Musharraf went abroad by govt permission, not SC order


LAHORE – The head of the legal team that is prosecuting Gen Pervez Musharraf in the high treason case says he was not consulted or even spoken to during the Exit Control List proceedings in the Supreme Court or after the court gave its verdict. In an interview to The Nation yesterday, Advocate Akram Sheikh said it was the government’s independent decision to let the former president go abroad ‘for medical treatment’. In his opinion the government could not withdraw the case against Gen Musharraf as in that case “it…

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UAE jails 11 for life over ‘terror plots’


ABU DHABI : A top court in the United Arab Emirates jailed 11 people for life on Sunday after convicting them of militant links and plotting “terrorist” attacks in the Gulf country, state media reported. The Federal Supreme court in Abu Dhabi jailed two others for 15 years, 13 for 10 years, six for three years, and two for five years, the official WAM news agency said. Seven defendants were acquitted. The 41 defendants were accused of seeking to overthrow the govt to set up an IS group-style caliphate in…

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Al-Jazeera says to cut around 500 jobs


DOHA : Broadcaster Al-Jazeera said on Sunday that it is to shed around 500 jobs, most of them at its Qatar headquarters, as part of a “workforce optimisation initiative”. Al-Jazeera said that after a management review it was “expected that around 500 positions worldwide will be impacted, the majority of which are in Qatar”. According to one Al-Jazeera manager, up to 60 percent of the job cuts – 300 positions – could come at the broadcaster’s Doha base. Announcing the job losses in a statement, acting director general Mostefa Souag…

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New Opp party launched in Japan ahead of election


TOKYO : Two Japanese opposition parties merged on Sunday to form a new grouping intended to put pressure on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conservative ruling party before the upper house election this summer. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the main opposition party, and the smaller Japan Innovation Party merged to create the “Minshinto” party, which will have a total of 156 lawmakers in the upper and lower house. It will still be far smaller than the coalition led by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which controls a majority of…

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Red Riding Hood packs heat in US gun group’s reinvented fairytale


Sébastien BLANC – Here is Little Red Riding Hood, rifle slung over her shoulder, confidently striding through the forest. Now we see her granny, taking aim with a shotgun at the Big Bad Wolf. What’s that? You don’t recall your favourite Brothers Grimm characters packing heat? Then you must not have read the versions of classic fairy tales that have been reworked by the National Rifle Association, to help empower children by teaching them that well-armed citizens – even in the world of storybooks and make-believe – can protect themselves…

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Belgian police break up street protests as attack investigation widens


Belgian police briefly used water cannon to control several hundred rowdy protesters in central Brussels on Sunday after they ignored an official call for marches to be postponed following Tuesday’s bombings. Amid fears of further attacks, officials wanted to give police the scope to focus on investigations which have widened to other countries, leading to the arrest of an Algerian in Italy and intelligence cooperation with Germany. Police carried out 13 new raids in Belgium itself. Hundreds nevertheless gathered at the Bourse to express solidarity with the victims of the…

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Pope at Easter recalls victims of ‘blind, brutal terrorism’

pope at vatican city

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis tempered his Easter Sunday message of Christian hope with a denunciation of “blind” terrorism, recalling victims of attacks in Europe, Africa and elsewhere, as well as expressing dismay that people fleeing war or poverty are being denied welcome as European countries squabble over the refugee crisis. Tens of thousands of people patiently endured long lines, backpack inspections and metal-detecting checks Sunday to enter St. Peter’s Square. Under a brilliant sun, they listened to Francis deliver the traditional noon Easter speech from the central balcony of…

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Jamila Hashmi’s short story ‘Sherry’ adapted for stage

jamila hasmi

KARACHI: People often complain about the lack of original scripts written in Urdu for the theatre. It’s right, there aren’t many. One of the ways to counter the issue, if it is considered one, is to turn works of fiction into plays. This is where Tehreek-i-Niswan’s attempt at transforming Jamila Hashmi’s short story Sherry for the stage should be commended. The group performed a 50-minute-long drama, written and directed by Anwer Jafri, on Saturday evening as part of the ongoing music and theatre festival organised by the National Academy of…

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