Tag Archives: World

Aung San Suu Kyi hit with 2 new criminal charges – World News


Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi faced two new criminal charges in her second court hearing on charges of possessing unregistered walkie-talkies that began via video link in a Naypyitaw court on Monday.

Suu Kyi is accused of violating communications laws as well as inciting public unrest, her lawyer Nay Tu said, in addition to charges of possessing unregistered walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions.

The country’s president, U Win Myint, also returned to court on charges of violating COVID-19 regulations.

The lawyer representing Suu Kyi, assigned by her party, the National League for Democracy, said he has not yet obtained the power of attorney to participate in the trial.

Suu Kyi’s lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told AFP that she appeared healthy during the court appearance, noting that she had not been seen in public since the military detainment on February 1.

Suu Kyi is expected to be sentenced during this hearing. The maximum jail time for her charges is three years, according to the rules and regulations on import and export in the country.

Suu Kyi’s first court hearing was on February 16, where another charge was added for violating a Natural Disaster Management Law. The next hearing date is March 15.

Protesters marched in Myanmar on Monday in defiance of a crackdown by security forces that killed at least 18 people a day earlier, as calls grew for a more united international response after the worst violence since the military detained leaders one month ago.



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Special Police Unit to probe Peliyagoda assault

Special Police Unit to probe Peliyagoda assault



Court has issued directives to the Inspector General of Police to hand over investigations into the assault of a youth at the Peliyagoda Police Station recently to a special Police unit.

The order was issued by Colombo Additional Magistrate Bandara Nelumdeniya this morning.

Police informed Court that investigations are being carried out into details pertaining to the youth obstructing Police duties.

Accordingly, Court ordered the investigation to be removed from the Peliyagoda Station and vested with a special Police unit.

The case will be taken up for hearing once again on the 15th of March.

A Chief Inspector of Police and three Police Constables attached to the Peliyagoda Police Station were interdicted over assaulting the youth last Thursday within the Police Station.

The youth was identified as a son of Former Governor of the Central Province Attorney Maithri Gunaratne.

He was assaulted when he visited the Police Station to meet an individual being held by Police over financial fraud, when an incident broke out.

(newsradio.lk)





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Bluewashing at the Edge of Extinction, at the End of the World.

Bluewashing at the Edge of Extinction, at the End of the World.


If the word of 2020 was ‘unprecedented’, and here we are in Lockdown again, does that mean the word of 2021 is precedented? Still, I’d rather be here than anywhere else, and that was the case before Covid 19. It sure is the case after it. But it’s not just Covid 19 that’s on my mind this week. Because I get a sense of déjà vu and business as usual when it comes to – well, business as usual, at the edge, and the end, of the world.

Climate change bites, we’re in a mass extinction event, the pandemic changes the way the world works but the maxim of capitalism to socialise costs and privatise profits continues to hold true. We’re in the stage of the macroeconomic cycle where state intervention follows, sustains and mitigates the effects of neoliberalism.

After years of a fossil fuelled boom, in Fox township hotel chains and tourism companies clamour for support to keep afloat, though its star attraction, the glacier, retreats at around 4m per year. (Come and see it before it’s gone?” ‘last chance’ tourism – there’s a market in that). Councils in the North take a punitive approach to freedom camping when locals are the only visitors they can get. As a born and bred freedom camping Kiwi, that feels like theft of the commons. Meanwhile, in a greater crime, coastal land is carved up for holiday homes, whose owners’ cars and dogs kill kiwi.

Unbelievable pollution and contamination of New Zealand is exposed by the media, but consumers barely bat an eyelid. It’s consumer demand that generates and sustains this pollution after all, and who wants to own that? New Zealand’s ‘trusted brands’, family favourites, pour shit, animal processing products and toxins into underequipped municipal ‘wastewater systems’ or straight into the river or sea. Other primary industries are subsidised with air freight, despite the obvious unsustainability of both their natural resource extraction and the flights themselves. Market decisions are more powerful in determining responses to climate change than incremental and modest government attempts.

But there was a classic display of business green – or blue-washing successfully executed late last week, a real PR coup especially in that it had the Prime Minister’s blessing. The media celebrated uncritically, the launch of a drone project to track endangered Māui dolphins. Māui dolphins are NZ’s most urgent conservation issue according to scientists, so their drone project is good news you’d think. They’re one of the rarest dolphins in the world. The headlines read ‘Maui drone project launched to bring Māui back from the brink’, “launched with the Prime Minister’s support’!!’ (RNZ); ‘How a drone could save our rarest dolphin’ (Stuff); ‘Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin’ (Sunlive), and so on. I even found reports on the project at ChinaDailyAsia.com and USNewsandWorldReport. That will be helpful for New Zealand’s reputation, its seafood export brand, and its credentials in the US court case taken by Sea Shepherd who seek an injunction against NZ imports because of the Government’s failure to deal with dolphin bycatch.

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All that news coverage was great publicity for the noble collaborators – WWF who get funds from the fishing companies and the public; the fishing companies who get endorsed by WWF; and the Government for looking like it’s doing something tangible –“saving dolphins”. But the project, backed by the PM, also takes the heat off Sanford just fined $36,000 and ordered to forfeit a $20million boat for fishing illegally in a Benthic Protected Area, twice.

The Government’s Ministry for Primary Industries is contributing $500,000 to the drone project. At Friday’s launch, Minister of Oceans and Fisheries David Parker said “we are committed to saving this treasure”. He didn’t say, “but we still don’t have cameras on fishing boats and we are still waiting for the further consultation on extra measures to keep small Hector’s dolphin populations in the South Island safe from displaced, concentrated fishing pressure, which was promised after the launch of the Threat Management Plan last year”.

None of the media releases and news reports explored how these exciting new drones, (“technology!!”) would actually save Māui dolphins. Many scientists, including International Whaling Commission experts, argue that habitat and distribution is already well known. These are well studied dolphins after all. MPI and their consultant scientists have been accused of ignoring sightings and distribution data in the past. Gathering more data is interesting, but is no substitute for genuine action and responses to knowledge we already have, which show the dolphins further offshore than current protections cover.

The only way these drones could ‘save’ Māui dolphins is if they prove the dolphins are outside current protected areas, and those areas then get closed to fishing. Do you think a project supported by fishing companies is likely to do that? Apparently, the plan “will help inform decisions by Seafood companies such as Moana New Zealand and Sanford”, but this is still a voluntary approach. Nothing compels the fishing companies to do anything. It’s the fishing industries who will determine what, if any action is taken.

This ‘species-saving’ drone is only expected to operate once a month, though that’s an increase on current DoC surveys, which apparently only occur for three weeks every five years (for this valued ‘treasure’!?). There’s the risk that if the drone doesn’t show dolphins during its twelve flights a year, the fishing companies take that absence of proof as proof of absence and argue against current and future fishing regulations that should otherwise keep dolphins and other marine life safe.

While almost anything that adds to the science and understanding of the dolphins is a good thing, even if it’s the result of an unholy alliance*, its use and application is what matters.

Drones won’t save dolphins, only protection from threats will. With only around 63 adult Māui dolphins left, to say and do otherwise is bluewashing – at the edge of extinction and end of the world.

 

*I say unholy alliance because WWF & the fishing companies banded together at the close of the TMP with their own Option Five which undermined the NGO/science consensus that full habitat protection was essential.

 



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Special Police Unit to probe Peliyagoda assault

Special Police Unit to probe Peliyagoda assault



Court has issued directives to the Inspector General of Police to hand over investigations into the assault of a youth at the Peliyagoda Police Station recently to a special Police unit.

The order was issued by Colombo Additional Magistrate Bandara Nelumdeniya this morning.

Police informed Court that investigations are being carried out into details pertaining to the youth obstructing Police duties.

Accordingly, Court ordered the investigation to be removed from the Peliyagoda Station and vested with a special Police unit.

The case will be taken up for hearing once again on the 15th of March.

A Chief Inspector of Police and three Police Constables attached to the Peliyagoda Police Station were interdicted over assaulting the youth last Thursday within the Police Station.

The youth was identified as a son of Former Governor of the Central Province Attorney Maithri Gunaratne.

He was assaulted when he visited the Police Station to meet an individual being held by Police over financial fraud, when an incident broke out.

(newsradio.lk)





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Coronavirus live news: Germany reopens hairdressers; Chinese hackers ‘target Indian vaccine makers’ | World news


The decision comes as new variants contribute to a sharp rise in infections in the country, which has already closed its borders.

The state of emergency would also allow the government to further shut schools and limit movement between regions.

“The government sees it necessary that we all have fewer contacts,” prime inster Sanna Marin told a news conference. “Everyone now has the opportunity to impact how the spring and summer will turn out.”

Several Finnish regions have seen a rapid rise in Covid-19 infections in the past two weeks, with outbreaks among skiers in Lapland and workers at shipping yards and construction sites.

Finland, among the European countries least affected by the virus so far, has recorded 58,064 cases and 742 deaths since the start of the pandemic with 210 people currently hospitalised.



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Beijing accused of using Covid pandemic to control journalists – foreign media group report — RT World News

Beijing accused of using Covid pandemic to control journalists – foreign media group report — RT World News



The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) has accused Beijing of using Covid-19 as “yet another way to control journalists,” curbing visas and surveilling reporters. China says it’s protecting its citizens from the virus.

The FCCC, which is the professional association of Beijing-based journalists reporting on China, has argued that 2020 had seen a “rapid decline in media freedom,” implemented under the cover of measures that were used to combat the spread of coronavirus.

In its annual report released on Monday the press group claimed these restrictions were placed on journalists to prevent them from providing an accurate picture of ongoing events in the country, as well as in other areas that are politically sensitive for Beijing, such as Tibet. 

As China’s propaganda machine struggled to regain control of the narrative around this public health disaster, foreign press outlets were repeatedly obstructed.

The FCCC found that 42 percent of journalists who responded to the report had been denied access to or forced to leave areas because of claims of health concerns and threats of enforced quarantine. Some members of the media also argued that reporters had been subject to restrictions that did not apply to other individuals in the country, including contact tracing and checkpoints, which “created additional opportunities for Chinese authorities to gather data and surveil foreign journalists and their sources.”




Also on rt.com
China denies it made US diplomats take anal swab tests for Covid-19 despite Washington saying Beijing admitted testing ‘error’



China has previously refuted criticism of its strict Covid-19 restrictions, which have impacted diplomats, officials from the World Health Organization, and journalists entering and traveling around the country. Beijing believes tight controls, quarantines, and testing are required to protect its citizens from new variants of the virus that could quickly spread throughout China.

In January, China’s state-run press agency Xinhua announced that the country would be enforcing a ‘14+7+7’ policy that would oblige anyone entering the country to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine, seven days in home quarantine, and another seven days being monitored at home with limits on the ability to meet with others in public.

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Iran ‘clearly’ behind Gulf of Oman ship explosions – Israeli PM Netanyahu — RT World News

Iran ‘clearly’ behind Gulf of Oman ship explosions – Israeli PM Netanyahu — RT World News



Iran was behind the explosions on an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed. The Jewish state reportedly retaliated by launching a missile attack in Syria.

The incident on Thursday evening involving the MV ‘Helios Ray’ was “clearly” Iran’s doing, Netanyahu said on Monday in an interview with the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation. He added that Tehran was “Israel’s biggest enemy” and said his country was “beating it all across the region.”

The direct accusation by the prime minister mirrors the words of Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who said on Saturday that the military’s assessment pointed to Iran’s culpability. Gantz, who is also Netanyahu’s top challenger in the upcoming general election, explained the conclusion by reference to the vessel’s relative proximity to Iran at the time of the explosions, as well as the general hostility between the two nations.




Also on rt.com
Israel’s defense minister points finger at Iran over explosion on Israeli-owned vessel in Gulf of Oman



The two blasts, which Israeli media described as the result of missile strikes, punctured holes in the ship’s hull, but didn’t injure any crew members, according to the ship’s owner.

On Saturday evening, the Syrian government reported that its air defenses had repelled an Israeli missile attack over Damascus, intercepting most of the projectiles launched from the area of the Israel-controlled Golan Heights.




Also on rt.com
Syrian air defenses repel ‘Israeli aggression’ over Damascus, intercept most of the missiles – state media



Israel routinely launches such barrages, usually without acknowledging responsibility, at what sources in the Israeli government describe as Iranian targets in Syrian territory. Many observers speculated that the latest attack had been conducted in retaliation for the incident involving the MV ‘Helios Ray’.

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Debunking The Biggest Hearing-loss Myth This World Hearing Day

Debunking The Biggest Hearing-loss Myth This World Hearing Day


Think losing your hearing comes part and parcel with the
ageing process? Hear this: Age-related hearing loss can be
treated.

This World Hearing Day [Wednesday 3 March],
The Hearing House is shining light on the many New
Zealanders who live with unaddressed age-related hearing
loss.

Diagnosing and treating hearing loss with
hearing aids and cochlear implants can help improve the
quality of life for those who struggle to hear, says The
Hearing House
Clinical Director Holly
Teagle.

“It’s never too late to treat
hearing loss. We know that depression, isolation, and
loneliness often accompany age-related hearing
decline.

“We also know that treating a
person’s hearing can improve their wider social, emotional
and cognitive wellbeing,” says Teagle.

The
Hearing House i
s a charity, funded in part by the
Ministry of Health, which provides cochlear implants and
rehabilitative support for New Zealanders who have lost
their hearing.

“By restoring access to sound, adults
can regain the independence they once knew in a hearing and
speaking world,” says Teagle.

Pictured:
Nick Linton.

Nick Linton, 33, is one
of many to have received a cochlear implant through The
Hearing House
.

For 20 years the Fire Risk
Management Officer lived without hearing in his left ear
after being hit during a waterpolo match when he was 13
years old.

Since the implant, Linton’s tinnitus –
the incessant ringing in his ears – has decreased by
around 70 per cent, and he’s hearing sounds he forgot even
existed.

“I heard this sound that would come up in
intensity and then go down. I looked around, and I saw the
trees, and then I realised it was the wind,” he
says.

Teagle says hearing technology can make a big
difference. The first step is identifying the presence of
hearing loss so appropriate referrals can be
made.

This is why, as part of World Hearing Day,
The Hearing House, in collaboration with The
University of Auckland Audiology Programme
, is hosting
FREE Hearing Screenings for anyone concerned about their
hearing.

The screenings will take place once Auckland
returns to Alert Level 1. Should hearing loss be identified,
our team at The Hearing House can provide information
and referrals to help you in your journey to better
hearing.

To register for your free hearing screening,
please call The Hearing House on 0800 2 LISTEN or email reception@hearinghouse.co.nz.

© Scoop Media

 



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Nationalists stage torch-lit march, demand ‘return’ of Nagorno-Karabakh amid Armenian political crisis — RT World News

Nationalists stage torch-lit march, demand ‘return’ of Nagorno-Karabakh amid Armenian political crisis — RT World News



Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Yerevan to demand the resignation of embattled Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan and reinstatement of control over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh in a torch-lit march.

The nationalists hit the streets of the Armenian capital on Sunday, marching with lit torches and Armenian flags to folk tunes that blared from a car.  As the music paused, protesters chanted “Free and independent Armenian” and “Retake Nagorno-Karabakh” among other slogans. The protesters have also repeatedly called for Pashinyan’s resignation.  

The fiery procession, led by the supporters of Sasna Tsrer right-wing party, coincided with a concert, organized by a more moderate part of the opposition, which likewise wants Pashinyan gone.

Pashinyan has been in hot water since November, when he signed an unpopular ceasefire deal with Azerbaijan, under which major parts of the disputed region passed to Azeri control. The PM was branded a “traitor” by political opponents for signing the Russia-brokered agreement. Pashinyan later insisted that it was the army that implored him to sign the deal, citing depleted resources and the lack of replacements. The PM defended the agreement, arguing that it saved ethnic Armenian troops from a complete “collapse.”

The fresh wave of protests against the once popular politician started on Thursday after Armenian military commanders and two former presidents, Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan, issued a joint statement, urging Pashinyan to resign.

The call came after the Prime Minister sacked the deputy head of the General Staff, Tigran Khachatryan, who publicly ridiculed his claims that Russian-made Iskander missiles in service with the Armenian armed forces underperformed during the conflict with Azerbaijan. Moscow insists that the state-of-the-art hardware hadn’t been used in Nagorno-Karabakh at all.

Pashinyan then made an attempt to fire the head of the General Staff, Onik Gasparyan, but the motion was blocked by Armenian President Sarkissian as unconstitutional on Saturday.




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Armenian crisis: President refuses to sack military chief, says PM Pashinyan’s order ‘unconstitutional’



Thousands of opposition supporters have been protesting in Yerevan this week, erecting barricades and setting up an encampment in the center of the capital. They say that they’ll stay in the streets until Pashinyan’s resignation, with more rallies scheduled for Monday.

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