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Current News and Analysis

Spectrum drops RT citing pivot away from leased access; Comcast drops RT citing “McCain Amendment”

RT | October 15, 2018

MRT America is no longer available on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) and Comcast Chicago, following the companies’ refusal to renew RT’s broadcast agreement.

After a partnership spanning over 10 years, Spectrum, previously Time Warner Cable, has ended its relationship with RT.

In an email to RT, a Charter Communications (the parent company of Spectrum) representative said: “Our decision [to not renew the agreement] is part of an overall strategy to discontinuing our leased access program in light of the development of the Internet, which has rendered leased access irrelevant.” Their spokesperson elaborated, stating: “Charter has long believed that mandatory leased access violates our free speech rights. Going forward, we will scale back leased access programming where permissible.”

“RT has not been able to independently corroborate this information through industry sources, and there is no public information available indicating that any other channel has been dropped by Charter Communications due to this apparent strategy shift,” RT Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Head of Communications Anna Belkina said.

RT America also received a letter from Comcast Chicago stating that it would not renew its lease agreement with the channel on the basis of Section 1093 of the National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment, originally submitted by the late Senator John McCain in 2017, says a distributor working in a US jurisdiction “may not be directly or indirectly required” to carry video content that is “is owned, controlled, or financed (in whole or in part) by the Government of the Russian Federation.” … Full article

American Pravda: The ADL in American Society

By Ron Unz • Unz Review • October 15, 2018

In our modern era, there are surely few organizations that so terrify powerful Americans as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, a central organ of the organized Jewish community.

Mel Gibson had long been one of the most popular stars in Hollywood and his 2004 film The Passion of the Christ became among the most profitable in world history, yet the ADL and its allies destroyed his career, and he eventually donated millions of dollars to Jewish groups in desperate hopes of regaining some of his public standing. When the ADL criticized a cartoon that had appeared in one of his newspapers, media titan Rupert Murdoch provided his personal apology to that organization, and the editors of The Economist quickly retracted a different cartoon once it came under ADL fire. Billionaire Tom Perkins, a famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist, was forced to issue a heartfelt apology after coming under ADL criticism for his choice of words in a Wall Street Journal column. These were all proud, powerful individuals, and they must have deeply resented being forced to seek such abject public forgiveness, but they did so nonetheless. The total list of ADL supplicants over the years is a very long one.

Given the fearsome reputation of the ADL and its notorious hair-trigger activists, there was a widespread belief that my small webzine would be completely annihilated when I first launched my recent series of controversial articles in early June by praising the works of historian David Irving, long demonized by the ADL. Yet absolutely nothing happened. … continue

Bethlehem Mayor: Netanyahu Statement on Palestinian Christians is Another Attempt at Distorting the Reality of Occupation

IMEMC News & Agencies – October 16, 2018

Mayor of Bethlehem, advocate Anton Salman said, in response to Sunday’s statements by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Bethlehem and the situation of Palestinian Christians, that such a statement “is another Israeli attempt at distorting the reality of the Israeli occupation and particularly the effects that Israeli policies have had on the Palestinian Christian community since 1948.”

“If Mr. Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem area, he would return the 22,000 dunams of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem, for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity, and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousand of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry,” said the mayor in a statement issued by the Bethlehem municipality. … continue

Israeli forces wound dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza Strip

Press TV – October 15, 2018

Israel soldiers have wounded dozens of Palestinians who had held a protest rally along the northern coast of the besieged Gaza Strip in a bid to break the decade-long blockade on the impoverished sliver.

Hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered in the area on Monday afternoon while dozens of others participated in a boat protest setting off from the Gaza seaport against the siege, but the Israeli navy fired rounds and tear gas canisters at both groups.

According to a brief statement by Gaza Health Ministry, at least 60 people were wounded in the raid near the maritime border with the occupied territories, 24 of whom by live bullets.

Furthermore, Israeli military boats opened fire on ambulances and medics, who had rushed to help the wounded, other reports said.

The demonstration on Monday was the 12th naval march, with the participation of 25 fishing boats, against the crippling blockade of the enclave.

In August, the Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) announced in a report that Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip prevent “fishermen from practicing their fishing work and accessing their livelihood resources.” … Full article

Khan al-Ahmar flooded with wastewater for 2nd time

Ma’an – October 15, 2018

JERUSALEM – Israeli settlers stormed the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, on Monday, and flooded the area with wastewater for a second time.

Locals said that Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim stormed the village and flooded Khan al-Ahmar with wastewater, causing serious environmental and health hazard for residents.

Sources added that the wastewater from the Kfar Adummim settlement flooded large areas of the village, as Israeli settlers attempt to assist the Israeli government force the residents to leave the area.

This is not the first time Israeli settlers flooded the village with wastewater, causing serious damage to land and property.

Khan al-Ahmar is in danger of being demolished by Israeli forces at any moment, which would displace 181 people, half of whom are children. … Full article

The Khashoggi Incident: Forcing Regime Change in Saudi Arabia?

Penny For Your Thoughts | October 15, 2018

A regime change operation of a different kind.

I’m really starting to accept this as a possibility- for a number of reasons that I’d hoped to touch on, but, don’t have time to right now. The paragraph below should suffice

Relevant information from the Atlantic Council- The Khashoggi Affair: Back to the Future

Regardless of how the mystery ends, the Khashoggi affair is likely to have profound repercussions in Saudi-Western relations and perhaps inside Saudi Arabia itself. King Salman and family elders may realize that the Kingdom’s emergence from years of conservative and cautious foreign policies into a more aggressive stance inside and outside their borders may have gone too far. The logical conclusion to that line of thought would be another realignment of their top leadership.

Failing that, the pressure, particularly from the US Congress, is not likely to let up.

Sure sounds like regime change! Realign your top leadership or the US is going to increase the pressure

Has Saudi Arabia acquiesced? … continue

Angered By Saudi Plan to Purchase Russian S-400, Trump Admin Exploiting Khashoggi Disappearance to Force Saudis to “Buy American”

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | October 15, 2018

… Given Jamal Khashoggi’s past and present connections to the CIA and his family’s connections to Lockheed Martin and powerful players in the U.S. political establishment, the possibility emerges that Khashoggi’s disappearance may have in fact been a set-up in order to place pressure on the Saudi government following its decision to renege on its plan to purchase Lockheed’s THAAD system. This theory is also somewhat supported by the fact that the U.S. intelligence community had known in advance of an alleged Saudi plot to capture Khashoggi but ignored its duty (via ICD 191) to warn Khashoggi of the apparent threat against him. Furthermore, the claims that Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul have — so far — been entirely based on claims from U.S. and Turkish intelligence and no evidence to support the now prevailing narrative of murder has been made public.

If a “set-up” were the case, Khashoggi’s CIA links and his apparent efforts at pushing a CIA-controlled “color revolution” in Saudi Arabia suggest that his disappearance could also have been intended for use as a pretext, not necessarily to punish the Saudis over the S-400, but to remove MBS from his position as crown prince and replace him with former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was ousted by MBS last year and also holds close ties to the CIA. Such a possibility cannot be ignored. … Read full article

Khashoggi Was No Critic of Saudi Regime

Consortium News | October 15, 2018

Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist, who disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week is not quite the critic of the Saudi regime that the Western media says he is, writes As’ad AbuKhalil. – Read article

US-Saudi alliance in twilight zone

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | October 15, 2018

President Donald Trump’s remarks about the Jamal Khashoggi affair in the interview with CBS 60 Minutes turned out to be nothing earthshaking. Basically, he said three things: a) Son-in-law Jared Kushner spoke to Crown Prince but latter denied; b) Saudi culpability is yet to be established and if it gets proven, US will be “very upset and angry” and “there will be severe punishment”; and, c) Sanctioning Saudi Arabia is problematic, given deep business interests and “There are other ways of punishing” Saudi Arabia – if it indeed comes to that.

Trump didn’t elaborate what could be the “other ways”. But Saudi Arabia has posted the warning that there will be dire consequences – “any action against the kingdom will be responded to with greater reaction” – if the US dared to proceed on any such track of “economic sanctions, using political pressure or repeating false accusations.” Interestingly, Saudis alluded to “the support of allies” in countering the “organized campaign” against it. … continue

Video shows bus hit by Saudi jets littered with groceries

Press TV – October 15, 2018

A newly-surfaced video shows a mangled bus littered with groceries and a woman’s hand bag after a Saudi airstrike on Yemen’s Hudaydah Province that killed civilians.

The Saudi planes targeted two buses that were carrying civilians fleeing the port city of Hudaydah on Saturday, killing at least 17 civilians and wounding 20 others.

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement released the video footage on Sunday as a proof that the passengers were civilians.

According to Yemenis sources, many women and children were among the casualties, including five members of the same family who were killed in the aerial attack on the vehicle. … Full article and video

Israel destroys main water pipeline in Kafr Qaddum

Ma’an – October 14, 2018

Qalqiliya – Israeli forces destroyed a water pipeline and sealed off several roads in Kafr Qaddum village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya on Saturday.

According to local sources, Israeli forces along with military bulldozers stormed the Kafr Qaddum village and destroyed a man water pipeline.

Sources added that following the destruction of the main pipeline, Israeli forces sealed off several roads inside the village, preventing residents from movement. … Full article

Israeli settlers uproot hundreds of grape trees near al-Khader

Ma’an – October 14, 2018

BETHLEHEM – Israeli settlers chopped down hundreds of Palestinian-owned olive and grape trees, on Sunday, near the al-Khader village, south of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Local sources confirmed that Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat, chopped down and uprooted about 370 grape trees and 30 olive trees, near the al-Khader village.

Sources added that there has been an increase in Israeli settlers’ attacks on Palestinian lands.

The olive industry supports the livelihoods of roughly 80,000 families in the occupied West Bank.

Since 1967, approximately 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted in the occupied West Bank, according to a joint report by the Palestinian Authority and the Applied Research Institute — Jerusalem. … Full article

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian farmers in Nablus

Ma’an – October 14, 2018

NABLUS – Video footage showed how several Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers, on Saturday, while they were harvesting olive harvest on Palestinians lands belonging to the residents of the Burin village, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

According to local sources, Israeli settlers from the illegal Givat Ronin settlement attacked two Palestinian farmers by throwing rocks at them and chased them out of their own lands. … Full article with video

Two Palestinians Workers Injured After Being Rammed By A Colonialist Settler’s Vehicle

IMEMC News – October 14, 2018

Two Palestinian workers were injured, Sunday, after being rammed by a speeding car driven by a colonialist settler woman, east of Qalqilia, in northern West Bank.

Marzouq Abdul-Hafith, said the settler struck his brother Eqab Abdul-Hafith, and Amir Hayel Raji, seriously injuring his brother in the head, while Raji suffered moderate wounds to his head and shoulders.

He added that the Israeli police arrived at the scene, but refused to allow the transfer of the two wounded Palestinians to an Israeli hospital.

A Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance was then called to the scene, before the medics rushed the two Palestinians to Darwish Nazzal hospital, in Qalqilia.

The two were later transferred to the Specialized Arab Hospital, in Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. … Video

Hypersensitivity and hypocrisy reduce leftist critics of Israel to collaborators

By Greg Felton | October 8, 2018

The most disturbing aspect of the U.S.’s subservience to Israel is that it has gone on for so long. Ever since Harry Truman accepted that $2 million bribe to support the “creation” of Israel in 1948, Israel and its multi-tentacled lobbies have extorted hundreds of billions of dollars in military and other forms of tribute, which it uses to terrorize and murder civilian populations; meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans go without medical care, livable housing, honest banking or decent education.

Thanks to the coercive power of the Lobby, the U.S. is no longer even recognizable as a republic. “Congress,” as Pat Buchanan famously observed, “is Israeli occupied territory.” This occupation is so blatant and unapologetic that one might have expected popular uprisings and demands for treason trials long before now, but Zionist subversion has become so normalized and pervasive that it is invisible, even accepted, by the mass public. … continue

United States Did It Again: Warplanes Use White Phosphorous Munitions in Syria

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 14.10.2018

The US-led coalition used white phosphorus (WP) munitions delivering air strikes in the Syrian province of Deir Ez-Zor on Oct.13. The attack resulted in casualties among civilians.

Last month, WP munitions were also used by two US Air Force (USAF) F-15s in an attack on the town of Hajin, Deir-ez-Zor.

The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned the US-led coalition, which says the need to fight ISIS justifies its military actions while denying the fact it uses white phosphorous projectiles. … continue

Pages purged by Facebook were on blacklist promoted by Washington Post

By Andre Damon  | WSWS | October 13, 2018

Media outlets removed by Facebook on Thursday, in a massive purge of 800 accounts and pages, had previously been targeted in a blacklist of oppositional sites promoted by the Washington Post in November 2016.

The organizations censored by Facebook include The Anti-Media, with 2.1 million followers, The Free Thought Project, with 3.1 million followers, and Counter Current News, with 500,000 followers. All three of these groups had been on the blacklist.

In November 2016, the Washington Post published a puff-piece on a shadowy and up to then largely unknown organization called PropOrNot, which had compiled a list of organizations it claimed were part of a “sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign.”

The Post said the report “identifies more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans.” … continue

Congress Members Urge Trump to Meddle in Hungary’s Elections

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | October 12, 2018

There’s no hypocrisy like Capitol Hill hypocrisy. Congressional Democrats have been beating the dead horse of “Russian meddling” for nearly two years, obsessed with claims that “Russia hacked our democracy” and that a few Facebook posts from “Russia-linked” accounts are actually a massive Putin-led effort to make Americans lose faith in their democracy.

To date no evidence points to any significant or effective Russian government effort to alter the outcome of US elections in any way. With each passing day we learn more about how the “Russia hacked us” story is just a bunch of hot air. In fact just yesterday, award-winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter published an extensive report demolishing a recent 10,000 word New York Times piece on the “influence” of Russian social media over US elections.

One of the loudest voices screaming “Russia is meddling in our democracy!” has been Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). Last year she signed a letter to the Speaker of the House demanding that Homeland Security and the FBI brief Congress on “the Russian attack on 21 states’ voting systems” (a charge since disproven). The letter complained that “when a sovereign nation attempts to meddle in our elections, it is an attack on our country.”

To be fair, it is hard to disagree with Rep. Kaptur and her colleagues on that final point. No one wants a foreign country meddling in their elections, hacking their ballot machines, funding opposition parties, manipulating the media in favor of one side, etc.

But here’s the rub: Rep. Kaptur has just sent a letter to the State Department demanding that the United States government commit all of the above violations against NATO partner country Hungary! … continue

Danish Bill Proposes 12 Years in Prison for ‘Pro-Russia’ Opinion

Sputnik – October 13, 2018

Danish lawmakers have gone on the offensive against interference in public debate, sparking criticism that a new proposal, which could entail criminal liability for expressing opinions similar to those of Moscow, may become a step toward silencing public debate.

According to a bill brought forward in local parliament, Danes could face a jail term if they voice dissent over the government’s position on Russia.

The proposal, which is said to be meant to “strengthen efforts against illegal influence from foreign intelligence services,” would introduce criminal penalties for perceived “meddling” in public debates and attempts to influence decision-making. Crimes committed during an election campaign would entail a maximum prison term of 12 years.

Berlingske, the country’s oldest newspaper, has bashed the bill, claiming that it would narrow the scale of political conversation in Denmark. … continue

Banned alternative media speak to RT after mass Facebook purge

RT | October 13, 2018

Some 800 anti-establishment accounts and pages have been yanked from Facebook in a sweeping crackdown the social media giant framed as a fight against spammers. RT talked to those who were targeted in the cleansing.

Among the hundreds of pages and accounts Facebook and Twitter took down were those both on the political left and right, ranging from conspiracy theorists and police brutality watchers, to news outlets with non-mainstream angles, While their content could be at times described as controversial, the bulk of the banished pages boasted large followings and outreach.

RT spoke to some of the voices silenced by the Facebook move. Here is what they had to say. … continue

Israeli historian thinks 1956 massacre was part of a secret plan to expel Palestinians

If Americans Knew | October 13, 2018

Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reports that the highest Israeli officer tried for Israel’s 1956 Kafr Qasem massacre admitted before his death that his trial was staged to protect military and political elites.

Israeli historian Adam Raz believes that a secret plan to transfer Israel’s Arabs was behind the 1956 attack, in which Israeli soldiers shot dead 19 men, 6 women, and 23 children (some reports give the total killed as 51). They were allegedly killed because they had violated an Israeli imposed curfew, of which they were unaware.

The Israelis who perpetrated the massacre were courtmartialed and convicted, but their sentences were soon commuted, they received presidential pardons and were released from jail. Some were awarded desirable jobs; Ben Gurion appointed the batallion commander head of security at the Dimona nuclear reactor.

The most senior defendant, Col. Issachar Shadmi, commander of the brigade in charge of the area, was fined 10 pennies for exceeding authority.

Until his death last month at the age of 96, Shadmi lived in a spacious home in an upscale neighborhood of Tel Aviv. … continue

Israel to close Bethlehem-area checkpoint

Ma’an – October 13, 2018

BETHLEHEM – The Israeli authorities decided to close Checkpoint 300 at the northern entrance of Bethlehem district in the southern occupied West Bank for Jewish holidays.

Hebrew-language news sites reported that the checkpoint would be closed starting Thursday October 18th, until Monday October 22nd, for a Jewish holiday during which celebrations would be held at Rachel Tomb’s that is adjacent to the checkpoint.

The checkpoint would be completely closed.

Checkpoint 300 was built in 2005 two kilometers inside of the green line, despite rulings by the International Court of Justice that the separation wall was deemed illegal in 2004. … Full article

Israeli forces ban Palestinian farmers entry to lands in Qalqiliya

Ma’an – October 13, 2018

QALQILIYA – Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their lands in the Kafr Thulth village, in the Qalqiliya district of the northern occupied West Bank, to harvest their olive trees, on Saturday.

Head of Kafr Thulth’s village council, Zaki Omar, said that Israeli forces closed the main gates surrounding the illegal Israeli settlement of Alfei Menashe, near which the lands are located, preventing more than 50 farmers from entering their lands for olive picking.

Farmers reportedly own more than 3000 dunams of lands planted with olive trees in the vicinity of the illegal settlement.

Last week, Israeli settlers stormed Palestinian-owned land and stole olive harvest in the Burin village in the southern occupied West bank district of Nablus.

For hundreds of Palestinian families, olive trees are the main source of income, however when harvest season approaches, Israeli settlers target Palestinian lands and cause severe economic damages.

The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents. … Full article

Israel advocates are the 2 largest donors in lead-up to U.S. midterm elections

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | October 13, 2018

Two Israel partisans are the top campaign donors in the midterm elections, each pumping millions of dollars into campaign coffers.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who once said he wished he’d served in the Israeli military instead of the American one, is donating tens of millions of dollars to Republicans. He is expected to be the top donor in this election cycle.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who has twice flown to Israel in the midst of its massacres in Gaza to demonstrate his support for Israel, is coming in second, giving tens of millions of dollars to Democrats. Bloomberg has pledged to spend $100 million in the final weeks leading up to the election. … continue

Naomi Klein’s Patriarchal Christian Nation

By Eve Mykytyn | October 13, 2018

Naomi Klein’s piece “Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh and the Rule of Pampered Princelings,” is a thoughtful consideration of how the children of the moneyed classes propagate the ‘self made’ myth in which individual effort is lionized. In this fiction, government ‘interference’ is the enemy, and, as Klein points out, those with a lifetime of safety deride the frail safety net society allows to others. She notes that although these ‘princelings’ may include the less privileged in their rhetoric, they propagate social policies of low taxes and fewer regulations that primarily benefit the very rich. … continue

Britain on the Leash with the United States – but at Which End?

By James George JATRAS | Strategic Culture Foundation | 13.10.2018

The “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom is often assumed to be one where the once-great, sophisticated Brits are subordinate to the upstart, uncouth Yanks.

Iconic of this assumption is the mocking of former prime minister Tony Blair as George W. Bush’s “poodle” for his riding shotgun on the ill-advised American stagecoach blundering into Iraq in 2003. Blair was in good practice, having served as Bill Clinton’s dogsbody in the no less criminal NATO aggression against Serbia over Kosovo in 1999.

On the surface, the UK may seem just one more vassal state on par with Germany, Japan, South Korea, and so many other useless so-called allies. We control their intelligence services, their military commands, their think tanks, and much of their media. We can sink their financial systems and economies at will. Emblematic is German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s impotent ire at discovering the Obama administration had listened in on her cell phone, about which she – did precisely nothing. Global hegemony means never having to say you’re sorry.

These countries know on which end of the leash they are: the one attached to the collar around their necks. The hand unmistakably is in Washington. These semi-sovereign countries answer to the US with the same servility as member states of the Warsaw Pact once heeded the USSR’s Politburo. (Sometimes more. Communist Romania, though then a member of the Warsaw Pact refused to participate in the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia or even allow Soviet or other Pact forces to cross its territory. By contrast, during NATO’s 1999 assault on Serbia, Bucharest allowed NATO military aircraft access to its airspace, even though not yet a member of that alliance and despite most Romanians’ opposition to the campaign.)

But the widespread perception of Britain as just another satellite may be misleading. … continue

TurkStream to supply natural gas from Jan 1, 2020

Hurriyet | October 9, 2018

The TurkStream natural gas pipeline project will supply natural gas from two pipelines as of Jan. 1, 2020, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Oct. 9.

TurkStream’s first line will carry 15.75 bcm of natural gas to Turkey. The project will have a capacity of 31.5 bcm with the second line that will go to Europe.

Novak said that negotiations are still ongoing over the route options for the second pipeline with all concerned countries in agreement on the project’s route map.

“We have different options. The first route is through Greece to Italy. And the second option is to stretch this pipeline to Serbia, Hungary and Austria through Bulgaria,” he said, adding, “Our priority is to stretch the second pipeline through Bulgaria to Austria.” … Full article

Background of Russia-Greek Summit in December: Greek Defense Chief Makes Landmark Foreign Policy Proposals

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 13.10.2018

… Greece wants Alexandroupolis to become a hub for the gas being exported from Israel via Cyprus, Crete and Greece to Italy. The route will bypass Turkey, which is adamant in its desire to prevent such a scenario. It says part of the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus is under Turkish jurisdiction. A conflict is possible and the EMA partners want the US to be on their side. America needs the allies too as it strives to increase its clout in the Middle East. Libya is among the countries it wants to control, while rolling Russia back. The United States needs military support, especially bases, as it has decided to stay in Syria “until Iran withdraws its forces”. The growing military cooperation between the EMA alliance and the US reflects nothing else but war preparations. … Read full article

Jordanian Opposition Politician Calls for Apology to Syria

Sputnik – 13.10.2018

In late September, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told Sputnik that there is no fixed date for reopening of the main Nassib checkpoint on the Jordanian-Syrian border, which only further cools the already chilly ties between the two countries.

Prominent Jordanian opposition leader Laith Shubeilat has urged Amman to extend apologies to Syria and restore relations between the two countries. The call was part of his letter to Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz’s government, published on Shubeilat’s Facebook page.

“You should apologize on behalf of all of us, those who did not stop our previous government from being turned into an arch foe of Syria; apologize for what your predecessors have done, and especially the opposition MOC [Military Operation Center] which united Western countries, Jews, the Gulf countries in Jordan with the aim of overthrowing Syrian authorities,” Shubeilat pointed out. … Full article

US Coalition Strikes Syrian Town Using Banned White Phosphorus – Reports

Sputnik – October 13, 2018

The reported strikes are not the first time that the US-led coalition has been accused of using the banned munitions in recent weeks. Last month, the Russian military reported that US strikes using white phosphorus had resulted in major fires and civilian casualties in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ez-Zor.

The strikes, taking place Saturday across multiple districts in the town of Hajin, Deir Ez-Zor province, included the use of white phosphorus, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has reported, citing local sources.

The agency did not provide any immediate information about possible civilian casualties.

Syrian television station Ikhbariya later reported that several people had been killed and several others injured following separate coalition strikes in al-Soussa, Deir Ez-Zor in an attack which hit a local bakery. … continue

Saudi jets attack buses in Yemen’s Hudaydah, kill civilians

Press TV – October 13, 2018

At least 15 Yemenis have been killed in a Saudi airstrike in Hudaydah that has become a flashpoint of a war being waged by Riyadh and its allies against the Arab world’s poorest nation.

The fatalities occurred when Saudi planes targeted two buses that were carrying civilians fleeing Hudaydah on Saturday, according to a report by Yemen’s al-Masirah television network.

The attack also injured an unspecified number of others, with the number of fatalities most likely to rise, al-Masirah reported.

No further details about the incident have come out as of yet.

In August, a Saudi air raid hit a school bus as it drove through a market in the town of Dhahyan in Sa’ada Province in northwestern Yemen, killing a total of 51 people, among them 40 children, and injuring 79 others, mostly children. … Full article

‘Evidence’ Saudi-led coalition aims to destroy food production in Houthi-controlled Yemen – report

RT | October 13, 2018

As the war in Yemen rages on, a new report says there is “strong evidence” that the Saudi-led coalition has aimed to destroy food production and distribution in areas of the country controlled by Houthi rebels.

The report, titled ‘Strategies of the Coalition in the Yemen War: Aerial Bombardment and Food War’, is a compilation of data from various sources on the impact of the coalition’s bombing campaign on the production and distribution of food in rural Yemen, and on fishing along the Red Sea coast.

“If one places the damage to the resources of food producers (farmers, herders, and fishers) alongside the targeting of food processing, storage and transport in urban areas and the wider economic war, there is strong evidence that Coalition strategy has aimed to destroy food production and distribution in the areas under the control of Sanaa,” the report, published earlier this week by the World Peace Foundation, says.

It goes on to explain that the deliberate destruction of “family farming and artisanal fishing” is a war crime. … continue

Palestinian Woman Stoned to Death by Israeli Settlers

IMEMC News – October 13, 2018

A group of Israeli paramilitary settlers attacked a Palestinian couple south of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, on Friday, killing the woman and severely injuring her husband.

Aisha Mohammed Talal al-Rabi, 47, was riding in a car with her husband near the Za’tara roadblock, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, when a group of Israeli settlers came onto the road and began throwing rocks at their car.

The slain woman was from Bidya town, northwest of Salfit.

The Israeli colonial settlers threw a number of large rocks, breaking the windshield of the car. They then continued to throw rocks, according to local sources, hitting the couple multiple times in the head and upper body.

Aisha died of blunt force trauma to the head, caused by a rock that was thrown at her head by the settlers.

Armed Israeli paramilitary settlers have launched a number of attacks on the Palestinian civilian population in the Nablus area, with the number of attacks drastically increasing since two Israeli settlers were killed by a Palestinian in the area on Monday.