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Pakistan cleric arrested for threatening to kill Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai

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Pakistan cleric arrested for threatening to kill Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. A cleric in northwest Pakistan has been arrested under the tough anti-terrorism act for threatening to kill Malala Yousafzai in a suicide attack and instigating people against the Nobel Laureate for her recent comments on marriage, police said.

Mufti Sardar Ali Haqqani, an Islamic cleric, was arrested in Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Wednesday, Dawn newspaper reported on Thursday, quoting Lakki Marwat District Police Office.

Malala on marriage

In an interview to Vogue magazine in its latest edition, 23-year-old Malala, an Oxford graduate and a Pakistani activist for girls education who miraculously survived a bullet to the head from the militant Taliban in October 2012, revealed that she isn’t sure on the off chance that she will at any point marry.

“I still don’t understand why people have to get married. On the off chance that you want to have a person in your life, for what reason do you have to sign marriage papers, for what reason can’t it just be a partnership?” she told the magazine.

Cleric arrested

The cleric belongs to the Nowshera area of the province but was visiting Pizo in Lakki Marwat when nabbed by the police. He had apparently escaped from that point to stay away from arrest.

Haqqani was charged for under section of 16 Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) act and section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act.

Station House Officer Wasim Sajjad Khan is the complainant in the case, the report said.

Sajjad told the media that Lakki Marwat police went into action after it was tipped about the presence of the cleric in the district.

“I will attempt a suicide attack”

According to the FIR, a video went viral on social media showing Mufti Sardar instigating people at a gathering in Wahid Ghari area of Peshawar to take the law into their own hands and attack Malala. He was armed when the incident took place, the report said.

“At the point when Malala comes to Pakistan, I will be the first to attempt a suicide attack on her,” according to the FIR registered at Pizo police station in Lakki Marwat.

The video of the speech inciting violence went viral on social media with many people asking the government to take action against him.

The complaint further said that the cleric’s speech had threatened peace and incited lawlessness, according to the news report.

Storm in conservative Pakistan

Malala’s remarks caused a storm in the conservative Pakistan and her home in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where women are only sometimes seen in public without a Muslim cloak or a male guardian.

Recently, her perspectives on marriage also echoed in the provincial assembly with Opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Sahibzada Sanaullah demanding the government to probe whether she really made those remarks on marriage remarks as life partnership was not allowed in any religion and in the event that she favored it, the stand was condemnable.

The PPP and Muttahida Majlis-I-Amal, an alliance of religious-political parties, also urged her family to explain their position on the issue, the report said.

In February, a Pakistani Taliban militant, who had allegedly shot Yousafzai, had threatened her, saying that next time, “there would be no mistake.”

Haqqani made headlines last year when he mocked Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SoPs) in another video which resulted in his arrest by Nowshera police. He was released later.

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With 9,056 fresh infections, Moscow Covid cases soar to pandemic high

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New coronavirus infections hit a pandemic high in Moscow on Monday, tripling in just weeks and forcing Russia’s capital to close its Euro fan zone and extend other curbs.

Some 9,056 new cases were recorded in the megapolis of 12 million in the past 24 hours, up from 3,000 fourteen days ago and another every day record since the Covid-19 pandemic began in mid 2020, according to official statistics.

Faced with the spike, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who has been rolling out restrictions for almost seven days, said that the city would limit gatherings and close the Euro 2020 fan zone outside of the Luzhniki stadium.

“I didn’t want to do this, but we have to,” Sergei Sobyanin wrote on his website.

“Starting today, we will limit mass events to a maximum of 1,000 people.”

“We are temporarily stopping all mass entertainment events and we’ll also have to close ballrooms and fan zones,” he wrote.

The move came a day after he warned that the city was facing another wave of infections, likely because of new Covid variants.

“It’s tripling, there’s an enormous powerful that we have not seen during the previous waves,” he said, adding that cases jumped from 3,000 to 7,000 in just days and predicting they would pass the 9,000 mark on Friday.

Over the past week, the mayor has introduced a progression of new restrictions in an effort to contain the wave of infections, including declaring a “work-free” week, shutting settings, and ordering mandatory vaccinations of people working in the service industry in the city.

Also on Friday, Sobyanin extended until June 29 a few measures that were announced last weekend, similar to the closure of food corridors in shopping centers, zoos, playgrounds, and the closure of bars and restaurants between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.

Curbs tightened in Euro host St Pete –

Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg, the country’s worst Covid hotspot after Moscow, is hosting seven Euro 2020 matches – including a quarter-final – and is expected to see thousands of football fans from Europe.

On Monday, Saint Petersburg also announced a tightening of restrictions, including no food deals in its fan zones.

The increase in cases in Russia comes as the country struggles to encourage Russians to get vaccinated, despite the fact that the country launched a mass campaign of free jabs in December and has developed and approved four vaccines – Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, CoviVac and the one-portion Sputnik Light.

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Chinese, Indian workers among 11 killed in Nepal floods; 25 missing

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Landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy downpour across Nepal this week killed 11 people including one Indian and two Chinese workers at a development project, while 25 people were missing elsewhere, officials said on Friday.

The bodies of the three workers were recovered close to the town of Melamchi in Sindhupalchowk district, northeast of Kathmandu, which was hit by flash floods on Wednesday that also forced many people from their homes, district administrators said in a statement.

“The foreign nationals were working for a Chinese organization that is building a drinking water project,” district official Baburam Khanal told Reuters.

The Home Ministry said late on Thursday that 25 people were missing in floods in Sindhupalchowk, a mountainous district bordering the Tibet region of China, and other parts of the country.

The monsoon downpours, which normally begin in June and last until September, kill hundreds of people in mostly mountainous Nepal every year.

Heavy downpour since Tuesday have damaged roads, destroyed bridges, washed away fish ranches and livestock, and wrecked homes.

Hundreds of people have been forced to move to community shelters, including schools, sheds and tents, authorities said.

Aid agencies said the crisis this year could add to the social and economic troubles of a country hard hit by COVID-19. Nepal has been reporting among the highest coronavirus test positivity rates in the world.

“Those who have lost homes are resting in community centers,” said John Jordan of the U.S.- based charity World Neighbors.

“This forced density raises risks for a community that has been recovering from COVID-19.”

Israel to send 1 million Covid vaccine dosages to Palestinians

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Courts cannot appoint PM, says Nepal PM KP Oli as he defends dissolution of House of Representatives

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Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Thursday defended his government’s controversial decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and told the Supreme Court that it isn’t up to the legal executive to appoint a premier as it cannot undertake the legislative and the executive functions of the state, according to a media report.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari, at the recommendation of Prime Minister KP Oli, dissolved the House for the second time in five months on May 22 and announced snap elections on November 12 and November 19.

Prime Minister Oli is heading a minority government after losing a trust vote in the House.

In his written response to the Supreme Court, Oli said that it isn’t up to the legal executive to appoint a Prime Minister as it cannot undertake the legislative and the executive functions of the state.

The Supreme Court on June 9 issued a show-cause notice to the Office of the Prime Minister and the President’s Office to outfit a written response within 15 days.

The Apex Court received Oli’s response by means of the Office of the Attorney General on Thursday, The Himalayan Times reported.

“The Court’s duty is to interpret the Constitution and the existing laws, it cannot assume the part of the legislative or the executive bodies,” Oli said.

“Appointment of a Prime Minister is absolutely a political and an executive process,” the 69-year-old embattled leader underlined.

The Prime Minister also defended the involvement of the President in this entire issue, saying that Article 76 of the Constitution grants the sole right to appoint a Prime Minister to the President only.

“According to Article 76 (5), there is no such provision of a person acquiring or losing a vote of confidence in the House being examined by the legislative or the legal executive,” he said.

Upwards of 30 writ petitions, including by the Opposition partnership, have been filed in the Supreme Court against the dissolution of the House, which they said was “unconstitutional”.

The Supreme Court has started hearing on the case. Regular hearings on the case will resume from June 23.

Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the decision Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

In February, the pinnacle court reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives, in a setback to embattled Prime Minister Oli who was preparing for snap polls.

Oli repeatedly defended his transition to dissolve the House of Representatives, saying some leaders of his party were attempting to form a “equal government”.

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