Friday, February 26News That Matters

Foreign

Italian Ambassador Killed In DR Congo Buried In Rome

Italian Ambassador Killed In DR Congo Buried In Rome

Foreign
Italy paid final respects Thursday to its ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, who was killed with his bodyguard and driver during an ambush on a UN convoy. Luca Attanasio, 43, was shot dead on Monday after unidentified assailants ambushed a two-vehicle convoy from the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) in which he was travelling. The group was en route to a school programme in the eastern province of North Kivu, near the Rwanda border. Attanasio’s bodyguard from Italy’s Carabinieri police forces, Vittorio Iacovacci, 30, was also killed, along with a Congolese WFP driver, Mustapha Milambo, 56. To the strains of Chopin’s funeral march, carabinieri bore the coffins of the two Italians, who were repatriated on Tuesday, into Rome’s Saint Mary of the Angels church for a...
UK Sanctions Myanmar Army Chief For Coup Role

UK Sanctions Myanmar Army Chief For Coup Role

Foreign
Britain on Thursday slapped sanctions on six members of Myanmar’s military junta, including commander-in-chief General Min Aung Hlaing, for involvement in the recent coup. The UK government said the move was made because of their role in “overseeing human rights violations” since they seized power on February 1. The sanctions will prevent the six from travelling to Britain, while British businesses and institutions are barred from dealing with them. The same curbs had already been imposed on 19 other military figures. UK aid that could be used to indirectly support the junta has also been suspended. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the latest measures sent a “clear message to the military regime in Myanmar that those responsible for human rights violations ...
New York Prosecutors Obtain Trump’s Tax Records – Spokesman

New York Prosecutors Obtain Trump’s Tax Records – Spokesman

Foreign
New York prosecutors investigating former president Donald Trump’s finances have received his tax returns following a marathon legal battle, a spokesman said Thursday. “Our office obtained the records on Monday,” Danny Frost, a spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, told AFP. Vance’s office obtained the returns after the Supreme Court on Monday rejected a last-ditch bid by Trump’s lawyers to block the release of the records. The prosecutor is investigating hush payments made to two women who allege they had affairs with Trump and possible fraud. Vance, a Democrat, fought for over a year to obtain the eight years of returns. He issued a subpoena to Trump’s accountants Mazars USA in August 2019 ordering the company to furnish documents stretching back to 2...
China Says It Has Achieved ‘Human Miracle’ Of Eradicating Extreme Poverty

China Says It Has Achieved ‘Human Miracle’ Of Eradicating Extreme Poverty

Foreign
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday declared his country had achieved the “human miracle” of eliminating extreme poverty, though questions continue to surround the Communist Party’s criteria for making the claim. In a glitzy ceremony in Beijing, Xi bestowed medals on officials from rural communities, some wearing traditional ethnic-minority attire, and promised to share this “Chinese example” with other developing nations. “No other country can lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in such a short time,” Xi said. “A human miracle has been created that will go down in history.” China last year claimed it had achieved its long-trumpeted goal of lifting all of its people above a poverty line of $2.30 in daily income. That is slightly above the World Bank’...
Niger Opposition Leader Claims Election Win Despite Results

Niger Opposition Leader Claims Election Win Despite Results

Foreign
Niger opposition leader Mahamane Ousmane on Wednesday claimed he narrowly won the country’s presidential election, as fresh violence erupted a day after official results gave victory to his rival by a wide margin. “The compilation of results… which we have in our possession through our representatives in the various polling stations give us victory with 50.3 percent of the vote,” Ousmane said, according to a video of a speech he made in the southeastern town of Zinder. According to provisional results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), former interior minister Mohamed Bazoum picked up 55.75 percent of the vote in Sunday’s runoff and Ousmane 44.25 percent. Police clashed with Ousmane supporters in the capital Niamey after CENI’s announcement on ...
Tiger Woods’s Car-Crash Injuries Cast Doubt On Future

Tiger Woods’s Car-Crash Injuries Cast Doubt On Future

Foreign
Golf legend Tiger Woods was recovering in hospital on Wednesday after surgery for serious leg injuries sustained in a car crash that have raised fears for the 45-year-old’s career. Law enforcement officials said the 15-time major champion, who has been plagued by injury in recent years, was lucky to survive the accident in which his car rolled several times. Woods was driving alone in a Los Angeles suburb on a road notorious for fatal accidents when his SUV crashed on Tuesday morning, with firefighters and paramedics having to cut him out of the wreckage.
Regulator Orders Deeper Testing After Boeing Engine Scarew

Regulator Orders Deeper Testing After Boeing Engine Scarew

Foreign
US aviation regulators on Tuesday ordered inspections of all Pratt & Whitney engines similar to the one that broke up on a Boeing 777 passenger plane over Denver at the weekend, directing the tests be carried out before any return to service. The spectacular accident, in which an engine burst into flames and scattered debris over a Denver suburb shortly after takeoff for Honolulu, led to scores of Boeing 777s being grounded worldwide. No one was injured. “US operators of airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines (must) inspect these engines before further flight,” the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said. The engine maker said it would comply, examining 125 planes with blades similar to those that failed on the Boeing 777, using Thermal Acou...
Pope Picks New Doctor After Previous One Died From COVID-19

Pope Picks New Doctor After Previous One Died From COVID-19

Foreign
Pope Francis appointed a new personal doctor on Wednesday, several weeks after the death from Covid-19 of the previous holder of the post. The 84-year-old pontiff picked Roberto Bernabei, an expert in health care for the elderly, as his physician, the Vatican said in a statement. Bernabei, 69, leads the geriatrics and rehabilitative medicine department at Rome’s Gemelli, the Catholic hospital where popes are traditionally treated. The last papal doctor, Fabrizio Soccorsi, died aged 78 on January 9 of Covid-19-related pulmonary complications, following a hospitalisation for cancer. Francis is believed to be in relative good health, despite having had part of his lung removed when he was a young man after developing pleurisy. Last month he cancelled several events due to ...
EU Chief Seeks ‘Amicable’ Solution As AstraZeneca Admits New Delays

EU Chief Seeks ‘Amicable’ Solution As AstraZeneca Admits New Delays

Foreign
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen insisted Wednesday that new problems dogging the supply of AstraZeneca’s vaccines can be resolved, after the group admitted it could deliver only half the expected amount to the bloc in the second quarter. “The vaccine manufacturers are our partners in this pandemic and they have also never faced such a challenge,” she told the German regional daily Augsburger Allgemeine. “New questions are always arising that we can generally resolve amicably,” she said on the eve of a virtual EU summit on the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Von der Leyen added that she advocated “working together with the companies to ensure global production is improved”. AstraZeneca said Tuesday its EU supply chains would only be able to deliver half of...
Myanmar Generals Under Renewed Pressure After G7 Condemnation, Sanctions

Myanmar Generals Under Renewed Pressure After G7 Condemnation, Sanctions

Foreign
Myanmar’s military leaders came under renewed pressure Tuesday as the world’s wealthiest nations condemned the junta for responding to anti-coup demonstrators “with violence”, while Indonesia angled for a peace-broker role. Authorities have gradually ratcheted up their use of force against a massive and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding the return of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Late on Tuesday, Myanmar’s ministry of Transportation confirmed Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will arrive in the capital Naypyidaw on Thursday for a day of talks. She will be the first foreign envoy to touch down in the country since the February 1 coup. Indonesia has been proactive in lobbying neighbouring countries to help mediate the crisis through the Associatio...