Macron, Putin discuss deescalating Belarus border tensions
French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin have talked on the phone about the need to deescalate the tensions around the migrant pressure on the European Union's border with Belarus and about the need for humanitarian aid there.
Funeral held for CT trooper killed in Ida
Hundreds of mourners, including law enforcement officers from across the nation, gathered at an outdoor music theater in Connecticut for the funeral of a state police trooper who was swept away in floodwaters from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. (Sept. 9)news.yahoo.com
'Game over': Westerners rush to leave Kabul, rescue Afghans
The chop of U.S. military helicopters whisking American diplomats to Kabul’s airport has punctuated a frantic rush by thousands of other foreigners and Afghans to flee to safety as well, as a stunningly swift Taliban takeover reached Afghanistan’s capital.
Vaccine deliveries rising as delta virus variant slams Asia
As many Asian countries battle their worst surge of COVID-19 infections, the slow flow of vaccine doses from around the world is finally picking up speed, giving hope that inoculation rates can increase and help blunt the effect of the rapidly spreading delta variant.
Some Namibian tribal chiefs accept German compensation offer
A group of traditional chiefs in Namibia said Thursday they have accepted an offer of compensation by Germany and a recognition that the colonial-era massacre of tens of thousands of their people in the early 20th century was genocide. Germany pledged last week to give 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) over a 30-year period for projects to help communities of people descended from those killed between 1904 and 1908, when Germany ruled the southern African country. Germany asked the victims for forgiveness, in a statement by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.news.yahoo.com
EU weighs Belarus sanctions at sectors close to leader
European Union nations are sketching out plans for new sanctions against Belarus that will target economic sectors close to its authoritarian leader as they seek to strike back at him for diverting a passenger jet to arrest a dissident journalist.
The Latest: UN chief welcomes cease-fire, urges negotiations
The United Nations chief is urging Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers to observe their cease-fire, and he says the international community must develop a reconstruction package “that supports the Palestinian people and strengthens their institutions.”.
Iran nuclear talks show increasing hopes of a resolution
World powers met Wednesday for a new round of high-level talks on bringing the United States back into the nuclear deal with Iran amid growing hopes that an agreement might soon be within reach. Enrique Mora, the European Union official who chaired the talks between Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran told reporters “we have made substantial progress” though there were “still things to be worked out.” The nations have been trying to resolve the major outstanding issues on how to return the U.S. into the landmark agreement, which then President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of unilaterally in 2018.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: Biden tells Netanyahu he expects de-escalation
President Joe Biden has called for “significant de-escalation” from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden’s appeal on Wednesday comes after 10 days of heavy fighting between Israelis and Palestinians. It was Biden’s toughest public pressure so far on the U.S. ally, with the president asking Netanyahu in a telephone call to move toward “the path to a cease-fire,” according to a White House statement on their conversation.news.yahoo.com
Jewish group condemns 'pure antisemitism' in German protests
Several other German cities including Berlin, Hamburg and Hannover have seen anti-Israeli protests over the past few days. At least two synagogues were attacked, and several Israeli flags were torn down and burned since the latest eruption of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip.news.yahoo.com
EU talks up Afghan support as US leaves, security declines
European Union foreign ministers on Monday debated ways to maintain support for Afghanistan’s beleaguered government after a brutal weekend attack on a girls' school underscored deep concern that violence will spread as U.S.-led troops leave the country. With the departure of foreign troops just a few months away, European governments are still trying to work out what kind of diplomatic presence they will keep in Afghanistan and who will provide security for them. Just hours after the Taliban announced a cease-fire for later this week, a bus in southern Zabul province struck a roadside mine on Monday killing 11 people.news.yahoo.com
Germany to return Benin Bronzes looted during colonial era
Germany is returning hundreds of artifacts known as the Benin Bronzes that were mostly looted from West Africa by a British colonial expedition and subsequently sold to collections around the world, including German museums, authorities said Friday. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcomed a deal reached with museums and authorities in Nigeria to work on a restitution plan for a substantial number of artifacts, calling it a “turning point in dealing with our colonial history.” Germany’s minister for culture, Monika Gruetters, said the Benin Bronzes were a key test for the way the country deals with its colonial past.news.yahoo.com
Donors pledge more than $6 billion to tackle Syria's crisis
Announcing the total pledge, EU Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic said that besides the grants, financial institutions and donors offered loans amounting to $7 billion. AdThe EU said it committed to €3.7 billion ($4.3 billion) for 2021 and beyond, with €1.12 billion ($1.31 billion) coming from the bloc's executive arm and €2.6 billion ($3 billion) from the 27 EU member states. Another $5.8 billion was requested for nearly 6 million Syrian refugees who fled their homeland. AdGerman Foreign Minister Heiko Maas pledged 1.738 billion euros ($2 billion) on Germany’s behalf Tuesday, an amount he described as the country's largest pledge in the last four years. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom cut its pledge to “at least" 205 million pounds ($281 million), compared to 300 million ($411.8 million) last year.
EU top diplomats in Libya to support interim authorities
German foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The European foreign ministers also called on mercenaries and foreign fighters to leave the country immediately. Ad“This (withdrawal) is indispensable so that Libya can regain its sovereignty and security,” said France’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “We have talked about the tasks ahead and about how we can concretely support (Libya) where there is a wish for it,” said Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. EU top diplomats also stressed the need to reopen the country's Mediterranean coastal road linking the east and the west.
Top U.S. diplomat warns Germany companies building Nord Stream 2 pipeline could face sanctions
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives a press briefing at the end of a NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021. WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Germany on Wednesday that companies building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline could face sanctions, as Washington tries to pressure Berlin to pull its support for the controversial Russian-backed energy project. The secretary said he wanted to make sure during his conversation with Maas that there was "no ambiguity" in the U.S. position on the pipeline. "The pipeline divides Europe, it exposes Ukraine and Central Europe to Russian manipulation and coercion and it goes against Europe's own stated energy security goals," Blinken said. Berlin has resisted pressure from Washington to pull its support for the project.cnbc.com
EU targets 11 Myanmar officials over coup, crackdown
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, left, talks to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas during a European Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, March 22, 2021. (Aris Oikonomou/Pool Photo via AP)BRUSSELS – The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions Monday on a number of Myanmar officials accused of involvement in the country's military coup and the ensuing crackdown on protesters. The EU announced penalties on 11 officials, including 10 top military officers. Ten of the 11 targeted with asset freezes and travel bans by the EU are senior members of the Myanmar Armed Forces. AdMyanmar’s military junta prevented Parliament from convening on Feb. 1.
Germany urges Iran to accept diplomacy in nuclear dispute
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks at the foreign ministry in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 prior to his attendance of the virtual human rights council in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)BERLIN – Germany's foreign minister on Wednesday urged Iran to accept diplomatic overtures coming from the West in order to preserve the 2015 nuclear accord. "In the end, Iran needs to understand that what’s important is to de-escalate and accept the offer of diplomacy that’s on the table, including from the United States,” Maas said. "But we still want to use these three months, together with other partners in the nuclear agreement, to discuss step by step how the U.S. can return to this accord,” Maas said. "With or without agreements – we will do everything so that you will not arm yourselves with nuclear weapons.”
Germany prepares way for its troops to stay in Afghanistan
(Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP, Pool)BERLIN – The German government is preparing the way for the country's troops in Afghanistan — the second-biggest contingent in a NATO force — to stay in place until next year if needed. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new draft mandate that would enable German troops to stay until Jan. 31, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said. German troop deployments overseas require parliamentary approval, which is typically granted on an annual basis. Seibert said that the maximum level of 1,300 German troops is unchanged in the new mandate. Germans will elect a new parliament on Sept. 26, but it typically takes weeks or even a few months before a new coalition government is in place.
Biden repudiates Trump on Iran, ready for talks on nuke deal
Besides signaling Thursday a willingness to talk with Iran, the administration also reversed Trump’s determination that all U.N. sanctions against Iran had been restored. He's expected to address the U.S. stance on the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal, the war in Afghanistan and the economic and national security challenges posed by Russia and China. The U.S. has not participated in a meeting of those participants since Trump withdrew from the deal and began steadily ramping up sanctions on Iran. The Trump administration had imposed the severe restrictions, which essentially confined them to their U.N. mission and the U.N. headquarters building in New York. “It is concerning the Biden Administration is already making concessions in an apparent attempt to re-enter the flawed Iran deal," he said.
Biden repudiates Trump on Iran, ready for talks on nuke deal
In addition to signaling a willingness to talk with Iran, the administration also reversed Trump’s determination that all U.N. sanctions against Iran had been restored. The U.S. has not participated in a meeting of those participants since Trump withdrew from the deal and began steadily ramping up sanctions on Iran. The Trump administration had imposed the severe restrictions, which essentially confined them to their U.N. mission and the U.N. headquarters building in New York. “It is concerning the Biden Administration is already making concessions in an apparent attempt to re-enter the flawed Iran deal," he said. In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani expressed hope Thursday that the Biden administration will rejoin the accord and lift the U.S. sanctions that Washington re-imposed under Trump, according to state television.
US, Europeans urge Iran to keep allowing nuclear inspections
(UNTV via AP)PARIS – Top European and U.S. officials urged Iran on Thursday to allow continued United Nations nuclear inspections and stop nuclear activities that have no credible civilian use. Iran is “playing with fire,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who took part in talks Thursday in Paris with his British and French counterparts. Iran has said it will stop part of International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of its nuclear facilities next week if the West doesn’t implement its own commitments under the 2015 deal. The 2015 accord is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The head of the IAEA is scheduled to travel to Iran this weekend to find a solution that allows the agency to continue inspections.
Should COVID-19 vaccination give people the "basic rights" to avoid lockdown restrictions?
"Vaccinated people should be allowed to exercise their basic rights again," Maas told the country's biggest tabloid, "Bild am Sonntag." "Interventions in civil liberties must always be well justified," a spokesman for the ministry told Germany's dpa news agency. Signs indicate closure due to coronavirus restrictions in Hesse, Germany, January 20, 2021. Demonstrators gather to a protest against Germany's coronavirus restrictions at Alexander Square, in Berlin, Germany, January 09, 2021. "It's not about privileges, but about fundamental rights," German Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Peter Liese told the magazine Der Spiegel.cbsnews.com
A royal bubble bursts: Thailand’s king faces trouble on two continents
For Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the cocoon has come undone with remarkable speed. AdvertisementAs the months-long protest movement continues, the reverence long demanded of Thailand’s monarchy is breaking down in ways big and small. As the only son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for 70 years, Vajiralongkorn was destined to inherit the throne. AdvertisementIn the picturesque southern state of Bavaria, Vajiralongkorn, who has been married four times, is said to have purchased a villa near pristine Lake Starnberg in the town of Tutzing in 2016. Royal bearers carry King Maha Vajiralongkorn on a palanquin during his 2019 coronation.latimes.com
Germany says WHO is one of best investments after Trump cuts funding
FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attends an event on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Denis BalibouseBERLIN (Reuters) - Strengthening the World Health Organization is one of the best investments, Germanys foreign minister said on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday halted funding to the Geneva-based organisation. Trump made the move over the WHOs handling of the coronavirus pandemic, drawing condemnation from infectious disease experts as the global death toll mounted. The virus knows no borders, Heiko Maas said on Twitter. One of the best investments is to strengthen the @UN, especially the under-funded @WHO, for example for developing and distributing tests and vaccines.feeds.reuters.com
Coronavirus live updates: LA mayor says large gatherings likely banned until 2021, US cases top 630,000
Zoom has seen enormous growth as more and more workers have been instructed to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. CNBC Make It rounded up a list of insurance companies that have announced initiatives for drivers during the current coronavirus health crisis. Megan Leonhardt12:02 pm: McDonald's relationship with US franchisees is fraying over coronavirus reliefThe coronavirus pandemic is straining McDonald's relationship with its U.S. franchisees once again. "Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds," Gates said on Twitter early Wednesday morning. Trump said Tuesday the U.S. will suspend funding to the WHO while it reviews the agency's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.cnbc.com