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Experts set to meet to finish UN report on climate, land use, food 

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The scholars on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are expected to publish a report at the end of their meeting on Thursday that looks at at the use and destruction of land, desertification and food security.

The IPCC warned in October that limiting global warming to an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius is only possible with “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes.”

Drastic measures are not only needed in areas such as energy, industry and transport, but also when it comes to the use of land, the IPCC said.

The upcoming report assesses the effect that climate change and increasingly frequent extreme weather events have on land, according to an outline that has been published in advance.

It also looks at ways to curb and adapt to climate change in areas such as farming and forestry.

In the chapter on desertification, the scientists examine what role humans have played in the expansion of arid land, and how sandstorms in turn feed climate change.

Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

Foreign

China to impose additional tariffs on U.S. imports worth $75b

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Tariff

Based on laws approved by the State Council, a total of 5,078 U.S. products would be subject to additional tariffs of 10 per cent or five per cent.

The tariff hikes would be implemented in two batches and would take effect from Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 respectively.

The U.S. government announced on Aug. 15, that it would impose additional tariffs of 10 per cent on Chinese goods worth about $300 billion, effective from Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, respectively, in two batches.

However, the U.S. move had led to a further escalation of bilateral trade frictions, greatly damaging the interests of China, the U.S and other countries.

The move would also gravely threaten the multilateral trading system and free trade principles.

The commission would continue with the work of exempting certain items from additional tariffs.

China’s imposition of additional tariffs was a forced response to U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionism.

China, however, reaffirmed once again that cooperation was the only correct choice for China and the U.S. and that only a win-win situation would lead to a better future.

It was hoped that both countries resolve their differences in a manner acceptable to both sides on the premise of mutual respect, equality, good faith and consistency of words and deeds, the statement said.

The two sides are expected to actively build a new balanced, inclusive and win-win Sino-U.S. economic and trade order, jointly safeguard, reform and improve the multilateral trading system.

YI/AIB

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Turkey calls for world coordination on Syrian refugee crisis

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Turkey calls for world coordination on Syrian refugee crisis

Refugee

Turkey hosts four million refugees, the largest number staying in any single country in the world.

More than 3.6 million of these came from neighbouring Syria after a devastating conflict began there in 2011.

“We need to coordinate with the international community to help solve the Syrian refugee crisis in a secure and safe way,” Turkish Foreign Minister ,Mevlut Cavusoglu, said at a news conference in Beirut on Friday.

He said the international community has to be more sensitive when it comes to the basic needs of those Syrians, who return to Syria, and offered to set up a joint forum with Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq – other neighbours of Syria.

Lebanese Foreign Minister, Jubran Bassil, said that there should be close coordination between Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan to find “the right solution” for the return of Syrians refugees to their country.

“Lebanon is always committed to the dignified return of the Syrian refugees to their country,” Bassil said.

Lebanon has some one million registered Syrian refugees.

Lebanese officials have repeatedly said that the influx of refugees from Syria placed a massive burden on the country’s ailing economy.

Cavusoglu arrived in Beirut earlier Friday and met Lebanese President, Michel Aoun and House Speaker, Nabih Berri.

He is due to hold talks later Friday with Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Turkey has set up 12 observation posts in Syria’s north-western province of Idlib since a truce deal was reached in September between Moscow and Ankara to establish a demilitarised buffer zone in the Idlib enclave.

The September agreement provides for the creation of a 15-to-20-kilometre-wide buffer zone to separate government troops and rebels in Idlib and adjacent areas.

The Russian-Turkish deal has since been repeatedly violated amid an exchange of blame between the Syrian government and the opposition. (dpa/NAN)

FAT/AFA

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Sri Lanka withdraws emergency law imposed after Easter attacks

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Law

Colombo, Aug. 23, 2019 Sri Lanka on Friday withdrew an emergency law imposed after Easter Sunday attacks, a military spokesman said, signifying the return of calm to the island nation, which is set to vote in a new head of state later this year.

President Maithripala Sirisena imposed emergency law in April after more than 250 people were killed and 500 wounded in militant bombings across churches and luxury hotels on Easter day.

“The army will continue to assist police for internal security,’’ Military Spokesman, Sumith Atapattu, told Reuters.

The emergency gave police and military extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders.

Almost all militants, suspected to have links with the attackers, have either been arrested or killed, Sirisena previously said.

AIB

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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China imposes extra 10%, 5% tariffs on $75bn worth of U.S. imports 

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Tariffs

The State Council Tariff Committee said this in a statement on Friday.

The U.S. will impose additional 10 per cent tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.

“The Tariff Committee of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China has decided to introduce additional 10 per cent and 5 per cent tariffs on $75 billion worth of imported U.S. goods,” the committee said.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Israeli teen killed by explosive device attack in West Bank 

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Explosive

Her 46-year-old father and 19-year-old brother were seriously injured in the attack, the army and the responsible hospital in Jerusalem said on Friday.

The attack took place near the settlement of Dolev, north-west of Ramallah.

Soldiers were searching the area and street blockades had been set up, according to a statement.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin spoke in a statement of a “terrible terrorist attack this morning.”

“My heart and prayers are with the family at this difficult time, and for the recovery of those injured.

“We will continue to strengthen settlement. We will deepen our roots and strike at our enemies.

“The security arms are in pursuit after the abhorrent terrorists. We will apprehend them,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza Strip, part of the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

More than 600,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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