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US states hit pause on coronavirus reopening: Live updates |NationalTribune.com

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the pandemic is “not even close to being over” and while there had been some progress initially, it was “actually speeding up”.  US states are pausing reopening plans amid a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalisations. Among the states stepping back is California, which reported a…

US states hit pause on coronavirus reopening: Live updates |NationalTribune.com

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the pandemic is “not even close to being over” and while there had been some progress initially, it was “actually speeding up”. 
US states are pausing reopening plans amid a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalisations. Among the states stepping back is California, which reported a record surge in COVID-19 on Monday.
More than 10.2 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, more than 5.2 million have recovered, and more than 504,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates.
Tuesday, June 30
05:10 GMT – Thailand reports no local cases of coronavirus for 36th day
Thailand has reported no locally-transmitted cases of coronavirus for the 36th day as a state of emergency introduced to cope with the pandemic was due to expire on Tuesday.
The country reported two new cases, both in Thais recently returned from Qatar. The two are in state quarantine.
04:40 GMT – UN warns of coronavirus setback on tackling child marriage
The UN is warning that the pandemic is reversing progress to tackle child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). 
The UNFPA, the UN’s reproductive and sexual health agency, says an extra 13 million girls could be married off and two million more endure FGM in the next decade because of disruption caused by the coronavirus.
“The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many girls are now at risk,” UNFPA head Natasha Kanem said at the launch of a report into the “silent and endemic crisis” of harmful practices against girls and women. 

#AJOPINION: ‘FGM kills girls, women. Even if we survive it

03:55 GMT – MPs warn on Thailand ‘state of emergency’ extension
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights has urged Thailand not to extend the state of emergency it imposed to tackle the coronavirus.
Maria Chin Abdullah, a Malaysian MP and APHR member, says the country has brought its daily number of coronavirus cases under control, and with almost all restrictions lifted, has “no reason” to justify emergency powers. 
“ASEAN has witnessed a worrying backslide of fundamental freedoms since the pandemic began, and we must remain vigilant to any moves that appear aimed at strengthening a government’s hold on power and undermining democracies,” Chin Abdullah said in a statement. “Thailand must lift the emergency decree immediately, continue its fight against the pandemic within the usual power structure, and focus on developing an economy that closes the glaring inequalities that this virus has exposed.” 
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has ten members including Thailand.
03:25 GMT – China reports 19 new COVID-19 cases, 7 in Beijing
China’s National Health Commission says the country had 19 new cases of coronavirus up to midnight on June 29, compared with 12 the day before.
Seven of the new cases were in Beijing, where a mass testing campaign is underway in the wake of an outbreak that began in the capital’s main wholesale food market on June 11.

COVID-19: The Beginning of a Pandemic | Between Us

02:45 GMT – Los Angeles officials warn hospitals could be overwhelmed
Los Angeles is becoming the new coronavirus hotspot in the US.
California announced a record jump of 7,418 new cases on Monday with the number in LA, the second-biggest city in the US, exceeding more than 100,000 despite strict curbs on nightlife and a requirement to wear masks in all public areas.
“The alarming increase in cases, positivity rates and hospitalisations signals that we, as a community, need to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said in a statement.
“Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our healthcare system and seeing even more devastating illness and death.”
02:30 GMT – South Australia cancels plan to reopen domestic borders
The state of South Australia has cancelled plans to reopen its borders to interstate travellers from neighbouring Victoria after a spike in coronavirus cases there.
Restrictions were supposed to be removed on July 20.
Victoria reported 75 new cases of coronavirus on Monday. It has yet to release numbers for Tuesday.
02:00 GMT – India’s first COVID-19 vaccine approved for human trials
Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine has secured regulatory approval for human trials.
Phase I and II clinical trials for Covaxin, India’s first domestic candidate for a vaccine, will begin in July. 
Read more on that story here. 
00:55 GMT – Los Angeles to close beaches for July 4 holiday weekend
Los Angeles is to close its beaches for the July 4 holiday weekend after reporting a record one-day rise in cases.
People usually flock to the seaside during the holiday, which marks US Independence Day.
Officials said it was too much of a risk allowing the beaches to remain open. 

Due to rising #COVID19 cases all @CountyofLA beaches will be closing again temporarily this weekend, July 3rd through 6th. We had almost 3,000 reported cases just today. We cannot risk having crowds at the beach this holiday weekend.
— Janice Hahn (@SupJaniceHahn) June 29, 2020

00:00 GMT – Arizona closes bars, gyms and cinemas
The governor of the US state of Arizona has told bars, cinemas, gyms, water parks and nightclubs they have to close again.
Doug Ducey says the closures are necessary after coronavirus cases and hospitalisations reached new highs over the weekend. 
Ducey expects the numbers to get worse.
“We simply cannot let up,” he told a press briefing. “We’re not going back to normal anytime soon.”

23:30 GMT – Researchers find new swine flu with pandemic potential 
Researchers have discovered a new type of swine flu that has the potential to cause a pandemic, according to a study published in the US science journal PNAS.
The G4 flu is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that was behind the pandemic in 2009.
G4 has “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans,” the researchers wrote.
They added that the G4 type was already predominant in pigs and that control of the infection in pigs and close monitoring of people working with the animals should be “urgently implemented”.
The peer-reviewed study was authored by academics at the China Agricultural University, Shandong Agricultural University, Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the University of Nottingham. 
Read more on their findings here. 

Source: Al Jazeera 

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read the updates from yesterday (June 29) here.
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COVID-19: US passes ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll |NationalTribune.com

Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN,…

COVID-19: US passes ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll |NationalTribune.com

Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN, Qatar emir questions world inaction on Israeli occupationQatar’s leader says Israel continues to carry out ‘flagrant violation of international resolutions’.Lebanon: Hezbollah arms depot blast caused by ‘technical error’Lebanon’s official news agency said explosion took place in southern village of Ein Qana, about 50km south of Beirut.
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Iran says ‘internal agents’ may be responsible for Natanz blast |NationalTribune.com

Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year. On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the…

Iran says ‘internal agents’ may be responsible for Natanz blast |NationalTribune.com

Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year.
On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the roof to collapse and parts of the building were blackened by the blaze.
“One of the strong theories is based on internal agents being involved in the incident,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a news conference, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).

“The issue is being seriously reviewed by the country’s security organisations and we will announce the results after things are clear.”
It is the first time an Iranian official specifically pointed to the possibility of an inside job for the blast.
In late August, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed the damage to the facility was the result of “sabotage”.
“But how this explosion took place and with what materials … will be announced by security officials in due course,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at the time, citing “security reasons” for not disclosing further information.
‘Sabotage is certain’
In early September, Kamalvandi announced Natanz saboteurs “have been identified” but refrained from discussing further details, including whether internal agents were complicit.
On Tuesday, Rabiei also reiterated that “sabotage is certain” but the incident still needs to be investigated due to its complexities.
The desert Natanz site, much of which is underground, is one of several Iranian facilities regularly monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.
Following the explosion, international media reports indicated Israel may have been behind the attack. Israel has been deliberately vague, neither confirming nor denying involvement while stressing the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.

“Everyone can suspect us in everything and all the time, but I don’t think that’s correct,” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said days after the attack.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also said “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear capabilities”, adding to that end, “We take actions that are better left unsaid.”
IAEA-Iran relations
September’s announcement that Iran knows the saboteurs behind the Natanz explosion came one week after IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visited the country.
The trip was successful, leading to Iran granting access to two suspected former nuclear sites that the UN watchdog wished to inspect.
“In this present context, based on analysis of available information to the IAEA, the IAEA does not have further questions to Iran and further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran,” the IAEA and Iranian officials said in a joint statement following the visit.
In a speech during the 64th session of the General Conference of the IAEA on Monday, the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi referred to the Natanz incident.

“These malicious acts need to be condemned by the agency and member states,” he said via video conference, adding “Iran reserves its rights to protect its facilities and take necessary actions against any threat as appropriate.”
Salehi also urged the UN watchdog not to compromise its “impartiality, independence and professionalism”.
Iran, UN and the United States are locked in a major disagreement centred around the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, which US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned in May 2018.
The US on Sunday declared it reinstated all UN sanctions on Iran, an announcement that was roundly rejected by the United Nations Security Council as lacking legal basis.
The US is trying to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the nuclear deal.
Iran, which has always maintained it never pursued nuclear weapons, accepted the nuclear deal that removed all UN sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The US reneged on the deal, unilaterally imposing a harsh campaign of sanctions that have hit almost all the productive sectors of the Iranian economy. US sanctions have also targeted Iranian officials and organisations.
In response, starting exactly one year after US sanctions were imposed and other parties failed to guarantee economic benefits promised Iran under the deal, Iran started gradually scaling back its nuclear commitments.

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Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals |NationalTribune.com

Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel. Palestinians see the deals that the United…

Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals |NationalTribune.com

Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel.
Palestinians see the deals that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.
Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn nations breaking ranks and normalising relations with Israel.
Palestine was supposed to chair Arab League meetings for the next six months, but Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a news conference in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that it no longer wanted the position.
“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council [of foreign ministers] at its current session. There is no honour in seeing Arabs rush towards normalisation during its presidency,” Maliki said.
In his remarks, he did not specifically name the UAE and Bahrain, Gulf Arab countries that share with Israel concern over Iran. He said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit had been informed of the Palestinian decision.

Palestinians rally against Bahrain-Israel normalisation

The Palestinian leadership wants an independent state based on the de facto borders before the 1967 war, in which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and annexed East Jerusalem.
Arab countries have long called for Israel’s withdrawal from illegally occupied land, a just solution for Palestinian refugees and a settlement that leads to the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state, in exchange for establishing ties with it.
In a new move addressing internal Palestinian divisions, officials from West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Gaza-based Hamas movement were due to hold reconciliation talks in Turkey on Tuesday.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah forces during a brief round of fighting. Differences over power-sharing have delayed implementation of unity deals agreed since then.
Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies
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