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Pak PM Imran’s plane makes emergency landing back in NY

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New York, Sep 28 (IANS) The special aircraft given to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for his visit to the US made an emergency landing at the John F. Kennedy International Airport here after developing a technical snag.

Khan had taken off for home from New York’s JFK International Airport on Friday evening in a special jet placed at his disposal by the Saudi government, but it flew back in a couple of hours to have the problem fixed, Pakistani media reported.

According to reports, the technical fault was being fixed and there was no cause for concern. The fault was noticed when the airplane was near Toronto.

Imran Khan is to spend the night in a private hotel in New York while the flight will be rescheduled after fixing the fault.

A Pakistani delegation, including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, is accompanying Imran Khan. There was reportedly an issue in the plane’s electronics system.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, who had earlier seen off Imran Khan, rushed back to the airport.

Imran Khan, who led the Pakistan delegation to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, waited at the airport for some time while technicians tried to fix the fault, but since more work was needed, they decided to fly on Saturday morning.

Lodhi escorted the Prime Minister back to the Roosevelt Hotel where he was staying during his hectic seven-day trip.

Officials said if the plane is not fixed in the morning, Imran Khan would take a commercial flight back to Pakistan where he is anxious to visit earthquake-hit areas and visit the affected families.

Tech

China Successfully Launches Its First Spacecraft To Moon To Collect Samples, Return To Earth

The spacecraft was launched by a Long March-5 rocket at 4.30 am (Beijing Time)

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Mars moon Phobos

China successfully launched its first unmanned space mission on Tuesday to collect samples from the moon’s surface and return to earth, the country’s maiden attempt to retrieve materials from an extra-terrestrial body.

China has successfully launched the Chang’e-5 lunar probe from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern province of Hainan, state-run CGTN reported. The spacecraft was launched by a Long March-5 rocket at 4.30 am (Beijing Time).

Chang’e-5 is one of the most complicated and challenging missions in China’s aerospace history, as well as the world’s first moon-sample mission in more than 40 years.

The United States sent astronauts to the moon to collect samples. In the Soviet Union’s unmanned lunar sampling missions, the spacecraft took off from the moon and returned to Earth directly.

But China chose a complicated technological approach including unmanned rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, which could bring back more samples and lay a technological foundation for manned lunar missions, according to Pei Zhaoyu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Centre of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), ahead of the launch.

The mission will help promote China’s science and technology development and lay an important foundation for China’s future manned lunar landing and deep space exploration, Pei said.

Chang’e-5, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner, with a total take-off mass of 8.2 tonnes, is expected to accomplish unmanned rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, a complicated feat.

After it enters the lunar orbit, the lander-ascender combination will separate from the orbiter-returner combination.

While the orbiter-returner orbits about 200 km above the lunar surface, the lander-ascender will touch down on the northwest region of Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the near side of the moon in early December, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Within 48 hours, a robotic arm will be extended to scoop up rocks and regolith on the lunar surface, and a drill will bore into the ground. About 2 kg of samples are expected to be collected and sealed in a container in the spacecraft.

Then the ascender will take off, and dock with the orbiter-returner in orbit. After the samples are transferred to the returner, the ascender will separate from the orbiter-returner.

When the geometric relationship between Earth and the moon is suitable, the orbiter will carry the returner back to the planet. The returner will re-enter the atmosphere and land at the Siziwang Banner in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The whole flight will last more than 20 days.

Pei said if the Chang’e-5 mission succeeds, China’s current lunar exploration project would come to a successful conclusion.

Named after legendary Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, China’s current three-step lunar exploration programme, which began in 2004, includes orbiting and landing on the moon along with bringing back samples.

The aim of the programme is for China to acquire the basic technologies of unmanned lunar exploration with limited investment, Pei said.

China is drawing up plans for future lunar exploration. To pave the way for manned lunar exploration and deep space exploration, the Chang’e-5 mission will use a sampling method different from those of the United States and the Soviet Union, Pei said.

“Unmanned rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit will be a historic first. It will be very difficult,” said Peng Jing, deputy chief designer of the Chang’e-5 probe from the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

“We could call it a milestone mission. Its success will help us acquire the basic capabilities for future deep space exploration such as sampling and take-off from Mars, asteroids and other celestial bodies,” Peng was quoted by Xinhua.

The scientific goals of the Chang’e-5 mission include the investigation of the landing area to obtain the on-site analysis data related to the lunar samples, as well as systematic and long-term laboratory analysis of the lunar samples.

The landing site of Chang’e-5 will be to the west of that of Chang’e-3, which went to the moon in 2013.

This site is chosen because the region has a young geological age, younger than the sampling areas of the United States and the Soviet Union 40 years ago. This region has never been sampled. The new samples will be of great scientific value, Chinese experts said.

“Domestic and overseas scientists will all have a chance to get the lunar samples to be brought back by Chang’e-5 for research,” Pei added.

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Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s lawyer appointed as PTV chairman

However, an earlier IHC judgement had made it mandatory for the government to advertise the post before making any appointment in PTV.

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Imran Khan

Islamabad: Pakistani lawyer Naeem Bukhari, who led the legal team of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in the Panama Papers leak case, has been appointed as Chairman of the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV).

The appointment was made in apparent haste as the Pakistan cabinet had in its meeting last week considered a summary for his appointment but did not endorse his induction as PTV chairman.

The cabinet had directed the Ministry of Information to “resubmit the summary, in line with the following observations: i) the composition of the Board shall be on the pattern of previous Board where independent directors/private sector members were in majority; ii) the appeal [against Islamabad High Court order of sacking Arshad Khan and other PTV directors] may be vigorously pursued and independent directors/private sector members from the previous Board shall be re-inducted in the new Board, where possible; and iii) Shahzada Naeem Bukhari be included in the Board and nominated as Chairman.”

The Information Ministry had submitted the summary for appointment of three independent directors of PTV, recommending Naeem Bukhari, chartered accountant Syed Waseem Raza and prominent writer Asghar Nadeem Syed as principal candidates. Bukhari and Asghar Nadeem Syed are over 65 years old and, therefore, the ministry had sought relaxation from the cabinet regarding their age.

However, in contradiction to the observations by the cabinet regarding resubmission of the summary for the appointment of directors and chairman of PTV, the Information Ministry on its own notified Bukhari as chairman on Monday.

The notification read: “The Federal Government is pleased to appoint Shahzada Naeem Bukhari as Independent Director of Pakistan Television Corporation Board.” It further stated: “The Federal Government has also approved nomination of Shahzada Naeem Bukhari as chairman PTVC Board in line with the Pakistan Television Corporation…The chairman shall, unless he resigns earlier, hold office for a period of three years. The board of directors, PTVC, is directed to ratify his nomination as chairman.”

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had in September set aside the appointments of PTV chairman Arshad Khan and board members Zhouhair A. Khaliq, Prof Ijazul Hassan, Syed Mohammad Ali Bokhari, Mian Yousaf Salahuddin, Rashid Ali Khan and Farman Ullah Jan.

In its 42-page decision, the court directed that in future the government should determine salaries and benefits of PTV employees in consultation with the Finance Ministry.

However, an earlier IHC judgement had made it mandatory for the government to advertise the post before making any appointment in PTV.

Information secretary Zahida Parveen did not comment on the appointment of Bukhari as PTV chairman.

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Biden’s inner circle get key cabinet posts as John Kerry named climate tsar

He has made unsubstantiated claims of widespread electoral fraud and is continuing to pursue legal challenges over the result.

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Former US secretary of state John Kerry will act as “climate tsar” when US President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

He was one of several people named for top positions by the Biden transition team on Monday.

Other key picks include Avril Haines as the first woman to lead intelligence, and long-time aide Antony Blinken as secretary of state – the most important foreign policy position.

It comes as calls are growing for Donald Trump to concede the election.

He has made unsubstantiated claims of widespread electoral fraud and is continuing to pursue legal challenges over the result.

Mr Biden is projected to beat President Trump by 306 votes to 232 when the US electoral college meets to formally confirm the winner on 14 December. This is far above the 270 votes he needs.

In a statement following the announcements on Monday, Mr Biden said: “I need a team ready on Day One to help me reclaim America’s seat at the head of the table, rally the world to meet the biggest challenges we face, and advance our security, prosperity, and values. This is the crux of that team.”
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Some of the positions require confirmation in the US Senate.

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