US to put visa limits on Chinese officials over abuse of Muslim minorities

WASHINGTON — The United States announced Tuesday it will restrict visas to Chinese officials over human rights violations against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province.

The move comes a day after the blacklisting of 28 Chinese governmental and commercial organizations on similar grounds.

Later this week, U.S. and Chinese trade delegations are due to meet for key talks to break impasses in the tit-for-tat tariff escalations, but expectations have increasingly been dimmed, as sources of tensions between the two economies mount.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed a range of alleged abuses, including “mass detentions in internment camps … (and) draconian controls on expressions of cultural and religious identities.” He also noted pervasive surveillance using advanced technologies.

More than 1 million members of Muslim minority groups, including Uighurs, Kazakhs and other ethnicities, have been placed in interment camps, according to human rights groups and US officials.

Pompeo called on China “to immediately end its campaign of repression in Xinjiang.”

The State Department did not immediately list which Chinese officials would face problems entering the United States.

The visa restrictions come a day after the Department of Commerce added the 28 firms to a list of entities posing a risk to national security or foreign policy interests.

—dpa

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Chelsea terrorist bomber convicted of all charges in 2016 gunfight with NJ police

NEW YORK — A New Jersey jury convicted an Afghani immigrant of attempted murder Tuesday for a 2016 Garden State gunfight with police that left him bleeding and under arrest.

Defendant Ahmad Khan Rahimi sat silently after the guilty verdicts were delivered inside an Elizabeth, N.J., courthouse to end the jury’s second day of deliberations.

The jury rejected the defense contention that the naturalized U.S. citizen acted in self-defense during the gunfight on the streets of Linden, N.J., as cops hunted the suspect in an earlier bombing in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Thirty-one people were injured in the New York blast, and a second bomb set in the neighborhood by the Afghanistan native failed to detonate three years ago. The Chelsea bomb was packed with ball bearings and steel nuts intended to inflict maximum damage once the bomb detonated.

Prosecutors alleged that Rahimi also planted a small pipe bomb along the route of a Marine Corps road race down the Jersey Shore in Seaside Park. No one was injured by that device.

Rahimi was shot seven times in the gun battle with the Jersey cops as he went on the run after the two bombings, winding up the streets of Linden as he tried to avoid arrest.

—New York Daily News

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Feinstein secures nearly $20 million to help stop Tijuana sewage from flowing into US

SAN DIEGO — The Senate approved almost $20 million in funding to address sewage flows along the border.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who secured language in three different appropriations bills for the 2020 fiscal year, called the spills that send millions of gallons of raw sewage from Tijuana to San Diego “unacceptable.”

The sewage flows have routinely closed San Diego County beaches for decades. Last year, Imperial Beach sued the federal government for failing to stop the flows, arguing the government is violating the Clean Water Act.

Several other public entities, including the city of San Diego and the state of California filed similar lawsuits.

“More concrete action must be taken to stop this decades-long problem,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Raw sewage overflows and other pollution from Mexico along the Tijuana River that jeopardize human health are unacceptable.”

The senator also encouraged partnering with Mexico to dedicate more funding and work with officials south of the border to improve wastewater infrastructure there.

Specifically, the Senate funding bills would do three things: appropriate $19.5 million for the Environmental Protection Agency to increase its efforts to address cross-border sewage flows; direct the secretary of state to create an interagency plan to address the impacts of flows in U.S. communities that specifically outlines which agency is responsible for which step of the solution; and direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to submit a report on the efforts to protect agents from the toxic flows.

—The San Diego Union-Tribune

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NC man charged in connection with machete attack on neighbor after their dogs fought

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Lincoln County man is accused of slashing his neighbor in the head with a machete during an argument stemming from their dogs clashing in a fight.

The injured man was taken to Atrium Health Lincoln after deputies found him with a laceration on his head Monday, according to a news release by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

The 42-year-old was hurt during a fight with his neighbor in Lincolnton, investigators said. The men were fighting, officials said, because their dogs were fighting. One of the men used a stick as he tried to break up the fight between the dogs.

The machete, though, led to criminal charges.

Cody John Adam Clark, 27, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill and inflicting serious injury, the sheriff’s office said. He was jailed on $35,000 bail.

The injured man’s medical condition was unavailable Tuesday.

—The Charlotte Observer

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Copyright 2019 Tribune Content Agency.

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