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Fire in commercial building in India leaves dozens dead

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At least 27 people have died and many others feared trapped after a massive fire broke out in a commercial building, officials say.

A massive fire in a four-storey commercial building in the Indian capital has killed at least 27 people and left several injured.

Dozens of people have been rescued from the building, which contains mainly shops, fire department officials said on Friday. The building is located in the Mundka area in western New Delhi.

The cause of the fire and other details were not immediately available.

More than 20 fire engines were trying to extinguish the blaze.

“Distressed by the tragic fire accident at a building near Mundka Metro Station in Delhi. My condolences to the bereaved families. I wish for the speedy recovery of the injured,” India’s President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.

Fires are common in India, where building laws and safety norms are often flouted by builders and residents.

In 2019, a fire caused by an electrical short circuit engulfed a building in New Delhi and killed 43 people.

READ MORE: South Asia wilts in heat as India rubbish mountain burns

Source: TRTWorld

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UN Security Council fails to adopt resolution on DPRK sanctions

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The draft, which won the approval of 13 members of the Security Council, was vetoed by China and Russia.

The UN Security Council on Thursday failed to adopt a resolution aimed to impose new sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The draft, which won the approval of 13 members of the Security Council, was vetoed by China and Russia.

While explaining China’s vote, Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said, “It is the consistent belief of China that the Security Council resolutions on the DPRK are an integral whole and should be implemented in a comprehensive, complete, and accurate manner. The countries concerned should not place one-sided emphasis on the implementation of sanctions alone, but should also work to promote a political solution and ease sanctions where appropriate.”

In the current situation, additional sanctions against the DPRK will not help resolve the problem, but only lead to more negative effects and escalation of confrontation, Zhang said, adding that additional sanctions will also have a greater humanitarian impact, especially against the backdrop of emerging COVID-19 in the country.

China attaches great importance to the unity and cooperation of the Council. Under the current circumstances, the Council should consider what is really impeding peace and stability on the peninsula, and should be concerned about the real livelihood difficulties facing the DPRK people, so as to inject impetus to resolving the peninsula issue, he said.

“We call on the Security Council to play an active role in providing humanitarian and anti-epidemic assistance to the DPRK, rather than creating obstacles,” he said.

“Regrettably, China’s reasonable proposal was rejected. Under these circumstances, we had no choice but to vote against the draft resolution,” he noted.

Noting that the situation on the peninsula is at a dangerous juncture, Zhang said China once again calls on all parties to exercise calm and restraint, and calls on the U.S. side to seriously reflect on its policy towards the DPRK, adhere to the general direction of political settlement, take meaningful actions to respond to the legitimate and reasonable concerns of the DPRK, and create conditions for the de-escalation of the situation and the resumption of dialogue and negotiations.

China will continue to play a constructive role in maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and realizing its denuclearization, he added.

Passing a UN draft resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no opposition by either Russia, China, France, Britain or the United States.

Source: Xinhua

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Biden to mark second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd

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U.S. President Joe Biden will mark the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd on Wednesday.

A ceremony symbolizing reconciliation will be held in one of the White House’s state rooms, with families of victims of police violence alongside representatives of the police.

Floyd, an African-American, was murdered by a police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes during an arrest on May 25, 2020. His death sparked protests against racism and police brutality that spread across the United States and globally.

Biden will also sign an executive order aimed at promoting accountability and tightening standards among federal law enforcement.

The text, which has taken months to work out, provides for a series of measures that will concern federal law enforcement agencies.

The executive order establishes a national database of police misconduct, mandates the use of body-worn cameras, and bans, in all but the most exceptional of cases, the use of chokeholds and carotid restraints.

Source: CGTN

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Indian police arrest Kashmiris protesting against Malik’s sentencing

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At least 10 youths were arrested for protesting against a court’s decision to sentence Mohammed Yasin Malik, a prominent Kashmiri pro-independence leader, to life in prison.

Police in India-administered Kashmir have arrested at least 10 people during overnight raids following an anti-India protest that erupted as a court sentenced a prominent Kashmiri pro-independence leader to life in prison.

Thursday’s protest was followed by a clash between dozens of youths and government forces that broke out after the sentencing on Wednesday of Mohammed Yasin Malik.

Malik, 56, is the chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which advocates independence on both sides of Kashmir.

Malik was arrested in 2019 and was convicted last week on charges of committing “terrorist acts”, illegally raising funds, and criminal conspiracy and sedition.

The youths were arrested for “anti-national sloganeering & stone pelting outside home of Yasin Malik,” police wrote in a tweet. They said more people were being identified and would be arrested soon.

Police also tweeted a picture of the arrested standing in a row holding their ears with both hands, in an act that is seen as a form of public humiliation and a way of expressing remorse.

READ MORE: India jails Kashmir independence leader for life in ‘terror funding’ case

Growing tensions

Making Kashmiri residents hold their earlobes or do sit-ups on the roadside was common in the 1990s, when Indian government forces sought to humiliate people and dissuade them from supporting armed rebels fighting Indian rule in the Himalayan territory.

However, in recent years such practices have largely stopped as a form of punishment.

“The main instigators of this hooliganism will be booked under PSA,” the police tweet said, referring to the Public Safety Act, a harsh law that allows officials to imprison anyone for up to two years without trial.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since British colonialists granted it independence in 1947.

Both countries claim the region in its entirety and have fought two wars over its control.

READ MORE: Pakistan says India implementing ‘racist policy’ in Kashmir

Source: TRT World 

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