Merkel meets with Putin on rare Russia visit

SOCHI, Russia: German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks yesterday with President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine and Syria in a signal of renewed dialogue despite profound rifts on her first visit to Russia since 2015.  “We cannot but use this visit to discuss bilateral relations and the most problematic points, by which I mean Ukraine and Syria and maybe some other regions,” Putin told Merkel at the start of the meeting in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

SOCHI: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi yesterday. —AFP

The Russian and German leaders have scaled back links as Moscow’s ties with the EU plunged to a post-Cold War low over the crisis in Ukraine.  Berlin has said yesterday’s meeting would “above all” focus on the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg in July and no breakthroughs were expected on major disagreements, although Putin earlier called for ties “to fully normalize.”

Merkel has strongly backed EU sanctions on Russia for seizing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and supporting the pro-Kremlin separatist insurgency in the east of the country. Moscow has responded with an embargo on agricultural products from the West. A European-brokered peace plan to end the conflict has hit a dead end.
The German leader last visited Russia in May 2015 when she met Putin in Moscow but, like most Western leaders, snubbed a Red Square parade for the 70th anniversary of World War II victory.

‘Difficult context’
Merkel has been the main mediator with Putin over the crisis in Ukraine. She is a key proponent of keeping sanctions on Moscow in place until a stalled peace plan to end the conflict in Europe’s backyard is fulfilled. Merkel and Putin have taken part in a number of four-way meetings, most recently last October, with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and France’s Francois Hollande aimed at implementing the plan the four countries hammered out in February 2015.

Last month, Merkel and Putin participated in a four-way phone conversation with Poroshenko and Hollande, agreeing to step up the peace deal’s implementation. “There are two topics that weigh down relations… the annexation of Crimea contrary to international law and then the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatists,” Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert told journalists ahead of the visit.

Kiev and the West accuse Moscow of providing military support to the rebels in eastern Ukraine, a charge it denies. Both sides have also said the talks will cover the conflict in Syria, where Putin’s military backing for leader Bashar al-Assad has set him at odds with the West.
In her first official visit to Russia last week, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini insisted that cooperation between the two sides was “not frozen” but said progress was hampered by profound disagreements on subjects including Ukraine and Syria.

‘Diplomatic ice age thawing’
The G20 is now the only format for Russia to meet the other major international powers after its exclusion from the G8, now the G7. At the G20 summit, Putin is expected to meet US President Donald Trump. Immediately after meeting Merkel the Kremlin strongman is set to hold his third phone call with Trump.

Merkel visited Saudi Arabia on Sunday for talks focusing on preparations for the G20. German broadcaster Deutsche Welle suggested ahead of Merkel’s visit that “the diplomatic ice age… might be nearing an end” as it sends “a strong diplomatic signal” of both sides’ willingness to engage.

The leaders are set to hold a press conference at 1230 GMT between two rounds of talks, Seibert said. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also due to meet Putin in Sochi today. The two leaders have inched closer together on Syria as Erdogan’s ties with Europe have plummeted.  – AFP


Pakistan-Afghanistan crossing closed after border clash

Pakistan-Afghanistan crossing closed after border clash
Afghan and Pakistani forces accuse each other in deadly cross-border battle during Baluchistan population census.

pakistan afghan border
Pakistan and Afghanistan share a roughly 2,500km-long border, which remains largely unpoliced [Matiullah Achakzai/Reuters]
At least 15 people have been killed and dozens others wounded after a cross-border battle between Pakistani and Afghan forces during a Pakistani population census near the border, officials from both countries said.

The attack on Friday left dozens of people wounded and happened near the Chaman crossing point in Balochistan province prompting security forces to ask people to evacuate villages on the border.

Nine Pakistanis and six Afghans were killed in the clashes, which lasted for several hours.

Chaman, one of the two main border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan, was closed in the wake of the incident, with firing ongoing, Pakistani military spokesman Asif Ghafoor said in a statement.

“Since April 30, Afghan Border Police had been creating hurdles in conduct of census in divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman area, on Pakistani side of the border,” the statement said.

Afghanistan’s foreign ministry said it had warned Pakistan against conducting the census in the villages in the border area, which remains disputed between the two countries.

“This area of dispute the imaginary Durand line is not clear and according to the government of Afghanistan the villages (where the clashes happened) are located on the Afghan side of the border. Pakistan claims that these villages are on their side of the Durand line,” Ahmad Shekib Mostaghni, spokesman for the Afghan foreign ministry, told Al Jazeera.

“They were warned that they should not conduct the census in the disputed areas and they (Pakistan) have also promised us that they would not conduct the census there,” Mostaghni said.

“The violation was committed by Pakistan as the Pakistan armed forces entered the villages of Loqman and Haji Nazar which are located on the Afghan side of the Durand line and areas are elated to the Spin Boldak of Kandahar province. Their defence is the duty of the Afghan national defence forces,” he added.

Pakistan census
Pakistan is currently conducting the second phase of its first door-to-door population census in 19 years, with more than 100,000 enumerators and 200,000 troops taking part in the exercise.

The lead-up to the census has been marked by political debate on how the results may show changing demographics – potentially redrawing electoral constituencies – across the country.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share a roughly 2,500km-long border, which runs through mountainous terrain and remains largely unpoliced.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share a roughly 2,500km-long border, which runs through mountainous terrain and remains largely unpoliced.

Recent Pakistani attempts to establish fences and border posts along the border to curtail the movement of Taliban fighters into Pakistan have been met with resistance from Afghanistan, which disputes the border.

In February, Pakistan sealed all border crossings with Afghanistan for over a month after a wave of attacks across Pakistan killed more than 100 people.

Those attacks were followed by frequent skirmishes between Pakistani Taliban fighters and Pakistan’s military along the border in the Mohmand, Khyber and other districts.

On March 20, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the reopening of the border crossings.

Since the census was launched in March, government census teams have also come under attack from Taliban fighters.

On April 5, a census team was hit by an explosion in the eastern city of Lahore, killing at least six people.

Two government census workers were also killed when a blast hit a passing passenger van in the northwestern Kurram district on April 25.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks.

News Source:


Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations

Being a neighbor, Pakistan gives paramount importance to its relations with Afghanistan as Pakistan’s peace and stability depends on Afghan peace and stability. Traditionally, Pak-Afghan relationship has been characterized by mutual mistrust and lack of confidence and third parties have always been a decisive factor in determining the Pak-Afghan relations.

Starting from the history since Pakistan got the independence from British Rule in 1947, we have seen rise and fall in the relations between Af-Pak relations so now lets go through the history below :


Durand Line

According to an Article-Gartenstein_Ross-and-Vassefi the Afghanistan’s eastern border was settled in 1893. At the time, Britain had considerable strategic interests in the region because of its perceived need to protect the jewel in its colonial crown, British India. The amir of Afghanistan, Abdur Rahman, opposed Britain’s proposal for the Afghan-Indian border, which would force him to relinquish “his nominal sovereignty over the Pashtun tribes in the region” outside the border favored by the British. The strength of Abdur Rahman’s objection to splitting up the Pashtuns in this manner should not be understated. Historically, the idea of being “Afghan” was tied to being from the Pashtun ethnic group. As James Spain, a former cultural affairs officer at the American embassy in Karachi, has written, the Durand Line that demarcated the border between Afghanistan and British India left “half of a people intimately related by culture, history, and blood on either side.” Yet Abdur Rahman was forced to agree to this border by the threat of economic embargo. He relied on British subsidies to maintain his central government’s dominance, and was in particular need of it when the border was set because he was then engaged in warfare against the

Hazaras Afghanistan has never accepted the legitimacy of the Durand Line (although they should have after the creation of Pakistan), named after its architect, Sir Henry Mortimer Durand. However, the country had little recourse when faced with a global superpower like Britain. This changed with the creation of Pakistan. Afghanistan had long been recognized as an independent state by the time Pakistan was created in 1947 but geopolitical scenario shows Pakistan emerged as more powerful than Afghanistan as visionary state, but some people at that time thought  there was no particular reason to think that Pakistan was built to last. Pakistan’s lack of cohesion is signaled even by its name, as it is an acronym for the areas encompassed within the state: Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan. Additionally, Pakistan was born of a bloody partition with India—something that produced not only the two states, but also an arch-rivalry that persists to this day.

Just as many Indian leaders thought the new state of Pakistan might not survive, so too did Afghan politicians. Immediately after Pakistan emerged, Afghanistan put forward a demand for the creation of an independent “Pashtunistan,” meaning “land of the Pashtuns.” The idea was that Pakistan should allow the Pashtuns in the northwestern part of their country to—if they so chose—secede and become an independent state. Though the size of the envisioned Pashtunistan differed over time, Afghanistan’s proposals frequently encompassed about half of West Pakistan, including areas dominated by Baluch majorities. Though these demands were framed as supportive of Pashtun national independence, they were in fact irredentist. If Pashtunistan came to exist, it probably wouldn’t remain independent for long, as it would be a fragile and essentially defenseless state. The historical linkage between the Pashtuns and Afghanistan would likely dictate a merger of Pashtunistan into Afghanistan. And even if Pakistan never acceded to the Pashtunistan demand, Afghanistan had essentially staked its claim to that area if the Pakistani state were to fail. The incorporation of Pashtunistan and the majority Baluch areas into Afghanistan would, in turn, solve one of Afghanistan’s major strategic weaknesses—the fact that it’s a landlocked state. The Baluch majority areas would give Afghanistan access to the Arabian Sea. From a legal perspective, Afghanistan’s claim about the illegitimacy of its border with Pakistan was rather weak. Though Afghanistan claimed that the border had been drawn under duress, it had in fact confirmed the demarcation of this international frontier on multiple occasions, including in agreements concluded in 1905, 1919, 1921, and 1930.10 But the weakness of Afghanistan’s legal case took a backseat to the historical connection it felt to the Pashtun areas, and the strategic benefits it would derive from expanding its territory.

This brings us to the episodes in the history between Afghanistan and Pakistan that have so often been missing from contemporary discourse: not only do the two countries have a disputed border, but Afghanistan has rather aggressively pursued actions designed to expand its territory at Pakistan’s expense.

Afghanistan’s early incursions

Afghanistan’s Early Incursions into Pakistan Less than a decade after the birth of the new state of Pakistan, James Spain noted, “relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have come to be centered on one issue.”11 That single issue was Pashtunistan. It was Afghanistan rather than Pakistan that chose to make this border dispute, and the issue of Pashtunistan, so central to the two states’ relations. At the outset, Afghanistan was the only country to vote against Pakistan’s admission into the United Nations, justifying this vote with the argument that Pakistan’s northwest frontier “should not be recognized as a part of Pakistan until the Pashtuns of that area had been given the opportunity to opt out for independence.”12 Pakistan was admitted despite Afghanistan’s objections. But thereafter Kabul launched a series of low-level attacks against Pakistan, maintaining some degree of plausible deniability throughout (as Pakistan would later do when non-state actors that it sponsored struck at India, Afghanistan, US forces, and others).

George Montagno, who served as a visiting professor of American history at the University of Karachi, has noted that for years after Pakistan’s creation, Afghan agents operated within the Pashtun areas, “distributing large amounts of money, ammunition and even transistor radios in an effort to sway loyalties from Pakistan to Afghanistan.”13 Another of their obvious goals was to build support for an independent Pashtunistan. At the same time that Afghanistan worked to build support within Pakistan’s Pashtun areas, it also escalated its attacks into Pakistan proper. Pakistan claimed that on September 30, 1950, its northern border was attacked by Afghan tribesmen, as well as regular Afghan troops, who crossed into Pakistan 30 miles northeast of Chaman in Baluchistan.

It didn’t take long for Pakistan to repel this low-scale invasion, and the government of Pakistan announced that it had “driven invaders from Afghanistan back across the border after six days of fighting.” For its own part, Afghanistan claimed that it had no involvement in this attack(which we know there was huge support from afghanistan), which it said was comprised exclusively of Pashtun tribesmen agitating for an independent Pashtunistan. But given Afghanistan’s later use of irregular forces dressed as tribesmen, Pakistan’s claims that the aggression had emanated from Afghanistan’s government seem credible. Tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan rose markedly in 1955, when Pakistan announced that it was consolidating its control over its tribal areas.

In response, Afghan prime minister Mohammed Daoud Khan criticized Pakistan’s actions over the airwaves of Radio Kabul on March 29, 1955. Demonstrations that were reportedly inspired by the Afghan government flared up in Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad. S.M.M. Qureshi of the University of Alberta noted that “Pakistan flags were pulled down and insulted and the [Pashtunistan] flag was hoisted on the chancery of the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul.”16 This incident caused the two countries to withdraw their ambassadors, and relations weren’t fully restored until 1957. The next crisis in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations came in 1960- 61. Khurshid Hasan, at the time a member of the department of international relations at the University of Karachi, recounts, “In 1960, fresh border clashes took place. Afghan irregulars and Army troops dressed as tribesmen were reported to have penetrated the Pakistan side of the Durand Line with the sanction of the Afghan Government. Two other raids took place in May and fall of 1961.”17 News reports from that period corroborate Hasan’s account.

In late September 1960, an Afghan lashkar (irregular forces) crossed into Pakistan’s Bajaur area. Pakistan’s government announced that the lashkar “clashed with loyal tribesmen and fled after suffering heavy casualties.”18 But Pakistan alleged that conventional Afghan military resources, including tanks, had also massed on the Afghan side of the border near Bajaur. What Afghanistan’s official news agency described as “a major battle” eventually broke out between the two sides.

Pakistan bombarded Afghan forces using its airpower; rather than escalating the conflict, this quelled hostilities, at least for the time being. The May 1961 clashes occurred in the area of the Khyber Pass. Pakistani president Muhammad Ayub Khan announced that regular Afghan forces had attacked Pakistani posts at the border. The Pakistani air force strafed Afghan positions in response.21 On May 22, Pakistani warplanes struck again, attempting to wipe out a base of raiding Afghan troops in Baganandail. With this aerial strafing, alongside police patrols, roadblocks, and even bombs going off, the New York Times noted in late May that “relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan appear to have reached a new low, and no relief is in sight.”23 Indeed, after the next skirmishes broke out in the fall of 1961, Afghanistan and Pakistan formally severed diplomatic relations.24 These broken relations had acute economic consequences for both countries, particularly for landlocked Afghanistan. The shah of Iran helped to mediate a détente between the two neighbors in 1963.

The resulting peace lasted about a decade, until Mohammed Daoud Khan (who served as Afghanistan’s prime minister during the 1955 crisis between the countries) deposed his cousin, King Mohammed Zahir Shah, on July 17, 1973. Daoud’s Legacy: A Rivalry Reignited Daoud was an ardent supporter of the Pashtunistan concept, and his passion for the matter produced the collapse of détente. He referred to the border dispute almost immediately upon assuming power, and the independent state for which he agitated included not only Pakistan’s majority Pashtun areas but also its majority Baluch areas.

Daoud’s regime provided sanctuary, arms, and ammunition to Pashtun and Baluch nationalist groups. Pakistan saw this as a significant challenge because its Baluch regions had been in “virtual revolt,” requiring the intervention of Pakistan’s military even before Daoud began to support Baluch separatism.25 Even as Daoud fomented ethnic insurgency inside Pakistan, his regime simultaneously condemned Pakistan before the United Nations for being “genocidal” in its treatment of ethnic minorities. This escalation came at a time when Pakistan had already lost nearly a third of its territory, as East Pakistan seceded in 1971 and became Bangladesh. Rizwan Hussain, a research scholar at The Australian National University, writes that Afghanistan’s actions “posed the greatest threat to Pakistan’s integrity since the secession of East Pakistan.”26

Obviously, this called for a response. Pakistani president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto—a secular reformist whose rule included several questionable decisions that unwittingly empowered Islamist factions 27—fashioned a two-part responsive strategy. One part was to suppress nationalist uprisings in Pakistan’s Frontier. A second part was a “forward policy” that supported violent Islamist factions inside Afghanistan. This was symmetrical with the manner in which Afghanistan had supported violent nationalist groups inside Pakistan. A.Z. Hilali, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Peshawar, notes that Bhutto’s government “found many Afghan Islamists who were useful as a counterweight to the pro-Indian and relatively pro-Soviet policies of Daoud’s government.”28 Afghan Islamists who received covert aid from Pakistan during this time included Gulbuddin Hikmatyar and Burhanuddin Rabbani, both of whom were destined to become important figures during the Afghan-Soviet war and beyond.29 (After the communist-leaning regime of Mohammad Najibullah collapsed in 1992, Hikmatyar became Afghanistan’s “prime minister,” and shelled the capital city held by “president” Rabbani on a daily basis.) There were strategic reasons behind Pakistan’s support for these Islamist factions. For one, Pakistan believed that groups whose primary identification was religious might be less likely to support ethno-nationalist demands of the kind that drove

Afghan policy toward Pakistan’s Pashtuns and Balochs. It also seems that Pakistan believed Islamist groups in Afghanistan were more likely to be hostile toward India. This calculation proved to be correct: The only time since Pakistan’s creation that Afghanistan has had warm relations with Pakistan while simultaneously being hostile to India was during the Taliban’s rule in the 1990s. Thus, Pakistan’s initial support for violent Islamist groups in Afghanistan was spurred directly by the Afghan government’s sponsorship of separatist groups in Pakistan under the Daoud regime, as well as aggressive Afghan actions that had preceded Daoud. Pakistan’s support for such groups would of course grow during the 1980s, which saw the Afghan-Soviet war grip the region, and also during the 1990s, when Pakistan supported the Taliban during Afghanistan’s civil war. Conclusion: Af-Pak History and Contemporary US Policy Overall, the factors driving Pakistan’s support for violent Islamist groups in Afghanistan represent a tangled web. There are, of course, strategic calculations behind Pakistan’s support for these groups—strategic calculations that began with Afghanistan’s escalating aggression against Pakistan, but also came to encompass the need for “strategic depth” in Pakistan’s rivalry with India. Personal relationships would develop between Pakistani officers and the non-state actors they supported.

There were also changes to Pakistan’s military culture, which—though the precise degree to which this occurred has been debated by scholars—clearly underwent some degree of “Islamization.” This process began under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,30 but escalated markedly under Gen. Muhammad Zia ul Haq, who deposed Bhutto in a July 1977 military coup. Zia brought a number of changes to the Pakistani military after his coup. These included incorporating Islamic teachings (such as S.K. Malik’s The Qur’anic Concept of War) into military training, incorporating religious criteria into officers’ promotion requirements and exams, and requiring formal obedience to Islamic rules within the military. At the same time Zia implemented these policies, the demographics of the officer corps were shifting. The first generation of officers from the country’s generally secular social elites was replaced by new junior officers from Pakistan’s poorer northern districts. Pakistani journalist Zahid Hussain notes that “the spirit of liberalism, common in the ‘old’ army, was practically unknown to them. They were products of a social class that, by its very nature, was conservative and easily influenced by Islamic fundamentalism.”31 So the potent mix of motivations impelling Pakistan’s support for Islamist groups in Afghanistan included strategic calculations, personal relationships, and changes to the organizational culture of Pakistan’s military. This mix of motivations was underestimated by American planners in the early stages of the US war in Afghanistan. Following US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage’s now-infamous post-9/11 threat to bomb Pakistan “back to the Stone Age” if it didn’t reorient itself away from the Taliban,32 Musharraf executed the about-face to which we referred at the beginning of this article, announcing that Pakistani groups would not be allowed to engage in terrorism. We noted that the announced changes did not hold up. The reason lies in the fact that, as Zahid Hussain has written, “Musharraf’s decision to forge a partnership with America meant taking Pakistan to war with itself.” 33 Indeed, one of the biggest problems lies in the fact that American planners didn’t realize the utter likelihood of this failure. The mistaken belief that Pakistan’s turn away from supporting stateless Islamist militants in 2001–02 might be permanent helped to seriously retard the US’s development of a coherent policy dealing with the many problems emanating from Pakistan. But the legacy of this forgotten period in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations—the period of Afghan aggression against Pakistan over the Pashtunistan issue—continues to be relevant today. Put simply, some issues will resonate more deeply with Pakistan than Americans believe. Bellicose Afghan statements following major attacks in their country may be justified, but these statements may also strike a chord that reminds Pakistanis of days when they were neither the stronger of the two neighbors, nor the more aggressive one.

Further, when the United States pursues cross-border tribal unity to try to stabilize Afghanistan—as it has done, for example, in Nangarhar province—it may trigger concerns on the Pakistani side about a possible Pashtun uprising. This forgotten history, and the tangled web of motivations that it helped produce, makes clear how truly difficult a simple-sounding proposition like “change Pakistan’s strategic orientation” can be. None of this is meant to forgive the pernicious role that Pakistan currently plays within Afghanistan. But one clear problem of the past decade has been a failure to appreciate Pakistani strategic calculations. Fully comprehending the period in the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan outlined in this article may be an important part of forging more appropriate policies moving forward.


Y – Charles Faint served as Lead Editor for this article.


1 Richard Weitz, “How Pakistan Kids Itself on China,” The Diplomat, Dec. 28, 2011.

2 Elisabeth Bumiller & Jane Perlez, “Pakistan’s Spy Agency is Tied to Attack on U.S. Embassy,” New York Times, Sept. 22, 2011.

3 Paul Tighe & Haris Anwar, “Obama Says Pakistan Has ‘Unsavory’ Contacts to Hedge Bets in Afghanistan,” Bloomberg, Oct. 6, 2011.

4 Mark Mazzetti & Eric Schmitt, “CIA Outlines Pakistan Links with Militants,” New York Times, July 30, 2008.

5 See Nick Schifrin, “WikiLeaks Data Seem to Show Pakistan Helped Attack American Troops,” ABC News, July 26, 2010 (elaborating on internal US assessments, as revealed by WikiLeaks documents); Matt Waldman, The Sun in the Sky: The Relationship between Pakistan’s ISI and Afghan Insurgents, London School of Economics, Crisis States Research Centre, Discussion Paper 18, June 2010.

6 Zahid Hussain, Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), p. 51.

7 Thomas Barfield, Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), p. 154.

8 James W. Spain, “Pakistan’s North West Frontier,” Middle East Journal 8(1), 1954, p. 30.

9 Husain Haqqani, Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), p.10.

10 Khurshid Hasan, “Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations,” Asian Survey 2(7), 1962, p. 15. 11 Spain, “Pakistan’s North West Frontier,” p. 35.

12 Hasan, “Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations,” p. 16.

13 George L. Montagno, “The Pak-Afghan Détente,” Asian Survey 3(12), 1963, p. 620.

14 “Pakistan Says Afghans Launch War,” Associated Press, Oct. 4, 1950.

15 “Invaders Out, Pakistan Says,” Associated Press, Oct. 5, 1950.

16 S.M.M. Qureshi, “Pakhtunistan: The Frontier Dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Pacific Affairs 39(1/2), 1966, p. 105.

17 Hasan, “Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations,” p. 16.

18 “Pakistan Fears Afghan Invasion,” Reuters, Sept. 23, 1960.

19 “Incursion by Afghans ‘Beaten Back,’ Says Pakistan,” Guardian (London), Sept. 29, 1960.

20 “Afghans Report Pakistani Clash,” Reuters, Oct. 8, 1960.

21 “Regular Afghan Army Battles Pakistanis in Khyber Pass Area,” Associated Press, May 21, 1961.

22 “Pakistan Planes Again Strafe Afghan Base,” Associated Press, May 23, 1961.

23 Paul Grimes, “Afghan-Pakistan Border Tense as Dispute on Tribe Worsens,” New York Times, May 29, 1961.

24 “Afghanistan Breaks with Pakistan,” Reuters, Sept. 6, 1961.

25 Rizwan Hussain, Pakistan and the Emergence of Islamic Militancy in Afghanistan (Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2005), p. 78.

26 Ibid. 27 One example is Bhutto’s policy toward Pakistan’s Ahmadis. See Hassan Abbas, Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2005), pp. 81-82.

28 A.Z. Hilali, U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2005), p. 104.

29 Hafizullah Emadi, “Durand Line and Afghan-Pak Relations,” Economic and Political Weekly, July 14, 1990.

30 Stephen P. Cohen, interview with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Nov. 24, 2008.

31 Hussain, Frontline Pakistan, p. 20.

32 Pervez Musharraf, In the Line of Fire: A Memoir (New York: Free Press, 2006), p. 201.

33 Hussain, Frontline Pakistan, p. viii.



White Mosque Russia

The White Mosque was officially opened on 10 June 2012 with participation of a wide public within the framework of the Bolgar Forum “Izge Bolgar Jiyeny”.

The ensemble of the White Mosque (Ak Mechet), which was erected by design of architect Sergey Shakurov, includes the buildings of a Muslim temple, a residence of the mufty, and a madrasah, which encircle the prayer square, musallah, with a fountain in its centre and encircled by an arcade of 88 snow-white columns. Owing to the open arcade, visitors do not lose visual contact with nature and archaeological excavations of the ancient Bolgar.

The mosque strikes with its geometric ornaments, carved decoration, elegance of interiors, and its overall stylistics. The area of the prayer hall is 180 sq. m. Two minarets of the mosque, 46.5 metres high, which were made, by proposal of Mintimer Shaimiev, the First President of Tatarstan, in the style of the minarets of the Mosque of the Prophet located in Medina, the famous place of pilgrimage of the Muslims of the world, enframe the main building of the sanctuary that is topped by the cupola with diameter of 10 metres, height of 17 metres in its interior measurement and decorated with traditional decorative elements.

One thousand and two hundred tonnes of marble were used for its construction. The white colour of the mosque stands for peace and purity.

A lake was created on the square, reflected in which is the whole White Mosque.;


Apple Inc.

Apple is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. The company’s hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple smartwatch, and the Apple TV digital media player. Apple’s consumer software includes the macOS and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store and Mac App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud.Apple_logo_black

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in April 1976 to develop and sell personal computers.[6] It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. in January 1977, and was renamed as Apple Inc. in January 2007 to reflect its shifted focus toward consumer electronics. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average in March 2015.[7]

Apple is the world’s largest information technology company by revenue, the world’s largest technology company by total assets,[8] and the world’s second-largest mobile phone manufacturer, by volume, after Samsung.[9] In November 2014, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over US$700 billion in addition to being the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization.[10] The company employs 115,000 full-time employees as of July 2015[4] and maintains 478 retail stores in seventeen countries as of March 2016.[1] It operates the online Apple Store and iTunes Store, the latter of which is the world’s largest music retailer. Consumers use more than one billion Apple products worldwide as of March 2016.[11]

Apple’s worldwide annual revenue totaled $233 billion for the fiscal year ending in September 2015.[3] This revenue accounts for approximately 1.25% of the total United States GDP.[12] The company enjoys a high level of brand loyalty and, according to Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands report, has been the world’s most valuable brand for 4 years in a row,[13][14][15] with a valuation in 2016 of $178.1 billion.[16] The corporation receives significant criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors and its environmental and business practices, including the origins of source materials.

Main article: History of Apple Inc.
1976–84: Founding and incorporation

The birthplace of Apple Computer. In 1976, Steve Jobs founded the company in the garage of this house on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California.

Apple’s first product, The Apple I, was sold as an assembled circuit board and lacked basic features such as a keyboard, monitor, and case. The owner of this unit added a keyboard and a wooden case.

The Apple II, introduced in 1977, was a major technological advancement over its predecessor.
Apple was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne[17][18]to sell the Apple I personal computer kits. The Apple I kits were computers single-handedly designed and hand-built by Wozniak[19][20] and first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club.[21] The Apple I was sold as a motherboard (with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips), which was less than what is now considered a complete personal computer.[22] The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $666.66 ($2,806 in 2017 dollars, adjusted for inflation).[23][24][25][26][27][28]

Apple was incorporated January 3, 1977,[29] without Wayne, who sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800.[18] Multimillionaire Mike Markkulaprovided essential business expertise and funding of $250,000 during the incorporation of Apple.[30][31] During the first five years of operations revenues grew exponentially, doubling about every four months. Between September 1977 and September 1980 yearly sales grew from $775,000 to $118m, an average annual growth rate of 533%.[32]

The Apple II, also invented by Wozniak, was introduced on April 16, 1977, at the first West Coast Computer Faire. It differed from its major rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET, because of its character cell-based color graphics and open architecture. While early Apple II models used ordinary cassette tapes as storage devices, they were superseded by the introduction of a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive and interface called the Disk II.[33] The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first “killer app” of the business world: VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program. VisiCalc created a business market for the Apple II and gave home users an additional reason to buy an Apple II: compatibility with the office.[34] Before VisiCalc, Apple had been a distant third place competitor to Commodore and Tandy.[35][36]

By the end of the 1970s, Apple had a staff of computer designers and a production line. The company introduced the Apple III in May 1980 in an attempt to compete with IBM and Microsoft in the business and corporate computing market.[37] Jobs and several Apple employees, including Jef Raskin, visited Xerox PARC in December 1979 to see the Xerox Alto. Xerox granted Apple engineers three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for the option to buy 100,000 shares (800,000 split-adjusted shares) of Apple at the pre-IPO price of $10 a share.[38]

Jobs was immediately convinced that all future computers would use a graphical user interface (GUI), and development of a GUI began for the Apple Lisa.[39] In 1982, however, he was pushed from the Lisa team due to infighting. Jobs took over Jef Raskin’s low-cost-computer project, the Macintosh. A race broke out between the Lisa team and the Macintosh team over which product would ship first. Lisa won the race in 1983 and became the first personal computer sold to the public with a GUI, but was a commercial failure due to its high price tag and limited software titles.[40]

On December 12, 1980, Apple went public at $22 per share,[41] generating more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956 and instantly creating more millionaires (about 300) than any company in history.[42]

1984–91: Success with Macintosh

See also: Timeline of Macintosh models

The Macintosh, released in 1984, was the first mass-market personal computer that featured an integral graphical user interface and mouse.
In 1984, Apple launched the Macintosh, the first personal computer to be sold without a programming language.[43] Its debut was signified by “1984”, a $1.5 million television commercial directed by Ridley Scott that aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIIIon January 22, 1984.[44] The commercial is now hailed as a watershed event for Apple’s success[45] and a “masterpiece”.[46][47]

The Macintosh initially sold well, but follow-up sales were not strong[48] due to its high price and limited range of software titles. The machine’s fortunes changed with the introduction of the LaserWriter, the first PostScript laser printer to be sold at a reasonable price, and PageMaker, an early desktop publishing package. It has been suggested that the combination of these three products were responsible for the creation of the desktop publishing market.[49] The Macintosh was particularly powerful in the desktop publishing market due to its advanced graphics capabilities, which had necessarily been built in to create the intuitive Macintosh GUI.

In 1985, a power struggle developed between Jobs and CEO John Sculley, who had been hired two years earlier.[50] The Apple board of directors instructed Sculley to “contain” Jobs and limit his ability to launch expensive forays into untested products. Rather than submit to Sculley’s direction, Jobs attempted to oust him from his leadership role at Apple. Sculley found out that Jobs had been attempting to organize a coup and called a board meeting at which Apple’s board of directors sided with Sculley and removed Jobs from his managerial duties.[48] Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT Inc. the same year.[51]
The Macintosh Portable, released in 1989, was Apple’s first battery-powered portable Macintosh personal computer.
After Jobs’ departure, the Macintosh product line underwent a steady change of focus to higher price points, the so-called “high-right policy” named for the position on a chart of price vs. profits. Jobs had argued the company should produce products aimed at the consumer market and aimed for a $1000 price for the Macintosh, which they were unable to meet. Newer models selling at higher price points offered higher profit margin, and appeared to have no effect on total sales as power users snapped up every increase in power. Although some worried about pricing themselves out of the market, the high-right policy was in full force by the mid-1980s, notably due to Jean-Louis Gassée’s mantra of “fifty-five or die”, referring to the 55% profit margins of the Macintosh II.[52]

This policy began to backfire in the last years of the decade as new desktop publishing programs appeared on PC clones that offered some or much of the same functionality of the Macintosh but at far lower price points. The company lost its monopoly in this market, and had already estranged many of its original consumer customer base who could no longer afford their high priced products. The Christmas season of 1989 was the first in the company’s history that saw declining sales, and led to a 20% drop in Apple’s stock price.[53] Gassée’s objections were overruled, and he was forced from the company in 1990. Later that year, Apple introduced three lower cost models, the Macintosh Classic, Macintosh LC and Macintosh IIsi, all of which saw significant sales due to pent up demand.

In 1991, Apple introduced the PowerBook, replacing the “luggable” Macintosh Portable with a design that set the current shape for almost all modern laptops. The same year, Apple introduced System 7, a major upgrade to the operating system which added color to the interface and introduced new networking capabilities. It remained the architectural basis for the Classic Mac OS. The success of the PowerBook and other products brought increasing revenue.[50] For some time, Apple was doing incredibly well, introducing fresh new products and generating increasing profits in the process. The magazine MacAddict named the period between 1989 and 1991 as the “first golden age” of the Macintosh.[54]

Apple believed the Apple II series was too expensive to produce and took away sales from the low-end Macintosh.[55] In 1990, Apple released the Macintosh LC, which featured a single expansion slot for the Apple IIe Card to help migrate Apple II users to the Macintosh platform;[55] the Apple IIe was discontinued in 1993.

1991–97: Decline and restructuring

See also: Timeline of the Apple II family

The Penlite was Apple’s first attempt at a tablet computer. Created in 1992, the project was designed to bring the Mac OS to a tablet – but was shelved in favor of the Newton.[56]
The success of Apple’s lower-cost consumer models, especially the LC, also led to cannibalization of their higher priced machines. To address this, management introduced several new brands, selling largely identical machines at different price points aimed at different markets. These were the high-end Quadra, the mid-range Centris line, and the ill-fated Performa series. This led to significant market confusion, as customers did not understand the difference between models.[57]

Apple also experimented with a number of other unsuccessful consumer targeted products during the 1990s, including digital cameras, portable CD audio players, speakers, video consoles, the eWorld online service, and TV appliances. Enormous resources were also invested in the problem-plagued Newton division based on John Sculley’s unrealistic market forecasts.[citation needed] Ultimately, none of these products helped and Apple’s market share and stock prices continued to slide.[citation needed]

Throughout this period, Microsoft continued to gain market share with Windows by focusing on delivering software to cheap commodity personal computers, while Apple was delivering a richly engineered but expensive experience.[58] Apple relied on high profit margins and never developed a clear response; instead, they sued Microsoft for using a GUI similar to the Apple Lisa in Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.[59] The lawsuit dragged on for years before it was finally dismissed. At this time, a series of major product flops and missed deadlines sullied Apple’s reputation, and Sculley was replaced as CEO by Michael Spindler.[60]
The Newton was Apple’s first foray into the PDA markets, as well as one of the first in the industry. Despite being a financial flop at the time of its release, it helped pave the way for the PalmPilot and Apple’s own iPhone and iPad in the future.
By the early 1990s, Apple was developing alternative platforms to the Macintosh, such as A/UX. The Macintosh platform itself was becoming outdated because it was not built for multitasking and because several important software routines were programmed directly into the hardware. In addition, Apple was facing competition from OS/2 and UNIX vendors such as Sun Microsystems. The Macintosh would need to be replaced by a new platform or reworked to run on more powerful hardware.[61]

In 1994, Apple allied with IBM and Motorola in the AIM alliance with the goal of creating a new computing platform (the PowerPC Reference Platform), which would use IBM and Motorola hardware coupled with Apple software. The AIM alliance hoped that PReP’s performance and Apple’s software would leave the PC far behind and thus counter Microsoft. The same year, Apple introduced the Power Macintosh, the first of many Apple computers to use Motorola’s PowerPC processor.[62]

In 1996, Spindler was replaced by Gil Amelio as CEO. Amelio made numerous changes at Apple, including extensive layoffs and cut costs.[63] After numerous failed attempts to improve Mac OS, first with the Taligent project and later with Copland and Gershwin, Amelio chose to purchase NeXT and its NeXTSTEP operating system and bring Steve Jobs back to Apple.[64]

1997–2007: Return to profitability

Power Mac was a line of Apple Macintosh workstation-class personal computers based on various models of PowerPCmicroprocessors that were developed from 1994 to 2006.
The NeXT deal was finalized on February 9, 1997,[65] bringing Jobs back to Apple as an advisor. On July 9, 1997, Amelio was ousted by the board of directors after overseeing a three-year record-low stock price and crippling financial losses. Jobs acted as the interim CEO and began restructuring the company’s product line; it was during this period that he identified the design talent of Jonathan Ive, and the pair worked collaboratively to rebuild Apple’s status.[66]

At the 1997 Macworld Expo, Jobs announced that Apple would join Microsoft to release new versions of Microsoft Office for the Macintosh, and that Microsoft had made a $150 million investment in non-voting Apple stock.[67] On November 10, 1997, Apple introduced the Apple Online Store, which was tied to a new build-to-order manufacturing strategy.[68][69]

On August 15, 1998, Apple introduced a new all-in-one computer reminiscent of the Macintosh 128K: the iMac. The iMac design team was led by Ive, who would later design the iPod and the iPhone.[70][71] The iMac featured modern technology and a unique design, and sold almost 800,000 units in its first five months.[72]

During this period,[when?] Apple completed numerous acquisitions to create a portfolio of digital production software for both professionals and consumers. In 1998, Apple purchased Macromedia’s Key Grip software project, signaling an expansion into the digital video editing market. The sale was an outcome of Macromedia’s decision to solely focus upon web development software. The product, still unfinished at the time of the sale, was renamed “Final Cut Pro” when it was launched on the retail market in April 1999.[73][74] The development of Key Grip also led to Apple’s release of the consumer video-editing product iMovie in October 1999.[75] Next, Apple successfully acquired the German company Astarte, which had developed DVD authoring technology, as well as Astarte’s corresponding products and engineering team in April 2000. Astarte’s digital tool DVDirector was subsequently transformed into the professional-oriented DVD Studio Pro software product. Apple then employed the same technology to create iDVD for the consumer market.[75] In 2002, Apple purchased Nothing Real for their advanced digital compositing application Shake,[76] as well as Emagic for the music productivity application Logic. The purchase of Emagic made Apple the first computer manufacturer to own a music software company. The acquisition was followed by the development of Apple’s consumer-level GarageBand application.[77] The release of iPhoto in the same year completed the iLife suite.[78]

Mac OS X, based on NeXT’s OPENSTEP and BSD Unix, was released on March 24, 2001, after several years of development. Aimed at consumers and professionals alike, Mac OS X aimed to combine the stability, reliability and security of Unix with the ease of use afforded by an overhauled user interface. To aid users in migrating from Mac OS 9, the new operating system allowed the use of OS 9 applications within Mac OS X via the Classic Environment.[79]

On May 19, 2001, Apple opened its first official eponymous retail stores in Virginia and California.[80] On October 23 of the same year, Apple debuted the iPod portable digital audio player. The product, which was first sold on November 10, 2001, was phenomenally successful with over 100 million units sold within six years.[81][82] In 2003, Apple’s iTunes Store was introduced. The service offered online music downloads for $0.99 a song and integration with the iPod. The iTunes store quickly became the market leader in online music services, with over 5 billion downloads by June 19, 2008.[83]
Main article: Apple’s transition to Intel processors

The MacBook Pro, Apple’s first laptop with an Intel microprocessor, introduced in 2006.
At the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address on June 6, 2005, Jobs announced that Apple would begin producing Intel-based Mac computers in 2006.[84] On January 10, 2006, the new MacBook Pro and iMac became the first Apple computers to use Intel’s Core Duo CPU. By August 7, 2006, Apple made the transition to Intel chips for the entire Mac product line—over one year sooner than announced.[84] The Power Mac, iBook and PowerBook brands were retired during the transition; the Mac Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Pro became their respective successors.[85][86] On April 29, 2009, The Wall Street Journalreported that Apple was building its own team of engineers to design microchips.[87] Apple also introduced Boot Camp in 2006 to help users install Windows XP or Windows Vista on their Intel Macs alongside Mac OS X.[88]

Apple’s success during this period was evident in its stock price. Between early 2003 and 2006, the price of Apple’s stock increased more than tenfold, from around $6 per share (split-adjusted) to over $80. In January 2006, Apple’s market cap surpassed that of Dell.[89] Nine years prior, Dell’s CEO Michael Dellhad said that if he ran Apple he would “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”[90] Although Apple’s market share in computers had grown, it remained far behind competitors using Microsoft Windows, accounting for about 8% of desktops and laptops in the US.[citation needed]

Since 2001, Apple’s design team has progressively abandoned the use of translucent colored plastics first used in the iMac G3. This design change began with the titanium-made PowerBook and was followed by the iBook’s white polycarbonate structure and the flat-panel iMac.[91][92]

2007–11: Success with mobile devices

A first generation iPhone, one of Jonathan Ive’s most recognized industrial designs. The iPhone has been phenomenally successful, with over 1 billion units sold worldwide.[93]
During his keynote speech at the Macworld Expo on January 9, 2007, Jobs announced that Apple Computer, Inc. would thereafter be known as “Apple Inc.”, because the company had shifted its emphasis from computers to consumer electronics.[94][95] This event also saw the announcement of the iPhone and the Apple TV.[96][97][98][99] The following day, Apple shares hit $97.80, an all-time high at that point. In May, Apple’s share price passed the $100 mark.[100]Apple would achieve widespread success with its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad products, which introduced innovations in mobile phones, portable music players and personal computers respectively.[101] Furthermore, by early 2007, 800,000 Final Cut Pro users were registered.[102]

In an article posted on Apple’s website on February 6, 2007, Jobs wrote that Apple would be willing to sell music on the iTunes Store without digital rights management (DRM), thereby allowing tracks to be played on third-party players, if record labels would agree to drop the technology.[103] On April 2, 2007, Apple and EMI jointly announced the removal of DRM technology from EMI’s catalog in the iTunes Store, effective in May 2007.[104] Other record labels eventually followed suit and Apple published a press release in January 2009 to announce the corresponding changes to the iTunes Store.[105]

In July 2008, Apple launched the App Store to sell third-party applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch.[106] Within a month, the store sold 60 million applications and registered an average daily revenue of $1 million, with Jobs speculating in August 2008 that the App Store could become a billion-dollar business for Apple.[107] By October 2008, Apple was the third-largest mobile handset supplier in the world due to the popularity of the iPhone.[108]

On December 16, 2008, Apple announced that 2009 would be the last year the corporation would attend the Macworld Expo, after more than 20 years of attendance, and that senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller would deliver the 2009 keynote address in lieu of the expected Jobs. The official press release explained that Apple was “scaling back” on trade shows in general, including Macworld Tokyo and the Apple Expo in Paris, France, primarily because the enormous successes of the Apple Retail Stores and website had rendered trade shows a minor promotional channel.[109][110]

On January 14, 2009, Jobs announced in an internal memo that he would be taking a six-month medical leave of absence from Apple until the end of June 2009 and would spend the time focusing on his health. In the email, Jobs stated that “the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well”, and explained that the break would allow the company “to focus on delivering extraordinary products”.[111] Despite Jobs’s absence, Apple recorded its best non-holiday quarter (Q1 FY 2009) during the recession with revenue of $8.16 billion and profit of $1.21 billion.[112][113]

Wikinews has related news:Apple unveils iPhone 4, iOS 4 at Worldwide Developers Conference 2010
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After years of speculation and multiple rumored “leaks”, Apple unveiled a large screen, tablet-like media device known as the iPad on January 27, 2010. The iPad ran the same touch-based operating system as the iPhone, and many iPhone apps were compatible with the iPad. This gave the iPad a large app catalog on launch, despite very little development time before the release. Later that year on April 3, 2010, the iPad was launched in the US. It sold more than 300,000 units on its first day, and 500,000 by the end of the first week.[114] In May of the same year, Apple’s market cap exceeded that of competitor Microsoft for the first time since 1989.[115]

In June 2010, Apple released the iPhone 4,[116] which introduced video calling, multitasking, and a new uninsulated stainless steeldesign that acted as the phone’s antenna. Later that year, Apple again refreshed its iPod line of MP3 players by introducing a multi-touch iPod Nano, an iPod Touch with FaceTime, and an iPod Shuffle that brought back the buttons of earlier generations.[117][118][119]Additionally, on October 20, Apple updated the MacBook Air laptop, iLife suite of applications, and unveiled Mac OS X Lion, the last version with the name Mac OS X.[120]

In October 2010, Apple shares hit an all-time high, eclipsing $300.[121]
Apple Store in Yonkers, New York
On January 6, 2011, the company opened its Mac App Store, a digital software distribution platform similar to the iOS App Store.[122]

Alongside peer entities such as Atari and Cisco Systems, Apple was featured in the documentary Something Ventured, which premiered in 2011 and explored the three-decade era that led to the establishment and dominance of Silicon Valley.[123]

On January 17, 2011, Jobs announced in an internal Apple memo that he would take another medical leave of absence for an indefinite period to allow him to focus on his health. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook assumed Jobs’s day-to-day operations at Apple, although Jobs would still remain “involved in major strategic decisions”.[124] Apple became the most valuable consumer-facing brand in the world.[125] In June 2011, Jobs surprisingly took the stage and unveiled iCloud, an online storage and syncing service for music, photos, files and software which replaced MobileMe, Apple’s previous attempt at content syncing.[126]

This would be the last product launch Jobs would attend before his death. It has been argued that Apple has achieved such efficiency in its supply chain that the company operates as a monopsony (one buyer, many sellers) and can dictate terms to its suppliers.[127][128][129]In July 2011, due to the American debt-ceiling crisis, Apple’s financial reserves were briefly larger than those of the U.S. Government.[130]

On August 24, 2011, Jobs resigned his position as CEO of Apple.[131] He was replaced by Cook and Jobs became Apple’s chairman. Prior to this, Apple did not have a chairman and instead had two co-lead directors, Andrea Jung and Arthur D. Levinson, who continued with those titles until Levinson became Chairman of the Board in November.[132]

2011–present: Post-Steve Jobs era; Tim Cook leadership
On October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs died, marking the end of an era for Apple.[133][134] The first major product announcement by Apple following Jobs’s passing occurred on January 19, 2012, when Apple’s Phil Schiller introduced iBooks Textbooks for iOS and iBook Author for Mac OS X in New York City.[135] Jobs had stated in his biography that he wanted to reinvent the textbook industry and education.

From 2011 to 2012, Apple released the iPhone 4S[136][137] and iPhone 5,[138][139] which featured improved cameras, an intelligent software assistant named Siri, and cloud-sourced data with iCloud; the third and fourth generation iPads, which featured Retina displays;[140][141][142] and the iPad Mini, which featured a 7.9-inch screen in contrast to the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen.[143] These launches were successful, with the iPhone 5 (released September 21, 2012) becoming Apple’s biggest iPhone launch with over two million pre-orders[144] and sales of three million iPads in three days following the launch of the iPad Mini and fourth generation iPad (released November 3, 2012).[145]Apple also released a third-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display and new iMac and Mac Mini computers.[142][143][146]

On October 29, 2011, Apple purchased C3 Technologies, a mapping company, for $240 million, making it the third mapping company that Apple has purchased.[147] On January 10, 2012, Apple paid $500 million to acquire Anobit, an Israeli hardware company that developed and supplied a proprietary memory signal processing technology that improved the performance of the flash-memory used in iPhones and iPads.[148][149] On July 24, 2012, during a conference call with investors, Tim Cook said that he loved India, but that Apple was going to expect larger opportunities outside of India. Cook cited the 30% sourcing requirement from India as the reason.[clarification needed][150][151][152][153]

On August 20, 2012, Apple’s rising stock price increased the company’s market capitalization to a world-record $624 billion. This beat the non-inflation-adjusted record for market capitalization set by Microsoft in 1999.[154] On August 24, 2012, a US jury ruled that Samsung should pay Apple $1.05 billion (£665m) in damages in an intellectual property lawsuit.[155] Samsung appealed the damages award, which the Court reduced by $450 million.[156] The Court further granted Samsung’s request for a new trial.[156] On November 10, 2012, Apple confirmed a global settlement that would dismiss all lawsuits between Apple and HTC up to that date, in favor of a ten-year license agreement for current and future patents between the two companies.[157] It is predicted that Apple will make $280 million a year from this deal with HTC.[158]
See also: List of mergers and acquisitions by Apple
A previously confidential email written by Jobs a year before his death was presented during the proceedings of the Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. lawsuits and became publicly available in early April 2014. With a subject line that reads “Top 100 – A,” the email was sent only to the company’s 100 most senior employees and outlines Jobs’s vision of Apple Inc.’s future under 10 subheadings. Notably, Jobs declares a “Holy War with Google” for 2011 and schedules a “new campus” for 2015.[159]

In March 2013, Apple filed a patent for an augmented reality (AR) system that can identify objects in a live video stream and present information corresponding to these objects through a computer-generated information layer overlaid on top of the real-world image.[160] Later in 2013, Apple acquired Embark Inc., a small Silicon Valley-based mapping company that builds free transit apps to help smartphone users navigate public transportation in U.S. cities,[161] and PrimeSense, an Israeli 3D sensing company based in Tel Aviv.[162]In December 2013, Apple Inc. purchased social analytics firm Topsy. Topsy is one of a small number of firms with real-time access to the messages that appear on Twitter and can “do real-time analysis of the trends and discussions happening on Twitter”.[163] The company also made several high-profile hiring decisions in 2013. On July 2, 2013, Apple recruited Paul Deneve, Belgian President and CEO of Yves Saint Laurent as a vice president reporting directly to Tim Cook.[164] A mid-October 2013 announcement revealed that Burberry executive Angela Ahrendts will commence as a senior vice president at Apple in mid-2014. Ahrendts oversaw Burberry’s digital strategy for almost eight years and, during her tenure, sales increased to about US$3.2 billion and shares gained more than threefold.[165]

At the Worldwide Developer’s Conference on June 10, 2013, Apple announced the seventh iOS operating system alongside OS X Mavericks, the tenth version of OS X, and a new Internet radio service called iTunes Radio.[166][167][168] iTunes Radio, iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks were released fall 2013.[166][167][169] On December 6, 2013, Apple Inc. launched iBeacon across its 254 U.S. retail stores. Using Bluetooth wireless technology, iBeacon senses the user’s exact location within the Apple store and sends the user messages about products, events and other information, tailored to the user’s location.[170]

Alongside Google vice-president Vint Cerf and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Cook attended a closed-door summit held by President Obama on August 8, 2013, in regard to government surveillance and the Internet in the wake of the Edward Snowden NSA incident.[171][172] On February 4, 2014, Cook met with Abdullah Gül, the President of Turkey, in Ankara to discuss the company’s involvement in the Fatih project.[173] Cook also confirmed that Turkey’s first Apple Retail Store would be opened in Istanbul in April 2014.[174]

An anonymous Apple employee revealed to the Bloomberg media publication that the opening of a Tokyo, Japan, store was planned for 2014. A Japanese analyst has stated, “For Apple, the Japanese market is appealing in terms of quantity and price. There is room to expand tablet sales and a possibility the Japanese market expands if Apple’s mobile carrier partners increase.”[175] As of June 13, 2014, Apple operated three stores in Tokyo.[176] On October 1, 2013, Apple India executives unveiled a plan to expand further into the Indian market, following Cook’s acknowledgment of the country in July 2013 when sales results showed that iPhone sales in India grew 400% during the second quarter of 2013.[177]

Apple Inc. reported that the company sold 51 million iPhones in the Q1 of 2014 (an all-time quarterly record), compared to 47.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 26 million iPads during the quarter, also an all-time quarterly record, compared to 22.9 million in the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 4.8 million Macs, compared to 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter.[178] On May 28, 2014, Apple confirmed its intent to acquire Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s audio company Beats Electronics—producer of the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones and speaker products, and operator of the music streaming service Beats Music—for $3 billion, and to sell their products through Apple’s retail outlets and resellers. Iovine felt that Beats had always “belonged” with Apple, as the company modeled itself after Apple’s “unmatched ability to marry culture and technology.”[179][180][181] In August 2014, an Apple representative confirmed to the media that Anand Lal Shimpi, editor and publisher of the AnandTech website, had been recruited by Apple without elaborating on Lal Shimpi’s role.[182]

Apple has been at the top of Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands report for 4 years in a row; 2013,[13] 2014,[14] 2015,[15] and 2016, with a valuation of $178.1 billion.[16]

In December 2015, Apple bought a 70,000 square foot wafer fab building in San Jose, CA from Maxim Integrated for $18.2 million.[183]

In 2016, it was revealed that Apple would be making its first original scripted series,[184] a six-episode drama about the life of Dr. Dre. Music Video director Paul Hunter will direct the series.[184]

On May 12, 2016, Apple Inc., invested US$1 billion in Didi Chuxing, a Chinese competitor to Uber.[185][186][187] The Information reported in October 2016 that Apple had taken a board seat in Didi Chuxing,[188] a move that James Vincent of The Verge speculated could be a strategic company decision by Apple to get closer to the automobile industry,[189] particularly Didi Chuxing’s reported interest in self-driving cars.[190]

On June 6, 2016, Forbes released their list of companies ranked on revenue generation. In the trailing fiscal year, Apple appeared on the list as the top tech company.[191] It ranked third, overall, with $233 billion in revenue.[191] This represents a movement upward of two spots from the previous year’s list.[191]

On September 22, 2016, Apple Inc. acquired Tuplejump, an India/US-based machine learning company.[192]

On April 6, 2017, Apple launched Clips, an app that allows iPad and iPhone users to make and edit videos. The app provides a way to produce short videos to share with other users on the Messages app, Instagram, Facebook and other social networks. Apple also introduced Live Titles for Clips that allows users to add live animated captions and titles using their voice.[193]