WASHINGTON: ‘ Democrats clash with Kerry over Iran Deal ‘

#AceNewsReport – WASHINGTON:July.29: Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee joined with Republicans in pushing back on the Iran nuclear deal Tuesday as Secretary of State John Kerry faced the panel.

Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said he was “troubled by” and “very disappointed” with parts of the agreement, citing a litany of concerns.

“Truth is, after 15 years, Iran is a nuclear threshold state, which means they can produce weapons-grade, highly-enriched uranium without limitations,” he said. “Our friends in Israel are rightfully concerned.”

Read the full story here.

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‘ Protective Edge Israel’s Military Incursion ‘

GAZA CITY

INCURSION

JULY 18 2014

#AceWorldNews – 17 July – A ground operation in the Gaza Strip has been launched by Tel Aviv following more than a week of Hamas shelling the country and the IDF responding with air strikes. Over 200 Palestinians and one Israeli have died in the violence.

Gaza City Lighting up the Sky

19:05 GMT:

Palestinian radicals in Gaza have fired at Tel Aviv for a second time today. The Iron Dome system shot down two rockets over the city this evening, reported the press office of the Israeli army.

19:02 GMT:

Egypt has renewed its call for a truce in the region. Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, speaking at a news conference in Cairo said: “We hope that all sides will support this initiative so that bloodshed stops and this escalation does not get worse. We call on all sides to accept this proposal. We are working to find a framework so that both sides agree,” reported Reuters.

 

18:23 GMT:

Israeli tank shells have killed three in Gaza, including children, medics told AFP.

 

15:26 GMT:

CNN has pulled correspondent Diana Magnay out of her post covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the reporter tweeted that Israelis cheering bombs hitting Gaza, and who had allegedly threatened her, were “scum.”

 

A CNN spokeswoman said Magnay has been reassigned to Moscow.

 

15:15 GMT:

 

Shortly after the air raid siren report, the IDF tweeted that its Iron Dome air defense system had intercepted rockets over Tel Aviv.

 

15:05 GMT:

The United Nations said it is going to ramp up emergency aid to Gaza, where Israel’s ground invasion intensified water shortages and fears of sewage contamination and water-borne diseases, Reuters reports.

“We are still very concerned about the water supply in Gaza, about half of the population are without water supply at this time,” UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokeswoman, Amanda Pitt, told a news briefing in Geneva.

On Tuesday, UN aid agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross warned that Gaza’s water system has been degraded over the course of years, with potential infrastructure damage incurred during the assault leaving the entire coastal strip vulnerable to a water crisis within a matter of days.

 

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing from the coastal Palestinian enclave following an Israeli air strike, on July 18, 2014 (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing from the coastal Palestinian enclave following an Israeli air strike, on July 18, 2014 (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

 14:26 GMT:

IDF attempt to show they abide by the Geneva Convention by providing medical treatment to a wounded combatant.

According to the first Geneva Convention – ‘for the Amelioration of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces and Field’ – if a member of the armed forces is wounded or sick, and therefore is unable to actively engage in combat, he is no longer part of the fighting force and becomes a vulnerable person in need of protection and care.

 

14:17 GMT:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of state terrorism and genocide, saying the two states would not find rapprochement on his watch.

“Israel threatens world peace. Israel threatens peace in the Middle East. Therefore, I personally, can never contemplate anything positive with Israel as long as I remain on duty,” Erdogan told reporters after Muslim Friday prayers:

“Israel is at the moment waging terrorism; Israel at the moment is carrying out genocide,” he said.

Turkey and Israel had been working toward improving ties after Israeli commandos killed eight Turks and one Turkish American during a raid on a pro-Palestinian aid ship in 2010. Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and recalled its own top envoy following the incident. Israel ultimately apologized to Turkey for the deaths and agreed to pay compensation under a US-brokered arrangement in 2013. In March, Turkish officials said the two sides had come close to reaching a compensation deal which would fully restore ties.

 

13:47 GMT:

 

Cihan News Agency has posted video footage showing the pro-Palestinian rallies outside of the diplomatic missions in Istanbul and Ankara on Thursday. The first video, shot in Istanbul, shows police deploy a water cannon and pepper spray to disperse protesters after some turned violent, smashing windows and attempting to scale the compound gates.

 

The video from Ankara depicts a heated by far more peaceful scene, though there are unconfirmed reports that the compound in the Tukrish capital was attacked on Friday.

Turkey has since bolstered security at the facilities, though Tzachi Moshe, a spokesman for Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, said Israel “sharply protested the flagrant violation of diplomatic rules.”

 

 

13:27 GMT:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said since there is no way to deal with the tunnels only from the air, “our soldiers are doing it now from the ground,” the Jerusalem Post cites him as saying during the opening session of an emergency cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu said the ongoing military operation did not offer a100 percent shot at success, though everything would be done to get “maximum results.”

The Israeli PM said the army had been readied for the possibility of a significant expansion of the ground operation, blaming Hamas for not upholding its end of an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire proposal on Tuesday.

“We decided to launch the action after we tried all the other ways, and with an understanding that without this operation the price we will have to pay later would be much higher,” he said.

He added that intense diplomatic efforts had given Israel the political capital necessary to use force against the “terrorist organization,” and that the supreme consideration at this point was to “restore security to civilians” and return the country to a state of calm.

“There is not a more moral army than the IDF, and we do not want to harm even one innocent civilian. Not even one. We are operating only against terror targets.”

He blamed Hamas for civilian casualties on both sides, claiming they were attacking Israeli towns and cities from behind human shields.

He said media distortions of the conflict were virtually “unpreventable.”

“But unlike in the past, this time there are many in the international community who understand that Hamas alone bears responsibility for the victims,” he said. “This is something very important for Israel.”

13:12 GMT:

 

 

13:06 GMT:

The Israeli Defense Force is live tweeting images of so-called ‘terror tunnels’, the ostensible reason the ground operation was launched into Gaza.

 

 

13:03 GMT:

Israel has decided to evacuate the families of diplomatic staff in Turkey in Ankara after protests turned violent outside diplomatic missions in both the capital Ankara and Istanbul. The compounds were reportedly pelted with rocks as some demonstrators chanted, “Murderer Israel, get out of Palestine,” Hurriyet Daily News reported. Several Turkish diplomats attended the pro-Palestinian rallies, including a deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“The occupying Israel has made a bloodbath of Palestine by bombing them for the past 15 days,” Murat Yıldırım said from Ankara.

At least 23 Palestinians – including three children – have been killed since Israel launched the ground offensive. Around 264 Palestinians have been killed since Israel first started bombarding Gaza on July 7. The Israeli death toll currently stands at two: one soldier and one civilian.

 

12:40 GMT:

10:01 GMT:

 

09:02 GMT:

Barely a day into the operation, Netanyahu is discussing plans for a significant widening of the ground offensive.

Shortly before convening a meeting of cabinet ministers, he told reporters that “My instructions … are to prepare for the possibility of significantly widening the ground operation, and the military is preparing accordingly,” Reuters reported.

08:42 GMT:

Those affected by the conflict in Gaza are receiving financial help from multiple sources abroad. The latest tranche comes from Denmark, which has donated $2 million toward alleviating civilian suffering there.

08:07 GMT:

 

 

07:17 GMT:

Reuters now reports 23 Palestinians dead since the start of the ground operation.

 

05:54 GMT:

 

 

05:43 GMT:

 

 

05:21 GMT:

An Israeli military spokesman said in an interview to a radio station regarding the recent death of an Israeli soldier during the ground offensive on Gaza: “We are checking the circumstances” of soldier’s death.

This was the first Israeli casualty since the start of the operation.

 05:12 GMT:

According to Quentin Sommerville of the BBC, the number of dead since the start of the ground offensive, together with the number killed already in the preceding phase, puts the death toll at more than 250 people, with around 1980 wounded, as the conflict enters its 11th day.

 

04:54 GMT:

 

#benjamin-netanyahu, #gaza, #gaza-strip, #hamas, #iron-dome, #israel, #israel-defense-forces, #john-kerry, #palestinian-people, #tel-aviv

‘ Kidnapping Our Children is Becoming a Daily Event Around the World now Three More Boys are Abducted in West Bank ‘

#AceNewsServices – JERUSALEM – June 18 – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday and said he expected him to help in efforts to find three Israeli teenagers abducted in the occupied West Bank (Reuters)

​(Abbas Calls for Return of Israeli Teenagers Headline in Live Updates Haaretz Daily)


“I expect you to help in the return of the kidnapped youngsters and in catching the abductors,” a statement issued by the prime minister’s office quoted Netanyahu as telling Abbas in a telephone call.

​On Sunday, Gilad Erdan, a minister in Netanyahu’s security cabinet, told Israeli television that Abbas’s security forces were “willingly” helping search for the teenagers.

​A statement on Monday by Abbas’s office made no mention of the conversation with Netanyahu. But it said the “Palestinian presidency condemns … the kidnapping of three Israeli boys and the series of Israeli violations” — a reference to Israeli military raids and arrests since they disappeared on Thursday.

Both leaders have had infrequent telephone conversations in recent years, usually to convey greetings on Jewish and Muslim holidays.

(SeattleTimes) One of the missing teens, Naftali Frenkel, 16, a yeshiva student at the settlement of Kfar Etzion, holds U.S. citizenship. The others have been identified as Eyal Yifrach, 19, a student at a yeshiva in the Jewish settlement enclave in Hebron, and Gilad Shaer, 16, who attends the same school as Frenkel.


​“We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a written statement. “As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.”


​#BringBackOurBoys – Tweet your support for their safe return?

Under a reconciliation deal reached by Hamas and the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, an interim government backed by both factions was formed earlier this month. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel and is deemed a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Israel suspended peace talks with the Palestinians and says it will not negotiate with the Hamas-backed government.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio that the kidnappers were members of “an arm of Hamas” in the West Bank. Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip declined to comment on the abduction or take responsibility for it, suggesting that it might have been initiated independently in the West Bank.

A leaflet issued Friday carried a claim of responsibility by a local branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — the radical Islamic group that has made dramatic gains in fighting in Iraq in recent days.

The group is not known to be active in the West Bank, however, and the statement has not been authenticated.

#ANS2014

#benjamin-netanyahu, #gaza-strip, #hamas, #israel, #john-kerry, #kfar-etzion, #mahmoud-abbas, #west-bank

`Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry to Meet in Paris ‘

#AceWorldNewsMOSCOW, June 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet in Paris on June 5, a source at the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

 “Such meeting is expected to be held,” the source told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

Earlier, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Lavrov and Kerry would have a bilateral meeting in Paris.

The US Secretary of State accompanies President Barack Obama, who left for the European tour on Monday, June 2.

The crisis in Ukraine and the internal conflict in Syria will be major topics due to be raised at the talks, Psaki said.

In the meantime, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier President Vladimir Putin was expected to have meetings with several world leaders within D-Day 70th anniversary in Normandy.

#ANS2014

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NSA releases single Snowden e-mail as Kerry tells him ‘MAN UP’ before interview with US media

The National Security Agency said Thursday that Edward Snowden sent supervisors only one e-mail when he worked there, and it did not protest the nature of NSA surveillance programs. In the e-mail to the Office of General Counsel, Snowden posed a legal question about a training program. “There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations,” the NSA said in a statement. “We have searched for additional indications of outreach from him in those areas and to date have not discovered any engagements related to his claims.”

In an interview with NBC News, Snowden said he told the NSA about his concerns about its widespread methods of intelligence gathering.

“I actually did go through channels, and that is documented,” Snowden said. “The NSA has records, they have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me raising concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities. … The response more or less, in bureaucratic language, was, ‘You should stop asking questions.'”

Snowden — who remains in Russia, which has granted him temporary asylum — faces espionage charges in the United States.

Email:

This comes on the day John Kerry 68th United States Secretary of State said “‘Man Up And Come Home'”

US Secretary of State John Kerry has challenged Edward Snowden to “man up and come back to the United States”, after the whistleblower admitted he wanted to return home. Mr Kerry’s comments follow the former National Security Agency contractor’s interview with NBC, his first for US media since he fled the country after leaking a huge volume of classified documents. Now living in Russia on a temporary grant of asylum, Mr Snowden told the network he took action in the belief that he was serving his country in exposing the surveillance programs of the NSA. “I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home,” Snowden said in a segment of the interview. “Now, whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say. That’s a debate for the public and the government to decide. But, if I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home.” And Mr Kerry, speaking before NBC aired that portion of the interview, said: “If Mr Snowden wants to come back to the United States, we’ll have him on a flight today. A patriot would not run away.


Susan Rice has denied Mr Snowden’s recent claims

“He should man up and come back to the United States. If he has a complaint about what’s the matter with American surveillance, (he should) come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case. “If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust the American system of justice.” Mr Snowden had also said in an earlier part of his interview that he worked undercover and overseas for the CIA and the NSA. He claimed he had a far more important role in US intelligence than the government has acknowledged. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas,” he said. National security adviser Susan Rice insisted in a CNN interview that Mr Snowden never worked undercover. Mr Snowden said he never intended to end up in Russia but was forced to go there because Washington decided to “revoke my passport.” In response, Mr Kerry said: “Well, for a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, after all. “I think he’s confused. I think it’s very sad. But this is a man who has done great damage to his country.”

All this after:
Edward Snowden: ‘I Worked As A Spy Overseas’


Snowden has received support during demonstrations in the US

Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has said he “trained as a spy” and worked “undercover overseas” for intelligence agencies. In his first interview in American media, he rejected claims he was merely a junior contractor, saying he worked “at all levels from the bottom on the ground, all the way to the top”. The 30-year-old, who has been charged in the US with espionage, was granted asylum by Russia in August, 2013, after instigating a series of leaks on mass surveillance in America and around the world. In the NBC News interview, due to air in full on Wednesday, Snowden defended himself against claims he had minimal intelligence experience before he released classified documents revealing the National Security Agency’s programme of phone and internet surveillance. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas – pretending to work in a job that I’m not – and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” he said. He said he had worked covertly as “a technical expert” for the Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA, and as a trainer for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“I don’t work with people,” he said. “I don’t recruit agents. What I do is I put systems to work for the United States. And I’ve done that at all levels from, from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top. “So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.” After the leaks, Snowden travelled to Hong Kong, then headed to Moscow, where he was holed up in the Sheremetyevo Airport for days before he was eventually granted asylum. Secretary of State John Kerry, reacting to the interview, called Snowden a “man who has done great damage to his country”. “A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia,” Mr Kerry told NBC’s Today. “He can come home but he’s a fugitive from justice.” Snowden is wanted in the US on charges including espionage.

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` Burisma Holdings Ukraine’s Largest Private Gas Producer has Licences and Board of Control ‘

#AceNewsservices – KIEV – May 17 – Economic interests, such as untapped shale gas resources, already sliced and diced by Western energy giants, are behind the Kiev government’s ‘anti-terrorist’ operation against the pro-federalist regions, foreign policy expert Nebojsa Malic tells RT.

Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings

The  eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions cut ties with Kiev and declared independence from Kiev after a popular vote last Sunday. Yet federalist activists have no doubt that a new wave of government crackdown is on its way.

And they do have every reason to think so, because, as RT’s Gayane Chichakyan reports, reinstating control over the restive regions isn’t the only agenda driving Kiev’s ongoing offensive, as the core of the conflict is probably only business as usual.

Eastern Ukraine is not only of people who don’t want to be under the Kiev coup-installed government’s control, but there are also natural energy resources in the region, such as coal and more specifically, shale natural gas, untapped deposits of which lie underground in the Dnieper-Donets basin.

The cities Kiev is now striving to force into submission by making them war zones are situated in the area of shale gas deposits.

Tensions are highest in the city of Slavyansk in the Donetsk region: it has been besieged by Kiev’s troops and armed militants of the Right Sector neo-Nazi union for weeks. The self defense forces in eastern Ukraine‘s newly-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic are on high alert.

It’s in the Donetsk Region that Shell signed, in January 2013, a 50-year profit sharing deal with the government of Ukraine to explore and drill for natural gas in shale rock formations.

These are future profits that Kiev does not want to lose.

“I would say that the economic interest in this case is what’s driving the coup regime in Kiev to launch military actions against its own citizens, because they stand to make a profit from these contracts signed by the previous government,” foreign affairs expert Nebojsa Malic commented to RT.

US energy giant Chevron signed a similar deal for $10 billion last year, but it is focusing on developing shale gas reserves in the West of Ukraine.

Map of Area of Ukraine

Ukrainian paratroopers ride atop an

Yet it’s not just energy giants that have a stake in Ukraine’s reserves.

The recent appointment of the US Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden, to the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, Burisma Holdings, has put the Ukrainian shale gas development deal into a new perspective.

Burisma holds licenses covering the Dnieper-Donets basin in the eastern Ukraine and Biden jr. is not the only American with political ties to have recently joined the company’s board.

Devon Archer, a former senior advisor to current Secretary of State John Kerry‘s 2004 presidential campaign and a college room-mate of Kerry’s stepson, signed up with Burisma in April.

 

“There is certainly no better demonstration of altruism and humanitarianism in a free market than criticizing a country for corruption, sponsoring a coup to overthrow the allegedly corrupt government – and then appointing sons and friends of American officials to be on boards of companies having interests in that country,” Nebojsa Malic said. “Surely, that is perfectly legal and above board,” he added.

http://on.rt.com/x2g1yl

http://on.rt.com/x2g1yl

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` Barack Obama Meets Syrian Oppostion Leader Ahmed Jarba ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – May 14 – Both sides said the meeting was productive and marked an important step in the evolving relationship between the United States and the opposition.

It took place however as the Obama administration again voiced concerns that any deadly aid that was provided at the request of rebels in Syria could end up in the hands of extremists.

Obama dropped by a meeting between Jarba, president of the Syrian National Coalition, and his national security advisor Susan Rice.

The White House said Obama and Rice condemned “the Assad regime’s deliberate targeting of Syrian civilians through aerial bombardments — including the use of barrel bombs — and the denial of food and humanitarian assistance to civilians located in areas under siege by the regime.”

Jarba, according to a White House statement, thanked Obama for a total of US$287 million in US aid to opposition forces and noted the US role as the largest humanitarian donor to Syrian refugees with a total aid grant of US$1.7 billion.

But there was no mention in the statement of Jarba’s previous plea to the administration for anti-aircraft weapons to combat the barrel bombings unleashed by Assad’s forces.

US officials privately acknowledged he made the request in talks with Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department last week, but they refused to be drawn on the response.

Washington is worried that such weapons could eventually end up in the hands of groups hostile to the United States or its allies and could even pose a threat to commercial aircraft.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier that Washington had worked hard to “ensure that the aid that we are providing the opposition is getting into the hands of the moderate opposition and not falling into the wrong hands.”

“This is something that has been a concern and an issue, obviously, since the beginning of the conflict there, but it is one that we take very seriously.”

Officials say the non-lethal assistance that is being provided includes communications equipment, body armour and night-vision goggles — but declined to give a detailed inventory of the aid.

The Syrian National Coalition described the talks as “encouraging and productive” and a milestone on the road to a closer partnership between the Syrian people and the United States aimed at ending the suffering in the country and producing a transition to democracy.

A coalition statement also hinted at the need for more robust military help for opposition groups.

“The opposition delegation discussed the need to empower the Syrian people to defend themselves against the war crimes committed by the regime daily and the need for more pressure against Assad to accept a political solution,” the statement said.

Jarba’s visit came at an inauspicious time for opponents of Assad, after rebels pulled out of the battleground city of Homs and UN and Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi resigned after failing to broker a political solution to the war which has claimed 150,000 lives.

Speaking after meeting Kerry last week, Jarba thanked Kerry for Washington’s support “for the struggle of the Syrian people, for freedom and democracy, and also to lift the injustice and fight oppression and dictatorship that Bashar al-Assad is engaging in.”

But he stressed the Syrian people were looking for more concrete support from “the superpower and country that plays a leading role in the world.” Washington has many times warned that Assad has lost legitimacy and must go, but Obama has been wary of embroiling the United States in another foreign conflict, after spending years pulling US troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq.– AFP

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