Thursday, 26 April 2012

High cigarette prices could cut tobacco use

High cigarette prices could cut tobacco use
Doubling cigarette prices could help reduce tobacco use (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

Immediate application of the World Health Organization smoking reduction policy- increasing cigarette prices- could prevent millions of smoking-related deaths by 2030, say University of Michigan researchers.

The researchers also claimed that the number of smokers could have been reduced by 34 percent had the WHO policy been implemented globally in 2010.

They developed two sets of projections predicting smoking outcomes from 2010 to 2020 and then again to 2030, with or without the implementation of the smoking reduction policy.

"While several countries have already implemented parts of the WHO voluntary tobacco control policy, called MPOWER, complete and global adoption of these tobacco control measures has not yet happened," said David Mendez, associate professor at the U-M School of Public Health.

Currently, 174 countries have committed to the program in principle by ratifying the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world's first global health treaty.

"Where adopted, the tobacco control policies embedded in MPOWER have had a substantial impact on smoking, creating one of the greatest public health success stories of recent decades," said Kenneth Warner, professor of public health.

"The tragedy is that the failure to adopt these policies will lead to literally millions of avoidable premature deaths," he added.

Estimated global smoking prevalence in 2010 was about 24 per cent, or 794 million smokers, within the countries studied. However, if MPOWER polices had been applied and maintained globally starting in 2010, with a 100 percent increase in cigarette prices, smoking prevalence would be an estimated 15 percent by 2020, or 569 million smokers, and 13 per cent by 2030, or 523 million smokers.

The study shows that doubling the price of cigarettes will have the biggest impact on tobacco use, Mendez said.

Without MPOWER policies and with the same starting and quitting rates, smoking prevalence is estimated at about 23 per cent by 2020, or 838 million smokers (the larger number is reflected by population growth), and 22 per cent by 2030, or 872 million smokers.

Countries in different regions have different smoking rates and prevalence, and different motivations for implementing MPOWER or not, Mendez said. For instance, tobacco is key in a few economies and the politics of tobacco control are difficult in most.

The largest expected prevalence reduction attributable specifically to the MPOWER policies is projected to occur in the European region, moving from an expected prevalence in 2030 of nearly 30 per cent under the status quo to 15 per cent with the application of MPOWER.

The Americas, which already trend downward, are expected to have the largest proportional reduction in prevalence, at 57 per cent. 

Blind man builds car

Blind man builds car  
A SUFFOLK man has spent five years building a car from scratch - but can’t drive it himself because he is blind.

Pete Golsby, 68, felt as if his life had fallen apart when he was registered blind 12 years ago after suffering an immune system problem.

Having always dreamed of building a car, and with lots of time suddenly on his hands, he decided to give it a go anyway. Incredibly he managed to piece together the silver Pembleton Brooklands sports car with the help of magnifiers and visual aids. Wife Hazel, 66, was a constant help when he needed to borrow a pair of eyes to make sure he wasn’t going astray.

He used an engine from an old motorbike, car parts donated by friends and even piping from an old shower, all of which had to be taken apart and cleaned up. Mr Golsby, from Newmarket, said: “After I lost my sight it was a case of sink or swim and I found it very difficult.

“I’ve always wanted to build a car so I thought I’d give it a try and see how I got on. I’m really proud that I managed to build it all. For me it was a matter of being able to prove to myself that I could still do it.”

The car breezed through its MOT and Mr Golsby is now waiting for a Single Vehicle Assessment so it can be driven on the road. “It’s a two-seater so Hazel will drive me out and about when it’s sunny,” he added.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Pakistan successfully test fires ballistic N-missile Hatf IV

Pakistan successfully test fired a nuclear-capable intermediate range ballistic missile on Wednesday, the military said, less than a week after India test launched a long range missile. The exact range of the missile was not revealed, but retired General Talat Masood, a defence analyst, told AFP.

Intermediate range ballistic missiles could up to 2,500 to 3,000 kilometres (1,550 to 1,850 miles) away -- which would put almost all of arch-rival India within reach. On Thursday India test fired its long range Agni V missile, which can deliver a one-tonne nuclear warhead anywhere in China.

"Pakistan today successfully conducted the launch of the intermediate range ballistic missile Hatf IV Shaheen-1A weapon system," Pakistan's military said in a statement. India and Pakistan -- which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 -- have routinely carried out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998.

Pakistan's most recent missile test came last month with the launch of the short-range nuclear-capable Abdali, while in April 2008 it tested the Shaheen II, or Hatf VI, missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres. Wednesday's missile, which landed in the sea, was a version of the Shaheen-1 with improvements in range and technical parameters, the military said, and can carry nuclear and conventional warheads.

"This is part of Pakistan's programme to develop nuclear and missile deterrence. It has a series of missiles in its inventory. This is perhaps the longest range missile in its programme," retired general Masood told AFP. "The whole object is essentially India-centric while India's own programme is directed towards China. Pakistan is engaged in improving its missile system as India continues to increase its capability."

Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General Khalid Ahmed Kidwai congratulated scientists and engineers on the successful launch, and the accuracy of the missile in reaching the target. He said the improved version of Shaheen 1A would further consolidate and strengthen Pakistan's deterrence abilities.

Pakistan's arsenal includes short, medium and long range missiles named after Muslim conquerors.India's missile test last week brought a muted international response, with China downplaying its significance, insisting the countries were partners not rivals, and Washington calling for "restraint" among nuclear powers.

This was in sharp contrast to the widespread fury and condemnation that greeted North Korea's unsuccessful test launch of a long-range rocket on April 13. India and Pakistan were on the brink of war in 2002 over the disputed territory of Kashmir, but a slow-moving peace dialogue resumed last March after a three-year suspension following the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Football Writers' Association votes for Van Persie in poll

Robin van Persie
Arsenal's Robin van Persie has been named footballer of the year by the Football Writers’ Association. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images
The Arsenal captain Robin van Persie has been voted 2012 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association (FWA).

Van Persie, 28, topped the poll of journalists with a landslide victory ahead of Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney in second place and his Old Trafford team-mate Paul Scholes third, with Fulham's Clint Dempsey fourth.

The Holland striker's 34 goals in all competitions has helped propel Arsenal into the top four of the Barclays Premier League, leaving them on the brink of Champions League qualification for next season.

Van Persie – who was also named the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year last week – will receive the prestigious FWA accolade, which has been running since 1948, at a gala dinner at the Lancaster London Hotel on 3 May.

FWA chairman Steve Bates, chief football writer at The People, said: "Robin was the overwhelming choice of our members this season and deservedly so after a magnificent campaign for Arsenal.

"The quality of his goals, attacking movement and consistency in a turbulent season for The Gunners has been eye-catching.

"The considerable size of his majority in the votes cast by our members reflected the general view that he has been the season's most outstanding individual performer."


Intel 'Ivy Bridge' 3D chip 'most important development of last 60 years'

Intel Ivy Bridge
A view through an electron microscope of Intel's old 32 nanometre chip structure on the left and the 3D structure the new 22 nanometre chips on the right. Picture: Courtesy of Intel
Intel Corporation said that PCs with chips from its new generation of processors, featuring a revolutionary design, will be available this week. 

The new generation, code-named "Ivy Bridge," is the first to be made with a 3-D structure. Miniature fins jut out of the plane of the chip, letting Intel cram more features into the same space. That means the chips can be faster while consuming less power.

Analysts have called it one of the most significant developments in silicon transistor design since the integrated circuit was invented in the 1950s. In terms of manufacturing technology, it puts Intel two to three years ahead of the competition, said Romit Shah at Nomura Securities.

The first chips off the production line are destined for powerful desktop computers. Intel hopes to have them in laptop computers in time for the "back to school" shopping season. CEO Paul Otellini said he expects "Ivy Bridge" to account for 50 percent of Intel processor shipments by the fall.

The "Ivy Bridge" chips are the first to be made with 22-nanometer-sized features, down from 32 nanometers. Smaller features mean more transistors, or working parts, can be squeezed into the same area. That means a chip can be smaller and faster.

The new chips also come with improved 3-D graphics performance, which could reduce the reliance on add-in graphics chips for gaming.

The launch of Ivy Bridge was delayed for about three weeks, Intel said, because it wanted to be sure it had enough units on hand for the launch.

Separately, the first phone with an Intel processor went on sale Monday in India. It's made by local phone manufacturer Lava International Ltd. Intel, which is based in Santa Clara, California, has also struck deals with Lenovo Corporation and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. to have them make phones with Intel chips.
The phone chips aren't part of the Ivy Bridge generation, but they also demonstrate reductions in power consumption. Intel's chips are powerful compared to standard phone chips, but high battery drain has kept them out of phones until now.

Intel's stock fell 15 cents, or 0.5 percent, to close Monday at $27.45. A week ago, it hit a seven-year high of $28.78.


Monday, 23 April 2012

World needs more food, energy, jobs :UN

ban ki-Moon

UNITED Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says “the world will need at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy, 30 per cent more water and many millions of new jobs”.He stated this in his massage on the eve of the 40th Earth Day. Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet Earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet. For instance, Bolivians call Mother Earth Pachamama and Nicaraguans refer to her as Tonantzin.

The proclamation of 22 April as International Mother Earth Day is an acknowledgement that the Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity. This year in June, world leaders will gather at the Rio+20 sustainable development conference, to discus on two main themes: how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty; and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.

In official statement, The UN Secretary General says “The annual observance of International Mother Earth Day honours our one and only planet and the place of human beings in it. It is also meant as a call to action against human disregard for nature’s life-supporting resources and ecosystems.”

He also stressed that in the next 20 years, the world will need at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy, 30 per cent more water and many millions of new jobs.More than one billion people called for the protection of our planet today as they gather around the world to celebrate Earth Day. Their mission: to raise support for a more sustainable future as climate change continues to wreak havoc across the globe.Frustrated by the lack of “green” policy at the international level, campaigners are now calling for a new deal to be signed at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit this June.Forging a new agreement couldn’t be more critical — the Kyoto protocol, which legally binds us to curb global carbon emissions, will expire this year.

After the Copenhagen talks collapsed three years ago, world governments promised to sign a new deal in 2012. But, they are now backtracking on that pledge. Instead, they are looking to 2020 as their new timeline.

According to Lord Stern, author of a landmark paper on the economics of climate change, “postponing an agreement until then marks “a collective failure” which “is taking considerable risks with the planet.”

Last November, the United Nations predicted that there will be a rise in “wild weather” over the next century. A week later, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that the world is on the brink of irreversible climate change. According to its research, global warming will hit the point of no return in five years in time.

That gives us five years to act; five years to draw up a plan, put it into action and make sure that it works. In other words, we’re entering a state of “emergency.” According to Nasa climate scientist Jim Hansen, we have created a dangerous weather system which will be impossible to fix in the future unless we take action now.He believes that we have an overriding moral duty to hand over a safe home to both our children and our grandchildren: “Our parents didn’t know that they were causing a problem for future generations, but we can only pretend that we don’t know because the science is now crystal clear.”—Agencies


Friday, 20 April 2012

Plane crashes in Pakistan; 131 people onboard

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A civilian airplane carrying 131 people crashed Friday in Rawalpindi just before it was to land at an airport in Islamabad, according to emergency officials.

The country's Civilian Aviation Authority confirmed the crash, and blamed it on poor weather.

The crash occurred near the Chaklala airbase, which is used by the Pakistani Air Force and is adjacent to the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad.

Debris was scattered across the crash site as workers sifted through the wreckage in an area that is considered a heavily populated region.

The Bhoja Airline Boeing 737 was flying from the seaport city of Karachi and crashed just before touching down, Pakistan's GEO-TV news channel reported.

The crash site was about five aeronautical miles from the airport in Islamabad, authorities told CNN. The flight had lasted roughly three and half hours, the authorities said.

The weather conditions in the area included thunderstorms and limited visibility, according to CNN meteorologist Mari Ramos.

In 2010, 152 people were killed when a Pakistani passenger plane crashed on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital.

That plane was also was coming from Karachi when it crashed in a hillside while trying to land, official said at the time.

The first known commercial passenger airplane crash occurred in Pakistan in 1953 when a Canadian Pacific DH-106 Comet crashed shortly after takeoff from Karachi. That incident killed 11 people onboard.

Surgeons sucessfully reduce baby’s six legs to two

Doctors at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH), Karachi, have successfully operated on the Pakistan baby born with six legs.

“A team of five experienced doctors have successfully separated the extra legs and limbs from the baby today (Thursday). He is very much safe and secure…the doctors are examining the infant to plan for necessary treatment to…ensure he lives a normal life,”  the director of NICH, Jamal Raza said.

The baby’s father,  Imran Shaikh,  who lives in Sukkur, says he is grateful that his son has being treated. “We are a poor family. I am thankful to the government for helping us treating my baby,” he told the media. Imran Sheikh also asked well-wishers to pray for the complete and early recovery of his son from the disease.

Meanwhile, the Prominent gynecologist and President Pakistan Medical Association Dr Samrina Hashmi has said the abnormality in the baby could be because of several factors, including improper medicines taken by the pregnant mother and contaminated water.

“In every 10,000 child births one baby is born with an abnormality such as a hole in the heart,” she said. “Then there is a possibility that several eggs were fertilised instead of one,” she said.

Deepak Mittal keen on investing in Pakistan’s energy sector

Deepak Mittal keen on investing in Pakistan’s energy sector

Thursday, April 19, 2012: Deepak Mittal, head of Tech Lab Auto Gas Limited, has shown interest in investing and transferring skills and technology to Pakistan’s energy sector. The Indian investor is keen on entering into joint

ventures with Pakistan in the areas of transport, manufacturing industry and energy-saving in the agricultural sector.

Tech Lab Auto Gas Limited can convert vehicles, generators, tube wells, fishing vessels, tractors and motorcycles from petrol and diesel to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which can save a hefty amount spent on oil imports and reducethe economic and social cost of energy crisis.

Mittal, who is an engineer, was ready to invest in upgrading the filling and fueling system of vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Mittal has already met Tariq Iqbal Puri (Trade Development Authority Chairman), Iftikhar Ali Malik (Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice-Chairman) and Saeed Shafiq (Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s former president)
in this regard.

The devices prepared by Mittal and his company are being used in more than 20 countries including Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Central Asian, North American and East African countries.

Mittal said Pakistan could increase energy efficiency by 20% by using Indian technology in generators, tractors and power plants run on diesel, which would also help reduce emission of polluting gases by 80%. “The technology will be especially effective for the agricultural sector,” he stressed.
He boasted that environment safety laws were strictly followed in India and an international-standard vigilance system was at work.

Gas kits, cylinders and filling and fueling systems made in India were on a par with devices made in European countries and in some countries Indian products were even preferred over European goods, he said.

He also called for installing LPG cylinders in motorcycles, which would reduce fuel cost by 50%. “This system is spreading fast in small Indian towns and facilitates low-income people.”

Thursday, 19 April 2012

India test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-V missile

India tested long-range nuclear-capable missile on Thursday. Agni V, an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, was launched from Wheeler Island, off the coast of the eastern state of Orissa, said Sitanshu Kar, a spokesman for India's defense ministry.

"It was a perfect launch which took place at 0807 hours," said Mr. Kar. "It has achieved all the parameters and goals set for it." He didn't elaborate, but Indian media is saying it reached its intended target 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) out in the Indian Ocean, and was visually tracked along its whole path.

The launch of the locally built Agni V is part of India's broader missile-development program, a key aspect of the country's nuclear strategy. Its range of over 5,000 kilometers means it could reach as far as Beijing, Tehran or Pyongyang.

The missiles in the Agni series, which take their name from the Hindi word for fire, are the cornerstone of India's mobile land-based nuclear delivery system. In November India test-launched Agni IV, which has a range of 3,500 kilometers.


Doctors claim baby does not have six legs, but is a conjoined twin

Sheikh brought his son to Karachi on Monday for a check-up at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH).
KARACHI:  On Friday, Imran Sheikh and his wife became the proud parents of a baby boy with six legs.
As the news of this baby and his legs spread like wildfire, a large crowd lined outside the hospital in Sukkur to catch a glimpse.

As the frenzy increased, the anxious parents decided to take their son home.

With a little help from the family and the Baitul Mal, Sheikh brought his son to Karachi on Monday for a check-up at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH). After an initial physical assessment, the doctors felt that the baby was a conjoined twin with a case of parasitic conjunction, also known as unequal conjoined twins when a twin embryo begins developing in utero but the pair does not fully separate and one embryo maintains dominant development at the expense of the other. Unlike conjoined twins, one ceases development during gestation and is vestigial to a mostly fully formed, otherwise healthy individual twin.

According to NICH Director Dr Jamal Raza, the baby was stable when he arrived in Karachi and was being kept in the Surgical-Intensive Care Unit as newborns were at a high risk of developing infections.

While talking to the media, Dr Raza clarified that the baby did not have six legs – he had two legs and the other four belonged to the other twin. “Operating on such a baby is not an easy task as proper assessments need to be done first,” he said. “We need to figure out whether the baby has his twin’s limbs or his own. We also need to consider how much the internal organs have developed as the latter could complicate matters and decrease the baby’s chances of surviving.” He added that a team of five surgeons was assigned to the case and was carrying out initial assessments which included MRIs, ultrasounds and blood tests.

The tests and assessments are expected to take two days, however if they come across any complications, the doctors will have to do specialised tests which may take longer. Dr Raza explained that if they found internal organ tissues of the second twin in the baby it would make surgery much more difficult as it was not possible to separate internal organs. He added that there was no need to rush into surgery as the baby was breathing and his condition was steady.

“Conjoined twins are not genetic, they are rare cases. There is one in every 100,000 patients and the survival rate is low,” he said. “There are variations too – the twins joined at the head are craniopagus where a parasitic head is attached to the head of a fully developed baby, twins who are joined near the occipital region are occipitalis and the twins joined in the parietal region are called parietalis.”

While talking to The Express Tribune, Sheikh said that he was accompanied by his aunt and cousin as his wife was unable to travel because of the caesarean delivery. He said that he was married to his cousin and they were blessed with their first child after four years of marriage.

He added that he hoped his son, whom he planned to name Umar Farooq, would make it through the surgery.

The Baitul Mal has been instrumental in giving Sheikh and his family both emotional and financial support. When his child was born, he did not have money or resources to come to Karachi for a medical check-up. The Baitul Mal arranged for Sheikh and the baby’s transport and living arrangements. According to Dr Adnan Majeed, the director of Baitul Mal Sindh, they had given Sheikh Rs50,000 for his personal expenses in Karachi and will give a cheque for Rs0.6 million to NICH.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2012.

First look: BlackBerry Curve 9220

The BlackBerry Curve gets a serious facelift with the new operating system and faster processor, which make it a nice offering for the price.

Research In Motion has been going strong on costly BlackBerry handsets for quite sometime, but today it has announced the launch of BlackBerry Curve 9220, the latest and the most economical OS 7 based BlackBerry available till date. With a Rs 10,000 price tag, this smartphone targets the youth with its dynamic design and much more responsive and faster performance. So we got to experience the new smartphone first hand during the launch of the device in Delhi yesterday. Here's what the Curve 9220 is like:

Since the inception of BlackBerry OS 6, Research In Motion has been quite conscious about the slimness and design of its smartphones. What was started by the BlackBerry Bold 9900 carries on to the Curve series devices, which are being launched now, and the Curve 9220 is no different.

Rahul Gupta

Audi to buy Italian motorbike icon Ducati

Volkswagen AG's Audi unit says it will buy Italian high-performance motorcycle maker Ducati Motor Holding from Investindustrial Group.

The move gives VW another glossy brand to go with its Lamborghini, Bugatti and Bentley luxury auto makers.

Audi did not disclose the purchase price in announcing the deal. It said the acquisition was approved by the boards of directors of both Audi and parent Volkswagen.

Audi said the deal "will be completed as quickly as possible" once antitrust authorities have approved it.
Ducati, based in Bologna, has some 1,100 employees. Last year, it sold about 42,000 motorcycles and had revenue of some €480 million (NZ$771 million).

The company's motorcycles race in the MotoGP and Superbike circuits. They are known for their lightweight construction and what the company bills as its L-twin engine configuration, with one cylinder nearly vertical and the other almost horizontal.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said in a statement that Ducati possessed "extensive know-how in high-performance engines and lightweight construction and is one of the most profitable motorcycle producers in the world."

Investindustrial Group said stakeholders Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan and BS Investimenti also sold their stakes in Ducati to Audi.

- AP


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

World Hemophilia Day: ‘Children with Haemophilia at greater risk of getting hepatitis B,C and HIV

There are around 20,000 children with haemophilia in Pakistan, according to rough estimates. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID 
KARACHI: A shortage of proper diagnostic facilities and lack of management of haemophilia was leading to incorrect diagnosis and inadequate treatment of the condition, often leading to life-threatening complications, said Dr Saqib Ansari, a consultant paediatric haematologist at National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD). 

According to rough estimates there were about 20,000 children suffering from haemophilia in Pakistan. In Karachi alone, there were 3,000 affected children, according to an NIBD estimate. “However, since there is no official registry in the country, we do not know the exact number of children affected by the condition.” said Ansari.

Haemophilia is a genetic blood disorder, explained Dr Ansari. The blood takes longer to clot after an injury. The first signs of the condition are usually discerned as soon as baby is born – prolonged bleeding after cutting the umbilical cord and also after the circumcision. If a child has frequent nosebleeds, bloody urine, bleeding gums or muscles, joint pain or swelling then there were chances that a child suffers from haemophilia.

The treatment usually involves injecting the missing clotting factors. But since they were not available in Pakistan, the patients are given Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP). This is what remains after blood cells and platelets are removed from the blood itself.

According to Dr Ansari, ideally the children should receive concentrates of only the deficient clotting factors. In Pakistan, however, they usually don’t because it is too expensive. A single vial costs around Rs9,000 and three transfusions are needed per week.

This was why FFP was the preferred mode of treatment. But the problem was that the blood or plasma was often not screened properly.

Children receiving regular transfusions were at a great risk of being infected by hepatitis B, C or HIV viruses.

Ansari said that the condition also affected the children psychologically.

They developed anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive traits, low self-esteem and drug dependency. Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.


Kayani calls for talks with India

Handout photo by the ISPR dated April 8, 2012 shows the Army chief on a 
visit to Siachen to overlook rescue efforts at the Gayari sector.—ISPR Photo

SKARDU: Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani says Pakistan is ready for talks with India over resolving a dispute over a Himalayan glacier.

He says the dispute over the Siachen Glacier “should be resolved” and “how it is resolved the two countries have to talk about.”

Kayani was speaking Wednesday in a rare question and answer session with the media after visiting the site of an avalanche near the glacier that has buried 138 Pakistani soldiers.

Kayani, who was accompanied by President Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik, witnessed the ongoing rescue operation at the Gayari base.

Kayani’s comments could signal a softening of the army’s position towards India, a country which has fought three wars with Pakistan.

Shia principal killed in south Pakistan

Shia principal killed in south Pakistan

Pakistani policemen stand guard on a street in Karachi late March 30, 2012.
The Shia principal of a government educational institute has been killed in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, according to police officials.

Imran Zaidi, the vice principal of Jinnah Polytechnic College, was shot dead in the Nazimabad area on Tuesday.

Police said he was attacked while he was driving home in his car from work in the evening. Two assailants riding a motorbike fired multiple shots at his car.

Witnesses said the victim sustained serious injuries and was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital when he died.

The Jafaria Alliance and the Majlis-e-Whadat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) strongly condemned the murder of Zaidi.

Over the past few days, dozens of innocent Shia Muslims from the Hazara community, including women and children, have been killed.

On Tuesday, Pakistani women and children took to the streets in the southwest of the country to protest the growing number of Shia Muslims killed by terrorist groups.

Terrorist militant groups have been engaged in a violent campaign against Shias over the past few years in Pakistan.

According to local sources, thousands of Shia Muslims have been killed in the Kurram region since 2007.


Retired Space Shuttle Makes Final Voyage

Space shuttle Discovery flown over the Washington area, April 17, 2012
Photo: VOA - M. Hishmeh
Space shuttle Discovery flown over the Washington area, April 17, 2012
NASA's space shuttle Discovery left the Kennedy Space Center on April 17, bound for a museum. Before it was retired, Discovery
  • Completed 39 missions.
  • Spent 365 days in space.
  • Orbited the Earth 5,830 times.
  • Traveled a total of 238,539,663 kilometers.
The retired U.S. space shuttle Discovery has landed at the Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia on the way to its new home in a Washington-area aviation museum.

The 28-year-old orbiter departed the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Tuesday, hitching a ride on the back of one of the U.S. space agency NASA's specially outfitted Boeing 747 jumbo jets.

The shuttle was flown over a variety of landmarks in the Washington area before landing at Dulles, including the National Mall. Crowds of people gathered on the Mall to catch a glimpse of the spacecraft.

From Dulles, Discovery will be taken to the nearby Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

It was a little more than a year ago that Discovery lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on its final mission.

NASA retired the shuttle fleet last year to focus on developing the next generation of spacecraft that will travel beyond low earth orbit.

On April 19, Discovery will be unveiled as part of the collection at the Udvar-Hazy Center, just outside Washington.  Some of Discovery's famous former passengers will be in attendance, including astronaut John Glenn - who in 1962 was the first American to orbit the Earth.  He returned to space on Discovery in 1998.   

The Air and Space Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world, with its main location in downtown Washington, near the city's grand monuments and attractions.  The museum's Udvar-Hazy annex alone attracts more than a million visitors each year.
At Udvar-Hazy, Discovery will take the place of the world's first space shuttle, Enterprise, which has been part of the Smithsonian's collection since 1985.


Mobile Phone Gun (Urdu)

 (Source: VoA)Hamariweb.Com


2nd World's Tallest Tokyo Sky Tree safe from quakes

TOKYO: The operator of Tokyo Sky Tree on Tuesday explained how the world’s second-highest building will survive the strong earthquakes that regularly shake Japan when it opens to the public next month.

“The Tokyo Sky Tree was constructed with state-of-the-art Japanese technology. It will not fall,” said Yoshihito Imamura, deputy manager of Tokyo Sky Tree Town.

On Tuesday, the 634-metre tower, topped by a communications mast, was opened for the first time to media, attracting around 1,000 domestic and foreign journalists.

When the tower opens to the general public on May 22, the main attraction will be the two observation decks at 350 metres and 450 metres above ground.

“Once you go up here, you will see the entire Tokyo region,” Imamura said.

“You will see the curvature of the earth.” Journalists were taken inside the central pillar, where more than 2,500 steps connect the top of the tower to the ground.

“When an earthquake hits, the central concrete pillar and the outer structure of steel pipes sway in opposite directions because of the difference in weights,” said spokesman Sho Toyoshima.

“That means they can offset up to 50 per cent of the energy that will hit the tower.”

Since the monster quake of March last year, the Tokyo area has been rocked by an average of around 1.5 quakes every day, and many in the densely populated capital fear it is long overdue for a devastating tremor.

The University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute earlier this year said the city, built at the intersection of four tectonic plates, has a 50 per cent chance of suffering a major quake – anything above a magnitude 7.0 – in the next four years.

Tourist bosses in the country hope the Tokyo Sky Tree will prove a draw for foreign visitors, whose numbers plummeted in the aftermath of the quake and tsunami disaster last year and the nuclear crisis it sparked.

The Tokyo Sky Tree tops the 600-metre Canton Tower in China’s Guangzhou and the 553-metre CN Tower in downtown Toronto.

It is the world’s second-tallest manmade structure, beaten only by the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The Tokyo Sky Tree overshadows landmarks in the capital’s upscale western parts, including the 333-metre Tokyo Tower, which was built in 1958 and became a byword in Japan for the country’s rapid post-war growth.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Nasrallah ‘extraordinary’ Mideast figure: WikiLeaks founder

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (L) interviews Hezbollah leader 
Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah in the premiere of his talk show on 
Russia's RT cable broadcaster, April 17, 2012. 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has described Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah as "one of the most extraordinary figures in the Middle East."
Assange made the comment before he interviewed the Lebanese resistance leader on Tuesday in the debut of his "The World Tomorrow" talk show on Russia's RT cable broadcaster.

Speaking from Lebanon, Nasrallah explained Hezbollah’s stance on the unrest of Syria and Israel, in what the news channel described as his first interview in the West since the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war.

He confirmed the resistance movement’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, highlighting Syria's sustained support for the resistance in Lebanon and the Palestinian cause in the face of Israeli and US pressure.

The resistance figure also revealed contacts made by Hezbollah to persuade the Syrian opposition to join the negotiating table and to resolve their differences with the government through dialogue.

“This is the first time I say this - We contacted […] the opposition to encourage them and to facilitate the process of dialogue with the regime. But they rejected dialogue,” he said.

“Right from the beginning we have had a regime that is willing to undergo reforms and prepared for dialogue. On the other side, you have an opposition which is not prepared for dialogue and it is not prepared to accept reforms. All it wants is to bring down the regime. This is a problem,” he pointed out.

Nasrallah berated the international community and Western-backed media outlasts for turning a blind eye to the killing of civilians by anti-government armed groups and their biased criticism against Damascus.

He emphasized that "civil war is the only alternative" in the absence of dialogue. “There is fighting in Syria - when one party retreats, the other will advance, it will go on as long as doors to dialogue are shut."

"This is exactly what America and Israel want… Arab states are ready for tens of years of dialogue with Israel but won't have two months to try a political solution in Syria," he regretted.

Regarding Israel, Nasrallah insisted that the Israeli regime “is and will be an illegal state" because "it was established on the basis of occupying the lands of others.”

He said the Palestinian land seized by force remains Palestinian even after long years of Israeli occupation.

The only solution to the issue of Palestine is the formation of a democratic Palestinian homeland where Muslims, Jews and Christians can live in peace.



Doctors Battle To Save Boy With Six Legs

Karachi - Pakistani doctors at the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi are fighting to save the life of a baby born with six legs. The baby, the doctors believe, is one of parasitic twins. 
The Pakistani news site The Nation, reports the baby was born last week in Sukkur, a city in Sindh Province in southeastern Pakistan, but was taken to the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi after it was born. 
According to Jamal Raza, director of the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi, the baby's conjoined twin was born incompletely developed. This explains why the bigger twin appears a child with extra legs. Huffington Post reports Jamal Raza, said: “One of the babies is not fully developed giving the present physical structure to the baby.”  

Huffington Post reports Raza explained further that they are planning to operate on the child and may need the assistance of foreign experts who have more experience with the rare condition that occurs in approximately one in a million births. 
 Raza explained the child's condition, saying that in strict medical terms, the baby does not have six legs, only two, and that the other four "legs" are the limbs of its conjoined twin. 
Raza explained: "Operating on such a baby is not an easy task as proper assessments need to be done first. We need to figure out whether the baby has his twin’s limbs or his own. We also need to consider how much the internal organs have developed as the latter could complicate matters and decrease the baby’s chances of surviving." 
The baby's father, Imran Shaikh, an X-ray technician, pleaded for help from the government and charities. He said: "I can’t afford to visit Karachi and get treatment for my baby. I appeal to philanthropists and the government to come forward for the treatment."  
Daily Mail reports that since Shaikh made an appeal for help, the Sindh Governor has offered assistance and directed hospital officials to ensure the baby gets the medical attention it needs. reports Shaikh said: "We are a poor family. I am thankful to the government for helping us treating my baby." 
According to the Pakistani news site ColumnPk, Shaikh's wife is recovering from the birth and she is in good health. Shaikh said they are planning to name their son Umar Faroq. 
Muhammad Qaisar, of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, said the boy could be successfully operated on. He said: "It is perhaps [the] first child in the history of Pakistan having six legs. The case will also be a test for doctors and we hope for the better."


Monday, 16 April 2012

New test detects cancer recurrence earlier than scans

Scientists have developed a new blood test that warns about the recurrence of treated breast cancer almost a year earlier than CT scans.

Scientists at Purdue University in Indiana and Matrix-Bio company have built up a test that can detect blood levels of some specific biomarkers which increase in the early stages of breast cancer return.

“We have identified a group of nine of these biomarkers that signal recurrence of breast cancer,” said senior researcher Daniel Raftery whose study was presented at a conference of the American Chemical Society.

Breast cancer recurrence is a major concern for doctors and their patients who have been successfully treated. The disease has a one in five chance to return within 10 years.

As early detection of cancer return has a significant effect on the retreatment success, researchers are looking for more sensitive, specific and cheaper methods for following up treated patients.

The primary trails involving the new blood test found it successful in providing early warnings for half of the breast cancer recurrences, wrote researchers who hope to improve the technique to take the number up to three quarters.

The new test also detects breast cancer return about 11 to 12 months sooner than existing tests such as CT scans causing less discomfort compared with biopsies.

Researchers hope to provide the test for public use in a year, but further investigations with more patients are needed to support its efficacy.



PIEAS Undergraduate Admission 2012

Undergraduate Admissions Schedule

Admission Advertisement in News Papers (Session 2012-16) Sunday, 22 April 2012
Last Date for Application Submission Monday, 7 May 2012
Written Test Date Sunday, 17 June 2012
Final Merit List on Website End of July 2012
Date of Joining PIEAS Monday, 10 September 2012


1 For Undergraduate Admissions CNIC / Form B Number is required. Candidates not having CNIC / Form B Number are advised to get CNIC / Form B Number from NADRA.

BS Programs:
BS Electrical Engineering
BS Mechanical Engineering

Eligibility Criteria:
At least 60% marks or equivalent in both Matriculation/O-level and Intermediate/A-level examinations with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as major subjects. Those waiting for their results may also apply. However, the intermediate/A-level result with at least 60% marks or equivalent is required at the time of joining the BS program.

Documents Required with the Application Form:

The following documents would be required at the time of applying.

Application Form (if applying by post)
A Passport Size Colour Photograph (if applying by post)
A Passport Size Scanned Photograph (if applying online)
Original Bank Receipt
Attested copy of CNIC Or Form B Number
Attested copy of F.Sc. / A-Level or F.Sc. (Part I) Transcript
Attested copy of Matric / O-Level* Transcript

For O-Level / A-Level students equivalence certificate of O-level from Inter Board Chairman Committee (IBCC) is mandatory.
Applications without above mentioned documents will not be entertained.

Selection Procedure:

Selection of candidates is made on the basis of Matric /O-level, F.Sc./A-level grades and written test as per following:
PIEAS Written Test 60%
F.Sc or F.Sc (Part I)      25%
Matric 15%
O-Level / A-Level 40% of O-Level equivalence from Inter Board Chairman Committee (IBCC)

Test Centres:
Test shall be conducted in major cities of Pakistan as mentioned on the application forms. The test will be MCQs based on English Comprehension, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Sample paper is available at PIEAS website.

Admission on the basis of SAT Results:

PIEAS has reserved some seats for admission in BS programs through SAT scores.

All Pakistani nationals of both Matric/F.Sc. or O/A Level streams are eligible to compete on the basis of SAT score.
Admission shall be based on SAT II result of three subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics level II)
The SAT score should be at least 2000 or more to be eligible for admission.
Merit list on the basis of SAT score shall be prepared separately for admission in BS programs.
SAT scores may be sent to Registrar, PIEAS at the latest by 30 June 2012.

Fee Structure:
Application Processing Fee (On-line)   
Rs. 750/- 
Application Processing Fee (Off-line)
Rs. 1,000/- 
Admission Fee
Rs. 5,000/- 
Library Security
Rs. 5,000/- 
Once (Refundable)
Hostel/Transport Fund
Rs. 2,000/- 
Tuition Fee   
  Rs. 1,250/- 
Per Credit Hour* Per Semester 
Registration Fee
Rs. 1,000/- 
Per Semester
Examination Fee
Rs. 1,000/- 
Per Semester
Student Club
Rs. 1,500/- 
Per Semester
Internet/PERN Fee
Rs. 1,500/- 
Per Semester
Transport Charges
Rs. 5,000/- 
Per Semester
Hostel Internet Charges
Rs. 1,000/- 
Per Semester (Optional)
Hostel Accommodation (Shared)
Rs. 1,500/- 
Per Month

* Note: The number of credit hours per semester varies in the range 17 to 19.

Fee Refund Policy:

The fee refund policy is as follows:

Complete refund after deduction of admission fee (Rs. 5000/-) if the request for refund is made before the dead line to deposit dues.
Refund after deduction of 50% of the total dues if the request for refund is made after the dead line to deposit dues but before the date of joining PIEAS.
No refund after the joining date.

Sample Test Paper
BS Sample Test Paper [Adobe Acrobat File, 124KB]

Contact Details
Mailing Address

Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS)
P.O. Nilore,