Sat, Jan 12, 2019 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CANADA

Kovrig visited second time

Diplomats have visited former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig for the second time since his arrest in China a month ago. Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, on Thursday provided no further details on how Kovrig was being treated. He and entrepreneur Michael Spavor were on Dec. 10 detained on allegations of “engaging in activities that endanger the national security” of China. The arrests came after Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟) was on Dec. 1 arrested in Canada at the request of the US, which wants her extradited to face charges that she misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran. She is out on bail in Canada awaiting extradition proceedings. Canada said that it would continue to seek further access to Kovrig and Spavor.

CROATIA

Israeli plane deal flops

Plans to buy used F-16 jets from Israel failed over a lack of US approval for the sale, Minister of Defense Damir Krsticevic said on Thursday after talks with an Israeli delegation. Croatia in March agreed to buy 12 used F-16s from Israel to replace its Russian-made MiG-21s. However, Washington objected to the sale of the US-made jets because it wants the removal of electronic system upgrades that Israel added, in a rare defense dispute between the close allies, Croatian officials said. “Israel has officially informed the defense ministry that ... it unfortunately cannot get an adequate approval of the US to deliver F-16 planes,” Krsticevic told reporters. The agreement between Israel and Croatia was not signed and Zagreb would suffer no financial damages, he added.

UNITED KINGDOM

N Ireland funds marked

The government yesterday announced hundreds of millions of pounds in funding “to support peace in Northern Ireland” after Brexit, continuing for another seven years a shared initiative with Ireland and the EU. The government said that it would commit about £300 million (US$381.73 million) to the “Peace Plus” plan, which is to run from 2021 until 2027. The scheme to promote economic and social progress in Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland started in 1995 and ends in 2020. “This funding will help deliver vital projects on both sides of the Irish border, supporting cooperation and reconciliation and ensuring that generations to come grown up in a more peaceful and stable society,” Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley said. The EU has set out its plan for £109 million of funding — subject to final budget approval — for the “Peace Plus” plan, Bradley’s office said.

MEXICO

Sea Shepherd ship attacked

The Sea Shepherd environmental group on Thursday published a video allegedly showing an attack by about two dozen small fishing boats on the vessel Farley Mowat in Mexico’s Gulf of California. Fishermen in the Gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez, have long complained about environmentalists trying to protect the vaquita marina, the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise. Sea Shepherd said that fishers Wednesday threw lead weights and tried to douse the Farley Mowat and waters around it with gasoline. The video shows that some of the fishing boats carried gill nets, even though they are banned within the reserve designed to protect the vaquita. The vaquita is nearing extinction due to gill nets set illegally to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder is considered a delicacy in China.

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