Trump picks 2 PIOs for key jobs

Wednesday 12th April 2017 07:39 EDT

Washington: US President Donald Trump has nominated two Indian-Americans Vishal Amin and Neomi Rao for key administrative posts to coordinate US law-enforcement strategy around copyright, patents and trademarks and oversee his plan to eliminate 75% of federal regulations. They will be Trump's new IP and regulatory czars, respectively, as he nominated them while making many administrative appointments. Amin has been nominated to be the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator while Rao will be the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). If confirmed by the US Senate, Amin, who is currently a senior counsel on House Judiciary Committee, would succeed Daniel Marti. He also served in the administration of President George W Bush at the White House, as associate director for domestic policy, and at the US department of commerce, as special assistant and associate director for policy in the office of the secretary. Rao has been nominated to be the administrator of the OIRA, a statutory part of the office of management and budget within the executive office of the President.

`Muslim Nato' not against any country: Pak

Islamabad: Pakistan defended the appointment of former army chief General Raheel Sharif as the head of a Saudi-led multi-national military coalition, saying the alliance was not against any country, a day after Iran raised its concern on the issue. “The Islamic alliance is against terrorism and not any (specific) country,” foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua, referring to the 41-nation coalition, being dubbed as “Muslim Nato,” said. Janjua said Pakistan was finding it hard to maintain balance in ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the wake of appointment of Sharif. “It is difficult... but Pakistan will not go against Iran's interests.”

Ahmadi prof gunned down in Lahore

Islamabad: A retired professor belonging to the Ahmadi community was killed in a faith-based attack in Lahore, local media said. Dr Ashfaq Ahmad, 68, a nutritionist by profession and former professor at the Lahore University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, was travelling in a car with two of his relatives to offer Friday prayers, when an unknown attacker on a motorbike shot him in the head. Saleemuddin, spokesperson for the community, said, “Dr Ashfaq was killed because of his faith.” He added that an organised hate campaign was going on against the Ahmadi people.

Pak Taliban suicide attack kills 6 in Lahore

Islamabad: Six people, including four army men, were killed and at least 20 injured in a suicide attack on a Census team in Lahore's cantonment area last week. “It was a suicide blast. Four soldiers and two civilian Census officials were killed while 19 people were injured. The condition of four is serious,” said Punjab government spokesperson Malik Ahmed Khan. Teams of enumerators, accompanied by the military and police personnel, are carrying out Pakistan's first Census in almost two decades. The enormous and highly charged task could redraw the country's political map ahead of the next general elections.

Pakistani man killed in Oz by `IS-inspired' teenagers

Melbourne: A Pakistani man was stabbed to death allegedly by two teenagers in Australia, prompting police to investigate if the attack was inspired by the Islamic State (IS) terror group. Zasheen Akbar, 29, a service station attendant, was found with stab wounds at the Caltex service station in New South Wales. Akbar was found lying on the floor with the windows smashed. Counter-terrorism police are investigating whether the 15-year-old and 16-year-old boys, who allegedly murdered the attendant, had been radicalised. Police believe the two teenagers, who have been arrested, went on a rampage, stabbing another man in the stomach, hitting a third with a tyre iron and a fourth with a beer bottle.

Germany to fine online giants €50m for hate posts

Berlin: Germany has approved fines of up to 50 million euros against online giants that fail to remove hate speech and fake news reported by users within a week. Executives of social media groups like Twitter and Facebook also risk individual fines up to 5 million euros in case of non-compliance. “Hate crimes that are not effectively combatted and prosecuted pose a great danger for the peaceful cohesion of a free, open and democratic society,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet.

Indian doctor wins £1.76 mn lottery in UAE

Dubai: An Indian woman doctor Nishita Radhakrishna Pillai, from Kerala, has won a Dirham 10 million (approximately £1.76 million) lottery in the Big Ticket raffle in Abu Dhabi. After 50 attempts at striking gold at one of the most-anticipated raffle bonanzas in the UAE, the mother of two finally joined the ranks of high-networth individuals. Pillai, a medical practitioner who is currently in the US, is the second person to bring home Dirham 10 million, the biggest amount granted to a draw participant since the inception of the raffle bonanza, Gulf News reported.

Maldives oppn leader held for `sedition'

Malé: Police in Maldives arrested an opposition leader for “plotting to overthrow the government,” days after the opposition's failed bid to oust the speaker and take control of parliament. The arrest of Qasim Ibrahim, the leader of Jumhooree Party, comes ahead of another impeachment vote against the deputy speaker. Police in their chargesheet said Qasim was arrested for his role of “bribing and undue influencing of parliament members and state security forces.” Police also said his arrest was due to his attempt of “unlawful incitement to the removal, from office, of the legitimate government.”

US Senate OKs Gorsuch as top court judge

Washington: The Republican-led Senate gave Donald Trump the biggest triumph of his young presidency, confirming his Supreme Court nominee over stout Democratic opposition and restoring a conservative majority on the highest US judicial body. The Senate, which last year refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nominee to the court, voted 54-45 to approve Republican Trump's pick, Colorado-based federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, to the lifetime job. Three Democrats joined the Republicans in voting for Gorsuch. Gorsuch's confirmation ends the longest Supreme Court vacancy since 1862 during the American Civil War.

HuJI chief to hang as Bangladesh prez rejects mercy plea

Dhaka: Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid has rejected mercy pleas of banned Harkatul-Jihad al-Islami chief Mufti Abdul Hannan and two associates, paving the way for their executions for an attack on a shrine that killed three people and wounded the British high commissioner at the time. President Hamid rejected their mercy petitions soon after they sought presidential clemency in a last-ditch attempt to escape the gallows, a spokesman said. “We have received the presidential decision... We are preparing to execute them any time in line with the jail code,” a prison official said.

Retd Pak army officer goes missing from Nepal

Islamabad: A retired Pakistan army officer has gone missing while visiting a Nepalese town on the Indian border for a job interview. The ex-officer, identified as Lt Col Mohammad Habib (retd), has been untraceable from Lumbini in Nepal soon after his arrival there. He last contacted his family on arrival and since then his phone numbers have not been reachable, the Dawn reported. Habib had posted his CV online in search of employment. Somebody by the name of Mark Thompson contacted him both via email and telephone for a job interview in Nepal for which he was also provided an air ticket, the daily said.

Saudi executes 3 Pakistanis for heroin smuggling

Jeddah: Saudi Arabia has executed three Pakistani nationals convicted of smuggling heroin, bringing the number of executions in the kingdom to 26 this year. The state-run SPA news agency said the three had been found guilty of “smuggling quantities of heroin in their stomachs”. It named the three men as Mohammed Ashraf Shafi Mohammed, Mohammed Aref Mohammed Anayt and Mohammed Afdal Asghar Ali. SPA reported 153 people being executed in the ultra-conservative kingdom last year, a number confirmed by London-based rights group Amnesty International. Among those executed was Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a high-profile figure behind a string of Shiite protests in 2011 demanding reform in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. Amnesty reported 158 death penalties in the country for 2015, the highest annual rate in the past two decades.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter