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Nuclear concerns push ‘Doomsday Clock’ closer to midnight

Mounting concerns about the possibility of a nuclear war, along with US President Donald Trump's "unpredictability" have pushed the symbolic "Doomsday Clock" to two minutes before midnight, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists said Thursday. The clock—which serves as a metaphor for how close humanity is to destroying the planet—was moved forward by 30 seconds, to as near as it has ever been to the hour of the apocalypse. "In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and…

Pakistan expresses concerns over undermining strategic stability in South Asia

RAWALPINDI: The National Command Authority (NCA) has expressed concern over destabilizing actions in Pakistan’s neighbourhood, which undermine the objective of maintaining strategic stability in South Asia. The concerns were expressed during the 23rd meeting of the National Command Authority in Rawalpindi on Thursday with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the chair. The actions include the massive arms build-up in the conventional domain, nuclearization of the Indian Ocean Region and plans for the development and…

Bitcoin surges above $17,000 as concerns mount

TOKYO: Bitcoin briefly crossed through the $17,000 (£12,615) mark in volatile Asian trading, triggering a warning the cryptocurrency was like a "train with no brakes" and prompting fresh concern about its looming launch on mainstream markets. Still under $14,000 in Asian trading hours, it smashed through $15,000 in European trading and got as high as $16,777 before pulling back, according to Bloomberg data. Near 2145 GMT, bitcoin surged above $17,000. The rally came just a day after the virtual currency, which has been…

FA to increase World Cup cyber security over hacking concerns

LONDON: The English Football Association will increase cyber security for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after hacking attacks by a group suspected of links to a Russian spy agency, media reports said. The FA has written a letter to soccer’s governing body FIFA expressing its concerns about sensitive information such as injuries, strategies and tactics being leaked before matches during the World Cup, British newspapers said. England players and staff have been advised not to use public Wi-Fi in Russia, including the…

Experts warn about ‘dangers’ of fidget spinners

The wildly popular fidget spinners that seem to be in the hands of children worldwide may arguably a fine gadget to help children with attention disorder but they are also potentially dangerous, a consumer watchdog group recently warned. The small plastic and metal spinners, already banned in many schools of the US because they distract students, can fall apart, and the small pieces can create a choking hazard, Boston-based World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) said in its recent summer safety report. Experts doubt…

Qatar willing to listen to Gulf concerns, Kuwait says

DUBAI/DOHA: Qatar is ready to listen to the concerns of Gulf Arab states that have cut diplomatic and economic ties, Kuwait said on Sunday as it tried to mediate a solution to the worst regional crisis in years. Saudi Arabia and allies Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed ties with Qatar last week, accusing it of supporting militants and arch-foe Iran - charges Doha denies. The rift has disrupted travel, separated families, severed commercial links and sown confusion among banks and businesses while…

China wants India to join One Belt, One Road project

NEW DELHI: In the wake of constant opposition by India on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China has now apparently moving towards strategic balance and taking to diplomatic persuasion to get India to sign on to its ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project as the crucial summit gets ready to take off in Beijing on Sunday. Chinese ambassador and his deputy have invited India into joining OBOR. Aambassador Luo Zhaohui said India and China should synergise the `Act East' policy with OBOR."OBOR and regional connectivity…

PIA dispels safety concerns of ATR aircraft

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has clarified that ATR is perfectly safe for flying and is useful and economical on short haul flights in both hot and cold weather conditions. Spokesman PIA Danyal Gilani in his reply to media reports regarding ATR not being a safe aircraft, he said several of these aircraft are being operated by airlines in India and Europe. He said that the media reports suggesting that there was some known defect in the aircraft before its last flight are also totally baseless. He…

US surgeon general raises concerns over e-cigarette use among youth

WASHINGTON: The US surgeon general on Thursday called for action to reduce the use of e-cigarettes among young people, noting they have overtaken cigarettes to become the most commonly used tobacco products among this group. The nation's top doctor, Vivek Murthy, weighing in on the subject for the first time since e-cigarette use took off, said young people are more vulnerable to the negative consequences of nicotine exposure than adults. "These effects include addiction, priming for use of other addictive substances,…