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Google locks Afghan government accounts amid fears of Taliban seeking emails

Washington: Google has temporarily locked down Afghan government accounts amid fears of Taliban accessing the emails.

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Google locks Afghan government accounts amid fears of Taliban seeking emails
Google locks Afghan government accounts amid fears of Taliban seeking emails

According to Reuters, Google has blocked an unspecified number of accounts related to Afghan government officials as fears intensify over the digital paper trail left by former officials and their international partners.

There have been several reports in media highlighting concerns on how biometric and Afghan payroll databases might be exploited by Taliban leaders following their takeover of Kabul.

In a statement on Friday, Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O) stopped short of confirming that Afghan government accounts were being locked down, saying that the “company is monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and taking temporary actions to secure relevant accounts."

An employee of former Afghan government told Reuters on the condition of anonymity that the Taliban are seeking to acquire former officials' emails.

"If I do so, then they will get access to the data and official communications of the previous ministry leadership," the employee said.

As per records, more than two dozen of Afghan government institutions were using Google's servers to communicate via emails, including the ministries of finance, higher education, industry and mines.

 

World

Journalist shot dead in latest attack on Mexico media workers

Presidential spokesperson Jesus Ramirez said on Twitter the journalist's daughter also was injured in the attack

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Journalist shot dead in latest attack on Mexico media workers

A Mexican journalist was killed in the northern state of Tamaulipas on Wednesday, the newspaper he worked for said, the latest in a series of attacks in one of the world's most dangerous countries for media workers.

Antonio de la Cruz, a journalist for local newspaper Expreso, was gunned down in his home in the state capital Ciudad Victoria, the paper said.

His death comes after eight others in the media have been murdered in Mexico this year as a result of their journalism, according to human rights organization Article 19.

Presidential spokesperson Jesus Ramirez said on Twitter the journalist's daughter also was injured in the attack.

"We must not allow any more attacks on journalists and activists. These crimes will not go unpunished," Ramirez wrote.

The paper's parent company Expreso-La Razon demanded justice from authorities.

The Tamaulipas attorney general's office said in a statement it had opened an investigation into the incident and that police are collecting evidence and hunting for the attackers.

Violence against the press has skyrocketed during Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's administration, according to a report published by Article 19.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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Regional

PRA collects Rs168 bln in FY22, surpasses revised target of Rs165.5 bln

According to the spokesperson, the authority become the first provincial revenue collecting agency in the country to cross the psychological barrier of Rs150 billion

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PRA collects Rs168 bln in FY22, surpasses revised target of Rs165.5 bln

Lahore: The Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) has surpassed the upward revised target of Rs165.5 billion for the financial year 2021-22.

According to provisional collection figures up to June 28, 2022, the PRA collection stands at Rs168 billion, which is 108 per cent of the set target of Rs155.9 billion and 101.5pc of the revised target.

According to the PRA spokesperson, the authority expects substantial revenue in the last two days of the financial year and is hoping to end the year close to Rs170 billion.

It is worth mentioning that earlier this year, PRA became the first provincial revenue collecting agency in the country to cross the psychological barrier of Rs150 billion and the collection in June has further established it as the leading Provincial revenue collecting agency in the country.

This is the third successive year in which PRA has surpassed its revenue collection target. Earlier the Authority collected more than the assigned targets of Rs.105 billion and Rs.125 billion in the financial years 2019-20 and 2020-21 respectively. 

PRA spokesperson further elaborated that this success has been achieved without resorting to any coercive actions such as sealing of premises, attachment of bank accounts or collection of advance payments.

PRA has relied completely on collaboration with all stakeholders and emphasis on taxpayer facilitation and education. More than 200 awareness workshops were held during the financial year with more than 2,000 participants. 

PRA expects the growth trend to continue in the coming years as its management and all workforce is committed to continuing its focus on compliance without resorting to any measures that adversely affect ease of doing business.

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Business

NA passes Finance Bill 2022

The NA passed the Finance Bill 2022, giving legal effect to budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year.

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NA passes Finance Bill 2022

Islamabad: The National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday passed the Finance Bill 2022, giving legal effect to budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year.

It was moved by Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha.

Having a total outlay of 9502 billion rupees, the budget 2022-23 encompasses measures for sustainable economic growth, industrial and agriculture development and relief for the poor people.

The budget envisages Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) OF 800 billion rupees for the next fiscal year. It has been centered on improvement in sectors such as water resources, transport and communication, energy, higher education, health, science and technology, and balanced regional development.

699 billion rupees have been set aside for targeted subsidies to extend benefit to deprived segments of the society.

The budget of Benazir Income Support Program has been increased to 364 billion rupees.  In addition, 12 billion rupees have been allocated for the provision of subsidy on essential commodities through Utility Stores Corporation.

The salaries of government employees have been increased by fifteen percent along with a merger of adhoc allowances.

As regards taxation, the government has levied super tax on affluent class in order to reduce the budget deficit and take the country towards economic sovereignty.

Taking the floor, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has always led the struggle for democracy, free and fair elections and  the economic rights of the people. He said his party strongly believes in transparent elections.

He said the PPP will also secure victory in the second phase of Sindh local government elections to be held in a month's time.

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