The US has accused China of undermining the sovereignty of Myanmar through its action in states like Kachin bordering China.
The US Chargé d’Affaires in Myanmar George N. Sibley has said in an article on Saturday that China has tried to intimidate, threaten and undermine Myanmar sovereignty by encouraging unregulated banana plantation in the Kachin state, non-demarcation of fisheries and similar other acts.
He has also said that China aided in unregulated investment and corruption in the mining and forestry sector. The infrastructure and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) promoted by China lead to piling up of debts and ceding of regulatory control benefitting China at the cost of Myanmar.
Referring to the human trafficking from Myanmar, the US embassy official says that nearly 80 percent of Myanmar’s reported human trafficking cases in 2019 involved women being trafficked to China. Law enforcement in China often looks the other way and fails to help these vulnerable victims.
Pointing out the environmental loss to Myanmar George Sibley said that China-backed Letpadaung copper mine has caused serious environmental degradation in Myanmar.
The US embassy Chargé d’Affaires also referred to the illicit drug trade. He said billions of dollars worth drugs and chemicals have been seized by the Myanmar authorities. Most of these came from China.
The Chinese embassy in Myanmar refuted the allegations and said that the statement was intended to drive a wedge with its neighbours.
UK’s Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine shows positive results in first phase of human trials Early trials of the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine, being developed with AstraZeneca, shows that the vaccine is safe and induces an increased antibody response.
A team of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group has taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus.
The results of the Phase I/II trial published today in the scientific journal, The Lancet, indicate no early safety concerns and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.
The vaccine provoked a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination (white blood cells that can attack cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus), and an antibody response within 28 days (antibodies are able to neutralise the virus so that it cannot infect cells when initially contracted).
Human trials of COVAXIN for COVID-19 begin in AIIMS, Delhi
India is on fast track mode to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Speaking to the media in New Delhi today, AIIMS Delhi Director Randeep Guleria informed that the Human trials for the indigenously developed COVAXIN have begun at the premier medical Institute.
He informed that after the registration procedure and blood sample tests of the health volunteers, the vaccine will be administered to 100 healthy individuals in the first phase.
Dr. Guleria said that in the second phase 750 people will be recruited between 12 to 65 years of age for the human trials.
He said, the medical institute has received an overwhelming response in terms of volunteer registration for the trials.
Terming development of an indigenous vaccine as a great achievement, he informed that India’s mass production capacity of drugs and vaccines will also help in meeting the demands during its production stage.
Replying to a question on Community Transmission, Dr. Guleria said, there is not much evidence that community transmission is happening at National level.
He however did not rule out the possibility of local level transmission in hotspots witnessing a huge spike in the number of cases.
Dr. Guleria asserted that certain areas in the country, including the National Capital appeared to have reached their peak and are now showing a significant decline in number of cases.
He emphasized on continued aggressive action towards containment of infection in hotspots.
The AIIMS Director stressed on the need for enhanced door to door testing and isolation measures.
Dr. Guleria said that the measures adopted by the government for testing, tracing and treating COVID-19 patients have helped contain the fatality rates in the country as one of the lowest in the world.
Some EU member states believe the proposed €750bn ($857bn; £680bn) package is too large and should come as repayable loans, rather than grants.
The talks are reported to have been testy, with tempers flaring at times.
Merkel gives instructions to #Bulgaria’s PM Borisov on how to wear a mask.
French leader banged the table, attacked Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for leaving the room to make a phone call and accused Rutte of behaving like former British premier David Cameron – who took a hard line at EU summits but ended up leading his country into a referendum to quit the bloc.
EU leaders battled on into the early hours of Monday to try and break the deadlock as their summit on a huge coronavirus rescue package stretched into a fourth day in Brussels.
President of the European Council Charles Michel (L), Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel (C), France’s President Emmanuel Macron and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen during a meeting at the first face-to-face EU summit resolve financial aid on coronavirus disease and try to hammer Covid fiscal for EU members to boost economy.
Fourth day talks chaired by EU Council President Charles Michel have failed to yield agreement over the size and rules for a 750-billion-euro ($860-billion) package of loans and grants to help Europe out of a economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
EU leaders on a working dinner with the 27 leaders on Sunday, Michel made a fresh effort to win over the coalition of “Frugals” the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Finland which has sought to cut the size of the package and impose strict rules on how fiscal aid to be used.
Rutte wants member states to have a veto on national economic plans by the likes of Italy and Spain, in order to oblige them to pursue reforms to borrowing and their labour and pensions markets an effort that was angrily resisted by his Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte.
Hungary’s premier Viktor Orban accused Rutte of waging a personal vendetta against him and his country and vowed to prevent any agreement on efforts to tie EU spending to recipient countries’ respect for EU standards.
Reports of the treatment of Uighur Muslims by the Chinese authorities are appalling and unconscionable. The CCP should not be able to get away with this.
UK Dominic Raab has accused China of “gross and egregious” human rights abuses against its Uighur population and said sanctions against those responsible cannot be ruled out.
Reports of forced sterilisation and wider persecution of the Muslim group were “reminiscent of something not seen for a long time”, he told the BBC.
The UK would work with its allies to take appropriate action, he insisted.
China’s UK ambassador said talk of concentration camps was “fake”.
Liu Xiaoming told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the Uighurs received the same treatment under the law as other ethnic groups in his country
Drone footage that appears to show Uighurs being blindfolded and led to trains, and which has been authenticated by Australian security services, he said he “did not know” what the video was showing and “sometimes you have a transfer of prisoners, in any country”.
“There is no such concentration camps in Xinjiang,” he added. “There’s a lot of fake accusations against China.”
It is believed that up to a million Uighur people have been detained over the past few years in what the Chinese state defines as “re-education camps”.
“United Arab Emirates launches its first mission to Mars, the ‘Hope Mars Mission’ from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center,” UAE Space Agency said on its Twitter page.
Unmanned spacecraft, named “Hope Probe,” successfully launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center on Sunday, setting off on a seven-month-long journey to Mars. The probe marks the UAE’s first interplanetary mission and is expected to capture a comprehensive image of the red planet’s.
Hope probe launched on an H2-A rocket from Tanegashima spaceport, and is now on a 500-million-km journey to study the planet’s weather and climate.
Two previous attempts to launch the probe in the past week had to be called off because of adverse weather.
Hope’s arrival in February 2021 is set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the UAE’s formation.
Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri, the science lead on Hope, spoke of her excitement and relief in seeing the rocket climb successfully into the sky. And she stated the impact on her country would be the same as that on America when its people watched the Apollo 11 Moon landing 51 years ago, also on 20 July.
“It was an anchor for an entire generation that stimulated everyone that watched it to push further and to dream bigger,” she told BBC News.
“Today I am really glad that the children in the Emirates will wake up on the morning of the 20th of July having an anchor project of their own, having a new reality, having new possibilities, allowing them to further contribute and to create a larger impact on the world.”
The UAE craft is one of three missions heading to Mars this month.
Berlin, Rome, Paris threaten sanctions on states interfering in #Libya
German, US,Canada,stop arms exports to turkey! You are all responsible for the turkish behavior and assist them to kill innocent people in Syria, Iraq, Libya.
Turkey invaded and occupied Cyprus, Syria, Kurdistan, Libya Armenia and lands of Greeks in Smyrna, Pontus, eastern Thrace,
France, Germany & Italy threaten ‘sanctions’ against countries that interfere in Libya
Paris, Berlin and Rome have urged foreign powers to respect the UN Security Council arms embargo on Libya or face repercussions, in a joint statement issued by the EU leaders.
“We are ready to consider the possible use of sanctions should breaches to the embargo at sea, on land or in the air continue,” France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned.
Oil-rich Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when a NATO bombing campaign ousted long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi, and the country is now being run by two rivaling governments.
Turkey has been actively supporting the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is fighting the Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar for control over the country.
Relations between Turkey and France, its NATO ally, have been tense, after Paris last month accused the Turkish Navy of acting aggressively and of preventing a French ship enforcing the embargo from inspecting a freighter in the Mediterranean
Forty African countries are under full border closure due to concerns related to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Africa.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent reached 701,573 as of Sunday morning, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent reached 701,573 as of Sunday morning, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.
The Africa CDC in its latest situation update issued on Sunday morning said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the continent rose from 683, 905 on Saturday afternoon to 701,573 as of Sunday morning.
The continental disease control and prevention agency also disclosed that the death toll from the pandemic surged to 14,937 as of the stated period.
The Africa CDC further said that 369,120 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have so far recovered from the infectious virus.
Amid the rapid spread of the virus across the continent, the highly affected African countries in terms of positive cases include South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, Morocco, and Cameroon.
The Africa CDC also said that the Southern Africa region is now the most affected area across the continent in terms of positive COVID-19 cases, followed by the North Africa region.
The West Africa region is the third most affected area in terms of positive cases, followed by the Eastern and Central Africa regions, respectively. ■
Ministers for EU Affairs discuss recovery package and Germany’s Presidency programme
Government Communications Department 15.7.2020
At their video meeting on Wednesday 15 July, the Ministers for European Affairs discussed the EU’s recovery package consisting of the next multiannual financial framework and a recovery instrument.
In addition, Germany, which began its EU Council Presidency at the start of July, presented the priorities of its Presidency programme. Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen represented Finland at the meeting.
President of the European Council Charles Michelpresented his amended proposal for the recovery package on 10 July. In Finland’s view, Michel’s proposal is a step in the right direction, for example with regard to the criteria for the distribution of support. In the last stage of the negotiations, the key questions for Finland are related to the overall size of the recovery instrument; the relative proportions of loan-based and grant-based subsidies; conditionality, in particular with regard to the rule of law; and the maximum responsibilities of the Member States for financing the package.
The EU leaders will seek to reach an agreement on the package at the Special European Council meeting in Brussels on 17–18 July.
– The General Affairs Council prepared for the meeting of the Heads of State or Government at the end of the week. The atmosphere was very focused. The need to reach a solution as a matter of urgency was emphasised in several speeches. It is clear that the European Council negotiations will be long. However, it is equally clear that Europe needs a common solution to deal with the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Finland will enter the negotiations constructively, seeking a well-functioning and appropriate solution, Minister Tuppurainen said.
At the meeting, Germany, which began its Presidency of the Council of the EU in July, presented the priorities of its Presidency programme. The main themes of Germany’s Presidency are tackling the coronavirus pandemic and promoting economic recovery, a stronger and more innovative Europe, a just Europe, a sustainable Europe, a safe Europe founded on shared values, and a strong Europe on the world stage.
Finland considers it justified that the future work of the Council is placing particular attention on responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 crisis. Germany has also stated that it will continue the work of the Finnish Presidency in areas such as strengthening the rule of law and developing the Council’s working methods. – I am pleased that the German Presidency will continue work to strengthen the rule of law. When moving from the emergency conditions, caused by the by the coronavirus pandemic, towards normal everyday life, we in Europe must also stay alert. The European Union must firmly continue to defend equality, democracy and the rule of law, Minister Tuppurainen said.
EU leaders are closing in on a deal for a $860 billion stimulus package.
Further Marathon talks among EU leaders to agree an unprecedented £1.68tn budget and coronavirus recovery fund have been extended into a third day.
The bitter negotiations have underscored the deep divides within the 27-nation bloc, with the traditional Franco-German alliance struggling to get its way.
Mrs Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron walked out of heated talks late on Saturday, with a group of nations led by the Netherlands pushing to limit the amount of grants given to countries whose economies have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and to impose strict conditions on how the money is spent.
“They run off in a bad mood,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in the early hours of Sunday after Mrs Merkel and Mr Macron’s departure from talks.
United Nations has declared Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Noor Wali Mehsud as a global terrorist. The UN has blacklisted Mehsud for participating in the financing, planning and perpetrating acts on behalf of and in support of entities associated with al-Qaeda.
The UN Security Council’s 1267 ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee added Mehsud to the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List subjecting the Pakistani national to an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. In June 2018, Mehsud was named the leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), following the death of former TTP leader Maulana Fazlullah. The TTP was blacklisted by the UN on July 29, 2011 for its association with al-Qaeda.