Death sentence of terrorist responsible for killing of journalist Daniel Pearl comutated to life

Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh, the terrorist convicted of the 2002 kidnapping and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl, had his death sentence commuted to a prison term of seven years by a Pakistani court on Thursday.

The Sindh high court delivered its ruling in response to appeals by Sheikh and three other men convicted in connection with the killing of the Wall Street Journal reporter in Karachi. The high court overturned the verdict of an anti-terrorism court.

Reacting to the ruling, US House foreign affairs committee tweeted, “Deeply concerned by Pakistan court’s overturning of convictions...It’s critical Pakistan demonstrate a real commitment to addressing its longstanding terrorism problem by holding those involved accountable.”


Lockdown of the first Covid-19 pandemic epicentre Wuhan delayed spread of the outbreak

 The lockdown of the first Covid-19 pandemic epicentre Wuhan city and the highest emergency response put in place in the rest of China delayed the spread of the outbreak and reduced case numbers by hundreds of thousands by February 19, a new study published this week said.

Drawing inferences from statistical and mathematical analyses of human mobility and transmission control measures, the study said “…control measures were strongly associated with the containment of Covid-19, potentially averting hundreds of thousands of cases by February 19, day 50 of the epidemic.”

The study published in the academic journal Science on Tuesday was conducted by 22 scientists from China, the US, and the UK.


Doctor visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin has himself been diagnosed with the virus

A doctor who gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a tour of Moscow’s main coronavirus hospital last week said on Tuesday he had himself been diagnosed with the virus. Putin visited the Kommunarka hospital last Tuesday where he chatted to the doctor, Denis Protsenko. Neither man was wearing protective equipment during their conversation, TV footage from the visit showed.

Protsenko, writing on Facebook said: “Yes, I have tested positive for coronavirus, but I feel pretty good. I’ve isolated myself in my office. I think the immunity I’ve developed this month is doing its job.”

The Kremlin said that Putin was being regularly tested for coronavirus and that “everything is okay,” the RIA news agency reported.

It has previously said that Putin is being protected from viruses and other illnesses “around the clock”.


Russia moves toward a lockdown to try and halt the spread of coronavirus

Russia moved toward a lockdown across the world’s largest country by area to try and halt the spread of coronavirus, following Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s order for residents to stay in their homes.

Heads of all Russia’s regions should adopt similar restrictions as those announced in the capital and surrounding areas, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said at a televised meeting with deputy premiers.

Moscow’s 12.7 million people were ordered to stay home starting Monday, with limited exceptions for emergencies, in the strictest measures yet imposed in a major Russian city. Confirmed infections in Moscow jumped overnight to 1,014 on Sunday and make up two-thirds of the country’s total.


United States refuses to pay for security protection for Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife

 President Donald Trump said that the United States would not pay for security protection for Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, who, according to media reports, have settled in Los Angeles.

Trump wrote on Twitter that “now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!” In January, the couple said they would step away from their royal duties.

There is no indication that either Prince Harry or the British government has asked the U.S. government to cover security costs, which some media reports have said run to millions a year. The British Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.