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One year late, Tokyo Olympics sports finally gets underway

Tokyo: Japanese pitcher Yukiko Ueno delivered the first ball of the pandemic-hit 2020 Tokyo Olympics Wednesday amid continuing doubts about the wisdom of holding the event at a time when the Delta variant is driving a resurgence of coronavirus in Japan and around the world.

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One year late, Tokyo Olympics sports finally gets underway
One year late, Tokyo Olympics sports finally gets underway

As per details, Japan and Australia locked horns in softball, with two more games, as well as women’s football matches scheduled for Wednesday. Softball was revived for the Tokyo Games after being dropped after 2008.

Olympics and Japanese officials have pushed ahead with the Olympics despite persistent opposition in the country to hosting more than 11,000 athletes, staff and media that come with them, given the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Tokyo is currently in a coronavirus state of emergency.

Reportedly, the initial two days of games are being held at a baseball stadium in Fukushima, a region badly affected by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster.

The Tokyo Games were postponed last year shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic over the spread of the coronavirus.

However, organisers have promised a “safe and secure” Olympics, but many Japanese are sceptical.

The country’s vaccination programme has lagged behind that of many other developed nations, and Tokyo is seeing a new surge in cases with 1,387 people diagnosed on Tuesday. In total, Japan has recorded more than 840,000 cases and 15,055 deaths.

Dozens of cases linked to the Olympics, including some athletes, have further undermined public trust in coronavirus mitigation efforts.

On Tuesday, the chief of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee said cancellation could not be ruled out if COVID-19 cases spiked.

Toshiro Muto told a news conference that he would keep an eye on infection numbers and liaise with other organisers if necessary.

“We will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases,” Muto said.

“We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”

A spokesman for Tokyo 2020 later said organisers were “concentrating 100 percent on delivering successful Games”.

CREDIT: AL JAZEERA

Regional

Rescue 1122 establishes medical response units in KP

Ninety-five ambulances and twenty-four fire vehicles have been deputed near various Imambargahs in the province. 

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Rescue 1122 establishes medical response units in KP

Peshawar: In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Rescue 1122 has established medical response units in various districts to provide medical aid to the mourners of Muharram-ul-Haram.

According to Director General, Rescue 1122 Dr. Khatir Ahmed, ninety-five ambulances and twenty-four fire vehicles have been deputed near various Imambargahs in the province. 

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Pakistan

Pakistan condemns storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque's courtyards by Israeli settlers

Foreign Office spokesperson said this provocative action has blatantly violated the sanctity of Qibla-e-Awwal and hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world.

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Pakistan condemns storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque's courtyards by Israeli settlers

Islamabad: Pakistan has strongly condemned the storming of courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli occupying forces.

In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said this provocative action has blatantly violated the sanctity of Qibla-e-Awwal and hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world.

He said such incidents are flagrant violation of international law, international norms and practices and any attempt to change the historical and legal status of Al-Aqsa Mosque must stop.

The Spokesperson called upon international community to take urgent action to put an end to the Israeli aggression and violations, which continue to fuel violence, tension and instability in the region.

He said for a lasting and just solution of the Palestinian issue, Pakistan renews its call for a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State, with pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, in accordance with the relevant UN and OIC resolutions.

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Pakistan

Youm-e-Ashur to be observed with due solemnity on Tuesday

Mourning processions will be taken out in all cities and towns of the country. 

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Youm-e-Ashur to be observed with due solemnity on Tuesday

Lahore: Yaum-e-Ashur, the tenth of Moharram-ul-Haram, will be observed on Tuesday across the country with due solemnity to pay homage to the supreme sacrifice rendered by Hazrat Imam Hussain Razi Allah ho Ta'ala Anho and his devoted companions in Karbala.

Mourning processions will be taken out in all cities and towns of the country. 

Ulema and Zakireen will highlight the bright and candid teachings of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A.) and various aspects of Karbla tragedy.

Meanwhile, in connection with the 9th Muharram today, Taazia and Zuljanah processions will be taken out in different parts of the country in memory of the martyrs of Karbala.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made to avoid any untoward incident during the mourning processions.

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