Turkey-US crisis: Washington imposes sanctions to Ancara over American Pastor jailed

In unprecedent move, US government has imposes sanctions to Turkey in cause of  prison of American pastor Andrew Brunson. It’s a first time of Nato countries row itself.

“We believe he’s a victim of unfair and unjust detention,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Turkey has said US demands for Mr Brunson’s release are “unacceptable”, adding it will respond to “hostility”.

“We call on the US administration to row back from this wrong decision,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Without delay, there will be a response to this aggressive attitude that will not serve any purpose,” it continued.

Speaking to reporters earlier, Sanders said: “We’ve seen no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong.”

She added that the two Turkish ministers had both played “leading roles” in the arrest of the US pastor.

“As a result, any property or interest in property of both ministers within US jurisdiction is blocked and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them,” she said.

Sanders also said that President Trump had discussed the matter with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “multiple times”.

The US treasury department later said in a statement that Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu were targeted because they “serve as leaders of Turkish government organisations responsible for implementing Turkey’s serious human rights abuses”.

Last week, President Trump warned Turkey it would face “large sanctions” if it did not release Mr Brunson immediately.

In stock markets, Turkish Lira has plummeted their currency value 1.6% today.

Conclusion: The row among strong leaders for nothing.


South Africa: Ramaphosa vows to constitution changes for land expropriation

The South African president Cyril Ramaphosa makes a record speech which vows to change the constitution to allow land expropriation from white farmers to black workers.

Ramaphosa said the ruling ANC will “finalise a proposed amendment” allowing the move.

He said the reform was “of critical importance” to the economy.

The fear of land expropriation creates tension between white farmers and black workers has increase such as land grabs made in Zimbabwe in 2000 by former leader Robert Mugabe.

In the video, Mr Ramaphosa said that a “proper reading” of the constitution allowed expropriation of land without compensation “in the public interest”.

The ANC would go “through the parliamentary process” with the amendment.

However, he said it had become “patently clear” that the people want the constitution to be “more explicit” on the matter.

“This is the constitutional democracy that we fought for,” the president said.

“We call on all South Africans to work with us on developing a social compact for economic inclusion, economic growth and jobs for all.”

Conclusion: This is a trouble way to make democracy in South Africa


World affairs: Facebook ‘being investigated by FTC for Cambridge Analytica scandal

After British TV Channel 4 made an undercover investigation over British consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica for use of 50 million facebook users data to rig polls across the globe including US presidential poll in 2016.

Facebook could be investigate by US Federal Trade Commission for this data breach.

British and European parliaments have called Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to give a testimony over that.

According to Bloomberg, Zuckerberg not taken part on emergencial meeting on Facebook HQ in Silicon Valley. He’s keep quiet over that.

Cambridge Analytica boss Alexander Nix was suspended by the firm today.

US-Russia: US government punishes 19 Russians over vote meddling and cyber-attacks

After months of deadlock. US government announces a new round of sanctions against Russia over US2016 election meddling. It include 13 individuals charged last month by Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused the Russians of “destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure”.

He said the sanctions would target “ongoing nefarious attacks” by Russia.

Five insititutions like Russian Military Intelligence Agence GRU and Internet Research Agency led by oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin

Otherwise, Russian officials has criticises it.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow was calm about the new sanctions, according to Interfax news agency.

Mr Ryabkov said Moscow had already begun drawing up retaliatory measures.

Meanwhile Mr Prigozhin said he was unconcerned by the sanctions on him because he did not have any business interests linked to the US, Russian media reported.

“I have been sanctioned maybe three or four times – I’m tired of counting, I can’t remember. I don’t have any business in the United States or with Americans. I’m not worried by this. Except that now I will stop going to McDonald’s,” he was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

World affairs: US cautious over North Korea nuclear disarmament

After South Korean envoys met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for 4-hour dinner. Seoul hails it saying Pyongyang is already for talks over their nuclear programme. But US still cautious over that.

The US president Donald Trump said “the statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive”, but also said it might be a “false hope”.

South Korea earlier said the subject was raised when its officials met the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, on Monday.

Seoul said Mr Kim was also open to US talks, and would pause weapons testing.

Trump opinion:

Speaking to reporters at Washington’s Oval Office, he said: “We have come certainly a long way, at least rhetorically, with North Korea.

“The statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive. That would be a great thing for the world.”

North Korea says:

The North’s KCNA news agency said Mr Kim had “warmly welcomed” the delegates and held an “openhearted talk” with them.

It said the dinner took place “in a warm atmosphere overflowing with compatriotic feelings”.

What’s next

South Korea and North Korea has agreed to hold a summit between Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in in April for that.

Italy 2018: Five star movement and League has claimed their victories

On Monday, Italian election results shows a hung parliament. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement and Anti-immigration League has emerged as kingmakers on talks to form a new government. The great loser is former PM Matteo Renzi and his centre-left coalition with less than 20% of the votes.

Matteo Salvini, the 44-year-old leader of the League, said at a press conference that he intended to speak to other parties to gain a parliamentary majority.

Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio, 31, announced that his party was also open to coalition talks with other parties – this despite the party having stated the contrary in the run-up to the vote.

If no party has strike a deal. Fresh elections should be call soon as possible

South Africa: Ramaphosa announces his cabinet reshuffle

The new South African President Cyryil Ramaphosa has announces his cabinet reshuffle tonight.  The new cabinet was name with a lot of reappointments like Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene which was fired by former president Jacob Zuma in December 2015.

Ramaphosa took over, promising a “new dawn” for the country and pledging to be tough on corruption.

“In making these changes, I have been conscious of the need to balance continuity and stability with the need for renewal, economic recovery and accelerated transformation,” Ramaphosa said, while announcing the appointments in Pretoria on Monday night.

Ramaphosa appoints David Mabuzza, the deputy president of the African National Congress (ANC) ruling party, as Deputy President of South Africa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was beat by him in December’s ANC leadership election, as minister to the presidency.