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Gadhafi’s son announces candidacy for president of Libya

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(Last Updated On: November 15, 2021)

The son and one-time heir apparent of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi announced Sunday his candidacy for the country’s presidential election next month, Libya’s election agency said.

The Associated Press reported Seif al-Islam, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity related to the 2011 uprising, submitted his candidacy papers in the southern town of Sabha, 650 kilometers south of the capital of Tripoli, the High National Elections Commission said in a statement.

Gadhafi’s son was captured by fighters in the town of Zintan late in 2011, the year when a popular uprising, backed by NATO, toppled his father after more than 40 years in power. Moammar Gadhafi was killed in October 2011 amid the ensuing fighting that would turn into a civil war.

In a video shared by an election official, Seif al-Islam addressed the camera, saying that God will decide the right path for the country’s future. The 49-year old, who earned a PhD at the London School of Economics, wore a traditional Libyan robe, turban and spectacles. It was the first time in years that he appeared in public, AP reported.

The second-born son to the longtime dictator, he was seen as the reformist face of the Gadhafi regime before the 2011 uprising. He was released in June 2017 after more than five years of detention.

This July, he told The New York Times in an exclusive interview that he was considering a run for the country’s top office. His candidacy is likely to stir controversy across the divided country.

Libya is set to hold presidential elections on December 24, after years of U.N.-led attempts to usher in a more democratic future and bring the country’s war to an end. Following the overthrow and killing of Gadhafi, oil-rich Libya spent most of the last decade split between rival governments — one based in the capital, Tripoli, and the other in the eastern part of the country.

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Indonesia Semeru volcanic eruption kills 13; dozens injured

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Reuters
(Last Updated On: December 5, 2021)

The eruption of Indonesia’s Semeru volcano has killed at least 13 people and injured dozens, the disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said on Sunday, as search teams looked for victims in a landscape covered in deep layers of ash.

Semeru, the tallest mountain on Java island, threw up towers of ash and hot clouds on Saturday that blanketed nearby villages in East Java province and sent people fleeing in panic, Reuters reported.

The eruption severed a strategic bridge connecting two areas in the nearby district of Lumajang with the city of Malang and wrecked buildings, authorities said.

BNPB official Abdul Muhari said in a news release that 13 people had been killed. Ninety-eight were injured, including two pregnant women, and 902 have been evacuated, the statement said.

Most injuries were burns, authorities said.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo has ordered authorities to find and treat victims, the state secretary said.

Semeru had started emitting hot clouds and lava flows near its rivers recently, and the country’s volcanology center had warned people not to go near it since Wednesday, it said.

In 2010, an eruption of the Merapi volcano on Java island killed over 350 people and displaced 400,000.

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Pakistan receives $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia

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(Last Updated On: December 5, 2021)

Pakistan on Saturday received a $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia, the prime minister’s finance adviser said, as part of an economic support package.

The South Asian country has faced growing economic challenges, with high inflation, sliding forex reserves, a widening current account deficit and a depreciating currency, Reuters reported.

Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves stand at $22,498.8 million, based on central bank data.

Shaukat Tarin, finance adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan, said in a tweet: “I want to thank His Excellency Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the kind gesture.”

The loan from Saudi Arabia will be for one year at a 4% interest rate under the terms of the package, which was signed last month, Reuters reported.

“This is positive news … and will help bolster both the foreign exchange reserves and sentiments in the forex market,” Saad Hashemy, executive director at BMA Capital said.

The loan comes a week after the International Monetary Fund agreed with Pakistan on measures needed to revive a stalled $6 billion funding program.

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Uzbekistan’s Samarkand city named 2023 World Tourism Capital

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(Last Updated On: December 5, 2021)

Uzbekistan’s historic city of Samarkand was chosen as the 2023 World Tourism Capital at the 24th General Assembly of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Spain, Uzbekistan’s Tourism and Sports Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Samarkand will host the 25th General Assembly of the UNWTO, which will be a “historic event” as it marks the first time in history that the gathering will be held in Uzbekistan, read the statement.

The summit in Madrid was attended by a delegation led by Uzbekistan’s Tourism and Sports Minister Aziz Abdukhakimov, who is also the country’s deputy prime minister.

The opportunity to host a UN organization meeting for the first time is the result of the Uzbek government’s policies and efforts to develop tourism in the country, the statement added.

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