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World breaking news today (March 24): EU, China impose tit-for-tat sanctions over Xinjiang abuses

March 24, 2021 | 09:29

World breaking news today (March 24): EU, China impose tit-for-tat sanctions over Xinjiang abuses. Meanwhile, North Korea test-fired two missile, Biden considers executive actions on guns, 7 year old girl killed in shooting in Myanmar and gold price also make headlines today.

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A gate of what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre is photographed in Dabancheng (Photo: Yahoo News)

EU, China impose tit-for-tat sanctions over Xinjiang abuses

The European Union imposed sanctions on Monday on four Chinese officials, including a top security director, for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, to which Beijing responded with its own sanctions on Europeans.

Unlike the United States, the EU has sought to avoid confrontation with Beijing, but a decision to impose the first significant sanctions since an EU arms embargo in 1989 following the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy crackdown indicates a change in posture.

The Netherlands summoned China’s ambassador to The Hague after Beijing announced its measures on 10 Europeans, while the European Parliament, along with German and Belgian and other foreign ministers, rejected the Chinese retaliation.

Accused of mass detentions of Muslim Uighurs in northwestern China, those targeted by the EU included Chen Mingguo, the director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. The EU said Chen was responsible for “serious human rights violations.”

In its Official Journal, the EU accused Chen of “arbitrary detentions and degrading treatment inflicted upon Uighurs and people from other Muslim ethnic minorities, as well as systematic violations of their freedom of religion or belief”.

Others hit with travel bans and asset freezes were: senior Chinese officials Wang Mingshan and Wang Junzheng, the former deputy party secretary in Xinjiang, Zhu Hailun, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau.

However, the EU did not designate the top official in Xinjiang, Chen Quanguo, who is targeted by U.S. sanctions.

Activists and U.N. rights experts say at least 1 million Muslims are being detained in camps in the remote western region of Xinjiang. The activists and some Western politicians accuse China of using torture, forced labour and sterilisations. China denies rights abuses in Xinjiang and says its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremis, according to Reuters.

Biden considers executive actions on guns, calls on Congress to pass weapons ban

U.S. President Joe Biden urged Congress to swiftly pass gun control laws and may take action on his own to stop mass violence, the White House said on Tuesday, a day after the second deadly mass shooting in a week.

The Democrat called on the Senate to approve two bills passed by the House of Representatives on March 11 that would broaden background checks on gun buyers. He also called for a ban on assault-style weapons.

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(Photo: Nasdaq)

“I don’t need to wait another minute - let alone an hour - to take common-sense steps that will save the lives in the future, and I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” Biden said at the White House on Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Biden is “considering a range” of executive actions to try to stop gun violence. Such actions do not require the approval of Congress.

Biden, who took office in January, pledged during his presidential campaign to enact gun safety measures, but has devoted the first months to distributing coronavirus stimulus and vaccines, Reuters said.

North Korea test-fired two missiles after condemning US-South Korea drills

North Korea test-fired two short-range missiles last weekend after condemning recent joint US-South Korean military exercises, officials said.

Senior officials with the Biden administration downplayed the launches on Tuesday, telling reporters they were on the low end of the spectrum of tests conducted by the Communist state.

The test comes as North Korea has refused to engage in diplomatic relations with the Biden administration.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaking on March 6, 2021 in Pyongyang, North Korea (Photo: Getty Images)

Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, issued a statement denouncing the military drills between South Korea and the US.

The drills, which were paused for more than a year due to coronavirus concerns, were scaled back this year to become computer-simulated drills.

Biden administration officials said Tuesday that the president is still open to a dialogue with the isolated nation, as reported by NY Post.

Seven-year-old girl killed in shooting in Myanmar's Mandalay

A 7-year-old girl died of bullet wounds in Myanmar’s second city Mandalay on Tuesday, people working for a funeral service told Reuters.

Witnesses said the girl had been shot inside her home when security forces opened fire in a suburb of the city.

Residents said at least one person had been killed in shooting elsewhere in Mandalay, according to Reuters.

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(Photo: AFP)

Gold price forecast – gold markets pull back again

Gold markets have fallen a bit during the trading session on Tuesday as we have seen quite a bit of US dollar strength.

Gold markets have fallen a bit during the trading session on Tuesday as the US dollar has strengthened overall. That being said, it is very likely that we will see quite a bit of noise in this market. The question now is whether or not yields in America are going to continue to go higher, because if they do then that will absolutely hammer the gold market. As things stand right now, the $1700 level underneath is an important round figure that a lot of people will have paid attention to, as it was massive resistance previously. Furthermore, it also features the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level that people of course pay attention to.

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(Photo: USA Today)

Looking at this candlestick, it is not overly impressive one way or the other, but it does suggest that the market is probably going to continue to see a bit of a drift lower and a bit of lackluster performance. To the upside, the 50 day EMA above will offer resistance, just as the 200 day EMA is sitting just above the $1800 level, both of which could offer selling opportunities. Alternately, if we break down below the bottom of the recent lows, then the market is likely to go looking towards the $1500 level, FX Empire reported.

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Jasmine Le