World Digest: August 2, 2022

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The 1st Ukrainian grain ship anchors off the coast

The first grain ship to leave Ukrainian ports in wartime anchored safely off the coast of Turkey on Tuesday, while a senior official said Ankara expects around one grain ship leaves Ukraine every day as long as the export agreement is maintained.

The first ship, the Razoni, carrying 26,527 tons of maize to Lebanon, anchored near the entrance to the Bosphorus from the Black Sea about 36 hours after leaving the Ukrainian port of Odessa.

The trip was made possible after Ankara and the United Nations brokered a grain and fertilizer export deal between Moscow and Kyiv last month, a rare diplomatic breakthrough in a conflict that has turned into a war of attrition. .

Exports from Ukraine, one of the world’s leading grain producers, are intended to ease a global food crisis.

Under the agreement, Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel monitor shipments and carry out inspections from the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, which straddles the Bosphorus Strait. The strait connects the Black Sea to world markets.

Panel: Former Prime Minister Khan Took Illegal Funds

Pakistan’s election watchdog said on Tuesday that former prime minister Imran Khan had accepted illegal donations to his political party from abroad. It is a key first step towards an eventual banning of Khan and his party from politics.

The case against the cricketer-turned-politician dates back to 2014, when Akbar Babar, a disgruntled member of Khan’s Movement for Justice party, filed a complaint against him with the Elections Commission, accusing him of illegally receiving funds from countries and of foreign companies.

Under Pakistani law, political parties are not allowed to accept such donations.

In Tuesday’s decision, the commission found that Khan concealed bank accounts and received funds from companies based in the United States, Britain, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere. He also said that further action could be taken against Khan and his party, and he recommended the seizure of illegal money received by him from abroad.

Khan has criticized the watchdog since April, when his government was toppled by a no-confidence vote in parliament. He had said the court might announce a tough ruling against his party to appease Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Yemen’s warring parties agree to renew the truce, according to the UN: The United Nations said Yemen’s warring parties agreed to renew a two-month truce after concerted international efforts. UN envoy Hans Grundberg said Yemen’s internationally recognized government and Houthi rebels had also agreed to try to reach “a broad truce agreement as soon as possible”. The ceasefire initially came into effect on April 2 and was extended on June 2, despite accusations of violations exchanged by both sides and the failure to lift a years-long blockade on the city of Taiz by the Houthis. Civil war in Yemen broke out in 2014.

Somalia appoints former al-Shabab deputy as minister: A former deputy leader of the extremist group al-Shabab has been appointed as a government minister by Somalia’s new administration in what some call a chance to persuade fighters to speak out against the violence. Mukhtar Robow has been appointed Minister of Religious Affairs, the government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has announced. Robow, who once had a US$5 million bounty on his head, left al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab in 2017 after a row with his hardliners.

Iran arrests Baha’i members: Iran has arrested several members of the Baha’i faith for spying, authorities said. The Baha’is have called the arrests part of a long pattern of persecution by Iran’s Shiite theocracy. Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said the suspects were linked to the Bahai Center in Israel and collected and transferred information there. The Baha’i international governing body has long been based in Haifa, Israel. Iran bans Bahai, a religion founded in the 1860s by a Persian noble considered a prophet by his followers.

Greece indicts 5 people for smuggling migrants to Italy by sea: Five people have been arrested on a Greek island and accused of trying to smuggle nearly a hundred migrants to Europe on a dangerous vessel last week, using what appears to be a new direct sea route from Lebanon to crisis and Italy. It was the second such incident in about a month involving a boat leaving Lebanon. The most common sea route for asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa seeking a better life in Europe is from Turkey to Greece or Italy.

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