US and UN criticize Israel over West Bank settlement bill - "First step in annexing parts of West Bank"
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:35 UTC
On Monday in a preliminary reading, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) voted 60-49, to pass a revised version of the Regulation Bill. The bill aims to legalize 55 settlements situated on privately-owned Palestinian land, according to Peace Now.
While the draft specifies that landowners are to be offered compensation, the passage of the bill was condemned at home and abroad.
The bill still needs to pass another three times in the Knesset and get the green light from the Supreme Court to retroactively legalize 4,000 settler homes in Area C of the West Bank, which has been under Israeli military rule since 1967.
The UN warned of "legal consequences" if the draft legislation becomes law.
Comment: The US and UN have consistently criticized Israel over its actions against Palestine, yet their mild protestations do nothing to stifle Israel's illegal behavior. Their statements against Israel seem to be merely PR with no practical action taken to back up their words.
Reuters reports the Israeli rockets hit the Mezzeh military airport at about 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Syrian state media Syrian Arab News Agency also confirmed the report.
A source said the attack caused a fire but there were no casualties. Israel "launched a number of surface-to-surface missiles from inside the Occupied Territories," it said.
Mezzeh is close to Syrian President Bashar Assad's palace.
A number of social media users tweeted footage and images reportedly taken of the attack, and reported hearing a loud explosion.
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:59 UTC
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:59 UTC
Baseco is a tough, crime-ridden region built from cartons and metal sheets, even rusty containers; everything is thrown together in startling fashion, right near the shipyard.
Here, the lips of the people used to be sealed, expressions on their faces incessantly desperate. Now everyone speaks, some even smile shyly, adults and children, women who look sixty at the age of thirty, as well as tough looking men.
"I support Duterte!" declares Ms. Imelda Rodriguez, who works as a physiotherapist here, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development. "Now children get free education and 'medical missions' provide basic medical care. We also receive allowances, and the government provides jobs. We are still lacking electricity, but at least the municipality is providing free drinking water."
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:48 UTC
Taiwan's new leader is scheduled to visit three countries in January - Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. There is speculation, however, that she will make a stopover in New York.
Although this has been denied by several Trump advisers, as well as Taiwan itself, news of the visit has become the latest lever China has tried to use to show its disappointment at what it believes to be warming relations between Taiwan and the US.
In a Tuesday statement to Reuters, Beijing says it has called on Washington to deny Tsai entry into the US en route to Latin America next month. The US visit is expected just ahead of Trump's inauguration on January 20, when he replaces outgoing President Barack Obama.
The US State Department appeared to reject the notion that China can dictate terms, and said Tsai's transit - if it is to take place - is based on "long-standing US practice, consistent with the unofficial nature of (US) relations with Taiwan."
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:43 UTC
Turkish Prime Minister met Putin late on Tuesday in the Kremlin after holding talks with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev earlier in the day. The officials discussed various aspects of cooperation between the two countries and held a joint press conference afterwards.
Russia and Turkey are looking forward to further mending their relationship, which took a major hit after Turkey downed a Russian bomber jet near the Syrian border last year. The official visit became Yildirim's first to Russia since he entered office in May, and one of his first international visits in general.
"I am pleased to note that we are restoring our relations practically in all areas of our cooperation. However, due to certain circumstances - let us not mention them now - our trade has substantially dropped. I would like to hope that during your visit we will be able to make concerted efforts to overcome this negative trend," Putin told Yildirim.
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:39 UTC
Speaking at the latest stop on his "thank you" tour of swing states, President-elect Donald Trump told a crowd in Fayetteville, North Carolina that he wants to "strengthen old friendships and seek out new friendships," stressing that the US will "stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with."
"We don't want to have a depleted military because we're all over the place fighting in areas that we shouldn't be fighting in. It's not going to be depleted any longer," he said during the Tuesday event.
He spoke of the need to spend money "on ourselves" rather than continuing to run up an extremely costly tab in the Middle East.
"We've spent, at last count, $6 trillion in the Middle East, and our roads have potholes all over, our highways are falling apart, our bridges are falling, our tunnels are no good, our airports are horrible like third world countries," Trump said. "We're going to start spending on ourselves, but we've got to be so strong militarily like we've never ever been before."
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 23:21 UTC
The site, Rootclaim, uses a mathematics-based fraud-detection system often used by small business to remove human bias and discern the veracity of news. According to their study, there is a 92.3 percent chance that the chemical-weapons attack attributed to the administration of President Bashar Al-Assad was actually conducted by rebels opposing the Syrian president.
After graphic footage surfaced of the aftermath of a 2013 sarin gas attack in Damascus that left hundreds dead, US President Barack Obama attempted unsuccessfully to authorize an airstrike without Congressional approval, saying at the time, "I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization."
Obama had warned Assad that using chemical weapons would trigger a military response from Washington, saying at a 2012 press conference, "We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized."
Comment: See also:
- French General: Syrian government unlikely to be behind 2013 Ghouta chemical weapon attack
- Syria: Assad not responsible for Ghouta gas attack, says freed hostage Pierre Piccinin
- Were Syria gas attack victims actually kidnapped supporters of al-Assad government?
- Witness of 2013 Ghouta gas attack in Syria reveals who was responsible for the tragedy
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:25 UTC
Despite Sweden's chronic fear of Russia, which is being constantly hyped up by various politicians and security experts, local politicians on the Swedish island of Gotland are ready to rent the port of Slite to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction project in the Baltic Sea.
The preliminary decision on renting Slite is to be taken by the Gotland Technical Committee on December 15. The Regional Board will then make its decision in January, and the final judgment will be passed by of the Regional Council on February 19.
"We proceed from the assumption that the contract will be endorsed, as there is a majority in favor of it," president of the Gotland Regional Council Björn Jansson said, as quoted by the Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet.For Gotland Municipality, the deal may create extra jobs and imply a profit of up to 60 million SEK (roughly $6.5mln), which is deemed to be a "welcome contribution that makes life easier." Jansson admitted, however, that a government clearance is yet pending.
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:02 UTC
"When we assembled in Vienna ... to begin the process of trying to create a political direction for trying to resolve the war, we brought everybody to the table, including Russia and Iran, and we sought a ceasefire," Kerry told reporters, speaking at the NATO ministerial summit in Brussels, Belgium.
Comment: Kerry still speaks on the propaganda of Assad using 'barrel bombs' against his own citizens who wanted 'freedom'. These lies are being destroyed as Russia and Syria gain ground on the foreign jihadists and people begin to renew Syria.
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 13:44 UTC
Mitchell, who is currently being sued by those subjected to his torture methods, was speaking at conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute to promote his new book 'Enhanced Interrogation - Inside the minds and motives of the Islamic terrorists trying to destroy America' on Tuesday.
Mitchell attempted to downplay torture by comparing it to the term racism, equating the two as being overused and exaggerated.
"The word torture has become like the word racist," he said. "It's been used so many times it's lost its meaning.
Comment: A deluded and sick psychologist!