HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrapped up a five-nation, anti-China tour of Asia in Vietnam on Friday with a call for regional unity to counter Beijing’s growing assertiveness, as the fierce American presidential election race entered its final stretch.
With just four days left in the campaign in which China has been a central theme, Pompeo visited Hanoi ostensibly to celebrate 25 years of U.S.-Vietnam relations. But, as he has at his previous stops in India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia, Pompeo’s main aim was to shore up support for pushing back on China.
“We have enormous respect for the Vietnamese people and your country’s sovereignty,” Pompeo told Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
In brief comments heard by reporters, neither man mentioned China by name, but Pompeo’s use of the word “sovereignty” has become code for referring to opposition to Chinese encroachment, particularly in Asia.
“We look forward to continuing to work together to build on our relationship and to make the region — throughout Southeast Asia, Asia and the Indo-Pacific — safe and peaceful and prosperous,” Pompeo said.
Phuc said he seeks “sincere cooperation” between both sides in support of a peaceful region
The Trump administration has made confronting China, its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, human rights record and aggressiveness towards its smaller neighbors one of its main foreign policy priorities. Those issues, particularly the Chinese origin of the virus, have been highlighted by President Donald Trump as he seeks to beat back a stiff reelection challenge from former Vice President Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 polls.
NEW DELHI — India has reported 48,648 new coronavirus cases, continuing a downward trend in infections even as the country’s caseload has crossed 8 million and is only behind the U.S.
The Health Ministry also reported 563 new fatalities in the past 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 121,090 on Friday.
The slowdown in the pandemic in India has now lasted more than a month and the country has reported fewer than 60,000 cases for nearly two weeks. According to the Health Ministry, India has 594,386 active cases, which suggests that more people are recovering than those who are testing positive for the virus.
But even as cases are dropping nationwide, the capital New Delhi is facing what could be a third wave of infections.
The national capital, which recently became the worst-hit city in India, is among the few regions in the country that is increasingly seeing a spike in new infections from last week.
New Delhi has 30,952 active cases of the virus. It has been clocking more than 5,000 cases daily from the last three days. The surge in new infections comes at a time when pollution levels have started to soar in the capital, exacerbating respiratory illnesses among many.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The footage from body-worn cameras that was taken as police responded to a call about Walter Wallace Jr. shows him emerging from a house with a knife as relatives shout at officers about his mental health condition, a lawyer for the man’s family said.
The video also shows Wallace became incapacitated after the first shot of 14 that two officers fired at him, said lawyer Shaka Johnson, describing footage he said police showed him and other members of Wallace’s family before a plan to release it and 911 calls publicly.
“I understand he had a knife, but that does not give you carte blanche to execute a man, quite frankly,” Johnson told reporters at a news conference outside Philadelphia City Hall. “What other than death did you intend when you shoot a man — each officer — seven times apiece?”
The family does not want the officers, who have not yet been publicly identified, to be charged with murder, Johnson said, because they were improperly trained and didn’t have the right equipment to do their job.
The video shows “instant panic” from officers whose training taught them only how to open fire, he said, noting he saw no viable attempt from officers to deescalate the situation.
“What you will not see is a man with a knife lunging at anyone that would qualify as a reason to assassinate him,” Johnson said.
The mayor’s office said in a news release that the body cam footage and the 911 audio would be released publicly by the end of next week.
Police also faced rebuke from Philadelphia leaders as the anguished city bemoaned the department’s response to a year of extraordinary, and sometimes violent, civil unrest.