GREECE: ‘ Parcel Containing Bomb-Making Materials Received at Stock Exchange ‘

#AceBreakingNews – GREECE – October 02 – A package containing dynamite and cables was sent to Greece’s stock exchange on Thursday, Reuters reported.

It was safely detonated by the bomb disposal unit.

The device lacked a mechanism to set it off, so would not have exploded by itself, police said.

The package, which was discovered mid-morning at the building’s entrance, did not affect the trading session.



CHINA: ‘Foreign Minister Says Beijing Will Not Tolerate Interference in its Internal Affairs ‘

#AceNewsServices – HONG KONG – October 02 – China’s foreign minister made it clear Beijing would not allow other countries to meddle into its ‘internal affairs’, responding in this way to US Secretary of State’s call for Beijing to grant Hong Kong the “highest possible degree of autonomy.

The American and the Chinese heads of foreign offices exchanged their views on the massive protests in Hong Kong before their talks at the US State Department on Wednesday.

Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. “All countries should respect China’s sovereignty. And this is also a basic principle governing international relations. I believe for any country, for any society, no one will allow those illegal acts that violate public order.”

Wang added he believed the current Hong Kong leadership was able to handle the large-scale sit-ins by itself.

The remark was made after US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated Washington’s support for “universal suffrage” in Hong Kong, the main demand put forward by protesters in the Asian financial hub.

We support universal suffrage in Hong Kong accordant with the Basic Law, and we believe in open society with the highest possible degree of autonomy and governed by rule of law is essential for Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity,” Kerry said.

Wang Yi received the same message from Barack Obama, whom he met later the same day, according to a White House statement about the meeting.

The United States has consistently supported the open system that is essential to Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity, universal suffrage, and the aspiration of the Hong Kong people,” the statement reads.



NORTH KOREA: ‘ Regional Arms Race on the Cards Should US Deploy Missile Defence System (THAAD) in South Korea ‘

#AceNewsServices NORTH KOREA (Pyongyang) – October 2 – North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned on Thursday of a regional arms race that could escalate if an advanced US missile defence system is deployed in South Korea.

The deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) “will entail political and military confrontation, and will lead to the arms race in North-East Asia,” the agency said in a commentary published in local newspapers.

The warning comes in response to Washington’s statements that the possible deployment of the THAAD, a key element of the multi-layered global US missile defence program, is set to counter the growing military threat from North Korea.

A top American defence official, Deputy Secretary of Defence Robert Work, told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency on Tuesday that Washington and Seoul are in talks about the possible deployment of the THAAD.

The US has already moved one THAAD battery to the Pacific island of Guam “in response to North Korean provocations,” he said.

The KCNA news agency said the United States is seeking to use South Korea “to fulfil its strategy aimed at gaining dominance in the Asia-Pacific”, and then “a major armed conflict could erupt.”


UN SECURITY COUNCIL: ‘ Palestine Together with Arab Countries Prepare Draft Resolution Ending Israeli Occupation by November 2016 ‘

#AceNewsServices – UNITED NATIONS – October 2 – Palestine, together with Arab countries, has prepared a UN Security Council draft resolution that sets the deadline for ending the Israeli occupation — November 2016.

The document, a copy of which was received by TASS on Wednesday, urges Israel’s earliest withdrawal from all Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.

The text of the bill states that Israeli withdrawal must happen “as rapidly as possible and to be fully completed within a specified time-frame, not to exceed November 2016, and the achievement of the independence and sovereignty of the State of Palestine and the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.”

The draft resolution requests “all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949.” It also “demands an end to all Israeli military operations, reprisals, forced displacement of civilians, and all acts of violence and hostilities.”

The draft resolution urges the comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the UN resolutions, Madrid agreements, including the “land for peace” principle, the Arab peace initiative and the roadmap of the “quartet” of mediators for Middle East settlement.


‘ Russia’s Upper House of Parliament Unanimously Ratified the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union ‘

#AceNewsServices – ARMENIA – October 2 – The Armenian government on Thursday approved a draft document on joining the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.

This issue topped the agenda of the Armenian government’s meeting chaired by Vice-Premier Ovik Abramyan.

“Upon joining the Treaty, Armenia becomes a member of the Eurasian Economic Union,” the document says.

From this moment, acts of the Eurasian Economic Union will be applied on the territory of Armenia, according to the document.

The document’s addenda highlight 29 agreements, which Armenia will join, the terms of the republic’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union and transitional provisions.

A separate addendum contains a list of goods and services subject to customs duties during the transitional period that differ from the levies effective in the customs union of the Eurasian economic bloc.

Eurasian Economic Union Treaty

Russia’s upper house of parliament unanimously ratified on Wednesday the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.

The Treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union was signed by the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on May 29, 2014 in Astana.

The agreement is the basic document defining the accords between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan for creating the Eurasian Economic Union for the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce and conducting coordinated, agreed or common policies in key sectors of the economy, such as energy, industry, agriculture and transport.

The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union is to enter force on January 1, 2015.


ASTRAKHAN: ‘ Heads of State Meet at Start of Caspian Sea Summit ‘

#AceNewsServices – October 01 – ASTRAKHAN, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The Heads of State of all the five Caspian countries have gathered for the 4th Caspian Summit which has begun in Astrakhan.

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, Russian leader Vladimir Putin as Head of State of the hosting country held an official ceremony to welcome his counterparts. Then, after a photo session, they proceeded to the conference hall where a meeting in a narrow format began.

'Vladimir Putin greets Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov '

‘Vladimir Putin greets Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov ‘© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

At a narrow-format meeting Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said the leaders of the Caspian Five intend to reach mutually acceptable agreements that will promote a further step-up of economic cooperation and enhance security in the region.

'Vladimir Putin greets President of Iran Hassan Rouhani' © ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

‘Vladimir Putin greets President of Iran Hassan Rouhani’
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

The Russian leader pointed out that as a result of Monday’s meeting it is planned to adopt a political statement which must become “the cornerstone of a future basic document a Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea”

'Vladimir Putin greets his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev ' © ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

‘Vladimir Putin greets his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev ‘
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

“I am convinced that a further step-up of cooperation among our five states will contribute to strengthening regional stability and raising effectiveness in the fight against terrorism, extremism, the trafficking in narcotics, and other challenges and threats, as well as give an additional impetus to the economic development of our states, and raise their competitiveness on the world markets,” Putin said.

Vladimir Putin proposed that the five Caspian littoral countries – Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan could conduct joint exercises on emergency prevention in the Caspian region in 2016.

“We propose to hold full-scale five-party exercises of emergency response services in 2016 that will allow us to practise the warning procedure and coordination between rescue units,” Putin said.

On Monday the five countries will sign an agreement on warning and liquidating emergencies in the Caspian Sea, Putin said. “It is necessary to continue the work on improving the legal base and further efforts aimed at elaborating common norms and standards of the activity on the Caspian Sea,” he said.

“It is necessary to complete the ratification of protocols on oil spill response, on the protection of the Caspian Sea from pollution and on preserving biological diversity as soon as possible. They were adopted to concretise the Tehran Convention for the Protection of Marine Environment in 2003,” Putin said.

Among the priorities he named the expansion of cooperation in the weather forecast, the climate and the environment of the Caspian Sea. “We hope that the signing of a five-party agreement on cooperation in hydrometeorology will increase security and predictability of navigation and development of hydrocarbon shelf deposits,” he added.

“Wellbeing in the Caspian Sea is our common responsibility. We should do everything possible to strengthen stability and security in the region and speed up the economic development of all Caspian states,” Putin said.

'Vladimir Putin and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Summit ' © ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

‘Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Summit ‘
© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

Caspian Summit agenda

Talks are then to be held in a broader format, after which joint documents are due to be signed and statements for the press will be made. An informal part of the program has also been plannned out. In particular, the leaders of the Caspian countries will take a stroll along the Volga River embankment where a symbolic release of sturgeon fry into the river will be effected.
Apart from attending the summit proceeding, Putin will hold separate meetings with the Presidents of Iran, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. Putin will resume conversations with Kazakhstan’s President on Tuesday during a forum of border regions in Kazakhstani Atyrau.

The Caspian Sea status issue

The Russian leadership hopes that the Caspian summit will help make headway in a long process of negotiations on the status and delimitation of water areas of the Caspian Sea. A joint political statement to be made by the presidents of the five Caspian states will be a cornerstone of the future Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

The Caspian sea is a unique water area in terms of its bio and ecological resource, which includes more than 500 kinds of sea plants and 854 kinds of fish species, including the Caspian sturgeon which accounts for 90% of the world stock of sturgeon fish.

A predicted amount of Caspian hydrocarbon resources has been estimated at around 18 billion tons, with the proved reserves put at four billion tons, which brings the Caspian Sea to second position after the Persian Gulf in the rating of the world biggest oil and gas reserves.

The first Caspian summit was held in Ashgabat in 2002; the second one five years later in Tehran, and a third one in Baku in November 2010. After Astrakhan, the baton of Caspian summits will pass on to Kazakhstan. 


SYRIA: ‘ Islamic State Beheads Seven Men and Three Women Cite Monitoring Group ‘

#AceBreakingNews – SYRIA – October 01 – Islamic State beheaded seven men and three women in a northern Kurdish area of Syria, Reuters said, citing a monitoring group.

The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdulrahman, said Wednesday that five anti-Islamic State Kurdish fighters, including three women, and four Syrian Arab rebels were detained and beheaded on Tuesday.

A Kurdish male civilian was also beheaded, according to Abdulrahman.

He said what happened 14km west of Kobani, a Kurdish town besieged by Islamic State near the Turkish border, was part of a campaign to frighten residents resisting the militant group’s advance.