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News ID: 103849
Publish Date : 19 June 2022 - 21:30
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BOGOTA (AP) – Colombians cast their ballots on Sunday in the second round of the presidential election. About 39 million people were eligible to vote. Just above half of them turned out for the first round last month that ended with no winner. In this round, leftist Gustavo Petro was competing against populist senator Rodolfo Hernandez. The voting took place at one of the most turbulent times for Colombia. The country is plagued by the economic fallout from the Covid pandemic and social unrest. Whoever becomes the next president will have to deal with a deeply divided nation. There’s high poverty and unemployment. The public dissatisfaction triggered massive protests last year. Both candidates have pledged radical social and financial reforms. But the campaign has been tense. And there are fears that violence could break out once the results are out. In the meantime, both candidates have pledged to bring about and implement radical reforms to change the country’s social and economic picture. However, both men will have a tough time delivering on their promises as neither has a majority in Congress, which is necessary for them to implement their plans with a free hand.
 
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ISTANBUL (Anadolu) – The International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has called for enacting a law to ban insults against religions and sanctities. In a statement, the Doha-based grouping said it will dispatch a delegation of Muslim scholars to Islamic countries for talks on the increasing insults against the Islamic religion. IUMS said it will ask the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and United Nations to push for drafting legislation to ban any insults against religious sanctities. The move comes amid anger in the Islamic world over insults by a spokesperson for India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party against Islam’s Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The insults prompted Qatar, Kuwait and Iran to summon the Indian envoys to protest the insults against the prophet. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, for his part, reiterated his rejection of “any sort of hate speech” and called on India to respect all religions.
 
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COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s military opened fire to contain rioting at a fuel station, officials said Sunday as unprecedented queues for petrol and diesel were seen across the bankrupt country. Troops fired in Visuvamadu, 365 kilometers north of Colombo, on Saturday night as their guard point was pelted with stones, army spokesman Nilantha Premaratne said. “A group of 20 to 30 people pelted stones and damaged an army truck,” Premaratne told AFP. Police said four civilians and three soldiers were wounded when the army opened fire for the first time to quell unrest linked to the worsening economic crisis. As the pump ran out of petrol, motorists began to protest and the situation escalated into a clash with troops, police said. Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence, with the country unable to find dollars to import essentials, including food, fuel and medicines. The nation’s 22 million population has been enduring acute shortages and long queues for scarce supplies while President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has for months resisted calls to step down over mismanagement.
 
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GAUHATI, India (AP) – Massive flooding and mudslides in northeastern India’s Assam state have claimed eight more lives, officials said Sunday, taking the death toll to 62 from weeks of heavy rains that caused one of Asia’s largest rivers to overflow. Assam’s disaster management agency said 32 of the state’s 35 districts were underwater as the swollen Brahmaputra River broke its banks, displacing more than 3 million people. The Indian army was called in for rescue efforts and the air force remained on standby. The Brahmaputra flows from China’s Tibet through India and into Bangladesh on a nearly 800-kilometer journey through Assam. On Sunday, four people went missing when a boat carrying nine capsized in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district, 500 kilometers east of Gauhati, the state capital. Police said that search operations were ongoing but they were hampered by strong currents.
 
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SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has dispatched medical crews and epidemiological investigators to a province battling the outbreak of an intestinal disease, state media reported on Sunday. At least 800 families suffering from what North Korea has only called an “acute enteric epidemic” have received aid in South Hwanghae Province so far. Enteric refers to the gastrointestinal tract and South Korean officials say it may be cholera or typhoid. The new outbreak, first reported on Thursday, puts further strain on the country as it battles a wave of COVID-19 infections. On Sunday state news agency KCNA detailed prevention efforts, including quarantines, “intensive screening for all residents,” and special treatment and monitoring of vulnerable people such as children and the elderly.

 

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