Pakistan's former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi tests positive for coronavirus


Pakistan's former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi tests positive for coronavirus

Pakistan's former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and incumbent Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad were tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Monday, making them the latest amongst the country's top politicians to contract the virus that has infected over one lakh people in the country.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb confirmed that 61-year-old Abbasi was infected by the virus.

Abbasi, who is the Senior Vice President of the PML-N, served as the prime minister from August 2017 to May 2018 after his party leader Nawaz Sharif was de-seated by a court ruling in a corruption case.

He has gone into self-isolation at his house after receiving a positive COVID-19 test report on Monday, his party officials said.

PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif wished Abbasi a speedy recovery.

Railways Minister Ahmad was tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a statement by his office.

"Sheikh Rashid has tested positive for COVID-19," the statement said, adding that he has gone into self-isolation and will remain in quarantine for two weeks as per doctors' advice.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader and former provincial minister Sharjeel Memon was tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's provincial lawmaker Chaudhry Ali Akhtar was also tested positive for the virus, his spokesperson said.




Anti-racism protests 'subverted by thuggery', says UK PM Boris Johnson


Anti-racism protests 'subverted by thuggery', says UK PM Boris Johnson

The anti-racism demonstrations in the UK are "subverted by thuggery", Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, condemning the attacks on police officers after the 'Black Lives Matter' protests held over the custodial killing of George Floyd turned violent, with the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill here targeted with graffiti.

Thousands of demonstrators breached the COVID-19 lockdown for a second consecutive day on Sunday to protest against the custodial killing of African-American Floyd, leaving the word "racist" imprinted on the steps below the plinth of the Gandhi statue at Parliament Square in London.

The words "was a racist" were emblazoned on Churchill's plinth nearby as statues became the focal point, with the city of Bristol witnessing the dramatic pulling down of a bronze sculpture of a former slave trader by groups of angry protesters.

Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 after white police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground and knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes while the 46-year-old handcuffed man gasped for breath.

The footage, which went viral, showed Floyd pleading with the officer, saying he can't breathe. The four police officers seen in the footage have since been charged. Floyd's death has triggered widespread protests across the US and in many other countries.

Prime Minister Johnson took to social media on Sunday to say that the anti-racism cause of the demonstrations had been betrayed by the "thuggery" of some protestors as the Metropolitan Police made 12 arrests for public order offences as well as criminal damage to monuments in central London.

"People have a right to protest peacefully and while observing social distancing but they have no right to attack the police," said Johnson.

"These demonstrations have been subverted by thuggery - and they are a betrayal of the cause they purport to serve. Those responsible will be held to account," he said.

The Met Police said a "small minority" of protestors had provoked scenes of violence and launched attacks at officers and threw objects, including glass bottles and fireworks at them.

It said as many as 35 of its officers had reported suffering injuries, two of them requiring hospital treatment for a head wound and a shoulder injury.

"In recent days a minority of protesters sought confrontation with police leading to many officers being injured, including several seriously. When officers sought to protect colleagues and iconic landmarks they faced further obstruction and sustained assault," said Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.

"The violent criminality we saw is disgraceful and will have been very frightening for others. It will never be acceptable to attack police officers, damage property and leave others in fear of their safety. We will be carrying out a thorough investigation so that those responsible for criminal acts are brought speedily to justice," she said.

Man plows car through Seattle protest, 1 shot

Authorities say a man drove a car at George Floyd protesters in Seattle Sunday night, hit a barricade then exited the vehicle brandishing a pistol. At least one person was injured. The Seattle Fire Department said the victim was a 27-year-old male who was shot and taken to a hospital in stable condition.

Video taken by a reporter for The Seattle Times showed part of the scene in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood, where demonstrators have gathered for days near a police precinct.

Seattle City Council members sharply criticized Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best after police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse protesters a day after Durkan and Best said they were trying to de-escalate tensions.

Authorities said rocks, bottles and explosives were thrown at officers in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood Saturday night. Police said via Twitter that several officers were injured by "improvised explosives." The mayhem in the Capitol Hill neighborhood came on the ninth consecutive day of George Floyd protests in the city. It followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier. It also came a day after Durkan and Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department's use of one kind of tear gas.




Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder quits board; wants African American member to replace him


Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder quits board; wants African American member to replace him

Alexis Ohanian who is Tennis superstar Serena Williams' husband and co-founder of Reddit, has quit from his position from the company, urging the board to fill his position with an African American member. He tweeted about the same.


Alexis Ohanian Sr. ????

@alexisohanian
 · 16h
Replying to @alexisohanian
I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: “What did you do?”⁰https://alexisohanian.com/home/2020/6/5/what-did-you-do …


"What Did You Do?" — Alexis Ohanian Sr.
I co-founded Reddit 15 years ago to help people find community and a sense of belonging. It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country.  I’m...

alexisohanian.com

Alexis Ohanian Sr. ????

@alexisohanian
I've resigned as a member of the reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, + I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m starting with a pledge of $1M to @kaepernick7’s @yourrightscamp

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"I co-founded Reddit 15 years ago to help people find community and a sense of belonging. It is long overdue to do the right thing. I'm doing this for me, for my family, and for my country," Ohanian wrote on Twitter.

"I'm saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: 'What did you do?"

Ohanian said he has resigned as a member of the Reddit board.

"I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, + I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I'm starting with a pledge of $1M," he tweeted.

Ohanian stepped down as Reddit CEO in 2018 but kept a seat on the board.

"Ohanian has also become a more outspoken advocate for policies like paid family leave, calling for more equitable, flexible leave policies and citing his own experience as a father," reports TechCrunch.




George Floyd Protest: 57 Buffalo police officers quit emergency team after 2 suspended for allegedly shoving 75-year-old man


George Floyd Protest: 57 Buffalo police officers quit emergency team after 2 suspended for allegedly shoving 75-year-old man

Fifty-seven police officers in Buffalo, New York, have resigned from the force's emergency response team following the suspension of two officers who allegedly pushed a 75-year-old protester to the ground, a source close to the situation informed CNN on Friday (local time).

An investigation is underway in a protest incident Governor Andrew Cuomo called "wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful." The man was seriously injured.

After a video of police shoving a 75-year-old white protester who approached them in a city in New York state went viral, two of them were suspended, but all the members of the emergency team resigned in protest.

Video of the demonstration on Thursday showed a row of officers walking toward the man and as he nears them a policeman shoves him with his baton and another with his hand and he falls backwards and injures his head. His head bleeds onto the sidewalk as officers walk past him, some looking down at him.


Reuters

@Reuters
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Video shows two police officers in Buffalo, New York, shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. The sound of a crack is heard and blood trickles from the man’s head https://reut.rs/2Y9eLF0 

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Gugino was hospitalised and his lawyer told the local NBC affiliate, WGRZ, on Friday that he was "alert and oriented".

The demonstrators in Niagara Square were, like those across the country, calling for racial justice after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

The 57 officers resigned from the emergency unit but not from the force. The Buffalo mayor's office told CNN that the 57 members that resigned from the unit make up the entire active emergency response team.

 

A 75-year-old protester falls to the ground after being shoved by Buffalo, New York, police, on June 4, 2020, after Buffalos curfew went into effect, according to media reports.AFP

he protester was reported to be in stable but serious condition at a local hospitalAFP
A few members of the unit are out currently and are not included in the 57 that resigned, according to the mayor's office.

"Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders," Buffalo Police Benevolent Association president John Evans told WGRZ on Friday.

But responding to the suspensions, all the 57 members of Buffalo's police emergency response team resigned from the unit "in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders", WGRZ quoted police union president John Evans as saying.

The man identified as Martin Gugino, as confirmed by Cuomo's office, is currently hospitalized and is reported to be in serious but stable condition, as per authorities.

Attorney Kelly V. Zarone representing Gugino released a statement saying he is "alert and oriented" and described him as a longtime peaceful protester and human rights advocate.

"Mr. Gugino requests privacy for himself and his family as he recovers," Zarone said.

"He appreciates all of the well wishes he has received and requests that any further protests continue to be peaceful," Zarone added.

Megan Toufexis, Gugino's daughter, told CNN that her father attended the protest Thursday to discuss First Amendment rights with police.

Protests in the city continued into the evening Friday.

While police excesses, especially against minorities, are in focus because of the nationwide protests triggered by the dead of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man in Minneapolis on May 25 while in police custody, the force have also come under attack.

In the most serious incident in New York City, one police officer was stabbed in the neck and two others were shot on Wednesday night while on patrol to stop looters.

A police officer was shot in the head in Las Vegas and four police officers were injured and a retired police captain killed by gunfire in St Louis, Missouri, on Tuesday.

Police have also been hit with stones, bricks and other objects during protests, while videos are also surfacing every day of police excesses against protesters.

After brazen looting of stores across in New York City on Monday night, Cuomo faulted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and called his leadership a "disgrace".

But after he tightened enforcement, he was criticised for police actions and booed on Thursday when he spoke at a memorial service for Floyd.




Justice for George Floyd: Why 'the white liberal' is the worst enemy to the black man' by Malcolm X


Justice for George Floyd: Why 'the white liberal' is the worst enemy to the black man' by Malcolm X

The rights of the black man in America is again in the news after the horrific killing of George Floyd by a racist white cop which has resulted in pan-America process.

At such a crucial juncture, it becomes even more important to understand black history in America and its two leading figures – Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X.

The two were divided like Professor X and Magneto in X-Men, where mutant rights became an analogy for black rights. While the former believed in peaceful means, the latter believed mutants had to take their stand with force.

While King advocated non-violence and passive resistance, Malcolm X as spokesman of the Nation of Islam (NOI) wanted to violently reject America and its Christian values, which he believed advocated white supremacy over black.

As historian James H Cone explained once: “King was working to take down signs that prevented black people from riding buses where they wanted to, and to ride in trains, public transportation, preventing them from voting, and all of those things that black people were prevented from doing in the south. In the north, blacks always could vote, but as Malcolm said 'You may have the vote but you ain't no voting for nothing because they've already decided that you are not going to have any power’.”

He didn’t believe in turning the other cheek unlike King who was deeply influenced Mahatma Gandhi.

And he had had a great mistrust of the ‘white liberal’. Here’s a speech he made in 1963, when he was a member of the Nation of Islam. He would later quit and become a Sunni Muslim.

The White Liberal

“The white liberal is the worst enemy to America, and the worst enemy to the black man. Let me explain what I mean by the white liberal. In America there is no such thing as Democrat or Republican anymore. In America you have liberals and conservatives. The only people living in the past who think in terms of I’m a Democrat or Republican, is the American Negro.

He’s the one that runs around bragging about party affiliation. He’s the one that sticks to the Democrat or sticks to the Republican. But white people are divided into two groups, liberals and conservative. The Democrats who are conservative, vote with the Republicans who are conservative. The Democrats who are liberal vote with the Republicans that are liberal. The white liberal aren’t white people who are for independence, who are moral and ethical in their thinking. They are just a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. The same as the white conservative is a faction of white people that are jockeying for power.

They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro, 20 million black people. A political football, a political pawn, an economic football, and economic pawn. A social football, a social pawn. The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro.

Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative. So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal.

The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems.

Our problems will never be solved by the white man. The only way that our problem will be solved is when the black man wakes up, clean himself up, stand on his own feet and stop begging the white man, and take immediate steps to do for ourselves the things that we have been waiting on the white man to do for us.

Once we do for self then we will be able to solve our own problems’ "The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the "smiling" fox. One is the wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they’ll both eat you.”

Source: Digital History




US streets calmest in days, protests largely peaceful


US streets calmest in days, protests largely peaceful

Protests were largely peaceful and the nation's streets were calmer than they have been in days since the killing of George Floyd set off demonstrations that at times brought violence and destruction along with pleas to stop police brutality and injustice against African Americans.

There were scattered reports of looting in New York City overnight, and as of Wednesday morning there had been over 9,000 arrests nationwide since the unrest began following Floyd's death May 25 in Minneapolis. But there was a marked quiet compared with the unrest of the past few nights, which included fires and shootings in some cities.

The calmer night came as many cities intensified their curfews, with authorities in New York and Washington ordering people off streets while it was still daylight.

A block away from the White House, thousands of demonstrators massed following a crackdown a day earlier when officers on foot and horseback aggressively drove peaceful protesters away from Lafayette Park, clearing the way for President Donald Trump to do a photo op at nearby St. John's Church. Tuesday's protesters faced law enforcement personnel who stood behind a black chain-link fence that was put up overnight to block access to the park.

"Last night pushed me way over the edge," said Jessica DeMaio, 40, of Washington, who attended a Floyd protest Tuesday for the first time.

"Being here is better than being at home feeling helpless." Pastors at the church prayed with demonstrators and handed out water bottles. The crowd remained in place after the city's 7 pm curfew passed, defying warnings that the response from law enforcement could be even more forceful. But the crowd Tuesday was peaceful, even polite.

At one point, the crowd booed when a protester climbed a light post and took down a street sign. A chant went up: "Peaceful protest!" Trump, meanwhile, amplified his hard-line calls from Monday, when he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn't do it.

"NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD," he tweeted. "The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast!" Thousands of people remained in the streets of New York City Tuesday night, undeterred by an 8 pm curfew, though most streets were clear by early Wednesday other than police who were patrolling some areas. Midtown Manhattan was pocked with battered storefronts after Monday's protests.

Protests also passed across the US, including in Los Angeles, Miami, St. Paul, Minnesota, Columbia, South Carolina and Houston, where the police chief talked to peaceful demonstrators, vowing reforms.

"God as my witness, change is coming," Art Acevedo said. "And we're going to do it the right way." More than 20,000 National Guard members have been called up in 29 states to deal with the violence.

Biden: Floyd won’t be another hashtag

Extending support to George Floyd's family, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday said that Floyd's death wouldn't 'just become another hashtag'.

"I made a promise to George's family that he wouldn't just become another hashtag. We're going to tackle this head-on -- and we're going to need your help to do it. Grateful for your support," Biden tweeted.

"George Floyd's last words...didn't die with him. They're still being heard. They're echoing across this nation. It's a wake-up call for all of us," he added.

Commenting on the upcoming US presidential elections, he said, "I have said from the outset of this election that we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. Who we are. What we believe. And maybe most important--who we want to be. It's all at stake. That is truer today than ever."

LA mayor takes knee at protests

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti took a knee in solidarity with protesters in a demonstration over the death of African American man George Floyd in police custody last week in Minneapolis.

Garcetti took a knee during one of the demonstrations held near LA Police Department headquarters in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, expressing his support for peaceful protests against police brutality, Xinhua news agency reported.

Retired police captain shot dead while protecting friend's store

A retired police captain who died during a night of violent protests was trying to protect his friend's pawn shop, his widow said. David Dorn's last moments were caught on video and apparently posted on Facebook Live, though the video has since been taken down. He was killed by people who had broken into Lee's Pawn & Jewelry, and his body found on the sidewalk at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. No arrests have been made.

His death came on a violent night in St. Louis, where four officers were shot, officers were pelted with rocks and fireworks, and 55 businesses were burglarized or damaged, including a convenience store that burned. Police also shot and gravely injured a burglary suspect who they say shot at officers. Dorn was a friend of the pawn shop's owner and frequently checked on the business when alarms went off, his wife, St. Louis police Sgt. Ann Marie Dorn, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.




Donald Trump criticised for photo shoot outside St John church in Washington holding a Bible amid protests


Donald Trump criticised for photo shoot outside St John church in Washington holding a Bible amid protests

Washington: US President Donald Trump had to face widespread criticism after he stood outside a church in Washington for minutes holding a Bible in his hand during a photo shoot, even as the police used teargas and flash grenades to clear his path of peaceful protestors. Several priests were part of the crowd that was teargassed.

Trump was allegedly angry about news coverage that he scampered into a White House bunker on Friday during George Floyd protests, and told his aides he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates, prompting his walk to the church, according to the CNN White House Correspondent.

One protestor said it all happened while they were distributing water and handing out snacks when the police hustled them out to pave the way for Trump's photo shoot. Soon, the police started using tear gas and the crowd was scrambling for eyewashes and wet paper towels.

An exasperated bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Mariann E. Budde, said in an interview: "I am outraged. I am the bishop and was not given even a courtesy call that they would be clearing the path with tear gas so that they could use one of our churches as a prop, with Trump holding a Bible. He did not pray. He did not mention George Floyd, he did not mention the agony of people who have been subjected to this kind of horrific expression of racism and white supremacy for hundreds of years. We need a president who can unify and heal. He has done the opposite of that, and we are left to pick up the pieces."

According to Daily Mail.com, an active duty military police battalion is on its way to Washington D.C. to help patrol streets. The deployment marks the first time that the Army has been sent in to patrol US streets since the 1992 LA riots. It came as Trump threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to mobilize 'thousands and thousands' of soldiers in cities across the country to 'end riots and lawlessness.' There was no let-up in violence: Four cops were shot in St Louis on Monday – the seventh consecutive night of mayhem. In New York City, looters descended on luxury stores for a second night in a row as peaceful protests gave way to looting, adds Daily Mail.

 
 
 



Curfew imposed in NYC as protesters loot stores across Manhattan


Curfew imposed in NYC as protesters loot stores across Manhattan

The authorities in the upscale New York City have imposed a week-long night curfew and ramped up police presence after violence and looting incidents were reported across the city amid widespread protests triggered by the custodial killing of African-American George Floyd.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio announced on Monday that the citywide curfew in New York City will begin at 11 PM on Monday and will be lifted at 5 AM Tuesday morning.

However, Blasio later said the curfew across the city will be extended through the week. "We're going to continue that curfew for the remainder of this week, 8 p.m. each evening until 5 a.m. the next morning," he said.

The New York City Police Department doubled its presence, bringing nearly 8000 police personnel to help prevent violence and damage to property, in angry response to the killing of Floyd, a 46-year-old man who was pinned to the ground in Minneapolis last week by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck as he gasped for breath.

The additional officers will be deployed in areas where violence broke out and property was damage during the previous night's protests - specifically in lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.

Videos and photos posted on social media showed that while demonstrators protested peacefully around most areas in the city, there were several instances of looting as well.

People were seen breaking into high end stores around Manhattan's Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue, home to almost all luxury and high-end brands from around the world, and running way with merchandise from the shops. Groups of people also looted pharmacies, electronic stores and other businesses across the city.

Governor Cuomo said that the curfew was imposed is to help separate the overwhelming majority of peaceful protesters from "people who are looking to exploit the moment by looting".

Yet, a curfew and increased police presence could not stop looters to break into retail stores in Manhattan that have been shuttered for over two months due to the shutdown in place because of COVID19.

Cuomo strongly lashed out at the looters, saying those people breaking store windows, going in and stealing are indulging in "criminal activity." He also criticized the New York police saying they have not done their job well. "The police must stop the looting and the criminal activity. That is the essence of the police force. They are supposed to protect the community, protect the property, they did not do that in New York City last night," he said.

"I am disappointed and outraged at what happened in New York City last night. Those looters those criminals that criminal activity, hurt everyone," he said.

Cuomo earlier said while there are "extremist groups that just want to propose anarchy", the majority of the people are making a very valid point that discrimination and abuse by police should finally end.

The governor said in a statement that while the state authorities encourage people to protest peacefully and make their voices heard, the safety of the general public was paramount and cannot be compromised.

"I stand behind the protestors and their message, but unfortunately there are people who are looking to distract and discredit this moment. The violence and the looting has been bad for the city, the state and this entire national movement, undermining and distracting from this righteous cause," Cuomo said.

He also criticised President Donald Trump for threatening to call in the military to end protests around the country.

"What the president today did was he called out the American military against American citizens. That's what they did. They used the American military to push back a peaceful protest, which everyone watched on TV, just so he could have a photo-op of walking to a church. When was the last time you saw the American military called out against Americans?," he said.

Trump, who was taken to an underground bunker in the White House on Friday as protesters gathered outside the presidential residence, on Monday ventured outside the White House grounds to pose for photographs at a nearby church.

Before Trump came out of the White House, riot police and National Guard troops used tear gas and flash grenades to disperse a peaceful protest in a nearby park.

Mayor Blasio said he supported peaceful protest in the city.

The mayor said while demonstrations have been generally peaceful, "we can't let violence undermine the message of this moment. It is too important and the message must be heard".

He said there had been incidents over the past few days, as the protests intensified, where police officers did not uphold the values of New York City or of the Police Department.

"We agree on the need for swift action," he said, adding that it will be ensured that such officers are held accountable.

Considered to be the worst ever civil unrest in the US in decades, the violent protests have engulfed at least 140 cities across America in the days following the death of Floyd.

A report in The New York Times said looters stormed into Macy's flagship store in Herald Square, a retail space of over 2.5 million square feet and one of the largest retail stores in the world, and stole merchandise before they were chased down by the police.

Looters also broke stores of other high-end brands such as Nike and Coach store, stealing expensive goods and vandalized a Barnes & Noble bookstore while destroying other smaller storefronts along the way.

 
 
 



Nepal Communist Party calls for bilateral meet with India to resolve territorial issue


Nepal Communist Party calls for bilateral meet with India to resolve territorial issue

The ruling Nepal Communist Party has called for a bilateral meeting between Kathmandu and New Delhi to resolve the ongoing territorial issue between the two neighbours.

Diplomatic ties between the two countries got tensed after the inauguration of road linking Kailash Mansarovar via Lipulekh on May 8.

Calling "diplomacy" to be the "first line of defence in the contemporary world", Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the spokesperson for the ruling party and former foreign minister, called on all parties for de-escalation of the ongoing rift through dialogues.

"Diplomacy is the first line of defence. We should find a solution to the ongoing problem through diplomatic dialogue. Let us not be impulsive, outrageous, stimulated and provocative over it. Focus on the diplomatic talks and take the ongoing problem to the path of solution. I appeal with all sides," Shrestha said.

Shrestha added, "We also would request our neighbouring nation, India, to resolve the issue through talks as soon as possible. Diplomatic talks can be initiated so that we can solve the issue on the basis of historical evidence and facts which would help in further strengthening relations between the two countries." Nepal handed over a diplomatic note to India objecting the move after India inaugurated the road linking Kailash Mansarovar via Lipulekh.

Prior to the handover of the diplomatic note, Nepal also had strongly objected over India's unilateral move of constructing the road. Following a strong objection from Nepal, India's Ministry of External Affairs had said that the road going through Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district lies completely within the territory of India.

Nepal on May 20 had issued an updated political map incorporating Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura (tri-junction) within its own territory. The same places were included by India within its own territory in last November.

Nepal said it has "consistently maintained" that as per the Sugauli Treaty (1816), "all the territories east of Kali (Mahakali) river, including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and LipuLekh, belong to Nepal." The Indian Defence Ministry had said the Border Road Organisation (BRO) in Uttarakhand has connected Kailash Mansarovar route to Lipulekh pass, which will provide connectivity to border villages and security forces.

Last month, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Shivamaya Tumbahangphe tabled the amendment proposal to include a new political map at the House of Representatives.

 
 
 



Belgian Prince Joachim tests positive for coronavirus after attending a party


Belgian Prince Joachim tests positive for coronavirus after attending a party

Belgian Prince Joachim, a nephew of Belgium's King Philippe, has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a party during the lockdown in Spain, according to local media reports cited by China's CGTN network.

The reports said the party took place at a private residence and was attended by 27 people. Prince Joachim's symptoms are said to be mild.

Prince Albert II of Monaco was the first known royal to become infected with the deadly disease. The palace confirmed he had caught COVID-19 in March, just days after he announced a string of new reforms to tackle the outbreak.

As the contagion continued to spread across Europe, the British royal family also came under its grip. Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the throne, tested positive for the coronavirus in March.

Prince Philip was flown to Windsor to self-isolate with Queen Elizabeth during the coronavirus crisis. Thankfully, no members of the UK royal family have so far been diagnosed with the deadly disease.

In the same month, Spanish Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma became the first royal to pass away due to coronavirus complications. According to Fox News, the 86-year-old was a cousin of Spain's King Felipe VI. Her brother Prince Sixto Enrique de Borbon, the Duke of Aranjuez, announced on Facebook that she died after contracting COVID-19.

The next month, the New York Times reported that as many as 150 members of the Saudi royal family were sickened by the virus doctors at the elite hospital that treats Al-Saud clan members are preparing as many as 500 beds for an expected influx.

King Salman, 84, has secluded himself for his safety in an island palace near the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea, while Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his son and the 34-year-old de facto ruler, has retreated with many of his ministers to the remote site on the same coast where he has promised to build a futuristic city known as Neom. The respiratory illness has infected over 6 million people globally and killed more than 3,67,000 others, though the true number is thought to be higher as testing is still limited and many countries haven't counted fatalities outside of hospitals.

 
 
 



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