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Japan’s lower house of parliament elects Yoshihide Suga as prime minister

The lower house of Japan’s parliament has elected Yoshihide Suga as prime minister, following the resignation of former PM Shinzo Abe over health issues. Lawmakers voted to elect Mr. Suga by a majority of 314 votes in the 462-seat lower house of the Japanese parliament on Sept. 15. The 242-seat upper house is expected to also elect Mr. Suga because of a ruling bloc majority. Mr....

Famine threat returns to Yemen, amid upsurge in fighting

The specter of famine has returned to Yemen as donor countries fail to make good on their 2020 pledges, amidst an upsurge in fighting, fresh hurdles for aid deliveries, and ongoing efforts to nail down a nationwide ceasefire, the Security Council heard on Sept. 15. Increased funding was the main reason that famine was prevented two years ago, but this year only...

Mid-East peace deal leaves Palestinians, Iran fuming

The Middle East is going through a regional shift of relations as two Arab nations signed bilateral agreements with the Zionist state of Israel. The uncharacteristic move by the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and the Kingdom of Bahrain is part of United States mediated normalization agreements signed between the countries on September 15 at the White House. While Israeli officials...

South Sudan: Progress on peace agreement ‘limps along,’ UN envoy tells security council

Although the transitional government in South Sudan continues to function, with state governors now appointed, among other developments, progress on the 2018 peace agreement “limps along,” the top UN official in the country told a virtual meeting of the Security Council on Sept. 16..  David Shearer, head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), updated ambassadors on the country’s...

Campaign demands: Get out of Cuba’s way and let their doctors help treat Covid-19 in U.S.!

While billion-dollar deals are being made with biotech companies speculating on untested Covid-19 vaccines and political banter promising results in a short few months, tried and proven treatments for Covid-19 is only 90-miles away from the U.S. southern border in Cuba. The Latin-American country has effectively treated cases in Cuba and worldwide as far away as China.  However, because of...

Africa’s development tied monetary sovereignty and an alternative economic development model

In an open letter signed by 550 internationally renowned personalities, which includes African economists, in a move that’s the intellectual equivalent of marching in the street, they challenged the continent and its leaders “to forge ahead and aspire to a better future in which all of its people can thrive and realize their full potential.” While the resource rich continent...

Lebanese parties, Hezbollah denounce U.S. for new sanctions

Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah and two political parties have denounced Washington’s new sanctions imposed on two former Lebanese ministers. The White House on Sept. 8 targeted former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil from the Shia Amal party, and former Transport Minister Youssef Fenianos from the Christian Marada movement, with sanctions, freezing any assets they hold in the United States and...

Myanmar army deserters confirm atrocities against Rohingya

BANGKOK—Two soldiers who deserted from Myanmar’s army have testified on video that they were instructed by commanding officers to “shoot all that you see and that you hear” in villages where minority Rohingya Muslims lived, a human rights group said Sept. 8. The comments appear to be the first public confession by soldiers of involvement in army-directed massacres, rape and...

Iranians protest French magazine’s reprinting of offensive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad

Iranians protest in front of France’s embassy in the capital, Tehran, to vent their spleen at a French weekly satirical magazine for its recent reprinting of blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The rally was held on Sept. 9 in condemnation of the decision by Charlie Hebdo to recirculate cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad. The demonstrators from all walks of life, including...

Leveraging innovation, partnership to shore up food security in Asia and the Pacific

Transforming food systems in Asia and the Pacific to make them more sustainable, resilient and productive, is vital for countries to rebound from the impact of Covid-19 and address chronic undernourishment, a UN regional forum on food security has heard.  Gathered virtually at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s 35th Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, governments, civil society...