- Coronavirus surges worldwide as public loses faith in authorities
A surge in coronavirus cases across the United States and Europe has forced governments to strengthen containment measures as a survey released Saturday showed support for the handling of their pandemics has slipped. The disease has now killed almost 635,000 people around the world and infected more than 15.5 million, according to an AFP tally, with America the hardest-hit nation. A similar resurgence in Europe prompted the World Health Organization to sound the alarm over the spread, as Britain joined France, Germany and Austria in tightening rules on masks and rolling out greater testing. Governments worldwide have struggled to contain the coronavirus despite long and arduous lockdowns imposed on millions of people, and a survey released Saturday showed faith in authorities to be dwindling in six rich nations.
- US consulate in China readies for closure as diplomatic row rages
Workers removed the US insignia from the consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu on Saturday, a day after Beijing ordered its closure as relations deteriorated in a Cold War-style standoff. The Chengdu mission was told to shut in retaliation for the forced closure of Beijing’s consulate in Houston, Texas, with both sides alleging the other had endangered national security. The deadline for the Americans to exit Chengdu remains unclear, but AFP reporters saw a worker on a small crane removed a circular US insignia from the front of the consulate, leaving just an American flag flying. The Chengdu mission was also where senior Chinese official Wang Lijun fled in 2012 from his powerful boss Bo Xilai, who was then head of the nearby metropolis Chongqing, and has since been jailed for life for corruption.
- China doesn’t want escalation, but won’t step back immediately: Lt Gen DS Hooda
Lt General DS Hooda, who planned the 2016 surgical strikes into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) post the Uri terror attack, said that China, at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has not come prepared for a full-scale conflict. Lt Gen Hooda added that if that was the case, China would require double or maybe triple the amount of force it has currently brought to the LAC. Lt General DS Hooda and Lt General Rakesh Sharma, two of India’s finest Army officers, came together at India Today’s e-Mind Rocks to spell out what it will take for India to stand up to China. “It is a game plan that China has been following for some time. The areas that China has contacted us in eastern Ladakh are manifestations of a larger game plan which tends to tell the world, and India, that we are ready to take on the world,” Lt Gen Sharma said.