China announces timeline to open automobile industry to foreign ownership

China has announced proposals to remove its limit on foreign ownership of automotive ventures by 2022, reports Reuters. China imposed foreign ownership restrictions in 1994, limiting foreign carmakers to owning no more than a 50 percent share of any local venture. A decision that was designed allow its local automotive industry to compete and develop. On Tuesday, China’s state planner said it would remove foreign ownership caps for companies making fully electric and hybrid vehicles in 2018, and for the wider car market by 2022. The German Economy Ministry on Tuesday welcomed China’s decision...

Israel sanctions owners of buses used by Palestinian protestors

Israel has said it is sanctioning the owners of Gaza buses which transported Palestinian protestors to border demonstrators, reports the Associated Press. The military body for Palestinian civilian affairs announced on Facebook that the owners of 14 bus companies and their families would be denied “extra privileges” and ties to Israel would be “cancelled” for ignoring warnings and transporting “violent” protestors. Israeli forces have killed at least 28 Palestinians and injured over 1500 since protests began at the end of March.

UN, Bangladesh refute Myanmar claims of Rohingya repatriation

The United Nations and Bangladesh questioned claims by Mynamar that the Rohingya refugee repatriation process had started, reports CNN. A statement released on Saturday by Myanmar claiming that it had repatriated the first Rohingya family from refugees who fled to Bangladesh, was refuted by both the UN and Bangladesh. Shortly after Myanmar’s statement, the UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency said in a on Sunday that it had no direct knowledge of that case and was not consulted or involved in the alleged return. Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, Abul Kalam said, “The family...

Former Auschwitz guard charged with accessory to murder and genocide

A former SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp has been charged with accessory to murder and genocide by German prosecutors, reports the Independent. Prosecutors in Stutggart, said the 94 year old suspect, a German national born in Serbia was charged as a juvenile because he was 19 at the time of the alleged offences. The individual served as a guard at Auschwitz in late 1942 and early 1943, a period where an estimated 13,335 people were sent to die in gas chambers.

Over 300,000 march through Barcelona demanding release of Catalonia leaders

Over 300,000 people marched in Barcelona demanding the release of Catalan political leaders, reports Deutsche Welle. Photograph: Deutsche Welle The rally marked six months of detention for pro-independence activists Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, who face charges of rebellion leading to a jail term of 30 years. Spain’s central government imposed direct rule on Catalonia following its unilateral declaration of independence in October.

Armenian genocide memorial unveiled in Geneva

A series of street lamps commemorating victims of the 1915-1917 Armenian genocide has been unveiled in Geneva. The series called “streetlights of memory” was unveiled on Friday. The Armenian ambassador to the UN in Geneva said “it’s a monument that says that this must never happen again.” With Turkey still denying responsibility for the genocide, Turkish groups in Switzerland slammed the decision to allow the construction of the memorials. “We are frustrated because this monument is symbolic of a conflict between communities, which I think is very dangerous,” said the President of the...

Protestors for West Papua self-determination call for mining company to leave

Dozens of protestors rallied in Indonesia this month, to begin a series of demonstrations demanding self-determination for West Papua and the closure of one of the world’s leading mine companies. Demonstrators from the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) protested in front of the offices of PT Freeport, calling for the mining company and the Indonesian military to evacuate areas where it is causing environmental damage. Protestors also cited a 2002 report by the Papuan Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (Elsham) which claimed...

UN Security Council rejects resolution to condemn strikes on Syria

The UN Security Council has rejected a resolution, proposed by Russia, to condemn strikes on Syria by the US, UK and France. The resolution gained only three votes in its favour - from Russia, China and Bolivia. Meanwhile eight member states voted against the resolution and four abstained. The Russian Ambassador to the UN criticised the US for violating international law and taking action without waiting on the outcome of an investigation on whether the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its civilians.

China and India dissociate from strikes on Syria, urge return to international law

China and India have distanced themselves from the strikes carried out on Syria by the US, UK and France, with the Chinese government saying the strikes violated international law. According to Reuters , the Chinese foreign ministry said that China has consistently opposed the use of force in international relations and that any military action that bypassed the United Nations’ Security Council violated the principles and basic norms of international law. Meanwhile, India’s External Affairs Ministry has also urged restraint. “We urge all Parties to show restraint and to avoid any further...

EU warns of fresh economic sanctions on Syria, UN Security Council meets following airstrikes on Russia’s request

The European Union on Saturday warned of fresh economic sanctions, should Syria continue to use chemical weapons. It further called on all countries, “notably Russia and Iran, to use their influence to prevent any further use of chemical weapons, notably by the Syrian regime.” The EU last imposed sanctions on Syria in July 2017 and March 2018. The statement came shortly after US, UK and French forces struck Syria with over 100 missiles. In response to the airstrikes the UN Security Council met on Saturday afternoon at Russia’s request. See more here and here.