Connect with us

Latest News

Ecuador protests: Army moves into capital Quito to combat increased violence | World News

Published

on

The capital of Ecuador has been placed under military curfew after masked protesters attacked the national audit office and a TV station, which they tried to break into as terrified employees cowered inside.

President Lenin Moreno ordered troops on to the streets of Quito after a major escalation in demonstrations over a recent rise in fuel prices, with a newspaper headquarters among the sites targeted.

Anti-austerity protests have taken place across Ecuador throughout the week, with people unhappy about a sudden surge in the cost of fuel.

GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR - OCTOBER 12: Police launch tear gas to disperse protesters  during the protests against the economic measures taken by President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno on October 12, 2019 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Ecuador faces the 10th day of protests to repeal the government's measure to end a four-decade fuel subsidy. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces have escalated leaving five people dead. President Moreno has refused to overturn the measure and protest organizers, now led by indigenous communities, have agreed to dialogue with the president. (Photo by Eduardo Maquilon/Agencia Press South/Getty Images)
Image:
Police launch tear gas to disperse protesters

But the marches were hijacked by dozens of masked men on Saturday, who broke into the national audit office and started a fire inside.

More than 20 masked men swarmed the offices of private TV station Teleamazonas, setting fires on the grounds and trying to break in, and security guards at the newspaper El Comercio were seized and tied up.

The president has blamed the violence on drug traffickers, organised crime and backers of predecessor Rafael Correa, who has denied allegations he is trying to topple the government.

Mr Moreno was the vice president to the left-wing Mr Correa before taking the top job and the two men went through a bitter split because the former wanted to introduce sweeping measures to tackle public debt.

The rise in fuel prices formed part of an International Monetary Fund-backed austerity package, angering indigenous people who had expressed a willingness to negotiate before the violence escalated.

Mr Moreno appeared on national television to insist he did not blame the indigenous protesters for the violence, but said the army would not hold back in its bid to bring the ugly scenes to an end.

QUITO, ECUADOR - OCTOBER 12: Demonstrators  burn tires to protect against gas during the protests against the economic measures taken by President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno on October 12, 2019 in Quito, Ecuador. Ecuador faces the 10th day of protests to repeal the government's measure to end a four-decade fuel subsidy. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces have escalated leaving five people dead. President Moreno has refused to overturn the measure and protest organizers, now led by indigenous communities, have agreed to dialogue with the president. (Photo by Ricardo Landera/Agencia Press South/Getty Images)
Image:
Demonstrators burn tyres to protect against gas

Soldiers have used tear gas since being deployed in Quito, which has been littered with makeshift barricades, and have been tasked with restricting movement.

The president added: “I have ordered the Armed Forces Joint Command to immediately undertake all the necessary measures and operations. We are going to restore order in all of Ecuador.”

Despite the curfew, leading indigenous protest group Conaie has said its demonstrations will continue – but it acknowledged that proposed talks with Mr Moreno were now at risk.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the group said: “There’s no real dialogue without guarantees for the safety of indigenous leaders.

“We’ll carry out approaches to try to repeal the decree, but we will hold protest actions nationally, exhorting the government to provide necessary guarantees.”

GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR - OCTOBER 12:  A demonstrator is arrested by the police in the middle of the disturbances during the protests against the economic measures taken by President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno on October 12, 2019 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Ecuador faces the 10th day of protests to repeal the government's measure to end a four-decade fuel subsidy. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces have escalated leaving five people dead. President Moreno has refused to overturn the measure and protest organizers, now led by indigenous communities, have agreed to dialogue with the president. (Photo by Eduardo Maquilon/Agencia Press South/Getty Images)
Image:
More than 1,000 people have been arrested

Mr Moreno, 66, has not indicated when the curfew in Quito might end, but has said a “good part” of the capital has been returned to calm since the army arrived.

He has not said when talks with indigenous leaders might now take place, but has indicated he would be willing to try and reach a compromise – including requiring private companies to pay employees a monthly $20 bonus.

Before the demonstrations, which have resulted in more than 1,100 arrests, he had been reluctant to reconsider his austerity policies, having signed a $4.2m loan deal with the International Monetary Fund.

QUITO, ECUADOR - OCTOBER 12: Women from different parts of Ecuador march through the streets of Quito to ask for peace and to eliminate the economic measures taken by President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno on October 12, 2019 in Quito, Ecuador. Ecuador faces the 10th day of protests to repeal the government's measure to end a four-decade fuel subsidy. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces have escalated leaving five people dead. President Moreno has refused to overturn the measure and protest organizers, now led by indigenous communities, have agreed to dialogue with the president. (Photo by Jorge Ivan Castaneira Jaramillo/Getty Images)
Image:
The demonstrations had been mostly peaceful until now

The scale of the unrest – which has also led to five deaths, more than 1,000 people being injured and the closure of some oil wells – has forced him to change tact.

Mr Moreno has been delivering his addresses from the coastal city of Guayaquil, having moved his government base from the capital as a result of the protests.

Source link

Latest News

German police investigate discovery of ape’s hand and foot in forest | World News

Published

on

German police are investigating the grisly discovery of an ape’s severed hand and foot in a forest west of Munich.

The cleanly-detached body parts – complete with skin, hair, and nails – were found by a forester’s dog around a week ago near the Bavarian town of Grafrath.

One police tip suggested the finding was evidence that the government was carrying out coronavirus experiments on monkeys.

But after examination of the foot and hand, which appear to come from a chimpanzee, experts concluded that the body parts had been preserved with formaldehyde or another chemical used to keep scientific specimens.

“This makes it possible that the parts are significantly older than initially thought,” Michael Fischer, a police spokesman in nearby Fuerstenfeldbruck, told dpa news agency.

“The good news is that nobody has to worry that an ape was slaughtered in Fuerstenfeldbruck last week.”

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Officers are still trying to figure out how a chimpanzee’s parts ended up in a German forest, but say it seems likely it is at most an administrative offence rather than a crime.

In German law, an administrative offence does not reach the punishable unlawful content of a criminal offence but typically results in a fine.

“It could already be past the statute of limitations,” Mr Fischer added.

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

Nissan puts focus on UK plant but sparks anger with Spain closure | Business News

Published

on

Nissan’s decision to centre European production at its UK plant in Sunderland and close its Barcelona factory has sparked angry protests by workers in Spain.

Employees of the Japanese carmaker set fire to tyres outside the Catalonia site, which is to close – threatening the loss of 3,000 jobs.

The company is also to shut its factory in Indonesia.

Workers are seen on the production line at Nissan's car plant in Sunderland
Image:
Nissan says Sunderland remains an important part of its plans for the European business

The announcement came as Nissan said it had sunk into the red for the first time since the financial crash, following four years of tumbling profits.

The firm plans to become smaller and more cost-efficient, building 20% fewer vehicles worldwide, after the coronavirus pandemic sent demand plunging.

A Nissan spokesman said: “Europe will remain an important part of Nissan’s global business.

“We have more than three decades of history in Europe, where Nissan created the crossover segment and took the lead in the roll-out of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

“As the new Nissan mid-term plan explains, the company will be focusing on core models and technologies, which in Europe is our range of crossovers and electrified technologies.

“Sunderland remains an important part of our plans for the European business.

“The new Juke was recently launched, and the plant is now preparing for the arrival of the new Qashqai.”

The move to overhaul the global business came as Nissan posted an annual operating loss of 40.5bn yen (£307m) for the year to 31 March, its worst performance since 2008/09.

Over that period, it sold 4.8 million vehicles, the second decline in a row and a fall of 13% from last year.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

The survival plan follows a new strategy announced by Nissan and its partners Renault and Mitsubishi Motors to work more closely on developing and producing cars to reduce costs and keep the businesses viable.

Even before the spread of the coronavirus, Nissan’s slumping profits had forced it to rein in an aggressive expansion plan pursued by ousted leader Carlos Ghosn.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only ramped up the pressure to downsize.

Next week from Monday to Thursday, Dermot Murnaghan will be hosting After the Pandemic: Our New World – a series of special live programmes about what our world will be like once the pandemic is over.

We’ll be joined by some of the biggest names from the worlds of culture, politics, economics, science and technology. And you can take part too. If you’d like to be in our virtual audience – from your own home – and put questions to the experts, email afterthepandemic@sky.uk

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

Hong Kong: Violent clashes feared as China approves controversial bill | World News

Published

on

China’s parliament has approved a controversial security bill which could threaten Hong Kong’s traditional freedoms.

Beijing says the legislation is aimed at tackling secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference.

But the move is expected to trigger violent clashes in the territory and reprisals from the United States.

Defying international pressure and amid fears it foreshadows Beijing’s plans to strip more freedoms from the semi-autonomous city, China’s National People’s Congress passed the draft national security bill.

The vote overrides the authority of the territory’s Legislative Council, where efforts to push the bill through had been thwarted by public opposition.

Chinese officials will now draft details of the new laws, which it is believed will ban sedition – actions that encourage dissent against China’s authorities.

Riot police had been deployed across Hong in advance of the vote, after disorder on Wednesday that saw police firing pepper pellets at protesters and make 360 arrests.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in anger over the bill, with demonstrators staying out late into the evening.

They were heard chanting for full democracy and for Hong Kong to seek independence from China, saying this is now “the only way out”.

And it came against the backdrop of escalating threats from the Washington, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Hong Kong no longer qualified for special treatment under US law, potentially dealing a devastatig blow to its status as a major financial hub.

He told Congress that China’s plan to impose the new legislation was “only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms”.

“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” he said.

Beijing had unveiled plans last week for national security legislation for Hong Kong that aims to tackle secession, subversion and terrorist activities.

It is expected to see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in the city that was supposed to have a high degree of autonomy under the terms of its 1997 handover to China by former colonial power Britain.

Chinese authorities and the Beijing-backed government in Hong Kong insisted there is no threat to the city’s high degree of autonomy and the new security law would be tightly focused.

The US and China clashed over Hong Kong at the United Nations on Wednesday after Beijing opposed a request by Washington for the Security Council to meet for discussions about the national security legislation.

The US mission to the United Nations said the issue was “a matter of urgent global concern that implicates international peace and security”, while China said the legislation was an internal matter.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending