Lives in a suitcase: The refugees fleeing the Russia-Ukraine war | Gallery News

Siret, Romania – There’s a sudden loud sound – a popping noise. The lady flinches and rapidly seems round, surveying her environment. However then her face relaxes. She remembers that she has simply crossed the border from Ukraine and is now in Romania, surrounded by volunteers handing out meals and tea, translators serving to the brand new arrivals to search out transport and emergency employees caring for their different wants. She is protected now.

The border crossing in Siret in northeastern Romania has by no means been so crowded and the locals inhabiting the small village close by have by no means seen so many individuals passing by means of directly.

The street main into Romania is lined with stalls full of meals, drinks, garments, diapers and hygiene merchandise. It’s all for the tens of hundreds of Ukrainians who, fleeing the Russian invasion of their nation, are in search of security throughout the border.

The queue on the Ukrainian aspect of the border stretches for kilometres. Youngsters, moms with small infants, grandparents accompanying their grandchildren – all of them line up, pushing or carrying what little they managed to convey with them.

Most of them journey gentle – both as a result of they left in haste or as a result of they can not carry extra on their lengthy journey. Their lives now are crammed right into a single suitcase.

‘Prove you are with us’, Ukraine’s Zelenskyy tells EU | Russia-Ukraine crisis News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the European Union to show that it sides with Ukraine in its battle with Russia a day after signing an official request to affix the bloc.

“We’re combating to be equal members of Europe,” Zelenskyy advised an emergency session of the European Parliament on Tuesday by way of video hyperlink.

“Do show that you’re with us. Do show that you’ll not allow us to go. Do show that you’re certainly Europeans after which life will win over loss of life and lightweight will win over darkness,” he mentioned in Ukrainian in a speech translated to English by an interpreter speaking by means of tears, as emotion gripped the parliament.

Zelenskyy has remained in Kyiv to rally his individuals in opposition to the invasion. As he spoke on Tuesday, a Russian armoured column was bearing down on Ukraine’s capital.

EU lawmakers, many carrying #standwithUkraine T-shirts bearing the Ukrainian flag, others with blue-and-yellow scarves or ribbons, gave Zelenskyy a standing ovation.

“The EU shall be a lot stronger with us. With out you, Ukraine shall be lonesome,” Zelenskyy mentioned, with Kyiv seemingly effectively conscious that Ukraine’s membership bid shall be lengthy and tough.

Members of European Parliament applaud after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's speechMembers of the European Parliament gave Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a standing ovation following his speech at a particular session in Brussels, Belgium [Yves Herman/Reuters]

EU legislators are anticipated to name Russia a “rogue state” and urge the 27-nation bloc to agree even more durable sanctions, based on a draft textual content they’ll vote on afterward Tuesday, Reuters reported.

The EU has taken unprecedented steps, together with financing weapons deliveries to Ukraine, after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin launched a battle on its neighbour final week.

In line with the draft decision and amendments backed by the meeting’s important events, legislators will name for the scope of sanctions to be broadened and to be “aimed toward strategically weakening the Russian economic system and industrial base, specifically, the military-industrial complicated”.

The European Parliament may even urge EU leaders to be more durable on oligarchs and officers near the Russian management, limit oil and fuel imports from Russia, ban Russia and its ally Belarus completely from the SWIFT financial institution messaging system, and to shut all EU ports to Russian ships or ships headed to or from Russia.

“The message from Europe is obvious. We’ll get up, we is not going to look away when these combating on the street for our values stand down Putin’s battle machine,” EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola mentioned, talking in entrance of the EU and Ukrainian flags.

Russia has referred to as its actions in Ukraine a “particular operation”.

INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine map Who controls what in Ukraine DAY 6

‘Symbolic’ software

On Sunday, Zelenskyy formally signed Ukraine’s request to affix the EU.

In an open letter, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Romania expressed assist for Ukraine’s swift candidacy.

Chairman of EU leaders Charles Michel mentioned on Tuesday EU establishments and governments should severely have a look at Ukraine’s request for EU membership and reply to Kyiv’s “legit” request.

Michel famous nevertheless that whereas Ukraine’s software was “symbolic”, there was no unity on the problem of enlargement within the 27-nation bloc.

“It’ll be tough, we all know there are completely different views in Europe,” Michel advised the European parliament.

“The council [of EU governments] should severely have a look at the symbolic, political and legit request that has been made and make the suitable selection in a decided and clear-headed method,” Michel mentioned.

To date, a minimum of 136 civilians, together with 13 youngsters, have been killed and 400 others, together with 26 youngsters, injured in Ukraine, based on UN figures.

Greater than 660,000 individuals have fled Ukraine to neighbouring nations, the UN Refugee Company mentioned on Tuesday.

Indian student killed in Ukraine amid criticism over evacuation | Russia-Ukraine crisis News

An Indian pupil has been killed in shelling within the japanese Ukrainian metropolis of Kharkiv, India’s overseas ministry says, as criticism over New Delhi’s evacuation of scholars from the war-torn nation mounts.

“Overseas Secretary is asking in Ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to reiterate our demand for pressing protected passage for Indian nationals who’re nonetheless in Kharkiv and cities in different battle zones,” ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

Russian forces are firing artillery and laying siege to Kharkiv and different main cities, a Ukrainian official mentioned, because the invasion of the previous Soviet republic entered its sixth day.

Indian media reviews mentioned the scholar, recognized as Naveen Shekharappa, belonged to the southern state of Karnataka’s Haveri district and studied medication in Ukraine.

The coed died whereas he was looking for his means out of Kharkiv, his roommate advised India’s NDTV community.

“He lived close to the governor’s home and had been standing within the queue for meals. All of the sudden there was an air strike that blew up the governor’s home and he was killed,” Pooja Praharaj, a pupil coordinator in Kharkiv, advised NDTV.

A Ukrainian girl picked up his telephone, based on the scholar coordinator. “Talking from his telephone, she mentioned the proprietor of this telephone is being taken to the morgue,” Praharaj mentioned.

Indians make up a couple of quarter of the 76,000 overseas college students in Ukraine, by far the biggest quantity, based on Ukrainian authorities knowledge.

New Delhi has evacuated about 4,000 Indians within the final month, however some 16,000 stay trapped, based on the newest knowledge from India’s overseas ministry.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Indian embassy in Ukraine additionally issued an advisory, asking the Indian college students to “go away Kyiv urgently”.

The Indian authorities has dispatched 4 federal ministers to Ukraine’s neighbouring international locations to help within the rescue efforts.

‘Screaming in terror’

However many stranded college students in Ukraine have criticised the Indian authorities’s rescue efforts as they launched a slew of movies on social media highlighting their plight.

In accordance with Indian media, some Indian college students are being prevented from crossing into neighbouring international locations, with border guards reportedly refusing to allow them to cross and demanding cash.

“I used to be standing close to the Ukrainian border, awaiting my flip to enter Romania once I noticed a number of guards level weapons at Indian college students and begin abusing them of their language,” the Occasions of India quoted one pupil as saying.

“College students, who have been already scared, began screaming in terror.”

Indian students stuck in Ukraine hold placardsHousehold and pals of Indian college students caught in Ukraine maintain placards, as they demand the Indian authorities to evacuate the stranded college students, close to the Russian embassy in New Delhi [Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters]

The Hindustan Occasions quoted Ishika Sarkar, a pupil in japanese Ukraine, saying in a video that Indians within the space have been in bunkers and working wanting meals.

“(We) have been requested to achieve the western border, which is unattainable for us as a result of the connecting bridges have been blown up on account of bombardment… however we aren’t getting any form of assist in Ukraine,” he mentioned.

Aruj Raj, a pupil in Kharkiv, advised the newspaper that he has been in a hostel bunker with 400 different Indian college students since Thursday.

“There may be a lot bombing occurring exterior. We will see avenue preventing by means of our home windows. The town remains to be below curfew. It’s unattainable for us to step exterior. We hardly have something left to eat or drink,” he mentioned.

India’s principal opposition chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the federal government for not arising with “a strategic plan for protected evacuation” of Indian college students in Ukraine.

“Each minute is valuable,” he tweeted.

Texas begins 2022 US election season with congressional primaries | Politics News

The battle between Republicans and Democrats in the USA for management of Congress formally begins March 1, as Texas holds the primary major elections of the 12 months to find out candidates for Congress in November.

A lot of the actual political competitors in Republican-dominated Texas this 12 months will probably be contests amongst members of the identical occasion determined by major voters in March or in runoffs in Could, not the final citizens in November.

“The Republicans’ job now’s to not beat the Democrats. Their job is to search out the nuances of their model of Republicanism which can be going to have the ability to enchantment to voters,” mentioned Zoe Nemerever, an assistant professor of politics at Texas Tech College.

Texas, the second-largest US state, gained two new seats within the US Home of Representatives after the 2020 census recorded inhabitants development. Republicans, who management the state legislature, drew new congressional voting maps, including one new Republican district and one new Democratic district whereas decreasing aggressive districts elsewhere.

“A variety of it will come all the way down to Trump Republicans versus non-Trump Republicans. That’s the main fissure within the occasion,” Nemerever mentioned, referencing former President Donald Trump’s persevering with maintain over Republicans on the grassroots stage.

Democrats in Texas are likewise battling alongside ideological traces between moderates and progressives inside their very own occasion, mentioned Brandon Rottinghaus, a professor of politics on the College of Houston.

“The ways in which the events have developed and the ways in which the candidates at the moment are attracting the extra polarised voters, is to push themselves to the ideological extremes,” Rottinghaus instructed Al Jazeera.

Listed here are 5 Texas major contests to look at:

Democrat challenged by AOC-backed progressive

Within the twenty eighth Texas Congressional District in Laredo and San Antonio, US Consultant Henry Cuellar faces a problem from Jessica Cisneros, a Latina immigration lawyer who has been endorsed by New York progressive Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the group Justice Democrats.

“Henry Cuellar is likely one of the few remaining average Democrats within the nationwide occasion. She is admittedly going after him, saying that he must be extra liberal, transfer his coverage positions to the left,” Nemerever mentioned.

Representative Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks about the United States-Mexico border during a news conference.Consultant Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, is going through a problem from the progressive left in Texas’s March 1 major election [Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo]

Cuellar, 66, is a goal for liberals as a result of he’s anti-abortion rights, siding with Republicans over his personal occasion on the abortion problem.

The FBI raided Cuellar’s house in January, reportedly in reference to a US investigation involving Azerbaijan. Cisneros has been utilizing that to promote herself on tv as a better option for South Texas.

However with the Rio Grande Valley trending extra Republican, the district might be aggressive for Republicans within the basic election if the left-leaning Cisneros wins the first. A profession politician who has served within the US Home since 2005, Cuellar seems to have the higher hand. He beat again a problem from Cisneros two years in the past.

Cisneros, 28, has been mobilising new voters and will pull off a shock upset.

“She’s younger. Even when she doesn’t win this time, I wager she makes it to Congress within the subsequent decade,” Nemerever mentioned.

Republican challenged from the suitable

Within the newly redrawn 2nd Texas Congressional District, incumbent Republican Dan Crenshaw could also be in hassle. His district incorporates extra pro-Trump voters than earlier than the redrawing.

The previous Navy SEAL, who misplaced an eye fixed in Afghanistan, has taken a center line amongst Republicans in Washington, calling Home Republican firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene an “fool” who’s “working a rip-off”, and calling Freedom Caucus members “grifters”.

“No one would confuse Dan Crenshaw with a average,” mentioned James Henson, a professor of politics on the College of Texas. “He began out with a model that was conservative, however independent-minded. That technique has been harder to take care of in a Republican Get together the place there’s a really excessive purity threshold.”

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., left, points to the crowd as Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, speaks during a protest of the Cuban government, Monday, July 26, 2021, at Lafayette Park near the White House.Republican Consultant Dan Crenshaw, who has been dismissive of former President Donald Trump’s claims in regards to the 2020 election, faces a major problem from Republicans claiming to be nearer to Trump [Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo]

Crenshaw faces three Republican challengers who all declare to be extra conservative and nearer to Trump than Crenshaw, who wants 50 p.c of the first vote to keep away from a runoff. In August, Crenshaw bought heckled by a pro-Trump crowd at a city corridor assembly after he mentioned the 2020 election was not stolen.

Crenshaw has a substantial monetary benefit, with greater than $3m money readily available, 100 occasions greater than his closest competitor.

Democratic retirement opens door

Within the thirtieth Texas Congressional District in Dallas, Consultant Eddie Bernice Johnson’s retirement announcement after she served almost three many years in Congress was a political earthquake. Johnson, 85, is the longest-serving member from Texas and some of the senior members of Congress. She has recruited Jasmine Crockett, a younger, dynamic Black girl who’s a member of the Texas State Legislature, to run in her stead.

Texas House Representative Jasmine Crockett holds her purse during a news conference with Texas Democratic state lawmakers to discuss voting rights, on Capitol Hill.Texas Home Consultant Jasmine Crockett holds her purse throughout a information convention with fellow Texas Democratic state legislators standing in opposition to a Republican plan to restrict voting rights in Texas [Gabrielle/Reuters]

Crockett, who’s extra liberal than the outgoing Johnson, faces competitors for the nomination from a brand new era of younger, progressive Democrats.

“Crockett has raised some huge cash on her personal, however she’s getting quite a lot of assist from outdoors teams, partly as a result of she’s the chosen candidate from Johnson who’s positively the queenmaker there,” mentioned Rottinghaus.

“I’d say Crockett wins with no runoff, or could be very near successful outright.”

Black Republican has Ted Cruz’s backing

In newly created thirty eighth Texas Congressional District, Republican Wesley Hunt, an African American former Military fight veteran, is main a pack of Republican contenders.

“He’s the type of Republican, frankly, that the Republican Get together needs entrance and centre; Anyone who’s sensible, devoted, he’s Black and he’s bought a navy background. It’s the type of range the occasion needs to show,” Rottinghaus mentioned.


Texas Senator Ted Cruz and other members of a Republican delegation attend a press conference after a tour around a section of the U.S.-Mexico border on a Texas Highway Patrol vessel in Mission, Texas.US Senator Ted Cruz has emerged as a political kingmaker within the 2022 Texas major elections as Republicans take a more durable stance on immigration, crime, and voting restrictions [File: Go Nakamura/Reuters]

Hunt bought a lift from Senator Ted Cruz, who endorsed him early within the marketing campaign. Hunt acquired Trump’s backing too. If Hunt wins the first contest on March 1, he’ll seemingly win the final election in November. Trump received on this space – together with components of Houston and its suburbs – by 18 proportion factors over Democrat Joe Biden in 2020.

Proper and left within the Latino vote

The thirty fifth Texas Congressional District in state capital Austin was redesigned by Republicans to pit the incumbent Democrat Lloyd Doggett, a white male, towards Latinos, in response to Henson.

Doggett switched to the newly created thirty seventh Democratic district in Austin, clearing the way in which for 2 Latino Democrats, Eddie Rodriguez and Greg Casar, to battle for the thirty fifth. Rodriguez is a state legislator and established Democratic occasion official. The up-and-coming Casar is an Austin Metropolis Council member, a pro-labour progressive and a self-described socialist.

“Rodriguez is way more of an institutional participant. Casar is seen as a progressive, maverick-style troublemaker,” Henson mentioned.

MENA faces a crisis as the world’s key wheat producers are at war | Business and Economy News

Istanbul, Turkey – As two of the world’s key wheat producers face off in an all-out battle, tomorrow seems to be grim for the Center East and North Africa (MENA) nations that want wheat from Ukraine and Russia.

Russia is the world’s number-one wheat exporter – and largest producer after China and India – Ukraine is among the many prime 5 wheat exporters worldwide.

“The wheat harvest begins in about two months and this yr’s yield is predicted to be a wholesome one, which means plentiful provide for international markets in regular situations. However a protracted battle in Ukraine can have an effect on the harvest in that nation, and subsequently international provides,” Karabekir Akkoyunlu, a lecturer in politics of the Center East at SOAS, College of London, advised Al Jazeera.

As well as, the deliberate expulsion of some Russian banks from the worldwide SWIFT banking system in retaliation for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine is predicted to hit the nation’s exports.

“At a time of world meals disaster and provide chain disruptions because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is a actual concern and it’s already pushing costs as much as report ranges,” he mentioned.

Rising costs, inadequate provide

Although Turkey domestically produces about half of the wheat it consumes, it has change into more and more reliant on imports, 85 p.c of which come from Russia and Ukraine.

Ankara’s wheat imports from Ukraine reached report ranges in 2021, in accordance with official information from the Turkish Statistics Institute.

“The Turkish authorities says the nation has the manufacturing capability to make up for the loss in wheat imports, besides, this may push up the prices considerably,” Akkoyunlu mentioned.

“A protracted battle will make a troublesome yr worse for the common Turkish citizen, who’ve already seen their bread get lighter however dearer, and are having to pay report electrical energy payments.”

“Nearing an election yr, this may enhance the stress on the [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan authorities, which is dropping floor to the opposition in most opinion polls,” he mentioned.

In current months, enormous queues of individuals ready to purchase subsidised bread have popped up in numerous districts of Istanbul, as cash-strapped residents commerce their time to avoid wasting just a few lira on bread as hovering inflation and the battered Turkish foreign money have pushed up prices and dealt a extreme blow to buying energy.

Residents queue up to buy some breads at the Istanbul Municipality's subsidised bread shopResidents queue on the Istanbul Municipality’s subsidised bread store in Sultangazi [File: Yasin Akgul/AFP]

Rising costs and inadequate provide have already affected economically-depressed nations within the Center East and North Africa that purchase the majority of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine, bringing them to the brink of disaster.

“Ukraine provides an enormous quantity of the grain to most of those nations and a number of these locations are already on a knife’s edge. The least little factor that disturbs bread costs much more may actually kick off a number of turmoil,” Monica Marks, a professor of Center East politics at New York College Abu Dhabi, advised Al Jazeera.

“In contrast to Turkey, most economies within the Arab world are closely depending on wheat imports. Egypt is much out on the dependent finish of the spectrum. Egypt depends on Russia and Ukraine for 85 p.c of its wheat imports, Tunisia depends on Ukraine for between 50 and 60 p.c of its wheat imports,” she mentioned.

Marks mentioned that Tunisia is already “completely up in opposition to a wall economically … lots of people in Tunisia speak concerning the potential for a Lebanon state of affairs, and they aren’t loopy”.

She cited stories that the Tunisian authorities has already been unable to pay for incoming wheat shipments, and mentioned there have been widespread shortages of grain merchandise corresponding to pasta and couscous, which represent a good portion of the Tunisian weight loss plan.

A worker carries fresh loaves of bread at a bakery in the El Menzah area of Tunis A employee carries contemporary loaves of bread at a bakery in El Menzah, Tunis [File: Fethi Belaid/AFP]

Akkoyunlu additionally famous that Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon, along with Yemen and Sudan are at nice threat from a surge in costs and a spike in demand.

Whereas battle between Russia and Ukraine intensifies, a possible lower in wheat exports from their fertile lands will likely be felt in susceptible nations all the best way from the sting of North Africa to the Levant.

Marks mentioned that whereas Morocco is just not as depending on a few of its neighbours on wheat imports, it’s at present experiencing its worst drought in 30 years, leading to a surge in meals costs that can finally pressure the federal government to boost grain imports and subsidies.

“There’s additionally a number of heavy dependency, even in nations which can be flush with hydrocarbon assets that we assume due to that will be in a greater place to climate the storm, like Algeria or Libya,” Marks mentioned.

Given bread’s position as a politically-charged commodity on this a part of the world, additional pressure on wheat provide and escalating costs may even spark revolt.

“Bread has been a key trigger and image of common uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia going again to the Seventies and 80s. The Egyptian revolution in 2011 was preceded by a significant drought in Eurasia and a corresponding rise in bread costs,” Akkoyunlu mentioned.

Deadly fire rips through shopping mall in Syrian capital | News

Most who died have been safety guards or employees who have been on in a single day responsibility on the La Mirada Mall in Damascus.

An evening-time fireplace in a procuring centre within the Syrian capital Damascus has killed at the very least 11 individuals, the inside ministry stated, in one of many deadliest blazes in recent times.

A lot of these killed on Tuesday have been safety guards or employees who have been on responsibility in a single day within the six-storey constructing, stated Ahmad Abbas, the director of civil defence.

The reason for the fireplace was not instantly clear.

“Eleven individuals have died on account of the fireplace within the La Mirada Mall, and two individuals have been rescued,” the inside ministry stated.

The hearth triggered “intensive materials harm”, it added, ripping by means of shops that offered garments, leather-based items and cosmetics – lots of which have been extremely flammable.

“Investigations are below approach to decide the reason for the blaze,” the ministry assertion learn.

Incidents of fireplace are reported incessantly within the Syrian capital – some attributable to electrical short-circuits, others by unsafe heating strategies.

One witness, Hani, 52, who requested to be recognized solely by his first title, stated the fireplace broke out at roughly 3am (01:00 GMT).

“The hearth began on the highest flooring and began to unfold rapidly to different ranges,” he stated.

Firefighters extinguish a blaze that broke out at the La Mirada Mall in DamascusFirefighters extinguish a blaze that broke out on the La Mirada Mall constructing in Damascus early on March 1, 2022 [Louai Beshara/AFP]

‘My livelihood is gone’

Not less than 20 fireplace engines helped douse the blaze, stated Abbas, the director of civil defence.

“It took about 4 hours for us to convey the fireplace below management,” he stated, including that the victims died both of suffocation or of extreme burns.

“They have been all guards working on the mall, or staff on responsibility,” Abbas stated.

Mohammad Aboulreesh, from the Hospital of Damascus, stated that they had obtained seven corpses that had been badly burned and have been but to be recognized, in response to the official SANA information company.

A correspondent of the AFP information company noticed fireplace engines stationed outdoors the charred façade of the shopping center, the place dozens of companies had been destroyed.

“We now have requested everybody to keep away from the world to facilitate civil defence operations,” a hearth division official informed AFP on situation of anonymity, as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Regardless of the safety cordon, dozens flocked to the scene, together with enterprise house owners who rushed to examine on their outlets.

One store proprietor collapsed when he noticed the harm.

“My livelihood is gone … my cash is gone,” he wailed.

The hearth comes per week after a blaze in a hospital in Syria’s second metropolis of Aleppo killed three individuals, sparked by a short-circuit, in response to the SANA information company.

In September final yr, a firefighter died and two civilians have been injured in a blaze that destroyed a material warehouse within the Previous Metropolis of Damascus, SANA stated.

Photos: Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri celebrated in Nepal, India | Gallery News

A whole lot of hundreds of devotees have crowded to worship at a revered Hindu temple in Nepal’s capital as coronavirus circumstances drop and life returns to regular.

Round one million devotees had been anticipated on Tuesday to go to the temple of Hindu god Shiva on Maha Shivaratri, one among Nepal’s most cherished festivals, as temples, colleges and markets have all begun to open up in current weeks after the variety of COVID-19 circumstances dropped in Nepal.

On Monday, 180 new infections had been reported, down from a peak of over 9,000 in January.

The Pashupatinath Temple positioned in Kathmandu is among the many most necessary Hindu temples and is widespread amongst pilgrims. Throughout the pageant, devotees quick all day and go to the temple and take a dip within the Bagmati River.

The pageant can also be famed for freely smoking marijuana, which is classed as a narcotic and punishable by jail. Within the forested space and riverside subsequent to the temple, Hindu holy males had been joined by devotees smoking marijuana.

Nepal was well-known for marijuana and different narcotics within the Sixties, when hippies made their solution to the Himalayan nation. Outlets and teahouses used to promote and promote it legally – till marijuana was outlawed in 1976.

Although nonetheless towards the legislation in Nepal, a bunch of ruling social gathering lawmakers and campaigners are attempting to legalise the farming and use of marijuana. Presently, using marijuana is punishable by jail sentences of as much as a month for customers and 10 years for traffickers.

AU ‘disturbed’ by reports Africans stopped from escaping Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine crisis News

The African Union (AU) says it’s “disturbed” by reviews that African nationals in Ukraine are been prevented from safely crossing the border to flee the raging battle within the nation.

In a press release late Monday, the pan-African physique stated: “[A]ll individuals have the precise to cross worldwide borders throughout battle, and as such, ought to take pleasure in the identical rights to cross to security from the battle in Ukraine, however their nationality or racial identification.”

African nationals, largely college students, have accused Ukrainian safety forces of stopping them from boarding trains headed to the border areas. Movies shared on social media additionally present Ukrainian border forces pushing African nationals as they try to depart Ukraine.

“Experiences that Africans are singled out for unacceptable dissimilar therapy could be shockingly racist and in breach worldwide regulation,” the AU assertion continued.

Al Jazeera spoke to a number of African and Asian nationals who stated they have been turned away by Ukrainian authorities on the border to Poland.

“We have been the final individuals to get on something, it was all the time like that.” Madi Kemel Dinga, a Congolese pupil, advised Al Jazeera at a reception centre in Korczowa, japanese Poland.

“They’ll first put their individuals first. After which us. For me, it was discriminating however for them, it’s regular,” Dinga added.

INTERACTIVE_RefugeesDAY6 - March1

Among the individuals Al Jazeera spoke to stated a rustic at battle could possibly be forgiven for placing its individuals first. Others, some with Ukrainian households of their very own, stated the distinction in remedies was too stark.

“We perceive that they should save their residents however we have now been loyal to Ukraine,” Ronald Mangu Achu, a Cameroonian pupil, advised Al Jazeera. “Now we have been of their nation lawfully. Now we have confirmed them love. I imagine the least they might do is evacuate us.”

African international locations have been scrambling to evacuate their residents from Ukraine since Moscow despatched its troops throughout the border on Thursday.

Nigeria stated it has about 8,000 nationals within the nation and a few have managed to cross the border into neighbouring international locations.

On Sunday, the Nigerian authorities expressed concern over reviews of discriminatory behaviour by Ukrainian and Polish border guards in opposition to its nationals.

“There have been unlucky reviews of Ukrainian police & safety personnel refusing to permit Nigerians to board buses and trains heading in the direction of [the] Ukraine-Poland border,” the Nigerian presidency stated in a statement posted on Twitter.

“We perceive the ache [and] worry that’s confronting all individuals who discover themselves on this terrifying place. We additionally recognize that these in official positions in safety and border administration will generally be experiencing not possible expectations in a scenario they by no means anticipated,” the assertion added.

“However, for that purpose, it’s paramount that everybody is handled with dignity and with out favour. All who flee a battle scenario have the identical proper to protected passage underneath UN Conference and the color of their passport or their pores and skin ought to make no distinction,” it stated.

Nigeria students in UkraineA number of African college students advised Al Jazeera they have been prevented from boarding trains [Bernat Armangue/AP]

Nigeria’s overseas minister Godfrey Onyeama advised Al Jazeera on Monday the evacuation of the nation’s nationals from Ukraine would begin on Wednesday. Onyeama stated multiple thousand college students have made it to Bucharest in neighbouring Romania.

The minister stated Abuja was in contact with the Polish and Ukrainian governments, expressing their displeasure on the reported circumstances of discrimination.

On Sunday, South Africa’s overseas ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela stated in a tweet that a number of college students from his nation have been caught on the Ukraine-Poland border.

The South African ambassador to Poland was on the border attempting to get the scholars by means of, Monyela added. South African and different African college students have been treated badly on the border, Monyela stated.

In the meantime, the USA said it was coordinating with UN businesses and different governments “to make sure each particular person, together with African college students, crossing from Ukraine to hunt refuge is handled equally – no matter race, faith, or nationality.”

The variety of individuals fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine has surged to greater than half one million and a minimum of 102 civilians have been killed since Moscow’s troops entered the nation, based on the United Nations.

Comply with Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: @Hamza_Africa

Burkina Faso approves three-year transition before elections | News

Navy authorities chief Damiba indicators a constitution outlining a transition course of permitted by a nationwide convention.

A nationwide convention in Burkina Faso has adopted a constitution that may permit a army authorities that seized energy within the West African state in January to guide a three-year transition.

In accordance with media reviews, the constitution was permitted and later signed by army authorities chief Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba within the early hours of Tuesday after a day-long debate within the capital, Ouagadougou.

Damiba, who didn’t communicate throughout the signing, led the January 24 coup that eliminated President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

The coup, the fourth in 18 months within the West Africa area, had raised issues of a backslide in democracy in a area that was shedding its “coup belt” moniker.

A fee that drafted the transitional constitution had proposed a two and a half-year transition, saying the army authorities had mentioned it wanted that point to stabilise the nation and organise elections.

Hit by violence

Burkina Faso, alongside neighbours Mali and Niger, is struggling to include assaults by armed fighters linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS), who’ve killed 1000’s of individuals and displaced a whole lot of 1000’s within the West Africa Sahel space, rendering swaths of territories ungovernable and weakening governments.

Eddie Komboigo, chief of one of many major opposition events and runner-up within the 2020 presidential election, welcomed the constitution.

“It’s true that not everybody goes to be proud of the transitional constitution … however it was the consensus that we reached,” Komboigo mentioned, urging the army authorities to barter with regional leaders and worldwide companions so that every one can agree on the size of the transition.

Burkina Faso was suspended from the Financial Group of West African States and the African Union, which have each known as for a speedy return to constitutional order. The US has additionally halted practically $160m in assist because of the coup.

Essential to bring women to centre of politics: Indian politician | Politics News

In an unprecedented transfer, India’s primary opposition Congress occasion has given 40 p.c of its tickets to feminine candidates for the continuing meeting elections within the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, additionally the nation’s most populous with greater than 200 million residents.

The driving pressure behind the Congress transfer is Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the occasion’s present president, Italian-born Sonia Gandhi. Priyanka can be the youthful sister of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Regardless of belonging to India’s most outstanding political household, the 50-year-old – married to businessman Robert Vadra and mom of two kids – is a late entrant to energetic politics and had thus far confined herself to campaigning for her mom and brother through the parliamentary elections.

That modified in 2019 when she was given the cost to show Congress fortunes round in politically-crucial Uttar Pradesh, a state the occasion dominated for many years earlier than the rise of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP) and caste-based regional events within the Nineteen Nineties.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Priyanka shares her views on the necessity to empower extra ladies, the BJP’s non secular politics concentrating on minorities, primarily Muslims, and what her occasion is doing to withstand it.

Al Jazeera: What was the thought behind giving 40 p.c tickets to feminine candidates in Uttar Pradesh? Are you doing this figuring out absolutely effectively that it’s not a state the place Congress has a big presence? In different phrases, since you recognize you received’t win many seats, then why not make a powerful feminist assertion?

Priyanka Gandhi: I’d say that’s a moderately cynical means of taking a look at what’s a pioneering step ahead for the total participation of ladies in Indian politics. Uttar Pradesh is the biggest state in India, it tremendously influences the nation’s politics. It additionally occurs to be probably the most deeply entrenched patriarchies on this planet. What we’re doing is difficult this patriarchy proper from inside it. The thought, not simply of giving 40 p.c tickets to ladies, but in addition of making a separate manifesto for his or her empowerment by giving them employment alternatives, laying out plans for his or her well being, schooling, security and upliftment is to provide them their rightful due. Girls are handled with condescension as a political pressure by most political events in India. An instance of that is that the ruling occasion’s flagship programme for ladies addresses them as “daughters” and consists of handing them one free fuel cylinder per yr!

In a polity divided into the traces of caste and faith, ladies may be an immense driving pressure for change in the event that they consolidate and change into cognisant of their very own collective political energy. They are often instrumental in lifting the politics of the nation above slender divisions and demanding a concentrate on growth, well being, schooling, employment, economics and different points that deeply have an effect on the general public. It’s important to convey ladies to the centre of political agenda and discourse. We’re completely happy to have spearheaded this transformation.

Congress party leader Priyanka GandhiCongress occasion’s Priyanka Gandhi waves to supporters throughout a roadshow in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh [Sanjay Kanojia/AFP]

Al Jazeera: Do you anticipate the transfer to provide Congress dividends in the long term or is that this a one-off factor? What are the steps to create a political tradition that offers ladies extra visibility in Indian politics, significantly in your occasion?

Gandhi: It’s definitely not a one-off factor. Within the final three years since I’ve been given cost of UP, now we have persistently stood up for ladies. Whether or not it was the Unnao rape circumstances, the Shahjahanpur case, the Hathras case, or for that matter most circumstances of heinous crimes in opposition to ladies, in addition to different points affecting ladies just like the dismal wages being paid to assistant academics or front-line well being employees, the Congress occasion not solely fought for justice for them however was instrumental in pressurising the federal government to take motion. We are going to proceed to struggle for ladies with much more power sooner or later.

On the political entrance, now we have fielded 40 p.c of ladies candidates on this election. We are going to encourage and assist them to nurture their constituencies and change into the voice of ladies in Uttar Pradesh. Lots of them are sensible ladies, courageous and pushed with the ambition to assist their sisters. A few of them have suffered immense hardships. These embrace the moms of rape victims, a woman who was belaboured by the police merely for taking a illustration demanding a rise in wages to the chief minister, one other whose garments had been torn off in public when she introduced herself for a neighborhood election, one other whose daughter was gang-raped and imprisoned on false fees two days after her wedding ceremony.

They’re extraordinarily brave ladies and I see nice potential in them. It has not been simple for them to transition right into a political position, many have confronted resistance from society and even internally from inside our occasion however they’ve been remarkably resilient. On my half, I’ve absolutely supported and guarded them. Except for this, we’ll encourage much more ladies to struggle the company and municipality elections in October and we’ll create an inflow of younger ladies leaders in our occasion organisation in order that we change into a preventing pressure for the empowerment of ladies in politics.

Al Jazeera: You additionally gave tickets to Muslim activists like Sadaf Jafar and the mom of a Muslim man killed throughout anti-citizenship regulation protests. What did you bear in mind whenever you selected their names?

Gandhi: Whether or not it was Sadaf, the mom of rape victims, the mom of an harmless boy killed through the anti-CAA (Citizenship Modification Act) motion, the tribal boy in Sonbhadhra or many others like them whom now we have given tickets to, every had one factor in frequent: the crimes in opposition to them had been perpetrated by those that both had political energy themselves or had been related to it. Giving them tickets to struggle the election was to ship a powerful message that political energy rightfully belongs to the folks of this nation. It’s meant to allow and uplift them, to not oppress and destroy them. We stated to them: “Energy did this to you, now take it into your personal fingers and struggle for your self. Use it to assist others that suffer such as you did.”

Congress party leader Priyanka Gandhi Priyanka Gandhi speaks through the launch of the Congress occasion’s manifesto for the Uttar Pradesh elections, in New Delhi [Altaf Qadri/AP Photo]

Al Jazeera: Uttar Pradesh is taken into account one of many unsafest locations for ladies. What are a few of the stuff you hope to alter for those who get right into a place to affect political selections?

Gandhi: We now have proposed many steps to enhance security for ladies in our ladies’s manifesto. If we type the federal government in Uttar Pradesh, 25 p.c of all recruits into the police pressure will probably be ladies in order that policewomen are current at each police station to help victims of crimes in opposition to ladies. Presently, when such crimes are dedicated, normally the police and administration shield the perpetrator. The primary data studies (FIRs or police studies) are usually not filed, the girl’s household is pressurised and the girl herself is vilified and blamed. We intend to usher in a regulation that permits punitive motion to be taken on any public servant who impedes the submitting of an FIR inside 10 days.

We’re proposing a six-member particular empowered fee consisting of feminine judges, activists and senior civil servants to look into circumstances of vilification and persecution of feminine victims of crime and their households. We now have additionally introduced that we are going to type a authorized cell with feminine members energetic and accessible in each district to help victims of rape, sexual assault, home violence and so forth. Greater than anything, I would really like to have the ability to impact a change within the social and political mindset of individuals. I imagine that bringing ladies’s points to the centre of public discourse and the elevated participation of ladies in politics will drive this transformation.

Al Jazeera: The ruling BJP is attempting its finest to polarise the UP election alongside non secular traces. What’s Congress’s plan to counter this narrative?

Gandhi: The BJP has a two-pronged technique to garner votes in each election. It polarises the voters and it distributes rations and doles in a yr or so earlier than the election. Each these elements of the BJP’s technique reveal its reality. Its insurance policies are designed to profit its monopolist financiers and make sure that a big part of the populace stays poor. Its efficiency on employment, inflation, assist to small and medium industries and strengthening agriculture has been abysmal.

Protecting folks poor makes them depending on, and grateful for, the paltry doles handed out to them. Sowing divisiveness of their minds permits the dialogue to be absolutely diverted from governance and supply. The BJP makes use of points that emotionally cost the general public, divide the voters alongside non secular and caste traces and make sure that it stays in energy.

Congress Party leader Priyanka GandhiPriyanka Gandhi, left, waves throughout a roadshow for meeting elections in Uttar Pradesh [Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP Photo]

I imagine that driving a change of narrative in the direction of growth, jobs and alternative for ladies and younger folks can counter the BJP’s divisive narrative or for that matter the caste-based politics of different political events too. India has the biggest youth inhabitants on this planet. The present narrative is making use of this youthful inhabitants by directing its vitality in the direction of divisiveness and negativity. This similar youthful vitality may be directed in the direction of a extra constructive and constructive nationwide agenda. Bringing to the fore the truth that divisiveness doesn’t resolve the immense issues being confronted by the general public is extraordinarily vital. Persons are certainly struggling. A current survey of susceptible households throughout 14 states revealed that 66 p.c of households had been hit by earnings loss, 45 p.c are in debt and 79 p.c have confronted meals insecurity within the final two years. These are staggering figures.

On one other notice, I strongly imagine the hypermasculine, jingoistic narrative of the BJP may be countered by a hyperfeminine, egalitarian narrative. By hyperfeminine, I imply a motion that aggressively asserts femininity and calls for equality throughout the board. Girls can successfully consolidate and alter the political narrative. Girls are the spine of society, they should be made to grasp that they can be the spine of politics within the nation. They’ll drive change.

Al Jazeera: What took you so lengthy to enter energetic politics? And are you the Congress’s chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh?

Gandhi: My brother and I had a tough childhood as each my grandmother in whose house we grew up and my father was assassinated after we had been very younger. I wished my kids to have a easy and regular childhood. I didn’t need to expose them to the harshness of public life so I stayed out of politics aside from managing my mom’s and brother’s constituencies and concentrate on bringing them up and ensuring I used to be there for them. And I’m not the Congress occasion’s chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh. I believe it might be untimely to make such assumptions. Let’s wait until the outcomes are out.