A violent incident occurred in Kenya when China accused some Taiwanese citizens in Kenya of a cyber-scam. They went to court in Kenya and were cleared of all charges. They were still held in jail.
The Chinese government wanted a total of 23 people flown back to the PRC. The Taiwanese refused to go. The Kenyan police cooperated with the PRC officials to force the Taiwan citizens on planes to fly back to Beijing.
A violent incident ensued involving tear gas and numerous police with automatic weapons.
“They refused to cooperate with the deportation … so the police broke down the walls, using teargas, and then more than 10 police went in with assault rifles,” Chen told reporters in Taipei. The Guardian
One of the persons deported carries an American passport. The USA and Taiwan have military agreements regarding the island's independence.
A further 22 people have been detained in Kenya and may also be facing forcible removal to the PRC.
This is not the only incident of forced extradition to China from Kenya. Twenty-two others are reported to have been whisked off to face Chinese justice. To help pay Nairobi for their expenses and trouble, it has also been reported that $600 million was paid by China. That is unconfirmed. While it is also unconfirmed, hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of aid have been funneled into Kenya from China.
This has set off a diplomatic firestorm as China maintains that Taiwan, formerly called Nationalist China, is part of China and subject to their laws. They have stated that Taiwan is a renegade province and that there is one China.
China has been exercising its updated military muscle in the S. China Sea, claiming territory there as well as installing military hardware to enforce its claims. It also claims islets that are claimed by Japan.
Brazil political crisis escalates as party pulls out of coalition. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has come closer to being impeached by the Congress as her allies have left the coalition. The Brazilian Democratic Movement Party(PMDB) has announced that they are no longer cooperating with Pres. Rousseff.
The PMDB has pulled their six government ministers and informed their party members that they must leave all government appointments or face ethics charges.
There are a series of incidents that have brought the country and more particularly Rousseff to this point. The biggest scandal is that surrounding the government owned petroleum corporation –Petroleo Brasileiro – which has nearly two billion dollars unaccounted for. Many believe it is in the pockets of Rousseff and friends.
The former president was able to name the board members sitting on the petroleum company. Pres. Roussoff was on the board. The investigation into the missing money had the former president in for questioning. Roussoff tried to have him appointed to a government position so that he would be immune from prosecution, but was thwarted in that move.
Now the congress may impeach her. If they don’t the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) filed a request to impeach on Monday on the grounds that she obstructed justice and used fiscal accounting tricks. If that request doesn’t fly, they OAB has filed a second request regarding Rousoff’s granting of tax exempt status to FIFA during the 2014 World Cup.
If it comes to a parliamentary vote, with the departure of the PMDB from the coalition, it is unlikely that Rousseff can garner enough votes to thwart the ouster. The vote to impeach is likely to be held in April and if successful, will be before the Senate by May.
If the president is ousted, the VP will take over the office.
The political turmoil comes as a particularly bad time for Brazil which is slated to hold the 2016 Olympics in August. Controversy has swirled around the filthy conditions of the water sports venues. Because of the recession budgets have been slashed. The country is mired in the worst recession in a generation due to the low petroleum prices(and the disappearance of billions of dollars). The Zika virus has also created a nation wide health crisis.
Uganda has held a presidential election amid accusations of vote rigging and intimidation. Two main candidates in the race are sitting president Yoweri Museveni and Kizza Besigye.
Museveni has held power for 30 years and it looks as if he will continue to do so. He is currently 71 years old.
Besigye has challenged the president before, unsuccessfully. During the past week he has been arrested three times. The latest arrest occurred during the voting procedure when he and members of his party were about to announce some preliminary election results.
Police denied that they had arrested Besigye, but that they had only taken him home. However the news service, All Africa, is reporting that not only Besigye but three other ranking party officials have been taken to an unknown location by police.
They dispersed his supporters outside the party headquarters by firing stun grenades and tear gas. Access to the area has been cut off.
The third candidate, Amama Mbabazi, was not expected to garner more that 2% of the votes was also under house arrest.
Organization for the elections seemed lacking as voters were forced to queue for hours to mark their ballots. Others had to wait until the next day as ballots were in short supply.
The delays helped fuel conspiracy theories. The capital city Kampala was one of the areas where voting was delayed. It is also the centre of support for Besigye and his party.
The ruling party’s zeal to control the elections backfired when they shut down the social media system temporarily for “security reasons”. The US ambassador to Uganda expressed her disapproval of the shut down on her twitter account.
The US and Uganda maintain friendly relations. They are united in their stance against terrorism, but since 2014 have differed on Uganda’s harsh pronouncements against homosexuality. The US president declined to fund and participate in a joint military exercise. President Museveni called the action “blackmail”.
It is expected that under the DPP government that the indigenous people of the island will be represented in greater proportion than ever before.
The island, formerly called Formosa, has had various colonizers and conquerors since the 17th century.
China(PRC) maintains that Taiwan is a renegade province of theirs. They have tried to woo the people by holding out the idea of close but privileged status within the whole, much like Hong Kong. That model is under close scrutiny right now as many of the privileges/rights that the HK citizens are supposed to have is being eroded.
Street demonstrations protesting the creep of central power have been held. Even more chilling to the HK people is the recent disappearance of five HK book publishers. They specialized in ensuring that books banned by the PRC government were published and available in HK. Free speech is one of the guarantees that HK was granted. At least one publisher is known to be in the PRC. He phoned his wife to tell her to not make a fuss. His identification papers were still in HK and he could not have travelled to the mainland without them. That is, unless he was smuggled in.
Definitely interesting times for the two Chinas.
Harrison Vien was first flagged when he was eight years old. He’s now approaching his 18 birthday and he is still being hassled at airports. He is concerned that when he wants to travel to Europe he will be delayed again and again or even blocked altogether.
There is another much grimmer aspect to these mistaken additions to “the List”. Thirteen years ago a Canadian citizen, Maher Arar, was seized by American authorities and deported to Syria where he was imprisoned and tortured. He was there for more than a year. Finally, after Arar was repatriated, a federal commission lambasted both the RCMP and the Americans for their actions.
It is unknown if Arar remains on an American no fly list 13 years later.
Even after Arar was returned to Canada it is alleged that the RCMP were obstructing justice.
Even after Mr. Arar's return to Canada, the RCMP was causing problems for Mr. Arar. The Mounties, the report says, misled the Privy Council Office at an important meeting, by failing to disclose "certain key facts that could have reflected adversely on the force." The Globe and Mail
Any airline passenger may experience missed flights and connections if their name turns up on this secretive list. You won’t know until you present your papers to airport security.
The Hamilton Spectator
The Globe and Mail
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