Kidnappings concern Canada, UN: official
Kidnappings of government officials, businessmen, tourists and journalists have become a "disturbing and growing trend" that concerns Canada and the United Nations, an official said.
Two Canadians disappeared in Niger in mid-December and are being held by an Algerian leader of Al-Qaeda's North African branch, according to a Malian source.
On Monday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to discuss the two missing diplomats UN special envoy to Niger Robert Fowler and his colleague Louis Guay.
Harper and Ban Ki-Moon "shared grave concerns about the recent kidnappings of UN officials, as well as officials of national governments, journalists, tourists and business people traveling abroad," a senior Harper aide said.
"It's a growing trend, a disturbing trend and of increasing concern to our government and governments around the world."
And it is a situation that "no one country can address in isolation."
The official would not comment specifically on the Fowler-Guay case to "minimize risk to the victims."
But Ban Ki-Moon said after his meeting with Harper on Monday that they discussed how to expedite the release of the two men.
A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in seizing an eastern Ukraine province essential to his wartime aims, a city in the path of Moscow's offensive came under sustained bombardment, its mayor said Tuesday. Mayor Vadim Lyakh said in a Facebook that “massive shelling” pummeled Sloviansk, which had a population of about 107,000 before Russian invaded Ukraine more than four months ago.
A judge is holding a hearing Tuesday to consider a lawsuit filed by Mississippi's only abortion clinic, which is trying to remain open by blocking a law that would ban most abortions in the state. The Jackson Women's Health Organization sought a temporary restraining order that would allow it to remain open, at least while the lawsuit remains in court. It does not have an exception for pregnancies caused by incest.
China has started permitting international flights after a two-year ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but there is no word yet on the resumption of air services to India even after Beijing lifted a visa ban for Indian professionals and their families last month. China is also processing the list of hundreds of Indian students wanting to return to the country to re-join their colleges. Beijing is reportedly reviewing the Indian student lists.
Chinese vice-premier Liu He had a “constructive” dialogue with US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday with both sides agreeing to strengthen “macro-policy communication” and coordination, according to a statement from China. Liu expressed concern over the additional tariffs that the US had imposed on Chinese goods during the video conversation, the official Chinese statement, released by state news agency Xinhua said. The exchange was “pragmatic and frank”, the Chinese statement said.
The European Parliament on Tuesday ratified landmark laws that will more closely regulate Big Tech and curb illegal content online, as the EU seeks to bring order to the internet "Wild West". "With the legislative package, the European Parliament has ushered in a new era of tech regulation," said a key backer of the laws, German MEP Andreas Schwab.