Lahore blast: 22 killed and 30 injured

A suicide bomber blasted the area near Arfa Karim Tower on Ferozpur road, Lahore on Monday. The blast killed about 22 people, including policemen and left more than 30 injured, according to the rescue sources.

According to DNA, Amin Wains, Lahore police chief Capt(R) confirmed that it was a suicide blast. “Police and Lahore Development Authority officials were busy in removing encroachments outside the Arfa Karim Tower, located near the CM’s Model Town residence when a powerful blast took place,” said Rescue 1122 Deeba Shanaz.

The people injured in the blast were rushed to the nearby hospitals, Jinnah hospital, General hospital and Sheikh Zayed hospital. Most of the injured are in critical condition. Police have evacuated Arfa Karim Tower and cordoned the area. Chief Minister Shabaz Sharif’s residence and offices are in close proximity to the blast area.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif the Prime Minister condemned the blast and voiced his grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives. The number of cases of injury and death is expected to increase.  Till now, no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sources – Times of India , DNA

Drug traffickers to be shot, orders Indonesian President

Law enforcement officers have been directed by the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, to shoot drug traffickers in an attempt to deal with the country’s narcotic emergency.

As per Reuters, in an event organised by one of Indonesia’s political parties, Widodo said “Be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest. Shoot them because we indeed are in a narcotics emergency position now.”

The orders came after Indonesian police shot dead a Taiwanese man, a week back in a town near Jakarta. The police said that the man was trying to smuggle one tonne of crystal methamphetamine into the country and was killed for resisting arrest.

Widodo’s instruction have drawn comparison with the Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte, who launched a brutal anti-drug crackdown about a year ago that saw many alleged drug dealers killed.This campaign has been condemned by the international community, including the United Nations.

The laws against drugs are very stern in Indonesia and the President has previously been criticised  for ordering execution against convicted drug traffickers who were given death penalty by the court.

Tito Karnavian, National Police Chief of Indonesia said he had given out orders to officers not to hesitate shooting drug dealers who resist arrest.


Sources: NDTV, Reuters

AAP MLA booked on charges of molestation

Prakash Jarwal, MLA of the Aam Aadmi Party has been booked for allegedly molesting a 53 year old woman in southeast Delhi’s Sangam Vihar. This is the second case against him for the same issue. However, Jarwal has denied the charges and termed it as “Politically motivated.”

The FIR has been lodged under IPC sections 354, 509, 506.According to the NDTV, the accused MLA said that the police had not informed him about a case being registered against him and they will not call him for any interrogation but will arrest him directly.

He further claimed that the woman is a “BJP volunteer”  who wanted to make “political gains.”

Jarwal added saying that he was present in the area at the time of the incident, but it was the woman and her family who hurled abuses at him.

“If I had barged into her house and roughed her up, some injuries would have been found in medical examination,” he said.

In June 2016, Jarwal was accused of touching a woman inappropriately and pushing her when she had gone to lodge a complaint regarding water problems at Delhi Jal Board office in southeast Delhi’s Greater Kailash area.

15 MLAs from the AAP have been booked under different charges after the party came to power. The party claims it to “political vendetta.”

News Source- Indian Express, NDTV

Image Source- DNA 

Darjeeling Unrest: 1 killed  in police firing

Darjeeling enters its 33rd day of the strike and the agitation has not yet taken a hold. A youth was allegedly shot by the police in Mirik, and a few sustained injuries after an open-fire by police occurred during a clash between the Trinamool Congress(TMC) cadres and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha(GJM) on July 17.

GJM leader Binay Tamang has identified the deceased as Ashish Tamang, a resident of Darjeeling district’s Magargunj and has claimed him to be GJM activists.

As per First Post, Tamang told IANS, “Ashish was shot in the chest by the police during a clash between GJM and TMC supporters in the area. “ He further added that Ashish was taken to local hospital where he was declared dead.

The police have claimed to have received the body but when asked regarding the firing, they refused to comment.

Tourism Minister Gautam Deb who is also the chief of TMC for Darjeeling district has denied the reports of Police Firing.

Police vehicles were set ablaze and the clash turned out to be more violent when the police reached the spot and charged tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Sources: FirstPost, NDTV


Root for the Planet of the Apes

Caesar’s journey from a tiny, adorable chimp to a fearless leader began with 2011’s Rise, and continued with Dawn in 2013, which showed mankind’s desperate struggle to survive in a planet rapidly being overtaken by apes. Matt Reeves’ latest instalment in the science fiction franchise that no longer feels sci-fi, is War for the Planet of the Apes. Strap yourself in, to witness one of the best endings to a trilogy in recent memory.

In War, we follow Caesar and his clan of apes into the forest, in an attempt at peaceful coexistence with humans. Quickly after the movie begins, tragedy befalls the apes as a battalion of ape-hating soldiers led by a man who calls himself The Colonel, sneak into their hideout. What follows is a story of such thematic depth and visual beauty, that it will have your jaws hanging by the time you walk out of the theatre. The word “War” might bring to mind extravagant battle sequences and slow motion explosions, but don’t go expecting an action fest. It’s a war movie, more in the vein of Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket.

Andy Serkis provides yet another masterful performance as Caesar, with some truly incredible motion capture performance, along with an equally strong cast of apes, including Steve Zahn as Bad ape, who brought unexpected humour into the film and Karin Konoval as Maurice, the wise and gentle orang-utan and Caesar’s trusted confidant. Woody Harrelson gives a good performance as The Colonel, who’s motivations are surprisingly believable. Lower priority is given to human characters but you won’t be complaining, because lets face it, we’re rooting for the apes.

From the technical perspective, the CGI in this film is phenomenal. We have finally reached the point where differentiating a CGI ape to a real one is impossible. Michael Giacchino, who also did the soundtrack for the last two films, has done his best work yet, with music that is sure to hit hard. All in all, this is a masterpiece of filmmaking, and a stellar example of what a film looks like, when all the parts in the machine are fine-tuned to perfection.

Director: Matt Reeves

Rating : 5/5

Sundar Singh bags first Gold for India at World Paralympics Championship

India’s Sundar Singh Gurjar emerged victorious at the World Para-Athletic Championship in London, winning a gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event, on the opening night of the tournament itself.

In F46 category, Sundar recored his personal best of 60.36m to secure his position in the first place.

21-year old Sundar, who is from Rajasthan, was disqualified from the Rio Paralympics last year as a result of missing his announcement call by a minute because of the failure to understand the accent.

After winning the Gold, Sundar said that he was highly disheartened with the Rio disqualification and his morale was completely shattered but has expressed his feeling of content with his comeback in this competition.

“This gold medal is great motivation for me to perform even better from here on. I have recovered fully, and will do even better at the Asian Games (next year).”

The second and the third position were secured by Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Priyantha Herath with 57.93m and Gua Chunliang from China with 56.16.

Virender Bhanwar narrowly missed a medal as he finished fourth with 13.62cm in the men’s short put event at the World Championship. Ekta Bhayan finished sixth in the women’s club throw F51 event.


Sources: Indian Express, Times of India

India to import its first US crude oil 

India is prepared to import crude oil from the United States(US) for the first time after Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) bought a cargo which will be delivered in October.

India is the third largest importer of oil, this purchase comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S in June when President Donald Trump expressed his readiness to export more energy sources to India.

As per Reuters, IOC’s head of finance A.K Sharma said that IOC bought 1.6 million barrels of U.S. Mars crude- a heavy, high-sulphur grade, and 400,000 barrels of Western Canadian Select that will be delivered onboard a Very Large Crude Carrier.

A tender was granted to PetroChina to sell the cargoes, and the oil is expected to be loaded off the US Gulf coast. As the local regulations favour the use of Indian flagged carriers for imports, IOC had to get special permissions from the shipping ministry to buy the cargo on a delivered basis.

After  South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and Taiwan, India is now the latest Asian country to buy U.S. crude oil.

The U.S. could become an alternative source for the Indian Companies as Indian refiners are looking for these heavy, high-sulphur grades as feedstocks after alterations at their plants make it less demanding to prepare these type of crudes, which normally offer at a lower cost in relative to other oil types.

Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd too has purchased a tender to buy its first ever U.S crude oil.

Sources: Reuters and News18.