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China vows easier foreign tourist entry to Tibet amid US pressure | China News

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The Chinese government in Tibet said it will increase the number of foreign tourists allowed to visit the highly-restricted region and reduce waiting times for paperwork, amid renewed pressure from Washington to improve access for US officials and journalists.

US President Donald Trump signed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act in December, which seeks to press China to open the region by refusing to issue US visas to Chinese officials deemed responsible for restricting access to Tibet.

Beijing denounced the law at the time as interference in China’s internal affairs, risking “serious harm” to ties with Washington.






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China and the United States are trying to hammer out a deal to end a simmering trade dispute that has threatened to sour the relationship across the board, including on issues such as security and human rights.

The Tibetan government will shorten the time required for foreign tourists to gain access to the region by half and boost the numbers allowed into the area by 50 percent, Qizhala, chair of the regional government, said in an annual work report published by the official Tibet Daily newspaper on Friday, according to Reuters news agency.

The US also issued a travel advisory last week that warned about extra security checks and increased police presence in both Tibet and the mostly-Muslim region of Xinjiang. The travel advisory also warned citizens of the risk of arbitrary action by Chinese authorities.

Non-Chinese visitors must apply for a special permit to travel to Tibet, which is usually granted for tourists provided they travel with approved tour companies. Journalists and diplomats are rarely accepted.

‘Fast deteriorating’

Beijing has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since Communist Party troops marched into the region in 1950 in what it calls a “peaceful liberation”.

Qizhala also pledged that the administration in Tibet would “take a clear-cut stance in the fight against the Dalai clique”, a reference to exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.






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“We must improve the monastery management and service mechanisms to defend the bottom line of Tibetan Buddhism not being manipulated by foreign forces,” he said.

Rights groups and overseas activists say ethnic Tibetans face widespread restrictions under Chinese rule and the United Nations high commissioner for human rights said in June conditions were “fast deteriorating”.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of a Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. Supporters of Tibetan independence and of the Dalai Lama have staged protests in the past to mark the uprising’s anniversary, angering China.

China claims the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism who fled into exile in India after the failed uprising, is a dangerous separatist.

The Nobel Peace laureate denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.


SOURCE:
Reuters news agency

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Driver in satisfactory condition following head-on Gatineau collision

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One person was in hospital in satisfactory condition following a head-on collision between two vehicles in Gatineau on Saturday.

According to Gatineau police, the crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Montée Paiement, between Saint-Thomas and Saint-Columban roads.

Each of the vehicles had only one occupant at the time of the incident.

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Ottawa military family alleges bad faith eviction by Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada

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An Ottawa military family alleges their former landlord — Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada — acted in bad faith when he gave them a notice of eviction, claiming he intended to move into their Vanier rental home with his own family.

The home is now listed for sale for $950,000, two months after Vivian and Tim Funk moved out with their two young children.

In documents filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Funks detailed how their landlord, Sulaiman AlAqeel, acted to end their tenancy by allegedly pretending he was moving in himself. This was preceded by an attempt to market the house to new tenants for significantly more money when the Funks had not given notice indicating they would be leaving, the documents alleged. “The landlord’s representative,” according to the documents, allegedly told the Funks they needed to accept a $500 monthly rent increase and a new lease if they wanted to continue living in the rental property, which wouldn’t be legal under the Residential Tenancies Act.

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Ottawa COVID-19 hospitalization data showing half of cases coming from community, not just long-term care

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With local data showing 50 per cent of COVID-19 hospitalizations coming from the community, long-term care residents aren’t the only one vulnerable to severe illness from the virus, Ottawa’s Board of Health reports.

Despite the majority of deaths having happened in older adult age groups in long-term care homes, residents shouldn’t think institutions are the only settings that are vulnerable to outbreaks that lead to serious illness from the virus.

“[Ottawa Public Health] continues to expand our understanding of the types of settings and situations that have the most impact on COVID-19 transmission in our community and is seeking academic partners to better explore exposure risks as well as a broader assessment of the harms from different public health measures,” OPH outlined in its document, to be present at the Board of Health on Monday.

At the same time, however, OPH says it is working closely with partners on “processes to strengthen and streamline responses.” This includes weekly meetings across agencies to address issues and concerns to ensure a strong collaboration, ongoing communications with facilities, preventative visits and phone calls to review infection prevention and control.

In situations where OPH identified failings at an LTCH or concerns of compliance have been raised, OPH has been quick to issue letters of expectation that outline the deficiencies and timelines fo compliance.

It is unclear how many letters have been issued through both waves of the virus.

And while outbreaks in LTCH during wave two have recorded a higher number of LTCH outbreaks than in wave one, the overall morbidity and mortality has been lower. This means fewer cases, fewer deaths and a lower average duration of outbreaks.

OPH contributed this to building on lessons learned from early COVID-19 outbreaks in LTCH in Ottawa.

https://www.ottawamatters.com/local-news/ottawa-covid-19-hospitalization-data-of-severe-illness-shows-half-of-cases-coming-from-community-not-just-long-term-care-homes-3136152

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