American President Donald Trump | Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore
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A migrant ship with pregnant women and children is stranded at sea, and a surprise discovery in Berlin.

100 publications unite against Donald Trump’s criticism

More than 100 US publications are in the process of publishing editorials to condemn President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism of the press. Boston Globe coordinated the effort to galvanise newspapers and issue a collective rebuttal on 16 August to Trump’s claims that the media “is the enemy of the American people”, The Independent has reported.

Marjorie Pritchard of Boston Globe was quoted as saying, “We have some big newspapers, but the majority are from smaller markets, all enthusiastic about standing up to Trump’s assault on journalism.”

Trump has repeatedly dismissed mainstream media outlets critical of him as “fake news”.

Church in US state ‘covered up sexual abuse for 70 years’

Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up cases of sexual abuse by more than 300 priests for 70 years and convinced victims and legal authorities against complaints and investigations, respectively, a grand jury revealed Tuesday, The New York Times reports.

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The investigation found more than 1,000 identifiable victims, with thousands more suspected to have been affected, the report added.

The report, however, is unlikely to bring forth criminal charges as the statute of limitations has expired. Only two cases have led to criminal charges.

Several representatives of the church said no cases of sexual abuse were concealed.

Russia opens up 2.5 million acres of land, China interested

Russia has made 2.5 million acres of land available to foreign investors and China has shown interest in the deal, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday.

China has been looking for land to cultivate soybean following its trade row with US, but analysts are reportedly concerned about the quality of the Russian plots.

“The best lands are occupied and have been heavily exploited by domestic farmers, so if they want more, it will be predominantly in remote and low-productivity areas,” The Guardian quoted Dmitri Rylko, general of the Russian consultancy Institute of Agricultural Market Studies, as saying.

Soybean prices in China have risen since Beijing imposed a 25 per cent import tariff on supplies from the US.

141 migrants stranded at sea as ship refused docking

Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, has moved to strip a migrant rescue ship of its registration amid a row over which country is responsible for taking in the 141 migrants onboard, CNN reported.

The migrants include pregnant women and children, the report added.

On Monday, Malta and Italy had refused permission for the vessel to dock and allow the migrants from Africa to disembark.

Italian transport minister Danilo Toninelli, Monday, urged the UK to “assume its responsibility”. Even as they refuse to take them in, the UK “expressed concern” about the migrants aboard the Aquarius.

Reportedly, the Aquarius will now revert to the flag of its “underlying owner” Germany, according to the Gibraltar Maritime Administration. Germany is yet to issue a statement on the matter, the report added.

‘Unknown’ Berlin wall section found in Germany

An unknown section of the Berlin Wall has been discovered by locals in Germany, CNN reports.

Members of a walking tour noticed the 20-metre section of the crumbling wall, painted with graffiti, underneath overgrown bushes. On the 57th anniversary of the beginning of the construction of the Wall Tuesday, Ephraim Gothe, a local councilor who was part of the tourists that discovered it in June, said the structure was in northwest Berlin.

The Berlin Wall Foundation, which looks after the historical site, confirmed the findings.

The Berlin Wall was built to stall the exodus of a number of people from East Germany to the western half during the Cold War in the early 1960s. It was demolished on 9 November 1989.

UK faces fire for refusing asylum to child slavery victims

The UK’s home office has come under criticism for denying asylum to nearly 200 victims of child slavery despite fears that they may fall back into the grasp of their tormentors, The Independent reported.

According to data from 2015 to 2017, at least 183 trafficked children were denied asylum by the government – a figure double that for the previous three years combined.

Earlier this year, in June, a court had accused the home office of violating the law by failing to provide protection to a Vietnamese child trafficking victim who ended up missing.

South Korea and Taiwan pay tribute to ‘comfort women’

South Korea and Taiwan have dedicated new monuments to Asian women forced into sex slavery by Japan during the Second World War, according to Al Jazeera.

It is estimated that more than 200,000 women and girls were taken away from South Korea, Philippines, China and other nations, and forced into Japanese military brothels. The crimes remain a point of contention between Japan and its neighbours.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the country was committed to highlight the torture and pain the ‘comfort women’ experienced.

Japan has stated that the issue was resolved by the 2015 deal between the two nations, which provided an official apology and $9.03 million for the establishment of a foundation to aid the surviving women.

A number of activists have begun protesting in Taiwan too, demanding a formal apology and compensation for Japan’s wartime excesses.

Contributed by Sankalita Dey, Avishek Jha and Aastha Singh.

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