of high airport parking charges. 1. Do your research Check out the airport’s website parking pages to understand fees, payment options and stay times. Some airports may even offer lower online rates. 2. Have your payment ready Once you have checked how to pay, ensure you have payment ready to hand whether that is adequate change, a debit or credit card or pre-programme the phone payment number into your mobile. 3. Identify a nearby ‘holding location’ It is worth checking out nearby free parking places in case your friends or relatives’ flight is delayed so you can wait for the plane to land before proceeding to the terminal. If picking up, make sure you keep abreast of the flight’s landing time. 4. Keep in touch Ask your friends or relatives to call you once they have collected their luggage and cleared passport control so you can park at the optimum moment. But remember if you are driving – it must be hands-free. 5. Say your goodbyes before travel Say your farewells with your passengers before you get to the airport to keep goodbyes to a minimum.
British Civil Service Is Open To All The British government unveils the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Strategy to become UK’s most inclusive employer by 2020. The British Civil Service has already made significant progress towards increasing the diversity of its workforce. Introducing measures such as anonymised recruitment and making Permanent Secretaries accountable to the Head of the Civil Service for improving diversity and inclusion have made a positive difference to the amount of under-represented groups in the Civil Service. On gender whilst 42% of current Senior Civil Servants are women, in 2017, 49% of all new recruits into the SCS were women. The proportion of women at Senior Civil Service level (42%) is now greater than the representation of female executives and Board Directors in FTSE 100 companies (26%). The proportion of ethnic minority civil servants has increased rapidly from 9.4% in 2012 to 11.2% today, and representation of disabled people within the Civil Service has increased every year since 2010, from 7.6% to 9.9% in 2017. Only 4.6% of Senior Civil Servants are from ethnic minority communities, however, and only 3.3% report having a disability, so there is more to be done.
The new strategy includes building a dedicated ethnic minority programme to improve the representation of ethnic minority staff at the most senior levels across the Civil Service; to create a Diverse Leadership Task Force that will report to the Cabinet Secretary; to publish a data dashboard tracking progress on diversity and inclusion targets by April 2018; To establish a new framework for measuring inclusion and to embed diversity and inclusion in Single Departmental Plans. Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood said: “In order to serve the country to the best of its ability, the Civil Service must ensure that it reflects the diversity of the UK. Having a diverse workforce is not enough though, if it is to be truly brilliant, the Civil Service must strive to be inclusive and must create an environment where differences of thought and outlook are not only respected, but expected. “Although progress has been considerable over the past few years, today’s strategy highlights how we must go further. Our ambition to become the most inclusive employer by 2020 is testament to our commitment to diversity and inclusion and to making the best use of talent that exists in all parts of society.”
Rotherham Councillor Numbers To Be Reduced Final recommendations for new election bounda- Sledgate Lane and Moorlands to the new Thurcroft ries in Rotherham have been announced for when & Wickersley South ward and moving Golden the number of councillors is reduced. There will be Smithies Lane inside the Wath boundary. nine wards with three councillors and 16 represented by two, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England has said. The arrangements — including cutting elected members by four to 59 — are set to be implemented by Parliament in time for the 2020 local polls. Changes made during consultation included adding
Housing - The Hot Topic
Mohammed Mahroof BSc (Hons) MRICS Consultant Mark Jenkinson & Son Here we are in November 2017, it is getting towards winter and the hot topic of housing still dominates the headlines. As a nation we are nowhere near solving the crises, which has if anything been exacerbated since the General Election. It has been high on the agenda of the present Government, with the Communities Secretary promising measures to tackle the housing crises in this month’s budget. One key thought is to borrow more money to build hundreds and thousands of new homes. There promises to be a major house building programme which is akin to the post war effort to increase housing numbers. The numbers being suggested are between 275,000 and 300,000. The test for some people is will it be followed through and if so would these properties be genuinely affordable. Whatever your thoughts on the initiatives being suggested, no one can deny the need is there and real. If you put this crisis into historical content the last major housing programme followed the Second World War, when thousands of homes were built for returning soldiers and to replenish the stock that was lost as a result of the war. The period between 1950 and 1970 saw major new social housing projects the like of which have not been seen since. The quality of these homes was good. Economically it created many new jobs and got the economy moving. The 1980’s saw a major change in social housing when the Right To Buy legislation was introduced which gave the right to many existing tenants to buy their homes at a discount. A huge number of people took advantage of this and are doing so to date. Clearly the lack of restocking meant the number of available council houses was reducing and the corresponding waiting lists increasing. If you are on a waiting list for a council house you will realise the wait can be quite a long time and in some areas this can be for many years. Housing Associations is another form of social housing stock,
which again has been under tremendous pressure from demand outstripping supply. Another major effect on the housing stock was the lack of new homes being built for sale, since the late nineties this has had a major effect on stock. As a nation we have aspirations to own our home, this is quite peculiar to us as in Europe the rented sector is very strong and for the vast majority a tenure of choice. So what about the future, my thoughts are as follows: •The need for a major house building programme is long overdue. • In order to give direction the Government does need to get involved. •Developers need to be challenged, to build on sites which already have planning permission •The Private Rented Sector is maturing but does need a further boost. •The Green Belt debate needs to be had in earnest. • The Planning process needs to be geared up for delivery. •The tenure choice is moving towards the Private Rented Sector. • A new concept of Build to
Ethnic Monitories More Likely To Be Low Paid, On Benefits And Victims Of Crime The Government’s long-awaited audit on British society has shown that Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Britons are more likely to be low paid, on benefits and victims of crime. According to the database released on October 10, BAME Britons earn £2 per hour less than their white counterparts. Among the findings is data highlighting that the unemployment rate among BAME people – currently at 8 percent – is nearly double that of white Britons, which stands at 4.6 percent. The gap is even larger when looked at geographically, with unemployment of BAME people in the North at 13.6 percent, compared with 9 percent in the South. The database also shows that unemployment rate for BAME’s nearly double that of white Brits, 8 percent compared to 4.6 percent. While two in three white adults own their home, only two in five of householders from any other ethnic group do. The figures on hourly earnings show that last year, the average white worker made £13.75 with black Britons earning £11.88 and workers of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin on £11.42. That suggests that over the course of a year, white employees are raking in around £4,000 more each than non-whites. The audit also shows Asian households will be £11,678 worse off overall by 2020, compared with a fall of £6,199 across the decade for white families. The audit also showed a glaring disparity in the application of law and order. The average length of a prison sentence for Black and Asians is 23 to 24 months while whites get 18 months for the same offence. Black men are also three times more likely than white men to be arrested, with approximately 44 in 10,000 black men arrested as compared to the corresponding figure of 15 for white people. They are also six times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than white people. The audit also found White working class children are victims of long-standing racial “injustices” which see them struggle to get on in life. The research found that white pupils from state schools had the lowest University entry rate of any ethnic group. The project was launched by Prime Minister, Theresa May, in a bid to end the injustice of different ethnic groups being treated differently by society. “People who have lived with discrimination don’t need a government audit to make them aware of the scale of the challenge. But
Rent is coming, this is very different to the private rented sector. (I will talk about this in a future article). In conclusion it is clear that the dynamics of the housing market will and do need to change.
this audit means that for society as a whole – for the Government, for our public services – there is nowhere to hide,” said May. She added, “These issues are now out in the open. And the message is very simple: if these disparities cannot be explained then they must be changed. Britain has come a long way in my lifetime in spreading equality and opportunity. But the data we are publishing today will provide the definitive evidence of how far we must still go in order to truly build a country that works for everyone.” Previously published data included in the new survey shows that black people are six times more likely than whites to be stopped and searched by police. But when cases come to court, white suspects are more likely to be convicted than those from other racial groups – suggesting that more non-whites are being charged with crimes which they didn’t do. Asian people are more likely to be happy with the way people in their local area get on, with 85 percent saying they have good community relations compared to 81 percent in the population as a whole. The audit was criticised by some activists and politicians, Home Office Shadow Minister, Afzal Khan, said the probing questions that the data throw up remain unanswered. “Why are ethnic minorities still disadvantaged in access to public services, what are the Government going to do about it now that the audit has revealed the extent of the problem,” he asked. He also asked why the religious discrimination was omitted from the audit. “Why have they left out religious discrimination, such as that against Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs and others?” asked Khan. While former London Deputy Mayor, Munira Mirza, called the Government’s approach “crude and tendentious” that could “harm the very communities they are aspiring to help”. In an open letter to The Times, Mirza and other signatories say: “All too often statistics are misused in a way that casts minorities as victims of racism and ‘white privilege’.” However, Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, refuted these arguments against the audit. He said: “I think there will be people out there today taking note of this, whether they are from black, minority ethnic backgrounds or not, and thinking this is exactly the kind of thing they want their government to do.”
No Deal Brexit Would Hit Yorkshire Hard The realities of Brexit were brought closer to home from new research which highlighted how a no deal Brexit will mean a loss of over £9.23bn to Yorkshire and the Humber. The Tories have a long established record of ignoring the North. They have not provided any answers as to who will plug this huge financial gap. The Government is facing fresh calls to publish its analysis into the regional impact of Brexit, as new research suggest cities in Yorkshire could be among the worst-hit by a “no deal” scenario. According to figures seen by the Yorkshire Post, Leeds stands to lose £6.4bn in the event of a so-called “Hard” exit from the EU, while Sheffield could lose out on up to £2.83bn. The estimates follow reports that the Treasury has set aside £250m for contingency planning in anticipation of leaving the bloc without a new trade arrangement in place. It also follows renewed suggestions by European leaders that the Brexit process could be halted altogether should the UK change its mind. The Government is understood to have commissioned more than 50 studies looking at the impact of Britain’s exit from the EU on specific industries. The Lib Dems have workd with experts at the London School of Economics to produce their own estimates of the effects of a “hard” and “soft” Brexit. The party claims the cities of London and Birmingham are set to be the worst-hit in the event of a “no deal” exit, with parts of the capital seeing a 9.5 percent drop in output. However, it also suggests that Leeds, which has one of the biggest financial services sectors outside of the South East, could see a drop in output of up to six percent – equivalent to £6.4bn York, Sheffield, Harrogate and Bradford could also see a decline in economic output of up to 5 percent, according to the research. Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have expressed confidence about a new trade agreement with the EU, but maintain no deal would be better than a bad deal. The Shadow Brexit Minister and Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield have warned this could be “disastrous for the entire country”. “The Government should be honest about what its approach to Brexit would mean for regions across the country,” he said. “That’s why Labour is calling on them to publish the work they’ve done on the regional impact of Brexit.”
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By Shaheryar A. Chishty
ALLAH (God) Is Great Above my head, the sovereign of the world We live beneath his divine presence He coruscates his glowing bulb All the way from the sublime heavens
We worship him in: churches, mosques and synagogues He is mentioned in them all Attached to the beat of your heart When you need him, you just have to call
When night approaches All is silenced Agitated waters go to sleep Darkness wraps around the brightest
We speak to him in prayer By prostrating down to his highness Asking for our desires An attitude which is righteous
When the morning rises Birds melodiously tweet Flowers rise up from kneeling To see the universe’s most elite
ALLAH (God) gives us what we want He presents us what we need He guides on a straight path So we can succeed
The moon sinks in to the barren sky Left to watch the life below But ALLAH (God) sends him stars to accompany him He is no longer isolated, ALLAH (God) diminished his ample woe It is said that ALLAH (God) is omnipotent The one we all obey No matter what creed we are in He will always show us the way We show reverence to his authority We praise about his creations He is all over the world He has done so much, we have many obligations
In the corner of our minds a voice echoes A prayer to save or protect But when our problems are solved Our saviour is the one who we forget
London has retained its rank as the number one city in the world shrugging off Brexit worries, according to Global Power City Index (GPCI). The GPCI, published by the Mori Memorial Foundation, ranked London as number one for the sixth year in a row, highlighting the city’s strengths in, its cultural offer and transport links and its rank as a major centre for innovation. The report ranked 44 major cities across six key measures including the economy, research and development, culture, accessibility, the environment and liveability. London performed strongly across all areas, ranking ahead of other cities such as New York, Tokyo, Paris and Singapore, and was ranked first for culture, with
ple are protected, just as Lord Balfour intended all those years ago? Conservative former minister Sir Hugo Swire echoed Labour's calls, telling Mr Johnson: "A positive way to mark this important centenary would be for the UK to finally recognise a Palestinian state - something many of us in this House believe would honour the vision of those who helped bring about the state of Israel in the first place." Mr Johnson said the UK "wants to recognise a Palestinian state" as part of a two-state solution but the moment is not yet right. He later reiterated there is a chance to "proceed with a version of the Arab peace plan" which has been on the table since 2002. Mr Johnson went on: "Nobody ever got rich by betting on a successful conclusion of the Middle East peace process, but there is an opportunity, we must do whatever we can to persuade both sides that this is their moment for greatness. "That is certainly the case we're making to both of them."
overseas tourists making a record 19.1 million visits to the city in 2016. A study by Oxford Economics commissioned to coincide with the GPCI, reported that London’s economic growth is expected to be stronger than many other European cities. London’s GDP growth is set to be 2.4 per cent a year until 2021, outperforming a number of other major European cities including Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin. London’s growth is predicted to be greater than the average GDP growth of all eurozone nations, which is forecast to be 2 per cent. Brexit is the major event of the coming years and would have an effect on London’s growth.
Sadiq Khan To Tour Pakistan And India
He is described as benevolent We have been told he is forgiving We should be courteous to the almighty He is the one who helps the living “Which is it, of the favours of your Lord ,that ye deny? (AlQuran)”
Boris Johnson Rejects Call For The UK To Officially Recognise State Of Palestine Boris Johnson has rejected Labour's desire for the UK to mark the Balfour Declaration's centenary by officially recognising the state of Palestine. The Foreign Secretary said the UK judges, alongside the French and other European allies, that "the moment is not yet right to play that card" of recognising Palestine. He added in the Commons: "It won't on its own end the occupation. It won't on its own bring peace. It isn't after all something you can do more than once. "That card having been played, that will be it. We judge that it is better to give every possible encouragement to both sides to seize the moment." The 1917 Balfour Declaration was seen as the first significant declaration by a world power in favour of a Jewish "national home" in what was known as Palestine. Arthur Balfour, as foreign secretary, sent the letter which remains a deeply divisive document. Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry had urged Mr Johnson to use the 100th anniversary of the declaration to reflect on Britain's role in the region and ask whether there is more it could be doing to "bring about lasting peace and stability" in the Middle East. She said: "Can we do more to ensure the political rights as well as the civil and religious rights of Palestinian peo-
London Remains The Best City
The mayor of London Sadiq Khan is all set to visit six cities in India and Pakistan later this year, his first official visit to both the nations as a part of his campaign ‘London is open’. Covering six cities in six days, Khan will be looking to attract investments from both the countries. “This is a really important mission as there are so many areas in which London can work with its counterparts across India and Pakistan in tackling challenges like air pollution and climate change”, Mayor said One of the major constraints between India and UK’ trade relationship has been the existing immigration rules which discourage both investors and students to
come to London. Responding to the issue of immigration he said, “London is open to all. Its open to talents, its open to businesses and it’s not in anyone’s interest to prevent students to study in London. Not to forget that they contribute to the economy.” The labour politician, who will be joined by his deputy Rajesh Agrawal on his tour, would be visiting Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar in India before heading to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan. This would be Sadiq Khan’s first official visit to both the nations as a part of his campaign ‘London is open’. Amid the uncertainty after Brexit, he would seek to demonstrate that London is open to business as ever and continues to welcome people. Excited about this upcoming trip he said, ” As someone whose grandparents were born in India and whose parents moved to London from Pakistan, I feel deep affinity for the subcontinent. This trip can deliver real benefits for Londoners. London has been one of the most sought after destinations for Bollywood (Indian film industry) with nearly 260 million of inward investment from Indian film productions between 2008 and 2016. The itinerary for the Mayor’s visit is still being finalised.
Women’s Dementia Risk Increased By Midlife Hypertension The study found that women who developed the condition, also known as hypertension, in their forties were 73 per cent more likely to develop debilitating brain decay than women who had stable, normal blood pressure throughout their thirties and forties. Doctor Rachel Whitmer, who led the American research said: “High blood pressure in midlife is a known risk factor for dementia. “But these results may help us better understand when this association starts, how changes in blood pressure affect the risk of dementia and what the differences are between men
and women.“ The results, published online by the journal Neurology, were the same when researchers adjusted for other factors that could affect risk of dementia, such as smoking, diabetes and body mass index (BMI).
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Organised Gang Beggars Earn Up To £200 A Day In Sheffield City Centre Some street beggars in Sheffield city centre are part of organised gangs duping people into believing they are homeless. The force said the city has some genuine homeless people who have resorted to begging to survive, but that gangs are preying on the generosity of Sheffielders and planting people around the city centre to dupe kindhearted passers-by into believing they do not have a roof over their head. Dealing with beggars is high on the list of priorities for the new City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team, which has been set up to find longterm solutions to issues blighting life for visitors, residents and workers. The team is one of four set up in areas of high demand for South Yorkshire Police with a view to finding unique solutions to unique problems, with police chiefs accepting that what might solve an issue in one community might not have the same impact in another. South Yorkshire Police and partners want members of the public to avoid donating cash to beggars on the streets but to give it to charities and organisations instead who can support and help those in genuine need. SYP say "Enforcement plays a part in dealing with begging, but it is also not the sole answer and it needs to be done carefully. Most successful prosecutions result in fines, making it hard for those who are genuinely homeless to break the cycle, so it is important we continue to strengthen our ties with partners in the council and homeless charities, to ensure that appropriate enforcement is combined with the support that is on offer around the city. There really is some excellent work being done that the public are probably unaware of, and there are some genuinely inspiring
stories about those who have turned their lives around. "While, as a partnership, we continue to work to improve our approach to the issue, I believe the public have a big part to play in reducing the begging in Sheffield. While I fully understand the desire to help those who appear less fortunate, by giving to those begging, it can make it more difficult for the support agencies to successfully engage them, and ultimately help their situation. That is why we would ask the public instead to support the charities and organisations who offer that support. With regards to the beggars who see this more as an easy income, ultimately, if it was not as lucrative they would not be as keen to sit on the streets of Sheffield." As a policing district, it is one of the most diverse in Sheffield, with city centre businesses, residential areas and the bars and clubs all nestled side by side. During the day officers know thefts, street drinking and begging are an issue in areas such as the Devonshire Quarter, Fitzalan Square and Haymarket, but then the anti-social behaviour often moves to other areas of the city later in the day and early evening.
Ethnic Minorities Are ‘Better At Social Care’ Social Care - Ethnic minorities better at looking after elderly, says care minister. 'They bring with them cultural practices, and we used to have those,' Jackie Doyle-Price tells Tory party conference Ethnic minority households in the UK are better at looking after the elderly than British families, the care minister has said. Jackie Doyle-Price, minister for social care and mental health, said the UK was no longer a nation where people look out for neighbours and family members struggling with old age, claiming that society had lost the “cultural practices” it once had. “As a society we’ve become less good at looking out for our neighbours, not just our families. “When I was growing up, people used to be in and out of each other’s back doors, having cups of tea; if anybody was struggling, everybody would muck in and look after them. And that’s gone. We could do a lot better as a society and really look out for each other. “You actually find care responsibilities being discharged among ethnic minority populations more than the indigenous population and that’s because they bring with them cultural practices, and we used to have those.” It comes as hundreds of thousands of elderly people have been left without help to carry out everyday tasks such as washing and dressing, as social workers “constantly battle” to provide adequate levels of support to vulnerable people in the community. Local councils have repeatedly warned that the social care sector faces an annual £2.3bn funding gap by 2020, with steep cuts having put services “at tipping point”. Ahead of the general election, Theresa May was
accused of proposing a “Frankenstein’s monster of a plan” for millions of pensioners after announcing a flagship policy that would see more elderly people having to pay for social care in their own home. Ms Doyle-Price defended the proposal, saying it had “actually been very helpful in crystallising this debate because until then a lot of people were blissfully ignorant about the scale of the challenge we face”. “I don’t think it’s fair to expect the next generation of taxpayers to pay for this generation’s long-term needs,” she told the event. “Individuals are going to have to make provision for themselves, or if they want the state to do it they’re going to have a pay a lot more in tax.” She added that a failure to build enough houses had left elderly people “rattling around” in family homes that were unsuitable for failing health, arguing that policies to help them downsize could avoid the need to go into nursing homes. It comes after recent research shows one in six care homes in the UK are showing signs they are at risk of failure, with the percentage of nursing homes displaying the hallmarks of financial distress having increased by about 5 per cent compared with the previous year.
Parents Urged To Vaccinate Their Children Against Flu This Winter Parents and carers are being urged to help protect the three million eligible children from flu this winter. This year, the vaccine, administered in the form of a nasal spray, is being offered to 2–3 year olds, those in school years, 1, 2, 3 and for the first time, children in year 4. Children aged over 4 in reception will also be eligible to have their vaccine done in school this year. The downside is that the nasal spray contains pork derivatives which go against the teachings of Islam. Fluenz Tetra – Nasal spray, contains gelatine, used as a stabiliser. The gelatine comes from pigs, but very sensitive scientific tests have shown that no DNA from pigs can be detected in the nasal flu spray. These tests show that the gelatine is broken down so much that the original source cannot be identified. There is considerable doubt that the porcine gelatine does not undergo a "transformation", in fact it is based on "extraction", which renders it impermissible. The current vaccination is not a necessity, as parents have the option to remove their children from it. There is an alternative vaccine available to this new one, in the form of the current main vaccination which is administered via injection and which does not contain gelatine. New data published in August of this year showed that last year’s flu vaccine nasal spray reduced the risk of flu in vaccinated children by 65% across the UK last winter, meaning 65 children in every 100 were protected from flu. Flu can be very serious illness for little children. They have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headaches and a sore throat. Some children also develop a very high fever and complications
such as pneumonia and bronchitis which may require treatment in hospital. Influenza (flu) is a very common and highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It can be very dangerous, leading to serious complications and death, especially for people in risk groups. In rare cases flu can kill people who are otherwise healthy. In the UK an average of 600 people a year die from complications of flu, but in some years this can rise to over 10,000 people. Flu leads to hundreds of thousands of GP visits and tens of thousands of hospital stays a year. Apart from protecting individual people, getting the flu vaccine helps to reduce the spread of the disease, and so reduces the chance of passing on the flu virus to other people who may be at risk of flu. There are two different kinds of flu vaccine available in the UK, both of which protect against common strains of seasonal flu: The nasal flu vaccine is offered each year to children over the age of two. The vaccine is being introduced gradually over a number of years. The inactivated flu vaccine is recommended mainly for adults, but also for babies and children from 6 months to 2 years old who are at risk from complications of flu. This includes children under the age of 2 with long-term health conditions such as asthma and other lung diseases, liver or kidney disease, brain conditions and learning disabilities. Babies under 6 months old are too young to receive a flu vaccine. Flu vaccination is offered to all pregnant women in the UK. As well as protecting pregnant women themselves, this also helps to protect their newborn babies from flu. In the 2016-17 season, more than 12.7 million adults and children in England got vaccinated against flu.
Know Your Air Travel Rights Following the collapse of Monarch Airlines just days after the Ryanair fiasco, it's important to know your rights to avoid being stranded and out of pocket. Customers can often be compensated for flights that are cancelled, overbooked or severely delayed. But many are left in the dark about how whether they are eligible for a refund. Shockingly, only two per cent of almost nine million passengers entitled to refunds actually claim for them, according to figures from flight delay compensation company AirHelp. Refunds can be worth up to hundreds of pounds, while affected travellers can receive additional expenses for everything from the cost of phone calls to overnight accommodation. Many passengers are unaware of their rights ahead of their journey. This causes them to not submit a claim, which could be worth up to £520, or keep hold of receipts so that they can claim further expenses back.
THREE: Ask for advice You can use online tools like the AirHelp website to check out your eligibility for flight compensation. They also have a mobile app, which allows you to check for refund eligibility on the go. FOUR: Find out the ACTUAL reason for the delay The more specific the reason, the better. If they say that it’s due to ‘operational circumstances’ or ‘flight safety shortcomings,’ ask them for more detail. This information is important down the line if you decide to file a claim. FIVE: Note the RIGHT arrival time This is not when the wheels touch down, but when the plane is actually at the gate and the door opens. If you’re more than 3 hours late, you could be entitled to compensation.
It’s also worth knowing rights at ports and bus stations across Europe. Travelling within the US is different. Passengers waiting for 3 hours for a flight, due to for example staff shortages Tips for airline passengers to make sure they are not protected by EU laws. Leaving the EU will leave this avenue open get a flight refund, plus any expenses. for travellers unless the UK Government safeONE: Think before you book Read the terms and conditions of your flight guards this post-Brexit. booking to make you aware of what you can and can’t claim for if it all goes wrong. TWO: Keep hold of your boarding pass You will need information on your boarding pass when making a claim, including your booking reference number, a six digit code which may contain both letters and numbers. Failing that, use any flight document with the reference number.
London Flats Put Nawaz in Trouble Court issues bailable warrants against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. An accountability court has issued bailable warrants against ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in cases relating to two of his properties. The Islamabad-based court wrapped up the first hearing in the Sharif family’s London flats case after grilling the former leader’s guarantor about his absence from the hearing. The bailable warrants were issued for the Flagship Investment case and the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment case. Meanwhile, the hearing on the Avenfield flats in London was adjourned until November 3. The court had indicted Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain Mohammad Safdar on October 19 in connection
with a case pertaining to the Avenfield flats filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The former Prime Minister was separately indicted in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment cases. All three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz were named co-accused in the charge-sheet. A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on July 28 had directed the NAB to file cases against Nawaz Sharif and his children in six weeks in the accountability court and directed the trial court to decide the cases within six months. The former premier and his two sons have been named in all three NAB cases, while Maryam and Safdar were named only in the Avenfield case.
Pakistan Army Wins Gold In UK’s Cambrian Patrol Exercise A team of Pakistan Army has won a gold medal in Exercise Cambrian Patrol held in the United Kingdom, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. A total of 131 teams from across the world armies participated in the event known as “one of the toughest patrolling test for military personnel”. This is the fourth time Pakistan Army has won a
gold in the Cambrian Patrol, winning the competition last year as well. Cambrian Patrol is physically challenging and arduous exercise, which concentrates on teamwork for achieving the mission held in the most unforgiving mountainous terrain of mid-Wales, UK, amid tactical and technical challenges, testing leadership, self-discipline, courage and determination of the participants. Run by the 160th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Wales of British Army, over 140 countries compete in the exercise, which puts the soldiers’ military strength to the test. Exercise Cambrian Patrol began in 1959, when a group of Welsh Territorial Army soldiers designed a weekend training event featuring longdistance marching over the Cambrian mountains and culminating in a shooting match on the Sennybridge training area.
Motorway Roadworks Speed Limit Could Be Increased To 60Mph Speed limits through roadworks in England could be raised to ease congestion and negate the impact of repairs. The current speed limit through roadworks is 50mph, but tests carried out by Highways England found that drivers' heart rates were lower when they drove through repairs at slightly higher speeds. Since September 2016, Highways England has trialled different speed limits and is now considering rolling out a 55mph or 60mph limit where it is safe to do so. Lower speeds are likely to be
maintained in areas with narrow lanes, contraflows or where workers are close to the road. In two separate trials, more than 70 motorists were provided with dashboard cameras, watches with heart rate monitors and GPS trackers to monitor their reactions. In a 60mph trial zone, 60% of participants recorded a decrease in their average heart rate. Meanwhile, 56% showed a decrease on the 55mph trial. Further trials are set to take place later this year and, depending on the results, higher limits could be introduced more widely in 2018.
Sky High Debts Renew Civil-Military Fight In Pakistan A World Bank report cautioning Pakistan over its $31 billion gross external financing has triggered a fresh rift between the country’s civil and military leadership. In its twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus (SAEF) report, released on October 10, the apex bank said that external account pressure has persisted in 2017-18. “The current external situation can become unsustainable in absence of adequate policy response,” warned the global lender. After the report, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal were in an apparent disagreement over the economic condition of the country. The country’s finance ministry took an exception at what it called was the Bank’s attempt to paint a “negative picture” of its external account. “Pakistan’s external account has shown a strong performance in the first two months of the current fiscal year and misinterpretation of data (by the World Bank) to deliberately paint a negative picture is uncalled for,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance. Despite the finance ministry’s rebuttal, country’s powerful army chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa, expressed concern over the “sky-high” debt, and said national security and economy were interlinked and called for broadening tax base and bringing in financial discipline to break the “begging bowl” syndrome. The army chief said Pakistan’s economy was showing mixed indicators as “the growth has picked up, but the debts are also sky high”. Infrastructure and energy, he added, had improved
considerably, but the current account balance remained not in Pakistan’s favour. “The common man across Pakistan needs reassurance of benevolent and equal treatment from the state,” he said, adding that it was high time for the country to place economic growth and sustainability at the highest priority. The statement from the Rawalpindi General Headquarters didn’t go down well with the country’s Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who cautioned the Inter-Services Public Relations not to comment on the national economy. “DG ISPR should refrain from commenting on national economy,” said the minister , adding that “Irresponsible statements could hurt Pakistan’s global image.” The ISPR head responded to Ahsan Iqbal’s criticism saying that being a soldier and citizen of Pakistan, he was disappointed in the statement made by the interior minister. This maneuvering ahead of elections next year is not only raising concern that the military will tighten its grip on policy, it is reflected in the stock market taking a hit. Already it has slumped to among the world’s worst performers from the best in 2016. The army has directly ruled Pakistan for almost half its 70-year history and, even when not in power, is seen as exerting influence over security and foreign strategies. The renewed civil-military fight threatens to worsen Pakistan’s economic fortunes, and if the fight between the army and politicians continues, it will certainly spill over to worsening of relations with neighbouring India, Afghanistan and Iran.
Speeding Scam Email South Yorkshire motorists are being urged not to click on links in emails claiming they have been caught speeding, after Action Fraud received thousands of reports of a scam email being circulated. Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, said analysis of the reports shows the emails have been sent by cyber criminals to victims across the UK. The emails claims that you are being notified about a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and have photographic evidence that you failed to adhere to the speed limit at specific date, time and location. An Action Fraud spokesman said:
"This is of course not true, but it goes on to say that because you have been named as a driver of the vehicle you have a legal obligation to comply with the provisions of the notice. "The aim of these emails is to get you to click on the link to “check the photographic evidence” which leads to banking trojan malware. "NIP’s are never sent by email, they are always sent through the post using a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) registered address." Residents who receive one are being warned not to click on any attachments, to delete the email and report it to the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre.
Mileage Scam Around 2.3 million British cars currently show an incorrect mileage reading on their odometer, an investigation has revealed. Based on the 37.3 million cars registered to drive on British roads at the end of 2016, this worrying figure has emerged following an investigation into rates of "car clocking" in the UK. New research has shown a 25 per cent increase in incidents of "car clocking" Car clocking refers to the practice of manually altering a vehicle's odometer reading to make it appear as though the car has travelled as shorter distance than it actually has. Research conducted by automotive data expert’s hpi found a 25 per cent jump in incidences of clocking in the last three years, with a significant increase in the number of people attempting to defraud second-hand buyers. They estimate that one in 16 British cars could be giving a false reading. By lowering a vehicle's mileage reading, sellers are able to add hundreds, and even thousands, of pounds to the value of the car - which accord-
ing to the new figures could cost motorists and second-hand dealerships more than £800 million each year. Changing the odometer reading can also pose a danger to drivers, as severe wear and tear could be overlooked or unidentified if a car is thought to have travelled a shorter distance. Second-hand car buyers should proceed with caution and always check a vehicle's history prior to completing a sale. Motorists are able to crosscheck a car's odometer reading through the National Mileage Register, and instantly identify any discrepancies.
Why Is Laughter Contagious?
Mr Shumile J. Chishty
If you see two people laughing at a joke you didn't hear, chances was a process of strengthening the bond between them. People laugh when they feel free and are comfortable with one another, are you will smile anyway, even if you don't realize it. so laughter definitely increases bonding between people, just as it According to a new study, laughter truly is contagious: the brain did for our ancestors. responds to the sound of laughter and preps the muscles in the The way a person reacts to a sound is dependent on the brain’s premotor cortical region. This region is responsible for how the face to join in the mirth. It seems that it's absolutely true that 'laugh and the whole world muscles in the face react to the corresponding sounds. University laughs with you,’ You probably maybe aware that when you are College of London conducted a study on certain volunteers where talking to someone, we often mirror their behaviour, copying the they played different sounds to them and measured their brain’s words they use and mimicking their gestures. Now it’s shown that the same appears to apply to laughter, too at least at the level of the brain. Just like yawning, laughing is also highly contagious, but laughing is one contagious act that we love and gladly spread it to others. In fact, even the sound of someone laughing can make you let out a gut-busting chuckle. How many times has it happened that you laughed your heart out at a movie theatre, but when you watched the movie alone again on TV, you didn’t find it that funny, or at least didn’t laugh nearly as loud? It’s because you were watching the movie by yourself, but that isn’t the same thing that happens when we experience humour in larger groups. People may laugh for various reasons, such as if they like a joke, if they see their friend take an awkward tumble, or if they experireaction to the sound. ence anything else that might tickle their funny bone. Studies have shown that laughing has been passed on to humans It was seen that responses were higher for positive sounds, such from our ancient primate ancestor. For our ancestors, laughter as laughing of the sound of triumph, and were much lower for
New Promises From Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince ‘We will not waste 30 years of our lives dealing with extremist ideas; we will destroy them today,’ Prince Mohammed bin Salman vows at landmark conference Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, speaking at a major investment conference, has promised his kingdom will return to “what we were before – a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world”. Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud made the announcement at the beginning of the landmark Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. The country would also do more to tackle extremism, the prince said. “We will not waste 30 years of our lives dealing with extremist ideas; we will destroy them today,” he said. “It was not like this in the past... We will end extremism very soon,” the prince added, in his most direct criticism of Saudi Arabia’s conservative religious establishment to date. The crown prince said that the country's conservatism was in part fallout from Iran's Islamic Revolution. “What happened in the last 30 years is not Saudi Arabia. What happened in the region in the last 30 years is not the Middle East. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, people wanted to copy this model in different countries, one of them is Saudi Arabia. We didn’t know how to deal with it. And the problem spread all over the world. Now is the time to get rid of it. "We are a G20 country. One of the biggest world economies. We’re in the middle of three continents. Changing Saudi Arabia for the better means helping the region and changing the world. So this is what we are trying to do here. And we hope we get support from everyone." Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, is governed under a puritanical form of Sunni Islam known as Wahabism; it is extremist versions of Wahabism that are espoused by jihadist movements such as al-Qaeda and Isis. In the wake of 9/11, the Saudi authorities have worked alongside the US and other Western countries to tackle radicalisation and terrorism funding – but have often been criticised for not doing enough. The claims from Prince bin Salman will be met with scepticism internationally, as Saudi’s hardline clerics still wield much power and influence in the country. Rights groups continue to condemn the state’s human rights violations, the precedent for many of which is based on the Saudi interpretation of Quranic law.
Prince bin Salman, who was suddenly appointed heir to the throne by his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud earlier this year, is viewed by many as the face of the modern kingdom. The 32-year-old is the driving force behind ‘Vision 2030’: Saudi Arabia’s long-term economic and social policy designed to wean itself off dependence on oil, and is popular for his reforms to the country’s ineffective state bureaucracy. Last month, it was announced women in Saudi Arabia would be finally be given the right to drive, a symbolic move signalling changes to the institutionalised discrimination against women in the country.
While Prince bin Salman has built his reputation as a bold and socially liberal reformer, critics note his hawkish foreign policy. As defence minister – a position he has held since 2015 – he has attracted censure over his role in Saudi Arabia’s bloody intervention in the Yemeni civil war, as well as his aggressive stance on Iran. The prince is also regarded as one of the primary decision makers behind the Gulf states’ recent cutting of ties with Qatar. Also at the Future Investment Initiative, Prince bin Salman announced the creation of Neom, a new $500bn (£381m) independent economic zone to be built on the border with Jordan and Egypt. The 2025 project will operate using alternative energy and serve as a worldwide technology innovation hub, he said.
negative sounds like screaming or retching. This suggests that humans are more susceptible to the sound of laughter as compared to negative sounds. This explains the reason for our involuntary smile when we see other people laughing. There is a famous case of the contagious nature of laughing known as the Tanganyika laughter epidemic. In 1962, three girls studying in a boarding school in a village in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) began to laugh, and soon it spread to the whole school. Eventually, it affected about 95 of the 159 pupils. It was so bad that school had to be closed. When the school was reopened, 50 pupils were again affected and it also spread into a neighbouring village. This natural response that we have to laugh is the reason why prerecorded laughter is frequently put on sit-coms, as this increases the chance of inducing laughter from the audience. Laughter therapy also works on the same principle; when you see many people laughing, you involuntary end up laughing too. It is often said that laughter is the best medicine, as it has many benefits for human health. Laughing leads to the release of endorphins, a self-manufactured natural opiate that has been scientifically shown to carry messages of attachment and bonding, and to stimulate feelings of caring and forgiveness in addition to giving an analgesic affect. Endorphins create a positive state of mind and boost optimism, self-confidence and feelings of self-worth.
Time To Clear The Air Sheffield city council is planning to become the first in the North to start fining drivers who leave their vehicles running outside schools and hospitals. For a cynical few, it represents “yet another attempt to filch the motorist of even more money”. But for the vast majority who responded to a recent consultation, plans to start handing out fines to drivers in Sheffield who leave their car engines running outside schools are a more than welcome step in tackling what is being termed a “public health emergency”. If the policy is implemented by Sheffield Council, it would become only the second local authority in the country to bring in fines for motorists who leave engines idling, following in the footsteps of Westminster Council. And with other councils in Yorkshire under pressure to draw plans to reduce illegal air pollution levels as soon as possible, the success of the scheme is likely to be watched closely across the county. While details and dates of Sheffield’s fining regime are yet to be confirmed, the Westminster model involves drivers being penalised if they leave engines running for more than a minute after parking up. Offenders get three written warnings before fines of £80 are issued. It is intended the Sheffield scheme will initially only apply outside schools, before being rolled out to include hospitals and care homes and then finally the city as a whole. Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, says: “We know that poor air is a public health emergency across the country. We cannot sit by and let this obvious danger to people’s health go unnoticed. We need to be bold and ambitious in tackling it to protect the health of the most vulnera-
ble. Sheffield is potentially only the second city in the country to take this level of action on such a huge UK problem.” While the idea was not universally welcomed during a recent public consultation, with more than one person describing it as an excuse to make money from motorists, the policy was backed by the vast majority of the 1,000 people who responded. But the council admits the “commonsense” idea will only form one strand of the action they must take to reduce levels of dangerous nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere. In recent days, it has also confirmed plans to reduce the speed limit on hundreds of roads in the city centre down to 20mph. But for many environmental campaigners in the city, the wait for substantial action has been going on too long – especially as figures suggest more than 500 people a year in Sheffield are dying prematurely as a result of poor air quality. In 2014, councillors gave the green light to the building of a new Ikea store close to the Meadowhall shopping centre in the area of Tinsley, where there were already existing pollution problems. The council’s then-director of public health warned extra car journeys created by the site would “lead to a small number of additional premature deaths” and contribute to increased cases of cases of respiratory and cardiovascular disease. But it was deemed that the economic benefits the store would offer outweighed the health concerns. In summer 2015, Sheffield became the first place in England to agree to move the location of two schools in Tinsley close to the M1 motorway to a new site because of concerns about how air pollution was affecting pupils.
Top 10 Best Intelligence Agencies In The World 2017 Why intelligence agencies are so important for any nation? Every country needs agency because it performs massive role in peace of any land. Secret agencies or intelligence organizations are established to keep an eye at every side in country, to get information and to investigate all suspects. These institutes are really helpful for military, law enforcement, foreign policy objectives and national security, even it is their duty to support it special-forces all the time. Intelligence groups are responsible to discover all covert activities, while cooperation with other organizations, collecting information, spying to know about any unexpected incident occurrence and some other come under the circle. Even nationals trust in their security hence they don’t feel fear of terrorism at all. So perfect intelligence known for his active services if they not do, their nation may have face a bundle of losses as unrest, violence or clashes. Here comes Top 10 Best Intelligence Agencies in the World 2017 10: Mossad, The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operation – Israel Mossad is the national intelligence agency of Israel, was established on 13 December, 1949, at the recommendation of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, as the Central Institute for Coordination. Although, it was directed by Reuven Shiloah since its creation to 1949 to 1953, has responsibility to launch covert actions, acts against terrorism including bringing Jews to Israel from nations where official Aliyah agencies are banned or prohibited. Mossad also plays enormous role to protect Jewish communities, while considers one of the main groups in the Israeli Intelligence Community alongside Aman, a military intelligence and Shin Bet, a internal security. 9: MSS, Ministry of State Security – China No one can object of the Ministry of State Security (MSS) China’s existence in top 10 best intelligence agencies in the world because they have all what should be in a complete intelligence institute. The security agency of the People’s Republic of China was created in 1983 as the result of the amalgamation of the CID. Chinese secret agency has shown his best carrying out operations against terrorism in the Greater China region as Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. The Ministry of State Security (MSS) was being directed by Ling Yun since its creation in June 1983, though left September 1985, while currently in leadership of Chen Wenqing since November 2016. 8: ASIS, Australian Secret Intelligence Service – Australia The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) is the national foreign intelligence agency of Australia, was developed about 64-year ago on 13 May, 1952, while it headquartered in capital territory of country, Canberra. ASIS is also known as best secret intelligence force all over the world, has take responsibilities for intelligence collection out of the country as well as counter-intelligence and liaising along with foreign intelligence entities. It runs on approximately budget of A$468.5 million, although ASIS also compares to foreign agencies like the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). 7: DGSE, Direction Generale De La Securite Exterieure – France The General Directorate for External Security shortly DGSE, is France’s external intelligence agency, secures
its presence among top 10 Best intelligence agencies in the world. DGSE was launched in April 2, 1982, though headquartered in 141 Boulevard Mortier, Paris XX, France. It also compares to the CIA of United States and M16 of United Kingdom, while works under instructions of the French Ministry of Defence as well operates along with its domestic counterpart, the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) and national security. France government at least spends US$731,807,192.50 on DGSE. 6: RAW, Research and Analysis Wing – India The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is the primary foreign intelligence agency of India, headquartered in New Delhi, was created on 21 September 1968 after India faced intelligence failures of the Sino-Indian and India-Pakistan battles. Raw is being conducted by Rajinder Khanna from the Research and Analysis Service 1978-batch. It is responsible to monitor the political, military, economic and scientific developments, including moulding foreign public opinion and influence. Raw also plays massive roles in actions against anti-terrorism and some other cover operations. 5: BND, Bundesnachrichtendienst – Germany The Federal Intelligence Service (BND comes from its German identity ‘Bundesnachrichtendienst’) is the foreign intelligence agency of Germany, is directly subordinates to the Chancellor’s Office. BND designed about 60 years ago, on 1 April 1956, headquartered in
Pullach close to Munich and Berlin. The Federal Intelligence Service of Germany has its existence in list of top 10 best intelligence agencies in the world, though German regime spends about €615.6 million every year. It is responsible of information collection on a variety of areas like foreign nonstate terrorism, weapons of mass destruction proliferation. BND also evaluates information of planned offense, illegal transfer of technology, weapons and drug smuggling, money laundering and illegal migration. 4: FSB, Federal Security Bureau of Russian Federation – Russia The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation known as the principal security organization of Russia and the major successor group to the USSR’s Committee of State Security (KGB). FSD has responsibilities such as counter-terrorism, surveillance, within country and border security. It also investigates serious crimes and federal law violations, hence believes top security forces in Russia. It headquartered in Lubyanka Square, centre of Moscow, although acclaimed for it’s a number of acts against anti-terrorism in homeland as well out the nation. 3: MI6, Military Intelligence Section 6 – United Kingdom The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) that officially known as MI6 (stands for Military Intelligence, Section 6), is the British intelligence agency, comes on top position among 10 best intelligence agencies in the world. British intelligence bound by the Intelligence Services Act 1994, even its identity wasn’t made public until 1994. UK based intelligence group is located at Vauxhall Cross on the South Bank of the River Thames since 1995. MI6 remained part of foreign counter-terrorism operations even still working along United States secret entity for removal of terrorism. It has yearly cost £2.6 billion, was known for its extra-ordinary jobs in country and outside. 2: CIA, Central Intelligence Agency – United States The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the United States federal government who has shown his best efforts against terrorism in country and overseas like in Middle East. CIA has no comparison to other secret agencies because of its daring tasks as well impressive co-ordination along with top secret entities all over the world. It was formed 69 years ago, on 26 July, 1947, following approval for the National Security Act into law by Harry S. Truman. US administration started special focus on the CIA’s growth after unexpected the September 11 terrorist attacks that wrecked highly. 1: ISI, Inter-Service Intelligence – Pakistan The Directorate General for Inter-Services, known as Intelligence Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) performs its responsibilities as critical national security and intelligence measurement to the Government of Pakistan. Due to its praiseworthy but daring acts against terrorism all around the world as well in own nations, attains top place among best intelligence agenciesin the world. ISI was created by an Australian-born British Army general officer in 1948, who served Pakistani military from 1950 to 1959. ISI topped in list the top intelligence agency in the world in 2011, published by International Business Times United Kingdom.
FIFA SUSPENDS PAKISTAN FOOTBALL TEAM The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has been suspended by FIFA immediately, because of “undue third-party interference.” Until the suspension has been lifted, Pakistan international and club teams cannot take part in any international competitions, FIFA said. Football in Pakistan came to a standstill in 2015, after Faisal Saleh Hayat was elected as the federation president of Pakistan, amidst allegations of vote-rigging. An administrator appointed by the high court took over the reins at PFF in a failed attempt to resolve the problem; however, this violated FIFA’s rules on political interference. “The Bureau [of the Fifa Council] took this decision as a result of the fact that the PFF offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator, which constitutes a violation of the PFF obligations to manage its affairs independently and without influence from any third parties in accordance with the FIFA Statutes,” Fifa said in a statement.
“The suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF.” This suspension also means no PFF members and officials can apply for development grants or training courses run by FIFA or Asian Football Confederation. This latest controversy is only the tip of the iceberg for Pakistan football. The Pakistan international side is now ranked at 200, an alltime low world ranking for them, this is due to the fact that the team has not played any games since 2015. This coupled with there being no professional league in the country only makes it worse for Pakistani football. Hayat has appeared in Lahore High Court in an attempt to take over PFF again. Even if the suspension was eventually lifted, there is still a very long way to go yet for Pakistan Football.
Halal Tourism Is A Booming Industry We are long away from the time where everyone stayed in their country. Planes, cars and ships made it easy and affordable for people to travel from one country to another. Also for Muslims (yes, because Muslims are humans too). I’m sure that a lot of Muslims will agree that travelling to an unknown country isn’t always easy. Questions like food, prayer and activities can make you doubt before booking your trip. There is a new trend however: a lot of Muslims are more interested in travelling beyond the typical Hajj and Umrah trips to Saudi Arabia. Last year, Muslims spent an estimated US$126.1 billion on international travel, making up 12.3% of all international travel. It is predicted that this number will be increasing in the next 4 years. Some travel agencies understood this and made attempts to meet the needs of these observant Muslims and now provide ‘Halal tourism’. What is Halal tourism? Halal tourism can be numerous things. For example Halal tourism is an alcohol free environment. But this can also mean that the hotels and the beaches are separated. Turkey is one of the first countries providing halal hotels for Muslims. This looks like nothing special but a lot of Muslim countries don’t even have this kind of hotels. While Muslims engaging in international travel hail from both Muslim-majority and Muslim-minority
countries, their top three destinations are Malaysia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. But not only Muslim countries are planning to provide halal tourism to Muslims. Japan for example saw that Muslims (mostly of Indonesia and Malaysia) played a big role in the booming economy of the country. Japan has set as goal to provide a nice travel experience for Muslims in Japan. For example, Aichi Prefecture in central Japan recently published a Japaneselanguage Muslim Hospitality Handbook to teach the Japanese how they should behave when Muslim customers enter their shops. This book with cartoon illustrations covers a lot of ground in its 15 pages – outlining basic Muslim beliefs and global demographics, common difficulties that Muslims face when visiting Japan, the facilities that Muslims need in order to pray, the locations of the local mosques, the food Muslims can eat, and wifi services that Muslims visiting Japan might find helpful. Even a list of halal restaurants are made available for Muslims. London-based Islamic Travels specializes in immersion tours that include seeing historic and religious sites, as well as having a halal dinner with a local family. Other European countries are slowing emerging as halal tourism players, such as Spain and Bosnia. It is expected that in a few years, halal hotels in Europe will no longer be a paradox.
Donald Trump’s Wealth Slumps By $600M In A Year Donald Trump's wealth has declined by $600m (£455m) in the last year as the value of luxury property in New York falls, it has been reported. The US President has dropped 92 places in the list of Forbes magazine's richest Americans, leaving him with $3.1bn (£2.35bn). He is now the 248th wealthiest person in the US, after a year in which the rise of online shopping outlets such as Amazon hit traditional retail outlets of the type that occupy midtown New York. The core of Mr Trump's fortune is tied up in just half a dozen or so buildings in and around central Manhattan. In 2016, Mr Trump's wealth also fell compared with the year before, according to Forbes, down $800m (£614m) on the year before. It was reported that between 2016 and 2017, Mr Trump's Manhattan properties fell by $400m in value and he lost $100m in cash, in part as a result of his $66m spend
on his election campaign. Forbes estimates the tycoon's wealth has fallen by 31% in two years, leaving him able to access cash and personal assets of $290m (£220m). His wealth ties him with 16 other people in the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, including Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and casino magnate Steve Wynn. The richest American was Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with an estimated wealth of $89bn (£67.5bn), and the second was Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who is thought to be worth $81.5bn (£61.9bn). Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett is third with $80.5bn (£61bn) and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg fourth on $71bn (£53.9bn). Mr Trump is still the world's second most powerful person, according to Forbes, ahead of Angela Merkel and Xi Jinping, but behind Vladimir Putin.
A Tale from Rumi’s Masnavi Dr A Q Khan
Who hasn’t heard of Maulana Rumi? He is equally well-known in the West as he is in the East. During the 14th century, Western scholars started taking a great interest in Eastern philosophy and the works of Khayyam, Tusi, Hafiz, Attar, Saadi and Rumi were translated into English, French, German and other languages. This turned out to be a blessing as many scholars and learned intellectuals came to know more about Islam and its golden rules. Many of them even embraced Islam. In the West, Rumi’s philosophy became quite popular – as did the whirling dervishes. These dervishes used to go into a deep trance and even those who witnessed it would often be engulfed in this trance. Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi was born in 604 at Balkh (then part of Faris, Persia). His father, Shaikh Bahauddin, was a great scholar. Rumi’s name was Muhammad Jalaluddin but he became known as Maulana Rumi. He died in Konia (Turkey) in 672, which was formerly an area inhabited by Roman settlers who were known as Rom or Rumi. This explains why he was called Rumi. His poetic collection, Masnavi, is regarded as a divine work. This is because when he recited his verses in Persian, he would go into a trance and his disciples would write them down. Rumi’s own devotion to the Almighty and His apostle was expressed in this verse: “When I am praying, by God I don’t know what, and which part of it I am following and I don’t know who the Imam is”. Those of us who have read the Quran with its translation know about the many miracles that the Almighty performed for the human race and understand this and thank Him for His Blessings. The creation of the universe, plants, food, cattle, day and night, rain, crops, the miracles given to Prophet Musa (AS), Prophet Isa (AS), Prophet Ibrahim (AS), Prophet Nooh (AS) and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are all signs of His power and authority. The story reproduced
here is also a symbol of the miracles performed by the Almighty. “The story of an old, blind, saintly man reading the Quran and regaining his sight while reading. Once a dervish Shaykh saw a Qur’an in the house of an old, blind, saintly man. He became his guest and the two ascetics were together for several days. He said to himself: ‘I wonder what the Book is here for, as this righteous dervish is blind and no-one else lives here but him’. As to asking him, nay, I will be patient. He showed patience and was in a quandary for some time, till at last the secret was disclosed, for patience is the key to joy. “At midnight one night he heard the sound of recitation of the Quran; he sprang up from sleep and beheld a marvel. The blind man was reading from the Quran. He sought an explanation from the man saying: ‘You, with sightless eyes, how are you seeing the lines? You have pointed to the lines you were reading. The motion of your fingers makes it clear that you have your eyes resting on that word’. Came the reply: ‘Oh you who have been separated from the body’s ignorance, do you not feel that this is a wonder of God? I begged God, saying that I was as covetous of reading the Book as I am of life. I do not know it by heart. At the time of reading, bestow on my two eyes an untroubled light. Give me back my eyes at that moment so that I may take the Book and read it’. “From the Divine Presence came the reply: ‘O man of devotion who has trust in me in every grief, whenever you want to read the Quran, or want a selection from different copies (in order to ascertain what variations in the form of the text were adopted by the chief authorities), at that moment I will restore your sight so that you may read’. This He did and whenever I open the Book to read, the incomparable King immediately gives my sight back to me in accordance with the Divine ordainment that whatever He takes away, He sends compensation. If He burns your vineyard, He will give you
Millions At Risk From Polluted Air Too Dangerous To Breathe More than 40 of the UK’s largest towns and cities have air considered too dangerous to breathe, including London, a report has shown. Pollution levels in 44 out of the 51 places studied exceeded the WHO's safety limits for fine sooty particles, which have been linked to heart disease and premature death. Exposure to the particles, known as PM2.5s, should not exceed 10 micrograms per cubic metre of air, according to the health organisation. But in numerous British towns and cities annual average levels are higher, sometimes by a significant degree, it is claimed. London had 15 micrograms of the particles in every cubic metre-sized parcel of air, beaten only by Glasgow which had 16. The study, published in the Lancet Medical Journal, revealed that Leeds equalled London's level, as well as the seaside resort of Eastbourne and port city of Southampton. Each year, outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 40,000 premature deaths in the UK - up to 9,000 in London alone - and cost the country £22.6 billion. The impact of air pollution in UK cities forms part of a major investigation looking at the health and social costs of climate change around the world led by a top medical journal. The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change brought together 24 institu-
tions and inter-governmental organisations including the WHO and World Meteorological Organisation. It found that global exposure to dangerous levels of air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels had increased by 11.2 per cent since 1990 with more than 70% of cities exceeding WHO PM2.5 limits. Many British cities and towns also broke the WHO limits for PM10s, slightly larger sooty specks considered less of a hazard than ultra-fine particles but still harmful to health. Diesel-powered vehicles, which generate pollution particles, were one of the "key drivers" of poor air quality in towns and cities in the UK. In a "briefing for UK policymakers" the report called for the expansion of Clean Air Zones nationwide and wider introduction of measures similar to London's new T-charge, which imposes a levy on drivers of the most polluting vehicles. The report pointed out that between 2000 and 2016 there had been a 46 per cent increase in the number of weather-related disasters around the world. During the same period of time 125 million vulnerable adults over the age of 65 had been exposed to heatwaves. In addition, climate change had increased the threat from mosquito-borne infectious diseases. Transmission of dengue fever by the Aedes agypti mosquito had increased by 9.4 per cent since 1950.
grapes. In the midst of mourning, He will give you festivity. To the handless paralytic, He gives a hand; to the person who is mindless with grief, He gives joy to the heart. In other words, we will not submit and raise objections to things taken from us since there is a great recompense coming for what has been lost’.” (free interpretation from the translation by R A Nicholson) The above-mentioned miracle is nothing out of the ordinary for the miracles performed by the Almighty. In Surah Rahman, He has pointed out all the blessings done to the human race and then asked which of the favours of their Lord will they deny. There is a lesson for us to learn here: if we sincerely and honestly follow the divine edicts and are constant in prayer to the Almighty, He will definitely listen to our genuine requests. We should also carefully read Surah An-Naba and ponder over it. Email: email@example.com
Differing State Attitudes Towards Religion More than 80 countries around the world favour a specific religion, either as an official, governmentendorsed religion, or by affording preferential treatment to one faith over others, according to a new survey. A new Pew Research Center analysis of data covering 199 countries and territories found Islam is the most common endorsed religion, with 27 countries (including most in the Middle East-North Africa region) officially enshrining Islam as their state religion. By comparison, 13 countries (including nine European nations) designate Christianity or a particular Christian denomination as their state religion though an additional 40 governments unofficially favour a particular religion, and in most cases branch of Christianity. The different attitudes and policies towards faiths also listed 106 including the US were said to have no preferred religion and another ten that were actively hostile to religious institutions. But it was by no means a clear picture, the report found. “In some cases, state religions have roles that are
largely ceremonial. But often the distinction comes with tangible advantages in terms of legal or tax status, ownership of real estate or other property, and access to financial support from the state,” it said. Some countries also tended to not only regulated practices but placed restrictions or bans on minority religious groups. The US-based research center has previously found that Islam is the only religion growing faster than the world’s population and has forecast it will overtake Christianity to be the populous in the world in just over half a century. Demographic change among the world’s major religions suggested that the world’s population of Muslims, which was 1.6 billion in 2010, will grow by 73 per cent between 2010 and 2050, compared to 35 per cent for Christians, whose population was put at 2.17 bn. With the world’s population growing by 37 per cent over the same period, it calculated that if such rates continued, Muslims will outnumber Christians by 2070.
FIFA Pick Ronaldo As Best Men’s Player Real Madrid star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was named the FIFA men’s player of the year. The Real Madrid icon was chosen ahead of Brazilian Neymar and Argentine Lionel Messi in recognition for his achievements over the past year. The Real Madrid forward was also named in FIFPro team of the year alongside club-mates Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. In the FIFPro team of the year, Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon was selected as the goalkeeper, while Paris Saint Germain’s Dani Alves and AC
Milan’s Leonardo Bonucci were picked in defence, along with Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Marcelo. Madrid’s Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were included in midfield, together with Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta. Buffon also won the best goalkeeper of the year award ahead of fellow nominees Keylor Navas of Real Madrid and Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich. Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud won the FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year.
Over 1,500 Billionaires Worldwide There are 1,542 billionaires in the world, according to a new report by UBS. More than 560 billionaires live in the US — the most of any country — and they control the most wealth. If current trends continue, the total wealth of Asia's billionaires could overtake US billionaires in four years. The number of commas in your net worth is a status symbol, and Americans have serious bragging rights. According to a new report from Switzerland-based bank UBS, the US is home to the most billionaires — and billionaire wealth — of any country in the world. But China and India are catching up quickly. Three-fourths of the world's newly minted billionaires from 2016 are from China and India, according to UBS. The countries added 67 and 16, respectively, to their total billionaire count. If these trends continue, it will take only four years for the total wealth of Asia's billionaires
to overtake US billionaires, according to UBS. But for now, the US maintains the world's largest concentration of billionaire wealth. A total of 563 American billionaires control $2.8 trillion, up from $2.4 trillion last year. The total wealth controlled by the world's billionaires has reached $6,000,000,000,000, up nearly 20% from last year. There are now 1,542 dollar-denominated billionaires on earth. The current levels of inequality have not been seen since 1905. Billionaires' fortunes are growing at 17%/year on average, double than the stock market average. The report found that 140 of the world’s top sports teams are owned by just 109 billionaires, with two-thirds of NBA and NFL teams owned by billionaires. In the UK, nine of the 20 Premier League teams have billionaire owners, including Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, and Sheikh Mansour at Manchester City.
Essential Minerals For Hair Growth Less than 45% of women go through life with a full head of hair and most men experience some form of hair loss in their lifetimes. Factors such as hormone levels and oxidative stress play a major part in hair loss and weak, damaged, thin and broken hair. With hair growth products flooding the market, there is a much simpler, cheaper answer – vitamins. Biotin – Rapidly becoming one of the most widely used supplements for hair growth, Biotin helps to produce glucose and break down proteins into amino acids. Since hair itself contains keratin – a form of protein – this in turn promotes healthier hair. Many hair care products now contain the vitamin, although it is important to maintain both an internal and external supply. Foods rich in Biotin include mushrooms, avocados, eggs, salmon, nuts, beef, chicken and potatoes. Biotin is also used as an alternative treatment for hair loss due to its ability to rebuild damaged hair strands. Vitamin A – Vitamin A is vital in promoting optimal cell growth. It helps to produce sebum (oil on the scalp) which keeps hair naturally moisturised and prevents drying out and breakage of the strands. Foods rich in Vitamin A include peaches, carrots, spinach and melons.
You should be able to get all the vitamin A you need by eating a berries, grapefruit, papayas and kiwi. varied and balanced diet. If you take a supplement that contains Vitamin D – Vitamin D is a hormone that promotes healthy follivitamin A, don’t take too much because this could be harmful. cle growth and levels can be boosted simply from spending some Vitamin E – Vitamin E is an antioxidant that repairs and builds tis- time outdoors in the sunshine. During the winter months when sue, which is essential for healthy hair growth. Foods rich in Vi- this is not as easy to accomplish, supplements and Vitamin D rich tamin E include almonds, seeds, avocado and broccoli. Vitamin E foods are the answer. Examples of such foods are fatty fish such as can also be applied topically to the scalp to reduce inflammation, salmon, tuna, halibut, mackerel, eel, whitefish and swordfish, eggs, increase blood circulation, boost oxygen supply and repair dam- mushrooms and milk. aged hair follicles. Massaging the vitamin oil into the hair and scalp Vitamin B – All eight B vitamins (or the vitamin B complex) promote at least twice a week can drastically improve hair growth. cell growth and division which is vital for healthy hair growth. VitaVitamin C – Vitamin C is another antioxidant that works by fight- min B12 is the most important of the vitamin B complex, with food ing oxidative stress and free radicals that contribute to hair gray- sources including meats, eggs, nuts, grains and vegetables. There ing, hair loss and damaged body tissue (such as weak and brittle are also a variety of vitamin supplements and hair care products hair strands). The vitamin can also help to strengthen the hair as that contain the mineral that can combat the issue externally. it promotes collagen production in the body – a vital protein for healthy hair, skin and nails. Foods rich in Vitamin C include oranges, red bell peppers, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, straw-
How Halal Is The “Halal” Meat Industry?
The term halal is not without controversy. To some animal rights activists, it represents an outlook that results in animal cruelty. To some on the Right, the growing halal presence is indicative of an “Islamic takeover”. To some Muslims, halal slaughter without true animal welfare is symptomatic of our focus on only the superficial. To other Muslims, it is an example of an area that “we’re getting right”. As Muslims celebrate Eid Al Adha, “Festival of the Sacrifice”, many will engage in the ritual of slaughtering an animal and offering it’s meat to those in need. Naturally, this will bring the area of halal meat and slaughter into focus. This industry, which according to some estimates is worth £412 billion a year, is worth a closer examination. What Is Halal? Halal is a legal term that is central to Islamic law. It essentially means “permissible” or “lawful”. Halal meat is therefore meat that is permissible for Muslims to eat. In order to be deemed halal, Islamic law dictates that the meat must be drained of blood, the eating of which is forbidden for Muslims. Tying in with this, to be Halal, the animal must be killed by a swift and profound incision into the neck of the animal, cutting its jugular vein. This process is claimed by many Muslims to be both efficient in removing blood and being merciful to the animal. As well as this, to be halal, the slaughterer must say, “In the Name of God” (according to some, also saying “God is Great”) before each kill. The Problem? Stunning The main controversy surrounding this method of slaughter is in relation to whether or not the animal is stunned before the kill. Many Muslims argue that the animal should be fully conscious before being killed and so it should not be stunned. Stunning the animal with electricity is a common practice which some believe reduces the pain felt by the animal. The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) reports that animals can stay conscious for as long as 20 seconds after their throat is cut; this opens the door for the possibility of the animal feeling for a painfully long time. The reality now is that in the U.K. between 84% and 90% of animals slaughtered for halalmeat are in fact stunned before killing. Other countries such as Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland have all completely banned the practice of killing an animal without stunning it beforehand. In this sense, halal slaughter is typically as ethical as non-halal slaughter, in terms of causing the animal pain. But at this point the question must be asked; should that be enough for Muslims? Centrality of Animal Welfare It’s worth considering for a moment how much
emphasis is given to the animal’s moments prior to its death while seemingly overlooking the other 99% of the animal’s life. When we talk about halal, it should go much further than merely the method of slaughter. The unfortunate reality is that a significant portion of “halal” meat comes from animals that are raised in the same dismal conditions as all other livestock; reared in a way so as to maximize profits in an attempt to satiate the insatiable appetite of predatory capitalists for money, and the general public’s insatiable appetite for cheap meat. Needless to say that the welfare of the animals are almost completely disregarded on the typical factory farm. These farms are characterised by cramped conditions, restricted space to move and deprivation of sunlight. Many animals are pumped full of antibiotics, to fend off profit decreasing illnesses and death, a necessity given the filthy conditions in which they often live, or loaded with growth hormones to maximise meat to cost ratios. Could this meat be deemed halal? That is a debate for specialists. Ethical Responsibility on Each of Us An argument could be made that eating natural, organic, free-range livestock is just as essential, if not more essential, than simply focusing on the way in which the animal was slaughtered. Shouldn’t we be searching for the most ethical food, derived from moral sources? This surely goes beyond slaughtering rituals and extends to concern about the animal’s whole lifespan. Even if we set aside the animal’s welfare, eating meat that comes from a healthy and natural animal is going to be much healthier for us than an animal that has been raised without any consideration for it’s health. We are repeatedly instructed to treat animals with kindness and humanity; the Prophet Muhammad implored us to do so on many occasions. Finding appropriate food to enjoy goes beyond seeking out that “Certified Halal” sticker on the packet. If each of us took the little time it took to investigate where our meat is coming from, we would be taking a huge step in the right direction. Investing time in this will allow us to find sources of meat that are not only wholesome but ethical too. Supporting farmers who spend that extra bit to ensure that their animals are reared naturally will not only be beneficial to our bodies, but will help an industry that is worth our support. The importance of sourcing ethical, local produce is all the more increased given the reality of the carbon footprints of some of the livestock that is found in our supermarkets today. Going beyond food, becoming self-aware individuals who care about something as fundamental as the food that we eat, and so taking responsibility for sourcing out the best that is available to us, is a positive step towards self-empowerment.
Dilemma of Democracy and the Poor Human Rights Record: Denial of the Basic Scheme of Liberties and Equities to the Minorities in Pakistan In constitutional democracies Human rights are described as the norms and legal cum moral standards intrinsically inherent to all human beings irrespective of nationality, place of birth or residence, language, religion, race or colour in terms of ethnic or national origin or any other ways of determinate social being of people. These rights are defined together as basic socio-natural rights of the people protected legally and constitutionally. Human rights framework is privileged to protect individuals, groups and people of the minority communities from the severe sociopolitical, ethnic, legal and religious discriminations and abuses. Not only this, all human beings are also assigned rights and duties to become active social participants to defend their right to practice religion, free to express themselves, have a right to fairness of trial to the charge as criminal proceedings going against them, right not to be harmed, killed or exploited by the state, and their legal cum political rights to be equally treated based on scheme of basic liberties. Keeping this description in view, Pakistan is a country with poor human rights record both at the state [politico-legal] and social [basic structure of society] levels. The situation of Human rights is highly deplorable in Pakistan due to its social cum political complexity in terms of having no dynamic legal infrastructure to constitute legitimate democracy in the country that could help human rights and stifle its violations at the grass root level. The country stands with complex structure of society bearing large population [incessantly growing], unreasonable diversity, confused Islamic democracy [never seen before in human history] blend of both secular cum Islamic laws [legal framework]. As a third world country, Pakistan’s economic structure is unpredictable, and such a dwindling economy is subject to heavy international debt and pressure of IMF and that of world bank. What remains is the unequal distribution of wealth, and massive exploitation of the productive classes at the hands of handful dominant bankrupt ruling minority, both in politics and military. In this state of Being, Pakistan’s minority communities are powerless herds with no access to the scheme of basic liberties and equalities. The constitution of 1973, constitutes the basic rights, liberties and equalities, that embody freedom of thought, of speech and expression, of information, of religion and political association, and that of press and assembly etc. further, the constitution also describes the separation of powers between independent judiciary [never independent of military intervention], and political executive [in fact military is the de facto power in the country], so-called independent human right commission [never been active]. However, no constitutional clauses or articles describing basic scheme of liberties and equalities are active in practice. History is witness account to the fact that the rule of ‘might is right’ is above the constitution of Pakistan abrogated under the military coups, or suspended under the self-made emergencies by the than dictators. Moreover, Pakistan’s ideological foundation was led down as a democratic Islamic Republic. The ideology of Islam became the preamble of constitution describing religion of Islam regulating the social cum political structure of the state. For this reason, the second Prime Minister; Khuwaja Nizam Uddin said, “I don’t agree that religion is a private affair of the individual nor do I agree that in an Islamic state every citizen has identical rights, no matter what his caste, creed or faith be”. This was the essential discrimination beginning with the attack on the religious identity of the minority groups in the country. The religion is not a private affair [in the recent hypocritical statement by DG ISPR that religions is a private affair of citizens of Pakistan, this statement has come in the wake of international pressure mounting on the country], implies that all citizens of the state of Pakistan would accept state pronounced religion, even if they might adhere to their own faith respectively anyway. The people of different creeds and faiths begun to feel discriminated and abhorred by the political authorities in the country. This is how, religious minorities either mass migrated to India and other parts of the South Asia, or lived the rest of life facing this discrimination. This was the first step leading to religiosity of state discriminating the moral comprehensive doctrines stick to the adherents of different religions in the state. No non-Muslims were allowed to have acquired a high rank position in the politico-legal set up of the state.
Though, there have been exceptions regarding equalities of opportunities given to Hindus, Ahmadis, Christian, Sikhs, or Zoroastrians. Following this situation, not only non-Muslim religious minorities are facing discrimination but also those Sunni and Shia factions who are leaning towards Sufism, or having moderate stance in the country. On the other, hand Ahmadis had been declared Kafir [Infidels] and tortured to death if they assert their fundamental belief in the state. Even they are not allowed to have their own Mosque, or any other worship place legally build anywhere in the country. The systematic violation of human rights is sponsored by the state of Pakistan against Ahmadiyya community. After being declared non-Muslims, Ahmadis had to face manifold restrictions on them. The mullah dictator, Zia ul Haq, in 1984 promulgated new restrictions in addition to already existing laws banning Ahmadi preaching, worshiping or using titles of reverence confined to Muslim saints, under the antiAhmadiyya Ordinace XX that added Section 298 and 298-B and 298-C in PCC [Pakistan Criminal Code]. 298B, 298-C. I am surprised to listen the speech of Captain Safdar in the session of parliament, criticising the Ahmadis especially the Noble prize winner, Dr Abdus Salam for his name to put on the National Centre for Physics at QAU. He said, [09/10/2017] the name of physics dept. should change, because Dr Abus Salam was an Ahmadi, who have already been declared Kafir[Infidel], so how Kafirs name can constitute the dept. of Physics. He further held, “I would submit my resolution against the Qadiyani that they should not be appointed in Pakistan Army.” How hatred is created against the minority community. When state level ministers go mad like this, how come we expect the country could come out of the crises of terrorism, and lead towards the state of peace and security, where people of all beliefs and creeds would be treated equally. Meanwhile, Christian community is not also safe in the country. There have been many attacks on their churches killing hundreds of the people. The people of Christian faith have been victimized through the draconian law of blasphemy. The people of the Christian faith are either burnt to death if they show bit difference with any believer of Islam, be it religious matter or purely social and economic issue. Shama Bibi, 24, and Sajjad Maseeh, 27, were burnt to death for alleged blasphemy. Christian couple were locked in factory after boss thought they'd flee debts. A mob then beat them and threw them onto a brick kiln. Relatives claimed the couple were working in indentured servitude. This is an example of frantic mob violence against minorities in Muslim Pakistan. Muslim believers exploit the law of blasphemy and punish the people of other faith without knowing either they have committed blasphemy or not. Even moderate Muslims who stand with victims are to face the wrath of extremist Muslims as it happened in the case of the than Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer was gunned down by his own security personal [Mumtaz Qadri] extremely influenced by the radical Islam. Salman Taseer lost his life due to his daring comments on the law of blasphemy as a draconian or black law of injustice. He was understood to have angered many extremists by his defence of Christian woman sentenced to death. And today, it is very regretting to know that Captain Safdar praised Mumtaz Qadri; in one of his speech recently saying ‘Mumtaz Qadri was appointed divinely to kill the person who called the law of blasphemy a draconian law’. ‘Mumtaz reached the spiritual exaltation after killing Salman Taseer’. Captain Safdar is a Son in law of the former Prime Minister and leader of PML-N, the existing ruling party. How apologetic is the state of affairs, when ministers of parliament support the notorious criminals and terrorists at the floor of parliament or in public meetings or in so-called religious processions. Even Muslim minority Shia sects are facing the challenges of terror attacks on their sacred places everywhere in Pakistan. Shia community is making off 5-20% Pakistan, it has lost thousands of the people in various suicide attacks on their Imam Barghas, Husseini processions and the Mosques. I witnessed suicide attacks carried out on the 10th Muharram  procession near Light house Karachi, standing furlong away of scene. Many of our family friends survived the attack, but more than 70 people lost their lives. I also witnessed the truck blown near the Shia Mosque in Abbas Town Karachi killing more than 60 people there. It was horrible to see how people were crying beneath the rubble, and flats were destroyed, people burnt alive, I was shocked to see people crying for help. The Shia community is the soft target, and the killers are found everywhere in the Madras across the country. Some Wahabi sects sponsored by the Saudi seem to have been licenced to kill Shia people either in tar-
geted-killings, or in mass killings through Bomb blasts on their mosques. I lost one of my mentor and great friend, Moulana Deedar Hussain Jalbani assassinated near NED on University road Karachi. And the killers belonged to Sipah e sahaba [existing Ihl e Sunnat wal Jammat] in association with Lashkar e Jhangvi, and Lal masjid terrorist’s groups. This phenomenon is normal in Pakistan to carry out Shia genocide, and no one is brought to book after that. Above all, terrorists of said organizations carried out attack on Shia pilgrims returning from Iran, setting buses ablaze and Shia pilgrims burnt alive in the buses. Meanwhile, security agencies knew everything about the killer’s whereabouts, no one was/is arrested so far. How is heinous crime prevalent in society against minority communities, and terrorists are free to doubling the attacks one after another in series. MI, and ISI have been facilitating their presence in the country especially in South Punjab and Baluchistan, now rampant in Sindh. Hazara community, in Baluchistan, has been attacked various times, they have lost their sons in terror attacks. Thousands of Hazara people have been killed by the terrorists, and they are still on targets individually as well. As in the month of October 2017, Hazara people were gunned down killing more than 10 people in two separate attacks, while I am writing this article, I have come to know that three more Hazara minority Shia Muslims, in northwest Pakistan have been killed and many more in Parachinar, KPK. While a Shia cleric, Maulana Hassan Zafar Naqvi’s video is viral on social media lambasting security agencies of Pakistan to have been involved in enforced disappearance of young Shia Muslims without any reason, and their families are threatened to keep mumbling, otherwise to face far-reaching consequences. Especially, Shia doctors, engineers, businessman have been individual targets of the terrorists. Professor Sibt e Jaffar was gunned down, Human rights activist Khurram Zaki was also shot dead along with others on the spot, the moderate sunni mystic, Amjad Sabri met the same fate. There are hundreds of Shia Muslims killed in terror attacks every year, I cannot count all them here. I see many more attacks will be carried out on Shia minority in future, as it is totally controlled by mischief mongers nurturing in thousands of Madras in Pakistan. Despite the fact, security agencies and the government of Pakistan are well-aware of the killers of Shia people in the country, nevertheless, they do not even hesitate to take any action against the known killers, because they are supposed to be the assets of security agencies. Above all, security agencies are exploiting the grievances of the Shia people in Baluchistan. While, the stigma is that their people [Hazara] are killed by terrorists [well-known to agencies] on the one hand, the victims stand in support of Army as their emancipator as they think that Army would free them from this terrifying situation. They seem to count on the military rather than civilian government in the province. In this way, military presence is perpetuating to an unabated period in Baluchistan, while Shia genocide never stops till to date. This is how Army of Pakistan excretes pressure on the democratic governments in centre and provinces to defer full powers on Army, and constitute legitimacy of their presence in Baluchistan as necessity of time to get rid of nationalistic rebellions. I am sure that this kind of atrocious crime of terrorism pertains to Army presence in these deprived provinces of Pakistan. These terrorist’s groups are assets of Army through which they tackle the nationalist’s uprisings in Baluchistan. Thousands of Baluch nationalists have been abducted and killed in different military operations [state level crime against humanity]. The military establishment of Pakistan bears the poor record of human rights in the country especially in smaller provinces. According to I A Rehman, hundreds of nationalist Sindhi people had been missing, or killed by security agencies of Pakistan. Sindh and Baluchistan are in the grip of wave of abductions and enforced disappearance. Whereas, notoriety of Army lies in running the military courts namely made to proceed the cases against the terrorists, but the reality is totally different, because separatists are executed in concealment. Those human rights activists striving for and demanding the government of Pakistan to help recover the victims [missing persons] were abducted and involuntarily disappeared by the security agencies of Pakistan. They are: general secretary Voice of Missing Persons, Sindh Punhal Sario from Hyderabad; Abbas Lund from Dadu. A journalist Ghulam Rasool Burfat along with writer Inamullah Abbasi, Raza Jarwar are missing till to date. The fear of reprisal prevails among the nationalists in Sindh and Baluchistan, and most of human rights worker feel unsafe in their own home towns, therefore, they keep mum on current human rights violations at the hands of security agencies.
It seems that democratic government has no power to raise question on the illegal activities of powerful agencies, for which former PM Yousaf Raza Geelani said in an official statement in parliament that there exists state [ISI, MI] within state. And today, Interior minister, Ihsan Iqbal repeated the statement that there exists state within state. Democratic governments feel consternated due to growing influence and unconstitutional interventions of Military establishment in the affairs of the governance and Foreign policy. Democratic government is a second fiddle to Army chief and his core commandants team, they are the actual power and, if need be, act above law. Political system is frail and crippled, does not bear control over the state level atrocities committed by security agencies against the peaceful people of Pakistan. Hence, the national commission for human rights bill passed, in May 2012, by the former president Asif Zardari, cannot hold security agencies responsible for any unconstitutional, or extrajudicial activities. Military is the court of justice itself, it is a sanctimonious institution that is unquestionable and above all criticism. If any media cell is raising questions on the security agencies in Pakistan, they are censored. Sometime, journalists, writers and members of civil society are threatened to death. Many journalists lost their lives due to raising their voices for the justice and rule of law. So, freedom of speech and expression is throttled in the country. A private media cells, Geo was censored when it blamed the DG ISI in the wake of terror attack on one of the anchor Person; Hamid Meer. He had raised the issue of missing persons in Baluchistan in one of his famous TV talk show ‘Capital talk’. Consequently, Hamid received threats from MI and ISI. However, he survived the attack while receiving 6 bullets in his body as a reward of bold act of lambasting security agencies. consequently, Geo was begging pardon from the Security agencies. Today, all news channels in Pakistan have lost the courage and selfrespect in front of powerful juggernaut [Pak Army]. Even, members of civil society and leftist professors of the universities cannot speak against them. One of my friend, Professor Dr Riyaz was beaten up by the Ranger; paramilitary force, when he was going outside the university gate. However, professor Riyaz is a daring man, he did not keep mum, and his struggle continues unabated. Dr Sabeen Mahmud was another human right activist, she took the issue of missing persons of Baluchistan, she was threatened and later assassinated in Karachi on 24 April 2015, by the terrorist nurtured by ISI. Meanwhile, Professor Dr Riyaz and Muhammad Amir Husseini continue their struggle against injustice in Pakistan. Professor Dr Riyaz was arrested by the Rangers in April 2017, and former chairman dept. of philosophy, University of Karachi, professor Zafar Arif was ambushed and taken into illegal custody of paramilitary forces. Later they were released due to pressure of teacher’s organizations in Universities, and that of members of civil society rose in protest. Following this, human right activist, Muhammad Amir Husseini received threat calls from unknown numbers, nevertheless, they did not give up their struggle for human values and dignity. Though, members of civil society are active, but media does not give them coverage anyway due to pressure of Army. They are only active on social media making people aware of their rights and duties. The right of freedom of speech and expression is the power of masses in democracy, when mouths are mumbling, and tongue-tied, human values are decayed, and societies are ruined. Such societies are begging for justice and rule of law, as Imam Ali said, “societies can exist without God but not without justice”. Pakistan’s social infrastructure is deteriorating, rule of law is unknown to the authorities and powerful ruling elite; and institutions of justice are controlled by the boots [Army]. In such state of being, society seems to be shattering and moral values deteriorating, and human attitudes are dehumanizing. The way out to emancipation is healthy social media which could wriggle society out of grave injustices, social and moral exploitation. This awareness is essential to the human dignity and self-respect. The vibrant social media has witnessed an unprecedented mass struggle to enforce justice by public pressure. Before it is too late to keep the rule of law intact in Pakistan, it is onus on the masses to come up with healthy ideas to stand for the constitutional rights of citizens of the state, and thereby lambast the counterproductive forces expanding in the country. Dr Syed Alam Shah Email. firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
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ALHABIB WELFARE FOUNDATION
(Reg Charity No: 1139948) Molana M Aslam Zahid donating sawing machines during his recent visit to Bagh, Azad Kashmir...
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6 APPEAL 2014
Join with us and become closer to Allah in this blessed month to increase your blessings ÂŁ250 supports an orphan and brings you closer to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in Jannah ÂŁ600 supports a family with no income and is equivalent to increased blessings from prayers ÂŁ50 buys a sewing machine - an essential source of income for a widow or young orphan girl ÂŁ700 helps a derelict mosque prosper again and reinforces your iman for the here and after ÂŁ2000 helps finance the marriage of an orphan girl and you gain blessings for yourself and our family By making provision for Sehri and Iftar for the needy in the Holy month of Ramadan you can gain forgiveness and sawaab from those fasts and work towards a place in
Yorkshire Bank, Account Number: 19842710 Sort Code: 05 08 58 Alhabib Welfare Foundation is a UK registered international relief and development charity. It was founded by Molana Aslam Zahid who is the imam of Usmania Education Centre and the Vice Chairm an of Jamiat Ulma-e-Bri tain. With your support Alhabib Welfare Foundation aims to help poor families, orphans, and widows across Pakistan and other countries around the world. We ensure 100% of your donation reaches the poor. Please donate generously on the above account number or online by visiting our website...
Molana M Aslam Zahid visited local Madressa during his recent visit to Bagh, Azad Kashmir...
Alhabib Welfare Foundation is relying on your support this Ramadan to help survivors of the Pakistan floods. Donate your Zakat and Sadaqa to us this Ramadan and we will use it to help orphans, widows and those who are in need.
The prophet saw said â€œWhoever helps any muslim and makes them happy in the process, they have made me happy. Whosoever makes me happy has made Allah happy. And whosoever makes Allah happy, Allah will provide a place in Jannah for himâ€?. Come let us all help the poor, disabled, widows and orphans who desperately need our help,and gain the approval of Allah the Almighty You can give your Zakaat, Sadaqatul Fitra to help towards our ongoing support of these needy families. We invite you to come and be a part of a good and worth cause and gain nearness to Allah and the blessed Messenger (peace be upon him). We are offering you the opportunity to extend your good practice in the month of Ramadan by gaining sawaab for helping our fellow Muslims who need your help.
Molana M Aslam Zahid donated computers during his recent visit to Bagh, Azad Kashmir...
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