GOMA, Congo — A spokesman for a rebel group in Congo believed to be backed by neighboring Rwanda confirmed that his fighters have entered the border city of Goma and have taken the city’s international airport. The assault was punctuated by heavy gunfire.
Colonel Vianney Kazarama, spokesman for the M23 rebel movement, told The Associated Press by telephone that the rebels are now fighting for control of the rest of Goma. “We already took the airport,” Kazarama said Tuesday. “We are now inside the city of Goma.”
Goma was last threatened by rebels in 2008 when fighters stopped just short of the provincial capital. The United Nations has said that if Goma were to fall a humanitarian catastrophe would result. The rebels are opposed by Congolese government forces backed by UN peacekeeping troops and their attack helicopters.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum begins today and will continue through Saturday, hosting more than 3,700 businessmen, officials and reporters. This year, an impressive number of Russian and foreign businessmen, many of them considered celebrities in their field, will be discussing various topics including the prospect of a new global economy — this year’s major theme.Economic Forum Attracts International High Flyers
The festival will have to pay 500,000 rubles ($15,620) under the highly controversial 2012 law demanding that NGOs “involved in political activities” and “receiving funds or other property from foreign sources” register as “foreign agents.LGBT Group First to Face Fine Under New Law
The iconic Hotel Astoria lived up to its lavish reputation by celebrating its centennial on Tuesday with a grand party of nearly 500 guests, hosted by Sir Rocco Forte, co-owner, chairman and managing director of The Rocco Forte Collection.Legendary Hotel Celebrates 100 Years
The BRICS union – comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China (with South Africa tagging along) — was partly the brainchild of Jim O’Neill, the recently retired chief economist at Goldman Sachs. It is a powerful union, commanding half the world’s population and nearly 50 percent of world GDP. These figures, as viewed by the West, are daunting enough, but, with further analysis, their significance increases sharply in connection with their relation to the expansion of global growth.Russia’s Role in the BRICS Union
All work and no play would be a waste of a weekend at the height of White Nights in St. Petersburg. Take advantage of all the city has to offer with the St. Petersburg Times’ picks of cultural and social events available to forum participants.All About Town: Economic Forum