Australia to send peacekeeping troops to Solomon Islands amid riots

Australia has said it will send peace keeping troops to Solomon Islands as riots rocked the capital city of Honiara for a second day. The violence began on Wednesday when protestors stormed parliament in a bid to topple PM Manasseh Sogavare. The rioting crowds set fire to government buildings, a police station and businesses in Chinatown. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said the troops would provide stability and security. He added that he had received a request for assistance from Mr Sogavare. Continue reading Australia to send peacekeeping troops to Solomon Islands amid riots

Macron switches to using navy blue on France’s flag – reports

President Emmanuel Macron has switched to using a darker navy blue on the official French flag, replacing the previous brighter shade, officials have told local media. The move saw flags in the new hue hoisted on the presidential palace last year without any accompanying fanfare. Mr Macron wanted to bring back the navy blue flag, a symbol of the French Revolution, Europe 1 said. However, both the darker and lighter flags have been in use for decades. France’s navy and many official buildings around the country have always used the navy blue shade. But in 1976 under President Giscard d’Estaing, … Continue reading Macron switches to using navy blue on France’s flag – reports

Egypt’s leader orders government to move to new capital

Egypt’s president on Wednesday ordered his administration to start moving its offices next month to a sprawling new administrative capital in the desert outside Cairo, a spokesman said. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has directed the government to begin a six-month trial period of working from the new complex starting Dec. 1, according to his spokesman, Bassam Radi. The $45 billion city is biggest of the mega-projects el-Sissi has launched since taking office in 2014. It is being built on 170,000 acres about 28 miles (about 45 kilometers) east of Cairo and nearly twice its size. It is planned to house … Continue reading Egypt’s leader orders government to move to new capital

US revokes licence of top Chinese telecoms company

Washington has revoked the US licence of one of China’s biggest telecoms companies citing “national security” concerns. China Telecom must stop providing services in America within 60 days. Officials said the Chinese government’s control of the company gave it the opportunity “to access, store, disrupt, and/or misroute US communications”. This in turn could allow it “to engage in espionage and other harmful activities against the US”, they said. China Telecom, which has provided telecoms services in the US for nearly 20 years, called the decision “disappointing”. “We plan to pursue all available options while continuing to serve our customers,” a … Continue reading US revokes licence of top Chinese telecoms company

Canada indigenous children’s compensation order upheld

Canada’s federal court has dismissed a government bid to avoid paying compensation to indigenous children who suffered welfare discrimination. In 2016, a rights tribunal ruled that the government had underfunded First Nations children’s services compared with those for non-indigenous children. It ordered C$40,000 ($31,350; £23,340) payouts to each child forced to leave their homes to access the services. Wednesday’s court ruling is expected to cost Ottawa billions of dollars. Announcing the decision, Justice Paul Favel said the federal government had “not succeeded in establishing that the compensation decision is unreasonable”. Mr Favel also said that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal … Continue reading Canada indigenous children’s compensation order upheld

Somalia political rift intensifies amid row over missing spy

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has cut some of the prime minister’s powers as a bitter rift between the two men intensifies. He accused Mohamed Hussein Roble of “taking reckless steps that could lead to a political and security crisis”. But Mr Roble said he would not abide by the order, calling it unconstitutional. The dispute, fuelled by the mysterious disappearance of a female spy, raises fears of armed conflict on the streets of the capital between rival forces. Ikran Tahlil, 25, who was last seen at the end of June, leaving home in an official vehicle. The government said … Continue reading Somalia political rift intensifies amid row over missing spy

US House approves Biden’s $3.5tn domestic budget blueprint

The US Congress has approved a $3.5tn (£2.54tn) budget blueprint, setting the stage for Democrats to enact President Joe Biden’s ambitious economic agenda. The rule that passed on Tuesday allows Democrats, who narrowly control both chambers, to move ahead with key policy proposals. Mr Biden’s party hopes to devote significant resources to family support, health and climate schemes. It passed the House of Representatives 220-212, with no Republican support. The resolution’s fate was unclear as late as Tuesday morning, amid a standoff between progressive and centrist House Democrats. The Democrats are enacting a process called budget reconciliation to approve Mr … Continue reading US House approves Biden’s $3.5tn domestic budget blueprint

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to step down in November

Sweden’s beleaguered Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has said he would step down in November to allow a successor time to prepare for the country’s September 2022 general election. Lofven was reinstated as prime minister by parliament in early July just weeks after being removed in a historic vote of no confidence. He told a political rally on Sunday he would “leave my position as party chairman at the party’s congress in November and thereafter also resign as prime minister”. Lofven, 64, has served as party leader for almost 10 years and as prime minister since 2014. “Everything has an end … Continue reading Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to step down in November

Madagascar arrests generals over plot to kill President Rajoelina

High-ranking army and police officials have been arrested in Madagascar in connection with a failed attempt to kill the country’s president. The arrested include five generals and several active police officers, meaning 21 people are now being investigated over last month’s foiled assassination. Authorities have also seized a gun and $250,000 (£180,000), local media said. The attempt on President Andry Rajoelina’s life was among ongoing turbulence rocking the island nation. Madagascar has been under a lockdown since the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year and its southern region is in the grips of a famine. Authorities announced last month that it … Continue reading Madagascar arrests generals over plot to kill President Rajoelina

Update: French citizen among six arrested over plan to kill Madagascar president

A French citizen is among six people arrested on suspicion of involvement in a plot to kill Madagascar’s president, the Indian Ocean island’s public security minister said. “One of the arrested people is French, two of them are bi-national: Malagasy and French. The three others are Malagasy,” Rodellys Fanomezantsoa Randrianarison said late on Thursday. Patrick Rajoelina, an adviser to President Andry Rajoelina, said two of those arrested had previously worked in the French military.  Madagascar’s attorney general said on Thursday police had arrested the six following what officials said was a months-long investigation. Madagascar has a history of political violence. … Continue reading Update: French citizen among six arrested over plan to kill Madagascar president

Update: Strife-torn Haiti gets new prime minister

Ariel Henry has been sworn in as Haiti’s new prime minister, nearly two weeks after the assassination of the country’s President Jovenel Moïse. The late president asked Mr Henry to take the job, days before he was gunned down in the capital, Port-au-Prince. But Mr Henry was in a political tussle with Claude Joseph, Haiti’s interim PM at the time of the attack. Mr Joseph stepped down on Monday and said Mr Henry’s appointment would pave the way for elections in September. Speaking at a ceremony in Port-au-Prince, the new prime minister called for unity. “One of my priority tasks … Continue reading Update: Strife-torn Haiti gets new prime minister

Foreign hit squad killed Haiti’s president, police say

A hit squad composed mostly of retired Colombian soldiers assassinated Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse earlier this week, police say. The group included 26 Colombians and two Americans of Haitian origin, police chief Léon Charles told reporters. Eight of the suspects are still on the run, while 17, including the two Americans, have been arrested. The remaining suspects were shot dead during gun battles with the police in the capital, Port-au-Prince. A group of gunmen burst into the president’s private residence in the early hours of Wednesday. Mr Moïse’s wife, Martine, was injured in the attack and has been flown to … Continue reading Foreign hit squad killed Haiti’s president, police say