Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 17th 2016 Contents • Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2016
Tsai Ing-wen has been elected Taiwan's first
Tsai, 59, leads the Democratic Progressive Party
(DPP) that wants independence from China. In
her victory speech, she vowed to preserve the
status quo in relations with China, adding Beijing
must respect Taiwan's democracy and both sides
must ensure there are no provocations.
China sees the island as a breakaway province
---which it has threatened to take back by force
if necessary. In her speech, Tsai hailed a "new
era" in Taiwan and pledged to co-operate with
other political parties on major issues.
The will of the Taiwanese people would be the
basis for relations with China, Tsai said. "I also
want to emphasise that both sides of the Tai-
wanese Strait have a responsibility to find mutually
acceptable means of interaction that are based
on dignity and reciprocity.
"We must ensure that no provocations or acci-
dents take place."
Tsai had a commanding lead in the vote count
when Eric Chu of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT)
admitted defeat. Chu congratulated Tsai Ing-wen
and announced he was quitting as KMT head.
Taiwan's Premier Mao Chi-kuo also resigned.
DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen declares
Taiwan elects first
Burkina Faso's government says 26 people
were killed and a further 56 injured after Islamist
militants attacked a hotel in the capital, Oua-
gadougou, popular with foreigners. Al-Qaeda
in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has said it carried
out the attack, which began on Friday night.
Those killed come from at least 18 different
countries, and include two French nationals. Burk-
ina Faso is to observe 72 hours of national mourn-
ing for the victims. The siege at the Splendid
Hotel was declared over after a joint operation by
local and French security forces.
At least four attackers died in the assaults. There
were claims that some of those involved were
women. As well as the luxury hotel, a cafe and
another hotel nearby were targeted. The operation
to take back the hotel lasted through the night
and into the morning.
Bukinabe President Roch Kabore, who arrived
at the scene yesterday morning amid tight security,
said at least 150 hostages had been liberated. The
French government said two of its nationals were
killed in the assault, and one is known to be
French medical teams were providing support,
and forensic officers were travelling to Oua-
gadougou, it added.
The UK's Foreign Office advised British nationals
in Burkina Faso to avoid the area where the attack
took place and monitor its travel advice. In another
development, the Burkina Faso government said
a foreign doctor and his wife were kidnapped on
Friday night in the north of the country, near the
border with Mali.
There was initial confusion over the pair's
nationality---the Burkinabe government said they
were Austrian, but later corrected this to Aus-
In November, an AQIM attack on a hotel in
Bamako, capital of neighbouring Mali, left 19
people dead. (BBC)
The Venezuelan government has
announced a 60-day economic emergency
to deal with the country's worsening crisis.
President Nicolas Maduro will govern by
decree for two months.
The edict includes tax increases and puts
emergency measures in place to pay for
welfare services and food imports.
The government's move came as official
figures released by the central bank showed
that the Venezuelan economy had contracted
by 4.5 per cent in the first nine months of
The emergency was declared hours before
President Maduro delivers a State of the
Nation address to Congress for the first
time since his centre-right opponents took
control of the legislature. The decree also
instilled more state controls on businesses,
industrial productivity and on electronic
Oil price fall
Venezuela has the world's biggest known
oil reserves but the huge fall in oil prices
in the past 18 months has slashed its rev-
enues by 60 per cent. Annual inflation up
to September 2014 is said by the Venezuelan
Central Bank to have reached 141 per cent.
President Maduro and new Economy
Minister Luis Salas have argued for the need
to protect social programmes established
by his predecessor, former president Hugo
Chavez, from the global drop in oil prices.
Oil exports account for as much as 95
per cent of Venezuela's revenue.
The government says the country's soar-
ing inflation and basic goods shortages have
been induced by political opponents. Cor-
respondents say Venezuelans will be watch-
ing carefully to see if the opposition-dom-
inated Congress will support President
Maduro. If it does not, the Maduro admin-
istration could appeal to the Supreme Court
of Justice. (BBC)
Iran has released Washington Post
reporter Jason Rezaian and three other
Iranian-American prisoners as it antici-
pates the lifting of international sanctions.
A fifth man---described as a recently
detained student named Matthew Tre-
vithick---was separately released, US offi-
Rezaian, 39, was convicted of espionage
in Iran last year. Iranian state TV named the
other three as Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati
and Nosratollah Khosravi. Iran said they
were being swapped for seven Iranians held
in US prisons but there was no immediate
The Iranian state news agency listed the
seven as Nader Modanlo, Bahram Mechanic,
Khosrow Afghani, Arash Ghahreman, Tooraj
Faridi, Nima Golestaneh and Ali Saboun.
In addition, Iranian state TV said 14 Ira-
nians sought by the US would be removed
from an Interpol wanted list.
News of the releases came after Iranian
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif predicted that
international sanctions against his country
would be lifted yesterday.
He is in Vienna for talks with US Secretary
of State John Kerry over Iran's nuclear deal.
The international nuclear watchdog, the
IAEA, is expected to confirm that Iran has
scaled back its atomic activities in line with
the agreement. Billions of dollars of frozen
Iranian assets are expected to be released
and the sale of Iranian oil on the world mar-
ket will again be permitted.
Trevithick was released by Iran but his
release is not part of the negotiated prison
swap, US officials said yesterday.
"He has been allowed to leave Iran. So,
that is an additional individual who was not
a part of this negotiation given how long-
standing the negotiation was, but we did
indicate to Foreign Minister Zarif that it'd
be important for them to try to resolve some
of the other cases of Americans detained
in the context of this. And Matthew's case
was able to be resolved and he is on his way
home," a senior administrator said. (BBC)
Kevin King carries an AR-15 rifle as he walks past a bust of George Washington
in the Capitol rotunda following a gun rights rally in Olympia, Washington, last
Friday. Lawmakers and others are emphasising legislative priorities and
speaking against gun-related policies of President Barack Obama. AP PHOTO
Venezuela's Maduro declares emergency
at Burkina Faso
Iran frees five
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