Home » Archives by category » World

Italians come out to demand support for Afghan women

Italians come out to demand support for Afghan women

Thousands of people have demonstrated in cities across Italy to support Afghan womenByThe Associated PressSeptember 25, 2021, 7:58 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleROME — Thousands of people demonstrated in cities across Italy on Saturday to support Afghan women and demand continued international pressure on the country’s Taliban leaders to let women participate in the educational and political life of the country.Among the groups organizing the protests were members of the Pangea Foundation, which had worked for 20 years on economic development projects for Afghan women before finding itself helping to evacuate them when the Taliban took over.At the protest Saturday, Pangea supporters had a P drawn on their hand. It was the same P that Afghan women wrote on their hands to be recognized at the Kabul airport and evacuated during the chaotic weeks as Western nations ended their military missions.“We must continue to put pressure so that women can participate not only in education but also in the politics of their country,” Simona Lanzoni, vice president of Pangea, said during the Rome protest. “And then we must continue perhaps the humanitarian evacuations in a specific way, thinking first of all of those women who were not able to enter the airport in August but today are really risking in Afghanistan.”The event with the slogan ”#Nonlasciamolesole (“Let’s not abandon them”) brought thousands out in several Italian cities, where speakers called for a permanent observatory on women’s rights in Afghanistan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the United Nations.

Govt offices in Kosovo targeted as tensions soar with Serbia

Govt offices in Kosovo targeted as tensions soar with Serbia

Kosovo government officials say a public building was set on fire and another was hit by grenades that didn’t explode in what they described as criminal acts related to a protest by ethnic SerbsBy ZENEL ZHINIPOTOKU and LLAZAR SEMINI Associated PressSeptember 25, 2021, 5:48 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articlePRISTINA, Kosovo — A public building in Kosovo was set on fire and another was hit by grenades that did not explode in what government officials described Saturday as criminal acts related to ethnic Serbs protesting a symbolic move on license plates.Serbian media quoted the head of the Zubin Potok fire department, Sasa Bozovic, as saying a fire that broke out overnight at the town’s municipal building engulfed two offices.The Kosovo Interior Ministry said the blaze burned down a vehicle registration office. It was done “by suspects in a criminal act with terrorist elements,” Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla wrote on Facebook.Ethnic Kosovo Serbs have blocked the Kosovo-Serbia border with trucks since Monday, angry that Kosovo sent in special police to match Serbia in a license plate move that heightens tensions in the Balkans. Kosovo now removes license plates from cars entering the country from Serbia, as Serbia does with Kosovo plates. They both force drivers to buy temporary plates.Serbia doesn’t recognize its former province of Kosovo as a separate nation and considers their mutual border only as a temporary boundary.In Zvecan, a town 10 miles away, two hand grenades were thrown into a public office but did not explode, said Prime Minister Albin Kurti, who was convening a meeting Saturday of the country’s National Security Council.Kurti accused Serbia’s government of “inciting and supporting” such behavior and “exploiting Kosovo citizens to provoke a serious international conflict.”Serbia has put its army troops in regions near Kosovo on higher alert. The state RTS television reported Saturday that Serbian military jets flew in the border area twice during the day, prompting cheers from the protesting Serbs.Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has described Kosovo’s recent license plate move as a “criminal action,” and he made the withdrawal of all Kosovar special police a condition of European Union-mediated negotiations to resolve the dispute.But after the grenades and the fire, Kosovo’s government did not sound ready Saturday to pull the special police back.“These criminal acts best show what would have occurred with the border crossings in Jarinje and Brnjak unless special forces were sent there to guarantee public order and security,” Svecla wrote.The European Union and the United States have urged Kosovo and Serbia to immediately exercise restraint and refrain from unilateral actions.Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani called on the world “not to ignore what is clearly (being) seen — a Russian-Serbian tendency to damage the European Union and NATO” by increasing tensions in the Balkans.“It is time that the international community, and first of all the EU and NATO member countries, see such a danger and prevent the Vucic regime from realizing its goal of creating the ‘Serb world,’” she wrote in Facebook, while in New York at the U.N. General Assembly.A bloody 1998-1999 crackdown by Serbian troops against Kosovo Albanian separatists ended after NATO intervention, and Kosovo declared independence in 2008. It has been recognized by the U.S. and other Western nations, but not by Serbia and allies Russia and China.Thousands of NATO-led peacekeepers, including U.S. troops, are still deployed in Kosovo, trying to stave off lingering ethnic tensions between majority Kosovo Albanians and minority Kosovo Serbs.———Llazar Semini reported from Tirana, Albania; Jovana Gec from Belgrade, Serbia.

Merkel warns against socialist swing as Germans head to the polls

Merkel warns against socialist swing as Germans head to the polls

Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned voters Saturday that a socialist government could “strangulate” businesses and isolate Germany on a global scale. “It’s about keeping Germany stable. It’s about your future,” she told conservative supporters, first reported by Politico. Speaking from an event in western Germany in support of Armin Laschet – the lead candidate of her party, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) – Merkel took a serious tone.GERMANY ELECTIONS: WHO WILL REPLACE ANGELA MERKEL? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW”In some election campaigns you get the impression that it’s perhaps about this or that topic but that in the end it perhaps doesn’t really matter who governs Germany,” she said. “But I want to tell you from my experience that in the political life of a chancellor there are moments where it’s anything but irrelevant who governs, where you have to take the right decision.”Merkel’s 16-year role as chancellor means that not only Germans are paying attention to how shifting politics in the economic powerhouse could change dynamics globally. With the biggest economy in Europe, Germany has played a leading role within the European Union. But Germany’s role in the international community could see a shift if the Social Democratic Party (SDP) take up the chancellor’s seat.The SDP is currently beating Merkel’s party by roughly three points with 25 percent of Germans throwing their support behind the leftist party, compared to the CDU’s 22 percent support rating, reported Politico.MERKEL CANCELS TRIP TO ISRAEL AMID AFGHANISTAN CRISIS, HEIGHTENING FEARS OF INCREASING INSTABILITY IN REGIONBut Merkel’s party could still have the opportunity to name Laschet as chancellor if the CDU manages to form a majority with coalition partners.German elections are run on a system of proportional representation – meaning that voters don’t actually elect the chancellor. Ballots are instead cast for the preferred political party. Coalitions must then be formed to combine like-minded groups in support of the candidate that most closely represents their political ideals.Laschet on Saturday reportedly accused rival SPD candidate Olaf Scholz of already working to make coalition alliances with the Green and Left parties.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe conservative candidate also warned against advancing climate-based initiatives, like lowering carbon gas emissions, too quickly.”We need to manage the whole thing in a socially acceptable way or the country collapses,” Laschet said. Adding that maintaining stability in the EU “was more important than ever in this unstable world.”The polls will open Sunday for Germany’s first chancellor race in almost two decades. Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Catalonia's Puigdemont to attend October extradition hearing

Catalonia's Puigdemont to attend October extradition hearing

Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont is vowing to keep travelling throughout Europe to campaign for the region’s independence from SpainBy ANDREA ROSA and NICOLE WINFIELD Associated PressSeptember 25, 2021, 7:33 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleALGHERO, Sardinia — Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont vowed Saturday to keep travelling throughout Europe to campaign for the region’s independence from Spain but confirmed he would appear at an Oct. 4 hearing to decide whether he will be extradited to Spain to face sedition charges.Puigdemont, a member of the European Union’s parliament who previously served as president of Spain’s restive Catalonia region, struck a defiant tone during a press conference 48 hours after he was arrested upon his arrival in Sardinia to attend a Catalan cultural festival and then freed.The Sardinian judge who released him imposed no travel restrictions pending the Oct. 4 extradition hearing, suggesting Puigdemont had a green light to leave Italy and close the case. But Piugdemont said Saturday he would attend the hearing, “answer all the questions the judge will ask me,” and assumed he would walk free.“My plan is once the Italian justice says OK, your duty is finished, I will return to my home in Belgium,” he said.Puigdemont and a number of his separatist colleagues fled to Belgium in October 2017, fearing arrest after holding an independence referendum for Catalonia that the Spanish courts and government said was illegal.Members of his entourage called his high-profile arrest and speedy release a political “boomerang” for Spain, which earlier this month restarted talks with the regional leadership of Catalonia aimed at resolving the political crisis that has persisted since the referendum.Puigdemont vowed to keep travelling throughout Europe to press his cause and said the previous two days had proved that he enjoyed the support of European judicial institutions.“All that has happened in the last hours prove all of our arguments, all of our reasons in our fight for freedom, for democracy to defend the right of self determination, and the right to free speech, free movement, the right to be engaged in politics,” he said.“The only crime we committed was organizing a referendum,” he added.At the heart of the immediate legal matter is whether the warrant issued by Spain seeking Puigdemont’s arrest is valid. Gonzalo Boye, his lawyer, has insisted the European warrant issued in 2019 that provided the basis for Italian authorities to detain him had been suspended.The Spanish Supreme Court judge handling the case, Pablo Llarena, sent a letter to the European Union’s Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation stating that the arrest warrant was “in force.”It’s not the first time Spanish courts have tried to detain Puigdemont abroad. After a Belgian court declined to send him back in 2017, the following year he was arrested in Germany but a court there also refused to extradite him.Nine other Catalan separatists received prison sentences for their role in the 2017 referendum ranging from nine to 13 years. They were pardoned in July, but Puigdemont, who fled, was not.Although Puigdemont holds a seat in the European Parliament, that legislature stripped him of parliamentary immunity. Puigdemont noted he was due in Strasbourg on Oct. 4 for a Parliament session, but said he would follow it remotely from his laptop in Sardinia if he had to.———Winfield contributed from Rome.

Kim's sister: NKorea willing to talk if Seoul shows respect

Kim's sister: NKorea willing to talk if Seoul shows respect

The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says her country will take steps to repair ties with South Korea, and may even discuss another summit between their leaders, if the South drops what she described as hostility and double standardsBy KIM TONG-HYUNG Associated PressSeptember 25, 2021, 2:06 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleSEOUL, South Korea — The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Saturday that her country will take steps to repair ties with South Korea, and may even discuss another summit between their leaders, if the South drops what she described as hostility and double standards.The comments by Kim Yo Jong followed a similar statement she issued Friday that the North was willing to resume talks with the South if certain conditions were met.Analysts say North Korea is using South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s desire for inter-Korean engagement to pressure Seoul to persuade the Biden administration to ease crippling U.S.-led sanctions over the North’s nuclear weapons program or suspend combined U.S.-South Korean military exercises.In her latest statement, Kim, a senior official who handles inter-Korean affairs, criticized Seoul for describing the North’s recent weapons tests as provocations when it’s trying to expand its own military capabilities. North Korea has often accused the South of hypocrisy for introducing modern weapons while calling for talks on easing tensions on the divided peninsula.Kim urged the South to abandon its “unfair double-dealing standards, hostile policies (toward North Korea), various prejudices and hostile comments destroying trust,” if it wants the North to respond to its calls to improve ties.If the Koreas are able to build mutual trust, Kim said North Korea could possibly respond to the South’s calls for a declaration to formally end the Korean War, restore an inter-Korean liaison office the North destroyed in 2020, and discuss another summit.“There is no need for the (North) and the (South) to waste time faulting each other and engaging in a war of words at present,” said Kim, adding that the future of bilateral relations depends on the choices the South makes.“I won’t predict here what will come — a balmy breeze or a storm,” she said.Ties between the rivals flourished in 2018, when Moon helped set up Kim Jong Un’s first summit with former President Donald Trump. The Korean leaders met three times that year and vowed to resume inter-Korean economic cooperation when possible, expressing optimism that the sanctions would end and allow such projects.But North Korea later cut off ties with South Korea following the collapse of the second summit between Kim and Trump in 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korea’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling an aging nuclear facility. That would have amounted to only a partial surrender of the North’s nuclear capabilities.Kim Yo Jong’s statements came in response to Moon’s speech at the U.N. General assembly this week, where he called for a declaration between the leaders of the Koreas, the United States and China to end the 1950-53 Korean War, which stopped with an armistice, not a peace treaty.Kim and North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song issued separate statements on Friday rebuffing Moon’s proposal, saying the North has no interest in such a declaration while the United States maintains its “hostile” policies. But Kim struck a softer note, saying North Korea was willing to hold “constructive” talks if the South stops provoking it.

Protesters in Moscow allege online election tampering

Protesters in Moscow allege online election tampering

About 400 demonstrators gathered in central Moscow to protest alleged tampering in the national parliament election in which the dominant pro-Kremlin party retained a constitutional majorityByThe Associated PressSeptember 25, 2021, 6:30 PM• 1 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleMOSCOW — About 400 demonstrators gathered in central Moscow to protest alleged tampering in the national parliament election in which the dominant pro-Kremlin party retained a constitutional majority.The Saturday demonstration at Pushkin Square was organized by the Communist Party, which increased its share of seats in the State Duma in the election but is contesting the results from online balloting that accounted for some 2 million votes in Moscow.No arrests were made at the protest, but the Communists said about 60 of their activists had been detained ahead of the demonstration. Many were released after being held for a few hours.Official results gave the United Russia party, which is loyal to President Vladimir Putin, 324 seats in the 450-member Duma, more than the two-thirds majority needed to change the constitution. The Communists are the second-largest faction with 57 seats, up from their previous 42; three other parties also won seats.

Canadians, Chinese executive return home in prisoner swap

Canadians, Chinese executive return home in prisoner swap

TORONTO — China, the U.S. and Canada completed a high-stakes prisoner swap with joyous homecomings for two Canadians held by China and for an executive of Chinese global communications giant Huawei Technologies charged with fraud, potentially bringing closure to a 3-year feud that embroiled the three countries.Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hugged diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on the tarmac after they landed in Calgary, Alberta early Saturday. The men were detained in China in Dec. 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, on a U.S. extradition request.Many countries labeled China’s action “hostage politics,” while China accused Ottawa of arbitrary detention. The two Canadians were jailed for more than 1,000 days.“It’s fantastic to be back home in Canada and I am immensely grateful to everybody who worked hard to bring both of us back home,” a noticeably thinner Kovrig said after a Canadian government plane landed in Toronto and he was greeted by his wife and sister.“I’m feeling fantastic,” Kovrig said.Meng’s return to China later Saturday was carried live on state TV, underscoring the degree to which Beijing has linked her case with Chinese nationalism and its rise as a global economic and political power.Wearing a red dress matching the color of China’s flag, Meng thanked the ruling Communist Party and its leader Xi Jinping for supporting her through more than 1,000 days in house arrest in Vancouver, where she owns two multimillion dollar mansions.“I have finally returned to the warm embrace of the motherland,” Meng said. “As an ordinary Chinese citizen going through this difficult time, I always felt the warmth and concern of the party, the nation and the people.”The chain of events involving the global powers brought an abrupt end to legal and geopolitical wrangling that has roiled relations between Washington, Beijing and Ottawa. The three-way deal enabled China and Canada to each bring home their own detained citizens while the U.S. wrapped up a criminal case against Meng that for months had been mired in an extradition fight.“These two men have been through an unbelievably difficult ordeal. For the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance and grace and we are all inspired by that,” Trudeau said of the two Canadians.The first activity came Friday afternoon when Meng, 49, reached an agreement with federal prosecutors that called for fraud charges against her to be dismissed next year and allowed for her to return to China immediately. As part of the deal, known as a deferred prosecution agreement, she accepted responsibility for misrepresenting the company’s business dealings in Iran.The deal was reached as President Joe Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have sought to tamp down signs of public tension — even as the world’s two dominant economies are at odds on issues as diverse as cybersecurity, climate change, human rights and trade and tariffs. Biden said in an address before the U.N. General Assembly earlier this week that he had no intention of starting a “new Cold War,” while Xi told world leaders that disputes among countries “need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation.”“The U.S. Government stands with the international community in welcoming the decision by People’s Republic of China authorities to release Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig after more than two-and-a-half years of arbitrary detention. We are pleased that they are returning home to Canada,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.As part of the deal with Meng, the Justice Department agreed to dismiss the fraud charges against her in December 2022 — exactly four years after her arrest — provided that she complies with certain conditions, including not contesting any of the government’s factual allegations. The Justice Department also agreed to drop its request that Meng be extradited to the U.S., which she had vigorously challenged.After appearing via videoconference for her New York hearing, Meng made a brief court appearance in Vancouver, where she’d been out on bail living in a multimillion-dollar mansion while the two Canadians were held in Chinese prison cells where the lights were kept on 24 hours a day.Outside the courtroom, Meng thanked the Canadian government for upholding the rule of law, expressed gratitude to the Canadian people and apologized “for the inconvenience I caused.”“Over the last three years my life has been turned upside down,” she said. “It was a disruptive time for me as a mother, a wife and as a company executive. But I believe every cloud has a silver lining. It really was an invaluable experience in my life. I will never forget all the good wishes I received.”Shortly afterward, Meng left on an Air China flight for Shenzhen, China, the location of Huawei’s headquarters.Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies. It has been a symbol of China’s progress in becoming a technological world power — and a subject of U.S. security and law enforcement concerns. Some analysts say Chinese companies have flouted international rules and norms and stolen technology.The case against Meng stems from a January 2019 indictment from the Trump administration Justice Department that accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. The indictment also charged Meng herself with committing fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.The indictment came amid a broader Trump administration crackdown against Huawei over U.S. government concerns that the company’s products could facilitate Chinese spying. The administration cut off Huawei’s access to U.S. components and technology, including Google’s music and other smartphone services, and later barred vendors worldwide from using U.S. technology to produce components for Huawei.The Biden White House, meanwhile, has kept up a hard line on Huawei and other Chinese corporations whose technology is thought to pose national security risks. Huawei has repeatedly denied the U.S. government’s allegations and security concerns about its products.Former Canadian ambassador to China, Guy Saint-Jacques, Kovrig’s former boss, said he was elated the two Canadians are home.“Clearly, the Chinese were so eager to get Meng back that they jettisoned all pretensions that the two Michaels had been arrested for good reasons. They must acknowledge that their reputation has been severely tarnished,” Saint-Jacques said. “There is grumbling in the Communist party of China, people saying, ‘In which direction are we going, Xi Jinping? We are creating too many enemies. Why are we enemies with countries like Canada and Australia?’”Saint-Jacques said he thinks China will think twice before using “hostage diplomacy” again.————Eric Tucker in Washington, Jim Mustian in New York and Jim Morris in Vancouver, Canada, contributed to this report.

Page 1 of 93123Next ›Last »