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Hong Kong protest targets ‘singing aunties’ amid unrest

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Hong Kong, Sep 21 : The Hong Kong riot police fired teargas and sponge rounds to disperse an anti-government protest on Saturday that targeted the so-called “singing aunties” of Tuen Mun.

The violent clashes unfolded as a lawful march that drew thousands drew to an end. At 3 p.m., thousands of people turned up in Tuen Mun to join a themed march to protest the so-called “singing aunties”, or “dama” in Chinese.

The female entertainers, many of whom come from mainland China, are deemed a nuisance by local residences who have complained about loud singing and provocative dancing, according to Efe news.

Some residents denounced alleged illegal sex work. Michael Mo, convenor of the march, told journalists before the rally: “Residents and the community stand up again today to voice out our dissent on dama. They have been here for over a decade.

“We demand the government to take strong action (…) to return the park to Tuen Mun residents.”

Despite the local theme of the demonstration, anti-government and anti-China sentiments were palpable throughout the two-hour event, which was initially banned by the police.

Organizers successfully appealed the ban and agreed to shorten the duration from five to two hours.

Marchers held up signs with slogans such as “Tuen Mun’s dama block our way” and “Drive out the Communists, get back our Hong Kong”.

At one point, a Chinese national flag was pulled down and set alight, said the report.

Tensions rose when some protesters removed median railings from roads while a small group got onto a train track and hurled stones.

Shortly before the riot police fired teargas, it said on its Facebook page that protesters were carrying weapons including “metal rods, catapults and laser guns”.

Authorities fired teargas and sponge rounds outside a bus terminal. Following the police action, some frontline black-clad protesters lit bonfires and quickly fled.

The afternoon march was preceded by a pro-government campaign in the morning to remove anti-government Post-it notes and fliers plastered on public walls dubbed “Lennon Walls” across different parts of the city.

The “Clean Hong Kong” campaign was launched by pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho, who has become a hate figure in the ongoing anti-government protests for his alleged involvement in a mob attack exactly two months ago in the suburban town of Yuen Long.

During the 21 July incident, which sent shockwaves through Hong Kong, dozens of protesters and ordinary commuters in a metro station were beaten by a big group of white-clad gangsters for more than 30 minutes amid an absence of police presence.

In film footage captured in Yuen Long that night, Ho was seen shaking hands with some white-clad men who called him a “hero”.

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H1B workers in crosshairs of US lawsuit against Facebook

“These U.S. workers were denied an opportunity to be considered for the jobs Facebook sought to channel to temporary visa holders,” it said.

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New York: H1B workers find themselves in the crosshairs of a new US Justice Department lawsuit against Facebook alleging that the giant social media platform discriminated against American workers and favoured foreign workers to fill more than 2,600 jobs with an average salary of approximately $156,000.

Facebook, according to the lawsuit, sponsored the temporary visa holders for “green cards” authorizing them to work permanently. The case is the result of a “nearly two-year investigation”, the Justice Department said in a December 3 statement.

The US Justice Department claims that during the period of investigation, “Facebook received zero or one U.S. worker applicants for 99.7 percent of its PERM positions, while comparable positions at Facebook that were advertised on its careers website during a similar time period typically attracted 100 or more applicants each.”

“These U.S. workers were denied an opportunity to be considered for the jobs Facebook sought to channel to temporary visa holders,” it said.

The case comes smack in the middle of the Donald Trump presidency’s lame duck priod. H1B visa workers who spoke with IANS on background are shrugging off the latest development as another sample of the Trump administration “howling at the wind”, trying to discredit legal immigrants on its way out the door.

The Joe Biden administration takes over in January next year.

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Azerbaijan says 2,783 soldiers killed in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting

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Nagorno Karabakh

Azerbaijan said Thursday that nearly 2,800 of its soldiers were killed in recent fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, the first details it has released of military losses in weeks of clashes with Armenian forces.

The defence ministry in Baku said in a statement that “2,783 servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces were killed in the patriotic war,” adding that 100 more soldiers were missing.

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Health

Criminal networks could try to sell fake COVID vaccines physically and on internet, warns Interpol

The Interpol has asked police organisations to ensure “the safety of the supply chain” and said “identifying illicit websites selling fake products will be essential”.

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Vaccine

New Delhi, December 3: The Interpol has warned law enforcement agencies across the globe that organised criminal networks could try to advertise and sell fake COVID-19 vaccines physically and on the internet.

In an Orange notice issued to all 194 member countries on Wednesday, the Lyon-based international police cooperation body warned agencies to prepare for potential criminal activity in relation to “the falsification, theft and illegal advertising of COVID-19 and flu vaccines”.

“It also includes examples of crimes where individuals have been advertising, selling and administering fake vaccines,” a statement from the Interpol said.

The Interpol issues an Orange notice to warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.

The CBI, which is the national central bureau for India, is tasked with coordination with the Interpol.

The warning came on the day the UK became the first Western nation to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, vaulting past the US and the European Union in the race to approve a vaccine.

The Interpol has asked police organisations to ensure “the safety of the supply chain” and said “identifying illicit websites selling fake products will be essential”.

“Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives,” Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said in a statement.

“It is essential that law enforcement is as prepared as possible for what will be an onslaught of all types of criminal activity linked to the COVID-19 vaccine, which is why INTERPOL has issued this global warning,” the official said.

The Interpol cybercrime unit has analysed that of 3,000 websites associated with online pharmacies suspected of selling illicit medicines and medical devices, around 1,700 contained cyber threats, especially phishing and spamming malware making such operators even more potent of causing financial and health harms.

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