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Islamabad High Court rejects Nawaz Sharif, Maryam’s bail plea

Justice Muhammad Bashir of the Islamabad Accountability Court, Who Sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in jail in a graft case, has recused himself from hearing other to graft cases: Al-Azizia steel mills and the Flagship corruption cases

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Islamabad, July 17 : The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz and upheld the 10-year jail term for the PML-N leader and his daughter.

A Pakistani anti-corruption court judge who had sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in jail in a graft case, has recused himself from hearing two other corruption cases against the former prime minister.The move came on the heels of Khawaja Haris  filing of separate appeals by Sharif, 68, his daughter Maryam, 44, and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, challenging the verdict.

He also filed another appeal  to transfer of two more corruption cases pending — Al-Azizia and Flagship — before accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir.

The court, while hearing the petition filed by Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris, said the ex-premier and Maryam have been convicted under serious charges of graft and fixed the last week of July as the next date of hearing.

A two-judge bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit response on appeals of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar against their conviction in the Avenfield properties reference.

The division bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kyani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb took up their appeals seeking to set aside the accountability court judgment that awarded 10 years imprisonment to Sharif, seven years to Maryam and one year to Captain (retd) Safdar.

Justice Muhammad Bashir of the Islamabad Accountability Court, in a letter addressed to Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Anwar Khan Kasi, said that the Al-Azizia steel mills and the Flagship corruption cases should be transferred to some other judge, according to the IHC sources.

In the letter, the judge said that he had no objection if the cases were transferred as he could not hear these cases, they said.

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

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Corona Death Body

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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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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Africa Coronavirus Case

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.