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‘Iran ready to handover Ukrainian passengers’ remains’

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iranian foreign minister javad zarif

Tehran: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Tehran was ready to handover the remains of the Ukrainian passengers who were killed in the January 8 downing of an airliner.

Zarif made the remarks during a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Vadym Prystaiko on Thursday, the state-run IRNA news agency said in a report.

On his part, Prystaiko appreciated Iran for the speedy declaration of responsibility for the incident and its cooperation in all stages.

The Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight PS75 crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran, killing all the 176 people on board.

The victims comprised 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, four Britons and three Germans.

Three days later, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps admitted that one of its missiles had downed the Kiev-bound plane due to “human error” and mistaking it for a US cruise missile.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Iran has arrested some of the people involved in the downing of the airliner.

The crash occurred on the same day Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two US military bases in Iraq, in retaliation for the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani in an American drone attack in Baghdad on January 3

Politics

Sajid Javid stepped down to avoid humiliation

He had then cleared absconding businessman Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India in February last year following the decision by the Westminister Magistrates Court in December 2018.

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Sajid Javid

London, Feb 29 : Sajid Javid has revealed that he decided to resign as the UK Chancellor instead of being “humiliated” by sacking all his aides at a Cabinet reshuffle, a media report said on Saturday.

On February 13, Javid resigned as the Chancellor of the Exchequer over differences with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a cabinet reshuffle. He was offered to retain the post if he fired all his advisors but declined.

He was replaced by Indian-descent Rishi Sunak, who is married to Akshata, the daughter of Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy.

“It was really hard. I wanted to do a budget but when the Prime Minister said to me these are the conditions, in my mind it was black and white,” the Daily Mirror quoted Javid as saying to the Times newspaper.

“Even if I had entertained the idea for a second I would be absolutely humiliated afterwards.”

Javid said that other Cabinet members hastily congratulated him after defending the right of Ministers and telling him “well done”, while thanking him for speaking on all their behalf.

“I loved my job. I have wanted to be Chancellor since I knew who Nigel Lawson was when I was a kid and the only person that believed I could ever become chancellor was my dad. He never got to see it,” he told the Times.

Javid further said that he had “no option” but to leave the Cabinet when he was told to sack his advisers, and he still has to unpack boxes after moving from the seat of British power in Downing Street.

Pakistani-descent Javid, who became the first Asian to become a Cabinet Minister when he was made Secretary of State of Culture, Media and Sports in the David Cameron government in 2014 after stints as Economic Secretary to the Treasury (2012-13) and Financial Secretary (2013-14), was earlier the Home Secretary in the the Theresa May government.

He had then cleared absconding businessman Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India in February last year following the decision by the Westminister Magistrates Court in December 2018.

Javid, who ran for Conservative Party leadership after May quit but lost to Johnson, was made Chancellor by the latter.

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World

S.Korea warns of more COVID-19 cases as total reaches 2,931

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Seoul, Feb 29 (IANS) South Korea on Saturday warned a large number of virus cases will be reported in Daegu, the epicentre of the country’svirus outbreak, as the total number of infections rose to 2,931, with 17 fatalities.

On Saturday, the country reported 594 new cases of which 476 were in Daegu, 300 km southeast of Seoul, and 60 in neighbouring North Gyeongsang province, Yonhap News Agency quoted the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) as saying.

The sharp increase in cases in Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city with a population of 2.5 million, came as authorities began intensive tests on followers of the Shincheonji church.

Many more confirmed virus cases were expected in the coming days as health authorities have begun testing more than 210,000 Shincheonji followers.

South Korea’s health authorities have so far surveyed 88 per cent of the followers of the church, with around 2 per cent of them showing symptoms of the novel virus.

The KCDC said it has collected samples from 3,381 church members who showed symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

“The proportion of confirmed cases among Shincheonji followers is very high, and over the next few days, the number of new cases in Daegu will run high till virus tests on the church followers are completed,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip as saying at a briefing here.

South Korea confirmed its first new coronavirus case in a Chinese woman from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on January 20.

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Business

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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