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24 Hours Across Africa

President Duterte threatens to jail opponents

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Source: Reuters- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened opponents with prison if they try to impeach him, the latest in what a top U.N. official and an Asian lawmakers’ group this week called a pattern of persecution and assaults on free speech.

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Duterte vented his anger late on Thursday amid intense media scrutiny and accusations that he is siding with China over a June 9 sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel, which happened inside Manila’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The maverick leader has echoed Beijing’s line that it was an accident, not an intentional ramming, and shrugged off the presence of Chinese fishermen inside the Philippine EEZ, saying he would allow it out of friendship.

Some high-profile critics, among them a top judge and a former foreign minister, have called that a breach of the constitution, or worthy of his impeachment.

“Me? Will be impeached? I will jail them all,” Duterte told reporters. “Try to do it and I will do it. Son of a bitch.”

He added: “I am challenging you to do it. You really want to force my hand into it? Okay. You sons of bitches, do it. Yes. File it.”

A report on Tuesday by the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights chided the Duterte administration for what it said were threats and aggressive rhetoric and trumped-up criminal charges against opponents that amounted to “deliberate effort to muzzle critics and weaken checks and balances.”

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday said there was a “very real risk of violence” for Filipinos who speak out, noting threats were publicly made by state officials.

While Duterte’s popularity and mandate have been bolstered by a recent midterm election, the sinking incident has put the domestic spotlight on cracks that are appearing in his much-trumpeted foreign policy of non-confrontation with China in return for economic incentives.

Some analysts say China’s offers of high-interest infrastructure loans and promises of massive investments have won Duterte’s acquiescence, but with much of that yet to materialize and China further militarizing its artificial islands and strengthening its fishing militia, Duterte risks looking like he is being duped.

Asked on Friday about threats to jail opponents, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte was merely upset that people could not see he had the country’s interests at heart.

“He cannot understand why people are against his policy,” Panelo told reporters.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Mignolet to extend his stay in Liverpool- Klopp

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LiverpoolFc fans has called on Klopp to be careful of who to sign due to the club silent in the transfer market.

Liverpool gaffer has reacted by stating, he is keen to add more dept to his team as he look to secure another trophy in coming season.

Jurgen Klopp has also disclosed, he expects Simon Mignolet to remain at Liverpool following positive discussions with the goalkeeper.

Liverpool want to keep Mignolet, with sporting director Michael Edwards not putting a price on him.

And following the 3-1 preseason victory over Bradford City, Klopp disclosed a talk with the goalkeeper that suggests he will extend his six-year spell with the club.

“Yeah, how I’ve heard,” Klopp responded when asked whether Mignolet will remain with Liverpool.

“I’ve had a lot of conversations with him over the last couple of years and months.

“Before we left [for holiday], we had a talk and I would say, yes [he will stay]. I think at a club like Liverpool you need two No. 1s at least and we have that, that’s cool, with Ali and Simon.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Erdogan, confident that Trump will waive sanctions on Turkey.

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Source: Reuters- U.S. President Donald Trump has the authority to waive sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of Russian air defense systems and should find a “middle ground” in the dispute, President Tayyip Erdogan says.

First parts of a Russian S-400 missile defense system are unloaded from a Russian plane at Murted Airport, known as Akinci Air Base, near Ankara, Turkey, July 12, 2019.

Erdogan’s comments came two days after NATO member Turkey took delivery of the first consignment of advanced Russian S-400 missile defense system parts, despite warnings from Washington that the move would trigger U.S. sanctions.

Broadcaster Haberturk quoted Erdogan as telling Turkish journalists that Trump “has the authority to waive or postpone CAATSA”, referring to U.S. sanctions designed to prevent countries buying military equipment from Russia.

“Since this is the case, it is Trump who needs to find the middle ground,” Erdogan said, according to Haberturk.

Trump expressed sympathy for Turkey’s position when he met Erdogan at a G20 summit in Japan last month, saying Ankara had bought the S-400s from Moscow because the previous U.S. administration would not sell it the Patriot defense system made by Raytheon Co.

“Right now, I don’t believe Trump is of the same opinion of those below him and he has said this in front of all the world’s media,” Erdogan said. “By buying the S-400s, we are not getting ready for war. We are trying to guarantee peace and our national security.”

Despite Trump’s warm words, U.S officials said last week the administration still planned to act.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Washington Post in an interview published late on Sunday “the law requires that there be sanctions and I’m confident that we will comply with the law and President Trump will comply with the law”.

U.S. officials have said Turkey could also be thrown off the F-35 stealth fighter jet program in addition to the threatened CAATSA sanctions,

Meaning it would no longer be part of the production process or be able to buy the jets it has ordered.

The Pentagon says the S-400s would pose a threat to the jets if they were operating in the same region.

Erdogan said Turkey had orders for more than 100 F-35s made by Lockheed Martin and expected Washington to remain committed to the deal.

Erdogan said Turkey still wanted to buy Patriot missile defense systems from Washington and the two countries should be aiming to increase trade and work on “comprehensive defense cooperation”.

“Trump has always viewed this positively,” he said. “ … Now, at a time when we are discussing mutual trade volumes of $75 billion, $100 billion, will we be dealing with this gossip? Why should we? We are strategic partners, let’s do what strategic partnership entails.”

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