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China reasserts claims over South China Sea

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BEIJING — China has insisted on Wednesday that it had sovereignty over the South China Sea, defying an international tribunal ruling that its claims to a vast swathe of the waters had no legal basis.

China was ‘the first to have discovered, named, and explored and exploited’ the islands of the South China Sea islands and their waters, and had ‘continuously, peacefully and effectively exercised sovereignty and jurisdiction over them’, Beijing said in a white paper on settling disputes with the Philippines, which brought the case in The Hague.

The white paper said China wanted to settle its regional dispute with the Philippines ‘on the basis of respecting historical facts’.

But, the document is in direct contradiction to the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Tuesday, which said that ‘there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources’.

The UN-backed tribunal also said that any ‘historic rights’ to resources in the waters of the South China Sea were ‘extinguished’ when China signed up to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

AFP

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Man divorces wife just 15 minutes after Islamic marriage in Dubai

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A man in Dubai divorced his bride just 15 minutes after their Islamic marriage as he felt ‘insulted’ by her father’s bride price demands.

The man agreed to pay his new father-in-law Dh100,000 for their wedding but the older man became impatient to get the cash, DailyMail reported.

According to Gulf News, family members and friends accompanied the couple to a Sharia judge’s office to witness the marriage contract being signed. The groom then gave Dh 50,000 on the spot as agreed, with the rest to come after the party left the court building, according to Gulf News.

But, the bride’s father demanded the remaining cash as soon as the signing was over, even though the groom didn’t have it on him.

He said it would only take five minutes to walk to his car, which was parked outside, and get the rest of the bride price.

Instead of letting him retrieve it, the father insisted him to pay either right then or send a friend or relative to get the money while he stayed inside.

The groom felt insulted and demeaned by the series of demands and called off the marriage immediately, a lawyer handling the case said.

‘He told the bride’s father that he did not want his daughter as his wife and divorced her in less than 15 minutes from signing the marriage contract,’ he said.

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