VIF Neighborhood News Digest: August 23, 2019
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PAKISTAN
SC wraps up petitions on judge video controversy; detailed verdict to be issued shortly: Dawn
August 23, 2019

The Supreme Court on Friday wrapped up a set of petitions on a video leak scandal involving former accountability court judge Arshad Malik, saying that a detailed verdict would be issued shortly to elaborate the top court's stance. Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa announced the verdict. He said that five main issues were discussed; among them was the possible impact of the video — if proven to be authentic — on the ruling by judge Malik in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference that had put away former premier Nawaz Sharif last year. Click here to read....

AFGHANISTAN
Ghani Confident In Peace as US, Taliban Prepare To Resume Talks: Tolo
August 23, 2019

President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday assured the Afghan public that peace will finally prevail in the country and that the nation should not have any concern about the ongoing talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha. Mr. Ghani who has been out of the US-Taliban talks lashed out at the group over the recent attacks and said that Afghans will never bow to the insurgents. “Peace will come, the elections will be conducted. We will return to the era of [former president] Dr. Najibullah or to the era of the government of Mujahideen,” Mr. Ghani at a ceremony on 100th Independence Day at Darulaman Palace on Wednesday evening. Click here to read....

BANGLADESH
'Conditions here are inhumane': Rohingya in Bangladeshi camps: Al Jazeera
August 23, 2019

Driving through the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, bamboo huts with tarpaulin roofs dot the landscape, while flags with the names of aid organisations ripple in the breeze. Further down the road, young boys carry orange butane tanks to get free cooking gas, while men carry white bags of rice to bring back to their families. A few metres further, a school building has been built, but no teachers or educational supplies are to be found. Click here to read....

Myanmar
Refugees decline latest repatriation to Myanmar: The Myanmar Times
August 23, 2019

A senior government official said not a single refugee in Bangladesh volunteered to participate in a repatriation that was scheduled for Thursday. The exercise was to have repatriated to Myanmar some 3000 refugees who had been vetted by authorities in both countries. “No one has returned from Bangladesh, so far. I can’t say more now because there is no more information,” Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Minister U Win Myat Aye said on Thursday in Rakhine. Also in Rakhine, Maungdaw township administrator U Ngwe Tun said no refugees had been sent to Taung Pyo camp, which was set up to receive the refugees. “We provided more staff at the camp to receive the refugees on Thursday, but no one has returned so far. We don’t know why,” U Ngwe Tun said, adding that the camp would stay open until the end of the day. Click here to read....

Sri Lanka
Split within UNP inevitable: MR: Daily Mirror
August 23, 2019

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa today claimed it is inevitable that the United National Party (UNP) will be split irrespective of who becomes the party's nominee at the upcoming presidential election. He expressed these views at a meeting held with the heads of the local government bodies controlled by the SLPP at its Head office in Battaramulla, Colombo. Mr. Rajapaksa said if a party member doesn’t respect the party leadership, he could not continue to work under the same leader. “Today, there is a team of people within the UNP, who don’t respect the party leadership. Regardless of the candidate, the UNP will field, their intra-party conflict will continue to intensify the dispute,” he said. Click here to read....

Bhutan
Two die from dengue fever, number of affected people increasing: Kuensel
August 23, 2019

With one more patient succumbing to dengue fever, the recent outbreak of dengue has claimed two lives while the numbers of affected are increasing. A 30-year-old man died yesterday at the intensive care unit of the Thimphu national referral hospital. The deceased is a resident of Phuentsholing where 1,239 confirmed dengue cases were reported as of Tuesday, August 20. The other victim was a 25-year-old woman from Tading, Samtse. She died on August 11. Meanwhile, a severe dengue outbreak has stricken residents of Phuentsholing. Phuentsholing general hospital reported 33 positive cases in one day, on August 19. There are four types of dengue fever. The most common in Phuentsholing and other affected parts in the country is “the cerotype 2,” which is also the most threatening. Click here to read....

Nepal
Bid to allay fears about PM’s health: The Himalayan Times
August 23, 2019

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli yesterday left for Singapore 10 days after returning from there for his medical check-up, raising speculation among the general public about his health. However, the PM’s personal physician, Dr Dilip Sharma, held a press meet today to allay fears about Oli’s health. He said there was nothing to worry regarding the PM’s health. “Doctors involved in his treatment are focusing on decreasing the number of antibodies in the PM’s blood. The number normally goes up after kidney transplant. Doctors will also take measures to increase the functioning of kidney and decrease creatinine level, which has been slightly higher than among normal persons,” he said, adding, “Apart from these simple complications, our PM is perfectly healthy.” Click here to read....

China
Xi highlights poverty relief, high-quality development, environmental protection: People’s Daily
23 August, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping has underscored efforts to push forward poverty alleviation, promote high-quality development, enhance environmental protection, and ensure and improve people's well-being. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during his inspection tour of northwest China's Gansu Province from Monday to Thursday. During the tour, Xi called for confidence, innovation, concrete actions and solidarity in building a beautiful and prosperous Gansu. Click here to read....

Opposition to US tariffs reaffirmed: China Daily
23 August, 2019

China firmly opposes the United States' proposed new tariffs on its products and vows to take countermeasures if Washington goes ahead with them, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. Gao Feng, a spokesman for the ministry, said that although the US postponed imposing tariffs on certain Chinese goods, any new tariffs would lead to an escalation of bilateral economic and trade friction. It is a serious violation of the consensus reached between the two countries in Japan in late June, he said. Click here to read....

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