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US officially notifies Hong Kong it has ended three agreements

The US State Department said it notified Hong Kong on Wednesday that Washington has suspended or terminated three bilateral agreements with the semi-autonomous city following China’s imposition of a sweeping national security law.

The ending of the agreements follows US President Donald Trump’s order last month to end Hong Kong’s special status under US law to punish China for what he called “oppressive actions” against the former British colony.

The State Department said in a statement the agreements ended covered “the surrender of fugitive offenders, the transfer of sentenced persons, and reciprocal tax exemptions on income derived from the international operation of ships.”

“These steps underscore our deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose the National Security Law, which has crushed the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.


Covid-19 vaccine won’t be mandatory in US, says Fauci

Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious diseases official, said on Wednesday that the government wouldn’t make any future Covid-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public – though local jurisdictions could make it mandatory for some groups, like children.

“You don’t want to mandate and try and force anyone to take a vaccine. We’ve never done that,” said Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, during a video talk organised by George Washington University.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison hours earlier announced that coronavirus vaccines, once approved, would be mandatory for everyone in his country, barring medical exemptions.


Trump wanted to ‘swop’ US territory of Puerto Rico for Greenland, says ex-official

President Donald Trump wanted to sell Puerto Rico or swop it for Greenland because he viewed the US territory as dirty and poor, a former senior administration official said on Wednesday.

Miles Taylor, who was chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, said Trump expressed those views as the government undertook support operations after two massive hurricanes ravaged the Caribbean island in 2017.

Taylor told MSNBC that just before one 2018 trip by officials, Trump, who had regularly talked about acquiring Greenland from Denmark, seriously suggested he could trade away Puerto Rico.


Study finds cancer-boosting culprit that multiplies with age

As our bodies convert food into energy, they produce debris that accumulates as we age. New research shows that one of these metabolic throwaways plays a potentially deadly role in the development of cancer.

The finding adds to a body of knowledge about the ways in which the ageing process accelerates our chances of developing deadly cancers, but also offers potential avenues for blocking metastasising tumours.

The study, published on Wednesday in the Journal Nature, grew from work on metastasis, the process by which cancer cells detach from an initial tumour and former new tumours elsewhere in the body.


Bayern Munich beat Lyon to set up Champions League final against PSG

Serge Gnabry struck a first-half brace and Robert Lewandowski also scored as a ruthless Bayern Munich taught Lyon a harsh lesson in their Champions League semi-final in Lisbon on Wednesday, winning 3-0 to set up a tantalising final against Paris Saint-Germain.

Lyon squandered two golden opportunities to go ahead early on at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, through Memphis Depay and Karl Toko-Ekambi.

Within seconds of the latter miss, Gnabry had blasted Bayern into an 18th-minute lead in stunning style, and the Germany winger scored again just after the half-hour mark.


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