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Chemical attack probe: France wants immediate access!

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PARIS: France urged the Syrian regime and its ally Moscow today to grant weapons inspectors immediate access to the site of an alleged chemical attack, accusing them of “obstruction” aimed at eroding the quality of the evidence.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), who arrived in Damascus last Saturday, needed “full, immediate and unhindered access” to the site in the town of Douma.

Their mission has been put on hold after a United Nations security assessment team were fired at, and officials at the OPCW have said that Russian and Syrian forces have likely removed key evidence.

“At this time the OPCW investigators still have no access to the chemical attack site in Douma. If Russia and Syria ultimately abide by their commitments, it will take (the investigators) at least two weeks,” Le Drian said in a statement.

“The OPCW mission has as its goal establishing whether a chemical attack indeed took place and identifying the nature of the chemical agent used. This obstruction will obviously harm the quality of the investigation,” he added.

“It seems likely that this attitude is intended to make proof and material evidence linked to the chemical attack disappear.” France joined the United States and Britain in launching air strikes a week ago against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, in retaliation against an alleged chemical attack in Douma which local medics said killed at least 40 people.

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Education

US Govt. assistance in Pk. focuses on education!

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KARACHI: U.S. Consul General JoAnne Wagner interacted with youth at a forum organized by the Karachi Rotaract Club and highlighted the role that youth can play for the welfare of society by promoting peace and harmony.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Mission Director for Sindh and Balochistan, John Smith-Screen also accompanied the Consul General on this visit.  Dr. Anum Akram, Rotaract Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan provided an overview of Rotaract while Hassan Naviwala, Member Rotaract, outlined Rotaract’s programs and the Club’s role in the community. 

With one of the highest youth populations in the world, Pakistan has a unique opportunity for social, political and economic progress. However, the challenge of keeping youth productively engaged is also enormous. Therefore the U.S. government is supporting the Government of Pakistan as well as private youth fora across the country and holds interactive sessions between youth and policy-makers, and provides grants to organizations that seek to promote social tolerance and community cohesion among young people.

“I’m pleased to see youth, like those gathered in this room tonight, taking steps and creating organizations and public spaces which are an essential platform for development,” said Consul General Wagner. “Many U.S. government assistance activities in Pakistan focus on education, training, employment opportunities, and more inclusive communities for youth.”

Consul General Wagner also highlighted some USAID programs supporting youth such as the Centers for Advanced Studies in various disciplines which send students and faculty on exchange programs to partnering U.S. universities. She also spoke of the support for building 118 schools and improving education in Sindh to allow millions of children to have a brighter future, as well as focused job-readiness training to youth and helping them find jobs or become entrepreneurs. Within Karachi, USAID has partnered with UNDP and Aman Foundation to provide job skills training to 21,500 young people. About 65% of those trained so far have found employment.

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World

Royal Saudi jet crashes, crew members killed

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Royal Saudi jet crashes

AMMAN:  An official source at the Saudi Ministry of Defence today announced that a Saudi Royal Jet, Hawk, crashed during a  training mission in the northwest region yesterday (15th of October, 2018), leaving all crew members dead.

The Saudi News Agency quoted the official source as saying the  Hawk aircraft crashed at 12 p.m while conducting a routine operational training mission.

An investigation was launched to find out the cause of the accident, the source added.

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Business

German business delegation due on 22nd Oct.

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KARACHI: A thirty-member business delegation from Germany -representing important sectors like energy, engineering, security technology, financial services, and construction- will be on a two-day visit to Karachi, from 22ns October.
This delegation was the result of joint efforts by Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology; Pakistan Embassy in Berlin with support of Dr. Poetis, who is Honorary Consul General of Pakistan in Munich; the Embassy of Germany in Pakistan and the German Consulate in Karachi, President GPCCI, Qazi Sajid Ali told APP here today.
On the first day, German-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry has arranged a conference on the trade and investment opportunities in Germany and Pakistan. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah is expected to inaugurate this programme.
Then, the delegation would visit Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Sindh Board of Investment, Pakistan Business Council’s secretariat and the Governor House.
Qazi said that after a long period of time, a business delegation from Germany was coming to Karachi for business discussion with Pakistani counterparts and would finalize the projects of mutual interest for the bilateral business growth. Some of the German businessmen are also interested in the joint ventures. The visit would encourage German investment here and exports of Pakistani goods to Germany.

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