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Pakistan’s parliament first in world to go fully green

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Pakistan’s parliament on Tuesday became the first in the world to entirely switch to green energy with a solar power production project.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended a switch-on ceremony at the parliament where Senate chairman Raza Rabbani, National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq, ministers, parliamentarians and other officials were also at that time, Dawn reported.

On April 21, 2015, the inauguration ceremony for the project was accordingly attended by Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was on a two-day official visit to the country.

Speaking on the occassion, Sharif thanked the Chinese government for its support in the materializing the Green Parliament Project and termed it a testimony of the solid companionship between the two countries, and urged the public and private sectors to follow the exemplary project.

He said, “Pakistan has floated a number of power projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative, which will help Pakistan overcome its energy crises. Pakistan, with the Chinese cooperation, will be able to control its energy woes in 2018.”

The environment-friendly project that was ended on December 7 last year has zeroed the electricity bill of the Parliament House.

wefornews bureau

Disaster

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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Tech

Top tech firms halt Hong Kong’s requests for users” data

Twitter said in an earlier statement that it has “grave concerns and is committed to protecting the people using our services and their freedom of expression”.

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San Francisco, July 7 : Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Twitter and Telegram have said they will not process official requests from the Hong Kong authorities to hand over user data for the time being, in the wake of China imposing a controversial new National Security Law in Hong Kong.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp decided to pause the review of Hong Kong government requests for user data “pending further assessment” of China”s national-security law for territory.

Facebook is “pausing” such reviews “pending further assessment of the impact of the National Security Law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with human rights experts,” a WhatsApp spokeswoman was quoted as saying in the report.

Google and Twitter said they suspended their reviews of data requests from Hong Kong authorities immediately after the law went into effect.

Twitter cited “grave concerns” about the law”s implications.

Dubai-based Telegram Group said in a statement that it doesn”t intend to process “any data requests related to its Hong Kong users until an international consensus is reached in relation to the ongoing political changes in the city.”

A company spokesperson said it “has never shared any data with the Hong Kong authorities in the past.”

The people in Hong Kong fear that the new law can send them to jail on the basis of their social media posts and messages.

After China imposed a controversial new National Security Law in Hong Kong, tech giants now face a free speech test in the country.

The new law requires local authorities to take steps to supervise and regulate the city”s internet.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube currently operate freely in Hong Kong, unlike China where the great Firewall has censored the US tech giants in mainland China.

Twitter said in an earlier statement that it has “grave concerns and is committed to protecting the people using our services and their freedom of expression”.

The Hong Kong government last week said the US has no right to intervene in the city”s internal affairs, after the American Senate unanimously passed a punitive sanctions bill in reaction to the controversial new National Security Law imposed by China.

The national security law, which Beijing put into effect and made public last week on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong”s handover from British to Chinese rule, criminalises a wide range of behaviour and acts under four categories of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with a foreign power.

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Disaster

7 killed in Karachi rain

The provincial disaster management authority of Sindh province, where Karachi is located, issued a warning of urban flooding in parts of the city and other areas.

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Pakistan Rains Flood
Pakistan Rains (File Picture)

Karachi, July 7 : At least seven people were killed and several others injured in Pakistan’s Karachi city in separate rain-related incidents.

After weeks of extremely hot weather, the residents of Karachi on Monday found solace when the first monsoon rain in the ongoing summer season hit the port city of over 20 million people, but at the same time the unfortunate incidents of electrocution, roof collapse and uprooting of trees and billboards claimed seven lives, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), rainfall up to 43 mm was recorded in the city, and it wreaked havoc in the areas where it was coupled with heavy winds.

Rescue teams said that the rainwater inundated several low-lying areas of the city, creating trouble for the residents.

Road traffic was also disrupted in several areas after rainwater submerged highways and other roads.

Electric poles also uprooted in several areas of the city, resulting in hours-long suspension of electricity supply.

The provincial disaster management authority of Sindh province, where Karachi is located, issued a warning of urban flooding in parts of the city and other areas.

The authority said heavy rainfall is expected in the province due to the monsoon and the residents and concerned departments of the urban areas should remain alert and take necessary precautionary measures during the forecast periods to avert any unfortunate incident.

The PMD forecast more rains on the same pattern in the city for the next two days.

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