China’s 20th Communist Party Congress
Members of China’s ruling Communist Party are meeting for the 20th Party Congress, a leadership reshuffle that happens twice a decade.
In recent years, these meetings have seen a streamlined transfer of power: the convention is for the top party leader, having completed two five-year terms, to pass the baton to a carefully chosen successor. But this year, Xi Jinping is expected to smash that precedent, taking on a third term as general secretary of the party and pitching China into a new era of strongman rule and uncertainty over when or how the country would see another leader.
As a result, the 20th Party Congress is among the most consequential and closely watched party meetings in decades, and it will reveal much about the direction of the world’s second-largest economy for the next five years.
Gunmen kill 12 people in Mexico bar
Mexican authorities are searching for gunmen who killed at least 12 people and injured three more after opening fire in a bar in central Mexico on Saturday evening.
Gunshots were reported at the bar in the city of Irapuato in the central state of Guanajuato at close to 8 p.m. local time Saturday, the city’s Secretary of Citizen Safety said in a statement.
Paramedics confirmed the deaths of six men and six women after arriving on scene, according to the statement. It is unclear who the victims are and how many gunmen were involved in the shooting.
A search operation for the attackers is underway with support from Guanajuato’s Secretary for Public Safety as well as the state’s prosecutor general’s office, the Secretary of National Defense, and the National Guard.
This is the second mass shooting in less than a month in the state of Guanajuato, which has been convulsed in recent years by brutal turf wars between rival drug gangs, according to Reuters.
The state is a major manufacturing hub and production site for many of the world’s top carmakers.
Biden says Pakistan may be ‘one of the most dangerous nations in the world’
United States President Joe Biden said Pakistan may be “one of the most dangerous nations in the world” as the country has “nuclear weapons without any cohesion”, it emerged on Saturday.
He made the remarks while addressing a Democratic congressional campaign committee reception on Thursday.
A transcript of the address, published on the White House’s website, quoted Biden as saying: “… And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion.”
The US president’s remarks were made in the context of the changing geopolitical situation globally.
He said the world was changing rapidly and countries were rethinking their alliances. “And the truth of the matter is — I genuinely believe this — that the world is looking to us. Not a joke. Even our enemies are looking to us to figure out how we figure this out, what we do.”
There was a lot at stake, Biden said, emphasising that the US had the capacity to lead the world to a place it had never been before.
“Did any of you ever think you’d have a Russian leader, since the Cuban Missile Crisis, threatening the use of tactical nuclear weapons that would — could only kill three, four thousand people and be limited to make a point?
“Did anybody think we’d be in a situation where China is trying to figure out its role relative to Russia and relative to India and relative to Pakistan?”
Talking about his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the US president termed him as a man who knew what he wanted but had an “enormous” array of problems.
Dar urges IMF, multilateral donors to offer greater policy support
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Sunday urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral donors to provide greater policy support.
He asked the IMF to tailor its response to the situation in Pakistan and similar countries by taking into consideration the serious economic, social and political challenges that they face amid climate-induced calamities, according to a press release issued by the finance ministry.
Dar made the remarks while addressing a meeting of Menap (Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) ministers of finance and central bank governors with the IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
During the meeting, Goergieva spoke about the challenges regional economies were facing, including those related to climate change, such as the destructive floods in Pakistan. She expressed sympathy with Pakistan and assured the country of the Fund’s full support, the statement added.
For his part, Dar thanked the IMF official for her support and assured Pakistan’s commitment to completing the ongoing programme. “[The] finance minister highlighted the humanitarian catastrophe and losses suffered by the country. Given the scale of disaster, he pleaded [for] more policy support for Pakistan.”
Dar also welcomed new IMF instruments — Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) and Food Shock Window under Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) — to support countries.
GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 16th October 2022
Refusing to give immediate reaction to the US President Joe Biden’s statement on Pakistan, the Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Asim Iftikhar said on Saturday that the official reaction would be given only after carefully examining contents of his speech.
They said it was hard to understand in which context Biden gave the statement.
They regretted that the USA had always been criticizing Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
They disclosed that the FO officials were in a huddle in order to decide what should be the appropriate response to Biden’s statement.