No evidence supports Indian news agency’s baseless story claiming Hindus denied rations in Karachi

Sindh Govt. to Purchase 60k Ration Bags in First Phase – Research ...

KARACHI: A news story with the title, ‘COVID-19: Hindus denied food supplies in Pakistan’s Karachi’, that was released by an Indian news agency, Asian News International (ANI), has turned out to be completely fabricated news.

It found no evidence supporting the Indian news agency’s claim that the Hindu community was denied food items while they were being distributed in a small coastal area of the city, Rehri Goth, which is inhabited by fishermen, some 10 kilometres away from Ibrahim Hyderi in Karachi.

Ibrahim Hyderi’s Assistant Commissioner Samiullah, Union Committee Chairman Asif Shah, representative of non-governmental organisation Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum that works for fishermen Kamal Shah, and one of the Hindu leaders of Ibrahim Hyderi, Santosh Maharaj, confirmed to The News that there were no Hindus living in Rehri Goth in the first place. “There are only 20 shops belonging to the Hindus in Rehri Goth,” shared Maharaj, who is also a sanitary inspector at the Bin Qasim Authority. Samiullah, who hails from the Khairpur city, said there was no possibility of discrimination on the basis of religion while distributing food items especially in the times of a pandemic.

“To say that Hindus did not get any ration is impossible as there are none in the goth,” he said and added that those Hindus who have shops in Rehri Goth generally help their Muslim brothers by lending them money when they are in need. There are total 70 Hindu families residing in Ibrahim Hyderi belonging to the Bania Hindu Community, according to Maharaj. “Our mother tongue is, however, Sindhi,” he said and lamented that so far they had not been provided any rations by the government. “But it is for all the residents of Ibrahim Hyderi, and it is not the Hindu Community only that has been deprived of rations,” he said and added that whenever any calamity occurred, all the people of the area, including the Hindus and Muslims, suffered together.

The ANI in its story claimed that “During the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of poor people gathered at ‘Rehrri Ghoth’ [correct spelling Rehri Goth] in Karachi to receive food supplies and daily essentials. However, those who belong to the Hindu community were told to go back since the rations were only meant for Muslims.”

The news item, which was carried by almost all major media houses of India, further mentioned that the Hindu community in Lyari, Sacchal Goth and other parts of Karachi as well as across Sindh was being denied a share in the free food being distributed by the government. This was also categorically denied by the assistant commissioner.

A letter in this regard was written by the office of the Malir deputy commissioner to Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, the subject of which was ‘Food Supplies Denied to Hindu Community’.

The letter explained that one individual from the port-city arranged 150 ration bags and distributed them at the rural health centre in Rehri Goth on Sunday, March 29.

“Rehri Goth is a village and is the home to mainly downtrodden community,” the letter added. “The news of the ration distribution spread across the village and as a result, almost entire villagers gathered at the site to obtain the bags. Therefore, only a few could get hold of the bags, whereas, a vast majority was left empty-handed.”

Moreover, the letter explained that the ration bags were distributed without taking into consideration the religion, race, caste and creed but purely on a first come first served basis. “Therefore, this news report is vehemently denied,” the letter read.

It is pertinent to mention here that the welfare of a politico-religious party in Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami carried out disinfection spray in Karachi’s temples and churches in the Korangi and Clifton areas on Tuesday and also distributed cooked food and ration bags among the Hindu and Christian communities.

خوف کا کھیل: کرونا کے ماسٹر مائنڈ

اسرائیل کا اصل دشمن اور دنیا میں اسکے مذموم مقاصد کی راہ میں واحد رکاوٹ پاکستان ہے ، اٹامک پاکستان ( اسلامی ایٹم بم )، پاک فوج، پاکستان کی %60 یوتھ ، مذہبی رجحانات، خاندانی نظام، بڑھتی آبادی، اسلام ۔ ۔ ۔ انکا خاص نشانہ ہیں۔ یہ دو نظریوں کی لڑائی ہے ، گریٹر اسرائیل بمقابلہ پاکستان کا دو قومی نظریہ۔۔۔

جب یہودی دنیا میں ففتھ جنریشن کے کامیاب وار کر کے بہت سے ملک توڑ چکے ، تو وہی پالیسی انہوں نے پاکستان پر نافذ کی ٹی ٹی پی ، داعش ، افغانستان سے حملے ، انڈیا سے حملے ، دہشت گردی ، اپنے مہرے بٹھا کر اداروں و ملک پاکستان کی تباہی کی گئی ، آج سے کچھ عرصہ قبل کے حالات سب جانتے ہیں ، مگر اللّه پاک کی مدد سے پاک فوج و گمنام ہیروز نے اپنا خونِ جگر دے کر عوام و پاک وطن کو کلئیر کیا۔۔۔

جب اسرائیل ، امریکہ اور انڈیا کے ساتھ ملکر بھی کچھ نہیں کر سکا تو وائرس کی آڑ میں خود کو تسلیم کروانے کیلئے اس نے بائیو لاجیکل حملہ کر دیا ، پہلے چین پر کہ پاکستان کو تنہا کیا جائے ، چین کو معاشی طور پر کمزور کیا جائے ، جتنے ترقیاتی منصوبے ہیں سب ختم کرواۓ جائیں۔۔۔

یورپ کے پندرہ ممالک اس وائرس کے خوف سے اسرائیل کی مدد مانگ رہے ہیں ظاہری سی بات ہے وہ اسرائیل کی ہر جائز و ناجائز بات تسلیم ہی کریں گے تو پھر انہیں ویکسین ملے گی ، چھ عرب ممالک اندر خانہ اسرائیل کو تسلیم کر چکے ہیں، صرف اعلان باقی ہے۔۔۔

یروشلم کو عالمی مرکز بنانے کی تیاری جاری ہے ، امریکی کمپنیز ٹرمپ کے اس بیان کے بعد تل ابیب شفٹ ہونا شروع ہو گئی تھیں جب اس نے کہا تھا امریکی سفارت خانہ تل ابیب شفٹ کیا جائے گا۔۔

آج ٹرمپ ، مودی و نتن یاہو کو نجات دھندہ بنا کر دنیا کے سامنے پیش کیا جا رہا ہے ، جبکہ یہ تینوں اصل شیطان ہیں ۔ مسلہ کشمیر دب گیا ، بھارت میں مسلم مخالف بل کے خلاف احتجاج ختم ، مسلمان عبادتوں سے دور ، مذہبی مقدس ترین مقامات بند۔ ویکسین اس وقت لانچ ہو گی جب مقاصد حاصل کر لئے جائیں گے۔۔۔

دنیا پر فضول کا خوف طاری کیا گیا ھے۔ لوگ اگر بالفرض مر کسی اور بیماری سے بھی رہے ہیں ،تو بھی نام کرونا کا استعمال ہو رہا ہے۔ امریکہ کا اپنے ملک میں کرونا کا شور جھوٹا نکلا۔ مرنے والوں کا بائیو ڈیٹا پورے امریکہ میں نہیں ، نیو ہسپتالز ، قرنطینہ سینٹر جو بتاۓ جا رہے ہیں وہ فزیکلی موجود ہی نہیں ھیں، امریکہ میں مرنے والوں کے ورثاء سے پوچھا گیا کہ کس بیماری سے مرا تو کرونا کا زکر نہیں ملا۔۔۔

مرنے والوں کی لسٹ ، بیماروں کا ڈیٹا کچھ موجود نہیں صرف خوف پر پورا ملک بند ہے ، ٹرائیکا جھوٹا پروپیگنڈہ کر رہا ہے ، صرف خوف بیچ رہا ہے۔

اب پاکستان پر پاکستان کے ہی نجی ٹی وی کے ڈیجیٹل میڈیا ونگ کے سربراہ ” کنور خلدون شاہد ” جو کہ دو قومی نظریہ کا مخالف ، علماء و اسلام کے خلاف اسرائیل کا سپورٹر ہے، اس سے ایک اسرائیلی اخبار “ہیراٹز” میں پاکستان مخالف آرٹیکل لکھوا کر پاکستان کے خلاف پروپیگنڈہ سٹارٹ کیا جا رہا ہے کہ دنیا میں کرونا پاکستان کے تبلیغی مرکز رائیونڈ سے پھیلا، کیونکہ رائیونڈ 80 ممالک میں نیٹ ورک رکھتا ہے، 4 فلسطینی پاکستان تبلیغ کے حوالے سے رائیونڈ گئے تھے، وہاں سے یہ بیماری لگوا کر آئے۔۔۔

جبکہ مڈل ایسٹ مانیٹر نامی اخبار لکھتا ہے کہ اسرائیلی فوج نے 4 فلسطینیوں کو گرفتار کیا تھا۔ اور انہیں بعد میں رہا کر دیا گیا۔ لیکن کچھ عرصے بعد خبر آئی کے یہ چاروں فلسطینی کرونا کے شکار ہیں ، اسرائیل کے تفتیشی اہلکاروں نے یہ وبا جان بوجھ کر غزہ کی پٹی میں منتقل کی۔۔۔

جبکہ یہودیوں کی اپنی یہ حالت ہے 8 اپریل پاس اوور سے پہلے پہلے دنیا بھر سے یہودی اکھٹے کر کے اسرائیل منتقل کئے جا رہے ہیں ، اب تک 800 یہودی اسرائیل پہنچے ہیں جن کا کوئی کرونا ٹیسٹ نہیں کیا گیا وہ لوگوں میں گھل مل چکے ہیں۔ لیکن اسرائیل کو ان آٹھ سو یہودیوں سے کرونا کا کوئی خطرہ محسوس نہیں ھو رہا۔۔۔

جس سے جہاں یہ بات ثابت ہوتی ہے کہ دنیا کو لاک ڈاؤن کرنے کا اصل زمہ دار اسرائیل ہے ، انکے پاس کرونا وائرس سے بچاؤ اور علاج کی ویکسین موجود ہے، اپریل میں عالمی صہیونی ڈیپ سٹیٹ کی جانب سے یا اسرائیل کی جانب سے کوئی خاص ایونٹ ہونے والا ہے۔۔۔

اسرائیلی اخبار “ہیراٹز” دو دن میں دو آرٹیکلز پاکستان مخالف پروپیگنڈہ کیلئے چھاپ چکا ہے ، مقصد پاکستان پر پریشر بنانا اور مسلم ممالک میں پاکستان کا امیج خراب کرنا ہے ، دنیا جانتی ہے ، یہ سب کیسے شروع ہوا۔۔۔

اسرائیلی موساد کو سپانسر کرنے والی سب سے بڑی کمپنی (فیشیل ریکگنیشن) بل گیٹس سے مائکرو سوفٹ خرید چکی ہے ، جبکہ 12 مارچ کے اسرائیلی اخبار میں نام نہ بتانے کی شرط پر اسرائیلی سائنسدان بتا چکے ہیں کہ اسرائیل کے پاس کرونا کی ویکسین 2019 سے موجود ہے ، یہ ویکسین کب لانچ ہو گی اسکا فیصلہ ھونا ابھی باقی ہے، جبکہ بل گیٹس نے ہی اس ویکسین کو سپانسر کیا۔۔۔

یہ بھی پالیسی کا حصہ ہوتا ہے، نام ظاہر نہیں کرنا، اسرائیلی میڈیا میں ایلومیناٹی کی مرضی کے بغیر کچھ نہیں چل سکتا۔ دنیا کو بتانا بھی اور چھپانا بھی کہ اسرائیل کی مدد سے اس بیماری سے جان چھوٹے گی۔ اسے کہتے ہیں خوف کا کاروبار جو یہ یہودی زائیونسٹ دنیا کے ساتھ کر رہے ھیں۔۔۔

یروشلم پوسٹ کے مطابق نتن یاہو نے موساد کو کسی بھی بائیو لاجیکل حملے سے نمٹنے کا ٹاسک دیا ہے، موساد کے سربراہ موسی کوہن کا کہنا تھا کہ تمام احتیاطی تدابیر اسرائیل نے اپنا رکھی ہیں کیونکہ کرونا وائرس بدلہ لینے کیلئے کوئی بھی بڑا ملک اسرائیل پر بائیو لاجیکل حملہ کر سکتا ہے۔۔۔

پاکستان کے خلاف زائیونسٹ کا پروپیگنڈہ کوئی نئی بات نہیں ھے، جب ہم پر اسرائیل ٹی ٹی پی کے ذریعے حملے کروا رہا تھا ، اس وقت بھی پاکستان کے خلاف پروپیگنڈہ جاری تھا کہ پاکستانی نیوکلیئر ٹیکنالوجی دہشت گردوں کے ہاتھ لگنے کا خدشہ ہے وغیرہ وغیرہ۔ پھر آج کہاں ہیں وہ نیٹو ، بلیک واٹر ، زی ، داعیش ، ٹی ٹی پی ، سی آئ اے ، راء ، موساد وغیرہ۔۔۔؟

آئ ایس آئ کے اور افغان طالبان پاؤں پکڑ کر افغانستان سے واپس جا رہے ہیں، یہودی پائلٹ آج تک ہمارے پاس ہے جو ابھی نندن کے ساتھ جھاز گرائے جانے کے بعد آیا تھا۔ کافرو اور پاکستان مخالف پروپیگنڈا کرو، دبا کے کرو پروپیگنڈہ۔ جیت ہماری ہے انشااللہ تعالیٰ۔۔۔

آخر میں عرض ہے کہ، امریکہ اسرائیل جیسے یہودی ممالک کیلیے کرونا کچھ نہیں، بس ھم صرف احتیاط جاری رکھیں۔ دنیا تبدیل ہو رہی ہے ، ایمان مضبوط کریں ، انفرادی طور پر ہر شخص اللّه سے توبہ کرے۔ سب ٹھیک ہو جاۓ گا ، وقتی تکلیف ہے ، ان شاءالله یہ تکلیف ہمیشہ نہیں رہنی۔ اگر یہودی زائیونسٹ کا مقابلہ کرنا ہے تو نیا خطے کے ممالک کا آپسی بلاک وقت کی بالکل ایسے ضرورت ہے ، جیسے زندہ رہنے کیلئے سانس۔۔۔

کفار کچھ بھی کر لیں ان شاءالله پاکستان عالم صہیونیت اور عالم کفر کے خلاف پوری طاقت سے ابھرے گا.انشااللہ تعالیٰ۔۔

HUGE VICTORY: A cure for corona virus is found in Pakistan

A Pakistani doctor is the first one who discovered Corona’s treatment. Dr. Tahir Shamsi has been working on plasma therapy in recent times. Through this treatment, patients with Corona virus will be able to recover soon.

The Sindh government on Monday approved efforts to experiment with the use of passive immunisation therapies to treat coronavirus patients across the province.

The technique, supervised by hematologist Tahir Shamsi, will also be presented to other provinces for approval before a detailed strategy regarding it can be implemented in hospitals across the country.

“Under this technique, blood plasma from a healthy person is extracted and injected into the blood of a patient suffering from the coronavirus,” Shamsi said on Monday.

“After the transfer, the injected plasma generates anti-bodies in the immune system of the patient suffering from the coronavirus. These anti-bodies eventually fight off the virus,” he added.

Currently, there are no vaccines or proven therapies available for the coronavirus, which has the potential to affect millions of people.

What he proposed to government of Pakistan last week for Corona virus will now be done at the New York State of USA. Most of the world’s leading newspapers have no spirit to give the credit to Pakistani doctor. But giving all the credit to American doctor who later followed the idea of Dr. Tahir Shamsi’s.

Hats off to Pakistani Doctor.

After five years of war in Yemen, battles continue to rage

Houthi rebels have seized territory from pro-government forces in northern Yemen in recent weeks [Hani Mohammed/AP Photo]

Five years since a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states launched a military intervention against Houthi rebels in Yemen, the movement continues to make advances in the country’s north.

In recent weeks the group has taken control of territory in Jawf province including its main city of Hazm, which lies northeast of the capital, Sanaa, while it has also pushed into parts of the resource-rich Marib province, the last stronghold of Yemen’s internationally recognised government in the north.

The Houthi advances against forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and their regional allies have come despite the financial power of the Saudi-led coalition and the continuing international and domestic isolation of the rebel movement.

Buoyed by his group’s military progress in recent months, Houthi leader Abdelmalek al-Houthi has urged the coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to halt attacks.

Impact of intervention

Before the coalition started air raids on March 26, 2015, the Houthis had forced President Hadi to flee to the southern city of Aden after holding him temporarily under house arrest.

They had also taken over the majority of Yemen’s populous northern and central highlands. Houthi control of the country’s air force meant that they were able to bomb pro-government forces in Aden, and almost took full control of the city. Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia the day before Riyadh launched its aerial intervention.

Within months, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies on the ground pushed the Houthis out of southern Yemen towards their northern heartland.

“The most important success of the war has been preventing the Houthis from controlling all of Yemen, or the majority of it, especially the oil and gas-rich areas,” said Abdulnaser Almuwadea, a Yemeni political researcher.

“The Houthis have been unable to get international recognition, which would have been a possibility if the Houthis had taken control of Yemen and not faced any local resistance.” 

But the intervention and the protracted conflict has caused what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in the poorest country in the Middle East.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the war, according to ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Event Data), including 12,000 civilians. According to the World Food Programme, 24 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian assistance, while 20 million are food insecure.

“Air strikes hitting civilian areas and infrastructure have led to fewer Yemenis supporting the war, and the Houthis have been able to take real advantage and grow their base,” Almuwadea said.

“The weakness of the Yemeni government and the absence of its real presence on the ground in many areas … has strengthened the Houthis and made their control of the north more deep-rooted.” 

Virus death toll passes 20,000, three billion under lockdown

Healthcare workers dealing with the new coronavirus crisis applaud in return as they are cheered on by people outside a hospital in Burgos, Spain. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: More than three billion people around the world were living under lockdown on Wednesday as governments stepped up their efforts against the coronavirus pandemic which has left more thaParisn 20,000 people dead.

As the number of confirmed cases worldwide soared past 450,000, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that only a concerted global effort could stop the spread of the virus.

In Spain, the number of fatalities surpassed those of China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged three months ago, making it the hardest-hit nation after Italy.

A total of more than 20,800 deaths have now been reported in 182 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally.Spread of the new coronavirus. PHOTO: AFP

The spread of the new coronavirus. PHOTO: AFP

Stock markets rebounded after the US Congress moved closer to passing a $2.2 trillion relief package to prop up a teetering US economy.

In Washington, President Donald Trump said New York, the epicentre of the US outbreak with over 30,000 cases, likely has a few “tough weeks” ahead but he would decide soon whether unaffected parts of the country can get back to work.

“We want to get our country going again,” Trump said. “I’m not going to do anything rash or hastily.

“By Easter we’ll have a recommendation and maybe before Easter,” said Trump, who had been touting a strong US economy as he faces an election in November.

UN chief Guterres said the world needs to ban together to stem the pandemic.

Taylor Swift leaves fans in awe as she helps them amid coronavirus crisis

Taylor Swift has left at least two fans flabbergasted after she sent them $3,000 each to fight for their coronavirus-related hardships.

The showbiz stars – among others – have come forward to help the people who have taken financial hit during COVID-19 crisis.

A number of Swifities took to social media on Wednesday night claiming they had received $3,000 from the 30-year-old singer as well as a message of support at ‘this time of hardship.’

Holly Turner, a longtime Taylor swift’s fan, had received the money shortly after opening about her financial struggles via Tumblr. Turner said she works as a freelance music photographer in New York City, but hasn’t landed a gig due to the state’s stay-at-home order and the cancellation of major events.

“I wasn’t going to be able to stay in my apartment after May, if it weren’t for this,” Turner explained. “I have been working my entire life to be able to live in New York City and I thought that was going to be taken, and she saved that for me. So, I am just so, so, so grateful.”

Another fan of the singer, Samantha Jacobson, has thanked Swift for her generosity as she also received $3,000 from the singer on Wednesday.

Britain in lockdown as WHO warns pandemic ‘accelerating’ AFP On Mar 24, 2020

UK lockdown

Britain was under lockdown Tuesday, its population joining around 1.7 billion people around the globe ordered to stay indoors to curb the “accelerating” spread of the coronavirus.

Across Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East and parts of Africa, governments have told their citizens to remain at home as they grapple with a disease that has claimed thousands of lives — and shows no signs of slowing.

But in a sign of hope, China’s central Hubei province, where the deadly coronavirus first emerged late last year, is to lift travel curbs after two months under lockdown.

The global shutdown continued to throw up horrifying tales; soldiers in Spain tasked with fighting the outbreak reported finding abandoned elderly people — some dead — at retirement homes.

And on the deserted streets of New York, one psychologist who ventured out voiced fears over the long-term mental health effects on everyone affected.

“I’m scared for me and patients that this could go on” for months, said Lauren, who declined to give her surname.

Anxiety and depression “all gets heightened at a time like this,” she added.

The financial impact of economies grinding to a halt continued to unnerve policymakers, who opened the spigots and flooded the markets with yet more cash — their latest effort to keep the wheels turning.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve unveiled an unprecedented bond-buying programme, in a move not seen since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.

The Fed, which has already slashed interest rates to record lows, said it will buy unlimited amounts of Treasury debt and take steps to lend directly to small and medium-sized firms hammered by a countrywide lockdown.

Asian markets cheered the news, with Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul rocketing in their latest rollercoaster session.

That upswing came despite US politicians’ failure to sign off on a $2 trillion package that President Donald Trump says is aimed at supporting ailing enterprises and helicoptering cash to American families.

His opponents say the bill is too heavily weighted to bailing out big business.

The British government, which has faced accusations it dithered over the health crisis and needlessly allowed schools to remain open far longer than European counterparts, came into line on Monday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a three-week shutdown of “non-essential” shops and services and banned gatherings of more than two people.

“Stay at home,” Johnson said in a televised address, as he unveiled unprecedented peacetime measures after the national death toll climbed to 335.

The announcement came after crowds of people were seen enjoying weekend sunshine in parks and countryside, prompting calls for tougher action.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the global pandemic was clearly “accelerating.”

The number of coronavirus deaths has topped 16,500, with more than 378,000 declared infections in 174 countries and territories.

Tedros said it took 67 days from the beginning of the outbreak in China in December for the virus to infect the first 100,000 people worldwide.

In comparison, it required only 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and just four days for the third 100,000, he said.

Tedros acknowledged that many countries were struggling to take more aggressive measures because of a lack of resources but said “we are not helpless bystanders.

“We can change the trajectory of this pandemic,” he said.

There was a glimmer of hope Monday in figures from Italy, the European ground zero of COVID-19.

New infections in the continent’s hardest-hit country dipped to just shy of 5,000, down from over 6,500 the day before.

Its daily death toll also fell slightly, although cumulatively the country has recorded more than 6,000 fatalities, far-exceeding even that of China, where the disease emerged late last year.

In the United States, hard-hit New York city was under lockdown, with its usual logjam commute now just a trickle of pharmacists, grocery store workers and medical staff.

But Trump — who faces re-election in November and is keen to avoid extended economic damage in the US — told reporters he would soon be “opening up our country to business because our country was meant to be open.”

As war-ravaged Syria announced its first coronavirus case, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for a worldwide ceasefire to protect the vulnerable in conflict zones.

“The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,” he said.

And with major cultural and sporting events already wiped off the calendar, there were mounting calls to postpone the Tokyo Olympics, Japan’s prime minister having admitted Monday that a delay could be “inevitable.”

Elite hackers target WHO as coronavirus cyberattacks spike

A hooded man holds a laptop computer as blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: Elite hackers tried to break into the World Health Organisation earlier this month, sources told Reuters, part of what a senior agency official said was a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks.

Flavio Aggio, WHO Chief Information Security Officer said the identity of the hackers was unclear and the effort was unsuccessful. But he warned that hacking attempts against the agency and its partners have soared as they battle to contain the coronavirus, which has killed more than 15,000 worldwide.

The attempted break-in at the WHO was first flagged to Reuters by Alexander Urbelis, a cybersecurity expert and attorney with the New York-based Blackstone Law Group, which tracks suspicious internet domain registration activity.

Urbelis said he picked up on the activity around March 13, when a group of hackers he’d been following activated a malicious site mimicking the WHO’s internal email system.

“I realised quite quickly that this was a live attack on the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic,” he said.

Urbelis said he didn’t know who was responsible, but two other sources briefed on the matter said they suspected an advanced group of hackers known as DarkHotel, which has been conducting cyber-espionage operations since at least 2007.

Messages sent to email addresses maintained by the hackers went unreturned.

When asked by Reuters about the incident, the WHO’s Aggio confirmed that the site spotted by Urbelis had been used in an attempt to steal passwords from multiple agency staffers.

“There has been a big increase in the targeting of the WHO and other cybersecurity incidents,” Aggio said in a telephone interview.

“There are no hard numbers, but such compromise attempts against us and the use of (WHO) impersonations to target others have more than doubled.”

The WHO published an alert last month warning that hackers are posing as the agency to steal money and sensitive information from the public.

And government officials in the United States, Britain and elsewhere have issued cybersecurity warnings about the dangers of a new remote workforce as people disperse to their homes to work and study because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The motives in the case identified by Reuters aren’t clear. United Nations agencies, the WHO among them, are regularly targeted by digital espionage campaigns and Aggio said he did not know who precisely at the organisation the hackers had in their sights.

Cybersecurity firms including Romania’s Bitdefender and Moscow-based Kaspersky said they have traced many of DarkHotel’s operations to East Asia – an area that has been particularly affected by the coronavirus. Specific targets have included government employees and business executives in places such as China, North Korea, Japan, and the United States.

Costin Raiu, head of global research and analysis at Kaspersky, could not confirm that DarkHotel was responsible for the WHO attack but said the same malicious web infrastructure had also been used to target other healthcare and humanitarian organizations in recent weeks.

“At times like this, any information about cures or tests or vaccines relating to coronavirus would be priceless and the priority of any intelligence organization of an affected country,” he said.

Officials and cybersecurity experts have warned that hackers of all stripes are seeking to capitalize on international concern over the spread of the coronavirus.

Urbelis said he has tracked thousands of coronavirus-themed web sites being set up daily, many of them obviously malicious.

“It’s still around 2,000 a day,” he said. “I have never seen anything like this.”

US supports Pakistan's fight against Covid-19: Alice Wells


US diplomat Alice Wells on Tuesday said the United States stands with Pakistan in the country’s fight against the novel coronavirus and its outbreak in the country.

The senior US diplomat also expressed her condolences on the death of Dr Usama Riaz, the first Pakistani doctor to die of the novel coronavirus, after contracting the virus during the screening process of pilgrims returning from Iran and Iraq.

The US diplomat also lauded brave medical workers for risking their lives to help those infected with the pneumonia-like virus.

“Saddened to hear of the death of Dr Usama Riaz, who was on the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19 in Pakistan. The US stands with you,” she wrote.

Dr Usama Riaz developed serious complications two days after testing positive for the coronavirus and was shifted to the district headquarters hospital in Gilgit where medics put him on a ventilator due to his critical situation. However, he passed away on Sunday.

G-B’s Information Department confirmed the death, saying Dr Usama Riaz has sacrificed his life in the war against the coronavirus. “He will be declared a national hero,” it added.


US supports Pakistan’s fight against Covid-19: Alice Wells


US supports Pakistan’s fight against Covid-19: Alice Wells

By News DeskPublished: March 24, 2020TWEETEMAIL



US diplomat Alice Wells on Tuesday said the United States stands with Pakistan in the country’s fight against the novel coronavirus and its outbreak in the country.

The senior US diplomat also expressed her condolences on the death of Dr Usama Riaz, the first Pakistani doctor to die of the novel coronavirus, after contracting the virus during the screening process of pilgrims returning from Iran and Iraq.

The US diplomat also lauded brave medical workers for risking their lives to help those infected with the pneumonia-like virus.

“Saddened to hear of the death of Dr Usama Riaz, who was on the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19 in Pakistan. The US stands with you,” she wrote.

Oil prices climb as US ramps up economic support measures


Oil prices rose on Tuesday on hopes that the United States will reach a deal soon on a $2 trillion coronavirus aid package which could blunt the economic impact of the outbreak and in turn support oil demand

Brent crude oil LCOc1 futures for May delivery rose by 62 cents, or 2.3%, to $27.65 a barrel by 0346 GMT while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures gained 76 cents, or 3.3%, to $24.12. Both price benchmarks had risen over $1 earlier before pulling back slightly.

“Oil is clawing its way higher mainly on the back of the weaker dollar that stemmed from the Fed’s unprecedented measures,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at broker OANDA.

“WTI crude volatility will remain high and traders should not be surprised if this rally eventually gets faded.”

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Monday rolled out an extraordinary array of programs to backstop an economy reeling from restrictions on commerce that scientists say are needed to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

While a $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus package remained stalled in the U.S. Senate on Monday as lawmakers haggled over its provisions, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin voiced confidence that a deal would be reached soon.

The expected stimulus pushed the U.S. dollar lower as it will increase the cash supply. The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, fell 0.5% on Tuesday.

A weaker greenback boosts dollar-denominated oil prices since buyers paying in other currencies will pay less for their crude.

Still, the overall crude demand outlook remains low as long as travel restrictions are in place and governments curtail commercial activities to prevent the coronavirus spread.

Prices and profit margins for motor and aviation fuels globally are under severe pressure from a plunge in demand as countries enforce lockdowns and airlines ground planes, forcing more refineries to reduce output and lower their crude oil demand.

Concerns over oil demand were also stoked by a doubling of new coronavirus cases in China, the world’s biggest oil importer, caused by a jump in infected travelers returning home from overseas. That is raising the risk of transmissions in Chinese cities and provinces that had seen no new infections in recent days.

“While the anticipated lengthy absence of air traffic presents a significant obstacle in its own right, … the expected ramp in supply, which suggests storage will fill very quickly, and then prices will plummet as physical demand continues to evaporate,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.