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USA: Emotions run high as anti-lynching bill stalls in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate impasse over a widely backed bill to designate lynching as a federal hate crime boiled over on Thursday in an emotional debate cast against a backdrop of widespread protests over police treatment of African Americans.

Raw feelings were evident as Sen. Rand Paul — who is single-handedly holding up the bill despite letting it pass last year — sought changes to the legislation as a condition of allowing it to pass.

Nelson Mandela Foundation calls for end to "structural violence" against black people in U.S.

CAPE TOWN, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Nelson Mandela Foundation on Thursday condemned police brutality against the black people in the United States, where the death of African American George Floyd has set off turbulent mass protests.

"More than 1,000 Black people die at the hands of police in the U.S. every year," the foundation said, adding "mass incarceration, predictive policing, targeted surveillance and a host of other tools render Black lives more vulnerable than all others."

UK vaccine summit calls for freely available virus vaccine

LONDON (AP) — A vaccine summit has raised billions of dollars to immunize children in developing countries as experts wrestled with how any potential vaccine against the coronavirus might be distributed globally — and fairly.

The United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have urged that “a people’s vaccine” be developed for COVID-19 that would be freely available to everyone, calling it a “moral imperative.”

UK PM urges funding, global cooperation in virtual Global Vaccine Summit

LONDON, June 4 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the Global Vaccine Summit virtually on Thursday, urging countries and organizations to pledge funding for vaccinations to save millions of lives in the poorest countries and protect the world from future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The summit hosted by Britain aims to mobilize at least 7.4 billion U.S. dollars for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.

USA: ACLU sues over police force on protesters near White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Trump administration Thursday, alleging officials violated the civil rights of protesters who were forcefully removed from a park near the White House by police using chemical agents before President Donald Trump walked to a nearby church to take a photo.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Washington, comes as Attorney General William Barr defended the decision to forcefully remove the peaceful protesters, saying it was necessary to protect officers and federal property.

USA: Heat-trapping carbon dioxide in air hits new record high

KENSINGTON, Maryland (AP) — The world hit another new record high for heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, despite reduced emissions because of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists announced Thursday.

Measurements of carbon dioxide, the chief human-caused greenhouse gas, averaged 417.1 parts per million at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, for the month of May, when carbon levels in the air peak, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. That’s 2.4 parts per million higher than a year ago.

Trump heads to rural Maine but won’t escape demonstrators

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maine’s Democratic governor is urging President Donald Trump to watch his tone during a visit to the state Friday to showcase a company that makes specialized swabs for coronavirus testing.

And the sheriff in the state’s most rural county is urging those expected to protest Trump’s visit — and those who support him — to behave themselves as demonstrations continue around the country over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

USA: Navy carrier sidelined by virus is back operating in Pacific

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten long weeks after a massive coronavirus outbreak sidelined one of the Navy’s signature warships, the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt has returned to sea and is conducting military operations in the Pacific region.

Lining the flight deck in their dress white uniforms, sailors wearing white face masks stood a virus-safe 10-feet apart in a final, formal thank you as the ship sailed out of port in Guam Thursday and headed into the Philippine Sea.

USA: Protests shift to memorializing Floyd amid push for change

ATLANTA (AP) — The tenor of the protests set off by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police has taken a turn from the explosive anger that has fueled the setting of fires, breaking of windows and other violence to a quiet, yet more forceful, grassroots call for more to be done to address racial injustice.

China regrets U.S. decision to suspend Chinese passenger flights: spokesperson

BEIJING, June 4 (Xinhua) -- China regrets the U.S. decision to suspend scheduled passenger flights of Chinese carriers to and from the United States, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesperson Thursday.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks when asked to comment on a statement issued Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which announced the order to suspend the scheduled passenger flights of Chinese carriers to and from the United States, effective from June 16.


USA: Testimony: Shooter used racist slur as Arbery lay dying

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A state investigator testified Thursday that a white man was heard saying a racist slur as he stood over Ahmaud Arbery’s body, moments after fatally shooting the black man with a pump-action shotgun.

The inflammatory revelation came amid a week of angry nationwide protests over law enforcement biases against black victims that erupted after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Syria’s Assad seeks to control economy, goes after cousin

BEIRUT (AP) — On a summer day last year, presidential guards drove out of the charity organization founded by Syria’s wealthiest businessman and a close cousin of President Bashar Assad, carting away boxes of documents and computers. At the same time, the charity’s director was being questioned at the palace on suspicion of corruption.

Japan’s pandemic deaths low, but future success uncertain

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has kept its deaths from the new coronavirus low despite a series of missteps that beg the question of whether it can prevent future waves of infections.

Authorities were criticized for bungling a cruise ship quarantine and were slow to close Japan’s borders. They have conducted only a fraction of the tests needed to find and isolate patients and let businesses operate almost as usual, even under a pandemic state of emergency.

Hong Kong outlaws insulting China’s national anthem

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s legislature approved a contentious bill Thursday that makes it illegal to insult the Chinese national anthem.

The legislation was approved after pro-democracy opposition lawmakers tried to disrupt the vote. The bill was passed with 41 lawmakers voting for it and just one voting against. Most of the pro-democracy lawmakers boycotted the vote out of protest.

The pro-democracy camp sees the anthem bill as an infringement of freedom of expression and the greater rights that residents of the semi-autonomous city have compared to mainland China.

Germany’s Heiko Maas says has evidence of Russian involvement in cyberattack on Bundestag

BERLIN, June 4. /TASS/: German Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas claimed that the investigators are in possession of proof that a Russian national, in cooperation with other people, had conducted a hacker attack on the Bundestag in the interests of the Russian intelligence. He claimed this in an interview for Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper, published by the German Federal Foreign Office Thursday.

Chinese man sentenced to death for killing Pakistani student in Jiangsu Province

BEIJING, June 4 (APP): A Chinese man in East China’s Jiangsu province was sentenced to death in a first-instance judgement for killing Moiz Uddin, a Pakistani student of the Nanjing University, according to the local media here on Thursday.

The man surnamed Cong, 28, stabbed Moiz in his chest with a knife on July 11, 2018, following a quarrel. The attack ruptured the victim’s heart and he bled to death, Jiangsu police said in a statement later that day.

Officer stabbed, 2 shot in Brooklyn, hours into NYC curfew

NEW YORK (AP) — A confrontation in Brooklyn late Wednesday left one police officer stabbed in the neck, two officers with gunshot wounds to their hands and another man shot by police, the New York Police Department said.

The officers were taken to a hospital with wounds that were not expected to be life-threatening, the department said. The condition of the man shot by police was not immediately released.

US unrest: UN rights chief highlights “deep-seated grievances” in protests

GENEVA, June 4 (NNN-Xinhua) — The grievances at the heart of the protests that have erupted in hundreds of U.S. cities need to be heard and addressed, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said.

“The voices calling for an end to the killings of unarmed African Americans need to be heard. The voices calling for an end to police violence need to be heard. And the voices calling for an end to the endemic and structural racism that blights U.S. society need to be heard,” Bachelet said in a press statement.

Russia rejects claims it was behind cyberattack on Bundestag in 2015 — diplomat

MOSCOW, June 4./TASS/: Russia flatly rejects accusations hurled at it for an alleged involvement in a hacker attack on Germany’s Bundestag in 2015, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.

"We strongly reject Germany’s proofless allegations about the involvement of Russian government entities in a hacker attack on the German Bundestag in 2015," she said.

According to the diplomat, Russia is ready to look into the data obtained by Germany from the US regarding a cyberattack on the Bundestag in 2015, if it does exist.

Turkey, Azerbaijan Announce Visa Exemption For Citizens

ANKARA, June 4 (NNN-ANADOLU) – Turkey and Azerbaijan, on Wednesday, announced on the official gazette, mutual visa exemption of three months for their citizens, who hold passports with validity of at least six months.

The decision was agreed upon by the two governments on Feb 25.

With the new visa agreement, the exemption period between the two countries is increased from 30 days to 90 days.


Indian SC Justice Deepak Gupta, Spoke Against Misuse Of Sedition Law, Demits Office

By AW Siddiqui

Indian Supreme Court judge, Justice Deepak Gupta retired on Wednesday.  Justice Gupta became the first Supreme Court judge to get a “virtual” send off organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association through “Zoom party” to bid him farewell during COVID19 lockdown.

Indian Govt Knew Lockdown Would Delay, Not Control Pandemic


New Delhi; Article14: About a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the world’s largest lockdown on 24 March 2020, India’s leading medical research body told the government that the shutdown would have limited impact on the spread of the Coronavirus, preventing only 20-25% of infections that might eventually be detected at the peak of the pandemic.

India: ‘No Action Has Been Taken’: Frustration In National Covid-19 Task Force


New Delhi; Article14: The Indian government delayed action on warnings from its scientists to begin preparation for a coming Covid-19 pandemic, according to an Article14 review of records of presentations and an internal meeting.

Planet Earth breathes easy on Earth Day

by Govind Nair

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Today is the 50th anniversary of International Mother Earth Day, and it seems like Planet Earth, rather than man, has every reason to celebrate.

With COVID-19 keeping man indoors in almost every country of the world for the past month or so, there has been a drop in air, water, soil and noise pollution around the globe.

And, the Earth has been able to “breathe easy”.

But, for how long?

Prejudice, Right-Wing Views Linked to Lower Emotional Intelligence: Study

By AW Siddiqui

A 2019 research in Belgium revealed evidence that deficits in emotion understanding and emotion management are related to right-wing and prejudiced attitudes. It found that people with lower emotional intelligence have less empathy and are less able to assume the perspective of others.


WEEK 11 of Corona Lockdown

In the Renaissance, it was widely believed that weasels conceived through their ears and gave birth through their mouth. Given the apparent deafness of our leadership, and the strange utterances that emerge from their lips, I presume their ears and mouths, like the weasels, are occupied with some other preoccupying activity.

More prisons and fewer hospitals as the destruction of Egypt continues

by Wael Qandil

The real catastrophe in Egypt is not the Covid-19 pandemic reaching its peak, but the peaking of stupidity and disregard for citizens’ needs. The country is facing the coronavirus on less than 10 per cent of medicine and more than 90 per cent of security, militarism, quackery and sorcery.

‘Wolf Warrior Diplomacy’: Israel’s China Strategy in Peril

by Ramzy Baroud

Israel’s balancing act that allowed it to reap America’s unconditional and, often, blind support, while slowly benefiting from China’s growing economic influence and political prestige, is already floundering.

Thanks to the heated cold war between the US and Chinese economic superpowers, the Israeli strategy of playing both sides is unlikely to pay dividends in the long run.

China delayed releasing coronavirus info, frustrating WHO

By The Associated Press

(AP) --- Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus. It repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately,” and said its work and commitment to transparency were “very impressive, and beyond words.”

With unrest across the US, asks the Twittersphere, where is the ‘Free American Army’?

by Omar Ahmed

The scenario is all too familiar: the almost casual murder in Minneapolis of an unarmed African American citizen — say his name: George Floyd —by police officers has sparked a wave of social unrest and protests across the country. Since Floyd’s killing on 25 May, we have seen what are arguably the worst “race riots” in a generation, following Los Angeles in 1992 and Detroit in 1967, for example.