Castle Journal

Castle Journal

Paris

French police arrested a yellow jackets spokesman on Wednesday evening. The truck driver Eric Drouet is accused of organizing an unannounced demonstration. As the French newspaper reports Le Monde imprisonment threatens him up to six months or a fine of 7,500 euros.

The 33-year-old had won tens of thousands of followers with Facebook posts in November 2018 and repeatedly called for protests against the French government. In addition, he came through television appearances to notoriety. For Wednesday evening Drouet had called by video on his Facebook page again to a demonstration in which
Near the Triumphal Arch on the Paris Champs-Elysées. Several dozen demonstrators had already been waiting for him. On the
Way there, Drouet was arrested and has since been in police custody. Footage shows how several special forces force him into a police car.

In France the arrest caused indignation. The arrest was "completely unjustified and arbitrary," said Drouet's lawyer Kheops Lara. His offense consisted in "candles in memory of the
deceased yellow-veined victim at the Place de la Concorde in Paris "
 to have. Lara demanded Drouet's immediate release.

The left-wing opposition politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon spoke of one
"Abuse of power". A "political police" are now going against the followers
 the "yellow vests" in front. Marine Le Pen of the far-right party Rassemblement National criticized
a "systematic violation of political rights" of
Opposition.

The government defended the action against Drouet. economy Minister
Bruno Le Maire said at Sender France Inter that Drouet got through the
Organization of an unregistered demo "not the rule of law
respected ".

On Thursday afternoon, Drouet was released from police custody
dismiss. "Everything that happens here is political," he told journalists. He only actually had on Wednesday evening
wanted with other yellow vests in the restaurant. Drouet needs to be informed
the prosecutor in February for alleged unannounced
Responsible for demonstration in court.

Already on December 22, 2018, Drouet was arrested for "carrying a prohibited weapon". He had a stick with him. The process is scheduled to take place on 5 June 2019. In addition, he had to attend a police hearing after he had called on television to "go in" in the presidential palace.

 

The yellow-jacket movement is decentralized and has no clear leadership. Nationwide there were numerous anti-government, partly violent demonstrations in November and December. Just before Christmas, the protests have subsided. A commentator of the station BFM said that with the arrest of Drouet risked the government to make him a martyr.

Source|NEWS BEEZE

London 

The Henry Jackson Society's second Audit of Geopolitical Capability report, which assesses the geopolitical capability of the Group of 20 nations plus Nigeria, ranked Australia as the eighth most capable in the world, ahead of India and Russia.

According to the report said that Russia was kicked out of the elite club, which comprises the world's most powerful nations including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy, after President Vladmir Putin annexed Crimea in 2014.So the prominent London think tank said Australia  became so influential on the world stage, as  it  can to replace Russia and restore the G7 to the G8.

Australia is a member of the G20 which has been meeting annually, including in Australia, since the financial crisis in 2008. But the think tank said there was a case for Australia to enter a more elite club, with Russia, "once seen as a global superpower" being overtaken by Australia in the their new survey.

“In global affairs, large barks often hide small dogs and this seems to be the case with Russia. Once a major geopolitical player, in capability terms it now sits behind Canada, Australia and India," said the report's chief analyst James Rogers.

"In fact, Russia’s decline and Australia’s rise are now so pronounced that there is a prima facie case for Australia to join the G8, taking the seat that Russia has lost."

One of the major factors driving Australia up the index was the Coalition's $80 billion defence spend on new submarines and warships and its ability to project itself in the Indo-Pacific region.

"The purchase of the new Type 26 frigates is only likely to boost Australia’s standing still further," said Mr Brown.

"Australia has profited from its links to the so-called Anglosphere and further investment in institutions like the Five Eyes could help Australia rise higher still," he said

 

China still has plenty of catching up to do

China shot up the index, leapfrogging France to become the third most capable country behind the US and United Kingdom.

The report said while there had been much made of the "decline" of the West, particularly the US following the election of the more isolationist Donald Trump, the data showed Western democracies "still hold a substantial lead over their emerging competitors".

"The US remains by some margin the world’s only superpower: it maintains the largest national base, the most extensive national structure, and has access to overwhelming national instruments, not least awe-inspiring military might," the report said.

"With the exception of China, the other “BRICS” nations – the “BRIS” [Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) – rank among the bottom half of the major powers, suggesting that 'declinist' narratives in the West are rather inflated," it concluded.

 

The Henry Jackson Society's global audit rankings by nation are:

  1. USA
  2. UK
  3. China
  4. France
  5. Germany
  6. Japan
  7. Canada
  8. Australia
  9. India
  10. Russia
  11. South Korea
  12. Italy
  13. Brazil
  14. South Africa
  15. Argentina
  16. Indonesia
  17. Turkey
  18. Mexico
  19. Saudi Arabia
  20. Nigeria

It is know that  The Group of Seven (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries, with the seven largest advanced economies in the world, represent 58% of the global net wealth ($317 trillion). The G7 countries also represent more than 46% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) based on nominal values, and more than 32% of the global GDP based on purchasing power parity. The European Union is also represented at the G7 summit.

'Source| Sydney morning Herlad

Thursday, 03 January 2019 23:57

Sex abuse, cover-ups undermined Church

(ANSA) - Vatican City, January 3 -

Clerical sex abuse of minors and cover-ups have seriously undermined the credibility of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis said in a letter to US bishops on Thursday.


    "The credibility of the Church has been strongly called into question and debilitated by these sins and crimes, but especially by the desire to dissimulate and hide, which has generated a greater feeling of insecurity, mistrust and lack of protection in the faithful," he said.


    "The attitude of covering up, as we know, far from helping to resolve the conflicts, has allowed them to perpetuate themselves and to wound more deeply the fabric of relations which today we are called to treat and mend."

Francis said that the fight against abusement "demands a conversion in our minds", in the way "we pray, manage power and money, live authority, and relate between the world and ourselves".
    He aid "the fight against the culture of abuse, the wound of credibility, and the dismay, confusion and discredit in our mission demand, and demand from us, a new and decisive attitude to resolve the conflict".

January 3, 2019
Changing of the climate
On January 1, 2019, new international standards on the phased reduction of the consumption of hydrofluorocarbons - gases, which cause a strong warming, came into force. This is the Kigal Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

To date, this new document has been ratified by 65 states. UNEP has called on all other countries to join an important agreement.

Proper implementation of the provisions of the Kigal Amendment and its support from governments, the private sector, and citizens will keep global warming at 0.4 degrees Celsius already this century. The Kigal Amendment will make an important contribution to the protection of the ozone layer and the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

After all, today the temperature of the Earth is 1 degree Celsius higher than at the beginning of the 20th century. This is largely due to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on September 16, 1987. In particular, it prohibits the production and sale of hazardous substances that deplete the ozone layer. Within the framework of the Montreal Protocol, the production and use of about 100 types of chemicals has already been banned. Many of these substances contribute to global warming. Ozone protects the earth from ultraviolet radiation, which is the main cause of melanoma and other skin cancers.

The Kigal amendment provides for the phased reduction of hydrofluorocarbons, which are not ozone-depleting gases, but cause strong global warming - many times more than carbon dioxide. These organic substances are used in cooling systems.

The new agreement for different countries provides different terms for the withdrawal of hydrofluorocarbons from circulation. For example, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by 2020 will have to reduce their consumption by 5 percent from the current level, and by 2036 - by 85 percent.

  WHO

Governments in Sub-Saharan Africa have partnered with UNDP to launch the Solar for Health initiative to install solar systems in rural health centres and clinics where surgeries may be carried out by candlelight and where vaccines and medicines can expire without proper temperature regulation.

The initiative aims to use solar power to refrigerate medicines, maintain health information systems, and create adequate conditions for the delivery of babies, while reducing emissions which harm the environment.

Some 405 health facilities across the region have benefitted so far.

Solar power is helping make universal healthcare a reality in places where unreliable power supplies regularly affect access to vital services, and can out people’s lives at risk, thanks to support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

 

The United Nations Security Council has condemned “in the strongest terms” a series of coordinated attacks aimed at security checkpoints in northern Afghanistan which took place on Monday night, killing at least 27 and wounding dozens of others

According to news reports, the assaults were carried out by Taliban extremists in the provinces of Sar-e-Pul and Balkh, striking security forces in three areas; the centre of Sayad District, along a road linking Sar-e-Pul to Jowzjan, and a village where oil wells are situated.

“The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Afghanistan and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured”, said a statement issued on Thursday.

Council members “reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security”, and underlined the need “to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice.”

They called on all States “to cooperate actively with the Government of Afghanistan and all other relevant authorities” to help end the cycle of violence in the country.

New presidential election date

The attacks on New Year’s Eve came a day after the announcement by Afghan electoral authorities of a new date for planned presidential elections, which had been scheduled to take place on April 20. Elections will now be held in July this year.

In a statement, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, said that “the United Nations understands that the new date announced by the Independent Election Commission follows consultations with a broad range of political actors, civil society organizations, and the Government of Afghanistan, all of whom have expressed the strong desire for a credible and transparent presidential election.”

“The United Nations acknowledges the IEC’s assessment that additional time is needed in order to learn from the 2018 parliamentary elections and adequately prepare”, said UNAMA.

Somali Government efforts to build a lasting peace through political reform and transformation have progressed along a “positive trajectory” but everyone involved in the process needs to “pull in the same direction”, the UN Special Representative in the country told the Security Council on Thursday.

Nicholas Haysom commended the Office of the Prime Minister “for leading Government efforts to tackle corruption”, and praised improvements in public financial management which had led to a recorded surplus of $8 million last September.

But turning to Somalia’s complex “Roadmap on Inclusive Politics” reform process, he said that a “key milestone” had been missed in not meeting the December deadline for a draft new Electoral Law. Despite that, the National Independent Electoral Commission has made progress with voter registration planning, and 35 political parties have been officially registered.

“Women’s meaningful participation” in the Constitutional Review process, and other draft national agreements on justice, mineral resource-sharing, “allocation of powers and fiscal federalism” was essential, said the top UN official from South Africa, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, UNSOM.

Overshadowing progress there however, he said, was a continuing stalemate between the leaders of central Government, and Somalia’s Member States, which “continues to impede progress in defining the federal model, building institutions of state, and in the implementation of the National Security Architecture”.

There had been encouraging steps taken to “restore relations” by the President and Prime Minister, and a committee established to work with the Upper House of parliamentary representatives, Mr. Haysom told Council members.

Risk that ‘complexity shifts to conflict’

The Special Representative noted that “politics is complex in any nation, but in one that is still establishing its norms, institutional parameters” and debating how they will work for the common good “there is a risk that complexity shifts to conflict”.

This had proved the case in the election process for South West State, where allegations of interference by the Federal Government and violence which erupted following the arrest of a candidate who was a former al-Shabaab deputy-leader, “marred the process and does not bode well for upcoming” elections, said Mr. Haysom.

He said it was regrettable that 15 people, including a regional assembly member had lost their lives, adding that the detention of the former extremist group leader, could deter others from abandoning terrorist violence, for the ballot box.

Al-Shabaab still the ‘biggest source of insecurity’

Al-Shabaab continues to be “the biggest source of insecurity in Somalia” said Mr. Haysom, welcoming the Government’s condemnation of the group’s attack on New Year’s Day against the UN’s headquarters in the Somali capital, which injured three staff members.

Thanks to the African Union’s AMISOM troops, and Government forces, conventional attacks have been largely stymied he said, with Al-Shabaab now relying on assassinations and improvised explosives, but “indiscriminate attacks” were still a constant threat.

He added that the UN had “continued to support conflict prevention and conflict resolution efforts in several parts of the country in collaboration with our partners”, said the top official.

Humanitarian needs remain high, with 4.2 million requiring assistance and protection, almost two-thirds of them children. “Around 1.5 million are severely food insecure at crisis or emergency levels. Around 2.6 million people are internally-displaced” he said.

Finally, he added, respect of human rights in the country and international humanitarian law, and the protection of civilians caught up in violence, “remains key for Somalia’s transition and sustainable peace”.

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