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ChatGPT | Niger's highest court lifts immunity of deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, 14 June "mutinous soldiers"
The proceedings before the State Court have been marred by serious irregularities, including violations of Bazoum's rights to present evidence in his defense, to communicate with his legal counsel, and to be heard before an independent court, according to Human Rights Watch, a leading rights group. Bazoum's lawyer, Reed Brody, criticized the ruling as a "mockery" of the rule of law in Niger.

"We never even got to speak to our client," Brody said. "This is a travesty of justice."

Bazoum's lawyers have been unable to communicate with him since last October and have had restricted access to case material, according to HRW [!]. Late last year, the highest court of West African regional bloc ECOWAS ruled that Bazoum and his family were arbitrarily detained and called for him to be restored to office.

Russia formally charges WSJ journalist with spying for CIA, 13 June dual-use Evan Gershkovich
Investigators claimed in a statement that they have evidence proving the US citizen was acting on behalf of the foreign intelligence agency when he tried to collect classified information about Uralvagonzavod, a major Russian producer of tanks and armored vehicles, in Ekaterinburg in March 2023.
ofac.treasury.gov | "Updated Guidance for Foreign Financial Institutions on OFAC Sanctions Authorities Targeting Support to Russia's Military-Industrial Base"
On June 12, 2024, OFAC updated the definition of "Russia's military-industrial base" to include all persons blocked under E.O. 14024 (FAQ 1181 and 1151). The updated definition reflects the Kremlin's increasing use of Russia's entire economy to support its war in Ukraine.
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American officials have reportedly contacted other governments about potentially taking custody of prisoners who they believe may be of interest to Russia in a swap for Gershkovich. Brazil, Norway, Germany, and an unnamed former Soviet bloc country have been approached with such requests, according to Western media.

by Cat on Sat Jun 15th, 2024 at 04:31:37 PM EST
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Türkiye confirms contract signed with US for F-16 warplanes, 13 June
The Defense Ministry's statement came days after the U.S. State Department said Türkiye had signed a letter of offer and acceptance to purchase the Lockheed Martin-made warplanes. That brings the two NATO allies closer to completing the prolonged process that sometimes fueled tensions and tested Washington's ties with Ankara.
Türkiye's strategic bid for BRICS membership, 14 June
Although Türkiye has not yet formally applied for membership, Fidan expressed interest in joining BRICS during his recent visit to Beijing.
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From Russia's viewpoint, Türkiye's potential inclusion in BRICS is strategically multifaceted.
Summit on Peace in Ukraine Participating countries and organizations
Hakan Fidan, FM, Türkiye
List of states and international organisations supporting the Joint Communiqué
Türkiye
Russia perceives Türkiye's potential inclusion as a move that could enhance the group's global influence and sees benefits in boosting trade and investment opportunities within the BRICS framework. Politically, Russia and Türkiye share a complex relationship characterized by both cooperation and competition.
RT | Russia names main condition for BRICS membership (18.06.24)
Countries seeking to join the group must not be involved in unilateral sanctions schemes, Russia's deputy foreign minister has said
Thus, Russia might consider Türkiye's BRICS membership as a means to reinforce their political alignment on specific international issues while simultaneously managing their regional rivalries.
archive Macron asks for invitation to BRICS summit
by Cat on Wed Jun 19th, 2024 at 08:33:31 PM EST
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dailysabah | French police arrest New Caledonia independence leader, 7 others , 19 June
Christian Tein leads a branch of the Caledonian Union called the Field Action Coordination Cell (CCAT), which organized protest barricades across the capital Noumea that have disrupted traffic, movement and food supplies. He was among the pro-independence political figures who met with French President Emmanuel Macron during his lightning visit to New Caledonia last month. In a statement, Caledonian Union President Daniel Goa urged calm among CCAT protesters and told youth not to respond to what he said was a "provocation."

The French High Commission ["Louis le Franc"] said in a statement that the city center was "free and secure," as media reported many cars leaving. The New Caledonia prosecutor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

archive riot-hit New Caledonia
by Cat on Wed Jun 19th, 2024 at 08:40:13 PM EST
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F24 | New Caledonia independence activists sent to France for detention after deadly riots, 23 June
"This transfer was organised during the night by means of a plane specially chartered for the mission," Yves Dupas, the public prosecutor in the territory's capital Noumea, said in a statement....
by Cat on Mon Jun 24th, 2024 at 03:17:13 PM EST
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usnews reuters | One Person Killed, Over 200 Injured in Kenya Anti-Tax Demonstrations (21.06.24)
Protesters want the government to abandon its finance bill, saying it will choke the economy and raise the cost of living for Kenyans who are already struggling to make ends meet. The IMF, however, says that the government needs to increase revenues to reduce the budget deficit and state borrowing. Lawmakers are expected to meet on Tuesday to vote on proposed changes to the bill, which parliament's budget committee says would blow a 200 billion Kenyan shilling ($1.56 billion) hole in the 2024/25 budget, and compel the government to make spending cuts.
chathamhouse | Kenya's debt deeper than Chinese loans (31.05.23)
"The contribution of commercial external lending to Kenya's debt problem also must not be overlooked, particularly as the Ruto administration's current scramble for liquidity is overwhelmingly focused on a $2 billion Eurobond maturing in June 2024."
by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 12:19:20 AM EST
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F24 | Kenyan police force arrives in Haiti for UN-backed security mission, 25 June
Kenyan police streamed out of the plane at the capital's airport as a small crowd, mostly airport personnel, greeted them on the tarmac.
the-star.co.ke | UN Security Council authorises Kenya to deploy police to Haiti for a year (03.10.23)
Ruto volunteered in last July to lead an international force to stem the latest wave of violence to afflict Haiti, where gangs control most of the capital Port-au-Prince while carrying out widespread killings, kidnappings, and sexual violence.
nation.africa | Haiti mission to cost Kenya Sh36bn in a year as MPs poke holes in deployment (09.11.23)
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The Kenyans will be joined by police from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Chad, and Jamaica for a total of 2,500 officers that will be deployed in phases for an annual cost of some $600 million, according to the UN Security Council.
nbcnews | Part of Kenya's parliament on fire as thousands of protesters enter
The protesters outmaneuvered police to enter parliament shortly after legislators voted to pass the bill. Lawmakers fled through a tunnel, but protesters allowed opposition legislators who voted against the bill to walk out of the besieged building. The office of the Nairobi governor, a member of the ruling party, also was on fire. The office is located near parliament. Police water cannons were being used to extinguish the fire. Protesters could be heard shouting, "We're coming for every politician."
aljazeera | Ruto says 'criminals' hijacked protests, laments 'loss of lives'
by Cat on Tue Jun 25th, 2024 at 06:40:27 PM EST
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whitehouse | FACT SHEET: Kenya State Visit to the United States (23.05.24)
"We must isolate crime from democratic expression... I shall continue to lead a government that is fully committed to maintaining the integrity of our state, promoting the unity of our nation, and enhancing the peace and security of all citizens and their livelihoods," Ruto declared, reinforcing his stance against what he perceives as threats to national stability, fananciers of the unrest
nation.africa | Kenya's youth-led protest movement leaves Ruto fumbling for a response
As John Aron headed out to join the protests raging outside parliament, he felt something huge had already shifted in Kenyan politics, jolting it away from decades of dominance by party strongmen and ethnic loyalties. At least eight people died when police opened fire on crowds trying to storm the assembly to protest against tax hikes on Tuesday. President William Ruto blamed "criminals". Aron, from Nairobi's Kibera slum, said the demonstrators were part of a brand new movement....Over just one week, what began as an online outpouring of anger by young, tech-savvy Kenyans at proposed taxes on bread and diapers has morphed into nationwide movement untethered from the politicians who have traditionally rallied the masses.
the-star.ke | Ruto formally asks Parliament to withdraw Finance Bill (26.06.24)
"In exercise of the powers conferred to me by Article 115(1)(b) of the Constitution, and having reservations on the content of the Bill in its entirety, I decline to assent to the Finance Bill, 2024, and refer the Bill for reconsideration by the National Assembly with the recommendation for deletion of the clauses thereof," the memorandum seen by the Star reads. This means the Bill stands withdrawn and the decision can only be overturned by two thirds of the 349 MPs (233).
apanews | Kenya: Ruto recule après de violentes manifestations, 26 June
by Cat on Wed Jun 26th, 2024 at 07:45:52 PM EST
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aljazeera | Kenya protests simmer after deadly week of anti-finance bill demonstrations (28.06.24)
Hundreds gathered for the funeral of a teenage demonstrator killed during Kenya's anti-government protests as the death toll from days of unrest rose to 27. Three more protesters died overnight Friday as police continued a violent crackdown with the Kenyan High Court ordering security forces to halt the firing of live rounds, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas, and water cannon into crowds.
barrons afp | At Least 30 Killed In Kenya Anti-government Protests: HRW (29.06.24)
"'Shooting directly into crowds without justification, including as protesters try to flee, is completely unacceptable under Kenyan and international law,' said Otsieno Namwaya, associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch."
the-star.ke | I have no blood on my hands, Ruto says on killed protesters (30.06.24)
Speaking during an engagement with the media from State House Nairobi, said he has kept his promise that there would be no extra judicial killing in Kenya. Asked how he felt about the death of a 12-year-old boy in Rongai, Ruto said any life lost must bother everyone, including him. "I will give the mother of the 12-year-old an explanation of what happened and make sure that we bring this to a situation where like myself who has children, her child can be accounted for," he said.
TVC News Nigeria | Some Members of Parliament Under Siege, A/V (EN) 00:24:00
"So let's talk about President Ruto before we get into this particular crisis and struggle we've seen in the last few days in Kenya. Before this particular crisis at home he was seen as the jet setting global voice, especially by the west..."
nation.africa | Kenyan diaspora in US reject Ruto's plan to engage Gen Zs (30.06.24) Kenyans living in Washington DC, USA, have rejected President William Ruto's plans to engage the public through the recently announce National Multi-Sectoral Forum and instead want the head of state to speak directly to Gen Zs in the country.
by Cat on Sun Jun 30th, 2024 at 10:18:45 PM EST
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Chatham House London conference 2024 in conversation with Hsiao Bi-khim, Vice-President of Taiwan, 20 June

ill-conceived headline w/e 22 June

inews.uk | Taiwan learning from Ukraine to prepare for Chinese attack (20.06.24)
The self-styled "cat warrior"—a parody of China's idea of "wolf warrior diplomacy"—said there were parallels with Ukraine's struggle against a larger neighbour at an event hosted by British think-tank Chatham House in London on Thursday. "We are learning from Ukraine's defence, where smaller combat forces have proven nimble and adaptable," said the 52-year-old, who loves cats and has four. "We know we must reform and decentralise our military command structure. And we understand that's not only relevant for our military, we are working to enhance our whole society's resilience, incorporating civil defence in our homeland."
archive DPP party loses control of legislature ibid "re-sequencing deliveries"
by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 12:31:58 AM EST
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telesur | Claudia Sheinbaum Presents her New Administration, 20 June
"Presentamos a 3 mujeres y 3 hombres que formarán parte de nuestro gabinete. Todas y todos creen en la Cuarta Transformación. No le vamos a fallar a nuestro pueblo."
by Cat on Sat Jun 22nd, 2024 at 01:27:03 PM EST
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yna.kr | Signing ceremony of the DPRK-RF Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, 20 June
"The [RF] government directly and indirectly helps North Korea strengthen its military power," Jang Ho-jin, KR Director of National Security said. Any cooperation with the [DPRK] State is a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution and the international community. It clearly emphasizes that it [DPRK] is subject to surveillance and sanctions, "
Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation, 19 June 2024 full text (autotranslate)
by Cat on Wed Jun 26th, 2024 at 09:21:11 PM EST
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