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settembre 2017

Oxfam: Cholera epidemic in Yemen ‘worst in history’

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Oxfam on Thursday described the cholera epidemic Yemen as the worst in history after more than 755,000 cases have been reported. “The number of victims of the cholera outbreak in Yemen has reached more than 2,100 deaths and 755,000 cases have been reported since April 27, making it the worst in history”, Oxfam said in a statement on its website. Oxfam warned that the number of suspected cholera cases could rise to about one million by November. Humanitarian Director Nigel Timmins said that Yemen was living the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world”. Timmins added that the Yemeni crisis is only getting worse. The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report on Wednesday that it had registered 745,205 suspected cholera cases since April 27, with 2,199 deaths reported in 22 of Yemen’s 23 provinces.

Turkey to help its citizens leave Iraqi Kurdish region

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Friday that the government would help Turkish citizens to leave northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) as the flights to the region will be suspended as of Friday evening. “We will use every means available to help our citizens who want to return to Turkey”, Çavuşoğlu told a news conference with his Colombian counterpart Maria Angela Holguin in Istanbul. The minister recalled that the government had issued travel warnings for Turkish citizens, and updated these warnings according to the latest developments. On Tuesday night, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi gave KRG three days to hand over control of the airports under its control to avoid an air embargo. Following Abadi’s statement, Turkey’s Consulate in Erbil announced on Wednesday that flights from Turkey to northern Iraq would be suspended as of Friday.

KRG refuses to hand control of border crossings to Iraq

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq refuses to relinquish control of its border crossings to the Iraqi government, Irbil-based TV Rudaw said on Friday, citing a KRG official. Relinquishing control over border crossings with Turkey, Iran and Syria is a demand made by Iraq, Iran and Turkey in retaliation for the Kurdish independence referendum held on Monday in northern Iraq. Backed by Ankara and Tehran, the Iraqi government has demanded that the Kurdish leadership cancel the result of the referendum or face sanctions, international isolation and possibly a military intervention.

Stefanovic: Russia and China helped us block Pristina’s Interpol bid

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The fact that Pristina did not receive support for Interpol membership and withdrew their candidacy is the result of Serbia’s diplomatic activity. Deputy PM and Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said this on Friday, adding that this diplomatic activity had lasted several months. Kosovo’s possible membership in Interpol would lead to the issuing of Interpol notices against a large number of Serbian police officers and soldiers who took part in the operations in 1998 and 1999, whom Serbia would then be asked to extradite, he said. He stressed that another important success was achieved at the recent Interpol General Assembly in Beijing -namely, a resolution adopted by the Interpol Executive Committee that clearly defines criteria for membership in the organization. As for the next step of Pristina – which is to try to join UNESCO – Stefanovic said it was still unknown whether they would apply. “But I know how much effort the (Serbian) president and the foreign minister have invested in explaining to Serbian partners how wrong a move that would be”, he said.

For the first time in Saudi Arabia, women authorized to issue fatwas

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Saudi women are now allowed to issue fatwas following a vote in the Shoura Council. The historic move was approved by 107 votes and ends 45 years of only specialist men being able to issue fatwas in the Kingdom. The female muftis are to be chosen by a royal decree. The Shoura Council approved the recommendation, made by one of its members, during its 49th meeting, calling on the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta, the only governmental body authorized to issue fatwas in the Kingdom, to open independent sections for women. Women members of the Council last March had demanded that the issuing of fatwas should not be limited to men, through the involvement of female academies specialized in the study of jurisprudence in issuing fatwas.

 

King Salman calls for draft law criminalizing sexual harassment

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman continued his push to improve women’s rights in the Kingdom this week, calling on the interior minister to draft a law criminalizing sexual harassment. The announcement came just days after the decree lifting the ban on women drivers. The interior minister has been given 60 days to draft the new sexual harassment law enforcing penalties on perpetrators, according to Saudi daily Okaz.It continues by noting the “importance of passing a law that criminalizes it [sexual harassment] and outlines the necessary penalties that categorically prohibit such acts and deter anyone who feels tempted to commit them”. A 2014 study revealed that nearly 80 percent of women aged 18-48 said they had been exposed to some form of sexual harassment. And the problem appears to not be going away. Canada’s Institute for International Research, revealed that the Kingdom had seen an 11.4 percent increase in sexual harassment rates in 2016, compared to 2014.

Kim’s threat to ‘tame’ US President Trump prompts 4.7 million North Koreans to join fight, media says

in FAR EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

North Korea claims 4.7 million of its citizens have volunteered to join or re-enlist in the military since leader Kim Jong-un threatened to “tame” US President Trump “with fire” last week, North Korean state media reported. Millions of young men and 1.22 million women said they wanted sign up to counter the US since Friday, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported. Pyongyang has previously claimed that North Koreans have volunteered to join the military as part of propaganda campaigns to boost solidarity, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

 

Swiss experts to help development of five domestic companies

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Positive experiences of companies, experts’ satisfaction and the visible results are strong evidence of the success of the advertisement announced by the Macedonian government to engage foreign experts that will help our local companies. Cooperation with Switzerland is established as well. Swiss Ambassador to Macedonia Stefano Lazzarotto said This initiative came as an idea from the Government. The economic development is one of our focus in Macedonia and in the coming period we will support projects aimed at developing the private sector in the amount of 12,000 million Swiss francs. At the same time, Switzerland is continuing its long-standing cooperation with Macedonia in other areas in which operates.

Still no ceasefire in Sabratha

in AFRICA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Sabratha remains quiet but still tense today with just occasional shots reportedly being fired in the town. Large parts are in the hands of the Anti-IS Operations Room (AIOR), which yesterday extended its control by seizing the famous Sabratha Roman ruins, a UNESCO world heritage site. There are worrying reports of damage to the ruins. Many fighters in the opposing 48th Battalion, which includes the Amu Brigade led by Ahmed Dabashi, are reported to have been forced to withdraw, east to Sorman and west to the Mellitah Oil and Gas complex. Meanwhile, negotiations to secure a permanent ceasefire have continued although Sabratha Media Centre, which supports the 48th Battalion, today reported that the Operations Room had again rejected a deal.The head of the town’s military council, Taher Al-Gharbali, has again demanded the Presidency Council’s government of national accord (GNA) order a ceasefire, saying that at that point his forces would take on anyone who broke it.

UN “the main coordinator” in settling the Libya crisis

in AFRICA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Russia says it takes no sides in Libya and is convinced that the only way to achieve peace and stability in the country is through national reconciliation mechanisms that come from the Libyans themselves, not ones imposed from outside. However, it firmly believes that the United Nations must remain the main coordinator in attempts to settle the crisis and that while help from international, regional and neighbouring states are valuable, these must be harmonised. In an interview with the Libya Herald, Deputy Russian foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who has specific charge over Middle East and African affairs, explained the fundamentals of Moscow’s policy towards Libya and what it hopes can be achieved.

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