[AlAhram] US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has authorized the release of $1.2 billion in U.S. military assistance to Egypt.
On Friday, the State Department said it is notifying Congress that Pompeo has signed national security waivers allowing the money known as foreign military financing, or FMF, to be spent.
Congress has 15 days to weigh in on the waivers, which were signed on 21 August.
The money includes $1 billion for the current 2018 budget year and $195 million appropriated for 2017 that would have had to have been returned to the Treasury had it not been spent by 30 September September.
[AlAhram] President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed on Saturday with the Head of the US Central Command Joseph Votel means to boost military cooperation between Egypt and the US, said a statement by the spokesperson of the presidency.
The meeting was attended by Egypt's Minister of Defence General Mohammed Zaki and the US Charge d'Affaires Thomas Goldberger.
The Egyptian President stressed the importance of the growing strategic relations between Egypt and the United States, particularly in the area of military cooperation, the statement read.
El-Sisi also welcomed the launch of the joint training exercises between the two countries, "Bright Star 2018", which are taking place from 8 to 20 September.
The president also praised the recent exchange of experiences in the field of combating terrorism between the two countries.
In this context, El-Sisi discussed with Votel ongoing developments in counter-terrorism efforts on all strategic fronts.
The presidency front man added that Votel praised the strength of the military relations between the two countries, stressing his country's keenness to continue to develop and strengthen partnership relations with Egypt in all fields.
Votel also pointed out that "Bright Star 2018" highlights the depth of the military cooperation between the two countries, especially in light of the current conditions in the region, which require concerted efforts to address the challenges that threaten the security and stability of the region and the world.
He also praised Egypt's efforts in combating terrorism and Egypt's role in strengthening regional security and stability.
El-Sisi and Votel also discussed the latest regional developments in light of the crises in a number of countries in the area, the presidency statement added.
[ARABNEWS] Yemen's foreign minister accused the Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ... militia on Saturday of "trying to sabotage the negotiations" that ended without their attendance in Geneva and said that the UN envoy had not been firm enough with them.
"We want the UN to be firmer in bringing the other party to the negotiations", Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani told a presser before leaving the Swiss city after three days of talks with UN envoy Stephen Griffiths on confidence-building measures including prisoner releases.
Al-Yamani, who led the government delegation, also accused the Houthis of being "totally irresponsible".
"If they were sincere in reaching peace, they should have come, even if we were meeting in separate rooms," he said.
Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, a key member of the Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab states, tweeted: "Despite the serious setback in Geneva the way forward is still a political solution. What is perhaps clearer now to the international community is the unwillingness of the Houthis to engage in good faith with such a process."
Despite the Houthis failure to show up, Griffiths said thatdid not signify the grinding of the peace processor was deadlocked
[ARABNEWS] Pakistain’s foreign minister has urged his Chinese counterpart to correct the ’imbalance in bilateral trade’ by encouraging imports from Pakistain and to strengthen strategic cooperation between the two countries.
Shah Mehmood Wormtongue Qureshi and Wang Yi were meeting during the Chinese foreign minister’s three-day visit to Islamabad.
"I urged the (Chinese) foreign minister that we work together while enhancing our trade cooperation. China will provide subsidies to encourage exports and correct imbalance in bilateral trade," Qureshi said on Saturday. He went to assure his counterpart that China-Pakistain Economic Corridor (CPEC) remains a "top priority" of his government.
Noting that the two sides had discussed terrorism and counter-terrorism measures, Qureshi added: "China has always supported Pakistain’s efforts to combat terrorism," making a reference to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.
"We will maintain close coordination on regional and global issues," he said, "China is our all-weather friend and we can always rely on China’s support at various international forums." But can China rely on Pakistain?
Talking about the multi-billion dollar CPEC, he said that both sides have made substantive progress on the CPEC and added: "I reassure the foreign minister that it is of immense strategic and national importance to Pakistain."
He assured his Chinese counterpart that security of Chinese nationals working on different CPEC projects was a top priority of his government. "Our law enforcement agencies are working hard to create a secure working environment for Chinese nationals in Pakistain," he said.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/09/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[ARABNEWS] The two leading groups in Iraq's parliament on Saturday called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to resign, after politicians held an emergency meeting on unrest shaking the country's south.
"We demand the government apologise to the people and resign immediately," said Hassan al-Aqouli, front man for the list of populist Shiite holy man Moqtada Sadr that won the most seats in a May election.
The announcement dealt a severe blow to Abadi's hopes of holding onto his post through a parliamentary bloc unveiled just days earlier with Sadr, a former militia chief.
Ahmed al-Assadi, front man for the second-largest list, the Conquest Alliance, condemned "the government's failure to resolve the crisis in Basra", a southern city where 12 protesters were killed this week in festivities with security forces.
The Conquest Alliance was "on the same wavelength" as Sadr's Marching Towards Reform list and they would work together to form a new government, Assadi said.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/09/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iraq
[ARABNEWS] The Trump administration on Friday slashed more than $20 million in funding for church-run hospitals in East Jerusalem despite having earlier promised that the medical centers would be exempt from massive US aid cuts to Paleostinians.
The decision by the US executive will leave facilities such as the World Lutheran Federation’s August Victoria Hospital and St. John’s Eye hospital struggling to provide medical help to thousands of Paleostinians.
Bishop Sani Ibrahim Azar, head of the Lutheran church in Jordan and Paleostine, told Arab News that the decision by Washington ruined his day.
"I woke up to this terrible news. We had been happy for a few months when we learned that our hospital would be exempt from the cuts to Paleostinians," he said.
Azar said he had been shaken by the news. "The hospital has been on the edge and I am not sure how we can continue if this support is stopped suddenly."
The hospital’s oncology department is the only high-quality facility serving Paleostinians, he said.
"We are the one place that Paleostinians with cancer and other ailments come to. Patients will be hurt a lot by this decision, especially children who have special unit."
Dan Shanit, an Israeli doctor involved in the establishment of the oncology department, described the US decision as inhuman.
[RedState] At Houston’s Islamic Society of North America conference ‐ the biggest annual meet-up of Muslims in the U.S. ‐ lightning rod radical Linda "Hamas Louse" Sarsour charged her fellow Islamists with making sure not to mistake Jews for human beings.
Sarsour is, of course, a darling of the Left, having earned an arrest Tuesday for her interruption of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing (please see my article here). Most ridiculously, perhaps, the defender of Sharia law paradoxically led 2017 and 2018’s anti-Trump Womens March. Don't complain when you'll force us to become devils.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru ||
09/09/2018 05:33 ||
Top|| File under: Muslim Brotherhood
Proving the points, don't make the mistake of humanizing islam. Nor confuse jihadists with humans.
[ARABNEWS] Facebook has removed a feature that allowed users to translate Burmese posts and comments after a Rooters report showed the tool was producing bizarre results. Translating languages that use a lot of allusion is difficult to impossible if you don't know the culture behind the language.
A hundred or two years from now "Have fun storming the castle, boys!" will be less comprehensible than
"See the chariot at hand here of Love,
Wherein my lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,
And well the car Love guideth."
A Rooters investigation published on August 15 documented how Facebook was failing in its efforts to combat vitriolic Burmese language posts about Myanmar’s Rohingya Moslems. Some 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar over the past year amid a military crackdown and ethnic violence. In late August, United Nations ...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks... Sherlocks said Facebook had been "a useful instrument for those seeking to spread hate" against the Moslem minority group.
The Rooters article also showed that the translation feature was flawed. It cited an anti-Rohingya post that said in Burmese, "Kill all the kalars that you see in Myanmar; none of them should be left alive." Kalar is a pejorative for the Rohingya. Facebook had translated the post into English as "I shouldn’t have a rainbow in Myanmar."
A spokeswoman for Facebook said the Burmese translation feature was "switched off" on August 28. She said the Rooters article and feedback from users "prompted us to do this."
"We are working on ways to improve the quality of the translations and until then, we have switched off this feature in Myanmar," the spokeswoman wrote in an email. The bad part about censorship is that it doesn't give the lunatic fringe any rope to hang itself. So you end up with it whining and pointing to its boo-boos instead of being laughed at or derided.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/09/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army
The 21st century's poetry?
So sparse, just poor scratchings of poultry
Penned in by the strictures
Of words... but those pictures:
We've all learned by rote their emoji!
[IsraellTimes] Washington envoy warns Russian offensive in Idlib would be a ’reckless escalation,’ says US response would involve ’all of our tools’.
The announcement "means we’re not in a hurry to pull out," the US special representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, told journalists in Washington Thursday, although he added that didn’t necessarily mean a long-term American military presence in the country.
President Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... has previously expressed a desire to get the US out of Syria. There are roughly 2,000 U.S. troops deployed there, according to the Pentagon.
"We’re no longer pulling out by the end of the year, we’re going to stay in until we have an enduring defeat of (the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group)," Jeffrey said. The other pillar of US policy was the complete withdrawal of all Iranian-commanded forces from Syrian territory, said the veteran diplomat, who was appointed last month.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
09/09/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
[ARABNEWS] America’s top general on Saturday said he was involved in "routine dialogue" with the White House about military options should Syria ignore US warnings against using chemical weapons in an expected assault on the enclave of Idlib.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said no decision had been made by the United States to employ military force in response to a future chemical attack in Syria.
"But we are in a dialogue, a routine dialogue, with the president to make sure he knows where we are with regard to planning in the event that chemical weapons are used," he told a small group of news hounds during a trip to India.
Dunford later added: "He expects us to have military options and we have provided updates to him on the development of those military options."
Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... has massed his army and allied forces on the front lines in the northwest, and Russian planes have joined his bombardment of rebels there, in a prelude to a widely expected assault despite objections from The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the decaying remnant of the Ottoman Empire.... This week, a top US envoy said there was "lots of evidence" that chemical weapons were being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib.
The White House has warned that the United States and its allies would respond "swiftly and vigorously" if government forces used chemical weapons in Idlib. President Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... has twice bombed Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons, in April 2017 and April 2018.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/09/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
US military should only draw up options should the famous "chemical weapons" be used against US personnel (and bona fide allies); else, not our problem.
[UK.REUTERS] Iran gave permission to money exchange offices on Saturday to start importing foreign currency banknotes, state media reported, in an apparent attempt to stop the rial from plunging to a new low against the dollar.
Iran’s currency has lost about two-thirds of its value this year, hitting a record low earlier this week of 150,000 rial to the U.S. dollar. It recovered to trade at 130,000 per dollar on Saturday in unofficial trade, according to the Bonbast.com currency market website.
The rial has been hit by a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and strong demand for safe-haven dollars among Iranians.
Many Iranians fear Washington’s pulling out of a 2015 nuclear deal and renewed U.S. sanctions will cut into Iran’s exports of oil and other goods, which would likely put further pressure on the rial.
A set of U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry is due to take effect in November.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/09/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
[Jpost] In an exclusive interview with the Jerusalem Post, an FBI counter-terror official said that social media has reached a new level of influence as a tool for terrorists.
"Terrorism is now moving at the speed of social media," warned top FBI counter-terrorism official Michael McPherson during a speech leading into an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post last week.
McPherson spoke to the Post after his speech at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism IDC Herzliya’s 18th annual world summit.
Continued on Page 49
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.