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Kiev destroyed deadly samples from US******
The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that authorities in Kiev destroyed dangerous pathogens of deadly diseases stored in US-funded laboratories in the country.
The ministry received documentation from employees at Ukrainian biological laboratories confirming the urgent destruction of dangerous pathogens such as plague, anthrax, tularemia, cholera and other deadly diseases on February 24, according to a statement made by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova.
She added that these laboratories were funded by the US Department of Defense and were part of a biological weapons program.
According to the foreign ministry, the pathogens were immediately destroyed to hide evidence pointing to the United States and Ukraine violating Article I of the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention.
Also on Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called on the United States to release details of its biological laboratories in Ukraine and urged relevant parties to ensure their safety.
"In particular, the United States, as the party that knows the laboratories best, should release relevant specific information as soon as possible, including what viruses are stored and the research that has been carried out," Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily press briefing.
US bio-military activities in Ukraine are only "the tip of the iceberg," Zhao said. Under various names, the US Department of Defense controls 336 biological laboratories in 30 countries.
Media tips Japan's ruling coalition to retain power******
Japan's ruling coalition is on track to retain power but lose seats in parliament, media predictions said after polls closed in yesterday's general election, the first major test for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.。
In forecasts based on exit polls, public broadcaster NHK said the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito would win between 239-288 of the 465 seats in the lower house.。
TV Asahi said the coalition was expected to win 280 seats, down from its previous total of 305 – weakening the dominance of the LDP, which has held power almost continuously since the 1950s.。
Kishida, 64, became party leader a month ago after Yoshihide Suga resigned just a year into the job, partly due to public discontent over his response to the COVID-19 crisis.。
Cases have dropped precipitously since a record wave that pushed the Tokyo Olympics behind closed doors, but voters in the capital said the pandemic was a major factor in their decision.。
"The economy is suffering because of the coronavirus, so I compared the politicians' responses," said Chihiro Sato, 38, a housewife.。
But engineer Hiroyasu Onishi, 79, said he was more concerned by "the military threat from China."
Kishida has pledged to issue a fresh stimulus package to counter the impact of the pandemic on the world's third-largest economy.。
He has also outlined plans to tackle inequality heightened by the neo-liberal policies of Suga and his predecessor Shinzo Abe, saying he will distribute wealth more fairly under a so-called new capitalism, although the details remain vague.。
Japan's 106 million voters have "struggled to get excited about the new prime minister," said Stefan Angrick, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics.。
"Kishida will need to convince the public and younger members of his party that continuity does not mean status quo, but rather maintaining what has worked and improving on what hasn't."
Kishida had set a comfortable target of winning at least 233 lower-house seats, a simple majority, including LDP and Komeito lawmakers.。
The LDP previously boasted a commanding majority of 276 seats on its own. NHK predicted the party would hang on to between 212-253 seats yesterday, while TV Asahi said it'd win 243, still a simple majority without Komeito.。
Kishida has not enjoyed a political honeymoon, with approval ratings around 50 percent, the lowest in two decades for a new administration in Japan.。
Only five politicians have hung on to the prime minister's office for five years or longer since World War II, including Abe, who was in power from 2012 to 2020 after a previous one-year term.。
Turnout stood at 31.6 percent as of 6pm yesterday, higher than the 30.0 percent at the same time during the 2017 general election, when overall turnout reached 53 percent.。
Ghana beats South Africa to qualify for African World Cup playoffs******
ACCRA, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Ghana's dream of a return to the World Cup in Qatar next year is very alive following its 1-0 win over South Africa at the Cape Coast sports stadium on Sunday.。
The home team who needed to win to qualify for the African playoffs began the match well by piling pressure on the away team.。
The efforts of the Black Stars paid off as captain Andre Ayew expertly converted a penalty in the 33rd minute after Leicester City defender Daniel Amartey was fouled in the penalty box.。
The South Africans, who had not lost a match in the qualifiers, changed their game plan in the second half but a tactically disciplined and resolute Black Stars frustrated their efforts.。
With the win, Ghana tops Group G with 13 points and an additional goal advantage over South Africa who finished second with the same points.。
Ethiopia and Zimbabwe are third and fourth with five points and two points respectively.。
The playoffs among 10 countries to determine the five teams to represent Africa in Qatar is scheduled for March 2022. Enditem。
China's top liquor brand reports strong growth in first three quarters******
GUIYANG, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top liquor brand Kweichow Moutai saw its sales revenue increase 11.05 percent year on year in the first three quarters of this year, the company said on Friday.
Its sales revenue during the period surpassed 74.64 billion yuan (about 11.68 billion U.S. dollars), with its net profit exceeding 37.26 billion yuan, up 10.17 percent year on year.
The company's sales revenue in the third quarter was 25.55 billion yuan, up 9.86 percent year on year, with its net profit reaching 12.61 billion yuan, up 12.35 percent year on year.
Distilled in the town of Maotai in southwest China's Guizhou Province, Moutai is often served at state banquets. Enditem