Category Archives: World

Japan fleet Pacific exercise

Brussels 18.06.2022 Japan has dispatched a Maritime Self-Defense Force flotilla on a deployment to 11 Indo-Pacific countries and one foreign territory as part of joint naval exercises with the United States and other countries undertaken to counter a more assertive China.

In the annual deployment that began last Monday and will run to Oct. 28, the MSDF fleet will make port calls in the Pacific island nations of the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Fiji for the first time, according to the Defense Ministry.

The fleet will also take part in the Rim of the Pacific exercis – the world’s largest multinational naval exercise – the Pacific Vanguard exercise involving Australia, Japan, the United States and South Korea, and other drills, the ministry said.

Canada: Trudeau press harness

Brussels 14.04.2022 Rebel News founder Ezra Levant voiced his concerns after the Trudeau administration denied his outlet what he described as a newly-conceived “license” to fully practice journalism.

If the Liberal Party leader’s behaviour during the Ottawa trucker convoyL protests is any indicator, he is working hard to punish critics and upturn their lives, Levant said to FoxNews.

The media professional explained how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously slammed his agency when a reporter from it asked a question during a press availability while the politician was running for reelection in 2021.

At the time, Prime minister Trudeau claimed Rebel News was engaging in “disinformation on the science around vaccines” and made a point to declare he could not bring himself to describe them as a “media organisation.”

“It’s not yet illegal to do journalism without that license, it’s a government license called the Qualified Canadian Journalism Organisation License. A government panel reviews you. They spent one year reviewing Rebel News, looking through more than 100 of our stories,” Levant told host Tucker Carlson.

“A panel of five people in secret: We don’t even know what they said or did or what they looked at. And they claim that only one percent of our stories are news, so we don’t get the license.”

Japan welcomes Ukraine refugees

Strasbourg 05.04.2022 Japan’s unusually welcoming approach to evacuees from Ukraine who have fled Russia’s invasion — a contrast to its traditionally strict refugee policy — reflects the government’s desire to stay in line with public sentiment and show it is contributing as a Western nation, pundits say. (Image: Tokyo, Japan).

Ahead of the House of Councillors election slated for this summer, the government is sensitive to public opinion which is in favour of helping the evacuees, with many companies and local municipalities offering support for them.

The government is also eager to demonstrate that it is joining efforts by the United States and Europe to aid the surging number of those fleeing Ukraine, which now exceeds 4 million, in the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

On Tuesday, 20 evacuees from Ukraine arrived in Japan from Poland aboard a government plane, traveling together with Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, who had been sent to Ukraine’s western neighbor as a special envoy to support evacuees.

Prior to his return, Hayashi said the Japanese government “would reach out from a humanitarian perspective and provide maximum support (for evacuees from Ukraine) who will be far away from their homeland, so they can live peacefully in Japan.”

The government said it plans to first provide them support for around six months including help with housing, employment and language lessons.

On Monday, Hayashi told his counterpart Zbigniew Rau in Warsaw that Japan would accept “as many (evacuees) as possible” from Ukraine. The Asian country welcomed 404 evacuees from the war-ravaged nation between March 2 and Sunday, April 3.

Bringing the evacuees on the government plane was a way to show “Japan’s posture” in helping tackle the refugee crisis, with over 2.4 million people having crossed the border into Poland so far, a Japanese official said.

The official brushed aside the comparably low number taken in by Japan, saying, “The value of assisting does not decrease just because the number of people is low.”

A senior official close to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also said that the use of the government plane was “to clearly show that we are strongly engaged in tackling this problem. We know that it was a performance.”

Russia sanctions Biden and Blinken

Brussels 15.03.2022 Moscow has imposed personal sanctions on President Joe Biden and representatives of the U.S. leadership and persons associated with them on Tuesday, March 15, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced in a statement.

“In response to a series of unprecedented sanctions prohibiting, among other things, entry into the United States for senior officials of the Russian Federation…From March 15, President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of Defense L. Austin and 10 others are included in the Russian ‘stop list’ and are to be sanctioned in retaliation and are barred from entering Russia,” the Russian diplomacy statement reads.

The Foreign ministry said it was maintaining official relations with Washington and if necessary would make possible that high-level contacts with the people on the list could take place.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, many Western countries announced large-scale sanctions against Russia, primarily against the banking sector and the supply of high-tech products. In addition, many brands have announced the termination of work in the country.

Japan considers sanitary regime

Brussels 06.02.2022 Japan plans to decide whether to extend a COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo and 12 prefectures in the first half of this week, government sources said Sunday, February 6.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida affirmed the plan during talks with health minister Shigeyuki Goto and related ministers, the sources said, as the Tokyo metropolitan government reported 17,526 daily coronavirus cases in the capital, the highest tally for a Sunday.

Kishida instructed Noriko Horiuchi, minister in charge of promoting vaccine rollouts, to speed up administering third shots to cope with the new wave of infections spurred by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The government is considering extending the quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo and 12 prefectures by two weeks or to the end of the month from the original end date of February 13.

The 12 prefectures are Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, which border the capital, as well as Gunma, Niigata, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Kagawa, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Miyazaki.

If any of the 13 local authorities do not wish to extend the emergency, the government will respect such intent.

Quasi-emergency measures involve restricting business hours of restaurants and bars, as well as a request to refrain from nonessential travel between prefectures in an effort to reduce strain on the medical system.

Kazakhstan: Borrell calls for restraint

Brussels 09.01.2022 Anna van Densky “We are concerned by the violence which has erupted, following peaceful protests, in Kazakhstan, which is an important partner for the European Union, with an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in force, and for the stability of the region” reads the Declaration by High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union on the situation Kazakhstan.(Image: social media).

“We deeply regret the loss of life and strongly condemn the widespread acts of violence. It is important to prevent further escalations, to avoid any incitement to violence, to exercise restraint at all times, and to avoid exploitation of unrest for other purposes.

“We stand ready to provide assistance for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Outside military support should respect the sovereignty and independence of Kazakhstan as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens.

“We urge Kazakhstan’s authorities to uphold their commitments at this challenging time, including respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of their citizens, particularly, the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and of the media”.

More than 160 people were killed and 5,000 arrested in Kazakhstan after the riots that shook Central Asia’s largest country over the past week. The interior ministry, quoted on Sunday, January 9, by local media, said initial estimates put property damage at about 175 million euros ($198m) after the wide-spread violence.

Kazakhstan: killed protesters in morgues

Brussels 06.01.2022 “Dozens” of protesters were killed by police on Wednesday night, 5-6 January, as they tried to seize administrative buildings in Kazakhstan, police said.

“Last night, extremist forces tried to storm administrative buildings, the Almaty city police department, as well as local departments and police stations,” police spokesman Saltanat Azirbek was quoted as saying by the Interfax-Kazakhstan, TASS and Ria Novosti agencies.

!!! WARNING! DISTURBING GRAPHIC!!!

“Dozens of assailants have been eliminated and their identities are being identified,” he added.

Azirbek said an “anti-terrorist” operation was underway in one of the districts of Almaty, the economic capital of the Central Asian country, where the riots were most violent.

The announcement comes after the arrival in the country of peacekeeping troops from a Russian-led military alliance (Collective Security Treaty Organization -CSTO) following a request from the President Tokayev as anti-government protests continued.

Demonstrations across Kazakhstan started on Sunday, January 2, over a near-doubling of liquid gas prices widely used for cars, but have since grown to include other grievances including poor living conditions in some areas, as well as 30 years under the rule of the same party since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Kazakhstan: President Tokayev vows to stay

Brussels 06.01.2022 Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his televised address to the nation vowed to stay in the capital no matter what as it is his duty under the Constitution to be together with the people.
“No matter what, I will stay in the capital. This is my duty under the Constitution to be together with the people. We will overcome this dark period in Kazakhstan’s history. We will come out of it being strong,” Tokayev said.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that he remains committed to consistent reforms and will soon present proposals for the political transformation of the country.

“Soon I will present new proposals for the political transformation of Kazakhstan. I maintain the same position of consistent reforms,” he said.

Kazakhstan has been engulfed by protests for the fourth day in a row. The protests flared up on January 2 in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangystau Region, in southwestern Kazakhstan, and then swept across other centers.

The President imposed a two-week state of emergency in the Mangystau Region and in the Almaty Region, as well as the republic’s largest city of Almaty and the capital Nur-Sultan. On January 5, the head of the state also accepted the government’s resignation.

The demands of the crowds are sounding increasingly political, according to reports from the region.
However they began with something very pointed: the price of liquified petroleum gas, or LPG, the fuel that many use to power their cars.

Kazakhstan in state of emergency

Brussels 06.01.2022 The law-enforcement personnel have launched a special counter-terror operation in Almaty where chaos and looting continues, the Almaty commandant’s office reported on Wednesday, January 5. (Image: social media).

“A special counter-terror operation has been launched in the city to establish order,” the statement reads.

The commandant’s office also called on Almaty residents “to remain calm and render assistance to the law-enforcement agencies in establishing the Constitutional order and public security.”

As the statement says, “radically-minded supporters of riots have caused huge damage to the city, put up resistance to the legitimate actions of law-enforcement agencies for establishing order and providing security.”

The commandant’s office also reported that “the extremists are on a looting spree, causing damage to business.” Moreover, “they are endangering the lives and health of civilians, obstructing the work of medical workers and causing damage to polyclinics and hospitals.”

“Bandits who are on the rampage in Almaty are highly organised, which is evidence that they were seriously trained abroad” and “their attack on Kazakhstan is an act of aggression and an attempt to disrupt the state’s integrity,” the text continues.

Protests have been raging in Kazakhstan for the fourth day in a row. On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangistau region in the country’s southwest, protesting against fuel price hikes.

Two days later, riots erupted in Almaty where police used stun grenades to disperse crowds and also in other cities, in particular, in Atyrau and Aktobe, Uralsk, Taraz, Shymkent and Kyzylorda, Karaganda and in the capital of Nur-Sultan.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev earlier declared a state of emergency in the Mangistau and Almaty regions and also in Almaty and Nur-Sultan for two weeks. After that, a state of emergency was declared on the entire territory of Kazakhstan. On January 5, the head of the Kazakh state dismissed the government.

Its members continue discharging their duties until a new Cabinet is approved.

Pontifex Urbi et Orbi

Brussels 25.12.2021 Pope Francis gave his traditional Xmas message, followed by his “Urbi et Orbi” blessing to the city and the world to crowds of pilgrims gathered in a Saint Peter’s Square under the rain and to the world via a broadcast and streaming around the globe.

In his opening words he announced “the Word of God, who created the world and who gives meaning to history and to humanity’s journey, became flesh and came to dwell among us.” This event that fills the heart with wonder, he noted, shows how “the Word became flesh in order to dialogue with us,” since “God himself, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is dialogue, an eternal and infinite communion of love and life.” Through Jesus, God showed us the way to encounter and dialogue, “so that we might know it and follow it, in trust and hope.”

Patient dialogue for unity and peace
The Pope observed that our world needs dialogue, especially in these pandemic times where unity and solidarity are essential to overcoming the hurt in social relationships, putting them to the test. Imagine what our world would be like if it were not for the patient dialogue of so many generous persons trying to keep families and communities together, preventing and resolving conflicts, he said.

Decrying the “great number” of seemingly unending conflicts, crises and divisions we are witnessing today, the Pope contrasted them with how today we celebrate the message of the Saviour’s birth, “source of true peace” that “resounds in our hearts” and the world. The Christmas message calls on us to respond to the tragedies in our world, he stressed, recalling the people of Syria who have suffered from ten years of war, and Iraq struggling to recover from decades of strife. He asked the world to hear the cry of the children of Yemen, suffering terribly as a result of a years-long conflict.

The Pope recalled the ongoing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, the town of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, struggling from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, as well as the nation of Lebanon’s unprecedented economic and social crisis.

Despite these shadows, there is “the sign of hope”, the Pope underscored, “the Love that moves the sun and the other stars” became flesh, sharing in our plight and breaking down the walls of indifference. The little child “in need of everything”, came “to give us everything”. The Pope encouraged everyone then to ask the Lord for “the strength to be open to dialogue” and create in our hearts a real desire for “reconciliation and fraternity,” turning to Him in prayer.
Peace for the Middle East, Myanmar and Ukraine
Looking at areas of the world in special need of our prayers and solidarity, the Pope’s thoughts turned to all working to provide humanitarian aid to those fleeing their homelands for various reasons, including Afghanistan suffering from more than forty years of war. He remembered the people of Myanmar where intolerance and violence are rampant, affecting even the Christian community and places of worship. The Pope prayed for all people working to advance encounter and dialogue in these places, also remembering the people of Ukraine and its ongoing conflict.

Reconciliation and solidarity in Africa and the Americas
The Pope prayed for Ethiopia and that it might find the path to peace once again remembering first the needs of its suffering people. He also remembered those living in the Sahel region affected by the violence of international terrorism, for North Africa struggling to overcome social and economic instability, and for those suffering from conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan. May dialogue, mutual respect, solidarity and reconciliation prevail in the hearts of peoples in the Americas, the Pope prayed.

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