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Febbraio 2018 - page 3

The drama of the exodus from Venezuela forces Colombia to reinforce the border

in AMERICAS/DEFENCE by

The massive exodus of Venezuelans fleeing to Colombia has become in recent months a humanitarian emergency that affects both countries, which share some 2,200 kilometers of border. It is under the regime of Nicolás Maduro, because of the structural shortage that hits the population. And it is on the other side of the Táchira or Arauca rivers, where the impact of migratory flows, which increased by 110% last year, is increasingly difficult to sustain, according to local authorities. Around 550,000 people, with visa and without papers, arrived with the intention of staying in Colombia. That figure, according to official estimates, can reach one million in July. The colombian president Santos explained that military control will be reinforced at border crossingsand on the trails, the most remote roads become the usual routes of contraband, crime and human trafficking. At the same time, the authorities seek to regulate the entry of Venezuelans in a “controlled, orderly and within the law” manner.

EMI successfully launches first Bolivian missile for defense

in AMERICAS/DEFENCE by

The rector of the Military School of Engineering (EMI), Rommel Morón, reported that in November of last year the first missile was successfully launched, in the testing stage, manufactured by Bolivian scientists. There is the first prototype that is in the process of study and design. “We have launched a first rocket, a first Bolivian missile, elaborated, thought, made with scientists from the Military School of Engineering, teachers of the Military School of Engineering, in our Aerospace Development Center located in the city of Cochabamba”, said Morón, after signing a training agreement with the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency (ABEN). Morón Romero said that military engineers contribute to the security and defense of the State, and that is why the EMI was made available to the Army. “A prototype that is still in the process of study and design; but we have already demonstrated the effectiveness of this device that has been developed, manufactured at the prototype level”, he said.

Western Balkans start doubting EU sincerity

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

According to the Financial Times, the EU should not “step back” towards the Western Balkans, otherwise Russia and Turkey would “fill the gap”. The fact is that the Balkan countries start to “doubt the EU’s sincerity after waiting at the door for years”. For example, only 26% of Serbs think that the EU accession would be a good achievement, according to the newspaper.

Saudi activist detained after questioning Saudi-Israel ties

in DEFENCE/MIDLE EAST by

A UK-based rights group reports that a Saudi activist, who questioned the normalisation of ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, has been detained in her home country, and could face up to five years in prison. The woman, Noha al-Balawi has reportedly been under detention in the northwestern region of Tabuk for more than two weeks, ALQST, a group advocating for human rights in Saudi Arabia, said on Thursday. According to ALQST, al-Balawi was asked to report to a police station in Tabuk on January 23, only to be arrested, and has been detained ever since. Authorities reportedly questioned al-Balawi about her social media activities, including posts questioning the normalisation of ties between her country and Israel, the rights group said.  In one video clip widely circulated on social media, Balawi declared, “Normalisation means accepting the occupation”, in reference to Israel’s continued control of Palestinian land. And again “Let me make it clear; we will never recognise Israel no matter what it will cost us. There is not a single benefit for Arabs when we normalise relations with Israel. It only serves the best interests of the Zionist state,”.  However, in recent months, relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel have warmed up, with a flurry of diplomatic activities between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.  According to the report, the investigating officer had referred al-Balawi’s case for trial under the country’s cybercrime law. Article 6 of the law states that a person “who creates or transmits anything prejudicial to public order” could face up to five years in jail, and/or a fine of up to $800,000. The Human right group said Saudi authorities are trying to mislead the public by denying al-Balawi’s detention in what seems clearly an “obvious attempt” to silence public opinion. The group call for an immediate and unconditional release and for let her “restoring” her social media presence allowing her to express her opinions. It remains still unclear when and in which court al-Balawi will be judged.

Three Saudi children injured by Houthi shelling on Jazan, southern Arabia

in MIDLE EAST by

Three children were injured in Jazan in southern Saudi Arabia. The spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, said that Houthi militants “intentionally targeted civilians in Al-Arda in the Jazan province”. He added that three children were injured as a result of the falling shells. Col Al-Maliki reiterated that Houthi militia supported by Iran continues its campaign targeting civilians in a clear violation of international laws and of those principles governing the respect of civilians in conflict.

Drivers, students hold anti-jeepney phaseout protest in UP

in FAR EAST/POLITICS by

Several students and jeepney drivers on Thursday staged protest against the jeepney modernization program inside the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus. The protesters are denouncing the Land Transportation Office’s “Oplan Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” policy or the operation intended to remove dilapidated units for pollution reduction.The protest came as Department of Transportation sent representatives from the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) composed of the the LTO and the Metro Manila Development Authority, which conducted an operation in the jeepney terminals in the Diliman area. The DOTr deployed ten solar-powered jeepneys and offered free rides but the student council said these were not enough to satisfy the commuter demand. The student council also opposed the form of jeepney modernization  saying it “further handicaps jeepney driver”. The events today only manifest our concerns with the project, casting aside the welfare and the livelihood of current jeepney drivers without a proper means of transition or compensation”, the USC said in a statement. “We see that the swift and railroaded implementation of this measure stunts the ability of current jeepney drivers and operators to adapt, endangering their livelihoods”. The state university’s student council said the transport agency’s move would result in phasing out of jeepneys and shortage of it, which is “detrimental to commuters”.

Philippines: 2 kids die in Cavite fire

in ASIA/FAR EAST by

Two children died in a fire in Bacoor, Cavite yesterday. The bodies of a girl identified only as Anna Mae and her brother Armando were found in the bedroom of their house in Barangay San Nicolas 2.Police said the fire started at around 1 a.m. and was declared out after more than an hour. Arson investigators said an unattended candle caused the fire. It was not immediately known if the parents of the children were at their home during the incident.

North Korea stages military parade in Pyongyang on eve of South’s Winter Olympics

in ASIA/POLITICS by

Seoul said North Korea staged a military parade in Pyongyang today, in a show of strength just a day before the Winter Olympics open in the South. In recent days, thousands of troops and hundreds of armoured vehicles have been seen rehearsing for the display in the capital. Unlike the North’s last parade in April 2017 its state television did not show it live, but a Seoul government source confirmed it was held at Kim Il-sung square in Pyongyang.

North Korea says no U.S. talks planned at Olympics, Pence vows continued pressure

in ASIA/POLITICS by

North Korea says it has no intention of meeting U.S. officials during the Winter Olympics that start in South Korea on Friday turning off hopes the Games will help resolve a tense standoff over the North’s nuclear weapons program. However, the North’s high-ranking delegation, including the younger sister of its leader Kim Jong Un, will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in and have lunch with him on Saturday.

Nigeria to send troops to restive central states

in AFRICA/DEFENCE by

Major General David Ahmadu of Nigeria’s army, on Wednesday 7th of February, said it would send troops from February 15 into the country’s volatile central states to quell violence between farmers and herders that has killed hundreds in recent weeks, particularly in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa state.

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