News ID: 93253
Publish Date : 10 August 2021 - 21:49

BEIJING (Reuters) -- China demanded Lithuania on Tuesday withdraw its ambassador in Beijing and said it would recall China’s envoy to Vilnius in a row over the Baltic state allowing Chinese-claimed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy there using its own name. Taiwan announced the new mission last month, saying it would be called the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania, the first time the island’s name has been used for one of its offices in Europe, as normally only “Taipei” is used. China, which had already denounced the decision, has now gone a step further with concrete action to express its ire. Lithuania’s allowing the office to open under the name of Taiwan was done so “in disregard of China’s repeated representations and articulation of potential consequences”, and severely undermines China’s sovereignty, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.’

DHAKA (Reuters) -- Bangladesh began vaccinating thousands of Rohingya Muslims on Tuesday in the world’s largest refugee settlement amid a surge in COVID-19 infections in the country, officials said. Aid workers have long warned of a potential humanitarian disaster if there is a significant outbreak in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, the border district where over a million Rohingya who fled a brutal military crackdown in neighboring Myanmar have found sanctuary. Around 48,000 Rohingya, aged 55 and above, will be inoculated between Tuesday and Thursday with the help of the UN agencies, Mahbubur Rahman, the chief health official in Cox’s Bazar district, said. There has been a recent uptick in infections in the camps, with around 20,000 cases and 200 deaths recorded among refugees since the pandemic erupted last year. In contrast, officials in Myanmar’s Rakhine state have told media that there are currently no plans to vaccinate the Rohingya living there.

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia has opened a criminal investigation into two exiled allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny for raising funds for organizations that Moscow has declared “extremist”, Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Tuesday. The case was opened against Leonid Volkov and Ivan Zhdanov and other individuals, the law enforcement agency said in a statement. A Russian court this summer branded Navalny’s political movement extremist amid an opposition crackdown.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- Six EU member states have sent a letter to the bloc’s executive warning against halting deportations of rejected Afghan asylum seekers despite major advances of Taliban militants in their country. “Stopping returns sends the wrong signal and is likely to motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home for the EU,” Austria, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Germany said in the letter dated Aug. 5 and seen by Reuters. “This is why we urge you and your teams at the Commission to intensify talks with the Afghan government on how returns to Afghanistan can and will continue in the coming months.” Since 2015, around 570,000 Afghans have requested asylum in the EU, the letter from the six EU countries noted, 44,000 in 2020 alone, making Afghanistan the second most important country of origin last year.

ALGIERS ( Al Jazeera) -- At least seven people have been killed in Algeria as forest fires spread in the North African country, the civil defense authority said on Tuesday. State radio reported that some houses were completely destroyed, and Al-Bilad newspaper reported that schools in Tizi Ouzou province were receiving citizens displaced by the fires. Tizi Ouzou province is located around 150 kilometers east of the capital Algiers. At least 19 fires broke out in 14 provinces across the country. Enormous wildfires have continued to rage across parts of Europe and the United States in recent weeks. More than 250 fires were burning in Russia, with the northeastern region of Siberia most impacted by the flames. Meanwhile, flames have ravaged northern parts of the U.S. state of California, with authorities saying that eight people are missing.

BANGKOK (Reuters) -- Thousands of Thai anti-government protesters drove a convoy of cars and motorcycles through the capital of Bangkok on Tuesday, amid rising anger over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s administration. The protesters stopped outside buildings linked to cabinet members or supporters of Prayuth to make speeches and call for resignations, accusing the government of mismanaging the pandemic and abusing its power to silence critics. “The government lacks the ability to manage the country, and only see the interests of the elite,” Benja Apan, a student activist, said in a statement read out from the top of a truck in Bangkok’s business district. “If the situation remains like this then we can expect the country to face an unsurvivable disaster,” she said. Hospitals have been pushed to the brink by the latest wave of cases and Thailand reported on Tuesday a record COVID-19 death toll of 235 - nearly four times as many as in the whole of last year.

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