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Transgenders not allowed to vote, observers barred in Pakistan

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Pakistan Elections
Image : ANI

Lahore, July 25: For the first time in Pakistan’s political history, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)gave the duty of “observers” during polling to members of the transgender community. However, on Wednesday in Lahore they were not allowed to vote and in Peshawar they were barred from entering polling stations.

“There are reports that voters from the transgender community in Lahore are not being allowed to cast their ballot in male polling stations,” Dawn reported.

According to Express News, at least 25 transgender observers were barred from entering polling stations across Peshawar in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa despite being issued the accreditation cards by the ECP.

The transgender community has informed the poll panel of the provincial police’s behaviour but no action has been taken yet.

“Transgender Election Day Observer (EDO) was stopped by security forces at Afghan Colony despite having ECP accreditation card,” the report said.

Members of the community are not only voting in the 11th general elections but also contesting. Five transgender candidates are in the fray.

At the onset of the election campaign, 13 transgender candidates filed their nomination papers for the contestable constituencies in both the national and provincial assemblies. But nine were forced to drop out due to lack of funds.

Unlike women and religious minorities, transgenders do not have any reserved seats in parliament or the provincial houses.

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France’s Macron urges UN mission to visit China’s Xinjiang region

“This is the reason why … France has requested that an international mission under the aegis of the United Nations go to Xinjiang in order to take into account the concerns that we collectively have on the situation of the Muslim Uighur minority,”

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Uighur Muslim rights

PARIS : France’s president on Tuesday called for an international mission under the auspices of the United Nations to visit China’s Xinjiang due to concerns over the Muslim Uighur minority.

U.N. experts and activists say at least a million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centres in Xinjiang. China describes them as training centres helping stamp out terrorism and extremism and giving people new skills.

“Fundamental rights are not a Western idea that one could oppose as an interference … these are the principles of our organisation, enshrined in texts that the member states of the United Nations have freely consented to sign and to respect,” Emmanuel Macron said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

“This is the reason why … France has requested that an international mission under the aegis of the United Nations go to Xinjiang in order to take into account the concerns that we collectively have on the situation of the Muslim Uighur minority,” he said.

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Israel reports 2,445 new Covid-19 cases; 193,374 in total

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israel coronavirus

Jerusalem, Sep 23 : Israel’s Ministry of Health reported 2,445 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 193,374.

The total count of deaths from the coronavirus in Israel rose by 12 to 1,285, while the number of patients in serious condition rose from 653 to 668, out of 1,352 patients currently hospitalised, Xinhua news agency reported.

The number of recoveries in the country increased by 3,971 to 140,751, while the number of active Covid-19 cases stood at 51,338.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli government approved a plan to expand the national economic safety net to deal with the pandemic’s impact.

“Expanding the plan will enable immediate economic assistance for businesses and wage-earners who are expected to be hurt by the current Covid-19 nationwide lockdown,” said a joint statement by the Prime Minister’s Office and Finance Ministry.

The expansion includes the lowering of damage threshold for businesses to receive fixed expenditure grants to 25 per cent, providing advances against the fixed expenditure grants, a comprehensive worker retention plan, and deferring the reduction in unemployment benefits.

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Disaster

United States Covid deaths top 200,000 as questions linger over halting virus spread

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Coronavirus Death US

The US death toll from the coronavirus exceeded 200,000, as some guidelines and practices for stopping the disease’s spread have been called into question.

While the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University indicated that 52,000 new cases had been reported on Monday, some 21,800 of those new cases came from the release of backlogged data in Texas.

The US logged 36,695 new cases on Sunday, Johns Hopkins reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caused uncertainty Monday when it removed from its website newly posted guidelines saying the coronavirus could be transmitted by tiny particles that linger in the air.

The agency said a draft version of proposed changes was posted in error.

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