Back live Wednesday!
Israel launched more missile strikes on Syria early Monday, targeting the Damascus International Airport and putting it out of service as Israeli strikes against Syrian airports have become more frequent.
According to the Syrian military, the missile strikes killed two Syrian soldiers, wounded two more, and caused material damage in a nearby location. Israel rarely comments on its operations in Syria and has not acknowledged the strikes.
Israel frames its strikes in Syria as operations against Iran and Hezbollah, but they often kill Syrian soldiers and damage civilian infrastructure. Monday’s attacks marked the second time in seven months that Israel put the Damascus airport out of commission.
The UN said that Israel’s airstrikes on the Damascus airport last June halted the delivery of aid flights into Syria for two weeks. It’s not clear how badly Monday’s strikes damaged the airport or how long it will be out of commission.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday called for an “exponential” increase in the production of nuclear weapons as tensions continue to soar on the Korean Peninsula.
In a statement released by North Korea’s state media, Kim said that Pyongyang must bolster its military to “safeguard our sovereignty, safety, and basic national interest to cope with the dangerous military moves by the US and other hostile forces that target us.”
He said that the current tensions “highlights the importance and necessity of mass producing tactical nuclear weapons and calls for an exponential increase of the country’s nuclear arsenal.”
North Korea launched a record number of weapons tests in 2022 as the US and South Korea resumed large-scale war games. According to The New York Times, Pyongyang launched 95 missiles, including some ICBMs, more than any other previous year.
Just when Israel, and even some Palestinians, began talking about the Lions’ Den phenomenon in the past tense, a large number of fighters belonging to the newly-formed Palestinian group marched in the city of Nablus.
Unlike the group’s first appearance on September 2, the number of fighters who took part in the rally in the Old City of Nablus on December 9 was significantly larger, better equipped, with unified military fatigues and greater security precautions.
"The Den belongs to all of Palestine and believes in the unity of blood, struggle and rifles," a reference to the kind of collective Resistance that surpasses factional interests.
Needless to say, the event was significant. Only two months ago, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz undermined the group in terms of number and influence, estimating their number to be "of some 30 members," pledging to "get our hands on them (..) and eliminate them."
Accusations of Chinese tyranny are often based on demands from Beijing that Google and Facebook comply with their censorship orders as a condition for remaining in China. Reports over the years suggested that these firms typically comply: Google was building a censored search engine suited to Chinese demands; The New York Times has claimed Facebook developed a censorship app as its entrance requirement to the Chinese market, and Vox accused Apple of succumbing to Chinese censorship demands by banning an app from its store that had been used by protesters in Hong Kong demanding liberation from control by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
But now the tables appeared to be turning when it comes to U.S. censorship demands and TikTok. Threats to ban or severely limit the Chinese-owned-and-controlled platform from the U.S. have been hovering over TikTok's head through both the Trump and Biden years. The most common justification offered for the threat is that TikTok's presence in the U.S. empowers China to propagandize Americans, a concern that escalated along with the platform's massive explosion among Americans. Since early 2021, TikTok has been the most-downloaded app both worldwide and in the U.S. In August, Pew Research conducted a “survey of American teenagers ages 13 to 17” and found that “TikTok has rocketed in popularity since its North American debut several years ago and now is a top social media platform for teens among the platforms covered in this survey.”
Parts of Indian-administered Kashmir are tense after five civilians were killed in two separate attacks in the same area in less than 24 hours.
Four people were killed and nine injured after militants fired at three houses in Rajouri district on Sunday evening.
On Monday, a child died and four people were hurt after a blast took place near the same houses.
The cause of the blast was not immediately clear.
Top police officials have started an investigation into the incidents.
Sunday's attack has triggered protests and strikes in Rajouri as people blamed the local administration for the security lapse.
North Korea has fired Pak Jong Chon, the second most powerful military official after leader Kim Jong Un, state media reported.
Pak, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party and a secretary of the party’s Central Committee, was replaced by Ri Yong Gil at the committee’s annual meeting last week, the official KCNA news agency said on Sunday.
No reason for the change was given. Pyongyang regularly revamps its leadership, and the year-end party gathering has often been used to announce personnel reshuffles and major policy decisions.
State television showed Pak sitting in the front row of the podium with his head down during the meeting while other members raised their hands to vote on personnel issues. His seat was later shown unoccupied.
Zvika Fogel, a far-right MP in the governing coalition, added that he supports "applying sovereignty on all land that legally belongs to Israel," in an apparent reference to Israeli plans to annex the occupied West Bank.
On Friday, the UN voted in favour of asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to provide an advisory opinion on Israel's 55-year-long occupation of Palestinian territories.
The judgements of the Hague-based ICJ normally take between a year to two years to conclude. They are binding but the court has no power to enforce them.
Israeli politicians in both the governing coalition and the opposition have slammed the UN for passing the resolution.
Dozens of extremists forced their way into the site, the third holiest in Islam, via the Mughrabi Gate, witnesses cited by official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.
Israeli police protected them as they worshipped at the compound in breach of the longstanding status-quo agreement governing Al-Aqsa, which says non-Muslims are allowed to visit but not pray there.
Many Israeli extremists wish to see the site turned into a Jewish temple, a position roundly rejected by Palestinians and Muslims.
In September 1948, the far-sighted American diplomat George Kennan noted that “there are considerable limitations on what we can do to affect the course of events in China”. Over the elapsing seven decades since, the scale of American influence in China’s domestic affairs has been restricted at best, but continues apace nonetheless. Washington has implemented a range of policies in the hope of destabilising and splintering China.
The Pentagon’s strategies towards China have somewhat mirrored those they directed against the USSR: Utilisation of proxy groups, extremists and ethnic minorities, along with client states.
The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIC), a terrorist organisation, was founded by Uyghur jihadists in 1988, just as separatist uprisings were breaking out in Xinjiang province, north-western China. The Turkistan Islamic Party, previously known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, received CIA sponsorship from its early existence.
In contradictory fashion, the Turkistan Islamic Party, which is based largely in north-western Pakistan, is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States, along with other major countries like Russia, and of course China and its neighbour Pakistan.
The curtain is coming down on the brutal 11-year-old Syrian conflict, which former US president and Nobel laureate Barack Obama initiated as the Arab Spring swept through West Asia two decades ago.
The United States suffered yet another big setback in West Asia as the year 2022 drew to a close. The unfolding Turkish-Syrian reconciliation process under Russian mediation is to be seen as a saga of betrayal and vengeance.
Ankara came under immense pressure from the Obama administration in 2011 to spearhead the regime-change project in Syria. Obama blithely assumed that Turkey would gleefully serve as the charioteer of “moderate” Islamism for the transformation in West Asia.
But Ankara took its time to calibrate its foreign policies to adapt to the Arab Spring before responding to the shifting landscape in Syria.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was caught unprepared by the uprising in Syria at a juncture when Ankara was pursuing a “zero-problems” policy with Turkey’s neighbors. Ankara was unsure how the Arab Spring would play out and remained silent when the revolt first appeared in Tunisia.
Police in western Washington believe that vandals who attacked four power substations in western Washington on Christmas Day, leaving more than 14,000 without power, were trying to 'send a message.'
The incidents were the latest of a series of similar attacks that some believe is the work of right-wing terrorists.
It amazes me that so many people still cannot understand what is happening. 2022 was supposedly going to be a year when America entered a new golden age of prosperity, but that didn’t happen. Instead, it was a complete and utter disaster. Stock prices fell by the most that we have seen since 2008, the cryptocurrency industry came apart at the seams, inflation soared to absurd heights, and home sales just kept declining all throughout the year. Without a doubt, 2022 represented a major turning point. Americans have already collectively lost trillions of dollars, and many experts are telling us that 2023 will be even worse.
We warned over and over again that the party on Wall Street would eventually come to a very bitter end, but most people didn’t want to listen.
Well, the party has now ended, and the stock market losses that we have witnessed over the past 12 months have been absolutely staggering…
London’s far-left Mayor Sadiq Khan once again used the occasion of the fireworks for New Year’s Eve to pander to the woke agenda, with the colours of the rainbow and Ukrainian flags featuring prominently in the display above the River Thames.
Rather than opting to put on a non-partisan show for the whole country, the leftist Mayor of London chose instead to promote left-wing ideology once again. Directly before a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, the New Years fireworks display in London celebrated “50 years of pride”, marking the anniversary of the first gay pride parade in the city in 1972.
Following a rendition of “I’m Coming Out” by American singer Diana Ross, the fireworks turned rainbow coloured and a recorded voice said: “We are here, we are queer, get used to it.”
The fireworks performance is run and conducted by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has been a frequent attendee of LGBTQ pride marches in the British capital city during his time in office.
It seems that we missed a crucial exchange from yesterday's Sore Loser Summit in Moscow
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Moscow on Thursday to complain to Putin about big, bad Iran and how tragic it is that Tehran destroyed legions of "moderate" rebels and ISIS fanatics in Syria.
No one cares about your stories about Moses.
Here's Netanyahu, tissue in hand, telling Putin some Bible stories:
Thank you for your congratulations on the upcoming Purim holiday. In ancient Persia, an attempt was made to destroy the Jewish people 2,500 years ago, and it failed. This is what this holiday celebrates. Today, ancient Persia’s successor, Iran, continues attempts to destroy the Jewish state.
Putin noted that those events had taken place “in the fifth century BC,” added that “we now live in a different world” and suggested discussing the actual up-to-date problems in the region.
Webmaster addition: Good for you, Vlad!
Meloni’s government will soon force NGO ships flying flags from countries like France, Germany and Norway to accept the migrants they pick up in the Mediterranean Sea
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni smile as she attends her year-end press conference in Rome, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
As Olivier Bault reports at Remix News, the threshold of 100,000 illegal migrants who arrived by sea in Italy this year was crossed on Dec. 21, and the number is not only a symbolic milestone but also serving as a call to action for Italy’s conservative government.
The figure of 100,000 can be compared with the 64,055 on the same date a year ago and the 33,867 arrivals by sea in 2020. This year’s number is the highest since 2017, the year when the left-wing government of Matteo Renzi finally decided to clamp down on the NGOs’ business of transferring illegal immigrants to Europe through passive and sometimes active cooperation with people smugglers, introducing stricter rules on how NGO ships were allowed to operate in the Mediterranean Sea.