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  

Macron’s upstart party chooses new leader, amid tensions

Added: 18.11.2017 10:54 | 0 views | 0 comments


LYON, France (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party has chosen a new leader, as the 19-month-old movement tries to overcome divisions and solidify its position after redrawing France's political landscape. Christophe Castaner, a government spokesman and Macron loyalist, was chosen Saturday as the Republic on the Move! party's leader for the next three ...]

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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.

Ousted Caracas mayor arrives in Spain after fleeing Venezuela

Added: 18.11.2017 7:56 | 0 views | 0 comments

Ousted Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma pledge to spread his protest against Venezuela’s socialist government across the world on arriving in Spain Saturday, a day after he escaped from house arrest and slipped past security forces into Colombia.

From: www.france24.com

Ousted Caracas mayor flees house arrest, heads to Europe

Added: 18.11.2017 7:05 | 0 views | 0 comments


CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Ousted Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma said he plans to take his fight against Venezuela's socialist government to Europe after he escaped house arrest and fled to Colombia on Friday. The flight was an apparent embarrassment for security forces who had been keeping close watch over one of Venezuela's most prominent opposition leaders.

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Governments keep global climate deal on track despite U.S. pullout

Added: 18.11.2017 5:36 | 1 views | 0 comments

Almost 200 nations kept a 2015 global agreement to tackle climate change on track on Saturday after marathon talks overshadowed by U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out.

From: feeds.reuters.com

In towns and cities nationwide, fears of effects of federal tax plan

Added: 18.11.2017 4:19 | 1 views | 0 comments


Local leaders are warning that the $1.5 trillion tax-cut legislation moving through Congress threatens to undermine their ability to raise money for government services, including police and schools.

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Trump halts big-game trophy decision

Added: 18.11.2017 2:04 | 1 views | 0 comments

Trump’s sudden tweet halted a decision by his own administration, announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday, to end a 2014 government ban on big game trophy hunting in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

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Even With Beijing Pushing, Electric Cars Prove Hard to Start

Added: 18.11.2017 1:19 | 0 views | 0 comments

Electric vehicles aren’t yet living up to the hype, auto makers in China are finding, as they churn out more EVs than they can sell—even with generous government subsidies—to satisfy Beijing’s directives.

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Delta says US approves joint venture with Korean Air

Added: 18.11.2017 1:06 | 0 views | 0 comments

Delta Air Lines says U.S. regulators have given the green light to a joint venture with Korean Air, and the carriers are waiting for approval from the South Korean government.

From: feeds.foxbusiness.com

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