Australia considering offering safe haven for Hong Kong residents
UNTV News • July 2, 2020 • 396
Australia is considering safe haven proposals for Hong Kong residents, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday (July 2), after China imposed a new national security law on the financial hub.
The law punishes crimes of secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison in Hong Kong, which was guaranteed freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland under a “one country, two systems” formula at its 1997 handover.
China says the law is necessary to tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces following anti-government protests that escalated in June last year and plunged the city into its biggest crisis in decades.
Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the law will not affect Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms, nor investor interests.
The passage of the law has drawn international condemnation and more than 300 people on Wednesday (July 1) were arrested as protesters took to the streets in defiance of the sweeping security legislation. (Reuters)
At least 90 pilot whales are reportedly dead after around 270 whales washed up on a sandbar in the coast of Tasmania in Australia.
Marine rescue teams arrived on Monday (September 21) to save the whales, however, authorities estimated there will be more casualties due to difficulty in getting the whales back to the ocean.
“We’ve got animals spread over a large area and in really challenging locations. We’re going to take the animals with the best chance to start with and the ones that we are able to deal with,” according to Parks and Wildlife Services marine biologist Dr. Kris Carlyon.
Carlyon also reported that authorities began its large scale operation on Tuesday (September 22), however, he said it will still take days. Experts are still investigating the cause of the mass stranding but it might be due to food hunting. AAC (with reports from Nina Bascon)
The Australian government has extended the implementation of international border restrictions for at least three more months until December 17.
This was the decision of the country’s Health Protection Principal Committee given the prevailing global health risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Australia closed its borders in March to prevent the entry of COVID-19 in the country.
In July, the Australian government allowed the return of around 4,000 of its citizens and permanent residents.
To date, only those covered by travel exemptions are allowed to leave or enter the country.
Travel exemptions can be processed online through the Australian Border Force but only qualified individuals will be granted.
These included those working in essential industries and businesses, those needing immediate medical treatment outside Australia, unavoidable personal circumstance, compassionate or humanitarian grounds or anything related to national security.
Meanwhile, temporary visa holders need not acquire travel exemptions from authorities as they may leave anytime to be able to return to their home country.
They have to make sure, however, that their country of destination will accept them once they leave Australia.
For list of exempted individuals, travelers may check on the official webpage of the Australian Department of Home Affairs. MNP (with inputs from Danny Delleva)
“Under the new normal, it is almost not possible for us to wait until there are no more local cases before relaxing the social distancing measures,” the official said in a media briefing on Tuesday (August 25).
Chan said unless there are drastic changes to the epidemic situation, the government would issue new directions before Friday specifically the following:
(1) Extend the dine-in services allowed to 9 pm;
(2) Allow re-opening of scheduled premises including cinemas, beauty parlours and also some outdoor sports premises for activities involving little physical contact; and
(3) Allow people not to wear masks in country parks and while doing exercise.
Prof. Chan reminded the public, however, that while the number of daily new cases has been gradually declining, the epidemic situation still has not completely stabilized.
Thus, she advised Hong Kong nationals not to be complacent and maintain good personal and environmental hygiene.
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