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We can do a deal if EU is willing, says Johnson

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London, Oct 6 (IANS) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed his Brexit proposals have picked up support in Parliament as he urged the European Union (EU) to compromise.

Writing in the Sun on Sunday and the Sunday Express, the Prime Minister said: “We are leaving in 25 days. We can do it with a deal if the EU is willing,” the BBC reported.

Johnson said his untested plan to use technology to eliminate customs border checks would take the UK out of EU trade rules while respecting the Northern Ireland peace process.

“I say to our European friends: grasp the opportunity our new proposal provides. Join us at the negotiating table in a spirit of compromise and co-operation,” he said.

He claimed MPs from “every wing of the Conservative Party”, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party and from Labour have said “our proposed deal looks like one they can get behind”.

But he said “there will be no more dither and delay” and the UK will leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal.

Johnson did not explain how the government would comply with a law passed by MPs which forces the Prime Minister to seek an extension to the Brexit deadline if no agreement has been made by October 19.

In court documents, the government has said the Prime Minister will request a delay as the law requires, despite his public and Parliamentary statements.

Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, said that there were “positive sounds” of support from MPs but “we need that noise to grow louder” as the EU summit approaches, reports the BBC.

But he said the UK’s negotiation had been “severely hampered” by “hardcore opposition MPs”, who voted to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

“My message to the EU and anti-Brexit opposition is this: we are not backing down,” he said. Also on Saturday, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that “a deal is still possible” but the EU does not believe the current proposals from Mr Johnson “form the basis for deeper negotiations”.

The EU is concerned that the UK wants to leave too many details about customs and regulatory checks to be agreed during the transition period after Brexit.

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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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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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