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Bahraini courts issued death sentences for 32 anti-regime activists since 2011

Press TV – November 14, 2018

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) has condemned the kingdom’s persistence on passing death sentences against anti-regime activists, calling the practice an “inhuman punishment” as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy clampdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy activists in the kingdom.

The center, in a statement released on Tuesday, announced that law courts have issued death sentences against 32 opposition figures since 2011, of which three have been carried out, seven have been comminuted to life imprisonment and two others been appealed.

“All these verdicts have been pronounced following unfair trials, and therefore do not comply with the guarantees of fair trials. The BCHR has documented many cases in which those sentenced to death have been subjected to torture,” the statement read.

The BCHR then called on the Manama regime to reverse all death sentences and sign the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is aiming at the abolition of death penalty. … Full article

French PM Rules Out Abolishing Fuel Tax Hike Despite Upcoming Protests

Sputnik – 14.11.2018

PARIS – The French government does not intend to reverse its decision to raise the tax on diesel and carbon despite planned protests, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Wednesday.

“We will not abolish the fuel tax. We made an obligation during the presidential campaign. I would like to note, by the way, that it was President [Emmanuel Macron’s] campaign promise, as well as of other [presidential] candidates, who today seem to have forgotten about [their pledges], to organize a system, in which we will be gradually raising taxes on oil, coal and pollution charges,” Philippe told France’s RTL radio station, adding that it was one of the measures aimed at addressing air pollution and global warming. […]

The statement was made ahead of mass protests against rising fuel prices, which will be reportedly held in about 60 cities across France on Saturday.

In late 2017, the French government approved the decision to raise the direct tax on diesel fuel, which is the most popular type of fuel in the country. Since then diesel prices in France have grown up over 40 per cent. … Full article

Iraq rejects US deadline to halt Iran gas imports

Press TV – November 14, 2018

Iraq has rejected a US deadline to stop importing Iranian gas, warning that any halt to the supplies would create a real power crisis which sparked several days of unrest in Basra and elsewhere this summer.

“Stopping Iranian gas after the deadline will create a real power crisis. We need more time … the Americans are completely aware of how desperately we need Iranian gas,” an Iraqi official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The announcement came after the US embassy in Iraq said on Thursday that Washington had given Baghdad 45 days to stop purchasing gas and electricity from Iran.

Iraq has extensive trade ties with Iran and heavily depends on Iranian natural gas imports for electricity generation. Basra in southern Iraq was hit by violent protests which spread to other cities this summer, partly because of a halt of Iranian electricity exports. … Full article

US-led Coalition Used Cluster Bombs in Syria, Causing Casualties – Reports

Sputnik – November 14, 2018

The US-led coalition resorted to the use of cluster munitions in airstrikes on the towns of al-Sha’afa and Hajin on Wednesday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has reported, citing local media and civilian sources.

The strikes caused several civilian deaths, with several injuries reported, as well as significant material damage to local houses and other property, SANA said.

The news follows reports from earlier this week that over 60 civilians were killed or injured by a US-led coalition airstrike in al-Sha’afa, Deir ez-Zor province this week, along with a separate attack in the city of Hajin earlier this month, which reportedly killed over 15 civilians. … Full article

Gaza fisherman shot, killed by Israeli navy

Ma’an – November 14, 2018

GAZA CITY – A Palestinian fisherman was shot and killed by Israeli naval forces, on Wednesday evening, off the coast of the northern besieged Gaza Strip.

Spokesperson of the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed that one Palestinian fisherman was killed, identifying him as Nawwaf al-Attar, 20, from Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Al-Qidra added that al-Attar arrived dead to the Indonesian Hospital with an explosive bullet in his abdomen.

Israeli naval forces had opened fire at Palestinian fishermen working at three nautical miles off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip, forcing them to head back to work at one nautical mile.

Head of the Fishermen Committees in the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Zakaria Bakr, had confirmed earlier Wednesday, that the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture informed fishermen to resume work along the besieged Gaza Strip’s coast.

Saudi human rights activist: ‘Israel attacks terrorists in Gaza’

MEMO | November 14, 2018

Saudi human rights activist Ahmad Bin Saad Al-Garni said on Monday that “Israel is attacking terrorists (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip.”

On Twitter Al-Garni prayed that God helps Israel as it attacks “the terrorist sites of Hamas”.

He added: “I hope that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will avoid attacking children, women and the elderly but destroy the houses over the heads of leaders of terrorist Hamas, which misrepresents the [Palestinian] cause.”

Al-Garni, who writes on his twitter biography that he is a member with Amnesty International, called on Netanyahu to “wipe the terrorist Hamas off the face of the Earth.”

Israel has been pummeling the Gaza Strip with airstrikes since Sunday night killing 14 Palestinians and injuring more than 35. The bombing destroyed a number of residential buildings and the headquarters of the Al-Aqsa satellite TV channel.

UNSC fails to take action against Israel over fresh Gaza aggression

Press TV – November 14, 2018

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has met behind closed doors over the situation in the Gaza Strip, but failed to reach an agreement on how to deal with a fresh wave of deadly Israeli attacks against the blockaded Palestinian territory.

Requested by Kuwait and Bolivia, the 50-minute emergency session was held on Tuesday after Gaza witnessed the worst flare-up of violence since the 2014 war.

The meeting however ended inconclusively, with no statement from the council on the violence, which broke out when the Israeli military launched a commando raid against Gaza on the weekend and killed seven members of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

The sting operation was followed by a wave of deadly air raids against residential areas throughout the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s acts of aggression, however, drew an angry reaction from Hamas — which governs Gaza — and other Palestinian resistance factions, which fired an intense barrage of rockets into the southern parts of the occupied territories.

At least seven Palestinians were killed in Israeli air raids and over 30 others wounded. Two Israelis also died in Ashkelon, while around 20 others sustained injuries in counterattacks from Gaza.

On Tuesday, however, the Gaza-based resistance groups agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire with Israel.

Speaking after the Security Council meeting, Kuwaiti Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi told reporters that “we were not able to find a solution to the situation in Gaza” because of divisions at the 15-member council.

The majority of UNSC member states said the body “should do something,” with some suggesting a visit to the region, but no decision was taken.

In turn, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour criticized the council for failing to “shoulder its responsibility” to take action on the Gaza crisis, saying the world body’s most powerful organ was in fact “paralyzed.”

“There is one country that is not allowing discussion at the council,” said Mansour, referring to the US, Israel’s staunch ally. … Full article

Paramedics among 6 detained by Israeli forces

Ma’an – November 14, 2018

RAMALLAH – Israeli forces detained at least six Palestinians, including paramedics, on predawn Wednesday, from across the occupied West Bank.

According to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained one Palestinian in the southern West Bank district of Hebron; he was identified as Muhammad Abu Zeineh.

In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, two Palestinians were detained, PPS identified them as Muhammad Hassan Nawawra and Jamal Shalash.

In the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided the ambulance and emergency center of the al-Suwwana neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, and detained two Palestinian paramedics.

PPS identified the two detainees as Rajeh Huwareen and Muhammad Odeh.

The two paramedics were taken to an unknown location for further interrogation, however, the reason for their detention remained unknown.

In the northern West Bank district of Tulkarem, one Palestinian, identified as Barry Zahir Badran, was detained.

Israeli search and detention raids are a nightly occurrence in Palestinian cities, towns, and refugee camps across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, there are currently 5,580 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons.

Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take

By Sam Bahour | CounterPunch | November 14, 2018

Israel has made a colossal mockery of the concept of security.

In debating an Israeli friend from Jerusalem, I challenged him that Israel consciously plans and uses its military might to damage the Palestinian’s national project to build a state and free itself from Israeli control. Avner, my Israeli friend, argued otherwise, buying into the Israeli state narrative that Israel is “forced” to take measures which negatively affect Palestinians because Israeli security requires it. My knee-jerk reaction as someone living and working under Israeli military occupation for over two decades, was that this was hogwash and, short of ending its illegal (note: legal occupations are temporary by definition) occupation of Palestinians, I claimed that Israel—the occupying power—could immediately take 101 measures to reduce tensions on the ground, without jeopardizing any true and rational security needs. He shrugged and said, “tell me”? … continue

Is Israel turning a blind eye as Israeli scammers swindle victims in France, US, elsewhere?

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | November 14, 2018

French and Israeli media report that a group largely made up of Israelis scammed 3,000 French citizens out of approximately $20 million.  Most of the stolen money is in Israel, but Israeli authorities are reportedly failing to cooperate with France in prosecuting the scammers and retrieving the money.

This is the latest of numerous examples of Israeli officials stone-walling international efforts against the perpetrators of massive financial swindles around the world, according to Israeli investigative journalists and others. These scams have brought estimated billions into the Israeli economy, propping up a regime widely condemned for human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing against indigenous Palestinians. Together, the stories paint a picture of a government that seems to be turning a blind eye to – and even protecting – scammers.

Finance Magnates analysis reports that one of the swindles alone has brought in over a billion dollars and employs 5,000 people. And a new scam, described below, may help what is predicted to be “the next major driver of the Israeli economy.”

A former IRS expert on international crime notes that “fraudulent industries are often major economic drivers, and that can translate into political clout.”

Some Israeli journalists have been working to expose the situation in Israeli newspapers, publishing exposés like “As Israel turns blind eye to vast binary options fraud, French investigators step in” and “Are French Jewish criminals using Israel as a get-out-of-jail card?” (Short answer: yes.) … continue

Austrian Ex-Colonel Accused of Espionage ‘Doesn’t Feel Like a Spy’ – Lawyer

Sputnik – November 14, 2018

The lawyer of the retired Austrian colonel, who is suspected of having passed secret information to Russia for 25 years, insists that his client could have never betrayed state secrets as he had no access to the classified data. According to the local outlet Kronen Zeitung, defender Michael Hofer welcomed the decision of the Salzburg State Court not to arrest the retired colonel.

“My client has assured me that he has not revealed any state secrets. He is very pleased with the decision of the court. He does not feel like a spy,” the lawyer told the media.

The judge dismissed the application for pre-trial detention, citing there’s no danger that the suspect flees. He is said to be optimally socially integrated and has an irreproachable profile. Court spokesman Peter Egger also stated that the accused man has no access to sensitive information anyway since he is retired. Besides, his communications are restricted. … continue

The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend

By Bill Martin | CounterPunch | November 14, 2018

As per usual in my ongoing failure to “speak to the day” as a journalist should, this piece will come out after the “most important election of our lifetimes”-midterms. Part of the delay was having to deal with friends who were worried that I would say the sorts of things I say here—because, you know, as a philosopher and retired professor the influence I have is enormous! I’ll return to the all-important midterms at the end, now that they are (safely?) behind us.

I imagine the “lifetimes” in question are those of the well-trained liberals, progressives, and “leftists” who are now in their twenties, thirties, and forties; “educated people.” For anyone older, I find it hard to understand how they think the stakes of things within the existing social system are so different than in any other election. Even for those in their forties, we have lived as adults in a time when the Supreme Court stopped an election and installed a president and vice-president in what looked like a right-wing coup. This unfolded into real elements of fascism, such as the abrogation of the U.S. constitution by the Patriot Act, the starting of wars on the basis of outright lies (lies that were easily seen through, but that were supported by Democrats in Congress such as Hillary Clinton); these wars continue today.  But my liberal friends say, “never mind that, because … Trump.”

For liberals, there is nothing Trump has done that is anything but bad or even horrible. Everything Trump is and does is horrible for them. … continue

‘Tangible Evidence’: UK Funding ‘Killer Robot’ Drone Project – Leaked Report

Sputnik – November 14, 2018

In 2017, hundreds of academics in Canada and Australia called for a pre-emptive ban on the development and use of lethal autonomous robotics, a move that became part of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.

The development of “killer robot” drones has actively been funded by the British government, which is making public statements that it has no plans to create such unmanned aerial vehicles, according to a leaked report by a UK anti-drone campaign group. … continue

Phil Ochs and the Crucifixion of President John F. Kennedy

By Edward Curtin | November 13, 2018

… Phil Ochs wrote and performed passionate protest songs during the 1960s that inspired many to speak and act in opposition to the Vietnam War and many other injustices. He was a fiery, sardonic activist whose music, such as “I Ain’t Marching Any More,” induced many to refuse military induction and to burn their draft cards. He, not Bob Dylan, was the committed voice of the 1960s radical anti-war folk music world, singing at events and rallies across the country, culminating at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago when the Chicago police rioted and savagely beat anti-war protesters, and Yippies and Hippies and protesters gathered in Lincoln Park to listen to Ochs sing defiant songs to keep up their spirits. But Ochs’s own spirit was broken that terrible year of so many deaths, which started his long descent into alcoholism and mental chaos that ended with his suicide in 1976.

I was one of those who was inspired by his music. I still am. Soulful and satiric, biting and beautiful, stirring and inspiriting, it has a power few can equal. But I have come to a point where I find it necessary to broach a strange mystery involving Ochs, something that when I first heard it in passing shocked me terribly. No, I thought, that can’t be true; it’s impossible.

But the more I have researched it, the truer it seems, and I have come to see it as emblematic of the treachery and confusion sown by the CIA, its Operation Mockingbird, and its so-called Mighty Wurlitzer that have played so many for fools through its control of the corporate mass media and the production of narratives that run like little movies too perfect to be true, but too true to be false – even when they are.  Screens within screens within screens. Efforts to fuck up as many people as possible in operation chaos, to derange and cleave them into split personalities within and without, and to mystify as many minds as possible.

I think Phil Ochs was one so mystified. I think he was used and abused by radically evil forces. … Read full article

Talkin’ Jim Acosta Hard Pass Blues: Is White House Press Access a Constitutional Right?

By Thomas L. Knapp | The Garrison Center | November 13, 2018

On the evening of November 7, administration officials suspended CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s “hard pass.” A hard pass allows its holder “access to areas designated for journalists in the West Wing, on Air Force One, and in other secured areas during presidential trips, which are routinely covered by the White House press corps.”

The suspension followed a combative press conference during which US president Donald Trump repeatedly slammed reporters, referring to Acosta as “an enemy of the people,” and during which Acosta  refused to hand a White House mic back to the intern who came to collect it when his haranguing — er, questioning — time ran out and either (depending on who you ask) accidentally brushed, or intentionally struck, the intern.

On November 13, CNN sued Trump and several other White House officials, accusing them of violating Acosta’s First Amendment (freedom of the press) and Fifth Amendment (due process) rights.

Insofar as the White House has specific and supposedly objective standards for granting hard passes to reporters, Acosta might indeed have a due process claim if yanking his pass didn’t conform to those standards. The First Amendment claim, on the other hand, seems pretty sketchy. … continue

Nunavut government has a draft plan to deal with unsafe numbers of polar bears

By Susan Crockford | Polar Bear Science | November 12, 2018

… I’ve noted previously that there were two fatal polar bear attacks in Hudson Bay this summer. Both of them happened outside local communities and both happened early during the ice-free period (when bears would have been onshore for only a few weeks). Neither incident can be reasonably blamed on lack of sea ice, an extended ice-free period, or lack of management of problem polar bears within or near communities. The bears involved in the August attack were described as being in good condition. … Read full article

Woolsey Fire Burns Nuclear Meltdown Site that State Toxics Agency Failed to Clean Up

THE SANTA SUSANA FIELD LABORATORY (ROCKETDYNE) BURNED IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE, THREATENING TOXIC EXPOSURES FROM CONTAMINATED DUST, SMOKE, ASH AND SOIL. THE DEPARTMENT OF TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL DENIES RISK THAT IT CREATED BY DELAYING THE LONG PROMISED CLEANUP.

Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles | November 9, 2018

Last night, the Woolsey fire burned the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), a former nuclear and rocket engine testing site. Footage from local television showed flames surrounding rocket test stands, and the fire’s progress through to Oak Park indicates that much of the toxic site burned.

A statement released by the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) said that its staff, “do not believe the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke.” The statement failed to assuage community concerns given DTSC’s longtime pattern of misinformation about SSFL’s contamination and its repeated broken promises to clean it up. … continue

Three more Palestinians killed as Israel pounds Gaza Strip again

Press TV – November 13, 2018

Three more Palestinians have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when Israeli military aircraft and artillery unit shelled positions across the blockaded Gaza Strip anew.

Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, said 26-year-old Khaled Riyad Ahmed al-Sultan was killed and another civilian wounded when Israeli shells fell onto Salatin area west of the city of Beit Lahia, located about five kilometers north of Gaza City.

The statement added that Musab Hus, 20, also died and three others were wounded during an Israeli attack on an area east of the al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City.

Khaled Akram Yousef Marouf, 29, was also killed in an Israeli strike that targeted a group of civilians in the northern sector of the besieged coastal sliver.

Later in the day, an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle fired a missile at a residential building in the al-Shuja’iyya neighborhood district of Gaza City. There were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.

Israeli military aircraft also struck civilian neighborhoods in al-Barkah area east of Beit Lahia, though no reports of casualties were quickly available. … Full article

For Arab eyes only: Threat of war vanishes from Israeli military’s English-language Twitter account

RT | November 13, 2018

A thinly-veiled threat to unleash the full military power of Israel on residents of the Gaza strip is apparently meant for Arabs only, since its English-language version is now gone from an Israeli military Twitter account. … continue

The Plan: Why Israel Is Bent on Supporting Arab Division

By Elias SAMO | Strategic Culture Foundation | 13.11.2018

During many meetings with senior members of the Syrian opposition in various European cities in 2013-2014, I would remind them that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, amongst others, host and finance the opposition due to their own self-interest and agendas; and not out of love for Syria. I would note that there is no disagreement among us Syrians about the brutality, corruption and exploitation of the Ottoman Empire during its four-century rule of Syria; we don’t want history to repeat itself. As for Saudi Arabia, I would remind the opposition of the contributions Syrian professionals made in the development of the Kingdom in past decades. We say to the Saudis “Blessed be your Wahhabism for you, but not for Syria”; Syria is a cultural and societal mosaic of ethnic, religious and sectarian components. As for the United States, we all agree that Washington supports Israel and views Syria as an adversarial state. However, Israel is a totally different matter. Since its creation, Israel has pursued aggressive and expansionist policy towards its neighbors in pursuit of two primary objectives: I – Great Israel and II – No Arab Unity And Support Arab Division. … continue

John Bolton Wins “Defender of Israel” Award From Zionist Lobby Group That Helped Appoint Him

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | November 12, 2018

The ZOA, Bolton’s enthusiastic sponsor, led the campaign to remove former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from his post after railing against McMaster’s “anti-Israel” positions, most notably his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) recently awarded U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton the “Defender of Israel Award” during its annual awards dinner, which took place in New York on Sunday night.

Other awardees included U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as well as Fox News television host Mark Levin. Both Grenell and Levin are close to Bolton, with the former having served as Bolton’s spokesman and the latter having worked closely with Bolton at the Department of Justice in the Reagan administration.

Though Bolton has received several awards from the Israel lobby in the past, due to his fervent promotion of Zionism and Israeli government policy, this more recent award is notable, as the ZOA is largely responsible for Bolton’s appointment as National Security Adviser within the Trump administration. … continue

Israel Wins 2018 Election

No matter who is elected Israel comes first

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • November 13, 2018

… Israel was engaging in interfering in legitimate political activity and also generating fake news on the social media in both 2016 and 2018, the same accusation that has been leveled against Moscow, but Special Counsel Robert Mueller seems curiously uninterested. … Read full article

The Korean War: The Moral Bankruptcy of Interventionism

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | November 13, 2018

An article in Sunday’s New York Times entitled “Remembering the Forgotten War” demonstrates perfectly the moral bankruptcy of the philosophy of foreign interventionism. Calling for the Korean War to become more highly remembered, the author, Hampton Sides, extols some of the popular justifications for subjecting U.S. troops to death, injury, and maiming in the Korean War. … continue

South Korea rejects report on North’s ‘undeclared missile sites’

Press TV – November 13, 2018

South Korea has dismissed a new report by a United States-based think tank that accused North Korea of being engaged in “deception” based on purported commercial satellite images that it said showed a number of “undeclared missile operating bases” inside the country.

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) claimed in a report on Monday that it had identified at least 13 of an estimated 20 undeclared missile operating bases according to new commercial satellite images. … continue

Where was Detective Sergeant Nicholas Bailey Poisoned?

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | November 12, 2018

I wrote back here that the Achilles Heel of the door handle theory is Detective Sergeant Nicholas Bailey. When his name was first mentioned publicly, on 8th March, it was widely reported that he had been one of the first responders at the bench in The Maltings. However, this was thrown into confusion the following day by none other than Lord Ian Blair, former Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police, who stated the following on Radio 4’s Today Programme… continue

Indigenous Canadian women still being forcibly sterilized, claims senator

RT | November 12, 2018

A Canadian senator claims that unwilling indigenous women are still getting coerced into being sterilized across Canada. The senator now wants the “heinous” issue investigated nationwide.

Sterilization by tubal ligation – a process by which the fallopian tubes are either tied, burned or severed – is not just a shameful relic of Canadian history, Senator Yvonne Boyer claimed, but a process that is still happening across the country today.

According to a report published last year, the procedure is frequently carried out on indigenous women in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The report relies only on verbal evidence from women in the Saskatoon region, and was authored by Boyer herself.

After being contacted by survivors, Boyer now believes that the practice is far more commonplace than previously believed.

“If it’s happened in Saskatoon, it has happened in Regina, it’s happened in Winnipeg, it’s happened where there’s a high population of Indigenous women,” Boyer told the Toronto Star. “I’ve had many women contact me from across the country and ask me for help.” … continue

Over 60 Civilians Killed or Injured by Coalition Airstrike in Syria – Reports

Sputnik – 12.11.2018

Over 60 civilians have been killed or injured by a US-led coalition airstrike on Syria’s eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, Syrian SANA news agency reported.

Syrian SANA news agency reported on Monday that over 60 civilians were killed or injured by an airstrike, made by the US-led coalition on al-Sha’afa town in eastern Deir ez-Zor.

“More than 60 dead and wounded civilians as a result of an attack by the international coalition on the village of al-Sha’afa in the east of Deir ez-Zor province,” SANA said, citing local sources.

Previously, another coalition airstrike on the city of Hajin in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province reportedly killed at least 15 civilians. Ikhbariya TV channel reported then that the majority among those killed were women and children.

Previously, Damascus accused the US-led coalition of violating international law and killing civilians in a letter to the United Nations, saying that Washington wasn’t fighting terrorism in the country.

Hamas condemn Israel destruction of Al Aqsa TV station

MEMO | November 12, 2018

The Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas – has condemned Israel’s destruction of Al Aqsa TV station in the Gaza Strip. A spokesman for the movement, Fawzi Barhoum, described the targeting of the TV Channel and demolishing of its headquarters as a blatant act of aggression against journalism and all free voices dedicated to communicating the truth.

Barhoum called on international, legal and media organisations to denounce this latest act of Israeli aggression against journalism and freedom of expression.

Hamas said that Israel’s crimes would never stop Palestinian journalists from continuing their humanitarian and professional mission to expose the occupation’s crimes against the Palestinian people.

In airstrikes late Monday, Israeli fighter jets tried to wipe the Hamas-run TV station in Gaza off the map.

Firing 10 missiles at the Al-Aqsa TV station, Israeli jets destroyed its headquarters, witnesses said.

Amid the airstrikes, the station went off the air briefly before resuming operations. Many buildings around the station were also damaged.

Israeli fighter jets carry out fresh airstrikes ‘throughout’ Gaza Strip, kill three people

Press TV – November 12, 2018

Israeli warplanes have conducted fresh airstrikes ‘throughout’ the besieged Gaza Strip, killing three people, shortly after the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement fired an intense barrage of retaliatory rockets against the Israeli-occupied territories, triggering air sirens across southern settlements.

Israeli military said in a statement that its fighter jets had carried out airstrikes “throughout the Gaza Strip” on Monday afternoon, claiming that the aerial aggression was aimed at “terror targets” in the impoverished enclave.

The Israeli military claimed in a statement that the aerial aggression was in response to some 80 rockets and mortar shells fired against the southern parts of the occupied territories minutes earlier, wounding at least 19 Israeli settlers, one in critical condition. Gaza’s retaliatory rockets also hit a bus carrying Israeli forces, killing one of them and injuring several.

It added that Israel’s so-called Iron Dome managed to intercept several of the inbound projectiles.

Rocket sirens sounded throughout southern Israeli settlements, including in Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon and Sderot. The sirens prompted thousands of settlers to rush for bomb shelters. […]

The flare-up came just a day after Israeli special forces infiltrated the Gaza Strip, assassinating a top Hamas commander, while subsequent Israeli airstrikes killed six others, including another commander with the Palestinian resistance movement. Reports also said that an Israeli officer was also killed during the ensuing clashes. … Full article

Egypt tortures Palestinian resistance combatants: Report

MEMO | November 12, 2018

“We were a group of 15 combatants returning from a training mission from one of the countries that supports the Palestinian resistance. When we arrived at Cairo airport, we were taken to an underground place. We were blindfolded, handcuffed, and transferred to a number of prisons.” This is a part of a testimony of a Palestinian resistance combatant who was detained in Egyptian prisons and has been released recently.

Al-Khaleej Online will reveal in this investigation that the Egyptian intelligence and national security services tortured a number of Palestinian resistance combatants and students during their travel and study, in order to extract security information related to the Palestinian resistance.

The investigation documented a number of testimonies of more than 20 Palestinians, including those fighting in the Palestinian resistance, who were detained in secret prisons of Egyptian intelligence and national security, and subjected to physical and psychological torture throughout their interrogation period. … continue

Yemeni fighters beat back Saudi push in eastern Hudaydah

Press TV – November 12, 2018

Yemeni forces have pushed back a large-scale assault by militants and mercenaries on the port city of Hudaydah, a source in the so-called Saudi coalition has told Agence France-Presse.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have deployed about 10,000 new troops to Yemen’s west coast after repeated campaigns to seize Hudaydah were thwarted by Houthis and their allies in the Yemeni army.

After 11 days of clashes, Saudi-backed militants say they have now reached residential neighborhoods in Hudaydah’s east, sparking fears of street fights that would further endanger civilians trapped in the city.

Medics and military sources were quoted as saying Monday that nearly 150 people had been killed in 24 hours of clashes, including several civilians.

Based on a tally provided by AFP, 110 protectors of the city and 32 invaders were killed overnight. A military official in Hudaydah confirmed seven civilians deaths, without giving further details.

Houthi fighters and their allies, however, have pushed back the massive offensive to occupy Hudaydah, the news agency admitted, citing a source in the coalition as saying.

Residents told AFP that Yemeni snipers had taken positions on rooftops in eastern Hudaydah, a few miles from the port on the western edge of the city, in preparation for street battles.

Battle-hardened Houthi fighters and their allies are expected to fare better in street battles. To overwhelm them, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are most likely to resort to heavy bombing of the city in order to pave the way for ground advances. … Full article

President Trump’s Iran Policy – Is It ‘Normal’?

By Ron Paul | November 12, 2018

It’s not often that US Government officials are honest when they talk about our foreign policy. The unprovoked 2003 attack on Iraq was called a “liberation.” The 2011 US-led destruction of Libya was a “humanitarian intervention.” And so on.

So, in a way, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was refreshingly honest last week when, speaking about newly-imposed US sanctions, he told the BBC that the Iranian leadership “has to make a decision that they want their people to eat.” It was an honest admission that new US sanctions are designed to starve Iranians unless the Iranian leadership accepts US demands. … continue

Italy Slows Down Purchases of US F-35 Jets to Cut Spending – Reports

Sputnik – 12.11.2018

The previous government ordered some 90 of the fifth-generation jets for its military, but the Five Star and Lega parties, which won the last election, have been trying to either scrap the deal or reduce spending on it. … continue

North and South Korea begin tearing down guard posts at the border

RT | November 12, 2018

… On Sunday, soldiers from both sides of the DMZ began to disassemble 20 frontline guard posts along the highly fortified and historically tense border. The de-escalation gesture of removing the guards, weaponry and now the structures themselves was jointly agreed upon by generals from the two Koreas’ armies in late October in an effort to meet goals set during September’s meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. […]

Along with the removal of the posts, the generals also agreed to strive for joint use of the Han River estuary on the Western border of the peninsula, which would allow civilian ships to pass through the neutral waters for the first time since 1953. … Full article

The Poison Paradox – Who Knew?

By David Macilwain | OffGuardian | November 12, 2018

… As I’ve written before about the Skripal poisoning, once it is accepted that it really was a hoax – a cleverly constructed piece of political theatre contrived by the UK government to further its strategic objectives against Russia – some other questions immediately present themselves. … Read full article

Turkey Calls French Statements on Khashoggi Tapes ‘Unacceptable’

Sputnik – 12.11.2018

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stated Monday that France was in no possession of recordings related to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as far as he was aware, with the remarks provoking utmost fury in Ankara.

The Turkish side has branded French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s statement on the Khashoggi tapes inadmissible.

“We find it unacceptable that he accused President Erdogan of ‘playing political games’,” communications director at the Turkish presidency Fahrettin Altun told AFP.

“Let us not forget that this case would have been already covered up had it not been for Turkey’s determined efforts,” Altun stressed adding that the comments do not “reflect the facts.”

He noted Ankara shared evidence linked to the murder with officials from a large number of countries and that France was “no exception”.

Commenting on the development, a representative of French intelligence was cited by AFP as saying that “it is up to the French authorities — not Turkey — to take care of” possible “miscommunication between the French government’s various agencies,” if any.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stated Monday in an interview on France 2 that France did not possess any recordings related to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as far as he was aware, thereby contradicting the Turkish side’s statements. Le Drian went on to say that the Turkish head of state appears to “have a political game to play in these circumstances.”

In the meantime, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to be the first Western head of state to publicly acknowledge his country had indeed received the recordings in question, after Erdogan announced handing them over to the Western states during the weekend.

“Canada has been fully briefed up on what Turkey had to share,” Trudeau told journalists from the Canadian Embassy in Paris, where he was attending the Peace Forum following the anniversary Rememrance Day events held over the weekend in the French capital. … Full article

World War I Homage – A Triumph of Lies and Platitudes

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 12.11.2018

World leaders gathered in Paris on Sunday under the Arc de Triomphe to mark the centennial anniversary ending World War I. In an absurd way, the Napoleon-era arc was a fitting venue – because the ceremony and the rhetoric from President Emmanuel Macron was a “triumph” of lies and platitudes. … continue

Merkel Shouldn’t Have Been at Armistice Events ‘for Winners of WWI’ – AfD Leader

Sputnik – 12.11.2018

AfD leader Alexander Gauland remarked that the Chancellor’s promenade with French President Macron through the milestone Arc de Triomphe indicates her strive to reverse and twist history, so that she finds herself in a historic moment that “favours” the strong, “the winner.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel should not have taken part in an official ceremony marking the centennial anniversary of the end of fighting in World War One, since it is an event for the “winners”, the leader of the right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) Alexander Gauland noted. He stressed that Germany lost the war and Merkel was attempting to rewrite history by participating in the landmark gathering for the former coalition.

‘We can’t put ourselves in a historical situation that clearly favours the winner and walk alongside Mr. Macron through the Arc de Triomphe,’ he said, referring to yesterday’s grand Remembrance Day ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in the French capital… Full article

George W. Bush and his wife awarded Liberty Medal amid protests

Press TV – November 12, 2018

Former US President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, have received the National Constitution Center’s prestigious Liberty Medal amid protests from military veterans.

“I am incredibly proud along with Laura to receive the Liberty Medal and I thank the National Constitution Center and its board for this high honor,” Bush said Sunday after receiving the award in Philadelphia.

The medal is awarded to recipients for their commitment to veterans.

“It is not about again Democrats or Republicans,” said former Vice President Joe Biden, who presented the medals. “It’s about who we are. It’s about standing up for men and women who put their lives on the line to defend us every single day.”

The Bushes received the medal on Veterans Day, which in Europe is known as Armistice Day. … Full article

Remembering the Peace Makers: What the Armistice Commemorations Forgot

By Binoy Kampmark | Dissident Voice | November 11, 2018

Those in the war industry and the business of commemorating the dead have little time for peace, even as they supposedly celebrate it. For them, peace is the enemy as much as armed opposing combatants, if not more so. Dr Brendan Nelson of the Australian War Memorial is every bit the propagandist in this regard, encased in armour of permanent reminder: Do not forget the sacrifice; do not forget the slaughter. The issue is how war, not peace, is commemorated. … continue

European Parliament ‘Shocked’ at Amount of EU-Made Arms in Hands of Terrorists

Sputnik – 12.11.2018

This week, members of the European Parliament will gather in Strasbourg for the plenary session with a wide array of issues on the agenda, including arms exports.

A draft report on arms exports, which will be tabled at the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg later this week, suggests launching an investigation into how EU-made weapons end up in the possession of terrorists in the Middle East.

One provision of the document, presented by German MEP Sabine Lösing, says that the European Parliament is “shocked at the amount of EU-made weapons and ammunition found in the hands of Daesh in Syria and Iraq.”

The same draft highlights that some EU member-states, including Bulgaria and Romania, have failed to apply the Common Position in relation to weapons’ retransfers, which contravenes end-user certificates. … continue

Germany, EU funding militants in Idlib: Report

Press TV – November 12, 2018

The German government and other EU members are funding militants still present in Idlib and involved in a conflict against the Syrian army, Germany’s Tagesspiegel newspaper has revealed.

According to the report cited by British daily the Telegraph on Sunday, “no less than 37.5 million euros” has been transferred to militant groups in Idlib by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In total, Berlin has paid nearly 49 million euros to militants fighting to topple the Syrian government and facilitated the transfer of similar funds by other EU members, it added. … continue

Final Turnout in Donbass DPR’s Elections Reaches 80.1 Percent – Authorities

Sputnik – 12.11.2018

DONETSK/KIEV – The final turnout in the elections of the leader and members of parliament in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has amounted to 80.1 percent, head of the breakaway republic’s Central Election Commission Olga Pozdnyakova said. … continue