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Showing posts from August, 2018

U.S. halts funding to U.N. agency helping Palestinian refugees

The United States on Friday halted all funding to a U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees in a decision further heightening tensions between the Palestinian leadership and the Trump administration.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the decision as “a flagrant assault against the Palestinian people and a defiance of U.N. resolutions.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the business model and fiscal practices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) were an “irredeemably flawed operation.”
“The administration has carefully reviewed the issue and determined that the United States will not make additional contributions to UNRWA,” she said in a statement.
Nauert said the agency’s “endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years.”
The latest announcement comes a week after the administration said it would redirect $200 million in Palestinian ec…

N. Korea slams US for ‘hostile’ steps & ‘covert operations’ behind curtain of dialogue

North Korean media accused Washington of hostility, claiming that the US and its allies in the region are gearing up for a “covert operation” against Pyongyang.
“The US is taking grave and hostile actions behind the curtain of the dialogue taking place,” Uriminjokkiri, the state-controlled website that provides news from North Korea’s Central News Agency, said on Friday. 
The media outlet claims that this hostility is evidenced by US moves to deploy its forces to Japan, the Philippines and South Korea for secret training that targets North Korea.
“We are playing closer attention than ever to covert operations the US is pushing to target us behind the curtain of dialogue and [we are] ready to take all necessary countermeasures against them,” it warned.
The statement comes just days after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that, despite cancelling “several of the largest exercises” in the Korean peninsula, the US is not going to suspend any more. 
He went further, revealing that there…

22 cars burned in Sweden as country rocked by rising crime

Up to 22 cars were burned or damaged in several fires across southern Sweden on Thursday. 
It will likely stoke claims that the current socialist government has abjectly failed at tackling the surge in crime.
Police in the southern city of Trollhättan are investigating a fire that left up to ten vehicles damaged, according to local news outlet Aftonbladet. 
Police and rescue teams were called to the area of the Kronegården at around 3:30 am to tackle a “fully-fledged” fire which had engulfed three cars before spreading to more.
Four out of six cars affected were entirely burnt out, police say. 
While at around 2am a car was set on fire in Trelleborg, which went on to ravage two other vehicles. 
And just a few miles away in Trelleborg, in Vellinge, a car was set ablaze while one parked behind it was also damaged.
More vehicles in Helsingborg, Kalmar and Oxie were also either burned out or damaged. 
It is understood no arrests have been made yet in connection with the attacks.
The incidents occu…

President Erdogan: Turkey’s S-400 purchase a ‘done deal’, will get them soon

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reaffirmed Turkey’s commitment to purchasing the Russian-made S-400 air-defense system, asserting that Ankara has alternatives if the Washington cancels its F-35 deal.
Speaking to a crowd of military officers at a graduation ceremony on Friday, the Turkish president said that Turkey “needs” the S-400 system for its defense, and that deliveries would happen very soon on account that the deal was already “done.”
He added that it was “not acceptable” for Turkey to accept US impositions regarding the S-400 sale and, if the US wanted to cancel its deal to deliver F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, then “we have alternatives.”
A member of NATO, Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400 has been a major concern for the US and other members of the alliance, who fear that its deployment alongside US-made weapons and systems operated by Turkey, such as the F-35, will be put at risk.
As a means of coercion, Washington has stalled on deliveries of the F-35 to Turkey, hinting at possible s…

Migrant in Germany accused of 542 crimes can't be deported because nobody knows where he's from

A migrant suspected of committing hundreds of crimes has been let roam free in the German city of Frankfurt because the authorities have been unable to establish his identity and country of origin for decades.
Little is known about the man, as no one knows his name, let alone his age or nationality. 
The only more-or-less verifiable fact known about him is that he arrived in Germany some 20 years ago, in 1998, without any identity documents. 
He has lived on the streets of German cities ever since and currently resides in Frankfurt, according to the German Bild daily.
The list of the crimes that the unidentified migrant has allegedly committed over this period is extensive. Some 542 criminal proceedings have been opened against him during these years, according to the German police.
"One third of the investigations were related to possession and purchase of drugs," Ruediger Buchta, a high commissioner with the Frankfurt police, told the German media, adding that the migrant's…

New Israeli missiles could target places further away than Lebanon – analyst to RT

Israel is developing a new missile system, capable of striking anywhere across the Middle East. 
It’s not about targeting terrorists, analyst Ammar Waqqaf told RT, but about maintaining superiority.
The system, developed by state-owned Israel Military Industries (IMI) will be ready in “a few years,” and will “allow precise hits...on every point in the region,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday.
The announcement is about maintaining “Israeli superiority and ability to hit anywhere in the Middle East” Waqqaf, managing director of British think tank Gnosos, said.
“This is basically a psychological sort of advantage that they try to keep as much as possible.”
According to Lieberman, the project will cost “hundreds of millions of shekels,” and is, on the surface, a reaction to recent rocket attacks from Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, and from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force in Syria.
At present, Israel does respond to these attacks but is often limited t…

Russia to stop ferrying US astronauts to ISS from April 2019

Russia’s contract with NASA to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) will expire in April next year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov has said.
Under the current contract, American astronauts avail of seats on Russian Soyuz spacecraft in order to reach the ISS and return home. 
The US lost its capacity for manned space missions after the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, and is about to finalize a replacement in the form of a manned SpaceX Dragon capsule.
The cost of the ISS ferry service has varied over the years, with NASA paying about $81 million per seat in 2018, up from the cheapest price of $21.8 million in 2007 and 2008.
Reporting on the state of the Russian space industry on Friday, Yury Borisov, who is responsible for overseeing military and space matters in the Russian cabinet, said that the landing of a Soyuz-MS spaceship in April next year “will finalize the fulfillment of our obligation under a contract with NASA.”
However, Russia may conti…

Russia submitted proof of false-flag chemical-weapons plot to OPCW & UN – Lavrov

There is “no doubt” that militants are plotting a false-flag chemical-weapons attack in Syria’s Idlib province, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that Moscow has provided proof of the plot to the UN and OPCW.
“We have presented concrete facts obtained from various sources both to the UN and to The Hague, where the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) headquarters is located,” Lavrov said, while speaking about the risk of a false-flag attack involving the use of chemical weapons in Syria, adding that “these facts are congruent.”
Lavrov said that “there is no doubt that such provocations are being prepared.” 
He explained that terrorist groups entrenched in Syria’s northwestern province, including Al-Nusra Front (now known as Tahrir al-Sham), are trying to derail the separation of terrorists from other armed groups “in every possible way.”
The foreign minister also said that Russia would continue to support Damascus in its fight against terrorists an…

گفتگوهای تجاری آمریکا و کانادا بدون نتیجه متوقف شد

گفتگوهای تجاری آمریکا و کانادا بدون نتیجه متوقف شد. 
دونالد ترامپ تا روز جمعه به کانادا فرصت داده بود بر سر مفاد جدید پیمان نفتا که مکزیک هم موافق آنست تصمیم‌گیری کند.
با وجود ناتمام ماندن گفتگوهای امروز (جمعه ۳۱اوت) و به سر آمدن مهلت تعیین شده از سوی رئیس‌جمهوری آمریکا، نمایندگان دولت آمریکا در این مذاکرات گفته‌اند هفته آینده دوباره با همتایان کانادایی خود دیدار خواهند کرد.
گفتگوهای میان آمریکا و کانادا در حالی بی فرجام ماند که چند روز پیش مکزیک و آمریکا اعلام کردند در مذاکرات دو جانبه میان خود بر سر مفاد جدید پیمان تجارت آزاد آمریکای شمالی، نفتا، به "توافقی فوق‌العاده" رسیده‌اند.
بر همین اساس هم کاخ سفید گفته فعلا بر اساس توافقی که با مکزیک به دست آمده جلو خواهد رفت و از کنگره خواهد خواست در مدت زمانی قانونی تعیین شده (۹۰روز) درباره آینده پیمان نفتا و امضای توافق جدیدی با مکزیک و کانادا تصمیم‌گیری کند.
با وجود این هنوز معلوم نیست که عدم توافق میان سه عضو نفتا که تجارتی به بزرگی یک تریلیون دلار میان آمریکا، مکزیک و کانادا را شامل می‌شود چه گونه پیش خواهد رفت.
مکزیک اعلام کرده بنا…

رویترز: ایران موشک بالستیک در اختیار متحدان خود در عراق قرار داده است

خبرگزاری رویترز گزارش کرده که ایران تعدادی موشک بالستیک در اختیار گروه‌های وابسته به خود در عراق قرار داده است.
این خبرگزاری روز جمعه، ۹شهریور (۳۱اوت)، به نقل از "سه مقام ایرانی، دو منبع اطلاعاتی عراقی و دو منبع اطلاعاتی غربی" گزارش کرد که طی چند ماه گذشته، ایران تعدادی موشک بالستیک کوتاه-برد به عراق منتقل کرده و در اختیار گروه‌های شبه نظامی متحد خود در آن کشور قرار داده است.
به گفته رویترز، پنج تن از منابع مورد استفاده در تهیه این گزارش گفته‌اند ایران به این گروه‌ها برای ساختن این نوع موشک‌ها کمک می‌کند.
یک "مقام عالیرتبه ایرانی" به رویترز گفته است که"منطق این اقدام این است که اگر ایران هدف حمله قرار بگیرد، طرح پشتوانه‌ای هم داشته باشد" و افزوده که تعداد موشک‌های ارسال شده به عراق زیاد نیست و از چند ده فروند تجاوز نمی‌کند اما در صورت لزوم، امکان انتقال تعداد بیشتری هم وجود دارد.
این گزارش در حالی منتشر می‌شود که به گفته رویترز، هرگونه نشانه‌ای از آمادگی ایران برای اتخاذ یک سیاست موشکی تهاجمی می‌تواند باعث افزایش تنش با آمریکا شود که در حال حاضر نیز به خاطر خ…