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Hong Kong’s Lam to meet citizens to defuse protest crisis

Lam had first offered to create a public platform for discussion last month, the South China Morning Post reported.

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Hong Kong, Sep 17 : Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday announced that she would meet 100-200 citizens next week in a bid to reconnect with the public and find a way to defuse the ongoing political crisis.

Speaking before Tuesday’s weekly Executive Council meeting, she said: “This is an open dialogue platform which we would invite people from all walks of life to, to express their views to us.

“This is because of our conviction that communication is far better than confrontation.

“The problems go well beyond the bill, so it is important for the government to listen and engage the community to have a better understanding of those problems.”

Lam had first offered to create a public platform for discussion last month, the South China Morning Post reported.

It was also among four actions she pledged to take on September 4 when she confirmed the withdrawal of the extradition bill, the draft legislation which sparked the political unrest.

Lam said she understood anger stemmed from “housing, land shortage, lack of diversity and inclusiveness in our economy”, adding that the face-to-face exchanges were not a one-off but would run over the long term.

There will be three types of dialogue under the approach outlined by the government.

The first one, which launches next week, is open for all to sign up to. For each session, 100 to 200 people who registered in advance will be chosen, by lot, to attend.

Lam said the second format would be more representative, with citizens chosen randomly for an invite.

The third takes the form of in-depth focus groups, each attended by about 20 members of the public, Lam said, adding all meetings would adhere to principles of openness and transparency with the agendas made public.

Anti-government anger triggered by the now-withdrawn extradition bill, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent back to mainland China, has fuelled 15 straight weekends of protests in Hong Kong.

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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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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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Pakistan’s Covid-19 cases surpass 406k mark

Frontline healthcare workers and people over 65 years of age will be the first to get the vaccine administered, he added.

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pakistan coronavirus

Islamabad, Dec 3 : Pakistan’s overall coronavirus caseload has increased to 406,810 after an additional 3,499 people tested positive in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

In the same period, a total of 8,205 people died and 346,951 recovered from the disease in the country which is currently battling a serious second wave, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying.

The two new figures increased the overall death toll and recoveries to 8,205 and 346,951, respectively.

Sindh province is currently the worst hit with 177,625 cases, followed by most populous province Punjab with 121,083 positive cases, the official figures revealed.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Health Faisal Sultan said that the government has approved to allocate a budget of $150 million to purchase vaccines.

Frontline healthcare workers and people over 65 years of age will be the first to get the vaccine administered, he added.

Meanwhile, Federal Parliamentary Secretary in the Health Ministry Nausheen Hamid said that the government will provide free of cost vaccine to its citizens and the vaccination will start in the second quarter of 2021.

The Pakistani government has also decided to observe “Covid-19 standard operating procedures compliance week” from Saturday for creating awareness in public about the significance of the SOPs in guarding against the disease.

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