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Civilians left behind as bias & double standards of West ruin 2 UNSC resolutions on humanitarian aid for Syria – Moscow

As the mainstream media pounds Moscow for “vetoing aid for Syria,” Russia’s UN mission says there was no winner in the latest UN battle during which its own draft resolution was defeated by “bias and double standards.” The Russian mission to the UN has offered their take on two rival resolutions on Syria which the Security Council rejected during a contentious Friday vote. One, drafted by Belgium, Germany, and Kuwait, sought to extend the shipping of aid into Syria through three checkpoints – two in Turkey and one in Iraq – for the next year.  But the scheme, adopted five years ago without Damascus’ consent, became irrelevant by 2019, the Russian delegation argued. Delivering aid from Turkey and Iraq was justifiable, although legally questionable, back then because many Syrians civilians lived in hard-to-reach areas controlled by terrorists, Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the UN, explained later. Now, Damascus is robust enough to distribute sup
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Swedish justice ministry manipulated crime statistics – study

Sweden’s Ministry of Justice pressured the country’s Crime Prevention Council to hide, manipulate, or ignore potentially embarrassing crime statistics, a university study has found. Sweden’s Crime Prevention Council (Brå) has a difficult task. In a country where media outlets omit police-circulated descriptions of suspects’ ethnicity, and the government actively downplays the surge in gun crime and bombings in its immigrant ghettoes, Brå is charged with compiling factual, accurate crime statistics. According to a study published by Linköping University this week, the government intervenes here too to downplay “politically sensitive” data. Employees told the university researchers that their managers – acting on orders from the country’s Justice Ministry – instructed them to manipulate results on “hot potato” issues.  Presumably, these results were ones that could embarrass the government, and likely dealt with issues of race or immigration. One interviewee

Police find no suspicious package at Berlin Christmas market after bomb scare prompts evacuation

Police in the German capital of Berlin gave all clear to a Christmas market after two suspicious looking men were arrested at the attempt to flee, sparking evacuation and a search for a "suspcious" package. The market, taking place in Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz, was evacuated on Saturday evening. The police said that visitors left “calmly and prudently,” so officers could comb through the stalls. Two people were taken into custody for acting suspiciously, police reported.  The Christmas market was then evacuated out of precaution allegedly after the name of one of the suspects was recorded incorrectly during the questioning, leading police to believe that he was wanted for explosives violations in the US, Tagesspiegel reported. While police have not released the identity of the suspects, German media reported that both of the men hail from Syria. An event in the nearby Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was canceled as a result of the operation.

US has ‘no more excuses’ to avoid New START Treaty discussion as Russia is ready to renew it immediately – Russia’s FM Lavrov

Moscow has made it clear that it is ready to extend the landmark 2010 treaty aimed at reducing US and Russian nuclear arsenals at any time, leaving Washington with no excuse to obstruct its renewal, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said. The US claimed that Russia was hampering the prolongation of the 2010 edition of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by asking “some questions about how the Americans are fulfilling their obligations,” the foreign minister told Russia’s Channel 1. But President Vladimir Putin recently proclaimed Moscow is ready to extend it immediately and without preconditions. Now this ambiguity is removed, and our American colleagues no longer have any excuses. Moscow is hoping that Washington “will react in a constructive way,” because “we are committed to renewing the START Treaty in a bilateral context.” Signed by the US and Russia in 2010, the treaty restricts the development and deployment of nuclear weapons and the means of their d

Nord Stream 2 will be completed regardless of threats from US, as Europeans ‘feel humiliated’ – FM Lavrov

The flagship pipeline which is set to deliver gas to Europe will be completed despite US sanctions, Russia’s foreign minister stated. EU stakeholders understand their commercial interests, he said. The United States has slapped new sanctions on companies building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but they won’t have any impact on the $11-billion project, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a talk show on Russia’s Channel 1. The pipeline “will come true anyway, despite all these threats,” as will the TurkStream – another project on the radar of US lawmakers – he added. First, I am confident that Europeans understand their commercial interest. Second, their interest in terms of ensuring long-term energy security.  Third, of course, they have been humiliated. “Our European partners still keep their self-esteem,” Lavrov believes. Germany, one of the main stakeholders in the project, has fiercely resisted US sanctions, referring to them as “interfe

‘Grave mistake & fault of France’: Macron blasts colonialism as African countries walk away from Paris-backed Franc

Emmanuel Macron delved into his country’s imperial past, saying France’s territorial conquests were a mistake that should be fixed – including by welcoming African countries reforming the colonial-era franc.   France was often viewed as having a “hegemonic view and the trappings of colonialism, which was a grave mistake and a fault of the Republic,” Macron proclaimed as he toured Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire), once a French colony and now the world’s leading cocoa producer. The French President said he, like many young Ivoirians, comes from a generation that had “never known colonialism,” which allows for “turning the page” on the past and building “a new partnership of friendship with France.” Macron’s visit to Africa comes as eight countries, all members of the Economic Community of West African States, are reforming the CFA franc to ensure a common currency for the whole 15-country bloc. The CFA franc, also known as Franc of the Financial Community of Africa

War crimes court is a ‘weapon in political war against Israel’ – Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed the International Criminal Court for opening a war crimes investigation into his country’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank, accusing the court of "hypocrisy." Speaking to ministers on Sunday, Netanyahu declared that the ICC has “finally become a weapon in the political war against Israel,” Ynet news reported.  “Who are they accusing here? Iran? Turkey? Syria? No – Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. This is terrible hypocrisy,” he said. Two days earlier, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced she would open a probe into accusations of war crimes against Israel.  Earlier this year, a UN commission concluded that Israeli troops may have committed “war crimes or crimes against humanity” during their heavy-handed policing of the ‘Great March of Return’ protests at the Gaza/Israel border last year.  However, the current case against Israel has been building since 2015, and accuses the Jewi