BUENOS AIRES: Lawmakers in Pope Francis’ native Argentina vote Wednesday on legalizing abortion, which if passed, would make it the most populous country in South America to allow women to terminate pregnancies.
The debate has divided Argentinian society. Though it has shed some of its traditionalism by pioneering the legalization of gay marriage in Latin America, it remains strongly influenced by the Catholic Church.
The Chamber of Deputies is deeply divided over the issue and after weeks of bitter debate, the result of Wednesday night’s vote is far from certain. Of the Chamber’s 257 deputies, 109 are expected to vote in favor of the bill, 117 against, with the remaining 29 undecided lawmakers casting the decisive votes in the lower house.
“Today we see an almost a neck-and-neck vote, with a slight advantage for those against the bill,” said Martin Maquieyra of President Mauricio Macri’s ruling Cambiemos party, who will vote against. Pro- and anti-abortion groups have called for demonstrations outside Congress today.
As in most Latin American countries, abortion is illegal in Argentina, except in cases of rape or when the life or health of the woman is at risk. The new bill would decriminalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, and even afterward in cases where the fetus suffers from conditions not compatible with life outside the womb.
A piece published earlier: Experts here have concluded that more than two million babies die annually in the womb here in Pakistan. According to renowned gynecologist Dr. Sadia Ahsan Pal: “Unfortunately these are not backstreet abortions, these are numbers shared by Pakistan Demographic Health Survey and majority of them are married couples.” Answering to a query regarding family planning and societal outlaws, Dr. Sadia maintained that the ratio of contraceptive availability is merely 35% here. As a result, more and more duos opt for abortions. The President of National Committee of Mother and Child Health, Dr. Sadiqa Jaffrey explained that communal, moral and financial concerns are considered the basic triggers that pose severe threat to the life of expected ladies: “Women are not allowed to visit alone to the doctor, sometimes they don’t find transport and at other times they lack the financial means to travel.” As per the estimates, 300 out of 100,000 pregnant females have lost their lives owing to post hemorrhoid blooding, fits, and hypertension because of surplus and unintentional pregnancies. In this regard, senior gynecologist Professor Shabeen Naz held: “And last but not the least we should also advocate doctors and paramedics as well about advanced techniques of family planning because 80 percent deliveries have been done by midwives or local maternity centers in the country.” Experts here have further stressed that the administration should initiate more programs apropos family planning at once. Or else, the state of affairs will be poorer in the forthcoming years. (Published on 27th of October, 2016)
MAJU, Azerbaijan’s varsity sign MoU for academic cooperation
KARACHI: Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi (MAJU) and Khazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic cooperation with each other.
MAJU Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Dr. Kamran Azim and Rector, Khizar University, Dr.Hassan Niknafs have signed MoU.
This agreement is based on the reciprocity principle and expresses the genuine interest of both universities in exchanging students, scholars, academic information and dual degree programs, said a statement here on Sunday.
As per MoU, MAJU and Khazar University besides exchanging students and faculty/ staff will encourage the development and implementation of visiting scholars/tutors, cultural exchange, cooperative /collaborative research projects, cooperative (joint and double) degree and joint summer programs at respective campuses. The term of this agreement shall be five academic years that is 2018 to 2023.
Both Universities will cooperate for short term training programs/ projects and service – learning programs, cooperative and exchange lecturing plans and lecture content, conferences and seminars, academic supervision of graduate /post-graduate students.
As per MoU in the event of students exchange, specific arrangement for payment of related expenses, including round-trip travel, board, lodging, tuition and health insurance will be agreed upon by both universities in advance.
Chinese industrialists to invest $400 m in Sindh
HYDERABAD: The industrialists belonging to China’s Chongqing Federation of Industry and Commerce will invest $400 million in several trade and industrial projects in Hyderabad and other parts of Sindh.
The federation’s representative Zhang Yang informed a press conference at the office of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) here Sunday that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has already been signed in this regard. Yang informed that the MoU, which would last for 5 years, was signed between the Federation and HCCI in China in May this year.
He said under the MoU the investments would be made in steel, textile, and clothing, real estate, agriculture, tourism, education and training, municipal and solid waste disposal sectors. “We have declared Chongqing and Hyderabad as the friendly cities,” he told, adding that up to 34 industries and investors from Chongqing would make their investments in the joint ventures in Hyderabad and other cities of Sindh.
He told that the industrialists from the 2 cities had already maintained a promising cooperation in the industry. “We now want to further bolster the business ties in the steel, textile, real estate, and other sectors,” Yang said. He said Chongqing was a beautiful city in China and that it was home to the automobile and motorbike industry.
The Chinese businessmen said Hyderabad was a favorite place for investment where the Chinese industrialists intended to introduce advanced technology. He informed that Hyderabad was selected for the investment after HCCI submitted investment proposals to the federation. “This MoU is part of the CPEC as 34 Chinese companies will be making investments in various sectors,” former HCCI president Seth Goharullah said.
The HCCI’s vice president Ziauddin, who signed the MoU with his Chinese counterparts earlier in China, apprised that a formal agreement between the mayors of Chongqing and Hyderabad would be signed in October in Pakistan. He told that the Chinese delegations would visit Hyderabad and sign agreements with the local companies. According to him, a sub-office of the federation was also established in Hyderabad’s SITE area and it would also be inaugurated in October. The office bearers and members of HCCI were present on the occasion.
4 years of coalition strikes on Syria kill 3,300 civilians!
BEIRUT: More than 3,000 civilians have been killed in US-led coalition air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria since they began four years ago, a monitor said on Sunday.
The Washington-led alliance puts the toll at just over 1,000 civilians in both Syria and neighboring Iraq and says it does all it can to prevent civilian deaths. The coalition began bombing IS targets in Iraq in August 2014 after the jihadist group seized swathes of territory straddling the two countries, proclaiming an Islamic “caliphate”. The coalition extended its strikes to Syria on September 23, 2014. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said on Sunday those Syria strikes had since killed 3,331 civilians. The monitor relies on a network of sources inside Syria and tracks flight patterns, aircraft involved and ammunition used to determine who carries out raids.
“Among those killed are 826 children and 615 women,” said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman. The coalition says it takes every possible precaution to prevent civilian deaths. In its latest civilian casualty report published last month, the coalition said its strikes had unintentionally killed 1,061 civilians in both Iraq and Syria up until July 30, 2018. It is still assessing a further 216 reports of civilian casualties, some of them in strikes dating back to 2014. Its spokesman did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment on the discrepancy between its toll and that of the Observatory, or for a breakdown of civilian casualties in Syria. The coalition’s operations have largely wound down, with the jihadists ousted from all but tiny bits of territory in Syria. More than 360,000 people have been killed across Syria since the conflict broke out in 2011, nearly a third of them civilians, according to the Observatory.