NEW YORK: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the death penalty is a crime and it has no place in the 21st Century.
Guterres also urged all countries, which have not forbidden the extreme practice, to urgently stop executions.
“The death penalty does little to deter crimes or serve victims, he said while speaking alongside Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, at an event at the UN Headquarters, here today.
The UN chief also expressed concern that the countries that continued executions were also failing to meet their international obligations, particular in relation to transparency and compliance with international human rights standards.
“Some governments conceal executions and enforce an elaborate system of secrecy to hide who is on death row, and why,” Guterres said, underscoring that lack of transparency showed a lack of respect for the human rights of those sentenced to death and to their families, as well as damaging administration of justice more generally.
China’s property market stabilizing on tough curbs
BEIJING: China’s property market remains generally stable as the government continues stepping-up property curbs.
New home prices in four first-tier cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou – rose 0.2 percent in July from a month ago, 0.4 percentage points lower than that in June, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed today.
New home prices in Shanghai fell while prices in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen rose 0.2 percent, 0.6 percent, and 0.5 percent, respectively.
New home prices in 31 second-tier cities rose 1.1 percent in July, 0.1 percentage points lower than June.
On a yearly basis, first-tier cities reported a 0.2-percent increase in new home prices. Existing prices rose 0.5 percent, 0.4 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
NBS senior statistician Liu Jianwei said local governments continued to step up property regulation in July and strike a balance between demand and supply to promote the healthy development of the sector.
New home prices declined year-on-year in two of the 15 “hotspot” cities where speculative home purchases are monitored, with the most significant price drop of 0.1 percent last month, with 11 cities posting growth and two staying flat.
During previous years, rocketing housing prices, especially in major cities, fueled concerns about asset bubbles. To curb speculation, the government rolled out various control measures, including restrictions on purchases and increasing minimum down payments for mortgages.
Major cities announced 260 control measures during the first seven months this year, 80 percent more than the same period last year, according to the research center of the Centaline Group.
Analysts expect more control measures to be announced as the central authority vowed to regulate the property market order and “firmly curb the rise in home prices” at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee last month.
The government will accelerate the establishment of a long-term mechanism to promote the stable and healthy development of the market, Cong Liang, spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission told a press conference on Wednesday.
The property market will continue adjusting amid the increasingly tightened regulation, said Liu Weimin, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council.
Indonesia expresses support for Turkey, Erdogan
JAKARTA: The Indonesian Council of Ulama on Wednesday expressed strong support for Turkey against the United States’ recent economic attacks.
Head of the council’s external affairs committee, Muhyiddin Junaidi, told Anadolu Agency that they support Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s stance against the U.S.
Stressing that the U.S. targeted Muslim countries and tried to curb Turkey’s power in the region, Junaidi said that Muslim world must use their own currency in trade among themselves against the U.S. dollar.
Junaidi praised Turkey’s economy and its commercial value and added that Turkey would overcome the U.S.’ attacks.
Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations following Washington’s imposition of sanctions over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey over terrorism charges.
Brunson’s charges include spying for the PKK — listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey — and the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016.
Book of Xi’s discourses on poverty alleviation published
BEIJING: A book of extracts from the discourses on poverty alleviation by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has been published by the Central Party Literature Press.
The book, which was compiled by the Party history and literature research institution of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, will be distributed across the country.