Diaspora

Sweden cannot meet some Turkiye demands for NATO bid: PM – Arab News

https://arab.news/v3t8c
STOCKHOLM: Turkiye, which has for months blocked NATO membership bids by Sweden and Finland, has made some demands that Sweden cannot accept, Sweden’s prime minister said on Sunday.
Turkiye “has confirmed that we have done what we said we would do, but it also says that it wants things that we can’t, that we don’t want to, give it,” Ulf Kristersson said during a security conference also attended by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.
“We are convinced that Turkiye will make a decision, we just don’t know when,” he said, adding that it will depend on internal politics inside Turkiye as well as “Sweden’s capacity to show its seriousness.”
Sweden and Finland broke with decades of military nonalignment and applied to join the US-led defense alliance in response to Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine. But Turkiye has refused to approve their bid until the two countries take steps, including joining Turkiye’s fight against banned Kurdish militants.
Most of Turkiye’s demands have involved Sweden because of its more robust ties with the Kurdish diaspora.
Finland’s foreign minister said that the country would join NATO at the same time as its neighbor.
“Finland is not in such a rush to join NATO that we can’t wait until Sweden gets the green light,” Pekka Haavisto, said at Sunday’s conference.
In late December, Turkiye praised Sweden for responding to its security concerns but stressed more was needed to win Ankara’s full backing for Stockholm’s stalled NATO membership bid.
SAN FRANCISCO: California was hit with more turbulent weather Sunday as thunderstorms, snow and damaging winds swept into the northern part the state, preceding another series of incoming storms and raising the potential for road flooding, rising rivers and mudslides on soils already saturated after days of rain.
The National Weather Service warned of a “relentless parade of atmospheric rivers” — storms that are long plumes of moisture stretching out into the Pacific capable of dropping staggering amounts of rain and snow.
In the state capital, more than 60,000 customers were still without electricity Sunday evening — down from more than 350,000 — after gusts of 60 mph (97 kph) knocked trees into power lines, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
Joey Kleemann was listening to the winds howling shortly after midnight, wondering whether she should move her car, when she heard a “gigantic, thumping, crashing sound” as a massive tree fell onto the Sacramento home where she’s lived for 25 years.

The gusts were strong enough to rip the tree from its roots, pulling the concrete sidewalk up with it.
Cracks in Kleemann’s roof meant rain streamed into her dining area throughout the night. She planned to place a tarp over the damaged area in anticipation of another deluge.
“I just had a feeling with the winds. They were scary winds,” she said. “Mostly I focused on: It could be so much worse.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom said 12 people lost their lives as a result of violent weather during the past 10 days, and he warned that this week’s storms could be even more dangerous. He urged people to stay home.
“Just be cautious over the course of the next week, particularly the next day or two or so,” Newsom said during a briefing with California officials outlining the state’s storm preparations.
The weather service’s Sacramento office said the region should brace for the latest atmospheric river to roar ashore late Sunday and early Monday.
“Widespread power outages, downed trees and difficult driving conditions will be possible,” the office said on Twitter.
Evacuation warnings were in place for about 13,000 residents of a flood-prone area of Sonoma County north of San Francisco, where the swollen Russian River was expected to overspill its banks in the coming days.
And Sacramento County ordered evacuations for people living around Wilton, a town of about 6,000 roughly 20 miles southeast of downtown Sacramento, with warnings of imminent flooding. The rural area along the Cosumnes River saw flooding in an earlier storm.
 
“Residents must leave now before roads become impassable,” the county said.
The state Department of Transportation warned motorists to stay off mountain roads after closing a stretch of US 395 in Mono County, along the Eastern Sierra, due to heavy snow, ice and whiteout conditions.
“With the severe nature of this storm, Caltrans is asking all drivers to limit nonessential travel until the peak of the storm has passed,” the department said in a statement.
The wet weather comes after days of rain in California from Pacific storms that last week knocked out power to thousands, flooded streets, battered the coastline and caused at least six deaths.
The first of the newest, heavier storms prompted the weather service to issue a flood watch for a large swath of Northern and Central California with 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain expected through Wednesday in the already saturated Sacramento-area foothills.
In the Los Angeles region, scattered rain fell during the weekend while stormy conditions were expected to return Monday, with the potential for up to 8 inches (20 cm) in foothill areas. High surf was expected through Tuesday, with large waves on west-facing beaches.
Since Dec. 26, San Francisco has received more than 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, while Mammoth Mountain, a popular ski area in the Eastern Sierra, got nearly 10 feet (3 meters) of snow, the National Weather Service reported.
The storms won’t be enough to officially end California’s ongoing drought — but they have helped.
State climatologist Michael Anderson told a news briefing late Saturday that officials were closely monitoring Monday’s incoming storm and another behind it and were keeping an eye on three other systems farther out in the Pacific.
LONDON: England’s National Health Service (NHS) aims to begin discharging thousands of patients into care homes and other settings in the next few weeks in an effort to free up desperately needed beds during one of its toughest ever winters.
The state-run health service, which delivers free care for to the whole population and until recently had been a source of pride for many Britons, is under strain following years of relative underinvestment, the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and strike action by frontline staff over pay.
Some patients are being treated in corridors and ambulances have been queuing outside hospitals to hand over patients to emergency wards, as doctors and nurses struggle to discharge patients amid a shortage of staff and beds.
The government said in a statement it would make up to 200 million pounds ($242 million) of additional funding available in England to buy short-term care places to allow patients who doctors judge have low medical needs to be looked after outside hospital and 50 million pounds to improve existing faciliites.
The statement did not say if the NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would also be putting more funds into care beds.
The objective of discharging some patients into other settings is a revival of a practice used by the NHS in England during the pandemic, when hospitals sought to clear as many beds as possible for use by patients with COVID-19.
“The NHS is under enormous pressure from COVID and flu, and on top of tackling the backlog caused by the pandemic, Strep A and upcoming strikes, this winter poses an extreme challenge,” Steve Barclay, health minister, said in the statement.
Barclays will address parliament on Monday to outline other measures to reduce the pressures facing the NHS.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said last week that reducing hospital waiting lists was one of his five priorities for Britain this year. He said this aim might take longer to achieve than some others.
The government has previously announced extra funding for the NHS and social care, including 500 million pounds ($600 million) for patient discharges, though the opposition Labour Party said the money is yet to reach the front line and comes too late to make a difference this winter.
Health services statistics showed that more than nine in 10 beds in hospitals were occupied in the week running up to New Year, with 13,000 beds a day taken up by patients who were medically fit to be discharged.
 
BEIJING: China’s military said it had carried out combat drills around Taiwan on Sunday, the second such exercises in less than a month, with the island’s defense ministry reporting it detected 57 Chinese aircraft.
China views democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory and has been ramping up military, political and economic pressure to assert those claims.
The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said in a statement late on Sunday that its forces had organized “joint combat readiness patrols and actual combat drills” in the sea and airspace around Taiwan, focused on land strikes and sea assaults.
The aim of the exercises was to test joint combat capabilities and “resolutely counter the provocative actions of external forces and Taiwan independence separatist forces,” it added in a brief statement.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Monday that over the previous 24 hours it had detected 57 Chinese aircraft and four naval vessels operating around the island, including 28 aircraft which flew into Taiwan’s air defense zone.
Some of those 28 crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, an unofficial buffer between the two sides, including Su-30 and J-16 fighters, while two nuclear-capable H-6 bombers flew to the south of Taiwan, according to a ministry provided map.
China carried out similar exercises late last month, with Taiwan reporting that 43 Chinese aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line.
China, which has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control, has been carrying out regular military incursions into the waters and air space near Taiwan over the past three years.
China carried out war games around Taiwan last August following a visit to Taipei by the then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Taiwan strongly rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims, saying only the island’s 23 million people can decide their future.
Beijing has been particularly angered by US support for Taiwan, including weapons sales.
The United States, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan but is the island’s most important arms supplier and internationally backer.
 
ROJ CAMP, Syria: A woman who ran away from home in Alabama at the age of 20, joined the Daesh group and had a child with one of its fighters says she still hopes to return to the United States, serve prison time if necessary, and advocate against the extremists.
In a rare interview from the Roj detention camp in Syria where she is being held by US-allied Kurdish forces, Hoda Muthana said she was brainwashed by online traffickers into joining the group in 2014 and regrets everything except her young son, now of pre-school age.
“If I need to sit in prison, and do my time, I will do it. … I won’t fight against it,” the 28-year-old told US-based outlet The News Movement. “I’m hoping my government looks at me as someone young at the time and naive.”
It’s a line she’s repeated in various media interviews since fleeing from one of the extremist group’s last enclaves in Syria in early 2019.
But four years earlier, at the height of the extremists’ power, she had voiced enthusiastic support for them on social media and in an interview with BuzzFeed News. Daesh then ruled a self-declared Islamic caliphate stretching across roughly a third of both Syria and Iraq. In posts sent from her Twitter account in 2015 she called on Americans to join the group and carry out attacks in the US, suggesting drive-by shootings or vehicle rammings targeting gatherings for national holidays.
In her interview with TNM, Muthana now says her phone was taken from her and that the tweets were sent by Daesh supporters.
Muthana was born in New Jersey to Yemeni immigrants and once had a US passport. She was raised in a conservative Muslim household in Hoover, Alabama, just outside Birmingham. In 2014, she told her family she was going on a school trip but flew to Turkiye and crossed into Syria instead, funding the travel with tuition checks that she had secretly cashed.
The Obama administration canceled her citizenship in 2016, saying her father was an accredited Yemeni diplomat at the time she was born — a rare revocation of birthright citizenship. Her lawyers have disputed that move, arguing that the father’s diplomatic accreditation ended before she was born.
The Trump administration maintained that she was not a citizen and barred her from returning, even as it pressed European allies to repatriate their own detained nationals to reduce pressure on the detention camps.
US courts have sided with the government on the question of Muthana’s citizenship, and last January the Supreme Court declined to consider her lawsuit seeking re-entry.
That has left her and her son languishing in a detention camp in northern Syria housing thousands of widows of Daesh fighters and their children.
Some 65,600 suspected Daesh members and their families — both Syrians and foreign citizens — are held in camps and prisons in northeastern Syria run by US-allied Kurdish groups, according to a Human Rights Watch report released last month.
Women accused of affiliation with Daesh and their minor children are largely housed in the Al-Hol and Roj camps, under what the rights group described as “life threatening conditions.” The camp inmates include more than 37,400 foreigners, among them Europeans and North Americans.
Human Rights Watch and other monitors have cited dire living conditions in the camps, including inadequate food, water and medical care, as well as the physical and sexual abuse of inmates by guards and fellow detainees.
Kurdish-led authorities and activists have blamed Daesh sleeper cells for surging violence within the facilities, including the beheading of two Egyptian girls, aged 11 and 13, in Al-Hol camp in November. Turkish airstrikes targeting the Kurdish groups launched that month also hit close to Al-Hol. Camp officials alleged that the Turkish strikes were targeting security forces guarding the camp.
“None of the foreigners have been brought before a judicial authority … to determine the necessity and legality of their detention, making their captivity arbitrary and unlawful,” Human Rights Watch wrote. “Detention based solely on family ties amounts to collective punishment, a war crime.”
Calls to repatriate the detainees were largely ignored in the immediate aftermath of Daesh’ bloody reign, which was marked by massacres, beheadings and other atrocities, many of which were broadcast to the world in graphic films circulated on social media.
But with the passage of time, the pace of repatriations has started to pick up. Human Rights Watch said some 3,100 foreigners — mostly women and children — have been sent home over the past year. Most were Iraqis, who comprise the majority of detainees, but citizens were also repatriated to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and the United Kingdom.
The US has repatriated a total of 39 American nationals. It’s unclear how many other Americans remain in the camps.
These days, Muthana portrays herself as a victim of the Daesh.
Speaking with TNM, she describes how, after arriving in Syria in 2014, she was detained in a guest house reserved for unmarried women and children. “I’ve never seen that kind of filthiness in my life, like there was 100 women and twice as much kids, running around, too much noise, filthy beds,” she said.
The only way to escape was to marry a fighter. She eventually married and remarried three times. Her first two husbands, including the father of her son, were killed in battle. She reportedly divorced her third husband.
The extremist group, which is also known as Daesh, no longer controls any territory in Syria or Iraq but continues to carry out sporadic attacks and has supporters in the camps themselves. Muthana says she still has to be careful about what she says because of fear of reprisal.
“Even here, right now, I can’t fully say everything I want to say. But once I do leave, I will. I will be an advocate against this,” she said. “I wish I can help the victims of Daesh in the West understand that someone like me is not part of it, that I as well am a victim of Daesh.”
Hassan Shibly, an attorney who has assisted Muthana’s family, said it is “absolutely clear that she was brainwashed and taken advantage of.”
He said her family wishes she could come back, pay her debt to society and then help others from “falling into the dark path that she was led down.”
“She was absolutely misguided, and no one is denying that. But again, she was a teenager who was the victim of a very sophisticated recruitment operation that focuses on taking advantage of the young, the vulnerable, the disenfranchised,” he said.
 

source

What's your reaction?

Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

You may also like

More in:Diaspora

Comments are closed.