While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 1

Chinese President Xi Jinping, (centre) visiting Hong Kong, on June 30, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

UK 'not giving up on Hong Kong' 25 years after handover

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that Britain was "not giving up on Hong Kong" and accused Beijing of failing to keep its promises, on the 25th anniversary of the handover of the city to China.

"We made a promise to the territory and its people and we intend to keep it, doing all we can to hold China to its commitments," Johnson said in a video message posted on Twitter.

"We simply cannot avoid the fact that for some time now, Beijing has been failing to comply with its obligations," he added, as Hong Kong marks the landmark handover anniversary with a visit from Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

"It's a state of affairs that threatens both the rights and freedoms of Hong Kongers and the continued progress and prosperity of their home."


Jokowi delivers Zelensky’s message to Putin, urges dialogue

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in Moscow on Thursday that he delivered a message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Mr Putin hosted Mr Widodo more than four months into Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine, as Russia seeks to pivot towards Asia and Africa following the onset of unprecedented Western sanctions.

Indonesia holds the rotating presidency of the G-20 this year and is preparing to host a summit in Bali in November.


N. Korea blames ‘alien things’ near border for Covid outbreak

North Korea claimed on Friday the country’s first Covid-19 outbreak began with patients touching “alien things” near the border with South Korea, apparently shifting blame to the neighbour for the wave of infections that hit the isolated country.

Announcing its probe results, the North ordered its people to “vigilantly deal with alien things coming by wind and other climate phenomena and balloons in the areas along the demarcation line and borders.”

According to the state media KCNA, an 18-year-old soldier and a five-year-old kindergartener who contacted the unidentified materials “in a hill around barracks and residential quarters” in the eastern county of Kumgang in early April showed symptoms and later tested positive for coronavirus.


Europe to see 'high levels' of Covid-19 this summer

The World Health Organisation said on Thursday it expected "high levels" of Covid-19 in Europe this summer and called on countries to monitor the spread as cases tripled in the past month.

With the milder but more contagious Omicron subvariant BA.5 spreading across the continent, the 53 countries in the WHO European region are currently registering just under 500,000 cases daily, according to the organisation's data.

That is up from around 150,000 cases daily at the end of May.


Nadal grinds past Berankis into Wimbledon third round

Some days at the office are bit of a grind, even if in Rafa Nadal's case his place of work on Thursday was Wimbledon's sunny but chilly Centre Court for a match against Ricardas Berankis.

The second seed duly won 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-3 to reach the third round but his 307th Grand Slam match win, putting him one ahead of Martina Navratilova and fourth on the all-time list, will not linger long in his memory.

An off-key Nadal never looked in serious danger of having his bid for the calendar-year Slam wrecked by the world number 106, but he knows he will have to play much better in the rounds ahead to claim his third Wimbledon title.


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