2020-02-17: News Headlines

RT (2020-02-17). 'Chechenophobic:' Clueless Czech PM Babis upsets Grozny with snobbish reaction to name confusion. rt.com What do you call a prime minister who doesn't know the name of his country? Well, it appears the answer is Andrej Babis, the billionaire premier of Czechia. | He believed he was governing 'the Czech Republic,' until he discovered differently during a Wall Street Journal interview. | In 2016, the previous Prague government agreed to make Czechia the official short name of the country, and since then, the United Nations and the European Union have officially used the new designation. Google Maps and other cartography services have also fallen into line. | Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Babis said: "I didn'

RT (2020-02-17). N. Macedonia MPs dissolve parliament after France's veto on EU accession talks. rt.com North Macedonia's MPs have voted to dissolve parliament ahead of an early election. The voting on April 12 will take place eight months before the normal expiration of the parliament's four-year term. | All major political parties agreed on Sunday to the early election proposed by then PM Zoran Zaev after France, supported by Denmark and the Netherlands, vetoed the opening of accession talks between the European Union and North Macedonia, AP reported. A caretaker government of technicians was installed in early January to ensure a free and fair vote. | Zaev had voiced "disappointment and outrage" over the EU d…

RT (2020-02-17). India summons Turkish ambassador, claims Erdogan's remarks on Kashmir are attempt at meddling. rt.com New Delhi has issued a forceful response to the Turkish ambassador in the country, following incendiary remarks by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about India's policies in the disputed Kashmir region. | India reportedly presented a "strong demarche" to Turkish Ambassador Sakir Ozkan Torunlar on Monday, and warned that Erdogan's comments during his recent visit to Pakistan will have "strong implications" for bilateral ties. | Announcing the move, a spokesman for the India's Ministry of External Affairs said that Erdogan's allegation about "unilateral steps" being taken in Kashmir reflect "neither an understandi…

RT (2020-02-17). Turkey trying to 'CONQUER' Libya, not to bring peace, says top Tripoli govt diplomat visiting Moscow. rt.com While Ankara claims to be supporting Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), its foreign minister on Monday outright rejected the Turkish presence in Libya, blasting it as an "aggression." | Commenting on the role of external players, such as Russia and Turkey, in bringing to an end the protracted Libyan civil war, minister Abdul Hadi Al-Hweij was particularly candid. | "When we talk about peace, we don't have [Turkey's President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan in mind," Al-Hweij said. "Among all the involved political figures, he's the farthest from a peaceful settlement." | Al-Hweij was speaking at the…

RT (2020-02-17). US openly paves way for INF-banned missiles to be placed in Europe & Asia — Lavrov. rt.com Just out of a milestone nuclear missile accord, the US is about to deploy short- and intermediate-range missiles in Europe and Asia, prompting Moscow to engage France and other partners to preserve security on the continent. | "In order to agree on specific solutions, we need multilateral talks and multilateral consultations involving, of course, the United States, who destroyed the treaty," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday, referring to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. | This pact saw Washington and Moscow eliminate entire classes of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and m…

John Horning (2020-02-17). NEPA is Our National Defense System‚Ä®. counterpunch.org Our nation is under attack. If the attack were coming from the sky, NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) would detect the threat. That is NORAD's mission, to anticipate threats to our homeland. The current attack on our land didn't originate in Russia or China; it began in Washington D.C., in January, when President Trump proposed dismantling NEPA — the law that protects our communities, land and water every bit as much as NORAD protects our skies.

RT (2020-02-17). Top judge says Russia shouldn't be considered successor of 'repressive, terrorist, illegal' Soviet Union, Kremlin disagrees. rt.com If you want to find a way to split Russian public opinion, there's no better instrument than a debate on the country's Soviet legacy. On Monday, sparks flew after a leading judge opened Moscow's most divisive Pandora's Box. | Konstantin Aranovsky believes the USSR was an "illegally created state" and says today's Russia shouldn't be considered its successor, rather its replacement. The Constitutional Court judge also lashed the "repressive-terrorist acts" of the Soviet era, and suggested Russia should have the status of a country "innocent of totalitarian crimes," since "it was recreated in spite of the regime…

RT (2020-02-17). Russia to export beef to Brazil for first time. rt.com Major Russian meat producer Miratorg has announced that the first delivery of 13 tons of beef will soon be supplied to Brazil. The company says the product will be distributed among the country's hotel chains and restaurants. | "The company's strategy is aimed at increasing exports of high value-added products that are competitive in price and in demand on global markets," said Miratorg's President Victor Linnik, as quoted by the company's press service. He noted that Miratorg takes into account the peculiarities of food culture in importing countries when planning future supplies. | Miratorg supplies meat to…

RT (2020-02-17). Movement of Cosmos satellite didn't violate intl law, posed no threat — Moscow. rt.com The movement of the Cosmos-2542 satellite, a matter over which the US has expressed concern, posed no threat and did not violate international law, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Monday. It added that the continuing propaganda campaign against Russia is aimed "at masking Washington's destructive actions, which are provoking an arms race in outer space and transforming space into a new field of military confrontation." | US Space Force Commander Gen. John Raymond said on February 11 that the United States had notified Russia through diplomatic channels that it was concerned by an incident in which Russian sa…

RT (2020-02-17). Woman on board cruise ship in Japan is first Russian citizen diagnosed with new coronavirus. rt.com The Russian Embassy in Tokyo says a Russian national has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus on the 'Diamond Princess' cruise ship docked and quarantined in Japan. She did not sent an evacuation request. | "There were no evacuation requests, either from the infected Russian national, or from the rest of the Russian nationals aboard the ship. The infected woman is expected to be hospitalized in Japan," the embassy said. There has been no information yet on where the woman would be hospitalized. | This is the first confirmed coronavirus case involving a Russian citizen. Earlier on Monday, Japanese medic…

RT (2020-02-17). Russia will support Syria's fight against terrorism in Idlib despite Trump's calls to stop it — Kremlin. rt.com Moscow has vowed to continue its fight against terrorism in Syria's Idlib province alongside Damascus, even though this doesn't fit with Washington's vision for resolving the crisis. | Both the Russian Armed Forces and the country's advisers will "support the Syrian Arab Republic armed forces in their fight against terrorism," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a briefing on February 17. | Referring to escalating terrorist attacks in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, he said that the Russian government "still regrets that these terrorists have revitalized in Idlib." | The statement follows US…

RT (2020-02-17). Danish troops to return to Iraq air base for anti-ISIS campaign in March. rt.com Denmark said it will send military personnel back to the Iraqi Al-Asad base on March 1 to restart training of Iraqi security forces in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). | The NATO member-state last month removed most of the 130 military personnel it had stationed at the Al-Asad base, due to security concerns in the wake of an Iranian missile attack on the facility on January 8. Denmark's forces at the base are part of the international coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria. | The Danish defense ministry said on Monday the security situation was now no different than before the attack,…

Eds. (2020-02-17). Isabelle Garo on Marx's strategic thought and the spirit of revolt. mronline.org The present context in France and across the world is quite bad for the exploited and oppressed in general, as also for the organised workers' movement. This long term weakening in the conditions of capitalist crises gave the green light to the ruling classes to take out their revenge at the end of the 1970s […] |

RT (2020-02-17). EU leaders agree to enforce Libya arms embargo with warships, despite fears of spike in migration. rt.com European Union foreign ministers have agreed to launch a naval operation to enforce an arms embargo on Libya, despite warnings from within the bloc that doing so would encourage new flows of migrants to Europe. | The EU ministers agreed to the naval operation at a meeting in Brussels on Monday. Aimed at simmering down the country's ongoing civil war, the operation will also have an air component and the possibility of ground forces, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio was quoted by AFP as saying. | The move was not universally welcome in Europe, and EU Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell had even predicted…

Paul Antonopoulos (2020-02-17). Is U.S. Sponsored Regime Change War Coming to Georgia? globalresearch.ca Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili (October 2012 — November 2013) is leading his party to dominate the Georgian parliament in the upcoming Autumn elections, if they actually go on schedule and not earlier as many commentators are speculating. Ivanishvili, Georgia's …

South Front (2020-02-17). Video: Turkey Supports Al Qaeda Against Syrian Forces in Idlib. globalresearch.ca In Turkey, it is by now a good tradition to threaten Syria with a war every time when luckless Idlib rebels suffer another military defeat from the Syrian Army. This week was no exception. Recept Tayip Erdogan spearheaded the choir …

Jason Ditz (2020-02-17). DOJ Investigating Former CIA Director's Role in Russiagate. theantimedia.com The Justice Department is investigating the role of John Brennan in the assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Larry Romanoff (2020-02-17). China's Coronavirus. "We Cannot Rule Out Man Made Origin of these Infections" globalresearch.ca Introductory Note | In earlier articles I related the opinions of biochemists and bio-warfare specialists on the circumstances justifying suspicion of a virus being created in a lab and deliberately released in a foreign country as a means of either low- …

teleSUR (2020-02-17). Venezuelan VP Accuses Spanish Right-Wing of Supporting Guaido. telesurenglish.net The Vice President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, accused the Spanish right-wing of supporting the self-proclaimed 'president', Juan Guaidó. In an interview with the Venezuelan news channel Televen, the functionary accused the right parties in Spain of having "a profound double standard" because of their backing of Guaidó, who is in favor of a coup d'état in the South American country. | RELATED: | Rodríguez explained tha…

Dr. Binoy Kampmark (2020-02-17). Intelligence Spats: Australia, Britain and Huawei. globalresearch.ca A note of fraternal tension has been registered between the United Kingdom and Australia. It began with Britain's decision to permit China's technology giant Huawei a role in the construction of the country's 5G network. While the decision is qualified …

WSWS (2020-02-17). US threatens Europe over Huawei at Munich Security Conference. wsws.org After the UK, France and Germany announced they would not ban Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from their networks, US officials sought to threaten their NATO allies into changing course.

WSWS (2020-02-17). YIVO Institute for Jewish research in New York fires all its librarians. wsws.org Many of the YIVO library's 400,000 books, newspapers and documents have been rescued from Nazi barbarism, and are indispensable for the study of European Jewish history before the Second World War, the Holocaust and the pre-war revolutionary movement of the Eastern European working class.

teleSUR (2020-02-17). Munich Conference: EU needs to Have More "Appetite for Power" telesurenglish.net The Munich Security Conference closed on Sunday with a call for the European Union to work more closely together and to have more power of decision and action in international conflict management, in a context marked by differences between the EU and the United States. | RELATED: | In this polarised world, Europe must "learn to speak the language of power," said the EU's High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrel…

WSWS (2020-02-17). German President Steinmeier calls for German-European great power politics at Munich conference. wsws.org In his opening speech at this year's Munich Security Conference, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) stressed that the ruling class in Germany is determined to promote the return of militarism by all means.

WSWS (2020-02-17). Germany's Left Party appeals for cooperation with Christian Democrats and Free Democratic Party in Thuringia. wsws.org Although it was the target of the AfD in Thuringia, the Left Party has responded with evasions, concealing the truth, appeasement, and stretching out the hand of cooperation to the CDU and FDP.

yenisafak (2020-02-17). Lavrov says Russian, Turkish forces in contact on Idlib. yenisafak.com Russia said on Monday that its military representatives in Idlib were in constant contact with their Turkish counterparts on developments on the ground in Syria's northwestern province.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Munich, Germany that Moscow would host a fresh round of talks between "interdepartmental delegations" of Russia and Turkey, in the hopes of de-escalating tensions."All the facts are on the table. Military representatives of both the Russian Federation and Turkey, who are on the ground in Syria, in the province of Idlib, examine the changes in the situation in constant contact…

yenisafak (2020-02-17). 'Turkey's Maarif Foundation antidote to FETàñ terrorism'. yenisafak.com Turkey's vice president on Monday praised the Maarif Foundation, which has taken over the management of many schools abroad that were linked to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETàñ), the group responsible for the 2016 failed coup attempt.Speaking at the Country Representative Consultation Meeting of the foundation, Fuat Oktay said the foundation was an antidote to the poison FETàñ had spread all over the world and added the terror group harmed the countries where it operated.Oktay went on to say that millions of needy people lay hopes on Turkey and Ankara was striving to help them with its cultura…

yenisafak (2020-02-17). Russian airstrikes target two hospitals in Syria's Aleppo. yenisafak.com Russian warplanes struck two hospitals, as well as residential areas, in Syria's northern Aleppo province, an official said on Monday.According to Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, airstrikes hit the hospitals in the northern town of Darat Izza near the Turkish border, wounding civilians and forcing the medical facilities to close.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over half of the country's health facilities have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the civil war in 2011.Russian aircraft also targeted villages in the northwestern Idlib province, a stronghold of oppositi…

yenisafak (2020-02-17). Danish troops to return to Al-Asad air base in Iraq on March 1. yenisafak.com Denmark will send its military personnel back to the Iraqi al-Asad base on March 1, after last month temporarily moving some of them to Kuwait due to security concerns, the Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen said on Monday.

yenisafak (2020-02-17). FACTBOX: Latest on coronavirus spreading in China and beyond. yenisafak.com Here are the latest developments around the coronavirus outbreak: * The death toll in mainland China reached 1,770 as of Sunday-end, up by 105 from the previous day, while there were 2,048 new cases, bringing the total count to 70,548.* In Hubei province, 1,933 new cases and 100 new deaths were reported — the lowest daily death count since Feb. 11.* Outside China, more than 500 cases have been confirmed, mostly of people who travelled from Chinese cities, with five deaths in Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, France and Taiwan.* China says a World Health Organization (WHO) delegation of experts will visit Be…

yenisafak (2020-02-17). French health minister resigns, enters Paris mayor race. yenisafak.com In a dramatic turn of events, France's Solidarity and Health Minister Agnes Buzyn stepped down from her post to run for the Paris mayor.She announced her resignation on Sunday and confirmed her candidacy for next month's mayoral elections on a ticket of President Emmanuel Macron's party, La Republique En Marche (LREM).She replaces Macron's previous handpicked candidate Benjamin Griveaux who withdrew last Friday after the release of a compromising video.In a statement, Buzyn expressed "immense gratitude" and "hope for the future of Paris."She was replaced as health minister by Olivier Veran, a 39-year-old neurolog…

yenisafak (2020-02-17). Euro zone to cautiously pave the way for more fiscal stimulus. yenisafak.com Euro zone finance ministers are set to discuss on Monday a document that calls for a more growth-friendly fiscal policy, a move that could lead to Germany's spending more amid fears of a downturn.The 19-country euro zone has for years stuck to a "broadly neutral" fiscal policy in its annual recommendations, despite repeated calls from the European Central Bank and slow-growth states for it to invest more.But weak growth last year in Germany, the bloc's largest economy, and fears of a new downturn, fuelled by the coronavirus outbreak in China, are pushing Berlin to soften its stance. Until now it has preached aust…

sputniknews (2020-02-17). 'Sinister Menaces': Hungarian PM Orban Attacks EU Economic Policies and George Soros. sputniknews.com Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has never been a fan of George Soros, the Hungarian-American billionaire and founder of the Open Society Foundations, often attacking the renowned philanthropist for allegedly meddling in Hungary's internal affairs, as well as for supporting increased migration to Europe.

sputniknews (2020-02-17). 4.2-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Eastern Turkey – Reports. sputniknews.com In late-January, a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the eastern Turkish province of Elazig, leaving 41 people dead.

sputniknews (2020-02-17). Russian National Confirmed Infected With COVID-19 on Quarantined Diamond Princess – Embassy. sputniknews.com TOKYO (Sputnik) – A Russian national aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise liner has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Russian embassy in Japan confirmed on Monday.

sputniknews (2020-02-17). US Paving Way to Deploy Intermediate and Short-Range Missiles in Europe and Asia – Lavrov. sputniknews.com Moscow earlier called on the US to avoid deploying the missiles near Russia's borders, after Washington left the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, stressing it would lead to the "degradation" of the global arms control system.

sputniknews (2020-02-17). Watch Skilled Pilots Perform 'Crab Landing' at Heathrow Amid Ravaging Storm Dennis. sputniknews.com Storm Dennis that swept through the United Kingdom over the weekend and made the authorities issue a rare "danger to life" warning has so far caused the death of one person, disrupting flights and trains.

sputniknews (2020-02-17). French Unions Hold Rally in Paris as National Assembly Debates Pension Reform – Video. sputniknews.com A nationwide strike began in early December of last year in response to the government's plans to replace 42 different pension schemes with a universal, points-based system.

sputniknews (2020-02-17). Brazilian Scientist Opens Up on His Research That Will Help Study Origin of Universe. sputniknews.com Scientist Thiago Tomei, who won an international award last week, has opened up on his work at the European Center for Nuclear Research, where he takes part in Large Hadron Collider experiments (LHC).

sputniknews (2020-02-17). Tesla's First European Plant in Trouble After German Court Orders to Stop Ground Works. sputniknews.com The company bought almost 300 hectares of land in Gràºnheide, southeast of the capital Berlin, which it scoured from forests. The plant was scheduled to open in 2021 with the company saying it expected the plant to produce half a million of vehicles per year.

Patrick Cockburn (2020-02-17). Sinn Fein's Victory is Ireland's 'Brexit Moment' When Left-Out Voters Turn on the Elite. counterpunch.org "People wanted to kick the government and Sinn Fein provided the shoe to do the kicking," says Christy Parker, a journalist from the beautiful but de-industrialised town of Youghal in county Cork. He speaks of the "chasm" between the elite benefiting from Ireland's impressive economic progress and the large part of the population that has been left behind.

The Canary (2020-02-16). Bakery workers target Pancake Tuesday in strike over pay. thecanary.co Workers have vowed to halt Pancake Tuesday in Northern Ireland during strike action at one of the UK's largest bakeries.Bakers at Allied Bakeries in east Belfast walked out early on Sunday morning for the first time in decades in a row over a 3% pay claim.The factory makes products such as Kingsmill bread.This is one of the busiest weeks of the year at the site, which is part of Associated British Foods.The multinational company owns a series of brands, including clothes retailer Primark, and posted profits of around £1.4 billion last year.A Kingsmill lorry stopped at the gates where dozens of workers carry…

RT (2020-02-16). Can Moscow finish Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite US sanctions? 'Never say never' says Gazprom. rt.com Russia's $10 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline – which will pump gas more than 1,200 km to Germany – has been sanctioned by Washington, with US officials claiming Moscow can't finish the project. "Never say never," Gazprom replied. | The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a joint project between Russian energy giant Gazprom and five European firms, was sanctioned by the US Congress in December. The State Department followed this with an ultimatum to the European firms working on the project: "immediately cease construction-related activity." | The warning was enough to scare away Swiss pipelaying firm Allseas Group SA, and…

teleSUR (2020-02-16). Yemen's Warring Sides to Exchange Thousands of Prisoners. telesurenglish.net Yemen's warring sides agreed to exchange thousands of prisoners at the start of critical peace talks sponsored by the United Nations (U.N.) and started Thursday morning in the locality of Rimbo, north of Sweden's capital Stockholm. | RELATED: | The announcement was made Sunday by the U.N. which said in a statement that both sides decided to "immediately begin with exchanging the lists for the upcoming release" of prisoners. | "Today…

The Canary (2020-02-16). Devolved finance ministers write to Treasury seeking Budget talks. thecanary.co Finance ministers from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have urged the UK Government to hold pre-Budget talks. | The devolved administrations also sought clarity on plans for a forthcoming comprehensive spending review. | The joint letter said: "It will be important to discuss the challenges for public spending as a result of leaving the European Union and how we can work together to ensure as smooth a transition as possible to a UK funding framework which delivers for all parts of the United Kingdom and respects devolution. | "A key test of this will be to complete our joint work to review and improve the st…

teleSUR (2020-02-16). EU Nations Push for Bloc's Recognition of State of Palestine. telesurenglish.net A group of European Union (EU) countries led by Luxembourg is planning to present Monday to the EU's foreign affairs ministers, an initiative for the recognition of the state of Palestine by the bloc‚Äã‚Äã‚Äã‚Äã‚Äã, Haaretz reported Sunday. | RELATED: | Luxembourg's Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn has already discussed t…

IMEMC & Agencies (2020-02-16). Fatah Warns Germany and Czech Republic Against "Standing in the Way of Justice" imemc.org The Fatah movement, on Friday, called on both Germany and the Czech Republic in particular to rescind their requests to become an "amicus curiae" with the intention to argue that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over the occupied Palestinian Territories. In a statement, Fatah's spokesperson, Jamal Nazzal, …

teleSUR (2020-02-16). UK Buyers Face Pain Without A Fair Post-Brexit Trade Deal: BRC. telesurenglish.net British consumers will face higher prices and reduced availability of goods if the government fails to agree on a post-Brexit tariff agreement with the European Union on regulatory controls at ports, the retail industry lobby warned Monday. | RELATED: | The formal launch of negotiations on a new relationship after Britain left the EU will begin next month. | Britain was able to import and export goods without p…

Reuters (2020-02-15). Post-Brexit Rules to 'Turn off Tap' of Low-Skilled Foreign Labor. telesurenglish.net Britain will "turn off the tap" of foreign, low-skilled labor and require all skilled workers wishing to come to the country to have a job offer and meet salary and language requirements as it sets post-Brexit rules from next year. | RELATED: | Britain formally left the European Union at the end of January but a transition period is in effect until Dec. 31, during which time little changes. | At the moment, European Union citizen…

Conn Hallinan (2020-02-14). Irish unification back on agenda after election, but it won't be simple. peoplesworld.org The victory by Ireland's left-wing Sinn Fein Party in the Republic's recent election has not only overturned some 90 years of domination by the island's two center-right parties, it suddenly puts the issue of Irish reunification on the agenda. While the campaign was fought over bread and butter issues like housing, the collapsing health care …

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