While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 19

US questions new China coronavirus figures, seeks observers

The United States on Thursday questioned China’s credibility on reporting fresh coronavirus cases in Beijing and called for neutral observers to assess the extent of the outbreak.

China has locked down the capital as it seeks to prevent a second wave of Covid-19, reporting 158 cases since a fresh cluster was detected last week.

“I would hope that their numbers and their reporting are more accurate than what we saw in the case of Wuhan and other places in the PRC, but that remains to be seen,” said David Stilwell, the top US diplomat for East Asia who accompanied Pompeo.

“As far as numbers, it would be good to have folks on the ground to get confirmation” in Beijing, he told reporters.


Satellite images suggest Chinese activity at Himalayan border with India

In the days leading up to the most violent border clash between India and China in decades, China brought in pieces of machinery, cut a trail into a Himalayan mountainside and may have even dammed a river, satellite pictures suggest.

The images, shot on Tuesday, a day after soldiers engaged in hand-to-hand combat in the freezing Galwan Valley, show an increase in activity from a week earlier.

The satellite pictures, taken by Earth-imaging company Planet Labs and obtained by Reuters, show signs of altering the landscape of the valley through widening tracks, moving earth and making river crossings, one expert said.


US Supreme Court blocks Trump bid to end ‘Dreamers’ immigrant programme

The US Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a President Donald Trump a major setback on his hardline immigration policies, blocking his bid to end a programme that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants – often called “Dreamers” – who entered the United States illegally as children.

The justices on a 5-4 vote upheld lower court rulings that found that Trump’s 2017 move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme, created in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, was unlawful.

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in finding that the administrations actions were “arbitrary and capricious” under a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act.


Nancy Pelosi orders removal of Confederate portraits from US Capitol

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday ordered the removal from the US Capitol of four portraits of former lawmakers who served in the Confederacy, saying their images symbolise “grotesque racism.”

Pelosi has asked the US House clerk to conduct the “immediate removal” of the paintings on Friday when Americans observe Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

“There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honour for memorialising men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy,” the top Democrat wrote to the clerk, Cheryl Johnson.


Football: Luiz may not have a future at Arsenal, says Arteta

Arsenal defender David Luiz might have played his last game for the club following their 3-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City with manager Mikel Arteta unsure if the Brazilian has a future at The Emirates, he said on Thursday.

“Just because it isn’t happening to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening at all,” wrote Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and whose father is Haitian.

His contract expires on June 30 and when asked if Luiz had a future at the club, Arteta said: “I don’t know. He is very open, he is a leader. I was sure he was going to speak to everybody and he is very direct. That’s what I like and value from him and I’m going to defend him with everything I have.


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