While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 23

Grave concerns raised about China at UN rights council

More than 40 countries led by Canada voiced grave concerns at the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday about China’s actions in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet – triggering a fierce backlash from Beijing.

The widely anticipated joint statement had been in the pipeline for several days and was delivered on day two of the 47th session of the council in Geneva.

The statement was backed by Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United States, among others.

Beijing must allow UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet and other independent observers “immediate, meaningful and unfettered access” to Xinjiang, and end the “arbitrary detention” of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, it said.


Nearly 900 Secret Service employees tested positive for coronavirus

Almost 900 active US secret service employees – most of them responsible for protecting government officials and buildings – were diagnosed with Covid-19 in the year ending in March.

Special Agents, who protect the president, vice-president, and their families, made up more than half of the 881 employees who were infected, according to government records obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The uniformed division, which guards the White House and other federal buildings, made up the next largest group of infections.


Audi to stop making fossil fuel cars by 2033

German luxury carmaker Audi said on Tuesday it will stop manufacturing diesel and petrol cars by 2033 as part of an industry-wide pivot towards more environmentally friendly electric cars.

Starting in 2026, Audi plans to launch only new all-electric car models, while “gradually phasing out” production of internal combustion engines until 2033.

However, strong demand in China could see Audi’s local partners there continue to manufacture combustion engine cars beyond 2033.


US seizes Iranian state news websites

US law enforcement seized the websites of two Iranian state-controlled news groups, Press TV and Al-Alam, and of the Al-Masirah TV channel of Yemen’s Houthis, statements posted on the websites showed on Tuesday.

Each site displayed a single page with a statement that it “has been seized by the United States Government” and making reference to US sanctions laws, accompanied by the seal of the FBI and the US Department of Commerce.

Press TV is Iran’s main English language broadcaster, and Al-Alam its main Arabic-language newscaster.


Sterling strikes as England beat Czechs to top Euro 2020 group

England found an attacking spark to beat the Czech Republic 1-0 at Wembley on Tuesday  and clinch top spot in Group D at Euro 2020.

Raheem Sterling, who kept his place alongside Harry Kane in a rejigged attack, settled fans’ nerves with an early headed goal, which ultimately proved decisive.

England boss Gareth Southgate made four changes to the side that produced an insipid display in the 0-0 draw against Scotland, handing Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka their first starts of the tournament.


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