Saturday, 18 November 2017
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Cambodia accused of 'killing off democracy' after opposition party dissolved by Supreme Court

Added: 18.11.2017 11:04 | 0 views | 0 comments


Cambodia has been accused of ‘killing off democracy’ after the country’s supreme court dissolved the opposition party and outlawed over 100 politicians ahead of a general election next year. Thursday's ruling to disband the Cambodia National Rescue Party, in a Southeast Asian country visited by about 159,000 Britons a year, was widely expected amid the worst crackdown on freedom and human rights in two decades. The government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, a firebrand former Khmer Rouge fighter who has held office for 32 years, had already accused the CNRP of plotting a US-backed revolution and jailed the party’s leader Kem Sokha in September. After a horrific genocide in the 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge under dictator Pol Pot killed 1-3 million, Cambodia has functioned nominally as a democracy since 1993. Analysts say the current repression reveals Hun Sen’s desire to cling to power after a surge in the CNRP’s popularity. “This is the end of democracy in Cambodia. We have not done anything wrong. We have fought for democracy. They have killed the will of more than three million people in Cambodia,” said CNRP spokesman, Yim Sovann, referring to the party’s recent support in June’s local elections. Deputy opposition leader Mu Sochua, 63, has been lobbying for international help since she was forced to flee her homeland in October, after being accused by Hun Sen of being an “urban terrorist.” She described the supreme court's decision as "a blow to democracy" but said it would not be fatal. "The democratic movement for change inside and outside Cambodia will be glued together stronger than ever," Ms Sochua said after the decision. Mu Sochua, deputy leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Credit: AP Ms Sochua met with British officials in London this week to shore up support for targeted sanctions on the regime. Britain is one of Cambodia’s most important trading partners, importing roughly $1 billion [£760m] worth of products in 2016. In an interview she told The Telegraph the party was anxious to see more action from the international community, "especially the UK", and hoped Thursday's decision would be seen as "a red line being crossed".  "You can let peace die, democracy die in Cambodia or you can take action to be accountable to your own taxpayers," Ms Sochua said. She added: “If the prime minister can go as far as dissolving the party that is the only competitor, I think Mr Hun Sen can do anything else, so the situation for democracy and for peace in Cambodia looks really bleak. Opposition leader Kem Sokha prays during a Buddhist ceremony in Phnom Penh Credit:  AP Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, called for Japan and the EU to immediately suspend all financial and technical electoral assistance for the 2018 election unless the CNRP was reinstated and permitted to compete. “The Supreme Court dissolution of the CNRP is the culmination of Hun Sen’s backdoor plan to ensure his victory in next year’s election,” Mr Robertson said. Champa Patel, head of the Asia programme at think-tank Chatham House, pointed out that the presiding judge in the case was a high-ranking member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and a close associate of the prime minister.   A Buddhist monk tries to enter a blocked street outside the supreme court on Thursday Credit: AP “The dissolution of the Cambodian opposition reflects how the courts in Cambodia have become tools serving government interests,” she said. “It is difficult to see how any proceedings can be seen as independent of vested interests.” The atmosphere of intimidation in Cambodia had already sparked international alarm, with Sweden threatening to revise its relations with Phomn Penh, and US Senator Ted Cruz threatening to push for a travel ban on top officials. Profile | Hun Sen  

Robert Mueller 'subpoenas Trump election campaign for Russia documents'

Added: 18.11.2017 8:56 | 1 views | 0 comments


Special counsel Robert Mueller is said to have subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s election campaign for documents regarding Russia. Mr Mueller, currently leading an investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin, reportedly requested documents and emails from over a dozen top campaign officials that include several keywords related to Russia. A source told the Wall Street Journal the subpoena would not compel testimony before a grand jury.

Cambodia faces U.S., EU action after banning opposition

Added: 18.11.2017 8:05 | 0 views | 0 comments

The United States stopped election support for Cambodia with a promise of more "concrete steps" and the European Union threatened vital trade preferences after the main opposition party to Prime Minister Hun Sen was banned. The ban on the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), decreed by the Supreme Court at the government's request, followed the arrest of its leader for treason.

Trump starts paying his own legal bills on Russia probe: attorneys

Added: 18.11.2017 5:11 | 1 views | 0 comments

U.S. President Donald Trump has begun paying his own legal bills related to the Russia investigation and will no longer cover the costs using political donations to his re-election campaign or the Republican Party, his attorneys confirmed on Friday.

From: feeds.reuters.com

Jared Kushner urged Trump campaign staff to decline meetings with foreign elements, lawyer insists

Added: 18.11.2017 4:27 | 0 views | 0 comments

A lawyer for Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner is pushing back after a Senate committee said Kushner had not been fully forthcoming in its probe into Russian election interference.

From: https:

Why is Trump off the hook in MeToo movement? Because we let him off.

Added: 18.11.2017 3:57 | 2 views | 0 comments


Think of a political campaign as a trial, with the election as the verdict. The reason President Donald Trump is seemingly immune from the sexual-harassment cultural shift is because, like it or not, voters already found him not guilty. Or at least not guilty enough.

From: https:

Kushner’s lawyer pushes back on Senate committee request

Added: 18.11.2017 2:54 | 1 views | 0 comments


WASHINGTON (AP) — A lawyer for White House adviser Jared Kushner is pushing back after a Senate committee said Kushner had not been fully forthcoming in its probe into Russian election interference. Lawyer Abbe Lowell says Kushner encouraged others in President Donald Trump's campaign to decline meetings with foreign people who "go back home and ...]

Montana Rep. Gianforte misled investigators in assault on reporter before election

Added: 18.11.2017 1:29 | 1 views | 0 comments


A Montana congressman initially misled investigators about his assault on a reporter and claimed that the "liberal media" was "trying to make a story" out of it, documents released Friday show.
Rep. Greg Gianforte told an officer in the aftermath of the attack that Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs...

From: www.sun-sentinel.com

Alabama Senate election winner due to be certified in late December

Added: 18.11.2017 1:00 | 0 views | 0 comments

The outcome of Alabama's Dec. 12 U.S. Senate election probably will not be certified until Dec. 26 at the earliest, a state official said on Friday, making it unlikely the race will affect major year-end legislation in Congress including Republican tax cuts.

From: feeds.reuters.com

While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 18

Added: 18.11.2017 0:33 | 0 views | 0 comments

November 18, 2017 6:00 AM
A selection of news stories that happened overnight, Nov 18, 2017.

From: www.straitstimes.com

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