National Herald Tribune : 2020-08-21

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South Korea’s coronaviru­s infections are back “in full swing” and spreading nationwide after members of a church attended a political demonstrat­ion, authoritie­s said on Thursday, threatenin­g one of the world’s COVID-19 success stories. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 288 new cases as of midnight on Wednesday, marking a week of triple-digit daily increases, although down slightly from the previous day’s 297. “This is a grave situation that could possibly lead to a nationwide pandemic,” Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip told a briefing. Without aggressive contact tracing, the country could experience the types of spikes and continued infections witnessed in the United States and Europe, said KCDC deputy director Kwon Junwook. “Consider the COVID-19 pandemic now to be in full-swing.” South Korea was one of the first countries outside China to see an explosive spread of the new coronaviru­s, but intensive tracing and testing had brought infections under control and quelled a subsequent series of spikes. The latest outbreak is driven by hundreds of infections among members of a church run by a far-right preacher. They had attended an anti-government protest in Seoul on Aug. 15, the 75th anniversar­y of the Japan’s World War Two surrender and the end of colonial rule. Kwon urged all demonstrat­ors to get tested immediatel­y at nearby public health clinics to protect the vulnerable around them. The demonstrat­ion may have been a “catalyst” for the nationwide outbreak, as churchgoer­s chartered buses to the capital from their homes across the country, including the southern port of Busan, Kwon said.NODS NOT HUGS South Korea has reported 16,346 cases of the new coronaviru­s with 307 COVID-19 deaths. If infections continue rising at the current rate or accelerate, authoritie­s say they will likely impose the strictest level of social distancing - closing schools, requiring employees to work from home and limiting gatherings to 10 people. “Please do not make physical contact. Exchange nods instead of handshakes,” Kwon said. “Refrain from physical contact such as hugging.” At least 53 of the new infections are linked to the Sarang Jeil Church, bringing the group’s total to 676. Hundreds more church members are being traced for testing. Infections from the Seoul rally and one on Aug. 8 include people from nine cities and provinces. Health authoritie­s said epidemiolo­gical work is underway in 150 facilities, including the workplaces of infected church members. Sixty infections, including 33 from the church, have been linked to the anti-government rallies in Seoul, which drew thousands of people. At least 8,500 demonstrat­ors had been tested as of Thursday, Kwon said. The government has banned in-person church meetings in the greater Seoul area - an urban sprawl of 25 million people - and closed other high-risk locations, including nightclubs, karaoke bars, buffets and cyber cafes. The Seoul city government restricted rallies there to fewer than 10 people from Friday through the rest of August. Hong Kong on Thursday strongly condemned the US move to end three bilateral agreements with the city government, officials said. A statement by the Hong Kong Special Administra­tive Region (HKSAR) said the regional government strongly objects to and deplores the US action, which is widely seen as a move to create troubles in China-US relationsh­ip, Kong government­s, as well as disallowed Hong Kong’s products to be marked as originated from the region. Washington also imposed sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and several senior current and former officials for “underminin­g the autonomy of Hong Kong”. “The terminatio­n of the agreements increases the operating costs of the shipping companies concerned, in particular the US companies as they will be subject to double taxation. It would hamper the developmen­t of the shipping sector between Hong Kong and the US, and is to nobody’s interest,” a Hong Kong government’s spokespers­on said. Referring to the earlier US measure on Hong Kong products exported to the US, the spokespers­on said it will take action at the World Trade Organizati­on (WTO) against the US measures which violate the WTO rules. “Hong Kong will take action against the US under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism to defend our separate customs territory status and protect our interest,” the spokespers­on warned. The city government urged Washington to stop interferin­g in the regional government’s internal affairs and retract its baseless allegation­s against the new security law. The US has been at loggerhead­s with China because of its policies in Hong Kong, particular­ly its decision to apply a controvers­ial national security law to the autonomous territory that critics say is intended to quash dissent. On June 30, China's National People's Congress unanimousl­y passed a new security law that was promulgate­d in Hong Kong on July 1 to tighten security in the city. It has drawn criticism within Hong Kong and in the internatio­nal community, which Beijing has dismissed as “foreign interventi­on”. Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous region that has been part of China since 1997, when the UK handed over the former colony to Beijing. Since last year, it has witnessed widespread protests sparked by a move to legalise extraditio­n of people to mainland China. Just a few months after Epe Fish Market was under lockdown to stem the spread of the new coronaviru­s, vendors at the site in the southern Nigerian state of Lagos are back buying, selling and trading animals. A vendor descales an endangered pangolin using Hong Kong as a pawn. “As part of the so-called ‘ongoing implementa­tion measures’ following the US President’s executive order issued on July 14, the US Department of State announced yesterday the suspension or terminatio­n of three bilateral agreements signed between the HKSAR government and the US government, namely the Agreement on the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders (SFO), the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TSP) Agreement and the Agreement concerning Tax Exemptions from the Income Derived from the Internatio­nal Operation of Ship,” said the statement. On Wednesday, the US State Department notified Hong Kong authoritie­s of the suspension or terminatio­n of three bilateral agreements. “These steps underscore our deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose the National Security Law, which has crushed the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong,” State Department’s spokespers­on Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. Earlier this month, the US imposed “sanctions” on 11 officials of the Chinese and Hong with a machete. Nearby, grasscutte­r rodents are skinned. Most of the sellers wear masks. Experts say COVID-19, which has killed around 1,000 people in Nigeria, jumped from animals to humans, possibly at a wet market in China. But few in Epe were worried. “We are not afraid of it because the coronaviru­s is not inside the meat,” said vendor Kunle Yusaf. “We do eat the meat, even during this coronaviru­s, and we do not have any disease.” University of Cambridge epidemiolo­gist Dr Olivier Restif called for more education around safe animal trade and hygiene. “We’re very concerned with the risk that it poses,” he said of markets where live animals are kept in close quarters. But he warned that simply banning markets could alienate people and drive trade undergroun­d. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government was facing fresh criticism on Thursday over its handling of grading for school exams after results for hundreds of thousands of students were pulled.Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has been accused of overseeing a fiasco over how grades have been awarded to teenagers who were unable to take their exams because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Exam board Pearson announced late on Wednesday that it would recalculat­e grades for BTECs, specialist work-related qualificat­ions, just hours before students were due to receive their results. Its decision came days after the government bowed to pressure from angry pupils, teachers and lawmakers and ditched an algorithm that had downgraded A-level results for almost 40% of school leavers last week, with those in disadvanta­ged areas more adversely affected. Students were told on Monday they would now be awarded the grade that their teachers had predicted for them based on past performanc­e, and that process is also being adopted for younger pupils receiving their GCSE results on Thursday. However, Pearson said that change meant it was now having to change its BTEC grades. was made to weaken the demographi­cs of Muslimmajo­rity Kashmir with Hindu colonists. Later on, the fascist legacy of the BJP also encouraged a bill to bifurcate the state into two union territorie­s that Jammu Kashmir as one and Himalayan Ladakh region as the other. The prolonged disputed territory conflict between major regional actors (China, India, and Pakistan) created global anxiety and uncertaint­y of more armed conflicts in the region. Pakistan's diplomatic response to the disputed territory is one of the enormous developmen­ts which is recognized by the whole internatio­nal community. The political map of Pakistan has given a clear indication to the Indian government and to the world that we are very serious in resolving the issue, as per the desires of Kashmiri people. The continued and unpreceden­ted lockdown in the occupied kashmiir by the Indian government indicates that they have no concerns with Internatio­nal pressure. The life in occupied Kashmir is still worst for the people and India has accelerate­d operations against Kashmiri freedom fighters and deployed more forces that more create a panic. at every forum and taking bold steps such as unveiling the new political map to the world. "THE ISSUANCE MAP INDIA'S ILLEGAL POLITICAL OF IS CHALLENGIN­G OCCUPATION OF KASHMIR." Prime Minister Imran Khan affirmed that "We will do political struggle, we don't believe in military solutions. We will remind the UN again and again that you had made a promise (to the people of Kashmir) which you did not fulfill." Pakistan acknowledg­es the right of self-determinat­ion for the Kashmiri people which were given to them by the Internatio­nal Law, the core solution to Kashmir dispute. Furthermor­e, the Foreign Minister also explicated the other parts of the administra­tive map which added Siachen and Sir Creek and made it clear that it is a part of Pakistan and rejects the inadequate claims by India over Exclusive Economic Zone and directly enhance the connectivi­ty with China via Siachen. Research Intern, Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad absurdity and said these stances have no legal validity, whereas India needs to realize that they have no right to end the special status of autonomous Kashmir and occupied disputed territory with the majority of Muslims. The issue of new map is the first major step by Pakistan towards solving the issue. The Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the new map reflects that Political will of Pakistan, which is as per the desires of the Pakistani people, and the principled stance of the people of Kashmir, and rejects the illegal step India took on August 5 last year. Furthermor­e, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met UNGA President-elect Volkan Bozkir during the later's visit to Pakistan on August 10, 2020 and emphasized the UN to resolve the issue of Kashmir, stressed on the current situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir as a the terrible humanitari­an crisis. The issuance of the new political map also includes more historical issues such as maritime dispute of Sir Creek, Junagadh was the first state to accede to Pakistan and Line of Control (LOC) democratiz­ation along J&K was marked with the red dotted line in the map which shows that Pakistan highlighte­d the accession of State of Jammu and Kashmir is yet to be decided through a referendum by sovereign authoritie­s of J&K and under the UNSC resolution­s that the actual boundaries and undefined frontiers should be resolve under the settlement of the dispute. Map of Pakistan was introduced to the world on August 4, 2020, and it was a landmark move by Pakistan on the First Anniversar­y of India's controvers­ial unilateral decision of the Abrogation of Article 370 in August 5, 2019. The new political map includes the territory of Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, and Sir Creek in Kutch, Junagadh, and Manavadar. Moreover, Pakistan for the first time declared Jammu & Kashmir as a part of its territoria­l jurisdicti­on after 1947. The Political Leadership of Pakistan is on one page regarding the historical territoria­l issues with India. Prime Minister Imran Khan along with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi declared it as "The Official Map" of Pakistan. The map solely identifies the occupied Kashmir as a "disputed territory" and rejects the illegal steps taken by India which consequent­ly exercises violence in the Indian occupied Kashmir. This proactive step taken by the Pakistan Government has once again highlighte­d the Kashmir issue that was overshadow­ed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan also maintains its stance that issues could only be resolved under the UNSC resolution­s which give the Kashmiri people the right of self-determinat­ion. The government move was endorsed by the political leadership and aspirant people of the disputed valley. The Government is continuous­ly doing a lot of effort to emphasize the Kashmir dispute "LUKEWARM RESPONSE INTERNATIO­NAL COMMUNITY KASHMIR PAKISTAN HIGHLIGHT OF TOWARDS DID CONCENTRAT­ED THE BUT EFFORTS TO ISSUE" The world is still quiet on the issue of Kashmir and the UNSC is quite as they view that it is a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan which is not correct cause according to the principles of UNSC resolution and Internatio­nal law regard disputed territory. Pakistan raised the matter in the UN where China supported Pakistan's stance and initiated the discussion in UNSC last year but all three round tables held in the same rehotic by the permanent members that "any other business" meeting that had no outcomes. Therefore, it became necessary for Pakistan to announce its new political map to show the world that Pakistan is very serious about resolving the issue. India rejected this move by Pakistan and called it a Political AUTONOMOUS POST ANNEXATION" "DEGREE OF IS NO MORE IN After revoking the special autonomy of occupied Kashmir, India imposed security lockdown to expand its political influence in the region and passed a controvers­ial presidenti­al order by repealing the Article 370 of the constituti­on. The attempt National Herald Tribune, Friday, August 21, 2020

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