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Malaysia to abolish death penalty

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Malaysia to abolish death penalty

Malaysia to abolish death penalty

Malaysia’s Cabinet announced on Thursday it would abolish the death penalty for all crimes and halt pending executions.

The country mandates hanging perpetrators for a wide range of crimes, including murder, drug trafficking, treason and acts of terror. More than 1,200 people are on death row in Malaysia.

“The Cabinet has agreed to abolish the death penalty,” Gobind Singh Deo, communications and multimedia minister, told AFP news agency on Thursday. “I hope the law will be amended soon.”

On Wednesday, local media reports quoted Law Minister Liew Vui Keong as saying that that amendment to laws with capital punishment were expected to be tabled when parliament resumes Monday.

‘Major step forward’

Human rights groups hailed the decision. Amnesty International said it was “a major step forward for all those who have campaigned for an end to the death penalty in Malaysia.”

“Malaysia’s resort to the death penalty has been a terrible stain on its human rights record for years,” Amnesty’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said in a statement.

Lawyers for Liberty also welcomed the government’s decision.

“The death penalty is barbarous, and unimaginably cruel,” N. Surendran, an advisor with the Lawyers for Liberty rights group said in a statement.

“Having rejected the death penalty in this country, we now have the moral authority to fight for the lives of our citizens abroad,” he said, referring to the hundreds of Malaysians on death row in Singapore and other countries, particularly for being drug mules.

As of now, 142 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice, Amnesty said.

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13 die as overloaded boat capsizes in Indonesia

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Boat mishap

Boat mishap

Rescuers have retrieved 13 corpses after an overloaded wooden boat capsized in a River in Central Indonesia, Senior Rescuer said on Tuesday.

Search and rescue operation found eight bodies on Monday, four others on Tuesday and the rest were found shortly after the incident happened in West Kalimantan province, head of the rescue team Agus Haryono said.

“Some of the bodies were found in a distance of 20 km in the downstream of the river, and some others were found near the incident site,’’ he told Xinhua over phone.

With the recovery of all the missing persons, the spokesman said, the search and rescue operation were terminated on Tuesday.

The incident took place when the passenger boat carrying 24 people was attempting to cross Kapuas river in Naga Seberuang village of Kapuas Hulu district but suddenly capsized, Suhri Sinaga, spokesperson of National Search and Rescue Agency, told Xinhua by phone.

“It was caused by overload, too many people on board. One person was dead and 11 others were rescued alive,’’ he said.

All of the survivors had been rushed into nearby health clinics, the rescuer said.

Weak implementation of security frequently triggers incidents in Indonesia, a vast archipelago nation home to over 17,500 islands.

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UN wants Africa to prepare for effect of climate change

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UN wants Africa to prepare for effect of climate Change

UN wants Africa to prepare for effect of climate Change


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has called on international community to evolve measures to prepare the African continent for the ravages of climate change.

Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, Director of UNDP’s Africa Bureau, who made the call at the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) climate conference, in Katowice, Poland, said preparing Africa for the reality of climate change “cannot be an afterthought.”

Eziakonwa said: “Taking reactive approaches to food security and disaster recovery costs the people of Africa billions of dollars in lost GDP, and syphons off government resources that should be dedicated to education, social programmes, healthcare, business development and employment”.

According to a new report launched by the UNDP, Africa is at a “tipping point” as global warming increases, and urgent action needs to be taken across the continent now to mitigate risks and safeguard a decade of social and economic gains.

For two weeks, the COP24 has brought together thousands of climate action decision-makers, advocates and activists, with one key objective: adopting global guidelines for the 197 parties of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

At the Paris Agreement, countries committed to limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees centigrade – and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees centigrade – above pre-industrial levels.

Ahunna noted that in spite of major structural inequalities, nations across the continent have achieved “impressive economic, political and social growth in recent decades.”

She, however, argued that “climate change, droughts, floods, changing rainfall patterns and conflict have the potential to unravel efforts to reduce hunger and achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The UNDP study shows that, should the world fail to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees centigrade, families will find it hard to feed themselves, and the risk of famine and increased poverty will rise along with temperatures.

Higher levels of poverty would further limit the capacity of communities to manage climate-related risks, according to the report.

The report warned that failure to mitigate climate-related risks could translate into more risky migration patterns, serious epidemics such as the 2014 Ebola outbreak across West Africa, and greater political instability.

Drawing on years of data from projects geared to enabling communities to adapt to a changing climate and build resilience, the report shows that as emissions continue going up, support for climate adaptation initiatives must be increased urgently and accelerated across the continent, especially across the 34 African least developed countries.

However, measures to enable communities to adapt to the changing climate is a costly matter that would require creative financial mechanisms and substantial engagement with the private sector to meet.

It would also require developed nations to make good on their 2015 Paris Agreement commitments to dedicate $100 billion annually to supporting climate action in developing nations.

The report analyses a number of noteworthy successes in climate change adaptation in Africa over the past decade, including projects aimed at improving food security in Benin, Mali, Niger and Sudan.

It also analysed supporting governments in having improved climate information and early warning systems to save lives from fast-acting storms; and empowering women to be effective climate action champions.

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Ukraine demands release of seized ships, crew from Russia

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Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Valerii Aleksandruk

Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Valerii Aleksandruk

The Ukrainian authority has protested Russian’s armed attack and capturing of its navy ships “Berdyansk” Nikopol and the tug boat `Yana Kapu’ as well as injuring of the crew members.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Valerii Aleksandruk who said this in a statement in Abuja said the country demanded for immediate release of the seized vessels and crew members.

Aleksandruk said Russian forces opened fire on a group of Ukraine ships in the Black Sea off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula late on Nov. 25th.

The envoy said the country also protested striking of two warships and wounding of two crew members before seizing the vessels along with a Ukrainian Navy tugboat.

He said that the attack on Ukrainian ships was carried out during a sea crossing from the port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol.

“The attack, in accordance with the provisions of all effective multilateral and bilateral international treaties and navigation rules, is nothing but another act of armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine

“It is against Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations and the provisions of UN General Assembly Resolution 29/3314 of 14 December 1974 on the definition of aggression.

“Russia has de facto expanded its military aggression against Ukraine to the sea.

“Kremlin’s criminal regime has today once again demonstrated that it won’t stop its aggressive policy and is ready for any acts of aggression against the Ukrainian state,” he said.

According to him, Ukraine also requested for urgent medical assistance to the wounded and to ensure their immediate safe return home.

“Ukraine also demands to return the captured navy ships and to compensate for the damage caused.

“It is Kremlin’s regime who bears full responsibility for further aggravation of the situation in the Azov and Black Seas and for undermining the peaceful settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

“Ukraine urges its allies and partners to take all necessary measures to deter the aggressor, by applying new and strengthening existing sanctions

“Ukraine also urges its allies to provide military assistance to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty within the internationally recognised borders,” he said

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