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Libyan parties agree ‘in principle’ to move UN-mediated political talks from Geneva to Libya -
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 29 (APP):  Participants in the United Nations-facilitated Libyan political dialogue in discussions in Geneva this week have agreed "on the principle"ť of convening future dialogue sessions in Libya, provided that logistical and security conditions are available, the U.N. said Thursday.


US terms Afghan Taliban armed insurgency, ISIS terrorist organization -
WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (APP): The White House has termed the Afghan Taliban as armed insurgency, differentiating it from the ISIS terrorist organization operating in Iraq and Syria, as a spokesman reiterated longstanding American position that rules out giving any concessions to terrorists.


Javed Malik welcomes Pakistani healthcare exporters in UAE -
DUBAI, Jan 29 (APP): Pakistan’s Ambassador at Large Javed Malik Thursday visited Arab Health Exhibition and welcomed the Pakistani exporters taking part in the largest healthcare exhibition in the Middle East, being held here. 


UN’s ME envoy ‘outraged’ by attack on world body’s Gaza compound -
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 28 (APP): The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, Robert Serry, has expressed outrage by the assault on the UN premises in Gaza on Wednesday.


Pakistan figures above regional countries on economic freedom index -
WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (APP): Pakistan has greater economic freedom than other major regional economies, the latest worldwide Index of Economic Freedom determines while taking into account improvements the country has made over the last year.


Sport News
PTF announces team for Davis Cup
ISLAMABAD, Jan 29 (APP): Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) on Thursday announced the Davis Cup team that will play against Kuwait at a neutral venue, Colombo, Sri Lanka from March 4 to 6. 
 
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KARACHI, Jan 29 (APP): Opener Babar Azam struck a blazing century to propel State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in the final of President’s Gold Cup One-day Tournament thrashing Karachi Dolphins by nine wickets at National Stadium on Thursday.
 
Dollar East Royal CC considering to induct Amir for Patrons Trophy Grade-II
KARACHI, Jan 29 (APP): Dollar East Royal Cricket Club is considering to induct Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir in their fold for the upcoming Patrons Cricket Trophy Grade-II Championship starting in March, head of sports Zaheer Ahmed said on Thursday.
 
Sarfaraz asks players to adopt aggressive approach
ISLAMABAD, Jan 29 (APP): Former fast bowler Sarfaraz Nawaz has said that Pakistan cricket team must show aggression and work hard to win two-match ODI series against New Zealand, starting on Saturday.
 
Young Mahin creates history for Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Pakistan’s under 14 player Mahin Aftab Qureshi created history on Tuesday when she annexed the girls singles title of 2nd leg ITF Asian 14 and Under Tennis Championships - Division II in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
 
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U.S. appeals court upholds Aafia Siddiqui’s sentence PDF Print E-mail
NEW YORK, Nov 6 (APP): A federal appeals court on Monday upheld the conviction of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was accused of trying to kill U.S. troops and FBI agents in Afghanistan four years ago.  The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said that a lower court judge had not erred in allowing Dr. Siddiqui, 40, to testify in her own defence at trial two years ago and in allowing certain evidence against her.  The Pakistani neuroscientist was sentenced to 86 years in prison after she was convicted of grabbing a U.S. soldier’s M-4 assault rifle and trying to shoot a group of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and soldiers at an Afghan police compound in July 2008, a charge she consistently denied during the trial.

At trial, she testified that she was simply trying to escape the room and was shot by someone who saw her. Siddiqui, whose conviction was widely criticized in Pakistan and some human rights activists, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in September 2010.
She was convicted by a New York federal jury of attempted murder, armed assault and other charges. The Pakistani neuroscientist is now spending time in prison in Carswell, Texas. The U.S. team had traveled to Ghazni, Afghanistan, to interview her after she was taken into custody by Afghan authorities.
Prosecutors claimed she was found with materials that included handwritten notes referring to a “mass casualty attack” in the U.S. and listed several landmark locations in New York City. On Monday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected several arguments by Siddiqui’s lawyers, including that she shouldn’t have been allowed to testify in her defence because of a mental illness and that a terrorism enhancement shouldn’t have applied to her sentence.
The appellate court claimed that the district judge went to “extraordinary lengths” to ensure Siddiqui understood the implications of her testimony.
“Even were we to discern any daylight between the standards governing a efendant’s capacity to stand trial and those for assessing her capacity to determine whether to testify (and then, actually to testify), we would find no reason to upset the district (lower) court’s implicit determination that Siddiqui did in fact have the requisite capacity to make the latter decision here,” U.S. Circuit Judge Richard W. Wesley wrote in a 42-page opinion.
“That Siddiqui’s choice to testify like many defendants’ decisions to testify was a poor one, does not alter our analysis.” In February, Dawn Cardi, Siddiqui’s court-appointed lawyer, attorney, made a strong case before the justices that her client should been barred from giving evidence before the trial court because of her mental illness, which had been confirmed by doctors.
Cardi also questioned the evidence collected from Dr. Siddiqui by two FBI agents at the U.S. base in Baghram while she was recovering from the bullet wounds she sustained at a police facility in Ghazni, Afghanistan, in July 2008.
She said the evidence was prejudicial because she had not been read her rights and therefore should not have been entertained.
Moreover, she had not had the opportunity to consult any lawyers. Cardi lso said that during the trial, experts had provided concrete evidence that the M-4 rifle which she allegedly picked up had not been not fired and that no spent bullets or casings were found.
She also said Dr. Siddiqui was not being tried for terrorism, the material containing diagrams of New York landmarks allegedly recovered from her should not been introduced into the proceedings. But the government  side maintained that Dr. Siddiqui was competent to stand trial. Prosecution lawyers also said that Dr. Siddiqui was not “interrorgated” but was “interviewed”.
Prosecutors alleged that Siddiqui was behind a curtain in the second-floor room where they gathered. She burst from behind the curtain, grabbed an American soldier’s rifle and started firing, prosecutors said. 
She was shot in the abdomen by a soldier who returned fire with his sidearm, prosecutors said.
Siddiqui received graduate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of echnology and Brandeis University in biology and neuroscience while living in the U.S. between 1991 and June 2002. 
 

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