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Hong Kong pro-democracy media mogul arrested, China declares traitor


Jimmy Lai owns two media outlets that are shamelessly pro-democracy and critical of Beijing

Hong Kong:

Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai, one of Beijing’s most vocal critics, was arrested on Monday under a new national security law for collusion with foreign forces, deepening the crackdown on supporters of the democracy.

“They arrested him at his home around 7 a.m. Our lawyers are on their way to the police station,” Mark Simon, a close associate, told AFP, adding that other members of the press group from Lai had also been arrested.

A police source speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP that Lai was arrested on charges of collusion with foreign forces – one of the new national security offenses – and fraud.

Lai is the owner of Apple Daily and Next Magazine, two outlets resolutely pro-democratic and critical of Beijing.

On Twitter, Simon said officers were executing search warrants both at Lai’s mansion and at his son’s home.

Few Hong Kongers generate the level of Beijing vitriol that Lai does.

To many residents of the restless semi-autonomous city, he is an unlikely hero – a pugnacious, self-proclaimed tabloid owner and the only mogul willing to criticize Beijing.

But in Chinese state media, he is a “traitor”, the biggest “black hand” behind last year’s huge pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and the head of a new “Gang of Four” conspiring with foreign nations to undermine the homeland.

Lai spoke to AFP in mid-June, two weeks before the new security law was imposed on the city.

“I am ready for prison,” said the 72-year-old. “If that happens, I will have the opportunity to read books that I haven’t read. The only thing I can do is be positive.”

He described the law as “the death knell of Hong Kong”.

“It will replace or destroy our rule of law and destroy our international financial situation,” he said.

He also said he feared the authorities would attack his journalists.

The security law targets secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

It was introduced to quell the often violent protests of the past year.

China and Hong Kong have said it will not affect people’s freedoms and only target a minority.

But its broadly worded provisions criminalize certain political speeches, such as advocating for sanctions, greater autonomy or independence for Hong Kong.

Critics, including many Western countries, believe the law ended key freedoms and autonomy that Beijing had promised Hong Kong to retain after it was surrendered in 1997 by Britain.

Lai is no stranger to arrest.

He is already being sued for taking part in protests last year – and for defying a police ban from attending a vigil in early June commemorating the deadly Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing in 1989.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

12 Maoists travel to Chhattisgarh, 5 of them carrying cash rewards


One of the Maoists wore a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head, an official said (Representative)


Twelve Maoists, including five collectively carrying a reward of Rs 6 lakh on their heads, went to the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, police said.

The cadres went to police and CRPF officials in the town of Dantewada, saying they were impressed with the rehabilitation campaign carried out by the local police and disappointed with the hollow Maoist ideology, the superintendent said. Dantewada police, Abhishek Pallava, at PTI.

Devti Karma, MP for Dantewada, was also present on the occasion, he said.

Among these ultras, Chanduram Sethiya, who was active as a member of platoon no. 26 Maoists were reportedly involved in three Maoist attacks, including in Bhusaras-Chingavarm in 2008, in which 23 policemen and two civilians were killed, he said.

Mr Sethiya wore a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head, Mr Pallava said.

Four other abandoned ultras – Lakhmu Hemla, Sunil Tati, Manu Mandavi and Maituram Bars – who worked in different capacities in separate areas in southern Bastar, wore rewards of Rs 1 lakh each on their heads, he said. .

The remaining seven Maoists were active as lower-ranking Maoist members, he said.

Among them, an Amit Kawasi was allegedly involved in the October 2018 attack in Nilawaya, in which three police officers and a cameraman from Doordarshan were killed in Dantewada, he said.

“The 12 ultras said in their statement that they were disappointed with the hollow Maoist ideology and were impressed with the ‘Lon Varratu’ campaign (a term coined in the local dialect Gondi which means ‘return to your village’ ‘). by the Dantewada police, ”Pallava said.

According to the officer, they will receive facilities in accordance with the government’s surrender and rehabilitation policy, he said.

As part of the “Lon Varratu” initiative launched in June, the police put up posters and banners in the villages of origin of the Maoists, which have cash rewards on their heads.

The posters mention the names of the rebels and ask them to join the mainstream, the police official said.

“So far 82 Maoists, including 12, have surrendered on impulse,” he added.

(This story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Senior US Security Officer Robert O’Brien


Robert O’Brien says China “would like to see the president lose” (File)


Chinese government-linked hackers targeted US electoral infrastructure ahead of the 2020 presidential election, White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said on Sunday, indicating a more active level of Chinese interference presumed.

O’Brien’s comments appeared to go beyond a statement released Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that China was “expanding its influence efforts” and that Russia was already trying to undermine Democratic candidate Joe Biden. But did not specifically accuse Beijing of hacking attempts against US electoral systems.

“They would like to see the president lose,” O’Brien said on CBS’s “Face the Nation”. “China – like Russia, like Iran – has gone into cyber attacks and phishing and that sort of thing in terms of our electoral infrastructure, in terms of websites and that sort of thing.”

China has always denied claims by the US government that it is hacking US businesses, politicians or government agencies. “The US presidential election is an internal affair, we have no interest in intervening in it,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in April.

O’Brien said the United States has seen hackers attempt to infiltrate websites belonging to the Secretary of State’s offices across the country, which are responsible for administering elections locally and collecting data. data on Americans.

“It’s a real concern and it’s not just Russia,” he said. “There will be grave consequences for any country that attempts to interfere in our free and fair elections.”

The National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ODNI declined to comment or clarify whether O’Brien’s comments contradict theirs.

ODNI had previously said the “adversaries” sought to compromise the private communications of US political candidates and penetrate US electoral systems ahead of the November elections. And that China prefers President Donald Trump does not win re-election.

Numerous reviews by U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia acted to boost Trump’s campaign in 2016 and undermine the chances of rival Hillary Clinton in this election.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

India posts highest 24-hour peak for fifth consecutive day


More than 2.4 million samples have been tested so far, the center said (Representation)

New Delhi:

India recorded a record one-day jump of 64,399 new coronavirus patients on Sunday, bringing the country’s COVID count to more than 21 lakh, the Union Health Ministry said, adding that more than 14.8 lakh patients have recovered so far.

India has so far recorded 43,379 COVID-related deaths.

With the latest increase, the number of coronaviruses in the country reached 21,53,011 cases, of which 6,28,747 are active cases. The recovery rate on Sunday was 68.78%, compared to 68.32% on Saturday. India, with a population of nearly 138 crore, has tested more than 2.4 crore of samples so far.

India, the third country most affected by the pandemic in the world, has seen a one-day higher increase in COVID-19 cases than the United States and Brazil in the past five days.

Here are the updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases:

Coronavirus News: COVID-19 death toll in Bengal stands at 2,059
West Bengal reported another 54 deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 2,059, the state’s health department said in a bulletin, PTI news agency reported. A total of 2,939 new cases brought the number of cases to 95,554, he said. Kolkata accounted for the highest number of 21 deaths, followed by the neighboring district of North 24 Parganas (15). Of the 54 deaths, 53 were due to co-morbidities where COVID-19 was accidental, the department said. Kolkata was also at the top of the list of new cases (615), while North 24 Parganas reported 588 infections. As of Saturday, 1,996 patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the number recovered to 67,120, according to the bulletin.

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy Says He Will Return To Active Politics


The governor of Meghalaya, Tathagata Roy, has expressed his desire to return to active politics in West Bengal. (File)


With the West Bengal Assembly elections just months away, Meghalaya Governor and former BJP leader Tathagata Roy has expressed a desire to return to active politics in West Bengal once his term as governor ends.

The 74-year-old former West Bengal BJP chairman also disagreed with some of the “illogical” comments from the state leadership of the Saffron Party and said these “were not going well. with the people of the State ”.

Mr Roy, during a recent webinar, expressed his desire to return to active politics in West Bengal if the party leadership so desires.

“After my term as governor ends, I would like to return to active politics and serve West Bengal. After I return to my state, I will speak to the party (about this). It is up to them to accept or reject my proposal, ”said Mr. Roy.

Mr. Roy was State President of the BJP from 2002 to 2006 and a member of the National Executive of the BJP from 2002 to 2015.

He was appointed governor of Tripura in May 2015 and then succeeded governor of Meghalaya in August 2018.

His tenure as governor of Meghalaya ended in May, but it was extended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

When solicited for comments on some controversial statements by BJP leaders, Roy, without naming anyone, said he felt certain statements had done “more harm than good to the party.”

“In West Bengal, the North Indian culture of ‘Gai Hamari Mata Hain’ (the cow is our mother) will not work. Statements such as cow’s milk contains gold or cow urine can cure COVID-19 will not help BJP in West Bengal, ”he says.

Although BJP chairman Dilip Ghosh declined to comment on the matter, a section of the party leadership felt Mr Roy’s comments were intended for him.

“I don’t want to comment on this issue because I haven’t heard those statements,” Mr. Ghosh said.

The state is due to go to the Assembly elections in April or May of next year.

French aid workers among 8 killed by gunmen in Niger


Bodies were laid side by side next to a burnt all-terrain vehicle, sources say

Niamey, Niger:

Eight people, including employees of a French humanitarian group, were killed on Sunday by gunmen on motorcycles in an area of ​​Niger that is home to the last West African giraffes, officials said.

“There are eight dead: two Nigeriens including a guide and a driver, while the other six are French,” the governor of the Tillabéri region told AFP.

The French presidency confirmed that its nationals were among the dead, without giving a figure.

French humanitarian group ACTED said several of its workers were among those killed during a tourist outing.

“Among the eight people killed in Niger, several were temporary employees,” said NGO lawyer Joseph Breham.

It is believed to be the first such attack on Westerners in the region, a popular tourist attraction in the former French colony thanks to its unique population of giraffes from West Africa or Niger.

“We are managing the situation, we will give more information later,” Governor Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella said, without indicating who was behind the attack.

A source close to Niger’s Environmental Services said the assault took place around 11:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. GMT) six kilometers (four miles) east of the town of Koure, which is an hour’s drive from the river. Niamey capital.

“Most of the victims were shot … We found a magazine emptied of its cartridges at the scene,” the source told AFP.

“We do not know the identity of the attackers but they came by motorbike through the bush and awaited the arrival” of the group.

The source added that the victims’ vehicle belonged to ACTED.

“Barbarian act”

The source also described the scene of the attack, where bodies were laid side by side next to a burnt out vehicle, which had bullet holes in its rear window.

In Paris, a French army spokesperson said the French Barkhane force, which combats jihadists in the Sahel region, has provided support to Nigerien forces.

An AFP reporter at the scene confirmed that French fighter jets flew over Sunday later as the Nigerien army searched the vast wooded area.

Forensic police were taking samples before the bodies were moved before dark, the reporter added.

President Emmanuel Macron’s office said it spoke on the phone with his Nigerien counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou.

The president of neighboring Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, for his part strongly condemned “the barbaric act”.

He deplored that “violent extremism” is still rife in the Sahel region “despite the ruthless war waged by the national armies, the joint forces of the G5 Sahel and the Barkhane force”.

“Not considered dangerous”

About 20 years ago, a small herd of West African giraffes, a subspecies distinguished by its lighter color, found refuge from poachers and predators in the Koure region.

Today, they number in the hundreds and are a key tourist attraction, benefiting from the protection of local people and conservation groups.

A Western humanitarian source based in Niamey said that “we all go to Koure on weekends because it is very easy to get to.”

“Everyone goes there, even the ambassadors, diplomats, teachers … it’s not considered a danger zone at all. There are NGOs protecting the giraffes there,” the source said. to AFP.

However, the Tillaberi region is in an extremely unstable location, near the borders of Mali and Burkina Faso.

The region has become a hideout for jihadist groups in the Sahel such as the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).

The use of motorcycles has been totally banned since January in an attempt to curb the movements of these jihadists.

Many Europeans have been kidnapped or killed in the volatile Sahel.

Two young French people, Antoine De Leocour and Vincent Delory, were killed after being kidnapped by jihadists in a restaurant in the Nigerian capital Niamey in 2011.

After Beirut explosions, explosive chemical ammonium nitrate stored near Chennai is transferred to Hyderabad


A large quantity of ammonium nitrate, seized in 2015, was found in a port near Chennai (File)


Safety concerns related to the storage of ammonium nitrate, in the shadow of the chemical’s explosion in Beirut, have been addressed as the substance has been auctioned online and is being shipped to Hyderabad, officials said on Sunday. sources.

697 tons of the chemical were kept at the container freight station near Chennai, sources said, adding that the chemical’s online auction has ended.

The disposal of the cargo will be done in a short time while respecting the safety regulations, they said.

Some containers containing the chemical have already left for Hyderabad, police sources said.

The substance was seized in 2015 under the Customs Act of 1962.

The cargo was then held at the freight station about 12 miles outside of town and there was no residential area near the storage area, they said.

The chemical was seized from an importer based in Tamil Nadu who allegedly said the substance was fertilizer grade despite being explosive grade, customs officials said.

The shipment, imported from South Korea, was stored safely given the dangerous nature of the substance, they said in a statement.

Following the seizure, the importer’s license was canceled, they said.

While seven tons of the chemical were spoiled in the December 2015 flood, the remaining 690 tons were to be auctioned electronically, he said.

The explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate on August 4 in the Lebanese port city of Beirut killed 135 people and injured around 4,000 people and triggered safety concerns over the storage of the chemical near Chennai.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

Macron denounces cowardly attack that killed French aid workers in Niger


Emmanuel Macron said he was determined to help counter “terrorist groups in the Sahel region” (File)


French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday denounced a “cowardly” attack on aid workers in Niger and said he would do anything to shed light on the incident in which eight people died.

The French leader, who spoke with his Nigerien counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou, added that he was determined to help counter “terrorist groups in the Sahel region”.

Nigerien officials said six of the eight people killed by gunmen on Sunday were French nationals.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

Security checks intensified in Delhi, in adjacent areas ahead of Independence Day


Security forces carry out vehicle checks in all parts of Delhi-NCR (representation)

New Delhi:

Delhi police checked commuters’ vehicles today as part of increased security measures in the nation’s capital ahead of Independence Day.

Police teams were seen checking vehicles at India Gate and Connaught Place.

Security forces are conducting vehicle checks in all parts of Delhi-NCR.

On Sunday, the Indian Armed Forces (Tri-Service) Marching Band performed at the North Building during the ongoing 74th Independence Day celebration.

The 74th Independence Day celebration will be marked by musical performances by groups from the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, the Defense Ministry said.

“These performances are meant as gestures of gratitude and appreciation from the nation to the corona warriors who are fighting relentlessly to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the country even at the risk of their lives,” the Defense Ministry said in a news. Release.

Military and police groups will also perform in Imphal, Bhopal and Jhansi on August 12.

The final performance of the series will take place on August 13 in Lucknow, Faizabad, Shilong, Madurai and Champaran, he said.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

Union minister criticizes Ashok Gehlot for the death of 11 Hindu Pak migrants in Rajasthan


Government should take action, said Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (File)

New Delhi:

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Sunday attacked the government of Rajasthan for the deaths of 11 members of a Hindu migrant family from Pakistan and said the incident reflected the minister’s “working style” in Chief Ashok Gehlot.

Eleven members of a family of Hindu migrants from Pakistan, belonging to the Bhil community, were found dead on Sunday at a farm in Jodhpur district, Rajasthan.

“The deaths of nearly a dozen Pakistani refugees called into question @ ashokgehlot51’s working style. Among those who died are two men, four women and five children. One after another, very frightening incidents reflecting the deterioration of the state’s situation The government should take action and clarify the situation, “tweeted Mr. Shekhawat.

A family member of migrants, however, was found living outside the hut they lived in in Lodta village in the Dechu region, an official in Jodhpur said.

“He said he had no idea about the incident, which allegedly took place overnight,” Jodhpur (rural) police commissioner Rahul Barhat said.

“We have not yet determined the cause and means of death. But apparently all members appear to have committed suicide by consuming chemicals overnight,” Barhat said.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)