World Newsletter

WORLD NEWS
26 Oct 2020

NAWAZ SHARIF ASKS PAK ARMY CHIEF TO ANSWER FOR COUNTRY’S SITUATION

 

Addressing the rally via video link from London, PML-N supremo and

three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif again blamed Army chief Gen

Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed for

Pakistan''s current situation.

“Gen Bajwa, you will have to answer for record rigging in the 2018

elections, for horse-trading in the Parliament, for making Imran Niazi prime

minister against people''s wishes and [by] tearing apart the Constitution

and laws, for pushing people towards poverty and hunger," 70-year-old Sharif

said.

He also accused the ISI chief of "interfering in politics for several years

with impunity" in violation of his oath. Sharif said that he names

individuals "because I don''t want my army to be defamed".

Pakistan’s powerful army has denied meddling in politics. Prime Minister

Khan also denies the army helped him win the election in 2018.

"Looking at this enthusiasm, I am sure that no one will be able to violate

the voter''s mandate now. I saw this enthusiasm in Gujranwala and Karachi,

and now I''m seeing it in Quetta," Sharif said, addressing the huge crowd at

the stadium.

"I am aware of Baloch people''s problems, Nawaz Sharif knows [...] the

missing persons issue is still there. I feel pain when I see the victims,"

he said, in an apparent reference to the forced disappearance of hundreds of

Baloch people.

He said that the PDM has risen against "unconstitutional powers that have

made Pakistan hollow from inside and out".

Sharif concluded his speech by giving three messages. “First, for the

soldiers and officers of our army: you have taken an oath to protect the

country, but also to safeguard the constitution of the country,” he said,

urging them to honour their oath. The second message was for civil servants.

“It is becoming difficult to get away with wrong doings. You should not come

under pressure,” he warned. His third message was for the people. “Protest

and freedom of speech is your right. No one can take it away from you. It’s

your right to vote and elect your government,” he said.

Pakistan’s major Opposition parties on Sunday held their third massive joint

rally despite security threats in the troubled southwestern Balochistan

province’s capital Quetta, as part of their nationwide campaign to oust

Prime Minister Imran Khan.

 

 

WHO CHIEF WARNS AGAINST 'VACCINE NATIONALISM', CALLS FOR GLOBAL SOLIDARITY

 

Addressing the World Health Summit in Berlin, Director-General of the WHO,

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned the rich nations saying that if they

keep treatments to themselves they cannot expect to remain safe if poor

countries remain exposed.

He warned against 'vaccine nationalism' and called for global solidarity in

the rollout of any future Coronavirus vaccine.

"It is natural that countries want to protect their own citizens first but

if and when we have an effective vaccine, we must also use it effectively.

And the best way to do that is to vaccinate some people in all countries

rather than all people in some countries," he said. Let me be clear: vaccine

nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it," he said.

Tedros has also said that COVID-19 could be less when those countries who

have the funding are committed to this. He further warned that the COVID-19

pandemic cannot be defeated in a divided world.

"We need global solidarity every step of the way. A vaccine must be a global

public good. Vaccines, tests, and therapies are more than lifesavers. They

are economy savers and society savers," Guterres said.

 

 

TREATY BANNING NUKES RATIFIED BUT US, MAJOR POWERS NOT ON BOARD

 

The United Nations has announced that 50 countries have ratified a UN treaty

to ban nuclear weapons triggering its entry into force in 90 days, a move

hailed by anti-nuclear activists but strongly opposed by the US and the

other major nuclear powers.

As of Friday, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, known as the

TPNW, had 49 signatories, and UN officials said the 50th ratification from

Honduras had been received.

The US had written to treaty signatories saying the Trump administration

believes they made “a strategic error” and urging them to rescind their

ratification. The US letter, obtained by The Associated Press, said the five

original nuclear powers - the US, Russia, China, Britain and France - and

America’s NATO allies “stand unified in our opposition to the potential

repercussions” of the treaty.

It says the treaty “turns back the clock on verification and disarmament and

is dangerous” to the half-century-old Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty,

considered the cornerstone of global non-proliferation efforts.

“The TPNW is and will remain divisive in the international community and

risk further entrenching divisions in existing non-proliferation and

disarmament fora that offer the only realistic prospect for consensus-based

progress,” the letter said.

“It would be unfortunate if the TPNW were allowed to derail our ability to

work together to address pressing proliferation.”

 

 

FRANCE REACTS TO BOYCOTT CALLS; RECALLS ITS AMBASSADOR FOR CONSULTATIONS

 

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday evening that its

diplomats were mobilizing to ask countries where boycotts were being

organized or hate calls issued not to back them, and to provide assurances

that French citizens would be safe.

“In numerous countries of the Middle East, calls to boycott French

products...and more generally, calls to demonstrate against France, in

sometimes hateful terms, have been relayed on social media,” the French

Foreign Ministry said. It added that such calls “denature” France’s

positions on freedom of expression and conscience.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and a bloc of Muslim nations condemned, without using

insults, remarks by Mr. Macron last week in which he refused to condemn the

publication or showing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

 

 

BIDEN BLASTS TRUMP AS COVID-19 CASES MOUNT AND PENCE STAFF ENDURES OUTBREAK

 

Vice President Mike Pence forged ahead with campaigning on Sunday despite a

COVID-19 outbreak among his aides and President Donald Trump claimed

progress as the United States set records for daily infections, prompting

Democratic challenger Joe Biden to accuse Trump of surrendering to the

pandemic.

With nine days to go before the Nov. 3 election in which Mr. Biden is facing

the Republican president, the White House cited Mr. Pence’s status as an

“essential worker” as justification for his campaign travel despite exposure

to his chief of staff, Marc Short, who tested positive on Saturday.

Multiple senior aides to Mr. Pence also tested positive for COVID-19, the

White House chief of staff said.

The United States in the past two days has registered its highest number of

new COVID-19 cases - about 84,000 on Friday and about 79,900 on Saturday.

The pandemic, which has killed about 225,000 people in the United States and

left millions of Americans jobless, remains front and center in the

presidential race.

Even as the novel coronavirus surged in many parts of the United States, Mr.

Trump told the rally: “There’s no nation in the world that’s recovered like

we’ve recovered.”

While numerous COVID-19 vaccines are being developed, none has been approved

for use in the United States.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact

that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas,” White House

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

In a statement released by his campaign, Mr. Biden seized on those comments,

saying Meadows “stunningly admitted this morning that the administration has

given up on even trying to control this pandemic, that they’ve given up on

their basic duty to protect the American people.”

 

 

SPAIN ORDERS NATIONWIDE CURFEW TO STEM WORSENING OUTBREAK

 

Spain has declared a national state of emergency and imposed a night-time

curfew in an effort to help control a new spike in Covid-19 infections.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the curfew, between the hours of 23:00 and

06:00, would come into force on Sunday.

Under the emergency measures, local authorities can also ban travel between

regions, Mr Sánchez said.

He said he would ask parliament to extend the new rules, initially in force

for 15 days, to six months.

Spain was hit hard during the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year

and imposed a much more restrictive lockdown - one of the toughest in the

world.

Like many other European regions, however, it has been hit by a second wave

of infections.

In Italy, new restrictions were also announced on Sunday. The government

said the steady rise in cases there was causing a huge strain on the

country's health services.

 

 

AFGHAN FORCES SAY THEY KILLED AL-QAEDA TERRORIST AL-MASRI

 

Afghan forces have killed Abu Muhsin al-Masri, a senior Al-Qaeda mastermind

for the Indian subcontinent, the country’s National Directorate of Security

said in an e-mailed statement.

The special operation was carried out in the Andar district of Ghazni

province in Afghanistan’s eastern region, according to the statement.

Al-Masri, also known as Husam Abd-al-Rauf, is an Egyptian national who

figured in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s(FBI) list of most wanted

terrorists. The US issued a federal arrest warrant in 2018 after he was

charged with conspiracy to kill American nationals and providing material

support and resources to foreign terrorist organizations, according to

information on the FBI’s website.

 

 

MALAYSIA'S KING REJECTS PM MUHYIDDIN'S REQUEST TO IMPOSE EMERGENCY RULE

 

Malaysia's king Al Sultan-Abdullah on Sunday rejected a proposal by Prime

Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for a state of emergency to be imposed because of

the coronavirus crisis.

The king believes the government has handled the pandemic well and is

capable of continuing to manage the crisis under Muhyiddin, the palace said

in a statement.

Muhyiddin had made the request following a resurgence in coronavirus cases

and amid a power struggle for the premiership post, sources have told

Reuters.

 

 

SEYCHELLES OPPOSITION WINS PRESIDENCY FOR FIRST TIME IN 43 YEARS

 

The Seychelles elected an opposition candidate as president for the first

time since 1977, authorities announced on Sunday, and winner Wavel

Ramkalawan reaffirmed a pledge to hike the minimum wage after Covid-19

stifled the tourism dependent economy.

Ramkalawan, a former Anglican priest, defeated President Danny Faure after

three decades of unsuccessful runs for the presidency of the East African

nation, an Indian Ocean archipelago famed for its natural beauty and rare

wildlife.

Ramkalawan captured 54.9 per cent of the vote while Faure got 43.5 per cent

in the vote held from Thursday through Saturday, the electoral commission

announced.

Ramkalawan promised to continue working with Faure, an unusually

good-natured transfer of power for the nearby African continent where many

rulers are eliminating term limits and cracking down on political

opposition.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ramkalawan on his ‘historic’ win

and said he looks forward to strengthening the ‘close and traditional’

relationship between India and Seychelles.

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