Pakistan elections 'largely fair': US
Terming the elections in Pakistan "largely fair", the US on Wednesday said President Pervez Musharraf appeared to have put the country back on the "road to democracy" and hoped whichever party forms the government there would be no change in Islamabad's anti-terror efforts.
Asked whether the elections in which Musharraf's allies were routed have "weakened" his clout, White House spokesman Dana Perino only said, "well, we'll have to see".
"I think that what we can say is that they (the polls) seem to have been largely fair and that people were able to express themselves, and that they can have confidence in their vote," she said in a briefing in Accra in Ghana as US President George W Bush arrived there on the fourth leg of his five-nation tour.
Noting that "President Musharraf's party has conceded that they lost seats in that election", Perino said "now the next step on the path to democracy is establishing what that new government will look like".
"In democracies you have situations sometimes where your party loses in the Parliament or in the Congress, as President Bush knows very well, since in 2006 the Republicans lost a majority in the House and the Senate. And we've continued to work as a strong, functioning government... And I think a country like Pakistan can get there," she said when asked to comment on Musharraf's "standing" in the aftermath of polls.
"We asked him (Musharraf) to try to get the country back on the road to democracy and it appears that he has done that with these elections," Perino said.
Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said Bourla tested positive for Covid-19 and is receiving Paxlovid, the treatment made by his company. Bourla said he's feeling well although experiencing very mild symptoms, according to a statement Monday. Bourla said he is “isolating in place as well as following all public health precautions” and that he's confident of a speedy recovery. The New York-based drugmaker declined to comment beyond Bourla's statement.
China has carried out fresh military drills near self-governed Taiwan in response to the ongoing visit of US lawmakers to the island as high tension, sparked earlier this month by the visit of US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to Taipei, continues in the Taiwan Strait. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and says official ties between the island and another country is a violation of the mainland's sovereignty.
Health authorities in the financial hub said that they imposed “temporary control measures” at the store, after they found out that a close contact of a 6-year-old boy with an asymptomatic Covid infection had been there. They didn’t say when the close contact was in the store.
Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to six more years in prison on Monday in a judgment that could further anger supporters of the 77-year-old Nobel peace prize laureate. It's the fourth round of criminal verdicts against Suu Kyi since the military seized power in a 2021 coup and brings her total jail term to 17 years, extinguishing any chance of her staging a political comeback while the junta remain in power.
The Taliban marked a year in power on Monday with small-scale celebrations by the group's fighters as Afghanistan struggles with rising poverty, drought, malnutrition and fading hope among women that they will have a decisive role in the country's future. "This day is the day of the victory of truth over falsehood and the day of salvation and freedom of the Afghan nation," said Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement.