2018-12-30: News Headlines

aljazeera (2018-12-30). Yemen truce: Houthi rebels give control of Hodeidah port to navy. aljazeera.com The transfer of the port of Hodeidah and two others is part of a peace deal reached in Sweden earlier in December.

aljazeera (2018-12-30). Heavy rains, floods displace thousands of refugees in Syria. aljazeera.com Two days of torrential rain in northern Syria caused major flooding in Idlib and Aleppo.

Elijah J. Magnier (2018-12-30). Iraq Is Next: Here's Why All US Troops Could Be Out By End Of Trump's 1st Term. iranian.com The US presidential plane landed in the darkness of the Iraqi military base of Ayn al-Assad in west Anbar with Donald Trump onboard. But by the time his plane took off three hours later, Trump left behind a protocol-political-parliamentary storm in Mesopotamia as Iraqi members of parliament requested the departure of the 5200 US forces […]

RT (2018-12-30). Yemeni toddler dies in US hospital days after desperate mother defeats travel ban to say goodbye. rt.com A heartbroken Yemeni mother, who fought for an American visa for months so she could see her dying son, got to spend just 10 days with him before the two-year-old passed away in a US hospital.

Middle East Eye (2018-12-30). US Commanders Recommend Letting Syrian Kurds Keep US-Supplied Weapons. theantimedia.com (MEE) — US commanders planning for the withdrawal of their troops from Syria are recommending that Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State (IS) be allowed to keep US-supplied weapons, four American officials have said, a move that would likely anger NATO ally Turkey. Three of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the recommendations were part of …

Juan Cole (2018-12-29). Biggest Stories of 2018: Israel Announced Apartheid, Shot Thousands of Civilians. globalresearch.ca 2018 was in many ways a turning point for the position of Israel in the system of Western, liberal, capitalist democracies. It had long sat uneasily among France, Britain, and the United States, inasmuch as it was founded on a …

teleSUR (2018-12-29). Saudi Arabia Recruited Darfur Children for War on Yemen: Report. telesurenglish.net Saudi Arabia recruited children from Sudan's conflict-torn Darfur region to fight in the Yemeni war. | RELATED: | Yemen: UN Monitoring Team Arrives to Uphold Ceasefire | The kingdom offered as much as US$10,000 to Sudanese families facing economic hardship to enlist their children to fight against the Houthis in the now four-year-long war, the New York Times reported Friday. | "Families know that the only way their lives will change is if their sons join the war and bring them back money,"

teleSUR (2018-12-29). Brazil's Bolsonaro: 'We Need Good Brothers Like Netanyahu'. telesurenglish.net Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to deepen ties during a meeting Friday. However, Bolsonaro did not confirm whether his government will move the Brazilian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city of Jerusalem. | RELATED: | Brazil: Groups Pledge to Oppose Bolsonaro's 'Hateful Rhetoric' | Netanyahu, a right-wing politician and the first Israeli prime minister to visit Brazil, visited Rio de Janeiro to meet with Bo…

Hassina MechaàØ (2018-12-29). "The Surgeon of Gaza": Providing Care to the Wounded of Palestine. globalresearch.ca French surgeon Christophe Oberlin has spent 17 years travelling to Gaza. He tells MEMO about the evolution of wounds throughout the years as a result of the changes in weaponry | * | He is nicknamed the "surgeon of Gaza". It was …

teleSUR (2018-12-29). Yemen: Houthis Retreat from Hodeidah Adhering to UN Peace Deal. telesurenglish.net Yemen's Houthi forces have started to redeploy from the port of the Red Sea city of Hodeidah Saturday as part of a United Nations-sponsored peace agreement signed in Sweden earlier in December. | RELATED: | Yemenis Hope 'Complete Calm' Holds As Ceasefire Begins | The redeployment of forces comes after Houthis agreed with the Saudi-backed government to implement a ceasefire in Hodeidah province and withdraw their respective forces. | Under the deal, international monitors are to be deploye…

aljazeera (2018-12-29). Two-year-old Yemeni boy whose mother sued US to see him dies. aljazeera.com Abdullah Hassan died on Friday in a hospital in Oakland, 10 days after her mother was granted a visa to visit him.

Medea Benjamin (2018-12-29). 10 Good Things About 2018. commondreams.org Protesters from the Sunrise Movement, an environmental advocacy group, staged a protest inside House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office. (Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Ruth Conniff (2018-12-29). Redrawing the Political Map: Gerrymandering Fights Set the Stage for 2019 and Beyond. commondreams.org "Democrats and good-government activists are trying to build momentum to oppose gerrymandering in all the states—even when Democrats are the ones drawing the maps," Conniff writes. (Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Consortiumnews (2018-12-29). Local Forces Who Defeated ISIS in Syria Defend Their Territory. consortiumnews.com The outcry against Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria reveals an appetite for regional hegemony, writes As'ad AbuKhalil. It also minimizes the capacity of native militia to defend territory for which they fought and died. A Wise and… Read more →

Medea Benjamin (2018-12-29). On the U.S. Withdrawal from Syria & Afghanistan. zcomm.org "We want to challenge Donald Trump … by pointing out that he continues to support the war in Yemen and the repressive Saudi regime"

aljazeera (2018-12-29). Can Syria protect the Kurds?>. aljazeera.com Abandoned by the US and threatened by Turkey, the Kurds turn to Bashar al-Assad for protection.

Sarah Abed (2018-12-29). The Decade-Long U.S. Campaign To Foment Syria's "Revolution" And Unseat Assad. mintpressnews.com As the US prepares to pull out of Syria, we revisit Sarah Abed's account of the US campaign to foment regime change in the country."

teleSUR (2018-12-29). Russia and Turkey Prep Ground for US Withdrawal from Syria. telesurenglish.net Russia and Turkey agreed Saturday, during a high-level meeting in Moscow, to coordinate actions on the ground once the United States fulfills President Donald Trump's promise to withdraw troops from Syria. | RELATED: | Syrian Army Enters Manbij as YPG Withdraws, Asks for Protection | Both sides agreed that, whatever they do in Syria, they will respect the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, a promise that Ankara has not always complied with, especially when it comes…

teleSUR (2018-12-29). Yemeni Boy Whose Mother Fought Trump Travel Ban, Dies. telesurenglish.net Two year-old Abdullah Hassan, the Yemeni boy who struggled for life while his mother valiantly fought the Trump travel ban in order to see her son, has tragically passed away after being on life support for over a month. | RELATED: | Trump Travel Ban Prevents Yemeni Mother From Seeing Dying Son | Hassan succumbed to a genetic brain condition Friday at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, California, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations. | His mother,…

aljazeera (2018-12-29). The events that shook Palestinian territories in 2018. aljazeera.com With little reason for optimism for 2019, here are the main events that rocked the West Bank, Gaza and Israel this year.

Jake Johnson, staff writer (2018-12-29). Following Report on Saudi Use of Child Soldiers in Yemen, Anti-War Voices Offer This Reminder: American Tax Dollars 'Help Pay for It'. commondreams.org "Children paid to kill children. This is how our 'ally,' Saudi Arabia, wages its disgusting war in Yemen." | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

The Iranian (2018-12-29). Last Sassanids And The Anti-Caliphate Alliance With Tang (Video). iranian.com The Sassanid Empire was weakened after the war of 602-628 against the Byzantine Empire and their defeats at al-Qadisiyyah and Nahavand at the hands of the Caliphate forces effectively ended the empire. Still, representatives of the House of Sasan continued resisting and found allies – the Tang dynasty in China.

Moon of Alabama (2018-12-29). Syria To Regain Northeastern Territory. Political Isolation Ends. iranian.com The fallout from U.S. president Trump's decision to retreat from Syria develops as expected. Trump had announced a rapid draw down of U.S. troops in Syria. Later he spoke of a controlled process that would allow Turkey to take over the U.S. occupied areas in northeast Syria. That plan, probably initiated by National Security Advisor John […]

James M. Dorsey (2018-12-29). U.S. Military Posture In The Persian Gulf Threatens Indian Hopes For Iran's Chabahar Port. iranian.com The arrival of the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier group in the Gulf to deter Iran from further testing ballistic missiles is likely to dampen Indian hopes that the Trump administration's exemption of the port of Chabahar from sanctions against the Islamic republic would help it tighten economic relations with Central Asia and further regional integration. […]

RT (2018-12-29). Pentagon mulls allowing Kurdish militias to keep weapons after US withdrawal from Syria — report. rt.com The Pentagon is considering allowing Kurdish fighters to keep their US-supplied weapons after American forces withdraw from northern Syria, breaking a promise it had made to Turkey, a media report reveals.

The Intercept (2018-12-29). Seeing Is Believing: The Intercept's 2018 Visual Journalism. theintercept.com Visual journalism, in its many forms, is a vital part of news: It can provide evidence that allows us to hold people and institutions accountable, and it can help us build empathy for the plight of others. This year, The Intercept sent photographers and video journalists into the field to bring viewers to places they might not otherwise see, and to move them with human stories — from the release of Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi to the reunification of families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Our illustrations and data visualizations helped elucidate complex issues, from the scope of sexual abuse in…

WSWS (2018-12-29). Syrian government troops deployed to flashpoint city of Manbij. wsws.org Turkey and Russia are staging high-level talks on the future of Syria's northeast following the US troop withdrawal.

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

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

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, 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

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.

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…

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

Consortiumnews (2018-12-28). 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 →

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.

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, …

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…

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Jim Carey (2018-12-28). Ukraine Prepares for War with Russia. theantimedia.com (GPA) — While western media frets over Trump's withdrawal from Syria, Ukraine is trying to start a war with Russia. While much of the western media is fretting over the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from northern Syria there is another potential conflict brewing. This time, the trouble is, once again, coming …

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.

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."

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.

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

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 […]

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…

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.

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