Weekly Global Newscast | April 29 - May 5, 2019
North Korea Fires ‘Short-Range Projectiles’ Into East Sea
North Korea fired numerous short-range projectile towards the sea off its eastern coast, reported the South Korean media. It may be Kim Jong Un’s latest and most provocative signal of frustration with talks with US President Donald Trump.
‘When North Korea launched a volley of projectiles off its east coast on Saturday, it sought to escalate the pressure on President Trump to return to the negotiating table with a compromise on easing sanctions, analysts said, by signaling that it could scuttle his biggest diplomatic achievement with the North. Saturday’s weapons tests were the most serious by the North since the country launched its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missiles in November 2017.’ Choe Sang-Hun and Motoko Rich write for The New York Times.
‘But despite the latest sabre-rattling from Pyongyang, Trump insisted that a breakthrough was possible. “Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, and will do nothing to interfere or end it,” Trump tweeted. “He also knows that I am with him and does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!” The US leader did not elaborate on Kim’s promise.’ Associated Press reported for the Dawn News.
UN Puts Pakistani Armed Group Chief Masood Azhar on ‘Terror’ List
Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of Jaish-e- Mohammad, has been declared a terrorist by United Nations Security Council. The US, the United Kingdom and France had moved the proposal to designate Azhar as a “global terrorist” in the UN Security Council’s 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee in February, just days after the deadly Pulwama terror attack carried out by the JeM in Jammu and Kashmir. But the move by the 15-member committee, which operates by consensus, was blocked by China. The UN Sanctions Committee on Wednesday designated the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal to ban him. The statement said that China will continue to firmly support Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorist forces.
‘The United Nations added Masood Azhar, leader of a Pakistan-based armed group, to its list of “global terrorists” on Wednesday after China lifted its objections to the move. Azhar founded JeM in 2000 after being released from an Indian prison in exchange for 155 hostages from a hijacked Indian Airlines plane. JeM itself has been on the UN’s “terrorist” list since 2001. Under the decision, Azhar, considered the founder of JeM, will be subject to an assets freeze, global ban and arms embargo’. Reuters reported for Al Jazeera.
Middle East & North Africa
Israeli Raids, Gaza Rocket Fire Continue as Death Toll Rises
As communities across the world prepare to begin the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the people of Gaza are preparing for funeral prayers. At least 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza this weekend, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to continue air strikes.
‘Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he has ordered “massive strikes” in the Gaza Strip after a two-day escalation that killed nine Palestinians and three Israelis. “This morning I instructed the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to continue with massive strikes against terrorists in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu, who doubles as Israeli defense minister, said in a statement after consulting with his security cabinet on Sunday. “I also instructed that forces around the Gaza Strip be stepped up with tank, artillery and infantry forces,” Netanyahu added, stoking fears of a ground invasion into Gaza. About 40 Palestinians were wounded in the attacks, according to Gaza’s health ministry.’ Suhaib Salem writes for Al Jazeera.
Sub Saharan Africa
Uganda: Bobi Wine Vows to Keep Fighting Despite Recent Arrest
The African Union has given the military of Sudan another 60 days to transfer power to civilians or face suspension. The new threat on Wednesday came after Sudan’s military leaders ignored an earlier deadline to step aside within a 15-day period set by the bloc on April 15.
‘The African Union has given Sudan’s military rulers another 60 days to hand over power to a civilian authority or face suspension. The AU’s Peace and Security Council said it noted the military’s failure to transfer power to a civilian authority “with deep regret”, but said it was giving the council “an additional period of up to 60 days” to do so. The bloc also reiterated “its conviction that a military-led transition in the Sudan will be totally unacceptable and contrary to the will and legitimate aspirations, to democratic institutions and processes, as well as respect for human rights and freedoms of the Sudanese people”.’ Mohammed Nureldin Abdullah writes for Al Jazeera.
UK’s May Fires Defence Secretary Williamson Over Huawei Leak
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said that she had decided to sack Gavin Williamson due to compelling evidence that the dismissed defense secretary was behind the Huawei leak; Williamson vehemently denied the accusations.
‘British Prime Minister Theresa May has sacked her defense minister over a leak of discussions in the National Security Council about Chinese telecoms company Huawei, the latest of her allies to be removed from government. The firing also underlined how seriously her team treated the leak from the National Security Council, which discusses Britain’s national security, intelligence coordination and defense strategy, and involves only certain ministers from her cabinet to keep its talks as secret as possible.’ Reuters reported for Al Jazeera.
Death Toll in New Zealand Mosque Shootings Rises to 51
A Turkish citizen who was wounded during deadly attacks at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on March 15 has died, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Thursday, raising the death toll from the shooting to 51.
‘The death toll from the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March rose to 51 on Thursday, when a man wounded during the shooting died in a hospital. The man, a Turkish national, had been in intensive care in Christchurch Hospital since the shooting on March 15, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand said in a statement. His name was not released by Ms. Ardern or the police. Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, identified him on Twitter, writing, “Unfortunately we have lost our citizen Zekeriya Tuyan, who was injured seriously in the treacherous terrorist attack in New Zealand.”’ Charlotte Graham-McLay writes for The New York Times.
Seven Venezuelan Military Officers Die in Helicopter Crash
Seven Venezuelan military officers were killed on Saturday when their helicopter crashed outside Caracas. The helicopter had left the Venezuelan capital heading to San Carlos in the country’s northwest when it went down in a mountainous area of the El Hatillo municipality, the defence ministry said in a statement.
‘Seven Venezuelan military officers were killed on Saturday when their helicopter crashed while heading to a state where President Nicolás Maduro appeared alongside troops, days after the political opposition had called in vain for a military uprising. The helicopter hurtled into a mountain outside Caracas in the early hours of an overcast day. An investigation was underway.’ Associated Press reported for The New York Times.