Thursday, August 20, 2020

US suspends 3 bilateral agreements with China over National Security Law

US Department of State Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. (Photo: ANI)

Washington [US], Aug 20 (ANI): In another blow to China for its continued violation of human rights in Hong Kong, the United States has suspended three bilateral agreements with the Chinese Communist Party.

China had imposed the draconian National Security Law in Hong Kong, which crushed the freedoms of the city's citizens. The legislation, which came into effect on July 1, punishes what Beijing terms secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference with up to life in prison.

"The Chinese Communist Party has taken drastic steps to erode the high degree of autonomy that Beijing itself promised to the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong for 50 years under the UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration," the statement released by the US Department of State read.

"President Trump has made clear that the United States will, therefore, treat Hong Kong as 'one country, one system' and take action against individuals who have crushed the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong," said Morgan Ortagus, the Department Spokesperson.

He further said, "The President's Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization (E.O. 13936) set forth a number of responses to Beijing's actions, including suspending and eliminating preferential treatment for Hong Kong."

"As part of the ongoing implementation measures, we notified the Hong Kong authorities on August 19 of our suspension or termination of three bilateral agreements. These agreements covered the surrender of fugitive offenders, the transfer of sentenced persons, and reciprocal tax exemptions on income derived from the international operation of ships," Ortagus added. (ANI)

There is no vaccine for racism, says Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris became the first African American woman and South Asian woman to be nominated on a major party's ticket

Washington [US], Aug 20 (ANI): Kamala Harris, who became the first African-American woman and South Asian woman to be nominated on a major party's ticket, invoked the names of African-Americans who died for the US, saying "there is no vaccine for racism".

Harris, who accepted her party nomination for Vice President, said the Democrats will work to fulfill the promise of equal justice under law, CNN reported.
"There is no vaccine for racism. We have got to do the work," she said.

"For George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for the lives of too many others to name, for our children and for all of us. We have got to do the work to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law. Because here is the thing. None of us are free until all of us are free," Harris said in her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Harris invoked several female civil rights and political leaders like Mary Church Terrell, Mary Mcleod Bethune, Fannie Lou Hamer, Diane Nash, Constance Baker Motley and Shirley Chisholm. "We are not often taught their stories. But as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders," she said.

She added, "Without fanfare or recognition, they organised, testified, rallied, marched and fought -- not just for their vote, but for a seat at the table. These women and the generations that followed worked to make democracy and opportunity real in the lives of all of us who followed. They paved the way for the trailblazing leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."

Harris turned emotional and recalled her late mother Shyamala Gopalan, saying she was not there to see her daughter's achievement of becoming the first African-American and South Asian woman nominated on a major party's ticket.

"My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning. And oh, how I wish she were here tonight but I know she is looking down on me from above," she said.

Harris said she often thinks what her mother must have thought when she gave first birth at the age of 25 years at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California, according to CNN.

"On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now speaking these words -- I accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States of America," she said.

Harris' mother passed away due to cancer in 2009. (ANI)

Wish Donald Trump had been better President: Hillary Clinton

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (File photo)

Washington [US], Aug 20 (ANI): Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday (local time) attacked President Donald Trump, saying he was ill-equipped to be the president and asserted that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris can "pull our nation back from the brink".

Delivering her remarks at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton, who was the 2016 presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, said people should vote for Biden in huge numbers so that Trump "cannot sneak or steal his way to victory," CNN reported.

"Do not forget: Joe and Kamala can win three million more votes and still lose. Take it from me. We need numbers so overwhelming Trump cannot sneak or steal his way to victory," she was quoted as saying.

"For four years, people have said to me, 'I did not realise how dangerous he was. I wish I could go back and do it over.' Or worst, 'I should have voted.' Look, this cannot be another woulda coulda shoulda election," she said.

After Clinton conceded her defeat in the 2016 presidential election, she said that Democrats gave Trump the chance to prove he could grow in the presidency.

"I wish Donald Trump had been a better president. Because America needs a better president than this," the former US Secretary of State said.

Clinton said that America needs a president who "shows the same compassion, determination, and leadership in the White House that we see in our communities".

She asserted that Harris would face the same "slings and arrows" she did as a woman running, but that the latter "can handle them all," CNN reported.

"This is the team to pull our nation back from the brink," she remarked.

"Throughout this crisis, Americans have kept going -- checking on neighbours, showing up to jobs at grocery stores and nursing homes. Because it still takes a village. We need leaders equal to this moment. We need Joe Biden and Kamala Harris," Clinton said.

She further said, "This is the team to pull our nation back from the brink and build back better. But they cannot do it without all of us." (ANI)

India, China to hold WMCC meeting today to discuss disengagement along LAC, de-escalation of troops

Representative Image

New Delhi [India], Aug 20 (ANI): A meeting of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China Border Affairs will be taking place on Thursday as part of the dialogue between the two countries for disengagement along LAC in Eastern Ladakh and de-escalation of troops.

The seventeenth meeting of WMCC was held last month in which the two countries agreed that early and complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and de-escalation from India-China border areas in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols and full restoration of peace and tranquillity was essential for smooth overall development of bilateral relations.

The WMCC talks are headed by joint secretary-level officials from both sides.

China has not disengaged in Finger area, Depsang plains and Gogra after multiple rounds of military and diplomatic talks.

Chinese troops have been camping in the Finger area for over three months now and have even started fortifying their bases with the construction of bunkers and sangars.

India has said that it expects that China will sincerely work with it for complete disengagement of troops along LAC in Eastern Ladakh and de-escalation along with the full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas. (ANI)

PM Narendra Modi pays tribute to former PM Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi

New Delhi [India], Aug 20 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tributes to former PM Rajiv Gandhi on his 76th birth anniversary.

"On his birth anniversary, tributes to former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi Ji," PM Modi tweeted.

Born on August 20, 1944, Rajiv Gandhi became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he assumed office in October 1984. He served as the Prime Minister of India till December 2, 1989.

In May 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber during an election rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.

The Congress observes the day as 'Sadbhavna Divas'.


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