Islamabad, Jul 26 (AP/UNB) — Vote counting in an election marred by allegations of fraud and militant violence has been tediously slow, yet from the outset cricket star Imran Khan and his Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have maintained a commanding lead.
Election officials say it will be Thursday evening local time before an official count confirms Pakistan's next government. But before even half the votes were counted, Khan's leading rival, Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League, the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, rejected the vote, generating fears that disgruntled losers could delay the formation of the next government.
The winner will face a crumbling economy and bloodshed by militants. More than 11,000 candidates vied for 270 seats in the National Assembly, and 577 seats in four provincial assemblies.
Beijing, Jul 26 (AP/UNB) — A fire or possible explosion appears to have taken place outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Thursday. A woman was detained after spraying gasoline on herself, according to official media.
Photos posted on Twitter showed a large amount of smoke and police vehicles surrounding the vast structure in northeastern Beijing.
Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment and an embassy spokesman said he was still collecting information.
The ruling Communist Party newspaper Global Times said police "took away a woman spraying gasoline on herself in suspected attempt at self-immolation" at around 11 a.m. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, and apart from a heightened security presence, traffic and ordinary life appeared to be proceeding as normal at 2:30 in the afternoon.
China and the U.S. are in the middle of a trade dispute, but America remains a hugely popular destination for travel, education and immigration for Chinese citizens.
On weekdays, large lines of visa applicants form outside the embassy, which sits in a busy corner of the city hosting numerous diplomatic installations as well as hotels and stores.
Johannesburg, Jul 26 (AP/UNB) — The five leaders of the BRICS emerging economies have gathered in South Africa for an annual summit where the United States is being criticized for escalating tariffs on foreign goods.
The leaders clasped hands and posed for a group photograph on Thursday, the second day of the meeting in Johannesburg.
They are Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Michel Temer and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa .
Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has also been invited to the summit.
Xi said Wednesday that the world faces "a choice between cooperation and confrontation" amid a trade dispute with the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, accused China of "vicious" tactics on trade.
Islamabad, Jul 26 (AP/UNB) — Cricket star turned politician Imran Khan has declared victory for his party in Pakistan's historic elections, promises a 'new' Pakistan.
Khan, who aspires to be the country's next prime minister, said in a televised address to the nation on Thursday that "thanks to God, we won and we were successful."
He added: "If God wills, we will set an example."
Pakistan's election commission has not yet released official, final results but Khan has maintained a commanding lead according to projections by many television stations, though it's unclear if he will have to form a collation government.
Khan's message of a "new" Pakistan resonated with young voters in a country where 64 per cent of its 200 million people are below the age of 30, according to a United Nations report.
More than a dozen TV channels in Pakistan, based on official but partial counts, are projecting — using their own, undisclosed methodologies — that Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party is getting as many as 119 seats of the 270 National Assembly seats that were contested.
Washington, Jul 26 (AP/UNB) — Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin says addressing steel and aluminum tariffs and counter tariffs will be covered in the first phase of new negotiations between the United States and the European Union.
Mnuchin says President Donald Trump and his European counterparts reached an "agreement in principle" to avoid an escalation in their trade dispute.
He is reiterating that there will be no new tariffs imposed while the two parties are negotiating a final deal. He says if the US concludes an agreement, there will be no tariffs placed on foreign-made automobiles in the EU.
The Treasury secretary tells reporters at the White House that after steel and aluminum tariffs are resolved, talks will focus on agricultural issues, chemicals and natural gas.