At least one person was reported killed and thousands were temporarily without power as Typhoon Maysak smashed into the Korean peninsula on Thursday, bringing heavy rain and lashing winds to areas still recovering from Typhoon Bavi.
The ninth typhoon of the season and the fourth to hit the peninsula this year left about 120,000 households without power across South Korea, officials said.
Flights were cancelled or delayed and downed trees and other debris caused light damage, Yonhap news agency reported.
One person died when winds shattered a window in South Korea’s second-largest city of Busan, which bore the brunt of the storm’s 170 kph (105 mph) winds, Yonhap reported.
The peninsula typically sees only one typhoon a year, but another typhoon, Haishen, is brewing south of Japan and is expected to hit the Korean coast on Sunday or Monday, NASA’s Earth Observatory reported.
A ship carrying 43 crew and nearly 6,000 cattle from New Zealand to China capsized in the wild weather in the East China Sea, according to a surviving crew member.
The Gulf Livestock-one sent a distress call from the west of Amami Oshima island in southwestern Japan on Wednesday as Typhoon Maysak barrelled towards the Korean peninsula.
Some of the areas hardest hit on Thursday were still counting the cost of last week’s Typhoon Bavi and one of the wettest monsoon seasons on record.
Parts of the South Korean resort island of Jeju reported more than 1,000mm (39 inches) of rainfall since Tuesday, according to the weather agency.
North Korea took the brunt of Typhoon Bavi, and for a second week in a row, state TV carried rare live reports of storm surge and flooding, including in the coastal town on Wonsan.
The reports showed a damaged bridge and flooded farmland, while a van with loudspeakers broadcast warnings to residents.
Later in the day, state TV reported that the typhoon warning had been lifted, with no immediate reports of casualties.
North Korea’s agriculture sector is particularly vulnerable to severe weather, and this summer’s storms and floods have raised concerns over the country’s tenuous food situation.
The string of storms are being fuelled by “extremely warm water of the tropical Western Pacific’’, NASA reported.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/1-dies-as-typhoon-maysak-hits-waterlogged-koreas/
UN urges Belarus to grant entry to UN rights expert
Belarus should grant free access to specialised UN experts to monitor human rights issues, including prisons, the UN Human Rights Council urges in a resolution.
In addition to demanding entry for UN Belarus monitor Anais Marin, the Human Rights Council also calls on Belarus to stop using violence, torture and arrests to quash civil rights.
The resolution, which was initiated by European countries says Belarus authorities should start a dialogue with the opposition and civil society.
The resolution was adopted with 23 yes votes, two no votes from Eritrea and Venezuela, and 22 abstentions.
Similarly, Belarusian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, appealed to the UN on Friday for an international monitoring mission to be sent to Belarus to document an ongoing violent police crackdown on her supporters.
“The scope and the brutality of the extensive force used by the regime is in clear violation of all international norms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN,” Tikhanovskaya said in an address to the UN Human Rights Council.
At least 7,000 protesters have been detained in Belarus since a disputed presidential election more than a month ago.
The UN has received 450 reports of torture and other abuse of detainees.
President Alexander Lukashenko, 66, has led Belarus, a former Soviet republic between Russia and EU member state Poland, for more than a quarter-century, tolerating little dissent.
Tikhanovskaya placed second in the Aug. 9 election, according to the disputed official tally.
She says she won and has demanded a new election. There have been protests in Belarus every day since the vote.
“We demand … an international monitoring mission to document the regime’s atrocities,” Tikhanovskaya, 38, told a special meeting of the UN council via video link.
She dismissed the Belarusian leadership’s allegations that, by seeking to intervene in Belarus’ post-election crisis, foreign powers have been meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
“It is very important to recognise that standing up for democratic principles and human rights is not interfering in internal affairs.
“It is a universal question of human dignity,” Tikhanovskaya said.
The UN Human Rights Council held the urgent debate in spite diplomats from Belarus and its close allies trying to prevent reports on violations from being presented at the meeting in Geneva.
“It is vital for the future of Belarus to break these cycles of increasing repression and violence,” Deputy UN Rights Chief Nada al-Nashif said.
“Civil society is a valuable partner, not a threat,” she added.
After al-Nashif’s speech, envoys from Belarus, Russia, Venezuela and China raised a long series of points of order to complain that the UN official had been allowed to speak, and to stop additional reports from a UN rights investigator and from Belarusian civil society representatives.
The Austrian diplomat, who presides over the Human Rights Council, Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, finally issued a ruling to stop these interventions.
Belarusian Ambassador Yury Ambrazevic rejected all accusations voiced in the council, which heard video messages from the foreign ministers of Denmark, Slovakia, Poland, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
“We believe it is not acceptable to use this body here to interfere in the election in any individual country,” Ambrazevic said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ifeyinwa Omowole
WTO leadership race: Okonjo-Iweala, 4 others advance to second round of election
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s candidate aspiring to the position of Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has won the first run of elections and has àlong with four others advanced to the second phase..
The other contestants, who are from Kenya, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the UK, on Friday advanced to the next round of voting after six days of confidential consultation with members.
Amb. David Walker, Chair of the WTO General Council in a briefing on the outcome of the election told the Head of Delegation meeting that the entire organisation’s membership was committed and fully engaged in the consultation process.
“Throughout the six days of consultations it was clear to us that the entire membership is both committed to and fully engaged in this process.
“Members consider all the candidates highly qualified and respected individuals.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the dignified manner in which they, their delegations, and their governments have conducted themselves in this process.
“Their willingness to engage, especially at these challenging times, has been greatly appreciated, and the organisation is in their debt,” Walker said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during the consultations, Walker alongside his co-facilitators in the election process, posed to each delegation one question: “What are your preferences?”
Members then submitted four preferences to the “troika” of ambassadors.
The facilitators are Amb. Dacio Castillo, Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, and Amb. Harald Aspelund, chair of the Trade Policy Review Body.
The consultation process taken by facilitators has been set by guidelines established by the General Council in a 2002 decision.
Based on the guidelines, the key consideration in determining which candidate is best poised to achieve consensus is the “breadth of support” each candidate receives from the members.
Walker said that the second phase of the consultations would begin on Sept. 24 and end on Oct. 6.
“During this time, members will be asked in the confidential consultations to express two preferences.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Coronavirus: Biden says Trump trusted less than Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi
United States Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden said that President Donald Trump Administration’s way of handling the coronavirus outbreak in the United States was one of the reasons he was trusted by fewer foreigners than Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Biden said this during a CNN town hall meeting in the Pennsylvania state.
The United States is set to hold a presidential election on Nov. 3.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I never ever thought I would see such a thoroughly totally irresponsible administration,” Biden said.
“It’s one of the reasons why if you take a look at the Pew Foundation poll — guess what, Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi Jinping are trusted by more people in the world than the president of America.
“And one of the reasons they say is COVID-19.”
According to Biden, not only did the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 cause loss of lives in the United States, but it also caused Washington “to lose [its] influence in ways that are profound.”
The Democrat politician further described China as a “serious competitor” and Russia as an “opponent” to the United States, vowing more sanctions on Moscow in the case if it meddles in the upcoming presidential election.
The United States repeatedly accused Russia of meddling in its political processes, in particular, during the 2016 presidential election. Moscow has consistently denied these allegations.
In 2019, United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller, mandated to investigate the alleged interference, found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
But established that Moscow systematically interfered in the United States elections via two chief methods — social media campaigns and intelligence-backed cyberattacks.
Moscow responded by pointing to the lack of actual evidence to support this assumption.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa
United States democratic senators unveil $350bn funding package to counter China’s rise
Nearly a dozen United States Senate Democrats have sponsored new legislation to fund efforts to counter China’s edge in areas such as manufacturing, technology and science.
“The proposal includes over 350 billion dollars in new funding to synchronise and mobilise all aspects of United States national power,” a release from Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office revealed.
“Sponsored by 11 leading Democrats, the legislation is guided by four pillars: (1) invest in American competitiveness; (2) support American alliances and partners; (3) restore and advance a values-centered foreign policy; and (4) ensure China pays a price for its predatory actions.”
The so-called “America Leads Act,” according to the statement, is needed as a “course correction, after almost four years of destruction under President (Donald) Trump.”
The package aims to make comprehensive investments in United States workers, alliances, and diplomacy “to confront the rise of china.”
The proposal also seeks to “reaffirm America’s strong security commitment in the Indo-Pacific and a forward-deployed posture in the region to ensure that all nations can exercise their rights in the region’s international waters.”
In addition, the senators hope to strengthen trade enforcement across a wide range of areas including intellectual property, supply chains, currency manipulation, and counterfeit goods, the release said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim