Monthly Archives: February 2017

Latest news – Next AFET Meeting – Committee on Foreign Affairs

The European Parliament’s Standing Delegation for relations with India, and the Committee on Internal Market sent delegations in the same time.

The six-Member delegation, led by Mr David McALLISTER (EPP, Germany, Chair of the Committee), included Members Mr Cristian Dan PREDA (EPP, Romania, rapporteur on EU political relations with India), Ms Željana ZOVKO (EPP, Croatia), Ms Neena GILL (S&D, UK), Mr Jo LEINEN (S&D, Germany), Mr Urmas PAET (ALDE, Estonia), as well as accompanying staff.

Please use the link in order to see the FULL PRESS STATEMENT.

Notice to members – Petition No 0588/2016 by G.R. (German) on behalf of Oberweser – Bramwald e.V. regarding the dumping of industrial saline solutions in the Oberweser River in Germany and the resulting environmental burden – PE 599.547v01-00 – Committee on Petitions

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Three wounded by gunfire as Iraq forces disperse demo

NNA – Three people were wounded by gunfire as Iraqi forces dispersed a demonstration Tuesday by students who threw stones at the premier during a visit to Kut, officials and witnesses said.

A student said demonstrators were wounded when security forces fired to disperse them in the city south of Baghdad.

The demonstration began as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Wasit University and later moved to the provincial council headquarters when he changed venues, witnesses and an AFP journalist said.

“We received around 70 (injured). Most of them left and three wounded by gunfire and 19 suffering from poisoning as a result of tear gas remain,” said Ahmed al-Quraishi, a doctor at a local hospital.

Second Lieutenant Ali al-Sarrai, a member of the security forces tasked with protecting the university, said protesters threw “stones and water bottles and shoes” at Abadi.

His guards then fired in the air and targeted demonstrators with tear gas, said Sarrai who also confirmed that three people were shot.

The students were protesting against “the lack of services and the spread of corruption in the government,” said Ali al-Aboudi, who took part in the demonstration.

Some protesters threw stones at Abadi’s convoy, Aboudi said.

Abadi called for “universities to keep away from political conflicts,” a statement from his office said.

Video posted on social media showed demonstrators chanting a slogan often used by supporters of populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has repeatedly called for protests against corruption in the Iraqi government.

Sadr issued a statement apologising to Abadi and stating that the premier was not personally involved in corruption.–AFP

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Children bound for Europe “sell their bodies – their only currency”

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A migrant gestures from behind the bars of a cell at a detention centre in Libya, Tuesday 31 January. Photo: UNICEF/UN052608/Romenzi

Disturbing new details have emerged of the abuse suffered by children travelling from North Africa to Europe on people trafficking routes through Libya.

The findings by UN Children’s Fund UNICEF show that three-quarters of youngsters said they had experienced violence, while one in two women and children reported sexual abuse – often many times in different locations.

Latest checks found well over 7,000 unaccompanied children in Libya, but UNICEF’s Afshan Khan tells Daniel Johnson that the real figure is likely to be three times higher.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 4’32″

South Korea suggests North's suspension from U.N. over airport killing

NNA – South Korea called for “collective measures” to punish North Korea for using chemical weapons to kill the estranged half-brother of its leader Kim Jong Un, as Malaysia said on Tuesday it would charge two women with murder over the airport attack.

Police have said the women smeared VX nerve agent, a chemical on a United Nations list of banned weapons of mass destruction, on Kim Jong Nam’s face in an assault captured on security cameras in the Malaysian capital’s airport on Feb. 13.

Speaking at the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva on Tuesday, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said the use of chemical weapons was a “wake-up call” and the international community should act – including possibly suspending the isolated North’s seat at the United Nations.

Malaysian police arrested a Vietnamese woman, Doan Thi Huong, and an Indonesian, Siti Aishah, in the days after the attack.

Both women will be formally charged on Wednesday under section 302 of the penal code, which carries the death penalty, Malaysia’s attorney general, Mohamed Apandi Ali, confirmed to Reuters in a text message.

“Just a few grams of VX is sufficient for mass killing,” Yun said.

Once the Malaysian government releases the results of its investigation, the U.N. Security Council and state parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention should take up the case as a “high priority agenda”, Yun said.

States that have ratified the chemical weapons ban could invoke the treaty and “take collective measures”, he added.

“It could take the form of suspension of North Korea’s rights and privileges as a U.N. member,” he said.–Reuters