Baton-wielding police beat back protesters demonstrating against a US military presence in Pakistan yesterday, injuring 14 people and arresting about 100. \nChanting "Osama is our hero" and "US should stop atrocities on Afghanistan," the protesters from the right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami party clashed with police after evading tight security in Jacobabad in the southern Sindh province where the US military is using an air base to provide logistical support for attacks on Afghanistan. \nThe clash came after hundreds of activists from the party -- the largest religious party in the country -- and other pro-Taliban groups were detained during the previous 24 hours in a government crackdown on anti-American demonstrations in the city, police and party sources said. \nParty sources said they would attempt more protests after Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the head of the party, vowed to defy a government ban on the demonstration. \n"We will continue our peaceful campaign till the removal of [military ruler General Pervez] Musharraf's government, which has supported the United States," said Ahmed, who was stopped by officials from boarding a plane to make his way to Jacobabad. \n"We don't want to fight in the streets but if Musharraf's government falls, the policy will automatically change," he said. \nMusharraf has been walking a political tightrope as he backs Washington in its attacks on Osama bin Laden and his Taliban protectors in Afghanistan. The attacks have been strongly and sometimes violently opposed by pro-Taliban Islamic groups in Pakistan. \nIn Jacobabad, military authorities were adamant they would not allow the protest after one earlier this month resulted in the death of one man when police opened fire on angry crowds. \nThe Pakistan army was deployed in the city to back up paramilitary rangers and police who threw up a security cordon close to the airport, one of at least three used by the US military as part of Islamabad's pledge to provide Washington with non-combat logistical support for its strikes on Afghanistan. \nYesterday all roads leading to Jacobabad were blocked -- some with barbed wire barricades and felled trees -- virtually shutting down the city, witnesses said. \nBut witnesses said some people were still trickling into the town, renowned as the hottest in Pakistan and where the most common means of transport is still a horse or donkey-pulled cart. \nThe local administration had called at least 2,000 additional police from nearby towns to tighten security and police set up at least 200 new checkposts at entry points, witnesses said. \nThe military has mounted machine guns on homes of people living around the airport and they have been offered alternative accommodation -- at government expense -- if they want. \nIslamabad has promised to assist Washington in sharing intelligence, allowing the use of its airspace and providing unspecified logistical support as it hunts down Osama bin Laden, accused of the devastating attacks on the US last month.
At the start of their first-ever virtual World Health Assembly (WHA), WHO member states agreed to delay a controversial discussion on granting Taiwan observer status until later in the year. The agreement came after WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pledged to launch an independent probe to review the coronavirus pandemic response as soon as possible, and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) announced that China would provide US$2 billion over two years to fight the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. Despite the US and other members stepping up pressure in recent days, the WHA unanimously agreed to postpone a decision on observer
Another automatic 30-day visa extension for foreigners who entered Taiwan on or before March 21 this year has been granted, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announced yesterday during the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) daily news briefing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had granted an initial automatic 30-day visa extension on March 21 for foreigners who entered Taiwan on or before that date with a visa waiver, visitor’s visa or landing visa — and another on April 17, as part of tightened border control measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Many foreigners who arrived in Taiwan on holidays or for
PROTEST SENT: Despite a wave of international support Taiwan did not receive an invite, which means that it and all WHO members would lose out, the two ministers said Taiwan deeply regrets and is very dissatisfied that it was not invited to attend the annual World Health Assembly (WHA), which began a virtual meeting yesterday, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said. During the Central Epidemic Command Center’s daily news conference, Chen, who heads the center, said that as of 2pm, Taiwan had not received an invitation to the meeting, which was to begin at 6pm Taiwan time. “We put in our efforts [to get invited] up until the last moment, but it seems that we are unlikely to be invited,
US lawmakers and officials are crafting proposals to push US companies to move operations or key suppliers out of China that include tax breaks, new rules and carefully structured subsidies. Interviews with a dozen current and former government officials, industry executives and members of Congress show widespread discussions underway — including the idea of a “reshoring fund” originally stocked with US$25 billion — to encourage US companies to drastically revamp their relationship with China. US President Donald Trump has long pledged to bring manufacturing back from overseas, but the spread of COVID-19 and related concerns about US medical and food supply chains