Month in brief

Japan’s killer heatwave

Temperatures in Japan have hit a record high amid renewed warnings to the public to stay safe. The deadly heatwave has seen temperatures soar to 41.1C (106F) in Kumagaya, near Tokyo, with other cities facing highs of 40C. A number of people are reported to have died as a result of the heat, though numbers vary widely from 15 to as high as 40, and10,000 have been hospitalised. Japan’s disaster management agency urged people to stay in air-conditioned spaces, drink water and rest to prevent heat exhaustion.

‘Nothing proved’ in Nawaz case

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawazhas insisted that efforts to ‘subtract’ former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will not succeed. Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed that the PML-N head – who is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence after being convicted in the Avenfield reference, which pertains to Sharif family’s properties in London, by the accountability court – is being subjected to unfair discrimination and that the prosecution failed to prove a single allegation against him.


Chinese drug recalled amid cancer fears

The Chinese manufacturer of a widely used blood pressure medication recalled the drug globally after US and European regulators warned it could be contaminated by a cancer-causing impurity.The European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued an initial alert in early Julyover supplies of the ingredient valsartan, produced by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Company, based in eastern China and listed on Shanghai’s stock exchange.The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a similar notice shortly afterwards.

Afghan blast claims civilian lives

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the gate of government building in the Afghan capital of Kabul, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 15 others in a July 15 attack during the evening rush hour. Kabul Police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said those killed in the attack were staff members of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, though no immediate claim of responsibility was made.

Thai cave boys hail ‘miracle’ rescue

Twelve Thai youngsters and their football coach, who were rescued after spending 18 days in a flooded cave, have been discharged from hospital. At a news conference held the same day, the boys, aged 11 to 16, called the moment they were found by British divers a ‘miracle’. They were safely pulled from the Tham Luang mountain cave complex near the border with Myanmar after a death-defying rescue operation that attracted global media attention.

Ban on HK independence party

Hong Kong is taking unprecedented steps to outlaw a pro-independence party, in the government’s strongest action yet against the movement promoting separation from China.Police delivered documents to the Hong Kong National party founder, Andy Chan Ho-tin, listing their recommendations that the group cease operations. This action marks the first time since the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule in 1997 that it has sought to ban a political organisation.

Equality in prayer

India’s Supreme Court said that a woman’s right to pray is equal to a man’s and is not dependent on legislation to permit it. The court made its observations during a hearing on whether prohibiting women from entering and praying in Kerala’s famous Sabarim Temple, on the basis of their gender, was discriminatory and a violation of the constitution. Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that a temple was a public place where everyone should be allowed to go, and the Kerala government supported the stand.

Revenge on crocs

Nearly 300 crocodiles were slaughtered in ‘revenge’ killings by a mob in Indonesia, following the funeral of a farmer who was killed by a crocodile in the Indonesian state of West Papua.The man, in his 40s, was attacked by one the reptiles while on a crocodile farm, and after his burial, villagers stormed the farm and killed all the creatures. Although the farm had a licence to breed some types of crocodiles, one of the conditions was that they did do not disturb or harm the local community.

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