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ISIE President announces decision to change municipal election date


The President of the Republic will sign the call of citizens to vote for the date fixed by Isie and the government commits to the date chosen by Isie and its immediate publication in Jort. The ARP promises no date for the adoption of the law on the organization of local authorities. The meeting-debate between Isie and the political parties, held yesterday, publicly, in the presence of the media, in a hotel in Raoued, has solemnly collected the position of each political party about the date and conditions of the organization of municipal elections, the first after the revolution. All parties were invited but only twenty asked and spoke.After the words of the President of Isie, the representatives of the Assembly, the Government and the Presidency of the Republic formulated the position of their representatives, before giving the floor to the parties. Nahdhaoui MP Habib Khedher spoke on behalf of the PRA to indicate that the Assembly had fulfilled its legislative commitments with regard to the municipal elections and that it is now focusing on the finalization of the draft law on the Code of Local Government. He promised a substantial acceleration so that the adoption of this law could precede the holding of municipal, without, however, give a date or promise that it effectively precedes these elections. Speaking on behalf of the government, the Minister Mehdi Ben Gharbia said that the government has no preferential date to propose and that it applied to facilitate the task to Isie, whatever the date chosen by the latter, which is the prerogative. On the suspicion of “interventionism” attributed to the government by certain policies or media, articulating on the non-publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Tunisia of the announcement of the date fixed by Isie, the 25 March, Ben Gharbia recalls that the legal deadline, of three months, still runs.

 Russia, China Must ‘Work Together’ to Avoid DPRK ‘Time Bomb’ Say, Experts


Beijing government advisors observe that the risk of war on the Korean peninsula is at its highest point in decades. Senior government advisers and military officers warned Beijing on Saturday that the escalation of the war of words between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un indicates that China must remain on high alert for war on the Korean peninsula, as the risk of conflict has never been greater. “North Korea is a time bomb”, detailed China’s executive-level State Council cabinet advisor Shi Yinhong during a Beijing conference on the Korean crisis. “We can only delay the explosion, hoping that by delaying it, a time will come to remove the detonator”, said Shi, a Renmin University international relations professor, cited by the South China Morning Post (SCMP). Chinese government advisor Shi agreed with Tillerson’s observation, noting that any hope for peace cannot rest with Kim and Trump, and pointing out that China and Russia must work together to convince Pyongyang and its adversaries in the west to stand down from their aggressive military footing.

 Russian military officers deliver 1.3-tonne batch of humanitarian aid in Aleppo region


Russian officers have delivered a 1.3-tonne batch of humanitarian aid to residents of Qasir al-Ward village in Syria’s Aleppo province in the last 24 hours, the Russian center for the reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria said on Saturday.”Over the last 24 hours, the Russian Centre for the reconciliation of opposing sides has delivered a 1.3-tonne humanitarian consignment to residents of the settlement of Qasir al-Ward, Aleppo province. Citizens received 300 food kits of rice, canned meat, and sugar,” the center said. Besides, 38 Syrians have returned to their homes in the last 24 hours, among them were 15 refugees in the Aleppo province and 23 in Homs province. Ten residents in the settlement of al-Huseiniyah, Deir Ez-Zor province, were given medical treatment. Ceasefire agreements were signed with the settlements of Ayn Abu Sirah and Tell Dakhiriyet al-Sayah, Aleppo province. The Syrian government alongside Russian Reconciliation Centre and UN office in Damascus “continue searching for an opportunity to provide humanitarian assistance to people in the al-Rukban camp”.

Putin: “certain military, militia formations in Donbas”, talks about “massacre”


Russian President Vladimir Putin has said there is no Russian army in Donbas, but recognizes the creation of “certain military, militia” formations, according to an UNIAN correspondent “There is no Russian army on the territory of Donbas, but there have actually been established certain military, militia formations that are self-sufficient and ready to repel any large-scale military actions against Donbas,” he said at an annual press conference December 14. At the same time, Putin claims that the creation of such formations corresponds to the interests of people living in the temporarily occupied territories.

“Because if they do not have such an opportunity there, the ‘massacre’, even worse than in Srebrenica, will be carried out by the so-called nationalist battalions, and nothing will stop them, including an appeal, as I was advised by some Western colleagues, to international human rights organizations,” Putin said.

Moscow: Arbitration Court dismisses Siemens appeal on returning gas turbines delivered to Crimea


The Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed Siemens appeal on returning gas turbines delivered to Crimea bypassing the EU sanctions, TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom. The court also denied Technopromexport a counterclaim against Siemens

At the same time, representatives of both sides told reporters that they would determine their position regarding possible future appeals against the court’s decision later.

Earlier Siemens asked the court to return the gas turbines sold to Technopromexport and subsequently delivered to Crimea to Siemens Gas Turbines Technologies. “Proceeding from the invalidity of these transactions, we ask the court to oblige the actual purchaser of the equipment – Technopromexport – to return these gas turbine units to their original seller Siemens Gas Turbines Technologies,” the company’s representative elaborated on the claim.

According to a Technopromexport representative, Siemens does not present civil rights violation claims in the lawsuit, but requires compliance with the EU sanctions by returning already supplied equipment.

Egypt, Russia sign protocol to resume Moscow-Cairo flights starting February 2018: Aviation ministry


The Egyptian Minister of Aviation Sherif Fathy travelled to Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart Maxim Sokolov and to sign a protocol to resume flights between Moscow and Cairo for the first time since 2015. In fact the flights between the two countries were halted after the crash of a Russian jet in Sinai that killed 224 people and since that moment Egypt has been implementing the security measures in its airports, according to the Russian request. The aim was to restore the tourism because Russians were the largest tourist group in Egypt, about one-fifth of foreigners in the country in 2015. Sokolov said on Friday that Cairo International Airport has satisfied all the requirements of security measures but he said also that Egypt’s Red Sea resorts need more work. The protocol foresees that the flights between Egypt and Russia resume by 1 February and the two ministers will meet in April to discuss about the security condition of the Egyptian resort cities to resume the Russian tourism also there.

Iran’s Zarif: US Seeking to Cover Up Complicity in War Crimes in Yemen


In a post on his official Twitter account, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif highlighted Washington’s complicity in war crimes committed in Yemen against Yemeni people, saying that since the beginning of the war, “the US has sold weapons enabling its allies to kill civilians and impose famine”. Zarif made the remarks in response to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who claimed that the Islamic Republic has supplied Yemen with ballistic missiles. In fact, on Thursday, during her press conference, Haley appeared standing before parts of a ballistic missile that she claimed Iran delivered to Houthis in Yemen, who then fired it at the Riyadh airport in Saudi Arabia last month. Also Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Ali Khoshroo in a statement issued on Thursday rejected Haley’s claim as “baseless” and said the accusations are aimed at covering up the Saudi war crimes in Yemen with the US complicity. Yemen’s defenseless people have been under massive attacks by coalition led by the Saud regime attacked for nearly three years, but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far. Over 14,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.

Yanukovych signed 50 agreements in favor of Russia’s interests


Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed 50 agreements in favor of Russia from 2010 to 2014, former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has said. He stated during his interrogation in Kyiv’s Obolonsky District Court in the Yanukovych treason case, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “Between 2010 and 2014, more than 50 bilateral documents were signed between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. As a rule, these documents were aimed at ensuring that Russia could have the greatest possible economic and security impact on the Ukrainian state,” he said. Yatseniuk added that the agreements mainly concerned cooperation between Ukraine and Russia in the field of gas, nuclear energy and security. According to the former prime minister, the adoption of Kharkiv agreements between Ukraine and Russia on the extension of the period of stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on Ukrainian territory until 2042 became a kind of legitimization of the presence of Russian troops and created preconditions for Russian aggression in early 2014.



In Rio de Janeiro, ‘complete vulnerability’ as violence surges


Violence is shaping Rio de Janeiro community’s life. Since the end of 2016 Summer Olymipics Game, Rio is plagued by a sharp rise in violence and lawlessness reminiscents of the dark periods of 1980s and 1990s. Since 2008, In order to prepare the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics Games, government launched a programme to secure Rio’s favelas, establishing a system of community policing. For few years this programme seemed to work and a 10billion dollars investment in infrastracture was financed, giving the hope that Olympics could create better conditions and reduce inequality. It didn’t work and the main reason was the massive corruption which completely ran out the money. Now, the violence and criminal activities are increasing and the social context is shaped by complete vulnerability, denounced Antonio Carlos Costa, head of Rio de Paz, an association that give support to the victims of violence.



US Allegations of Russia Violating INF Absolutely Unfounded


The INF treaty, which prohibits the development, deployment and testing of ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles, celebrated its 30th anniversary on December 8. “The United States has long been claiming that we are allegedly exceeding the limits of the Treaty prohibiting the deployment of cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. But there is an interesting pattern — just as with the well-known statements about ‘Russian meddling in the US elections,’ no real evidence is provided. In other words, the accusations are absolutely unsubstantiated, they are not supported either by the technical characteristics of the launcher allegedly not meeting the Treaty, nor by flight telemetry data. And it is understandable why — because it simply does not exist,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday.

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