2018-12-28: News Headlines

aljazeera (2018-12-28). Israeli author Amos Oz dies at 79. aljazeera.com Oz was known world-wide for a collection of novels, essays, and his memoir.

Daniel Lazare (2018-12-28). Democrats and Neocons Are the Biggest Losers of Trump's Syria Withdrawal. truthdig.com The president has radically redrawn the Middle East with a single tweet. Here's who stands to benefit from his decision—and who does not.

teleSUR (2018-12-28). Congo Demands Departure of EU Ambassador Ahead of Elections. telesurenglish.net Thursday Congo's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leonard She Okitundu, requested the departure of the European Union (EU) Ambassador Bart Ouvry within 48 hours. This request was made alleging reciprocity for the European Council's sanctions against Congolese high officers, including presidential candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary. | RELATED: | DR Congo: Three Opposition Strongholds Excluded from Elections | "We have patiently waited and to this day, have had no response and the sanc…

Ahmad Nafi (2018-12-28). Gaza: The Palestinians Who Died During the Great March of Return. globalresearch.ca Since 30 March, thousands of Palestinians in the small coastal territory have demonstrated along the boundary with Israel, …

STAFF (2018-12-28). Acclaimed Author Amos Oz Dies at 79. truthdig.com JERUSALEM — Israeli author Amoz Oz, one of the country's most widely acclaimed writers and a pre-eminent voice in its embattled peace movement, died on Friday after a battle with cancer, his family announced. He was 79. | His daughter, Fania Oz-Salzberger, announced her father's death on Twitter. | "My beloved father, Amos Oz, a wonderful family man, an author, a man of peace and moderation, died today peacefully after a short battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his lovers and knew it to the end. May his good legacy continue to amend the world," she wrote. | Oz was known around the world for his dozens…

Robert Fisk (2018-12-28). Trump vs. Mattis: Beware When Men of War Come to the Rescue. counterpunch.org When a general popularly known as James "Mad Dog" Mattis abandons a really mad American president, you know something has fallen off the edge in Washington. Since the Roman empire, formerly loyal military chiefs have fled crackpot leaders, and Mattis's retreat from the White House might have the smell of de Gaulle and Petain about it. De Gaulle More

Ron Jacobs (2018-12-28). Trump's Military Moves. counterpunch.org The establishment response to Trump's announcement that he plans to withdraw US ground forces from Syria borders on hysteria. Defense Secretary Jame Mattis resignation fostered a similar response. Most mainstream media is screaming that chaos now reigns in Washington and that decades of US alliances are being discarded. As has been noted by others, liberals More

Miko Peled (2018-12-28). How Israel's Conscription Law Assaults its Own Ultra-Orthodox Community. mintpressnews.com Not unlike the Palestinian people whose stance against Zionism is anchored in historical and moral rights, the Haredi community's heroic stance on military conscription is anchored in faith and principle that no power has been able to defeat.

teleSUR (2018-12-28). Left-wing, Anti-Occupation Israeli Author Amos Oz Dies at 79. telesurenglish.net Amos Oz, Israel's best-known author and an outspoken supporter of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, died of cancer at the age of 79 on Friday, his daughter said. | RELATED: | Natalie Portman Calls Israel's Nation-State Law Racist | Born in Jerusalem to Eastern European immigrants, Oz moved to a kibbutz at 15 after his mother's suicide. He fought in the 1967 and 1973 Middle East wars, experiences that tinged his advocacy for territorial compromise with the Palesti…

Max Blumenthal (2018-12-28). How Critics of Trumps' Syria Withdrawal Fueled the Rise of ISIS. mintpressnews.com President Donald Trump's announcement of an imminent withdrawal of US troops from northeastern Syria summoned a predictable paroxysm of outrage from Washington's foreign policy establishment. Former Secretary of State and self-described "hair icon" Hillary Clinton perfectly distilled the bipartisan freakout into a single tweet, accusing Trump of "isolationism" and "playing into Russia and Iran's hands." | December 21, 2018 | Michelle Flournoy, the DC apparatchik who would have been Hillary's Secretary of Defense, Ariel Gold (2018-12-28). Elections Don't Make Israel a Democracy. commondreams.org Let's not forget that the right to vote is only granted to 60% of the total population and only one third of Palestinians who live under Israeli rule. (Photo: Steve Rhodes/Flickr/cc) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Consortiumnews (2018-12-28). Trump Critics of Syria Withdrawal Fueled Rise of ISIS. consortiumnews.com Too many of those protesting the removal of U.S. forces are authors of the catastrophe that tore Syria to pieces, reports Max Blumenthal for Consortium News. By Max Blumenthal Special to Consortium News President Donald Trump's announcement of an imminent… Read more →

aljazeera (2018-12-28). Palestinian killed in 40th week of Gaza's Friday protests. aljazeera.com Karam Fayyad, 26, was killed east of the Gaza city of Khan Younis and eight others were wounded.

Ramzy Baroud (2018-12-28). A Question Every American Must Confront: Apartheid Israel or US Democracy? counterpunch.org Bahia Amawai is a US citizen and Texas-based language specialist who helps autistic and speech-impaired children overcome their impairment. Despite the essential and noble nature of her work, she was fired by the Pflugerville Independent School District, which serves the Austin area. Every year, Amawai signs an annual contract that allows her to carry on More

aljazeera (2018-12-28). US refutes Syrian government's claim of entering Manbij. aljazeera.com The US military calls parties to respect the 'integrity of Manbij and the safety of its citizens'.

teleSUR (2018-12-28). Brazil: Israel's Netanyahu Arrives for Bolsonaro's Inauguration. telesurenglish.net The head of Israel's government, Benjamin Netanyahu, traveled to Brazil to attend the inauguration of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, during the first visit of an Israeli prime minister (PM) to the South American country. | RELATED: | Corruption Probe on Brazil Bolsonaro's Son Clouds Inauguration | Before boarding the plane, Netanyahu said that Brazil has "enormous potential for the State of Israel, both in the economic sphere and in security and politics." | Such an assessment is…

Ariel Gold (2018-12-28). Elections Don't Make Israel a Democracy. counterpunch.org It's official, Israel is racing towards early elections. But no one is talking about who can vote in them. New elections were nearly called in November 2017 after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned in protest of Israel not going to war with Gaza and right-wing leader Naftali Bennett threatened to pull his party from the More

Democracy Now! (2018-12-28). Bring the Troops Home & Stop the Bombing: Medea Benjamin on U.S. Withdrawal from Syria & Afghanistan. democracynow.org As President Donald Trump makes a surprise visit to Iraq this week and defends his plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria and about half the nearly 7,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, we get response from leading antiwar activist Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink. "We want to challenge Donald Trump … by pointing out that he continues to support the war in Yemen and the repressive Saudi regime," Benjamin says. Her recent piece for Salon.com is titled "Bring the troops home—but stop the bombing too."

Roy Gutman (2018-12-28). In Syria, U.S.-Backed Kurdish Fighters Face Trump's Withdrawal — and the Legacy of Their Own Mistakes. theintercept.com Cornered in Syria, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, has relied on forced conscription and police state methods in its governance.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer (2018-12-28). Facebook's Secret Censorship Manual Exposed as Platform Takes Down Video About Israel Terrorizing Palestinians. commondreams.org After the New York Times on Thursday published an expos√© of Facebook's global censorship rulebook, journalist Rania Khalek called out the social media giant for taking down a video in which she explains how, "on top of being occupied, colonized territory, Palestine is Israel's personal laboratory for testing, refining, and showcasing methods and weapons of domination and control." | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Shared by Anton Woronczuk (2018-12-28). Eight LGBTQ-Led Social Justice Struggles the Corporate Media Missed in 2018. truthout.org When the Supreme Court decided it was fine for gays to get married, and trans people got the chance to enlist in the US war machine, LGBTQ political issues mostly disappeared from our computer and TV screens, as the corporate media declared the gay liberation movement a success, and determined that we could all move on to issues beyond gender and sexuality. | As it turns out, the corporate media were wrong. If anything, 2018 showed that LGBTQ liberation is a long, drawn-out process that's going to take much more than policy change and a narrow focus on one particular identity. The many queer and trans people w…

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2018-12-28). The Roots of Venezuela's Economic Crisis. therealnews.com As US sanctions against Venezuela take an ever-greater toll on the country and its people, it is important to understand how the sanctions work and the extent of the damage they have caused, say Steve Ellner and Greg Wilpert, in a joint analysis of the situation

WSWS (2018-12-28). Trump's visit to Iraq and Washington's never-ending war in the Middle East. wsws.org Trump's buffoonish performance in Iraq carried one serious message: With or without troops in Syria, the decades-long US war for hegemony in the Middle East goes on.

Danny Sjursen (2018-12-28). Trump's 3 Generals May Be Out, But The Forever War Lobby Still Rules. iranian.com Leave it to liberals to pin their hopes on the oddest things. In particular, they seemed to find post-Trump solace in the strange combination of the two-year-old Mueller investigation and the good judgment of certain Trump appointees, the proverbial "adults in the room." Remember that crew? It once included Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the […]

Mehr News (2018-12-28). Turkey Expects US To Extend Iran Sanctions Waiver. iranian.com Turkey expects the US to extend its sanctions waiver on importing Iranian oil, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said Thu., according to Bloomberg. "We expect an extension of Turkey's exemption" from sanctions, Pekcan was quoted as saying by Bloomberg, citing her interview with NTV in Ankara. She was referring to the temporary waiver that allowed Turkey to […]

M. K. Bhadrakumar (2018-12-28). Syrian Kurds Throw Americans Under The Bus. iranian.com The Syrian government forces have entered the northern town of Manbij on the Turkish border earlier today. The Syrian military command announced in Damascus that the operation stemmed from the commitment to "impose sovereignty to each inch of Syrian territories and in response to calls of locals of Manbij city." The announcement reiterated Damascus' twin objective of […]

Tehran Times (2018-12-28). Iran Tops Middle East For Applied Mathematics In 2017. iranian.com Iran ranked first among the Middle-Eastern countries for development in applied mathematics in 2017, data released by the SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) show, ISNA reported on Wednesday. Iran took the first place in the Middle East region in the field of applied mathematics with 1,528 documents, 1,475 citable documents and 626 citations in […]

South Front (2018-12-27). Video: Large Number of Syrian Troops Deployed Near Manbij, Ongoing Negotiations with Kurdish Dominated SDF. globalresearch.ca On December 26, militants of the al-Qaeda-linked Wa Harid al-Muminin operations room conducted a hit and run attack on several positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in northern Lattakia. According to pro-militant sources, over 20 SAA soldiers were killed….

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 […]

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 …

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 …

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…

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.

Consortiumnews (2018-12-27). A Reuters Report on Iran That Spurred 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 →

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 …

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…

teleSUR (2018-12-27). BDS Victory: Banking Giant Pulls Support From Israeli Arms Firm. telesurenglish.net London-based banking giant HSBC is ending investments with Elbit Systems, an Israeli arms firm, Al Jazeera reported Thursday. | RELATED: | This is What Solidarity Looks Like: Major BDS Victories in 2018 | No official statement has been released, but an unofficial source told Al Jazeera that despite the company's nonpartisan position on world politics, they wish to observe "international human rights principles." | HSBC had nearly US$4 million invested in the arms manufacturer, wh…

RT (2018-12-27). 'Israel's wall works 99.9%': Trump says shutdown only about Democrats not letting him win. rt.com US President Donald Trump is accusing the Democrats of opposing funding for a border wall merely to deny him and the Republican party a policy victory. Walls work, Trump says, pointing to the case of Israel.

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 […]

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 …

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.

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…

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…

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 […]

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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