Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the police of northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state to immediately withdraw the absurd charges, including “criminal conspiracy,” that they brought against three journalists for tweeting about a video of an elderly man being beaten up by other men. The accusation clearly borders on harassment, RSF says.

Early results indicate both President Emmanuel Macron and his opponent Marine Le Pen will fail to make the gains they were hoping for in the first round of regional elections in France.

Mr Macron’s centrist party is projected to gain more than 10% of the vote - just enough to take part in the second round next weekend.

Ms Le Pen’s far-right National Rally has also fallen short of expectations.

Both are trailing the conservative party, Les Républicains.

One of Mr Macron’s MPs, Aurore Bergé, described her party’s poor performance as a “democratic slap in the face for all of us”.

Ms Le Pen’s National Rally party was expected to top Sunday’s first round of polling, and win at least one region for the first time. Instead it is now predicted to come second.

Ms Le Pen is not running as a candidate but she has been leading the campaign.

She described the record-low voter turnout - a projected 66% abstention - as a “civic disaster”.

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In Peruvian capital Lima, fear is spreading among the city’s small but powerful urban elite about the likely election win of a little-known socialist teacher.

Pedro Castillo is poised to be named president ahead of conservative rival Keiko Fujimori. With almost all votes tallied, Castillo’s lead over Fujimori is narrow but looks to be enough, though the final result could take days or even weeks as legal challenges play out.

In a statement on Friday, the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said “Israel’s horrific crime of killing the bud-like children, yet to be bloomed, is a severe challenge to the future of humankind and a crime against humanity.”

“It is no exaggeration to say that the whole Gaza Strip has turned into a huge human slaughterhouse and a place of massacring children,” the ministry continued. “Soon after the end of the bombardment, [Israel Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and the Israeli authorities are trying to conceal their crime of killing even the children.”

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Two Palestinian journalists were arrested by Israeli security forces in Jerusalem yesterday and were placed in administrative detention today, bringing the total now held administratively by the Israelis to 13. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Israel’s misuse of administrative detention to hound Palestinian reporters.

Russia has retaliated against a ban on carriers entering Belarus’s airspace by refusing to grant permission to European planes flying to Moscow.

In an apparent escalation by the Kremlin, Russian aviation authorities forced Austrian Airlines to cancel its flight from Vienna to the Russian capital. Air France also cancelled its Paris-Moscow flight for the second day in a row, after it was denied permission on Wednesday to land in Russia.

Ireland is set to become the first EU country to recognise the Israeli settlement in Palestinian territory as annexation when the Dáil votes on a motion tomorrow.

In a significant move, foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney has said the scale, pace and nature of Israel’s actions amount to “de facto annexation”.

A Ryanair pilot who landed his plane in Belarus on Sunday repeatedly questioned information about an alleged bomb threat, before ultimately agreeing to land in Minsk, according to a transcript released on Tuesday by authorities in Belarus.

Belarus scrambled a warplane to escort the flight, which was en route from Greece to Lithuania. When the plane landed in Minsk, Belarusian authorities arrested a dissident journalist. Western countries have described the incident as a hijacking or piracy.

The transcript released on Tuesday differs from excerpts previously released by Belarus state TV, which had attributed some of the pilot’s remarks to the controller. State TV had pointed to its version to argue that the pilot had asked to land in Minsk, rather than that the controller had advised him to do so.

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The EU has decided to ban Belarusian airlines from European skies after a flight was diverted to Minsk on Sunday and a dissident journalist arrested.

At a meeting in Brussels, the leaders of the 27 member states also told EU airlines not to fly over Belarus, and promised further economic sanctions.

Roman Protasevich, 26, was on a flight from Greece to Lithuania which was rerouted over a supposed bomb threat.

Western countries accused Belarus of hijacking the Ryanair plane.

On the eve of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s first visit to Israel and neighboring countries, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made unusually tough remarks regarding Iran, including hinting that Jerusalem could take military action against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites without Washington’s okay.

In a ceremony marking the appointment of incoming Mossad chief David Barnea, and with many Mossad members in attendance, Netanyahu said: “The first task of each one of you is to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons.”

“I very much appreciate our friend the United States, which has been standing by our side for many years. That’s an integral part of our national security,” Netanyahu continued.

“But there could be a situation in which our highest goal — to guarantee that the ayatollahs don’t end the thousands of years of existence of the Jewish people — will require us to take brave and independent decisions,” the premier said.

“In any event — with or without a deal — we will do everything to deny Iran nuclear weapons, because this concerns our very existence.”

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Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed Belarus’s explanation over the forced landing of a passenger flight and the arrest of a critical journalist. EU leaders are discussing additional sanctions against Belarus.

Belarusian KGB agents were on board the Ryanair plane that was abruptly diverted so a dissident journalist could be arrested, the airline’s CEO said on Monday.

On Sunday, Belarus forced a Ryanair plane that was flying from Athens, Greece, to Vilnius, Lithuania, to land in Minsk after local air traffic control informed the pilots of a bomb threat.

Once on the ground, authorities found no security threat on board, but Belarusian police entered the plane and arrested a passenger, the 26-year-old journalist Roman Protasevich.

Protasevich is one of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s most vocal critics. He had been living in Poland since 2019 over fears for his safety, and has continued to criticize Lukashenko from afar.

Lukashenko personally deployed a MiG-29 fighter jet to escort the plane to Minsk, his office said.

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A Ryanair plane flying from Greece to Lithuania has been diverted to Minsk, with Belarusian opposition figures saying it was done so a dissident journalist on board could be arrested.

The opposition Nexta channel on Telegram said its ex-editor Roman Protasevich had been detained.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda accused Belarus of an “abhorrent action” and demanded his release.

Belarus state media said the plane had been diverted because of a bomb scare.

Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who was beaten by Alexander Lukashenko last year in presidential polls widely denounced as rigged, also demanded Mr Protasevich’s release.

Since August’s election the 66-year-old Mr Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994, has cracked down on dissenting voices. Many opposition figures have been arrested or, like Ms Tikhanovskaya, fled into exile.

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The Israeli government has engaged in a pattern of deadly attacks against residential homes in Gaza, carrying out bombing raids without giving the innocent men, women, and children inside any time to escape, Amnesty International charged on Monday. 

The strikes, which show a “shocking disregard” for Palestinian civilians, “may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity,” the human rights group said.

An Israeli air strike in Gaza destroyed several homes on Sunday, killing 42 Palestinians, including 10 children, health officials said, as militants fired rockets at Israel with no end in sight to seven days of fighting.

The Israeli military said the civilian casualties were unintentional. It said its jets attacked a tunnel system used by militants, which collapsed, bringing the homes down.

Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, called it “pre-meditated killing”.

World News
Created on May 16, 2021
By @femme