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Wrong to say we shelter terrorists: China

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Massood Azhar

Beijing, March 29: China on Friday said it was wrong to accuse it of sheltering terrorists because it put a technical hold on the resolution to blacklist Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group chief Masood Azhar as its decision was in line with the rules of an anti-terrorism panel at the UN.

China has repeatedly blocked resolutions moved by India, the US, the UK and France at the UN to declare Azhar an international terrorist, who is wanted for plotting deadly attacks in India.

Last month, India lamented and the US slammed the latest and fourth technical hold by China on the resolution to ban Azhar at the 1267 UN committee. His outfit JeM claimed responsibility for killing 40 Indian security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir last month.

“If certain country accuses China of sheltering (terrorists) by putting such technical hold, does that mean that all countries that put hold are sheltering terrorists? If this makes sense, shall we say that the country that puts the most holds is the biggest protectors of terrorists?” asked Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang here.

He was responding to a question about Beijing being accused of shielding terrorists.

“At the UN Security Council sanctions committee, the practice of putting technical holds is in line with the stipulations of the committee. It is not China that has put the most hold at the committee,” Geng said.

“China put a technical hold with a purpose to conduct a comprehensive and in-depth assessment so as to give enough time and space to dialogue and consultation between the parties.

“China has stayed in close communication with all parties to seek a settlement through the dialogue. We hope all the members of the Security Council will work towards that goal,” the spokesperson added.

When asked about the time sought by Beijing to explain the rationale behind the latest technical hold was running out, Geng said: “China has stayed in close communication with all parties on the issue listing. Like we said many times, we will act in a responsible and constructive manner to participate in discussions at the committee.”

“We also hope to work with various parties as to seek a proper settlement of the issue.

“And it is improper for me to reveal to you the detailed discussions,” the spokesperson added.

The latest technical hold on the resolution by Beijing has prompted the US to turn directly to the UN Security Council and unilaterally circulate a draft of such a request to declare Azhar an international terrorist.

A livid Beijing on Thursday warned the US over the move, asking to act cautiously as its actions could complicate the matters.

Beijing also accused Washington of “bypassing” the UN 1267 Committee and eroding its authority.

By Gaurav Sharma

IANS

Disaster

Iran’s Khamenei says all must help fight ‘tragic’ virus resurgence

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Ali Khamenei

Everyone must help fight the “tragic” resurgence of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says.

Speaking in a video conference to parliamentarians, Khamenei stated that Iran’s “enemies” fail to achieve their “anti-Iran goals” despite strong pressure on Tehran.

Earlier, Khamenei criticized the US for using “knee on neck” policies on the whole world and also accused the US of creating COVID-19.

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Disaster

China raises flood response to 2nd-highest level

The water level in Taihu Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake, has risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days, said the MWR.

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Flood in China

Beijing, July 12 : China on Sunday raised the emergency response for flood control to Level II, the second-highest in the response system, as heavy rains continued to lash vast stretches of the country.

Since July 4, alert-triggering floods have been observed in 212 rivers nationwide, among which 19 topped previous water level records, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) as saying.

By Sunday afternoon, floods in 27 provincial regions, including Jiangxi, Anhui, and Hubei had resulted in the deaths or disappearance of 141 people, and 2.25 million emergency relocations this year.

Around 28,000 homes were flattened and 3.53 million hectares of crops affected, with the direct economic loss at 82.23 billion yuan ($11 billion).

The water level in Taihu Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake, has risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days, said the MWR.

China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also lifted the emergency response to Level II later Sunday, following its last upgrade from Level IV to Level III on July 7.

The announcement came after Poyang lake, China’s largest freshwater lake located in Jiangxi province, saw its water level at the Hukou station nearing the guaranteed level of 22.5 metres at 4 p.m. on Sunday, indicating an extraordinary emergency of flood control.

Due to severe flooding, the headquarters, the Ministry of Emergency Management, and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration on Sunday allocated disaster-relief supplies to Jiangxi, Hunan, and Guizhou.

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Thousands march in UK in support of Black Lives Matter

The Sussex force said the man was arrested and became aggressive towards officers before being placed on the ground.

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Black Live Matter Protest Brighton

London, July 12 : Some 5,000 people took to the streets of UK’s Brighton city in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the media reported.

Large crowds of demonstrators set off from the city’s Palace Pier on Saturday afternoon, with many carrying signs that read “Decolonise everything” and “Defund the police”, the Metro newspaper reported.

Protesters shouted “black lives matter every day” and “UK is not innocent” as they walked together along the seafront and were serenaded by a string quartet as they passed the Brighton war memorial.

Congregating at The Level, thousands of demonstrators called out together: “It is our duty to do this every day. It is our duty to fight for racial justice. It is our duty to win. We are stronger together.

“We are here with love, peace and solidarity. We have nothing to lose – too many have already lost too much.”

Saturday’s march came days after footage of a young man being held down by police emerged, according to the Metro newspaper report.

He shouted “I can’t breathe” during the incident, complaining that one of the officers was putting pressure on his neck.

The Sussex force said the man was arrested and became aggressive towards officers before being placed on the ground.

The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Saturday’s demonstration follows mass anti-racism protests across the world in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American who died under police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

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