446

Nepal To Have New President On March 13

New Delhi: Nepal will hold presidential election on March 13 to elect the new president who will succeed the Himalayan nation's first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

Though the president's term is for five years, the election this time is being held after two-and-a-half years as the country is implementing full federalism under the new Constitution, bidding farewell to the old centralized political system.

The Election Commission announced the date for electing the country's third president after its officials held consultations with the government and various political parties.

402

Amnesty Snubs Donald Trump-Led 'Politics Of Hate'

New Delhi: The "politics of demonisation" provided fertile ground for human rights abuses in 2017, exemplified by the response of Europe and Donald Trump's US to the refugee-crisis, according to annual report by rights group Amnesty. 

The British-based group took particular aim at the US president's "transparently hateful" executive order banning entry to citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.

"Throughout 2017, millions across the world experienced the bitter fruits of a rising politics of demonisation," said the report, which was launched this year for the first time in the United States.

391

Poland Guilty Of Breaching Air Quality Norms: EU Court

New Delhi: The European Court of Justice on Thursday found Poland guilty of violating air quality norms and warned of financial penalties if Poland did not comply swiftly. 

The case was brought against Poland in December 2015 by the European Commission, which found that the daily limit for harmful air pollutants had been regularly breached in most parts of the country between 2007 and 2015.

The European Commission has also warned of legal action against nine other EU members, including Germany if they did not come up with concrete plans to rein in air pollution.

376

Pak Top Court Bars Nawaz Sharif From Heading His Party

New Delhi: Pakistan’s Supreme Court has declared former PM Nawaz Sharif ineligible to head his own party, PakistanMuslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and announced that all decisions taken by him as party president stood null and void.

The landmark judgment was another major blow to the ruling PML-N since Sharif’s disqualification as the country’s PM by the top court on July 28 last year in the Panama Papers case verdict, related to his family’s undeclared offshore assets and wealth.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) MianSaqibNisar said all acts, including issuance of Senate tickets by Nawaz Sharif, stood illegal. Polls for the upper house of parliament are scheduled to be held on March 3. “All steps taken, orders passed, directions given and documents issued, by Nawaz after the July 28 verdict will be deemed nullified,” the verdict said.

356

Palestinian Leader Abbas Calls For Mideast Peace Conference

New Delhi: Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas has pitched for an international conference to be held by mid-2018 to pave the way for recognition of Palestinian statehood as part of a wider Middle East peace process.

In a rare address to the UNSecurity Council, Abbas said he would step up efforts to achieve full UN membership for Palestine and urged countries that have yet to recognize it to do so.

"To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference," Abbas said.