Who is Lt Gen Faiz Hameed Pakistan appoints hardline general as new

first_imgLt Gen Faiz AhmedtwitterPakistan on Sunday appointed a hardliner general as new chief of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, replacing the agency’s current head, Lieutenant General Asim Munir, after only eight months on the job.Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, a former senior ISI figure, was appointed director general of the agency, according to a statement by the military’s press wing, which did not explain the re-shuffle.The army is arguably the most influential institution in Pakistan, with the military having ruled the country for nearly half of its 71-year history since independence from Britain and enjoying extensive powers even under civilian administrations.By turn, the head of the ISI occupies one of the most important posts in Pakistan. The agency has long been accused of supporting Islamist militants targeting neighbour and arch-foe India as well as sheltering the Afghan Taliban and other militants.More recently, the ISI has been accused of muzzling the press, trying to skew last year’s elections, and intensifying a crackdown against human rights groups, including the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), an ethnic rights movement that the military accuses of being funded by neighbouring countries.Activists allege a pattern of growing authoritarianism by the military, which they say has become even more influential since Prime Minister Imran Khan swept to power last year.The military denies harbouring militants, intervening in politics or stifling dissent.The military’s backers also say Pakistan faces external threats from most of its neighbours, especially India, and is working within the law to defend the country.Hameed was seen to be hugely influential within ISI during his previous stint at the agency, according to analysts.He was one of the figures who brokered the Faizabad agreement in late 2017, when protesters blocked off roads into capital Islamabad, in an incident that further stoked civilian-military tensions.”He is very hardline,” said Ayesha Siddiqa, an analyst who has also written a book about the military’s business empire, and has been a longstanding critic.”It’s a very hawkish decision. It means the military is not backing down, and it’s going to use more force.”The military did not explain why Munir, who was posted out to lead the Gujranwala Corps, was removed as ISI chief so soon into an expected three-year term.last_img read more

Sensex down 320 points auto stocks slump

first_imgBuildings are reflected on the glass windows of the NSE (National Stock Exchange) building in Mumbai, India, December 27, 2016.Reuters fileThe Indian equity market declined on Wednesday with the S&P BSE Sensex losing over 300 points during the afternoon session.The weakness in the domestic indices came on the back of a similar trend in the Asian markets along with a sharp decline in rupee and a slowdown in the manufacturing PMI data, analysts said.Most sectoral indices traded in the negative, led by auto, metal and banking stocks. The S&P BSE auto index lost 534.70 points on weak December auto sale figures.The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange also declined over 100 points to trade around 10,800 points.At 1.20 p.m., the Nifty50 traded at 10,807.35, lower by 102.75 points or 0.94 per cent from the previous close of 10,910.10 points.The Sensex, which had opened at 36,198.13, traded at 35,932.66 points, lower by 321.91 points or 0.89 per cent from the previous close of 36,254.57 points.So far, it touched an intra-day high of 36,236.70 and a low of 35,866.30 points.The Indian currency slumped 45 paise on Tuesday to trade at 69.89 per dollar (around 1.20 p.m.), against the previous close of 69.45 per dollar.Also, the decline in the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index released during the day subdued the market sentiments. The index declined to 53.2 in December, from 54 in November.last_img read more

Trumps travel ban makes US citizens cancer treatment impossible

first_imgDonald Trump. File photoMaziar Hashemi, a naturalized US citizen who lives in Massachusetts, has been told by doctors that his best hope for surviving a rare form of blood cancer is a bone marrow transplant.President Donald Trump’s travel ban could make that impossible.Bone marrow transplants require a close match between donor and recipient. A few months after his diagnosis last September, Hashemi, 60, learned that his brother in Iran, Kamiar Hashemi, was a rare 100-per cent match. The only problem was Kamiar’s nationality.The latest travel ban, issued as a presidential proclamation and implemented on 8 December after months of legal wrangling, bars most travellers to the United States from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, as well as certain government officials from Venezuela. Although the ban allows for case-by-case waivers to be granted, including for medical need, Kamiar Hashemi has so far been denied a visa.Attorneys who regularly deal with visa issues say the waiver process is opaque. Visa applicants aren’t allowed to apply for waivers; they are simply granted or not without explanation. US officials won’t say how they make their decisions or how long they generally take.A US State Department official told Reuters that since the ban took effect, more than 375 waivers have been approved but he declined to say how many total visa applications have been filed from countries covered by the ban. He said he could not comment on the specifics of Hashemi’s case.Kamiar Hashemi began the visa application process soon after learning he was a match for his brother. In February, the 57-year-old small business owner travelled to Armenia to be interviewed at the US embassy there, since there is no embassy in Iran.Later on the day of the interview, Kamiar’s brother back in Massachusetts checked the status of the application on the State Department’s website. A pop-up window announced in bright blue letters: “Refused.”Waivers can later be granted to applicants initially refused for visas, according to the State Department, so Maziar Hashemi continued checking the website each day, but his brother’s status hasn’t changed. He hired an immigration lawyer, Mahsa Khanbabai, hoping she might smooth the way.Transparent as MudThe Trump administration has said travel restrictions are needed to protect the United States from terrorism.Critics have challenged the latest ban, as they did previous versions, saying that it discriminates against Muslims. Six of the eight countries included in the current ban are majority Muslim.Under the current proclamation, waivers can be granted in cases where denying entry would cause undue hardship, when the individual is found not to be a threat and when their entry is in the national interest.The proclamation lists ten examples of situations in which an applicant might be eligible for a waiver. One reason mentioned is an applicant’s need for urgent medical care, something that comes close but doesn’t exactly fit the Hashemis’ situation, since it isn’t Kamiar Hashemi, himself, in urgent need.The State Department has declined to provide details of how waiver decisions are made beyond some general answers to frequently asked questions posted on its website. But a State Department letter obtained by Reuters earlier this month said “there is no waiver form to be completed” and that applicants who fall into the categories outlined in the proclamation “must be considered” for one.“The process is as transparent as mud,” said Hashemi’s attorney Khanbabai. “There are no clear guidelines. It’s difficult to figure out what the process is and who is actually doing the processing.”Nevertheless, Khanbabai submitted a packet of information on the Hashemis’ behalf to the embassy on 19 March, including a letter from Massachusetts General Hospital explaining that a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant is very rare and could provide the only viable treatment for Maziar Hashemi’s Myelodysplastic syndrome.Worried about the ticking clock, Kamiar Hashemi looked into traveling to India to have his bone marrow harvested there and rushed to the United States, but that option was also thwarted.A non-profit organization trying to facilitate the transfer, Be The Match, said it had to pull out after its legal team concluded that Kamiar’s bone marrow couldn’t be exported to the United States because of US sanctions on Iranian exports.“Can you imagine that the cells of an Iranian needed in order to help a US citizen are embargoed?” said Maziar Hashemi, a civil engineer who has lived in the United States since the 1970s.“It is just unfair,” he said in a phone interview. “I cannot wait much longer.”last_img read more

Body Found at New Mexico Compound Believed to be Missing Black Boy

first_imgBy Stephen Groves and Morgan Lee, The Associated PressA severely disabled Georgia boy who authorities say was kidnapped by his father and marked for an exorcism was found buried at the ramshackle compound in the New Mexico desert that has been the focus of investigators for the past week, the toddler’s grandfather said Aug. 9.New Mexico authorities, however, said they had yet to identify the remains, discovered Aug. 6. And prosecutors said they were awaiting word on the cause of death before deciding on any charges.Imam Siraj Wahhaj speaks to reporters, Aug. 9, in New York. Wahhaj, the grandfather of a missing Georgia boy, says the remains of the child were found buried at a desert compound in New Mexico. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)The boy, Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, would have turned 4 Monday. Prosecutors said he was snatched from his mother in December in Jonesboro, Ga., near Atlanta.The search for him led authorities to New Mexico, where 11 hungry children and a youngster’s remains were found in recent days at a filthy compound shielded by old tires, wooden pallets and an earthen wall studded with broken glass.The missing boy’s grandfather, Siraj Wahhaj, a Muslim cleric who leads a well-known New York City mosque, told reporters he had learned from other family members that the remains were his grandson’s.The imam said he did not know the cause of death.“Whoever is responsible, then that person should be held accountable,” Wahhaj said.In an interview with WSB-TV in Atlanta, the boy’s mother also called for “justice” as she described how her life had been taken from her after her son was abducted by his father, which she said was out of character for him. She and Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the imam’s son, had been married almost 14 years.“I wasn’t able to save my son,” she told the television station.Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, left, sits next to public defense attorney Aleks Kostich at a first appearance in New Mexico state district court in Taos, N.M., Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, on accusations of child abuse and abducting his son from the boy’s mother. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)Ramzi Wahhaj, who is from Morocco, filed for divorce in December — the same month neighbors say Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and others arrived in Amalia, N.M.A Georgia arrest warrant accused him of kidnapping his child. Authorities said the father at some point told his wife he wanted to perform an exorcism on the boy, who suffers seizures and requires constant attention because of a lack of oxygen and blood flow at birth.The child’s father was among five adults arrested on suspicion of child abuse in the raid at the compound. In court papers, prosecutors also said Wahhaj had been training children there to carry out school shootings.Speaking at his Brooklyn mosque, the elder Wahhaj said he had no knowledge of any such training.“It sounds to me it sounds crazy. But I don’t know,” he said. “I make no judgments yet because we don’t know.”The imam’s mosque has attracted a number of radicals over the years, including a man who later helped bomb the World Trade Center in 1993.In a video posted Thursday on Facebook, mosque spokesman Ali Abdul-Karim Judan called the case a “domestic situation” and vehemently denied it had anything to do with extremism.“None of the charges had anything to do with anybody teaching anybody shooting to commit acts of terrorism or to go in and shoot up any school,” he said. “Because it’s a Muslim and the circumstances that are surrounding their situation, they want to change the narrative.”The elder Wahhaj said all 11 of the children, ages 1 to 15, were either his biological grandchildren or members of his family through marriage.The raid of the compound came when Georgia authorities received word that children inside the compound were starving.The elder Wahhaj said the tip came to law enforcement through him. He said he was able to learn their whereabouts from a note that his daughter, one of the five adults at the site, sent to a man in Atlanta saying they were starving and asking for food.That man then notified Wahhaj, who said he decided to send food and contact police.Groves reported from New York. Associated Press writers Brinley Hineman in Atlanta and Mary Hudetz in Albuquerque, N.M., contributed to this report.last_img read more

Fujitsu Introduces First 4Channel HDMI Connector Ports

first_imgFujitsu LTD – Embedded FRAM w/4-Channel HMDI Ports This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Fujitsu Introduces First 4-Channel HDMI Connector Ports (2007, November 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-11-fujitsu-channel-hdmi-connector-ports.html In a blink of an eye Fujitsu has solved the costly problem of having to have separate memory on each of the HDMI ports. Fujitsu has produced the first embedded FRAM for digital TV that allows simultaneous use of a 4-Channel HDMI connector ports. The HDMI connector ports are used for running DVD recorders, camcorders, video gaming consoles, that store high resolution data and are read by audio visual devices when used with digital televisions. In use the new Fujitsu LSI in digital TVs allows high-speed factory programming of Expanded Display Identification display data. This breakthrough provides a cost saving in the overall production by reducing the number of the parts and reducing mounting space. In practice the evolution in HDMI, a digital multi-media interface has created high-quality video and audio output. The HDMI connector when used allows devices that create output to read the display data, like the display resolution and then automatically adjusts their output to produce the best display. The memory function for display devices which need four EPROM cells can now be handled by one cell. The key specifications are a memory capacity of 256-byte. The interface is DDC 4-Channel. The package is TSSOP 16-pin. The key savings besides parts and space is the reduced labor costs involved in the factory programming process. In turn this will potentially reduce the costs of producing digital televisions. Fujitsu is a leader in the field of IT and communication solutions headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with offices around the world. Fujitsu plans to demonstrate and show the innovation named MB85RF402 at the Embedded Technology Trade Show on November 14-17, 2007 in Yokohama, Japan. It is currently available for sample shipments and has a million unit per month sales target. Fujitsu has introduced the world´s first embedded FRAM for digital TVs that allow simultaneous use of a 4-Channel HDMI connector ports. The innovation will reduce the number of pars, mounting space and programming labor costs. It is expected to reduce the costs of digital TVs. New HDMI Chip Enables High Definition Display of Standard Definition Video Content and Digital Photos on HDTV Explore furtherlast_img read more

WestJet suspends 2019 financial guidance following Boeing 737 MAX grounding

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by Share Tags: boeing, WestJet WestJet suspends 2019 financial guidance following Boeing 737 MAX groundingcenter_img Tuesday, March 19, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> CALGARY — WestJet has announced that it is suspending all 2019 financial guidance that it previously provided in December 2018 and February 2019 following the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Canada.According to the carrier, the decision was made in light of Transport Canada’s safety notice to close Canadian airspace to the aircraft until further notice, the Federal Aviation Administration’s temporary grounding order, as well as Boeing’s decision to suspend all MAX deliveries to airline customers.The financial guidance provided with respect to earnings per share (EPS), return on invested capital (ROIC) and cumulative free-cash flow over the period of 2020-2022 remains in place until more information becomes available.The decision comes on the heels of a similar announcement made by Air Canada last week to also suspend all financial guidance it provided on Feb. 15 and Feb. 28 with respect to the 2019 financial year.WestJet enacted its contingency plan immediately and grounded all 13 of its MAX aircraft within 55 minutes of Transport Canada’s order, with only three MAX aircraft outside of its Canadian jurisdiction.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backThe airline continues to implement and execute its contingency plan to minimize guest disruption and any financial impact.For the remainder of the first quarter, WestJet expects it will be able to protect approximately 86% of guests booked on MAX flights and cover approximately 75% of the flights that were intended to operate on the MAX with other aircraft.last_img read more