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Cameron urges unity ‘against hatred’ after British MP’s murder

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London : – Prime Minister David Cameron urged people to unite against hatred on Monday as Britain’s parliament held a tearful special session to honour murdered lawmaker Jo Cox.

Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two who campaigned for British membership of the European Union in a June 23 referendum, was shot and killed last Thursday in her constituency in northern England.

To cries of “hear, hear” in parliament, Cameron called on fellow politicians to remember Cox by “uniting against the hatred that killed her today, and for ever more”.

Minutes before the parliamentary session opened, her alleged killer, 52-year-old Thomas Mair, appeared in court in London via video link from prison after being charged at the weekend with murder.

During a short hearing at the Old Bailey court, he spoke only to confirm his name and was ordered to remain in custody.

Asked to give his identity at a lower court on Saturday, he had replied: “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”

– White roses –

Cox’s killing has sparked a fierce debate over the divisive nature of the European Union referendum battle, as polls show the rival camps neck-and-neck with three days to go.

A close friend of hers in parliament, Stephen Kinnock, hit out at a Brexit campaign poster, released just hours before she was killed, that showed refugees trudging through a field with the headline: “Breaking Point”.

“She would have responded with outrage and with robust rejection of the calculated narrative of cynicism, division and despair that it represents,” Kinnock said.

“Jo understood that rhetoric has consequences. When insecurity, fear and anger are used to light a fuse, then the explosion is inevitable,” he warned.

Despite withering criticism, leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), has defended his use of the poster, saying it is an accurate depiction of the refugee crisis in the EU.

On Cox’s vacant seat in House of Commons lay a white rose representing her Yorkshire home and a red rose in memory of her political affiliation, the opposition Labour Party.

Cox’s husband Brendan and her children, aged five and three, listened in the parliament’s gallery as politicians, sporting white roses, paid tribute.

Some lawmakers clutched handkerchiefs and wiped away tears.

“The community and whole country has been united in grief and united in rejecting the well of hatred that killed her in what increasingly appears to have been an act of extreme political violence,” said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“In her maiden speech last year, Jo said this: ‘Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration’,” he added. “We need a kinder and gentler politics. We all have a responsibility not to whip up hatred or sow division.”

An online appeal for three charities supported by Cox, including one to aid people in Syria, has so far collected £936,000 (1.2 million euros/$1.4 million).

 

Source : AFP

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China to build dam on Brahmaputra river despite concerns raised by India, Bangladesh

China will implement the hydroelectric project downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River (Brahmaputra River) in 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), said Yan Zhiyong, chairman of Powerchina which is tasked to build it.

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Beijing: In yet provocation amid the ongoing India-China standoff, Beijing is moving ahead with plans to build a hydropower project on Brahmaputra river in Tibet likely to have an impact on lower riparian India and Bangladesh.

The proposal for the same has been made in the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan and is slated to be implemented from next year.

“China will implement the hydroelectric project downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo river in 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and its long-term goals through 2035 made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China,” said Yan Zhiyong, the chairman of Power Construction Corp of China (Powerchina), tasked with the construction of the project, according to government mouthpiece Global Times.

As expected, the Chinese leadership is viewing the project from a security lens as well.

“The project could serve to maintain water resources and domestic security,” added Yan while speaking about the project at a conference on Thursday.

“There is no parallel in history… it will be a historic opportunity for the Chinese hydropower industry,” Yan told the conference to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering.

The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 were adopted by Plenum – a key policy body of the Communist Party of China (CPC)- last month.

The details of the project will be released after the formal approval of the same by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) in early 2021.

Implications for India, Bangladesh

The proposal for building a dam on the Brahmaputra river, which originates in China, has sparked concern in lower riparian states India and Bangladesh. Beijing has downplayed such fears.

As a lower riparian state, India has rights to the waters of the trans-border rivers under international law. The Indian government has earlier expressed its concerns to Beijing and urged it to ensure that the interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activity in upstream areas.
Yan added that the hydropower exploitation of the Yarlung Zangbo River downstream is more than a hydropower project. It is also meaningful for the environment, national security, living standards, energy and international cooperation.

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Diego Maradona’s personal doctor under investigation

The medical psychiatrist and one other person who was in the house when Maradona passed could also be investigated.

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Leopoldo Luque, Diego Maradona’s personal doctor, is under investigation in Argentina over the football legend’s death.He has been named by prosecutors in San Isidro, in Buenos Aires, and the judge has ordered for the doctor’s house and clinic to be searched, with 30 police officers at each site.

There is a suspicion of medical negligence in the final days of Maradona’s life and, therefore, a potential culpable homicide.It has been claimed that Maradona didn’t have the medical permission to leave the clinic where he had surgery for a subdural hematoma earlier in November. But, he did leave on November 11 to return to his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires.

The medical psychiatrist and one other person who was in the house when Maradona passed could also be investigated.

This legal investigation could go on for some time as the prosecutors look to get to the bottom of what exactly happened in the final hours of Maradona’s life.

They’ll look to work out if he had permission to be at home, why there wasn’t a specialist doctor present 24/7, why there wasn’t an ambulance at the house, if he had the right medicine, if the general medical protocols were followed, why there wasn’t a defibrillator in the house and how the final hours were managed.

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Punjabi diaspora worried, shocked over ‘brutality’ against farmers

“Farmers are peacefully protesting over controversial bills that will impact their livelihoods. Water cannons and tear gas, are being used to silence them.”

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Farmers Beaten

Chandigarh, Nov 29: The planned protest against new farm laws and the ‘brutality’ of the security forces by lobbing teargas shells and using water cannons to stop the peaceful march of the farmers towards the national capital has left the diaspora largely from Canada worried and shocked.

They asked the Indian government to engage in an open dialogue with the farmers as their livelihoods are going to be impacted.

Expressing solidarity with the farmers, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the reports of peaceful protesters being brutalized were very troubling.

“Many of my constituents have family there and are worried about the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow peaceful protest. I urge those involved to uphold this fundamental right,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Joining the issue, Sonia Sidhu, MP for Brampton South, Canada, tweeted, “I received many messages from constituents concerned in Brampton South about the situation in India.

“My residents told me how worried they are about the protests of the Punjab farmers. I share their concerns and hope that the situation will be resolved peacefully.”

Joining her counterpart, Ruby Sahota, MP for Brampton (North), said the determination and resilience of the farmers is admirable.

“In a free and just society one should be able to advocate for their cause without the threat of force being used against them. The brutality being faced by the Indian farmers in these images is deplorable,” she said in a tweet.

Joining the cause, Chandigarh-born Rachna Singh, Parliament Secretary of British Columbia, said she was really saddened by the way Punjab farmers are being treated. “This is unacceptable.”

Describing the violence perpetrated by the Indian government against farmers peacefully protesting is appalling, Canada’s New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted: “I stand in solidarity with the farmers from Punjab and across India — and, I call on the Indian government to engage in peaceful dialogue rather than violence”

He thanked Jack Harris, MP for St. John’s East, for his advocacy.

“We are shocked to see the Indian government’s suppression of farmers protesting new laws which will endanger their livelihood. Instead of using water cannons and tear gas, the Indian government needs to engage in open dialogue with farmers,” said Harris.

“Peaceful protests are fundamental in any democracy, and I urge for the rights of the protestors to be respected,” said Navdeep Bains, MP for Mississauga-Malton.

“Shocking scenes from Delhi,” remarked MP from Britain, Preet Kaur Gill.

“Farmers are peacefully protesting over controversial bills that will impact their livelihoods. Water cannons and tear gas, are being used to silence them.”

Tracing his roots to a farmer family, Indo-Canadian politician Gurratan Singh said the images of police brutality were horrific.

“I come from a family of farmers. I feel the pain and struggle of farmers protesting laws that threaten their livelihoods. The state continues to meet peaceful protestors with violence and brutality,” he tweeted along with the video of his speech made by him in the Ontario Assembly.

“Farmers are the backbone of our society. They feed cities, and right now they are under attack in India. Folks in my riding are concerned about new laws that are passed by the Indian government that are going to hurt the farmers in Punjab, Haryana and others across India.

“That’s why I am asking all the members of this House to come together to stand with farmers against these unjust laws passed by the Indian government, so farmers in India can live with respect and dignity that they deserve,” Gurratan Singh said in his speech.

Standing with farmers in India, Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, Andrea Horwath, said: “Everyone deserves to be able to exercise their democratic rights without fear of state-sanctioned violence”.

Canadian MP Tim Uppal posted, “India’s farmers deserve to be heard and respected. This is horrific.”

The farmers are protesting against the farm laws as they feel that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate entities.

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