World this week

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Food security worsening in ME, North Africa: UN

Food security in the Middle East and North Africa “is fast deteriorating” because of conflicts in countries from Syria to Yemen, the UN’s food agency said on December 21. Violence in nations that also include Libya, Iraq and Sudan are leading to “a widening gap in well-being” compared with other parts of the region, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report. “The level of undernourishment in the conflict countries is now six times larger than that in non-conflict countries,” it said. Yemen is suffering the worst food insecurity and malnutrition of all the conflict-hit countries in the region, followed by Syria and Sudan, it said.


India acquits ex-telco minister of corruption

India’s former telecoms minister was cleared of his alleged role in a multi-billion dollar fraud that ballooned into one of the country’s biggest-ever political scandals on December 21. A special court in New Delhi acquitted A Raja of corruption and also dropped charges against a slew of other bureaucrats and corporate executives implicated in the 2008 scandal that cost the state billions in lost revenue.


China, Russia oppose UNGA resolution

China, Russia, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Belarus, Syria and Zimbabwe opposed the UN resolution urging Myanmar to end the military campaign against Muslim Rohingyas. UN member states said on December 5 that Myanmar was likely committing “crimes against humanity” against its Rohingya minority, while the UN rights chief voiced alarm over possible “elements of genocide”. Following a special session of the UN Human Rights Council, the nations overwhelmingly voted in favour of a resolution expressing grave concern over widespread abuses committed against the largely Muslim minority.


Anger as Peru‘s ex-president pardoned

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski pardoned former authoritarian leader Alberto Fujimori late on December 25, triggering Christmas Eve street clashes as protesters denounced the decision as part of a crude political deal. The decision clears Fujimori of convictions for human rights crimes and graft when his right-wing government was in power from 1990 to 2000, and could define Kuczynski’s legacy and rewrite political alliances. At least two ministers in Kuczynski’s cabinet who objected to the pardon told him they wanted to resign, and Kuczynski might reshuffle the cabinet as early as this week, a government source said. Two ruling party lawmakers quit his party as his political group planned next steps.

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