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US Senate votes for expanded sanctions on N Korea

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North-Korea

The US Senate on Wednesday has voted unanimously to widen harsher sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent nuclear test and missile launch.

The bill would require US President Barack Obama to sanction anyone involved with North Korea nuclear weapons programme, arms-related materials, luxury goods, human rights abuses, activities that negatively impact cybersecurity and the use of coal or metals in any of the activities.

The Senate legislation expands and tightens enforcement of sanctions against North Korea nuclear and ballistic missile development and other destructive activities, said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, a co-sponsor of the bill.

Penalties would include the seizure of assets, visa bans and denial of government contracts.

“It … leaves no doubt about our determination to neutralize any threat with robust, realistic diplomacy to reach the clear goal of a denuclearised Korean Peninsula,” said Menendez. “It is time now for the United States to take the North Korea challenge seriously.”

The move comes after Pyongyang said it had launched a Kwangmyongsong-4 Earth observation satellite into orbit Sunday and last month tested what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb.

The US has condemned North Korea’s “destabilising and provocative” actions and vowed to “take all necessary steps to defend ourselves and our allies.”

On January 12, US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation to impose harsher sanctions against Pyongyang in response to its nuclear test.

US intelligence chief James Clapper told lawmakers Tuesday that North Korea has expanded a uranium enrichment facility and restarted a plutonium production reactor.

Pyongyang shocked the world last month and earned a global rebuke when it announced it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.

Disaster

Hold Xi Jinping accountable for genocide: Uyghurs to United Nations

The Campaign for Uyghurs Executive Director, Rushan Abbas, pointed out that this situation has led to ”government sponsored mass rapes”.

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Uyghur Muslims in China

New York July 8 : The Uyghur Turks and other Muslim communities in China have asked the United Nations and other international organisations to put pressure on China and investigate the acts of genocide perpetrated against the Uyghurs.

A report titled “Genocide in East Turkistan” holds China responsible and says that despite the Covid 19 pandemic, the Chinese government continues its oppression and persecution of Uyghur Turks and other Muslim communities for its own political and economic interests.

The report says that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) systematically continues to pressure and torture Uyghurs to force them to assimilate and then destroys them.

“The Beijing Administration breached the “Prevention of Genocide” contract which was signed and approved by them before the international community,” the report said.

“As such, the President of the People”s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Secretary, Chen Quanguo, and other executives are all responsible and accountable for these crimes,” the report said.

The report has been prepared by the Campaign for Uyghurs, which works to promote and advocate the human rights and democratic freedom of the Uyghurs and other Turkic people in East Turkistan (referred to in China as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region).

It demanded that in order to monitor China”s policies in the region, it is necessary to create an international commission which would take the necessary measures to effectively observe China”s actions in the region.

The genocide committed against the Arakanese Muslims who fled Myanmar was moved to the International Court of Justice by Gambia. This case was filed by Gambia (a Muslim majority nation) on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation should act on the crimes of genocide committed in East Turkistan,” it demanded.

The report has demanded that China should be held accountable for all the human rights violations they committed, especially in the concentration camps.

The coronavirus gives a crucial insight into how China manipulates the world, and many countries are beginning to question the acts by the Beijing administration.

“Unfortunately, on our watch, Uyghurs share a similar fate with the occupied people of Palestine. This is an international case. All countries, especially the Islamic world, should act before it is too late,” the report demanded.

“It is important that the United Nations and other international organisations take the necessary measures to put pressure on China and take actions to investigate the acts of genocide perpetrated against the Uyghurs. These crimes must be brought forward by an international commission and their perpetrators must be prosecuted in the International Court of Justice,” the report said.

East Turkistan, officially called the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by China, has in recent years become a place with the most widespread human rights violations.

The Chinese Communist Party is exerting increasing pressure and tyranny towards the Muslim communities, especially Uyghur Turks, as a result of economic, political and geopolitical interests in those regions.

Since 2014 in particular, Uyghurs have been forced to systematically assimilate with the objective of eradicating their ethnic identity and the population. In recent years, the events taking place in East Turkistan have met the definition of genocide listed in the ”Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” signed in 1948, the report said.

The Chinese government sent 1.1 million Han Chinese cadres to East Turkistan to control the daily lives of the Uyghurs. Their job is to stay in Uyghur homes, share the same bed with them if necessary, and control all aspects of their daily lives.

With the ”Double Relative Programme” initiated by the Beijing government, Han Chinese cadres make visits at least once every two months and stay for about a week.

During the stay, while constantly spreading the Chinese Communist Party propaganda, they also spy on them. During these visits, they encourage drinking alcohol and eat pork, which are forbidden in Islam. If a Uyghur requests ”halal meat” from the market and if they do not drink, they are declared a suspect and sent to the camps.

“The most dangerous aspect of this double relative programme is that women, whose husbands are in the camps, have to share the same bed with the Chinese cadres,” the report noted.

The Campaign for Uyghurs Executive Director, Rushan Abbas, pointed out that this situation has led to ”government sponsored mass rapes”.

Forcing young Uyghur girls to marry Han Chinese men is a step towards changing the demographics in East Turkistan, in particular, as a result of the Chinese who come to stay in Uyghur houses as permanent guests and marry the young girls living there.

Parents are unable to object to the marriage because if they do, they are sent to the camps. In order to disrupt the Uyghur family structure, the Beijing administration offers the Han Chinese money, jobs and free homes for these arranged marriages.

The Communist Party successfully spreads propaganda through films and advertisements and other broadcasting organs in order to recruit candidates for the forced marriages, the report found.

Another crime committed by the Chinese Communist Party is the forced transfer of people from East Turkistan into proper China to work in forced labour facilities. Just as the Nazis forced Jews to work, Uyghurs are sent to work in factories with uniforms similar to prisoners.

The ”Uyghurs for Sale” report prepared by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute contains striking information. In the report, it was revealed that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were taken from the camps and sent to the factories to produce goods for globally renowned Wester companies, such as Nike, GAP and Apple.

The unconfirmed statistics put that number to over 500 companies.

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Disaster

Airborne Covid-19 transmission can’t be ruled out, says WHO

Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, said that evidence emerging of airborne transmission of the virus in “crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings… cannot be ruled out”.

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South Korea

The World Health Organization has acknowledged evidence that coronavirus can be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air.

An official says airborne transmission can’t be ruled out in crowded, closed or poorly ventilated settings.

If the evidence is confirmed, it may affect guidelines for indoor spaces.

Up until now the WHO has said that the virus is spread in droplets when people cough and sneeze.

WHO officials have urged caution, saying the evidence discovered by scientists at the University of Colorado is preliminary and requires further assessment.

Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, said that evidence emerging of airborne transmission of the virus in “crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings… cannot be ruled out”.

Yesterday the president of the Royal Society criticised UK policy on the use of face masks, saying the country was going against widely adopted guidance around the world.

Professor Venki Ramakrishnan said not wearing a mask should be considered an act of anti-social behaviour similar to not wearing a seatbelt.

He said: “It used to be quite normal to have quite a few drinks and drive home, and it also used to be normal to drive without seat belts.

“Today both of those would be considered anti-social, and not wearing face coverings in public should be regarded in the same way.”If all of us wear one, we protect each other and thereby ourselves, reducing transmission.”

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Health

Senator says Trump notifies Congress to withdraw US from WHO

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Donald Trump

Washington, July 8 : US President Donald Trump has formally notified Congress that the United States has officially moved to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO), Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said.

“Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the US from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic,” Menendez, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, tweeted on Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

“To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn”t do it justice. This won”t protect American lives or interests – it leaves Americans sick & America alone,” he added.

Citing a senior administration official, The Hill reported the same day that the United States had submitted its withdrawal notification to the United Nations secretary-general.

Trump and his administration repeatedly assailed the WHO for months and threatened to cut ties with the organization. Experts and Democrats criticized that the Trump administration was trying to shift blames of its mishandling of Covid-19 response and would be counterproductive to addressing the public health crisis.

Trump said in late May that his country is “terminating” its relationship with the WHO. In a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus earlier that month, Trump threatened to permanently cut off the nation”s funding to the WHO and “reconsider our membership” if the international body does not commit to what he called “substantive improvements within the next 30 days.”

Trump announced in mid-April that his administration would halt US funding to the WHO.

The United States has reported more than 2.96 million Covid-19 cases with over 130,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Both figures are far higher than those in any other country or region.

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