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  • Toss delayed as rain, dark clouds loom over Pakistan vs Sri Lanka World Cup match

    BRISTOL: The toss for the World Cup group stage match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Friday was delayed due to rain as heavy clouds shrouded the sky over the Bristol County Ground.

    The covers had been brought out to protect the pitch as heavy rain was pouring over Bristol.

    Play was likely to be affected with overs expected to be reduced for each innings.

    But overcast conditions also threw in the chance of the game being washed out, in which scenario each side would get one point each.

    A weather report by BBC weather updates suggested that heavy showers were expected to be seen in the first five hours of the game.

    "We will lose one point as we could’ve won this," said former Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Yousuf.

    Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, however, thought Pakistan would benefit if overs were reduced.

    "Pakistan is great at Twenty20 cricket. The match should happen, whether its 20 or 22 overs. Its good for Pakistan either way," he said.

    "We are very good at T20. (If playing time is reduced) We should follow those T20 strategies," former Pakistan cricketer Sikander Bakht told Geo News.

    Pakistan were looking to maintain its unbeaten streak against Sri Lanka in the group stage match. Pakistan has beaten Sri Lanka in all their previous seven World Cup encounters.

    The last time the teams met was in 2011 with Pakistan winning by 11 runs.

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  • Series of explosions in Sri Lanka churches and hotels kills dozens

    Over 100 people were killed Sunday in a string of blasts at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka as worshippers attended Easter services, a police official told AFP.

    The fatalities include at least 45 people killed in Colombo, where three hotels and a church were hit, and another 25 dead in the town of Batticoloa, 250 km (155 miles) east of the capital, where a church was attacked.

    The first explosions were reported at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s in the town of Negombo just outside the capital.

    A police official said at least 67 people were killed in the St. Sebastian’s blast.

    At least 160 people injured in the St. Anthony’s blast had been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital by mid-morning, an official told AFP.

    “A bomb attack to our church, please come and help if your family members are there,” read a post in English on the Facebook page of the St. Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo.

    Another explosion was reported at a church in the town of Batticaloa, in the east of the country.

    Shortly after those blasts were reported, police confirmed three hotels in the capital had also been hit, the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury.

    At least one of the victims was killed in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, near the prime minister’s official residence, where the blast ripped through a restaurant, a hotel official told AFP.

    An official at the Batticaloa hospital told AFP more than 300 people had been admitted with injuries following the blast there.

    Graphic photos circulating on social media showed the roof of one church had been almost blown off in the blast.

    The floor was littered with a mixture of roof tiles, splintered wood and blood.

    Several people could be seen covered in blood, with some trying to help those with more serious injuries.

    The images could not immediately be verified.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but police said they appeared coordinated, the New York Times reported.

    Only around six percent of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka is Catholic, but the religion is seen as a unifying force because it includes people from both the Tamil and majority Sinhalese ethnic groups.

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  • لندن، چھ منزلہ رہائشی عمارت میں لگی آگ پر قابو پالیا گیا

    ندن میں واقع چھ منزلہ عمارت میں تین گھنٹے بعد لگی آگ پر قابو پالیا گیا ہے۔ واقعہ میں کسی قسم کا کوئی جانی نقصان نہیں ہوا۔ 

    غیر ملکی خبر رساں ایجنسی کی جانب سے جاری رپورٹ کے مطابق لندن میں چھ منزلہ عمارت میں اچانک آگ بھڑک اٹھی تھی، جس نے دیکھتے ہی دیکھتے پوری عمارت کو اپنی لپیٹ میں لے لیا

     

     

    رپورٹ کے مطابق سو سے زائد فائر فائٹرز جب کہ پندرہ فائر انجن نے موقع پر پہنچ کر آگ پر قابو پایا۔ پولیس اور ایمرجنسی سروسز بھی موقع پر پہنچ گئیں۔ تین گھنٹے بعد آگ پر قابو پالیا گیا، جب کہ کسی قسم کا کوئی جانی نقصان نہیں ہوا۔ آگ لگنے کی وجہ تاحال سامنے نہیں آئی

     

     

    آگ سے 20 فلیٹس متاثر ہوئے، جب کہ 10 فلیٹوں کو جزوی نقصان پہنچا۔ آگ لگنے کے باعث دھویں سے خاتون اور ایک شخص متاثر ہوا، جنہیں اسپتال منتقل کر دیا گیا۔ کسی بھی حادثے سے بچنے کیلئے عمارت کے اطراف کے گھروں کو خالی کرالیا گیا۔

     

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  • Qatar 2022: Football World Cup logo unveiled

    Emblem simultaneously revealed in the host country as well as 24 other major cities across the world.

     

    Qatar 2022: Football World Cup logo unveiled

     

     

    The official emblem for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup has been unveiled in the capital Doha.

    The unveiling took place at 8:22pm local time (17:22 GMT), as thousands of spectators gathered to witness the synchronised projection of the emblem onto a number of the country’s most iconic buildings, including Burj Doha, Katara Cultural Village Amphitheatre, Souq Waqif and Al Zubarah Fort - a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    The emblem was unveiled simultaneously in 24 other major cities across the world including London, Johannesburg, Mexico City, Mumbai, Paris and Seoul.

    A screen in Madrid's Callao Square showed the emblem, while an advertisement that revealed the emblem was running on screens attached to the Arco Della Pace in Milan, and on a giant screen at Moscow's New Arbat Avenue. 

    Fifa unveiling
    Qatar residents gathered at Katara Cultural Village to witness the unveiling of the FIFA 2022 emblem in Doha [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

    According to tournament organisers, the swooping curves of the emblem represent the undulations of desert dunes and the unbroken loop depicts both the number eight - highlighting the eight stadiums that will host the World Cup matches - and the infinity symbol, which reflects the interconnected nature of the event.

    Al Jazeera's Andy Richardson reporting from Qatar's capital, Doha said the details of the emblem are not as important as the wider symbolism of the timing the launch.

    "The timing of this launch is no accident. It was September the 3rd 1971 when Qatar became an independent country having previously been a protectorate of Britain and it is now as an independent country that Qatar will be bringing the World Cup to the Middle East for the very first time," Richardson said.

    "And after all the conversations and controversies we have had since Qatar was award the World Cup in 2010, the global nature of the launch of this emblem is a reminder  to everyone that sure enough  a football tournament will be coming here in November 2022," he added.

    Some of the world's most renowned footballers took to social media to share the emblem with millions of their fans.

    The 22nd edition of the World Cup, which will be the first staged in the Arab world, will get underway on November 21, 2022. The final will be played on December 18, 2022, Qatar's National Day. 

    qatar 2022 football logo emblem [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
    The logo projected on a building near Souq Wakif in Doha [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
    Iraqis gather at Baghdad's Tahir square as the official logo of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is projected on the front of a building on September 3, 2019. Qatar unveiled the logo for the 2022 World C
    Iraqis gather at Baghdad's Tahir square to witness the unveiling of the World Cup 2022 logo [Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP]
    An electronic board displays the official logo of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Buenos Aires outskirts, on September 3, 2019. Qatar unveiled the logo for the 2022 World Cup which will be hosted by
    An electronic board displays the official logo of the World Cup 2022 in Buenos Aires outskirts [Juan Mabromata/AFP]
    The Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 logo is projected on the famous Pigon's Rock landmark in the Lebanese capital Beirut on September 3, 2019.  Anwar AMRO / AFP
    The World Cup Qatar 2022 logo is projected on the famous Pigeon's Rock landmark in the Lebanese capital Beirut [Anwar Amro/AFP]
    Fifa emblem
    Qatar residents gathered at Katara Cultural Village in the capital Doha despite high evening temperature and humidity to witness the unveiling of the logo [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
    The Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 logo is projected on the Kuwait Towers, in Kuwait City on September 3, 2919.  Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP
    The World Cup Qatar 2022 logo is projected on the Kuwait Towers, in Kuwait City 
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  • Russia, China veto UN resolution calling for ceasefire in Syria

    Russia's 13th veto came as draft didn't include exemption for military attacks against UN-blacklisted fighter groups.

     

    It was the 13th time Russia vetoed a UN resolution on Syria and the seventh time China did so [Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

     

     

    Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for a truce in the region of Idlib, the last rebel-held stronghold in northwestern Syria.

    The resolution said, "All parties shall immediately cease hostilities to avoid a further deterioration of the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Idlib Governorate, beginning at noon Damascus time on 21 September 2019."

    Russia vetoed the call for action because it did not include an exemption for military offensives against the UN-blacklisted fighter groups.

    It was the 13th time Russia vetoed a resolution on the Syrian conflict and the seventh in the case of China.

    Equatorial Guinea abstained, while the remaining 12 members of the council voted in favour of the resolution, which was drafted by Kuwait, Belgium and Germany.

    "As co-penholders of the humanitarian file for Syria in the Council, we would like to call upon all member states to vote in favor of our resolution," the three drafters said. 

    READ MORE

    UN: More than 1,000 civilians killed in Syria over 4 months

    "Our draft resolution the Council will vote on today is a purely humanitarian one," they said, noting that half a million people have been displaced since the Idlib offensive began four months ago.

    According to Al Jazeera political correspondent James Bays, it was mainly the Russians who had issues with the resolution.

    "It's worth noting that this veto comes as Russia currently presides over the UN Security Council and just days before the UN General Assembly, where so far no specific meetings on Syria have been called," Bays said from New York.

    "I think the Chinese, as they have done a fair few times, have gone along with the Russians for solidarity but it really was the Russian objection to this resolution," he added.

    "Obviously, the main bombardment that has been taking place in Idlib is by the Syrian government backed by the Russian airforce," he added.

    Earlier on Thursday, the sponsors of the resolution urged not to veto the "purely humanitarian" measure.

    According to the countries, the situation in Idlib could deteriorate significantly if the fighting continued and could turn into a major humanitarian crisis.

    "The Council cannot, must not, let that happen," they said.

    Russia and China have presented a joint alternative resolution, which specifies that the ceasefire would not apply to military operations against individuals, groups or entities "associated with terrorist groups".

    Voting on that resolution could happen on Thursday.

    On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, in appealing for an end to air and artillery bombardments of Idlib, citing the devastating effect on civilians.

    Previous ceasefires

    Idlib is home to three million people, half of whom are already internally displaced from areas previously captured by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

    The UN says two-thirds of those currently in the war-torn province are women and children.

    A unilateral ceasefire called by Russia on Saturday, which briefly paused the Syrian government advance on rebel-controlled areas, has done little to quell fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.

    The ceasefire was yet another attempt to avert a full-blown Syrian offensive, which the UN has said would result in one of the worst humanitarian "nightmares" in Syria's eight-year conflict.

    previous ceasefire brokered in August ended just days after it began.

    Russia intervened in Syria's long-running conflict almost four years ago in support of al-Assad, while Turkey has long backed rebels in Idlib. The two countries sponsored a de-escalation agreement for Idlib that has been in place since September last year, but faltered in recent months.

    However, according to Al Jazeera's Bays, there is also a little bit of hope something positive might happen.

    "One potentially good bit of news is it's looking like they are getting a constitutional committee together, trying to get the parties that were present during the failed peace talks in Geneva to at least get together to talk about a future constitution," Bays said.

    Daraya: A Library Under Bombs in Syria

     

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