Sunday, September 15, 2019
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HK protesters sing ‘God Save the Queen’ in plea to former colonial power
Britain says it has a legal responsibility to ensure China abides by the 1984 declaration. AFP

HK protesters sing ‘God Save the Queen’ in plea to former colonial power

15 Sep 2019 | 10:16 AM

HONG KONG: Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters singing “God Save the Queen” and waving Union Jack flags rallied outside the British Consulate on Sunday demanding that the former colonial power ensures China honours its commitments to the city’s freedoms.

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Hong Kong, September 15

Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters singing “God Save the Queen” and waving Union Jack flags rallied outside the British Consulate on Sunday demanding that the former colonial power ensures China honours its commitments to the city’s freedoms.

The Chinese-ruled territory has been rocked by weeks of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests, with demonstrators angry about what they see as creeping interference by Beijing in their city’s affairs despite a promise of autonomy.

The Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed in 1984, lays out Hong Kong’s future after its return to China in 1997, a “one country, two systems” formula that ensures freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.

“Sino-British Joint Declaration is VOID,” one placard read.

“SOS Hong Kong,” read another.

“One country, two systems is dead,” they shouted in English under the sub-tropical sun, some carrying the colonial flag also bearing the Union Jack. “Free Hong Kong.” With many young people looking for routes out of Hong Kong, campaigners say Britain should change the status of the British National (Overseas) passport, a category created after Britain returned Hong Kong to China.

The passports allow a holder to visit Britain for six months, but do not come with an automatic right to live or work there.

“I am here to demand the UK protect our citizens’ rights in Hong Kong and speak up for Hong Kong under the Joint Declaration,” Jacky Tsang, 25, told Reuters.

The spark for the protests was planned legislation, now withdrawn, that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, despite Hong Kong having its own much-respected independent judiciary.

The protests have since broadened into calls for universal suffrage.

China says it is committed to the “one country, two systems” arrangement, denies meddling and says the city is an internal Chinese issue. It has accused foreign powers, particularly the United States and Britain, of fomenting the unrest and told them to mind their own business.

Britain says it has a legal responsibility to ensure China abides by the 1984 declaration.

“The Joint Declaration is a legally binding treaty between the UK and China that remains as valid today as it was when it was signed and ratified over 30 years ago,” a British Foreign Office spokeswoman said in June.

“As a co-signatory, the UK government will continue to defend our position.”

But it was not immediately clear what Britain could or would want to do defend that position. It is pinning its hopes on closer trade and investment cooperation with China, which since 1997 has risen to become the world’s second-largest economy, after it leaves the European Union at the end of next month.

The Civil Human Rights Front has also called for a mass rally in Victoria Park, just to the east of the central business district, but police have denied permission because of earlier clashes after huge gatherings.

Protesters are expected to turn up early in the afternoon anyway. Reuters

No kites, pigeon flying as China preps for 70th anniversary

No kites, pigeon flying as China preps for 70th anniversary

15 Sep 2019 | 12:01 PM

BEIJING: China has banned flying kites, drones and captive pigeons over central Beijing as it prepares for a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule on October 1.

US blames Iran for Saudi attacks, ‘pretend’ diplomacy

US blames Iran for Saudi attacks, ‘pretend’ diplomacy

15 Sep 2019 | 1:10 PM

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday accused Iran of leading attacks on Saudi oil plants that have cut the kingdom’s output roughly in half.

Iran says US bases and aircraft carriers within range of its missiles

Iran says US bases and aircraft carriers within range of its missiles

15 Sep 2019 | 12:39 PM

DUBAI: An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Sunday that US bases and aircraft carriers in the region were within range of Iranian missiles after the US accused Iran of leading attacks on Saudi oil plants, raising tensions in the Middle East.

Embattled Israeli PM fights for survival in do-over election

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15 Sep 2019 | 12:28 PM

JERUSALEM: A visibly frantic Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the fight of his political life as the country heads to national elections for the second time this year.

76 arrested in immigration protest at Microsoft store in New York City

76 arrested in immigration protest at Microsoft store in New York City

15 Sep 2019 | 10:35 AM

NEW YORK: Dozens of immigration policy protesters have been arrested at a demonstration outside a Microsoft store in New York City.

US confirms Osama son killed on Af-Pak border

US confirms Osama son killed on Af-Pak border

15 Sep 2019 | 1:11 PM

WASHINGTON:US President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, was killed in an American counter-terrorism operation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Over 2,000 foetal remains found at ex-abortion doctor’s home

Over 2,000 foetal remains found at ex-abortion doctor’s home

15 Sep 2019 | 10:22 AM

JOLIET: More than 2,000 medically preserved foetal remains have been found at the Illinois home of a former Indiana abortion clinic doctor who died last week, authorities said.

At least 22 injured as decks collapse during fire-fighter event

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15 Sep 2019 | 10:29 AM

WILDWOOD: A home’s multilevel deck collapsed Saturday evening at the Jersey Shore during an event weekend, trapping people and injuring at least 22, including some children, officials said.

UK PM Boris Johnson claims huge progress in Brexit talks

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15 Sep 2019 | 10:31 AM

LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday he was making a “huge amount of progress” towards a Brexit deal with the EU, in an interview in which he compared Britain to the Incredible Hulk.

World’s first floating N-plant reaches base

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15 Sep 2019 | 1:11 PM

MOSCOW:The world’s first floating nuclear power station on Saturday completed a 5,000-kilometre Arctic transfer to Russia’s far east, the Rosatom nuclear agency said.

Former British PM Cameron slams Boris Johnson over Brexit

Former British PM Cameron slams Boris Johnson over Brexit

15 Sep 2019 | 10:25 AM

LONDON: Former British prime minister David Cameron launched a blistering attack on the UK’s current leader Boris Johnson in extracts of his memoirs published Sunday, accusing him of only backing Brexit to further his own career.

Owner blew up house on his daughter’s wedding day: Police

Owner blew up house on his daughter’s wedding day: Police

15 Sep 2019 | 10:43 AM

EDGEWOOD: Police say they believe a homeowner blew up his house near Pittsburgh on his daughter’s wedding day. Officials are still investigating the cause of the explosion.

Danes raise 2.4 million euro in first climate telethon

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15 Sep 2019 | 10:39 AM

COPENHAGEN: Danes donated around 2.4 million euro (USD 2.6 million) on Saturday for the planting of trees, in a telethon event described as the world’s first to focus on the climate.

Houthi drones target Saudi oil plants, supply hitGulf flare-up

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15 Sep 2019 | 7:43 AM

RIYADH:Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group on Saturday attacked two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility, in a strike that sources said had disrupted output and exports.

Scuffles in Hong Kong as polarisation deepens

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15 Sep 2019 | 7:43 AM

HONG KONG:Fights erupted in Hong Kong on Saturday with political rivals trading blows in a mall and Beijing supporters using Chinese flags to assault opponents on a street, deepening the city's polarisation after months of pro-democracy protests.

‘Truly sorry’ for Brexit divisions, says Cameron

15 Sep 2019 | 7:43 AM

LONDON:The British Prime Minister, who called the Brexit referendum and then saw the public vote to leave the European Union, says he is sorry for the divisions it has caused.

Thailand’s N-E inundated, 23K evacuated

15 Sep 2019 | 7:43 AM

BANGKOK:Floods in northeastern Thailand have submerged homes, roads and bridges, leaving more than 23,000 people in evacuation shelters as anger grows over the government's “slow” emergency response.

globe trot

Singapore's Marina Bay Sands to add 4th tower

15 Sep 2019 | 7:43 AM

Singapore: Singapore's iconic tourism destination Marina Bay Sands will add a 'fourth tower', adjacent to the existing three towers, at an approximate $3.3 billion investment, in its bid to attract more international visitors.

Jailed ex-PM Sharif should be provided collection of Mukesh’s songs: Pak Minister

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14 Sep 2019 | 9:08 PM

LAHORE: Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Saturday that the government should provide a tape recorder and a collection of songs by legendary Indian playback singer Mukesh to deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif .

Police face protesters in Nantes as ‘yellow vest’ marches resume

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14 Sep 2019 | 8:17 PM

NANTES (FRANCE): Hundreds of demonstrators faced police in a tense stand-off in the French city of Nantes on Saturday as revived “yellow vest” protests against the government of President Emmanuel Macron took place across the country.

Pakistani cleric Tahirul Qadri quits politics, resigns from party

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14 Sep 2019 | 7:26 PM

LAHORE: Fiery Pakistani cleric Tahirul Qadri on Saturday announced his decision to quit politics and resigned as the chairman of his Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) party.

Iran inks deal to develop gas field in tense Gulf

Iran inks deal to develop gas field in tense Gulf

14 Sep 2019 | 7:13 PM

TEHRAN: Two Iranian companies signed a USD 440 million agreement on Saturday to develop a gas field in the sensitive Gulf, with the oil ministry saying it showed arch-foe the United States could not stop the country with sanctions.

Donald Trump confirms death of Osama bin Laden's son Hamza

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14 Sep 2019 | 7:37 PM

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, son of terror group al Qaeda's founder Osama bin Laden, was killed in an American counter-terrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Snowden says would like French asylum

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14 Sep 2019 | 7:08 PM

PARIS: Whistleblower Edward Snowden, living in Russia since leaking a trove of classified documents showing the scope of post-9/11 US government surveillance, wants to claim asylum in France, according to an interview published Saturday.

18-carat gold toilet stolen from Britain's Blenheim Palace

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14 Sep 2019 | 7:03 PM

LONDON:A gang of thieves on Saturday stole an 18-carat gold toilet from an art exhibition at Britain's Blenheim Palace, police said - causing flooding to the World Heritage Site.

Mall brawls and street fights as Hong Kong polarisation deepens

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14 Sep 2019 | 5:42 PM

HONG KONG: Fights erupted in Hong Kong on Saturday with political rivals trading blows in a mall and Beijing supporters using Chinese flags to assault opponents on a street, deepening the city’s polarisation after months of pro-democracy protests.

Pakistan takes back bodies of its soldiers killed in Army action

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14 Sep 2019 | 4:23 PM

NEW DELHI: The Pakistan Army has retrieved the bodies of two of its soldiers killed recently by the Indian Army at the LoC after raising the white flag, Army sources said on Saturday.

Brexit referendum result left ex-UK PM Cameron depressed

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14 Sep 2019 | 12:10 PM

LONDON: Former British Prime Minister David Cameron finally broke his silence on Brexit, saying that the result of 2016 referendum left him depressed

Drone attacks strike major Saudi Aramco facility, oilfield

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14 Sep 2019 | 4:41 PM

DUBAI: Drones attacked the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and an oilfield operated by Saudi Aramco early on Saturday, the kingdom's Interior Ministry said, sparking a huge fire at a processor crucial to global energy supplies.

Transport workers’ strike over pension brings Paris to a haltTravel Chaos 1

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14 Sep 2019 | 7:06 AM

PARIS:Commuters faced travel chaos on Friday as transport workers went on strike over plans to reduce their retirement privileges in a challenge to President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plans.

11 killed as hospital catches fire in Rio

14 Sep 2019 | 7:06 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO: At least 11 people have died in a fire in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, the fire service in the Brazilian city said, with preliminary reports suggesting a short-circuit in a generator could have sparked the blaze.

UK Speaker vows to thwart PM over Brexit law

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14 Sep 2019 | 7:06 AM

LONDON:Britain’s parliamentary Speaker has warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to disobey the law by refusing to ask for a Brexit delay and vowed to thwart any attempt to circumvent legislation.

GLOBE TROT

Mugabe’s kin agree to burial at ‘heroes’ monument

14 Sep 2019 | 7:06 AM

HARARE: The family of former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe have agreed to bury him at a monument for national heroes in Harare, the family said on Friday, though the date for the ceremony remained unclear.

Google Earth leads to remains of missing Florida man in lake

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13 Sep 2019 | 10:56 PM

FLORIDA:It took 22 years, but a missing man's remains were finally found thanks to someone who zoomed in on his former Florida neighbourhood with Google satellite images and noticed a car submerged in a lake, authorities said.

Bangladesh removes Pakistan's name from border pillars

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13 Sep 2019 | 10:37 PM

DHAKA:Forty-eight years after Bangladesh's independence, Pakistan's name engraved on the border pillars installed after the partition of the Indian subcontinent have been removed on the orders of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Lantern-waving Hong Kong protesters take to hills, as leader pledges housing reform

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13 Sep 2019 | 8:56 PM

HONG KONG: Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters took to the hills to form flashlight-carrying human chains on Friday, using the colourful Mid-Autumn Festival as a backto the latest in more than three months of sometimes violent unrest.

British PM ‘cautiously optimistic’ on Brexit deal

British PM ‘cautiously optimistic’ on Brexit deal

13 Sep 2019 | 8:47 PM

LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that he was “cautiously optimistic” about striking a Brexit deal ahead of his first face-to-face talks with EU chiefs next week.

Vaping illness in US gives Canada pause as legal sales near

Vaping illness in US gives Canada pause as legal sales near

13 Sep 2019 | 8:29 PM

TORONTO: The serious lung illness affecting hundreds of people in the US who vaped cannabis-based oil is giving Canadian health officials pause as that country prepares to allow the sale of vaping products in its legal marijuana market.

Will not disappoint people of Kashmir at UNGA: Pak PM in PoK

Will not disappoint people of Kashmir at UNGA: Pak PM in PoK

13 Sep 2019 | 9:24 PM

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that he will not disappoint Kashmiris at the United Nations General Assembly and vowed to raise their plight at every international platform,.

Cat skull, parrot feathers, teeth being sold for witchcraft rituals seized in Colombia

Cat skull, parrot feathers, teeth being sold for witchcraft rituals seized in Colombia

13 Sep 2019 | 12:40 PM

BOGOTA: Colombian authorities seized 1,400 animal parts intended for witchcraft rituals and amulets from shops in the capital Bogota, officials said on Thursday.

Heads turn as ‘rebel' Saudi woman moves in mall without obligatory abaya

Heads turn as ‘rebel' Saudi woman moves in mall without obligatory abaya

14 Sep 2019 | 7:29 AM

RIYADH: Her high heels clacking on marble tiles, a defiant Saudi woman turned heads and drew gasps as she strutted through a Riyadh mall - without a body-shrouding abaya.

Pakistan likely to miss IMF’s tax refund condition

Pakistan likely to miss IMF’s tax refund condition

13 Sep 2019 | 1:52 PM

ISLAMABAD: Cash-strapped Pakistan is set to miss the International Monetary Fund’s condition to refund Rs 75 billion to taxpayers in the first quarter despite an incentive by the global lender, a media report said on Friday.

Pakistan may face serious financing issues: Moody’s

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13 Sep 2019 | 1:52 PM

KARACHI: Moody’s credit rating agency has placed Pakistan among countries that might face serious financing issues in the extreme scenario under the ongoing US-China trade tensions as Islamabad’s reliance on foreign currency borrowing and thin reserve coverage of external debt payments have weakened its debt affordability.

7 die, 10 hurt in southeast Turkey blast

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13 Sep 2019 | 1:51 PM

DIYARBAKIR: Seven people were killed and 10 were wounded in southeast Turkey when an improvised explosive placed on a road went off as a vehicle carrying villagers was passing, a governor’s office in the region said.

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