US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, Thursday pledged their continued guide for Ukraine’s battle towards Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion as they held talks at the White House.
“France and the United States are facing down Vladimir Putin’s ambition,” Biden stated after warmly greeting the French leader, the first to make a nation visit in the course of Biden’s presidency.
“The alliance between our two countries remains imperative for our defence,” Biden said. “The US may want to not ask for a higher associate than France.” He described France as “our oldest ally and unwavering accomplice in freedom’s cause.”
Macron, talking on a sunny however chilly morning in Washington, stated that with Putin’s invasion now in its 10th month, the United States and France “need to end up brothers in hands as soon as more.”
He stated Washington and Paris “share the same faith in freedom and democratic values.”
South Africa’s President Risks Impeachment Inquiry
A document by means of an independent panel appointed by means of South Africa’s parliament contends that President Cyril Ramaphosa violated his oath of office, which may want to lead to an impeachment inquiry. The panel finds the president has to reply for the theft of at least a half-million bucks from his game farm that might also now not have been declared in his taxes.
Following the launch of the report, Ramaphosa maintained his innocence and said in a declaration that he categorically denies violating his oath.
The panel’s file noted that while it did now not have all the answers, nor the authority to pursue them, it encouraged an impeachment inquiry must proceed to get to the truth.
It cited there are many questions left unanswered, which includes the place the cash stolen from the farm had come from and the specific amount in question.
A former undercover agent boss, Arthur Fraser, first introduced the issue to light, claiming that between $4 million and $8 million used to be stolen from a sofa in the president’s farmhouse the place it was hidden.
Fraser claimed the cash was accrued with the aid of Ramaphosa’s adviser Bejani Chauke for both him and the president throughout various trips he made to Middle Eastern and African countries, and it was now not declared to authorities.
Ramaphosa stated it used to be from selling 20 buffalo to a Sudanese businessman recognised as Mr Hazim, who paid $580,000 for them on Christmas Day in 2019. The president said he was once not at the farm at the time of the sale.
India Dismisses Chinese Objections to India-US Military Drills Near Border
India has disregarded Beijing’s objections to US-India army workout routines being held shut to India’s disputed border with China.
The drills between Indian and US troopers began mid-November and are due to conclude Friday. Part of annual workout routines held via the two sides, this year’s manoeuvres are taking place in the Himalayan mountains in Auli in Uttarakhand state, about 100km from the border vicinity acknowledged as the Line of Actual Control.
China stated on Wednesday that the joint workout routines “violated the spirit of applicable agreements” between Beijing and New Delhi. “It does now not serve the mutual trust between China and India. China has expressed issues to the Indian side over the army exercise,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian informed a media briefing in Beijing.
Responding to China’s comments, Indian overseas ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said Thursday that “India workout routines with whomsoever it chooses to, and it does not give a veto to 1/3 international locations on this issue.”
Bagchi said the workout routines had nothing to do with the agreements China had referred to.
Tensions between India and China have escalated given that a bloody border conflict in 2020 killed 20 Indian and four Chinese troopers in the Ladakh area. As a result, each aspects continue to set up tens of thousands of soldiers backed by means of artillery, tanks and fighter jets alongside the disputed border and are rapidly building infrastructure in the Himalayan mountains.
Following quite a few rounds of talks between the navy commanders of the two countries, troopers have pulled back from some so-called “friction points” alongside the border the place they were posted shut to each other, however heavy deployments proceed at other factors that are of strategic value to both sides.
Spain Investigating Letter Bombs Sent to Prime Minister, Ukraine Embassy
Ukraine’s foreign minister stated Thursday that a letter bomb sent to the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid was an act of terror and pledged to make certain that those accountable receive the maximum punishment.
Authorities in Spain say the bomb used to be one of various that went to more than a few addresses round the Spanish capital, together with that of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and had been intercepted. The one that arrived at the Ukrainian embassy exploded Wednesday, injuring an employee.
Speaking on the sidelines of a NATO assembly in Romania, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the letter bomb was once a serious matter, and they had been carefully following it.
He said, “This is an assault in opposition to the diplomatic establishment that is defended through international law,” and he had ordered all overseas diplomatic Ukrainian businesses to straight away make bigger safety measures.
Kuleba pledged to “defend every Ukrainian no longer solely in Ukraine but also abroad with all reachable means.”
Spanish officers stated packages also arrived Thursday at Spain’s defence ministry and the Torrejon de Ardoz air base. Another bundle arrived Wednesday at Instalaza, a agency making grenade launchers Spain sent to Ukraine.
The investigation into who sent the packages is continuing.
Ukraine Urges EU to Sanction Russian Missile Production
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated Thursday he had known as on the European Union to sanction Russia’s missile production industry.
Kuleba tweeted that Russia’s missile manufacturing “must be put to a halt.”
He said he communicated the message in a meeting with EU overseas policy chief Josep Borrell and additionally thanked the EU for defence aid it has furnished to Ukraine.
Russia has used missiles to assault Ukrainian cities, including striking key infrastructure sites such as parts of the country’s electrical grid.
Ukraine’s navy said Thursday that Russian forces had been shelling numerous towns in the Donetsk area of japanese Ukraine, which includes Bakhmut, Soledar and Opytne. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces also stated Russia was the usage of tanks and artillery to goal Ukrainian positions in the southern town of Kherson.
The United States stated Wednesday that Russia’s weekslong marketing campaign targeting assaults on Ukraine’s vital heating, electrical, and water infrastructure would no longer slash Western resolve to guide Kyiv in its nine-month battle towards Moscow’s invasion.
Zambians to Sue Mining Giant Anglo American for Lead Poisoning
A courtroom in South Africa last week ruled that UN professionals can intervene in a category action lawsuit in opposition to mining massive Anglo American over lead poisoning in Zambia. South African and British lawyers filed the lawsuit on behalf of about 140,000 Zambian young people and women whose health used to be allegedly damaged by means of a colonial-era lead mine. Anglo American has denied wrongdoing at the Kabwe mine, which it was concerned in from the Nineteen Twenties to 1970s.
It’s a busy morning in Chowa township in Kabwe, which appears like an regular Zambian town on the surface.
But rights specialists and lawyers say Kabwe is one of the areas in the world most polluted by lead poisoning.
Rachel Kutayaya stated her three boys, aged 12, 14, and 16, were sickened by using lead, however she’s unemployed and can’t have enough money treatment.
Kutayaya struggles to feed her youngsters with the $20 she makes per week promoting tomatoes.
She said her children’s IQs had been affected. In school, Kutayaya said, they did now not focus well, so their performance is poor. She says one of them frequently has belly problems and blames lead poisoning.
Britain-based rights regulation association Leigh Day estimates 140,000 Zambian youth and female of childbearing age were sickened via the colonial-era lead mine in Kabwe.
Modi’s Home State Votes in Local Polls Projected as Easy Win for BJP
In India’s western state of Gujarat, voters started out deciding on a new nation government on Thursday in an election where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party is expected to cruise to an convenient victory.
Political analysts say that while there is disenchantment with the BJP in a kingdom that it has ruled for 27 years, the party is on course to win an remarkable seventh term, basically due to the recognition of the Indian leader.
Gujarat is Modi’s home state, which he headed for about thirteen years as chief minister earlier than he became the country’s top minister in 2014, and the BJP relies upon on his charisma to pull in votes. In current weeks, Modi has addressed dozens of rallies in the state.
“Overall, the Modi magic remains. A lot of people want change, and these who are balloting for the BJP are solely doing it due to the fact of these three words: Narendra Damodardas Modi,” Neerja Chowdhury, an impartial political analyst, said. “If the birthday celebration is in the reckoning, it is only due to the fact of him.”
Observers say there is dissatisfaction with the government’s tune record, specially amongst poorer groups. Although Gujarat is a bustling hub of commerce and one of India’s most affluent states, it has additionally witnessed growing financial distress and joblessness in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflation and high gasoline fees are hurting negative households.
However, the lack of sturdy opposition is supporting the BJP in its bastion. Two opinion polls conducted in the run-up to the polls have projected that the party will win a larger share of seats than it holds in the present state assembly.
Taliban Defend Ban on VOA, RFE/RL Broadcasts
The Islamist Taliban authorities has defended banning FM radio pronounces from two U.S.-funded news media, along with the Voice of America, in Afghanistan, alleging they had been offending local laws.
The ban on VOA and Azadi Radio, an Afghan extension of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, or RFE/RL, went into impact Thursday, a day after the Taliban’s ministry of statistics and way of life stated it had received complaints about programming content but shared no specifics.
It is unclear whether or not the ban will apply to other international broadcasters that have used the identical gadget for FM publicizes in Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan has press laws, and any community observed repeatedly contravening these laws will have their privilege of reporting from and broadcasting inside Afghanistan taken away,” Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the Taliban, foreign ministry spokesman, said in his written remarks to VOA.
“VOA and Azadi Radio failed to adhere to these laws, have been found as repeat offenders, failed to show professionalism and have been therefore shut down,” Balkhi asserted.
The two US government-funded information agencies operate with journalistic independence and intention to furnish comprehensive, balanced coverage.
Hong Kong Delays Jimmy Lai Trial
A courtroom in Hong Kong has adjourned the trial of newspaper publisher Jimmy Lai till December 13 after the authorities sought to block a British attorney from representing Lai.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee asked China’s pinnacle lawmaking physique to determine whether or not overseas legal professionals should take part in country wide safety cases.
Authorities accuse Lai of colluding with overseas forces, and he is also going through a charge of sedition. If convicted, he faces a viable lifestyles sentence.
Lai is the founder of the Apple Daily newspaper, which was once forced to shut in 2021 after its belongings were frozen beneath a safety law imposed after pro-democracy protests.