Fri, Aug 09, 2019 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take



US upgrades travel warning

Washington yesterday warned US citizens to “exercise increased caution” when traveling to the territory, as protesters announced three days of new demonstrations at Hong Kong International Airport starting this afternoon. The advisory was an upgrade from the US Department of State’s previous advice to “exercise normal precautions” and notes that demonstrations have been mostly peaceful, “but some have turned confrontational or resulted in violent clashes.” A statement on the Hong Kong International Airport Web site said the protests were not expected to disrupt operations. “Airport Authority Hong Kong is aware that there have been calls posted online for a public assembly at the airport on 9-11 August. The airport will operate normally,” it said. It urged passengers to “allow sufficient time for travelling to the airport” and to check flight status information before arriving.


Marape denies debt report

Prime Minister James Marape on Wednesday backtracked on an announcement saying he had asked China to refinance the nation’s US$8 billion debt, saying that the statement was released without his knowledge. Marape’s office in a statement said it was “false” that he was “going one way to China” to tackle public debt. The government was primarily discussing trade with China while examining debt options with undisclosed “non-traditional partners,” it said. “We are in discussion with many of our bilateral partners to access very low-cost concession finance to give us some breathing space,” Marape said in the statement. “This includes our discussions with [the] World Bank, ADB [Asian Development Bank] and some other possible non-traditional partners.”


Cocaine washes ashore

Cocaine worth millions of dollars on Wednesday washed up on a beach, with police urging the public to hand in any more packages that might turn up. Police were called to Bethells Beach in West Auckland after packages of the drug were found along the shoreline. “Police attended and located approximately 19 packages, which testing has confirmed contained cocaine,” detective inspector Colin Parmenter said. He estimated the street value at NZ$3 million (US$1.84 million). Local media reported said that the packages were contained in netting and the presence of shells indicated they had been at sea for some time.


Call for probe cooperation

The government on Wednesday pressed the US to cooperate in helping to identify white supremacists that pose a threat to its citizens after a shooting on Saturday last week in El Paso, Texas, killed eight Mexican nationals. A total of 22 people lost their lives in the shooting at a Walmart store, an event the government has vowed to investigate as an act of terrorism. It said it might also request that the suspected perpetrator be extradited for trial. The government said it wants US authorities to share all information on the case to “determine if there are other individuals and potential organizations of ‘white supremacy’ seeking to put our community in danger in the United States.” The diplomatic note, which was addressed to the US embassy, urged the US to “make happen” the words US President Donald Trump used on Monday, when he called on Americans to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”

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