US seizes North Korean ship for violating international sancitons

The Untied States has seized a North Korean shipping vessel that violated American law and international sanctions. IN an announcement released by the US Justice Department on Thursday, prosecutors said a carrier ship that was being used to export sanctioned North Korean coal , was seized. In what was the first time the United States had seized a North Korean cargo vessel for violating international sanctions, the head of the Justice Department John Demers, said, “This sanctions busting ship is now out of service.” Mr Demers further noted that the ship was the second largest cargo ship in...

Singapore fake news law will have a chilling effect on internet freedom

Singapore has passed a bill that forces media to correct and remove content that the government considers to be false, a move which will have a “chilling effect on internet freedom” according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). The bill has been criticised by rights groups, journalists and tech firms as it could be used to clamp down on freedom of speech. “The absence of clear protection for expression pose real risks that it will be misused to clamp down on the free exchange and expression of opinions and information,” Frederick Rawski said, the Asia Pacific director for International Commission of...

Two Reuters journalists freed in Myanmar

Two Reuters journalists have been freed in Myanmar after spending over 500 days in jail after being convicted of breaching the Official Secrets Act. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were charged on September 3 2018 and sentenced to seven years in prison. The journalists were released under a presidential amnesty for 6,520 prisoners. Mass amnesties take place annually around the new year in Myanmar. “I’m really happy and excited to see my family and my colleagues. I can’t wait to go to my newsroom,” Lone told reporters. Their conviction was seen as an attack on press freedom and raised questions about...

UN Security Council extends mission for Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)

The United Nations Security council, last week, extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), reiterating the right of the Sahrawi people to self determination. The resolution extending the MINURSO mandate until 31 October 2019 was passed with 13 votes in favour with 2 abstentions from Russia and South Africa, reports Sahara Press Service. South Africa abstained from the vote in protest of the resolution failing to mention ongoing rights abuses by Morocco against the Sahrawi people. The UN has hosted two rounds of talks in fresh attempts to...

Pope urges Bulgaria “don’t close your heart” to migrants

Pope Francis visited a refugee centre in Sofia and a Roman Catholic Church in Rakovski in Bulgaria where he advocated on behalf of migrants and refugees describing their suffering as “the cross of humanity”. The pope’s defence of migrants is a central point of his pontificate and he also hopes that his visit will heal divisions between the Eastern and Western Orthodox Churches which split in 1054. Rakovski is a majority Roman Catholic town in the overwhelming Eastern Orthodox country. The population of Roman Catholic's is less than one per cent. He plans to travel to North Macedonia for the...

Over 30,000 march through Glasgow in support of Scottish independence

Over 30,000 people marched through Glasgow on Saturday in support for Scottish independence reports The Guardian. The march was led by the ‘All Under One Banner’ movement which describes itself as “open to everyone who desires an independent Scotland” The march came after Nicola Sturgeon announced she would introduce legislation to hold a second independence referendum before the end of the year. Calls for a second independence referendum have been increasing amidst Westminster’s political deadlock on Brexit, and the Scottish people's ongoing demand to remain in the EU.

Gaza-Israel violence continues into second day of airstrikes and rocket attacks

Israeli warplanes and gunboats have continued to target the Gaza strip today in retaliation to Gaza fighters firing more than 400 rockets into Israeli territory.

Cyclone Fani kills dozens in India and Bangladesh

The strongest cyclone to hit India in the last five years has devastated India’s eastern coast, killing approximately 16 people in the state of Odisha before hitting Bangladesh where at least 12 people have died. A mass evacuation of over a million people in Bangladesh has saved a great number of lives. A similar evacuation occurred in Odisha moving 1.2 million people into safety. West Bangladesh avoided substantial damage but authorities had moved nearly 45,000 people to safer locations as a precaution. Reports state that Cyclone Fani had winds moving at up 200km an hour with enough strength...

Persecution of Christians coming close to genocide levels

The persecution of Christians in some regions of the world is coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to a report commissioned by British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. The interim report, led by the Bishop of Truro the Right Reverend Philip Mountstephen, has highlighted the geographical spread of anti-Christian persecution and it’s increasing severity. The independent review on the global persecution of Christians has estimated that one third of the world’s population suffers from religious persecution in some form, with Christians being the most...

US accuse China of using ‘concentration camps’ and aggressive military expansion

The US Defense Department has accused China of pursuing an aggressive military build-up to combat US interests whilst also maintaining concentration camps which have detained close to three million Muslims. Randall Schriver, assistant secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, said that "at least a million [Uighurs and other minorities], but likely closer to three million, out of a total population of about 10 million” are being detained in “concentration camps”. The Chinese have continued to deny the allegation describing these camps as “education centres”. Last year Amnesty...

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