What is the EU Venezuela contact group and what does it hope to achieve? Damon Wake (Agence France-Presse) - February 6, 2019 - 2:00am Brussels - European and Latin American envoys will gather in Montevideo on Thursday for the first meeting of an international contact group aimed at charting a peaceful end to Venezuela's political crisis. Around 20 EU countries have joined the US and key regional powers in recognising opposition chief Juan Guaido as interim leader, adding to the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro, who has presided over his oil-rich country's collapse into economic ruin and political turmoil. While maintaining pressure on the Maduro regime through diplomacy and targeted sanctions, the European Union sees the contact group as a way of starting work on a process to help Venezuela find a way out of the chaos. - Who is taking part? Eight European countries have confirmed -- Spain, France, Britain, Germany, … [Read more...] about What is the EU Venezuela contact group and what does it hope to achieve?
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Justice Caguioa: What is military's basis for tagging Abu Sayyaf for acts with unknown culprits? Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) - January 29, 2019 - 5:44pm MANILA, Philippines — Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa asked the military on their basis of attributing some of the bombings to the Abu Sayyaf when they have yet to identify the perpetrators behind the incidents. The Supreme Court started its two-day oral arguments on President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law extension in Mindanao on Tuesday. Top military and Department of National Defense officials attended the session as Solicitor General Jose Calida led the defense for the third martial law extension in Mindanao. READ: Mindanao martial law: Similar petitions, slightly different SC The justice pointed out that some of the incidents cited in the government’s annex filed before the SC do not identify the perpetrators and motives behind the … [Read more...] about Justice Caguioa: What is military’s basis for tagging Abu Sayyaf for acts with unknown culprits?
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia needs to properly define what statements are considered insulting to the royal institution, says Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad. "At the moment, our enforcement officers do not understand what is considered insult, so we must spell out what sort of actions or words can be construed as insults," he said, as quoted by The Star. "I have said before that Malaysia now practises freedom of speech. With this freedom of speech, if you say something is factual, you cannot be prosecuted. "On the other hand, if we shut the mouths of everyone until people cannot even speak up against acts of crime, then there will be injustice in the country." The Prime Minister was commenting on the arrests of three person for alledgedly insulting Kelantan Sultan Muhamad V, who recently stepped down as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on Facebook and Twitter. The trio, two men aged 46 and 27 and a woman aged 26, were arrested under the Sedition Act. Critics say the arrests contradict Pakatan … [Read more...] about Malaysia must define what is an insult to royalty: Mahathir
NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - Nearly 12,000 women have sued Johnson & Johnson, with most claiming the talc in its well-known product Johnson's Baby Powder caused their ovarian cancer. They now have a new potential legal front. In a recent case, a group of plaintiffs argued that the talc was contaminated with asbestos, a carcinogen considered unsafe at any level of exposure. A jury agreed with them and awarded them US$4.69 billion in damages in July. Q: What is talc, and why is asbestos relevant A: Talc is a mineral in clay mined from underground deposits. It's the softest mineral known to man, and that makes it useful in a wide range of consumer and industrial products. Asbestos is also found underground, and veins of it can often be found in talc deposits, leading to a risk of cross-contamination, geologists say. Q: Are any other consumer products made with talc? A: Talc is used in many cosmetics: lipstick, mascara, face powder, blush, eye shadow, foundation and even children's makeup. In … [Read more...] about Johnson & Johnson sued over baby powder: What is talc, where is it used and why is asbestos a concern?
A good rule in foreign relations is that not every problem can be fixed. The US seems well aware that it cannot help fix the problems of one-party rule in Laos, which has been controlled by an authoritarian communist party since 1975. Conscious of this, Washington rarely comments on human-rights abuses by Vientiane, hasn’t provided too much aid to the country (except for clearing up its own unexploded ordnance from the 1970s), and doesn’t think it necessary to impose punitive measures. Yet the US thinks it can help fix the Cambodia problem. To put the matter briefly, Kem Sokha, the leader of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, was arrested for treason on scant evidence in September 2017. Two months later, the CNRP for forcibly dissolved by the Supreme Court for allegedly attempting to overthrow the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) government with the support of Americans or the American government (the distinction isn’t strongly drawn by proponents … [Read more...] about What is the end goal of America’s sanctions on Cambodia?