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Pakistan hangs 6-year-old Zainab’s killer

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Imran Aliv Zainab killer
Policemen escort Imran Ali as the suspect leaves an anti terrorism court. (File Photo- AFP)

Islamabad, Oct 17: Pakistan early on Wednesday hanged a man convicted for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Ansari in January.

Imran Ali, who was arrested after her body was found in a garbage dump, was executed in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat prison, police said.

Zainab’s father and other relatives were present. Zainab’s father, Amin Ansari told the BBC after the execution that he was “satisfied”.

“I have seen his awe-inspiring end with my own eyes. They dropped him on the gallows, and let his body hang for half an hour,” he told reporters.

The case, the most heinous in a string of similar child murders in the city of Kasur, had sparked outrage and protests in the country.

Zainab disappeared on January 4 and her body was found five days later in a rubbish dump. She would have been 7 years and 2 months old if she was alive, said Ansari, who expressed regret that authorities did not televise the hanging.

Ansari’s earlier appeal for Ali to face a public hanging was dismissed by the Lahore High court.

Police said there had been several similar child murders in the past two years in Kasur but her killing proved to be a tipping point.

It triggered widespread outrage, including protests complaining of police incompetence. Two people were killed in the ensuing clashes.

Zainab’s family had said the police did not take action during the five days from when she was reported missing until her body was found.

Relatives, not police, had recovered CCTV footage of her last movements.
It showed a girl being led away by a man. Widely circulated on social media with the hashtag #JusticeForZainab later went viral, with many Pakistanis calling for action.

On January 23, 24-year-old Imran Ali was arrested using a DNA match. He was sentenced to death in February for Zainab’s rape and murder.

His appeals against the verdict failed and earlier in October President Arif Alvi rejected a plea for clemency.

IANS

India

President Kovind unveils statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Paramatta

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Sydney, Nov 22: President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind on Thursday unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Parramatta in Sydney.

Prime Minister of Australia, Scott John Morrison, was also present.

WeForNews 

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America

Trump grants new authority to troops to protect border personnel

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US TROOPS
(Photo Credit- CNN)

Washington, Nov 22: US President Donald Trump has approved a memorandum that grants new authority to US troops on the Southwest border to protect Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel from migrants if they engage in violence, according to the Pentagon.

Department of Defence spokesperson Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza told CNN on Wednesday that the Pentagon had received the memorandum.

The White House memo authorises the troops to conduct activities such as “crowd control, temporary detention and cursory search”, according to the memorandum.

It allows troops to use “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary)” in order to perform these protective activities.

While some have questioned whether active duty troops detaining and searching people on US soil constitutes law enforcement, the memo, which is signed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, said that US troops “shall not, without further direction from the President, conduct traditional civilian law enforcement activities, such as arrest, search, and seizure”.

“On detention we do not have arrest authority, detention — I would put it in terms of minutes, in other words if someone’s beating on a border patrolman and if we were in a position to have to do something about it we could stop them from beating on them and take them over and deliver them to a border patrolman who would then arrest them for it,” Secretary of Defence James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday.

The decision comes as a large group of migrants is arriving at the US-Mexico border.

More than 2,000 Central American migrants arrived in the border city of Tijuana in recent days, and about 3,000 more migrants were estimated to be in Mexicali, Mexico, another border city about 100 miles away.

Until this new authority was granted, troops were not allowed to intervene if CBP personnel came under attack unless they needed to act in their own self-defence.

The Pentagon has been working for the last several days on options for how troops can protect CBP. There are 5,800 to 5,900 troops assigned to the border mission, CNN said.

Trump has said he will deploy as many as 15,000 troops if needed to push back against the group of migrants who are planning on asking for asylum.

On Tuesday, Trump told reporters that the troops “are proud to be on the border. They are proud to be defending our nation. And we are not letting people in”.

IANS

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Entertainment

Good news for Bollywood as Sweden government to cut tax for film shooting

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Bollywood movies 2017

Panaji, Nov 21 :The Swedish government is examining a proposal on tax cuts for foreign film production houses shooting in Sweden, which once approved could open the doors for Bollywood films to be shot in the Nordic country in a big way, Swedish Consul General in Mumbai Ulrika Sundberg said on Wednesday.

Sundberg was in Goa to participate in a special programme, as part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman on the sidelines of the ongoing International Film Festival of India.

“There are a lot of opportunities around this… One of the issues is that my tax authorities have not been willing to give them tax cuts for production, but now we have a proposal on the table. I need the new government to take a decision on changing the rules, in which case we will be willing to give tax cuts. That will put us on par with other countries,” Sundberg told IANS.

She said that there is a lot of scope to host Indian film production houses in Sweden, known for its stunning locales, and that the synergy is not being tapped currently to the possible extent.

Sundberg further said that there has been a spike in the interest of Indian tourists in Sweden.

“I see the interest is there. I have seen major increase in the years that I have been here. We have seen 30 per cent increase in Indian tourists travelling to Sweden. They are all fascinated by the Northern Lights. They all want to go to the Ice Hotel, they want to see our indigenous people with their reindeers. So the interest is there. Now how you get the Ice Hotel into a Bollywood film, I leave it to Bollywood to decide,” she said.

The diplomat also described Bergman as one of the major ambassadors of her country to the world, a man who not only put Sweden on the international film map with his vision but also created a lot of jobs in that country.

“Bergman opened the doors and subsequent producers have capitalised on the platform that he gave them. I think…he gave us the key to understanding that some of the existential questions which he was raising were also relevant for a Japanese person or someone living in the US. That humanity is struggling with the same questions one way or the other…at different times in life,” she said.

The film industry, whose leading star was Bergman at that time, was responsible for employment of around 100,000 people in Sweden, she added.

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