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Nawaz Sharif’s kidney on ‘verge of collapse’: Medical Team

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Islamabad, July 23:  Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif , who is in jail, is reportedly on the verge of kidney failure and a medical board has recommended his immediate transfer from Adiala jail to a hospital.

The medical team, led by retired General Azhar Kiani, visited Adiala jail in Rawalpindi on Sunday and  said that Sharif “needed to be hospitalised for immediate treatment as he was suffering from heart and kidney ailments.”

The heartbeat of the former Prime Minister was irregular due to dehydration and the presence of urea in blood might affect his kidneys, the medical team has said.

The medical team’s recommendation had been sent to the Punjab health secretary and the caretaker government.

“The government will take a decision on it,” he said, adding that the team had been called after the former prime minister complained that he was not feeling well.

A medical check-up of Sharif’s jailed son-in-law, retired Captain Muhammad Safdar was also conducted and the team said  he was suffering from ear and throat infections.

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Boris Johnson says UK at ‘critical moment’ in Covid-19 fight

Addressing a briefing from 10 Downing Street in London, Johnson struck a sombre note as he called for “collective forbearance, common sense and willingness to make sacrifices” in order to avert another nationwide lockdown, even as he warned that he would not hesitate to impose further restrictions if needed.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said the UK is at a “critical moment” in its fight to control the spread of coronavirus, as a further 71 deaths took the country’s death toll from the deadly virus to 42,143.

Addressing a briefing from 10 Downing Street in London, Johnson struck a sombre note as he called for “collective forbearance, common sense and willingness to make sacrifices” in order to avert another nationwide lockdown, even as he warned that he would not hesitate to impose further restrictions if needed.

His warning of a high number of infections and “tragic increase” in deaths came as this week marked the biggest rise in daily cases since the pandemic began, with a further 7,108 infections recorded on Wednesday and the number of patients with Covid-19 on ventilators hitting 312.

“These figures show why our plan is so essential. We have to stick to it together and we should stick to it with confidence,” said Johnson.

“I know some people think we should give up and let the virus take its course despite the huge loss of life that may entail. I profoundly disagree. I don’t think the British people want to throw in the sponge, they want to fight and defeat this virus,” he said, adding that the UK will “get through this”.

He was joined by his scientific and medical experts who reiterated that the coronavirus cases were “heading in the wrong direction”.

Johnson’s briefing came as the House of Commons passed by 330 votes to 24 an extension to the Coronavirus Act, the emergency legislation which needs parliamentary approval every six months.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged to the members of the Parliament that they would be given votes “wherever possible” on any new coronavirus rules before they come into force in future. The assurance comes amid growing disquiet within Johnson’s own Conservative Party over some of the tough and hard to interpret localised lockdown measures being imposed in large parts of the country.

In a rare intervention, Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle delivered a harsh rebuke on the government for its failure to seek parliamentary approval for these measures.

“The way in which the government has exercised its powers to make secondary legislation during this crisis has been totally unsatisfactory,” he said. Hoyle warned that he was “now looking to the government to rebuild trust with the House and not treat it with the contempt it has shown”.

As a result, any further tough lockdown moves are likely to be first tabled for a vote in Commons.

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‘Human rights abuser Pakistan resorting to mockery of UNHRC with India bashing’

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New Delhi/Geneva, Sep 30 : India on Wednesday said that Pakistan’s perennial India bashing at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) amounted to mockery, while its own record of human rights for ethnic minorities, social activists and journalists was abysmally poor.

“No fabricated words against India is going to change the fact that Pakistan and territories under its control are deathtraps for journalists, human rights defenders, social activists and religious and ethnic minorities,” representative of the Permanent Mission of India at Geneva, Pawan Badhe, said at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

India was responding to the statement made by Pakistan, under its right to reply at the interactive dialogue with the Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights on the report of the Secretary General on cooperation with the United Nations, representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights.

“The perennial India bashing project of Pakistan in the UN system is also not going to change the fact that hundreds of journalists and human rights defenders die each year in Pakistan due to systematic killings, including extrajudicial ones,” Badhe said.

Incessant attempts to malign India in all international forums is not going to change the fact that tens of thousands of minorities would not stop fleeing Pakistan, he added.

The Indian representative said, “Resorting to abusive and unacceptable language against India in this august forum can’t rectify Pakistan’s dubious human rights record. Pakistan’s India focus agenda demonstrates its own hollowness when it comes to accountability and justice for oppressing those standing for their rights.”

The pathetic state of affairs for journalists and human rights defenders is well known when the deep state could make prominent journalists disappear in broad daylight in the heart of Pakistan, the Indian diplomat pointed out.

“We could only imagine the fate of those journalists and human rights defenders in territories under its control. Silence is the apt word for them effected through enforced disappearances, murders, detentions, custodial deaths and torture in Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Pakistan occupied parts of Indian Union Territories of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said.

While the world has progressed well, Badhe said that Pakistan is still at the crossroads to understand the real meaning of modern laws, democracy and human rights.

“The language of accountability, civic space, fundamental freedom and public participation is yet to find resonance with the authorities of Pakistan,” he said.

Of course, the world has witnessed the history of Pakistan where voice of dissent is brutally muzzled without fail, he added.

“We are not baffled that Pakistan does well when it comes to inciting hatred against religious minorities and targeting our leadership with hate speeches. Its well cherished and inherited culture of hatred makes it the perfect candidate for carrying forward the legacy of intolerance against anybody having modern views on human rights,” Badhe said.

The Indian diplomat said that Pakistan should not make mockery of the “august forum when it attempts to self-crown itself as an ardent supporter of political dissidents, journalists, social activists, minorities and human rights defenders. For that Pakistan has many miles to go.”

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France to ban use of wild animals in circuses

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France’s environment minister has announced a gradual ban on using wild animals in travelling circuses, on keeping dolphins and killer whales in captivity in marine parks and on raising mink on fur farms.

Barbara Pompili, France’s minister of ecological transition, said in a news conference Tuesday that bears, tigers, lions, elephants and other wild animals won’t be allowed any more in travelling circuses “in the coming years.” In addition, starting immediately, France’s three marine parks won’t be able to bring in nor breed dolphins and killer whales any more, she said.

“It is time to open a new era in our relationship with these (wild) animals,” she said, arguing that animal welfare is a priority.

Pompili said the measures will also bring an end to mink farming, where animals are raised for their fur, within the next five years.

The ban does not apply to wild animals in other permanent shows and in zoos.

Pompili did not set any precise date for the ban in travelling circuses, saying the process should start “as soon as possible.” She promised solutions will be found for each animal “on a case-by-case basis.” The French government will implement an 8 million-euro ($9.2 million) package to help people working in circuses and marine parks find other jobs.

“That transition will be spread over several years, because it will change the lives of many people,” she said.

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