>US TikTok move 'mafia' deal
TikTok's roller-coaster ride in the US continued on Monday as President Donald Trump said he would approve the video-sharing app's sale to Microsoft only if the US government gets a cut, a condition that one expert called a "mafia" deal.
The president also gave Microsoft and TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance, a deadline of Sept 15 to complete the deal, or the app will be banned in the US.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular media briefing in Beijing on Tuesday that the US treatment of TikTok is "outright bullying", and the US only uses a "national security risk" as an excuse to suppress Chinese tech enterprises.
The legal basis of Trump's requirement that some of the money from the deal go to the US Treasury was immediately questioned by experts.
"This is quite unusual; this is out of the norm," said Gene Kimmelman, former chief counsel for the US Department of Justice's Antitrust Division.
Julian Sanchez, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a think tank based in Washington, DC, said Trump's "extortion threat" is a "mafia business model".
>Olympics behind closed doors?
Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya on Tuesday did not rule out the possibility of hosting the postponed Olympic Games behind closed doors while insisting that nobody wants to see the Games without spectators.
Japan's JIJI Press last week quoted an unnamed Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) executive, who is "close" to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as saying that the Games "should definitely take place, even without spectators."
Takaya told reporters at a news conference that such a topic related to the countermeasures of the COVID-19 has to be addressed after thorough discussions among the key parties - the national government, the Tokyo metropolitan government and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee. "This autumn onwards, we will have a meeting body attended by these three parties, so we will see the outcome of this meeting body."
>Meds included in insurance list
Chinese authorities are planning to officially include medicines used in the treatment of diseases related to the novel coronavirus in the country's regular medical insurance programs.
The National Healthcare Security Administration has published a draft work plan regarding adjustments to the list of medicines covered by the medical insurance system, inviting the public to provide comments and opinions on the draft.
According to the draft, medications for respiratory diseases related to COVID-19 will be added to the list.
As of July 19, China's medical insurance system had covered 1.23 billion yuan of the treatment costs of COVID-19 patients, dealing with 135,500 insurance settlements that involved both confirmed and suspected patients.
The adjustment to the list of medicines is expected to further support the containment of COVID-19 on a regular and long-term basis.
>Beirut blasts kill more than 100
Two huge explosions rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday evening, killing at least 100 people and injuring 4,000 others.
The blasts rocked the Port of Beirut at around 6:10 pm local time, shaking buildings all over the city.
The number of casualties was expected to rise as the search and counting continued.
The causes of the blasts remained unknown, but Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi said that the explosive chemicals stored at the Port of Beirut may have caused the explosions.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared Wednesday a national mourning day for the victims of the explosions.
The Higher Defense Council declared Beirut as an afflicted city, while the Lebanese cabinet announced a state of emergency in the city for two weeks.
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