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Father of Pakistan’s nuclear program dies at 85

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(Last Updated On: October 10, 2021)

Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani nuclear scientist who acknowledged being part of a nuclear proliferation ring, died on Sunday at the age of 85.

Khan was admitted to Khan Research Laboratories Hospital on August 26 after testing positive for COVID-19 and was later moved to a military hospital in Rawalpindi, Reuters reported.

“He was loved by our nation bec(ause) of his critical contribution in making us a nuclear weapon state,” Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Twitter. “For the people of Pakistan he was a national icon.”

Khan was at the centre of a global nuclear proliferation scandal in 2004 that involved sales of nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya. After a confession on national television, Khan was pardoned by then-president Pervez Musharraf but he remained under house arrest for years in his palatial Islamabad home.

In his confession, Khan said he acted alone without the knowledge of the state officials. However, he later said he had been scapegoated.

“He helped us develop nation-saving nuclear deterrence, and a grateful nation will never forget his services in this regard,” Pakistani President Arif Alvi said in a tweet.

Prime Minister Khan, who is not related to AQ Khan, said the scientist would be buried at Islamabad’s Faisal mosque, according to his wishes.

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Russia’s Lavrov says Finland, Sweden joining NATO makes ‘no big difference’

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2022)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Finland and Sweden joining NATO would probably make “not much difference” as the two countries had long participated in the alliance’s military drills, Reuters reported.

“Finland and Sweden, as well as other neutral countries, have been participating in NATO military exercises for many years,” Lavrov said.

“NATO takes their territory into account when planning military advances to the East. So in this sense there is probably not much difference. Let’s see how their territory is used in practice in the North Atlantic alliance.”

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Big cross-border tunnel found linking Tijuana to San Diego

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2022)

U.S. authorities on Monday announced the discovery of a major drug smuggling tunnel – running about the length of a six football fields – from Mexico to a warehouse in an industrial area in the U.S.

The secret passage from Tijuana to San Diego featured rail and ventilation systems, electricity and reinforced walls, The Associated Press reported.

It was discovered near San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing in an area where more than a dozen other sophisticated tunnels have been found in the last two decades.

U.S. authorities said it was unknown how long the tunnel had been operating and what amount of drugs, if any, got through undetected. They seized 799 kg of cocaine, 75 kg of meth and 1.6 kg of heroin in connection with the investigation, AP reported.

The tunnel is in one of the most fortified stretches of the border, illustrating the limitations of border walls. While considered effective against small, crudely built tunnels called “gopher holes,” walls are no match for more sophisticated passages that run deeper underground.

After staking out a home that was recently used to stash drugs, officials began making traffic stops of vehicles that had been there or at a warehouse near the border, turning up boxes full of cocaine, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in San Diego.

They raided the properties — finding no other drugs at the warehouse, but a tunnel opening carved into the cement floor, federal prosecutors said.

Authorities have found about 15 sophisticated tunnels on California’s border with Mexico since 2006.

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NATO’s Stoltenberg says Russia’s Ukraine offensive not going to plan

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Russia’s offensive in Ukraine is failing and its operation in the Donbass region has stalled, NATO’s secretary general said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

“Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow had planned. They failed to take Kyiv,” Jens Stoltenberg told reporters by video link. “They are pulling back from Kharkiv and their major offensive in Donbass has stalled.”

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