Jacob Zuma narrowly defeats no confidence vote

South Africa's president Jacob Zuma narrowly defeated a no confidence vote after a secret ballet on Tuesday. Of the 400 member parliament, 198 voted against the attempt to oust him, 177 in favour and nien abstained. Celebrating his win, Mr Zuma exalted the ANC's credentials. "It's difficult to defeat the ANC. They always try," he was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance said, "today's motion of no confidence result is closer than anyone expected." "Jacob Zuma is the manifestation of what the ANC has become - a toxic mix of corruption, cronyism and...

Venezuela is a 'dictatorship' says new 17 member bloc

In a joint declaration released on Tuesday, a new 17 member bloc of countries including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Canada condemned the situation in Venezuela, concluding it was a "dictatorship". The group described the new constituent assembly as "illegitimate" and said they would not acknowledge any of its actions. "What we have in Venezuela is a dictatorship," Peru's foreign affairs minister Ricardo Luna was quoted by Reuters as saying at a press conference following a meeting in Lima. The group also condemned the "systematic violation of human rights and fundamental...

UN says genocide early warning signs present in CAR

The UN aid head, Stephen O'Brien warned on Monday of early warning signs of genocide in the Central African Republic after there was renewed violence. "The early warning signs of genocide are there," Mr O'Brien was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying at a UN meeting. "We must act now, not pare down the UN's effort, and pray we don't live to regret it." Mr O'Brien's comments came following a recent visit to the country. Calling for an increased peacekeeping presence, he said now was the time for the MINUSCA peacekeeping force to "deliver on its critical protection mandate".

China vows to adhere strictly to UN sanctions on North Korea

China reiterated its support for the UN Security Council's sanctions on North Korea, saying it would adhere to them very strictly. "Owing to China's traditional economic ties with North Korea, it will mainly be China paying the price for implementing the resolution," China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted by Reuters as saying in a statement on Tuesday. "But in order to protect the international non-proliferation system and regional peace and stability, China will, as before, fully and strictly properly implement the entire contents of the relevant resolution." The United Nations Security...

Prosecutor quits war crimes panel on Syria citing frustration at UN inaction

One of the three members of an independent United Nations appointed panel documenting war atrocities in Syria has resigned in frustration, reports the New York Times. Swiss prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, told reporters that she had hoped the UN Security Council would refer the case in Syria to the International Criminal Court or set up a special tribunal. “I was expecting to persuade the Security Council to do something for justice. Nothing happened for seven years. Now I resigned. We are going nowhere,” she said on the phone to reporters. The remaining members of the panel, Paulo Pinnheiro of...

Al Jazeera vows to continue professional reporting of 'occupied Palestinian territories' despite Israeli shut down

Al Jazeera news vowed to continue reporting on “events of occupied Palestinian territories professionally and accurately,” despite official plans by Israel to shut down its offices in Jerusalem. Israel confirmed that it would revoke media credentials of Al Jazeera journalists and close the network’s office in Jerusalem reports Al Jazeera news. “We have based our decision on the move by Sunni Arab states to close the Al Jazeera offices and prohibiting their work,” said Israel’s Media Minister Ayoub Kara. Speaking at a press brief on Sunday he added, “I will go through legislator mechanism to...

Kagame wins landslide presidential election in Rwanda

Rwanda’s ruling president Paul Kagame has won a third term in office after a landslide victory in the country’s presidential elections, winning 98.7% of the vote. Turnout in the state is expected to top 90% in Friday’s election, with the victory set to extend Mr Kagame’s 17 years in power. Mr Kagame, the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front which helped end the 1994 genocide, has won two previous presidential elections in 2003 and 2010. This victory though is his largest margin. On Saturday morning Mr Kagame told a victory rally “I am here because I honoured your request. Today is proof that...

UN Security Council unanimously votes for sanctions on North Korea

The United Nations Security Council unanimously voted for fresh sanctions on North Korea, in response to intercontinental ballistic missile tests by the state last month. The new set of sanctions imposes bans on North Korea’s export of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood, and is expected to cut the state’s export revenue by up to a third. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley hailed the move which she said had raised the penalty on North Korea "to a whole new level". "Today the Security Council has come together to put the North Korean dictator on notice," she added...

Saudi-led airstrike kills Yemeni family as ‘man-made disaster’ worsens

A Saudi-led coalition air strike has killed at least 9 members of the same family in Yemen, as the UN development chief in the country called the food crisis there "a man-made disaster". At least three women and six children were killed in the attack on a house on the outskirts of Saada, according to the head of the local health department Dr Abdel-Ilah al-Azzi. "We are recording all the crimes of the enemy and we will not forget them," said Dr Azzi. "All the criminals will be put on trial soon, God willing." See more from The Independent here . UN development chief in Yemen Auke Lootsma said...

China accuses India of building up troops at border stand-off

China’s Foreign Ministry has accused India of building up troops and repairing roads at a military stand-off alongside its border in the Himalayan region. “It has already been more than a month since the incident, and India is still not only illegally remaining on Chinese territory, it is also repairing roads in the rear, stocking up supplies, massing a large number of armed personnel. This is certainly not for peace,” said the foreign ministry in a statement issued on Thursday. The tensions are occurring between a 3,500km land border with China in the Indian State of Sikkim, reports Reuters...

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