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Japan to ban entry to people from 73 countries

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Tokyo, March 31 (IANS) Japan said Tuesday that it would ban people from more than a third of the world, including the US, from entering the country to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The US is among a list of 73 countries to which the Japanese government also discouraged travel amid the steep global increase in the number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities, reports Efe news.

Japan raised its travel alert to Level 3 (out of a possible 4), over which it advised against travelling to certain territories under any circumstances.

The alert was extended on Tuesday to 49 countries, including the US, Canada, South Korea, China, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia, the UK and Greece, from which Japan will prohibit the entry to travelers who aren’t Japanese, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a press conference.

Motegi did not specify when the entry veto would take effect.

In this way, Japan will increase to 73 the countries to which it urges not to travel – more than a third of the world – among which are Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Australia and Iran.

Citizens who have travelled to these countries in the last 14 days are all subject to entry restrictions.

Travel alerts to the rest of the world was maintained at alert Level 2 (which discourages non-essential or unurgent trips).

Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement it would follow the evolution of the spread of COVID-19 and said it does not rule out implementing more border restrictions.

The Japanese government has so far reported 2,665 new coronavirus infections and 67 deaths in the country, including 712 cases and 11 deaths linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Japan has experienced an increase in cases detected both in the country and its airports, with more than 10 daily infections identified at the country’s airports for more than a week.

On Monday, 51 of the total 87 cases Japan detected were at airports.


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Health

US President Donald Trump says the United States will cut ties with World Health Organization

President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.

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Donald Trump
  • US President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.
  • Earlier this month, President Trump threatened to permanently cut off U.S. funding of the WHO.
  • Trump has claimed WHO is “China-centric” and blames the agency for advising against China travel bans early in the outbreak.

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.

“China has total control over the World Health Organization (WHO) despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year,” Trump said during a press conference from the White House.

“The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?” he added. “It didn’t go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States.”

Trump has repeatedly criticized the WHO’s response to the coronavirus, which has hit the U.S. worse than any other country, amid scrutiny of his own administration’s response to the pandemic. He has claimed WHO is “China-centric” and blames the agency for advising against China travel bans early in the outbreak.

President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.

“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year,” Trump said during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden.

“The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?” he added. “It didn’t go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States.”

Trump has repeatedly criticized the WHO’s response to the coronavirus, which has hit the U.S. worse than any other country, amid scrutiny of his own administration’s response to the pandemic. He has claimed WHO is “China-centric” and blames the agency for advising against China travel bans early in the outbreak.

“Fortunately, I was not convinced and suspended travel from China saving untold numbers of lives,” Trump said on April 14.

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World

Pakistan foreign office gaffes over diplomatic fiasco in New York OIC meet

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OIC Meet New York

Islamabad, May 29 : Confusions confounded existed in the Pakistan Foreign Office as it tied itself in knots earlier this week. After IANS reported on how the Maldivian and the UAE Ambassadors in the OIC meeting in New York delivered a crippling blow to Pakistan chicanery over reported Indian ‘Islamophobia’, Pakistans foreign office went and put its foot in the mouth, shoes and socks included.

Incidentally, Pakistan’s leading daily ‘Dawn’ also reported the same story. Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqi created more confusion by countering the story, saying that it was misleading.

Pakistan’s own ‘Dawn’ trashed the Foreign Office (FO), saying: “The FO statement recapped points from the speech of Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Munir Akram about growing incidents of Islamophobia in India and gravity of the situation. It then went on say that ‘a large number of OIC ambassadors’ shared the concerns about the situation in India and supported the need for a coordinated OIC position on Islamophobia at the UN.

“The statement’s assertion that ‘a large number of ambassadors’ supported Pakistani position implies that not all of them backed it. Furthermore, the statement skipped Maldivian objection.”

A Maldivian foreign ministry statement on the meeting slam dunked Pakistan Foreign Office, saying: “Maldives cannot support any action within OIC that singles out or targets India.”

Dawn also went onto offer a strong reasoning for the diplomatic fiasco, suggesting that in the normal course in the OIC meetings, participants with non-conforming views were traditionally brought around by “heavy weight” — a reference to Saudi Arabia and Egypt — but in this instance the Maldives persisted with its objection and there was no reach-out by any of the so-called heavyweights on the controversial remark.

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Politics

Twitter targets Republicans, allows China to spread lies: Trump

“Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party,” Trump said.

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Donald Trump

San Francisco, May 29 : After issuing an executive order on social media, US President Donald Trump on Friday again accused Twitter of engaging in selective censorship, saying that the platform is “doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China.”

“Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party,” Trump said.

“They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated,” he added.

In his executive order on Thursday, Trump said that “online platforms are engaging in selective censorship that is harming our national discourse.”

The order seeks to blunt Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act which generally protects internet companies from legal liability for user comments.

“Section 230 was not intended to allow a handful of companies to grow into titans controlling vital avenues for our national discourse under the guise of promoting open forums for debate, and then to provide those behemoths blanket immunity when they use their power to censor content and silence viewpoints that they dislike,” said the order.

Trump’s offensive came on the back of fact checks by Twitter which took the form of a hyperlink that tagged onto exactly two of Trump’s tweets and said “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”.

Even after the executive order was issued, Twitter flagged a fresh tweet from Trump about the Minneapolis violence, saying that the tweet violated Twitter policies about glorifying violence.

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