PSL’s newest team is Multan, worth $41.6 million

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Thursday welcomed its newest outfit, Multan, which will feature in the third edition of the tournament to be held in 2018.

Dubai-based Schon Group met the reserve price of $5.2 million per year for an eight year contract, in a contest that had 10 bidders. The total contract is therefore worth $41.6 million.

Multan is Pakistan’s fifth largest city. For its rich Islamic and Sufi tradition, it is known as the City of Saints.

Karachi Kings was until now the most expensive team, with the ARY Group purchasing it for $2.6m per year for 10 years.

The other teams of PSL Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators were purchased for $2.5m, $1.6m, $1.5m and $1.1m respectively.

The Schon group is managed and owned by Nasir Schon and his two sons, who have their family roots in Pakistan.

With the inclusion of a sixth team, the number of matches played in the PSL is also set to be increased. PSL Chairman Najam Sethi is aiming to host at least four matches of the PSL’s third edition in Pakistan.

DAWN.com

Blast in eastern Saudi Arabia kills two: State TV

AFP

At least two people were killed when a car exploded in Saudi Arabia’s eastern city of Qatif on Thursday, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television reported.

It said initial reports indicated the victims were “fugitives”, a term that suggested people being sought by the kingdom’s security services.

The channel had earlier said the blast was caused by a car bomb. Its website posted images of thick black smoke rising from a street.

A resident contacted by telephone by Reuters said he had heard a blast and saw smoke rising above an area that police had blocked off. Saudi authorities were not immediately available for comment.

Photos sent over social media showed a body apparently completely burned being pulled from the wreckage of a car. The authenticity of the photos could not immediately be verified.

Qatif, home to a large Shi’ite Muslim population, has been a flashpoint between the Sunni Muslim government and Shi’ites complaining of discrimination.

DAWN.com

Explosions, gunshots heard at resort in Philippines capital

AFP

Gunfire was reported at a hotel and a casino resort in the Philippine capital on Friday, the operator of the complex said, and the militant Islamic State group (IS) quickly claimed responsibility.

“Resorts World Manila is currently on lockdown following reports of gunfire from unidentified men,” the company said on its Twitter account.

“The company is working closely with the Philippine National Police to ensure that all guests and employees are safe.”

IS said “lone wolf soldiers” from its group carried out the attack, according to the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors terrorist organisations.

Police confirmed there were reports of gunfire at Resorts World, which is across a road from one of the main terminals of the Philippines’ international airport.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities or injuries.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law last week across the southern region of Mindanao to crush what he said was a rising threat of Islamic State there.

He declared martial law shortly after militants went on a rampage through the southern city of Marawi, which is about 800 kilometres (500 miles) south of Manila.

Security forces are still battling the militants in Marawi, and the clashes there have left at least 171 people dead.

Duterte said last week he may need to declare martial law across the rest of the country if the terrorism threat spread.

DAWN.com

#Khaadi Has FINALLY Responded To Those Allegations With Their Side Of The Story

ARY NEWS

Renowned clothing brand Khaadi on Monday issued a clarification regarding a social media campaign against the brand.

The brand which was under fire for allegedly mistreating and firing its workers is facing a boycott campaign on social media after rumours one of its workers attempted suicide after being fired.

In a short statement, the brand categorically confirmed  hat it has not terminated 32 of its employees and the story regarding apparent attempted suicide of a young female worker is baseless.

“We categorically confirm that Khaadi has NOT terminated 32 of its employees. Another malicious story being spread and linked to the above is of the apparent attempted suicide of a young female worker. Why anyone should spread this outright lie is beyond understanding, but this just goes to show how some vested interests will stop at nothing to premeditatedly plan to try and cause reputational harm to Khaadi,” said the statement issued by the brand.

The statement adds that Khaadi, being a responsible corporate citizen, has always endeavoured to maintain and adhere to the highest standards in all operations-which also includes following best practices with regard to its biggest assets, the brand’s employees.

The brand also appealed to all social media users not to share or spread news that is pure hearsay, or base your comments on speculative news, no matter shared by who, without fully knowing the facts yourself.

A number of social media activists started calling for boycott of Khaadi after video of protest by people claiming to be workers of the brand went viral on social media.

A hashtag #BoycottKhaadi is also trending on the Twitter with social media activists calling for the nationwide boycott of Khaadi.

The new Miss USA helps regulate nuclear power plants

AFP

LOS ANGELES: The Miss USA pageant on Sunday night touted American diversity, and chose an African-American chemist with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to wear the crown.

Kara McCullough from the US capital will go on to represent the United States at the Miss Universe contest. “We regulate nuclear power plants. And I have a personal community outreach programme called science exploration for kids,” said McCullough, 25.

McCullough was born in Italy and also lived in Japan, South Korea, Hawaii. She was raised in the southern US state of Virginia.

As Miss USA “my plan is to inspire and encourage so many children and women [to enter] the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields,” she said.

The pageant included a field of five new immigrants who spoke on air about the importance of diversity — as if to refute US President Donald Trump’s less than welcoming stand toward some immigrants and refugees.

Indeed, the runner-up was Chhavi Verg, Miss New Jersey, who was born in India and speaks Hindi and Spanish. The Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants for years were co-owned by billionaire Trump. However, in June 2015 the NBC network severed its ties with the now president after his offensive comments on Mexican immigrants. Following legal action Trump sold his stake in the pageants to a talent management group.

Dawn.com

World needs to talk to N. Korea, not threaten it: Putin

Reuters

BEIJING: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow was opposed to any new countries acquiring nuclear weapons, but that the world should talk to North Korea rather than threaten it.

Putin, speaking in Beijing, said nuclear tests of the type that Pyongyang had been carrying out in recent weeks were unacceptable, but that a peaceful solution to rising tensions on the Korean peninsula was needed.

“I want to confirm that we are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear powers, including with the Korean Peninsula and North Korea,” said Putin, who said any such move would be “harmful and dangerous”.

“But at the same time, we understand that what we have observed in the world recently, and specifically flagrant violations of international law and incursions into the territory of foreign states, changes in regime, lead to such kinds of arms races.” Putin did not specify what countries he had in mind, but he has in the past repeatedly criticised the United States for military operations in Iraq, Libya and Syria, and accused it of trying to oust legitimate governments.

“In this connection, we need to act in a joined-up way, (and) strengthen the system of international guarantees with the help of international law and with the help of the UN Charter,” said Putin.

“We need to return to dialogue with North Korea and stop scaring it and find ways to resolve these problems peacefully.” The Russian leader said he thought such an approach was possible because of what he called “the positive experience” of holding talks with Pyongyang in the past.

“If you recall, there was a time when North Korea announced it was suspending this kind of (nuclear) programme, but unfortunately certain participants in the negotiations process did not have enough patience. I think we need to return to this.” Putin said he was briefed by his defence minister after North Korea’s latest missile test.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2017

PIA crew members detained, aircraft searched by authorities at London Heathrow Airport

DAWN.com

British authorities on Monday “thoroughly searched” and detained the crew of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight after it landed at Heathrow Airport, PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar said.

Flight 785 from Islamabad to London arrived at Heathrow Airport at 2:50pm on Monday. Upon landing, as passengers disembarked, the flight crew and aircraft were searched by the authorities, the spokesperson said.

Fourteen crew members were released after being detained for nearly two hours by the British authorities, Tajwar added.

“We have not been informed as to why was the crew detained,” said Tajwar.

According to the spokesperson, the flight will return to Lahore at 11:30am on Tuesday.

Read more: PIA orders inquiry into reports of ‘rowdy’ staff at Paris hotel

Earlier, GeoNews reported that the crew members were detained over “alleged security threats” and “interrogated” by the authorities.

The national carrier often comes under fire for poor performance, low safety standards and unprofessional attitude of staff.

In January, as many as seven passengers were forced to stand throughout the over three-hour flight from Karachi to Madina after the airline boarded excess passengers in a serious breach of air safety regulations.

More recently, PIA came under fire when it emerged that a senior pilot operating the Islamabad to London flight handed over the aircraft to an under-training pilot soon after the take-off and took a two-and-a-half-hour nap in the passenger compartment, compromising air safety and putting the lives of over 305 passengers at risk.

Members of PIA crew have also been sacked for smuggling banned items and money laundering.

The airline has taken a firm stance against corrupt practices and recently announced “termination from service” will now be the only punishment if any staffer of PIA is involved in smuggling.