POLITICS

Swiss Lower House Backs Power To Independently Impose Sanctions

ZURICH – Switzerland’s lower house on Thursday backed legal changes that will allow the usually country to impose sanctions independently of other nations or international group on people or entities that have violated international humanitarian law. The lower chamber of Switzerland’s parliament voted in favour of change to the so – called embargo law in … More Swiss Lower House Backs Power To Independently Impose Sanctions

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U.S. Senate Confirms Caroline Kennedy To Be Ambassador To Australia

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Caroline Kennedy, a former ambassador to Japan and daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, as the U.S. ambassador to Australia, an important ally to the United States. Kennedy, 64, is an author and attorney. Her father was the 35th president of the United States, who served from 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. She previously served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2013 – 2017 under former President Barack Obama. She heads to Canberra as its relationship with Washington strengthens in response to China’s growing power and increasingly assertive…

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Russia Says Israel Supports Neo – Nazis In Row Over Ukraine

PARIS, France – Russia’s foreign ministry accused Israel on Tuesday of supporting neo – Nazis in Ukraine, escalating a raw that began when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins. Israel said on Monday Lavrov’s comment was an ‘unforgivable’ falsehood that tried to minimise the horrors of the Holocaust – the slaughter of 6 million European Jews and other minority groups by Nazi Germany. Leaders from several Western nations denounced Lavrov, who had asked how Russia could be pursuing its stated goal of ‘denazifying’ Ukraine when President Volodymyr Zelenskiy himself is a Jew. Zelenskiy, whose country…

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U.K. Donates Armoured Vehicles To Help Ukraine Evacuation Effort

PARIS, France – Britain will donate 13 armoured vehicles to help evacuate civilians from besieged areas in the east of Ukraine, the government said on Tuesday. ‘This latest donation of armoured vehicles will help protect innocent Ukrainians attempting to flee Russian shelling and support Ukrainian officials carrying out vital work’, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement. Britain said the steel – plated vehicles, which can resist high velocity bullets, anti – personnel mines and improvised explosive devices, would be also used to transport officials to temporary command posts and to help workers rebuilding railway lines. The vehicles were…

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France’s Macron To Speak With Russia’s Putin On Tuesday

PARIS, France – French President Emmanuel Macron will speak with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by telephone at around midday Paris time (1000GMT), Macron’s office said on Tuesday. Although the two spoke regularly in the early weeks following Russia’s Feb.24 invasion of Ukraine, Macron last talked to Putin on March 29. Tuesday’s call would take place at the initiative of Macron, and follows a call he held with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday, the Elysee Palace said.

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U.S. Embassy In Ukraine Says It Hopes To Return To Kyiv By The End Of May

PARIS, France – The U.S. embassy hopes to return to Kyiv by the end of May if conditions permit, its charge d’affaires said on Monday. U.S. diplomats departed the Kyiv embassy nearly two weeks before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb.24, moving some functions to the western city of Lviv before eventually relocating to neighbouring Poland. ‘We listen to the security professionals, and when they tell us we can go back we will go back’, the charge d’affaires, Kristina Kvien, told a news briefing. Some Western countries have already moved their embassies back to Kyiv as the main…

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Spanish Prime Minister Minister’s Mobile Phone Infected By Pegasus Spyware, Govt Says.

PARIS, France – Spanish authorities have detected ‘Pegasus’ spyware in the mobile phones of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Defence Minister Margarita Robles, the government minister for the presidency, Felix Bolanos, said on Monday. Bolanos told a news conference Sanchez’phone was infected in May 2021 and at least one data leak occurred then. He did not say who could have been spying on the premier or whether foreign of Spanish groups were suspected of being behind it. ‘The interventions were illicit and external. External means carried out by non – official bodies and without state authorisation’, he said, adding that…

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Israel Denounces Lavrov’s Hitler Comments, Summons Russian Ambassador

PARIS, France – Israel denounced on Monday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for suggesting that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish roots, and demanded an apology from Moscow. Israeli Foreign Ministry Yair Lapid said the Russian ambassador would be summoned for ‘a tough talk’ over the comments, which Lavrov made on Sunday in an interview with Italian television. ‘It is an unforgivable, scandalous statement, a terrible historical mistake, and we expect an apology’, Lapid told YNet news website. There was no immediate comment from the Russian embassy. During his interview with Italy’s Rete 4 channel, Lavrov was asked how Russia…

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Greece Formally Protests Turkey’s Military Flights Over Inhabited Greek Islands

BUCHAREST, Romania – Greece made on Wednesday a formal protest to Turkey accusing it of conducting unauthorized military flights over inhabited Greek islands. ‘These actions constitute a violation of Greece’s sovereignty, they are an unacceptable provocation and run contrary to fundamental principles of international law’, Greece’s Foreign Ministry said. ‘These actions, in addition to being unlawful and provocative, endanger international air traffic, are completely incompatible with the principle of good neighbourly relations between the two countries and undermine efforts to consolidate a climate of trust’, it added in a statement. Neighbours and fellow – NATO members Greece and Turkey have…

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Macron More Convincing Than Le Pen In French Election Debate – Poll

PARIS, France – French President Emmanuel Macron was found to be more convincing than far – right candidate Marine Le Pen in a pre – election debate on French television ahead of Sunday’s presidential runoff vote, an opinion poll showed. The snap survey by Elabe for BFM TV found that 59% of polled viewers found Macron more convincing than Le Pen. In 2017, the same polling firm found that 63% of those surveyed found Macron more convincing.

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Macron, Le Pen Clash On Russia, EU In Angry TV Debate

PARIS, France – French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday accused his far – right rival Marine Le Pen of being in thrall to Russian President Vladimir Putin over a year – old Russian bank loan to her party during a fiery TV debate ahead of Sunday’s election. While he also charged Le Pen with harbouring an undiminished desire to pull France out of European Union (EU), she struck back with a pledge to put money back in the pockets of millions of French made poorer during his five – year presidency. The debate – their only one of the campaign…

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Explainer: What You Need To Know About France’s Presidential Election

PARIS, France – Sunday’s vote in France will determine whether the pro – European centrist President Emmanuel Macron on the far – right, anti – immigration Marine Le Pen runs the European Union’s second – largest economy for the next five years. WHO WILL WIN? Opinion polls favor Macron to win a second term and his lead has improved since both qualified for the runoff. But with estimates of 54% – 56% of the vote for Macron, polls point to a much smaller gap than when he beat Le Pen with 66.1% in 2017, and Le Pen win cannot be…

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