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Senior diplomats from eight countries to UN Geneva office visits Xinjiang

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BEIJING: Senior diplomats from permanent missions of eight countries to the United Nations Office at Geneva will pay a visit to northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from Saturday to Tuesday.

Those diplomats, from Pakistan, Venezuela, Cuba, Egypt, Cambodia, Russia, Senegal, and Belarus, are visiting at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Global Times reported on Saturday.

During talks with the delegation, Jiang Jianguo, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that since the 1990s, the “three evil forces” — terrorism, extremism, and separatism — have organized and conducted thousands of violent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, causing casualties and injuries of people and substantial property damage.

Based on international anti-terrorism experience and its own reality, Xinjiang has made obvious progress in recent years by means including setting up vocational education and training centres, Jiang said, adding that people’s sense of gain, happiness and security have been greatly lifted.

Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said when holding talks with the delegation that the world is faced with rising instability, uncertainty and insecurity, thus multilateralism should be insisted on.

All parties should respect other countries’ own human rights development paths, jointly oppose supremacy of human rights and promote the healthy development of the human rights causes in the world, Le said.

Members of the visiting delegation spoke highly of China’s development paths, concepts and achievements.

They also expressed willingness to make joint efforts with China to promote all parties to treat various kinds of human rights issues equally and prevent the issue from being politicized.

 

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Record number of US black women graduating from West Point

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WASHINGTON: They pose proudly in uniform, swords in hand: 34 young black women are set to graduate from West Point on Saturday, a record for the prestigious US military academy.

It is not the only record for the class of 2019: of the 985 cadets who have completed their four-year training, 221 are women.

“The strength of our Army lies within the diversity of its people and @WestPoint_USMA continues to prepare our future leaders to lead the modern #Soldier,” the US Army said on its Twitter account.

“Nothing standard-wise has changed, it’s just a concerted effort to broaden the people applying,” said academy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Ophardt.

“Our last true integration was in 1980 when the first group of women graduated from the Academy. Since then, we had a diverse pool, but not what we wanted,” he said.

According to data released by West Point, the class of 2019 includes 110 African Americans (11 percent), 79 Asians or Pacific Islanders (eight percent), 88 Hispanics (nine percent) and seven Native Americans (0.7 percent).

One of the proud graduates-to-be, Tiffany Welch Baker, this week told the NBC’s Today show that she wanted to be a role model.

“I hope those girls can see themselves in us,” she said. “I want these little black girls to say hey, I can do it too! It is possible for me.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Iran FM: US troop boost ‘threat to international peace’

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TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday a US decision to deploy 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East is a “threat to international peace,” state media reported.

“Increased US presence in our region is very dangerous and a threat to international peace and security and must be confronted,” Zarif said while talking to newsmen before heading home from a visit to Pakistan.

Washington says the reinforcements, which come after the deployment earlier this month of an aircraft carrier task force, B-52 bombers, an amphibious assault ship and a missile defence system, are in response to “campaign” of recent attacks approved by Iran’s top leadership.

“Americans make such claims to justify their hostile policies and to create tension in the Persian Gulf,” Zarif said.

The United States this month ended the last exemptions it had granted from sweeping unilateral sanctions it reimposed after abandoning a landmark 2015 nuclear between major powers and Iran in May last year.

The move dealt a heavy new blow to Iran’s already reeling economy as even vocal critics of the renewed sanctions, like Turkey, announced they had stopped buying Iranian oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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US military helicopter destroyed in Afghanistan ‘hard landing’

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KABUL: Passengers and crew aboard a US military helicopter were injured when the chopper they were travelling in was destroyed during a “hard landing” in Afghanistan, a US official said Saturday.

According to Colonel David Butler, a spokesman for US Forces Afghanistan, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter “hit the ground hard on the way to drop passengers off” during a mission in Helmand province.

Butler said the helicopter had been totally destroyed during the landing.

“Both Afghan and US personnel were injured but all are stable and expected to recover,” he said.

“No hostile fire or enemy contact involved.”

 

 

 

 

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