Monthly Archives:September 2021


США запровадили санкції проти п’яти членів «Аль-Каїди»

Санкції стосуються п’яти прибічників «Аль-Каїди» з Туреччини, які надають угрупованню фінансові послуги та допомогу в організації поїздок

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US Sanctions al-Qaida Supporters Working From Turkey

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned five al-Qaida supporters for allegedly helping the militant group with financial assistance.

The department said the operatives supporting al-Qaida were working out of Turkey. 

“We will continue working with our foreign partners, including Turkey, to expose and disrupt al-Qaida’s financial support networks,” Treasury Department official Andrea Gacki said in a statement. 

Five individuals named

The department said Egyptian lawyer Majdi Salim, whom it described as the main facilitator, was sanctioned, along with Muhammad Nasr al-Din al-Ghazlani, an Egyptian financial courier, and Turkish citizens Nurettin Muslihan, Cebrail Guzel and Soner Gurleyen.

“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control),” the department said in a statement. 

“Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated or otherwise blocked persons,” the statement added. 

Some information for this report came from Reuters.

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Deadly Floods, Dirty Coal: Germany’s Climate Dilemma as Election Looms

As Germany prepares to elect a new leader, climate change is high on the agenda. Floods blamed on global warming killed hundreds in July. But as Henry Ridgwell reports from Germany, the country is also Europe’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide and is struggling to wean itself off fossil fuels

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Вірменія позивається проти Азербайджану до Міжнародного суду ООН

Єреван стверджує, що Азербайджан протягом десятиліть «піддавав вірмен расовій дискримінації»

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‘No Journalist Should Die’ – EU Calls for Better Media Safety

The European Union’s executive arm asked its member countries Thursday to better protect journalists amid a rise of physical attacks and online threats against media professionals.

According to the European Commission, 908 journalists and media workers were attacked across the 27-nation bloc in 2020. A total of 23 journalists have been killed in the EU since 1992, with the majority of the killings taking place during the past six years.

“No journalist should die or be harmed because of their job. We need to support and protect journalists; they are essential for democracy,” said Vera Jourova, the commission vice president for values and transparency.  

“The pandemic has shown more than ever the key role of journalists to inform us. And the urgent need for public authorities to do more to protect them.”

Murders of reporters remain rare in Europe, but the killings of journalists in Slovakia and Malta in recent years have raised concerns about reporters’ safety in developed, democratic societies.  

Earlier this year, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen expressed support to investigative journalism after the killing of Peter R. de Vries, a renowned Dutch journalist who reported on the violent underworld of the Netherlands.

The commission’s non-binding proposals include recommendations for EU countries to ensure fair and effective investigations and prosecutions, and to provide protection to those under threat, with a strong focus on female journalists.  

According to the EU, 73% of female journalists have experienced online violence and the commission said EU countries should “support initiatives aimed at empowering women journalists and professionals belonging to minority groups and those reporting on equality issues.”

The bloc’s executive arm also proposed the creation of support services, including helplines, legal advice, and psychological support. It insisted on the need to ensure reporters’ safety during demonstrations, where most of the attacks take place.  

“Member states should provide regular training for law enforcement authorities to ensure that journalists and other media professionals are able to work safely and without restrictions during such events,” the commission said.

Noting that digital and online safety has become a “major concern” because of online attacks but also the risks of illegal surveillance, the executive branch also encouraged EU countries to improve cooperation between media and cybersecurity bodies.

“Relevant national cybersecurity bodies should, upon request, assist journalists who seek to determine whether their devices or online accounts have been compromised, in obtaining the services of cybersecurity forensic investigators,” the commission said.

The proposals were unveiled just months after the commission’s annual report on adherence to the rule of law concluded that democratic standards were eroding in several member countries.

That report notably singled out Slovenia, which currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the European Council, for attacks against the Balkan nation’s media.  

“This is not only Slovenia. We see the very aggressive rhetoric in some other member states,” Jourova said, adding that the EU will keep putting pressure on member countries where continuous issues are spotted.

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Іран схвалив використання американської вакцини Johnson & Johnson

Раніше аятолла Алі Хаменеї заборонив вакцини, вироблені у Великій Британії та Сполучених Штатів, тому що ці країни «не заслуговують на довіру»

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МВФ зупинив співпрацю з Афганістаном

«З минулого місяця країна не має доступу до ресурсів МВФ, спеціальних прав запозичень тощо» – речник

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Turkey Cracks Down on Afghan Refugees

Security forces in Istanbul detain unregistered Afghans as Turkey’s government faces growing public pressure to not accept any more refugees

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China Envoy Banned from Visiting Britain’s House of Commons

The Speaker of the British House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, has banned China’s ambassador to Britain, Zheng Zeguang, from entering Parliament until Beijing lifts sanctions it imposed six months ago on five Conservative lawmakers and two peers.  


The ban — the first ever imposed on a foreign envoy by a House of Commons Speaker — is the latest sign that British authorities are growing increasingly frustrated with what they see as Beijing’s aggressive diplomacy. Hoyle consulted with Downing Street and Britain’s Foreign Office before announcing the ban, according to local media reports. 

His bar on Zeguang came just hours before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed former trade minister Liz Truss as Britain’s new foreign secretary, part of a wider Cabinet reshuffle. Truss is seen as a China hawk and has lobbied for much tougher measures to be pursued against China’s Communist government for rights violations.


In a statement midweek Hoyle said: “I do not feel it’s appropriate for the ambassador for China to meet on the Commons estate and in our place of work when his country has imposed sanctions against some of our members.”

Last week Hoyle met with British lawmakers targeted by the Chinese sanctions. They urged him to impose a ban on the envoy. The Chinese embassy in London described the prohibition on Zeguang as “despicable and cowardly.”

Zeguang, who was appointed as envoy in June, was scheduled to speak to a British parliamentary group on China, but the invitation was withdrawn.

Souring relations


Relations between China and Britain have become fraught over Beijing’s crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and repression of its Muslim minority in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, where China’s Communist government has interned more than a million Uyghurs in detention centers, according to rights groups.


The Chinese sanctions imposed in March on British lawmakers, one of whom is a former leader of the ruling of Britain’s ruling Conservatives, were in retaliation for Britain sanctioning Chinese officials and a state-run entity for alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang. 

The Chinese sanctions imposed in March on British lawmakers, one of whom is a former leader of Britain’s ruling Conservatives, were in retaliation for Britain sanctioning Chinese officials and a state-run entity for alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang.   

China has denied repeated claims that Uyghur Muslims are being held in detention centers. Beijing targeted 10 British organizations and individuals in its March sanctions. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the British officials were being punished for spreading “lies and disinformation” about Xinjiang.


China’s Global Times newspaper, an English-language outlet of the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper, reacted with fury to the parliamentary ban on the Chinese envoy, saying in an angry editorial: “It is extremely rare, if not ‘a global innovation,’ for the UK to ban a foreign envoy from Parliament, a public venue for political discussions in the country. It shows brutality, impulsiveness, and the breaking of the rules.”

The editorial added: “London acts as if only it can sanction others, but not the other way around. Given that it simply does not have the strength to deal with China this way, the UK now behaves like a hooligan after having become a loser.” It suggested Beijing bar the British ambassador from entering the Great Hall of the People.  


The group of British lawmakers sanctioned by China, which includes former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and MPs Tim Loughton and Nusrat Ghani, welcomed Hoyle’s decision, praising the Speaker for “standing up for freedom of speech in the mother of Parliaments by supporting those parliamentarians who have been sanctioned by China.”

Liz Truss


The appointment of Liz Truss as foreign secretary is unlikely to please Beijing. She has been targeted for criticism by China’s Foreign Ministry and Communist Party-run media in the past for lobbying for tough measures against Beijing as international trade secretary. The 46-year-old is only the second woman to hold the post of foreign secretary and is seen as a vigorous champion of free trade and markets and a strong supporter of the transatlantic alliance with Washington.  

She faults China for not pursuing fair trade and for engaging in “economic coercion” and warned in a speech last week against Britain becoming “strategically dependent” on China, criticizing Beijing for “unfair” trading practices.


Last December Truss fought a behind-the-scenes battle with Britain’s Foreign Office, her new ministry, over whether Parliament should legislate to allow British courts a role in determining whether the repression of Xinjiang amounts to genocide. The Foreign Office opposed giving British courts preliminary power to determine whether genocide is occurring in Xinjiang, or elsewhere, arguing the decision should rest with international courts.  


Nigel Adams, a Foreign Office minister, told a parliamentary panel that there was “credible, troubling and growing evidence” of forced labour taking place on a significant scale in Xinjiang but he feared an “asset flight,” if ministers rushed into enacting measures, warning China could start withdrawing investments from Britain.


Truss backed the legislative proposal.  


Commenting on Truss’s appointment, British newspaper The Times said she “is far more hawkish on China than the prime minister, aligning herself with the American shift towards confrontation with Beijing.”  Other British commentators said her pick to replace Dominic Rabb will help repair bridges with Washington following the U.S.-led NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was criticized by senior British Conservative lawmakers.


“New UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, is a proper China hawk,” tweeted Sophia Gaston, director of the British Foreign Policy Group, a London-based think tank. Gaston said Truss would be able at the Foreign Office to hold “China to account on values” while “playing a larger role in coordinating diplomatic efforts with our [foreign] partners.”

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