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World breaking news today (March 5): Southeast Asia rebuffs U.S. sanctions on Myanmar

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

March 05, 2021 | 12:12

World breaking news today (March 5): Southeast Asia rebuffs U.S. sanctions on Myanmar. Meanwhile, Hong Kong court keeps 47 democracy activists in custody, Powerful quake in off New Zealand and gold price also make headlines today.

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(Photo: Bharat Express News)

Southeast Asia rebuffs U.S. sanctions on Myanmar, giving generals a lifeline

As the United States seeks to build a coalition to further punish Myanmar generals, it has not had much success in convincing governments in Asia to do the same.

The reputation of army chief Min Aung Hlaing’s regime waned further in the West after his envoy to the United Nations denounced the military takeover and Myanmar authorities killed 18 protesters on Sunday, the deadliest day since the coup d’état of February 1. While the junta has since told security forces to avoid using live ammunition, reports emerged on Tuesday that protesters were still being shot with them.

The United States has led the international response, with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan saying the country is “coordinating closely with its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region” and will take further action after imposing targeted sanctions on those behind the coup. The UK also sanctioned the generals and the European Union said it was working on punitive measures.

Asian countries, on the other hand, have taken no concrete action. While Indonesia has carried out shuttle diplomacy and Singapore said it was “appalled by the violence”, no country in the region has so

On Tuesday, foreign ministers of the Association of 10 Southeast Asian Countries, which includes Myanmar, which has 10 members, sought to balance calls for Aung San Suu Kyi’s release by avoiding any interference in the internal affairs of the country. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the sanctions will only hurt the population as a whole and bring Myanmar closer to those who are ready to speak to the country, like China.far indicated that it will support sanctions or any other measure that would harm to the finances of the army.

For Myanmar’s generals, Southeast Asia’s reluctance to join US sanctions or even exclude them from meetings effectively offers a diplomatic lifeline as they struggle to take control of the country. Before Myanmar opened up a decade ago, trade ties with Asia allowed the junta to survive for years despite much broader Western sanctions than those currently in place, the Bharat Express News said.

Hong Kong court keeps 47 democracy activists in custody

A Hong Kong court on Thursday ordered all 47 pro-democracy activists charged under a Beijing-imposed national security law to be kept in custody after the Department of Justice appealed an initial decision to grant 15 of them bail.

Thirty-one of the activists were denied bail outright, with the co-founder of the 2014 Occupy Central protest movement, Benny Tai, withdrawing his bail application after he was ordered held in custody in a separate case.

The next hearing in the case will be on May 31.

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(Photo: Yahoo News)

The activists, aged 23 to 64, were charged with conspiracy to commit subversion under the security law and detained on Sunday over their involvement in an unofficial primary election last year that authorities said was a plot to paralyze Hong Kong's government.

The mass charges against the activists were the most sweeping action taken against the city's pro-democracy camp since the national security law was implemented last June.

With the 47 remanded in custody, nearly all of Hong Kong's most prominent pro-democracy figures will now be in jail or in self-exile abroad amid an ongoing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

As reported by Star Tribune, 15 activists initially granted bail are to appear in court within 48 hours for a review of the decision.

Video of Joe Biden’s live feed cut off after asking for questions viewed one million times

The sudden cutting off of a virtual discussion live feed held by President Joe Biden and House Democrats after he opened the floor to questions has been widely viewed on social media, News Week reported.

During the session from the White House briefing room on Wednesday, Biden had urged fellow Democrats to make the case for the COVID relief package to their constituents.

At the end of the speech, Biden said: "I'm happy to take questions if that's what I'm supposed to do Nance," referring to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had introduced him at the start of his address.

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President Joe Biden (Photo: ABC News)

At the end of the speech, Biden said: "I'm happy to take questions, if that's what I'm supposed to do Nance," referring to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had introduced him at the start of his address.

Biden has been criticized for not holding a formal press conference since he took office on January 20, more than six weeks ago.

Before the feed cut off, Biden had appealed to the Democrats to stay "unified" to ensure the passage of the America Rescue Plan.

He said that the $1.9 trillion relief package currently being haggled over in the Senate, "won't just make a difference in our fight against COVID-19 and our efforts to rebuild the economy—it will also show the American people we're capable of coming together for what matters most to them."

Powerful quake hits off New Zealand

A powerful magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck Friday in the ocean off New Zealand, prompting thousands of people to evacuate and triggering tsunami warnings across the South Pacific. A tsunami watch issued for Hawaii has been canceled.

The quake was the largest in a series of tremors that hit the region over several hours, including two earlier quakes that registered magnitude 7.4 and magnitude 7.3.

While the quakes triggered warning systems and caused traffic jams and some chaos in New Zealand as people scrambled to get to higher ground, they did not appear to pose a widespread threat to lives or major infrastructure.

That's because of the remoteness of where they hit. The largest struck about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) off the coast of New Zealand, ABC 7 reported.

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(Photo: Washington News Post)

Gold price forecast – gold reaching down towards massive support

The $1700 level underneath is being targeted yet again, as the market is trying to break down significantly. The US dollar is also going to be toxic for gold.

Gold markets broke down a bit during the trading session yet again on Thursday as we continue to look at the $1700 level as potential support. If we can break down below there, then I think the gold market has further to go, perhaps dropping all the way down to the $1500 level before it is all said and done. Keep an eye on 10 year yields, because if they do continue to rise, it is very likely that the market will sell gold as it is essentially kryptonite for the yellow metal, according to FX Empire.

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(Photo: NPR)
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Jasmine Le