NEWS OF THE DAY
From Around the World
_1 Inaugural flight: The first known direct commercial flight between Israel and Bahrain landed Wednesday in the island kingdom, just a week after it signed a deal alongside the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations. Flight data showed an Israir Airlines Airbus A320 landed at Bahrain International Airport after a nearly threehour flight from Tel Aviv’s BenGurion International Airport. Hours later, Bahrain acknowledged the flight carried a delegation of Israeli officials. Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa previously had been quoted as saying he believed Arab countries should drop their boycott of Israel.
_2 Holocaust memorial: A friend of World War II Jewish diarist Anne Frank laid the first stone Wednesday at a new memorial under construction in Amsterdam to honor all Dutch victims of the Holocaust. The ceremonial laying of the first stone, on which the name of a Dutch Holocaust victim was engraved, is the latest step in construction of the Dutch memorial, which will feature the names of more than 102,000 Jews, Roma and Sinti who were murdered in Nazi concentration camps during World War II or who died on their way to the camps. Jacqueline van Maarsen, who knew Anne Frank before the diarist and her family were captured and sent to Nazi concentration camps, laid a stone engraved by laser with the name, date of birth and age of Dina Frankenhuis, who was murdered, aged 20, on June 4, 1943, at the Sobibor camp.
_3 Taliban attack: The Taliban launched a wave of attacks on security checkpoints in southern Afghanistan overnight, killing a total of 28 Afghan policemen, officials said Wednesday. The violence comes even as Taliban leaders and Afghan governmentappointed negotiators are holding historic peace talks in Qatar, a Mideast country where the Taliban set up a political office after they were toppled from power in the 2001 U.S.led invasion of Afghanistan. The negotiations are meant to end the fighting and establish a road map for a postwar society. The attacks started Tuesday in southern Uruzgan province, an official said.
_4 Territorial claims: The Philippine president got rare praise from his key critics for invoking before the United Nations a 2016 arbitration ruling that invalidated China’s vast territorial claims in the South China Sea, in a surprise move that will likely pique Beijing. President Rodrigo Duterte made one of his strongest defenses of the Philippine victory in the arbitration case in his first address before the annual U.N. General Assembly, where world leaders spoke mostly in prerecorded videos due to the pandemic. China has long refused to bring the issue to any international arena. Duterte has been criticized for refusing to demand Chinese compliance with the ruling by a U.N.backed tribunal. It found China’s claims on virtually the entire South China Sea on historical grounds inconsistent with international maritime law.
_5 Forced labor: China lashed out at the passage of a bill by the U.S. House of Representatives that threatens sanctions over the alleged use of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, calling the accusation a lie. Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the bill “maliciously slandered the human rights situation in Xinjiang” and sought to curb development and progress in the region while stirring up ethnic divisions and interfering in China’s internal affairs. Members of Congress say the measure is needed to press Beijing to stop a campaign that has resulted in the detention of more than 1 million Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups under brutal conditions. The U.S. has banned imports made with forced labor since 1930 to ensure fair trade.