FARC party told world diplomats about problems in peace process

FARC (People's Revolutionary Alternative Force Party) President Rodrigo Londoño (Timochenko), Senators Julián Gallo, Griselda Lobo, Israel Zúñiga, Counselor Rodrigo Granda and Advisor Diego Martínez met with the ambassadors of the European Union, the Apostolic Nuncio, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, United Kingdom, donor countries and the Guarantor countries: Cuba and Norway.

The meeting took place at the headquarters of the Second United Nations Mission in Colombia and FARC executives were able to present their views and concerns about the critical state of the Peace Process and the dangers that loom over it, due to delays in implementation.

Such implementation, said the FARC executives, should have been "integral and harmonious in all the points agreed in Havana: the relative advances in reincorporation of former guerrillas, the short take off of the Land issue, lack of electoral guarantees, the murders of FARC members, as well as social leaders, the non respect of the economic commitments demanded by the implementation."

The FARC accused the government of "having a double discourse as it talks about its commitment to peace, but this talk is not reflected in practical results in the territories, where the presence of the State is Almost exclusively military."

The members of the FARC party answered some concerns and questions, while the diplomats pledged to continue supporting and accompanying the peace process, to make efforts in investment in productive projects in communities and to visit the Territorial Spaces where former guerrillas are living and trying to set up a new life.

  • Published in World

7.1 Magnitude Quake Hits Indonesia, Tsunami Warning Issued

The quake struck out at sea at a depth of 10 kilometers according to Indonesia's geophysics agency. A tsunami warning was issued after the earthquake.

A 7.1 magnitude quake struck off the northeastern coast of Indonesia's Sulawesi island late on Sunday, prompting authorities to issue a tsunami warning.

The quake struck out at sea at a depth of 10 kilometers according to Indonesia's geophysics agency. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude at 6.9. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The agency had not lifted the tsunami warning over an hour after the quake, a spokesman told Reuters.

"We have not ended it because we are still monitoring the tide gauges for high waves...though none have been recorded yet," Rahmat Triyono, a BMKG official, told Kompas TV.

Residents in some cities panicked as tremors shook buildings and authorities urged people to seek higher ground.

Some hospitals in the city of Ternate, around 130 km (80 miles) from the epicenter, sustained minor damage and had to evacuate patients, according to media.

Residents in the seaside resort city of Manado, 185 km (115 miles) from the epicenter, said the quake was felt strongly for several seconds but no damage was reported.

Last month the coast of Indonesia was hit by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake but it did not cause a tsunami.

  • Published in World

Theresa May urges world leaders to tackle climate crisis - but US refuses

Theresa May has called on other countries to "raise their ambition" and copy the UK by aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The prime minister said she wanted other world leaders to "embrace this target" as she held a news conference at her last G20 summit.

It came as Donald Trump confirmed he would not be changing his mind on climate change action, saying US factories don't work on wind power and he doesn't want to subsidise green energy.

His stance means the US is the only country in the G20 that has not reaffirmed its commitment to the full implementation of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Mrs May told reporters: "Over the past two days, leaders have discussed some of the most pressing challenges facing our nations.

"In recent months we have heard hundreds of thousands of young people urge us - their leaders - to act on climate change before it's too late.

"I am proud that the UK has now enshrined in law our world-leading net zero commitment to reduce emissions. And I have called on other countries to raise their ambition and embrace this target."

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New York Times calls for reset of U. S. agenda on Cuba

A series of New York Times editorials calling for new U.S. relations with Cuba is the signal for U.S. organizations and individuals involved with Cuba to launch a unified campaign.

On Dec. 12, 2013 the Times editorial board reminded readers that, "This page has long called for an end to America's embargo. At the time it urged President Obama to "press Congress to end the embargo and overhaul policy toward Cuba." But a year later this influential newspaper launched a full-fledged campaign.

Comprehensive, detailed attention to the record betokened serious purpose, no less so than editorials, one after another, in both English and Spanish. As befits a campaign, a graphic of the island of Cuba with the words "Cuba: a New Start" appeared with the editorials.

The Times seeks Cuba's removal from the State Department's list of nations supporting terrorism. The newspaper wants U.S. agent Alan Gross, jailed in Cuba, to be exchanged for the three anti-terrorist "Cuban Five" prisoners still in U.S. jails.  

On Oct. 11 the paper argued that now, what with changes in U.S. and Cuban politics, it's "politically feasible to re-establish formal diplomatic relations and dismantle the senseless embargo." Three days later, new editorial board member Ernesto Londoño celebrated former Cuba president Fidel Castro's published response to that editorial. Castro had recorded criticisms of the Cuban government by the Times and sent the message, "[L]et's talk."

The Oct. 19 editorial broke the mold by praising a Cuban government project. The editors noted U.S. and other nations' confusion in dealing with Ebola in Africa and then extolled Cuba's contributions there. "It is a shame," they suggested, "that Washington, the chief donor in the fight against Ebola, is diplomatically estranged from Havana."

Then on October 25 the Times reviewed attitudes of Cuban - American political and business leaders in Florida who back U.S. outreach to Cuba. The paper lectured right wing die-hards there: "It's time to lift the restrictions and get on with life. More will be accomplished with free trade than anything else."

Ricardo Alarcon, a former Cuban United Nations ambassador and National Assembly president, labeled the Nov. 2 editorial "an event of transcendental importance." That editorial built the case for exchanging Alan Gross for the three remaining Cuban Five prisoners.  

It broke the barrier of U.S. media silence on the case of the Five. The editorial condemned judicial flaws in their convictions and sentencing and detailed injustices imposed on prisoner Gerardo Hernandez. The Times uniquely suggested Alan Gross was up to no good in Cuba. Its editorial provided a link documenting Gross' job of anti-government subversion and his high pay as a U.S. agent.

The last two editorials, on Nov. 9 and Nov. 16, survey effects of U.S. policies serving to undermine U.S. purposes and put off diplomatic accommodations. The first one cites the $264 million eight - year U. S. spending spree on interventions in Cuba that is "a magnet for charlatans, swindlers and good intentions gone awry."

The other one denounces the "Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program aimed at persuading Cuban health workers on foreign missions to defect. For Cubans, it's "a symbol of American duplicity," says the newspaper. Besides, why engage in "brain drain (...) at a time when improved relations between the two countries are a worthwhile, realistic goal?" 

The Times initiative takes on added significance with the culmination of parallel developments over recent months. Not only have President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and recent Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist critiqued U.S. policies toward Cuba, but also Florida businesspersons, a wealthy Cuban-exile sugar baron, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president, and the influential Atlantic Council have done likewise. And European Union representative are negotiating with Cuban officials as the EU prepares to give up its trade - restricting "common position" toward Cuba.

The editorials disregard provisions in the 1996 Helms Burton Law requiring Congress, not the executive branch, to shape basic changes to blockade rules. In a nick of time, however, lawyer Robert Muse published a document titled "The New Normalization" that provides a "roadmap" for presidential actions toward ending U.S. punishment of Cuba. 

Some leftists took the Times to task for overlooking certain shortcomings of U.S. policies and accepting the export of U.S. capitalism to the island. But now is the time, it seems, for backers of Cuban independence and true sovereignty to pull together and use this New York Times campaign as the practical tool it is. Through its likely appeal to citizens of varied outlooks, the Times' contribution promises to be useful in building a movement for protecting Cuba from the United States.

Recruits to this cause need not be socialists, of course. Nor are they required to be familiar with every item of pain and injustice Cubans have suffered at U.S. hands.

  • Published in Cuba

Drinking Water Shortage to Hit World by 2040

London:  If we continue doing what we are doing today to meet our energy demands, there will not be enough water in the world to quench the thirst of the world population by 2040, says a study.

  • Published in World
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