Thursday, February 25

International

International

Hunger-striking Ethiopia politicians ‘deteriorating’ in jail

Lawyers representing jailed Ethiopian opposition politicians say they are concerned for the lives of their clients, whose hunger strike has gone on for nearly a month and drawn international attention as they protest their treatment by the government. “Four of them have continued with their hunger strike and their health is deteriorating quickly,” lawyer Tokuma Daba told The Associated Press news agency, saying he last visited them on Monday. “Our concern now is for their lives. We are told by medics that they need a sophisticated medical treatment, which is lacking now. It is really concerning.” The jailed politicians include media mogul-turned-politician Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, Hamza Adane, and Dejene Tafa. They were arrested along with at least 16 others following the killing o...
International

India’s health workers baulk at taking homegrown COVID vaccine

India is struggling to convince its healthcare and front-line workers to take a homegrown COVID-19 vaccine controversially approved without late-stage efficacy data, government data showed on Thursday, days ahead of a wider roll-out. The country has the world’s second-highest number of COVID-19 infections after the United States, with cases recently surging as mask-wearing declines and states have eased social distancing measures. A lack of confidence in a homegrown vaccine could prevent India from meeting its target of vaccinating 300 million of its 1.35 billion people by August. India has vaccinated more than 10.5 million healthcare and front-line workers since beginning its immunisation campaign on January 16. But only 1.2 million, or about 11 percent, of them, have taken COVAXIN, th...
International

Indonesia searches for missing after gold mine collapse kills six

At least 15 survivors pulled out while search under way for the missing after an illegal mine in central Sulawesi province collapsed.Rescue teams in Indonesia’s central Sulawesi province are searching for survivors after a landslide in an illegal gold mining area killed six people, the search and rescue agency said on Thursday. Teams comprising police, military and the local disaster agency deployed heavy machinery on Thursday to help the search in the village of Buranga after the landslide on Wednesday evening. At least 15 survivors had been found as of Thursday. Fatmawati, a spokeswoman from the search and rescue agency in the provincial capital Palu, who goes by one name, said at least one person was missing. “Among those found dead were a husband and his wife,” Andia Sultan, the ope...
International

‘My only crime is that my name identifies my religion’

The shooter shouted “Victory to Lord Ram,” the Hindu god, before pulling the trigger that sent a bullet into Muhammad Nasir Khan’s left eye. Khan put a trembling hand on his bloody eye socket and his fingers slipped deep into the wound. At that moment, he was sure he would die. Khan ended up surviving the violence that killed 53 others, mostly fellow Muslims, when it engulfed his neighbourhood in the Indian capital last year – India’s worst communal riots in decades. The 35-year-old is still shaken and his attacker still unpunished. Khan says he has been unable to get justice due to a lack of police interest in his case. Khan, who was shot by a Hindu mob in February 2020, in his home in North Ghonda, one of the neighbourhoods hit the hardest by the riots [Altaf Qadri/AP]“My only crime i...
International

Israel lobbied Biden admin not to lift ICC sanctions: Report

The US and Israel had previously condemned the Hague-based court for opening the door to a probe into alleged Israeli war crimes.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged United States President Joe Biden not to lift sanctions imposed on International Criminal Court (ICC) officials by the administration of former President Donald Trump, according to a report by Axios. The Biden administration had pledged to “thoroughly review” the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, which had accused the Hague-based tribunal of infringing on US sovereignty by authorising an investigation into alleged war crimes by the US forces in Afghanistan. Israel has increased pressure on the ICC following its ruling in early February that the court’s jurisdiction extends to the occupied Palestinian...
International

At least 14 killed at religious site in CAR: Amnesty

Rights group calls for investigation amid clashes between Central African Republic security forces and armed groups.At least 14 people have been killed at a religious site in the Central African Republic (CAR) amid clashes between armed groups and security forces, according to material gathered by rights group Amnesty International. Following the analysis of satellite images, testimonies and photographs, Amnesty International published a report on Thursday detailing an attack that took place on February 16 in Bambari, CAR’s fifth biggest town, located in the centre of the country, 380 kilometres (236 miles) from the capital Bangui. Since January President Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s government has gone on the offensive following a resurgence in violence ahead of presidential and legisla...
International

China’s Xi declares ‘complete victory’ against rural poverty

China says about 98.99 million people in countryside have been lifted out of poverty in the last eight years.China’s President Xi Jinping has declared “complete victory” in his government’s effort to eradicate rural poverty, lifting the income of nearly 100 million people over the past eight years. The Chinese leader made the announcement at a ceremony in Beijing on Thursday to mark what has been described as a signature initiative of his tenure. Reports say the government is also trying to frame the economic achievement as Xi’s gift to the nation as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party in July. Over the last eight years, an estimated 98.99 million people in the countryside have been lifted out of extreme poverty, according to officials. All of China’s 832 i...
International

British law professor under fire over ‘Islamophobic’ statements

London, United Kingdom – A British university professor has come under mounting criticism over what students described as his “Islamophobic” remarks and taught content. In a statement last week, the University of Bristol’s Islamic Society (BRISOC) said it was “alarmed by multiple complaints against Professor Steven Greer of the Law School for his reported use of discriminatory remarks and Islamophobic rhetoric”. Law students have claimed Greer “frequently expressed views in class that can be deemed Islamophobic, bigoted and divisive”, said the statement, which was signed by several other student societies. Although Greer’s accusers have gone public, he has been barred by the university from making any comment on the allegations because they are subject to an ongoing investigation and he...
International

In Greece, a wildfire of ‘Me Too’ allegations singes the cabinet

Athens, Greece – The Greek MeToo movement lit by Olympian Sofia Bekatorou is becoming a wildfire that now burns uncomfortably close to the government. Culture minister Lina Mendoni faces opposition calls to resign after two men accused the National Theatre director she appointed of raping them when they were barely adults. Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras reissued his call on Tuesday for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, “to do the obvious, even at this late stage, and relieve Mendoni of her ministerial duties”. “And he should apologise to the victims and the Greek people for his government’s mistakes,” said the leader of Syriza. The accused, Dimitris Lignadis, resigned on February 6 after the first allegation became public, and turned himself in to police. He is to answer to the pros...
International

Armenia PM warns of coup attempt after army seeks his resignation

Tensions between Nikol Pashinyan and the military are rising as a new protest movement against the PM gains momentum.Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has warned of an “attempted coup” against him as he fired a top army official in response to the military’s call for his resignation. Pashinyan has faced protests and calls to quit since November from critics angered by his handling of the six-week Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan. The demonstrations had gone dormant for a spell in the depth of Armenia’s winter but have resumed in recent days. Having previously rejected the calls to step down, Pashinyan announced Thursday’s move against Onik Gasparyan, the head of the army’s General Staff, in an address to the nation broadcast on Facebook. He urged the military to only list...