Sunday, April 21

Day: April 30, 2019

Japan’s emperor Akihito abdicates
Asia, Featured

Japan’s emperor Akihito abdicates

    Japan’s emperor Akihito has called his 30-year reign a blessing and thanked the people of Japan for their support as he became the country’s first monarch to abdicate in two centuries. Speaking at a brief ceremony in the state room of the imperial palace a day before his eldest son, Naruhito, takes his place as the new occupant of the chrysanthemum throne, the 85-year-old Akihito said he had spent the 30 years of his reign performing his duties with deep respect and love for the people. That has been a great blessing, he said, before offering his heartfelt gratitude to the people of Japan who accepted me as the symbol of the state and supported me. He said he hoped the country’s future would be a stable and fruitful one, and pray with all my heart for peace and for...
Assange spied on by Ecuador’s diplomatic staff
Featured, United Kingdom

Assange spied on by Ecuador’s diplomatic staff

    An Ecuadorian lawyer for Julian Assange has filed a complaint alleging diplomatic staff from Ecuador spied on the WikiLeaks founder while he was at the country’s London embassy. The alleged spying uncovered information about Mr Assange’s legal defence and medical issues, Carlos Poveda said in the complaint submitted Monday to the attorney general’s office in Ecuador. The lawyer claimed diplomats and members of a security firm were involved in surveillance efforts in west London. Mr Assange had enjoyed asylum at the embassy since 2012, but Ecuador evicted him on 11 April. He is now in custody in the UK awaiting sentencing for skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden as part of an investigation into a rape allegation. The British government has previously said th...
We tried everything: The price of speaking out against Saudi Arabia
Arab world, Featured

We tried everything: The price of speaking out against Saudi Arabia

Kareem Fahim: Only after her brother had been gone for months, after the confounding silence of officials in Saudi Arabia about his fate and the rumors he was being abused in prison, did Areej al-Sadhan turn to what she considered a last and painful resort. She went public. Sadhan decided to give interviews to the foreign news media and post appeals online, hoping the attention would prod the Saudi government into revealing the status of her brother, Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, a 35-year-old aid worker who was arrested more than a year ago. Saudi authorities strongly discourage families from seeking publicity, and she feared they might retaliate against her or her brother. Her decision also seemed likely to invite a torrent of insults from the kingdom’s defenders online. “We tried everything...