China, US in new spat over Uighur crackdown
Beijing (AFP) - China said Friday it will impose tit-for-tat measures after the United States slapped sanctions on Chinese officials for their involvement in a crackdown on Muslim minorities, raising tensions between the superpowers.The two countries have traded barbs and sanctions on a slew of issues since President Donald Trump took office, from trade to more recent spats over the coronavirus pandemic, a security law in Hong Kong, and Chinese policies in the far west regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.The latest Chinese response followed a US announcement of visa bans and an assets freeze on thre...
Australia cuts citizen returns as virus surge worsens
Sydney (AFP) - Australia will slash the number of returning citizens allowed into the country by half as it struggles to contain a worsening coronavirus outbreak in its second-largest city, officials announced Friday.From Monday, only 4,000 Australian citizens or permanent residents will be allowed back into the country each day, down from around 8,000 currently, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.He said the move was needed to focus resources on countering the "very concerning" virus surge in Melbourne, where authorities reported a record 288 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.It was ...
Philly planned to roll out a new anti-violence strategy in the spring. With summer underway, questions remain
PHILADELPHIA — As Philadelphia has grappled in recent months with the coronavirus pandemic and the widespread national unrest over police brutality, officials have been forced to delay and adjust a key strategy designed to confront another of the city’s most vexing challenges: gun violence.Group violence intervention, as it is generally known, had been slated to begin in April, but now is likely to debut in mid-July at the earliest, city officials said.The strategy — which relies in part on face-to-face interactions among police, city employees, community residents, and people deemed at risk o...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Russian bounties: Pentagon vows 'action' if intel confirmed
Washington (AFP) - Top Pentagon officials pledged Thursday to "take action" if the US military could corroborate intelligence suggesting Moscow paid militants linked to the Taliban to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan.General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke before a congressional committee as the Trump administration comes under pressure to explain media reports claiming the president was briefed on the intelligence -- but did nothing in response.Milley said the information was "not corroborated.""We'll get to the bottom of it. We are go...
US sanctions senior Chinese officials over 'horrific' Uighur rights abuses
The United States on Thursday slapped sanctions on senior Chinese officials as it demanded an end to "horrific" abuses against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.Three officials will be refused US visas and see any US-based assets frozen including Chen Quanguo, the Chinese Communist Party chief for the Xinjiang region and architect of Beijing's hardline policies on minorities.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States was acting against "horrific and systematic abuses" in the western region including forced labour, mass detention and forced population control."The United States w...
US punishes senior Chinese officials over Uighur rights
Washington (AFP) - The United States on Thursday slapped sanctions on senior Chinese officials as it demanded an end to "horrific" abuses against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.Three officials will be refused US visas and see any US-based assets frozen including Chen Quanguo, the Chinese Communist Party chief for the Xinjiang region and architect of Beijing's hardline policies on minorities.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States was acting against "horrific and systematic abuses" in the western region including forced labor, mass detention and forced population control."T...
Trenton creates its first LGBTQ liaison position
The city of Trenton created its first LGBTQ liaison position last week, officials announced.The position, which will be within the Office of Citizen Concerns, was created through an executive order signed by Mayor W. Reed Gusciora on June 30.Rick Kavin, a current aide to the mayor, will assume the new position.The position’s purpose is to work directly with members of the LGBTQ community in Trenton to “ensure any issues relevant to the LGBTQ community are addressed in a respectful and timely manner,” according to a release.“For urban areas like Trenton, LGBTQ youth, elders, and people of color...
Indonesia identifies rhino to capture for breeding, but will have to wait until next year
JAKARTA — Indonesian officials have identified a wild Sumatran rhino that they plan to catch for a captive-breeding program in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo.“The rhino’s name is Pari,” Indra Exploitasia, director of conservation at Indonesia’s environment ministry, said in a webinar on July 3. She didn’t say whether the rhino was a male or female, and ministry officials didn’t respond to multiple requests by Mongabay for further information on the rhino.Conservation officials already have a female Sumatran rhino, named Pahu, at the Kelian Lestari captive-breeding c...
Bahrain convicts 5 officials, 4 banks in money laundering case
Bahrain’s High Criminal Court has convicted five officials in one Bahraini bank and three Iranian banks in a major money laundering case.The court sentenced officials at Bahrain’s Future Bank to five years in prison and fined them a million Bahraini dinars ($2.65 million) each. The same fine was imposed on the other banks.The court ordered the confiscation of funds transferred that were made by the banks involved and were the subject of the money laundering case.According to the website of the Bahraini newspaperDaily Tribune, Future Bank, which operates under the supervision of two Iranian ban...
The Middle East Monitor
Five people arrested over Pop Smoke's murder
Los Angeles Police Department officials served multiple search warrants early on Thursday (09Jul20), and three adults and two juveniles have since been taken into custody.According to TMZ, they are each being interviewed regarding their alleged involvement in Pop's death back in February (20), when he was fatally shot during a home invasion at his rented Hollywood Hills property.The Welcome to the Party hitmaker, real name Bashar Jackson, was just 20 years old.It's not clear what charges the suspects will face, but the news emerges a week after Pop's manager, Steven Victor, expressed optimism ...