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‘There is currently no viable alternative to Bashar Assad to prevent Syria from turning into a failed state, the new French president has said, departing from his predecessor’s position that the Syrian leader must be toppled to stabilize the war-torn country.

“The new perspective that I have had on this subject is that I have not stated that Bashar al-Assad’s departure is a pre-condition for everything because nobody has shown me a legitimate successor,” Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with eight European newspapers.

The new approach is seen as a stark departure from the political discourse of former French President Francois Hollande, who openly advocated for regime change in Syria. Under Hollande’s leadership, France was ready to support the US to strike Damascus in the autumn of 2013, until Moscow stepped in to de-escalate tensions while also ensuring the liquidation of the Syrian chemical stockpile.’

Read more: France’s Macron sees no ‘legitimate successor’ to Assad, declares terrorism a common enemy in Syria

‘United Nations UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concerns about a spike in contacts between Israeli armed forces and Syria militants in recent months.

In a report released recently, Guterres warned that the growing interactions between the two sides could lead to escalation and cause harm to members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force deployed to the Golan Heights.

According to the report, UN observers listed 16 meetings between the Israel forces and the Syria militants in the border area, including on Mount Hermon, in proximity to UN outposts in Syria’s Quneitra Province and the Golan Heights, from March 2 to May 16.

“Relative to the previous reporting period, there has been a significant increase in interaction” between Israeli soldiers and individuals from the Syrian side of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, “occurring on four occasions in February, three in March, eight in April and on one occasion in May,” the report said.’

Read more: ‘Israel’s Secret Engagement’: UN Raises Alarm over ‘Contacts’ Between Israeli Forces and Syrian Terrorists including ISIS-Daesh

‘At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that “Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them.” A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with “Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don’t you ask me about that?”

Don’t look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the “I” word cannot be disparaged on national television. Stone was, of course, referring to the fact that the Israel Lobby, most notably acting through its American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is undeniably a foreign lobby, no less so than anyone representing the presumed interests of Russia or China.’

Read more: Israel’s Dirty Little Secret

‘As the ‘anti-vax’ movement continues to gain traction across the globe, the EU’s top court has ruled that vaccines can be blamed for diseases even when there isn’t any proof they are responsible.

The European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that a vaccine can be considered defective – and thus the cause of a disease – if there is “specific and consistent evidence” related to when the vaccine was administered, the patient’s previous state of health, the lack of family history of the disease, and a significant number of reported cases of the disease occurring following vaccination.

The court went on to state that such factors could lead a court to determine that “the administering of the vaccine is the most plausible explanation” for the disease, and that “the vaccine therefore does not offer the safety that one is entitled to expect,” AP reported.’

Read more: Vaccines can be blamed for diseases without any proof, EU top court rules

‘Some 17 children have been paralyzed following an outbreak of polio in Syria, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Two cases of the disease were reported in Mayadin in Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria earlier this month. Since then, 14 new cases have been confirmed in the area with another case confirmed in Raqqa, an area controlled by Islamic State (IS, Formerly ISIS/ISIL).

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said the 17 children began showing symptoms as early as March 3 but tests only recently confirmed the presence of “vaccine-derived” polio.

This, Jasarevic said, indicates there was under-immunization in the Mayadin area.

WHO plans to vaccinate 90,000 children under five in the area, along with an additional 320,000 children in other parts of Deir al-Zour.’

Read more: Vaccine induced Polio outbreak leaves 17 children paralyzed in Syria

‘Trump then bemoaned that he was dealt a “very, very difficult hand” with North Korea and the Middle East, but promised he would “get it fixed.”

Trump claimed that since taking office, his administration has created “almost $4 trillion in wealth” for the country and took credit for the unemployment rate being the lowest in 16 years.

After bashing Hillary Clinton’s ties to Wall Street during his presidential campaign, Trump praised his own economic adviser, Gary Cohn, who was the president of Goldman Sachs.

“I love all people. Rich or poor. But in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?” Trump asked rhetorically.’

Read more: ‘I just don’t want a poor person’: Trump defends billionaire cabinet picks in Iowa rally

‘A hobbled Theresa May has been told her Brexit plans face failure unless she rows back from the most extreme parts of her proposals.

MPs in her own and other parties warned they would oppose a move to hard Brexit after she laid out laws needed in the Queen’s Speech, without having yet secured a Commons majority.

In the House of Lords where the Tories also have no majority, rivals signalled they would use all powers in their arsenal to stop any hard-Brexit drive damaging the country.

Scottish nationalists also threatened to derail the Government’s main piece of Brexit legislation if the Prime Minister failed to obtain their explicit consent.

It comes as she fights a rear-guard action in her own Cabinet, under pressure from Chancellor Philip Hammond who is pushing for a jobs-focussed Brexit, at odds with the immigration-centred approach adopted by Ms May.’

Read more: Brexit: Theresa May told her plans will fail unless she ditches hard exit