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          IMF urges Marshall Islands not to issue its own cryptocoin      Cache   Translate Page      
The Republic of the Marshall Islands announced back in February of this year that it was intending to issue digital currency as an alternative to the US dollar which is now the official currency.
                Cache   Translate Page      
Mauritius: Bitter Feud Over UK's Last Remaining African Colony
A group of six Chagossians based in the Seychelles when visiting the archipelago after the British government allowed them to visit the islands for a week in May 2015.

The future of an Indian Ocean archipelago which is the last remaining African colony of the old British Empire came into sharp focus at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week.

Legalbrief reports that the Chagos Islands were home to a Bourbonnais Creole-speaking people for more than 150 years until the UK evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the US to build a military base on Diego Garcia. As a result, the 2 000 residents were sent to Mauritius and the Seychelles.

A report on the Quartz Africa site notes that while Mauritius obtained its independence in 1968, the islands remained under British control and an immigration order preventing Chagossians from returning was issued in 1971. Australia, Israel and the US are backing the UK stance while Mauritius has the support of 17 countries (Argentina, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Cyprus, Germany, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Vanuatu and Zambia).

The UK used its platform at The Hague to apologise for the 'shameful way' residents of the disputed territory were evicted. However, it insisted that Mauritius was wrong to bring the dispute over ownership of the islands by saying the matter was 'purely a bilateral issue'.A report on the Al Jazeera site notes that UK Solicitor-General Robert Buckland asked the judges to 'decline the request for an advisory opinion'.

Mauritius' lawyers said the Chagos Islands were 'integral' to its territory and it was handed to the UK 'under duress'. 'More than 50 years after independence... the process of decolonisation of Mauritius remains incomplete,' former Mauritian President Anerood Jugnauth told The Hague-based court.

The Guardian reports that Mauritius' Defence Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth told the court that his country was coerced into giving up a large swathe of its territory before independence. That separation was in breach of UN resolution 1514, passed in 1960, which specifically banned the break-up of colonies before independence, the Mauritian Government argued before the UN-backed court, which specialises in territorial and border disputes between states.

'I am the only one still alive among those who participated in the Mauritius constitutional conference at Lancaster House (in London) in 1965, where talks on the ultimate status of Mauritius were held. Those talks resulted in the unlawful detachment of an integral part of our territory on the eve of our independence,' he said.

Jugnauth added that the 'secret meetings' were not made known to the other Mauritian representatives 'although we were later told of the immense pressure that was imposed on the small group'. The Telegraph reports that the hearing is seen as a critical test of Britain's diplomatic clout in the Brexit era, after it failed to rally enough to support to prevent the UN General Assembly adopting the resolution that led to this week's hearing.

Legalbrief reports that Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spokesperson for South Africa's Department of International Cooperation said it is the duty of every member state of the UN to leave no stone unturned to assist the General Assembly 'to remove the last vestiges of colonialism and for all peoples to achieve self-determination and freedom'.

In an interesting twist, the Chagos community in the Seychelles has expressed concerns over the Mauritian Government's demands. Pierre Prosper, chairperson of the Chagos Association in Seychelles, reportedly told the S eychelles News Agency that the government's interest is commercial and has nothing to do with the welfare of the Chagos community.

          As 1.7 million people evacuate for Hurricane Florence, a far stronger 'super typhoon' is about to hit the Philippines and China      Cache   Translate Page      

typhoon manghkut

  • Super Typhoon Mangkhut is about to hit southeast Asia.
  • It is predicted to be a far bigger and more dangerous storm than Hurricane Florence, which is set to hit the US east coast.
  • Mangkhut is expected to make landfall in the Philippines on Saturday, before moving on to southern China, Vietnam, and Laos.
  • It has already lashed through Guam, causing power outages, destroying homes, and flooding large areas.
  • Guam's governor has asked Donald Trump for federal aid.

As 1.7 million people on the US East Coast prepare for Hurricane Florence's arrival, another stronger storm is set to lash southeast Asia.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, considered the strongest storm so far this season, is expected to make landfall in the Philippines before advancing to southern China, Vietnam, and Laos.

The map below, published by the Philippines' meteorological authority on Thursday morning, shows the typhoon's predicted path over the next few days. Typhoon Mangkhut is also known as Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines.

The northern Philippines, southern China, Vietnam, and northern Laos are in the typhoon's direct line.

As of Thursday morning, the storm was 450 miles in the Pacific Ocean with sustained winds of 127 mph, and gusts of up to 158 mph, the Associated Press reported.

Tropical cyclones in the west North Pacific Ocean with sustained winds of more than 150 mph are called "super typhoons."

That makes the typhoon the equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which is used to measure storms in the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans.

Mangkhut is expected to be more "bigger, stronger, and more dangerous" than Florence, although the comparative damage of the two storms depends on what they hit, CNN reported.

Read more: Hurricane Florence could hit the US with up to 13 feet of storm surge and 40 inches of rain — here's what that much water actually looks like

typhoon mangkhut map

Brandon Miller, CNN's meteorologist, said:

"All things being equal, Mangkhut is a bigger, stronger and more dangerous storm [than Florence].

"Any land hit directly would see more significant and destructive impacts from the Super Typhoon due to its size and intensity."

However, because the US east coast has more and costlier infrastructure than southeast Asia, Florence is likely to wreak more damage to property. At least two nuclear power plants are in Florence’s direct path.

"But Mangkhut presents a more serious threat to life considering it will hit with stronger winds, over a larger area, and have higher storm surge," he added.

Mangkhut tore through the Marshall Islands and US territory Guam earlier this week. The typhoon left parts of Guam without electricity, as well as knocked down power poles, destroyed houses, uprooted trees, and flooded large areas, the local Pacific Daily News reported.

Guam governor Eddie Calvo has asked President Donald Trump to send federal aid to help restore the island.

typhoon mangkhut satellite

Evacuations and stockpiling

The Philippines is poised to get hit first. Officials in the island nation have started evacuating thousands of people, closing down schools, and preparing bulldozers for landslides, the Associated Press reported.

Food prices in Hong Kong, which is preparing for heavy rainfall and storms from Typhoon Mangkhut, have gone up as residents started stockpiling, the South China Morning Post reported.

Shopkeepers have also started putting sandbags in front of their stores to prevent water from getting in.

Read more: Furious customers are accusing Amazon of raising the price of water ahead of Hurricane Florence, but the truth is more complicated

typhoon mangkhut philippines preparations

Southeast Asia is also expecting the arrival of Tropical Storm Barijat, which as of Thursday morning was moving across the western Pacific Ocean with a wind speed of 35 mph, according to Cyclocane.

China has evacuted around 12,000 people in low-lying areas in the southeastern Guangdong province, and halted shipping schedules in preparation for Barijat, according to the state-run Xinhua news.

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