Classmates of Kwok Chun-Fung, a student from Hong Kong who helped to create a network of medic volunteers to help the city’s pro-democracy protests say that he was arrested in China’s mainland. It has been found out that he has been detained on charges that said he solicited prostitutes in Guangzhou which is the capital of Chinese mainland province that shares bores with Hong Kong.
Kwok studied in Guangzhou and was in his early twenties and he co-founded a volunteer group of medics who would help assist wounded protestors along with those who were affected by police tear gas during the seven months of continuous protests that are going on in Hong Kong. On 10th January his disappearance was announced to the public by another co-founder of the group. His mother said that he actually was missing for more than two days from the city.
This fellow volunteer who calls himself Small Cow said that Kwok and he were talking on the phone when suddenly his line went dead. He said that Kwok walked towards the door and the phone fell down and the call got cut.
According to two students from the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, the university briefed non-mainland students about Kwok’s disappearance this week. According to them, the university’s officials told them that Kwok was arrested on 8th January late night for soliciting prostitutes in a hotel which is a punishable offence and can lead to 15 days of administrative detention.
According to the staff at the university Kwok has violated some laws and was subjected to detention but they refused to give any other comments. Yuexiu District’s police station which arrested Kwok refused to give and comment on case details. Kwok’s family were not available for comment but however Small Cow and one Hong Kong lawmaker said that the family has not gone to Hong Kong’s police or immigration authority to lodge a complaint.
This was not the first time someone was allegedly arrested. Simon Cheng who is a Hong Kong employee of the British consulate also faced similar allegations when he was in the mainland for a trip during August 2019. Before he fled overseas, Cheng said that he was forced to confess.
India, Portugal Signed 14 agreements to boost cooperation
India and Portugal on Friday exchanged 14 agreements and understandings in a number of key areas, including maritime, intellectual property rights, aerospace and scientific research, as President Ram Nath Kovind hosted his Portuguese counterpart.
Kovind received Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on his first state visit to India.
Kovind said “Portugal-India relations are very special and the two countries enjoy 500 years of shared history”. “The two countries are closely tied together through Goa and Mumbai, through our culture, language and kinship,” he said.
Kovind thanked Portugal for extending its support for the commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.
The president said the “India-Portugal bilateral agenda has expanded several folds. The two countries are collaborating in science and technology, defence, education, innovation and start-up, water and environment among other things”.
Calling terrorism a grave threat to the entire world, Kovind said, “We should deepen our cooperation further to defeat and destroy this global menace.”
India told a high-level event on peacekeeping that working in partnerships is key to successful peacekeeping, underlining that professional competence of those engaged in all aspects of this global enterprise cannot be substituted or compromised.
India along with Portugal, Senegal, Uruguay and Vietnam co-hosted the high-level event Improving peacekeeping performance: A year since UNSCR 2436′ initiated by the US here Friday.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres thanked the US and the event’s co-hosts, India, Portugal, Senegal, Uruguay and Vietnam, for convening the event and for their support to United Nations peacekeeping operations.
India believes that even while broad participation in peacekeeping is important to enhance global solidarity, there can be no substitute for professional competence of those engaged in all aspects of this global enterprise, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said in his address at the event. Working in partnerships is key to successful peacekeeping.
He stressed that guidelines require that the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (PCRS) should be the sole mechanism for the selection of a military or police unit for deployment.
A diversity in terms of deployment needs is understandable, and some variations are inevitable. However, choices and selections need to be made from within the same spectrum of options, he said, adding that those not part of the PCRS are best avoided.
Akbaruddin also highlighted that in selection, units without caveats should have precedence over units pledged with caveats, as these will not tie down the hands of Force Commander in operational decisions.
In short, we need to have a selection policy’ that is a natural extension of the PCRS to ensure that the most ready, capable, well-equipped and willing contingents are selected for deployment, he said.
He also stressed on the need for instances of under-performance to be assessed, saying such assessment needs to examine whether there were units available at higher levels in PCRS that were overlooked during selection; whether caveats have impacted performance; whether poor performance is due to lack of resources, including equipment; or whether the mandate, including guidelines, were not clear, resulting in unsatisfactory implementation.
Honest assessment and feedback is essential to have an effective accountability system. Assessing performance without determining accountability will leave us open to repeating errors, he said.
India is among the largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping. India has co-deployed troops from Kazakhstan as part of its battalion in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
In partnership with the US, India also co-hosts the UN Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP), with special focus on capacity building in peacekeeping. India and the US have also deployed a joint Mobile Training Team (MTT) to Zambia for conducting training in peacekeeping.
Addressing the event, Guterres said “performance is a collective responsibility of all those involved in peacekeeping. This responsibility starts with the Security Council, and the adequate defining of mandates”.
Performance is also the responsibility of Member States as troop and police contributors, host governments, members of the General Assembly, as financial contributors and providers of capacity-building support.
A spurt of Coronavirus, buzz for global emergency
In 2002, china encountered a similar crisis with the spurt of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus but the infection of coronavirus is more widespread in terms of affected people.
Since 2005, there are five global emergencies reported including swine flu outbreak in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola outbreak in 2014 and so in 2019, zika virus in 2016.
After the Ebola virus, the WHO declared the novel coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency. The death toll has passed 300 and around 14000 infections are confirmed till now arising the need for an urgent call.
HISTORY OF CORONA VIRUS:
Corona virus was primarily discovered in 1960s. The name corona virus is based on the Latin word called the corona which means halo or nimbus. When observed under an electronic microscope, the appearance of coronavirus resembles that of the solar halo. Scientifically, coronavirus is believed to belongs to a family of common rhinovirus including SARS and MERS which played havoc causing death of 774 and 858 people respectively in the year 2003 and 2012. It tend to dissipate from animals like civet cats and camels to human respectively. Various such viruses are circulating in animals which haven’t infected human yet.
A novel strain of coronavirus named 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is identified on January 7 by Chinese authority in the seafood market of Wuhan in Hubei province where wildlife are traded illegally. WHO asserts that this is the primary source of a corona virus outbreak. And also according to Chinese scientists, snakes are thought to be the carrier of the newly discovered virus.
VIRULENT EFFECT OF CORONA VIRUS:
Coronavirus mostly infects the upper respiratory tract including nose and sinuses characterized by symptoms of upper respiratory infections like running nose, coughing, sneezing and sore throat and sometimes fever. It can also cause middle ear infection in children and in severe cases if it spreads to lower respiratory tracts may causes pneumonia and even death in people with weaken immunity, especially in older people with heart disease.
Though its incubation period is not specified but estimated to be up to 10-14 days.
TRANSMISSION OF NOVEL CORONA VIRUS:
It spreads exactly as a common cold causing rhino virus via droplets of sneeze or cough by touching or cold-causing persons hand or face and also by touching the infected things used by the person.
HOW TO FIND OUT Coronavirus?
Overlapping symptoms with common cold make it difficult to diagnose whether the altering is infected with coronavirus or not. Various lab tests are performed to detect the presence of novel corona virus in sputum from nose and throat cultures and blood.
PROPHYLAXIS (WHAT SHOULD BE DONE):
Proper diagnosis may change the level of treatment of symptoms which usually go away. However no vaccines are discovered yet, but the symptoms can be treated with over the counter (OTC) medications for sore throat and fever except aspirin for children and teen younger than 19. Instead ibuprofen or acetaminophen is preferred. And take plenty of fluids and rest. Even humidifier or steamy shower may help you relieve from sore and scratchy throat. However, combination of two antiflu drug like lopinavir and ritonavir and anti-HIV have found to be effective to treat the viral infection caused by corona virus.
Recently, the Shanghai Institute of Material Medica and the Wuhan Institute of Virology had discovered that traditional herbal extract of Shuanghuanlian oral liquid is found to relieve symptoms by inhibiting the virulent action of coronal virus.
Anyhow, consult your doctor or health professional if the symptoms persist or worsens and don’t go away within few days.
Baghdad, U.S. Embassy struck by Rocket Fire
The U.S Embassy in Baghdad was hit by rocket fire late Sunday, with damage of one hitting a dining facility, injuring one person and causing minor building damage. It is not clear that any of the other four rockets launched in the attack landed inside the embassy compound, but the assault prompted alarm in Washington over how to calibrate the response. For security reasons, neither the Iraqi nor American officials, or the embassy, would discuss locations or other specifics details of the attack.
There has been no claim of responsibility for Sunday’s rocket attack. The military commander of Asaib al-Haq, Jawad Al-Tilaybawi said – a coalition of armed group with links to Iran that opposes America’s presence in Iraq, denied responsibility . “We stress that the recent rocket bombing against the evil embassy in Baghdad is not the action of the Iraqi resistance factions, because we have stressed earlier that the resistance factions will not target the embassies and the diplomatic missions in Iraq” said, the commander of Asaib al-Haq.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq said in a statement that “We denounce the continuation of these outlawed actions that have the goal of weakening the Iraqi state and violating its sovereignty and the sanctity of diplomatic missions on its soil”.
He further said that “Iraqi forces had been ordered to “search and investigate to prevent such attacks” and to arrest those who launched the rockets”. Mr. Abdul Mahdi also used the statement as a “way to remind the public, which is divided about whether to have United States troops stay in the country, that using force would risk “dangerous consequences and repercussions” that could damage Iraqi interests and “drag Iraq into a war.”
While rocket fire in the Green Zone in Baghdad has been a regular occurrence in recent months, the rockets fired on Sunday and last week were more accurate, landing closer to the embassy, according to eyewitnesses. Often in the past, the rockets have fallen in a nearby river or far from the embassy compound.
First Time Ever A Police Officer Being Apprehended For Supporting Protests in Hong Kong
On Friday, seven people were arrested along with an off-duty Hong Kong police officer as they tried o put pro-democracy posters on a footbridge in Tuen Mun. This is the first-ever known case where a police officer faced an arrest for supporting this massive protest going on for seven months arresting more than 65, 000 people.
At 3:00 am on Friday, the officer who was 31 years old along with seven other people aged from 14 to 61 were arrested in Tuen Mun which is a district in northwest Hong Kong. According to the police statement, they were accused of possessing objects with an intent to vandalize or destroy properties along with a suspicion of trying to attempt damage a footbridge. The police said that the group possessed things like posters, plastic scrapers, gloves and electric drills. All the eight are still held in detention for further investigations as of Friday night.
Posted by 李家偉 Kawai Lee on Thursday, 16 January 2020
According to local media reports, the group aimed to build something like a “Lennon Wall” by using collages of pro-democracy visual art which were now in trend in the past few months on walls and roads across the city. The police say that the force has an attachment of great emphasis on its members’ professional ethics and any violation of law by a fellow police officer must be handled in a serious and just manner.
Among the thousands of people who were arrested during protests around 41 of them were civil servants including 24 being from disciplines like the fire services. No police officers were arrested though there were several complaints against police personal of blinding some protestors, driving motorcycles into a march and showing a reporter’s ID card to a camera on a live broadcast.
Carrie Lam who is the city’s chief executive and a pro-Beijing appointee on Thursday said that she would not accept any complaints or accusations of police brutality or that the force had been smeared. The protests began by a trigger proposal to allow extraditions to mainland China in early June which have now evolved into a much larger revolt against China’s control over the semi-autonomous state of Hong Kong. There were several violent clashes between protesters and riot police.
Nirbhaya Case: Death execution dates revised, Will Now Hang On Feb 1 At 6 am, Says Delhi Court
Today, hours after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected a mercy petition filed by Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts a new date has been issued revising the death execution of the four convicts for the heinous crime.
The four men will now be executed at 6 am on February 1, who are convicted of the gang-raping and murdering a 23-year-old paramedic student medical student in Delhi in 2012, Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora said today.
The new death warrants are dated to exactly 14 days from today, in accordance with a law that states convicts to be executed must have a reprieve from the time their mercy plea is turned down.
Last week the same trial court judge had declared Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh, and Pawan Gupta were to be hanged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail on January. However, Tihar officials on Thursday, five days before, the scheduled execution, asked for a new date, saying the executions could not take place till after all mercy pleas were settled.
The petition had been forwarded to the President via the Home Ministry late Thursday night and was rejected this afternoon. Nirbhaya’s mother, Asha Devi, had made a public appeal to the President to summarily reject the petition.
The dates can be prolonged ahead as the three other convicts too have yet to file their respective mercy petitions, which they may do at any time prior to their execution. Therefore, each time such a petition is filed and rejected, that 14-day period will be observed, and thereby potentially prolonging the execution.
A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
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