US President George W. Bush said on Tuesday a bomb blast that ripped through the UN headquarters in Baghdad was "testing our will" but would not derail US efforts to rebuild Iraq. \n"We will persevere through every hardship," he said. \nBush, who has had little success so far in persuading other nations to send peacekeepers to Iraq, said: "The terrorists want to return to the days of torture chambers and mass graves .... All nations of the world face a challenge and a choice." \nThe president announced no new measures to improve security after the attack, but pledged to provide "all possible assistance" to the UN rescue and recovery effort. \nThe blast killed at least 20 people, including the top UN envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello of Brazil. \n"Every sign of progress in Iraq adds to the desperation of the terrorists and the remnants of Saddam [Hussein's] brutal regime. The civilized world will not be intimidated, and these killers will not determine the future of Iraq," Bush told reporters after he called UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer. \n"Iraq is on an irreversible course toward self-government and peace. And America and our friends in the United Nations will stand with the Iraqi people," added Bush, who was on the golf course when news of the bombing first broke. \nHe played 11 holes before returning to his ranch to monitor developments. \nLater on Tuesday, Bush called Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to express condolences over his nation's "grave loss" of Vieira de Mello, the White House said. Bush also called British Prime Minister Tony Blair, his closest Iraq war ally, and vowed to combat terrorism. \n"By attempting to spread chaos and fear, terrorists are testing our will. Across the world, they are finding that our will cannot be shaken," Bush said. \nUS Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said during a visit to Colombia he had no evidence that attackers from outside Iraq might have set off the bomb and bridled at a suggestion the blast might signal the situation was out of control. \n"What it signals is that terrorists can attack at any target, any place," he told reporters. "Terrorists have been killing people for decades and it's always a terrible thing when it happens."
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
Two US senators were critical of the WHO after a senior WHO official appeared to hang up on a Hong Kong reporter who asked about Taiwan’s membership status in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. During a video interview with Radio Television Hong Kong’s Yvonne Tong (唐若韞) on Saturday, WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward first claimed not to have heard her question on whether the WHO would consider giving Taiwan membership. When Tong repeated the question, he asked her to “move on to another one.” The video then showed the line disconnecting after Tong said she would like to hear more about Taiwan.