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Pakistan, India must collaborate on smog: Minister

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Islamabad, Nov 9: India and Pakistan need to get together to find a sustainable solution to smog, the Pakistani Punjab Minister of Environment Zakia Shah Nawaz Khan has said.

The only proper forum to do this is the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), Geo News quoted Khan as saying on Thursday.

“There are no two ways about it. Smog is not just an India or Pakistan issue, it is a regional issue. Both countries need to collaborate in order to find a sustainable solution. The only proper forum to do that is the Saarc,” Khan wrote in an opinion piece.

“The nature of this emergency is such that let’s say Pakistan effectively tackles smog and India is still struggling, we will, regardless of our efforts, still be affected by air pollution. Hence, it has to be a joint effort,” she said.

Schools have been shut in parts of north India after pollution hit hazardous levels. The skyline in parts of Pakistan too has been shrouded in toxic smog for over a week. In both countries, experts have warned of dangers to health.

“Smog is pollution… and it is harmful to us… We have to clean our air… Punjab is already implementing some urgent, short-term measures,” Khan said.

“Now, is the time for us to say, enough is enough. The developed world did this to us. We are a developing country. We did not pollute the planet’s air. There is no turning back at this point. We have to, absolutely have to, find a way to save our future generations.

“As for India, the federal government can initiate contact across the border. The Punjab government cannot on its own. Parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and upper Sindh are also enveloped in smog… It is, and should be, on the state’s agenda,” she said.

IANS

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Rod Rosenstein resignation : Trump to meet Deputy AG Today

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Washington, Sep 25 : It appears Rosenstein will remain in his position at least for a few more days as US President Donald Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will meet on Thursday  amid reports that the latter could resign or be fired.

But Trump is set to ask Rosenstein for the clarification  about the  reports that emerged that Rosenstein in 2017 suggested secretly taping Trump in the White House and then – on the basis of that potential tape – convincing members of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office, a story that the Deputy Attorney General categorically denied in a statement, calling the reporting “inaccurate” and “factually incorrect”.

I’m going to be meeting Rod Rosenstein when I get back to from all these meetings,” Trump told reporters at the United Nations.

Rosenstein ‘suggested recording’ Trump to ‘invoke 25th Amendment’
“We will be meeting at the White House and we will determine what’s going on. We want to have transparency. We want to have openness, and I look forward to meeting with Rod at that time.”

 

 

“At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Sanders added that “because the President is at the UN General Assembly (in New York) and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, DC”.

Sanders denied the reports earlier on Monday saying that Rosenstein had already resigned verbally in a conversation with Chief of Staff John Kelly so as not to be pre-emptively fired.

Rosenstein is the official in charge of overseeing the investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into alleged connections between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.

 

If Rosenstein were to step down or be ousted, it is highly likely that Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who is the highest-ranking Senate-confirmed Department of Justice official below Rosenstein, would assume control of the Mueller investigation.

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Middle East

Russia to supply Syria with S-300 missile system

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Moscow, Sep 24 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad on Monday about his decision to strengthen Syria’s air defence, including providing it with an S-300 surface-to-air missile system.

“Both sides noted readiness for further joint efforts to achieve long-term normalization in Syria, restoration of its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity,” a Kremlin statement said, Xinhua news agency reported.

Earlier in the day, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia will supply an S-300 air defence system and identification, friend or foe equipment to Syria within two weeks after its Il-20 surveillance plane was mistakenly downed by Syria’s S-200 system last week.

In areas adjacent to Syria over the Mediterranean, Russia will carry out radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, airborne radars and communications systems of combat aircraft attempting to attack facilities on the Syrian territory, Shoigu said.

The Russian Defence Ministry has said that the Il-20 plane with 15 servicemen on board was shot down by mistake on September 17 by a Syrian missile due to a simultaneous Israeli air strike that confused Syria’s S-200 air defence system.

The Israeli military rejected the accusation that its jets deliberately used the Il-20 as a shield and led to its downing.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow’s decision to strengthen Syria’s air defence was made after week-long discussions between the leadership of the country and military experts.

He said that the deployment of the S-300 system in Syria does not target a third country.

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Honour Killing in Pakistan : Teen, boyfriend beheaded by father

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Islamabad, Sep 24 : An 18-year-old girl was beheaded along with her 21-year-old boyfriend in Pakistan by her father and uncle in what the police are calling yet another incident of honour killing, the media reported on Monday.

The incident took place in a small village in Attock district when the man arrived at the girl’s house to meet her, police was quoted by Dawn News as saying. Soon after, the girl’s father and her uncle walked in and, after tying the victims with ropes, beheaded them with a sharp object.

The police have arrested both suspects and recovered the murder weapon as well, Sub-inspector of Saddar police station Asif Khan said.

Scores of people in Pakistan, an overwhelming majority of whom are women, are still being murdered by relatives for bringing “shame” on their family.

At least 280 such murders were recorded by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan from October 2016 to June 2017 – a figure believed to be understated and incomplete.

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