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French actor Gaspard Ulliel dies at 37 after ski accident

One of the most striking faces of his generation, Ulliel was already in the top rank of French actors

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French actor Gaspard Ulliel dies at 37 after ski accident
GNN Media: Representational Photo

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, who played a young Hannibal Lecter and Yves Saint Laurent, died on Wednesday at the age of 37 following a skiing accident, his family said.

One of the most striking faces of his generation, Ulliel was already in the top rank of French actors. 

He gained international attention for his performance as the famous cannibal in "Hannibal Rising" in 2007.

He also had a leading role in the new Marvel TV series "Moon Knight" launching on Disney+ in March. 

His family confirmed the death -- which followed a skiing accident on Tuesday -- in a statement given to AFP by his agent.

Ulliel won a Cesar -- the French equivalent of an Oscar -- for best actor in 2017 for "It's Only the End of the World" in which he starred alongside Marion Cotillard and Lea Seydoux. 

He had already taken home a Cesar in 2005 for most promising actor after appearing in the World War I drama "A Very Long Engagement" alongside Audrey Tautou.

He starred in "Saint Laurent", one of two biopics about the legendary designer to be released in 2014, though he lost out at the Cesars to the star of the rival film, Pierre Niney.

DIFFICULT TO PENETRATE

Ulliel was born just outside Paris on November 25, 1984 and picked up a small scar from a dog bite as a child. 

He said it helped him because it looked like a dimple.

He was just 11 when he started working on screen and picked up two Cesar newcomer nominations in 2003 and 2004 before finally winning the following year. 

There were also some major modelling gigs, including a contract as the face of a Chanel aftershave. 

One of his directors described him as something of an enigma. 

"He's a strange boy, difficult to penetrate," said Rodolphe Marconi, who directed him in one of his early films, "The Last Day". 

"He surely has a crack, the day it opens, it will hurt."

Faisal Waqas

Faisal Waqas is a passionate journalist who has eight years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has previously worked with other renowned private TV channels as well as English Newspaper and now associated with GNN as Senior Content Writer. Faisal has graduated from the University of Punjab and earned his M.Phil degree in Mass Communication from Superior University of Lahore.

Health

Disease experts stress WHO, govts for more action on monkeypox

The WHO is considering whether the outbreak should be assessed as a potential public health emergency of international concern

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Disease experts stress WHO, govts for more action on monkeypox

Some prominent infectious disease experts are pushing for faster action from global health authorities to contain a growing monkeypox outbreak that has spread to at least 20 countries.

They are arguing that governments and the World Health Organization should not repeat the early missteps of the COVID-19 pandemic that delayed the detection of cases, helping the virus spread.

While monkeypox is not as transmissible or dangerous as COVID, these scientists say, there needs to be clearer guidance on how a person infected with monkeypox should isolate, more explicit advice on how to protect people who are at risk, and improved testing and contact tracing.

"If this becomes endemic (in more countries), we will have another nasty disease and many difficult decisions to take," said Isabelle Eckerle, a professor at the Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases in Switzerland.

The WHO is considering whether the outbreak should be assessed as a potential public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), an official told Reuters. A WHO determination that an outbreak constitutes a global health emergency - as it did with COVID or Ebola - would help accelerate research and funding to contain a disease.

"It is always under consideration, but no emergency committee as yet (on monkeypox)," Mike Ryan, director of the WHO's health emergencies programme, said on the sidelines of the agency's annual meeting in Geneva.

However, experts say it is unlikely the WHO would reach such a conclusion soon, because monkeypox is a known threat the world has tools to fight. Discussing whether to set up an emergency committee, the body that recommends declaring a PHEIC, is just part of the agency's routine response, WHO officials said.

Eckerle called for the WHO to encourage countries to put more coordinated and stringent isolation measures in place even without an emergency declaration. She worries that talk of the virus being mild, as well as the availability of vaccines and treatments in some countries, "potentially leads to lazy behaviour from public health authorities."

NOT THE SAME AS COVID

More than 300 suspected and confirmed cases of monkeypox, a usually mild illness that spreads through close contact, causing flu-like symptoms and a distinctive rash, have been reported this month.

Most have been in Europe rather than in the Central and West African countries where the virus is endemic. No deaths have been reported in the current outbreak.

However, global health officials have expressed alarm over the growing outbreak in non-endemic countries. The WHO has said it expects numbers to rise as surveillance increases.

Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, wrote on Twitter that monkeypox was different to SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, but "we are making some of the same mistakes with regard to responding decisively with the tools at hand."

On Friday, the WHO reiterated that the monkeypox virus is containable with measures including the quick detection and isolation of cases and contact tracing.

People who are infected - and in some cases their close contacts - are advised to isolate for 21 days, but it is not clear to what extent people would adhere to such a long time away from work or other commitments. The lab capacity to test for monkeypox is also not yet widely established, said Eckerle, meaning rapid diagnosis can be difficult.

Mass vaccination is not considered necessary but some countries, including Britain and France, are offering vaccines to healthcare workers and close contacts. read more

Other experts say the current response is proportionate and that deeming monkeypox a global health emergency and declaring a PHEIC would be inappropriate at this stage.

"This is reserved for threats with the highest level of risk based on infectivity, severity and international risk of escalation," said Dale Fisher, chair of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) and a professor of medicine in Singapore.

Beyond labels, experts said the most important lesson of the last two years is that preventing pandemics once they have started spreading is too late.

"It is always disappointing when the world wakes up to a new disease only when it hits high-income countries," said Piero Olliaro, a professor of poverty-related infectious diseases at Oxford University and monkeypox expert.

To prepare for pandemics, "you have to do that where the diseases are now," he said.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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Business

Pakistan lifts some import restrictions

On May 19, the government had banned the import of over 30 luxury items including cars and fruit jams

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Pakistan lifts some import restrictions

Islamabad: The federal government lifted the import ban on certain items -- other than cat and dog foods, the Ministry of Commerce clarified Saturday.

On May 19, the government had imposed a ban on the import of non-essential luxury items under an "emergency economic plan" to "save the country's foreign exchange".

Pet owners had raised concerns on social media, urging the government to reconsider it.

The ministry today issued the notification, announcing to lift restrictions on the import of certain items and those which were ordered before May to address the concerns of the citizenry and certain anomalies out of implementation of the SRO 598(1)2022 -- dated May 19.

The restriction "shall not apply on the import of goods for which an Airway Bill has been issued prior to the issuance of the said SRO.

On May 19, the government had banned the import of over 30 luxury items including cars and fruit jams in an austerity move to help boost the country's faltering economy.

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Government is trying best to provide maximum relief to poor: Miftah Ismail 

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a relief program for the nation on Friday.

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Government is trying best to provide maximum relief to poor: Miftah Ismail 

Islamabad: Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Saturday said that government would try its best to provide maximum relief to the poor of the country, adding that deserving families can avail the subsidies on petrol and diesel under the relief program announced by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

While sharing the details of Rs28 billion relief package, announced by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail said that the staff level agreement with International Monetary Fund would be signed next month (June).

The minister said that the funds under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) would be released after final approval by the IMF board. The minister was flanked by Minister of State for Finance, Ayesha Ghous Pasha.

Miftah said that the fund, which had to provide $3 billion, has been requested to extend the program by one year and provide additional $2 billion, adding accordingly the country expects around $5 billion from the fund.

He said, that the programme with IMF was not important just because the country gets money from the fund rather, it is important because it opens ways for getting funds from other multilateral organization like Word Bank and Asian Development Bank.

He said, once unlocked by IMF, Pakistan would get money from multilateral organization adding that around $8.9 billion were already in pipeline from World Bank.

The minister justified increase in petrol prices, saying that no doubt it would increase inflation but if the increase had not been done, it would lead to more inflation as the burden would fall on the government and resultantly more devaluation of rupee.

He said, after increasing the prices of petrol, not only rupee was strengthened against Dollar by around 2.5 but stock market also moved positively adding that it would also have positive impact on banks, Kibor would also reduce and mitigate the liquidity pressure faced by government.

The minister said, the government intended to provide relief to the poor against the inflationary pressure which was created due to inability of the previous government.

He said the government would try its best to provide maximum relief to the poor of the country.

Giving details about the PM relief package, the minister said ‘Sasta Petrol and Sasta Diesel’ scheme would benefit around one third population of the country by providing cash to 14 million households (84,000,000 people).

Disbursement of Rs2,000 to each household would start from June, bringing the total relief amount to Rs28 billion in June.

He said around 7.3 million recipients were already registered with Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) and if these are excluded there are 6.7 poor households having below 37 poverty score.

He said, the BISP participants would be provided immediate relief or Rs2, 000 whereas women head of those households who are not registered should send their CNIC on phone number 786 for registration for the program. Accordingly, all the people having income less than 40,000 would be eligible for the relief.

He said, the relief scheme would be incorporated in the federal budget for the fiscal year 2022-23.

To a question on privatization, the minister said, there was no talk on privatization with IMF this time. However, he added, the country needed to privatize certain entities including Discos and power companies for its own interest to reduce burden on national exchequer.

He said that Saudi Arabia has already announced extension of its $3 billion deposits to Pakistan and hinted that some more support was expected from that country the details of which would be shared in July.

To a question on import ban, the minister said that ban was imposed on import of chocolates and perform in bulk, however personally anyone can get it for personal use

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