Leader of Nokia’s mobile phone revival plan leaves the company

HELSINKI: The head of the Nokia division aiming to bring the brand’s mobile phones back to market is leaving after two years in the role, the Finnish company said on Wednesday.

Ramzi Haidamus is stepping down as president of the Nokia Technologies unit that handles patents and new consumer products, including a recent licensing deal with HMD Global it hopes will herald the return of Nokia handsets.

Once the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, Nokia was wrong-footed by the rise of smartphones and eclipsed by Apple and Samsung, ultimately resulting in the sale of its handset business to Microsoft Corp in 2014.

Nokia is now focused on telecoms network equipment, an industry with weak growth outlook, and the small Nokia Technologies operation has been leading the return to consumer products in search of future growth.

The company started selling a virtual reality camera this year and also acquired a French health-tracking company Withings.

“Given that progress, now is the right time for me to explore new opportunities to pursue my passion for building and transforming businesses,” Haidamus, who joined Nokia in 2014, said in a statement.

Nokia said it has begun the search for a successor and that Brad Rodrigues, currently head of strategy and business development at Nokia Technologies, will assume the role of acting president.

IS claims top leader killed in coalition airstrike

BEIRUT: One of the militant Islamic State (IS) group’s top leaders, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, described by the US as the “principal architect” of the group’s attacks on the West, has been killed in Syria, IS announced.

The United States (US) said coalition forces had carried out an air strike targeting Adnani in Syria’s Aleppo province on Tuesday and that it was still assessing the results of the raid, but that his death would be a major blow to the group.

IS news agency Amaq said Adnani was killed “while surveying operations to repel the military campaigns against Aleppo” and pledged to avenge his death.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Adnani “has served as principal architect of ISIL’s external operations and as ISIL’s chief spokesman,” using another name for the group.

“He has coordinated the movement of ISIL fighters, directly encouraged lone-wolf attacks on civilians and members of the military and actively recruited new ISIL members,” he said.

Adnani, who had a $5 million US bounty on his head, was originally from the western Syrian province of Idlib and joined the militant movement in Iraq, where he served under late Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Aymenn Jawad Tamimi, an expert on jihadist groups, said his death was “significant symbolically and in pointing to the wider decline of IS”.

A US defence official described him as one of IS’s most senior leaders and far more significant than simply being the group’s spokesman.

“Most notably, he served as ISIL’s chief of external operations, directing and inspiring major terrorist attacks outside of Iraq and Syria,” he said, linking Adnani to a string of high-profile attacks that have killed hundreds.

“If confirmed, this is a very significant blow for ISIL, and will degrade its ability to direct and inspire terror attacks on the West,” said the official who declined to be named.

Here’s why Bin Roye may fare even better on TV

Is upcoming TV drama Bin Roye simply the film spliced into 24 episodes? Not quite.

Here’s what a chat with the cast and producer revealed:

Already seen the film? No problem. The drama’s quite different.

Lead actor Mahira Khan laid it all out for us.

The TV serial is faithful to the original source, Farhat Ishtiaq’s novel Bin Roye Aansoo.

“The drama is the same as the novel. There is a totally new track that [wasn’t a part of] the film,” she revealed. So there are never-before-seen scenes that will be in the TV version.

It made sense to adapt the novel to two mediums

Bin Roye was originally intended to be a drama serial and then during its script development we felt that it has very good content for film. So we wrote a script for the film after the drama had been written,” reveals producer Momina Duraid.

“I don’t think it’s risky to launch a film as a drama, because how many people go to cinemas to watch a film. Compare that with the public who watches dramas, and the number difference is huge. You must have noticed that we have not let the film release anywhere else. You can’t find it online or on DVDs and there is also a massive readership for the Bin Roye Aansoo novel, which would want to see the version of it.”

But this film-to-TV transition is probably a one-off

Bin Roye hero Humayun Saeed said while the Bin Roye experiment makes sound business sense, it demands too much time from the cast.

“I would make a production for both TV and film, but it’s too much of a headache. When Bin Roye was being made, not many movies were under production, but now that so many movies are being made at the same time. I don’t really think this sort of an experiment will be done because it requires a lot of time and effort from the actors and everyone is busy and have so many other things to do.”

Bin Roye may fare even better on TV

“I think it’s really an interesting experiment and I hope it succeeds,” said Adnan Malik, who also has a cameo in the drama serial. “Bin Roye the film did very well considering the issues it had while it was made. I think it came out strong; Mahira had a strong performance and Humayun bhai did very well. I watched it till the end and I quite enjoyed it, so I thought it was 7 out 10 as a film. But as a drama, I have some trailers and the promos looked really good. In fact, I think it might do better as a drama than a film. I think it [was more suited] for the long form.”

CJP Jamali takes suo motu notice of Quetta carnage

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali on Wednesday took suo motu notice of the Aug 8 suicide bombing at Quetta Civil Hospital in which 73 people, most of them lawyers, were killed.

The CJP took suo motu notice under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution on a note submitted by the Supreme Court registrar Arbab Muhammad Arif containing details of the bombing, said a press release issued by the apex court.

“The Quetta incident has raised many doubts about the state of governance in Balochistan in particular and the country in general,” read the registrar’s note.

It said the way the planned incident took place brings into question the efficacy of the state machinery.

Examine: Waking up after a tragedy

The registrar pointed to an alleged lack of proper security arrangements by the administration, saying it “constitutes violation of fundamental right of life and liberty guaranteed under Article 9 of the Constitution”.

“Lack of security arrangements, despite past precedents points at the miserable failure of the provincial government and law enforcement agencies to avert the tragic incident.”

The registrar attributed a further loss of life to “insufficient arrangements and medical facilities” at the Quetta hospital.

“The seriously injured were compelled to be shifted from Civil Hospital to Combined Military Hospital and other hospitals outside the province.”

He regretted that the massacre appears to have been “forgotten”.

“No headway has been made in either tracing the culprits or to mobilise state resources to prevent such occurrences in future.”

The CJP ordered the office to fix the case in court on Sept 20 after perusing the registrar’s note. He also ordered the relevant authorities to issue notices to the chief secretary, advocate general and inspector general of Balochistan.

A total of 73 people were killed and over 100 injured after a suicide bomber struck the emergency ward of Quetta’s Civil Hospital, where scores of people had gathered to mourn the death of Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) president Bilal Anwar Kasi in a gun attack earlier in the day.

Witnesses present at the hospital at the time of the attack recalled complete chaos at the site, with bodies lying on the ground amidst pools of blood and debris.

The attack was claimed by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar and the militant Islamic State group, but Balochistan Chief Minster Sanaullah Zehri hinted at the involvement of Indian spy agency RAW.

Pak-Afghan Friendship Gate at Chaman border to reopen tomorrow

QUETTA: Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday agreed to re-open the Friendship Gate at the Chaman border on Sept 1, Frontier Corps Spokesman Khan Wasay told DawnNews.

The border was closed on Aug 18 after Afghan protesters attacked the gate and set the Pakistani flag on fire.

Wasay said that Pakistani and Afghan border officials met at the Friendship Gate and after successful negotiations, agreed to reopen the border starting tomorrow.

Trade activities between the two countries had come to a standstill following closure of the border. Long queues of trucks and vehicles were visible as drivers waited desperately the gate to reopen.

Four meetings were already held between the two countries but yielded no results. However, during yesterday’s flag meeting, Afghan authorities admitted that there was no justification for the unprovoked protest, and claimed that some elements had played a negative role to foment differences between the two countries.

The two sides agreed to improve cooperation and coordination between border guards in order to avoid untoward incidents in the future.