Wed, 23 Jun 2021

HONG KONG -- The "offense related property" of Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, an instigator of Hong Kong riots, was frozen on Friday under the national security law in Hong Kong.

John Lee, secretary for security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, issued notices to freeze all the shares of Next Digital Ltd. held by Lai and the property in the local bank accounts of three companies owned by him.

Lai has been charged with multiple accounts of offenses, including collusion with external forces to endanger national security and conspiracy to pervert public justice. (Jimmy Lai-Property-Freeze)

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Friday reaffirmed his country's support to the Afghan peace process for a sustainable political settlement in the neighboring country.

The intra-Afghan negotiations provide a historic opportunity to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan for ending the long-lasting conflict, Qureshi said in a telephonic conversation with his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Hanif Atmar, according to the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan. (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Peace Process)

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HONG KONG -- The national five-year development plan will bring great opportunities to Hong Kong, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam said on Friday.

Speaking at an online meeting on Guangdong-Hong Kong cooperation, Lam said the neighboring province is Hong Kong's most important partner in the mainland and the two places are complementary to each other in pushing forward the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Lam said the 14th Five-Year Plan for national social and economic development supports Hong Kong's role in the development of the greater bay area and will bring enormous opportunities for the two places. (HKSAR Chief Executive-National Development Plan-Opportunities)

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NEW DELHI -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading in villages and rural areas, and appealed to the farming community to take care of sanitation in their residential areas.

Speaking at a virtual event held for disbursing financial support to small and marginal farmers, PM Modi said the pandemic is spreading fast in rural villages.

He hoped that the farmers would protect themselves and families from COVID and ensure all necessary precautions are taken. "Wearing a mask properly and regularly is important," he said. (Indian PM-Farming Community-Appeal)

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TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday announced an expansion of a state of emergency over COVID-19 to Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures.

The government has previously extended the state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto until the end of May while expanding it in Aichi and Fukuoka prefectures.

The emergency state was initially set to be eased on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the government is expanding a quasi-emergency to Gunma, Ishikawa and Kumamoto prefectures, Suga said. (Japan-State Emergency-Extension)

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