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Man lynched by villagers over alleged blasphemy

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A mob has lynched a man after he allegedly burnt pages of the Quran, the Muslim Holy Book

Dozens of people suspected of involvement in the lynching of Muhammad Mushtaq have been arrested with social media videos shot by villagers in Tulamba identifying more suspects. 

On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan, ordered action against the mob and any police officers who turned a blind eye to the killing.

He says that the lynching would be dealt with the full severity of the law. 

“We have zero tolerance for anyone taking the law into their own hands [he asked] Punjab officials for a report on action taken against perpetrators of the lynching… and against the police who failed their duty,”

He says.

According to police, the mob assembled at a mosque Saturday night where a mosques prayer leader’s son announced that he caught Mushtaq burning pages of the holy book. 

Mushtaq was found by police tied to a tree unconscious.

A police officer said that the villages that were armed with batons, axes and iron killed him and that the mob also attacked the police.

His family say he had mental disabilities and that he “wasn’t right” for the past decade.

Pakistan’s human rights minister, Shireen Mazari, says the Punjab government must take immediate action against those that watched it happen.

“Laws exist – the police must enforce these laws and now allow mobs to rule the day,”

she says.

Written by Savannah Pocock

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Ukraine expects Russian offensive this month

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Ukraine expects a possible major Russian offensive this month, but Kyiv has the reserves to hold back Moscow’s forces even though the latest Western military supplies will not all arrive in time

 
Russia could launch the new attack for ‘symbolic’ reasons around the first anniversary of its invasion, but its resources are not ready from a military point of view, Defence minister Oleksii Reznikov told a news conference.

“Despite everything, we expect a possible Russian offensive in February. This is only from the point of view of symbolism; it’s not logical from a military view. Because not all of their resources are ready. But they’re doing it anyway,” he said.

Russian forces have been making incremental advances in the east as Moscow tries to capture the embattled city of Bakhmut and revive its faltering invasion after a string of battlefield setbacks in the second half of last year.

Reznikov said the offensive would likely be launched in the east – where Russia is trying to capture all the heavily-industrialised Donbas region – or the south where it wants to widen its land corridor to the occupied peninsula of Crimea.

He estimated that Russia had 12,000 troops in Belarusian military bases, a number that would not be enough to launch a significant attack from Belarus into Ukraine’s north, reopening a new front.

The United States and other Western governments have pledged billions of dollars in new military assistance including tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to help Ukraine withstand a new attack as well as to help Kyiv launch a counteroffensive.

“Not all of the Western weaponry will arrive in time. But we are ready. We have created our resources and reserves, which we are able to deploy and with which we are able to hold back the attack,” Reznikov said.

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China describes spy balloon saga as ‘overreaction’

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China has strongly opposed the U.S. approach to the suspected spy balloon that was shot down – describing it as an overreaction

 
They also once again explained that this was a civilian airship that was simply monitoring the weather and was blown astray into US airspace.

These are claims that Washington have disputed.

It has been interesting to watch China’s reaction throughout this affair.

On Friday, when they first admitted that this balloon belonged to them, Beijing were apologetic and said they regretted how it had ended up in US territory.

It was an uncharacteristic approach from China who are usually more aggressive in these statements.

But as time passed, Beijing’s tone changed and they started to accuse U.S. politicians and the media of using this incident as a way of attacking China.

This affair has now renewed tensions between these two global superpowers, with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken cancelling his much-anticipated trip to Beijing at the last minute.

Although his visit was largely seen as symbolic – as opposed to making any substantive policy breakthroughs – it was still seen as another big step in repairing relations between China and the U.S.

Instead, face-to-face talks have been cancelled and it looks likely that it will now be some time before Secretary Blinken makes the journey to Beijing.

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Blaze burns down Buddhist temple in Australia

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A massive blaze burnt down a Buddhist temple in Australia

Footage shows fire engulfing Melbourne’s Bright Moon Buddhist Society Temple on Sunday evening.

More than 80 firefighters battled the blaze into the night as the fire quickly spread throughout the building.

It’s not yet known if anyone was inside when the fire started.

Roads in the surrounding area are closed as investigations into the cause of the fire are underway.

The temple is understood to draw thousands of visitors to the area each year.

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