ANKARA – The Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected a resolution on Wednesday that was passed by the UN Security Council which called for “extended humanitarian pauses and corridors” in Gaza.
In a statement cited by the Haaretz newspaper, the ministry said “there is no place for extended humanitarian pauses” as long as hostages are being held by the Palestinian group Hamas.
Israel’s envoy to the UN, Gilad Erdan, also described the resolution as “detached from reality,” as it does not condemn Hamas over its attack launched against Israel on Oct 7. AA
Ghana’s president calls for reparations
ACCRA – Ghana’s president called for financial reparations for the descendants of African slaves in Africa and the diaspora, urging unity among African and Caribbean leaders to address the enduring impacts of the transatlantic slave trade.
Nana Akufo-Addo made the appeal Tuesday at the opening of the Accra Reparations Conference, a four-day gathering of heads of state, scholars, legal experts and civil society representatives.
He stressed that the progress of nations was hindered during the slavery period, and now is the time for the 20 million descendants of the victims to receive reparations. AA
Brazil heatwave sees record power demand
SAO PAULO, Brazil – Brazil is seeing skyrocketing demand for electricity amid a nationwide extreme heatwave, the National Electric System Operator said on Tuesday, with power demand in the national grid reaching 101.5 gigawatts, 0.5 % higher than the previous record.
The biggest economy in Latin America on Monday issued a new “high danger” alert due to temperatures that are at least 5 degrees Celsius higher than the historical average for this time of year, with a thermal sensation of 58 degrees Celsius registered in parts of Rio de Janeiro in southeast Brazil. Xinhua
Pakistan, IMF reach agreement on 1st bailout review
KARACHI – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced a preliminary agreement with Pakistan on Wednesday on the initial review of a $3 billion bailout.
Following approval from the IMF’s Executive Board, Pakistan is set to receive $700 million.
Earlier on Wednesday, IMF mission chief Nathan Porter said the agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board.
“Upon approval, around $700 million will become available, bringing total disbursements under the programme to almost $1.9 billion,” he said.
“Pakistan’s inflation is expected to decline over the coming months amid receding supply constraints and modest demand. However, Pakistan remains susceptible to significant external risks, including the intensification of geopolitical tensions, resurgent commodity prices, and the further tightening in global financial conditions. Efforts to build resilience need to continue,” Porter stressed.
“In this regard, strengthening macroeconomic sustainability and laying the conditions for balanced growth are key priorities under the SBA (standby arrangement). The confirmation came following a guarantee from the United Arab Emirates to assist cash-strapped Pakistan in bridging its financial gap,” he added. AA
Taiwan’s opposition parties unite for presidential election
TAIPEI – Taiwan’s two leading opposition parties said Wednesday they would join forces for January’s presidential election, but they have not decided which candidate will be at the top of the ticket.
Kuomintang (KMT), the island’s leading pro-Beijing political group and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) have been in discussion for weeks over an alliance, with two candidates tussling over who should run in the January 13 polls.
KMT’s Hou Yu-ih has been polling neck-and-neck with TPP’s Ko Wen-je, who has performed better than expected as a third-party candidate.
The two sides struck “a cooperation agreement, creating a new record in Taiwan’s political history”, KMT heavyweight and former president Ma Ying-jeou told reporters.
“This cooperation will enable mutual assistance between the two parties in future elections and other aspects, making it a very memorable day for both parties in Taiwan.”
The parties agreed to have three experts, picked by Ma as well as both parties, evaluate polls conducted from November 7 to 17, with the results of the leading candidate due to be announced on Saturday.
Ko hailed the agreement as “a historic moment”.
“Regardless of the outcome, and no matter who is the presidential or vice presidential candidate, we must work together hand in hand to ensure peace and stability in the Republic of China,” said Hou.
All candidates have until next Friday to officially register with the election commission. AFP