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Iran shows off new ballistic, cruise missiles as US tensions rise | News

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Iran displayed locally made ballistic and cruise missiles – a move certain to anger the United States as it prepares to demand that all UN sanctions be reimposed on the country.

State-run TV said officials unveiled the two new missiles on Thursday – National Defence Industry Day in Iran. They are named after top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed outside Baghdad’s international airport in a US strike in January.

Defence Minister Amir Hatami said the ballistic missile had a range of 1,400km (600 miles) and the new cruise missile had 1,000km (400 miles), ignoring US demands that Tehran halt its missile programme.

Images of the missiles were shown on state-run TV, which it said was “the newest Iranian cruise missile that will further strengthen Iran’s deterrence power”.

“Missiles and particularly cruise missiles are very important for us… The fact that we have increased the range from 300km to 1,000km in less than two years is a great achievement,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “Our military might and missile programmes are defensive.”

Also on Thursday, Iran unveiled a fourth-generation light turbo-fan engine for its advanced drones.

Iran also inaugurated the production line of its domestically produced Owj engine for the Iranian-made twin-seat Kowsar fighter jet. 

Iran routinely unveils technological achievements for its armed forces, its space programme, and its nuclear efforts.

Snapback sanctions

The announcement comes as Washington is pushing to extend a UN-imposed arms embargo against Iran, which is due to expire in October under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Tensions have been high between Tehran and Washington since 2018, when President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.

Washington says its aim is to force Tehran to agree to a broader deal that puts stricter limits on its nuclear work, curbs its ballistic missile programme and ends its regional proxy wars. Iran has rejected talks as long as US sanctions remain in place.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday Trump has directed him to trigger a “snapback” – a return of all sanctions on Iran – at the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday, after the council rejected Washington’s bid to extend Tehran’s arms embargo.

Pompeo warned Russia and China not to disregard the reimposition of all UN sanctions on Iran.

Pompeo will meet with Indonesia’s UN Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani – council president for August – to submit a complaint about Iran’s non-compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal, even though Washington quit the accord in 2018.

‘Held accountable’ 

The nuclear deal between Iran, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and the US aimed to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief. That accord is enshrined in a 2015 Security Council resolution.

Russia, China and other countries are likely to simply ignore it and not reimpose the sanctions on Iran.

When asked if the US would target Russia and China with sanctions if they refuse to reimpose the UN measures on Iran, Pompeo told Fox News on Wednesday: “Absolutely.”

“We have already done that where we have seen any country violate … the current American sanctions, we’ve held every nation accountable for that. We’ll do the same thing with respect to the broader UN Security Council sanctions as well,” he said.

Russia described statements by the US on reimposing UN sanctions against Iran as “absurd”, adding Washington has no legal or political grounds to do so, the RIA news agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Thursday.

Ryabkov added that such a step would result in crisis at the UN Security Council, the Interfax news agency cited him as saying.

Diplomats say the so-called sanctions snapback process will be messy as Russia, China and other countries question the legality of the US move given that Washington itself is no longer complying with what Trump called the “worst deal ever”.

Pompeo said it was unfortunate that European members of the council abstained on the US attempt to extend the arms embargo and the move “makes the European people less safe”.

“They just are wedded to this crazy nuclear deal, they’re trying to hang on to it,” he said.

Once Pompeo submits the complaint about Iran to the Security Council, the body has 30 days to adopt a resolution to extend sanctions relief for Tehran, or else the measures will automatically snap back. Any attempt to extend the sanctions relief would be vetoed by the US.

Pompeo will also meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday.

In response to what the US calls its “maximum pressure” campaign of unilateral sanctions – a bid to get Iran to negotiate a new deal – Tehran has breached central limits of the 2015 pact, including on its stock of enriched uranium.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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