Stories about europe

Imran Khan: Always a crowd pleaser

It was September 22nd of last year; one of the blackest days in the history of Pakistan. It was a day when the Taliban targeted a church in Peshawar with a pair of suicide bombers who ripped through a congregation 500 strong. The savage destruction that followed resulted in the death of over 78 Pakistanis with nearly 150 wounded. It was an act of terror in every sense of the word, and casualties included both women and children. We watched in horror on our television screens as tragic images of injured Pakistani worshipers flooded news channels. At first glance the aftermath resembled a butcher shop, ...

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Polio vaccine: Is it really as safe as it is claimed to be?

Reporting on polio vaccination has secured a regular slot in major media outlets. The reporting is mostly always supportive of the vaccination campaign commonly called “polio eradication”. But is the Oral Polio Vaccine( OPV), or Sabin vaccine (named after Albert Sabin), which is administered to millions of children in the developing world, really safe? Does it have no harmful effect on human health a claimed by some doctor in a recent story? The short answer is: no, it’s not completely safe. Not only can it cause permanent disability in some children, it actually has caused epidemics of paralysis in at least two countries ...

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Getting high in Pakistan

I believe words do not suffice when it comes to describing the emotions that run through you when you’re standing at the foot of a mountain. The raw beauty and power of these mighty mountains make you realise how small we really are. No matter how many times I see them, those mountains, valleys, glaciers or plains of multiple coloured flowers changing after every few feet, I am always left speechless. Maybe it’s just me, but somehow, just being there instils this faith that there truly is a higher power out there. To truly understand these mountainous areas and northern valleys, one ...

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Scotland referendum: Is the glass half full or half empty for the Scots?

History will remember this simmering September with shimmering words, as the world witnessed Scotland choosing to remain a part of the United Kingdom (UK) on September 18, 2014; where the two letter word ‘No’ subjugated the three letter word ‘Yes’ in the referendum; where a clear majority of 55% to 45% decided to continue the 307-year-old affiliation with UK. No one can flout the historical fact that Scotland’s three centuries old odyssey with UK is one of the strongest political unions in European history this world has ever seen. However, a simple question springs in many minds that why this ...

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The clash of civilisations: Is the ISIS promoting Islamophobia in Europe?

The Islamic State or IS (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS) was born during the turmoil of Iraq – which was a melting pot of jihadist movements – in 2003 after the American invasion. However, it was only in June when the world really took notice of this eccentric organisation after militants with black flags took the strategically important city of Mosul and claimed it to be a part of their ‘caliphate’, defeating the Iraqi Army almost at will. According to conservative figures, the current number of IS fighters is estimated to be somewhere around 20,000 ...

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What will happen to the stock market if the PM resigns?

In 2007, I underwent a six-hour-long marathon panel interview at the London office of one of the (then) largest hedge funds in Europe called XYZ Capital*. A senior partner – perhaps a PhD holder – drew the entire map of the Middle East, East Asia and Europe, and tested my knowledge about the current affairs of each country turn by turn. After a gruelling session, the partner remarked, “An investor may have the best of quantitative minds but markets don’t make sense if the political factors don’t make sense.” I engraved it then but have only felt it now. Surviving through the minor speed breakers ...

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My love affair with Sindhri mangoes

Yesterday, I tasted my first mango of the season. It was like falling in love all over again. I was sitting on an elaborate dastarkhwan on a 10th floor apartment’s spacious balcony in inner Karachi. “Saroli is the most amazing mango, is it not?” asked the elderly host. I sheepishly begged to differ. I am a biased Sindhri lover. Every year, the sweltering May heat that becomes unbearable as June comes closer, is a blessing for Mango lovers. “Ramazan will be unbearably hot this year. But chalo, at least there will be mangoes in the fruit chaat.” This sentiment resonates inside so many of us. And of all varieties of this ...

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WhatsApp acquisition: Facebook smartphone in the making?

Four years ago, Brian Acton (co-founder of WhatsApp) applied for a job at Facebook Inc but he wasn’t offered one. Yesterday, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a record $19 billion, along with 50 staff members of WhatsApp. Jan Koum, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of WhatsApp went on to become a member of the board of directors at Facebook. Facebook spent a fortune to buy out WhatsApp, which is perhaps one of the biggest acquisitions ever. To get a better idea as to how big of an acquisition this is, here is an example. Pakistan’s total foreign exchange reserves have recently touched $8 billion; so basically, WhatsApp ...

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10 footballers of Pakistani descent who have made us proud

Despite being a minnow in world football, Pakistan has a vibrant diaspora of footballers playing across Europe and Asia who are eligible to represent a ‘Pakistani football team’ internationally. While some have already starred for the national team, others remain waiting for a call-up in the future. Here is a list of the top 10 players of Pakistani-descent who have shown their magic in Europe and other countries. Mohammad Ali (BK Avarta, Danish second division) The former FC Copenhagen striker has already been capped by Pakistan, after making his debut in the friendly match against Singapore. Deemed as a superb find by the coaches, Ali cemented his place as ...

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Let the Premier League transfers begin: 3 transfers that will complete the puzzle

For football fans, the January transfer window always serves as the best New Year gift. The rumour mill has already been fuelled by magazines, critics and eager football fans. The English Premier League (EPL) has been the most competitive league in Europe this year and if the clubs play their cards well then it will certainly be the most unpredictable league too. Let’s take a look at some of the moves that the big guns of EPL can make. Javier Pastore to Liverpool The 24-year-old Paris Saint-Germain midfielder has found himself down the pecking order of their new manager Laurent Blanc. After appearing in only 12 games ...

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