Digest for international stories for week Jun 26 - Jul 2, 2021

·5-min read

Saturday Lahore: Pakistani security agencies have identified the key person behind the car bomb blast outside the house of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of the banned Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Hafiz Saeed here and arrested three more persons in connection with the case, officials said on Saturday.

United Nations/Geneva: The Delta variant of COVID-19, identified in at least 85 countries, is the “most transmissible” of the variants identified so far and is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated populations, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned.

London: Embattled UK Cabinet minister Matt Hancock on Saturday resigned as Health Secretary, amid mounting calls for him to step down over his admitted breach of COVID-19 lockdown rules with a kiss involving a close female aide.

Sunday Paris: Mainstream candidates delivered a stinging setback to France's far right in regional elections on Sunday, thwarting its hopes of winning control of a region for the first time and slowing its momentum ahead of the presidential contest next year.

London: Classified documents from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) containing secret information about a warship and the British military was discovered at a bus stop in south-eastern England, according to a media report on Sunday.

Beijing: As China’s ruling Communist Party is set to celebrate its centenary on July 1, experts warn that the potential of President Xi Jinping’s continuation in power, unlike his predecessors, could potentially be 'very destabilising' for it in the future in the absence of a successor.

Monday Islamabad: A high court in Pakistan on Monday ordered the temporary suspension of the popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok for “spreading immorality”, three months after the country lifted a ban imposed on it.

Dhaka: A powerful explosion that destroyed an old three-storey building in a crowded area here in Bangladesh's capital and killed at least seven people and injured some 400 others may have been caused by a faulty gas line or gas cylinders, authorities said on Monday.

Washington: The US military, under the direction of President Joe Biden, carried out airstrikes against what it said were “facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups” near the border between Iraq and Syria, drawing condemnation from Iraq's military and calls for revenge by the militias.

Tuesday Wimbledon: Serena Williams is out of Wimbledon after she stopped playing her first-round match in the first set Tuesday because of a left leg injury.

Matera (Italy): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday met his counterparts from the US, Britain, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Mexico, France, Spain, Singapore and the EU on the sidelines of the G20 ministerial meetings here and discussed with them the COVID-19 situation and global as well as regional issues of mutual interests.

Dubai: Israel's foreign minister kicked off the highest-level visit by an Israeli official to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, nine months after the two established relations in a deal brokered by the United States.

Wednesday Philadelphia (US): Pennsylvania's highest court threw out Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction and released him from prison Wednesday in a stunning reversal of fortune for the comedian once known as “America's Dad,” ruling that the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor's agreement not to charge Cosby.

Washington: India's Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, effectively neutralises both Alpha and Delta variants of coronavirus, the US' National Institute of Health has said.

United Nations: India pays great attention to the conduct of peacekeepers and has adopted a “zero-tolerance” policy for sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) related serious misconduct, and the country aims to strengthen mechanisms to ensure prevention and mitigation of these issues, India’s envoy to the UN has said.

Thursday Nairobi: The African Union special envoy tasked with leading efforts to procure COVID-19 vaccines for the continent is blasting Europe as Africa struggles amid a crushing third surge of infections, saying Thursday that “not one dose, not one vial, has left a European factory for Africa”.

Beijing: Any 'foreign force' trying to 'bully' China will meet a 'great wall of steel' erected by over 1.4 billion Chinese people and its powerful military, President Xi Jinping warned on Thursday, as the ruling Communist Party celebrated its centenary with a massive show of strength at the historic Tiananmen Square here.

Hong Kong: Marking the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese control, a top city official defended the national security law imposed by Beijing to crush pro-democracy rallies and said Thursday it would be used further in the coming year to ensure stability.

Friday Washington: China has begun construction of over 100 new silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles in a desert near the country’s northwestern city of Yumen, signalling a major expansion of its nuclear capabilities, a leading American daily has reported citing satellite imagery.

Washington: A group of US lawmakers has introduced a bipartisan bill that aims to provide a pathway to permanent residency to individuals brought to America as dependents of long-term nonimmigrant visa holders, a move which will benefit several Indian children and youngsters facing self-deportation when they turn 21.

Washington/Islamabad: The US has added Pakistan along with 14 other countries in a list of Child Soldiers Prevention Act which identifies foreign governments having government-supported armed groups that recruit or use child soldiers, a designation that could result in restrictions on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment.

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