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All you need to know about Maldives crisis

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Three judges of Maldives Supreme Court on Tuesday evening revoked its order to release nine high-profile political prisoners, one of the points in their 1 February verdict that was seen to have prompted President Abdulla Yameen to impose a state of emergency in Maldives and arrest two top judges.

Here are the top 7 developments in the Maldives crisis:
  1. Best known as an A-list holiday destination, Maldives plunged into crisis last week after a five judges of the Supreme Court quashed terrorism convictions against nine leading opposition figures, including the exiled Mr Nasheed, who was the country’s first democratically elected president.
  2. As governments across the world expressed concern at the crisis in the Indian Ocean archipelago, President Yameen first came out with a 16-point explanation and later took to national television to justify the emergency for 15 days to probe “this plot, this coup” of a Supreme Court ruling.
  3. India’s brief statement on Tuesday, the first since the imposition of emergency, spoke about President Yameen’s government refusing to abide by the top court’s verdict and suspending constitutional rights of the people. “The arrest of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and political figures are also reasons for concern,” New Delhi added.
  4. Exiled former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, who is currently in Colombo, was expected to return and run for President after the 1 February verdict. Mr Nasheed, who was president from 2008 to 2013, was controversially convicted of terrorism in 2015 and sentenced to 13 years in jail. He was allowed to go to Britain for medical treatment in January 2016 and been in exile since.
  5. Mohamed Nasheed sought India’s intervention to resolve the island’s most serious political crisis in years. “On behalf of Maldivian people we humbly request: India to send envoy, backed by its military, to release judges & pol. detainees… We request a physical presence,” he tweeted and has also the United States to block financial transactions of Mr Yameen’s government.
  6. Mr Yameen, who came to power in 2013 after winning a controversial run-off against Mr Nasheed, has presided over an escalating crackdown on dissent, jailing almost all the political opposition. The Supreme Court ruling also nullified the sacking of 12 lawmakers for defecting from President Yameen’s party, giving the opposition the majority in the assembly meaning they could potentially impeach the president.
  7. On Monday, when President Yameen sent soldiers to storm the court and arrest judges, the Maldives police also detained the president’s estranged half-brother and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had sided with the main opposition.

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Plane crash updates: PIA flight got crashed a few kilometres from the airport

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The runway was empty for the flight to land but the pilot told the control room that they have lost the engine. Initially, the plane hit the mobile tower first and then was crashed over homes. 15 homes were damaged in this crash and the plane crashed just a few kilometres from the Airport. The engine caught fire before the plane was crashed.

On Friday afternoon, the Pakistani Airline Company PIA’s plane got crashed. It had 98 passengers on board including the crew members. The plane took off from Lahore around 1 pm and at 2.33 pm, it was around 275 feet high. Till now 57 deaths have been confirmed by the officials including a 5-year-old child and a senior journalist Ansari Naqvi. But the deaths are not confirmed to be of all passengers,i.e., some dead bodies may include local residents.

6 huge plane accidents in the past 10 years

1) 28 July 2010 – The private plane of AirBlue (AirBus 321) flew from Karachi and crashed in mountains while landing in Islamabad and all 152 people on board died.

2) 5 November 2010 – After taking off in a while, a twin-engine plane was crashed in which an employee of an Italian oil company was present. 21 people died in this crash.

28 November 2010 – The cargo plane of a Georgian airline was crashed in which 12 people were dead.

20 April 2012 – A Bhoj Airbus 737’s aeroplane was crashed in which 128 passengers including the crew members were dead.

5) 8 May 2015 – Pakistani Army’s helicopter was crashed in Gilgit in which 8 people died including the ambassadors of Norway, Philippines and Indonesia along with the wives of Malaysian and Indonesian Ambassadors.

6) 7 December 2016 – 48 passengers including crew members died when an aircraft from going to Chitral from Islamabad.

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Plane carrying 90 passengers slammed near Model colony in Karanchi-Pakistan

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A Pakistani aircraft carrying 90 passengers and eight crew members crashed at a residential area near the Karachi Airport on Friday. It was reported that the plane crashed near the airport ground area as it was approaching to land.

Local television reports showed smoke coming from the direction of the airport. Ambulances were immediately sent to the site of accident

News agency PTI said Sindh’s Ministry of Health and Population Welfare has declared emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi due to the plane crash.

The flight PK 8303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony. According to PIA chief executive officer Arshad Malik, the pilot had informed the control room of facing a technical issue and then decided to go around rather than land even though two runways were ready for landing. It was reported that the plane had attempted to land on the ground two or three times before the crash had occurred.

Imraan Khan said rescue and relief teams were on the ground and the unfortunate incident will be inquired about to get to know the minute details. He has also sent his condolences to the families of the deceased. As of now the number of casualties have not been confirmed.

“Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.” Tweeted Pakistani PM Imran Khan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to his twitter and offered his condolences and wished for the well-being of the families of the deceased.

“Deeply saddened by the loss of life due to a plane crash in Pakistan. Our condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishing speedy recovery to those injured.”

Social media has received some footages which show how smoke has filled out from the site of the crash. Ambulances and rescue officials are working to help residents. According to reports, several houses and cars have been damaged in the residential area that witnessed this incident.

 

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Tension reignites between two largest economies, U.S and China

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USA China trade war

Tensions have been reignited between the United States and China. The world’s greatest economies are in a state of anguish as a result of accusing each-other on various occasions since the virus spread and became a pandemic.

The virus has affected both countries as their economies have fallen into the deepest contractions since decades. This has contributed in destroying several employment opportunities. China has almost recovered from this pandemic as the number of positive cases have largely declined but other countries are still facing tremendous difficulties to rekindle their economies such as the U.S.

President Donald Trump’s recent threat of new tariffs on China will cause more inconvenience and affect their present tensed situations.

“Clearly, the timing of renewed trade tension could not be worse,” economists   of S&P Global Ratings said earlier this month. The threat of higher tariffs and the intensifying technology cold war could yet disrupt technology trade and investment, de-powering what still promises to be an engine for recovery in 2020.”

In January the deal only reduced some of the tariffs each side had placed on the other, it allowed Beijing to avoid additional taxes on almost $160 billion worth of goods. China had made a commitment to the US of buying $200 billion goods and services for two consecutive years.

According to the S&P economists, China would have had to increase its imports more than 6% each month for two years to honor the terms of the deal struck between the two countries. Instead, US imports fell 6% during the first four months of 2020.

“With consumer demand down in the Chinese economy, it’s unlikely that Beijing will be able to commit to buying more American goods or if they do commit … they will renege later” because of the lack of demand said Alex Capri, a trade scholar and visiting senior fellow at the National University of Singapore Business School.

Trump also does not have the next two years to find out whether China will honor its agreement or not. He will have to face the elections next in November.

 

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US government provide ventilators to India.

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Donald Trump appeal PM Modi To Release Anti-Malarial Drug To Fight with Coronavirus

On Friday India has crossed around 85,000 Corona cases which is more than China’s count of 82,933 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

After this US president Donald Trump has decided to provide aid of ventilators to India, he emphasized the close relationship between India and US by saying Narendra Modi is “good friend”.

US president told to media that “The US has a huge number of ventilators, so the government decided to send few of them to India. Trump spoke Prime Minister Modi about this deal.

In Trump’s reply, Narendra Modi tweeted “Thank you @POTUS @realDonaldTrump. This pandemic is being fought collectively by all of us. In such times, it’s always important for nations to work together and do as much as possible to make our world healthier and free from COVID-19.  More power to India and America friendship!”.

The Secretary Kayleigh McEnany of White House said in Media that the” this announcement will encourage the relationship between two countries. I’m so happy to hear about this deal”.

Last month Trump requested Pm Modi for 50 Million hydroxychloroquine tablets for the treatment of Coronavirus Patients in America. The country was adversely affected by Covid-19 with 87,530 deaths and over 1.4 million infections reported.

In February Trump visited India and praised Pm Modi and the way he is setting an example as a great leader across the world.

Meanwhile, in India the total number of Covid-19 patients increased to 85,940, which is beating China’s count of 82,933 infections. Around 2752 people died from this deadly virus in India.

On Friday Trump said that US and India both are together trying to develop the Covid-19 vaccine.  Trump told to media in White House Together we will beat the invisible enemy! We stand with India and Prime Minister Modi during this pandemic.

 

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World Bank announces $1 Billion to rekindle the Indian economy

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The World Bank has announced USD 1 billion to India to combat the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday. The total commitment from the world bank to provide assistance to the poor and vulnerable in India has added up to USD 2 billion as the World Bank announced assistance of USD 1 billion to India last month.

The bank said that the focus of this fund will be to enable India to integrate all of its 400-plus society security schemes at a technology level.

“The project will be crucial to rebalance social security towards urban poor, as much as rural.  I think PMs ‘Atma nirbhar mission’ is very important in terms of directions and India is not making distinction between life and livelihoods in the aftermath of Covid-19,”” said Junaid Ahmad, country director, World Bank.

India was the largest beneficiary of the first wave of programme with a facility for US $1 billion.

Shrayana Bhattacharya, senior World Bank official said, “The World Bank said the support in collaboration with the government is aimed at integrating platforms so that people should not have to run around from one place to another to access a myriad of social schemes.

The deadly virus had caused several countries to announce a nationwide lockdown. India, with one of the largest lockdowns, has been severely impacted. It resulted in bringing the economic activities to a grinding halt, a huge percentage of the population now lack job opportunities especially in the informal sector. They have no source of income.

Out of the USD 1 billion commitment, USD 550 million will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm and USD 200 million will be a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), with a final maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years. The remaining USD 250 million will be made available after June 30, 2020.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 20 lakh crore support package on Tuesday for boosting the economy as this will help to mitigate the damage caused by the lockdown which was announced to prevent further transmission of coronavirus.

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Florida: Wildfires anticipated to increase within next 48 hours as weather conditions may deteriorate.

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Florida: Wildfires

Florida has been set ablaze as four brush fires burned down a total of about 400 acres of land so far. It shut down a section of Interstate 75 in southwest Florida on Wednesday.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were coordinating voluntary evacuations in the areas near the fires, confirmed officials.

The fast-pacing fires were seen reaching for about 30 more homes in the Collier County area of Golden Gate Estates, according to the Florida Forestry Service. A toll section of I-75 known as Alligator Alley was shut down for almost 32 kilometers.

The Greater Naples Fire Rescue District led efforts to fight the blazes with two Lee County strike teams and one Sarasota County team.

The Collier County was forced to issue a compulsory evacuation. The fire is fast moving since after midnight Thursday. Fire officials there said the heavy winds would continue to contribute to significant increase in the fire movement.

The weather forecast says more gusty winds are expected at southern and central Florida, where wind gusts could reach 35 miles per hour. A wind advisory has been issued for these parts.

The wildfire isn’t the only weather Floridians should pay attention to, it has been found that an area of low pressure is trying to form near the Sunshine State in the next few days. This will cause further damage to the affected regions and may also contribute in the increase of the fire.

Gusty winds and heavy rain, especially for the southern part of the state, will prove to be a threat to the city. Some areas are also anticipating to see more than 4 inches of rain in the next few days. Some of the rain could also reach the fire zone east of Napes within the next 48 hours.

 

 

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U.S President Trump’s immunity claim most likely to be rejected by Supreme Court

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The supreme court heard several arguments regarding the American President, Mr. Donald Trump’s tax returns on Tuesday. It is most likely to reject President Trump’s claim of being immune from criminal investigation while in office.

Elena Kagan, like Sotomayor an Obama appointee, told Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow, “fundamental precept of our constitutional order is that the President is not above the law”.

The New York prosecutors, Lawyers from Trump’s Justice Department and Attorney’s representing the President himself were presenting their arguments by telephone for a duration of three hours and 22 minutes. The world listened in.

The court, which includes six justices at the age of 65 or older have been discussing the matter remotely for the second week due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump has not released his tax returns since the 2016 election despite his promise to do so. President Trump seems to be the first one to do this, say facts. Every president since Nixon, who was elected in 1968, had released tax information even though there is no legal compunction to do it.

Democrats in Congress are attempting to figure out whether Trump is breaking ethical laws and constitutional safeguards against profiting from the presidency.

Cyrus Vance Jr, The New York prosecutor, wants to find out if hush money payments were made to women who claimed affairs with Trump involved illegal business practices.

Trump’s lawyers are contending that he should not be so constrained by Congress and cannot be prosecuted while in office as it gets in the way of his Presidential duties, this is supported by the justice department.

The justices sounded particularly concerned in arguments over congressional subpoenas about whether a ruling validation of the subpoenas would lead to harassing future presidents.

“In your view, there is really no protection against the use of congressional subpoenas for the purpose of preventing the harassment of a president,” Justice Samuel Alito said to Douglas Letter, the lawyer for the House of Representatives.

The justices will meet by telephone before the end of the week to take a preliminary vote on how those cases should come out, final decisions are expected by early summer.

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Moscow: COVID-19 patients spike up to 10,699 in 24 hours. Self-isolation extended till May 31st

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Russia has confirmed over 10,699 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. This has raised the total number of coronavirus infections to 165,929, its coronavirus response center said on Friday.

The centers data showed that there were 10,000 new cases for six consecutive days. The death toll caused by the pandemic has increased from 98 to 1,723.

Meanwhile, 21,327 people have recovered, including 1,462 over the last 24 hours. Moscow, the country’s worst-hit region, confirmed 5,858 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking its total to 85,973, the statement said.

Russia’s consumer rights and human well-being watchdog said that 292,469 people were under medical observation as of Thursday, in a statement made on Friday.

They also said that nearly 5 million lab tests have been conducted across the country till now.

Moscow had introduced a self-isolation regime to prevent further transmission of the infection, this has been extended till May 31st. it has been made mandatory to wear face masks and gloves at any public spot in the city.

However, starting from Tuesday, industrial and construction enterprises in the Russian capital will be allowed to resume operations.

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Middle East

Massive Fire Break out in Dubai- Sharjah, Several Injured and 250 Families Displaced

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Fire-in-Sharjah-residential-tower

An enormous fire broke out at a residential tower in Al Nahda, Sharjah, on Tuesday night. Several Indian citizens are believed to be living in the building. Out of the 12 injured people, five were rushed to the hospital and the remaining seven were treated on the spot.

Initial reports state that the fire erupted on the 10th floor of Abbco Tower at 9.04PM and had moved up quickly due to cladding.

The tenants had been evacuated from the 49-story building which consists of 38 residential floors, two floors for services and nine floors for parking. Each floor has 12 flats.

The civil defense workers from stations such as Mina and Al Nahda were rushed to extinguish the blaze after a call to the police operations room.

A major disaster was averted by Sharjah Civil Defense teams. The fire was brought under control two hours after civil defense had arrived at the location. National Ambulance dispatched five vehicles to the scene, an official said.

One side of the building was almost entirely damaged. The blaze saw flames rapidly shoot up the sides of the building like other recent incidents involving flammable cladding.

The fire also damaged a large number of cars parked in the near by areas, it spread rapidly due to the heavy winds. The skyscraper was constructed in 2006, more than 250 families were evacuated from it.

The fire smoldered into Wednesday morning. Firefighters used a ladder truck to spray water into the building, whose cement-block walls stood scorched and exposed after the fire.

Exhausted residents of the fire-hit building came in search of their goods and chattels the next morning. The police officials onsite told them that gaining access to the building was not possible yet.

The cause of the fire has not been determined by the officials. Although, according to the AP reports, UAE and skyscraper-studded Dubai have faced several out-break of fires over the recent years. The building and safety experts say, the root cause of such blazes is the material used for the buildings’ sidings, called aluminum composite panel cladding.

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NASA – Developed Ventilator Approved by FDA for Emergency Use 

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NASA gave another public statement on May 1, 2020, affirming that the new high-pressure ventilator developed by NASA engineers to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) patients was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use under the FDA’s March 24 ventilator Emergency Use Authorization.

Called VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), the device was developed by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California to free up the nation’s limited supply of traditional ventilators so they may be used on patients with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms.

“This FDA authorization is a key milestone in a process that exemplifies the best of what government can do in a time of crisis,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships at Caltech, which manages JPL for NASA, is offering a free licence for VITAL and is reaching out to the commercial medical industry.

“Now that we have a design, we’re working to pass the baton to the medical community, and ultimately patients, as quickly as possible,” said Fred Farina, chief innovation and corporate partnerships officer at Caltech. “To that end, we are offering the designs for licensing on a royalty-free basis during the time of the pandemic.”

Prior to the FDA’s review, the VITAL prototype passed a critical test April 21 at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. VITAL poses several benefits in the national response to COVID-19. Battling the infection and treating patients during this unprecedented global pandemic requires innovative approaches and action. It can be built faster and maintained more easily than a traditional ventilator, and is composed of far fewer parts, many of which are currently available to potential manufacturers through existing supply chains. Its flexible design means it also can be modified for use in field hospitals being set up in convention centres, hotels and other high-capacity facilities across the country and around the globe.

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