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LHC recommends full bench formation for Musharraf’s plea

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Lahore: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday recommended the formation of a full bench to hear former President Pervez Musharraf’s petition challenging the formation of a special court hearing the high treason case against him as well as his civil miscellaneous application that urged the high court to halt the treason proceedings.

The LHC took up the petitions the same day that a three-member special court is expected to announce its verdict in the long-drawn high treason case, despite an earlier Islamabad High Court (IHC) order stopping it from issuing the verdict it had reserved last month, reports Dawn news.

The IHC’s order had come on November 27 – a day before the special court was set to announce its verdict.

On Monday, the LHC issued a notice to the federal government to submit a written reply on Musharraf’s application in which he asked the high court to declare the proceedings pending before the special court and all actions against him – from initiation of the high treason complaint to the appointment of the prosecutor and constitution of the trial court – as unconstitutional.

On December 14, in an application filed through advocates Khawaja Ahmad Tariq Raheem and Azhar Siddique, Musharraf asked the LHC to stay the trial at the special court until his earlier petition pending adjudication by the high court is decided.

In that petition, the former leader had challenged the formation of a special court holding his trial under charges of high treason and legal flaws committed in the procedure.

The high treason trial of the former military dictator for clamping the state of emergency on November 3, 2007, has been pending since December 2013.

He was booked in the treason case in December 2013. Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year.

However, due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016.

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Australians refusing COVID-19 tests could face fines: PM

“And so I thank the New South Wales and Victorian governments for doing that heavy-lifting on behalf of all other states and territories.

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Scott Morrison

Canberra, July 1 : Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned on Wednesday that people could be fined if they refuse to be tested for coronavirus.

He said that the “stick will have to be put about” in order to contain new COVID-19 outbreaks, reports Xinhua news agency.

It comes after the announcement on Tuesday that from 11.59 p.m. Wednesday night, 10 areas linked to new outbreaks in Victoria state will go into local lockdown amid a spike in cases.

These “hot zones” will be required to return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions – until at least July 29.

In making the announcement, Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews revealed that more than a thousand people, when asked, refused to be tested.

“We”re doing this in an Australian way. We”re looking to do it through incentive, through the use of carrot, not stick. But occasionally the stick will have to be put about, whether it”s fines or other sanctions that are in place to ensure that we keep everybody safe,” Morrison told TV program Today on Wednesday.

He said that the uptick in cases in Victoria, which has confirmed more cases of COVID-19 than the rest of the country combined recently, was not “surprising” because Melbourne, along with Sydney, has taken the most recently returned travellers.

“Both of those states have been running those quarantines, they”ve been paying for them themselves, and that means their risks have been greater,” he said.

“And so I thank the New South Wales and Victorian governments for doing that heavy-lifting on behalf of all other states and territories.

“We always knew there would be outbreaks. The issue is not whether they occur, but how you deal with them, and we are dealing with it in concert with the Victorian government.”

Australia has so far reported 7,920 COVID-19 cases, with 104 deaths.

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Thai cafe sues US govt for spreading COVID-19

cafe had closed and lost considerable incomes during the last three months due to lockdown measures against the pandemic in the province.

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Coronavirus Take precautions

Bangkok, July 1 : A cafe in Thailand”s Chiang Mai province has filed a damage lawsuit against the US government for allegedly spreading the COVID-19 pandemic, it was reported on Wednesday.

Sawet Wianthong, the owner of Ooh Cafe at DK Park food centre, filed the case in court on June 26 seeking 450,000 baht ($14,572) in damage compensation, plus a 7.5 per cent interest per annum, for which he held the US government accountable, reports Xinhua news agency.

He said his cafe had closed and lost considerable incomes during the last three months due to lockdown measures against the pandemic in the province.

Thailand has imposed anti-pandemic measures under a health emergency rule nationwide.

The country has so far reported 3,173 COVID-19 cases, with 58 deaths.

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Trump again slams China over COVID-19 pandemic

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Washington, July 1 : US President Donald Trump has once again slammed China over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which America is struggling to contain amid a sudden surge in the number of new confirmed cases across several states.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday night, Trump said: “As I watch the Pandemic spread its ugly face all across the world, including the tremendous damage it has done to the USA, I become more and more angry at China. People can see it, and I can feel it.”

Trump”s tweet came amid the escalated tension between Washington and Beijing since the last few months and also on the same day when China announced retaliation against the US after it announced revokation of Hong Kong”s special status, reports Efe news.

Washington revoked Hong Kong”s special status amid the threat of the dual-use technologies falling into the hands of the Chinese Army.

Moreover, less than two weeks ago, Trump signed a legislation favour of the Uyghur rights which seeks sanctions against the Chinese officials alleged of torturing the group and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang province.

These measures come amid the continuous tensions between the two countries due to trade dispute and coronavirus crisis, for which Trump blamed China and even renamed the virus as “Chinese Virus,” and “Kung Flu”.

As of Wednesday morning, The US accounted for the world”s highest number of infections and fatalities with 2,629,372 and 127,322, respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Furthermore, the pandemic has created economic strain on the country and its management.

According to surveys, the pandemic has reduced Trump”s re-election possibilities.

A poll published on June 26 indicated that Trump”s approval ratings were at their worst level (40 per cent) following protests against police brutality in the US and amid a surge in coronavirus infections in the country.

A record 58 per cent of voters disapprove of the job Trump”s doing at the White House, according to a new survey conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion together with the National Public Radio and PBS NewsHour.

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