Fri, Feb 14, 2020 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

FALKLAND ISLANDS

Badminton team cries foul

The islands’ badminton team on Wednesday accused Argentina of trying to prevent it from taking part in a Pan-American tournament in Brazil. The Falklands are a British overseas territory, but Argentina, which invaded and briefly occupied the islands in 1982, claims sovereignty over the South Pacific archipelago and calls them Las Islas Malvinas. The Falklands team were to take part in the tournament in Salvador, which was to begin yesterday. “Unfortunately Argentina are putting a significant amount of pressure on our Falkland Islands team to either pull out of the tournament or play under the Islas Malvinas name,” the Falklands badminton team said on Twitter. “Argentina are putting pressure on Brazil to pull the entire tournament if we do not give in to their demands.” The Falklands badminton team vowed it would “not give in to bullies” and said that Argentina were not even participating in the tournament. It also referenced an article in the Badminton World Federation regulations that states participation to a tournament cannot be denied on the grounds of “politics.”

GUATEMALA

NGO rules approved

Lawmakers approved changes to laws on non-governmental organizations (NGO) that would give the executive branch the authority to allow such groups to operate or shut them down if they are deemed disruptive. The measure prompted alarm on the part of civil society groups that said it could be used to quash dissent, while others questioned its constitutionality. President Alejandro Giammattei, who would have to sign or veto the bill, suggested in comments to journalists on Wednesday that he views at least some aspects of it favorably. The changes passed on Tuesday would regulate the formation, registration, finances and other aspects of NGOs’ activities. One of the most criticized parts is related to funding and says “no donation or external financing may be used to carry out activities that disturb the public order in national territory.” Violators could be shut down immediately and their leadership subject to criminal or civil complaints. “It affects the issue of freedom of association,” activist Helen Mack said, adding that the measure is authoritarian and repressive. “They want to control the organizations that bother them, the people who want to protest. We have a right to civil disobedience [and] we will take legal action.” Giammattei said that some NGOs “have received resources for criminal actions.” He said there have been complaints, but he agrees there should be more clarity on NGO funding. “We all want transparency,” he said.

UNITED STATES

Bezos estate breaks record

Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos has purchased a Los Angeles-area estate for US$165 million, setting a new record for the region, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Bezos bought the Warner Estate from media mogul David Geffen, the Wall Street Journal reported. The deal topped a Los Angeles-area home price record set last year when Lachlan Murdoch paid about US$150 million for a Bel-Air estate seen in The Beverly Hillbillies, a 1960s television show. The Warner Estate spans 3.6 hectares in Beverly Hills. It is a Georgian-style compound with a floor once owned by Napoleon, guest houses, a tennis court and a nine-hole golf course. It was built in the 1930s by the late Jack Warner, former president of Warner Brothers, said the newspaper, which Bezos owns.

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