Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for August 7, 2022

Newsline: German diplomat arrested in Rio de Janeiro for allegedly killing his husband

A German diplomat was arrested by the police in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday for allegedly killing his Belgian husband and trying to cover up the crime. According to the police report, Uwe Herbert Hahn works at the German consulate, and he had reported that his husband died on Friday under mysterious circumstances. Hahn said that his husband – Walter Henri Maximilien Biot – collapsed and hit fatally hit his head. However, the police told AFP that the analysis of the victim’s body and the house in Ipanema showed that he was severely beaten and that resulted in his death. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/german-diplomat-arrested-in-rio-de-janeiro-for-allegedly-killing-husband/ar-AA10oB3k) The pictures posted by Rio de Janeiro’s 14th police precinct showed blood on the floor and walls of the apartment and they also said that Hahn would not have any diplomatic immunity. Hahn and Biot were married to each other for 20 years. The police are currently investigating all the evidence in the case, and they believe that despite Hahn saying that the victim was drunk when he fell, the police have not found any supporting proof.

Newsline: Senior US diplomat tells Pacific nations that violent regimes have “bankrupt” ideas

A senior US diplomat warned Pacific Islands of a new struggle against violent power-hungry regimes Sunday, as she visited the Solomon Islands to mark the 80th anniversary of World War II’s Battle of Guadalcanal. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman hit out at a new crop of world leaders reviving “bankrupt” ideas about the use of force — without mentioning any countries. Attending a dawn memorial service in the Solomon Islands, Sherman said “some around the world” had forgotten the cost of war, or were ignoring the lessons of the past. She hit out at “leaders who believe that coercion, pressure, and violence are tools to be used with impunity”, but did not specify any names during her speech at the service. Painting the situation today as carrying faint echoes of the fight against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in the 1930-40s, the State Department number two urged the region to push back. “We remember how bankrupt, how empty, such views were then, and remain today,” she said. “Today we are once again engaged in a different kind of struggle — a struggle that will go on for some time to come.” (https://news.yahoo.com/us-warns-pacific-islands-struggle-020523717.html) Sherman’s trip comes as the United States tries to rebuild diplomatic relations in the Pacific, where China is growing stronger and democratic alliances have faltered.

Newsline: EU Top Diplomat Conceded the West Lost Global Battle of Narratives

In a recent blog entry, the High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell, seems to have accepted that the West is losing what he termed “the global battle of narratives”. “The global battle of narratives is in full swing and, for now, we are not winning,” Borrell admitted. The solution: “As the EU, we have to engage further to refute Russian lies and war propaganda,” the EU’s top diplomat added. (https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL2207/S00054/the-war-diplomat-how-borrell-the-west-lost-the-global-battle-of-narratives.htm) Borrell, whose job as a diplomat suggests that he should be investing in diplomacy to resolve conflicts, has repeatedly called for widening the scope of war on Russia, insisting that the war can only be “won on the battlefield”. Such statements were made despite the obvious devastating consequences on the rest of the world. Borrell, the EU, NATO and the West are not only losing the global battle of narratives, they have never won it in the first place. Winning or losing that battle never mattered to Western leaders in the past, because the Global South was hardly considered when the West made its unilateral decisions.

Newsline: UK Foreign Office banned Uber after driver raped and murdered British diplomat

Uber has been blacklisted by the Foreign Office in Lebanon after a taxi driver raped and murdered a British diplomat, an inquest was told. Rebecca Dykes was killed while making her way home from a night out having drinks with friends in the Gemmayzeh district of Beirut, Lebanon. Tariq Houshieh, who was working for Uber, raped the 30-year-old before strangling her with a cord from his hooded jumper and dumping her body by the side of the road. Ms Dykes had booked the ride using the Uber app, whose driver identification and rating system was seen by many, especially women, as offering better safety guarantees than when hailing a cab off the street. Houshieh later confessed to the “senseless” attack, which took place in Dec 2017, and was handed a death sentence in 2019. He is now appealing to have the sentence commuted, My London reported. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/05/foreign-office-bans-uber-driver-raped-murdered-british-diplomat/) Houshieh was allegedly able to work as a taxi driver despite having a criminal record and twice being arrested for alleged harassment and theft.