Connect with us

killing

Soleimani killing: Iran abandons nuclear deal limits

Iran said it will no longer abide by the enrichment limits in its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after its top general was killed in an air raid by the United States on Friday. Sunday’s announcement means Iran is abandoning key provisions from the accord – negotiated between Iran, the five permanent members of the United…

Soleimani killing: Iran abandons nuclear deal limits

Iran said it will no longer abide by the enrichment limits in its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after its top general was killed in an air raid by the United States on Friday.
Sunday’s announcement means Iran is abandoning key provisions from the accord – negotiated between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany – that prevent it from having enough material to build an atomic weapon.
Iran insisted in a state television broadcast it remained open to negotiations with European partners, who so far have been unable to offer Tehran a way to sell its crude oil abroad despite US sanctions.
More:

US puts new sanctions on Iranian supreme leader’s inner circle

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei rules out talks with US

Iranians rally to mark 40 years since takeover of US embassy

It also did not back off of earlier promises that it would not seek a nuclear weapon.
However, the announcement represents the clearest nuclear proliferation threat yet made by Iran since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord in May 2018.
It also further raises regional tensions, as Iran’s longtime foe Israel has promised never to allow Iran to be able to produce an atomic bomb.
In response, the leaders of France, Germany and Britain urged Iran to abide by the agreement.
“We call on Iran to withdraw all measures that are not in line with the nuclear agreement,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a joint statement.
Iran’s announcement came after another Iranian official said it would consider taking even-harsher steps over the US killing of General Qassem Soleimani on Friday.
Iran’s state TV cited a statement by President Hassan Rouhani’s administration saying the country would not observe limitations on its enrichment, the amount of stockpiled enriched uranium as well as research and development in its nuclear activities.

“The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has in a statement announced its fifth and final step in reducing Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA,” a state TV broadcaster said, using an acronym for the deal. “The Islamic Republic of Iran no longer faces any limitations in operations.”
It did not elaborate on what levels it would immediately reach in its programme.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations watchdog observing Iran’s programme, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, Iran said that its cooperation with the IAEA would “continue as before”.
Soleimani’s killing has escalated the crisis between Tehran and Washington after the months of threats that have put the wider Middle East on edge.
The dispute is rooted in Trump’s decision to pull out of Iran’s atomic accord and impose sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.
Iran has promised “harsh revenge” for the US attack, which shocked Iranians across all political lines. Many saw Soleimani as a pillar of the country at a moment when it has been beset by US sanctions and recent anti-government protests.
Moving away from deal
In November, Iran stepped up activity at its underground Fordow nuclear plant – a move France said showed for the first time that Tehran explicitly planned to quit a landmark deal with world powers that curbed its disputed nuclear work.
“With the presence of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], Iran started injecting [uranium] gas into centrifuges in Fordow,” state television reported.
Iran insisted that the latest move is not a violation of the nuclear deal, but is based on the Articles 26 and 36 of the agreement.
The incident involving an IAEA inspector appeared to be the first of its kind since the landmark deal was struck, imposing restraints on its uranium enrichment programme in return for the lifting of international sanctions.
The nuclear accord bans nuclear activity at Fordow, a plant located near the city of Qom and capped the level of purity for enriched uranium at 3.67 percent – suitable for civilian power generation and far below the 90 percent threshold for nuclear weapons-grade material.
Before the deal, Iran used Fordow to enrich uranium to 20 percent fissile purity. Officials have said Tehran could again enrich uranium to 20 percent but there is no need for that right now.

Continue Reading…

firing

Police killing sparks riots across Colombia that leave seven dead |NationalTribune.com

Bogota, Colombia – The death of a Colombian man after being repeatedly shocked with a stun gun by police who restrained him has sparked riots and protests throughout the Andean nation. The protests continued into Thursday morning and killed at least seven and wounded more than 150, the country’s defence minister said. Javier Humberto Ordonez, a 46-year-old…

Police killing sparks riots across Colombia that leave seven dead |NationalTribune.com

Bogota, Colombia – The death of a Colombian man after being repeatedly shocked with a stun gun by police who restrained him has sparked riots and protests throughout the Andean nation. The protests continued into Thursday morning and killed at least seven and wounded more than 150, the country’s defence minister said.
Javier Humberto Ordonez, a 46-year-old lawyer and father of two was allegedly violating coronavirus social distancing rules when he became involved in an altercation with police in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
In a video posted on social media by friends who were with him, Ordonez can be heard shouting, “please, no more, I’m suffocating” as two police officers continued to restrain him with their knees on his back and repeatedly tasing him. Ordonez was taken into police custody early on Wednesday where family members have alleged he faced more police abuse. He died in hospital soon after.
Colombia had a six-month coronavirus pandemic lockdown that began in late March, with the harsh restrictions eased two weeks ago.

People walking near a burned Transmilenio bus after protests against police brutality in Bogota, Colombia [Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters]

Protesters took to the streets in Bogota on Wednesday afternoon, destroying the small police station that the responsible officers belonged to in the Engativa neighbourhood, in the west of the city. Violence continued and spread into the early hours of Thursday.
Bogota’s Mayor Claudia Lopez called the police brutality “unacceptable”, but also condemned the violence in Bogota that resulted in deaths.
“Yesterday, Bogota woke up with reason, in pain, protesting the death of a citizen because of police abuse,” the distraught looking mayor said in a Twitter video posted early on Thursday. “But today we wake up with not only one, but three dead, killed in protests and extended violence … destroying Bogota is not going to fix the police.”
Colombia’s defence minister, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, said on Thursday rioting had killed seven people in Bogota with more than 150 civilians and police injured across Colombia.

Protesters chanting during a demonstration in honour of Dilan Cruz, a teenage demonstrator who died in 2019 after being injured by a tear gas canister in Bogota, Colombia [File: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters]

As the news of the alleged police brutality spread, protesters took to the streets on Wednesday night not only in Bogota, but also in the cities of Medellin, Pereida and Ibague, attacking police stations and public transport infrastructure.
“The reports of the events that occurred in the last hours reveals atrocity and vandalism. These events cast a shadow over society since they claimed human lives,” Trujillo said.
The government announced the two officers involved have been suspended pending an investigation, and an autopsy on Ordonez would be carried out.
‘A significant event’
The latest unrest comes two days after unsuccessful attempts were made to revive protests by workers’ unions to protest the economic and social policies of President Ivan Duque which had brought tens of thousands of people into the streets in late 2019. The government responded by sending heavily armed riot police into the streets and imposed curfews in major cities.
“With last year’s November protests, the government action to quell them and the coronavirus, this basically put a lid on a lot of social angst that was happening in Colombia,” political analyst and director of Colombia Risk Analysis, Sergio Guzman told Al Jazeera.
“I think that because the entire issue has not just been mismanaged by the government but just miscommunicated, this [recent action] really threatens to blow up as a significant event.”
He said the current protests reflect not only anger and frustration over police actions, but are also about the lack of political will to investigate wrongdoing.
“I expect this is the start of a much bigger period of political unrest that will coincide with the governments plans to open the economy, so this is going to be a major set back in some of these plans,” Guzman said.

Colombia: hemos recibido graves denuncias de uso excesivo de la fuerza por parte de miembros de @PoliciaColombia contra manifestantes en Bogotá.La ciudadanía tiene todo el derecho de manifestarse y debe hacerlo de forma pacífica.Policia debe garantizar respeto a DDHH.
— José Miguel Vivanco (@JMVivancoHRW) September 10, 2020

“There is a lot of discontent about unresolved issues which were quieted due to restrictions,” Gimena Sanchez-Garzoli, Andes director for the advocacy group Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) said.
“The ongoing use of the stun gun after the lawyer is clearly disarmed and not fighting was not necessary. Disproportionate use of force in Colombian police forces is not a new problem neither is the misuse of weapons meant to disperse protests or pacify.”
Human Right Watch (HRW) Americas also criticised the police handling of the protests.
“We have received serious reports of excessive force by members of Bogota’s police,” HRW Americas Director Jose Miguel Vivanco said on Twitter.  “Citizens have every right to protest and should do so peacefully.”
Continue Reading…

Continue Reading

China

China is killing America

ANALYSIS/OPINION: A handful of leading conservative voices just penned a letter to President Donald Trump, asking him to keep in place a Roadless Rule that prevents loggers from tapping into much of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. At first blush, this seems an environmental issue — a private property rights versus government preservation showdown that raises…

China is killing America

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A handful of leading conservative voices just penned a letter to President Donald Trump, asking him to keep in place a Roadless Rule that prevents loggers from tapping into much of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

At first blush, this seems an environmental issue — a private property rights versus government preservation showdown that raises questions about the proper use of tax dollars, the Constitution, the Antiquities Act and even Founding Father intents.

But it’s really a question about China. 

It’s really a matter of China’s long-running economic and cultural seepage onto America’s soil, of China’s long-reaching tentacles into America’s economy, of China’s decades-of-strategies of infiltrating and influencing America’s culture, politics and economy — and then, of the question that arises: At what point should America say, “Stop”?

This administration, thankfully, has been taking a hard look at China and saying just that.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, from Copenhagen, spoke of the “long challenge of the Chinese Communist Party stealing intellectual property” that has led to the loss of “hundreds of thousands of jobs” for Americans and Europeans. That was in explanation of this White House’s decision to close China’s consulate in Houston, a move aimed at protecting “American intellectual property,” he said.

And that’s after one-in-five companies headquartered in North America that serve on the CNBC Global CFO Council reported theft of intellectual properties by China sources within only a one-year time span, within the 12-month 2018 period.

“In all, 7 of the 23 companies surveyed,” CNBC reported in March of 2019, “say that Chinese firms have stolen from them over the past decade.”

China’s propensity for thieving is well-known.

“China theft of technology is biggest law enforcement threat to U.S., FBI says,” The Guardian wrote, just this February.

Director Christopher Wray estimated his FBI’s 56 regional offices were at that time busily investigating more than 1,000 cases of alleged Chinese thefts of technology; between 2019 and 2020, agents arrested more than 40 suspects tied to these cases.

“No country,” said FBI counterintelligence chief John Brown at a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies conference in Washington, “poses a greater threat than Communist China.”

They’re heavily invested in the West, that’s for sure.

The American Enterprise Institute, along with the Heritage Foundation, found the United States received more than $180 billion in Chinese investments between January 2005 and December 2019. The investments were varied. There was the $1.7 million sent from the China Academy of Sciences to IBM in early 2005; the $5 million from the China Investment Corp to Morgan Stanley in 2007; the nearly $2.4 million from the China National Offshore Oil Corporation to Chesapeake Energy in 2010. That’s just a drop in the bucket.

“‘American Soil’ Is Increasingly Foreign Owned,” NPR reported in May 2019, in a story about the 30 million acres of U.S. farmland owned by overseas’ investors, including China. A 2013 sale of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods to Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, for example, gave China ownership of 146,000 acres of farmland in the United States.

“Chinese investors have been the biggest purchasers of U.S. residential real estate for six consecutive years,” Market Watch reported in mid-2019.

Drip, drip. More drops in the bucket.

China and Chinese interests own, or have solicited to own, everything from the Chicago Stock Exchange, AMC — America’s largest movie theater chain — and GE appliances, to the iconic Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan.

China’s Tencent in recent times sent $150 million Reddit’s way; $3.4 billion to the California-based Universal Music Group record company — which owns rights to the likes of singing sensations Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and The Beatles — and $200 million to Warner Music, buying up a 1.6% stake in the company in the process.

And now, with the coronavirus-dampened economy, economists the world over are warning: Keep a check on China.

“Watch out for Chinese companies swooping in with buckets of cash to buy strategic stakes, or majority control in U.S. and European companies as asset prices fall due to the pandemic,” Forbes wrote in April.

China, if anything, is strategic.

“With Acquisition of California Port, China Broadens Influence on U.S. Commerce,” the Association of Mature American Citizens wrote in June 2018, of a Long Beach deal.

Then again, so is this administration. 

“U.S. Forces China Out of Port of Long Beach Terminal Ownership,” Universal Cargo reported a year later, in October 2019.

But now the Trump Team needs to see the Tongass issue in similar light — in similar flashing red “Communist China Coming” warning lights.

A proposal from the U.S. Forest Service and Alaska authorities would lift Roadless Rule protections on 10 million acres of land, opening the door to more logging and exports of logged products. But between 2005 and 2011, China was the main buyer of Tongass timber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in 2016.

Doesn’t America do enough for China already?

Way back in 2019, it was Sen. Rick Scott, Florida Republican, who warned, “Stop buying Chinese products. That will have the biggest impact on their economy,” he said.

That should hold true for selling to China, too.

If we’re looking for a good stopping point to clamp China’s influence on America, and in America, Tongass could very well be it. And then after, maybe after, we can go and take back our hams, our movies, our entertainment companies, our lands and farms, and properties and businesses, and yes, our technology, both stolen and on the path to be stolen.

Communist China is killing America, and it’s time to say, conclusively and collectively, no more.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

Sign up for Daily Opinion Newsletter

Continue Reading…

Continue Reading

admits

US admits killing civilians during air attacks in Somalia

Two civilians were killed and three injured in a United States air strike in Somalia early last year, the US said in a rare acknowledgement of civilian casualties from United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) military operations in the Horn of Africa country. The deaths were mentioned on Monday in a debut quarterly assessment report by AFRICOM…

US admits killing civilians during air attacks in Somalia

Two civilians were killed and three injured in a United States air strike in Somalia early last year, the US said in a rare acknowledgement of civilian casualties from United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) military operations in the Horn of Africa country.
The deaths were mentioned on Monday in a debut quarterly assessment report by AFRICOM on allegations of civilian casualties raised in connection with its operations against armed fighters in Somalia, Libya and other African countries.
More:

A family mourns as US drone attacks in Somalia continue

Somalia strikes: Amnesty says US behind civilian deaths

US air strike in Somalia killed civilians: MP

“Regrettably two civilians were killed and three others injured in a February 2019 air strike. We are deeply sorry this occurred,” AFRICOM’s commander, US Army General Stephen Townsend, said in the report.
The air strike was carried out in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region and the report said the intended target – two members of the Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group – were killed.
The civilian deaths, it said, occurred as a result of US or al-Shabab munitions that exploded during the air strike.
It was the second known incident in which AFRICOM has acknowledged killing civilians in Somalia, where rights activists have accused it of long shrouding its operations in secrecy.
The first was an air strike in April 2018 in El Buur, in the Galgaduud region of central Somalia, in which AFRICOM reported it had unintentionally killed two civilians.
The US has been conducting air attack in Somalia for years to help defeat al-Shabab, which seeks to topple Somalia’s western-backed central government and set up its own rule based on strict interpretation of the Islamic sharia law.
For nearly two decades, al-Shabab has been attacking military and civilian targets, including hotels and traffic junctions in Somalia and neighbouring countries, including Kenya.
A regional peacekeeping force, the African Union Mission in Somalia, also helps defend the Somali government.
Amnesty International said AFRICOM’s move to publish quarterly assessment reports on civilian casualty allegations is a welcome step towards transparency.
Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Seif Magango, added that the US must follow up with “accountability and reparation for victims and their families”.
Continue Reading…

Continue Reading

Trending