Argentina asks Russia to arrest Iran official over 1994 bombing

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, shakes hands with Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, stands at right, at Novo-Ograyovo outside in Moscow on July 12, 2018. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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Updated 13 July 2018
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Argentina asks Russia to arrest Iran official over 1994 bombing

  • A bomb on July 18, 1994 destroyed the headquarters of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in the Argentinean capital, leaving 85 dead and 300 people wounded.
  • Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah group is accused of the carrying out the bombing of the Jewish center and an attack on Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires two years earlier at Iran’s demand.

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina has asked Russia to arrest former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati for extradition in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, the foreign ministry said Thursday.
Velayati is in Russia as a special adviser to President Hassan Rouhani and will travel to China on Friday, so the same request has also been made to Chinese authorities, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Argentina is awaiting a response from Russia to the request, which was made “within the framework of the extradition treaty between the two countries,” the statement said.

Rescuers walk through the debris of Israel's Embassy in Argentina after a terrorist attack on March 17, 1992. (AP file photo)


Velayati was foreign minister when a bomb destroyed the headquarters of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) on July 18, 1994 leaving 85 dead and 300 people wounded.
He is charged with “committing the crime of homicide, classified as doubly aggravated for having been committed with racial or religious hatred and a suitable method to cause widespread danger,” according to the judge responsible for the case.
Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah group is accused of the carrying out the bombing of the Jewish center and an attack on Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992, at Iran’s order.


Clean water for all is still centuries away, aid group warns

Water, sanitation and hygiene is a global crisis. (AFP)
Updated 16 July 2018
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Clean water for all is still centuries away, aid group warns

  • By the 2030 deadline, “a significant number of people” in 80 countries are unlikely to have access to clean water, while poor sanitation is expected to persist in more than 100 nations
  • Namibians would have to wait until 2246 for everyone to have clean water, while all Eritreans would not get it until 2507 and Nicaraguans not until 2180

TEPIC, Mexico: Supplying clean water and toilets for all could take hundreds of years in countries like Eritrea and Namibia unless governments step up funding to tackle the problem and its harmful effects on health, an international development agency warned on Monday.
WaterAid — which says nearly 850 million people lack clean water — predicted the world will miss a global goal to provide drinking water and adequate sanitation for everyone by 2030.
Meeting it will cost $28 billion per year, the non-profit said.
“Water, sanitation and hygiene is a global crisis,” said Savio Carvalho, WaterAid’s global advocacy director.
“We’re really calling for governments to pull up their socks,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from the United Nations in New York.
From July 9-18, governments are reviewing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, which were agreed at the United Nations in 2015, with a focus on six of the 17.
Last week, UN officials said barriers to achieving the 2030 water and sanitation targets range from conflict and water pollution to climate change, urging more efficient water use.
By the 2030 deadline, “a significant number of people” in 80 countries are unlikely to have access to clean water, while poor sanitation is expected to persist in more than 100 nations, WaterAid said.
Drawing on UN data, the UK-based group calculated some countries will need hundreds of years to provide safe drinking water and toilets for all their people, meaning countries collectively are thousands of years off track.
At current rates, Namibians would have to wait until 2246 for everyone to have clean water, while all Eritreans would not get it until 2507 and Nicaraguans not until 2180, WaterAid said.
It could be 500 years before every Romanian has access to a toilet, and 450 years for Ghanaians, it added.
Governments should fund water and sanitation provision from their own budgets, and work with utilities and private companies to reach people in isolated areas, said Carvalho.
“There’s money around — it’s just not allocated in the right way,” he said, urging international donors to increase spending on water and sanitation.
Other global goals to ensure healthy lives, reduce inequality and end poverty will be jeopardized until access to water and sanitation is prioritized, noted Carvalho.
WaterAid quoted World Bank data showing the knock-on effects of inadequate sanitation — which causes child deaths from poor hygiene and preventable disease — cost $220 billion in 2015.
Some countries, including Rwanda and India, have made substantial headway toward the water and sanitation goal, but sustaining progress remains a challenge, said Carvalho.
“For the nations collectively to be thousands of years off track in meeting these human rights is shocking,” WaterAid Chief Executive Tim Wainwright said in a statement. (Reporting by Sophie Hares; editing by Megan Rowling. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women’s rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit