Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Russian PM Mishustin returns to work after COVID-19 treatment

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
Moscow (ANI): Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin returned to work on Tuesday after recovering from the novel coronavirus infection for which he was hospitalised. "Mikhail Vladimirovich has completed treatment and has been discharged from the medical facility. He has resumed work in the office of the government. He held a working video conference with his colleagues this morning and is preparing for talks with President [Vladimir Putin]," the Prime Minister's Office was quoted as saying by Sputnik.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree annulling Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov's appointment as the acting prime minister. "To declare void the decree of the Russian Federation president, ... signed on April 30, 2020, 'On the performance of duties of the chairman of the Russian Federation's government'," the order, published on Kremlin's website, read.

On April 30, Mishustin told Putin that he had contracted COVID-19. Thereafter, a relevant decree was signed to appoint his deputy as the acting prime minister.

Meanwhile, Russia has reported 9,263 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, with the total count now reaching 299,941, the country's national coronavirus response centre said on Tuesday.
By: ANI.

Can Imran Khan be made the saviour of Pakistan's Ahmadiyya?, asks MEP

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Brussels [Belgium] (ANI): With the decision of the Government of Pakistan to establish a new National Commission for Minorities and the recommendation of Prime Minister Imran Khan to include Ahmadi representatives in its makeup, it is predicted that not much is going to change in the country which ensures protection to minorities.

Giuseppe Milazzo, a Member of the European Parliament said in his article that interference by Prime Minister in an Islamic country will hardly ensure the protection of the minorities including Adhadiyyas.

He wrote in EU Chronicle, "Michelle Bachelet's personal letter to Imran Khan was leaked, no doubt to draw attention to the serousness of the threats made by his own Cabinet Ministers. However, making a personal plea and calling on the Prime Minister of Pakistan to show "good leadership" may be insufficient in delivering results. Pakistan is an inherently religiously intolerant society and the risk of violence, and further persecution exists not only for the Ahmadiyya Community but also for the Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Sufi, and other religious minorities of Pakistan".

The Islamic Ahmadiyya Community has been subjected to various forms of religious persecution and discrimination since the movement's inception in 1889.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim movement emerged from the Sunni tradition of Islam and yet in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, they are considered, even with Pakistan's constitution, as non-Muslims.

As scuh the Ahmadiyya community is subjected to systematic, state-sactioned, persecution. Pakistan has been repeatedly condemned by the international community and human rights groups for its crimes against Ahmadis.

Hundreds of Ahmadis were killed in the 1953 Lahore riots and the 1974 Anti-Ahmadiyya riots which resulted in the largest number of killings of Ahmadis. In May 2010, the Lahore Massacre saw attacks on Ahmadi mosques and subsequent  deaths of eighty-four Ahmadis.

Today, approximately 2-5 million Ahmadis live in Pakistan, which has the largest population of Ahmadis in the world. With such historic tragedies, it is no wonder that the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights was forced to act.

Writing from her office Geneva, Switzerland, Michelle Bachelet wrote personally to Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan appealing to him to convay a good public message through good leadership regarding the protection for all religious minorities, including Ahmadis.

Giuseppe Milazzo said, "The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the hate and violence incited by the Pakistani State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs following his tweets at the end of April stating that "Beheading is the only punishment for those who mock Prophet Muhammad." The comment was specifically targeted at the Ahmadiyya community. A week later, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmoney, Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, joined in the efforts to further expel the Ahmadis by questioning on television on 6th May whether anyone could support Ahmadis and remain loyal to Islam or the State".

Bachelet inferred that the actions of both the State Minister and the Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony were purposefully intended to call out the religious extremists and incite further persecution against the Ahmadiyya community. Bachelet also called for the protection of two Pakistani Cabinet Ministers who had been threatened because they had supported the inclusion of Ahmadis in the country's proposed National Commission for Minorities.
By: ANI.

Cyclone Amphan: Odisha to broadcast SMS based alert system, play tower siren to evacuate people

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena Speaking to media on Tuesday in Bhubneswar. (Photo: ANI)
Bhubaneswar (ANI): As Cyclone Amphan is approaching, the Odisha government has started the process to broadcast an SMS based alert system and play tower siren to evacuate people in the districts, which are expected to suffer the most due to the cyclone, said State Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Pradeep Jena, on Tuesday. "The cyclone has already demonstrated its earliest signature in Bhubaneswar. We were informed that it is raining in Paradep and in some other areas. The evacuation process has started. We are also starting to broadcast an SMS alert system to all these districts. We will also start our location-based alert system in the afternoon. We will run siren and give messages," Jena told media persons here.

"The cyclone will have some wind action today all along with the coastal districts. Cyclonic storm Amphan lays over 470 km down south of Paradeep. It is likely to make landfall in between Digha, West Bengal and Hatiya Islands, Bangladesh on May 20 between afternoon and evening," he added. At the landfall time, the wind speed expected will be about 150 to 160 km. In Odisha and north- Odisha coastal districts, the concerned administration is expecting a wind velocity of 100 to 200 km per hour.

In view of the cyclone, 31 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) including one in Jagatsinghpur, 15 National Disaster Rapid Force (NDRF) and 217 Odisha Fire Service teams have been deployed in the districts of Odisha. Moreover, adequate arrangements have been made for generators and water tankers for both rural and urban areas.

NDRF and ODRAF teams have started to evacuate people from North coastal districts of Odisha, the Relief Commissioner said. Earlier today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a warning regarding Cyclone Amphan and said that it is likely to move towards West Bengal as an extremely severe cyclonic storm tomorrow.The super cyclone Amphan is being continuously tracked by the Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, IMD said.It has also warned fishermen not to venture into the sea till May 21.
By: ANI.

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