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Stop making wrong remarks: China warns US as defense secretary vows to back Japan in any clash over Senkaku Islands

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BEIJING: China on Saturday warned the United States it was risking instability in Asia after Defense Secretary James Mattis vowed to back Japan in any military clash with Beijing over a disputed island chain.

The Senkaku Islands, known in China as the Diaoyus, are at the centre of a festering row between Tokyo and Beijing, which claims they have been part of Chinese territory for centuries.

“We urge the US side to take a responsible attitude, stop making wrong remarks… and avoid making the issue more complicated and bringing instability to the regional situation”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

Wrapping up a visit to the region, Mattis said the islands were subject to a decades-old treaty between Washington and Tokyo.

“I made clear that our long-standing policy on the Senkaku Islands stands — the US will continue to recognise Japanese administration of the islands,” Mattis told a press conference.

However, Chinese foreign ministry said the US-Japan treaty was a product of the Cold War, and should not affect China’s territorial sovereignty.

Business

Is Uber buying Careem for $3.1b?

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DUBAI: According to the rumors making rounds here today it seems that Uber is about to acquire Careem for $3.1b!

Sources privy to NPTV have insinuated that the deal will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 26th March). Initially Uber will pay $1.4 billion in cash and the rest in notes convertible to Uber shares.

It comes as Uber prepares for its initial public offering — expected next month — which could see the rideshare giant’s value increase to $100 billion.

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Environment

British Shadow Justice Minister on climate change

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BRADFORD: Climate/ecological change is one of the biggest challenges that humanity faces in the modern era. 

British Shadow Minister  Imran Hussain maintains: “With disaster awaiting if we do not make substantial changes to the way that we live our lives, and I was visited recently by school children from Bradford who came to talk to me about their campaign against climate change.

“It’s always positive to see young people get involved in a deeply important issue, and their actions should serve as a wakeup call to the Government that their views must no longer be ignored.

“They are also right to be worried about the kind of planet they will inherit and demand far-reaching action, for if we do not act over the next 12 years, we will forever miss the opportunity to do anything about it.”

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Politics

Egypt-Israel peace treaty lives on in troubled region

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CAIRO: The US-mediated 1979 treaty between Egypt and Israel may only have resulted in a “cold peace” but their ties have survived four decades in a turbulent region, analysts say.

The watershed treaty brought together late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli premier Menachem Begin for a 26th March, 1979 signing ceremony in Washington as a beaming Jimmy Carter, then-US president, looked on. The peace deal, the first ever between Israel and an Arab state, and which cost Sadat his life at the hands of an Islamist extremist, has kept Cairo out of any armed conflict with its neighbour.

The treaty has emerged unscathed from upheavals in Egypt, notably the 2011 revolution that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, proving its “stability”, said Amr al-Shobaki, political analyst with the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. The 40th anniversary comes as armed conflicts roil several countries across the Arab world, from Libya in the far west to Yemen in the south.  It also comes at a time of major US policy changes.

In 2017, President Donald Trump’s administration recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, causing uproar in the Muslim world. He followed up on Friday with a pledge to recognise Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights. Israel seized mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem, Syria’s Golan and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in the 1967 Six-Day War, when it also occupied the West Bank and Gaza. But under the 1979 peace treaty, Israel returned the Sinai to former enemy Egypt.

 

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