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07 Dec

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

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IsraelNationalNews.com

Trump delivers

Trump did it his way, overcoming every obstacle in his path. This man, this president, means what he says.

Jack Engelhard

The McGlynn: BULLSHIT!

Yes of course President Trump came through and delivered as promised on Jerusalem. He said he would.

He said he would name Jerusalem the capital of Israel (later the Embassy, but that’s just detail)…and skeptics beware. This man, this president, means what he says.

He’s a New Yorker. New Yorkers do not welch on a bet.I intend to become rich from all the skeptics who bet against him…and me. I kept saying he’d do the right thing.
Speaking of which – I am owed. I intend to become rich from all the skeptics who bet against him…and me. I kept saying he’d do the right thing. 

No one said it as often, nor as emphatically, as reporters and columnists throughout the pages of Arutz Sheva. 

We knew it was coming, and it did. Indeed, mark Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 1 p.m., as a date that will live in glory between the two great powers of Liberty; the United States and Israel…owed largely through the grit and courage of this singular president, Donald Trump.

“Today,” he said, “I am delivering.”

On capturing Jerusalem, King David did it his way, through might and through prayer; Trump did it his way, overcoming every obstacle in his path.

Oh how they whine…and what hypocrites!

Abbas says this move from Trump is an impediment to “the peace process.” Ditto some Muslim leaders as from Jordan and from Turkey…likewise France and the Europeans…and from the United States the Democrats and the Democratic-led news media. What a joke! There never was s peace process.

There was no peace process before, during or after the 1993 Oslo Accords. From the Grand Mufti onward to Arafat and Abbas, Palestinian Arabs participated in thousands of killing sprees against Israelis, civilians – up to this very moment. Only a few days ago Abbas reminded the world that he intends to keep funding his terrorists and their families.

This, murdering Jews – this they call peace and a peace process.

Defiling history, they work up front and behind the scenes at the UN to deny Israel its rights to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

This too they call a peace process.

Trump saw straight through their lies, their double-talk, their deceit, their treachery and their hypocrisy.

He knew that whatever you gave them it would never be enough. He knew that Olmert offered them everything including the kitchen sink – Jerusalem.

That still wasn’t enough. Spokesmen from the PA, the PLO and the rest of them complained that Olmert wanted to retain a sliver of Jerusalem for Israel

Too much, they said. “Ninety nine percent isn’t enough or us,” Erekat said.

Now they get zilch.

Was there a downside to Trump’s announcement? If we want to get picky we can say we could have done without his (mild) support for a two-state solution.

But remember – he added; “if both sides agree.”

Bottom line?

Peace can only come after the Palestinian Arabs are convinced that they are owed no state and no share of Jerusalem.

Trump did not quite make that point, but what he did was enough – plenty.

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World Politics

Russia

Opposition politician’s campaign gathers steam ahead of 2018 election, but his supporters face threats and intimidation

Navalny holds a rally in Izhevsk

Alexei Navalny holds a rally in Izhevsk. His supporters are mainly young Russians who have known only a Putin presidency. Photograph: Yegor Aleyev/TASS

It has been a rough couple of months for Ksenia Pakhomova, a bright-eyed, garrulous 23-year-old from the Siberian mining town of Kemerovo. Her boyfriend was kicked out of university, her mother was fired from her teaching job at an arts school, and her grandmother was threatened with dismissal from her job at a gallery.

To top it off, someone plastered notices with her photograph in public places near her home, complete with her mobile number and an offer of sexual services.

All of this appears to be linked to Pakhomova’s job: she is the regional coordinator for the presidential campaign of Alexei Navalny, an opposition politician who wants to challenge Vladimir Putin for the Russian presidency in elections next March.

Putin finally declared his candidacy on Wednesday in a long-expected announcement, and is likely to win comfortably. Standing against him are a familiar cast of political has-beens and a few spoiler candidates whom few Russians are taking seriously.

Navalny will most likely be barred from standing due to a criminal conviction in a case that was widely seen as politically motivated, but the 41-year-old anti-corruption campaigner is ignoring this. Instead, he has chosen to engage in the kind of enthusiastic, grassroots campaigning that has been absent from Russia in recent years: real politics, in short. He has embarked on a marathon of trips across the country’s vast expanse, holding rallies and setting up campaign headquarters.

The liberal opposition has traditionally made few inroads in places like Kemerovo, a tough, working-class region four hours by plane from Moscow. Here, Navalny is attracting the support of a different kind of Russian from the chattering, Moscow intellectual class that many see as the natural supporters of the democratic opposition.

Navalny’s supporters are mainly young Russians who have known little in their lifetimes except a Putin presidency.

Pakhomova, who studied law at university, said she was not particularly political until earlier this year, when she started watching Navalny’s videos. She was particularly horrified by a video alleging staggering corruption on the part of the prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, which led to major protests in Moscow and other cities earlier this year. In Kemerovo, she began volunteering for the local Navalny campaign, and in time, she was appointed head of the local office.

“Everyone in Russia knows that officials are corrupt, but when you see the details, how openly they think they can do it, it’s shocking,” she said.

Ksenia’s mother, 46-year-old Natalia Pakhomova, said she was warned in September that she should prevent her daughter from working for Navalny, but refused. At the end of October, she was removed from her job, on the pretext that anonymous parents had called the local administration and complained that teachers at her school were soliciting bribes. She had worked at the school for 26 years, and in April had received a medal from the local governor for her service.

Natalia’s 67-year-old mother, who works as a gallery attendant in the local art museum, was asked by her boss to talk her granddaughter out of working for Navalny and was also threatened with dismissal. She is on sick leave, which Natalia said was due to frayed nerves from the incident. Ksenia’s boyfriend was kicked out of university, though he has since been reinstated after an online campaign.

Navalny has said if he is not allowed on to the ballot, he will call for an “active boycott” of the elections.

“No other candidate has opened regional offices, no other candidate is properly campaigning,” he said in an interview in Moscow. “How can you have real elections without the only candidate who is campaigning?”

Navalny said that since the beginning of the year campaign staff had between them spent more than 2,000 days in jail and been fined more than 10m roubles (£129,000).

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United States

Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel capital sparks West Bank clashes

UN security council to meet to discuss US decision amid widespread international condemnation and violence in occupied territories

in Ramallah

Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops have taken place in cities across the occupied West Bank as anger over Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital spilled on to the streets.

The most violent confrontations occurred in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron, where Israeli security forces fired teargas and plastic-coated rounds as hundreds of protesters threw stones and set alight barricades.

In the Gaza Strip, dozens of protesters gathered near the border fence with Israel and threw rocks at soldiers on the other side. Two protesters were wounded by live fire, with one reported to be in a critical condition.

A fresh round of violent protests are expected on Friday at mass demonstrations called to follow Friday prayers.

A Palestinian protester takes cover during clashes with Israeli troops in Beit El, near Ramallah.

A Palestinian protester takes cover during clashes with Israeli troops in Beit El, near Ramallah. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

The confrontations took place as a meeting of the UN security council was called for Friday to discuss Trump’s decision, condemnation of which continues to mount across the Middle East and internationally.

Eight countries on the 15-member council requested the meeting, including the UK, Italy and France, amid claims from Palestine and Turkey that recognition by the US president is in breach of both international law and UN resolutions.

The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the bloc had a united position that Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state. France said it rejected the “unilateral” US decision while the UK prime minister, Theresa May, and the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, both described Trump’s announcement as “unhelpful”.

The Russian foreign ministry said US recognition risked “dangerous and uncontrollable consequences”.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, hailed US recognition of Jerusalem as “historic” and claimed other countries were in contact about following Trump’s lead, but was alone among regional leaders in praising the move.

Saudi Arabia’s royal court called it “unjustified and irresponsible” in a rare rebuke of the US, and the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, said Trump had thrown the Middle East into a “ring of fire”.

Thursday’s confrontations on the West Bank took place during a widely observed general strike that shuttered Palestinian shops and closed schools. The presence of Palestinian police in plain clothes and armed security forces in uniform nearby, however, suggested a degree of control by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

The scale of the protests and level of violence, however, noticeably fell short of similar clashes at the height of the second intifada.

At one large confrontation in Ramallah, a group of three teenage girls, their faces masked with headscarves, told reporters that “Trump could go to hell.”

In Jerusalem’s Old City, where most Palestinian shops were shut, Salah Zuhikeh, 55, told AFP: “By this decision, America became a very small country, like any small country in the world, like Micronesia. America was a great country for us and everyone.”

The US president defied overwhelming global opposition by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and directing the state department to start making arrangements to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

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‘Enough is enough’: leading Democrats call on Al Franken to quit>>

‘We’re fighting for our way of life’: Republican tax bill presents grave threat to Alaska’s tribal groups>>

House passes ‘unthinkable’ NRA-backed bill lifting local gun restrictions>>

Trump Jr refused to discuss talks he had with father, Russia investigator says>>

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As Canadian city grapples with housing crisis, mayor says interfering with construction of controversial effort ‘is not something the city can accept’

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. Controversy erupted after the city announced a 78-unit temporary housing project for the homeless earlier this year.

Vancouver’s mayor, Gregor Robertson. Controversy erupted after the city announced a 78-unit temporary housing project for the homeless earlier this year. Photograph: Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters

A court in Canada has ordered protesters in a Vancouver neighbourhood to stop interfering with efforts to build temporary accommodation for the homeless, bringing an end to a bitter debate triggered by the city’s housing crisis.

“We respect people’s rights to protest, but blocking the construction of much-needed housing for the homeless is not something the city can accept,” Gregor Robertson, the mayor of Vancouver, said in a statement responding to the court’s decision.

Controversy erupted after the city announced earlier this year that a 78-unit project would be built in Marpole, a neighbourhood in south Vancouver. The development is part of a wider effort to create 600 units of temporary housing across the city, as Vancouver grapples with record levels of homelessness.

Protesters – armed with placards and posters and swelling to as many as 200 people at times – began descending on the site. Some pointed to the project’s proximity to nearby schools, including an elementary school across the street. Others highlighted plans for a mix of tenants that they said could include people with an extensive criminal history and a high risk of reoffending.

“We’re not against modular homes for the homeless people, that is not the issue. It’s just that the location is very, very wrong,” one protester told CTV News. “It’s so close to vulnerable children. Kids were out during recess and they came up to the fence,” noted another.

A homeless woman lies on a Vancouver street.

A homeless woman lies on a Vancouver street. Photograph: Andy Clark / Reuters/REUTERS

The city said the site, which would be tailored for people aged 45 and over, would be managed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by an agency with experience in supportive and low-income housing. It had struck a five-year contract with a developer to use the land, after which it would either extend the contract or seek to move people into permanent housing.

Last week the city said that construction of the project was being delayed by several protesters who were physically blocking entrance to the site. After infraction notices did little to dissuade the protesters, the city said it had been forced to file a demand for an injunction.

The injuction issued by a British Columbia supreme court judge prohibits anyone from loitering on nearby streets or sidewalks. While the city welcomed the decision, it noted that the delays could mean the homes may not be ready for tenants before the end of winter.

News of the injunction prompted some two dozen people – including students from a nearby high school – to turn up at the site on Tuesday to show their support for the project.

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An estimated 385,000 people were killed in homicides in 2016, with marked increase in non-conflict areas such as Venezuela

A police officer patrols the slum district of Petare in Caracas, Venezuela

A police officer patrols the slum district of Petare in Caracas, Venezuela. Photograph: Reuters

The global homicide rate rose last year for the first time in more than a decade, with marked increases in Venezuela and Jamaica, a study has shown.

The Small Arms Survey report, published on Thursday, estimated that 385,000 people were killed in homicides across the world in 2016, an increase of 8,000 on the previous year.

Despite that, the report estimated that the overall number of violent deaths had decreased, primarily as a result of fewer people being killed in wars in 2016 than in 2015.

Of the five countries with the highest violent death rates in 2016 – Syria, El Salvador, Venezuela, Honduras, and Afghanistan – only two had armed conflicts last year.

The researchers noted that while the increase in the homicide rate “does not necessarily indicate a new trend … it signals growing insecurity in non-conflict areas”. Taking into account population rises, 2016 had a global homicide rate per 100,000 of 5.15 – 0.04 points higher than in 2015.

“As the uptick in homicides affects far more people’s perceptions of local security than does the drop in conflict deaths, however, the overall decrease in violent deaths is unlikely to lead to an increased sense of safety at the global scale,” the researchers said.

Of the 23 countries with a violent death rate of more than 20 people per 100,000, 14 were not not involved in wars: they include Brazil, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and South Africa.

The report said in such countries “crime claimed, in proportion to their populations, as many victims as some high-intensity conflicts”.

The number of people killed as a direct result of armed conflict fell from a peak in 2014 of 143,000, to 119,000 the following year and 99,000 in 2016. That resulted in a fall in the rate per 100,000 people from 1.96 in 2014 to 1.32, according to the report.

This helped the overall rate of violent deaths fall from 7.73 per 100,000 population to 7.50 between 2015 and 2016. The report’s authors, Claire McEvoy and Gergely Hideg, said more than a million lives could be saved by 2030 if the trend continued.

“The annual number of violent deaths is likely to increase to approximately 610,000 by 2030, primarily due to population growth,” they wrote.

 

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