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

Barca star scores brace agains­t Eibar to go one goal clear of the Juvent­us strike­rThe rivalry between Barcelona star Lionel Messi and the Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo continues after the former breaks his all-time club record for most goals. Messi scored twice on the last day of the 2018-19 season of La Liga as the Catalans drew 2-2 against Eibar. Messi v Ronaldo: Atletico coach Simeone explains who is better and whyThe brace pushed the Argentinian one goal clear of the Juventus striker, as the latter had scored 601 goals in 805 senior-level club competitions. Messi now has 602 senior-level goals to his name with 686 game under his belt for his Spanish club Barcelona. Messi, while beating Ronaldo’s record, also ended up bagging the Pachichi award after being the top-scorer in the recently ended La Liga season.

May 20, 2019 11:10 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

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Choudhary has extended an invitation to renowned clerics; Mufti Muhammad Muneebur Rehman and Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai to sight the moon. In a Twitter message, Fawad, in a rather sarcastic manner, invited the head of the private moon-sighting committee at the Qasim Ali Khan Mosque Mufti Popalzai and ‘Mufti e Azam’ Mufti Muneebur Rehman to see ‘how easy it is to see the moon’. He claimed that the process of locating the moon is not much difficult and advanced technology has made it much easier. It may be pertinent to mention that Islamic clerics and Fawad Choudhary have been observed involved in the exchange of words since the beginning of Ramadan where the issue of moon sighting first intersected both parties.

May 20, 2019 10:52 UTC

PHOTO:FILEWith the disaster that was episode five and a season chock full of bad narrative choices, all hype going into the finale had been violently laid to rest. The show’s obsession with subversion above all is also at the root of everything wrong with the final episode as well. Yes, the final winner of the game of thrones will be the unlikeliest of characters: Bran in this case. The winning tweets of ‘Game of Thrones’ finaleThe problem arises in the context of what viewers have been shown. The lazy storytelling on display throughout this entire season makes one wonder if seeing all previous episodes ever really mattered.

May 20, 2019 10:52 UTC

ROME: Greek rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas reached a career-high ranking of sixth on Monday after his run to the Italian Open semi-finals last week. The 20-year-old failed to repeat his Madrid last-four win over Rafael Nadal, as the 17-time Grand Slam champion went on to lift his ninth Rome title. The Spaniard beat Djokovic on Sunday in the Italian Open final. Roger Federer’s return to Paris will see the 2009 champion arrive as the third seed. Argentinian Diego Schwartzman jumped four spots to break back into the top 20 on Monday after also reaching the semi-finals in Rome.

May 20, 2019 10:41 UTC

LAHORE: Former federal minister Mian Manzoor Wattoo on Monday appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in an inquiry related to power abuse during his term in government. Wattoo served as federal minister of industries and production in 2008. On March 7, the NAB had launched an inquiry of power abuse against Manzoor Wattoo. According to sources, Wattoo showered favors to friends and favorites during his ministerial term with illegal postings and recruitment. Wattoo had served as federal minister for Industries and Production in the PPP government of prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

May 20, 2019 10:38 UTC

This will be the ‘Avenge­rs’ star’s third marria­geWe hear wedding bells for Avengers star Scarlett Johansson. After two years of dating, one of Hollywood’s most-talked about couples is engaged, the starlet’s publicist Marcel Pariseau confirmed to the Associated Press (AP) on Sunday. The Avengers: Endgame star, 34, finalised her divorce from her second husband, Romain Dauriac, in September 2017 after filing in March of that year. Scarlett had also been married to actor Ryan Reynolds for just over two years from September 2008 to December 2010. “Scarlett and Colin are in love and share many of the same interests and the same sense of humour,” the source said.

May 20, 2019 10:30 UTC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday issued directives to club the case of Aafia Siddiqui with other such cases of Pakistani nationals imprisoned abroad. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa heard the case seeking return of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui to the country. As the hearing began, the Attorney General apprised the court that Aafia was holding a meeting with her counsellor after every three months. To this, the chief justice asked the AG if it was possible that Aafia could complete her remaining jail term in Pakistan. The court then decided to club her petition with those of other Pakistanis jailed abroad in hope that it may create some positive development in the case.

May 20, 2019 10:20 UTC

NAROWAL: Bomb Disposal squad on Monday morning found an 18-kg heavy Indian Made Anti-Tank mine from Nala Daik near the working boundary. The bomb disposal squad and police searched for the Anti-Tank mine after being alerted by mine labours who got to know of India’s act of leaving behind its explosive charger. After looking for a while, bomb disposal squad found the mine near the working boundary and defused it.

May 20, 2019 10:18 UTC

Singer aims to play a pivota­l role in big screen, TV produc­tionsLAHORE : Local singer Shahida Mini has announced she will be launching a production house in Lahore for the revival of the film industry. The Pride of Performance winner revealed it will be titled SM Productions and besides films, TV dramas will also be made. “Our film industry is undergoing a challenging time and we need films that are at par with international level. Holding around 100 Pakistani films to her credit, she called for the need to include young talent. There is no shortage of young and aspiring artists in our country and through SM Productions, I will make sure to bring them to the fore.

May 20, 2019 10:18 UTC

MATIARI: Six bodies, who drowned in Indus River near Matiari district, Sindh, after their boat capsized, were fished-out on Monday. On Saturday, at least 14 people, including women and children, drowned as their boat capsized in Indus River. The rescue teams have safely rescued six persons from the Indus River and six bodies, while the search for the bodies of a woman and a girl was underway. Last year on November 19, at least four people had been drowned, while 15 others rescued as a boat had capsized in Indus river near Saggiyoon in Khairpur district. As per details of the incident, a woman and three children had been drowned to death, when a boat carrying nearly 20 villagers had capsized in Indus river near here.

May 20, 2019 10:18 UTC