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South Africa. Fire endangers historic treasures of parliament

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At dawn this Sunday, the South African Parliament in Cape Town faced a devastating fire. For more than six hours, about 70 firefighters fought the fire, supported by reinforcements from across the peninsula, while a thick column of black smoke colored the city’s skyline. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who left Pretoria, the seat of the executive branch, to deliver a message on the Union’s position in parliament, was forced to change his plans.

Tragedy led to the collapse of the ornate roof of this historic building with its distinctive red and white façade, where President Frederic Willem de Klerk announced the end of the apartheid regime in 1990. Alarming cracks caused by the heat are visible on the walls. South African Mail and Guardian newspaper. There is great concern about the building’s basement, filled with artifacts such as the national anthem project, as well as the library, which appears to have been spared by the flames, but which may have been damaged by water.

“It is clear that this fire devastated the territory of the parliament, its contents and trophies, including the historical treasures from the heritage of the parliament,” Ramaphosa reacted in a statement. “This is horrible the day after our last farewell to Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” he lamented, referring to one of the most prominent symbols of the fight against apartheid, who died last week at the age of 90.

While the parliament was burning, the cheap coffin with the remains of Tutu was buried, following the instructions of an archbishop known for his modesty. Tutu’s body, which also stood out in the fight for environmental causes, was “aquamado”, a method of cremation that is considered more sustainable, in which the deceased is placed in water with an alkaline substance at a temperature of about 150 ºC. The body turns to dust, a bath compared to a posthumous baptism.

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Accident or arson? South African authorities said the 51-year-old man had been detained and was being interrogated. A preliminary investigation revealed that the fire started in an office building on the third floor of the oldest wing of Parliament and spread to the gymnasium.

“Until there is a report of arson, we must be careful not to speculate about an attack,” warned Nosivive Mapisa-Nkakula, speaker of the South African parliament.

South Africa is at an explosive political moment. He also faced riots and looting in July following protests against the release of former President Jacob Zuma, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court when he was tried for corruption.

Zuma harbors an inner hatred of his former deputy, Ramaphos. During the July riots, the South African press was full of reports of sabotage by supporters of the former president, including intelligence and security officials, stoking chaos in retaliation for his conviction in court.

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Kyiv is negotiating with Moscow on the release of foreign fighters – News

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Moscow is holding captive “thousands” of Ukrainians and “military personnel from all over the world who have volunteered” to defend Ukraine, Zelensky reminded in statements to the US television channel NBC.

The head of the Ukrainian state thanked for the support of volunteer fighters, whom he considers “heroes”, and confirmed that negotiations are underway to release those who were captured.

“Everyone understands that the war in Ukraine today is here on this earth, but tomorrow it can happen anywhere in Europe, and the “day after tomorrow” can happen in the United States,” the Ukrainian president said.

Thus, he added, “it would be absolutely fair to say that the war in Ukraine is already a war in Europe and the United States, only – territorially – it is happening here.”

Zelenskiy’s announcement came on the same day that the defense of British citizen Sean Pinner, who was sentenced to death in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, announced that he had appealed the sentence.

Pinner, 48, was sentenced to death on June 9, along with fellow Briton Aiden Aislin, 28, and Moroccan citizen Braquim Saadoun, after being found guilty of participating in hostilities “as mercenaries” in support of Ukrainian forces.

Two Britons were captured by Russian forces during Moscow’s siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov, Brakim Saadoun was taken prisoner in March.

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Turkey lifts veto on Swedish and Finnish membership in NATO

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Turkey lifted its veto on Finland and Sweden joining NATO on Tuesday.

The leaders of the three countries met on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that Turkey has lifted its veto on Finland and Sweden joining the Atlantic Alliance after signing a memorandum that “answers Ankara’s concerns.”

“We have completed a very constructive meeting with the President [da Turquia, Recep Tayyip] Erdogan or President [da Finlândia, Sauli] Niinistö and the Prime Minister [da Suécia, Magdalena] Andersson, and I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement that paves the way for Sweden and Finland to join NATO,” Stoltenberg said.

The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) spoke at a press conference at the Exhibition Park of Madrid, in the northeast of the Spanish capital, where the summit of the leaders of the North Atlantic Alliance is taking place.

MADRNATO/POOL/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO on May 18 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine ended the historic policy of neutrality.

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G20 summit: Draghi says Putin’s personal involvement ruled out

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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Tuesday that the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the next G20 summit in Bali was ruled out by the Indonesian presidency of the body.

At the summit of the group of seven most industrialized countries of the world (G7), which ended this Tuesday in Germany, they asked about The Kremlin’s announcement that Putin would attend the Bali summit in November, Draghi said that Indonesian President Joko Widodo ruled out the possibility.

Widodo “was categorical: he [Putin] not to come. What could happen – I don’t know what will happen, but what it could happen, maybe it’s remote interference“said Draghi, whose the country will hand over the G20 presidency to Indonesia in Bali.

The information has not been This was stated by the head of the Indonesian state, Joko Widodo. who will meet on Tuesday in Kyiv with his Ukrainian counterpart in an attempt to achieve a ceasefire in the conflict caused by the Russian invasion.

Joko Widodo, who attended Monday’s G7 summit in Germany, is already on his way to Kyiv, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said. accompanies the head of state in a video message.

After a visit to Ukraine and meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, The Indonesian leader is heading to Russia, where he will meet with Putin on Thursday, becoming the first Asian leader to visit the two countries since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Before leaving on Sunday, Widodo said he was going to ask Zelensky and Putin an immediate ceasefire and the search for a peace agreement through dialogue.

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in spite of pressure from countries such as the US, Canada and Australia to keep Putin out of the G20 summit from 11 to 13 November.on the island of Bali, Indonesia still retains its invitation to the Russian leader.

In April, the President of Indonesia, publicly known as Jokowi, sent Zelensky a G20 invitation and said Indonesia was ready to “contribute to the peace effort”.

In the past decade, Russia has been excluded from the group of industrialized countries then known as the G8, renamed the G7 after the 2014 invasion of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula.

with LUSA

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