Saturday 24 October 2020
News ID: 83012
Publish Date: 20 September 2020 - 21:55
 PARIS (AFP) -- France has recalled its ambassador to Ivory Coast amid allegations of sexist behavior, the foreign ministry said on Saturday. "He has been recalled to Paris amid an ongoing administrative investigation,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman said. According to French online news site Mediapart, at least five women have accused Gilles Huberson, who has been in his Abidjan post since September 2017, of sexist behavior towards them. The diplomat’s recall comes just as Ivory Coast faces an October 31 election in which incumbent Alassane Ouattara is seeking a controversial third term, raising fears of more poll violence. Recent protests against his candidacy left some 15 people dead last month and there have also been several demonstrations. An informed source said the ambassador’s recall was not "political” in nature but related to alleged "sexist words and gestures”.
 
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TAIPEI (Reuters) -- Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Sunday that there was no plan for her talk by telephone with new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, after a Japanese envoy had told Tsai that Suga might be open to it, prompting concern in Beijing. Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, has close cultural and historic ties with Japan, though Japan, like most countries, recognizes China’s government in Beijing, not Taiwan’s. Meeting Tsai in Taipei on Friday, former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori, visiting for a memorial service for late president Lee Teng-hui, said Suga told him that "if there is the opportunity, he hopes to speak by phone or other means”. China’s foreign ministry said late on Saturday that Japan had told them such a thing "will never happen”, after Beijing sought clarification from Tokyo. Tsai told reporters that she did not talk about this issue with Mori. "We also don’t have this plan at the moment to have a telephone conversation,” she said.
 
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BERLIN (AFP) -- Rights activists on Sunday accused Italian authorities of blocking migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 4 from leaving port and resuming its emergency mission in the Mediterranean. After an inspection on the safety of the vessel to operate in high seas, Italian authorities placed the ship under an administrative blockade, said the German activist groups Sea-Watch and United4Rescue, as well as Doctors without Borders. It is currently docked in Palermo in southern Italy. "The flimsy justifications show once again that this was not an inspection serving the purpose of ship safety, but a systematic move to prevent civil sea rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean,” said Philipp Hahn, Head of Mission on Sea-Watch 4.  "Even though the responsible authorities have asked us to assist in rescue operations, they are now blocking yet another rescue vessel.” Migrant rescue groups have repeatedly clashed with Italian authorities over their operations. Italy has come under fire in the past for refusing to allow private vessels carrying migrants to dock -- former interior minister Matteo Salvini is facing a trial for illegally detaining migrants at sea.

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ATHENS (Reuters) -- Three people have died after Cyclone Ianos, a rare storm known as a medicane, battered Greece, flooding streets and homes, Greek authorities said on Sunday. Ianos uprooted trees and caused power cuts on the Ionian islands and the western Peloponnese. It swept through central Greece on Saturday, hitting the cities of Karditsa and Farsala before it moved south to the island of Crete. The body of a man was found under the collapsed roof of his house in a village near Karditsa on Sunday, the Athens News Agency said. On Saturday, a 63-year-old man was found dead in the same area and the body of an elderly woman was found in nearby Farsala, fire brigade officials said. Authorities were still searching for a woman reported missing in Karditsa, the official said. The heavy rainfall on Saturday turned Karditsa, in one of Greece’s biggest plains, into a lake. Video footage showed flooded highways, collapsed bridges and agricultural land turned into mud lakes with farmers carrying their sheep to rescue. Cyclones were first recorded in Greece in 1995 and have become more frequent in recent years. A similar storm hit the country in 2018. Flash floods in 2017 killed 25 people and left hundreds homeless.

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TAIPEI (Dispatches) -- Two days of Chinese military aircraft approaching Taiwan demonstrate that Beijing is a threat to the entire region, President Tsai Ing-wen claimed on Sunday. Taiwan scrambled jets as multiple Chinese aircraft flew across the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait and into Taiwan’s so-called air defense identification zone on Friday and Saturday. China claims Taiwan as its own territory. At a news conference in Beijing on Friday about China’s UN peacekeeping efforts, China announced combat drills near the Taiwan Strait and denounced collusion between the island and the United States. The exercises took place as U.S. Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach was in Taipei, the most senior State Department office to come in four decades. In comments carried by Chinese state media from a forum on relations with Taiwan in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen, the number-four leader of the ruling Communist Party on Sunday did not directly mention the recent drills. Wang Yang, who heads a largely ceremonial advisory body to China’s parliament, reiterated that Taiwan independence was a dead end, and that "relying on foreigners to pump yourself up was to take a risk out of desperation”. "It will only bring Taiwan risks it cannot bear. We will not tolerate any harm to the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” Wang said in comments made by video.



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