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China, US continue tit-for-tat row over Huawei | USA News

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A senior Chinese official has dismissed concerns raised by US Vice President Mike Pence over telecommunications giant Huawei, rejecting allegations the company might covertly collect data and report it to Beijing.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, top diplomat Yang Jiechi also urged European leaders to ignore Washington’s calls for Huawei to be banned from developing 5G wireless infrastructure in their countries.

“The Europeans know very well what is the wise path for them to go forward,” Jiechi said.

“In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we should all work together … And Chinese law does not require companies to install backdoors or collect intelligence,” he added.

Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, is the subject of intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with the Chinese government.

The US, Australia and New Zealand have all put restrictions on the company’s access to their markets, citing concerns its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying.

‘National security threat’

Washington has argued that Chinese vendors are subject to a National Intelligence Law that requires the country’s organisations and citizens to collaborate in espionage efforts.

In separate comments to the Munich conference on Saturday, Vice President Pence said the US had been “clear with our security partners on the threat posed by Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies”.

Chinese law requires them to provide Beijing’s vast security apparatus with access to any data that touches their network or equipment,” he said.

Pence added that Washington was “calling on all our security partners to be vigilant and to reject any enterprise that would compromise the integrity of our communications technology or our national security systems”.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the US claims it may be involved in the collection of intelligence for the Chinese government.

Britain, Germany voice concerns

Saturday’s tit-for-tat came after Britain’s foreign intelligence service called on Friday for a “proper conversation” in the United Kingdom about whether to restrict Huawei’s access to the country’s 5G market, warning it was not “inherently desirable that any piece of significant national infrastructure is provided from a monopoly supplier”.

Asked by the Reuters news agency if the UK was weighing up a move to ban the telecoms giant, MI6 chief Alex Younger replied the issue was “more complicated … than ‘in or out'”.

I’m not pretending I have the full answer for this, I am saying that it’s important for us to work through all of this stuff,” the 55-year-old said, adding that he had not felt any pressure from Britain’s allies in the West over potentially using Huawei as a supplier.

Britain’s BT Group – the largest provider of mobile services in the UK – said in December it was removing Huawei equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the incoming 5G network.

Separately on Friday, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Reuters that Berlin plans to tighten the law on the security standards that must be met by telecoms operators bidding to participate in the build-out of next-generation 5G networks in the country.

“We will improve and strengthen our national law regarding security requirements for secure communications,” Altmaier said on the sidelines of the Munich conference.

“All suppliers to German telecoms service providers will have to meet these requirements,” he added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that Germany would require guarantees Huawei would not hand over data to the Chinese state before the telecoms equipment supplier can participate in building its 5G network.

An upgrade to existing 4G mobile technology, 5G is expected to deliver enhanced speed and security to internet users, enabling much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage and new types of machine-to-machine communication.

Most countries are unlikely to roll out the technology before 2020, according to a recent study by the US-based Eurasia Group consultancy firm, but China is pushing ahead with efforts to launch its 5G network this year.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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Tiger-Cats claim victory against the Argos to maintain home record on Labour Day

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were at their devastating best against the Toronto Argonauts when the two locked horns on Labour Day at the Tim Hortons Field.

Just like with previous Labour Day fixtures, the Ticats produced a stellar performance with Dane Evans throwing two touchdown passes while Frankie Williams scored on a 67-yard punt return as they claimed a 32-19 victory on Monday. With this vital win, the Ticats extended their Labour Day home record to 7-0.

For players and fans of the Tiger-Cats, games on Labour Day are a lot more special and losing is something the Ticats aren’t used to.

“We know the fans are going to be behind us, we know Toronto is going to be chippy, we know it’s going to be sunny; we know it’s going to be windy. Everything that happened (Monday) we prepared for. There is something extremely special about Tim Hortons Field on Labour Day . . . you can feel it in the air, I can’t put it into words,” said Evans.

After the COVID-19 induced hiatus, the CFL is back in full action and fans can now bet on their favourite teams and just like with online slots Canada, real money can be won. Hamilton (2-2) recorded its second straight win to move into a tie atop the CFL East Division standings with Montreal Alouettes (2-2). Also, the Ticats lead the overall Labour Day series with Toronto 36-13-1.

In the sun-drenched gathering of 15,000—the maximum allowed under Ontario government COVID-19 protocols—the fans loved every minute of this feisty game. After all, this was the Ticats first home game in 659 days, since their 36-16 East Division final win over Edmonton in November 2019.

The contest between the Ticats and Argos was certainly not bereft of emotions, typical of a Labour Day fixture, as it ended with an on-field melee. But the Argos often found themselves on the wrong end of the decisions with several penalty calls and most of the game’s explosive plays.

Hamilton quarterback Evans completed 21-of-29 passing for 248 yards and the two touchdowns while Toronto’s make-shift quarterback Arbuckle completed 18-of-32 attempts for 207 yards. Arbuckle also made a touchdown and two interceptions before eventually being substituted by McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Bethel-Thompson made an eight-yard TD pass to wide receiver Eric Rogers late in the final quarter of the game.

“They got after us a bit . . . we didn’t block, or pass protect well,” said Ryan Dinwiddie, rookie head coach of the Argos in a post-match interview. “They just kicked our butts; we’ve got to come back and be a better team next week.”

The Labour Day contest was the first of four fixtures this year between Toronto and Hamilton. The two teams would face off again on Friday at BMO Field. Afterwards, the Tim Hortons Field will play host to the Argonauts again on Oct. 11 with the regular-season finale scheduled for Nov. 12 in Toronto.

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Roughriders looking to bounce back after Labor Day defeat

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In what an unusual feeling for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they would now need to dust themselves up after a 23-8 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in what was a Labor Day Classic showdown in front of a full capacity crowd at Mosaic stadium.

Craig Dickenson, head coach of the Riders, witnessed his team with an unbeaten record get utterly dominated by a more superior team from Winnipeg. Now, he has got a lot of work on his hands getting his team back to winning ways as they visit the Banjo Bowl next.

“We’re going to see what we’re made of now…the jury’s out,” said Dickenson.

Dan Clark, who played centre for the Riders expressed his disappointment in losing what was “the biggest game of the year”.

 “If you lose every other game, you don’t want to lose that one. We’ve just got to take the next step,” said Clark in a report. “There are 12 steps to the Grey Cup left and it’s just about taking that next step and focusing on what Saturday will bring.”

With their first defeat to Winnipeg, the Riders (3-1) now rank second place in the CFL’s West Division, trailing the Bombers by one victory (4-1). However, the Riders will have the chance to even the season series during their trip to Winnipeg this Saturday. With the CFL heating up, fans can now enjoy online sports betting Canada as they look forward to their team’s victory.

The Rider’s offensive line will once again have a busy time dealing with the Blue Bombers’ defence.

Quarterback Cody Fajardo, who played one of the best games of his career two weeks earlier, had quite a stinker against the Bombers in the Labour Day Classic—which is the most anticipated game for Rider fans.

Fajardo had a 59 per cent completion percentage which wasn’t quite indicative of what the actual figure was considering he was at 50 per cent before going on a late drive in the final quarter with the Bombers already becoming laid back just to protect the win.

Fajardo also registered a personal worst when he threw three interceptions, but in all fairness, he was always swarmed by the Bomber’s defence.

While Fajardo has claimed responsibility for the loss and letting his teammates down, many would be curious to see how the team fares in their next game and with less than a week of preparation.

Dickenson is confident that his team would improve during their rematch in the 17th edition of the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg. The only challenge now would be the loss of home advantage and dealing with the noisy home crowd, he added.

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Canadian report reveals spike in food-related litter during pandemic

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TORONTO — Restaurants’ inability to offer their usual dine-in service during much of 2020 may explain why an unusually high amount of food-related litter was found across the country, a new report says.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) is an annual program in which volunteers are encouraged to clean up green spaces and other natural areas.

Last year, single-use food and beverage containers made up 26.6 per cent of waste collected through the program – nearly twice as high a percentage as in 2019, before the pandemic.

“We suspect the change may be one of the many implications of COVID-19, including more people ordering restaurant takeaway and consuming more individually packaged foods,” GCSC spokesperson Julia Wakeling said in a press release.

While food- and beverage-related litter accounted for a greater percentage of waste uncovered by GCSC than in the past, it wasn’t the single largest category of items picked up through the program last year.

That dubious honour goes to cigarette butts and other smoking-related paraphernalia, which comprised nearly 29 per cent of all items collected. There were more than 83,000 cigarette butts among the 42,000 kilograms of waste found and clean up last year.

So-called “tiny trash” – little pieces of plastic and foam – also accounted for a sizeable share of the waste, making up 26.8 per cent of the total haul.

In addition to smoking-related items and tiny trash, the main pieces of litter removed by GCSC volunteers last year included nearly 22,000 food wrappers, more than 17,500 pieces of paper, more than 13,000 bottle caps and more than 10,000 beverage cans.

Discarded face masks and other forms of personal protective equipment were also detected and cleaned up, although not tallied in their own category.  PPE waste has been repeatedly cited as a concern by environmental advocates during the pandemic; a robin in Chilliwack, B.C. is the earliest known example of an animal that died due to coronavirus-related litter.

The GCSC is an annual program organized by Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Its operations were disrupted by the pandemic as well; only 15,000 volunteers took part in the program last year, versus 85,000 in 2019, due to delays and public health restrictions making large group clean-ups impossible.

Still, there was GCSC participation from every province and the Northwest Territories in 2020. Nearly half of the volunteers who took part were based in B.C., where the program began in 1994.

Data from past GCSC reports was used as part of the research backing Canada’s ban on certain single-use plastic items, which is scheduled to take effect by the end of 2021.

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