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Duterte Berates, Threatens to Kill Corrupt Police on Live TV

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday threatened to kill corrupt police, including those accused of involvement in illegal drugs and other crimes, in an expletives-laden encounter on live TV.

More than 100 policemen, many of them facing administrative and criminal complaints including rape, kidnapping and robbery, were escorted to the presidential palace to meet Duterte, police officials said.

The national police, which Duterte once called “corrupt to the core,” have been undergoing an internal cleansing since they were removed twice from the president’s crackdown on illegal drugs last year due to reports of abuses. Duterte later allowed them to rejoin drug raids, partly because the small lead anti-narcotics agency lacks personnel and firepower to quell the drug menace.

“If you’ll stay like this, son of a bitch, I will really kill you,” Duterte told the policemen in the dressing-down broadcast by local TV networks.

The cases of some of the policemen will be reviewed, but Duterte warned, “I have a special unit which will watch you for life and if you commit even a small mistake, I’ll ask that you be killed.”

Addressing the policemen’s families, Duterte said, “If these sons of bitches die, don’t come to us yelling `human rights, due process’ because I warned you already.”

Such public threats, along with the more than 4,500 mostly poor drug suspects who have been killed in gunbattles with police under Duterte’s anti-drug crackdown, have triggered alarm by Western governments and human rights watchdogs since he rose to power in mid-2016.

Duterte has vowed to press his campaign until the last day of his six-year term, often declaring that he is ready to go to jail, although he denies sanctioning extrajudicial killings. Police say nearly 150,000 drug suspects have been arrested and dozens of law enforcers have been killed in drug raids, proving the danger of battling illegal drugs, which remain a major problem.

The Bureau of Customs and anti-drugs authorities announced Tuesday night the discovery of about half a ton (1,100 pounds) of methamphetamine, locally called shabu, concealed in two steel cylinders in two abandoned container vans at Manila’s international container port in one of the largest drug seizures under Duterte.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino said the vans came from Malaysia, which a drug syndicate may be using as a transhipment point, but were never claimed at the Manila port because of stricter screenings.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena warned that customs personnel linked to drug traffickers would eventually be arrested. “The fact that this did not get through this time is an indication that many no longer want to cooperate with the drug syndicates,” he told reporters.

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Chinese Car Makers Poised to Fill Gap in Iranian Market as US Sanctions Bite

China appears poised to fill the gap in Iran left by French automakers who closed their Iranian operations before the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

The Chinese move could open yet another dispute between Washington and Beijing, adding to the acrimony between the two, which are locked in an escalating trade dispute.

European automakers

French automaker Renault, which had an eight percent share of the Iranian automotive market, the 12th largest in the World, announced last month that it would join more than 100 international companies that have pulled out of Iran to comply with U.S. sanctions, reimposed beginning Tuesday, despite the fact Renault has no operations in the United States.

Peugeot announced its departure in June, it had a 34 percent market share in Iran, selling about 500,000 cars a year.

German automaker Daimler has also announced it has “suspended [its] activities in Iran, which were anyway very limited, until further notice according to applicable sanctions.”

President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, in which Tehran agreed to nuclear curbs in return for sanctions relief, has paved the way for the restoration of unilateral American economic penalties on Iran beginning Tuesday.

The U.S. sanctions come in two phases, the next phase kicks in on November 4. While ratcheting up pressure on Tehran, the sanctions are worsening rifts with European allies and other world powers.

First phase sanctions

The first phase of U.S. sanctions prohibit any transactions with Iran involving dollar bank notes, gold, precious metals, aluminum, steel, commercial passenger aircraft, shipping and Iranian seaports. The Trump administration blames Iran for fomenting instability in the Middle East and encouraging terrorism.

In a statement, Monday Trump repeated his description of the 2015 nuclear deal as a “horrible, one sided” agreement. He said the Iranian government “faces a choice: Either change its threatening, destabilizing behavior and reintegrate with the global economy, or continue down a path of economic isolation.”

“For Renault to explicitly express their desire to comply with U.S. law, even though they do not have any existing American operations, suggests that even the prospect of future U.S. business is far more enticing than anything they currently have in Iran,” said David Ibsen of United Against Nuclear Iran, an advocacy group chaired by former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman.

Renault has said it will increase operations in Africa to try to offset what it loses by exiting Iran.

State-owned and private auto companies currently assembling or importing Chinese models have a nearly 10 percent share of the Iranian market, which analysts say will likely expand rapidly in the wake of the French departure. Chinese enterprises currently command a 50 percent share of auto parts imported into Iran.

China’s strategy

China has made no formal announcement of an intention to expand its auto trade in Iran. But the al-Monitor news site reported Iran Khodro, the country’s largest car manufacturer and assembler of foreign cars, recently told its salesmen to promote to customers China’s H30 Cross, made by Dongfeng Fengshen, as a replacement for Renault’s Tondar 90.

Other Chinese car manufacturers present in Iran include Chery and Brilliance, whose H330, assembled in Iran by Saipa, is among the top 10 best-selling cars in the country.

China’s ambassador to Tehran, Pang Sen, met Monday with influential lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerd and reiterated Beijing’s opposition to U.S. sanctions on Iran. According to the Tehran Times, the Chinese envoy said closer cooperation between Tehran and Beijing would help neutralize the impact of the sanctions.

Expected impact

In a briefing for reporters Monday in Washington, senior U.S. administration officials didn’t directly address China’s auto trade with Iran, but asked specifically about China, they said they remained confident U.S. diplomatic and economic pressure on Beijing would have an impact and already had, they suggested, considering the dire economic plight Iran has found itself in since the reimposition of sanctions was announced.

“If the sanctions were not going to be effective, I don’t think you would have seen the trajectory of Iran’s economy over the last 90 days. I mean, it would have been the opposite, if China were going to rescue them,” said one of the officials, who undertook the briefing on the conditions of anonymity.

But China has rebuffed President Trump’s efforts to persuade Beijing to cut Iranian oil imports, Bloomberg reported four days ago. But U.S. officials said the Chinese had agreed not to increase purchases of Iranian crude, although last month China lifted monthly oil imports from the country by 26 percent. China is the world’s top crude oil buyer and Iran’s biggest customer.

 

 

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US Accuses North Korea of Not Moving Toward Denuclearization

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton accused North Korea Tuesday of failing to move ahead with denuclearization pledged by Pyongyang leader Kim Jong Un at his Singapore summit in June with U.S. President Donald Trump.

“What we really need is not more rhetoric,” Bolton said in an interview on Fox News. “What we need is performance from North Korea on denuclearization.”

He said that since the summit, North Korea “has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize.”

Bolton said the U.S. is not considering relaxation of its economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

The key White House official said that Trump, in a recent letter to Kim, proposed sending U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo back to the North Korean capital for further talks. Trump also said he was willing to hold a second summit with Kim.

It was the second time in three days that Bolton expressed irritation at Pyongyang’s slow moves in implementing Kim’s vague pledge to Trump to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. His attacks came as U.S. news reports said North Korea was continuing to build missiles and produce plutonium.

‘Waiting to see evidence’

On Sunday, in another interview on Fox, Bolton said that “there’s nobody” in Trump’s administration that is “starry-eyed about the prospects of North Korea actually denuclearizing.”

He said the “point may well come” when the U.S. concludes that Kim does not intend to give up his country’s nuclear weapons.

Bolton said Trump is giving Kim ample time to move toward denuclearization, which Trump administration officials are hopeful of completing by the end of the president’s first term in the White House in early 2021.

“The president is giving Kim Jong Un a master class on how to hold a door open for somebody,” Bolton said, “and if the North Koreans can’t figure out how to walk through it, even the president’s fiercest critics will not be able to say it’s because he didn’t open it wide enough.”

The national security adviser said, “If they make a strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons, they can do it within a year. We are waiting to see evidence that in fact that strategic decision has been made.”

 

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Tokyo 2020 to Boost Security With Facial Recognition System

Tokyo 2020 will be the first Olympics to use facial recognition technology to increase security around all venues, the organizers announced on Tuesday.

Games organizers have linked up with Japanese telecommunications and information technology giant NEC to develop the first system of this kind to be implemented at an Olympics.

The technology, which was demonstrated to the media at an event in the Japanese capital, will use IC chips within identification cards to automatically verify the identity of those entering over 40 venues.

More than 300,000 athletes and Games staff will have to submit photographs to a database before the Olympics start in July 2020.

“Every time they enter the facility, they have to do a security check,” explained Tokyo 2020’s head of security Tsuyoshi Iwashita. “Tokyo’s venues doesn’t always have enough space for the security check or even space to wait for the security check. When the events are happening, we expect many people to come and the weather will be very hot. This is why we introduced this facial recognition.”

The system will not be aimed at spectators and will instead concentrate on strengthening security and decreasing waiting times for athletes.

“More than 40 facilities, including the main stadium, International Broadcast Centre, the Olympic village and so on, will have the facial recognition system,” said NEC Senior Vice President Masaaki Suganuma. “Athletes, Games staff, volunteers and the media will have this recognition.”

NEC said they tested the technology during the Rio 2016 Olympics and that the technology has already been implemented in various locations, including airports.

During the demonstration to media, the technology correctly identified a string of people, including those in wheelchairs and of varying heights, which is a key feature of NEC’s system.

Suanuma said: “99.7 percent of the time, the face is recognized by the system correctly. “This number will not change according to nationality or if big or small.”

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Кількість постраждалих після отруєння в готелі на Львівщині зросла до 30 – Держпродспоживслужба

Кількість постраждалих після отруєння в готелі на Львівщині зросла до 30, серед них 29 дітей, повідомило управління Держпродспоживслужби у Львівській області дані на 8:00 7 серпня.

«До Львівської обласної інфекційної клінічної лікарні з попередніми діагнозами «гостра кишкова інфекція», «харчова токсикоінфекція» госпіталізовано 25 осіб, з них 24 дітей, 5 дітей відмовилось від госпіталізації і знаходяться на амбулаторному лікуванні», – повідомили у відомстві.

За даними Держпродспоживслужби, діти прибули на відпочинок з міста Шепетівка Хмельницької області. При зборі епіданамнезу експерти встановили, що постраждалі вживали курячі яйця, млинці, борщ зі сметаною та молочну продукцію.

Пізно увечері 6 серпня до Львівської обласної інфекційної лікарні доправили 16 підлітків та одного дорослого з ознаками харчового отруєння. Пізніше в поліції повідомили про 27 постраждалих. Правоохоронці відкрили кримінальне провадження за статтею про порушення правил боротьби з епідеміями.

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Rescue Operations Continue After Powerful Indonesia Quake

Search and rescue operations are continuing on Indonesian resort islands following Sunday’s powerful earthquake that has killed more than 100 people.   

Residents who lost their homes sheltered in makeshift tents while most tourists were able to evacuate on Monday.

Sunday’s quake, recorded at magnitude 6.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey (revised down from 7.0), struck at a depth of 10.5 kilometers in the northern part of Lombok island, triggering a brief tsunami warning. It was also felt on the neighboring Gili islands as well as Bali, Sumbawa and parts of East Java.

Much of the evacuation efforts were focused on the tiny Gili islands, three vacation islands near Lombok. Tourists lined up on the small beaches Monday waiting for the boats that would take them to the larger Lombok island.  

 

Officials said more than 2,000 people were evacuated from the Gili islands on Monday.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the country’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency, told reporters Monday that most of those killed and injured were on the northern side of Lombok, which sustained massive damage.  

 

Officials said most of the victims were killed by falling rubble, and say more than 200 people have been seriously injured. They say thousands of houses were damaged in the quake.

Nugroho says the death toll is expected to rise as search and rescue crews reach more affected areas. He said no foreign tourists are among the dead.

 

Electricity was knocked out in several parts of the city and patients were evacuated from the main hospital.

Singapore Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was in the Lombok town of Mataram at the time of the quake, posted pictures of the destruction on his Facebook page and said his 10th-floor hotel room shook violently and walls cracked.

“It was quite impossible to stand up. Heard screams,” he wrote. “Came out, and made my way down a staircase, while building was still shaking. Power went out for a while. Lots of cracks, fallen doors.”

Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, was also on Lombok. He said he was knocked to the floor of his room on the 12th floor of a hotel.

Mutya Aryani, a local resident in Sumbawa, told VOA by phone, “Most of people were at the mosque when the earthquake happened. People ran to the street and a large field outside the mosque. We’re still traumatized by the previous earthquake a few days ago, which was also quite large.”

Last week, 17 people were killed when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Lombok.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for its pristine beaches and mountains.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Ocean Basin. In December 2004, a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

VOA’s Indonesian Service contributed to this report.

 

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Стан Сенцова погіршується – адвокат

У Сенцова сильно знизився гемоглобін, що призвело до анемії, а також дуже низький пульс, близько 40 ударів на хвилину – адвокат