Tuesday, January 31, 2023


44 killed as bus falls into ravine in Pakistan (Ld)

At least 44 people were killed a when a bus they were travelling in fell into a ravine in Pakistan's Lasbela district on Sunday.The vehicle carrying 48 passengers was proceeding towards Karachi from Quetta, Lasbela Assistant Commissioner Hamza Anjum, was quoted as saying by Dawn.The speeding vehicle rammed into pillar of a bridge while taking a U-turn near Lasbela and caught fire, Anjum added.

Samsung-incubated startup TagHive dreams big in S.Korea, India

Among the many startups founded and operating in South Korea, TagHive, an education technology company launched in 2017, is distinguished for its founder and CEO Pankaj Agarwal.

Sikh sentenced for smashing window with hockey stick in UK

A 48 year-old Sikh man has been fined and banned from driving for multiple offences, including smashing a window in a UK residential colony with a hockey stick.

Israel's top court cancels appointment of ex-con as minister

Israel's Supreme Court ruled that a key member in the country's new extreme-right government cannot not serve as minister because of his criminal conviction.

Arctic polar vortex grips most of Italy

Most of Italy is under the grip of an Arctic polar vortex, bringing with it the coldest weather so far this winter, with most of the Italian peninsula hit by snow, icy rain, hail, and gale-force winds.

Japan logged record trade deficit in 2022 amid soaring energy prices, weak yen

Japan posted its biggest annual trade deficit since record keeping began in 2022, as soaring prices for energy and raw material prices were further inflated by a weaker yen, the government said in a report on Thursday.

4 Pak security personnel killed in attack from 'Iranian soil'

 In the latest strike on Pakistan armed forces, as many as four security personnel were killed when terrorists attacked from "Iranian soil", the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Pak govt stuck between 2 major difficult decisions

 Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his coalition government is stuck between two major difficult decisions, none of which, will bring any respite to their political standing, pivotal to go into the next general elections.

Fire in Armenian military barracks kills 15 servicemen

At least 15 servicemen were killed in a fire that broke out in the barracks that belong to a unit of the Armenian Armed Forces, the country's Defence Ministry said on Thursday.Three other servicemen were seriously injured and have been hospitalised

IAEA finalising stationing of permanent missions at Ukrainian nuke plants

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is finalising the stationing of permanent missions at Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs), officials said here.

Trump asked Meta to restore his FB account: Report

Former US President Donald Trump is reportedly looking to regain control of his powerful social media accounts in order to make a comeback for the White House.Trump's campaign is formally petitioning Facebook's parent company Meta to unblock his account, which was locked two years ago in response to the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, reports .

WB delays loans approval for Pakistan

Pakistans worsening economic situation, political uncertainty and reluctance of the current government to fulfil the pre-conditions to revive the IMF programme, coupled with delays in taking these decisions has added to the already deteriorated financial situation of the country and its global credit rating.

Australian economy stays strong despite employment fall: Treasurer

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Thursday said the country's economy is in a strong position despite a surprise fall in jobs.According to December 2022 labour force data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier on Thursday, employment decreased by 15,000 people from November, reports .

Australian economy stays strong despite employment fall: Treasurer

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Thursday said the country's economy is in a strong position despite a surprise fall in jobs.According to December 2022 labour force data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier on Thursday, employment decreased by 15,000 people from November, reports .

Australian economy stays strong despite employment fall: Treasurer

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Thursday said the country's economy is in a strong position despite a surprise fall in jobs.According to December 2022 labour force data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier on Thursday, employment decreased by 15,000 people from November, reports .

Philippines to update 8 airports to boost connectivity

The Philippines will update at least eight airports across the country this year to boost mobility and connectivity, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said on Thursday.The Department of Budget and Management has already set aside the funding for the eight airport projects in the 2023 budget approved by President Ferdinand Marcos, the Secretary as saying.

Most Australians affected by natural disasters since 2019: Survey

A majority of Australians have been directly affected by a natural disaster since 2019, a survey published on Thursday said.The poll of more than 2,000 people, which was issued by the Climate Council, found 80 per cent of Australians have experienced at least one extreme weather event in the last three years, with heatwaves, flooding, bushfires and droughts among the most common natural disasters, reports .

Greek economy on right track, reforms key to continued progress: OECD

The Greek economy was on the right track despite challenges, and structural reforms were key to continued progress, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Mathias Cormann said here."Greece's reform efforts are paying off. The Greek economy is on the right track and it will be important to stay the course. The strong and rapid rebound in economic activity from the Covid-19 crisis is testament to these efforts," he said during joint statements to the press with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

1st space mission from UK territory fails after rocket 'anomaly'

The UK rocket carrying satellites into space suffered an "anomaly" on Tuesday, abruptly ending the first foray into orbital launch from the UK territory.Virgin Orbit, founded by Sir Richard Branson, said it was evaluating the information and would share more information when it could.
A Virgin Orbit Boeing 747 carrying the 21 metre rocket took off from a spaceport in Cornwall, southwest England.

Sri Lanka's treasury running out of funds: Cabinet spokesman

Sri Lanka's treasury is running out of funds as the island nation's worst-ever economic crisis since its independence in 1948 continues, Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said on Tuesday.Gunawardena told reporters that funds collected through taxes have seen a decline.

Fiji announces back-to-school support for students from low-income families

In his first televised address to the nation after becoming Fiji's Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka on Tuesday announced back-to-school support of $91 per child assistance to all those earning a combined annual income of $22,735 or less.This is being done to ensure that children return to school without difficulty, the Prime Minister as saying.

Sri Lanka to implement cost-reflective tariff for electricity

Amid the ongoing economic crisis, Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers has approved the implementation of a cost-reflective electricity tariff formula.Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera told journalists here that the cabinet also granted approval to amend the general policy guidelines for the electricity industry. The cost-reflective pricing will come into effect this month, he said.

$9 bn pledged in support of Pak's flood recovery efforts: Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that more than $9 billion were pledged in support of Pakistans recovery efforts from the worst ever floods that hit the country last year.The UN chief made the announcement following the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan which was co-hosted by the government of Pakistan and the UN in Geneva on Monday.

Croatia sets deadline for businesses to reduce prices after euro introduction

Businesses in Croatia must reduce prices by Friday or face government measures, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said.Some economic entities took advantage of the introduction of the euro from January 1 "in a fraudulent manner", Plenkovic said, raising prices under the guise of rounding.The government "will not hesitate" to impose measures on businesses that do not comply, he said.

Bangladesh plans to adjust power, energy prices on monthly basis

The Bangladeshi government will introduce a new system for adjusting power and energy prices on a monthly basis.State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said they are working on a plan to adjust power and energy prices every month.

Man in custody over shootings at US Democratic officials' premises

A man is in custody due to possible links with at least one shooting at the homes or offices of Democratic officials in Albuquerque, the largest city in the US state of New Mexico, authorities said.The unidentified suspect, who is said to be under 50, has not been formally charged in any of the cases, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) said.

Australian consumer confidence jumped 4.9 pts in past week

Australian consumer confidence registered a 4.9-point jump to reach 87.4 between January 2-8 -- the highest for over three months since September last year, after staying virtually unchanged at around 82.5 for weeks, a report revealed on Tuesday.The report from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Roy Morgan showed that this week's growth of 4.9 points also marks the first increase in the first week of January for five years since January 2018, when the first weekly result was 122.0, up 5.5 points on the last week of December 2017.

Cisco lays off nearly 700 employees in SF Bay Area in US

Networking giant Cisco has laid off nearly 700 positions in the Bay Area -- including 80 at its San Francisco offices.According to SFGATE, the tech company has laid off a total of 673 workers as part of a "limited business restructuring" announced in November last year.

Minor girl gang raped for 8 months in Pakistan

A 13-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped by three people for eight months in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district, using her naked photos and videos as blackmail, according to the police.The incident occurred at the Kotla Rahm Shah locality of Jatoi tehsil. After the girl was found to be pregnant, the Jatoi police have now registered a case against the three suspects.

Support for Pakistan has ebbed away: Shehbaz

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the apocalyptic rains and floods that had hit the country last summer claimed 1,700 lives, left a swathe of territory the size of Switzerland under water and affected 33 million people -- more people than live in most European countries.In an article for the Guardian newspaper, the premier wrote: "International attention has receded, but the waters have not. Large parts of Sindh and Balochistan provinces remain inundated. The number of food-insecure people in Pakistan has doubled to 14 million; another 9 million have been pushed into extreme poverty. These flooded areas now look like a huge series of permanent lakes, transforming forever the terrain and the lives of people living there.

Kevin McCarthy elected US House Speaker after historic deadlock (Ld)

The US House of Representatives elected Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy as Speaker on Saturday after a historic and embarrassing deadlock that kept the lower chamber from being fully functional days after the new Congress convened earlier this week.McCarthy from California who has been the House Republican leader since 2019, will finally take the gavel after 15 rounds of voting since the 118th Congress convened on Tuesday, despite his party holding a majority in the chamber.

Almost half of Canadians think immigration target too high: Poll

Even as Canada set a record by admitting 431,645 new permanent residents in 2022, almost half of Canadians think that the government's target of 500,000 immigrants a year is too high, according to a recent poll.Forty-nine per cent of Canadians think the government's immigration plan will admit too many immigrants to the country, according to market research and analytics company Leger.According to the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025 released last year, Canada aims to welcome 465,000 new immigrants in 2023 to address severe labour shortage in the country.

Palestinian diplomat stresses importance of UNSC session on Al-Aqsa Mosque issue

The upcoming UN Security Council (UNSC) session is important because of its "speedy convening and the unification of the international community in condemning and rejecting (Israeli National Security Minister) Itamar Ben-Gvir's action", a Palestinian diplomat said on Wednesday.The UNSC will hold an emergency session on Thursday to discuss the recent visit by Ben-Gvir to Jerusalem's holy site Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.Riyad Mansour, Palestine's envoy to the UN, said in a statement that Ben-Gvir's action came with "the approval of the most right-wing government in the history of Israel".Mansour said, "a meeting for the Council of Arab Ambassadors and another for the Islamic group will be held in New York before the session, and a meeting of a joint Palestinian Arab-Islamic delegation will be held with the Security Council's president".

Egypt currency further declines against USD

The Egyptian pound further weakened against the US dollar whose exchange rate jumped from 24.7 to about 26.49 pounds, according to data from the central bank.This is the largest single-day decline of the Egyptian pound's value since the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) allowed it to drop by about 14.5 per cent in late October 2022.The country devalued its currency twice in 2022.

European countries cull poultry to fend off avian flu

Poultry farmers across Europe have been forced to cull their flocks in the latest effort to slow the spread of the highly-contagious avian influenza on the continent.On Wednesday, Swedish authorities announced they would cull around 165,000 chickens at a single farm in the southern part of the country after a salmonella outbreak."We have decided to cull the animals before the coops are sanitized and new animals are reintroduced," Katharina Gielen, head of disease control and prevention at Sweden's Board of Agriculture.

Malnutrition rises among Sri Lankan kids under 5: Health Minister

Amid the worst-ever economic crisis in Sri Lanka, malnutrition has increased among children under the age of five, Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said on Thursday, adding that that steps are being taken to address the issue.In an address to Parliament, Rambukwella said there was an increase in the malnutrition figures in 2021 and 2022, and one of the major reasons for this situation was the unethical promotion of certain food items.

Singapore's retail sales grew 6.2% on year in Nov 2022

The Department of Statistics (DOS) of Singapore announced on Thursday that the country's retail sales grew by 6.2 per cent year on year in November 2022, following the about 10.3 per cent year-on-year increase recorded in the previous month.Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales grew by 8.7 per cent in November, compared to the about 14.2 per cent growth in October 2022.

Philippine inflation rate rose to 8.1% in Dec

Year-on-year inflation in the Philippines accelerated to 8.1 per cent in December 2022 from 8 per cent the previous month, the highest since November 2008, authorities said on Thursday.In a news conference, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) head Dennis Mapa said the the country's average inflation rate for 2022 stood at 5.8 per cent, higher than the 2021 average at 3.9 per cent.

Aus state launches 1st multicultural mental health hotline

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) on Thursday announced that the country's first multicultural mental health phone line has been launched in the state, which will provide services in 30 different languages and benefit multiple communities.According to the state government, the service is staffed by registered bilingual mental health professionals, covering languages such as Arabic, Chinese and Greek.

IS terrorists involved in attack on Pak embassy in Kabul killed

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan on Thursday said that a
network of Islamic State (IS) terrorists involved in the attack on Pakistan's Embassy in Kabul has been killed in an operation.On December 2, 2022, the Embassy came under attack with Charge d'Affaires to Afghanistan Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani targeted.Nizamani was unscathed but his guard was critically wounded.