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Iran leader Khamenei bans imports of US, British COVID-19 vaccines

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“If the Americans were able to produce a vaccine, they would not have such a coronavirus fiasco in their own country.”

Reuters

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Tehran, Jan 08: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday banned the government from importing new coronavirus vaccines from the United States and Britain.

“Imports of US and British vaccines into the country are banned. I have told this to officials, and I’m saying it publicly now,” Khamenei said in live televised speech.

“I have no confidence in them. Sometimes they want to test vaccines on other nations … If the Americans were able to produce a vaccine, they would not have such a coronavirus fiasco in their own country.”

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Iran, the country that has been worst hit by the novel coronavirus in the Middle East, launched human trials of its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine candidate late last month, saying it could help Iran defeat the pandemic despite US sanctions that affect its ability to import vaccines.

However, Khamenei praised Iran’s efforts to develop domestic vaccines but said Iran could obtain vaccines “from other reliable places.” He gave no details but China and Russia are both allies of Iran.

“I’m not optimistic about France either because of their history of infected blood,” Khamenei said, referring to the country’s contaminated blood scandal of the 1980s and 1990s.

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Dutch scientist predicts strong earthquake in Pakistan within 48 hours

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A huge earthquake in Pakistan is expected to strike within the next 48 hours, according to the Netherlands-based Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGEOS), which recently made news for its prediction.

Also Read: Our endeavour is to root out fear from common man’s heart and mind: Spl DG Swain

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The Dutch scientist who works for SSGEOS has a record of predicting earthquakes, notably foretelling a massive quake in Turkey earlier this year in which over 47,000 people lost their lives

In its recent prediction, the scientist reports a massive surge of electric activity along Chaman fault lines, sparking anticipation of a powerful earthquake in the next 48 hours.

The report claimed fluctuations of electric charge in the atmosphere near the sea level have been recorded, and region neighboring Pakistan, and Afghanistan could experience strong tremors in the next few days.

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It further said that these areas defined are only approximations and there is currently no reliable way to determine the exact locations.

Amid frenzy among people, Pakistan Metrological (Met) Department has not responded to the predictions and speculations about the earthquake.

In previous events, PMD dismissed such claims, saying there is no scientific basis for earthquake predictions.

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34 killed, 130 injured in ‘suicide blast’ near Eid Milad-un-Nabi procession in Balochistan

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In a blast that authorities believe to have been a suicide bombing that occurred Friday outside a mosque in Balochistan’s Mastung district, at least 34 people were killed, including a police officer, and more than 130 others were injured, Dawn.com reported.

Dr Saeed Mirwani, chief executive officer of Shaheed Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Raisani Memorial Hospital confirmed the casualties to Dawn.com, while City Station House Officer (SHO) Mohammad Javed Lehri said a police official was among the dead.

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Earlier, Mastung Assistant Commissioner (AC) Attahul Munim said 15 people were killed due to the explosion while more than 50 were injured.

He added that the explosion took place when people were gathering for an Eid-i-Miladun Nabi procession near Madina Masjid at Alfalah Road.

The Mastung AC stated that the blast took place by the car of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nawaz Gishkori who was to remain on the sidelines of the procession.

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Meanwhile, SHO Lehri said the explosion was a “suicide blast”.

Meanwhile, interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti strongly condemned the blast and expressed his grief at the loss of lives.

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Erica Robin becomes first ever Miss Universe Pakistan

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Erica Robin, a model from Karachi has been crowned “Miss Universe Pakistan 2023”, becoming the first-ever woman from the country to win the title.

Four other models from different parts of the country participated in the beauty pageant, including Hira Inam from Lahore, Jessical Wilson from Rawalpindi, Pakistani-American Malika Alvi from Pennsylvania, and Sabrina Wasim. Jessica Wilson, a 28-year-old cyber security engineer was named first runner-up while Hira Inam (24), Malyka Alvi (19), and Sabrina Wasim (26) were the rest of the finalists.

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Award-winning actress, mental health advocate, and former Miss International Kylie Verzosa from the Philippines was one of the distinguished panel of judges who picked the winner.

Robin will be the official representative of Pakistan at the Miss Universe pageant, scheduled to be held in El Salvador later this year. Pakistan will be sending five models to compete in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant. This landmark moment marks the first time Pakistan has ever been represented in the world’s most esteemed beauty competition.

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