Archives 16th February 2017

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‘NATO nations have agreed to increase the alliance’s presence in the Black Sea, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after a ministerial meeting of the bloc.

“Today, we agreed on two additional maritime measures: an increased NATO naval presence in the Black Sea for enhanced training, exercises and situational awareness, and a maritime coordination function for our Standing Naval Forces when operating with other Allied forces in the Black Sea region,” the secretary general told journalists.

“Allies stand together, united and strong,” he added.

The NATO head also announced that four brigades deployed at Russia’s border in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland will become operational by June and serve as “a clear message to any potential aggressor.”’

Read more: NATO agrees increased presence in Black Sea – Stoltenberg

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‘A third bomb in three days has rocked the Iraqi capital Baghdad, with latest reports saying 48 people have been killed and dozens more injured, according to Reuters.

The explosion occurred Thursday in the Hayy al-Shurtathey area of the city.

It’s understood that the bomb went off in a parked vehicle near a used car dealership in the southern part of the Iraqi capital. The terrorist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing through its news agency Amaq.’

Read more: 48 dead, dozens injured in Baghdad car explosion – reports


At least 72 killed, dozens more injured in blast at Pakistan shrine – police

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At least 72 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bomb attack on a shrine in Pakistan, according to local media. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The suicide bomber entered the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in the city of Sehwan Sharif through its golden gate, according to local authorities cited by Dawn news outlet.

The explosion took place at the spot where a ritual known as dhamaal was being performed.

“The blast occurred within the premises of the shrine. We have declared emergency in hospitals and are shifting the injured to nearby hospitals,” Deputy Commissioner Munawar Mahesar told the ARY News.’

Read more: At least 72 killed, dozens more injured in blast at Pakistan shrine – police

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‘The Pentagon is reportedly considering sending conventional ground troops into northern Syria for the first time to accelerate the fight against Isis.

Only small teams of US special operation forces are currently authorised in the country and the decision to send ground troops would be in the hands of President Trump, who recently ordered his defence secretary, James Mattis, to draft a new proposal to fight the terror network within 30 days.

“It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” one defence official told CNN on Wednesday. US officials told the network that the idea is merely a “point of discussion” rather than a formal proposal.’

Read more: Pentagon considers ‘sending ground troops to Syria’

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‘US President Donald Trump has once again accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, arguing that he would prevent Tehran from ever gaining nukes.

“I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing, I mean ever, a nuclear weapon,” Trump said on Wednesday during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

He also called Iran’s atomic program a threat to Israel, which is believed to possess the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East.

“The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which I’ve talked a lot about,” he said.’

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Read more: Trump accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons

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‘Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Labour, Andy Puzder, has withdrawn his nomination for consideration in the new Cabinet.

The withdrawal signifies the first casualty of the Trump administration’s Cabinet picks, as the Senate was expected to confirm Mr Puzder later in the week.

Still recovering from the abrupt resignation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the White House is now tasked with replacing the controversial Labour Department candidate.

Mr Puzder, a fast food chain CEO, has faced allegations of domestic abuse and of mistreating his workers, several of whom testified against him last month before the Senate.’

Read more: Donald Trump’s pick for Labour Secretary Andrew Puzder withdraws from nomination

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‘Palestinians reacted with anger and bafflement on Wednesday after the Trump administration apparently backed away from insisting that having two states — one for Israelis, one for Palestinians — was the only viable solution to the decades-long Middle East conflict.

Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestinians, raised the specter of “apartheid” and called for “concrete measures in order to save the two-state solution.”

A White House official, in remarks to reporters on the eve of President Trump’s meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Wednesday, said the Trump administration would not push the two-state solution, an apparent retreat from decades of American policy.

In his news conference with Mr. Netanyahu in Washington on Wednesday, Mr. Trump directly broke with diplomatic tradition on the issue by saying his concern was the “deal,” not whether that included a state for Palestinians.’

Read more: Palestinians Dismayed as U.S. Appears to Back Off Two-State Solution

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‘Kushner, we are assured, is Israeli intelligence, no middle man there.

All well-connected American Jews who do IDF service are closely evaluated by Israeli military Intelligence as to their future value to Israel, their “other country”. Suitable recruits would routinely be given basic training and a cover to justify their coming back to Israel now and then for “business reasons”.

It has always been Israel’s goal to run the Whitehouse. Those folks, the Likuds, hate Americas. They hate everybody really, but Americans in particular, because they have a lot of stuff the Likuds have not been able to take yet, which they feel is being unfairly withheld from them, hence they have a right to correct the oversight.

Trump putting the kid in charge of doing a peace deal, with no diplomatic or career experience to take on that Gordian Knot? What do you think the chances are that the kid is not fronting for someone? We have polled our analytical group, and all agree he is not fronting for the U.S.’

Read more: Kushner Is Mossad…And Israeli Intel On An Industrial Scale In US

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‘NATO is constantly trying to draw Russia into a confrontation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He added that members of the alliance continue to interfere in Russia’s domestic affairs.

The accusations came as Putin addressed senior members of the Russian intelligence agency FSB on Thursday. The president said that over the past years the global security situation “has not improved, but on the contrary, many existing threats have only become more serious.”

NATO with its “newly-declared official mission to deter Russia” is one such threat, Putin said.

“This is the goal behind the expansion of this military bloc. It happened before, but now they have found a new justification which they believe to be serious,” Putin said.’

Read more: Putin: NATO keeps trying to draw Russia into confrontation, meddle in internal affairs

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‘U.S. President Donald Trump made unequivocally clear, on February 14th, that the new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia will continue until Russia complies with two conditions that would not only be humiliating to Russia (and to the vast majority of its citizens), but that would also be profoundly immoral.

One of these two conditions would actually be impossible, even if it weren’t, in addition, immoral. For Vladimir Putin to agree to either of these two conditions, would not only be a violation of his often-expressed basic viewpoint, but it would also cause the vast majority of Russians to despise him — because they respect him for his consistent advocacy of that very viewpoint. He has never wavered from it. The support of Russians for that viewpoint is virtually universal.’

Read more: Dangerous Crossroads: Trump Declares War on Russia, New Cold War will Continue Until Moscow Complies…

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