Ukraine PM offers resignation after leaked recording

by Dmytro GORSHKOV Agence France-Presse KIEV, Ukraine (AFP) — Ukraine’s prime minister offered his resignation on Friday after audio was leaked of him reportedly criticizing President Volodomyr Zelensky’s understanding of the economy. “To remove any doubts about our respect for and trust in the president, I have written a resignation letter and handed it over to the president,” Oleksiy Goncharuk wrote on his official Facebook page. He said the audio “artificially created an impression that […]

Libyan rivals to sign ceasefire deal in Moscow Monday: official

TRIPOLI, Libya (AFP) – The head of Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj and his rival, strongman Khalifa Haftar, are expected to sign a ceasefire agreement in Moscow on Monday, a senior Libyan official said. The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by bloody turmoil since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with multiple foreign powers now involved. The signing of the agreement will pave the way for […]

Austria’s Kurz to return as world’s youngest chancellor

by Julia ZAPPEI VIENNA,¬†Austria (AFP) —¬†Austria’s conservative Sebastian Kurz will return to office Tuesday as the world’s youngest democratically elected leader heading an unlikely coalition with the Greens after his previous far-right alliance collapsed. Vowing to “protect the climate and the borders”, the 33-year-old will become chancellor of a government — termed as “exotic” and “unlikely” by Austrian media — that marks the first time the Greens rule in the small Alpine country. Kurz’s People’s […]

China hosts Japan, South Korea with eyes on nuclear North

by Jing Xuan TENG Agence France Presse China hosted the leaders of squabbling neighbors South Korea and Japan for their first official meeting in over a year on Tuesday, flexing its diplomatic muscle with America’s two key Asian allies and seeking unity on how to deal with a belligerent North Korea. The gathering in the southwestern city of Chengdu was held with the clock ticking on a threatened “Holiday gift” from North Korean leader Kim […]

Trump fires national security chief Bolton

¬† WASHINGTON, DC (AFP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced the firing of his hawkish national security advisor John Bolton, saying he disagreed “strongly” with his positions, in the latest upheaval for US foreign policy. “I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” Trump announced on Twitter, saying he would name a replacement next week. Bolton, who had been due to give a press conference at the White House […]

Hong Kong airport protesters retreat, but city in turmoil

by Jerome TAYLOR / Catherine LAI Agence France-Presse HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Pro-democracy protesters retreated from Hong Kong’s airport on Wednesday following two days of hugely disruptive rallies that turned violent and plunged the global financial hub further into turmoil. The protests ended early Wednesday morning following a series of clashes in which a policeman drew his gun after being beaten by demonstrators and other officers fired pepper spray. The rallies paralysed one of […]

Pence says US to press religious freedom in North Korea

  WASHINGTON, D.C. (AFP) — Vice President Mike Pence vowed Thursday to press North Korea to respect freedom of religion, despite the narrow US focus on denuclearization in high-profile summits. Pence made the pledge to a high-level State Department conference on religious freedom, which came weeks after President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time and agreed to jumpstart working-level negotiations. “You can be confident, as President Trump continues […]

Trump can’t block Twitter critics, appeals court affirms

  WASHINGTON, D.C. (AFP) — A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that US President Donald Trump cannot legally block users on Twitter based on their political differences with him, affirming a lower court decision. The three-judge panel agreed with last year’s ruling by a federal judge that Trump was using “viewpoint discrimination” in violation of the constitutional rights of people with opposing views. The court sidestepped the question of the president’s free speech rights under […]

UN decries Venezuela ‘executions’, urges dissolution of special forces

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The UN rights chief warned Thursday that many of the thousands killed in Venezuela security operations since 2018 likely constituted “executions”, and urged Caracas to dissolve its special police force. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, who visited Venezuela last month, pointed out in a fresh report that thousands of people, mostly young men, had been killed in alleged confrontations with state forces in the country in recent years. […]

#EBCphotojournalism: Philippines sends garbage back to Canada

    BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada (Eagle News) — The Philippines returned tons of garbage left in its ports years ago by Canada. The trash which caused tensions between the two countries entered the Deltaport container terminal in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada on the cargo ship Anna Maersk. According to Canadian officials, the trash will be incinerated by a local waste-to-energy facility putting an end to the controversial garbage that even incited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte […]

Iran’s Zarif rejects Trump idea of short war as ‘illusion’

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday warned that US President Donald Trump was mistaken in thinking a war between their countries would not last long. “‘Short war’ with Iran is an illusion,” Zarif tweeted a day after Trump said he does not want a war with Iran but warned that if fighting did break out, it “wouldn’t last very long”. The foreign minister also tweeted: “Whoever begins war will not […]

‘World is watching’ Hong Kong protests, Biden warns China

WASHINGTON DC (AFP) — Top Democratic US presidential contender Joe Biden expressed support Friday for protesters engaged in Hong Kong’s deepest political unrest in two decades, warning China that “the world is watching.” The international finance hub was rocked this week by the worst political violence since its 1997 handover to Beijing, with the semi-autonomous island’s embattled leader facing mounting pressure to abandon a deeply unpopular plan to allow extraditions to China. “The extraordinary bravery […]