AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1613024 times)

Offline knarf

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Whistleblower: OPCW suppressed Syria chemical evidence after US pressure
« Reply #14625 on: November 18, 2019, 05:07:46 PM »
A second whistleblower from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has come forward to accuse top OPCW officials of suppressing critical evidence.

The evidence undermines allegations that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in Douma in April 2018 — an allegation that prompted US-led airstrikes. The second whistleblower also says that three US officials took part in pressuring the OPCW. We speak to veteran journalist Jonathan Steele, the first reporter to interview the second whistleblower.

Guest: Jonathan Steele, journalist, author, and The Guardian’s former chief foreign correspondent.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/SMSyLg1E49M&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/SMSyLg1E49M&fs=1</a>

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/11/18/whistleblower-opcw-suppressed-syria-chemical-weapons-evidence-after-us-pressure/
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Re: Why Aren't People in the US Rising Up Like Those Elsewhere in the World?
« Reply #14626 on: November 18, 2019, 05:08:36 PM »
Because the SNAP Cards are still working and the SS Mailbox Money is still showing up in your Bank Account.

RE

That explains it sort of.

People in other countries have SOLIDARITY and we do not.  That is the difference.  This means when costs exceed your ability to live you disappear  and go the way of that woman who died a few weeks ago in your apartment building in America.  With SOLIDARITY people are united so people can't be ignored.  Here people are ignored.

Divide and conquer and no people are more divided than the American people now are.  Everyone is isolated.  This makes a utopia for upper class rule who by spreading their costs over a numb and brain-dead population will do well even as the people they flim-flam and tax die.

Why has nobody figured this out.  Billionaires are a clusterfuck in government.  All they will do is enforce a collapse that benefits them.  Not you.

Everybody crosses the line of not being able to get by based on their own circumstances so in an America without unity that means you just fade away.

Truest post of the day. Alienation equals isolation. the first strategy of the predator is to cut their mark away from the herd.
Easier to do when the isolation is self imposed.



On the other hand, you can meet a nice Ruskie Archeress iff you load Vikings to your Smart Phone!  :icon_sunny:



RE
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Offline knarf

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The defence ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in north-east Asia, the latest indication that Washington’s long-standing alliances in the region are fraying.

On the sidelines of regional security talks in Bangkok on Sunday, Jeong Kyeong-doo, the South Korean minister of defence, and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed to set up more military hotlines and to push ahead with a visit by Mr Jeong to China next year to “foster bilateral exchanges and cooperation in defence”, South Korea’s defence ministry said. 

Seoul’s announcement coincided with growing resentment at the $5 billion (£3.9bn) annual fee that Washington is demanding to keep 28,500 US troops in South Korea.

That figure is a sharp increase from the $923 million that Seoul paid this year, which was an 8 per cent increase on the previous year.



An editorial in Monday’s edition of The Korea Times warned that the security alliance between the two countries “may fall apart due to Washington’s blatantly excessive demands”.

Mr Trump has previously threatened to withdraw US troops if his demands are not met, with the editorial accusing the president of regarding the Korea-US mutual defence treaty “as a property deal to make money”.

The vast majority of Koreans agree, with a recent survey by the Korea Institute for National Reunification showing that 96 per cent of people are opposed to Seoul paying more for the US military presence.

There is also irritation at the pressure that Washington is applying to the South to make Seoul sign an extension to a three-way agreement on sharing military information with the US and Japan.

The General Security of Military Information Agreement is due to expire at midnight on November 23 and South Korea insists that it will only agree to an extension if Japan cancels restrictions on exports of chemicals critical to the South’s microchip industry.

Japan is widely believed to have imposed the restrictions as the latest incident in its troubled relationship with South Korea, which includes the issue of compensation for labourers put to work during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.



The two nations' defence ministers held discussions with Mark Esper, the US defence secretary, at the weekend but hopes that a breakthrough might materialise came to nothing.

Just days before an agreement designed to protect the allies from North Korean belligerence runs out, Tokyo and Seoul merely reiterated their long-held positions.

The US demanded in July that Japan pay $8 billion a year to keep 54,000 US military personnel in the country, Foreign Policy reported late last week.

Tokyo currently contributes $2 billion a year to US military costs in Japan.

“This kind of demand, not only the exorbitant number, but the way it is being done, could trigger anti-Americanism”, Bruce Klinger, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation think tank, told Foreign Policy.

“If you weaken alliances, and potentially decrease deterrence and US troop presence, that benefits North Korea, China and Russia, who see the potential for reduced US influence and support for our allies”.

Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, was more blunt in his assessment.

“It’s just extortion”, he told The Telegraph. “It’s little more than a mob boss going around and demanding protection money. The numbers that the US is demanding are politically impossible for Seoul and Tokyo to swallow and that is just fuelling resentment."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/11/18/china-signs-defence-agreement-south-korea-us-angers-seoul-demand/
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The defence ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in north-east Asia, the latest indication that Washington’s long-standing alliances in the region are fraying.

//
“If you weaken alliances, and potentially decrease deterrence and US troop presence, that benefits North Korea, China and Russia, who see the potential for reduced US influence and support for our allies”.

Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, was more blunt in his assessment.

“It’s just extortion”, he told The Telegraph. “It’s little more than a mob boss going around and demanding protection money. The numbers that the US is demanding are politically impossible for Seoul and Tokyo to swallow and that is just fuelling resentment."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/11/18/china-signs-defence-agreement-south-korea-us-angers-seoul-demand/

Trump may be doing nothing for his bobble headed base, but he sure continues to deliver for Vlad.

“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline knarf

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JOHN PILGER: Assange's case will define the future of free journalism
« Reply #14629 on: November 18, 2019, 05:28:53 PM »

Who will dare to expose anything of importance if Assange is extradited to the U.S.?

John Pilger describes the disturbing scene inside a London courtroom last week when the WikiLeaks publisher, Julian Assange, appeared at the start of a landmark extradition case that will define the future of free journalism.

THE WORST MOMENT was one of a number of "worst" moments. I have sat in many courtrooms and seen judges abuse their positions. This judge, Vanessa Baraitser – actually she isn't a judge at all; she's a magistrate – shocked all of us who were there.

Her face was a progression of sneers and imperious indifference; she addressed Julian Assange with an arrogance that reminded me of a magistrate presiding over apartheid South Africa's Race Classification Board. When Julian struggled to speak, he couldn't get words out, even stumbling over his name and date of birth.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ned5hnW_9wY&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ned5hnW_9wY&fs=1</a>

When he spoke truth and when his barrister spoke, Baraister contrived boredom; when the prosecuting barrister spoke, she was attentive. She had nothing to do; it was demonstrably preordained. In the table in front of us were a handful of American officials, whose directions to the prosecutor were carried by his — back and forth this young woman went, delivering instructions.

The Magistrate watched this outrage without a comment. It reminded me of a newsreel of a show trial in Stalin's Moscow; the difference was that Soviet show trials were broadcast. Here, the state broadcaster, the BBC, blacked it out, as did the other mainstream channels.

    No one doubts ... that if [Assange] is extradited to the United States ... , journalism will be incarcerated, too.

Having ignored Julian's barrister's factual description of how the CIA had run a Spanish security firm that spied on him in the Ecuadorean embassy, she didn't yawn, but her disinterest was as expressive. She then denied Julian's lawyers any more time to prepare their case — even though their client was prevented in prison from receiving legal documents and other tools with which to defend himself.

Her knee in the groin was to announce that the next court hearing would be at remote Woolwich, which adjoins Belmarsh Prison and has few seats for the public. This will ensure isolation and be as close to a secret trial as it's possible to get. Did this happen in the home of the Magna Carta? Yes, but who knew?

Julian's case is often compared with Dreyfus, but historically it's far more important. No one doubts – not his enemies at The New York Times, not the Murdoch press in Australia – that if he is extradited to the United States and the inevitable Supermax, journalism will be incarcerated, too.

    The FBI tried to make Iceland a complicit ally in framing Julian Assange

    “You can have excellent laws and constitutions ... but it is almost non-relevant if society is asleep. You need people to speak up.” https://t.co/5aeKaA25jc
    — Pamela Anderson (@pamfoundation) November 6, 2019

Who will then dare to expose anything of importance, let alone the high crimes of the West? Who will dare publish 'Collateral Murder'? Who will dare tell the public that democracy, such as it is, has been subverted by a corporate authoritarianism from which fascism draws its strength?

Once there were spaces, gaps, boltholes, in mainstream journalism in which mavericks, who are the best journalists, could work. These are long closed now. The hope is the samizdat on the internet, where fine disobedient journalism is still practised.

The greater hope is that a judge or even judges in Britain's court of appeal, the High Court, will rediscover justice and set him free. In the meantime, it's our responsibility to fight in ways we know but which now require more than a modicum of Julian Assange's courage.

https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/john-pilger-assanges-case-will-define-the-future-of-free-journalism,13324
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'No one needs to be a billionaire', Britain's Labour Party says
« Reply #14630 on: November 18, 2019, 05:46:06 PM »
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s opposition Labour Party will on Tuesday take aim at “obscene” billionaires, pledging a radical redistribution of wealth to cut the power of the super rich who it says bankroll Prime Minister Boris Johnson in return for tax breaks.

The two main political parties are showcasing starkly different visions for the world’s fifth largest economy ahead of the Dec. 12 election. The Conservatives are promising to deliver Brexit while Labour says it wants to be the most radical socialist government in British history.

Labour said almost a third of Britain’s 151 billionaires have donated more than 50 million pounds ($64.8 million) to the Conservatives since 2005 in return for tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations worth 100 billion pounds.

John McDonnell, the party’s finance minister-in-waiting, will say in a speech he wants to “rewrite the rules of our economy”, casting the election as a chance to overthrow a system where billionaires can buy access to power.

“No one needs or deserves to have that much money, it is obscene,” McDonnell will say, according to excepts of his speech. “It is also obscene that these billionaires are buying access and tax breaks to Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.”

Labour’s core message — a pledge to redistribute wealth to the many and not the few — was a theme it used in the 2017 election, when the party confounded the polls to deprive then Prime Minister Theresa May of her parliamentary majority.

Labour hopes the message will propel them to power as they trail Johnson’s party in the opinion polls.

The party’s economic policies, which would represent one of the most radical assaults on capitalism seen in a major western economy, include nationalizing the rail, utility and water companies, confiscating 10% of big companies’ shares, a move to a four-day week and higher taxes on the wealthy.

Last month, Labour named prominent billionaires such as landowner Hugh Grosvenor, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, Ineos CEO Jim Ratcliffe, hedge fund manager Crispin Odey and U.S. media tycoon Rupert Murdoch as representatives of Britain’s “rigged system”.

McDonnell said the slogan “taking back control” used by supporters of leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum was mobilized to great effect because many people rightly felt that they have little control over their lives.

“Decisions are made about the companies or services they work in over which they have no say and no influence,” McDonnell will say. “Labour will rewrite the rules of our economy. It’s all about treating people fairly and with the respect they deserve”

The Conservatives said Labour’s tax plans will not hit billionaires and will instead overwhelmingly hurt hard pressed families.

“Labour will massively ramp up spending and would hammer ordinary people with an extra 2,400 taxes pounds every year,” said Simon Clarke, a junior finance minister.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-election-mcdonnell/no-one-needs-to-be-a-billionaire-britains-labour-party-says-idUSKBN1XS2LC?utm_source=reddit.com
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Offline knarf

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Iran spy agency leaks reveal Tehran's 'horrifying' grip on Iraq
« Reply #14631 on: November 18, 2019, 05:55:32 PM »
 JEDDAH: Hundreds of leaked Iranian intelligence documents have shed light on a shadow war for regional influence.
Monday’s reports on a trove of leaked cables expose Tehran’s vast influence in Iraq, detailing the painstaking efforts of Iranian spies to co-opt Iraqi leaders and infiltrate every aspect of political life. Tehran’s influence has fueled ongoing anti-government protests in Iraq.

    NEW: An unprecedented leak of hundreds of secret Iranian intelligence reports and cables reveals the country's shadow war for influence in Iraq — and the battle within Iran's own spy divisions. This article was reported in partnership with @TheIntercept. https://t.co/Bqhlqkaq4B

    — The New York Times (@nytimes) November 18, 2019

The trove consists of roughly 700 pages of reports and cables written mainly in 2014 and 2015 by officers in Iran’s version of the CIA who were based in Iraq.
“These documents are horrifying,” Baria Alamuddin, a writer and expert in Middle Eastern affairs, told Arab News.
“Yet in a sense there’s almost nothing here that Iraq experts didn’t know very well already: That most of Iraq’s leadership, whatever their affiliation, is wholly in Iran’s pocket; that Iran bankrolled the mass murder and sectarian cleansing of sizable areas of Iraq under the pretense of fighting Daesh; and that Iran today is bribing Iraqi politicians in order to extend its dominance over the Iraqi economy. None of this is any longer deniable.”

    A massive, unprecedented leak of documents from the Iranian government & its intelligence services, revealing key secrets about its involvement in Iraq, was obtained by @theintercept & reported by Jim Risen & @MazMHussain jointly with @nytimes: https://t.co/cGxTOFTDhe

    — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 18, 2019

The documents were sent anonymously to The Intercept, which shared them with the New York Times. Both publications verified the documents’ authenticity but do not know who leaked them.
In encrypted messages, the anonymous source said he or she wanted to “let the world know what Iran is doing in my country Iraq.”
Rahman Al-Jobouri, a senior fellow at the Institute of Regional and International Studies at the American University of Iraq Sulaimani, told Arab News: “Nothing new has been revealed by the New York Times’ report. The men of the Iraqi government are openly associated with Iran.”

He said: “Actually, some of them consider Iran their first state, and any action they do (in its favor) is legitimate and legal, and nothing should be hidden from it.”
The leaked documents “are introductions to penalties that would be imposed on certain persons,” he added.
“It’s also a message sent by the US to say everything is being monitored by us in Iraq. We watch and use the information as and when we need.”
Alamuddin said the evidence “provides a cast-iron case against (Iranian Maj. Gen.) Qassim Soleimani and his associates for complicity in war crimes, in addition to recent evidence about his oversight of the deliberate killings of Iraqi protestors.”
She added: “Iraqis deserve to see these figures hauled before the International Criminal Court, perhaps in addition to the establishment of a special commission to investigate Iran’s role in sponsoring paramilitary violence and compromising the sovereign independence of multiple Arab states.”
Alamuddin said: “The only question here is what the world will do with this information — from the horse’s mouth — which provides irrefutable proof of Iran’s ambitions to dominate the entire region.”

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1585836/middle-east
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EU says Israeli settlement on Palestinian territory is illegal
« Reply #14632 on: November 18, 2019, 06:00:15 PM »
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union said on Monday that it continued to believe that Israeli settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory was illegal under international law and eroded prospects for lasting peace.

“The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

Her comments came after the United States effectively backed Israel’s right to build Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank by abandoning its four-decade-old position that they were “inconsistent with international law.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-usa-eu/eu-says-israeli-settlement-on-palestinian-territory-is-illegal-idUSKBN1XS2IL?utm_source=reddit.com
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Re: A question with many answers.
« Reply #14633 on: November 19, 2019, 12:31:38 AM »
Why Aren't People in the US Rising Up Like Those Elsewhere in the World?

Very timely, you posted this today but I wrote what I wrote yesterday.  See if you can spot the Diner influence.

https://chasingthesquirrel.com/

Quote
In America everyone thinks they can become a billionaire someday if they play along with existing arrangements. { As if being a billionaire were a good thing. } Myself, I think they only attract human vermin, but we are told the future of a rentier overlord awaits all who work hard enough and who kiss enough ass. The tragedy is that so many people in America actually believe this is true and that they want it to be true.

Good stuff.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline K-Dog

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Re: A question with many answers.
« Reply #14634 on: November 19, 2019, 01:26:02 AM »
Why Aren't People in the US Rising Up Like Those Elsewhere in the World?

Very timely, you posted this today but I wrote what I wrote yesterday.  See if you can spot the Diner influence.

https://chasingthesquirrel.com/

Quote
In America everyone thinks they can become a billionaire someday if they play along with existing arrangements. { As if being a billionaire were a good thing. } Myself, I think they only attract human vermin, but we are told the future of a rentier overlord awaits all who work hard enough and who kiss enough ass. The tragedy is that so many people in America actually believe this is true and that they want it to be true.

Good stuff.

Thanks :)
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Offline RE

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Re: A question with many answers.
« Reply #14635 on: November 19, 2019, 05:05:00 AM »
Why Aren't People in the US Rising Up Like Those Elsewhere in the World?

Very timely, you posted this today but I wrote what I wrote yesterday.  See if you can spot the Diner influence.

https://chasingthesquirrel.com/

Quote
In America everyone thinks they can become a billionaire someday if they play along with existing arrangements. { As if being a billionaire were a good thing. } Myself, I think they only attract human vermin, but we are told the future of a rentier overlord awaits all who work hard enough and who kiss enough ass. The tragedy is that so many people in America actually believe this is true and that they want it to be true.

Good stuff.

Thanks :)

All Rich people are Criminals.  The Richer you are, the greater your Criminality.  All Rich people will burn in Eternal Damnation in the Fire and Brimstone of Hell.  :icon_sunny:

RE
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Offline knarf

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Sweden drops Assange rape investigation
« Reply #14636 on: November 19, 2019, 05:27:08 AM »
Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010.

Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.

The 48-year-old Australian was evicted last month and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.

He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.
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Ambassador Sondland said Trump doesn't 'give a s---' about Ukraine except...
« Reply #14637 on: November 19, 2019, 05:54:48 AM »
when it benefits him personally, official testifies.

The US' ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, told US officials that President Donald Trump "doesn't give a shit" about Ukraine and only cares about the "big stuff" — like the country announcing a probe into his Democratic presidential rival, Joe Biden.

State Department official David Holmes made the claim in closed door testimony to House impeachment investigatorson Friday, according to a transcript of the deposition released by House Democrats late Monday.

In the testimony, he describes accompanying Sondland to a restaurant in Kyiv, Ukraine with several other US State Department officials, where he questioned the ambassador about Trump's attitude towards the country.

"In particular, I asked Ambassador Sondland if it was true that the President did not give a shit about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland agreed that the President did not give a shit about Ukraine," Holmes said.

He said he then pressed Sondland for an explanation why.

Sondland, Holmes claimed, told him: "The President only cares about, quote, unquote, 'big stuff.'"

That big stuff, he said, included things like the "Biden investigation."

"I noted that there was, quote, unquote, big stuff going on in Ukraine, like a war with Russia," Holmes said.

"Ambassador Sondland replied that he meant, quote, unquote, big stuff that benefits the President, like the quote, unquote, Biden investigation that Mr. Giuliani was pushing. The conversation then moved on to other topics."

House Democrats are probing whether Trump abused his office in seeking to pressure Ukraine to launch a criminal investigation into Biden, and used $400 million in military aid as leverage.

Republicans have focussed part of their defense of the president on claiming that Trump did not seek to personally profit from the Biden probe, but was simply concerned with addressing Ukraine's longstanding problems with corruption.

The president has pushed an unsubstantiated claim that Biden used his position as vice president to end a Ukrainian investigation into Burisma, an energy firm where his son was a board member.

Holmes testimony punches holes in that defense.

Earlier in the testimony, Holmes described a conversation between Trump and Sondland on cellphone in the restaurant, in which Sondland told the president of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he "loves your ass."

"I then heard President Trump ask, quote, "So he's going to do the investigation?" unquote. Ambassador Sondland replied that, "He's going to do it," adding that President Zelensky will quote, "Do anything you ask him to," testified Holmes.

Holmes is set to publicly testify as part of the impeachment probe later this week. Sondland is scheduled to testify Wednesday, and is likely to face questioning about Holmes' account of their conversations, and what else he knew about the president's intentions towards Ukraine.

https://www.businessinsider.com/sondland-said-trump-doesnt-give-a-s-about-ukraine-official-2019-11?utm_source=reddit.com
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US settlement move endorses 'law of the jungle' - Palestinians
« Reply #14638 on: November 19, 2019, 06:23:08 AM »

The mosque of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya and the Maale Adumim settlement seen in the background

Palestinians have condemned a decision by the US to abandon its four-decades-old position that Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank are inconsistent with international law.

Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said it threatened to replace international law with the "law of the jungle".

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US move, saying it "rights a historical wrong".

The UN regards the settlements as being illegal under international law.

Settlements are communities established by Israel on land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war. They have long been a source of dispute between Israel and the international community, and the Palestinians.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements is not, per se, inconsistent with international law". The status of the West Bank, he added, was "for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate".

The move was seen as a victory for Mr Netanyahu, who has pledged to apply Israeli sovereignty over all the settlements, as well as the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea.
What are the Palestinians saying?

The Palestinians have long called for the removal of the settlements, where about 600,000 Jews live, arguing that their presence on land they claim for a future independent Palestinian state makes it almost impossible to make such a state a reality.

"Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, are not only illegal under international law, they are war crimes," said Mr Erekat. "Once the Trump administration decides to undermine international law... this constitutes a major threat to international peace and security."

Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said: "The United States is neither qualified nor is authorised to negate international legitimacy resolutions, and it has no right to give any legitimacy to Israeli settlement."

Palestinian militant groups also weighed in, calling it the official funeral of the Oslo peace process - which laid the foundations for Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip - and urging stepped-up resistance to the Israeli occupation.

In 2017, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital and ordered the relocation of the US embassy to the city from Tel Aviv. The decision was condemned by Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state, and the UN General Assembly demanded its cancellation.

And earlier this year, Mr Trump recognised Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, which were seized from Syria in the 1967 war.

Mr Pompeo's announcement was made two days ahead of a deadline for Benny Gantz, Mr Netanyahu's political rival, to form a coalition government following an inconclusive general election in September. Mr Gantz was given the opportunity after Mr Netanyahu himself failed to form a ruling coalition.

Hours later, the US state department alerted Americans planning to visit Jerusalem, West Bank or Gaza that "those opposed to the secretary of state's announcement may target US [government] facilities, interests, and citizens".
What has Israel said?

In praising the US move, Mr Netanyahu said Israeli courts were the "appropriate place" to decide the legality of the settlements, "not biased international forums that pay no attention to history or facts".

"Israel remains ready and willing to conduct peace negotiations with the Palestinians regarding all final status issues in an effort to achieve a durable peace," he said, "but will continue to reject all arguments regarding the illegality of the settlements."

Meanwhile, the UN human rights office reaffirmed its position that the settlements were unlawful, saying the change "of one state does not modify existing international law nor its interpretation by the International Court of Justice and the [UN] Security Council".

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the bloc's position was that "all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace".

Ayman Safadi, Foreign Minister of Jordan - the custodian of a holy site in Jerusalem known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews as the Temple Mount - said the change would "kill" a two-state solution, calling the settlements "a blatant violation of international law".

Two years ago, Mr Trump promised a "deal of the century" to end the conflict created by Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser. But, apart from an ambitious plan for investment in Palestinian areas and Arab countries, few details have been made public.

Boost for Israel, dismay for Palestinians




Mike Pompeo said the decision would create the political space for a more likely resolution of the conflict. But that resolution is now more likely to be on Israel's terms, since it is by far the stronger party.

Dismissing the international legal prohibitions on Jewish settlements undermines the legal framework for the peace process, including the notion of Palestinian national rights and the principle of self-determination.

It will almost certainly boost the movement to expand and annex the Jewish settlements. There has already been a sharp increase in settlement planning and construction since Mr Trump took office.

Palestinians will be dismayed, although not surprised. Palestinian analysts I have spoken with say the growth of Jewish settlements has essentially killed the potential for a viable two-state solution. They speak in terms of a war of position, saying that staying on the land and simply continuing their lives is a kind of non-violent resistance.
What was the previous US position?

In 1978, the Carter administration concluded that the establishment of civilian settlements was inconsistent with international law. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan disagreed with that conclusion, saying he did not believe the settlements were inherently illegal.

Since then, the US has adopted a position of describing the settlements as "illegitimate" - though not "illegal" - and sheltering Israel from condemnatory resolutions on the issue at the United Nations.

However, one of the last acts of the Obama administration, at the end of 2016, was to break with US practice by not vetoing a UN resolution that urged an end to illegal Israeli settlements.

President Trump's administration has displayed a much more tolerant attitude towards settlement activity than President Obama's. Mr Pompeo said the Trump administration had studied all sides of the debate and agreed with Mr Reagan.
Are settlements illegal under international law?

Most of the international community, including the UN and the International Court of Justice, say the settlements are illegal. The basis for this is the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention which forbids the transfer by an occupying power of its people to occupied territory.

However, Israel says the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply de jure to the West Bank because, it says, the territory is not technically occupied.

Israel says it is legally there as a result of a defensive war, and did not take control of the West Bank from a legitimate sovereign power. It says the legal right of Jewish settlement there, as recognised by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, was preserved under the UN's charter.



https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50470812
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Companies that fail to act on the climate change they cause will be axed from the stock exchange, under radical Labour plans.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, pledged his government would ensure firms are “pulling their weight” to tackle the “existential threat” to the planet.

And he warned: “For those companies not taking adequate steps under Labour they will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange.”

Vowing to “rewrite the rules” of the economy to benefit workers, Mr McDonnell also insisted curbing the climate crisis would be “Labour’s overriding priority” if it wins the general election.

The Corporate Governance Code would be beefed up to “set out a minimum standard for listing related to evidencing the action being taken to tackle climate change”.

“If we are meet the climate change target to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, we need to ensure that companies are pulling their weight alongside government,” he told an event in London.

And, claiming some support from the corporate world, he added: “Business bodies are calling for companies to improve climate related financial reporting and for all companies to bring forward decarbonisation plans.”

Earlier, the Green Party lashed out at Labour for dropping plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, as a shadow cabinet minister revealed on Monday.

It said the decision proved only the Greens are willing to wage “a war” on climate change, with a £100bn pledge to end emissions by that date.

But Mr McDonnell promised “a step change in corporate governance and regulation that will support efforts to tackle the climate emergency”.

He also denied reports that Labour’s manifesto, to be unveiled on Thursday, would include a windfall tax on oil companies.

The shadow chancellor defended – but also tweaked – his controversial plan to force all large companies to give staff shares in their firms and pay dividends.

He said any dividends above £500 would no longer be spent on general government programmes, but would pay exclusively for skilled apprentices for Labour’s ‘Green Industrial Revolution’.

Mr McDonnell said: “We aim to broaden the ownership base of UK businesses to give workers more of a stake in their company.

“There is evidence to show that this not only advances long-term decision making but also boosts productivity.

“We have announced the introduction of Inclusive Ownership Funds in which larger companies will be required to transfer one per cent of their shares into an employee fund until the fund owns 10 per cent of the company.

“Shares would be owned collectively by employees with dividend payments distributed up to a maximum of £500 per employee per year.”

Mr McDonnell also branded the Conservatives the “party of the billionaires”, revealing that almost one-third of the UK’s richest people have donated almost £52m.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/climate-change-labour-london-stock-exchange-business-manifesto-mcdonnell-a9208801.html?utm_source=reddit.com
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