(WORLDWIDE) #Coronavirus Report: #Delta variant has been identified in at least 132 countries worldwide, according to WHO #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Aug.04: The Delta variant is contributing to a rapid rise in #COVID19 cases in parts of Asia causing a severe strain on health infrastructure in some countries.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says Delta Variant: So which Asian countries are seeing rising cases? Here’s a reality check on these countries ? God Help Those In Need Amen 🙏’s

By Reality Check team
BBC News

Citizens in Malaysia protested in front of fake corpses to symbolise high number of deaths
Citizens in Malaysia protest in front of fake corpses to symbolise high number of deaths

Vaccinations rates are relatively low in many Asian countries, leading to fears the virus will continue to spread.

What has happened to case numbers?

It has been described as the “most transmissible of the variants identified so far” by the WHO. 

In Asia, a number of countries, including some which were relatively successful in containing the coronavirus last year, have seen sharply rising cases.

China is seeing a fresh outbreak in some provinces, the largest in the country for some months.

And Japan, currently hosting the Olympics, is in the midst of a dramatic increase in case numbers……..But Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam have also all been experiencing sharp increases.

Malaysia: Has now become one of the hotspots in Asia, and saw a record of 17,786 new cases on 31 July and daily deaths at a record high of 219 on 2 August.The country has been experiencing shortages of beds, ventilators and oxygen.Despite being in lockdown, some citizens have taken to the streets to protest at the government’s handling of the pandemic.At the end of June, around 70% of the samples sequenced in Malaysia were linked to the Delta variant, according to Our World in Data………The proportion of Malaysians fully vaccinated is higher than in some of its neighbours – but is still at only 21% of the population.

Bangladesh: which has a long border with India, has experienced an upward trend in cases since mid-May.The Delta variant was detected in 100% of the tests sequenced in the country up to 12 July.Amid rising cases, the country had lifted curbs and lockdown ahead of a major religious festival in July.It re-imposed a stricter lockdown after the festivities, but has relaxed it again.July saw the highest number of cases and deaths since the pandemic began.Although it was earlier than many other countries in starting vaccinations, the rollout in Bangladesh has generally been slow: return to the capital, Dhaka, as restrictions easeIn April, Bangladesh was forced to suspend vaccinations because exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India were halted.The rollout has now resumed with supplies of China’s Sinopharm and the Pfizer vaccine provided through the global Covax vaccine sharing scheme.Less than 3% of the population of Bangladesh had been fully vaccinated as of 1 August.

Thailand: The country’s daily cases and deaths were at a record high on 31 July. The recent rise in cases and deaths in Thailand has been attributed in part to the Delta variant.The Thai government recently said that 60% of cases were linked to the Delta variant with the figure as high as 80% in the capital, Bangkok. The country had recently opened up to tourists, but the government has now announced strict curbs which will be imposed from 3 to 19 August in 29 provinces……………Health officials have said that 90% of hospital beds in Bangkok and 80% of beds nationwide are occupied, and the authorities are keeping increasing numbers of people in isolation at home if they have mild or no symptoms: Hospitals in Thailand are overwhelmed: Vaccinations rates have also remained low with at least 25 vaccination centres shutting due to shortages of vaccine supplies: Only a little over 5% of the population was fully vaccinated as of 25 July.

Pakistan: Case numbers have been rising sharply as the country undergoes another coronavirus surge, fuelled in part by the Delta variant.At the end of May, about a third of cases sequenced during the previous two weeks were recorded as being the Delta variant.The exact spread of the variant is difficult to map as Pakistan does not have the capacity to do lots of sequencing of coronavirus tests.The UK is offering support to Pakistan and other countries so that they can carry out more sequencing……..Some parts of the country have imposed lockdowns, but Pakistan has low levels of vaccination, allowing the virus to spread more easily.Less than 3% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Vietnam: The country had managed to keep Covid-19 under control through testing, effective contact tracing and border restrictions until April this year when the Delta variant was detected.Until early July, Vietnam had reported less than 100 deaths since the start of the pandemic in 2020, but that had risen to more than 1,300 by 1 August: Reuters: Vietnam has put restrictions in place in Ho Chi Minh and other citiesAround 85% of total coronavirus cases were reported in just the last month. The health minister recently said that that the Delta variant was “destroying all anti-pandemic achievements” – but it is unclear how many cases are linked to the Delta variant: Despite restrictions in place, cases continue to rise, with Ho Chi Minh City the worst affected area…..

The vaccination programme has moved very slowly with only 0.68% of the population fully vaccinated as of 1 August: Read more from Reality Check

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#asia, #coronavirus, #delta, #who, #worldwide

(GRT MANCHESTER) Court Report: A man who stabbed another man in an unprovoked attack in the street in 2020, has today been jailed for 13 years #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.03: When the victim tried to get away, Combs used a knife to stab him in the left side of his back. The victim then fell to the ground before Combs kicked and punched him repeatedly in the head……

#AceDailyNews reports that man who stabbed another man in an unprovoked attack in the street, has Friday 30 July 2021 been jailed for 13 years: Tony Combs, (06/03/1982), of no fixed abode, was stood outside a shop on Mottram Road, Stalybridge, on the evening of Sunday 21st June 2020, when the victim walked out of a friend’s house and walked in Combs direction.

Combs pushed the victim into an alley way before demanding that the victim handed over his possessions to him: Following the attack, the victim was taken to hospital where he had to undergo an operation to remove the blade from his back: Combs pleaded guilty to section 18 wounding and possession of a bladed article at an earlier court hearing and was sentenced today at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to 13 years imprisonment.

Detective Constable Rick McIvor, from GMP’s Tameside Operation Challenger Team said: “ Firstly, I want to commend the bravery of the victim of this horrific incident as his full support throughout this investigation has ensured we have been able to secure a lengthy conviction: This was a completely senseless and violent attack on an innocent member of the public who had simply been visiting a friend and was on his way home: I am pleased that Combs has received a custodial sentence today, as he very much deserves to be jailed for this attack, which has left the victim with lasting mental and physical trauma. I hope today provides at least a small sense of justice and allows his victim to continue to move on with his life knowing this dangerous man has been removed from our streets.”

Greater Manchester Victims’ Services provide emotional and practical support to anyone affected by crime and are a confidential service: The service can be contacted by visiting the website on www.gmvictims.org.uk or calling 0161 200 1950.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#grt-manchester, #jailed, #stabbed

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) Court Report: A federal grand jury has returned a 60-count, second superseding indictment, charging nine MS-13 gang members with a racketeering conspiracy #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.03: The announcement was made by the assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice criminal division and the acting U.S. attorney for the middle district of Tennessee.

#AceDailyNews reports Multi-year ICE/HSI investigation leads to indictment of 9-MS-13 gang members and charges in the indictment include seven murder allegations, kidnappings, numerous assaults, robberies and large-scale drug distribution.

“This ongoing investigation has already led to multiple arrests and indictments of confirmed MS-13 gang members, including the nine charged in this most recent indictment,” said Jerry C Templet, Jr, special agent in charge, Homeland Security Investigations, Nashville. “HSI Nashville is proud to have worked with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to see the continued results of this multi-year RICO investigation involving the presence and activities of MS-13 gang members in Nashville, Tennessee.”

This ongoing Organized Crime & Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Marshals Service; Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

The indictment describes the organizational structure of MS-13 and the gang’s sub-unit, the Thompson Place Los Salvatrucha clique, operating in Nashville since at least 2014. The purpose of the MS-13 enterprise includes preserving and protecting the power, territory, reputation and profits of the enterprise through the use of intimidation and violence, including murder and promoting the enterprise through acts of murder, extortion, drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

Those charged in the indictment include: Carlos Ochoa-Martinez, 31, aka “El Serio,” Jason Sandoval, 35, aka “Bin Laden,” Jorge Flores, 29, aka “Peluche,” Kevin Tidwell, 28, aka “Miklo,” all of Nashville; Jose Pineda-Caceres, 22, aka “Demente,” Franklin Hernandez, 22, aka “Happy,” and Luis Colindres, 24, aka “Listo,” all of Honduras; Gerson Serrano-Ramirez, 34, aka “Frijole,” of El Salvador and Juan Melendez,” aka “Shaggy,” of Lebanon, Tennessee:

To generate income, MS-13 gang members engage in illegal activities under the protection of the enterprise, including drug trafficking, robbery, extortion and other crimes. They often steal and used stolen vehicles to carry out these illegal activities. Funds generated by the illegal activity provide financial support to gang leaders, members and associates, including individuals incarcerated in the United States and El Salvador.

Cooperation with law enforcement is strictly prohibited under MS-13’s rules. It is well understood within the gang that anyone who assists authorities will be punished with death and the gang honors those who have killed police informants.

In addition to numerous acts of drug distribution and firearms offenses, the indictment alleges that one or more MS-13 gang members conspired with other MS-13 gang members and committed the following acts of violence:

  • On April 6, 2016, murdered J.A. in Nashville by shooting him.
  • On July 31, 2016, murdered L.R. in Nashville while attempting to murder R.R.
  • On Jan.18, 2017, attempted to murder R.V. in Nashville by shooting him and attempted to murder H.V., L.A., and H.S. by shooting at them.
  • On Feb.25, 2017, attempted to murder H.S. in Nashville by shooting at him.
  • On May 21, 2017, murdered A.G. in Nashville by shooting him.
  • On May 27, 2017, attempted to murder L.R.L in Nashville by shooting at him and murdered J.F. by shooting him.
  • On June 1, 2017, an MS-13 gang member assaulted a deputized federal officer in Brentwood, Tennessee, while possessing a firearm and attempting to evade arrest.
  • On June 17, 2017, brandished and discharged a firearm in Nashville during the kidnapping and assault of C.R.
  • On July 25, 2017, kidnapped and assaulted X.A. in Nashville to prevent X.A. from cooperating with law enforcement.
  • On Sept. 24, 2017, murdered H.Z. in Nashville by shooting him and murdered Y.H. by shooting him to prevent him from becoming a witness to H.Z.’s murder.
  • On Sept. 24, 2017, lured A.L. to a meeting in Nashville and murdered him by shooting him and burned a car with his body in the trunk.

All defendants are in federal custody. If convicted, they each face decades of incarceration, including up to life in prison.

An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law:

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move.

HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#hsi, #ice, #kidnappings, #ms-13, #nashville, #racketeering, #robberies, #tennessee

(CANTERBURY,U.K.) Crown Court Report:A truck driver who tried to smuggle almost 100kg of cocaine into U.K. with ‘street-value’ of £7.5-million has been jailed for 11 years as part of a National Crime Agency investigation #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.03: Officers searched his truck and cut into a suspicious pallet of boxes and white powder spilled out: Inside the truck was a total of 94kg of cocaine with a street value of £7.5m: Ivankovic’s DNA was on the boxes containing the drugs and he admitted trying to smuggle the Class A: Ivankovic, from Banja Luka, in north Bosnia, was jailed at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday (29 July).

#AceDailyNews reports on a trucker who has been jailed for 11-years for smuggling drugs worth more than £7m of cocaine: Miodrag Ivankovic, 45, was stopped by Border Force officers on 6 September at the freight controls in Dover after arriving from Calais.

Miodrag IVANKOVIC

NCA Branch Commander Martin Grace said: “We and our Border Force partners have taken a significant consignment of cocaine out of the supply chain: The organised crime group behind the plot have lost profits they would have ploughed back into more offending and they have lost a trusted smuggler: Drugs bring misery to UK communities and the NCA will continue to do everything it can to combat the threat.”

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#border-force, #canterbury, #smuggling, #u-k-nca

(LONDON) NCA REPORT: Operation #Venetic Supported by PSNI arrested a man Friday morning at Brookfield Avenue, Banbridge for importing Class A drugs through HSI N.I Haulage firm links #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.03: It is suspected that the man may have played a role in importing class A drugs into the UK from mainland Europe, through his position at a haulage firm based in Armagh.

#AceDailyNews reports that a Northern Ireland man has been arrested as part of NCA investigation after obtaining evidence from Operation #Venetic – the UK’s law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted communications platform #EncroChat last year…

His arrest is also linked to a number of other arrests throughout the UK in the last twelve months. All those arrested are suspected to have played a role within the same organised crime group: The man was taken to Carlisle police station, where he remains for questioning….

NCA Belfast Branch Commander David Cunningham said: “We continue to work with partners to investigate a number of drug importations that can be linked back to hauliers in Northern Ireland: “ We remain committed to pursuing those involved in the trafficking of illicit drugs whose actions fuel violence and exploitation in our communities: “ Investigations into the actions of this suspected OCG continue.”

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#ventic, #london, #nca, #psni

(LONDON) Press Release Statement Report: The healthcare partnership between Kenya and the UK government has been strengthened through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Aug.03: The MoU, signed at the Royal College of Physicians by the Health and Social Care Secretary and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Labour Cooperation, Simon Chelugi, and attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta today [Thursday 29 July], builds on UK healthcare support provided to Kenya during the pandemic through the genomic sequencing of positive #COVID19 tests and 817,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses donated this week.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that Kenya Presidential visit strengthens healthcare partnership with U.K. during #COVID19 and the #pandemic with signing an MOU and donation of over 800,000 vaccine doses ……

  • Health and Social Care Secretary signs Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya
  • Qualified healthcare staff to join NHS in coming years to increase workforce numbers
  • Builds on pandemic support to Kenya, including test genome sequencing and vaccine sharing, and 30-year research partnership

The MoU commits to a process for qualified but unemployed Kenyan nurses to be actively recruited to work in the NHS in the coming years, helping to deliver the government’s manifesto commitment for 50,000 more nurses by 2024 and support the training of Kenya’s healthcare professionals.

The UK has been working with Kenya for over 30 years to improve healthcare outcomes in both countries, with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and Wellcome Trust partnering together to establish a health research programme. This partnership has strengthened over the years and has proven to be pivotal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with KEMRI and Oxford University working together in trialling the AstraZeneca vaccine, with support from the UK government.

The President’s visit to the UK delivers on the Strategic Partnership between the two countries, agreed by President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January 2020.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said:

We have a historic and mutually respectful relationship with Kenya. This has been strengthened by working closely with Kenya during the pandemic and sharing UK vaccine doses to support Kenya’s fight against COVID-19.

Our healthcare agreement will make the most of UK and Kenyan health expertise which will be beneficial to both countries, with the exchange of knowledge and training which will provide first class healthcare.

The UK is sharing expertise with Kenya to work together in identifying, tracking and responding to new COVID-19 variants, saving lives at home and around the world. KEMRI is working with Public Health England as part of the UK’s New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP). The support includes reagents and equipment to increase in-country genome sequencing, technical advice, support with understanding biological data and training.

As the Prime Minister announced yesterday, the UK will offer 817,000 vaccine doses to Kenya to support efforts to combat the pandemic, with the first doses going this week. This is part of a delivery of 9 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to COVAX.

Jane Marriott, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, said:

Our health partnership with Kenya is over 30 years old and growing stronger by the month. This new agreement on health workers allows us to share skills and expertise even further, and is a fantastic opportunity for Kenyans to work in the UK.

From COVID-19 vaccines and genomic sequencing, to exchanges on cancer research and treatment to help Kenya treatment more cancer patients at home, the UK has a long and proud history of support for Kenya’s health sector. The signing of the Kenya-UK Health Alliance is the latest chapter in our flourishing partnership.

Backed by over £500m in UK government funding, COVAX, a global scheme to get COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries, has delivered 138 million doses to over 136 countries and territories. COVAX aims to deliver a staggering 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccines around the world by early 2022.

Following the MoU, an Implementing Committee will develop an Action Plan to identify eligible nurses who may want to apply to work in Health and Care roles in the UK.

With around only 900 Kenyan staff currently in the NHS, the country has an ambition to be the ‘Philippines of Africa’ – with Filipino staff one of the highest represented overseas countries in the health service – due to the positive economic impact that well-managed migration can have on low to middle income countries.

The MoU also commits the two governments to explore working together to build capacity in Kenya’s health workforce through managed exchange and training, depending on funding availability following the Spending Review.

Additionally, the prevention and management of cancer in Kenya will be improved through a partnership between Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital and the University of Manchester/Christie NHS Foundation Trust. In part, this will see the promotion of Kenya as an East African regional hub for cancer treatment.

Background

  • Kenya took part in vaccine trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine through KEMRI Kilifi, on Kenya’s coast, to test the vaccine in different environments.
  • In the NHS in England there are 894 Kenyans working across all roles. This makes Kenyans the 30th largest nationality group in the NHS.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#dept-of-health-social-care, #kenya, #london, #mou

(LONDON) #Coronavirus Travel Report: A proposal to create an “amber watchlist” of countries at risk of moving to red in the travel traffic light system has been abandoned, government sources have told the BBC

#AceHealthReport- Aug.03: On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted a “simple” and “balanced approach” to pandemic travel: The sources said no new categories would now be added.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that accouroing to BBC Travel Sources #COVID19 Amber watchlist travel idea will be scrapped as BBC News also breaking news reports that airlines and travel companies will take more precautions to protect passengers more later?

By Joseph Lee
BBC News

People arrive at Heathrow's Terminal 5 in west London on August 2, 2021 as quarantine restrictions ease.

What are the traffic light system rules? See below: The next update to the travel list system is due on Thursday…….

Tory MPs and travel industry figures earlier warned a complex system risked putting people off from travelling.

The government had been considering the idea of a new level in the government’s traffic light system for overseas travel, ahead of the next review this week.

It would have warned people when a destination was at risk of a sudden shift from amber to red – meaning that travel would be banned for everyone except UK nationals and residents, who would be required to quarantine in a hotel on their return.

As opposition to the proposal gathered, Mr Johnson said he wanted to prevent new coronavirus variants entering the UK, though he recognised the desire to go abroad.

“We also have to recognise that people want, badly, to go on their summer holidays, we need to get the travel industry moving again, we need to get our city centres open again and so we want an approach that is as simple as we can possibly make it,” he said.”We must stop importing variants from abroad”

The prime minster said the UK’s economy and society were about “the most open in Europe” but he said caution was still needed as he defends approach to international travel

The travel industry reacted with relief at the news that the watchlist would not go ahead.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of the air travel industry body Airlines UK, said: “This is a victory for common sense. The PM has hit the nail on the head – people want a clear and consistent travel system that they can understand and that is workable.” He urged the government to go further and include more countries on the green list, exempting them from quarantine requirements.

Labour said scrapping the watchlist idea showed the Tories were “in total chaos” over their pandemic borders policy.

Green country: When returning from a country on the green list you must take a Covid-19 test before departure and have proof of a negative result. You also need to book a test for day two after your returnAmber country: A Covid test is needed three days before returning, and a PCR test two days after arriving. People who are not fully vaccinated in the approved countries need to self-isolate for 10 days, although this can be shortened for people in England by using the Test to Release scheme – paying for a test on day five

Red country: Regardless of your vaccination status you must take a test before departure and, on arrival, self-isolate for 10 days in a government-approved quarantine hotelShadow transport secretary Jim McMahon called on the government to publish the data behind its decisions and provide “maximum clarity” to passengers and the travel industry.He said clear information about what was happening with infections in each country was needed to build confidence about travel.Mr McMahon said: “Not only have ministers failed to protect our borders, allowing the Delta variant to reach the UK in such force, but time and time again they’ve refused to be straight with the public and industry.”

Earlier, the idea had also faced opposition from the Conservative benches, with Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons Transport Committee, telling the BBC that an amber watch-list would be a “massive red flag” that would cause travel bookings to collapse.Others said increasingly complex travel rules would put the UK at a competitive disadvantage compared to other nations which were more open for international travel.Mr Merriman later welcomed the scrapping of the amber watchlist, saying: “To deliver confidence and stability, the traffic light system needs to be red, amber and green, and nothing in between.”The government already has a green watchlist, which features more than half the countries on the green list and signals they are at risk of moving to amber.

Your travel guide to summer holidays in the Mediterranean

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Aug.03: 2021:

THE PARALYMPICS UNFAIR?: Panorama investigates accusations that the classifications system is easily manipulated and flawedTIKTOK QUEEN AT 16: What’s it like to be an internet sensation at such a young age?

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#amber, #health, #london, #travel, #watchlist

(BEIJING) #Coronavirus Report: Authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan will begin testing its entire population, after a handful of positive coronavirus cases were detected #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Aug.03: China is currently seeing one of its biggest outbreaks in months, with 300 cases detected in 10 days: Some 15 provinces across the country have been affected, which has led to the government rolling out mass testing measures and lockdown restrictions.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says Chinese city to test entire population after Wuhan has recorded seven locally transmitted cases – the first local infections in more than a year: The city of 11 million people shot into the spotlight after the #COVID19 was first detected there in 2019…..AceDailyNews reported on Monday that however this new spread, which was first detected among workers at a busy airport in Nanjing, has sparked concern. Authorities have attributed the spread of the virus to the highly contagious Delta variant and the domestic tourism season.

By Yvette Tan
BBC News

File photo of testing in China
File photo of mass testing in China

Map

The announcement in Wuhan came as China reported 90 new virus cases on Tuesday.The National Health Commission said 61 of these were locally transmitted – compared with 55 local cases a day earlier. China had been largely successful in controlling the virus within its borders.

Authorities have tested the 9.2 million residents of Nanjing three times and imposed lockdown on hundreds of thousands of people.But over the weekend the spotlight turned to popular tourist destination Zhangjiajie in Hunan province, where many of the latest cases have emerged. Travellers from Nanjing were thought to have visited the city recently.Health officials have zeroed in on a theatre in Zhangjiajie, and are now trying to track down about 5,000 people who attended performances and then travelled back to their home cities.”Zhangjiajie has now become the new ground zero for China’s epidemic spread,” Zhong Nanshan, China’s leading respiratory disease expert, told reporters.

The new outbreak has also reached the capital Beijing, with the city reporting several locally transmitted infections.Covid-19 and Wuhan:

Why don’t we know more?

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china

(SOUTH WALES, U.K) SW POLICE REPORT: A five-year-old boy found dead in a river on Sunday has been named as Logan, as tributes were paid after two adults and a teenager were arrested on suspicion of his murder #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.03: The body of the youngster was found in the Ogmore River near Pandy Park in Bridgend after police were called to a report of a missing child in the early hours of Saturday morning.

#AceDailyNews says here’s that latest from Sky News on the Bridgend: Boy found dead in river in South Wales he has been named as Logan and a 39-year-old man, a 30-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy, all from the Bridgend area, are being held in connection with the death, South Wales Police said on Sunday evening……

Toys were attached to a pole as a memorial. Pic: Wales News Service
Toys were attached to a pole as a memorial. Pic: Wales News Service

A 39-year-old man, a 30-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy, all from the Bridgend area, are being held in connection with the death, South Wales Police said on Sunday evening: Officers are not looking for anyone else, the force said…..

An investigation is continuing into the circumstances of the incident, with police calling for witnesses who were in the area at 5.45am on Saturday to come forward with information about how the child ended up in the water.

Family friends also paid tribute on social media to the “kind, funny, polite, handsome & clever” boy.

Those wishing to pay their respects were encouraged to place teddy bears at a lamppost and footbridge near the scene of the tragedy.

Chief Inspector Geraint White said: “This is a tragic incident in which a young child has sadly lost their life: We are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or who has any information, to get in touch: We would ask the public not to speculate about this incident on social media as this is an active investigation: If you have any information that can help, please report this to us: Our thoughts are with the family and we are supporting them in every way we can.”

The five-year-old boy's body was found in the river in the early hours of Saturday. Pic: Wales News Service
The five-year-old boy’s body was found in the river in the early hours of Saturday. Pic: Wales News Service

Mr White said “regular contact” has been made with the boy’s family, who are being supported by specialist trained officers…..

He added: “The local neighbourhood police team will continue to support and speak to residents in the area, and I encourage people to talk to them if they have any concerns: We recognise there are a lot of people in the local community who would like answers about what happened to him: We are keeping an open mind and are working hard to establish the full circumstances of his death so that we can provide answers to his family: This is an extensive and sensitive investigation and many people have been affected by this death.”

Police searched the area following the discover of the boy's body. Pic: Wales News Service
Police searched the area at the weekend. Pic: Wales News Service

He thanked members of the local community for their “understanding and support”.

Officers asked anyone with any information to contact them, quoting reference number 2100268674.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#bridgend, #south-wales, #u-k-police

(LONDON) MET REPORT: Detectives have charged a man with attempted murder after two people were found with stab injuries in Woolwich on Saturday #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.03: On the morning of Saturday, 31 July police were called after a man was found with stab injuries at a residential property in Samuel Close, Woolwich. Officers attended along with London Ambulance Service. A man was taken to hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

#AceDailyNews reports that Anton Rhoden, 27 (18.01.94), of Samuel Close, Woolwich, was charged on Sunday, 1 August with two counts of attempted murder. He will appear in custody at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 2 August….

A short while later, police were called to reports that a woman had been stabbed in Plumstead Road. She was taken to hospital where her condition was assessed as non-life-threatening. A man was arrested at the scene and taken into custody. 

Enquiries into both incidents are ongoing. Anyone with information that can help the investigation is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 1451/31Jul.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Aug.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#london, #met, #stabbing, #woolwich

(BEIJING) Press Freedom Report: Harrasment and Attacks on Foreign Journalists in China casts a dark cloud over their on need for ‘world stage role’ in the Winter Olympics #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: Western journalists reported on these heroic efforts to save lives and shared the videos on Twitter. With similar intense floods occurring in Germany and Belgium, much of the foreign coverage of the Henan floods noted that they were a part of a worldwide pattern of intense and extreme flooding, most likely exacerbated by climate change….

#AceDailyNews says its not the latest weather and storm clouds that may cause a ‘dark cloud’ over Beijing’s up and coming 2022 Winter Olympics but their constant attacks on social media and press journalists that will scupper their want for ‘Global Stage Role’ showing the world what they want you to see but not the real unvarnished truth …..

H.K.Opinion: After promises during the 2008 Olympics, “[f]ew could have imagined the CCP stooping to the level of running campaigns against individual news reporters and outlets, resulting in harassment and death threats against foreign reporters,” writes William Nee.

by Guest Contributor09:00, 2 August 2021

By William Nee 

As the rains fell, videos of unimaginable devastation and heroic rescue efforts poured on to social media. In one video, a person sprinted through waist-deep water to save a child rapidly floating downstream. In another video, a group of people formed a human chain to cross the street despite fast-flowing currents, saving elderly people who might have died had they been alone.

But curiously, Western reporters on the ground in Henan experienced hostility, even as the Western media largely framed the floods within the context of factual descriptions of damage and climate change.

One reporter for Deutsche Welle, Mathias Boelinger, was encircled by a crowd as he reported from one of the worst hit parts of Zhengzhou. People in the crowd angrily told him to get out of China and accused him of spreading rumours. 

However, it turned out that the angry crowd thought Boelinger was Robin Brant, a BBC reporter. In March, Chinese Communist Party social media accounts and Chinese diplomats launched a large, coordinated social media campaign to discredit Brant and the BBC, after the BBC published a detailed report on extralegal detention in Xinjiang, which included firsthand allegations of rape by male camp guards.  LA Times Beijing Bureau Chief Alice Su. Photo: Twitter Screenshot.

Ten men encircled this “Brant”, who was actually Boelinger, and blocked him from leaving the scene. The tense, and potentially violent, standoff was only defused when another journalist, Alice Su of the Los Angeles Times, clarified that Boelinger was not, in fact, Brant. 

A targeted campaign

However, subsequent posts by prominent nationalists on Weibo directed anger at both Boelinger and Su, calling them “anti-China” and “rumour-mongering attackers of China” and asking for them to be investigated. 

More importantly, the Weibo account of the Henan Communist Youth League, in a post that generated at least 6.2K likes, asked users to report Brant if they found him “creating rumours” in Henan.  One post said, “our group has 400 people right now…everybody is competing for the first kill!”

In other words, even though Brant was not on the scene, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) fueled a xenophobic social media campaign to incite locals, who were grieved and emotional after days of hardship and loss, to go on a witch-hunt and find a foreigner who was supposedly out to destroy the reputation of the city and of China. There were real death threats made.

But why did CCP outlets in Henan encourage suspicion of the foreign media right after the floods? 

On one level, it could be that local authorities simply wanted to limit critical reporting about the floods and about the authorities’ missteps. After all, it wasn’t just Boelinger and Su who experienced hostility at the scene. 

reporter on the scene from AP said he was reported to police. And a journalist from Al-Jazeera said crowds yelled at her when she started to film and that there were Weibo posts urging people not to be interviewed by foreign media outlets.BBC’s Robin Brant. Photo: BBC Screenshot.

But regardless, it is unlikely that these journalists would have experienced such hostility if it weren’t against a backdrop of the toxic campaign against the BBC and foreign media more generally. On almost any day, one can browse nationalist outlets like the Global Times or Guancha and see articles railing against the “Western media” and their allegedly biased coverage of China. It’s a theme that is also taken up by China’s assertive “Wolf Warrior” diplomats. 

Obviously, given China’s massive censorship system, repeating non-stop that the foreign media cannot be trusted is a clever tactic, since Beijing can effectively inoculate its population against the hard truths that may only be reported through the foreign press.  

The Western press can’t be trusted. It’s all lies. Move on.

While the discrediting of foreign media has been happening for years, the personal nature of the campaigns against particular foreign reporters is arguably new. But, sadly, these nationalist campaigns are part of a bigger pattern to silence diverse voices. 

In April, nationalist “Red Vs” helped in getting many prominent Chinese feminists banned on social media sites Weibo and Douban, and in June, many of the same nationalists targeted the WeChat accounts of LGBTQ university clubs

A shadow on the Beijing Olympics

The nexus of xenophobic and personalised social media campaigns targeting foreign journalists violates human rights. The right to freedom of expression encompasses the notion of a free press, the ability of journalist to report without harassment, and the right of a citizen to impart and receive information across national boundaries.Beijing Olympics. Photo: Wikimedia commons. 

Twenty years ago, in its bid for the Olympics, China promised that there would be “no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games”. Optimists assumed that respect for freedom of expression would gradually grow in China. Pessimists thought reporting restrictions would continue.  

Few could have imagined the CCP stooping to the level of running campaigns against individual news reporters and outlets, resulting in harassment and death threats against foreign reporters.

It is long past time for China to respect the right to freedom of expression, and for foreign governments and the IOC to raise the alarm bells about the deteriorating situation that global journalists will find themselves in once again in just a few months, at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. 


HKFP is an impartial platform & does not necessarily share the views of opinion writers or advertisers. HKFP presents a diversity of views & regularly invites figures across the political spectrum to write for us.

US condemns ‘harassment’ of foreign journalists in China

“The PRC government claims to welcome foreign media and support their work, but its actions tell a different story,” a US State Department spokesperson said.

H.K.F.P Report:

by AFP09:00, 31 July 2021″The PRC government claims to welcome foreign media and support their work, but its actions tell a different story,” a US State Department spokesperson said. 

The United States is “deeply concerned” over the harassment and intimidation of foreign correspondents covering deadly floods in China, a State Department spokesman said Thursday.

His remarks came less than 24 hours after Beijing accused the BBC of broadcasting “fake news” about last week’s devastating flooding in the central province of Henan, and as the British broadcaster said its journalists had been subjected to hostility. US Department of State headquarters. Photo: Wikicommons.

“The United States is deeply concerned with the increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment, and intimidation of US and other foreign journalists in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including foreign journalists covering the devastation and loss of life caused by recent floods in Henan,” State Department spokesman Ned Price in a statement.

“The PRC government claims to welcome foreign media and support their work, but its actions tell a different story,” Price said. 

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had earlier on Thursday called the BBC a “Fake News Broadcasting Company” that has “attacked and smeared China, seriously deviating from journalistic standards.” 

The BBC has said its reporters covering the deluge had been subjected to online vitriol, while other outlets had been harassed on the ground in “attacks which continue to endanger foreign journalists.”BBC’s Robin Brand. Photo: BBC Screenshot.

The BBC reported on last week’s floods in the city of Zhengzhou which left 14 people dead and more than 500 commuters trapped when the city’s subway system flooded during rush hour just as sensitivity towards any negative portrayal of China mounts.

Reporters from AFP were forced by hostile Zhengzhou residents to delete footage and were surrounded by dozens of men while reporting on a submerged traffic tunnel.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Zhao refuted the US State Department criticism and accused Washington of “blatant double standards and hegemonic bullying”.

Zhao said the US had previously expelled Chinese journalists and imposed “discriminatory restrictions” on them and called for Washington to “reflect on itself and stop its constant attacks on China”.Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Zhao Lijian. File photo: China MFA.

Press freedom groups say the space for overseas reporters to operate in China is tightening, with journalists followed on the streets, suffering harassment online and refused visas. 

In his statement Thursday, Price urged China to not curtail press access to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. 

“We call on the PRC to act as a responsible nation hoping to welcome foreign media and the world for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games,” his statement said.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china, #jounalists, #olympics, #press-freedom

(LONDON) Old Bailey Court Report: A British man who went to #Syria to join the #IslamicState group has admitted sharing beheading videos #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: Stefan Aristidou was arrested at Heathrow Airport on 3 February by counter terrorism officers……

Man admits sharing #IslamicState beheading videos Stefan Aristidou, 27, entered guilty pleas to four terrorism offences at the Old Bailey and will be sentenced in September BBC research reveals he is the 14th person convicted of terror charges out of hundreds who returned from #Syria after joining jihadist groups…….

By Daniel De Simone
BBC News

The research shows only 3% of returnees have been convicted of such offences.

Aristidou, from Enfield in north London, travelled to Syria in April 2015 with Kolsoma Begum, whom he had married shortly before. 

The pair were reported missing by concerned family members. 

Aristidou, who is of Cypriot origin, is a convert to Islam.

The couple spent time living in Raqqa – then the “capital” of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate – and had a baby while living in Syria.

Turkish sentences

They were later arrested crossing into Turkey in April 2017.

Both were convicted in a Turkish court in October 2018 of being part of IS.

ReutersThe Islamic State group urged Muslims to migrate to their new “caliphate”

They were each sentenced to more than six years in prison, although Kolsoma Begum was convicted in her absence having already been returned to the UK with their child.

Aristidou was deported in February this year and arrested on arrival at Heathrow airport.

He had a phone with him which had not been used since before his arrest in Turkey in April 2017.

It contained text exchanges with his wife, ending with him saying he was “giving self into Kuffar” – or non-Muslims.

The four offences Aristidou has now admitted were committed in 2014 before he went to Syria, when he had sent other people IS videos depicting public executions and beheadings.

He pleaded not guilty to three similar offences and prosecutors will ask for these charges to be left to lie on file.

Few prosecutions

The case highlights the challenge of prosecuting people for their actions in Syria.

The government has previously said more than 900 people from the UK went to Syria to join jihadist groups.

A senior MI5 official said this year that about half have since returned to the UK, equating to about 450 people.

The government has given shifting figures to Parliament on the number of returnees prosecuted:

  • In 2016, it said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had prosecuted 35 cases involving 54 defendants who were suspected of having fought in the region, with 13 ongoing prosecutions involving 30 defendants.
  • In 2018, a Home Office minister said approximately 40 people had been prosecuted, either because of activities in Syria or links to the conflict there. 
  • In 2019, the government clarified these 40 people had been charged with a range of offences not limited to those covered by terrorism legislation – and in some cases, might not even realise they had been investigated for non-terror offences because of their engagement in terrorism.

The government has never confirmed how many of these people have actually been prosecuted for terror offences. 

Last year, in response to a freedom of information request from the BBC, the Home Office said it “does not hold the information”.

The CPS also says it does not have the figures.

Few convictions

However, research by the BBC which has examined all recent terrorism prosecutions, has found that only 14 people who crossed into Syria have been convicted of terror offences after returning to Britain.

The first case was in 2014, with Aristidou the most recent.

The figures mean that approximately 3% of 450 returnees have been convicted of terror offences.

Five people in total have been convicted of IS membership, but only two of them are returnees from Syria. 

The other three people had joined the group in the UK, meaning individuals are more likely to be charged with IS membership if they never went to Syria.

Kurdish militia

Separately, four people who fought against IS with the Kurdish YPG militia were charged with terror offences after returning to Britain.

The number who went to join the YPG has been placed as low as 30, suggesting a higher proportion of YPG fighters were charged with terror offences despite receiving western military support in their campaign against IS.

No one who returned to the UK after joining jihadist groups has been charged with offences under war crimes or torture legislation, which provide an avenue of prosecution for crimes committed outside UK borders.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#court, #jihadist, #london

(NIGER) JUST IN: Jihadist Attack Report: A fresh attack in western Niger near the border with volatile Mali has left at least 19 civilians dead, the government said on Thursday #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: The attack took place on Wednesday in the village of Deye Koukou in the Banibangou area, where 14 civilians were killed Sunday, it said…..

#AceDailyNews says a jihadist raid on village has killed at least 19 Civilians in a new attack in Niger,” acording to AFP, July 30, 2021:

Three others were wounded and one was missing.

A local official earlier told AFP that 18 people had been killed in the raid.

The latest attack takes to 33 the number of civilians killed in the region in less than a week.

Banibangou falls inside what is known as the three-borders region between Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, which for years has been the scene of bloody attacks by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group….

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#jihadist, #mali, #niger

(BEIJING) #Coronavirus Report: Latest outbreak two weeks ago in Nanjing is spreading #Delta variant rapidly and it testing their vaccine efficacy as massive testing underway #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Aug.02: The latest outbreak started two weeks ago in the eastern city of Nanjing, where nine airport cleaners were found to be infected during a routine test. Since then, the cluster has spread to at least 26 cities across China, including a tourist hot spot in the southern province of Hunan and the capital Beijing.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says China’s hardline zero #COVID19 strategy is facing a fresh challenge from the rapid spread of the Delta variant, amid concerns over the efficacy of Chinese vaccines against the highly contagious strain …..with more than 300 cases have been detected within a span of 10 days.

BBC Asia: Delta Variant Beijing

The Delta variant, which appears to cause more severe illness and spreads as easily as chickenpox according to an internal document from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has wreaked havoc across the world. Now, it is causing China’s worst outbreak in months.China reported 328 local Covid-19 infections in July, close to the total from the previous five months, according to the National Health Commission. Although that’s only a fraction of the cases reported in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, it is perceived as a serious threat in China, where authorities attempt to keep local infections at zero.

China Covid: Concerns grow as Delta outbreak spreads as a fresh #COVID19 outbreak in China has spread to more locations, raising concerns in local media over the country’s vulnerability to the highly contagious Delta variant.

A medical worker collects swab from a resident for nucleic acid testing at dawn
Authorities in China are testing millions of people after an outbreak spread to 18 provinces

Local headlines have been dominated by news on the outbreak, and the country’s top respiratory diseases specialist has reportedly expressed grave concern.

The government has imposed fresh travel restrictions and is testing millions.

It is unclear how many in China are fully vaccinated, although authorities say more than 1.6 billion doses have been administered so far.

A total of 15 provinces and municipalities have now confirmed cases, of which 12 are connected to an outbreak that began in Nanjing in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. Authorities have attributed the spread to the Delta variant and the domestic tourist season.

Although case numbers are considerably lower than other places, it is considered the largest outbreak in months in China, a country that was largely successful in controlling the virus within its borders last year.

Cases first emerged in July in Nanjing airport, among workers who had cleaned a plane that arrived from Russia.

Authorities promptly tested 9.2 million residents of Nanjing and imposed lockdown on hundreds of thousands of people.

But over the weekend the spotlight turned to popular tourist destination Zhangjiajie in central Hunan province, where many of the latest cases have emerged. Travellers from Nanjing were thought to have visited the city recently.

Health officials have zeroed in on a theatre in Zhangjiajie, and are now trying to track down about 5,000 people who attended performances and then travelled back to their home cities. 

One performance alone had hosted about 2,000 people, according to reports. 

All attractions in Zhangjiajie have been closed and tourists are being asked to take a Covid test before leaving the city, local media reported.

“Zhangjiajie has now become the new ground zero for China’s epidemic spread,” Zhong Nanshan, China’s leading respiratory disease expert, told reporters.

The new outbreak has reached Beijing too, with the city reporting several locally transmitted infections. 

All of Beijing’s air, bus and travel links to areas with positive cases have been cut. All tourists have also been banned from entering the capital, and officials are only allowing “essential travellers” with negative Covid tests to enter.

China is also battling a rise in cases in Zhengzhou in northern Henan province, which saw devastating floods just last month, as well as Hainan island.Drone pictures show the extent of damage as our correspondent reports on the situation on the ground

The Global Times newspaper has called the outbreak the “most serious since Wuhan”, and in a separate editorial criticised “glaring loopholes” in Covid prevention measures.

“It is absolutely worrying if a single flaw can affect many provinces and regions across the country… it shows that our systematic progress in fighting the epidemic needs to be strengthened,” it said.

The outbreak has raised concerns about vaccines, as it emerged that some of those infected had been vaccinated.

Shao Yiming, a researcher with China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on Saturday that breakthrough infections in vaccinated people “are expected”.

Sinovac and Sinopharm’s vaccines – two of the most commonly used jabs in China – have been shown to be 50% to 79% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid infection in clinical trials around the world, but are highly effective in preventing hospitalisations or deaths….

Chinese authorities responded swiftly with mass testing, targeted lockdowns, extensive contact tracing and quarantine of close contacts — a tried and tested formula that has helped it quickly tame local flare-ups since March 2020.In Nanjing, a city of 9.3 million people, residents went through threerounds of coronavirus testing in two weeks. Residential compounds with confirmed cases were locked down, while cinemas, gyms, bars and libraries were shuttered. In Zhangjiajie, where a theater performance attended by thousands of people has fueled concerns of a super-spreader event linked to the Nanjing cluster, all tourist destinations were shut down and residents are banned from leaving their compounds.

Restrictions have also been ramped up in Beijing, which reported its first local infection in nearly six months last week. Since then, five local cases with travel history to Zhangjiajie have been detected. The city has banned people from medium- or high-risk areas from entering, suspending flights, trains and buses from Covid-hit places.

Huang Yanzhong, senior fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, said Chinese authorities are responding to the threat of the Delta variant with the same playbook used in previous outbreaks, but in an even more stringent manner — several cities have been placed under effective lockdowns.

“It shows the problem of diminishing returns of the existing ‘zero-tolerance’ approach,” he said.

Elsewhere in the world, countries with relatively high vaccination rates are increasingly choosing to tolerate a degree of transmission, as long as it doesn’t translate into a surge in hospitalizations and deaths. In China, however, authorities appear intent on imposing strict restrictions despite having administered more than 1.65 billion homegrown vaccine doses — ranking above the US in terms of doses administered per 100 people.

The rapid spread of the Nanjing cluster to cities across the country has triggered concerns over the level of protection currently offered by Chinese vaccines against the Delta variant. On July 22, two days after the Nanjing cluster was first detected, a health expert in the city said the “vast majority” of those infected there had been vaccinated, except for one person under 18 years old. Airport staff, along with medical workers and border control personnel, were among the first to be vaccinated in China. 

Chinese authorities have not offered a fuller breakdown of how many subsequent cases were also vaccinated. 

Several other countries that used Chinese vaccines have also reported infections among vaccinated people. In June, Indonesian officials said more than 350 medical workers in the country had contracted Covid-19 despite being inoculated with vaccines produced by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech. Breakthrough cases have also been reported among people fully immunized with more effective vaccines, such as those produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. In a report released Friday, the US CDC found that about 74% of the 469 Massachusetts residents who were infected in July had been fully vaccinated — with the Delta variant revealed as the main culprit.

Chinese experts have tried to assure the public that Chinese vaccines are still effective against the Delta variant.

On Saturday, Shao Yiming, an expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news conference that breakthrough infections are a “normal” phenomenon, while stressing that such cases are only a minority among vaccinated people around the world. Feng Zijian, another Chinese health expert, added that while their immunity level against the Delta variant may be lower, existing vaccines still provide good enough prevention and protection.

But Huang, the expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the relatively low efficacy of Chinese vaccines against the Delta variant would only push authorities to double down on their “zero tolerance” containment-based approach as opposed to the mitigation-based method adopted elsewhere.

“That means China is likely still months away from opening its borders to the world,” Huang said.

It remains to be seen if repeated lockdowns and mass testing drives can sustain public support in the long run. Tolerance for such measures could begin to wane if, as expected, the government maintains its hardline approach until after the Beijing Winter Olympics in February next year. 

But some prominent Chinese public health experts have raised the prospect that like elsewhere in the world, China will eventually need to learn to coexist with the coronavirus.

Zhang Wenhong, an infectious disease expert at Shanghai’s Huashan Hospital, said it might not be possible for existing vaccines to eradicate infections, and transmissions might still happen even after everyone is fully vaccinated.”More and more people now believe that the epidemic will not end in a short period of time, and may not end in a long time,” he wrote on Weibo. Whatever path China takes in the future should ensure “its connection to the world, a return to normal life, while at the same time protecting citizens from the fear of the virus,” he added.

SCMP – BBC News — CNN: By Laura He and Paul R. La Monica.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china, #efficacy, #vaccine

(BAGHDAD, Iraq.) JUST IN: An attack on a funeral procession in the north has claimed a number of victims, the military said in a statement on Friday #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: The participants in the procession did not accept the authority of the Islamic State, and thus were heretics or apostates, who deserved death and could be lawfully killed according to Sharia…..

#AceDailyNews says #IslamicState jihadis open fire on funeral procession and over a dozen killed and a number injured in terrorist attack on a funeral procession in northern Iraq,” Gulf News, July 31, 2021:

The military said the “terrorist’’ attack in the province of Salahaddin resulted in a “number of victims’’ but did not provide specific figures.

An Iraqi security official, however, said 13 people had been killed and 45 injured, among them police and civilians, and that armed militants had opened fire on the crowd.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity said the attack had been perpetrated by the Daesh group.

The military said it will provide details once an investigation is complete.

Northern Iraq has been a hotspot for Daesh activity since their territorial defeat in 2017 by Iraqi security forces with assistance from the US-led coalition. Iraqi forces routinely carry out anti-Daesh operations in the rugged mountainous northern region and the deserts of western Iraq where they are known to be holed up….

#AceNewsDesk report ……..Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#baghdad, #funeral, #iraq, #jihadist

(BEIRUT) Protest Report: ‘They have to pay for what they did’: Families of blast victims fight for justice #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: Mohamed Fahmi, we will not leave you alone. Lift the immunity,” cries a spokesman for the victims’ families…..

#AceDailyNews says ……With their palms covered in red paint, women dressed in black hold framed photos of their loved ones aloft……….Empty white coffins that symbolise those killed in the Beirut blast are carried through the crowd………….Protesters pelt the interior minister’s home with tomatoes and try to scale the building’s walls.

Demonstrators and families of the Beirut blast victims gather for a protest outside the residence of Lebanon’s Interior Minister in the Qoraitem neighbourhood of western Beirut on July 13, 2021. © AFP

31/07/2021 – 12:23

Hundreds of protesters scuffled with riot police outside the home of Lebanon’s caretaker interior minister on July 13 amid growing anger over the stalled investigation into the Beirut blast.

Fahmi “is killing us a second time”, Mariana Fodoulian, whose sister Gaia was killed in the blast on August 4, 2020, told FRANCE 24 by phone.

Gaia Foudalian, 29, a Lebanese-Armenian art gallerist and product designer, was at home with her mother in the eastern district of Achrafieh when a massive stockpile of ammonium nitrate blew up in the port shortly after 6pm, rocking Lebanon’s capital with an explosion that was felt as far away as Cyprus.Gaia Fodoulian, 29, an art gallerist and product designer, was among the 217 people killed in the Beirut explosion on August 4, 2020.  © Mariana Fodoulian

Mariana dashed to her younger sister’s side after a frantic phone call from her mother, rushing the unconscious Gaia to hospital after hospital for help and manually pumping her oxygen in the back of an ambulance that had no paramedic. But Gaia died of a brain haemorrhage at the fifth hospital she was taken to.

A year after the explosion, in which 218 people were killed and a further 7,000 injured, none of the victims’ families in Lebanon have been asked to give witness statements. Nor have they received any form of official apology or even been contacted by Lebanese authorities.

Fodoulian is incensed that top Lebanese officials, who repeatedly ignored warnings about the dangers of the explosives stored in the port, have yet to be held accountable.

“They have to pay for what they did,” said Fodoulian, who has given up her job as a veterinarian to better focus on fighting for justice for her sister. As president of the Beirut Port Explosion Victims’ Families Association, she helps organise protests and mobilises people on social media as part of the families’ campaign for justice.

First they want answers to their “many questions”. They want to know why the ammonium nitrate was in the port, who ordered it and what’s happened to the rest of it (just 750 tonnes out of the 2,750 stored there reportedly exploded). They want to know what other explosives are being kept in the port, and how the fire that triggered the explosion was started.

“Knowing the truth will not bring my sister back,” said Fodoulian, “But when they (Lebanon’s ruling elite) pay for what they did, maybe we can have a change here in Lebanon and we can live in a normal country.”

‘Obstruction, evasion and delay’

Lebanese authorities initially promised a swift investigation into the blast, vowing to deliver “results within five days”. President Michel Aoun rubbished calls for an independent, international investigation as a “waste of time”.

But over the past 12 months, the investigation into the biggest crime in Lebanon’s history has been “marked by little more than obstruction, evasion, and delay”, according to Human Rights Watch.

Authorities assigned just one investigative judge to the case while “the political class have just set up roadblock after roadblock”, said Aya Majzoub, the Lebanon researcher for Human Rights Watch.

When the first judge assigned to the case, Fadi Sawan, tried last December to charge the then caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab and three senior cabinet ministers with “negligence and causing death to hundreds”, he was dismissed.  

His successor, Judge Tarek Bitar, appointed in February, took a different approach, requesting that MPs immunity be lifted, and asking permission to investigate top security officials such as Abbas Ibrahim, one of Lebanon’s most senior generals, over his role in the blast.

But judges in Lebanon are assigned by politicians, meaning the decision to lift immunity lies in the hands of those implicated.

Interior Minister Fahmi initially said he would lift immunity on Ibrahim, allowing Bitar to prosecute him, only to later change his mind and reject Bitar’s request – a move that sparked widespread anger among the victims’ families.

“They are all covering for each other,” said Fodoulian.

Just some 25 mid- to low-level officials, who worked at the port in administrative and security jobs, are languishing in Lebanese jails while the top officials named by Bitar have yet to be indicted.

‘Living near a bomb for seven years’

Government officials ignored repeated warnings, documents show, of the “extreme danger” posed by the 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been improperly stored in the port since 2014.

“They kept us living near a bomb for seven years,” said Mireille El Khoury, whose mischievous 15-year-old son Elias was killed in his own bedroom by the force of the blast.

“He wanted to be an architect like his father. He liked to tease me – saying he was dropping out of school to be a rapper.”Elias El Khoury, 15, was killed in the Beirut blast that devastated much of the Lebanese capital on August 4, 2020.  © Mireille El Khoury

“He had many dreams. His dreams were as big as the world and he had lots of potential. If he was born in some other country than Lebanon – he would have done wonders,” she said, speaking in English, her voice breaking as she remembered her son.

El Khoury, whose home sits just 300 metres away from the port, was furious that the authorities did nothing to warn people in the area when the fire at the port first broke out, blazing for at least 13 minutes, before igniting the ammonium nitrate. 

“They could have called the firefighters to evacuate the area,” said El Khoury, who herself was badly injured in the explosion. “If they had only sent an SMS or told people to open windows.”  

“The minimum we can say is that they are inhuman,” she said of Lebanon’s ruling elite, pointing out that none of those implicated lost any family members on August 4, and that none of them had homes near the port, even though the area is prime Beirut real estate.

El Khoury now has little faith that the domestic investigation can deliver.  

“We’ve given enough chances to the Lebanese system – it’s obvious that it’s not working. It cannot. There are conflicts of interest. There are big gaps in our justice system … We need an international interference. This is a crime against human rights,” she said.

Majzoub of Human Rights Watch agreed.

“We have no faith that the Lebanese judiciary will credibly, impartially and independently investigate the Beirut blast in a transparent way, and in a way that is quick enough for the families of the victims,” she said.

“We’ve let the Lebanese investigation play out,” Majzoub added. “There doesn’t seem to be a clear path forward.” 

Sanctions and resolutions 

Sarah Copland was giving her two-year-old son Isaac supper in his high-chair when the explosion hit, making him a “sitting target” for a shard of glass that pierced his tiny chest.

She is among the families calling for a Human Rights Council resolution to  establish an international fact-finding mission that could run parallel to the Lebanese investigation.

She would also like to see targeted individual sanctions on those responsible. “A lot of these people thrive on money and power – hitting them where it hurts would be a form of individual accountability.”

But aside from sanctions and resolutions, she wants Isaac, the youngest victim of the explosion, to be remembered as the “extraordinary” child that he was.  Sarah Copland with her 2-year-old son Isaac Oehlers who was killed in the Beirut explosion.  © Sarah Copland

“He was just such a special little boy – he was destined for great things and to think he’s missed out on that just kills me every day.”

Copland, who spoke to FRANCE 24 from her home in Australia, also expressed concern that the international community has been so consumed with Covid-19 they have forgotten about the atrocity in Beirut.

“They blew up a city,” she said with quiet indignation. “They blew up a city. The international community just can’t let that happen and move on like it was nothing.”

Human Rights Watch’s Majzoub sees glimmers of hope for a Human Rights Council resolution, warning however that it will be “an uphill battle” to find a country who will lead on a resolution, rather than just support one. 

“There’s a very strong precedence for this moving ahead. If there is an international investigation, it will be very hard for Lebanon to deny access,” she said. “But fundamentally, the investigation can move ahead without the consent of Lebanon.”

“There already is a lot of evidence out there,” Majzoub continued. “Already people have made statements blaming each other. Everybody wants to make sure they’ve given their side of the story. Imagine what it’s like for a UN Body – everybody suddenly wants to speak.” 

For those who lost their children, siblings, parents and other family members in the explosion that struck the heart of Beirut, there can be no real justice.

“Nothing I think of ever feels like enough,” said Copland softly. But she’d like to see more support for victims in Lebanon and for the country’s “systemic corruption” to be reformed, so that the people of Beirut can be “safe in the knowledge this will never happen again”.

For others, the search for some kind of justice is the one thing that sustains them.

“We have lost our hope and life, we are living just for this case,” said El Khoury. “We will follow it til the last day of our lives.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#fight4justice, #beirut, #protestors

(WASHINGTON,D.C.) JW TPS REPORT: In its short tenure the Biden administration has extended a special reprieve for five different groups of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: The most recent was renewed a few days ago for thousands of people from Yemen, the Middle Eastern Islamic nation well known as an Al #Qaeda breeding ground. Officially, the provisional amnesty is known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a humanitarian measure designed to shield undocumented aliens from deportation during emergencies. …

JW REPORT: “Temporary” Reprieve: It is supposed to be a short-term solution for foreign nationals that do not quality as refugees but cannot immediately return home because of difficulties caused by factors such as violence, natural disasters, or political and economic instability.

TPS, which is typically granted in 18-month increments, not only protects foreign nationals from deportation it also allows them to work in the U.S.

The Obama administration went crazy with TPS, renewing it for tens of thousands of Hondurans and Nicaraguans more than a decade and a half after a hurricane hit the Central American nations, prolonging it for Africans two years after originally issuing it due to Ebola, and repeatedly restoring it for tens of thousands of Haitians years after an earthquake struck the island. During its two terms the Obama administration never missed an opportunity to offer illegal immigrants reprieve, using inclement weather in the U.S., a virus, natural disasters and tainted water in an American city to extend the perk. Nationals of Yemen have been protected by both Democrats and Republicans, receiving TPS over “ongoing armed conflict” under Obama and two extensions under Trump. A few days ago, the Biden administration renewed the TPS for Yemenis yet again, protecting approximately 2,180 people.

“Yemen continues to experience worsening humanitarian and economic conditions that prevent individuals from safely returning to their homes,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a statementannouncing the “re-designation.” He added that the administration “will continue to protect and offer these individuals a place of residency temporarily in the United States.” The measure will protect Yemenis who previously benefitted from TPS through March 2023 and will allow about 480 additional Yemenis to qualify. It marks the fifth TPS extension issued by the Biden administration since taking office this year. In January TPS was extended for 6,700 Syrians and 1,800 additional Syrians were allowed to file applications for the 18-month reprieve. In early March 320,000 Venezuelans received TPS for 18 months and in mid-March Burmese nationals got it for the same period after a military coup and security forces’ violence against civilians. Later in March the administration extended TPS yet again for more than 100,000 Haitians over the economic crisis that persists more than a decade after the earthquake that provoked the original TPS.

Yemen was first designated for TPS by the Obama administration in 2015after a northern opposition group called Houthis initiated a violent, territorial expansion across the country and forced Yemeni government leaders to exile in Saudi Arabia. When it expired, the Obama administration extended it another 18 months on the “dual bases of ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions.”When that second extension expired, the Trump administration renewed it twice, first under Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in 2018 and again under acting Secretary Chad Wolf. The latest extension is warranted because, although it is in its seventh year, the protracted conflict has shown no sign of abating and fighting between Houthi and government forces continues, according to a Federal Register announcement issued this month.

Yemen is a hotbed of terrorism that serves as the headquarters of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Nevertheless, shortly after getting elected President Biden revoked the terrorist designation of a Yemen-based militant group, a move that was followed by a fat “humanitarian assistance” check from American taxpayers. The Federal Register bulletin announcing the group’s (Ansarallah, also known as Partisans of God) terrorist classification says it has committed or has attempted to commit, or poses a significant risk of committing, or has participated in training to commit, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. The international community strongly opposed classifying Ansarallah as a terrorist entity, asserting it would come with repercussions for humanitarian operations. Days after rescinding the terrorist designation, the Biden administration gave Yemen $191 million in assistance. 

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#al-qaeda, #jw, #refugees, #tps, #washington, #yemen

(SEATTLE) USCG REPORT: The Coast Guard rescued a man in an emergency life raft Saturday offshore of Grays Harbor #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: At 11:39 a.m., Friday, watchstanders at the 13th Coast Guard District Command Center received an emergency position indicating radio beacon activation alert for the fishing vessel Ruby Lily approximately 132 miles from Grays Harbor.

#AceDailyNews reports Coast Guard rescues man in life raft offshore Grays Harbor, WA on Friday around 11:30am after watchstanders recieved an emergency incident and watchstanders launched crews from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento and the Coast Guard Cutter Alert to respond.

U.S. Coast Guard sent this bulletin at 07/31/2021 11:19 PM EDTNews Release 

U.S. Coast Guard 13th District Pacific Northwest
Contact: 13th District Public Affairs
Office: (206) 220-7237
After Hours: (206) 220-7237
13th District online newsroom

Rescue Swimmer and Life Raft

Coast Guard rescues man in life raft offshore Gray Harbor, WA

Life Raft of the Ruby Lily

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon in the vicinity of the vessel self diverted to respond to the scene and reported one person aboard the life raft. The man aboard, who was also the owner of the Ruby Lily, reported he was safe in the rigid hull life raft with two weeks of food and water. 

A good Samaritan vessel in the area offered assistance, but the man on the life raft reportedly refused assistance from the good Samaritan. 

At 1:46 p.m., a MH-60 Jayhawk from Air Station Astoria arrived on scene and deployed a rescue swimmer. It was reported that the man refused to depart the life raft to be hoisted into the helicopter and insisted on a surface asset recovery.

At 3:53 p.m., watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Blue Shark and crew for recovery. Prior to departing the scene, the Coast Guard helicopter supplied the man with flares and a Coast Guard position locating beacon. 

An HC-27J Spartan from Air Station Sacramento arrived on scene at approximately 9:31 p.m. to keep visual on the life raft.

Blue Shark reported on scene at approximately 2:36 a.m., with the Alert arriving shortly after. Blue Shark conducted a well-fare check on the man aboard the life raft and reportedly requested to be transferred off the life raft. Once transferred off the life raft, Blue Shark conducted a medical assessment.

The man was reported to be in stable condition. 

The man reported that Ruby Lily had begun taking on water at a fast rate and completely sank. The Alert recovered the survival craft and intends to transfer the life raft to Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Astoria.  

At 8:10 a.m., Blue Shark moored in Westport to transfer the recovered man.

“This case was a success because the mariner had a registered beacon, and it was activated, allowing crews to get on scene quick.” said Scott Giard, the Coast Guard 13th District Search and Rescue Program Manager. “In this case, the subject was further offshore, so VHF-FM radio and cell phone coverage is scarce or scant. Reporting distress early gives rescue crews valuable time to get on scene fast, every second counts during any search and rescue case. This mariners EPIRB saved his life. Having a registered beacon can be the difference between locating a person in distress within minutes or days.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#coast-guard, #seattle, #uscg

(HONG KONG) JUST IN: Profits at banking giant HSBC more than doubled in the first half of the year as it benefited from an economic rebound in Britain & H.K #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: Europe’s biggest bank by assets saw pre-tax profit for the period rise to $10.8bn (£7.8bn), compared to $4.3bn for the same time last year…….

#AceDailyNews says ….Banking giant HSBC sees first half profit more than double as the lender highlighted that its UK bank had reported profit before tax of more than $2.1bn in the period: HSBC boss to hot-desk as executive floor abolished

Pedestrians walk past the British multinational banking and financial services holding company, HSBC in Hong Kong.
The figures come as the global economy emerges from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

The UK-based bank said all regions had been profitable in the period.

The figures come as the global economy emerges from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I’m pleased with the momentum generated around our growth and transformation plans, with good delivery against all four pillars of our strategy. In particular, we have taken firm steps to define the future of our US and continental Europe businesses”, said HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn.

Boosted by the economic rebound in its two biggest markets, Britain and Hong Kong, the bank reinstated dividend payments to shareholders.

It plans to pay an interim dividend of seven cents a share after the Bank of England last month scrapped curbs on such pay-outs to investors.

However, Laura Foll, manager of UK income funds at Janus Henderson Investors, told the BBC that the key factor behind the rise in HSBC’s profits had been the lower-than-expected losses on loans during the pandemic.

She said that last year most banks set aside money based on estimates of how much they could potentially lose if loans went bad and its customers were unable to repay them. In HSBC’s case, it set aside $700m.

“In all cases, the banks are now rolling back on that number… and it is that number that has boosted the profitability at HSBC more than any other improvement.”

Restructuring

HSBC said its restructuring programme remains on track after announcing in February last year that it would shed 35,000 jobs as part of a plan to cut $4.5bn of costs by 2022.

In February, HSBC had signalled a “pivot to Asia”, outlining plans to invest about $6bn in the region.

It said it would target wealth management and commercial banking to drive “double-digit growth” and has singled out Asian markets such as Singapore, China and Hong Kong. HSBC already generates the bulk of its revenues from Asia.

In January, UK MPs accused HSBC – a Hong Kong founded bank – of “aiding and abetting” China’s crackdown in Hong Kong. 

HSBC faced accusations of acting in a political manner and being too close to the Chinese authorities after it emerged that the bank had frozen accounts belonging to Hong Kong pro-democracy politician Ted Hui and members of his family.

Appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Quinn was told the bank was turning a blind eye to the situation.

Mr Quinn mounted a robust defence of the bank, saying: “I can’t cherry-pick which laws to follow.”

You may also be interested in: From protests to ‘patriots’: Why China is bent on crushing Hong Kong dissent

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#hong-kong, #hsbc, #profits, #u-k

(KABUL, Afghanistan.) LATEST: Afghan government forces have struggled against #Taliban assaults on several major cities as the insurgents stepped up a nationwide offensive that saw a key airport in the south come under rocket fire overnight on Sunday #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: The government deployed more security forces to the western city of Herat on Sunday a day after the Taliban advanced closer to the central parts of the city.

#AceDailyNews says that the #Taliban strikes major cities in Afghanistan, rockets halt flights out of Kandahar as hundreds of commandos were deployed to the western city of Herat while authorities in the southern city of Lashkar Gah called for more troops to rein in the assaults and US say 650 troops will remain in Afghanistan to provide security for diplomats after the main military withdrawal.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/taliban-detain-afghan-peace-marchers-100km-journey-190604083646328.html

Clashes Intensify in Herat as Reinforcements Arrive

Local officials said that the clashes intensified in villages in the western parts of Herat city.

Abdul Rahman Rahman, senior deputy of the Interior Ministry, also visited Herat city on Sunday and said that a large-scale operation will be launched against the Taliban in Herat.

“We have come with the security forces from Kabul and these forces have joined Herat forces. We will act as soon as possible to defend the Herat people,” he said.

The clashes have been ongoing in the western parts of Herat city and Guzara and Karokh districts over the past four days.

At least 20 people were killed, including 16 security force members, and 90 people were wounded in the past four days of fighting in Herat, according to data from Herat’s regional hospital.

Local officials said that “the Taliban has suffered heavy casualties during the clashes.”

Reporters for Pajhwok news agency and Salam Watandar Radio were briefly taken captive by the Taliban on the battlefield but none were injured, according to the reporters.

“We had a 10-meter distance from the security forces,” said Storai Karimi, a Pajhwok reporter, “we were surrounded by the Taliban.”

Shekib Shams, reporter of Salam Watandar also said: “It was terrible because a few bullets hit our car. When I stopped the car, I saw that four Taliban had surrounded us and told us to take the car into the road.”

The reporters said that they were freed after an hour.

Security sources said the Taliban advanced this morning in Herat city, adding that “the Taliban launched large attacks on several villages in the west of Herat city and clashes are still ongoing.”

“There are clashes in Pul-e-Malan on the battlefield and the Taliban were prevented from advancing. Sometimes troops move forward and then retreat but it does not mean that the lines were broken,” said Abdul Saboor Qane, provincial governor.

Colonel Mohammad Nasir Alizai, commander of a commando unit from Zafar 207 Military Corps, said: “The Taliban’s war is a psychological war, and it wants to cause panic among the people. I urge the people of Herat not to lose their spirit.”

This comes a day after Mohammad Ismail Khan, former mujahedeen leader and a senior member of Jamiat-e-Islami who is leading the fight against the Taliban in Herat along with scores of public resistance forces, criticized the Ministry of Defense for delays in sending reinforcements to Herat.

Clashes in the city of Herat began their fourth day on Sunday. Clashes are underway in the southern part of Herat near Malan Bridge, which was taken over by the Taliban on Saturday.

Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman said hundreds of reinforcements arrived in the city on Sunday morning.

Hundreds of families have been displaced from their homes in the southern parts of Herat city due to the ongoing clashes, local officials said.

Taliban attacks on the city of Herat were criticized on Saturday by some lawmakers and analysts who say they are a clear violation of the group’s commitments to the Doha agreement.

The Taliban said that the group has made no commitment to not attack major cities.

Fighting has surged across the country in the months since early May, when US-led foreign forces began a final withdrawal from Afghanistan that is now almost complete.

After seizing large tracts of rural territory and capturing key border crossings, the Taliban have started to besiege provincial capitals.

Flights out of Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city and was also the former bastion of the insurgents, were halted after rockets struck the airport before dawn.

Airport chief Massoud Pashtun said two rockets had hit the runway and repairs were underway with planes likely to resume service later on Sunday.

The facility is vital to maintaining the logistical and air support needed to keep the Taliban from overrunning the city, while also providing aerial cover for large tracts of southern Afghanistan.

Taliban train in Afghanistan
The Taliban have turned their attention to provincial capitals.(Reuters: Stringer, file photo)

The attack came as the Taliban inched closer to overrunning at least two other provincial capitals, including nearby Lashkar Gah in Helmand province.

“Fighting is going on inside the city and we have asked for special forces to be deployed in the city,” Ataullah Afghan, head of Helmand provincial council, told AFP.

Afghan security forces have increasingly relied on air strikes to push the militants back from cities even as they run the risk of hitting civilians in heavily populated areas.

“The city is in the worst condition. I do not know what will happen,” said Halim Karimi, a resident of Lashkar Gah, a city of 200,000 residents.

“Neither the Taliban will have mercy on us, nor will the government stop bombing.”

Further west in the city of Herat, fighting continued on the city’s outskirts overnight with air strikes targeting Taliban positions.Taliban taking back swathes of AfghanistanAs foreign forces slowly leave Afghanistan ahead of the official September 11 withdrawal date, Taliban insurgents are gaining ground across the country.

Herat provincial governor’s spokesman Jailani Farhad said that around 100 militant fighters had been killed in the attacks.

Both the Taliban and government forces tend to exaggerate their claims of casualties inflicted on each other’s forces and true counts are difficult to independently verify.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Defence said that hundreds of commandos had been sent to Herat to help beat back the insurgent assault.

“These forces will increase offensive operations and suppress the Taliban in Herat,” the ministry tweeted.

Pressure mounts on the Afghan military

For months, the Taliban’s rapid territorial gains during the final stages of the US military withdrawal have largely been in sparsely populated rural areas.

But in recent weeks they have brought increasing pressure on provincial capitals and seized key border crossings.

Afghan security forces in Kabul
Authorities in the southern city of Lashkar Gah called for more troops to rein in assualts.(AFP: Noorullah Shirzada)

The capture of any major urban centre would take their current offensive to another level and fuel concerns that the army is incapable of resisting the Taliban’s battlefield advances.

The government has repeatedly dismissed the militants’ steady gains over the summer as lacking strategic value.

The Taliban have previously seized some cities but have managed to retain them only briefly: US officials say, as Taliban forces continue to take new territory.

The insurgents overran Kunduz twice in 2015 and 2016, and briefly held control of Ghazni city after setting ablaze key government buildings and destroying telecommunication towers.

In recent weeks the Afghan government’s air force, backed by the US military, has provided Kabul with its biggest battlefield advantage over the Taliban and has so far largely kept the insurgents from overrunning urban areas.

Despite being in its final stages of withdrawal, the US military has also carried out air strikes targeting the Taliban.

“The US military has been engaged in a limited way, but in a significant one that has impact in meeting our obligations to defend Afghan forces when they are under attack,” top US envoy in Kabul Ross Wilson told reporters this week.

Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 48 seconds
Taliban taking back control of Afghan province

AFP

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#afghanistan, #herat, #kabul, #kandahar, #lashkar-gah