Human rights organizations condemned on Monday the "cruel" decision to close access to Afghan women to the Band-e-Amir park, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, popular with families for its splendid lakes located in the tourist province of Bamyan.

“Not content with depriving girls and women of education, employment and freedom of movement, the Taliban also want to take away parks and sports, and now even nature,” criticized Heather Barr, deputy director of women's rights for the NGO Human Rights Watch.

“Step by step, the walls are closing in on women, each home becoming a prison,” she denounced in a press release.

“It’s also about your ability to feel joy,” she insisted, describing this decision.

“Tourism is not obligatory.”

The Minister of Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, Mohammad Khalid Hanafi, justified the ban on Saturday during a visit to the province of Bamyan by the fact that the wearing of the hijab (clothing covering the body and the head) had not been respected over the past two years.

"We must take serious action today. We must prevent hijab disrespect," he said.

“Women and our sisters will no longer be able to go to Band-e-Amir until we establish guidelines […].

Tourism exists, they can do tourism, but tourism is not obligatory,” he added.

“This explanation about the fact that a woman does not wear a correct hijab does not make the slightest sense,” lamented the NGO.

Since their return to power in August 2021, the Taliban government, with its austere interpretation of Islam, has continued to reduce the rights of Afghan women.

In two years, secondary schools and then universities closed their doors to women.

Parks, gyms and hammams are also prohibited. Prevented from working for NGOs and excluded from most civil servant positions, Afghan women must also cover themselves fully when leaving their homes.

The main tourist spot in Afghanistan, the Bamyan valley located in the center of the country is famous for its niches dug into the cliff, now empty of giant Buddhas after their destruction in 2001 by the Taliban, but also for its network of turquoise and sapphire lakes. Nearby Band-e-Amir , listed as a UNESCO heritage site in 2003 .

The Taliban are making Afghan women prisoners of their homes.

Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld




Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a solemn address to the United Nations Security Council, highlighting an undeniable truth:

the use of hunger as a weapon of war is an unacceptable aberration which must be stopped.

With palpable determination, he seized the opportunity to level harsh criticism at Russia for its decision to withdraw from the grain export pact through the Black Sea.

“In the corridors of the Kremlin, the assertion is made that the breakdown of this agreement stems from the obstacles imposed by international sanctions, supposedly harmful to agricultural exports.

In truth, it is essential to note that these sanctions explicitly exclude foodstuffs as well as fertilizers from their effects,” Blinken asserted with ironclad firmness, before an attentive assembly.

Subsequently, the Secretary of State proceeded to shed more light on the context, revealing that shortly after Moscow distanced itself from this initiative, Russia had embarked on grain exports at prices "reaching unprecedented heights".

"Globally, the tariffs applied to cereals have registered an increase exceeding 8% throughout the world", he added, thus illustrating the impact of this decision on international markets.

Mr. Blinken made a point of stressing that, despite the absence of such an initiative, which, according to general opinion, "should never have been necessary", it nevertheless generated "tangible and concrete results".

"The shipments undertaken have played a significant role in reducing world food prices by around a quarter, for the benefit of all, since the intervention in question", he explained with conviction.

Last July, the Russian authorities announced the termination of the grain export agreement, citing shortcomings on the side of kyiv.

It should be recalled that this agreement was born a year ago, in the Turkish city of Istanbul, under the joint mediation of the Turkish authorities and the United Nations.

These eloquently articulated remarks by Antony Blinken highlight the categorical imperative to outlaw any manipulation of hunger for warlike ends, while exposing the latent tensions between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the economic implications for the global scale generated by such approaches.

The urgency of effective diplomacy and peaceful solutions is reinforced by this advocacy, with a view to preserving international stability and security.

Sandra Stac for DayNewsWorld


In a context where Japan is faced with the colossal scale of the management of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, a controversial decision is looming on the horizon:

the discharge of these waters into the ocean!

According to information from government sources, this move could take shape between the end of August and the beginning of September, following a trilateral summit involving the United States and South Korea.

Although the exact date of this launch remains to be established, the Japanese authorities maintain their commitment to the announced period, located between spring and summer of this year.

At a press conference, Hirokazu Matsuno, the government spokesperson, stressed that the decision to release the treated water will be taken once all the safety measures have been thoroughly validated.

He also hinted that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida could play a crucial role in this process, hinting at the start of the operation following his return from the trilateral summit scheduled for August 18 at Camp David, a presidential residence. close to Washington.

In an effort to assuage the legitimate concerns of fishermen and local stakeholders, the government has taken initiatives to explain in detail the safety protocols that will be applied. Matsuno assured:

"We have passed on to local fishermen and businesses all the safety guarantees related to this process.

In order to address your concerns and needs, we will continue our efforts to ensure your safety and your continued presence at work."

A concern for transparency also informs this approach, with Japan's commitment to explain the decision to discharge the treated water in a way that is both scientific and understandable.

The government spokesperson affirmed that this communication would be based on "scientific foundations and exemplary transparency", thus demonstrating the importance given to gaining public trust.

Japan's announcement comes after the support expressed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last July, which deemed the plan drawn up by the Japanese government for the dumping of treated water in the sea.

The current stages of contaminated water treatment, carried out through the ALPS system, have succeeded in eliminating most of the radioactive elements, with the exception of tritium. This water is then stored in barrels before being released into the ocean.

Faced with increasing constraints on the storage space available at the plant site, the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the plant's operating company, took the pragmatic decision to resort to dumping in the ocean. .

This approach, although controversial, is justified by the need to safely manage the growing volume of treated water while minimizing environmental risks.

In sum, Japan's imminent approach to dump treated water from Fukushima into the ocean is sparking a complex debate about issues of safety, transparency and sustainability.

As Japanese authorities work to put in place science-based and transparent measures to manage this ongoing nuclear crisis, preserving the future of the region and its ecosystems remains at the heart of global concerns.

Paul Emison for DayNewsWorld




Vladimir Putin welcomes this Thursday, July 27, 2023, the representatives of 49 of the 54 African countries in Saint Petersburg for two days. This major Russia – Africa summit is the second after that of October 2019 in Sochi, Russia. Although it did not lead to concrete actions, this first summit had made it possible to lay the foundations for broader cooperation between Moscow and Africa.

This year, Russia intends to strengthen ties with the continent, by implementing more specific action plans. Round tables are planned, on subjects ranging from health to logistics, including the question of fertilizers and even nuclear energy.

"To African problems there must be African answers",

For African countries, a rapprochement with Moscow would make it possible to no longer be under Western and Chinese influence in the fields of economy and diplomacy. As such, Vladimir Putin's well-constructed strategy is working: "There must be African responses to African problems", declared the Russian Head of State on 24 July.

s. Geopolitics is also influenced by the war in Ukraine. After the end of the cereal agreement, a source of concern for the continent, the Kremlin wants to reassure by ensuring that it takes over.

Russian President Vladimir Putin effectively told African leaders on Thursday, July 27, 2023 that he would offer them tens of tons of grain despite Western sanctions. Vladimir Putin said that Russia was ready to replace Ukraine and supply Africa with cereals, during a Russia-Africa summit organized in Saint Petersburg. "We will be ready to supply 25,000 to 50,000 tons of cereals free of charge in the coming months to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Eritrea," he announced. Russia exported 60 million tonnes of grain last year, Vladimir Putin said.

Vladimir Putin, however, did not mention Sudan or Chad. Russia has suspended its participation in the agreement on grain exports to the Black Sea, considering that the conditions for its further extension were not met. In particular, Moscow is demanding guarantees on Russian exports of cereals and fertilizers, which it considers to be hindered, even if they are not directly targeted by Western sanctions taken in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Africans could also benefit from direct financial aid for the development and technological cooperation they need. However, despite resisting Western sanctions better than expected, Russia saw its GDP fall by 2.1% in 2022 according to the World Bank and is expected to fall again by 2.5% in 2023. New investments, in advanced technology in particular, are of interest to African countries.

Russia is not in the top five exporting countries in Africa, and its commercial presence seems to rely instead on arms exports

The major Russian investment in Africa could concern the export of arms which are badly needed by certain regimes threatened by jihadist groups and armed opponents. Russia, as heir to the Soviet Union, has an undeniable asset on the African continent: that of being a major exporter of reliable and inexpensive arms. Indeed, the Soviet Union was already, by far, the main source of arms imports for Angola, Congo, Ethiopia or even Mozambique between 1960 and 1991. It is therefore in this line that Russia continues to export its Soviet-made weapons to African countries: like the USSR, it continues to be the first source of arms imports for the countries mentioned above but also for Algeria ,

An imperialist Russia ?

On the Russian side, close collaboration with the African continent offers Vladimir Putin considerable opportunities. Africa is indeed full of precious metals, oil and highly coveted raw materials. Russian interests are particularly focused on countries harboring strategic resources, such as manganese in Gabon or South Africa, diamonds in Angola and the Central African Republic, as well as uranium in Tanzania.

The Russian private sector also plays a key role in the country's foreign policy. The influence of the paramilitary group Wagner in Mali or in the Central African Republic is well known, but Russian ambitions do not stop there. The Russian company Rosneft, for example, has concluded an offshore gas exploitation contract in Mozambique.

Getting closer to Africa offers Putin the opportunity to expand his sphere of influence by forging ties with the powers that be. This approach also allows it to compete with the Chinese and American influences already established on the continent. Thus, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, visited the continent twice in the space of six months,
showing that despite the sanctions linked to the war in Ukraine, Russia is not totally isolated.

The President of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani, who currently holds the presidency of the African Union, also felt that Russia's demands should be listened to.

Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, had he not declared during a historic visit to Bamako on February 7, 2023: “The fight against terrorism remains a priority for the [countries of the Sahelo-Saharan region and the Gulf of Guinea] […] We [Russia and Mali] see the reaction of Western states to the evolution of our relations, […] and this reflects [their] neo-colonial approaches and [their ] policy of “double standards” […] [They] want to decide the fate of all the continents, […] but we think that these old metropolises forget how they exploited and invaded these territories; they must, in my opinion, understand that the world has changed”.

This return of the Russian presence should be studied in the light of its desire to deconstruct a world order deemed too “American-centric” to regain a place of choice on the international scene. Russian diplomacy uses Africa with the aim of “rebalancing” power dynamics, serving its own interests.

Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld


Since July 13, 2023, Thailand has been trying to appoint its new Prime Minister. Following its victory in the legislative elections of May 14, the pro-democracy coalition led by the reformist party Move Forward logically presented its leader, the reformist Pita Limjaroenrat

But Pita Limaroenrat encounters difficulties when he is elected Prime Minister of Thailand by the National Assembly. He failed to gather enough votes to be appointed by Parliament.

A Senate under the orders of the establishment

The Thai Parliament has indeed rejected, on Thursday, the candidacy of reformist MP Pita Limjaroenrat as Prime Minister. The leader of the Move Forward party, winner of the elections, did not obtain the sixty votes of senators he needed to reach the required threshold of 375 votes, despite the support of a majority coalition in the Lower House (312 deputies out of 500).

To minimize the weight of the 500 deputies elected by the people, the generals have, in fact, ensured total control of the Senate. Its 250 members are not elected but appointed by various conservative institutions. Only 13 of its 250 members supported Pita's candidacy. The senators ignored Move Forward's calls to form a government in accordance with the will of the people that would put Thailand back on the path to democracy.

Result: a second vote will take place next Wednesday, July 19, a vote in the form of a last chance for Pita to become head of government. In the event of a new setback, he has effectively indicated that he would throw in the towel.

Marching towards democracy with Pita Limjaroenrat ?

Pita Limaroenrat, whom everyone calls Pita, was born in 1981. He is a rather elegant young man who has been leading the Move forward party for several years. This pro-democracy party is the bane of the power in place and in particular of the soldiers who lock the country. The party was already dissolved for the first time in 2019 before reforming under this new name. Pita is initially a businessman from a wealthy family. He was educated in the United States.

A true idol of Thai youth, this businessman from a good family hopes to become the next Prime Minister of Thailand. He embodies the break with the military in power for a decade in Thailand. It offers a modern image of society with attractive measures such as the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes, the end of compulsory military service or even marriage for all. Its renovation program aims to turn the page on a quasi- decade under the authority of former putschist general Prayut Chan-O-Cha, which saw fundamental freedoms shrink and the economy stagnate.

Imposing itself outside its usual urban strongholds, its young reformist formation won more than 150 parliamentary seats out of the 500 in the Assembly and established itself as the first political force in the kingdom. It also made an alliance with d ' other pro-democracy parties that have elected members in parliament.

The Move Forward Party, the pet peeve of power

Power wants to do everything to prevent him from governing. The country has nevertheless experienced a dozen successful coups since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1934.

To block his way, the electoral commission considered that there were enough elements to transmit to the Constitutional Court a file of suspicions of irregularity. Pita's party is accused of having owned shares in a television channel during the campaign, in contravention of the law. The president of the electoral commission recommended a suspension of his parliamentary functions. The deputy, who defends himself from any illegal maneuver, risks the loss of his parliamentary seat, a prison sentence and banishment from political life for 20 years.

In another case, the Constitutional Court has declared admissible the complaint of a lawyer who accuses Pita Limjaroenrat and Move Forward of wanting to "overthrow" the monarchy. Going forward is very offensive on the issue of lèse-majesté crime reform which, for one wrong word about King Rama X, continues to send Thais to jail.

In the past, legal gag proceedings have on several occasions made it possible to dismiss the intruders, whether they are former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in exile since in Dubai, or even the former opponent Thanatorn Juangroongruangkit. In 2020, justice had dissolved the party The Future Ahead of Us, ancestor of Going Forward.

"It's not a vote on me or Move Forward but a vote to give Thailand a chance to return to normality", Pita Limjaroenrat pleaded to voters before the opening of the vote.

Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld


The Indian authorities want to shed light on the causes of the train tragedy which killed at least 288 people, ensuring that "no one responsible" for the accident would be spared.

The search and rescue operations for the victims are now complete on Sunday June 4, 2023 and the time has come for questions about the precise course of the events that took place on Friday evening.

"We have identified the cause of the accident and the people responsible for it," Indian Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, adding that it was "not appropriate" to release further details beforehand. the final investigation report. According to the minister, "the change that occurred during the electronic switching is at the origin of the accident", in reference to the complex computer system managing the traffic on the Indian railways to prevent the collision of trains.

Confusion reigns at this stage but The Times of India, citing the preliminary investigation report, said on Sunday that "human error" may have caused the collision between three trains, one of the worst train disasters in India's history. country. The Coromandel Express, linking Calcutta to Madras, had been given the green light to run on the main track but was rerouted due to human error on a track where there was already a freight train, according to the newspaper.

The passenger train then struck the freight convoy at a speed of around 130 km/h. Under the impact, twenty-one cars derailed and three of them were ejected onto an adjacent track, where another passenger train was traveling at the same time . Three carriages then fell onto the adjacent track, hitting the rear of an express train which was operating between Bangalore and Calcutta. It was this collision that caused the most damage, adds the Times, citing the preliminary report. The passengers were crushed, dismembered, under a shock similar to an explosion.

The tragedy unfolded near Balasore, about 200 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, the capital of the eastern Indian state of Odisha. a signaling error.

Modi's reaction

At least 288 people died in the tragedy and 900 were injured, the deadliest rail crash in nearly 30 years. But the death toll is expected to rise further, and could reach 380 dead, according to the director general of the Odisha State Fire Service, Sudhanshu Sarangi.

"No one responsible" for the accident will be spared, promised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who went to the scene of the disaster on Saturday and met the injured in hospital. “I pray that we get out of this sad moment as soon as possible,” he told public broadcaster Doordarshan.

At this point, Friday night's train crash is India's deadliest since 1995, when two express trains collided in Firozabad, near Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, killing more than 300 people. But the deadliest in the country's history remains that of June 6, 1981 when, in the state of Bihar (east), seven wagons of a train crossing a bridge fell into the Bagmati River, causing between 800 and 1,000 dead.

New investments and technological improvements

India has seen a number of deadly train accidents, but safety has improved in recent years thanks to new investments and technological improvements. Indeed, the investment plan that has been selected for between now and 2030, is 715 billion dollars that are invested in rail infrastructure, both for passengers and freight trains.

But one of India's problems is that it has chosen to maintain rail transport for heavy, large goods. And so there's a kind of telescoping that's happening between the surging passenger traffic and freight traffic.

And the accident of June 2 is precisely linked to the fact that you have a freight train - we are in the eastern region of India, where there are all the coal mines, iron mines, etc. - which was at shutdown, and it was probably not detected that it was shut down quickly enough by the computer system.

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld


In Pakistan, the arrest, on May 9, of former Prime Minister Imran Khan (August 2018-April 2022), for alleged acts of corruption, set fire to the powder.

In several cities, violent clashes pitted sympathizers of his party, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (Pakistan Justice Movement, PTI, of Islamo-nationalist tendency) and the security forces.

On May 12, the politician was released following a Supreme Court decision, but his legal troubles are not over, since he still has to appear for the charges against him.

This episode of protest, unprecedented in its intensity, is part of the long standoff between the PTI and the coalition gathered around the current Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, while the army, in this country of 230 million inhabitants, continues to play a leading role.

An unexpected explosion

The scale and virulence of the mobilizations seem to have taken the government and the army by surprise, which for the first time was directly targeted by the protesters. This effect of surprise is due in particular to an erroneous perception of Imran Khan's social base: according to a cliché widely spread among their opponents and in government circles, the supporters of the PTI are essentially "keyboard activists" confining their commitment to the networks social.

These clichés have been severely contradicted by the composition of the rioting crowds of the last few days, among which were found highly motivated women as well as businessmen and young people from working-class backgrounds. In this regard, it should be noted that 60% of the population of Pakistan is between 18 and 35 years old. This generation has grown up in a world where the jihadist threat has lost its existential character and where the central role of the army is no longer self-evident.

The ability of Imran Khan and his party to unite anger and provide meaning and direction to vastly different sections of the population has been minimized by authorities, both civilian and military.

However, this is not the first time that the PTI has demonstrated its mobilization capacities: in 2014, the party organized a "freedom march" which, for four months, drained thousands of people from Lahore to Islamabad.

A society crossed by a multitude of social, ethnic and religious divisions

The social conflicts that agitate Pakistan are also measured through the anti-militarist movements that have appeared in recent years in the country's tribal marches, particularly in Balochistan, and in the Pashtun regions, where the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (Pashtun Protection Movement - PTM) succeeded in mobilizing massively to denounce the abuses committed by the security forces in the context of anti-terrorist operations, despite fierce repression.

In recent years, Sindhi nationalist groups, which are more marked on the left, have also been in the news, in particular by attacking Chinese interests. But it is above all in Balochistan, on the border with Iran, that ethnic nationalism poses the greatest challenge to the State and to a unitary conception of the nation that would be satisfied with Islam as a reference. It is in this region, forbidden to foreign observers, that the Pakistani army and pro-government militias show the most uninhibited violence.

Added to this are religious divisions, opposing Sunnis and Shiites (around 20% of the Muslim population, which itself constitutes 96% of the population) but also different Sunni religious currents, in particular the Barelwis, followers of a devotional with Sufi influences, and the Deobandi, belonging to a reformed current which broke away from popular Islam through its rigor and scripturalism.

Finally, Pakistani society is deeply unequal. In Punjab and Karachi – two regions historically rooted in the Indian world – caste hierarchies remain very significant. In Pashtun countries or in Balochistan, society remains dominated by notables or tribal chiefs, while in rural Sindh economic and political power is concentrated in the hands of large landowners. In this context of superimposed social hierarchies, the theme of “people against the establishment”, which the PTI has taken up, is highly mobilizing.

The great strength of the PTI is to have succeeded in overcoming these structural divisions by articulating an anti-system discourse transcending the divisions of caste, class and ethnicity, while promoting an Islamo-nationalism which, if it appears to exclude minorities religions (Hindus, Christians, Ahmadis), brings together the entire Muslim population.

While broadly unifying, Imran Khan has however strongly polarized Pakistani society. He divided the army, some of whose officers seem to support him, but also the families, where the PTI and its leader arouse strongly contrasting opinions. It is also these divisions that explain the depth of the current crisis, which crosses the institutions rather than opposing them head-on.

A disunited ruling coalition

There is only a front unity in the current ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition.

The political dynasties at the head of the Pakistan Peoples Party (the Bhutto-Zardari) and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (the Sharif) are historical rivals, who have not stopped vying for power since the end of the regime. Zia-ul-Haq military in 1988.

They do, however, share one objective: to consolidate democratic institutions in order to strengthen their autonomy in the face of military power, even if they often bow down to the force of the army, out of weakness or opportunism. The objective of the PTI and its leader is significantly different: it is rather for them to submit all the institutions, including the army, by forcing them to pledge allegiance to the leader of the nation.

Imran Khan fights neither for democracy nor against the military institution. He is in a very personal balance of power with the army chief, who in some ways recalls Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's attempt in the 1970s to monopolize power around himself.

The weight of the army

The army retains a central role in all areas of activity. There are retired generals at the head of many institutions, from the National Accountability Bureau (the anti-corruption agency behind the arrest of Imran Khan on May 9) to the management bodies of the universities. Through its foundations, the army controls whole sections of the economy. It is also one of the first landowners in the country, both in rural areas (where deserving officers are allocated land at the end of their careers) and in large cities (where it manages numerous real estate projects).

At the political level, since the end of the 2000s, the military has been careful not to put themselves on the front line and prefer to control affairs behind the scenes. This is what led them to support the accession to power of Imran Khan, after the 2018 elections. It was then for the army to contain the PPP and the PMLN, which for it represented a threat, with their desire to strengthen the autonomy of civil power and democratic institutions at the expense of military power.

Over the following years, a hybrid regime was set up, presenting a democratic facade but in reality controlled by the military. However, Imran Khan was quick to want to become independent from his former bosses, in particular by trying to place at the head of the army and its powerful intelligence services generals reputed to be close to him.

This is what caused his fall, following a motion of no confidence, in April 2022 – an impeachment in which the leadership of the PTI saw a plot hatched by the Pakistani army and the United States. The conflict has escalated further following the recent arrest of Khan, for which he publicly blamed the army chief, General Asim Munir.

For the leader of the PTI, however, it is less a question of launching a process of demilitarization of the country than of settling scores and winning a showdown with the only man likely to stand up to him. Even if it engages the future of civil-military relations, it is more a conflict of people than of institutions.

What scenarios can we consider ?

The first scenario is that of a rise in tensions between the PTI and the army. Playing the card of polarization and agitation, Imran Khan could call his supporters to resistance, betting on the support of part of the army or even on a mutiny which would push General Munir towards the exit. This scenario is very unlikely. If the army seems more divided than ever, it remains united behind its leader for the moment.

A second scenario is that of a return to power by Imran Khan, following the elections currently scheduled for October 2023. army leaders and opponents of the PTI resign themselves to the return of Khan, one of whose first objectives will be to punish and imprison his opponents.

The last scenario, the most probable in the short term, is that of an authoritarian consolidation at the initiative and for the benefit of the army. This seems determined to exploit the violent mobilizations of the last few weeks to bring the PTI to heel. Thousands of party supporters have been arrested in recent days and could be tried in military courts. Many of the party leaders are also behind bars. This repressive strategy has the support of the government of Shahbaz Sharif which, not without cynicism, exploits the anger of the army to settle its own accounts with the PTI. Some members of the ruling coalition would even like to take advantage of the events of recent days to ban their main rival, in order to prevent him from running in the next elections.

In any case, democracy risks not emerging from this ordeal...

Article by Laurent Gayer, CNRS research director at CERI-Sciences Po, published in The Conversation.

Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld



Political earthquake in Thailand. The surprise victory in the legislative elections this Sunday, May 14, 2023 of the progressive and reformist party Move Forward could mark a “turning point in the Kingdom where the taboo of the monarchy is fading”, comments the Guardian correspondent in Bangkok, who underlines that it is "the very first time that a party that has campaigned to reform the strict laws that protect the royal family has won the vote".

For nine years, the country had been ruled by Prayuth Chan-ocha, who came to power after a military coup.

A “tradition” (Thailand has experienced a coup every seven years on average since 1932) that the electorate supports less and less. He therefore preferred the Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties to the royalists and the military.

Marching towards democracy with Pita Limjaroenrat ?

The hope of seeing the country give birth to a democracy now has a name: Pita Limjaroenrat. This leader of the opposition, claimed this Monday, May 15 the victory of his center left party Move Forward, en route to form a government coalition to succeed the generals in power for almost ten years.

A true idol of Thai youth, this businessman from a good family hopes to become the next Prime Minister of Thailand. He embodies the break with the military in power for a decade in Thailand.

“It is clear that the Thai people have expressed their desire to put the Move Forward Party in the lead. We can therefore manage the formation of the future government,” insisted the charismatic leader, aged only 42. With a confident posture and a determined gaze, Pita Limjaroenrat said he was "ready to become the next Prime Minister". He pleaded on Monday for a "smooth transition" at the head of the government.

Imposing itself outside its usual urban strongholds, its young reformist formation won more than 150 parliamentary seats out of the 500 in the Assembly and established itself as the leading political force in the kingdom.

A Senate under orders

Having to negotiate within the framework of constitutional rules distorted by the military, who led the 2014 coup, Khun Pita, as his supporters call him, must succeed, in the coming weeks, in forming a large majority made up of at least 376 parliamentarians. To minimize the weight of the 500 deputies elected by the people, the generals have, in fact, ensured total control of the Senate. Its 250 members are not elected but appointed by various conservative institutions.

To be appointed Prime Minister, the leader of Move Forward must therefore convince 376 deputies to join his executive. This Monday evening, he assured that he was already certain to rally at least 309 elected officials, from six parties. In particular, he has the support of Pheu Thai, the populist party, led by the family of billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra, which had so far won all the legislative elections since 2001, and should, this time, have just over 140 elected.

Gag procedures

But nothing is won. Because going forward is very offensive on the issue of the reform of the crime of lèse-majesté which, for a wrong word on King Rama X, continues to send Thais to prison. However, this is not the position of its future coalition partners in a country where the monarchy divides.

We cannot exclude a dirty trick from the military either. Pita's supporters fear a procedure for ineligibility on the pretext, however firmly denied, that he is a shareholder in a media company, which the electoral code prohibits.

In the past, legal gag proceedings have on several occasions made it possible to dismiss the intruders, whether they are former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in exile since in Dubai, or even the former opponent Thanatorn Juangroongruangkit. In 2020, justice had dissolved the party The Future Ahead of Us, ancestor of Going Forward.

"It's a spectacular challenge for the power in place in the Kingdom", considers for his part the correspondent of the Times who nevertheless judges, like the whole of the international press, that the Thai generals will not be so easily ousted from the power, and "that there is no guarantee that Pita can become Prime Minister", despite his electoral victory.

Pita's victory "marks the culmination of the protest movement that began in 2020, with massive pro-democracy protests, when thousands of youth and student-led people challenged the military-linked government, by demanding both the resignation of the Prime Minister and the reform of the monarchy", underlines the correspondent of El Pais.

Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld



The heads of diplomacy from the G7 countries arrived in Karuizawa (center), a small Japanese mountain resort, on Sunday to discuss China's growing pressure on Taiwan and the conflict in Ukraine. Delegations from the 7 most industrialized countries follow the Ministers of the Environment and Energy with a rich agenda: armies, space, technologies, cybersecurity and the growing influence of the Middle Empire. For Antony Blinken, who stopped over in Hanoi before arriving in Japan, everything must be done to counter the rise of China in the Indo-Pacific region.

East Asia under the radar

The diplomatic agenda of the past few days has indeed been marked by East Asia with the launch by North Korea on Thursday of what it claimed was a "new type" of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at solid fuel. Last weekend, China conducted military maneuvers around Taiwan, simulating attacks and a blockade of the island it considers part of its territory.

According to American intelligence, Beijing is accelerating the development of its strategic means in order to have, by 2027, an army likely to deter the United States in the event of an invasion of Taiwan.

The G7 has regularly warned Beijing against any attempt to forcefully change the status quo regarding Taiwan and some of its members are once again sounding the alarm. "We have an interest in seeing peace and stability reign in the Taiwan Strait," European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told reporters on Sunday, speaking by videoconference after testing positive for Covid-19 this week. week. "Our position is the one China policy, we respect it and we will continue to support it, but we want to defuse tensions and any change by force will be unacceptable," he added.

“Keep freedom of maneuver”

The wording of the joint communiqué of the group of seven main industrialized countries (Germany, Canada, United States, France, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom) will be scrutinized after recent remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron. Returning from a visit to China, he said Europe should not be caught up in "crises that are not (his) own", irritating allies anxious not to undermine relations with Washington.

While French President Emmanuel Macron's remarks on the need for Europe's strategic autonomy from the United States have somewhat shaken Europe and across the Atlantic, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who was in Beijing in weekend, meanwhile said a military escalation in the Taiwan Strait would be a worst-case scenario for the whole world.

Global economic issues around Taiwan

A conflict between China and Taiwan would indeed have major implications for the global economy, particularly regarding the dominance of the US dollar. China is seeking to expand its influence in the Western Pacific, which could challenge the role of the US Navy as a guarantor of sea lanes and, by extension, the dominant position of the dollar. Additionally, the Taiwan Strait is a vital trade route, with nearly 90% of the world's largest ships by tonnage passing through it.

A conflict or blockade in the region could cause global economic chaos. Taiwan is a key player in the global production of semiconductors, and a conflict in the region could threaten the supply of these critical components for many tech industries. If Taiwan's semiconductor industry falls under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, it could have devastating consequences for Western economies that depend on these components for their own industries and technology products.

Political and military alliances could also be strained in the event of a conflict between China and Taiwan. Britain, the United States, Australia and other countries in the region could be drawn into the conflict due to their close ties and alliances. This could create additional tensions between the nations and worsen the already volatile situation.

For Paul Nadeau, professor of political science at the Japanese campus of the American Temple University, Emmanuel Macron's statements betray a reality: "Each member (of the G7) wishes to maintain freedom of maneuver in the way in which he manages his relations with China", politically and commercially. Consensus will undoubtedly be easier to obtain on Ukraine, the occasion for the Japanese host to underline his certainty that the Russian invasion only accentuates the need to redouble our vigilance in Asia.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, whose government at the end of 2022 approved a major revision of its defense doctrine in the face of the rise of Chinese power, has repeatedly warned that "Asia could be the Ukraine of tomorrow".

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld


Demographers aren't sure when India will take the title of the world's most populous nation, but they know it will happen soon, if it hasn't already. The UN, meanwhile, has set the announcement for mid-April. But independent demographic institutes, such as the World Population Review, ensure that the overrun has already occurred in 2022.

India is now the most populous country on the planet and will remain so at least until the end of the century, with 1.417 billion inhabitants, against 1.412 billion for China. The next on the podium of world demography, the United States with 338 million individuals, or Indonesia (275 million) and Pakistan (234 million) are barely larger than the state of Bihar, in the northern India, the most populous in the country.

China and India both have over 1.4 billion people and together they make up more than a third of the world's 8 billion people. India's population has grown by more than 1 billion people since independence in 1947 and will continue to grow until 2060, to reach 1.7 billion, even as the country began its demographic transition in the 1980s.

Its synthetic fertility index (2 children per woman) is now slightly below the renewal threshold (2.1 children per woman). The evolution is very slow because India has not resorted, unlike China, to a coercive policy. The country would not have supported it, after the trauma of the forced sterilization campaign imposed by Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay during the state of emergency in 1976.

China has an aging population with stagnant growth even after the government seven years ago backed out of a one-child policy, and just two years ago said couples could have three children.

India has a much younger population, a higher fertility rate and has seen a decline in infant mortality over the past three decades.

The social and economic consequences are significant. In India, this means an increase in the workforce and growth that stimulates economic activity. In China, that means fewer working-age adults able to support an aging population.

Once a country reaches low fertility, it is often difficult to recapture population growth, even with changes in government policy to encourage more births, pointed out Toshiko Kaneda, technical director of population research at Population Reference Bureau (PRB) in Washington.

“Psychologically, it will be difficult for China, especially given the rivalry in other areas between the two countries, raised Stuart Gietel-Basten. It is a great moment in the history of humanity that the relay move on to India.”

A situation which, however, places India in front of multiple challenges.

Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld


A high level of activity has been detected at North Korea's main nuclear complex using satellite images, a think-tank says, after leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday called for increased nuclear production. "military nuclear material".

Satellite images taken between March 3 and March 17 suggest construction of a light-water reactor at the Yongbyon site is 'close to completion', according to US-based organization 38 North -United.

According to these same images, the construction of a building has begun, while water discharges from the cooling system have been detected, suggesting that the reactor is about to "be operational", details the report of the group of reflection.

A five-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon also continues to operate, and new construction has begun around the site's uranium enrichment plant, likely to increase its capacity.

"These developments appear to reflect Kim Jong Un's recent directive to increase the production of fissile material to bolster his nuclear arsenal," 38 North analyzed.

State media on Tuesday showed North Korea's No. 1, who has called for increased production of "military nuclear material" in order to "exponentially" increase the production of nuclear weapons, inspecting a row of smaller warheads that appear to be tactical nuclear warheads.

For their part, Seoul and Washington have been warning of a new North Korean nuclear test since the beginning of 2022.

The North Korean army has increased its military exercises in recent weeks

While the two allied countries have strengthened their joint military exercises, Pyongyang is still carrying out missile launches and tests, while accusing Seoul of being at the origin of the deterioration of regional security.

The official KCNA news agency on Sunday denounced the series of joint exercises conducted by Washington and Seoul, warning of North Korea's "nuclear attack capability".

The North Korean army, which has increased its military exercises in recent weeks, said on Tuesday it had carried out a second test of what it presented as an "underwater nuclear attack drone".

While Pyongyang has called its status as a nuclear power in 2022 "irreversible", the North Korean leader ordered his army this month to step up military maneuvers for "real war".

Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld



India's opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has never been a federal or state minister. Yet he remains at the center of India's opposition politics and the main target of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling BJP has just gotten rid of its main opponent for a sentence uttered four years ago. The opposition is rebelling against this new milestone in the authoritarianism of the Hindu nationalists in power, one year before the elections.

Stripped of his seat as a Member of Parliament of India

He risked overshadowing Narendra Modi as the national elections scheduled for 2024 approach: Rahul Gandhi, the charismatic leader of the Congress Party has just been stripped of his seat as a deputy in the lower house of the Indian Parliament, following a court ruling last week. Sentenced to two years in prison for defaming Prime Minister Modi for remarks made during the last election campaign, the heir to the Gandhi family could find himself de facto excluded from the race, while he embodies the main hopes of the opposition.

Now his two-year prison sentence in a defamation case and his removal from parliament on Friday could prompt his party and allies to step up their opposition to the BJP government, a year before the next general election.

Thursday's sentencing came just two months after Gandhi, 52, completed a 4,000km march across the country, from the southern tip of India to Kashmir in the Himalayas, in an attempt to revive his party and to improve its image, in what he called a Bharat Jodo Yatra, or march for the unification of India.

Gandhi's jail sentence has been suspended for 30 days, allowing him to appeal to a higher court, but he will also be barred from participating in the next general election if he does not win the suspension or reversal of his conviction.

The Gandhi dynasty

His central role in opposition politics stems from the fact that his party has ruled India for 54 of the 75 years since independence from Britain, and that his father, grandmother and great-grandfather served as prime ministers for more than 37 of those 54 years.

The Congress was the largest national political party in the country of 1.4 billion people, until it was overtaken by the BJP in 2014.

Though now a shadow of their former selves, the Gandhi family – which includes Sonia, Rahul's Italian-born mother and former party leader, and her sister Priyanka – still dominate Congress with a loyal following. fierce.

Even though Congress weakened in 2019, winning less than 10% of the lower house's 545 seats, it won nearly 20% of the vote - the most votes for an opposition group - compared to 38% for the BJP. Congress is the ruling party or the main opposition in half a dozen major states.

It is this powerful lineage and legacy that Modi and his party seek to attack when they argue that dynastic politics has no place in a democracy.

An unserious politician?

Gandhi got into politics and was first elected to parliament in 2004 in the town of Amethi, where his family lives, in the northern heartland state of Uttar Pradesh.

He repeated that victory in 2009 and 2014, but suffered a crushing setback in 2019 when he lost his seat. However, he had also contested a seat in the state of Kerala and won, which allowed him to return to Parliament.

Gandhi's attendance at Parliament was well below average. His frequent absences from the hemicycle and the country attracted media attention and the BJP accused him of being an "unserious" politician.

Outside parliament, he often reminded his supporters of his family's commitment and sacrifices, referring to the assassination of his grandmother, Indira Gandhi, then prime minister, and his father, Rajiv Gandhi, former prime minister. .

On Thursday, after his sentencing, he simply tweeted a few words in Hindi from the leader of the freedom movement, Mahatma Gandhi, who is not related to him.

"My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God, non-violence the means to it. - Mahatma Gandhi".

Single at 52, Gandhi is known to be adept at fitness and martial arts and was seen cycling in New Delhi accompanied by security men. According to Neelanjan Sircar, a visiting fellow at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, his conviction and disqualification from parliament is now "a matter of pass or fail" for him.

Will he be able to make the argument that "I am the target of a government that does not necessarily represent the interests of all Indians", or will he be seen as someone who is not a competent politician and who has therefore been outclassed by the BJP,” Mr Sircar said.

Authoritarian drift of Narendra Modi

One year from the next elections, the authoritarian drift of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is confirmed, with the sidelining of his main opponent Rahul Gandhi.

The tribunal which condemned Rahul Gandhi is indeed in the stronghold of Narandra Modi, the state of Gujarat, a region which the Prime Minister has made the laboratory of his policy and where he still pulls all the strings. However, this coup de force may come as a surprise.

Modi does not necessarily have so much to fear from his opponent. As he completes his second term, his popularity rating is still high and many are predicting another victory for him in 2024.

In the opposite camp, the opposition seems too divided to catch up. The Congress, this historic party that was once so powerful, no longer has the same ability to rally. This is why Rahul Gandhi has embarked in recent months on a great march across the country, over 3500 km, to meet the Indians. A reference to Gandhi's famous salt march, the starting point of Indian independence in the 1930s. But even if this march, which ended at the end of January, caused a lot of talk, nothing says for the moment that Congress will succeed in federating the opposition in the coming year, a sin equa non condition for hoping to overthrow the power in place.

Unless Narendra Modi finds himself splashed by the financial scandal of the moment, the "Adani scandal" named after one of the richest men on the planet, the Indian businessman Gautam Adani. At the head of one of the main conglomerates in the country, this multi-billionaire who made his fortune in raw materials has found himself at the heart of a huge fraud case for several weeks. He would have built a large-scale fraud scheme, with the blessing of the authorities. However, it is a close friend of Prime Minister Modi. The markets that have been allocated to it raise questions. The fact that he funds the BJP as well. Everything is in place for this scandal to go back to the head of government. The opposition has therefore stepped up to the plate, with Rahul Gandhi in the front line.

Yet observers make the observation: this scandal does not seem to weaken Modi for the moment, Indian public opinion is very little interested in it. The stranglehold of the BJP on the media is probably not for nothing

Since coming to power, Narendra Modi's party has tightened its grip on all sectors of society – the press, justice, the economy.

Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld




To go to Russia is, for Xi Jinping, to affirm in a brilliant way his support for Vladimir Putin at a critical moment of the war in Ukraine, and a few days after the issuance of an arrest warrant for the against the Russian President by the International Criminal Court. With this gesture, the Chinese leader reminds the world that the Sino-Russian axis is solid.

An alternative to a now hostile Europe, the People's Republic of China (PRC) is, for Russia, much more than a support of circumstance. It is a real ally in international forums and on world markets to counter Western influence in general and American influence in particular.

Against the transatlantic relationship, a Eurasian axis

The PRC's support for Russia is far from temporary. The two countries have continued to develop their exchanges and cooperation over the past two decades. After having, in 1994, resolved their border disputes stemming from the Soviet period, they concluded, in 2001, a bilateral strategic partnership which materialized on several levels.

Trade has grown steadily despite the economic crises (2008, 2014, 2021). They even reached the level of 190 billion dollars in 2022, a record, and an increase of 30% compared to 2021.

The PRC has since 2010 become Russia's second largest trading partner, behind the European Union as a whole, but ahead of all EU countries taken individually. Supply of energy, minerals and defense equipment on the Russian side, export of machine tools, pharmaceutical products and electronic components on the Chinese side: the complementarities were rapidly reinforced by the establishment of financial exchanges in rubles and yuan and of a development bank within the BRICS.

The Siberian Force pipeline, launched in 2014 and inaugurated in 2019, connects Siberia to northeast China. It will soon be reinforced by Siberian Force 2. These infrastructures give Russia an alternative outlet to the EU, which is engaged in a strategy of weaning off Russian hydrocarbons. They also offer the PRC a low-cost energy supplier at a time when the United States has regained a leading position in world energy markets. As a symbol of this growing economic integration, the Russian gas giant Gazprom announced on Tuesday that it had delivered a “record” quantity of gas the day before via the cross-border Siberian Force gas pipeline. Putin claimed the deal was "done" between China and Russia on the Siberian Force 2 gas pipeline project.

On Tuesday afternoon, Putin told Xi that Russia can meet China's "growing demand" for energy, while Russian hydrocarbons are sanctioned in the West. According to him, the goal is to deliver to China at least 98 billion cubic meters of Russian gas and 100 million tonnes of Russian LNG by 2030, even as Russia cuts its crude production by 500,000 barrels per day until the end of June.

"Russian-Chinese cooperation has truly unlimited possibilities and prospects," exclaimed Vladimir Putin on Tuesday evening during a state dinner, hailing the "special nature of Russian-Chinese relations".

The United States and NATO targeted

This partnership is largely cemented by the contestation of the West on the international scene. Long before Xi Jiping came to power in 2013 and before Russia's break with the West in 2014, the two former empires were already questioning the international action of the United States in particular and Westerners in general: at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as everywhere in the world, Chinese and Russian diplomats have mutually supported each other in criticizing NATO's interventions abroad (Serbia, Afghanistan), in challenging liberal democratic regimes and to denounce the "double standards" of a West that violates the rules it intends to impose on other international actors.

At the UNSC, the right of veto has been used extensively by Russia (29 times) and by the PRC (15 times) since 1991 to counter Western condemnations of Ukraine, Taiwan, Xinjiang, etc. There is therefore an “objective defensive alliance” between nuclear powers that are permanent members of the UNSC.

Russia and China on Tuesday, March 23, 2023 accused the United States of undermining global security by seeking to deploy missiles in several countries around the world to “maintain a unilateral military advantage”. “Russia and China express concern over the intensification of United States activities aimed at creating a global missile defense system and deploying its elements in various regions of the world, combined with an increase in the capacity of non-weapons high-precision nuclear weapons,” said the Chinese and Russian presidents.

The joint declaration signed this Tuesday, March 23, 2023 at the end of the talks is clear: the two powers "are very concerned about the growing strengthening of ties between NATO and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region concerning military issues and those security", targeting the Aukus strategic alliance between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Eurasian cooperation

This anti-Western team is coupled with a certain cooperation on a Eurasian scale: jointly creating the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2001, Russia and China have sought to establish a real joint hegemony in Eurasia to fight against terrorism, separatism and organized crime in the region. But also to counter the influence of the United States in the region following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The SCO brings together during regular military exercises in all dimensions (air, land, sea, cyber) the two military powers and their allies. Chinese support for Russia was signaled last September by the PRC's participation in the Vostok 2022 exercise in the Far East.

XI Jinping's visit to Moscow confirms that the PRC is a "foul weather friend" of Russia, in other words an ally even in times of crisis: in Eurasia and at the UN, economically and in the military fields, the Sino-Russian strategic partnership is real and claims to carry an alternative (and hostile) vision of the world to that of the West.

More concretely, the PRC quietly supports the Russian invasion by refusing to adopt sanctions, fueling the Russian military-industrial complex and recently proposing a Russian-Ukrainian peace plan that emphasizes security guarantees. for Russia.

Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld




The war in Ukraine is a powerful indicator of global divisions because Westerners have not been massively followed in their condemnation of Russian aggression. In fact, most of humanity refrained from taking a position and condemning Russia. Thus, the financial G20, meeting in Bangalore in India at the end of February 2023, was unable to agree on a joint statement, in particular because Beijing does not want to condemn the war which is taking place on Ukrainian soil. The EU is struggling to convince the countries of the South to condemn Russian aggression.

"Global South" versus "Global North"

From the beginning of the war in Ukraine, a ridge line appeared within the international community which is characterized by an opposition between North and South. A year after the start of the conflict, this opposition is even more embodied between countries of the "Global South", this heterogeneous group of countries formerly called "underdeveloped" with a growing role on the international scene, and those of the "Global North". , another name for the West, according to the terminology used by these first

On the one hand, Western countries have closed ranks around Ukraine, overcoming their internal rivalries to unite in the face of aggression that contradicts the order in place since the end of the Second World War. On the other hand, countries from the “global South”, in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America, have opted for a more ambiguous position.

The divisions became evident as early as March 2, 2022, when the UN voted for the first time to condemn the war in Ukraine. If a resolution calling on the Kremlin to end its offensive was voted on by 141 countries, 35 states of the "global South", historically linked to Moscow, including China, India, South Africa and Senegal abstained . A month later, the number of abstaining states soared again, despite the discovery of the Boutcha massacre. Fifty-eight countries, including Brazil, refused on April 7 to participate in the vote organized to exclude Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Among these countries, heavyweights such as China and India which, with their economic and strategic dynamics, intend to influence international relations. These two powers have so far adopted a calculated neutrality, articulated in the defense of their own interests. They adhere to the Russian discourse according to which Moscow would have been "wronged" by NATO, in Ukraine.

"Calculated neutrality"

In India, the policy of "calculated neutrality" adopted by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on the war in Ukraine is consensual. Membership goes far beyond the circle of supporters of the Hindu government: opponents on the left and the media have followed suit. All argue that the conflict in Ukraine is a European problem and that India must put its own interests first.

China also maintains a calculated neutrality relationship with its large Russian neighbor, going so far as to threaten to deliver arms to Russia. China has not condemned the Russian aggression of Ukraine. Xi Jinping has also just proposed a peace plan, a truly unprecedented announcement regarding the war in Ukraine calling for a de-escalation of violence to achieve a ceasefire. Where Westerners hoped for a condemnation of the war led by Russia in Ukraine and a request for the departure of Russian troops, China is asking not to resort to nuclear weapons and to respect territorial integrity. Beijing obviously does not want an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, but shows a certain solidarity with Russia, considering the extension of NATO to Eastern Europe as aggressive.

Towards a geopolitical recomposition

Indeed, in the shadow of the war being played out on Ukrainian soil, Europe is re-NATOising. The United States has revived it by relying on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and is encouraging its members to switch to a war economy. Finland and Sweden are asking to join. Poland holds an important place on the American chessboard. Warsaw buys American, military and civilian nuclear equipment and has announced its desire to increase its military expenditure to 4% of its GDP, proportionally the highest expenditure of NATO members. Poland would then belong to a defensive system that goes from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Washington's influence has grown significantly in Central and Eastern Europe at the cost of giving up a European defense, it seems.

But, for their part, the Russian, Chinese and South African navies are taking part in unprecedented naval maneuvers which are with the deployment of Zircon hypersonic missiles on board the Admiral Gorchkov frigate. These maneuvers illustrate the strength of the relationship between Johannesburg and Moscow, despite Western pressure. And illustrates the limits of "neutrality" and the defense of its own interest, which Pretoria continues to display.

The conflict is not just about 'the West against the rest of the world'"

Even if these naval maneuvers - which take place in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of South Africa - were planned for a long time, they come after a tour of Africa by the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov. , which aimed to establish the strategy of Russian influence on the continent, from Bamako to Khartoum via Nouakchott, after having visited Angola and South Africa at the end of January. China is getting closer to the Gulf countries, the Chinese leader was well received in Riyadh in December 2022, which had not been the case with Joe Biden during his summer tour. It is also getting closer to Iran, which has delivered drones to Russia. This clearly shows that this position of neutrality, shared by many countries of the "global South",

Besides, Russia benefits economically from the policy of New Delhi and Riyadh.

On October 5, shortly after Joe Biden visited Riyadh to try to convince Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production to help Europe through the winter, OPEC members have decided on the contrary to reduce it. The greatest powers of the South have also benefited from the very low prices practiced by Russia to sell its oil and gas. China imported record levels, while India increased its imports 33 times. Some of these countries have reached such an economic level that the West is no longer able to exert any pressure on them. This heterogeneous "global South" finds its unity in the demand for a "multipolar" world order, in the face of the "unipolar hegemony" of the West.

"Multipolar" world against Western hegemony

A few weeks before ordering the invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, traveling to China, did not he already sign with Xi Jinping a declaration on the need to "advance multipolarity". Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been carrying out a charm operation since the beginning of the war. From Pretoria to Khartoum, via Egypt, Mali and Ethiopia, he constantly invokes the "creation of a multipolar world order against "the hegemony of the West".

China just yesterday Monday March 6, 2023 bluntly denounces this Western hegemony "Western countries, led by the United States, have implemented a policy of containment, encirclement and repression against China, which has brought unprecedented challenges to the development of our country,” Xi Jinping said according to an account by the China News News Agency published Monday evening. A rhetoric close to that of his Russian counterpart.

Fierce rivalry between China and the United States

Especially since the subjects of friction between China and the United States have multiplied in recent years, from the treatment of Uyghur Muslims to the imbalance of the trade balance, via Taiwan, the domination in advanced technologies or the accusations of espionage, particularly in the case of the balloons. For the manufacture of semiconductors, the Americans having lost their dominant position to the benefit of the Asian giant, the United States, in the name of a supposed threat to its national security, have thus multiplied in recent months the sanctions against Chinese chipmakers, now hampered from sourcing American technologies. In February, it was Tiktok's turn to be accused of being able to monopolize the data of its users, and of semiconductors...

A technological decoupling is announced, organized around a Sino-American bipolarization, leaving Europe, off the hook, largely behind. And which foreshadows others...

Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld



References deemed "offensive" following a sensitivity test have been removed from re-edited versions of the James Bond novels, written by writer Ian Fleming, The Telegraph reported on Saturday (February 25th). An announcement that comes shortly after the controversy over the rewriting of certain passages from Roald Dahl's children's books.

New indexes. Terms deemed offensive following 'sensitivity testing' and certain 'racial references' have been removed from new editions of classic James Bond works, British daily The Telegraph reported on Saturday (February 25, 2023). These re-edited versions of writer Ian Fleming's novels are also expected to carry a "disclaimer".

Contextualization and warnings

This disclaimer should be visible on the first pages of the book and could be worded as follows: "This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes that might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace" , says the newspaper. The latter continues: “A number of updates have been made to this edition, while remaining as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it takes place. »

Thus, certain terms, such as the word "nigger" which appeared in the writings of the 1950s and 1960s have been removed from this new version of the adventures of agent 007 which should be published next April. Some depictions of black people have been “reworked” or “removed”, while other references to other populations – such as Asians – have been retained. This is particularly the case of the caricatural and sometimes coarse description of Oddjob, the Korean henchman of the character of Auric Goldfinger, in the novel, of the same name.

However, certain phrases considered nowadays as obsolete, homophobic or particularly sexist have been retained. This is the case of a reference to "the sweet flavor of rape", to a "man's job" or to homosexuality as a "tenacious handicap", reports the English daily.

Controversy around the reissue of works by Roald Dahl

These corrections are the result of an order from the company holding the literary rights to the James Bond character. The latter has in fact placed an order for a rereading of the work of James Bond to a group of sensitive readers who are likely to make changes. This update comes, however, following an initial controversy in the United Kingdom over the rewriting of certain passages from Roald Dahl's children's books.

Indeed, the rights holders of Roald Dahl's work announced in mid-February that they intended to smooth the language of all the British writer's children's novels. The number of modified terms is vast, touching on issues considered sensitive: race and ethnicity, gender, weight, physical appearance, mental health, violence, etc. An “enormously big” character has therefore become “enormous”. “A crazy thing” has become “a weird thing”.

This revelation was particularly shocking in Great Britain. “This is absurd censorship,” writer Salman Rushdie wrote on Twitter. Despite this rewriting in English, at the initiative of the rights holders, its French publisher, Gallimard, indicated on Tuesday, February 21, that it intended to leave the texts of the British author intact.

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld


China called on Tuesday to "promote dialogue" in Ukraine, saying it was "very worried" about the conflict which "is intensifying and even getting out of control". This war is a delicate issue for Beijing, because of its strong diplomatic and economic ties for several years with Moscow, consolidated by the common interest of acting as a counterweight to Washington. Officially neutral, China calls for respect for the sovereignty of States, including including Ukraine, while urging the international community to take Moscow's security concerns into account.

A few days before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion on February 24, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed concern that China is considering supplying weapons to Russia - allegations denied by Beijing.

"It's been almost a year now that the crisis in Ukraine has seen a general escalation," Qin Gang, China's foreign minister, said Tuesday at a conference in Beijing.

"China is very worried about this conflict which is intensifying and even getting out of control," he stressed to several dozen foreign ambassadors and diplomats.

Beijing also views arms deliveries to Ukraine with suspicion. "We call on the countries concerned to stop throwing oil on the fire as soon as possible and to stop blaming China," said Qin Gang, referring in particular to Western calls for Beijing to put the blame on China. pressure on Moscow.

"We will continue to promote peace talks... and work with the international community to promote dialogue and consultation, address the concerns of all parties and pursue common security."


Qin Gang also dismissed any parallels between Ukraine and Taiwan, an island the People's Republic of China has intended to attach to the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

It is necessary "to stop making a fuss by shouting 'Today Ukraine, tomorrow Taiwan'", underlined the minister, responding to concerns about a potential Chinese military invasion of the island territory of 23 million inhabitants. "The pressures and attempts to contain China, coming from outside, are growing stronger" and "pose a serious threat to China's sovereignty and security," Qin Gang said. "China has always been on the path of peaceful development. It has never initiated a conflict or war, nor invaded an inch of land from another country."

Meeting with Putin?

On Ukraine, Beijing said last week that it wanted to make public soon a proposal to find "a political solution" to the war. The head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi, is expected on Tuesday in Russia, the last leg of a European tour which has already taken him to France, Italy, Hungary and Germany.

The Kremlin said on Monday that Wang could meet President Vladimir Putin during his visit, according to Russian news agency Tass. Western pressure is mounting on China, which has never publicly supported or criticized the Russian offensive, while repeatedly expressing its support for Moscow in the face of Western sanctions.

"Providing lethal support to Russia to aid in its war of aggression in Ukraine would have real consequences for our relations with China," Antony Blinken said. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, estimated that a possible delivery of arms by China to Russia would constitute a "red line" for the European Union

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, on Monday denied the US allegations, accusing Washington of "spreading false information".

"It is the United States and not China that is constantly sending weapons to the battlefield," he added.

Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld




Ten trucks crossed, this Sunday, February 12, 2023, the border with Turkey at the Bab-al Hawa crossing point, in northwestern Syria. Finally, they bring something to make emergency shelters with plastic sheeting, blankets, mattresses, ropes or even screws and nails.

This humanitarian aid is crucial, say the NGOs together, especially in the rebel areas where the situation was already dramatic. Even before the earthquakes, the north-west of Syria was home, according to the UN, to 2.9 million displaced persons and 4 million inhabitants in need of winter assistance.

And yet five days later, humanitarian aid is still struggling to arrive in Syria. While Turkey was able to benefit fairly quickly from international assistance - 95 countries responded to Turkey's request for aid - the Syrian neighbor appears to have been largely forgotten by this wave of support and was initially unable to count than on its Russian ally, then later on the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Egypt.

For what ?

A region torn apart by civil war

The country has been immersed in a civil war for 11 years between the central power led with an iron fist by Bashar Al-Assad and various armed rebellions. A conflict which has gradually isolated Damascus and its authoritarian ruler and which today makes it more difficult to send rescuers to the region.

The earthquake-affected north of Syria is indeed a deeply divided territory. The region is divided into four: the territories controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), mainly Kurdish, those managed by jihadists, the border area under Turkish influence and that subject to the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

The region affected by the earthquake can be divided into four zones, each controlled by a different group.

On the one hand, the city of Aleppo and its surroundings which are in the hands of Bashar al-Assad's government. On the other hand, the rebel areas with the Idleb region, controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Cham (HTS heir to the Al-Qaeda group), those along the Turkish border with pro-Turkish rebels and those of east, held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

And these four areas are sometimes themselves divided by different factions and militias, describes geographer Jean-François Corty, member of Ifris.

“Each group will try to pull the blanket towards them and take advantage of this situation,” he laments. With the corollary of an instrumentalization of humanitarian aid...

The risk of Turkish blockage

Turkey's attitude is also a not insignificant blocking point in the delivery of food to Syria. The Turks want us to help them first. Erdogan plays part of his re-election on this.

And it is impossible to take the direction of Syria by road from Turkey without the agreement of Ankara. Not to mention the visceral hatred that the Turkish regime has for the Kurdish populations, who still live in the region, and who therefore cannot expect anything from Ankara.

A single crossing point at the Turkish-Syrian border

In addition, the only way to access northwestern Syria is through humanitarian corridors from Turkey, even if "snow and freezing temperatures" complicate the transport of equipment, explained El-Mostafa Benlamlih, coordinator with the UN, Wednesday during a press briefing.

Initially, the United Nations guaranteed the opening of four crossing points. But in 2020, under pressure from Russia and China, allies of the Syrian government, three cross-border crossings were closed.

There is only Bab al Hawa, the only crossing point on the border, guaranteed by a resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations. However, it was affected by the earthquakes, the UN said on Tuesday.

We therefore expect the reopening of the other three points to facilitate the establishment of humanitarian corridors to Turkey. A request relayed Thursday by the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres:

“I would obviously be very happy if the Security Council could find a consensus to authorize more crossing points,” he hoped.

Bashar al-Assad's Syria ostracized

For NGOs and states, the other solution would be to send aid directly from Syrian territory controlled by Damascus. A request that the government of Bashar al-Assad explicitly formulated on Tuesday, urging the international community to come to its aid and promising that this would benefit "all Syrians throughout the territory", including areas held by rebels in Syria, where 5.3 million people are at risk of homelessness, according to the UN.

But the international community has shown itself in all its ambiguity. Faced with the urgency of the situation, the European Union and the United States, which have severed all diplomatic relations with Damascus, seem to be looking for half-hearted solutions. On Thursday, France announced emergency aid to all Syrian regions, while insisting that this did not change Paris ' "political approach" vis-à-vis the Damascus regime.

The same goes for the United States: "We are determined to bring aid to the Syrian people as we have done for years as the first provider of international aid," said Secretary of State Antony Blinken Wednesday.

"But the funds will go to the Syrian people and not to the government in Damascus."

For their part, some Arab countries have reconnected and sent aid to President Bashar al-Assad as he has been ostracized since his exclusion from the Arab League in late 2011.

The United Arab Emirates, the first Gulf country to restore relations with Damascus, has already pledged aid of at least $50 million and sent planes loaded with humanitarian aid. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have also pledged aid, including to government-controlled areas.

According to Nick Heras, a researcher at the New Lines Institute, these earthquakes could thus be an opportunity for Bashar al-Assad "to try to advance the process of normalization of his regime with the rest of the Arab world".

"It is imperative that everyone sees this situation for what it is: a humanitarian crisis in which lives are at stake. Please do not politicize it", launched Tuesday February 7 the spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Jens Laerke.

Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld



Influx of refugees, energy crisis, fear of an invasion...

Exhausted by "so many crises", Natalia Gravilita, Prime Minister of the neighboring country of Ukraine, resigned on Friday February 10, 2023. And this after a year and a half in power in this former Soviet republic which is suffering the brunt of the consequences of the war in Ukraine.

As early as February 2022, when the first bombs fell on kyiv, Chisinau had declared a state of emergency throughout Moldovan territory and closed its airspace. A space violated on Friday by the overflight of a Russian cruise missile.

"An unacceptable violation" of airspace according to Chisinau.

The day before, the Moldovan intelligence services had also confirmed information from kyiv that Moscow was planning to overthrow the pro-European government in Chisinau.

In a few weeks, this small country of 2.6 million inhabitants saw an influx of 250,000 refugees. Dependent 100% on Russian gas before the war and regularly deprived of electricity by strikes on Ukrainian installations, it also took the full brunt of the energy crisis which caused inflation to take off (34%).

Extremely dependent on Russia, the small country of 2.6 million inhabitants nestled between Ukraine and Romania suffered a drastic reduction in deliveries from the giant Gazprom after the Russian invasion.

But more than anything, it is the fear of a Russian invasion that has been tensing Chisinau for a year. Part of its territory, Transnistria (500,000 inhabitants), has already been in the hands of separatists since 1991:

nearly 12,000 soldiers in the pay of the Kremlin are stationed in this pro-Russian enclave. 

Maia Sandu accused Moscow of being behind the trafficking of arms, goods, human trafficking or of financing anti-government demonstrations: in short, of waging a "hybrid war".

Threat not denied by Moscow...

On February 3, in a television interview, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, had he not mentioned a potential extension of the war in Ukraine to neighboring Moldova ?

His wrong in his eyes ?

Being in the hands of a pro-European president, Maia Sandu, tickled by "the desire to join NATO".

However, the question is not on the agenda even if the country submitted its application to join the European Union in June 2022.

Appointed this Friday afternoon by the President, the new Prime Minister Dorin Recean, 48, should be confirmed quickly by Parliament.

This fintech entrepreneur, ex-Minister of the Interior, was Maia Sandu's "defense adviser" since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld



The toll from the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria continues to grow.

According to the latest report announced overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, at least 19300 people died in Turkey and Syria after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks that hit the region on Monday. It exceeds this Thursday the 19300 dead, with more than 64000 injured in Turkey and 5000 in Syria. And the chances of survival are dwindling.

According to the latest reports from local authorities, Turkey officially deplores at least 16170 dead and 6444 buildings destroyed. This is the worst toll since the 1999 earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.4 and which left 17000 dead, including a thousand in Istanbul. In Syria, at least 3162 people have lost their lives, both in government-held and rebel areas. In total, the provisional toll stands at 19332 dead.

"The number of dead and injured is expected to increase significantly, with many families still under the collapsed buildings," Raed Saleh, the head of the relief service in northwestern Syria, said on Twitter Thursday morning. .

The Turkish interior minister warned on Tuesday that the next 48 hours would be "crucial" to find any survivors. International aid has started to arrive in Turkey, where national mourning has been declared for seven days.

It has already established itself as one of the ten deadliest of the century, and could exceed the 17000 deaths deplored during the last major earthquake in Turkey, in 1999.

Some Turkish experts even fear a balance sheet close to the 1939 earthquake (34000 dead, the worst in the country for seven centuries) because of the probably very high number of people engulfed under the rubble of thousands of buildings.

Erdogan, strongly criticized, recognizes "gaps"

After the violent earthquake that struck his country on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan finds himself under pressure three months before the presidential and legislative elections which were already shaping up to be tight before the disaster. Faced with mounting criticism of the slowness and disorganization of relief, the leader in power since 2003 went to the disaster area on Wednesday and began a mea culpa.

"Of course there are shortcomings, it is impossible to be prepared for such a disaster," he pleaded from the province of Hatay, near the Syrian border.

“We had difficulties at the start with the airports and on the roads, but today it is better and it will be even better tomorrow”, replied the Head of State, Recep Tayyip Erdogan to defuse the anger.

"We have mobilized all our resources, the state is doing its job with Afad [public relief organization, editor's note] and the municipalities concerned with all the means at its disposal", hammered the Turkish president, in difficulty in the polls for re-election in the May 14 presidential election.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in power since 2003, announced the distribution of 10000 Turkish liras (494 euros) to each affected family.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan probably remembers that it was the incompetence of the authorities during the last big earthquake in Turkey, in 1999, which led his party to victory three years later. The Prime Minister at the time, Bulent Ecevit, had been the subject of strong criticism for having neglected relief to the populations.

This time, the Head of State immediately declared a maximum level of emergency calling for international assistance.

"Any help needed, whatever it is"

The first teams of foreign rescuers arrived on Tuesday, with dozens of countries offering their services to Ankara including those from the European Union and the Gulf, the United States, China and even Ukraine.

According to Mr. Erdogan, who declared a state of emergency for three months in the ten provinces affected by the earthquake, forty-five countries offered their help.

"An effective response to the emergency could strengthen the head of state and his party, the AKP, by arousing a feeling of national solidarity under the leadership of Erdogan", estimates in a note Wolfango Piccoli, from the consulting firm in political risk Teneo, based in London.

For its part, the opposition claims that the high number of deaths is not only linked to the earthquake, but to poorly regulated and poor quality construction. Most Turkish homes are not built to earthquake-resistant standards, despite a law passed in 2007 that is poorly enforced due to corruption.

And Syria ?

On the Syrian side, the concern of the international community grows as the hours pass. Aid and relief and international in Syria are more difficult to implement due to geopolitical considerations. Emergency aid "should not be politicized", insisted the UN.

However, the United Nations (UN) has received assurances that part of the emergency humanitarian aid "would pass on Thursday, February 10, 2023" through the Bab Al-Hawa crossing point, the only one authorized between Turkey and northwestern Syria, said the UN special envoy in Geneva, Geir Pedersen. In Syria, however, the appeal launched by the authorities in Damascus was mainly heard by its Russian ally.

According to the army, more than 300 Russian soldiers are already on the spot to help the relief. On Tuesday, Washington said it was working with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Syria, insisting that " its funds will of course go to the Syrian people, not the [Damascus] regime"...

Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld



War in Ukraine, climate crisis, extreme poverty…

"We started the year 2023 with in our sights a convergence of challenges never seen in our lifetime", was alarmed Monday, February 6, 2023 the Secretary General of the UN before the General Assembly.

The group of scientists managing the doomsday clock also recently estimated that humanity has never been so close to the end of the world, now at 90 seconds before midnight, he recalled, including seeing an alarm signal.

"We need to wake up and get to work", he insisted, listing the pressing issues for 2023.

At the very top of this list, the war in Ukraine.

Prospects for peace continue to dwindle.

The risks of further escalation and carnage continue to grow.

"I'm afraid the world is not sleepwalking into a larger war, but I'm afraid it's actually doing it with its eyes wide open", he said, before worry about other threats to peace.

Carl Delsey for DayNewsWorld



More than 5000 people were killed in southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday by a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed a few hours later by a very strong 7.5 magnitude aftershock, tremors recorded as far away as Greenland.

The first quake of magnitude 7.8 occurred in southeastern Turkey, about 60 km as the crow flies from the Syrian border; Dozens of aftershocks followed, before a new 7.5 magnitude quake in southeastern Turkey.

Several archaeological sites were affected in Syria and in particular the citadel of Aleppo.

In Turkey, nearly 3000 buildings have collapsed, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The toll continues to rise, with huge numbers of people remaining trapped under the collapsed buildings which number in the thousands. The rain and snow, which fell in some places in abundance, and the expected drop in temperatures will make the situation of people who find themselves homeless, as well as the work of the relief workers, even more difficult.

And the numbers keep climbing.

In Turkey, the death toll currently stands at 3419 and that of the injured at 20534, according to Vice President Fuat Oktay.

In Syria, at least 1602 people have died and 3,640 have been injured, according to Syrian authorities and rescue workers in rebel areas. In the government-controlled part of Syria, the death toll has risen to 812 dead and 1449 injured, according to the health ministry.

In areas under rebel control, the White Helmets (civil defense volunteers) reported 790 dead and more than 2200 injured.

The balance sheet is still likely to evolve in the affected cities, Adana, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir in particular. In Iskenderun and Adiyaman, public hospitals collapsed under the effect of the earthquake, which occurred at a depth of about 17.9 kilometers. The bad weather in this mountainous region paralyzes the main airports around Diyarbakir and Malatya, where it continues to snow very heavily, leaving the survivors haggard, in their pajamas outside in the cold.

The WHO itself said that it expected the worst and feared "tolls eight times higher than the initial numbers".

The first earthquake, which occurred overnight from Sunday to Monday, took place at the level of the East Anatolian fault, in the east of Turkey, where two tectonic plates meet. It is a major tectonic border between Anatolia and Europe.

The first earthquake was followed by numerous aftershocks, including a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, which occurred late Monday morning.

Turkey sits on one of the most active seismic zones in the world. Several earthquakes have occurred in recent years in the region. This earthquake is the largest in Turkey since the earthquake of August 17, 1999, which caused the death of 17000 people, including a thousand in Istanbul.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose reaction to this tragedy will most likely be closely watched before the May 14 election which promises to be very tight, called for national unity. A seven-day national mourning has been declared.

“We hope that we will come out of this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least possible damage,” he tweeted, adding that Turkey had received aid from 45 countries.

Condolences poured in from all over the world, from American President Joe Biden to his Russian counterparts Vladimir Putin to the still Chinese Xi Jinping, passing by Pope Francis who said he was "deeply saddened", as well as offers of humanitarian and medical aid...

Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld



After a decade of democratic transition, is Burma doomed to return permanently to the dark period of military dictatorship ?

On February 1, 2023, it has been two years since the military regained power in Burma, imprisoning democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and sparking a brutal civil war that left more than 2,800 dead and 13,000 civilians behind. bars. And on this anniversary day, the junta extends the state of emergency.

Indeed the National Defense and Security Council, made up of members of the junta, agreed on Wednesday to extend the state of emergency in Burma by six months, official media announced.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing's request to extend the state of emergency, declared when the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's government in February 2021, has been granted, state broadcaster MRTV said.

Acting President Myint Swe added that "The sovereign power of the state has once again been transferred to the Commander-in-Chief".

The state of emergency was due to expire at the end of January, but on Tuesday the National Defense and Security Council met to discuss the state of the nation and concluded that it was "not yet back to normal". normal".

Will the Burmese resign themselves to a new period of military dictatorship in Burma ?

Isn't the army numerically and materially in a strong position against the civil disobedience movement ?

A movement of civil disobedience ?

Admittedly, Min Aung Hlaing also affirmed that the “government will work to organize elections in all regions of the country so that the people do not lose their democratic prerogatives”.

The opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi (the National League for Democracy or NLD) is struggling to make itself heard. Several senior representatives of the National League for Democracy as well as activists, intellectuals and artists were also arrested in February 2021.

Life goes on somehow, food prices have doubled in two years, but wages have remained the same. The anniversary of the coup is experienced with gloom, and part of the population has decided, like last year, to stay at home – a form of silent protest.

A new set of international sanctions

The United States, joined by Great Britain, Canada and Australia, announced a new set of sanctions. Will they be more effective than those imposed so far on Burma?

For the first time, Washington is targeting Myanmar's largest oil and gas producer, "MOGE":

it is from the coffers of this state enterprise that the junta draws the bulk of its income.

In all, six officials (among them the Minister of Energy) and three public companies have their assets in the United States frozen. Trade and money transfers with them will be prohibited.

The United Kingdom has blacklisted two companies that supply aviation fuel to the army and thus finance a "barbaric campaign of air raids".

Canada and Australia now prohibit the sale and export of fuel for combat aircraft.

Because the armed conflict continues in several regions of the country. Ethnic minority villages are still regularly bombed and burned.

But according to the NGO Human Rights Watch, none of these sanctions taken in dribs and drabs is painful enough to force the military regime to change its policy.

It is also unlikely that the United Nations, divided, will impose an arms embargo, the only way to make the junta bend. Moscow and Beijing, both supporters of the Burmese military, strongly oppose it.

Moreover, for many analysts, the sanctions have never worked.

For Sophie Boisseau du Rocher, researcher at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), the solution is in the hands of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in particular because "the only partners [that the Burmese military] really consider are […] their immediate neighbours. […]

They are the only ones who can really try to have an impact on the situation, especially Indonesia.

"This last country, says the researcher, "serves as an interface between the different political actors".

It would be a question of finding "a compromise […] behind the curtains"...

When will “the holding of free and fair general elections and the establishment of a true multi-party democracy” already promised in 2021 by Myint Swe, vice-president, who has become interim president ?

Alyson Braxton for DayNewsWorld



"The persecution of Christians, a minority in many countries, remains in the blind spot of our concerns. It arouses little indignation. It does not arouse sanctions. year to year.”, protests Jeanne Emmanuelle Hutin in an Editorial of January 29, 2023 from the West.

One in seven Christians

Indeed the finding is clear: more than 360 million Christians were "heavily persecuted and discriminated against" because of their faith in the world in 2022 and North Korea is the worst country for Christians, according to a report by the Open Doors NGO published Wednesday, January 18. This Protestant NGO publishes an annual "global index" of the persecution of Christians, listing all attacks, ranging from "discreet daily oppression" to "the most extreme violence". This annual report reveals a global phenomenon of considerable magnitude.

Twice as many as thirty years ago

Between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022, "more than 360 million" Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Baptists, Evangelicals, Pentecostals from 76 countries were "heavily persecuted in the world, i.e. one Christian in seven". , said Patrick Victor, director of Portes Ouvertes France, during a press briefing.

A number identical to the year 2022. But for thirty years, "the persecution has spread" with today "76 countries with strong persecution against 40" listed in the first index of the NGO in 1993, underlined Guillaume Guennec.

In addition, "the persecution is intensifying in the countries concerned," he added.

In 2022, 5,621 Christians were killed.

The NGO also recorded "4,542 Christians detained" (including 1,750 in India), against 4,277 the previous year, and "5,259 Christians kidnapped" (including 4,726 in Nigeria), against 3,829. The total number churches closed, attacked, destroyed stands at 2,110, down (5,110 in 2021).

All persecutions combined, North Korea rose to the top of the ranking, dethroning Afghanistan. Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Sudan follow.

"80 Christians sentenced" in Iran

Over the past thirty years, three trends have been observed. "The African continent is marked by a rise in power of Islamic extremism", with 26 countries with strong persecution against seven in 1993.

In addition, "Christians are often the victims of religious or ideological nationalism", adds the NGO, citing China, since 2017, or even India, with an "explosion of violence". Finally, the organization deplores "the Christian exodus" in the Middle East: "the abuses of (the organization) Islamic State have encouraged Christians to flee Iraq and Syria".

Totalitarianism, religious nationalism, jihadism, Islamic and clan oppression, corruption are the factors of this persecution, analyzes Open Doors.

Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld



The first took place on Friday January 27, 2023 in the evening, near a synagogue, and the second took place this Saturday, January 28, 2023 in the morning, near an archaeological site in the City of David.

The day after a first shooting that killed seven people on Friday evening in East Jerusalem (Israel), the city was again targeted this Saturday.

A father and son were injured in a second attack near an archaeological site.


In the first shooting, which took place on the evening of Friday January 27, a 21-year-old Palestinian man went near a synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood during Shabbat prayers and started to shoot at those present.

Seven of them were killed.

Following a chase and exchange of fire with the police, the perpetrator was shot dead.

For the police chief, Kobi Shabtai, it is "one of the worst attacks" suffered by Israel in recent years.

East Jerusalem experienced a second attack this Saturday, January 28, in the morning. It took place near an archaeological site in the City of David, in the Silwan district and injured two people, a 47-year-old father and his 23-year-old son.

The assailant was "neutralized and injured" by bystanders who held a license to carry weapons, according to an Israeli police statement.

Heavy balance sheets, unseen for years, the bloody climax of four weeks of tension between Israelis and Palestinians.

One of the two 13-year-old attackers

Regarding the author of the first attack, little information had filtered about him on Saturday morning. Investigators arrested forty-two people on the sidelines of the shooting. Some of them are family members of the 21-year-old assailant or residents of his neighborhood.

The perpetrator of the second shooting this Saturday is another Palestinian. The police said it was a 13-year-old boy. He was quickly arrested by Israeli security forces.

Cascading reactions

The attack on Jerusalem "is a natural reaction to the crimes of the occupation against our Palestinian people", commented Hamas, while Binyamin Netanyahu promised "immediate measures". US President Joe Biden has slammed an "atrocious terrorist attack" and an "attack on the civilized world".

The head of the American diplomacy, Anthony Blinken, must visit Israel and the West Bank on Monday and Tuesday to insist, according to Washington, on "the urgent need to take de-escalation measures".  

Sandra Stac for DayNewsWorld



The WHO had in recent weeks criticized China's reluctance to share reliable data on the Covid wave, as well as the very narrow definition of a death attributed to the virus.

But for the first time since abandoning its “zero Covid” strategy, China admitted on Saturday that nearly 60,000 people had died of Covid-19 between December 8, 2022 and January 12, 2023. Twelve times more deaths in one month than in three years according to official figures. By announcing "59,938" deaths from Covid-19 in hospitals on Saturday, China brought its official toll closer to the real situation.

A number that seems however largely underestimated.

Since December, the Chinese are almost no longer subject to any restrictions. Compulsory isolation and quarantines in centers have ended. At the same time, the health authorities have given a boost to the vaccination campaign among the elderly.

But the specialists are formal: with the sudden lifting of all health restrictions, the real balance sheet is much higher.

Indeed, this report only includes deaths recorded in hospital, submerged for more than a month by an unprecedented outbreak of contamination. No person who died of Covid at home or before being taken care of by a healthcare establishment is counted.

As impressive as it is, Beijing's transparency effort (12 times the total toll of the past three years in just five weeks) is not representative of reality.

Between Dec. 8, 2022, the first post-zero Covid day, and Jan. 12, the death toll from the disease in Chinese hospitals stood at 59,938, said Jiao Yahui, director of the office of medical administration within the national health commission.

Of this number, 5,503 deaths are due to respiratory failure, and the remaining 54,435 result from a combination of Covid-19 and other conditions. The average age of those who died is 80.3, she said. Nine out of ten deceased patients were aged 65 and over.

Until then, China only counted deaths due to respiratory failure, and not deaths "linked" to Covid-19. This very restrictive definition had been criticized by the international community and by the World Health Organization (WHO). The latter welcomed the new Chinese communication.

Estimating, moreover, that "only 5,503 patients died directly from respiratory failure due to Covid-19", the health authorities already seem to be mitigating the scope.

Perhaps to satisfy the WHO, rather than to compel to draw up a credible balance sheet.

A political issue for Xi Jinping

Difficult for Beijing to go beyond. If China started to change the figures, to weigh down the balance sheet a little more, wouldn't that be a way of backtracking on the 'zero Covid' policy that has been carried out?

However, Chinese President Xi Jinping, in office since 2020, today weakened by three years of epidemic, seeks to keep his grip on power. The movements of the millions of Chinese, who find themselves with their families for the Lunar New Year festivities, represent a major challenge for the authorities, who fear a new epidemic rebound.

On site, many hospitals are overwhelmed. The patients would sometimes be so numerous that the stretchers would remain on the sidewalk, according to our special correspondents. Full funeral homes.

A population devoid of protection against the virus

If we assume that 70% of the Chinese population is infected in the next few months, and that 0.1% of those infected die (a conservative estimate of the mortality rate of omicron in a population with low exposure to SARS-CoV- 2), a simple calculation suggests that the number of deaths could be close to one million.

A model from Fundan University (Shanghai) arrived at a figure of 1.55 million. At this point, there is little China can do to prevent a significant number of cases and deaths.

And again: the Chinese population is little or badly vaccinated as a whole, and has been relatively spared by previous waves due to the very strict “zero Covid” policy. However, the lesser virulence of Omicron is essentially due... to vaccination and previous infections. Evidenced by the case of Hong Kong, decimated by Omicron last winter.

What about vaccine immunity ?

Indeed, vaccination rates in China are comparable to those in Western countries. But they show an unusual characteristic: they decrease with age.

While they are most at risk of severe forms of Covid, the elderly are thus the least vaccinated demographic group with only 40% of people over 80 having received three doses.

Moreover, the effectiveness of vaccines against transmission has been severely tested, especially since Omicron began spreading in late 2021.

Since China has used so-called “inactivated” vaccines produced by the companies Sinovac and Sinopharm, these vaccines are generally safe, but tend to elicit weaker immune responses than new technologies – such as those used in mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) or adenoviral vector (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson).

The performance of Chinese vaccines has thus been mixed. Admittedly, the globally dominant Omicron variant (via its many sub-variants) is associated with significantly lower disease severity and mortality rates than the Delta variant it replaced…

But it remains a major threat to populations with low immunity, especially the elderly. At the start of 2022, Hong Kong faced similar problems to mainland China, with low prior exposure of its population to the virus.

Hong Kong even had even lower vaccination rates for the elderly than China currently has, but a stronger healthcare system. Yet the Omicron wave that swept through the megalopolis in March 2022 resulted in more cumulative deaths per million people in a matter of days than many countries have seen during the entire pandemic…

Another risk, precisely: the appearance of new variants, due to the intense viral circulation in the Middle Kingdom.

However, for the former adviser to Barack Obama, Ryan Hass, China “will persist in its refusal” to import foreign RNA vaccines. According to him, “adopting Western vaccines would be tantamount to questioning the discourse they have held all this time. All of this is going to cause deaths that could have been avoided.”

The true toll of Covid-19 in China will probably never be known, but it will be heavy.

At the international level, the concern relates to the risk of "importation" of cases - even if, for the moment, no unknown variant seems to have emerged in China.

Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld



The body of Benedict XVI, who died Saturday at the age of 95, is on display at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. There, the faithful will be able to pay their last respects to the late pope emeritus, before his funeral scheduled for Thursday. The doors of the huge Vatican Basilica will be open to the public from 9 a.m. (local time) until 7 p.m., then from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

The body of Joseph Ratzinger had remained so far in the small private chapel of the monastery where he lived since his renunciation in 2013, located in the heart of the Vatican gardens.

The first images of the pope released

The Vatican released on Sunday the first photos of the body of the pope emeritus, lying on a catafalque, dressed in red - the color of papal mourning - and wearing a white miter adorned with a golden braid, a rosary in his hands. A crucifix, a Christmas tree and a nativity scene are visible in the background.

The transfer of his body to St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world that can accommodate tens of thousands of worshippers, will take place at dawn on Monday.

The basilica, a masterpiece of architecture combining Renaissance and Baroque styles, completed in 1626, is also one of the holiest places in Christianity, since it houses the tomb of Saint Peter, the first bishop of Rome whose popes are the successors. On Sunday, Pope Francis once again paid homage to “beloved” Benedict XVI, “this faithful servant of the Gospel and of the Church”.

Brilliant theologian and fervent guardian of dogma, Benedict XVI, whose renunciation in 2013 took the whole world by surprise, died Saturday morning at the age of 95, the Vatican announced.

I am sorry to announce that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, died today at 9:34 a.m., at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, in the Vatican. Other information will be communicated to you as soon as possible” , announced in a press release the director of the press service of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni.

A look back at the life of Pope Benedict XVI

Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl, Bavaria, not far from the Austrian border. When he was 14 (in 1941), he was enrolled in the Hitler Youth. At the end of the war, he began his training as a priest. He was ordained in 1951, while continuing his studies in theology.

In 1977, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising, then Cardinal.

In 1981, Pope John Paul II appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is one of the organisms of the Roman curia, responsible for promoting doctrine and morals in conformity with the faith throughout the Catholic world. In this position, he familiarized himself with the mysteries of the Vatican and rubbed shoulders with the sovereign pontiff very closely. Also, on the death of John Paul II on April 2, 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was one of the favorites to succeed the deceased pope. He was actually elected on April 19, 2005 during the conclave.

"After the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals elected me, a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord", he declared after his election, choosing the name of Benedict XVI.

The last pope to have participated in the Second Vatican Council, he nevertheless defended a conservative line at the head of the Church, in particular on abortion, homosexuality and euthanasia.

A pontificate marked by controversy

His death puts an end to the unusual cohabitation of two men in white: the German Joseph Ratzinger, a brilliant theologian not very comfortable with crowds, and the Argentinian Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit endowed with an incisive word who wanted put the poor and migrants back at the center of the Church's mission.

The pontificate of Benedict XVI was marked by many crises.

In 2006, Benoit XVI angered the Muslim world. In a speech at the University of Regensburg, the sovereign pontiff quotes a Byzantine emperor for whom Islam is "intrinsically violent". The allusion caused a scandal.

Benoit XVI will apologize later and quickly, the Vatican organizes several visits throughout the Islamic world in order to restore harmonious interreligious relations. Two months later, the sovereign pontiff appears praying alongside the religious leader of Istanbul at the Blue Mosque.

His pontificate was also marked in 2012 by the leak of confidential documents (“Vatileaks”) orchestrated by his butler. The scandal had exposed a Roman Curia (Vatican government) plagued by intrigue and devoid of financial rigor.

After eight years of pontificate marked by multiple crises, Benedict XVI was also caught up in early 2022 by the drama of pedocrime in the Church.

Questioned by a report in Germany on his management of sexual violence when he was Archbishop of Munich, he broke his silence to ask for "pardon" but assured that he had never covered up a child criminal.

His renunciation, announced in Latin on February 11, 2013, was a personal decision linked to his declining strength and not to the pressure of scandals, he assured in a book of confidences published in 2016. By this gesture, unprecedented in six centuries, the first German pope in modern history paved the way for his successors whose strength would come to decline. François, 86 years old and suffering from knee pain, left this possibility “open” himself.

"[...] I ask forgiveness from the bottom of my heart"

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died Saturday at the age of 95, asks "forgiveness" to all those to whom he has "caused harm", in his spiritual testament written in 2006. "To all those to whom I have caused harm from one way or another, I ask forgiveness from the bottom of my heart,” wrote Joseph Ratzinger, pope from 2005 to 2013, in this text dated August 29, 2006 and published Saturday evening by the press service of the Holy See.

"I pray that our land will remain a land of faith, and I beg you, dear compatriots: do not let yourselves be distracted from the faith", also writes the 265th pope, who had surprised the whole world by renouncing his office before retire to a monastery for almost ten years.

“And I want to thank the Lord for my beautiful homeland at the foot of the Alps. Bavaria, in which I have always seen the splendor of the Creator himself shine,” he adds.

“And finally, I thank God for all the beauty I was able to experience at all stages of my journey, but especially in Rome and Italy, which became my second home. »

“Stay firm in the faith ! Don't be confused! “, he urges again.

Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld


China is going through a wave of contaminations of unprecedented magnitude with a new sub-variant of Omicron called

"BF.7", and this since the abrupt abandonment, at the beginning of the month, of its so-called "zero Covid" policy. According to the Financial Times, Chinese health authorities have estimated that the country is registering nearly 37 million new infections per day.

However, the country announced the end of mandatory quarantines on arrival in the territory from January 8, 2023 and the gradual resumption of foreign travel for Chinese.

Several countries, including the United States, are so concerned that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), called on Beijing to provide "more detailed information", and deemed the protective measures announced by other countries for travelers from China.

Indeed, several countries including Italy or Japan, as well as the United States, have decided to impose compulsory tests on all travelers coming from China.

China responds to WHO

"Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has shared reliable information and data with the international community, including the WHO, in an open and transparent manner," said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson. , Wang Wenbin.

“We shared the sequence of the new coronavirus from the start and made an important contribution to the development of reliable vaccines and drugs in other countries,” he added to the press.

On Friday, only 5,515 new cases and one death were announced by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Figures that no longer seem to reflect reality, generalized screenings are no longer mandatory.

“China has always published its data on Covid-19 deaths and serious cases in a desire for openness and transparency”, assured Thursday a senior health official, Jiao Yahui, quoted by the new China agency. .

In China, only patients who died of respiratory failure caused by the virus and tested positive are considered victims of Covid-19. An official of China's anti-Covid policy, Liang Wannian, judged the decision to be scientifically appropriate on Thursday, according to New China. Other countries count patients who died within 28 days of a positive test.

EU deems screening of visitors from China 'unjustified'

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, on the other hand, believes that Europeans are sufficiently immunized and vaccinated. The introduction of compulsory screening for Covid-19 within the European Union for travelers arriving from China is "unjustified", the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) ruled on Thursday.

EU countries "have relatively high immunization and vaccination levels" and "variants circulating in China are already circulating in the EU", the Stockholm-based agency claims, adding that "potential infections" imported are numerically “rather low” compared to the number of infections already recorded on a daily basis in Europe. The continent's health systems are further able to manage the disease, experts say.

The ECDC therefore contradicts the call of the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, who, after imposing tests on air passengers from China, wanted to impose the measure at Union level. However, the Health Security Committee wishes to "continue the discussions" in the face of a very worried Italy.

In addition, no new variant of Covid-19 has been identified. According to the information currently available, the variants circulating in China so far are all of the Omicron family. Tests carried out in Italy did not identify any new strain. The European population has therefore acquired immunity against them.

Moreover, the immunologist Brigitte Autran, president of the Committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks (Covars), did she not rightly declare this Thursday, December 29:

“The possible test would not be a barrier to the entry of the virus. There is no barrier to the entry of the virus:

the only obstacle to the entry of the virus is not to come ".

Alyson Braxton for DayNewsWorld


After the abandonment in early December of certain measures against the virus, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Monday, December 26, 2022 to take measures to "effectively protect the lives of the population", at a time when his country is facing an outbreak. of Covid-19 contamination, state television reported.

This is the Beijing strongman's first public comment since the sudden abandonment, in early December, of strict anti-Covid measures, in force since 2020.

Three years after the appearance of the very first cases of Sars-CoV-2 in Wuhan (center), the country is facing an explosion of cases. Many hospitals are overwhelmed, pharmacies are reporting shortages of fever medication, while many crematoriums have reportedly reported an unusually high influx of bodies to be cremated.

“Building a strong bulwark against the epidemic”

"The prevention and control of Covid-19 in China is facing a new situation and new tasks," said Xi Jinping, quoted by state television CCTV.

China has only officially announced six Covid deaths since restrictions were lifted. A assessment largely undervalued according to some experts, while a large part of the elderly in the country are not vaccinated against the virus.

Low immunity of the Chinese population

China's strict control over its population has indeed enabled it to prevent a general transmission of Covid to all of its immense territory since the beginning of 2020 – which is a tour de force.

The nearly 10 million cases reported to the World Health Organization in the past three years (figures differ between sources) represent only a tiny fraction of its 1.412 billion population.

But this achievement has the unfortunate consequence that its population has only acquired minimal immunity to Covid through exposure to the virus.

What about vaccine immunity ?

Vaccination rates in China are comparable to those in Western countries. But they show an unusual characteristic: they decrease with age.

While they are most at risk of severe forms of Covid, the elderly are thus the least vaccinated demographic group with only 40% of people over 80 having received three doses.

Moreover, the effectiveness of vaccines against transmission has been severely tested, especially since Omicron began spreading in late 2021.

Since China has used so-called "inactivated" vaccines, manufactured by the companies Sinovac and Sinopharm, these vaccines are generally safe, but tend to elicit weaker immune responses than new technologies - such as those used in mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) or adenoviral vector (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson).

The performance of Chinese vaccines has thus been mixed. Admittedly, the globally dominant Omicron variant (via its many sub-variants) is associated with significantly lower disease severity and mortality rates than the Delta variant it replaced…

But it remains a major threat to populations with low immunity, especially the elderly.

Any vaccination campaign that focuses on the most vulnerable people, however, is still likely to be beneficial.

“We need to carry out a more targeted patriotic health campaign...and build a strong bulwark against the epidemic,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said.

Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld



Countries around the world adopted a historic agreement on Monday, December 19 in Montreal to try to stop the destruction of biodiversity and its resources, which are essential to humanity.

The meeting seemed crucial: none of the previous objectives for the 2010-2020 period had been achieved and yet the pressure on natural environments continues to increase. Species are disappearing at an unprecedented rate, more than a million are threatened with extinction and 75% of the earth's surface has already been altered by humans.

The UN conference on biodiversity therefore opened in Montreal with a colossal challenge: to conclude in two weeks a historic agreement, the “last chance” to save species and natural environments from irreversible destruction. Delegates from more than 190 countries met until December 19 to adopt a new ten-year global framework to safeguard nature and its resources essential to humanity.

“Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction,” the UN Secretary-General thundered on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, during the curtain-raising of the summit, because of “our unlimited appetite for uncontrolled economic growth and uneven”.

“Together we have taken a historic step”,

After four years of difficult negotiations, ten days and a night of diplomatic marathon, more than 190 States have reached an agreement under the aegis of China, president of COP15, despite opposition from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This “pact of peace with nature” called “Kunming-Montreal agreement” aims to protect lands, oceans and species from pollution, degradation and the climate crisis.

“Countries have agreed on a roadmap that includes protecting 30% of the planet by 2030 and unlocking $30 billion in annual conservation aid for developing countries. The agreement has been adopted,” said Huang Runqiu, the Chinese president of COP15, during a plenary session organized in the middle of the night, before dropping his hammer to the applause of the tired-looking delegates.

“Together, we have taken a historic step,” welcomed Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment of Canada, host country of the summit.

Protected areas

But the text also gives guarantees for indigenous peoples, guardians of 80% of the remaining biodiversity on Earth, proposes to restore 30% of degraded lands and to halve the risk linked to pesticides. And to try to resolve the financial question still burning between North and South, China also proposes to reach “at least 20 billion dollars” in annual international aid for biodiversity by 2025 and “at least 30 billion by 2030”.

In exchange for their efforts, the least developed countries demanded from the rich countries 100 billion dollars a year. That is at least 10 times the current international aid for biodiversity.

In addition to subsidies, the countries of the South also strongly pushed for the creation of a global fund dedicated to biodiversity - a matter of principle - like the one obtained in November to help them deal with climate damage.

On this point, China proposes as a compromise to establish from 2023 a branch dedicated to biodiversity within the current Global Environment Facility (GEF), the current functioning of which is considered very deficient by the least developed countries. .

This COP15, twin sister, in the shadow, of the COP on the climate, is “our chance to stop this orgy of destruction”, declared the UN Secretary General.

The stated ambition was heard to seal an agreement as historic as that of Paris for the climate in 2015.

It remains to refine and perfect the financing mechanisms while ensuring their primary mission: to finance the protection of biodiversity in a stable and sustainable manner.

Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld


China is the only major country which, until recently, continued to apply a “zero Covid” strategy.

Since December 7, 2022, it is now backtracking. Other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, had also sought to completely eliminate Covid from their territory at the start of the pandemic, but all had finally abandoned this approach. The growing social and economic costs had become unsustainable, as had the efforts required… in the face of the realization that the local elimination of Covid could only be temporary, notes.Francois Balloux, Chair Professor, Computational Biology, UCL.

In the People's Republic of China, the health strategy which relied on measures such as mass PCR testing, the closure of entire cities and provinces or the quarantine of anyone who may have been exposed to the virus, is at turn become impossible to hold.

The harshness and often arbitrary application of zero Covid has fueled growing fatigue and resentment among the population, which has recently resulted in large public demonstrations.

Restrictions have also shown their limits against Omicron: less severe but more transmissible, this variant has a shorter incubation period than previous SARS-CoV-2 lines, and it largely bypasses the protection against infection conferred by the original vaccines.

It is understandable that the Chinese authorities are now finally taking steps to ease the restrictions… However, the exit from a zero Covid policy has been painful for all the countries that have made it. And China will be no exception, it even faces unique challenges in this transition.

Low immunity of the Chinese population

China's strict control over its population has enabled it to prevent a general transmission of Covid to all of its (huge) territory since the beginning of 2020 – which is a feat. The nearly 10 million cases reported to the World Health Organization in the past three years (figures differ depending on the source) represent only a tiny fraction of its 1.412 billion population. But this achievement has the unfortunate consequence that its population has only acquired minimal immunity to Covid through exposure to the virus.

What about vaccine immunity ?

Vaccination rates in China are comparable to those in Western countries…

But they show an unusual characteristic: they decrease with age. While they are most at risk of severe forms of Covid, the elderly are thus the least vaccinated demographic group with only 40% of people over 80 having received three doses.

Another point: the effectiveness of vaccines against transmission has been severely tested, especially since Omicron began to spread at the end of 2021. However, the protection against the most severe forms and death provided by vaccines to mRNAs used by Western countries remained solid.

But China has used vaccines different from its design, called "inactivated", manufactured by the companies Sinovac and Sinopharm. This type of vaccine is based on pathogens (in this case SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19) which are killed, or inactivated, before their inoculation.

While these vaccines are generally safe, they tend to elicit weaker immune responses than newer technologies – such as those employed in mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) or adenoviral vector (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) vaccines.

The performance of Chinese vaccines has thus been mixed. While two doses of the Sinovac vaccine appear to have reduced deaths by 86% in Chile, the results in Singapore suggest less protection against severe forms than their mRNA equivalents.

Admittedly, the Omicron variant (via its many sub-variants), dominating worldwide, is associated with a significantly lower disease severity and mortality rate than the Delta variant that it replaced… But it remains a threat major for populations with low immunity, in particular the elderly.

At the start of 2022, Hong Kong faced similar problems to mainland China, with low prior exposure of its population to the virus. Hong Kong even had even lower vaccination rates for the elderly than China currently has, but a stronger healthcare system.

Yet the Omicron wave that swept through the megalopolis in March 2022 resulted in more cumulative deaths per million people in a matter of days than many countries have seen during the entire pandemic…

Covid infections are now increasing rapidly in China, exceeding 30,000 new daily cases at the beginning of December (to fall below 9,000 these days, due to the end of systematic PCR tests: beware, these figures are no longer significant, the individuals no longer necessarily informing the authorities of the results of self-tests carried out at home, editor's note).

With the easing of restrictions and the shutdown of the main travel tracking application, there is no doubt that the increase in infections will continue.

Given the low level of immunity in China, a sharp increase in the number of cases could likely lead to a large number of hospitalizations and lead to a dramatic number of deaths.

If we assume that 70% of the Chinese population is infected in the next few months, and that 0.1% of those infected die (a conservative estimate of the mortality rate of omicron in a population with low exposure to SARS-CoV- 2), a simple calculation suggests that the number of deaths could be close to one million. A model from Fundan University (Shanghai) arrived at a figure of 1.55 million.

At this point, there is little China can do to prevent a significant number of cases and deaths. Any vaccination campaign that focuses on the most vulnerable people, however, is still likely to be beneficial.

Chinese health services are quite fragile and the shortage of intensive care beds represents a particular vulnerability. A gradual lifting of restrictions as other countries have done is one option to try to "flatten the curve" and prevent its health system from being overwhelmed. Effective referral of patients, including ensuring that only those most in need of care are admitted to hospital, could help reduce the number of deaths if the epidemic explodes.

A vulnerable population

A major wave of Covid in China will not necessarily have a significant impact on the global situation. SARS-CoV-2 lineages that are currently spreading in the country, such as BF.7 (which transmits faster and with a shorter incubation period and greater ability to infect than other Omicron variants; with a number of people infected in the absence of transmission control measures by an infected individual, or R0, of 10 or more), are already found elsewhere in the world.

Moreover, circulation in a population with little immunological protection should not exert significant additional pressure on the virus to the point that it must develop new variants to continue to spread.

But for China itself, the situation is different. It could face a possible humanitarian disaster, and that is a much bigger challenge.

The Chinese authorities were the first to take unprecedented measures to halt the spread of the virus and to champion it, providing the planet with a drastic model for managing the pandemic. China then applied these measures more ruthlessly and for longer than any other major country.

Particularly effective at first, the zero Covid policy turns out to be, in the long term, almost "futile" in the face of the adaptability of SARS-CoV-2.

While its population has been spared more than many others and is therefore less immunologically protected, China is now caught up in the social and economic costs of this strategy. And the virus will continue to spread, as it has everywhere else.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld



After two years of postponements, the COP15 on biodiversity will finally be held from December 7 to 19 in Montreal. The summit is expected to establish a new global framework to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2030.

The meeting seems crucial: none of the previous objectives relating to the 2010-2020 period has been achieved and the pressure on natural environments continues to increase. Species are disappearing at an unprecedented rate, more than a million are threatened with extinction and 75% of the earth's surface has already been altered by humans.

The UN conference on biodiversity opens in Montreal with a colossal challenge: to conclude in two weeks a historic agreement, the "last chance" to save species and natural environments from irreversible destruction. Delegates from more than 190 countries meet until December 19 to adopt a new ten-year global framework to safeguard nature and its resources essential to humanity.

Time is running out: a million species are threatened with extinction, a third of the land is seriously degraded and fertile soils are disappearing, while pollution and climate change are accelerating the degradation of the oceans.

“Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction”, thundered the UN Secretary General on Tuesday, during the raising of the curtain for the summit, because of “our unlimited appetite for uncontrolled and unequal economic growth”.

This COP15, twin sister, in the shadow, of the COPs on the climate, is “our chance to stop this orgy of destruction”, he declared. But negotiations have been stalling for three years. It is a question of concretizing an agreement of about twenty objectives, the main one of which aims to protect 30% of the lands and seas. Others provide for the restoration of natural environments, the reduction of pesticides, the fight against invasive species, or the conditions for sustainable fishing and agriculture.

“Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction, because of our boundless appetite for uncontrolled and unequal economic growth,” Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

“Ultimate straight line”

"This summit is a chance that the world must not miss, probably the last for governments to turn the tide and save our precious life support system," WWF Advocacy Officer Bernadette Fischler Hooper said on Tuesday.

“We are in the final straight line, and it is time for everyone to take a step forward, this is becoming crucial,” said Tuesday the boss of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Inger Andersen, visibly preoccupied.

100 billion per year

But the summit, chaired by China and moved to Canada due to Beijing's zero Covid policy, is taking place without the support of world leaders, who nevertheless came in large numbers to the climate COP in Sharm-el-Sheikh in November. It is therefore the Ministers of the Environment who will be responsible, from 15 December, for bringing the negotiations to a successful conclusion.

The stated ambition remains to seal an agreement as historic as that of Paris for the climate in 2015. But some fear "possibly deliberate strategies to provoke a scenario similar to Copenhagen", where the COP Climate had experienced a resounding failure in 2009, notes the NGO Avaaz.

To avoid this, countries must agree on measurable and monitored targets, so as not to repeat the failure of the previous framework, adopted in 2010 in Aichi, Japan. Funding from rich countries to developing countries will also be a decisive point. A southern coalition has called for at least $100 billion a year for biodiversity, as much as for the climate, and $700 billion a year by 2030.

Some countries want to set up a fund dedicated to biodiversity, a proposal resisted by rich countries, which prefer to improve existing channels, in particular public development banks.

The thorny issue of biopiracy is also a source of blockages: many countries are demanding that rich countries finally share the benefits of cosmetics and medicines derived from resources conserved in the South.

"The cost of ecosystem degradation is estimated at 3,000 billion dollars per year by 2030", recalled Antonio Guterres.

The issue of funding

Tensions are crystallizing in particular around the question of the financing of the new global framework, an essential condition for the success of an ambitious agreement. The mobilization of all actors, public and private, is necessary.

This particularly concerns protected areas, a key instrument for the protection of biodiversity. Just to achieve the goal of safeguarding 30% of terrestrial and marine habitats by 2030, it is estimated that the financing needs of these areas will amount to between 149 and 192 billion dollars per year.

Faced with these considerable amounts, the experts indicate that it is necessary to create favorable ecosystems of financing making it possible to diversify the mechanisms and the sources. As such, several tools are of great interest and would benefit from being developed.

This is the case of Conservation Trust Funds which contribute, less through large volumes than through their continuous, stable and long-term action, to build this funding ecosystem. There are around a hundred of them currently in the world, eight of whom are supported by the French Development Agency and the French Fund for the Global Environment.

Profitable and stable

Conservation Trust Funds are private, legally independent institutions that aim to provide sustainable funding dedicated to conservation actions. They act like “life insurance contracts” for protected areas.

Thus, resources collected from international donors, States or private sector actors make it possible to generate a financial return via diversified investments on the capital markets. This is then donated in the form of subsidies to protected areas or to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) acting in favor of biodiversity. These funds thus complement the support already provided by the States and the resources drawn from tourism.

In Mauritania, for example, the Bacomab Fund has positioned itself in fishing agreements with the European Union. It has since benefited from a financial transfer linked to the service rendered by the Banc d'Arguin National Park, the main beneficiary of Bacomab, for the renewal of the halieutic resource.

Bacomab, in Mauritania, provides funding to the Banc d'Arguin National Park and its stakeholders who take care of fisheries resources.

These financing mechanisms, which appeared at the end of the 1990s, have multiplied and have continued to improve over the past thirty years, while ensuring their primary mission:

finance the protection of biodiversity in a stable and sustainable manner.

Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld



In Iran, the protest movement born after the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16 is seeking new life.

A call for a general strike was launched from this Monday and for three days, with the aim of paralyzing the country.

The anger does not weaken indeed in Iran....

And this, despite the decision of the Iranian authorities to suppress the Gasht-e Ershad, the much maligned morality police responsible for the arrest of the young Mahsa Amini on September 13, 2022.

Movement widely followed....

In Tehran, an undetermined but fairly large number of stores have been closed since Monday, December 5, 2022.

In Narmak, people chanted "we did not give deaths for compromises and bowing down in front of an assassin of guide".

In Ekbatan, people chanted "down with the dictator, down with the IRGC" and "this is the year of sacrifice, we will overthrow Seyed Ali [Khamenei]", while protesting and lighting a street fire.

At the Towhid metro, people chanted “Khamenei assassin, his regime is illegitimate” and at the Chariati metro, they chanted “this is the last message, the whole system is targeted”.

On the Niyaech highway, the young people shouted at Khamenei “you are the assassin and the mercenary”,'' one can read in the press of NCRI Iran.

According to videos shared on the networks, the situation is identical in several provincial cities, in particular Shiraz and Isfahan.

In the cities of Iranian Kurdistan the movement seems even more followed.

On the 81st day of the uprising, there are nocturnal demonstrations in Tehran and in the provinces, bazaar strikes in 45 sectors of Tehran and 85 cities, strikes in 34 universities...

End of the morality police in Iran: real setback or window dressing ?

The Tehran regime wanted to calm the protest, which has been going on for almost three months in Iran:

the Iranian public prosecutor announced, on Saturday December 3, the abolition of the morality police at the origin of the arrest of the young Mahsa Amini,

This declaration, perceived as a gesture towards the demonstrators, came after the decision of the authorities to revise a 1983 law on the compulsory wearing of the veil, imposed four years after the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Mahnaz Shirali, the author of Window on Iran, the cry of a gagged people (ed. Les Pérégrines) warns against a declaration which "is not an announcement in good and due form", "The announcement of the suppression of the morality police which was made by the Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri is not a formal announcement.

For the morality police to be abolished, a law would have had to be passed by the Iranian Parliament.

There, the subject is evoked in an ambiguous way.

This announcement is more intended to "deceive the international community", a gesture of communication vis-à-vis the West, more than an outstretched hand to the demonstrators.

Hence the continuation of the movement.

Besides, the women demand the abolition of the Islamic Republic, and not the simple abolition of the morality police.

Moreover, it is not only a question of feminist demands, for the cause of women, but also of social and economic demands, the people being starving.

But beyond the unprecedented call for a general strike, "we are more on a kind of civil disobedience", according to an expert, organizing such a movement in Iran is not a simple thing, since trade unions do not exist in the country.

The call for a strike is therefore circulating on social networks without anyone knowing who is behind it.

"It's done on purpose not to give clues about the movement to the regime, we are more on a kind of civil disobedience", explains Farid Vahid, the director of the Observatory for North Africa and the Middle East. at the Jean Jaurès Foundation.

From university students, to merchants in the Grand Bazaar in Tehran, a real barometer of dissatisfaction in Iran, to workers in refineries and teachers: all are called upon to not work for three days.

The mobilization in the big cities will be particularly scrutinized, as will that of the workers.

If we see large mobilizations in the big cities or workers in the petrochemical sector not working, this means that we are entering another phase of the movement. That of blocking the country to really enter into a revolutionary logic”, adds Farid Vahid.

This strike is not without risk for the organizers.

After the demonstrations by women, who are more and more numerous to abandon the wearing of the veil, even taking several hundred thousand people to the streets would be one more affront to the Mullahs.

The ruthless repression of the mullahs.

The head of the Iranian Judicial Authority affirmed, faced with the closed bazaars, that the "rioters" the name used to designate the demonstrators, threatened the traders to force them to close.

However, the regime has a weapon of massive deterrence: repression.

It has already claimed at least 300 victims since the start of the uprising, according to figures provided by Tehran.

Faced with the strike that is paralyzing Iran, the local press denounces the action of "rioters" and "Zionists"

While Iran lives its second day of general strike, the local press insists on the failure of its implementation and echoes original ideas to end the revolt, such as blocking the bank account of bareheaded women

"No to the forced strike" title on the front page of the state media Hamshahri ("Citizen"), on the second day of the general mobilization which is shaking Iran.

"The anti-revolutionaries [opposing the 1979 Iranian revolution, editor's note] have again been humiliated, their threat to strike has been futile," says this daily, the largest in the country with its 400,000 copies, photo d an open and bustling bazaar in one.

“While anti-revolutionary figures and media have mobilized all their resources in recent days to call for nationwide rallies and strikes, between 14 and 16 Azar [Persian calendar month], investigations Field reports in different cities, particularly in Tehran, indicate that the call for riots met with resounding failure from day one.”

In this context of protest, the head of justice announced that the death sentence of certain troublemakers linked to the foreign intelligence services, in particular Israelis, in particular those who had committed assassinations with weapons, had been confirmed and will be applied. very soon.

Already four people have been executed on Sunday for the same reasons.

Described as "thugs", they were executed by hanging for destruction of public property and kidnapping.

According to Iranian media, these four individuals were also found guilty of links with the Israeli intelligence services.

A protest movement suppressed in the blood but which would grow...

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld



A rare occurrence in China, where the actions of citizens are constantly watched, demonstrations against health rules and confinements have multiplied in recent days. Whether it is the iPhone factory in Urumqi, where confinement has been imposed on employees, universities in Beijing or other cities in the country, anger is mounting against the regime and its decision to prosecute whatever happens its "zero covid" policy.

Anger is mounting in China over the draconian “zero Covid” policy practiced by the government for nearly three years. China is indeed tirelessly pursuing a zero Covid health policy, which involves strict confinements, quarantines for those diagnosed positive and almost daily PCR tests, provoking growing anger from the population. Students and workers are sometimes confined for many weeks to campuses or production sites, without the possibility of moving freely.

Call for "Xi Jinping, resign !" »

“We don't want PCR tests, we want freedom. According to a correspondent in Beijing for the German media Die Zeit, protests against the “zero Covid” policy and its strict restrictions continue. Protests erupted this morning in several cities across the country, including Shanghai, where demonstrators called for the resignation of President Xi Jinping.


A video widely circulated on the internet and geolocated in Shanghai by a news agency shows some protesters shouting "Xi Jinping, resign!" and also go after the Chinese Communist Party. To commemorate the victims of a fire that killed ten people Thursday in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, in the West.

This is a very rare demonstration of hostility against the president and the regime in the economic capital of the country, subjected at the beginning of the year to an exhausting two-month confinement. In Shanghai, the police intervene to try to disperse the demonstrators, report on Twitter the journalists whofollow the situation. Our correspondent in Shanghai tweets images as well as testimonies collected in these unprecedented demonstrations, in a country which severely represses any protest. On Twitter, a Taiwan-based DW and Guardian correspondent gives voice to people protesting in Shanghai against government restrictions and its “zero Covid” policy. “Imagine who can accept not being allowed to leave the house for four months, with no food, no medicine for the chronically ill, and a woman in labor hemorrhaging in front of the hospital because she has no PCR test result ? »

“Imagine who can accept not being allowed to leave their home for four months, without food, without medicine for people who suffer from chronic illnesses, and a woman who gives birth and hemorrhages outside the hospital because she has no not the result of his PCR test? Or people dying on a bus that takes them to quarantine ? »

In Beijing, several hundred students demonstrate

Several hundred students from the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing took part in a demonstration on Sunday against the policy to fight against Covid-19.

Other cities concerned

Videos on social media have also shown a large vigil at the Institute of Communications in Nanjing, where participants also held up sheets of white paper, as well as small gatherings in Xian, Wuhan and Guangzhou, but the authenticity of these images could not be verified Protests also broke out in Wuhan, against the “zero Covid” policy

#CHINA “I'm heading home now. Just want to add how amazing this is. Never seen anything like this in the decade that I report on China. The anger seems too much to crack down on. Wonder what happens next. »

#CHINA “I want to emphasize that what is happening is incredible. It's the first time I've seen this in 10 years that I've covered China, ”said a journalist from the Dutch media Trouw, on Twitter, last night.

An anger born in Urumqi

These rallies follow in the footsteps of the spontaneous rally that took place at dawn on Sunday in Wulumuqi Street, the Mandarin name of the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang, where ten people died three days earlier in a fire. A fire which fed the anger of the inhabitants against the sanitary measures, since the authorities are accused of having increased the human toll by having imposed a confinement of the building and by hindering the arrival of help. Then in the afternoon, hundreds of people demonstrated in silence in the center of the city, brandishing white flowers and sheets of white paper, which had become a symbol of protest against censorship, before being dispersed by the police.

Large protests also broke out on Wednesday (November 23) at the world's largest iPhone manufacturing plant, owned by Taiwanese subcontractor Foxconn, according to videos and photos posted on social media Weibo and Twitter. Always in question the containment. The Taiwanese company, Apple's main subcontractor, has indeed been confronted in recent months with an increase in Covid-19 cases at its Zhengzhou site, prompting it to take containment measures. Nicknamed "iPhone City", this huge industrial site typically employs some 200,000 people, most of whom reside on site in dormitories. First images circulating on social networks show a crowd of workers parading in a street during the day; some face a line of people in white coveralls and riot police. The #RiotsFoxconn hashtag appeared to be censored midday Wednesday on Chinese social media. A few posts referring to the protests, however, remained online.

In a statement, Foxconn confirmed on Wednesday that "violence" took place at its factory. The Taiwanese group acknowledged workers had complained about wages and working conditions at the factory, but denied accommodating new hires with coronavirus-positive staff. "Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the [Chinese] government to prevent similar incidents from happening again," he said.

These events are proof that the anger has spread across the country, after almost three years of living under ultra-strict measures against the virus.

After three years of a zero Covid strategy applied with the greatest firmness in China, weariness is turning to exhaustion, and frustration, sometimes to anger. The consequences of this ultra-strict approach are felt as much on the daily life of most Chinese as on the economy (the International Monetary Fund forecasts growth in 2022 at 3.2%, the second lowest since 1977).

"Concentration of Power"

On November 11, the National Health Commission announced an attempt to ease restrictions related to Covid-19, specifying that it was “not a relaxation of prevention and control”. If a part of the population, in particular the inhabitants of the countryside and the oldest, continues to adhere to this approach which has made it possible to avoid hundreds of thousands of deaths, the absence of prospects weighs on the morale of the youngest.

In the broadcasts of the Football World Cup, the Chinese are discovering that they are the only ones in the world who have not made any progress in the fight against covid for three years. An exasperation which now translates into repeated demonstrations.

“Unheard of since 1989 and the Beijing Spring which ended in bloodshed. It's spontaneous and unorganized, the only form of action possible in China," commented Pierre Haski, president of Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

The lack of economic opportunities, but also of travel, leisure, freedom in general, leads a growing number of Chinese to dare to address political issues, usually avoided in everyday conversations. The confirmation of Xi Jinping for a third term as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), at the organization's 20th congress in mid-October, only accentuated the trend: on October 23, the Chinese leader unveiled a team made up exclusively of faithful.

A dangerous concentration of power according to some.....

Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld



As protests have taken place in Iran since the death two months ago of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd who was arrested for violating a strict dress code that requires women to wear the Islamic veil in public, the authorities denounce "riots" and hundreds of people were arrested and several sentenced to death.

The Iranian authorities continue to denounce the demonstrations triggered on September 16 by the death of Mahsa Amini. And consider that these are “riots” encouraged by the West, in particular by the United States.

“The problem is not four rioters in the street, even if each rioter, each terrorist must be punished (...). The battlefield is much larger. The main enemy is global arrogance,” said Ali Khamenei, referring to Washington and his allies.

Resentment towards the United States

The highest figure in the Iranian state made this statement, broadcast by state television, when he received a delegation of young paramilitaries in Tehran on Saturday November 27, 2022, on the occasion of Bassidji week. This militia is in charge of the country's internal security, a morality police rightly decried by the Iranians since the beginning of the demonstrations.

“Some people tell us in the newspapers or on the internet that all you need to do to put an end to the unrest, which started a few weeks ago, is to solve your problem with America and listen to the voice of the nation,” he said. he throws.

“How to solve the problem with America? Will the problem be solved by sitting down, negotiating and getting a commitment from America? “, he then asked?

" Nope. Bargaining won't solve anything. Our problem with America can only be solved by accepting to be held to ransom by this country,” he said.

According to Ali Khamenei, the United States demands, in order to put an end to hostilities, that Iran abandon its nuclear program, change the Constitution, confine its influence within its borders and close its defense industries. “No Iranian can accept such conditions,” he stressed.

The Bassidji also supported by the president

The Ayatollah of Iran also attacked those who say that we must “listen to the voice of the nation”. “The enormous voice of the nation resounded on November 4 (in pro-government demonstrations), or during the funeral of (General Qassem) Soleimani. This huge crowd was the voice of the Iranian nation,” he said.

This Iranian general was killed in Baghdad in a drone strike led by the United States, in a period of heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

On Saturday, on the occasion of Bassidji week, President Ebrahim Raisi for his part visited a unit of these forces in Tehran, the Tasnim agency said. "You had a brilliant performance in the fight against the rioters," he argued to the members of this unit.

In three days, Iran and the United States will face each other on a completely different ground, that of the World Cup. In Doha, the Iranian players did not lack the courage to denounce the repression in their country. In their first game against England, the team decided not to sing the national anthem. Staying in Iran, another Iranian footballer was however arrested Thursday by the regime for "propaganda", just after a Foolad Khouzistab training session

“If the nation rises, we will all be thrown into the sea”…..

Faced with the extent of the protest throughout the country, the mullahs only know how to use repression, denial, and the designation of an external agent as an enemy to stay in power, because it is their life. Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, Friday preacher in the great city of Qom is fully aware of this: “If the nation rises up, we will all be thrown into the sea”…..

The Iranian population is rising... especially since the economic situation is catastrophic. Inflation and unemployment have risen almost steadily over the past 40 years. The supreme guide acknowledged, in 2019, that he had never aimed to improve the lives of his fellow citizens, but to maintain the Islamic Republic. The population is exasperated.

Death sentences...

Ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raïssi called on the police to "react firmly". Faced with the scale of the mobilization, the head of the Iranian judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, threatened to show "no leniency" vis-à-vis the demonstrators. In ten days, more than a hundred people were killed according to Iran Human Rights and hundreds arrested. A Tehran court has already sentenced to death a person found guilty of "burning down a government building, disturbing public order, gathering and conspiring to commit a crime against national security, being an enemy of God and corruption on earth".

Iranian justice has also pronounced a second death sentence in three days against a "rioter", announced Mizan Online, the agency of the Judicial Authority. In the same trial, a Revolutionary Court sentenced another person to death accused of "terrorizing people in the street using a bladed weapon, burning a citizen's motorcycle and attacking an individual with a knife,” the Mizan Online agency said on Tuesday evening. “The accused is an enemy of God for having used bladed weapons,” according to the verdict. Five other people were sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for “gathering and conspiring to commit crimes against national security and disturbing public order”.

It is that the characteristic of the Islamic Republic is the simultaneous use of the apparatus of a modern State and the religious ideology to establish its authority, to fight the dissensions and to control the women. What the population no longer supports!

For Farid Wahid, director of the Observatory of North Africa and the Middle East of the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, these protests are the result of years of "economic, political and social frustration". “It is a strong, symbolic movement, which scares the regime. The Iranian authorities have received a very hard blow, taboos are broken, Iranians are done with the systematic linking of politics and religion. The situation is so catastrophic that these young people are ready to die to change things. Mahsa Amini's death was the spark that caused the explosion,” he adds.

From revolt to revolution, all the ferments are united for the revolution, according to researcher Gérard Vespierre.

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld




Schools closed again in several districts in Beijing. Authorities have also announced two additional deaths linked to viral pneumonia in the Chinese capital. This epidemic rebound is testing the adjustment of the “zero Covid” strategy announced by the authorities.

Beijing reported a record number of Covid-19 cases in nearly three years on Tuesday, November 22, an increase that prompted authorities to order schools and restaurants to close, while many employees are called to work from at their home.

The capital of 22 million inhabitants, which had recorded 621 new local cases on Sunday, recorded 1,438 on Tuesday, a record since the start of the pandemic. Nationwide, the total number of daily cases, including imported cases, has now exceeded 28,000, with southern Guangdong Province and southwest Chongqing City being the most affected, according to health authorities.

New variants and first deaths since May

China is the last major world economy to apply a strict health policy, known as zero Covid, which aims to do everything to prevent contamination and death. It consists of imposing confinements as soon as cases appear, quarantines for people who test positive and almost daily PCR tests for the population. Following central government announcements, several cities had however announced the end of daily Covid tests. We have seen PCR kiosks in the streets close, including in Beijing. Then the test stations reopened. Same thing in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei which surrounds Beijing. Here too, in this pilot city for the optimization or adjustment of “zero Covid” measures, massive tests have returned, as well as partial confinements.

China, however, is no longer in last year's "broad spectrum" lockdowns. The confined report that their tower is locked and that they must stay at home, because there is a positive resident a few floors higher or lower.

This temporary strengthening of health restrictions is linked to the first three deaths from Covid-19 since Saturday, among elderly people in Beijing and the first official deaths for six months in China. But it is above all linked to this epidemic outbreak at the end of autumn in several Chinese megalopolises, i.e. more than 26,800 new cases throughout the territory on Sunday, 594 new infections in the capital: we are almost back to the peaks of last April.

The capital's authorities seem to want to avoid strict confinement for the moment like the one applied in Shanghai in the spring, but have however reinforced health measures in recent days. Nearly 600 areas of the capital, including residential buildings, are considered "high risk", forcing their inhabitants to remain confined to their homes or to be transported to quarantine centers.

Zero Covid policy in default ?

Schools have switched to online classes, restaurants, gyms, parks and tourist sites have been closed and employees are being asked to work from home. In the streets, queues in front of Covid-19 test booths are getting longer, with most public places now requiring a negative result within 24 hours to enter.

But this strategy, initially effective in stemming the spread of the virus, seems to be running out of steam in the face of new variants and is dealing a severe blow to the economy, isolating China from the rest of the world and causing strong weariness among the Chinese.

Carl Delsey for DayNewsWorld



At the end of the day's extension of COP27, participants snatched a historic agreement on Sunday on aid to poor countries affected by climate change but failed to agree on new ambitions for the reduction of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse.

The countries gathered at the climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh (November 6-18, 2022) reached an agreement on the issue of climate finance, via the creation of a fund “for loss and damage”. In its final decision, COP27 thus opens up the prospect of expanding financial transfers from rich countries to less advanced countries.

Arm wrestling between the North and the South

With this question of financing at the center of the negotiations, the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh promised a showdown between the North and the South. It did not thwart the forecasts and Africa, strongly represented (with 2.3 times more delegates than in 2021), gave voice to it.

"Loss and damage in vulnerable countries can no longer be ignored even if some developed countries had decided to ignore our suffering," said young Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate.

Financing the irreversible damage of climate change caused by the countries of the North:

Pakistan has taken the leadership of these countries of the South which contribute very little to global warming, but which are already suffering major impacts. They demand means to compensate for the irreversible damage of this climate change.

Pakistan, in particular, has borne the brunt of global warming this year. Pakistan flood damage amounts to $30 billion

Pakistan was indeed affected by terrible floods between June and September. A third of the country was flooded after heavy rains. More than 30 million people have been directly affected and several million have had to flee, according to Imran Saqib, policy director for WWF Pakistan. "Most are still on the road and have nowhere to return, with problems accessing drinking water and sanitation," he said. 1,700 people were killed, 6,000 kilometers of roads were washed away and more than 1.5 million houses were destroyed or damaged, particularly in the country's most rural provinces, Sindh and Balochistan. Added to this is the problem of harvests: "many crops, such as cotton and sugar cane, have been affected", points out Imran Saqib.bad for future harvests.

What about emerging countries ?

This polarization of debates between rich and less advanced countries should not, however, make us forget the crucial role of emerging countries (China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, etc.) in confronting global warming. This group of countries controls more than 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is on him that the decrease in these emissions depends in the first place.

Climate finance, a dispute with multiple causes

At the instigation of the United States, the developed countries promised in 2009 to transfer at least 100 billion dollars per year from 2020 to developing countries for the mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

In 2015, the promise was enshrined in the Paris Agreement. In 2020, the account was not there (83 billion according to the OECD). And it shouldn't be before 2023, according to the Climate Finance Delivery Plan.

A second bone of contention concerns the interpretation of Article 8 of the Paris Agreement on the concerted approach to “loss and damage” caused by global warming. The less developed or island countries, heavily impacted, claim transfers under what they call the “climate debt” of the rich countries, coming up against a front of refusal so far.

Less advanced countries do not have access to the sometimes substantial financing that certain emerging countries can obtain for the conversion of their energy infrastructures. South Africa and Indonesia, for example, have respectively obtained 8.5 and 20 billion dollars to accelerate the exit from coal within the framework of partnerships with developed countries.

Litigation is finally fueled by the recent worsening of fuel poverty and food insecurity in the world.

The year 2022 is likely to be the year of the first decline in several decades in the number of people with access to electricity. Today, the war in Ukraine combines with the recurrence of climatic shocks to increase the cost of basic foodstuffs which are becoming inaccessible for the poorest and are dramatically increasing hunger in the world, wiping out several decades of progress.

The expansion of funding

Hard won during the last two days of the conference, the final decision of COP27 will expand climate finance in three main ways.

First, COP27 endorsed the principle of a mechanism dedicated to the financing of loss and damage. It is a victory, imposed by the less developed countries and the island States which have broken the united front of the rich countries. It was facilitated by the mediation of the European Union, which is more open than the United States on the issue.

It remains to negotiate the details of the system, in particular the scope of donors (positioning of emerging countries?) and the rules governing access to this new financing.

Secondly, the countries have agreed to increase traditional climate financing, particularly that for adaptation, with an emphasis on agriculture to deal with food insecurity. This additional financing should make it possible to exceed the 100 billion promised in 2009.

Thirdly, the two mechanisms of article 6 on the carbon markets constitute a third source of financing. That concerning the States (article 6.2) can already be used, countries such as Japan and Switzerland being ready to finance emission reductions in other countries through this means.

It will be necessary to wait until 2024 for private actors to be able to access this type of market (article 6.4), which will facilitate the mobilization of private capital without which there can be no change in the scale of international climate financing.

The issue of 1.5°C has once again become a subject of debate

The inclusion of the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5°C relative to the pre-industrial era was a victory for the least developed countries and small island states which, in 2015 at COP21, made it a condition of their adherence to the Paris Agreement.

Paradoxically, the 1.5°C issue once again became a subject of debate when these countries obtained a second victory in the negotiations. According to some, 1.5°C would be unrealistic, even scientists say.

In all the climate scenarios analyzed in the 6th IPCC report published in 2021-2022, we reach a warming of 1.5°C within one to two decades, to then be slightly exceeded. This year, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated by all human activities will have remained at record levels, according to a new analysis by the Global Carbon Project, an organization bringing together scientists from around the world. This year, global CO2 emissions from our operations are expected to reach 40.6 billion tonnes of CO2; which leaves us with a “remaining carbon budget” of 380 billion tonnes of CO2 to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Humanity should therefore urgently reduce its emissions to be able to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

The international community has, however, failed to be more ambitious on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Just before the COP, the United Nations had however warned that as things stood, the climate commitments made by the States were leading to a rise in mercury of 2.4°C, far from the 1.5 degrees targeted by the Paris Agreement. .

But several countries, such as Saudi Arabia and China, have tried to remove this 1.5°C target, which they consider too restrictive.

This bad debate on 1.5°C has polluted discussions on mitigation actions.

Emerging countries hold the key to accelerating the decline in global emissions

The other failure recorded in Sharm-El-Sheikh concerns the phasing out of fossil fuels. No mention of the subject in the final declaration, while we are talking about the first cause of global warming. This is probably due to the impact of the energy crisis and the accompanying fears of shortages. But also the result of intense lobbying by producing countries.

However, if new funding is available, the deployment of carbon-free energy sources in less advanced countries will be able to accelerate, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where investments in renewables have stalled for two years. We will then be in the scenario where all the conditional commitments made by the countries can be fulfilled.

Be that as it may, the key to accelerating the decline in global emissions by 2030 is held by emerging countries, which tend to be forgotten when discussing the sharing of responsibilities between North and South. More than 60% of global emissions are controlled by this group of countries, which no longer belong to the least developed countries without having joined the club of rich countries. However, these countries have generally not aligned their medium-term objectives with the neutrality target that they set for the long term. As soon as they do, the decline in global emissions will gain much faster momentum.

If COP27 removed a major obstacle to the acceleration of climate action by defusing the litigation that was accumulating on funding, it. on the other hand, did not bring any progress in resolutions that were nevertheless crucial. Many countries considered that the texts proposed by the Egyptian presidency constituted a step backwards on the commitments to regularly raise the level, made in Glasgow. "This COP has weakened the obligations for countries to present new and more ambitious commitments", regretted Laurence Tubiana, architect of the Paris agreements of 2015.

A radio-classical to conclude :

“This agreement in extremis is only a cover-up, the screen for one of the most conflictual COPs in history, marked by two very worrying setbacks. A screen that does not mask much, moreover, since it is a simple agreement in principle, the terms and contributors of which remain to be specified.

Suffice to say that the islands of the Pacific are not close to receiving the necessary aid for the construction of dikes to protect them from the rise in the level of the oceans. Rarely has the urgency been so great ".

Steve McQuillan for DayNewsWorld



Qatar is dreaming of a big football party.

As a “rentier, oligarchic and clientelist” regime, Qatar has, as researcher Danyel Reiche explains, implemented a policy of soft power through sport. This, initiated in 1995 after the seizure of power by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, was reinforced in 2008 by the Qatar National Vision 2030, a program aimed at both strengthening national security and guaranteeing maintaining the reigning family in power.

It is within this framework that, from November 20 to December 18 (national holiday), Qatar will host the 22nd FIFA World Cup. The competition has not even started yet that the controversies surrounding the 2022 World Cup have been spilling ink in recent days.

Already very controversial, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which officially begins this Sunday with Qatar - Ecuador at 5 p.m., is more than ever in the eye of the storm. In any case, the controversies accumulate dangerously around the organization of the most prestigious of competitions.

heated controversies

The years between the awarding of the competition (2010) – controversial and tainted by suspicions of corruption – and its organization were heatedly debated.

These controversies relate in particular to the cost of the work estimated at 200 billion dollars; on the ecological footprint of the event, although it will be the most compact World Cup geographically since the very first, organized in 1930 in Montevideo; on the working conditions on the construction sites, almost slave-like and the number of worker deaths, pointed out in particular by a survey by the Guardian…

Lack of respect for human and workers' rights

In the desert, it is indeed difficult to hear the voice of immigrant workers having worked on the construction sites of the Mondial. Despite some social progress highlighted by the Qatari authorities, NGOs denounce the lack of respect for human rights in the country. It is out of the question to speak openly about working conditions in the country. Manifest, don't even think about it. The last foreign workers who ventured there, in the streets of Doha at the end of August, inherited a one-way ticket to their country of origin, with no hope of returning.

Challenging the regime from within is simply impossible. In the radius of the accusations, a number comes up in a loop. Some 6,500 foreign workers have died in the host country since the event was awarded, according to a Guardian investigation published in February 2021. The NGO FairSquare went further. At the using the documents sent to the embassies of the nationals concerned, she was able to establish that 60% of the deaths were classified as "natural deaths" or "cardiac arrest", two hypotheses that are not very credible... Be that as it may, the candidates for the departure for Qatar are not lacking, especially in Southeast Asia. The large and modern houses built in the city, the businesses created by returning migrants are real incentives to leave in order to improve their social and economic status.

Lately, it was impossible to miss the "false" supporters in the emirate , foreign fans actually mobilized by the organizing committee to liven up the atmosphere in Qatar upon the arrival of the various nations, but also all throughout the tournament while generating positive content on social media. The Guardian reveals precisely on this subject this Friday that these people will ultimately simply not be reimbursed by Qatar!

The British daily explains that these supporters, who were offered travel, accommodation and a place for the opening ceremony of the World Cup, were informed by the Qatari authorities that they would not receive their daily allowances. The bad image given off by this system put in place by Qatar seems to have motivated the organizing committee to backpedal.

This new revelation should further fuel the many criticisms around this 2022 World Cup, during which, against all odds, fans will not be able to consume alcohol around the stadiums.

The stadiums built especially for the World Cup which deploy innovative technologies. But behind the beautiful speeches of the organizers, their energy cost and their environmental impact raise questions.

The environmental cost

The Football World Cup, which opens this November 20 in Qatar, will broadcast to millions of enthusiasts the dazzling images of an abundance of energy at the wrong time.

Moved to winter to escape the extreme temperatures of this wealthy Middle Eastern emirate, the competition will take place in eight stadiums, seven of which have been built specifically to host the global event. So many "jewels of the desert" - this is also the nickname of one of them - firmly embedded in the story of a "sustainable" and "carbon neutral" World Cup, told by the organizers, the Fifa and the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee. Jewels of technology assimilated by environmental associations to greenwashing. “How can air-conditioned stadiums be sustainable? Here is the rhetorical question posed on the official World Cup website.

Also communicating on a "carbon neutral" competition and highlighting the energy performance of the stadiums - even in the aisles of the COP26 - does it amount to "greening the packaging, when the whole product is problematic", sums up a researcher . Especially since, “in the Gulf countries, air conditioning is not a bad word. It is part of the way of life. “, notes another researcher: in Qatar, lowering the temperature inside accounts for 60 to 70% of the total electricity consumption of the country, noted in 2021 the Qatari newspaper The Peninsula.

Another grievance against this country: the intolerance of morals

Thus individual and collective behavior in the public space: local dress traditions require covering the body, even if a certain tolerance is granted to tourists, and demonstrations of affection in public clash with local cultural values ​​and are prohibited; as for the consumption of alcohol and drunkenness on the public highway, they are punishable by law. However, it is possible to obtain alcohol in some international restaurants and hotels, and FIFA has announced that it will be possible to obtain beer from the main sponsor in the fan zones three hours before and one hour after the matches.

On the other hand, homosexuality is not tolerated in Qatar. It falls under the law and those found guilty are liable to seven years in prison.

FIFA, however, assures that it is committed with Qatar to “guarantee the safety and warm welcome of all participants in the FIFA World Cup. This includes ensuring that law enforcement activities related to the FIFA World Cup are strictly necessary and proportionate. 

As has been the case at several international events that Qatar has hosted, individuals' privacy will be respected. »

While several captains announced that they would wear the rainbow armband in support of the LGBTQ+ community during the World Cup in Qatar (a country where homosexuality is prohibited and criminally punished), Hugo Lloris explained to him that he would not, preferring to respect the host country of the 2022 World Cup. There is no doubt that ostensible demonstrations would offend the nationals to the point of disturbing public order...

In Western countries, we hear much more criticism of the non-respect of human and workers' rights as well as the ecological consequences and intolerance of customs than popular fervor. But the objective is elsewhere for the emirate.

"Put Qatar on the world map"

“The economic viability of the World Cup does not enter into the considerations of the Qataris. It is a country that has very different economic standards from ours with a colossal gas windfall for a small number of inhabitants. The GDP per capita there is one of the highest in the world,” recalls Mathieu Llorca. And recalls the priority of the Emir Al-Thani and his father Emir before him: "to put Qatar on the map of the world". At any price. Which he partly succeeded.

A leading international player

“How did a “young” State – it has only been independent since 1971 – and devoid of any classic attribute of power, become in the space of a few years a leading international player, on which the spotlight of the world whole are robbed when it hosts the Football World Cup?, wonders Lama Fakih, doctor in contemporary history and international relations, lecturer at Saint-Joseph University in Beirut, whose analysis published in TheConversation we reproduce .

Fifty years ago, Doha was just a small fishing village. To understand the spectacular trajectory of Qatar, Qatar has employed, mainly the alliance with the great powers, the practice of "hedging" (an approach consisting in maintaining good relations with all the actors of the international community, ignoring the differences that some may have among themselves), and "niche diplomacy". If this foreign policy was primarily intended to secure the sovereignty of the emirate, it was quickly put at the service of an excessive quest for power, favored by a weakening of traditional leadership in the Arab world.

British protectorate from 1916 to 1968, Qatar – a small emirate on the Arabian Peninsula with an area of ​​11,571 km2 (about that of the Île de France, to give an order of comparison) and populated by some 2.5 million people today, barely 10% of whom are Qataris, the other residents being foreign workers – has only one land border, which is moreover controversial: with the immense Saudi Arabia, almost two hundred times larger . Qatar is somehow stuck between the two giants of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

After its independence in 1971, the country evolved for nearly 25 years in the shadow of Riyadh.

The first Gulf War, in 1990-1991, was a historic turning point for the Gulf countries. In particular, it will have a major impact on the relationship between Doha and Washington. With Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Qatar realizes its own vulnerability and the ease with which one of its powerful neighbors could annex it. He considers the American security umbrella as the only real guarantee of survival. The US military base in Al-Udeid, Qatar, will be used extensively during Operation Enduring Freedom against the Afghan Taliban.

The country is gradually emerging as a privileged regional ally of the Americans – especially after the palace revolution of 1995, to which Washington undoubtedly gave its consent.

If Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani seeks above all to ensure the sovereignty of his country by relying firmly on the United States, he does not intend to bet everything on this alliance: Qatar is multiplying partnerships, to the point of asserting itself fairly quickly as a key player in the concert of nations. Indeed, Doha opts for a “hedging” policy, which consists of maintaining good relations with opposing players to reduce possible risks in the long term. 

This approach allows the “little ones” to gain influence to promote their political autonomy. Finally, Qatar is developing niche diplomacy, a preferred strategy for small states and medium-sized powers. Through niche diplomacy, Doha is forging a national brand image and international visibility.

Qatar is thus seeking to acquire a reputation as a neutral State, friend of all, “good international citizen”, modern, open to the West while remaining faithful to its Arab-Muslim identity.

Almost unlimited financial means with gas

The “express” emergence of this country remains unique. It is therefore explained by the strategic vision of its leadership, almost unlimited financial resources and favorable regional and international circumstances. Qatar was only able to acquire its status as a regional power insofar as its interests merged with those of other powers, first and foremost the United States.

But this whole trajectory has also been made possible by the fact that, the third largest holder of gas resources in the world and the leading exporter of liquefied natural gas, the emirate now has one of the highest GDPs in the world. As an indication, it goes from 8.1 billion dollars in 1995 to 44.5 billion in 2005 to exceed 100 billion from 2010. This is mainly possible thanks to its sovereign investment fund founded in 2005, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

An economic and investment force

Qatar therefore invests massively abroad, particularly in the major capitals. The financial crisis of 2008 thus constituted an opportunity to make oneself indispensable, furthermore consolidating one's alliances.

Education (with the Qatar Foundation), sport (with the purchase of Paris Saint-Germain, the broadcasting of many events via the Bein Sports channel and of course the next World Cup), culture (with the many museums prestigious exhibitions, the exhibitions of the greatest artists or the purchase of master paintings), mediations (in Lebanon, Darfur or more recently between the United States and the Taliban), and also the Al Jazeera news channel, are as many niches as it exploits to assert itself. The latter is more explicitly described by a Wikileaks cable as a “diplomatic tool” serving the interests of Doha. This also applies to Qatar for accusations of supporting terrorism,

The reception of this competition seems in itself to be governed by a form of hedging.

"This is the balancing act in which this country, overexposed to the media, has been engaged since it won the organization of the 2022 World Cup in 2010: to sell a smooth image of the flag-flag of the Arab country of the 21st century while based on a social system comparable to that of Saudi Arabia and other authoritarian regimes in the region, where the slightest head that sticks out is expelled, in the best of cases. »

Qatar “uses sport to gain power and influence on the international stage. He is aiming for the Holy Grail of sport. “, warns Raphaël Le Magoariec, specialist in the societies of the Arabian Peninsula and in sport, co-author of The Empire of Qatar the new masters of the game ? (ed. The Points on the i.).

Not sure, however, that the projection of “soft power” changes international perceptions.

Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld



Second death sentence in Iran linked to the “riots” and 2000 charges filed.

Iranian justice pronounced Tuesday a death sentence against a "rioter", announced the press agency of the Judiciary Authority. This is the second such sentence in three days.

Iranian justice on Tuesday pronounced a second death sentence in three days against a "rioter", announced Mizan Online, the agency of the Judicial Authority.

Protests have been taking place in Iran since the death two months ago of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd who was arrested for breaking a strict dress code that requires women to wear the Islamic veil in public.

The authorities denounce "riots" and hundreds of people have been arrested. On Sunday, a court in Tehran had already sentenced to death a person found guilty of "burning down a government building, disturbing public order, gathering and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security, to be an enemy of God and to corrupt on earth”.

“The accused is an enemy of God”

Five other people had also been sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for “gathering and conspiring to commit crimes against national security and disturbing public order”.

In the same trial, a revolutionary court condemned to death another person accused of having

"Terrorized people in the street using a bladed weapon, for having set fire to a citizen's motorcycle and attacked an individual with a knife," the Mizan Online agency reported on Tuesday evening.

"The defendant is an enemy of God for having used edged weapons", according to the verdict.

The court being of first instance, the convicts can appeal, specifies the agency.

Jaimie Potts for DayNewsWorld


Panic seized the heart of Istanbul (Turkey) this Sunday. A loud explosion sounded in the afternoon on the busy shopping street of Istiklal in the heart of Istanbul, Turkish media reported.

Istiklal Avenue, the city's busiest pedestrian thoroughfare, was packed with people and the sun gave off the air of an Indian summer. When the sound of an explosion sounded, at 4:20 p.m., right in the middle of the passage, at the intersection of the small Imam-Adnan street, between the Mango clothing store and the Mado ice cream parlor.

The explosion occurred around 4:20 p.m. (1:20 p.m. GMT), when the crowd was particularly dense in this popular walking spot on Sundays for Istanbulites and tourists.

According to videos broadcast by social networks, the explosion emits a powerful detonation, accompanied by flames, and immediately triggers a movement of panic. A large black crater is also visible in these images, along with several bodies on the ground nearby. Families with children in their arms tried to run away from the neighborhood.

Many victims

The attack killed six people and injured 81, including two seriously, according to a latest report, given this Sunday evening by Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay. A father and his young daughter lost their lives, said Derya Yanik, Minister of Family and Social Services. She was 9 years old, according to public television TRT and the daily Cumhuriyet.

A 38-year-old mother and her 15-year-old daughter, as well as a couple aged 27 and 40 also died in the attack, details the Turkish daily.

Reactions from the authorities

For fear of a second explosion, the area was completely evacuated. An imposing deployment of security forces also blocks all access. The police cordoned off access to Istiklal Street and adjacent streets, and helicopters flew over the city center where numerous sirens sounded. In the neighboring district of Galata, many shops have lowered their curtains.

Less than an hour after the events, the Turkish Audiovisual High Council banned the audiovisual media from broadcasting images of the scene to "prevent fear-mongering". In addition, access to social networks was restricted in Turkey after the attack, according to online restrictions monitor Netblocks.

The Suspects A Syrian Woman and the PKK

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced, live on television, "a vile attack". “We consider this to be a terrorist attack due to the explosion of a bomb set off by an assailant,” said Fuat Oktay, the vice president.

While the latter had evoked a "suicide bomber" at first, the Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdag, then evoked a "bag" placed on a bench. “A woman sat on a bench for 40 to 45 minutes and after a while there was an explosion,” he continued. “Either this bag contained a timer or someone activated it remotely,” he added.

“Let our people be sure that the perpetrators will be punished. Attempts to trap Turkey and the Turkish nation in terror will not be able to achieve their goal today or tomorrow, any more than they did yesterday,” promised Erdogan, who had already faced a campaign of terror in across the country in 2015-2016. Claimed in part by the Islamic State group, it had killed nearly 500 people and injured more than 2,000. "We will find those who are behind this attack, whoever it is, even if it goes to the other side of the world" promised Fuat Oktay.

Turkish Interior Minister Souleyman Soylu announced on Monday the arrest of 46 people, including some in Kucukcekmece, on the outskirts of Istanbul. Among them, a woman suspected of having planted the bomb and of Syrian nationality admitted the facts, confirmed the Turkish police. She would have declared to have acted on the orders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and received directives in northeast Syria.

The city is famous for the battle that took place there and allowed Kurdish forces to repel the Islamic State (IS) group in 2015. It is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the People's Protection Units (YPG), allied to the PKK, are a major component.

The PKK, considered a terrorist organization by Ankara but also by its Western allies including the United States and the European Union, had since Sunday been accused of being behind the attack by the Turkish authorities. "Operations continue" to arrest other suspects, said the Minister of the Interior.

Turkey "rejected" this Monday morning the condolences of the United States which

“support the Kurdish terrorists” of Kobané, indicated Souleyman Soylu.

“We do not accept condolences from the United States. Our alliance with a state that maintains Kobané and pockets of terror (…) must be debated”, declared the minister, again questioning the PKK.

Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld


The two Koreas exchanged missile fire on Wednesday: Pyongyang launched more than 10, one of which fell near South Korean territorial waters, prompting Seoul to retaliate with three air-to-surface missiles , South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol denouncing a "de facto territorial invasion". A short-range ballistic missile attributed to North Korea first crossed the Northern Limit Line, which is the de facto maritime boundary between the two countries, prompting a rare airstrike alert asking residents of the South Korean island of Ulleungdo to take refuge in underground shelters.

Seoul military says it's 'the first time since the division of the peninsula' after fighting in the Korean War in 1953 that a North Korean missile has landed so close to southern territorial waters . Yoon "stressed that the North Korean provocation is a de facto territorial invasion by a missile that crossed the Northern Limit Line for the first time since the division" of the peninsula, the South Korean presidency said in a statement. a statement.

The missile that fell closest to South Korea landed in waters just 57 kilometers (35 miles) east of mainland South Korea, Seoul's military said, calling it "very rare and intolerable" the shooting of Pyongyang. “We declare that our army will respond decisively to this,” she added.

Soon after, the Seoul military reported firing three air-to-surface missiles near the spot at the sea border where the North Korean missile fell. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff initially claimed to have identified a launch of three short-range ballistic missiles.

But he later announced that North Korea had launched "more than 10 missiles of different types towards the East and the West". President Yoon has called a meeting of the National Security Council over the launch, which analysts say is one of the most "aggressive and threatening" in several years. The South Korean president also ordered "swift and severe measures so that North Korea's provocations pay a heavy price". Japan has also confirmed the launch of North Korean missiles, with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida telling reporters he wants to "hold a national security meeting as soon as possible".

"Watchful Storm"

Seoul and Washington are currently holding the largest joint air exercise in their history, dubbed "Vigilant Storm", involving hundreds of warplanes from both armies. Pak Jong Chon, marshal and secretary of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, called the drills aggressive and provocative, according to a report by North Korea's official press on Wednesday.

According to him, the name of these maneuvers echoes Operation "Desert Storm", the name given to the military operations of the coalition led by the United States against Iraq in 1990 and 1991 after the invasion of Kuwait.

"If the United States and South Korea try to use their armed forces against the (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) without fear, the special means of the DPRK armed forces will accomplish their strategic mission without delay," said Mr. Pak, according to state agency KCNA. "The United States and South Korea will face a terrible bargain and pay the most horrific price in history," Pak added.

Close to South Korea

The missiles fired by North Korea on Wednesday constitute "the most aggressive and threatening show (of force) against the South since 2010", Cheong Seong-chang, a researcher at the Sejong Institute, told AFP. "This is a dangerous and unstable situation which could lead to armed (clashes)," he added. In March 2010, a North Korean submarine torpedoed a South Korean corvette, the Cheonan, killing 46 sailors, 16 of whom were doing their compulsory military service.

In November of the same year, the North had bombed an island bordering South Korea, causing the death of two young soldiers. The North Korean missile launch on Wednesday comes after a series of launches, including what the North has called tactical nuclear exercises. Washington and Seoul repeatedly warn that Pyongyang could carry out a new nuclear test, which would be the 7th in its history.

"As long as I can remember, North Korea has never made such a provocation when South Korea and the United States were carrying out joint maneuvers," said Park Won-gon, a professor at Ewha University. .

"Pyongyang seems to have completed its strongest (measure of) deterrence. This is a serious threat. The North also seems confident in its nuclear capabilities."

Larry Rick for DayNewsWorld




At least 120 people died and a hundred others were injured in the night from Saturday to Sunday in a stampede during a Halloween party in central Seoul, we learned from an official source.

Dozens of people were treated for cardiac arrest in Seoul on Saturday (October 29th) during Halloween celebrations, South Korean firefighters said.

"As of 2:30 a.m. local time, 120 people were killed and 100 others injured," Choi Seong-beom, a fire official from the South Korean capital, told reporters at the scene of the disaster.

A fire department spokesman confirmed the incident, saying 140 ambulances had been dispatched to the scene to attend to the victims.

According to the Yonhap news agency, thousands of people were celebrating Halloween in the Itaewon district, and about 50 of them suffered a cardiac arrest.

The victims seem to have been caught in crowd movements in this district of the South Korean capital where Halloween celebrations bring together a large number of people.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has asked hospitals to prepare to receive the injured.

Photographs released by Yonhap showed more than a dozen people lying in a street, with rescuers performing CPR on some of them, as police cordoned off the crowds.

According to video images, about twenty bodies were however covered with sheets or blankets, the rescuers not trying to resuscitate these people. Other victims were evacuated on stretchers to ambulances.

The Halloween celebrations this year are the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which South Koreans were forced to wear masks outdoors.

Carl Delsey for DayNewsWorld



Clashes took place on Wednesday, October 26, in the hometown of Mahsa Amini. “Security forces fired tear gas and opened fire at Zindan Square in Saqez city,” according to Hengaw. The group monitoring rights violations in the Kurdish regions of Iran did not say whether there were deaths or injuries.

As of Tuesday evening, the authorities had reinforced their device in Saghez, deploying forces in a central square. Access to the city would also have been blocked. According to human rights activists, the security forces had warned the young woman's parents against organizing a tribute ceremony at her grave, going so far as to threaten "the life of their son".

Despite tight security measures, columns of mourners had flocked to Saqez, in the province of Western Kurdistan, to pay their respects to Mahsa Amini at her grave, forty days after the death of the young woman.

"The Year of Blood"

Defying a reinforced security device, shouting "Woman, life, freedom" or "Death to the dictator", a crowd of men and women had gathered around the grave of the young woman in the Aichi cemetery in the city of Saghez, in the province of Kurdistan (west), according to videos posted on social networks. Worshipers began to join the cemetery early Wednesday.

Images posted online by activists and human rights defenders showed huge crowds, in cars and on motorbikes, walking through fields and along roads, or even crossing a river. Clapping, shouting, honking, the crowd invaded the road linking Saghez to the cemetery, eight kilometers away, according to images posted online by Hengaw, which this NGO said it had verified. "This year is the year of blood, Seyed Ali will be overthrown," a group shouted in an authenticated video, referring to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In several cities of Kurdistan, “Sanandaj, Saghez, Divandarreh, Marivan and Kamyaran, strikes are widely followed”, according to Hengaw. Likewise in Javanrud and Ravansar, in the province of Kermanshah (west).

According to Hengaw, two figures in Iranian football, legendary striker Ali Daei and goalkeeper Hamed Lak, traveled to Saghez on the 40th day following the death of Mahsa Amini, marking the end of the traditional period of mourning in Iran.

They stayed at the Kurd Hotel, according to Hengaw, but "were transferred to the government guesthouse ... under the guard of the security forces".

This 22-year-old Iranian Kurd died on September 16, three days after her arrest in Tehran by the morality police who accused her of having violated the strict dress code of the Islamic Republic, imposing in particular the wearing of the veil for women.

His death sparked a wave of protests unprecedented for three years, which continues across Iran. Young women and schoolgirls took to the front line, many bareheaded, burning their veils and defying the security forces.

Iranian justice announced on Wednesday that it had charged more than 300 people, bringing the official number of charges related to these demonstrations to more than a thousand.

One of the most important protest movements in Iran since 1979

This protest movement against Iranian religious authorities is one of the largest since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

This movement, notably fueled so far by Iranian youth – with strikes in dozens of universities – could still gain momentum with the end of the period of mourning.

New US sanctions against Tehran

Washington on Wednesday announced economic sanctions targeting Iranian officials and companies for their violent crackdown on protests that have rocked Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini, and deliberate disruptions in Internet access.

Abby Shelcore for DayNewsWorld



Third historic coronation for Xi Jinping. The Chinese president was reappointed Sunday, October 23 at the head of the Communist Party, after having swept away all challenge, becoming the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, founder of the regime.

The Beijing strongman vowed to "work hard in fulfilling" his "tasks" immediately after being granted a third five-year term by a vastly revamped Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCP). He thus becomes the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, founder of the regime.

The highlight of this 20th Congress is the presentation of the new PCC Standing Committee this Sunday morning, the seven men who will lead the world's second-largest economy. And as tradition dictates, it was the president who arrived first on the red carpet, taking along his comrades, in particular Li Qiang, future Prime Minister. Behind him and the others, six dark suits and red ties on the strata of the golden salon, on the third floor of the People's Palace. Faces closed, arms along the body, almost at attention, the six silhouettes listened to the secretary general and number one of the Party make his speech.

We knew with the retirement of Prime Minister Li Keqiang and that of former President Hu Jintao, pushed out on Saturday, that there would only be the president's men on this committee. They are familiar figures, explains Xi Jinping while introducing them. He knew them partly when he was secretary of the Communist Party of Zhejiang, a province on the east coast of China, and then in Shanghai.

Its future Prime Minister, Li Qiang, is the boss of the Shanghai CCP which has the terrible reputation of having confined his city and its inhabitants for 3 months last year. In the Communist Party, loyalty takes precedence over popularity. This appointment is a sign of "an ever more proven headlong rush in ideology, in Xi Jinping's stubbornness", observes Chloé Froissart, sinologist and university political science professor at Inalco. “The zero covid policy will not be called into question”.

Beijing CPC General Secretary Cai Qi will handle the party's general affairs office. Li Xi, general secretary of the CCP in Guangdong province (south), was appointed to the party's disciplinary committee. It is a key post that oversees the anti-corruption campaign launched in 2012 by Xi Jinping to bring down the corrupt and his political opponents.

For young Zhao Leji, 65, Ding Xuexiang, who was the president's political aide, and Wang Huning, the regime's chief ideologue for three generations of leaders, they are all considered close to the CCP general secretary. The two big starters, Li Keqiang, outgoing Prime Minister, and Wang Yang, given a moment as new head of government, were both close to former President Hu Jintao and the Communist Youth faction. The holy of holies of the Chinese Communist Party, the supreme body, no longer has any potential opponent of China's number one Xi Jinping. Now held by Xi's closest allies, the new Standing Committee confirms Xi Jinping's stranglehold on the political formation, according to analysts.

“They are all men of Xi, it shows that he wants to govern beyond a third term”, therefore after 2027, underlines Alfred Wu Muluan, expert in Chinese politics at the National University of Singapore. Willy Lam, a CCP specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, predicted “an abnormally asymmetrical domination by a single faction: that of Xi Jinping”.

No more than the standing committee, the political bureau, the decision-making body of the Chinese Communist Party, does not have a woman. A first in 25 years. The only woman who was part of this group of 25 people has retired and none of the new members unveiled this Sunday are women.

Evacuation of Hu Jintao

The only significant incident during a highly choreographed ceremony, former President Hu Jintao was escorted out on Saturday.

Visibly against his will, the 79-year-old, who served as China's president from 2003 to 2013, was pressured by employees to get up from his seat next to Xi Jinping. This very unusual scene has not been explained by the authorities.

The New China Agency said in English that Hu Jintao “did not feel well”. He is "much better" now, she wrote on Twitter, a social network blocked in China. Hu Jintao, who appeared physically weakened during the congress, is Xi Jinping's predecessor and is considered a reformer. Any recent reference to his name appeared to have been censored from the Chinese internet.

“China cannot develop without the world, and the world also needs China”

Despite an almost total concentration of power, Xi Jinping will have to face a sharply slowing economy, in particular due to his “zero Covid” policy, an exacerbated rivalry with the United States and international criticism of human rights.

During an address to the press after having obtained a third mandate at the head of the Communist Party and therefore of the country, Xi Jinping assured: "China cannot develop without the world, and the world also needs the China”.

The president hailed the “two miracles” achieved in the country: “rapid economic development and long-term social stability”.

In a decade at the head of the country, Xi Jinping has succeeded in making China the second largest economy in the world, with one of the most powerful armies in the world. The Head of State was also reappointed as head of the Central Military Commission. Within it, several of the newly promoted generals are part of the Taiwan Strait clique and are very belligerent and push for an invasion of the island. This confirms that Taiwan is a top priority for Xi Jinping's China.

The Great Nation Rebirth for 2049

Xi Jinping is leading the China ship and on the dais of the Golden Hall of the Great People's Palace he reiterated the objectives: "The construction of a modern socialist country and the march towards the great rebirth of the nation corresponds to a wish and a long wait, China's modernization is the result of the joint efforts of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people."

The modernization of the country is therefore for 2035, the Great Renaissance of the nation is for 2049. From now on, nothing will prevent Xi Jinping from continuing in power.

And if China is to become a modern socialist country with an open economy, it is the people, and especially the Party, that take precedence over everything else in this modernization.

Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld



Xi Jinping opened the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China on Sunday, October 16, 2022.

On the occasion of his opening speech at the Congress of the Communist Party, the President of the People's Republic of China reiterated on Sunday that the primary objective of the Party remains that of economic development, but that the security of the country must also guide the Party action. A speech largely devoted to domestic policy issues, delivered to some 2,300 party delegates, gathered in the huge People's Palace. The latter should entrust him in a week with a third historic mandate at the head of the country.

The opportunity for the undisputed master of Beijing to reaffirm his political firmness and show his desire to supplant the United States as the first world power.

"The use of force" on Taiwan ?

Xi Jinping does not intend to give in on Taiwan. While assuring that China had always "respected" and had always "cared" for the Taiwanese people, Xi Jinping showed determination to reunify "peacefully" what he considers to be one of his territories, although the Taiwanese leader, Tsai Ing-Wen, maintains her refusal to integrate into the Middle Kingdom. "The resolution of the Taiwan question is the business of the Chinese people, and it is up to the Chinese people to decide", hammered the leader of the People's Republic of China in front of the 2,300 CCP delegates present at the party congress. which opened on Saturday in Beijing. “The historic wheels of national reunification and national rejuvenation are rolling. Complete reunification of the homeland must be achieved. It will be done,” he added. To achieve his ends, the Chinese president does not rule out any recourse to "force", as these recent deterrent military maneuvers have suggested. “We will work with the greatest sincerity and the greatest efforts for the peaceful reunification ofTaiwan, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force and we reserve the option to take all necessary measures", confirmed Xi Jinping, while castigating any "separatism" and foreign "interference" in this conflict.

In September, US President Joe Biden assured that the United States would defend the island coveted by Beijing "if an unprecedented attack were to occur". After which, China denounced a "serious violation" of Washington's diplomatic promises.

The fight against global warming

It is precisely because of the tensions with the United States on the question of Taiwan that Beijing had announced the suspension on September 1 of its cooperation with the United States on global warming, tied in the corridors of the COP26, in Glasgow. . On Sunday, Xi Jinping, however, briefly mentioned the climate crisis, assuring that his country would "actively promote" the fight against global warming.

China is one of the biggest polluters in the world and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. In March 2021, the country published the details of its policy to reduce the share of carbon energies in its energy mix, promising to increase the share of renewable energies to 25% in 2025. According to a report by the think tank Carbon Tracker, published ahead of the Climate Conference, this rate had increased from 7% to 15% between 2009 and 2019.

"We will actively participate in global governance on climate change," said Xi Jinping, while committing to "strengthen the clean and efficient use of coal". The country, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, is highly dependent on this fossil fuel to power its power plants.

Its “zero Covid” policy

XI Jinping spoke of the “zero Covid” policy put in place by the country and reflected in the strengthening of social control over citizens, all of whose movements are now recorded by computer. China has "highly safeguarded people's safety and health and achieved significant positive results by coordinating epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development", he said.

Its anti-corruption campaign

In his speech, Xi Jinping also defended his fearsome anti-corruption campaign, responding to critics who accuse him of using it to bring down rivals and consolidate his power. "The fight against corruption has won a landslide victory and has consolidated in an exhaustive manner, eliminating the serious latent dangers within the party, the state and the army,” he said. According to official figures, at least 1.5 million people have been punished during this campaign, which Xi Jinping began as soon as he came to power in 2012 to bring down the "tigers" (top leaders) and the "flies" (small officials) eager for bribes.

And on the eve of the opening of the 20th Congress, CCP leaders officially endorsed the decision to expel a handful of officials, including Fu Zhenghua and Shen Deyong, who served on the Central Committee. One of the country's most powerful police chiefs, Fu was sentenced to life in September after being accused of forming a "political clique" with other senior security officials, including Sun Lijun, former deputy minister of Public Security. Their fall from grace is arguably the biggest purge of the security system since Xi launched his massive anti-corruption campaign. As for Shen, former vice president of the Supreme Court of China, he is awaiting trial for corruption.

For critics of Xi Jiping, this campaign has also been a political tool for the Chinese number one, intended to bring down rivals.

China, however, at an impasse

But despite this self-consecration and the defense of his record, Xi Jiping cannot ignore that China is today at an impasse,

Indeed, between the end of the 1970s and the mid-2010s, the country made its economic development an absolute priority. In 40 years, China has become the world's factory and the planet's leading market in many sectors. For the greater benefit of its population. But this model is in crisis. Growth there has become anemic – it should not exceed 3.2% this year -, one in five young urbanites is unemployed and real estate, the real lifeblood of activity, is out of breath. And according to Natixis, Chinese debt represents 275% of GDP.

The creeping real estate crisis

Pillar of the Chinese economy and symbol of the "miracle" of the last thirty years, the real estate sector is indeed caught in an unprecedented spiral of mistrust.Since Evergrande collapsed a year ago, the housing bubble has been cracking all over the place. These cascading bankruptcies have put on the floor tens of millions of households forced to honor their mortgages for homes bought at a high price and to which they will probably never have the keys. Over the months, a refund strike, born on the social network WeChat, has spread throughout the country, further weakening hundreds of small local banks weighed down by heaps of bad debts. At the end of July, the boycott concerned more than 320 identified construction sites and 800,000 housing units, Natixis seeing it as “the tip of a huge iceberg”. When Chinese real estate catches a cold, the whole country coughs. " These last years,

An economy undermined by debt and political choices

The growth crisis is therefore explained first by excessive indebtedness, particularly at the level of local authorities - the Chinese debt would represent 275% of GDP - but above all, by the political choices made by Xi Jinping to consolidate his power. . The “zero Covid” strategy, reaffirmed again yesterday at the podium of the XXth Congress, is in fact curbing business activity and household consumption. Similarly, the takeover of large private multinationals, particularly in Tech, acts as a brake on innovation.

China-US rivalries

It is in this difficult context that the conflict of powers between China and the United States is announced. The struggle between Washington and Beijing for world leadership promises to be a long-term showdown.

A decisive step in the confrontation between the two main world economies has just been taken by Joe Biden, with the implementation of restrictions in the sensitive sector of semiconductors, these electronic "chips" essential in the era digital. Washington took action on the eve of Xi Jinping's major political meeting, the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The American administration has indeed just published a document of a hundred pages [PDF] aiming neither more nor less, to “decapitate the Chinese semiconductor industry” according to the image of an American expert.

A world leadership that remains to be a long-term showdown, with real economic and geopolitical consequences.

Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld



Ten days after the death of Mahsa Amini, arrested by the police for a badly worn veil, it is now Hadis Najafi, killed by six bullets by the police, who has become the symbol of the Iranian revolt while demonstrators continue to defy power which represses brutally. We see, with her back to the camera, a young woman who ties her blond hair in a bun and readjusts her glasses.

She left her veil and her fear behind her, to take to the streets to join the protest movement that has inflamed Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini. This amateur video that has gone viral on social networks has quickly become a symbol of all these women who take off their veils and cut their hair to protest against the dress code imposed by the Islamic Republic.

A symbol of courage

Above all, it illustrates the last moments of the life of Hadis Najafi, barely 20 years old, who was killed by six bullets in the head, neck and chest by the security forces in the small town of Karaj, in west of Tehran. “Hadis Najafi did not remain silent in the face of tyranny. She was killed for protesting against the brutal death of Mahsa Amini”, announced on September 25, 2022 on Twitter the American journalist and activist of Iranian origin Masih Alinejad, who spoke with the sister of the victim. The announcement of the death of the young woman moved beyond the borders of Iran.

“Young Iranian women are the real catalyst for this mobilization. The fact that they are the leaders of this movement is quite unprecedented in Iran,” said journalist Sara Saidi, correspondent in Iran from 2016 to 2019.

"A strong movement that scares the regime"

However, the ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raïssi called on the police on Saturday to "react firmly". Faced with the scale of the mobilization, the head of the Iranian judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, threatened on Sunday to show “no leniency” vis-à-vis the demonstrators.

In ten days, fifty-four people were killed according to Iran Human Rights and hundreds arrested.

For Farid Wahid, director of the Observatory of North Africa and the Middle East of the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, these protests are the result of years of "economic, political and social frustration". “It is a strong, symbolic movement, which scares the regime. The Iranian authorities have received a very hard blow, taboos are broken, Iranians are done with the systematic linking of politics and religion. The situation is so catastrophic that these young people are ready to die to change things. Mahsa Amini's death was the spark that caused the explosion,” he adds.

The revolutionary song Bella ciao

The current movement goes far beyond the single issue of the veil. At the forefront of this revolt, of course, are Iranian women. As a sign of protest, some young Iranian women, their faces completely uncovered, take the risk of posting videos on social networks in which they revisit the Italian revolutionary anthem Bella ciao in Persian. A symbol shared virally all over the world.

But unlike other mobilizations where women acted in isolation, this is a collective movement. The very young women have succeeded in bringing together the older women but also the men in the streets.

Iran specialist Farid Wahid attests to this: “It's a feminist movement, but it's supported by many men, who are there for their sisters, their wives. Everyone is in the street, whether it is the bourgeois or poor neighborhoods, the city, the countryside. The country is moving, everywhere! »

To show their opposition to religious laws, some demonstrators have decided to attack the symbols of the Islamic Republic established in 1979. By unbolting statues or tearing down portraits of the political figures who established these laws throughout the country. is over 40 years old.

The Iranian government's only response has chosen force and cut off the internet to almost all of its 80 million inhabitants. This had already been the case, at the end of 2019, during demonstrations catalyzed by the increase in the price of fuel.

According to Reuters, the crackdown had killed 1,500...

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld



Until now, the French artistic community had been little heard on the protest movement triggered by the death on September 16 of Mahsa Amini in Tehran.

Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died on September 16, three days after her arrest for violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code, which notably requires women to wear the veil. Her death sparked a wave of protests in Iran, which were violently suppressed, and rallies in solidarity with Iranian women around the world. The Iranian people, women in the lead, demonstrate at the risk of their lives for access to the most essential freedoms. Braving death Iranian women took to the streets and started burning their veils and cutting their hair. They remove their hijab while shouting "Death to the Islamic Republic" A particularly symbolic gesture: removing the hijab is a punishable crime in Iran.

Ten days after the death of Mahsa Amini, arrested by the police for a badly worn veil, it is then Hadis Najafi, killed by six bullets by the police, who becomes the symbol of the Iranian revolt while demonstrators continue to defy the power that brutally suppresses. We see, with her back to the camera, a young woman who ties her blond hair in a bun and readjusts her glasses. She left her veil and her fear behind her, to take to the streets to join the protest movement that has inflamed Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini. This amateur video that has gone viral on social networks has quickly become a symbol of all these women who take off their veils and cut their hair to protest against the dress code imposed by the Islamic Republic.

A symbol of courage

Above all, it illustrates the last moments of the life of Hadis Najafi, barely 20 years old, who was killed by six bullets in the head, neck and chest by the security forces in the small town of Karaj, in west of Tehran. “Hadis Najafi did not remain silent in the face of tyranny. She was killed for protesting against the brutal death of Mahsa Amini”, announced on September 25, 2022 on Twitter the American journalist and activist of Iranian origin Masih Alinejad, who spoke with the sister of the victim. The announcement of the death of the young woman moved beyond the borders of Iran.

“We have decided to respond to the call that was made to us”

Finally the actresses Juliette Binoche, Julie Gayet, Isabelle Adjani, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexandra Lamy Isabelle Huppert, Laure Camaly, or even the singer Angèle... have given their support to these women tyrannized by the regime of the Iranian mullahs. In this video published by the Instagram account "Support women Iran", we can see the French actresses. In the background, the cover of the Italian song Bella Ciao by the Iranian singer Gandom, which has become the anthem of protest. "Masha Amini is dead for showing a few strands of hair", write these artists in a press release posted on Instagram.

At the initiative of this video, three lawyers: the president of Paris Julie Couturier, the former president of the National Bar Council, Christiane Feral Schuhl and Richard Sédillot, specialized in the defense of human rights.

The text that accompanies the video affirms that it is "impossible not to denounce again and again this terrible repression (...). The arrests only increase the number of prisoners already illegally detained and too often tortured . We have therefore decided to respond to the call that was made to us by cutting, too, some of these locks. "All posted a video filming them cutting a lock of hair as a sign of support for women. Iranian.

“Woman Life Freedom”

Nearly a thousand personalities of the French seventh art, including stars like Léa Seydoux, Isabelle Huppert and Dany Boon, renowned filmmakers or the boss of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Frémaux called on Tuesday to "support the women's revolt in Iran" , in a grandstand. In this appeal, entitled "Woman Life Freedom", the slogan of the demonstrations in Iran, the professionals wish "collectively to express (their) support for the Iranian women who are fighting today for their freedom at the risk of their lives, and Iranian people who courageously support their revolt".

The platform has also been signed by winners of the Palme d'Or, such as Julia Ducournau and Jacques Audiard, of the Lion d'Or such as Audrey Diwan, and actors as diverse as Marion Cotillard, Camille Cottin, Louis Garrel and Alex Lutz. .

"We call on all those who are speaking out against the assassination of Mahsa Amini and the massive, brutal and deadly repression ordered by the Iranian authorities, to express loud and clear their solidarity with the people Iranian,” they continue.

The “universal fight for women, for life and for freedom is also ours”.

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld


The death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police sparked a new wave of protest in the Islamic Republic. Faced with the authorities who deny any violence or negligence, rallies are multiplying in Iran, in particular to protest against the obligation to wear the veil. "The Iranian people have taken to the streets to fight for their fundamental rights and their human dignity [...] and the government is responding to these peaceful demonstrations with bullets", denounced the director of the NGO, Mahmood Amiry Moghaddam, in a press release, publishing a report after six days of demonstrations.

The NGO says it has confirmed that demonstrations have taken place in more than 30 cities and other urban localities in Iran, and is alarmed by "massive arrests" of demonstrators and civil society activists.

The demonstrations broke out immediately after the announcement on September 16 of the death of Mahsa Amini, 22 and from Kurdistan (north-west), who fell into a coma after being arrested in Tehran on September 13 for "wearing inappropriate clothes and detained by the morality police.

The first demonstrations took place in the province of Kurdistan where she was from. These protest rallies have now spread across the country.

Iran Human Rights said its death toll included 11 people killed on Wednesday evening alone in the city of Amol, in the northern province of Mazandaran which borders the Caspian Sea, and six people killed in Babol in the same province. .

The large city of Tabriz (northeast) experienced its first death in these demonstrations, according to the NGO. On Thursday, the Kurdish human rights organization "Hengaw" reported that 15 people had been killed in Kurdistan province and other Kurdish-populated northern regions of Iran, including eight people killed in the evening. of Wednesday. For its part, state television announced Thursday a toll of 17 people - including protesters and police - who died in these demonstrations.

Women's leadership

Unlike past revolts, women took the lead by taking to the streets before being joined by men in a context of economic and social difficulties linked to the decline in purchasing power. The protest turned into a large-scale agitation against a hated power.

Slogans hostile to the regime are chanted everywhere, even setting fire to the photo of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"For the first time, women have taken the lead in a social movement that is not cultural when historically they have fought their battles more through the arts such as literature, cinema, theater and painting as well as via journalism and medicine, confides the sociologist Farhad Khosrokhavar, specialist in Iran and author of the book The new jihad in the West (Robert Laffont, 2018). The cultural feminist movement has thus also transformed into a social movement ".

Iranians, exhausted by years of sanctions and by the pandemic, are now rising up against the very symbols of the Islamic Republic regime, which are in particular the question of wearing the veil and the instruments of repression and control reactivated since the accession to power of President Ebrahim Raïsi, in August 2021.

“The underground challenge to the Islamist order is now coming to light,” says Iranologist Clément Therme, associate researcher at the International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah).

The authorities are faced with a dilemma, either they renounce the identity of the regime, or they fall into systematic repression against a popular ground swell which calls for a profound socio-cultural transformation of the country. “, poorsuit he in The opinion.

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld



Eight months after its launch, the “special military operation” in Ukraine has come to an end. Without however pronouncing the word "war", Vladimir Putin took a new step, this Wednesday, September 21, 2022, by decreeing the mobilization of citizens for the Ukrainian front, saying he was ready to use "all the means" of his vast arsenal against the West. "It's not a bluff," insisted Vladimir Putin, meaning that he was ready to use atomic weapons.

Mobilization of reservists and nuclear threat

“The oukaze is signed, the process begins today,” the president announced in a rare televised address to his people.

The announced partial military mobilization concerns 300,000 reservists, primarily citizens with military experience, aged 65 for the oldest. The students and conscripts of the contingent will not be affected by a mobilization at the front, the Russian authorities have promised for the moment. According to the head of the Defense Committee in Parliament, Andrei Kartapolov, the main concerns are reservist soldiers and non-commissioned officers under the age of 35 as well as junior reserve officers under the age of 45.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu argued that the front line “is more than 1,000 kilometers long. Obviously, we must strengthen this line and the rear, we must control these territories, ”he said.

Towards annexation referendums

Moreover, just yesterday the separatist authorities of four regions of Ukraine announced the holding of "annexation referendums" from Friday 23 to Tuesday 27 September. The next day, in his televised address, Vladimir Putin also gave his support to these initiatives, defending the “right to self-determination” of the inhabitants of the provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporijia.

The organization of these referendums accelerated with the Ukrainian counter-offensive. "It's a way of sanctuarizing these territories," explains Jean de Gliniasty, former French ambassador to Russia, director of research at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris). “Russia announces for the outside that it will defend these territories as its own. ". With the consequence that “any ground threat to these territories will be considered an existential threat by Moscow. “, according to Jean de Gliniasty. Once these referendums have been approved, Russia could therefore consider that the war is now taking place on its soil. "And when we talk about an existential threat, it's the atomic weapon that is at stake," continues Jean de Gliniasty. Vladimir Putin has indeed threatened to

Even if the legitimacy of these votes is widely disputed by part of the international community, these annexations could however have an outcome similar to that of Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014 after a referendum not recognized by the international community.

Against a Western unipolar world ?

Russia with this war also wants to act on a change in the game of international relations by saying it is ready to use "all the means" of its vast arsenal against the West. Indeed for the countries belonging to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), it is a question of counterbalancing Western hegemony in international relations. So China and Russia have come together in recent years in what they have called a "no-holds-barred" relationship aimed at counterbalancing US global dominance. Last week, Vladimir Putin andhis Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in Uzbekistan, at a regional summit, and rallied Asian leaders behind a new “international order” defying Western influence.

“Attempts to create a unipolar world have recently taken an absolutely ugly form and are totally unacceptable. We very much appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends regarding the Ukrainian crisis,” Vladimir Putin said during his one-on-one with Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Samarkand summit. "China is willing to work with Russia to shoulder its great power responsibility, play a leading role and inject stability and positive energy into a chaotic world," the Chinese leader replied. who took up the idea of ​​an alternative to the current world order.

China calls for ceasefire through dialogue

Still, after this Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit last weekend, the Chinese and Indian leaders nevertheless expressed to Putin their frustration at the logistical, financial and economic disorders caused by the sanctions. international against Moscow.

And this Wednesday, September 21, after Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech announcing a partial military mobilization, China calls for a "ceasefire through dialogue" in the conflict in Ukraine "We call on the parties concerned to establish a ceasefire through dialogue and consultation and find a solution that resolves the legitimate security concerns of all parties as soon as possible," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said. , during a press conference.

"The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter must be followed, the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken into account, and all efforts conducive to peaceful resolution of crises should be supported,” Wang Wenbin added. "China calls on all parties concerned to properly resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation, and stands ready to work with the international community to continue to play a constructive role in de-escalating the situation," he said.

The United States, for its part, "takes seriously" Vladimir Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine, a White House spokesman said on Wednesday.

Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld


The death of a young woman has inflamed Iran for several days. Mahsa Amini, arrested by vice squad on September 13, died three days later after falling into a coma. She had been arrested in Tehran for "wearing inappropriate clothing" by the vice police, a unit responsible for enforcing the Islamic Republic of Iran's strict dress code for women. Clearly because she was wearing a headscarf deemed not to comply with Islamic law in force in Iran. Activists called his death "suspicious" while Tehran police said there was "no physical contact" between officers and the victim.

The death in troubled circumstances of this 22-year-old Iranian Kurd has sparked since this weekend a wave of indignation and spontaneous demonstrations in many cities of the country, including the capital Tehran.

Women take off their hijab

On Twitter, the videos showing the demonstrations in the country testify to the anger of the population, in particular on the side of the women. Some remove their hijab while shouting “Death to the Islamic Republic” A particularly symbolic gesture removing the hijab is a punishable crime in Iran.

Human rights organization Hengaw reported on Twitter that two people were killed in Saqez, Mahsa Amini's hometown, after security forces opened fire on the crowd. In the same city, demonstrators went so far as to take down an Islamic Republic flag and burn it.

Monday evening, in the Hejab street (“Muslim veil” in Persian) in the center of Tehran, “several hundred people chanted slogans against the authorities, some of them took off their hijab”, announced the Fars agency. .A short video broadcast by this agency shows a crowd of several dozen people, including women who have removed their veils, shouting "death to the Islamic Republic". “The police arrested several people and dispersed the crowd using truncheons and tear gas,” Fars said. A similar gathering took place in Mashhad, the country's first holy city located in the northeast, Tasnim news agency reported.

On social media, many Iranian women have filmed themselves cutting their hair or burning their veils in protest.

According to sociologist Mahnaz Shirali, “this death created a public outcry, a national outrage from Iranians all over the country. It is the whole of Iranian society, both men and women, who are united in protesting against so much injustice”. Many women in particular identify with the fate of Mahsa Amini: “All Iranian women have memories of skirmishes, and lots of bad memories with the morality police who are everywhere and who systematically repress women”.

President Ebrahim Raisi has called for an investigation. But little chance that it really succeeds. The defense of women's rights is theoretically devolved to Ensieh Khazali, vice-president of the Islamic republic, director of women's affairs, a largely honorary position. Appointed by President Ebrahim Raïssi in September 2021, she is known for her ultra-conservative positions, in particular on the marriage of minors, in complete coherence with the government in place.

Many filmmakers, artists, sports, political and religious figures have expressed their anger on social networks. Abroad, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell on Monday condemned the "unacceptable" death of this young woman and called on the authorities to punish those responsible.

Iranian Masha Amini has become a symbol of the country's repression against women.

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld


Queen Elizabeth II began her last journey yesterday: her coffin, leaving the Balmoral estate in Scotland where she died, joined Edinburgh during a procession greeted by tens of thousands of people.

Reflecting the emotion that has gripped the United Kingdom since the death of the longest reigning monarch in her history, a compact crowd welcomed the body in the Scottish capital, which passed through the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Scottish royal residence in Edinburgh shortly before 4.30pm after slowly covering 300 kilometers in six hours.

The coffin spent the night in the throne room before a religious ceremony on Monday, which King Charles III will attend, one kilometer from Holyroodhouse, in Saint-Gilles Cathedral, where the remains will be transferred. And tomorrow, she will join London, before the national funeral on September 19.

The oak coffin, which left the Balmoral estate shortly after 10 a.m. to applause, was draped in the Scottish Royal Standard on which was laid a wreath of white heather, dahlias and sweet peas, sourced from the castle gardens where the queen breathed her last on Thursday. In the procession, Princess Anne, daughter of the late sovereign, who had taken her place with her husband Tim Laurence in a limousine following the royal hearse.

Tens of thousands of people had gathered along the route, some in mourning, others crushing a tear or bowing their heads as the convoy passed, to salute one last time the one who had reigned 70 years and 7 months , a familiar and reassuring presence, but always mysterious, having crossed, imperturbable, times and crises.

Scottish independence First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to "an extraordinary woman".

The Queen's funeral will take place next Monday at Westminster Abbey in London, the center of royal weddings, coronations and burials for almost a millennium.

It was there that the one who was still only the young Princess Elizabeth had married in November 1947, at the age of 21, Philip Mountbatten. It was also there that she was crowned on June 2, 1953 at the age of 27, 16 months after becoming queen on the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952.

Dignitaries from around the world are expected, including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, as well as many royalty.

Hundreds of thousands of people should also pay their last respects to him at the Palace of Westminster, where his coffin will rest from September 14 to 19, before being transferred to the Abbey for the funeral which will begin at noon, Paris time. In the UK, the day has been declared a public holiday.

In a week, the British capital will host the first state funeral since that of Winston Churchill in 1965.

Kate White for DayNewsWorld


The son and heir of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III, is the new British monarch. The transition was officially marked by the king's proclamation at a meeting of the Accession Council on Saturday. The ceremony took place at St. James's Palace, the official seat of the monarchy, located a short walk from Buckingham Palace.,

This special meeting of the Privy Council was televised, a historic first, under the chairmanship of Penny Mordaunt, Lord President of the Council.

Dating back to 1708, the Privy Council is a body created to advise the monarch, although today it fulfills a largely ceremonial function. The Telegraph reports that while historically all members of the Privy Council were called to the meeting, the number has increased so much (more than 700 people) that only 200 are now invited, giving priority to current ministers, former Prime Ministers , senior judges, Commonwealth officials and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Former British government leaders John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson were present. The late Queen's private secretary is also a member, as are her grandson (now heir apparent), Prince William - the new Prince of Wales - and Queen Consort Camilla, who was appointed Privy Councilor in 2016.

"In carrying out this heavy task which has been entrusted to me, and for which I now devote the rest of my life, I pray for the direction and help of Almighty God", declared the sovereign.

"I am deeply aware of this heritage and the grave duties and responsibilities incumbent on me," added the new monarch, promising to follow the "inspiring" example of "life and self-sacrifice" left by his late mother.

“Loyalty, respect and love”

The British Parliament will now swear allegiance to him. The succession ritual also provides for the public reading of the proclamation in the capitals of the other three constituent nations of the UK, besides England - Edinburgh in Scotland, Belfast in Northern Ireland and Cardiff in Wales.

During his first address on Friday, Charles III promised to devote his life to the service of his people and to serve the British nation with "loyalty, respect and love".

The new monarch is the king of the United Kingdom and fourteen other countries including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Long life the King.

Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld



W hen British historian Sir Ben Pimlott embarked on his biography of Elizabeth II in 1996, some of his colleagues were surprised that he considered the queen worthy of such research. However, the judgment of Pimlott proved to be judicious so much the monarch marked her time.

The political role of the monarchy has particularly fascinated the artistic world.

In 2006, the film The Queen, by Stephen Frears, was devoted to the dilemma she faced after the death of Princess Diana; in 2013, Peter Morgan's play The Audience showed his weekly meetings with his prime ministers.

Mike Bartlett's play King Charles III (2014), which imagines the difficulties his heir would experience when succeeding him, and the drama series The Crown, broadcast from 2016 on Netflix, gave her a globally positive and friendly.

The queen of the people

Elizabeth's reign has its origins in the abdication crisis of 1936, the defining event of the 20th century for the British monarchy.

The unexpected abdication of Edward VIII propelled his timid and stuttering younger brother Albert to the throne as George VI. Soon after, he would become the nation's leading figure in World War II.

The war was a fundamental formative experience for her eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, 14, as German bombs began to rain down on London in August 1940.

In the last months of the conflict, she worked as a car mechanic in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service - the women's military service), which means that she could legitimately claim to have participated in what has been called "People's War".

From then on, she naturally appeared closer to her fellow citizens than all her predecessors on the throne.

In 1947, when Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten – who then became Duke of Edinburgh – her marriage brightened the life of a nation still plagued by post-war austerity and rationing.

A few years later, on February 6, 1952, on the death of her father, the woman who would henceforth be named Elizabeth II inherited a monarchy whose political power had continued to decline since the 18th century, but whose role in the the public life of the nation seems, on the contrary, to have gained in importance. In the 20th century, monarchs are expected to carry out their ceremonial duties with due gravity while knowing how to share and appreciate the tastes and interests of ordinary people.

The Queen's coronation ceremony in 1953 reconciled these two roles. The ceremonial tradition is tied to the Saxon origins of the monarchy, while its televised transmission brings it into the living room of ordinary people with the latest technology. Ironically, it is because it must now be visible to all that royal ceremonial becomes much more choreographed and more formal than it had ever been before.

Later, in 1969, the Queen revolutionized the general public's perception of the monarchy when, at the instigation of Lord Mountbatten and his son-in-law, television producer Lord Brabourne, she agreed to take part in the BBC documentary Royal Family. . It's a remarkably intimate portrait of her domestic life, showing her eating breakfast, having a barbecue in Balmoral and popping into the local shops.

The same year, the investiture of her son Charles as Prince of Wales, another televised royal event, was followed in 1970 by the Queen's decision, during a visit to Australia and New Zealand, to break with protocol. and to mingle directly with the crowd that came to see her. These "crowd baths" quickly become a must for any royal trip

The high point of Elizabeth II's popularity came during the 1977 Silver Jubilee celebrations, which saw the country decked out in red, white and blue in street parties similar to VE Day in 1945. In 1981, the wedding at Saint Paul's Cathedral of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer would also be an extremely popular event.

The Time of Troubles

The following decades proved to be much more trying. In the early 1990s, controversy over the Queen's income tax exemption forced the Crown to change its financial arrangements so that the Royal Family could meet their tax obligations like everyone else. At the same time, gossip and scandals broke out around the young members of the royal family. Three of Elizabeth II's children will divorce: Princess Anne in 1992, Prince Andrew in 1996 and, even more serious, Crown Prince Charles, also in 1996. The Queen describes the year 1992 as the peak of the scandals, of "annus horribilis".

The revelations about the humiliations Princess Diana had endured in her marriage to Charles reveal to the public a much tougher and less sympathetic side of the royal family, whose image is further degraded when the Queen, uncharacteristically, misjudges the mood of her subjects after Diana's accidental death in 1997. After the tragic death of her very popular ex-daughter-in-law, she is indeed content to follow protocol, staying at Balmoral and babysitting her grandchildren with from her.

This attitude seems cold and insensitive to an audience hungry for displays of emotions that would have been unthinkable in the Queen's younger years. "Where is our Queen ?" “, asks the Sun, while the Daily Express tells him:” Show us that you care about us! insisting that she break with protocol and lower the Union Jack flying above Buckingham Palace. Not since the abdication of 1936 had the popularity of the monarchy fallen so low.

Briefly taken aback by this sudden shift in British public opinion, the Queen quickly regained the initiative, addressing the nation on television and nodding at Diana's funeral procession during a cleverly televised ceremony designed and choreographed.

Its return to favor in the eyes of the majority of the population is manifested in 2002 by the colossal – and unexpected – success of its golden jubilee, inaugurated by the extraordinary spectacle of Brian May, the guitarist of Queen, performing a guitar solo on the roof of Buckingham Palace. Ten years later, when London hosted the Olympics, the Queen was confident enough to agree to appear in a memorable tongue-in-cheek cameo at the opening ceremony, where she appeared to parachute into the stadium from a helicopter with James Bond.

The political domain

While Queen Elizabeth has always sought to keep the crown above party politics, she has nonetheless been fully engaged throughout her life in world affairs. A firm believer in the Commonwealth, despite the fact that her own prime ministers had long since lost faith in that organization, she mediated in disputes between its member states and provided support and advice to Commonwealth leaders – including those who strongly opposed the British government.

His prime ministers have often praised his wisdom and political knowledge, the result of his years of experience and his diligent daily reading of the country's newspapers. Harold Wilson said attending the traditional weekly audience with the Queen unprepared gave him the same feeling as being questioned at school without having done his homework. It is also well known that the queen, for her part, found relations with Margaret Thatcher difficult.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have sometimes even opposed the political use of which they could be the object. For example, in 1978, they made no secret of their displeasure when then Foreign Minister David Owen forced them to receive Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife at Buckingham Palace. The Queen also often played a very constructive role in London's foreign policy, giving a more ceremonial and public aspect in support of ministers' work.

She has also established good relationships with several US Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, and her successful 2011 visit to the Republic of Ireland, during which she surprised her hosts by addressing them in Gaelic. , remains a model of the positive impact that a state visit can have.

She was even able to put aside her personal feelings about the 1979 assassination of Lord Mountbatten (her husband's maternal uncle) and warmly welcome former IRA commander Martin McGuinness when he took office as Deputy Prime Minister of Northern Ireland in 2007.

In reality, she expressed her own political opinions only exceptionally, and always very briefly. Thus, during a visit to the London Stock Exchange after the financial crash of 2008, she asked dryly why no one had seen the crisis coming.

In 2014, his carefully worded appeal to Scots to think carefully about their vote in the independence referendum was widely – and rightly – interpreted as a pro-union intervention. And as the 2021 COP26 conference in Glasgow approached, to which she had to give up participation for medical reasons, she expressed the irritation she felt at the insufficient political action in the face of the emergency of the climate change.

The last years

In recent years, when she turned 95 on April 21, 2021, she had finally started to slow down, delegating more of her official duties to other members of the royal family, including the annual laying of her crown at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. In May 2022, she delegates to Prince Charles her most important ceremonial duty, the reading of the Speech from the Throne at the official opening of Parliament.

However, it will have retained its ability to cope with crises until the end. In 2020, as the Covid pandemic raged, the Queen, unlike her Prime Minister, sent the nation – from Windsor, where she is confined – a calm and unifying message. His brief address combines solidarity with his people with the assurance that, in a phrase borrowed from Vera Lynn's famous World War II song, “We will meet again” – we will meet again.

This last decade has also brought him its share of sadness. His grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan Markle, renounced their royal duties, which deeply hurt the ruling family – a wound that was aggravated when, in an interview with American journalist Oprah Winfrey which went around the world, the Sussexes accused the royal family of treating them with cruelty, disdain and even racism.

Shortly after the shock caused by the interview, Elizabeth lost her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died on April 9, 2021, a few months before his 100th birthday. During her funeral, organized in a small committee due to the requirements imposed by the health crisis, the queen appeared as an unusually lonely, small, masked figure, seated away from the other people present. In the following months, the profound impact of this loss became all too evident, with his health gradually declining.

The pain caused by the Sussexes' estrangement was greatly aggravated by the disgrace, soon after, of Prince Andrew, his second son and, according to some, his favorite son, whose name is now closely associated with that of American pedophile Jeffrey Epstein . The world has seen a prominent member of the royal family charged in a US court with sex with minors; furthermore, Andrew made his case worse by giving a disastrous interview to the BBC.

The Queen reacted to the scandal with remarkable determination: she stripped her son of all his royal and military titles, including the very prestigious “HRH” (His Royal Highness), effectively reducing him to the status of a private citizen. In her eyes, no one, not even those closest to her, should by their behavior undermine all that she had accomplished during her reign to protect and preserve the monarchy.

The success of her platinum jubilee, in 2022, shows how much she has retained the affection of her people; a particularly well-received highlight was a charming cameo showing her having tea with Paddington Bear, a character from children's stories.

A widespread idea in the country states that the queen appeared regularly in the dreams of the British; but his most regular contact with his subjects was his annual Christmas message, broadcast on television and radio. This address not only reflected his work and commitments over the previous year; she also reaffirmed, with more frankness and clarity than most of her ministers, her deeply rooted Christian faith.

As head of the Church of England, she was a spiritual leader herself and never forgot it.

Over the years, the Christmas message has adapted to new technologies, but its style and content have remained unchanged, reflecting the monarchy as it had shaped it.

Under Elizabeth II, the British monarchy survived by changing its outward appearance without altering its public role. Republican critics of the monarchy had long since given up on demanding its immediate abolition and accepted that the Queen's personal popularity would make their goal unachievable in her lifetime.

Elizabeth II, whose 70-year reign was the longest in the history of the British monarchy, leaves to her successor a kind of monarchical republic in which the proportions of the ingredients that make it up - the mystical, the ceremonial, the populism and openness – have been constantly modified so that it remains essentially the same. Political leaders and commentators around the world have long recognized that the Queen has carried out her often difficult and delicate constitutional role with grace… and with remarkable political skill.

Her wisdom and unfailing sense of duty earned her esteem with a blend of respect, esteem and affection that transcended nations, classes and generations.

She was immensely proud of the UK and her people, but ultimately she belonged to the world, and the world will mourn her passing. 

Simon Freeman and Sean Lang for DayNewsWorld



China is experiencing a historic heat wave, and we have to go back to 1961 to find traces of a drought of this magnitude. From the foothills of the Himalayas to the skyscrapers of Shanghai, half of China is suffocating this summer.

The rivers are dry, including the Yangtze, the third largest river in the world, which crosses China over more than 6,000 kilometers and feeds the vast plains of the center, the country's grain basket. In areas along the Yangtze, rainfall fell 45 percent in July from normal levels, China's water ministry said.

A disaster for agriculture. “The rapid spread of the drought, exacerbated by high temperatures and heat damage, poses a serious threat to autumn agricultural production,” the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed on Wednesday. “The risks to grains are significant, as the six regions involved account for 48% of rice production. Already 20% of autumn harvests have been lost.

The autumn harvests are already compromised, especially in the vast central plains, China's breadbasket, where water needs are very high.

According to Liao Yaoming, an expert at the national meteorological center, “agricultural production is seriously affected. In the Yangtze River region, rice and cotton crops are affected. In the southwest, corn and soybeans are affected. Without an irrigation system, these crops will be permanently lost. »

Faced with the emergency, the government released a special envelope of one and a half billion euros to support farmers. Especially since this heat stroke is in addition to the health restrictions linked to Covid-19 which already delayed seeding last spring. To refresh the atmosphere and water the crops, Beijing is also trying to launch a catalyst in the sky: in the clouds, this technique causes light rain.

Poor harvests therefore risk increasing the country's imports at a time when the grain supply is already being undermined by the war in Ukraine.

A situation that worries the Chinese, whose country has already been hit by episodes of deadly famines in its history.

Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld



Exactly one month after the large victory in the senatorial elections of the right-wing coalition in power and in particular the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Wednesday a major reshuffle of his cabinet: fourteen of the nineteen ministers were replaced, including Shinzo Abe's little brother, Nobuo Kishi, minister of defence.

Cause of this vast upheaval?

The revelations of the man who killed former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 8. Tetsuya Yamagami said he wanted to avenge his mother, robbed by the Federation of Families for World Peace and Unification (FFPMU).

However, the FFPMU has been the name of the Moon sect since 2015. The murderer accused Shinzo Abe of his links with the sect.

The death of the former chief executive has sparked a new spotlight on the abuses of this powerful organization and the extent of its links with the political sphere.

Founded in 1952 in South Korea by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, this sectarian religious group quickly got involved in politics by adopting an anti-communist line and established itself in Japan from 1959.

Shinzo Abe's grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, then Prime Minister, was concerned about the rise of communism in Japan in the 1960s and it was from this time that the ties that Shinzo Abe did not hide during his lifetime date from. not.

On Wednesday, Tomohiro Tanaka, leader of the FFPMU, recognized privileged "links" with Japanese politicians and "bridges" with the PLD.

A link that has been maintained despite the victims of the sectarian system. Huge donations, door-to-door recruitment from the most vulnerable: since 1994, dozens of civil and criminal cases have been brought before the courts throughout the archipelago.

Former members also denounce forced participation in the emblematic collective marriages, associated with the image of the sect.

This is so well established in Japanese political spheres that, the day after the vast ministerial reshuffle decided by Fumio Kishida, yesterday, the Japanese media pointed to at least five members of the new cabinet as having links with Moon.

Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld


A year ago, the Taliban took over. In the aftermath of the conquest of Kabul, their spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, declared that there would be "many differences" in their way of governing, compared to their reign at the end of the 1990s.

A promise that has not been kept. "We are witnessing a collapse of the notion of respect for human rights for the entire population and in particular for ethnic minorities and women", reports the president of Amnesty International France, Jean-Claude Samouiller. In a report published at the end of July, the NGO sounded the alarm: the regime is now particularly repressive, especially vis-à-vis women. “The concept of moral corruption, which is a crime in Taliban law, is used to punish women. Its very vague definition makes it possible to arrest almost everyone: for a woman who circulates without 'mahram' or who has her headscarf badly put on, it is prison”, notes Jean-Claude Samouiller.

“The primary targets of the Taliban were women” also notes Myriam Benraad, professor of international relations at Schiller International University, author of Terrorism, the pangs of vengeance (2021) .

Since the establishment of their government, prohibitions have indeed multiplied against women, taking away more and more rights from them: they have been excluded from civil service posts, colleges and high schools, prohibited from traveling without being accompanied by ' a man...etc. Recently, the wearing of the full veil in public has been made compulsory for them. In accordance with the ultra-rigorous interpretation of Sharia (Islamic law), made by the Taliban, a decree dated May 7 enacted this new dress code for women. The text, written by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue, which replaced the Ministry for the Status of Women in September 2021, specifies that women should wear a full veil, "because it is traditional and respectful".

It's that women are a way for the Taliban to gain more control, as they are often the bridge between private life and community. By cutting them off from community life, they exercise greater control over families: they further isolate homes and generalize denunciation. To further isolate women, the Taliban have thus dismantled the system of protection against domestic violence.

"We are witnessing the progressive exclusion of women and girls from the public sphere and their institutionalized and systematic oppression" , declared in early July Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Forced marriages, torture and threats

In a report on violence against women by the Taliban, the NGO Amnesty International also writes that "the number of child marriages, early marriages and forced marriages in Afghanistan is on the rise under the Taliban regime" in particular because of "the economic and humanitarian crisis" but also "the lack of educational and professional opportunities for women and young girls", not to mention the pressure exerted by the Taliban.

The scarcity of humanitarian aid and the extremely precarious situations in which families have found themselves have also led to an increase in behavior that particularly harms women, especially in certain poor regions: sexual slavery, prostitution or even the sale of children, for families in great distress.

Today many women activists are hiding in Afghanistan, having gone into hiding because they are threatened with death by the regime.

NGOs are calling for intervention by the international community "such as targeted sanctions or travel bans" targeting the Taliban, writes Amnesty International, for example.

"If the international community fails to act, it will abandon the women and girls of Afghanistan, and undermine rights everywhere else," concludes the secretary general of the NGO.

Alyson Braxton for DayNewsWorld


The Palestinian enclave of Gaza is experiencing the worst outbreak of violence since May 2021 at the start of August 2022.

Since the end of March, the Israeli security forces have indeed been carrying out almost daily operations in the West Bank following a series of attacks perpetrated by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs in Israel and the West Bank in which 19 people, mostly civilians, lost their lives. During the same period, at least 55 Palestinians were killed, mostly in the occupied West Bank. Among the victims are suspected militants and civilians, including Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was covering an Israeli operation in Jenin.

" A preemptive attack "

It was the arrest of an Islamic Jihad leader Bassem al-Saadi in the West Bank earlier this week that led to this new confrontation between the Israeli army and Gaza. Fearing reprisals, the Israeli authorities said they were launching a preventive operation in Gaza, a micro-territory governed by the Islamist movement Hamas and where Islamic Jihad is well established. The Israeli army therefore began to strike the enclave of 2.3 million people under blockade on Friday August 5, 2022 in a " preemptive attack " against Islamic Jihad, she said.

"A counter-terrorism operation ", according to Israel

For Yaïr Lapid, it is a "precise counter-terrorism operation against an immediate threat", that of Islamic Jihad, "an auxiliary of Iran" wanting "to kill innocent Israelis".

In 2019, the death of an Islamic Jihad commander in an Israeli operation had already given rise to several days of deadly exchanges of fire. Hamas, which has fought Israel in four wars since seizing power in 2007, kept its distance.

Israeli forces also arrested in the West Bank, territory occupied since 1967 by the Jewish state, 19 members of the group considered terrorist by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

Escalation of violence

After the first raids, Islamic Jihad accused the Jewish state of having " started a war ".

The operation carried out by the Israeli security forces against the Islamic Jihad group led to reprisals, with rocket fire targeting Jerusalem.

Since the start of the outbreak of violence between the two enemies, 41 people, including 15 children, have died in the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian authorities. “ 41 Palestinians were martyred, including 15 children and four women, and 311 were injured ” in the Gaza Strip during Israeli military operations, the local Palestinian health ministry said in a statement. Hamas, the Palestinian movement in power in the enclave, said that among these victims, four children were killed in the new strikes.

The Israeli army assured Saturday, August 6 to have “ neutralized ” the “ military ” leaders of the Islamic Jihad group, during operations. Oded Basiok, the chief of operations of the Hebrew State army, sent a statement to AFP in which he said that " the senior leadership of the military wing of Islamic Jihad in Gaza has been neutralized ”.


Israel on Sunday accepted a truce proposed by Egypt in the Gaza Strip, said a source within the Egyptian security services, adding that Cairo was now awaiting the Palestinian response.

"Egypt has been working for 48 hours" to obtain a truce " between the two parties ", said this official on condition of anonymity.

The Palestinian armed group for its part confirmed that the negotiations were continuing. “Discussions are underway at the highest level for a return to calm, the resistance will only end when an end is put to the aggression and crimes of the (Israeli) occupation,” said a source within it . .

This new confrontation, which began on Friday August 5, 2022, is the worst between the Jewish state and armed organizations in Gaza since the May 2021 war which, in eleven days, left 260 dead on the Palestinian side, including combatants, and 14 dead in Israel, including a soldier, according to local authorities.

Hamas, which has fought Israel in four wars since seizing power in 2007, has kept its distance for now.

For Jamal al-Fadi, professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, Hamas does not want " to be dragged into an all-out war " and " as it does not get involved ", this new outbreak of violence is expected to end " in the days to come ".

Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld


Tension is at its height between China and the United States. To the chagrin of Beijing, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi landed on the self-governing island of Taiwan yesterday mid-evening (local time). The proof of Washington's "unconditional support" in Taipei, immediately affirmed the highest elected American official to visit the island, since the visit of his predecessor Newt Gingrich, in 1997.

It is a snub for Beijing, which had repeatedly alerted the American authorities to this "extremely dangerous" and "provocative" attitude. China considers Taiwan, de facto autonomous since 1949, as a historic province that it wishes to reconquer by any means. The communist regime does not support foreign initiatives that risk giving Taipei international legitimacy.

The presence of Nancy Pelosi in Taipei is therefore experienced as a humiliation by Beijing, which has multiplied warnings and threats without this deterring the President of the United States House of Representatives. This feeling is reinforced by the way she is treated by the Taiwanese authorities. By meeting her at the presidential palace rather than at the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto American embassy in Taipei, or at the Parliament, President Tsai Ing-wen adds to this visit a dose of diplomatic provocation that will leave its mark on both between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and between Washington and Beijing.

Maneuvers on an unprecedented scale

Nancy Pelosi's visit did not fail to trigger the immediate fury of Beijing In reaction, the country of President Xi Jinping first sent several fighter planes to fly over the Taiwan Strait and threatened: "Who plays with the fire will succumb to it”, while announcing future “targeted military actions”. Twenty other military planes then entered the Taiwanese air defense zone two hours later.

China also started this Thursday, August 4, 2022 the most important military maneuvers in its history around Taiwan, a muscular response to the visit of the head of the American deputies Nancy Pelosi on the island. It has started its military exercises in six sea areas around Taiwan. “Exercises are starting” and will continue until Sunday noon, Chinese state television CCTV said in a social media post. "During this period, the vessels and aircraft concerned must not enter the waters and airspace concerned". According to the Global Times newspaper, which quotes military analysts, the exercises are on an "unprecedented" scale because missiles will fly over Taiwan for the first time.

"If the Taiwanese forces voluntarily come into contact with (the Chinese army) and accidentally fire a shot, (the Chinese army) will respond vigorously and it will be up to the Taiwanese side to bear all the consequences" , said an unnamed military source within the Chinese military.

"Blockade of the Island"

Authorities on the island have denounced the program, saying it threatens East Asian security. "Some of China's maneuver areas encroach on...Taiwan's territorial waters," said Sun Li-fang, spokesman for the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense, criticizing "an irrational act aimed at defying the order international ".

The ministry said the Taiwanese military fired a flare overnight from Wednesday to Thursday to scare away a drone that was flying over Kinmen Island, which is just 10 km from the city of Xiamen in mainland China.

For Beijing, these exercises - as well as others, more limited, started in recent days - are "a necessary and legitimate measure" after Pelosi's visit. “It is the United States that is the provocateurs, and China that is the victim. China is in self-defense,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.

The drills aim to simulate a "blockade" of the island and include "assaulting targets at sea, striking targets on the ground and controlling airspace", the official Xinhua news agency said.

Military exercises described as “extremely threatening” by neighboring Japan

Chinese ballistic missiles are said to have fallen in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for the first time, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said on Thursday. diplomatic," Kishi said, calling the incident a "serious issue that affects our national security and that of our citizens."

Some islands in Okinawa Prefecture, in the far south of Japan, are only a few dozen kilometers from Taiwan, and the minister said this was the first time that Chinese ballistic missiles had entered Japan's EEZ, which extends up to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from its coasts.

What is the posture of the United States ?

Washington practices a so-called “strategic ambiguity” diplomacy, consisting of recognizing only one Chinese government, that of Beijing, while continuing to provide decisive support to Taipei. Thanks to a law of 1979, the same year that relations with mainland China were established, Washington, which opposes a resumption of Taiwan by force, has pledged to help Taipei to face any aggression.

Given the already strong tensions between the first two powers of the planet, the Americans will find it difficult to minimize this short trip of the third American personality on Taiwanese soil. Nancy Pelosi is well aware of this. Before leaving Taipei late Wednesday afternoon for South Korea, she said: "Make no mistake: America remains steadfast in its commitment to the people of Taiwan - now and for decades to come. come ".

China has just responded by increasing its military pressure, an area in which the country has made great progress in recent years.

Hence an increased risk of slippage that could lead to a conflict, a takeover of certain Taiwanese territories such as the Pratas Islands or an outright invasion like Russia in Ukraine...

Mia Kennedy for DayNewsWorld



Joe Biden confirmed on Monday the death of the 71-year-old Egyptian, considered the mastermind of 9/11. He had taken control of the terrorist organization after the death of Osama bin Laden.

The operation took place over the weekend in Kabul. US President Joe Biden confirmed Monday, August 1 the information that had leaked a few hours earlier in the US media: the leader of Al-Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, was killed over the weekend during a of a drone strike in Kabul.

“On Saturday, on my orders, the United States carried out an airstrike on Kabul, Aghanistan, which killed the emir of Al-Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri,” he said during a meeting. short speech from the White House. “Justice has been served and this terrorist leader is no more,” added Joe Biden.

Meticulous preparations

This liquidation punctuates a meticulous investigation. 

The CIA, which presumed Zawahiri was ill and holed up on the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, learned in April that he was living with his family in the heart of Kabul, in an opulent villa near many embassies.

 She patiently observed his habit of taking the air in the early morning, always on the same balcony of his villa, a model of which had been presented to Biden on July 1.

The US president gave the go-ahead to the execution plan on July 25, convinced by intelligence that Zawahiri was still quietly issuing his directives, even though the international jihad's parent house had been weakened since Ben's death. Laden, then dissent (and competition) from the Islamic State group from 2014. ""No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will will find and eliminate you,” Biden warned.

The drone attack was carried out in the Afghan capital without any American military presence on the ground, said an American official, proof of the United States' ability to "identify and locate even the most wanted terrorists in the world and to take steps to eliminate them. Ayman al-Zawahiri had been spotted "repeatedly and for long periods of time on the balcony where he was finally hit" by the strike in the Afghan capital, he added.

The brain of September 11, 2001

This 71-year-old Egyptian was considered the mastermind of the attacks of September 11, 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people. Zawahiri had taken control of the terrorist organization after the death of Osama bin Laden, killed himself during a ground operation led by Washington in Pakistan. Inheriting in 2011 from a weakened organization, he had multiplied the "franchises" and the allegiances of circumstances, from the Arabian Peninsula to the Maghreb, from Somalia to Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

In his televised intervention held from a balcony of the White House in Washington, Joe Biden also underlined the major role played by the terrorist leader within Al-Qaida since the attacks:

“Zawahiri was constantly with Bin Laden all this time after 9/11. From his hiding place, he coordinated Al-Qaida worldwide. His death is a serious setback for Al-Qaeda and will deteriorate the group's ability to operate. »

With his death, there is every reason to think that al-Qaeda has been decapitated for good: it is the generation of the founders of the jihadist international that is dying out. No new emir will have this legitimacy.

The terrorist organization had already lost its number 2, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, killed in August 2020 in the streets of Tehran by Israeli agents during a secret mission sponsored by Washington, information revealed at the time by the New York Times. The United States had also announced in mid-July that it had killed the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, Maher Al-Agal, during a drone strike, an operation which had "considerably weakened the capacity of the 'ISIS to prepare, finance and conduct its operations in the region,' according to a US military spokesman.


The disappearance of Ayman Al-Zawahiri will help the many victims and relatives of victims of September 11 to mourn, according to the American president:

"Ground Zero in New York will always be there to remind us of the promise we made to the fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues of those who perished on September 11, 2001. Listen to me, we will always be here to protect our citizens. We will never give up. I hope that this decisive action will allow [them] to turn the page. »

The Taliban caught in the act of duplicity

Zawahiri's death also makes the Doha (Qatar) agreement, concluded in 2020 between the Trump administration and the Taliban, appear to be a fool's bargain. In exchange for the departure of the Americans, the Afghan Islamists had indeed undertaken not to harbor any more terrorists, as they had done with al-Qaeda until 2001. The agreement was "grossly violated", noted , yesterday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Proof of the duplicity – or division – of the Taliban, the leader of al-Qaeda was, according to senior American officials, hosted by an aide-de-camp of Sirajuddin Haqqani, Minister of the Interior and leader of the most powerful and the most radical, the one which, for a year, reigns over the Afghan capital.

One year after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan

The death of the leader of Al-Qaeda comes almost a year after the pitiful withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan from the Kabul airport surrounded by the Taliban, in August 2021, which had allowed the latter to regain control of the country twenty years later. The images of Afghan civilians abandoned on the tarmac and of the bloody attack in front of the enclosure, had precipitated the fall of Biden in the polls.

This success is timely for the American president, three months before the midterm elections. It demonstrates the ability of the United States to strike, a year after the pitiful withdrawal of its soldiers

“I made a promise, we will continue to carry out counterintelligence actions in Afghanistan. My administration will continue to attack the interests of Al-Qaida. We never stop, we never give up, we won't let go. “, concluded the president in his speech.

Kelly Donaldson for DayNewsWorld



Nancy Pelosi is on her way this August 31, 2022 for a tour of Asia. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, during a two-hour talk with his American counterpart, warned not to "play with fire" about Taiwan, according to Chinese state media. end up getting burned,” warned the Chinese president, while Beijing has been threatening “consequences” for several days if the head of the American deputies Nancy Pelosi carries out her plan to visit Taiwan.

“I hope the US side fully understands this,” added Xi, quoted by the Xinhua News Agency.

According to this state agency, “the two presidents felt that their telephone conversation had been sincere and thorough”.

The White House said the phone call, the fifth virtual summit between the two officials since Mr. Biden became president a year and a half ago, began at 8:33 a.m. and lasted more than two hours.

Beijing and Washington were already at odds over trade. The two world powers now oppose each other because of Taiwan. China considers the island, with a population of 24 million, to be one of its historic provinces that it has yet to reunite with the rest of the country.

Opposed to any initiative that would give the Taiwanese authorities international legitimacy, Beijing is against any official contact between Taiwan and other states, and therefore against the potential visit of Nancy Pelosi.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said before the call that "tensions around China's aggressive and coercive behavior in the Indo-Pacific would be on the agenda." – a term used in particular by the United States to designate the changing reality of alliances in the Asia-Pacific region.

Although US officials visit Taiwan frequently, Beijing considers a trip by Ms Pelosi, one of the highest figures in the US state, to be a major provocation.

Washington will have to "assume all the consequences" of this potential visit, which Ms. Pelosi has not yet confirmed, Beijing warned on Wednesday.

The tensions surrounding this trip are only part of the problem. US officials fear that President Xi is mulling the use of force to impose control on Taiwan.

Joe Biden's contradictory statements on Taiwan - he said in May the US would defend the island, before the White House insisted the policy of 'strategic ambiguity' had not changed – did not help.

According to the White House, Mr Biden's main objective was to establish "safeguards" for the two superpowers, in order to avoid open conflict despite their differences and their geopolitical rivalry.

Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld


Burma 's junta has executed four prisoners, including a former lawmaker from the party of former civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, state media reported on Monday, as the death penalty no longer had any effect. been practiced for more than thirty years.

Since the military coup of February 1 , 2021, Burma has sentenced dozens of opponents of the junta to the death penalty. Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, was arrested in November and sentenced to death in January for violating the anti-terrorism law.

A 41-year-old singer, he was co-founder of the first Burmese hip-hop group, Acid, then imprisoned from 2008 to 2011 for leading a graffiti campaign against the junta. He had been elected deputy of the National League for Democracy in 2012, during the first partial elections which were open to him, then again in 2016.

The other two prisoners executed are two men accused of killing a woman they suspected of being a junta informant. The ruling army continues a bloody repression against its opponents, with more than two thousand civilians killed and more than fifteen thousand people arrested since the coup, according to a local NGO.

"An act of the greatest cruelty"

The four executions announced Monday constitute an “act of the greatest cruelty”, reacted Elaine Pearson, the director for Asia of the NGO Human Rights Watch.

“These executions […] are yet another example of Burma's atrocious human rights record. […] The military will continue to trample on people's lives until they are held accountable,” said Erwin van der Borght, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director.

The National League for Democracy said it was "devastated" on Monday after the execution of the four prisoners. “In addition to countless atrocities against the Burmese people, the military junta has brazenly committed another outrageous crime (…) ignoring the demands of the international community and those who seek justice,” the party wrote in a statement.

These executions risk increasing the international isolation of the Burmese military, who seized power by force on February 1, 2021 under the pretext of alleged fraud in the previous year's elections, won overwhelmingly by the National League for Democracy. (NDL).

These perverse acts must mark a turning point for the international community. (…) The status quo of international inaction must be firmly rejected,” reacted Tom Andrews, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Burma, in a statement on Twitter.

Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld




At least 234 people were killed or injured between July 8 and July 12, 2022, victims of gang violence raging in Cité Soleil, the most disadvantaged commune in the agglomeration of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, the UN announced on Saturday.

"Most of the victims are not directly related to the gangs but were targeted by gang members and we have also received new information on sexual violence," writes the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which recorded 934 murders, 684 injuries and 680 kidnappings over the period from January to the end of June 2022.

Bursts of gunfire in the slums

Since Friday, bursts of automatic weapons have been crackling all day long in Cité Soleil, the most disadvantaged and densely populated municipality in the metropolitan area: two factions of gangs clash there without the police, in lack of men and equipment, does not intervene.

Along the corridors of slums that have formed there over the past four decades, thousands of families have no choice but to hide in their homes, without being able to get water and food. Some residents are victims of stray bullets even inside their modest homes, made of simple sheet metal, but ambulances are not allowed to circulate freely in the area to help the injured.


“We are deeply concerned about the worsening violence in Port-au-Prince and the increase in human rights violations being committed against the local population by heavily armed gangs,” writes Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for Haut- police station.

For more than two years, gangs have multiplied villainous kidnappings in the city, sequestering people of all socio-economic origins and all nationalities. Enjoying widespread impunity, the criminal gangs have amplified their actions over the weeks: at least 155 kidnappings were committed in June against 118 in May, reported the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, in its latest report released on Wednesday.

“We urge the authorities to uphold all human rights and put them at the heart of their actions in this crisis. The fight against impunity and sexual violence, as well as the strengthening of human rights and the monitoring of their application must remain a priority. “, explains Jeremy Laurence.

UN calls for 'immediate' end to violence

The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution by the United States and Mexico calling on member states of the organization to ban the transfer of small arms to these gangs.

China, which had unsuccessfully called for an embargo on small arms for gangs in Haiti, said that "this resolution was a warning" for them.

Individual sanctions could be taken within 90 days under the resolution against their leaders, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun said after the vote.

The text “could have been better”, he added, considering however that it was “a good step in the right direction”.

The Security Council also extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), "which will strengthen the collective international response to the human rights crisis unfolding in the country, as well as facilitate the delivery humanitarian aid," underlines the High Commissioner.

These deadly clashes between gangs affect all activities throughout the capital because it is in Cité Soleil that the oil terminal that supplies Port-au-Prince and all of northern Haiti is located.

Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld



Sri Lanka, in the grip of a serious economic and political crisis, declared a state of emergency on Wednesday July 13, a few hours after the flight of its president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, announced the office of the prime minister, Dinouk Colombage. .

The police announced an indefinite curfew in the Western Province, that of the capital Colombo, to contain the demonstrations. Thousands of people gathered outside the prime minister's office, and security forces fired tear gas to prevent them from invading the building.

President's flight to the Maldives

President Rajapaksa, booed by a strong popular movement, landed early Wednesday in the Maldives after leaving his country aboard a military plane. The 73-year-old leader, who vowed to step down and unsuccessfully attempted to leave Sri Lanka on Tuesday, took off from Colombo International Airport with his wife and a bodyguard in an Antonov-32, reported immigration officials.

According to Sri Lankan airport sources, the aircraft was held for over an hour on the airport tarmac awaiting clearance to land in the Maldives.

On Tuesday, Mr Rajapaksa had been turned away from Colombo airport by immigration officials and some of his advisers had considered for him and his relatives to escape on board a patrol vessel, according to a senior source. the field of defence.

A navy vessel was used to transfer the head of state from the presidential palace besieged by protesters to the port of Trincomalee in the northeast of the country on Saturday. Then, Mr. Rajapaksa joined Colombo International Airport by helicopter on Monday.

Suitcase filled with 17.85 million rupees

Having not yet resigned, which he promised to do on Wednesday for a "peaceful transition of power", Mr. Rajapaksa still enjoys presidential immunity.

In this leak, the Sri Lankan president left behind a suitcase full of documents and 17.85 million rupees (49,000 euros) in cash, now under seal.

If the head of state resigns as he promised, the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, will automatically be appointed as interim president until the election by Parliament of an MP who will exercise power until the end. of the current mandate, i.e. November 2024.

Mr. Rajapaksa is accused of mismanaging the economy, leading to the country's inability, starved of foreign currency, to finance the most essential imports for a population of 22 million. Colombo defaulted on its $51 billion foreign debt in April and is in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a possible bailout.

"State of food emergency" since August 2021

The South Asian island of 22 million is facing its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948 from the United Kingdom, suffering shortages of food, fuel and medicine, long blackouts of daily electricity and record inflation. Sri Lanka has also almost exhausted its gasoline reserves. The government has ordered the closure of non-essential offices and schools to reduce travel and save fuel

Since the summer of 2021, Sri Lanka has suffered shortages of milk powder, kerosene and cooking gas. This Asian country has problems with the supply and distribution of food. Galloping inflation (55% in the month of June alone) makes the few things that can still be found inaccessible for a large part of the population. For some economists, the situation is much worse. Steve Hanke, of Johns Hopkins University, puts the figure at 128%, which would place the country in second place for the worst performance in terms of price index just behind Zimbabwe (365 %) ..President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had placed the country in a “state of food emergency” on August 31, 2021. The United Nations (UN) has warned that the country is in danger of a serious humanitarian crisis, with more than three-quarters of the population having already had to cut back on their diets.

"We are heading into a time of dangerous uncertainty," said Tamil MP Dharmalingam Sithadthan.

Abby Shelcore for DayNewsWorld


As the investigation continues into the assassination of Shinzo Abe, the funeral of the former Japanese prime minister was held in privacy on Tuesday July 12 at the Zojo-ji Buddhist temple in the heart of Tokyo.

Shinzo Abe's funeral

A funeral wake, open to the public, had attracted hundreds of people the day before wishing to pay their last respects to the former head of government killed in Nara as he delivered a speech as part of the campaign for the senatoriales of the July 10. They could place white carnations on an altar adorned with his portrait, smiling, in a white shirt without a tie. Mr. Kishida, a representative of Emperor Naruhito, figures from the Japanese political and economic world and foreign diplomats went there. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, currently on a trip to Asia, also attended the wake on Monday, and Taiwan's Vice President William Lai - the highest Taiwanese figure to come to Japan since the severance of official relations , in 1972 made a discreet visit to Tokyo for the occasion. Back from Bali where he took part in the G20 meeting, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken then stopped in Tokyo to pay tribute to "a man with a vision" who "did more than many to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Japan.

At the scene, a photograph showing Shinzo Abe smiling in a shirt without a tie was displayed, while a video showed Akie Abe singing and her husband accompanying her on the piano, people present told the Jiji agency.

posthumous decoration

According to local media, Shinzo Abe will posthumously receive the Grand Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the most prestigious decoration in the Archipelago. He had been attacked with a firearm on Friday while taking part in an electoral rally in Nara (western Japan) for the senatorial elections on Sunday, where the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, nationalist right) to which he belonged unsurprisingly picked up a comfortable victory.

Suspect identified as ex-Japanese Navy.

In parallel, tributes, the investigation continues about the suspect arrested at the scene of the attack. His suspected killer, arrested at the scene of the attack, has been identified by police as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, a former member of the Japanese Navy's Maritime Self-Defense Force.

According to police sources cited by local media, he watched videos on YouTube showing how to make a homemade firearm like the one used in the attack.

Revenge against the Moon sect

Meanwhile, the police continue to question Tetsuya Yamagami, the author of the shots. The 41-year-old former sailor blamed Mr. Abe for his links with "an organization" that the authorities refused to name, just like the mainstream media, until the weeklies and online publications, less timorous, revealed that It was the Holy Spirit Association for World Unification, also known as the Moon Sect. "I targeted Mr. Abe because of his closeness to the Unification Church," said Tetsuya Yamagami, who denied killing him for political reasons. Japanese media quickly claimed that it was a religious organization to which Ms. Yamagami's mother would have made large donations, putting their family in great financial difficulty. The Unification Church,

Mr. Yamagami's mother belongs to the Unification Church to which she made large donations that led to his personal bankruptcy on August 21, 2002. According to Mr. Yamagami, his hatred of Mr. Abe is due that this commitment – ​​confirmed by the sect – led to the break-up of his family. The Unification Church was established in 1954 by South Korean Reverend Moon Sun-myung (1920-2012). With nearly three million members worldwide, it was renamed in 2005 the Federation of Families for World Peace and Unification.

Links between politics and religion

The assassination of Shinzo Abe raises the question of sects and their more or less controlled influence in the country, relaunching the controversy over the links between politics and religion in the land of the Rising Sun. Religions, traditional (such as the local Shinto cult), settled (such as the Soka Gakkai) and "new" (such as the Unification Church or Seicho no ie) indeed play a discreet but crucial role in Japanese political life. . Their ability to mobilize loyal supporters in electoral strength and in donations make them valuable allies of parties, especially in the majority, and especially in cities with an anomic population, where there are few opportunities to socialize. Isn't the PLD's ally in the majority, the Buddhist Komeito party, historically an offshoot of the Soka Gakkai sect, to the millions of faithful? "Many of the PLD's hierarchs are linked to religious organizations, of which they are the proxies in the political world", explains Axel Klein, political scientist at the University of Duisburg and Essen and specialist in the relations between religion and politics in Japan.

Thus the very nationalist Mr. Abe was supported by a myriad of political or religious structures, such as the very conservative Nippon Kaigi or the new Seicho-No-Ie religion, created in 1930 and of which one of the heirs, Tetsuo Ito, was close to the former prime minister.

“The Unification Church also maintains ties with several Japanese political figures, including Mr. Abe and his family. Federation for Victory Against Communism, which served as a bridge between the Unification Church and the Japanese political world", recalled the Lite-ra news site in September 2021. This federation was founded in 1968 by Reverend Moon, in close cooperation with the South Korean secret service.

During the election of the upper house in 2013 – Shinzo Abe was then prime minister – the Unification Church notably explicitly supported the candidacy of Norio Kitamura, an intimate of the head of government. In September 2021, Shinzo Abe – along with former US President Donald Trump – gave a speech at an event organized by the UPF, to “thank” the organization for its contribution to conflict resolution and to the reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Having failed to exact his revenge on the leaders of the Unification Church, Mr. Yamagami therefore targeted the former prime minister.
“I looked every day on the Internet for the candidate program for the upper house election, and when I saw that Abe was coming to Nara, I thought I had a chance.
"" (from the daily newspaper Le Monde

Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld



Sri Lanka is in the grip of an unprecedented crisis since its independence in 1948. A protest movement against the economic crisis has been raging for months in the island of 22 million inhabitants. Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled his official residence this Saturday, July 9, 2022 a few minutes before several hundred demonstrators entered the presidential palace, a former colonial building, symbol of power, in front of which hundreds of thousands of people. "The president has been escorted to safety," a defense source said. For now, "he is still the president, he is protected by a military unit", added this source, according to which the soldiers guarding the official residence fired in the air to dissuade the demonstrators from approaching until that Gotabaya Rajapaksa be evacuated.

An unprecedented political crisis.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, however, agreed on Saturday to resign next week. "To ensure a peaceful transition, the president said he would step down on July 13," parliament speaker Mahinda Abeywardana said on television.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, meanwhile, urgently called a government crisis meeting involving the leaders of the other political parties, indicating that he was ready to step down to pave the way for a government of national unity. "To ensure the safety of all Sri Lankans, (the Prime Minister) is in favor of this recommendation by the leaders of the opposition parties," his office said in a statement.

Two relatives of the president announced their resignation, the head of the press service Sudewa Hettiarachchi and the media minister Bandula Gunawardana, who also resigned as head of the presidential party. In the evening, demonstrators besieged the Prime Minister's residence and set it on fire.

Parliament legally has one month to choose his successor. But the Speaker of Parliament has promised a decision by the end of the week. A promise that may be difficult to keep because, for the moment, no one among the parliamentarians seems able to obtain sufficient support.

"We are heading into a time of dangerous uncertainty," said Tamil MP Dharmalingam Sithadthan.

"State of food emergency" since August 2021

The South Asian island of 22 million is facing its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948 from the United Kingdom, suffering shortages of food, fuel and medicine, long blackouts of daily electricity and record inflation.

Since the summer of 2021, Sri Lanka has suffered shortages of milk powder, kerosene and cooking gas. This Asian country has problems with the supply and distribution of food. Galloping inflation (55% in the month of June alone) makes the few things that can still be found inaccessible for a large part of the population. For some economists, the situation is much worse. Steve Hanke, of Johns Hopkins University, puts the figure at 128%, which would place the country in second place for the worst performance in terms of price index just behind Zimbabwe (365%). President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had placed , on August 31, 2021, the country in a "state of food emergency"

The United Nations (UN) has warned that the country is at risk of a serious humanitarian crisis, with more than three-quarters of the population having already had to cut back on their diets.

The reasons for this unprecedented economic crisis

The tourism sector, vital to the island's economy, suffered the backlash of the April 2019 jihadist attacks against churches and hotels (279 dead, including 45 foreigners), then of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Sri Lanka's economic activity hard which contracted by 3.6% in 2020 and hit its foreign currency reserves. The authorities have imposed a broad ban on imports in an attempt to save foreign currency. In addition, remittances from the diaspora, vital for the economy, have collapsed during the pandemic.

Added to this are poor policy decisions that have compounded the problems, economists say. The largest tax cuts in the island's history, granted by Gotabaya upon his accession to the presidency in 2019, also emptied the coffers, and Sri Lanka found itself without sufficient foreign exchange to import what it needs. needs, be it food, medicine or fuel. Additionally, the ban on pesticide and fertilizer imports in 2021 – driven by a drive to switch to organic farming – has had a devastating effect on agriculture in particular, with the rice harvest plummeting by 33 % during the first three months of the year.

Finally, restrictions imposed by Russia on Ukrainian grain exports may have contributed to the unrest in Sri Lanka.

The current crisis threatens to wipe out hopes for a revival in the tourism sector.

Despite aid from India and other countries, in April 2022 the country defaulted on its $51 billion foreign debt payment, and sought a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Abby Shelcore for DayNewsWorld



It 's a stupor in Japan. This Friday, July 8, 2022, a man shot former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, then at an election rally. The politician was taken to hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

Shinzo Abe, 67, was giving a speech late Friday morning at an election rally held at a crossroads near a train station in Nara (western Japan) ahead of Sunday's senatorial elections in the country.

He had come to support Kei Sato, a local candidate from his political party, the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, nationalist right), in power in Japan.

At around 11:30 a.m. Japanese time (0230 GMT), a man approached Shinzo Abe from behind, according to Japanese television footage filming his speech.

The man apparently fired twice, terrifying onlookers who ducked for cover.

Shinzo Abe collapsed and traces of blood were visible in particular on his white shirt. The alleged shooter was quickly tackled to the ground and arrested by the police.

How did the ex-prime minister die?

Shinzo Abe was rushed to a hospital in Nara Prefecture, Kashihara, where he arrived at 12:20 p.m. (0320 GMT) in a state of "cardio-respiratory arrest", a conference told press release Hidetada Fukushima, professor of emergency medicine at the establishment.

He had been hit by two bullets in the neck, and despite efforts to revive him, his death was confirmed at 5:03 p.m. (08:03 GMT), the doctor said.

According to the Japanese public television channel NHK, Shinzo Abe was able to briefly say a few words to the people around him after the attack, before losing consciousness.

The shooter, a 41-year-old Japanese

According to police sources cited by Japanese media, the arrested suspect is a 41-year-old Japanese man named Tetsuya Yamagami.

This Nara resident served for three years in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, the Japanese Navy, until 2005, according to local media quoting the Ministry of Defense.

He would have made his own firearm, whereas the restrictions against these weapons in Japan are extremely strong and where it is very difficult to obtain a port of weapons.

According to NHK, he told investigators after his arrest that he was "frustrated" with Shinzo Abe and that he shot him with the intention of killing him. The police searched his home on Friday, where potentially explosive products were found, according to the public television channel.

Emotional reactions around the world

The attack on Shinzo Abe shocked the whole of Japan and caused a wave of emotion abroad as well.

Visibly very affected, Fumio Kishida, whose political mentor Shinzo Abe had been, denounced a "barbaric act" and "absolutely unforgivable". The Japanese political class unanimously condemned the attack and the parties suspended their electoral campaign before the elections scheduled for Sunday.

Fumio Kishida declared that the electoral preparations would continue because “we absolutely must defend free and fair elections, which are the foundation of democracy”.

Politicians from around the world, from the United States to the European Union to China, have expressed their shock and sadness.

A pragmatic nationalist

Both nationalist and pragmatic, Shinzo Abe broke the record for longevity as Japanese Prime Minister. He came to power for the first time in 2006, becoming at 52 the youngest head of government in his country since the post-war period, but this first term only lasted a year.

He made an impression during his second, much longer term in power (2012-2020) with his bold economic policy dubbed “Abenomics”, combining massive fiscal stimulus with an ultra-accommodative monetary policy, a strategy that continues to this day. today in Japan, despite uneven results due to a lack of sufficient structural reforms.

Shinzo Abe was also distinguished by his intense diplomatic activity, notably strengthening the Japanese-American alliance – he was close to US President Donald Trump (2017-2021), with whom he shared a passion for golf.

Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld


The Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the Atlantic Alliance have gathered in Madrid, for a summit which is being held from June 28 to 30, 2022 in the Spanish capital, fully concerned by the Russian threat and the war in Ukraine. .

Beyond Ukraine, Wednesday was an opportunity for NATO to adopt its new "strategic concept", the first revision of its roadmap since 2010, which for the first time mentioned the challenges posed by China.

Joining Sweden and Finland

The Madrid summit marks a major turning point on the Western side: the European countries most exposed to possible blows from Russia have obtained from NATO the necessary assurances to prevent or counter them:

it is the accession process of Finland and Sweden, and the notable reinforcement of the NATO system from Romania to Estonia, with a substantial presence of France. The accession process for Finland and Sweden, which decided to join NATO in reaction to the offensive launched by Russia in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, thus breaking with a long tradition of neutrality, has indeed been launched.

This membership was until now blocked by Turkey, a member of NATO since 1952, which accused in particular Stockholm and Helsinki of harboring militants of the Kurdish organization PKK, which Ankara considers "terrorist". But after long negotiations on the sidelines of the summit, Turkey gave its agreement on Tuesday evening to the entry into NATO of these two Nordic countries, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan having estimated that he had obtained their "full cooperation" in his fight against the PKK.

"NATO's open door policy" has resulted in "a historic success", welcomed Jens Stoltenberg. “Welcoming Finland and Sweden to the alliance will make them more secure, NATO stronger and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure,” he insisted. Future Swedish and Finnish members bring to the Alliance 28,500 active troops, 2,300 armour, 1,000 artillery pieces, 220 tanks, 175 ships and 158 aircraft.

A reaction force "well above" 300,000 men

NATO leaders decided at the Madrid summit to transform their reaction force and increase "well above" 300,000 troops to the high level of readiness to face the Russian threat, the secretary announced on Monday. General of the Alliance.

"By doing this, we are providing a credible deterrent whose objective is not to provoke a conflict, but to prevent Russia or any other potential adversary from attacking an allied country," he insisted.

"I am convinced that President Putin understands the consequences of an attack on a NATO country," he added. The state of preparation of these forces has been raised to avoid unpleasant surprises, with 300,000 soldiers concerned instead of 40,000 previously.

Reinforcement of battle groups in the east

“We will strengthen our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance, up to brigade level,” he said.

Eight battlegroups were created. They are based in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

Some will be reinforced "up to brigade level" - tactical units of 3,000 to 5,000 men, said Jens Stoltenberg.

Germany, the leader of the Battle Group based in Lithuania, has announced its intention to raise its capability to the level of a brigade, but the bulk of the troops will remain stationed in the country. Units are "pre-designated" in other member countries of the Alliance to intervene in countries where battle groups are based and where heavy weapons have been pre-positioned, explained the Secretary General of NATO.

USA to the rescue

Joe Biden, for his part, announced a new reinforcement of US forces in Spain, Poland, Romania, the Baltic States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. Two missile frigates in Spain to reinforce the four already there; two squadrons of F-35 fighters in the UK to replace F-15s redeployed to Poland; a combat brigade in Romania; a permanent Corps Headquarters in Poland; more artillery, air force, air defense and special forces in the three Baltic countries; anti-aircraft defenses in Italy and Germany…

Strengthening aid to Ukraine

Ukraine, which is entering its 127th day of war, this Thursday, June 30, 2022, was at the heart of discussions at the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday. The opportunity for member countries to reaffirm their support for Ukraine against the "cruelty" of Russia. Vladimir Putin, for his part, denounced the “imperialist ambitions” of the Atlantic Alliance.

The British government took advantage of the day on Wednesday to announce additional military aid of more than one billion euros to Ukraine.

NATO member countries also said they had agreed on a new aid plan involving the "delivery of non-lethal military equipment", as well as a strengthening of Ukrainian defenses against cyber-attacks. .

A new strategic concept

NATO also adopted on Wednesday a new strategic concept identifying Russia as "the most significant and direct threat" to transatlantic peace, and China as a "challenge" to "interests", "values" and to their "safety".

For Moscow a "new iron curtain" in reference to the Cold War

Vladimir Putin for his part denounced a "hegemony" on the part of NATO, during a press conference in Ashkhabad, the Turkmen capital.

Regarding the accession of the two Nordic countries, he said that he did not see any "problem" there, provided however that there is no deployment of military contingents and military infrastructure. In which case, he warned, “we will be forced to respond in a symmetrical way and create the same threats for the territories from which the threats for us emanate. »

For Moscow, a new "iron curtain" fell in Europe at a time when Ukraine, backed by renewed support from the alliance, took back from the Russians a symbolic and strategic island for the control of maritime routes.

"The Iron Curtain, in fact, is already coming down," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Minsk, using the term that made history. of Europe during the Cold War, and only fell with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. "This iron curtain is erected today by Westerners themselves", added his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makeï, whose country is an ally of Moscow in its confrontation with the West.

Moscow and Minsk reacted to the summit on Wednesday and Thursday of the Atlantic Alliance which reaffirmed its massive support for Ukraine. Its new strategic roadmap now designates Russia as "the most significant and direct threat to the security of the allies", and denounces attempts by Moscow and Beijing to unite their efforts to "destabilize the international order".

A jump from NATO ?

“The war in Ukraine has caused NATO to jump up, but has it come out of its brain death for all that ? We can debate it. Above all, this war proves that the time for a NATO carrying universal values ​​- its credo barely masked since the end of the Cold War - is over.

The Alliance will, perhaps, extend to some new members, and then?