Zardari regrets his remarks about Rao Anwar

ISLAMABAD: Former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has regretted the remarks he made in an interview with a private TV channel, calling former Malir SSP Rao Anwar, a ‘brave child’.

Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that Mr. Asif Ali Zardari has described his words as mis-spoken and regretted any offence to anyone.

The former President also acknowledged in another TV interview today that his words about Rao Anwar were indeed mis-spoken, the Spokesperson said..

The spokesman clarified that the former president had also denounced extrajudicial killings as abhorrent, criminal and unacceptable and called for bringing to justice all those involved in it.

The former President realizes that his remarks made unwittingly in the flow of conversation may have caused anguish and has regretted it.

Zardari on Friday lauded the valor of former Rao Anwar, calling him a ‘brave child’, even though he has failed to appear before the Supreme Court in an alleged murder case of Naqeebullah Mehsud.

Asif Ali Zrdari, in an interview, said; “Rao Anwar is among those brave children who participated in the operation against MQM,� adding that 54 SHOs took part in that operation, while he only survived as rest of 53 were eliminated.

Responding to a question about Naqeebullah Mehsud’s murder in an alleged police encounter, he suggested that everybody should reconsider and review the case in broad perceptive, which according to him was hyped by the media.

To a question the former president said that IG Sindh should have informed the agencies about his WhatsApp talks with suspended Malir SSP Rao Anwar.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had issued contempt notice to former Malir SSP Rao Anwar as he did not appear before the apex court despite being granted protective bail in Naqeebullah Mehsud case.

Naqeebullah Mehsud, a native of South Waziristan, was among the four killed in an alleged …read more

Source:: The News International – Latest news

Richmond farmers campaign against further house-size restrictions

A group of Richmond farmers has launched a campaign to dissuade government from further reducing the maximum allowable size of houses on agricultural land in the city.

The Richmond Farmland Owners Association, which includes 50 member families with more than 2,500 acres of farmland, is concerned that after the city updated policy on house sizes last spring, “special interest groups” are now pressuring the city to make them even smaller, spokesman Gunraj Gill said.

Last May, the City of Richmond made bylaw amendments reducing the allowable maximum sizes of houses on farmland to 5,382 sq. ft. on lots up to 0.5 acres and 10,763 sq. ft. on larger properties, after dozens of houses 15,000 sq. ft. and larger had been constructed.

Gill, a consultant working with the farmers, said that in the six months following this “made in Richmond solution,” the city received only 11 building permits for residential construction on farmland, down from 45 in the three months before the amendments. Before the changes, the average size for house construction was 12,000 sq. ft.; afterward, the average building permit application dropped to 8,192 sq. ft.

“What the farming community wants is: Let these homes be built, let people see the difference and then if we need to revisit this debate, then we most certainly can,” he said. “They feel that they worked extensively and they came up with an evidence-based decision, which was to reduce the sizes.”

In a news release, the owners association dismissed claims that larger homes are degrading farmland, and said many farms are owned and operated by an extended family living under one roof because bylaws prevent them from building several dwellings on any one farm.

Gill said much of the opposition to the larger houses comes from a group called <a target="_blank" href="http://www.richmondfarmwatch.com/" target="_blank" …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

Cal women end Stanford’s win streak

BERKELEY — Asha Thomas scored 25 points and was one of three Cal players to hit a clutch 3-pointer down the stretch as the Golden Bears ended No. 14 Stanford’s seven-game winning streak 78-66 on Saturday.

The Cardinal, down 11 to start the fourth quarter, pulled within 62-60 on a 3-pointer by Alana Smith with 41/2 minutes to play. Thomas answered with a 3-pointer for the Golden Bears, who had missed their first six shots of the quarter. After Smith hit a free throw, Mikayla Cowling made a 3 and following a Smith layup, Jaelyn Brown had a 3 to put Cal up 71-63 with 1:29 to go. The Bears made 7 of 8 free throws from there.

Kianna Smith had 14 points for Cal (18-9, 9-7 Pac-12), which made 10 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter and outrebounded Stanford 46-28.

Brittany McPhee had 24 points and Smith 20 for the Cardinal (19-9, 13-3), who dropped a half-game behind league-leading Oregon.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News

Can a Happy Meal ever really be “healthy”? McDonald’s is trying its best

McDonald’s Happy Meal is about to get a makeover. On Thursday, the fast-food chain announced new nutrition standards for its kids’ meals and a series of upcoming menu swaps designed to make options for children healthier.

By June 2018, all of its U.S. Happy Meals will contain less than 600 calories — and most will contain less than 650 milligrams of salt. The chain is shrinking the size of the fries that come with kids’ McChicken Nuggets and reformulating its chocolate milk to make it less sugary.

Bottled water will soon become a default Happy Meal option. Cheeseburgers will drop off entirely. The chain has also promised to continue promoting fresh fruits and vegetables as a Happy Meal side, building on the success of its baby carrots and “Cutie” tangerines.

Taken together, the changes do not transform burgers or chicken nuggets into health foods. But McDonald’s and public health experts who have reviewed the chain’s plans say they have the potential to incrementally improve the diets of millions of children.

One third of U.S. kids eat fast food each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We think McDonald’s is raising the bar,” said Howell Wechsler, the chief executive of the national public health nonprofit Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which advised McDonald’s on the menu changes. “It’s a challenge to other companies in the field to get out there and do what’s right for kids.”

In addition to the calorie and sodium goals, the chain’s new “nutrition criteria” aim to get meals below 10 percent of calories from saturated fat, and 10 percent of calories from added sugar.

McDonald’s says all menu-listed Happy Meals in the U.S. will meet these goals by June, with the exception of the sodium reduction. (Kids can also still special-request items like cheeseburgers and sodas.) In the other …read more

Source:: The Denver Post