Herb Keinon – January 30, 2018
If Iran is not stopped from entrenching itself militarily in Syria or turning Lebanon into a “factory for precision missiles” aimed at Israel, then Israel will stop it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday.
Speaking with Israeli reporters via a conference call after the meeting, Netanyahu said the discussions took place at a “watershed” moment.
“Will Iran entrench itself in Syria, or will this process be stopped?” Netanyahu said. “I made clear to Putin that we will stop it if it doesn’t stop by itself. We are already acting to stop it.”
The prime minister said he also spoke with Putin about the threat of Iran manufacturing precision weapons in Lebanon, something Jerusalem views as “a grave threat.” Netanyahu said he told Putin that “also here, if we need to act, we will act.”
DW – January 29, 2018
Government ministers from the European Union on Monday agreed to a transition period lasting from March 2019 to December 31, 2020 that will phase out Great Britain from the bloc once it officially leaves next year.
Although the ministers agreed to allow Britain access to the EU’s single market during that time, the UK will have no decision-making power.
“When you have left the European Union you have left, and this is just a transition to a new arrangement,” Swedish EU Affairs and Trade Minister Ann Linde told reporters in Brussels following the vote.
The EU’s deputy chief negotiator Sabine Weyand said the European affairs ministers adopted guidelines for Brexit negotiations “within two minutes.” She added that the guidelines ensure a “status quo transition without institutional representation.”
Grace Carr – January 29, 2018
he Senate failed to pass legislation Monday evening that would prevent doctors from performing abortions on women who are 20 weeks pregnant or more.
Fifty-one lawmakers voted for the measure and 46 voted against it, but the bill failed to pass the Senate requirement of 60 votes necessary for a debate on the bill.
“There’s a disconnect between science and the law,” GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said at Monday night’s hearing on the bill before the vote. “I just don’t see how this makes us a better nation,” he added.
Also known as Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the bill sought to make it illegal for a person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion after 20-weeks gestation of pregnancy.
Ciaran McGrath – January 26, 2018
A future influenza pandemic could kill millions of people the World Health Organisation has warned – a century on from the Spanish flu outbreak which did just that.
The NHS has been struggling to cope with the added burden posed by this winter’s Australian flu outbreak, and other countries, including the United States, France and China are facing similar problems as WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said worse could be around the corner.
He said: “In North America Influenza-like Illness (ILI) levels are similar to those seen in 2014-2015 season, which was the most severe season in recent years, and influenza A (H3N2) is the main circulating virus.
“In some Western European countries hospitalization rates have already reached high levels. It is difficult to predict when the influenza activity will peak or if it has already peaked.”
To further complicate matters, different strains of the virus were impacting in different countries, he explained.
Mac Slavo – January 29, 2018
The ring of fire is on alert after Japan was rocked by an earthquake. The 5.1 magnitude quake is just one more in the past week that’s made the area increasingly geologically unstable.
The Japan earthquake struck 46 miles from the town of Miyako, which is home to more than 50,000 people. Morioka-shi, home to nearly 300,000 people, is 73 miles from the epicenter. It comes after a week of chaos in the region, with a volcanic eruption sparking a fatal avalanche in Japan earlier this week. And still one other fairly major earthquake which measured at a 6.2 magnitude struck off the coast of Honshu at a depth of 24 miles. Luckily, no damages or injuries were reported because of that earthquake.
However, a volcanic eruption in the Philippines forced mass evacuations just recently, while another in Japan kills one person. Across the Pacific, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hits off Alaska. The spate of activity around the so-called Ring of Fire has raised concerns that a major and potentially deadly volcanic eruption or earthquake could be on the way.
RT – January 28, 2018
US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, a top American general has said, rebuffing demands from Ankara to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.
General Joseph Votel, head of the United States Central Command, told CNN on Sunday that withdrawing US forces from the strategically important city is “not something we are looking into.” His statement comes just a day after Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, demanded that the US pull out of Manbij and stop arming fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish group that Ankara says has links to terrorism.
Turkish troops crossed into Syria last week in an attempt to drive US-backed Kurds out of Afrin. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that the offensive, codenamed ‘Operation Olive Branch’, could soon target “terrorists” in Manbij, which is 100km east of Afrin.
Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesperson for the US-led coalition, told Kurdish media on Sunday that American forces would continue to support their Kurdish allies – despite Erdogan’s threats.
– January 27, 2017
DEPRAVED Taliban fighters used a four-month-old baby to hide a bomb which they intended to use in a sick terror attack.
Four men and one woman were arrested while making their way to the Afghan city of Kunduz after the explosive was found in the child’s clothing.
The bomb was “carefully hidden on the body of the infant,” reports The Kabul Times.
Sowita Abulrahizai the deputy chief of the Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan slammed the militants and said that using kids to carry out such attacks is forbidden in Islam.
He said: “Using children in armed conflicts is the most brutal and vicious act in the society, because such acts are categorically banned by the Islamic shari’a and enforced laws of the country.”
Rebecca Libermann – January 28, 2018
Finns on Sunday re-elected their popular and cautious president Sauli Niinisto, who is credited with maintaining a balanced relationship with the nation’s powerful neighbour Russia at a time of simmering relations between Moscow and the West.
“I am surprised and touched by this big support,” Niinisto told reporters in Helsinki, who secured over 62 percent of the vote, significantly ahead the seven other candidates, with all the ballots counted.
Finland’s most popular president in more than three decades, the 69-year-old politician avoided a need for a second-round of voting, a first since Finland introduced a two-round presidential election by popular vote in 1994.
Niinisto’s main rival Pekka Haavisto of the Green party won just 12 percent of the votes.
Newsmax – January 29, 2018
LONDON (AP) — A British judge has ruled that intensive care treatment can be withdrawn for a brain-damaged 11-month-old boy despite his parents’ wishes for continued intervention.
Judge Alistair MacDonald said Monday in Birmingham that doctors can stop providing life support treatment to Isaiah Haastrup. The case had been heard in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
Specialists at King’s College Hospital say further intensive treatment would be “futile, burdensome and not in his best interests.”
Doctors told the court the boy had suffered “catastrophic” brain damage because of oxygen deprivation at birth.
His parents say they want treatment to continue.
Sarah Lewin – January 28, 2018
The rare Super Blue Blood Moon eclipse of Jan. 31 will thrill early-morning skywatchers around the world on Wednesday, but you’ll have plenty of ways to watch it if you don’t live in a region that will see totality.
Skywatchers in California, western Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Australia and eastern Asia should be able to see the entire eclipse, weather permitting — they will see the moon pass completely through Earth’s shadow while simultaneously being at its closest to Earth (a “supermoon”) and, in most areas, the second full moon of the month (a “Blue Moon”). Early risers elsewhere can turn to live webcasts to watch the whole show.
NASA will offer a live view of the moon starting at 5:30 a.m. EST (1030 GMT), which you can watch here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. You can also follow along with the webcast on @NASAMoon, NASA’s lunar Twitter account. [Super Blue Blood Moon 2018: When, Where and How to See It]
Starting at 5:45 a.m. EST (1045 GMT), the Slooh online telescope will livestream all 5 hours and 17 minutes of the eclipse, as the moon passes completely through Earth’s shadow, from partners in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Slooh’s experts will narrate the webcast starting at 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT) to share the science and ancient lore related to lunar eclipses, supermoons and Blue Moons. You can watch the webcast live on Slooh.com, or on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh.