Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under new national security law | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under new national security law – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
Connect with us

World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under new national security law

Leading pro-democracy figure detained over alleged foreign collusion as police search Apple Daily offices

Published

on

Jimmy Lai

Hong Kong, Aug 10 : Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai was arrested on Monday “for collusion with a foreign country” under the new national security law imposed in the city by Beijing, a media report said.

Sources told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper that Lai’s two sons, and senior executives from the tabloid-style Apple Daily were also arrested in the sweeping police operation.

“He was arrested for collusion with a foreign country, uttering seditious words and conspiracy to defraud,” one of the sources told the SCMP.

Lai’s top aide, Mark Simon, who is not in the city, was also being sought by Hong Kong police, according to the source, who would not say what offence the latter was accused of committing.

The source said the city’s opposition activists were not likely to be targeted in Monday’s operation.

Meanwhiel, another source told the SCMP that of Lai’s two sons was arrested on suspicion of collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security, and the other was detained for conspiracy to defraud, according to another source.

The four others included Apple Daily’s CEO Cheung Kim-hung, and Chow Tat-kuen, its chief financial officer.

Chow was also arrested for collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security, while Cheung was arrested for conspiracy to defraud.

Police said the operation was continuing and so far arrested they had arrested at least seven people aged 39-72.

“They are suspected to be involved in offences including collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security and conspiracy to defraud,” the force said.

“The operation is ongoing and we do not rule out more arrests.”

Lai’s arrest came two weeks after the new police unit took its first action against anti-government activists, not directly related to street protests, said the SCMP newspaper report.

On July 29, four students, aged from 16 to 21, were taken into custody on suspicion of secession under the new legislation which is aimed at punishing acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

World

Ditto! Imran Khan UNGA 2020 speech almost replica of 2019 litany

Khan’s speech was ordered almost no differently from last year: A wide swipe at the world, “corrupt elites”, tree planting, Islamophobia, RSS, Modi, Kashmir and then more Kashmir.

Published

on

By

Imran Khan

United Nations, Sep 26 : If you blinked, you could have mistaken Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) as the one he delivered in 2019.

Retrofitted with pandemic era phrases, nips and tucks, Khan belted out what was effectively an abridged version of last year’s gig, at half past noon on Friday.

The layering of the two years’ speeches seems like a Khan riff on a wild moment from recent US politics.

“Person, woman, man, camera, TV” was a phrase that US President Donald Trump used as an example of a question from a cognitive test he took. Trump explained that remembering the words in order got extra points.

Khan’s speech was ordered almost no differently from last year: A wide swipe at the world, “corrupt elites”, tree planting, Islamophobia, RSS, Modi, Kashmir and then more Kashmir.

The Prime Minister’s address was rescheduled from a late afternoon EST slot to the 14th spot in the morning session, which aligned with traditional evening primetime hours in the Pakistan area.

Framed against a flag festooned backdrop and a painting of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the wall behind him, Khan sat at a desk amidst a haze of green coloured props and rattled off a bucket list of macro-level grievances. This was the warm-up routine, quite in line with last year.

Khan’s speech began at 12.31 p.m. local time. Ten minutes in came the big leap. At 12.42 p.m., his claims on carbon emissions and the promise to plant 10 billion trees came to a screeching halt so that some scraps of geopolitical red meat could be flung around.

A side by side reading of Khan’s 2019 and 2020 speeches show up a fairly predictable pattern in the text flow. The new inserts were mostly about the coronavirus and some chunks from last year’s 50 minute speech were cut out entirely.

This year, Khan made no mention of women and Hijab, unlike last time when he waded in. “A woman can take off her clothes in some countries but she cannot put more on? And why has this happened? Because certain western leaders equated Islam with terrorism,” he said early in his 2019 speech.

Sample this excerpt from 2019: “…We planted a billion trees in five years. Now we are targeting 10 billion trees.”

Khan’s 2020 lines have minor edits, some adjectives tossed in: “We have launched an extremely ambitious program to plant 10 billion trees in the next three years as a contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change.”

In 2019, he ‘explained’ to the UNGA the concept of the RSS: “I have to explain what the RSS is. Mr Modi is a ‘life member’ of RSS. An organisation inspired by Hitler and Mussolini. They believed in racial superiority the same way that the Nazi’s believed in the supremacy of the Aryan race.”

Here’s how Khan took off on the RSS on Friday, in the context of “Islamophobia”: “The reason behind this is the RSS ideology that unfortunately rules India today. This extremist ideology was founded in the 1920s, the RSS founding fathers were inspired by the Nazis and adopted their concepts of racial purity and supremacy.”

Next on the Khan rundown: Kashmir. That stayed in the same slot, after climate change, RSS and Modi.

The 2019 readout: “Now I want to move on to talk about Kashmir. When we came into power; my first priority was that Pakistan would be that country that would try its best to bring peace” and “This is the time when you, the UN, must urge India to lift the curfew; to free the 13,000 Kashmiris who have disappeared meanwhile and this is the time when the UN must insist on Kashmir’s right to self determination.

“Mr. President, For over 72 years, India has illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir against the wishes of the Kashmiri people, and in blatant violation of the resolutions of the Security Council.”

“India is playing a dangerous game of upping the ante against Pakistan in a nuclearised environment,” he added.

In 2019, it was, “if a conventional war starts between two countries, nuclear countries…anything could happen”.

India slammed Khan’s 34-minute “litany of vicious falsehood, personal attacks, warmongering and obfuscation of Pakistan’s persecution of its own minorities”.

“The only crowning glory that this country has to show to the world for the last 70 years is terrorism, ethnic cleansing, majoritarian fundamentalism, and clandestine nuclear trade,” India said in its right of reply late Friday.

The main resolution on Kashmir – No. 47 – demands that Pakistan withdraw its troops and personnel from Kashmir.

Continue Reading

India

India targets Pakistan at UN body over counter-terrorism record

The webinar was part of the UN body’s virtual counter-terrorism week, and India pointed out that terrorists have made innumerable attempts to infiltrate India “from their safe abodes across the border to carry out attacks”.

Published

on

By

Mahaveer Singhvi

India on Tuesday mounted a sharp attack on Pakistan during a virtual meeting of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, accusing it of sheltering and supporting terrorists and pushing a false narrative on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the external affairs ministry who led the Indian delegation for the webinar organised by the UN body, pointed out the meeting was being held on a day when the Indian embassy in Kabul was attacked by a Pakistan-backed terror group 12 years ago and Indians and Afghans were killed.

“It is very unfortunate that a country which perpetrated terrorist attacks in Mumbai (2008), Pathankot (2016), Uri and Pulwama is now preaching to the world community,” Singhvi said in his intervention during the meeting with the theme “The global scourge of terrorism: Assessment of high risk threats and trends including the rise of violent extremism and hate speech in a pandemic environment”.

“While the world is coming together to battle the pandemic, it is unfortunate that Pakistan, a state which sponsors cross-border terrorism, continues to use every opportunity to peddle false narratives and make baseless, malicious and egregious allegations against India and interfere in our internal affairs,” he said, adding that the statement by Pakistan’s representative at the meeting was part of this pattern.

Singhvi added, “Even as Pakistan provides shelter and support to terrorists, it continues to peddle a false and motivated narrative on the situation in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is seeking to portray its military, financial [and] logistical support to cross-border terrorism against India as a freedom struggle. It is also peddling misinformation about India’s domestic legislation and policies.”

The webinar was part of the UN body’s virtual counter-terrorism week, and Singhvi pointed out that terrorists have made innumerable attempts to infiltrate India “from their safe abodes across the border to carry out attacks and have even used unmanned aerial systems to smuggle weapons across our borders”.

At the global level, terrorists have tried to exploit financial and emotional distress caused by the pandemic, and used the increased presence of people online and on social media to disseminate misinformation through hate speech, fake news and doctored videos, he said. Another disturbing trend is the collection of funds by proscribed terror groups ostensibly for charitable activities but which would be used to finance terror, he said.

Singhvi described Pakistan’s statement claiming credit for eliminating al-Qaeda as “ludicrous” and said the group’s founder, Osama Bin Laden, was recently glorified as a “martyr” by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Parliament. “This is a chilling reminder of the patronage that international terrorists receive in Pakistan,” he said.

Khan had publicly acknowledged the presence of up to 40,000 terrorists in Pakistan and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the UN Security Council had reported that about 6,500 Pakistani terrorists from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are operating in Afghanistan, he said.

“Pakistan’s role as epicentre of terrorism has been well documented by numerous international organisations including UN and FATF. Unlike Pakistan, India does not make any distinction between terrorists and invariably condemns terror attacks anywhere in the world, including the one in Karachi, referred to by Pakistan’s representative in his statement,” Singhvi said.

The Indian official also criticised human rights violations in Balochistan, Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the discrimination against religious and cultural minorities.

Continue Reading

World

Researchers identify highly effective antibodies against Covid-19

Published

on

By

covid-19 test

Scientists have identified highly effective antibodies against the novel coronavirus, which they say can lead to the development of a passive vaccination for COVID-19.

Unlike in active vaccination, passive vaccination involves the administration of ready-made antibodies, which are degraded after some time.

However, the effect of a passive vaccination is almost immediate, whereas with an active vaccination it has to build up first, the researchers said.

The research, published in the journal Cell, also shows that some SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bind to tissue samples from various organs, which could potentially trigger undesired side effects.

The scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Charite – Universitatsmedizin Berlin isolated almost 600 different antibodies from the blood of individuals who had overcome COVID-19, the disease triggered by SARS-CoV-2.

By means of laboratory tests, they were able to narrow this number down to a few antibodies that were particularly effective at binding to the virus.

The researchers then produced these antibodies artificially using cell cultures.

The so-called neutralising antibodies bind to the virus, as crystallographic analysis reveals, and thus prevent the pathogen from entering cells and reproducing, they said.

In addition, virus recognition by antibodies helps immune cells to eliminate the pathogen. Studies in hamsters — which, like humans, are susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2 — confirmed the high efficacy of the selected antibodies.

“If the antibodies were given after an infection, the hamsters developed mild disease symptoms at most. If the antibodies were applied preventively — before infection — the animals did not get sick,” said Jakob Kreye, coordinator of the research project.

The researchers noted that treating infectious diseases with antibodies has a long history.

For COVID-19, this approach is also being investigated through the administration of plasma derived from the blood of recovered patients. With the plasma, antibodies of donors are transferred, they said.

“Ideally, the most effective antibody is produced in a controlled manner on an industrial scale and in constant quality. This is the goal we are pursuing,” said Momsen Reincke, first author of the research.

“Three of our antibodies are particularly promising for clinical development,” explained Harald Pruss, a research group leader at the DZNE and also a senior physician at Charite – Universitatsmedizin Berlin.

“Using these antibodies, we have started to develop a passive vaccination against SARS-CoV-2,” Pruss said.

In addition to the treatment of patients, preventive protection of healthy individuals who have had contact with infected persons is also a potential application, the researchers said.

How long the protection lasts will have to be investigated in clinical studies, they said.

“This is because, unlike in active vaccination, passive vaccination involves the administration of ready-made antibodies, which are degraded after some time,” Pruss said. In general, the protection provided by a passive vaccination is less persistent than that provided by an active vaccination, the researchers said.

However, the effect of a passive vaccination is almost immediate, whereas with an active vaccination it has to build up first, they said.

“It would be best if both options were available so that a flexible response could be made depending on the situation,” Pruss added.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Live Data

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.