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France follows suit with Britain as it halts extradition treaty with Hong Kong

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france follows suit with britain as it halts extradition treaty with hong kong

France said today that it is halting ratification of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong after Beijing introduced a controversial new security law in the former British colony.

‘In light of the latest developments, France will not proceed as it stands with the ratification of the extradition agreement signed on May 4, 2017 between France and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,’ the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said the national security law for Hong Kong was ‘a change that compromises the inherited framework of the 1997 handover’ to China from British rule.

New Zealand, Canada, Britain, Australia and Germany have already suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong since the security law was introduced in June.

France is halting ratification of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong after Beijing introduced a controversial new security law

France is halting ratification of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong after Beijing introduced a controversial new security law

France is halting ratification of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong after Beijing introduced a controversial new security law

It comes amid anger at alleged Chinese human rights abuses in Hong Kong, as well as against its Uighur Muslim population

It comes amid anger at alleged Chinese human rights abuses in Hong Kong, as well as against its Uighur Muslim population

It comes amid anger at alleged Chinese human rights abuses in Hong Kong, as well as against its Uighur Muslim population

After Britain suspended its extradition treaty, China warned it would ‘bear the consequences’ of suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. 

In July, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the suspension of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, amid anger at alleged Chinese human rights abuses in the region, as well as against its Uighur Muslim population.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in London said in a statement Beijing had expressed its concerns over the UK interfering in Hong Kong matters ‘which are internal affairs of China’. 

The statement also warned that the UK will ‘bear consequences’.  

Liu Xiaoming has been critical of Britain's suspension of the extradition treaty with Hong Kong in his role as China's ambassador to the UK

Liu Xiaoming has been critical of Britain's suspension of the extradition treaty with Hong Kong in his role as China's ambassador to the UK

Liu Xiaoming has been critical of Britain’s suspension of the extradition treaty with Hong Kong in his role as China’s ambassador to the UK

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the suspension of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the suspension of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the suspension of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong

The Chinese Embassy spokesman said: ‘Now the UK side has gone even further down the wrong road in disregard of China’s solemn position and repeated representations.

‘It once again contravened international law and the basic norms governing international relations and blatantly interfered in China’s internal affairs in an attempt to disrupt the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong SAR and undermine the city’s prosperity and stability.

‘China urges the UK side to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs, in any form.

‘The UK will bear the consequences if it insists on going down the wrong road.’ 

Why is the UK suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong? 

China imposed a new national security law on Hong Kong at the end of June this year.

The controversial legislation criminalises secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces but also curtails rights to protest and freedom of speech. 

Crucially, the rules apply outside the borders of China. 

This has stoked fears Beijing could try to use the extradition mechanism to drag any overseas residents involved in pro-democracy activism back to Hong Kong. 

The UK does currently have an extradition treaty with Hong Kong but it does not have one with China. 

There are fears that people could be extradited back to Hong Kong to be unfairly punished.  

Canada and Australia have both already suspended their extradition arrangements with Hong Kong with the US currently considering whether to also follow suit. 

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The UK not only suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong but also slapped an arms embargo on the territory in response to China’s national security law.

Mr Raab said the measures were a ‘reasonable and proportionate’ response to the law imposed by Beijing – a law Washington has joined in criticising.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that many countries were concerned about the government in Beijing.

He said: ‘This is a problem for the free world right now, so France and Germany are having to make decisions.

‘You’ve got other countries elsewhere in Europe and in the far east that are all worried about the dominance and the dependency that China is putting people into given the nature of its regime.’

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper said countries like Britain ‘must avoid a China-centric view’ and called on Mr Johnson to help the UK ‘assume a much greater role in global affairs than has been the case in many years’.

Frosty relations between the US and China led to President Donald Trump’s administration imposing sanctions on Huawei over security concerns – a decision that played a major part in the UK Government’s move last week to demand that the Chinese technology giant’s equipment is stripped out of the country’s burgeoning 5G network by 2027.

Backbench Tories, including Commons Liaison Committee chairman Sir Bernard Jenkin, have been pressing for a tougher approach to Beijing, particularly in relation to its role in building nuclear power plants in Britain.

The U-turn on Huawei – a reversal of the announcement in January allowing it a limited 5G role – has left China aggrieved.

The Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, criticised the Government’s approach in a combative BBC interview on Sunday, denouncing Britain for ‘dancing to the tune’ of the US and accusing Western countries of trying to foment a ‘new cold war’ with China.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Downing Street summit on Tuesday

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Downing Street summit on Tuesday

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Downing Street summit on Tuesday

Uighur men resing in front of a coffee bar in Kashgar, western Xinjiang. China denies abusing the Uighur population and says such accusations are slander

Uighur men resing in front of a coffee bar in Kashgar, western Xinjiang. China denies abusing the Uighur population and says such accusations are slander

Uighur men resing in front of a coffee bar in Kashgar, western Xinjiang. China denies abusing the Uighur population and says such accusations are slander

But on Monday, Mr Raab took further action when he told MPs the extradition treaty with Hong Kong was being suspended ‘immediately and indefinitely’ because of concerns the security legislation could allow cases to be transferred to mainland China.

An arms embargo with mainland China has been in place since 1989 and that will now be extended to Hong Kong because of the extra powers Beijing now has for the internal security of the territory.

Mr Raab’s actions came after Mr Johnson promised a ‘tough’ but ‘calibrated’ response to Beijing.

In an interview before Mr Raab’s announcement, the Prime Minister had promised to strike a balance in his approach to Beijing, resisting pressure from China hawks to take a hardline stance.

‘I’m not going to be pushed into a position of becoming a knee-jerk Sinophobe on every issue, somebody who is automatically anti-China,’ he said.

‘But we do have serious concerns.’

Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy suggested the Government could take steps to bar Chinese Communist Party officials from the UK and called for a ‘new era’ in terms of the Britain’s relationship with the country.

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Parents of student,22, who vanished 40-years ago fighting to change death certificate

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parents of student22 who vanished 40 years ago fighting to change death certificate

The elderly parents of a student who vanished nearly 40 years ago say they are ‘living’ to change her death certificate to state that she was murdered. 

Art student Jessie Earl was just 22 when she disappeared from her university home in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in May 1980. 

Nine years later, Jessie’s incomplete skeleton was found in dense scrubland above Beachy Head. Her personal belongings and clothing had been removed – and she was left only with her bra, which had been used to tie up her wrists. 

After her remains were found in 1989, an inquest recorded an open verdict and her parents Valerie, 88, and John, 92, have been fighting to have her her death reclassified ever since.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Val explained they ‘knew’ it was murder as soon as they saw Jessie’s remains, and that their only wish in life is to change the ruling of their her death.  

Art student Jessie Earl (picture) was just 22 when she disappeared from her university home in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in May 1980

Art student Jessie Earl (picture) was just 22 when she disappeared from her university home in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in May 1980

Art student Jessie Earl (picture) was just 22 when she disappeared from her university home in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in May 1980

After her remains were found in 1989, an inquest recorded an open verdict and her parents Valerie, 88, and John, 92, (pictured) have been fighting to have her her death reclassified

After her remains were found in 1989, an inquest recorded an open verdict and her parents Valerie, 88, and John, 92, (pictured) have been fighting to have her her death reclassified

After her remains were found in 1989, an inquest recorded an open verdict and her parents Valerie, 88, and John, 92, (pictured) have been fighting to have her her death reclassified

‘From the moment I saw the death certificate I thought this is not fair to our daughter, said John, ‘I thought we must get it altered — and that is what we have been living for since’.

Jessie was a student at Eastbourne College of Art and Design, and had been spotted coming home from the doctors by an elderly neighbour the afternoon before she went missing. 

After two weeks the police classified Jessie as a missing person, and her parents would spend every moment they had spare searching for their daughter, distributing flyers and contacting various charities. 

Val told the publication how at one point in the search she stood waiting near the A2, after a psychic said her daughter would be travelling on the road in a blue car. 

Jessie was a student at Eastbourne College of Art and Design, and had been spotted coming home from the doctors by an elderly neighbour the afternoon before she went missing in 1980

Jessie was a student at Eastbourne College of Art and Design, and had been spotted coming home from the doctors by an elderly neighbour the afternoon before she went missing in 1980

Jessie was a student at Eastbourne College of Art and Design, and had been spotted coming home from the doctors by an elderly neighbour the afternoon before she went missing in 1980

After the call to tell them that Jessie’s remains had been found, John and Val knew her death was suspicious, with the ring and watch she wore daily missing from her naked body.   

‘As soon as we saw the bra we knew it was murder’, Val said. 

The family, along with police officer-turned-investigator Mark William-Thomas, have speculated that Jessie could have been a victim of serial killer Peter Tobin. 

John, who now lives in Eltham, south east London, said in January he and his wife aren’t interested in revenge, instead they want to see their daughter’s death recorded as a murder ‘before it is too late.’

‘We are not interested in revenge’,  said John, ‘We just want final justice for our daughter. The important thing is for this to happen in our lifetime. We always hoped we hadn’t seen the last of this.

John, who now lives in Eltham, south east London, said in January he and his wife aren't interested in revenge, instead they want to see their daughter's death recorded as a murder 'before it is too late'

John, who now lives in Eltham, south east London, said in January he and his wife aren't interested in revenge, instead they want to see their daughter's death recorded as a murder 'before it is too late'

John, who now lives in Eltham, south east London, said in January he and his wife aren’t interested in revenge, instead they want to see their daughter’s death recorded as a murder ‘before it is too late’

‘The first 11 years after she disappeared were the worst. They were hard, because we had no idea what had happened to her.

‘We always knew were looking at something suspicious, but the uncertainty is very painful. When she was discovered we were relieved.

‘But this last part has been very painful to get over. We want justice and to have the right verdict.

‘You get over the crying in and things like that in 40 years, now were just want justice – but in our lifetime. We will get the right result.’ 

Following criticism of its handling, Sussex Police reopened the case in 2001 and formally recorded Jessie’s death as murder. A fresh file was sent to the Coroner but no new inquest was organised.

Jessie's parents have previously speculated that their daughter was a victim of convicted serial killer Tobin, who was living in the area at the time

Jessie's parents have previously speculated that their daughter was a victim of convicted serial killer Tobin, who was living in the area at the time

Jessie’s parents have previously speculated that their daughter was a victim of convicted serial killer Tobin, who was living in the area at the time

Earlier this year, the family launched a crowdfunder to get the verdict quashed off the back of Jessie’s death being featured in the second season of the Netflix series ‘The Investigator’.  

Jessie’s parents have previously speculated that their daughter was a victim of convicted serial killer Tobin, who was living in the area at the time.

He is serving life sentences for murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk, Scots schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton and Essex teenager Dinah McNicol.

But Sussex Police have previously ruled Tobin out, telling the BBC last year: ‘We have no evidence implicating Peter Tobin or any other named or known individual in the murder of Jessie Earl’. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Employers increasing levels of surveillance in an attempt to recreate office at home

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employers increasing levels of surveillance in an attempt to recreate office at home

As the coronavirus crisis continues, office workers have been advised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to keep working from home where they can. 

However, this may not mean escaping the office environment entirely, with some employers reportedly using increasing surveillance to try and keep tabs on workers they’re miles away from. 

According to the Observer, several employers have been using online tools to recreate the normal workplace – while others have requested digital methods of monitoring their workers from tech companies. 

Shirking or working? Employers seem increasingly unsure...digital health researcher Dr Claudia Pagliari says managers have 'ramped up' tracking their employees

Shirking or working? Employers seem increasingly unsure...digital health researcher Dr Claudia Pagliari says managers have 'ramped up' tracking their employees

Shirking or working? Employers seem increasingly unsure…digital health researcher Dr Claudia Pagliari says managers have ‘ramped up’ tracking their employees

Dr Claudia Pagliari, a researcher into digital health and society at the University of Edinburgh, told that bosses have ‘ramped up’ their attempts to track their employee’s time, in the same way they might in the real world. 

‘It has really ramped up’, she said, ‘People are home working, and many organisations are beginning to want to track what they’re doing.’

She revealed that employers are keeping track of workers’ time through tools such as Slack and Microsoft Team, which report when an employee is active. 

The publication also spoke with David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founder of start-up Basecamp, a company providing a platform for remote employees. 

WHAT IS API?  

Application Programming Interface (API) is a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate with each other. 

When using an app on a mobile phone, the application connects to the Internet and sends data to another server. 

The server retrieves that data, performs the required actions and sends it back to the phone. 

The application then interprets that data and gives the user the information you wanted in a readable way.

APIs can also be used to control access to devices that an application may not have permission to use. 

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He claimed that he’s turned down requests from companies who wish to spy on their employees: ‘We went so far as to say that our API cannot be used for any form of employee surveillance.’   

This news comes after the dramatic reversal of the Government’s recent drive to get people back to workplaces earlier this month.

The new Covid-19 measures implemented last week includes advising all office workers to work from home where they can as soon as possible. 

The official guidance for England now states: ‘Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so.’ 

David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founder of start-up Basecamp, claims that he's turned down requests from companies who wish to spy on their employees

David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founder of start-up Basecamp, claims that he's turned down requests from companies who wish to spy on their employees

David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founder of start-up Basecamp, claims that he’s turned down requests from companies who wish to spy on their employees

According to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove: ‘We are stressing that if it is safe to work in your workplace, if you are in a Covid-secure workplace, then you should be there if your job requires it. But, if you can work from home you should.’

But this may not be bad news to all, with a July survey revealing one in three office workers want to continue working from home after the coronavirus threat is over. 

The study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) found that 32 per cent of people are expecting to at least partially work from home even after the lockdown has ended. 

The research further indicated that between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of employees will be working from home on any one day in 2021. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Crying toddler found wandering the streets of Hull alone – as passer-by spots him and calls police

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crying toddler found wandering the streets of hull alone as passer by spots him and calls police

A sobbing toddler, thought to be about two years old, was found wandering alone in the streets of Hull.

The little boy was spotted looking lost and confused by two passers-by on a road in Spring Bank in Hull, East Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon.

The men phoned the police who were filmed arriving on the scene in a Facebook video that has been viewed almost 20,000 times.  

Passers-by called the police when they found a little boy all alone looking lost and confused on a road in Spring Bank in Hull, East Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon

Passers-by called the police when they found a little boy all alone looking lost and confused on a road in Spring Bank in Hull, East Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon

Passers-by called the police when they found a little boy all alone looking lost and confused on a road in Spring Bank in Hull, East Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon

Footage shows the missing boy, who is wearing a red coat and green shorts, waiting with two men and a child as the police arrive.

The men explain the situation while the little boy stands beside the adults with a terrified look on his face. 

One policeman tries to talk to the boy, saying: ‘Hello love. You alright? It’s okay, talk to us.’ 

The other policeman bends down to the boy’s height and reaches for his hand, coaxing him to come to him, saying: ‘We’ll find mummy, come on.’ 

Video footage shows the police arriving on the scene as one policeman tries to talk to the boy, bending down to his level saying: 'We'll find mummy, come on'

Video footage shows the police arriving on the scene as one policeman tries to talk to the boy, bending down to his level saying: 'We'll find mummy, come on'

Video footage shows the police arriving on the scene as one policeman tries to talk to the boy, bending down to his level saying: ‘We’ll find mummy, come on’

The terrified boy continues to sob as he is held in the policeman's arms as the men try to figure out his name and where he lives

The terrified boy continues to sob as he is held in the policeman's arms as the men try to figure out his name and where he lives

The terrified boy continues to sob as he is held in the policeman’s arms as the men try to figure out his name and where he lives

He picks the toddler up in his arms as the little boys begins to sob.

‘Where’s your house?’ he asks him. ‘Where’s mummy?’, but the boy just continues to cry.

The four men discuss the situation, with the policemen wondering why they can’t see any distressed parents out looking for him.

When the boy calms down they ask him again where he lives and his name but he only shakes his head. 

Eventually, the two police officers take the boy to their police van and it has been confirmed that the little boy has been safely reunited with his family

Eventually, the two police officers take the boy to their police van and it has been confirmed that the little boy has been safely reunited with his family

Eventually, the two police officers take the boy to their police van and it has been confirmed that the little boy has been safely reunited with his family

Eventually, the two police officers take the boy to their police van promising the boy some chocolate and thanking the kind strangers for looking after him. 

Humberside Police confirmed to The Sun that the boy has now been safely returned to his family.

It is unclear how the toddler ended up wandering the street by himself.

People commenting on the video expressed their relief that the boy had been found by the right people with one person writing: ‘Thank goodness you helped him it could have been so much worse.’

Another wrote: ‘Ah bless him. His parents will be frantic. Glad it was someone nice who spotted him before he was in any danger. Hope he’s home and safe.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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