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Man Shot Dead For ‘Blasphemy’ In Pakistan Courtroom

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Man Shot Dead For 'Blasphemy' In Pakistan Courtroom

Police officials in Pakistan have on Wednesday said a man accused of blasphemy for claiming that he was a prophet has been shot dead in a courtroom in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

47-year-old Tahir Ahmed Naseem, a member of the Ahmedi sect, which is persecuted in Pakistan where they have officially been declared non-Muslims had been in prison since his arrest in 2018, allegedly after claiming he was a prophet.

The shooting took place at a high-security complex next to the Peshawar high court.

Naseem was accused of having violated sections 295-A, 295-B and 295-C of the Pakistani penal code, which deal with blasphemy against Islam, criminalizing, among other things, “defiling the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad”. A highly inflammatory charge in deeply conservative Pakistan that has sparked mob lynchings, vigilante murders and mass protests.

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A conviction sometimes carries the death penalty.

According to the The Guardian report, a lawyer who rushed to the site of the attack, Saeed Zaher said “I was sitting on my seat in the office around 11.30 when I heard the firing,” he added the victim appeared to have been shot once in the head. “The killer was caught by the police and the body was lying on a bench within the courtroom.”

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Zaher added Members of the public are allowed to observe trials, but for his attacker to smuggle in a weapon represents a serious security breach. “A person entering with a pistol and murdering someone within a courtroom is very disturbing,”

Footage circulating on social media appeared to show the alleged killer, sitting barefoot on a bench under police guard, claiming he had been ordered in a dream to kill Naseem. He also attacked judges who hear blasphemy cases.

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A senior police officer Mansur Amaan said authorities were investigating how the attacker managed to get his hands on a firearm inside a courtroom, he added “he might have pulled the gun out of a policeman’s holster.”

A spokesman for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Ibn Abdur Rehman said “religious fanaticism is becoming unbearable in Pakistan. People are being killed in the name of religion. There is no check and balance. He said the government is clearly silent on this matter. This silence makes the government the culprit.”

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World News

Eighth Brazilian Cabinet Minister Tests Positive For Coronavirus

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Eighth Brazilian Cabinet Minister Tests Positive For Coronavirus

With more than 2.8 million cases of the Coronavirus confirmed in Brazil, the country fights the world’s worst outbreak outside the United States as another minister in Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s Cabinet tested positive for the virus making him the eight among the 23 cabinet ministers to be diagnosed.

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Jorge Oliveira, secretary of the presidency, has been working remotely in isolation since his diagnosis.

Bolsonaro resumed official meetings and travel after a test showed he was no longer infected on July 25 which he and his wife, Michelle had contracted.

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Bolsonaro has in the past played down the risks posed by Coronavirus.

According to the Health Ministry on Tuesday 51,603 new cases and 1,154 deaths were confirmed in the past 24 hours bringing the official death toll in Brazil to 94,665, since the pandemic began.

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Beirut Blast Death Toll Reaches 100 With More Than 4,000 Wounded

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Beirut Blast Death Toll Reaches 100 With More Than 4,000 Wounded

In Lebanon, at least 100 persons have been killed and nearly 4,000 injured after a huge explosion devastated the port area of the capital Beirut on Tuesday.

At the moment rescue workers in Lebanon are still searching through rubble looking for survivors for more than a hundred people who are missing.

President Michel Aoun who has called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, a decision he said that was “unacceptable”.

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Many Lebanese are expressing immense shock and sadness at the destruction, and great anger towards those who allowed the explosion which sent shockwaves across the capital to happen.

According to BBC an eyewitness Hadi Nasrallah who narrated his ordeal after the explosion said he saw the fire but did not expect the blast. “I lost my hearing for a few seconds, I knew something was wrong, and then suddenly the glass just shattered all over the car, the cars around us, the shops, the stores, the buildings. Just glass going down from all over the building.”

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Dazed, weeping and injured people walked through streets searching for relatives as many were also left homeless by the blast, and some residents said their destroyed homes had been burgled in the night as their windows and doors were blown open.

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The head of Lebanon’s Red Cross, George Kettani, said at least 100 persons had been killed.

He said “we are still sweeping the area. There could still be victims. I hope not.”

The Lebanese government has said it will observe an official period of mourning for three days from Wednesday.

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Cancer Diagnoses Rates Fell By Half During US Lockdown

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Cancer Diagnoses Rates Fell By Half During US Lockdown

A latest study to examine the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns has revealed that the number of cancers diagnosed weekly in the United States fell by almost fifty percent during March and April compared to the recent average.

The new analysis, published in JAMA Network Open, established a baseline period from January 2019 to February 2020 to determine the average weekly number of cancers diagnosed by six types: breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric and esophageal.

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Trends that are being confirmed through ongoing studies showed that emergency room visits additionally appear to have dropped for heart attacks, strokes and even appendicitis.

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The authors from Quest Diagnostics, a laboratory company found “during the pandemic, the weekly number fell 46.4% (from 4,310 to 2,310) for the 6 cancers combined, with significant declines in all cancer types.”

The drop was particularly stark for breast cancer, with diagnoses rates falling 51.8 percent.

According to the UN, amid the Coronavirus pandemic, child vaccinations have also stalled globally and world health bodies are alarmed by the impact on the fight against HIV, malaria and tuberculosis as screening campaigns, logistics and access to health care have been disrupted.

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