Saturday, May 21, 2022 | Last Update : 08:32 PM IST

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South Asia

Gulzar Ahmed. (Twitter)

Imran Khan nominates former chief justice Gulzar Ahmed as caretaker PM

Under Article 224-A(1) of the constitution of Pakistan, a caretaker government is set up to organize elections in the country

Security personnel patrol outside the Parliament House building in Islamabad on April 9, 2022. (Aamir QURESHI / AFP)

Pak PM Imran Khan on way out as no-confidence vote looms

Whoever takes over will still have to deal with the issues that bedevilled Khan -- soaring inflation, a feeble rupee and crippling debt

Police officers stand guard to ensure security outside the National Assembly, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, April 9, 2022.  (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

Pak Parliament's crucial session begins to vote on no-trust motion against PM Khan

Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif called on Speaker Qaiser to conduct proceedings in accordance with the court's directives

Sri Lankans wait at a fuel station after spending hours to unsuccessfully buy kerosene oil in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, April 7, 2022.  (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Lankan fuel pumps may go dry by April end; India's credit line exhausting fast

People have been protesting for weeks over lengthy power cuts and shortage of gas, food and other basic goods

 The passage of the bill comes almost a year after President Arif Alvi approved the new anti-rape ordinance that was cleared by the Pakistan Cabinet, calling for the chemical castration of rapists with the consent of the convict and setting up of special courts for speedy trails. (Representational Image/PTI)

Pakistan Parliament approves chemical castration of habitual rapists

The bill is a response to a public outcry against a recent spike in incidents of rape of women and children in the country

Asia

Beijing has poured billions of dollars into defence modernisation in recent years as it aims to transform its huge military into a world-class force. (AFP)

China says military spending to grow 7.1 percent in 2022

Some 1.45 trillion yuan ($230 billion) has been set aside for national defence, according to a government budget report

Health workers process COVID-19 PCR tests at an outdoor testing site aside the Long Island Sound in Stamford, Connecticut. (Photo: AFP)

Omicron likely to be dominant strain globally in 2022: Singapore experts

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for the world to pull together to end the COVID-19 pandemic next year

This photo taken on December 25, 2021 shows residents undergoing a nucleic acid test for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Xi'an in China's northern Shaanxi province. (AFP)

China expands lockdowns as COVID cases climb

China has followed a 'zero-Covid' strategy of tight border restrictions, lengthy quarantines and targeted lockdowns

Many women already wear the burqa in rural areas. (Representational Image/ AP)

Wear all-covering burqa, Taliban tells Afghan women

Women have also been ordered to visit parks in the capital on separate days from men

Middle East

In this file photo taken on August 12, 2021, Head of the Taliban delegation Abdul Salam Hanafi (R), accompanied by Taliban officials (2R to L) Muttaqi, Shahabuddin Delawar and Abdul Latif Mansour, walks down a hotel lobby during the talks in Doha. (KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

Taliban urges US to release frozen funds in Doha talks

It was the second round of talks between the two sides in Qatar since the US ended its 20-year occupation of Afghanistan

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the possibility of a complete economic collapse in Afghanistan was 'serious'. (Representational image: ANI)

Taliban welcomes US measure to allow humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

Afghanistan is in complete turmoil and is in a state of chaos after the takeover of the Taliban and is in dire need of humanitarian aid

 The spokesperson emphasised the fact that the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had kept flying in and out of Kabul under "difficult circumstances" when others had ceased their operations. (AP Image)

Pakistan opens air route to Afghanistan for commercial cargo

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan International Airlines said that it had immediately suspended its operation in Kabul citing 'security reasons'

Administrative Office of the President, Taliban social media account, Sir Simon Gass, the British Prime Minister's high representative for Afghan transition, right, meets with Deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (AP)

Taliban leaders meet with UK, Iran delegations amid economic woes

The meeting marked Britain’s first diplomatic visit to the country since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan following the U.S. exit

Mohammad Hassan Akhund (Twitter)

Taliban PM calls for Muslim nations to recognise Afghan government

No country has yet recognised the Taliban government, with Western nations watching to see how the Taliban will rule this time around

Africa

 In Tswane, the municipality that includes the capital Pretoria, 52 children under the age of 2 diagnosed with the coronavirus have been admitted and one has died. (Bloomberg Image)

Toddlers make up 10% of hospital cases in Omicron epicenter in S.Africa

More kids are being admitted than during the early stages of the country entering the current fourth wave of infections

Air China flight crew members in hazmat suits walk through the arrivals area at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Brazil and Japan joined the rapidly widening circle of countries to report cases of the omicron variant Tuesday. (AP/Jae C. Hong)

'It was scary': How South African scientists spotted the Omicron COVID variant

The samples, tested in the Lancet laboratory, all bore a large number of mutations, especially on the spike protein

In this file photo taken on September 13, 2021 an elerly patient receives the 3rd dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine in Paris. (Photo: AFP)

WHO to meet on Friday to assess new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa

The latest variant is the most heavily mutated version discovered so far

 New cases in that week of the current wave, driven by the omicron variant, were about 20,000 a day, compared with 4,400 in the same week of the third wave. (Bloomberg Image)

South Africa hospitalization rate falls 91% in Omicron wave

Only 1.7% of identified Covid-19 infections in the second week of the fourth wave of infections were admitted to the hospital

Europe

In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, early Saturday, March 18, 2022. (AP)

It is time for meaningful security talks with Moscow, says Ukraine's Zelenskiy

Zelenskiy said Russian forces were deliberately blocking the supply of humanitarian supplies to cities under attack

 A policeman examinares the corpse of a man killed during the war with Russia in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Mayor: More than 10,000 civilians dead in Ukraine port city

Mariupol has been the site of some of the heaviest attacks and civilian suffering in the 6-week-old war

 Municipal workers remove the body of a man from a house in Bucha, Ukraine, Thursday, April 7, 2022.  (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Ukrainian leaders predict more gruesome discoveries ahead

Kremlin forces devastated the northern city of Chernihiv as part of their attempt to sweep south toward the capital before retreating

People arrive at a reception center for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Monday, May 2, 2022. Thousands of Ukrainian continue to leave Russian occupied areas. (AP/Francisco Seco)

TASS: more than 1 million Ukrainians taken to Russia

Civilians were evacuated to the territory of the Russian Federation from dangerous regions of Donetsk, Lugansk and other parts of Ukraine

Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol during shelling, in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 7, 2022. (AP /Alexei Alexandrov)

Last women and children evacuated from Ukrainian steel mill

Moscow was aiming to complete its conquest of Mariupol in time for Victory Day celebrations on Monday

Americas

A woman shows a poster in support of the Ukraine at a demonstration along the street near the Russian embassy to protest against the escalation of the tension between Russia and Ukraine in Berlin, Germany (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

US sanctions Russia for 'beginning' invasion of Ukraine

Russia's upper house, the Federation Council, gave Putin unanimous approval to deploy 'peacekeepers' to two breakaway Ukrainian regions

In this image from Senate Television, Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Senate Television via AP)

US Senate sinks Biden push for major voting rights reforms

The legislation would have guaranteed the right to mail-in voting, ballot drop boxes and at least two weeks of early voting

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.  (Representational image)

United States reaches 65,000 H-1B visa cap for 2022: USCIS

The H-1B visa programme is the most sought-after work visa among foreign professionals, including Indians

The summit of both leaders will be held only if Moscow does not invade Ukraine. (File photo/Getty Images)

Joe Biden agrees to meet Putin, on a condition, as Ukraine tensions soar

Both leaders have said yes in principle to the summit, proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron

Oceania

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison. (AP)

Scuttlebutt! Australian PM Scott Morrison denies soiling himself in McDonald's

Australian PM Scott Morrison abruptly decided to squash the rumour -- which has turned 'Engadine Maccas' into internet folklore

 New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. (AP)

New Zealand PM Ardern extends lockdown in Auckland to Sept 21

New Zealand imposed a national lockdown on August 17 when the first case of Delta variant was found in the community

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern walks to the COVID-19 update press conference in Wellington, New Zealand, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.  (Mark Mitchell Pool photo via AP)

New Zealand extends Delta outbreak lockdown

PM Jacinda Ardern said the initial three-day lockdown, which would have expired overnight Friday, would be extended by another four days

A health worker administers vaccinations at a mobile clinic Oct. 7, 2021, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Sylvie Whinray/New Zealand Herald via AP)

New Zealand Covid cases hit record despite vaccination push

Health authorities announced 94 new virus cases, exceeding the previous daily record of 89 set in April last year during the first wave

  Priyanca Radhakrishnan (L) with New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. (Facebook)

Priyanca Radhakrishnan becomes New Zealand's first-ever Indian-origin minister

Radhakrishnan, who is from the 2017 intake of new MPs, is a minister outside of the Cabinet