An ancient Hindu temple in Sialkot in Pakistan's Punjab province has been reopened for worshippers after 72 years on the directives of country's Federal government. Fulfilling the longstanding demand of minority Hindu community, the Shawala Teeja Singh Temple was recently opened and inaugurated according to Hindu traditions. "For several years, the Hindu community has been demanding that the temple be opened," said Syed Faraz Abbas, the deputy secretary of the Shrine. Abbas added that the work on restoring the temple will soon begin after estimating the renovation cost. The idols of Hindu deities will be brought in from India. The temple had remained closed since the partition and was reopened on the directives of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and Evacuee Trust Property Board (EPTB) Chairman Amir Ahmed.
Protesters ask Pak to stop forced conversions
Scores of protesters, mostly Hindus from Sindh who have made Canada their home, gathered at the Mississauga Celebration Square, demanding Pakistan to stop forced religious conversion of minor Hindu girls and justice for those who have been forcibly converted. The protests were held to pressurise the Pakistani government to take action against criminals who are using religion as a tool to kidnap and rape innocent girls, according to the organisers. The agitators could be seen holding placards which read, "stop forced conversion of minor Hindu girls in Pakistan," "Stop persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan," "Pakistan stop kidnapping of Hindu girls, stop forced conversion of Hindu girls," amongst others. They also chanted slogans like "we need justice."
Former Pak Prez Zardari in NAB custody
An accountability court has granted National Accountability Bureau (NAB) a 13-day remand of former Pakistan President and co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari, a day after his arrest in connection with a money laundering case worth Rs 4.4 billion. Zardari, who is already in the custody of the anti-corruption watchdog, appeared in front of the Accountability Court on July 2. He was arrested in the Park Lane case, days after he withdrew his interim bail applications. Speaking to media before the hearing, Zardari criticised the federal government, saying "now that they are taxing cars, it seems like there's a razor in the monkey's hands, the NAB didn't arrest me. I actually turned myself in," he added.
Four dead after boat capsizes in Pakistan
At least four people have been killed and 21 went missing after a boat capsized in northwest Pakistan, officials said, with a rescue operation continuing as hopes for finding survivors fade. The boat was carrying passengers along the Indus River from Shangla to Haripur district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province when it overturned. "There were 38 people on the boat when the incident occurred and 13 people saved their lives by swimming to the shore," a police official said. "We have retrieved four bodies from the river," he said. "The flow of the water is very fast the river is very deep which has dimmed the chances of survival, however we will continue the rescue operation till the last individual is found," he added.
Man divorces wife over vaccination
A woman who was divorced by her husband for having their children inoculated against polio has condemned the “anti-vaxx” campaign that is sweeping Pakistan. Dua Rabbani, 26, was at home with her children when a vaccination team arrived in the area, on the outskirts of Karachi. Her husband, Israr Ahmed, was at work but had left strict instructions that the children were not to receive the vaccine. “He had often fought with me about vaccinations. He said they were suspicious and damaged children’s health,” Rabbani said. Rumours have spread like wildfire across Pakistan in recent weeks, fuelled by a series of lurid videos posted on social media claiming that scores of children who had taken polio drops during a recent vaccination died.
Nepal Police arrest Pakistani couple
A Pakistani couple was arrested for the second time for stealing foreign currency from Rajendra Shrestha's Davis Metro Money Exchange at Jhochen, Lalitpur from where they have stolen 900 American Dollar, 3000 Saudi Riyal and 1400 Chinese Yuan," the Nepal Police said. The duo has been identified as 32-year-old Mohasin Khan and 31-year-old Puja Mohasin Khan native of Lahore, Pakistan. As per the police, the couples went to money exchange office claiming they want to exchange 500 Saudi Riyal with the American dollar and stole the foreign currencies. As per the police record, the same couple was arrested on May 14 for stealing cash from shops in Bhaktapur and Rupandehi districts.
240 fall ill after eating at Imelda Marcos party
More than 240 people were brought to hospitals in the Philippine capital with suspected food poisoning in an event celebrating the 90th birthday of former first lady Imelda Marcos. Bryant Wong, a disaster-response officer, said dozens of ambulances transported at least 244 people who either vomited or grew dizzy hours after eating a breakfast of chicken stew with egg and rice and drinking water in a sports center in suburban Pasig city. Food and Drug Administration personnel took samples of the food to check if it caused the apparent poisoning. The incident cut short what was supposed to be a daylong celebration by more than 2,000 Marcos followers, Wong said. Imelda, who ended her term in May as a member of the House of Representatives, celebrated her birthday last week.
Southern California battered by another quake
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolted much of California, cracked buildings, set fires, broke roads and caused several injuries while seismologists warned that large aftershocks were expected to continue. The quake - preceded by a recent 6.4-magnitude temblor in the Mojave Desert - was the largest Southern California quake in at least 20 years and was followed by a series of large and small aftershocks, including a few above magnitude 5. There is about a 1-in-10 chance that another 7 quake could hit within the next week, said Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology and a former science adviser at the US Geological Survey. The chance of a 5 magnitude quake “is approaching certainty,” she added. However, the quake was unlikely to affect fault lines outside the area, Jones said, noting that the gigantic San Andreas Fault was far away.
Six killed as tornado hits northeast China
A tornado swept through the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning, killing six and injuring 190, the state broadcaster said, amid a series of "extreme" weather events that government forecasters have linked to climate change. The tornado damaged nearly 3,600 homes and affected more than 9,900 residents in Kaiyuan, a city of around half-a-million people, according to reports. The country's weather bureau said that climate change could cause more extreme weather events, following floods, drought and extreme high temperatures in some regions this year. It said rainfall had broken records in some areas and that as many as 40 weather stations had this year registered their hottest temperatures ever.
44 die in air strike on Libya migrant centre
An air strike hit a detention centre for mainly African migrants in a suburb of the Libyan capital Tripoli, killing at least 44 people and wounding more than 130, the United Nations said. It was the highest publicly reported toll from an air strike or shelling since eastern forces under Khalifa Haftar launched a ground and aerial offensive three months ago to take Tripoli, the base of Libya's internationally recognised government. The conflict threatens to disrupt oil supplies, boost migration across the Mediterranean to Europe, scupper UN plans for an election and create a security void that Islamist militants could fill. Haftar's air force attacked Tripoli's only functioning airport, which is in the same area as the detention centre, causing its temporary closure to civilian traffic. United Nations Libya envoy Ghassan Salame condemned the strike, saying it "clearly amounts to the level of a war crime".
Woman nominated to head top EU body
European Union leaders nominated German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen to become the new president of the bloc’s powerful executive arm, the European Commission, one of two women named to top EU posts for the first time. Von der Leyen, will seek support in the EU parliament hoping to secure the confirmation that she will need in two weeks’ time. Von der Leyen, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is due to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the EC and France’s Christine Lagarde will head the European Central Bank. Leaders hope the decision to put two women at the top of EU decision-making for the first time will send a positive message and repair damage wrought by such a fractious summit, diplomats said.
Turkish First Lady's $50,000 handbag
Turkey's First Lady Emine Erdogan recently attracted criticism after she was spotted carrying a handbag that priced USD 50,000, during her trip to Japan with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photos of Emine's arrival at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo with Recep Erdogan caught the attention of social media, and the users were quick to point out that the handbag the first lady carrying cost around USD 50,000. The price tag amounts to over a year's salary for 11 people on minimum wage in a country that has been trying to recover from a currency crisis, reported Ahval news. The Erdogans in the past have come under criticism for their lavish lifestyle, which critics claim, contradicts their seemingly humble and pious discourse. "While the citizens struggle with price hikes, the Palace does not step back from luxury," Cumhuriyet newspaper remarked in reference to the 1,150-room presidential complex built under Erdogan's rule.