Britain calls for changing the term “pregnant woman” to “pregnant person”

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The Italian government has demanded that the term “pregnant woman” be changed to “pregnant” in United Nations documents to include transsexuals as well.

The British Foreign Office proposed to amend the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations. The document, signed and ratified by 168 countries, is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

The paper points out that such an initiative has triggered a negative reaction among feminist women’s rights defenders.

“It is humiliating for a woman to be denied the right to call herself a woman under the accusation of intolerance,” said writer Sarah Datum.

However, the British Foreign Office said its initiative was not anti-women.

“The United Kingdom does not oppose the use of the term pregnant woman, and we strongly support the right of pregnant women to live, but we have asked the United Nations Commission on Human Rights not to exclude transgender women from this right,” the source told The Times.

In addition, ministers in Britain are discussing the introduction of changes in legislation that would allow British citizens to independently ratify sex change, without providing medical evidence to prove it.

EU countries seek agreement on loan system

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The European Union (EU) states on Monday sought to agree on a reform of the lending system which was at the heart of much controversy in the summer of 2017 between France and Eastern European countries, especially Poland.

After 18 months of the European Commission’s proposal to review the European rules governing the loan system (a system that allows Europeans to work in a country other than their own country and deduct their social contributions in their country of origin), EU labor ministers are meeting to discuss the matter in Luxembourg.

“I hope we will make a breakthrough,” European Commissioner for Social Affairs Marianne Tessen told France Radio International. She stressed that the larger goal is to achieve equal pay for equal work in the same workplace. In the system adopted in 1996, it was merely indicated that seconded workers must receive the lowest wage in the receiving country.

However, with the enlargement of the European Union in the east in 2004 and the entry of 10 new countries to a lower standard of living and lower wages, it has affected the situation and created a situation of unfair competition among companies and social flooding.

In reviewing the system, the European Commission wants to apply the same rules as local workers to loan workers. For example, if the receiving country provides for a grant for a refund, hard work, seniority or thirteenth month, the loan workers must obtain the same.

The French president called for tougher reform, criticizing Poland and three other European countries from the Vizgrad group (Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) for the continuation of the situation as it stands. “He wants to reach an agreement as soon as possible,” he said on Friday.

There were still three outstanding points, the first of which was the loan period. The European Commission has proposed a 24-month deadline, but France, which also convinced Germany of its position, wants the maximum period to be 12 months.

The second is the date of entry into force of the new rules, where France wants to apply for two years of its adoption, while the Commission proposed three years and the East European countries require five years.

The third point concerns land transport. This point is very accurate because the countries of Visegrad, along with Spain and Portugal, are concerned about the negative repercussions of reform on their markets. If all oppose reform, it will not be possible to reach an agreement.

One dead and six injured in shootings near a mine in Indonesia

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One killed, six injured in police shootings Police on Monday indicted a separatist group aimed at disrupting operations at the copper and gold Gravesberg mine in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua.

There were four shooting incidents on Saturday as police were already investigating incidents earlier this week, including the killing of an officer shot in Timika on Sunday afternoon.

Separatists in the armed group, blamed by police for the 30 shootings, are led by a man named Sabineus Wakir, and police spokesman Suryadi Diaz told Reuters the group had previously carried out shootings in the mine area.

“It obviously wants to block operations in Freeport,” he said, adding that the group was “seeking justice” from the local unit of Freeport Mkmoran, which operates the Graysberg mine, but it was not clear what it meant.

Wacker could not be reached and it was unclear whether the group, whose police say its leader had a spokesman or another representative,

A spokesman for the Freeport unit in Indonesia said recent shootings had not affected production at Gravesburg, the world’s second largest copper mine, but declined to comment further.

President of Cyprus: We support Russia in its war on terror

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Cypriot President Nikos Anastaseides said on Monday that his country supports Russia in its war on terrorism and calls for increased international cooperation to eliminate the threat.

Cyprus, in an interview with the Russian Tass news agency, said in its English publication before his visit to Moscow that Cyprus praises Russia’s role in the fight against terrorism at the international level, noting that an anti-terrorism agreement signed between the two countries in February 2015, A new era of cooperation that will strengthen our efforts to counter terrorist threats.

He pointed out that terrorism poses a serious threat to regional and international peace, and that only the joint action of the international community can address this problem.

Anastasiadis said that his country is a strong and strong advocate of the need for a comprehensive and coordinated international action to confront the threat of terrorism. Therefore, it participates in all international efforts to eliminate this danger, stressing the need to take measures restricting the movement and travel of terrorists, stressing the need to confront the problem of terrorists returning from hotbeds of conflict .

The president of Cyprus is scheduled to start a visit to Russia later in the day, during which he will meet with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev before meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Abe says his priorities are North Korea and aging Japan

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Fresh off a decisive election victory, Japan’s leader pledged Monday to tackle what he called Japan’s two national crises: the military threat from North Korea and an aging and shrinking population.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a news conference that he is committed to protect the Japanese people’s prosperity and peace from any contingency. He also referred to the Japanese kidnapped years ago and believed still held by North Korea.

“I will pursue decisive and strong diplomacy to tackle North Korea’s missile, nuclear and abduction issues and put further pressure to get it to change its policy,” he said.

His ruling coalition was returned to power in elections Sunday for Japan’s more powerful lower house. Abe said the result showed “strong support” and thanked the people for backing stability and his government’s policies.

He promised a comprehensive package by the end of the year to deal with Japan’s demographic challenges, including investments in education, productivity improvements and pension system reform.

Day care worker arrested after allegedly slapping toddler, police say

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A New York woman was arrested Thursday for allegedly slapping a toddler on multiple occasions at a Long Island day care, police say.

Jeanine Sammis, 36, was captured on camera slapping a 1-year-old girl on the back of her head numerous times in late September at KinderCare day care, Nassau County police said. Police said the child was not injured.

KinderCare contacted police and Child Protective Services and released a statement saying they “tale all concerns about our teachers and staff seriously and follow a very specific protocol anytime a concern is raised,” Fox 8 reported.

Sammis worked for the day care since August 2015 but quit last week to work somewhere else.

She was charged with attempted assault second degree and endangering the welfare of a child. Sammis was released from jail but is expected back in court on Friday. 

The Latest: Malaysia says Marawi siege could happen anywhere

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The Latest on the Philippine fight to end the militant siege of Marawi (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Malaysia’s defense minister says the siege of a Philippine city by pro-Islamic State group militants is a wakeup call for the region.

The last militants in southern Marawi city were declared “finished” on Monday, ending a five-month siege that raised worry of the group gaining a foothold in Southeast Asia. Some of the militants were from other countries, including Malaysia.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein spoke while attending a Southeast Asian defense ministers’ meeting in Clark, Philippines.

He said, “We have to be very careful. What happened in Marawi can happen anywhere. It’s a wake-up call for all of us.”

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12:30 p.m.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana declared the last of the pro-Islamic State group militants in southern Marawi city were “finished.”

He told reporters Monday in Clark that troops recovered 42 bodies of the last group of militant stragglers.

He said, “Those are the last group of stragglers of Mautes and they were caught in one building so there was a firefight, so they were finished.”

Two security officials had told The Associated Press earlier Monday that troops had found the bodies after capturing the building where the militants made their final stand.

Lorenzana said hostages the militants had held were recovered a few days earlier. He said, “There are no more militants inside Marawi City.”

The Marawi siege involving hundreds of black flag-waving gunmen was launched exactly five months ago.

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

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Justin Timberlake has finally been invited back to the Super Bowl halftime show, 14 years after the “wardrobe malfunction” with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy.

The NFL announced Sunday night that Timberlake will headline the Super Bowl halftime show Feb. 4 in Minnesota.

This will be Timberlake’s third Super Bowl halftime performance, the most for any entertainer. Timberlake performed at the 2001 Super Bowl with N’Sync, and he sang “Rock Your Body” with Jackson in 2004 in Houston. That performance concluded with Timberlake ripping her costume to reveal her right breast bare except for a nipple shield.

During an interview broadcast at halftime of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” Timberlake laughed off questions about a repeat of the infamous moment, which drew CBS a $550,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission that was later overturned.

“That won’t happen this time,” he said.

Timberlake has won 10 Grammys, and the Tennessee native also has won four Emmys. He said the best Super Bowl performances have spoken to the mood of the nation.

“What I really want to do is take the opportunity to put together a performance that feels like it unifies,” Timberlake said. “I feel like that would be the ultimate accomplishment, and then the icing on the cake is at some point within that 12 minutes that everybody is shaking their booty.”

Hopes and fears in Hong Kong, Taiwan amid China’s congress

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It wasn’t just the dark-suited delegates in Beijing who were listening intently last week as Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined his grand ambitions to launch a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress.

On China’s peripheries there was apprehension and optimism as Xi, China’s strongest leader in decades, reasserted his authority over semiautonomous Hong Kong and self-governing Taiwan.

Xi declared that Hong Kong, where residents are increasingly divided over Beijing’s rule of the former British colony, and Taiwan, where voters elected an independence-leaning president last year amid rising alienation from the mainland, are part of a “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” led by the Communist Party.

Here’s a look at what people on the two islands told The Associated Press about the party congress:

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THE ANXIOUS BUSINESSMAN

Businessman Ringo Lee believes President Xi Jinping must talk with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen to encourage better ties across the Taiwan Strait.

Companies like his travel agency depend on it. The company brings mainland Chinese tourists to Taiwan and also sends Taiwanese tourists to the mainland.

Travel and tourism-related companies need good “cross-strait” relations, Lee said. But because of strained ties in recent years, “the number of Chinese tourists coming to Taiwan has dropped,” said Lee, 45.

“Xi Jinping’s task in his second term is to make Taiwanese people feel that China is a friendly nation,” Lee said.

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THE ACTIVIST

Christophe Chan feels Xi has done little over the past five years to improve relations with Taiwan, a democracy that Beijing views as a renegade province.

Like many younger residents, he believes Beijing should give up on its claim that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory.

“Taiwan and China are two different countries. This is a political fact that must not be neglected,” said Chan, a supporter of 2014’s student-led Sunflower Movement protests that opposed a trade agreement with Beijing and closer ties with the mainland.

Only when China has “faced the truth about Taiwan, and recognizes it as a democratic and sovereign entity,” can “both countries engage in friendly dialogue and exchange,” said Chan, 38.

Chan disapproves of the Communist Party’s hard-line governance under Xi. “We are used to calling China a superpower, or even a great country,” but the party’s policies in recent years suggest otherwise, he said.

“China is cracking down on human rights,” Chan said.

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THE PRO-BEIJING RETIREE

For retiree Fan Li, the most important thing is whether China’s leaders can improve the livelihoods of people in Hong Kong.

“In the last 10 years, China’s leaders — Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin and Xi Jinping — have all introduced different policies to support the development of Hong Kong,” said Li, 70.

Li believes China’s leaders will successfully steer the city’s future economic development as they have done for the mainland.

He cited Beijing’s big projects like the “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure project, which aims to better connect China, Europe and Africa, and another aimed at helping Hong Kong’s integration with the wealthy, industrialized neighboring mainland province of Guangdong.

He believes that Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers hindered the city’s economic development.

“When some people constantly oppose policies for the sake of opposition, they delay progress,” he said.

“Take Shenzhen,” Li said, referring the mainland boomtown next door to Hong Kong. “In the last 20 to 30 years, it has grown rapidly from a small village to the large, vibrant city that it is today.” Hong Kong’s development has stalled in comparison, he believes, because of “internal problems.”

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THE DISILLUSIONED STUDENT

College student Lee Chan, 21, believes the party’s policies have done little to address problems faced by Hong Kong’s young.

Disillusioned about their chances of social mobility and struggling to find affordable housing, many have given up on their dreams, he said.

But an even greater worry is the Communist Party’s increasing encroachment on political liberties like freedom of speech. “Many people will complain about economic problems such as high property prices, or the rising cost of chicken and vegetables,” he said, “but are unaware that our political freedoms are gradually eroding.”

Hong Kong’s prosperity as an international finance hub is underpinned by these freedoms, which are now being compromised, he said.

“Booksellers have been detained and sent back to the mainland via illegal means,” he said. “Hong Kong people face greater threats, in particular when it comes to their political rights.”

His outlook is bleak.

“Maybe one day, we will not be able to organize on the streets, express our viewpoints, publish books, criticize the government, or express what we believe to be right and just,” said Lee. “The values that define Hong Kong will no longer exist.”

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THE OPTIMISTIC STUDENT

Jackel Wan, 19, is optimistic about relations between Hong Kong and the mainland and thinks the good atmosphere will continue under Xi’s leadership.

Beijing’s policies haven’t significantly touched Kui’s personal life and he believes the freedoms he enjoys remain intact.

“I can still study freely. I still have freedom of speech. Hong Kong is still under the framework of ‘One Country, Two Systems,’ and still under the Basic Law,” he said, referring to a special formula and mini-constitution Beijing promised after the 1997 handover from Britain. They guarantee the city’s wide autonomy and civil liberties unseen on the mainland.

Kui believes Beijing’s tough line on rising dissent in the city is appropriate, a stance at odds with many other young people, including those who helped spearhead huge 2014 pro-democracy protests. He said calls for Hong Kong independence by a small but vocal minority on college campuses and elsewhere are unrealistic.

“They are doing the right thing to keep the situation under control,” Kui said of China.

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Taijing Wu reported from Taipei, Taiwan.

Pelicans hold off late Lakers rally for first win, 119-112

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis scored 27 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 20 and the New Orleans Pelicans withstood a furious rally to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 119-112 on Sunday night for their first victory of the season.

The Pelicans led by 22 points in the second quarter and were still up by double figures heading into the final period, but the Lakers made a charge despite a poor shooting night from rookie Lonzo Ball.

Reserve Jordan Clarkson had 24 points for the Lakers, but Ball shot just 3 for 13 for eight points. He did have 13 assists and eight rebounds.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope started and scored 20 points in his first appearance for the Lakers. Rookie Kyle Kuzma also had 20.

E’Twaun Moore, who went 0 for 5 in his last game, added 19 points for the Pelicans (1-2), while Jrue Holiday and Ian Clark each had 14.

The Lakers got off to a horrid start, missing their first eight shots, and were fortunate to only trail 34-22 at the end of the first quarter.

The Pelicans expanded their lead late in the second period before Caldwell-Pope scored seven unanswered points and the Pelicans settled for a 68-55 advantage at the half. New Orleans shot 65 percent in the first half.

But the Lakers made a charge behind their bench, outscoring New Orleans 16-2 to open the fourth quarter to take their first lead. Including the end of the third quarter, the Lakers went on a 27-4 run.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: Signed veteran G Jameer Nelson, 35, and waived Jordan Crawford. New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said the team was uncertain if Nelson would be worked into the starting lineup alongside Holiday, or back him up at the point. “We’ve looked at it and can see both situations being real positive for our team. It’s just a matter of us getting together again and thinking it out and seeing what we feel will be the best,” Gentry said. Nelson was waived by the Nuggets last week.

Lakers: Caldwell-Pope was available after serving a two-game suspension for an arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence. Said coach Luke Walton: “He’s one of our better shooters. He knows personnel, he’s a great defender. He does a lot of things for us and we’re excited to have him back.” . F Luo Deng, signed prior to last season to a four-year, $72-million deal, was again not activated.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Visit Portland on Tuesday.

Lakers: Host Washington on Wednesday.

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