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Germans prosecutors push for Puigdemont extradition

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

German prosecutors are preparing the paperwork to extradite former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont back to Spain on charges of rebellion and disturbance of the peace. A German court ruled on 22.5.2018 that Puigdemont, who was detained by German police in March, cannot be rearrested because he does not pose a flight risk. However, the state’s prosecutors want to send the former regional president back to Spain in the light of new video evidence which they say shows “violence perpetrated against the Spanish police forces.”

 

Wang Yi champions multilateralism at G20 meeting

in ASIA/POLITICS by

Upholding multilateralism, improving global governance and creating a community of shared interests are in line with the trend of the times and the common interests of all nations, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Monday.  Wang made the remarks while addressing the 2018 G20 Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers scheduled for Sunday through Monday. Welcoming the creation and development of the G20 as a new manifestation of multilateralism and an important advancement in the reform of global governance, Wang said that discussing issues concerning multilateralism and global governance is of great importance at a time when the G20 summit enters its 10th year. The G20 members, Wang added, should jointly build a community of shared future for mankind, and improve the global governance system under the guidance of reform.

U.S., South Korea hold talks to soothe North Korea tensions

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After North Korea threatened to pull out of the high-level talks between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, which are scheduled to be held on June 12 in Singapore – U.S. and South Korea huddled up to discuss the future course of action. Today, the South Korean President Moon Jae In and Trump reportedly held discussions to ensure that the North Korea-U.S. summit remains on track. South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement that Jae In and Trump spoke over the phone for about 20 minutes, reportedly exchanging their views on North Korea’s recent reactions. The presidential official said, “The two leaders will work closely and unwaveringly for the successful hosting of the North Korea-U.S. summit set on June 12, including the upcoming South Korea-U.S. summit.” On Tuesday, Jae In and Trump are set to meet in Washington – in a meeting that was planned to be a prelude to the historic summit that is scheduled to be held between North Korea and the U.S.North Korea has showed a dramatic change in tone. Putting weeks of Korean diplomacy in jeopardy, North Korea thrashed Seoul, calling it “ignorant and incompetent.”

Germany to roll out mass golding centres for asylum seekers

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

Germany’s policy to embed new arrivals in communities across the country is being reversed as a populist backlash builds against the chancellor’s handling of the refugee crisis. But the transit centre in Manching  has experienced high crime rates, mass protests and rising tensions between asylum seekers and security forces, the Guardian found during a visit.The converted army compound is part of a complex in Upper Bavaria and holds about 1,100 people, mainly from the west Balkans, Ukraine, Nigeria and Afghanistan.  Critics say the new centres create a double-bind on those inmates at the transit centres who have realistic chances of being granted asylum: while they are actively hindered from integrating into German society while their application is pending, they are expected to immediately integrate as soon as they get the all-clear.

Protests about seemingly small issues like food are often actually protests about the conditions in these centres as a whole. The main source of troubles is that the people inside have no perspective and aren’t allowed to work. The inability of the migrants inside the centre to engage themselves in the community was also stoking resentment and prejudice among the local population.

China launches relay satellite to explore Moon’s far side

in ASIA/TECHNOLOGY by

China launched a relay satellite to set up a communication link between Earth and the planned Chang’e-4 lunar probe that will explore the Moon’s mysterious far side. The satellite was carried by a Long March-4C rocket that blasted off at 5:28 am (2128 GMT) from southwest China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). The satellite, named Queqiao, or Magpie Bridge, was developed by China Spacesat Co., Ltd. under the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).  “The launch is a key step for China to realize its goal of being the first country to send a probe to soft-land on and rove the far side of the Moon,” said Zhang Lihua, manager of the relay satellite project.

About 25 minutes after lift-off, the satellite separated from the rocket and entered an Earth-Moon transfer orbit with the perigee at 200 km and the apogee at about 400,000 km. Meanwhile, the solar panels and the communication antennas were unfolded. China has outlined an ambitious blueprint for deep space exploration, including the Chang’e-5 lunar probe in 2019.  After fulfilling the three steps of its lunar probe program — orbiting, landing and returning — China will further explore the Moon, including landing and probing the polar regions, said Tian Yulong, CNSA secretary general.  China will launch its first Mars probe in 2020, and it is expected to orbit, land and put a rover on the Red Planet.

Two Koreas to hold talks as North prepares to shut test site

in ASIA/POLITICS by

The South and North will hold a high-level inter-Korea meeting on May 16 in the Peace House in Panmunjom, to discuss the implementation of ‘Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity, and Unification of the Korean Peninsula,” several media reports quoted the Unification Ministry, as saying, in a statement. The two sides are likely to discuss measures related to the implementation of agreements reached at the intra-Korean summit in April. The meet is scheduled at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), the world’s most heavily guarded border, separating the two countries. According to several media reports, Wednesday’s inter-Korea talks will see North Korea send a 29-member delegation led by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the ‘Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the country’. From South Korea, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon will lead a team of five.

This comes ahead of North Korea’s scheduled dismantlement of its nuclear test site later this month in a bid to uphold its previous pledge to discontinue nuclear tests. A ceremony for the dismantling of the facility reportedly has been scheduled between May 23-25. It is pertinent to mention that the announcement of the dismantlement of the nuclear test site came after US President Donald Trump announced that he will hold a meet with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.

Merkel defends the increase of military spending in Germany to 2% of GDP

in ECONOMY/EUROPE by

Germany will increase its military spending to 2% of the GDP. Germany will adapt in this way to what Donad Trump has asked for in NATO since he arrived at the White House, despite the fact that the Berlin government continues to describe as “errors” several of the US military decisions, such as the abandonment of the nuclear pact agreement with Iran. Merkel, who did not advance specific deadlines for these increases in defense spending, reassured with these statements certain concerns arising from the German general budgets for 2018.

After the presentation of the budgets of 2018, the Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen did not hide her disappointment and had requested by letter to the heads of Finance of her Government an increase of the budgetary allocation of her department. The Minister of Finance, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, seems to have imposed his discretion on military spending and the conservative von der Leyen has acknowledged that, in that case, Germany will have to put an end to the missions abroad that it has carried out in recent years and focus on defense inside the country.

Spain: The ‘Xunta’ sends an ultimatum to the unions of justice

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

Juan Jose Martin has announced that the Government of Galicia has given to the justice unions a period of three days to decide whether to attribute or refuse the last stipend of the autonomous Administration. Martin said that if the unions did not accept the last offer left on the negotiating table, the Galician executive would have chosen to take a unilateral decision on the conflict with the workers. In a meeting of May 15 with seven representatives of the unions, the Justice Department put on the table the same offer that had been proposed on April 26th and which had been rejected by workers’ assemblies, ie an increase in the monthly salary ranging between 122 and 140 euros, depending on the category of work. The UGT, CSIF and CCOO unions have decided to consult with their affiliates whether to accept the proposal or not.

China: Xi presides over first meeting of Foreign Affairs Commission

in ASIA/POLITICS by

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Tuesday called for enhancing the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee over foreign affairs and opening up new prospects of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Xi, also Chinese president, chairman of the Central Military Commission and head of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks when presiding over the first meeting of the Foreign Affairs Commission.

The meeting was also attended by Premier Li Keqiang, also member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and deputy head of the commission, and Vice President Wang Qishan, also member of the commission. Wang Huning, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and Vice Premier Han Zheng, also member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, were also present at the meeting.

Prime Minister Zaev visiting Kromberg and Schuber

in ECONOMY/EUROPE by

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Coordination with the Economic Departments, Kocho Angjushev, accompanied by the Mayor of the Municipality of Bitola, Natasha Petrovska and the MPs Aleksandar Kiracovski and Goran Milevski, were in the a visit to the company Kromberg and Schubert working in the industrial zone Zabeni. Within the framework of the working visit of the company, the Prime Minister, government representatives and MPs were in the tour of the production plants where they had an opportunity to get acquainted with the production processes and the way of operation of the factory. After the tour, Prime Minister Zaev and Deputy Prime Minister Angjushev held a working meeting with Uwe Schilig, technical director and Tanja Miliskovic, commercial director of the company Kromberg and Schubert.

At the meeting, information on the volume and performance of the international company was presented, which has been operating for several years in the Republic of Macedonia and employs over 6,000 workers from the Bitola region. From the presentation it was concluded that this company relates 1/3 of domestic suppliers from its total purchases. Such cooperation with domestic companies was welcomed and the company’s directors were encouraged to apply for the measures from the Economic Growth Plan that refer to support for increased cooperation with domestic companies.

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