Aletho News


Current News and Analysis

Venezuela says it would make sense for US to restore ties

Press TV – September 19, 2019

Venezuela says it would make sense for the United States to restore diplomatic ties with the elected government in Caracas as Washington has failed to install an opposition figure as Venezuela’s leader.

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez told reporters in Caracas on Wednesday that it would be reasonable for the US “to restore diplomatic contacts and dialog with the government” of President Nicolas Maduro.

Washington is left with “a single path,” having failed to remove Maduro from power, and that is “negotiation and diplomatic communication,” Rodriguez said. … continue

Saudi-led coalition strikes Yemen’s Hodeidah in wake of refinery attacks claimed by Houthis

RT | September 19, 2019

The Saudi-led coalition has launched a new military operation north of Hodeidah, the crucial port city where nearly all of Yemen’s scarce food and other supplies are delivered, against what it called “legitimate military targets,” state-run Ekhbariya TV reported on Friday.

The coalition put out a call to civilians to keep clear of the operation’s targets, even though it is unclear how much of the Yemeni population – 80 percent of which are in various states of humanitarian crisis after more than five years of bombardment – would watch Saudi television to know what sites to stay away from. … Full article

Seizure of Iranian property to pay Americans another example of Canadian hypocrisy

By Yves Engler · September 19, 2019

While France, Germany, Russia and China seek detente, Canada is increasingly part of the US-Saudi Arabia-Israeli axis stoking conflict with Iran. … continue

Israeli occupation forces raid office of Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | September 19, 2019

Israeli occupation forces raided today, Thursday, 19 September 2019 at around 2:00am the office of Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association in Ramallah.

The Israeli forces stole five laptops, memory cards, three laptop memories, one laptop card, several books and additionally searching through the belongings of the office.

This is the third incident where the Israeli soldiers have raided the office, the first was in 2002 and the second incident was in 2012. … Full article

Syrian Military Shoots Down Drone Over Rural Damascus: SANA

teleSUR | September 19, 2019

The Syrian military shot down an enemy drone over southeastern Damascus this evening, the state-owned Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

Syrian state media said the drone was shot down by the Syrian military as it was flying over the Aqraba suburb in Damascus’ southeastern countryside.

The reports did not specify who the ‘enemy’ drone belonged to, but it is believed to be an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle. … Full article

Spy vs Spy vs Spy: The Mysterious Mr. Smolenkov

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 19, 2019

… the Smolenkov story has inconsistencies and one has to question why it was deliberately leaked at this time. The only constant in the media coverage is the repeated but completely evidence-free suggestion that the mole was endangered and had to be removed because of Donald Trump’s inability to keep a secret. One has to consider the possibility that the story has been leaked at least in part due to the continuing effort by the national security state to “get Trump.”… Read full article

Sacked National Security Aide Bolton Rips Trump’s Mideast Policy as POTUS Names Successor – Report

Sputnik – 19.09.2019

Recently sacked presidential national security adviser John Bolton vehemently called out President Trump’s foreign policy at a private lunch thrown by conservative think tank Gatestone Institute, on Wednesday, which saw many political and business A-listers in attendance, Politico reported citing insiders.

He argued Trump invited the Taliban, which had harboured al-Qaeda, to Camp David, “in disrespect to the victims of 9/11”. Two attendees cited by Politico also recounted Bolton saying any talks with North Korea and Iran were “doomed to failure” as everything the nations, as he put it, seek to negotiate boils down to relief from sanctions to better support their economies.

“He ripped Trump, without using his name, several times”, said one attendee about Bolton.

When taking the floor, having been presented by billionaire Rebekah Mercer as “the best national security adviser our country could have hoped for”, Bolton referred to Trump’s failure to retaliate for the Iranian attack on a US drone earlier this summer as the reason for the Islamic Republic’s staunch foreign policies of late. Bolton, who at some point presided at Gatestone, went on to speculate that had the US responded, Iran wouldn’t have damaged the Saudi oil fields, branding the alleged attack on Saudis “an act of war” by anyone’s definition.

Bolton then complained that the retaliatory strike had been fully approved and agreed upon in the White House, but then, a high authority, “at the very last minute”, without telling anyone, backtracked.

Having heard the comments, Trump hit back emotively admitting he, like many more in the administration, was at loggerheads with the former aide:

“Well, I was critical of John Bolton for getting us involved with a lot of other people in the Middle East”, he told reporters during a visit to the US-Mexico border. “We’ve spent $7.5 trillion in the Middle East and you ought to ask a lot of people about that”. … Full article

Russia calls anti-Iran claims ‘unsubstantiated’

Press TV – September 19, 2019

Russia has called on all countries of the Persian Gulf region to sit down for talks to ease tensions triggered by recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, calling accusations that Iran was behind the raids “unsubstantiated.”

“All the [Persian] Gulf countries and their partners both in region and outside must sit down for talks and start to defuse the tensions,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the capital, Moscow, on Thursday.

Those states, he said, must “take easy steps through trust, transparency, mutual invitations to military events and other [events], which can help understand that it is necessary to talk and to live together, because this is how things are due to history and geography.” … Full article

Iran vs Saudi Arabia: it’s game-over

By Ghassan Kadi | The Saker Blog | September 19, 2019

Is the attack on ARAMCO the first of a long war or is it game-over already? It seems like the latter and in more ways than one, the war between Iran and Saudi Arabia has ended before it even started. One single solitary Houthi attack on Aramco has sent Saudi oil exports tumbling down by half; not to mention a 20% hike on the price of crude.

Now, even though the Houthis have declared responsibility for the ARAMCO attack, the Trump administration wants the world to buy the idea that it was Iran who launched the attack, not the Houthis. Thus far, at least Japan seems unconvinced, and so is France.

In reality however, the resolve of Saudi Arabia and its capability to stand up and fight has little to do with the identity of the attacker, and this is because Saudi Arabia has demonstrated that it didn’t take much for it to suffer what it suffered. This begs the question; how many such similar attacks can Saudi Arabia weather before it totally capitulates? Seemingly, not many. … continue

The Black Swan Is a Drone

By Charles Hugh Smith | of two minds | September 15, 2019

Predictably, the mainstream media is serving up heaping portions of reassurances that the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities are no big deal and full production will resume shortly. The obvious goal is to placate global markets fearful of an energy disruption that could tip a precarious global economy into recession.

The real impact isn’t on short-term oil prices, it’s on asymmetric warfare: the coordinated drone attack on Saudi oil facilities is a Black Swan event that is reverberating around the world, awakening copycats and exposing the impossibility of defending against low-cost drones of the sort anyone can buy.

(Some published estimates place the total cost of the 10 drones deployed in the strike at $15,000. Highly capable commercially available drones cost around $1,200 each.)

The attack’s success should be a wake-up call to everyone tasked with defending highly flammable critical infrastructure: there really isn’t any reliable defense against a coordinated drone attack, nor is there any reliable way to distinguish between an Amazon drone delivering a package and a drone delivering a bomb.

Whatever authentication protocol that could be required of drones in the future–an ID beacon or equivalent–can be spoofed. … continue

Iraq will not join anti-Iran maritime mission, rejects Israel’s involvement

RT | September 19, 2019

As Saudi Arabia and the United States build support for an international maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf, Iraq has ruled out participating.

In a statement via the state-run Iraqi News Agency on Thursday, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Iraq will not join any force patrolling the Gulf’s waterways, particularly any involving the Jewish state.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammad Ali al-Hakim also spoke by phone with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, with the pair discussing bilateral issues, according to the Iraqi ministry’s website. … Full article

UAE Joins US-led Maritime Coalition in Middle East

Al-Manar | September 19, 2019

Following in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates has joined a US-led naval mission purportedly aimed at protecting shipping lanes in Middle Eastern waterways.

The official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported the UAE’s decision to become a member of the so-called International Maritime Security Construct on Thursday, a day after Riyadh said it was joining the alliance.

It quoted Salem al-Zaabi of the Emirati Foreign Ministry as claiming that Abu Dhabi’s accession to the US-led coalition is meant to “to secure the flow of energy supplies to the global economy and contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.”

The United States has been trying to persuade its allies to join the international coalition with the declared aim of providing “security” for merchant shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and other strategic shipping lanes in the Middle East. … continue

Iran condemns UAE, Israel’s ‘ridiculous’ claims at IAEA

Press TV – September 18, 2019

Iran has denounced “ridiculous” allegations raised at the recent general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by the UAE “nuclear newcomers” and the Israeli regime.

“It is quite ridiculous that a regime which has ignored all the non-proliferation and disarmament commitments and developed all kinds of weapons of mass destruction is preaching to a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) whose nuclear facilities and materials are under the IAEA’s safeguards,” Iran’s permanent representative to international organizations Kazem Gharibabadi said on Wednesday.

“The Zionist regime, with its long history of [adopting] opportunistic policies to deflect attentions from its brutal and inhumane measures against the people of Palestine and other countries in the Middle East, has been one of the main sources of crisis, instability, pain, and anger in the region’s recent history,” he noted on Wednesday.

He called on the international community not to be distracted from the Israeli regime’s atomic weapons program, and said that Tel Aviv must abandon its nukes and join the NPT immediately, putting all its nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s safeguards. … continue

Lebanon’s Defense Minister: Israeli Drones Were Launched from Habonim Airfield with Aim to Attack Beirut

Al-Manar | September 19, 2019

National Defense Minister, Elias Bou Saab, on Thursday held a press conference, during which he announced the outcome of investigations into the attack of the two Israeli enemy drones on Beirut’s southern suburbs.

“The enemy drone violation of Beirut’s suburbs is the most serious since the July war of 2006; it proves that the Israelis have adopted a change of rules of engagement with Lebanon,” the Minister said.

“There have been 480 Israeli violations of resolution 1701 within the last two months, the most serious of which has been the explosive- loaded drones that passed over Beirut airport and endangered air traffic, and then headed to the city’s southern suburbs,” Bou Saab added.

“Several enemy planes were in the Lebanese airspace to control the path of the two drones; one of the two drones was carrying 4.5 plastic explosives and the second had eight engines,” the Minister explained, adding that the second drone followed the first one after 42 minutes to Beirut suburbs.

“The drone, which fell in the suburbs, is a sophisticated military one which aimed to attack the city of Beirut. It was launched from Habonim Airfield in ‘Israel’ and could be controlled via UAV,” Bou Saab added, confirming that the aim of the drone was to attack, not just tape footage or take photos. … Full article

On Criticism of Palestinian Resistance

By Eve Mykytyn | September 18, 2019

The Oxford definition of ‘terrorism’  is: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” Although the term could apply to the belligerents in many wars, the term ‘terrorism’ takes on its everyday meaning when violence is perpetuated by the weak in resistance to the powerful.

What other form of resistance is available to an oppressed people? One does not have to search hard to find a Jewish source begging for the peaceful resistance of a Palestinian Gandhi or King. … continue

Israelis Have Made their Verdict Clear: Benjamin Netanyahu’s Time is Up

There looms the possibility of weeks of horse-trading and the Joint List of Arab legislators becoming the official opposition

By Jonathan Cook | The National | September 18, 2019

For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?

Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, Israelis have made their verdict clear: Netanyahu’s time is up. … continue

Over 80 percent of Americans won’t back war over attack on Saudi oil sites: Poll

Press TV – September 19, 2019

Most Americans are opposed to the idea of a new US military conflict over the recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, a new poll has found, amid reports that Washington is not ruling out a military response to the attack which slashed the close US ally’s oil output by more than half.

The survey by the Business Insider, released late Wednesday, found that only 13 percent of Americans would want to see a joint military response by the US and Saudi Arabia to the Saturday attack. … continue

CNN Anchor Eggs on War With Iran, Asks Why Trump ‘Balks’ at Military Retaliation

Sputnik – 18.09.2019

Not content to let US President Donald Trump back away from a fully fledged war with Iran, some mainstream media figures are trying to frame Trump’s election for sanctions instead of airstrikes as a sign of weakness.

With the Gulf crisis in danger of exploding into war between Iran, the US and its allies, the Trump administration seems to be stepping back from the kind of ultra-militant posturing that nearly caused a war early in the summer. However, some in the mainstream media, which opposes Trump at all costs, are now trying to shame him into one.

​After Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he would be further increasing economic sanctions against Iran, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto replied with a carefully worded question: “does this mean the president is again balking at military retaliation?” … continue

All prison documents about Jeffrey Epstein: Withheld

By Sharyl Attkisson | September 15, 2019

There’s a bit of news in the case of Jeffrey Epstein. … My public information request about his death— has been formally denied.

Shortly after Epstein died in August, I filed a Freedom of Information request for public documents about his injuries and medical care for both the day he died and earlier, in July, when he reportedly attempted suicide.

Member of the public and press are entitled to review documents and communications generated and collected by federal agencies and officials because– we own them. However, federal agencies often delay, obstruct and resist the release of such documents.

Guidance from FOI court cases and the executive branch indicates that federal agencies are supposed to make every effort to release as much information as possible– and at least partial information if exemptions are at play.

In the case of the Epstein documents I requested, the federal Bureau of Prisons responded by stating that it is withholding all of the documents entirely. … Full article

UK minister vows to pressure councils and universities to adopt IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

MEMO | September 18, 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s newly appointed Communities and Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has pledged to come down hard on local councils and universities that fail to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

Jenrick made the pledge in a speech to the British Board of Deputies on Sunday, while also promising over $100,000 from the government to tackle anti-Semitism on social media and to go after supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

He said he will come down heavily on both local councils and universities that did not adopt the IHRA definition, which has been the source of controversy in the UK. Critics say the definition conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and undermines free speech. Jenrick dismissed these concerns. He insisted that the “suggestions that the IHRA definition curtails legitimate criticism of the Israeli government is wrong and must be countered.” … continue

Israeli forces kill Palestinian woman at Qalandiya checkpoint

Palestine Information Center | September 18, 2019

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israeli occupation forces on Wednesday morning shot and killed a Palestinian woman at Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Occupied Jerusalem.

Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces stationed at Qalandiya checkpoint shot a Palestinian woman in her fifties and left her to bleed for allegedly possessing a knife and plotting a stabbing attack.

The woman was moved to the Israeli hospital Hadassah where she was pronounced dead.

The Israeli forces later closed the checkpoint and blocked the movement of Palestinian citizens and vehicles.

A video posted on social media showed Israeli soldiers shooting the Palestinian woman although she was several meters away from them.

Trump says attacking Iran would be too ‘EASY,’ calls restraint a ‘sign of strength’ as others drum up WAR

RT | September 18, 2019

As American and Saudi Arabian officials blame Iran for attacking Saudi oil refineries, President Donald Trump has remained noncommittal about a US response, calling his prior restraint a “sign of strength.” … continue

Here is How China-US Trade War Impacts Iran

By Salman Rafi Sheikh – New Eastern Outlook – 18.09.2019

In the last week of August, China added crude oil imports from the US to its tariff list for the first time in a retaliatory decision against the US decision to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese products. China imports about 6 per cent of its crude oil from the US. For an economy that increasingly relies on crude oil imports, this decision carries a lot of significance. While China is also preparing to impose high tariffs on import of US cars and the trade-war is likely to continue in the days to come, the all-important question is: why would China impose tariffs on import of oil, the life-line of its economy? According to some latest figures, China’s reliance on imported crude oil has already jumped to 70 per cent and gas moving towards 50 per cent. Most certainly, China would never have taken such a decision unless its leadership had first secured an alternative source of supply of oil. Here is where Iran and cheap/tariff free Iranian oil comes into play and the larger geo-political chessboard becomes active, allowing China to counter the US on three levels. … continue

Putin’s Multipolar Offer to Saudi Arabian Exceptionalism

By Tim Kirby | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 18, 2019

Global Islamic Terrorism is universally recognized as today’s big threat and has been the justification for all sorts of changes, especially to life in the West after 9/11. The Islamic terrorists whom we are supposed to fear on a daily basis more or less believe in some form of Wahhabism, which grew up in and is spread from Saudi Arabia. Surprisingly the US and the Saudis have been and still are staunch allies. This makes little sense on the surface but Saudi exceptionalism extends to Russia as well. Russia and former parts of its territory have been some of the biggest victims of Wahhabism and still fight it to this day and yet President Putin just vowed to protect them from air threats via Russia’s top of the line equipment. So this raises the question by what logic would Russia want work with the Saudis who prop up the ideas that murder their citizens? The short answer is Multipolarity. … continue

Iran issues sober warning to US: Action will be met with counteraction

Press TV – September 18, 2019

Iran has warned the United States via Switzerland that any action taken against the country over the false accusation that Tehran was behind the recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities will be met with an immediate response. … continue

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of sponsoring oil-plant attack, says it ‘couldn’t have originated in Yemen’

RT | September 18, 2019

Saudi Arabia has claimed that Iran was the sponsor of attacks on its oil treatment facilities, presenting wreckage of drones and missiles as “definitive proof” of Tehran’s involvement.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Defense displayed what he said was wreckage from the projectiles used in the strikes on petrol plants in Abqaiq and Khurais last weekend.

The type of weapons used proved that the assault “could not have originated in Yemen,” Colonel Turki al-Malki claimed. He said the capabilities of the drones and the cruise missiles have been known to Riyadh from previous attacks.

Accusing Iran of sponsoring the attack, the spokesman called on other countries to “acknowledge Iran’s malign activities in the region.” … continue

Japan says Houthis, not Iran, conducted Saudi attacks

Press TV – September 18, 2019

Japan says it has not seen any evidence to prove a claim by the United States that Iran was involved in recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

“We are not aware of any information that points to Iran,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday.

“We believe the Houthis carried out the attack based on the statement claiming responsibility,” he added, referring to the Yemeni group incorporated into the armed forces fighting back a Saudi-led war on Yemen.

Kono further said Japan would not participate in any potential military action against Iran due to constitutional restraints and would instead pursue a diplomatic solution to the current tensions in the region. … Full article

Putin Calls for Unbiased Investigation of Saudi Aramco Attacks in Talks With Crown Prince

By Tim Korso – Sputnik – 18.09.2019

Saudi Aramco’s oil refinery was severely crippled in an attack on 14 September, which has been claimed by Yemen’s Houthi movement. Despite this, the US has claimed it has evidence that it was in fact Iran that was behind the incident, something which the country has vehemently denied.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has during talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman called for an unbiased investigation to be carried out into the recent attack on Saudi oil facilities on 14 September, the president’s press service reported.

“The issue of the attack on Saudi oil refineries has been discussed [during talks]. Vladimir Putin expressed his concern with regard to the situation and has called for conducting a thorough and unbiased investigation of the incident”, the statement said. … Full article

India pressing US for resumed oil imports from Iran: Report

Press TV – September 18, 2019

Indian authorities have renewed their efforts to persuade the United States to lift sanctions on imports of oil from Iran amid disruptions caused to supplies from Saudi Arabia following attacks last week that hit oil installations east of the kingdom.

A Tuesday report on the website of The Mint, an Indian financial newspaper, showed that India had held fresh talks with the government of US President Donald Trump on renewed energy imports from Iran.

India stopped crude imports from Iran on May 2 after the White House toughened its sanctions on Iran and removed waivers granted to India and several other countries.

New Delhi used to be Iran’s second top buyer of oil before American sanctions were imposed in November with imports exceeding 20 million tons a year.

India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that resuming oil imports from Iran had never turned into a “static” issue and authorities were trying to find a solution to the problem.

“We are in dialogue with all suppliers including Iran,” said Jaishankar, adding that India wanted to ensure that supplies of energy into the country would remain predictable and affordable. … continue

Yemeni Killer Blow to House of Saud

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 18, 2019

The Yemeni rebels’ drone blitz on the “nerve center” of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry was a devastating counter-offensive which potentially could end the four-year war in short order. What is even more catastrophic for the Saudi monarchy – especially the ambitious Crown Prince – is that the Houthi rebels have wielded the ultimate power to crash the kingdom’s oil economy.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) was the main architect of the disastrous Saudi war on Yemen. His military hard-man display was meant to consolidate his rise to power as heir to the Saudi throne. It was a calculation based on the blood of the Yemeni people. But now the war has gone from a callous game to a far-more dangerous threat to the House of Saud’s seat of power. If the Saudi oil economy is put at severe risk, then the lifeline for the monarchy is liable to be cut.

After last weekend’s spectacular air strike on the main oil processing plant in Saudi Arabia – northeast of the capital Riyadh, some 1,000 kms from Yemen – the Houthi military leadership is warning that more deeply-penetrating aerial attacks are on the way. The Yemeni rebels have demonstrated that nowhere in Saudi Arabia is safe.

Saudi air defenses and their multi-billion-dollar US Patriot anti-missile systems have been rendered useless against an-ever increasing arsenal of more sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated out of Yemen. UN experts reckon that the Houthis’ UAV-X drone has a range of up to 1,500 kms, which means that all of the Saudi oil infrastructure located in the Eastern Province near the Persian Gulf is a viable target. … continue

Riyadh doesn’t yet know who carried oil strikes or why: Saudi energy minister

Press TV – September 17, 2019

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman says Riyadh does not yet know who were behind the highly disruptive drone attacks on Saudi Aramco petroleum and gas processing plants at Abqaiq and Khurais in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, which sent crude prices skyrocketing.

“We don’t know who is behind the attack,” he told reporters in the western Red Sea city of Jeddah on Tuesday, adding that Riyadh wants “proof based on professionalism and internationally recognized standards.” … continue

Will the US use Greece to block Russia in the Black Sea?

By Paul Antonopoulos | September 18, 2019

The Trump administration last week made its first major step to create a Greek-centric NATO corridor following United States Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, announcement that his country intends to acquire the strategic port of Alexandroupoli. If Athens is to accept such a proposal, the country would be contributing to a geopolitical escalation. The US is attempting to push Greece, a traditional rival to Turkey, closer to them at a time when Ankara continues to defy NATO by strengthening its relations with Russia. … continue

Facebook will bankroll an ‘independent supreme court’ to moderate your content & set censorship precedents

By Helen Buyniski | RT | September 18, 2019

Facebook has unveiled the charter for its ‘supreme court,’ a supposedly independent content moderation board that will take money from, and be appointed by, Facebook itself – while making binding decisions. What could go wrong? … continue

Freedom in Sight for Mumia Abu-Jamal?

Prison Radio | September 16, 2019

Freedom is now in sight. New evidence, recently found, and surpressed for decades could be the key to relief for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Joe McGill and Ed Rendell, trial prosecutor and DA, respectively, manipulated evidence and framed Mumia Abu-Jamal for first degree murder in 1982.

Six boxes of undisclosed case files labeled “Mumia Abu-Jamal” were found in a furniture closet last December by new DA Larry Krasner. Here is the exculpatory “Brady” evidence that was inside… continue

Dutch court starts hearing in war crime case against Israel’s Gantz

Press TV – September 17, 2019

A Dutch court has held a hearing on a war crime case against a former Israeli general challenging incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in ongoing general elections.

The Hague District Court weighed on Tuesday whether it should hear a lawsuit brought by a Palestinian man seeking compensation from Benny Gantz for his role in the killing of six of his relatives during the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014.

On July 20, 2014, Ismail Ziada lost his mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law, and a 12-year-old nephew when their family home was bombed by the Israeli air force. … continue

US diplomats pressure Europe lawmakers to oppose BDS

MEMO | September 17, 2019

United States diplomats have pressured lawmakers and officials in certain European countries to oppose moves to boycott Israel or the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, in a move which is part of the ongoing campaign by the Israeli lobby against the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

According to a report by the State Department delivered last week to Congress and received by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday, the actions taken by US diplomats against the BDS movement are listed inline with a 2015 law obligating such reporting procedures.

The report states that the diplomats engaged senior government figures and party leaders in Ireland by “strongly urging them to drop their support” for a bill that would target the import of goods coming from settlements in the West Bank and set penalties on them. The bill itself passed by the senate in July paving the way for the country to become the first EU nation to enforce a boycott. … Full article

Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | September 17, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is moving quickly to alter the political reality in Palestine, and facing little or no resistance.

On September 10, Netanyahu declared his intentions to annex swathes of Palestinian land adjacent to the Jordan River, an area that covers 2,400 square kilometers, or nearly a third of the Occupied West Bank. That region, which extends from Bisan in the north to Jericho in the south, is considered to be Palestine’s food basket, as it accounts for an estimated 60 percent of vegetables that are produced in the West Bank. … continue

Israeli occupation forces carry out demolitions in Walaja village

Palestine Information Center – September 16, 2019

BETHLEHEM – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday demolished one Palestinian house and two agricultural rooms as well as fences and a road in al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem.

Local activist Ibrahim Awadallah said that bulldozers escorted by Israeli forces stormed the area of Ein Juwaiza and Khilat al-Hour and demolished a house belonging to a local resident called Mustafa Abd Rabo.

The IOF also knocked down two structures used for agricultural purposes belonging to a woman from the village as well as concrete fences of two homes belonging to other villagers.

A road was also bulldozed in the village by the IOF during the demolition campaign.

Iran, Pakistan sign new agreement on major gas project: Report

Press TV – September 17, 2019

A major deal for exports of gas from Iran to Pakistan has been revised after several years of uncertainty surrounding the project, shows a report in the Pakistani media.

The Express Tribune said in a Monday report that national gas companies from Iran and Pakistan had inked an agreement to revise the terms of an old deal meant for exports of gas from Iran which had been supposed to be implemented by 2015.

The deal had stalled mainly because Pakistan was unable to construct a pipeline through its territory to transfer the Iranian gas to the port of Karachi. Islamabad was also unwilling to pay compensation for its delay, saying it had been caused by sanctions imposed on Iran.

The report said the Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) of Pakistan and the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) had agreed to allow Pakistan to finish construction of the pipeline in its territory until 2024.

It cited sources as saying that Iran would not sue Pakistan for a fresh delay beyond 2024 unlike the previous contract under which Iran had threatened Islamabad with legal action. … continue

Saudi Oil Attacks: Time to Back Off on the Threats

Saudi Arabia Feels Some Pain

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | September 17, 2019

Attacks on two Saudi Arabian oil facilities on Saturday reportedly reduced the production of Aramco, the state oil company, by one half. It was a devastating demonstration of just how vulnerable the Kingdom’s oil economy actually is. Initial reports suggested that the damage had been caused by explosive drones launched by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who claimed responsibility, but there has been considerable skepticism regarding whether the drones available to the Houthi could actually have carried out the attack. … continue

Trump is in no rush to jump into Saudi defence

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | September 17, 2019

The geopolitical faultlines of the drone attack on the Saudi Aramco plants on Saturday are surfacing. These are early days but three broad trends have appeared. One, Saudi investigators have begun pointing a finger at Iran, which is certain to exacerbate regional tensions. Two, the all-important US response to the event is unfolding on multiple templates, each interconnected but intrinsic at the same time in relations to US interests. Three, the extreme volatility in the world oil market and its likely impact on the world economy makes this an international issue. … continue

UK apologies for ‘inadvertently’ issuing license to Saudi bound weapons

MEMO | September 17, 2019

The UK government has apologised for breaking its own pledge not to licence export of arms to Saudi Arabia that could be used in the conflict in Yemen. The breach, which the UK’s International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, described as “inadvertent”, has raised wider concerns over negligence within Number 10 concerning its lucrative arms deal with Riyadh.

In a letter to the Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls yesterday, Truss admitted to two separate breaches of the undertaking given to the court of appeal earlier this year that it would not “grant any new licences for the export of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen”.

These undertaking are related to a judgement by the court of appeal which in June concluded that UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia are unlawful. Under UK export policy, military equipment licences should not be granted if there is a “clear risk” that weapons might be used in a “serious violation of international humanitarian law”, judges explained. Existing licences should be reviewed, they added. … Full article

Turkey continues to arm terrorist groups in Idlib, evades Sochi commitments: Syrian UN envoy

Press TV – September 17, 2019

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Hussam Eddin Ala, says Turkey has been providing various types of munitions to foreign-sponsored terrorist groups operating in the country’s militant-held northwestern province of Idlib, and reneging on its commitments under the Sochi agreement.

Speaking at a session of the Human Rights Council on Tuesday, Ala stated that the Damascus government has taken all the necessary measures to protect civilians in Idlib, including opening two humanitarian corridors there. … Full article

Israel Spies and Spies and Spies

This time the target was Donald Trump

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 17, 2019

Here we go again! Israel is caught red handed spying against the United States and everyone in Congress is silent, as are nearly all the mainstream media which failed to report the story. And the federal government itself, quick to persecute a Russian woman who tried to join the NRA, concedes that the White House and Justice Department have done absolutely nothing to either rebuke or punish the Israeli perpetrators. One senior intelligence official commented that “I’m not aware of any accountability at all.” … continue