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  

Power, whites and gays - Mugabe in quotes

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


Harare (AFP) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 93, has a long history of making colourful or controversial remarks during a reign that has spanned nearly four decades.

From: https:

Iran says 'biased' French policy stoking Mideast crises

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


Iran said on Friday that "biased" French policy was stoking crises in the Middle East after Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accused it of "hegemonic" ambitions in the region. "Unfortunately it seems that France has a biased and partisan approach to the crises in the region and this approach, whether intentionally or not, is even contributing to turning potential crises into real ones," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said. Le Drian made his comments in Iran's arch rival Saudi Arabia on Thursday during a visit aimed at resolving a crisis sparked by the shock resignation earlier this month of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a staunch critic of Iran.

Lebanon’s Hariri arrives in Paris after Saudi ‘hostage’ rumours

Added: 18.11.2017 9:13 | 0 views | 0 comments

November 18, 2017 8:31 AM
PARIS (AFP) - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in France on Saturday (Nov 18) from Saudi Arabia, where his shock resignation announcement two weeks ago sparked accusations that he was being held there against his will.  

From: www.straitstimes.com

Vernay crowned 2017 TCR International champion

Added: 18.11.2017 8:46 | 1 views | 0 comments

The Frenchman made a poor start from the front row and was swiftly dispatched by eventual race winner Pepe Oriola, before slotting in behind the sister Volkswagen Golf GTi of teammate and pole-sitter Gordon Shedden.His main championship rival Attila Tassi needed to outscore Vernay to keep the fight alive to the final round, from which he will start on pole as the top 10 from ...

From: https:

Florida Man Being Chased By Police Asks 911 To Call Donald Trump

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


A Florida man being chased by police phoned 911 and asked a dispatcher to contact the White House so he could speak to his “close friend,” President Donald Trump.

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

'Tube crush' website featuring photos of 'attractive' men on London Underground sparks privacy row

Added: 18.11.2017 7:44 | 1 views | 0 comments

A "Tube crush" website where passengers secretly capture and rate photos of men they find "attractive" while riding the London Underground has sparked a privacy row.

Tags: London, SPA
From: https:

Hariri Paris trip is 'start of solution': Lebanon president

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


Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's decision to accept an invitation to Paris is the "start of a solution" to the crisis sparked by his resignation in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon's president said Thursday. Hariri has been in Riyadh since announcing his shock resignation from there on November 4, and Lebanon's President Michel Aoun on Wednesday accused Saudi authorities of "detaining" the premier. "We hope that the crisis is over and Hariri's acceptance of the invitation to go to France is the start of a solution," Aoun said on the official presidential Twitter account.

From the Cold War to hurricanes: The evolution of space satellites

Added: 18.11.2017 6:03 | 0 views | 0 comments

The Soviet Union astounded the world on October 4, 1957 by launching Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into space to measure the density of the atmosphere. Today, nearly 1,500 satellites are orbiting the Earth making possible scientific discoveries, military communications, the tracking of migrational patterns, and even helping first responders save lives.

Tags: Migration, SPA
From: https:

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