6 بلاگ - صفحه 5 از 105 - جدیدترین اخبار ایران و جهان

Hundreds of migrants and refugees rescued off Malta, Italy | Italy News

A Maltese armed forces patrol boat picked up 216 migrants and refugees from two dinghies in the Mediterranean Sea and was bringing them to Malta on Saturday, a spokesman said.

At least one pregnant woman and a number of children were believed to be among the rescued. Their nationality was not known.

A spokesman for the Maltese navy said a patrol boat had been deployed to a sinking dinghy south of Malta on Friday.

The navy said the migrants were on board two boats, and the first group was rescued after it “sent out a distress call that their boat was taking in water”.

After picking up the first group, the boat was diverted to a second dinghy “after receiving another distress call”.

The armed forces said that with good weather conditions prevailing, departures of migrants from Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria had increased in the past two days, resulting in 12 boats arriving in Sicily, Sardinia, and Lampedusa.

Scores rescued off Italy

Meanwhile, Italian authorities said they took 54 people from Pakistan to a migrant centre after finding them onboard a sailboat off the coast of Calabria in southern Italy.

The Italian ANSA news agency says two Russian nationals onboard the US-flagged boat were arrested and accused of seeking to smuggle the migrants into Italy on Friday night. The agency says the refugees were all men.

Italy’s financial police discovered the boat and towed it to Crotone, a port town on the Ionian Sea in Calabria. Officials say the men were in decent health.

Malta, which was holding a vote for the European Union parliament on Saturday, has also appealed to the EU for help in dealing with the flow of migrants, which much larger neighbour Italy has begun to turn away.

The island of 450,000 people is a common destination for refugees and migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa, and a hardliner stance from Italy has increased pressure on it.

More than 500 migrants have reached Malta this year, while 1,425 have made it to Italy, which has a population 130 times larger.

International Organisation for Migration figures show 24,687 migrants have reached Europe so far this year, well below the record of around one million in 2015, and also likely to fall below the 2018 figure of 144,000. 

Among EU member states, Spain took in the most migrants last year, at around 65,000.

Bangladesh’s disappeared families demand release of detainees | Bangladesh News

Demonstrators in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka have gathered to protest against forced disappearances.

They are calling on the government to release activists and members of the opposition who they say have been secretly held.

Human rights groups in Bangladesh say around 435 people have disappeared in the past nine years.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid reports.

Malawi court orders vote recount after opposition complaints | News

Malawi’s High Court has ordered the electoral board not to announce presidential results until ballots from a third of the voting districts have been recounted, after opposition complaints of rigging.

The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of Lazarus Chakwera went to court after noticing what it claimed were irregularities in results from 10 of the country’s 28 districts.

Opposition parties also complained that figures on many sheets were altered using correction fluid.

The court in the capital Lilongwe on Saturday ordered that “the announcement of presidential results is stayed until the results … are verified through a transparent recounting of the ballot papers in the presence of representatives of political parties which contested the elections.” 

The electoral body, which has to announce the final results within eight days of voting, had on Friday suspended updating the tallies from the May 21 vote in order to resolve 147 complaints raised by some of the parties.

‘Glaring irregularities’

MCP spokeswoman Eisenhower Mkaka said they turned to the courts because of “very glaring irregularities” noticed on results sheets turned in from polling stations.

Some of the documents showed “the same handwriting coming from different polling stations which are miles apart,” she said, adding there was “a lot of tippexing”.

“What we are seeing is a fraudulent election, the result has been tampered with.”

She also said in some cases results were marked on improvised papers.

Another opposition presidential contender, Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima, has called for results to be annulled over “serious anomalies” reported during vote counting.

“These serious irregularities have, in fact, worsened and, in the process, the credibility and integrity of these elections have been significantly compromised,” he told a news conference.

“In view of the chaos that has ensued … I am calling upon the Electoral Commission for the nullification of the aggregated vote.”

A count of votes tallied in three-quarters of the country’s polling stations, released on Thursday, found incumbent President Peter Mutharika leading with 40.9 percent.

His closest challenger Chakwera of the MCP had 35.44 percent of the vote, while Vice President Chilima was on 18 percent.  

Chakwera on Wednesday warned of alleged attempts to rig the vote, saying his MCP had conducted its own count and this, he maintained, showed he was ahead.  

The European Union observer mission has described the vote as “well-managed, inclusive, transparent and competitive”.

Malawi’s 6.8 million voters also elected a new parliament and local government councillors in the 21 May vote.

Monster tornado hits Jefferson City, Missouri | USA

A “violent tornado” has damaged hundreds of buildings in the capital of Missouri and forced the cancellation of the state’s Special Olympics summer games after the storm blew out windows and tore into the off the roof of the organization’s headquarters in Jefferson City.

The tornado was rated at least an EF-3 by the United States’ National Weather Service with wind speeds of between 218 to 266 km/h.

The Enhanced Fujita Tornado Scale goes up to EF-5.

The tornado touched down late on Wednesday night around 11:45pm local time (04:45 GMT on Thursday) and left a trail of destruction 30km long.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson said it damaged an estimated 500 homes and buildings and left 14,000 structures without electricity. Power was expected to have been mostly restored by Saturday.

Special Olympics multi-media manager Brandon Schatsiek says the Wednesday night tornado blew out windows and doors, tore a hole in a roof and damaged training facilities at the organization’s new $16.5m headquarters.

The games were supposed to be played May 31 through June 2 in Springfield, and about 1,000 athletes and coaches had been expected to attend the volleyball, swimming and track-and-field events.

The storm in Missouri’s capital was one of more than 100 tornadoes reported across the central United States in the same week. 

Libya fighting: Clashes near Tripoli's old airport

There has been renewed fighting on the outskirts of Tripoli between forces battling for the capital.

US-Iran tensions: Iraqis fear involvement in dispute

With Iraq’s plans to send delegations to Washington and Tehran to try to find a solution for the tension between the two countries, Iraqis fear their country could be caught in the middle.

South Africa: ‘Huge’ challenges as Ramaphosa takes oath | News

Cyril Ramaphosa has been sworn in for a five-year term as South Africa’s president, with a crucial fight against government corruption ahead of him.

He took the oath of office on Saturday in front of some 30,000 people at a stadium in the capital, Pretoria, with several regional leaders from the Democratic Republic Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and elsewhere in attendance.

“The challenges our country face are huge and real. But they are not insurmountable. They can be solved. And I stand here today saying they are going to be solved,” Ramaphosa said.

The inauguration followed his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party’s 57.5 percent victory in this month’s election. It was the party’s weakest election showing since the ANC took power at the end of apartheid in 1994.

Ramaphosa first took office last year after former President Jacob Zuma was pressured to resign amid corruption scandals that badly damaged public faith in the ANC.

A former protege of South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela, Ramaphosa is seen by many as having the potential to clean up both the government and the ruling party’s reputation.

Without him the ANC likely would have received just 40 percent of the vote, one party leader, Fikile Mbalula, has said.

Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller, reporting from Pretoria, said the president called for equality and preservation of the country’s resources.

“He said this will be a different era, an era that he will tackle the challenges of poverty, inequality, unemployment that affects almost half of the young people in the country,” she said.

“He also made reference to the last few years as nine wasted years where government institutions were looted and that corruption caused many lost opportunities.”

South Africa has the most advanced infrastructure in the continent, but its commodities-dependent economy has been in a slump for a decade.

It grew by an anaemic 0.8 percent last year and slipped into a brief recession during the third quarter of 2018. It is projected by the World Bank to expand by 1.3 percent this year.

Unemployment is running at 27.6 percent, but among the 20.3 million South Africans aged between 15-34 reaches 55.2 percent.

Ramaphosa also vowed to continue the fight against mismanagement and corruption that has hurt the country’s economy, the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa.

There was no sign at Saturday’s ceremony of Zuma, who has insisted he did nothing wrong and that allegations are politically motivated.

Alleged corruption under Zuma – known as “state capture” – saw millions of dollars siphoned off through government and state agencies awarding fraudulent contracts to favoured companies in return for bribes.

Zuma himself is facing trial for alleged corruption relating to a multibillion-dollar arms deal in the 1990s.

Ramaphosa in February announced he would set up a special tribunal of seven senior judges for “fast-tracking” the recovery of proceeds from corruption cases.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

US measles outbreak push to end religious exemptions | News

A measles outbreak in the United States has officials looking for ways to get more children vaccinated.

The shots are already required in order to attend school, but most states allow exemptions for religious or philosophical reasons.

Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey reports New York.

Trump opens state visit to Japan with jab at trade imbalance | USA News

US President Donald Trump urged Japanese business leaders on Saturday to increase their investment in the United States while he chided Japan for having a “substantial edge” on trade that negotiators were trying to even out in a bilateral deal.

Trump arrived in Japan on Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties despite simmering trade tensions.

Japan’s trade minister said no trade agreement is expected during the Trump visit.

Shortly after arriving to a red-carpet welcome at the airport, Trump attended a reception at the residence of US Ambassador William Hagerty that the White House said included Japanese business executives from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, SoftBank and Rakuten.

Trump told the company officials “there’s never been a better time” to invest or do business in the US and repeated a complaint that the Federal Reserve’s policies had kept the country’s economic growth from reaching its full potential.

Trump said the US and Japan “are hard at work” negotiating and said he wanted a deal to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.

“Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” he said.

“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, removing barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,” Trump said.

Trade is one of Trump’s signature issues, and encouraging foreign investment in the US is a hallmark of his trips abroad.

Trump will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – who planned the largely ceremonial four-day visit – on Sunday. 

Tariffs on car industry 

It’s part of Abe’s charm strategy that some analysts say has so far spared Japan from the full weight of Trump’s trade wrath.

The two leader planned to play golf on Sunday before Abe gives Trump the chance to present his “President’s Cup” trophy to the winner of a sumo wrestling championship match.

The president will become the first head of state to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he ascended the throne earlier this month; he and Harvard-educated Empress Masako will host an elaborate dinner for the Trumps on Monday night.

Abe and Trump are likely to meet for the third time in three months when Trump returns to Japan in late June for the Group of 20 summit of leading rich and developing nations.

Behind the smiles and personal friendship, however, there is deep uneasiness over Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts on national security grounds. Such a move would be more devastating to the Japanese economy than earlier tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The US president recently agreed to a six-month delay, enough time to carry Abe past July’s Japanese parliamentary elections.

Trump had predicted that a US-Japan trade deal could be finalized during his trip, but Japanese Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Saturday a deal is not expected after meeting his counterpart, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in Tokyo.

“We deepened our understanding of each other’s positions on trade. However, we’re not in complete agreement,” Motegi told reporters following the talks. “There are still some gaps. We need to work to narrow our differences.”

North Korea’s nuclear programme 

Also at issue is the lingering threat of North Korea, which has resumed missile testing and recently fired a series of short-range missiles that US officials, including Trump, have tried to play down despite an agreement by the North to hold off on further testing.

Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton told reporters on Saturday before Trump arrived that the short-range missile tests were a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and that sanctions must stay in place.

Bolton said Trump and Abe would “talk about making sure the integrity of the Security Council resolutions are maintained”.

It marked a change in tone from the view expressed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a recent television interview.

He said “the moratorium was focused, very focused, on intercontinental missile systems, the ones that threaten the United States.” That raised alarm bells in Japan, where short-range missiles pose a serious threat.

Bolton commented a day after North Korea’s official media said nuclear negotiations with Washington would not resume unless the US abandoned what the North described as demands for unilateral disarmament.

UN court orders Russia to free detained Ukraine sailors | Russia News

Russia must release 24 sailors it detained onboard three Ukrainian vessels last year as they crossed a strait between Russian-annexed Crimea and southern Russia, an international maritime tribunal said on Saturday.

The Russian navy captured the Ukrainian sailors and their vessels in the Kerch Strait, which links the Black and Azov seas, on November 25, 2018 after opening fire on them.

The Hamburg-based United Nation’s International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) said Russia had to release the sailors and vessels immediately.

“The Tribunal notes that any action affecting the immunity of warships is capable of causing serious harm to the dignity and sovereignty of a state and has the potential to undermine its national security,” ITLOS President Jin-Hyun Paik said.

Paik also said “the tribunal considers it appropriate to order both parties to refrain from taking any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute.”

However, the tribunal “does not consider it necessary to require [Russia] to suspend criminal proceedings against the 24 detained Ukrainian servicemen and refrain from initiating new proceedings,” he added. Kiev had called for legal proceedings to be ended.

The sailors face up to six years in prison if found guilty.

Ukraine has already demanded the sailors’ release and the return of the impounded vessels, yet Moscow has not heeded the request or similar calls by the European Union.

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Saturday it had not participated in the hearings, adding it intends to defend its point of view that the arbitration lacked the jurisdiction to consider the Kerch incident.

Both countries signatories

The ITLOS was established to settle maritime disputes by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, of which both Ukraine and Russia are signatories. The tribunal’s decisions are legally binding, but it has no power to enforce them. The tribunal called for both sides to report back on their compliance by June 25.

Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane, reporting from Hamburg, said that the ball is in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s court as the tribunal has no means to enforce this judgment.

“Does he want to listen to the judgment of the court, whose jurisdiction his country recognizes, or not?” he said.

A bilateral treaty gives both Russia and Ukraine the right to use the Sea of Azov, which lies between them and is linked by the narrow Kerch Strait to the Black Sea.

Russia, which annexed Crimea in 2014 and built a road bridge linking it to southern Russia straddling the Kerch Strait, has vowed never to give Crimea back to Ukraine. It accuses Kiev of staging a provocation in the Kerch Strait and its sailors of crossing illegally into Russian waters.

Russia’s FSB security service said it had been forced to act in November because the ships – two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat – had illegally entered its territorial waters.

“The Tribunal’s order is a clear signal to Russia that it cannot violate international law with impunity,” Ukraine Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal said on Facebook, adding she expected Russia to comply with the order quickly.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said if Russia releases the Ukrainian sailors and ships it could be the first signal from the Russian leadership of its readiness to end the conflict with Ukraine.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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