Tuesday, December 29, 2015
In June, President Obama signed an executive order that directed the Labor Department to chance the rules for overtime pay. In 2016, 5 million US workers are going to get the overtime pay that they deserve thanks to the President’s action.
According to the White House, the Labor Department’s proposal will:
– Raise the threshold under which most salaried workers are guaranteed overtime to equal the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers. As proposed, this would raise the salary threshold from $455 a week ($23,660 a year) – below the poverty threshold for a family of four – to a projected level of $970 a week ($50,440 a year) in 2016.
– Extend overtime pay and the minimum wage to nearly 5 million workers within the first year of its implementation, of which 56 percent are women and 53 percent have at least a college degree.
– Provide greater clarity for millions more workers so they – and their employers – can determine more easily if they should be receiving overtime pay.
– Prevent a future erosion of overtime and ensure greater predictability by automatically updating the salary threshold based on inflation or wage growth over time.
In common sense English, what President Obama did was update a rule that had only been changed once since the 1970s to combat the practice of denying workers overtime pay by slapping a managerial title on their position. The practice of making employees “managers” to get around overtime pay rules is common in service industries.
The process for the new Labor Department rule should be done by June 2016, which means that millions of workers will get paid for all of the hours that work thanks to one action taken by the Obama administration. The fact that President Obama was able to help millions of Americans get paid what they deserve is a reminder that elections have real life consequences. Without President Obama tens of millions of Americans would not have healthcare. Obama has helped millions of workers and hundreds of millions of Americans during his time in office.No president is perfect, but Obama has had a net positive impact, and that is really all that the American people can ask from any president.
Barack Obama has had successes big and small, but one of his most overlooked achievements was making sure that 5 million workers get paid what they have earned.
دپنجاب صوبې د سیالکوټ ښار د ترهه ګرۍ مخنیوي ادارې په وینا چې د وسله والې ډلې داعش نهه تنه وسله وال یې نیولې دي.
د سیالکوټ د ترهه ګرۍ مخنیوي ادارې یو چارواکي د نوم نه ښودلو په شرط مشال راډیو سره په خبرو کې وویل چې شپږ د داعش وسله وال د سیالکوټ او درې د ګوجرانواله نه نیول شوې دي.
دې وسله والو خلاف د ترهه ګرۍ مقدمې د ګل په ورځ درج شوې دي.
د دغه چارواکي په وینا چې د وسله والو نه په موقع درې کلو بارودي مواد، وسله، لیپ ټاپونه او سي ډي ګانې هم نیول شوې دي.
دا وسله وال د پلټنو لپاره نامالومه ځای ته لېږدول شوي دي.
د سیالکوټ ترهه ګرۍ مخنیوي ادارې په وینا چې دې وسله والو په مهمو ودانیو د برید پلان لرلو.
د ذکر ده روانه میاشت په کراچې کې د ترهه ګرۍ د مخنیوي ادارې د وسله والې ډلې داعش درې ښځې نیولې وې.
پر دې ښځو تور وو چې له شتمنو کورنیو د داعش لپاره یې چندې ټولولې.
وسله والو ډلو خلاف کاروایې په اړه د دفاعي چارو کار پوه او پخوانې بریګیډیر سید نذیر وایې د دې کاروایې نه معلومیږي چې د دې وسله والې ډلې څه نه څه نښې پاکستان کې شته.
د ده په وینا که پاکستان د اوس نه په دې کلک نظر و نه ساتلو او کاروایي یې د دې خلاف ونکړه نو د دې د خپریدو امکانات به زیات شي.
"داسي ډلو او تنظیمونو منخنیوي لپاره ښه طریقه کار دا دې چې استخباراتي اپریشنې وشي او د دې نه وړاندې چې هغې فعال شي او خپل هدفونه شروع کړې نو اوس دا وخت دې چې پاکستان په دې ژور او مضبوط نظر وساتي او د دوي چې کوم ځایونه دي یا که دوي جړې خوروي چې د هغې بیخ کني وشي"
یاده دې وي تیره میاشت د پاکستان د خارجه چارو وزارت ویاند ویلې وو چې پاکستان کې د وسله والې ډلې داعش وجود نشته او که څوک هم دې ډلې سره تړلي وي هغه به نه برداشت کیږي.
By Farhan Bokhar
Dozens of students emerge from Karachi’s Jamia Binoria Aalimiyah Islamic madrassa on a sunny afternoon, dressed in the white, Arabian-style robe with long sleeves known as the thawb. Normal garb in the Gulf states, it is striking on the streets of Pakistan, where clothes tend to be more colourful and tailored in the south Asian manner.
Binoria is an Islamic school devoted to the Deobandi tenets of Sunni Islam, a conservative interpretation akin to the Wahhabi tradition practised in Saudi Arabia, and it is one of the institutions watched by western governments suspicious of links to Islamist violence and possible financial support from Saudi and other patrons in the Gulf.
Gul Khan, a rickshaw driver who routinely parks in search of passengers on the road leading to Binoria — which claims to provide mainstream education — sees the young students from the seminary as evidence of Pakistan’s “good relations with our Saudi brothers”. But some Pakistanis lament a four-decade trend they refer to as the “Saudi-isation of Pakistan”.
Saudi Arabia’s influence began to grow in Pakistan in the 1970s when Riyadh’s ultra-conservative ruling establishment teamed up with Pakistan’s military ruler, General Zia ul-Haq, and the US to aid the mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation of neighbouring Afghanistan.
After the Iranian revolution in 1979, the Saudis developed proxies in Pakistan to block the influence of Tehran. “Since Iran’s revolution, the Saudis have tried to build close ties with some political parties, the Islamic ones in particular, to expand their influence in Pakistan,” says a senior western diplomat in Islamabad.
Riyadh’s influence has been felt in mainstream Pakistani politics. The Saudis helped prime minister Nawaz Sharif after his arrest in a 1999 military coup. He was subsequently exiled to Saudi Arabia but returned to Pakistan seven years later and resumed his political career after the Saudi leadership intervened on his behalf with General Pervez Musharraf, the military leader at the time.
Pakistan’s policymakers recall the generous Saudi bailout following Islamabad’s maiden nuclear tests in 1998, when the kingdom sent them free oil for three years to counter punitive global sanctions.
An increasing drift towards Saudi-style Islam has accompanied the growing political influence. A former hotel manager in Karachi recalls his surprise in the 1980s to discover that increasingly pious visitors were washing their feet in the hotel handbasins as part of their daily ablutions — eventually prompting many five-star properties to post signs in their bathrooms prohibiting the practice. “As Pakistan began looking more like a Saudi country, such symbols also began spreading,” he says.
The more urgent concern for analysts and policymakers is what impact Saudi’s influence has had on Pakistan’s school’s — particularly a network of more than 30,000 madrassas that specialise in religious education.
The head of Binoria, Mufti Muhammad Naeem, insists the school has not received “even a single rupee” from Saudi Arabia. “The money we have received has all come from local supporters. In the past you have had students from Karachi University [a mainstream state funded university] go for jihad. There have also been acts of terror undertaken by people around the world who were not even Muslims. Why do you only focus on madrassa schools?”
Nonetheless, many analysts and diplomats see a Saudi hand behind Pakistan’s madrassas and their strict teachings. It is a source of pride for Sunni teachers and students to study in Saudi Arabia, says Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political commentator. “We know that such students going to Saudi Arabia are generally on a scholarship, and they take a lot of pride in getting an education in Saudi Arabia.”
A senior western diplomat in Pakistan agrees: “It seems the Saudis have actively used the madrassa connection to their advantage”, he says.
The possible role of a conservative Islamic education in promoting extremism came under the spotlight earlier this month after the fatal mass shootings in San Bernardino, California. A young couple — Syed Rizwan Farook, of Pakistani origin who was born and raised in the US, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, a more recent immigrant from Pakistan — carried out the carnage before being shot by police.
Ms Malik’s connections to Saudi Arabia, where her parents have been based for more than 20 years, and her attendance of religious classes in Pakistan at Al-Huda — part of a network of Islamic schools for women — may have radicalised her, western officials say.
Al-Huda denies radicalising students. It says it has seen more than 20,000 women graduate in the past two decades and that its credentials have never been questioned. “We only teach the Koran and other subjects of Islam. Our message promotes peace,” Al-Huda says.
A senior Pakistani official estimates that 80 per cent of the country’s madrassas are Deobandi, and as many as 2,000 “are involved in violent activities”.
One western official who has regularly tracked militant activity in Pakistan sees a clear link between the schools and the country’s embrace of extremism.
“In the past 30 years, such institutions have emerged as the primary suppliers of human resource for militant causes in Afghanistan and India,” the official says. “Why should anyone be surprised if people are now taking a closer look at such connections?”
The US and NATO mission in Afghanistan has been a complete failure, the Russian President’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, told TASS, in evaluating the effectiveness of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) there.
“Assessing the results of the actions of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, it can be said that they have completely failed their mission,” Kabulov said in an interview to TASS, adding that the ultimate goal of the ISAF anti-terrorist campaign, which consisted in creating “a democratic centralized state” in Afghanistan, has not been achieved.
The special envoy stressed that, not only has the US-led coalition in Afghanistan failed to achieve its main goal, but “has not accomplished any of the tasks it had set before the operation,” as Afghanistan still lacks “strong and stable central authority.”
He also emphasized that, failing to defeat the Taliban by military means, the ISAF’s current policy of national reconciliation de-facto envisions their participation in the new political power structure of Afghanistan.
Kabulov drew attention to the fact that the ongoing “Decisive Support” training mission, which the US and their allies in Afghanistan are currently conducting, has also shown very little result. The program aims to improve the combat readiness of the Afghan army and police, enabling them to independently secure stability and order.
According to Kabulov, Afghan governmental forces “show inability to affect the situation due to a lack of arms and equipment, as well as an insufficient level of training and low morale.”
With the Taliban bearing down on different parts of the country, Western troops have been forced to directly engage in combat, leaving them less time to focus on training Afghan soldiers, Kabulov said.
Meanwhile, according to the Russian President’s special envoy, the situation in Afghanistan remains tense, with “high or extraordinary” security threats present in 27 of the 34 Afghan provinces, as Taliban militants intensify their activities in different parts of the country.
On December 11, the insurgents assaulted the Spanish embassy guesthouse in the Afghan capital. The militants also killed six US soldiers in a suicide bomb attack on the Bagram air base.
The Taliban has seized part of Afghan’s southeastern Helmand province and heavy clashes with government forces have already been taking place there for several weeks. British troops were redeployed to the province after the militants took control of the town of Sangin a year after NATO forces formally ended their combat operations in Afghanistan.
In October, militants seized two districts in Badakhshan Province and even held the large northern Afghan city of Kunduz for several days in late September before government forces managed to retake it with heavy air support from the US.
In the country’s north, the Taliban has created several bases and about 15,000 militants operating in the area pose a threat to several Afghan provinces, Kabulov warned.
In the country’s north, the Taliban has created several bases and about 15,000 militants operating in the area pose a threat to several Afghan provinces, Kabulov warned.
In the meantime, despite being in open conflict with the Taliban, Islamic State is also trying to take hold in the country, posing additional threats to the region’s security.
Russia can be ‘flexible’ in case of sanctions against Taliban
At the same time, Kabulov stressed that Russia is ready to help Afghanistan cope with its security problems and“consistently lends comprehensive assistance” to it.
Russia supports the Afghan policy of national reconciliation and “is ready to be flexible over a potential easing of the UN Security Council’s sanctions regime against Taliban if it does not contradict the Afghan national interests,” Kabulov told TASS.
Additionally, Russia is expected to deliver 10,000 AK-47 assault rifles to the Afghan army along with accompanying ammunition in January 2016. This matter is almost settled, according to Kabulov. Russia is also holding talks with the Afghan authorities about helicopter shipments.
By late November, Russia had delivered 57 KAMAZ trucks, worth $2.5 million, to Afghanistan free of charge, Kabulov added.
Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians is likely to witness overhaul in the party structure after Asif Ali Zardari replaced PPPP President Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
Aseefa BhuttoZardari is also likely to be given a role in the party structure for the first time while Bilawal Bhutto would continue to lead it as its chairman.
It is pertinent to mention here that Asif Ali Zardari had stated in a news conference that Bilawal Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto would play their role in politics while Bakhtawar would look after business.
Sources privy to this development said an overhaul was expected within the PPP, including change of Sindh and Punjab presidents.
“There is a suggestion that Qaim Ali Shah and Manzoor Wattoo be removed as the presidents of Sindh and Punjab, respectively, and replaced by Nisar Ahmed Khuhro in Sindh and Qamar Zaman Kaira in Punjab,” they said, adding the name of Faisal Saleh Hayat was also discussed at the meeting as the replacement of Punjab PPP president. But it was not considered as he had not so far joined the party.
They further said Aseefa Bhutto Zardari would also likely to play an active role in politics and lead the youth wing of the party as its chairperson.
“This overhaul is not only limited to changes in upper structure of the party, but also will go downward as changes at district level are also expected,” they said.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan People’s Party is not a political group and the party was registered with Election Commission of Pakistan as the PPP-Parliamentarians.
“This issue of merger of both the parties, PPPP and PPP, was also discussed during a meeting between Asif Zardari and Farooq H Naek in Dubai,” they said, adding Naek opined there was no chance of merger owing to legal formalities. The sources further said suggestions of the CEC were also sent to President PPPP Asif Ali Zardari for approval.
Meanwhile, some political observers had also cited exclusion of Bilawal Bhutto from PPPP as an attempt by Asif Ali Zardari to completely control the party.
Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi, however, said there was no chance of a new organizational setup of the party that has elected a new president replacing Makhdoom Amin Fahim after his death.
The decision for the appointment of the new president was made at the Central Executive Committee of the PPP, presided over by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Garhi Khuda Bux.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan People’s Party had contested election from the platform of PPPP and, the party president has all the powers as per rules and regulations.
Talking to The Nation, Faisal Karim Kundi said CEC had powers to make changes in the PPPP structure, but no such decision was taken during the meeting at Garhi Khuda Bux.
“Except replacing the PPPP president and paying tribute to Benazir Bhutto, no other thing was discussed at the CEC meeting,” he said, adding now it was not possible to once again convene the meeting soon for the overhaul in organizational setup of the party.
The suicide bombing Tuesday at a government office building in northwest Pakistan highlights the increasingly violent presence of the Islamic State militant group in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
Jamaat ul-Ahrar, which is part of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella militant group and has reportedly joined forces with IS, has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Pakistani officials have consistently denied that IS has a presence in the country. But several recent attacks by IS-affiliates have kindled fears that the militant group has been successful in making inroads into a nation ripe for IS activities.
Pakistan's counterterrorism authorities on Tuesday told VOA that they arrested a group of 13 suspected militants operating a recruiting and training facility for IS in Punjab state.
Underground training center
Security forces found "an underground training center and seized automatic weapons, communication equipment, bomb-making material, laptops, CDs containing IS propaganda material, and maps of the Pakistani military's bases and other facilities," said the officials, requesting anonymity.
Pakistan's Dawn newspaper said the suspects confessed that they pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi.
One of the detainees facilitated contact between the suspects and a Pakistani national who was in charge of recruiting Pakistani militants to Syria. The man helped nine suspected militants reach Syria through Turkey, Dawn said, citing official documents.
Turkish officials, meanwhile, revealed Tuesday that two Pakistanis, along with a Briton, were arrested last week in Istanbul for links to IS.
Spike in Pakistan
Pakistan has recently seen a spike in IS-related activities inside the country.
A predominantly Punjab-based terrorist organization, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which is touting increasing ties to IS, claimed responsibility for a bombing this month that killed 25 people at a used clothing market in a Pakistani tribal region.
Authorities in Karachi last week discovered a network of women raising funds for IS.
IS activity in Pakistan is blending into the group's growing stronghold in neighboring Afghanistan.
Pakistan and Afghan authorities recently combined forces to shut down a mobile IS radio station that has been transmitting from the mountains on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
IS fighters in Afghanistan are active in various districts of the eastern province of Nangarhar, including Achin.
IS is reportedly holding up to 300 prisoners at eight jails in rugged terrain in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, Afghan officials told VOA.
Most IS prisoners are being held on charges of working for the Afghan government or supporting the rival Taliban.
Achin's governor, Haji Ghalib, told VOA that IS militants have captured civilians and those who had risen up to confront the group. During the past two months, IS has arrested 300 local residents, Ghaleb told VOA.
Local residents in Achin told VOA that many tribal leaders are still missing after they were abducted by the militant group.
"Many tribal elders have been taken away by IS militants and there is no information if they are dead or still alive," a local resident, who requested anonymity, told VOA.
Afghan security forces launched operations against IS, but the area has not yet been cleared of the fighters — some of whom fled across the border into Pakistan, local officials said.
By SAFDAR DAWAR And SAEED SHAH
A bombing outside a government office in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday killed at least 24 people, officials said.A faction of the Pakistani Taliban, a group called Jamaat ul Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the early afternoon blast at the office, where national identity cards are produced, in the town of Mardan.
Saeed Wazir, a senior police officer, said that a suicide bomber tried to enter the compound of the local office of the National Database and Registration Authority, but he was stopped at the gate by a security guard and he detonated explosives there.
“Our investigation will find out who the bomber was,” said Mr. Wazir.
Offices of Nadra, which are in all districts of the country, tend to be busy with queues of people applying for identity cards.Abandoned shoes, pools of blood and shattered glass marked the scene of the blast, television footage showed.The 68 injured were treated at hospitals in Mardan and the provincial capital Peshawar, medical staff said.
The Pakistani Taliban faction said that Nadra, which maintains an extensive database covering most Pakistanis, was targeted because it helps security forces identifying their members.
“We are targeting all of Pakistan’s institutions because as part of the state, they are being used against us,” the group said.Pakistan launched a military operation in June 2014 against the stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban in the tribal areas, an offensive that was given further impetus after the group massacred over 130 schoolchildren in Peshawar in December last year.
Authorities early Tuesday morning executed four militants over separate incidents. They were condemned to death by special military courts set up in the wake of the Peshawar attack to try terrorist suspects.
The offensive against the Pakistani Taliban has led to a reduction in the number of attacks in the country, with much of the group now based in neighboring Afghanistan.
As of Dec. 20, 905 civilians were killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan in 2015, compared with 1,781 last year, according to a tally maintained by the South Asia Terrorism Portal, a website that tracks the number.