The European Parliament last month joined a slew of Western nations in recognizing Venezuelan opposition chief Juan Guaido as interim head of state after President Nicolas Maduro won a second term in an election last year that critics denounced as a sham.
The four deputies from the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) were traveling to Venezuela to meet with Guaido, one of them said in a video distributed via social media.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on February 16, Merkel questioned whether the planned U.S. withdrawal was „a good idea.“
„Will it once more strengthen the capacity of Iran and Russia to exert their influence?“ she asked.
She also cautioned against a premature U.S. withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, saying that NATO’s Resolute Support mission in that country was dependent on the U.S. military’s commitment.
(10.2.2019) The Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives said he would take action against two Democrats who have sharply criticized Israel if the Democratic majority did not do so.
“If they do not take action I think you’ll see action from myself,” Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, said according to Capitol Hill reporters writing for a number of newspapers. “This cannot sustain itself. It’s unacceptable in this country.”
(15.5.2018) A second Obama administration program, „Timber Sycamore,“ was started by the CIA in late 2012 with the similar aim of arming rebels. This particular operation was active along the Turkish border to Syria’s north, and a Jordanian crossing in the south, referred to as the “Southern Front.”
But Syrian opposition figures say this program was also compromised, with arms falling into the hands of ISIS or Al Nusra.
The program initially supplied light weapons. But as the Syrian civil war intensified, the U.S. strengthened its commitment by providing selected rebels with American “tune-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided” antitank missiles, better known as BGM-71 TOWs.
(2. Aug 1981) Others, including the C.I.A.’s critics, warn that if these restraints are loosened, the United States may well find itself slipping back to the situation that prevailed in the 1960’s, when the agency was virtually unbridled, when assassination of inconvenient foreign political figures was an acceptable technique, and when top officials cultivated a deliberate fuzziness that obscured the line of command from the President to the Director of Central Intelligence and on down to the operatives in the field. These critics fear that if the C.I.A. is given too much leeway in the means it employs, it may once again be tempted to interpret a President’s wishes in a way that will damage the good name and long-range interests of the United States.
The U.S. government led by Donald Trump is arguing in favor of military intervention in Venezuela, to allegedly end a so-called „humanitarian crisis,“ but the „alleged humanitarian crisis and the migration of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have their origin in the economic boycott of the United States and its allies.“
According to the researchers, the U.S. generated a crisis that would serve as an excuse for military intervention in Venezuela. „The US government justifies an eventual intervention, based in the alleged humanitarian catastrophe and in the massive emigration that its blockade, precisely, would have created.“
Di Maio this week met leaders of the gilets jaunes as he declared the “wind of change has crossed the Alps” and a “new Europe is being born of the yellow vests.” France said the comments were an unacceptable “provocation”.
9. In 2019, the Coalition expects to concentrate on implementing the Working Group action plans. With the conventional military effort against ISIS in Syria nearing culmination and shifting to a supporting rather than a central role, the Coalition members will open a discussion to plan the next phase of the campaign. This could involve an effort to counter ISIS’s reversion to insurgency in Syria and Iraq. It could also include, addressing ISIS’s trans-border networks, branches, and affiliates, which continue to present a significant, and in some cases, growing threat to the members of our Coalition as highlighted by the June 2018 Coalition meeting of Political Directors with a focus on Africa held in Skhirate, Morocco. In particular, the Coalition should remain united in its efforts to undermine ISIS’s brand by rolling back its access to the information space as a tool to spread its toxic ideology and propaganda. The Coalition is determined to increase the pressure to disrupt ISIS’s trans-regional network through increased information sharing and complementary efforts in counter-finance, strategic communication, law enforcement, the justice sector, and security for our homelands. Coalition Working Groups and members will strive to ensure that our goals are met across the broader diplomatic and counterterrorism ecosystem, and does not seek to duplicate existing mechanisms and lines of effort. The Coalition has gathered unique experience and information while fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria that can be of value to other international organizations and groupings combating terrorism.
10. We are gratified by the momentum collectively generated by the Coalition and its partners and once again express our determination to deliver ISIS an enduring defeat. Our joint engagement in Iraq and Syria will continue. We recognize the need for sustained coordination and consultation of the Coalition across all its lines of efforts and especially in the Core. The four Working Groups of the Coalition – Foreign Terrorist Fighters, Counter-ISIS Financing, Communications, and Stabilization – are essential, and we remain dedicated to their continued progress. With this in mind, we look forward to the Political Directors’ meeting in late spring and the regular meeting of the Coalition Working Groups in the year ahead.
US President Donald Trump is delivering remarks at the State Department in Washington DC on Wednesday, February 6 at a meeting with foreign ministers whose countries are part of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. The 79-member coalition is expected to discuss the future of campaigns in Iraq and Syria, which will focus on safeguarding against a resurgence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) through stabilisation and security assistance.
A meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS met in Washington to focus on what happens once the U.S. withdraws its troops from Syria. Jackson Proskow reports.
What happened to all these people?
The army issued the statement early Monday, hours after Israel carried out a rare daylight air raid near the Damascus international airport.
Until now Israel has largely refrained from public admissions of military operations in neighboring Syria.
Kabore accepted the resignations, the statement said, and is expected to form a new government soon.
Norway’s minority center-right government has struck a deal with the small Christian Democratic Party to form a four-party majority coalition government after weeks of negotiations, broadcaster TV2 reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.
In many parts of the United States, the shutdown has underscored how deeply the federal government is connected to everyday life.
No Israeli public figure shows the kind of cynicism and ability to totally bend society to his will than Netanyahu does. This affliction will disappear with him
Innovation and opportunity would be the prizes awarded to a future Labour government operating on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
Prime minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement is a shabby and unpalatable settlement that Labour is right to oppose. WTO terms are far more preferable to Labour voters and to the country as a whole.
(April 2018) In the past few decades, methods of communication have dramatically changed. The development of new technology, especially the birth of the internet, has transformed the way individuals communicate with each other and increased the amount of information that can be collected by several orders of magnitude. In particular, communications – emails, instant messages, calls, social media posts, web searches, requests to visit a website – may transit multiple countries before reaching their destination. The dispersion of communications across the internet vastly increases the opportunities for communications and data to be intercepted by foreign governments, who may then share them with other governments.
As methods of communications have dramatically changed, so too has intelligence gathering. Intelligence agencies have developed increasingly advanced ways of accessing, acquiring, storing, analysing and disseminating information. In particular, they have developed methods for acquiring communications and data traveling the internet. The costs of storing this information have decreased dramatically and continue to do so. At the same time, technology now permits revelatory analyses of types and amounts of data that were previously considered meaningless or incoherent. Finally, the internet has facilitated remote access to information, meaning the sharing of communications and data no longer requires physical transfer from sender to recipient.
The new scope and scale of intelligence gathering has given rise to a new scope and scale of the sharing of that intelligence between governments, particularly in response to threats to national security. Despite these dramatic changes, in many countries around the world, the public remains in the dark regarding state surveillance powers and capabilities, and whether those powers and capabilities are subject to the necessary safeguards pursuant to domestic and international law.
National Security Adviser John Bolton will declare the election of right-wing firebrand Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil as a „positive sign“ for Latin America while denouncing Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as a „Troika of Tyranny,“ according to excerpts seen by Axios of a speech he will give at 1 p.m. ET in Miami.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed supporting a return to democracy in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua with Brazil’s new right-wing government on Wednesday, in a joint effort against what he called authoritarian regimes in Latin America.
Pompeo and Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo considered deepening cooperation in the region at a meeting in Brasilia following Tuesday’s inauguration of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.
In the interview to the SBT network Thursday night, Bolsonaro said he is worried about Russia’s closeness with Venezuela. In December, the two countries held a joint training mission in Venezuela that was criticized by U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“My approximation with the United States is economic, but it could also be warlike,” said Bolsonaro, adding the base would be “symbolic” since American military power can reach any part of the globe.
(4.1.2019) Miko Pompeo visited newly-minted right-wing governments in Latin America this week, rallying support for US regime change efforts in Venezuela.
An Israel Television News Company survey found that 52 percent of the public does not wish to see him return to the Prime Minister’s Office, while 34 percent do. Not so long ago, the numbers were reversed, in his favor. Something has apparently dented this support.
ESTRIN: What Benny Gantz did today was form a new party called Israel Resilience. The word in Hebrew, (speaking Hebrew), indicates a toughness. And he used the word in a speech last month when he offered veiled criticism of the current leadership. There had been a lot of speculation that Gantz might run for office. When pollsters asked Israelis who they’d vote for, Gantz came in second even before he announced his candidacy. Gantz hasn’t spelled out his political platform yet, but Israeli commentators believe he’ll brand himself a centrist.
The army said that …
Syria’s military announced Dec. 28 it has taken control of the flash-point northern town of Manbij, where Turkey has threatened an offensive.
The announcement was quickly welcomed by the Kremlin, whose spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it a „positive step“ that could help stabilize the situation.
Turkey, on the other hand, questioned Syria’s motive with the announcement.
In conjunction with this, we invite the Syrian government forces which are obliged to protect the same country, nation and borders, to assert control over the areas our forces have withdrawn from, in particularly Manbij, and to protect these areas against a Turkish invasion.
If Theresa May’s deal is approved by Parliament next month, Britain will pay a £39billion divorce bill to Brussels.
But if we leave without a deal in March, we may end up paying nothing at all.
This is a very problematic message, to say the least. If Netanyahu is dragging a whole country into an early election in the hope of preceding the attorney general’s decision on the corruption investigations, then Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit’s decision to continue the process as if there were no election is tantamount to burying his head in the sand.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told settler leaders on Wednesday that the left will try to take power in the upcoming elections „using the media and others.“
„They can’t be allowed to succeed,“ Netanyahu said at a meeting in Jerusalem, adding that a left-wing election victory „will be a clear danger to the settlement enterprise.“
The strike in the Damascus area was likely aimed at a specific target such as Iranian weapons depots, but it has a wider geopolitical context
That morning Netanyahu had taken part in a ceremony swearing in the new Bank of Israel governor, Amir Yaron, and also held a lengthy meeting with the army’s ombudsman, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brik. At 1:30 P.M., half an hour behind schedule, the meeting with the party heads began.
A day after announcing new elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked to advance and approve 2010 new settler homes.
Separately he has fast-tracked the retroactive authorization of illegally built settler homes on private Palestinian property.
Netanyahu’s personal scorched earth campaign against the rule of law is now the battering ram of the right’s assault on democracy
Intensifying disagreements between the rival Islah and Bina blocs, led by populist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Iran-backed militia leader Hadi al-Amiri, have prevented the formation of a full government of 22 ministers.
Jimmy Dore is fantastic! Listen to him skewer liberal hawks on Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria:
The warmongering Left has joined forces with the neocons to demand that President Trump reverse course in his recent decision to pull US troops from Syria. Neocons claim that ISIS will increase with the US absence, but it was the very US intervention in the region – that they supported – that led to the rise of extremist and terrorist groups. Meanwhile, some principled progressives are putting politics aside to praise the president’s move.
President Trump made the decision to pull the troops — about half the number the United States has in Afghanistan now — at the same time he decided to pull American forces out of Syria, one official said.
The announcement came hours after Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, said that he would resign from his position at the end of February after disagreeing with the president over his approach to policy in the Middle East.
The Global Coalition against Daesh was formed in September 2014 and is unique in its membership, scope and commitment.
„Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.“
During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting….
„I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation.“ Portman added that she treasures „Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema and dance.“
She went on to say that Israel „was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality and abuse of power.“
For years, Berlin watched with growing frustration (bordering on panic) as both Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande failed to enact serious reforms in the face of the country’s increasingly difficult economic situation.
Macron knew that to succeed in Europe, he would have to win over Germany and the only way to do that is to fix France. The precipitous decline in his standing at home over the past year, culminating in the “uprising” by the Yellow Jackets, has robbed Macron of the legitimacy he needs on the European stage.
A motion of no confidence, or censure motion, is a motion moved in the House of Commons with the wording: ‚That this House has no confidence in HM Government‘. If such a motion is agreed to, and a new government with the support of a majority of MPs cannot be formed within a period of 14 calendar days, Parliament is dissolved and an early General Election is triggered.
A motion of no confidence is one of only two ways in which an early General Election may be triggered under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011.
The illumination of brutal realities is not what the PM needs right now as she embarks on the biggest sales job in UK history.
He said: „Italy seems to me isolated.
„Italy must not threaten. It seems that the government has understood the mistakes, but we will see if it will change.
„If it doesn’t, Italians will suffer. We’ll see. I do not think there’s a desire to change, but we’ll see.“
„I made it very clear that we are not [at] war with Italy. Italia for me is a lifelong story because I grew up with young Italians, immigrants […] Ti amo Italia,“ Juncker said in Brussels.
The Italian part of his remarks translate as „I love you Italy“.
On Saturday, Juncker hosted a dinner with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who emerged from the meeting saying he hoped to avoid EU punitive action.
(13.11.2018) Changes in the pension system planned by the government that would effectively lower the retirement age, allowing people to end their working lives when their age and number of years of social-security contributions reach 100, would have negative effects, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Tuesday.
(29.10.2018) „I will not be seeking any political post after my term ends,“ she told a news conference in Berlin.
She also said she would not seek re-election as leader of the centre-right CDU party in December. She has held the post since 2000.
“Following my conversation with Theresa May, our positions remain distant. My Government will always defend the interests of Spain. If there are no changes, we will veto Brexit,” he tweeted as he landed in Havana for a two-day visit to Cuba.
Theresa May is to make an emergency dash to Brussels on Saturday to complete the Brexit negotiations after the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, threatened to pull the plug on the Sunday leaders’ summit.
As she emerged from talks in Brussels lasting nearly two hours with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, the British prime minister admitted that there were some major issues to resolve.
The surprise move was announced after a meeting with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
EU diplomats have said they had been told the German Chancellor is not willing to come to Sunday’s summit for any negotiations, meaning a text must be ready beforehand.
Poland’s ambassador to Germany is raising serious accusations against the Federal Republic. „More than half of the past 100 years of German policy toward Poland have been a disaster,“ the diplomat from Warsaw declared at a conference in Berlin.
And he reiterated Spain’s insistence that negotiations over the future relationship between Gibraltar and the EU should be handled separately to those with the U.K.
“I am very much [more] worried about the unity of the United Kingdom than the unity of the Kingdom of Spain. I think the United Kingdom will split apart before the Kingdom of Spain,” he said, in an apparent reference to movements in both Scotland and Northern Ireland to leave the U.K. over its EU departure.
The Prime Minister needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.
The number is less than half because the four Speakers, 7 Sinn Fein MPs and four tellers will not take part.
David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chair of the European Research Group, are among the speakers at an ERG press conference to mark the publication of a paper about the benefits of leaving the customs union
The Brexiteer says it’s now or never for those who want get rid of May – or else she could lead the party into the next election.
„I can tell you this – it certainly isn’t for all the women in the ERG – all the women have put their letters in.“
She speculated that there were around 46 letters of no confidence in, two shy of the number needed to force a vote in Mrs May’s leadership, and added: „I know of key people holding their letters back.“
Brown’s researchers estimate that at least 480,000 people have been directly killed by violence over the course of these conflicts, more than 244,000 of them civilians. In addition to those killed by direct acts violence, the number of indirect deaths — those resulting from disease, displacement, and the loss of critical infrastructure — is believed to be several times higher, running into the millions.
The report, which uses data spanning from October 2001 to October 2018, compiles previous analysis from nongovernmental organizations, U.S. and foreign government data, and media reports. In a statement, the report authors said the figures still just “scratches the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of war.” Due to challenges in data collection, their total estimate is an undercount, they added.
Now, Congress has the opportunity to make a real difference that will save Yemeni lives. But one of the main legislative solutions it’s considering contains major mistakes that would actually perpetuate Saudi and American fighting and Yemeni suffering, not end them. For that reason, the ACLU urged members of the House of Representatives to vote no on the legislation, commonly referred to as the Yemen resolution.
(16.11.2018) Questions about mystery payments from the Libyan dictator’s supposedly frozen billions in Europe have already become a hot political issue in Belgium, because significant sums flowed out of accounts in Brussels.
But the Libyan Investment Authority’s announcement is the first time an official state body has said that countries other than Belgium may also have wrongly implemented the U.N.’s 2011 sanctions regime against Libya, and raises more questions about how much of Libya’s wealth has been transferred to unknown recipients since 2011.
(7.11.2018) Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu met Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian media reported, signalling Kremlin support ahead of a conference aimed at settling the north African country’s years of strife.
(13.11.2018) Head of the Libyan National Army field marshal Khalifa Haftar has said Libya is at war and has to protect its borders from illegal migrants, terrorists and extremists.
(13.11.2018) Specifically, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Yevgeny Prigozhin—a friend of President Vladimir Putin’s and the overseer of several Russian “private” military companies (PMC), including the Wagner Group—received Libyan military strongman Khalif Haftar in Moscow.
(30.5.2011) The war in Libya marks a turning point in world politics.
The decision to bomb the country was taken virtually overnight—just weeks after the outbreak of revolution in Tunisia and Egypt, and just days after the start of the so-called rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi. In contrast to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the initiative for the attack was taken, not by the US, but the former European colonial powers of France and Great Britain (and now also Italy), whom the US then joined. France and Britain have once again launched a war in the Arab region for the first time since they were forced to abort the Suez War in 1956.
Officially, the war is being characterised as a “humanitarian” intervention—a move supported by the pseudo-left, from the Pabloites to the social democrats to the Greens. But it is quite obviously an imperialist enterprise.
(11.11.2018) With regard to the Arab Spring – just a year before the Union was being renamed and rebranded and against all the odds – the Union was able to create and maintain a structure that focused on trying to achieve results for those regions that were facing a challenging period. Despite the instability which member states of the Union faced during this period, it managed to create the infrastructure for a better future.
The DUP has gone on strike. Its nine MPs – the 10th, Ian Paisley Jr, returns from suspension tomorrow – are abstaining on all votes on the finance bill, with the exception of one Labour amendment on child poverty, which they will vote for.
The party propping up the government accuses it of „acting cavalierly“ and warns not to expect „business as usual“.
Conservative critics of Theresa May’s Brexit strategy are struggling to gather enough support to force a vote of no-confidence in her leadership.
The so-called “pizza plot” by five pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers to press Mrs May to take a tougher stance with Brussels also appeared to be fading.
The German government is participating in the West’s campaign against China’s anti-terrorist measures in its Xinjiang autonomous region. The Chinese authorities are taking massive repressive measures against Uighur terrorists and their milieu. They are being held in camps, which Beijing says are „educational centers.“ Western governments are calling them „re-education camps.“
However, Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee and a former minister in Mrs Merkel’s cabinet, has slammed the door on any hope of further concessions from the EU, warning Brexiteers there is “no question” of renegotiating the terms.
(15.11.2018) In a clear sign of the nervousness felt in Brussels, the European council president said leaders would gather on the morning of Sunday 25 November unless “something extraordinary happens”.
Amid ongoing talk of a plot to replace Mrs May through a confidence vote, one of her ministers said there is still time for „more to be done“ on the Brexit deal, despite an EU summit scheduled for November 25 to confirm it.
Andrea Leadsom, the Brexiteer Commons‘ leader, said she supports the Prime Minister but …
FRANCE is looking to turn the screw on Theresa May by pressurising EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to demand Britain makes even more concessions in next week’s talks to discuss the draft withdrawal agreement.
Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron are set to meet to bolster their alliance and promote European unity as the fallout from the Brexit deal continues.
The German Chancellor and the French President are understood to have made a breakthrough on a new budget for the eurozone ahead of the meeting in Berlin, where Mr Macron will address the Parliament.
(13.11.2018) Since the referendum Mrs Merkel has been remarkably strict.
Far from wanting to offer the UK concessions and an easy route to the exit door, she’s urged her fellow leaders to stand firm and, above all, protect the integrity of the EU’s single market and customs union.
She puts European unity way above any sympathy for her counterpart in Downing Street.
(8.11.2018) The whole package is likely then to go to an EU summit later this month or in December, and if approved Mrs May will put it to the House of Commons for a vote within days.
Prime Minster Mrs May will attend a working dinner in Belgium on Thursday hosted by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
So far Sir Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 committee who is responsible for declaring that moment, has made no public comment.
It is unclear whether Number 10’s frenetic efforts this weekend are intended to prevent the number of letters getting to 48, or to ensure the prime minister can get the backing of the 150 Tory MPs she would need to win a confidence vote – either way, the fight is on.
Ms Dorries added: „MPs will think to themselves, ‚If I vote to keep the prime minister in place she’s going to be there for the next 12 months when anything could happen, is that what I want?‘ And I think most MPs will vote ’no‘.“
She defended her description of the Brexit deal as leaving the UK as „slaves“ to the EU.
„I would call us a vassal state, an empty state, I’d call it serfdom, it’s appalling,“ Ms Dorries said.
(24.10.2018) Theresa May’s invitation to speak to the members of the 1922 Committee at 5pm today has been the centre of fevered speculation. What everyone knows — it has been repeated ad nauseam in recent weeks — is that a vote of no-confidence in the Prime Minister is triggered when 15 per cent of Tory MPs write a letter to the 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady. Currently it would take 48 letters to be submitted. Brady alone knows how many letters are received — despite endless press reports of it being “close”.
Mr Baker: „They will tell you they have put in letters in when they haven’t, they will take them out and not tell you they have them put them out , they will say they have submitted them when they haven’t, and so forth.“