Friday, June 18

World

Indian defence secretary Ajay Kumar test positive for coronavirus
World

Indian defence secretary Ajay Kumar test positive for coronavirus

Union Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, who had been unwell for a few days, has tested positive for coronavirus as India witnesses the infections surpass 2.07 lakh.The secretary is currently under home quarantine, according to Indian media reports. Moreover, 35 people working at the ministry’s headquarters in South Block in the Raisina Hills have been asked to go into isolation at home, the Indian media said."Extensive contact tracing and major disinfection of offices in South Block is underway. There is a list of around 30 people who came in close contact with the defence secretary over the last couple of days. They have been told to go into self-quarantine," said a government source.Defence Minister Rajnath Singh did not attend the office at his ministry in the South Block as pa...
VFA: Philippines says it won’t end US military access agreement amid South China Sea tensions
World

VFA: Philippines says it won’t end US military access agreement amid South China Sea tensions

President Rodrigo Duterte had decided to retain the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) "in light of the political and other developments in the region," said Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. in a social media post Tuesday.The agreement, signed in 1988, gives US military aircraft and vessels free entry into the Philippines and relaxes visa restrictions for US military personnel.The Philippine government gave the US 180 days' notice to end the deal in February, suggesting that Manila needed to rely on its own resources for its defense. On Tuesday, the US welcomed the change of heart."Our long-standing alliance has benefited both countries, and we look forward to continued close security and defense cooperation with the Philippines," said a statement from the US Embassy...
When Jail Becomes Normal – The New York Times
World

When Jail Becomes Normal – The New York Times

Want to get The Morning by email? Here’s the sign-up.Good morning. Protests continued late into the night, without the destruction of recent days. George W. Bush offered praise for the protesters. Let’s start by looking at how mass incarceration has shaped black Americans’ lives.For most white Americans, interactions with the police happen rarely, and they’re often respectful or even friendly. Many white people don’t know a single person who’s currently behind bars.In many black communities — and especially for black men — the situation is entirely different. Some of the statistics can be hard to fathom:Incarceration rates for black men are about twice as high as those of Hispanic men, five times higher than those of white men and at least 25 times higher than those of black women, Hisp...
George Floyd death: More large protests in US but violence falls
World

George Floyd death: More large protests in US but violence falls

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Protesters defiant on New York's Manhattan Bridge Tens of thousands of people have demonstrated, mainly peacefully, across the United States for an eighth night following the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody.One of the biggest protests, joined by Floyd's relatives, took place in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Many defied curfews in several cities, imposed after violence and looting in some districts on Monday night.In centr...
Paris witnesses violent protest against racism and deadly police violence
World

Paris witnesses violent protest against racism and deadly police violence

PARIS: Clashes broke out between police and protesters in Paris on Tuesday after around 20,000 people defied a ban to rally over the 2016 death of a black man in police custody, galvanised by US demonstrations against racism and deadly police violence.The protesters used slogans from the American protest movement to call for justice for Adama Traore, whose death four years ago has been a rallying cause against police brutality in France. The demonstration, which came after the release of two differing medical reports into the cause of Traore´s death, had been prohibited by police citing a coronavirus ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.The protest started in the late afternoon outside the court in northern Paris, before projectiles were thrown and the police used tear gas ...
People from ethnic minorities are up to 50% more likely to die from coronavirus than white people, UK report finds
World

People from ethnic minorities are up to 50% more likely to die from coronavirus than white people, UK report finds

The analysis, conducted by government agency Public Health England (PHE), found that people of Bangladeshi heritage who tested positive for the virus were around twice as likely to die as their white British peers.People from other minority communities, including those of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani and Caribbean descent, also had a 10% to 50% higher risk of death when compared to white Britons, the report found.Those from black ethnic groups were also more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19. The diagnosis rate per 100,000 of the population was 486 for black females and 649 for black males, compared to 220 for white females and 224 for white males.The document was published Tuesday -- after the UK government denied British media reports that its release had been delayed due to protests...
Philippines Backs Off Threat to Terminate Military Pact With U.S.
World

Philippines Backs Off Threat to Terminate Military Pact With U.S.

MANILA — In a reversal, the Philippine government on Tuesday said it was suspending plans to terminate a longstanding military pact with the United States that President Rodrigo Duterte had criticized as unfair to his country in a fit of angry rhetoric.The Philippine foreign secretary, Teodoro Locsin, made the announcement over Twitter, saying that he had informed Washington of the decision in a diplomatic note. The decision was made “in light of political and other developments in the region,” Mr. Locsin said in the diplomatic note, without elaboration.“The abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement has been suspended upon the president’s instruction,” Mr. Locsin said in his Twitter post, referring to Mr. Duterte. “The note is self-explanatory and does not require comment from me.”In...
Pakistan ‘blasphemy’ death row couple’s plea for freedom
World

Pakistan ‘blasphemy’ death row couple’s plea for freedom

Image copyright Family handout Image caption The couple were found guilty of blasphemy in 2014 Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel have spent the last six years in jail waiting for an appeal against their death sentence for "blasphemy" to conclude. Now, the family of the poor Christian couple from the central Pakistani town of Gojra hope an end to their ordeal could be in sight, with a final hearing at Lahore High Court scheduled for Wednesday.Their lawyer, Saif ul Malook, who ...
Trump threatens to move ‘thousands of troops’ against rioters
World

Trump threatens to move ‘thousands of troops’ against rioters

WASHINGTON:  President Donald Trump vowed Monday to order a military crackdown on once-in-a generation violent protests gripping the United States, saying he was sending thousands of troops onto the streets of the capital and threatening to deploy soldiers to states unable to regain control.The dramatic escalation came a week after the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who had been pinned down with a knee to the neck by a police officer -- leading to the worst civil unrest in decades in New York, Los Angeles and dozens of other American cities.After being criticized for his silence on the worsening crisis, Trump struck a martial tone in a nationwide address from the White House as police fired tear gas on protesters outside."I am dispatching thousands an...
Covid-19: Sewage could hold the key to stopping new coronavirus outbreaks
World

Covid-19: Sewage could hold the key to stopping new coronavirus outbreaks

The ultimate goal is for almost all sewage plants to install these coronavirus early warning systems so as to track the spread of Covid-19. "It would be the first test line," said microbiologist Hauke Harms, one of the leaders of the study. "You would start with our measurement and then you would know where to go to look for the reasons. Normally it is a hospital, or I don't know, a factory where you have an outbreak. And then one would have to test the people." The concept seems fairly simple: Sewage contains remnants of the virus from human feces. If those concentrations suddenly jump, sewage plants would detect that and alert authorities to take action and begin targeted testing of the area in question. The sewage plants in the area of the eastern German city of Leipzig -- which can...
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