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Biden to talk with G7 leaders this week about further sanctions on Russia

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States was in constant discussions with its partners about further sanctions and could take "additional actions" to pressure Moscow

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Biden to talk with G7 leaders this week about further sanctions on Russia
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WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he would speak with other leaders from the Group of Seven advanced economies this week about potential additional sanctions against Russia over its continuing and intensifying war in Ukraine.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States was in constant discussions with its partners about further sanctions and could take "additional actions" to pressure Moscow.

At a Wall Street Journal conference, Yellen would not preview any specific actions under consideration, but stressed that further measures were likely "if Russia continues this war against Ukraine."

Biden told reporters, "We're always open to additional sanctions" when asked about U.S. plans after the European Union proposed its toughest sanctions yet against Russia, including a phased oil embargo.

"I'll be speaking with the members of the G7 this week about what we're going to do or not do," Biden added.

The White House declined to say when Biden would speak with the leaders of the other G7 countries - Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to name any potential oligarchs who could be added to the U.S. sanctions list, but said the United States was continuing to review its options.

"I would say, no one is safe from our sanctions," she said.

Russia has intensified its offensive in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine's defense ministry said on Wednesday, nearly 10 weeks into a war that has killed thousands of people, uprooted millions and flattened Ukrainian cities.

Russia, which calls its actions "a special military operation," also stepped up strikes on targets in western Ukraine, saying it was disrupting Western arms deliveries, and close Russian ally Belarus announced large-scale army drills.

New measures announced by the EU include sanctions against Russia's top bank and a ban on Russian broadcasters from European airwaves, as well as the embargo on crude oil in six months.

Biden has hammered Russia over what he calls "major war crimes" committed in Ukraine, and has underscored his resolve to hold Moscow accountable for launching the largest land war in Europe since World War Two.

Washington has targeted Russian banks and elites with a series of sanctions, including moves last month that ban Americans from investing in Russia.

It acted in March to ban Russian oil and other energy imports in retaliation for Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, but has largely exempted energy transactions from its financial sanctions to avoid indirectly hitting European importers.

Yellen said she believed the Western sanctions had taken an enormous toll on the Russian economy, curtailing foreign investment and preventing it from accessing goods it needs to compete in the global economy over the long term.

She said the EU push to cut off Russian oil imports this year could drive oil prices higher, and said she needed to look at how exactly that was to be accomplished.

Yellen added that the United States would work with Europe to make sure countries there had the supplies they needed.

 

 

SOURCE: REUTERS

 

Adeel Daniel

Adeel Daniel is a Passionate journalist who has many years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has previously worked with other renowned TV channels as well as English news papers. Now he is a part of the GNN Network.

Pakistan

Will not bow before Imran’s dictation: PM Shehbaz Sharif

"If the PTI was merely concerned about the election, they should have come to the parliament."

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Will not bow before Imran’s dictation: PM Shehbaz Sharif

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday vowed not to bow before the dictations of ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan and made it clear that the National Assembly would, not anyone else, would decide the timing of the election.

“I want to make it clear to the head of this gang that none of his dictation will be accepted. This House will decide when to hold fair election,” the prime minister said addressing the National Assembly hours after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan ended his long march here, giving the government a six-day deadline to announce a fresh election.

The prime minister said if the PTI was merely concerned about the election, they should have come to the parliament.

“Imran Niazi should not have any misunderstanding. There are 14 months (to complete the parliament’s term). We are open to talks. Dialogue is the trait of politicians. I can constitute a committee. But, if you think you will pressurize, blackmail or threaten us to leave the government, keep in mind, we will not bow before your pressure or dictation,” he reiterated.  

He accepted that the country was faced with numerous challenges but the coalition government would try its utmost to steer the country out of the issues it had inherited from the previous government.

Lamenting the riots and destruction caused by the participants of the PTI long march, the prime minister said the House should choose between the course of development or destruction.

Drawing a comparison between the economic growth of the two neighboring countries, he said in 1990s India copied Pakistan’s economic strategy and excelled with its IT exports touching $200 billion against $1.5 billion of Pakistan.

He said the protestors who also carried weapons to bring to the federal capital, also damaged infrastructure here and burnt down the trees despite the party claiming to be the champion of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami.

He also condemned the killing of a police constable in Lahore, sympathized with the grieved family and also announced an assistance package for the policemen who were martyred or injured in the line of their duty.

He said instead of showing some compassion to the widow or orphaned children of the martyred police constable, the PTI leader taunted him.

Calling it a 126-day theatre, the prime minister said the PTI’s sit-in in 2014 had not only impacted the national economy but also claimed the lives of the security personnel.

He told the House that the law enforcement agencies showed maximum restraint to control the situation only by using teargas or rubber bullet. The government also called in the army troops to aid the civilian setup, he added.

He also lauded the performance of the Islamabad Police, Rangers, FC, Islamabad Traffic Police and other departments concerned to protect the lives and properties of the people.

The prime minister said the PTI long march, which was led by Imran Khan from Peshawar and accompanied by KPK chief minister, was in fact an attack at the federation which could not be allowed in any civilized society.

The prime minister said after the nation sacrificed thousands of lives and left many others disabled, the slogan of jihad was raised in Peshawar by the PTI.

“Today, the slogans of jihad were raised in Peshawar. Jihad against whom? The nation needs an answer. They used the religion for personal gains which the House should condemn through a resolution to avert the recurrence of such incidents” he commented.

He said despite the dearth of resources, the previous government reduced the oil prices, leaving behind a “landmine” for the incumbent government.   

The prime minister said during the last three and half years, the PTI leadership did nothing to support the poor, closed PKLI, and ended free medical treatment of hepatitis patients.  

“Does it require any more evidence to believe that he is an enemy of Pakistan,” he remarked.

The prime minister also questioned the PTI leader as to why he announced a long march on May 25 despite knowing that it coincided with the sentencing of Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik by an Indian court.

He said the House was unanimous to condemn the sentence to Yasin Malik and shared the grief of his family, besides reiterating Pakistan’s stance to continue supporting the people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination.

He recalled the PTI’s sit-in of 2014 when the institutions including Pakistan Television was attacked and caused the postponement of Chinese President Xi Jinping which also delayed the signing of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor for seven months.

He said the Chinese firm executing Karot Hydropower project had agreed to provide free electricity to the national grid till the finalization of the Commercial Operations Date which would save Rs4 billion to the national kitty.

He said the previous government wasted three and half years in mere attacking the national institutions including the judiciary and hurling allegations ignoring the sufferings of the people.

“How long this drama will continue? How long this disturbed nation will tolerate it,” he questioned adding the country could not afford the history of the 2014 sit-in to be repeated.

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Pakistan

Interior Minister responds to Imran Khan's six-day ultimatum to government 

"Police did not even fire a single rubber bullet"

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Interior Minister responds to Imran Khan's six-day ultimatum to government 

Islamabad: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday responded to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's six-day ultimatum to the government to dissolve assemblies and announce elections. 

According to details, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that people have outrightly rejected PTI's march of chaos and anarchy. “Imran Niazi reneged on his promise with the Supreme Court to hold a rally at a designated place, and he broke his word by announcing to march towards D-Chowk”

In a statement, he said PTI Chairman Imran Khan, in complete violation of the Supreme Court's orders, entered Islamabad's D Chowk.

The Minister said PTI's armed protesters kept on burning and destroying public properties the whole last night.

He said police did not even fire a single rubber bullet, but eighteen police and Rangers personnel got injured in the turmoil created by PTI hooligans.

Paying rich tribute to the police and Rangers, the Interior Minister said security forces will continue protecting the lives and properties of the people.

It is pertinent to remember that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has called off his most anticipated long march, giving a six-day ultimatum to the government to dissolve assemblies and announce elections. 

While addressing the participants of the ‘Azadi March’ at Jinnah Avenue, Imran Khan said he had reached Islamabad after 30 hours of traveling from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

He warned the government that if an announcement of elections will not be made, he will return to Islamabad-- demanding assemblies be dissolved forthwith.

Khan and the top party leaders left the container soon after the speech while the party workers managed to enter the Red Zone despite heavy security.

Before the arrival of PTI Chairman Imran Khan at the designated area, the PTI MNAs and workers gathered at D-Chowk where a clash broke out between them and anti-riot police and law-enforcement agencies. 

Police baton-charged and tear-gased the protesters.

The D-Chowk turned into a battlefield between the Islamabad police and the PTI leaders and activists on early Thursday. 

PTI MNA Zartaj Gul got fainted. Many women and children got affected by tear gas shelling.  

Some officials of police and Rangers also suffered injuries in the clashes. The protesters set some trees and vehicles ablaze. 

In a statement released on Twitter, the police noted that when the fire brigade doused the blazes, the protestors once again set fire the Express Chowrangi on fire. 

Since being removed from power through a no-confidence vote in April, the cricketer-turned-politician heaped pressure on Pakistan's fragile new coalition rulers by staging mass rallies, touting a claim he was turned out from office in a "foreign conspiracy". 

In a centerpiece showdown with his rivals, Khan had called for supporters of his party to gather in Islamabad and stage a sit-in until fresh elections are called.

The government headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has pledged to stop the convoy from entering the city, calling the rally an attempt to "divide the nation and promote chaos".

All major roads surrounding Islamabad, where a heavy security presence is in place, were blocked off with shipping containers while entry and exit points of major nearby cities were also cut off.

Sporadic clashes broke out between police and protesters who have tried to clear the roads, with tear gas fired in several cities.

Khan joined the march in dramatic fashion, arriving in a helicopter that touched down on a motorway clogged with supporters outside the city of Mardan.

The convoy later crossed a bridge that straddles PTI-run Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and government-run Punjab province, where shipping containers blocking the route were pushed to the side of the road by protesters.

Earlier, soldiers were deployed at the Prime Minister's Office and the Parliament to avoid any untoward incident in the wake of PTI's long march and the presence of charged workers.

"Pakistan Army has been called in for the security of government’s offices located in the Red Zone," the notification read. 

As the situation turned chaotic after the police clashed with the PTI workers ahead of former Prime Minister Imran Khan's political rally in Islamabad, the government has sought the help of the army to control the situation. 

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Pakistan

Salman Sufi appointed head of PM’s Strategic Reforms

Salman Sufi, a Mother Teresa Award winner and an expert in introducing unique social welfare schemes, will render his services voluntarily. 

Published by Mehak Javed

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Salman Sufi appointed head of PM’s Strategic Reforms

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday appointed public policy expert Salman Sufi as the head of the Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms.

Salman Sufi, a Mother Teresa Award winner and an expert in introducing unique social welfare schemes, will render his services voluntarily. 

Mr. Salman has introduced a number of people-friendly schemes, including the Punjab Women Protection Act, Violence Against Women Centre, Women on Wheels and Shehr-e-Khamoshan. 

He has also served as Director General Strategic Reform Unit during Shehbaz Sharif’s Punjab chief ministership.

Salman Sufi was named one of the top five women’s rights activists in the world, including by the government of incumbent US President Joe Biden, and was also awarded the Vital Voices Award.

Additionally, the government has directed all ministries to make every effort to effectively implement the Prime Minister’s reform agenda. 

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