9 July 2017

Israel to complete east Jerusalem center after controversial UNESCO vote
Israel plans to complete the construction of an internationally controversial Kedem Center for tourists that will be located in east Jerusalem just outside the Old City’s Dung Gate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said…“Today I have instructed that procedures be completed for the construction of the Kedem Center for displaying the historical and archaeological findings for the City of David,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu warns against Iranian move-in amid ceasefire in southwest Syria
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that a ceasefire plan that took effect at noon in southwestern Syria should not allow for a vacuum to be filled by Iran and its proxies in the area near the border with Israel. Netanyahu added that Israel would welcome a genuine ceasefire in Syria, but heeded caution in addressing the latest international attempt at peacemaking in the Syrian conflict.

Cease-fire in Syrian region near Israel’s Golan takes effect
A “de-escalation agreement” meant to halt fighting in southwestern Syria, near the Israeli border, took effect at noon on Sunday. Israeli officials were consulted on the pending ceasefire, negotiated over several months by Russia, the United States and Jordan with Amman’s security concerns top of mind. At the Israeli government’s request, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of the matter by phone on Thursday…

In Egypt, Abbas set to meet with Sisi
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday, according to Palestinian media. Abbas arrived in Cairo on Saturday and is expected to discuss a variety of topics with the Egyptian leader. Already, he has met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shukri as well as Ahmad Abu al-Gheit, the secretary general of the Arab League, according to Palestinian news agency Ma’an.

Iran seeking nuclear weapons technology, German intel says
Damning German intelligence reports emerged in June and July revealing the Iranian regime’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile technology in defiance of international sanctions and UN resolutions. A federal intelligence report also said that the Islamic Republic targets Jewish and Israeli institutions with espionage.

Kashmir: Clashes as protesters mark militant’s death
Clashes have broken out in Indian-administered Kashmir on the anniversary of the killing of a militant leader. The security forces are reported to have used tear gas against stone-throwing protesters. They also surrounded the hometown of Burhan Wani, 22, who was killed fighting Indian troops last year.

G20: Trump hails talks as ‘success’ despite divisions
US President Donald Trump has declared the G20 summit in Germany a “wonderful success”, despite his country’s isolated position on climate change. In a joint statement, the leaders of 18 nations and the EU recognised the US decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. However, they also said other G20 members remained committed to the “irreversible” accord.

China and Japan Leaders Seek Ties Reset Amid North Korea Worries
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met for 40 minutes on Saturday in Germany as they seek to overcome years of rocky ties to better handle the military threat from North Korea. In their chat the leaders agreed to enhance talks and exchanges and continue to put pressure on the regime in Pyongyang, according to Japan’s Kyodo News.

G-20 Riot Leaves Trail of Destruction
A riot that raged for hours just a mile from the Group of 20 meeting site left German officials struggling to explain Saturday how protests that had long been predicted spiraled out of control. Only after SWAT teams, riot police and water cannons swept block by block were authorities able to end the overnight riots in the left-leaning Schanzenviertel neighborhood, a 20-minute walk from the venue where leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies continued their two-day meeting Saturday.

Wildfires rage as California sizzles
The first major wildfires after the end of California’s five-year drought raged across the state Saturday, as it was gripped by a record-breaking heatwave. Some 3,000 firefighters were battling several blazes with triple-digit temperatures recorded…A wildfire in the Sierra Nevada foothills north of Sacramento was only two percent contained by early evening and had destroyed 10 homes, scorching 2,000 acres (800 hectares) of forest and sparking evacuations and road closures.

Korea warns of nuclear ‘tipping point’ over US bomber drill
North Korea on Sunday lashed out at a live-fire drill the US and South Korea staged in a show of force against Pyongyang, accusing Washington of pushing the peninsula to the “tipping point” of nuclear war.

Who Knew? German Central Bank Has Been Selling Gold For More Than A Decade
“Indeed, the fact that central banks can create money out of thin air, so to speak, is something that many observers are likely to find surprising and strange, perhaps mystical and dreamlike, too – or even nightmarish…” – Jens Weidman, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank

In Victory For Trump, Most Americans Now Support Travel Ban
Ssshh… don’t tell the Democrats (of Hawaii)…

Trump Has Had 50% More Meetings with Foreign Leaders than Obama
President Donald Trump has held roughly 50% more meetings with foreign leaders than President Barack Obama did over the same amount of time in their respective first terms in office.

Senate Report Shows Staggering Number Of Leak
Unauthorized leaks of national security information occurred seven times more often in the first four months of the Trump administration compared to the Bush and Obama administrations, according to a new analysis conducted by a Senate committee.

Military blinks in campaign that would allow ‘male pregnancies’
Service chiefs ‘can finally exhale about an Obama-era policy they worried would crumble morale’.