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UN calls for probe into Pakistani reporter’s murder

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United Nations

Paris, Oct 23 The head of the United Nations cultural organisation UNESCO on Tuesday deplored the slaying of journalist Sohail Khan in northwest Pakistan last week and urged the country’s authorities to bring his killers to justice.

“I condemn the killing of Sohail Khan,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “I trust the authorities will spare no effort in investigating this crime, which undermines the fundamental human right of freedom of expression as well as the right to access information,” he said.

“A free press plays an essential role in combating organized crime and upholding the rule of law,” Azoulay added.

Sohail Khan, a reporter for local Urdu daily, which also operates a local television channel, was gunned down on October 16 in the Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan.

Khan, 28, was murdered days after a report on drug trafficking, the Freedom Network watchdog organization said. He was the third journalist killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this year. His killing sparked protests by journalists across Pakistan.

Four reporters have been murdered in Pakistan since January, the watchdog said.(IANS/AKI)

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25 Taliban militants killed in raid: Afghan Army

The ANDSF also destroyed six militants’ hideouts and 25 defence positions, defusing four improvised bombs during the raid in the region 555 km southwest of Kabul.

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Kabul, Dec 5: At least 25 Taliban militants, including two commanders, were killed and eight others injured during a raid in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the Army said on Saturday.

“The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) launched an operation in Naway-i-Barakzai of Helmand on Friday, leading to the above mentioned casualties,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Army’s Corps 215 Maiwand as saying in a statement.

The operation aimed at disturbing militants’ activities in the region as the militants tried to conduct attacks on ANDSF positions.

The ANDSF also destroyed six militants’ hideouts and 25 defence positions, defusing four improvised bombs during the raid in the region 555 km southwest of Kabul.

The Taliban militant group is yet to comment on the development.

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Corrupt officials to be axed, not transferred: Imran Khan

“As a Prime minister, it is also easy for me to know which minister or department is working well and which bureaucrat is performing poorly,” he added.

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Imran Khan Pakistan PM

Islamabad, Dec 5 : Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his government was introducing a new system of ‘reward and punishment under which civil servants would not be transferred but sacked if found involved in corruption and irregularities.

“We will not transfer a corrupt bureaucrat but will sack him,” Dawn news quoted Khan as saying on Friday said while addressing a ceremony held on completion of two years of Pakistan Citizen Portal at the Prime Minister House.

The Prime Minister lauded Pakistan Citizen Portal for entertaining three million complaints in two years, urging people to use the forum for their empowerment as well as to hold officers accountable.

“I want more people to use it (citizen portal). We will further strengthen the portal as it is the best method for citizens to register complaints.

“As a Prime minister, it is also easy for me to know which minister or department is working well and which bureaucrat is performing poorly,” he added.

Since its launch on October 28, 2018, around three million people registered themselves on the portal and reported 2.7 million complaints, out of which 2.5 million were resolved, according to official figures.

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Disaster

US sets record with 225,201 single-day Covid-19 cases

The country on Wednesday had set a world record of single-day case count, as 196,227 new cases were reported and hospitalizations exceeded 100,000 for the first time.

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RUSSIA CORONAVIRUS

Washington, Dec 5 : Setting a new grim record, the US reported 225,201 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike since the onset of the pandemic in the country, currently the worst-hit in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The new figure on Friday increased the overall caseload to 14,343,430, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update on Saturday.

In the same period, the country also reported 2,506 new fatalities, which increased the total coronavirus death toll to 278,605, according to the CSSE.

The two tallies are the highest in the world.

The country on Wednesday had set a world record of single-day case count, as 196,227 new cases were reported and hospitalizations exceeded 100,000 for the first time.

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