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Hong Kong Marks Handover Anniversary Under Shadow Of Security Law

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Hong Kong Marks Handover Anniversary Under Shadow Of Security Law

In China, hours after Beijing’s imposition of a new national security law, Hong Kong police have on Wednesday made their first arrests under a new “anti-protest” law, as crowds marked 23rd anniversary of the territory’s return to China signaling the end of British rule.

As the Chief Executive Carrie Lam joined her predecessors and other officials at the harbour’s edge for a flag-raising ceremony and a reception for specially-invited guests, as the territory’s annual pro-democracy march was banned for the first time, nine persons were held accused of violating the law, including a man with a pro-independence flag. More than 300 others were detained at a banned rally.

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Praising the new law, Lam said in her speech, “the most important development” in the relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong since the 1997 handover, saying it is “necessary and timely” move to restore stability.

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She defended the legislation, which came into force overnight after being rushed through China’s rubber-stamp parliament as “constitutional, lawful, sensible and reasonable”.

The national security law targets secession, subversion and terrorism with punishments up to life in prison.

Activists say it erodes freedoms but China has dismissed the criticism.

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In a press briefing following the ceremony, Zhang Xiaoming, the Executive Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, said suspects arrested under the law would be tried in the mainland, adding that Hong Kong’s legal system could not be expected to implement the laws of the mainland.

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

Russian, president Vladimir Putin has announced on Tuesday that Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against coronavirus.

The president said during a televised video conference call with government ministers that for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in the country.

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Putin said the country’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing.

Three days ago, ANN reported that a senior health official at a Russian state laboratory’s vaccine for the novel coronavirus disclosed that it is undergoing its final testing phase and is expected to be registered soon.

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Last week, Deputy Health Minister Oleg Grinev said in comments carried by the Russian news agency Interfax that “currently it is in the final testing phase, which is extremely important. We need to understand that the vaccine will be safe”.

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According to Johns Hopkins University data, Russia has recorded more than 895,000 cases, the world’s fourth-largest Coronavirus caseload behind the United States, Brazil and India.

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Trump Escorted Out Of Briefing As Man Shot Near White House

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Trump Escorted Out Of Briefing As Man Shot Near White House

During a televised news conference on Monday, the United States president Donald Trump was escorted out in the middle of the briefing after Secret Service agents shot and wounded a man who claimed to be armed outside the White House.

In a statement by the Secret Service stated that a 51-year-old man, who has not been identified, approached the officer, told him he had weapons and assumed a “shooter’s stance”, whereupon the officer shot him in the torso.

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The Secret Service however did not say whether the man was armed, adding that “both the officer and the suspect were then taken to hospital”

The chief of the Secret Service Uniformed Division Tom Sullivan said the White House complex was not breached and no one under Secret Service protection was in danger.

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Law enforcement officials were trying to determine a motive and authorities were investigating whether the man had a history of mental illness.

Earlier, Trump had just begun a Coronavirus briefing when a US Secret Service agent escorted him from the briefing room. The president returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control.”

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Trump said, “there was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital.” The president said law enforcement had fired the shots and that he believed the individual who was shot was armed.

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Lebanon’s Aoun Accepts Gov’t Resignation, Asks Diab To Stay On In Caretaker Capacity

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Lebanon's Aoun Accepts Gov't Resignation, Asks Diab To Stay On In Caretaker Capacity

Just after the Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced the resignation of his government following last week’s devastating explosion in Beirut port, President Michel Aoun has accepted the resignation of the prime minister’s government and asked it to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.

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Earlier on Monday in a televised evening address to the nation, Diab announced the resignation of the entire cabinet characterizing the detonation of highly explosive material warehoused at the capital’s port for the past seven years as being “the result of endemic corruption.”

Diab calling for the trial of those responsible for the blast said “today, we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change.”

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The resignation came after protesters accused the country’s leaders of negligence and corruption leading to the explosion that killed at least 200 persons and wounding 6,000 others.

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On Sunday, Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse rock-throwing protesters blocking a road near Parliament in Beirut after a second day of anti-government demonstrations.

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