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Indonesia ‘evaluating’ recent executions

Posted by admin on 06/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Indonesia will not order the executions of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for at least another week.


Spokesman for Indonesia’s attorney-general, Tony Spontana, says the executions of six drug offenders held last week are still being evaluated.

“Evaluation on the first execution implementation is predicted to be finished this week,” he said on Monday.

“After the evaluation of the first executions is finished, then we will prepare for the second round.”

Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33, have had their pleas for presidential clemency rejected and are on track for the firing squad.

They were visited by family and friends on Monday.

Chan’s older brother Michael arrived, followed by Sukumaran’s mother Raji, wearing dark sunglasses.

Sukumaran’s younger brother Chintu went into the prison with his younger sister, Brintha, both looking upset after the visit.

Australia’s consul-general in Bali Majel Hind accompanied them.

None spoke to reporters.

The pair’s lawyers are preparing to file for another judicial review of their cases, but it’s uncertain the courts will hear a second extraordinary appeal.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo argues executions of drug offenders are needed to shock the nation out of its drugs crisis.

But lawyers for the Australians, as well as Prime Minister Tony Abbott, argue the men are reformed, and deserving of mercy.

Kerobokan prison governor Sudjonggo told reporters he saw Sukumaran meeting his mother and siblings in the visitors’ hall, and Chan with his brother in another room, but didn’t join them.

“I don’t want to bother them, let them make the most of the visiting hours,” he said.

“They have asked for more relaxed visiting hours, and with that, maybe (Sukumaran and Chan) will be stronger.”

Chan also requested a visit from a local religious minister on Monday, who led him in a prayer for courage.

Minister Marjuly Dolok Saribu told reporters his friend’s spirits were still high, despite what faced him.

“His cheerfulness remains the same,” he said.

“No fear shows in his face. Since we met at the Christmas church service, he has changed a lot, and it’s remarkable.

“He’s strong. God made him strong, if he was only using his own strength, all humans fear death.”


The 24th seed Muguruza, who stunned Williams in the second round at Roland Garros last year, threatened another upset as she tore through the first set with a barrage of sweetly-struck winners on a cool, windy day.


“Someone in the crowd said ‘come on Serena, use spin,'” Williams said in a courtside interview. “There’re coaches everywhere here.”

Williams later told reporters the advice had hit home.

“I was like, ‘you’re right. I’m trying to do that anyway, but I wasn’t doing it’.

“It’s been really great. I hear my name throughout the whole stadium like 360 (degrees). I don’t get that everywhere. It feels good.”

Williams has started slowly in all her matches at Melbourne Park before rallying and did so again against 21-year-old Muguruza, who showed she has the shots to trouble the world’s top players.

The American needed her ever-reliable serve to get her out of a number of jams and saved six break points in a fiercely contested second game of the decisive set.

The tough hold helped Williams zero in on the finish line and the American 18-times grand slam champion was bullet-proof from there on, though Muguruza scrapped hard until the final ball.

A fan may have woken Williams up, but her regular coach Patrick Mouratoglou was given most of the credit for keeping her at the top of the heap at the age of 33.

“I think Patrick has brought a lot more than one or two things,” said Williams.

“I think he’s brought a lot of consistency to my game, a lot of motivation, a lot of strategy. I go into a match knowing exactly what to expect, what to do.

“It makes my life a lot easier. The motivation is really unbelievable that he has. We’re a lot alike. He’s a perfectionist. I’m a perfectionist. So when I’m not where I need to be, he is there.

“He’s like, ‘you have to be better. There’s no other option but to be better’. If I want to continue to play, we’re working on new things.”

Williams was ecstatic with the win, having failed to get past the fourth round at any of the three slams apart from the U.S. Open last year.

She will play last year’s losing finalist Dominika Cibulkova for a place in the semi-finals, after the pint-sized Slovakian dumped out two-time champion Victoria Azarenka with an impressive display of clean hitting.


(Editing by John O’Brien/Sudipto Ganguly)

World failing Syria, Iraq refugees: Jolie

Posted by admin on 06/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

The international community is failing in its duty to protect civilians affected by the conflict in Iraq and Syria, US actress Angelina Jolie says.


In her capacity as special envoy for the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR), the Hollywood star visited Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis near Dohuk in northern Iraq on Sunday.

“I’m shocked by what I’ve seen today. This is my fifth visit to Iraq since 2007 and the suffering is worse than anything I’ve seen in that time,” she told reporters at a camp in Khanke.

Jolie last visited Iraq in 2012, before the Islamic State jihadist group became a dominant force in large parts of Syria and launched a devastating offensive in Iraq last year.

More than two million people have been internally displaced in Iraq over the past year alone. Nearly half of them have found refuge in Kurdistan and the numbers continue to grow.

“UNHCR received only half of the funding it needed in 2014 for programs in Iraq and Syria and is extremely concerned at the slow pace of pledges for this year. Without more assistance, the situation is unsustainable,” Jolie added.

“We are being tested here as an international community and so far, for all the immense efforts and good intentions, the international community failed,” she said.

Neil Wright, the UNHCR representative in Iraq, deplored that world powers’ financial pledges did not reflect the scope of a crisis that has forced more than 13 million people from their homes in Syria and Iraq.

“It is time to question whether the governments, whether the donors need to recalibrate the billions they are spending on military solutions and the millions that they are spending on relieving suffering amongst the displaced and amongst the communities who are so generously hosting them,” he said.

According to the UNHCR, more than 3.8 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and to Egypt.

Rain fails to dampen Obama’s parade cheer

Posted by admin on 06/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Rain failed to dampen spirits at India’s Republic Day parade as Barack Obama became the first US president to attend the spectacular military and cultural display in a sign of the nations’ growing closeness.


Thousands of cheering spectators braved wet weather and heavy security on Monday to watch the parade, which marks the birth of modern India and includes everything from tanks and state-of-the-art weaponry to camels and traditional dancers.

The invitation to the annual celebration is one of the biggest honours the country can bestow on a foreign leader and underscores the increasing warmth between Obama and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The leaders smiled and chatted as they watched from behind a bulletproof glass screen, Modi sporting a green and orange hat with a pink circular plume that rivalled the spectacular military headgear on display.

Obama gave a thumbs-up as stunt-riders on motorbikes formed their trademark human pyramid before the grand finale of the event, a fly-past by Indian fighter jets.

The display of military might came a day after Obama and Modi renewed a defence cooperation agreement, with the United States and India both seeking a counter-balance to a rising China.

The mounted Border Security Force on their brightly-decorated camels, a traditional highlight, drew loud cheers from spectators who were out in force.

“This day is all about patriotism and I’m lucky to be a part of it,” said 20-year-old college student Ajith Kumar, attending the central Delhi event with his parents and younger sister.

“The fact that we have a guest like Obama has made it all the more special.”

Obama’s presence as chief guest represents a remarkable turnaround in his relationship with India’s new leader, who only a year ago was persona non grata in Washington.

He began his visit Sunday with a bear hug from Modi, later saying their new “friendship” reflected a natural affinity between the two countries.

“I’m honoured to be the first American president to attend this celebration, as well as the first president to visit India twice,” said Obama.

The parade celebrates the adoption in 1950 of the Indian Constitution – the day that India became a republic – more than two years after gaining independence from Britain.

A float representing Modi’s home state of Gujarat featured a statue of Sardar Patel, a founding father of the republic and personal hero of the premier, who is building the world’s tallest statue in his honour.

Alongside the carnival floats and military hardware were reminders of India’s achievements, including a dance by schoolchildren representing the country’s Mars mission.

Roads were closed around the area, which has been declared a no-fly zone, and snipers were positioned on rooftops along the route, where 15,000 new CCTV cameras have been installed.

No cameras were allowed near the spectacle, with even the White House press pack forced to hand over their phones.

The growing camaraderie between Modi and Obama comes after a tense row involving the arrest and strip-search of an Indian diplomat in New York marred relations in late 2013.

Sydney celebrates Australia Day

Posted by admin on 06/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Sydneysiders may have got a soaking as they turned out for Australia Day, but the wet weather didn’t seem to dampen spirits.


Thousands of people lined the harbourside to watch as the day was celebrated on the water where the annual ferry race and flotilla of flag-covered boats were the highlights.

The crowds also looked to the skies as RAAF jets and helicopters performed fly-pasts, while they joined in with a mass singalong of the national anthem.

Revellers draped themselves in large flags and wore patriotic T-shirts and baseball caps, while the wet weather meant brollies and ponchos were also in abundance.

Among those showing off their patriotic pride was Croatian-born Marie Pringle, who was dressed head to toe in blue complete with matching sparkly make up.

“I came here 44 years ago and it’s given me more opportunities than I could have ever had,” she told AAP. “Australia Day is more important to me than Christmas.

“It gave me the opportunity to have the beautiful life I’ve got here. I would never have the lifestyle that I do here.” Alan Riley, who described himself as “Sydney born and bred” was also dressed up for the occasion. “It’s all about celebrating the day,” he told AAP. “The rain doesn’t matter, we’ll soldier on.”

Mr Riley said he felt strongly about marking the day this year.

“It’s important to celebrate in light of recent events – things that have been happening in this country that just should not happen here,” he said.

“Days like today remind us of how fortunate we are to live in Australia.”

Tracy Cowie and her husband Les travelled down from Wollongong to celebrate in Sydney and got into the Aussie spirit by sitting out in the rain with a beer.

“It’s been on our bucket list,” she said of spending Australia Day in Sydney.

“We’re proud to be Aussie.

“It’s all about getting together and having fun.”

Earlier on Monday, the celebrations were kicked off with a 2.2km swim across the harbour while kids were kept entertained by a Wiggles’ performance.

But the unseasonable weather took its toll on some events, with the Big Thong Challenge at Bondi cancelled along with the scheduled fly-past of a Qantas jet over Sydney Harbour.

In true Aussie fashion, the day will be rounded off with a game of cricket with Australia playing India at the SCG.