The 15-nation UN Security Council was called into a special session yesterday to analyze letters from Baghdad's new leader and the US command on military operations, diplomats said. \nThe US, after three revisions on a resolution on Iraq's future, may also present what it hopes will be a final draft. Security Council ambassadors went on a retreat on Saturday to discuss the resolution. \nUS Secretary of State Colin Powell said he expected a breakthrough after Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi sent a letter to the UN on Saturday. \nThe letter is to set down how the military operation can be subject to a review, should the US want to engage in a major operation that Iraq's new leaders do not like. \nIraq has already said it did not want a veto over US military actions, and Powell has said there was no chance they would get one. But Iraqi officials have made clear they want a say in any large campaign by the US-led multinational force, as they believe their influence can prevent unnecessary bloodshed, like that in Fallujah. \nNo vote has been scheduled and none was expected yesterday or today, although the US and Britain, sponsors of the resolution, would like one in the coming week. \nMembers wanted to hear first from Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy who helped form the interim government that is to stay in office until elections for a transitional government, expected by January 2005. Brahimi briefs the council on Monday. \nThe resolution would give international endorsement to an Iraqi interim government that takes office on June 30 and authorize a US-led multinational force to use "all necessary means" to keep the peace. \nThe presence of 160,000 foreign soldiers has given several Security Council members second thoughts, apprehensive they would be endorsing an occupation under another name. \nRussia, in particular, has hesitated in backing the resolution, saying the council should hear from Arab nations first and not carry the burden alone in approving the new government.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference