Weekly Global Newscast |23 September – 29 September, 2019

Asia

Takeaways from Imran Khan’s Speech at UN General Assembly

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on September 27, 2019 has described the scourge of radicalism in every society. During his speech at the 74th session of the UNGA, the Pakistani premier said: ‘We all know that marginalization leads to radicalization. We must address this issue…Western leaders equated terrorism with Islam’. ‘In all human communities, there are radicals, there are liberals, and there are moderates. All human communities … no religion preaches radicalism. The basis of all religions is compassion and justice, which differentiate us from the animal kingdom’. In his speech, PM Khan raised the possibility of a ‘bloodbath’ in Jammu & Kashmir when India lifts the ‘inhuman’ curfew.

Analysis

As part of his “Mission Kashmir” to draw global attention on the issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the Kashmir Study Group during a meeting with its leaders to highlight the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which he said “poses a grave threat to regional peace and security”. Khan met with the founder of Kashmir Study Group, Farooq Kathwari, who called on him in New York and both discussed the prevailing situation in Jammu & Kashmir’, Gulf News said.

‘A day after Kashmiris watched Khan’s speech live on TV, Indian authorities tightened restrictions in several parts of the valley, including a number of neighborhoods in Srinagar, where concertina wires were rolled out on the roads. While no reasons were given for the renewed restrictions, they appeared to have been sparked by Khan’s UN speech, which came almost an hour after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Assembly’ said Al-Jazeera.

Tajik Opposition Activist Detained In Belarus, Faces Extradition

A Tajik opposition activist has been detained in Belarus at Tajikistan’s request and may be extradited to Dushanbe, Belarusian rights group Human Constanta told RFE/RL. The group’s Nasta Loyka said on September 26, 2019 that authorities detained Farhod Odinaev, who holds Tajik and Russian passports, at a checkpoint along the Belarusian-Polish border a day earlier. According to Loyka, Tajik authorities want Odinaev for allegedly being a member of a banned organization.

Analysis

The 42-year-old opposition activist used to belong to the banned Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT) and for several months in 2013 led Safo TV, an opposition television channel based in Moscow. The channel was shut down by Russian authorities the same year’ said by Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.

‘According to Anastasiya Loyka, a human rights activist, after the decision is made, the case will be taken over by the General Prosecutor’s Office. In Tajikistan, Farkhod Odinayev is charged under two articles of the Criminal Code, including for the alleged membership in a banned organization.’ Said Belsat TV.

Middle East & North Africa

Iran Nuclear Deal: EU Nations Warn Tehran over Breaches

In New York on September 26, 2019, the three EU signatories to the deal said they would trigger a special dispute mechanism if there were further violations. Iran began breaching its commitments under the deal after the US abandoned it and imposed sanctions last year. The UN nuclear watchdog has said Iran is using banned enrichment technology.

Analysis

If the dispute mechanism is triggered, the entire nuclear agreement could collapse and the UN could reinstate sanctions on Iran, which would be applied by all member states. This would have a devastating impact on the Iranian economy’, said BBC.

‘The UN nuclear watchdog has said Iran is using banned enrichment technology. The warning was issued at a meeting with Iranian Ministers on the fringes of the UN General Assembly’ said by News Services Division All India Radio.

Sub Saharan Africa

Nigeria Police Rescue More than 300 Boys and Men Held in ‘Dehumanizing Conditions’

Nigerian police rescued more than 300 people – mostly children — held in “dehumanizing conditions” during a raid on a school on September 26, 2019, from the city of Kaduna. The school owner told police he was running an Islamic school to reform the students, according to the police spokesman. However, police said there is no evidence the school was actually being used as a religious facility.

Analysis

The group of men and boys, some as young as 13, were freed after police learned children were being held in chains at a school in the northern city of Kaduna. It is 150 kilometers (about 93 miles) north of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Six teachers and the school owner were detained and questioned by police’, CNN said.

‘One boy, held by the hand by a police officer as he walked unsteadily, had sores visible on his back that appeared consistent with injuries inflicted by a whip. Some children had been brought from neighboring countries including Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana, while others had been left by their parents in what they believed to be an Islamic school or rehabilitation center’ said Reuters.

Europe

It’s gloomy’: EU Unlikely to Change Position, Says Senior German MP

An electoral victory for Boris Johnson will not solve his Brexit problems with the EU, a senior German MP has said. Günter Krings, the parliamentary state secretary to the interior minister, told the Conservative party conference the EU is unlikely to change its negotiation position on Brexit even if there is a change of government. The interior minister said he was ‘gloomy’ about the prospects of a deal despite Johnson expressing optimism that a deal was close. ‘Why am I gloomy? I know that the EU is not willing to make many concessions on this. The deal has been done between 27 members as it is,’ he said.

Analysis

In a setback for Johnson and his strategist Dominic Cummings, who hope a clear majority in parliament will clear the path for a Brexit deal of their choice, he said that an election may not solve the issue. “Even after a new election, there might still be a possibility that you get a deal which is not much different than the one you have now” ’ Guardian said.

‘Krings mentioned that if the United Kingdom crashed out of the EU it could be confronted with a predicament without upsides. “If you’ll achieve a deal quickly, I feel there’s only a selection between two unhealthy alternatives for Britain – to depart and not using a deal, which may possibility wrecking the United Kingdom financial system, or prolonging the Brexit [crisis] which may destroy the United Kingdom political machine,” he mentioned’ quotes The World Breaking News.

Oceania

Violence Escalates on Hong Kong Streets as Carrie Lam Heads to Beijing

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam left Hong Kong for Beijing leaving behind a chaotic city bracing for a police crackdown on China’s National Day. Her departure followed violent clashes between police and protesters after police tried to quell an illegal rally of tens of thousands of protesters with large volumes of tear gas and rubber bullets.

Analysis

Some foreign diplomats have been warned to avoid Hong Kong Island on October 1, when protesters plan to target key Chinese symbols. Police are expected to try and minimize any embarrassment to Beijing on the anniversary date’ said The Sydney Morning Herald.

‘Under the policy of “one country, two systems”, China has offered tiny Hong Kong certain liberties denied to citizens on the mainland -– including freedom of expression, unfettered access to the internet and an independent judiciary. But the arrangement is due to expire in 2047’ said by Hong Kong Free Press.

Americas

US Election Security Still Vulnerable to Russia Heading into 2020

With less than five months until the first votes are officially cast in the run-up to the 2020 election, congress this month finally made moves to try and shore up election security after a bitter fight that has played out in the long shadow cast by Russian attacks on the 2016 election – and, for some election security experts, the effort is quite literally the least that could be done.

Analysis

But election security experts say that the measure amounts to a last-minute effort to put a Band-Aid on a wound that has been open for years, since at least the 2016 elections when Russian intelligence operations helped Donald Trump to secure the White House’ said The Independent.

‘McConnell said in his speech on the floor, noting that Congress has appropriated a total of $600 million dedicated to election security efforts since fiscal year 2018’ said CBS News.

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