17 countries initiate OSCE human rights investigation in Belarus Sep 18, 2020 0 1143 12345 DPAViennaBelarus will be subject to an international investigation into human rights abuses and election fraud, according to a mechanism triggered by 17 mostly European countries on Thursday.The group, which includes Britain, France and the United States, announced the step at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna.Belarus has not complied with the OSCE’s previous offer to mediate between the government and the political opposition, the 17 OSCE members said in a statement.Instead, “the response of the Belarusian authorities has been to systematically target those who would engage in dialogue and to continue ... violent repression of peaceful protesters, including women and young people,” the statement said.The OSCE’s so-called Moscow Mechanism for rights investigations was last triggered in 2018, to probe reported violations in Russia’s Chechnya region. The Belarusian opposition is compiling a blacklist of police officers implicated in an ongoing violent crackdown on protesters, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said on Thursday.“We have been given the names of those who have been torturing and beating people,” Tikhanovskaya said in a statement posted on her movement’s Telegram channel.At least 7,000 protesters have been detained since last month’s disputed presidential election. The United Nations has received 450 reports of torture and other abuse of detainees. RELATED ARTICLES WHO warns of ‘alarming’ virus spread in Europe Sep 18, 2020 0 1140 US sends top-level diplomat to Taiwan, angering China Sep 18, 2020 0 668 Navalny aides say Novichok found on hotel water bottle Sep 18, 2020 0 1140 EU parliament demands tough Russia sanctions over Navalny AFP Brussels The European Parliament on Thursday demanded tough EU sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, accusing the Kremlin of trying to assassinate him to silence dissent. .. Moderna reveals detailed plans for COVID-19 clinical trial AFP Washington US biotech firm Moderna, one of two companies currently holding phase 3 trials in the United States for a COVID-19 vaccine, took the unusual step on Thursday of publishing its trial protocols after calls .. Coronavirus epicentre Wuhan re-opens for international flights AFP Beijing China’s Wuhan, ground zero for the coronavirus outbreak sweeping the globe, has re-opened for international flights, ending an eight-month moratorium since the deadly disease first emerged. China .. Czechs struggling with record COVID-19 spike PRAGUE: The Czech Republic is struggling to stem a massive spike in coronavirus infections after clocking a record daily rate of infection on par with neighbouring Germany, which has a population that is eight times .. New York City delays return to school again NEW YORK: New York City postponed again on Thursday the return of in-classroom teaching for a large number of pupils, highlighting the difficulty of getting children back to school amid anxiety among teachers about .. Biden faces US voters at town hall as campaign heats up AFP Washington White House hopeful Joe Biden on Thursday holds his first extended face-to-face with real voters since winning the Democratic nomination, a town hall where he will likely savage President Donald Trump’s ..