Geo News 22nd May 2012 - Latest Geo updates 22nd May 2012 Live
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Geo News Pakistan
KARACHI: The court martial proceedings of PNS Mehran Base attack have completed. Three serving Navy officers were convicted for their negligence regarding the security measurements, sources said on Monday.
The seniority of the three officers has been demoted.
Those convicted includes Commodore Raja Tahir (base Commander), Security Officer Lt. Commander Abrar ul Hassan and Captain Muhammad Israr (base Commander), according to military sources.
The sources said that seniority of Commodore Raja Tahir has been demoted by one year while seniority of Lt Commander Abrar ul Hassan and Captain Muhammad Israar have been demoted by six months.
It is to be mentioned here that militants attacked PNS Mehran Base on 22 May and damaged installations of Pakistan Air Force including two P-3C Orion planes.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has directed the Minister for Religious Affairs to extend an invitation to Sheikh Abdul Rahman Ibn Aziz Al-Sudis, Imam and Khateeb of Masjid Al-Haram, Makkah Al-Mukarramah to visit Pakistan along with a delegation of prominent Ulema on dates to be mutually agreed upon.
Imam-e-Kaaba, during his stay in Pakistan will interact with leading Ulemas and Mashaikh of Pakistan as well as lead Friday prayers at the Faisal Mosque.
The Imam of Masjid Al-Haram is a great Qari as well as a distinguished scholar and he is highly revered by Muslims all over the world. The people of Pakistan hold him in high esteem as well.
It may be noted that Sheikh Al-Sudis last visited Pakistan in June 2007. A visit by Sheikh Al-Sudis will provide an opportunity to meet Islamic scholars and eminent Pakistanis from all strata of society.
The Imam-e-Kaaba and the members of his delegation will be treated as state guests. (APP)
CHICAGO: The Taliban are not capable of taking back Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Monday as he sought to reassure his war-torn country's Western backers over their pullout plans.
"The Taliban may have the ability to launch attacks, to explode IEDs (improvised explosive devices), to send suicide bombers. But for them to come and take over the country and take it backwards, no," Karzai told CNN.
The Afghan leader spoke on the sidelines of a NATO summit that cemented mid-2013 as the time when Afghans would have to take the lead for security nationwide, ahead of a total pullout of US-led forces by the end of 2014.
"Afghanistan has moved forward, and Afghanistan will defend itself. And the progress that we have achieved, the Afghan people will not allow it to be put back or reversed," Karzai said.
In a Chicago summit declaration, US President Barack Obama and his NATO military allies ratified an "irreversible" roadmap to "gradually and responsibly" withdraw 130,000 combat troops by the end of 2014.
Asked by CNN if his government was still prepared to negotiate with the Taliban as behind-the-scenes efforts continue to find some sort of accommodation with the country's former rulers, Karzai replied: "Absolutely.
"We have been working on the peace deal for a long time now. And with quite a heavy dedication and perseverance. We will continue the peace process with the Taliban and with the government of Pakistan, with our allies as well," he said.
"This is something that the Afghan people want, and it's something that we have as an obligation towards the Afghan people to do."
The NATO summit in Chicago, which was dominated by Afghanistan, was somewhat overshadowed by the failure of the United States and Pakistan to resolve a row over reopening military supply routes.
Karzai would not pass judgment on Islamabad's demand to charge steep fees for trucks crossing the border but intimated the issue would be discussed during his upcoming meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
"The prime minister will be visiting in about a week's time in Kabul. And we're supposed to be discussing all the issues that are -- among both countries," he said. (AFP)
WASHINGTON: The US Senate gave unanimous approval on Monday to a package of new economic sanctions on Iran's oil just days ahead of a meeting between major world powers and Tehran.
The West suspects Iran is working to build a nuclear bomb and the sanctions are meant to strip Tehran of revenue by shutting down financial deals with Iran's powerful state oil and tanker enterprises. Iran has said its nuclear program is for civilian purposes. (Reuters)
HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed on Monday after last week's huge losses, with traders taking some heart from a statement by Group of Eight leaders saying they wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone.
The euro also bounced back from four-month lows against the dollar after the weekend announcement, but comments from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that hinted at more monetary easing failed to lift sentiment in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Tokyo gained 0.26 percent by the break, Sydney rose 0.19 percent and Seoul was 0.80 percent higher.
But Hong Kong slipped 0.60 percent and Shanghai shed 0.20 percent.
The G8 leaders meeting at the US president's retreat at Camp David on Saturday said they wanted Athens to stay part of the currency union and urged it stick to terms of a bailout deal.
"We agree on the importance of a strong and cohesive eurozone for global stability and recovery," a joint communique stated. "We affirm our interest in Greece remaining in the eurozone while respecting its commitments."
However, the talks highlighted the differences on whether to pursue more belt-tightening or pro-growth measures, meaning they could not come up with an agreement on how to deal with the growing crisis.
Global markets have been sent into a spin since May 6 polls in Greece and France that saw voters overwhelmingly back anti-austerity parties.
Another election has been called for next month in Greece after several attempts to form a coalition government failed.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the June 17 poll will see Greece not only electing lawmakers but voting on whether their country stays in the eurozone.
On currency markets the euro strengthened to $1.2810 in Tokyo morning trade, from $1.2773 in New York late Friday.
The unit on Friday hit a four-month-low $1.2642 on deepening worries about the eurozone.
On Monday, the euro also rose to 101.40 yen from 100.94 yen, while the dollar advanced to 79.14 yen from 78.95 yen.
In China on Sunday Wen vowed proactive policies to make growth a bigger priority, following a string of weak data pointing to a slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
Oil prices advanced. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in June was up 28 cents to $91.76 per barrel while Brent North Sea crude for July gained 26 cents to $107.40.
Gold was at $1,596.50 an ounce at 0300 GMT, compared with $1,589.90 late Friday. (AFP)
TOKYO: The euro gained ground in Asia on Monday, after hitting four-month lows against the dollar in New York as traders pushed down the currency on fears that Europe's fiscal troubles are far from over.
The euro strengthened to $1.2810 in Tokyo morning trade, from $1.2773 in New York late Friday.
Earlier Friday, the unit hit a four-month low of $1.2642, underscoring worries over Spain's weakening banking sector and a possible Greek exit from the 17-nation eurozone.
On Monday, the euro also rose to 101.40 yen from 100.94 yen, while the dollar advanced to 79.14 yen from 78.95 yen.
The euro's rebound came after leaders at a G8 summit in the United States at the weekend called for Greece to stay in the eurozone as they debated deep divisions about how best to tackle Europe's fiscal woes.
The dollar's rise against the yen may be limited with little positive economic data expected, dealers said.
Traders are now "focusing on the impact of (the) Greek economic and financial situation... on its domestic politics," Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Barclays Capital, said in a note to clients.
Greeks will not only be electing lawmakers in elections next month but voting on whether their country stays in the eurozone, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Sunday. (AFP)
LONDON: Alastair Cook's unbeaten fifty steadied England in their victory chase in the first Test after the West Indies gave the hosts a couple of scares on the fifth day at Lord's here on Monday.
At lunch, England were 131 for four in their second innings and needing just 60 more runs to reach their victory target of 191 in the opening match of this three-Test series.
Left-handed opener Cook was 53 not out, his fifty coming when he late cut off-spinner Marlon Samuels for an eighth four in 78 balls.
Together with Ian Bell (34 not out), he'd so far added an unbroken 74 for the fifth wicket after England had faltered at 57 for four.
England resumed on 10 for two after Kemar Roach had taken two wickets for seven runs in eight balls to remove England captain, and first innings century-maker, Andrew Strauss, and nightwatchman James Anderson on Sunday.
Both Cook and Jonathan Trott had yet to score.
Roach struck again Monday to remove Trott with a good length ball that squared him up and took the edge with West Indies captain Darren Sammy, diving to his left, holding a good catch at second slip.
And 13 also proved an unlucky number for Trott's fellow South Africa-born batsman Kevin Pietersen.
He had just pulled Test debutant Shannon Gabriel's third delivery of the innings for four when, to the fast bowler's next ball ball, he tried to repeat the stroke and got a bottom edge to wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin.
England, the world's number ranked Test side, were in trouble but Cook got them going again with a square-cut four off Roach.
And Bell then drove a Gabriel full-toss down the ground.
That West Indies -- who hadn't won a Test match outside the Caribbean against major opposition since defeating South Africa in Port Elizabeth in 2007 and came into this game with a record of just two wins in 30 matches -- still had a shot at victory owed much to Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Officially the world's best batsman, the Guyana left-hander made 91 in a second innings total of 345 to follow his first innings 87 not out.
Together with Samuels (86) he put on 157 for the fifth wicket and, with Ramdin and Sammy adding runs down the order, the West Indies gave their bowlers a target to defend and a chance of a first win in 15 Tests in England. (AFP)
MUMBAI: According to Indian media Mumbai police on Sunday raided a top hotel where they held almost 100 people including Indian Premier League (IPL) players and Bollywood stars who were allegedly high on drugs.
Media reports had it that the police raided on a rave birthday party going on in a five-star hotel and arrested high profile figures from IPL and Bollywood.
“IPL player Rahul Sharma was among 100, arrested from hotel,” report said adding that cops also nabbed 19 foreigners.
"We found 58 men and 38 women at the rave party at Oakwood Premier Hotel on J R Mhatre Road near Juhu beach," said zonal DCP Pratap Dighavkar talking to media. Police seized around 110 grams of cocaine, besides Ecstasy tablets and marijuana.
The police said they would lodge two types of cases - one for possession and the other for the consumption of proscribed substances.
Around 100 youngsters have been sent to various hospitals for their blood and urine samples to be collected.
"The party was being held on the open terrace of the hotel. We acted around 8 pm on the basis of a tip-off. A decoy had been sent to the party and we acted after a green signal from him," an official said, adding that the police are trying to pinpoint the organizers of the party and who supplied the drugs.
"All those youngsters whose identities have been confirmed will be sent back home. If their blood and urine reports are positive for drugs, only then will they be called and taken into custody," said additional commissioner Vishwas Nangre Patil, who supervised the raid informed media.
The drugs seized have been sent for analysis to the forensic science laboratory.
LOS ANGELES: The Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry says she will go directly to President Obama to seek help passing laws to protect children from paparazzi after an incident last week in which she lost her cool when photographers came uncomfortably close to her daughter, Nahla.
The Hollywood actress was caught on camera as she lost her temper outside a school, yelling at photographers, "I'm doing something honorable. I'm not harassing people."
Berry, 45, has since said that she regrets losing her temper, but also revealed her new plan to take her plight straight to the top of the federal government.
"There are no laws here that protect our children and, as a mom coming to the school ... not only my child, but all the children that are there. It's just wrong, wrong, wrong," Berry told "Extra."
"You know, I think I'm going to call Obama and say, 'Look, can you help us? I know this seems like a little issue right now, but it's a big issue in our lives and our lives at the school and our children being protected,'" she added
CANNES: The Cannes film festival took time out from the movies to raise money for Haiti on Friday night, with Sean Penn at the helm pleading the humanitarian cause at a celebrity gala.
"Okay, room. Haiti is watching us tonight like you cannot believe," Penn told the black-tie crowd who had paid up to $100,000 for a table at the "Carnival in Cannes", just steps from the famous red carpet.
Three people paid $100,000 each in an auction to accompany Penn on a three-day trip to Haiti where the actor, a two-time Academy Award winner, has been active since the country's devastating 2010 earthquake.
In an expletive-laden yet impassioned speech, Penn exhorted guests to give generously and not turn their backs on Haiti. Celebrities included members of the Cannes jury - actors Ewan McGregor and Diane Kruger and designer Jean Paul Gaultier.
Ben Stiller and Chris Rock, voice stars of animation blockbuster "Madagascar 3" also attended, and designer Giorgio Armani, an event sponsor, made an appearance at the event co-hosted by model Petra Nemcova and "Crash" director and screenwriter Paul Haggis.
President of the Cannes jury four years ago, Penn was named "Ambassador at Large for Haiti" by new President Michel Martelly this year. In the days following the earthquake, Penn started the J/P Haitian Relief Organization with a goal of getting displaced people back into permanent homes.
"There's this very tangible success story that Haiti can be that could be a domino effect throughout the world," Penn told a news conference on Friday.
It was only the third time in its 65-year history that Cannes has lent its name to a fundraising cause, but this time the gala for Haitian relief was not tied to any festival film. In the 1980s it helped raise funds for the Pasteur Institute and in the 1990s for a Venice opera house destroyed by fire.
Penn said the event came together after Thierry Fremaux, the festival's general delegate, "called and asked how he could help".
Rebuilding Haiti will depend on private funding and collaboration between donors, Penn said, citing the non-profit groups of Nemcova and Haggis - the Happy Hearts Fund and Artists for Peace and Justice - both of which have focused on schools.
Penn lashed out at the media, however, for parachuting into Haiti but then not following through to keep reporting on the zone during its rebuilding.
"It's not only celebrities that just went for the day. It's the whole ... world. It's the entire media. It's all of you," he told the press. "The reason people get Haiti fatigue is because they never committed in the first place."
Singer Lyle Lovett gave a short concert before Haitian band RAM performed and waved the country's blue and red colors on what was Haitian Flag Day.
Martelly, elected president in 2011, appeared on pre-recorded video from Port au Prince, playing the piano, singing and calling Penn "a friend and an inspiration for our country."
Haggis, who took his first trip to Haiti two years before the quake, tried to incite higher bidding on the auction items, announcing a "Golden Globes Weekend" package would also include a date with the Scottish actor Gerard Butler, whom he pulled up on to the stage, to the actor's embarrassment.
A man suddenly leapt up, yelling: "100,000 euros without Gerard Butler!" to seize the winning bid.
Speaking at the news conference, Haggis said the world had largely washed its hands of Haiti throughout its troubled history.
"Honestly, until the quake, no one really gave a damn about Haiti," said Haggis, adding: "Like Sean said, 'Give these people a shot that they've never had'." (Reuters)
LONDON: An 83-year-old British man who has donated blood 57 times has shown further altruistic concern by giving up a kidney to a stranger, making him the oldest Briton to do so, according to a kidney donation charity.
Nicholas Crace, a former charity director from the leafy English county of Hampshire, decided to donate a kidney to Britain's National Health Service following the death of his wife in 2011, when he found he had more time for voluntary work.
"I've had an easy, comfortable life... I thought it was about time I paid back some of my good fortune. I was fit, I had no dependents and plenty of time," Crace told Reuters.
Crace decided to donate a kidney because he was too old to give blood or bone marrow and was surprised to discover that not only was he the oldest living Briton to donate a kidney but also that he had the kidneys of a 40-year-old. "I think I probably chose my parents carefully," he joked.
Almost 7,000 British people are waiting for a kidney andaround 300 die each year waiting for one, according to Britain'sGive A Kidney charity.
Altruistic kidney transplants have taken place in Britainsince 2007, and Crace is one of nearly 100 people to havedonated a kidney to a stranger since then
LONDON: Scientists have mapped the complete genetic codes of 21 breast cancers and created a catalogue of the mutations that accumulate in breast cells, raising hopes that the disease may be able to be spotted earlier and treated more effectively in future.
The research, the first of its kind, untangles the genetic history of how cancer evolves, allowing scientists to identify mutational patterns that fuel the growth of breast tumors, and start to work out the processes behind them.
"These findings have implications for our understanding of how breast cancers develop over the decades before diagnosis in adults and might help to find possible targets for improved diagnosis or therapeutic intervention in the future," said Mike Stratton, who led the research team.
Breast cancer kills more than 450,000 women a year worldwide and is the most common cancer among women, accounting for 16 percent of all cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
A study last year by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in the United States found that global breast cancer cases have more than doubled in just three decades, from 641,000 cases in 1980 to 1.6 million cases in 2010 - a pace that far exceeds global population growth.
"This is the first time we've been able to delve fully into breast cancer genomes in such a thorough way," said Peter Campbell, head of cancer genetics and genomics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, where the studies were led.
The work had given scientists "a full panoramic view of the cancer genome" and helped them identify "mutational patterns rather than individual mutations in specific genes", he added.
"We've known for many years now that all cancers are due to abnormalities of DNA...that occur in every single cell of the body over the course of a lifetime," said Stratton.
"But although we've known that, it's remarkable how rudimentary our knowledge is about what the processes are that cause these abnormalities, these mutations in our DNA."
Stratton's team sequenced the genomes of the 21 breast cancers and catalogued all the mutations. They found five major processes that cause one letter of code to be changed to another letter. Genetic code comes in four DNA letters, A,C,G and T.
Stratton said one of the most exciting findings was that one of these processes is characterized by small pockets of massively mutated regions of the genome.
This sudden "storm" of mutations is often seen in breast cancers, he explained in an audio briefing.
While his team don't fully understand the process behind these storms, they think it may be down to components of the cell whose normal function is to edit, or mutate, DNA.
"What we believe...is that sometimes in normal cells...this stops functioning properly and over-functions. It causes too many mutations and the accumulation of those mutations pushes the cell along the line to become cancer."
The team found that these and other mutations accumulate in breast cells over many years, initially slowly, but picking up greater momentum as genetic damage builds up.
By the time the breast cancers are large enough to be diagnosed, they are made up of a number of genetically related families of cells, with one family dominating the cancer, Stratton explained.
Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust which helped fund the work, said the results showed how scientists are starting to see the landscape of mutations in breast cancer "in something approaching its full complexity".
"As this work continues, we can hope to understand how breast cancer develops and thus how it might be treated more effectively," he said in a statement. (Reuters)
GEO Amazing and Interesting
TOKYO: A Japanese man astonished the people by eating 32 boiled eggs in one minute.
The 33-years old Takeru Kobayashi also holds the world record for hot dog eating for six years.
NEW DELHI: At least 430 people, mainly children, have died from an outbreak of encephalitis in a deeply neglected region of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Saturday.
K.P. Kushwaha, chief paediatrician at the BRD Medical College in the state's hardest-hit Gorakhpur district, said it was one of the worst outbreaks of encephalitis in the impoverished region, which borders Nepal.
"The situation is grim and the epidemic is worse than previous years and with so many patients there are no empty beds at the hospital," Khuswaha said.
"We count such cases since January but most of these casualties have occurred since July."
He said more than 2,400 patients have been admitted to government hospitals in the region so far this year of which at least 430 have died.
"Until Saturday, 336 children and 94 adults have died," Kushwaha told from the overcrowded hospital where patients were lying two to a bed.
He said 262 patients were undergoing treatment in the state-run facility.
"Everyday between 30 and 40 patients are being brought in for treatment," he said.
Some 215 people, a majority of them children, succumbed to encephalitis in Gorakhpur last year while the death toll from the disease in 2005 was more than 1,400 in Uttar Pradesh.
Eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh are ravaged by encephalitis each year as malnourished children succumb to the virus, officials say.
Encephalitis causes brain inflammation and can result in brain damage. Symptoms include headaches, seizures and fever.
Health experts say 70 million children nationwide are at risk of encephalitis.
Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, has been struggling for years with an encephalitis prevention programme, vaccinating millions of children against the virus. (AFP)