News Headlines - 30 June 2020

China approves contentious Hong Kong national security law | The Japan Times

China imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong on Tuesday, a historic move that critics and many Western governments fear will smother the finance hub’s freedoms and hollow out its autonomy.
As the law was signed by President Xi Jinping little more than six weeks after it was first unveiled, Beijing described it as a “sword” hanging over the heads of those who endanger national security.
The contents of the law have so far been kept secret from Hong Kong’s 7.5 million inhabitants, sparking alarm, anger and fear.

Flu virus with 'pandemic potential' found in China - BBC News

A new strain of flu that has the potential to become a pandemic has been identified in China by scientists.
It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say... While it is not an immediate problem, they say, it has "all the hallmarks" of being highly adapted to infect humans and needs close monitoring.

Iran journalist who fueled 2017 protests sentenced to death | The Japan Times

Iran sentenced a once-exiled journalist to death over his online work that helped inspire nationwide economic protests that began at the end of 2017, authorities said Tuesday.
Ruhollah Zam’s website and a channel he created on the popular messaging app Telegram had spread the timings of the protests and embarrassing information about officials that directly challenged Iran’s Shiite theocracy. Those demonstrations represented the biggest challenge to Iran since the 2009 Green Movement protests and set the stage for similar mass unrest last November.
The details of his arrest still remain unclear.

Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says - The New York Times

American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan - including targeting American troops - amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter... The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said.

Japan's top court overturns ban on city's return to hometown donation scheme - The Mainichi

Japan's Supreme Court overturned Tuesday a lower court ruling in favor of the central government's decision to remove a western Japan city from a donation scheme after the municipality attracted contributions by offering gifts valued above a set level in return.
The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry is expected to soon rescind its ban on the participation of Izumisano in Osaka Prefecture in the "hometown tax" program, after it excluded the city and three towns in Shizuoka, Wakayama and Saga prefectures from the program in May last year, ministry sources said.







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