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Musharraf to testify in Benazir murder, treason cases

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Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf is expected to testify in two important cases – one relating to former prime minister  Benazir Bhutto’s 2010 assassination  and the other concerning 2013 high treason charge – in the coming weeks.

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) of Rawalpindi and the special court seized with the high treason case may summon Musharraf to defend himself and counter the evidence produced by prosecutors in the two cases.

However, it is not clear whether the “ailing” former president will appear personally before the courts to get his statements recorded or testify through a video link.

Proceedings in the Benazir murder case commenced in 2008 and the trial is in its final stages as the prosecution is summoning its last few witnesses.

The former military ruler was nominated as the sole accused in the high treason case in December 2013. In March 2014, he was indicted in the case by the special court comprising judges of three different high courts.

The prosecution in the case has presented all the evidence and produced its witnesses before the court. The last prosecution witness testified on Sept 18, 2014.

Last year, the Islamabad High Court ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to re-investigate the case to ascertain role of facilitators in the imposition of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007.

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Bangladesh: 6 activists shot dead in Chittagong Hill Tracts

The Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh have been affected by what has been described as ”genocide” or ”ethnic cleansing” for many years, say activists.

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Shot Dead

Dhaka, July 7 : Six indigenous activists were shot dead on Tuesday in an ambush by a rival group in Bangladesh”s restive Chittagong Hill Tracts where scores have died in an insurgency in recent years, police said.

The incident is alarming as it shows the power conflict between several insurgent groups in the hill tracts of Bangladesh, said an official to IANS.

Locals and police said the killing might have taken place over establishing supremacy by two regional groups in the area. Three injured persons were admitted to Sadar Hospital.

Last March, a 31-member committee of JSS reformist group was formed. After the formation of the new committee, a rivalry began between the reformists and JSS (Santu Larma) groups.

The incident took place at around 5 am on Tuesday near Baghmara Bazar in Rajbila union, 20 km from the district town.

Local Union Parisad member Se Pru Marma said an armed group stormed into the house of reformist JSS president in the morning and started firing indiscriminately, killing the five on the spot.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh have been affected by what has been described as ”genocide” or ”ethnic cleansing” for many years, say activists.

In the 1960s and 1970s, thousands were forced off their lands to make way for reservoirs and hydroelectric projects, a displacement made worse by massacres against the Jumma people (the collective name for all indigenous peoples in the region). In 1997 a peace accord recognised the rights of the Jumma people over their lands.

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Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus

Brazil has reported by far the highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America and is second only to the United States.

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Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the coronavirus, local media reported.

On Monday night, he said he went to the hospital for a lung scan and would take a new test for the virus, after he developed symptoms, including a fever. It was later revealed that the separate medical exam had shown his lungs were “clean”.

Bolsonaro has reportedly canceled all his official activities until he gets the results of his test. “The president, at this time, is in good health and remains at his residence”, his office said on Monday.

In recent months, several of Bolsonaro’s aides have become infected with Covid-19. However, the president has often been seen defying restrictions such as mask wearing and social distancing.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the threat of the virus, saying it was just a “little flu” and condemning governors for imposing lockdowns that are causing job losses.

Brazil has reported by far the highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America and is second only to the United States.

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52 killed in Japan due to torrential rain

In Omuta, about 200 people were left stranded at two evacuation centres after floodwaters surged in the area.

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Japan Rain Flood

Tokyo, July 7 : The death toll due to the torrential rain in Japan’s Kyushu region increased to 52 on Tuesday, with the government issuing its highest alert as the Chikugo river in Oita prefecture overflowed.

Kumamoto prefecture registered the highest number of victims at 51, while 11 people were reported missing, The Japan Times quoted authorities as saying.

The 52nd victim, a woman in Omuta Fukuoka prefecture, was found at her submerged home on Monday night and was confirmed dead Tuesday at a hospital.

In Omuta, about 200 people were left stranded at two evacuation centres after floodwaters surged in the area.

The Chikugo River, the largest in the Kyushu region, overflowed in Hita, Oita prefecture, prompting a local meteorological observatory and the land ministry to issue the highest-level alert to residents on Tuesday morning.

The death toll from the heavy rains that started in the early hours of July 4 is expected to climb as search efforts for the missing continued at sites hit by landslides and floods.

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