Xi vows reunification with Taiwan
Chinese President Xi Jinping has re-affirmed his government’s determination to ensure unification with Taiwan. During the celebrations of the 110th anniversary of the 1911 revolution, Xi said Taiwan was “an internal issue within China” and “a serious threat to national rejuvenation”. He stressed that reunification should be achieved peacefully.
First US-Taliban meeting today
Senior US officials and the Taliban are to hold their first direct talks since the militants seized control of Afghanistan last August. The two-day meeting will begin in Qatar today. The US State Department has denied that the talks amount to the recognition of Taliban rule.
Dozens killed in Kunduz mosque blast
A suicide attack killed dozens of faithful in a Shiite mosque in Kunduz, northeastern Afghanistan, resulting in the bloodiest since the withdrawal of the international military presence from the country. In the evening, Isis claimed responsibility of the attack. The toll, still provisional, is at least 60 dead and over 100 injured, many of which “in serious condition”.
Poles to protest ‘Polexit’ idea
At the invitation of the former president of the European Council Donald Tusk, the Poles are organising to take to the streets on Sunday against the hypothesis of a “Polexit”, which became more probable with the decision of the Polish Constitutional Court on the priority of the national Constitution over European law. The main event will take place in Warsaw, but marches have also been announced on the same day in at least 25 cities across the country, including Krakow, Lodz and Poznan. France and Germany warned Poland it must abide by EU rules. The Commission would be taking action against Poland.
World leaders hail global corporate tax rate agreement
A new global corporate tax rate of at least 15% looks set to become a reality in 2023 after Hungary became the last European country to accept a proposal by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). After Ireland and Estonia joined the effort on Thursday, Hungary chose to sign the global tax after clinching a transitional period of 10 years with its own special rate. The agreement has now been ratified by 136 countries, the OECD said Friday. Only Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are still holding out from the 140 countries involved in the OECD talks.
Libyan detention centre guards kill six migrants
Guards at a Libyan detention centre have shot dead six migrants, the United Nations agency for migration said on Friday, amid an ongoing violent crackdown against refugees and asylum seekers. IOM said overcrowding at the Ghot Shaal detention centre in Tripoli had led to chaos at the facility.Libyan security forces have detained more than 5,000 migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, over the past week.
Nobel Peace Prize goes to Russian, Filipina
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to two journalists, Filipina Maria Ressa and Russian Dmitry Muratov, “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression”. Dmitry Muratov dedicated the prize to the newspaper he directs, Novaya Gazeta, and to the six journalists of the newspaper who were killed, “defending the right of people to free speech”. Ressa, a Philippines journalist, became the first Filipino to win the peace prize, and also the first woman to claim the prestigious award by the Nobel committee this year.
Facebook and Instagram…down again!
Facebook has acknowledged that its users around the world again had problems accessing its services for hours due to a tweak of its system, just days after a massive outage caused in a similar fashion. Just before midnight (Malta time), a spokesperson apoligised “to anyone who wasn’t able to access our products in the last couple of hours… We fixed the issue, and everything should be back to normal now.” People flocked to Twitter to voice frustration. The platform’s second outage caps a calamitous week for the company that also included compelling testimony from whistle-blower Frances Haugen, who told the US Congress that Facebook prioritises its own profits before the well-being of its users.
Biden blocks Trump over Capitol assault papers
President Joe Biden has formally blocked Donald Trump’s attempt to withhold documents requested by a Congressional committee investigating the January 6 assault on the Capitol by his fans. The White House has informed the National Archives that it will not exercise executive privilege on behalf of the former president, paving the way for the acquisition of the papers. Meanwhile Trump has been accused of trying to hide nearly $4 million from foreign governments for his Washington DC hotel during his years in power. A House committee said Trump wrapped up more than $70 million in losses at the hotel during his term while claiming huge profits in public.