Foreign Titbits: Government of Uganda imposes new tax on Bibles and Qurans

Foreign Titbits: Government of Uganda imposes new tax on Bibles and Qurans

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is insisting on taxing religious material imported into the country, the privately-owned Daily Monitor reported on Tuesday.

However, the move is being met by resistance from the two main religious groups in the country – Christians and Muslims. It follows a plan by government months back, to tax social media.

An umbrella body for religious groups, the inter-Religious Council of Uganda said even if taxes were to be imposed, the current 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) on such materials was ‘erroneous.’

  • India: Collapsed flyover kills 18, dozen more trapped

At least 18 people have been killed and dozens trapped in the Indian city of Varanasi after a flyover collapsed, crushing vehicles beneath it.

The flyover was still being built when portions of its cement structure fell on the road being used under it.

Officials from the National Disaster Response Force said 18 bodies had been recovered as at the time of compiling this report.

A rescue operation is continuing for those believed to still be trapped, but their number and condition is unknown.

Photographs and video from the scene showed cars and a bus crushed beneath the weight of the concrete, many of which still held people inside.

Local media reported that a handful of people had been successfully rescued, as seven cranes attempted to lift the concrete pillar.
An eyewitness who reported being nearby when the collapse happened was quoted as saying; “At least four cars, an auto-rickshaw and a minibus were crushed under it.”

  • Scientists close to discovering cause of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

A common cause of female infertility – polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – may be due to a hormonal imbalance before birth, researchers have found.

According to the New Scientist, Researchers have been able to cure it in mice, and a clinical trial of human women is due to begin later this year.

PCOS is said to affect up to one in five women worldwide. It affects how a woman’s ovaries work – symptoms include irregular periods and difficulty getting pregnant.

“It’s by far the most common hormonal condition affecting women of reproductive age, but it hasn’t received a lot of attention,” Robert Norman at the University of Adelaide in Australia told the New Scientist.

  • North Korea suspends talks with South, threatens to cancel US summit

North Korea has suspended high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for today because of US-South Korean military exercises, which it said threatened warming ties on the divided peninsula.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also cast doubt on whether next month’s summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump would go ahead as planned, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

“This exercise, targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula,” Yonhap quoted KCNA as saying.

  • Pilot partly expelled from Chinese jetliner after windscreen breaks

A Chinese pilot was partly sucked out of his cockpit at 32,000 feet after the windscreen broke on the Sichuan Airlines jet, authorities said Tuesday.

The flight’s captain said the co-pilot was partially expelled from the aircraft when the window broke on the Airbus A319 during a flight from Chongqing to Lhasa, Tibet, Monday.

China’s Civil Aviation Administration said the co-pilot received minor injuries. A flight attendant also was injured but none of the 119 passengers were.

  • Ex-Taiwan President, Ma Ying-jeou, receives four month jail sentence

Ma Ying-jeou, a former Taiwanese President, has been sentenced to four months in jail after being found guilty of leaking classified information when he was in office in 2013, according to Taiwan News website.

The country’s high court said on Tuesday that Ma is liable for damaging the “character and rights” of Taiwanese opposition lawyer Ker Chien-ming when he leaked confidential information on him.

It said that Ma, 67, violated the Communication Security and Surveillance Act.
The decision overturned a Taipei district court ruling in August that cleared Ma of wrongdoing

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