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Netanyahu warns Hamas after deadly West Bank attacks -

Netanyahu warns Hamas after deadly West Bank attacksIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he had issued a warning to Hamas after recent deadly attacks in the occupied West Bank, including two shootings claimed by the Islamist movement. Netanyahu referred to a controversial Gaza ceasefire in November that ended the worst escalation between Israel and Hamas since a 2014 war. "I conveyed a clear message to Hamas -- we won't accept a situation of a truce in Gaza and terror in Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting, using the biblical name for the West Bank, as is Israel's official policy.


Sun, 16 Dec 2018 08:51:50 -0500

May's Team Pushes Back at Second Vote Reports: Brexit Update -

May's Team Pushes Back at Second Vote Reports: Brexit Update“Unreasonable people” in the U.K. are blocking the Brexit withdrawal agreement from passing, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Sunday. “We have a deal that’s been negotiated, unfortunately there are some very unreasonable people in Westminster that are trying to block that,” Coveney said in an RTE Television interview.


Sun, 16 Dec 2018 08:07:33 -0500

Rocco The Cheeky Parrot Keeps Using Amazon's Alexa To Order Snacks -

Rocco The Cheeky Parrot Keeps Using Amazon's Alexa To Order SnacksA mischievous parrot who was booted from an animal sanctuary for his foul


Sat, 15 Dec 2018 20:31:25 -0500

Photos: Snow, freezing rain from Storm Deirdre caused disruptions across U.K. -

Photos: Snow, freezing rain from Storm Deirdre caused disruptions across U.K.Storm Deirdre caused travel hazards, power outages and disruptions this weekend across the United Kingdom.


Sat, 15 Dec 2018 18:32:56 -0500

2 women in custody in death of 4-month-old boy at NYC hotel -

2 women in custody in death of 4-month-old boy at NYC hotelNEW YORK (AP) — A 4-month-old boy died Saturday after he was found unconscious and unresponsive in the lobby of a New York City hotel. Police apprehended two women who were with him, and they're expected to face charges.


Sat, 15 Dec 2018 16:22:10 -0500

Kosovo approves team for talks with former adversary Serbia -

Kosovo approves team for talks with former adversary SerbiaThe two countries committed to a European Union sponsored dialogue aimed at setting all remaining issues between them in 2013, but little progress has been made since. Relations between Belgrade and Kosovo have been strained since 2008 when Pristina, with the backing of western countries, declared independence from Serbia. Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci raised concerns at home in June when he announced that he will seek a solution with Belgrade by changing borders.


Sat, 15 Dec 2018 15:55:40 -0500

Trump spreads fake right wing claim about missing text messages between FBI agents -

Trump spreads fake right wing claim about missing text messages between FBI agentsDonald Trump has falsely claimed texts between former FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were "wiped clean and gone" – despite a new report revealing the messages were not initially included in a Justice Department probe due to a technical error. “Such a big story that will never be covered by the Fake News,” he continued. The FBI’s automated collection tool failed to collect five months of text messages between the agents due to a technology failure, according to a report released by the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general.


Sat, 15 Dec 2018 14:53:00 -0500

Egypt unveils "one of a kind" ancient tomb, expects more finds -

Egypt unveils "one of a kind" ancient tomb, expects more findsEgypt has discovered a 4,400-year-old-tomb and expects to find more buried treasure. Rough cut (no reporter narration).


Sat, 15 Dec 2018 13:50:47 -0500

Inside the threatened Kurdish proto-state that holds the keys to defeating Isil -

Inside the threatened Kurdish proto-state that holds the keys to defeating IsilOn one end of Qamishli’s main street flies the two-starred Syrian national flag. On the other, that of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party. “One flag represents our past oppression, the other our freedom,” says Mahmoud, who owns a clothing shop which sits between the two.   Before the civil war, it would have been unthinkable for the Kurdish minority to openly pledge allegiance to anything other than the President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian Arab Republic. But seven years into Syria's interminable conflict the Kurds appear to have carved out something of a proto-state in this corner of northeastern Syria, thanks in part to their efforts to flush out Isil. While they have been crushing the Caliphate to a tiny sliver of territory - taking the last town held by the Islamist on Friday morning - their separatist ambitions have largely been overlooked. Until now. Kurdish-held northern Syria The city of Qamishli has become the centre of the Kurds’ ambitious self-administration project. While a few government buildings and statues of President Assad remain, Qamishli and the surrounding areas are now firmly under the control of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Mahmoud is a proud supporter of the PYD, but still he declines to give his full name to the Telegraph for fear of reprisal should the regime one day return. Assad has repeatedly promised to retake every inch of Syria, including the third currently in Kurdish hands. The prospect looked more likely than at any other time in the war this week after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered Turkish troops and Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to ready for an assault on Syria’s Kurds. Turkey views the PYD’s military arm, the Popular Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist organisation because of its links to an insurgent group inside Turkey, and has watched with growing concern at Kurdish expansionism on the other side of its border. In recent years, Turkish forces have already swept into Syria pushing the YPG out of territory west of the Euphrates river. But past offensives have stopped at its banks, partly to avoid direct confrontation with US troops that back the Kurds. "Turkey has lost enough time in terms of intervening to clean the terror swamp east of the Euphrates. We don't have the patience to wait one more day," Mr Erdogan warned on Friday. Men queue up to buy bread outside a bakery on the outskirts of Qamishli Credit: Sam Tarling The Kurds, who have so far relied on the US for support in their battles against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), have threatened to abandon the fight if they are left to fend for themselves in the face of a Turkish onslaught. But Washington has sent mixed signals on whether it would be behind them in any fight against Nato ally Turkey. “We don’t rely on any government, we just have strategic alliances,” Salih Muslim, a prominent political player in Rojava who until recently co-chaired the PYD, told the Sunday Telegraph. “The Kurds have expected a move from Turkey for a while now and will not easily back down.” Whatever they might say, it is clear is that the Kurds cannot stave off Turkish aggression alone. In the absence of a reliable ally in the US, they may soon be forced to decide whether to risk their chances, or eek out an unfavourable deal with Assad to secure long-term survival. “We have to take Assad at his word,” Khalaf Dahowd, head of the foreign committee of the Democratic Change Movement, told the Sunday Telegraph from his office in Qamishli, refering to the president's pledge to take back all Syria's territory. “If he gets the chance to take Rojava he will,” said Mr Dahowd, using the Kurdish name for the area of self-rule which covers some 15,000 square miles. A convoy of American Special Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces fighters makes a stop during a patrol near the Turkish border in northern Syria Credit:  Sam Tarling “Even when he was at his weakest point, before Russia intervened and it looked like he was going to lose everything, Assad refused to work with the Kurds,” he said. “Now he is winning, and as the saying goes - the winner takes all.” Kurdish officials who were part of the first delegation to Damascus over the summer say the Syrian government was not prepared to make a single concession. Despite this, the Kurds - who are just about the only side in the multi-faceted war not to have had a full-scale military conflict with the regime - still hold out hope for a political solution. The Kurds, who number more than two million in Syria, have made great sacrifices for their “democratic experiment”, as they call their pseudo-state in the north. Islamic State losing its grip on Syria The YPG has suffered considerable losses in the battles against Isil in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in the east. Officials estimate up to 8,000 fighters have been killed and 5,000 injured. Fierce battles are still ongoing for the last sliver of jihadist territory in Deir Ezzor. At least 5,000 IS fighters remain holed up in the pocket of territory, including some 2,000 foreign fighters, mostly Arabs and Europeans along with their families. The YPG has also made significant gains, including control of the country’s borders with Turkey and Iraq, its most lucrative oil fields and the freedom to once again speak their native language after decades of repression. “There are basic things we cannot give up; we need our democratic rights and our culture and language to be protected,” said Fawza al-Youssef, the co-chair of the executive body of the North Syria Federation. “But there are other things that are negotiable.” Mahmoud Mohammad Serhan, 59, a a retired trader who now keeps a farm, gets a cutthroat shave at a barber shop in Qamishli Credit:  Sam Tarling Relinquishing control of the borders and folding the YPG, into the national army, would be among the demands she says the self-administration would consider in return for a decentralisation of government. It would also be willing to do a deal on the oil fields in eastern Deir Ezzor province, which account for more than 80 per cent of the country’s pre-war production and currently lie within their control. “We aren’t saying all of this is rightfully ours, but the people here should benefit,” Ms Youssef said.  The next few days will prove pivotal for the Kurds as they face the greatest existential threat to their autonomy project since the war began. “We can’t go back to where were were before 2011, when we had nothing,” said Ms Youssef. “We have not fought this hard for it all to be destroyed.”


Sat, 15 Dec 2018 11:11:19 -0500

Police use teargas on 'yellow vest' protesters on Champs Elysees -

Police use teargas on 'yellow vest' protesters on Champs ElyseesPolice use teargas on protesters on the boulevard Champs Elysees while demonstrators gathered near Paris Opera House. Rough cut (no reporter narration).


Sat, 15 Dec 2018 10:37:02 -0500


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