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Sri Lanka Bars Former President From Acting As Prime Minister

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Sri Lanka Bars Former President From Acting As Prime Minister

A Sri Lankan court has barred former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from acting as Prime Minister while it hears a petition challenging his refusal to step down despite losing two no-confidence motions last month.

READ:  Sri Lanka To Hold Coronavirus-Delayed Election On August 5

Judge Arjuna Obeyesekere issued the stay order on Monday, saying “irreparable damage would be caused” if Rajapaksa and ministers of his cabinet continued to hold office.

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The court of appeal will sit again next week to deliver a verdict.

Sri Lanka has been in crisis since October 26 when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa, a controversial but popular leader accused of corruption and grave human rights abuses.

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New Zealand Announces Return Of Coronavirus After 102 Days

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New Zealand Announces Return Of Coronavirus After 102 Days

New Zealand has on Tuesday announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections in 102 days, prompting the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern to issue a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country’s largest city.

Until today, the country had been enjoying a near-normal lifestyle with no social distancing and spectators allowed at sports and cultural events.

READ:  Commonwealth Meeting Postponed Due To Covid-19

The prime minister said “after 102 days, we have our first cases of COVID-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine facilities… While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned and prepared for it”.

Speaking to the country in a televised address she said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown source.

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Earlier, the World Health Organization had hailed the country as an example to others for having “successfully eliminated community transmission”.

In a population of 22 million, the country reported just 22 deaths and had not recorded community transmission since May 1.

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Now some social distancing restrictions will be reintroduced in the rest of the country and Auckland will be locked down for at least three days beginning from Wednesday.

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Beirut Explosion: City Holds Vigil To Mourn Blast Victims

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Beirut explosion -City holds vigil to mourn blast victims

After one week of the huge explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital, people in Beirut have on Tuesday attended a vigil where a moment of silence was held for some 200 persons killed in the explosion, which also wounded some 6,000 others and left 300,000 homeless.

Last Tuesday, a massive explosion caused by the ignition of some 2,750 tonnes of stored ammonium nitrate devastated Lebanon’s capital which has caused outrage that led the Lebanese government to succumbed to the weight of people’s anger against it over the explosion.

READ:  Sri Lanka Police Chief Arrested Over Failure To Prevent Easter Attacks

Prime minister Hassan Diab on Monday, announced his government’s resignation, saying the huge explosion was the result of endemic corruption.

President Michel Aoun accepted the resignation of the prime minister’s government and asked it to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.

READ:  Sri Lanka Parliament Passes No-confidence Motion Against New Prime Minister

Today, a crowd stood in silence near the ruins of the city’s port as a Muslim call to prayer was broadcast and church bells tolled at 18:09 (15:09 GMT).

READ:  Sri Lanka Bombings: At Least 207 People Killed By Explosions On Easter Sunday

Dozens have been questioned, including two former cabinet ministers and more than 20 persons have been detained over the explosion.

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

Russian, president Vladimir Putin has announced on Tuesday that Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against coronavirus.

The president said during a televised video conference call with government ministers that for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in the country.

READ:  Commonwealth Meeting Postponed Due To Covid-19

Putin said the country’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing.

Three days ago, ANN reported that a senior health official at a Russian state laboratory’s vaccine for the novel coronavirus disclosed that it is undergoing its final testing phase and is expected to be registered soon.

READ:  Sri Lanka Parliament Passes No-confidence Motion Against New Prime Minister

Last week, Deputy Health Minister Oleg Grinev said in comments carried by the Russian news agency Interfax that “currently it is in the final testing phase, which is extremely important. We need to understand that the vaccine will be safe”.

READ:  Sri Lanka Reappoints Wickremesinghe As Prime Minister

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Russia has recorded more than 895,000 cases, the world’s fourth-largest Coronavirus caseload behind the United States, Brazil and India.

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