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April 4, 2018
- Saudi prince signals shift on Israel; king restates stand
- Saudi King Salman reaffirmed support for Palestinians to US President Donald Trump on April 3, 2018, one day after his son and heir apparent said Israelis had a `right` to a homeland.
- King Salman also emphasised the need to advance the Middle East peace process in a phone call with Trump, which came after Israeli forces killed 17 Pales tinians last week during a demonstration on its border with Gaza.
- Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, but behind the scenes their ties appear to have improved in recent years against what they see as a common Iranian threat.
- Netanyahu cancels UN deal on African migrants in shock reversal
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled an agreement with the UN refugee agency on April 3, 2018 aimed at avoiding forced deportations of thousands of African migrants only hours after having announced the deal himself.
- The stunning turnaround after Netanyahu announced the accord in a televised address on Monday afternoon came as he faced mounting pressure from his right-wing base. The UN refugee agency urged Netanyahu to reconsider.
- Putin tightens Turkey alliance with $20bn N-project, Syria talks
- President Vladimir Putin on April 3, 2018 embarked on a two day visit to Russia`s increasingly close partner Turkey to launch the construction of its first nuclear power plant and coordinate policy on the war in Syria.
- Putin was to hold an afternoon of talks with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the two leaders are joined on Wednesday by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for a summit devoted to Syria.
- Their meeting in Ankara opened with Putin and Erdogan, via video conference, launching construction of Turkey`s first nuclear power station in the Mediterranean Mersin region, a $20 billion massive project that will come online in five years.
- UN terror list has 139 Pakistan entries
- The United Nations Security Council`s consolidated list of terrorist individuals and entities includes 139 entries from Pakistan.
- The list updated and accessed on April 3, 2018 identifies all those individuals who have lived in Pakistan, operated from there or have been associated with groups that used Pakistani territory for carrying out their operations, from Al Qae da`s Ayman al-Zawahiri to known Lashl(ar-e-Taiba (LeT) activists.
- The first person on the list is Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden`s heir apparent. The UN data claims that he is still hiding somewhere `in the Afghanistan-Pakistanborder area`. Several of his lieutenants are also on the list who, the UN believes, are hiding with him.
- Pakistan, China fail to sign FTA
- Pakistan and China have failed to sign even official minutes on the conclusion of 10th rounds of parleys held at Islamabad for finalising 2nd phase of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) mainly because both sides could not sort out differences on granting incentives for boosting each other exports.
- No breakthrough could achieve in last 10t round of parleys, said one top official in background discussions on April 3, 2018.
- Pakistan make clean sweep in T20 series against WI
- Pakistan completed a clean sweep of the three-match Twenty20 series against the West Indies at the National Stadium Karchi on April 3, 2018 night while marking the successful return of international cricket to Karachi after nine years.
- The 3-0 victory also ensured that Pakistan retain their top position in the ICC rankings with a clear-cut difference of four points over second-placed Australia. Sarfraz Ahmed`s men chalked up their 17th win in 20 matches while becoming the first team to record sweep of a three-match series for the third time.
- Japan to provide $1.1m grant to support non-formal education in Sindh
- The government of Japan will provide a grant of $1.1 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) for supporting the non-formal education initiative and provide alternative education to out-of-school children and adolescents in Sindh.
- According to the Reform Support Unit (RSU) of Sindh’s School Education & Literacy Department (SELD), around 150 non-formal education centres will be established for 4,500 children and adolescents, 2,500 girls among them, in Ghotki and Khairpur districts.
- Israelis have ‘right’ to homeland: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince
- Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said in a published interview that Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land, another public sign of an apparent thawing in ties between the two countries.
- Asked if he believes the Jewish people have a right to a nation state in at least part of their ancestral homeland, Mohammad bin Salman was quoted by US magazine The Atlantic as saying: “I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations
- Google honours Nadia on her 53rd birth anniversary
- Google on April 3, 2018 dedicated its doodle to mark the 53rd birth anniversary of Pakistan’s pop queen singer Nadia Hassan.
- In the past Google had likewise paid tribute to Nusrat Fateh Ali khan, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Noor Jehan and numerous others
- ICJ concerned at lack of reforms in Pak legal system
- International Commission of Jurists April 3, 2018 expressed concerns that with less than a year left in the expiry of the extension given to military courts, no reforms in the legal system had been initiated yet.
- “Regrettably – though not unexpectedly – with less than a year left before the extension under the 23rd Constitutional Amendment is set to expire, no such reforms have taken place,” the ICJ said in a statement.
- The secret military trials of civilians charged with terrorism-related offences are a continuing breach of Pakistan’s international human rights obligations, the handout said.
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