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China boasts of successfully ‘creating jobs’ in Xinjiang region work scheme

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china boasts of successfully creating jobs in xinjiang region work scheme

China has lauded the success of its vocational and jobs schemes in the troubled Xinjiang region on Thursday, just days after the US government said they were being operated from facilities run like ‘concentration camps’.

On Thursday the Chinese government published a white paper staunchly defending its policy in the Muslim-inhabited region, where it says training programmes, work schemes and better education mean life has improved. 

But the facilities were slammed by Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, who told reporters: ‘This is not a vocational centre, it is a concentration camp.’ 

China has lauded the success of its vocational and jobs schemes in the troubled Xinjiang region on Thursday. Women wearing face masks work at a garment factory in a resettlement area on June 21, 2020 in Yecheng County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China

China has lauded the success of its vocational and jobs schemes in the troubled Xinjiang region on Thursday. Women wearing face masks work at a garment factory in a resettlement area on June 21, 2020 in Yecheng County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China

China has lauded the success of its vocational and jobs schemes in the troubled Xinjiang region on Thursday. Women wearing face masks work at a garment factory in a resettlement area on June 21, 2020 in Yecheng County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China

This photo taken on May 31, 2019 shows watchtowers on a high-security facility near what is believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained on the outskirts of Hotan, in China's northwestern Xinjiang region

This photo taken on May 31, 2019 shows watchtowers on a high-security facility near what is believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained on the outskirts of Hotan, in China's northwestern Xinjiang region

This photo taken on May 31, 2019 shows watchtowers on a high-security facility near what is believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained on the outskirts of Hotan, in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region

Beijing has come under intense international criticism over its policies in the resource-rich region, where rights groups say as many as one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are being held in internment camps.

US customs said Monday it would bar a raft of Chinese products from Xinjiang over fears of forced labour, saying ‘religious and ethnic minorities are… forced to work in heinous conditions with no recourse and no freedom’.

But Beijing says the centres are for vocational training, necessary for counter terrorism efforts and to provide education for alleviating poverty.

The new report issued by Chinese authorities says Xinjiang has ‘vigorously implemented employment projects, enhanced vocational training, and expanded employment channels and capacity’.

It says vocational training for millions has improved the quality of the workforce.

‘Xinjiang has built a large knowledge-based, skilled and innovative workforce that meets the requirements of the new era,’ the report reads.

Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (pictured centre on Janaury 31, 2020 in a briefing) told reporters: 'This is not a vocational centre, it is a concentration camp

Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (pictured centre on Janaury 31, 2020 in a briefing) told reporters: 'This is not a vocational centre, it is a concentration camp

Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (pictured centre on Janaury 31, 2020 in a briefing) told reporters: ‘This is not a vocational centre, it is a concentration camp

Beijing has come under intense international criticism over its policies in the resource-rich region. A woman is pictured in the file photo working in a textile factory in Xinjiang

Beijing has come under intense international criticism over its policies in the resource-rich region. A woman is pictured in the file photo working in a textile factory in Xinjiang

Beijing has come under intense international criticism over its policies in the resource-rich region. A woman is pictured in the file photo working in a textile factory in Xinjiang

This photo taken on June 2, 2019 shows a facility believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, in Artux, north of Kashgar in China

This photo taken on June 2, 2019 shows a facility believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, in Artux, north of Kashgar in China

This photo taken on June 2, 2019 shows a facility believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, in Artux, north of Kashgar in China

Training includes teaching written and spoken Mandarin, labour skills and giving knowledge of urban life, according to the report, which says rural people have started businesses or taken employment in factories after state support.

Every year between 2014 and 2019, Xinjiang gave ‘training sessions’ to an average of 1.29 million urban and rural workers, it says, adding that employment policies ‘meet the people’s needs (and) improve their wellbeing’.

However, the white paper warns there is a low level of vocational skills and says ‘terrorists, separatists and religious extremists’ have encouraged the public not to learn Chinese, to ‘reject modern science, and refuse to improve their vocational skills’.

Swedish clothing giant H&M said this week it was ending its relationship with a Chinese yarn producer over accusations of ‘forced labour’ in Xinjiang, which is China’s largest cotton growing area.

Beijing has denied claims of forced labour and in Tuesday’s report said it would take ‘resolute action’ against it.

Beijing has come under intense international criticism over its policies in the resource-rich region, where rights groups say as many as one million Uighurs are being held in internment camps. The file picture reportedly shows detainees in a re-education camp located in Xinjiang

Beijing has come under intense international criticism over its policies in the resource-rich region, where rights groups say as many as one million Uighurs are being held in internment camps. The file picture reportedly shows detainees in a re-education camp located in Xinjiang

Beijing has come under intense international criticism over its policies in the resource-rich region, where rights groups say as many as one million Uighurs are being held in internment camps. The file picture reportedly shows detainees in a re-education camp located in Xinjiang

Workers walk by the perimeter fence of what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China on September 4, 2018

Workers walk by the perimeter fence of what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China on September 4, 2018

Workers walk by the perimeter fence of what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China on September 4, 2018

The EU meanwhile has urged China to allow independent observers to travel to the highly-surveilled region.

China this week said experts were ‘welcome’ but did not detail if they would be allowed free access to the controversial facilities.

State media frequently shows apparently happy vocational students studying or working in the large facilities.

But rights groups have warned of forced detentions and political indoctrination as part of a campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to erase the ethnic group’s identity and culture.

In a white paper on Xinjiang in March, China defended its controversial security crackdown and said nearly 13,000 ‘terrorists’ have been arrested there since 2014.

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Renters betrayed as new evictions approach after housing secretary ‘tears up his pledge’

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renters betrayed as new evictions approach after housing secretary tears up his pledge

Renters have been plunged into turmoil as evictions are set to resume after the housing secretary ‘tore up his pledge’ to protect them. 

Robert Jenrick introduced a ban at the start of the Covid pandemic which halted all hearings of possession cases as he championed that ‘no renter who lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home’.

But, six months later, the government will allow evictions to resume in England and Wales from Monday.

Robert Jenrick (pictured) introduced a ban at the start of the Covid pandemic which halted all hearings of possession cases as he championed that 'no renter who lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home'

Robert Jenrick (pictured) introduced a ban at the start of the Covid pandemic which halted all hearings of possession cases as he championed that 'no renter who lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home'

Robert Jenrick (pictured) introduced a ban at the start of the Covid pandemic which halted all hearings of possession cases as he championed that ‘no renter who lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home’

Alicia Kennedy, who has directed the campaign Generation Rent, told The Times: ‘Robert Jenrick has torn up his pledge to protect renters.

‘There is now nothing stopping tenants who have been given a Section 21 [eviction] notice from being forced out of their home. 

‘Even renters in severe financial distress can only buy themselves an extra six weeks’ grace.

‘These new rules provide no comfort and do nothing to prevent hardship and homelessness.’

UK courts can usually grant automatic eviction notices if a tenant falls eight weeks into rent arrears. 

The ban on evictions has already been extended twice since March as figures from YouGov and Shelter suggest that 322,000 renters have fallen behind on their monthly payments due to the impact of the pandemic.    

The ban on evictions has already been extended twice as figures from YouGov and Shelter suggest that 322,000 private renters have fallen behind on their monthly payments due to the impact of the pandemic (stock image)

The ban on evictions has already been extended twice as figures from YouGov and Shelter suggest that 322,000 private renters have fallen behind on their monthly payments due to the impact of the pandemic (stock image)

The ban on evictions has already been extended twice as figures from YouGov and Shelter suggest that 322,000 private renters have fallen behind on their monthly payments due to the impact of the pandemic (stock image)

The government has instructed that bailiffs are still forbidden from evicting those in areas of local lockdown or in the run up to Christmas – apart from in exceptional circumstances. 

Labour is also calling for a further extension of the ban similar to that seen in Scotland and Northern Ireland where renters will not face eviction until March 31. 

Defending the decision, Mr Jenrick said it was ‘right that we strike a balance between protecting renters and ensuring landlords whose tenants have behaved in illegal or anti-social ways have access to justice’.

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Question of Sport team captain Willie Carson says BBC are on ‘dangerous ground’

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question of sport team captain willie carson says bbc are on dangerous ground

Former A Question of Sport team captain Willie Carson has said the BBC is on ‘dangerous ground’ by ditching host Sue Barker.

The former tennis player, 64, has been axed as host of the show, alongside team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell, so that bosses can draft in fresh talent to revamp the long-running sports quiz. 

Mr Carson, 77, who was a team captain in 1972, told the Daily Express: ‘The BBC are on dangerous ground because these are big shoes to fill. Very big shoes to fill.

Sue Barker, 64, (centre) has been axed as host of BBC's A Question Of Sport, alongside team captains Matt Dawson (left) and Phil Tufnell (right), so that bosses can draft in fresh talent

Sue Barker, 64, (centre) has been axed as host of BBC's A Question Of Sport, alongside team captains Matt Dawson (left) and Phil Tufnell (right), so that bosses can draft in fresh talent

Sue Barker, 64, (centre) has been axed as host of BBC’s A Question Of Sport, alongside team captains Matt Dawson (left) and Phil Tufnell (right), so that bosses can draft in fresh talent

Mr Carson, 77, who was a team captain in 1972, said: 'The BBC are on dangerous ground because these are big shoes to fill. Very big shoes to fill'

Mr Carson, 77, who was a team captain in 1972, said: 'The BBC are on dangerous ground because these are big shoes to fill. Very big shoes to fill'

Mr Carson, 77, who was a team captain in 1972, said: ‘The BBC are on dangerous ground because these are big shoes to fill. Very big shoes to fill’

‘It seems a little bit harsh in a way, because it seems to be a very successful team.

‘I’m sure most people were very happy the way the format is at the moment. I certainly am.

‘They have great chemistry between the three of them – seems a shame to lose that.’ 

Mr Carson was particularly critical of BBC middle-management for getting rid of Miss Barker, who will continue with presenting duties for the next two summers at Wimbledon, having signed a three-year deal last year.

He added: ‘People sitting at a desk think they can do better.

‘The racing term is: people in the stands can ride the horse better than the fellow on top, the jockey. That’s what’s happening.’ 

Jermaine Jenas is in the running to become one of the new team captains

Jermaine Jenas is in the running to become one of the new team captains

Alex Scott is in the mix to replace Barker as the host for A Question of Sport

Alex Scott is in the mix to replace Barker as the host for A Question of Sport

Jermaine Jenas and Alex Scott have both been tipped to join A Question of Sport in the future

Sources previously disclosed to Sportsmail that Alex Scott, the former Arsenal and England defender, is well-liked by the broadcaster and in the mix to replace Barker as presenter. 

Ex-Tottenham and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas is also in the running to become one of the new team captains, with the BBC keen to diversify.  

The final series of A Question Of Sport featuring Miss Barker, Tufnell and Dawson will be shown next year. 

The BBC told the Daily Express that ‘no conversations have been had about the future line-up.’  

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DR MICHAEL MOSLEY: Here’s how you CAN let a second wave wash over you

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dr michael mosley heres how you can let a second wave wash over you

After a last, glorious blast of heat, the British summer is almost over and we are now heading into autumn. 

I normally love this time of year, but right now I am seriously worried the next few months will bring a big surge in coronavirus cases — if we aren’t already heading into a second wave, with rises in cases in parts of the UK.

Part of the problem with colder weather is that we spend more time indoors, allowing viruses to flourish. But we’re also all still learning how to Covid-behave and it’s a steep learning curve. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pictured during a visit to the Jenner Institute in Oxford.  Like the flu, this coronavirus spreads when someone who is infected (but may not know it) coughs, sneezes, laughs, sings or shouts, spraying tiny droplets packed with viruses into the air

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pictured during a visit to the Jenner Institute in Oxford.  Like the flu, this coronavirus spreads when someone who is infected (but may not know it) coughs, sneezes, laughs, sings or shouts, spraying tiny droplets packed with viruses into the air

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pictured during a visit to the Jenner Institute in Oxford.  Like the flu, this coronavirus spreads when someone who is infected (but may not know it) coughs, sneezes, laughs, sings or shouts, spraying tiny droplets packed with viruses into the air

A few weeks ago my wife Clare and I went out with a couple of friends for a meal in a pub restaurant — the four of us ended up sitting close together, cheek by jowl with lots of other people shouting and having a good time. 

There was no attempt at social distancing, none of the waiters wore masks and no one was asked to give their contact information. I must confess, it freaked me out — and I haven’t been back since.

I’m no germaphobe — our house has always been the average-family-with-dog type clean, we don’t use antibacterial soap and normally we do just a quick wipe of the surfaces — but with the R (the virus reproduction) rate cross the UK above 1, the figure at which cases can increase exponentially, more people are going to be exposed to the virus, and that’s a worry.

And I don’t think we can rely on a vaccine being widely available until the end of this year at the earliest.

As a man now in his seventh decade (I am 63), I tick two of the boxes for risk factors for severe Covid — my gender and older age — should I catch it.

I normally love this time of year, but right now I am seriously worried the next few months will bring a big surge in coronavirus cases — if we aren’t already heading into a second wave, with rises in cases in parts of the UK [File photo]

I normally love this time of year, but right now I am seriously worried the next few months will bring a big surge in coronavirus cases — if we aren’t already heading into a second wave, with rises in cases in parts of the UK [File photo]

I normally love this time of year, but right now I am seriously worried the next few months will bring a big surge in coronavirus cases — if we aren’t already heading into a second wave, with rises in cases in parts of the UK [File photo]

So what can we do to protect ourselves and our loved ones — beyond obvious things such as wearing a mask and practising social distancing?

Like the flu, this coronavirus spreads when someone who is infected (but may not know it) coughs, sneezes, laughs, sings or shouts, spraying tiny droplets packed with viruses into the air.

If you’re unlucky enough to be nearby, you can become infected by getting the virus on your hands (and later rubbing your eyes) or breathing in some of the viruses.

The longer spent with an infected person, particularly if you are close up indoors, the higher the risk.

So one of the things to do is avoid or reduce Covid-risky activities (Google ‘Covid risk’ for diagrams that conveniently break down routine activities into different risk categories).

The least risky include getting a takeaway or opening the post — which you will be pleased to know if you’re someone who leaves letters and parcels to ‘self-isolate’ for several days before handling.

‘Low to moderate’ risk are things like food shopping, eating outside at a restaurant, staying in a hotel for two nights and playing golf. 

‘Moderate to high’ risk includes going to a hair salon, eating inside a restaurant, travelling by plane, and hugging or shaking hands. 

The ‘high risk’ category seems pretty obvious — eating at a buffet, attending a religious service (particularly if it’s packed) and going to a bar or gym.

I’ve done plenty of the ‘low to moderate’ risk activities (including handling the post!); but in the ‘moderately high risk category’ there are things Clare, who is a GP, and I have consciously stopped doing — for instance, I haven’t shaken hands since early March, and we’ve only eaten indoors at a restaurant, on a couple of occasions. 

The only ‘high risk’ thing we’ve done is go to our local cinema, which had about ten people in it. 

I hate gyms and have no intention of going to a bar until this crisis is over. This isn’t because I’m personally worried about becoming seriously ill if I got infected. 

In fact, reassuringly my personal risk is pretty low — I know this thanks to the Covid-risk quiz below, designed by the British Medical Association. 

My score was 3 (two for my age, and one for being male), putting me at ‘medium’ risk, while Clare, who is 59, scored just 1, so her risk is low.

Even if you are low risk, nobody wants to catch or spread Covid-19, so here are my evidence-based steps to stop that happening: 

33360938 0 image a 520 1600475769752

33360938 0 image a 520 1600475769752

Weigh yourself 

While you can’t do anything about your age, gender or ethnicity (which matters for severe Covid risk), you can do something about your weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels — all risk factors for severe Covid. 

Losing weight can lead to big improvements in blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as last week’s Shape Up Britain series in the Mail demonstrated so well.

What surprises me is that so many people who are overweight don’t know it — a recent study found only 10 per cent of people who are obese (with a BMI over 30) realise it. 

Get into the sun 

A good night’s sleep is especially important for keeping your immune system in good shape as this is when your body starts making important components of your immunity, such as antibodies. 

A big U.S. study in 2019 found that people who had over seven hours’ sleep a night were four times less likely to come down with a cold than those getting six hours or less. 

Bright light in the morning helps set your body clock, leading to better sleep and stronger immunity. If you can’t get outdoors, sit by a window. 

A good night’s sleep is especially important for keeping your immune system in good shape [File photo]

A good night’s sleep is especially important for keeping your immune system in good shape [File photo]

A good night’s sleep is especially important for keeping your immune system in good shape [File photo]

Take vitamin D 

Although I’m not a fan of supplements, I have recently bought some vitamin D. It is vital for a healthy immune system and plays a key role in activating your T cells, which seem to be particularly important for destroying coronaviruses. 

While the evidence whether it makes much difference with Covid-19 is mixed, NHS advice is that most of us should consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. 

The hello elbow 

Instead of shaking hands, I’ve become an elbow nudger — I also use my forearm or elbow to push open doors. If I have to touch a lift button, I do it with a pen — even better, I take the stairs.

Don’t hand it on

I wash my hands whenever I’ve been out, and always before eating. And these days I do it for at least 20 seconds, while singing Staying Alive.

Brain tricks I used to cut back on my drinking…

I was shocked to read earlier this week that the number of people now drinking at levels that threaten their health has doubled to 8.5 million since February. 

Stuck indoors, anxious about Covid-19 and worried about their jobs, it’s not surprising so many have turned to booze. 

While I’ve never been a heavy drinker — not least because boringly, alcohol just makes me sleepy — a few years ago my wife, Clare, and I decided to try a 5:2 approach to alcohol: we now drink only on Fridays and Saturdays and try to stay alcohol free the other five days of the week. 

Another trick I use to slow down the amount of alcohol I drink is to leave the bottle of wine on the other side of the room, so I have to get up for a refill, and I try to drink a glass of water for each glass of booze. 

These are ways of cutting your intake without overtaxing your willpower — it’s about tricking your brain into forming new habits that moderate your behaviour without you realising it!

Of course, if your drinking is serious, you may need professional support: an honest conversation with your GP is a good place to start.

Stuck indoors, anxious about Covid-19 and worried about their jobs, it’s not surprising so many have turned to booze [File photo]

Stuck indoors, anxious about Covid-19 and worried about their jobs, it’s not surprising so many have turned to booze [File photo]

Stuck indoors, anxious about Covid-19 and worried about their jobs, it’s not surprising so many have turned to booze [File photo]

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