Sahel Summit Agrees Need to Intensify Campaign Against Jihadists 

International and regional powers agreed at talks on Tuesday to intensify a military campaign against Islamist militants in the West African Sahel region, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying victory over the jihadists was within grasp. Militant attacks in the Sahel have increased over the last two years, especially in the tri-border region of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali known as Liptako-Gourma, where local authorities have been overrun. Mauritania hosted a meeting of the leaders of five Sahel nations plus France and Spain to plot future strategy in the scrubland south of the Sahara where since 2013 thousands of French troops have been helping countries counter insurgencies. “The heads of state stressed the need to intensify the fight on all fronts by national and international forces against terrorist groups,” the final communique said. French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during the closing press conference at the G5 Sahel summit on June 30, 2020, in Nouakchott.The so-called G-5 Sahel nations comprise Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad — all former French colonies. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also attended the summit, while other EU leaders joined by video. “We are all convinced that victory is possible in the Sahel. We are finding our way there thanks to the efforts that have been made over the past six months,” Macron said after the summit. Ahead of the summit, a joint statement by the United Nations and a group of aid organizations painted a dark picture of the situation on the ground. “The security situation in the Sahel countries has deteriorated considerably in recent months. Conflicts prevailing in the region are having unprecedented humanitarian consequences,” it said. The joint forces, led by France’s 5,100 troops, have so far targeted the regional affiliate of Islamic State, concentrating military efforts on Liptako-Gourma. French forces said this month that they had killed al Qaeda’s North Africa commander Abdelmalek Droukdel. But the G-5 force has been hampered by a lack of funding, equipment and coordination. France has long called for more help from its European allies for the mission, which it sees as essential to protecting the security of Europe’s southern flank. 

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EU Bars Pakistan’s National Airline for 6 Months 

Pakistan International Airlines will not be allowed to fly into most of Europe for the next six months, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said on Tuesday, following revelations that nearly a third of Pakistani pilots had cheated on their pilot exams. In a letter banning Pakistan’s national airline, the EASA cited concerns about “the validity of the Pakistani pilot licenses and that Pakistan, as the State of operator, is currently not capable to certify and oversee its operators and aircraft in accordance with applicable international standards.” Pakistan’s aviation minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, reported last week that 260 of 860 pilots had improperly gotten their licenses. The scandal came to light during investigations into the May 22 Airbus A320 plane crash at Pakistan’s southern port of Karachi, in which 97 people were killed. Further inquiries eventually led investigators to find that the Civil Aviation Authority had given out licenses to pilots who had cheated on their exams. The government has since fired five officials of the regulatory agency, and PIA subsequently grounded 150 of its pilots for cheating. PIA, which had not been flying to Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic, had been hoping to resume flights to Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Barcelona and Milan within the next two months. “We have really hit rock bottom, I am so sad to say,” PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said. “The saddest part for PIA is that we had alerted the regulatory agency and the government,” Hafeez said, regarding the cheating scandal, in an interview with the Associated Press. Dubious Pilots Licenses do not pertain to PIA alone. Let it be on record, these licenses were issued by the competent authority and are valid as per their records. It’s the process & discrepancies through which they were obtained, triggered the inquiry by GoP & action.
— PIA (@Official_PIA) June 25, 2020  

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Thousands Demand Justice for Protesters Killed During 2019 Anti-Bashir Protests

Hundreds of thousands marched in Sudan’s capital Tuesday, demanding justice for the people killed by security forces during last year’s street protests. Protest organizers say they need to keep pressure on the transitional government despite the ongoing risk of the COVID-19 pandemic.       Demonstrators waved Sudanese flags and held pictures of those killed during the 2019 protests. A similar demonstration took place one year ago today, when hundreds of thousands marched to condemn brutal attacks against pro-democracy protesters that left more than 100 people dead. Musatfa Abdallah was among those in the streets Tuesday, demanding punishment for those who attacked the protesters.By Whatsapp message, Abdallah said despite the health situation, youth are in the streets marching now demanding justice for the victims of the revolution and to correct the path of the transitional government generally. He said the demands are peaceful and legal, at least in terms of justice for the revolution victims.  Civilians chant slogans as members of Sudanese pro-democracy protest on the anniversary of a major protest in Khartoum, June 30, 2020.In April 2019, the military ousted Omar al-Bashir after four months of mass protests against his 30-year rule. A military council ruled the country for several months, until army leaders and protest organizations signed a power-sharing agreement that created a Sovereign Council to run the country until elections in 2022.  Human rights activist Alzain Othman said protesters want the people responsible for last year’s killings to be prosecuted.  Othman said protesters insisted on marching because they feel the government’s reluctance to punish anyone for the killings and the investigations have yet to achieve anything. This year’s protest is different from last year’s, he said, as last year it was against the military rule and this year it’s against even the civilians in the ministers’ council.  Sudan’s prime minister addressed the nation Monday on national TV, promising the government will make progress on the justice issue within two weeks. Riot police officers hold their position on June 30, 2020, against protesters near the Parliament buildings in Khartoum.Meanwhile, the Sudanese military is out in force, restricting citizen movement, especially on bridges and in central Khartoum. Hundreds of troops and heavy vehicles are surrounding military headquarters and blocking roads linking Khartoum to other cities.  Protest organizations called for this march, but asked that participants abide by restrictions to combat COVID-19, like wearing face masks and social distancing.  Sudanese health officials have confirmed more than 7,000 active cases of COVID-19.  The government says lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus will end in the first week of July. 

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Bullet Sent to Reporter for Slovak Website Aktuality

Police in Slovakia are investigating after Peter Sabo, a reporter for the news outlet Aktuality, found a bullet in his mailbox.The threat against Sabo comes just over two years after the February 2018 murder of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak, who worked for the same outlet.Sabo joined Aktuality a few months after the killing, to help continue Kuciak’s investigations. Sabo had recently reported on international tax fraud and drug crimes.  The outlet condemned the threat in an People gather at Slovak National Uprising square for a rally against corruption and to pay tribute to murdered Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, March 9, 2018, in Bratislava, Slovakia.Police said an investigation is under way, the International Federation of Journalists reported. The Slovak Minister of the Interior Roman Mikulec and President of Police Milan Lučansk were informed of the threat, Bárdy told the International Press Institute (IPI).  “This kind of intimidation must be taken seriously,” IPI deputy director Scott Griffen said in a FILE – Suspects in the 2018 slaying of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, are escorted by armed police officers from a courtroom in Pezinok, Slovakia, December 19, 2019.Kuciak had been investigating tax fraud of several businessmen who had connections to Slovak politicians and Kočner. He was shot dead along with his fiancée, Martina Kusnirova, in their home in Velka Maca, a village east of the Slovak capital Bratislava.In the weeks after the murder, protests over corruption and the murder led to a series of high-profile resignations including of the prime minister.  Earlier this year, a court sentenced two people for the murder. Kočner is currently on trial accused of ordering the killing. He denies the charge. In a show of solidarity after the murder, Kuciak’s colleagues helped finish his unfinished work, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) founded the “Kocner Library” – an electronic archive made up of files police collected in their investigation into the businessman that journalists can use to further report on corruption.  

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Belgian King Expresses Regret for Colonial Abuses in Congo on Country’s Independence Day

Belgium’s King Philippe expressed regret Tuesday for 75 years of his country’s exploitative rule in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The king spoke on the African country’s 60th anniversary of independence. “I want to express my deepest regret for these past injuries, the pain of which is regularly revived by the discrimination that is still all too present in our societies,” Philippe wrote in a letter to Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi.  FILE – Belgium’s King Philippe, wearing a face mask, walks down a main shopping street in Brussels, May 10, 2020.The statement is the closest a reigning Belgian monarch has come to an apology. The Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960 after 52 years as a colony and 23 years of brutal private ownership under Leopold II. Millions of Congolese died under Belgian rule, which exploited land and people for rubber, copper, diamonds, gold and other natural resources.  
 
In a statement to the Agence France-Presse news agency, Congo Foreign Minister Marie Ntumba Nzeza said the king’s letter was “balm to the heart of the Congolese people. This is a step forward that will boost friendly relations between our nations.” 
 
A spokesman for Tshisekedi had no comment on the letter. But in a TV address on the eve of independence day, the president said Philippe was “searching, just like me, to strengthen the ties between our two countries without denying our common past, but with the goal of preparing a bright and harmonious future.” 
 
Other Congolese activists and scholars said Philippe’s letter, which did not include an explicit apology or mention Leopold II by name, did not go far enough. “It’s not enough to say, ‘I feel regret,'” Lambert Mende, a spokesman for former Congo President Joseph Kabila, told AFP. “People should be willing to repair the damage in terms of investment and compensation with interest. That’s what we expect from our Belgian partners.” 
 
Some have also called for Belgium to return Congolese artifacts, double down on investigations of colonial violence and issue reparations for 75 years of bloody rule.  A bust of Belgium’s King Leopold II is hoisted off of its plinth by a crane as it’s removed from a park in Ghent, Belgium, June 30, 2020.The Belgium city of Ghent took a statue of Leopold II off public display Tuesday, just hours after Philippe’s letter. The city of Antwerp removed another statue of the ruler earlier this month to repair it after anti-racism protesters defaced it with paint, though a spokesman for the city’s mayor said it probably would not be put back. 
 
Burundi and Rwanda, also former Belgian colonies, will celebrate their independence on July 1.Leslie Bonilla contributed to this report. 
 

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У жителей путляндии все меньше свободных денег

У жителей путляндии все меньше свободных денег.

Пока власти путляндии обнуляют опущенного карлика пукина, финансовое благосостояние или точнее положение верноподданного населения продолжает скатываться на дно, даже несмотря на подачки от паханата
 

 
 
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