Digest for international stories for week May 30 - Jun 5, 2020

Saturday Cape Canaveral (US): A rocket ship designed and built by Elon Musk's SpaceX company has lifted off with two Americans on a history-making flight to the International Space Station.

Minneapolis (US): Protesters set police cars ablaze, smashed businesses' windows and skirmished with baton-wielding officers in streets from Atlanta to Los Angeles, as anger over George Floyd's death spread across the country.

Beijing: China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier 'Shandong' has started conducting sea trials and training to test its equipment and weapons, the Chinese military said.

Sunday Washington: US President Donald Trump has postponed the G7 Summit till September and expressed his desire to expand the 'outdated' bloc to G10 or G11, including India and three other nations to the grouping of the world's top economies.

Kathmandu: The Nepali Congress, the country's main Opposition party, will table a separate Constitution amendment bill in Parliament to address some of the demands of the Madhes-based parties while backing another one tabled by the government to alter the country's map, amidst a border row with India.

Islamabad: Cash-strapped Pakistan is planning to seek USD 15 billion in new loans to return its maturing external public debt and build up the official foreign exchange reserves, the highest amount to be borrowed by the country in a single year, a media report said on Sunday.

Monday Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday set a July 1 date for a nationwide vote on constitutional amendments allowing him to extend his rule until 2036, even as the nation is continuing to record high numbers of new coronavirus cases.

Washington: The US remained a tinderbox of anger and emotion as rioting and looting linked to the protests against the custodial killing of African-American George Floyd left a trail of destruction, resulting in the death of at least five people, arrest of about 4,000 and placing of curfew in nearly 40 cities, while forcing President Donald Trump to take shelter in a White House bunker.

Islamabad:Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition filed by the Sindh government to suspend a high court verdict that overturned the conviction of al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh in the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl in 2002, in a setback to the US efforts to get justice for the American journalist.

Tuesday New York: The authorities in the upscale New York City have imposed a week-long night curfew and ramped up police presence after violence and looting incidents were reported across the city amid widespread protests triggered by the custodial killing of African-American George Floyd.

Washington: The World Bank on Tuesday urged countries to go for comprehensive policies to boost long-term growth along with short term measures to address health emergencies and secure core public services in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, amid indications that 60 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020.

Beijing: China on Tuesday angrily reacted to US President Donald Trump's plans to invite India, Russia, Australia and South Korea to G7 summit, saying that any attempts to draw a 'small circle' against Beijing will be 'doomed to fail' and become 'unpopular'.

Wednesday Paris: Protesters in Paris took a knee and raised their fists while firefighters worked to extinguish blazes in the street.

Beijing: China on Wednesday emphasised that there was no need for the intervention of a 'third party' to resolve its current standoff with India as the two neighbours have full-fledged border-related mechanisms and communication channels to sort out their differences through dialogue.

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday reiterated the UK’s plans for some of the “biggest changes” to the country’s visa system in order to allow around three million Hong Kong nationals a path to British citizenship if China does not back off over a new controversial national security law.

Thursday Washington: A Navy veteran detained in Iran for nearly two years has been released and started making his way home, with the first leg on a Swiss government aircraft, US officials said on Thursday.

Hong Kong: Thousands of people in Hong Kong defied a police ban Thursday evening, breaking through barricades to hold a candlelight vigil on the 31st anniversary of China's crushing of a democracy movement centred on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Melbourne: Australia and India on Thursday signed a wide-ranging maritime declaration to support the rules-based maritime order in the Indo-Pacific region founded on respect for the sovereignty of all nations, marking a major step forward in the bilateral security and defence relationship.

Friday Washington: The US unemployment rate fell to 13.3 per cent on Friday, registering an increase of 2.5 million jobs, leading President Donald Trump to describe the numbers as an affirmation of the good work his adminstration is doing.

Beijing/Wuhan: Beijing on Friday decided to lower its COVID-19 emergency response, marking the return of normalcy in China's capital following the coronavirus outbreak, while the central city of Wuhan, the origin point of the pandemic, cleared all its confirmed cases.

Beijing: China has appointed a new Army commander for its Western Theatre Command ground forces responsible for the Sino-India border, ahead of the key talks between senior Indian and Chinese military officials on Saturday to end the border standoff. PTI MAH MAH