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Angry protesters take to streets over police brutality – USA

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(Last Updated On: May 31, 2020)

Clashes between the police and the protesters over George Floyd’s death in police custody have been intensified, western news outlets report.

As demonstrations escalated in several US cities, protesters in Minneapolis met a more determined response from police officers and National Guard troops.

Reports show that several other US states have activated National Guard troops to help quell the protests, some of which have turned violent.

Cities nationwide have also implemented curfews, but protesters appear undeterred.

It is noteworthy that Floyd died on Monday after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck.

The officer has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter; however, the other officers have not been charged.

According to reports, protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, have pledged to continue until all four officers involved in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, are charged.

In the meantime, the US President Donald Trump has ordered Pentagon to put military police on alert, saying they may be deployed to Minnesota.

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American troops down to 2,500: US acting defense secretary

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(Last Updated On: January 15, 2021)

The number of US forces in Afghanistan has dropped to 2,500, US acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller announced on Friday in a statement released by the US Department of State.

“Today, US force levels in Afghanistan have reached 2,500. Directed by President (Donald) Trump, and as I announced on November 17, this drawdown brings US forces in the country to their lowest levels since 2001,” Miller said in the statement.

Miller also welcomed ongoing peace talks in Doha.

“Today, the United States is closer than ever to ending nearly two decades of war and welcoming in an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process to achieve a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” Miller added.

According to Miller, the remaining troops with commanders will have the duty to keep the US, Americans, and their interests safe.

Miller said that the United States will continue its mission in Afghanistan and will continue supporting Afghan forces to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to harbor terrorists.

“Working alongside our NATO allies and partners, the United States will continue to execute both our counterterrorism mission and the train, advise and assist mission in support of Afghan Security Forces working to secure peace in their country. Continued fulfillment of these two complementary missions seeks to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to harbor those who seek to bring harm to the United States of America,” said Miller.

Miller also said that the force reduction is an indication of the United States’ continued support towards the Afghan peace process and commitments made in both the US -Taliban agreement and the US -Afghanistan Joint Declaration.

According to Miller the further reduction of US troop levels to zero by May of 2021, remains conditions-based.

Miller also called on both the Afghan government and the Taliban to demonstrate their commitment to advance the peace process.

The United States will continue to take any action necessary to ensure the protection of our homeland, our citizens, and our interests, Miller said.

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Powerful earthquake in Indonesia kills at least 3, injures 24

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(Last Updated On: January 15, 2021)

At least three people have died and 24 others wounded after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia early Friday, the country’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said.

The earthquake occurred at 1:28 am local time in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island and was followed by several aftershocks that rattled Majene city in the province.

The quake epicenter was six kilometers (3.73 miles) of the city at a depth of 10 kilometers.

The Indonesian Antara News agency reported that around 62 houses and a public health center have been damaged.

According to the report, the earthquake also triggered three landslides along the Majene-Mamuju road in the Sulawesi province.

Earthquakes regularly hit various parts of Indonesia since the country lies on the Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates meet and cause frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

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WHO team in Wuhan to probe Coronavirus origin

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(Last Updated On: January 15, 2021)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent a team of scientists to China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, to probe the origins of the Coronavirus, WHO confirmed.

The WHO stated in a tweet a 13-member team of expert has arrived in Wuhan on Thursday. 

“The international team of 13 scientists examining the origins of the virus that causes COVID19 arrived in Wuhan, China, today,” WHO tweeted.

The organization stated that the experts will begin their work immediately during the two weeks quarantine protocol for international travelers.

The WHO added that 13 team members have arrived in Wuhan, but two others have been tested positive for Covid-19 before leaving Singapore to China.

“Two scientists are still in Singapore completing tests for COVID-19. All team members had multiple negative PCR and antibody tests for COVID-19 in their home countries prior to traveling,” the organization said.

“They were tested again in #Singapore and were all negative for PCR. But two members tested positive for IgM antibodies. They are being retested for both IgM and IgG antibodies.”

In early 2020, the virus spread in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, and soon the virus spread worldwide.

China has sought to keep information about the spread of the virus under tight control. The country has also punished people for publishing information. The Chinese officials allowed the international team to Wuhan after months of diplomatic disputing.

In December last year, a Chinese journalist Zhang Zhan was sentenced to four years in jail for reporting the spread of the virus from Wuhan. 

Zhang Zhan, 37, was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a charge used by the Chinese government against the critics.

According to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University, so far, 93,075,435 people around the world have been infected with the virus and 1,993,164 people have died of the virus.

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