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Friday 31 October 2014

UN Report: Thousands of Foreign Fighters Joining Extremist Groups

According to a U.N. report, an estimated 15,000 fighters from around the world have left their homes to join extremist groups operating in Iraq and Syria. It adds that actual numbers could be even higher...

The report, which was submitted to the U.N. Security Council by a panel that monitors al Qaeda and the Taliban, states that foreign fighters are joining the Islamic State and other extremist groups on "an unprecedented scale." They are coming mainly from the Middle East, Western Europe and North Africa, although there are also some Asians and a smaller number of Americans.

Thursday 30 October 2014

Russian FM statement on the implementation of the Minsk agreements on a settlement in Ukraine and elections in its southeastern regions

From the Official Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (Statements and speeches):

Considering the ultimatum issued by Kiev and some Western capitals that elections not be held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, it would be logical to remind the following.
In accordance with the Minsk agreements reached in September this year by representatives of the President of Ukraine and the self-defence forces of southeastern Ukraine with the mediation of Russia and the OSCE, these elections can be held between 19 October and 3 November of this year.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Ukraine: Ban deplores planned holding of November ‘elections’ by rebel groups

UN, 29 October 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored the planned holding by armed rebel groups in eastern Ukraine of their own “elections” on 2 November, calling the potential polls a “breach of the constitution and national law.”

“These ‘elections’ will seriously undermine the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, which need to be urgently implemented in full,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Peshmerga fighters to deploy to Kobane with heavy weapons: Kurdish officials

An agreement regarding the route for the deployment of Peshmerga fighters to the besieged Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane has been reached and troops are on the verge of departing, officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) told Anadolu Agency on Oct. 28.

The spokesman of the KRG’s Peshmerga Ministry said discussions had dragged on because of negotiations regarding the heavy weaponry that the troops from Arbil will bring to assist Kurdish fighters in Kobane in their struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Monday 27 October 2014

EU politicians not unanimous over Ukraine's future after parliamentary elections

German government considers those elections an important step towards stability, whereas an Italian politician and journalist Giulietto Chiesa believes that stability in Ukraine is still very far away ...

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. Ukraine’s newly-elected parliament is unlikely to restore Ukraine to stability, Italian politician and journalist, Giulietto Chiesa, has told TASS.
“Stability is still very far away. Apparently, after the elections the prevailing presence of right-wing parties inside the Verkhovna Rada will be used as a pretext for an offensive (against Donetsk and Luhansk regions),” Chiesa said.

Friday 24 October 2014

Kerry Says US Concerned About Reports on IS Chlorine Usage in Iraq

WASHINGTON, October 24 – The United States takes the reports about chlorine attacks against Iraqi police officers by the Islamic State (IS) extremists very seriously, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.

"I'm not in a position to confirm it, but we take these allegations very, very seriously. In particularly, the most recent allegations about the use of chlorine as a chemical weapon," Kerry said at a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Blackwater guards convicted in Iraq killings

Four former employees of the US security company Blackwater have been convicted of almost every charge related to the shootings of more than 30 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad seven years ago.
The jury in Washington found Nicholas Slatten guilty of first-degree murder, and the three other ex-security guards - Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard - were convicted on Wednesday of committing multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter at a Baghdad traffic circle in 2007.

Monday 20 October 2014

Déclaration du vice-Premier ministre et ministre des Affaires étrangères suite à la présence du navire de recherche turc Barbaros dans la ZEE chypriote

MAE Hellénique,  lundi, 20 octobre 2014:

«Malheureusement, la Turquie n’a pas entendu la voix de la communauté internationale, elle n’a pas entendu la voix de l’ONU et de l’Union européenne, elle n’a pas entendu la voix de la légalité internationale.

Son navire, le Barbaros, se trouve dans la zone économique exclusive et le plateau continental chypriote et tentera d’effectuer des recherches qui manifestement constituent une violation flagrante du droit international de la mer, car dans cette région la délimitation du plateau continental et de la zone économique exclusive de la République de Chypre n’est pas contestée.

Sunday 19 October 2014

UN agency ramps up for Gaza reconstruction push. (UNRWA has consistently called for the lifting of the blockade)

UN, 19 October 2014 – A week after a major conference in Cairo on the reconstruction of war-ravaged Gaza, and in the wake of recent visits to Gaza by the Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah and United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, the key UN agency on the ground there has begun scaling up its response to meet critical needs of people in the Strip.
In a press release, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) announced today that it is now focusing on providing food, water and sanitation services to over 40,000 displaced people in 18 of its installations, psycho-social support particularly for children, cash grants to the homeless for rent, as well as urgent repairs to 118 UNRWA installations, so that we can bring our services to full capacity.

Saturday 18 October 2014

В Калифорнии совершил посадку секретный беспилотный космический корабль ВВС США Х-37В

Экспериментальный беспилотный космический корабль ВВС США Х-37В совершил успешную посадку на военно-воздушной базе Ванденберг (США). Об этом сообщили представители базы. 

Космический корабль провел на орбите 674 дня, или 22 месяца. Ранее сообщалось, что миссия осуществлялась в интересах министерства обороны США. Аппарат был запущен в декабре 2012 года с помощью ракеты-носителя Atlas 5 с мыса Канаверал (штат Флорида).

Friday 17 October 2014

Israeli ministers denounce Kerry remarks on conflict

Two senior Israeli government ministers lashed out at US Secretary of State John Kerry on Oct. 17 over remarks he made linking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the growth of Islamic extremism.
"I respect John Kerry and his efforts but he keeps breaking new records in lack of understanding of our region and the essence of our disputes," Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said in an interview with Israeli public radio.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela elected to serve on UN Security Council

UN, 16 October 2014 – In three rounds of voting the United Nations General Assembly today elected Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela to serve as non-permanent members on the Security Council for two-year terms beginning on 1 January 2015.
The new members will serve on the Council until 31 December 2016.
Angola Malaysia, Venezuela and New Zealand were elected in the first vote. The Assembly then held two rounds of restricted balloting to elect Spain to fill the remaining seat on the Council open to the Western European and Other States Group. Turkey was the other contender for that seat.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

82 Million Chinese Live on $1 per Day

Over 82 million of China’s residents are surviving on a daily income of $1 despite China's meteoric economic growth and rising export volumes, the Strait Time reports.

“The poverty-stricken population not only suffer from low income but also face various difficulties in getting drinking water, roads, electricity, education, medical care and loans,” said aChinese official Zheng Wenkai, cited by South China Morning Post.

According to the news source, poverty remains a ever present burden for most of the Chinese population. China's rural residents average 2,300 yuan ($368) a year or about $1 a day.

Monday 13 October 2014

Statements of Deputy PM and FM Venizelos and the FM of the Republic of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides, following their meeting (Athens, 13 October 2014)

Hellenic MFA, Monday, 13 October 2014:

E. VENIZELOS: It is a great pleasure to welcome to Athens, to the Foreign Ministry, my dear old friend and colleague Ioannis Kasoulides, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus.

With Mr. Kasoulides we had the opportunity for a one-on-one meeting, followed by a meeting of the delegations under our direction. Thus, in two different phases we discussed in detailed depth the situation that has taken shape in Cyprus following the Turkish initiative, in violation of international law, of the declaration, through a NAVTEX, of the carrying out of exploration in maritime zones of the Republic of Cyprus, in a region in which the Republic of Cyprus exercises its national sovereign rights; that is, in a region of the Cypriot exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

Sunday 12 October 2014

In Cairo, Ban urges parties to Gaza conflict to end "cycle of building and destroying"

UN, 12 October 2014 – On the next stop of his tour of North Africa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Egypt today at a conference on the reconstruction of Gaza urged all parties to last summer's war to address the root causes of the protracted conflict to prevent the “cycle of building and destroying” from becoming a ritual. “We are here to stand with the people of Gaza who have endured a terrible summer of suffering,” said Mr. Ban in his remarks to the Cairo Conference on Gaza attended by the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, and several foreign ministers including of Egypt, and Norway.

Saturday 11 October 2014

Syrian rebels overrun intelligence base on Golan Heights used to spy on Israel

Syrian rebel forces fighting the government of President Bashar Assad overran a military intelligence base on the Golan Heights that served as a joint Russian-Syrian forward post for information-gathering on Israel.

In a four-minute video clip which was posted on the Internet by the rebels, Free Syrian Army fighters are seen in a building in Quneitra, just near the boundary between Syria and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

Friday 10 October 2014

Turkey to support training, equipping Syrian opposition, US says

WASHINGTON - Turkey has agreed to support the training and equipping of the moderate opposition in Syria, the US State Department said on Friday, saying a US military team would visit Ankara next week to discuss the matter.

"Turkey has agreed to support train-and-equip efforts for the moderate Syrian opposition," spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters in describing a visit to Turkey by the two senior US officials responsible for building a coalition to fight the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq.

Thursday 9 October 2014

Greek FM Accuses Turkey of Cyprus Negotiations Breakdown. Research ships escorted by two warships are beginning the exploration of mineral resources in the EEZ of Cyprus

Greece has accused Turkey of escalating tensions around Cyprus and undermining negotiations on settlement of the Cyprus issue, the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a Thursday statement.

"Unfortunately, at the center ... is Turkey’s refusal to see that the Republic of Cyprus is an independent and sovereign state, a member of the UN and the European Union, that exercises sovereignty and sovereign rights, in accordance with international law.

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Turkey: 18 killed in Kurdish protests

At least 18 people have been killed in pro-Kurdish protests in southeast Turkey, the Anadulo news agency reported on Wednesday.
The protesters were angry at Ankara’s lack of action to protect Kurdish population of the Syrian border town of Kobane from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Eight of the deaths came in Turkey’s main Kurdish city of Diyarbakir where the most intense rioting took place overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, a local security official told AFP.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Turkey asks US to ramp up air strikes against Islamic State

Turkey has asked the United States to step up air strikes to keep Islamic State militants (ISIS/ISIL) from seizing a key Syrian Kurdish border town, a senior Turkish official was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"Our government and our related institutions have emphasized to US officials the necessity of immediately ramping up air bombardment in a more active and efficient way," Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said, according to comments published on the website of the television channel AHaber.

Monday 6 October 2014

Major conference on biodiversity warns against 'business as usual' behaviour, consumption

 UN, 6 October 2014 – The parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity began meeting today as a new United Nations report on the status of biodiversity warned that much more efficient use of land, water, energy and materials are needed to meet globally-agreed targets by 2020.

“Bold and innovative action is urgently required if governments are to meet the globally-agreed Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its Aichi Targets by 2020,” the Montreal-based Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) said referring to the 20 biodiversity goals agreed upon in 2010 in the Japanese city of Nagoya in Aichi prefecture.

Friday 3 October 2014

Russian scientists develop system for monitoring space junk

Scientists from St. Petersburg Polytechnic University have developed a monitor system to follow space junk.

The system is a set of monitoring meters intended for a spaceship to ensure its safety if established on board, Rector of the St. Petersburg university Andrei Rudskoi told TASS on Thursday.

The space litter monitoring project aroused interest at the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos). Chief of the Roscosmos agency Oleg Ostapenko has promised support to St. Petersburg Polytechnic University to enable it to test the litter monitoring meters on the orbit.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Turkish government gets OK for military operations in Syria, Iraq. The mandate to begin tomorrow will last for one year.

A comprehensive motion authorizing the government to deploy the Turkish army into Iraq and Syria and to allow the deployment of foreign troops on Turkish soil was approved Oct. 2 in Parliament, providing the necessary legality for Turkey’s potential contribution to the international coalition’s efforts to destroy jihadists.

The motion, based on Article 92 of the Turkish Constitution, received 298 votes in favor and 98 against.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

With its mandate completed, OPCW-UN mission draws down in Syria

UN, 1 October 2014 – The joint United Nations mission to oversee the destruction of Syria’s stockpiles and production facilities has completed its mission and been shut down.
The Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the UN (OPCW-UN) drew to a close yesterday.
“The work of the Joint Mission has been vital to the success of international efforts to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons programme,” said OPCW Director-General, Ahmet Üzümcü.

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