#AceWorldNews – ODESSA – March 26 – Leaflets calling on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to return and restore law and order in Ukraine appeared in public places in Odessa on Wednesday.
Many people found them in their postboxes.
“You are our last hope. Otherwise, we will not have a choice other than to defend our lives, rights, honour and dignity with arms in hands!” a leaflet signed by the leadership of Ukraine’s National-Liberation Movement said.
Thousands of people marched through the streets of Odessa last Sunday to protest against political repression and usurpation of power in Ukraine.
They chanted slogans urging President Yanukovych to return and protect Ukrainians from fascists.
Rostislav Barda, the leader of the Resistance public organization and one of the march’s organizers, told ITAR-TASS that Viktor Yanukovych, despite all the mistakes he had made, was Ukraine’s legitimate president according to the Constitution.
“Therefore, he must return to the country and fulfil his duty of protecting his people from those who have illegally seized power in Ukraine and have launched reprisals against Ukrainians,” the activist said.
#AceWorldNews United Nations and international aid groups have urged for all borders to be open to Syrian refugees as the crisis, worsening each day, entered its fourth year on Saturday.
The Syrian civil war which began amid the Arab spring in the region, initially started as anti-government protests.
Over time it has grown into what has been dubbed the worst humanitarian crisis witnessed for decades.
The number of those killed topped the 100,000 mark when the UN stopped counting months ago.
Activists in Syria say the number could be as high as 146,000 people.
More than 2.5 million Syrians sought refuge in neighbouring countries, while 6.5 million have been displaced inside.
Civilians have been hit the hardest – three quarters of the refugees are said to be women and children.
An estimated 2.3 million children were in need of shelter, food, health care, education or psychological help only last year, said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Anthony Lake.
Since March 2013, the number of children affected by the crisis has more than doubled to 5.5 million, according to the organization.
#AceWorldNews Sudanese police fired tear gas at a group of 200 anti-government protesters in the north of Khartoum, the capital Saturday, according to an eyewitness, Reuters reports.
The demonstration was the second this week by Pro-Democracy Activists, in which a student protester was killed by police in clashes on Tuesday.
#AceWorldNews A group of Turkish activists hacked into the Twitter account of a top adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, posting messages of solidarity with a teenage boy who recently died as a result of injuries sustained during mass protests last summer.
The Twitter account of Mustafa Varank, one of Erdogan’s top political advisers, was hacked Wednesday, Hurriyet Daily reports.
Many messages posted on the hijacked account memorialized Berkin Elvana, a 15-year-old teenager who died Tuesday after being in a coma for 269 days. Berkin was struck in the head by a tear-gas canister during the now infamous Gezi park protests that gripped Istanbul in June. Berkin was not taking part in the protest, but was rather a passerby.
Varank’s Twitter cover was changed to Elvan’s portrait, and several posts accused Erdogan of being responsible for the boy’s death.
“We know who Elvan’s killer is,” read one of the messages, which also included a photograph of Erdoğan with the inscription: “I gave the instructions to the police.”
Previous Post 11 March at http://wp.me/p165ui-4dN
Extract “To our people: We lost our son Berkin Elvan at 7am this morning. Condolences to us all,” Berkin’s parents wrote.
Hashtag #BerkinElvanÖlümsüzdür (“Berkin Elvan is eternal”) trended globally on Twitter, as news of his death spread.
Hurriyet Daily – RT News – News Sources
#AceWorldNews says that police said that about 500 people were in Moscow and St Petersburg at unauthorized rallies reportedly in protest at the imprisonment of seven opposition activists.
A spokesman for the Moscow police department said 420 people were detained during a rally in down-town Moscow, which it said had been attended by some 500 people in total.
The event had not been approved by Moscow City Hall and thus violated the law on public gatherings, a police spokesman earlier told RIA Novosti.
Those detained “were continuing their illegal actions despite police demands to stop,” the spokesman said, adding that they face misdemeanor charges.
Sixty people were detained at a similar rally in St. Petersburg, which, according to city police, gathered about 100 activists.
#AceWorldNews says the new authorities in Kiev say they are seeking the arrest of former senior officials, like former Incomes Minister Aleksandr Klimenko and former Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka.
Both were reportedly stopped on Saturday by border control due to lack of proper paperwork, as they were trying to leave Ukraine.
The legitimation of the power grab comes a day after several regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced that they do not consider the Ukrainian parliament legitimate and would not abide by its orders.
The regions also said they would be forming local militias to resist possible incursions of radical activists from western Ukraine and Kiev.
The three month-long political crisis in Ukraine escalated on Tuesday, with radical opposition activists and riot police engaged in two days of gun-fighting in Kiev, resulting in some 80 people losing their lives.
In the face of the bloodshed, the central Ukrainian government collapsed under opposition pressure, while President Viktor Yanukovich left the capital and went to the east of the country.
#AceWorldNews reports from the RT that Venezuelan police have deployed water cannons and used tear gas against crowds of angry stone-throwing protesters in Caracas.
Activists unhappy with the economic course of President Nicolas Maduro have been resorting to sporadic violence since Wednesday
#AceWorldNews says Police in the Russian capital have detained 10 LGBT activists after they tried to stage an unsanctioned rally at Moscow’s Red Square, Novaya Gazeta reports. The protest was timed to coincide with the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games at 20:14 MSK on Friday.
The activists attempted to unfold rainbow flags and sing the Russian national anthem. Two of the activists are Swedish nationals.
#AceWorldNews says two important events happen within 45 minutes of each other in #Syria and #Homs and we hardly blink an eye!
Evacuation of civilians in Homs has begun – state TV
The evacuation of civilians from a besieged area of the city of Homs had begun under a humanitarian deal agreed this week, Syrian state television said on Friday.
The report could not immediately be confirmed independently, Reuters said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that a three-day ceasefire has been agreed in negotiations between the local governor and a regional UN humanitarian coordinator in Syria to allow for the evacuation of civilians from Homs and supplies of humanitarian aid for those who choose to remain. The Russian embassy in Damascus “played an energetic role” in the talks, the ministry said.
200 civilians to leave besieged part of Syria’s Homs
About 200 people are expected to leave a besieged area of the Syrian city of Homs on Friday, governor Talal al-Barazi said. This would be the first stage of a humanitarian deal to evacuate civilians and allow aid to be delivered, Reuters reported.
Activists say 2,500 are trapped inside the area, struggling with hunger.
#AceWorldNews says Demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro’s primary train station turned ugly Thursday when Brazilians protesting against a ten cent fare hike violently clashed with police.
Activists threw stones and petrol bombs at police dressed in full riot gear as the chaos spilled from inside the station onto the surrounding street.
A cameraman for Band TV was hospitalized in serious condition after he was struck by either a stun grenade fired by police or an explosive thrown by demonstrators. Thousands of commuters were trapped inside when police shut down the transit system, and many became ill because of the tear gas.
Thais Jorao, 22, told The Washington Post that the outrage was about more than the fare increase. “If it was a public transportation fare hike when we had good health services and education, you would not have this many people on the street,” he said.
“On top of this you see spending with the world Cup, things that we really don’t need. We want health, education, decent public transportation.”
A medical bill has been signed into law in Turkey that requires doctors to obtain government permission before administering emergency first aid. Critics have blasted the bill as a crackdown on doctors who treat activists injured during protests.
The bill, which was drawn up by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), punishes health care professionals with up to three years in prison or a fine of almost $1 million if they administer emergency first aid without government authorization.
It also bans doctors from practising outside state medical institutions and aims to stop them from opening private clinics.
President Abdullah Gul signed the legislation into law Friday. It has prompted a flurry of accusations from rights groups, condemning it as an attempt to criminalize emergency health care and deter doctors from treating protesters.
Very unfortunate & concerning: Turkish President Gül has signed into law the #health bill criminalizing emergency #medical care. #Turkey
— PHR (@P4HR) January 17, 2014
The US-based Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) attacked the legislation as an attempt to quash dissent in Turkey, following last year’s violent protests.
“Passing a bill that criminalizes emergency care and punishes those who care for injured protesters is part of the Turkish government’s relentless effort to silence any opposing voices,” PHR senior medical adviser Vincent Iacopino said in a statement on the PHR website.
Describing the bill as “repugnant,” Iacopino said the legislation not only puts everyone’s health at risk, but also conflicts with the Turkish constitution and “must be blocked through Turkey’s constitutional court.”
The PHR says the bill will also put the medical community at odds with their ethical and professional responsibility to care for the sick and wounded.
The UN has implored the Turkish government to rethink the bill because it will have “chilling effect on the availability and accessibility of emergency medical care in a country prone to natural disasters and a democracy that is not immune from demonstrations.”
#AceWorldNews says (Reuters) – China will begin a long-awaited trial next week of a prominent anti-graft activist campaigning for officials to reveal their wealth, his lawyer said on Friday, on charges he broke the law by organizing demonstrations.
Xu Zhiyong, who has also pushed for greater civil rights, was formally arrested in August in a case that has exposed shortcomings in the government’s drive against deep-rooted #corruption.
His lawyer said the trial would open on Wednesday.
Western governments have sparred with Beijing over human rights and both the United States and European Union have expressed concern about Xu’s case.
Founder of the “New Citizens’ Movement”, Xu advocates working within the system to secure change. He had called on officials to disclose their assets and fellow activists have gone into the streets to urge citizens to fight corruption.
#AceWorldNews says some 6,000 opposition activists protested in Yerevan on Saturday against a controversial new obligatory pension scheme.
The new plan, which took effect on January 1, essentially forces all people born after 1974 to pay five percent of their wages into private pension funds.
“A government racket has come into force that allows the authorities to put their hands into people’s pockets,” said Naira Zohrabyan, a lawmaker of the opposition Prosperous Armenia party.
Unemployment is a major concern in the ex-Soviet state, and protesters said the new law may force them to look for work abroad.
“People’s wages are their own private property and no one has the right to tell them what to do with them,” computer programmer Artur Garibyan told AFP at the rally in central Yerevan.
“This law should not be obligatory,” said Garibyan, 34.
The controversial new pension scheme has drawn ire from across society against the government of President Serzh Sarkisian.
A landlocked country of 3.2 million that was badly affected by the global downturn, Armenia is economically isolated because its borders with two neighbours Turkey and Azerbaijan have long been closed owing to political disputes.
Nevertheless officials have forecast that the country’s gross domestic product will grow by 5.2 percent this year.
On the downside, inflation is projected at about 4.0 percent.
#AceWorldNews says Convicted Ohio killer Dennis McGuire became on Thursday the first prisoner put to death using a new lethal drug combo. US officials used intravenous doses of two drugs, the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone, to put McGuire to death. Human rights activists accuse state authorities of testing poisons on people. Kara Gotsch, Director of National Programs at the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, discussed the controversial issue in an interview with the Voice of Russia today.