“Baby factories”, as such premises are widely known, are most common in parts of eastern Nigeria. — Photo: Reuters
LAGOS: Police in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, have freed 19 women and girls who had mostly been abducted and impregnated by captors planning to sell their babies.
The girls and women, aged from 15 to 28, had been brought from all over Nigeria with promises of work, Lagos police said on Monday. Four babies were also found.
“Baby factories”, as such premises are widely known, are most common in parts of eastern Nigeria.
“The young women were mostly abducted by the suspects for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies to potential buyers. The girls were tricked with employment as domestic staff in Lagos,” said Lagos police spokesman Bala Elkana.
“Boys are sold for 500,000 naira ($1,630) and girls for 300,000 naira ($980).”
The girls and women were brought to Lagos from the southern and eastern states of Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Abia and Imo.
Elkana said the raid had taken place on Sept. 19 but had been kept secret to enable the police to apprehend suspects.
Two women aged 40 and 54 were arrested in connection with the case and police were still looking for a third.
One of the freed women, who did not want to be named, said she had been impregnated by her boyfriend and told by her aunt that there was a job for her in Lagos.
She said a woman to whom she was introduced had induced her labor when she was seven months pregnant.
“After being in labor for three days, that was when police raided the place and took all of them. The baby came out weak and finally died,” she told Reuters.
Elkana said the state criminal investigation department would take over the case and was working with other agencies to resettle the women and girls and their babies.
Last week, around 400 boys and men, some as young as five and many in chains and scarred from beatings, were rescued from a building in the northern city of Kaduna that purported to be a school.
Tom Cruise meets Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: AFP
Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed Tom Cruise to Kiev to discuss locations for one of the Hollywood superstar’s new film projects, the presidency said Tuesday.
Zelensky, who was a popular comedian until his shock presidential election win this spring, told the 57-year-old actor about his own experiences in the cinema, the press service said.
It was not revealed whether the pair discussed the president’s current role in a real-life drama: the scandal that has launched impeachment proceedings against US leader Donald Trump.
Photos showed the Ukrainian president beaming as he stood by the casually dressed blockbuster star in an official meeting room on Monday.
“During the meeting, Tom Cruise informed Volodymyr Zelensky that he was interested in Ukrainian locations for the shooting of one of his new film projects,” the presidency said.
Earlier Cruise was spotted on the Soviet-era Kiev subway.
Some commentators criticised Zelensky for meeting the actor rather than focusing on his own mission impossible: tackling corruption and ending the war with Russia-backed separatists in the country’s east.
Last month, the 41-year-old leader met Hollywood actors Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Robin Wright at an event in Kiev.
Others joked about the real reason for Cruise’s visit.
“Tom Cruise came here to prepare for the role of Volodymyr Zelensky in a new movie about Trump’s impeachment,” blogger Petro Terentiev wrote on his Facebook page.
Trump is accused of pressuring Zelensky on July 25 to supply dirt on former US vice president Joe Biden, the favourite to represent Democrats against Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to “go to the mat” to fight a government attempt to break up the social media giant, according to a report Tuesday based on a leaked audio recording.
Tech news site The Verge released leaked audio from a meeting of Facebook employees in July in which Zuckerberg said he would challenge a breakup effort, repeating his argument that splitting the company would not address issues raised by critics.
Zuckerberg specifically addressed the plan by Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren to break up major tech platforms.
“If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge,” Zuckerberg said.
“And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government … But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.”
Zuckerberg also told employees he did not plan to testify in other countries investigating the company on privacy and antitrust issues.
“It just doesn´t really make sense for me to go to hearings in every single country that wants to have me show up,” he said.
Speaking of Facebook’s planned digital currency Libra, Zuckerberg said he remained optimistic on its prospects despite harsh comments from public officials in several countries.
“The public things, I think, tend to be a little more dramatic,” he said.
“But a bigger part of it is private engagement with regulators around the world, and those, I think, often, are more substantive and less dramatic … That´s where a lot of the discussions and details get hashed out on things.”
Zuckerberg also said Facebook was planning a new service to take on the fast-growing social media app TikTok, controlled by a Chinese firm.
“We have a product called Lasso that´s a standalone app that we’re working on, trying to get product-market fit in countries like Mexico,” he said.
“We’re trying to first see if we can get it to work in countries where TikTok is not already big before we go and compete with TikTok in countries where they are big.”
Facebook did not immediately respond to queries on the report.
Weak seasonal low lies over North Balochistan. Westerly wave is present over upper parts of the country.
Weather Forecast for Tuesday (Night):
Mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the country. However, rain/wind-thunderstorm is expected at scattered places in districts of Kashmir including Muzaffarabad, upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Sargodha, Attock, Chakwal), Islamabad, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Mansehra, Haripur, Abbottabad, Swat, Dir, Swabi, Charsadda, Nowshera, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Parachinar, Bannu) and Gilgit Baltistan.
Weather Forecast for Wednesday:
Rain/wind-thunderstorm is expected at scattered places in all districts of Kashmir including Muzaffarabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Mansehra, Haripur, Abbottabad, Swat, Dir, Swabi, Charsadda, Noshera, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Parachinar, Bannu, D.I.Khan), south punjab (D.G.Khan, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rajanpur, Rahim Yar khan, Muzaffargarh), Gilgit Baltistan, Balochistan (Quetta, Zhob and Kalat), while at isolated places in districts of upper/central Punjab (Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Sargodha, Attock, Chakwal), Islamabad and upper Sindh (Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur, Ghotki, Jacobabad). Dry weather is expected in other parts of the country.
Past 24 Hours Weather:
Rain/wind-thunderstorm occurred at scattered places in districts of Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Hazara, Malakand, Mardan, Peshawar, Kohat, Kashmir and Islamabad, while at isolated places in districts of Zhob and Gilgit Baltistan.
Rainfall (mm) during Last 24 hrs:
Punjab: Islamabad (Golra, Bokra 37, Saidpur 31, A/P 22, ZP 17), Rawalpindi (Shamsabad 29, Chaklala 27), Murree 19, Sialkot (City 13, A/P 05), Jehlum 06, Gujrat, Narowal 05, Mangla 02, Chakwal, Lahore (city) Trace, Kashmir: Garhidupatta 35, Muzffarabad (City 26, A/P 09), Kotli 25, Rawalakot 09, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Pattan 30, Takhtbai 20, Malamjabba, Kakul 13, Saidu Sharif 12, Dir (Lower 08, Upper 03), Parachinar 05, Besham 04, Kalam, Mirkhani 03, Peshawar, Balakot 01, D.I.Khan Trace, Gilgit Baltistan: Bagrote 05, Astore 04, Bunji 03, Gilgit 01, Skardu, Chillas Trace, Balochistan: Barkhan 01.
Today’s Highest Maximum Temperatures:
Nokkundi, Sh. Banazirabad 41°C, Sibbi, Dalbandin, Sukkur and Dadu 40°C.
VIENNA: Hollywood tycoon Eric Pleskow, associated with films such as “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Platoon” and “Amadeus”, died Tuesday aged 95, the Vienna International Film Festival said.
Austrian-born Pleskow was behind numerous Oscar-winning films as president of the film company United Artists from 1973 to 1978 and then as co-founder of Orion Pictures.
These included “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Rocky”, “Amadeus”, “Platoon”, “Dances with Wolves” and “The Silence of the Lambs”.
Through him, actors such as Sylvester Stallone made their debut.
Pleskow also worked with famous producers, such as Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Francis Ford Coppola, Federico Fellini and Martin Scorsese.
Pleskow had been president of the Vienna International Film Festival, or Viennale, since 1998. He received honorary citizenship from Vienna in 2007.
“His death is a great loss for all of us… he has always carried us with his humour and foresight,” the festival said in a statement.
Pleskow was born in Vienna into a Jewish family in 1924 but fled with his family before the outbreak of World War II via France to the United States.
He studied engineering but then worked himself up through the ranks in the film industry.
“First I brought coffee, then I started as an editor, cutting films,” he once said in an interview, according to the Austrian news agency APA.
The NBC and Comcast logos are displayed on 30 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan in New York. Photo: REUTERS
SAN FRANCISCO: Comcast Corp, one of America’s largest media and communications companies, is wading into the epic regulatory pile-on against big tech companies such as Google, according to people familiar with the matter.
Behind the closed doors of a congressional task force last month, Comcast’s video ads division FreeWheel accused Alphabet Inc’s Google of using privacy concerns as a pretext to limit FreeWheel’s ability to sell ads on behalf of its clients’ YouTube channels, four people briefed on the discussion said.
Comcast may be drawing a line in the sand and wants to avoid letting Google do to the video ad business what it has done to the online ad market.
It is the first time one of the most powerful companies in the United States, with its own muscular lobbying apparatus in Washington, is taking sides in the antitrust battle looming over the world’s largest seller of online ads. Google’s competitors are warning lawmakers that emerging privacy regulations could help Google extend its dominance.
“FreeWheel would embrace a solution that allowed it to continue to meaningfully serve its clients when they publish their content on YouTube, as it had for over a decade on that platform,” Comcast said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the actions to remove or degrade FreeWheel’s capabilities on YouTube fall well short of that.”
Comcast’s concerns have not prompted a full-on attack on Google, though Comcast has contacted other technology companies to discuss the threat posed by Google, two other sources said.
The issues raised by Comcast and its subsidiary have been echoed widely in the cable and ad technology industries. Most companies that contend Google has unfairly squeezed them out have been reticent to speak out because they rely on Google services and fear retaliation.
But Comcast, which owns media company NBC, Universal Pictures and the Xfinity internet service, is a large spender on state and federal lobbying and election campaigns and a veteran of political organizing.
The House Judiciary Committee, US Department of Justice and a coalition of 50 state-level attorneys general have each asked Google for information about its ads business in recent weeks as they begin investigating potential violations of antitrust law.
Google declined to comment on Comcast’s recent actions but has said it is cooperating with the investigations and that it faces robust competition in advertising, including from Comcast.
FreeWheel’s tensions with Google stem from a one-of-a-kind agreement struck in 2009 as YouTube sought to burnish its image with clips from well-known TV channels.
The deal enables media companies such as NBC, Turner, now owned by AT&T Inc, and Viacom Inc to sell ads alongside their content on YouTube using FreeWheel’s technology rather than Google’s competing tool, ensuring access to their single, preferred system across various streaming websites and apps.
FreeWheel is the go-to video ad server because of its experience, said a FreeWheel client, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
But last year, Google closed FreeWheel’s pipe into YouTube in Europe, citing the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation that imposed new requirements on companies seeking to share consumer data.
In the United States, Google has allowed FreeWheel’s continued use on the condition that starting with tests this month, the tens of media companies reliant on it will be cut off from accessing some user data for privacy reasons, one of the sources said. The data reduction could make FreeWheel’s system less attractive to media companies and their advertisers, potentially prompting a shift to Google, the source said.
Google said a small percentage of YouTube revenue is affected and that it has been working with FreeWheel to restore access in Europe and preserve it in the United States.
A FreeWheel representative brought up the issue at a private hearing in September of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Tech Task Force, led by Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, the sources briefed on the discussion said.
Blackburn, who is holding hearings to inform potential privacy laws, said on C-SPAN last week that a Congressional privacy bill being weighed must preserve competition better than EU regulations have. Her spokeswoman declined to comment on FreeWheel’s task force comments.
The conflict is playing out on another front. Google said last month it is experimenting with encrypting the internet traffic of Chrome users, and Android has a similar capability in its newest version.
The move, technically known as DNS-over-HTTPS, increases users’ privacy and security by limiting some companies, including internet service providers, from tracking users’ browsing.
Internet experts say Google adopting the new technology widely and stringently would cripple tools for parental controls and stifling child pornography online. Trade associations for cable and wireless companies including Comcast told Congress last month that the move could “possibly foreclose competition in advertising and other industries.”
Comcast told Reuters that it was open to working with Google on the issue in a way that ensures various security and parental controls are not broken, but that “any unilateral action that limits customer choice will not work.”
Google spokesman Scott Westover said its proposal maintains “all existing filters and controls” and that “any claim that we are trying to become the centralized encrypted DNS provider is inaccurate.”
KARACHI: Actor-turned-producer Shamoon Abbasi’s upcoming film ‘Durj’, which was expected to be released on October 18, has been banned by censor boards across the country.
The actor had recently shared the release date of his film on his Facebook account, saying that the film will hit cinemas worldwide on October 11 and in Pakistan it would be released on October 18.
The censor boards across the country have imposed a complete ban on the film but have not issued any statement on why the film has been banned.
Earlier in an Instagram post, Ismail said, “(Durj) based on true events about the heinous crime of cannibalism occurred in Pakistan and various parts of the world in the past, is shaping up to be a big hit despite being one of the darkest mainstream movies to hit screens in years.”
View this post on Instagram
Shaam films.’ “#DURJ the casket,” based on true events about the heinous crime of cannibalism occurred in Pakistan and various parts of the world in the past , is shaping up to be a big hit despite being one of the darkest mainstream movies to hit screens in years #DURJ is surely going to revive the cinemas entertainment Releasing 10th October #UAE|#OMAN|#KUWAIT|#BHARAIN|#QATAR 11th October 2019 #USA #UK #CANADA #NORWAY #DENMARK 18th October PAKISTAN #pakistanifilms #2019releases #upcomingpakistanifilms #Shaamfilms #bluntdigital #Shamoonabbasi #zashkofilms #distributionclub #abaassociates #Greenchilli
The actor had also said that multiple stars had turned down his offer to work in the films due to high temperatures in shoot locations and mountain scenes in the film.
The actor is yet to comment on the ban imposed on his film.
Saha (pictured) gets a new chance because of the poor form of Pant. — Photo: AFP
India on Tuesday brought Wriddhiman Saha back as wicketkeeper for the first Test against South Africa in a blow to the hopes of rising star Rishabh Pant.
India´s captain Virat Kohli also gave a vote of confidence to Rohit Sharma, naming him opening batsman ahead of the start of the three-match series on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old Saha last played a test more than 18 months ago in South Africa. He gets a new chance because of the poor form of Pant, who had been groomed as the long-term successor to legendary batsman wicketkeeper M.S. Dhoni.
Saha lost his place through injury and Pant initially made the most of his opportunity to showcase his explosive batting talent.
“Saha is fit and fine to go. He is going to start the series for us. His keeping credentials are for everyone to see,” said Kohli, whose side will beat Australia´s record of victory in 10 straight home Test series if they take this series.
“Saha was always the one we would back as a pure keeper in test cricket. He has done well under pressure situations in the past for us, so it was just about finding the right opportunity and the moment to bring him back in.
“He has done well with the bat whenever he has got a chance. It was unfortunate that he was out with an injury. According to me he is the best keeper the world. With these conditions he starts for us.”
The 32-year-old Sharma is another veteran looking to stake a new claim in Visakhapatnam after a stop-start career of 27 Test matches.
“Rohit is going to start for sure,” Kohli told reporters, comparing Sharma´s ability to “demolish attacks” to that of Virender Sehwag.
No ´baggage´ team
Sharma, India´s limited-overs vice-captain, gets a new opportunity to seal a place as opener after Lokesh Rahul´s form dropped off.
“We have given people opportunities in the past… Rohit´s been in the Test set up for a long time it´s about providing him the opportunity to really find his game and find that template that he wants to in Test cricket,” said Kohli.
“And we understand that if he does that, then our batting order at the top becomes more lethal. It´s difficult to have a player like him not to start every time.”
Kohli said two spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, would also be in the team along with two pace bowlers and all-rounder Hanuma Vihari.
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis is meanwhile looking to a new generation side to get over the nightmare 2015 tour of India when the Proteas lost a four-match series 3-0.
Former captain Hashim Amla quit the game in August while bowler Dale Steyn gave up Tests.
“We struggled (in 2015) despite having an experienced line-up and now we have a young looking line up, there is no baggage,” said du Plessis.
“These youngsters are motivated to do well in international cricket and this tour will be no different for them,” the captain added.
“Time to grow new leaders, the next set of pacers the next set of Hashim Amlas.”
Du Plessis said the 2015 tour had taught him to handle top class spin bowling while the reverse swing shot can be a “real weapon” in South Asia.
India XI for first Test: Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami
The incident came against a background of heightened tension over Britain´s imminent departure from the European Union
London: London police said Tuesday they detained a man who was dousing himself with what appeared to be a flammable liquid outside parliament.
“The man, who had a lighter, was sprayed with a fire extinguisher,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. “There was no ignition and the man was detained.”
The man was assessed by ambulance workers and taken to hospital. His age or condition were not immediately released.
One lawmaker who was at the scene tweeted the substance “smells like petrol”.
The incident came against a background of heightened tension over Britain´s imminent departure from the European Union, which has divided the country.
MPs are currently debating ways to make sure Britain does not crash out of the EU without a negotiated agreement on its October 31 departure date.
DUBAI: Gold prices in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), on the date of October 1, 2019 were 1,667.50 UAE Dirhams per 10 grams for 22K gold, and AED 1,775.00 per 10 grams for 24K gold.
Find below the gold prices for the past seven days in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
24K 10 Grams Gold Rates
22K 10 Grams Gold Rates
18K 10 Grams Gold Rates
September 30, 2019
September 29, 2019
September 28, 2019
September 27, 2019
September 26, 2019
September 25, 2019
September 24, 2019