Disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi : US urges Riyadh to probe | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi : US urges Riyadh to probe – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
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Disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi : US urges Riyadh to probe

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Pompeo

Washington, Oct 9 : The US has asked Saudi Arabia to support a “thorough” and “transparent” probe into the disappearance of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after Turkey pressured the Saudi government to clarify his whereabouts.

Khashoggi has not been see since October 2 in Istanbul, when he visited the Saudi consulate with his Turkish girlfriend, Hatice Cengiz, to pick up a document that he needed for their upcoming wedding, Efe news reported.

“We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Khashoggi’s disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Monday.

Pompeo added that “State Department senior officials have spoken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels about this matter”.

He also expressed his concern about the contradictory reports on the safety and whereabouts of Khashoggi.

Earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump also voiced his worries.
“I am concerned about it,” he said on returning to Washington DC after a visit to Florida.

“I don’t like hearing about it, and hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now, nobody knows anything about it, but there’s some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it.”

The veteran journalist distanced himself from the Saudi monarchy in 2017 and went into exile in the US, where he began writing op-eds for the Washington Post criticising his country´s royal institutions.

According to a US official briefed by Turkish counterparts, Khashoggi was murdered by a 15-member Saudi team dispatched to kill him. His body was likely dismembered, removed in boxes and flown out of the country, the Washington Post reported.

The grisly claims sent a jolt through the US capital, which is traditionally friendly territory for Riyadh. Khashoggi, 59, had recently moved to the US in self-imposed exile.

If his killing is confirmed, it could prompt a decisive change in how the Washington deals with Riyadh. Leading Republican and Democratic lawmakers issued notes of alarm over the reports of Khashoggi’s death and threatened repercussions if they are true, the Post said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded on Monday the authorities of Saudi Arabia prove the journalist left the consulate alive with images from the security cameras.

The Turkish government also asked for permission to search the premises of the consulate.

The Turkish authorities have not ruled on the possibility that Khashoggi has been killed, as reported by his friends and colleagues.

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Pakistan’s economy shows positive indicators: PM’s Office

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Imran Khan Pakistan PM

Islamabad, Feb 28 : Pakistan’s economic indicators are seeing a constant improvement due to efforts made by the current government to overcome the serious economic challenges, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, chairing a meeting of his economic team, expressed satisfaction over the improvement in all sectors, adding that his government is making efforts to bring a trickle-down effect of the improving economy on general public and in this regard steps are being taken to provide relief to low income and salaried class of the country, Xinhua reported.

He also directed the economic team to keep the public updated about the positive indicators of the economy in a bid to win the confidence of the local businessman to invest in the country.

Earlier this month, the prime minister approved subsidy of Pakistani Rs 10 billion ($65 million) on five essential food items for controlling rampant inflation in the country.

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Iranian vice president tests positive for coronavirus

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Tehran, Feb 28 Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar has tested positive for the coronavirus, an official said on Thursday.

Ebtekar’s adviser Fariba Ibtihaj said the vice president tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, Iran’s official IRNA news agency  reported.

“Everyone in the vice president’s team was also tested and the results will be available on Saturday,” she said.

Ebtekar is not the first high-ranking Iranian official to contract the virus.

Ebtekar, joins the deputy health minister, the head of the national security commission and a reformist MP who have been infected with the virus, reports Efe news.

She tested positive on Thursday after showing symptoms the previous day during a cabinet meeting, according to state TV.

The politician is one of the most recognizable in the Islamic Republic and previously held the position of environment minister.

Iran has reported 26 deaths from the deadly disease and 245 cases total with a dramatic surge of 106 new infections registered on Thursday, the Health Ministry said.

Tehran authorities have decided to close down schools and universities in the country to curb the spread of the disease.

Friday prayers in the capital have also been cancelled.

Amid the spread of the virus, neighbouring countries have closed their land borders with Iran and most airlines have suspended their flights or imposed restrictions on air travel to the country.

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COVID-19 cases in South Korea reach 2,022, 13 deaths

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Seoul, Feb 28 The number of coronavirus cases in South Korea increased to 2,022 on Friday, with a total of 13 fatalities as the nation aggressively counters the fast-spreading virus with massive testing, particularly for 210,000 followers of a religious sect at the centre of the epidemic.

The 256 new cases brought the nation’s total infections to 2,022, the Yonhap News Agency quoted the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) as saying.

Only two days ago, the number of infections exceeded 1,000.

More than half of newly confirmed cases were linked to a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southeastern city of Daegu, 300 km southeast of Seoul.

Of the 256 new cases, 182 are in Daegu, and 49 are in the neighbouring North Gyeongsang Province.

Since raising the virus alert level to “red”, the highest level, on Sunday, health authorities have focused on halting the spread of the virus in Daegu, the epicentre of the virus outbreak in South Korea, and North Gyeongsang.

Experts said the number of confirmed cases is expected to jump in the coming days as health authorities have begun testing more than 210,000 members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.

The government also ordered another 1,638 Shincheonji followers to self-isolate as they have shown symptoms, Yonhap News Agency said in its report.

Since the first coronavirus case — a Chinese woman from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak — on January 20, the pace of infections had not been alarming until February 18, when a 61-year-old woman who is tied to the Daegu religious sect tested positive for the virus.

Since then, the nation has seen an explosion in infections as it accelerated virus tests on potential cases.

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