Saturday, May 21News That Matters

World

Ex-Pak human rights minister Shireen Mazari ‘beaten’ and in police custody; Punjab CM orders her release

Ex-Pak human rights minister Shireen Mazari ‘beaten’ and in police custody; Punjab CM orders her release

World
Islamabad/Lahore, May 21Pakistan's ex-human rights minister Shireen Mazari, who has been criticising the powerful Army after Imran Khan was ousted as prime minister last month, was "beaten" and taken away by the police, her daughter said on Saturday.Mazari's arrest by anti-corruption officials triggered a political storm but it was quickly doused with the intervention of Pakistan's Punjab province Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz who ordered her release from police custody.Hamza also ordered an inquiry against those police officials involved in 59-year-old Mazari's arrest. The chief minister said he had not ordered the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader's arrest, indirectly suggesting "other power establishment figures" behind her detention.Mazari, a former cabinet colleague of ousted premier Imr...
Crisis-hit Sri Lanka lifts state of emergency as law and order situation improves

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka lifts state of emergency as law and order situation improves

World
Colombo, May 21The state of emergency in Sri Lanka has been lifted with effect from Saturday after the government decided not to present the Emergency Regulations in Parliament for approval with the improvement of the law and order situation in the island nation, nearly two weeks after it was imposed following unprecedented anti-government protests.Embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had declared a state of emergency with effect from May 6 midnight, the second time in just over a month amidst growing countrywide anti-government protests over the economic crisis.The Presidential Secretariat stated that the state of emergency has been lifted with effect from Friday midnight, Hiru News reported.The president had declared a state of emergency on May 6 with a special gazette notif...
Australian PM Scott Morrison concedes election defeat, ends nearly a decade of conservative rule

Australian PM Scott Morrison concedes election defeat, ends nearly a decade of conservative rule

World
Sydney, May 21 Australia's Labor Party was set to end almost a decade of conservative rule as the government was swept away in Saturday's election by a wave of support for candidates who campaigned for more action on climate change and may hold the balance of power. Partial results showed that while Labor had made small gains, Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal-National coalition had been punished by voters in Western Australia and affluent urban seats in particular. The Greens and a group of so-called "teal independents", who campaigned on policies of gender equality and tackling climate change, put on a strong showing, tapping voter anger over inaction on the environment after some of the worst floods and fires to hit Australia. "Tonight, I have spoken to the leader of the oppos...
Opposition Labour Party more likely to form Australia’s government, say analysts

Opposition Labour Party more likely to form Australia’s government, say analysts

World
Canberra (Australia), May 21 The opposition Labour Party appeared more likely than Prime Minister Scott Morrison's coalition to form government after Australia's election on Saturday that could result in a rare hung Parliament. Center-left Labour could still form a majority government, based on early vote counting, lawmakers and analysts said. But the coalition's only hope was to form a minority administration in a hung parliament. "The coalition can't get there in its own right, no," former Defence Minister Chris Pyne, who retired from Parliament in the last election, told Seven Network. The government was seeking a fourth three-year term. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese's party ended the six-week campaign as a favourite to win its first election since 2007. But Morrison defied th...
Pakistan court extends pre-arrest bail of PM Shehbaz Sharif, son in money laundering case; arrest warrant for Shehbaz Suleman

Pakistan court extends pre-arrest bail of PM Shehbaz Sharif, son in money laundering case; arrest warrant for Shehbaz Suleman

World
Lahore, May 21A Pakistani court here on Saturday extended pre-arrest bail of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz till May 28, while it issued arrest warrant for his other son Shehbaz Suleman in the Rs 14 billion money laundering case.Shehbaz appeared before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) special court in Lahore for the first time since he assumed the charge of the top office. In previous two hearings, he had sought exemption from appearance."Presiding Judge of the Special Court Ijaz Awan turned down the request of Shehbaz and Hamza's counsel for confirming their bails. However, he extended their pre-arrest bail till next hearing on May 28," a court official told PTI.The judge allowed Shehbaz to speak on his case.Shehbaz said the UK's Na...
Biden signs USD 40 billion for Ukraine assistance during Asia trip

Biden signs USD 40 billion for Ukraine assistance during Asia trip

World
Seoul, May 21 President Biden on Saturday signed legislation to support Ukraine with another USD 40 billion in U.S. assistance as the Russian invasion approaches its fourth month. The legislation, which was passed by Congress with bipartisan support, deepens the U.S. commitment to Ukraine at a time of uncertainty about the war's future. Ukraine has successfully defended Kyiv, and Russia has refocused its offensive on the country's east, but American officials warn of the potential for a prolonged conflict. The funding is intended to support Ukraine through September, and it dwarfs an earlier emergency measure that provided USD13.6 billion. The new legislation will provide USD20 billion in military assistance, ensuring a steady stream of advanced weapons that have been used to blunt Rus...
Imran Khan under fire for ‘sexist comments’ against Maryam Nawaz

Imran Khan under fire for ‘sexist comments’ against Maryam Nawaz

World
Islamabad, May 21 After former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan issued an objectionable statement against PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz during his Multan address, politicians, journalists, and civil society members have censured Khan for his "sexist and misogynist" comments. During his jalsa, Khan, referring to Maryam's Sargodha rally on May 19 in which she continually berated him, said: "Someone had sent me the speech delivered by Maryam Nawaz in Sargodha yesterday," Geo News reported. "In that speech, she uttered my name with such passion that I would like to tell her: Maryam, please be careful, your husband may get upset because you were constantly repeating my name." Following his comments, condemnations started pouring in from politicians and civil society members on social m...
Does Monkeypox spread through sex? WHO concerned as people party over summer in Europe

Does Monkeypox spread through sex? WHO concerned as people party over summer in Europe

World
Chandigarh, May 21 The World Health Organization's European chief said on Friday he is concerned that the spread of monkeypox could accelerate in the region as people gather for parties and festivals over the summer months. "As we enter the summer season in the European region, with mass gatherings, festivals and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate, as the cases currently being detected are among those engaging in sexual activity, and the symptoms are unfamiliar to many," WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said in a statement. What is monkeypox? Monkeypox is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox. It was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys kept for research. The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. The disease occurs primarily in...
Joe Biden lands in Asia, Beijing launches South China Sea drills

Joe Biden lands in Asia, Beijing launches South China Sea drills

World
Beijing, May 20 China is holding military exercises in the disputed South China Sea coinciding with US President Joe Biden's visits to South Korea and Japan that are largely focused on countering the perceived threat from Beijing. China's Maritime Safety Administration office in the southern island province of Hainan said the drills began on Thursday and will continue through Monday. It said other aircraft and vessels will be prohibited from entering the area but gave no further details. China claims the South China Sea virtually in its entirety and the crucial waterway has become a potential flashpoint for conflict in Asia. The US does not take a position on the sovereignty issue but insists on the right to operate freely in the sea and frequently sails warships close to militarised C...
Russia halts gas to Finland today

Russia halts gas to Finland today

World
HELSINKI, May 20 Russia's Gazprom has informed Finland that it will halt flows of natural gas from Saturday morning, Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler Gasum said on Friday. Gasum has refused to pay Gazprom Export in roubles as Russia has requested European countries to do. "It is highly regrettable that natural gas supplies under our supply contract will now be halted," Gasum CEO Mika Wiljanen said in a statement. "However, we have been carefully preparing for this situation and provided that there will be no disruptions in the gas transmission network, we will be able to supply all our customers with gas in the coming months," he said. The cut-off is scheduled to take place at 0400 GMT on May 21. — Reuters