WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday renewed his push for a focused, targeted COVID-19 relief, and denounced Democrats' proposal as "absurd" and "socialist."
"Our country needs more smart, focused relief that is targeted to schools, healthcare, small businesses, & those who are hurting the most," McConnell said in a tweet.
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DAMASCUS -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday blamed the Western and U.S. sanctions for being a "main reason" behind the hesitation of Syrian refugees to return to Syria.
Speaking at the opening session of the International Refugees Conference held in Damascus, Assad said the sanctions of the United States and its allies on Syria are hindering the Syrian government's efforts to rehabilitate the infrastructure in areas destroyed by the more than nine-year-long war.
He said such sanctions and economic siege is a "main reason for the hesitations of many of them (refugees) to return to their areas and villages."
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BRUSSELS -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called for enhanced efforts across the European Union to fight terrorism in a "rapid, coordinated and joint" approach, noting many European cities have been troubled by the problem.
Macron made the plea at a joint press conference together with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after he hosted a virtual meeting discussing the matter.
Echoing Michel and Merkel, von der Leyen said the best way of tackling terrorism is "to make sure that these young people have a future," adding that "we need to work on the training on how to better integrate people."
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NEW DELHI -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an important multilateral organization that promotes regional peace and prosperity, an Indian expert said.
"Because of the COVID-19 crisis, this year the SCO is having its meeting in a virtual format. Nevertheless, the importance is as high as before," said Sudheendra Kulkarni, former chairman of the Mumbai-based think-tank Observer Research Foundation, in a recent interview with Xinhua.