Connect with us

World

Iran paying it back; Anti-coco mission crashes; Sudanese hit with tear gas; Global warming mankind’s fault

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Iran paying it back; Anti-coco mission crashes; Sudanese hit with tear gas; Global warming mankind’s fault | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Iran makes payments on old loans to World Bank
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Iran resumed payments on old loans to the World Bank, the bank said on Friday, just as the country held the highest level conversation with the United States in more than three decades.

The poverty-fighting World Bank, which did not provide a reason for the resumption of payments, announced in July that Iran had not made any payments for more than half a year, a possible sign of the strain on the sanctions-hit Iranian economy.

At the time, Iran denied that it had failed to make payments on its loans, which now total US$616 million, and blamed Western sanctions for preventing an intermediary from forwarding funds to the global lender.

All of the payments are for old loans, as Iran has not had a World Bank program since 2005. The Washington-based World Bank said it is in compliance with all UN and international sanctions against Iran.

It was not immediately clear why Iran had stopped making payments in July, according to the World Bank, and why it resumed them on Friday. World Bank spokesman David Theis had no further comment.

The World Bank announcement came just as US President Barack Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held a historic phone call, a sign that the estranged nations are serious about reaching an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Mr Obama said this was a unique opportunity to make progress with Iran over an issue that has isolated it from the West.

The United States and its allies have imposed hard-hitting sanctions against Iran’s oil and banking sectors to choke off funding of a nuclear program which the West says is a drive to achieve a weapons capability. Iran says its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes.

Rouhani, who was in New York for the UN General Assembly this week, urged an end to sanctions crippling Iran’s economy and repeatedly stressed Iran’s desire for normal relations with Western nations, while denying the country wanted a nuclear arsenal.

During the visit to New York, Rouhani also met with the head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde to discuss his government’s economic policies and a way to deepen relations with the international institution.

Plane crashes on anti-coca mission in Colombia; US pilot killed
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: An American pilot was killed and a US co-pilot seriously injured on Friday when their plane crashed while on a mission to eradicate coca plants in southern Colombia, police said.

Spraying of coca plants to combat the drugs trade has been intensified in Colombia since 2000 with support from the United States, which has provided billions of dollars to help Colombia fight guerrillas who are funded partly by revenue from cocaine.

“Preliminary information we have is that it was a mechanical failure. An American piloting the plane was killed and the one accompanying him was injured,” a police source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The police source said the two were contractors working for companies hired by the Colombian government to fumigate coca crops. Most of those companies are from the United States, but it was not immediately clear who employed the pilots.

Officials at the US embassy were not immediately available for comment on Friday evening.

The plane crashed in Caqueta province near the township of Montanitas, where the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have a presence.

The group has been fighting the government for five decades in a conflict that began as a peasant movement seeking land reform. More than 200,000 have died in the fighting.

The Caqueta area is one of Colombia’s biggest coca-producing regions. The plant’s leaves, when exposed to petrochemicals, yield a paste which is refined into cocaine.
Sudanese use tear gas on crowd demanding president resign
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of Sudanese demanding the resignation of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir after rights groups accused security forces of shooting dead at least 50 people in the worst unrest in Sudan’s central region for years.

Around 3,000 people, angered by a police crackdown on protests against the lifting of fuel subsidies, took to the streets after Friday prayers in Khartoum’s twin-city Omdurman across the Nile, shouting “freedom, freedom” and “the people want the fall of the regime”.

Defying a massive security presence with army trucks parked on main streets, the crowd marched to the central market, holding up banners saying “No, no to price increases.”

Police fired tear gas after the crowd had marched some two kilometers through the center. Some protesters ran for cover but the bulk of the crowd remained, some hurling stones at the police, others torching cars.

More than 1,000 people also demonstrated in Khartoum’s northern Bahri district, a hot-spot of days of unrest, witnesses said. Hundreds also went out in another area of Omdurman and Khartoum as well as Wad Madani town south of the capital.

In Khartoum’s center, there were army trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, which are usually used only in strife-torn regions such as Darfur. More than 100 soldiers, policemen and plain cloth agents armed with Kalashnikovs and other guns were patrolling the government district on the Nile banks.

Police said late on Thursday that battles with protesters had killed 29 people, among them police officers. Sudanese opposition activists have put the death toll at over 100.

But London-based Amnesty International and the New York-based African Center for Justice and Peace Studies said at least 50 people had been killed by gun shots to the chest or head, citing witnesses, relatives, doctors and journalists.

Among the dead was a 14-year-old boy, while most other victims seemed to be between 19 and 26 years old, the groups said in a statement. Hundreds had been detained, it said.

“Shooting to kill – including by aiming at protesters’ chests and heads – is a blatant violation of the right to life, and Sudan must immediately end this violent repression by its security forces,” said Lucy Freeman, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

Sudanese officials could not be immediately reached for comment but Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman said late on Thursday any figures higher than 29 were inaccurate.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a separate statement it had confirmed that the death toll was higher than the official 29. It did not give a number.

“The police and national security forces fired teargas, rubber bullets, and according to credible reports, live ammunition into the crowds,” HRW said.

It was not immediately possible to verify the allegations.

Sudan’s divided and weak opposition has tried several times to bring to Sudan an “Arab spring” unseating rulers in the region but has failed to mobilise masses seen in Egypt or Libya.

Bashir still enjoys support from the army, security apparatus, his ruling party and wealthy Sudanese with extensive business interests.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

France and Germany back in lockdown amid resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe

Maya Taylor

Published

on

France and Germany back in lockdown amid resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Andreas Selter on Unsplash

The leaders of France and Germany are once again having to introduce national lockdowns as the Covid-19 virus continues to surge across Europe. France is now recording over 36,000 (+36,437 yesterday) new cases a day, while Germany, which fared slightly better than other European countries during the first wave of the virus, is now seeing a dramatic rise in cases as winter approaches (+16,202 yesterday).

In announcing the new lockdown in France, President Emmanuel Macron warned that the country faces a second wave that could be worse than the first. Strict measures come into effect from tomorrow, with people not permitted to leave their homes unless it is to seek medical attention, purchase essential items, or to exercise for a maximum of an hour a day. However, schools remain open and people can still go to work if it is not possible for them to do their job from home.

“The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated. Like all our neighbours, we are submerged by the sudden acceleration of the virus. We are all in the same position: overrun by a second wave which we know will be harder, more deadly than the first.”

France and Germany back in lockdown amid resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe | News by The Thaiger

Over in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed that from next Monday, November 2, to the end of November, all bars, restaurants, and theatres will close. Schools will remain open and shops will be permitted to operate under strict conditions. The chancellor warns that the measures are vital to protect the country’s healthcare system.

“We need to take action now. Our health system can still cope with this challenge today, but at this speed of infections, it will reach the limits of its capacity within weeks.”

Confirmation of lockdowns in Europe’s biggest economies caused stock markets around the world to plummet, with European markets closing at their lowest level since late May. The S&P 500, which measures the performance of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the US, was down 3%.

France and Germany back in lockdown amid resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, with just 5 days to go before the presidential election, the US continues to set records with its rising numbers of virus cases. President Trump, however, remains undeterred, as he continues to hold public rallies, with many supporters not wearing masks.

France and Germany back in lockdown amid resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: SBS News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

World

Son of Sultan of Brunei dies at the age of 38

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Son of Sultan of Brunei dies at the age of 38 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Scoop

The son of the Sultan of Brunei has died at the age of 38, the government of Brunei has confirmed. Prince Azim, who was 4th in line to the throne, passed away on Saturday morning. While the cause of death has not been confirmed, his Wikipedia entry says he succumbed to a long illness.

CNN reports that the prince had made a name for himself as a Hollywood film producer, where he was known for hosting extravagant parties with celebrity guests that included Mariah Carey, Pamela Anderson, and Janet Jackson, among others. His success in film came despite international condemnation of his father’s harsh rule in Brunei, where parts of Sharia law are in force and capital punishment involves death by stoning.

The nation of Brunei has entered a 7-day mourning period, with leaders from neighbouring countries expressing their condolences on the death of the prince. A statement from the Indonesian embassy in Brunei said Prince Azim, “will always be remembered fondly.” The prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, described him as someone who was, “known for his kind and generous spirit, and for his dedication to charitable, educational, and youth causes.”

SOURCE: CNN

 

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

World

Malaysian PM called to quit, criticised for “abuse of power” during Covid-19 crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Malaysian PM called to quit, criticised for “abuse of power” during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: Muhyiddin Yassin

While protesters in Thailand are calling on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign, the Malaysia PM Muhyiddin Yassin is experiencing similar calls after he attempted to declare a state of emergency amid a rise in Covid-19 infections, but the request was rejected by the Malaysian King.

Some say the prime minister’s attempt to impose the order was intended to suspend parliament and “curb the government process”. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim recently claimed he had the majority of support in parliament and challenged the prime minister. He suggested the call for a state of emergency was to avoid a vote on the annual supply bill which he may have lost, effectively a vote of no confidence in the current PM and his government.

When Muhyiddin requested a state of emergency, Anwar said the Malaysian PM was trying to “curb the parliamentary process.” He said using the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to suspend sessions is an “abuse of power” and called the state of emergency request a “descent into dictatorship and authoritarianism.”

“A state of emergency is declared when there is a threat to our national security. But when the government is itself the source of that threat, then a state of emergency is nothing more than the descent into dictatorship and authoritarianism. I strongly advise Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to consider the legacy of these actions he is taking out of self interest and selfishness.”

Anwar released another media statement after the Malaysian King’s refusal saying it “affirms the strength of the constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy.”

King Al-Sultan Abdullah rejected the emergency order request yesterday. The prime minister holds a slim majority in parliament, but with his request rejected by the King, his hold on power is now palpably weaker. Now some leaders are calling on Muhyiddin to resign.

Ahmad Puad Zarkashi, a senior leader in the United Malays National Organisation made a Facebook post calling on the prime minister to resign.

“Thankfully, His Majesty the King was not influenced by the political game that could drag the country into more critical territory… The people’s wellbeing is more important. By right, Muhyiddin should step down.”

Opposition lawmaker Wong Chen calls the proposal for a state of emergency “malicious” and says the prime minister should resign or fire ministers who proposed the emergency orders.

SOURCES: Reuters | Twitter: Anwar Ibrahim

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | STV updates, fuel tanker explodes, 19 dead in Viet typhoon | October 29 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | STV updates, fuel tanker explodes, 19 dead in Viet typhoon | October 29

Thailand News Today | Big Bike licenses, Parliament latest, Zombie saleswoman | October 28 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Big Bike licenses, Parliament latest, Zombie saleswoman | October 28

Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27

Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency lifted, Quarantine latest, Phuket Light Rail | October 22 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts1 week ago

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency lifted, Quarantine latest, Phuket Light Rail | October 22

Thailand News Today | STV arrivals, Released then re-arrested, Petition to oust PM | October 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | STV arrivals, Released then re-arrested, Petition to oust PM | October 21

Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20

Thailand News Today | Protest update, Samui wants cheap flights, Isaan croc hunters | October 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Protest update, Samui wants cheap flights, Isaan croc hunters | October 19

Thailand News Today | Bangkok protests, Special Tourist Visa, Prisoners slippery escape | October 16 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok protests, Special Tourist Visa, Prisoners slippery escape | October 16

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency, Pattaya ‘online’, Veggie Festival plea | October 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency, Pattaya ‘online’, Veggie Festival plea | October 15

Thailand News Today | BKK protest update, Chiang Mai ‘quiet’, Baby klong crocs | October 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | BKK protest update, Chiang Mai ‘quiet’, Baby klong crocs | October 14

Thailand News Today | No STV tourists, Boss in Dubai, border fears in Tak | October 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | No STV tourists, Boss in Dubai, border fears in Tak | October 13

Thailand News Today | Land bridge project, “Thai Bridge”, Chaing Mai black widow | October 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Land bridge project, “Thai Bridge”, Chaing Mai black widow | October 12

Thailand News Today | Army v Twitter, Tourism interrupted, Thailand World’s #6 | October 9 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Army v Twitter, Tourism interrupted, Thailand World’s #6 | October 9

Thailand News Today | Tourist arrivals postponed, Will Boss return?, deadly centipede | October 8 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Tourist arrivals postponed, Will Boss return?, deadly centipede | October 8

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending