We have a happy update to an ABC11 Troubleshooter puppy scam warning.
- The Independent
- National Review
- Associated Press
Saudi Arabia, for years one of the world's most prolific executioners, dramatically reduced the number of people put to death last year, following changes halting executions for non-violent drug-related crimes, according to the government’s tally and independent observers. The Saudi government’s Human Rights Commission said Monday it documented 27 executions in 2020.
Armenia has returned all Azeri prisoners who were captured during last year's conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, but the process with Armenian prisoners has been held up, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday. The six-week conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh was brought to a halt in November by a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement under which Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces were expected to exchange all captives. Armenia has said that many of its prisoners of war remain in Azerbaijan, a problem it has raised with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group.
- The Week
- The Independent
‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors...traitors get shot,' he told his children
- Reuters Videos
China stands ready to help Kenya deal with its debt challenges, it's embassy in Nairobi said on Monday (January 18) adding that both sides are holding "smooth" talks over the issues. Beijing is one of Kenya's biggest external creditors, having lent billions of dollars for the construction of rail lines and other infrastructure projects in the past decade. But after months of lockdown measures, the East African country's revenues have been pummeled, its debts are falling due and it is grappling with gaping fiscal deficits. In a statement the embassy in Nairobi said China attaches "great importance" to debt suspension and alleviation in African countries, including Kenya. The embassy said China has signed debt service suspension agreements with 12 African countries and provided waivers of matured interest-free loans for 15 under the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative. That scheme allows the world's poorer countries to defer official bilateral payments through to the end of June but last week World Bank President David Malpass, speaking at the Reuters Next conference, expressed frustration at a lack of private sector support for the initiative at a time when many countries are grappling with economic and health crises. "Looking at it from the standpoint of the private sector, they say a contract is a contract. But I guess I would push back and say throughout history there have been occasions where there needs to be deep debt reduction and this clearly is one of those occasions. So I'm, I'm, I urge the private sector to take a look country by country at the over-indebtedness and look for ways to share the burden with the official bilateral creditors." The Chinese embassy did not say whether Kenya will get relief through the same G20 initiative or a separate deal. Last week Kenya secured a debt repayment relief deal with the Paris Club of international lenders and is seeking further relief from other bilateral creditors.
- The Telegraph
Top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who has been jailed for at least a month after returning to Russia over the weekend, has urged Western governments to impose sanctions on key tycoons and allies of President Vladimir Putin including Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich and tycoon Alisher Usmanov. Mr Navalny, who nearly died from a nerve agent poisoning last summer, was detained at a Moscow airport on Sunday and ordered to be kept behind bars at least until mid-February. His close associate Vladimir Ashurkov said in a statement on Facebook on Monday that the Russian opposition leader drew up the list a few days before he came back to Russia from Germany where he was convalescing from the poisoning. “We agreed on a list of people he felt should be sanctioned if the West wanted to get serious about encouraging Russia to cease attacking human rights and to rein in corruption,” Mr Ashurkov said. Mr Ashurkov, who fled to the UK in 2014 following criminal prosecution in Russia, quoted Mr Navalny as saying that “sanctions aren’t working because the West has refrained from sanctioning the people with the money.” “It is not enough to sanction the operatives who just follow orders in arresting and assassinating dissidents,” he said. “The West must sanction the decision-makers and the people who hold their money. Nothing less will make an impact on the behavior of the Russian authorities.” Mr Navalny has suggested targeting some of Russia’s richest men who have enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle in the West while remaining loyal to Mr Putin. The list of eight people put forward by Mr Navalny includes Mr Abramovich, described as “one of the key enablers and beneficiaries of Russian kleptocracy,” banker Andrey Kostin and billionaire and former FC Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov. Mr Ashurkov urged Western government to sanction people on the list unless “Alexei is immediately released.” The West, responding to the 2014 annexation of Crimea, Russia’s involvement in the war in eastern Ukraine and other events, have sanctioned various Russian government officials and a few businessmen believed to be close to President Putin but never anyone with the international stature of Mr Abramovich or Mr Usmanov.
- National Review
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that a convoy of trucks carrying emergency oxygen supplies for Brazil's northern Amazonas state, where a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has hit hard, has departed and is set to arrive at the border by Monday morning. Reading from a message sent by Justo Noguera, governor of Venezuela's southern Bolivar state, Maduro said during a state television appearance that the six trucks would arrive at the Santa Elena de Uairen border crossing by morning, where they would be handed over to Brazilian health authorities. From there, the trucks - carrying some 136,000 liters of oxygen, enough to fill 14,000 individual canisters - would take 14 hours to arrive in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, whose hospital system is collapsing due to the pandemic.
- The Week
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has received a letter from Dominion Voting Systems, warning him that litigation is "imminent" due to his false claims that the company's machines were rigged to change the outcome of the election.Lindell, an enthusiastic supporter of President Trump, has been spreading baseless claims of widespread voter fraud for months. In the letter, Dominion's lawyers told Lindell, "You have positioned yourself as a prominent leader of the ongoing misinformation campaign. Litigation regarding these issues is imminent."Lindell told The New York Times he would "welcome" Dominion to "sue me because I have all the evidence against them. They sent this letter a couple of weeks ago. They're lying, they're nervous because I have all the evidence on them." Lindell did not say why, if he has such evidence, he has kept it to himself this entire time, holding onto it as judge after judge rejected lawsuits filed in an attempt to overturn the election in Trump's favor.More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Melania Trump released a farewell video. So did Colbert's Late Show Melania Trump. Anthony Scaramucci says even he got an invite to Trump's D.C. sendoff
- Associated Press
A court in Thailand on Tuesday sentenced a former civil servant to a record prison term of 43 years and six months for breaching the country's strict law on insulting or defaming the monarchy, lawyers said. The Bangkok Criminal Court found the woman guilty on 29 counts of violating the country’s lese majeste law for posting audio clips to Facebook and YouTube with comments deemed critical of the monarchy, the group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said. “Today’s court verdict is shocking and sends a spine-chilling signal that not only criticisms of the monarchy won’t be tolerated, but they will also be severely punished,” said Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher for the group Human Rights Watch.
- NBC News
- The Telegraph
A woman identified as having taken part in the storming of the US Capitol is accused of stealing a laptop belonging to top Democrat Nancy Pelosi which she hoped to sell to a Russian spy agency, according to the FBI. There is no indication Riley June Williams, a 22-year-old careworker from Pennsylvania, took a laptop from Ms Pelosi's office. The FBI, which is working off a tip, said in the court record the "matter remains under investigation." The complaint, filed late Sunday in US District Court in Washington, sought the arrest of Williams on grounds including "violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds." Relying on several photos and videos of the chaotic January 6 riot, an FBI agent said Williams was seen near the office of Ms Pelosi, US House Speaker. A witness, identified in the court document only as W1 but who claimed to be "the former romantic partner of Riley June Williams," alleged that Williams planned to send the laptop to a friend in Russia to sell it to the SVR foreign intelligence agency. That sale "fell through for unknown reasons, and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it," the affidavit says.
"This is also a desire that's shared by other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries," he told Bloomberg TV https://bloom.bg/369WLz9 in an interview. The Qatari foreign minister added that his government was supporting ongoing discussions between Iran and South Korea to secure the release of an oil tanker seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard early this month.
- The Independent
Trump news – live: Biden team hits back at decision to reopen travel to UK and Brazil despite Covid surge
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- Associated Press
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has authorized the dispatch of oxygen to Brazil to help its South American neighbor treat people sickened amid another wave of the coronavirus, despite frosty relations between the two governments and Venezuela's own lack of hospital supplies. Maduro approved departure for a convoy of six tanker trucks loaded with oxygen in a national broadcast Sunday on state TV. It's destined for the city of Manaus in the northern state of Amazonas.
Andrew Yang has been endorsed by the son of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. for the 2021 New York City mayoral elections. Martin Luther King III said in an endorsement video shared to YouTube on Monday that Yang's initiative to give out $1 billion to low-income residents was an idea that his father would have supported. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about the idea for universal basic income in 1967 as a way to tackle systemic poverty, according to Gothamist.
Indian opposition parties called on Monday for an investigation into chat messages from a top TV anchor that they said showed prior knowledge of air strikes carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government against Pakistan in 2019. Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV network, told the head of a TV ratings agency that India would launch a "bigger than a normal strike" on its arch-rival - three days before Indian combat jets struck alleged militant targets on Pakistani soil. "On Pakistan, the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated," a transcript of the messages sent by Goswami said.