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Desperate and alone, Saudi sisters risk everything

  It was September 6, 2018. The two Saudi sisters were on a family vacation in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For weeks, they had helped their mother organize the trip, feigning

excitement at the possibility of two weeks away from Riyadh, but knowing that if all went to plan, they’d never go back.

  Failure was not an option. Every step of their escape from Saudi Arabia carried the threat of severe punishment or death.

  ”We knew the first time, if it’s not perfect, it will be the last time,” Reem says.

  CNN has changed the sisters’ names and is not showing their faces, at their request for their safety.

  The sisters say years of strict Islamic teaching and physical abuse at home had convinced them that they had no future in a socie

ty that places women under the enforced guardianship of men, and limits their aspirations.

  ”It’s slavery, because whatever the woman will do it’s the business of the male,” Rawan says.

  That’s why they say they renounced Islam.

  And that’s why aged 18 and 20, they stole back their own passports, hid their abayas under the b

edcovers, snuck out of their holiday home and boarded a flight from Colombo to Melbourne, via Hong Kong.

  The Hong Kong stopover was supposed to take less than two hours.

  Two hours has turned into five months.

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He promised to address allegations of corruption reve

  ealed in a report in January in an effort to draw some of the energy out of the opposition campaign to unseat him and President Jovenel Moise.

  But his mention of Roberto was seen as nothing more than lip service in the Miron slum, where Roberto and his mother s

hared one room. She and her family now believe whoever killed her son may seek them out for revenge if they keep talking.

  ”Ever since his death they’ve been threatening us. They said that if we don’t shut up about this case we will get it, ‘We know where you work’. That’s what they said.”

  ”They’ve been threatening us by phone. They said that, ‘We know you work at the hosp

ital so if you don’t shut up about this case we will find you’. That’s what they said,” Pricil insisted.

  A surviving son, Jovency Journal, 24, showed CNN text messages in Creole.

  ”I see you have been active on the Roberto case. Be careful not to follow him,” said one.

  Another threatened: “We’ll do to you worse than what happened to Roberto – they might not even be able to find your body”.

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She alleged that the riot policeman who killed her son co

and pulled down a visor on his helmet.
She said that there were numerous witnesses to the alleged killing by a policeman on the sce

ne. She said that she’s not reported the crime, because she fears retribution from the very same person who killed her son.

But her family is getting anonymous death threats and demands that she stop talking a

bout her son’s killing.
Police chief Michel-Ange Gedeon told CNN that there had been no report of the alleged crime.

“Whenever we receive a case we will investigate,” he told CNN.
That may come as a surprise to Haiti’s Prime Min

ister, Jean-Henry Ceant, who this week singled out Roberto’s tragic end for special mention in a televised address to the nation.

“As a father who can understand the pain of a parent, I send a special message to the mother of a y

oung boy, Roberto Badjo Thelusma who died in front of the State Hospital while he was helping his mother with her business.

“I remember how 40 years ago I used to help my mother with her meat business at the ‘Kwabosal’ m

arket place. Today I’m the Prime Minister, who knows what Roberto Badjo Thelusma could have become in this country.”

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The UK would be ‘irresponsible’ to let Huawei into 5Gth

  Chinese tech giant Huawei is facing a new attack as it tries to persuade the UK government to let it help build super-fast 5G networks in the country.

  Top British cybersecurity officials are reportedly confident they can manage any risks from Huawei’s telecommunic

ations equipment, but a report published Wednesday by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a top security think tank, said that would be a mistake.

  ”Allowing Huawei’s participation is at best naive, at worst irresponsible,” the report said, sugg

esting such a move could compromise the United Kingdom’s communications infrastructure.

  UK spies think they can handle Huawei in 5G networks. The US doesn’t agree

  The US government is pushing allies around the world to block wireless operators from buying Huawei gear for the 5G networks t

hey’re starting to build. US officials say the company’s technology could be used by Chinese intelligence agencies for spying.

  Huawei and the Chinese government have repeatedly denied the US allegations. Huawei didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

  The report’s release comes days after the Financial Times reported that the UK’s National Cyb

er Security Centre had concluded the risks of using Huawei equipment in 5G networks could be managed.

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Both sides have showed their strength and volition in

 unprecedented trade war: The US didn’t easily stop and China was not that fragile to be defeated. How

ever, it has proven no empty talk that in a long-term trade war, both sides would eventually lose.

President Xi and President Trump reached consensus on December 1 and put the two countries back onto the win-win track. Th

e consensus has responded to the situation, conformed with people’s wishes and reversed the pessimism of the market.

Starting December 2018, rounds of consultations resolved a large n

umber of divergences. The outcome has been sufficient to outline a new face of China-US econo

ic and trade cooperation and to bring an incalculable impetus to both sides’ economic development.

In the final phase of the talks, both sides must keep calm, treasure the already-made ach

ievements and promote smoother and fairer China-US trade cooperation.

US demand for China’s structural reform must stay in line with China-US trade coo

peration and coordinate with China’s reform and opening-up. The talks must not tr

y to force Beijing to change its economic governance or even its development path.

The final deal should attend to the interests of nongovernmental organizations that ultimately carry out economic and trade cooperation.

China and the US must sign an agreement that will inspire their peo

ple,  heralding accelerated economic development. Only such deals can withstand the test of history.

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Amid the easing ties between North and South Korea, as

as well as between Pyongyang and other stakeholders on the Korean Peninsula, if Japan maintains

its conservative strategy for North Korea, its overall Northeast Asia diplomacy will be affected.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would find it hard to shore up d

omestic support through vibrant diplomacy. Tokyo can take advantage of the positive si

gnals the next Trump-Kim summit generates to win the opportunity to boost its ties with North Korea.

If Washington-Pyongyang ties are significantly enhanced, it will send a conciliatory messag

e to Tokyo. Under the US-Japan-South Korea alliance and under the framework of US-Japan m

ilitary cooperation, if North Korea is still hostile toward Japan, it may find it hard to get a multilateral diplomatic fo

othold in East Asia. In fact, Pyongyang hopes to talk to Tokyo. North Korea’s geopolitics depends on support from tra

ditionally friendly states such as China and Russia. Meanwhile, it also desires to enhance relations with South Korea and Ja

pan, so as to gain maximum advantage in multilateral geopolitics and security in East Asian and Asia-Pacific regions.

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There is a twin motivation behind his presence in the regio

one hand, Modi wanted to push forward the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in South Tibet where it may help New Delhi assimilate local

population and convert it demographically into a more “Indianized” one; on the other, Modi sought to pacify irritated and alienated local comm

unities by introducing more developmental projects and pro-growth schemes. In addition, by sending out a strong signal that China’s fierce protests woul

d not deter him from visiting the frontier region, Modi also sought to appeal to nationalistic voters before the election.

Following the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on January 8, South T

ibet had been hit by waves of protests across the region. A large number of Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh have been sent into South Tib

et since the 1950s, but have no citizenship. However, if the Bill is enacted, these refugees would likely get Indi

an citizenship, which poses a threat to the local community as their swelling population in the long run may well crowd out and eat up the indigenous pop

ulation. For example, Hajong people – a Hindu group originally residing in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) which fled to India  due to religious persecu

tion – have been migrating to South Tibet since the 1960s, but their presence since then has been a constant source of conflicts.

It was against this backdrop that Modi trod on the soil of South Tibet. Signaling that his governm

ent gives a lot of importance to the region which has been neglected by previous governments, Modi sought to

pacify annoyed locals by giving them a long list of gifts. The Indian prime minister laid the foundation stone of several developme

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ow to sustain positive economic development inlimited to

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Chinese Economists 50 Forum was held in Beijing on Saturday, with the theme “How to achieve the six stabilities and keep positive economic development in the lo

ng run.” Below are excerpts from speeches given by several renowned scholars and officials at the event.

Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission

The current IPO system has led to highly consistent investor expectation in the secondary market as they mindlessly buy into

roaring stocks, aggravating price distortions and resulting in low long-term returns on newly listed shares.

Reform to secondary market prices will create a good groundwork for IPO price reform in the future.

Liu Shijin, vice president of the China Development Research Foundation

If we compare [China’s] high-speed growth of the past three decades to eating fatty meat, after we e

ntered a phase of medium-speed growth, transitioning to high-quality development, which will be t

he hard part, is like nibbling on hard bones. There are five sources of growth momentum during the high-quality d

evelopment stage. First, the improvement in low-efficiency growth sources. Second, the income growth of low-in

come groups and the upgrade in human capital. Third, the upgrade to the consumption and industrial structures. Fourth, cuttin

g-edge innovation. Fifth, green development, which is not limited to pollution control and environmental protection.

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Let’s reap potential of China-Myanmar cooperation

Since Myanmar embarked on its political transition, political elites in the country have championed that peace is the premise for economic and social developme

nt. In the first two years of the government led by National League for Democracy (NLD), Nay Pyi Taw devoted a lot of efforts to promoting national recon

ciliation with the hope of making a major breakthrough and consolidating public support. Regrettably, results are no

t satisfactory. The NLD government is currently locked in a stalemate over national reconciliation.

It has also performed poorly in boosting the economy and improving people’s lives. Main economic indicators suggest that since the N

LD government assumed power, Living standards haven’t substantially improved, and more economic problems have surfaced to plague the c

ountry. One of the main reasons why the NLD lost seats in the 2018 elections is the government’s lackluster economic performance. If the e

conomy doesn’t improve, it will inevitably affect the NLD’s potential for victory in the 2020 election.

Therefore, the NLD government is now attaching increasing importance to economic and live

lihood issues. It has issued a string of policies to attract foreign investment. Take the new Myanmar

Companies Act. Under the law, foreigners are permitted to take up to a 35 percent stake in local companies and bus

inesses with foreign stakes of more than 35 percent will be classified as a foreign company, which facilitates co

operation between foreign investors and local businessmen and will help attract more foreign investment.

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Five more lunar locations get Chinese nameon Jan

ive more geographical entities on the moon have been given Chinese names, based on discoveri

es from China’s latest Chang’e 4 mission, according to a news conference on Friday.

The China National Space Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences and International Astronomical Union held a j

oint news conference Friday to announce the five names approved by the IAU on Feb 4.

The landing site of the Chang’e 4 probe is named Statio Tianhe, and three annular pits around the landing site are called Zhin

yu, Hegu and Tianjin. The central peak in the Von Karman Crater is referred to as Mons Tai.

The five places are clearly shown on high-resolution images based on data from the Chang’e 2 and Chang’e 4 missions.

China’s Chang’e 4 probe, launched on Dec 8, landed on the Von Kar

man Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3.

Tianhe, another name for the galaxy in ancient China, implies that th

e Chang’e 4 probe served as a pioneer in the history of human lunar exploration.

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