Protesters among prisoners pardoned by Iran leader
BBC reported that Iran’s supreme leader has pardoned “tens of thousands” of prisoners, including many linked to anti-government protests.
Iran’s State media reports the pardons by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei came with conditions.
The pardons come on the eve of the anniversary of the Islamic revolution in 1979.
Demonstrations erupted last September following the death in custody of a woman held by Iran’s morality police.
Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested for allegedly wearing her hijab, or headscarf, “improperly” – in violation of Iran’s strict dress code for women.
Authorities have portrayed the protests – which are still continuing – as foreign-backed “riots” and at times have responded with lethal force.
Human rights groups say more than 500 demonstrators have been killed, including 70 minors, and around 20,000 have been arrested.
Mississippi tornado kills 24 and brings devastation to US state
BBC reported that Search and rescue efforts are under way after one of the deadliest tornadoes to have ever hit the US state of Mississippi.
At least 24 people have died following Friday night’s tornado, with more thought to be trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings. The twister caused devastation in several rural towns, tearing down trees and power lines.Several southern states are also braced for powerful storms.
The storm system which ripped through Mississippi produced a tornado that has caused catastrophic damage to communities across the state. The biggest twister obliterated dozens of buildings in several small towns, flipping cars on their sides and toppling power lines.
One of those small towns, Rolling Fork, located in Sharkey County in western Mississippi, has essentially been wiped out, according to its mayor.
Putin announces deal to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus
Russia has struck a deal with neighbouring Belarus to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory, President Vladimir Putin says.
Putin made the announcement on Saturday as tensions grow with the West over the Ukraine war and as some Russian commentators speculate about possible nuclear strikes.
The deal with Belarus would not violate nuclear nonproliferation agreements, Putin said, adding that the United States had stationed nuclear weapons in the territory of its European allies for decades.
“We agreed that we will do the same – without violating our obligations, I emphasize, without violating our international obligations on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons,” Putin said.
Putin told state television that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had long raised the issue of stationing tactical nuclear weapons in his country, which borders NATO member Poland.
Gandhi says disqualification ‘politically motivated’
The leader of Indian’s opposition Congress Party Rahul Gandhi has said his disqualification by parliament was politically motivated.
He was convicted by the court for 2019 comments about PM Narendra Modi’s surname at an election rally. The governing BJP says his expulsion conformed with parliamentary rules.
A 2013 Supreme Court order says that a lawmaker convicted in a crime and sentenced to two or more years in jail stands disqualified from the parliament with immediate effect.
Showers in Western, Sabaragamuwa and North-Western provinces and in Galle and Matara districts during the afternoon
Lanka to lend US$2.5bn to US and top-rated borrowers in 2023 under IMF deal: analysis
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