Legislation to strip China of its status as a “developing nation” at some international organizations was passed by a U.S. Senate committee on Thursday, as members of the U.S. focus on competing with the Asian power, Reuters reported.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the “Ending China’s Developing Nation Status Act” without dissent. The bill would require the Secretary of State to pursue changing China’s status as a developing nation in international organizations.
Proponents of the bill say that status can allow special privileges in some organizations or treaties, read the report.
The committee’s approval paves the way for the measure to be considered by the full Senate, although there was no immediate indication of when that might take place.
A similar measure passed the House of Representatives in March by 415-0.
The desire for a hard line on China is one of the few truly bipartisan sentiments in the perennially divided U.S. Congress, and members of Congress have introduced dozens of bills seeking to address competition with China’s communist government.
The Foreign Relations panel also approved the “Taiwan Protection and National Resilience Act,” which would require reports from government agencies on U.S. options to prepare for and respond to a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
China views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory and has increased military, political and economic pressure to assert those claims, Reuters reported.
Taiwan strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s people can decide their future.
Mexican church roof collapses during Sunday mass killing 9, about 30 others missing
A church roof collapsed during Sunday mass in a northern Mexican city killing at least nine people and injuring 40, authorities said, as rescuers worked into the night, desperately looking for another 30 people believed to be trapped under the rubble.
Working under floodlights, military personnel supported emergency services using rescue dogs and earth moving equipment to identify and dig out survivors from the ruins of the church in Ciudad Madero, a city on the Gulf coast near the port of Tampico, Reuters reported.
Footage on social media showed the moment the church roof caved in, puffs of gray smoke billowing into the air, followed by the toppling of yellow brick outer walls.
Nine people died and another 40 were taken to nearby hospitals, while 30 other worshippers remained unaccounted for, Jorge Cuéllar, spokesman for the Security Ministry of Tamaulipas state, which borders Texas.
Speaking on Foro TV news channel, Cuéllar thanked local businessmen for bringing equipment to help remove rubble and aid rescue efforts.
Bishop Jose Armando Alvarez from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tampico said the church roof crumbled as worshippers were receiving communion and asked others to pray for the survivors.
“In this moment the necessary work is being carried out to pull out the people who are still under the rumble,” Bishop Armando said in a recorded message shared on social media.
Turkey says terrorists set off bomb at Ankara government building
Turkey’s government said on Sunday two terrorists carried out a bomb attack in front of the Interior Ministry buildings in Ankara, adding one of them died in the explosion and the other was “neutralised” by authorities there.
An explosion was heard near the parliament and ministerial buildings, Turkish media had earlier reported, and broadcasters showed footage of debris scattered on a street nearby, Reuters reported.
The blast was the first in Ankara since 2016, and comes on the day that parliament was set to open a new session.
Reuters footage showed soldiers, ambulances, fire trucks and armoured vehicles gathered at the ministry near the centre of Turkey’s capital.
Ali Yerlikaya, the interior minister, said on social media platform X that two police officers were slightly injured in the incident at 9:30 a.m. (0630 GMT).
Advertisement · Scroll to continue
“Two terrorists came with a light commercial vehicle in front of the entrance gate of the General Directorate of Security of our Ministry of Internal Affairs and carried out a bomb attack,” he said.
He added that one blew himself up and the other was “neutralised”, which usually means was killed. “Our struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralised,” Yerlikaya wrote.
Police also announced they would carry out controlled explosions for “suspicious package incidents” in other parts of Ankara.
Authorities did not identify any specific militant group.
The blast comes almost a year after six people were killed and 81 wounded in an explosion in a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul. Turkey blamed Kurdish militants for that.
During a spate of violence in 2015 and 2016, Kurdish militants, Islamic State and other groups either claimed or were blamed for several attacks in major Turkish cities. In March 2016, 37 people were killed in Ankara when a bomb-laden car exploded at a crowded central transport hub.
Ankara’s chief prosecutor launched an investigation on Sunday into what it also called a terrorist attack.
President Tayyip Erdogan was set at 7:30 p.m. to attend the opening of parliament, which in the coming weeks is expected to consider ratifying Sweden’s bid to join NATO after Turkey had raised initial objections.
Turkish media reported that authorities were carrying out checks of the parliament after the blast at the ministry. A source told Reuters that the entrance was open but no cars were allowed through as part of the precautions.
US Congress averts government shutdown, passing stopgap bill
The U.S. Congress passed a stopgap funding bill late on Saturday with overwhelming Democratic support after Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy backed down from an earlier demand by his party’s hardliners for a partisan bill.
The Democratic-majority Senate voted 88-9 to pass the measure to avoid the federal government’s fourth partial shutdown in a decade, sending the bill to President Joe Biden, who signed it into law before the 12:01 a.m. deadline.
McCarthy abandoned party hardliners’ insistence that any bill pass the House with only Republican votes, a change that could cause one of his far-right members to try to oust him from his leadership role.
The House voted 335-91 to fund the government through Nov. 17, with more Democrats than Republicans supporting it.
That move marked a profound shift from earlier in the week, when a shutdown looked all but inevitable. A shutdown would mean that most of the government’s 4 million employees would not get paid – whether they were working or not – and also would shutter a range of federal services, from National Parks to financial regulators.
Federal agencies had already drawn up detailed plans that spell out what services would continue, such as airport screening and border patrols, and what must shut down, including scientific research and nutrition aid to 7 million poor mothers.
“The American people can breathe a sigh of relief: there will be no government shutdown tonight,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote. “Democrats have said from the start that the only solution for avoiding a shutdown is bipartisanship, and we are glad Speaker McCarthy has finally heeded our message.”
Saar: IEA’s expansion of diplomatic ties with neighbors discussed
Deputy foreign minister meets UNAMA head
World Cup 2023: Only 2 days to go! What you need to know!
India tells Canada to withdraw 41 diplomats
Ronaldo sparks fightback as Al-Nassr given Asian Champions League scare
Xi, Putin missing G20 summit not unusual, India’s foreign minister says
ICC World Cup 2023 Trophy set to tour Afghanistan
Iran, US on verge of prisoner swap under Qatar-mediated deal
India thrash Nepal to reach Asia Cup Super Fours
Rain in Spain leaves two dead, two missing, people stuck on roofs
Saar: IEA’s expansion of diplomatic ties with neighbors discussed
Tahawol: Calls for countering terrorism in Afghanistan discussed
Saar: Detention of 800 Afghan refugees in Islamabad discussed
Tahawol: Islamabad’s security concerns from Afghan soil discussed
Saar: Afghan embassy in India ceasing operations discussed
Sport4 days ago
Afghanistan-South Africa Cricket World Cup warm-up game washed out
Regional4 days ago
Suicide blast in southwest Pakistan kills at least 52 people
Latest News4 days ago
Two families reconcile in Nangarhar, end 17 years of enmity
Science & Technology4 days ago
Three astronauts return to Earth after a year in space
World4 days ago
Senior US, China diplomats meet in Washington in latest effort to maintain dialogue
Sport3 days ago
Top ranked performers from each team rated ahead of ICC Cricket World Cup
World3 days ago
Republicans reject own funding bill, US government shutdown imminent
Latest News4 days ago
Afghan embassy in India suspends operations, diplomats from previous government leave