Eruption of Eurasia’s tallest active volcano sends ash columns above a Russian peninsula

Eruption of Eurasia’s tallest active volcano sends ash columns above a Russian peninsula
The Klyuchevskoy volcano erupts in Russia's northern Kamchatka Peninsula, Russian Far East, on Oct. 29, 2023. Huge ash columns erupted from Eurasia's tallest active volcano on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, forcing authorities to close schools in two towns in the region. (AP Photo/Yuri Demyanchuk)
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Updated 02 November 2023
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Eruption of Eurasia’s tallest active volcano sends ash columns above a Russian peninsula

Eruption of Eurasia’s tallest active volcano sends ash columns above a Russian peninsula

MOSCOW: Huge ash columns erupted from Eurasia’s tallest active volcano Wednesday, forcing authorities to close schools in two towns on Russia’s sparsely populated Kamchatka Peninsula.
The eruptions from the Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano sent ash as high as 13 kilometers (8 miles) above sea level, officials said.
There were no reports of injuries, but officials ordered schools in Ust-Kamchatsk and Klyuchy closed as a precaution. Each town has a population of about 5,000. Klyuchy is located about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the volcano and Ust-Kamchatsk 50 kilometers (30 miles) away.
The 4,650-meter (15,255-foot) stratovolcano has been active in recent years and released lava in June.
The Kamchatka Peninsula, which extends into the Pacific Ocean about 6,700 kilometers (4,100 miles) east of Moscow, is noted for its array of active and dormant volcanoes, geysers and geothermal springs.

 

 


PSL 2024: In-form Peshawar Zalmi lock horns with Islamabad United today

PSL 2024: In-form Peshawar Zalmi lock horns with Islamabad United today
Updated 8 min 43 sec ago
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PSL 2024: In-form Peshawar Zalmi lock horns with Islamabad United today

PSL 2024: In-form Peshawar Zalmi lock horns with Islamabad United today
  • Peshawar Zalmi have won two matches on the trot against Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars
  • United lost their last two matches and have just one victory from the three matches they have played

ISLAMABAD: After two wins on the trot, Peshawar Zalmi will be eyeing a victory over former two-time Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions Islamabad United when the two teams lock horns at the Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore today, Monday. 

After a dismal start to the tournament which saw them lose to the Quetta Gladiators and Karachi Kings, Zalmi defeated table-toppers Multan Sultans by five runs in a thrilling contest last Friday. Skipper Babar Azam’s side won again on Sunday night, beating defending champions Lahore Qalandars by eight runs to ensure their second win of the tournament. 

United began their PSL 2024 on a high, crushing the Qalandars by eight wickets before losing to the Sultans and the Gladiators last week. After losing two matches on the trot, United will be eyeing a comeback on Monday against Zalmi to improve their number five position on the PSL points table. 

“Your #Sherus roar again! Tomorrow, we will be back in action against Peshawar Zalmi,” United wrote on social media platform X on Sunday. 

While United bowlers Naseem Shah, Tymal Mills and Ubaid Shah have shown glimpse of brilliance this month, the team would require more of them if it needs to qualify for the playoffs this PSL. Skipper Shadab Khan has been consistent as an all-rounder so far along with explosive batter Salman Agha. 

Zalmi’s formidable opening pair Azam and Saim Ayub found form during their fixture against the Qalandars on Sunday night, putting up an impressive partnership of 136 runs. Ayub scored 88 runs while Azam narrowly missed out on yet another PSL fifty after he was caught on 48. 

The match is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.

Squads:

Islamabad United

Shadab Khan, Naseem Shah, Imad Wasim, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Alex Hales, Colin Munro, Rumman Raees, Tymal Mills, Matthew Forde, Salman Agha, Qasim Akram, Shahab Khan, Hunain Shah, Ubaid Shah, Shamyl Hussain, Tom Curran, Jordan Cox, Haider Ali, Obed McCoy

Peshawar Zalmi

Babar Azam, Rovman Powell, Saim Ayub, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Mohammad Haris, Aamir Jamal, Khurram Shahzad, Haseebullah Khan , Asif Ali, Naveen-ul-Haq, Umair Afridi, Dan Mousley, Gus Atkinson, Mohammad Zeeshan, Waqar Salamkheil, Mehran Mumtaz, Noor Ahmad Gus Atkinson, Salman Irshad, Arif Yaqoob, Shamar Joseph, Arshad Iqbal, Luke Wood, Sufiyan Muqeem


Israeli military proposes ‘plan for evacuating’ Gaza civilians

Israeli military proposes ‘plan for evacuating’ Gaza civilians
Updated 11 min 59 sec ago
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Israeli military proposes ‘plan for evacuating’ Gaza civilians

Israeli military proposes ‘plan for evacuating’ Gaza civilians

GAZA STRIP: Israel’s military proposed a plan for evacuating civilians from the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Monday, after he said a ground invasion of the Palestinian territory’s southern city Rafah was necessary for “total victory.”
Foreign governments and aid organizations have repeatedly expressed fears that such an operation will inflict mass civilian casualties.
More than 1.4 million Palestinians — most of them displaced from elsewhere — have converged on the last Gazan city untouched by Israel’s ground troops.
It is also the entry point for desperately needed aid, brought in via neighboring Egypt.
Israel’s military “presented the War Cabinet with a plan for evacuating the population from areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip, and with the upcoming operational plan,” a statement in Hebrew from Netayahu’s office said Monday.
The statement did not give any details about how or where the civilians would be moved.
The announcement comes after Egyptian, Qatari and US “experts” met in Doha for talks also attended by Israeli and Hamas representatives, state-linked Egyptian media reported, the latest effort to secure a truce before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Israel’s ally the United States said ongoing mediation efforts produced “an understanding” toward a ceasefire and hostage release, while a Hamas source said the group insisted on the withdrawal of Israeli forces.
But Netanyahu — who has dismissed the withdrawal demand as “delusional” — said a ground invasion of Rafah would put Israel within weeks of “total victory” over Hamas, whose October 7 attack triggered the war.
“If we have a (truce) deal, it will be delayed somewhat, but it will happen,” he said of the ground invasion in an interview with CBS Sunday.
“It has to be done because total victory is our goal and total victory is within reach — not months away, weeks away, once we begin the operation.”
Amid a spiralling humanitarian crisis, the main UN aid agency for Palestinians urged political action to avert famine in Gaza.
Dire food shortages in northern Gaza are “a man-made disaster” that can be mitigated, said Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
“Famine can still be avoided through genuine political will to grant access and protection to meaningful assistance.”
The UN has said it faces restrictions, particularly on aid deliveries to northern Gaza.

DEATH TOLL MOUNTS
Nearly five months into the war, desperate families in Gaza’s north have been forced to scavenge for something to eat.
“We have no food or drink for ourselves or our children,” Omar Al-Kahlout told AFP, as he waited near Gaza City for aid trucks to arrive.
“We are trapped in the north and there is no aid reaching us — the situation is extremely difficult.”
Hundreds of Palestinians headed south whichever way they could, walking down garbage-strewn roads between the blackened shells of bombed-out buildings, said an AFP correspondent.
Israeli forces continued striking targets across the Palestinian territory and battling militants in heavy urban combat centered on the southern city of Khan Yunis, near Rafah.
The Israeli military campaign has killed at least 29,692 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.
The war broke out after Hamas’s unprecedented attack, which killed about 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official figures.

CEASEFIRE TALKS
Militants also took about 250 Israeli and foreign hostages, 130 of whom remain in Gaza, including 31 presumed dead, according to Israel.
Israel’s army confirmed Sunday the death of soldier Oz Daniel, 19, whose “body is still held captive by Hamas,” according to the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, which said he was killed on the day of the attack.
Mediators have voiced hope that a temporary truce and a hostage-prisoner exchange can be secured before the start of Ramadan on March 10 or 11, depending on the lunar calendar.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned fighting during the holy month “will increase the threat of expanding the conflict,” according to a royal statement.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, whose country hosts Hamas leaders and had helped broker a one-week truce in November, is due in Paris this week, the French presidency said.
Media reports suggest the warring parties are weighing a six-week halt to fighting and the initial exchange of dozens of female, underage and ill hostages for several hundred Palestinian detainees held by Israel.
Across from overcrowded Rafah, neighboring Egypt has kept its border closed, saying it will not help facilitate any operation to push Palestinians out of Gaza.
But satellite images show it has built a walled enclosure next to Gaza, in an apparent effort to brace for the possible arrival of large numbers of refugees.
Inside Israel, pressure has grown on Netanyahu from families of hostages demanding swifter action, and resurgent anti-government protests.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said there would be no let-up in action against Hamas’s powerful Lebanese ally Hezbollah, whose militants have traded near-daily fire with Israeli forces since early October.
Both Hamas and Hezbollah are backed by Israel’s enemy Iran.
“If anyone thinks that when we reach a deal (with Hamas)... it will ease what is happening here — they are wrong,” he said.


Yemen’s Houthis ballistic missile misses US tanker Torm Thor

Yemen’s Houthis ballistic missile misses US tanker Torm Thor
Updated 45 min 37 sec ago
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Yemen’s Houthis ballistic missile misses US tanker Torm Thor

Yemen’s Houthis ballistic missile misses US tanker Torm Thor
  • The missile impacted the water causing no damage nor injuries

CAIRO: The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said early on Monday that Yemen’s Houthis launched one anti-ship ballistic missile likely targeting the MV Torm Thor, but missed the US-flagged, owned and operated oil tanker, in the Gulf of Aden on Feb. 24.
The missile impacted the water causing no damage nor injuries, CENTCOM added in a post on X.


The Iran-aligned group said on Sunday that they targeted the tanker, as the militants continue to attack shipping lanes in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.
The US military also shot down in “self-defense” two one-way unmanned aerial attack vehicles over the southern Red Sea on Sunday, said CENTCOM.
The Houthis, who control the most populous parts of Yemen, have launched exploding drones and missiles at commercial vessels since Nov. 19 as a protest against Israel’s military operations in Gaza.
The turmoil from Israel’s war with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has spilled over to some extent into other parts of the Middle East. Apart from the Houthi attacks on vital shipping lanes, Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group has traded fire with Israel along the Israel-Lebanon border and Iraqi militia have attacked bases that host US forces.

 


Key Karachi party says has decided to be part of upcoming Pakistani cabinet

Key Karachi party says has decided to be part of upcoming Pakistani cabinet
Updated 59 min 39 sec ago
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Key Karachi party says has decided to be part of upcoming Pakistani cabinet

Key Karachi party says has decided to be part of upcoming Pakistani cabinet
  • Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan bagged 17 National Assembly seats in the inconclusive February 8 polls 
  • “No deadlock” in talks with ex-PM Sharif’s party on government formation, confirms MQM-P leader Mustafa Kamal

ISLAMABAD: A senior member of the Karachi-based political party Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) this week clarified it would be part of the federal cabinet, confirming that there was no “deadlock” with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s party on talks related to forming the next government. 

The MQM-P emerged as the third largest political party in the country after securing 17 National Assembly seats in the inconclusive Feb. 8 elections. While independent candidates backed by former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party form the largest group in the parliament after winning over 90 seats, they cannot form the government on their own as they contested the polls as independents and not members of the party. 

Ex-PM Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) bagged 75 and 54 seats respectively. Both announced earlier this month they would join hands to form a coalition government by jointly supporting ex-PM Sharif’s younger brother, Shehbaz Sharif, as their candidate for prime minister and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari for president. 

“We have decided to support the government and we have agreed that we will be part of the government,” Kamal told Geo News on Sunday night. “We will also take ministries and governorship.”

Kamal said the MQM-P wanted to head certain departments and ministries through which it could serve people in its constituencies and in the southern Sindh province. He rejected reports there was a deadlock between the PML-N and the MQM-P on the power-sharing formula. 

“There is no deadlock [between the MQM-P and the PML-N],” Kamal said. “Our last meeting was a great one.”

The formation of the next government is expected to end political uncertainty, which has shrouded Pakistan since April 2022 when ex-PM Khan was ousted from office via a parliamentary vote. 

Pakistan is facing an economic crisis, with dwindling foreign currency reserves that will be further strained by a $1 billion bond payment due in two months, while its $3 billion funding program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expires on April 12.

A new government is expected to quickly take necessary steps on various economic issues, for instance regarding the governance of state-owned enterprises to complete the last remaining review of the current $3 billion IMF Standby Arrangement — a bridge loan that helped pull the country back from the brink of default.


Anti-Muslim hate speech soars in India, research group says

Anti-Muslim hate speech soars in India, research group says
Updated 26 February 2024
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Anti-Muslim hate speech soars in India, research group says

Anti-Muslim hate speech soars in India, research group says
  • Research group ‘India Hate Lab’ documents 668 hate speech incidents targeting Muslims in 2023
  • Rights groups have alleged mistreatment of Muslims under Modi, India’s prime minister since 2014

Anti-Muslim hate speech in India rose by 62 percent in the second half of 2023 compared to the first six months of the year, a Washington-based research group said on Monday, adding the Israel-Gaza war played a key role in the last three months.

India Hate Lab documented 668 hate speech incidents targeting Muslims in 2023, 255 of which occurred in the first half of the year while 413 took place in the last six months of 2023, the research group said in a report released Monday.

About 75 percent, or 498, of those incidents took place in states governed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the report. The states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh accounted for the most hate speech.

Between Oct. 7 — when Palestinian group Hamas attacked Israel, sparking the conflict in the Gaza Strip as Israel retaliated — and Dec. 31, there were 41 incidents of hate speech against Indian Muslims that mentioned the war, the report added. It accounted for about 20 percent of hate speech in the last three months of 2023.

The research group said it used the United Nations’ definition of hate speech — prejudiced or discriminatory language toward an individual or group based on attributes including religion, ethnicity, nationality, race or gender.

Rights groups have alleged mistreatment of Muslims under Modi, who became prime minister in 2014 and is widely expected to retain power after the 2024 elections.

They point to a 2019 citizenship law that the UN human rights office called “fundamentally discriminatory;” an anti-conversion legislation that challenges the constitutionally protected right to freedom of belief; and the 2019 revoking of Muslim majority Kashmir’s special status.

There has also been demolition of Muslim properties in the name of removing illegal construction and a ban on wearing the hijab in classrooms in Karnataka when the BJP was in power in that state.

Modi’s government denies the presence of minority abuse and says its policies aim to benefit all Indians. The Indian embassy in Washington and India’s foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

India Hate Lab said it tracked online activity of Hindu nationalist groups, verified videos of hate speech posted on social media and compiled data of isolated incidents reported by Indian media.