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G7 prepares 'Global Infrastructure Plan' to defy China's Belt and Road project

The Group of Seven richest democracies—G7 has drawn up a global infrastructure plan in response to China's Belt and Road project.

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G7 prepares 'Global Infrastructure Plan' to defy China's Belt and Road project
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The grand infrastructure plan would directly conflict with President Xi Jinping's multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative.

According to an international news agency, a senior official in US President Joe Biden's administration said "the United States will urge other G7 leaders to take strong action against forced labour in China."

"It's not just about confronting China, but so far we haven't come up with an alternative that reflects our values, quality and business style," he said.

China's multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road project launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, includes development and investment initiatives that will connect China from Asia to Europe and beyond.

More than 100 countries have signed an agreement with China for the project, which includes plans to build railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure.

According to statistics, more than 2,600 projects worth $3.7 trillion had linked the program by the middle of last year, although the Chinese foreign minister had said that 20 per cent of the projects had been severely affected by the COVID epidemic.

US President Joe Biden said in March that he had suggested to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the G7 summit, that democracies should come up with their plans.

The G7 and its allies will use the initiative to mobilise private sector capital in areas such as climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality, the White House said.

It was not immediately clear how the plan would exactly work or how much capital it would ultimately allocate.

The US official said that "so far the West has failed to offer a positive alternative to the Chinese government's lack of transparency, environmental and labour standards and repressive practices, which has put many countries in a difficult position."

"Tomorrow we are going to announce a global infrastructure program with G7 Partners, which will not be the only alternative to the Belt and Road," he said.

During the talks, Biden will urge other leaders to make it clear that forced labour is a reprehensible example of human dignity and China's unfair economic competition, and that they are serious about protecting human rights.

 "We are putting more emphasis on areas like Xinjiang where forced labour is being used and here we have to express our values ​​as G7," the official said in a statement issued at the end of the summit.

The G7 is shorthand for Group of Seven, an organization of leaders from some of the world's largest economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US.

Russia was indefinitely suspended from the group—which was at the time known as the G8—in 2014 after the majority of member countries allied against its annexation of Crimea. It was the first violation of a European country's borders since World War II.

Members of the G7 meet each year for a summit to discuss pressing issues on the global stage and coordinate policy.

Fateh Farooq is a senior editor at GNN, known for writing top quality content which garner very high readerships and has been covering every field of journalism, including politics, media, sports and scholarly articles. Fateh Farooq is nothing less than a Veteran Editor and has been writing for GNN for the past 7 months.

Pakistan

Pakistan: Daily COVID-19 cases drop below 2,000

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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Pakistan: Daily COVID-19 cases drop below 2,000

Islamabad: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio decreased to 4.10% from more than 11% a couple of weeks ago.

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 1,897 cases of coronavirus were reported while 81 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 27,327. The daily Covid-19 positivity rate in Pakistan is at 4.22%.

The total number of cases has reached 1,227,905.

As many as 1,137,656 patients have recovered from the disease with 4,846 critical cases.

Punjab            

The number of patients swelled to 423,670 in the province with 12,449 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 451,448 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,289.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 171,589 in the province with 5,426 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,772 confirmed cases while 344 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,821 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 733. On the other hand, there are 10,257 cases in GB with 182 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 104,348 cases in the capital city while 904 people have lost their lives.

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Sports

Australia to cancel Afghan test if Taliban ban women's sports

Canberra: Cricket Australia Thursday issued an official notification, stating that they would cancel Test match against Afghanistan unless Taliban lift the reported ban on women’s sports.

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Australia to renounce Afghan test if Taliban ban women's sports

On its official twitter handle, Cricket Australia said that it will not host Afghanistan planned Test match in Hobart starting November 27, if news reports of Taliban views on the women’s game were true.

"If recent media reports that women's cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but not to host Afghanistan for the proposed Test match due to be played in Hobart," said Cricket Australia in its statement.

The Taliban, banned sports for women in the country saying, they don't think women will be allowed to play cricket as it’s not necessary for them to participate.

According to SBS, Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission said, “In cricket, women might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered”.

“Islam does not allow women to be seen like this," he stressed.

Meanwhile, players from Afghanistan women’s soccer team are among dozens of athletes who were given visas to live in Australia and have been undergoing quarantine amid coronavirus pandemic.

However, it is a move that could cost Afghanistan its status as a Test-playing nation.

Afghanistan has a national women's cricket team — but its status has been thrown into question along with every other woman in the country after the Taliban ousted the U.S.-backed government.

In August, Taliban allowed men’s cricket to continue and gave approval for the men’s national team to travel to Australia for a test match in November.

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Pakistan

COVID-19: Deadly fourth wave ebbs in country, deaths record slight decline

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 2,333 cases of coronavirus were reported while 47 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 27,374.

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COVID-19: Deadly fourth wave ebbs in country, deaths record slight decline

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves. Today, the daily Covid-19 positivity rate in country is at 4.56%.

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 2,333 cases of coronavirus were reported while 47 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 27,374.

The total number of cases has reached 1,230,238.

As many as 1,140,917 patients have recovered from the disease with 4,641 critical cases.

Punjab           

The number of patients swelled to 424,701 in the province with 12,470 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 452,267 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,295.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 171,874 in the province with 5,444 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,796 confirmed cases while 345 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,864 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 733. On the other hand, there are 10,264 cases in GB with 182 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 104,472 cases in the capital city while 905 people have lost their lives.

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