Australia and Japan sign security and defense cooperation treaty

Australia and Japan sign security and defense cooperation treaty  Australia and Japan are preparing to sign a treaty to enhance security and defense cooperation during a virtual summit on Thursday, after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida canceled two trips to Australia and the United States due to an increase in COVID-19 infections.  Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the two leaders will sign the Mutual Access Agreement, which for the first time sets out a framework for cooperation between the two countries' armed forces.  "This agreement will be an expression of the two countries' commitment to work together to address the common strategic security challenges we face, and to contribute to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region," he added in a statement.  Strengthening security relations would enhance the efforts of the United States, Japan, India and Australia, the so-called Quartet, to work to address common concerns about China in the Indo-Pacific region.  Australia and Japan also plan to counter opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the two governments and companies on clean energy and sensitive technology.  Kishida had said on Tuesday that he would refrain from foreign visits before the start of the next parliamentary session on January 17 to focus on developing measures to combat the pandemic.

Australia and Japan sign security and defense cooperation treaty

Australia and Japan are preparing to sign a treaty to enhance security and defense cooperation during a virtual summit on Thursday, after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida canceled two trips to Australia and the United States due to an increase in COVID-19 infections.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the two leaders will sign the Mutual Access Agreement, which for the first time sets out a framework for cooperation between the two countries' armed forces.

"This agreement will be an expression of the two countries' commitment to work together to address the common strategic security challenges we face, and to contribute to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region," he added in a statement.

Strengthening security relations would enhance the efforts of the United States, Japan, India and Australia, the so-called Quartet, to work to address common concerns about China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia and Japan also plan to counter opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the two governments and companies on clean energy and sensitive technology.

Kishida had said on Tuesday that he would refrain from foreign visits before the start of the next parliamentary session on January 17 to focus on developing measures to combat the pandemic.


Sudan Western powers demand a civilian-led transition and new demonstrations call on the military to hand over power  The United States and Western powers called for a civilian administration for the transitional phase in Sudan after the resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok from his post, at a time when the country witnessed new protests calling for the handover of power to civilians.  On Tuesday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that there must be a civilian-led transition in Sudan.  Simultaneously, the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the European Union issued a joint statement saying that they would not support the appointment of a new prime minister in Sudan without the participation of a wide range of civilians.  These countries added that unilateral action to appoint a new prime minister and a new government would undermine the credibility of those institutions and threaten to plunge Sudan into conflict.  She stressed the need to protect the right of the Sudanese people to peaceful assembly and express their demands.  The statement reiterated the need for independent investigations into the killings of demonstrators and called for the perpetrators to be held accountable.  For her part, the President of the UN Security Council, Norwegian Ambassador Mona Juul, expected the council to hold a special session soon to discuss the situation in Sudan, and expressed deep concern about the violence used against peaceful demonstrators there.  After Hamdok announced his resignation from his position, the Sudanese Sovereignty Council discussed the possibility of forming an independent government of competencies, and formed a committee to communicate with the political forces for this purpose.  Dialogue for Compatibility Meanwhile, the head of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, stressed after his meeting Tuesday with the US Chargé d'Affairs in Khartoum, the need for continued dialogue between all parties to come up with a national consensus program to manage the transitional period.  Al-Burhan added - in a statement - that the doors of dialogue will remain open with all political forces and the youth of the revolution in this regard, leading to free and fair elections that will bring an elected civilian government that meets the aspirations of the Sudanese people, as he put it.  According to the statement, the American diplomat called for the need to continue the path of democratic transition, to expedite the formation of a government and to complete the rest of the transitional authority structures.  For its part, the Arab League on Tuesday expressed its respect for the decision of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to resign from his post, calling on the various Sudanese parties to consult and dialogue to resolve the current crisis.  New protests A day after Hamdok announced his resignation, on Tuesday, new demonstrations took place in Khartoum calling for civilian rule.  Sudanese police forces fired tear gas at demonstrators in the vicinity of the presidential palace in Khartoum, and on Al-Arbaeen Street in Omdurman.  The demonstrators in Khartoum and Omdurman chanted slogans calling on the military to step down from power and hand it over to civilians.  The security forces preempted these moves by closing a number of bridges linking the capital's neighborhoods.  Demonstrations also took place in other areas, including Port Sudan, where security forces also confronted protesters with tear gas.  The demonstrations that took place before Hamdok's resignation resulted in the killing of 3 protesters and the injury of dozens of others, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee.  Sudan has witnessed frequent protests and a state of tension since the tensions in the country last October, when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan overthrew the civilian transitional government.


Sudan : Western powers demand a civilian-led transition and new demonstrations call on the military to hand over power

The United States and Western powers called for a civilian administration for the transitional phase in Sudan after the resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok from his post, at a time when the country witnessed new protests calling for the handover of power to civilians.

On Tuesday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that there must be a civilian-led transition in Sudan.

Simultaneously, the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the European Union issued a joint statement saying that they would not support the appointment of a new prime minister in Sudan without the participation of a wide range of civilians.

These countries added that unilateral action to appoint a new prime minister and a new government would undermine the credibility of those institutions and threaten to plunge Sudan into conflict.

She stressed the need to protect the right of the Sudanese people to peaceful assembly and express their demands.

The statement reiterated the need for independent investigations into the killings of demonstrators and called for the perpetrators to be held accountable.

For her part, the President of the UN Security Council, Norwegian Ambassador Mona Juul, expected the council to hold a special session soon to discuss the situation in Sudan, and expressed deep concern about the violence used against peaceful demonstrators there.

After Hamdok announced his resignation from his position, the Sudanese Sovereignty Council discussed the possibility of forming an independent government of competencies, and formed a committee to communicate with the political forces for this purpose.

Dialogue for Compatibility

Meanwhile, the head of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, stressed after his meeting Tuesday with the US Chargé d'Affairs in Khartoum, the need for continued dialogue between all parties to come up with a national consensus program to manage the transitional period.

Al-Burhan added - in a statement - that the doors of dialogue will remain open with all political forces and the youth of the revolution in this regard, leading to free and fair elections that will bring an elected civilian government that meets the aspirations of the Sudanese people, as he put it.

According to the statement, the American diplomat called for the need to continue the path of democratic transition, to expedite the formation of a government and to complete the rest of the transitional authority structures.

For its part, the Arab League on Tuesday expressed its respect for the decision of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to resign from his post, calling on the various Sudanese parties to consult and dialogue to resolve the current crisis.

New protests

A day after Hamdok announced his resignation, on Tuesday, new demonstrations took place in Khartoum calling for civilian rule.

Sudanese police forces fired tear gas at demonstrators in the vicinity of the presidential palace in Khartoum, and on Al-Arbaeen Street in Omdurman.

The demonstrators in Khartoum and Omdurman chanted slogans calling on the military to step down from power and hand it over to civilians.

The security forces preempted these moves by closing a number of bridges linking the capital's neighborhoods.

Demonstrations also took place in other areas, including Port Sudan, where security forces also confronted protesters with tear gas.

The demonstrations that took place before Hamdok's resignation resulted in the killing of 3 protesters and the injury of dozens of others, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee.

Sudan has witnessed frequent protests and a state of tension since the tensions in the country last October, when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan overthrew the civilian transitional government.


Private clips and fabricated photos How does the specter of "electronic extortion" threaten Egyptian women?  The tremendous technological progress paved the way for the emergence of a type of criminal who exploits girls for material and sometimes sexual gains, through a crime known as “electronic extortion”, while activists of girls’ families and society are accused of increasing psychological pressure on the victim and blaming her instead of prosecuting the perpetrator.  The suicide case of Basant Khaled , the 17-year-old Egyptian girl who got rid of her life after being subjected to electronic blackmail by a person she refused to date, sparked widespread anger among the pioneers of social networking sites and media circles in Egypt, who in turn brought the issue of electronic blackmail to the fore, as many are exposed to this phenomenon. They avoid confronting and prosecuting the blackmailer for fear of "scandal or stigmatization".  The girl, whose cause millions of Egyptians sympathized with, committed suicide after she was subjected to great psychological pressure from the people of her area in the city of Kafr El-Zayat in the Gharbia Governorate in the Nile Delta in northern Egypt.  While activists, who tweeted under the hashtag #Haq_Basant_Khaled_Lasem_Return, accused the girl's family and society of increasing the psychological pressure that the girl was subjected to and pushing her to commit suicide, denouncing the community's participation in such crimes by silence about them or trying to hide them for fear of social stigmatization, and sometimes even easier blaming the victim and avoiding confronting the real culprit , which encourages other blackmailers to commit similar crimes without fear of repercussions.  Repeated crime with multiple motives The tragedy of electronic blackmail against Egyptian girls and women has been repeated over the past years with the tremendous technological progress and the speed of information transmission, which paved the way for the emergence of a type of criminals who use these technologies to carry out their crimes by exploiting girls for material and sometimes sexual gains.  Similar stories spread from time to time, as one of the blackmailers threatens his victim by publishing private clips of her or fabricated pictures that have nothing to do with reality, unless the victim fulfills his desire, whether material or sexual. Followers point out that the victim is often a girl whom the perpetrator does not even know and who illegally obtained her phone number or online account, or may link her to the blackmailer with a previous relationship or even a kinship.  Last October, the Dakahlia Security Directorate received a notification from a 29-year-old girl residing in Mansoura, accusing her younger brother, 21, of luring her into a private car with the help of a friend for the purpose of raping her and filming an indecent video of her used to blackmail her and force her to Waiver of inheritance. This case shows that electronic extortion has become a phantom that threatens Egyptian society in an escalating manner, not only through criminals or mental patients, but sometimes between siblings and members of the same family.  "Resist" Mohamed Al-Yamani, a marketing manager and Egyptian activist, launched the "Qawam" page on Facebook, to serve as a haven for most of the girls who are being blackmailed on the Internet, through which Al-Yamani is trying to raise awareness of the issue of sexual harassment and cyber-extortion.  The page works by receiving messages and complaints through a team of supervisors consisting of more than 20 girls who are professionally trained to support the complainant psychologically in the first place, and then encourage her to take legal steps to prosecute and restore her right against the blackmailer.  The “Qawam” team does not stop at advising and guiding the victim to ways to take appropriate measures, but rather collects the information required for the intervention of the “solution team” consisting of about 200 young people, whose mission is to study all the merits of the case, determine the required solution, and communicate with the perpetrator to immediately retract his action. Otherwise, face prosecution.  Complex crime In an interview with the Egyptian newspaper “ Al-Shorouk ”, Al-Yamani said that “extortion has become a phenomenon in the Egyptian society, because the number of cases is increasing day by day, so “Qawam” receives at least 700 cases of extortion daily, and the number of cases per day may reach a thousand cases. "Since its establishment in July 2020, it has received more than 400,000 cases of extortion," he said.  The Egyptian activist and head of the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, Nihad Abu al-Qumsan, describes the crime of electronic extortion as a "combined crime". First, the offender uses images illegally and works to fabricate them, which Abu al-Qumsan clarified is a crime punishable by a fine and imprisonment. While the other crime is the same crime of extortion, the Egyptian law stipulates that the aggressor be punished with “imprisonment for a period of not less than 6 months and a fine of not less than 50,000 pounds and not exceeding 100,000 pounds (about 3180-6355 US dollars), or one of the two penalties.” .  The women's rights activist adds that the Egyptian state is "intensifying its efforts to combat this phenomenon through specialized units spread across security directorates in all Egyptian governorates, in addition to launching a hotline and an e-mail to submit reports of cyber-extortion crimes," stressing the role of the family in supporting girls who are subjected to such abuse. These crimes reassure them and support them to take the correct legal steps to prosecute the perpetrator.

Private clips and fabricated photos How does the specter of "electronic extortion" threaten Egyptian women?

The tremendous technological progress paved the way for the emergence of a type of criminal who exploits girls for material and sometimes sexual gains, through a crime known as “electronic extortion”, while activists of girls’ families and society are accused of increasing psychological pressure on the victim and blaming her instead of prosecuting the perpetrator.

The suicide case of Basant Khaled , the 17-year-old Egyptian girl who got rid of her life after being subjected to electronic blackmail by a person she refused to date, sparked widespread anger among the pioneers of social networking sites and media circles in Egypt, who in turn brought the issue of electronic blackmail to the fore, as many are exposed to this phenomenon. They avoid confronting and prosecuting the blackmailer for fear of "scandal or stigmatization".

The girl, whose cause millions of Egyptians sympathized with, committed suicide after she was subjected to great psychological pressure from the people of her area in the city of Kafr El-Zayat in the Gharbia Governorate in the Nile Delta in northern Egypt.

While activists, who tweeted under the hashtag #Haq_Basant_Khaled_Lasem_Return, accused the girl's family and society of increasing the psychological pressure that the girl was subjected to and pushing her to commit suicide, denouncing the community's participation in such crimes by silence about them or trying to hide them for fear of social stigmatization, and sometimes even easier blaming the victim and avoiding confronting the real culprit , which encourages other blackmailers to commit similar crimes without fear of repercussions.

Repeated crime with multiple motives

The tragedy of electronic blackmail against Egyptian girls and women has been repeated over the past years with the tremendous technological progress and the speed of information transmission, which paved the way for the emergence of a type of criminals who use these technologies to carry out their crimes by exploiting girls for material and sometimes sexual gains.

Similar stories spread from time to time, as one of the blackmailers threatens his victim by publishing private clips of her or fabricated pictures that have nothing to do with reality, unless the victim fulfills his desire, whether material or sexual. Followers point out that the victim is often a girl whom the perpetrator does not even know and who illegally obtained her phone number or online account, or may link her to the blackmailer with a previous relationship or even a kinship.

Last October, the Dakahlia Security Directorate received a notification from a 29-year-old girl residing in Mansoura, accusing her younger brother, 21, of luring her into a private car with the help of a friend for the purpose of raping her and filming an indecent video of her used to blackmail her and force her to Waiver of inheritance. This case shows that electronic extortion has become a phantom that threatens Egyptian society in an escalating manner, not only through criminals or mental patients, but sometimes between siblings and members of the same family.

"Resist"

Mohamed Al-Yamani, a marketing manager and Egyptian activist, launched the "Qawam" page on Facebook, to serve as a haven for most of the girls who are being blackmailed on the Internet, through which Al-Yamani is trying to raise awareness of the issue of sexual harassment and cyber-extortion.

The page works by receiving messages and complaints through a team of supervisors consisting of more than 20 girls who are professionally trained to support the complainant psychologically in the first place, and then encourage her to take legal steps to prosecute and restore her right against the blackmailer.

The “Qawam” team does not stop at advising and guiding the victim to ways to take appropriate measures, but rather collects the information required for the intervention of the “solution team” consisting of about 200 young people, whose mission is to study all the merits of the case, determine the required solution, and communicate with the perpetrator to immediately retract his action. Otherwise, face prosecution.

Complex crime

In an interview with the Egyptian newspaper “ Al-Shorouk ”, Al-Yamani said that “extortion has become a phenomenon in the Egyptian society, because the number of cases is increasing day by day, so “Qawam” receives at least 700 cases of extortion daily, and the number of cases per day may reach a thousand cases. "Since its establishment in July 2020, it has received more than 400,000 cases of extortion," he said.

The Egyptian activist and head of the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, Nihad Abu al-Qumsan, describes the crime of electronic extortion as a "combined crime". First, the offender uses images illegally and works to fabricate them, which Abu al-Qumsan clarified is a crime punishable by a fine and imprisonment. While the other crime is the same crime of extortion, the Egyptian law stipulates that the aggressor be punished with “imprisonment for a period of not less than 6 months and a fine of not less than 50,000 pounds and not exceeding 100,000 pounds (about 3180-6355 US dollars), or one of the two penalties.” .

The women's rights activist adds that the Egyptian state is "intensifying its efforts to combat this phenomenon through specialized units spread across security directorates in all Egyptian governorates, in addition to launching a hotline and an e-mail to submit reports of cyber-extortion crimes," stressing the role of the family in supporting girls who are subjected to such abuse. These crimes reassure them and support them to take the correct legal steps to prosecute the perpetrator.

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