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North Korea encourages non-face-to-face services amid coronavirus fears

The outlet also called on sales assistants to follow anti-virus regulations and stricter health checkups.

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North Korea non-face-to-face services

Seoul, June 1 : North Korea is encouraging non-face-to-face services at restaurants and grocery stores, such as picking up to-go orders, as part of precautions against the new coronavirus, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Monday.

Korean Central Broadcasting Station, the North’s radio broadcaster, said the country is trying to improve customer services “to provide more convenience in accordance with the virus prevention measures in many districts including Pyongyang.”

“We are also guaranteeing convenient lifestyles to our people such as encouraging ‘order services’ in restaurants and grocery stores,” it said.

An “order service” refers to a pick-up service in which customers can request products in advance, allowing them to avoid crowds. Such services in North Korea are known to be more common in libraries.

The outlet also called on sales assistants to follow anti-virus regulations and stricter health checkups.

It also warned against the inflow of the virus through workers at ports, cargo stations and in the fishing industry and urged all employees, including those at sea, to abide by strict regulations to prevent the spread of the virus.

North Korea claims it has no cases of coronavirus infection but has taken relatively drastic and swift anti-virus measures since late January to close its border and tighten its quarantine.

World

Japan lodges protest with China over ships near disputed islets

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Shinzo Abe Japanese PM

Tokyo, July 3 : Japan on Friday said that it has lodged a protest with China over the intrusion by two China Coast Guard ships into Japanese territorial waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The two Chinese ships entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands at around 4:50 p.m. (local time) on Thursday and appeared to be trying to approach a Japanese fishing boat about 7 kms west of Uotsuri Island, according to the Japan Coast Guard.

As the two ships are still in territorial waters around the islands, which are administered by Japan but claimed by China, Tokyo has been demanding that the ships immediately leave the area, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

“We have been strongly urging (China) to stop trying to approach the Japanese fishing boat and leave our territorial waters immediately,” Suga said at a news conference, adding: “We will continue to deal with the matter calmly and resolutely.”

Japan Coast Guard patrol ships have been keeping a close watch on the Chinese ships and ensuring the safety of the Japanese fishing boat, according to Suga, the top government spokesman.

It is the first time since June 22 that a Chinese ship has entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkakus, which are called Diaoyu in Chinese, the japan times reported.

On that day, the city assembly of Ishigaki in Okinawa Prefecture passed a resolution to rename an administrative area covering the Senkaku Islands.

The name change from Tonoshiro to Tonoshiro Senkaku drew a sharp rebuke from Beijing.

China has sent its ships to waters around the islets for 80 days in a row, the longest streak since Japan put them under state control in September 2012, despite some recent thawing in bilateral relations that had been frayed over the Senkaku issue and conflicting views over history.

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Politics

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has resigned

Nonetheless, speculation over his future had swirled since mid-June, when Mr Macron declared he wanted to “reinvent” his presidency.

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Edouard Philippe

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has resigned, according to the Elysee Palace.

His departure is expected to pave the way for a government reshuffle.

Mr Philippe will continue to handle government affairs until a new cabinet is named.

Speculation had been growing that a government reshuffle was imminent – with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking to boost his green credentials and win back disillusioned voters.

Mr Philippe had actually seen his popularity increase significantly in recent weeks – despite French authorities facing criticism over their handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Nonetheless, speculation over his future had swirled since mid-June, when Mr Macron declared he wanted to “reinvent” his presidency.

In French government reshuffles, the prime minister tenders his or her resignation ahead of cabinet appointments but can still be renamed to the position.

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Travel

Pak PM launches initiative to protect, promote national parks

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said one of the purposes of the project is to rebuild the pandemic-hit economy and stimulate sustainable green growth.

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Imran Khan Pakistan PM

Islamabad, July 3 : Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan launched an initiative to preserve nature by protecting and promoting 15 national parks in an effort to increase the country’s forest cover.

The prime minister on Thursday inaugurated the Protected Areas Initiative which is part of his government’s Green Stimulus vision launched earlier this year to increase forest cover and create jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The government will protect, govern and manage 15 national parks ecologically,” said Khan, adding that out of these national parks nine will be new while six others were announced previously but were never protected.

He told the launching ceremony that the initiative will benefit future generations and almost 5,000 direct jobs will be generated related to these parks in the initial phase.

According to the prime minister, the national parks will be opened for the public once the government has finalized the guidelines for tourists.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said one of the purposes of the project is to rebuild the pandemic-hit economy and stimulate sustainable green growth.

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