22 Apr 2017

Netanyahu: If Palestinians want peace, ‘prove it’ by halting payments to terrorists
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that if the Palestinians truly desire peace with Israel, they must first “come clean” and put an end to “rewarding terrorism.” During a interview with Fox News television host Sean Hannity, Netanyahu claimed that the Palestinian Authority, lead by Mahmoud Abbas, has spent much of the financial aid they receive on paying terrorist and their families at the expense of the American tax-payer.

Russia complains to US over exclusion from Syria chemical probe
Russia has told the United States it regrets Washington’s opposition to letting its inspectors take part in an investigation into a chemical weapons attack in Syria earlier this month, the foreign ministry said on Friday. It said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the two sides agreed to consider one more time an “objective investigation into the incident” under the aegis of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

IDF strikes targets in Syria after projectile fire lands in Israel’s Golan
The IDF struck sources in Syria from where errant fire emanated and hit open areas on the northern Golan Heights on Friday afternoon, the military confirmed. Two rockets landed in open territory on the Golan Heights Friday afternoon. No damage or injuries were reported. According to initial estimates, the projectiles were thought to have been errant fire from fighting in the civil war across the border in Syria.

Afghan casualties in Taliban Mazar-e Sharif attack pass 100
More than 100 Afghan soldiers were killed or wounded in a Taliban attack on an army base on Friday, the defence ministry has confirmed. Fighting lasted for several hours near the city of Mazar-e Sharif in northern Balkh province. Insurgents targeted those leaving Friday prayers at the base’s mosque and others in a canteen, the army said.

US to honour ‘dumb’ Australia migrant deal
The United States has confirmed it will be going through with a migrant resettlement plan made with Australia. US President Donald Trump once called the deal, which was agreed under his predecessor, “dumb”. The agreement allows for up to 1,250 asylum seekers to Australia to resettle in the US.

German riot police deployed for AfD Cologne conference
Thousands of police officers are being deployed in Cologne, Germany, in case of violence at left-wing protests against an Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) party conference there. The AfD, a populist right-wing and anti-Islam party, will seek to choose a new co-leader to take it up to a general election later this year. Demonstrators on Saturday carried banners saying “Block the Nazis”.

Communist Party membership numbers climbing in the Trump era
The Communist Party USA (CPUSA) has been receiving membership requests ever since Donald Trump was elected President…Since its establishment, the CPUSA has lived through the inter-war period and Cold War repression, which practically forced the organization underground. Of the country’s 300 million inhabitants, the organization currently has some 5,000 members nationwide.

US naval armada to be in Sea of Japan in days
The US supercarrier Carl Vinson will arrive in the Sea of Japan in days, Vice President Mike Pence said in Australia Saturday amid high tensions with North Korea. The Trump administration has been trying to clear the waters after sending out confusing messages concerning the whereabouts of the Vinson carrier group that supposedly was steaming toward North Korea last week.

Netanyahu: Palestinians need to stop paying terrorists
In an interview with Fox News, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed peace prospects with the Palestinians, saying, “I think the first test of peace is to say to them, ‘Hey, you want peace? Prove it. Confront terrorism, stop rewarding terrorism, stop paying terrorists.” The interview with Netanyahu was conducted by host Sean Hannity, who accompanied US Secretary of Defense James Mattis on his visit to Israel.

Trump orders review of financial rules to prevent future crises
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Treasury Department on Friday to examine two powers given to regulators to police large financial companies following the 2008 financial crisis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. In his first visit to the Treasury building, Trump signed two memos that analysts view as largely affirming existing priorities he has outlined.

Dutch ‘abortion boat’ arrives off Mexico
A Dutch sailing boat offering abortions, often in defiance of some country’s laws, arrived in international waters off Mexico, the organization crewing it said. The “Women on Waves” vessel was expelled from near Guatemala in February without carrying out a single pregnancy termination.

Russian Planes Buzz Alaska Four Nights in a Row
American and Canadian fighter planes scrambled to intercept two Russian TU-95 “Bear” bombers Thursday night, marking the fourth consecutive night of Russian probes near the Alaskan coast, U.S. defense officials said Friday.

US forces kill ISIS leader’s crony
A crony of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who was tied to the deadly New Year’s nightclub bombing in Turkey was killed by US forces in Syria, the US Central Command announced Friday.

Trump Administration Begins Quiet Preparations For Government Shutdown
“Until this week, shutdown threat seemed very low as Congressional GOP leadership, appropriators hammered out spending agreements, were on same page as Democrats. That went sideways when White House pushed more confrontational approach on ObamaCare, immigration.”

Satellite Images Suggest North Korea May Have Resumed Nuclear Test Preparations
Satellite images of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site from April 19 indicate that North Korea may have resumed preparations for a possible imm

Marine Le Pen gets poll boost after Paris attack as Donald Trump says her chances of victory have improved
Donald Trump has said the Paris terrorist attack would boost Marine Le Pen’s presidential chances after a last-minute poll gave her a modest increase in support.

Iran Wants to Import Tons of Uranium. Opponents of the Nuclear Deal Want the Trump Administration to Say No.
The Trump administration is facing pressure to definitively rule out a longstanding request by Iran to import 950 tons of natural uranium, according to government sources and proliferation experts who spoke to THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Tehran has signaled it will petition again for the yellowcake next week at a quarterly meeting in Vienna regarding implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The enigma of Assad: How a painfully shy eye doctor turned into a murderous tyrant
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad never seemed cut out to be a dictator. As a young man, Assad—the second son of strongman president Hafez al-Assad—was so painfully shy that in conversation, “he wouldn’t look in your eye…he covered his mouth with his hands when he talked, and spoke in a low voice,” says Ayman Abdel Nour, a university friend.