Don't be jealous over India-China ties, Chinese daily tells USBEIJING: As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made a "successful" visit to India despite recent border stand off, an influential state-run daily here took a dig at US saying Washington should not feel "jealous" over close Sino-Indian ties.
The ruling Communist Party's mouthpiece 'People's Daily' also said India would not harm its ties with China to further US' strategic interests.
"Li Keqiang's India visit will promote the two countries strategic partnership to a large extent. But the United States should not be jealous, because China and India do not want to be its enemy; they just hope to cooperate with it," the Daily said.
Outlining India-China economic development, it said "even the United States cannot ignore China and India's influence in international affairs. The two highly complementary economies are quickly developing their economic and trade cooperation."
"Because of the boundary problems between the two countries, some conflicts do exist between them. But the leaders of the two countries have not been misled by American and Japanese right wing forces. India will not harm the relationship with China just for the sake of realising certain countries' strategic interests," it said.
It said Li's first visit abroad to India and Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia earlier were part of China's efforts in the new diplomatic situation to promote new patterns of relationship between great powers.
"China and India voice a harmonious theme in foreign affairs. The two countries are the co-founders of the 'Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence', which shows similar stance of the two countries in diplomatic sector," it said.
"China has been adhering to an independent foreign policy of peace; India has been pursuing the nonalignment policy. The purpose of the both countries is to safeguard sovereignty and independence," it said.
Noting that China and India are the important members of G20 and BRICS, it said the two are in favour of practicing democracy in international relations and advocate promoting world multipolarisation and abiding by international code, it said.
Obama to visit Africa next monthWASHINGTON: As part of his administration’s effort to build a special relationship with African countries, US President Barack Obama will travel to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania next month.
The week-long trip from June 26 to July 3, will underscore Obama’s commitment to broadening and deepening cooperation between the US and the people of sub-Saharan Africa to advance regional and global peace and prosperity, a presidential spokesman said yesterday.
“The President will reinforce the importance that the US places on our deep and growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including through expanding economic growth, investment, and trade, strengthening democratic institutions, and investing in the next generation of African leaders,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
Obama will meet a wide array of leaders from Government, business, and civil society, including youth, to discuss America’s strategic partnerships on bilateral and global issues.
Serious challenges to religious freedom remain: John KerryWASHINGTON: Citing discrimination and violence against Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Muslims, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said serious challenges to religious freedom remain globally, including the increasing use of laws governing blasphemy and apostasy in some nations.
Kerry said that religious freedom is an integral part of the global diplomatic effort of the Obama Administration. Describing freedom of religion as a core American value, Kerry said attacks on religious freedom are both a moral and a strategic national security concern for the US. He was speaking at the launch of the annual international religious freedom report of the State Department as mandated by the US Congress."Freedom of religion is not an American invention.
It's a universal value, and it's enshrined in our Constitution and ingrained in every human heart. The freedom to profess and practice one's faith, to believe or not to believe, or to change one's beliefs, that is a birthright of every human being. And that's what we believe," he said.
Kerry said the promotion of international religious freedom is a priority for US President Barack Obama, and it is a priority for him as secretary of state. "I am making certain, and will continue to, that religious freedom remains an integral part of our global diplomatic engagement," he said, adding that the release of this report is an important part of those efforts.
The report, he said, chronicles discrimination and violence in countries ranging from established democracies to entrenched dictatorships. It documents that governments around the globe continue to detain, imprison, torture and even kill people for their religious beliefs.
"In too many places, governments are also failing to protect minorities from social discrimination and violence. The report identifies global problems of discrimination and violence against religious groups, including Baha'is, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs," he said. Kerry in his remarks identified anti-Semitism and increasing use of laws governing blasphemy and apostasy as a troubling trend.
90 killed as massive tornado rips through US cityWASHINGTON: Over 90 people, including 20 children, were killed after a monstrous tornado ripped through the US city of Oklahoma, flattening entire neighbourhoods, crushing two elementary schools and turning the area into a war-zone.
The tornado, over a mile wide, ripped through the area yesterday with winds of up to
Worst hit was Moore, south of the city, where neighbourhoods were flattened and two elementary schools destroyed.
The Oklahoma City Medical Examiner said at least 91 people died, including children, in the tornado and that they expect the death toll to climb.
Two hospitals confirmed they were treating a total of 145 injured, including about 70 children.
The Moore City Police Department said it was impossible to put a final number on fatalities because there was still so much area to search, but officials expected the worst.
"Our hearts are broken for parents who are wondering about the state of their children," said Governor Mary Fallin said.
US President Barack Obama has declared a State of Emergency in Oklahoma and had dispatched federal aid. He spoke with Oklahoma Governor to express his concern for those who have been affected by the severe weather.
The twister, one of several created by a storm system that swept through nation's midsection the past 36 hours, reduced homes and building to rubble.
Fallin deployed 80 National Guard members to assist with rescue operations and activated extra highway patrol officers.
The tornado stayed on the ground for 40 minutes and travelled 32 kilometres.
Several children were pulled alive from the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary, but there were no immediate reports of rescues or casualties at another school.
Rescuers are "going house to house and block to block to try and find any survivors that are out there and trapped," said state emergency management spokesman Jerry Lojka.
"We can only imagine that there are still many others there that are unaccounted for," he said.
Lojka said emergency management officials were working from an underground command center in Oklahoma City and did not yet know how many students were in the two elementary schools in Moore that were destroyed.
One emergency responder on the scene who helped a couple of individuals with lacerations on the back and head, as well as an individual with a spine injury, said, "People are crawling from everywhere and anywhere, It's basically just a war zone."
This was the second worst tornado to hit Moore was since 1999 when 36 people were killed. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.
Tornadoes were also reported Sunday in Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma as part of a storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota.
The National Weather Service said it was tracking "a large and extremely dangerous tornado" just west of Moore. The storm was moving to the northeast, and forecasters said they expected "large, destructive hail up to tennis ball size."
Local media reported heartbreaking scenes in the tornado hit areas.
"This tornado is being compared to the devastating, record-breaking May 3, 1999 tornado that ravaged the same area years ago," local KFOR news channel said.
"This is war-zone terrible," Jon Welsh, a helicopter pilot for KFOR who lives in Moore, said while surveying the damage from the air.
"This school is completely gone," he added.
A KFOR reporter also said four bodies, including that of a seven-month-old baby, were pulled from a 7-Eleven.
Search and rescue operation were going on till late in the night. A teacher told KFOR that she lay on top of six students in the bathroom. All of them were rescued.
With a population of 55,000 according to the 2010 census, Moore is the seventh largest city in Oklahoma.