2018-12-27: News Headlines

aljazeera (2018-12-27). UAE to reopen Damascus embassy after seven years. aljazeera.com Move seen as boost to Syrian government from an Arab country which once funded opposition fighters.

Sara Flounders (2018-12-27). What's Behind U.S. Troop Withdrawals Announced for Syria and Afghanistan? globalresearch.ca The announced withdrawal of the remaining 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria and a partial withdrawal from Afghanistan does not mean an end to the Pentagon's aggressive militarism and endless U.S. wars — in Syria, in Afghanistan, in the region or …

aljazeera (2018-12-27). HSBC divests from Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. aljazeera.com Bank faced pressure from pro-Palestinian activists over its dealings with firm, which makes drones and weapons systems.

CP Editor (2018-12-27). Muslim Ban: Meet the Yemeni Americans Suing Trump in an Attempt to Reunite with Loved Ones. counterpunch.org

Rebecca Burns (2018-12-27). The 8 Most Important Labor Stories of 2018. commondreams.org McDonald's workers are joined by other activists as they march toward the company's headquarters to protest sexual harassment at the fast food chain's restaurants on September 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

aljazeera (2018-12-27). 'Israel meant to kill more': Gaza 10 years after Op Cast Lead. aljazeera.com Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip on December 27, 2008, began with targeting a graduation ceremony for police cadets.

Greta Berlin (2018-12-27). There Is No Marshall Plan for Iraq. The Cruel Legacy of America's War Machine. globalresearch.ca On June 5, 1947, in an address at Harvard University, Secretary of State George C. Marshall introduced a European self-help program financed by the United States to the tune of 13 billion dollars (about $110 billion by 2018 estimates), …

Ramzy Baroud (2018-12-27). Apartheid Israel or US Democracy? zcomm.org Is protecting Israeli Apartheid more important to Americans than preserving the fundamental nature of their own democracy?>

Richard Galustian (2018-12-27). An End to Empires. globalresearch.ca President Trump's announcement, seemingly unilaterally, without advice from his military advisors or the Pentagon, has shocked and rocked American Military's status quo strategy that has failed us all since post 9/11, yet the overwhelming majority of the American people and …

Mark Taliano (2018-12-27). Trump May be Seeking a Win-Win Outcome in Syria. globalresearch.ca "The Axis of Resistance is effectively wiping out terrorism in Syria — terrorism supported by the West — and for this, we should all be grateful," Mark Taliano said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency. | "Did the on-going …

Ghada Karmi (2018-12-27). In Bethlehem, I Had a Vivid Experience of What Israel's Occupation Feels Like. globalresearch.ca "O little town of Bethlehem/How still we see thee lie/Above thy deep and dreamless sleep/The silent stars go by," runs the famous Christmas carol sung all over the English-speaking world as it celebrates Christmas. | On Christmas Eve midnight mass will …

RT News (2018-12-27). Israel's Airstrikes on Syria Threatened 2 Civilian Flights Landing in Beirut and Damascus. Russian Report. globalresearch.ca Russia's Defense Ministry has said Israel carried out airstrikes on Syrian targets as two civilian flights were landing in Beirut and Damascus, putting passengers at risk. | The Israeli military put two civilian airliners in immediate danger, Igor Konashenkov, the …

South Front (2018-12-27). Video: Israel Strikes Syria. Russia's S-300 Air Defense System Was Not Used against Israeli War Planes. globalresearch.ca Late on December 25, the Israeli Air Force carried out a missile strike on targets in the Damascus International Airport area. According to reports, Israeli F-16I jets launched at least 16 missiles from Lebanese airspace. | The Syrian media stressed that …

Elijah J. Magnier (2018-12-27). Trump Is Leaving Behind a Trap for Russia, Turkey and Iran in Syria. globalresearch.ca The US executive order of withdrawal from Syria has been signed off on, indicating that President Trump is determined to recall the few thousands US troops in Syria back home. It is well known that regular troops are much more …

aljazeera (2018-12-27). Sudan journalists strike in support of protests. aljazeera.com Activists and opposition groups have called on people to take to the streets again over the next few days.

Global Research News (2018-12-27). Selected Articles: US Troop Withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan. globalresearch.ca For seventeen years, Global Research, together with partner independent media organizations, has sought Truth in Media with a view to eventually "disarming" the corporate media's disinformation crusade. | To reverse the tide, we call upon our readers to participate in an …

Democracy Now! (2018-12-27). Headlines for December 27, 2018. democracynow.org President Trump Makes Surprise Visit to U.S. Military Base in Iraq, NYT: Queens Podiatrist Helped Donald Trump Avoid Vietnam in 1968, Trump Says No End in Sight to Partial Government Shutdown, Violence Against Women Act Expires Due to Government Shutdown, Texas: Hundreds More Migrants Released by ICE at El Paso Bus Station, Guatemala: Funeral Held for 7-Year-Old Girl Who Died in U.S. Custody, ProPublica: Sexual Assaults Pervasive Inside Jails for Migrant Children, Sudan: 37 Killed as Protests Call for an End to Omar al-Bashir's Rule, Russia Tests New "Hypersonic" Nuclear-Capable Missile, Yemen: U.N. Team Tasked w…

Ivan Kesic (2018-12-27). A Skewed 5-year-old Reuters Report on Iran Fueled Mike Pompeo's Latest Diatribe. mintpressnews.com This year, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made speeches about corruption and property confiscation in Iran that borrowed animating details from a skewed, 5-year-old story that is gaining influence, writes Ivan Kesic.

aljazeera (2018-12-27). What is Trump's strategy for Syria and the region?>. aljazeera.com US President Donald Trump defends his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria…

Fight Back (2018-12-27). Anti-war protesters demand end to U.S. militarism abroad and on the border. fightbacknews.org Minneapolis, MN – On Sunday, December 23, 30 people gathered to demonstrate against U.S. wars, at an action titled "Send an Anti-War Message for the Holidays – Stop Endless Wars." The protest took place in Uptown Minneapolis near a commercial node full of holiday shoppers, as well as the busy Uptown Transit Station where eight different bus routes converge. | Demonstrators demanded immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from all foreign wars and interventions, questioning whether President Trump's recent announcement that he had ordered thousands of troops out of Syria and Afghanistan would truly end illegal U.S. in…

Richard Hugus (2018-12-27). Banned: The Smear Campaign Against British-Israeli Peace Activist Gilad Atzmon. mintpressnews.com Jazz saxophonist and writer Gilad Atzmon was recently banned from playing at an assembly hall in Islington, a borough of London, by order of the Islington Town Council. This came about as a result of an e-mail from one person — Martin Rankoff — saying nothing more than that if Atzmon was going to be […]

Chandra Muzaffar (2018-12-27). Trump's Big Pullout. counterpunch.org It is significant that US President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw his troops from Syria. The 14thDecember decision was followed immediately by another announcement by the President to pull out a sizeable number of soldiers from Afghanistan where the US has been involved in a war for the last 17 years — the longest More

teleSUR (2018-12-27). Saudi King Salman Reshuffles Cabinet in Blow to MBS. telesurenglish.net Saudi King Salman has issued a series of royal decrees that has the effect of creating a major cabinet reshuffle. | RELATED | Saudi Arabia Says US Senate Vote on Yemen War an 'Interference' | The appointments make former finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf as the new foreign minister and also include changes to key national security posts, state media reported Thursday. | The reshuffle comes after the Saudi government faces intense international pressure over the killing of Saudi jo…

Consortiumnews (2018-12-27). A Reuters Report on Iran That Fueled US Diatribes. consortiumnews.com This year, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made speeches about corruption and property confiscation in Iran that borrowed animating details from a skewed, 5-year-old story that is gaining influence, writes Ivan Kesic. By Ivan Kesic in Zagreb, Croatia Special to… Read more →

Jason Ditz (2018-12-27). Turkish-Backed Fighters Preparing to Replace US Forces in Syria. theantimedia.com (ANTIWAR.COM) — Turkey-backed rebel fighters in Syria are gearing up for a major deployment into northeastern Syria, with an eye on replacing the US ground troops in the area. Turkey is planning to invade in the course of this replacement, and is coordinating with the US and the pullout and deployment. President Trump has said the withdrawal …

Aidan O'Brien (2018-12-27). Since When Did the Irish Words "Sinn Féin" Mean Pro-Empire? counterpunch.org Brexit has exposed Ireland as much as it has exposed Britain. In the on and off deal between the UK and the EU, the future of the Irish border, and therefore the future of Ireland, is being decided by faceless bureaucrats in Britain and Brussels. This is yet more proof – if any more proof was needed – of Ireland's dependent status. After the Irish banking disaster, this is the latest ignominy "Independent Ireland" must bear. More

WSWS (2018-12-27). Israeli premier demands German government stop funding Jewish Museum Berlin. wsws.org Benjamin Netanyahu's letter accuses the museum of "anti-Israel activities" for seeking to engage in dialogue with Muslims and others.

WSWS (2018-12-27). Israel's Netanyahu calls early election amid corruption charges. wsws.org While Netanyahu will have to fight the election under a cloud, he sees this as preferable to doing so as an indicted crook.

WSWS (2018-12-27). Trump stages visit to Iraq amid mounting crisis over Syria troop withdrawal. wsws.org The surprise visit appeared aimed at mollifying sections of the military-intelligence apparatus and reasserting Trump's commitment to US militarism in the Middle East.

RFE (2018-12-27). Despite U.S. Sanctions Iran's Budget Projects Higher Oil Revenues. iranian.com As Iran's oil exports have halved due to U.S. sanctions, the government has set 1,425 trillion rials income from oil, petroleum products and natural gas exports in the next year budget bill, which indicates a 32% growth year-on-year. Iran's fiscal year starts on March 21. The projected increase of oil revenues is odd since Iran's […]

teleSUR (2018-12-26). Israel Advances Plans for Nearly 2,200 Settler Homes: NGO. telesurenglish.net Israeli authorities have advanced plans for nearly 2,200 settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, the Peace Now non profit said Wednesday, the first such approvals since snap polls were called earlier this week. | RELATED: | Airbnb Will Continue to Profit in Israeli- Ocuppied West Bank | A defense ministry committee with responsibility for such projec…

teleSUR (2018-12-26). Moscow Accuses Israel of Huge Violation of Sovereignty in Syria. telesurenglish.net Moscow on Wednesday said Israel had violated Syria's sovereignty with airstrikes the day before, after Israel and Damascus blamed each other for the hostilities. | RELATED: | Israel: Netanyahu's Coalition Collapses, Early Elections Called

F. William Engdahl (2018-12-26). Obama, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood. The PSD-11 "Secret Blueprint" to Implement Regime Change across the Middle East. globalresearch.ca There is a great uproar over the recent decision by US President Trump to pull US troops out of Syria, announcing his reason for doing so is that ISIS, the so-called Islamic State, has largely been defeated. What lies behind …

Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers (2018-12-26). We Can End the US War on Syria. counterpunch.org The US war against Syria was one that people almost stopped. President Obama was unable to get Congress to authorize the war in 2013, but the Pentagon and foreign policy establishment, who have long wanted to control Syria, pushed forward with war anyway. It has been a disaster. The war has resulted in hundreds of thousands of More

Mark Taliano (2018-12-26). Video: Who Are the White Helmets? Fake News and Staged Rescues. globalresearch.ca Maxim Grigoriev of the "Foundation for the Study of Democracy", discussed this and other findings gleaned from interviews with numerous individuals, including former terrorists, in Syria, during a video-taped presentation entitled, "Roundtable Discussion on the Middle East Issues: Activities of …

Prof Michel Chossudovsky (2018-12-26). Is Kissing a "State Sponsor of Terrorism" a "Terrorist Act"? globalresearch.ca There are now "'good guy terrorists" and "bad guy terrorists". John Kerry concurs: financial aid to Syria's Al Nusra, an affiliate of Al Qaeda is part of NATO's "Responsibility to Protect" mandate.

Democracy Now! (2018-12-26). Muslim Ban: Meet the Yemeni Americans Suing Trump in an Attempt to Reunite with Loved Ones. democracynow.org A group of Yemeni Americans have filed a new federal lawsuit over President Trump's Muslim ban. The suit alleges the State Department has revoked previously approved visas, preventing many Yemenis from reuniting with their families living in the United States. We speak to two of the plaintiffs and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the lawsuit.

Fight Back (2018-12-26). Israel launches Christmas missile attack on Damascus. fightbacknews.org Washington, DC – The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) is reporting that Israel struck the region around Damascus, December 25. | According to the report, "Syrian air defenses confronted hostile missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes from over the Lebanese territories and downed most of them before reaching their targets, affirming that the damages of the aggression were limited to a munition warehouse and the injury of three soldiers." | U.S. and Israeli-backed forces in Syria are in the final stages of defeat.

teleSUR (2018-12-26). Trump Grasps for Positive Headlines, Visits Troops in Iraq. telesurenglish.net President Donald Trump made a surprise Christmas visit to U.S. troops in Iraq Wednesday, his first trip to a conflict zone nearly two years into his presidency and days after announcing a pullout of American troops from Syria. | RELATED | US Border Wall No Match for Mexican Girl's Santa Wish List | Air Force One touched down at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad after an overnight flight from Washington with first lady Melania Trump, a small group of aides and Secret Service agents,…

Democracy Now! (2018-12-26). Headlines for December 26, 2018. democracynow.org 8-Year-Old Guatemalan Migrant Dies in U.S. Custody, Trump Warns of "Very Long" Government Shutdown over Border Wall, 800,000 Federal Employees Furloughed or Working Without Pay, Supreme Court Blocks Trump's Asylum Ban, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Lung Cancer Surgery, ICE Strands Hundreds of Migrants in Winter Cold for Christmas, Stocks Plunge as Trump Assails Federal Reserve, Syria: Israeli Warplanes Bomb Sites Near Damascus, U.S. Ends Support to Kurdish Militias as Turkish Troops Mass for Invasion, Trump to Replace James Mattis with Patrick Shanahan on January 1, U.S. Anti-ISIS Envoy Quits over…

Middle East Monitor (2018-12-26). Israel Preparing for Comprehensive War in Syria: Report. theantimedia.com (MEMO) — Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta said that Israel is preparing for a comprehensive war on Syria following the US' withdrawal from the country. The newspaper said that the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from Syria has left Israel forced to face the Iranian presence in Syria with its troops alone. The newspaper quoted Israel's former defence …

Jason Ditz (2018-12-26). Mattis Signs Order to Withdraw US Troops From Syria. theantimedia.com (ANTIWAR.COM) — With just a week left before his new departure date, Defense Secretary James Mattis has signed the official order to withdraw US troops from Syria. Mattis had opposed the withdrawal, and it is seen as a major reason for his resignation. The withdrawal will see some 2,000 US troops removed from Syria, a plan announced …

Middle East Eye (2018-12-26). Russia: Israeli Attack on Syria "Directly Threatened" Two Civilian Flights. theantimedia.com (MEE) — Russia's Ministry of Defence claimed on Wednesday that Israeli missile strikes near Damascus the previous day had directly threatened two civilian flights, saying the actions were "a gross violation of the sovereignty of Syria". "The provocative actions of the Israeli air force… directly threatened two airliners," ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement. Konashenkov said the attack …

Tyler Durden (2018-12-26). Israel Strikes Syria on Christmas in First Attack Since US Troops Ordered to Withdraw. theantimedia.com (ZHE) — That didn't take long. On Christmas Day, Israel launched what Bloomberg described as its first airstrike in Syria since President Trump's "shocking"announcement that he would withdraw all US troops from Syrian territory (to the disgust of US national security officials and every neo-con anywhere). The strike targeted an ammunition depot in the Damascus countryside believed to …

amnesty (2018-12-26). China: Trial of lawyer Wang Quanzhang a "cruel charade" amnesty.org The trial of Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang is a cruel charade and he should be immediately and unconditionally released, Amnesty International said. | Wang is one of the few lawyers still held in detention after the Chinese government's mass crackdown in 2015, which targeted nearly 250 lawyers and activists. He is on trial at the Tianjin Municipal No.2 Intermediate People's Court accused of "subverting state power," which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. | "This is a sham trial in which Wang Quanzhang is being persecuted only for peacefully defending human rights," said Doriane Lau, C…

Zero Hedge (2018-12-26). Iran To "Build A Force Of 100,000 Ground Troops" In Syria, Claims Israeli Defense Chief. iranian.com Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to intensify military action in Syria after the White House's order for all US troops to pullout out of the country — expected to be complete within months — and now Israel's outgoing defense chief, Gadi Eisenkot, has revealed more details of what's driving Israel's thinking. Gen. Eisenkot, who is set to complete his four-year tenure next month, warned […]

Mohammad Ala (2018-12-26). War: The Dark Side Of Hollywood. iranian.com In recent news, Hollywood is acting upset at the decision to pull US troops from Syria. Perhaps, instead of US troops, Hollywood should send Chuck Norris, Sally Field and Arnold Schwarzenegger to fight in their place. That would be a battle worthy of media attention! Although some good movies have been produced by the Hollywood […]

RFE (2018-12-26). Oil Minister: Private Buyers Of Iran Crude Have No Problems Exporting It. iranian.com Iran said on Wednesday private exporters have had "no problems" selling Iranian oil, and 3 million barrels of crude could be sold soon to non-government traders, state media reported, despite U.S. sanctions targeting Tehran's oil sales. Iran began selling crude oil to private companies for export in late October, just ahead of U.S. sanctions on […]

RFE (2018-12-26). Iran's Judiciary Signals A Less Restrictive Position On Women Attending Men's Sports. iranian.com The deputy head of Iran's judiciary says women can be allowed to go to stadiums to watch men's sports if certain "conditions" are met. "Women attending matches at the sports arenas, is not a problem, per se," says mid-ranking cleric Hadi Sadeqi, adding, "They are allowed to go to sports arenas, as men are, provided […]

Middle East Eye (2018-12-26). Syrian Army Downs Missiles From Israeli Air Strike, State Media Says. iranian.com An arms depot was hit and three soldiers were injured due to the attack, which was launched from Lebanon's airspace, state media said Syrian air defences on Tuesday confronted Israeli missiles above Damascus and downed most of them before reaching their targets, state TV quoted a military source as saying. "Our air defences confronted hostile […]

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