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20.09.2021 - 23:32 [ Christiane Amanpour, @CNN Chief International Anchor / Twitter ]

Exclusive: @EU_Commission President @vonderleyen reacts to the AUKUS fallout. “One of our member states has been treated in a way that is not acceptable,” she tells me. “We want to know what happened and why.”

Full interview airs at 7pCET @CNNi
and tonight @PBS
(listings vary).

20.08.2021 - 09:41 [ theHill.com ]

House Intel Committee to receive briefing on Afghanistan

The briefing, which is believed to be the first in-person meeting with lawmakers, comes as four separate congressional committees have pledged to conduct oversight efforts into the administration’s moves in withdrawing from Afghanistan.

19.08.2021 - 18:25 [ Matt Karnitschnig / Twitter ]

German intelligence (BND) advised government last Friday that it was „unlikely“ the Taliban would take Kabul before September and that they had no interest in doing so, according to minutes of emergency meeting seen by Bild.

(18.08.2021)

01.08.2021 - 07:45 [ Haaretz ]

U.S. Military Assists Israeli-managed Tanker Attacked Off Oman, Says Likely Hit by Drone

U.S. and European sources familiar with intelligence reporting said on Friday Iran was their leading suspect for the incident, which a U.S. defense official said appeared to have been carried out by a drone, but stressed their governments were seeking conclusive evidence.

21.07.2021 - 05:15 [ Washington Post ]

U.S. and E.U. security officials wary of NSO links to Israeli intelligence

In interviews, several current and former officials said they presumed that the company, which was founded by former Israeli intelligence officers, provides at least some information to the government in Jerusalem about who is using its spying products and what information they’re collecting.

“It’s crazy to think that NSO wouldn’t share sensitive national security information with the government of Israel,” said one former senior U.S. national security official who has worked closely with the Israeli security services and, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly describe intelligence operations

20.07.2021 - 08:03 [ Politico.eu ]

5 things to know about EU’s Fit for 55 climate package

(21.07.2021)

It’s the first time that a major economy is radically overhauling its climate rules, and is being watched around the world.

The Fit for 55 package will be announced on July 14.

20.07.2021 - 07:59 [ europarl.europa.eu ]

Legislative train: Fit for 55 package under the European Green Deal

The following initiatives were announced for second quarter (Q2) of 2021. The Commission has announced a postponement of the initial batch to 14 July 2021:

– Revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), including maritime, aviation and CORSIA as well as a proposal for ETS as own resource
– Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and a proposal for CBAM as own resource
– Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR)
– Revision of the Energy Tax Directive
– Amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive to implement the ambition of the new 2030 climate target (RED)
– Amendment of the Energy Efficiency Directive to implement the ambition of the new 2030 climate target (EED)
– Reducing methane emissions in the energy sector
– Revision of the Regulation on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)
– Revision of the Directive on deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure
– Revision of the Regulation setting CO₂ emission performance standards for new passenger cars and for new light commercial vehicles

The following initiatives are announced for fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021:

– Revision of the energy performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)
– Revision of the Third Energy Package for gas (Directive 2009/73/EU and Regulation 715/2009/EU) to regulate competitive decarbonised gas markets

02.07.2021 - 18:32 [ Communist Party of Israel ]

“Change” Gov’t Approves 31 New Projects in Occupied West Bank

On Friday, June 25, the United Nations accused Israel of blatantly violating international law and called on it to halt the illegal expansions in settlements. According to Al-Ittihad, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General and Tor Wennesland, UN Mideast envoy, cited Security Council resolution 2334 from December 2016 that declared the occupation’s settlements as having “no legal validity.”

“I again underscore, in no uncertain terms, that Israeli settlements constitute a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions and international law,” Wennesland said. “They are a major obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution and a just, long lasting and comprehensive peace. The advancement of all settlement activity must cease immediately.

30.06.2021 - 18:15 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Coronavirus latest news: Stop daily case updates as virus no longer ‚important cause of mortality‘, says JCVI scientist

He joins a growing number of MPs and leading scientists, including Prof Tim Spector, of King’s College London, warning the daily slew of Covid statistics are terrifying people and they lack any context, such as figures on flu, heart disease and cancer.

Conservative MPs are pressing Downing Street to follow officials in Quebec, Canada, and Singapore by moving to weekly updates or similar, ahead of the July 19 unlocking.

30.06.2021 - 18:01 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Another reason to speed up, Boris: More proof vaccines are working as Britain’s cases spike 62% in a week to 26,068 but deaths drop to 14 as Tory MPs, businesses and teachers call on PM to ‚go quicker‘ and axe crippling self-isolation rules

Britain’s daily Covid deaths fell again today despite cases jumping by nearly 62 per cent in a week, as Tory MPs, businesses and teachers called on the Prime Minister to ‚go quicker‘ and axe crippling self-isolation rules.

Department of Health bosses posted just 14 deaths, falling 26.3 per cent on last Wednesday’s figure of 19, in a clear sign of the vaccine effect in the face of climbing cases.

30.06.2021 - 08:15 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Vaccine passports: It’s all over! Cabinet agrees it’s time to ‚live with Covid’… and you WON’T have to show proof of vaccination to attend mass gatherings

– Ministers are set to shelve plans for the mandatory use of ‚Covid certification‘
– Plans for pubs and restaurants had already been put on the backburner
– The Mail can now reveal that ministers have also dropped the idea of imposing them on mass events

29.06.2021 - 17:08 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

It is ‚time to learn to live with Covid‘: Downing Street warns UK will have to accept flu-like death figures of up to 20,000 a year in marked shift on messaging as country approaches July 19 with ’no going back‘ after Freedom Day

An Office for National Statistics (ONS) report published today found that 74 people died directly from Covid in the week ending June 18, which was up 12 per cent on the week before. Wales recorded no deaths from the virus in the most recent week, for the first time since the pandemic began.

A separate study from scientists at Cambridge University found that fewer than one in a thousand people who catch Covid in England now die from the disease. They estimate the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) of coronavirus has been driven down to 0.085 per cent thanks to the country’s hugely successful vaccine rollout.

28.06.2021 - 21:29 [ miragenews.com ]

Joint Communiqué by Ministers of Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS

Daesh/ISIS no longer controls territory and nearly eight million people have been freed from its control in Iraq and Syria, but the threat remains. The resumption in Daesh/ISIS activities and its ability to rebuild its networks and capabilities to target security forces and civilians in areas in Iraq and Syria where the Coalition is not active, requires strong vigilance and coordinated action. This includes allocating adequate resources to sustain Coalition and legitimate partner forces’ efforts against Daesh/ISIS, and significant stabilization support, both to address the drivers that make communities vulnerable to recruitment by Daesh/ISIS and related violent ideological groups, as well as to provide support to liberated areas to safeguard our collective security interests. In this regard, the Ministers noted the 2021 Pledge Drive for Stabilization as an important means to help sustain the recovery of areas liberated from Daesh/ISIS and prevent its resurgence. The Ministers reaffirm that Daesh/ISIS will continue to be pressured by curbing its ability to raise revenue, enhancing information sharing on terrorists through bilateral and/or multilateral channels like INTERPOL, and fighting against Daesh/ISIS’ toxic propaganda and denying the group space to exploit social media online.

15.06.2021 - 13:27 [ Haaretz ]

Jerusalem March ‚Provocations‘ Risk Reigniting Israel-Hamas Violence, UN Warns

The march was originally scheduled for Israel’s Jerusalem Day last month. It was, however, diverted due to security concerns as clashes between police and Palestinians in the city intensified. Shortly after it began, it was dispersed due to Hamas rocket fire from Gaza toward Jerusalem, which lead to an 11-day round of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

16.05.2021 - 17:36 [ Generalsekretär der Vereinten Nationen - UN.org ]

Secretary-General’s remarks to the Security Council – on the situation in the Middle East [as delivered]

I thank the Chinese presidency for organizing this open meeting.

We meet today amid the most serious escalation in Gaza and Israel in years.

The current hostilities are utterly appalling. This latest round of violence only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair, and pushes farther to the horizon any hopes of coexistence and peace.

Fighting must stop. It must stop immediately. Rockets and mortars on one side and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must stop. I appeal to all parties to heed this call.

13.05.2021 - 06:41 [ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Abgeordnete im US Repräsentantenhaus / Twitter ]

Blanket statements like these w/ little context or acknowledgement of what precipitated this cycle of violence – namely, the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al Aqsa – dehumanize Palestinians & imply the US will look the other way at human rights violations. It’s wrong.

(12.05.2021)

By only stepping in to name Hamas’ actions – which are condemnable – & refusing to acknowledge the rights of Palestinians, Biden reinforces the false idea that Palestinians instigated this cycle of violence.

This is not neutral language. It takes a side – the side of occupation.

13.05.2021 - 06:40 [ JTA.org ]

Biden says Israel has a ‘right to defend itself’ as he sends envoy to deescalate conflict

(12.05.2021)

During a White House press conference Wednesday afternoon, Biden said he had just spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and had an “expectation and hope” that the conflict would end soon.

13.05.2021 - 06:25 [ i24news.tv ]

US halts statement by UN Security Council on escalation in Israel-Palestinian tensions

(11.05.2021)

The United Nations Security Council held an urgent meeting Monday on the unrest in Jerusalem but issued no immediate statement, with diplomats saying the United States assessed that public comments could be counterproductive.

12.05.2021 - 07:35 [ Bernie Sanders / Twitter ]

I am extremely concerned by the growing conflict in Israel and Palestine. Once again we are seeing how the irresponsible actions of government-allied right-wing extremists in Jerusalem can escalate quickly into devastating war.

Israeli children should not have to spend the night scared in bomb shelters, as many are doing tonight. Palestinian children should not have to grow up under the constant violence and oppression of occupation, as so many do, and have done.

The United States must call for an immediate cease-fire and an end to provocative and illegal settlement activity. And we must also recommit to working with Israelis and Palestinians to finally end this conflict.

11.05.2021 - 08:04 [ Anshel Pfeffer / Twitter ]

Oh, and not that I expect this to reassure anyone, but the IDF has already given the escalation a name: Operation Guardians of the Walls מבצע שומרי החומות

08.03.2021 - 08:42 [ theOWP.org ]

Foreign Troops To Stay In Afghanistan Beyond May Deadline

(02.03.2021)

Like NATO, Afghan officials stated that it is critical for U.S. troops to remain so that Taliban and Afghan leaders can reach peace agreements. According to the Washington Post, Afghan officials announced that the maintenance of a small U.S. counter-terrorism force in Afghanistan would provide the country’s government with more leverage during peace talks than the country would have without military aid. These negotiations could bring a decades-long, violent war to a peaceful end.

08.03.2021 - 08:32 [ New York Times ]

U.S. Pushes U.N.-Led Peace Conference in Letter to Afghan Leader

Negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban began in September as part of a February 2020 agreement between the militants and the United States. But the talks have faltered over issues like a prisoner exchange and reductions in violence.

Mr. Blinken wrote that the United States had not decided whether to withdraw the remaining 2,500 American troops from Afghanistan by May 1, as outlined in its agreement with the Taliban.

28.02.2021 - 09:51 [ Newsweek ]

In Iraq, Joe Biden Haunted by Obama’s Foreign Policy Missteps

(26.02.2021)

The U.S. attempt to institute democracy in Iraq began with a thunderous roar nearly 18 years ago as Baghdad, already under siege by Washington’s sanctions, was bombarded by U.S. missiles in 2003. In less than a month’s time, former President George W. Bush would deliver a victory speech in front of a banner that read „Mission Accomplished.“

What exactly that mission was remains unclear to this day.

28.02.2021 - 09:41 [ Bloomberg ]

The White House Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check to Wage War

(12.02.2021)

For close to two decades, U.S. presidents have sent American troops into combat without requesting authorization from Congress. As it conducts a review of U.S. military operations around the world, the Biden administration should push to restore the legislative branch’s proper role in deciding when and where the country goes to war.

28.02.2021 - 09:15 [ Steve Herman / Twitter ]

There was congressional notification prior to the US airstrike on #Syria, @PentagonPresSec tells reporters.

(26.02.2021)

„The Department of Defense briefed Congressional leadership before the action last night,“ confirms @PressSec
. „The administration has been briefing the Hill at the Member- and staff-level today. There will be a full classified briefing early next week at the latest.“

28.02.2021 - 08:55 [ theHill.com ]

Biden administration to give Congress full classified briefing on Syria strikes by next week

(26.02.2021)

“The Department of Defense briefed Congressional leadership before the action last night. The Administration has been briefing the Hill at the Member- and staff-level today. There will be a full classified briefing early next week at the latest,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

27.02.2021 - 11:18 [ Antiwar.com ]

Some Members of Congress Criticize Biden’s Syria Bombing

In the wake of President Biden’s bombing of eastern Syria, some members of Congress are speaking out and questioning the legality of the move,including Bidens Fellow Democrats

27.02.2021 - 10:25 [ CNN ]

Democrats question Biden’s legal justification for Syria strike

But some Democrats said that Congress has not passed an authorization for the use of military force specifically in Syria, and previous resolutions passed in 2001 and 2002 were designed for attacking those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks and to go into war with Iraq. Congress has not declared war since 1942.

„This makes President Biden the seventh consecutive US president to order strikes in the Middle East,“ said California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna.

19.08.2020 - 08:40 [ CTV News Northern Ontario / Twitter ]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked Gov. Gen. Julie Payette to prorogue Parliament until Sept. 23, ..

.. putting a more than month-long pause on parliamentary business as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

19.08.2020 - 08:39 [ Washington Post ]

Canada’s embarrassing governor general should resign — and no one should replace her

A Canada with more self-confidence would have the courage to revisit its governor general entirely on its own terms. If the country is truly the beacon of principled democratic liberalism it so often claims, eliminating a failed, undemocratic office should hardly be painful.

19.08.2020 - 08:25 [ CBC.ca ]

Can you fire a Governor General?

(11.08.2020)

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the prime minister. An exit from this post can only occur through death or incapacitation, resignation, or if the Queen, acting on the advice of the prime minister, removes the Governor General from the role.

14.07.2020 - 09:58 [ Haaretz ]

11 European Foreign Ministers Urge EU to List Options to ‚Deter‘ Israeli Annexation

In a letter sent to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday, they wrote that doing so is essential, because “the window to deter annexation is fast closing.”

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz, was signed by the foreign ministers of France, Italy, Holland, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Portugal and Malta.

07.07.2020 - 19:52 [ Auswärtiges Amt ]

Joint Declaration of the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, France, Germany and Jordan on the current state of the Middle East Peace Process

We exchanged views on the current state of the Middle East Peace Process and its regional implications. We concur that any annexation of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 would be a violation of international law and imperil the foundations of the peace process. We would not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders that are not agreed by both parties in the conflict.

07.07.2020 - 19:45 [ i24news.tv ]

Jordan, Egypt, Germany, France warn Israel against West Bank areas annexation

Jordan, Egypt, Germany and France came out with a joint statement Tuesday warning Israel against applying its laws to a number of West Bank areas.

The statement was released by the German Foreign Ministry after a video conference held by the top diplomats from the four countries.

02.07.2020 - 10:52 [ Haaretz ]

Many Will Take Credit, but This Is the Real Reason Netanyahu Delayed His Annexation Plan

Joe Biden is the main reason Netanyahu is not annexing.

There are few politicians who have a keener understanding of polls than Netanyahu. He has several pollsters on his official and unofficial payroll, and keeps in touch with others. His polling brain-trust is heavily American and though they have misled at least once in the past, when he thought that Mitt Romney had a chance of denying Barack Obama a second term in 2012. He is fully aware now that Trump’s chances of winning in November are vanishing.

30.06.2020 - 18:20 [ StarTribune.com ]

Netanyahu signals delay in West Bank annexation plan

Netanyahu made the comments shortly after wrapping up talks with White House envoy Avi Berkowitz and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. The sides have been holding talks for several months on finalizing a map spelling out which areas of the West Bank will be annexed by Israel.

„I spoke about the question of sovereignty, which we are working on these days and we will continue to work on in the coming days,“ Netanyahu said.

30.06.2020 - 08:52 [ Axios.com ]

Benjamin Netanyahu has asked American evangelical supporters to lobby in favor of annexing parts of the West Bank in an attempt to press President Trump to give Israel the green light for annexing parts of the West Bank

(29.06.2020)

Why it matters: Israeli officials say Netanyahu thinks President Trump is politically vulnerable four months before the U.S. election and that he could lose to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. He thinks Trump needs the evangelical base to go to vote in order to have a chance at winning.

30.06.2020 - 08:48 [ Jerusalem Post ]

IDF generals urge Trump to stand behind Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan

(23.06.2020)

The idea of Israeli sovereignty over 30% of the West Bank, including all of the settlements, is already incorporated into Trump’s peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

However, Israel can do so only with approval from the US.

30.06.2020 - 08:25 [ Jerusalem Post ]

Palestinians offer negotiations days before planned annexation – report

The Palestinian Authority dispatched a letter on Monday addressed to the Quartet on the Middle East stating that it’s prepared to renew negotiations with Israel and agree to „minor territorial exchanges,“ according to reports by Ynet News on Monday night.

The Quartet on the Middle East, a foursome consisting of the United Nations, the US, Russia and the European Union involved in mediating the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.

29.06.2020 - 20:34 [ Haaretz ]

After Gantz Pours Cold Water on Annexation, Netanyahu Says Issue Not Up to Him

„We are in contact with the American team here in Israel,“ Netanyahu said at a Likud meeting. „We are doing so discretely. The issue is not up to [Gantz’s party] Kahol Lavan. They are not a factor either way.“

Earlier on Monday, Gantz met with Trump’s special envoy Avi Berkowitz and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to discuss the Trump administration’s peace plan.

26.06.2020 - 16:16 [ New York Times ]

U.N. Rights Expert Urges EU to Punish Any Israeli Annexation in West Bank

A U.N. rights investigator urged the European Union on Friday to consider measures to prevent or punish any Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, a few days after over 1,000 European lawmakers made a similar call.

25.06.2020 - 14:15 [ Washington Post ]

Israel is about to reveal its West Bank annexation plans. How will Congress respond?

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, reportedly told U.S. lawmakers last week they’re “free to criticize Israel’s looming annexation plans — just as long as the criticism stops there.”

23.06.2020 - 07:40 [ Haaretz ]

Thousands of Palestinians Protest Against Israeli Annexation in Jordan Valley

Thousands of Palestinians rallied Monday against Israel’s planned annexation of areas of the West Bank in a mass protest organized by the Fatah political party.

In the protest were Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations’s Middle East envoy, Arab and other foreign diplomats, including the ambassadors of the European Union, China, Russia and Jordan.