Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel winner, celebrates her degree from Oxford

News Network
June 19,2020

London, Jun 19: Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner who once took a bullet for campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan, was over the moon on Friday after completing her degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Britain's prestigious Oxford University.

Malala, 22, who attended Oxford's Lady Margaret Hall college, took to Twitter to share two pictures that show her celebrating the milestone with her family.

"Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford," she said in the tweet, accompanied by two pictures - one showing her sitting with her family in front of a cake that says: 'Happy Graduation Malala', and the other in which she is covered with cake smiling for the camera.

In the tweet, the famed human rights activist also revealed her plans for the immediate future - Netflix, reading and sleeping.

"I don't know what's ahead. For now, it will be Netflix, reading and sleep," she wrote.

Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban militants in December 2012 for campaigning for female education in the Swat Valley in northeastern Pakistan.

Severely wounded, she was airlifted from one military hospital in Pakistan to another and later flown to the UK for treatment.

After the attack, the Taliban released a statement saying that they would target Malala again if she survived.

At the age of 17, Malala became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her education advocacy in 2014 when she shared the coveted honour with India's social activist Kailash Satyarthi.

Unable to return to Pakistan after her recovery, she moved to Britain, setting up the Malala Fund and supporting local education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.

The Taliban, who are against girls' education, have destroyed many schools in Pakistan.

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US orders China to close its consulate in Houston; China warns of firm countermeasures

Agencies
July 22,2020

Houston, Jul 22: China said on Wednesday that the US has ordered it to close its consulate in Houston in what an official called an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage China-US relations.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin condemned the action, which comes as tensions rise between the world's two largest economies. He warned of firm countermeasures if the US does not reverse its decision.

The unilateral closure of China's consulate general in Houston within a short period of time is an unprecedented escalation of its recent actions against China, Wang said at a daily news briefing.

There was no immediate confirmation or explanation from the U.S. side.

Media reports in Houston said that authorities had responded to reports of a fire at the consulate. Witnesses said that people were burning paper in what appeared to be trash cans, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing police.

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Russia to register first covid-19 vaccine on Aug 12

Agencies
August 7,2020

Moscow, Aug 7: Russia will register its first vaccine against the coronavirus on August 12, Deputy Health Minister Oleg Gridnev said on Friday.

The vaccine has been developed jointly by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry.

"The vaccine developed by the Gamaleya centre will be registered on August 12. At the moment, the last, third, stage is underway. The trials are extremely important. We have to understand that the vaccine must be safe. Medical professionals and senior citizens will be the first to get vaccinated," Gridnev told reporters at the opening of a cancer centre building in the city of Ufa.

According to the minister, the effectiveness of the vaccine will be judged when the population immunity has formed.

Clinical trials of the vaccine began on June 18 and included 38 volunteers. All of the participants developed immunity. 

The first group was discharged on July 15 and the second group on July 20.

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Pak PM's advisors possess assets worth millions of dollars, dual citizenship

News Network
July 20,2020

Islamabad, Jul 20: Six advisors of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan posses dual citizenships and several of top 20 aides have admitted of owning movable and immovable assets worth millions of dollars abroad.

The list was published on the official website of Pakistan government's cabinet division.
All the dual nationals were working as special assistants to the prime minister (SAPM). 

These people include SAPM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari (UK), SAPM on Power Division Shahzad Qasim (US), SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar (US), SAPM on Political Affairs Shahbaz Gill (US), SAPM on Parliamentary Coordination Nadeem Afzal Gondal (Canada) and SAPM on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus (Canadian citizenship by birth).

According to Gulf News report, the wealthiest SAPM is Power Division and Mineral Resources Assistant Shahzad Syed Qasim who has assets worth over Rs 4 billion followed by SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar with assets worth Rs 2.75 billion. Meanwhile, Adviser for Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari's net assets is estimated over Rs 2 billion.

Giving further details of the wealthiest SAPM, the official website stated that the PM's aide on Power Division and Coordination of Marketing and Development of Mineral Resources owns assets in Pakistan, UAE and US. His three properties in UAE include two villas in Jumeirah Golf Estates and Sienna Lakes, Jumeirah Golf Estates and an apartment at Park Towers, DIFC - all worth Dh20,688,000. He has three cars in the UAE worth Dh400,000 and in the US, he has property worth US$865,000 while he has Rs 4 billion in various local and foreign bank accounts and retirement funds including $2.1 million in US.

Meanwhile, Nadeem Babbar, who is Special Assistant on Petroleum Division, owns assets worth over Rs 2.7 billion, including several properties in Pakistan and abroad and stakes in more than 30 local and foreign companies.

The Gulf News further reported that in the list Dr Moeed Yusuf's, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning, the name was also included but was later withdrawn as it was clarified that he had the US residency and only holds the citizenship of Pakistan as per the affidavit submitted to the government. "I have not returned to the US since I took up my current responsibility, have no employment or income in the US nor do I have any millions worth properties abroad" Dr Yusuf was quoted as saying.

The latest list on PM Imran Khan's advisors possessing dual nationalities has sparked strong criticisms by the Opposition leaders.

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