Russian PM and government resign, Putin puts forward new candidate

Dmitry Medvedev, right, said that the government he heads was resigning to give President Vladimir Putin room to carry out constitutional changes. (Reuters)
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Updated 15 January 2020

Russian PM and government resign, Putin puts forward new candidate

  • Putin submitted Mikhail Mishustin’s candidacy to the parliament for approval
  • Putin proposes nationwide vote on sweeping changes that would shift power from the presidency to parliament

MOSCOW: Russia’s lower house of parliament said on Wednesday it would decide on whether to approve Mikhail Mishustin, the head of the Federal Tax Service, as Russia’s new prime minister on Thursday, the RIA news agency reported.
Putin submitted Mishustin’s candidacy to the parliament for approval after Russia’s government resigned unexpectedly. 

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that his government was resigning to give President Vladimir Putin room to carry out the changes he wants to make to the constitution.
The unexpected announcement, which came shortly after Putin proposed a nationwide vote on sweeping changes that would shift power from the presidency to parliament, means Russia will also get a new prime minister.
Medvedev made the announcement on state TV sitting next to Putin who thanked Medvedev, a close ally, for his work.
Putin said that Medvedev would take on a new job as deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, which Putin chairs.
Putin asked for the outgoing government to remain at work until a new government was appointed.


Pakistan, India coronavirus cases, deaths spike

Updated 33 min 26 sec ago

Pakistan, India coronavirus cases, deaths spike

  • Pakistan reports a record single-day spike in coronavirus-related deaths
  • In India, COVID-19 fatalities have passed 6,000 after registering 260 deaths overnight

ISLAMABAD/ NEW DELHI: Pakistan reported a record single-day spike in coronavirus-related deaths with 82 new fatalities and 4,688 cases that it says resulted from increased testing in the past 24 hours.
In India, COVID-19 fatalities have passed 6,000 after registering 260 deaths overnight.
The country registered 9,304 new cases in yet another record single-day spike in infections, raising its totals to 216,919 cases with 6,075 deaths, the India’s health ministry reported Thursday.
Pakistan’s outbreak has grown steadily since the country’s first case in February. Since then, 1,770 people have died and 85,264 have tested positive.
As many as 901 patients were listed in critical condition at hospitals Thursday. The country has barely 3,000 intensive care beds serving a population of 220 million.
Pakistan for the first time conducted over 20,000 tests in the past 24 hours. It has done more than 615,000 tests after increasing its testing capacity from only two labs in February.
The spike comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan eased lockdown restrictions over expert’s recommendations to maintain them to prevent the spread of the virus. Authorities have blamed people not adhering to social distancing regulations for the growing outbreak.
Meanwhile, the Indian health ministry said it was ramping up the testing across the country and has performed 4 million. It said the daily capacity was almost 140,000 tests done through 480 government and 208 private laboratories.
India’s infections have spiked in recent weeks, mostly in its cities. The coastal state of Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected, with 74,860 cases and 2,587 deaths. The state capital is densely crowded Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital.
India is the seventh worst-hit nation by the pandemic.