In a surprise move, Chinese billionaire and co-founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, has created a stir among observers with his unexpected visit to Pakistan, according to the Express Tribune newspaper.
Former Chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI), Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, confirmed the visit to The Express Tribune, stating that Ma arrived in Lahore on June 29 and stayed for 23 hours. Jack Ma, during the visit, avoided interactions with government officials and the media. He resided at a private location and left on June 30 via a private jet registered under the name VP-CMA, owned by Jet Aviation.
While the purpose of Ma's visit remains confidential at this point, there is hope that it will yield positive outcomes for Pakistan in the days to come, according to Ahsan, The Express Tribune reported.
Jack Ma was accompanied by a delegation of seven businessmen, consisting of five Chinese nationals, one Danish individual, and one US citizen. They arrived in Pakistan from Nepal via a chartered flight from Hong Kong's business aviation sector.
There have been various speculations on social media about Ma and his team exploring business opportunities in Pakistan, including visits to trade centers and meetings with prominent businessmen and officials from various chambers of commerce. However, there has been no confirmation regarding any specific business deals or meetings.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation around Ukraine and how Moscow had resolved an armed mercenary mutiny in a telephone call today. The Kremlin said that PM Modi had expressed support for what the Kremlin called the Russian leadership's decisive actions in handling the mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group last Saturday.
"In connection with the events of June 24 in Russia, Narendra Modi expressed understanding and support for the decisive actions of the Russian leadership to protect law and order, ensure stability in the country and the security of its citizens," it said.
Vladimir Putin Claims He's Back in Control However Russia's Elite Isn't Sure The two leaders also discussed their countries' cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the G20.
Russian President appreciated Make In India effort promoted by the Indian Prime Minister, the success of the program and his willingness to replicate the same in his country.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today received Egypt's highest state honour, 'Order of the Nile', from Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. This is the 13th such highest state honour that various countries across the world have conferred upon PM Modi.
In his early engagement, PM Modi visited Egypt's historic 11th-century al-Hakim Mosque and the Heliopolis Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cairo. PM Modi also held talks with the Egypt President, who had invited him to visit the nation. This is the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Egypt in 26 years.
El-Sisi is also scheduled to travel to India in September for the G-20 Summit where Egypt has been invited as a special guest.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk today as he began his landmark three-day state visit to the US. "I'm a fan of Modi," Musk told reporters after the meeting.
"It was a fantastic meeting with the Prime Minister and I like him quite a lot. He visited our factory a few years ago. So, we have known each other for a while," Musk said. "I am incredibly excited about the future of India. I think India has more promise than any large country in the world."
The Prime Minister earlier met Musk in 2015 during a visit to the Tesla Motors factory in California.
On being asked about a timeline for Tesla coming to India, Musk said, "I am confident Tesla will be in India and will do so as soon as humanly possible."
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken got a muted reception when he arrived in Beijing: a lone Foreign Ministry official there to meet him and no red carpet, just red lines on the runway that social media users joked were a symbol of China's unwillingness to compromise on issues like Taiwan.
But as he left less than 48 hours later, Blinken said the trip had achieved its goal because the two sides had restored some senior-level communications. President Xi Jinping pronounced the progress "very good," warm rare words from a taciturn leader who held off confirming a meeting with Blinken the highest-level US official to visit Beijing in five years until the last minute.
The most positive outcome was the pledge to keep talking, including a plan for Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang to visit Washington in the next few months. US officials such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and climate envoy John Kerry are also expected to travel to China soon.
"He did a hell of a job," Biden said when reporters asked about Blinken's trip. "We're on the right trail here." The key policymakers in the US were worried that the break in talks can lead to distrust that might construct the road of confrontation.
To tame the inflation and keep the growth rate buoyant, the US Federal Reserve kept its key interest rate unchanged Wednesday after having raised it 10 straight times to combat high inflation. But in a surprise move, the Fed signaled that it may raise rates twice more this year, beginning as soon as next month.
The Fed's move to leave its benchmark rate at about 5.1 percent, its highest level in 16 years, suggests that it believes the much higher borrowing rates it's engineered to have made some progress in taming inflation. But top Fed officials want to take time to more fully assess how their rate hikes have affected inflation and the economy.
The central bank's policymakers envision raising their key rate by an additional half point this year, to about 5.6 percent, according to economic forecasts they issued Wednesday.
The economic projections revealed a more hawkish Fed than many analysts had expected. Twelve of the 18 policymakers forecast at least two more quarter-point rate increases. Four supported a quarter-point increase. Only two envisioned keeping rates unchanged. The policymakers also predicted that their benchmark rate will stay higher for longer than they did three months ago.
"We understand the hardship that high inflation is causing, and we remain strongly committed to bringing inflation back down to our 2 percent goal," Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a news conference. "The process of getting inflation down is going to be a gradual one -- it's going to take some time."
Still, Powell stopped short of saying the Fed's policymakers have committed to resuming their rate hikes when they next meet in late July. One reason why the officials may be predicting additional rate hikes is that they foresee a modestly healthier economy and more persistent inflation that might require higher rates to cool
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia has delivered its first tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, three months after announcing the plan that threatens to ratchet up tensions with the US and its allies over the war in Ukraine.
The first nuclear charges were delivered to the territory of Belarus. But only the first," Vladimir Putin said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. "This is the first part. But by the end of the summer, by the end of the year, we will complete this work."
This action of Russia may lead to the escalation of tensions between NATO and the Russian block.
In a strange coincidence, Khalistani separatist Avtar Singh Khanda, a close associate of jailed radical preacher Amritpal Singh, died today in the UK. Sources say Avtar Singh Khanda was admitted to a Birmingham hospital after he complained of uneasiness on Monday.
The exact cause of the separatist's death is not clear yet. Some unconfirmed reports suggest that he had been suffering from blood cancer. It is seen as a big setback to the UK-based Khalistani sympathizers.
Avtar Singh Khanda had led the protests at the Indian High Commission in London earlier this year while Amritpal Singh was on the run.
Former US President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty Tuesday to dozens of criminal counts of mishandling some of the US government's most sensitive secrets and scheming to prevent their return, in a historic first court appearance as a federal defendant. The former president who is a favorite to fight next year's election for the Republicans gave himself up to US Marshals in Miami for a hearing that set up the unprecedented scenario of a White House race litigated from the courtroom as well as at the ballot box.
Donald Trump appeared before a magistrate judge to be formally presented with 37 counts under seven charges brought by a special counsel probe that opened after an FBI raid of his Florida mansion 10 months ago.
But Trump dismissed his prosecution as politically motivated in a speech to supporters framing the indictment as an effort to interfere in the 2024 election. "Today we witnessed the most evil and heinous abuse of power in the history of our country. A very sad thing to watch," Trump said after returning to his summer residence in New Jersey.
The hearing came just weeks after Trump denied state-level financial fraud charges in a separate case in Manhattan after the former reality TV star's mounting legal woes threatened to derail his bid to return to the Oval Office.
The US government which has never before prosecuted a former president accuses Trump of violating the Espionage Act and other laws when he removed classified documents upon leaving office in 2021 and failed to give them up to the National Archives.
Authorities say he conspired to thwart investigators and knowingly shared national security secrets with people who did not have the requisite clearance. After the hearing, Trump jetted from Miami back to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he blamed President Joe Biden for his prosecution.
"A corrupt sitting president had his top political opponent arrested on fake and fabricated charges -- of which he and numerous other presidents would be guilty -- right in the middle of a presidential election, in which he's losing very badly," said Trump, speaking from the front of the clubhouse, at a podium flanked by American flags.
US Federal prosecutors unsealed a wide-ranging indictment of Donald Trump today accusing the former US president of endangering national security by holding on to top secret nuclear and defense documents after leaving the White House.
The 76-year-old Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, took "hundreds" of classified government documents in cardboard boxes to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, the 49-page charge sheet said.
Trump kept the files -- which included records from the Pentagon, CIA and National Security Agency -- unsecured at Mar-a-Lago, which regularly hosted large social events involving tens of thousands of guests over time, the indictment said.
In convicted, it will be difficult for Donald Trump to run for the 2024 presidency.
Former US President Donald Trump said that he has been indicted over his handling of classified documents after leaving office, the former US president's most serious legal threat yet as a firestorm of criminal investigations imperils his bid for a second White House term. "The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax," Trump wrote on his platform Truth Social as he broke what would be bombshell news of a historic moment for the United States: the first time a sitting or former commander-in-chief has ever faced federal charges.
There was no immediate confirmation from the Justice Department regarding Trump's assertion, although some US media outlets including The New York Times cited sources saying that Trump has indeed been indicted.
In his post, Trump, who is running for president again, said he has been summoned to a federal courthouse Tuesday in Miami. "I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States," he wrote.
After Donald Trump announced that he has been indicted over his handling of classified documents in what could be a bombshell news, billionaire Elon Musk came out in support of the former US president, pointing to a "far higher interest" in pursuing the Republican Party leader compared to other people in politics.
"Very important that the justice system rebut what appears to be differential enforcement or they will lose public trust," Elon Musk, who has predicted Donald Trump would be re-elected in a "landslide victory" if he is indicted in the case, said on Twitter.