Given that the entire time Mr. Assange lived in the sitting room of the embassy it was because he chose to do so — he need not have entered, and could have left at any time — I fail to see how listed countries have any responsibility for his mental state.
[ToloNews] John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (Sigar) says that administrative corruption, narcotics and ISIS are the three biggest challenges faced by Afghanistan.
Talking to the US C-SPAN (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network), Sopko said that even if the Afghan government makes a peace deal with the Taliban ...Arabic for students... , it will have to face with the above-mentioned challenges.
"There are thirty some terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, so even if you negotiate with the Taliban, you still have to deal with ISIS.
...not to mention the twenty-eight or so others...
The other some of the risk with talk about is you still have a problem of corruption, you still have a problem of narcotics. It is the largest producer of heroin in the world," Sopko said.
Talking about the Afghan grinding of the peace processor, Sopko said if a peace deal is reached, integration of the Taliban in the society will take time and money.
Sopko said the international community will stop their support to Afghanistan if the Taliban in a possible post-peace government turns back to their past and repeat the same treatments with the women as they did during their regime.
"We also have to deal with the issue of how the Taliban are gonna treat women. That was a key goal of us in the coalition to improve the lives of women and girls in Afghanistan," Sopko added.
He said Washington has spent $132 billion in the last 18 years in Afghanistan’s reconstruction, but the goals for which the money were spent have not been achieved.
Sopko’s remarks came amid the US and Taliban members have held sixth rounds of talks to find a political settlment to the Afghan conflict.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
06/01/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
So pure are they that none of the usual strictures apply to them.
[KhaamaPress] The Taliban ...Arabic for students... group has rejected rumors regarding a ceasefire declaration during the three days of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Taliban front man Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement said audio clips circulating on social media regarding ceasefire declaration is not new and belongs to last year.
This comes as the former Afghanistan's Caped PresidentHamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ...A product, and probably the sole product, of the Southern Alliance... had earlier welcomed a ceasefire declaration by Taliban group during the three days of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The Office of the Former President in a statement said the former President Hamid Karzai welcomes declaration of ceasefire by Taliban group during Eid-ul-Fitr days.
The statement further added that the former President urges the government to declare a ceasefire as a gesture of goodwill and refrain from any military operations.
Karzai also hailed the declaration of a three-day ceasefire as a good start for bringing peace in the country.
Both the government and Taliban group announced ceasefire during Eid days last year. The Taliban group adhered to a three-day ceasefire only despite the government announced an extension to its declaration of the ceasefire.
[ToloNews] Over the last two weeks, Kabul city has witnessed four armed attacks on police checkpoints in different parts of the city and two suicide kabooms close to the center of the city which have raised concerns among the residents.
Kabul residents on Friday said they are worried about the attacks, especially the raids on police checkpoints by unknown gunnies.
The residents said that despite the armed attacks, crime has also made them tired of the situation.
The residents criticized security officials over what they described negligence by officials.
"We are living in a city where each moment it is possible that an incident might happen. Attacks now have reached inside Kabul city and we witnessed three attacks in one week. Government does not have a clear plan for managing this situation," said Sebghatullah Spin, a Kabul resident.
"The officials are very negligent in this regard and do not take the issue serious. It is very worrying," said Sayed Mahdi Alavi, a news hound.
In addition to the armed attacks, on Thursday, a jacket wallah detonated his explosives close to Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul’s PD5 which claimed the lives of six people and maimed 16 others.
Another suicide bomber, on Friday, targeted a convoy of foreign military in Kabul’s PD9 in which four non-combatants were killed.
The Ministry of Interior's front man Nasrat Rahimi said the ministry has plans on hand for decreasing the number of such incidents and that security forces have tossed in the slammer Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! a number of suspects in connection to crime and armed robberies.
"The enemy cannot plan attacks as security forces are serving day and night," Rahimi said.
Analysts said targeting security checkpoints inside the city is a new tactic used by the murderous Moslems and added that measures should be taken to prevent such incidents.
That and five bucks’ll get you something with caffeine and lots of calories at Starbucks.
[DAWN] Taliban ...Arabic for students... officials and Afghan opposition figures claimed on Thursday to have made "tremendous progress" at Moscow talks, but the announcement rang hollow as discussions yet again excluded the Afghan government and no ceasefire was announced.
The ultra-conservative Islamist turbans spent more than two days at a plush hotel in central Moscow, where they met several leading Afghan politicians ‐ including past president Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ...A product, and probably the sole product, of the Southern Alliance... and former warlord Atta Muhammad Nur.
In a joint statement, the parties said they’d had "productive and constructive" discussions focusing on issues including a possible ceasefire, the "strengthening of the Islamic system" and "women’s rights".
"Both sides have had tremendous progress, but some issues require further discussions," the statement read.
But with the Kabul administration ‐ viewed by the Taliban as a US-backed puppet regime ‐ once more sidelined from the conversation, it was difficult to see what tangible results could come from the talks.
Afghanistan's Caped PresidentAshraf Ghani ...former chancellor of Kabul University, now president of Afghanistan. Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002 he was a scholar of political science and anthropology. He worked at the World Bank working on international development assistance. As Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery until the Karzais stole all the money. .. had proposed a nationwide ceasefire at the start of the holy month of Ramazan, but the Taliban rejected the offer.
[Al Jazeera] Tens of thousands of protesters continued demonstrating in Khartoum on Friday, a day after the Transitional Military Council (TMC) said that the sit-in outside the army headquarters was a threat to the safety and security of the Sudanese people and warned action would taken against "unruly elements".
Sudan's armed forces posted a video on its official Facebook page on Friday apparently showing young men vandalizing an army vehicle, alleging that it was shot during the sit-in.
Earlier, another video showed young men hurling rocks at moving cars near the sit-in. The caption read: "Chaos in the heart of the capital. We will put an end to the chaos, God willing."
But demonstrators say the military is using the threats as a possible pretext to break up the sit-in, because protesters want the generals of the TMC to hand power to a civilian-led administration.
Posted by: Fred ||
06/01/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Sudan
Meet Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a senior Houthi leader. The Washington Post published an oped by him in which he wrote, "We love peace." Today he chanted, “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.” He was celebrating the Iranian-instigated Quds Day. pic.twitter.com/dff6WEQODX
[PRESSTV] Protesters set fire to the US embassy Honduras, a day after tens of thousands of Hondurans marched to demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
The demonstrators set fire to the entrance of the building in downtown Tegucigalpa with about a dozen tires after dousing them with fuel on Friday. A fire department official said there were no damage to the embassy apart from the access gate.
The attack came on the second day of protests over decrees by Hernandez that his critics argue will lead to the privatization of public services.
The protesters were pushed toward the embassy after being dispersed from a nearby commercial zone by police nearby.
They chanted "American trash, American trash" outside the embassy, which was not being guarded at the time of the attack.
A court filing earlier this week showed that Hernandez had been investigated by US authorities as part of a drug trafficking and money laundering probe linked to his brother. The president has not been charged with any crime.
In the old days, burning or seizing an embassy was considered an act of war. If we only were so concerned, maybe every Hondurans would rightfully be considered an invader or infiltrator and moved to proper POW camps.
[Rooters] Dutch far-right politician and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders said on Friday that Twitter had temporarily blocked his account following remarks he made about a political rival.
Wilders, who cannot easily appear in public due to threats against him by Islamists, relies heavily on Twitter to communicate with his supporters. He has 811,000 followers, second only to Prime Minister Mark Rutte among Dutch politicians.
"Twitter often tolerates death threats against me, but not a factual tweet by me about a colleague. Madness!," he said in a statement.
Twitter could not immediately be reached for comment. A front man for Wilders’ Freedom Party sent a screenshot of his account showing the ban, which was due to expire in around eight hours.
The tweet that led to Wilders’ block referred to D-66, a progressive center-left party as "suckers ...who import ever more Islam and then weep crocodile tears over the consequences, such as honor killings."
Wilders is currently appealing a 2016 conviction for inciting discrimination for an incident in which he led followers in chanting they wanted "fewer! fewer! fewer" Moroccans in the Netherlands.
[AlAhram] Oil slumped over 3% on Friday and posted its biggest monthly drop in six months, after U.S. President Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... stoked global trade tensions by threatening tariffs on Mexico, a key U.S. trade partner and a major supplier of crude oil.
Brent crude futures fell $2.38, or 3.6%, to settle at $64.49 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $3.09 to $53.50 a barrel, a 5.5% loss.
During the session, Brent fell to a session low of $64.37 a barrel, lowest since March 8. WTI sank to $53.41 a barrel, weakest since Feb. 14.
Brent futures posted an 11% slide in May and WTI a 16% drop, their biggest monthly losses since November.
Trump vowed on Thursday to ratchet up tariffs unless Mexico stopped people from illegally crossing into the United States. The plan would impose a 5% tariff on Mexican imports starting on June 10 and increase monthly, up to 25% on Oct. 1.
That could hit the lucrative cross-border energy trade.
"U.S. refiners import roughly 680,000 barrels per day of Mexican crude. The 5% tariff adds an extra $2 million to the cost of their daily purchases," PVM analysts said.
The United States also exports more fuels to Mexico than any other country, according to the U.S. Energy Department, though so far Mexico has not said whether it would retaliate.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday urged Trump to back down from the threats.
The threats compound concerns about global economic growth, already at risk due to the U.S.-China trade war. That dispute has prompted worries about a recession.
Additional levies by Beijing on the majority of U.S. imports on a $60 billion target list are due to take effect on Saturday. The tariffs are in response to Washington’s move earlier this month to slap further tariffs of up to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
A Rooters survey showed Brent crude prices are likely to hold near $70 a barrel for the rest of the year as elevated supply risks in the Middle East offset risks to demand.
Top oil exporter Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... ’s increased output in May was not enough to compensate for lower Iranian exports, a Rooters survey found. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to meet late June. At the beginning of the year, OPEC and allies agreed to cut production by 1.2 million bpd.
U.S. production has offset that decline, as output returned to a record 12.3 million barrels per day, and as U.S. crude stocks fell less than expected last week, according to weekly figures.
"This fresh tariff headline offers a ’pile on’ effect to an oil market that has already been seeing downside pressure from some unexpectedly large U.S. crude supply increases that have been weighing on values across this month of May," Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.
U.S. energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in four weeks but cut the rig count for the sixth straight month as most drillers cut spending plans. Companies added three oil rigs, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said Friday.
...And as I mentioned yesterday, the Iranians did their best to booga-booga the market, and it still went down.
This has got to have some turbans exploding.
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
06/01/2019 8:12 Comments ||
It was your comment yesterday, Mike, that led me to notice and post this article. And, with a bit of a delay, the same thing is going to happen to rare earths, now that it’s worthwhile for others to supply what China has started playing games with.
Mr. Wife pointed out to me that it would take two to three years for the plant being built in Texas to get up and running — getting factories up and running is one of his areas of expertise — but I saw something last night about another supplier in Australia...
It was Skidmarks’ comment here. My memory for details isn’t very good at four in the morning, it seems. The Australian company wants in on the Texas plant, not to build a new one at home, But even so, it’s the first pebble of the avalanche.
BBC - "From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out sky. Between it and me, stretching into the distance, lies an artificial lake filled with a black, barely-liquid, toxic sludge."
Posted by: Frank G ||
06/01/2019 11:21 Comments ||
[Defend Europa] 700 years is a long time, many centuries, many generations, many people who saw how Seville flourish thanks to the commerce of the Spanish Empire, becoming the centre of Southern Spain
Seville is truly a city with an interesting history, with important and curious events. Today’s event has gone unnoticed by the majority of Spaniards and Sevillians, as well as most of the media. Perhaps in the eyes of Sevillians, this event is only considered part of the "innocent" game called multiculturalism.
The title doesn’t lie, Seville, a city with a deeply Catholic tradition, will have its first mosque in 700 years, after the Reconquista. Many people will ask "what’s wrong? It’s just a simple mosque." And to be honest, putting myself in their place, I would also ask myself, "What’s wrong with a mosque?"
Nine years ago, there was an attempt to put a mosque in the Sevillian neighbourhood of San Jerónimo. The response of the neighbours was blunt: NO!
As you can see in the video, the reaction was clear. Of course, this protest was labelled as islamophobe, xenophobe, and others "phobes" from the list the regressive left uses to attack patriotism.
But now, it’s different.
THE NEW MOSQUE
In the scene of this political theatre, enters a man called Kanoute, a former player of the football team Sevilla FC, which is raising 300,000 euros for the construction of the mosque.
"I do it to save the Islamic worship of the city," he declared.
In a country like Spain, which the Muslim population has reached 4% and continues to grow under this Socialist government, the opening of this seemingly unimportant mosque will open the appetite for the construction of many more. The same trend has been seen in Barcelona for example.
With the capitulation of another city in Spain, its European roots begin to tremble. Attacks on Spanish culture can be seen daily. Me your writer, a simple Spaniard and Sevillian, cannot but help remembering the words of Ferdinand III of Castile, who reconquered the city:
"I did not rid this city of the Mohammedan power so that hundreds of Moors stay here to practice their infidel rites."
The conservatives of all societies need to realize that complacency and 'legalist' measures do not protect a society. It is ultimately going to be intolerance toward invading cultures that will be needed.
[IsraelTimes] The Dutch government has allocated $3.35 million toward fighting anti-Semitism ‐ the first time Holland has placed the fight on its list of national priorities.
The funding, earmarked earlier this week during budget talks among members of the ruling coalition, established the fight against anti-Semitism as a key point demanding government attention, alongside education, immigrant integration and five additional issues.
Sought by the Christian Union Party, the move follows intensive coverage in the Dutch media of Jews’ fear of harassment and violence, mostly from immigrants colonists from Arab or Moslem countries or their descendants.
The move follows intensive coverage in the Dutch media of Jews’ fear of harassment and violence, mostly from immigrants colonists from Arab or Moslem countries or their descendants.
The government previously has not budgeted a lump sum for fighting anti-Semitism, only for specific issues connected to it, such as security at Jewish institutions.
On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Dutch parliament in the Hague to protest anti-Semitism.
The demonstration, titled "Kippa On," followed the warning given last week by the German government’s anti-Semitism envoy, Felix Klein, against wearing kippas in public. It was organized by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), a Jewish community watchdog group.
Among the senior politicians who showed up wearing a kippa was Thierry Baudet, leader of the right-wing Forum of Democracy party, and Frits Bolkestein, a former defense minister for the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy.
Earlier this month, CIDI launched a website devoted to monitoring anti-Semitism on Dam Square in Amsterdam, a memorial for the victims of World War II, where in recent years activists promoting a boycott of Israel have faced off with supporters of the Jewish State.
In a recent incident from April, a well-known boycott promoter, Robert-Willem van Norren, was filmed at Dam saying "White Jews killed tens of thousands of people."
[AlAhram] The Ottoman Turkish economy shrank sharply year on year for the second straight quarter in early 2019, laying bare the impact of a punishing currency crisis and soaring inflation and interest rates against a tense political backdrop.
The major emerging market economy contracted 2.6% in the first quarter after a 3% percent decline in the previous three months, rocked by a fall of more than a third in the value of the lira since the end of 2017.
A burst of government spending before local elections on March 31 helped contain the slump, though a subsequent further selloff in the lira and worsening sentiment could drag on gross domestic product (GDP) again toward the middle of 2019.
"The tightening of financial conditions over the past couple of months has probably resulted in a renewed downturn," said Capital Economics senior EM economist Jason Tuvey, pointing to a broad market sell-off since late March.
"This reinforces our view that the recovery will be slow and bumpy."
Last year’s currency crisis, brought on by concerns over a diplomatic row with Washington and doubts about the independence of the central bank, ended years of a construction-fuelled boom driven by cheap foreign capital and characterized by growth rates above 5 percent.
Inflation shot up as the central bank hiked borrowing costs to support the ailing lira.
The lira has come under renewed pressure in recent months as investors fretted about the threat of new U.S. sanctions, uncertainty over local election results, declining central bank reserves and a trend of Turks ramping up foreign holdings.
The lira firmed to 5.85 against the dollar from 5.8825 after Friday’s Statistical Institute data, which compared with a Rooters poll forecast for a first quarter shrinkage of 2.5%
Posted by: trailing wife ||
06/01/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
[DAWN] Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari on Thursday urged Moslem countries to play their role in developing a consensus on the issue of al-Quds.
Addressing an al-Quds conference held to express solidarity with Paleostine at a local hotel, she said Moslem countries, particularly Pakistain, Indonesia, Malaysia and The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...Qatar's colony in Asia Minor.... , should play their role to revive the issue of al-Quds and highlight the lost agenda at the international platform.
She said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had lost its relevance as it could not take up the issue of al-Quds.
[Rudaw] Moslems across the world will take to the street on Friday in simultaneous rallies to protest against the Israel occupation of Paleostinian lands, the biggest of which to be held in the Iranian capital where hardliners will burn the Israeli and US flags, while chanting "Death to America and Israel!"
Several top holy manal authorities in Iran on Thursday called on people to take part in Islamic Revolution founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's rally who began it 40 years ago to show worldwide Moslem solidarity with Paleostinians on the last Friday of fasting during Ramadan.
Khomeini introduced the concept a few months after the 1979 Revolution in response to Israeli cross border attacks against Paleostinian militia groups in Leb.
"For many years, I have warned about Israel the usurper, which has intensified its attacks on Paleostinian brothers and sisters these days and in particular in Leb intending to destroy the Paleostinian fighters, constantly bombing their homes," Khomeini said in his terse message naming the occasion on August 7, 1979.
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki emphasized the importance of Quds (Jerusalem) Day) in a tweet.
"Commemorating International Quds Day is surely heeding the wise call that Imam Khomeini, may God have mercy on, him made. It shows the extent of the commitment of Arab and Islam peoples to the Paleostinian cause," he said on Friday.
Protesters in ’Quds Day’ parades often carry signs supporting Hezbollah and other holy warriors groups across the Middle East. However the UK parliament on March 1 added Hezbollah to a list of terrorist organizations and supporting the group carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Protestors in the southern Iraqi city of Basra demonstrated against the United States and President Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... , Israel, and Saudi King Salman ...either the largest species of Pacific salmon or the current Sheikh of the Burnin' Sands, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Lord of Most of the Arabians.... on Friday.
For a several years there have been attempts to ban the parade in London.
"I've raised my deep concerns about the support shown for Hezbollah at the annual Al Quds march in London on a number of occasions - and the fact the Home Secretary has finally listened and is taking action is welcome," Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London responded to a question on March 21. "However, we can't all be heroes. Somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by... neither myself nor the Met have the power to ban marches or protest; that power lies with the Home Secretary."
The day is officially called International Quds Day.
Iranian Minister of Culture Abbas Salehi said this week that the day's goal is to defend Paleostinians' democratic rights.
"It’s more than 40 years from Camp David to the Deal of the Century. US peace further fueled war and violence in the region from Carter to Trump," he wrote on Twitter.
Rhetoric and emotion will run high following midday prayers across the Islamic world, with many protesting US President Donald Trump's decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and the re-election of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
[Rudaw] Hundreds of Shiite Moslems rallied in Baghdad on Friday to mark Quds, or Jerusalem Day. The event was organized by the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militias backed by Iran. The PMF held a military parade, while other protesters burned Israeli and US flags, and drove over photos of US president Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... and Crown Prince of Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... Mohammed Bin Salman.
The event was launched by Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, to show support for Paleostinians and call for the return of Jerusalem to the Paleostinians, but is often also marked with anti-Israel rhetoric. The event is held each year on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan, with demonstrations held in cities worldwide.
This year’s rallies come as the US plans to roll out the first phase of its Mideast peace plan. While details of the plan have yet to be released, snapshots suggest that it’s biased in favor of Israel and sidelines the Paleostinian goal of independence, and has been rejected by Paleostinian leaders and many in the Arab world.
[IsraelTimes] Israel’s parliament votes to dissolve itself after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fails to meet the midnight deadline to form a new government, triggering an unprecedented second national election this year.
After a raucous 12-hour debate, politicians approve by a vote of 74 to 45 a Likud-drafted bill to dissolve the 21st Knesset and hold new elections on September 17.
[AlAhram] The United States will sanction any country which buys oil from Iran after the expiration of waivers on May 2, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said on Thursday.
Sanctions would be imposed "even if a country had not met its previously-negotiated purchase caps," Hook said in a statement. "Our firm policy is to completely zero out purchases of Iranian oil. Period."
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Thursday that countries like China and India which were issued waivers in November to buy Iranian could continue the purchases after May 2 until they reached a negotiated cap.
[AlAhram] The Kremlin said on Friday it was The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the most dubious NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... ally.... ’s responsibility to stop rebels in Syria’s Idlib province from firing on civilian and Russian targets, signaling it would continue to back a Syrian government offensive there despite Ankara’s protests.
Ottoman Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin ...President-for-Life of Russia. He gets along well with other presidents for life. He is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from poisoning by polonium or other interesting substance. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to him. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead from poisoning by polonium or other interesting substances... late on Thursday that he wanted a ceasefire in Idlib to prevent more civilian deaths and a refugee influx to Turkey.
Erdogan also told Putin by phone that Syria needed a political solution, Erdogan’s office said in a statement.
The Ottoman Turkish leader has repeatedly complained to Moscow about a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive in the rebel-held northwest, the most serious escalation of the war between Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad The Scourge of Hama... and his enemies since last summer.
The fighting has uprooted around 250,000 people in the territory, the last significant rebel stronghold, and one which borders Turkey.
The Kremlin made clear on Friday however that it was for now unmoved by Erdogan’s calls for a ceasefire, saying the rebels were the ones who had to implement a ceasefire in the first instance.
"We really do need a ceasefire in Idlib and what needs to be achieved is for the gunnies to stop firing on civilian targets and on certain facilities where our troops are located," Kremlin front man Dmitry Peskov told news hounds when asked about Erdogan’s request for a ceasefire.
"...This is the responsibility of the Ottoman Turkish side."
Russia has complained of rocket and drone attacks against its main Hmeymim air base being launched from Idlib, something Peskov described as "a highly dangerous tendency".
He made no mention of the idea that Syrian government troops, backed by Russian air power, should stop fighting however, but denied Moscow and Ankara disagreed over Idlib.
The fate of the province has strained relations between Russia and Turkey, which is keen to retain a degree of influence there given its geographical proximity.
Moscow, one of the Syrian government’s staunchest allies, and Turkey brokered a deal in September to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib that would be free of all heavy weapons and jihadist fighters.
But Moscow, which is keen to help Assad retake territory, has since complained about escalating violence in the area and said that holy warriors who used to belong to the Nusra Front group are in control of large swaths of territory.
It has blamed Turkey for not doing enough to hold its side of the bargain, while Ankara, which is worried about refugees crossing from Idlib into Turkey, has repeatedly urged restraint.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
06/01/2019 00:13 ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
[AlAhram] The U.N. atomic watchdog said Friday that Iran continues to stay within the limitations set by the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, but reported its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and heavy water are growing and raised questions for the first time about Iran’s adherence to a key provision intended to limit the country’s use of advanced centrifuges.
In a confidential quarterly report distributed to member states and seen by The News Agency that Dare Not be Named, the ineffective International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has stayed within key limitations set in the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, for uranium and heavy water stockpiles.
But while in past reports the IAEA said Iran’s research and development on enrichment "has been conducted using centrifuges within the limits defined in the JCPOA," the Friday report instead changed the wording to say it "has been conducted using centrifuges specified in the JCPOA." In a footnote, the agency said that "up to 33 IR-6 centrifuges have been installed" ‐ which could be a possible violation of the JCPOA ‐ and that "technical discussions in relation to the IR-6 centrifuges are ongoing."
Continued on Page 49
[Al Jazeera] As the United States and Iran face off against each other across the Gulf, the often-turbulent waters of the eastern Mediterranean were less choppy this week.
Leb, home to the Iran-backed gang and political movement Hezbollah, agreed last week to a process to resolve a maritime dispute with Israel on the condition that negotiations are held under the watch of the United Nations ...the Oyster Bay money pit... Interim Force in Leb (UNIFIL).
Israel, historically critical of UNIFIL's role in Leb, reluctantly accepted the condition as long as the US, its main international ally, was also involved. The details of the precise role to be played by UNIFIL and the US are still being worked out, Lebanese officials said.
The US has been mediating between Israel and Leb over the issue since 2011 and the latest breakthrough is being attributed to the shuttle diplomacy of David Satterfield, US undersecretary for the near east.
Once the framework for the talks is set, Leb and Israel will sit down to present their respective claims over 860sq km of disputed waters rich in hydrocarbons, off the shore of south Leb. At least two gas fields have been discovered on the patch in recent years.
Leb has long held concerns that Israel may obstruct it from exploring the disputed blocks. Beirut has already awarded its first contracts for exploration to a consortium of French, Italian and Russian companies that are expected to start work later this year.
It has also accused Israel of accepting bids from companies to explore resources in the disputed waters and warned it against doing so, however.
Yassine Jaber, a Lebanese parliamentarian with the Amal Movement - a political party and Hezbollah's Shia ally - said Leb wanted the presence of the UN as "an honest arbiter" to help resolve the dispute. UNIFIL has monitored the blue line, effectively the border between Israel and Leb, since their last war in 2006.
[Al Jazeera] The head of the Lebanese political and armed movement Hezbollah has warned that any war against Iran would cause the Middle East to "erupt".
Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that the United States "know well that any war on Iran will not remain confined to Iran's borders. The entire region will burn", leading to all US forces and interests in the region being "annihilated".
The head of the Iran-backed movement made the comments in a televised speech as emergency meetings of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... took place in Mecca, Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... The meetings were held in order to counter what Saudi Arabia has called Iran's growing influence in the region. They take place amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran.
In the year since President Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... withdrew the US from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and several other world powers Washington has since steadily ratcheted up pressure on Tehran: reimposing sanctions, moving to cut the country's oil exports to zero, blacklisting Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a "terrorist group" and deploying US military units to the Gulf in response to an unspecified threat.
Posted by: Fred ||
06/01/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Hezbollah
[DAWN] Tehran accused Riyadh on Friday of "sowing division" in the region to Israel's advantage, after the kingdom hosted summits of Gulf and Arab leaders to rally support against the Islamic republic.
Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... has "continued to sow division between Islamic countries and in the region, which is the wish of the Zionist regime", Iran's foreign ministry front man Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.
"We see the attempts by Saudi Arabia to rally neighbouring and Arab countries against Iran as the continuation of futile attempts by America and the Zionist regime," he added.
Mousavi expressed disappointment that Riyadh intended to level the same "baseless allegations" against Tehran at a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Makkah early on Saturday, "exploiting" its role as host.
Posted by: Fred ||
06/01/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Saudi Arabia
New video of Iranian subterranean ballistic missile base reveals some new details/ Note the blast doors, the handling of missiles and warheads, and the shot from ground level during a Qeam ballistic missile. pic.twitter.com/XmMqhNb2hj
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.