Sunday, June 18, 2017


Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the officials have been missing since June 16 while they were commuting to Pakistan by road.
The officials, identified as Jan Khan and Muhammad Ejaz, have neither crossed over to Pakistan nor are they reachable on their mobile phones, according to the Foreign Office (FO).
The government is in constant touch with Afghanistan authorities over the matter, the FO informed.
“The Afghan authorities have informed that all efforts are in hand to probe the incident and three distinct investigating groups have been constituted to ensure safe recovery of the officials,” reads the press statement.
Pakistan has requested the Afghan Government to ensure the early recovery of the officials and bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice, stated the FO.
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New poll shows Macron’s party all set for huge majority in French parliamentary elections 

French voters cast their votes in the second round of a parliamentary election on Sunday. Reports of President Emmanuel Macron on the way to landslide majority that should allow him to embark on deep social and economic reforms.
The vote comes just a month after the 39-year-old former banker became the youngest head of state in modern French history, promising to clean up French politics and revive the euro zone’s second biggest economy.
Turnout, though, could touch record lows, in a sign of voter fatigue after seven months of campaigning and voting, but also of disillusionment and anger with politics that could eventually complicate Macron’s reform drive.
Macron’s centrist Republic on the Move (LREM) party is barely more than a year old, yet pollsters project it will win as many as 75-80 percent of seats in the 577-seat lower house.
Voting stations opened in France on Sunday for the second round of parliamentary elections, with opinion polls indicating President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Republic on the Move party likely to win a massive majority in the lower house. Turnout could fall to a record low, in a sign of voter fatigue after seven months of roller-coaster campaigning and voting, and of disillusionment with politics that could complicate Macron’s reform drive. Macron  has uphill task to overhaul economy gowth which include labour rules, cut tens of thousands of public sector jobs and invest billions of public cash in areas including job training and renewable energy, has such a diverse acts with politically raw group of lawmakers united behind him.
Media agencies
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A major forest fire sweeping through central Portugal has led to at least 57 fatalities, with 59 more people injured, Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes said, adding that many were burnt to death in their cars while making a desperate attempt to flee.
Secretary of State of Internal Administration Jorge Gomes had previously put the death toll at at least 43 people.
Jorge Gomes said that about 600 firefighters have been trying to put out the fires since Saturday.
He reported that at least 18 people were “burned to death in their cars,” while several others died from smoke inhalation.
Six firefighters have been injured, Gomes added.
Eighteen of the 59 injured are being treated in hospitals in Lisbon, Coimbra, and Porto, Gomes said, as cited by local media.
Since noon on Saturday when the fire started in a mountainous area of the central Leiria district, measuring some 128 square kilometers, it has spilled over to another three municipalities: Castanheira de Per in Leiria, Figueiro dos Vinhos, and Gois.
The blaze has been exacerbated by extremely high temperatures, which have gone as high as 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
“The fire continues with four active fronts, very violent, very strong, and reinforcements are continuing to arrive,” Gomes said on Saturday, while enacting an emergency civil protection plan in Leiria. He said that a field hospital and an additional mortuary have been set up as part of the effort.
Sad to learn of tragic loss of lives in the forest fire in Portugal. Deepest condolences to the Portugese people on this tragedy.
Earlier reports suggest, Portugal, the death toll in forest fires has risen to 24, says Prime Minister Antonio Costa. The majority died while trying to flee the Pedrogao Grande area in their cars, according to the government. Several fire fighters are reported to be among about 20 people injured. Mr Costa said that they are witnessing a terrible tragedy. He said, so far, 24 deaths are confirmed and the death toll may rise further. Secretary of State for the Interior Jorge Gomes earlier said that three people died from smoke inhalation and 16 died in their cars on the road linking Figueiro dos Vinhos to Castanheira de Pera. It is not yet known what caused the fire, which has also burnt down houses in the area.President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker expressed condolences to the victims’ families on his Twitter. He also promised to provide help through an EU civil protection mechanism.
Media agencies
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The export of spices and spice products achieved a growth of 12 per cent during 2016-17.
According to Spices Board in Kochi, 9.48 lakhs tons of spices were exported earning over 17 thousand crore rupee.
In 2015-16, the country had exported 8.43 lakhs tons worth around 16 thousand crores.
Chilli continued to be the most sought after spice, registering an increase of 27 per cent in value in the last fiscal year.
Cumin was the second most exported spice recording a rise of 22 per cent in quantity and 28 per cent in value.
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India has claimed the top spot among the remittance-receiving nations, surpassing China.
The United Nations, in its report, said Indians working across the globe sent home 62.7 billion US dollars last year.
The ‘One Family at a Time’ study by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development said, about 200 million migrants globally sent more than 445 billion dollars as remittances in 2016 to their families.
Remittance flows have grown over the last decade from 296 billion in 2007 to 445 billion dollars in 2016.
It has risen at a rate averaging 4.2 per cent annually.
The study is the first-ever of a 10-year trend in migration and remittance flows over the period 2007-2016.
It said 80 per cent of remittances are received by 23 countries, led by India, China, the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan.
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