China rebukes Canada over criticism of Hong Kong security law

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – China fired back at Canada on Saturday for criticising Beijing’s national security law for Hong Kong, the second rebuke in a week that has added to strains on their bilateral ties. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that Canada was suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong due to the law and Canada’s foreign minister called the legislation “a significant step back” for liberty. China’s embassy in Ottawa said in a…

"China rebukes Canada over criticism of Hong Kong security law"

Suicide car bomber hits checkpoint at Somalia’s Mogadishu port

MOGADISHU – An explosion shook parts of the Somali capital of Mogadishu early on Saturday as a suicide car bomber drove into a checkpoint just outside the port, witnesses said, but police made no immediate comment on casualties. “Metal debris fell all over us inside the port and we heard gunfire,” said a port worker who sought anonymity for security reasons. “Security forces have surrounded the area.” The blast shoook the ground, said Mohammed Ali,…

"Suicide car bomber hits checkpoint at Somalia’s Mogadishu port"

U.S. sends carriers to South China Sea during Chinese drills – WSJ

– The United States is sending two aircraft carriers into the South China Sea at the same time as China is conducting military exercises in the contested waterway, the Wall Street Journal reported. The USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz would be in the South China Sea from Saturday, the U.S. news outlet quoted the strike group commander as saying. “The purpose is to show an unambiguous signal to our partners and allies that we…

"U.S. sends carriers to South China Sea during Chinese drills – WSJ"

Russia says Bolton’s account of INF treaty talks distorted

MOSCOW – A senior Russian defence official accused former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton on Friday of distorting facts in his memoir about talks with the Russian authorities about the U.S. withdrawal from a Cold War-era arms control treaty. Washington last year withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), accusing Moscow of deploying cruise missiles throughout Russia in violation of the pact. Russia has denied violating the agreement. In his book entitled…

"Russia says Bolton’s account of INF treaty talks distorted"

Turkish court convicts four rights activists on terrorism-related charges

ISTANBUL – A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a former local head of Amnesty International to more than six years in jail and convicted three other activists on terrorism-related charges for holding a meeting about digital security, the rights group said. Amnesty Turkey said on Twitter that seven other defendants, detained three years ago during a crackdown following an attempted coup in July 2016, were acquitted in a case which fuelled concern over Ankara’s human…

"Turkish court convicts four rights activists on terrorism-related charges"

Canada says it will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong

OTTAWA – Canada is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in the wake of China’s move to impose national security legislation on the former British colony, top officials said on Friday. In a statement, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne also said Ottawa would not permit the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong, which is home to around 300,000 Canadians. The new legislation came into effect this week despite protests from Hong Kongers and…

"Canada says it will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong"

WHO sees first results from COVID drug trials within two weeks

GENEVA – The World Health Organization expects initial results within two weeks from clinical trials it is conducting of drugs that might be effective in treating COVID-19 patients, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing on Friday. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said it would be unwise to predict when a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready for mass distribution. While a vaccine candidate might show its effectiveness by year’s…

"WHO sees first results from COVID drug trials within two weeks"

Senator warns of political pressure on U.S. probe into hackers of green groups

WASHINGTON – A Democratic U.S. senator says he has written to Attorney General William Barr outlining his concerns about potential “political interference” by the Trump administration in an investigation of a private espionage firm that targeted environmental groups in the United States. Last month reported that U.S. law enforcement was investigating aspects of a seven-year-long hack-for-hire operation carried out by a New Delhi-based firm called BellTroX InfoTech Services on behalf of unknown clients. Senator Sheldon…

"Senator warns of political pressure on U.S. probe into hackers of green groups"

Turkish court tries Saudis in absentia for Khashoggi killing

ISTANBUL – A Turkish court put 20 Saudi officials on trial in absentia on Friday for the gruesome killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi which sparked international outrage and tarnished the image of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler. Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 when he went there seeking papers for his marriage. Some Western governments, as well as the CIA, said they believed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman…

"Turkish court tries Saudis in absentia for Khashoggi killing"

Russia to reopen embassy in Libya – Ifax cites foreign minister

MOSCOW – Russia has decided to reopen its embassy in Libya, the Interfax news agency cited Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Friday. Lavrov said a ceasefire in the Libyan conflict, proposed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi alongside Libya’s eastern commander Khalifa Haftar in Cairo on June 6, fitted into decisions taken at an international conference in Berlin regarding the situation in the North African country. Lavrov was speaking at the start of…

"Russia to reopen embassy in Libya – Ifax cites foreign minister"