‘Three dead in tourist plane crash in Switzerland’
GENEVA – A tourist plane crashed in a wooded, mountainous area of western Switzerland on Saturday, killing the three people onboard, police said. The small tourist plane crashed in a steep and forested area near Ponts-De-Martel in the Swiss canton of Neuchatel at around 10:20 am (0820 GMT), regional police said. “The pilot and the two passengers died on site,” the Neuchatel police said in a statement, without providing further details about the victims. The plane was registered in Switzerland and had taken off from the nearby Chaux-d-Fonds airport for a sightseeing flight. A large rescue and recovery operation had been launched, police said, adding though that the crash site in the Neuchatel Mountains was in very steep terrain, complicating the work. The cause of the crash remains unclear, the statement said, adding that authorities had launched an investigation to determine the circumstances.
G-7 to impose more sanctions on Russia as Zelenskyy set to arrive in Japan
Group of Seven (G-7) leaders have announced further sanctions on Russia as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to arrive in Japan on Saturday to join the group leaders’ summit.
In a statement issued from Hiroshima, where the G-7 summit kicked off on Friday, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to stand together against Russia and support Ukraine as long as necessary.
“We are imposing further sanctions and measures to increase the costs to Russia and those who are supporting its war effort. And we are taking steps to support partners worldwide as they navigate the suffering caused by Russia’s war, including through humanitarian assistance,” the leaders said in a joint statement published on the G-7 website.
Expressing sympathy and condolences to the Ukrainian people for their loss and suffering, the leaders said their support for Ukraine will not waver.
“We will not tire in our commitment to mitigate the impact of Russia’s illegal actions on the rest of the world,” it said.
The leaders further said they are taking new steps against Moscow to ensure Russia is no longer able to weaponize the availability of energy against the world.
Expressing their satisfaction on launching a price cap on Russian oil and petroleum products, they said: “This is working.”
“Russia’s revenues are down. Global oil and gas prices have fallen significantly, benefiting countries around the world.”
They also issued a warning to countries supporting Russia in the war.
“We will reinforce our coordination to prevent and respond to third parties supplying weapons to Russia and continue to take actions against third country actors who materially support Russia’s war,” it said.
Death toll in Nigeria’s central state attack rises to 125: Official
The death toll from this week’s attacks on two communities in Nigeria’s central Plateau State by gunmen has risen to 125, according to a local official on Friday.
Joseph Gwankat, the national leader of the affected community, told Anadolu that additional bodies were discovered on Friday in nearby bushes and farmlands, four days after gunmen invaded Fungzai and Kubwat villages in Mangu Local Government of Plateau State.
“The number of deaths has now increased to about 125. We found some bodies in the bushes and others on farmlands. We also discovered that some victims were thrown into a well by the suspected herdsmen,” he said.
Roughly 20,000 people have fled their homes since Tuesday’s surprise attack on the communities and are now seeking refuge in churches, school classrooms, and open fields, the official disclosed.
He said the situation in the area is still tense.
“Women and children are hungry and sick. Men are helpless and can’t provide food for their surviving families because their farmlands have been destroyed,” he claimed
He was pleased with the government and humanitarian organizations to help provide medical support and food to the affected persons.
On Tuesday, gunmen suspected to be herders invaded the area at dusk and opened fire on people.
Police are yet to give casualty figures since the incident occurred.
Attacks on communities in the country’s north-central and northwest state have been on the increase since 2022 with the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari repeated promise to tackle the security challenge.
US issues hundreds of sanctions against Russia over Ukraine war
The US unveiled Friday hundreds of new sanctions against Russia alongside its international partners, seeking to punish Moscow for the ongoing war against Ukraine.
The economic penalties draw on multiple US agencies, including the Treasury Department which blacklisted 22 individuals and 104 entities with activities in over 20 countries and jurisdictions in an attempt to further clamp down on efforts to evade existing US sanctions.
“From the beginning of President Putin’s illegal and unprovoked war, our global coalition has focused on supporting Ukraine while degrading Russia’s ability to conduct its invasion,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
“Our collective efforts have cut Russia off from key inputs it needs to equip its military and is drastically limiting the revenue the Kremlin receives to fund its war machine. Today’s actions will further tighten the vise on Putin’s ability to wage his barbaric invasion and will advance our global efforts to cut off Russian attempts to evade sanctions,” she added.
Chinese envoy meets Ukrainian president
China’s Eurasian affairs envoy Li Hui held a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Beijing said on Thursday.
“The two sides exchanged views on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, and China-Ukraine relations,” a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
Li, who was picked by Chinese President Xi Jinping last month as the special envoy on Ukraine, paid a two-day visit to Kyiv that ended Wednesday.
The statement said Li also met with other senior Ukrainian officials, including Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
An earlier statement by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said Kuleba and Li discussed topical issues between Kyiv and Beijing, both at the bilateral level and within the framework of international organizations.
The statement said Kuleba spoke to Li about “the principles of restoring a stable and just peace based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
“He emphasized that Ukraine does not accept any proposals that would involve the loss of its territories or the freezing of the conflict,” the statement further said.
Ukraine has emphasized Russia’s withdrawal from its territories as a precondition for peace talks with Moscow.
Kuleba also underlined the importance of Chinese involvement in implementing a peace plan proposed by Zelenskyy during a recent G-20 summit in Indonesia.
China’s role in guaranteeing nuclear safety, as well as in other important international efforts including a Black Sea grain deal that allows Ukrainian food exports to other countries, was also on the agenda, the statement said.
“The parties separately discussed the long-term prospects for the development of bilateral relations between Ukraine and China and agreed to increase dialogue on key issues of the bilateral and international agenda,” it added.
Li also held talks with officials from Ukrainian ministries of infrastructure, energy, and defense.
Referring to China’s “position on the political solution to the Ukrainian crisis,” Li said: “There is no panacea to resolve the crisis.”
EU countries agree on new tax rules on cryptocurrency
EU countries on Tuesday agreed on new tax transparency rules related to crypto-assets, aiming to prevent fraud in the bloc.
In an EU Council meeting in Brussels, finance ministers came to a political agreement on the rules covering crypto-asset service providers serving clients in the EU.
The measures extend an existing directive and require financial institutions to report the income that their clients, especially wealthy individuals, receive from cryptocurrency transactions.
This information will then be automatically shared with the tax administrations other member states, closing a loophole that allowed cryptocurrencies to be used for tax evasion.
Set to go into effect in 2026, the measures still need official approval from member states to come into effect.
“Final adoption of the new rules will be possible when the consultative opinion of the European Parliament becomes available,” said the press release.
Imran Khan condemns arrest of Firdous Naqvi under terrorism charges
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday condemned the arrest of his party stalwart Firdous Shamim Naqvi under terrorism charges.
Taking to Twitter, the former prime minister said Firdous joined him 27 years ago and “shared my dream of Pakistan as a just and humane society”.
“He faced all our ups and downs ( most of the first 14 years were downs ) and took a strong character rooted in a powerful belief system to not give up despite so many disappointments,”
HRW asks Pakistan to end ‘arbitrary’ arrests of PTI supporters
Urging the government to display restraint and respect human rights and rule of law, the Human Rights Watch has asked the Pakistan government to put an end to arbitrary arrests of political activists and peaceful protesters in the aftermath of attacks on army installations following the arrest of PTI chairman on May 9.
HRW Associate Asia Director Patricia Gossman pointed towards the mass arrest of PTI supporters in connection with riots and said that more than 4,000 people have been detained and many have been charged “under vague and overbroad laws prohibiting rioting and creating threats to public order”
Amid ongoing crackdown on PTI supporters, the HRW said Pakistani authorities should release all those held for peaceful protest or supporting political opposition and respect the due process rights of all those detained.
Ms Gossman said anyone committing violence should be appropriately charged and their due process rights respected, adding, fundamental guarantees of peaceful protest and due process should not become casualties of Pakistan’s political conflict.
PM Shehbaz Sharif gets briefing on legal, economic matters
Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday chaired a high-level meeting to get a briefing on the legal, economic and political matters of the country.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior leaders and ministers including Azam Nazir Tarar, Musadik Malik, Ata Tarar, Khawaja Salman Rafique and others attended the meeting.
The meeting discussed the country’s overall political situation and legal matters especially the under-trial cases in the Supreme Court.
Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar briefed the participants of the matter about the ongoing hearing of important cases in the apex court.
Earlier, the federal cabinet strongly condemned the riot that happened on May 9 after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan arrest.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, a federal cabinet meeting was held in which the participants strongly condemned May 9 riots and focused on taking action against those involved in the condemnable acts of May 9, in accordance with the relevant laws.
During the briefing, the federal cabinet discussed the measures to be taken to ensure strict accountability of the miscreants.
Legal process begins to try rioters under Army Act: General Asim
Chief of Army Staff warns any effort to create wedge between Army and people of Pakistan is an act against the State and not condonable under any circumstances.
ISLAMABAD – Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir visited Lahore on Saturday.
According to a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), COAS laid floral wreath at Martyrs’ Monument and paid rich tribute to the Shuhada who sacrificed their lives for the motherland.
The Army Chief was given briefing on events of 9th May (Black Day). General Syed Asim Munir also visited Jinnah House and an Army installation which were blatantly attacked and vandalised by politically motivated rioters.
While addressing the Garrison officers and soldiers at Corps Headquarters, COAS said that legal process of trial against planners, instigators, abettors and perpetrators involved in 9 May tragedy has commenced under Pakistan Army Act and Official Secret Act as per existing and established legal procedures derived from the Constitution of Pakistan.
COAS emphasised that “Army draws its strength from people and any effort to create wedge between the Army and the people of Pakistan is an act against the State which is neither tolerable nor condonable under any circumstances.
“Hostile and inimical forces and their abettors have been trying hard to create confusion through fake news and propaganda but all such designs of the enemy will be defeated with the support of the nation, InshAllah.” Later, COAS also visited Services Hospital Lahore and inquired about the well being of DIG Ali Nasir Rizvi who was injured by political miscreants during 9th May incident. COAS also visited Qurban Lines and met with police officials. COAS paid homage to Shuhada of Police, appreciated the professionalism and restraint exercised by them during the riots/vandalism and assured Army’s full support to the LEAs for their capacity enhancement, intelligence sharing and training. Earlier on arrival, COAS was received by Commander Lahore Corps.