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Pakistan must act against Pathankot attackers: US

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Describing terrorism as a “shared challenge” in South Asia, the US has asked all countries in the region specially Pakistan take actions against the perpetrators of the terror attack on IAF base in Pathankot,hours after Islamabad said it is working on the “leads” provided by India.

State department Spokesman John Kirby said all South Asian countries should work together to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks and bring justice to the perpetrators of the Pathankot terrorist attack.

“The government of Pakistan has spoken very powerfully to this and it’s certainly our expectation that they’ll treat this exactly the way they’ve said they would,” state department Spokesman John Kirby said on Monday.

Pakistan has said it is working on the “leads” provided by India on this attack.

“We urge all the countries in the region to work together to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks and to bring justice to the perpetrators of this particular attack. I would note that the government of Pakistan, also publicly and privately condemned this recent attack on the Indian air base.

“We have been clear with the highest levels of the government of Pakistan that it must continue to target all militant groups,” Kirby said.

The government of Pakistan has said publicly and privately that it’s not going to discriminate among terrorist groups as part of its counter-terrorism operation, he said.

“So this is a shared challenge that we all face in the region and we in the United States want everybody to treat it as a shared challenge,” Kirby said, adding that the US has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Punjab’s Pathankot.

“We extend our condolences to all the victims and their families,” he said.

He said the US has for a long time talked about the continued safe haven issues there in between Afghanistan and Pakistan and certainly between India and Pakistan.

“We’re mindful that there remain some safe havens that we obviously want to see cleared out. And we continue to engage with the government of Pakistan to that end. And again, I would point you back to what the government of Pakistan itself has said and acknowledged that it’s not going to discriminate among terrorist groups and it will continue to take the fight,” Kirby said.

The Pakistani government, the Pakistani people very much understand the threat here, Kirby said.

“What we want and what we continue to say we want and will continue to work for is increased cooperation, communication, coordination, increased information-sharing and increased efforts against what we all believe is a shared challenge in the region.

“We want to see the government of Pakistan continue to press the fight against terrorists, all terrorists, and to meet their own expectations that they’re not going to discriminate among groups. They’ve said themselves and our expectation is that they’ll live up to that pledge,” he said.

“We recognise there’s more everybody can do, not just Pakistan but every nation can do because it is a shared challenge and it’s a challenge, as you well know, that doesn’t necessarily observe borders and boundaries. So it’s something that everybody can attack more,” Kirby said.

Entertainment

Italian music icon Andrea Bocelli survives COVID-19

Last week in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the singer revealed his family had been sick with COVID-19.

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Andrea Bocelli

Los Angeles, May 27 : Italian music icon Andrea Bocelli has confirmed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus in March, adding that he made “full recovery” before his historic Easter Sunday webcast at the Milan cathedral.

In a Facebook post shared on Tuesday, the opera singer explained he did not reveal his diagnosis earlier because he wanted to protect his family’s privacy, reports variety.com.

The 61-year-old added that he hid the news because he didn’t want to “unnecessarily alarm” his fans, saying that he has donated his blood to help researchers find a cure for coronavirus.

“The pandemic which has shaken the world has also affected — albeit mildly — me and certain members of my family,” Bocelli said, adding: “I certainly didn’t want to unnecessarily alarm my fans and also wished to protect my family’s privacy.”

He continued: “We were fortunate enough to have a swift and full recovery by the end of March. Given the chance to donate blood to help find a cure for Covid, my response was an immediate ‘yes’. A modest — but fundamental — gesture, through which I am playing my small part.”

Last week in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the singer revealed his family had been sick with COVID-19.

“I was able to be with my entire family and we all got infected. We had a fever, then we were cold, and then we got a little bit of a cough,” he said.

Bocelli, who has been blind since age 12, broke YouTube records last month on Easter Sunday with his “Music For Hope” concert. The performance was viewed by more than 28 million people worldwide in its first 24 hours and has currently been viewed more than 40 million times.

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Disaster

No country thought of exit strategy, says Swedish physician to Rahul

“I think it will take months to really ease out the lockdown. But you must do one restriction at a time and see what happens,” said Johan Giesecke.

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Johan Giesecke Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, May 27 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, continuing with series of talks on Covid-19 crisis, interacted with Johan Giesecke, a well-known Swedish physician and Professor Emeritus at the Karolinska Institute at Stockholm. Giesecke said that no country thought of exit strategy prior to announcing the lockdown.

“All the countries in Europe that instituted the lockdown one or two months ago, did not think about the exit strategy at that time,” said Johan Giesecke.

“I think you will soon create more harm than good with a severe lockdown,” he added.

He said, “Every single country had said that we’ll do this lockdown, we’ll close this school, we’ll close this border, we’ll close the restaurants. I don’t think at that point they thought about how to get out of it.”

“Now everyone is asking the same question, how do we get out of this,” added Giesecke.

He suggested that the exit has to be step wise. “Take away restrictions in India one by one, you take one away, you soften one restriction,” he suggested.

He further said, “Wait 2-3 weeks and see what happens. If you have more spread of the disease, then take one step back and try another restriction.”

“I think it will take months to really ease out the lockdown. But you must do one restriction at a time and see what happens,” said Johan Giesecke.

However, he said that it is a difficult balance there. “I think the way we have done it in Sweden is that the main thing is to protect the old and the frail. They should be protected from the disease. Everything else comes second.”

“So what we have done is that we have not completely shut down the country. Many workplaces are still open. Many people are working from home if they can. We don’t have restrictions. You can go outside, and meet other people outside. Better than in your home,” he said.

He suggested that for India, “you will ruin your economy very quickly if you had a severe lockdown. I think it’s better to skip the lockdown, take care of the old and the frail, and let the other people have the infection. Most people will not even be sick. They will not even notice they have it.”

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Disaster

Israel reports 16,757 COVID-19 cases, 281 deaths

Earlier in the day, the Israeli transport ministry announced the full resumption of the state’s railway system on June 8.

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israel coronavirus

Jerusalem, May 26 : The Israeli health ministry has reported 17 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number in the country to 16,757.

After four consecutive days without death cases, the ministry on Monday reported two new fatalities, bringing the death toll from the COVID-19 to 281, Xinhua reported.

The number of patients in serious condition decreased from 44 to 41, out of 115 patients currently hospitalized, the lowest number of hospitalized patients since March 12.

The number of recoveries increased by 154 to 14,457, while the active cases decreased to 2,019.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli transport ministry announced the full resumption of the state’s railway system on June 8.

China and Israel have cooperated on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. On February 11, the Tel Aviv Municipality Hall, a landmark in the Israeli city, was illuminated with the colours of China’s national flag, showing solidarity with China in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

On March 19 and April 1, two video conferences were held between Chinese doctors and Israeli counterparts to share experience in containing the virus’ spread and treatment of the infected patients.

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