A pair or warships ordered by Russia have left France to take part in a sea trial. The Vladivostok warship – a Mistral class LHD amphibious vessel (pictured) is one of the two crafts produced by France under instruction from Russia. The warship was built at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, and has left for its first trial at sea.
Diplomats from the United Nations are preparing to hammer out the details of a peacekeeping plan for the Central African Republic. Muslims from CAR have been forced out of many towns and cities and into refugee camps by Christian militias, prompting the UN to explore measures to restore order.
Germany company GEKA has been appointed to destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. Syria agreed to give up its chemical weapons last August, and disposal is scheduled to be completed by June this year. GEKA is federally-funded and its sole function is the destruction of chemical weapons from military arsenals.
The National People’s Congress has begun in China, with nearly 3,000 members from across the vast country arriving in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People for the nine-day assembly. The NPC meets every spring to discuss and approve legislation, as well as carry out a variety of other duties. On the opening day, Premier Li Keqiang gave the annual work report, amid a media scrum to document what has become a colourful spectacle, and one of the most important dates in China’s political calendar.
US secretary of state John Kerry had made a visit to Ukraine’s capital city, Kiev, for talks with the country’s new interim government amid the escalating crisis in the Crimea. Kerry spoke with religious leaders at the Shrine of the Fallen – dedicated to anti-government protesters who have died since demonstrations began in Kiev a few weeks ago.
The Venezuelan national guard has fired tear gas at protesters during an anti-government demonstration in Caracas. The clashes have increased tensions in the already strained country, which is buckling under one of the highest inflation rates in the world. Protests by those opposing the government have all but paralysed business in much of the country.
US protesters have been arrested by police in front of the White House in Washington DC after staging a demonstration against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Students from around the country gathered to oppose the tar sands oil pipeline from Canada, which they say is dangerous for the environment. US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to announce in the coming months whether the proposed $5.4 billion oil pipeline serves the national interest and will be constructed following years of confrontation between environmentalists and the oil industry.
Pro-Russian activists have marched through the city of Simferopol in Ukraine in support of the neighbouring superpower’s influence in the Crimea region. The city is the Crimean capital, and has seen large-scale displays of support for Russia despite the new Ukrainian government’s more European-leaning tendencies. The volatile region is primed for clashes as supporter of the east and west prepare to go head to head.
Independence Square in Kiev has become a shrine to Ukraine’s dead during the ongoing protests. With the country’s interim president, Olexander Turchynov. due to form a government, an arrest warrant has been issued for his ousted predecessor Viktor Yanukovych, who is accused of mass murder.
Bahraini protesters have taken to the street after the death of 23-year-old Jaffer Al Durazi, who died in hospital a day earlier. Al Durazi had been detained by Bahraini authorities since December on suspicion of weapons smuggling, and died of sickle cell anaemia after been transferred to Slamaniya Medical Complex. News of his death sparked protests in his family’s home town of Daih, where he has been branded a martyr.
Japan and the United States have carried out a joint military training exercise in California. The exercise, entitled Iron Fist, was undertaken by the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force alongside the US Marine Corps, with mortars being fired into the sky, amphibious assault vehicles arriving on land from the sea, and officers watching their troops’ maneuvers.