France threatens UK with sanctions in fishing row



International Desk
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A smouldering row between London and Paris over post-Brexit fishing rights has flared up, with France threatening trade disruptions from next week if its boats are not granted more access to British waters.

The measures targeting British fish exports from November 2 would include “systematic customs and sanitary checks on products brought to France and a ban on landing seafood”, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters on Wednesday.

Europe Minister Clement Beaune said extra checks could also be extended to “other merchandise" by “reinforcing our procedures and controls compared with current practices”.

Tweeting in response to Beaune, London's Brexit minister David Frost posted a government statement that “France's threats are disappointing and disproportionate, and not what we would expect from a close ally and partner”.

“The measures being threatened do not appear to be compatible with the (post-Brexit) Trade and Cooperation Agreement and wider international law,” the statement continued.

It said London would meet any French moves with "an appropriate and calibrated response".

The latest spat between the neighbours was sparked by licensing rules for EU fishing boats wanting to operate in waters around Britain and the Channel Islands after Brexit.

France has been incensed by the rejection of French boats by Britain and the self-governing Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, which depend on London for defence and foreign affairs.

While targeted measures for the fishing sector would hurt British exports, broader customs checks have the potential to seriously slow down trade with the UK.

Diplomatic relations at low ebb

Later on Wednesday, French maritime police fined two British fishing vessels operating in the Bay of Seine, one of which was operating without a licence.

The French maritime minister said on Twitter that the checks on the British boats were standard during the scallop-fishing season.

But she said they had been launched against "the backdrop of the tightening of controls in the Channel, in the context of discussions on licenses with the United Kingdom and the European Commission".

The British fishing industry, which exports most of its produce to the EU, is highly dependent on French ports as a gateway to the Continent.

Attal said Wednesday that France "will not let Britain wipe its shoes on the Brexit deal".

The flare-up over fishing is the latest in a series of disagreements that have plunged diplomatic relations to their lowest point in decades.

As well as tensions over migration, Paris was outraged in September after Britain helped broker a deal to supply Australia with US nuclear submarine technology, leading Canberra to scrap a mega-deal with France for conventional submarines.

France claims Britain and the Channel Islands have issued around 210 permanent licences for French boats to operate in their territorial waters, and that 240 have been rejected or await approval.

Tsunami warning for the coastal area of USA & Japan



International Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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After the volcanic eruption below the South Pacific Ocean floor, a tsunami alert was issued. People have already been told to stay at a safe distance from the coast.

The BBC reports that waves up to 3 meters high in the sea off the coast of Japan and 1.2 meters high in the south of the country have been warned.

Extreme levels of flood danger were announced in at least two places in the United States.

A tsunami alert was issued in the Pacific island nation of Tonga on Saturday (January 15) following a volcanic eruption.

Footage released through social media showed a church and several houses flooded after a volcanic eruption on the seabed.

The New Zealand national daily, the New Zealand Herald, reported that the country's volcanic mountains, Hunga Tonga and Hunga Hapai, became active on Thursday. The eruption has caused huge waves in the sea.

In addition, ash, gas and smoke from volcanic eruptions have risen up to 20 km above sea level. Volcanic ash has been falling like rain for two days in the capital Nuku'alofa.

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Bangladesh is on the ‘exceptional red list’ of travel policy of Qatar



News Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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Qatar's Ministry of Public Health has included nine countries, including Bangladesh, in the COVID-19 exceptional red list. Qatar will introduce new travel rules for passengers from these countries, which are expected to take effect on Saturday (January 8).

As a result, Bangladeshi passengers will have to face many difficulties in coming and going to the country. However, Bangladesh Civil Aviation said Bangladeshis have nothing to worry about.

Counselor of the Bangladesh Embassy in Qatar Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman said that the country's Ministry of Public Health has put Bangladesh on its website as 'Covid-19-Exceptional Red List Countries'.

As can be seen on the website of the Ministry of Health of the country, there are names of nine countries including Bangladesh in this list. The rest are Egypt, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

An official of Bangladesh Civil Aviation, who did not want to be named, said there was nothing to worry about coming and going from Bangladesh because of the list. This is done to make sure that the Covid protocol is being followed properly.

Qatar had two lists, red and green, based on the risk of Covid-19. Now the country has made an 'exceptional red list' outside of it.

Even if a full dose of the vaccine is taken, Qatari residents will have to be quarantined for two days after returning from the exceptional red list countries, including Bangladesh. The PCR test should be done within 72 hours before landing in Qatar and within 36 hours after arrival.

And non-vaccinated passengers will have to do home quarantine for seven days after arriving in Qatar. In addition to the PCR test within 72 hours of arrival in the country, the test must be done on the sixth day of quarantine. The passenger will be released from the quarantine only on the seventh day if the test is negative. The Ministry of Health has said that no unvaccinated passenger will be allowed to enter the country.

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Even though they are twins, their birth year and month are different!



International Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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Preparations to welcome a new guest into a family begin as soon as it is known while the news comes that twins are coming together, that joy seems to double. There is a lot of curiosity around them.

It is estimated that 3 percent of the world's population is twins. According to medical science, when two sperm fertilize two eggs together, twins are born. In terms of age, they are usually one to 10 minutes older or younger than each other.

Can the birth year of twin children in the womb of the same mother be considered different? Surprisingly, two such babies were born in 2021 and 2022 in Greenfield, California, USA. Residents Fatima Madrigal and Robert Trujillo recently welcomed twin children.

Alfredo, the son of the Fatima-Robert couple, was born on December 31, 2021 at 11:45 pm, according to a report in the Western Daily Mail. Their daughter, Eileen Alfredo, was born 15 minutes later, on January 1, 2022.

Fatima, the mother of Alfredo-Eileen, was overwhelmed by the incident. "Even though my children are twins, their birth dates are different," she said. This is a great thing. Eileen was born on January 1, 2022 and gave me a gift. '

In the United States, 120,000 twins are born each year. But births of twins on different dates or years are rare.

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Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu passes away



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South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has died.

He was 90 years old at the time of his death. South  African President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed his death in a statement. BBC reports.

Desmond Tutu is a South African clergyman and rights activist. He was instrumental in ending apartheid in South Africa.

Today, the nation has to say goodbye to another outstanding personality, said Cyril Ramaphosa, President of Africa who made important contributions to give independent South Africa.

Desmond Tutu was a well-known figure outside of South Africa for his colorful career.

Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. .He received the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999 and the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007.

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