2020-02-19: News Headlines

RT (2020-02-19). Russia may grant ex-presidents immunity from prosecution & ban ministers from holding foreign bank accounts. rt.com When Vladimir Putin announced his intention to amend Russia's Constitution, it drove the pundits and pontificators into a frenzy of speculation. Since then there's been a raft of proposals but two in particular stand out. | According to Pavel Krasheninnikov, co-chair of the working group set up to propose changes to the code, the idea of making former presidents exempt from subsequent criminal charges has been floated; along with a restriction on cabinet members from keeping money in financial institutions abroad. | Reports about Russian officials taking money out of the country have long aroused anger. Back i…

RT (2020-02-19). Russian Defense Minister Shoigu discusses Libya with east forces' commander Haftar. rt.com Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with the commander of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Libya. | They discussed matters and "stressed the importance of talks held on January 13 in Moscow for establishing ceasefire and launching the process of normalizing the situation in the country," the Russian Defense Ministry said. | Shoigu and Haftar confirmed the need to fulfill the decisions made at the Berlin conference on Libya. | They also noted that there is no alternative to settling the domestic Libyan crisis by political means and confirmed commitment to L…

RT (2020-02-19). Clicks-hungry media warns Ireland of 'Russian ghost ship with CANNIBAL RATS,' but Twitter's not amused. rt.com An Irish news outlet has posted an alarming tweet warning that a cannibal rat-laden Russian 'ghost ship' is "heading for Ireland." Rather than spark concern, the clickbait tweet has merely generated eye-rolls from Twitter users. | Wednesday's tweet from the Irish Times shared a link to a feature about a couple of ghost ships currently at large somewhere on the high seas that could — maybe, possibly, in the right conditions — wind up washing ashore along Ireland's coast. And the vessel of most concern is apparently "an abandoned former Soviet cruise liner [called] Lyubov Orlova" which is apparently ma…

RT (2020-02-19). 'Worst case scenario': Kremlin slams Turkey's threat of military operation against Syrian government in Idlib. rt.com Turkey sending troops to Syria to fight against the government would be the 'worst case scenario', Kremlin spokesman said after Ankara threatened that such an operation was imminent. | Turkey's President Erdogan said on Wednesday Ankara was prepared to launch a military incursion into Idlib to force the Syrian army out. Russia's reaction to such a development would depend on what goals the Turkish troops decide to pursue, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. | "If it will be an operation against terrorist forces in Idlib, that would certainly be within the spirit" of Russia's agreements with Turkey, he said.

RT (2020-02-19). Turkish military op in Idlib only 'matter of time', Erdogan warns Damascus. rt.com A new Turkish military incursion into Syria's Idlib governorate has been planned and may start at any moment, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned, ramping up a tense standoff with Damascus. | "As with all [previous] operations, we say 'we could suddenly come one night.' In other words, an Idlib operation is a matter of time," Erdogan said, referring to incursions into Syria conducted in 2016, 2018 and last year. | Ankara will not "leave Idlib to the Assad regime and its backers," Erdogan vowed, referring to the Syrian government and, apparently, to Russia and Iran. Speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday, he…

RT (2020-02-19). Arctic kiss: Two Russian nuclear icebreakers rendezvous in spectacular night-time DRONE FOOTAGE. rt.com Two Russian nuclear icebreakers have met up somewhere on the endless white plains of the Arctic Ocean, providing for a sight both spectacular and romantic. | The video, posted by Russia's nuclear agency Rosatom, showed its Taymyr and Vaygach icebreakers almost touching with their bows, before settling in to "cuddle" side by side. | With the after-dark "coupling" filmed from the air and edited to a smooth soundtrack, some internet users found the scene "erotic." | There were other interesting comparisons as well, with one commentator saying that the two massive ships positioned so close to each other resemb…

RT (2020-02-19). Venezuela slams US sanctions on Russia's Rosneft as an attempt at grabbing control of global oil market. rt.com Russian oil giant Rosneft's investments and commercial activities in Venezuela are legal, says state energy firm PDVSA, pledging to provide the necessary support for the producer's "operational and commercial continuity." | The PDVSA statement follows Washington's blacklisting of a Rosneft subsidiary on Tuesday over its trade ties with Venezuela. The US accused the oil brokerage subsidiary of handling over 70 percent of Venezuela's exports, in circumvention of US sanctions. It has also given the companies doing business with Rosneft Trading 90 days to disentangle those arrangements. | COMUNICADO OFICIAL&#63743…

RT (2020-02-19). Russian cops bust banned radical Islamist group Tablighi Jamaat's 'training camp,' detain leaders & participants. rt.com Seven members of a hardline Islamic organization were arrested in Moscow on Wednesday, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB). They are charged with disseminating extremist propaganda and trying to recruit new supporters. | Tablighi Jamaat, which means the Outreach Society or the Society for Spreading Faith, is banned in Russia. Its philosophy is based around the idea that Muslims should revert to practicing their faith as it was done in the 7th century, when the Prophet Mohammed himself lived. It particularly focuses on styles of dress, personal behavior, and forms of ritual. | | Religious literatu…

RT (2020-02-19). Russia's tourism sector could lose $455 million if Chinese coronavirus crisis continues until summer – tour operators. rt.com Health concerns over the new COVID-19 coronavirus have led to strong measures in Russia. The Far Eastern border with China has been closed, and most Chinese visitors face restrictions. Now financial losses are being assessed. | Experts forecast that the country's tourism industry may lose almost 3 billion rubles ($47 million), in just the next two months. That's according to ATOR, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia. China is typically the largest single source of tourists to Russia: providing 1.5 million visitors in 2019. | While the situation is bad, it could get much worse. If Chinese holidaymakers…

RT (2020-02-19). 'We can't have Turkish laws on French ground': Macron vows to fight foreign imams preaching 'Islamist separatism'. rt.com Paris will clamp down on imams from Muslim countries that arrive in France to push worshipers into violating the law, the country's President Emmanuel Macron said, warning Turkey it can't "feed separatism" on French soil. | Macron promised to "gradually" end the program allowing Muslim countries to send imams and teachers to France in order to teach languages and culture unsupervised by the state. Speaking at the town of Mulhouse near the German border, he said that the influence of foreign imams leads some to "separate themselves from the Republic and therefore not respect its laws." | The French leader sing…

Andre Vltchek (2020-02-19). Could the Latest Outburst of Ankara's Temper lead to Escalation in Syria? dissidentvoice.org So far Turkey, militarily the second mightiest NATO country, has been able to get away with virtually anything it has chosen to brew in the Middle East. The reason why is simple: to confront Turkey's bullying and expansionism militarily would be like confronting the United States or Israel; thousands of innocent people would die as …

RT (2020-02-19). Albania's president calls on citizens 'to topple govt for violation of constitution'. rt.com Albania's President Ilir Meta on Wednesday called on the people to topple the left-wing government, which he accused of violating the constitution and of alleged links to organized crime, AP reported. | Meta said at a news conference that he hopes people will come to the capital Tirana on March 2, when he plans to sign the first decree against what he says is a 'coup d'etat' being carried out by the government through the justice system. | The Balkan nation of nearly 3 million has been enacting reforms in hopes of getting a green light to launch membership talks with the EU. The president said that justice sys…

RT (2020-02-19). Erdogan slams EU plan to enforce Libya arms embargo. rt.com Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday criticized the European Union's decision to launch a maritime effort focused on enforcing the UN arms embargo around Libya, accusing the European states that have agreed to the operation of "interfering in the region." | Erdogan also hailed a decision by Libya's UN-supported government to withdraw from talks with rivals following an attack Tuesday on the sea port of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. The US called for the talks to be resumed "quickly." | EU foreign ministers agreed earlier this week to end 'Operation Sophia', the bloc's naval mission in the Mediter…

RT (2020-02-19). Reddit experiences major outage as 1000s of reports come flooding in from around the world. rt.com Popular online news aggregator Reddit experienced a major outage Wednesday with thousands of users reporting issues around the world. | Almost 10,000 reports have been made on crowdsourcing website monitor DownDetector.com with a roughly 50/50 split of reports indicating outages on the app and website. | The majority of the reports about the social media platform meets meme workshop have come from the Eastern seaboard of the US and Western Europe. | | © Down Detector | Visitors to the site were met with a message reading: "Our CDN was unable to reach our servers". Reddit confirmed they are aware of the…

Staff (2020-02-19). Assange Was Offered U.S. Pardon if He Cleared Russia, His Lawyer Says. truthdig.com Wikileaks founder will claim former Rep. Rohrabacher did so at behest of Trump in 2017 visit; president denies report through spokeswoman.

Paul Antonopoulos (2020-02-19). Russia Needs to Prioritize Greece as Relations Rift with Turkey. globalresearch.ca A revealing poll released earlier last week by the highly-reliable

BLUES (2020-02-19). Russia Is A Progressive Democracy, America Is A Fascist Plutocracy. indybay.org Too bad I have to live in this hell with all the money going for defective military junk, Billionaires running for Dictator, poop and needles are all over the sidewalks, empty store shelves are coming due to covid-19 in the country that makes all our necessities, etc, and so on.

teleSUR (2020-02-19). Russian Minister Accuses U.S. of Openly Plundering Syrian Oil. telesurenglish.net The United States openly controls and plunders the oil fields belonging to Syria and its people, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday. | RELATED: | "The Syrian oil fields, the territories where the precious substance is produced, are controlled by the United States. There is shameless plundering of the riches that belong to Syria and the Syrian people," denounced Russia's defense minister in Rome, Italy.

Staff (2020-02-19). U.N.: Thousands Fleeing Syrian Offensive, Kids Dying in the Cold. truthdig.com UNITED NATIONS — Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing a Russian-backed Syrian offensive are being squeezed into ever smaller areas near Turkey's border "under horrendous conditions" in freezing temperatures that are killing babies and young children, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Wednesday. | Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council that "the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe" in northwest Idlib province, which is the last major rebel stronghold, has "overwhelmed" efforts to provide aid. | He said nearly 900,000 people have been displaced since Dec. 1 when the government offensive began, more than…

WSWS (2020-02-19). Washington backs Turkey as border clashes mount with Syria and Russia. wsws.org Washington is encouraging Turkish army operations inside Syria, risking a direct clash between the NATO alliance and the Syrian government's main allies, Russia and Iran.

Andrew Korybko (2020-02-19). The Munich Security Conference: No, Pompeo, the West Isn't Winning. globalresearch.ca Secretary of State Pompeo boldly declared during his keynote speech at last weekend's Munich Security Conference that "the West is winning", which isn't true at all since it's actually facing unprecedented challenges from Russia and China, though that also shouldn't …

WSWS (2020-02-19). Russian state frame-up results in draconian prison sentences for left-wing youth. wsws.org Under conditions of staggering social inequality and rising class tensions, the harsh punishment is aimed at intimidating all opposition to the Russian state from the left.

Telesur (2020-02-19). EU Nations Push for Bloc's Recognition of State of Palestine. globalresearch.ca 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. | Luxembourg's Foreign Affairs …

WSWS (2020-02-19). China denounces US "lies" at the Munich Security Conference. wsws.org Beijing's blunt language is an attempt to counter Washington's relentless propaganda offensive and also to seek support from the European powers.

Creede Newton (2020-02-19). The Unbreakable Bond of Ireland and Palestine. globalresearch.ca

|

| In December, a wave of support for the recognition of a Palestinian state swept over Europe, culminating in the European Parliament's (EP) vote on a motion that expressed support for an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and |

teleSUR (2020-02-19). Spanish Parliament Rejects Juan Guaido as Venezuelan President. telesurenglish.net The National Executive in Spain rejected a motion to acknowledge Juan Guaido as the leader of Venezuela on Tuesday. The legal request faced the opposition of 190 parliamentary officials. | RELATED: | The left-wing parties, such as Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos, expressed their rejection of the motion, arguing that political parties like VOX, Ciudadanos, Foro Asturias and Navarra Suma, are usi…

Lucas Leiroz de Almeida (2020-02-19). Revising the History of World War II. globalresearch.ca Poland is encouraging the growth of historical revisionism of the World War II. Apparently, there is nothing necessarily wrong in revisiting the data referring to any past armed conflict, however, it is not the desire for the discovery of the …

WSWS (2020-02-19). At least 2.5 million children in Germany live in poverty. wsws.org In Germany, one of the richest countries in the world, more than 1.5 million children live in families dependent on welfare, and many more in families considered to be working poor.

Shane Quinn (2020-02-19). The Rise of Sinn Féin: Dissecting Ireland's February 2020 General Election and the State of the Nation. globalresearch.ca In the Republic of Ireland, among the most notable outcome from last week's general election outcome was a substantial rise in popularity for the left-leaning party, Sinn Féin, whose standing rose by 10.7% as they gained 15 parliamentary seats …

yenisafak (2020-02-19). Russia 'in contact' with Turkey over Idlib: Kremlin. yenisafak.com Russia said on Wednesday that it would stay in contact with Turkey to avoid further escalation in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged compliance with a 2018 Russia-Turkey memorandum on Idlib negotiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi."We were satisfied with the agreements more than a year ago in Sochi

yenisafak (2020-02-19). Strife at top led to 2001 economic crisis in Turkey. yenisafak.com Nineteen years ago today, an argument at the top of the Turkish state led to one of the republic's worst economic crises.Disagreement over supervision of the Turkish banking system led that day to harsh words between the late Bulent Ecevit, then the country's prime minister, and Ahmet Necdet Sezer, its president.The disagreement reached such a height that during a meeting of Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) in the capital Ankara, Sezer threw a booklet copy of the nation's Constitution across the table, landing close to Ecevit and Husamettin Ozkan, then the deputy prime minister.Ecevit then stormed out of…

yenisafak (2020-02-19). Pakistan eyes removal from int'l money crime gray list. yenisafak.com Riding on crucial support from Turkey, China, and Malaysia, Pakistan's anxious eye is on an ongoing meeting of the Financial Action Task Force

yenisafak (2020-02-19). Turkey slams Macron over Islamophobia. yenisafak.com Turkey's parliament speaker on Wednesday slammed French President Emmanuel Macron's Islamophobic remarks."Macron's remarks on struggling with Islamic separatism are example of crude Islamophobia," Mustafa Sentop said in a tweet."France should first confront its racist and massacrist history," he said, referring to its colonialist past.Sentop's remarks came after Macron said he will end the system in which foreign countries send Muslim preachers to France

yenisafak (2020-02-19). Five drug-swallowing couriers captured in Turkey. yenisafak.com In a major drug bust, five Iranian passengers were caught at Izmir's international airport in Aegean Turkey for carrying capsules containing heroin in their stomachs, security sources said on Wednesday.The five men arrived in Turkey from Iran last week, added the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.The smugglers had swallowed a total of 298 capsules containing 3.385 kilograms (7 pounds) of heroin.They were tracked as part of an ongoing operation to curb drug trafficking from Iran, according to the sources.They said Izmir's anti-narcotics police were monitoring the movem…

yenisafak (2020-02-19). Air France faces new strikes over domestic network cuts. yenisafak.com Air France unions have called for strikes at its domestic carrier Hop as pilots seek improved pay and conditions and ground staff press for job guarantees, union officials said.The strike calls, reported earlier by French news site La Tribune, pose a new challenge to plans by Air France-KLM Chief Executive Ben Smith to cut back the French airline's loss-making domestic network and restore its profitability.After a Tuesday works council meeting, French ground-staff unions said they were maintaining a call for strikes over Feb. 21-22 and stoppages at Paris Orly and provincial airports, with the SNPL pilots' union c…

yenisafak (2020-02-19). Germany's Merkel rejects reduction of EU budget rebates. yenisafak.com Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that Germany rejected the reduction of rebates in negotiations on the European Union budget.Germany had a fundamental interest in a successful outcome to an EU summit, starting on Thursday, on the bloc's budget, she added.

yenisafak (2020-02-19). Kenya's Safaricom to consider Huawei as supplier for 5G network. yenisafak.com Kenya's biggest telecoms operator Safaricom will consider awarding a contract to China's Huawei as it rolls out its fifth generation (5G) network this year, its acting chief executive said on Wednesday.The United States government has been urging its European allies and others not to use Huawei, one of Safaricom's network vendors along with Nokia, citing security concerns."We will use Huawei in 5G … What will we do in terms of the American statements about not using Huawei? We don't have that situation in Africa," Acting CEO Michael Joseph said.Involving Huawei in Safaricom's 5G network could hamper talks on a…

sputniknews (2020-02-19). Seven Members of Extremist Group Tablighi Jamaat Detained in Moscow – Russia's Security Service. sputniknews.com MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Seven members of the international extremist organisation Tablighi Jamaat, banned in Russia, have been detained in Moscow and the Moscow Region, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Wednesday.

sputniknews (2020-02-19). Turkey's 3rd Drilling Ship to Begin Operating in 2020 Amid Row With Cyprus – Erdogan. sputniknews.com MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkey's third offshore drilling ship will begin operations in 2020 to boost the country's oil and gas exploration efforts, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in parliament on Wednesday.

sputniknews (2020-02-19). Talks to Settle Thuringia Crisis Reportedly Fail Amid German Ruling Party Leadership Struggle. sputniknews.com The crisis of national magnitude broke out in the eastern German state of Thuringia this February. FDP's Thomas Kemmerich was elected prime minister of the regional government thanks to the support of the CDU and the right-wing AfD but resigned days later following criticism from Angela Merkel. His replacement has not been found yet.

sputniknews (2020-02-19). EU Plans to Create Single Data Market, Rein in US Tech Giants. sputniknews.com According to the European Commission, the bloc is planning to implement rules for the data market and artificial intelligence, so the new technology will take into account privacy and ethical issues. It also stipulates that all European data centres will be climate neutral by 2030.

sputniknews (2020-02-19). EU Says Northern Ireland Must Keep Custom Checks, Comply With Bloc's Standards Post-Brexit – Reports. sputniknews.com The comments were made just weeks after Britain left the European Union on 31 January, triggering a year-long transition period of fierce negotiations on trade and cooperation agreements.

RT (2020-02-19). France wants customs controls in Irish Sea in post-Brexit talks — minister. rt.com France said on Wednesday it was imperative that talks over a future trade relationship between Britain and the European Union included customs checks in the Irish Sea. | British Prime Minister Boris Johnson struck a divorce deal with the EU last October that leaves the UK's province of Northern Ireland inside the UK customs area but all EU procedures will apply to goods arriving there. | "There must be controls in the Irish Sea," France's junior minister for European affairs Amelie de Montchalin told a hearing at French Senate, according to Reuters. | Northern Ireland shares a land border with its southern nei…

RT (2020-02-19). Brexit leverage or historic justice? Twitter row erupts after EU 'demands' UK return stolen Elgin Marbles to Greece. rt.com Britain's refusal to return the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles to Greece, which says they were stolen from Athens in the early 19th century, has triggered debate on Twitter about the rights and wrongs of the provocative request. | The long-running dispute has recently seen Greece step up efforts to reclaim the 2,500-year-old sculptures that had adorned the famed fifth century BC Parthenon temple. The precious pieces were taken by British diplomat Lord Elgin when Athens was under Ottoman Turkish rule. | The British Museum in London — where the ancient treasures are currently held — have rejected Athens' requ…

Antonio Carty (2020-02-19). Forget Brexit, Rebellion is the Verb! zcomm.org While I essentially agree with Patrick Cockburn's article in the Independent "Sinn Fein's Election Victory is Ireland's Brexit Moment". I would like to make a distinction against its use of Brexit as a new verb for political upset and rebellion. Rebellion is a perfectly clear and uncontaminated verb! As Patrick points out, Ireland's surprise surge

The Canary (2020-02-19). Brexit trade talks 'a different ball game' to Canada agreement, PM warned. thecanary.co Boris Johnson has been warned that the European Union (EU) views negotiations with the UK as a "different ball game" to the trade talks which secured an agreement with Canada. | The prime minister wants a Canada-style trade deal which would leave the UK free to diverge from EU rules. | But a key aide to Brussels' chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the EU would not budge from its insistence on a "level playing field" on state subsidies, environmental protections and workers' rights as the price of any deal. | Stefaan De Rynck said: "It's clear that for us it's a different ball game that we are playing with the U…

RT (2020-02-18). But will he pardon Roger Stone? Trump clemency for Blagojevich, Kerik, Milken & DeBartolo fuel speculation. rt.com US President Donald Trump has surprised everyone with a series of pardons that — so far — do not include any of his aides caught up in 'Russiagate' investigations, although his tweets suggest this too might be coming. | First on the list was former San Francisco 49s NFL franchise owner Edward DeBartolo Jr, who pleaded guilty in 1998 to failing to report a felony, after he did not disclose that the governor of Louisiana extorted him for a bribe in exchange for a riverboat casino license. He was fined $1 million and sentenced to two years' probation. His NFL career effectively over, he transferred th…

Conn Hallinan (2020-02-18). Irish Elections and Unification. counterpunch.org The victory by Ireland's leftwing 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 system, and homelessness, a united Ireland has long been Sinn Fein's raison d'être. In the aftermath, Party leaders called for a border referendum on the subject.

news.un (2020-02-18). Hope for 'long-elusive progress' in negotiating peace in eastern Ukraine. news.un.org Marking the fifth anniversary of the 2015 Minsk II agreement, the UN political chief told the Security Council on Tuesday, that along with the Minsk Protocol and the Minsk memorandum, it remains "the only agreed framework" for a negotiated, peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Staff (2020-02-18). Headlines for February 18, 2020. democracynow.org 2,000+ DOJ Ex-Officials Call for AG Barr to Resign as Judge Calls to Review Status of Roger Stone Case, Bloomberg Qualifies for Dem Debate as More Evidence of Past Comments Draw Ire, Calls Mount for Manhattan DA to Resign over Case of Alleged Sexual Abuser OB-GYN Robert Hadden, Prominent Wuhan Doctor Dies from Coronavirus as Cases Top 72,000, Pakistan Suicide Bomb Kills At Least 8 at Religious Rally, Mexican Protests Take Government to Task After Murder of 7-Year-Old Girl, Second-Strongest Storm to Hit North Atlantic Lashes United Kingdom, Mississippi Residents Displaced, Homes Inundated from Torrential Rains, Fl…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *