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Using Twitter Volume as Scientific Measure of “Climate Change” Is a Very, Very, Bad Idea

By Anthony Watts | Watts Up With That | February 25, 2020

The headline of a recent story on CNBC claimed, “Scientists Are Using Twitter to Measure the Impact of Climate Change.”

I did a double-take and checked the calendar to make sure this was not April Fools’ Day, thinking this had to be some sort of a joke.

Sadly, it is not.

Incredibly, scientists are basing claims of a climate crisis on the number of people tweeting about climate events—a very bad sign for science, indeed.

The CNBC story featured a newly published study titled, “Using Remarkability to Define Coastal Flooding Thresholds.” (“Remarkability” is a fancy, sciencey-sounding name for Twitter volume.) A pair of scientists from the University of California at Davis and the Max Plank Institute for Human Development examined Twitter messages to measure how often people complained about flooding nuisances—typically caused by backed-up stormwater drains—along coastal counties, including Boston, Miami, and New York. […]

Here is the biggest flaw in the study: Nowhere in the study did the authors look at the increase of Twitter users or tweets during the same period, and that’s a shocking oversight on their part. According to data for the United States compiled by Statista, Twitter’s audience grew massively from the first quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2014, from 48 million to 63 million monthly active users. This 31.25 percent increase in the number of Twitter users overlapped the period studied in the previously mentioned (and dubious) flooding study. … Full article

Thought-police come for Koch-funded ‘anti-Greta’ – but unlike ‘real Greta,’ she’s open about her backers

By Helen Buyniski | RT | February 24, 2020

A 19-year-old German girl has joined the right-wing Heartland Institute to counter “climate alarmism” with “climate realism,” leading MSM to dub her “anti-Greta” (Thunberg). But unlike Thunberg, her conflicts of interest are in public view.

Naomi Seibt has been attacked as a “climate change denier” for working with the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think-tank funded by oil and gas companies and conservative groups. But the young German insists she’s not denying climate change, just trying to inject some reason into the debate – a demand which has only caused her detractors to shriek louder. … continue

Climate Alarmism and Malthusianism (rebuttal to Taylor)

By Robert Bradley Jr. – Master Resource – February 25, 2020

“The pseudo-intellectual right loves to compare climate concern and action with Malthusianism. I’ve never quite understood what the heck these things have in common.” (Jerry Taylor, October 13, 2019)

“What environmentalists mainly say … is not that we are running out of energy but that we are running out of environment–that is, running out of the capacity of air, water, soil and biota to absorb, without intolerable consequences for human well-being, the effects of energy extraction, transport, transformation and use.” (John Holdren, April 2002)

Jerry Taylor, please read the literature before opining on such matters as energy and the environment. Climate change is the latest Malthusian scare, per John Holdren. And the common denominator of the Malthusian worldview is overpopulation, as Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak document in Population Bombed! Exploding the Link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change (2018).

Some quotations from Population Bombed cement the tie-in… continue

Millions Of Britons Could Be Plunged Into Fuel Poverty Over Coal And Wet Log Ban

Daily Express | February 22, 2020

Millions of people living in rural parts of Britain will be plunged into fuel poverty when a ban on burning coal and wet logs comes into force next year, experts warned last night.

Traditional coal and wet wood fuels are to be phased out as part of plans to slash toxic particles being pumped into the air.

But the Government was told last night the move would force consumers to switch to more expensive alternatives, leaving some unable to afford to heat their homes.

Around 2.5 million households are now living in fuel poverty – where the home cannot be kept warm at a reasonable cost – at a time energy bills are soaring. Some 17,000 deaths a year are caused by cold homes.

Ian Gregory, an adviser to the fuel industry, said: “This is gesture politics of the worst type and is going to hit the rural poor the hardest. Alternatives are twice as expensive and unaffordable for many.

“Nearly 4 million people are off the gas grid in the UK…” Full article

Dozens of Israel settlement ‘outposts’ connected to electricity grid

MEMO | February 24, 2020

The Israeli prime minister’s office yesterday ordered that 12 unauthorised settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank be connected to the state’s power grid, reported the Times of Israel.

There are more than 200 settlements across the occupied Palestinian territory, including at least 100 so-called outposts. Under international law, all settlements are illegal.

In a letter to the defence ministry’s adviser on settlement affairs Avi Roeh, the Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ronen Peretz, explained the decision on the basis that the outposts in question were “established many years ago on [what is considered] state land”.

Peretz also admitted that the outposts were established “with the government’s encouragement”, an explicit admission of what Palestinians and settler monitors have long maintained. … Full artice

I’ve taught at six Jewish day schools. They’re preaching dual loyalty to Israel.

Forward | February 25, 2020

I’ve heard teachers or administrators say at assemblies things like “you don’t belong in America,” “Israel is your country” and “the IDF are your soldiers.” …

HaTikvah was sung more often than the Pledge of Allegiance or the Star Spangled Banner…

Israeli national holidays are taught with a reverence that outstrips that accorded to religious or American ones…

Anyone who has witnessed daily life at a Jewish day school and thinks that accusations of dual loyalty are anti-Semitic is either spiteful or idiotic… Read full article

Israel builds new Jew-only road and steals more Palestinian land

MEMO | February 25, 2020

Israel is building yet another bypass road for use by Jewish settlers only and, yet again, it is stealing Palestinian land to do so. The land in question is in Huwwara, to the south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

The 7-kilometre road will start from the village of Zaatara and pass through land owned by Palestinians in Huwwara, Beita and Odala. Until now, the access route in the area has been shared by Palestinians and Jewish settlers — whose presence is illegal under international law — who often use it to raid and terrorise the residents of the local villages.

Since the Israeli government decided to build the road last April, it has led to the seizure of more than 40 hectares of land from the surrounding Palestinian villages. According to Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the settlements file in the northern West Bank, Israeli bulldozers have been razing everything on the land near a military checkpoint outside Huwwara.

The plans for the bypass of the village have been in the pipeline for years, although local activist Ghassan Najjar insists that the locals have been kept in the dark until a few days ago. … continue

Washington Post’s ‘relative quiet’ ignores Israeli violence against Palestinians

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | February 24, 2020

The Post says there had been “weeks of relative quiet,” even though Israeli soldiers had shot over 100 Palestinian civilians, killing four of them; conducted 400+ invasions of the Palestinian Territories; abducted dozens of Palestinians; perpetrated air strikes on Gaza; shot at fishermen and farmers; demolished Palestinian homes; tortured a Palestinian mother; and shot a small boy in the eye…

Are Post Editor Marty Baron and reporter Ruth Eglash too close to Israel to report the full, unfiltered news? … Read article

With Grenell Appointment, the Israel Lobby’s Foothold on US Intelligence Grows Even Stronger

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | February 25, 2020

Last week’s appointment of U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to the post of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) received criticism from both sides of the political divide, mainly for his lack of experience and history of outspoken and partisan political statements. Much more overlooked, however, are Grenell’s ties to the powerful American pro-Israel lobby and Israeli politicians alike, including organizations and individuals with a history of espionage and blackmail against the United States.

Grenell is merely the latest example in a series of appointments over the past few years that have seen individuals with deep ties to the pro-Israel lobby rise to top positions in the U.S. intelligence community, including the NSA’s current director of Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger as well as the leaders of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB).

With many of these posts directly involved in overseeing the security of the upcoming 2020 election, ostensibly to combat “foreign interference,” these connections are even more significant. Some of the Israel lobby groups in question have not only engaged in illegal espionage against the U.S. government, but are also openly meddling in the current Democratic party primary.

Beyond the potential effects on the upcoming election, these troubling ties between top U.S. intelligence officials and a foreign government do not bode well for American national security and will only advance the long-standing practice of American neoconservatives conflating Israeli national security interests with those of the United States. … continue

US Imposes Sanctions on Entities in Russia and China Over ‘Support of Iran’s Missile Programme’

Sputnik – February 25, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that Washington is imposing sanctions on 13 entities in Russia, China, Iraq, and Turkey for “supporting Iran’s missile programme.”

He further added that sanctions against individuals and entities in those countries were “consistent with our efforts to use all available measures” to slow Iranian missiles.

In particular, five Chinese and Turkish entities and individuals have been included in the sanctions list.

The decision was made in accordance with the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Non-proliferation Act, which provides for sanctions for “the transfer of equipment or technology having the potential to make a material contribution to the development of weapons of mass destruction or cruise or ballistic missile systems” to those countries.

Addressing a large meeting on the occasion of celebrating the 40th anniversary of victory of the Islamic Revolution at Tehran’s Azadi (Liberty) Square earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated that Tehran hadn’t asked and would not ask “a permission from anybody to manufacture various types of missiles, including anti-tank missiles, air-to-air, ground-to-ground or sea-to-sea missiles. We will continue our way [of development] of military force.”

UK Defence Minister Announces Development of New Nuclear Warhead as ‘Effective’ Deterrent

By Tim Korso – Sputnik – February 25, 2020

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced via a written statement to parliament that the UK will be developing a replacement warhead while continuing to maintain its existing nuclear warheads until they are decommissioned. The development of the new warheads was spurred by the need to respond to new threats in a changing security environment, the defence secretary said.

“We will maintain our Trident nuclear deterrent, which guarantees our security. To ensure the government maintains an effective deterrent throughout the commission of the Dreadnought Class ballistic missile submarine we are replacing our existing nuclear warheads to respond to future threats and the security environment”, Wallace stated.

Wallace said to the parliament that highly skilled teams will be formed in close coordination between the Ministry of Defence’s Nuclear Organisation and the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment to develop the new weapon. The defence secretary added that the teams will also collaborate with the US to ensure that the new warhead stays compatible with the Trident Strategic Weapon Systems.

The move comes as part of a 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, which outlined the UK’s strategy of maintaining an independent minimum credible deterrent in the form of nuclear weapons. The stance was adopted as a result of the 2007 government decision supported by a parliamentary vote to uphold the country’s nuclear deterrents beyond the early 2030s.

Credibility of European Court of Human Rights lies in ruins after judges’ links to Soros revealed

By John Laughland | RT | February 25, 2020

A study by the European Center for Law and Justice in Strasbourg has revealed several conflicts of interest between judges at the European Court of Human Rights and NGOs funded by George Soros. … continue

Brazil in Search for False Enemies

By Lucas Leiroz | February 25, 2020

Recently, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense published a dossier on possible threats to national security over the next two decades. The document, however, is far from showing any sign of seriousness, being full of unfounded predictions, which call into question even the quality of the academic training of the military involved – or their commitment to the truth.

In the document, the Brazilian military set up a series of hypothetical scenarios and warn that France could become a real threat to Brazil in the coming years. … continue

Nuclear war ‘more likely’ after US arms subs with low-yield nukes – Tehran

RT | February 25, 202

Iran has blasted Washington for deploying submarines with low-yield nuclear warheads, arguing that the move increases the likelihood of unconventional war.

“Such provocative actions must be condemned,” Mohsen Baharvand, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for international and legal affairs, told the Conference on Disarmament in the UN building in Geneva. He added that the decision will make nuclear war “more likely” and sets the stage for an “accelerated” nuclear arms race.

The Pentagon announced this month that the Navy had fielded a low-yield, submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead, claiming the decision was aimed at deterring nuclear adversaries. The missiles are about as powerful as the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Washington has long accused Iran of seeking to develop its own nuclear weapons – an allegation that Tehran has fiercely denied. The Islamic Republic agreed to far-reaching inspections of nuclear sites as part of the 2015 sanctions-lifting deal reached with the US and several other signatories. US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the agreement in 2018, even though Tehran was found to be in full compliance with the accord.

Deconstructing the election to Iran’s Majlis

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | February 24, 2020

Iran’s parliamentary election on Friday took place in extraordinary circumstances. The pandemic fear over coronavirus significantly impacted the voter turnout, which is estimated to be around 42% (as compared to 62% in the 2016 election to the Majlis). A dozen people have died so far in Iran and a few dozen diagnosed with the virus outbreak. There are conflicting reports. Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Armenia have closed their border with Iran.

The election presages a robust comeback by the conservative faction known as the Principalists. In the 2016 election, the reformists, conservatives and independents won 41%, 29% and 28% of the vote respectively. But this time around, the reformists have been marginalised and the Principalists will dominate the 290-member Majlis with a commanding majority. The Principalists won all 30 seats from Tehran, which is traditionally a key battleground.

There are many underlying factors behind the popular discontent that the election results reflect — in particular, the anger at the 2015 nuclear deal’s failure to bring jobs and social improvements (as promised by President Hassan Rouhani), corruption, mounting social inequality, inflation and poverty rates, water shortages, spiralling cost of living and high unemployment. Strikes and protests among teachers and the working class became frequent in the recent years. … continue

Trudeau government deepens ties to repressive Kuwaiti monarchy

By Yves Engler · February 24, 2020

As many parents have warned their children, real friends do not encourage stupid, embarrassing, or life-threatening behaviour.

But because of our “friend” to the south, Justin Trudeau’s government has deepened ties to a repressive 250-year old monarchy in Kuwait and pursued other questionable policies.

After participating in the recent African Union Summit in Ethiopia Trudeau jetted off to meet the Emir of Kuwait, which has been part of the coalition bombing Yemen. The prime minister’s visit marked the most high-profile step in a bevy of diplomatic activity with a government where questioning the Emir or Islam is punishable with a significant prison sentence. … continue

Palestine’s Islamic Jihad announces end of response to Israeli crimes in Khan Younis, aggression on site in Damascus

Al-Manar – February 24, 2020

Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, announced Monday night the end of its military response to the two Israeli crimes of killing one Palestinian and mutilating his corpse in Khan Younis and launching an air raid on one of the movement’s site in Damascus.

In a statement, the resistance movement vowed to respond to any Zionist military escalation, knowing that it fired dozens of rockets at the Israeli settlements in Gaza’s vicinity during the past 24 hours.

An Al-Manar correspondent reported that Zionist warplanes escalated raids on the Strip after the Islamic Jihad issued this statement.

Israeli Authorities Force Beloved Palestinian Bakery to Close After 60 Years

By Celine Hagbard – IMEMC & Agencies – February 24, 2020

A Palestinian bakery in the heart of Old Jerusalem has been forced to close by Israeli authorities after 60 years in business. The reason provided for the forced closure was that the bakery had been providing baked goods to Palestinian worshipers headed to Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray.

The Israeli occupation government in Jerusalem ordered the owner of the bakery, Abu Naser Abu Sneineh, to cease providing ka’ek — an oval shaped bread with sesame seeds that is extremely popular in Palestine — to people praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Many Palestinians think of ka’ek as ‘the essence of Palestine’, and the smell of the sesame bread fills the streets of Jerusalem in the early morning hours.

The Israeli municipal authorities that gave the order did not say why it was a problem for the bakery to be distributing ka’ek to worshipers, but Palestinian analysts say that it appears to be part of the ongoing pressure campaign against the mosque and the people who pray there. … Full article

Israeli settlers poison Palestinian wheat fields in Jordan Valley

Palestine Information Center – February 24, 2020

TUBAS – Israeli settlers on Monday morning destroyed Palestinian wheat fields with poisonous chemicals near al-Sakout village in the northern Jordan Valley.

Human rights activist Aref Daraghmeh said that Israeli settlers sprayed about 12 dunums of wheat fields with poisonous pesticides destroying and burning crops.

Daraghmeh said that settler attacks on Palestinian farmlands in the Jordan Valley fall in line with a large-scale scheme by the Israeli authorities aimed at forcing the Palestinians out of the area.

Al-Sakout is a Palestinian village on the border with Jordan. It was destroyed by the Israeli occupation army in 1967 along with 32 villages in the northern Jordan Valley.

Settlers Fence off Palestinian Agricultural Land in Jordan Valley

IMEMC & Agencies – February 24, 2020

Israeli settlers, on Sunday, continued fencing large tracts of land in the northern Jordan Valley as they chased Palestinian herders out of pastures in the area, according to local sources.

Aref Daraghmeh, a local rights activist, told the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) that extremist settlers continued for the second day in a row encircling thousands of dunams of Palestinian-owned agricultural lands.

On Saturday, illegal Israeli colonists installed fences around large areas of grazing lands in the West Bank’s Northern plains.

US-Palestinian intelligence talks focus on Abbas’ successor

By Dr Adnan Abu Amer | MEMO | February 24, 2020

Just two days after the announcement of the “deal of the century” in late January, Gina Haspel, director of the CIA, secretly arrived in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, and met with Majed Faraj, head of the Palestinian Intelligence Service, and a number of senior Palestinian officials. They assured her that Palestinian-American security coordination would not be affected after the announcement of the deal.

This visit took place after Israel revealed it had thwarted an assassination attempt on Majed Faraj, at the order of Tawfik Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and former head of the General Intelligence Service.

The CIA director’s visit came as a surprise, she could have sent one of her aides or summoned Majed Fatah to Washington. There are some who believe that the visit aimed to persuade the Palestinians to accept the deal of the century.

Perhaps the American security visit is related to the preparation for the succession of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, especially since the visit coincided with the revelation of the assassination attempt on Faraj. … continue

Hamas: Israel’s aggressive mindset poses a threat to the entire region

Palestine Information Center – February 24, 2020

GAZA – The Hamas Movement has called for pooling the Arab nation’s efforts to confront the Israeli expansionist project in the region.

In a press release on Sunday night, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said that Israel’s “bombing of resistance sites in Damascus vindicated further the Israeli government’s aggressive mentality that keeps targeting the Arab nation and posing a threat to their region.”

“This entails uniting and integrating the entire nation’s efforts in order to confront the Zionist expansionist project and put an end to its ongoing aggression and its existence on the Palestinian land,” spokesman Qasem added.

The spokesman also described Israel’s renewed aggression against the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian resistance’s response to its crimes as “an ongoing battle between an arrogant colonial power and a people striving to extract their freedom and live with dignity on their own land.”

“This battle is to be won by our people, the rightful owners of the land and history, while the passing colonist will not have a place on our Palestinian land,” he said.

‘Deliberate hoax’: Russian military denies NGO report of airstrikes in Idlib

RT | February 24, 2020

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports of Russian airstrikes on two villages in Idlib province have nothing to do with reality, the Russian military said, adding that none of its planes operated in that area on Monday.

“The information provided by the British NGO is a deliberate hoax,” Rear Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev, head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation in Syria, said at a briefing.

Earlier in the day, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) claimed that an airstrike by Russian and Syrian forces on the villages of Kansafra and Al-Bara in Idlib led to the “killing and injuring of nearly ten Turkish soldiers.”

Ankara has not reported any casualties among its troops in Syria, however.

The SOHR claim came at a moment when Russia and Turkey stand on the brink of war over Syria. Ankara sent troops to Idlib – the last remaining terrorist stronghold in Syria – two weeks ago, provoking deadly clashes with the advancing Syrian army. Turkey has demanded Russia to pressure its allies in Damascus into ceasing its operations in the area, while Moscow blamed Ankara of not fulfilling its earlier promise to separate the “moderate” rebels from terrorists. … continue

US Democrats Call for Sanctions on Russia Over Alleged 2020 Election Meddling – Letter

Sputnik – February 24, 2020

WASHINGTON – US Senators Chuck Schumer and Sherrod Brown are urging the Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia following reports alleging that the country is meddling in the 2020 presidential election, a letter published on Monday showed.

“We urge you to immediately and forcefully impose sanctions on the government of the Russian Federation, any Russian actors determined to be responsible for such interference, and those acting on their behalf or providing material or financial support for these election interference efforts,” the senators wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The list of Russian officials who the senators said should be designated includes Russian President Vladimir Putin and other government. Schumer and Brown noted that the US Congress has provided the administration with a broad range of sanction tools through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a bill signed into law in 2017. … continue

Australian fires: Climate ‘truth bomb’?

By Alan Longhurst | Climate Etc. | February 24, 2020

Recipe for Australia’s climate ‘truth bomb’: dubious manipulations of the historical temperature record, ignorance of the climate dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere, and ignorance of Australia’s ecological and social history.

A correspondent of The Guardian newspaper writes that her personal ‘climate truth bomb’ hit her while she was picking ash from her glass at a wine tasting event – the Sydney Harbour bridge being dimly seen through the murk of bushfires. The truth came to her, she wrote, in the eloquent rage of Greta Thunberg and also in heat, smoke and fire.

Although anthropogenic climate change sells well, especially at The Guardian, their Sydney correspondent cannot be so ignorant about the climate of Australia or about bushfires as she pretends. … continue

Woke Royal Harry Will Take Jet to Speak in Britain About Holidaymakers… Who Take Jets

By KURT ZINDULKA | BrietBart | February 24, 2020

Eco-warrior Prince Harry will fly from Canada to the United Kingdom for the first time since renouncing his royal responsibilities to promote a project aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of frequent fliers.

The Duke of Sussex will head to Edinburgh on Wednesday to host a conference for Travalyst, an online scoring system that will rank flights, hotel accommodations and tourist attractions by how climate-friendly they are.

Travalyst was launched in September of last year, in partnership with leading travel brands including Booking.com, Visa, Tripadvisor, and Chinese owned sites Trip.com and Skyscanner. … Full article

Why are polar bears going extinct?

By Susan Crockford | Polar Bear Science | February 24, 2020

Google says many people ask this question so here is the correct answer:

Polar bears are not going extinct. If you have been told that, you have misunderstood or have been misinformed. Polar bears are well-distributed across their available habitat and population numbers are high (officially 22,000-31,000 at 2015 but likely closer to 26,000-58,000 at 2018): these are features of a healthy, thriving species.

‘Why are polar bears going extinct?’ contains a false premise – there is no need to ask ‘why’ when the ‘polar bears going extinct’ part is not true. … continue

UNESCO: Prosecute Climate Criminals

If voters elect leaders who reject UN climate treaties, those leaders will be dragged before an international court. 

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | February 24, 2020

UNESCO’s 2019 climate-themed magazine includes an article titled Climate crimes must be brought to justice. It may as well have been called Off With Their Heads!

Writer Catriona McKinnon, a professor of political theory at the University of Exeter, thinks she’s the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alternative perspectives shall not be tolerated. Non-compliance isn’t an option.

McKinnon wants to criminalize free speech. She wants to strip you and me of the right to determine our own destiny at the ballot box. Specifically, she wants to invent a new crime. The time has come, she says, to prosecute this crime. … continue

Switzerland at the Heart of Far-Reaching Surveillance Network Facilitating U.S.-Backed Operation Condor

By Ramona Wadi | Strategic Culture Foundation | February 24, 2020

The atrocities of Operation Condor – the U.S.-backed covert plan by Argentina, Chile, Brazil Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia to eliminate left-wing influence in Latin America – have been gradually revealed through declassified documents that detail the diplomatic maneuvering and state terror that left tens of thousands of people killed, tortured and disappeared. … continue

Trump’s Betrayal of Julian Assange

By Ron Paul | February 24, 2020

… It is ironic that a President Trump who has been victim of so much deep state meddling has done the deep state’s bidding when it comes to Assange and Wikileaks. President Trump should preempt the inevitable US show trial of Assange by granting the journalist blanket pardon under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The deep state Trump is serving by persecuting Assange is the same deep state that continues to plot Trump’s own ouster. … Read full article

Pompeo orders Iraq’s PM-designate to protect US troops despite calls for their expulsion

Press TV – February 24, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged Mohammad Allawi, Iraq’s designated prime minister, to protect American troops even though the Arab country’s parliament has voted in favor of expelling them.

During a phone call with Allawi on Sunday, Pompeo “stressed Iraq’s obligation to protect US and coalition diplomats, forces and facilities,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

His remarks are the first substantive US comment on Allawi’s appointment as the new prime minister on February 1. … Full article

Yemen says Saudi Arabia tried to eliminate pilots of downed jet

Press TV – February 24, 2020

A senior Houthi official says Yemen will reveal “in due course” information about the fate of two Saudi pilots whose Britain-made Tornado was shot down in Sa’ada province earlier this month.

A statement carried by the Saudi state news agency SPA after the downing said that the kingdom had conducted a special operation to evacuate the pilots who allegedly survived the incident, but no more information has emerged since then.

On Sunday, Houthi politburo member Mohammed al-Bukhaiti revealed in an interview with London-based al-Mayadeen TV that the Saudi air force had tried to eliminate the two pilots after their aircraft was shot down on Feb. 14.

“The Saudis intended to kill the pilots with their airstrikes on the wreckage of the downed fighter jet,” he said.

“Saudi fighters targeted every movement in the area where the aircraft had been shot down, which resulted in the martyrdom of dozens of Yemeni civilians,” Bukhaiti added.

According to the United Nations, 31 civilians were killed in Saudi airstrikes that hit al-Hayjah area in al-Jawf province. Yemeni officials said the bombings took place as local people gathered to have a look at the wreckage of the downed plane.

Saudi Arabia conceded the “possibility of collateral damage” during a “search and rescue operation” at the site of the downing, which left the fate of its crew uncertain. … Full article

New settlement on Qalandia Airport Land to isolate East Jerusalem

By Madeeha Araj – PNN – February 24, 2020

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements stated in its latest weekly report, that although the Israeli-American “Deal of the Century” proposes the right to establish a ‘special Palestinian tourism zone’ in the Atarot area (i.e. the old Qalandia Airport north of Jerusalem), to support Muslim tourism, the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing is planning to build a new settlement there, to be larger than “Ma’aleh Adumim” settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Qalandia airport has been closed by Israeli authorities since the outbreak of the second Intifada, in the year 2000.

In an obvious escalation to isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings, the Occupation Government decided to build the new settlement as the Israeli PM Netanyahu vowed to build 9,000 settlement units, commercial centers and a hotel, as well as water tanks and others, adding that the number of units will reach 11,000, by 2030. Thus, signs and marks were placed by the Israeli occupation, on 21 Palestinian homes in order to be demolished. … Full article

Israeli jets bomb Gaza after retaliatory Palestinian rocket strikes

Press TV – February 23, 2020

Israeli jets have bombed several locations across the Gaza Strip after Palestinian resistance groups fired rockets towards Israel in retaliation for the murder of a Palestinian earlier in the day.

The Palestinian Information Center reported early on Monday that strikes happened north, west and east of the enclave.

Positions belonging to the Palestinian resistance were also targeted west of Khan Yunis and in the Rafah area in southern Gaza.

According to initial reports, at least half a dozen Palestinians were wounded in the strikes.

The bombings happened as the Israeli military announced on Twitter that it was targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement in Gaza. … Full article

“Israeli Soldiers Kill One Palestinian, Injure Four, In Southern Gaza”

IMEMC News | February 23, 2020

Israeli soldiers shot and killed, on Sunday morning, a young Palestinian man, and injured four, on Palestinian lands, in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli armored bulldozer was filmed repeatedly crushing the body of the slain Palestinian with its blade, then grabbing the corpse with the blade and swinging the body back and forth in the air.

The Israeli army claimed that its soldiers observed two Palestinians approaching the perimeter fence, before placing an explosive device. It alleged that the soldiers then rushed to the scene and fired live ammunition at the two Palestinians, causing the explosive device to explode.

The Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, has reported that the slain Palestinian was one of its members.

The Brigades stated that the Palestinian has been identified as Mohammad Ali Hasan an-Na’em, 27, from Khan Younis. The slain Palestinian was unarmed and wasn’t even in military attire when the soldiers attacked him, along with many residents, with their bulldozer, and live rounds.

Israeli officials frequently make outrageous claims about Palestinians they kill, which are often proven later to be false.

Media sources in Gaza said several Palestinians tried to reach the two Palestinians to provide them with the needed medical care and move them to a hospital, but a military bulldozer sped towards them and drove over the corpse of the slain Palestinian, before scooping it using the bulldozer’s plow.

The second Palestinian was injured with a live round in his leg and was rushed to a hospital in Khan Younis after the Palestinians managed to evacuate him before the soldiers could reach him.

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has reported that two other Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli army fire while attempting to help evacuate the wounded.

Israeli sources initially quoted the army claiming its soldiers killed two Palestinians in the incident.

Despite the military claims, a video from the scene shows the corpse of the young man on Palestinian land in an area quite a distance away from the fence.

The bulldozer was speeding towards the Palestinians to prevent them from retrieving the corpse of the slain young man.

Palestinian child loses eye to Israeli bullet

Palestine Information Center – February 23, 2020

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Eight-year-old Malek Issa on Sunday underwent a surgery in which doctors removed his left eye which was hit by an Israeli rubber-coated steel bullet about a week ago.

Issa’s mother, Sawsan, said that doctors had to remove her son’s eye following several unsuccessful treatment attempts.

Sawsan said that her son was deliberately shot in the face by an Israeli soldier on his way back home from school.

“There were no clashes or confrontations. There was no justification for shooting Malek. What happened mirrors the Israeli soldiers’ hatred and disregard for the lives of Palestinians, including children,” she added.

Why Should Putin Help Trump?

By Andrey Kortunov | American Herald Tribune | February 23, 2020

With the US election campaign gaining speed, political opponents of the incumbent President are getting back to their old mantras of Vladimir Putin standing by his old friend and partner – if not his puppet – Donald Trump. This belief remains one of the very few issues on which there appears to be a strong consensus among such different people as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Charles Schumer, and even Bernie Sanders. All of them seem to be convinced that Trump is “Putin’s best friend” in Washington and therefore, the Kremlin will be supporting Trump’s reelection in 2020 with the same vigor and with the same disrespect of the US sovereignty, as it allegedly supported his presidential race back in 2016.

Let me put aside an important question about whether the Kremlin can indeed exercise a significant influence on the course of the US elections or even define its outcome. I personally tend to believe that no external player has the resources, the skills, and the infrastructure needed to do that. Maybe, I have a higher opinion on the resilience of US political institutions and procedures than leaders of the Democratic Party have these days. However, let us imagine for a second that Vladimir Putin has all the needed resources, skills and infrastructure to define who is going to reside in the White House after January 20, 2021. Should he really support Donald Trump as his best bet for better relations between the two nations? … continue