The Director-General of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have announced the arrest of an presumed terrorist linked to the palestinian political and military party of Hama’s in the Barangay Malabanias area. According to sources, the man had experience in the field of explosives and he has come to the country from Turkey last 27th of August, on the occasion of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
After the ash explosions (up to 10 km) and the lava flows of the Mayon volcano in the last days, the Philippine Istitute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised the alert level from 3 to 4, in a scale of 5. The 5th level means the risk of a dangerous explotion taking place. The risk area has been expanded and the number of evacuees is for now more than 30,000.
In the wake of last week’s attack on a landmark hotel in Kabul carried out by the Taliban, the White House on Monday called on Islamabad to take action against the militant group’s leaders. At least 30 people were killed when Taliban militants stormed the luxury Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital on Saturday. The siege had continued overnight as Afghan security forces battled the terrorists. Islamabad had strongly condemned the act of terror, expressing sorrow over the loss of precious human lives in the attack and highlighting the need for cooperation among states in combating terrorism. Separately, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had rejected the knee-jerk reaction “by some Afghan circles to point the finger at Pakistan for the terrorist attack on Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul”. Islamabad had called for a credible investigation into the attack. Advertisement Addressing a press briefing on Monday, press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the attack against civilians would only serve to strengthen Washington’s resolve in working with its Afghan partners. Commending the “swift action” taken by the Afghan security forces at the time of the attack, Sanders added that Afghanistan forces, with their support, will continue to relentlessly pursue the enemies of Afghanistan who also seek to export terror around the world and USA will call on Pakistan to immediately arrest or expel the Taliban’s leaders. He added that Pakistan should “prevent the group from using Pakistani territory to support its operations”. In the recent months, Washington has increased pressure on Pakistan to “do more” in combating terrorism.
The Korean Patriots Party, a Seoul-based civic group, staged a protest in front of Seoul Station to criticize the government’s decision to give favorable treatment to the North Korean delegation bout participation in the Winter Olympics. They burned a picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the North’s national flag, but police quelled the protest before the North Korean delegation’s arrived. “The PyeongChang Winter Olympics helps boost the propaganda of the North Korean regime” the group said.
A North Korean delegation, led by the head of a national orchestra, Hyon Song-wol, moved to Seoul on Monday morning from the eastern city of Gangneung, on the second day of their two-day visit to inspect candidate venues for its planned art performances during next month’s PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
North Korea agreed in recent working-level talks with the South to send a 140-member art troupe to hold two concerts, in Seoul and Gangneung. The delegation is expected to report the results of their inspection to the North Korean government, which will make the final decision on when and where its proposed art performances will be staged.
The national report on the status of human rights in Montenegro has been presented in Geneva. According to Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin, the implementation of national reforms have guaranteed a high degree of protection and affirmation of human rights and freedoms, thus allowing Montenegro to achieve foreign policy and EU integration goals. Progress has also been made in judicial reform and the fight against corruption, though some areas such as domestic violence and violence against children still need more work.
61 people have been arrested by the Rada Special Deterrence Force, who are suspected of being involved in the attack on the Mitiga airport last week. Rada said that the militants were from Tajura and attacked the airport compound in order to break out their commanders from Mitiga jail. Several demonstrations have been held in Tajura calling the release of those people, who have been detained only for suspicions and without any proof. The 33rd Brigade, responsible of the attack and led by Khalfallah, called Al-Bugra or “the cow”, said that it would ignore the government decision to disband their group. During the attack 20 people were killed and dozens injured and the airport reopened in the last two days.
Hundreds of protesters, especially families of Islamic prisoners, gathered in the Lebanese capital demanding that the Islamic prisoners be part of the controversial general amnesty that should anticipate the country’s elections scheduled for May. The Lebanese authorities have not granted a general amnesty since 1990, after the end of the civil war. If this were to happen, hundreds of Sunni Islamists would benefit from it, including some who clashed with the military, following the clashes between Sunnis and Shiites in northern Lebanon, and extremists believed to belong to al-Qaeda-related groups or to the Islamic State.
The initiative that internationals considered dangerous for Kosovo is going ahead: the Assembly’s Presidency has decided to proceed to the Government the Draft Law on abrogation of the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecution Office. Speaker of the Assembly, Kadri Veseli, after the meeting, stated that the decision to proceed to the Government the initiative of 43 MPs is procedural declaring they have acted based on regulation of the Assembly. Both the chief of caucus of the Vetevendosje movement, Glauk Konjufca, and Memli Krasniqi, chief of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), declared to believe that the decision of repealing the law rests to the Government. Chief of caucus the other opposition party, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Avdullah Hoti, is instead against abrogation of the Law. Last week the Assembly’s Presidency failed to hold a meeting because of the lack of the quorum due to the boycott of the opposition parties. The initiative has been strongly criticised for his negative consequences by the EU and US ambassadors in Kosovo.
The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, noting that North Korea poses a “serious and imminent threat” has announced that Japan will not bend to any provocative action by North Korea and will do everything in order to push Korea towards a change of policy. Referring to the planned review of Japan’s defense program guidelines by the end of the year, the prime minister said his government will consolidate its defense capabilities. Abe has expressed a desire to further consolidate the bilateral relationship with China, and to achieve this goal he aims to establish a trilateral summit between Japan, China and South Korea as soon as possible and to receive the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.