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Kusu News 16-Apr-2021

Hong Kong: Jimmy Lai sentenced to 14 months for pro-democracy protests

16-Apr-2021 BBC

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been sentenced to 14 months in prison after being found guilty of unauthorised assembly.

Mr Lai was one of several activists in court on Friday who were earlier found guilty of charges relating to large pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019.

The 73-year-old founder of Apple Daily is a fierce critic of Beijing.

The verdict comes as the mainland is increasingly cracking down on Hong Kong's rights and freedoms.

Several other activists were sentenced on Friday for participating in two demonstrations, on 18 August and 31 August 2019.

They include veteran campaigner Martin Lee, 82, and lawyer Margaret Ng, 73, whose sentences were suspended.

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US warns China over moves on Philippines, Taiwan

08-Apr-2021 Intellasia | AFP | 

The United States on Wednesday warned China against what the Philippines and Taiwan see as increasingly aggressive moves, reminding Beijing of Washington’s obligations to its partners.

“An armed attack against the Philippines’ armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea, will trigger our obligations under the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“We share the concerns of our Philippine allies regarding the continued reported massing of PRC maritime militia near the Whitsun Reef,” Price said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

More than 200 Chinese boats were first spotted on March 7 at Whitsun Reef, around 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Palawan Island in the contested South China Sea, although many have since scattered across the Spratly Islands.

China, which claims almost the entirety of the resource-rich sea, has refused weeks of appeals by the Philippines to withdraw the vessels, which Manila says unlawfully entered its exclusive economic zone.

Tensions have also risen with Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of China, with the self-governing democracy on Wednesday reporting that 15 more of the mainland’s planes crossed into the island’s air defense zone.

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Singapore deputy prime minister steps away from future leadership role in shock announcement

08-Apr-2021 CNBC

Singapore’s deputy prime minister announced on Thursday that he will be stepping aside so that a “younger leader who will have a longer runway can take over.”

Heng Swee Keat, who was expected to take over from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, is also finance minister and coordinating minister for economic policies.

Heng will step down from his position as finance minister at the next Cabinet reshuffle, but remain in his other roles.

Lee previously said he would stay on as prime minister until the Covid-19 crisis ends. Heng was expected to take over, but will now step aside as the leader of the so-called “4G team” — or Singapore’s fourth generation leadership.

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Explainer: Why a person fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can still get infected and what it means

14-Apr-2021 Intellasia | 

News of a migrant worker who contracted Covid-19 even though he had been fully vaccinated may have caused some alarm, but infectious disease experts said that this is an expected development and there is nothing to be too concerned about.

On Sunday (April 11), the first such infection here was reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH). The 23-year-old male Indian national had received both required doses of the Covid-19 vaccination on January 25 and February 17.

Similar cases around the world have been reported before.

The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in April that of the 2,479 vaccinated people in a study, three had confirmed coronavirus infections after they were fully vaccinated.

In Japan, a hospital worker who had completed the vaccination regimen was confirmed to be infected on April 11.

In Singapore over the last three months, MOH had recorded at least three separate cases of people who had been tested positive for the virus after their first dose of the vaccine.

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