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Edith Windsor, marriage equality pioneer, dead at 88



NEW YORK: Edith Windsor, the lady who fought for the same-sex marriage nationwide, died in Manhattan today. She was 88.

Windsor moved the bill in the Supreme Court in 2010, challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. Her bill struck down parts of a federal law in 2013 that banned same-sex marriage.

Her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, confirmed her death but did not specify her cause of death.

“I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality. Edie was the light of my life,” Kasen-Windsor said in a statement.

“She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community which she loved so much and which loved her right back,” she added.

According to an LGBTQ activist, Windsor was 81 when she sued the federal government following the death of her first spouse, Thea Spyer. They legally married in Canada in 2007 after being together for more than 40 years.

“Windsor said the marriage law meant she faced a huge estate tax bill she wouldn’t have to pay if the law didn’t discriminate against same-gender couples,” the activist said.

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66 die as Aseman Airlines’ ATR crashes into the Central Iran mountains!



TEHRAN: Sixty passengers and six crew members died when an ATR-72 (twin-engine turboprop) aircraft operated by Aseman Airlines* – flying from here to Yasouj (city situated in the southwestern province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad) – crashed into the Central Iranian mountains today.

According to details, the aircraft fell prey to the inclement weather conditions and disappeared from radar. It crashed into the (440m high) Dena mountain range in Isfahan province’s Semirom region.

Sources privy to have informed that, due to fog and difficult-to-get-to mountainous areas, so far the concerned authorities failed to reach the site of the crash.

Aseman Airlines’s destinations:

*Semi-private air carrier Aseman Airlines (country’s third-largest by fleet size) is owned by Civil Service Pension Foundation of Iran harboring a fleet of 29 aircraft (including six ATRs). It is pertinent to mention here that following the 2015 nuclear deal Iran aims to change its aging passenger aircraft fleet that (as experienced by PIA) results into regular accidents and has signed deals with European consortium Airbus and its American competitors Boeing. 

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Swiss-Pak Bilateral Trade Up 7.5%; Crosses Half-a-Billion CHF Mark




KARACHI: According to Swiss Federal Customs Administration latest statistics, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Switzerland during the year 2017 crossed half-a-billion mark; total CHF 518.5 Million due to volume increase of over 7.5%.

Main contributors:

i) Swiss pharmaceuticals and watches exports rose by 7.7% and 7.2% respectively.

ii) Pakistani textile exports were also all time high: CHF 109.86 Million; 30% more than 2016.

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Outgoing US CG Grace Shelton celebrates  National Day and 70th year of Pak-US relationship!




KARACHI: Arabian Sea Breeze kept on hissing through the swaying leaves of palms in the majestic mansion of (outgoing) US Consul General Grace Shelton, who gave a red carpet welcome to karachiites here on Thursday (15th of February). She was celebrating the National/Presidents Day and the 70th anniversary of the Pak-US relationship.

Speaking on the occasion to the members of diplomatic corps posted at the Port City, crème de la crème of the Metropolis including educationists, journalists, artists, civil and military bureaucrats, the host stated: 

Honored guests and friends asalam-u-alaikum!

Thank you so much for joining us tonight as we celebrate our national day.

I would particularly like to welcome Chief Minister Sindh (Syed) Murad Ali Shah and Governor of Sindh Mohammad Zubair.

I’m delighted to welcome you all to the old Consul General’s residence for our tradition of celebrating National Day alongside Presidents Day.

I would like to thank everyone at the Consulate who has been working for months to make this event happen.

Organizing such an evening takes an excellent team, so thank you all!

I’m sorry to start out with some unfortunate news that Ambassador Hale fell ill at the airport in Islamabad today and so couldn’t fly down and was unable to make it here today.

He sends his apologies and regrets and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Turning to happier news and the reason why we’re all here today: this is a landmark National Day. In addition to celebrating America’s independence, we are also honoring 70 years of the strong partnership between the United States and Pakistan.

The focus of our partnership has remained consistent throughout our 70-year-partnership is our people. Together the United States and Pakistan have built better, safer and more prosperous lives for our citizens.

The United States has worked across Pakistani society to enhance Pakistan’s security, health and economic prosperity.

American assistance in the sphere of education has been particularly meaningful…The United States Agency for International Development has built 33 schools and is building or plans to build 73 more. (I’m looking at our colleague the  minister of education. Thank You!)

Education and professional exchange programs bind our citizens, the Pakistan US exchange alumni network now boasts over 25 thousand members, the largest of its kind in the world.

Over 2 thousand PhD and graduate students have participated in academic exchanges like the Fulbright Scholarship and the Pakistani government pledged $25 million to support the next generation of Fulbright Scholars and future leaders, evidence of a shared commitment to education.

The United States has partnered with you to supply healthcare to 8.8 million women and children in Sindh alone and trained thousands of new health practitioners.

American assistance helped vaccinate more than half a million children against deadly preventable diseases. Many people can now live longer and healthier lives. The United States has also worked closely with our law enforcement partners in Sindh and Balochistan to help police better protect themselves and therefore better protect Pakistani citizens.

We recently donated 5 thousand bulletproof vests to the Sindh Police and we provided 3 thousand bulletproof vests as well as 6 armored personnel vehicles to police in Balochistan.

So over 70 years we have worked together to better the lives of Pakistanis and Americans.

As most of you know I will be leaving Pakistan soon.

As a diplomat I’ve found this tour to be one of the most rewarding  of my career. Since I arrived in Karachi in 2016 Pakistanis – both inside and outside the city – have offered me incredibly warm welcome. The hospitality in Sindh has been unbelievable.

I’ve been fortunate to have seen, time and again, the tangible products of our enduring bilateral relationship.

Our 70 years of strong partnership is a foundation that represents tremendous opportunities to work together to build a brighter future for Pakistan, And I’m privileged to have spent 18 months, leading the team here in Karachi, doing exactly that.

From the deepest place in my heart I thank you for sharing your culture and your friendship, I will cherish my memories of Pakistan forever!Presentation of Colors! National Anthem of PakistanNational Anthem of USAHost addresses the ladies and gentlemen in the audience!Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah speaking on the occasion!(L-R) Consul General of USA Grace Shelton, Acting Consul General John Warner, Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah used a ceremonial sword to cut the cake on the occasion. Consul General of the United States of America Grace Shelton pose for the lens flanked by Editor NPTV M. M. ALAM & GS PFUJ G. M. Jamali!


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