Category Archives: World

EU calls Baku to release protestors

Dozens of people were detained on October 19 in Baku, Azerbaijan, following their attempt to rally peacefully.

Excessive and unprovoked force was reportedly used to disperse the crowds and arrest participants. Such incidents need to be investigated. We equally call on the authorities to release peaceful protesters remaining in detention”  says the Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest developments in Azerbaijan.

*Freedom of assembly is a fundamental human right and we expect Azerbaijan to ensure that it can be fully exercised, in line with the country’s international obligations.*

Police in Azerbaijan on Saturday detained scores of protesters, including the leader of the main opposition Popular Front, at the start of a planned rally against low salaries, corruption and a lack of democracy in the energy-rich ex-Soviet state. 

The protesters who attempted to rally in the streets of the capital had put forward demands of higher salaries for state employees and fair and independent elections. The human rights groups have been criticising Azerbaijan for a long time for a poor fundamental rights records. 

Popular Front leader Ali Kerimli said that some 50 people, mostly organizers of Saturday’s unauthorized rally, had already been detained earlier in the week, exact numbers of arrested are unknown.

Incumbent President Ilham Aliyev rules the country after death of his farther – the first President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev (1993-2003) who previously was the First secretary of the Communist party of Soviet Republic (1969-1982), and member of the Politburo of the USSR. The spouse of the President AlieyvMehriban – is his first Vice-President of Azerbajan. (Image above: President and First Vice-President of Azerbaijan).

Hong Kong extradition bill withdrawn

The embattled Hong Kong  leader announced on September 4 that she was withdrawing a controversial extradition bill that would have given Beijing the power to move people away into Republic of China‘s legal system. The bill that sparked the huge ongoing anti-government protests, which are now in their third month, but abandoning the bill for a time being does not remove it from the agenda.

Bullet sent in a letter to S.Korea Embassy

A letter containing what appeared to be a bullet was sent to the South Korean Embassy in Japan, police said September 3. The incident took place during the period of sharply deteriorating ties between the two countries over wartime history and trade policy.

Police said they are analyzing the object to confirm whether it is a bullet, and to possibly help identify the sender.

The letter was delivered to the embassy in Tokyo (pictured) on August 27 and addressed to former Ambassador Lee Su Hoon, sources close to the matter said. It was sent an anonymously, and contained a threat, indicating that the sender had a rifle and is targeting a South Korean, according to the sources. The police investigation was launched.

Relations between two countries deteriorated swiftly after the South Korean Supreme Court last autumn ordered two Japanese companies to pay damages to South Koreans who it indicated were forced to work in their factories during Japanese colonial rule.

Japan reiterates that the issue of compensation stemming from its colonial rule was settled “finally and completely” in a 1965 bilateral agreement under which Japan provided South Korea with $300 million in grants and $200 million in loans.

Kyrgyz ex-President surrendered

Kyrgyzstan’s ex-president Almazbek Atambayev has surrendered to the authorities, the supporters of the former head of state confirmed to TASS news agency.

Atambayev has been taken away from the territory of his residence by police agents,” a spokesman for Atambayev’s supporters said.

More than 50 people were injured, and one special police forces agent was killed  when Atambayev‘s supporters resisted the operation aimed at detaining the ex-president, who has been investigated in abuse of power, corruption, forgery and other crimes. Atambayev has denied all allegations, claiming they are politically motivated, he insists on his innocence and called his supporter for protest demonstration in capital Bishkek.

AMENDED:

We continue to follow this situation closely. We expect the situation to be resolved without escalation and in full respect of the Kyrgyz Republic’s legal framework” European External Action Service spokesperson said.

 

Kyrgyzstan ex-President arrest failed

The speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament Dastan Dzhumabekov interrupted his vacation and headed to the capital Bishkek, his secretary told Akipress. The crisis meeting was proposed by a few Members of Parliament after the failure of arrest of ex-President Almazbek Atambayev, resulted in clashes between commandos and  the supporters, who considered the action was politically motivated and unjust.

At present the residence of Atambayev is in flames, the Koi Tash village is barricaded by his supporters, preventing police to enter, and  ex-President whereabouts are unknown. He made a statement via telephone, calling police to restrain from shooting people to avoid “the worst“.

The supporters of ex-President and inhabitants of Koi Tash village have captured a few commandos, and demanded to restore the internet and electricity in the exchange for their release. At present the information concerning the evens in the village is contradictory.  (Images below: Atambayev greets his supporters in the beginning of the police operation attempting his arrest).

On June 27 the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan voted to strip Atambayev of the immunity and status of the ex-President, opening the way to trial. He is suspected in a number of crimes, including corruption in the reconstruction of the Bishkek  power plant, the illegal release of the criminal Aziz Batukayev; and illegal obtaining of a plot for the construction of a house in the village of Koi Tash. The lawyer of the ex-President Slesarev assessed the decision of the deputies as not consistent with the country’s Constitution. Atambayev denied all the allegations, insisting the entire process is politically motivated.

A month ago Atambayev was commenting on his possible arrest: “I am ready for anything. I will resist. I have a premium weapon. Speaking specifically about this. The Kyrgyz have a proverb: rather than lying to die, it is better to die by shooting. But I will be alone, there will be no one near me”.

At present in Koi Tash, located 20 km from Bishkek, the electricity and internet were cutt off. Journalists from the Kyrgyz media reporting the special operation to arrest ex-President stopped contacting the newsroom. They are not available either on the Internet or by phone. All TV channels, sympathizing ex-President are shut down since the beginning of the special operation of his arrest.

The authorities informed about one dead, and 43 people from Koi Tash clashes hospitalized.

Atambayev led Kyrgyzstan from 2011 to 2017 and became the first president to voluntarily leave his post after a full first term. He initiated the nomination of the incumbent president Sooronbai Jeenbekov as a candidate. Last spring, Atambayev publicly admitted that there were serious disagreements with Jeenbekov, from then their rivalry became public.

The European Union supports the democratisation of Kyrgyzstan;

Support to democratic elections as the cornerstone of any democratic system has been provided since 2010, and a new programme for democratisation through electoral reform has become operational in 2016 (€13.1 million). A substantial Rule of Law programme (€13.5 million for 2014-2018, €13 million for 2018-2021) helps to enhance the quality of legislation and increase the efficiency, independence, professionalism and capacities of the judiciary. In addition, the EU provided support to people affected by the violence and financed a large number of projects aiming at increasing human security, building trust and preventing future conflicts. Around €20 million has been committed for stabilisation and democratisation support.” (Source: European External Action Service).

Siberia fires: illegal timber trade with China

Among major causes of devastating Sibera fires Duma Ecology committee chair Vladimir Bourmatov points at the activities of illegal lumberjacks, or “black loggers”. At present upon the request of the State Duma, the government and the Investigative committee of the Russian Federation, have launched the investigation into the occurrence of 500 epicenters of forest blaze as cause of illegal human activities. (Image above: Russian social networks).

The entire forest industry in Russia is in the “shadow” sector. A temporary timber export embargo has been suggested earlier this year. The statement was made by the chairwoman of the Federation Council (upper house of Russian parliament) Valentina Matvienko, requesting an imposition of embargo on the export of timber from Russia until rules are in place. She suggested to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to take measures without delay in February this year.

Matvienko explained the ways of illegal logging and illegal export abroad. The entire trade is oriented toward China as the largest importer of round timber in the world. Thus, massive deforestation is conducted under the pretext of sanitary protection of removing the diseased and rotting trees, instead the companies which are supposed to take care of the forests, are cutting down the best of spruces, pines and oaks and transporting them to China. The lucrative illegal trade is masked by ecological activities across the entire Siberia.

The forest fires in Siberia began almost a week ago, but because of the negligence of Russian officials, who were unwilling to take an action, the area of ignition has been steadily and rapidly increasing reaching an epic scale: more than three million hectares in flames, and smoke stretches for 700 km. At present it has already reached the coast of the USA and Canada, cities touched Vancouver and Seattle.

However the smoke from the blaze continues to stretch further: is now visible in Alaska. In total, three million hectares of forest burn in Siberia. It roughly reaches the size of Belgium.

Meteorology professor from Moscow State University, Alexander Kislov said that the burning particles can fly around the entire planet from west to east, following the movement of Earth in space.

Under wave of international criticism Roscosmos Corporation revealed the gravity of the situation publishing the images of fires swiftly spreading along territories of Russian Federation in the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Republic of Sakha, Buryatia, the Irkutsk Region, the Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk Territories.

After the situation caused grave international concern, Russian authorities started to act under direct orders of President Putin, who sent army to resolve the ecological crisis.

At present more than 2.8 million hectares of forest are consumed by blaze, withe the largest area in fire is in Yakutia, where 1.1 million hectares of forest are in flames, in the Krasnoyarsk Territory the flames spread to more than one million hectares, and in the Irkutsk Region – 700 thousand hectares.

This week only 2.700 people, 390 units of ground equipment and 28 aircraft take part in extinguishing on the territory in flames equal to Belgium. The Siberians claim the response in not relevant to the scale of drama.

Among the other causes of Siberia fires Bourmatov names the inefficient and insufficient measures of prevention.

President Trump spoke with President Putin on July 31, and offered U.S. help in fighting according to a Kremlin account of the call.

Putin, in response, expressed his “sincere gratitude” to Trump and said that if necessary, he will accept the offer, the Kremlin said.

Putin, has called in the army to fight the forest fires, enveloping entire Siberian cities in black smoke for weeks. The local authorities has been explaining to population that measures against forest fires are not “economically viable“. They added that rains will stop the advancement of blaze, while meteo scientists clarified that hot air raising from fires prevents formation of clouds. There are no natural heavy rainfall expected until mid-September.

 

Taiwan-Okinawa ancient migrant route

Taiwan museums and their Japanese colleagues launched a third experiment of human migration route from Taiwan to Okinawa, which they presume existed about 30,000 years ago. (Image above: illustration).

The sea voyage in a dugout canoe is one of multiple research projects signed in 2017 between Taiwan’s National Museum of Prehistory and Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science.

Scientists at Japan‘s National Museum of Nature and Science have been trying for three years to obtain evidence of a hypotheses that people migrated from Taiwan to Okinawa some 30,000 years ago with archaic canoe. Previous attempts using a grass boat and a bamboo raft failed, but scientists don’t give up.

The crew five members on the canoe will use the sun and stars for navigation. They are expected to reach Yonaguni Island in 30 to 40 hours.

The museum informed the vessel left the east coast of Taiwan around 1:30 PM, local time, on July 7.

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