Tag Archives: Over

CLIMATE Short-Nicaragua tends to make symbolic protest over new climate deal

PARIS Dec 12 Nicaragua on Saturday raised objections to the new climate deal, saying it did not do sufficient to safeguard “Mother Earth”, in a symbolic protest right after the deal had been formally adopted.

Paul Oquist, head of the Nicaraguan delegation, mentioned wealthy nations must do far much more to minimize emissions to aid defend “Mother Earth” and that governments had been sending their grandchildren to a hotter world.

“We want to explain now why we can’t accompany this consensus,” he said.

Oquist spoke following French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had banged down the gavel on a new international deal to curb climate modify.

Nicaragua throughout the talks has mentioned created nations are not doing enough to decrease their use of carbon and are not providing adequate funding to aid the developed globe adapt to the influence of climate alter. (Reporting by Barbara Lewis and Valerie Volcovici editing by Andrew Roche)

Hungary rejects EU criticism over asylum law

BRUSSELS/BUDAPEST The European Commission launched an “infringement case” against Hungary more than its asylum legislation on Thursday, a move Budapest dismissed as an act of revenge for its rejection of mandatory migrant quotas.

Hungary, which has constructed a steel fence along its southern borders to maintain out migrants, has resisted a German-backed program to set mandatory quotas for EU members for the relocation of thousands of migrants.

The EU executive mentioned it was not satisfied with the response from Hungarian authorities with regards to its issues more than the country’s asylum legislation, which it stated breached EU rules.

“As a consequence of these concerns, the Commission has nowadays initiated an infringement process and sent a letter of formal notice to Hungary. The Hungarian authorities have two months to respond to the Commission,” the EU executive said.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has vowed to fend off the flow of hundreds of thousands of migrants pouring into Europe fleeing war and poverty from the Middle East and Asia, saying Hungary’s Christian values were under threat.

Other Central European EU members have backed Orban’s anti-immigration policy. Hungary and Slovakia submitted an appeal against the migrant quota program to the European court final week.

Orban’s chief of employees Janos Lazar stated Hungary would fight the new infringement process.

“This is an unjust and to us unfair procedure, clearly the revenge of political groups who condemn Hungary‚Äôs determined stance about defending European borders,” he told a news conference.

If a government loses in an infringement process, it has to modify the legislation in query, or can appeal.

Seeking TO GERMANY

Lazar said Germany was more deserving of an infringement procedure since of enormous delays in processing asylum requests of hundreds of thousands of migrants there.

“The European Commission must launch a process against them (Germany), rather than against the a single (Hungary) who tries to clarify inside a short time, one particular month, no matter whether somebody has a proper for refugee status or not,” he added.

Human rights group Amnesty International mentioned the new EU process against Hungary was an critical step towards restoring the rights of asylum seekers to fair proceedings.

Orban’s anti-migrant policies have been common at residence.

A poll by Median showed that Orban’s Fidesz, which has been in energy given that 2010, had 51 % support among decided voters, over 21 percent for the second strongest party, the far-proper Jobbik. This is the first time that any Hungarian ruling party is supported by much more than half of decided voters in the middle of its parliamentary term, Median stated.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee/Sandor Peto in Budapest editing by Ralph Boulton)

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Sweden-Israel rift deepens over comments on Palestinian deaths

JERUSALEM/STOCKHOLM Relations amongst Sweden and Israel hit a fresh low on Sunday following Israel said Sweden’s foreign minister had accused it of unlawful killings and Stockholm responded by saying that the comments had been “blown out of reasonable proportion”.

Relations among the two countries have nose-dived since Sweden’s Social Democrat-led government recognized a Palestinian state last year. Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom deepened the rift by describing Palestinians’ plight as a factor top to Islamist radicalization.

In the newest row, Israel condemned as “scandalous” on Sunday what it stated was a suggestion by Wallstrom its forces had unlawfully killed Palestinians involved in a surge of street violence, and warned of a diplomatic rupture with Stockholm.

Sweden mentioned Wallstrom’s comments had been misunderstood.

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs did not, as alleged, say that extrajudicial executions take place in Israel,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Wallstrom mentioned in a statement.

“The scenario in the Middle East is challenging enough without having getting to be encumbered by misunderstandings about anybody’s intentions.”

In the latest violence in Jerusalem, on Sunday, a Palestinian rammed his car into a passer-by in a Jewish neighborhood, slightly injuring him, and then got out of the vehicle and stabbed one more man, who suffered superficial wounds.

Safety forces shot the attacker dead, police said.

Addressing Swedish lawmakers on Friday, Wallstrom denounced the almost every day Palestinian knife, gun or vehicle-ramming attacks but urged Israel to stay away from excessive force.

“And likewise, the response should not be of the sort — and this is what I say in other conditions exactly where the response is such that it outcomes in extrajudicial executions or is disproportionate in that the quantity of individuals killed on that side exceeds the original quantity of deaths numerous occasions over,” Wallstrom stated in the official English translation of her statement provided by the ministry.

Sweden stated she had been talking in basic terms about the principles of international law regarding self-defense and the value of responding in a proportional manner.

Wallstrom’s remarks, even so, touched a nerve in Israel, whose forces have killed 103 Palestinians given that Oct. 1, of whom it has identified 64 as assailants or who had been caught on camera carrying out assaults. Most of the other individuals died in clashes with police or troops.

The Palestinian attacks, fueled in element by strife more than a contested Jerusalem shrine as properly as a peacemaking approach deadlocked given that early 2014, have killed 19 Israelis and a U.S. citizen.

“I condemn the statements, the scandalous statements, made by the foreign minister of Sweden,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet in broadcast remarks.

“It appears she expects Israel’s citizens to bare their throats to those trying to stab them. This will not take place, and we will continue to shield the lives of Israel’s citizens.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely stated in a radio interview that she and Netanyahu, who also functions as foreign minister, would convene a meeting on Sunday to determine on what she anticipated would be a “sharp response” to Wallstrom’s comments.

Hotovely hinted at a attainable exclusion of the Swedish government from Israeli efforts to revive peacemaking efforts with the Palestinians that have been stalled considering that early 2014.

“Sweden has crossed all red lines in relations with Israel,” Hotovely told Army Radio. “This is defamation of Israel and the statements are distancing Sweden from the ranks of enlightened nations that can take element in the dialogue about rights in the area.”

(Writing by Dan Williams, editing by Louise Heavens)

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Exclusive: Burkina charges former coup leader over murder of Sankara

OUAGADOUGOU Authorities in Burkina Faso have charged a general who led a failed coup in September with complicity in the 1987 assassination of President Thomas Sankara, senior security sources told Reuters.

Sankara’s murder is one of the most high-profile killings in Africa’s post-independence history and the charge against General Gilbert Diendere appears to represent a breakthrough in a case that has haunted the West African country for decades.

It follows a pledge by the transitional government to investigate the murder and a decision in May to exhume the remains of a body believed to be Sankara’s, which was buried at a cemetery on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou.

“General Gilbert Diendere is formally charged in the Thomas Sankara case,” said a senior security source with direct knowledge of the case. Diendere was charged last month with complicity in assassination and attack, the source said.

Diendere’s lawyer, Mathieu Some, told Reuters on Sunday his client had been charged over Sankara’s death and he would prepare his legal defense. The charges are yet to be made public.

Ten others, less senior than Diendere, have already been charged. The senior security official said most were soldiers in the elite presidential guard of former President Blaise Compaore, who was ousted in October 2014.

Diendere was Compaore’s intelligence chief and right-hand man. In September, he led the presidential guard in a short-lived coup in which soldiers took transitional President Michel Kafando and the prime minister hostage.

The coup failed and in its aftermath, the presidential guard was disbanded and Diendere sought refuge at the Vatican embassy. He was then arrested and charged with murder and threatening state security. He is still in detention.

“AFRICA’S CHE GUEVARA”

Sankara took power in a coup in 1983 and pursued a philosophy of Marxism and pan-Africanism that led him to be called “Africa’s Che Guevara”.

Many African intellectuals view him as a visionary on a par with Congo’s first prime minister Patrice Lumumba, who was murdered in 1961, or South African anti-apartheid leader Steve Biko, who was killed in 1977.

He nationalized land and mineral wealth, moved to improve health and education, pressed for debt reduction, promoted women into leadership and changed the country’s name from Upper Volta. The changes made an impact on Burkina Faso, a landlocked country that produces gold and cotton but remains impoverished.

Sankara was known for his trademark red beret and rejection of the lavish lifestyle typical of African leaders. In October 1987, he was murdered in a coup that brought Compaore to power.

Compaore reversed many of Sankara’s policies and established a reputation as one of the region’s most powerful men but mystery surrounding the killing dogged him, not least because attempts to mount a judicial investigation during his tenure stalled.

Compaore was toppled by protesters who opposed his bid to change the constitution so that he could extend his rule.

The charges against Diendere come at a critical moment for Burkina Faso as it makes a democratic transition that is seen as an example for other African states.

Voters elected former Prime Minister Roch Marc Kabore as president a week ago and when sworn in he will be the country’s first new leader in decades.

Kabore was an ally of Compaore who went into opposition in early 2014. The election was key for a nation ruled by leaders who came to power in coups for most of its history since independence from France in 1960.

(Additional reporting by Joe Penney; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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Malaysia’s anti-graft agency inquiries Najib over multi-million dlr deposits

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian anti-corruption officials questioned Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday in an investigation into deposits of funds totaling two.6 billion ringgit ($ 615.53 million) into his bank accounts that have prompted calls for his resignation.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) stated in a statement that Najib cooperated with its officers throughout the meeting, which lasted two-and-a-half-hours.

A graft scandal erupted about Najib in July when the Wall Street Journal reported that investigators focused on state fund 1Malaysia Improvement Berhad (1MDB) [TERRN.UL] had found that funds had been transferred into Najib’s bank accounts.

Critics have accused the government of dragging its feet on the investigation and have called for Najib to step down due to his failure to totally clarify where the money came from, why it was paid, or how it was used.

The MACC stated on Thursday that it would be recording Najib’s statement in connection with graft allegations at SRC International, a firm linked to 1MDB, and the funds in his account.

Najib, who chairs the 1MDB advisory board, has denied wrongdoing or taking any income for individual obtain. The MACC has stated earlier that the income was a political donation from an unidentified Middle Eastern benefactor.

The government has repeated that explanation in parliament, but most Malaysians, not just the prime minister’s critics, stay dissatisfied with that answer, and noted his failure to take legal action against the Wall Street Journal.

The fund is also getting investigated by law enforcement agencies in Switzerland, Hong Kong and the United States, media and sources have said.

The controversy has battered Malaysian markets with the ringgit MYR= losing about a quarter of its value to turn into Asia’s worst-performing currency this year.

The MACC statement mentioned it will hold the public informed of developments.

($ 1 = four.2240 ringgit)

(Reporting by Praveen Menon Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Malaysia’s anti-graft agency queries Najib over multi-million dollar deposits

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian anti-corruption officials questioned Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday in an investigation into deposits of funds totaling two.6 billion ringgit ($ 615.53 million) into his bank accounts that have prompted calls for his resignation.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) mentioned in a statement that Najib cooperated with its officers throughout the meeting, which lasted two-and-a-half-hours.

A graft scandal erupted about Najib in July when the Wall Street Journal reported that investigators focused on state fund 1Malaysia Improvement Berhad (1MDB) [TERRN.UL] had discovered that funds had been transferred into Najib’s bank accounts.

Critics have accused the government of dragging its feet on the investigation and have referred to as for Najib to step down due to his failure to totally clarify where the income came from, why it was paid, or how it was used.

The MACC mentioned on Thursday that it would be recording Najib’s statement in connection with graft allegations at SRC International, a firm linked to 1MDB, and the funds in his account.

Najib, who chairs the 1MDB advisory board, has denied wrongdoing or taking any funds for personal obtain. The MACC has mentioned earlier that the income was a political donation from an unidentified Middle Eastern benefactor.

The government has repeated that explanation in parliament, but most Malaysians, not just the prime minister’s critics, remain dissatisfied with that answer, and noted his failure to take legal action against the Wall Street Journal.

The fund is also being investigated by law enforcement agencies in Switzerland, Hong Kong and the United States, media and sources have mentioned.

The controversy has battered Malaysian markets with the ringgit MYR= losing about a quarter of its value to grow to be Asia’s worst-performing currency this year.

The MACC statement said it will hold the public informed of developments.

($ 1 = four.2240 ringgit)

(Reporting by Praveen Menon Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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Uncertainty deepens over Afghan Taliban leader

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Uncertainty more than the fate of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour deepened on Friday, as speculation grew over a possible successor, regardless of repeated denials by the spokesman of the Islamist movement that he had been badly wounded in a gunfight.

Several sources in the Taliban have stated that Mansour, whose claim to the leadership is rejected by rival factions, was seriously wounded and possibly killed in a shootout at the home of one more Taliban leader close to Quetta in Pakistan on Tuesday.

According to one senior Taliban commander, who mentioned that Mansour had died of his wounds on Thursday, Sheikh Haibatullah Akhundzada, a single of Mansour’s two deputies, is poised to take over the leadership.

“I personally think Sheikh Haibatullah Akhundzada and the Emirate will announce his death at an proper time later,” he mentioned, employing the term the Taliban use to describe their movement. “I am hundred % confident that Mullah Mansour is no far more,” he said.

Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah stated on Twitter on Thursday that Mansour had been wounded in a firefight close to Quetta, but there has been no direct evidence to confirm what happened.

The Taliban’s major spokesman has dismissed the reports as propaganda from Afghan intelligence solutions meant to develop divisions within the movement, saying Mansour is alive and well.

Nevertheless, scepticism has been fueled by the secrecy that surrounded the death of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, which was only confirmed in July, much more than two years right after he had died in 2013.

There has been no statement so far from Mansour, who had been in efficient charge of the movement at least given that Omar’s death and who swiftly assumed the title of leader after it was confirmed.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated enhanced safety measures meant it was taking some time to contact Mansour directly, but that a voice recording would be released.

“Well, we are attempting to locate him by way of our folks to get his voice and release to the media to kill these rumors spread by the Afghan puppet government,” Mujahid said.

PEACE Approach

The lack of clarity has clouded prospects for any resumption in a peace process facilitated by Pakistan soon after talks broke down following the news of Omar’s death.

Afghan officials are cautious about what the indicators of rising fragmentation in the Taliban could imply.

“The rift is undoubtedly weakening the movement and if they are not a single united force, it could be simpler to convince them (to accept) peace or eradicate them,” said one particular official, who asked not to be identified.

Other Taliban members close to Mansour have confirmed he had been hurt in the gunfight, which followed a dispute more than how to deal with the factional split in the movement, and had apparently been taken to a private hospital for therapy.

“We even never know where he was taken but some of our people later told us he was admitted in a private hospital and that his situation was ?still crucial,” mentioned a single senior Taliban member close to Mansour.

The rivalry in between the factions led to fierce fighting in the southeastern province of Zabul final month with dozens of people killed. Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, a best commander in the breakaway group opposing Mansour, is also reported to have been killed last month.

“The local commanders, who are the backbone of the insurgency, look to disobey their leaders’ orders when it comes to subduing these who do not accept Mullah Akhtar Mansour as the supreme leader,” the Afghan official said.

“The main question they ask is: ‘You told us to go fight the invading or Afghan forces but now you want us to kill every other.'”

(Added reporting by Hamid Shalizi in KABUL Writing by James Mackenzie Editing by Paul Tait and Mike Collett-Whit)

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India’s Modi spoofed over doctored photos of Chennai flood check out

NEW DELHI Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the butt of on the internet jokes on Friday when it turned out an official photo displaying him surveying flood damage in southern India through a helicopter window had been doctored.

The picture showed Modi peering through the round window at a dramatic view of flooded city streets in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu, following the strongest rains in a century there killed a lot more than 280 individuals in a month and displaced thousands of residents.

Social media lit up with users accusing the official Press Info Bureau (PIB) of faking the scene. The PIB swiftly replaced it with 1 showing him surveying flooded farmland, which was significantly less clear than the shot of Chennai’s streets.

Soon customers were posting spoof photographs of Modi seeking via the window toward Earth, as if his helicopter were a space capsule, or seeing sharks as if he had been in a submarine.

There were also, inevitably, photoshopped photos with cats staring back at him via the helicopter window.

The prime minister’s workplace was shocked to see the photograph from his Thursday pay a visit to to the region getting distorted, stated a senior official who declined to be named.

PIB officials had been summoned and told to reinforce rules and regulations, he stated. “The prime minister will not tolerate this,” yet another staffer in the office stated.

In a statement late on Friday, the PIB expressed regret for merging two images. “This happened due to error of judgement and the image was subsequently deleted,” it said.

Reuters initially published the doctored PIB photograph, which was authorised for independent distribution, but added a disclaimer that it could not independently verify its authenticity. Reuters later withdrew the image.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Rupam Jain Nair Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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UPDATE three-Target in $39.four mln settlement with banks over information breach

(Adds preliminary approval of settlement, closing stock price tag)

By Jonathan Stempel and Nandita Bose

The settlement filed on Wednesday resolves class-action claims by lenders looking for to hold Target responsible for their expenses to reimburse fraudulent charges and situation new credit and debit cards.

Target has said at least 40 million credit cards have been compromised in the breach, and that as numerous as 110 million people might have suffered the theft of personal info such as e-mail addresses and telephone numbers.

The Minneapolis-primarily based retailer has taken methods to avoid a recurrence, which includes being among the 1st U.S. retailers to set up microchip-enabled card readers at all shops.

Wednesday’s settlement calls for Target to pay as much as $ 20.25 million to banks and credit unions, and $ 19.11 million to reimburse MasterCard Inc card issuers.

Target had reached a comparable accord with MasterCard in April, but it was rejected the subsequent month when card issuers deemed the sum as well low.

The settlement won preliminary approval from U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson in St. Paul, Minnesota, who referred to as it “fair, affordable and sufficient,” court records showed. A hearing on final approval was scheduled for Could ten, 2016.

EARLIER SETTLEMENTS

Earlier this year, Target agreed to spend Visa Inc card issuers as a lot as $ 67 million over the breach and reached a $ ten million settlement with shoppers. The latter accord won court approval final month.

Last week, Target said it has spent $ 290 million related to the breach, and expects insurers to reimburse $ 90 million. It nonetheless faces shareholder lawsuits, as nicely as probes by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys common, over the breach.

Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder stated the retailer is “pleased that the process is continuing to move forward.”

BEARING THE BURDEN

The most recent settlement covers all economic institutions that issued payment cards put at danger by the breach, and which did not previously release their claims against Target.

Plaintiffs have incorporated Umpqua Holdings Corp in Roseburg, Oregon Mutual Bank in Whitman, Massachusetts Village Bank in St. Francis, Minnesota CSE Federal Credit Union in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Very first Federal Savings of Lorain in Lorain, Ohio.

Trade groups representing banks and credit unions have estimated that their members incurred much more than $ 200 million of expenses connected to the breach.

“Monetary institutions need to not usually have to bear the burden of in depth charges associated to merchant information breaches more than which they have no handle,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers Charles Zimmerman and Karl Cambronne said in a joint statement.

Target will also spend the plaintiffs’ legal fees, pending court approval, and will not appeal any sum of $ 20 million or much less, court papers show.

Shares of Target closed down 88 cents, or 1.2 %, at $ 71.93 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The case is In re: Target Corporation Customer Information Security Breach Litigation, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, No. 14-md-02522. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York and Nandita Bose in Chicago Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown)

Sofia airport announcer faces charges over mistaken bomb scare

SOFIA An employee at Sofia airport has been sacked and faces criminal charges soon after mistakenly announcing more than the tannoy that Bulgarian authorities had discovered an explosive device in a van parked outside the airport on Tuesday.

The airport’s chief executive corrected Daniela Veleva’s announcement only a couple of minutes later.

“Pre-trial proceedings have been initiated against the airport’s employee for spreading false details,” Georgi Kostov, the chief secretary of the interior ministry, mentioned on Wednesday.

Police evacuated part of Terminal 1 in Sofia’s international airport as officers moved in around the car with Belgian registration plates.

They found no explosive devices soon after checking the luggage, even though bomb-disposal authorities carried out a controlled explosion on a bag in the van.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov criticized the airport officials for making panic.

“I am furious soon after the irresponsible actions of those who brought on panic at the airport,” Borisov told regional media, calling the airport officials “a bunch of incompetents”.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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