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Egypt: former PM withdraws from Presidential contest

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Egypt: former PM withdraws from Presidential contest

The second term for Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as Egyptian President has been ensured by forcing former PM Ahmed Shafik to withdraw from Presidential elections to be held between January to May this year.

According to New York Times report from Cairo, the strongest challenger against Sisi- former PM Ahmed Shafik withdrew from the presidential race on Sunday, with his lawyer saying “the government had forced him to drop our”.

Shafik had narrowly lost the country’s only free presidential election in 2012, when Mohammad Morsi  of Muslim Brotherhood was declared elected. Shafik was recently deported to Egypt from UAE within a few days of announcement of his intention to contest the Presidential elections in his country.

On Sunday, Shafik posted an Arabic message on twitter saying, “After reviewing the situation, I realized I am not the best person to manage state affairs in the coming period.”

Egypt: former PM withdraws from Presidential contest

Shafik’s lawyer, who did not like to be named, said that Egyptian government ha coerced him into withdrawing by ‘threatening to investigate old corruption charges against him.”

New York Times reports that lawyer’s account was broadly confirmed by audio recordings of telephone calls by an Egyptian intelligence officer, obtained by the newspaper.

In late November last year, UAE prevented Ahmed Shafik to travel back to Egypt. He, along with his family were given refuge in UAE for last several years. Shafik had claimed that he was prevented from leaving UAE after he announced his intention of contesting the presidential elections.

On December 3, UAE suddenly sent Shafik by a private unmarked aircraft to Cairo. However, the Egyptian leader denied of his deportation. He was taken to undisclosed location after arriving in Cairo. The Egyptian leader was about to leave for Paris on that day.

According to Cairo based Ahram online, Lasheen Ibrahim, the head of National Election Authority (NEA) has, on Monday, announced that voting in the upcoming presidential elections will begin in March. The whole exercise will take place between late January 20 to May 1, the day when new President’s name will be announced.

Ahmed Shafik was a senior commander in the Egyptian Air Force and later served as Prime Minister from 29 January 2011 to 3 March 2011. He was appointed as PM by President Hosni Mubarak in response to the 2011 revolution making him the last Pm to serve under Mubarak’s administration.

The incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi  staged a successful military coup  removing Mohammad Morsi in 2014. He was Defence Minister in the MOrsi government.

Saudi Arabia extended huge financial support to Sisi for stabilising the situation after he took over the government. Former President Mohammad Morsi along with his hundreds of supporters was sent to jail. Sisi is considered to be close to US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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Bear takes 400 selfies with a sensory camera in USA’s Colorado, Twitter user amused

According to reports, the OSMP authorities had installed nine cameras to cover and click images of the wildlife land which is situated and spread out across 46,000 acres.

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The notion of clicking selfies has transgressed and gone beyond species as an amusing story has come to light from USA’s Colorado’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) where a bear hijacked a sensory camera and took 400 selfies. According to reports, the officials of Space and Mountain parks in Colorado had installed a camera in order to shoot the wildlife activities.

It was reported that when the officials took out the snaps that the sensory camera had clicked, they learnt that 580 images were clicked and out of the 580 images, the 400 of the images were selfies taken by a bear.

According to reports, the OSMP authorities had installed nine cameras to cover and click images of the wildlife land which is situated and spread out across 46,000 acres. The sensory cameras work on motion sensing and when an animal steps in the frame, the camera automatically captures the pictures of the subject that is in front of it.

The cameras also have features of taking pictures at night by using infrared light which cause less disruption to the animals who can get irritated by the flash.

The Tweet shows the images of the bear posing from all angles as it, for a moment, seems to be a model that is accustomed to pose for pictures.

See Tweet here:

Twitter reactions

After the tweet showing the selfies of the bear surfaced, many users came forward to add their take on the incident as one user wrote and said this pose by the bear looks to be inspired from the film Lolita.

One user wrote and praised the posing skills of the bear as the user wrote and said that the bear looks good and could be a professional model. Another user also amusingly added and wrote that they used to be as handsome as the bear a while ago. The user also wrote and said that nature is the champ.

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US intervention prevented India-Pakistan nuclear war post 2019 Balakot strike: Mike Pompeo

A timely intervention by the Trump administration prevented a potential nuclear war between India and Pakistan after the 2019 airstrikes, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has claimed in his new book.

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former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo

A timely intervention by the Trump administration prevented a potential nuclear war between India and Pakistan after the 2019 airstrikes, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has claimed in his new book.

In his book, “Never Give an Inch”, a memoir of his time as a top diplomat in Donald Trump regime and earlier as the CIA chief, Pompeo writes that the world doesn’t properly know how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to spilling over into a nuclear war in February 2019.

The Indian Air Force on February 26, 2019 launched targeted airstrikes inside Pakistan targeting terrorist training camps of terror outfit of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

India’s response came after 41 CRPF men were killed in a suicide bombing in Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14, 2019.

India shot down an F-16 during an aerial combat in which an Indian warplane was shot down by Pakistan and the pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured.

Pompeo, seen by many as a potential future presidential contender, reveals that he was in Hanoi for a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, when he woke up to an urgent call from a senior Indian official.

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The official told Pompeo that he believed that Pakistan was prepping their nuclear weapons for a strike and India was preparing its own response.

Pompeo says he told the official to give the US time to sort things out and eventually US diplomats managed to convince the arch rivals that neither of them was going for the nuclear option, thus deescalating the situation.

The former Trump diplomat in his book says he believes that Pakistan “probably enabled” the Kashmir attack. Pompeo says he spoke to the Pakistan’s “actual leader” then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, alluding to the weakness of civilian governments in the country.

Pompeo says that no other nation could have done what the US did that night to avoid “a horrible outcome.”

Pompeo had publicly defended India’s right to act during his stint as US secretary of state.

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India invites Pak foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto to SCO meet

India has reportedly invited Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, to attend in the foreign ministers’ and chief justices’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

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Pak foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto

India has reportedly invited Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, to attend in the foreign ministers’ and chief justices’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

As per reports, India, who was appointed to chair the regional grouping in September 2022, has sent the invitations to Bhutto and Bandial through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

The invites come as a surprise to many as bilateral ties between the two subcontinental neighbors are going through a rough patch in recent times.

India is set to host key ministerial meeting summit in Goa in the first week of May of the nine-member Asian grouping which also consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and its new member Iran, which will attend its first SCO meeting as a full member.

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The last meeting of the SCO was held in Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

Pakistan has yet to respond to the invite and if Bilawal Bhutto accepts, it will be the first such visit from a Pakistani foreign minister in nearly a decade since Hina Rabbani Khar paid a visit to India in 2011.

India-Pakistan ties have been at an all-time low since 2019 when the Centre abolished Article 370 which formerly bestowed special status upon the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad is seeking its restoration and considers the Kashmir issue, a burning point between the two nations.

Making matters worse, last month, Bilawal Bhutto sparked a row when he called PM Modi the “butcher of Gujarat”.

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