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Japan PM protests Okinawa crime to Obama, who promises cooperation

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Japan PM Brack Obama

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe protested to U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday about the killing of a young woman in Okinawa which has reignited resentment of the heavy U.S. military presence on the southern Japanese island.

Obama, joining Abe ahead of a Group of Seven summit, expressed regrets over the killing for which a U.S. base worker has been charged.

“As Japanese prime minister, I protested sternly to President Obama over the recent incident in Okinawa,” Abe told a news conference, flanked by the president ahead of a Group of Seven summit meeting starting on Thursday.

“I feel strong indignation about the selfish and extremely mean crime,” Abe said.

Obama, arriving from a visit to Vietnam, told a joint news conference after his meeting with Abe: “I extended my sincerest condolences and deepest regrets…The United States will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation and ensure justice is done under the Japanese legal system.”

Okinawa, the site of a brutal World War Two battle, hosts the bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan and many residents resent what they see as an unfair burden.

Many also associate the bases with crime, pollution and noise. The rape of a Japanese schoolgirl by U.S. military personnel in 1995 sparked huge anti-base demonstrations.

Both governments want to keep the incident from fanning further opposition to an agreement to relocate the U.S. Marines’ Futenma air base to a less populous part of Okinawa, a plan first agreed upon after the 1995 rape but opposed by the island’s governor and many residents who want the base off the island entirely.

Obama is also set to make a historic visit to Hiroshima, site of the world’s first atomic bombing, on Friday, after attending the G7 summit.

Both governments are hoping the Hiroshima visit will showcase a strong alliance between the former wartime foes.

GLOBAL ECONOMY

Concerns about the health of the global economy will top the agenda at the G7 summit, although full agreement on macro-economic policy looks hard to come by.

“I want to make this a summit at which the G7 sends a clear, strong message to respond to all situations and contribute to the sustainable, strong growth of the world economy,” Abe told reporters earlier.

The G7 leaders are expected to promote a combination of monetary, fiscal and structural policies to spur growth in their communique when the summit ends on Friday, government sources told Reuters.

With Britain and Germany resisting calls for fiscal stimulus, Abe is set to urge the G7 leaders to adopt a flexible fiscal policy, taking into account each country’s own situation, the sources said. In addition, the G7 leaders were expected to reaffirm their previous commitment to stability in the foreign exchange market.

Summit topics also include terrorism, refugees, trade, cyber security and maritime security, including China’s assertiveness in the East and South China Seas, where Beijing has territorial disputes with Japan and several Southeast Asian nations.

The G7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Source : http://www.reuters.com/

India

US offers to mediate between China, India on border row

The offer for arbitration came a day after both China and Pakistan issued blatant threats of war on India’s both fronts. The Pakistan Army also initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation with intense mortar-shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Balakote sector of Poonch district in Jammu & Kashmir, early Tuesday.

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Donald Trump

New Delhi/Washington, May 27 : The US on Wednesday revealed that it has offered to mediate in the ongoing standoff between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Union Territory of Ladakh.

In his morning tweet, US President Donald Trump said that the White House has “informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute.”

Though China has been aggressive against India at the border in the eastern sector in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, its latest offensive at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector in Ladakh has resulted in Indian and Chinese soldiers locked in a face-off in Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.

The offer for arbitration came a day after both China and Pakistan issued blatant threats of war on India’s both fronts. The Pakistan Army also initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation with intense mortar-shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Balakote sector of Poonch district in Jammu & Kashmir, early Tuesday.

On Tuesday, China’s President Xi Jinping, was quoted by state news agency Xinhua, saying “It is necessary to explore ways of training and preparing for war” and “to step up preparations for armed combat, to flexibly carry out actual combat military training, and to improve our military’s ability to perform military missions.” His statement was preceded by a decision to increase the budget for the Chinese military by 6.6 per cent.

China’s close ally, Pakistan expressed similar views threatening war. Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his second visit in a month, to the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Sunday, said “Kashmir is a disputed territory and any attempt to challenge disputed status, including any political-cum-military thought related to aggression will be responded with full national resolve and military might,” threatening that “disturbing strategic stability matrix in South Asia can lead to dire consequences”.

“Pakistan Army is fully alive to the threat spectrum and will remain ever ready to perform its part in line with national aspirations,” he warned.

Both China and Pakistan which have occupied portions of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir have aggressively opposed India’s bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories last year.

Though China has already built heavy infrastructure on the occupied territory, it is now suddenly objecting to the infrastructure development work that India has been carrying out on its side of the LAC.

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Disaster

Global COVID-19 cases cross 5.6 mn: Johns Hopkins University

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are Italy (32,955), France (28,533), Spain (27,117), and Brazil (24,512).

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COVID-19 cases

Washington, May 27 : The overall number of global coronavirus cases have crossed 5.6 million, while the death toll increased to 350,876, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Wednesday evening, the total number of cases stood at 5,609,079, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US is also reaching a grim milestone of 100,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Currently, the country has 1,681,418 confirmed cases and 98,929 deaths, both tallies accounting for the highest in the world, according to the CSSE.

In terms of cases, Brazil comes in the second place with 391,222 infections.

Meanwhile, the UK ranked second after the US with 37,130 COVID-19 deaths, the highest fatalities in Europe.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are Italy (32,955), France (28,533), Spain (27,117), and Brazil (24,512).

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Disaster

Bangladesh Covid toll mounts to 544

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

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Coronavirus in South Korea

Dhaka, May 27 : With 22 fresh deaths due to the pandemic , Bangladesh Covid-19 toll surged to 544, health authorities said on Wednesday.

The total corona cases in the country soared to 38,292 after 1,541 COVID-19 cases were detected in the 24 hours till 8 a.m. (local time) on Wednesday, according to the health directorate.

As per bd news 24, another 246 patients were released by hospitals in the same period, raising the number of recoveries to 7,925, DGHS Additional Director General Nasima Sultana said in a media briefing on Wednesday.

The rate of recovery from the disease in Bangladesh currently stands at 20.70 per cent while the mortality rate is 1.42 per cent, according to government data.

A total of 8,015 samples were tested at 48 authorised labs across the country in the last 24 hours, Nasima added.

Globally, over 5.6 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and 350,752 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

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