Ukranian Russian tensions remerge
On 22nd November, over three quarters of the Ukrainian region of Crimea was left without electricity supplies. Electricity pylons were blown up in what appeared to be an act of sabotage, leaving 1.9 million people without access to power. The news outlet Russia Today stated that: “the Crimean Emergencies Ministry has declared a state of emergency and has put rescue teams on high alert”. Crimea last year voted to annexe itself from Ukraine in favour of being subsumed by the Russian Federation following the presence of unidentified forces taking control of the peninsula. The utility company Ukrenergo stated that it has repaired one of the four damaged power lines in Kherson, the area that supplies Crimea’s power, but the peninsula was still without an electricity supply four days after the initial crash. On 26th November Russia sent an extra 300 mobile power generators to supply energy for essential facilities, including hospitals and schools. However, relations between Russia and Ukraine have deteriorated further when Kiev announced on 25th November that all Russian airlines were banned from entering Ukrainian airspace.
France holds memorial for massacre victims
The French government held a national memorial service on the morning of 27th November in memory of the 130 people that died in co-ordinated terror attacks on Friday 13th November.
Approximately 1,000 people attended the service in Central Palace, amongst them, President Francois Hollande, members of the emergency services, surviviors of the attacks and victim’s families. A minute’s silence was held, before the names of all 130 victims were read aloud.
In his speech at the event, Hollande swore that France would do all it could to “destroy this army of fanatics” and will “operate relentlessly to protect [France’s] children”. He also promised that France will continue to patrtake in music and sporting events after these were two of the cultural areas targeted.
Both French and European people have paid their respects in a variety of ways since the attacks took place: a minute’s silence was held across the continent on 16th November, and many of the crime scenes have been covered in flowers and other tributes.
Chinese-born Canadian Miss World candidate banned from China
Canada’s Chinese-born candidate in the Miss World competition has been banned from entering China to compete in the contestís final.
Anastasia Lin did not receive any form of official invitation to the event, so was therefore unable to apply for a visa.
The model travelled to Hong Kong, where Canadian citizens are eligible to apply for visas on arrival, with the hope of travelling onwards to China. However, she was banned from boarding the flight to the Chinese city of Sanya, where the event is being held.
Lin believes that her ban is as a result of her human rights campaigning. She has openly criticised the ‘oppressions and censorship’ in China and is a practitioner of the Falun Gong spirituality, a movement that is deemed a cult in China.
The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa have claimed that ìChina does not allow any persona non-grata to come to Chinaî, stating that Miss Linís lack of invitation was enough to judge her as being an unwelcome person and was therefore reason enough for her to be baned from from entering the country.