Live: President Zardari visits Malala in Britain

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 09, 2012 10:42 hrs

4.00 pm:

President Zardari visits Malala in Britain

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has visited Malala Yousafzai in a hospital in Birmingham where she has been recuperating from a gunshot wound.

President Zardari's daughter Aseefa Bhutto Zardari also accompanied him to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Saturday, the Pakistani state-run APP news agency reported.

Hospital director Dave Rosser briefed the president about Malala's health condition.

This was the first time Zardari has met Malala. Aseefa presented a shawl to the 15-year-old girl rights campaigner.

A Taliban gunman shot Malala in the head Oct 9 when she refused to accept their diktat to not attend school. Two of her schoolmates were also injured in the attack outside their school in the Swat Valley.

The nation was proud of Malala and her schoolmates Shazia and Kainaat, President Zardari said. The government was determined to provide education to all girl child, he said.

"Our response to the attack is to further promote education and fight the extremist mindset in the country," the APP quoted Zardari as saying.

Malala said her family and the people of Swat were grateful to the government for the prompt arrangement for her treatment at the best hospitals in Pakistan and Britain.

She said Benazir Bhutto, former prime minster and wife of President Zardari, was her role model and she would endeavour to follow in her footsteps.

Zardari said Malala's quick recovery was "the fulfilment of the prayers of millions of people not only in Pakistan but also across the world".

He said Malala represented the resilience of Pakistani girls and women.

By refusing to bow to the threats of the militants, Malala stood tall today as a champion of girls' education right and against the extremist mindset.

President Zardari thanked the British government and the management of Queen Elizabeth Hospital for providing the best medical care to Malala.

He also appreciated UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UNESCO and other international organisations that supported Malala at a most critical time.

Malala's father Zia-ud-Din Yousafzai, who is with her at the hospital along with her brothers Khushal Khan and Atal Khan, thanked the president for helping Malala.

12.30 pm:

Light can drive faster computing

Cell phones and laptops, powered by increasingly faster and tinier processors, are becoming sleeker and lighter.

Now, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) say light beams shrunk to a few nanometres can drive much faster computing.

Light carries greater amounts of data more efficiently than electrical signals through copper wires. The current technology is increasingly based on optics. The world is already connected by thousands of miles of optical-fiber cables that deliver email, images, and the latest video gone viral to your laptop.

As we all produce and consume more data, computers and communication networks must be able to handle the deluge of information. Focusing light into tinier spaces can squeeze more data through optical fibres and increase bandwidth, the journal Nature Photonics reports.

Moreover, by being able to control light at such small scales, optical devices can also be made more compact, requiring less energy to power them, according to a Caltech statement.

But focusing light to such minute scales is inherently difficult.

Once you reach sizes smaller than the wavelength of light -- a few hundred nanometers in the case of visible light -- you reach what's called the diffraction limit, and it's physically impossible to focus light any further.

But now, Caltech researchers, co-led by assistant professor of electrical engineering Hyuck Choo, have built a new kind of waveguide -- a tunnel-like device that channels light -- that gets around this natural limit.

Because the new device is built on a semiconductor chip with standard nanofabrication techniques, says Choo, study co-author, it is easy to integrate with today's technology.

11.30 am:

Pakistan clinch CT bronze medal with 3-2 victory over India

India will once again return empty-handed from the Champions Trophy after losing 2-3 in the bronze medal play-off against arch-rivals Pakistan, who walked away with their first medal in the event in eight years.

Pakistan scored through Muhammad Rizwan Junior (22nd minute), Shafqat Rasool (41st) and Muhammad Ateeq (66th) to overcome India, for whom V Raghunath (70th) and Rupinder Pal Singh (70th) scored through penalty corners.

Three-time Champions Trophy winners Pakistan's last medal came at Lahore in 2004, where too they won the bronze by overcoming India in the play-off

11.00 am:

Pakistan troops fire at Indians in Kashmir

Pakistani troops opened heavy gun fire on 10 Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, army officials said Sunday.

The Pakistani firing began late Saturday in Krishna Ghati sector in the mountainous district of Poonch, about 250 km from here, and lasted till Sunday morning.

"They used small arms, light machine guns and rockets. The firing was heavy up to 11 p.m. Thereafter it became intermittent and was going on till 7 a.m.," an official said.

Indian troops retaliated "to silence the Pakistani guns", he said.

The army said the usual motive behind such firing is to give cover to terrorists trying to cross the LoC to get into Jammu and Kashmir.

"We are searching the area to find if any infiltrators sneaked in," said the official.

10.30 am:

Prince William breaks silence on Duchess Kate's pregnancy

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, has broken his silence on his wife's pregnancy and revealed that Duchess Kate is beginning to feel better after suffering from acute morning sickness.

The royal broke this news at the Winter Whites Gala in aid of Centrepoint, the homeless charity, of which he is patron.

The 30-year-old joked about the inappropriate name of his wife's recent illness, which saw her hospitalised for three nights earlier this week.

"I don't know why they call it morning sickness - they should call it all day and all night sickness. It's a long old process but she is getting there. She feels like it is going to go on forever," the Mirror quoted him as saying.


Morsi annuls degree that gave him sweeping powers

Egyptian President Morsi has annulled the decree that gave him wide sweeping powers after a series of protests rocked the nation. The decrees, which were amendments to the Constitution, allowed him to take up nearly dictatorial powers.

The situation in Egyptian had worsened considerably after the move was made public, with tens of thousands protesting in the streets and the Egyptian military warning that they would not 'tolerate' a chaotic situation.

9.00 am:

Yeddyurappa to formally launch KJP today

Karnataka's ex-CM B.S. Yeddyurappa is all set to formally launch his party, the Karnataka Janata Paksha, today morning in Haveri. Yeddyurappa broke away from the BJP after nearly 40 years of party work last week.

The bone of contention was the BJP's refusal to give back Yeddyurappa the CM seat after he had resigned from his position following corruption accusations.

Yeddyurappa had resigned under the assumption that he would be allowed to return as CM after a short while.

8.30 am:

Pakistan rejects Karzai's assassination bid allegation

 Islamabad Saturday dismissed Afghan President Hamid Karzai's allegation that the assassination bid on Afghan intelligence chief was planned in Pakistan's Quetta city, Xinhua reported.

Assadullah Khalid, head of Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) and a confidant of Karzai, was injured in Thursday's attack in a guest house of the spy agency in Kabul.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in revenge for the recent execution of several Taliban prisoners, saying the attacker posed as a peace messenger.

On Saturday, Karzai, however, ruled out the possibility of Taliban's involvement in the attack, saying it was impossible for Taliban to carry out what he described as a "complicated attack".

He alleged that the attack was planned by Pakistan-based militants and called for investigation to ascertain the attackers.

Pakistan, however, asked Kabul to share intelligence with Pakistan instead of levelling charges.

"Before levelling charges the Afghan government would do well if they shared information or evidence with the government of Pakistan that they might have with regard to the cowardly attack on the head of NDS.

"They would also do well by ordering an investigation into any lapses in the security arrangements around the NDS chief," Pakistan's foreign ministry said.

7.30 am:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will campaign today for the assembly polls in Gujarat.

Singh is expected to spell out the benefits of various central initiatives to the people of Gujarat at a public rally at Vansada in Navsari district.

The Prime Minister's rally in Gujarat will come two days after Congress President Sonia Gandhi's whirlwind tour of the state during which she had sharpened attack on Chief Minister Narendra Modi who is seeking a fourth term in office.

At a poll rally in Mandvi in Surat district, Gandhi had charged the Modi government with making tall claims about development which were nowhere to be seen in the state.

Rahul Gandhi is expected to campaign at Sanand, Jamnagar and Amreli in Gujarat next week.

The first phase of elections will be held in Gujarat on December 13 followed by the second phase on December 17.

The results are scheduled to be declared on December 20.

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