RATODERO: The Sindh Health Services director general in a summary presented on Monday confirmed that 571 HIV/AIDS positive cases have been detected in Ratodero taluka from April 25 to May 18, 2019, in which 279 (48.9 per cent) are male and 292 (51.1 per cent) are female. The age group distribution among the reported HIV cases revealed that most affected age group was 2-5 years, totalling 315 cases which make 51.1 per cent, followed by age group of 6-15 years, totalling 106 cases which make 18.6 per cent. Further, 93 infected belonged to the age group between 15 and 45 years that make 16.3 per cent and the age group of 46 and above cases are 14 which make 2.4 per cent. The summary also added that all cases were positive on the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) by the Sindh AIDS Control Programme.

May 20, 2019 14:53 UTC

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to push the diplomatic discourse, Pakistan on Monday appointed ambassadors and diplomats to 18 stations, including China, India, Japan, Belgium, Malaysia, etc. The appointments have been finalised after approval by Prime Minister Imran Khan following a detailed meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at PM’s Office. Moeenul Haq would be the new ambassador in New Delhi as Ambassador Sohail Mahmood has been elevated as foreign secretary. Additional Secretary Amna Baloch has been posted in Malaysia while Javed Khattak would be the new ambassador in Portugal. Major General (r) Abdul Aziz Tariq would be the ambassador in Brunei while Major General (r) Mohammad Khalid Rao would officiate in Bosnia Herzegovina.

May 20, 2019 14:26 UTC

Region­al securi­ty situat­ion discus­sed in the meetin­g, says ISPRChinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Monday called on army chief General Qamar Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. According to Inter-Services Public Relations, the military’s media wing, matters of mutual interest including regional security situation were discussed in the meeting. Pakistan’s civil-military leaders frequently hold meetings with Chinese officials in the backdrop of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. COAS urges unity for ‘ultimate success’ against terrorCPEC is a 3,000-kilometre network of roads, pipelines and railways to connect Gwadar port in Pakistan to Kashgar in the Xinjiang region of China. In a recent interview with the Chinese state media Xinhua, chief military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan military had raised a whole division-sized force to ensure the security of the CPEC, and was planning to deploy another division for the purpose.

May 20, 2019 13:18 UTC

Ronaldo moved to Juventus from Real Madrid before the 2018-19 season and had to suffice with the Serie A title there, but he couldn’t handle that, literally. Superhero Ronaldo takes on robots and aliensAfter the trophy lifting celebration by the team, Ronaldo called on his family, his son Cristiano Jr and girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, to pose with the trophy. The Portuguese forward, while posing with his first-ever Scudetto, first hit his son on his face and later his girlfriend in an attempt to take a perfect picture. ‍ Ronaldo accidentally hits his son in the face with the Serie A trophy! Ronaldo was also declared the Most Valuable Player of the 2018-19 season for his 21 goals.

May 20, 2019 13:07 UTC

FLORIDA: Karolina Pliskova climbed five places in the WTA rankings on Monday to second after her Italian Open triumph at the weekend, with Naomi Osaka’s world number one spot now in the Czech’s sights. She will be the second seed at the French Open, which starts on Sunday, as she looks to improve on her previous best Roland Garros performance — a semi-final run in 2017. Osaka’s lead in the rankings remains in peril, although reigning French Open champion Simona Halep dropped down to third. Pliskova’s rise has seen three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova slip two places and one spot respectively. Serena Williams returned to the top 10 after playing her first match since March in Italy, despite pulling out before her scheduled second-round match with sister Venus.

May 20, 2019 13:06 UTC

The Juventus fans paid tribute to Allegri, who the club’s management have decided will not be their coach next season, despite winning 11 trophies in five years, but missing out on winning the Champions League. Juventus have already wrapped up their record eighth consecutive title, which was Allegri’s fifth. On the pitch, forward Mario Mandzukic struck ten minutes from time to cancel out Josip Ilicic’s 33rd-minute goal for Atalanta. The point keeps Atalanta’s hopes of a first Champions League campaign alive, which they can seal if they beat Sassuolo in their final game next weekend. Juventus and second-placed Napoli are already through to the Champions League next season.

May 20, 2019 13:02 UTC

KABUL: Former West Indies all-rounder Phil Simmons will step down as Afghanistan coach after the cricket World Cup, saying his goal had been reached by taking the minnows to the 50-over showpiece. Simmons, who took over in December 2017, said he will not renew his contract after the World Cup in England and Wales. “I have thought about it and I have actually given the ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) my notice that I will not be renewing my contract,” Simmons told ESPNcricinfo. Simmons also guided Afghanistan in their debut in Test cricket in India last year. To want to get to the World Cup — that was ACB’s goal at the time they appointed me,” said the 56-year-old Simmons.

May 20, 2019 13:01 UTC

To recall, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had conditioned to let the market forces decide rupee-dollar exchange rate going forward. Earlier in the previous six rounds, the central bank had let the rupee depreciate by staggering 34% since December 2017 to Wednesday’s (May 15, 2019) close of 141.4 in the inter-bank market. “They (pilgrims) would come to exchange dollar and riyal at exchange companies’ counters,” he said. He said that open market continued to follow inter-bank market, as spread between rupee value at inter-bank and open market has reduced to very nominal, he said. The higher expenditures were partly financed through the country’s foreign currency reserves.

May 20, 2019 12:45 UTC

TOKYO: Japanese GDP expanded a better-than-expected 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year, official data showed Monday, although analysts cautioned that the world’s third-largest economy was still facing headwinds. It was the second successive expansion for the Japanese economy after growth of 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. “Rather, the data clearly showed weak points in the economy with poor consumption and corporate investment on plants and equipment,” he told AFP. Nevertheless, the better-than-expected figure pushed up the Tokyo stock exchange, with the main Nikkei index rising 0.74 per cent at the open. The latest data was being closely watched amid speculation that weak growth could prompt Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to postpone a planned sales tax hike for the third time.

May 20, 2019 12:21 UTC

GENEVA: Britain told Iran on Monday not to underestimate the resolve of the United States, warning that if American interests were attacked then the administration of President Donald Trump would retaliate. “I would say to the Iranians: Do not underestimate the resolve on the U.S. side,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told reporters on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva. “They don’t want a war with Iran. But if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate. And that is something that the Iranians needs to think about very, very carefully.”

May 20, 2019 11:37 UTC

FARMINGDALE, N.Y.: A coronation almost turned into a calamity but Brooks Koepka survived to win the PGA Championship for a second consecutive year on Sunday and establish himself as golf’s new top dog. Koepka shot a four-over-par 74 to finish at eight-under 272 and captured his fourth major title in his last eight starts in grand slam events. In becoming the first champion to lead wire-to-wire since Hal Sutton in 1983, Koepka successfully defended his title and also displaced Johnson as world number one. Koepka, who also won back-to-back U.S. Open titles in 2017-18, admitted his run of bogeys had put him under pressure. “Tell you what, the hour spent from number 11 to 14 was interesting,” Koepka said.

May 20, 2019 11:27 UTC

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced to raise the interest rate to 12.25 percent. According to the new monetary policy announced on Monday, the interest rate — which previously stood at 10.75 percent — was raised by 150 basis points. In a statement issued here, the central bank observed that “despite the improvement in the current account and a noticeable increase in official bilateral inflows, the financing of the current account deficit remained challenging”. “Consequently, reserves declined to US$ 8.8 billion as of 10th May 2019 from US$ 10.5 billion at end-March 2019,” it further said. In an unexpected move earlier this month, the government removed Tariq Bajwa as governor of the State Bank and appointed Raza Baqir — an economist associated with the IMF — in his place.

May 20, 2019 11:26 UTC

39-year-old former Los Angele­s Lakers star makes revela­tion in his memoir­LOS ANGELES: Former NBA star Lamar Odom has revealed he used a prosthetic penis to dupe drug-testers before competing at the 2004 Olympics for the United States, according to an upcoming memoir. The 39-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers star made the revelation in his autobiography “Darkness to Light”, which lifts the lid on his battles with drugs and sex addiction. “We started googling ‘fake penises’ and studied different ways to beat a drug test,” he wrote, before ordering a prosthetic penis online. Odom said he used urine supplied by his drug-free trainer to pass the test when a doping control officer arrived at his house. The US basketball team would go on to suffer disappointment at the Olympics, finishing with a bronze medal.

May 20, 2019 11:26 UTC

Secondly, speculation at local capital markets suggest the government agreed to increase the key interest rate by two percentage points under IMF’s 39-month long loan programme worth $6 billion. The government entered into the IMF programme on May 12 and the IMF board is expected to meet sometime in June. With the latest increase, the key interest rate has surged by a total of 6.5 percentage points since January 2018. Aslam said considering for a while Pakistan had not entered into an IMF loan programme, then there was apparently no immediate need for the latest interest rate-hike. Interest rate at 10.75% was much higher than the average rate of actual inflation at 7% for the first 10 months (Jul-Apr) of the current fiscal year 2019, he pointed out.

May 20, 2019 11:11 UTC

UAE energy minist­er says produc­ers are capabl­e of fillin­g any market gapLONDON: Oil hit multi-week highs on Monday after OPEC indicated it was likely to maintain production cuts that have helped boost prices this year, while escalating Middle East tensions provided further support. United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei earlier told reporters that producers were capable of filling any market gap and that relaxing supply cuts was not the right decision. OPEC data indicates oil inventories in the developed world rose by 3.3 million barrels month-on-month in March, and were 22.8 million barrels above their five year average. OPEC, Russia and other non-member producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from January 1 for six months to try to prevent inventories from increasing and weakening prices. The rhetoric follows last week’s attacks on Saudi oil assets and the firing of a rocket on Sunday into Baghdad’s heavily fortified “Green Zone” that exploded near the US embassy.

May 20, 2019 11:02 UTC