国際・政治: ずくなしの冷や水


No more 'moderates'? Al Nusra terrorists unite ALL Idlib militants under single anti-Assad command

No more 'moderates'? Al Nusra terrorists unite ALL Idlib militants under single anti-Assad command

The notorious Al Nusra terrorist group has announced it has united all the rebel factions in Idlib under a single command, eroding whatever thin line ever existed between the so-called 'moderate' militants and hardcore jihadists.

The Idlib province has been relatively calm following the September agreement between Russia and Turkey to set up a buffer zone in the province in the hope that it would lead to a long-lasting ceasefire. The deal, which was backed by Germany and France, and supported by the United States, in theory, should have allowed the so-called 'moderate' rebels to take control of the province while separating from radical Islamists. However, exactly the opposite appears to have happened.

All the factions in the arena formed a joint operations room... Yes, all factions without exemption.

There has been "no joint operations room like this before," Abu Khaled, a representative of Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al Nusra, which is now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, told the controversial American journalist Abdul Kareem.

The main task of this 'operation room’ is to unite rebel forces against the Syrian government troops which have encircled the province. Idlib is the last major stronghold of jihadist groups in Syria, which have been trying to overthrow the government in Damascus for the past seven years. The northwestern province, which is home to some 2.9 million people, officially is not run by a single rebel group, but rather by a number of rival factions which together have around 70,000 fighters at their disposal. Tahrir al-Sham is believed to be strongest in their midst with about 10,000 fighters.

While Damascus agreed to observe the conditions of the multilateral agreement, the jihadi representative made it clear that the Idlib deal does not represent their interests. "I want to send a message to the regime and its cronies that the rebels in northern free areas have prepared messages for you. But you will not understand them until you see them," the jihadi told Kareem in an interview aired on OGN TV.

The Al Nusra announcement "changes the framework of the multilateral agreement," global affairs analyst and founder of the 21st Century Wire Patrick Henningsen explained.

There are effectively no more moderate rebels in Idlib.

"It was naive ever to believe that the strongest party Al Nusra would give way to the weaker party, the so-called moderates of the Free Syrian Army. What is happening is that they are now very firmly in the driving seat. And they've driven coach and horses through the Turkish-Russian agreement," the former UK Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford told RT.

Rebel united under the command of the well-known terrorist network can only spell a battle for the Idlib province, Henningsen thinks. The fight, however, could spread beyond the Syrian Arab Army and terrorist forces if the US, which has actively been cautioning against any military operation against the rebels in the region, comes to their aid, former ambassador Ford stressed, a view also shared by the global affairs analyst.

"The United States has made it quite clear that any Syrian army advance on Idlib would be met by deadly fire from the United States," Ford said, explaining that "the United States has effectively put itself in the position of creating a safe haven for Al Qaeda."

If the West is going to intervene... then effectively they are taking the side of a terrorist confab.

Prior to the Turkish-Russian Idlib agreement that set up a demilitarized zone running 15-20 km deep into rebel territory, US President Donald Trump explicitly said that the US will get "very angry" if Syrian forces proceed to retake Idlib. "If it's a slaughter, the world is going to get very, very angry," Trump warned Bashar Assad in a September tweet. "And the United States is going to get very angry, too."
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 18:28| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


US senators seek to stop weapons sales to Saudi Arabia over Yemen war, Khashoggi murder
A newly proposed bill in the US Senate would suspend the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and block refueling of Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen, as punishment for the death of a Washington Post columnist.

US Senate blocks plan to stop an arms sale to Bahrain – one of the countries bombing Yemen
The US senate has rejected an effort by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul to block a major arms sale to Bahrain – more proof that if there’s one thing that unites Democrats and Republicans, it’s selling weapons to Middle Eastern allies.

The senate voted 77-21 on Thursday to table the resolution, which would have blocked the $300 million arms sale to the Persian Gulf nation, which is a member of the Saudi-Arabia led coalition currently bombing Yemen.

In recent weeks, US lawmakers have publicly professed concern over the war in Yemen and its growing civilian death toll but, when faced with the opportunity to block arms from reaching one of the nations doing the bombing, they demurred.

Paul implored senators to support his motion, calling for an end to “the US involvement” in Yemen’s brutal civil war. “Your tax dollars are supporting this war, so I think there ought to be a debate. So that’s what I stand up today to do, is to force a debate on whether or not we should be involved with aiding and abetting the Saudi coalition in this war in Yemen,” Paul said in a speech on the senate floor.

But the Republican’s pleas fell on deaf ears and the motion died a swift death in the upper chamber.

Senator Bob Menendez, the top ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that he opposed Paul’s effort because Bahrain is a “critical ally” of the US, citing the fact that the country hosts US naval forces which he said puts it at risk of attack from Iran or terrorist groups. Menendez said that the sale of 120 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems and 110 Army Tactical Missile Systems to Bahrain had nothing to do with Yemen.

The White House said it “strongly opposes” Paul’s move to block the sale, claiming that the weapons systems will “enhance Bahrain’s ability to protect itself against threats to territorial sovereignty, particularly from Iran” and will “bolster a Bahraini defense infrastructure that supports United States activities and priorities.”

Last week, in response to growing anger about US involvement in the Yemen war, the Pentagon announced that the US would stop providing aerial refuelling to Saudi-coalition aircraft, but the White House still intends to continue with arms sales to Riyadh, something which lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are increasingly uneasy about, particularly in the wake of the murder of US-based Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Trump administration decided this week to sanction 17 Saudi citizens for their alleged roles in the murder, but Trump has publicly rejected the notion of halting weapons sales to the country, citing the “massive amounts of money” that come from arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

US sanctions 17 Saudis for involvement in Khashoggi murder including Crown Prince aide
The US has sanctioned 17 Saudi nationals for their alleged role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The list includes a former top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Saudi Consul General Mohammed Alotaibi.

The gruesome killing of the dissident journalist in Saudi consulate in Turkey sparked public outrage and condemnation worldwide. As Khashoggi was working for the Washington Post, there's been pressure on the White House to respond to the actions of its Middle East ally.

Among the sanctioned individuals is Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, who Turkish authorities believe led a 15-man ‘kill team’ to Istanbul to murder Khashoggi. According to Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah, the team were observed carrying scissors, defibrilators and syringes through airport security at Istanbul.

The New York Times reported that Mutreb had told a superior by phone to “tell your boss” that Khashoggi had been killed. The “boss” is suspected to be Crown Prince bin Salman, although Saudi authorities deny his involvement.

The 17 individuals were sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act, a piece of legislation that allows the US to sanction people it labels egregious human rights offenders, freeze their finances, and forbid them entering America.

The Act was written in 2012 to allow the US to punish Russian officials it says were responsible for the death of accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison, and gives the US wide-ranging powers to sanction individuals from any country, without proof of guilt in any crime.

President Donald Trump had previously called for restraint while Khashoggi’s death was still under investigation, and refused to cancel the US’ ongoing $110 billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

“We’ve always turned a blind eye to what’s going on in Saudi Arabia – right from the very beginning,” Baer told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Saudi Arabia is a volcano right now. We don’t have players there on our side [other than MBS],” he continued, adding: “What worries the White House is that this country could pop.”

Baer also rubbished the notion that the Crown Prince was unaware of the operation to kill Khashoggi. “The Saudis don’t have rogue operations – ever,” he said. “It has never occurred.”

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 08:17| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


北カリフォルニアの山火事死者行方不明200人に接近 放射能の上昇も





米加州山火事、強風で被害拡大の恐れ 30万人超が避難


Death Toll Rises to 56 in Devastating California Wildfire, 130 Missing
TEHRAN (FNA)- As the scope of a deadly Northern California wildfire set in, the sheriff said more than 450 people had now been assigned to comb through the charred remains in search for more bodies. The blaze has killed at least 56 people and authorities say 130 are unaccounted for.

Many of the missing are elderly and from Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 to the north of Paradise, Daily Sabah reported.

The one major roadway that runs through the mostly residential town is dotted with gas stations, a pizza shop, a hair salon and Chinese restaurant and convenience stores. There is no Main Street or town center. Resident Johnny Pohmagevich says a Rite Aid on the main road is as much of a center as the town has.

"When I say downtown I mean Paradise," Pohmagevich, who opted to stay in Magalia even as fire closed in, stated.

Pohmagevich, an 18-year Magalia resident who works at Timber Ridge Real Estate and lives just up the road from many burned homes, said he stayed to protect his employer's property from looters and to prepare some cabins and mobile homes so business tenants can live if they come back.

"If this town does recover, it's going to take many, many years," he added.

A week after the deadly Camp Fire struck, police teams drive around Magalia searching for those still in their homes, checking if they need any food and water. Crews from Pacific Gas & Electric are also in the area. With the death toll at 56, it is the deadliest wildfire in a century. There were also three fatalities from separate blazes in Southern California.

As officials raised the loss of homes to nearly 8,800 Wednesday, Sheriff Kory Honea said the task of recovering remains had become so vast that his office brought in another 287 searchers Wednesday, including National Guard troops, bringing the total number of searchers to 461 plus 22 cadaver dogs. He said a rapid-DNA assessment system was expected to be in place soon to speed up identifications of the dead, though officials have tentatively identified 47 of the 56.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke joined California Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday on a visit to the nearby leveled town of Paradise, telling reporters it was the worst fire devastation he had ever seen.

"Now is not the time to point fingers," Zinke said, noting that "there are lots of reasons these catastrophic fires are happening". He cited warmer temperatures, dead trees and the poor forest management.

Brown, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump's policies, said he spoke with Trump, who pledged federal assistance.

"This is so devastating that I don't really have the words to describe it," Brown stated, saying officials would need to learn how to better prevent fires from becoming so deadly.

It will take years to rebuild, if people decide that's what should be done, Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said, adding that "the infrastructure is basically a total rebuild at this point".

While most of the town of Paradise was wiped out, in Magalia, a sharp dividing line marks those that survived and those that did not.

"Magalia has so many trees. I honestly can't believe it just didn't get leveled," Sheri Palade, an area real estate agent, said.

For some, the areas left untouched offered a ray of hope.

Tom Driver, the office manager and elder at Magalia Community Church, said he had heard the church survived the blaze, though he did not know the status of his own home.

"I've been able to account for all of the congregation," Driver, who is staying with family in Oakland, stated, noting that "they're all over the place but they got out in pretty good time".

Driver announced that many residents of Magalia work at the university in Chico or out of their homes. When the blaze spread into Paradise, residents there drove down and faced horrendous traffic. Driver said he and some others in Magalia were able to escape north on a winding narrow road that put them ahead of the fire, not behind it.

Kim Bonini heard someone on a bullhorn two blocks over on Thursday urging people to leave. The power in her home had gone out that morning, leaving her only with her car radio to tell her if she needed to leave.

"My cell didn't work, my house phone didn't work, nothing. Nothing except for me crawling into my car," Bonini said from her daughter's home in Chico on Wednesday, adding that "if I wouldn't have heard them two blocks down I wouldn't have known I had to evacuate".

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, but it broke out around the time and place that a utility reported equipment trouble.

Death Toll in Northern California Wildfire Rises to 48
TEHRAN (FNA)- Authorities in Northern California announced Tuesday that the death toll from the wildfire still raging there has risen to 48 people.

The Associated Press reported that authorities confirmed six more fatalities as a result of the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in the state's history.

First responders are still searching for victims in the town of Paradise, Calif., which was destroyed by the blaze.

The AP reported that more than 5,000 firefighters are working to put out the Camp Fire, which has destroyed nearly 8,000 homes and forced 52,000 people to flee.

Fifty people have died in the past week as a result of the Northern California wildfire and other fires burning throughout the state, the AP reported.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is set to travel Wednesday to Paradise to tour the area. He will then make his way to Southern California, which has been damaged by the Woolsey Fire that has burned more than 100,000 acres. Zinke will meet with California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) during his visit.

The Donald Trump administration is dealing with the response to the fires as President Trump has attracted widespread criticism for his comments about the disaster. In tweets over the weekend, Trump blamed poor forest management for the blazes and threatened to withhold emergency funding from the state.

Lawmakers, celebrities and the International Association of Firefighters slammed the president's comments, with the latter group calling the remarks "reckless and insulting".
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 21:47| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

イスラエル国防相がガザ停戦に抗議して辞任 首相になる可能性は低い

※ Instant News Alerts @InstaNewsAlertsの2018/11/14のツイート
#Israel DM Lieberman called for a meeting with his party at 12:00 and a statement to the press at 13:00. Some reports claim he will resign following the Security Cabinet decision of a ceasefire with #Hamas in #Gaza. Lieberman is a big advocate for strong military action in #Gaza

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigns, slams Gaza ceasefire Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has resigned as a protest against the ceasefire in Gaza, calling the deal a "capitulation to terror".

In a televised live address, Liberman called yesterday's ceasefire a "surrender to terror" that only achieves "short-term quiet" while damaging Israel's "long-term security."

A writer for Haaretz said that the ex-defense minister "looked quite cheerful" as he announced his resignation.

Lieberman strongly opposed the Israeli government's decision to agree to a truce with Hamas, apparently arguing that Tel Aviv should take "harsh, decisive" actions against Gaza.

Lieberman said that he could not reconcile his own views with the policies adopted by the Israeli government in Gaza, compelling him to resign.

"If I had remained in post, I couldn't have looked in the eyes of our citizens in the south and the family members of the dead IDF soldiers whose bodies are held by Hamas. Any humanitarian improvement in Gaza should have been conditional on their being returned," he has been quoted as saying.

Lieberman has confirmed that his resignation will be followed by the withdrawal of his right-wing nationalist party, Yisrael Beiteinu, from the ruling coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud. With Yisrael Beitenu's departure, the coalition will be down to just 61 seats in parliament – holding a 1-seat majority. As a result, early elections are expected as soon as March 2019.

Lieberman will still hold a seat in the Knesset following his resignation, as stipulated by Israeli law.

READ MORE: WATCH IDF bus burst into flames after being hit by missile from Gaza

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, from the Jewish Home party, was highly critical of Lieberman’s performance as defense minister – and is expected to seek out the position for himself. Last month, Bennett accused Lieberman of a weak, left-wing defense policy. Israel’s widely-criticized practices in Gaza would likely become much more severe should Bennett take charge of the defense ministry.

Hamas has celebrated Lieberman's departure as a "victory for Gaza" and a "recognition of defeat against Palestinian resistance," according to reports. Senior Hamas official Husan Badran said on Tuesday that "if Netanyahu is interested in ending this round, he must fire Lieberman, who in his foolish conduct caused the escalation."

Palestinian militant groups and the Israeli military agreed to a ceasefire on Tuesday, following several days of cross-border attacks. The violence was described as the worst escalation since 2014. On Wednesday, Israel’s prime minister defended the agreement.

“In times of emergency, when making decisions crucial to security, the public can’t always be privy to the considerations that must be hidden from the enemy,” he said at a ceremony in honor of Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion.

i24NEWS 2018/11/14
Liberman sparks resignation rumors with planned statement in wake of Gaza ceasefire
Cabinet decision reportedly taken by Netanyahu with no vote, despite opposition from at least four ministers

Israel’s defense minister Avigdor Liberman sparked resignation rumors on Wednesday after calling a special meeting of his Yisrael Beytenu party at noon to be followed by a statement to the press on the heels of a controversial ceasefire with Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.

A senior cabinet member told Channel 10 news that Liberman is expected to step down following weeks of reported disagreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau over the proper course of action for dealing with ongoing violence on the Gaza border.

“He is currently choosing between the end of his career if he stays in his position, and a slight chance of rehabilitating his public image if he resigns,” the channel quoted the unnamed minister as saying.

A source in Netanyahu's coalition said that if Liberman indeed resigns, the dissolution of parliament and calling of early elections would be inevitable.

After more than six hours of deliberations on Tuesday, Israel’s security cabinet unanimously agreed to a ceasefire to bring to an end a major flare-up with Gazan militants that saw over 460 rockets fired into Israeli territory in a 25-hour bombardment.

But reports immediately began circulating that a number of key lawmakers, among them Liberman, opposed the truce and the cessation of retaliatory strikes against Hamas assets in the Strip.

Channel 10 and a number of other Israeli media outlets cited sources with direct knowledge of the deliberations as saying that at least four lawmakers disapproved of the decision, which was ultimately made by Netanyahu with no vote.

Liberman, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett proposed an alternative response to the Gaza flare-up that was rejected by the other ministers at the meeting, according to Channel 10.

Liberman's office issued a statement denying he had supported halting Israeli strikes, calling such reports “fake news.”

“The defense minister’s position is consistent and has not changed,” his office said.

Bennett also denied backing an end to Israeli action in Gaza, saying in a statement issued shortly after Liberman’s that the minister had “presented his resolute position to the cabinet that he has expressed in recent months and his plan for Gaza.”

At the end of its meeting, the security cabinet released a statement saying only that it had “discussed the events in the south” and “instructed the IDF to continue its strikes as needed.”

Palestinian militant groups in Gaza announced the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on Tuesday after the worst flare-up in violence since the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel.

A diplomatic source said that Israel was approached by four different mediators with a request from Hamas for a truce, after Israel pounded hundreds of what it said were “key assets” of the group’s in retaliation for the barrage of rocket fire targeting its citizens in the south.

The ceasefire was met with starkly different reactions on each side of the border, with Palestinians across Gaza celebrating a victorious “resistance” while hundreds of Israelis demonstrated against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government in the city of Sderot, accusing it of failing to protect them.

The government’s policy regarding months of ongoing violence on the Gaza border has been a point of contention among ministers, with Bennett and Liberman clashing repeatedly over the matter.

Liberman has repeatedly called for Israel to deliver a “harsh blow” to Hamas and has ordered Gaza’s goods and pedestrian crossings closed and reopened according to cycles of escalation and lulls in violence.

Bennett, however, has accused the defense minister of endangering the security of Israeli citizens by not coming down the Islamist militant group hard enough.

Last month, he called Liberman’s policy towards Gaza “leftist” and warned that it would lead to an escalation in the Hamas run enclave.

Liberman has dismissed criticism and asserted that policy decisions regarding Gaza have been dictated by the security cabinet and not by his office.


TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced on Wednesday that he was resigning from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government in protest against a Gaza truce.

In a televised live address, Liberman called the ceasefire a "surrender to terror" that only achieves "short-term quiet" while damaging Israel's "long-term security".

The ex-defense minister strongly opposed the Tel Aviv's decision to agree to a truce with Hamas, apparently arguing that Israel should take "harsh, decisive" actions against Gaza.

Lieberman stated that he could not reconcile his own views with the policies adopted by the Israeli government in Gaza, compelling him to resign.

"It is no secret there were differences between the prime minister and I," he said, adding that "I did not agree to allow entry of Qatari money [into Gaza], and I had to allow it only after the prime minister announced it".

Lieberman announced that similar differences revolved around the evacuation of the West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.

He also called for elections to be held as soon as possible, stressing that all of the members of his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, will quit the coalition. But, a senior source in Likud, the PM's party, stated that elections are not neccessarily the next step, adding that Netanyahu will initially take on Lieberman's portfolio.

With Yisrael Beitenu's departure, the coalition will be down to just 61 seats in parliament. As a result, early elections are expected as soon as March 2019.

Hamas has celebrated Lieberman's departure as a "victory for Gaza" and a "recognition of defeat against Palestinian resistance", according to reports.

13 Palestinians have been killed and 28 others injured since the start of fresh round of Israeli military's aggression on the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza on Sunday.

On Monday night, the resistance movement in the Gaza Strip carried out its most intensive shelling of Israel since the 2014 Gaza war, firing over 400 rockets and mortar bombs into the occupied territories on Monday and Tuesday, including Israeli military positions, in retaliation for Tel Aviv's Sunday night special operation inside the Strip. Gaza's retaliatory anti-tank missile, Kornet ATGM, hit a bus carrying Israeli forces, destroying the vehicle and killing one of them and injuring several.

Since late March, tensions have been running high near the Gaza fence - which marked the start of a series of rallies demanding the right to return for the Palestinians driven out of their homeland. More than 230 Palestinians have been killed and some 23,000 others wounded in the fresh wave of violence.

The region has been under Israel’s all-out siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008. Tel Aviv seven-week-long war in 2014 and two other military operations over the last six years have caused economic losses close to three times the size of Gaza's gross domestic product. The latest onslaught claimed the lives of over 2,200 Palestinians and left over half a million more displaced, with another 11,000 injured in the assault. It also severely damaged more than 20,000 homes, 148 schools, 15 hospitals, and 45 clinics. At least 247 factories and 300 commercial centers were rendered inoperable or totally destroyed in the attack.

Does Lieberman’s exit as defense chief mean he’s set to replace Netanyahu?
Right-wing firebrand Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation as defense minister signals a victory for moderates in Israel, analysts told RT, adding that Lieberman’s own political ambitions look increasingly far-fetched.

Lieberman’s resignation on Wednesday, which he says was prompted by the government’s decision to agree to a truce after days of cross-border violence with Hamas, marks “the beginning of the end” of the right-winger’s political career, Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy told RT.

Levy stressed that while hardliners enjoy considerable popularity in Israel, Lieberman’s particular brand of right-wing politics has “limited support.”

The ex-defense minister is the founder and leader of Israel’s secular, right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, which has announced its withdrawal from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition. While Netanyahu’s future appears to be an open question, there seems to be little disagreement over Lieberman’s own political prospects.

He has held several cabinet positions aside from his tenure as defense minister, including minister of transport and minister of foreign affairs. But it’s “highly unlikely” that he will ever have Netanyahu’s job, Dmitry Mariasis, senior research fellow at The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Department of Israel, said.

Lieberman has few chances to become the next prime minister. He’s too right-wing
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 19:25| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Una Galani(抄)

Khashoggi case causes media exodus from major Saudi investment conference as CNN, CNBC, FT quit

A number of media outlets, including CNN, CNBC and the Financial Times, have announced they will not be participating in a high-profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

CNN, CNBC, and the FT all stated on Friday that they would not be attending the upcoming Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, which has been dubbed “Davos in the Desert” in reference to the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Some reports have claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was abducted and murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

“CNBC will no longer participate in the FII in Riyadh due to the continuing questions surrounding the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the network said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the chief communications and marketing officer at the Financial Times, Finola McDonnell, also wrote on Twitter that the British newspaper would not be partnering with the conference while Khashoggi's disappearance remains “unexplained.”

CNN also confirmed it was pulling out, with a spokesperson saying in a statement that the media outlet “has withdrawn its participation in the Saudi Future Investment initiative Conference.”

The Economist pulled out of the conference on Thursday, one day after The New York Times did the same. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish and Los Angeles Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong have also confirmed their withdrawal.

But it's not just media outlets making a statement over Khashoggi's disappearance – Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi did the same on Friday, telling CNBC: “I’m very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi… we are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won't be attending the FII conference in Riyadh.”

That came after billionaire Richard Branson suspended talks with Saudi Arabia regarding a planned $1 billion investment in his space ventures over Khashoggi's disappearance.

Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family, was last seen on October 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkey has reportedly told the US that it has video and audio evidence proving the journalist, who lived in the US, was killed inside the consulate.

While several US senators led by Republicans Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham have triggered an investigation by the Trump administration into Khashoggi's whereabouts, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is still planning on attending the conference, which is scheduled to take place in Riyadh on October 23-25.

But while some are praising the outlets and individuals who are backing away from the event, others are reminding them that nothing was done in response to other actions by Saudi Arabia – including the bombing of a bus full of children.

One person said they simply didn't understand why the bus bombing, combined with the starvation associated with the crisis in Yemen, wasn't enough to make people like Richard Branson “have a conscience earlier.”

Another mentioned US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, after Trump praised a $12.5 billion deal in March, which was just part of a wider $350 billion deal struck between the two countries last year.

Meanwhile, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates has warned on Twitter that there there will be "repercussions" for the "political targeting" of Saudi Arabia.

Virgin Galactic boss Richard Branson suspends $1bn Saudi investment over Khashoggi disappearance
Billionaire Richard Branson has suspended talks with Saudi Arabia regarding a planned $1bn investment in his space ventures after Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was linked to the disappearance of a Washington Post journalist.

Branson, co-founder of Virgin Galactic, announced last October that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was planning to invest $1 billion in his commercial space flight companies. He is now putting the brakes on the investment, as well as distancing himself from participation in two advisory boards linked to the sovereign wealth fund, Branson said in statements to several media.

bloomberg 2018年10月6日 10:56 JST 更新日時 2018年10月6日 17:03 JST

※ にこそく(市況民) @nicosokufx氏の2018/10/15のツイート
ソフトバンク -5%
ファストリ -4% 決算後出尽くし続く
2銘柄で日経平均を -140円 押し下げ!




bloomberg 2018年11月6日 23:06 JST
Matthew Martin、Dinesh Nair

初出 2018-10-22 13:02:44 追記2018/11/15
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 18:09| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

ISIS paid fighters with gold & silver for taking down aircraft and launching chemical attacks

ISIS paid fighters with gold & silver for taking down aircraft and launching chemical attacks
ISIS jihadists were paid well for their service, documents belonging to the terrorist group, and obtained by RT in Iraq, reveal. Use of chemical agents was paid-for in silver, while taking down a chopper was rewarded with gold.

Despite the common belief that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters were often forced to join the terrorist group or were recruited based on the conviction of their faith to carry out jihad, documents from the Iraqi city of Mosul and seen by RT show that fighting for the self-proclaimed caliphate also had its financial incentives.

Joining the ranks of the well-organized terror network, which once proclaimed a self-styled caliphate on the territory of Syria and Iraq, was only possible through a letter of recommendation, where the new recruit was carefully evaluated based on his military and sharia training.

Once in, the recruits remained under the meticulous watch of IS commanders, who kept tabs on their deployments, munition, supplies and eventual death. Those who served in the army of terror loyally and faithfully were rewarded – or were at least promised a reward. For instance, those who managed to take down an aircraft were promised a car. To destroy an enemy helicopter or drone earned at least seven gold dinars, according to the accounting records seen by RT Arabic.

Using chemical weapons had way less merit for IS, which paid only 10 silver dinars to its fighters to fire a projectile filled with a chemical warfare agent. Mustard gas and other toxic substances were used by IS in the vicinity of the Kirkuk, Fallujah, and Tikrit areas, an Iraqi investigation into the use of chemical weapons reports, RT has discovered.

Thousands of fighters, along with their families, joined IS at the height of the group’s activity in Iraq and Syria. Most of them came from within Iraq, while others came from across the region, the IS documents kept by Iraq's army intelligence showed. “A huge number of militants arrived in Iraq from other countries. You can talk about hundreds of thousands of people, including the families of terrorists – wives and children who were smuggled illegally into Iraqi territory,” Lieutenant Colonel Jaber Assad told RT Arabic.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 17:28| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


※ 有田芳生認証済みアカウント @aritayoshifu氏の9:32 - 2018年11月15日 のツイート

Abe Shares Putin's Intention to Negotiate Peace Treaty Between Japan, Russia
TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he shared Putin's desire to put an end to the situation of absence of the peace treaty between Japan and Russia.

"I agreed with President Putin to accelerate negotiations on a peace treaty based on the 1956 joint declaration between Japan and the Soviet Union… President Putin and I share a strong resolve that it will be us who put an end to the issue that has been left unresolved for more than 70 years after the war," Abe said after his meeting with Putin in Singapore, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

In September, at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Putin proposed to sign the peace treaty between Russia and Japan without any preconditions by the end of the year. Tokyo, however, maintained its position and claimed that it would sign the peace deal only after the territorial dispute between the two countries was settled.

Japan and Russia have never signed a permanent peace treaty after the end of World War II due to the territorial dispute over a group of four islands that both countries claim − Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai − referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 16:20| Comment(1) | 国際・政治

Bomb Egypt, behead disloyal Arabs: Israel parts ways with 'Jewish ISIS' defense chief

Bomb Egypt, behead disloyal Arabs: Israel parts ways with 'Jewish ISIS' defense chief
Avigdor Lieberman has resigned as Israel's defense chief, but his inflammatory utterances – ranging from calling for disloyal Arabs to be beheaded, to proposing Egypt be bombed – remain as reminders of his right-wing politics.

Lieberman, who created Israel's right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, resigned as defense minister on Wednesday after denouncing the government's recent ceasefire with Hamas as a "capitulation to terror." If you think that sounds a wee bit immoderate, you clearly have not familiarized yourself with Avigdor Lieberman's decades of imprudent utterances. The politician's peculiar brand of secular nationalism has led to repeated accusations of extremism – even fascism.
Disloyal Arabs should be beheaded

Lieberman has the rare distinction of being perhaps the only Israeli minister to have called for the beheading of Arab citizens. Speaking at an election rally in March 2015, Lieberman – who was serving as Israel's foreign minister at the time – said that Israel's Arab minority, which makes up some 20 percent of the country's population, must show loyalty to the state or face the consequences.

Those who are against us, there's nothing to be done – we need to pick up an axe and cut off his head. Otherwise we won't survive here.

The provocative remarks were not received well, with one Arab-Israeli legislator demanding an investigation into the comments insisting this is akin to creating "Jewish ISIS."

More recently, Lieberman said that Israeli-Arabs who protested Washington's decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem "don't belong" in Israel and "are acting to harm us and destroy us from within." He also called for an economic boycott of Wadi Ara, an Israeli town populated mainly by Arab citizens.
Israel should drown Palestinian prisoners in the Dead Sea

Lieberman's antipathy for Arabs has been the politician's most consistent policy stance. In July 2003, the then-transportation minister offered to bus Palestinian prisoners to the Dead Sea – where, according to Lieberman's proposal, they would be drowned.

His suggestion enraged Arab members of the Knesset, with one calling Lieberman's comments "the ultimate fascist statement."
Drop nukes on Hamas?

Lieberman's resignation over Israel's recent ceasefire with Hamas is far from surprising if you consider just how much the Israeli statesman truly loathes the group. In January 2009, Lieberman said that Hamas must be made to "lose the will to fight" – and that Israel should look to the United States' war with Imperial Japan as an example.

We must continue to fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II.

He went on to note that the US military was able to defeat the Japanese without occupying the Japanese mainland – a not-so-subtle nod at America's use of atomic bombs to force the Japanese into an unconditional surrender.

Hamas has seized on Lieberman's resignation, describing his departure as a victory for Palestinian resistance.
Knesset members who meet with the Palestinian government should be executed

As far as Lieberman is concerned, any Israeli who supports negotiations with Hamas is a collaborator who should be put to death.

In May 2006, Lieberman called for the execution of any Arab Knesset members who meet with representatives of the Palestinian Authority's Hamas-led government.

"World War II ended with the Nuremberg trials," Lieberman said during a speech in Israel's parliament.

The heads of the Nazi regime, along with their collaborators, were executed. I hope this will be the fate of the collaborators in [the Knesset].

The Mossawa Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel issued a statement condemning Lieberman, saying that, "A man who compares the Arab MKs [members of Knesset] to the Nazis is apparently an ignoramus who doesn't know what the Nazis did to his own people. Such a man is an embarrassment to the Jewish nation."

A fellow MK and member of Yisrael Beiteinu defended Lieberman's fiery words, noting that he suggested executing "all" collaborators in parliament – not just Arab MKs.

In a similar display of anti-Arab sermonizing from 2003, Lieberman told an Arab MK: "Let me tell you openly. As far as I'm concerned you're much worse than [former Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat …If it was up to me you'd be sitting in jail, at best."
Israel should … bomb Egypt?

At least one of Israel's neighbors is probably relieved by Lieberman's resignation: In 2001, the Israeli politician proposed bombing Egypt's Aswan Dam if Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak stationed troops in Sinai.

"Mubarak continues to act against us and to travel for consultations with Saddam Hussein. If he carries out his threat and puts forces into the Sinai, it would be an example of a (crossing) of the red line to which we would have to respond strongly, including by bombing the Aswan Dam," Lieberman declared.

The military operation would have "murdered all 80 million Egyptians and swept them into the Mediterranean in a vast continental African tsunami," according to Michigan University professor Juan Cole.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 14:25| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

MbS Tried to Persuade Netanyahu to Start War in Gaza

Report: MbS Tried to Persuade Netanyahu to Start War in Gaza
TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MbS) tried to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to start a war in Gaza to take the focus off the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, according to a report.

Saudi Arabia and Israel are considered to have increasingly close secret ties, driven by their shared hostility to Iran, and the first in line to the throne has been a key player in efforts to sell US President Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century" peace plan for Israel and Palestine to regional leaders.

Sources inside Saudi Arabia told Middle East Eye (MEE) that bin Salman attempted to persuade Netanyahu to start a conflict with Hamas in Gaza as part of a plan to divert attention from the killing of Khashoggi, as more details emerge from the investigation into Khashoggi's killing and pressure on the young prince is growing.

An emergency task force - which is composed of officials from the royal court, the foreign and defence ministries, and the intelligence service, and briefs the the crown prince every six hours - advised bin Salman that a war in Gaza would distract the American leader's attention and refocus Washington’s attention on the role Saudi Arabia plays in bolstering Israeli strategic interests.

According to sources who spoke to MEE, a war in Gaza was one of the measures the kingdom considered to have international attention shift away from Khashoggi case.

It also advised Prince Mohammad to “neutralise Turkey by all means”, including attempts to bribe President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with offers to buy Turkish arms and statements by the crown prince attempting to shore up relations between Riyadh and Ankara.

According to MEE's sources, other measures recommended by the task force to show Trump that Saudi Arabia was not dependent on its alliance with Washington, included inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Riyadh.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 02:02| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Kuwait, Bolivia Ask for Meeting of UN Security Council on Israeli Attacks on Gaza

TEHRAN (FNA)- Kuwait and Bolivia have asked for a meeting of the UN Security Council on the latest Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to diplomats.

Kuwait, the representative of the Arab nations at the United Nations Security Council, and Bolivia requested a closed meeting to be held on recent Israeli attacks on Gaza, WAFA reported.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:37| Comment(0) | 国際・政治








Israel's Agent At KDP-I Center in Iraq During Iran's Missiles Strike in September
TEHRAN (FNA)- An Israeli agent was present among the leaders of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Iran (KDP-I) terrorist group in the Iraqi Kurdistan region when the gathering came under Iran's missile attack in September, a top Islamic Revolution Guards Corps commander declared on Wednesday.

"It is unimportant if a plane with pinpoint-striking capability flies above a region and targets a terrorist and guerilla group 2km away; we did a greater job and hit their meeting room from regions 300km, 500km and 700km away," IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said, addressing a forum in the Northern city of Qazvin on Wednesday.

He explained that the terrorists were at the command center when the IRGC missiles hit and destroyed two rooms of the citadel, where a meeting was underway without damaging other rooms.

General Hajizadeh added that "a representative of the Zionist regime was also present at the meeting room".

The IRGC in a statement in September confirmed the September 9 missile strikes against the headquarters of the KDP-I terrorist group in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, vowing harsher response if terrorist attacks continued.

The statement said that the missile strikes were launched after the terrorist group launched attacks on bordering areas in Iran, fomented insecurity and conducted sabotage acts in West Azarbaijan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah provinces in Western Iran.

"The IRGC Aerospace Force's missile unit in cooperation with the IRGC Ground Force's drone unit targeted the headquarters and a meeting of the leaders of a filthy and criminal grouplet and a center for training affiliated terrorists with 7 short-range ground-to-ground missiles yesterday (Saturday)," it added, noting that the center was destroyed and tens of leaders and key agents of the grouplet were killed and wounded.

The statement underlined that the missile attacks were launched after the ringleaders of the terrorist groups neglected the serious warnings of the Iraqi Kurdistan region officials about the Islamic Republic's determination to remove their bases and end their aggressive and terrorist acts against Iran.

It underlined the Iranian security and Armed Forces' vigilance to safeguard the country's territories, warning the terrorist groups that there will be more crushing response if they risk to resume attacks on the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian missiles targeted the headquarters of the KDP-I and the Democratic Party of the Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) terrorist groups in Koya.

The missiles specifically targeted the KDP-I’s political bureau, the PDKI’s training center, and a Peshmerga complex.

According to the KDP-I’s statement, the bombardment killed 14 members of the two parties and injured 40 more. The Secretary of KDP-I, Mustafa Mawludi, and his predecessor, Khalid Azizi, were also among those wounded during the attack.

The party also revealed the identities of the fallen members, which were: Karim Mahdawi (Karim Saqzi), Ibrahim Ibrahimi (Braim Zewayi), Nasrin Hadad, Rahman Piroti, Suhaila Qadri, Hashim Azizi, Osman Osmani, Karim Rasulzada (Mam Sherko), Hawre Karsaz (Hawre Shekhani), Peshawa Said Omar, Jamal Akbari, and Mansour Akbaripur.

The statement mentioned that two Peshmerga members of the other party, the PDKI, were also killed.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:28| Comment(0) | 国際・政治



Kremlin’s long arm? Norway says it’s ‘aware Russia jammed’ GPS after glitches at massive NATO drills
The Norwegian military have accused Russia of meddling with the Scandinavian nation’s GPS during NATO’s Trident Juncture military drills – a day after similar, evidence-free allegations came from Finland’s PM.
Some of the troops from 31 countries participating in NATO’s recently-concluded Trident Juncture drills – the alliance’s largest military exercises in decades – reportedly experienced spotty GPS coverage.

Now the Norwegian Defense Ministry tells AP in an email that it “was aware that jamming has been recorded between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7 from the Russian forces,” claiming that the interference came all the way from the Kola peninsula.

No accidents are known to have happened because of the patchy coverage.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila made similar accusations over the weekend, suggesting that it was possible that Russia was behind the GPS glitches, and vowing to carry out a thorough investigation.

The Russian Defense Ministry has not yet commented on Norway’s claim, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday described the accusations against Russia as “groundless.”
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 18:03| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


息ができない 袋を外せ! カショギの最後の言葉


Report: ‘I’m Choking’ Were Last Heard from Khashoggi
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Turkish journalist revealed bits from a secret audio tape that was allegedly recorded from the brutal assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkish city of Istanbul, saying the slain man begged for his life before he died at the hand of killers.

Nazif Karaman, head of investigation department at the Daily Sabah, a Turkish newspaper, stated Saturday that people who killed Khashoggi put a bag on his head to strangle and suffocate him.

“I’m choking, put this bag away from my head, I’m scared of claustrophobia(閉所恐怖症),” Khashoggi said before he died, according to Karaman who shared the information with the Qatari-based news channel Al-Jazeera.

Karaman based his account of the brutal killing on an audio tape that Turkish authorities say can prove Khashogi’s assassination in the Consulate on October 2 was pre-mediated.

In his interview with the Al-Jazeera, Karaman, who is believed to be close to the Turkish government, stated that the strangulation of Khashoggi lasted for seven minutes.

He also cited information from Turkish intelligence officials, saying that the 15-member Saudi hit squad that had traveled to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate spent 15 minutes to dismember Khashoggi’s body after he was killed.

Karaman did not elaborate on how the Saudi assassination team managed to dispose of Khashoggi’s body, a question that remains unsolved in Turkey’s investigation.

He said, however, that the Saudi team had traveled to Turkey with some special “tools and equipment”, adding that the pictures and details of the gadgets will be published by Daily Sabah in the coming days.

Turkish sources have announced previously that authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting the murder

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey has given recordings on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain.

Speaking ahead of his departure for France to attend commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, Erdogan stated that Saudi Arabia knows the killer of Khashoggi is among a group of 15 people who arrived in Turkey one day ahead of the killing.

Saudi Arabia initially attempted to cover up the killing by insisting that Khashoggi had left the consulate. It then changed its narrative, saying the journalist died in a fistfight. Later, Saudi Arabia admitted Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated murder, but that to killing was an unplanned "rogue operation".

Turkish and Saudi officials have carried out joint inspections of the consulate and the consul's residence, but Ankara underscored that some Saudi officials were still trying to cover up the crime.

Khashoggi Killing: 'Tell Your Boss Deed Is Done'
TEHRAN (FNA)- A member of a Saudi assassination squad phoned a superior shortly after Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and told him "tell your boss" their mission had been accomplished, The New York Times reported.

Citing three people familiar with a recording of Khashoggi's killing collected by Turkish intelligence, the newspaper noted that while he was not mentioned by name, US officials believe "your boss" was a reference to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

US intelligence officials view the recording as some of the strongest evidence yet linking bin Salman to the murder, it said.

Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, one of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul to target Khashoggi, made the phone call and spoke in Arabic, sources told the NYT. Mutreb is a security officer who frequently travels with the crown prince.

Turkish intelligence officers told US officials they believe the call was made to one of bin Salman's close aides.

"The deed was done," Mutreb told the aide, though the paper noted exact translations into English may differ.

Turkish officials have said the audio recording does not conclusively implicate bin Salman, but analysts say it's an important clue.

"A phone call like that is about as close to a smoking gun as you are going to get," Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer now at the Brookings Institution, was quoted as saying, adding that "it is pretty incriminating evidence".

Saudi officials denied the crown prince "had any knowledge whatsoever" of Khashoggi's killing.

Referring to Mutreb's instructions to "tell your boss", a Saudi statement said Turkey "allowed our intelligence services to hear recordings, and at no moment was there any reference to the mentioned phrase in the recordings", the New York Times reported.

Khashoggi - a Saudi writer, US resident and Washington Post columnist - entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he divorced his ex-wife so he could remarry. He never came out. The whereabouts of Khashoggi's body are still unknown.

After weeks of repeated denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance, the kingdom eventually acknowledged the murder was premeditated.

※ Borzou Daragahi認証済みアカウント @borzou氏の17:49 - 2018年11月13日のツイート
Scissors, syringe, and electro-shock device: Turkish newspaper @sabah publishes what it describes as airport x-ray photos showing tools allegedly used by Saudi kill team dispatched to murder Jamal Khashoggi https://www.sabah.com.tr/gundem/2018/11/13/infaz-timinin-x-raye-takilan-cinayet-aletleri-telsiz-telefon-siringa-sok-cihazi-1542100973
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:15| Comment(0) | 国際・政治



Report: Hamas Missile Hits Israeli Bus Carrying Army Men, Tel Aviv's Fighters Pound Gaza Again
TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli warplanes conducted fresh airstrikes throughout the besieged Gaza Strip, killing five people, shortly after the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement fired an intense barrage of retaliatory rockets against the Israeli-occupied territories in response for Israel's Sunday night raid.

Resistance forces fired over 400 rockets and mortar bombs from Gaza into the occupied territories on Monday and Tuesday, including military positions, in retaliation for Israeli Army's Sunday night special operation inside the Strip.

The latest escalation came less than 24 hours after at least seven Palestinians - including Nour Baraka, a prominent commander of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas - were killed in a covert Israeli operation in the besieged enclave.

The Palestinian resistance movement on Monday night carried out its most intensive shelling of Israel since the 2014 Gaza war in retaliation for a cross-border commando raid. Gaza's retaliatory anti-tank missile, Kornet ATGM, hit a bus carrying Israeli forces, destroying the vehicle and killing one of them and injuring several.

Also, rocket sirens sounded throughout Southern Israeli settlements, including in Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon and Sderot. The sirens prompted thousands of settlers to rush for bomb shelters.

The Israel Defense Forces claimed that the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted around 100 out of some 400 launches from Gaza.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the massive barrage of rockets and projectiles fired into Southern parts of the occupied territories, near the so-called border fence. The group's military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, warned Tel Aviv it would bomb more places in Israel if attacks on Gaza continued.

Al-Qassam Brigades held the leadership of the Israeli occupation state fully responsible for what happened in Ashkelon, warning that there will be unprecedented strikes against Israeli targets if its aggression does not stop.

In Twitter remarks, Spokesman for al-Qassam Brigades Abu Obeida said that the Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza activated their joint operations room to exchange views about expanding the circle of rocket fire on Israeli targets.

Abu Obeida affirmed that if the Israeli side decided to persist in its aggression, about one million Jewish settlers would be within the circle of rocket fire.

Al-Qassam Brigades has affirmed that the occupied city of al-Majdal (Ashkelon) has become within range of fire in response to the Israeli bombing of civilian buildings in the Gaza Strip.

Obeida warned that the cities of Ashdod and Beersheba would be the next targets if the Israeli occupation army persisted in bombing civilians buildings in Gaza.

The Islamic Jihad echoed the statement, saying Gaza factions have the capacity to continue their offensive.

The Israeli military stepped up offensives on the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza in response to the multiple rounds of rocket fire over the past 24 hours, causing deaths and injuries.

Israeli military said in a statement that its fighter jets had carried out airstrikes “throughout the Gaza Strip” on Monday afternoon, claiming that the aerial aggression was aimed at “terror targets” in the impoverished enclave.

The Israeli military claimed in a statement that the aerial aggression was in response to tens of rockets and mortar shells fired against the Southern parts of the occupied territories minutes earlier, adding that Israel’s so-called Iron Dome managed to intercept several of the inbound projectiles.

At least five Palestinians have been killed and more than ten were injured on Monday evening, as Israeli military aircraft struck positions across the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Along with the airstrikes, Israeli artillery units shelled positions across the coastal enclave. Israeli helicopter gunships, meanwhile, have also reportedly targeted several positions in Southern Gaza.

Meanwhile, the headquarters of Al-Aqsa TV station run by Hamas was razed to the ground on Monday in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza amid a fresh round of violence in the besieged enclave. The building of Al-Aqsa TV station located in an-Nasr district, West of Gaza, was totally destroyed by the Israeli raids, but the TV station announced that it would resume broadcasts soon. Many local residents had reportedly fled after calls to evacuate, according to witnesses.

The flare-up came just a day after Israeli special forces infiltrated the Gaza Strip, assassinating a top Hamas commander, while subsequent Israeli airstrikes killed six others, including another commander with the Palestinian resistance movement.

Fawzi Barhoum, Spokesperson for Hamas, denounced what he called a "cowardly Israeli attack".

Ground operation inside the Gaza Strip is rare and will likely significantly boost tensions between Hamas and the Tel Aviv regime.

Also, an Israeli soldier was killed when an exchange of fire erupted during the operation, the army announced.

"During an [Israeli] special forces operational activity in the Gaza Strip, an exchange of fire evolved," the Israeli army said in a statement.

"At this incident, an IDF officer was killed and an additional officer was moderately injured," it added, referring to the Israel Defense Forces.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on an official visit to France, announced he was rushing back to Israel to deal with the crisis. The primer held an emergency security meeting with his minister of military forces and other senior Israeli military officials in Tel Aviv on Monday.

A return by Israel to a policy of targeting individual Hamas commanders - tactics largely abandoned in recent years - could significantly raise tensions along the border.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

Israel and Palestinian forces in Gaza have also fought three wars since 2008, and recent months of unrest have raised fears of a fourth.

For seven months, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have demonstrated along the fence demanding their right to return to the homes and land their families were expelled from 70 years ago. The Great March of Return rallies culminated on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe - a reference to the forced removal of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages to clear the way for Israel's establishment in 1948.

More than 230 Palestinians have been killed and over 23,000 others injured by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the Great March of Return rallies at Gaza border in late March.

Most of the casualties occurred on May 14 when Israeli forces attacked Palestinian protesters marking the 70th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of historical Palestine and the ensuing ethnic cleansing of half a million Palestinian refugees.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 20:25| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Locals in Frankfurt am Main were told to keep doors and windows closed after hydrochloric acid vapor leaked in the city’s industrial area




Locals in Frankfurt am Main were told to keep doors and windows closed following a hydrochloric acid vapor leak in the city’s industrial area.

The incident took place in Griesheim Industrial Park on Tuesday morning, according to firefighters. “Doors and windows in the area of Griesheim and [nearby] Nied are to be kept closed,” the warning said.

Specialists assessed the environment and detected no hazardous elements, police said, adding that the warning had been quickly lifted in both areas.

During the ‘curfew,’ locals began sharing videos of empty streets in their neighborhoods on social media.

Hydrochloric acid is a strong corrosive substance used as a laboratory reagent. The short-term effects of inhalation can include irritation to the nose, eyes, and respiratory tract.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 16:30| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

SWIFT’s Iran ban will ‘expedite global de-dollarization’

SWIFT’s Iran ban will ‘expedite global de-dollarization’ – Max Keiser
The blacklisting of Iran from international financial messaging system SWIFT serves as a warning to Washington’s enemies, but will hasten the demise of the dollar, stockbroker-turned broadcaster Max Keiser told RT.

SWIFT, a system that facilitates cross-border payments between 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries worldwide cut several Iranian banks, including the country’s central bank, off from its services on Monday. The move came as a result of US pressure and was described by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as “the right decision to protect the integrity of the international financial system.”

Max Keiser told RT that in pushing a hard line on Iran, the US will only force other countries to come up with alternatives, and stockpile gold to lessen their dependence on the almighty US dollar.

“The US puzzlingly seems to want to expedite global de-dollarization with its ill-advised weaponization of SWIFT,” Keiser said.

“The impact this is having globally is clear. Russia and China are developing an alternative to SWIFT while also buying hundreds of tonnes of Gold as a means to escape the $USD chokehold. This in turn will accelerate global de-dollarization.”

Russia has already drastically expanded its gold stockpile in recent years, as relations between Washington and Moscow have soured. As the Trump administration geared up to impose new sanctions on Moscow in August, the Russian government increased its holdings to over $83 billion, while simultaneously reducing its holdings of US debt from $96 billion in March to just $14.9 billion in May.

Whatever the long-term implications for the US dollar, Iran now faces a more drastic short-term problem. Without SWIFT access, the country cannot be paid for exports or pay for imports. With an economy reeling from US sanctions – applied in 19 rounds since President Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran deal, in May – Tehran might have to think outside the box to ensure its economic survival.

“Iran needs to get smart and start hoarding Gold and Bitcoin if it wants to avoid the worst of the fallout,” Keiser told RT. “It is already, smartly, pursuing bilateral energy deals outside of the $USD, but it needs to add value to its currency with reserves of Gold and Bitcoin.”

“The world is anxious to stop this madness,” said Keiser, who sees gold and cryptocurrency as the way forward for the “post $USD hegemony.”

In the meantime, EU leaders fighting to save the JCPOA enacted a ‘blocking’ law in August, prohibiting firms operating in the bloc from complying with the US sanctions. In siding with Washington, SWIFT may face penalties from Brussels for violating this law.

The Europeans have been working on an alternate payments system to ensure trade with Iran can continue to flow, but any viable system is still months away at least.

“Alternatives to SWIFT are relatively easy to create,” Keiser added. “The only thing stopping this from happening now is inertia.”
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 16:00| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

移民キャラバン 今度は中米が歴史の舞台です

They Are Coming: Migrant Caravan Resumes March to US Border
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Central American migrant caravan begun another leg of their journey to the US border hastily reinforced by the Army and Marine Corps. The migrants previously made a days-long stop in Mexico City.

The caravan, made up mostly of Hondurans, but also nationals of other Central American countries, is now on the move towards the United States border. Migrants resumed their march north on Saturday morning after spending almost a week in Mexico City, RT reported.

Dozens of people waiting for trains in Mexico subway or boarding heavy trucks or buses somewhere outside the city. Others are seen using cars to continue their journey, A Ruptly video showed.

To get there, migrants will have to travel some 1,700 miles (2,735km) to the Northwest, a much longer route than to the nearest US border crossing at McAllen, Texas, which many consider to be the safest option.

Meanwhile on the other side of the US border, efforts are being made to reinforce it and make it less penetrable from the outside.

The US has deployed 5,200 troops to help border protection thwart what President Donald Trump has described as an impending migrant “invasion”.

For now, the active-duty servicemen have mainly been erecting barbed-wire fences along the border and building shelter accommodation for customs and border protection staff.

As the caravan approaches the US border, Trump has signed an immigration decree requiring asylum seekers to apply at their point of entry to the country and barring illegal immigrants from requesting asylum.

“We need people in our country but they have to come in legally and they have to have merit,” Trump told reporters before departing for Paris.


ホンジュラスを発って2週間 移民キャラバン隊

Migrant caravan members sue Trump for violating their ‘constitutional rights’
Twelve Honduran migrants are getting a head start on becoming US citizens by embracing that most American of pastimes: the lawsuit. They are suing the Trump administration for violating their Fifth Amendment due process rights.

The plaintiffs, including six children, are alleging that President Trump’s plans to block the 4,000-odd Central American migrants currently streaming northward toward the US-Mexico border are “shockingly unconstitutional.” They are also suing the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

The lawsuit points out that it is common knowledge that Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are “undergoing a well-documented human rights crisis” and that asylum-seekers are allowed to declare their intentions anywhere, not just at lawful border-crossing points. They claim Trump has no right to keep migrants from entering the US when they have a credible claim of asylum.

Civil rights law firm Nexus Derechos Humanos is representing the migrants. The suit also claims the US is forbidden to send its troops across the Mexican border to block asylum-seekers because the claim process begins as soon as a prospective immigrant indicates they intend to apply for asylum. Ironically, it was right-wing Judge Antonin Scalia who determined in a 1993 ruling that “it is well established that the Fifth Amendment entitles clients to due process of law in a deportation proceeding.”

Asylum claims are granted based on the perception of “credible fear of persecution” in a migrant’s home country, as assessed in an interview, but because of the backlog of immigration cases, migrants often wait years before the hearing that determines whether they can stay in the US permanently. In conversation with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham last week, Trump proposed to build tent cities near the border to house asylum-seekers while they await their hearings, ending the practice of “catch and release” that he partially blames for the influx of illegal immigrants into the country.

Trump’s estimate of how many troops he wants to send south has been climbing steadily since the caravans started massing south of Mexico last month, and his fantasy army numbered about 15,000 at last count. There are currently about 5,200 troops at the border.

The lawsuit also questions whether Trump’s “tent cities” conform to the Flores rule, which prohibits the detention of minors for over 20 days and sets other limits on the conditions in which asylum seekers may be held. A California judge denied the administration’s request for a modification of Flores earlier this year.

The suit is ultimately looking for a legal declaration that Trump’s border plan is unconstitutional. Such a ruling would essentially throw open the gates to the hordes of migrants currently walking and being bused north through Guatemala and Mexico.

Social media reacted with confusion and amusement, marveling that the migrants had thought to pack a US lawyer with them, while others took note that the suit referred to Trump as ‘our’ President.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:56| Comment(2) | 国際・政治


Iran says navy prepared to protect oil tankers from ‘any threats’ as US sanctions kick in
Following US warnings dissuading port operators from allowing Iranian tankers to dock, Iran’s top brass pushed back by reiterating that its navy is ready to protect ships against any threats.

Iran’s military is “prepared today as in the past” to protect against “any threats,” and to ensure the safe passage of Iranian oil tankers, Rear-Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, a deputy commander of the regular armed forces, said on Monday, Iranian news agency ISNA reports.

He stressed that any “hindrances” to Iran’s right to use international waterways “would be clearly unacceptable.”

The comments come a week after the United States unilaterally re-imposed sanctions on Tehran’s oil, shipping and banking industries. Although it’s unclear whether other nations will abide by Washington’s diktats, US officials have hinted that Iranian ships will no longer be welcome in international waters.

“From the Suez Canal to the Strait of Malacca and all choke-points in between, Iranian tankers are a floating liability,” Brian Hook, US special representative for Iran and senior policy adviser to the secretary of state, said on Wednesday. “Self-insured Iranian tankers are a risk to the ports that permit them to dock [and] the canals that allow them to transit.”

Hook went on to warn that nations that ignore the US-imposed restrictions on Iran’s commercial fleet could face sanctions of their own.

Tehran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz and halt Persian Gulf oil exports if its own oil exports are blocked. In recent months, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has held naval exercises in the Persian Gulf designed to increase preparedness for “confronting possible threats.”

National Security Advisor John Bolton said in August that shutting down the Strait of Hormuz would be a serious “mistake,” suggesting that Tehran was merely “bluffing.”

On November 5, the US put back in force all sanctions previously lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, which Washington unilaterally withdrew from in May. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the sanctions will remain until Tehran complies with a list of 12 demands. The ultimatum calls on Tehran to halt all nuclear and ballistic missile development, as well as ending the country’s alleged “support for terrorism.” Washington also says that Iran must completely withdraw from Syria before sanctions can be lifted.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:50| Comment(5) | 国際・政治




Saudis Close to Crown Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies A Year Before Khashoggi’s Death
TEHRAN (FNA)- Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions, according to a report.

The Saudis inquired at a time when Prince Mohammad, then the deputy crown prince and defense minister, was consolidating power and directing his advisers to escalate military and intelligence operations outside the kingdom. Their discussions, more than a year before the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, indicate that top Saudi officials have considered assassinations since the beginning of Prince Mohammad’s ascent, The New York Times reported.

Saudi officials have portrayed Mr. Khashoggi’s death as a rogue killing ordered by an official who has since been fired. But that official, Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, was present for a meeting in March 2017 in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where the businessmen pitched a $2 billion plan to use private intelligence operatives to try to sabotage the Iranian economy.

During the discussion, part of a series of meetings where the men tried to win Saudi funding for their plan, General Assiri’s top aides inquired about killing Qassim Suleimani, the leader of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and a man considered a determined enemy of Saudi Arabia.

The interest in assassinations, covert operations and military campaigns like the war in Yemen − overseen by Prince Mohammad − is a change for the kingdom, which historically has avoided an adventurous foreign policy that could create instability and imperil Saudi Arabia’s comfortable position as one of the world’s largest oil suppliers.

As for the businessmen, who had intelligence backgrounds, they saw their Iran plan both as a lucrative source of income and as a way to cripple a country that they and the Saudis considered a profound threat. George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, arranged the meeting. He had met previously with Prince Mohammad, and had pitched the Iran plan to Trump White House officials. Another participant in the meetings was Joel Zamel, an Israeli with deep ties to his country’s intelligence and security agencies.

Both Mr. Nader and Mr. Zamel are witnesses in the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, and prosecutors have asked them about their discussions with American and Saudi officials about the Iran proposal. It is unclear how this line of inquiry fits into Mr. Mueller’s broader inquiry. In 2016, a company owned by Mr. Zamel, Psy-Group, had pitched the Trump campaign on a social media manipulation plan.

A spokesman for the Saudi government declined to comment, as did lawyers for both Mr. Nader and Mr. Zamel.

During the March 2017 meeting about the plan to sabotage Iran’s economy, according to the three people familiar with the discussions, the Saudis asked the businessmen whether they also “conducted kinetics” − lethal operations − saying they were interested in killing senior Iranian officials. The businessmen hesitated, saying they would need to consult their lawyer.

The lawyer flatly rejected the plan, and the businessmen told the Saudis they would not take part in any assassinations. Mr. Nader told the Saudis about a London-based company run by former British special operations troops that might take on the contract. It is unclear which company he suggested.

Before he was ousted last month, General Assiri was considered one of Prince Mohammad’s closest advisers, a man whose sharp ascent tracked the rise of the young crown prince. In 2016, he became the public face of Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen, giving briefings about the state of the war. He traveled frequently to Washington, where Saudi-paid lobbyists brought him to think tanks to give optimistic assessments about the campaign’s progress and he extolled the Saudi concern for the welfare of civilians.

By 2017, however, the Saudi campaign that General Assiri oversaw in Yemen had ground into a military stalemate and, despite his assurances, a humanitarian catastrophe. But his patron, Prince Mohammad, also consolidated his power over all of the kingdom’s security apparatuses, and he promoted General Assiri to the deputy head of the kingdom’s spy agency, the General Intelligence Directorate.

Western analysts believe that Prince Mohammad moved General Assiri there in part to keep an eye on the spy chief, Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah al-Humaidan, known as Abu Ali, who was close to Western intelligence agencies and suspected of harboring loyalties to one of the crown prince’s royal rivals.

General Assiri was dismissed last month when the Saudi government acknowledged Mr. Khashoggi’s killing and said he had organized the operation. On Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said his government had handed over a recording of Mr. Khashoggi’s killing to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain and France, pressuring President Trump to more harshly punish the Saudis over the murder.

Mr. Nader’s and Mr. Zamel’s plan dates to the beginning of 2016, when they started discussing an ambitious campaign of economic warfare against Iran similar to one waged by Israel and the United States during the past decade aimed at coercing Iran to end its nuclear program. They sketched out operations like revealing hidden global assets of the Quds Force; creating fake social media accounts in Farsi to foment unrest in Iran; financing Iranian opposition groups; and publicizing accusations, real or fictitious, against senior Iranian officials to turn them against one another.

Mr. Nader is an adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, a country that, along with Saudi Arabia and Israel, has identified Iran as the primary threat to stability in the Middle East.

Both he and Mr. Zamel believed that Hillary Clinton’s anticipated victory in the 2016 election meant a continuation of the Iran nuclear deal signed by President Barack Obama − and little appetite in Washington for a concerted campaign to cripple the Iranian economy. So, they decided to pitch the plan to Saudi and Emirati officials, even submitting a proposal to General Assiri during a meeting in Belgium.

The election of Donald J. Trump changed their calculus, and shortly after, Mr. Nader and Mr. Zamel traveled to New York to sell both Trump transition officials and Saudi generals on their Iran plan.

Mr. Nader’s initiative to try to topple the Iranian economy was first reported in May by The New York Times. His discussions in New York with General Assiri and other Saudi officials were reported last month by The Daily Beast.

Mr. Nader and Mr. Zamel enlisted Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater and an adviser to the Trump transition team. They had already discussed elements of their plan with Mr. Prince, in a meeting when they learned of his own paramilitary proposals that he planned to try to sell to the Saudis. A spokesman for Mr. Prince declined to comment.

In a suite on one of the top floors of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in New York, Mr. Zamel and Mr. Nader spoke to General Assiri and his aides about their Iran plan. The Saudis were interested in the idea but said it was so provocative and potentially destabilizing that they wanted to get the approval of the incoming Trump administration before Saudi Arabia paid for the campaign.

After Mr. Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, Mr. Nader met frequently with White House officials to discuss the economic sabotage plan.

General Assiri’s interest in assassinations was unsurprising but unrepresentative of official policy, said one Saudi familiar with the inquiry into the Khashoggi killing. The investigation has shown the general to be a grandiose and ambitious novice to intelligence who sought to impress the crown prince with unauthorized schemes for black operations, the person said.

But General Assiri’s well-known closeness to the crown prince − the general often joined Prince Mohammad for meetings in Riyadh with visiting American officials − might make it difficult for the prince’s supporters to distance him from the proposals, just as the same connections have helped convince Western intelligence agencies that the prince must have known about the plot against Mr. Khashoggi.

Moreover, General Assiri and his lieutenants were meeting with Mr. Nader around the same time that Mr. Nader was meeting with Prince Mohammad himself, as Saudi officials have acknowledged. In emails to a business associate obtained by The Times, Mr. Nader sometimes referred to conversations he held with Prince Mohammad − also known by his initials, M.B.S. − about other projects he had discussed with General Assiri.

“Had a truly magnificent meeting with M.B.S.,” Mr. Nader wrote in early 2017, discussing possible Saudi contracts. The crown prince, he said, had advised him to “review it and discuss it with General Ahmed”.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:42| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Paper: Germany, EU Member States Funding Militants in Syria's Idlib
TEHRAN (FNA)- The German government and other EU members are funding militants still present in Idlib and involved in a conflict against the Syrian army, a German newspaper revealed.

In total, Berlin has paid nearly 49 million euros to militants fighting to topple the Syrian government and facilitated the transfer of similar funds by other EU members, Tagesspiegel reported.

Those funds included "11.3 million other sources, or 17 million euros from the European Union, for which Germany would have played an intermediary role."

According to the report, the German government does not communicate the precise list of recipients of the funds for fear of angering Russia and other sides involved in the Syria war.

The information was revealed in an answer given by German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Walter Lindner to a question asked by Member of European Parliament Evrim Sommer, to which Tagesspiegel was able to have access.

The report comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian and Turkish leaders in Istanbul late last month to discuss a solution to the Syria conflict.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:04| Comment(0) | 国際・政治