VIF Neighborhood News Digest: October 3, 2019
PM to visit China next week to ‘revive’ stalled CPEC projects: Dawn
October 3, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan will pay an official visit to China on Oct 7-8 with the main agenda of ‘revival’ of stalled China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. “Removal of all bottlenecks in CPEC projects and their timely completion is the top priority of the government,” the prime minister reiterated while chairing a meeting on the economic corridor on Wednesday. He said he would soon visit China and meet its leadership to strengthen friendship between the two countries. Click here to read...

US Envoy, Taliban Delegation Visit Pakistan: Tolo
October 3, 2019

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is in Islamabad where he is holding talks with Pakistani officials, the US Embassy confirmed on Wednesday. This comes a few weeks after the US-Taliban talks were shut-down by the Trump administration following a Taliban bombing in Kabul that claimed the lives of 12 people, including an American soldier. Meanwhile, Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban political office in Doha, has said in a twitter post that a high level Taliban delegation led by the group’s leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has also travelled to Islamabad on the invitation of the Pakistani government. Click here to read...

PM flies to Delhi: Dhaka Tribune
October 3, 2019

During her visit, she will join the World Economic Forum summit as the chief guest. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has left Dhaka for New Delhi on a four-day official visit. A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the prime minister and her entourage departed from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 8:15am. It is scheduled to land at Palam Air Force Station in New Delhi at 10am (local time) on Thursday. During her visit, a number of bilateral instruments are likely to be signed to take the relationship between the two neighbouring nations to the next level of cooperation. Sheikh Hasina will have a bilateral meeting with Narendra Modi and meet Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday. Click here to read...

Myanmar lowest among ASEAN countries in passport index: Myanmar Times
October 3, 2019

Myanmar ranks 95th out of 107, the lowest among ASEAN nations, in the latest Henley Passport Index, mainly due to a lack of economic freedom. The index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association and scored based on visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to other countries. Japan and Singapore hold first place on the index, with a score of 190 out of a maximum 227. Myanmar scored 46 alongside Djibouti and Nigeria. Finland, Germany, and South Korea remain in 2nd place with scores of 188,, while Denmark, Italy, and Luxembourg are placed third, being able to travel to 187 destinations worldwide without the requirement of a visa in advance. The UK and the US are at 6th place with a score of 184 – the lowest position either country has held since 2010 and a massive drop from their 1st-place ranking in 2014. Click here to read...

Fmr. President exercised plenary Executive powers: AG: Daily Mirror
October 3, 2019

Appearing for the Attorney General, Senior Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle today told that the former president, who had signed the dual citizenship certificate of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in 2005, actually had the power to do so as the relevant minister, because he had continued to exercise being the head of the government and the executive even in absence of a cabinet at that time. Appearing for the petitioners, Counsel Suren Fernando at the onset of the writ inquiry stated that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a former citizen of Sri Lanka before 2003 by decent. Thereafter, on or around January 31, 2003, he had become a citizen of another country i.e. the United States of America. From that day onwards, Gotabaya Rajapaksa ceased to be a Citizen of Sri Lanka under the Citizenship Act of Sri Lanka. Click here to read...

Child safety: minimum safety protocol to be instituted in schools: Kuensel
October 3, 2019

We are facing a situation where rape and its consequences are threatening to become part of our daily lives. A task force has been formed to institute a minimum safety protocol in schools after the recent rape and murder incidence in Paro and Dagana. This urgency was sounded by Health Minister Dechen Wangmo yesterday. Underway is the work of designing the minimum safety protocol for children. “The case in Paro and Dagana was a wake-up call for the nation,” Lyonpo said. “We have been in constant touch regarding this and the Prime Minister is deeply concerned.” Click here to read...

A constitutional body that could’ve played a significant role in the case against Mahara has been scuttled: The Kathmandu Post
October 3, 2019

In the unfolding saga of the rape allegations against Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who stepped down as Speaker of the House on Tuesday, one institutional body that could’ve played a significant role has been conspicuous in its absence—the National Women Commission. The commission was constituted in 2002 to deal with cases of gender-based violence and provide justice for victims. It was elevated to a constitutional body by the 2015 constitution, empowering it to also monitor, review and evaluate the policies and programmes of the state to include women in development activities. Click here to read...

Hong Kong protests: Rubber bullet blinds journalist in one eye: BBC
October 3, 2019

Veby Mega Indah was covering protests in the Chinese territory on Sunday when the bullet hit protective glasses she was wearing, her lawyer says. Months of anti-government unrest took a more violent turn on Tuesday when a police bullet injured a protester. Feeling ran high as mainland China celebrated 70 years of Communist rule. Click here to read...

Chinese scientists develop airborne laser device that could track submarines deep underwater: South China Morning Post
October 3, 2019

Researchers in eastern China say they have developed an airborne laser device that can detect underwater objects at unprecedented depths; technology that one day might be used to track submarines. The team from the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics said the device could pick up objects more than 160 metres (525 feet) beneath the sea, twice as deep as devices used today. Click here to read...

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