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Khashoggi’s murder planned days in advance: President Erdogan

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President Tayyip Recep Erdogan, says Jamal Khashoggi’s death planned in advance by Saudis

President Tayyip Recep Erdogan, says Jamal Khashoggi’s death planned in advance by Saudis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was intricately planned days in advance and asked for the trial of the 18 assassins in Istanbul.
Erdogan had promised that his speech in Ankara to party men would give the “naked truth” about the killing and he gave a host of new details while still saying Turkey wanted answers to key questions, including who gave the orders.

“First they (the Saudis implicated) removed the hard disc from the camera system,” Erdogan said. “This is a political murder,” he added.

Erdogan said that all information, evidence that has been revealed until now showed that Khashoggi was the victim of a “savage” murder, Anadolu news agency reported.

Erdogan said Saudi teams made explorations in Istanbul’s Belgrad Forest and the northwestern province of Yalova before murdering Khashoggi.

Erdogan also said that the Saudi government formally admitted to the killing of Khashoggi 17 days after his murder.

“Vienna convention would not allow such a ‘savage’ murder,” Erdogan said.

“Diplomatic immunity, which is a part of the Vienna Convention, will be opened to debate,” he said.

President Erdogan also proposed that the 18 suspects involved in the murder should stand court trial in Istanbul as the murder was committed there.

“Everyone, those who ordered his murder and those who executed it, should answer for their doing,” Erdogan said, labelling the killing of Khashoggi a “political murder”.

Erdogan also said anyone from countries other than Saudi Arabia who might have been accessory to the grisly murder should be investigated too.

“It is very important that such a critical investigation should be conducted by a neutral and fair committee,” he said.

Erdogan also said that putting the blame on a few security and intelligence officers would not convince Turkey or the international community.

“Conspiracy attempts against the reputation of Turkey on international media has not and will not stop us from trying to search for facts,” Erdogan said, vowing to unveil all aspects of the Khashoggi murder.

“Turkey, aside from its own sovereign rights, will follow the issue in the name of the international community as a representative of humanity’s common conscience,” Erdogan added.

Separately, Erdogan offered condolences to the family and relatives of Khashoggi.

Hours before Erdogan delivered his speech to ruling party lawmakers, a major Saudi investment forum opened in Riyadh under the heavy shadow of the murder after key delegates pulled out.

The murder of the Washington Post contributor has damaged the international reputation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has spearheaded a reform drive in the kingdom.

Erdogan did not mention Prince Mohammed by name in the speech but said he was confident of the full cooperation of his father Saudi King Salman in the probe.

Saudi Arabia only confirmed the killing more than two weeks after the event. The killing has alarmed even Saudi Arabia’s staunchest Western allies.

A former royal family insider turned critic of the Saudi crown prince, Khashoggi, 59, disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to collect a document for his upcoming marriage.

The case has shone the spotlight on the crown prince, who was credited with reforms including giving women the right to drive but is now accused of having ordered Khashoggi’s murder — a claim Riyadh denies.

The timing of the controversy could not be worse for Prince Mohammed as the investment summit, dubbed “Davos in the desert”, began in Riyadh, overshadowed by big name cancellations and Erdogan’s threat of revelations.

Dozens of executives, including from banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, ride-hailing app Uber and Western officials such as International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde have pulled out of the three-day Future Investment Initiative (FII).

French energy giant Total’s head Patrick Pouyanne, however, said he would attend the meeting, arguing that “empty chair politics” do not advance human rights.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin would not export arms to Riyadh “in the current situation,” despite Germany’s approval last month of 416 million euros’ ($480 million) worth of arms exports in 2018.

Despite also pulling out of the summit, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met the crown prince behind closed doors for bilateral talks in Riyadh. CIA Director Gina Haspel, meanwhile, headed for Turkey, although details of her trip were not immediately clear.

White House advisor and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, believed to have close ties with the crown prince, said he had urged him to be “fully transparent”, stressing that “the world is watching”.

Speaking in Jakarta, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir vowed “a thorough and complete investigation”. He said procedures would be put in place to “ensure that something like this can never happen again.”

With Khashoggi’s remains still missing, Turkish police have found an abandoned car belonging to the Saudi consulate in an underground car park in the Sultangazi district of Istanbul, state media said.

CNN broadcast images apparently showing a Saudi official playing a body double for Khashoggi, wearing the journalist’s clothes, exiting the consulate.

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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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