2020-01-15: News Headlines

Staff (2020-01-15). EU Nations Push Iran in Last-Ditch Bid to Save Nuclear Deal. truthdig.com Britain, France and Germany trigger pact's dispute mechanism, starting the clock on a process that could result in more sanctions on Iran.

RT (2020-01-15). Putin suggests launching new investment cycle in Russia to achieve growth rates above global average. rt.com Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a structural change to the economy and its efficiency during his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday. | "In 2021, Russia' GDP growth rates should be above the global average," he said, adding: "To get such a dynamic, it is necessary to launch a new investment cycle, to boost investments in creation of jobs, infrastructure, development of industry, agriculture and services sector." | Starting from 2020, annual growth investments should be at least 5 percent, and their share in the GDP should be increased from the current 21 percent to 25 percent in 202…

RT (2020-01-15). Constitution & citizens' rights to define the use of international law on Russian soil — Putin. rt.com Vladimir Putin has proposed a major amendment ensuring that provisions of international law can only be applied in Russia if they don't come into conflict with the constitution or abuse rights and liberties of Russian citizens. | "I believe that the time has come to make some changes to the basic law of the country, which directly guarantees the priority of the Russian constitution in our legal environment," President Putin said as he delivered his annual state-of-the-nation address on Wednesday. | In some cases, Russia's governing document may be placed above international legislation, he explained. | This li…

RT (2020-01-15). Trump's ex-adviser Flynn moves to withdraw guilty plea in Mueller investigation — court papers. rt.com The former national security advisor to the US president, General Michael Flynn, has asked the court to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming Russiagate prosecutors forced him to lie and make statements they knew were untrue. | In a court filing on Tuesday, lawyers for Flynn argued that the prosecutors "concocted the alleged 'false statements'" the general was accused of making in relation to his company's violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). | "The prosecutors concocted the alleged 'false statements' by their own misrepresentations, deceit, and omissions." | The newly-released court papers st…

RT (2020-01-15). 'More powers, more responsibilities': Putin proposes granting parliament power to choose PM & form government. rt.com Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed granting parliament more powers to nominate key government officials, adding that the president will not be able to reject their picks. | Under the current law, the president nominates the candidate for prime minister, who then must be approved by the lower house of parliament, the State Duma. | In his annual state-of-the-nation address on Wednesday, Putin proposed to change this by "allowing the State Duma not only to approve but to choose" the PM. Under his plan, the prime minister would then present parliament with the candidacies of the deputy prime ministers and g…

RT (2020-01-15). Turkey & Russia discussing 'secure zone' in Idlib, Syria — Ankara. rt.com Turkey and Russia are discussing the establishment of a 'secure zone' within Syria's northwestern Idlib region where Syrians displaced by fighting can shelter during the winter, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said. | "Our Idlib friends who have become refugees don't want to go to a government-controlled area," he added. | Ankara is reinforcing an observation post which has been "surrounded by Syrian forces," Akar told reporters on Wednesday. | His comments came after Turkish and Syrian intelligence chiefs met in Moscow on Monday — their first publicly acknowledged meeting for years — and di…

RT (2020-01-15). G20 emerged because G7 fails to decide 'issues of any significance' — Lavrov. rt.com Developing nations, absent from the UN Security Council, enjoy greater representation in the G20 — and its emergence shows that the elitist Group of Seven is steadily losing significance, the Russian Foreign Minister suggested. | The Group of 20 — which includes the G7 countries as well as the five-member bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) — proved workable, especially when developing countries "have grievances regarding the lack of progress in reforming the Security Council," Sergey Lavrov told an audience during his trip to New Delhi. | The creation of G20 was recog…

RT (2020-01-15). Putin proposes major amendments to Russia's constitution incl. about his own post, says people should vote on changes. rt.com The constitution should take priority over international law if the latter violates the rights of Russian citizens or violates Russia's constitutional principles, President Vladimir Putin has proposed. | Amendments to the constitution could be put to a popular vote to ensure "the development of Russia as a welfare and rule-of-law state," the Russian leader said in his annual state of the nation address. | Adopting a brand new constitution is not necessary because the current one will remain relevant for many years to come, Putin explained. But he did suggest some changes he'd like to see. | Domestic v inte…

RT (2020-01-15). Five nuclear-armed states must work together to neutralize threat of 'global war' — Putin. rt.com The nuclear-armed countries, permanent UN Security Council members, must work on a common approach aimed at preventing a global war, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. | Putin made the comments during his annual state-of-the-nation address on Wednesday. | The president said the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, China, Russia, Britain and France — carry a "special responsibility for securing the sustainable development of humanity." | These five nations must begin to devise measures aimed at neutralizing any conditions for a global war, and develop new approaches towa…

RT (2020-01-15). Moscow calls for collective security 'like OSCE for Europe' to be implemented in Persian Gulf region — Lavrov. rt.com Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged Persian Gulf nations to work toward the creation of a joint security mechanism, noting that Moscow was concerned about the tense standoff in the region. | Lavrov said Russia was troubled by tensions in the Persian Gulf, and encouraged regional states to cooperate to ensure regional stability. | "We have been suggesting to the Gulf countries to think about collective security mechanisms, something like OSCE for Europe", Lavrov told the international Raisina Dialogue conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. | "It´s not just 'let´s not fight with each othe…

RT (2020-01-15). Russian government resigns, after President Putin's State-of-the-Nation Address proposes changes to the constitution. rt.com Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has announced that the government is resigning. The statement came shortly after President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual state-of-the-nation address. | Accepting the resignation, Putin asked the ministers to function as a caretaker government until a new one is formed. | Before announcing the resignation of the cabinet, Medvedev met with Putin to discuss his state-of-the-nation address, which took place earlier on Wednesday, the Kremlin's press office said. | Putin also said that he plans to create a position of the deputy secretary of Russia's security council, and…

RT (2020-01-15). Trump deal instead of Iran nuclear deal? I agree! US president gives Twitter nod to BoJo. rt.com Boris Johnson's suggestion that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal be replaced with a new one — named after Donald Trump — received an enthusiastic response from the US president. | "Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, stated, 'We should replace the Iran deal with the Trump deal.' I agree!" Trump proclaimed in a tweet released Wednesday. | Earlier, Johnson said he understands American concerns over the "flawed" 2015 pact with Iran, which saw the Islamic Republic dramatically reducing its nuclear program in exchange for lifting crippling economic sanctions. | Prime Minister of the United Ki…

RT (2020-01-15). 'Why do you allow the United States to bully you?' — Iranian FM to Europe over nuclear deal tensions. rt.com Iranian FM Zarif criticized the European decision to trigger an investigation into Tehran's alleged non-compliance with the nuclear deal — asking why it allows "bullying" from the United States, who derailed the agreement. | During an international conference in New Delhi, Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif was asked about the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal. The agreement went downhill in May 2018 when the US dropped out, then re-imposing sweeping sanctions and vowing to pile "maximum pressure" on Iran. | On Tuesday, the European trio triggered an investigation after Iran announced that it will move beyond u…

Peoples Dispatch (2020-01-15). Assassination of Communist leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in Germany. peoplesdispatch.org On January 15, 1919, communist leaders, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in Germany were murdered on the orders of German authorities. The assassination was an attempt to crush the growth of the German revolutionary movement that challenged the regressive state establishment.

sputniknews (2020-01-15). Germany Suspects Ex-EU Diplomat, Two Lobbyists of Spying for China – Reports. sputniknews.com MOSCOW (Sputnik) – German Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank is investigating a former EU official from Germany and two employees of a major lobbying firm on suspicion of spying for China, the Spiegel newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing information at its disposal.

WSWS (2020-01-15). Germany's Sàºddeutsche Zeitung defends murder of Suleimani. wsws.org In reaction to the Middle East crisis, Germany's ruling circles are enthusing about the criminal methods of Trump while pursuing their own imperialist interests more aggressively.

sputniknews (2020-01-15). Lavrov: Russia to Continue De-Dollarisation Drive Amid 'Increasingly Aggressive' US Sanctions Policy. sputniknews.com Once one of the largest national investors in US Treasury obligations and the US dollar, Russia has been shrinking its holdings substantially in recent years as relations with Washington continue to sour.

WSWS (2020-01-15). Kremlin maintains muted response to Suleimani assassination, insists on Iran nuclear deal. wsws.org An open war against Iran is likely to spread directly to the border of Russia, enflaming not only the entire Middle East but also the South Caucasus.

sputniknews (2020-01-15). PM Medvedev Announces Resignation of Russian Gov't Following Putin's Address to Parliament. sputniknews.com The Russian president addressed lawmakers, ministers and other high-ranking officials on Wednesday, with this year's address focusing mostly on domestic politics including social policy and the economy, but also proposals to amend the country's basic law.

Peoples Dispatch (2020-01-15). 23 die as two migrant boats capsize in Mediterranean region. peoplesdispatch.org One of the boats capsized in the Ionian Sea near Paxi, Greece while the other accident took place in the Aegean Sea near Cesme in Turkey. 29 people were rescued…

sputniknews (2020-01-15). Ankara Summons Egypt's Charge d'Affaires Over Raid on Anadolu News Agency in Cairo – Reports. sputniknews.com Earlier in the day, Turkish state Anadolu news agency reported that Egyptian police raided its office in Cairo on Tuesday evening and arrested four of its employees.

WSWS (2020-01-15). European powers move toward scrapping nuclear accord with Iran. wsws.org Berlin, London and Paris, emboldened by Tehran's weak response to the US murder of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, are escalating attacks against Iran.

sputniknews (2020-01-15). As Meghan and Harry Rock the Boat, Which is the World's Most Secure Royal Family? sputniknews.com The British Royal Family has been rocked by the decision of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to "step back" and seek financial independence. From Spain to Thailand, royal families around the world are having a tough time.

sputniknews (2020-01-15). Farage Mocked Online After Saying Britain Will Be a 'Joke' If Big Ben Does Not Bong For Brexit. sputniknews.com Nigel Farage has said he will be organising a Brexit festival on 31 January to coincide with the day the UK leaves the European Union. He also expressed his wish for Big Ben, which has been silenced since 2017 due to a four year restoration project, to bong at 11pm as the UK departs from the bloc.

yenisafak (2020-01-15). French police facing probe for violence during protests. yenisafak.com General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN), France's police watchdog group, will investigate the video, allegedly recorded in Toulouse on Jan. 9, and the police violence during protests, the daily LeMonde reported.Police violence in France has been a subject of controversy since the Yellow Vest protests which started in Nov. 17, 2018 and continue to be the main focus because of the ongoing pension reform protests since Dec. 5.On Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron said some officers show "unacceptable behaviors," however, it is not right to say that all police officers used violence against protesters."I e…

yenisafak (2020-01-15). US expects UN sanctions on Iran to 'snap back into place'. yenisafak.com The United States believes international sanctions on Iran will be swiftly reimposed now that France, Britain and Germany have formally triggered a mechanism to help enforce Iran's nuclear agreement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday."I've had very direct discussions – as well as Secretary Pompeo has – with our counterparts," Mnuchin told CNBC. "I think you saw the E3 did put out the statement and have activated the dispute resolution. And we look forward to working with them quickly and would expect that the U.N. sanctions will snap back into place."

yenisafak (2020-01-15). Russian FM calls out under representation in UN. yenisafak.com Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday called out the UN Security Council for failing to rightfully represent developing countries.Addressing the annual Raisina Dialogue in the Indian capital New Delhi, Lavrov said that Moscow believes in "equitable and democratic world order not on the balance of brutal force"."I would say that the main and probably the only deficiency of the [UN] Security Council is under representation of the developing countries," he said, adding that India and Brazil should make it to the list along with an African candidate.- India-China tiesAlso speaking at the event, Indian…

yenisafak (2020-01-15). 'UAE embassy in Moscow obstructed Libya cease-fire'. yenisafak.com Libya's Chairman of the High Council of State Khalid al-Mishri on Wednesday confirmed that the embassy of United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Moscow strongly contributed to obstruct the ceasefire in Libya. | "The Gulf countries were present in the cease-fire negotiations in the capital Moscow, including the charge d'affaires of the UAE embassy to Russia, who was one of the obstacles on the signing of the cease-fire agreement in Libya," al-Mishri said at a press conference in Tripoli."The Russian proposal for a cease-fire was written in a format to satisfy the aggressor [referring to Haftar forces]," al-Mishri said.On J…

yenisafak (2020-01-15). Russian prime minister and government resign after Putin speech. yenisafak.com Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that his government was resigning to give President Vladimir Putin room to carry out the changes he wants to make to the constitution.The unexpected announcement, which came shortly after Putin proposed a nationwide vote on sweeping changes that would shift power from the presidency to parliament, means Russia will also get a new prime minister.Possible candidates include Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, Dmitry Oreshkin, the economy minister, or Alexander Novak, the energy minister.Medvedev made the announcement on state TV sitting next to Putin who th…

yenisafak (2020-01-15). US students in Washington introduced to Turkish culture. yenisafak.com Turkey's Embassy in Washington introduced its country and culture to elementary school students in the U.S.The embassy discussed Turkey's culture, nature, language and cuisine with Barnard Elementary School student during a visit Tuesday."Our young friends in 5th grade had a taste of delicious Turkish delight, a sense of Turkish music and a stamp on their passports! We can't wait to meet for a second time!" the embassy said on Twitter.The embassy said the visit was held with contributions from the Yunus Emre Institute as part of the District of Columbia Public Schools' Embassy Adoption Program (EAP).The Yunus Emr…

yenisafak (2020-01-15). EU's industrial production down 1.3% in November 2019. yenisafak.com Industrial production in the European Union dropped by 1.3% in November 2019 year-on-year, the bloc's statistical office announced on Wednesday."In November 2019, compared with November 2018, production of intermediate goods fell by 2.3%, capital goods by 2.1% and energy by 1.5%, while production of non-durable consumer goods rose by 1.8% and durable consumer goods by 1.9%," the Eurostat said.Among member countries, the largest drop in industrial production were registered in Greece (-8.3%), Romania (-7.5%) and Estonia (-7.2%)."The highest increases were observed in Hungary (5.7%), Poland (5.6%) and Finland (3.7%…

yenisafak (2020-01-15). Brazil's Petrobras ends operational activities in Africa. yenisafak.com Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known locally as Petrobras, has said it "completely closed its operational activities" in Africa.The statement came on Tuesday after the company finalized the sale of a 50% stake in the Netherlands-based Petrobras Oil Gas BV, which holds some 8% Nigerian oil assets, for $1.4 billion to Petrovida Holding.Petrovida Holding is formed by Vitol Investment Partnership II, Africa Oil Corp and Delonex Energy.Additionally, Petrobras, which has its global headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, is expected to suspend operations at its wholly-owned Araucaria Nitrogenados…

yenisafak (2020-01-15). China calls UNSC to discuss Kashmir, France opposes. yenisafak.com The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will discuss the Kashmir issue in a closed-door meeting as part of its Wednesday agenda, Radio Pakistan reported.According to media outlet News18, however, France said it opposed a request by a UNSC member, reportedly China, for a discussion on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in New York."France's position has not changed and is very clear: The Kashmir issue must be settled bilaterally

RT (2020-01-14). Hear no evil, see no evil, print no evil? MSM warn journalists away from Burisma/Biden info after 'hack' report. rt.com The US political and media elite have warned any journalist who might think of publishing (or even looking at) material potentially hacked from Ukrainian gas firm Burisma that they're essentially handing 2020's election to Russia. | Burisma Holdings – the Ukrainian company where Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden's son Hunter served as a director – has been hacked, cybersecurity firm Area 1 announced on Tuesday. Area 1 has ties to both the NSA and Crowdstrike, the firm behind 2016's still-unproven "Russian hacking" allegations, and has…

Thomas S. Harrington (2020-01-14). An Interview with Embattled Catalan President Quim Torra. counterpunch.org The Catalan conflict is generating a constitutional crisis in Madrid with far-reaching implications for the future of the European Union. In a stunning and legally questionable move on January 3, Spain's Central Electoral Commission voted to remove Catalan President Joaquim Torra from office immediately. In a speech the same evening, Torra rejected the legitimacy of the ruling, saying he responds only to the will of the Catalan people and the Catalan Parliament. The following day, the Catalan Parliament robustly backed him and his position on the matter. Meanwhile, during the investiture debate of Socialist Prime…

The Canary (2020-01-14). Johnson calls for 'Trump deal' to resolve Iran tensions. thecanary.co Donald Trump should produce a replacement for the Iran nuclear deal, Boris Johnson said as he called for tensions in the Gulf to be "dialled down".The UK, along with European allies, has remained part of the troubled nuclear deal despite the US president's opposition.The prime minister said one of the problems the American leader had with the agreement was that it was negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama, so putting in a replacement "Trump deal" would be a way out of the current crisis. | The US has pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which eased sanctions in return for Iran agree…

Staff (2020-01-14). GOP Debate on Impeachment Witnesses Intensifies as Pelosi Prepares to Send Articles to Senate. democracynow.org The impeachment trial of President Trump is anticipated to proceed this week, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate as early as Wednesday. The House impeached Trump in December for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to Trump's effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. A growing number of Republican senators are pushing for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on whether to allow witnesses to speak at the Senate trial. The timing of the Senate impeachment trial could impact the 2020 presidentia…

Staff (2020-01-14). Headlines for January 14, 2020. democracynow.org "It Doesn't Really Matter": Trump Changes Story on Soleimani Killing, Six Democratic Candidates Will Take Stage for Debate in Iowa Tonight, Warren: Sanders Said Woman Couldn't Win in 2020, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Launching New PAC to Support Progressive Democrats, Trump Plans to Divert Additional $7.2 Billion from Military Budget to Border Wall, Turkey and Russia Broker Ceasefire for Idlib, Syria, France to Send More Troops to West Africa Amid Rising Violence in Sahel, 55 Die in Avalanches in Pakistan, Study: 2019 Was Hottest Year for World's Oceans on Record, AG Barr and Apple Face Off over Phone of Alleged Pen…

teleSUR (2020-01-14). Martinique: Protests in Support of Environmental Activists. telesurenglish.net Over one hundred people Monday gathered at the House of the Unions in support of seven environmental activists who were summoned by the courts in Fort-de-France, the capital of the Caribbean island of Martinique, a French overseas territory. | RELATED: | 8th Caribbean Peoples Assembly Debates the Crisis of Capitalism | Authorities blocked the entrance to the Palace of Justice to prevent the arrival of a march in support of seven anti-chlordecone young activists. | "Concentrat…

Scott Ritter (2020-01-14). Putin's Orthodox Christmas Visit to Damascus Plays Up Assad's Syria as Enclave of Peace — While Rest of Middle East Burns. globalresearch.ca Russian leader Vladimir Putin made a surprise Christmas visit to Syria, where he met with the country's president, Bashar Assad. The tranquility of their meeting was in sharp contrast to the hell breaking out in neighboring Iraq. | The unannounced …

Andrew Korybko (2020-01-14). Russia's Unsuccessful Libyan Peace Summit Was a Good Start. globalresearch.ca Russia's Libyan peace summit in Moscow didn't succeed with its stated objective of getting the warring parties to agree to a ceasefire agreement after they failed to find any common ground with one another, but it was nevertheless a good …

teleSUR (2020-01-14). Libya: How Did We Get Here?>. telesurenglish.net The Libyan War broke out in the Spring of 2011 after weeks of wide-scale protests against the government of President Muammar Gaddafi. | RELATED: | Libya Talks in Russia Progress but Fail to Sign Ceasefire | The protesters were calling for Gaddafi to step down from the presidency, despite holding the role since his rise to power in the late 1960s and earl…

teleSUR (2020-01-14). Libya: No Ceasefire As Rival Factions Leave Moscow Without Deal. telesurenglish.net Libya's General Kalifa Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA), refused to sign an agreement that would have formalized a tentative ceasefire Tuesday in Russia, despite been already signed by the head of the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj. | RELATED: | Libya: How Did We Get Here? | "The draft [agreement] ignores many of the Libyan ar…

Peoples Dispatch (2020-01-14). Khalifa Haftar refuses to formalize Libyan ceasefire. peoplesdispatch.org The warlord who had initially agreed to the ceasefire proposed by Russia and Turkey withdrew saying that it did not address his concerns. His rival group, the Government of National Accord, has already signed the agreement…

Caitlin Johnstone (2020-01-14). Pundits Go Nuts Over New Russian Hacking Conspiracy. theantimedia.com (CJ Opinion) — The New York Times reports that GRU operatives launched a successful "phishing attack" on the Ukrainian gas company at the heart of scandalous allegations about Joe Biden, and establishment pundits are falling all over themselves to tweet the hottest take on this exciting new Russia conspiracy. The story itself fails the smell test on a …

teleSUR (2020-01-14). Spain: 1 Killed, 6 Injured in Big Chemical Factory Explosion. telesurenglish.net One person was killed, another was missing and six were injured Tuesday in an explosion and fire at a chemical factory in the northeastern town of Tarragona in the Spanish semi-autonomous region of Catalonia, local authorities reported. | RELATED: | Spain: New Coalition Government Takes Oath of Office | Rescue services called the blast a "chemical accident," adding the fire had been contained and that several of the injured had suffered burns. The affected company is Industrias Qu…

Antonio Carty (2020-01-14). Rush elections are like a non violent coup against public consciousness. zcomm.org Ireland's leader Leo Varadkar, has just announced snap election for February 8th? that's about 3 weeks, how does a legitimate public debate and campaign by opposition party's have a proper chance to lodge an alternative to this self proclaimed 'Government of Ireland' who instead of getting any real progress on the fundamental outstanding problems people Read more…

teleSUR (2020-01-14). Venezuela Asks Electoral Body to Invite UN, EU to Observe Polls. telesurenglish.net Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro asked the National Electoral Council (CNE) Tuesday to invite the European Union (EU) and the United Nations as observers in the process of legislative elections scheduled for this year. | RELATED: | Venezuela and Red Cross Monitor Protection for Blockade Victims | During the presentation of his 2019 balance, the Venezuelan president was also firm in expressing that "what is definitive is that neither the Organization of American States (OAS…

teleSUR (2020-01-14). Iran Welcomes "Constructive" Measures to Save Nuclear Deal. telesurenglish.net Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said Tuesday that Iran welcomes any constructive measure which aims at saving the 2015 nuclear deal. | RELATED: Trump Signed Off on Soleimani's Assassination in June | "As in the past, Iran is fully ready to receive any well-intended and constructive measures to salvage this important international deal, and it supports any initiative in this regard," Mousavi said. | "In the meantime, Iran clarifies it to all and particularly to three European parties of the deal that any breach of vows, mal-intention and unconst…

WSWS (2020-01-14). Berlin, London and Paris threaten Iran over 2015 nuclear treaty. wsws.org After the recent US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, the European powers are denouncing not Washington, but Tehran, as a threat to the Middle East.

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