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Trump administration considering legal immunity for Saudi Crown Prince

New delhi, Dec 23: The Trump administration is considering granting legal immunity to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) from a federal lawsuit in an alleged assassination plot. The lawsuit was registered against MBS by Saad Aljabri for allegedly sending a team of agents to kill him.


Aljabri was a former top aide in the Saudi Interior Ministry and is now residing in Canada. He was fired from his position in 2015 shortly before the then crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef was ousted from his rank by MBS to become the second in line to the throne. He had fled the country in 2017.


Aljabri in August publicly accused the crown prince of sending a team of agents to Canada to kill him.


In his lawsuit to the DC district court, he said that the same team of assassins that had murdered Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was sent to kill him as well.Granting legal immunity to MBS has dire consequences to other cases that are pending against him as well. Most notably the Khashoggi murder, a Saudi dissident who was working as a columnist for the Washington Post.


The CIA had already concluded in 2018 that MBS was involved in Khashoggi’s murder. The journalist had been very critical of the crown prince’s policies in the kingdom.


Granting immunity would mean that the crown prince would now have a legal basis to dismiss these cases against him.
The administration had sent questionnaires to Aljabri’s legal team to help high level officials there decide whether it should recommend immunity for the MBS to the Department of Justice. The questions ask for details about his allegations of the crown prince’s alleged plot to murder him.


Aljabri’s legal team had already been sent questionnaires this month by the administration. The questionnaire of which a copy was given to CNN from a source close to Aljabri says it was to ‘help high-level officials’ there decide whether to advise the Department of Justice in granting immunity to MBS.
It is uncertain if the administration would reach a decision before the end of Trump’s term, who has been publicly supportive of the crown prince, in January or even if it would grant immunity to MBS.


President-elect Joe Biden had been very critical of Saudi Arabia, and he had vowed to end support for Saudi’s war on Yemen.(Agencies)

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South Africa confirms third wave as COVID-19 cases continue to Soar

(Asian News Hub) – South Africa logged morethan 10,000 COVID-19 cases, which represents a 15.7% positivity testing rate.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), figures from the past seven days show that South Africa is now experiencing the third wave.

“South Africa technically entered the third wave today as the national seven-day moving average incidence of 5,959 cases, which now exceeds the new wave threshold, as defined by the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC),” the NICD said.

The majority of the new infections are from Gauteng 61%.

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Internet services restored in six districts of Balochistan after five years

(Asian News Hub) – The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has issued instructions to telecom operators to restore internet service in KP’s Khyber district and six districts of Balochistan after five years.

People will now be able to use the internet in the following areas.

Turbat city

Kech

Panjgur

Awaran

Washuk

Kalat

Awaran-Bela Road

The decision has been taken “in pursuance of the government’s vision of providing internet services across the country.”

The instructions were issued after the security situation in the areas was reviewed.

Cellular mobile operators have been told to upgrade their existing infrastructure from 2G to 3G/4G.

“The restoration of data services will help residents to fulfill their educational, health, commerce, and communication needs,” the PTA said in a press release.

Internet services will be restored in other areas in a “phased manner”, according to the authority.

People and students in Balochistan staged protests against the lack of internet coverage in the province. They claimed that they faced difficulties as their educational institutions shifted to online classes because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Bangladeshi woman cuts off attacker’s penis in Spain

The woman was arrested after admitting to the assault, alleging that her boss was attempting to rape her

(Asian News Hub) – Police in Spain arrested a Bangladeshi woman in her thirties for allegedly cutting off her boss’s genitals with a knife, which she said she had done as he was attempting to rape her, reported Daily Mail.

She told officers she was trying to defend herself against sexual assault at a bar in Sant Andreu de la Barca around midnight on Tuesday.

The sliced man was rushed to the hospital for an emergency operation to reattach his penis.
The woman is currently being held at a police station following her arrest.

Officers have initiated an investigation into her statements that she was acting in self-defense but have not eliminated the prospect of arresting the bar owner once he is conscious enough to be questioned.

According to police sources, the woman had told them she had been being harassed for months and was forced to have sex with her boss several times before she assaulted him with the knife during his latest alleged rape attempt.

A representative for the regional Mossos d’Esquadra police force confirmed on Tuesday that the woman was arrested for the crime of wounding in the early hours of the morning after she contacted police to explain what happened.

The man’s nationality has not been revealed yet, but he is believed to be from Bangladesh or Pakistan.

AGENCY

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