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26/11 case in Pakistan:Witness claims Ajmal Kasab is alive

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During court proceedings in Pakistan,prosecution in Mumbai attack case faced embarrassment when a key witness turned hostile and said that Ajmal Kasab, the lone gunman caught alive after the assault and later hanged, was alive.

“Mudassir Lakhvi, the headmaster of a primary school in Faridkot, where Ajmal Kasab studied for three years told the court that he taught Kasab and he is alive,” a court official told .

The hearing of the case was held by the Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad judge at Adiala Jail Rawalpindi yesterday, the same day when Pakistan assured India of “steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion” of the Mumbai attack trial during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

“The headmaster caused a lot of embarrassment for the prosecution team by claiming that Ajmal Kasab is alive. He was supposed to present the record of the period during which Ajmal Kasab studied in the school and other relevant record but talked otherwise. The prosecution also failed to properly examine him,” the official said.

The official said the headmaster belongs to the native town of accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and there is a possibility that he testified under his (Lakhvi’s) pressure.

In May 2014, the headmaster told the court that Kasab was still alive.

The prosecution moved an application to examine him again on the ground that the witness turned ‘hostile’. He was summoned yesterday but he stuck to his last statement.

The headmaster made no reference to Kasab (hanged in India) and did not mention if he (Kasab) was the same person who studied in the school in Faridkot.

The witness earlier had also claimed that Kasab could be produced in court if needed.

The next hearing in the case would be held on December 16.

India blames Pakistan-based militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba for orchestrating the attack that killed 166 people.

Initially, Pakistani authorities had denied Indian claims of Kasab being a Pakistani national but had later confirmed that the only surviving attacker belonged to Pakistan.

Kasab was hanged in November 2012 in a Pune jail.

The trial against LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Sadiq, Shahid Jamil, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum has been underway since 2009 for their alleged role in the Mumbai attacks.

Lakhvi secured bail in December 2014 and was subsequently released from the Adiala Jail on this April after the Lahore High Court set aside the government’s order to detain him under a public security act.

Disaster

US sends 2 million doses of unproven COVID-19 drug to Brazil: White House

The White House announced on Sunday that the U.S. has sent 2 million doses of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to Brazil, and that 1,000 ventilators will soon be delivered as well as the South American country becomes the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The White House says the U.S. has sent 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil, and that 1,000 ventilators will soon be delivered as well.

This comes even as some countries have banned the use of the drug for COVID-19 over safety concerns.

  • Brazil reported a record 33,274 new cases on Saturday as its death toll surpassed France’s, ranking fourth in the world behind the U.S., U.K. and Italy.
  • Trump last week suspended entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil within the past 14 days.

Between the lines: Hydroxychloroquine has become a point of heated political debate in President Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, as he first touted the drug as a potential “game-changer” and said he was taking it himself as a preventative.

  • But a large study in The Lancet found an increased risk of heart problems and death among coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine, prompting France to ban use of the drug and the World Health Organization to temporarily suspend a trial.
  • Anthony Fauci told CNN last week that the scientific data “is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy” of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.

What they’re saying: The White House said in a statement that the drug will “be used as a prophylactic to help defend Brazil’s nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals agains the virus.”

  • “It will also be used as a therapeutic to treat Brazilians who become infected,” the statement adds.
  • “With [Trump] and President Jair Bolsonaro having spoken twice since March, the two countries are well-positioned to continue their work together to address the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to other matters of strategic importance.”
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Disaster

We share our support for racial equality: Sundar Pichai

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Sundar Pichai

San Francisco, May 31 : Google and YouTube on Sunday put a black ribbon on its home page in the US, showing solidarity for protests against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody.

“We stand in support of racial equality, and all those who search for it,” the message read on the Google home page.

The same message was also placed on the US home page of Google-owned YouTube.

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted: “Today on US Google & YouTube homepages we share our support for racial equality in solidarity with the Black community and in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery & others who don’t have a voice.

“For those feeling grief, anger, sadness & fear, you are not alone,” Pichai added.

Last week, a policeman choked an African-American man Floyd, to death by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis.

Several states in the US erupted in protests after the video went viral.

The riots stretching from New York on the east coast to Los Angeles on the west rocked the nation that was just beginning to relax the Covid-19 restrictions threatening to spread the disease.

The force of the protests that have turned violent comes from the ongoing brutality against minorities by police with two other recent cases adding to the fury behind the killing of Floyd.

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US patient receives $840,000 bill for COVID-19 treatment

“It’s scary. I don’t care how much you have covered. It’s scary to see that kind of number and not really know.”

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Washington, May 31 : A high school teacher from the US state of Colorado was shocked to receive a medical bill of $840,000 for his treatment for COVID-19, local media reported.

The bill received by Robert Dennis, a Centennial High School teacher, covered Dennis’ time at Denver’s Sky Ridge hospital, where he was put on a ventilator in the intensive care unit for two weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, what was not included was Dennis’ three weeks at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, or his wife’s trips to the emergency room when she was also fighting the virus.

The couple estimated that their total bills would top $1.5 million.

The couple had insurance and they planned to call to make sure that they were covered.

“Seeing that number yesterday for the first bill, it took your breath away again,” the wife said.

“It’s scary. I don’t care how much you have covered. It’s scary to see that kind of number and not really know.”

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