News ID: 93564
Publish Date : 24 August 2021 - 22:54

KYIV (Dispatches) -- Ukraine held its first military parade in several years, celebrating the 30th anniversary of its independence and declaring it would reclaim areas of the territory that rejoined Russia after a referendum. Units of the Ukrainian army, tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and air defense systems marched along the central street of Kyiv, while a parade of Ukrainian Navy units took place in the Black Sea port of Odessa “People in Donbass and Crimea will return to us, because we are a family,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said at a ceremony before the parade. Relations between Kyiv and Moscow collapsed after the Crimean peninsula rejoined Russia in 2014 and war broke out between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people in seven years.

VILNIUS (Reuters) -- Lithuania has proposed that the European Union sanction Belarusian citizens and companies which it says are helping migrants cross into EU member states, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Tuesday. Lithuania and neighboring EU states Poland and Latvia have reported an increase in the number of migrants, many from Iraq and Afghanistan, trying to cross their borders from Belarus. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg agreed with Landsbergis, telling the same news conference: “Those responsible must face strict sanctions.” The Lithuanian government said on Monday it will finish building a 508 km (315 mile) razor-wire-topped fence on its border with Belarus by September 2022, at a cost of up to 152 million euros. Officials from Poland and Latvia later advocated the construction of similar fences along their own borders with the former Soviet republic.

DAKAR (Reuters) -- Hissene Habre, the former strongman president of Chad and security ally of the West during the Cold War who was later jailed for war crimes, died on Tuesday in Senegal at the age of 79, Senegal’s justice minister said. Habre contracted COVID-19 at a clinic in the capital Dakar where he was taken 10 days ago from jail for medical reasons, Justice Minister Malick Sall, told Reuters. When his condition worsened, he was taken to Principal Hospital, where he died. Habre’s 1982-90 rule saw widespread killings by his infamous political police who rounded up opponents and held them in secret detention centers. In eight years, tens of thousands were killed, tortured and raped before he was overthrown. After a landmark trial in 2016 in Senegal, where he fled after being chased out of office by Sudan-based forces, Habre was sentenced to life in prison for rape and ordering the killing and torture of thousands of political opponents.

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Schools in the Reno area of northern Nevada were closed Tuesday for a second straight day as smoke from massive wildfires burning in neighboring California caused hazardous air quality. The Washoe County School District serves 67,000 students in Reno, Sparks and Incline Village at Lake Tahoe. The poor air quality on Monday resulted in canceled flights and closures of schools, parks and popular summer beaches in the Reno and Lake Tahoe areas. The National Weather Service said prevailing winds from the west mean “significant smoke and air quality impacts” will continue much of this week, affecting Reno, Lake Tahoe, Carson City and other areas. In Las Vegas, more than 400 miles (644 kilometers) south of Reno, Clark County air quality officials issued a smoke advisory for Tuesday. Thousands of firefighters were working to contain a dozen large California blazes that have destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands of people to flee to safety.

ABUJA (Reuters) -- Gunmen killed two Nigerian military personnel and abducted another in an attack on an army training college in the northern state of Kaduna on Tuesday, a spokesman said, highlighting the authorities’ loss of control over escalating violence. Attacks and kidnappings have spiked in recent months, especially in north-central and northwest Nigeria, partly driven by economic hardship linked to disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and by the impunity enjoyed by most perpetrators. Kaduna State, located north of the federal capital Abuja, has been the scene of mass abductions at schools and other acts of violence against communities, along with other states such as Niger, Zamfara and Katsina. The Nigerian government says it is winning the battle against the criminals it describes as bandits. However, many Nigerians have stopped travelling through rural areas for fear of being abducted, many pupils have dropped out of school, and many parents are driven to desperate measures to raise ransoms to have their kidnapped children freed.

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday it would be possible to dissolve the lower house of parliament, a key step for calling a snap election, even under the coronavirus state of emergency. Suga told reporters, however, his top priority was the coronavirus response and he would consult medical experts on Wednesday on a possible expansion of areas covered by the state of emergency.

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