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Camp Merkel suffers historic setback in two regional elections

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(Stuttgart) The German conservatives, mired in a financial scandal and criticized for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, suffered a scathing electoral defeat on Sunday in two regional states six months away from legislative elections which will have to appoint Angela’s successor Merkel in the chancellery.

Chancellor’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has suffered an electoral “disaster”, says Die zeit, “A debacle” such as it shows that “it cannot continue like that”, even warns Der Spiegel.

In fact, in the regional states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, the conservative camp recorded the worst scores in its history, according to projections by ARD and ZDF channels around 10:30 p.m. local time.

The CDU won in Baden-Württemberg only 23.8% to 24.1% of the vote against 27% five years ago, while in Rhineland-Palatinate it reached 26.9% to 27.5%, against 31.8% in 2016.

The conservatives were certainly not the favorites in these two Länder led respectively by the Greens and the Social Democrats of the SPD, but they showed an ominous decline before the legislative elections of September 26.

The cascading revelations since the end of February around the so-called “mask affair” and growing criticism of the management of the health crisis have weakened the Chancellor’s party.

The CDU is going through “its most serious crisis” since the slush fund scandal which precipitated the fall of Helmut Kohl in the late 1990s, according to many commentators. This time, it is in particular suspicion of commissions of several hundred thousand euros collected by deputies in contracts for the purchase of masks, at the start of the epidemic, which tarnishes the image of the majority.

Greens and SPD in the lead

This scandal “heavily impacted” the result of these polls, admitted Sunday evening the secretary general of the CDU Paul Ziemiak while the party leader, Armin Laschet, did not plan to speak until Monday at noon.

The official promised “zero tolerance” in the face of the embezzlement of those “who got richer during the crisis [sanitaire] “.

The Greens, who are aiming for an entry into the federal government at the end of the legislative elections, on the contrary welcomed a “super start” of the electoral sequence marked by their large victory in Baden-Württemberg, a Land they lead. for a decade.

In this region, the heart of the automotive industry, the popular Winfried Kretschmann, 72, improved his score to 32.7%.

The coalition with the CDU, which he has led for five years, is sometimes seen as the laboratory for a possible national alliance following the federal elections.

In the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate, the CDU comes far behind the outgoing leader, Malu Dreyer (SPD, 36%).

The far right Alternative for Germany (AfD) suffered the most severe setback of all parties, peaking at around 8-9%.

Tired of restrictions

After 16 years in power, Angela Merkel could hope to leave a party moving confidently towards the elections, but the CDU and its Bavarian avatar CSU have recently fallen to 30% to 33% of voting intentions, their pre-pandemic level.

Two MPs, Georg Nüsslein (CSU) and Nikolas Löbel (CDU), had to leave their party on suspicion of having enriched themselves by serving as intermediaries with manufacturers in the purchase of anti-COVID-19 masks by the authorities.

Another conservative MP on Thursday resigned his mandate after being blamed for financial ties with Azerbaijan.

This defeat also weighs on the ambitions of Armin Laschet who must convince his people that he will be the best conservative candidate for the chancellery. Bavaria boss Markus Söder (CSU) is ahead of him in the polls.

The “mask affair” is going all the more badly as millions of Germans, a year after the start of the pandemic, are weary of the restrictions.

The difficulties of supplying vaccines against COVID-19, as in the rest of Europe, have only accentuated the discontent, against the backdrop of a rise in contamination in recent days.

The government’s strategy of gradually lifting restrictions through the use of massive tests is also hampered by difficulties in the supply of antigenic tests.

And the health authorities no longer hide their concern at the “beginning of a third wave”.

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18,000 people evacuated due to floods in Australia

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The situation is worsening due to the heavy rains on the east coast of Australia. Nearly 18,000 people stranded in floods in New South Wales have been evacuated and taken to safer places.

In the state capital Sydney and southeastern Queensland, the water level of rivers and dams has increased.

Officials have said that ‘this situation created for the first time in 50 years’ can persist for several weeks. The administration has asked people to take precautions.

The country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has offered financial assistance to those forced to leave home.

New South Wales premier Gladie Berejiklian told that no one has lost her life till late Monday. He said that “like circumstances, it is like a miracle”.

But there has been a huge loss in the affected areas. 25 million Australians live in these areas.

Berejiklian said that many of the communities that had been affected by the floods were affected by wildfires and drought in the previous summer.

He said, “I don’t know that in such a short time between an epidemic in the history of the state, such bad weather conditions have been created.”

Emergency services conducted at least 750 rescue operations. Which includes evacuating people trapped in cars. A family stranded in the flood was evacuated with the help of a helicopter.

Rescuers also rescued a family trapped with a newborn baby in a house off the western side of Sydney.

Australia’s Meteorological Department says that rainfall up to 900 mm in some areas is ‘extraordinary’.

Most concern was expressed for the lowlands of northern and western Sydney, the NSW Central Coast and the Hawkesbury Valley.

What happened so far?

New South Wales is devastated due to floods. 15 thousand people were evacuated from the state’s Mid-North Coast and 3 thousand people were evacuated from Sydney to safe places.

Roads have been cut due to swollen rivers and about 150 schools had to be closed on Monday.

Many animals have died, in flood affected areas, animals are seen floating in the water and the windows of the houses are full of water.

A young couple had a wedding on Sunday, but they saw their home in Sydney’s north on the same day in floods.

Flights have been canceled due to flooding on the runway of the airport, about 17 km from Sydney.

According to officials, a small tornado occurred in the western part of Sydney on Saturday, causing landslides and damage to homes.

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Germany Top virologist warns COVID rates to spike again

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Berlin: Germany’s top virologist Christian Drosten warns that the situation may once again deteriorate there. He says that once again the impact of the Kovid-19 epidemic in Germany can be seen as Christmas. Let me tell you that Dr. Drostston is one of the few experts in Germany whose words have an impact on the decisions of the government. In the beginning of the Kovid-19 epidemic and later also, the German government took steps to prevent it by taking advice from them. In this context, the importance of his statement has increased significantly.

They even say that the third wave of Kovid-19 is seen in Germany. For this, they have insisted on rapid vaccination. In response to questions raised on the AstraZeneca vaccine, Dr. Drostan has said that the formation of blood clots is a concern among those taking the vaccine, which should be taken seriously.

Doctor Drostan says that the B-117 variant of the Kovid-19 could hit the country hard. It is necessary to rein this soon. Due to this, cases of corona virus infection are increasing rapidly in the country and this can be a alarm bell. According to him, the first case of this variant was encountered in Britain and it was difficult to prevent it. In view of the increasing cases in Germany, he has warned the government that in the wake of the Kovid-19 cases, there may be a Christmas-like situation in the country. According to him, there was a tremendous increase in cases in Germany after Easter last year.

The online edition of the German newspaper Dieche Welle notes that Drosten of Berlin-based Charity University Hospital has played an important role in tracking and tracing cases of Kovid-19 in the past. He has said that cases of this variant of Britain have increased threefold in Germany. He has said on the basis of various research that this new variant of the virus that came from Britain is more dangerous as well as more dangerous. According to the figures of Germany, on Wednesday there are 13435 new cases there and their number has reached 2594764. At the same time 73905 have died in Germany.

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New twist in the case of forced conversion of Hindu girl in Pakistan

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A court in Sindh province in Pakistan has sent a Hindu girl to a child protection center in the case of alleged forcible conversion.

The girl has said in her statement in front of the court that she has changed her religion without any pressure from her will. On the other hand, the girl’s father alleges that some people took her (girl) away, after which she has been forced to convert.

The girl was produced on Wednesday in the court of Civil Judge Munavvar Pirzada of Tangwani, Tehsil, Kashmarkot, North Sindh with police protection from the shelter home, where the court recorded the girl’s statement.

The girl says that she has changed her religion by reaching the Dargah Bharchondi on her own and now her name is Umme Hina. The girl has also said in her statement that there was no pressure on her to change religion.

Advocate Abdul Ghani Bijrani, on behalf of the girl’s parents, requested the court that the girl is a minor. Advocate Abdul Ghani has also requested the court to set up a medical board to find out whether the girl has been raped.

Remember that Sindh is prohibited from marrying under 18 years of age. If someone marries under the age of 18 or helps in getting married, a case can be filed against him.

Advocate Abdul Ghani Bijrani has alleged that the Nikahnama (marriage certificate) is not being presented due to the Sindh Child Marriage Restaurant Act (Prevention of Child Marriage Act). Therefore, they have requested the formation of a medical board.

A written request also states that the matter should be transferred to the Anti-Terrorism Court. According to the lawyer of this case, Abdul Ghani Bijrani, the crime of kidnapping of minors comes under Section 364 of the ATA. Therefore, by including it in the FIR, the case should be conducted in an anti-terrorism court.

The lawyer also said that the girl cannot live with non-maharams (people from whom the curtain is necessary). Therefore, she should be handed over to her parents or she should be transferred to the children’s shelter home, after which the court has ordered the girl to be shifted to Sukkur shelter home.

Advocate Saeed Ahmed Bijrani appeared on behalf of Pir of Bharchondi, who later told reporters that the court met the girl and her parents in private, after which the statement was recorded. He has claimed that the girl said that she wants to go to Pir of Bharondi, so that she can continue her Islamic education.

According to advocate Saeed Ahmed, he has also made the same request that the girl be sent to the Dargah Bharchandi. Because it is an ‘important Islamic institution’. But the court has ordered that the girl will be sent to the child protection center till the police investigation is completed.

‘Kidnapped in white car’

The girl’s father Takht Mal had lodged an FIR with the Tangwani police station that at 4 pm on March 9, a white colored car stopped outside his house, out of which five others including Mushtaq, Bhoral came out. He had a pistol and scared everyone so that no one would protest, they would take the girl and marry her to Mushtaq.

According to the FIR, Mushtaq “grabbed the 13-year-old girl by her arm and took her along and rode in the car and left”. The father suspects that his daughter has been kidnapped for marriage.

After this case, a video went viral on social media. In which the Pir of Dargah Bharchandi is sitting on the bed and the girl is sitting on the ground and people are standing around, all of whom are men. Pir recites the verse and the girl repeats them in a slow voice, then Pir rotates the note over the girl and hands it to her disciples.

The girl was produced in court on Tuesday along with Pir’s supporters of Bharchandi without the knowledge of her parents. Due to the absence of the plaintiff’s parents, the court adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.

The girl was kept in a decaying safe house. Where the video of the presence of devotees of Dargah Bharchandi and bringing food also went viral on social media. According to reports, when the girl’s father and mother went there to meet, they were allegedly not allowed to meet.

These videos are being severely criticized. Pakistan People’s Party leader Sukhdev said that the girl has been forced to convert. She further said that she is personally looking into the matter and is in touch with Shehla Raza, Minister of State in the Ministry of Women Development.

Apart from the Hindu community in Kandkot, political parties have also protested against the alleged abduction and conversion of the girl.

After the debate on social media and news in the media, the incident of fire in the girl’s house has also come to light three days ago. Speaking to the BBC, the girl’s cousin Shehzad alleged that around four o’clock in the night, four people came, threatening the girl’s father to keep quiet and not to contact the media.

According to Shahzad, he set fire to the dry grass kept there, due to which the house was also engulfed in flames. According to Shahzad, this was his uncle’s only home, which was rented.

According to Shahzad, his uncle lives by selling tea biscuits. SSP Amjad Sheikh told the BBC that the arson claim is not true. According to him, the digchi was kept on fire. Due to which some things were burnt due to fire and now a police post has also been built there. Shahzad said that after this incident a police post was established there.

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