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World breaking news today (October 19): France pays tribute to beheaded teacher

October 19, 2020 | 11:21

World breaking news today (October 19): France pays tribute to beheaded teacher. Meanwhile, tens of thousands rally to demand Pakistan PM Khan resign, Twitter removes top White House coronavirus adviser tweet claiming masks don't work and gold price also make headlines today.

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People offering flowers to the late teacher (Photo: The New Daily)
People offering flowers to the late teacher (Photo: The New Daily)

France pays tribute to beheaded teacher

Thousands of people gathered across France on Sunday to support teachers and defend freedom of expression after the killing of Samuel Paty, a history teacher beheaded by a suspected Islamist on Friday.

From Paris to Lyon, Marseille and Lille large crowds gathered quietly, pausing regularly to applaud, hold minutes of silence or sing the national anthem.

Prime Minister Jean Castex attended the gathering on Place de La Republique in Paris along with Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and politicians from across the spectrum, showing solidarity after a killing that has shocked the country.

Paty, 47, was killed outside his school in a Paris suburb by an 18-year-old attacker. Earlier this month, the teacher had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression, angering a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.

The assailant, who was born in Russia of Chechen origin, was shot dead by police soon after the attack. Police have detained 11 people in connection with the killing.

People at the events on Sunday wore masks against COVID-19 and carried signs such as “Teaching yes, bleeding no” or “I am Charlie” in a reference to satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were attacked in a mass killing five years ago.

Paty had been the target of an angry campaign on social media before he was killed. Castex said in an interview in Journal du Dimanche newspaper that the government is working on a strategy to better protect teachers from threats.

President Emmanuel Macron was due to hold a security meeting with key ministers later on Sunday, his office said.

A national tribute will be organized for Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Tens of thousands rally to demand Pakistan PM Khan resign

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied on Sunday in the city of Karachi as part of a campaign to oust Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, who they accuse of being installed by the military in a rigged 2018 election.

As reported by Reuters, Nine major opposition parties formed a joint platform called the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) last month to begin a nationwide agitation against the government.

You’ve snatched jobs from people. You have snatched two-time a day food from the people,” said opposition leader Maryam Nawaz about Khan while addressing the rally, which drew growing crowds in the second such gathering in three days.

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied on Sunday in the city of Karachi as part of a campaign to oust Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan
Tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied on Sunday in the city of Karachi as part of a campaign to oust Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo: Middle East Affairs)

The protests come as the country’s economy - which had already tanked before the global pandemic - struggles with double-digit inflation and negative growth, which Khan’s opponents blame on his government.

Khan’s two-year tenure has also seen mounting censorship and a crackdown on dissent, critics and opposition leaders.

The next general election is scheduled for 2023.

The rally in Karachi followed a protest by the alliance in eastern Gujranwala city on Friday, which was the biggest demonstration against Khan since he took office.

Twitter removes top White House coronavirus adviser tweet claiming masks don't work

Twitter removed a tweet from top White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas for questioning the effectiveness of masks in combatting COVID-19.

Atlas’ tweet read "Masks work? NO" and preceded several others that questioned the use of face coverings in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Atlas also used examples of areas where he had said 'cases exploded even with mandates' including Los Angeles, Miami, Hawaii, Alabama, France, Philippines, United Kingdom, Spain and Israel.

In a statement to the Hill, Twitter said the doctor’s tweet "was in violation of our COVID-19 Misleading Information Policy" that “prohibits sharing false or misleading content related to COVID-19 which could lead to harm.”

Twitter removed a tweet from top White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas for questioning the effectiveness of masks in combatting COVID-19.
Twitter removed a tweet from top White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas for questioning the effectiveness of masks in combatting COVID-19. (Photo: NBC News)

The White House coronavirus adviser added to his tweet, saying "'That means the right policy is @realDonaldTrump guideline: use masks for their intended purpose - when close to others, especially hi risk. Otherwise, social distance. No widespread mandates. #CommonSense," Atlas wrote.

The removal of Atlas’ tweet is the latest in a series of actions the company has taken to either remove or flag posts by members of the Trump administration, including the president himself, that it says are misleading or false when it comes to issues ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to the upcoming presidential election, according to Fox News.

Gold price premium dips in India even as rates fall

Physical gold dealers in India charged a premium over official domestic prices for the second week in a row as jewelers stocked up ahead of the festive season. Domestic gold prices in India include 12.5% import duty and 3% GST. Dealers charged a $1 an ounce premium over official domestic prices, as compared to last week's premium of $2, Reuters reported.

Demand from dealers has been improving slowly while a sharp drop in September imports also allowed dealers to charge a premium, analysts say.

Gold imports declined by nearly 53% to $601.43 million in September.

World breaking news today (October 19): France pays tribute to beheaded teacher
(Photo: Financial Express)

In the futures market, gold prices settled 0.3% lower at ₹50552 per 10 gram on Friday. For the week, gold settled marginally lower in tandem in with a decline in global rates.

In global markets, gold prices dipped over 1% this week, weighed down by a firm US dollar which has been supported during the US stimulus talks stalemate. Surging coronavirus cases in Europe have also helped lift the greenback as investors seek safety amid new lockdown measures.

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