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Showing posts from November, 2019

Six European Countries Join Barter System for Iran Trade

Paris, London and Berlin on Saturday welcomed six new European countries to the INSTEX barter mechanism, which is designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions against trade with Iran by avoiding use of the U.S. dollar.“As founding shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), France, Germany and the United Kingdom warmly welcome the decision taken by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, to join INSTEX as shareholders,” the three said in a joint statement.The Paris-based INSTEX functions as a clearing house allowing Iran to continue to sell oil and import other products or services in exchange.The system has not yet enabled any transactions.Washington in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the international agreement governing Iran’s nuclear program and reinstated heavy sanctions against Tehran.The accession of the six new members “further strengthens INSTEX and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade betwe…

Six European Countries Join Barter System for Iran Trade

Paris, London and Berlin on Saturday welcomed six new European countries to the INSTEX barter mechanism, which is designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions against trade with Iran by avoiding use of the U.S. dollar.“As founding shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), France, Germany and the United Kingdom warmly welcome the decision taken by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, to join INSTEX as shareholders,” the three said in a joint statement.The Paris-based INSTEX functions as a clearing house allowing Iran to continue to sell oil and import other products or services in exchange.The system has not yet enabled any transactions.Washington in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the international agreement governing Iran’s nuclear program and reinstated heavy sanctions against Tehran.The accession of the six new members “further strengthens INSTEX and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade betwe…

Powerful Storm Pushes Into Midwest With Lots of Snow, Wind

Wintry weather bedeviled Thanksgiving weekend travelers across the United States Saturday as a powerful and dangerous storm moved eastward, dumping heavy snow from parts of California to the northern Midwest and inundating other areas with rain.Authorities found the bodies of two young children, including a 5-year-old boy, and a third child was missing in central Arizona after a vehicle was swept away while attempting to cross a runoff-swollen creek. A storm-related death also was reported in South Dakota.The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to drop 6 to 12 inches (15-30 centimeters) of snow from the northern Plains states into Minnesota, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.Blizzard on the High PlainsBlizzard conditions early Saturday were buffeting the High Plains. The city of Duluth, Minnesota, issued a “no travel advisory” beginning at noon Saturday because of a snowstorm it termed “historic.”Duluth officials asked the public to be patient as plows clear roadways and r…

Powerful Storm Pushes Into Midwest With Lots of Snow, Wind

Wintry weather bedeviled Thanksgiving weekend travelers across the United States Saturday as a powerful and dangerous storm moved eastward, dumping heavy snow from parts of California to the northern Midwest and inundating other areas with rain.Authorities found the bodies of two young children, including a 5-year-old boy, and a third child was missing in central Arizona after a vehicle was swept away while attempting to cross a runoff-swollen creek. A storm-related death also was reported in South Dakota.The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to drop 6 to 12 inches (15-30 centimeters) of snow from the northern Plains states into Minnesota, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.Blizzard on the High PlainsBlizzard conditions early Saturday were buffeting the High Plains. The city of Duluth, Minnesota, issued a “no travel advisory” beginning at noon Saturday because of a snowstorm it termed “historic.”Duluth officials asked the public to be patient as plows clear roadways and r…

China Accuses UN Rights Chief of Inflaming Hong Kong Unrest

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China accused the U.N. high commissioner for human rights of emboldening ``radical violence'' in Hong Kong by suggesting the city's leader investigate reports of excessive use of force by police. The U.N. commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, wrote in an opinion piece Saturday in the South China Morning Post that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam's government must prioritize ``meaningful, inclusive'' dialogue to resolve the crisis. She urged Lam to hold an ``independent and impartial judge-led investigation'' into police conduct in the protests. It has been one of key demands of pro-democracy demonstrations that have roiled the territory since June. China's U.N. mission in Geneva said that Bachelet's article interferes in the internal affairs of China and exerts pressure on the city's government and police, which ``will only embolden the rioters to conduct more severe radical violence.''  FILE - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle B…

China Accuses UN Rights Chief of Inflaming Hong Kong Unrest

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China accused the U.N. high commissioner for human rights of emboldening ``radical violence'' in Hong Kong by suggesting the city's leader investigate reports of excessive use of force by police. The U.N. commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, wrote in an opinion piece Saturday in the South China Morning Post that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam's government must prioritize ``meaningful, inclusive'' dialogue to resolve the crisis. She urged Lam to hold an ``independent and impartial judge-led investigation'' into police conduct in the protests. It has been one of key demands of pro-democracy demonstrations that have roiled the territory since June. China's U.N. mission in Geneva said that Bachelet's article interferes in the internal affairs of China and exerts pressure on the city's government and police, which ``will only embolden the rioters to conduct more severe radical violence.''  FILE - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle B…

Irish PM Suffers By-election Defeats Ahead of National Vote

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael party failed to win any of the four by-elections held to fill parliamentary vacancies Saturday, a blow ahead of a general election he plans to hold in the next six months.The governing center-right party had held one of the seats left empty after four lawmakers successfully ran for European elections in May. Its main rival Fianna Fail captured two of the seats, a gain of one, while left-wing Sinn Fein and the Green Party added a lawmaker each in the 158-seat Irish parliament.The Fine Gael-led minority government has ruled through a cooperation deal with Fianna Fail that they extended last year as the uncertainty created by Britain’s protracted exit from the European Union kept either side from calling an election.Both have identified the second quarter of 2020 as their preferred date to go to the polls again and, with the two dominant parties of Irish politics closely matched in most opinion polls, whoever edges it will likely lead another…

Irish PM Suffers By-election Defeats Ahead of National Vote

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael party failed to win any of the four by-elections held to fill parliamentary vacancies Saturday, a blow ahead of a general election he plans to hold in the next six months.The governing center-right party had held one of the seats left empty after four lawmakers successfully ran for European elections in May. Its main rival Fianna Fail captured two of the seats, a gain of one, while left-wing Sinn Fein and the Green Party added a lawmaker each in the 158-seat Irish parliament.The Fine Gael-led minority government has ruled through a cooperation deal with Fianna Fail that they extended last year as the uncertainty created by Britain’s protracted exit from the European Union kept either side from calling an election.Both have identified the second quarter of 2020 as their preferred date to go to the polls again and, with the two dominant parties of Irish politics closely matched in most opinion polls, whoever edges it will likely lead another…

Security Forces Kill Five During Gunfight in Northern Mexico Town 

Mexican security forces killed at least five suspected cartel gunmen in a shootout Saturday in a town near the U.S. border, authorities from the northern state of Coahuila said, during a moment of heightened bilateral tension over violent gangs. The Coahuila attorney general's office said in a statement that state security officials shot the five suspects during clashes in the small town of Villa Union, about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of the border city of Piedras Negras. Around midday, heavy gunfire began ringing out, and a convoy of armed pickup trucks could be seen moving around Villa Union, according to video clips posted by social media users. Others showed plumes of smoke rising from the town. They also posted photos of burned-out vehicles and the Villa Union mayor's office riddled with bullet holes. Reuters could not vouch for the authenticity of the video or photos. Lopez Obrador: No help neededThe outbreak of violence occurred during a testing week for the government…

Security Forces Kill Five During Gunfight in Northern Mexico Town 

Mexican security forces killed at least five suspected cartel gunmen in a shootout Saturday in a town near the U.S. border, authorities from the northern state of Coahuila said, during a moment of heightened bilateral tension over violent gangs. The Coahuila attorney general's office said in a statement that state security officials shot the five suspects during clashes in the small town of Villa Union, about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of the border city of Piedras Negras. Around midday, heavy gunfire began ringing out, and a convoy of armed pickup trucks could be seen moving around Villa Union, according to video clips posted by social media users. Others showed plumes of smoke rising from the town. They also posted photos of burned-out vehicles and the Villa Union mayor's office riddled with bullet holes. Reuters could not vouch for the authenticity of the video or photos. Lopez Obrador: No help neededThe outbreak of violence occurred during a testing week for the government…

EU Antitrust Regulators Investigating Google’s Data Collection

EU antitrust regulators are investigating Google’s collection of data, the European Commission told Reuters Saturday, suggesting the world’s most popular internet search engine remains in its sights despite record fines in recent years.Competition enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are now looking into how dominant tech companies use and monetize data.The EU executive said it was seeking information on how and why Alphabet unit Google is collecting data, confirming a Reuters story Friday.“The Commission has sent out questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google’s practices relating to Google’s collection and use of data. The preliminary investigation is ongoing,” the EU regulator told Reuters in an email.A document seen by Reuters shows the EU’s focus is on data related to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers and others.European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has handed down fines to…

EU Antitrust Regulators Investigating Google’s Data Collection

EU antitrust regulators are investigating Google’s collection of data, the European Commission told Reuters Saturday, suggesting the world’s most popular internet search engine remains in its sights despite record fines in recent years.Competition enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are now looking into how dominant tech companies use and monetize data.The EU executive said it was seeking information on how and why Alphabet unit Google is collecting data, confirming a Reuters story Friday.“The Commission has sent out questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google’s practices relating to Google’s collection and use of data. The preliminary investigation is ongoing,” the EU regulator told Reuters in an email.A document seen by Reuters shows the EU’s focus is on data related to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers and others.European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has handed down fines to…

Global Protests in 2019

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Corruption, poor economies, political autonomy and personal freedom are among the many issues driving demonstrators' demands for reform around the world. Global Protests in 2019Algeria. In February, after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his intent to run for a fifth term, an estimated 3 million protesters in Algiers demanded a complete overhaul of Bouteflika's regime. Bouteflika resigned in April. Elections are scheduled for December.Bolivia. After elections in October, Bolivians in La Paz protested claims of election fraud against President Evo Morales. In November, Morales announced his resignation and fled to Mexico. His supporters have demanded his return. At least 31 people have been killed. Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest demanding greater social reform from Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Nov. 12, 2019.Chile. Protests began in October in the capital, Santiago, over proposed hikes in subway fares. Protests soon spread around the country, …

Global Protests in 2019

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Corruption, poor economies, political autonomy and personal freedom are among the many issues driving demonstrators' demands for reform around the world. Global Protests in 2019Algeria. In February, after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his intent to run for a fifth term, an estimated 3 million protesters in Algiers demanded a complete overhaul of Bouteflika's regime. Bouteflika resigned in April. Elections are scheduled for December.Bolivia. After elections in October, Bolivians in La Paz protested claims of election fraud against President Evo Morales. In November, Morales announced his resignation and fled to Mexico. His supporters have demanded his return. At least 31 people have been killed. Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest demanding greater social reform from Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Nov. 12, 2019.Chile. Protests began in October in the capital, Santiago, over proposed hikes in subway fares. Protests soon spread around the country, …

Israeli Army Kills Alleged Palestinian Teen Attacker

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Saturday that Israeli troops had shot and killed a teenager near the West Bank city of Hebron.The ministry identified the youth as Badawi Masalmeh, 18, adding that Israeli soldiers had taken his body.The Israeli military said its forces had spotted three people hurling firebombs at Israeli vehicles on a nearby route and had fired at them. The two others were arrested.Tension has simmered in the West Bank in recent years, where 700,000 Israelis live in settlements across the territory that Israel captured during the 1967 Mideast war.Earlier this month, the Trump administration said the settlements don't violate international law, reversing decades of policy and angering the Palestinians who claim the territory as part of a future state. 
by via Voice of America - English

Israeli Army Kills Alleged Palestinian Teen Attacker

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Saturday that Israeli troops had shot and killed a teenager near the West Bank city of Hebron.The ministry identified the youth as Badawi Masalmeh, 18, adding that Israeli soldiers had taken his body.The Israeli military said its forces had spotted three people hurling firebombs at Israeli vehicles on a nearby route and had fired at them. The two others were arrested.Tension has simmered in the West Bank in recent years, where 700,000 Israelis live in settlements across the territory that Israel captured during the 1967 Mideast war.Earlier this month, the Trump administration said the settlements don't violate international law, reversing decades of policy and angering the Palestinians who claim the territory as part of a future state. 
by via Voice of America - English

3 Killed, More Than 50 Hurt in Latest Iraq Clashes

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Three anti-government protesters were shot dead and at least 58 others were wounded in Baghdad and southern Iraq on Saturday, security and medical officials said, as Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi formally submitted his resignation to parliament. Lawmakers were expected to either vote or accept outright Abdul-Mahdi's resignation letter in a parliamentary session Sunday, two members of parliament said. The prime minister announced Friday that he would hand parliament his resignation amid mounting pressure from mass anti-government protests, a day after more than 40 demonstrators were killed by security forces in Baghdad and southern Iraq. The announcement also came after Iraq's top Shiite cleric withdrew his support for the government in a weekly sermon. The formal resignation came after an emergency cabinet session earlier in which ministers approved the document and the resignation of key staffers, including Abdul-Mahdi's chief of staff. Caretaker cabinetIn a pre-recorde…

3 Killed, More Than 50 Hurt in Latest Iraq Clashes

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Three anti-government protesters were shot dead and at least 58 others were wounded in Baghdad and southern Iraq on Saturday, security and medical officials said, as Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi formally submitted his resignation to parliament. Lawmakers were expected to either vote or accept outright Abdul-Mahdi's resignation letter in a parliamentary session Sunday, two members of parliament said. The prime minister announced Friday that he would hand parliament his resignation amid mounting pressure from mass anti-government protests, a day after more than 40 demonstrators were killed by security forces in Baghdad and southern Iraq. The announcement also came after Iraq's top Shiite cleric withdrew his support for the government in a weekly sermon. The formal resignation came after an emergency cabinet session earlier in which ministers approved the document and the resignation of key staffers, including Abdul-Mahdi's chief of staff. Caretaker cabinetIn a pre-recorde…

Dcoin Signs Blockchain Education Cooperation MOU with CryptoMBA

Having established itself as a Top 30 cryptocurrency trading exchange, Dcoin has announced that it has signed a Blockchain Education Cooperation ...

Afghanistan turns to blockchain to fight counterfeit drugs

War-torn Afghanistan has lots of problems to solve, and counterfeit drugs are one of them. In a bid to bring a bid of standardization to their healthcare ...

'Blockchain Island' Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to Step Down

Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister of “Blockchain Island” Malta, will step down from office effective immediately according to local sources.

Botswana's Drought Makes Wasteland of Harvests, Livestock

Southern Africa is having one of the worst droughts in years with more than 40 million people expected to face food insecurity because of livestock and crop losses. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe have declared this year's drought an emergency. As Mqondisi Dube reports from Botswana's village of Gamodubu, drought is so frequent that the government plans to stop calling it an emergency and instead make drought a part of the national budget.

by via Voice of America - English

From a Box to a Coffin: The Long, Deadly Road for Vietnamese Migrants

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They left Vietnam carrying dreams of small fortunes and the heavy burden of family expectations.But they died in a box, and came home in coffins.For the 39 migrants who set off from one of the poorest parts of their Southeast Asian country in search of work in Britain, the promise of riches outweighed the risks of the perilous journey through Latvian forests and Belgian streets, to the oxygen-starved truck container in which they met their fate.The bodies were discovered in late October, in the back of a refrigerated lorry, just outside London.On Saturday, the last bodies were repatriated to Vietnam.Here are the stories of three of the victims. FILE - Catholics attend a mass prayer for 39 people found dead in the back of a truck near London, at My Khanh parish in Nghe An province, Vietnam, Oct. 26, 2019. The last of the 39 migrants returned home Saturday.The lost boyTeenager Nguyen Huy Hung had longed to see his parents, both of whom had left Vietnam to find work in Britain’s nail salo…

From a Box to a Coffin: The Long, Deadly Road for Vietnamese Migrants

Image
They left Vietnam carrying dreams of small fortunes and the heavy burden of family expectations.But they died in a box, and came home in coffins.For the 39 migrants who set off from one of the poorest parts of their Southeast Asian country in search of work in Britain, the promise of riches outweighed the risks of the perilous journey through Latvian forests and Belgian streets, to the oxygen-starved truck container in which they met their fate.The bodies were discovered in late October, in the back of a refrigerated lorry, just outside London.On Saturday, the last bodies were repatriated to Vietnam.Here are the stories of three of the victims. FILE - Catholics attend a mass prayer for 39 people found dead in the back of a truck near London, at My Khanh parish in Nghe An province, Vietnam, Oct. 26, 2019. The last of the 39 migrants returned home Saturday.The lost boyTeenager Nguyen Huy Hung had longed to see his parents, both of whom had left Vietnam to find work in Britain’s nail salo…

Approaching Typhoon, Snafus Mar Southeast Asian Games

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An approaching typhoon is threatening to complicate the hosting by the Philippines of the largest biennial games in Southeast Asia, already marred by logistical foul-ups that the president vowed to investigate.President Rodrigo Duterte is set to welcome Saturday the first few thousand athletes, coaches and sports officials from the region in an opening ceremony to be lit by digital fireworks after nightfall in a huge indoor arena in Bocaue town north of Manila. The expected VIPs include Brunei leader Hassanal Bolkiah, whose son is a player on the sultanate’s polo team.More than 8,000 athletes and officials were expected to fly in for the games, which began in 1959 in the Thai capital of Bangkok with just a dozen sports. In the Philippines, 56 sports will be featured in 529 events, the largest number in the 11-nation competition so far, which will be held in more than 40 venues including in the traffic-choked capital of Manila.About 27,000 police have been deployed to secure the 11-day…

Approaching Typhoon, Snafus Mar Southeast Asian Games

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An approaching typhoon is threatening to complicate the hosting by the Philippines of the largest biennial games in Southeast Asia, already marred by logistical foul-ups that the president vowed to investigate.President Rodrigo Duterte is set to welcome Saturday the first few thousand athletes, coaches and sports officials from the region in an opening ceremony to be lit by digital fireworks after nightfall in a huge indoor arena in Bocaue town north of Manila. The expected VIPs include Brunei leader Hassanal Bolkiah, whose son is a player on the sultanate’s polo team.More than 8,000 athletes and officials were expected to fly in for the games, which began in 1959 in the Thai capital of Bangkok with just a dozen sports. In the Philippines, 56 sports will be featured in 529 events, the largest number in the 11-nation competition so far, which will be held in more than 40 venues including in the traffic-choked capital of Manila.About 27,000 police have been deployed to secure the 11-day…

Peru’s Keiko Fujimori Leaves Prison to Supporters’ Cheers

Supporters cheered late Friday as once-powerful opposition leader and two-time Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori left the prison where she had been held while being investigated for alleged corruption. Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal approved her release.Smiling broadly, the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori walked out of the women’s prison in the Lima district of Chorrillos and was handed a bouquet of roses by her husband, Mark Villanella, who had been on a hunger strike demanding her release.Keiko Fujimori called her 13-month prison stay the “most painful time of my life, so the first thing I want to do now that I am on the street is thank God for giving me the strength to resist.”Odebrecht accusationsShe was freed by the Constitutional Tribunal in 4-3 vote earlier this week. The magistrates noted the decision on a habeas corpus request does not constitute a judgment on her guilt or innocence with regards to accusations she accepted money from Brazilian co…

Peru’s Keiko Fujimori Leaves Prison to Supporters’ Cheers

Supporters cheered late Friday as once-powerful opposition leader and two-time Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori left the prison where she had been held while being investigated for alleged corruption. Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal approved her release.Smiling broadly, the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori walked out of the women’s prison in the Lima district of Chorrillos and was handed a bouquet of roses by her husband, Mark Villanella, who had been on a hunger strike demanding her release.Keiko Fujimori called her 13-month prison stay the “most painful time of my life, so the first thing I want to do now that I am on the street is thank God for giving me the strength to resist.”Odebrecht accusationsShe was freed by the Constitutional Tribunal in 4-3 vote earlier this week. The magistrates noted the decision on a habeas corpus request does not constitute a judgment on her guilt or innocence with regards to accusations she accepted money from Brazilian co…