AIDS activists were outraged and analysts said US credibility in the region would be hurt after the US House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday authorizing a billion dollars less in AIDS funding than they had expected. \nUS President George W. Bush signed a bill in May calling for US$15 billion over five years to combat HIV/AIDS, especially in Africa and the Caribbean. However, the White House later asked for US$2 billion in funding for next year and threatened to veto a final foreign aid bill that shifted money to global AIDS. \nThe bill didn't specify how Congress was going to produce the US$15 billion, but activists had expected US$3 billion a year over the five-year period. \nThe House approved US$2 billion as requested early Thursday. The Republican-led Senate is to consider bills that also authorize US$2 billion for the 2004 fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. \n"It's betrayal of those orphans that he hugged and the people dying of AIDS that he comforted," said Paul Zietz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, referring to a visit that Bush made to an AIDS clinic in Uganda two weeks ago where he repeated his pledge to spend US$15 billion to fight AIDS in the next five years. \nWhite House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush was happy the money was authorized and was committed to the US$15 billion pledge. \n"The president proposed a US$15 billion emergency plan to provide relief to those who are suffering and help turn the tide against the scourge of AIDS. We are pleased that Congress is moving forward to pass funding at the level needed to get things up and running," he said.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around