News ID: 93429
Publish Date : 21 August 2021 - 22:00

ANKARA (Dispatches) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has called on European governments to take responsibility for refugees coming from Afghanistan, insisting that his country has no intention of becoming “Europe’s migrant storage unit” after the Taliban’s takeover triggered a new wave of refugee outflow. Erdogan further emphasized following a cabinet meeting that Turkey had taken measures along its borders with Iran, says Ankara could engage in talks with the new government in Afghanistan that will be formed by the Taliban to discuss “our common agendas.” The development came as numerous European leaders declared this week that they would brace against allowing refugees to enter the continent. Military forces of European countries played a major role in the U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan that lasted more than 20 years, leaving the war-torn country in ruins without much accomplishments and prompting a massive refugee outflow after their abrupt withdrawal that led to the takeover of the country by the very militant group that they toppled back in 2001.

BEIJING (AP) – China will now allow couples to legally have a third child as it seeks to hold off a demographic crisis that could threaten its hopes of increased prosperity and global influence. The ceremonial legislature on Friday amended the Population and Family Planning Law as part of a decades-long effort by the ruling party to control the population. It comes just six years after the last change. From the 1980s, China strictly limited most couples to one child. The rules were eased for the first time in 2015 to allow two children as officials acknowledged the looming consequences of the plummeting birthrate. The overwhelming fear is that China will grow old before it becomes wealthy. China long touted its one-child policy as a success in preventing 400 million additional births in the world’s most populous country. However, China’s birth rate, paralleling trends in South Korea, Thailand and other Asian economies, already was falling before the one-child rule. The average number of children per mother tumbled from above six in the 1960s to below three by 1980, according to the World Bank.

BAKU (Sputnik) - Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry on Saturday said Armenia is opening fire on its military from several directions. “On August 20 starting from 18:58 to 23:53 the Armenian armed forces units from the positions in the Yukhari Zaghali, Guney and Yukhari Shorzha settlements of the Basarkechar region, in the Yukhari Mehrab settlement of the Berd region using sniper rifles, assault rifles, and machine guns periodically subjected to fire the Azerbaijan Army’ positions in the direction of the Yellija and Istisu settlements of the Kalbajar region, the Garalar settlement of the Tovuz region, and the Galakend settlement of the Gadabay region,” the ministry said in a statement. In addition, “illegal Armenian armed detachments” shelled Azerbaijani troops stationed in the Cagaduz village of the Khojavend district and in the vicinity of the city of Shusha. There are no casualties among the Azerbaijani military personnel, the ministry continued, noting that it is in control of the situation. Skirmishes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border resumed in late July. Baku said that Yerevan violated the ceasefire agreement that was struck in November after the six-week war in Karabakh.

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A new Malaysian leader was sworn in Saturday following the previous government’s collapse, reclaiming the premiership for his party without an election. Ismail Sabri Yaakob is a stalwart of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the lynchpin of a long-ruling coalition that lost power in landmark elections during the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB graft scandal in 2018. He was named as the new prime minister Friday, days after his predecessor quit following a turbulent 17 months in office. Malaysia’s king opted to appoint a new premier based on who had majority support in parliament, rather than call an election, over concerns a vote could worsen a dire coronavirus outbreak. In an elaborate ceremony at the national palace, Ismail Sabri, wearing a traditional Malaysian outfit, took the oath of office before the king. The 61-year-old was deputy prime minister when UMNO was a partner in the last government, and has held several other cabinet posts during a long political career.

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Survivors of Haiti’s devastating earthquake looted an aid convoy Friday as the impoverished Caribbean nation scrambled to roll out a relief effort haunted by the chaotic response to past natural disasters. The mobbing of relief supplies and tumultuous handouts underscored the desperation in the wake of last week’s powerful tremor, which killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed or damaged over 130,000 homes. The 7.2-magnitude earthquake robbed tens of thousands of Haitians of everything they owned in a matter of seconds, with the hunt for necessities like clean water and food now a daily struggle for many. And while humanitarian convoys have begun distributing aid, the quantities have been insufficient and those tasked with delivering supplies often lack logistical expertise. Chaotic scenes were captured by an AFP photographer Friday in Les Cayes, one of the hardest-hit cities, as bags of rice were handed out to clamoring crowds.

* Comment: