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Amazon Indigenous group patrols to expel invading loggers

ALTO RIO GUAMA INDIGENOUS TERRITORY, Brazil—A bit after sunrise, dozens of Indigenous Tembé men began preparing for the important day ahead. They danced, chanted and donned matching black T-shirts before setting off on motorbikes into Brazil’s Amazon forest. Self-declared “forest guardians,” their aim was to find and expel illegal loggers and miners within their territory on the eastern edge of...

Wave of massacres signals new chapter in Columbia’s conflict

BOGOTA, Colombia—Jose Manuel Mancilla was taking a break from his job at a local gold mine. So on Sept. 20 he gathered with friends at a hillside home in his village of Munchique, where about 20 people were drinking and staging cockfights. The 19-year-old’s life ended abruptly when hooded men began to shoot at the improvised cockfighting arena with machine...

India rejects high status of dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir

An Indian official has rejected an assertion by Pakistan’s foreign minister that the dispute over the Kashmir region is a global matter high on the agenda of the United Nations (UN). Vidisha Maitra, the first secretary of India’s permanent mission to the UN, said in a statement on Sept. 22 that the disputed Himalayan region was an integral part of...

Turkey condemns EU ‘bias’ in Libya-related sanctions

Turkey says the European Union (EU) has acted with “bias” by imposing sanctions on a Turkish firm over its alleged violation of a United Nations (UN) arms embargo on Libya. The EU on Sept. 21 slapped sanctions on three companies, including Turkey’s Avrasya Shipping, whose cargo vessel Cirkin was involved in a stand off  between France and Turkey in the...

‘Perhaps UK doesn’t want a deal’: Irish FM Coveney says concerns growing amid challenging Brexit talks

Britain is making it more difficult to reach a basic trade deal by introducing legislation that undermines its withdrawal treaty with the European Union, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Sept. 22. Many EU foreign ministers are starting to think that the British government does not want a deal with the EU, Coveney said. He made the statement after...

China uproots ethnic minority villages in anti-poverty fight

CHENGBEI GAN’EN, China—Under a portrait of President Xi Jinping, Ashibusha sits in her freshly painted living room cradling her infant daughter beside a chair labeled a “gift from the government.” The mother of three is among 6,600 members of the Yi ethnic minority who were moved out of 38 mountain villages in China’s southwest and into a newly built town...

Put ‘people before politics’ in Lebanon, urges Guterres, following Beirut disaster

It’s time that leaders across Lebanon put “people before politics” following August’s explosions in a Beirut port, said the UN chief on Sept. 23, which must serve as a wake-up call following a year of upheaval and clamor for reform on all fronts. António Guterres was speaking at a high level meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon to reaffirm its support for...

U.S. effort to block Ethiopian dam recalls legacy of British colonialism

(GIN)—Based on guidance from President Trump, the State Department is suspending $130 million in security-related aid to Ethiopia over a nearly-completed dam that would lift Ethiopia from poverty and end the shadow of British colonialism that favored Egypt.  Programs on the chopping block include security assistance, counterterrorism and military education and training, anti-human trafficking programs, and broader development assistance funding,...

The historical impact of African musicians on the geopolitical stage

When it comes to appreciating the power of African artists and their historical impact on geopolitics there is no shortage of icons from which to choose. A recent documentary produced by France24 focusing on the legacy of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie is a case in point. His historic 1963 speech to the United Nations General Assembly inspired reggae legend Bob...

Barbados seeks to drop Queen Elizabeth II as head of state

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—Queen Elizabeth II has eight realms in the Caribbean, but Barbados no longer wants to be part of that kingdom. The former British colony once known as “Little England” announced it plans to replace the monarch with its own head of state in time for next year’s 55th independence anniversary. “Our country can be in no doubt about...