Geo News 30th May 2012 - Latest Geo updates 30th May 2012 Live
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Geo News Pakistan
KARACHI: Unknown gunmen opened fire and injured a civil judge in block 17 of Federal B Area on Wednesday morning, Geo News reported.
According to sources, unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on civil judge Syed Zaheer Ahmed’s vehicle and injured him in FB area.
He was rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital while the culprits successfully escaped from the scene.
KARACHI: Five persons lost their lives in different firing incidents that took place in the metropolis on Wednesday, Geo News reported.
According to sources, two men were severely injured by unknown gunmen in Orangi Town No.10 who later succumbed to their injuries. They were identified as Johar and Ahmer.
Earlier, police told that two bodies were found from Timber Market near Lyari area who were shot dead after being kidnapped. The victims have not been identified yet.
36-year-old Ghaffar also succumbed to his injuries today in Jinnah Hospital. He was injured in firing at Kala Pul on Tuesday.
ROME: At least 15 people were killed by earthquakes which struck northeast Italy on Tuesday, and rescue workers were looking for several missing, according to the Civil Protection Agency.
"At this point we have 15 people confirmed dead and another four or five people missing," a spokesperson for the agency in Rome said. (AFP)
ADEN: Five people have been killed in an assault launched by Al-Qaeda fighters Tuesday on a Yemeni army convoy ferrying supplies to troops in the restive southern Abyan province, a military official said.
Three Yemeni soldiers and two fighters of Al-Qaeda were killed during the assault on the military convoy in the village of Mazraat Mashhour, southwest of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The militants "failed to seize the contents of the convoy" which was headed to Zinjibar from the southern port city of Aden, the official said, adding that fierce clashes continued as troops fought to capture the provincial capital which has been under the control of militants since May 2011.
Yemeni forces launched an all-out offensive on May 12 this year to oust Al-Qaeda from towns and cities in Abyan which it has captured over the past year. Since the offensive began, at least 343 people have been killed, according to a tally compiled by AFP, including 249 Al-Qaeda fighters, 58 military personnel, 18 local militiamen and 18 civilians
According to western diplomats in Sanaa, US experts are assisting the Yemeni army in their battle against Al-Qaeda.
KARACHI: Pakistani rupee fell to a new low against the dollar on Tuesday as loan repayments this week and impending oil payments continued to put pressure on the local currency, said analysts.
Dollar in the inter-bank was seen traded at Rs92.55 highest ever.
Dealers told that the value of dollar further appreciated by paisa 30 and was selling at Rs92.55 breaking all past records due to oil import payments of $120 million in the week.
Dollar was also seen peaked in the open market trading at Rs93.60.
During the current fiscal the value of dollar has appreciated by Rs6, analysts said.
KARACHI: In an interview to ‘The Wall Street Journal’ State Bank Governor Yaseen Anwar said that Pakistan may have to return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance amid a unstable macroeconomic situation.
Anwar said that Pakistan could meet its overseas debt obligations for now but looming payments to the IMF from a program that ended last year are likely to test the nation’s finances in the months ahead.
According to Anwar, the government’s failure to get the budget and trade deficit under control could make meeting the over $4 billion in IMF loans due in the fiscal year starting June 1 difficult.
PARIS: From her Channel Island home on Guernsey to Nick Bollettieri's academy in Florida to the red clay of Paris, Heather Watson is showing Roland Garros doesn't have to be a winner-free zone for British women.
Watson, a former junior US Open champion, who celebrated her 20th birthday last week, marched into the second round of the French Open for the second year in a row Tuesday with a 6-2, 6-4 win over world number 83 Elena Vesnina of Russia.
Watson, who last year broke into the top 100 - she currently has slipped back to 110 - slid round the red dirt as if the clay courts are her back yard, her recently remodelled service clicking beautifully into place - particularly in a first set which saw her not lose a single point on first serve.
The softly-spoken Watson, daugher of a Papua New Guinean mother and British father, had to battle through three qualifying matches just to enter the main draw.
But her familiarity with the venue appears to be paying handsome dividends and she was a set up against Vesnina in just half an hour.
A superlative top spin lob put her 4-1 to the good and her confidence grew.
Although her serve - Watson now deploys an elevated elbow service action was slightly off beam in the second set, enabling Vesnina to break in the third game, the Briton recomposed herself to wrap up her win on court six in 82 minutes.
She will meet up-and-coming German Julia Goerges, conqueror of Lucie Hradecka in the next round.
Watson took former champion Maria Sharapova to three sets at the first round of the US Open last year and insists that she has come on leaps and bounds, both mentally and physically since then.
"I'm growing as a player now - I'll definitely be more ready," she insisted. "I've always believed in myself - it's all in the head," added
Watson, stressing that without self-belief she would not be in the game at all.
"I've been working on my game to become a lot more aggressive," explained Watson, who started her season slowly after returning from a sprained ankle before she was fully fit.
"I don't really have a clay background," she conceded, but "I just enjoy playing the long points, working hard for it and building the point instead of just trying to bash winners everywhere."
Should she keep her form going then Watson, British number three behind Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong, could yet make the British Olympic team.
"If I do well here, hopefully I can get in. It would be just a dream for me to play (at the London Games). I'd absolutely love it, whether it's doubles, singles - just to be involved." (AFP)
NOTTINGHAM: England captain Andrew Strauss made 141 before Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad joined forces to give the hosts a first innings lead against the West Indies in the second Test here at Trent Bridge.
At tea on Sunday's third day, England were 428 all out in reply to West Indies' 370 -- a lead of 58 runs.
It was far less of an advantage than England would have wanted on a good batting pitch but far more than looked likely when Strauss was out with his side still behind on 363 for seven.
West Indies, who bowled well, had to suffer a frustrating eighth-wicket partnership of 53 in 92 balls between Bresnan and Broad before the latter miscued a sweep against spinner Shane Shillingford and was caught for 25.
Part-time spinner Marlon Samuels, who scored a century when West Indies batted, polished off the innings with two wickets for one run in nine balls.
Bresnan was 39 not out.
Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul led the tourists' attack with three wickets for 75 runs in 32 balls.
The West Indies took four wickets in Sunday's first session before captain Darren Sammy dismissed Strauss for his second hundred in as many matches, following the opener's 122 in a five-wicket first Test win at Lord's that gave England a 1-0 lead in this three-match series.
Strauss was 102 not out and Kevin Pietersen 72 not out at the start of Sunday's play.
But Pietersen had added just eight when he was lbw to Rampaul's inswinger.
Despite his challenge, Pietersen was out for 80, ending a third-wicket stand of 144.
The West Indies took the new ball as soon as possible with England 299 for three off 80 overs.
And it brought rewards with Kemar Roach, who'd sent down eight no-balls Saturday, getting back into his stride with two wickets for six runs in 16 balls to reduce England to 308 for five.
Fourth delivery with the new ball, Roach had Ian Bell aiming across the line, lbw for 22 although the tourists had to challenge umpire Aleem Dar's original not out verdict.
Jonathan Bairstow, in his second Test, never looked comfortable against the short ball and, trying to turn a rising Roach delivery legside, got a leading edge to mid-on and was caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
This was the first time in Strauss's 21 Test hundreds -- one shy of the England record of 22 held jointly by Walter Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoffrey Boycott -- the left-hander had added more than six runs when not out overnight on a century.
But the 35-year-old found runs hard to come by Sunday, managing just 39 in 98 balls including four boundaries.
He was eventually out when, trying to drive, he was caught behind off Sammy. Strauss batted for more than seven hours in total, facing 303 balls with 22 boundaries. (AFP)
LOS ANGELES: The third installment in the successful "Men In Black" sci-fi adventure franchise blasted away competition to take the top spot at the North American box office, industry estimates showed Sunday.
The blockbuster stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reprising their roles as secret agents battling alien species living on Earth, this time joined by Josh Brolin when the adventures goes back in time to 1969.
"Men In Black 3" made $55 million in its first three days of release over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
It took the number one rank away from record-breaking comic book superhero blockbuster "The Avengers," which slipped to second in its third weekend with a $37 million take.
The film has become the highest-grossing movie in Walt Disney Studios' history with global earnings so far of $1.29 billion, the fourth-highest total of all time.
"The Avengers" maintained its lead over the big-budget but critically panned "Battleship," which dropped to the number three spot in its second weekend with $10.75 million in box office receipts.
In fourth was comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator," with $9.6 million in its second weekend.
Fifth place went to horror flick "Chernobyl Diaries." The tale of a group of tourists taking an disastrous tour of the ghost town of Pripyat in Ukraine, abandoned after the 1980s nuclear disaster, made $8 million in its debut.
Next was Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" reboot starring Johnny Depp, in sixth place with $7.5 million, ahead of comedy "What to Expect When You're Expecting" with $7.1 million.
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," a comedic drama about British retirees in India, took in $6.3 million for eighth place.
In the ninth spot was smash action hit "The Hunger Games," starring Jennifer Lawrence, which earned $2.2 million this weekend, and has brought in more than $395 million total in North America since its opening.
Rounding out the top ten was romantic comedy "Think Like A Man" with $1.4 million in earnings.
Estimates for the four-day weekend are due out Monday, with final figures released on Tuesday. (AFP)
CANNES: The 2012 Cannes Film Festival announced its winners on Sunday. Following is a list of the main awards.
1. Palme d'Or (Best Film) - 'Love'/Amour (Austria) by Michael Haneke
2. Grand Prix (Runner-up) - 'Reality' (Italy) by Matteo Garrone
3. Jury Prize (Third Prize) - 'The Angels' Share' (Britain) by Ken Loach
4. Camera d'Or (Debut Film) - 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' (U.S.) by Benh Zeitlin
5. Best Director - Carlos Reygadas for 'Post Tenebras Lux' (Mexico)
6. Best Screenplay - 'Beyond the Hills' (Romania) by Cristian Mungiu
7. Best Actress - Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur in 'Beyond the Hills'
8. Best Actor - Mads Mikkelsen in 'The Hunt'
ISLAMABAD: Adolescents who are obese are more likely than their normal weight counterparts to have silent and symptomless heart problems, researchers warn.
It has been known for a long time that adult people with obesity are more likely to experience cardiovascular disease and death but a new preliminary study has raised the alarm for the younger people as well, Press TV reported.
Dr. Gani Bajraktari and colleagues at the University of Pristina in Kosovo who studied 97 asymptomatic teenagers found that the obese adolescents had some higher levels of heart damage and thicker heart walls which impaired the organ's faction.
The findings suggestes that higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with thicker left ventricular walls and impaired systolic and diastolic function, according to the presentation delivered at the Heart Failure Congress in Belgrade, Serbia.
"It means an early sign of heart failure," says co-author Dr. Dejan Maras of Luton and Dunstable Hospital in Luton, UK. He warns that these patients may become symptomatic, including shortness of breath on exertion and poor exercise tolerance.
The scientists say that further studies are needed to support their findings and examine that whether the obesity related heart damages are reversible after losing excessive weight.
However, the findings highlight that preventing obesity in young people would be the best strategy to prevent associated risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
"Education on healthy food and exercise is needed in schools to prevent obesity and early cardiovascular disease in adolescents," said Dr. Bajraktari. "This is an important step in preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease in adults."
PARIS: The meteoric rise of a natural, healthy alternative to sugar - a holy grail for the food industry - might just be a little too good to be true.
In two years stevia, a plant used for centuries by Paraguay' s G uarani Indians, has shot to prominence in products by Coca-Cola, Danone and Merisant.
Encouraged by distrust of artificial sweeteners and demand for natural products, they have turned to extract of stevia, which is up to 300 times sweeter than traditional beet or cane sugar.
The problems are the aftertaste, the cost, and possible hurdles in defining it as natural in some European Union markets.
Initial sales and projections are impressive but the plant's extracts have a strong aftertaste, often compared to liquorice, and are far more expensive than artificial sweeteners including aspartame, saccharin and sucralose.
To ease stevia's taste products like French sugar maker Tereos' Beghin-Say and Coca-Cola's Fanta Still - trialed with stevia - still include sugar in their recipe
Tereos PureCircle said that out of the 604 new products containing extracts of stevia launched worldwide in 2010 - up from 373 in 2009 - 60 percent still contained sugar.
Poor consumer feedback also led dairy giant Danone to work on a new recipe for its stevia yoghurts marketed under its leading low-calorie brand Taillefine in 2010.
"We are trying to find solutions to erase this liquorice taste but it's not easy," Marilise Marcantonio, communication director for Danone Fresh Products, said. "Consumers are looking for natural products - but not at any price."
Some scientists also note that a technique to extract Rebania-A, derived from stevia leaves, through ethanol, rather than water, to obtain purer and sweeter products could mean stevia may not be able to be marketed as "natural" in some EU countries, undermining the current marketing strategy.
"They are advertising stevia as a miracle," marketing consultant Sam Waterfall said. "If consumers begin to feel they are misled, this could be a real disaster."
KEY FRENCH MARKET
France is keenly watched as a testing ground for Europe, having cleared stevia-based products in late 2009. New checks and administrative hurdles delayed its approval at EU level until November 2011.
Stevia has been used for decades in Japan and has spread in the United States since 2008, where sales rose over 60 percent in 2011.
Since early 2010 its extracts have been used in France in low-calorie products ranging from soft drinks to yoghurts, jam and tabletop sweeteners, with some products recording triple-digit rises in sales last year.
"It's a revolution. In two years an ingredient has been able to turn the sweetener market upside down," said Olivier Badinand, marketing director for Europe of Merisant, maker of Canderel, leader in France's tabletop sweeteners market.
Stevia's market share among high-intensive sweeteners is still less than 1 percent but growth rates are impressive. Volumes jumped over 50 percent in France last year, and are expected to more than double in 2012 and quadruple by 2014.
"We are in a market that is really taking off," said Michel Laborde, head of sales and marketing at France's largest sugar maker, growers-owned Tereos, which has stepped into the stevia market through a joint venture with the world's leader PureCircle.
Paris will host on Thursday the World Stevia Organisation's fourth conference, gathering academics, industrials and sellers.
Despite taste and cost misgivings, the surge in sales to date, EU clearance and growing demand for low-sugar products correlated with a rise in obesity, has prompted food giants to launch new products.
Coca-Cola's flagship drinks Sprite and Nestea's recipes have been modified to include stevia in a bid to cut the sugar level by up to 30 percent and will soon be available in French stores, Claire Meunier, nutrition manager at Coca-Cola France said.
The world's main producers of compounds from stevia's leaves like Rebaudioside A (Reb A) are Malaysia's PureCircle and U.S. agrigiant Cargill.
Tereos PureCircle Solutions, created in late 2010, sells stevia-based sugar products to food and drink makers in several EU countries including Belgium, Italy and Spain.
Tereos also replaced aspartame with stevia in some of its low-calorie tabletop sugar Beghin-Say Ligne and sales trebled in the year to March, Laborde said, adding that the firm was in the process of launching a stevia powder sugar in France.
"The French market was absolutely key. In light of the success, we had a model to apply, time to look at the results and adapt our strategy to other countries," Merisant's Badinand said. The firm has now deployed stevia in around 20 EU states.
Merisant sells a stevia version of its flagship product Canderel and created a separate brand, PureVia, whose products - powder and cubes - look like sugar but contain none.
PureVia sales grew by 81 percent and Canderel Stevia by 115 percent in the year to end-February to a total of 14.7 million euros and Merisant targets 20 million in 2012, Badinand said. (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)