VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 23rd July, 2018

Many CPEC projects in doldrums as NHA faces financial crisis: Dawn

July 23, 2018

A number of road projects related to the $52 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are said to be in doldrums as the National Highway Authority (NHA) faces financial crisis. Sources told Dawn that contractors have stopped work on several CPEC projects after their cheques worth over Rs5 billion had bounced a couple of days ago. It is for the first time that CPEC projects faced such a situation because of financial reasons. The projects which have been hit by the situation include Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan, Western Route of CPEC and all sections of Karachi-Lahore Motorway (KLM).Click here to read...


Afghan airport blast: Vice President Gen Dostum unhurt as Kabul bomb kills 14: BBC

July 23, 2018

Fourteen people have died in a blast which rocked Kabul airport shortly after Afghan Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum returned from self-imposed exile, according to police. Gen Dostum was unhurt in the attack on a square he had just passed through. He left for Turkey more than a year ago, after he was accused of ordering his men to kidnap and rape a political rival - accusations he denies. Militant group Islamic State has said it carried out the attack. Hashmat Estankzai, of Kabul police, said nine security forces members and traffic officers were among the 14 who had died, while another 60 people had been injured.Click here to read...


Indians Account For Highest Share Of Foreign Tourists Visiting Nepal: NDTV

July 23, 2018

Nearly one lakh Indian tourists were among 5,20,000 foreigners who visited Nepal in the first six months of 2018, according to the Himalayan nation's Department of Immigration. "The latest data shows that 96,372 Indian tourists visited Nepal in the period while the number of Chinese was 71,379. The number of tourists from the US was 43,816, while the number Japanese tourists stood at 13, 851," the Himalayan Times reported, citing the Department of Immigration figure. As many as 5,20,000 foreigners visited Nepal in the first half of this year, marking a 13 per cent rise in tourist arrivals over the same duration last year.

A total of 4,60,304 foreign tourists had visited the country during the first six months last year. Nepal also hosted tourists from South Asia and European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, among others.Click here to read...


Maldives election monitoring open to foreign media: Maldives Independent

July 22, 2018

Foreign press wanting to report on the Maldives presidential election can apply to do so, the Elections Commission said, but it is unclear if they will have to undergo background checks. The commission will authorise valid international monitoring applications submitted before the August 14 deadline, but warned action will be taken against journalists found to be reporting on the poll without prior permission. Gaining access to the Maldives has been tough for foreign media in the past two years, with visa rules tightened after a documentary about alleged corruption and abuse of power by President Abdulla Yameen.Click here to read...


Xi stresses significance of Africa: China Daily

July 23, 2018

China's development will bring more opportunities to Africa, while Africa's development will add momentum to China's development, President Xi Jinping said. Xi made the remark on Saturday while meeting with Senegalese President Macky Sall in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. It was the first state visit to Senegal by a Chinese head of state in nine years.Click here to read...

Investigation starts on new vaccine scandal: People’s Daily

July 23, 2018

The State Drug Administration has launched an investigation of Changchun Chang¬sheng Bio-tech Co, which was found to have fabricated production records for freeze-dried rabies vaccines for human use. The cases of those suspected of violating laws will be transferred to public security departments, the authority said on Sunday. Premier Li Keqiang said in an instruction that the vaccine case has crossed a moral line, and the nation deserves a clear explanation, the State Council said on its website on Sunday.Click here to read...

Tariffs dispute clouds G20 finance meeting: People’s Daily

July 23, 2018

Financial leaders from the Group of 20 have expressed concerns that the trade friction triggered by the United States' protectionist policies could pose downside risks to the global economy. In the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors held over the weekend in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, most of the delegates from the group agreed that the tariffs fly in the face of the central tenet of today's developed and emerging economies-that protectionist measures only inhibit trade and growth.Click here to read...

China, UAE expect closer economic cooperation under B&R Initiative: People’s Daily

July 22, 2018

An economic forum on the business opportunities between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China was held Friday evening in the UAE's capital Abu Dhabi, as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the Arab country. The UAE-China Economic Forum, co-hosted by China's Ministry of Commerce and the UAE's Ministry of Economy, was attended by 450 officials and business representatives from the two countries, including Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan and UAE's Economy Minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori.Click here to read...

China military develops robotic submarines to launch a new era of sea power: South China Morning Post

July 22, 2018

China is developing large, smart and relatively low-cost unmanned submarines that can roam the world’s oceans to perform a wide range of missions, from reconnaissance to mine placement to even suicide attacks against enemy vessels, according to scientists involved in these artificial intelligence (AI) projects.Click here to read...

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