Archive for August, 2019

Collision course with Israel? Palestinian Authority claims sovereignty over ENTIRE West Bank

Posted by RT on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Collision course with Israel? Palestinian Authority claims sovereignty over ENTIRE West Bank

The Palestinian Authority has announced that it will cease to recognize the division of the West Bank into three areas of differing Israeli and Palestinian control, and will lay claim to the entire territory.

The pronouncement, if acted upon, will end the current division of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C, as set forth in the Oslo Accords, signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1993 and 1995.

The news comes a month after PA President Mahmoud Abbas decided to halt all agreements with Israel, and several weeks after newly-appointed Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh tweeted that “we will deal with all the lands belonging to the State of Palestine as Area ‘A’, including occupied East Jerusalem.”

Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, Area A comprises 18 percent of the West Bank, and includes all large Palestinian cities. This area is under the full control of the PA. Area B – 22 percent of the West Bank – is under Israeli security control and Palestinian administrative control. Area C occupies 60 percent of the West Bank’s land but is sparsely populated. This area is under full Israeli control, and has seen a controversial expansion of Israeli settlements since the 1980s.

Though the division is more than two decades old, it was originally intended to last for five years, until a more long-term peace agreement could be reached. That never happened, and the divisions have since become entrenched. As such, it remains unclear how the PA will exercise this newly-claimed authority, especially in the settlements of Area C and in East Jerusalem, which was not placed in any of the three categories by the accords in the first place.

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File photo © REUTERS / Mohamad Torokman
Israeli cops throw stun GRENADE at Haaretz photographer amid East Jerusalem arrests (VIDEO)

Though Tel Aviv has yet to formally respond to the announcement, it is extremely unlikely that Israel will relinquish its control of Area C and East Jerusalem. Indeed, the policy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the exact opposite. The hardline leader has overseen a steady expansion of settlements and declared upon taking office in 2009 that “all of Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

Netanyahu also declared in June that any future peace deal must guarantee an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, which makes up much of Area C.

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Netanyahu to Bolton: Any Palestine deal ‘must include’ Israeli presence in Jordan Valley

The Palestinian Authority has threatened to shred the Oslo Accords before, most notably in a 2015 speech before the United Nations General Assembly. His speech then was met with more shrugs than gasps, as the accords actually established the Palestinian Authority, and abandoning them would see Israel assume full occupation of the West Bank. A new, potentially fairer agreement would then have to be debated, but this agreement could see PA leaders lose power.

Unless Israel triggers conflict by annexing Area C completely, or the PA follows through on its declaration and attempts to reorganize the West Bank by force, the move will likely remain a symbolic one for now.

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(L) © Reuters / Mussa Qawasma; (R) © Reuters / Mohamad Torokman
Palestine’s Abbas suspends ALL agreements with Israel

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Fin24.com | Emerging markets rarely this bad in August

Posted by Fin24 Markets on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Fin24.com | Emerging markets rarely this bad in August
By almost any measure, August was a month to forget for emerging-market investors.

Fin24.com | Emerging markets rarely this bad in August

Posted by Fin24 Markets on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Fin24.com | Emerging markets rarely this bad in August
By almost any measure, August was a month to forget for emerging-market investors.

Knife attack at French train station leaves 1 dead & 6 wounded

Posted by RT on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Knife attack at French train station leaves 1 dead & 6 wounded

A reported knife assault near a train station in Villeurbanne, France, has left one person dead and six wounded. Police have arrested one man.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Taliban launch massive attack on Kunduz as peace talks with US continue

Posted by RT on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Taliban launch massive attack on Kunduz as peace talks with US continue

The Taliban has launched a huge attack on Kunduz, Afghanistan, as the US continues peace talks with the group in Qatar. Fighting is ongoing, with dozens of militants and three civilians killed, and over 40 civilians injured.

Taliban fighters descended on the city from multiple directions at about 1am Saturday and took over a number of buildings, including a hospital, where staff were taken hostage.

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A carpenter prepares coffins for sale at his shop in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 29, 2019. © REUTERS / Omar Sobhani
327 kids killed in Afghanistan so far in 2019, as civilian casualties of foreign forces rise – UN

“We could very easily attack but we don't want civilian casualties,” the country’s defense ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said, Al Jazeera reports

Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman told reporters that the group is in the city and has been capturing one government building after another.

Civilians are sheltering in their homes and electricity has been cut. Afghan authorities say that the militants are hiding in civilian dwellings, making it difficult to fight them. 

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American service member killed in Afghanistan as Trump vows US will ‘always’ stay there

Afghanistan’s interior ministry said at least 36 Taliban fighters have been killed, but did not reveal government casualties. Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini told AFP that commando forces were at the scene and the fighting was ongoing, while the air force is supporting ground troops. 

The Taliban, which currently controls about half of the country and is at its strongest since the US invaded in 2001, wants all foreign fighters, of which there are about 20,000, to leave Afghanistan. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the US will “always have a presence there,” but that it would reduce its troops from about 14,000 to 8,600.

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Hong Kong police turn to water cannon as protesters hurl petrol bombs & bricks (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Posted by RT on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Hong Kong police turn to water cannon as protesters hurl petrol bombs & bricks (PHOTO, VIDEO)

The ongoing turmoil in Hong Kong escalated on Saturday when protesters in the autonomous area of 7.4 million people threw Molotov cocktails and bricks at police, with law enforcement resorting to gas grenades and water cannon.

Numerous protesters, some clad in black fatigues and yellow helmets, thronged the streets of Hong Kong on Saturday, kick-starting the 13th consecutive weekend of anti-government unrest.

The situation grew more violent as they engaged in clashes with riot police, attacking them with a slew of petrol bombs on main roads.

© REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Photos and videos showed rioters priming their Molotov cocktails before hurling them at approaching officers.

Police hit back, firing tear gas grenades and blue dye from water cannons to disperse the crowd.

The Saturday gathering had not been permitted by Hong Kong authorities and protesters defied a ban and flocked to the streets anyway.

They appeared to be well-prepared for confronting law enforcement as many of them were seen wearing protective goggles and gas masks.

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Beijing accuses US lawmakers of ‘hegemonic thinking’ in their support for Hong Kong protesters

Posted by RT on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Beijing accuses US lawmakers of ‘hegemonic thinking’ in their support for Hong Kong protesters

China has denounced US lawmakers and officials for openly supporting the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong, describing their comments as hypocritical and motivated by Washington’s desire for global dominance.

In a statement, Beijing said that it “deplores” remarks made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) and the White House, regarding the increasingly violent street protests in Hong Kong. The US lawmakers and officials demanded that Hong Kong’s government release individuals involved in the ongoing unrest, or face consequences.

“The remarks have distorted the truth, condoned the offenders, flagrantly interfered with Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs, and again revealed the hypocrisy, hegemonic thinking, and prejudice of American politicians,” the statement read.

The office stressed that Hong Kong police had arrested protesters suspected of violence, a “crime which cannot be justified by any aspirations.” The statement said that China was “rock-firm” in defending its sovereignty over Hong Kong, and that the Chinese people would “never be frightened by threats or intimidation.”

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An anti-extradition bill protester throws a tear gas cartridge during clashes with police in Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong, China August 14, 2019. © REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Beijing: US ‘insanely involved in anti-Chinese criminal cases in Hong Kong’

On Saturday, demonstrators were seen throwing Molotov cocktails at police, who responded by firing water cannons and tear gas.

Beijing has repeatedly accused Washington of providing direct and indirect support to protesters in the semi-autonomous territory, and has even alleged that the US is “insanely involved” in anti-Chinese extremism in Hong Kong.

The Chinese foreign ministry warned the Trump administration that it should not “stick their noses in our affairs,” issuing a reminder that Hong Kong is a Chinese territory and is neither “American” nor “English.”

The White House has said that it “firmly rejects” the notion that the US is sponsoring or inciting the demonstrations, claiming that its concerns about human rights and democracy in Hong Kong are valid and genuine.

Demonstrations have rocked Hong Kong for more than twelve weeks. Originally motivated by a now-suspended bill that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China, the protests have taken on a broader anti-Beijing angle.

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China response to Hong Kong would be ‘much more violent’ without US trade talks - Trump

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Burning Man festival site can be seen from space (PHOTO)

Posted by RT on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Burning Man festival site can be seen from space (PHOTO)

Burning Man’s impressive temporary festival site in Nevada can be seen all the way from space, extraordinary satellite imagery reveals.

The massive tent city in the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada showed up in satellite images as it was being set up last week, before tens of thousands of attendees arrived for Sunday’s opening of the event. Burning Man is known for its art installations, music, costumes and performances. 

The images were shared by Maxar Technologies and captured by WorldView satellites. They show the horse-shoe shaped site known as Black Rock City being built from nothing as it fills with structures, cars and even airplanes. Roads leading to the site already had vehicles making their way to the massive, temporary, self-sufficient city built by its own participants. 

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© Jim Urquhart
Burning Man festival celebrates its 30th birthday (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Named after the large wooden man effigy that is burned at the climax of the event, the festival promotes self-expression, self-reliance, communal living and decommodification and runs until September 3. All ‘Burners’ must leave no trace when they leave.

The annual event began in 1986 on a beach in San Francisco and has since evolved into a massive spectacle. Last year, 70,000 people attended. 

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Fin24.com | History suggests rebound for the rand after awful August

Posted by Fin24 Markets on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Fin24.com | History suggests rebound for the rand after awful August
It's been a bad August for the rand - but the currency is due for a respite in September, if history is anything to go by.

Fin24.com | History suggests rebound for the rand after awful August

Posted by Fin24 Markets on August 31, 2019  |   Comments Off on Fin24.com | History suggests rebound for the rand after awful August
It's been a bad August for the rand - but the currency is due for a respite in September, if history is anything to go by.
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