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Payday Loans: All You Need To Know | Payday Now

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Payday Loans: All You Need To Know | Payday Now

Payday loans are familiar to many people. They’re often used to dealing with unanticipated financial challenges, such as weekday emergencies. You might be wondering, though, if PaydayNow loan is good for you.

A payday loan is a type of short-term borrowing. It is usually determined by your next pay period. Because it is quick, it is vulnerable to high-interest rates, but it might help you pay for expenses in a pinch if you can repay the whole amount with your next paycheck.

The phrase “payday loan” was invented by them to indicate the day when the borrower’s income will be accessible, according to their contract.

The borrower will be handed cash in exchange for a check for the amount they wish to borrow plus the cost of financing. This method is usually carried out with the lender’s permission to allow electronic access to their bank account in order to pay or collect the loan at a later date.

Because this kind of loan isn’t secured, you won’t have to provide additional security to the lender. Rather than requiring security, a payday loan allows the lender to connect to your account via electronic transfer and pay the amount owed.

Paydayloans are usually payable in full when you were paid the following time you get paid. This means that the interest rate on payday loans is fixed and will not alter over the loan’s life. Whether you have a small or huge paycheck, the payday loan is always the same amount!

The majority of lenders provide two-week loans or less. In certain locations, payday loan restrictions have been introduced, limiting the maximum amount of money that may be borrowed in a specific period of time, such as 60USD-600USD.

There’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to payday loans, but there are a few things that clients should be aware of before signing a contract.

To begin, consumers must have a solid bank account, personal identity, and steady employment that pays them on a regular basis or income from other sources on a regular basis.

Furthermore, borrowers must ensure that they are financially responsible for their actions, as lenders are seldom able to inspect what the borrower intends to do with their funds.

It might be difficult to handle if people aren’t prepared for financial commitments ahead of the loan’s due date, which can come as a surprise.

According to a recent survey by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, approximately 80percent of payday loans studied over ten months were borrowed or rolled over within 30days.

1 out of every 5 payday loans is defaulted on, but the issue is exacerbated for people who must obtain installment paydayloans online.

Paydayloans are meant to offer clients rapid cash while charging exorbitant interest rates. They come in a variety of sizes, depending on the state’s maximum amount of loan, and your rates may increase.

A typical payday loan has a yearly percentage rate of 390 percent to 780 percent. Furthermore, the cost of financing might range from P200 to P300 depending on the quantity you demand. If you borrow 20USD, for example, you will be charged a 490percent interest rate.

Payday loans are misunderstood by many individuals. They feel they are a viable solution for obtaining fast cash advances. However, if you’re thinking about taking out a paydayloan, make sure you understand everything about it so you don’t end up with a high recurrence rate.

Make sure you do your homework so you don’t find yourself in a situation where you need more money than a payday loan can provide.

It is typical for people to pay back payday loans with their debit cards at banks. Because you agree to enable your lender to drain cash straight from your checking account when you make a payment when you take out a loan, this is the case. Before signing any paperwork, make sure you’ve read them completely.

Lenders usually impose penalties for late payments. Consumers’ interests are protected by a number of balances and checks. As a result, if a lender does more than they are entitled to do, whether by mistake or for any other reason, they have broken the contract’s norms and regulations.

If repaying your loan on time becomes challenging, the lender may grant you a longer repayment period. This can be achieved by extending the period you have to start making payments on the initial loan or by rolling the loans over.

When a lending institution agrees to pay all outstanding payments, a rollover occurs, and the loan is then repaid in whole. Be wary of consenting to an extension or a rollover because it means you’ll be paying more to repay your debt than you initially committed to!

When you’re struggling to get out of an unexpected financial problem, a payday loan is a wonderful alternative for providing an instant and simple answer. However, you must be mindful about not allowing yourself to go farther in debt.

German officials play cricket with Indian colleagues inside the consulate. Watch | Tendency

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Ask any Indian what their favorite sport is, and the majority of them might answer cricket. We love watching this game and even following every game. And it’s not just that; many people even play this game passionately with their friends. All they need is space and equipment, and the game begins. Recently, Achim Burkart, the German consul for Kerala and Karnataka in Bengaluru, was also seen playing cricket with his colleagues.

Burkart uploaded a short video to his Twitter where he was seen enjoying the game with others. All stand inside the consulate and play cricket. The post’s caption read: “During lunch break my Indian colleagues are trying to teach my German colleagues to play #cricket. Glad to report that the consulate is still intact.”

Take a look at the video here:

This video was shared a day ago. Since it was shared, it has been viewed 31,000 times and has 1,200 likes and several comments.

One person in the comments on Twitter added, “Good idea to start the game in Germany!” A second person added, “Great to see this culture. A third person said, “Wonderful. Let it stay like that!

COVID-19: Ministries announce new wage subsidy program

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  • By Lisa Wang / Staff Reporter

A new wage subsidy program worth approximately NT$1.35 billion ($43.24 million) to ease the financial burden faced by local businesses following a 4.56% annual increase in the minimum wage must be launched, said the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. in a statement yesterday.

The program is an extension of the wage subsidy scheme, but has a lower eligibility threshold, the ministries said.

Local businesses that report an annual drop in revenue of 10% or more due to the COVID-19 pandemic would be eligible for wage subsidies, down from a 20% threshold, they said.

Photo: Taipei Times file photo

The new program is due to take effect in January, they said.

As some industries have not yet recovered from the effects of the three-year-old pandemic, the program aims to help them overcome the difficulties and also aims to ensure the stability of the country’s labor market, the ministries said.

The program would benefit about 180,000 full-time workers and 60,000 part-time workers, according to the release.

The government would provide subsidies of NT$920 per month to full-time workers earning monthly wages below the new minimum wage, up from NT$1,000 per worker, he said.

Local businesses can also apply for a grant of NT$560 per month for part-time workers, he added.

The payments would last for a maximum of six months, he added.

In September, the Ministry of Labor increased the monthly minimum wage from NT$25,250 to NT$26,400, while the minimum hourly rate was raised to NT$176 from NT$169.

The government would use its Employment Stabilization Fund for the payroll program, he said.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are expected to benefit the most from the program as the country’s listed companies recorded a combined revenue growth of 11.75% to NT$2.89 trillion for the first three quarters of this year, a- he said, citing data from the Taiwan Stock Exchange. .

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. The final decision will be at the discretion of The Taipei Times.

Boat carrying hundreds of migrants docks after Greek rescue

A boat carrying around 400 migrants is seen arriving at the port of Palaiochora following a rescue operation by the Greek Coast Guard, on the island of Crete on Tuesday. -AFP photo

A boat believed to be carrying hundreds of migrants was towed safely to the Greek island of Crete on Tuesday after a dramatic rescue complicated by high winds, the coastguard said.

The asylum seekers “have been towed to the port, they haven’t disembarked yet,” a coastguard spokeswoman said.

The fishing boat docked in the small Cretan port of Palaiochora. State television ERT showed footage of the rusting ship, crammed with people.

No information was immediately available on their nationalities.

The coastguard had previously said up to 500 people would be on board, based on the distress call they sent after midnight on Monday as they sailed south of Crete.

ERT set the number on board to 430.

A Greek navy frigate, two cargo ships, an oil tanker and two Italian fishing boats were dispatched to assist the ship which was adrift in winds of more than 30 kilometers per hour, the coast guard said .

Due to increased patrols by the Greek Coast Guard and EU border agency Frontex in the Aegean Sea, migrant smugglers are increasingly taking the longest and most perilous route south of Crete, according to Greek officials.

“Eighty percent of flows from Turkey go directly to Italy,” Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi told Skai TV last week.

Last month, one of the sailboats said to have 95 people on board sank on the island of Kythera, south of the Peloponnese peninsula.

The boat sank under a huge vertical cliff. At least eight people died and survivors – mostly from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan – were carried to safety with ropes and a construction crane in a frantic pre-dawn operation.

Greece, Italy and Spain are among the countries used by people fleeing Africa and the Middle East in search of safety and a better life in the European Union.

The Greek Coast Guard said it rescued around 1,500 people in the first eight months of the year, compared to less than 600 last year.

Dozens more have died in shipwrecks over the past month.

The International Organization for Migration has identified nearly 2,000 migrants killed and missing in the Mediterranean Sea this year.

US and Chinese defense chiefs meet in Cambodia

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LONDON (Reuters) – British army veterans have launched a campaign to secure medals for local Afghan interpreters who served with British forces during the country’s nearly two-decade war, The Times reported.

Armed forces policy means performers – many of whom were among the 11,600 Afghans who moved to Britain after the Taliban takeover – are not eligible for medals or awards.

The campaign is led by Major James Bolter, a Royal Logistic Corps reservist who served in Afghanistan in 2011-2012, recruiting and supervising interpreters.

Bolter is urging the government to award a medal to Nazir Ayeen, who worked for seven years as an interpreter and once translated for King Charles during a troop inspection.

Ayeen said: “We worked for the UK government hoping that we could stabilize our country but also be protected. I have translated for King Charles and my only wish from him is to look after not only my own family but also other people in the same situation.

He added: “Giving us a medal would be a show of respect and would open doors for other organizations such as the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes to help us.”

Bolter said: “It would be a very worthy recognition of what they have been through, what they have provided for their families and what they have done for their country.

“It would be encouraging to see our former locally employed civilians able to stand in their local Remembrance parades in 2023, alongside their former British colleagues, wearing their own hard-earned medals.”

Nearly 5,000 interpreters formerly employed by the British armed forces remain in limbo in Afghanistan, with the ARAP resettlement program struggling to deal with a backlog of applications.

Sara de Jong, co-founder of the Sulha Alliance, which represents interpreters, said the government should speed up the ARAP process and get more former interpreters to safety in Britain.

Rewarding those already in the UK with medals would be a welcome boost to the community, she added.

“Symbolic recognition is very important to our community. We know from our comparative research that other countries, such as New Zealand and France, already award medals, and we have been advocating for many years for the UK to follow their lead,” said de Jong.

A Ministry of Defense spokesman said: “While medal decisions are rightly independent, we are indebted to the contribution of those who served British forces in Afghanistan with professionalism and bravery.

“To date, more than 11,800 eligible Afghans and their dependents who worked with the British Armed Forces under the ARAP program have been transferred to the United Kingdom. All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against all eligibility categories and have varying degrees of complexity which may affect the timeliness of their processing.

“We currently estimate that 4,600 people eligible for ARAP, including their family members, still need to be relocated to the UK and we are working with partners in the region to get as many people out as possible as quickly as possible. possible.”

Indo-Pacific synergies through the prism of culture in Kolkata | MorungExpress

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Kolkata, November 21 (MExN): The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata and Think Tank Asian Confluence are Hosting a Unique Two-Day Indo-Pacific Conclave on “Reinventing and Reconnecting: Indo-Pacific Synergies Through the Lens of Culture,” in Kolkata November 21 and 22.

An official update from the US Consulate General in Kolkata said the conclave aims to leverage culture as a tool to spark political discussions and people-to-people connectivity, ultimately helping to promote a free Indo-Pacific region, open, prosperous and inclusive. It focuses on three key themes: trade and connectivity, ecology and migration, and peacebuilding. It aims to juxtapose cultural presentations and political conversations to create an interface between art, culture and politics to look, feel and touch beyond the usual spaces in which policy makers usually operate.

The conclave opened with welcoming messages from Sabyasachi Dutta, Executive Director of Asian Confluence, and Melinda Pavek, Consul General, US Consulate General Kolkata.

Pavek said, “America is a proud Indo-Pacific nation. We have maintained and continue to strengthen our long-term commitment to a free, open, interconnected, prosperous, resilient and secure Indo-Pacific region. Our engagement spans all corners of the region, from Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia to South Asia, Oceania and the Pacific Islands. Today’s Indo-Pacific enjoys unprecedented economic ties and represents the world’s largest producers of goods and largest trading markets.

“This conclave embodies the third-space concept of Asian Confluence – a space that is autonomous from government and business but working in collaboration with them to shape narratives that define our region at the very core,” said Dutta of Asian Confluence.

The inaugural address was delivered by Ambassador Harsh V Shringla, Chief Coordinator of India’s G20 Presidency and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of India and former Ambassador of India to the United States, who underscored “the critical importance of engaging with the region to be able to ensure that the Indo-Pacific region maintains rules-based exchange, commerce and connection. The conclave then attended a performance led by Pt Tanmoy Bose and his team, on the “Sounds and Rhythms of the Indo-Pacific”.

This was followed by a conversation on the “cultural threads of the Indo-Pacific” moderated by Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Board Member, Asian Confluence.

During the discussion, Daniel Sim, Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Consulate General in Kolkata, highlighted how “half of all Australians have overseas roots” and how this influences Australian foreign policy in the insofar as it is highly geared towards “expanding pre-existing prosperous ties” with the peoples of the Indo-Pacific region.


Nakagawa Koichi, Consul General, Consulate General of Japan in Kolkata, underscored “the importance of language as a key catalyst for connecting people in the Indo-Pacific region”, as people, he said, are the most important link to connect the Indo-Pacific, in terms of economy, ecology and security.

Minakshi Mishra, Regional Director, ICCR, Kolkata, said “Culture connects, just like the way oceans and waters connect land and continents, and is therefore extremely essential in envisioning a connected Indo-Pacific.” She added how the ICCR has continued to forge cultural ties through artistic and cultural exchange over the years and will continue to do so in the days to come.

During these two days, the conclave will see the participation of a galaxy of more than 40 speakers and more than 75 artists, performers and musicians from more than 10 Indo-Pacific countries, including the United States, l Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India. This includes Ambassador Riva Ganguly, Former Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Shahidul Haque, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh, Ambassador Sumith Nakandala, Former Secretary General of the Secretariat of BIMSTEC, among others.

The conclave is expected to offer insights and recommendations that can interweave culture, politics and fresh thinking on the emerging narrative of the Indo-Pacific region.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan begins two-day visit to India | Latest India News

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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), began a two-day visit to India on Monday for consultations on bilateral relations and regional and global issues.



He is accompanied by a high-level delegation for the official visit and will meet with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar.

“This visit will be part of regular consultations between the two countries on bilateral and global issues of mutual concern,” the foreign ministry said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the United Arab Emirates on June 28 and met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Jaishankar visited the United Arab Emirates from October 31 to September 2 to co-chair a joint commission meeting and strategic dialogue with Sheikh Abdullah.

Read also :Highly impressed: UAE minister in Jaishankar for his work on India’s foreign policy

The UAE is a key energy supplier and one of India’s most important strategic partners in West Asia. The United Arab Emirates is also home to more than three million Indians, one of the largest concentrations of expatriates in the region.





International Education Week highlights the multifaceted benefits of higher education in the United States

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The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, in conjunction with EducationUSA, celebrated International Education Week (IEW), November 14-18, with a series of in-person, hybrid, and virtual events that highlighted the advantages of American higher education.

Aimed at students, parents and school counselors, these activities focused on the unparalleled international student experience and the wealth of quality programs and opportunities available in the United States, said a press release issued Friday.

IEW underscores the shared value the United States and Pakistan place on higher education and educational exchange and exemplifies the impact a top-notch education can have on an individual, a community, and a nation. Each year, the U.S. government supports approximately 800 Pakistanis to study in the United States, including fully funded scholarships for 100 master’s and 50 doctoral candidates through our flagship Fulbright program.

The highlight of this year’s IEW celebrations in Karachi was a reception for college and high school educational counselors hosted by the US Consul General to honor their outstanding performance and dedication.

Consul General Nicole Theriot said, “International students gain advanced skills and a greater appreciation for the complexity, challenges and opportunities of life in the 21st century. The experience broadens their view of the world and gives them an edge in today’s competitive job market. These educational opportunities at top-quality American academic institutions represent an important investment in Pakistan’s future and are emblematic of the value the United States places on our partnership with Pakistan. Upon their return, these students are prepared to succeed in their chosen professional fields and make a significant contribution to Pakistan and the world.

Consul General Theriot added, “Higher education in the United States is not just about rigorous academic experience; it is also about personal growth stimulated by being in a culturally diverse environment. With over 4,000 options to choose from, finding the “best fit” school is no small feat. EducationUSA counselors and advisers in Pakistan do a great job of helping strong students identify institutions where they can truly thrive. IEW activities, driven by the multifaceted benefits of American higher education, reinforce our commitment to educational exchanges between the two countries.

Other IEW events included a radio series on educational opportunities in the United States, outreach events on exchange programs at local universities, a Twitter Spaces discussion on “What is the scholarship Fulbright and How to Prepare” with Fulbright alumni, alumni panels on college and career readiness, and a Facebook live session on student visas.

EducationUSA is the official US government source of information on higher education in the United States. It offers accurate, complete and up-to-date information on accredited post-secondary institutions in the United States, as well as free advice and assistance for students wishing to apply to American colleges and universities.

In Pakistan, EducationUSA is housed at the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), a binational commission established in 1950 by the governments of Pakistan and the United States.

USEFP also administers the prestigious Fulbright Student Program and several other scholarship and exchange programs for Pakistani students wishing to study in the United States.

Suvendu seeks action against MP TMC for requesting voter registration of migrants

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Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari said he would write to the Union Home Ministry over a video of TMC MP Khokan Das, in which he is heard saying that only people from the Bangladesh, who vote for the TMC, should be included in the electoral list.

Kolkata,UPDATED: November 18, 2022 11:07 PM IST

Suvendu Adhikari said he would write to the Union Home Ministry asking them to take action against TMC MP Khokan Das. (File photo)

By Suryagni Roy: West Bengal Legislative Assembly Opposition Leader Suvendu Adhikari said he would write to the Union Home Ministry regarding a video by TMC MP Khokan Das, in which hears him saying that migrants from Bangladesh should be included in the electoral roll before the panchayat elections.

“The statements made by MP Khokan Das were in bad taste. The Ministry of Interior and the National Investigation Agency should take action against him,” Adhikari said.

In the alleged video which has gone viral on social media, Bardhaman Dakshin’s TMC MP is heard saying, “A lot of new people are coming…they are from Bangladesh. Many of these people are voting for BJP based on feelings Hindus. Please ensure that only those who support our party (TMC) get a place on the electoral roll.”

The BJP proposed to the election commission to ask the panel to take action against Das.

Rushed legislation to strengthen financial oversight and…


There has been a flurry of activity over the past two months as parliamentary committees have requested and considered submissions on amendment bills introduced in a desperate attempt to avoid the Group’s greylisting. financial action (FATF).

The FATF is an international organization responsible for developing policies to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The FATF maintains a blacklist and a gray list that have led financial institutions to divert resources and services from listed countries, and thus incentivized governments to introduce compliant regulations.

South Africa faces gray listing due to weak anti-corruption and anti-money laundering efforts – hence the rush to introduce new legislation.

Bills – the Constitutional Democracy Protection Against Terrorism and Related Activities Amendment Bill and the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Corruption Financing) Amendment Bill terrorism) – were transmitted to the legislature on July 19 and August 29, 2022, respectively.

The finance and police standing committees have been told that the bills would need to be passed by November 2022 to meet a FATF-mandated deadline. For those who have worked on parliamentary bills in the past, it was a fantastic time.

Standing Committee on Finance Chairman Joe Maswanganyi expressed dissatisfaction with the short time given to his committee to review the bill. He said: “Do not bring bills to Parliament that you want to be dealt with in a month. Parliament is a legislative body, not a department.

But what are the causes and effects of this hasty process?

amaBhungane prepared briefs on both bills, so we were made aware of how the public participation part of the process was conducted. This experience and the research that informed our memoirs gave us a picture of an under-resourced legislative process concerned only with meeting the minimum requirements of legitimacy.

South Africa at 85% risk of being greylisted, so determined political will is needed – and learning from Mauritius: report

The first one report FATF, which detailed South Africa’s serious failings in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, was published in October 2021.

The FATF describes itself as “an independent intergovernmental body that develops and promotes policies aimed at protecting the global financial systems against money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”.

The FATF has 40 recommendations against which it assesses countries. It found South Africa to be compliant with three recommendations, largely compliant with 17, partially compliant with 15 and non-compliant with five.

If South Africa does not demonstrate progress in correcting these areas of poor compliance, the FATF will place the country on its “grey list” – countries under “increased scrutiny” by the FATF.

The executive has been instructed to implement measures to address the weaknesses identified by the FATF and avoid greylisting. The economic and financial risks of failure were well known.

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) published a report last month outlining the reputational damage gray listing would cause and explaining that the enhanced due diligence and oversight required of South African companies could deter foreign financial firms from doing business in South Africa.

The BLSA estimated the impact of the gray list on the country’s GDP at between 1 and 3%.

The time frame to demonstrate meaningful progress was short: South Africa was required to provide the FATF with a progress report by the end of October 2022; in January 2023, South Africa and other FATF countries will meet to discuss progress; and in February 2023, the FATF Plenary Session will determine whether South Africa will be moved to the “enhanced surveillance” category.


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The importance of drafting and passing laws to address the country’s shortcomings in financial crime is undisputed.

The FATF has recommended that South Africa enact laws to govern corporate beneficial ownership transparency – i.e. requiring companies to disclose all persons who ultimately control or benefit from the operations of the FATF. company but which do not appear on the share registers or lists of directors.

Numerous corruption scandals amaBhungane discovered involved shell companies or personalities hiding behind puppet directors, and a regime requiring beneficial ownership transparency would directly address loopholes that corrupt individuals have exploited.

There are therefore significant benefits to be had from the Amendment Bills, and the urgency with which the National Treasury has been forced to act due to FATF deadlines has placed an issue which has been in limbo for years. at the forefront of the legislative drafting queue.

However, this same urgency has also led to rushed drafting processes – to the detriment of final legislation.

The Standing Committee on Finance issued a call for public comment on the General Laws Amendment Bill on September 27, 2022, with a closing date for submissions set for October 10.

Oral submissions were scheduled for the following day, during which each organization present had only 10 minutes to present their submissions. For a bill of this magnitude, involving amendments to four different pieces of legislation, this delay was unreasonable for commentators as well as for members of the parliamentary committee.

It was immediately apparent that the National Treasury Bill had significant weaknesses.

The wording of the Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Regime Bill did not provide access to such information for the media and other concerned members of the public, and the Bill’s provisions were therefore insufficient to create a framework for truly transparent and effective oversight.

More controversially, the bill required compulsory registration of all NGOs with the Ministry of Social Development, which caused consternation in the non-profit sector. The observations made on these points were long and complex.

The content of the bill appeared to be an attempt to include only what was necessary for FATF approval, without recognizing the need to address the unique circumstances of the country.

After massive outcry from civil society, finance committee refuses to automatically approve graylisted bill

The Zondo Commission pointed out that a lack of transparency fundamentally contributes to corruption in the age of state capture, but there was no attempt to reform our opaque systems of financial disclosure.

A previous legislative attempt to require compulsory registration of NGOs was withdrawn due to resistance from the non-profit sector, yet that is the system the Treasury has chosen for this amendment bill. It was almost as if the Treasury was writing in a vacuum.

It was clear that a lot of work would need to be done by the Parliamentary Committee to work with the Treasury to assess and address public concerns and revise the Bill before it could be presented to the National Assembly and the National Council. of the provinces. But there was so little time to do this work.

The timeline raises a series of red flags about the legitimacy of our legislative process.

The National Treasury team that engaged with the committee and responded to concerns raised in the public submissions were diligent and knowledgeable, but hampered by the short time given to them to respond to the public submissions.

However, it is deeply concerning that the Treasury took just under a year to prepare the draft for Parliament, knowing that it would give Parliament a matter of weeks to assess and then pass it.

We know that the Treasury is understaffed, and it is worrying that this appears to be impacting its ability to effectively and efficiently formulate policies and bills to meet the country’s needs.

The two-week period given to the public to comment meant that many individuals and NGOs were unable to provide comments or, if they did, were unable to include full assessments of the provisions of the bill and its impacts.

Allocating only 10 minutes for oral presentations meant that presentations were rushed and incomplete.

The public participation phase of law-making is not simply a box-ticking exercise, and input from members of the public is valuable to legislative drafters. The fact that the Treasury has reworked some elements of the NGO registration requirements following feedback from this sector demonstrates this.

The cumbersome nature of the process for this bill has hindered meaningful public input on the tangible effects of the bill being carefully scrutinized by the executive and legislature.

The final version of the bill sent to the National Council of Provinces did not address many of the concerns raised in the public comments on transparency and accountability.

Comically, the committee was also delayed in sending the bill to the NCOP because the load shedding interfered with a meeting where it was to pass the revised bill. Beyond their direct control, perhaps, but an indication of the ripple effects of government mismanagement.

Drafting laws is a complex process, and these bills involve highly technical considerations.

Both bills addressed issues of national importance: the goal of avoiding listing and strengthening our oversight and accountability mechanisms for financial crime and corruption. Unfortunately, the regimes created by the bills as they stand are not strong enough to materially contribute to the fight against financial crime.

We all deserved more from the executive and legislative branches of government in their handling of this legislative process. DM

Caroline James is amaBhunganes advocacy coordinator.

Govt. to develop a start-up park in Bengaluru, knowledge cities across the state

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Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Minister of Large and Medium Industries Murugesh Nirani and other delegates during the Bengaluru Tech Summit in Bengaluru on Wednesday. | Photo credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The government would begin work within the next six months on developing new knowledge cities in the state. It is also planning a dedicated startup park near the Bengaluru International Airport to help promote various spheres of the startup ecosystem.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced this at the launch of Bengaluru Tech Summit (BTS), 2022 and said knowledge cities would be established in Kalaburagi, Hubballi-Dharwad, Mangaluru, Mysuru and Bengaluru. His government aims to promote the growth of knowledge and technology sectors, especially IT and BT, he said.

CN Ashwath Narayan, Minister of Electronics, IT, BT and Science & Technology said the state government has enabled the right kind of learning and education in a big way to promote the growth of knowledge sectors.

Australian Consulate

Australian Deputy Foreign Minister Tim Watts, speaking at the summit, announced that Australia would open a consulate in Bangalore next year.

Speaking at BTS, he said the Australian government is deeply committed to advancing its technology partnership with India as part of a comprehensive, broad-based strategic partnership.

“That is why we are committed to opening our new joint Australia-India Center of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy here in Bangalore. We will also be opening a new Consulate General in Bangalore in 2023, our fifth diplomatic office in India, to support connections and growth opportunities with this dynamic part of southern India,” Mr. Watts said.

He also noted that the newly introduced direct flight between Bengaluru and Sydney has been fully booked since its launch in November.

Indian footprint

UAE Minister Omar bin Sultan Al Olama highlighted India’s dominance in technology and said the future of technology would have “an Indian footprint everywhere”.

“The future will have an Indian fingerprint for everyone and everywhere as there are Indians shaping the future of technology in different places around the world,” said the minister who holds the portfolios of artificial intelligence, digital economy and remote work applications.

According to him, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that was signed between the UAE and India earlier this year has been an excellent springboard to forge bilateral collaborations to usher in a new era of technologies. .

“The existing I2U2 partnership (India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States) could be a model that other countries can try to establish collaborations,” he said, adding that regions such as than Africa and the Middle East, the UAE will act as natural springboards for technology providers wishing to explore these markets.

Martin Schroeter, Chairman and CEO of Kyndryl, a New York-based technology infrastructure company, said that Bengaluru and India have built one of the most sophisticated and enviable centers of information technology with 61,000 startups, making it the third largest startup ecosystem on the planet with Bengaluru clearly playing the leading role.

About 5,000 delegates, including 350 domain experts, 400 startups (including a dozen city unicorns), innovators, R&D teams and lawmakers attend the three-day summit. The summit will include deliberations over 70 sessions on various topics on disruptive technologies.

RTL Today – Minister for Development Cooperation: Development aid will exceed 500 million euros for the first time

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On Tuesday, the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action Franz Fayot presented to the Chamber of Deputies his analysis of the challenges facing Luxembourg’s development cooperation.

War in Ukraine

The Minister opened his speech by referring to the impact of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, in particular on Luxembourg’s cooperation partners around the world. After the Covid-19 pandemic has already caused major setbacks in poverty, nutrition, education and security in many developing countries, the war has pushed millions of people to the brink of starvation.

In this context, the Minister underlined the increased efforts that Luxembourg Development Cooperation has undertaken to combat food insecurity, both in humanitarian action to combat acute hunger and in development cooperation projects to make food systems more resilient in the long term. While Luxembourg has already invested around 40 million euros in sustainable agriculture and access to food in 2021, this amount is expected to increase to more than 60 million euros in 2022, which represents more than 10 % of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Humanitarian Affairs

Fayot also addressed the challenges faced by humanitarian affairs and the response of Luxembourg development cooperation to this situation. With no less than 274 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection according to the United Nations, Luxembourg is committed to devoting at least 15% of its ODA to humanitarian purposes in the future. This commitment is part of the new Humanitarian Action Strategy published in 2022, which will enable the Luxembourg Humanitarian Affairs department to act in a more targeted and effective manner around six strategic priorities, six horizontal themes and 50 action points. ‘stock.

In order to further leverage Luxembourg’s strengths and expertise in innovation and humanitarian action, the Minister also announced that in June 2023, Luxembourg will host the first edition of an international accelerator program humanitarian innovation event, organized in collaboration with the World Food Programme, with the aim of finding and developing new solutions to humanitarian emergencies.

Bilateral cooperation

Fayot then gave an update on bilateral cooperation activities. It appears that the situation in many partner countries of Luxembourg cooperation is unstable. This is particularly evident in the Sahel region, where a host of crises related to climate change, malnutrition and security concerns are on the rise. While Senegal and Niger continue to be trusted partners despite the rise in insecurity and the implementation of the indicative cooperation programs (ICP) is proceeding as planned, the situation in Burkina Faso, which has experienced two military coups in 2022, and in Mali remains of concern. Development cooperation in both countries will continue on the basis of transition strategies. In this regard, Fayot underlined that the safety of personnel in the field is a top priority and that the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs ensures that the necessary security measures are in place at all times.

Fayot also presented the future direction of bilateral development cooperation. Given the difficult situation in many partner countries and in order to diversify Luxembourg’s development cooperation activities on the African continent, Luxembourg will intensify its relations with Rwanda and Benin. Projects in these countries will aim to promote the rule of law and good governance, sustainable agriculture and food security as well as better access to inclusive finance for farmers. After Luxembourg ended bilateral development cooperation relations with Nicaragua in 2019, a reorientation is underway in Central America. Accordingly, further regional cooperation will be encouraged, as well as greater collaboration with Costa Rica, which will support triangular and South-South cooperation. Luxembourg is thus following in the footsteps of other EU member states which also operate from San José.

Human rights

During his speech, the Minister underlined the importance that the Luxembourg Development Cooperation attaches to respect for human rights in all its activities. In order to strengthen its commitment and its impact in this area, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation plans to increase the budget allocated to projects specifically promoting the protection of human rights.

In this context, Fayot announced that human rights, as well as food security, will be key topics during the Development Cooperation Conferences in December.

development NGO

The Minister indicated that Luxembourg Development Cooperation will strengthen its support for Non-Governmental Development Organizations (NGDOs), emphasizing the essential role they play in the execution of cooperation for sustainable development. It will thus increase its contribution to covering their actual administrative costs by raising the ceiling taken into account from 14 to 15%.

At the end of his speech, the minister presented the budget forecasts to the deputies. Despite the economic situation, ODA is expected to exceed €500 million for the first time.

Gaming Innovation Group obtains ISO 20000 certification – European Gaming Industry News

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The National Board of Gambling in Romania has granted SoftGamings a Class II license reserved for software distributors in the gambling market.

SoftGamings is pleased to announce that it has received a Class II license from the main gambling regulator in Romania, the Romanian National Office for Gambling (ONJN). Under the license agreement, SoftGamings is authorized to provide management and hosting services for the gaming platforms, in accordance with article 20 (6) of GEO 77/2009.

Romania’s legislative framework changed in 2015 to cope with the development of the iGaming industry and position the country among the leaders in Europe.

ONJN-licensed remote gaming operators can now integrate SoftGamings’ award-winning casino and sportsbook solutions into their platforms and use our management and hosting services to enhance their products. Local customers can explore SoftGamings’ quick and easy API integration opportunities, flexible turnkey and White Label Casino solutions, and highly customizable bonus programs, in hopes of increasing player retention and loyalty. .

ONJN’s license is another in a long line of local gaming licenses after the company successfully obtained B2B certificates from the Hellenic Gaming Commission in Greece and B2B provider licenses from gaming regulators in Belarus, Belarus. Latvia and Belgium.

“We are steadily moving into new regulated markets and gaining a foothold in new regions, and the ONJN license we have received is further testimony to this. The license agreement is the result of years of hard work and dedication that we have invested in understanding and improving the iGaming market. By recognizing the needs of our customers and the market, and ultimately learning to align the two, we have designed solutions that ensure our Romanian customers stand out from the competition. We are excited for all the new partnerships and projects that are sure to come out of this new milestone for the company,” said Anna Lalina, Director of Partnerships at SoftGamings.

Ambassador McCarthy’s Opening Remarks at the Press Roundtable with the Acting Assistant Secretary for Global Public Affairs

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(As delivered)

Good afternoon! Thank you all for being here, and thank you to the Acting Assistant Secretary for Global Public Affairs, Elizabeth Trudeau, for her visit to Monrovia. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Ms. Trudeau heads the Office of Global Public Affairs (GPA) whose mission is to effectively communicate US foreign policy priorities and the importance of diplomacy to the American public. , as well as engage foreign audiences. to enhance their understanding of and support for United States values ​​and policies. Accordingly, during her short stay here, she met with key members of the media and civil society to better understand the status of media freedom, civil society and government accountability in Liberia—

As Assistant Secretary Trudeau and I spoke this morning with Minister Rennie, in an effort to pursue government accountability and combat misinformation, you journalists are essential to the functioning of a democracy, and we look forward with looking forward to your honest coverage before the 2023 elections. Your presence here, month after month, and the work you do every day, is certainly a positive indicator of the commitment to press freedom and transparency.

Before giving the floor to Acting Assistant Secretary Trudeau, I would like to take the time to address two administrative matters before highlighting some important past and future events:

Regarding the census, donors and friends of Liberia would like to highlight the following:

– The census has started and is continuing.

-The census is an important and apolitical action required by the constitution.

– Opposition leaders should ask their supporters not to disrupt the census.

Regarding a story that circulated last week regarding the recall of the US currency – it is a rumor that sometimes makes the rounds and is completely false. The United States Treasury has always emphasized that despite the new designs in our currency, the old notes in circulation were legal tender. As they announced when new $100 bills were released in 2011, “U.S. currency users should know that they won’t have to exchange their old $100 bills when the new ones start circulating.”

With regard to significant events, firstly, regarding Assistant Secretary Trudeau’s visit and freedom of the press, I would like to commend the Supreme Court of Liberia for the decision of September 26e decision in favor of One Media Incorporated, parent company of radio station Punch FM, which allows the radio to finally start its activities after applying for a broadcast license in June 2018.

Despite meeting media licensing requirements under the law in 2018, Punch FM faced a number of legal challenges to be allowed to broadcast. Now, following a series of calls from One Media Incorporated and the Liberian government, Punch FM can begin broadcasting.

It is a victory for freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Liberia, and a demonstration of judicial independence.

Another cause for congratulations is the government of Liberia for adopting the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s 2023 scorecard for the first time since 2018. Liberia has made significant progress, particularly in the area of ​​controlling inflation. Going forward, we urge the government to focus on indicators in the “investing in people” category, which include health, education and protection of natural resources. This could make Liberia more competitive for a potential second compact from the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Liberia is one of 66 countries that will be further assessed by MCC’s board of directors next month to determine their eligibility for a compact.

I also want to point out that it is three months ago, almost to the day, that I announced to you in this room the Treasury Department’s global Magnitsky sanctions against Nathaniel McGill, Bill Twehway and Syrenius Cephus. I think it is important to draw our attention to the Treasury Department’s statement, in particular its notification that persons who engage in certain transactions with such sanctioned persons “may themselves be subject to sanctions or be subject to legal action. In addition, unless an exception applies, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a material transaction for any of the individuals or entities could be subject to US sanctions. This applies not only to those who deal with these three people, but also with the other two people sanctioned by Global Magnitsky in recent years: Senator Prince Y. Johnson and Senator Varney Sherman.

Finally, next month in Washington DC, President Biden will host the highly anticipated US-Africa Leaders Summit – the first in eight years. Alongside other distinguished heads of state from across the continent, President Weah will represent the government and the people of Liberia with the goal of enhancing future collaboration between the United States and the entire African continent. As the Secretary pointed out during his trip to Africa in November: Africa will shape the future — not just the future of the African people, but of the world. Africa will make a difference by tackling the most pressing challenges and seizing the opportunities that we all face.

At the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, we plan to build on our shared values ​​to better foster new economic engagement; strengthen U.S. and African commitment to democracy and human rights; mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and future pandemics; work collaboratively to strengthen regional and global health; promote food security; advancing peace and security; responding to the climate crisis; and amplify ties with the diaspora.

President Biden believes that U.S. collaboration with African leaders as well as civil society, business, the diaspora, and young leaders is essential to addressing common challenges and seizing opportunities, including increasing the sustainable food production, tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, responding to the escalating climate crisis, building a strong and inclusive global economy, delivering lifesaving humanitarian assistance, and strengthening standards, institutions and the rule of law at the global level.

I believe this will be a productive summit, where Liberia commits to continue taking steps towards economic, social and political progress ahead of the 2023 elections.

Thanks.

Covid rules simplified for Indians coming to China as country sees record cases | world news

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BEIJING: Pre-departure Covid-19 protocols for Indians planning to come to China have been simplified, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi announced on Sunday, days after Beijing shortened quarantine requirements from 10 to eight days for Indians. incoming passengers.

The relaxation of the rules was announced by Chinese embassies in several countries on Sunday as Beijing lifts some of its Covid-19 control measures on international travel while pledging to fight the epidemic in the country according to its strategy. controversial “zero-Covid” through instant lockdowns and mass testing.

Applicable from Monday, Indian passengers “…travelling to China only need to take one nucleic acid test (RT-PCR) within 48 hours before boarding the flight to China , and to apply for the green health code with a negative certificate,” the Chinese embassy said. .

“Passengers traveling to China can choose any place in India or in transit according to their itinerary, within 48 hours before boarding the flight to China, and apply for a green health code from the embassy or consulate where the test will be taken,” he said. , adding: “The airline will screen passengers with a valid green health code and will not verify the place of issue”.

This means that for passengers traveling from India to China but transiting through a third country, there is no need to take a Covid-19 test in the third country or transit country: As long as the journey from the India to China takes less than 48 hours, India’s negative Covid-19 test result will be valid.

This protocol change is significant as there are no direct flights between India and China at present.

Passengers will be required to present “vaccination certificates of vaccines made in China or vaccines approved for use by the WHO (World Health Organization), if they have already been vaccinated,” the statement added.

It is important to note that there are no additional requirements for passengers who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier.

“No additional requirements for passengers with a history of Covid-19 infection, close contact, suspicious symptoms and PCR test results showing presumptive positive and equivocal results,” the Chinese Embassy statement said.

“All passengers can apply for the green health code with a negative nucleic acid test result (RT-PCR) within 48 hours before departure,” he added.

The statement reminded potential passengers that “Nucleic acid test reports submitted to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General in India must be issued by ICMR-authorized laboratories, which must be machine printed, and not handwritten, and with a QR code”.

Similar procedures have been simplified in several other countries, including Singapore, Serbia, the United States, Australia, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Cambodia, etc

China last week reduced the number of quarantine days for inbound travelers from 10 to eight days and removed a penalty for international airlines bringing cases of the virus into the country as it relaxes some of its quarantine rules. controversial control of Covid-19.

The new measures were announced on Friday, a day after President Xi Jinping chaired a meeting of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) top decision-making body, the Politburo (SC) Standing Committee at which leaders discussed vowed to “tenaciously pursue” the dynamic zero-Covid policy” while minimizing economic and social disruption.

Record number of cases

Changes in international travel protocol come into effect as Beijing and several other major cities in China reported record Covid-19 infections Monday for Sunday, putting authorities under more pressure to quickly quell outbreaks while trying to reduce the impact on people’s lives and on economic activity.

Overall, 16,072 new locally transmitted cases were reported by the National Health Commission (NHC), up from 14,761 on Sunday and the highest in China since April 25, when case numbers were high as Shanghai was battling its worst Covid-19 outbreak.

The capital Beijing reported 407 cases on Monday, up from 235 the day before; the southern city of Guangzhou, capital of economic powerhouse Guangdong, recorded 4,065 new cases, down from 3,653 the day before.

“Beijing health authorities said on Monday they would further strengthen epidemic prevention and control measures and reminded residents not to go out unless necessary,” the Global Times said in a report.

“Residents are reminded not to go out unless necessary, including not going to crowded places and not going out for meals and parties. People should wear a mask properly, keep a safe distance and maintain good personal hygiene if they go out,” the report adds.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sutirtho Patranobis has been in Beijing since 2012, as China correspondent for the Hindustan Times. He was previously stationed in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he covered the final phase of the civil war and its aftermath. Patranobis covered several times including health and national politics in Delhi before being posted overseas.
    …See the details

US Congressmen hail Egypt’s leading role in strengthening regional peace and stability – Foreign Affairs – Egypt

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Egyptian Foreign Minister and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry meets with a number of US Congressmen and their aides in Sharm el-Sheikh. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Members of Congress underscored the strategic nature of Egypt-US relations during the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), which runs from November 6-18, according to a statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

Shoukry highlighted the strategic relations between Egypt and the United States in various fields, stressing Egypt’s keenness to continue strengthening these relations at all levels.

Members of Congress hailed Egypt’s hosting of COP27, expressing hope that the conference will produce the desired outcome to achieve global climate action goals.

Shoukry, who is also the President of COP27, underscored the great commitment between the Egyptian and American parties at the climate summit during a series of official meetings, at the top of which was the Mountain peak between President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi and President Joe Biden.

The meeting also discussed a number of international issues, in particular the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and its economic implications.

President Biden made his first visit to Egypt on Friday since taking office in January 2021 and discussed US-Egyptian strategic relations, regional and international issues of common concern, and human rights with President El- Yes Yes.

At the climate summit, Biden said the United States, European Union and Germany would provide a $500 million package to fund and facilitate Egypt’s transition to clean energy to help the country to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 10%.

Biden also announced a Distribution in the United States $150 million to accelerate adaptation in Africa to save millions of lives and their livelihoods.

The United States and Germany have also pledged more than $250 million to support Egypt’s energy pillar Nexus on Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) financing program for eco-responsible projects.

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi also met El-Sissi at the summit on Thursday, during which she hailed Egypt’s effective role in countering terrorism and extremist thought, reforming religious discourse and establishing lofty values ​​of freedom of belief, tolerance and justice. ‘acceptance.

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EU rejects statements on acceptance of occupied north to Organization of Turkish States

The European Union, in a statement issued on Saturday, rejected Turkey’s statements regarding the acceptance of the Turkish Cypriot secessionist entity as an observer at the Organization of Turkish States.

“This decision, pending ratification by the members of the Organization, is regrettable and contradicts the fact that several members of the Organization have expressed their strong support for the principle of territorial integrity and the Charter of the United Nations” , said the European External Action Service.

“The EU has made it clear on several occasions, including at the highest political level, that it only recognizes the Republic of Cyprus as a subject of international law, in accordance with the respective United Nations Security Council resolutions”, a- he added.

“Any action aimed at facilitating or assisting in any way the international recognition of the secessionist Turkish Cypriot entity seriously undermines efforts to create an environment conducive to the resumption of settlement talks under the auspices of the United Nations.

“The EU is fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bizonal and bicommunal federation with political equality, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in accordance with the EU acquis and to the principles on which the EU is founded. There is no alternative”, underlined the European External Action Service.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the presumed admission of the “TRNC” into the intergovernmental organization which aims to promote cooperation between Turkish-speaking states.

Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter that everything was developing “step by step”, referring to Ankara’s efforts to gain international recognition for the separatist state.

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar also welcomed the decision.

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, which is a member of the CTO, downplayed the Turkish statements.

Read more:

(Update) Uzbek FM denies that the occupied north has obtained observer status with the Organization of Turkish States

Ethiopia hosts UN internet meeting after cutting off Tigray

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GENEVA (AP) — A United Nations body dedicated to promoting wider and better internet access is set to hold its annual meeting in Ethiopia, whose government has cut off internet access in its southern region. northern Tigray during a two-year war.

Critics say Ethiopia stands out as a glaring example of a government preventing citizens from getting online – jeopardizing family ties, human rights and information flows.

The Internet Governance Forum, whose annual gathering has attracted high-profile leaders like former German Chancellor Angela Merke in the past, is scheduled for November 28-December 28 this year. 2 meeting in Ethiopia long before the government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed waged a military campaign in Tigray against regional fighters in November 2020.

Since then, fighting has hampered humanitarian access to the region as Ethiopian federal authorities attempt to isolate Tigray’s rebel rulers by impeding humanitarian aid deliveries, isolating its beleaguered residents and shutting down banking and telecommunications, leaving them largely isolated from the rest of the world.

Ethiopian authorities, however, insist they did not deliberately target the Tigrayan people.

As part of a widely welcomed ceasefire agreement on November 2, the Ethiopian government must continue to restore basic communication, transport and banking services for Tigray’s more than 5 million people, and both sides promised to allow unhindered access for humanitarian aid.

In the past, the Ethiopian government has said it needs security guarantees for workers sent to repair communications infrastructure.

Ahmed’s government, which won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, has promoted the upcoming IGF rally in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, as it strives to promote Ethiopia’s status as a regional economic power and African diplomatic hub.

The organizers of the meeting are looking for concrete steps to achieve “universal and meaningful Internet connectivity”.

The Geneva-based forum laments that 2.7 billion people around the world are still not connected. He will focus this year’s meeting on “connecting all people and safeguarding human rights” and preventing internet fragmentation. He denounces government policy that “limits uses of the Internet or affects the open and interoperable character of the Internet”.

Chengetai Masango, the forum’s program and technology manager, said Addis Ababa was a “preferred location” to hold the annual meeting, as Ethiopia is a rapidly developing country, home to a “great base youth” and a diplomatic center – with many embassies, international institutions and the headquarters of the African Union.

“Ethiopia is a UN member state and as such has the right to host UN meetings,” Masango wrote, adding, “The position of the IGF and the UN on closures everywhere has been consistent; they are incompatible with human rights.

Even before the conflict in Tigray began, the UN human rights office raised concerns about internet access and communications in Ethiopia, citing a ‘communications blackout’ that began in January 2020 in areas under federal military control – namely western Oromia – during military operations against an armed group. faction there.

Fighting in the Oromia region this week claimed dozens of lives, witnesses said.

The rights office noted that Ethiopia is far from the only country imposing internet restrictions.

A UN report released in June noted internet shutdowns or social media crackdowns in places like Myanmar, Sudan and Russia. He said closures often occur in places where governments carry out armed operations – and some may be aimed at covering up human rights abuses.

“The UN as a whole has spoken out openly on the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, as well as the alleged violations of human rights, humanitarian law and refugee law,” Masango said.

Many Tigrayans told The Associated Press they have not been able to contact relatives in the area since the conflict began and do not know if they are still alive.

The #KeepItOn coalition – which brings together more than 280 organizations from 105 countries to promote open access to the internet – says it is calling on the African Union “to condemn the prolonged Ethiopian government shutdown, which has had devastating effects on people living in conflict, and to help restore internet access in the region and across Ethiopia.

Access Now, another advocacy group, launched a campaign to mark Tigray’s two years without the internet. He says the Addis Ababa meeting provides an opportunity to focus on internet shutdowns and “to urge governments, especially in Africa, to end this practice.”

“Authorities have armed internet shutdowns against people inside and outside Tigray – disconnecting families, destroying businesses and preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid,” he said. . “It aggravates the humanitarian crisis and covers up human rights violations.”

___

Anna reported from Nairobi, Kenya.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Manhattan District Attorney returns 187 artifacts linked to disgraced dealer Subhash Kapoor to Pakistan

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Just days after antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor was sentenced to ten years in prison by an Indian court, nearly 200 items seized during the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigation into the dealer and his associates have been sent back to Pakistan.

The repatriation of 192 items with a collective value of $3.4 million was announced on November 10. Of these, 187 are linked to Kapoor, his former Art of the Past gallery on Madison Avenue, and his accomplices in a vast smuggling ring that has ensnared collectors and institutions around the world, from New York to Canberra. Since 2011, the District Attorney’s Office and federal Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents have seized more than 2,500 items worth more than $143 million related to Kapoor and his associates.

“Subhash Kapoor was one of the most prolific antiquities traffickers in the world, but thanks to the work of our dedicated investigators and analysts, we were able to recover thousands of pieces looted from his network,” said the district attorney of Manhattan, Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. says in a statement. “We will continue to pursue full responsibility against Mr. Kapoor and his co-conspirators, who have shown blatant disregard for the cultural and historical significance of these antiquities.”

Newly repatriated artifacts include several terracotta Mehrgarh dolls, objects dated between 3500 and 2600 BCE, making them one of the oldest man-made figures in the world. They were first discovered in 1974 at a Neolithic archaeological site in Pakistan which was later targeted by looters. A Gandharian statue of a maitreya (a future enlightened Buddha) was also returned. It was looted in Pakistan and smuggled to New York in the 1990s by traffickers Zahid Parvez Butt and Zeeshan Butt.

The Mehrgarh dolls and the Gandharan statue which are now being returned to Pakistan had been kept in a storage unit rented by people affiliated with Art of the Past until its contents were seized earlier this year by law enforcement officers. Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Antiquities Trafficking Unit.

During a ceremony this week at the Pakistani Consulate in New York, Consul General Ayesha Ali signed an agreement with Bragg’s office to take possession of the contraband items. “We started this journey with the prosecutor’s office and [HSI] in November 2020, 45 pieces of stolen Gandhara artifacts were returned and today we are very lucky that another batch of 192 antiquities worth $3.4 million have been returned,” said Ali in a press release.

Just over a year ago, Bragg’s office repatriated 235 Kapoor-related items to India.

Edge Hill University awards scholarship to Preston girl for conservation work in Fylde

Haidee Bailey, 20, is passionate about conservation and fighting climate change. She is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in ecology and conservation at Edge Hill, but before she even begins her studies, she has already gained a lot of experience.

Haidee was an early member of the Reserva Youth Council: The Youth Land Trust, an international organization that established the first youth-funded nature reserve in Ecuador, preserving an area of ​​rainforest and creating a reserve for plants and animals. . She has also worked with a team of volunteers to protect the Fylde Sand Dunes, an ecologically important but endangered area of ​​the north west coast near her home.

Haidee said, “I think it’s important to protect the environment and these unique habitats for the plants, animals and people who live there. I used to worry about climate change, but taking appropriate action has helped me feel more optimistic about the future. The reality is that we all have to play our part in protecting the environment, otherwise it will deteriorate further.

Haidee Bailey, from Preston, received a scholarship from Edge Hill University for her commitment to conservation, including her work at Fylde.

During his three years of volunteering at Reserva, Haide helped found the organization, gave talks on their behalf, and raised funds by organizing a rainforest run, a frog naming contest, and a concert. for preservation.

Reserva’s Founder and Executive Director, Callie Broaddus, said, “Haidee’s extraordinary commitment to our mission is complemented by her kind personality, meeting contributions and absolute perseverance.

Read more

Woodlands Animal Sanctuary’s desperate plea for help with only a month left…

To protect the Fylde sand dunes, Haidee got her hands dirty, digging ponds, planting grasses and clearing invasive species on the dunes to protect against erosion.

Haidee has been involved with Reserva since she was 16 and also volunteers to protect the Fylde sand dunes.

She said: “In Fylde we have made a real difference by taking practical steps to improve the area. We protect this very unique and important area of ​​the coast which is home to many species of plants and animals.

To support his conservation work and help him with his studies, Edge Hill awarded him a merit entrance scholarship worth several thousand dollars.

Haidee commented, “I was really surprised and didn’t expect to get the scholarship at all. I will use the money to fund my trip when I volunteer, which will help me keep doing all these projects.

To protect Fylde’s sand dunes, Haidee dug ponds, planted grasses and removed invasive species.

A beautiful moment for ‘Mongolian Mike’

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“We were very busy tonight watching and cheering on Mike during the game and, at the same time, updating all the Mongolian fans,” said Puntsag, who not only serves as a consul at the Mongolian Consulate General in San Francisco , but is also an ardent Flyers fan and a bridge to his homeland of 3.4 million.

“All of Mongolia encourages him,” he said.

Although he was able to watch the game on ESPN+ in San Francisco, he said people in Mongolia — where the 1 p.m. time difference to Dayton was a warning at 8 a.m. Tuesday — weren’t. not.

“Unfortunately they couldn’t watch it live on TV, so they were waiting for any news we could give them,” Puntsag said by phone late Monday night. “Especially the youngsters, they all know Mike and were keen to see the stats and how he was playing, so we were busy with the Facebook groups, telling them everything we could.

He got much of his information from Sharavjamts Tserenjankhar, Mike’s father and friend, who was at the game with his wife, Erdenebulgan Purevsuren, and posted ongoing social media accounts. Puntsag got more from Dayton Daily News reporter Dave Jablonski, who was doing the same.

It was a historic outing for Sharavjamts, who is the first person from Mongolia to receive a Division I athletic scholarship and made everyone beam.

“It was a beautiful moment for us,” Puntsag said. “It marks a new beginning, a new page for the history of Mongolian basketball, I can say that with pride.

“Mike breaks the ice. He paves the way for young Mongolians to believe in themselves. They can say ‘Oh, a Mongolian is in the NCAA! It’s possible!'”

Puntsag admitted before the match that he was nervous about how Sharavjampts would meet the moment:

“He’s a young man. He has so much pressure on his shoulders. He doesn’t just play for himself and his team, he carries his whole country on his back.

“That’s why it was a big relief when he hit that first shot. You could tell from his face that he was relaxed. He was comfortable. He’s just not too excited. He’s capable to stay calm.

Sharavajamts scored his first of two treys on the night just 31 seconds from the start of the game. Those are the first points of the season for the 24th-ranked Flyers.

After the shot, Sharavjamts backpedaled to the floor with a “been there/done that” composure rather than a celebration for the new kids. After the game, he was equally puzzled in his assessment.

“I felt it (in) the warm-ups,” he said. “I knew this shot was going to go in, so I just took it.”

His teammate Mustapha Amzil – who had a memorable outing in his first game as a Flyer two years ago when he scored 22 points against LaSalle – said having an impact game right out of the box boosts your confidence:

“It’s definitely a good feeling. You know your place is here. You know you can do damage. I have a feeling Mike is going to have a great season.

No one was happier afterwards than Anthony Grant.

“It was a great first game for him,” said the head coach. “I thought there were a lot of things he was doing well. I think he can learn some things and he needs to improve, but I think overall it was really impressive to seeing the balance he’s played with, especially on the attacking side with what he’s been asked to do at the start of his career.

“He’s got a good feeling with this game. Great view. The way he plays basketball is, to me, the way it’s supposed to be played in terms of sharing the ball and understanding how to make plays and to make the game easier for his teammates.

Find teammates

The sold-out crowd of 13,407 fired for Sharavjamts from the start, whether buzzing about his deft passing ability or riding the officials every time they called him a foul, which they did four times .

Amzil spoke about Sharavjamt’s passing abilities afterwards: “It feels good because I’m on the receiving side. Mike is a great ball handler. It’s great to have a big guard who can see some angles that little guards sometimes don’t see.

Tserenjankhar said his son’s passing abilities were honed when he was young:

“From the time he started playing organized basketball at age seven or eight, he was always playing point guard and playing guys three and four years older and much bigger than him. It was not easy for him. He had to find a way to manage the ball and pass it to the other players.

The fact that he often does this with a bit of trickery and sometimes makes defenders look oblivious may have something to do with genes, laughed Tserenjankhar.

The 7-foot Tserenjankhar played with the Harlem Globetrotter about two decades ago and as Puntsay noted: “He was a legend.”

The Globetrotters billed him as “The Mongolian Shark” and even had a passing game named after him, so he knows a thing or two about hard-court hijinks.

“So yeah, maybe it was passed on to him through blood,” laughed Tserenjankhar.

The Mongolia team

Last month, Tserenjankhar and his wife moved from Mongolia to Centerville for the entire UD season to support their son.

On Monday morning, he said he offered his boy fatherly advice:

“When I was taking him back to school, I just told him to be calm and believe in himself. To just, ‘Go do what you’re doing’ and have fun on the floor.

On Monday evening, Tserenjankhar and his wife were invited to join other fans in their Loge seating area overlooking Blackburn Court. Although they weren’t in the regular parent section, their son quickly found them when he took to the field to warm up.

He made eye contact and that calmed him down, he said:

“I just know they’re there and supporting me and I can do more for myself.”

Tserenjankhar was particularly warmed when he heard what his son had said:

“I was very happy to hear him say that he feels safe with his family in the stands.

“It was not an easy decision to come here for the whole basketball season. I was Minister of Sports in Mongolia and had to give up my job, but now I’m glad I did.

Tserenjankhar said he believed there were at least five or six Mongol families in the Dayton area.

In the Bay Area, Puntsag said, there are about 6,000 Mongols. He said his consulate had 17 western states within its jurisdiction.

He said just as he thinks almost all Mongolians in America shoot for UD because of Sharavjamts and he said the Flyers have a large and ever-growing fan base in Mongolia itself:

“All of Mongolia knows the Dayton Flyers. And they want to know everything they do.

The SPC television channel, the first Mongolian channel, sent a film crew to Dayton to make a long documentary about Sharavjamts and his hunger called “Mongolian Mike”. Shortly after the first of eight trailers were made available, it had reached 200,000 views.

The Dayton Flyers Mongolian Fans Facebook page has 9,600 followers.

Although he studied in Iowa and Denver, Puntsag said he had no connection to UD and had never even been to Ohio. But he now feels particularly connected to the Flyers and was hoping to get a ticket stub and any other mementos he could from Monday night’s historic game.

And at least once this season, he hopes to join many other Mongolian fans from across the United States and attend a Flyers game at UD Arena.

He has a Dayton Flyers t-shirt and had a red Flyers cap until his son commandeered it and now wears it himself.

As soon as our conversation ended on Monday, Puntsag said he turned his attention to ESPN to see if there were any clips from the game, better yet, if any of Mike’s assists had made the Top 10. SportsCenter games of the day.

Back at UD Arena, as he finished his press conference, Grant was asked if he had ever learned any Mongolian words.

“I didn’t,” he said with a shrug.

It was also a bit of a mistake.

He learned one:

“Sharavajamts”.

And when it comes to Dayton Flyers basketball this season, there are perhaps few words that mean more than that.

Mayor Renan Barrera asks Ministry of Foreign Relations to strengthen tourism promotion – The Yucatan Times

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The Mayor of Mérida, Renan Barrera Concha, participated in the first congress for the internationalization of Mexican municipalities organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he assured that the municipal councils are ready to work to include themselves in the global agendas and create international collaborative links. promote tourism activity in the country.

During the inauguration of the first congress, Barrera Concha, who participated as mayor of Mérida and president of the Association of Capitals of Mexico (ACCM), presented the concerns of the group at the reduction of strategies focused on the promotion of tourism in the cities, especially with the demise of the Tourism Promotion Council, which meant the end of Mexico’s consolidation as a destination for international visitors.

For his part, the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, reaffirmed that they are working to continue creating links and work programs so that cities can continue to build relationships with multinational companies in order to promote economic benefits and employment.

He also pointed out that they are working on the recovery of economies after this pandemic, through multinational efforts to create new collaborations between countries.

Attending as a guest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the inauguration ceremony and participating in the working tables, the Mayor of Mérida indicated that in the absence of a tourism promotion council, these efforts National and international collaboration will be needed to generate greater economic flow. and more employment sources.

This event, whose purpose is to present to the municipalities the programs and projects proposed by the Ministry of External Relations to meet their needs from an international perspective and to provide a space for the municipalities of the country to listen to the different projects and areas of opportunity , Barrera Concha informed that Mérida has held a respectful and cordial dialogue with the ambassadors of the sister countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, to make them aware of the advantages and strengths of Mérida.

Barrera Concha, courtesy of YAM.

Our capitals, he added, want to consolidate this type of synergies with the embassies of the different countries with a dignified representation in Mexico, such as the meetings we held in Mérida with ministers, delegates, representatives and ambassadors from countries like France, Vietnam and Korea.

He explained that Mérida has a relevant importance in the diplomatic field since 11 consulates of foreign nations are established in the city, such as: France, Lebanon, Belize, Korea, Germany, Cyprus, Cuba, Spain, Honduras, the United States of America and Colombia.

“We are in the best position to join, from an international point of view, all the actions of our local governments, coordinating with the representations of Mexico in the world, joining the substantive programs on economic, political , cultural and liaison, promoting our best strategies. for promotion abroad,” he repeated.

If we want to position our cities at the global level, he added, it will be necessary to generate, through our local agendas, greater opportunities for the development and participation of Mexican municipalities in the processes of integration and globalization in the world. .

He pointed out that the ACCM, which brings together 21 Mexican mayors from different cities, who govern a population of 20 million inhabitants, is working to build a new model of municipal management that will make it possible to demonstrate the indisputable contributions and the real value of each of the country’s municipalities.

After thanking as an association the interest and open-mindedness of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Mayor of Mérida considered it important to continue to strengthen the municipalist vision as a form of territorial government and administration and as an ideal space for governmental innovation in the global context. .

“We envision the internationalization of our local governments by taking advantage of the opportunities that diplomacy itself offers us in the global context, to demonstrate our strengths in building our own internationalization strategies,” he continued.

He recalled that, in the particular case of Mérida, this year it was ranked 4th among the best cities to travel in the world by the international magazine “Condé Nast Traveler”, a distinction that positioned the city alongside destinations international locations such as Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo and Quebec.

Finally, the inauguration protocol took place in the presence of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ximena Escobedo Juárez, Director General of Political Coordination; Luis Bernardo Nava Guerrero, Mayor of Querétaro, Querétaro and Vice President of the National Association of Mayors of Mexico (ANAC); Abelina López Rodríguez, Mayor of Acapulco, Guerrero and Secretary General of the Association of Local Authorities of Mexico (AALMAC); César Garza Villareal, Mayor of Apodaca, Nuevo León and President of the National Conference of Municipalities of Mexico (CONAMM); and Fernando Gustavo Flores Fernández, Mayor of Metepec, State of Mexico and Vice President of the Association of Municipalities of Mexico (AMMAC).

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New protests in Iran break out in universities and the Kurdish region

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Paris — Fresh protests erupted across Iran on Sunday at universities and in the predominantly Kurdish northwest, fueling a seven-week anti-regime movement even in the face of fierce repression.

The protests, sparked in mid-September by the death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest for allegedly breaking strict dress rules for women, have become the biggest challenge for religious leaders since the 1979 revolution.

Unlike the November 2019 protests, they have been nationwide, spread across social classes, universities, streets and even schools, showing no signs of letting up even as the death toll nears 200. according to a rights group.

Another rights group, based in Norway, Hengaw, said security forces opened fire on Sunday during a protest in Marivan, a town in Kurdistan province, injuring 35 people.

It was not immediately possible to verify the toll.

The latest protest was sparked by the death in Tehran of a Kurdish student from Marivan, Nasrin Ghadri, who according to Hengaw died on Saturday after being beaten in the head by police.

Iranian authorities have yet to comment on the cause of his death.

Hengaw said she was buried at dawn without a funeral ceremony at the insistence of authorities who feared the event would become a flashpoint of protest.

Authorities then sent reinforcements to the area, he added.

– ‘Fundamental changes’ –

Regions populated by Kurds have been the crucible of protests since the death of Amini, herself a Kurd from the city of Saqez in the province of Kurdistan.

Universities have also become major hotbeds of protest. Iran Human Rights (IHR), a Norway-based organization, said students at Sharif University in Tehran were holding sit-ins on Sunday in support of their arrested colleagues.

Students at Babol University in northern Iran have meanwhile removed the gender segregation barriers erected by law in their cafeteria, he added.

The protests have been bolstered by a myriad of different tactics, with observers noting a relatively new trend of young people throwing the turbans of clerics back onto the streets.

IHR said on Saturday that at least 186 people had been killed in the crackdown on Mahsa Amini protests, up 10 from Wednesday.

He said another 118 people had lost their lives in separate protests since September 30 in Sistan-Balochistan, a predominantly Sunni province in the southeast, posing another major headache for the regime.

IHR said security forces killed at least 16 people with live ammunition when protests erupted after prayers on Friday in the town of Khash in Sistan and Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International said up to 10 people were believed to have been killed in Friday’s violence in Khash, accusing security forces of firing at protesters from rooftops.

“Iranians continue to take to the streets and are more determined than ever to bring about fundamental change,” said IHR Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam. “The response of the Islamic Republic is more violence.”

The crackdown on the protests has also for now upstaged efforts to revive the 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear program and heightened attention on Tehran’s ties with Russia, including its supply to Moscow of drones used in the war against Ukraine.

– Ferocious repression –

The protests were stoked by fury over restrictive dress rules for women, for which Amini had been arrested. But they have now grown into a broad movement against the theocracy that has ruled Iran since the fall of the shah.

Meanwhile, Sunnis in Sistan and Balochistan – where the alleged rape of a young girl in police custody sparked protests – have long felt discriminated against by the country’s Shia rulers.

IHR also warned that “dozens” of arrested protesters have been charged with alleged crimes that could see them sentenced to death – compared to just a handful previously reported as potentially facing that fate.

Along with thousands of ordinary citizens, the crackdown has seen the arrest of prominent activists, journalists and artists such as influential rapper Toomaj Salehi.

There are also growing concerns for the well-being of Wall Street Journal contributor and free speech campaigner Hossein Ronaghi, who was arrested in September and whose family say he is on a hunger strike in prison. of Evin.

In a further blow, his father Ahmad is now in intensive care after suffering a heart attack while leading a vigil outside Evin, Hossein Ronaghi’s brother Hassan wrote on Twitter.

U.S. Embassy Cairo Answers Common Diversity Visa Questions

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The United States Embassy in Egypt has announced the opening of the Diversity Immigration Program for the year 2024, revealing the specific requirements for entering the program to obtain a Green Card permanent residence visa.

There are only three days left to apply for the diversity visa, with the deadline being November 8.

He provided answers to some common questions:

  • Do I need to have a passport before completing my Diversity Visa application?

Answer: No, a passport is not required before completing a diversity visa application.

  • Is the visa accessible to anyone of any age?

Answer: There is no minimum age to apply, but the main applicant must meet the requirements of a full high school diploma or two years of work experience in certain fields, which means that most of candidates are 18 years and older.

  • I am one of the winners of the Diversity Visa for the year 2023 and I want to know which embassy can I transfer my interview to without residing there, knowing that I have never traveled abroad before?

Answer: If your case is still at the Kentucky Consular Center, you should contact them at [email protected]otherwise you must send an e-mail to the embassy or consulate where you want the interview.

Apply for your visa

The statement from the US Embassy emphasized that the applicant does not bear any financial cost to apply for the program.

He revealed that applicants must have a high school or university degree and work experience in a profession that requires at least two years of training.

Applicants should collect the required documents from all family members, such as national IDs and diplomas, and submit a photocopy of them to the official website for submission, avoid submitting the form more than once. time, note the submission during the available period and prepare in advance.

The statement specifies that the special results will be announced on May 6, 2023 and will be followed by a personal interview to confirm the mentioned qualifications and meeting the requirements, and upon final acceptance, it will cost $220 before setting the date obtaining a visa and traveling to the United States.

Province Approves Ottawa Official Plan with Taller Buildings and Wider Urban Boundaries

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The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing finally approved Ottawa’s new Official Plan, with changes that would expand the city’s urban limits and allow for taller structures downtown.

The amended plan – meant to chart a course for development in Ottawa to 2046 – was released on Friday, a little over a year after being initially approved by the city council.

It designates additional areas for urban expansion, such as Findlay Creek and the South March area north of Kanata.

In January 2021, the city council voted against adding 175 hectares to the South March area, excluding it to make room for the highly debated Tewin communitywhich also remains in the plan.

The 30 modifications to the plan are meant to respond to “provincial policy direction and government priorities” related to “long-term protection of provincial highways, protection of wetlands, monitoring of affordable housing and increasing housing supply”, according to the province’s notice of decision.

The amended plan is not subject to appeal, with city staff saying in a memo on Saturday that they are reviewing the changes and will let council know what they mean soon.

Onboard Home Builders Association

The formal signing of the plan by Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark was delayed for months by provincial housing legislation.

The changes expand the urban boundary by 550 hectares, according to the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association, which said in a press release that it welcomes the changes.

The amendments address the crisis in local housing affordability and supply, the association said.

Another change by the province would allow nine-story buildings to be built in “minor corridors” in the city center, up from the four-story buildings approved by city council in 2021.

In the inner and outer urban areas outside the city centre, the plan now calls for six storeys, also higher than the previously agreed four-storey building council.

The home builders’ association had criticized the city council’s decision to limit the height of these buildings.

17th NCB International Conference on Cement, Concrete and Building Materials

“Towards net zero carbon emissions”

06 – 09 December 2022 at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi

National Cement and Building Materials Board (NCB), an apex research and innovation organization, under the administrative control of the Industry Promotion and Domestic Trade Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry and dedicated to research, development and technology transfer, education and industrial services for the cement, related building materials and construction industries, organizes the 17e NCB International Conference on Cement, Concrete and Building Materials from 06 to 09 December 2022 at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt., New Delhi as a follow up to sixteen NCB International Seminars held previously.

This biennial event is unique in this part of the globe where cement and concrete industry captains, policy makers, academics, professionals, engineers and scientists come together under one roof and discuss future plans. of action aimed at clean and green production and responsible consumption. resources used in the cement sector to ensure long-term sustainability.

The upcoming conference is expected to receive an overwhelming response from various industry sectors, governments, universities, machine manufacturers and consultants from India and across the globe.

Column: Congratulations to Governor David Ige on Hawaii-Israel Deal

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Volodymyr Zelensky meets with Spanish Foreign Minister

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The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, met with the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, who is visiting our country.

The Head of State thanked the Spanish government for its strong support for Ukraine in the face of the ongoing Russian armed aggression.

Zelenskyy spoke highly of Spain’s humanitarian support, especially today’s delivery of 30 modern ambulance vehicles. He also expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and assistance to Ukrainian citizens who were forced to take refuge in Spain because of the war.

Moreover, the President thanked Spain for its decision to hand over the air defense systems to Ukraine.

“For us today, that’s really the number one issue – ensuring strong air defence, creating an air shield to protect our critical and civilian infrastructure,” he said.

The parties discussed topical issues of European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine. The Head of State said that our country counts on concrete steps on the way to the EU during the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023.

Particular attention was paid to the issue of restoring Ukraine’s energy infrastructure after the latest wave of Russian missile attacks. Zelenskyy thanked the generators provided by Spain and noted the need for additional help from partners to resume uninterrupted power supply. He also expressed the hope that Spain will actively participate in the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Zelenskyy drew the attention of the head of the Spanish Foreign Ministry to the international initiatives of our country aimed at holding the Russian Federation responsible for crimes committed in Ukraine. He expressed the hope that Spain would support the creation of a compensation mechanism for the damage caused by the Russian invasion, as well as a special international tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression.

The parties exchanged views on the consequences of Russian aggression on food security. The importance of continuing the cereals initiative, which is a key element of global food security, was noted.

The head of state said that this year Ukraine will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932-1933. He expressed the hope that Spain will join the countries that have recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.


Shanghai Cooperation Organization delegates discuss global and regional developments

Delegates from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) discussed their views on global and regional development issues.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. (File photo)

By Press Trust of India: Heads of delegations of SCO member states on Tuesday exchanged views on key issues of global and regional development and discussed priority measures to increase trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation within the group of eight members.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday hosted the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) via video link.

Launched in Shanghai in June 2001, the SCO has eight full members, including its six founding members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became full members in 2017.

Premier Li, who is expected to retire early next year following a major reshuffle of officials following the recent five-year congress of China’s ruling Communist Party, hosted the meeting via video link.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took part in the virtual meeting.

READ ALSO | India takes over chairmanship of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Heads of government and representatives of SCO member states, including Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Counterterrorism Structure Ruslan Mirzayev, took part in the meeting, issued a press release. by the SCO Secretariat here said.

The SCO heads of state held their first in-person summit after two years in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, last month, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

India is the current chairman of the SCO heads of state and is expected to hold the summit of the eight-member group in the middle of next year.

A joint statement released after the meeting said the SCO heads of delegation expressed their support for India’s chairmanship of the organization in 2022-2023.

“In a friendly, constructive and professional atmosphere, the heads of delegations exchanged views on key issues of global and regional development, discussed priority measures to strengthen trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation within the SCO” , did he declare.

As in previous SCO meetings, India refrained from supporting China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India has objected to the $60 China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which is the BRI’s flagship project.

READ ALSO | Iran to become full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization under India’s chairmanship

Other SCO member countries “noted the ongoing work to jointly implement this project, including efforts to link the construction of the Eurasian Economic Union and the BRI,” the joint statement said.

The meeting also “stressed that, in accordance with the principles of the SCO Charter, member states adhere to a line that excludes bloc, ideological and confrontational approaches to solving international and regional development problems, combating traditional and non-traditional security challenges and threats,” it said.

“They noted the adoption by the relevant SCO member states of the roadmap on gradually increasing the share of national currencies in mutual settlements among SCO member states (Samarkand, September 16, 2022 ) and spoke out in favor of expanding this practice,” he said.

The meeting also “stressed the need to provide financial support for project activities in order to maximize the investment potential of the Organization and, in this regard, to continue consultations on the establishment of the SCO and the SCO Development Fund (Special Account).”

READ ALSO | UAE minister praises S Jaishankar and says he is very impressed with how he is positioning India’s foreign policy

The meeting took note of Russia’s proposal to establish the SCO Medical Association in addition to Uzbekistan’s proposal to establish an Alliance of Special Economic Zones of SCO countries and to hold a meeting heads of administration of special economic zones in Samarkand in 2023.

While supporting Tajikistan’s proposal to declare 2025 the International Year of Glacier Preservation, heads of delegations took note of the initiative to establish the International Glacier Protection Fund by adopting a UN General Assembly resolution .

The heads of delegation expressed their solidarity with the people of Pakistan affected by the recent unprecedented floods linked to climate change. They noted the cooperation between the Pakistani government and the UN to overcome the consequences of this devastating natural disaster, according to the joint statement.

READ ALSO | Social media used by terrorists to spread propaganda and conspiracy theories: Jaishankar at UN meeting

Kazakh youth rally for community climate solutions ahead of COP27

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ASTANA – Kazakh students had the opportunity on October 28 to debate climate solutions at the Voice of Youth from Glasgow to Sharm El-Sheikh event at Narikbayev KazGUU University ahead of the 27th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change. climate change (COP27).

Attendees at the event. Photo credit: UN in Kazakhstan

The UK will hand over its presidency to Egypt, which will host COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh from 6-18 November.

The event was initiated by the United Nations (UN) in Kazakhstan, the British Embassy in Kazakhstan, the Italian Embassy in Kazakhstan and the Egyptian Embassy in Kazakhstan in partnership with KazGUU University.

Around 30 students from the Faculties of International Relations, Economics and Law took part in the debates and offered ideas for country collaboration, climate change mitigation, adaptation and sustainable finance.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan, Michaela Friberg-Storey, spoke about climate-related risks and the role of COP27 in her opening remarks. “The summit will focus on the implementation and operationalization of all commitments made [at the COP26]. The UN is focused on two key aspects – addressing loss and damage beyond the country’s capacity and continuing to push for climate action funding, and that those promises are kept,” Friberg-Storey said. .

According to the new statement 2022 Emissions Gap Reportcountries are failing to meet the Paris Agreement targets “with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place”.

“If we don’t reduce our carbon emissions, which are 45%, we won’t reach the 1.5 degree target. We’re looking at a 14% increase in emissions. That brings us to a situation where we’re facing a 2.8 degree rise in temperatures. This is a climate catastrophe,” she said.

The UN team, made up of 27 UN agencies, worked with the Kazakh government to update the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for submission to the Conference of the Parties this year. Kazakhstan has committed to achieving the unconditional goal of reducing its greenhouse gases by 15% by 2030.

Friberg-Storey also called on students to take action in response to climate change and to accelerate the 2030 agenda.

It should be noted that COP26 held in Glasgow brought together over 120 world leaders from 200 countries and gave the world the tools to keep 1.5C alive. The Glasgow Climate Pact now remains the blueprint for accelerating climate action.

British Ambassador to Kazakhstan Kathy Leach noted that technology will solve the climate crisis. “About five years ago, we hit a tipping point when newly installed annual power capacity from renewables exceeded annually installed capacity from coal. Estimates suggest that this decade, renewables will become the energy of choice. The cost of solar is down 80% since 2010, the cost of wind power is down three-quarters, 75% since its peak 10 years ago, so these technologies are much more affordable than before,” said she declared.

Ambassador Leach emphasized that youth actions are important because green transformation is part of societal transformation. It requires public support to use resources responsibly, turn on lights, turn down thermostats, recycle bottles and other actions.

In September 2021, Milan hosted the PreCOP26 meeting as well as the Youth4Climate conference to develop approaches to remaining climate issues. The voice of youth should serve as a wake-up call to governments around the world, Italian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Marco Alberti said.

“The messages from COP26 were quite clear: secure emission reduction pledges; provide for countries vulnerable to climate change by ensuring that adaptation and loss and damage commitments are met; obtain financing flows; work together and continue to be an inclusive presidency. This is the very heart of the message that we would like to convey to our Egyptian friends,” added Alberti.

Ainur Karbozova, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Narikbayev KAZGUU University, expressed his gratitude to the UN office for giving students “a chance to wear hats of world politicians and face current challenges of humanity.

“Kazakhstan and the UN have a long-standing partnership… All of Kazakhstan’s political initiatives, especially on climate change issues, have been taken from the UN rostrum, including our initiatives against the terrorism, regional security in Asia, closing the nuclear test site and combating nuclear testing around the world,” Karbozova said.

Chandrika Tandon shares her success mantra with Indian students

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Chandrika Tandon and Gautam Mukunda in a fireside chat with Indian students.

During a fireside chat, Chandrika Tandon shares her success mantra with students

GOPIO-Manhattan organized a “Meet & Greet” program for Indian students studying in the Northeast to connect them to the community, provide mentorship opportunities and educate them about the consular services of the Indian Consulate.

The program was held at the Indian Consulate in New York on October 21 with students from many Northeastern universities participating in person or virtually, according to a GOPIO press release.

Chandrika Tandon, Grammy-nominated artist and humanitarian, had a fireside chat with moderator Gautam Mukunda, a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership and host of the Nasdaq podcast “World Reimagined.”

“Students can be successful, whether here in the United States or in India, as long as they work with honesty, combined with hard work and dedication,” she said.

READ: Native American couple donates $100 million to NYU School of Engineering (October 6, 2015)

There is a merit-based admissions process at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering and the incoming class has a very bright future with an emphasis on the fact that new and existing students today have many more choices majors to pursue, such as computational biology which was not offered a few decades ago.

Tandon donated $100 million to New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering.

Mukunda’s questions ranged from Tandon’s journey starting with his professional career to music to philanthropy.

The Consul General of India in New York, Randhir Kumar Jaiswal, host of the evening, pointed out that this year, Indian students were the most numerous among the international community in the United States.

READ: Chandrika Tandon: Connection, coordination and curiosity essential to solving global problems (September 12, 2020)

The goal, he said, was to expand the program to include more students among the 200,000 students who come to the United States for further education to learn about various services offered by the consulate, from consular portal registration to cultural events and mental health. health support initiatives.

GOPIO International President Dr. Thomas Abraham, who is also an advisor to GOPIO-Manhattan, encouraged the speakers to mentor, motivate and guide the students.

“In the 1960s and 1970s when an overseas student joined a university they were given a host family, now with the connected world and social media the concept of a host family is gone and the 4.5 million American Indians could serve as host families for new students.

GOPIO-Manhattan Executive Vice President Prof. Rajasekhar Vangapaty introduced the panel discussion moderated by Rajeev Kumar Goyle, a lawyer and associate professor at Wichita State University.

Goyle asked the panel to help students formulate their major and career path choices and implored them to reflect on the fireside chat.

READ: Chandrika Tandon: Ellis Island is ‘the symbolic start of the American dream’ (May 30, 2020)

Srikanth Jagabathula, Robert Stansky Research Faculty Member and Associate Professor of Technology, Operations, and Statistics at NYU Stern School of Business, asked students to “wear different hats, multitask, go out from your comfort zone, to explore and discover. ”

Raj Pandey, CEO of SaaS and services startup ZopSmart, added, “Students need to immerse themselves in the system, learn and connect with people.”

Gagan Gujral, director of the financial services group, added that students should not be afraid to ask teachers and peers for help as he reflects on the cultural differences between the homeland and the United States.

Shobhit Kumar, senior technical manager at leading Life & Annuity, said: “Students should be prepared to raise their hands and ask for help. It is a sign of commitment. »

Sridhar Ramasubbu, Chief Financial Officer of Trianz, advising students to take initiative and be ambitious but stress-free, said, “Leadership is not given, leadership is taken.”

Monica Arora, partner and co-head of Proskauer’s Private Funds Group, suggested that “students focus on the most important idea is to build real relationships.”

READ: Chandrika Tandon: I sang before I could speak (December 1, 2019)

Dilli Bhatta, talking about his personal journey from F1 to OPT to H1-B to Green Card, told students “ask your employer whether or not they will sponsor your visa, but you offer your best service”.

“Now that you’re here, outside of your studies, you need to network with your professors, your peers, everyone and communication is key, ask for things,” he said.

Shivender Sofat, president of GOPIO-Manhattan, who joined virtually, spoke about the importance of mentorship for students.

GOPIO Manhattan board member and program coordinator Siddharth Jain asked Dr. Abraham to present Tandon and Jaiswal with souvenirs, including GOPIO Foundation Day First Day Covers and a sheet of 20 Deepawali stamps.

Jain concluded with an AC vote of thanks. Other GOPIO-Manhattan officials present at the meeting included Treasurer Braj Aggarwal, Joint Secretaries Dr. Lisa George and Bhavya Gupta and Raj Punjabi.

Foreign Ministry: Indian businessman shot dead in Uganda: report

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A 24-year-old Indian businessman was reportedly shot dead by a police officer in the town of Kisoro in Uganda, according to a news report.

The deceased has been identified as Kuntaj Patel.

Police Constable Elioda Gumizamu, 21, of the Field Unit (FFU) has been charged with murder after he was apprehended and handed over to police on October 27 as he attempted to flee the crime scene in the main street, the Daily Monitor newspaper reported.

The accused policeman and others, who have not yet been found, entered an Indian hardware store and shot the Indian businessman in the chest around 2 p.m. Thursday, Elly said. Maate, spokesman for the regional police, quoted by the newspaper.

The policeman was intercepted and arrested. He is currently being held at Kisoro police station for questioning to establish the motive.

“The victim was taken to St Francis Hospital in Mutolere in Kisoro district in critical condition,” Maate said.

Hours later, Patel succumbed to the gunshot wound, police said.

One of the eyewitnesses, Gilbert Mwiseneza, a casual worker at Kuntaj’s store, said he and his boss were tending to a customer when the armed officer came in and pointed the gun at his boss before fire a bullet that hit him in the chest.

“After the shooting, he (the policeman) tried to run away but he was intercepted by people who chased him,” Mwiseneza said.

Kisoro Resident District Commissioner Shaffique Sekandi condemned PC Gumizamu’s action saying he had been in the Force for four years.

The incident came after two Indians were reportedly killed in Kenya months after they were kidnapped.

We learn that the Kenyan government has said nothing officially about the report.

Indian High Commissioner to Kenya Namgya Khampa has met with Kenyan President William Samoei Ruto and asked him to speed up the investigation into the case, the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said.

Excerpts from the International Climate Summit in Djibouti

Summit panelists. Source: Ecolo in Djibouti

From October 23 to 25, 2022, the International Climate Change and Research Summit was held in Djibouti as part of the Djiboutian President’s initiative to combat climate change in Africa. The summit, organized by Djibouti’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research, brought together scientists, NGOs, researchers and policymakers from around the world to discuss the fight against climate change.

Summit panelists. Source: Ecolo in Djibouti

In addition, the conference was an opportunity to officially launch the Regional Research Observatory on Environment and Climate (ORREC), an initiative reiterating the will of the Djiboutian government to integrate the effects of climate change into public environmental policies. To this end, the summit provided a platform for national and regional focal points to dialogue on the best methods of providing climate data to better address the adverse effects of climate change on the continent.

The summit aimed to address eight thematic areas, including

  1. Climate change modeling
  2. Land use and agrosystem
  3. Water resources and management in the context of climate change
  4. Emerging diseases and biodiversity
  5. Migration, food and water system
  6. Climate change mitigation, adaptation and energy solutions
  7. Networking and capacity building
  8. Other major announcements
Fighting climate change with agroforestry in Djibouti

Speaking on this subject, an Ethiopian specialist in environmental protection, Getahun Garedew, underlined the importance of agroforestry. He explained that “this mode of cultivation, which combines trees and crops or livestock on the same plot, contributes to soil regeneration and the return of biodiversity while producing biomass and carbon storage. Thus, agroforestry can be adapted to many farming systems, but small market gardeners and other rural populations (eg Djibouti) need to improve their diets, incomes and health”.

Climate change and emerging diseases

During the “Emerging Diseases and Biodiversity” session, several researchers pointed out that human activities causing biodiversity degradation and climate change would be an important factor in the emergence of new epidemics.

Thus, Dr Bouh Abdi Khaireh, a Djiboutian medical researcher in biology, mentioned the case of Anopheles stephensi, a species of mosquito native to India and which, more recently, has also taken up residence in the Horn of Africa. Usually present in some countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, it was reported in 2012 in Djibouti and continues to spread in the region. According to Dr. Bouh, Anopheles stephensi is an excellent example of an epidemic directly linked to climatic variations that create conditions conducive to the increase in vector-borne diseases.

Additionally, research shared by Dr. Mohamed El Hamilton, Technical Officer at the World Health Organization, showed that flooding in Djibouti City in 2019 caused a 70% increase in vector-borne diseases such as malaria. He also noted that the phenomenon would likely worsen over time, hence the need for increased monitoring of incidents.

Future collaborations with the Regional Observatory for Climate Research (ORREC)

The last panel of the summit allowed the partner institutions invited to highlight the ways of a possible collaboration with ORREC. To this end, all the representatives present took advantage of this session to announce/reaffirm their support for the Regional Observatory for Climate Research. Representatives included:

  1. Raja Ali Haji Maritime University of Indonesia

On the sidelines of the summit’s opening event, the Regional Observatory for Environment and Climate Research and Raya Ali Haji University of Indonesia signed a partnership agreement to train young Djiboutian scientists on impact of global warming on oceans and coral reefs.

In his address, Dr. Omrah Agung Dhamar Syakti from the Raya Ali Haji Maritime University of Indonesia reaffirmed the importance of data in the management and prevention of climatic events. He thus praised the approach undertaken by ORREC and promised the support of the Indonesian university in the fight against the effects of climate change in the region.

Signature of the partnership between the director of ORREC, Moussa Mahdi Ahmed and Dr. Omrah Agung Dhamar Syakti of Raya Ali Haji University. Source: Ecolo in Djibouti
  1. Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS)

Connect the dots between the missions of SSO and ORREC, Nadia Khammari explained the similarities between the two entities. She explained that OSS was created in 1992 in Tunis, Tunisia, with a structure similar to ORREC to work as a leader in combating desertification and adapting to climate change in the area. of the Sahara and the Sahel.

According to Nadia, assessing vulnerabilities, measuring the impacts of climate change, adjusting adaptation strategies, supporting access to finance and providing timely information are the missions of OSS, and she urges ORREC to unite its forces to strengthen development in the Horn of Africa.

  1. The Institute for Research and Development

In his speech, Dominique Dumet, representative of the IRD, recalled the long collaboration between the IRD and the Republic of Djibouti. He also presented the partnership instruments between IRD and ORREC. The French institution wants to “create centers of excellence in partner countries” like Djibouti through joint research projects, capacity building workshops and educational programs.

  1. The University of the Côte d’Azur

The vice-president of the Université Côte d’Azur, Emmanuel Tric, recalled the essential function of ORREC, which will make it possible to better predict the consequences of climate change and help decision-makers make informed decisions.

According to Emmanuel, the establishment born in January 2020 from the merger between the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis and other establishments is ready to work with ORREC and to network through co-degree and training programs. keep on going.

5. international atomic energy agency

The head of the Africa Division of the international atomic energy agency (IAEA), Adeline Djeutie, first questioned the use of existing networks such as the African Regional Cooperation Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA)

As a reminder, she noted that AFRA is a OK between several African Member States to promote cooperation among the Member States of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the region and the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. Also, Adeline Djeutie mentioned the need to intensify efforts in environmental studies and the need to involve young people as soon as possible in climate issues. Furthermore, she underlined the significant support given by her institution to the new observatory in Djibouti.

Space program with the University of Montpellier

Speaking on the partnership between the Djiboutian Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the University of Montpellier, the Quality and Development Director of the Center Spatial Universitaire de Montpellier (CSUM), Muriel Bernard, highlighted the training past and in progress.

He spoke about the recent collaboration offering ten Djiboutian students the opportunity to learn different aspects of space science and technology to set the tone for capacity development of the Djiboutian space program.

According to Muriel, the ambitious project provides the platform to design, manufacture and launch Djibouti’s first nano-satellite into orbit in 2022. “The nano-satellite will collect climate data to better understand and monitor climate change and access to water resources in Djibouti. The data from this satellite will no doubt be useful to ORREC,” he noted.

In his closing speech, the message from the Djibouti Minister of Higher Education and Research was unambiguous: the collective dynamic created must continue. He called on all stakeholders – the African Union, partner universities and Djiboutian civil society – to collaborate and create an action plan to effectively operationalize ORREC.

“The participation of all partners in the establishment of ORREC is essential to ensure its sustainability. With all the support present at this summit, there is no doubt that ORREC will be able to strengthen its capacities and extend them to the entire East African region,” he concluded.

Electricity supply recovers after Russian attacks –– Ukraine

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fast news

Russia suspends its implementation of the Black Sea grains deal that has sent global food prices plummeting amid fighting –– now in its 249th day –– with Ukraine blaming Moscow to create a global “hunger game”.

Members of the Ukrainian artillery unit fire towards the Russian position in occupied Kherson. (AFP)

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Zelenskyy says power cuts will continue

Ukraine’s electricity supply is recovering after concerted Russian attacks on power plants, but emergency power cuts may still be needed, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

“Today there is already much less stabilization (measures) and emergency blackouts…but restrictions are still possible in some cities and neighborhoods,” he said in a video address. He also accused Russia of targeting factories being repaired and said some technicians had been killed.

In recent weeks, Russia has reportedly targeted drone and missile attacks on power installations across the country, destroying more than 30% of generating capacity and causing widespread restrictions.

Blinken-Jaishankar talks focus on Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken with his Indian counterpart about Russia’s war against Ukraine, among other issues, the State Department said.

Blinken spoke with India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on “regional and global issues, including counter-terrorism cooperation and Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine,” the department said in a statement.

India has been a big buyer of Russian oil, which helps fund Moscow’s war against Ukraine. Jaishankar will visit Russia on November 8, at the Russian Embassy in India.

For live updates from Saturday, October 29, click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

Local Museum and Mexican Consulate Team Up for Day of the Dead Celebration | Local News

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India: the main leaders of Chinese companies in India under the spotlight

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Indian authorities are closely scrutinizing directors and other key staff of Chinese companies registered in the country to verify whether they are real companies and not fictitious entities.

The survey overseen by the Ministry of Commercial Affairs will check whether the same group of people sit on multiple boards, which would indicate front companies with no real economic activity in India.

“There have been instances where people have been on the board of multiple companies,” a senior government official told ET, explaining the reason for the review.

“The idea is to look at the sincerity of the functioning of the entities and the role of the leaders.”

These shell companies will be deregistered to prevent them from doing business in India.

The ministry is in the process of identifying and delisting front companies that have been involved in predatory lending by Chinese lending apps without regulatory oversight. The government is investigating the entities and individuals involved in facilitating these loan applications.

This review has been widened to include all Chinese companies, amid concerns that similar abuses could also take place in other sectors. Several agencies are now involved in the investigation of Chinese companies.

The review includes checking the details of Chinese nationals in key company positions in India to see if they are directors in more than one company. This will allow authorities to identify genuine shell companies, the official quoted above said.

Earlier this year, the Interior Ministry identified 348 mobile apps, including those developed in China, that collected and transmitted information in an unauthorized manner to servers outside the country.

In April 2020, New Delhi amended the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy and made a prior government nod mandatory for foreign investment from countries sharing a land border with India. These amendments meant that any foreign direct investment from Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan and Afghanistan had to be approved by the government, even if the sector concerned was on the way to automatic approval. The measure was seen as largely targeted at Chinese investment.

An inter-ministerial committee has been set up to review proposals involving FDI from China. Such an investment also required security clearance from the Ministry of the Interior. A similar condition has been introduced for companies applying for any supply contract, whether for goods or services.

2022 FIFA World Cup, Socceroos Protest Qatar Human Rights, Migrant Workers, News, Video, Statement, LGBTQI,

The Socceroos have become the first World Cup side to stage a collective protest against next month’s World Cup hosts Qatar.

Concerned about the nations human rights record, including their treatment of foreign workers and restrictions on the LGBTQI+ community, the Socceroos released a video message with 16 players reading lines from a collective statement.

These players have the support of the wider squad, while Football Australia later released a separate statement which said: “The tournament has been associated with suffering for some migrant workers and their families and this cannot be ignored.”

It is arguably the strongest unified position taken by any nation participating in the World Cup so far, although players and officials from some rivals have spoken out over the controversial decision to award the Middle Eastern nation the rights to the flagship tournament.

This follows almost two years of consultations between the Socceroos, the players’ union, and Football Australia with a number of global organisations, including the International Labor Organization and Amnesty International, organizing bodies FIFA and FIFPRO (the worldwide players’ organization), and even the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

They even spoke directly to migrant workers on the ground in Qatar.

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Why the Socceroos are taking a stand | 14:57

“Solving these problems is not easy. And we don’t have all the answers,” the Australian players said.

“We stand with FIFPro, Building and Wood Workers’ International and the International Trade Union Confederation, seeking to anchor reforms and establish a lasting legacy in Qatar. This must include the creation of a resource center for migrants, an effective remedy for those who have been deprived of their rights and the decriminalization of all same-sex relationships.

“These are the fundamental rights that should be granted to all and will ensure continued progress in Qatar… [and] a legacy that goes far beyond the final whistle of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”

The Socceroos have acknowledged that in the decade since winning accommodation rights, the extremely conservative nation has implemented a number of reforms to improve conditions for migrant workers.

Nonetheless, the Australians said Qatar, which hosts the World Cup, has “caused countless of our colleagues suffering and harm”.

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The exact number of deaths of migrant workers building stadiums and other major tournament infrastructure over the past decade has been hotly debated.

The tournament’s organizing committee claimed that only three migrant workers died at the stadiums’ construction site. But an independent report from the International Labor Organization – one of the bodies that briefed the players – found that 50 workers lost their lives in 2020 alone, and more than 500 seriously injured.

Last year, The Guardian reported that more than 6,500 workers from five countries (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) died in Qatar between 2010 and mid-2020. He added that the total death toll would be significantly higher than this reported figure, given that a number of countries that sent large numbers of workers to Qatar, including the Philippines and Kenya, were not included in the data. Many deaths are likely linked to the heat and oppressive conditions in Qatar.

But the Socceroos say ‘These migrant workers who have suffered are not just numbers’.

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Another key issue is the country’s hardline stance on same-sex relationships and the LGBTQI+ community. But in Qatar, “people are not free to love whoever they choose,” the players said.

Football Australia’s statement added: “As our country’s most multicultural, diverse and inclusive sport, we believe everyone should be able to feel safe and be authentic themselves.

“While we acknowledge the highest levels of assurance given by His Highness Amir of Qatar and the President of FIFA that LGBTI+ fans will be welcomed safely to Qatar, we hope this openness can continue beyond the tournament. .”

The captains of nine European nations, including top teams like England, France and Germany, will wear rainbow armbands with the message ‘One Love’ to protest against Qatar’s strict laws on LGBTQI+ communities, including restrictions on same-sex relationships.

Professional Footballers Australia issued a statement acknowledging the “real progress” made on the issue of workers’ rights in Qatar, but “we have learned that the World Cup has been associated with terrible suffering and harm for the very people who made the tournament possible – migrant workers.

“As one of 32 nations to qualify, we recognize that the players will receive incredible hospitality and warmth when playing in Qatar,” the statement read.

“But at the same time, members of the LGBTI+ community in Qatar do not enjoy the same respect in their own country.

“The players spoke today about what they have learned and what they feel is necessary to leave a positive legacy.

“They know what values ​​define our sport when it is at its best and they know that the impact football has on people should be universally positive.

“They also know that when those values ​​are absent, or if football has caused harm, they have a platform to take a stand.

“Gamers recognize that their views may not be universally popular.

“Some will think they haven’t gone far enough while others will call on them to stick to football and stay out of ‘politics’ when it is a matter of rights of man.

“This polarity speaks volumes about the courage of players and also about the increasingly fractured nature of the world.”

Azerbaijan’s investment in Switzerland amounts to $2.6 billion

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By Ayya Lmahamad

Azerbaijan’s investment in Switzerland amounted to $2.6 billion as of October 26, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Switzerland Fuad Iskandarov said at a press conference in Geneva, reports Azernews by Trend.

Noting that it is gold that is mainly exported, he added that oil supplies have also started recently. In this regard, he noted that Europe is the main direction of Azerbaijan’s energy exports.

“The country is one of Europe’s main gas suppliers and plans to double its supplies over the next five years,” he said.

Traffic in the middle corridor

The Ambassador also said that the volume of traffic on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, also known as the Intermediate Corridor, increased by 77% between January and September 2022.

“The question of increasing the capacity of this corridor is on the agenda and there are already plans for this with partners,” he said.

Cooperation with regional partners

Fuad Iskandarov stressed that Azerbaijan is a country which has established close cooperation with its regional partners. In this regard, he stressed that Azerbaijan is also continuing the process of a peaceful settlement with Armenia.

“It is here, in Switzerland, that the first direct meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia took place, without any external mediation. We are proud of it and hope that such positive developments will continue” , did he declare.

In addition, the Ambassador said that the trilateral format of Azerbaijan-Georgia-Armenia cooperation is very important for the development of the region.

“Transport cooperation between Azerbaijan and Georgia is very well developed and the volume of transit traffic in the region is increasing. Currently, Azerbaijan and Georgia are working on developing their transport potential , why should Armenia not join? I think it will be beneficial for the whole region,” he said.

Attacks on the embassy building

Fuad Iskandarov added that the embassy is cooperating closely with the country’s law enforcement agencies to prevent attacks on the embassy building.

“Amid the number of attacks on Azerbaijani embassies around the world, this issue remains relevant,” he said.

He recalled that during his tenure in Brussels, the recently opened building of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Belgium was attacked.

“Six employees were injured and the damage to the building amounted to €49,000. Therefore, the Azerbaijani Embassy in Switzerland has started working actively with local law enforcement to prevent similar cases,” did he declare.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on January 21, 1992.

Azerbaijan and Switzerland cooperate in various economic sectors. There is mutually beneficial cooperation between Baku and Bern in the non-oil sector. In addition, Baku will host a meeting of the Commission for Trade and Economic Relations between Switzerland and Azerbaijan in 2022.

Trade turnover between the two countries stood at $457.2 million in 2021, with exports accounting for $272.5 million and imports accounting for $184.7 million.

Ayya ​​Lmahamad is the journalist of AzerNews, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

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@AzerNewsAz

Chinese consulate staff in Manchester say they lost consciousness after being attacked by a protester

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More than a week after a violent fight broke out at his workplace, a staff member at the Chinese consulate in Manchester, UK, claims he was assaulted by a protester.

Gao Lianjia said he was standing near the door of the consulate on October 16 when one of the Hong Kong pro-independence protesters “knocked me down running against my belly.”

“He then knocked off my glasses and attacked me in the face,” Gao said of the protester, who he described as a man wearing a black combat glove on his left hand, according to Sky News.

The diplomat continued, “In a split second, he grabbed my collars firmly and knelt down forcefully on my body with his back to the ground. I struggled, but in vain. I had difficulty breathing and lost consciousness.

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Gao shared his version of events at a press conference hosted by the Chinese consulate and embassy. Due to the attack, he reportedly suffered a concussion and other injuries.

“When I came back to life, I saw the attacker being taken out of the compound by the police,” he added.

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It was not immediately clear whether Gao was referring to Bob Chan, the Hong Kong national who was dragged into the consulate compound before being removed by British police. Consul General Zheng Xiyuan had previously alleged that the protester had “immersed himself in the property” after refusing to let go of a staff member.

Zheng, however, also admitted to pull Chan by the hair, describing it as an act of “duty”. “He abused my country, my leader,” the official said.

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Zheng, who was also present at the conference, expressed disappointment at Greater Manchester Police for not “intervening” on the consulate’s behalf.

“We were hoping the police would step in to support us, but they didn’t,” Zheng said, according to Sky News. “It is in such a circumstance that to safeguard the dignity of our country, we acted.”

Yang Xiaoguang, charge d’affaires at the Chinese embassy, ​​also targeted the British government.

“We urge the British side to resolve this issue on the merits of this issue and not make bad decisions under political pressure from a few people. We also ask the British side to provide sufficient protection for Chinese missions in the UK in the future,” Yang said, according to CGTN.

Chan, for his part, strongly refuted the consulate and Beijing version of events. At another conference last week, he insisted that he was dragged into the consulate compound and assaulted – actions that seem consistent with now viral videos chaotic moment.

“Let me repeat it to be clear: I was dragged to the consulate. I did not attempt to enter the consulate,” he said. “I felt punches and kicks from several men. Other demonstrators tried to get me out of this situation, but in vain.

“The attack only stopped when a man who turned out to be a uniformed Greater Manchester Police officer pulled me outside the gates.”

The incident is still under investigation.

Image selected via The Guardian / HKFlagTeam

WFP Indonesia Country Brief, August 2022 – Indonesia

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Attachments

Strong points

• WFP, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) facilitated the mid-term workshop and cluster command post exercise. The workshop aimed to strengthen the coordination mechanism of the Cluster.

Operational updates

• As part of its advocacy for scaling up nutrition for school-aged children, WFP held meetings with the Office of the Vice President, the Ministry of Health and the Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and to discuss the concept note on creating synergies between the School Health Program and Family Hope Program. WFP presented the potential synergy on improving the health and nutrition behaviors of parents and children while increasing the purchasing power of poor families to afford healthier food choices.

• More than 200 people participated in the mid-term workshop and national displacement and protection cluster command post exercise, including representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Development Coordination Human and Cultural Affairs, National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Ministry of Home Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health. WFP facilitated discussions on the development of the cluster capacity development working group’s 2023 work plan. WFP will continue to support the cluster coordination mechanism, including by providing technical assistance to identify national and subnational cluster focal points and advocating for the establishment of subnational coordination platforms.

• In partnership with the provincial government of East Nusa Tenggara, WFP provided technical assistance to integrate the Food Security Vulnerability Atlas (FSVA) food security index into community-level disaster risk maps. sub-districts. This aims to produce a tool that could support the provincial government’s prioritization of interventions and programs to reduce food insecurity in disaster-prone areas. At the same time, to further support the production of FSVAs,
WFP participated in the Third Joint Workshop on Small Area Estimation (SAE) for FSVA organized by the National Food Agency and facilitated by Statistics Indonesia and Statistics Polytechnic. Building on the progress made during the second workshop in July, this workshop aimed to refine the SAE models and improve the performance of the tool to generate the datasets needed to produce FSVAs for 34 provinces in 2022.

How global platforms promoted The Wire’s now-removed ‘Tek Fog’ story to tarnish India’s reputation

Days after The Wire withdrew its reports of the Meta story and ordered an “internal investigation” into the fiasco, the left-leaning propaganda website also quietly withdrew its months-old report on Tek Fog, an app which he said was being used by the BJP to manipulate trends and automatically spew hate online.

Based on an August 2020 tweet and a ‘source’, The Wire had claimed that the BJP was using software called Tek Fog, run by BJP chief Devang Dave, which had unprecedented powers to manipulate trends. online and produce hate to attack its critics. . Even though Dave strenuously denied the allegations in an email to Wire, they still proceeded with publishing the story.

In the January 2022 report, Wire claimed that the so-called Tek Fog app allowed the BJP to “hijack” Twitter trends, managed multiple WhatsApp accounts, and directly harassed anti-BJP journalists online. The report claimed that the app could circumvent all sorts of security features that major social media platforms have. According to The Wire, Tek Fog had some sort of superpower that granted him abilities that even the United States’ NSA didn’t have. The Wire alleged that hacking top apps like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. was a breeze using Tek Fog, and all the security features of these platforms disappear with this magic software.

However, within days, OpIndia punched holes in The Wire’s report on Tek Fog, highlighting how the leftist propaganda website’s claims of a superpower app didn’t add up and how the app could be the fruit of their fertile imagination. The full rebuttal can be read here. But it took 10 months and the Meta fiasco that led to The Wire also pulling its stories from Tek Fog pending an “internal investigation”. Incidentally, Devesh Kumar, a staff member at The Wire who co-wrote the Meta stories, had also co-wrote the Tek Fog stories.

On October 23, 2022, The Wire retracted its Tek Fog stories, with links to the Tek Fog stories on its website displaying a message. Here is the screenshot of the message on one of the reports published by The Wire.

Source: The Wire

While the removal of Meta and Tek Fog’s stories is an attempt to save face for The Wire to claim they are transparent and concerned with journalistic ethos, the original lie they peddled has traveled far and wide, finding its way onto global and damaging platforms. organizations that used it to the hilt to tarnish India’s reputation.

How dodgy international organizations and left-leaning media helped spread the Tek Fog lie

Freedom House, a dubious human rights ‘watchdog’ that backed violent protests against a law that granted citizenship rights to persecuted minorities like Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians of the neighboring Islamic states of India, took the country from “free” to “partially”. free” in 2021. Also in 2022, the organization maintained India as “partially free”, relying on damaging reports and unsubstantiated claims, including The Wire’s story on Tek Fog, to assert that BJP members used it to shape public narratives and manipulate opinions on social media.

Tek Fog
Source: https://freedomhouse.org/country/inde/freedom-net/2022

Similarly, other organizations that have been pathologically opposed to India, especially after Modi became Prime Minister, have cited the Tek Fog story as one of the examples to lower India’s ranking on their wacky indexes. For example, the 2022 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Index dropped India from 142nd last year to 150th this year, even placing it below despotic and dictatorial regimes like the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, where advances against members of the press are a given.

A report published in English HW cited The Wire’s story of Tek Fog to highlight how it played a role in India’s ranking downgrade from 142 last year to 150 in 2022. In fact, The Wire himself dropped his “investigation” into Tek Fog, which is now suspected to be a case of outright fraud, when they reported on India’s downgrade on the Press Freedom Index more early this year.

Tek Fog
Source: The Wire

India’s supposed fall on the ‘Democracy Index’ and ‘Press Freedom Index’ has been repeated ad-nauseam by both Indian politicians and other commentators on global platforms , who want to prove that India lives under a dystopian dictatorship, and only the white masters of the west can come and save the poor brown people oppressed by an evil regime led by Prime Minister Modi.

The Washington Post, Bloomberg and Wikipedia peddled The Wire’s claims about Tek Fog which are now suspected to be outright fraud

Not only these two clues, the fictional Tek Fog has been cited by several other global platforms to paint a negative picture of India, such as the Washington Post, Bloomberg and others, which have amplified The Wire’s uncredible claims according to which the BJP used an app to manipulate social media trends and spray its critics with hate online. The list is indicative, but it gives a window into how the lie has been spread far and wide through the network of global leftist organizations.

Tim Culpan and Andy Mukherjee, two Bloomberg columnists, had co-authored an opinion piece based on the Wire story on Tek Fog, which was published by several media houses. They had made statements that weren’t even made by Wire about the so-called app. They claimed that it is a browser-based application and is very powerful.

Making more outlandish claims about the app that doesn’t exist, they had written: “Tek Fog is a military-grade PSYOP – psychological operations – weapon.” A capability like this was until now only available to state actors for use against enemy populations, they had further said, citing a security researcher.

The Wire’s Tek Fog fabrications have also been used as citation and evidence on several Wikipedia articles that paint India in a bad light. Such articles explain how the standards of freedom and democracy in India are falling and how the Modi government is solely responsible for this. For example, a Wikipedia article titled “Press Freedom in India” cites The Wire to make this point.

Source: Wikipedia

It should be noted that Wikipedia is still misunderstood as a neutral platform by millions of unsuspecting Internet users around the world, when in reality it has been taken over by ideologues belonging to the left camp, who amplify the lies and propaganda of left outfits and publications. Wikipedia dominates left-wing editors, and as a result, several Wikipedia pages are biased, with added information catering to the whims and fancies of left-wing editors.

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, who is no longer involved with Wikipedia, had spoken publicly about the online encyclopedia’s bias. Sanger had written that he had long since forgotten his original policy of presenting information from a neutral point of view, and nowadays the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia can be relied upon to cover the policy from a ” liberal point of view.

The story of The Wire’s Tek Fog is a perfect example of what Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels reportedly proposed: “If a lie is repeated a thousand times, it becomes the truth.” The Wire may have taken down its article, for now, but the intended lie and propaganda is now history and continues to be quoted on various global platforms, some of which are listed above.

How The Editor’s Guild of India promoted The Wire’s lies

Apart from the damage that The Wire’s propaganda article has done to India’s reputation, let us also remind the Editor’s Guild of India that they had published a “courageous” letter condemning the imaginary attack on journalists referred to by the wire in January 2022.

Will they now withdraw the condemnation and instead write another letter condemning the thread? No one knows what The Editor’s Guild of India will do after The Wire is exposed for its false reporting and bias.

However, the Tek Fog episode serves as a cautionary tale to Indians, considering that it is just a propaganda piece by a left-leaning outlet causing such major damage to India’s reputation in the world. Readers can guess how much damage has been done over the years by the entire network of leftist publications.

The Mexican consulate team settles in Clovis

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Mexican Consulate staff in Albuquerque set up for the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at Clovis in the auditorium of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at Davis and W. Second streets.

Ana Maria del Carmen Mendez Piña works in the Legal Affairs Department of the Consulate.

“We have two other departments,” Piña said. “Documentation and Community Awareness.”

Piña said the mobile consulate program is part of the consulate’s community outreach effort.

Piña said not only are “mobile consulates” set up in Clovis “two or three times a year,” but also in Ruidoso, Santa Fe, Taos, Española and Farmington.

“This year alone, we started visiting communities in Northwest Texas,” Piña said. “In 15 days we will be in Amarillo.”

Piña said staff are working closely with U.S. federal, state and local authorities.

“We work to educate Mexican citizens about their rights here in the United States,” she said.

Piña said staff visit Mexican citizens who are in US prisons, staff help the family know what to do if a Mexican citizen dies in the US, what to do to get the body back to Mexico.

“Dealing with human rights,” Piña said, is part of her department’s job.

What about services for US citizens?

“If you don’t plan to stay in Mexico longer than 180 days, you don’t need a visa,” Piña said.

Asked about the most unusual request she had received in the last five years, she worked at the consulate in Albuquerque or on the road with the mobile consulate, it was Americans who showed up.

“A few times a year, American citizens come to collect an American passport from us,” Piña said. “We tell them the right place to go.”

Piña said Mexican citizens apply for a Mexican passport at the consulate because the passport is the preferred form of identification for Mexican citizens in the United States.

Consulate officials also assist Mexican citizens in the United States with options on paying taxes, education, obtaining financial support, and more.

“Through our community outreach, we try to make visible all the options that the Mexican citizen has to empower themselves,” Piña said. “Our main objective is to defend and promote the interests of Mexican citizens.”

Piña noted the long history that the United States and the Republic of Mexico have together.

“The consulate has been in Albuquerque for 173 years, since 1849,” Piña said. “We have a long history together.”

Taiwan’s isolation robs world of expertise: Wu

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VALUE OFFERS:
Continued distortion of UN Resolution 2758 negates national achievements of which Taiwan should be proud, says foreign minister

  • By Yang Chen-yu and Jonathan Chin / Journalist, with an editor

Taiwan’s international isolation due to China’s obstruction has deprived the world of the nation’s expertise and contributions to addressing pressing global issues, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.

He made the comment at the first edition of “Stronger Together: International Organization Day,” an event showcasing Taiwan’s involvement in global efforts, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the old Taipei Guest House. 111 years old, a national monument.

The event’s theme “Stronger Together” highlights the diplomatic work carried out by the 20 participating agencies, organizations and entities, and Taiwan’s efforts to help other countries achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, said Wu at the event.

Photo: ANC

Taiwan is a mature democracy, a reliable partner, a responsible actor and a force for good that has made significant and valuable contributions to the global community, he said, adding that the country’s foreign aid and diplomatic efforts are achievements of which the whole nation can be proud. .

The country participates in 69 international organizations, including 44 that officially recognize its membership, Wu said, before calling on countries with common interests and values ​​to make use of Taiwanese expertise in economics. , agriculture and fishing.

Beijing continues to oppose Taiwan’s attempt to gain membership in international groups, having “constantly twisted UN Resolution 2758 as a false excuse” to prevent the country from being recognized by the UN, Wu said, citing Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHO and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

China’s actions have “hindered Taiwan’s efforts to share its expertise and offer assistance in solving pressing global issues”, he said. “We thank our diplomatic allies and people around the world for their support for Taiwan. We will continue to work with like-minded allies and partners to advance the values ​​of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Taiwan has been deprived by its diplomatic isolation of benefits conferred on members of the UN and other international groups, said Nauru’s ambassador to Taiwan Jarden Kephas.

As a vigorous, prosperous and peaceful nation, Taiwan is set to become the 20th largest national economy in the world, which means the country should prepare to take leadership on global issues, he said.

“Taiwan is already an indispensable member of the international community,” he said, citing US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s comment that the loss of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) would have a devastating impact on the Mondial economy.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. The final decision will be at the discretion of The Taipei Times.

Ukrainians face first nationwide power cuts after Russian strikes

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Where have all the men from Moscow gone?

Friday afternoons at the Chop-Chop Barbershop in central Moscow were busy, but at the start of a recent weekend, only one of four chairs was occupied.

Firefighters help a local woman evacuate a residential building destroyed by a Russian drone strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 17, 2022. (Reuters)

“We would usually be full at the moment, but about half of our customers have left,” said the manager, a woman named Olya. Many customers – and half of the barbers as well – have fled Russia to avoid President Vladimir Putin’s campaign to mobilize hundreds of thousands of men for Ukraine’s waning military campaign.

Many men stayed away from the streets for fear of receiving a summons. As Olya came to work last Friday, she said, she saw authorities at each of the four subway station exits, checking documents. (Read more)

Ukraine set to sever diplomatic ties with Iran after drone attacks

Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Tuesday he was submitting a proposal to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to formally sever diplomatic ties with Tehran after a wave of Russian attacks using what Kyiv says are Iranian-made drones.

drone attacks in ukraine “Tehran bears full responsibility for the destruction of relations with Ukraine,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

Russia on Monday launched dozens of “kamikaze” drones at targets in Ukraine, striking energy infrastructure and killing four people in the capital of Kyiv.

Ukraine claims the attacks were carried out with Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, although Tehran denies supplying the drones. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv was certain they were Iranian and would be willing to share a “bag of evidence” with doubting European powers. (Read more)

De Castroverde Law Group donates to the Mexican Consulate in Las Vegas and the Immigrant Home Foundation in support of the 2022 IME Becas Fellowship Program

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LAS VEGAS – De Castroverde Law Group has donated $10,000 to the Mexican Consulate in Las Vegas and the Immigrant Home Foundation to support the 2022 IME Becas Fellowship Program.

The program has directly supported 74 Mexican, Mexican-American, and Hispanic students across Nevada with scholarships to pursue higher education or adult education.

“We understand that many members of the Hispanic community are experiencing financial hardship, including students who wish to further their education, and we are pleased to make this donation and invest in the future leaders of our community,” Orlando said. De Castroverde, partner in the law firm.

According to De Castroverde, “the company has been a long-time supporter of the IME Becas scholarship program, supporting the program for several years.”

About De Castroverde Law Group

Brothers Alex and Orlando De Castroverde founded the law firm in 2005, building on the practice established by their father, Waldo De Castroverde. De Castroverde Law Group practices in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense and immigration law. With over five decades of combined legal experience, De Castroverde Law Group provides aggressive and reliable legal representation. The company has two offices in Las Vegas, one in Henderson, one in Reno, and one in Oakland, CA. The majority of the firm’s lawyers are fluent in Spanish. For more information about De Castroverde Law Group, call (702) 222-9999 or visit www.dlgteam.com.

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From NaMo to PMO: Narendra Modi and his political power over digital media bring Acche Din to the ministry of PMO, reaching digital brand value worth 127 crores!

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Over 100 million Internet impressions were reviewed by CheckBrand for this analysis. The Prime Minister’s Office is one of the most prominent people on several internet platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Google Search, Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram and Google Trends. The department received over 128,600 web engagements. CheckBrand has worked on data from all ministries extracted from digital media for the year 2022. CheckBrand determines that the Prime Minister’s Office is at the top of the list by obtaining the first digital rank with a brand value of 127 Crores. With 50.9 million subscribers on Twitter, more than 15 million on Facebook and 1.82 million on YouTube, the ministry has marked its presence on social networks. The ministry’s audience sentiments rose to 11.4% positive and fell to 8.1% negative. The PMO enjoys a respectable popularity rating in the online arena, and its Twitter handle is always active and engaging. Following a study of digital media data, CheckBrand concluded that tweets with images have more likes than normal content posts. Facebook live videos have gained views and likes are increasing the ministry’s presence in the digital space. The irony is that a prime minister is usually famous in the digital world because of the PMO office, but this is the first time the PMO office has gained an online presence thanks to current Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. According to the ministry’s social media pages, many of @narendramodi’s tweets were retweeted by @PMOIndia, which got a lot of engagement. Prime Minister Modi’s recent tweet regarding Modhera was retweeted by the ministry and got over 13,000 likes as well as 94,000 views on the video. Citing another example, a retweet from the ministry regarding 5G technology got more than 230,000 views and nearly 23.5,000 likes on the post. The PMO has also launched various programs to build a digitized nation, further strengthening its digital presence, such as the direct benefit transfer program. The Department of Consumer Affairs, a core division that regulates all customer requirements, has a sharply declining digital brand value. Positioned at the very end of CheckBrand’s list of ministries, the department acquired the 57th position and a numerical brand value of 1 lakhs. The reason for such a decrease in brand value is the department’s latest interaction with the public through the online mode. The engagement rate is almost nil and void with around 126,000 followers on Twitter and 34,000 on Facebook. Also, their Instagram account is unverified and not updated frequently, which explains the downfall of the web world. The President of India has a brand value of 57.87 crores with the 2nd numerical rank on the CheckBrand list. The ministry recently made headlines for the appointment of new President Draupadi Murmu. The Office of the President of India has 19.2 million Twitter followers and 6 million Facebook fans, and it received 31.7% positive and 11.4% negative comments from the public. According to CheckBrand’s data analysis of the 59 ministries, ministry brand values ​​rose to the top of the rankings alongside political figures. With a huge fan following in the digital space, Indian government ministries scored their record digital rankings. With 2.1 million subscribers on Facebook and 453,000 on YouTube, the Ministry of Railways has reached the 3rd numerical rank. The ministry is making an impact in India, with a brand value of 20.36 crores. The Ministry of Health has a very impressive digital presence. He has 5.9 million followers on Facebook and about 3.1 million followers on Twitter. According to CheckBrand, the department’s digital ranking is 4th, with a whopping brand value of 19.1 crores. The Home Office got the 5th place in the CheckBrand catalog with a brand value of nearly 17 crores. One of the most valued federal agencies in the country, the Ministry of Space, ranks 6th with a brand value of around 15 crores. Ensuring the transparent operation of education, the Ministry of Human Resources/Education obtains the 7th position in the CheckBrand catalog, with a brand value of 11Cr. Consistently through structured support programs and processes with states, Niti Aayog ranks in the Top 10, reaching a brand value of 9.19 crores with the 9th numerical rank. What is amazing to note is that Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of External Affairs are close competitors with brand values ​​worth 6.78 crore and 6.05 crore , respectively. At 10th and 11th positions in the numerical ranking, the two ministries received 7.8% positive opinions from the public. The Election Commission of India gets the 14th position by getting 1.62 crore brand value. The Ministry of Sports and Youth marks its place at the 32nd position and has a brand value worth 50.67 Lakhs.

“We have created a platform that can help brands understand their true value in terms of real-time digital media presence. We look forward to working with and helping them improve their overall digital presence.” Anuj Sayal, MD, ADG Online Solutions and CheckBrand. CHECKBRAND CheckBrand, as an AI tool, provides all the necessary inputs to increase online engagement of personalities and ministries, visibility and reach with the public. With the help of CheckBrand, the department can definitely know how to improve their digital ranking and rise to the top. CheckBrand examines and gives their digital ranking, brand value, brand score, sentiment analysis and audience engagements to ensure their absolute digital presence on the data base.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Stability has set in despite a host of negative influences

“Consumers are clearly looking for value in the new vehicle market,” said Lebogang Gaoaketse, head of marketing and communications at WesBank. “Although demand is in favor of new vehicle deals, average transaction sizes have remained consistent year over year, indicating that affordability remains a major consideration. Consumers are also making the choice when faced with to second-hand offers which show price inflation of more than 20%”.
This may have contributed to the stable performance of new vehicle sales in September, as the market faced two major detractors during the month. “The load shedding will continue to have a negative impact on consumer and business confidence. But it is the second major interest rate increase of 0.75% that should have a more immediate impact on purchase decisions made on funded transactions,” Gaoaketse said. “It should also be considered that Toyota vehicle volumes are returning to more normal levels as production and logistics resume operations.”

New vehicle sales in September ended the month at 47,786 units, up 10.8% year on year and just 440 units ahead of August sales, according to naamsa, the Automotive Business Council. The month’s performance was enough to make it the second best sales month of the year after March.

Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) topped the market to grow 14.9% to 12,573. Dealers appreciated the segment’s growth, reporting non-showroom sales growth of 13.2% to 11,368. There was also a marked improvement (76.3%) in the LCV rental market, albeit at a small volume of 654 units.

Rental demand, however, made a significant contribution to passenger car volumes. Up 22.3%, this added 6,117 units to the total passenger car volume of 25,083, as the segment grew 8.5% year-on-year in September.

“September sales and first three quarter performance will provide an interesting setting for industry experts to discuss the future of the industry later this month during the inaugural South African Motor Week. “, said Gaoaketse.

WesBank joined naamsa and the broader industry at the conference, which takes place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and Conference Center from October 24-28. “The participation of members of the International Organization of Motor Manufacturers from 39 countries during the week that this flagship event also has a strong international flavor and shows the importance of the South African automotive industry on the continent.

Year-to-date sales were 0.4% lower than the year in August, with the nine months up 13.4% to 391,936 units from the same period last year last.

See the YouTube video link here: https://youtu.be/Tv9_BS0Ulrc

Source: Motor Press

Iran says it will reciprocate if EU continues interventionist behavior

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TEHRAN — Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday warned European countries that Iran would respond appropriately if they continued their interventionist behavior.

Nasser Kanaani made the remarks hours before European Union foreign ministers added 11 Iranians and four institutions, including the head of Iran’s morality police, to a travel and ban list. Freezing assets for what he called their role in suppressing protests following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
“Unanimous decision today to take action against those in #Iran responsible for the death of #MahsaAmini and the violent crackdown on peaceful protests,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted.
Speaking in his weekly presser, Kanaani responded to the recent unrest in Iran, noting that European countries are applying double standards in handling protests in Iran compared to those in their own country.

The diplomat then noted that Iran is a “responsible state that respects the opinions of its citizens and their security” and that Iran has also played an important role in protecting the security of other countries in the region.

“Iran is a responsible state that respects its citizens.

“We invite the European parties to be rational and to adhere to their slogans. They speak of Iran, a powerful and responsible country that has played and continues to play a decisive role in the stability and security of the region,” Kanaani said.

He added that Iran “has always behaved responsibly towards regional and international issues, and is a country that can be the most important partner and collaborator in creating peace, stability and security in the region if European parties act rationally,” Kanaani said.

He then invites Europeans to be rational and warns them against adopting unreasonable and interventionist behavior.

“In all our discussions with the Europeans, it was stressed that if the European side is ready to interact from a position of mutual respect, Iran is ready to interact and cooperate, but if it adopts an interventionist and selective behavior and uses rigged double standards policies, Iran will show a proportionate and reciprocal response. This applies to every European country as well as the stance that the EU has pledged to take,” he said. he warned.
The spokesperson added that European countries have a responsibility to protect Iranian embassies, but have not fulfilled their obligation in this regard.

An Iranian school and some Islamic centers attacked in other countries are among the examples of Europe’s negligence in safeguarding Iranian places, the diplomat listed.

Regarding recent sanctions imposed by the UK on some Iranian officials, Kanaani said Tehran had protested seriously and would respond accordingly.

The talks in Vienna are not deleted from our agenda

Asked whether Iran considers talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal dead, the spokesperson dismissed the hypothesis, stressing that the problem is the contradictory behavior and comments of US officials, while they continue to exchange messages while doing things that cannot be considered complementary to the negotiation process.
“It seems that all technical areas are there to revive the agreement and bring all parties back to the JCPOA. The negotiation process is on track and the technical agreements are good, because they are the basis for the agreement, the conclusion and the implementation of the agreement,” the diplomat said, adding that nevertheless, this question depends on the political decision of the government. US government and they can come back to the agreement whenever they want.
“Iran has repeatedly announced that it will not wait for the reinstatement of the nuclear deal and will continue its relations and foreign policy based on the announced policies with all its parties and partners,” Kanaani said. .

Iran did not arm the fighting parties in the war in Ukraine

The diplomat reiterated that Iran has not sent arms to any warring party in the war between Ukraine and Russia and that Iran opposes the war and tries to help stop it .

“Just as the Islamic Republic of Iran has opposed war against Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic is based on opposition to war and military solutions to resolve political disputes. Tehran is against the war in Ukraine and this position is in line with its capability and the good relations between the two countries. Having good relations with both sides in the conflict, Iran has made its own efforts to end to the military crisis,” the diplomat noted.

He went on to call claims that Iran sent drones to Russia a “bitter political irony” made by countries that export billions of dollars in weapons on one side of the war, and now accuse a other country to send arms to the other side. of the war.
They are starting a propaganda and psychological war against Iran, the spokesman noted.

The United States was not ready for the prisoner exchange

Regarding the prisoner exchange with the United States, the diplomat said that Iran was ready for a prisoner exchange agreement and that such an agreement had already been concluded, but that the United States was not not ready to implement it.
“We confirm the conclusion of an agreement on the exchange of prisoners and we have already confirmed this before. This agreement was not reached in recent days but a long time ago, but the American side was not ready to implement the agreement and submitted the prisoner exchange agreement to the stimulus agreement of the JCPOA,” the spokesperson said.

Anarchist retiree cleared of fireworks attack on Turkish consulate

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Andrea Stauffacher, pictured at a 2016 rally in Zurich, is a fierce critic of the Turkish regime. keystone

A 72-year-old woman accused of throwing fireworks at the Turkish consulate in Zurich has had her conviction and prison sentence overturned on appeal.

This content was published on October 17, 2022 – 17:20

swissinfo.ch/mga

The appeals court found there was not enough evidence to convict left-wing extremist Andrea Stauffacher for attacking the embassy in 2017.

Last year, Stauffacher was sentenced to 14 months in prison, but an appeals court verdict, released on Monday, overturned that sentence.

Stauffacher is a member of the left-wing activist group Revolutionary Structure and was found guilty of previous fireworks attacksExternal link.

But on that occasion, the Zurich court ruled that the traces of his DNA on a firework were insufficient evidence for a guilty verdict, despite his publicly declared opposition to the Turkish regime.

Judges said DNA did not prove Stauffacher launched the fireworks at the embassy compound.

The court also noted that federal prosecutors were reluctant to challenge the appeal but were forced to do so at the insistence of the Turkish consulate.

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Regular Press Conference by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin on October 17, 2022

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Regular Press Conference by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin on October 17, 2022

CCTV: In recent days, leaders of many countries and international organizations have sent messages and letters to Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, to express their congratulations on the the opening of the 20th CPC National Congress. Do you have a comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: As you said, in recent days, leaders of many countries and international organizations have sent messages and letters to President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, to extend congratulations to him on the opening of the 20th CPC National Congress. They noted that the 20th National Congress will mark a new stage in the cause of socialist construction in China and expressed their belief that under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its center, China will successfully realize its national revival. They stressed the importance they attach to relations with China and stressed China’s role as a champion of world peace, security, multilateralism and a just and equitable international order and as a important driver of the global economy. They hailed China’s efforts to enhance win-win cooperation between countries through the Belt and Road Initiative and expressed their readiness to consolidate and further deepen friendship and partnership with China. China.

Those who are committed to the welfare of the world can always find friends all over the world. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its heart, China has resolutely pursued peaceful development, called for building a new type of international relations characterized by mutual respect, fairness and justice and win-win cooperation and have advanced the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. China has always been a force for world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. China has provided its ideas and solutions to solve major global problems and helped build consensus and synergy to advance human development and progress. All of this has been widely recognized around the world. Multiple international polls show that China’s role is welcomed by much of the world, especially developing countries. UN Secretary-General António Guterres hailed China as an indispensable and trustworthy life force in promoting world peace and development.

In the new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects, the CPC will stick to its founding mission of realizing people’s happiness, national rejuvenation and human progress with unswerving conviction, and lead the Chinese people in this great renewal enterprise united as one. Meanwhile, we will always regard China’s development as part of human development, share development opportunities with other countries, and continue to work with the rest of the world to advance the building of a community with a shared future for China. humanity and create new, greater contributions to world peace and common development.

China News Service: Today marks the 30th International Day for the Eradication of World Poverty and the ninth National Day for the Eradication of Poverty in China. In a report delivered to the 20th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping noted that the past decade has marked three major events of great immediate impact and profound historical significance for the cause of the Party and the people, including including the historic feat of eradicating absolute poverty and completing the construction of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. What does China’s success in eradicating absolute poverty mean for the country and the world?

Wang Wenbin: The eradication of poverty is a long-held dream of the Chinese people and a centuries-old pursuit of mankind.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its heart, we have won the greatest battle against poverty in human history, and once and for all , solved the problem of absolute poverty in China. . China has achieved the Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty ten years ahead of schedule and has notably reduced the global poverty rate, thus making a significant contribution to the cause of poverty reduction in the world.

China is not only a model and a pioneer in global poverty alleviation, but also an advocate and participant in global poverty alleviation cooperation. The World Bank has projected that the Belt and Road cooperation will lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty in relevant countries by 2030. China has launched the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and is committed to a development-oriented and people-centered approach. China released its first list of projects covering areas such as poverty alleviation and food security, launched an international NGO network for poverty alleviation cooperation, and established the Global Alliance for of poverty and development. All measures aim to promote the sharing of experiences in poverty reduction and to promote global cooperation in poverty reduction.

On the path to the pursuit of happiness, no country or nation should be left behind. China will continue to put people first and uphold the common interests of mankind. We will advance and actively participate in global cooperation on poverty reduction and development, and work with the international community to bring ideas and strength to building a community with a shared future for humanity.

Bloomberg: Politico has reported that Chinese officials are blocking US efforts to set the agenda for a face-to-face meeting between President Xi and President Biden on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have any comments?

Wang Wenbin: I believe you may have noticed that the US has already said the story is wrong.

The Paper: It is reported that on October 17, the Japanese leader and some political dignitaries sent ritual offerings to Yasukuni Shrine on the occasion of the shrine’s autumn festival, and some Cabinet members visited the shrine. Do you have a comment?

Wang Wenbin: China firmly rejects Japan’s negative measures regarding the Yasukuni Shrine and has made solemn demarches to the Japanese side. We urge the Japanese side to sincerely acknowledge its statements and commitments to frankly confront and reflect on its history of aggression, frankly break with militarism, and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community as a whole. through concrete actions.

Reuters: South Pacific defense ministers will meet in Tonga on Tuesday as Australia seeks a closer military relationship with the three island nations that have defense forces to counter China’s security push in the region. What is the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: We hope military cooperation between relevant countries will promote regional peace and stability and not target any third parties.

CCTV: The 20th CPC National Congress is being held. More than 2,000 delegates from all walks of life fulfill their duties. Some comments went, the election of delegates demonstrated how fully democracy is practiced. What’s your comment ?

Wang Wenbin: The election of delegates to the 20th CPC National Congress is an important part of preparing for the 20th CPC National Congress. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its heart, the preparation has been thoughtful and meticulous. A total of 2,296 high-calibre delegates were elected by 38 electoral units across the country. Their composition is well structured, and they come from a broad spectrum. They show the good morale of CCP members in the new era. For the first time ever, the 20th CPC National Congress openly solicited the opinion of the whole party and society on the work related to the National Congress. More than 8.5 million suggestions and comments in various fields were collected, thus laying an important foundation for the success of the congress.

The preparation for the National Congress is a great example of combining the need to follow the Party’s leadership and the practice of democracy, illustrating how the Party gives full play to democracy within itself and follows the mass line. The international community has high expectations for the 20th CPC National Congress and praises the preparation. Experts and scholars from countries such as Tanzania, Jordan, Kazakhstan and Pakistan shared the view that the CCP is fully aware of the importance of serving the people and that its policy-making is based on knowing what the public thinks, and evaluates a policy by examining whether it serves the interest of the people and the development and progress of the country. They view the Chinese governance system as an achievement of democratic centralism which has led China to unprecedented achievements.

General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that people’s democracy is the life of socialism and what is the comprehensive construction of a modern socialist country. Chinese democracy has come a long way, from “bean voting” in the Shaan-Gan-Ning border region during the Yan’an period to the successful preparation of the 20th CPC National Congress. We believe that the excellent delegates to the National Congress representing the more than 96 million CPC members, who have gone through a rigorous electoral process, will pool the will of the Party, live up to the expectations of the people, and bring new, important contributions to the comprehensive construction of a modern socialist country and the full realization of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Bloomberg: The Financial Times reported that a document prepared by the EU’s external service advises members to diversify supply chains outside of China. Does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have a comment?

Wang Wenbin: Global industrial and supply chains, as they currently exist, are the result of the combined force of the market and the choices of companies. The arbitrary establishment of restrictions for political purposes disrupts international cooperation and destabilizes industrial and supply chains. It is not conducive to the development of industries and does not serve the interests of any country.

China and the EU are partners, not rivals. Our economies are closely linked and highly complementary. Our cooperation far exceeds the competition. As the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, noted the other day, Chinese commodities have done much better and much more to contain inflation than all central banks combined. . We hope the European side will view China-EU cooperation objectively, expand common interests and contribute to the stability of global industrial and supply chains.

Buenos Aires Weather | Pope calls for UN reform after Ukraine war, Covid ‘limits’

Pope Francis said the need to reform the UN was “more than evident” after the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine revealed its limits, in an excerpt from his new book published on Sunday.

The Argentine pontiff said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February had highlighted the need to ensure that the current multilateral structure – in particular the UN Security Council – finds “more agile and effective in resolving conflicts.

“In times of war, it is essential to affirm that we need more multilateralism and better multilateralism”, but the UN is no longer adapted to “new realities”, he added in an excerpt published by La Stampa Daily.

The organization was founded to prevent the horrors of the two world wars from happening again, but although the threat posed by those conflicts is still present, “the world today is not the same”, said Frances.

“The need for these reforms became more than evident after the pandemic” when the current multilateral system “showed all its limits”, he added.

François denounced the unequal distribution of vaccines as a “flagrant example” of the law of the strongest prevailing over solidarity.

The 85-year-old advocated ‘organic reforms’ aimed at enabling international organizations to rediscover their essential purpose of ‘serving the human family’ and said international institutions must be the result of the ‘widest possible consensus’ .

The sovereign pontiff also proposed to guarantee the food, health, economic and social rights on which the international institutions would base their decisions.

Francis’s new book, I ask you in the name of God: Ten prayers for a future of hopeis due out in Italy on Tuesday.

– TIMES/AFP

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Netanyahu: Trump said I don’t want peace, in a ‘Houston, we’re the problem!’ moment

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Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reveals in forthcoming book that golfing metaphors and simple visual aids were used to convince then-US President Donald Trump to pursue regional peace between Israel and Arab states , and to counter his first positive impression of the leadership of the Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas.

An advanced copy of Netanyahu’s memoir, “Bibi: My Story,” slated for release October 18, was obtained by The Guardian.

The book reveals details of the former prime minister’s relationship with the former president while they were simultaneously in power, from 2017 to 2021.

According to the Guardian, Netanyahu boasts of political successes during Trump’s tenure, such as the US moving his embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

He avoids discussing US politics, Trump’s denial of his election defeat and the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

At some point in 2017, when Trump met with then-President Reuven Rivlin, the US leader “said, ‘Bibi doesn’t want peace,’” Netanyahu recalls in the book.

The cover of Benjamin Netanyahu’s new autobiographical book, due out in November (Courtesy)

He said Ron Dermer, then Israel’s ambassador to the United States, was “flabbergasted”. according to Trump’s assessment. “It wasn’t, ‘Houston, we have a problem.’ It was, ‘Houston, we’re the problem!’ »

Netanyahu was determined to put the Palestinian issue on the back burner during his tenure as prime minister while pursuing peace with neighboring Arab states, and wrote in the book that he was frustrated with Trump’s “fixation with the Palestinians.”

In September 2020, Israel signed the US-brokered Abraham Accords with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, normalizing relations with the two states. Morocco separately forged ties with Israel, while Sudan signed the agreements later but has yet to normalize relations with the Jewish state.

In order to convince Trump that peace with the Palestinians was not possible, Netanyahu said he had rolled out slides for Trump, with maps showing the distance between Tel Aviv and the 1967 lines “that the Palestinians demanded let us retreat”, referring to the lines marking the territory of Israel before the Six Day War.

The cover of Benjamin Netanyahu’s new book is set to be published in November. (Courtesy)

It is widely reported that Trump preferred to receive information in easy-to-digest byte format, and Netanyahu appears to have taken such an approach.

“The distance between Trump Tower and the George Washington Bridge was overlaid on the map. Both distances – just over six miles as the crow flies – were identical,” Netanyahu wrote.

Netanyahu said Dermer described to Trump the prospects of achieving peace with the Palestinians as a ‘hole-in-one through a brick wall’, while ‘peace with the Emirates is a five-foot putt’ and “peace with the Saudis is a 30”. – foot putt.

“The president understood that. For the moment at least, we had certainly moved him to a better place.

Netanyahu recalled how, as prime minister, he and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman showed Trump video clips of Abbas portraying him as deceitful, promoting peace in English while praising terrorists in arabic.

“I could see the video was taped to Trump, at least momentarily. ‘Wow,’ he said. ‘Is that the same guy I just met in Washington? He looked like a so kind and peaceful guy,’” Netanyahu wrote.

US President Donald Trump signs a document restoring sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC, May 8, 2018. (AFP/Saul Loeb)

This episode was first chronicled in American journalist Bob Woodward’s book on the Trump administration, “Rage”. According to Woodward’s book, then-US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson believed a video of Abbas that showed him ostensibly calling for the murder of children was likely fake, but Trump remained convinced by the claims. footage and then called Abbas a “liar” and a “murderer” the next time they met.

Netanyahu also recounts his efforts to convince Trump to withdraw from the Iran deal. It describes a Mossad raid on a warehouse in Tehran from which a “huge amount of material” was recovered.

When Netanyahu released a short video for Trump at the White House on March 5, 2018, showing what Israeli agents had found, “the president pointed to other senior officials in the Oval Office and said, ‘Maybe they needed to see this. I did not do it. I have already decided to leave the agreement.

Netanyahu presented the findings to the public in April 2018, and a week later Trump pulled out of the deal.

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Russia outraged by Germany’s inaction after embassy and consulate vandalism – Zakharova

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MOSCOW (UrduPoint News/Sputnik – October 15, 2022) Russia has delivered a note of strong protest to the German Foreign Ministry over recent acts of vandalism against the Russian Embassy in Berlin and Consulate in Frankfurt am Main. Main, and Germany’s inability to respond to these incidents, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.

“We are outraged by the lack of an adequate response from the German authorities to the acts of vandalism committed on October 10, 2022 by organized criminal groups sympathizing with the kyiv regime against the Russian Embassy in Berlin and the Russian Consulate General in Frankfurt -on-the-Main. In both cases, the German police officers responsible for the security of these Russian diplomatic institutions did not provide or attempt to provide any countermeasures to those who caused material damage to our missions foreign.

None of the vandals have been arrested,” Zakharova said in a statement.

The Russian Embassy sent a note of strong protest to the German Foreign Ministry in the face of these hostile acts, committed with the connivance of the police, noted the spokesperson.

“We insist that the German authorities must practically, and not formally, fulfill the international legal obligations which they have assumed under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 to ensure the safety of foreign diplomatic missions in their country,” Zakharova noted.

Russia also expects German authorities to step up security at the premises of the Russian Embassy in Berlin and consulates in other parts of the country.

Zarkharova noted that Berlin’s disregard for Moscow’s concerns and demands would be called a “deliberately hostile decision, which we will take into account in the practical dimension.”

Polish Foreign Ministry summons Israeli ambassador over student safety criticism

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland (Republic of Poland website)e)

The Polish Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli Ambassador Yacov Livne for his statements regarding the security of Israeli student delegations in Poland.

Poland and the Israeli regime are at odds over Israel’s insistence that its armed guards accompany groups of Israeli students on trips to visit Holocaust memorial sites in Poland. Despite Israeli insistence, Warsaw maintains that this is not a necessary step.

On Thursday, Livne said it was no longer possible for Israeli students to visit such monuments due to decisions taken by the Polish Foreign Ministry.

Commenting on Livne’s remarks, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski said via his Twitter account on Friday: “I regret that Ambassador @YacovLivne chose to communicate with @MSZ_RP [Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs] through the media and public discourse – in addition to misleading the public as to why the trips aren’t happening.”

The FM MP added that “to clarify the situation, it [Livne] will be summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

Jablonski stressed that his country was ready to welcome groups of Israeli students, but without armed protection.

In the summer of 2021, Jablonski said Warsaw was considering limiting Holocaust memorial trips that Israeli students take to his country.

“We are dealing with anti-Polish sentiment in Israel, and one of the reasons for that is the way Israeli youth are educated and brought up,” he said in a radio interview. “This propaganda, based on hatred of Poland, seeps into the minds of young people from their earliest school age.”

The Holocaust remains a very sensitive issue among Poles and has already sparked heated exchanges and diplomatic confrontations between Warsaw and the Tel Aviv regime.

Karen Hilton appointed new CEO of heycar UK

Online car-buying platform heycar UK has promoted its chief commercial officer Karen Hilton to chief executive, with Mat Moakes becoming CCO of the heycar group.

The company said the changes were part of a move to “further accelerate its growth in the UK and across Europe” and sees the former director of Carwow and head of marketing communications at Volkswagen UK Hilton take the helm of the UK business.

Hilton, who joined the company in 2019, stepped up after a planned six-month transition period. She said: “We’ve established tremendous momentum in the UK, a super-focused management team and a great culture for our team. I can’t wait to steer this rocket through its next phase.

“In the three years we have operated, we have faced a pandemic, a structural change in the supply network, and now the UK is facing the economic headwinds of a recession.

“So if there is any challenge ahead of my role as CEO, I know it will continue to overcome the lingering uncertainty and ambiguity. The automotive and technology industry, however, has also seen crucial changes. since the COVID pandemic – the way we work and the way we consume goods has changed and that change is here to stay.

Originally launched in the UK as a classified marketplace, heycar has since launched an e-commerce option for customers and claims to have the largest selection of cars available to buy online (17,000 currently available).

The company has built a growing network of exclusive business partnerships with Parkers, BuyaCar, Regit and others in the UK and has expanded overseas with launches in Spain, France and the Netherlands over the of the last 18 months.

Moakes, who was CEO of heycar UK since its launch in 2019, will now aim to create a more international organization and grow the heycar business across Europe in his new role.

Hilton said: “With all of these changes come opportunities such as the potential for new routes to market. We’ve already seen our e-commerce business grow sixfold since the end of 2021, showing that some people are 100% ready to buy a car online. – but also the opportunity to work differently and attract new talent to heycar.

“To deal with this, we will continue to be bold, take risks on new trends and differentiate ourselves from historical players in the industry.”

Why Protests Will Change Iran Forever

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The 2022 Iranian protests with the radical slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” shocked the regime in Tehran. There are ten distinct reasons why the current protests in Iran are unprecedented and will have profound and sweeping implications for the future and sustainability of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Radical changes in slogans and demands

In previous revolutions and protests, notably in 2009, the main demands were to reform the system or to recover the votes stolen during the elections. In protests in 2017 and 2019, demands were linked to better living conditions and the economy. This time, in 2022, the protests are centered on the murder of Zhina Amini by the morality police, as well as the abolition of the forced hijab, which is known as the main pillar of the system as well as its identity. The request is not to reform the system, but to change the system. It’s a turning point.

The predominant role of women

This cycle of the Iranian revolution has attracted the attention of public opinion and international media due to the inclusion of women’s demands. It also led to the participation of all sections of Iranian society. The slogan “women, life and freedom” is chanted in all regions of Iran. In the streets, universities, media and social networks, women and girls are the main actors in these protests.

The rise of the new generation

One of the most striking features of the current Iranian revolution is that the majority of protesters in different regions and cities are young people under the age of twenty-five. These young people are considered the third generation of Iranians born after the 1979 revolution, and they demand the total rejection of the system.

Mobilization and combat experience

In past revolutions and massive protests, such as the national uprisings of 2009, 2017 and 2019, there was a kind of “softness” in confronting the police, security forces, Revolutionary Guards, Basij, etc. . have no sympathy for these forces and condemn them in the strongest possible way. This time, the demonstrators clash with the security forces, which leads to an upsurge in violence.

Unity of ethnic, religious and cultural groups

This revolution saw national solidarity between all nations, ethnic groups and cultures, which was not the case before. In the past, there were divisions between ethno-religious groups, regions, as well as major cities and suburbs of Iran. In this series of protests, we see similarities in protesters’ demands as they transcend limited regional, geographic, territorial or even gender claims. This time, the protests have become an unprecedented challenge for the Iranian government due to the solidarity of various communities and groups in the country.

Reactions from public figures

What distinguishes this demonstration from other rounds of demonstrations and revolutions in Iran is that this time there was a wave of outrage against the government, its institutions and the behavior of the security forces by sportsmen, artists, celebrities, etc. This has led even figures close to the government to openly express their support, join the protesters on social media and even participate in the demonstrations.

Broad support from the Iranian diaspora

Another distinctive feature of the 2022 protests is the large number of demonstrations and rallies outside Iran in support of the Iranian protests. The demonstrators attacked embassies and centers of the Islamic Republic. It is also interesting to note that the opposition outside Iran, which had never been united with each other on the organization and even the slogans and the demands, this time has a demand: the victory of the revolution and the collapse of this system.

The rise of university students

After years of passivity, silence and repression among university students following the Iranian authorities’ success in ending protests in 1999 and 2009, students from famous universities and different cities have returned to protests. Some university professors expressed their support for their students. University professors demand the release of their detained students, otherwise they threaten not to return to class. Some teachers have also resigned due to the crackdown on protesters.

The power and use of social media

The way social media is being used to organize and express protests is unprecedented. Images, slogans, symbols and clips are released in various foreign languages, informing global audiences. This caused the Islamic Republic of Iran to dramatically slow down or even cut internet connections. This led to an outpouring of foreign sympathy and support for the protests, even prominent politicians on Twitter to condemn the Islamic Republic’s crackdown and use the hashtag (#mahsaamini). Social media networks have helped protesters share information and inform the world, communicate with each other, and determine the time and location of protests.

Iranian self-determination

In the past, protesters often asked for help from the United States and other democratic countries, but this time they found that only they could change their destiny. This is seen as an unprecedented turning point and the end of the hope of being liberated by a foreign power.

Conclusion

The current protests in Iran have no other leader than the people themselves. Protests are no longer centralized, no longer confined to major cities as they are spread everywhere geographically. Moreover, in this wave of protests, protesters no longer believe government propaganda about protests, such as allegations of outside interference. Another important factor is that the question of the succession of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his illness gave people hope for the success of the change of the current political system and even the end of the regime of Wilayat al-Faqih.

The revolutionary process of overthrowing the system, or at least radical change, seems to have started quickly inside Iran, which is very different from past protests. This is reflected in the radical slogans and leadership of Iranian women and youth. What has been observed so far is that the division between the authorities and the majority of Iranian society has deepened and protests have started where the Islamic Republic was considered to be strongest.

Dr. Parwez Rahim Qadr is a senior lecturer in international relations at Salahaddin University in Erbil. He is an expert in Iranian affairs.

Kamaran Palani is a lecturer in international relations at Salahaddin University in Erbil, a researcher at MERI and an associate researcher at Al Sharq Strategic Research. Palani holds a Ph.D. from Leiden University (Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, 2021). He is the author of The de facto statehood of Kurdistan: a new explanatory framework (Routledge, 2022).

Picture: Reuters.

How Europe stops Russians from traveling

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On September 9, the Council of the European Union completely suspended the visa facilitation agreement between the European Union and Russia as part of the sanctions imposed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Travel to the EU has thus become more difficult and expensive for Russian tourists.

Some Eastern European, Baltic and Nordic states have suggested adopting a complete visa ban. Given the current situation, they argued, Russian tourists should not be allowed to visit Europe without any limits. But the EU at that time was too divided to agree on a full ban.

Several countries, such as Estonia and Lithuania, have decided to restrict the entry of Russian citizens at the national level. Others (Latvia and Finland, for example) have said they will not welcome Russians fleeing the military mobilization announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 21. The EU eventually decided to further tighten visa regulations in response to the growing number of Russians trying to enter the bloc.

Let’s see what the data tells us about Russians traveling to Europe.

How much do Russians travel?

According to data published by the independent polling agency Levada Center, the number of Russians traveling abroad has steadily increased over the past decades.

In 1996, 16% of people questioned said they had been abroad. In 2022, this figure was 41%. The highest share was recorded in Moscow (62%) and cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants (45%).

In 2019, Turkey was the most common destination for Russians. Nearly 7 million departures were recorded that year. Russians also made more than 16 million trips to European Union countries, with Finland, Estonia and Germany being the top destinations.

How do Russians arrive in Europe?

To travel to the EU, Russians must apply for a short-stay visa. If the country they are going to is a member of the Schengen area, they apply for a short-stay Schengen visa. An application form, passport, itinerary and other documents are required, as well as a visa appointment at one of the Schengen consulates in Russia.

Five EU members – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania – are not members of the Schengen area and therefore cannot issue visas for the whole area. Visa requirements are similar, but the visa is only valid for the country that issued it.

On the other hand, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are not members of the EU but are members of the Schengen area. Therefore, they can issue visas for the whole region.

Between 2012 and 2021, approximately 123 million short-stay Schengen visas were issued at Schengen member consulates around the world.

Nearly 38 million (or around 30%) of them were issued at consulates in Russia – far more than any other country during the same period. Consulates in China, for example, issued around 14% of all Schengen visas.

Between 2014 and 2021, 4 million additional visas were issued worldwide to enter Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. Almost half of them were issued in Russia. However, these visas do not allow holders to visit the Schengen area.

The highest number of Schengen visas issued in Russia was granted in 2013, almost 7 million. The lowest number was in 2016 at nearly 3.5 million. Even fewer visas (about 600,000) were issued in 2020 and 2021, mainly due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Short-stay Schengen visas can be issued for single or multiple entry purposes. As the name suggests, holders of Single Entry Visas (SEV) can enter the Schengen area once and must obtain a new visa for each trip, while holders of Multiple Entry Visas (MEV) can enter and leave the Schengen area. as many times as they wish. The 90/180 rule, which allows holders to spend up to 90 days in the region during a 180-day period, still applies.

Globally, the share of all VEMs increased from 42% in 2012 to 59% in 2019, and up to 72% in 2021. Visas issued at consulates in Russia followed the same trend, but at above the world average. In 2012, about half of the visas issued in Russia were VEM. The share exceeded 80% in 2016 and reached nearly 88% in 2021.

The fact that VEMs are usually granted after obtaining and using several VSEs suggests that visa applicants at consulates in Russia are frequent travelers rather than occasional ones.

Schengen visas are generally valid for all countries in the Schengen area. However, visitors should keep in mind that they should apply at the consulate of the country they intend to visit (or their main destination, if they plan to visit multiple countries).

Between 2012 and 2021, Finland was the top destination for people applying for a Schengen visa at consulates in Russia, followed by Spain and Greece.

Bulgarian consulates in Russia also issued a significant number of visas, around 1.8 million, between 2014 and 2021 (previous data is not available). These visas were only valid domestically, as Bulgaria cannot issue Schengen visas.

The Russians in Europe after the invasion

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, more than 1.36 million Russians have entered the Schengen area legally through land borders, mainly via Finland and Estonia (data as of October 5 ). More than 1.31 million Russians have returned to Russia via its land borders with the EU.

According to Frontex, these travelers were probably finding alternative routes due to restricted flight connections.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military mobilization on September 21, the number of entries at the EU land border increased by 30% (in the week of September 19-25 compared to the week previous), according to Frontex. There has also been a spike in Google searches for ways to leave Russia and reports of one-way airfares from Russia have skyrocketed. Frontex foresees an increase in illegal border crossings and illegal stays.

Close the borders

Opinions on whether Russian tourists should be banned from the EU are still divided. Showing support for Ukraine, reducing security threats and putting more pressure on Moscow are among the main arguments for the ban. On the other hand, those who oppose the ban cite the need to help people fleeing Russia and a desire not to contribute to anti-Western Kremlin propaganda.

By September 19, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland had almost completely restricted border crossings for Russians with Schengen visas. In August, Finland announced it would reduce Russian visas by 90% and then closed its border due to recent developments, with a few exceptions. The last remaining part of the land border with the Schengen area, in Norway, is now guarded with tight security and may also be closed in the future. Other countries, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, have said they will not issue humanitarian visas to Russians trying to avoid mobilization.

After reports of thousands of Russians fleeing to Georgia, Kazakhstan and other neighboring countries, German embassies in the region reported an increase in visa applications. However, according to the latest EU guidelines, member states should not accept visa applications from Russians in a third country, further narrowing the window of opportunity to travel to the EU.

Foreign Minister engages in discussion with Key Business Chambers – Adaderana Biz

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Foreign Minister Ali Sabry met with Presidents, Secretaries General, senior officials and business leaders representing a large number of export-oriented organizations and chambers of commerce on October 12, 2022 to discuss and expose opportunities and potential for exporters. as the challenges they face in exporting goods and services from Sri Lanka, among others. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aruni Wijewardane and other senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated in the discussion during the meeting with Minister Ali Sabry.

This meeting with private sector companies and chambers was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek views, ideas and proposals on the most effective action plans that the Ministry could assist and assist the business community to develop their commercial efforts and stimulate exports. Addressing the gathering, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said the ministry was committed to cooperating with the private sector, chambers and supporting their business endeavors, thereby increasing much needed economic progress and providing assistance to the business sector. country’s exports. He assured that all missions under the ministry would assist and facilitate the private sector and businesses in achieving their economic and trade goals and continue to engage professionally with the private sector to connect them to overseas opportunities.

Participating organizations and chambers that expressed their views added that the successful conclusion of free trade agreements (FTAs) with key countries should be considered a priority for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at this stage, in order to expand and boost exports. They also said the government should adopt a well-structured mechanism to address issues arising from negative media coverage, thereby improving the country’s image and profile.

The meeting brought together more than 20 major chambers of commerce and export-oriented organizations, including the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Exporters Association of Sri Lanka, Tea Traders Association and Sri Lanka Apparel Export Association, Joint Apparel Association Forum, among others.

Games: We need to talk about the lack of body diversity

The gaming world has recently come under intense scrutiny, especially as the metaverse enters our mainstream vocabulary.

Despite the stereotypes, women and girls make up a significant percentage of the gaming community. In fact, a Newzoo study found that women make up nearly half (46%) of gamers, and rosters like black girls players strengthen the voice of black women in games.

But a new report has revealed that the games industry still reflects narrow beauty standards, leaving many women and girls feeling underrepresented and their self-esteem negatively impacted.

The research, from Dove, has been co-published with Women in Games, an international organization fighting for equity and parity for all women and girls in games, and the Center for Appearance Research (CAR) – and coincides with a campaign that aims to “break down beauty stereotypes and equip the next generation of young creators and gamers with tools to build self-esteem and body confidence.”

It revealed that 60% of female gamers feel misrepresented and recognize the lack of diversity as a key issue in video games, while 35% of young girls say their self-esteem is negatively affected after noticing a lack of diversity. in characters and avatars.

Meanwhile, 60% of young women said they would feel more confident about their appearance if they saw characters that reflect real life, and more than 50% of parents are concerned that these issues will negatively affect people’s attitudes. their child in the future.

Dove is launching Real Virtual Beauty, a concept that will provide training courses that will help game makers reflect the diversity we see in everyday life and avoid contributing to stereotypes and biases in design. Their final works will be showcased in a character gallery, to showcase the authentic and inclusive portrayal of women and girls across the gaming world.

Alongside the campaign, Dove introduced its own Roblox game, called SuperU Story – “the world’s first video game specifically designed to equip young girls with the tools they need to combat negative self-esteem”. The free platform allows young girls to customize their own avatars with different skin tones, abilities, conditions, and body types.

USAID Highlights Pacific Expansion and Development Partnerships in Fiji

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USAID Mission Director Ryan Washburn, Deputy Mission Director Betty Chung, and UNICEF Pacific Chief of Health and Nutrition Dr. Ahmadu Yakubu observed a pediatric measles vaccination at the Nausori Health Center.

SUVA, October 12, 2022 – Following the announcement of the reestablishment of a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) regional mission for the Pacific Islands in Fiji during the United States-Pacific Summit, the Mission Director from USAID in the Philippines, Pacific Islands, and Mongolia, Ryan Washburn and Deputy Mission Director Betty Chung arrived in Suva to meet with Fijian government officials and development partners.

“As President Biden announced at the U.S.-Pacific Island Countries Summit in September, USAID is a committed partner with Pacific Island Countries,” Mission Director Washburn said. “By re-establishing a Pacific Regional Mission within the framework of the U.S. Embassy in Suva, USAID aims to strengthen the economic and social development priorities of Pacific Islanders, including in the 2050 Strategy for the blue continent of the Pacific.

During their first official trip to Fiji, Mission Director Washburn and Deputy Mission Director Chung spoke with Fiji Permanent Secretary Yogesh Karan about USAID’s expanding partnership with Fiji and the Pacific , and how USAID’s work has supported mutual development priorities.

USAID also met with representatives of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and high commissioners and advisers from Tuvalu, Nauru, and Samoa to discuss how the United States, through USAID, is supporting development goals for Pacific island countries, as outlined in the Pacific Blue Continent Strategy 2050 and USAID’s recently released Pacific Islands Strategic Framework. In addition, USAID has strengthened coordination to support the development priorities of Pacific island nations with representatives from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Korea, Japan, and the United Nations Secretariat. the Pacific Community.

Mission Director Washburn and Deputy Mission Director Chung also visited a measles and COVID vaccination clinic supported by USAID and UNICEF. To help combat COVID-19, the United States, through USAID, provided emergency medical equipment and supplies, implemented risk communication campaigns, trained health workers and supported mass vaccination campaigns. USAID also partners with UNICEF and the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services to conduct measles vaccination campaigns.

USAID leadership spoke with government officials and civil society organizations about their efforts, challenges, and opportunities to combat human trafficking. Through the Pacific Regional Initiative and Support for More Effective Counter Trafficking in Persons (Pacific RISE-CTIP) project, the United States, through a USAID partnership with the Asia Foundation, aims to strengthen the preventing, protecting and prosecuting human trafficking in Fiji, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Tonga through a multi-sectoral approach that engages government, civil society and the private sector.

This USAID leadership trip underscores the importance of Fiji as a future USAID regional mission and local partnerships to build a more prosperous and resilient society for all Pacific Islanders.

Last surviving Bali bomber’s apology dismissed by victims

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Pictures of Bay Ismoyo. Video by Agnes Anya and Bagus Saragih.

The last surviving bomber of the Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people two decades ago expressed regret over Southeast Asia’s deadliest terror attack before his 20th birthday on Wednesday, but victims dismissed his apologies.

Ali Imron has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the explosions that ripped through a nightclub and bar on the Indonesian resort island, killing 202 people including 88 Australians.

“I will regret it until I die. And I will apologize until I die,” he told AFP, without handcuffs, in front of an Indonesian flag and a photo of President Joko Widodo in front of the vast Jakarta Metro Police Headquarters.

But the victims and the Australian government have refused to accept the remorse of the remaining members of the Bali cell.

“When people are in an impasse, they say anything to get out of trouble,” said Thiolina Marpaung, a 47-year-old survivor who suffers permanent eye damage.

“He said that because he was sentenced to life.”

Imron helped organize the bombings. He built the devices, planted a bomb outside the US consulate in Bali, and trained the attackers who detonated a suicide vest and a van loaded with explosives.

The 52-year-old is the only suicide bomber in Bali still alive after the attack.

Now he languishes in a facility for drug offenders, instead of prison, after claiming repentance and aiding Indonesia’s de-radicalization efforts.

His brothers Amrozi and Mukhlas were executed by firing squad on a prison island in Central Java.

But Imron was saved from execution after showing remorse and leaking the plot to investigators.

The convicted mass murderer is now aiding the Indonesian government in a deradicalization program that experts criticize for being ineffective.

Indonesia in August approved the parole of Bali bomber Umar Patek. After his capture in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in 2011, he claims to have been rehabilitated after serving half of his 20-year sentence.

Ali Imron helped organize the attack, build devices, plant a bomb outside the US consulate in Bali and train attackers

PUTU PASTIKA

But Jakarta delayed his release after angering the Australian government.

“We have made representations to the Indonesian government regarding the release of those convicted for their role in the Bali bombings, noting the distress this would cause to victims and families,” a ministry spokesman told AFP. Australian Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Ultimately, these are matters for the Indonesian government and its domestic legal processes.”

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will attend a memorial ceremony at the Canberra consulate in Bali on Wednesday, an Australian diplomat told AFP.

Imron is hoping for a similar ruling on his sentence. He said he filed for a presidential pardon this year but received no response.

There have been no reports of Indonesian officials discussing his release.

Indonesia’s National Counterterrorism Agency, Ministry of Justice and a presidential adviser did not respond to a request for comment.

While the program’s conditions for early release are strict – participants must pledge allegiance to Indonesia and disavow their networks – the potential release of convicted mass murderers is highly controversial.

Experts criticize the leniency for militants like Imron who have aligned themselves with the now-banned Jemaah Islamiyah group, Indonesia’s thinly-knit al-Qaeda network.

“How do they think? Nobody knows. You never know if it’s sincere or not. But you have to look at the actions,” said Sana Jaffrey, director of the Institute for Political Conflict Analysis in Jakarta.

Imron said he acted on his older brother’s orders after the US invasion of Afghanistan, but now calls it a “bad act of jihad”.

He claimed to have since contributed to the de-radicalization of at least 400 jihadists. He also ran a cartoon campaign that preached tolerance to young Indonesians.

If released, he said he would “continue to walk the path of a de-radicalization campaign”.

It’s a message analysts said Imron may be promoting in hopes of securing an early release.

He was also speaking in the presence of an officer from Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism unit.

Foreign tourists visit the memorial to victims of the 2002 Bali bombings ahead of the 20th anniversary of the blasts

SONNY TUMBALAKA

“It’s part of his survival mechanism. It’s something he has to say,” said Southeast Asia terrorism expert Noor Huda Ismail.

It is difficult to say whether Imron truly de-radicalized, his word being his only evidence.

He showed little emotion as he spoke of the attack and sought to re-emphasize his work fighting extremism despite being a jailed extremist himself.

Either way, Imron wants to tell the people whose lives he impacted that his actions were wrong.

“I will always apologize to them,” he said.

But for Marpaung, only God can judge Imron.

“Please don’t reduce your sentence,” she said.

“He may say he’s repented and changed, but only God really knows the truth.”

Ministry confirms lifting of ‘stop work notice’

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Following a stop work notice issued on July 22, 2022 by the Department of Planning relating to the property at 2 Harrington Sound Road, Smiths, in the Shark Hole area, the Home Office today provided an update on the matter.

A government spokesman said: “At the end of the investigation into this project, the Department of Planning and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have worked with the claimant to repair any damage to the best extent possible. possible and put in place additional conditions for the construction site to ensure that all requirements have been met and met.

“The Home Office can confirm that both departments are satisfied that the officer has complied with the proposed terms and that the stop work notice has been lifted.

“The Ministry can inform you that the original planning approval listed 13 conditions which referred to the environmentally sensitive nature of the site. They were designed to mitigate potential negative environmental impacts during construction.

“Subsequently, the building permit issued included seven additional conditions recalling all the town planning conditions to be respected during construction.

“After consultation with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR], the stop work notice was issued because a number of conditions required their specific approval and/or presence on site. Additionally, various sections of the Conservation Management Plan and the approved Landscape Plan have not been followed. The DENR also approved the Construction Environmental Management Plan and the Excavation Management Plan, as required prior to the start of work on the site.


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North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile, says Japanese PM

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CNN

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles from the Munchon area of ​​Kangwon province toward waters off the peninsula’s east coast, the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters on Sunday. South Koreans.

The missiles were launched between 1:47 a.m. and 1:53 a.m. local time on Sunday, according to Japan’s Defense Minister Toshiro Ino.

Both missiles fell outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Ino added.

The first missile is estimated to have traveled about 350 kilometers, or 217 miles, at a peak altitude of about 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, according to Ino. The second traveled about the same distance.

Ino noted that there were no reports of damage to ships at sea, but the Ministry of Defense is still analyzing the details and investigating the type of missiles that were launched, including the possibility that it was are ballistic missiles launched by submarines.

South Korea’s military has stepped up surveillance and vigilance and maintained a full readiness posture while cooperating closely with the United States, the country’s chiefs of staff said.

Sunday marks North Korea’s 25th missile launch this year, according to CNN’s tally, which includes both ballistic and cruise missiles. The latest launch came on Thursday when North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles, the latest in a string of launches over the past two weeks.

The Japanese Coast Guard asked ships to pay attention to information and not approach any objects that have fallen overboard. It also asked ships to report any relevant information.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Saturday “strongly condemned” the launches, calling them a “serious provocation” that undermines peace and security, he said in a text sent to reporters. .

“North Korea’s repeated launching of ballistic missiles is a serious provocation that harms the peace and security of the Korean peninsula as well as the international community, and it is also a flagrant violation of the UNSC resolution “the joint chiefs said, condemning and urging the North to immediately stop such missile testing actions.

Chiefs of staff said the missiles launched early Sunday morning had a flight range of about 350 kilometers and an altitude of about 90 kilometers.

The South Korean military will continue to maintain a “firm readiness posture” while tracking and monitoring related movements in close cooperation with the United States, the joint chiefs added.

On Tuesday, North Korea fired another missile, without warning, which flew over and over Japan, causing Japan to warn its citizens to take cover.

The missile on Tuesday flew over northern Japan early in the morning and is believed to have landed in the Pacific Ocean. The last time North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan was in 2017.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said on Saturday that the latest launches “do not pose an immediate threat to US personnel or territory, or to our allies.”

“We are aware of both ballistic missile launches and are consulting closely with our allies and partners,” the command said in a statement. “The launch of the missile highlights the destabilizing impact of the DPRK’s illegal WMD and ballistic missile programs. American commitments to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remain rock solid. »

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that if North Korea continues “on this path” of provocation after its ballistic missile launch on Tuesday, “it will only increase condemnation, increase isolation and increase measures.” that are taken in response to their actions”.

The United States imposed new sanctions on Friday, following recent North Korean ballistic missile tests, the US Treasury and State Department said.

North Korea typically fires its missiles in waters off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, making Tuesday’s flight over Japan considerably more provocative.

The aggressive ramping up of weapons testing has raised alarm in the region, with the United States, South Korea and Japan responding with joint missile launches and military drills. The United States has also redeployed an aircraft carrier to waters near the peninsula, a move South Korean authorities have called “highly unusual”.

Japan issued a strong protest against North Korea through its embassy in Beijing, Ino said.

The U.S. Navy said in a statement on Saturday that its Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group conducted several days of joint exercises with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force and the South Korean Navy in waters between the two countries.

“Our commitment to regional security and the defense of our allies and partners is demonstrated by our flexibility and adaptability to move this strike group to where it is needed,” said Task Force Commander Rear Admiral Michael Donnelly. 70/Carrier Strike Group 5. .

Russian consulate in New York latest to be attacked – Kyiv Post

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Escalating vandalism and clashes with elderly protesters show no love lost between Russians and their North American host cities

Eggs. Tennis ball. Industrial quality paint guns. Inside their North American embassies and consulates, Russian diplomatic personnel are preparing for an unusually hot fall.

Last Thursday was a dark day in the history of the world. Vladimir Putin has opted to try to revive his crumbling war efforts with an Orwellian spectacle at home – signing ‘annexation’ documents on four Ukrainian territories in the biggest attempt to take over a sovereign state in Europe since World War II.

While illegal referendums at gunpoint are accepted by almost no one in the world and Ukraine continues to rout the Russian military as it crumbles from Kherson to Kharkiv, Putin has gotten a big splashing rock concert from his home Publicity stunt.

Aside from the blatant illegality and international rejection of the bogus annexation, it was also, strangely, an echo. As historian Dan Snow noted on Twitter: “Putin has annexed parts of Ukraine 84 years to the day since Britain and France agreed to Hitler’s annexation of a similar proportion of Czechoslovakia at the Munich conference. Pretty weird.”

Well, story rhymes, it’s true. But people really doesn’t like that particular tune, it seems. And they’re making it loud and clear to Russians all over the United States and Canada.

I first started writing about the red paint protests in Russian embassies in the summer, documenting the phenomena through spring and the February invasion. At that time, the epicenter seemed to be Eastern Europe, among neighboring states and Ukraine’s strongest allies. Strong actions have also taken place in Western Europe.

But seven months later, it’s the North Americans who are doing their own show.

The Canadians in Ottawa, of course, attracted international attention everywhere. They were at the heart of the most intrigue-laden international incident and diplomatic scandal – the August event at the Russian Embassy in Ottawa in which embassy staff were caught in the act of vandalizing a memorial to murdered Ukrainian children and of Z-bomb painting on city sidewalks.

The fallout from the incident has led to calls for the most serious consequences from groups like the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and other supporters. The UCC testified in Parliament about the incident, calling for the expulsion of the Russian diplomatic mission from Canada, a declaration of Russia as a terrorist state, and the suspension of Russian visas. So far nothing yet.

Such a lack of action is likely to be behind the fact that some angry Ottawa residents have taken matters into their own hands in recent weeks: from a massive warning from a man shouting “get out of Canada”, who was later arrested peacefully, at a mid-night Molotov cocktail attempt caught on surveillance video.

And while most North American art, protest or mischief has focused on the embassies in Ottawa and Washington DC, some of the consulates are now history as well.

The American and Canadian consulates saw several thousand protest the initial invasion in February, but those in Toronto and Houston have remained relatively peaceful since. This is no longer the case in Montreal or New York.

Indeed, a few weeks ago, Montreal finally recorded its own diplomatic incident, matching its federal cousins ​​in the Canadian capital.

Like Ottawa, Montreal has its fervent daily protesters at the Russian consulate, with Ukrainian flags waving, signs against war crimes and the daily playing of music and a supposedly distressing gunshot horror soundtrack.

The situation escalated a few weeks ago when 91-year-old protester Claude Fournier was assaulted by Russian consulate security, his speakers thrown to the ground. Yet since the incident, Fournier and his compatriots have made it clear that they have no intention of stopping their daily visits.

With so much going on at their Canadian counterparts, it was only a matter of time before New Yorkers also made their way into the embassy news. And they did it – the very night of Putin’s mock annexation – with a bang.

The Russian Consulate in New York is in a large Manhattan mansion on East 91st Street. The former John Henry Hammond House was built as a gift to a banker upon his marriage to a distant Vanderbilt relative in 1901. Designed in the fin-de-siècle Renaissance palazzo style, it is as charming as an Old New building York located on the uber of the city. – the chic Upper East Side.

It’s just a shame for architectural historians that the Russians bought this gem, because it will probably never be the same again.

At 1:30 a.m. on Thursday evening, just hours after Putin intervened Anschluss redux, the consulate was hit by a dramatic vandalism attack. Unlike Ottawa and embassies in other European capitals, the consulate has no fence; the facade of the building is directly at the level of the sidewalk. Surveillance video captured a hooded and masked man who managed to completely besiege the grand old mansion with an industrial-strength paint gun in just 45 seconds.

Another video on Friday saw workers trying every chemical removal method possible, but to no avail. The building remains a shocking eyesore days later, its historic facade completely obliterated by accusatory blood-red streaks high up from the floors. It is not yet known how the damage can be repaired.

Indeed, this attack on Manhattan is certainly the worst Russian embassy attack of the war in North America, visually and aesthetically speaking – perhaps even in Europe too, given the building’s provenance and its state of disaster. total.

In both cases, “the police are investigating”. Similar to the Ottawa Molotov cocktail attack several weeks ago, video shows a lone actor, but police have no suspects at this time.

And as with the escalation of the Ottawa attacks, Russian government officials in the two host countries and in Moscow are protesting that their embassies and consulates in North America are not adequately protected in hostile terrain. They announced that they had asked for more police protection and had not received it. The Canadian envoy to Moscow was called and reprimanded in September. Americans might be expected to receive similar treatment in the coming days – even as most Americans were deported in April and their embassy in Moscow now operates only on an emergency basis.

Such conflicts disappeared months ago in some European countries – those that simply expelled Russian missions to their own cities in the spring. It now remains to be seen which Russian embassies in North America will get first: the increased police protection they demand, or the message that it’s time to pack it up. Time will tell us.

The Department of Consumer Affairs will refer pending cases to Lok Adalat, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

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Representative image (iStock).

The Department of Consumer Affairs announced on Thursday that it will refer pending consumer cases to the National Lok Adalat, which is due to be held on November 12, for disposal by settlement. In an official statement, the ministry said the National Lok Adalat will be held on November 12, 2022 across the country to settle outstanding cases through settlement. A lot of consumer cases should be settled.

“Preparatory work for this exercise has already been initiated and all Consumer Commissions have been instructed to identify cases that have a settlement element and prepare a list of pending cases that can be referred to Lok Adalat,” says the communicated.

Regular monitoring of the establishment of the list is carried out by the consumer service.

To have maximum reach and benefit consumers, the department reaches out to consumers, businesses and organizations via SMS and emails.

It has phone numbers and emails of 3 lakh parties whose cases are pending before the commissions. The ministry has organized a videoconference with the consumer commissions, which has more than 200 ongoing cases.

A separate link is created and disseminated among all stakeholders where one can enter their pending case number and the commission where the case is pending and easily refer the case to Lok Adalat. The link will be distributed by e-mail and SMS.

“Through data analysis, a sectoral breakdown of the wait was identified, such as banking with a total of 71,379 open cases, insurance with 168,827, e-commerce with 1,247, electricity with 33,919. , railroads with 2316, etc., and efforts are underway towards prioritizing the resolution of these consumer cases,” he said.

The Department continuously monitors the settlement of cases in consumer commissions and is working with the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to refer inclusion of pending consumer cases to be settled through the next National Lok Adalat.

Communication in this regard has already been made to NALSA, he said.

There are approximately 6,07,996 pending consumer cases in the country. At the NCDRC, there are approximately 22,250 case numbers on hold.

Uttar Pradesh has 28,318 pending cases, Maharashtra 18,093, Delhi 15,450 cases, Madhya Pradesh 10,319 and Karnataka 9,615 pending cases.

“ONDC is a government startup. We are currently in the process of validating certain processes and technologies. Another 20 applications will arrive this week,” the additional secretary of the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade told reporters. (DPIIT) Anil Agarwal. here.

The stock market rings the financial literacy bell – The Royal Gazette

Updated: October 07, 2022 04:37

Ringers: left to right, Noah Fields, Investor Relations, Butterfield; Cheryl S. Watts, Chief Compliance Officer, LOM Financial; Ailish Byrne, Chief Compliance Officer, BSX; Stephen Davidson, President, BPHL; Navi Dhesi, CEO, BAS Group of Companies; and Jonathan Howes, CEO, BPHL (Photograph provided)

The Bermuda Stock Exchange is launching a new initiative to increase investor resilience and encourage sustainable finance with listed companies and trading members.

The announcement came as the BSX joined issuers at the 2022 Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy ceremony at Exchange House, the exchange’s new headquarters on Pitts Bay Road.

The Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy initiative supports the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ Global Investor Week, which runs October 3-9.

The global campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of investor education and protection.

The key messages of this year’s campaign revolve around two themes: investor resilience and sustainable finance.

Greg Wojciechowski, CEO of the exchange, said: “BSX is delighted to once again participate in the IOSCO WIW with our goal this year to improve interaction and communication between listed issuers, trading members, shareholders and the Stock Exchange.

“Environmental, social and governance policies are important factors that increase shareholder value and as part of our efforts to promote financial sustainability, we are working with our members and listed companies to promote greater use of electronic communications with shareholders.”

Thomas P. Gallagher, Chairman of BSX and Chairman and CEO of MIAX, said, “ESG initiatives are a critical area of ​​focus for the global financial community, and we are delighted to support the IOSCO 2022 WIW campaign to help promote investor education around the world.”

“One of MIAX’s key ESG pillars is to promote greater financial literacy, and we strongly believe that investing in our local communities to provide responsible business education and resources will help investors plan for their future financial well-being. .”

The exchange encourages investors to ensure that their contact details are up to date on the shareholder records of the companies for which they hold shares and to check with their broker and/or investment adviser to ensure that they are receiving timely information for investors.

BSX wants shareholders to “go green” and support corporate and exchange efforts to promote sustainable finance in Bermuda by opting into electronic distribution of investor communications and materials to reduce the impact on the environment as well as costs.

It is also adopting more environmentally friendly practices with its listed issuers, sponsors and trading members in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint by accepting electronic copies of listing materials and annual reports for filing and dissemination.

Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

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Ukrainian soldiers stand at the entrance to the village of Hrekivka in the Luhansk region. (Obtained by CNN)

Serhiy Hayday, head of the military administration of the Luhansk region, confirmed that Ukrainian troops have returned to the eastern region of Luhansk and “will continue to advance in this direction”.

CNN reported on Wednesday that Ukrainian units entered the village of Hrekivka in Lugansk.

“I saw soldiers already posted a photo of them standing on the background of the ‘Hrekivka’ sign, so it’s no longer a secret – it’s already released. And we continue to move in this direction”, Hayday said on Telegram.

Hayday said he expected tough battles to come as Ukrainian forces pushed into Luhansk, now absorbed by Russia after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree declaring the region’s annexation.

“After freeing Lyman [in Donetsk at the end of last month], as expected, the main battles take place in the direction of the Kreminna. The occupants draw their main strengths there. This is where the beginning of the deoccupation of Luhansk Oblast is located,” Hayday said.

“The liberation of the Lugansk region will be more difficult than that of the Kharkiv region. All those Russian servicemen who fled from the Kharkiv region and Lyman ran in our direction, so the occupation forces increased in number,” he added.

“There will be no element of surprise, as in the operation in the Kharkiv region. Now they have had time to prepare, to build fortifications, to entrench themselves deeper, to bring equipment, reserves. However, I believe in the armed forces of Ukraine and I think that the forces of the L/DPR [Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics] won’t be able to hold out the defense for long,” he continued.

Learn more about the Ukrainian counter-offensive: Between April and June, the Ukrainian army was gradually driven out of the parts of the Luhansk region that it held. Several towns and villages in the region were largely destroyed during weeks of fierce fighting.

Analysts expect Russian forces and their allies to seek to defend new lines running north from Kreminna to Svatove.

In a mural outside the Iranian consulate in Italy, Marge Simpson cuts her hair

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Women in Iran cut their hair, to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, 22 after she was assaulted by the country’s vice squad for not wearing her hijab properly. Today, a mural of famous cartoon character Marge Simpson cutting her hair appeared in Milan, Italy, expressing solidarity with Iranian women, SBS News reported.

The mural shows Marge holding scissors in her left hand and her signature blue hair cut in her right hand. In the mural painted by Italian artist AleXsandro Palombo, Marge is frowning. According to SBS, Palombo made the artwork in front of the Iranian consulate in Milan to “celebrate the courage” of women against the government.

Palombo was quoted as saying by Metro UK, “The anti-regime mural in Tehran depicts Marge Simpson cutting off her iconic hairstyle to celebrate the courage of Iranian women and pay tribute to Mahsa Amini who was beaten to death by the morality police for not having correctly worn the hijab which lets out a lock of hair.

Notably, The Simpsons toys have been banned in Iran since 2012 to curb the promotion of Western culture to children, according to the SBS report.

Palombo told Metro UK: “If Marge Simpson is banned from entering Iran, there is nothing stopping her from expressing her dissent against the regime in front of the Iranian consulate, here we live in a democracy, this universal value of the right to freedom for which the brave Iranian people are fighting at the cost of their lives.

Since Amini’s death on September 16, Iran has seen numerous protests, with women cutting their hair, burning state-mandated headscarves, suing school officials, and more. Additionally, the recent disappearance and death of a 17-year-old girl, Nika Shahkarami, in Tehran has also caused an uproar on Iranian social media. During the protests, Shahkarami disappeared one night last month and after being missing for a week, her body was found on a street in Tehran. Although her relatives have not received official word regarding her death, several activists claim she died in police custody, according to a report by The Associated Press.

‘Let’s vote’ – Zimbabweans outside the country demand…

The Diaspora Vote Initiative is a non-partisan group of Zimbabweans living in the diaspora who wish to vote in elections in Zimbabwe. Nationals of other SADC countries such as Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa allow their citizens living abroad to vote in national elections, and to Other countries are trying to put in place mechanisms to allow their citizens living in the diaspora to vote. .

Section 1(2) of the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states: “Elections law may prescribe additional residency requirements to ensure voters are placed on the most appropriate voters list, but such requirements must be consistent with this Constitution, in particular section 67.”

Aware that the Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, had announced his commitment to work towards implementing Diaspora voting by 2023, we wrote to the President on April 15, 2022 reminding him of his 2018 commitment, asking what progress had been made to implement the diaspora vote, asking to know the challenges, if any, facing the fulfillment of the pledge, and offering to help if we could.

There was no response.

Contradictions

After our letter, there were media reports contradicting President Mnangagwa’s commitment to implementing the Diaspora vote. Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told parliament that there would be no diaspora vote. According to him, the constitution must be amended to allow the vote of the diaspora.

In our view, there is no need to amend the constitution to allow for the Diaspora vote, as Article 1(2) of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of Zimbabwe specifically states that “the election law may prescribe additional residency requirements to ensure voters are placed on the most appropriate voters list, but such requirements shall be consistent with this Constitution, in particular section 67.”

The electoral law can be amended to allow the creation of polling stations in the country of residence of voters from the diaspora.

In any case, if a constitutional amendment was necessary, Parliament should have proposed the amendment. But even if the minister’s interpretation of the constitution is correct, the constitution is not set in stone and can be amended. It has already been amended by parliament to remove the running mate clause and include proportional representation youth parliamentary seats.

Patrick Chinamasa. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Aaron Ufumeli)

Zanu-PF political commissar Patrick Chinamasa said the Diaspora vote would only take place after the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. It should be noted that it was not Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora who had sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, so sanctions should not be used as an excuse to deprive us of our right to vote.

Deliberate attempt to violate the right to vote

The contradictions that have come from ruling party officials indicate a deliberate attempt to violate our right to vote as enshrined in the constitution. We believe that if there was the will to grant the vote to the diaspora, as the president led the world to believe, the process of amending the electoral law or the constitution would have started immediately after the announcement .

After receiving no response to our letter to the President, we petitioned the parliament of Zimbabwe on September 8, 2022, praying that parliament would make legislative and/or constitutional amendments to enable us to vote.

Again, there was no response.

After submitting our petition to parliament, we met members of another group of Zimbabweans who had, in May 2021, submitted a similar petition to parliament. More than a year later, the parliament has failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that the diaspora vote will be possible in 2023, in line with the commitment expressed by President Mnangagwa.

So it seems that some elements of parliament are determined to take away our right to vote, and we need to fight hard and expose this corruption in parliament, to make sure our vote is granted.

Petition to the President

On September 26, 2022, we petitioned President Mnangagwa in accordance with Article 59 of the constitution of Zimbabwe, which grants citizens of Zimbabwe the freedom to protest and petition the authorities peacefully.

There was no acknowledgment of receipt of the petition.

Snubbed by parliament and the president, we approached the Southern African Development Community (SADC), through the chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Affairs, for intervention. We wrote to the current President, His Excellency Dr. Hage Geingob, on September 30, 2022, inviting him to intervene.

We view the failure to at least acknowledge our correspondence with the president and our petitions to parliament and the president as deliberate efforts to deny us the diaspora vote. The President should have used his executive power to get the Minister of Justice to consider the necessary amendments.

While the president and parliament have snubbed us, the president and many government officials recognize the crucial role the diaspora can play in national development.

The president wrote an article titled “No one but ourselves”, published in the Sunday Mail from March 20, 2022in which he recognizes the “repertoire of best skills and competencies” of Zimbabweans in the diaspora, and how these Zimbabweans “stay connected and engaged with their homeland”.

President Mnangagwa rightly pointed out that remittances from the diaspora have surpassed the billion dollar mark, making the Zimbabwean diaspora community “a real factor in national development – indeed, a force for the greater good”.

In the Sunday Mail article, President Mnangagwa described the diaspora as “equal, and equally important and deserving” as Zimbabwean citizens based in Zimbabwe.

Disconcerting

If the diaspora is “equal, and equally important and deserving” as the president described it, it is disconcerting that our representations to his office and to parliament have been ignored.

We count on the support of the diaspora during critical periods. A article by Farai Marapira published on the Zanu-PF website quotes President Mnangagwa as saying:

“Given the ongoing national lockdown related to Covid-19 and following concerns from users of money transfer services, I have now directed the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to immediately address the constraints surrounding this financial service. essential…

“The new environment resulting from the national lockdown has increased our people’s reliance on remittances which also have the added benefit of directly reaching the most marginalized numbers in our nation.

“Due to the necessary national lockdown, livelihoods in the informal sector have been disrupted, forcing many households to depend on support from relatives abroad. It is therefore essential that our financial services institutions adapt their operations to the new emergency situation.

The government has announced that it is finalizing the modalities for establishing a Diaspora Bond for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to contribute to national development. Ironically, government institutions are not moving quickly to put in place the modalities for the diaspora vote.

Zimbabwean election authorities must act urgently to ensure Zimbabweans living in the diaspora get their right to vote – 2023 is possible. SM/MC

Padmore Kufa writes in his capacity as spokesperson for the Zimbabwe DiasporaVote Initiative. He can be reached at +61 414 477 659 or by email at [email protected]

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The Solomon Islands signed the United States-Pacific pact after the removal of indirect references to China – BenarNews

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The Solomon Islands only agreed to sign an agreement between the United States and more than a dozen Pacific nations after indirect references to China were removed, Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele said on Tuesday.

The pact between Washington and 14 Pacific island nations was one of the main outcomes of the US-Pacific summit last week aimed at countering China’s influence in the region.

The Solomon Islands signed a security pact with Beijing earlier this year, which worries Washington and its allies.

“In the initial draft there were some references that we weren’t comfortable with,” said Manele, who is on an official visit to New Zealand.

“The [were] a few references that put us in a position where we have to choose sides. And we don’t want to be put in a position where we have to choose sides.

The Solomon Islands government has leaned towards China under Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. The Solomon Islands transferred diplomatic recognition to China from Taiwan in 2019 and will host the Pacific Games next year with financial assistance from China.

Another Pacific nation, Kiribati, also recognized China in 2019, leaving Taiwan with just four regional allies.

The United States has not had an embassy in the Solomon Islands since the early 1990s, but has promised to reopen it as part of efforts to show greater commitment to the Pacific.

Manele said his government’s initial reservations about the U.S.-Pacific pact reflected its views on foreign policy in the region.

The Pacific, he said, “should be a region of peace, cooperation and collaboration.”

During the negotiations, “we were able to find common ground which got us on board, so we signed”, he added.

President Joe Biden’s summit with Pacific leaders last week was meant to show deeper American commitment to a region that has looked to China for its development needs.

In two decades, China has become an important source of infrastructure, loans and aid for Pacific island nations as it seeks to diplomatically isolate Taiwan and win regional allies in international organizations such as the United Nations. United.

The US-Pacific 11-point statement condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He said the signatory nations are committed to maintaining peace and security in the Pacific and recognize the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight under international law.

Joint statement on nature-related crime

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SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
SEPTEMBER 22, 2022
NOTE TO MEDIA


Yesterday in New York, Norwegian Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide and US Under Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina co-hosted the roundtable on wildlife crime with ministers and senior officials from 11 countries, who have come together to address the challenges that wildlife crime – criminal forms of logging, mining, cash trading wildlife, land conversion and associated criminal activities, as well as crimes associated with fishing – pose for sustainable development, and how to address this challenge.

Following the roundtable, Minister Eide and Deputy Secretary Medina, on behalf of the governments of Norway and the United States, issued the following statement:

start text

We welcome the active participation today of our colleagues in the Roundtable on Wildlife Crime: Raising Ambition to Combat Wildlife Crime and thank all participants for their important contributions and insights. . As we have heard today, nature-related crime – criminal forms of logging, mining, wildlife trade, land conversion and related criminal activities, as well as crimes associated with fishing – gives rise to one of the largest illicit economies in the world, valued at hundreds of billions of dollars annually. These crimes harm ecosystems and local communities, impede development and have significant long-term consequences for future generations.

The United States and Norway are close partners in addressing these direct threats to nature and people. Nature is only the first victim of this chain of organized and international criminal exploitation. Syndicates that commit these crimes fuel corruption, financial crimes, including tax evasion and money laundering, and wreak havoc wherever they operate. No country, no land, no water, no people is safe from their illegal, often brutal activities. We look forward to working with those who joined us today as we develop a new collaborative initiative – the Nature Crime Alliance.

end text

Roundtable participants noted a variety of effective interventions and investments to combat nature-related crime, but agreed that these efforts fall far short of what is needed to end these illegal activities. . To reverse the trend, political commitment to combat nature-related crime must increase by an order of magnitude.

The Nature Crime Alliance would serve as an international multi-stakeholder initiative to:

    • Catalyze the political will to aggressively pursue powerful criminal networks and actors who commit crimes against nature, working to strengthen legal frameworks and enforcement tools to this end;
    • Engage civil society, technical experts, and law enforcement agencies to build operational capacity and cooperation to better identify, disrupt, and prosecute individuals and syndicates controlling nature-related crime and others illicit activities that it allows;
    • Mobilize donors, philanthropic organizations and multilateral organizations to fund and propel this fight to the next level, mobilizing resources where these crimes converge;
    • Support the rights of indigenous peoples and the safety of indigenous peoples and local communities, including women, in their efforts to combat nature-related crime and build their capacities to sustainably conserve, manage and defend the nature, of which we we all depend.

For more information see https://naturecrimealliance.org/

Indian MoS V Muraleedharan begins 2-day visit to Oman

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Muscat: India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, will pay a two-day visit to the Sultanate of Oman from October 3-4.

India’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that this was the Indian Minister’s second visit to the Sultanate of Oman and was part of the periodic exchange of high-level visits aimed at enhancing the joint commitment to the growing relationship between the Sultanate of Oman and India.

During the visit, the Indian Foreign Minister will meet Omani Foreign Minister Badr Al-Busaidi and a number of dignitaries, and engage in discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest.

The Sultanate of Oman and India enjoy friendly relations supported by historical and cultural ties and strong ties between the two peoples, and the visit will provide an opportunity for a comprehensive review of the state of bilateral relations and to trace paths to deepen them further.

Oman-India relations span decades, due to the geography between the two countries and their presence on the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea, in addition to the desire of the leaders of the two countries to constantly strengthen Cooperation.

The Indian consulate opened in Muscat in February 1955, and it was upgraded to a consulate general in 1960, then a full embassy in 1971, and the first Indian ambassador to Muscat arrived in 1973.

Indo-Omani cooperation includes broad sectors of trade, investment and energy-related activities, as well as cooperation in the military field, particularly the maritime sector in the Indian Ocean.

As part of strengthening relations and transferring them to more solid levels, the current Omani Foreign Minister visited India on March 24, 2022, and then discussed with his Indian counterpart Jaishankar the strengthening of cooperation. joint effort in many fields, particularly those related to renewable energies. energy and protection of navigation in the Arabian Sea.

The two sides agreed to expedite the conclusion of negotiations on the bilateral investment protocol, avoidance of double taxation and prevention of financial evasion on income taxes.

The Non-Aligned Movement should support the liberation war in Ukraine

Ukraine, like all states, desires sovereignty within its internationally agreed borders. Some states, however, are tempted to invade other states and assume their governmental functions because they want to change the quality of government, assign governmental power to their own diaspora, or expand their empire.

Political scientist Adom Getachew tells us that several African nations that broke free from colonial rule in the 1950s and 1960s realized that freedom depended on both political mobilization and economic development. Many leaders, including Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, understood that they could not go it alone and saw the need for an autonomous international organization.

The Pan-African Movement was formed to keep invading superpowers at bay and support the development of its member states. The Non-Aligned Movement (MNA) had the same ambition.

Getachew describes how the developed Western world did not like the idea of ​​a separate international organization for newly liberated states. Both the League of Nations and the United Nations have expressed support for state self-determination, but both have kept open the possibility, indeed the necessity, of outside intervention in “failed” states.

The Charter of the United Nations granted veto power to “super states” – the victors of World War II – in the Security Council. The veto ensured that these states could intervene where they deemed it necessary.

Many states, both within and beyond the Pan-African Movement, saw in the early post-war years how superpowers vied for international dominance and control. At the Bandung Conference of 1955, which took place in Indonesia, the idea of ​​a non-aligned movement among the liberated states took shape.

In 1979, in Havana, Cuba, the objective of the NAM was defined: “to ensure the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries”. Currently, NAM has 120 members worldwide, but significantly only two are European.

It is fair to say that superpower interventions have dismantled any attempt to create a unified NAM, focused on its true purpose. As historian Lorenz Luthi says, “NAM tried to transcend the Cold War, but NAM ended up being one of the main casualties of the Cold War.”

The question here is: where does the NAM stand in Ukraine’s struggle for territorial integrity and self-determination? Can the NAM be refocused on its original and primary task of supporting defensive struggles in non-aligned, non-nuclear states against invaders? Here is a reflection on this possibility.

Hypothesis 1: Ukrainians are waging a responsible, legal and fair war of liberation in their multicultural country. A “war of liberation” occurs when the legitimate government of a country fights against invading soldiers to expel them from its territory.

Hypothesis 2: In the war in Ukraine, Russia is not the enemy. The enemy is Russian President Vladimir Putin, his generals and his soldiers inside Ukraine. The Russian people inside and outside Russia – even those who support Putin – are, in military terms, innocent.

Hypothesis 3: Even with a raging war, it is essential to respect Russia’s independence, autonomy and self-determination – a respect consistent with the Charter of the United Nations should accrue to all sovereign states, large or small.

With these assumptions, I suggest that the sanctions against Russia are wrong and dangerous. They are wrong because they are primarily directed against the Russian population, and they are dangerous because Putin rightly considers them to be directed against that population. Right now, the sanctions are affecting the whole world negatively, and they will only have an indirect and long-term effect on Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

The US and European states are driving these sanctions, which escalate the NATO-Putin conflict, which could end in a nuclear world war as an extreme consequence. Sending arms to Ukraine makes the Ukrainian army more efficient, but as Norwegian Major General Robert Mood pointed out, the main limitation of the Ukrainian Liberation War is the number of soldiers that the Ukraine can muster for the fight. Putin has more soldiers than Ukraine, although mobilizing them is more difficult than it is for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to mobilize his Ukrainian soldiers.

For these reasons, the task of international support for Ukraine should be to provide Ukraine with many well-armed soldiers. They must not come from States attached and subordinated to the nuclear superpowers. The UN considers defensive struggles within a state against invaders to be legal. The UN supports, as far as I know, states that provide troops for such a struggle, if they are under official government control and fight only on the territory of the invaded state.

To think a little further. A condition for such NAM support for Ukraine is that NATO, the US and other nuclear superpowers be strictly passive, avoiding conflict with Putin. A massive number of troops in Ukraine is an alternative to sanctions.

Weapons and a massive force of soldiers added to the Ukrainian forces could – probably – push the Russian soldiers out of Ukraine. NATO, the United States and all states in the world should emphasize their respect for Russia’s autonomy and self-determination while condemning this war of aggression and all wars of aggression.

NATO and the nuclear superpowers should also engage Putin on the issue of nuclear weapons. They should threaten Putin with an all-out traditional land, air and sea war against all military installations in Russia if Putin uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine or elsewhere, but they must guarantee that under no circumstances will they use nuclear weapons in the present conflict themselves.

In conclusion, the keystone of this strategy is for Ukraine to win its defensive war against the Russian invasion, and non-aligned states around the world should play a central role in this strategy. Ukraine, with the military support of the NAM, could succeed in quickly returning the world to pre-war normality. The NAM could limit itself to supporting future liberation struggles in the states that have been invaded and could organize a large permanent military contingent for this purpose.

Thorvald Gran is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Bergen and Visiting Scholar at the University of Southeast Norway.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Mail & Guardian.

A new memorial plaque unveiled at a former Scots-Czechoslovak house in Edinburgh

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A blue plaque was unveiled in the former Scottish-Czechoslovakian House by Honorary Consul Veronika Macleod and Mrs. Alenka Soukup, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Soukup, who founded the house in 1940, which was officially opened by President Beneš in 1941.

This plaque was unveiled as a reminder of the good relations between Scotland and the Czech Republic and as a memorial to the Czechoslovak soldiers who fought for our freedom in WW2 and this house was their home away from home and the Scotland was their second home.

Also in attendance were the Dodds, the current owners of the home at 34 Lauder Road. Fiona and John Dodds, had suggested that a blue plaque would commemorate the good relations between our countries and our common history. They have visited the Czech Republic many times without knowing about these relations. The Scottish-Czechoslovak House Blue Plaque was sponsored by Mr. Denham Mather.

Among the guests present were also the historian Eduard Stehlík and Ms Olga Franks who represented the former Scottish and Czechoslovak Fund, which has made support efforts for our communities for twenty years, while raising funds for students come to study the summer courses of the University. It’s amazing that sixty years after the opening of the Scottish-Czechoslovakian house, they held their annual garden parties just a few blocks away. Another guest, the second headmistress of the Czech CIC school in Scotland Mrs. Radka Petersen, received, together with Veronika Macleod, a bust of the first Czechoslovak president. To thank Mrs. Macleod for her efforts and her research on the history of relations between Scotland and Czechoslovakia, Mrs. Alenka Soukup presented the Czech school with a bust of TG Masaryk. The bust originally belonged to Jan Masaryk and has now returned to Scotland after many decades and will remain the property of the school. Ms Macleod spoke to guests about TGM and her family’s relationship with Scotland.

Dr. Stehlík, author of the exhibition “Czech Footprints in Scotland”, presented it to the public at the Honorary Consulate. He spoke about the events around the Second World War and the links between then Czechoslovakia and Scotland. The best-known success of this era was Operation Anthropoid, and Privates Kubiš and Gabčík also visited the Scottish-Czechoslovakian home in Edinburgh before undertaking their SOE training at Arisaig.

These events in Edinburgh supported fundraising for a recent renovation project at the Arisaig Czechoslovak Parachute Memorial, organized by E. Stehlík, M. Matějíček with support from P. Millar, V. Macleod and others. You can learn more about fundraising here.

A third event in cooperation with Czech School Scotland and the Consulate introduced the Czech Footprints in Scotland exhibition to the wider community. The school has managed to carry on the legacy of its predecessors since 2018.

Ministry Holds Stakeholder Seminar on Thailand-EU Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (TH-EU PCA)

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During the plenary session, Ms. Chulamanee Chartsuwan, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Chief Negotiator of the Thai PCA, presented an overview of the PCA negotiation process and the contents of the draft TH-EU PCA, which covers broad areas of cooperation, including political, security, economic, social and environmental. The PCA will provide clear direction and set cooperation priorities for both parties. Thailand’s commitment to defending the same values ​​important to the EU can also be seen as a favorable condition for the resumption of FTA negotiations with the EU.

During the three thematic discussion sessions on (1) trade and standards, (2) political and security issues and (3) other areas of cooperation, participants were able to familiarize themselves with the project in more detail. of APC TH-EU, exchange views on the areas of cooperation and how to implement and advance this cooperation. They also identified challenges and opportunities for cooperation with the EU.

The seminar, organized for the first time in this new phase of the PCA negotiations, served to flesh out the text of the PCA for the new era of Thailand-EU relations. The ministry plans to hold the continuation of APC stakeholder seminars in 2023.

Malaysia has played an important role in calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has actively participated in international efforts calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons by participating in the three major international conferences on the issue since 2013.

The country’s unwavering commitment to nuclear disarmament was reflected in its participation in the first-ever Intergovernmental Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons hosted by Norway in Oslo in 2013, followed by similar second and third conferences held respectively in Nayarit, Mexico, and Vienna, Austria. one year later.

Hakim Hamzah, Secretary General of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRC), recalled that at the conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons held in Vienna in December 2014, there were representatives from three different political parties. from Malaysia.

This clearly showed that the various political parties representing the views of Malaysians were aware of the importance of knowing the serious implications of the use of nuclear weapons.

“It is also hoped that regardless of which political parties in Malaysia represent the incumbent government, Malaysian citizens can rest assured that Malaysia’s policy on nuclear weapons issues remains the same,” he said. he recently told Bernama in an exclusive interview. on the second anniversary of Malaysia’s ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on September 30, 2020.

Malaysia was the 46th state to ratify the treaty and that in itself is Malaysia’s very great contribution to the international community in eliminating nuclear weapons, he said, adding that as a Malaysian , he is very proud of the country’s firm stance on nuclear weapons issues.

Under the TPNW, nations are prohibited from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. They are also prohibited from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing or storing them.

Likewise, States Parties to the TPNW must cooperate to ensure the successful implementation of the Treaty, which includes the obligation to provide technical, material and financial assistance to States affected by nuclear weapons.

Hakim said that the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons since September 1945, the day after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in Japan, adding that the international organization has regularly called for ” absolute ban”. nuclear weapons ever since.

Hakim said the risk of nuclear conflict or accident is higher today than it has been for decades, as some states still believe that nuclear weapons are tools to ensure security national and regional and that they are necessary to maintain the geostrategic balance.

“This despite evidence that the risk of using nuclear weapons, whether intentionally, by miscalculation or by accident, has increased in recent years to the highest level since the Cold War,” he said. he declared.

Regarding the MRC’s efforts to promote the TPNW, he said that the MRC-ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) Facebook conference on nuclear abolition held recently showed that young people, including school students secondary schools, also wanted to learn more about the TPNW and nuclear abolition.

Over 500 young people attended the online conference and had an interactive session with speakers from CRM and ICRC. – Bernama

Kazakh artist promotes Kazakhstan’s anti-nuclear efforts in Strasbourg

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ASTANA — Kazakh artist and anti-nuclear movement activist Karipbek Kuyukov presented an exhibition titled Vaincre at the Council of Europe headquarters in France on September 26, the Kazakh Consulate General in Strasbourg reported.

From left to right: Junior Eurovision 2021 participant Beknur Zhanibekuly, artist Karipbek Kuyukov, Consul General of Kazakhstan in Strasbourg Anuarbek Akhmetov. Photo credit: Consulate of Kazakhstan in Strasbourg.

The exhibition, which aims to counter the escalating conflict between the world’s nuclear powers, also draws attention to ensuring the human right to a healthy environment and promoting the rights of people with disabilities.

Kuyukov and Consul General Anuarbek Akhmetov spoke about the anti-nuclear vector of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, its efforts in nuclear disarmament and the prevention of a growing confrontation between the states with atomic weapons.

“It is a huge honor for me to represent the people of Kazakhstan in the Council of Europe. Because I was born near a nuclear test site, I need to demonstrate the dangers of radiation exposure to the rest of the world. As a disabled person, I implore you, healthy and non-disabled people, to avoid a nuclear disaster by doing everything in your power,” Kuyukov said.

Part of the “Overcome” exhibition. Photo credit: Consulate of Kazakhstan in Strasbourg.

Mexican Ambassador Jose Alfonso Suarez noted that his country sees Kazakhstan, Austria and Norway as key allies in the international movement against the nuclear threat.

“Mexico will always be an ally of Kazakhstan, and culture is an important way to achieve harmony and peace on the planet,” Suarez said.

Visit of Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son to Germany | Policy

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Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (L) and his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock. (Photo: VNA)

Berlin (VNA) – Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son paid an official visit to Germany on September 26-27 at the invitation of his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

During the visit, Son held talks with Baerbock, paid courtesy visits to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Council President Bodo Ramelow, Minister-President of the State of Hesse Boris Rhein, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Michel Kelner.

Visit of Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son to Germany hinh anh 2Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. (Photo: VNA)

During the meetings, Son said Vietnam always cherishes the strategic partnership with Germany. He suggested the two sides expand cooperation to further deepen the content of the bilateral strategic partnership.

The minister thanked the German government and people for providing Vietnam with the COVID-19 vaccine and medical supplies, helping Vietnam quickly contain the pandemic and resume socio-economic activities.

German leaders have described Vietnam as an important partner for Germany in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific. They once again thanked the Vietnamese government and people for offering masks to Germany when COVID-19 broke out in 2020.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier conveyed his greetings to President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Vietnamese leaders and expressed the wish to visit Vietnam soon.

Visit of Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son to Germany hinh anh 3Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son holds talks with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock. (Photo: VNA)

On economic and trade relations, the Vietnamese minister proposed that the two sides continue to effectively implement the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). He hopes that the German parliament will soon complete the ratification of the EU-Vietnam investment protection agreement and that the German government will support the early removal of the European Commission’s yellow card warning on Vietnamese aquatic products for export, thus facilitating bilateral trade and investment activities.

The two parties agreed to intensify coordination in new areas such as the response to climate change and renewable energy, seriously and fully contributing to fulfilling the commitments made at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). ) as well as dealing with global issues.

President Steinmeier and Federal Council President Ramelow said the two sides still hold potential for cooperation in Germany’s strong areas such as science-technology, environmental protection, response to climate change, vocational training, work and cooperation between localities. They also pledged to address bilateral trade challenges.

Visit of Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son to Germany hinh anh 4Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son meeting with representatives of the Vietnamese community. (Photo: VNA)

On regional and global issues of common concern, the hosts and guests agreed that the two countries would continue to work together effectively and offer mutual support in multilateral organizations and forums, including cultivating ASEAN-EU ties.

Regarding the East Sea issue, they shared a position on ensuring peace, stability, security, cooperation and development in the region, settling disputes through peaceful means in accordance international law and the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Son wanted Germany to create more conditions for the Vietnamese community to integrate into the host country, thereby contributing to German socio-economic development and Vietnam-Germany relations.

During the visit, the FM had a working session with the Vietnamese Embassy and met with representatives of the Vietnamese community in the European country./.

French Community of Belgium wishes to join forces with Vietnam for the teaching of French to tourist guides | Company

Prime Minister of the community Pierre-Yves Jeholet (Photo: VNA)

Brussels (VNA) – The French Community of Belgium (Federation Wallonia-Brussels), with its expertise and experience in education and training, wishes to favor collaboration with Vietnamese partners and universities in the teaching of the French language in the service tourist activities – a promising area of ​​cooperation, said the Prime Minister of the community Pierre-Yves Jeholet.

Jeholet noted that, as Vietnam put it COVID-19[feminine] well controlled, the country has welcomed a large number of tourists, 40% of whom speak French.

He said the community’s partnership with Vietnam has grown despite the impacts of COVID-19, with the community just marking 25 years in Hanoi.

Over the past 25 years, the ties have flourished in all aspects, he said, pointing out that today, more than ever, for the French Community of Belgium, Vietnam has always been a priority partner in all areas ranging from health, culture, society, to academic and economic cooperation as well as the promotion of the French language because Vietnam is a member of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).

He said that in the middle of next month he will be going to Vietnam further strengthen bilateral cooperation in many fields, especially education and scientific research, and discuss the results of bilateral cooperation over the past 25 years.

Vietnam and the French Community of Belgium established their relations in 1993. In 1996, the office of the Wallonia-Brussels delegation was established in Hanoi.

The 783 joint projects between the two sides have produced fruitful results, he said, adding that 805 Vietnamese students have received scholarships and 2,000 experts have been exchanged.


The bilateral partnership focused on areas such as health care, the environment, new technologies, tertiary education, scientific research, culture and the promotion of the French language. Wallonia-Brussels has largely contributed to the development of the network of family doctors in most Vietnamese localities./.

The Complete Guide to Womack Army Medical Center

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The Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC as the locals like to call it) is a military hospital located in Ft. Bragg. That’s not super surprising, since Ft. Bragg is such a big base. It is also very convenient for soldiers and their family members who live near the facility to seek treatment. If you’re PCSing to work at WAMC, you probably have a lot of questions. This guide will help you start your moving process.

Insight

The facility is named after Medal of Honor recipient Bryant H. Womack. WAMC has 138 beds. Over 66,000 patients visit the hospital each year and over 11,000 are admitted. Doctors perform more than 2,700 inpatient and 7,400 outpatient surgeries per year. Additionally, Womack Army Medical Center serves more than 160,000 eligible beneficiaries in the area. This is the largest beneficiary population of the army.

Before BRAC changed so much, many DoD facilities had full medical centers built into the footprint. This made it easier for service members to seek care. Here are some lesser known facts about medical centers.

Understanding how to navigate healthcare in the military can be confusing. Here’s an overview of Tricare plans to help you know what to choose.

Location of Womack Army Medical Center

WAMC is stationed at Fort Bragg. ft. Bragg is located near Fayetteville, North Carolina.

If coming from the South, take I-95 South to Exit 56 toward Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope AFB, US 301 South. Then turn right at the first light onto Grove Street. Then turn right on Bragg Blvd. Continue to Santa Fe Drive. Join the All American Freeway and it will take you to Ft. Bragg.

Coming from the North you will want to use I-15 N. Then merge onto 1-95 Business Route North toward Fayetteville/ Fort Bragg/ Pope AAF. Continue on US-301 for approximately seven miles. Then turn left on Owen Drive. This becomes the All American Freeway, which takes you to Fort Bragg.

NMCCL management and staff met with Womack Army Medical Center leadership during their visit to MCB Camp Lejeune on August 12, 2021.

Transportation

The nearest airport is Fayetteville Regional Airport. Although it is a regional airport, it hosts major airlines like American and Delta. Fayetteville is only about 20 miles from the post, so it shouldn’t take too long to reach Womack Army Medical Center.

ft. Bragg Transportation Motor Pool is fully operational and free to military, DoD civilians, and contractors on official business. Family members can also take the shuttle if space permits. Call the shuttle dispatcher for more information.

Gates and hours

It’s no surprise that a post of this size has a lot of gates. As you’d expect, several of Ft. Bragg’s doors are open 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, some doors only open twice a day. The Visitor Control Center is located at the All American main gate. Visitors to WAMC must use the All American Gate. Visitor passes are issued to all non-DoD identification card holders who have a valid reason to enter the medical center.

All American – Main Gate 5 open 24/7

Appointment Telephone (910) 907-2778

Emergency Room Phone (910) 907-6559

Family Medicine Phone (910) 907-8500

Information Phone (910) 907-6000

Lab Phone (910) 907-8657

Medical Records Phone (910) 907-7179

Pain Clinic Phone (910) 907-7209

Pharmacy Phone (910) 907-7427

ft. Bragg contacts

AER (Army Emergency Aid) (910) 396-2507

YMCA Armed Services (910) 436-0500

Army Community Service (910) 396-8682

Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) (910) 396-7751

Chaplain and Church Services (910) 396-1121

Child Development Center (910) 396-1136

Citizenship and Immigration Services (910) 396-6120

Civilian Personnel Office (910) 908-2722

Deployment and Mobilization Support (910) 432-3742

Office of Educational Services (910) 396-6721

EFMP – Registration (910) 907-3367

Family Daycare (910) 396-3415

Finance Office (82nd) ​​(910) 432-0109

Household Goods/Transportation Bureau (910) 396-2903

Housing Services Office (910) 396-8516

ID/CAC Card Processing (910) 396-9339

Information and Referral Services (910) 396-8682

Legal Support Office (910) 396-0396

Pleasure Travel Services (910) 396-8747

Loan office (910) 396-6013

Library (910) 396-2665

Military Apparel Sales (910) 436-2200

MWR Outdoor Recreation (910) 396-7060

New Parent Support Program (910) 396-7951

Unrestricted Funds (NAF) Human Resources (910) 396-8933

Northern Police Station (910) 396-2316

Personal Financial Management Services (910) 907-3670

School Liaison Office (910) 432-1023

Shuttle Dispatch (910) 396-1992

Soldier and Family Assistance Center (910) 432-7322

Southern Police Station (910) 436-5320

Spousal Education, Training and Career (910) 396-2390

Substance Abuse Program (910) 396-4100

Tax Center (910) 396-8299

Temporary accommodation/ticket office (910) 396-7700

Transition Assistance Program (910) 396-8682

Travel desk (910) 436-1185

Housing for unaccompanied members (910) 643-4675

Vehicle Registration Center (910) 432-8193

Veterinary Services (910) 396-9120

Womack Army Medical Center (910) 907-6000

Youth Sports and Fitness (910) 396-9123

woman doctor
Staff Sgt. Federico G. Robinson, medic, Department of Emergency Medicine, Womack Army Medical Center, draws blood from a patient.

Health services offered

WAMC is committed to providing patience with state-of-the-art care in a compassionate and caring environment. Here are some of the services you can receive at the hospital. In addition to primary and preventative care, WAMC offers laboratory testing and radiology, mental health and addictions, specialty care, and women’s health services.

History of Womack Army Medical Center

When ft. Bragg was still only Camp Bragg, the installation housed a hospital. It was built in 1918 and included a headquarters and two dispensaries. Camp Bragg Hospital closed a year later. Then, USA Station Hospital One opened in 1932. Despite World War II, it closed in 1941. Then, USA Station Hospital Number Two and Three opened around that time.

Several years later, a nine-story, 500-bed hospital opened. This hospital served the military population until March 2022 when the new Womack Army Medical Center opened.

Things to do around Womack Army Medical Center

Nearby Fayetteville is a reasonably sized town, so you’ll find all the basic town amenities you might need for a night on the town or a day of shopping and enjoying a long lunch. The drive to Fayetteville typically takes about 20 minutes but can vary significantly, particularly during PT hours.

Hotels

If you visit Womack Army Medical Center to visit someone, you may be able to stay in a fisherman’s house. There is no guest fee charged for hosting and operates by donation.

Fayetteville Court (910) 487-5557

Embassy Suites by Hilton (910) 826-3600

Hampton Inn Spring Lake (910) 438-0945

Holiday Inn Express and Suites (910) 867-6777

SpringHill Suites by Marriott (910) 960-3000

surgical services
Col. Jennifer Bager speaks about her role in support of the Army mission. Bager is the deputy commander of surgical services at Womack Army Medical Center.

food scene

When you think of North Carolina, barbecue probably comes to mind! Of course, you will definitely want to add some to your plate, but there are also plenty of other Tar Heel specialties you should try too! It’s no surprise that fried green tomatoes topped with chili cheese is definitely a regional favorite. Of course, you shouldn’t skimp on the shrimp and grits either. If you’re craving something sweet, try a Cheerwine Float. It’s like a root beer float but better.

Activities

From Fort. Bragg is so extensive that Army MWR programming is excellent, so there should be plenty for you and your family to do on the installation and within the military community. Of course, there are also several outdoor spots that you should visit nearby.

OOmack Army Medical Center Lodging

If you’re PCSing to work at Womack Army Medical Center, you should know that Ft. Bragg is huge. This means that waiting times for accommodation can be exceptionally long. Be sure to call the Military Housing Office as soon as you receive orders. The health insurance fund can provide information on current waiting times.

Corvias owns and manages on-the-job accommodation. Residences range from two to four bedrooms. Ore housing is expected to be built as Ft. Bragg continues to grow.

Off-base housing is also an option.

Of course, single soldiers of rank E1 to E5 are required to live in the barracks.

Schools near WAMC

Mil-kids whose parents work at Womack Army Medical Center and live stationed can attend DoDEA schools. Off-post, students will attend schools in Cumberland County or Harnett County, depending on where you live. Speak to the School Liaison Office for enrollment information and advice on selecting the best choice for your children.

Womack Army Medical Center Ribbon Cutting
Cutting the ceremonial ribbon to celebrate the commissioning of two new residency programs. (Official U.S. Army photo by Jerome W. Mapp, WAMC Public Affairs)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book an appointment at Womack Army Medical Center?

Call the Central Appointment Line at (910) 907-2778.

Does Womack have a NICU?

Yes, Womack has a NICU. Learn more about the services offered here.

When is a soldier sent to Womack?

WAMC accepts soldiers and family members as needed.

What county is Womack Army Medical Center in?

WAMC is located in Cumberland County, North Carolina.

USTDA helps Thailand fight cancer

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USTDA helps Thailand fight cancer

The United States Trade and Development Agency announced that it had awarded a grant to Thailand’s AMATA Corporation Public Company Limited (AMATA) for a feasibility study to develop a regional oncology center in Chonburi province. . USTDA’s assistance will advance AMATA and Thailand’s goal of providing access to world-class cancer treatment for hundreds of thousands of people in the Lower Mekong region.

“Improving access to quality health care is one of USTDA’s top priorities in Thailand and other emerging economies around the world,” said Enoh T. Ebong, director of the USTDA. “This project will provide significant opportunities for American companies to deliver the kinds of highly innovative health technologies that the center will need.”

The USTDA study will provide AMATA with the data and analysis necessary for the phased implementation of a new oncology center that will advance Thailand’s aspiration to become a medical hub in South Asia -East. The center would be the first part of the larger “Meditown” hub project that AMATA is developing.

“USTDA’s strong support is timely as it represents an important step in developing Thailand’s medical and life science hub with our strategic partners, the Thai Center of Excellence for of Life and Siriraj Hospital of Mahidol University. We look forward to working with world-class oncology center partners in the United States as well,” said Vikrom Kromadit, President of AMATA.

Lena Ng, Chief Investment Officer of AMATA, added, “The hub will provide world-class medical services through international collaboration with industry leaders in key areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and research. The United States has excelled globally as a leader in health care and life sciences, particularly in gene and cell therapy. This study will catalyze our collaboration with leading oncology service providers in the United States to improve access to breakthrough treatments for cancer patients in Asia.

U.S. Embassy Bangkok Chargé d’Affaires Gwen Cardno said, “As the pandemic has shown us, health care requires international cooperation at the highest level, and that applies certainly in the treatment of cancer. Through the USTDA, the U.S. government is proud to work with Thailand to promote innovative American solutions for cancer treatment to strengthen its health care system.

USTDA’s assistance to AMATA advances one of the key pillars of the Biden-Harris administration’s Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership, which aims to strengthen global health security through investments in patient-centred health services. It is also advancing Thailand’s 4.0 agenda to revitalize the country’s east coast, including the provinces of Rayong, Chonburi and Chachoengsao.

US companies interested in submitting proposals for this feasibility study should visit www.ustda.gov/work/bid-on-an-overseas-project.

The president entrusts the reconciliation law to the Ministry of Justice

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the herald

Farirai Machivenyika –Senior Reporter

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has entrusted the administration of the National Peace and Reconciliation Law to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, who is to provide the necessary support to the National Commission for Peace and Reconciliation ( NPRC).

The NPRC is one of the independent commissions under Chapter 12 of the Constitution and was established after the realization of the social and political will and aspiration of Zimbabweans to move from a conflicted past to a harmonious future.

The commission helps resolve past and present conflicts, find solutions and recommend corrective measures. Being independent, he can cut through political and other issues and go straight to finding out what has happened or is happening, and then looking for the required solutions.

It also has a mandate to uphold and entrench human rights and democracy, protect the sovereignty and interests of the people, promote constitutionalism, promote transparency and accountability in public institutions, to ensure respect for democratic values ​​and principles by the State and all institutions and bodies of government and government-controlled entities, and to ensure that injustices are redressed.

The administration of the law previously fell under the office of the vice-president, then held by Cde Kembo Mohadi.

The President announced the amendment to Statutory Instrument 166 of 2022, Notice of Assignment of Offices (Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs), 2022.

President Mnangagwa has also transferred the administration of the District Development Fund Act from the Office of the Vice President to the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Government Project Implementation Monitoring, Dr. Joram Gumbo.

The DDF is a quasi-governmental department under the Office of the President responsible for infrastructure development and maintenance, water supply, road services, plant and equipment leasing and labor services of the floor. It is a major operator in the development of communal land and the rest of the family farming sector.

‘External interference’ will not be tolerated, China tells Taiwan at UNGA

China underlined its commitment to its claim to Taiwan on Saturday, telling assembled world leaders that anyone who thwarts its resolve to reunite with the self-governing island will be crushed by the wheels of history.

The language was forceful but, for Chinese leaders, well within the realm of normal.

Only when China is fully reunited can there be real peace in the Taiwan Strait, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the UN General Assembly.

He said Beijing would take the strongest measures to oppose any outside interference.

China regularly and vehemently defends its claim to Taiwan, which broke away from the mainland after a civil war in 1949 and now operates with its own government.

A visit last month by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharply increased tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The language, while pointed, reflected the typical Chinese intensity about the island; its claim is rarely ignored in major international speeches.

Taiwan is a central issue in Chinese politics, and Wang’s appearance at the leaders’ meeting in place of his boss, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, was a signal that the speech was not necessarily meaningful.

The PRC government is the only government representing all of China, Wang said, referring to China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China. The one-China principle has become a fundamental norm in international relations.

He added: “Any attempt to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history.

China exerts regular worldwide pressure on any country, company, cartographer that even implies that Taiwan might be a separate nation.

At the Olympics, for example, Taiwan must compete as Chinese Taipei. The mainland’s government muscle has isolated the island’s government, although a few UN members continue to maintain diplomatic relations with Taipei rather than Beijing.

At the UN meeting on Saturday, a few speakers before Wang, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves spoke forcefully about allowing Taiwan to raise its profile in international organizations, including the World Health Organization.

How can we stand sideways, in relative silence and contented inaction, in defiance of Taiwan’s legitimate right to exist in accordance with the wishes and will of the Taiwanese people? He asked.

Wang’s appearance at the 2022 in-person UN General Assembly came after two years of remote pandemic-era speeches by China’s top leader.

Xi did not attend this year’s event, which Russian President Vladimir Putin also skipped. US President Joe Biden spoke on Wednesday.

The United States and China have tough diplomacy and disagree on many fundamental issues. They have been arguing for decades over human rights, most recently over the mistreatment of ethnic Uyghurs in China’s western Xinjiang region. Beijing views US criticism as hypocritical and an act of interference in its internal affairs.

This is always reflected in the remarks of Chinese leaders. Wang’s speech used lightly coded phrases and references that criticized Washington without coming out and saying it. For example, Wang said, we strongly oppose attempts to politicize human rights, and we must uphold fairness and oppose bullying, both references to long-standing irritations he has with American politics.

With Taiwan and human rights still hampering China-US relations, Wang and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in person on the sidelines of the General Assembly on Friday.

U.S. officials said Blinken stepped up efforts by the Biden administration to pressure China to end provocative actions against Taiwan. China’s Foreign Ministry, in a summary of the meeting, said Wang told his counterpart that “current China-US relations are facing serious impacts, and there are lessons from which the US side must learn lessons”.

He said the two discussed the recent wrongdoings of the US side on the Taiwan issue. However, he also said: Both parties consider the meeting to be frank, constructive and important and have agreed to maintain communication.

After Mao Zedong’s communist forces took control of China in 1949, Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists decamped to Taiwan and maintained their separate government. It was recognized by the United States until 1979, when Washington established relations with Beijing.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Belarus’ fate is tied to Ukraine’s, says opposition leader

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Russian-backed officials in four partially occupied Ukrainian regions have launched so-called referendums on joining the Russian Federation – which some have called sham votes because they are illegal under international law – amid claims by some local officials that voters were being threatened and intimidated.

Live briefing: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the latest developments on the ongoing Russian invasion, Kyiv counter-offensive, Western military aid, global reaction, Russian protests and the plight of civilians. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

Moscow-controlled administrations in the Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions are holding snap votes from September 23 that go against the UN charter amid the biggest conflict in Europe since the end of the Second World War.

Ukrainian officials said people were banned from leaving certain occupied areas until the end of the four-day vote, that armed groups went into homes to force people to vote and that employees were threatened if they did not take part in the ballot that the Kremlin should organize. use to annex territories and escalate the war amid growing signs that his invasion of Ukraine is faltering.

Serhiy Hayday, regional governor of Ukraine in Lugansk, said in a post on telegram that the Russian authorities banned people from leaving for several days to secure the votes, while armed groups were sent to search homes and force people to come out and take part in the referendum.

“We have information that the so-called ‘voting commissions’ who go to the residences to register the votes are accompanied by armed people… If the doors of the apartments are not opened, they threaten to break them down” , he added. said, adding that anyone voting “no” was put on a register by the commissioners.

The referendums have been condemned by Kyiv, Western leaders and the United Nations as an illegitimate and choreographed precursor to illegal annexation. There are no independent observers and much of the pre-war population has fled.

In his evening speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the vote a “sham” and undemocratic.

The move comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization on September 21 amid apparent heavy personnel losses during the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine that Moscow began in February.

The announcement sparked an exodus of able-bodied Russian men who rushed to leave the country to avoid being drafted, with increased traffic at border crossings with Finland and Georgia and a spike in ticket prices. plane from Moscow.

Zelenskiy, switching from Ukrainian to Russian, addressed Russian citizens directly in his speech, telling them they were “thrown to death.”

“You are already complicit in all these crimes, murders and tortures of Ukrainians,” Zelenskiy said, adding, “because you were silent; because you are silent.”

He told the Russians that “now it’s time for you to choose”.

“For men in Russia, it is a choice to die or live, to become crippled or to preserve health. For women in Russia, the choice is to lose their husbands, sons, grandchildren forever, or still trying to protect them from death, from war, from one person,” Zelenskiy said.

The hastily announced referendums were organized by the Kremlin-installed leaders of the four regions. They gave no advance warning that they planned to hold the vote on annexation between September 23 and 27.

In Kherson, Serhiy Khlan, a Ukrainian deputy to the region’s council, told RFE/RL on September 23 that polling stations opened by Russian-controlled officials in the region remained mostly empty, urging them to start going door to door collecting votes “at gunpoint”.

“The occupiers have opened the polling stations. But there is no one at the polling stations, as residents of the Kherson region point out. They are empty. their bogus referendum. In other words, it is no longer a secret ballot. It’s a forced collection of the ‘yes’ answer at gunpoint,” Khlan said.

The hasty decision to hold the vote comes as the Ukrainian army is on the offensive in these regions, liberating large swaths of territory and raising the specter of a possible Russian defeat.

Western officials and experts say Putin plans to use the sham referendums to claim Ukraine is invading territory that is part of Russia. This week he threatened to use all of Russia’s power – a thinly veiled reference to its nuclear weapons – in an effort to scare Kyiv and its Western supporters from further military action.

The Kremlin has shown little desire to mask its real goal on the ballot, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling reporters in Moscow on September 23 that he was “convinced” that Russia would proceed “rather quickly” to take control. control of the regions if the vote was successful.

Ukraine says it will never accept Russian territorial takeovers.

The incorporation of the four zones would then allow Moscow to present and repossess them as an attack on Russia itself – potentially using this to justify even a nuclear response.

Russia’s moves came at the United Nations General Assembly, where US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on September 22 called on members of the body’s Security Council to “send a clear message that these reckless nuclear threats must cease immediately.”

He called Russia’s effort to annex more Ukrainian territory “another dangerous escalation, as well as a rejection of diplomacy.”

In addition, the Group of Seven industrialized countries condemned the referendums of annexation organized in the Ukrainian zones occupied by Russia like a “sham” without “legal effect nor legitimacy”.

“We will never recognize these referendums which appear to be a step towards annexation of Russia and we will never recognize a so-called annexation if it occurs,” the G7 leaders said in a statement. statement September 23.

The Kremlin has carried out a series of acts in Ukrainian territories under its control that further underline the lack of legitimacy the votes might have.

Moscow deported about 1.6 million Ukrainians from these regions to Russia, according to Western estimates, while also transporting Russian citizens to Ukrainian territory.

WATCH: Long lines of vehicles formed at a border crossing between Russia’s North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization.

It also captured the personal and biometric data of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens in so-called “filter camps”, opening the door, experts say, to the manipulation of ballots.

Nikolai Bulaev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Central Election Commission, said he expects “hundreds of thousands” of Ukrainians currently in Russia to take part in the referendum.

Russia has little history of free and fair elections, with common practices of ballot stuffing, voter intimidation, outright fraud and media manipulation. He staged a similar illegal vote in 2014 after annexing Crimea from Ukraine. Very few countries accepted the results of the vote.

There is no single database containing information on the number of polling stations that will open in Russia for Ukrainian citizens, nor uniform rules on how voting will take place in the country, according to the daily Kommersant reported.

Blinken called on every member of the United Nations to “reject sham referendums and to declare unequivocally that all Ukrainian territory is and will remain part of Ukraine.”

He said the United States would continue to support Ukraine regardless of the vote.

With reporting from Reuters, AP and AFP

County settles death-in-custody lawsuit for $1.35 million

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San Diego County and other defendants have agreed to pay $1.35 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the mother of a deceased Mexican citizen after sheriff’s deputies in Fallbrook arrested him in 2018 , officials from the Mexican Consulate General in San Diego announced Friday.

Dolores Rosales, of Tijuana, sued the county in federal court in 2019 for allegedly using excessive force when they took her son, Marco Antonio Nápoles-Rosales, 29, into custody on August 16, 2018. According to During the trial, Fallbrook deputies used a Taser, their body weight, and a wrap-around restraint to subdue Nápoles-Rosales, whom they suspected of entering a gas station.

He lost consciousness during the arrest and was taken to hospital where he died the following day.

Carlos González Gutiérrez, Mexico’s consul general in San Diego, told a press conference at the consulate building in Little Italy that Nápoles-Rosales’ mother and the consulate were happy with the settlement and glad the lawsuit was completed. disclosed to the public the circumstances of his death. Warning.

“May this case remind us all that excessive use of force is not acceptable under any circumstances,” said González Gutiérrez. “May this case also serve as a reminder that the Consulate General of Mexico is here to protect the rights and promote the interests of Mexican nationals in our jurisdiction.”

San Diego County spokesman Michael Workman referred a request for comment to Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher. His office did not immediately respond.

An autopsy determined that Nápoles-Rosales died of sudden cardiorespiratory arrest caused by methamphetamine and exertional intoxication during the struggle with the deputies. The manner of death was undetermined. A toxicology screen found methamphetamine and amphetamines in his blood when he died.

Jesús Eduardo Arias, an attorney who works with the Mexican consulate in San Diego, represented the family in the lawsuit. He said Dolores Rosales felt too overwhelmed with emotion to show up in San Diego for the announcement.

Arias said Rosales was happy with the settlement and it gave her some peace of mind and closure. But, the attorney said, Rosales remains devastated by the loss of her child.

“There is no amount of money that can compensate for the loss of a son,” he said.

Arias said his client does not intend to seek a court order to recover court costs and county fees in addition to the $1.35 million settlement.

The eldest of three children, Nápoles-Rosales was from Sonora, Mexico. He came to the United States when he was 16. Before he died, he studied hairdressing in California and worked at El Monte barbershops. He used his earnings to support his family in Mexico. He had no criminal record.

After reviewing the death of Nápoles-Rosales, District Attorney Summer Stephan announced that no criminal charges would be filed against the deputies who used force against him.

The county sheriff’s department has been under pressure to reduce deaths in custody for years, and it has paid out millions of dollars to plaintiffs in wrongful death and civil rights lawsuits. The pressure on the department intensified after the San Diego Union-Tribune published a six-month investigation in 2019 that found the death rate in local jails was much higher than in other major California counties. .

Earlier this year, the California State Auditor released a scathing report that found 185 men and women died while incarcerated in San Diego County jails between 2006 and 2020. The audit said that conditions in San Diego prisons were so dangerous that the state legislature would have to pass legislation to impose reforms on the department.

The sheriff’s department initially rejected many of the state auditor’s findings and methodology, but has since made changes to prison operations and inmate care in an effort to prevent deaths in custody.

Liberals say Russia visa ban would trap dissidents

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Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said she does not support European countries that ban Russians from obtaining visas, arguing that dissidents face growing danger.

She also said Russia should be prosecuted for illegally invading Ukraine, a view Moscow rejected while adding dozens more Canadians to its blacklist on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been pushing to recruit more troops for his war in Ukraine after that country recaptured large swathes of territory.

“Obviously what we’re doing is working, but we need to do more,” Joly told reporters on a Thursday call from New York.

She argued the regime was becoming desperate, posing a risk to dissidents.

This is why Joly has rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s demands that Western countries stop issuing visas to Russians.

“There are Russian soldiers who are basically ready to defy the authorities, and who are deserting their ranks, and they are fleeing the battlefield in Ukraine,” Joly said in French.

“There are a lot of Russians who want to leave Russia,” Joly said, saying the visa bans are unfair to people who disagree with Moscow.

The Russian Embassy agreed with Canada on this point.

“Here we can agree with Minister Joly that a visa ban is a policy of collective punishment,” said Artem Kalabukhov, political counselor at the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.

Liberals say #Russia visa ban would trap dissidents as more and more Canadians are blacklisted. #CDNPoli #UkraineInvasion #VisaBan

This week, four occupied regions of Ukraine announced plebiscites on whether to join Russia. Joly called them “fake referendums,” which Russia could use as a premise to claim Ukraine was the aggressor.

She also said Canada was working with allies to see if existing international tribunals, or even a new one, could prosecute Russia for illegally invading Ukraine.

In an interview, Kalabukhov dismissed these characterizations.

He echoed Kremlin talking points that the 2014 Ukrainian uprising led to violence that was never pursued, and dismissed international investigations into the reported mass graves in Izium and Bucha as “a staged provocation “.

Kalabukhov also noted Zelenskyy’s statement a year ago that residents of the occupied Donbass region who identify as Russians should move there.

However, Russia justified its 2014 annexation of Crimea with a referendum that many human rights groups said was forced.

On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it had added 87 Canadian citizens to what it called a “blacklist” that prohibits entry into Russia.

The new names include military officials, lieutenant governors, prime ministers like Quebec’s Francois Legault and members of the nonpartisan Parliamentary Center, which campaigns for democracy abroad.

Bombardier CEO Eric Martel and the heads of various tech companies that donated to Ukraine or discussed providing equipment to its military were also sanctioned.

Kalabukhov said it was in direct response to Canada’s existing sanctions, which Joly vowed Thursday to step up soon.

“Russia is working tit for tat with its actions against hostile countries, and this policy continues,” Kalabukhov said.

“All these sanctions against Russia are symbolic in nature and incapable of affecting the Russian economy, and the Canadian government knows this very well,” he said.

Joly said she will deliver a national address on Monday with a particular focus on Canada’s support for Ukraine.

The Congress of Ukrainian Canadians has called for a visa ban, arguing that Russia’s actions constitute genocide that should bar its citizens from the privilege of traveling abroad.

Congresswoman Ihor Michalchyshyn also called on Canada to send more weapons to Ukraine, which Joly said she was considering.

“The sooner the Russian armies are defeated, the sooner peace will return to Europe,” Michalchyshyn wrote.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 22, 2022.

UNDP and IGP seek partnership on police reforms

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) held a second batch of Boot Camp Peer Review for members of state task forces to combat human trafficking
The five-day North/South training camp, organized in partnership with Expertise France, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and others, aimed to deepen the commitment of the members of the working group of States in the fight against human traffickers. .
In her opening remarks, the Director General (DG) NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, thanked Expertise France, IOM, UNODC and others for their support in organizing the training camp.
Waziri-Azi said the collaboration would provide a way to comprehensively assess the level of progress made by the task forces inaugurated across the country.
The DG of NAPTIP said that although the trends and proportionality of human trafficking may differ, the statistics revealed that no state was free from human traffickers.
“NAPTIP’s statistical analysis from 2019 to 2022 revealed that 61% of human trafficking cases in the country occurred within the country, while 39% crossed our borders.
“It is indisputable that what those involved in the fight against human trafficking have in their hands is a national crisis.
“This is the main reason why this forum is imperative for in-depth interactions between state and non-state actors,” she said.
The DG, who was represented by Mr. Olubiyi Olusayo, Director of Intelligence, Research and Program Development, NAPTIP, said the second phase of the boot camp was organized for 12 states.
“This would allow NAPTIP to take stock of the impact of working groups at sub-national levels.
“States included Edo, Ogun, Oyo, Enugu, Rivers, Cross-River, Akwa-Ibom, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Borno and Jigawa,” she said.
According to her, there is no doubt that human trafficking is a dynamic and emerging crime.
She urged task forces to present and maintain a clearer picture of how human trafficking affects their communities and how traffickers change their tactics.
“NAPTIP would look forward to receiving and considering the report that would emanate from this five-day meeting,” she said.
The NAPTIP boss also congratulated the partner organizations for their support in carrying out the boot camp.

Tempo quickens for Marine security guards as COVID restrictions fall

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The Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit is on track to execute a full load of deployments for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

And as the unit matures, other elements of the navy begin to pay more attention to its work.

“We are on track to execute approximately 70 missions this year, which will bring us back to our pre-COVID operational tempo levels,” Colonel Kelly Frushour, commanding officer of the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, told the Marine Corps Times in an interview.

Frushour, a career public affairs officer, became the first woman to lead the Marine Corps embassy security group when she assumed command in June.

Pandemic travel restrictions and host nation limitations had significantly reduced the high deployment tempo typical of the Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit.

The unit, created in 2013 following the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, exists to bolster the embassy’s security in the event of a threat or unrest.

But 13-Marine teams also regularly deploy to embassies ahead of VIP visits and to conduct proactive security validation assessments. In a typical year, teams deploy almost constantly to reinforce the 183 maritime security detachments at embassies in 148 countries.

“The average downtime between MSAU missions is about seven and a half days,” Frushour said.

However, out of a peak of 92 missions in 2017, Maritime Security Guard Augmentation Unit teams only performed 22 in 2020 as COVID-19 swept the world.

In 2021, Frushour said, the Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit had 36 deployments. The unit has already surpassed this number in 2022.

To date, Maritime Security Guard Augmentation Unit teams have deployed nearly 500 times since the unit’s inception, with larger contingents deploying to support embassy evacuations or to reinforce security in places where there are threats of violence.

In 2016, a contingent of 40 Marines traveled to Juba, South Sudan, as the embassy evacuated non-essential staff amid threats of civil war.

Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit Marines, who differ from Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams (FAST) in that they are considered diplomatic assets and respond directly to State Department needs, receive more training than regular observers of the Marine Security Guard, which provided the ability to stay busy during the deployment crisis.

Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit-assigned Marines receive an additional seven weeks of training in marksmanship, medical skills, communication and tactics, as well as a two-week collective training cycle at the Foreign Security Training Center in Blackstone, in Virginia, which includes the Department of State’s High-Risk Environment Firearms Course and Enhanced Room Cleaning.

They also have the option of taking seven optional Advanced Individual Skills courses on subjects such as Foreign Weapons Instruction, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Evasion, or SERE, and Conduct Against Threat. .

As the unit approaches its tenth anniversary, the Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit is becoming a more well-known and established capability within the Marine Corps―and this is leading to better collaboration with other units that have been less familiar with what it offers in the past.

In particular, Frushour said, she sees leaders of deployed Marine Expeditionary Units paying more attention to when Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit teams are dispatched to their area.

“If MSAU is sent somewhere, that can be an indicator that things may not be going well in that part of the world, and [a MEU commander] can put people on alert: “Hey, it’s happening, we might have to go do something to help,” Frushour said. “So more and more units are starting to use MSAU deployments as an information requirement to prepare for what they might be asked to do.”

The Maritime Security Guard Enhancement Unit and the broader Embassy Security Group also provided more integrated training with a range of units ranging from Maritime Expeditionary Operations Training Groups to MEUs and personnel from the diplomatic security and foreign affairs.

“Given recent events with Kabul and Kyiv, it is increasingly essential to strengthen and repeat our inter-agency interoperability,” Frushour said. “While our basic training and readiness focuses on the MSG mission which allows them to stand ‘Post One’ and all other mission specific positions while responding to emergencies and threats, our headquarters has coordinated valuable engagements with the interagency and joint force in training, mission rehearsal exercises and deployment certifications.

While normal operations have largely resumed for all maritime security guards, there are still a few countries and diplomatic locations, primarily in the Pacific, that do not allow area commanders to visit deployed maritime security detachments. Typically, detachments receive multiple visits per year, giving Marines the opportunity to voice concerns and gain direct mentorship.

A regional commander, Frushour said, had magnets made and distributed to his Marines containing a QR code with his contact details and a promise that he would respond to any inquiries within 24 hours.

“I think it was very well received there,” she said. “So there’s been some creativity in making sure the Marines know that, even though we’re not physically there, you are always in our thoughts on a daily basis…our sole purpose in life is to make sure that are ready to carry out this mission that we have entrusted to them.

Dual nationals fear visiting relatives in Russia as Putin announces partial mobilization

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Demonstrations by anti-war movements have erupted in several cities across Russia following Vladimir Putin’s dramatic announcement calling for some 300,000 reservists to join the war against Ukraine.

The same goes for Kirkenes, the small Norwegian town a few kilometers west of the border with the heavily militarized Kola Peninsula. Outside the Russian Consulate General, protesters carried posters calling on Putin to end the war.

By nationality there were Russians, Ukrainians and Norwegians. Many actually have dual nationality; people with Russian and Norwegian passports.

Few wanted to speak openly, but Putin’s signature on “partial mobilization” worries. Will it be safe for Russian men living abroad to visit home, many wonder. Or what about those with dual nationality?

The rules of who is covered or not are quite vague. As outside the Consulate General in Kirkenes, social media reports across Russia debate on Wednesday what a partial mobilization actually means.

Who will be thrown into the meat grinder of war, was a question raised in a Telegram message from Murmansk.

Can anyone be sent to war? Will there be a full mobilization later? Can Russia’s external borders be closed on exit for men of certain age groups, or only for reservists now called upon to participate in the dramatic escalation of the war against Ukraine?

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The questions were many, the answers few. Meanwhile, one-way tickets on flights departing from Russia sold out hours after Putin’s TV announcement.

Lines of cars were reported at the border with Finland in the afternoon. At Storskog, the Norwegian checkpoint on the road to Murmansk, no increase in men leaving Russia has so far been reported.

Polina Vorobera, one of the protesters in Kirkenes on Wednesday, said the mobilization is now a big worry for many Russians in Norway.

“My family is in big trouble because my brother should get a new passport, a challenge that can only be solved by going back to Russia. But he can’t because we are afraid he will be called to war,” Polina explains.

“There are many here in Norway in the same situation,” she adds.

Natalia Solianik (left) and Tatiana Vasileva want the war to end. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

A few hundred Russians live in Kirkenes, many of whom have dual nationality. With the border a few miles to the east and Murmansk three to four hours away, many used to visit friends and family. Border crossings are easier for those with two passports as no visa is required.

“I spoke with two men today, both have Russian passports, and they said a planned weekend tour across the border was canceled this morning when they heard the news of the mobilization of Putin,” said Natalia Solianik.

During the protest, a group of fishermen from a Russian crabber approached protesters outside the consulate and began debating pro-war and anti-war arguments.

“I’m glad we’re at sea for many months and not going back to Russia soon,” one of the young men told the Barents Observer on condition that he not be named.

Roman Prokopenko (32) spent his early childhood in Novosibirsk before settling in Norway where he grew up and now works as a journalist for the regional newspaper iFinnmark.

Roman Prokopenko is a journalist at the iFinnmark newspaper. Its newsroom is a 15-minute drive from the border with Russia. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

With dual citizenship, Roman could easily travel to Russia without a visa.

Such a trip, however, will not happen anytime soon, he said after announcing on the news that Vladimir Putin was ordering a “partial mobilization” of citizens who served in the armed forces.

“My two grandparents and my father live in Novosibirsk and I have long thought about visiting,” he says.

“Then came the pandemic which hampered travel plans. It was followed by the conflict with Ukraine, creating many uncertainties,” says Roman.

With limited knowledge of how Russian laws are applied, he began to ponder the possibility that the military might call him into service if the war escalated while visiting his close relatives in Siberia. Roman Prokopenko has never had anything to do with the Russian armed forces.

“Now, with the partial mobilization, this uncertainty is even greater. I don’t know what can happen. Most likely, I will not go to Russia,” he says.

“My father and both my grandparents invited me and I would really like to go if the circumstances were different. My grandparents are starting to age,” says Roman Prokopenko.

Seychelles President meets with UN Secretary General and UAE Minister of State

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Ramkalawan with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the 77th UNGA. (State House)

Photo license

Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan spoke with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) taking place in New York City, the State House announced Wednesday.

“Seychelles fundamentally believes in the United Nations and the principles rooted in the Charter of the United Nations. For us, this multilateral institution remains an indispensable forum where the whole world can come together to deliberate on international development issues that concern us all, and where we all have a voice, regardless of our size or economic power. This is especially important for small island developing states like us,” Ramkalawan said.

The UN Secretary-General noted that Seychelles is rich in marine biodiversity, which makes it a fundamental country contributing to the global balance.

He said it is a great contribution to humanity and the world.

Meeting with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates

The UAE has confirmed that it will implement phase two of the Seychelles Barbarons Housing project comprising 40 units, according to a press release from State House.





The UAE Minister of State (left) expressed his government’s desire to further strengthen the partnership between countries. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY

UAE Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan made the statement during a bilateral meeting with President Ramkalawan on the sidelines of the UNGA.

The housing project began in 2015 with a $9 million grant from Abu Dhabi and the first phase covered Takamaka and Barbarons.

“Seychelles is keen to engage with the UAE in new areas of cooperation of mutual interest and we are extremely grateful for the ever-growing ties of friendship and partnership between our two governments,” Ramkalawan said.

The Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates expressed his government’s desire to further strengthen the partnership between countries while providing support to an exemplary island nation such as Seychelles, leader in key areas not only in Africa but on the global platform.

Other topics discussed included border control, renewable energy projects for Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, the construction of the early childhood care centre, the drug rehabilitation project and the ongoing project of the St. Mary’s Hospital in La Digue.

The United Arab Emirates agreed to fund a drug rehabilitation center in January 2020 at a total cost of $3.6 million. Plans for its construction on the former Mont Royale rehabilitation site in the central Mahé district of Mont Fleuri, began in April last year.

The meeting between President Ramkalawan and Sheikh Nahyan Al Nahyan was also an important opportunity for the two leaders to review and agree on the way forward and the expected timeline for the agreed projects, State House said.

Diversify allies – Egypt – Al-Ahram Weekly

The Foreign Ministry announced last week that Egypt had joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a dialogue partner. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the organization’s current chairman, SCO General Secretary Zhang Ming, and Egyptian First Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Sanad Loza, at a ceremony in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital on September 14. Permanent members of the SCO are China, India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

The memorandum covers security cooperation, combating the illegal production and sale of narcotics and psychotropic substances, trade, investment and energy, according to a press release. A similar agreement was signed with Qatar at the same ceremony, and Saudi Arabia is in the process of negotiating its own agreement.

Egypt’s membership will help strengthen cooperation with SCO members in areas such as trade, investment, energy, transport and tourism, said Egyptian Deputy Minister of Affairs strangers during his meeting with Zhang. He added that it was also a step towards “supporting regional security and stability”.

The bloc’s importance is growing, says Ahmed Kandil, head of the international relations unit at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

The SCO includes two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – China and Russia – and a 2022 UNSC observer in India. Its member states account for a quarter of the world’s GDP and half of its population, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at the SCO summit held in Samarkand on September 15-16.

The SCO plays an important role in the fight against terrorism and the promotion of stability in Central Asia, which corresponds to Egypt’s interests, Kandil explained, in particular, as Mirziyoyev pointed out to the participants of the summit – when it comes to building “a more peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan”.

The bloc’s importance to Egypt is underscored by the fact that many of its members are part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Kandil said. The initiative is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to improve its international relations, trade and economic development.

By joining the SCO, Egypt aims to diversify its partners, says international relations expert Eman Zahran. The negative repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war, including on food and energy security, served to reinforce the importance of “diversifying allies” in order to strengthen internal stability, she explained.

The volatility of the global economy caused by the pandemic and the Ukrainian crisis has also made it imperative to put in place other relief credit facilities.

Egypt’s dialogue partner status had been on the cards for years, according to Kandil, but implementation had been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Cairo remained sensitive, he added, to joining the grouping fully, lest it be seen in the West as a hostile move, especially given the anti-China mood and -Current Russia in Washington.

Though careful not to appear to be taking sides – Cairo has made its position clear on Ukraine and condemned military action – Kandil said Egypt’s principles nonetheless align with those of the SCO, as stated in Mirziyoyev’s statement at the summit: “The basis of the international attractiveness of the SCO is its non-bloc status, openness, non-targeting of third countries or international organizations, the equality and respect for the sovereignty of all participants, the refusal to interfere in internal affairs and the prevention of political clashes and unhealthy rivalries.

The bloc introduced dialogue partner status for any state or organization that shares the goals and principles of the SCO and wishes to establish equitable and mutually beneficial partnership relations in 2008.

Egypt’s membership, Kandil stressed, should not be seen as Cairo siding with China and Russia against the West. Egypt, he said, is keen to cooperate with any international party that can help it achieve its Vision 2030 strategy and enhance security and development.

In July, at a meeting of industry ministers of SCO members, the development of a roadmap for increasing the number of national currencies used in international settlements was announced. The move, Kandil explained, is intended, at least in part, to help overcome sanctions against bloc members, but will also be helpful for Egypt where hard currency reserves are under pressure from current economic conditions.

Zahran believes that increasing the number of national currencies used in mutual settlements and providing alternatives to the dollar or euro can only be beneficial for Egypt.

No, stressed Kandil, that Egypt seeks to replace the current system wholesale. Cairo, he said, remains keen to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is committed to servicing its debt, but also wants to diversify the currencies in which it can trade.


*A version of this article appeared in the September 22, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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