Weekly Global Newscast |09 September – 16 September, 2019
Trump to Join India’s Modi at Houston Gathering
US President Donald Trump will join Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a gathering of Indian-Americans in Houston, the White House said, in a show of the bond between the two leaders. The September 22, 2019 rally – dubbed, with a touch of Texan twang, ‘Howdy, Modi!’ – will mark a rare joint appearance between a US president and a foreign leader before an ethnic community, and be the pair’s third meeting this year.
“The gathering is “a great opportunity to emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship,”’ Al-Jazeera said.
‘The rally with Modi indicates that the two countries have turned the page on an incident in July when Trump baffled India by saying, in a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, that Modi had sought mediation on Kashmir. India has for decades rejected any outside role in Kashmir. After Article 370 was revoked, Trump spoke with both Prime Minister Imran and Prime Minister Modi, urging a reduction of tension between the two countries over the Kashmir issue. He later said that India and Pakistan could handle their dispute over occupied Kashmir on their own, but he was there should they need him’ said by DAWN.
Kazakhs Protest Chinese Investments for Seventh Day
Dozens of activists have rallied in Kazakhstan’s South Western town of Zhanaozen for the seventh day, protesting against Chinese investments and industrial projects as President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev is getting ready to pay an official two-day visit to Beijing. The protesters gathered on Zhanaozen’s central square, demanding that the government stop what they called ‘Chinese expansion’ through factories and other projects in the oil-rich former Soviet Republic.
“Anti-Chinese sentiment in Kazakhstan has been rising amid reports about the plight of indigenous ethnic groups, including Kazakhs, in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang. An estimated 1 million ethnic Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking indigenous people of Xinjiang were being held in what it described as “counter extremism centers” in the province, with millions more reportedly sent to internment camps’ said by Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.
‘Mr Toqaev is keen to capitalize on his strong relationship with Beijing, weathering domestic discontent to continue accruing Chinese investments. This has in part contributed to Kazakhstan’s economic recovery from a 2015-16 slump in the price for oil—the country’s main export’, Foreign Brief said.
Middle East & North Africa
9/11 Attacks: US to Reveal Key Name in Saudi Lawsuit
The US Department of Justice has said it will reveal a key name sought by people suing Saudi Arabia for alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks. It says the information will be shared with lawyers representing the victims’ families. It is unclear if the person’s identity will become public. In 2004, the 9/11 commission set up by Congress found no evidence that the Saudi government funded al-Qaeda. However, a 2012 report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said the agency was investigating Fahad al-Thumairy and Omar Ahmed al-Bayoumi, Saudi nationals who had allegedly helped the attackers. The FBI report, which was released in a redacted form, also referred to the third person. But the name was blacked out.
“The Department of Justice said the decision to unmask the name of the Saudi official was taken by Attorney General William Barr. It said “Mr Barr had decided not to invoke state secrets, and share the person’s identity with the attorneys for the victims’ families”. “The FBI recognizes the need and desire of victims’ families to understand what happened to their loved ones and to hold those responsible accountable,”’ BBC said.
‘Elizondo reported that the lawyers of the victims expect more revelations and disclosures in the coming weeks. They said that “this battle is not over yet”. They want to identify any and all Saudi officials that were involved in the attack’ said by Al Jazeera’s
Sub Saharan Africa
Ugandan President Museveni Seeks Mandatory Death Penalty
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has asked the courts to impose mandatory death sentences for people convicted of murder following a series of kidnapping and killings, including one in which his nephew died. The president’s nephew, Joshua Rushegyera, was found dead with a gunshot wound near a car parked on a popular highway in Kampala on September 5, 2019. A woman with bullet wounds was found dead in the vehicle, according to a statement by the Uganda Police Force investigating the case. No arrests have been made.
“Uganda has seen a rise in violent crimes including robberies and kidnapping for ransom in recent years and citizens often complain that security agencies are not doing enough to protect them’. CNN said.
‘An American tourist and her driver were kidnapped at gunpoint from a national park in April and their abductors demanded $500,000 ransom for their release. Serious crimes, including murder and treason, can be punished with the death sentence in Uganda, but it is not mandatory and only handed out at a judge’s discretion’. News Stand Hub said.
Only Half of UK Universities Ready for No-Deal Brexit
Four out of five British universities are worried about the impact of crashing out of the EU without a deal, as vice-chancellors look to stockpile essential supplies ranging from chemicals to toilet paper. A survey of members by UK Universities, which represents more than 130 higher education institutions, found that 80% of those responding said they were either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about the impact no-deal Brexit will have.
“While more than half of universities said they were fully or very prepared for no deal, the remainder admitted they were only “slightly” prepared. Vice-chancellors said “they were most immediately concerned about shortages of essential chemicals and gases for their laboratories, while others were looking to stockpile bulk items such as food and toilet paper”’ as quoted by The Guardian.
‘Prof Julia Buckingham, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of Brunel College, mentioned: “Whilst the inside track that universities really feel ready for no deal in some capability is comforting, it’s transparent that the consequences of go out beneath those cases stay in large part unknown”. It’s within the government’s energy to relieve many of those considerations’. The World Breaking News said.
‘Russian Propaganda Stoking 5G Health Fears in Australia’
False claims that 5G telecommunications technology causes a host of serious illnesses are ‘very likely’ being amplified by the Kremlin’s media network and being repeated by Australians, according to new analysis. Russia’s broadcaster RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and other alternative media websites are likely behind the uptick in 5G phobia in Australia, says Bret Schafer, a disinformation and media fellow at the US-based Alliance for Securing Democracy, a pro-democracy group funded by non-government sources.
“This rise in 5G fears, including the notion that the technology causes cancer, comes as anti-5G activists increasingly gather in real life to dispute the science. In July Australians, directed by a Facebook page, gathered for a Community Forum Exploring the Hidden Dangers of 5G Radiation in Sydney’ according to Computer World.
‘A search on Google trends shows interest in the phrase “5G danger” has accelerated since the beginning of the year, with Australia one of the top five markets for the search local government agencies and telecommunication providers such as Telstra have been forced to respond to a surge of questions about the safety of the technology’ said The Sydney Morning Herald.
Lindsey Graham Urges Trump to Attack on Iran after Drone Strikes on Saudi Arabia
A key ally of Donald Trump has urged the US to consider attacking Iran in response to the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry. Republican senator Lindsey Graham, a prominent foreign policy hawk, suggested that hitting the country’s own refineries would ‘break the regime’s back’. ‘Iran will not stop their misbehavior until the consequences become more real,’ he tweeted.
“US secretary of state Mike Pompeo also blamed Iran for the attacks on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Buqyaq and an oilfield in Khurais, which cut Saudi Arabia’s crude oil supply by around 50 percent’ said The Independent.
‘The growing clamor for a confrontation with Iran comes just five days after the president sacked his national security adviser John Bolton, who was an outspoken advocate of regime change. It had even been suggested that Mr. Trump was interested in renegotiating a new deal with the Middle Eastern country.’ Huff Post said.