Eminent Indian-American academician Sunil Kumar has been appointed the next president of Massachusetts-based Tufts University, the first person of colour to occupy the position. Kumar, provost and senior vice-president for Academic Affairs at Johns Hopkins University was named the next president of Tufts University by the Board of Trustees and will succeed president Anthony Monaco as Tufts' 14th president on July 1, 2023, a statement from the university said. Kumar was previously dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Pak PM tests positive for Covid again
For the third time, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tested positive for Covid -19, a day after returning from his trip to the UK. Shehbaz, 71, returned to Pakistan last week after taking a detour to London from the COP27 climate conference in Egypt to visit his elder brother Nawaz Sharif. In a tweet, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the premier was feeling unwell for the past two days and took a Covid -19 test, which turned positive. She appealed to the nation and PML-N workers to pray for the prime minister's speedy recovery.
19 lashed for adultery, theft in Afghanistan
Nineteen people in northeastern Afghanistan were lashed for adultery, theft and running away from home, a Supreme Court official said. The announcement underscored the Taliban’s intention of sticking to their interpretation of Islamic law or Sharia. It appeared to be the first official confirmation that lashings and floggings are being meted out in Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power last year. A Taliban spokesman said they are committed to implementing all Sharia laws. The official, Abdul Rahim Rashid, said 10 men and nine women were lashed 39 times each in a city in Takhar province, on November 11. He said the punishment took place in the presence of elders, scholars and residents
5 killed in shooting at gay nightclub
Five people were killed and 18 injured in a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, police said. A suspect was in custody and was being treated for injuries after the attack at Club Q, Colorado Springs police lieutenant Pamela Castro said. Police got the initial phone call just before midnight about the shooting, Castro said, adding that upon arrival, officers located one person who was believed to be the suspect inside the club. She did not give any information on the motive for the attack and declined to say what kind of firearm was used in theshooting. Club Q describes itself as an “adult-oriented gay and lesbian nightclub hosting theme nights such as karaoke, drag shows & Djs.”
Israeli air raids kill 4 Syrian soldiers
Israeli airstrikes hit central and coastal regions of Syria, killing four soldiers and wounding one, the Syrian military said. State media quoted an unidentified Syrian military official as saying that Israeli warplanes flying over the Mediterranean fired missiles toward military positions in coastal and central Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, reported that load explosions were heard in the coastal province of Latakia as well as Hama and Homs regions in central Syria. Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, but rarely acknowledges such operations.
White House wedding for Biden’s granddaughter
Naomi Biden, the granddaughter of US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, was set to be married on Saturday in what will be the 19th time in history the White House has been used for a wedding. The bride, 28, is a lawyer who has been living at the White House with the groom, Peter Neal, 25, a recent law school graduate who hails from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and is currently working at the Georgetown University Law Center on National Security. They met in 2018. The wedding and its celebration will be the first part of a festive weekend for Biden, who marked his 80th birthday on Sunday surrounded by family.
N Korea test-fires ICBM with range to strike US
North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed near Japanese waters in its second major weapons test this month that showed a potential ability to launch nuclear strikes on all of the US mainland. While it’s unclear whether North Korea possesses functioning nuclear-armed missiles, some experts say the launch involved its longest-range missile, which is still under development and is designed to carry multiple nuclear warheads to overcome US missile defence systems. North Korea’s recent torrid run of weapons tests aims to advance its nuclear arsenal and win greater concessions in future diplomacy. It comes as China and Russia have opposed US moves to toughen UN sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear program.
Turkey jails 17 suspects over Istanbul attack
A Turkish court Friday ordered the detention of 17 suspects, including a Syrian woman, for alleged links to a bombing that killed six people in central Istanbul, local media said. The government has accused the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), designated as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies, for last Sunday’s attack. The victims included two girls aged nine and 15. The PKK and its Syrian offshoot YPG have denied involvement. No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Turkish police captured the chief suspect Alham Albashir - a Syrian woman who is said to have been working for Kurdish militants -in an Istanbul suburb. Albashir has reportedly confessed to planting the bomb during her interrogation.
Village bans booze, music to halt suicide wave
Shocked by a recent spate of teen suicides, shamans in the Colombian Amazon placed their remote Indigenous village under a three-week “quarantine” without alcohol, football or music. The move was meant to cleanse the settlement of “evil spirits” blamed on Western vices intruding and tempting Indigenous youth away from their ancestral values. “I lost my son, my only son,” shaman Ivan Angarita, 40, said in the town of Arara, home to 1,200 inhabitants who are members of the Tikuna indigenous group or ‘Water People’ as they call themselves. “One Sunday he encountered the evil spirits, the next day he was found hanging from a branch,” he said of his son’s suicide at age 18.
Anti-Mafia author on trial for abusing Italy PM
Roberto Saviano, Italy’s bes tknown anti-Mafia author and a leading human rights campaigner, is due to stand trial in Rome for calling PM Giorgia Meloni a “b****rd”. If convicted, Saviano, 43, could in theory face up to three years’ imprisonment, but under Italy’s legal system a fine of at least around € 500 ($520) or a suspended sentence are more likely. “I’ll defend the legitimacy of the critique of power, even when it is harsh. I’ve always argued my criticism and I’ll also do so in court,” Saviano said. A spokesperson for the PM’s party did not respond to a request for comment. Meloni sued Saviano following a 2020 interview in which he lambasted her and fellow right-wing leader Matteo Salvini over their attacks on migrant rescue NGOs.
Anger in China after 2nd child’s quarantine death
Chinese authorities faced more public anger after a second child’s death was blamed on overzealous anti-Covid enforcement, adding to frustration at controls that are confining millions of people to their homes and sparked fights with health workers. The 4-month-old girl died after suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea while in quarantine at a hotel in Zhengzhou. Reports said it took her father 11 hours to get help after emergency services balked at dealing with them and she finally was sent to a hospital 100km away. The death came after the governing Communist Party promised this month that people in quarantine wouldn’t be blocked from getting emergency help following an outcry over a 3-year-old boy’s death from carbon monoxide in the northwest.
French ‘hunter’ mistakenly kills man
A French hunter told a court that he was sorry and “marked for life” after killing a man he mistook for a wild boar, an accident that has sparked calls for tighter restrictions on shooting in rural areas. The death of Morgan Keane, a Franco-British man aged 25, caused outrage in 2020 when he was shot while cutting wood near his house in the village of Calvignac in southwest France. The man who fired the fatal shot and the 51-year-old organiser of the hunt went on trial, charged with involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, they face up to three years in prison and a fine of € 75,000 (about $75,000).
Five killed in US nightclub shooting
At least five people were killed and 18 wounded in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in the US city of Colorado Springs, police said Sunday. Partygoers who were apparently marking the Transgender Day of Remembrance subdued the gunman, according to a Facebook. Police said they have the suspect in custody and he is being treated at a local hospital.
3 men with ties to Russia found guilty
A Dutch court convicted three men with ties to the Russian security services and acquitted a fourth suspect over the shooting down of a passenger jet above eastern Ukraine in 2014 during a Moscow-backed separatist uprising that foreshadowed Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country. The verdict offers a bare measure of justice for the 298 people killed in the downing of the jet, a Malaysia Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from Amsterdam (MH17): The men were never arrested, are believed to be in Russia or Russian-controlled territory, and were tried in absentia. Yet the war in Ukraine has given the case greater significance.