A senior Palestinian official on Tuesday says Palestine is seeking to set a date for general elections in the Palestinian territories by the end of the year, state-run Palestine Television reported.
“Holding the presidential and parliamentary elections in Palestine is the main entry point for achieving an internal Palestinian reconciliation,” said Fatah party’s Central Committee Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub.
Rajoub said that reaching understanding with the Islamic Hamas movement and other factions “would be declared soon.”
On Sept. 3, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas chaired an online video meeting with leaders and secretary generals of 14 Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah.
In the meeting, they agreed that gaining Palestinian unity and ending more than 13 years of internal division, mainly between Hamas and Fatah, is the only way to topple the Israeli annexation plan and the United States deal of the century.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Silas Nwoha
NBA-China engagement is positive for United States – Commissioner
The NBA has built a reputation as the most socially progressive of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and in the last year has come under pressure to cut its ties with China over its alleged human rights abuses.
“Somebody could say given the system of government in China you, the NBA, should make a decision not to operate there,” Silver said in an interview.
“I would only say that at the end of the day, I think those are decisions for our government in terms of where American business should operate.
“I continue to believe that the people-to-people exchanges we’re seeing by playing in China are positive, and it’s helping. It helps cultures learn about each other. It allows us to export sort of American values to China.”
The NBA’s previously harmonious relationship with the Chinese government suffered a major setback last October when Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey tweeted his support for Hong Kong protesters.
The league lost millions of dollars in sponsorships over the row and its games were taken off state broadcaster CCTV, which dominates television sports coverage in China.
“We could have decided because they took us off Chinese Central Television (CCTV) that we should … take our ball and go home and stop operating there,” Silver added.
“The fact is our games continue to be streamed … and we’ve continued in there. At least that’s my view, that it’s been net positive to not move to disengagement.”
In July, the NBA said it was re-evaluating its training programme in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang.
Silver said the NBA’s relationship with the world’s most populous nation goes back to the late 1970s, when China was all but closed to American businesses.
“As the years have gone on, the NBA has increased its presence in China, but always until very recent history at the encouragement of the State Department, of various administrations, again, from both sides of the aisle,” Silver said.
“It was viewed as a really positive thing that we were exporting American values to China through the NBA.”
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara
Egyptian president warns forces loyal to GNA against crossing ‘Red Line’ in Libya
“Egypt is bent on supporting Libyans to rid their country of armed militias and terrorist organisations and putting an end to the blatant interference of some regional parties (in Libya).
“As we have declared before and reiterate today, any breach to the line extending between the towns of Sirte and Jufra, previously demarcated as a red line, will be furiously faced by Egypt in defense of its people and its national security,” Sisi said in his address late on Tuesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
The president has renewed the call on Libya’s warring parties to find a comprehensive political solution to the fatal armed confrontation in the North African country under UN auspices.
According to the president, the settlement should be based on the 2015 Skhirat Agreement, the results of the Berlin conference, held in January of this year, and the Cairo Declaration, also known as the Cairo initiative.
The Cairo initiative was presented by Egypt in early summer of 2020 and, among other matters, includes a complete ceasefire in Libya starting on June 8, and the terms for a political solution.
The initiative was supported by Russia, the United States and several Arab countries, but rejected by Turkey and its ally, the GNA.
Sisi had previously claimed that Cairo would not stand idle if the GNA’s forces crossed the “red line” — by entering the city of Sirte — and would not allow destabilization in eastern Libya, which is under the control of the Tobruk-based parliament and the LNA.
On July 20, the Egyptian parliament unanimously approved the possible dispatch of troops to carry out military operations outside the country.
It came after Sisi stated that his country had an internationally legitimate right to intervene in Libya and come to the aid of the eastern administration.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Olympics: Japan to require COVID-19 tests for athletes, draft shows
Organisers of next year’s delayed Olympic Games will require coronavirus tests of foreign athletes upon their arrival in Japan, draft measures released on Wednesday show.
Japanese athletes and other participants living in Japan will face the same requirements, according to the measures, which are still being discussed.
Although foreign athletes and other participants will not have to undergo a two-week quarantine period, virus tests will be required on arrival and departure, under the plan.
Organisers also propose to limit travel within Japan for athletes, who will be restricted to such places as towns hosting national delegations and training sites.
The pandemic, which has infected more than 31.3 million people and killed about 964,000 worldwide, has prompted hard questions about the viability of next year’s Games, even as new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has emphasised their importance.
Japan has avoided the kind of explosive outbreak suffered by nations such as the United States, India and Brazil, with roughly 80,000 infections and about 1,500 deaths to date.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Ginsburg movies ‘RBG’ and ‘On the Basis of Sex’ re-released to support women’s rights
Two films about late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are being re-released in United States movie theatres with proceeds going to support women’s rights groups, producers said on Tuesday.
Documentary “RBG,” which cemented Ginsburg’s unlikely status as a pop culture hero, and biographical movie “On the Basis of Sex,” both from 2018, will be back in movie theatres on Friday and available on demand, Focus Features and Magnolia Pictures said.
The film companies said they would donate their net proceeds from the re-release to the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation is support of their Women’s Rights Project, which was co-founded by Ginsburg in 1972.
Ginsburg, a stalwart liberal and feminist icon, died on Friday at age 87, prompting makeshift memorials around the country and upending November elections around the political battle over her successor.
“These films highlight only a small portion of her legacy to screen, but her vast impact on our country goes far beyond them.
“We hope that moviegoers are re-inspired by her passion, her courage and take that back into the world,” Focus Features and Magnolia Pictures said in a joint statement.
“On the Basis of Sex,” starred Felicity Jones in the story of Ginsburg’s early career and her personal and legal struggles for equal rights.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)