Tehran, Jul 25 (AP/UNB) — Iran's state news agency says President Hassan Rouhani has replaced the governor of the central bank as the country's currency hovers around record lows.
Wednesday's IRNA report says that Abdolnasser Hemmati was appointed CBI governor to replace Valiollah Seif, who had been head since 2013.
The 61-year-old Hemmati led Iran's state central insurance company and has worked in banking.
The Iranian rial has been declining steadily for years but the drop accelerated in recent months after the American decision to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran in May and announcement of increased sanctions.
Critics have also blamed the fall of the rial on Seif's policies.
A U.S. dollar currently buys for 43,776 rials, compared to 35,186 in January and more than double that on the thriving black market.
Johannesburg, Jul 25 (AP/UNB)- Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday the world faces "a choice between cooperation and confrontation" amid a trade war with the United States that he warned would have no winner.
Those who pursue "economic hegemony" will "only end up hurting themselves," Xi said at the annual summit of the BRICS emerging economies, held this year in Johannesburg.
"Unilateralism and protectionism are mounting, dealing a severe blow to multilateralism and the multilateral trading regime," he added in remarks critical of escalating U.S. tariffs on goods from China, the world's second-largest economy, and other major trading partners.
Just hours earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump accused China of "vicious" tactics on trade, tweeting that China was specifically targeting U.S. farmers with retaliatory tariffs because "they know I love & respect" them.
The other leaders of BRICS countries — Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Michel Temer — are expected to join the three-day summit. Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has also been invited.
Ramaphosa also expressed concern about "the rise in unilateral measures that are incompatible with World Trade Organization rules" and are especially damaging to developing countries.
Trump's comments on China came after his administration announced a plan to provide $12 billion in emergency relief for farmers who have been slammed by the president's trade disputes. China has retaliated to American tariffs with duties on some U.S. products.
The Chinese leader told the summit that "we are facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation, between opening up and a closed-door policy."
"The current international order is not perfect," Xi said, but it should not be discarded "as long as it is rule-based, aims to be equitable and pursues win-win outcomes as its goals."
Bangkok, Jul 19 (AP/UNB)— A human rights group has documented the Myanmar military's early preparations for its violence against Rohingya Muslims.
The independent Fortify Rights group said Thursday that it found the army systematically confiscated knives and other sharp-edged tools and forced Rohingya families to remove protective fencing from around their homes as early as 2016.
The report says the army also trained and armed non-Muslim civilians living in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine state who later participated in attacks on the Rohingya.
It says those preparations preceded Rohingya militant attacks in late August 2017 that were followed by mass atrocities against Rohingya civilians and the widespread violence that followed.
About 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to escape what the United Nations and U.S. officials have called an "ethnic cleansing" campaign by Myanmar's government.
Karachi, Jul 16 (AP/UNB) — Pakistani police say a trailer truck has hit a parked passenger bus carrying wedding guests on a busy highway near the southern city of Hyderabad, killing at least 15 people.
The accident took place before dawn Monday in the town of Matiarai in southern Sindh province.
Local police official Mohammad Tahir says 17 people were injured in the crash and some were in critical condition.
He said the negligence of the truck's driver appears to have been the cause of the crash.
TV footage showed badly damaged bus and ambulances transporting bodies and injured to hospitals.
Road accidents are common in Pakistan, where highways and many roads are poorly maintained and traffic laws are widely ignored.
Quetta, Jul 14 (AP/UNB) — Disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in custody on Saturday, a day after the deadliest attacks in Pakistan's troubled election campaign killed more than 130 people, including a candidate.
In the southwestern province of Baluchistan, a suicide bomber killed 128 people Friday, including a politician running for a provincial legislature. Four others died in a strike in Pakistan's northwest, spreading panic in the country.
The attacks came hours before Sharif returned from London along with his daughter Maryam to face a 10-year prison sentence on corruption charges, anti-corruption officials said. Maryam Sharif faces seven years in jail.
Mushahidullah Khan, a spokesman for Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League, said Saturday that the ex-prime minister and his daughter were being held in Adiala Jail, located outside the capital of Islamabad.
Sharif has been calling for supporters to vote for candidates from his party.
Khan said Sharif will appeal his conviction and apply for bail before the deadline expires on Monday. He still faces two additional corruption trials, both of which will be held inside the jail, said Khan. Security is being cited as the reason.
In the southern town of Mastung, candidate Siraj Raisani and 127 others died when a suicide bomber blew himself up amid scores of supporters who had gathered at a rally.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the horrific bombing in southwestern Baluchistan that wounded another 300 people, straining Baluchistan's health care resources.
The group gave no reason for the bombing. Raisani was running for the election on the newly launched Baluchistan Awami Party ticket.
Appeals were made for donations of blood. Bodies overwhelmed the morgue as crying family members arrived to collect their dead.
On Saturday, banners decrying the tragedy fluttered over empty streets as the provincial capital of Quetta shuttered in mourning for the dead. Lawyers wearing black armbands canceled court appearances.
"Stop killing people, stop shedding blood" read one banner, while another read: "Terrorism and terrorist should be curbed with iron hands."
At Quetta's main hospital Dr. Mohammad Waseem said there was an overwhelming response to the appeal for blood mostly from university students.
Student Ali Ahmed, 18, said he turned up to donate blood in response to an appeal he read in a newspaper. "That was a big tragedy in Mastung, I am very sad. If I can save a life with my blood, I am here to bleed for them," he told The Associated Press.
Within hours of the bombing in Mastung, Sharif returned to Pakistan from London where he was visiting his ailing wife to face corruption charges.
Sharif's son-in-law is currently serving a one-year prison sentence on the same charge, which stems from the purchase of luxury apartments in Britain that the court said were bought with illegally acquired money.
Ahead of Sharif's return, police swept through Lahore, arresting scores of Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party workers to prevent them from greeting him at the airport.
In a video message Friday reportedly from aboard his aircraft en route to Pakistan, Sharif said he was returning knowing he would be taken directly to prison.
Sharif has been banned from participating in politics, and his brother Shahbaz Sharif now heads his Pakistan Muslim League and is campaigning for re-election on July 25.
In a televised appeal to supporters from London earlier this week, Sharif said he was not afraid of prison and asked people to vote for his party. He also used the opportunity to again criticize Pakistan's powerful military, which has ruled the country directly or indirectly for most of its 71-year history, saying Pakistan now has a "state above the state."
During his term in office, Sharif criticized the military's involvement in civilian affairs and its efforts in fighting extremists.
Pakistani and international rights groups have accused the military of seeking to maintain its influence in the country's politics by keeping Sharif out of power. The military has denied the accusation.
The military also said it is only involved in elections at the request of Pakistan's Election Commission. The army will deploy 350,000 security personnel to polling stations throughout the country on election day.
Friday's bombings underscored the security threat.
The first one killed four people in the northwest near the election rally of a senior politician from an Islamist party. The explosion targeted candidate Akram Khan Durrani, who escaped unhurt, and wounded 20 people, said local police chief Rashid Khan.
Durrani is running in the July 25 vote against popular former lawmaker Imran Khan. He is a candidate of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, an election alliance of radical religious groups.
The attacks came days after a suicide bomber dispatched by the Pakistani Taliban killed secular politician Haroon Ahmed Bilour and 20 others at his rally in the northwestern city of Peshawar.