Five hours before the official deadline for the departure of Benjamin Netanyahu and his family from the Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour Street, the final episode in the “Balfour” national reality show refused to come to an end. The huddle of protesters, which dwindled as night fell, exchanged recent photos among themselves of moving vans and other vehicles leaving the residence, trying to figure out whether the Netanyahus had finally vacated the premises or whether maybe someone was still hiding inside, or about to return for a final visit…
Two decades of war in Afghanistan have helped transform the spy agency into a paramilitary organization: It carries out hundreds of drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, trains Afghan commando units and maintains a large presence of C.I.A. officers in a string of bases along the border with Pakistan. At one point during President Barack Obama’s first term, the agency had several hundred officers in Afghanistan, its largest surge of personnel to a country since the Vietnam War.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is on its way towards the opposition, Likud whip MK Miki Zohar stated after the faction was defeated in a Knesset (Israel Parliament) vote on the formation of a key committee.
„We understand and we adopt the idea that we are headed in the direction of the opposition,“ he said during a meeting of the Knesset’s Arrangements Committee.
The Blue and White party’s No. 2, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, is set to announce in the coming days that he is leaving the party and will likely take a break from politics, Hebrew media reports said Tuesday.
Ashkenazi will declare that he is not running in the coming March elections by Wednesday, according to Channel 12 news and Haaretz.
The massive defense bill that President Donald Trump is threatening to veto contains provisions for increased cybersecurity, which has taken on significantly more importance in the wake of a massive cyberattack on federal agencies at the hands of suspected Russian hackers.
The National Defense Authorization Act includes pay raises for America’s soldiers, modernizations for equipment and provisions to require more scrutiny before troops are withdrawn from Germany or Afghanistan.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced on Monday that she would step down from the top Democratic spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee next year, following sharp criticism from liberal activists over her handling of the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Feinstein, 87, said she would „increase“ her „attention“ on the wildfire and drought crisis in California …
She is expected to leave her post at the end of the year, according to a government source who said her contract ran until January 2021 and she had always intended to leave at that point.
“I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately,” the president said in a post.
The president was referring to the contested argument that the US remains a „participant“ in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — despite Trump’s withdrawal from it — and therefore can force a return to sanctions if it sees Iran as being in violation of its terms.
Longtime U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, who was first elected in 1988 and rose to become one of the most powerful Democrats in the House, was substantially trailing middle school principal Jamaal Bowman in Tuesday’s primary — which could mark the second major upset of a veteran New York City Democratic congressman in just two years.
Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger said in a statement that he was grateful for changes Bennet had made to the paper’s opinion pages, including broadening the range of voices.
Professor Neil Ferguson allowed the woman to visit him at home during the lockdown while lecturing the public on the need for strict social distancing in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The woman lives with her husband and their children in another house.
COSPAR has a planetary protection policy (PDF) ensuring that the world’s space agencies protect the safety of our planet as well as any that we explore.
„The Planetary Protection Requirements are an international NATO treaty, ratified by COSPAR,“ said Moogega Cooper, Planetary Protection Lead Engineer for NASA’s Perseverance rover mission. „It’s an international policy that we have to abide by. Agencies around the world have to make sure their hardware and their spacecraft is clean enough.“
Buttigieg is on his way to South Bend, where he will make the announcement later tonight.
Although Mr Cummings was not in the room during fraught discussions with Mr Johnson, sources said it was ‚obvious‘ who was behind the move.
Following more than an hour of frantic wrangling, Mr Javid finally resigned in protest.
‚The prime minister said he had to fire all his special advisers and replace them with Number 10 special advisers to make it one team,‘ a source close to Mr Javid said.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has resigned from his role in Boris Johnson’s cabinet.
It is believed Mr Javid was asked to stay on in his role, but resigned in protest at being asked to fire all his advisors.
Rishi Sunak has been appointed as the new Chancellor.
Patrick said in a statement announcing his withdrawal that he still believes his record as governor dealing with health care, the Boston Marathon bombing and more made an effective case for his candidacy, but he did not have the momentum necessary to move forward.
A source close to the Iraqi government told Al-Monitor, “Abdul Mahdi has told Kurdish officials the Kurdistan region is part of the Iraqi federal state, thus they must abide by the Iraqi parliament’s decision to eject US forces from Iraqi soil once the decision is put into practice.“
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, added, “Abdul Mahdi also told the Kurds his government soon will try to reach an agreement with the US on how to implement the Iraqi parliament’s decision. Kurds should cooperate with Baghdad in this regard. No foreign forces are allowed to stay in Iraq under any pretexts.“
In a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi asked the United States to send a delegation to Iraq to set up a mechanism for U.S. troop withdrawal from the country, a statement from the prime minister’s office said Friday.
The request followed a vote by the Iraqi parliament to expel thousands of U.S. troops, a direct consequence of a U.S. drone attack that killed senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and nine companions in Baghdad a week ago.
“If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Sunday afternoon when asked about the vote by Iraq’s parliament to end U.S. troop presence in the country.
A statement on Sunday from Operation Inherent Resolve said the US-led coalition was “fully committed” to protecting its bases in the light of “repeated rocket attacks” from pro-Iranian militias over the past two months.
“This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh [Isis], and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review,” the coalition said.
Others who know him tell me he’ll move to the United States in the new year to work for Fox News and on the 2020 campaign to re-elect the man he would coyly refer to in his speeches as „his American friend“ – Donald Trump.
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson lost her East Dunbartonshire seat after 12 years of being the serving MP.
Every former Conservative and Labour MP who quit the parties in protest over issues including Brexit and anti-Semitism has failed to be re-elected.
Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected in Islington North. But after leading his party to a second election loss, the Labour leader also announced that he would stand down before the next campaign.
Hezbollah opposes the resignation of the government and supports the current cabinet “but with a new agenda and new spirit,” party leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Saturday.
The Lebanese Forces’ parliamentary bloc requested Saturday that its four ministers in Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government submit their resignation.
The Work and Pensions Secretary accused the Prime Minister of „an assault on decency and democracy“ over the sacking of 21 Tory MPs who backed moves to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
Ms Rudd said Mr Johnson was guilty of „political vandalism“ and claimed Number 10 was now pursuing no-deal as official government policy.
So as anticipation builds up over the coming weeks, Guido brings you the comprehensive and continually updating list of MPs who have announced they will be stepping down at the next election. Get in touch with any updates…
– Boris Johnson launches mass clear out of Cabinet and sacks Jeremy Hunt
– Jeremy Hunt and Penny Mordaunt among those sacked in brutal two-hour cull
– Greg Clark and Liam Fox also leave the government as new PM wields the axe
– Damian Hinds, James Brokenshire, David Mundell and Karen Bradley ousted
– Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Rory Stewart all resigned earlier today
– Priti Patel makes a remarkable Cabinet return as the new Home Secretary
– Sajid Javid has been promoted to crucial role of Chancellor under Mr Johnson
– Brexiteer Dominic Raab was installed as Foreign Secretary replacing Mr Hunt
Brexit has created the potential greater democratic control of trade deals. And we must ensure we use that to craft a trade policy that is geared to justice for the many rather than profits for the few.
Philip Hammond and Alan Duncan are among the most duplicitous politicians in Britain today.
Mr Hammond was seen loading an array of luggage including cases, bags and holdalls, into the boot of a black saloon outside his residence at Number 11.
It comes just one day after he threatened to back a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson if he tires to take Britain out of the EU without a deal in October.
Amber Rudd today made a desperate bid to keep her Cabinet job under Boris Johnson – saying she will not ‚lie down in front of bulldozers‘ to stop No Deal.
The Work and Pensions Secretary admitted she had shifted position on leaving the EU without an agreement, saying ‚circumstances have changed‘,
On another level, however, it is completely crackers. The problem only arises because the Chancellor is looking in the familiar pool of Davos-friendly technocrats. In the FT, the names tipped are drearily familiar. The head of the Financial Conduct Authority. A former chief economist of the IMF. One of the career staffers, or maybe a Professor from somewhere or other. From that perspective, Brexit is a problem to be managed. Sterling will crash, investment will dry up, wages will rise, and exports will collapse. The Bank will be muddling its way through one disaster after another.
But surely the Chancellor could just appoint a Brexiteer?
Change UK has spit with six of its 11 MPs quitting the party.
Interim leader Heidi Allen has left the party, alongside Sarah Wollaston, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Chuka Umunna.
Anna Soubry has been appointed the party’s new leader.
The Labour leader said he was “listening very carefully” to both sides of the debate after the party fell behind the Liberal Democrats and also lost ground to the Greens.
Labour’s preference would be a general election but any Brexit deal “has to be put to a public vote”, he said. Several Labour sources noted this was a shift from his previous position that a second referendum was being kept as an option on the table to stop a damaging Tory Brexit.
Reacting as the results rolled in, Mr Corbyn said the issue „will have to go back to the people, whether through a General Election or a public vote“.
Mr Corbyn added: „Labour will bring our divided country together so we can end austerity and tackle inequality.
Theresa May caved in to her Cabinet today by dramatically halting her Brexit withdrawal Bill in a move that heightened expectations she will resign as Tory leader tomorrow.
MPs have been told the legislation will not now be published tomorrow and the second reading will not take place in the first week of June – despite Mrs May previously laying out the timetable.
The humiliating retreat is the clearest sign yet that Mrs May’s time in power is drawing to a close, after fury at her compromise offer for the Commons to vote on whether to hold another Brexit referendum.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the newcomer group’s interim leader signalled that Change UK could morph into something else in the „brand new world“ of the next parliamentary race.
The former Tory MP admitted the format of the party – which is struggling to break through in the polls ahead of this week’s European elections – could change as she pushes for it to become “more successful”.
Chuka Umunna is on the front cover of GQ this month. Meanwhile, his newly formed anti-Brexit party, Change UK, the ChUKas if you will, is at around five per cent in the polls for the European Parliament election – an election that ChUKas were supposed to storm as the true party of Remain.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hinds also said there will be no formal Tory launch for the European elections, and that the party’s manifesto is to leave the EU with a negotiated deal.
„I’m not sure we need a launch,“ Mr Hinds told the BBC programme.
„We have been very clear about the outcome we want.
A ComRes survey found that if a general election campaign led by Theresa May took place now, it would put the Tories on course for their worst result in history – apparently confirming the fears of Conservative MPs and activists in uproar over the Prime Minister’s handling of Brexit.
– The Brexit Party is slated to win 34% of the vote in upcoming European elections
– Labour is on 21% and the Tories are predicted to win just 11% of the vote
– The data, from Opinium, also puts Labour first on 28% for a General Election
– This is ahead of Conservatives on 22%, with the Brexit Party third on 21%
Mr Grieve, the chairman of Parliament’s intelligence watchdog, has been heavily criticised locally for his efforts in the House of Commons to frustrate attempts to take the UK out of the European Union.
Now 66 local activists – more than the 50 required under the party’s rules – have submitted a formal notice calling for a deselection vote at a special general meeting.
Guess what, MPs: if you defy the democratic will, the demos will punish you.
He backs a second referendum and last week said Mrs May’s attack on parliament for blocking her Brexit deal left him „never more ashamed to be Conservative“, adding: „I could have wept.“
The chairman of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association, Jackson Ng, said the no confidence motion was passed at the association’s annual general meeting on Friday evening.
The 75-year-old who will step down as leader after the local elections in May, said the party had to continue arguing for the benefits of staying in the European Union (EU) as the Brexit debate rages at Westminster.