Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman fired from National Security Council after impeachment testimony
The White House has fired a National Security Council official who testified under subpoena in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman told Congress what he heard on the phone call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine. AP White House reporter and CBSN political contributor Zeke Miller joins CBSN with the latest.
A national security strategist has called for reparations from China over the communist regime's role during the coronavirus outbreak. One America's Jack Posobiec has more from Washington. Briefing by Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia on recent developments in Colombia during the Security Council Open VTC.
Briefing via video teleconference, the Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia (UNVMC), Carlos Ruiz Massieu, today (14 Apr) told the Security Council that the National Liberation Army (ELN) had responded to the Secretary-General's appeal for a worldwide ceasefire in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, by declaring a one-month unilateral ceasefire during the month of April.
Ruiz Massieu, who is also the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Colombia, said, "however, armed clashes continued between illegal armed groups in several departments, including Cauca, Chocó and Norte de Santander."
At a time when "all efforts must be focused on fighting the pandemic," he urged "all illegal armed actors in Colombia to desist from continuing to perpetrate violence upon vulnerable communities, including indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities."
The Special Representative said, "COVID-19 is and will continue to affect the implementation of the peace agreement and the Mission's verification activities." However, he added, "peace in Colombia cannot be, should not be a casualty of this pandemic."
He noted that Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted in his report to the Council that "the sustained and integrated presence of state institutions remains the most effective and necessary means to ensure peace and stability in the territories." In this sense, he said he was encouraged that Presidential Chancellor for Stabilization and Consolidation Emilio Archila, "has continued to coordinate arrangements so that implementation in the development programmes with a territorial focus is not affected by the current crisis."
Also briefing the Council, David Santiago Cano, who is a strategic partnership consultant for the World Wildlife Fund in Colombia as well as Colombian Ambassador for One Young World, said, "we should not need a pandemic to argue for the silencing of weapons, to focus on the greatest threats to our common survival, from climate change, to transnational crime, to poverty. This is what happened in Colombia. The end of the conflict with the FARC-EP, has allowed us to focus on the structural problems that affect our country."
The Secretary-General's report on the implementation of the mandate of the Mission covers the period from 27 December 2019 to 26 March 2020.
In March, the Government of Colombia intensified preventive measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including declaring a state of emergency, closing the borders and ordering a countrywide quarantine from 24 March to 13 April. President Duque also announced that the Government would allocate additional resources for the public health system and social welfare programmes. As at 22 March, the Ministry of Health had confirmed 277 cases of COVID-19 across the country, with two deaths.
On 17 March, the Presidential Counsellor for Stabilization and Consolidation stated that the Government would be taking the necessary measures to ensure that the implementation of peace-related programmes could continue, despite the challenges resulting from the outbreak. China's parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly approved directly imposing national security legislation on Hong Kong to tackle secession, subversion, "terrorism" and foreign interference in a city roiled by violence last year.
That is despite protests and international warnings saying the law undermines Hong Kong's autonomy.
Al Jazeera's Katrina Yu joins us live from Beijing. Beijing has approved a controversial national security bill impacting Hong Kong, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. no longer considers Hong Kong to be autonomous from China. CBS News foreign correspondent Ramy Inocencio joins CBSN to talk about the latest.