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AJK goes to polls with tight security in place MUZZAFARABAD: Stakes are high in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly elections being held on Thursday as the three major parties – PML-N, PPP and PTI – have been claiming the support of the masses.Voting started at 8:00 AM and will continue without any break till 5:00 PM.All 41 seats are being contested by 423 candidates of 26 political and religious parties. A total of 26,76,586 voters are entitled to exercise their right to franchise. Of them 14,83,747 are male and 11,90,839 are female voters.The Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly has 49 seats of which 29 are for Azad Kashmir.Votes for 12 seats for Kashmiris living in Pakistan will be cast in other cities after which the members of the assembly will cast vote for five seats reserved for women, one reserved for Ulema and Mashaiq, and two for technocrat seats.Prominent among those contesting the elections are one incumbent ...

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Gang-rape in India: UN offical says outrage not enough UNITED NATIONS: A key adviser to the United Nations children's agency has decried the culture of impunity surrounding sexual violence against women and girls around the world, following a recent case of gang-rape in India."Outrage is not enough," Anju Malhotra, UNICEF's Principal Gender Advisor, said in a statement on Wednesday."We need action now to end this brutality that has become routine and to give the victims of violence the justice and protection they deserve."The statement ...

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16 Kerala youth booked for protesting against IOK killings ISLAMABAD: As many as 16 youth were arrested in Kannur city of Indian state of Kerala for protesting against the killing of innocent civilians by Indian forces following the extrajudicial murder of Burhan Muzaffar Wani, by Indian troops.According to KMS, the youth were booked for shouting slogans against the Indian army while the protesters claim that they had only recited some poems on Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK). They were lodged in a police station in ...

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Pakistani importers bought Brazilian soybeans, Canadian canola HAMBURG: Pakistani importers have in recent weeks purchased about 330,000 tonnes of soybeans to be sourced from Brazil and also recently bought about 30,000 tonnes of Canadian canola, European traders said on Thursday.The soybeans are for shipment between February and May 2017 in five consignments, they said.The canola (rapeseed) was for November and December shipment purchased in part ship loads, they said.The canola for November shipment was purchased at low prices of around $415 to ...

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Asia markets rally resumes on stimulus hopes HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose Thursday following a fresh Wall Street record as traders are pumped up by strong corporate results and expectations of fresh stimulus.After a slight stumble Tuesday and Wednesday caused by profit-taking, the equities rally resumed with Tokyo again leading the pack following a report that Japan is planning a new, giant stimulus programme.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eyeing a package of at least 20 trillion yen -- about double the ...