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Canada arrests CFO of China’s Huawei Technologies

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Canada arrests CFO of China’s Huawei Technologies

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, has been arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the US.

In a statement on Wednesday, Canada’s justice ministry, said Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1.

“She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday.”

The ministry added it could not provide further details due to a publication ban that was sought by Meng.

Chinese reaction

Reacting to Meng’s arrest, Huawei said in a statement that it was unaware of any wrongdoing by its executive, adding that it complies with all applicable laws.

“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng (Wanzhou),” the company said.

China’s embassy in Canada, meanwhile, demanded the immediate release of Meng, who is also deputy chairman of Huawei’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

“The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou,” it said in a statement on its website.

‘Major blow’

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that US authorities are investigating whether Huawei, one of the world’s top makers of telecommunications network equipment, violated sanctions on Iran.

Al Jazeera’s John Hendren, reporting from Washington, DC, said Friday’s hearing will determine whether Meng will be extradited to the US, adding that the arrest “could be a major blow for Huawei”.

“Huawei is one of the largest makers of smartphones. It uses parts from the US, which has sanctions against Iran, and it doesn’t want its parts being used there – so Meng was arrested in Canada on suspicion of circumventing those trade sanctions.”

Hendren said that in the worst case scenario Huawei “could lose access to the US parts it’s using to make its smartphones – that’s what happened last year to ZTE, another Chinese company, which paid $892m for violating US sanctions”. 

Trade war

Huawei has been under tough scrutiny in the US, where government national security officials say that its alleged close links to the Chinese government make it a security risk.

Its US business has been tightly constrained by worries it could undermine US competitors and that its cellphones and networking equipment, used widely in other countries, could provide Beijing with avenues for espionage.

Hendren said that despite the Chinese company’s denials, Washington has already taken a series of “extraordinary measures”, including President Donald Trump signing an order banning the use of Huawei products at nuclear facilities in the US, while Congress had passed a bill also prohibiting the use of the company’s goods by defence contractors.

“This [the arrest] is likely to rile up the Chinese government and exacerbate what is already an intense trade war between the US and China,” added Hendren, referring to a major tit-for-tat dispute between the world’s top two economies.

This year, the Trump administration has imposed tariffs on a total of $250bn of Chinese imports. For its part, China has slapped tariffs on $110bn of US imports.

Despite being essentially barred from the critical US market, Huawei surpassed Apple to become the world’s number two smartphone maker in the second quarter of this year and has market leader Samsung in its sights.

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Hamas leader Haniya says movement wants ‘national unity’

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Hamas leader Haniya says movement wants ‘national unity’

Hamas chief Ismail Haniya affirmed his willingness to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “at any place” to discuss the internal Palestinian divide.

Haniya’s remarks came in a speech on Sunday during a festival organised by Hamas in Gaza City to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the movement’s establishment, which saw the participation of thousands of Palestinian people.

Members of Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, participated in the rally in camouflage and carrying rifles, while brandishing a range of weapons.

The movement said the large turnout reflected widespread support despite domestic and external challenges.

Palestinians in Gaza take part in a rally marking the 31st anniversary of Hamas’ founding [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]

Haniya stressed the readiness of his organisation to “comply with any requirement to restore Palestinian national unity and end the division.”

The Hamas leader also expressed his group’s willingness to hold elections, either the presidential or parliamentary.

Last month, delegations from Hamas and Fatah held talks with Egyptian officials in Cairo on ending the Palestinian division.

The talks were one of dozens of rounds – in Cairo and several Arab capitals – between Hamas and Fatah since the start of the Palestinian discord in 2007, but discussions have yet to bear fruit.

‘In total harmony’

Haniya also praised the “resistance” in the occupied West Bank following attacks against Israeli settlers and soldiers in recent days.

“We place our hopes in the West Bank, which is the main area where events are occurring and the most appropriate area to resolve the conflict with our Zionist enemy,” he told the crowd, which waved green Hamas flags.

“The West Bank has shaken and stood up with glory, strength and skill, as if it wanted to say to our people on the occasion of this glorious anniversary that it was with the resistance, in total harmony.”

West Bank shootings kill three Palestinians, two Israelis

He told the crowd the pace of attacks would continue until US President Donald Trump’s policy in the region is brought a halt, singling out the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Separate shootings last week killed two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Ramallah, while an Israeli baby, born prematurely after its mother was critically wounded in the settlement of Ofra, later died at hospital. 

“Our people in the West Bank never accept humiliation,” Haniyeh said, describing the recent increase in Palestinian attacks as “another Intifada”.

Israel’s security forces say they arrested at least 37 Hamas operatives in connection with recent violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he issued a warning to Hamas after the deadly attacks in the occupied West Bank. “We will exact a high price over them,” he said.

Failed operation

According to Haniya, the Qassam Brigades managed to seize a “security trove” during the failed Israeli security operation in the Gaza Strip, without giving further details.

On November 11, the Qassam Brigades announced they discovered an Israeli special forces’ unit infiltrating Khan Younis, east of the Gaza Strip, and killed one officer in an ensuing clash.

The failed operation led to an escalation in Gaza that left seven Palestinians dead.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas took power in 2007.

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World

What can be done to ensure food security and preserve water?

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Over 800 million people live in hunger-stricken areas. The majority of those live in conflict zones.

Ensuring quantity and quality of water for survival, but also for food production in the context of agricultural intensification, is essential to mitigate the risk of mass migration conflict.

On this special edition of Inside Story from the Doha Forum, we ask: Are the current world food governance support systems enough to mitigate current risks?

And what can be done to avoid price volatility and its impact on the poorest?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida

Guests:

Pablo Campana – Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investments

Bader Al-Dafa – executive director at Global Dryland Alliance (GDA)

Miguel Angel Moratinos – future UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations

Djimé Adoum – executive secretary of Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, CILSS

Source: Al Jazeera

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Blast kills four in Syria’s Afrin held by Turkey-backed rebels

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Blast kills four in Syria’s Afrin held by Turkey-backed rebels
Rebel forces backed by the Turkish army seized Afrin from Kurdish fighters in early 2018 [File: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters]
Rebel forces backed by the Turkish army seized Afrin from Kurdish fighters in early 2018 [File: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters]

A car bomb has killed at least four people and wounded 20 others in the northern Syrian city of Afrin, held by pro-Turkey rebels, the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency said.

The explosion on Sunday came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened earlier this week to launch a new offensive against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria “in a few days”.

Meanwhile, the UK-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said eight people – four civilians and four fighters – were killed, with activist-operated Shaam news agency reporting the same death toll.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast.

Rebel forces backed by the Turkish army seized Afrin from the YPG in early 2018 in their second large-scale operation into northern Syria since 2016.

Turkey accuses the YPG of being terrorists. However, the armed group is the backbone of a US-backed alliance fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in Syria. 

The YPG, as well as US forces, are currently present in areas along the Turkish border to the east of Afrin.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said the car bomb, which exploded “near a position of pro-Turkey fighters” in a market, wounded dozens.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump agreed with Erdogan for a “more effective coordination” between them in the war-torn country.

Erdogan has strongly criticised Washington’s support for the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces fighting ISIL in their last holdout in the far east of the country.

The US military has set up observation posts in the region in an effort to prevent friction between its NATO ally and the Syrian Kurdish forces.

Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions since starting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

It has since spiralled into a complex conflict and a proxy war involving armed groups and world powers.

SOURCE:
News agencies

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