Archive for the ‘News Alerts’ Category

ATHENS: Greek police clashed with black-clad demonstrators outside parliament on Wednesday during a mass rally called to protest against a bitterly resented new round of belt-tightening needed to avert default.

The view of the ancient Acropolis was obscured by smoke from burning piles of rubbish and a bank building was evacuated after being set on fire by petrol bombs as a strike called by Greece‘s two main unions degenerated into violence.

Much of the country was shut down by the 48-hour general strike, the largest since the outbreak of the crisis two years ago with government departments, offices and shops closed and at least 100,000 people taking to the streets of Athens.

“It’s one of the biggest demonstrations in recent years. People showed they were determined to protest against these policies,” said Mary Bossis, international security professor at the University of Piraeus.

“We are not done with these protests. We’ve reached a point where people don’t feel the government represents them any more, they want a complete change,” she said.

Prime Minister George Papandreou, trailing badly in opinion polls, has appealed for support from Greeks before parliament votes on the latest measures which include tax rises, wage cuts and public sector layoffs. (Reuters)

Updated at: 1846 PST,  Wednesday, October 19, 2011
 PESHAWAR: An earthquake jolted various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including provincial capital Peshawar, Geo News reported.

Updated at: 1247 PST,  Monday, October 10, 2011
 MUMBAI: Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan has joined a campaign to help cut thousands of easily-preventable deaths across the world through the provision of basic toilet facilities.

The 45-year-old star has been named a global ambassador for sanitation and hygiene as part of a United Nations-backed campaign to tackle diseases such as diarrhoea, which is the second-biggest killer of children worldwide.

“It is shameful and tragic that every 30 seconds a child dies from preventable diarrhoea — that’s two unnecessary child deaths per minute,” Khan said in a statement released on Monday.

“Toilets for all will make India and the world a healthier and cleaner place, particularly for poor women, girls and others at the margins of our societies,” he added.

Khan’s new role comes as specialists and non-governmental organizations working to improve public health gather in Mumbai this week at a Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) conference.

Halving the number of people living without access to basic sanitation by 2015 is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals covering issues from poverty and hunger to education and tackling HIV/AIDS.

WSSCC executive director Jon Lane said Khan’s involvement would give “huge impetus to moving the agenda forward” amid fears that the target on improving sanitation would not be met.

Updated at: 2154 PST,  Thursday, October 13, 2011
 ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior has notified two weekly holidays at all the public and private offices taking effect from Saturday (October 15).

The notification issued here said, “The selected operational branches of the commercial banks shall, however, continue to work on Saturdays, to facilitate the corporate customers and businesses in their financial transactions.”

“The Notification shall take effect from first weekend falling after the Cabinet decision i.e. 15th October, 2011.”

Office are directed to follow 8am-4pm schedule from Monday to Thursday, with 30-minute lunch and prayer breaks at 1pm.

Office timings on Friday would be the same with 1.5-hour lunch and Friday prayer break from 12.30pm to 2pm.

TOKYO: A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 jolted northeastern Japan on Monday, public broadcaster NHK said. The quake, at 11:46 a.m. (0246 GMT), was also felt in Tokyo.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued. (Reuters)

Sunday, September 18, 2011
18 killed as 6.9 quake jolts India, Nepal GUWAHATI: A strong 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit northeast India on Sunday, killing at least 18 people, including three caught in a wall collapse at the British Embassy in neighbouring Nepal.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck the small, landlocked Himalayan state of Sikkim — which borders Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet — at around 6:10pm (1240 GMT).

The epicentre was just over 60 kilometres (40 miles) northwest of the Sikkim state capital Gangtok, which was plunged into darkness by a power cut after the quake.

“There is no electricity. Everybody is out on the road,” Gangtok resident C.K. Dahal told the CNN-IBN television news channel.

Monday, September 19, 2011
KARACHI: At least eight people including six policemen were killed while several others were injured in a huge blast that occurred in the Defence area of the city, Geo News reported. The attack took place within the limits of Darakhshan police station.