• JUST IN: Tension as Indonesian Government sends strong warning to Abuja

    28/Dec/2016 // 12849 Viewers

     

    PARIS, DECEMBER 28, 2016: (DGW) The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Harry Purwanto, has issued a stern warning on what his country would continue to do to the Nigerian Government regarding its citizens living in the country or traveling from any part of the world into the country.

    This was in reaction to the rampant cases of Nigerians who deal in and bring hard drugs into the country.

    Speaking on Wednesday, he advised Nigerians to desist henceforth from engaging in or allowing themselves to be used for trafficking of drugs to Indonesia and warned that his government there is an existing legislation which now carries the death penalty not only for Nigerians but for everyone including Indonesians found dealing in or in possession of hard drugs. 

    He said: “Let me once again remind Nigerians wishing to travel to Indonesia, that the Indonesian Government, like every other government, has its laws and regulations.

    “It is, therefore, expected of Nigerians and other foreigners visiting Indonesia to always obey her laws prohibiting anybody’s involvement in drug crimes.

    “There are very strict laws for anyone arrested for drug-related offences in any part of Indonesia today.”


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  • First made-in-China jetliner makes debut commercial flight

    28/Jun/2016 // 197 Viewers

     


    SHANGHAI (AP) — The first regional jet produced in China's initiative to compete in the commercial aircraft market made its debut flight Tuesday carrying 70 passengers.

    The ARJ21-700 jet is one of a series of initiatives launched by the ruling Communist Party to transform China from the world's low-cost factory into a creator of profitable technology in aviation, clean energy and other fields.

    The plane operated by Chengdu Airlines took its passengers from the western city of Chengdu to Shanghai in two hours.

    China is one of the biggest aviation markets but relies on foreign-made aircraft. Beijing wants to capture more of those sales. Its major airlines are state-owned, which gives the ruling party a captive pool of potential customers that can be ordered to buy Chinese-made aircraft.

    The ARJ21 — or Asian Regional Jet for the 21st Century — is intended to make its state-owned manufacturer, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, a competitor to Bombardier Inc. of Canada and Brazil's Embraer SA.

    "The first flight of the ARJ21 marks the beginning of commercial, or passenger, operations for the ARJ21 and signifies the first time a domestically made regional jet has been used by a Chinese airline," said the COMAC chairman, Jin Zhuanglong.

    The ARJ21 initiative was launched in 2002. It was scheduled to deliver its first plane in 2007 but that was pushed back due to technical problems.

    A full-size jetliner under development by another state-owned company, the C919, is aimed at competing with Boeing Co. and Airbus. After delays blamed on manufacturing problems, the C919 is due to fly this year and enter service in about 2019.

    Boeing forecasts China's total demand for civilian jetliners over the next two decades at 5,580 planes worth a total of $780 billion.


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  • China says extremely dissatisfied with G7 statement on South China Sea

    28/May/2016 // 526 Viewers

     

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China is extremely dissatisfied with a statement by Group of Seven (G7) leaders on the contentious South China Sea, where Beijing is locked in territorial disputes with several southeast Asian countries, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

    Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks at a regular briefing. China's increasingly assertive stance in the region has sparked concern from the United States and its Asian allies.

    "This G7 summit organized by Japan's hyping up of the South China Sea issue and exaggeration of tensions is not beneficial to stability in the South China Sea and does accord with the G7's position as a platform for managing the economies of developed nations," Hua said. "China is extremely dissatisfied with what Japan and the G7 have done."

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that Japan welcomed China's peaceful rise while repeating Tokyo's opposition to acts that try to change the status quo by force.

    China has said that the South China Sea issue has nothing to do with G7 or its member countries.

    China is not in the G7 club but its rise as a global power has put it at the heart of some discussions at the advanced nations' summit in Ise-Shima, central Japan. G7 leaders agreed on Thursday to send a strong message on maritime claims in the western Pacific.


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  • China urges Japan to act prudently in military field

    28/Nov/2016 // 116 Viewers

     

    BEIJING: China urged Japan on Monday to act prudently in military and security fields and avoid unsettling regional stability.

    Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks at a routine press briefing in response to a question regarding Japan's plan to install an advanced US missile defense system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

    According to Japanese media reports, Tokyo plans to set up a panel to discuss ways to reinforce its missile defense system.

    "We were concerned about the news reports. China's position on the deployment of the THAAD is very clear and remains unchanged," Geng said.

    Japan's military and security activities are watched closely by its Asian neighbours and the international community because of its history, he said.

    "We hope Japan [will] play a constructive role in boosting regional peace and stability, not to the contrary," said the spokesperson.

    Calling the current Korean Peninsula situation "complicated and sensitive," he urged parties concerned to solve related issues through political and diplomatic channels.


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  • US to sail again near islets claimed by China: official

    28/Oct/2015 // 183 Viewers

    © Pool/AFP/File | A Philippine soldier patrols a beach in Pagasa Island (Thitu Island) at the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, on May 11, 2015

     

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - 

    The US Navy will send more warships to sail close to artificial islands built by Beijing in the South China Sea, a US official said Tuesday.

    The USS Lassen guided missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of at least one of the land formations claimed by China in the disputed Spratly Islands chain early Tuesday local time.

    The move infuriated Beijing, which summoned the US ambassador and denounced what it called a threat to its sovereignty.

    "We will do it again," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    "We sail in international waters at a time and place of our choosing."

    The USS Lassen sailed through waters claimed by China, the Philippines and Vietnam near Mischief Reef in the Spratlys. The official said the sailing lasted about two hours.

    China said two of its vessels had shadowed the USS Lassen. Another US official said there had been "routine" communication between the US and Chinese ships.

    Testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee, US Defense Chief Ashton Carter earlier suggested there would be additional activity within the 12-mile zones around the artificial islands.

    "We are acting on the basis that we will fly, sail and operate wherever international law permits and whenever our operational needs require," Carter said.

    Tensions have mounted since China transformed reefs in the area -- also claimed by several neighboring countries -- into small islands capable of supporting military facilities, a move the US says threatens freedom of navigation.

    Washington has repeatedly said it does not recognize Chinese claims to territorial waters around the artificial islands.


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  • Taliban fighters enter northern Afghan city of Kunduz

    28/Sep/2015 // 173 Viewers

    Taliban fighters launched a three-pronged offensive on the capital of the northern Afghan province of Kunduz on Monday, fighting their way through the main entrances to the city, burning buildings and briefly taking over a hospital.

    Breaching a provincial capital marks a troubling milestone in the nearly 14-year-old insurgency, though Afghan forces this year have driven the Taliban from most territory they’ve gained in the warm-weather fighting season.

    The assault was the second time this year that the Taliban have besieged Kunduz city, as the NATO-trained Afghan police and army fight largely without the help of foreign forces.

    By mid-morning, the Taliban fighters were inside the city limits. A Reuters witness saw buildings on fire in the south of the city, and he saw Taliban fighters entering a 200-bed government-run hospital.

    Dozens of panicked residents fled to the city’s main airport but were turned away by security forces. By afternoon, the fighting had reached about a kilometre (0.62 mile) from the city’s main government compound, according to a Reuters witness.

    Afghan military helicopters were firing rockets at militants in three areas on the city’s outskirts, a police spokesman said. Artillery and gunfire could be heard in the city centre from just after daybreak.

    “Right now heavy fighting is ongoing in Khanabad, Chardara and at Imam Saheb, the main entrances to the city,” Sayed Sarwar Hussaini, a spokesman for Kunduz police, said. “We have enough forces and will drive them out soon.”

    He said 20 Taliban fighters were killed and three Afghan police wounded in the clashes.

    But if Afghan forces cannot drive out the Taliban from any of the city’s three main entrances, it would appear be difficult for the government to maintain control.

    Special forces of the Afghan police and army were on their way from neighbouring Balkh province to help defend Kunduz, a Balkh police commander said.

    Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Majahid urged Kunduz residents to stay inside.

    “The mujahideen are trying to avoid any harm to Kunduz residents,” he said on his official Twitter account, referring to Taliban fighters.

    “Residents have to be assured they will not face any problem from our side.”

    Later in the day, Mujahid said that Taliban fighters had seized the hospital and taken over government buildings.

    A hospital official confirmed Taliban fighters had entered the hospital briefly, apparently looking for wounded government fighters.

    “They just visited our rooms. They didn’t harm anybody and didn’t damage anything. They left soon after,” said the official, who declined to be identified as he feared repercussions.

    The once-quiet north of Afghanistan has seen escalating violence in recent years. Kunduz city was the centre of fierce fighting in April as the Taliban, driven from power by a 2001 U.S.-backed military intervention, sought to gain territory after the end of NATO’s combat mission last year.

    A scaled-down NATO mission now mostly trains and advises Afghan forces, although U.S. drones still target militant leaders and a U.S. counter-terrorist force also operates in the country.

    (REUTERS)


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  • Turkey won't host 'inhumane' migrant processing centre: PM

    28/Sep/2015 // 205 Viewers

    AFP | Turkish Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Ahmet Davutoglu rules out migrant processing centres in Turkey
    ANKARA (AFP) - 
    Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday ruled out creating a processing centre for the thousands of mostly Syrian migrants trying to enter Europe from Turkish territory, calling instead for them to be hosted in "safe zones" inside Syria.

    Responding to repeated calls by EU members for migrants' asylum claims to be handled in the countries from which they set sail for Europe, Davutoglu told Hurriyet newspaper: "We have told Europe that there will be no reception centre in Turkey."

    EU leaders last week agreed to boost aid for Turkey and other countries neighbouring Syria, which have taken in the bulk of the over four million people fleeing the Syrian civil war and Islamic State extremists.

    They also vowed to strengthen the bloc's outer frontiers and create controversial centres in frontline states like Greece and Italy to sort refugees from economic migrants more quickly.

    Davutoglu said such centres were "unacceptable" and "inhumane" and repeated Turkey's call for the formation of a safe zone inside Syria stretching from Azaz to Jarablus in the north.

    "If Azaz-Jarablus is cleared (of Islamic State extremists), we can establish three cities there each hosting 100 thousand people," said the Turkish premier.

    "You (Europe) will undertake the financial costs and we will build it," he proposed.

    Turkey and Germany would join forces to tackle the refugee crisis, he said.

    "We have decided that Turkey and Germany will establish a working group," said Davutoglu, who met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in New York at the weekend, ahead of this week's UN General Assembly.

    "At first, we will form a bilateral mechanism and later will include Greece if necessary," he said, without elaborating further.

    Many of the Syrian refugees pouring into Europe have been living in Turkey for months, even years.

    "What's good here is that we have for years wanted to draw attention to the humanitarian crises caused by the Syrian crisis but the international community left the table and put the burden on Turkey," Davutoglu said.

    ? 2015 AFP


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  • Pyongyang fires short-range missile over sea in another repeated violation

    29/Mar/2016 // 142 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MARCH 29, 2016: (DGW)  - PYONGYANG on Tuesday fired a short-range missile of its east coast in another round of  repeated armed test violations, South Korea News Agency has reported.

    The missile reportedly fired from North Korea resort town of Wonsan at about 5.40 p.m.flew for about 200 km north-east over the sea before landing , the News Agency further reported.

    The hermit kingdom has repeatedly violated armed test ban in recent weeks. Recall the UN had imposed sanction on North Korea for conducting its fourth nuclear test early this year, January to be precise.

     

     


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  • China abandons one-child policy

    29/Oct/2015 // 138 Viewers

    China announced the end of its hugely controversial one-child policy on Thursday, with the official Xinhua news agency saying that all couples would be allowed two children.

    It cited a communiqué issued by the ruling Communist Party after a four-day meeting in Beijing to chart the course of the world's second largest economy over the next five years.

    China is "abandoning its decades-long one-child policy", Xinhua reported.

    The policy restricted most couples to only a single offspring, and for years authorities argued that it was a key contributor to China's economic boom.

    But after years of strict, sometimes brutal enforcement by a dedicated government commission, China's population -- the world's largest -- is now ageing rapidly, gender imbalances are severe, and its workforce is shrinking.

    The concerns led to limited reforms in 2013, including allowing a second child for some couples in urban areas, but relatively few have taken up the opportunity.

    The Communist leadership met in Beijing to discuss ways to put the country's stuttering economy back on a smooth growth path as it struggles with structural inefficiencies and social policies left over from an era before it embraced market reforms.

    Known as the fifth plenum, the conclave discussed the next Five-Year Plan for China -- the 13th since the People's Republic was founded in 1949.

    Over four days of meetings the 205 members of the Central Committee, plus around 170 alternates, examined the specifics of the plan, which was largely worked out through a process of national consultations before the leaders even set foot in the capital.

    The country's rubber-stamp legislature will officially approve the resulting document next year.

    The world's most populous country has enjoyed a decades-long boom since the ruling party embraced market economics and opened up to the rest of the world from the late 1970s.

    The process has transformed the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people and propelled the country to global prominence.

    But growth has been slowing for several years, and analysts say the party needs to embrace further liberalisation to avoid falling into the stagnation of the "middle income trap", when developing countries fail to fulfil their full potential.

    The meeting reiterated the Communist Party's goal to double 2010 GDP by 2020, as part of its aim to achieve a "moderately prosperous society" by the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party's founding.

    (AFP)


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  • Indian airline blocks woman in short dress from flight

    29/Oct/2015 // 188 Viewers

    © AFP/File | Budget carrier IndiGo said a female passenger was prevented from boarding a flight because her dress was too short

     

    MUMBAI (AFP) - 

    A female passenger was prevented from boarding a domestic flight in India because she was showing too much leg, the budget carrier IndiGo and newspaper reports said on Thursday.

    The woman travelling from the western city of Mumbai to India's capital New Delhi was not allowed to board Monday's flight because her dress was too short, the Indian Express reported.

    An official at IndiGo, who asked not to be named, told AFP that the dress had stopped above the knee, in violation of rules issued to employees and relatives of staff.

    The woman was formerly employed by the airline and was travelling on a special ticket because her sister worked for the company, the official said.

    "Employees and the nominated family members are required to maintain a specific dress code, as and when they fly with the airline under the staff leisure travel privileges," read an IndiGo statement.

    "Keeping in mind this policy, the Mumbai ground staff followed the protocol to brief this passenger on the dress code policy," it added.

    The Indian national changed her attire and was allowed onto a later flight, the official said, stressing that the dress code was not for ordinary customers.

    IndiGo is India's only consistently profitable airline and commands almost 40 percent of its home market, the biggest share of any airline.

    It is currently seeking to raise $460 million through an initial public offering.


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