Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport attacked by Yemen’s Houthi group

Robie de Guzman   •   June 14, 2019   •   3565

Courtesy : Reuters

The Saudi-led military coalition vowed to respond firmly to a missile attack by Yemeni Houthi forces on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday (June 12) that wounded 26 people.

The coalition said a projectile hit the arrivals hall at Abha airport, causing material damage.

Three women and two children were among the wounded, who were of Saudi, Yemeni and Indian nationalities, it said in a statement on Thursday (June 13).

Meanwhile, planes from the Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen bombed areas around the capital Sanaa on Thursday, residents and the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV said.

The Western-backed, Sunni Muslim coalition has been battling the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen since 2015 when it intervened to try to restore the internationally recognized government that was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014. (REUTERS)

G7 leaders in a show of unity in a summit that exposes rifts

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2019

G7 leaders French President Emmanuel Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Acting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gather for a photo alongside other world leaders and invited guests. (Image grabbed from Reuters footage)

G7 leaders joined in a family photo on Sunday (August 25) at the French resort hosting the summit which has been troubled by differences between U.S. President Donald Trump and Western allies over a raft of issues.

Trump, a turbulent presence at last year’s G7 gathering, insisted on Sunday that he was getting along well with other leaders of a group that also includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

But rifts emerged on issues from his intensifying trade war with China to the nuclear ambitions of both Iran and North Korea, and the question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin should be readmitted to the group.

While the transatlantic rift is the most stark, there are also deep divisions within the European camp, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson making his G7 debut at a time when he is struggling to persuade EU capitals to renegotiate Britain’s exit from the bloc, which Johnson has said will happen on October 31 come what may.

The G7 leaders were joined in the family photo by several African leaders as well as leaders from India, Australia, Chile and Spain, whom Macron invited to the Sunday dinner to broaden the scope of debate.

In the front row, Trump, Macron stood alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, while Johnson stood at the end of the row. (Reuters)

(Production: Roberto Esparza, Lucy Marks)

Hong Kong government condemns violent acts

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2019

(Image grabbed from Reuters footage)

The government of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on early Monday morning condemned the violent acts by protesters in Kwai Tsing, Tsuen Wan and other districts on Sunday.

Protests turned violent in Tsuen Wan, in the western New Territories of Hong Kong, as radical protesters hurled petrol bombs at police officers and brutally assaulted them.

In response to the violence on Sunday, a Government spokesman said the following:

In the procession and assembly in Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan yesterday, despite that a Letter of No Objection had been issued following discussion between the Police and the organizer, some protesters deviated from the original route during the procession, blocked roads, confronted the police, wantonly attacked police officers with things like bricks and iron rods, and hurled petrol bombs at police vehicles and officers many times, seriously breaching the public peace and posing a grave threat to the safety of police officers on duty as well as the members of the public at the scene.

Some protesters removed a national flag at Kwai Chung Sports Ground, the assembly venue, and trampled on it. The act challenges the national authority and allegedly violates the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance.

At night, some radical protesters vandalized with violence a number of shops in Tsuen Wan. The police officers attending the scene were attacked by a number of violent protesters at one point and, with the officers’ lives under threat, an officer fired a warning shot into the air. The radical protesters’ violent acts later also spread to various areas including Sham Shui Po, Tsim Sha Tsui and the Kowloon entrances of the Cross-Harbor Tunnel.

The escalating illegal and violent acts of radical protesters are not only outrageous, they also push Hong Kong to the verge of a very dangerous situation. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government severely condemns these acts and the Police will strictly follow up on them.

The HKSAR Government appeals to members of the public to combat violence and uphold the rule of law together so that order can be restored in society as soon as possible. (Reuters)

Firefighters in race against time to extinguish fires in Bolivia

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2019

Firefighters battled wildfires raging through Bolivia’s Robore region and the town of San Lorenzo on Sunday (August 25) that have engulfed rural villages and doubled in size since Thursday (August 22).

Bolivian President Evo Morales on Sunday said he was now open to international aid to fight the blazes that have burned unabated across vast swaths of hilly tropical forest and savannah near Bolivia’s border with Paraguay and Brazil. At least 1 million hectares, or approximately 3,800 square miles, have been impacted by the fires, officials said.

Video filmed by firefighter David Nina showed crews extinguishing fire in bushland, and walking through burnt out forest areas. In another video filmed by evangelical church volunteer David Ortiz, volunteers are seen helping people in a town and residents fleeing from impending danger.

Bolivia late last week contracted a Boeing 747 “Supertanker” from the United States to help with the fire-fighting, and has mobilised more than 2,000 firefighters, as well as small aircraft and helicopters. But the area affected by wildfire has nonetheless nearly doubled since Thursday.

Thousands of wildfires are also decimating the neighbouring Brazilian Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest.

The blazes have nearly doubled this year compared with the same period in 2018, prompting global outrage. (Reuters)

(Production: Monica Machicao)

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