Thursday 29 October 2020
News ID: 83488
Publish Date: 03 October 2020 - 22:12
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Cambodia has demolished a U.S.-built facility on the country’s largest naval base, according to images published by an American think tank, amid increasing concern in Washington about China’s access to military bases in the nation. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) published images which it said showed that the Cambodian government last month demolished a building that the United States had built at Ream Naval Base. Last year the Pentagon had asked Cambodia to explain why it turned down an offer to repair the base, saying the decision had raised speculation of possible plans for hosting China’s military. The Pentagon on Friday said it was concerned about reports that the U.S.-funded Cambodian Navy tactical headquarters facility had been demolished and had asked the Cambodian government for an explanation.

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CARACAS (Reuters) -- Venezuela has received a shipment of the Russian-made Sputnik-V vaccine against the coronavirus, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Friday. The delivery is the first in Latin America and will allow Venezuela to participate in clinical trials of the vaccine, Rodriguez said in a televised statement from the country’s main airport. "This cooperation for the Sputnik-V vaccine was the result of the permanent contact, the meetings, the close cooperation that exists between Venezuela and Russia,” Rodriguez said.  Health Minister Carlos Alvarado said 2,000 people will participate in a trial that begins this month in Caracas. The Russian Direct Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund that is backing the vaccine’s development, says it has received orders for more than 1.2 billion doses of the vaccine for 2020 and 2021. Venezuela has strengthened diplomatic ties with Russia amid an aggressive sanctions program by the United States meant to force President Nicolas Maduro from office.

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BEIJING (Reuters) -- A long-time colleague of Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan is under investigation for corruption and suspected of "serious” violation of the law, Chinese authorities have announced. Dong Hong served as a senior disciplinary inspector under Wang until 2017, when Wang was chief of China’s anti-corruption agency, the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI). The CCDI, in a one-line statement on its website on Friday, said Dong was "suspected serious violation of laws and party rule”. Public information on Dong’s career is scarce, though state media articles date his relationship with Wang back to the 1990s. President Xi Jinping has overseen a fierce anti-graft drive, which was spearheaded by Wang and his officials in the years after Xi took over the presidency in 2012.

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PARIS (Reuters) -- At least eight people were missing in France after a storm passed through the southeastern part of the country, causing strong floods around the city of Nice, authorities said on Saturday. Meteo France said that 450mm (17.7 inches) of rain was recorded over 24 hours in some areas, which is the equivalent of close to four months of rain at this time of the year. There was more rainfall than on Oct. 3 2015, when floods caused the death of 20 people in and around the city of Cannes on the French Riviera, Jérémy Crunchant, the director of civil protection, told France Info. The department of Alpes-Maritimes, on the border with Italy, was on red alert on Friday as the storm was approaching. The storm, dubbed Alex, had already caused heavy winds of more than 180 km per hour (112 miles per hour) in Brittany between Thursday and Friday.
 
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BERLIN (Dispatches) -- Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has called for new European Union sanctions against Russia over the alleged poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny with an internationally banned nerve agent. Navalny emerged in recent weeks from a coma after suddenly falling ill during a flight in Siberia and being air-lifted to Berlin for treatment. German doctors say he was poisoned with Novichok, a Russian nerve agent. Germany, France and other Western countries have demanded an explanation from the Kremlin for Navalny’s illness. Russia says it has seen no firm evidence he was poisoned and denies involvement in any attack on him. "I am convinced that there will be no longer any way around sanctions,” Maas told news portal t-online in an interview on Saturday. "Sanctions must always be targeted and proportionate. But such a grave violation of the International Chemical Weapons Convention cannot be left unanswered. On this, we’re united in Europe,” Maas added.

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BRUSSELS (AFP) -- Three men suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwanda genocide have been arrested and charged in Belgium with serious abuse of human rights, the prosecutor’s office said Saturday. The office gave no details about the three but said their identities had been established with the help of witness testimony collected in Rwanda by a Belgian investigation. "Two were arrested Tuesday in Brussels and the third Wednesday in Hainault (province),” said Eric Van Duyse, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office. "All three have been charged with serious human rights abuses,” the spokesman said, confirming a report in the weekly publication Vif/L’Express. The 1994 genocide claimed 800,000 lives, mostly Tutsis but also moderate Hutus.


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