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Saad Hariri pledged on Sunday he would return to Lebanon from Saudi Arabia "very soon," in his first television interview since his shock resignation as prime minister eight days ago.

In an exclusive interview from Riyadh with his party's Future TV, Hariri brushed aside rumours that he was under de facto house arrest in Saudi Arabia.

"I am free here. If I want to travel tomorrow, I will," Hariri told journalist Paula Yaacoubian.

EU Brexit chief Michel Barnier on Friday handed Britain a two-week ultimatum to make concessions on a divorce agreement if it wants to unlock the next phase of talks in December.

 

Several Members of European Parliament have denounced the violation of human rights by Spanish judiciary in the case of Vladimir Kokorev (65), a Spanish entrepreneur of Russian-Jewish

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has defended personal business links to Russia revealed by the Paradise Papers, in an interview with the BBC on Monday.

 

Footage from within one of Australia's offshore detention facilities for asylum seekers reached its first international audience this week in London, with one of the filmmakers highlighting the plight of his co-director who remains inside the camp.

"Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time" portrays life within Papua New Guinea's Manus Island camp, built as part of Australia's immigration crackdown which has seen asylum seekers who try to reach the country by boat taken to an offshore site.

The footage was shot on a smartphone by Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian who has spent four years in the camp since the boat he was trying to reach Australia on was intercepted by the authorities.

 

 

Personal care brand Dove has apologised for an advert that showed a black woman removing a top to reveal a white woman underneath, following accusations of racism.

The three-second video clip appeared in the United States on the social networking site Facebook.

Dove said on Twitter that it had "missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully" and deeply regretted any offence caused.

The body wash ad showed a black woman removing her top, revealing a white woman underneath. She then took off her t-shirt, showing a third woman underneath.

"Ready for a Dove shower? Sulfate free with 100 percent gentle cleansers, our body wash gets top marks from dermatologists," the advert said.

The Dove brand, owned by Rotterdam-based food and consumer products giant Unilever, which is listed on the London and Amsterdam stock exchanges, apologised after several people on social media deemed the advert racist.

 

The case of Vladimir Kokorev, a Spanish businessmen, has moved beyond the territory of the Canary Islands and even Spain. At a roundtable event held at the European Parliament in Brussels 28 September, the Kokorev case was called a Europe-wide affair as the case now faces gross violations of law and human rights, and this takes place in a EU country. The roundtable conference was organized by MEP Fulvio Martusciello, Chair Delegation for relations with Israel.

Vladimir Kokorev (66), his wife Yulia (68) and their son Igor (35) have been kept in a Las Palmas (the Canaries, Spain) prison for two years  without being lodged any charges and without any hope for fair justice. The family are charged with money laundering on behalf of Obiang Nguema, President of Equatorial Guinea, and for almost two years the family have been in custody with their case classified. It later emerged that the secrecy was required for the investigation bodies to conceal the absence of proof and evidence of Kokorevs’ guilt.

Ana Isabel de Vega Serrano, investigative judge at Las Palmas Court No 5, who issued an international arrest warrant for the Kokorevs, apparently thought that the case being classified gives her the power to keep people in prison for as long as she would want. Kokorevs’ defense lawyers who spoke up at the roundtable conference and later at the press conference deduced that the case had been masterminded by some interested parties.

 

Four children and an adult were killed when a fire engulfed a social housing block in the French city of Mulhouse on Sunday night, authorities said.

Eight others were injured, three critically, in the blaze that began in the basement of a four-storey building in the northern Bourtzwiller district, the fire service said.

The fire broke out shortly before midnight.

 

In Paris, near the building of the Council of State, a demonstration was held last week on 28 and 29 September against the policy of double standards towards international fugitives. Around 20-30 people had gathered to protest against the practice of granting asylum in France to foreign citizens accused of fraud and economic crimes on an international scale.

In particular, protesters were concerned about what they feel is a policy of double standards in France. Despite common obligations and established legal practice, some convicted criminals who are on international wanted lists and satisfy the conditions and procedures for their extradition, are nevertheless released due to politically motivated decisions and despite existing judgements by the courts and judicial authorities.

The participants at the demonstration chanted: “no to scammers”, “extradite scammers”, “extradite Kuznetsov”, “extradite Ablyazov”, “no negotiations with thieves”, “France does not participate in international crime”.

At the moment, in the territory of France, there are several controversial figures accused by a number of foreign countries of having committed economic crimes and fraud in substantial scale.

On September 28 2017 at 10am, the Conference Room of European’s People Party will hold a round table on the matter “Justice, Human Rights and Due Procedure in EU – the Case of Vladimir Kokorev,” presided by MEP Fulvio Martusciello.

Vladimir Kokorev, his wife Yulia and their son Igor, have been held for over 2 years in a prison of Las Palmas (Canary Islands, Spain) on a suspicion of money laundering in favor of the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang. Despite the unusually prolonged detention without a trial, and the fact the investigation has supposedly started back in 2009, Mr. Kokorev and his family has not yet been formally indicted, nor presented with evidence of any wrongdoing.

Moreover, the attorneys of Kokorev family have provided the judge in charge of investigation with exhaustive documentary proof of legality of transactions deemed “suspicious” by the prosecution office of Las Palmas, and thus attesting to his innocence.

Furthermore, the case itself presents strong evidence suggesting severe police manipulation, such as deliberate mistranslations and misrepresentation of documents pertaining to the case, interference with IT devices and the reliance on a witness indicted for embezzlement and forgery.