For all official information and updates regarding COVID-19, visit the South African Department of Health's website at www.sacoronavirus.co.za

Home » Articles Posted by Reuters (Page 6)

Author Archives: Reuters

Turkey’s Erdogan says Nobel academy rewarding human rights violations
10 December 2019, 3:00 PM

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused the Nobel academy on Tuesday of rewarding human rights violations by awarding the prize for literature to Peter Handke, who has been criticized for backing late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Turkey has said it is joining Albania and Kosovo in boycotting the Nobel awards ceremony to protest the academy’s choice of Austrian Handke for the prize.

“Giving the Nobel Literature Prize to a racist, who denies the genocide in Bosnia and defends war criminals, on December 10, Human Rights Day, will have no meaning other than the rewarding of human rights violations,” Erdogan said.

The academy’s choice has been widely criticized.

Handke, now 77, expressed support for Milosevic and spoke at the funeral of the former Serbian president in 2006 after he died in detention during his trial at the UN war crimes tribunal.

Milosevic was charged with war crimes in connection with atrocities and ethnic cleansing committed by Serb forces in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo during the 1990s wars triggered by the disintegration of federal Yugoslavia.

On Friday, Handke dismissed questions about his support for Milosevic. On Tuesday, he will formally be handed the 9 million crown ($935,000) award and later attend the traditional Nobel banquet.

Handke is the author of books such as “The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick” and “Slow Homecoming”. He also co-wrote the script of the critically acclaimed 1987 film “Wings of Desire”.

Algeria to cut oil output by 12 000 bpd under new OPEC deal
9 December 2019, 8:01 PM

OPEC member Algeria will reduce its crude oil output by 12,000 barrels a day to comply with a deal agreed by other producers with the aim of balancing the global oil market, Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab said on Monday.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers led by Russia last week agreed a new deal to cut production that includes an extra 500,000 barrels a day.

“Algeria’s additional output cut is 12,000. I think it will not affect our contracts and exports,” Arkab told a state radio broadcast.

Algeria currently produces an estimated 1 million barrels per day but growth in domestic demand has hit overall energy earnings.

The North African country has approved a new energy law to make the sector more attractive to foreign oil investors.

“The law is aimed at finding profitable partnerships,” Arkab said.

 

More than two dozen people feared missing after New Zealand volcanic eruption kills 5
9 December 2019, 7:17 PM

More than two dozen people were feared missing on Tuesday, a day after a volcano that is a tourist attraction suddenly erupted off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island, killing at least five people and injuring up to 20.

Police said early on Tuesday they did not expect to find any more survivors from the volcanic eruption, which occurred on White Island on Monday at about 2:11 p.m. (0111 GMT), spewing a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air.

About 50 people, New Zealanders as well as foreign tourists, are believed to have been nearby at the time and several were seen near the rim of the crater minutes before the eruption.

Rescue services have been unable to reach White Island as it remains too dangerous.

“No signs of life have been seen at any point,” the police said in their statement early on Tuesday after rescue helicopters and other aircraft had carried out a number of aerial reconnaissance flights over the island.

“Police believe that anyone who could have been taken from the island alive was rescued at the time of the evacuation.”

Tour operators took some people off the island before it was declared unsafe. Twenty-three people were rescued, police said on Monday, adding that others were still on the island.

“Police (are) working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died…” their statement said, adding that a ship would approach the island at first light on Tuesday to further “assess the environment”.

Many day tours visit the island regularly. One from a 16-deck cruise liner, Ovation of the Seas, was there at the time.

“Both New Zealanders and overseas tourists are believed to (have been) involved, and a number were from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship,” the police statement said.

St. John Ambulance said up to 20 people were believed to have been injured in the eruption, adding that a mobile triage unit was on its way.

Several people with burn injuries were brought by helicopter to Whakatane, the nearest town on the mainland.

“I know there will be a huge amount of concern and anxiety for those who had loved ones on or around the island at the time. I can assure them that police are doing everything they can,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference after landing in Whakatane late on Monday.

Ardern was expected to give an update on the situation at a news conference set for 7 a.m. on Tuesday (1800 GMT on Monday).

 

North Korea resumes insults of “erratic old man” Trump
9 December 2019, 3:05 PM

Satellite imagery indicated on Monday that North Korea had tested a rocket engine, and a senior Pyongyang official called Donald Trump a “heedless and erratic old man”, resuming insults of the U.S. president that had been set aside during a thaw.

The statement carried in state media KCNA by Kim Yong Chol, a ruling party vice chairman who was instrumental in arranging a failed second summit in February, was the strongest salvo yet in a war of words that has rekindled in recent days.

He described Trump as impatient, rebuked him over his own rhetoric and repeated a threat from last week that Pyongyang would dust off its previous insult “dotard” for the U.S. leader.

Tensions have been rising in recent weeks as a year-end deadline approaches set by North Korea for Washington to soften its stance in negotiations. Pyongyang has conducted a series of weapons tests and issued strongly worded statements.

Though Trump regularly exchanged insults with North Korea in the first years of his term, both sides had abandoned personal attacks after Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in 2018.

The North Korean official said the country’s leader may change his views towards Trump if the president continues uttering “inappropriate, highly risky words and expressions”.

He pointed to remarks by Trump on Sunday that Kim had “far too much to lose” and did not want to interfere with an upcoming U.S. presidential election.

Those comments indicate Trump is “an old man bereft of patience,” the North Korean official said. “As he is such a heedless and erratic old man, the time when we cannot but call him a ‘dotard’ again may come.”

“We have nothing more to lose.”

North Korea had lauded a “special relationship” between the leaders even as it criticised other U.S. officials and their “gangster-like” demands during deadlocked talks. However, Pyongyang bristled last week after Trump again referred to Kim as “Rocket Man”, a nickname Trump used early in his term.

On Sunday, North Korea carried out what it called a “very important” test at its Sohae satellite launching station, a rocket-testing ground that U.S. and South Korean officials once said Pyongyang had promised to shut down.

Commercial satellite images taken on Saturday by Planet Labs showed vehicles and equipment likely to be used in a rocket engine experiment, said Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Programme at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California.

“They are mostly gone on Dec. 8, but the ground appears to have been disturbed by the exhaust from the test,” Lewis said, citing photos captured on Sunday.

Asked on Monday if it had been an engine test, a spokeswoman for South Korea’s defence ministry said site monitoring and detailed analysis were under way with U.S. intelligence authorities.

 

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn poses with his party's manifesto as he visits Labour activists.
Israel’s foreign minister says he hopes Corbyn loses British election
5 December 2019, 11:56 AM

Israel’s foreign minister said on Thursday that he hopes Jeremy Corbyn loses next week’s British election, citing allegations of anti-Semitism buffeting the Labour Party leader.

With Israel in political disarray of its own after two inconclusive elections, the British contest has elicited few comments from Israeli leaders despite deep concern among British Jews over Corbyn and media reports that some might opt to emigrate if he wins.

Last week, Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the Israeli government had not discussed the prospect of Corbyn’s election or the future of intelligence and security ties with Britain should the veteran pro-Palestinian campaigner become its leader.

But pressed on the issue in an Israeli Army Radio interview on Thursday, Katz was more forthcoming as the December 12 ballot approaches.

“I won’t meddle in internal elections but I personally hope that he won’t be elected, with this whole wave of anti-Semitism…I hope the other side wins,” he said.

Labour Party spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Katz played down the prospect that security relations with Britain, which include intelligence sharing over Islamist militant activity, would necessarily be degraded should Corbyn take office.

“Leaders don’t harm their country’s own interests so fast. But we will of course discuss these things if they occur,” Katz said.

Corbyn has rejected allegations of anti-Semitism – last week Britain’s chief rabbi accused him of failing to stem the “poison” gripping Labour – while holding to policies that rile Israel.

Last year, Corbyn said he would recognise a Palestinian state if elected. In a speech on Sunday, he pledged increased oversight of British arms exports to Israel in the name of not fuelling its conflict with the Palestinians.

On Tuesday, Corbyn made a direct apology for not doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism in his party.

“Obviously I’m very sorry for everything that has happened, “he said. “But I want to make this clear, I am dealing with it, I have dealt with it.”

Polls have shown Labour trailing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. And for now, Israel does not appear to be bracing for any influx of British Jewish immigrants.

Asked about this possibility, its Immigration Ministry said in a brief statement only that it “is prepared to take in immigrants from all over the world and welcomes immigration in any political situation”.

The quasi-governmental Jewish Agency for Israel, which handles immigration requests abroad, said 507 British Jews moved to Israel between January and October, an 8% rise compared with the same period in 2018.

Yigal Palmor, the agency’s head of international relations, played down any sense that Corbyn’s candidacy was a major spur for British Jews to leave.

“We have no solid findings to show an increase in British immigration (due to the elections).

Weather

 

SABC © 2020