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Ukrainian prime minister offers resignation: statement

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Oleksiy Honcharuk

Kiev, Jan 17 : Ukraine’s Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk on Friday tendered his resignation after a leaked audio recording apparently revealed him criticising President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A voice sounding like Honcharuk’s, but not officially confirmed as his, says President Zelensky, a TV comedian and businessman who was elected last April, only has a “primitive” understanding of economics, reports the BBC.

“To remove any doubts in our respect for and trust in the President, I have written a resignation letter and submitted it to the president with the right to hand it to the Parliament,” Honcharuk, 35, made the announcement on his official Facebook page.

“He is a man in whom Ukrainians have expressed unprecedented confidence. And he has every right to evaluate the effectiveness of every member of his team.”

The presidential office said Zelensky had received the resignation and would consider it, reports Xinhua news agency.

The controversial audiotape was uploaded to an anonymous YouTube channel on Wednesday evening.

Honcharuk was apparently discussing the national budget with some other government ministers and finance chiefs.

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Margaret Thatcher named outfits after Gorbachev, Reagan: Report

An entry from her private diary records that she wore her “Pink Chanel Gorbachev” during a visit to the Granada Television Studios in Manchester in January 1990.

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Margaret Thatcher

London, Feb 29 : Late UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had named some of her outfits after other world leaders, including Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former US President Ronald Reagan, newly released documents have revealed.

The incident is detailed in the latest release from the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust, which is overseeing the gradual publication of the former leader’s private files, the BBC said in a report on Saturday.

Files have revealed that Thatcher, the UK’s first female Prime Minister, named more outfits after Gorbachev, the eighth and last leader of the erstwhile Soviet Union, than any other leader, followed by Reagan.

An entry from her private diary records that she wore her “Pink Chanel Gorbachev” during a visit to the Granada Television Studios in Manchester in January 1990.

Eight months before, she had worn the same dress when she hosted Gorbachev in London.

Chris Collins, from the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust, said that “only certain men” received the accolade of having an outfit named after them.

He noted, for example, that Thatcher chose to name a dress she wore when she met French President Francois Mitterrand after Waddesdon Manor, the Buckingham country house where the meeting took place.

When she met President George H.W. Bush in 1990, she was recorded as wearing her “Black Dull Suit”.

The former Prime Minister’s christening of her wardrobe was not limited to foreign leaders she admired, the BBC report said.

BBC broadcaster Terry Wogan, who interviewed Thatcher in January 1990, had several outfits named after him including a “Wogan Long” and a “Wogan Short”.

Another entry from 1990 details that she wore her “Wogan Burgundy” to the Bank of England.

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Sajid Javid stepped down to avoid humiliation

He had then cleared absconding businessman Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India in February last year following the decision by the Westminister Magistrates Court in December 2018.

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Sajid Javid

London, Feb 29 : Sajid Javid has revealed that he decided to resign as the UK Chancellor instead of being “humiliated” by sacking all his aides at a Cabinet reshuffle, a media report said on Saturday.

On February 13, Javid resigned as the Chancellor of the Exchequer over differences with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a cabinet reshuffle. He was offered to retain the post if he fired all his advisors but declined.

He was replaced by Indian-descent Rishi Sunak, who is married to Akshata, the daughter of Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy.

“It was really hard. I wanted to do a budget but when the Prime Minister said to me these are the conditions, in my mind it was black and white,” the Daily Mirror quoted Javid as saying to the Times newspaper.

“Even if I had entertained the idea for a second I would be absolutely humiliated afterwards.”

Javid said that other Cabinet members hastily congratulated him after defending the right of Ministers and telling him “well done”, while thanking him for speaking on all their behalf.

“I loved my job. I have wanted to be Chancellor since I knew who Nigel Lawson was when I was a kid and the only person that believed I could ever become chancellor was my dad. He never got to see it,” he told the Times.

Javid further said that he had “no option” but to leave the Cabinet when he was told to sack his advisers, and he still has to unpack boxes after moving from the seat of British power in Downing Street.

Pakistani-descent Javid, who became the first Asian to become a Cabinet Minister when he was made Secretary of State of Culture, Media and Sports in the David Cameron government in 2014 after stints as Economic Secretary to the Treasury (2012-13) and Financial Secretary (2013-14), was earlier the Home Secretary in the the Theresa May government.

He had then cleared absconding businessman Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India in February last year following the decision by the Westminister Magistrates Court in December 2018.

Javid, who ran for Conservative Party leadership after May quit but lost to Johnson, was made Chancellor by the latter.

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S.Korea warns of more COVID-19 cases as total reaches 2,931

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Seoul, Feb 29 (IANS) South Korea on Saturday warned a large number of virus cases will be reported in Daegu, the epicentre of the country’svirus outbreak, as the total number of infections rose to 2,931, with 17 fatalities.

On Saturday, the country reported 594 new cases of which 476 were in Daegu, 300 km southeast of Seoul, and 60 in neighbouring North Gyeongsang province, Yonhap News Agency quoted the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) as saying.

The sharp increase in cases in Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city with a population of 2.5 million, came as authorities began intensive tests on followers of the Shincheonji church.

Many more confirmed virus cases were expected in the coming days as health authorities have begun testing more than 210,000 Shincheonji followers.

South Korea’s health authorities have so far surveyed 88 per cent of the followers of the church, with around 2 per cent of them showing symptoms of the novel virus.

The KCDC said it has collected samples from 3,381 church members who showed symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

“The proportion of confirmed cases among Shincheonji followers is very high, and over the next few days, the number of new cases in Daegu will run high till virus tests on the church followers are completed,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip as saying at a briefing here.

South Korea confirmed its first new coronavirus case in a Chinese woman from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on January 20.

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