Showing posts with label POLITICAL & LEGAL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label POLITICAL & LEGAL. Show all posts

03 August 2021

U.S. imposes fresh sanctions on Cuba.

The United States has imposed fresh sanctions on the Cuban police force and two of its leaders in response to the police’s alleged human rights violations during rare protests on the Island.

During a meeting with Cuban-American leaders, U.S. President Joe Biden promised more punitive measures are on the way against Havana. 

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the sanctions also targeted the Cuban interior ministry's national police force.

Biden’s meeting came as Cuban-American community leaders made a call for more support for protests in Cuba. Just last week, Washington announced sanctions on Cuba's defense minister and an interior ministry Special Forces unit.

Among the anticipated upcoming American measures, Biden says he has instructed the Treasury and State departments to report back in a month on how to allow remittance payments from Americans to Cubans without the Cuban authorities profiting.

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Myanmar military leader declares himself prime minister.

Myanmar's military leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing declared himself prime minister of the country on Sunday 01 August 2021, saying he planned on being in charge for two years during an extended state of emergency before holding an election in 2023.

Min Aung Hlaing's announcement comes six months after Myanmar's democratically elected government was overthrown in a military coup, sparking waves of protests throughout the country in which nearly 1,000 protesters were killed by the country's security forces.

Myanmar's military overthrew its democratically elected government in February, claiming the election had been marred by fraud. Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party had won the election, was arrested. She has since been charged with multiple crimes including illegally possessing walkie-talkie radios and violating COVID-19 rules. 

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01 August 2021

India takes over UN Security Council presidency for August.

India on Sunday 01 August 202 assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the month of August, taking over from France.

According to officials, India will organize three high-level meetings focusing on priority areas such as maritime security, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism initiatives.

India began its 8th term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC on Jan. 1 this year, which will run for two years.

The country’s last term as non-permanent UNSC member was in 2011-12, which was preceded by stints in 1991-92, 1984-85, 1977-78, 1972-73, 1967-68, and 1950-51.

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First Muslim Religious Freedom Ambassador USA.

US President Joe Biden has nominated Indian-American attorney Rashad Hussain as the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, the first Muslim to be nominated to the key position, according to the White House.

Hussain, 41, is currently Director for Partnerships and Global Engagement at the National Security Council.Hussain holds a law degree from Yale Law School and has a master's degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University.

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Ecuadorian Court Revokes Citizenship for the founder of Wikileaks.

Ecuador has revoked the citizenship of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks who is currently in a British prison.

Ecuador’s justice system formally notified the Australian of the nullity of his naturalization in a letter that came in response to a claim filed by the South American country’s Foreign Ministry.

A naturalization is considered damaging when it is granted based on the concealment of relevant facts, false documents or fraud. Ecuadorian authorities say Assange’s naturalization letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, the possible alteration of documents and unpaid fees, among other issues.

Carlos Poveda, Assange’s lawyer, told The Associated Press the decision was made without due process and Assange
was not allowed to appear in the case.



31 July 2021

US combat forces to leave Iraq by end of year.

President Joe Biden says US forces will end their combat mission in Iraq by the end of this year, but will continue to train and advise the Iraqi military.

The announcement came after Mr Biden held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the White House.

There are currently 2,500 US troops in Iraq helping local forces counter what remains of the Islamic State group.

Numbers of US troops are likely to stay the same but the move is being seen as an attempt to help the Iraqi PM.

The US presence in Iraq has become a major issue since top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and the leader of an Iran-backed Shia Muslim militia were killed in a US drone strike in the capital Baghdad last year.

Political parties aligned to Iran have demanded the withdrawal of all forces from the US-led global coalition against IS, despite the continuing threat posed by the Sunni jihadist group.

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Maldives’ Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid won the Presidency of the 76th UNGA.

Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid won the Presidency of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This is for the first time in the history of the United Nations (UN), Maldives will hold the office of President at the UNGA. Abdulla Shahid’s victory at the UNGA Presidential election is a “proud accomplishment” and “a step forward in elevating the country’s stature on the global stage”.

On 30 April this year, Abdulla Shahid declared his vision statement titled “A Presidency of Hope: Delivering for People, Planet and Prosperity” where he outlined his priorities for the UNGA during 2021-22. Minister Shahid talked about five “rays of hope” in his vision statement: Recovering from COVID19, Rebuilding Sustainably, Responding to the Needs of the Planet, Respecting the Rights of All, and Reforming the UN. Abdulla Shahid is committed to delivering the “Presidency of Hope”. In this endeavour, he looked for the support of all the members of the UNGA.

Maldives’ decision to join the UN in 1965, immediately after its independence, sparked a debate on how a “microstate”, could possibly contribute to the organisation. Over the years, Maldives has cleared all the doubts by raising its voice on issues of concern and playing a prominent role in the UN as well as in the other multilateral organisations including the Commonwealth.

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29 July 2021

Najib Mikati picked as new Lebanon’s prime minister.

Billionaire businessman Najib Mikati was appointed as Lebanon’s new prime minister-designate on Monday following binding parliamentary consultations with President Michel Aoun.

Mikati ran virtually unopposed, receiving 72 votes, with former ambassador Nawaf Salam receiving just one vote. Forty-two MPs voted blank, and three MPs did not vote at all.

His appointment comes just 11 days after Saad Hariri resigned as prime minister-designate, following nine months of political deadlock and dispute with President Aoun and his son-in-law MP Gebran Bassil.

Lebanon’s economy continues to crumble with half the population living below the poverty line and a spiralling local currency that lost more than 90 per cent of its value. The country has been without a full-fledged government for almost one year and is struggling to reform its economy to unlock international aid.

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28 July 2021

Uzbekistan hosts 'Central-South Asia conference 2021.

Uzbekistan has hosted a high-level International Conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities” at Tashkent on 15 - 16 July 2021. The conference was an initiative of the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. It was attended by President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, Ministers from Central Asian, West Asian and South Asian countries.

Delegates from over 40 countries and about 30 international organizations, and heads of think tanks participated in the conference.

President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani underlined the historical proximity of two regions and the importance of strengthening it on the basis of mutual trust and interests.

President Mirziyoyev said the world has entered an era of global geopolitical transformations and that the ‘revival of mutual ties between Central and South Asia, where about two billion people live today, is becoming an ever more demanding and objective process’.

The international conference was also addressed online by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. 

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar said that for Central Asian countries, the Chabahar port in Iran provides a ‘secure, viable and unhindered access to the sea.

The port has been proposed to be included in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). It may be added that an India-Uzbekistan-Iran-Afghanistan Quadrilateral Working Group has been formed on the joint use of Chabahar port.

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North and South Korea agree to restore communication channels, improve ties.

The leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to resume suspended communication lines and enhance ties.

President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un achieved such an agreement, according to the presidential office in Seoul.

On June 16 last year, the North vowed to cut off all contact links with the South and even blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in its border city of Kaesong in outrage over anti-Pyongyang propaganda pamphlets coming from the South. 



Sri Lanka proposes to hold BIMSTEC Summit in December 2021.

Sri Lanka has proposed to hold the BIMSTEC summit in early December this year. This will be the 5th such summit of the grouping. Sri Lanka is the chair of the grouping and had earlier proposed holding the summit in the month of August.

BIMSTEC or Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation has 7 members- India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. The grouping was formed in the year 1997.

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23 July 2021

G20 Environment Ministers’ Meeting 2021.

The G20 Environment Ministers’ Meeting 2021 is one of the ministerial meetings organized as part of the G20 Leaders Summit 2021, which will be hosted by Italy in October 2021. The 2021 G20, under the Italian Presidency, will focus on three broad, interconnected pillars of action: People, Planet, Prosperity. Within these pillars, the G20 aims to take the lead in ensuring a swift international response to the COVID-19 pandemic – able to provide equitable, worldwide access to diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines – while building up resilience to future health-related shocks.

Countries Participated:

The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the European Union. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US.

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Russia successfully launches test hypersonic cruise missile.

The Russian defense ministry on Monday 19 July 2021 reported a successful test launch of its new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile.

The missile had been fired from the Admiral Gorshkov, a warship in the White Sea. The missile successfully hit a target more than 350 kilometers (about 217 miles) away on the coast of the Barents Sea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Zircon missile would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometers.

The military had done a previous test launch in October last year on Putin's birthday.

Putin at the time said "equipping our armed forces, the army, and the navy, with the latest, truly unparalleled weapon systems will certainly ensure the defense capability of our country in the long term.''

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22 July 2021

UK to permanently deploy two warships in Asia Pacific.

Britain has announced that it will permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters after its Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and escort ships sail to Japan in September through seas where China is vying for influence with the United States and Japan.

Plans for the high-profile visit by the carrier strike group come as the UK deepens security ties with Tokyo, which has expressed growing alarm in recent months over China’s territorial ambitions in the region, including Taiwan.

The Queen Elizabeth is being escorted by two destroyers, two frigates, two support vessels and ships from the US and the Netherlands.

It will sail to Japan through the disputed South China Sea, which is claimed all or in part by China and countries in Southeast Asia, with stops in India, Singapore and South Korea.

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US launches air strike in Somalia.

The US military conducted an airstrike against Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab jihadists on Tuesday 20 July 2021, the first since President Joe Biden took office.

The US military command for Africa (Africom), in coordination with the Somali government, conducted one airstrike in the vicinity of Galkayo, in Somalia against al-Shabaab.

The strike, 700 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, targeted Shabaab Islamists.

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Ariel Henry to take over as new Haitian Prime Minister.

Ariel Henry has formally assumed the post of Prime Minister of Haiti. He assumed the role of the leader of the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation in a ceremony in the capital Port-Au-Prince. Henry was installed as head of a new government in an attempt to stabilize a country on the brink of chaos since the murder of president Jovenel Moise at his residence in the early hours of July 07.

The swearing-in of Henry, who was named to the post by Moise days before his death, was seen as a key step towards holding elections as demanded by many Haitians.

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21 July 2021

Russia's S-500 Missile System Hits Test Target.

Russia’s S-500 next-generation missile system has struck a fast-moving ballistic target in a training exercise at the Kapustin Yar range. The first S-500 system will be procured to the Moscow Region’s air and missile defense unit after a full cycle of tests is completed, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters.

The S-500 missile system has no analogues in the world and can intercept the whole range of current and future means of air and space attack of a potential enemy at all altitudes and speeds.

S-500 will replace the S-400 systems. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier that procurement of S-500s to the Russian army would begin in 2020, while specialists have been working on the system since 2017.

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20 July 2021

Pedro Castillo declared president-elect of Peru.

Pedro Castillo has been declared president-elect of Peru, weeks after winning the popular vote in a tightly-contested run-off election.

The country's election authority announced its verdict after reviewing claims of electoral fraud by his right-wing rival, Keiko Fujimori.

Mr Castillo, a 51-year-old former school teacher and union leader, secured just over 50% of the votes.

He will now be sworn in as Peru's president on 28 July.

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Russian troops to conduct military drills near the Afghanistan border.

Russia said  it will stage military drills next month with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan near the border with Afghanistan where the Taliban has led a lightning offensive against government troops.

The joint drills will take place August 5-10 at the Kharbmaidon training ground in Tajikistan near the Afghan border

The troops will run drills to defeat "illegal armed units that invaded the territory of an allied country.

Troops from a Russian military base in Tajikistan and the Central Military District will take part in the games.

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19 July 2021

US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan to form new quad grouping.

The US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan have agreed in principle to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity. The parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing.

Afghanistan’s strategic location has for a long time been touted as a competitive advantage for the country. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, and China to the northeast.

The formation of the new quad group is important amid China's desire to extend its Belt Road Initiative (BRI) to Afghanistan. The BRI, a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013, aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes. By virtue of its location, Afghanistan can provide China with a strategic base to spread its influence across the world.

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