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ISIS planning to build a ‘state’ in Iraq and Syria

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Islamic State terror  plans to build a state in Iraq and Syria  with government departments, a treasury and an economic programme for self-sufficiency.

This was revealed after a 24-page dossier was published in a newspaper  that outlines how the terror group is trying to build a state complete with guidelines for education, natural resources, industry, diplomacy, propaganda and the military.

The 10 chapter-long document titled ‘Principles in the administration of the Islamic State (ISIS) dated some time between July and October 2014, was obtained by the ‘Guardian’ newspaper.

It is written by an Egyptian called Abu Abdullah al-Masri and gives an insight into the well-funded regime and outlines how fighters must receive “training on bearing light arms”.

Charlie Winter, a senior researcher for Georgia State University told the newspaper: “Far from being an army of irrational, bloodthirsty fanatics, ISIS is a deeply calculating political organisation with an extremely complex, well-planned infrastructure behind it.”

Abdullah also calls for a single identity for the terror group to unite both foreigners and locals and makes the case for establishing independent “factories for local military and food production” in the dossier.

“The preparatory camp is the first home and school of the mujahid in which his military and jihadi training sessions take place and he undergoes sufficient education in matters of his religion, life and jihad,” says chapter three titled ‘Administration of the Camps’.

“The camp includes sharia sessions in fiqh of doctrine and rulings, with special sessions in Islamic society and manners, and training on bearing light arms and the principles of use,” it said.

It opens with the explanation that “on the expansion of the Islamic State, the state requires an Islamic system of life” and the document intends to “deal with each one of the many challenges and difficulties” in the establishment of an Islamic State.

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China lockdown may have prevented 7 lakh COVID-19 cases

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Coronavirus

London, April 1 (IANS) Researchers claim that China’s control measures during the first 50 days of the novel coronavirus pandemic may have delayed the spread of the virus to cities outside of Wuhan by several days and, by interrupting transmission nationwide, prevented more than 700,000 infections across the country.

The study, published in the journal Science, could be useful to countries that are still in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The number of confirmed cases in China by day 50 (February 19) of the epidemic, was around 30,000. Our analysis suggests that without the Wuhan travel ban and the national emergency response there would have been more than 700,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of Wuhan by that date,” said study researcher Christopher Dye from the University of Oxford in the UK.

“China’s control measures appear to have worked by successfully breaking the chain of transmission — preventing contact between infectious and susceptible people,” Dye added.

For the findings, the researchers used a unique combination of case reports, human movement data and public health intervention information to investigate the spread and control of COVID-19.

They examined the movements of 4.3 million people out of Wuhan before the travel ban, the types and timing of control measures implemented across the cities of China and the numbers of COVID-19 cases reported each day in every city.

“One fascinating aspect of our work is that it shows the power of novel data streams such as cell phone mobility data,” said study researcher Ottar Bjornstad from Penn State University.

“Since the time period we studied included the Spring Festival holiday and Chinese Lunar New Year, we were able to compare patterns of travel into and out of Wuhan during the outbreak with cell phone data from two previous spring festivals,” Bjornstad added.

The analysis revealed an extraordinary reduction in movement following the travel ban of January 23, 2020.

The team’s model also analysed the specific effects of the Wuhan shutdown and found that it delayed the arrival of COVID-19 in other cities by several days.

“This delay provided extra time to prepare for the arrival of COVID-19 in more than 130 cities,” said Huaiyu Tian, Associate Professor of epidemiology, Beijing Normal University.

These cities banned public gatherings, closed entertainment venues and suspended public transport, among other actions. As a result, they reported 33 per cent fewer confirmed cases during the first week of their outbreaks than cities that did not implement a Level 1 Response.

While the control measures taken thus far have reduced the number of COVID-19 infections to very low levels, China is by no means out of the woods, the researchers noted.

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Russian doctor who met Putin last week diagnosed with coronavirus

The Kremlin said that Putin was being regularly tested for coronavirus and that “everything is okay,” the RIA news agency reported.

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Russian Doctor with Putin

MOSCOW : A doctor who gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a tour of Moscow’s main coronavirus hospital last week said on Tuesday he had himself been diagnosed with the virus.

Putin visited the Kommunarka hospital last Tuesday where he chatted to the doctor, Denis Protsenko. Neither man was wearing protective equipment during their conversation, TV footage from the visit showed.

Protsenko, writing on Facebook said: “Yes, I have tested positive for coronavirus, but I feel pretty good. I’ve isolated myself in my office. I think the immunity I’ve developed this month is doing its job.”

The Kremlin said that Putin was being regularly tested for coronavirus and that “everything is okay,” the RIA news agency reported.

It has previously said that Putin is being protected from viruses and other illnesses “around the clock”.

Putin donned a hazmat suit and a respirator during his visit to the hospital last week when dropping in on patients. But he did not have his protective gear on during a meeting with Protsenko, with whom he was photographed shaking hands.

The Kremlin reported a coronavirus case in Putin’s administration on Friday, but said the person in question had not come into contact with the president and that all measures were being taken to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday granted the government powers to declare a national emergency over the coronavirus, and approved penalties for violations of lockdown rules including, in extreme cases, jail terms of up to seven years.

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Singapore court upholds gay sex ban

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Singapore, March 31 (IANS) A Singapore court has dismissed a bid to overturn a law that criminalises gay sex, dealing a blow to the city-states LGBT movement, a media report said.

The high court on Monday rejected appeals by three gay men who had argued the colonial-era law was unconstitutional, the BBC said in the report. The presiding judge said the law was “important in reflecting public sentiment and beliefs” in Singapore.

Under Section 377A, men found guilty of homosexual acts in public or private can be jailed for up to two years.

Speaking outside court, a lawyer for one of the complainants, M Ravi, said he was “very disappointed” by the ruling.

“It’s shocking to the conscience and it is so arbitrary,” the BBC quoted the lawyer as saying. The legal challenges were the latest attempts to repeal Section 377A, after an effort by a gay couple in 2014 was rejected by the Court of Appeal.

Singapore’s authorities rarely enforce Section 377A, first introduced in 1938 by British colonial rulers. But the city-state’s leaders have refused to remove it, saying it reflects the conservative mores of the city state’s society, the BBC reported.

In Monday’s judgement, the court echoed that sentiment, saying non-enforcement of the law against consensual gay sex in private did not render it redundant.

The court concluded the law was constitutional because it did not violate articles regarding equality and freedom of speech.
Currently 70 countries criminalise same-sex relations.


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