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Disappointed at India’s ‘negative, arrogant’ reply: Imran Khan

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Imran Khan

Islamabad, Sep 22: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday expressed “disappointment” at India’s response calling it “arrogant and negative” after New Delhi called off talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries, blaming Islamabad for glorifying terrorism.

“Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue,” tweeted Khan.

“However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.”

Indian External Affairs Ministers Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi were set to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York next week, that could have marked the first thaw in bilateral ties that have steadily deteriorated.

The Indian government said on Friday that it cancelled talks with Pakistan following two “deeply disturbing” developments that led to Islamabad’s “evil agenda” being exposed.

In one incident, terrorists abducted and gunned down three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir, marking a sharp escalation in militancy in the state which India says is backed by Pakistan.

Also, Islamabad had issued postage stamps in memory of Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen leader who was shot dead by Indian security forces in July 2016, sparking widespread street protests.

Qureshi had called the development “unfortunate” and claimed that the decision was taken by New Delhi “under internal pressure”.

“The reasons cited by the Indian side for the decision to cancel the foreign ministers’ meeting, within 24 hours of its public confirmation, are entirely unconvincing,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry had said in a statement.

IANS

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Global Covid-19 cases top 31mn mark: Johns Hopkins

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The overall number of global coronavirus cases on Monday surpassed the 31 million mark, while the deaths have increased to more than 960,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The total number of cases stood at 31,044,033 and the fatalities rose to 960,826, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 6,805,629 and 199,512, respectively, according to the CSSE.

India comes in the second place in terms of cases at 5,487,580, while the country’s death toll soared to 87,882.

The other top 15 countries with the maximum amount of cases are Brazil (4,544,629), Russia (1,105,048), Peru (768,895), Colombia (765,076), Mexico (697,663), South Africa (661,211), Spain (640,040), Argentina (631,365), France (467,614), Chile (446,274), Iran (422,140), the UK (396,744), Bangladesh (348,918), Saudi Arabia (329,754) and Iraq (319,035), the CSSE figures showed.

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 136,895.

The countries with a death toll above 10,000 are Mexico (73,493), the UK (41,866), Italy (35,668), Peru (31,369), France (31,257), Spain (30,495), Iran (24,301), Colombia (23,665), Russia (19,420), South Africa (15,953), Argentina (13,053), Chile (12,286) and Ecuador (11,090).

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UK PM to address nation over ‘winter lockdown plans

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Boris Johnson

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to address the nation to brace citizens for “winter lockdown plans” in preparation for a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, media reports said.

The Prime Minister could make the TV address as early as Tuesday, said The Sun newspaper.

The Prime Minister could make the TV address as early as Tuesday, said The Sun newspaper.

He is looking at making pubs and restaurants close early and banning households from meeting up, it added.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Officer Patrick Vallance will reportedly make an address ahead of the Prime Minister, the Metro newspaper said in a report.

The scientists will outline the consequences of taking no action to curb the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, a government adviser, Professor Susan Michie, told The Telegraph on Sunday that every day of delay could have dire health outcomes.

“We need a stitch in time. We need to learn the lessons of the spring. Every day’s delay to a step change in measures to restrict transmission when it is increasing exponentially will be expensive in terms of health and lives in the short term and the economy in the long term,” she added.

Johnson has previously admitted that second national lockdown would be “nothing short of disastrous”‘ for the UK, the Metro newspaper reported.

The development comes as more than 10 million across the UK are placed in some form of local lockdown.As of Monday, the UK has reported a total of 396,744 coron mm mm u huhavirus cases, with 41,866 deaths.

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4 new Covid-19 cases reported in NZ

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Wellington, Sep 20 (IANS) New Zealand reported four new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the nationwide tally to 1,464, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Of the four new cases, two were community cases and two were at managed isolation facilities, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Ministry statement.

The current number of active cases in New Zealand has reduced to 71, including three patients in Auckland hospitals.

Laboratories across New Zealand have conducted 5,417 tests, increasing the total number till date to 910,853, according to the Ministry.

New Zealand is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 with additional restrictions on gatherings for its biggest city Auckland.

–IANS

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COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.