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Iran discovers large lithium deposit

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(Last Updated On: March 4, 2023)

Iran has announced the discovery of a large deposit of lithium, a key component of batteries for electric vehicles and electronic devices, Iran’s state media reported Saturday.

Mohammad Hadi Ahmadi, an official with the ministry of industry, mines and trade, was quoted in local media as saying: “For the first time in Iran, a lithium reserve has been discovered in Hamedan,” which is in the west of the country.

Officials said this reserve is believed to hold 8.5 million tonnes of lithium.

Known as the “oil of the 21st century”, lithium is essential for the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles, and for the batteries of laptops and cell phones.

According to a United States Geological Survey (USGS) report published in 2022, a total of 89 million tons of lithium have been identified worldwide. Australia, Chile, Argentina and China are the main producers, New Arab reported.

In 2022, lithium prices skyrocketed due to rising component prices and general inflation, as demand for cleaner means of travel increased around the world.

Iran, whose economy is battered by severe international sanctions, particularly imposed by the United States, has substantial natural resources reserves, including gas, oil, copper, and iron.

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Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan fears arrest as he heads to court

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(Last Updated On: March 18, 2023)

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan said on Saturday he expected to be arrested as he headed to court on graft charges, after days of legal wrangling and pitched battles between his supporters and police.

The 70-year-old former cricket star has been tangled in a slew of court cases, a frequent hazard for opposition figures in Pakistan’s mudslinging politics, AFP reported.

“I am going to the Islamabad court right now. I want to tell you all that they have made a plan to arrest me,” he said in a video message from the motorway, claiming he was the target of a plot to stop him from standing in elections due by October.

“The point of their attack on my house was not to present me before the Islamabad court. The purpose was to put me in jail.”

Khan was ousted in a no-confidence motion last year and has been pressuring the fragile coalition government which replaced him to hold early elections.

Earlier this week Khan’s supporters fought pitched battles with police sent to arrest him in the eastern city of Lahore after he failed to appear in court, citing security concerns.

Authorities were later stood down after a flurry of court hearings and Khan’s promise to appear in the capital on Saturday.

Some 4,000 security officials including elite police commandos, anti-terrorism squads and paramilitary rangers have been deployed around Islamabad with hospitals put on high alert, AFP reported.

Police meanwhile raided his house in a plush Lahore neighbourhood after blocking nearby roads and suspending mobile services in the area.

The case has been brought by the Election Commission of Pakistan which has accused Khan of not declaring gifts received during his time as premier, or the profit made from selling them.

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Fire kills 10 members of family in Pakistan

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(Last Updated On: March 17, 2023)

At least 10 people, including children and women, were killed and three injured in a fire incident early Friday morning in the Seri area of Pattan, the district headquarters of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Lower Kohistan, Dawn reported. 

Lower Kohistan Rescue 1122 spokesperson, Farman Ali, said that the fire erupted in a wooden house due to an electric short circuit in the early hours of Friday when the residents were asleep.

As a result, the house’s roof collapsed, leading to the deaths of 10 family members and leaving three others injured. Ali further said that until the residents woke up, the entire house had been engulfed in fire.

The rescue official said that as it was dark when rescue efforts were underway, and they faced difficulties in retrieving the bodies and the injured.

“However, their bodies have been recovered and the three injured have been shifted to Pattan’s Rural Health Centre,” Ali added.

He further said that eight buffalos also perished in the incident as the fire was on a “huge scale” and locals had taken part in the rescue efforts as well.

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IEA forces in Balkh told to be in uniform during house-to-house searches

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(Last Updated On: March 17, 2023)

Balkh’s acting governor, Mawlavi Mohammad Yusuf Wafa said in a meeting on Thursday with district governors and police commanders that no security officers or Mujahid would be allowed to search houses while wearing plain clothes.

Wafa also discussed problems with the district governors and police chiefs of the province.

He said Balkh was an important province in Afghanistan, and that the recently slain governor, Shahid Mohammad Dawood Muzamil, had done a good job.

He urged the officials “to follow the seniors, fulfill their responsibilities correctly, and provide services to the people in an honest manner”.

Mawlavi Mohammad Dawood Muzamil, the governor of Balkh province, was killed in an explosion at the governor’s compound last Thursday.

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