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All Texas synagogue hostages safely rescued

No injuries were reported

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All Texas synagogue hostages safely rescued
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Colleyville: All the remaining hostages being held at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, were safely released on Saturday night.

The man had initially taken four people hostage, including the rabbi, at the Congregation Beth Israel. One hostage was released unharmed six hours later.

Local reporters said they heard the sound of explosions, possibly flashbangs, and the sound of gunfire shortly before Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the crisis was over.

The Colleyville Police Department said it first responded to the synagogue with SWAT teams in response to emergency calls beginning at about 10:41 a.m. 

No injuries were reported and it remained unclear what weapons the man had.

The FBI has declined to identify the gunman, saying "there is no threat of terrorism in the United States."

According to a White House spokesman, President Joe Biden was briefed on the matter, who expressed satisfaction with the law enforcement agencies' action. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Twitter he was praying for the safety of the hostages.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has also condemned the attack on an Israeli synagogue.

Siddra Sumreen

Syeda Siddra has been working as a web journalist for over the past seven years. She earned her M.Phil degree in Mass Communication from the Lahore Leads University. Ms. Siddra has previously worked with other renowned channels and is now associated with GNN as Senior Content Writer.

Regional

Forest fire video case: TikToker 'in a fix' as court rejects pre-arrest bail application

Nosheen Saeed alias Dolly had posted a clip of herself walking playfully in a silver ball gown in front of a burning hillside

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Forest fire video case: TikToker 'in a fix' as court rejects pre-arrest bail application

Islamabad: A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Friday rejected the pre-arrest bail application of TikToker Nosheen Saeed alias Dolly in a case related to a forest fire in Margalla Hills.

Dolly, who has more than 11 million followers on TikTok, had posted a clip of herself walking playfully in a silver ball gown in front of a burning hillside, presumably the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, with the caption: "Fire erupts wherever I am."

Her video immediately came under fire on social media as people initially assumed that she had started the blaze herself at a time when a devastating heatwave was underway in Pakistan causing forest fires.

Subsequently, within hours after it was uploaded, the video was taken down from the application.

Later, the TikToker said in a clarification released by an assistant that she did not start the fire and there was "no harm in making videos".

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World

More than 200 cases of monkeypox worldwide: EU disease agency

The United Kingdom has 71 confirmed cases

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More than 200 cases of monkeypox worldwide: EU disease agency

Stockholm: The number of confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide has reached 219 outside of countries where it is endemic, according to an update released by the European Union’s disease agency.

More than a dozen countries where monkeypox is unusual, mostly in Europe, have reported at least one confirmed case, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an epidemiological note released Wednesday night.

“This is the first time that chains of transmission are reported in Europe without known epidemiological links to West or Central Africa, where this disease is endemic,” the note said.

It added that most of the cases were detected in young men, self-identifying as men who have sex with men.

The United Kingdom – where monkeypox’s unusual appearance was first detected in early May – currently has the largest bulk of confirmed cases, 71.

It is followed by Spain with 51 cases and Portugal, 37.

Outside of Europe, Canada has 15 and the United States has nine.

The total number of cases reported Wednesday has increased fivefold since its first count on May 20, when the EU agency said there were 38 cases.

Contagion risk is “very low”, the ECDC said earlier this week, but warned that people who have had multiple sexual partners – regardless of sexual orientation – are more at risk.

“The clinical presentation is generally described to be mild,” it said, adding that there has been no deaths.

Monkeypox – a less severe disease compared to its cousin smallpox – is endemic in 11 countries in West and Central Africa.

It spreads by a bite or direct contact with an infected animal’s blood, meat or bodily fluids, and initial symptoms include a high fever before quickly developing into a rash.

People infected with it also get a chickenpox-like rash on their hands and face.

No treatment exists but the symptoms usually clear up after two to four weeks, and it is not usually fatal.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the emerging disease lead for the World Health Organization, said Monday that monkeypox is a “containable situation”.

SOURCE: AFP

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Pakistan

PM Shehbaz announces Rs28 billion relief package for masses

The premier says the nation was dragged into economic swamp by the previous government

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PM Shehbaz announces Rs28 billion relief package for masses

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan Mian Shehbaz Sharif has announced Rs28 relief package for the people of Pakistan, saying the package will counter rising inflation in the country.

Addressing the nation in a televised address, he said the package would be in addition to the Benazir Income Support Programme, adding the relief package would be included in the annual budget.

The prime minister said the move to increase fuel prices was necessary to avoid Pakistan from facing bankruptcy, adding the previous government neither bought fuel not got the power plants repaired.

He announced Rs2,000 to 14 million poor families across the country, saying these families comprise 85 million people. 

He said the 10-kg floor bag would be available at utility stores in Rs400, adding 

Discussing the foreign conspiracy against [PTI government], he said the National Security Committee and the US had termed the news of conspiracy as baseless.

"Even our Ambassadior to the US had rejected the story of conspiracy," the premier said.

PM Shehbaz said a diplomatic cable was used for political means and the nation was fed with lies despite the National Security Committee (NSC) and the ambassador to the United States both rubbishing the "foreign conspiracy" claims touted by ex-premier Imran Khan.

PM Shehbaz said if Khan thinks his "ego" is bigger than the state, then it is his misconception as Pakistan will function in line with the Constitution and not upon following the direction of one person.

Reminding the PTI government of its tenure, PM Shehbaz said it was Khan that struck a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), not the current government.

He said that over the last four years, Pakistan incurred more than $20,000 billion worth of debt, which was more than 80% of the total loans taken during the history of the country.

The prime minister said the incumbent government was ready to take tough decisions for moving the country towards progress in a bid to end the politics of "incompetency and corruption".

He added that when the new government came into power, inflation was skyrocketing, industries were shutting down, and the US dollar — which was at Rs115 — had reached Rs189.

  

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