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U.S. says it will not pay what it owes WHO this year

WASHINGTON, (ST)_ The United States will not pay some $80 million it owes the World Health Organization (WHO) and will instead redirect the money to help pay its United Nations bill in New York, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

The United States plans to leave the Geneva-based WHO on July 6, 2021.

US Police Kill Black Man In Washington

Police shot dead an African-American man in the US capital Washington Wednesday, the force said, in the latest of a slew of police killings of black men and women that has sparked nationwide uproar.

The man, said to be aged 18, was shot in the southeast of the city as officers were following up on a tip about guns allegedly stashed in a vehicle.

"When they approached the vehicle, some of the folks of the vehicle fled on foot. One of the officers discharged their firearm," Washington police chief Peter Newsham told a news conference.

New Zealand mosque shooter sentenced to life without parole

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand - The white supremacist who slaughtered 51 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the first time the maximum available sentence has been imposed.

Judge Cameron Mander said the crimes committed by 29-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant were so wicked that a lifetime in jail could not begin to atone for them. He said they had caused enormous loss and hurt and stemmed from a warped and malignant ideology.

“Your actions were inhuman,” Mander said. “You deliberately killed a 3-year-old infant by shooting him in the head as he clung to the leg of his father.”

After the sentence was announced, survivors of the shootings raised hands and fists in celebration and greeted supporters waving signs with painted hearts and carrying roses outside the court building.

Greece, Cyprus, Italy, France to hold military exercises in eastern Mediterranean

Greece has announced that it will launch military exercises on Wednesday with France, Italy and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, the focus of escalating tensions between Athens and Ankara, according to Cyprus online.

The joint exercises south of Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete will last three days, the Greek Defense Ministry said.

Tensions ratched up when Turkey sent the Oruc Reis research vessel accompanied by warships to disputed waters on August 10 to drill for gas there.

"Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy have agreed to deploy a joint presence in the eastern Mediterranean as part of the quadripartite cooperation initiative," the defense ministry said in a statement.

Anger spilled into the streets of Kenosha over the shooting of Jacob Blake by the US police

Protests have continued to rage across the Unites States against police brutality, with major demonstrations held in the cities of Portland and Kenosha, where National Guard troops were deployed to deal with angry protesters after the police shooting of yet another unarmed black man.

The anger over the shooting of an American of African origin called Jacob Blake by the US police spilled into the streets of Kenosha for a second night Monday, with police again firing tear gas at hundreds of protesters who defied a curfew, threw bottles and shot fireworks at law enforcement guarding the courthouse.

The southeastern Wisconsin city became the nation's latest flashpoint in a summer of racial unrest after cellphone footage of police shooting Jacob Blake — apparently in the back, as he leaned into his SUV while his three children sat in the vehicle — circulated widely on social media Sunday. The 29-year-old was hospitalized in serious condition, according to US News.

BBC reported that the man is now in a stable condition. 

TikTok sues Trump administration over U.S. ban, calling it an election ploy

TikTok on Monday sued U.S. President Donald Trump's administration over his executive order banning transactions in the United States with the popular short-form video-sharing app, calling it a pretext to fuel anti-China rhetoric as he seeks reelection.

In a blog post, TikTok said it strongly disagreed with the White House's position that the company was a national security threat, saying it had "taken extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok's U.S. user data."

Both the app and parent company ByteDance Ltd also described Trump's call in his Aug. 6 executive order for a TikTok ban as a means to further his alleged "broader campaign of anti-China rhetoric."

China slams as ‘barbarous’ US sanctions on Hong Kong leaders

China’s office in Hong Kong on Saturday denounced Washington’s decision to sanction key officials over sliding freedoms in the business hub, calling the move “barbarous and rude”.

 “The ill intentions of US politicians to support people who are anti-China and messing up Hong Kong have been clearly revealed,” Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong said in a statement.

The United States slapped sanctions Friday on Hong Kong’s leader after effectively forcing Chinese internet giants TikTok and WeChat to end all US operations, in a twin diplomatic-commercial offensive set to grow ahead of US elections.