International Karachi, Sunday, February 6, 2011, Rabi-ul-Awwal 2, Price Rs12 Pages 8
Accountability across MEast needed: Hillary
Kashmir Day observed wit nat’l zeal
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Pak-India Foreign Secys meet today
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Mubarak hangs on despite mounting pressue
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See on Page 8 Economic Indicators Forex Reserves (29-Jan-11) Inflation CPI% (Jul 10-Dec 10) Exports (Jul 10-Dec 10) Imports (Jul 10-Dec 10) Trade Balance (Jul 10-Dec 10) Current A/C (Jul 10- Dec 10) Remittances (Jul 10 - Dec 10) Foreign Invest (Jul 10-Dec 10) Revenue (Jul 10 Dec 10) Foreign Debt (Sep 10) Domestic Debt (Dec 10) Repatriated Profit (Jul- Dec 10) LSM Growth (Nov 10)
GDP Growth FY10E Per Capita Income FY10 Population
$17.38bn 14.61% $10.98bn $19.13bn $(8.15)bn $26mn $5.29bn $1.05bn Rs 638bn $58.41bn Rs 5497.4bn $323.6mn -4.69% 4.10% $1,051 175.09mn
Portfolio Investment SCRA(U.S $ in million)
199.80 -0.95 2.22 3091
Yearly(Jul, 2010 up to 3-Feb-2011) Monthly(Feb, 2010 up to-3-Feb-2011) Daily (3-Feb-2011) Total Portfolio Invest (28 Jan-2011)
NCCPL (U.S $ in million)
FIPI (4-Feb-2011) Local Companies (4-Feb-2011) Banks / DFI (4-Feb-2011) Mutual Funds (4-Feb-2011) NBFC (4-Feb-2011) Local Investors (4-Feb-2011) Other Organization (4-Feb-2011)
ICC bans Pak trio over spot-fixing DOHA: Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were suspended for at least five years after they were found guilty of corruption by an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal on Saturday. Butt was suspended for 10 years, five of which were suspended. Amir was banned for five years while Asif was suspended for seven years, two of which are suspended. British prosecutors announced earlier that the trio would face criminal charges
over their part in last year's spot-fixing scandal, specifically over their actions in the fourth cricket test against England at Lord's. The threeman International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal banned cricketer Salman Butt for ten years, Mohammad Asif for seven years and Mohammad Amir for five years. The accused cricketers were earlier awaiting a sporting tribunal's ruling on spot-fixing allegations. The charges relate to alleged incidents during a Test match against England at Lord's
last year, when Britain's News of the World tabloid claimed the players were willing to deliberately bowl no-balls. A three-man International Cricket Council (ICC) anticorruption tribunal, which deferred a decision after a six-day hearing last month, began proceedings in Doha. The tribunal was headed by Michael Beloff QC, while the other two members were Albie Sachs of South Africa and Sharad Rao of Kenya. Amir's lawyer Shahid Karim said that a set procedure would be followed. "We
0.11 -1.55 0.84 -0.37 -0.60 1.18 0.40
Now, it’s time to settle Kashmir, Pak tells India
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$.Price PKR/Shares 2.60 111.04 18.08 154.43 2.00 42.71 1.70 36.30 11.62 39.68
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13.67% 13.71% 13.88% 14.00% 13.21% 13.61% 13.76% 14.13% 14.27% 14.22% 14.25% 14.27% 14.59% 14.78% 14.96%
Commodities Crude Oil (brent)$/bbl 99.83 Crude Oil (WTI)$/bbl 89.03 Cotton $/lb 167.86 Gold $/ozs 1,349.00 Silver $/ozs 29.06 Malaysian Palm $ 1,247 GOLD (NCEL) PKR 37,321 KHI Cotton 40Kg PKR 12,325
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86.97 86.20 15.62 116.45 10.97 1.047 22.77 67.04 13.19 90.22 23.48 137.78 85.42
87.17 86.40 15.66 116.72 10.99 1.050 22.82 67.20 13.22 90.43 23.53 138.11 85.60
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understand that written verdicts are given to the players and the ICC by the tribunal first and players now can also appeal on the sanctions imposed," Karim told foreign media. Separately the trio, along with British-based agent Mazhar Majeed, were charged by Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) in London on Friday. Karim said: "I am surprised and shocked by the CPS announcement. A day before the ICC See # 8 Page 7
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari addressing the gathering on the occasion of the Kashmir Solidarity Day held at Aiwan-e-Sadr.-APP
Cash-aid for affected not before Mar, says Shaikh ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance has expressed its inability to provide cash compensation to flood victims before March 2011, official sources claimed. The government has so far received $170 million from the World Bank and $190 million from the United States to compensate the flood affectees, but it will not be able to collect further funds before March 2011, added the sources. Federal Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh presided over a meeting of the provincial chief secretaries, including from Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, to discuss flood response and cash transfer to the flood affectees. The meeting deliberated in details the mechanism of disbursement of compensation money and related issues such as preparation of an outline for the operational manual and implementation process. The chief secretaries briefed
the meeting on the first phase of the payment of Rs20,000 per affected family while payment of another Rs80,000 per family was discussed in the light of available financial resources. A workable and practical mechanism to deal with fresh applications for compensation, closing dates for ongoing and fresh registration, and the criteria of complete damage, partial damage of houses in the affected areas and vulnerability of the flood affectees was also discussed. The Punjab chief secretary informed the meeting that rehabilitation centers had been closed in the province after disbursement of Rs20000 per family. The Sindh chief secretary said that they were focusing mainly on a mechanism to select genuine flood affectees for a fair compensation process in coordination with Nadra and Provincial Natural Disaster Management Authority. See # 11 Page 7
Davis aides names revealed, says Rana LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has said Raymond Davis, US citizen involved in killing of two Pakistanis, has told the investigators the names of his fugitive colleagues who killed the third Pakistani. Talking to media persons here Saturday, the minister said if the US consulate did not hand over the fugitive accused to the investigation team then the police will present challan in the court on its own. He said if Raymond Davis has diplomatic immunity he should present all proofs in this regard in the court through his lawyer. Rana Sanaullah said it doesn't make any differences either Davis cooperates with the investigators or not as he has already confessed that he has killed two Pakistani citizens in self defense. "His (Davis) non cooperation is not a big issue as he is arrested red handed," the minister said. He said the US consulate and citizens will suffer if they didn't cooperate with the investigators. He said Davis has never claimed to be a diplomat during the investigations. -Agencies
MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has reiterated that the struggle in Indian occupied Kashmir is the result of the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Indian security forces and the peaceful, indigenous and widespread upraising of the Kashmiri people has demonstrated that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be wished away, and urged India to settle Kashmir dispute. "The human rights violations have also been observed by the international community and noted by the international media", he said this in a written message, which was read by Speaker Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Anwar-ul-Haq. The Prime Minister said that the government and the people of Pakistan join their Kashmiri brethren in observing the Kashmiri Solidarity Day.
"The Kashmir dispute involves the fundamental rights and the sacrosanct principle of self determination. We cannot ignore the responsibility in addressing the miseries and sufferings of the innocent people. On its part, Pakistan remains firmly committed to its principled stance on Jammu and Kashmir, based on the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions". He maintained in his message to joint session. He said that the Kashmir dispute remains close to the heart of every Pakistani. The future of both Pakistan and Kashmir is linked. "Our bounds of common identity are based on shared values, culture, history, traditions and Islamic heritage, Today, I reaffirm Pakistan's unwavering commitment to support the Kashmiris and their right to self-determination" he added.
Davis soon to be released: report WASHINGTON: Double murder-accused US diplomat Raymond Davis, who is currently under Pakistani police detention, may be released soon, officials have indicated. Two Pakistani officials in the United States told a foreign news agency that they expect Davis to be free in days, once the court goes over the documents submitted by US officials to prove his diplomatic status, Fox News reported on Saturday. US officials say the accused US consulate worker in Lahore acted in self-defence in shooting and killing two armed Pakistani men, who
approached him on the street after robbing someone else. Publicly, Pakistani officials have avoided giving definitive statements on whether Davis qualifies for diplomatic immunity, saying that his fate is up to the court. But the Pakistani officials who spoke to the news agency said that their government had to let the case proceed until the US produced the necessary documents on Davis'' status. Pakistani Police believes that the evidence supported Davis'' story, they added. Davis was arrested soon after the January 27 shootings, and made a brief appearance in See # 10 Page 7
Paying homage to Kashmiris he observed "I salute the brave and courageous men, women, and youth of Kashmir we let down their lives for the Kashmir cause during the last more than six decades. The Jammu and Kashmir issue remains as unfulfilled agenda of the United Nations. This unresolved issue calls for reiteration by the international commitment to support the people of Kashmir for self-determination." He termed the Jammu and Kashmir dispute the center of tension in South Asia and the Indian refusal to implement the relevant Security Council Resolutions as only obstacle for durable peace in the region. He once again expressed his government's unconditional willingness to discuss all issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, with India. See # 9 Page 7
Kayani meets Cameron MUNICH: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who is on a visit to Germany, today met senior leadership of the country and various other world leaders on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference. COAS met Prime Minister of United Kingdom, David Cameron and Hamid Karzai and discussed with them the issues of mutual interest. In separate meetings with German Minster of Defence, Dr. Karl Theodor Freiher zu Guttenberg, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Guido Westerwelle and Germany’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Michael Steiner, he discussed with them wide range of issues of mutual interest.NNI
India lacks courage to unearth extremists: Pak ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday termed it "unfortunate" that India has been unable to complete investigations into the Samjhota Express blasts, despite passage of four years. A Foreign Office Spokesman was responding to a question about the progress on the investigation into the Samjhota Express blasts that killed 68 persons, including 42 Pakistani nationals.
"India seems to be lacking courage to unearth culpability of Hindu extremists and their links with some Indian Army personnel," the spokesman said. He said it was unfortunate that India, which uses terrorism as propaganda against Pakistan, has still not been able to complete its investigations. He said despite the passage of four years "India somewhat conveniently asserts that its
investigations are incomplete." "We do not know how many more years India would need to bring the perpetrators of the Samjhota terrorist act to justice, and provide relief to the families of the victims. Asked about the way the case was being handled, the spokesman said "it doesn't inspire much hope." The spokesman emphasized that India needs to
bridge the gap between what it says and what it does. In response to a question regarding the Samjhota Express blasts, a Foreign Office Spokesman said that it is unfortunate that India, which uses terrorism as propaganda against Pakistan, has still not been able to complete its investigations into the Samjhota Express blasts. Even after the lapse of
four years, India somewhat conveniently asserts that its investigations are incomplete, Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said in a statement issued here on Saturday. "We do not know how many more years India would need to bring the perpetrators of the Samjhota terrorist act to justice, and provide relief to the families of the 68 victims, including 42
Pakistan nationals", he added. "Nevertheless the way the case is being handled, it doesn't inspire much hope. India seems to be lacking courage to unearth culpability of Hindu extremists and their links with some Indian Army Personnel". The Spokesman emphasized that India needs to bridge the gap between what it says and what it does. -Agencies
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Lok Virsa observes Kashmir Day
KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah having a meeting with a delegation on International Investment Consortium of Malaysia at CM House. -Online
All PIA flights to be suspended
PALPA to observe strike Tuesday against MoU with Turkish airlines Staff Correspondent ISLAMABAD: A Joint Action Committee of Pakistan Airline Pilots' Association (PALPA) has called for a strike on Tuesday against the pact between Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Turkish Airlines. The committee on Saturday demanded termination of PIA's Managing Director (MD) and to end the pact with Turkish
Airlines. The committee also said that it will go on strike on Tuesday if it's demands are not fulfilled and all PIA flights will be suspended on the day of the strike. According to the agreement the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will suspend its flights to New York, Chicago, Spain, Netherlands, Germany and Italy on the implementation of joint venture
commercial agreement (JVCA). The agreement was signed by Captain Muhammad Aijaz Haroon, Managing Director of PIA, and Dr Temel Kotil, President and Chief Executive Officer of THY. The management says that the loss-making PIA needs a boost. With limited aircrafts, most of which are old, and accumulated losses of over Rs83 billion, state-controlled airline has little option of extending network.
OGDCL condemns attack on employees ISLAMABAD: Managing Director Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) Muhammad Naeem Malik has strongly condemned the terrorist incident in which two employees of the company were killed and three injured on Friday. The workers were attacked near Dirgi village in Jaffarbad district when they were going to the Uch Gas Field from Dera Allahyar. The OGDCL has granted Rs5,00,000 each as compensation besides announcing employment for one child in the company of each family. -APP
ISLAMABAD: Kashmir Solidarity Day, observed on 5 February annually, has now become a day of great national significance. The day is revered with great fervour and enthusiasm to show solidarity with Kashmiri people struggling for the right of their selfdetermination. Lok Virsa, the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage observes Kashmir Solidarity Day - Yakjehti Mela in collaboration with Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Division for the last many years. This year too, Lok Virsa organized a day long mini festival on Saturday at its complex at Garden Avenue, Shakarparian, Islamabad. The festival brought Kashmiri artisans, artists, NGOs and government organizations working for the cause of Kashmir, authentic Kashmiri cuisine under one umbrella to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people. The event was arranged with purely cultural and social perspective highlighting the contribution of Kashmiri immigrants who are trying to keep their identity and cultural traditions alive. Lok Virsa became the focal point of cultural activities relating to the day. All social sector and communi-
ty organizations, artists, musicians, diplomatic community was invited to participate in the Yakjehti Mela. This was stated by Khalid Javaid, executive director, Lok Virsa while talking to media persons. A wide of range of programmes were chalked out which continued throughout the day. The festival was formally opened by Ms Shaheen Dar, chief organizer women wing, Pakistan Peoples Party, Azad Kashmir. Federal Secretary Culture Moin ul Islam Bokhari also visited the festival, met participants and expressed solidarity with the Kashmiri community. The main features included Kashmiri Artisans-atwork with more than 25 Kashmiri craftsmen and craftswomen displayed their artisanship in creatively designed cultural pavilions and attracted attention of the crowd. The master artisans who participated in the exhibition were Zulfiqar Ali Ghazi (papier mache), Yasmin Mustafa (shishgari), Nasir Ali (needlework), Muhammad Saleem (woodwork), Dawood Ahmed (Kashmiri embroidery), Qazi Ali Muhammad (namda and gabba), Muhammad Javaid (metal work), Shamim Habib (Kashmiri embroidery),
Habib Ejaz (truck art), Muhammad Hafeez Nasir (zari work) Kashmiri Folkloric and Music Ensemble - Taleh Ruz - recurring performances of Taleh Ruz, named after traditional Kashmiri jewellery in full costumes was arranged at the open air theatre of Lok Virsa throughout the day. Kashmir folk artists and musicians performed at the festival. Congregation of NGOs A large number of NGOs and government organizations like Behbud Association, Binte Hazara Welfare Foundation, Roshni Organization, Women Vocational Centre, Pakistan Foundation Fighting Blindness, SUNGI Development Organization, TEVTA, Fatima Welfare Society, Directorate of Films and Publications, Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, Kashmir Liberation Cell, Vanguard Books, National Archives of Pakistan, Saadia Art Vision, etc. related to social sector and Kashmir cause set up their stalls and expressed solidarity with Kashmiri people by way of displaying their products and banners bearing slogans in relevance with the event. - NNI
SIALKOT: Governor Punjab Sardar Lateef Khosa addressing the business Community of Sialkot. -Online
Gas cut renders thousands jobless LAHORE: Gas suspension to industrial units of Lahore, Sheikhupura and Sahiwal regions continues for the third consecutive day Saturday leaving thousands of daily wagers jobless. Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) sources said the suspension is according to the schedule and gas supply will be restored to these industrial units on Monday morning. More than 2,000 industries and people are suffering from this gas outage in Punjab's cities. These regular gas cuts are having adverse effects on the country's economy.-INP
Sharmila condemns attack on journalists Staff Reporter KARACHI: Information Secretary Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) Women Wing Sindh Ms. Sharmila Faruqui Saturday strongly condemned attack on TV journalist and anchor Talat Hussain and another TV journalist Haider Ali in interior of Sindh. It is regrettable that now land mafia has become so aggressive even it is attacking journalists, she said in a statement issued here, demanding immediate and robust probe into the incident besides bringing the perpetrators to justice. "Merciless elements do not want journalists to highlight plight of flood victims and other atrocities being committed on oppressed segments of the society,"
she said adding that it was duty and obligation of Sindh Police to take stern action against criminals involved in attacking and harassing media persons. I pay rich tribute to journalists' community for screening and printing news stories on sufferings and troubles of floodaffectees and other people, Sharmila said. No doubt, Pakistani media is playing a remarkable role against cruelties and atrocities with helpless people that would be written in the history with golden words, she added. She emphasized the need that the relevant departments and stakeholders should ensure proper arrangements for security and protection to journalists.
KARACHI: Wife of US Ambassador Marilyn Wyatt distributing Health Rehabilitation Kits to lady health workers for flood affected areas. -Online
2 electricity towers blown up in Bolan BOLAN: Some unidentified miscreants blew up two electricity towers of 132-KV transmission power line with explosive devices in Aabgum area of district Bolan on Saturday. According to police sources, some unidentified miscreants planted two explosive devices at two electricity towers junction that blew up with big bang. Qesco sources said that the blast destroyed the two towers supplying power to Sibi and Macch districts, adding that after destruction of power transmission, the shortfall of at least 220 megawatts electricity will hit Balochistan. The province is already facing more than 500MW shortage and now it will face 720MW shortage after two towers were blown up, Qesco sources added.-INP
ISLAMABAD: To redress the prevailing dismal economic conditions in the country, the government ought to come forward with a comprehensive action plan. Munawar Iqbal, the Central President of Pakistan Computer Association (PCA) said this while addressing general body meeting of the Association. In this connection, steps need to be identified so that key issues regarding businesses, trade as well as overall economy could be dealt in an effective manner. Munawar Iqbal said that low economic growth, high food inflation and cost and shortage of energy, rising unemployment, alarming increase in government borrowings, poor revenue collection were the issues that demand urgent measures. Moreover, low foreign and local investments ought to be a matter of concern and hence, appropriate steps to redress the problem, he said. The Central President of PCA said that the credit by banks is being made more expensive for the private sector as a result no investment is being witness in any sector of the economy. He said that new business ventures were imperative to generate economic activity and employment in the country. NNI
PIA staff wants briefing on code sharing with Turkish airlines
Abidi slams Nisar for criticising govt ISLAMABAD: Political Adviser to President, Senator Faisal Raza Abidi has came down hard upon Opposition Leader in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for unduly criticising the decision of the government to trim the cabinet and rejection of Judicial Commission recommendations by the parliamentary committee. In a statement here Saturday, Faisal Raza Abidi said it has become a habit of the opposition leader to criticise every step of the government. The PPP Senator also criticised Chaudhry Nisar's comments on the contacts between the PPP and PML-Q.
PCA wants drastic measures to improve economy
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister Mian Manzoor Wattoo and Kashmir Committee Chairman Maulana Fazalur Rehman leading a rally to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day. -APP
Devolution of Health Ministry to provinces
Legislators support PPMA demand Staff Reporter KARACHI: Speakers including legislators have assured pharmaceutical manufacturers to find a way out too resolve the issues affecting them after the passing of 18th Amendment. "If there is a will there is a way", said Dr Farooq Sattar, former federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and parliamentary leader of MQM in National Assembly while speaking at a seminar on devolution of health organised by Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) here. He said the politics is an art of finding out possibilities and do-ables. "We have passed 19th Amendment to address the issues relating to judiciary and we can go for 20th Amendment if needed to resolve the problems facing drug manufacturers", he added. Dr Sattar said
that though devolution was very close to him and his party, he is ready to address problems being created in sub sectors of health according to the wishes of stakeholders. He hinted that these problems can be addressed by using the option of double taxation under fundamental rights, items 6 and 13 or invoking Article 144 of the Constitution. He said this issue can be referred to the Council of Common Interest for redressal. The minister said that he will try to arrange a meeting of PPMA with the Parliamentary Committee for the implementation of 18th Amendment to resolve.. this issue. Chairman NA Standing Committee on Health Dr Nadeem Ahsan said that he has convened a meeting of the committee on February 9, to discuss this issue. He said it was necessary to remove all
the ambiguities before the implementation of 18th Amendment without affecting provincial autonomy. He said foreign donors have also shown concerns over this issue which is also affecting Pakistan's millennium goals. Dr Ahsan promised PPMA to consult with Mian Raza Rabbani, head of 18th Amendment implementation committee for addressing these issues. "We have already sought the time from him", he added. Chairperson Senate's Standing Committee on Health and deputy parliamentary leader of BNP in Senate, Begum Kulsoom Perveen supported the demand of having a drug regulatory authority in the centre before developing the similar expertise and organisations in the provinces. She questioned that who will check the quality of medicines and who will regulate exports and imports.
KARACHI: PIA Senior Staff Association's executive body meeting was convened here Saturday. It was participated by all office bearers of the Association from Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Sukkur, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Quetta zones. It was decided during the meeting that the PIA Senior Staff Association will not be part of any activity which damages the image of the national carrier rather it will work for the betterment of the airline. President of the Association, Abid Saleem said that all matters relating to the Welfare of the officers will be discussed with the management including MoU for salary raise, revision of Pay scales, flight services allowances and pension ratio on equal basis. The executive body demanded a detailed briefing on PIA- Turkish proposed Code Sharing after which the Association will be in a better position to explain the benefits that could be attained through the proposed code share to its members. General Secretary of the Association, Asad Sadiq briefed the executive body about the ongoing activities of the Association.- NNI
TV PROGRAMMES SUNDAY
RAWALPINDI: Girls taking keen interest in the pictures displayed during an exhibition at Rawalpindi Arts Council. -APP
Time Programmes 9:05 I Samaa (Rpt) 9:30 Taxi News (Rpt) 10:10 The Reema Show (Rpt) 11:10 Awam Ki Awaz (Rpt) 12:00 News 13:10 Faisla Aap Ka (Rpt) 14:10 Tafteesh (Rpt) 15:00 News 16:00 News 17:00 News 18:00 News 19:30 i Samaa 20:05 The Reema Show 21:00 News 22:03 Faisla Aap Ka 23:05 Crime Week
Sunday, February 6, 2011
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An Engine that Harnesses Sound Waves The device uses thermoacoustics for greater efficiency.
startup company has developed a new type of engine that could generate electricity with the efficiency of a fuel cell, but which costs only about as much as an internal combustion engine. Etalim, based in Vancouver, Canada, says its engine, roughly the size of a basketball, could improve the economics of electricity production for the cogeneration of power and heat in homes, and as a way to harness the heat produced at concentrating solar collectors. The company has created a prototype, but has yet to achieve the kind of efficiencies—in excess of 40 percent—that its computer models indicate are within reach. The device shares some principles of a Stirling engine, in which an external heat source is used to expand a fixed amount of working gas (usually helium), which then contracts when it is pushed into a cooler space. This expansion-contraction cycle repeats itself, turning heat into mechanical work by driving a piston. Etalim's CEO on Klopfer says a fundamental problem with Stirling engines is that they need to run at very high temperatures and pressures to be efficient, making it difficult to keep the gas sealed inside the cylinder that encases the piston. "At these temperatures, you can't use traditional methods of sealing," he says.
"You can't use rubber, lubricants. It must be dry metal on metal, and those are very expensive, highprecision parts that lead to high costs." Etalim's founder and chief scientist, Thomas Steiner, saw an opportunity to eliminate all the rubbing parts and seals that are prone to wear and leakage by using a design based on thermoacoustics—which employs heat to control the intensity of sound waves within a sealed cavity. Encased within the core of Etalim's engine is a plate of metal that replaces the function of a piston in a conventional Stirling engine. When pressurized helium on the top side of the metal plate is heated, sound waves traveling through the gas are amplified, causing the plate to vibrate, and a metal diaphragm below (separated by a cooler layer of helium) to push down on a shaft. All mechanical friction is eliminated. The shaft is attached to a an alternator that produces electricity. The vibration of the plate only moves the shaft two-tenths of a millimeter per cycle, so not much helium is being moved with each cycle. But the engine achieves a rapid 500 cycles per second. "If you go to high-frequency, you can get more power out of it," says Greg Swift, a thermoacoustics expert at Los Alamos National Laboratories who saw an early version of Etalim's engine. "Steiner has really done a good job of taking a different [design] direction and not making any mistakes."
Asus Eee Slate EP121 Windows 7 tab now out
he latest one of four Asus Eee Windows tabs to be launched is the Slate EP121 which boasts a 12.1? 1280 x 800 pixel capacitive touchscreen display with an eletromagnetic panel and stylus for precise input. Powered by either 2GB or 4GB of DDR3 memory, underneath is a dual core Intel i5 CPU. Though available in 32GB or 64GB solid state disk versions, the latter is already out of stock on Amazon. Other features of the Eee Slate includes Windows 7 Home Premium, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a 2MP webcam, 2 USB ports, a microphone and headphone combo jack, a mini HDMI port, and a flash card reader. Asus claims that the Eee Slate can run for approx 2.4 to 4.5 hours. The tablet also comes with a Bluetooth keyboard and a carrying case so that you can easily turn it into a desktop-like PC should your working environment allow. You can order the 32GB model for $999 from Amazon while the 64GB model will cost you $1099. For those who are in the UK and interested, the last time we checked Amazon UK, it wasn’t available yet but we’ll keep you posted.
Twitter adds ‘Connections’ so find your mutuals
Apple reject proposals for succession plan W A
n Apple Inc shareholder proposal requiring the company to disclose a succession plan for Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs gained the support of Institutional Shareholder Services, a proxy-advising service. ISS, which helps institutional investors decide how to vote on shareholder propositions, wants Apple's board to disclose a CEO succession plan annually, according to a report released by the firm. The measure is backed by the Laborers' International Union of North America. Jobs announced a leave of absence on January 17, the third time the Apple cofounder has taken time away from the company since 2004 to deal with health problems. While Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has assumed control of day-to-day operations,
Apple's board hasn't said who will take over for Jobs if he can't return. The proposal will be considered at Apple's annual shareholder meeting on
February 23. "A vote for the shareholder proposal to adopt a succession planning policy is warranted in light of the company's limited disclosure regarding this issue and the market's expression of concern over CEO succession at Apple," Rockville, Maryland- based ISS said in a report dated January 28. The laborers' union announced the
group's support in a statement today. Apple, the most valuable technology company, asked shareholders to vote against the proposal in its proxy statement released January 7. The company said its governance guidelines require the board and CEO to annually review succession planning for senior management. That process includes identifying candidates for succession. Those deliberations are kept confidential. The company said the information could provide competitors with an unfair advantage and give them an opportunity to poach executives. The proposal also could harm its ability to retain executives because it would identify who's being considered for positions and how they are being evaluated, Apple said.
e know that you love twittering as much as we do, and if you’re an avid Twitter user, you’ll be pleased to hear that Twitter is introducing some improvements that should make your twittering a bit easier. The latest addition to the popular micro-blogging service is called Connections, and it will allow you to find people that you know and people with whom you have mutual friends. This sounds quite familiar since most of the social networking sites have been using a similar system for some time, but nevertheless, it’s nice to see this improvement on Twitter. According to the news, the Connections tool will replace ‘Followed by’ feature, allowing you to find mutual followers easier than before. The first line of Connections will allow you to see which of your friends follow a particular person, while the second line will allow you to see which profiles you follow in common.
Motorola ATRIX 4G announced M
otorola’s upcoming Android 2.2 Froyopowered handset, the ATRIX 4G, is set to light up the smartphone world – that’s a given, and we are pleased to bring you news of its availability while it is hot off the press. Available for pre-sales a day before Valentine’s (that is February 13 just in case you do not own a calendar), it will cost
The Motorola ATRIX 4G Android 2.2 smartphone is an AT&T exclusive, and is touted to be the most powerful smartphone in the world when it hits the markets, sporting a 2×1 GHz dual-core processor that delivers a theoretical total of 2GHz of processing power. Apart from that, it also has the world’s first qHD display, alongside built-in Flash sup-
you as much as other high-end Android-powered smartphones, that is, $199.99 with a two-year service agreement. Expect the Motorola ATRIX 4G to soften the blow of losing the iPhone exclusivity deal with Apple for AT&T, as it will hit the market on March 6th this year, and hopefully good sales will follow and boost up their earnings in that particular quarter sometime down the road. Of course, you can also expect AT&T to bundle pricing for the Motorola ATRIX 4G and the Motorola Laptop Dock.
port with its Adobe Flash player to make this a multimedia powerhouse. Apart from that, it will be complemented by breakthrough accessories which will comprise of a revolutionary, super-thin Motorola Laptop Dock, where the ATRIX 4G’s heart is the “engine”. As for the Motorola HD Multimedia Dock, it will rely on the ATRIX 4G’s HDMI video output capabilities and processing power to enable a revolutionary browsing, application and media experience.
Firefox 4 Beta 10 comes with 506 bugs
f you thought that Firefox 4 Beta 10 is the one of the safest browsers out there, you should probably guess again, because Firefox 4 Beta 10 will come with more than hundreds of bugs.
That’s right, the latest version of this popular browsers has 506 bugs that needs to be fixed in the upcoming beta. If you think that 506 bugs is too much, the previous – Beta 9 had more than 661 that were fixed in Beta 10. As you can see, folks from Mozilla are working on it and they are planning to remove most of those bugs in the upcoming beta, so we can’t wait to try it out.
LG Optimus 3D pictured leaked
hen we tested and reviewed the LG Optimus One last month, we weren’t particularly impressed with its capabilities, but despite being in the same ‘family’, the recently leaked Optimus 3D Android shares very little in the way of genetic bond with its predecessor
Latest Gadgets ASUS External Drives Underpowered
Ergonomics In the Boardroom If you’re the type of guy (or gal) who gives presentations a lot and relies on those old wonky “air mouse” peripherals in order to control your PC from afar, it’s time to get with the times and toss that crummy old thing—upgrade to The Loop!
Rude Gameware Fierce Laser Mouse Gaming gear has to perform. No matter how cool it looks, if it doesn’t live up to a gamer’s high standards, it just won’t sell. The folks at Rude Gameware know that. They’ve been producing some of the best equipment around for years. Most recently, they’ve updated their Fierce Laser Mouse to a 2.0 version and though it’s far from revolutionary, it gets the job done well.
ASUS has given us some of the best portable computing options around. However, there has been a disturbing trend in the company’s releases as of late: ASUS is bumping up their price tags! This latest release, the ASUS Lamborghini External Hard Drive is no exception.
Camcorder Projector hits Hammacher Hammacher Schlemmer has had a long, 163-year history that delivers nothing but now in the face of ever changing technology, it makes perfect sense for them to deliver up-to-date gizmos and gadgets, and the Camcorder Projector is definitely one of them. The Camcorder Projector is actually a high-definition camcorder which is capable of instantly projecting video or still pictures onto any flat surface as its name suggests.This will, of course, depend on whether the surroundings are dark enough, and whether you have a light colored wall
Wedgi’s hands-free smartphone operation Driving around usage of cell phone without a hands-free is dangerous to all road users. Out this week by C & C Designs Technology, LLC, the patent-pending wedgi can be said to be the most versatile smartphone kickstand and dashboard mounting device available on the market at point of publishing. Of course, that is just PR spin, but we will have to test it for ourselves before coming up with our own conclusion.
4 Sunday, February 6, 2011
The Financial Daily International Vol 4, Issue 173
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Has US any role to play in Egypt crisis? Some analysts say that US President Barak Obama and his team is trying every trick in the American Power playbook to end the crisis in Egypt. However, the frightening truth is that the US administration has hardly any role to play, at the best it can keep a watch to avoid the present demonstration being hijacked by any Muslim extremist group. Not because it may change Egypt's role but the mob may also turn anti Israel. The unfolding situation in Lebanon has already become a cause of concern for the US administration. One can still recall that the LebanonIsrael conflict may have caused colossal damage to Lebanon and Hezbollah but also tarnished the image that Israel army is invincible. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon, and a slew of senior officials in the national security plus the usual bevy of senators and representatives arrived in Munich for the Wehrkunde Security Conference, an annual confab of defense heavyweights to discus the latest security concerns. Though, no cancellation seems on the cards planned, the US administration believes that the next 24 to 48 hours to be pretty decisive. One may wonder why Clinton, Donilon, and the rest of them are going there. But it is known to all that Wehrkunde will see Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov exchange documents regarding the latest bilateral nuclear arms reduction treaty. Wehrkunde is also the big Euro talk-fest for political and military types. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was scheduled to go but canceled the visit making situation in Egypt an excuse. The US knows it can't do much in the Egyptian crisis as events are going to be decided on the ground. Though, Mubarak has chosen to remain in power many are asking the question, is that sustainable. The answer to that question will come from Egypt and not from Washington. For The Us administration that believes that the world revolves around Washington, it has become a bitter pill to swallow. The US still believes it can influence Egyptians but the harsh reality is that the players out there are going to make decisions regardless of the US stance. There is a clear sense that different stakeholders are willing to talk and also have done whatever they could, at least in the immediate crisis. President Obama has spoken with President Mubarak; Clinton has spoken with newly minted Vice President Omar Suleiman; Gates has spoken with Defense Minister Tantawi; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen has spoken with his counterpart, Lt. Gen. Sami Enan. White House hoped Frank Wisner's mission would have more success than it got. Wisner, a former ambassador to Egypt and longtime friend of Mubarak had the task of convincing him to step aside swiftly. Since Mubarak was not inclined to accept the US advice, Wisner talked to Vice President Suleiman and flew back.
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EU states frustrated by Paris, Berlin summit deal G
ermany and France tried to win backing for a pact to strengthen the euro zone economy on Friday, but many other EU states were angered by what they saw as a 'fait accompli' and the measures contained in it. Paris and Berlin -- the driving forces behind euro zone policy -- set out a wish-list of measures they want euro zone and the wider EU to adopt to improve competitiveness and help tackle the year-long debt crisis. The proposals included: l Limits on debt levels written into national laws l A higher retirement age, based on demography l The abolition of wages indexed to inflation l Unified bank crisis-resolution mechanisms, and l A minimum corporate tax rate But there was almost immediate pushback against the proposals, with large and small EU states, from Belgium and Austria to Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Poland and Luxembourg expressing aggravation at France and Germany's methods, as well as the substance of the six-point proposal. "The discussion became really quite heated," said an EU diplomat on the sidelines of the talks. "One EU leader asked Sarkozy and Merkel if they really thought it was right to treat everyone else in this way. He was insulted."
Paris and Berlin said they had worked together to come up with a clear package quickly. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the two had no intention of enforcing a straightjacket. "The idea we have with Angela Merkel is not to impose the same thing to everybody ... but maybe we can agree on how to calculate things," he told reporters after the summit. "May be we can agree on a common framework, which does not mean pure equality," he said of the proposal for a corporate taxation minimum. "It's not a rigid process." Merkel said the intention was to show unity and determination on tackling the causes of the debt crisis. "We want to send out a clear message, that as the European Union, we intend to grow together. What we want to establish is a pact for competitiveness," she said. Opponents, which included a good portion of the 17 countries in the euro zone, said the proposals were hard to accept. "I don't think it's possible for the European Union to regulate the pension age because there are large differences in the individual countries," Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said. "I don't think it's right to interfere in wage negotiations, like some have demanded." Ireland opposes a minimum corporate tax rate, Belgium, Spain and
Portugal oppose the abolition of index-linked wage increases, and the retirement age measure is widely disliked in countries with strong unions and powerful labor lobbies. The issue is likely to be taken up again at an extra summit after March 9, Germany said, with the aim still to try to forge an agreement by the end of next month. PUSHBACK Most of the proposals by Berlin and Paris have already been set out by the European Commission in January in its Annual Growth Survey, part of the new, tighter budget process. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso signaled on Wednesday there was no need for separate agreements between governments on more economic cooperation since the same could be done on the basis of the Commission proposal. But France and Germany hope a deal between governments will ensure an agreement is reached more quickly -- an important factor given the pressing nature of the debt crisis. The two biggest euro zone economies want the pact to be part of a "comprehensive package" that leaders agree in March, when they hope to sign off on a series of measures that might help halt the euro zone's yearlong sovereign debt crisis. The package is to include changes to the European Financial Stability Facility, the 440 billion euro bailout
fund agreed last May, to increase its effective lending capacity and give it more flexibility on how to use its money. Conclusions of the summit said euro zone ministers would consider proposals for strengthening the EFSF "to ensure the necessary effectiveness to provide adequate support." Those discussions are also expected to be finalized next month. Strengthening the EFSF has been the focus of discussion for months, since it became clear its effective lending capacity was only about 250 billion euros, not 440 billion, due to guarantees built into the fund to maintain its triple-A credit rating. Given its lending limitations, there are concerns that if Portugal and Spain were both to end up needing a bailout, the EFSF would not have sufficient funds. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, who held talks with EU leaders over lunch, is among those calling for the EFSF to be enlarged and made more flexible, so that it is not just a bailout lender of last resort. The EFSF is the chief weapon in the EU's arsenal, but deep disagreement remains over how it should be strengthened, with Germany determined to secure stricter budgetary commitments from other euro zone members and reforms boosting competitiveness in exchange for agreeing amendments to the fund.-Reuters
Mideast awakens memories of communist fall G
erman Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that protests in the Middle East awaken memories of the events that ended communism in eastern Europe, and declared that "there will be change in Egypt." However, Merkel - who grew up in East Germany and entered politics as communism crumbled amid protests in 1989 - said any transition needs to be orderly, and cautioned against assuming that the West's democratic model can simply be exported elsewhere. "We are seeing pictures awaken memories of what we experienced in Europe ... people who are shaking off their fear, people who are saying what they don't like, who name injustices by name," Merkel said at an annual gathering of global security officials. "Who would we be if we did not say we stand on the side of these people who are expressing what bothers them?" Merkel called for Egyptian authorities to guarantee "freedoms that we consider universal - freedom of the
press, freedom of opinion." "There will be change in Egypt," she said, adding that it must be peaceful. Still, drawing on her own memories of starting out with a new pro-democracy party that failed to make much of a mark in elections a few months after the Berlin Wall fell, she cautioned against moving too fast. "If you're in this kind of process of upheaval, things just can't go fast enough," Merkel said. But, she added, it doesn't make sense to hold elections very quickly "as the beginning of a process of democratization - you have to give people a chance to create structures." She also recalled that East Germans didn't appreciate being given too much advice even by West Germans, and noted that the West has seen that "the simple export of what we call Westminster democracy ... to all the regions of this world won't work." Change in other regions has to take account of local cultures, but respect for human rights is "the red line where we cannot make compromises," she
added. Merkel spoke alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron. Neither leader would say what should happen to President Hosni Mubarak, whose immediate departure is a key demand of Egyptian protesters. "I don't think we in the West should be the ones to point fingers and say it's this leader or that leader who must go now or start now," Cameron said. However, "to those who say what we need is to stick to the regime (in the interest of) stability, there is no stability in Egypt today," he added. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged leaders across the Middle East to embrace democratic reforms. She said change is a "strategic necessity" that will make Arab nations stronger and their people more prosperous and less susceptible to extremist ideologies. "The status quo is simply not sustainable," she said. "The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends," Clinton added. "Leaders in the region
may be able to hold back the tide for a little while, but not for long." EU President Herman Van Rompuy said that while the Mideast needs to embark on reform, there is no "copypaste (solution) that we can have in each country." "Speed is not the most important thing," he said. "Direction is the most important thing." The Munich conference also features U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and high-powered delegations from around the world. Ban said recent events in the Middle East "are driven at bottom by human insecurity, poverty, diminished or disappointed expectations, the lack of good governance, corruption." "It is important to remember: the problems and grievances causing unrest in the Arab world represent a microcosm in too many ways of the broader world," he added. "Despite progress in many places, insecurity is everywhere on the rise."-Reuters
Obama policies ruining US R
epublican Sarah Palin said Friday an explosion of government spending and debt under President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats had put the United States on "the road to ruin." In a tribute to former President Ronald Reagan, the potential 2012 White House contender said leaders in Washington had lost sight of the values that made Reagan a Republican icon and a hero to conservatives -- a belief in limited government, low taxes and personal freedoms. "This is not the road to national greatness, it is the road to ruin," Palin said of the growth in government spending, budget deficits, joblessness and housing foreclosures under Obama. "The federal government is spending too much, borrowing too much, growing and controlling too much," she said. Palin said Obama had revived the era of big government, and she ridiculed the infrastructure spending and investment he outlined in his recent State of the Union speech. "The only thing these investments will get us is a bullet train to bankruptcy," the 2008 vice presidential candidate said in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California, part of two days of festivities marking the late president's 100th birthday. Reagan served two terms as president beginning in 1981, and his belief in limited government, reduced taxes and military strength has been the dominant political doctrine of his Republican Party ever since.
His legacy gained new momentum in the last year with the growth of the conservative grassroots Tea Party movement, which has focused on a push for limited government and reduced government spending. Like virtually all Republican Party
Choosing." 'AT A CROSSROADS' That speech brought Reagan, a Hollywood actor, to the attention of conservatives and helped catapult him to two terms as California governor and eventually to the White House.
"This is not the road to national greatness, it is the road to ruin," Palin said of the growth in government spending, budget deficits, joblessness and housing foreclosures under Obama. "The federal government is spending too much, borrowing too much, growing and controlling too much," she said. leaders, Palin and many of the other possible Republican candidates to unseat Obama go to great lengths to stress their belief in Reagan's principle. But Palin said the Republican search for the next Reagan would never be successful. "He was one of a kind," she said. Palin focused in particular on a Reagan speech during conservative Barry Goldwater's losing 1964 presidential campaign, titled "A Time for
She said the speech, which warned of the dangers of big government and Democratic President Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" social programs, was still relevant. "We are at a crossroads," she said, "and this is a time of choosing." Palin's tribute to Reagan kicked off a weekend of celebrations to mark what would have been Reagan's 100th birthday on Sunday, including speeches, video tributes and a Beach Boys concert
at the Reagan library in nearby Simi Valley. His wife Nancy Reagan, 89, will lay a wreath at his grave Sunday, and Reagan will be the subject of a video salute before the Super Bowl football game. Even Democrats have joined in the tributes. Reagan, who died in 2004 at age 93, had "a gift for communicating his vision to America," Obama said in a salute published in the USA Today newspaper. Palin, who visited Reagan's ranch on Friday afternoon, has adopted bits of his personal style, from his folksy manner of speaking to frequent references to faith and religion. But she has been a lightning rod for liberal critics for her inflammatory speeches and political commentary on the Fox News Channel. Last month, she accused critics of "blood libel" in linking her inflammatory rhetoric to a deadly Arizona shooting spree, igniting another in a series of firestorms around her. The "blood libel" phrase, which refers to a false, centuries-old allegation that Jews were killing children to use their blood in religious rituals, has been employed for centuries to justify the killing or expulsion of Jews. Palin made no reference to that controversy, the Arizona shooting or the uprising in Egypt during the Reagan speech, focusing her remarks on his continuing relevance today. "If history teaches us anything, it's that bad ideas are never gone for good," she said. -Reuters
Sunday, February 6, 2010
Blood pressure meds tied to lower cancer risk D
octors in Taiwan have found that people who take a common type of blood pressure drug appear less likely to develop cancer than patients not taking the medication. Their report adds to a conflicting array of studies on this type of medicine, called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), and one U.S. expert called the new results "unreliable." ARBs include Novartis's Diovan, Merck's Cozaar, and Avapro from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis. Some 200 million people around the world are currently taking one of the drugs. While previous research had tied them to a slight increase in cancer risk, "From our observation in the real world, ARBs are safe and may provide benefit beyond lowering blood pressure," said Dr. Hsin-Bang Leu of Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, whose findings appear in the American Journal of Cardiology. Leu and colleagues studied more than 100,000 patients, identified from an insurance database, who had been diagnosed with high blood pressure between 1998 and 2006. Over an average of six years, eight percent developed some form of cancer. The patients on ARBs -- about 37 percent -- had a considerably lower cancer risk. Even after accounting
for the influence of other diseases and blood pressure meds, their chances of developing cancer were 33 percent lower than among patients not taking the drugs. And the longer a patient had been
steps in the transition of normal cells to cancer cells, or in the spread of the rogue cells. But a U.S. expert said he did not believe the drugs can stave off cancer.
on ARBs, the greater the apparent effect. After a year or more, for instance, the team found a 50 percent lower risk of cancer. In an e-mail, Leu said it is possible that ARBs protect against cancer by thwarting certain molecular
"It is just an illusion due to poor research technique," Dr. Ilke Sipahi of Case Western University in Cleveland told Reuters Health by email. He added that there were "major imbalances" between the patients
receiving and not receiving ARBs. "Patients receiving ARBs were receiving better care overall," suggested Sipahi, who recently found in a review of the medical literature that the drugs were linked to an increased cancer risk. "Poor treatment -- perhaps including no advice on smoking cessation and poor socioeconomic status and unhealthy living conditions -- led to the more frequent cancers in the control group." The Taiwanese researchers acknowledged that they were not able to account for these factors in the study. Still, Leu emphasized that patients who are taking ARBs should not worry about it increasing their risk of cancer. Sipahi, too, cautioned against taking any drastic actions based on the research. "Patients should not stop or change any of their treatments without discussing these issues and their options with their physicians," he said. Last year, Bristol-Myers and Sanofi told Reuters "no signal for new cancers has been found" in the companies' ongoing review of health problems reported in patients treated with Avapro. Other common blood pressure drugs include "water pills," or diuretics, as well as beta blockers such as atenolol and ACE inhibitors such as Pfizer's Accupril.
Excercise ups survival for cancer patients
ven moderate physical activity can significantly reduce death risk in men suffering from colorectal cancer, say researchers. They found that patients who engaged in moderate physical activity were 53 percent more likely to be alive and free of the disease than those who were less physically active. "Moderate exercise has now been incorporated in some guidelines for colorectal cancer survivors and this new research should further reinforce to oncologists that they should discuss this in their survivorship plan," said study''s lead author Dr Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "However, while our work found a significant benefit for patients who exercise, it''s important that exercise still be seen as a supplement to, not a replacement for, standard therapies," Meyerhardt added. During the study, Meyerhardt and his team examined 668 men with colorectal cancer. More than 50 percent of the men exercised the equivalent of one hour of walking, at least six days per week, although the men engaged in a variety of different recreational exercises. The benefit of exercise was seen regardless of age, how advanced the cancer, weight and any history of previous physical activity. The findings are published in Archives of Internal Medicine.
New drug combo to treat cancer A
study led by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center has indicated that a new three-drug combination used to treat the blood cancer multiple myeloma may be effective as a front-line therapy for newly diagnosed patients. The drug combination includes a novel proteasome inhibitor called carfilzomib, combined with lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone. This is the first study to look at carfilzomib as a front-line treatment of patients with myeloma, a type of cancer that arises in the plasma cells. "This combination treatment appears to deliver everything we expected and more. We have seen no neurotoxicity and fantastic efficacy, the best reported to date," said study author Andrzej Jakubowiak, director of the multiple myeloma program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The study, which still is accruing
participants, has enrolled 31 people to date. All patients responded to this combination, measured by at least a 50 per cent reduction of the disease, and the disease was completely or nearly eliminated in a significant portion of patients. Responses were rapid, and the depth of response continued to improve with additional treatment. Of patients who completed eight cycles of therapy, more than two-thirds achieved a complete response, meaning they showed little or no signs of cancer. These response rates appear to be higher than those achieved by the best current regimens in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. After a median followup of six months, all patients were
alive with no progression of their
Researchers found that the three-
drug combination, called CRd, was
well-tolerated, with few serious side effects. Most notably, peripheral neuropathy -- which is marked by numbness or tingling of the fingers and toes and can cause significant pain, depending on the severity -- was infrequent and mild with this treatment. This side effect typically limits extended use of currently available multiple myeloma treatments and is often the reason patients discontinue a therapy. "Newly diagnosed myeloma is most sensitive to treatment. A great response in the initial phase of treatment is critical because it projects how long patients will remain in remission, as well as their
overall survival. Patients have a better chance of living longer if their response to initial treatment is better," said Jakubowiak, associate professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School. Carfilzomib has recently emerged as an important drug in treatment of multiple myeloma. It has previously been tested as a single-agent in patients who have exhausted all available treatment options and in relapsed disease. Currently, a Phase III trial is ongoing looking at CRd compared with lenalidomide and low dose dexamethasone alone for patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma statistics: 20,180 Americans will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma this year and 10,650 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society Initial results of the phase I study were presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition.
Avastin raises heart failure risk in breast cancer W
omen with advanced breast cancer who were treated with Roche's Avastin were more likely to develop heart failure than other women, according to an analysis released on Tuesday that raised more concerns about the already troubled drug. A team led by Dr. Toni Choueiri of Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston analyzed data on advanced breast cancer patients from five clinical trials. They found that 1.6 percent of the women who took Avastin developed congestive heart failure compared with 0.4 percent of women who got a placebo. "Overall, the risk is small, but it is definitely more than the placebo," Choueiri said in a telephone interview. He said the findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, add to concerns about Avastin, the world's best-selling cancer medicine with annual sales of $6 billion. Last month, U.S. regulators recommended that
Avastin should no longer be approved for breast cancer.
European authorities recommended restricting its use in breast cancer for only one type of
chemotherapy. Avastin, or bevacizumab,
has been approved for fighting breast and other cancers, but the d r u g failed to extend s u r vival i n four clinic a l trials of patients with breast cancer. Roche's Genentech unit said in a statement heart failure is not a new safety signal for Avastin and is already made clear on the drug's prescribing information. Choueiri said his study is the first to show the drug increases the risk of heart failure in breast cancer patients. His team analyzed results of five clinical trials involving nearly 4,000 women with advanced breast cancer that collected data on heart failure. Three of the studies were published in peer-reviewed medical journals, while two were presented at a
breast cancer conference. He said there was a statistically significant increase in heart failure in
Avastin blocks vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, which is needed to form blood vessels to
and it may be that blocking VEGF is having a negative effect on women with breast cancer, whose hearts
How breast cancer spreads to bone
team of Princeton University scientists has discovered a mechanism involved in breast cancer's spread to bone, which may lead to a new treatment for the disease. Cancer cells often travel throughout the body and cause new tumours in individuals with advanced breast cancer - a process called metastasis - commonly resulting in malignant bone tumours. And what the new research has uncovered is the exact mechanism that lets the traveling tumour cells disrupt normal bone growth. Breast cancer spreads to the bone in 70 to 80 per cent of patients with advanced breast cancer, and it can also spread to the brain, lung and liver. The team's findings shows that breast tumour cells are able to give bone cells the wrong instructions through a process known as cell signaling -with disastrous effects for the patient. The billions of cells in a living human body must communicate to develop, repair tissue, and effectively maintain normal physiological functions. Cell signaling is part of a complex system that enables them to do that. But, in patients with cancer, the relationship between signaling molecules and the molecules that communicate with them has gone awry. Signaling molecules are those that can be received and read by a cell through a receptor molecule on its surface. Once the signaling molecules connect with a receptor, their union sets off a process that leads to the receiving cell changing its behaviour.The sequence of events that follows involves a signaling pathway, which is a group of molecules that work together, one molecule activating the next until a specific function is carried out, such as renewing an organ's cells. There are many such signaling pathways. But in the case of metastatic breast cancer, a disruptive pathway is formed. The signaling molecule, also known as a ligand, connects with a receptor molecule on certain bone cells and activates a cellular pathway that ultimately disrupts healthy bone renewal.Kang's team identified the signaling molecule as Jagged1, and the receptor molecule as one that activates a cellular pathway known as the "Notch pathway." The study has been published online in the journal Cancer Cell.
women who were treated with Avastin. That may be due in part to the way the drug works.
feed tumors. But VEGF is also needed to maintain the heart's structure, Choueiri said,
may have already been compromised by other cancer treatments. Drs. Nitin Verma and
Sandra Swain of Washington Cancer Institute and Washington Hospital Center said in a commentary the results should be interpreted with "extreme caution." They said the analysis adds little to what has already been known about the heart failure risk associated with breast cancer patients taking Avastin. Many breast cancer groups and U.S. lawmakers expressed outrage at the FDA's decision on Avastin, charging the agency based its decision on cost, something the FDA is forbidden from doing. Avastin costs about $8,000 a month in the United States, although Roche caps the annual price at $57,000 per patient. The company has asked the FDA to reconsider its decision on the drug. Doctors can still prescribe Avastin for breast cancer, but without FDA approval, insurance companies are less likely to pay for it. "Genentech continues to believe Avastin is an important option for women with metastatic breast cancer," the company said.-Reuters
Analysis & Feature
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Authoritarian states in focus after ME turmoil * Mideast protests seen highlighting dangers elsewhere * Systemic threats to authoritarian regimes * Market struggle to price long-term regime risks
nexpected revolt on North Africa's streets has shattered any easy assumptions powerful authoritarian leaders will survive indefinitely, perhaps even even pointing to similar risks in Moscow and Beijing. Western policymakers and many investors viewed Middle East strongmen such as Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's Ben Ali as fixed points in an unstable region, largely ignoring growing social and economic strains that has now yielded violent unrest. Many fear what happens next, particularly after the violence in Cairo this week. For those who had begun to wonder if Western states were losing their dominance to authoritarian emerging economies such as China and Russia, recent events could signal that demands for democracy remain a powerful force. "The Egypt situation is a wakeup call for authoritarian regimes which believe that in longevity they can find stability," said Joel Hirst, international affairs fellow in residence at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. A number of Arab states have moved quickly to make concessions, if only symbolic, in an effort to avoid any repeat of the popular revolt the brought down Tunisia's president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Jordan's King Abdullah reshuffled his government,
Algeria announced political reforms and Yemen's president said he would not stand again in elections. But with markets largely taken by surprise by the unrest, particularly in Egypt, some suggest investors should charge a higher risk premium in authoritarian states without democratic "release valves" and particularly clear succession plans. SHORT MARKET MEMORIES "A democratic/liberties deficit in a country may be a risk factor which until now analysts may not have taken seriously enough," said Daniel Kaufmann, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and the co-creator of governance indicators produced with the World Bank and widely seen as some of the leading measurements of country investment risks. But predicting how explosive that would be was complex, he said, depending on a range of factors including unemployment, perceptions and worries over corruption and the penetration of technology and social media. "The actual timing of a destabilising 'ignition' is also exceedingly difficult to predict," Kaufmann said. Certainly, while Egypt's unrest did knock markets worldwide -- particularly in the Middle East and North Africa -- there is little sign of investors selling off Russian, Chinese or Venezuelan assets over fears of hidden regime dangers.
Indeed, Moscow markets looked to be performing particularly well, supported by heightened oil prices boosted by worries over other key producing countries such as Saudi Arabia. Analysts say markets traditionally struggle to price such longer term risks. "Financial markets have very short memories," said Royal Bank of Canada emerging markets strategist Nigel Rendell. "In authoritarian regimes, they tend to assume the status quo will continue forever until something really blows up." The problem for rulers in Russia and China, experts say, will come if and when they are no longer able to deliver economic success or corruption worries alienate the populace. "When the members of the aspiring middle class no longer believe that their brighter future is tied to the stability of the existing regime, this produces unrest," said Nikolas Gvosdev, professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island. That certainly seems to have been the case in Egypt and Tunisia, where an increasingly better educated, tech-savvy and often English-speaking youth struggled to find jobs. They look to have provided the first protesters, then followed by others. REFORM OR CRACKDOWN?
Much also depends on how distant rulers are seen to be from the rule. For Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his immediate cohort, analysts say the danger could lie in becoming too closely associated with perceived corrupt oligarchs. Mubarak and Ben Ali, some say, simply lost touch. China's Communist Party leadership is seen much more diverse and multi-centred than personality-dominated rule in Russia, Egypt
or elsewhere, perhaps making it more survivable.Leaders change in cycles, and no one person has absolute power. But elites in all states are seen facing a rising threat from the information age and social media platforms that recent events suggest can act as a powerful accelerant for dissent. China blocked the word "Egypt" from some of its social networking sites and keeps a tight grip on Internet access.
"In some cases they will effectively let pressure out through reforms, in some cases severe -- but effective -- crackdowns, and in some cases falling in the middle," said Ian Bremmer, president of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group. Bremmer's book "The J Curve" charts a curved relationship between openness and stability in a state. In less developed states, autocratic rule brings calm whereas in the developed stability comes from open-
ness. The transition, he warns, can be risky. "It's in the middle where you have to worry," he says. So few expect Western officials to either stop worrying about Beijing and Moscow or pull support overnight from their longterm authoritarian allies such as the Saudi monarchy. They might try to nudge the latter in the direction of the South Korea or Taiwanstyle reform, but that could take decades.
Concern about Islamists masks wide differences Politicians and pundits wondering if Islamists will soon take power in Egypt or Tunisia might usefully ask first what the term "Islamist" means and what the Muslim leaders it describes say they want to do. "Islamist" denotes an ideology that uses Islam to promote political goals. But it is so broad a term that it can apply both to Shi'ite Iran's anti-Western theocracy and to probusiness Sunnis trying to get Turkey into the European Union. While the politically charged word can evoke violent action, such as that of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, many Islamists say they abhor the use of force and want to work within the law. "We have to distinguish between different combinations of Islam and politics," said Mustafa Akyol, a columnist in Istanbul for Hurriyet Daily News. "A party can take its values and inspiration from Islam but still accept a secular
state." Noah Feldman, a Harvard University expert on Islamic law, said taking part in democratic politics can change Islamist parties, citing the AK Party in Turkey that came to power in 2002 after scrapping its ideal of creating an Islamic state. "Once in power, you can no longer rely on slogans or ideology for votes, you actually have to deliver things," he said. "They've done an extraordinary job of that." Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist Ennahda ("Renaissance") party in Tunisia have so far not been able to operate in open political systems, so their professed commitment to democracy has not yet been tested in daily practice. Their programmes reflect a more moderate approach, however, than those of Lebanon's Hezbollah, the Palestinian Hamas or Iran. DIFFERENT MODELS
At one end of the spectrum of Islamisms stands Iran, where the 1979 revolution overthrew Shah Reza Pahlevi and made the top Shi'ite religious hierarchy the ultimate power in the country. The Supreme Leader, now Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is more powerful than the president and appoints heads of the military, judiciary and the Guardian Council that oversees political life. Hezbollah and Hamas are classified as terrorist groups by the United States, not because they are Islamist but because they advocate armed struggle, especially against Israel. In the middle of the Islamist spectrum is a variety of parties as politically active as their mostly undemocratic countries allow. Social welfare work, a prominent element in Islamist action, is one way they win popular support. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest of them all, began in 1928
advocating a fully Islamic state. However, it has softened that over the past few decades of banned but unofficially tolerated political activity under President Hosni Mubarak. As the main opposition party, it is set to play a prominent role in post-Mubarak Egypt, but its cautious leaders say they do not want to lead any new government. Akbar Ahmed, a Pakistani-born professor of Islamic studies at the American University in Washington, doubted the Brotherhood would hijack Egypt's uprising to create a theocracy. "An Iranian revolution is not possible in a Sunni country," he said, since clergy play a far smaller role than in Shi'ism. Another long-established Islamist party, Jamaat-i-Islami in mostly Sunni Pakistan, scores only single-digit results at the polls despite the strong role religion plays in politics there. Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Ennahda in Tunisia, has
long advocated more liberal policies than the Brotherhood. He supports full political rights for all citizens, for example, unlike the Brotherhood that wants to bar nonMuslims and women from top posts such as Egypt's presidency. ISLAMISM IN POWER Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AK) dominates the other end of the spectrum and has become the leading model for Islamists who want to combine faith and parliamentary democracy. First elected in 2002, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has focused far more on reforming the economy than on passing laws to please the more Islamist wing of his supporters. The AK's opponents accuse it of pursuing an Islamist agenda by stealth. But the party, which plans to redraw the constitution if it wins a third term at elections in June, denies any plan to roll back the
secularist principles of the state. Forerunners of the AK Party were more ideologically Islamic, like the Muslim Brotherhood, but Erdogan turned it into a conservative party inspired by Muslim values, something akin to the Christian Democratic parties popular in post-war Europe. "Islam can't be separated from politics but it should be separated from the state," Akyol said. "A party can take its inspiration from Islam and still work in a democratic system." Islam is more visible now in officially secular Turkey than before Erdogan -- headscarves are more common, for example -- but that comes more from a new and more religious middle class than any laws the AK Party majority in parliament has passed. "These cultural differences are related to religion but it's too simple to reduce them to religion," Feldman said. -Reuters
Wall St pans chains dropping monthly sales data When it comes to sales results, investors and economists want more, more, more, but retailers keep giving less, less, less. Three more U.S. store chains have dropped out of the monthly sales reporting frenzy on which many investors rely to trade stocks, further compromising indices used by some analysts as a gauge of the health of consumer spending. On Thursday, teen clothing retailers Abercrombie & Fitch Co, Aeropostale Inc and American Eagle Outfitters Inc reported monthly sales for the last time, becoming the first public companies to stop since Wal-Mart Stores Inc decided in 2009 it had had enough. As recently as five years ago, Thomson Reuters' Same-Store
Sales index tracked 68 retailers. Starting next month it will only include 25 chains. One by one in recent years, chains such as AnnTaylor Stores Corp, Dollar General Corp and even Starbucks Corp have dropped out. By depriving investors of monthly updates that keep Wall Street expectations more closely aligned to reality, retailers can end up with even bumpier stock moves when they report quarterly results, investors warned. "The lack of transparency just leads to speculation," said Walter Stackow, an analyst at Manning & Napier, whose holdings include Nordstrom Inc, Kohl's Corp and BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. Many retailers have tired of seeing their shares take a beating when their monthly sales figures
fall too far below Wall Street estimates. Abercrombie last month said December same-store sales rose 15 percent, above analyst forecasts, and its shares rose. Conversely, American Eagle's same-store sales fell a worse-thanexpected 11 percent, sending shares down. "In order not to see that volatility, they would rather not report monthly," said Jharonne Martis, the director of consumer research at Thomson Reuters, who oversees the index. Wal-Mart cited stock volatility when it announced in 2009 it would stop monthly reporting. Other retailers have tried to follow Wal-Mart's lead. Macy's Inc had stopped monthly sales reports in February 2008. But when the economic crisis raged later that year, Macy's felt it better
to reassure investors by checking in more frequently and resumed monthly reports. "Deep down, they'd all like to be done with this," Nomura Securities analyst Paul Lejuez said. "It makes it harder for us to have fewer data points." MONTHLY SALES INDICES IRRELEVANT? Economists rely on the data and the overall same-store sales chain indices, which are weighted in relation to a retailer's size, to get a first glimpse of consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy. Most retailers that do report monthly do so on the first Thursday every month. Thomson Reuters and others use that data to compile indices of same-store sales. The U.S. Department of
Commerce comes out with its own broader figure a week later and includes public and private retailers, auto sales, grocery stores and a host of other merchants. "In that broad, big picture, when you think of all the different retail channels and specialists, there are huge parts of retailing that are unaccounted for in the monthly numbers," Kantar retail senior economist Frank Badillo said. Badillo said that department stores and apparel retailers -- even with the three latest defections -are well represented in the Kantar index, which included 31 retailers through this month. National Retail Federation spokesman Scott Krugman also argued that the reports are of limited value. "It's great for analysts following a particular stock, but not so helpful for
tracking overall consumer spending," Krugman said. Analysts and economists have long quibbled how much monthly reports reflect the overall economy when big players such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy Co Inc do not provide data. Wal-Mart alone, with expected fiscal 2011 sales of $423.7 billion, is nearly 25 times larger than J.C. Penney Co Inc and six times bigger than Target Corp, both of which still report every month. Still, because the 25 remaining companies range from Saks Inc to J.C. Penney, the monthly reports tap a broad enough group of retailers to be useful. "It's still an input into the wider picture so it's not completely irrelevant," Manning & Napier's Stackow said.-Reuters
Sunday, February 6, 2011
New Policy finalised
Pak to equalise medicine prices ISLAMABAD: The Drugs Pricing Policy Board constituted by the Ministry of Health has finalised "Drugs Pricing Policy2011" for approval from the competent authority to rationalise medicines' prices in the country. According to ministry of health, prices of medicines are regulated by the Federal Government under Section 12 of the Drugs Act, 1976. The Drugs Pricing Policy Board comprising experts from World Health Organization (WHO), Ministry of Industries and Production, Ministry of Finance Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Health as well as representatives from the Pharmaceuticals Industry and Consumer Organization was
formulated by the Ministry. The said Board formulated a Drugs Pricing Policy-2011 at par with the neighboring countries adopting latest approaches for rationalisation of prices of drugs in the country. After approval of the policy by the appropriate authority, prices of drugs will be rationalised in accordance there of. According to the Ministry, since April 2004 uniform prices of drugs are fixed at an average of the prices prevailing in the Saarc countries. In case the drug is not available in the Saarc countries, international prices (Particularly United Kingdom, Australia /New Zealand) are considered. Prices as mentioned
in the proforma invoice for imported drugs and costing data for locally manufactured drugs are also considered for new chemical entities besides other parameters. However, prices of drugs marketed by local companies in India are generally lower than prices of drugs marketed by local companies in Pakistan due to raw materials for most commonly used medicines are produced in India whereas in Pakistan share of locally produced raw materials is less than 10 per cent. India has also developed its industrial base for manufacturing of pharmaceutical machinery and excipient which also decrease manufacturing cost of medicines. -Agencies
FPCCI supports pharma on devolution of drugs, medicine KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has assured national pharmaceutical industry to take up the matters relating to devolution of drugs and medicines with the government under 18th Amendment. This assurance was given by the president FPCCI Senator Haji Ghulam Ali to the delegation of Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association (PPMA) led by its chairman Haroon Qassim at Federation House. According to PPPM here Wednesday, FPCCI president said that he will take up this
matter with the head of Parliamentary Committee for implementation of 18th Amendment Senator Raza Rabbani. He said the pharmaceutical industry is the third largest industry in Pakistan which provides employment to nearly 4 million people directly or indirectly. The industry fulfills over 90% of the country's drug requirements and save enormous foreign exchange reserves. The President took note of the grievances of pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan and assured his cooperation in trying to solve these problems. Earlier, PPMA chairman
Haroon Qasim informed FPCCI president about the complications due to arrive after the devolution of health ministry to province under 18th Amendment. He underlined the need for creation of a Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) to handle delicate issues like licensing, registration and pricing after the introduction of 18th Amendment. The devolution of Health Ministry from federation to provinces under 18th Amendment will create problems for the patients as well as the industry in terms of pricing, registration, quality control and licensing.-APP
GSK eyes talent as Pfizer shutters British site LONDON: GlaxoSmithKline is hoping to pick up some talented scientists in its own backyard following plans by US rival Pfizer to shutter its research centre at Sandwich, southern England. "We'd be very interested in some of the great people there and, of course, we'd be interested in great ideas if there are those there to be spun out," GSK Chief Executive Andrew Witty said after announcing 2010 results. "We don't have any interest in the physical site," he added. Pfizer, the world's biggest drugmaker, said on Tuesday it would exit Sandwich, which employs 2,400 and resembles a university campus, as part of a global programme to slim down its research and development (R&D) machine. The planned closure over the next 18 to 24 months is the latest in a wave of research cutbacks by large pharmaceutical companies, which face a record number of patent expiries on big-selling medicines that will slash revenue. It represents a serious blow for the British government's drive to promote more jobs in science, since Sandwich -where the impotence pill Viagra was discovered -- is the largest R&D site of any foreign-owned drugmaker in Britain. GSK itself is also no stranger to R&D cutbacks. It has already reduced the number of researchers investigating new medicines in its laboratories by 28 percent since 2006. But in a field that is as much about creative talent as it is about financial firepower, Witty is ready to make room for the best talent with the best ideas. -Reuters BASEL: Roche chief executive Severin Schwan leaves after presenting annual results of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant in Basel. Reuters
But that was not enough to placate China's critics in Congress. Democrat Max Baucus, head of the Senate Finance Committee, slammed the findings. "China's currency practices harm ranchers, farmers, and exporters across America and around the world," the senator from the western state of Montana said in a statement. "China has been given a free pass on its currency practices for far too long. We need to hold China and our other trading partners accountable for their actions." Sherrod Brown, a Democratic senator from Ohio, also knocked the Treasury's conclusion and called on Congress to pass legislation on currency manipulation. The report "both confirms and ignores the obvious: the appreciation of the yuan is completely inadequate, and it's not by accident," Brown said. "While the administration prefers to take a diplomatic approach towards the Chinese government's unlawful practice of currency manipulation, American manufacturers and workers struggling to compete against unfairly subsidized imports can't afford to wait any longer for action," he said. The report came a week ahead of the government's December trade balance numbers. The Commerce Department is expected to report next Friday that the US trade deficit widened to $50.0 billion from $42.6 billion in November. China has appeared on track to beat its 2008 record trade surContinued from page 8 No #2 plus with the US. Over the first 11 months of 2010, the China Elders Council further mentioned by clearing the Point trade gap was $252.4 billion, compared with $268.0 billion for that they will consider the Road as completely open When all of 2008. Rehman Malik along with Kurram's MNAs & grand Jirga members will themselves travel on Road while all the time Continued from page 8 No #6 they deceive the common men including women and chilIndia was illegitimate and freedom was the legitimate dren. right of people of Kashmir. They warned that if this time such incident will took place Pakistani nation will stand with Kashmiris unless then Rehman Malik will be declared as killer for that. - Kashmir is liberated, JUI-F chief underlined. Online He went on to say that US president Obama on the occasion of his presidential election had announced peace in Continued from page 8 No #3 The victims were aged between 20 to 40, Mohmand said. South Asia was linked to resolution of Kashmir issue. "We A local intelligence official also confirmed the inci- want to tell US it committed mistake by stepping into Afghanistan and they had to suffer defeat after a decade dent. Militants frequently kidnap and kill tribesmen in the trou- over there. Now departure from Afghanistan had become a bled region, accusing them of spying for the Pakistani gov- necessity for them , he added. If they have no wisdom then every passage to peace in ernment or for US forces in Afghanistan, where Taliban they should listen that fighters have been waging a vicious insurgency for nine Afghanistan and region originates from Kashmir, he stressed. years. -Agencies India would have to quit Kashmir now, he maintained. US Continued from page 8 No #4 and international community should make sincere efforts agenda of extremism," she said. for settlement of Kashmir problem, he underscored. -Online "The transition to democracy will only work if it is deliberate, Continued from page 8 inclusive, and transparent," Clinton said. -Agencies No #7 Pakistan would continue to pursue a resolution of the Continued from page 8 No #5 Kashmir dispute based on the wishes of the Kashmiri peoA bill threatening sanctions to punish Beijing's currency poli- ple, he said adding, "To that end, we believe that Kashmiris cy is lurking in Congress, which has awaited the Treasury report should be associated with the dialogue process. We are in since it was first supposed to appear on October 15. no doubt that ultimately Kashmiris would be the final China has pledged to allow the yuan to gain value, but at a arbiter of their destiny. -Agencies measured pace so as not to destabilize its rapidly expanding economy. The Treasury said the yuan, also called the renminbi Continued from page 1 No #8 (RMB), had appreciated 3.7 percent against the dollar between tribunal verdict, the CPS announcement has changed the scemid-June and January 27. nario in the case." In fact, it added, weighing the higher rate of inflation in All three players had repeatedly denied the allegations and China, "the RMB has been appreciating more rapidly against expressed confidence that they would resume their careers. the dollar on a real, inflation-adjusted basis, at a rate which if Agencies sustained would amount to more than 10 percent per year." Continued from page 1 No #9 The report also said that many Chinese know a more flexible He urged India to inter into a meaningful and result exchange regime will benefit the country, and that the nascent creation of an offshore market for the yuan, mainly in Hong oriented dialogue with Pakistan on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, emphasizing that sincerity and seriousKong, represents the beginning of a shift.
Continued from page 8
Seminars, conferences and meetings were held in different parts of country and abroad to mark the Day wherein pledge was renewed for the right to self-determination for the Kashmiri people urging the world nations to play their role in giving Kashmiris their just right. A seminar to highlight the human rights violations in Indian held Kashmir was organized on the eve of Kashmir Solidarity day by the Pakistani community living in Berlin and its suburban areas under the aegis of Kashmir Forum Germany. Speakers of the seminar appealed to the German Political leadership, human rights organizations and mediapersons to listen to the voice of the Kashmiri people who have been subjected to state tyranny for the last 63 years, said a press release. They said Kashmiris have been deprived of their right of self-determination by the Indian government as promised by the United Nations resolutions and the then Indian leadership. The human rights in the held valley have constantly been violated but the international community have yet to respond to the calls of people of Jammu and Kashmir, the speakers lamented. -Online
Roche annual profits grow but sales drop ZURICH: Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche posted an 11 percent increase in its annual net p rofit attributable to shareholders last year, signalling a "challenging" outlook as its sales dipped. The figure of 8.7 billion Swiss francs (6.7 billion euros, 9.2 billion dollars) was below the 10.1 billion franc mark forecast by analysts polled by business news agency AWP. Roche also said that overall annual net income had grown just four percent to 8.9 billion francs, while overall sales fell by three percent in 2010 to 47.5 billion francs, dampened by the strength of the Swiss currency. "The group results are solid despite an increasingly challenging market environ-
ment," chief executive Severin Schwan said in a statement. The pharmaceutical company last November announced 4,800 job cuts in an attempt to generated savings of 1.8 billion francs this year. Roche has confirmed that the restructuring until 2012 would cost 2.7 billion francs. The group reported only a "mild" increase in sales of five percent in local currency terms, but excluding its anti viral and first line palliative flu drug Tamiflu. Roche had already reported a "significant decline" in sales of the drug as they tailed off with the end of A(H1N1) flu pandemic and a halt to mass government stockpiling last year.
The Swiss group is also facing a battle in the United States after the US Food and Drug Administration said in December that the company's key anti cancer drug Avastin was neither safe nor effective against breast cancer. The group recommended a 10 percent increase in its dividend payment to 6.6 francs per share and forecast a "more challenging environment" next year. "In 2011, Group and Pharmaceuticals sales (excluding Tamiflu) are expected to grow at low single-digit rates in local currencies, reflecting the impact of US healthcare reform and European austerity measures," the company added,mirroring concerns raised by Swiss rival Novartis. -APP
ness should remain the basic fundamentals of the dialogue process. Regarding the composite dialogue on Kashmir issue he said, "Participation of Kashmiris is essential in every effort to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. I assure of Pakistan's commitment and support to the Kashmiri aspirations for selfdetermination. We can not ignore the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people". The people of Pakistan join their Kashmiri brothers and sisters in observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day. On this occasion, he reaffirm his unstinted support to the just struggle of the Kashmiri people to safeguard their fundamental rights, including the right to self-determination, as enshrined in several UN Resolutions. He paid homage to the memory of thousands of Kashmiri martyrs who have laid down their lives for their just cause, saying courageous people of Jammu and Kashmir remain steadfast in their resolve, to confront through non-violence means, the instruments of oppression. He paid tribute to the sacrifices and determination of Kashmiri to hold high the banner of freedom to defend their dignity and honor. He reaffirmed government's stance that Pakistan will continue to extend its moral, diplomatic and political support to the just cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. -Agencies
Continued from page 1
court on Thursday, while his next appearance is set for February 11. Besides the two men who were shot dead, a bystander was killed when an American car rushing to the scene to help Davis struck him. -Online
Continued from page 1
The chief secretaries of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and GilgitBaltistan also briefed the meeting on the relief work in their respective areas. According to spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 166,000 people are still displaced after the devastating floods swept away homes and drowned livestock last year. "After the devastating floods hit Pakistan in July 2010, some 166,000 people are still displaced and living in over 240 camps and spontaneous settlements," he said. -Agencies
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Political parties hold rallies, seminars; demand India to resolve Kashmir dispute
Kashmir Day observed with natâ€™l zeal ISLAMABAD: People across the country and in Azad Kashmir as well as in several locales around the globe observed Kashmir Solidarity Day on Saturday renewing the pledge for continued support to their brethren in Held Kashmir against the Indian atrocities. Rallies were staged in almost all cities and towns of country and Azad Kashmir with demand for cessation of Indian hostilities in the Held Valley and an end to illegal occupation of the valley by India. February 5 had been declared as a public holiday whereby the government and the entire nation reaffirmed support to stay with Kashmiris in the hour of trial and their fight against the Indian oppression. As a mark of respect to the valiant struggle of Kashmiris in Held Kashmir, one-minute silence was observed at 10:00 AM - bringing all rail and road traffic across the country to standstill. As per previous years, a mega event on Kashmir Solidarity
The human hands chain formed both by Pakistani and Kashmiri people is aimed at demonstrating the unity and fraternity of this fact that both the people have bonds of love and affection towards each face of oppression spanning other. Special messages have been more than six decades. "On this day, every year we released by the country's leadreiterate our unwavering politi- ership including President Asif cal, moral and diplomatic sup- Ali Zardari, Prime Minister port to the just struggle of our Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Kashmiri brethren to safeguard federal ministers, besides their fundamental rights includ- Prime minister and president of ing the right to self determina- Azad Jammu and Kashmir and tion, as enshrined in the UN all of them have reaffirmed Charter and relevant UN reso- moral, political and diplomatic support to the struggle of lutions," he added. He reassured Kashmiris that Kashmiri people. Different political parties, Pakistan remains firmly committed to finding a just and civil society and trade organipeaceful solution of the zations staged rallies to express Kashmir dispute in accordance solidarity with Kashmiri with the aspirations of the peo- brethren and to continue to ple of Jammu and Kashmir and extend moral, political and for full respect for their funda- diplomatic support. LAHORE: Activists of Jamaat-ud-Daawa talking part in a rally in connection to Kashmir mental rights. While, radio and television Solidarity Day.-Online See # 7 Page 7 channels presented special Stringent security measures and to thwart any untoward that people of Kashmir and programmes, e-media and ing the cause of Kashmiris and Pakistan have deep-rooted print newspapers brought out the perspective of the Kashmir had been adopted across the incident and act of sabotage. See # 1 Page 7 country for walks and functions sympathies with each other. special supplements highlight- movement.
President reaffirms support to Kashmir ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari reiterated the pledge to Kashmiris that they will have full moral, diplomatic and political support of the Pakistani government in their just struggle for right to selfdetermination. In a message on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day, the President said, "I reiterate to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters our pledge that they have our full moral, diplomatic and political support. We shall stand always with them in their just struggle." The President said Kashmir Solidarity Day is an occasion to pay tribute to the countless sacrifices of the valiant people of Kashmir who have remained resolute and steadfast in the Day was the 'Human Chain', which was formed at Kohala Bridge to convey to the world
Accountability across ME urged MUNICH: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Saturday for progress toward open and accountable governments across the Middle East as the way to long-term stability, despite short-term risks. Referring to mass protests in Egypt, Tunisia and other Arab countries, Clinton told a security conference in Germany that the "challenge is to help our (Middle East) partners take systematic steps to usher in a better future." On Friday US President Barack Obama delivered a clear hint that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should step down now and make way for a political transition amid mass protests calling for his ouster and democratic change. In an update of a warning
speech she gave last month in Qatar calling for reform in Arab countries, Clinton said the Middle East was being battered by a "perfect storm of trends." She spoke of too many young people seeking too few jobs in countries with depleting water and energy resources -- and expressing their frustrations on social-networking sites. "This generation is rightly demanding that their governments become more effective, more responsive, and more open," the chief US diplomat told leaders and senior officials from Europe, Russia and Afghanistan. "This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and cities throughout the region. The status quo is simply not sustainable," Clinton said.
"Across the region, there must be clear and real progress toward open, transparent, fair, and accountable systems," she said. She said changes were occurring at different speeds in different countries, but each must undertake the journey toward democracy. "There are risks with the transition to democracy," she said, adding it can be chaotic and can cause short-term instability. "Even worse, the transition can backslide into just another authoritarian regime," she said. Revolutions have overthrown dictators in the name of democracy, only to see the political process hijacked by new autocrats who use violence, deception, and rigged elections to stay in power, or to advance an See # 4 Page 7
China cleared of currency charges WASHINGTON: The US Treasury cleared China of official accusations of currency manipulation Friday, but said progress toward allowing the yuan to appreciate was "insufficient." In a report to Congress, the Treasury said that China, eight other countries and the eurozone had not manipulated exchange rates "for purposes of...gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade." "Based on the resumption of exchange rate flexibility last June and the acceleration of the pace of real bilateral appreciation over the past few months," China's behavior did not qualify under the official definition
of manipulation, it said in the long-delayed report. "Treasury's view, however, is that progress thus far is insufficient and that more rapid progress is needed." It pledged to "continue to closely monitor the pace of appreciation" of the yuan. In addition to China, the Treasury looked at the policies of the eurozone and eight other economies: Brazil, Britain, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan. The 10 together account for about 75 percent of US trade. "Treasury has concluded that no major trading partner of the United States met the standards" of manipulation as
identified by the law "during the period covered in this report." The Chinese currency policy has been a major irritant in bilateral relations with the world's second-largest economy, and was a key topic of discussion when President Barack Obama hosted Chinese President Hu Jintao on a state visit last month. The United States accuses Beijing of keeping its currency undervalued, flooding the country with cheap exports and costing US jobs. US lawmakers have pushed the Obama administration to get tough with China over the yuan. See # 5 Page 7
Militants kill four 'spies' in NWA PESHAWAR: Militants shot dead four men for alleged spying and dumped their bodies outside a northwestern Pakistani town on Saturday, police said. Police said they found four bullet-riddled bodies with notes from militants in their pockets outside Karak, a northwestern town near the lawless North Waziristan tribal district where Taliban militants are active. "We found bodies of four men, they had been killed by shooting and notes in their pockets said they were spying for Indian and Jewish intelligence agencies," district police chief Sajid Mohmand told AFP. "We are trying to ascertain the identities of the dead men," he said, adding that it was the first such incident in Karak. See # 3 Page 7
India should read writing on the wall, says Fazl ISLAMABAD: JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said as voice of hundreds of thousands of people was echoing in Middle East against the coercion then India should read the writing on the wall as voice of Kashmiris could not be suppressed under coercion. ""No power of the world can perpetuate its hegemony over any nation through use of force. If voice of tens of thousands people is echoing in Middle east against the coercion then India should read the writing on the wall. It can not suppress the voice of people of Kashmir, he said this while addressing a rally here and talking to a private TV channel Saturday. He held occupation of Kashmir by See # 6 Page 7
Pak, India foreign secys ready to take stock of issues THIMPHU: Making a fresh attempt to restart the bilateral dialogue process, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir will meet in Thimphu today during which the Indian side is expected to seek an update on the Mumbai attacks investigations and trial. Rao and Bashir, who are here for the Saarc meeting of Foreign Secretaries and Council of Ministers, are expected to take stock of the bilateral ties and discuss whether some confidencebuilding initiatives could be taken, PTI reported. This will be the first meeting between the Foreign Secretaries after the failed talks between the Foreign Ministers in July last year in Pakistan. India, while keeping low the expectations from the meeting, has made it clear that it was ready to have discussions on all outstanding issues with Pakistan but through a step-by-step approach. The resumption of fullfledged dialogue, which was stalled after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, would, however, depend on the progress by Pakistan to punish all those behind the 26/11 strikes, sources said. At today's meeting, Rao is expected to seek an update from Bashir on the investigations and trial in the Mumbai attacks case in
Pakistan. She is also expected to seek a response from Bashir on India's request for voice samples of the persons in Pakistan who were heard coordinating the 26/11 attacks. Setting the tone for the meeting, Rao said in Delhi, "We hope that both the governments come to satisfactory conclusion about what is required so that the trial could be satisfactorily concluded because justice has to be done." On her meeting with Bashir, she said India will see how it can pick up the thread once again. "We are going to meet after a certain interregnum, a few months after last meeting. So, we will see how we can pick up the thread once again. I am sure we will exchange ideas. Let's hope that we would be able to pick up convergence of views. Every such meeting is an attempt to build greater comprehension of each other's position and deeper understanding," the Foreign Secretary said. The meeting could also set the stage for the visit of Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to India in the first quarter of this year. Qureshi, who has been invited for talks by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, is unwilling to travel to India till there is an assurance that the talks would be "result-oriented." -Online
Thall Parachinar Road
Bangash tribes reject Malikâ€™s claim KURRAM AGENCY: Elders council of Turi Bangash's tribes rejected Rehman Malik claims of Opening main Thall Parachinar blocked road from February 5, 2011 terming it as just media point scoring for govt. In a statement issued the elders council told that such false claims and promises were made for more than 10 times during last three years by using media as a tool for publishing breaking news and media point scoring in favor of PPP regime. While all the times just in very first attempt when passengers convey escorted by FC is prepared after such announcement the convey is attacked by Taliban and their local supporters in the jurisdiction of Chaparri check-posts in different areas of Lower Kurram in the presence of Silent Security forces(FC) is best proof of state terrorism. See # 2 Page 7
PM orders verification
of federal employees degrees ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday directed the Establishment Division to verify the educational degrees and certificates of all the federal government employees. Prime Minister also desired that the Federal Public Service Commission should also ensure authenticity of the degrees/certificates of all the candidates appearing for selection in the government service. -APP
Mubarak hangs on, as protesters mount pressure CAIRO: Demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak dragged into a 12th day on Saturday with no sign of an end to a confrontation which has pitted the 82-yearold leader against thousands of anti-government protesters. Vice President Omar Suleiman was due to meet a group of prominent figures on Saturday to examine a proposed solution under which he would assume the president's powers for an interim period, one of the group's members said.
But with some of the protesters insisting they wanted not just Mubarak but also his allies out, it was unclear that would be enough to end the crisis. Mubarak said on Thursday Egypt faced chaos if he resigned now, though he has promised to step down in September. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians held mostly peaceful demonstrations across the country on Friday to demand an immediate end to Mubarak's 30-year rule. And in Cairo's Tahrir
Square, the hub of demonstrations, protesters occupying the usually busy intersection in the heart of the city said they were not giving up. "Mubarak must go, Mubarak must go," someone shouted over a loudspeaker after brief burst of heavy gunfire echoed across the square shortly before 2 am (0000 GMT) on Saturday. Apart from the gunfire -- which one protester attributed to the army firing in the air to keep away Mubarak loyalists who clashed with antigovernment protesters earlier in
the week -- the night passed quietly. With the unrest crippling the economy in Arab world's most populous nation, some Egyptians are anxious to return to normal. Banks were due to reopen on Sunday, the start of the week in Egypt, and the stock market on Monday. The United States has also been pressing the 82-year-old Mubarak to begin a transfer of power and pave the way for democracy in a country which has been dominated by the military since it toppled the
monarchy in 1952. But seeking to deflect criticism of interference in Egypt's affairs, President Barack Obama said on Friday: "The future of Egypt will be determined by its people." No one, however, can see an easy compromise which would satisfy the protesters' demand for change, with Mubarak's military backers' desire to maintain their influence and find an honourable exit for the president. Ex-intelligence chief Suleiman was due to discuss
with the group of prominent figures an article in the constitution covering Mubarak handing over power to his vice president, one of the group's members, Diaa Rashwan, told Reuters. Mubarak would stay on in a symbolic position under the proposal being promoted by the group of Egyptians calling itself the "The Council of Wise Men", allowing him to serve out his tenure with some dignity. Many protesters however say they want a complete break with the past, while
Obama has also called for "meaningful" change. And while some analysts say transferring powers to Suleiman could help defuse the crisis, others argue it needs a bigger step shift to pave the way for free and fair elections. "The best way to support democracy is to support democracy; not to enable authoritarians to take over the political system and hope they'll negotiate their way out of power," Steven Cook at the US Council on Foreign Relations said on its website. -Agencies
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