Johnson's win puts UK's future in doubt

BELFAST/GLASGOW (Reuters) - The election result was hailed as a victory for English, Scottish and Irish nationalism - and it could spell the end of the United Kingdom.

Boris Johnson’s resounding triumph will allow him to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union next month but it could spell the break-up of the union that has bound England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for centuries.

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Impeachment charges head to House; Trump cries anew: ‘Hoax’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats propelled President Donald Trump’s impeachment toward a historic vote by the full U.S. House as the Judiciary Committee on Friday approved charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It’s the latest major step in the constitutional and political storm that has divided Congress and the nation.

The House is expected to approve the two articles of impeachment next week, before lawmakers depart for the holidays.

China tightens up on info after Xinjiang leaks

Xinjiang (AP) -- The Xinjiang regional government in China’s far west is deleting data, destroying documents, tightening controls on information and has held high-level meetings in response to leaks of classified papers on its mass detention camps for Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities, according to four people in contact with government employees there.

China welcomes preliminary deal in trade war it blames on US

BEIJING (AP) — China put a positive face Saturday on a first-step trade agreement that dials down a trade war it blames the U.S. for starting.

Chinese experts and news media joined government officials in saying the deal would reduce uncertainty for companies, at least in the short term. They remained cautious, saying both sides will have to show a willingness to compromise to resolve the more fundamental differences between them.

UN General Assembly Reiterates Demand For Israel To Comply With Resolutions On Occupied Syrian Golan

NEW YORK, Dec 14 (NNN-SANA) – The United Nations General Assembly reiterated its demand for Israel to comply with resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly resolution No. 497 for 1981, which considers Israel’s decision to impose its law and legal jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan to be null, void, and without international legal effect.

UN refugee agency calls for intensified support for displaced Afghans

GENEVA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency UNHCR on Friday appealed for intensified support for displaced Afghans, saying that Afghans are the single largest group of asylum seekers arriving in Europe.

Speaking ahead of the first ever Global Refugee Forum in Geneva next week, Babar Baloch, spokesperson for UNHCR, told a press briefing here that of the roughly 70,000 migrant arrivals in the Eastern Mediterranean so far this year, 37.4 percent had been Afghans.

UN climate talks in limbo as rifts among countries remain

MADRID (AP) — Countries remain deadlocked in talks over combating climate change as U.N. talks drag on beyond the official deadline.

Officials from almost 200 countries met early Saturday to examine new texts drafted overnight.

Many nations and observers said the latest versions risked backtracking on existing commitments made in the 2015 Paris climate accord and didn’t reflect the urgent warnings from scientists that greenhouse gas emissions need to fall sharply, and soon.

Cries of abuse in Catholic Church start to be heard in Japan

TOKYO (AP) — During Pope Francis’ recent visit to Japan, Harumi Suzuki stood where his motorcade passed by holding a sign that read: “I am a survivor.”

Katsumi Takenaka stood at another spot, on another day, holding up his banner that read, “Catholic child sexual abuse in Japan, too.”

The two are among a handful of people who have gone public as survivors of Catholic clergy sexual abuse in Japan, where values of conformity and harmony have resulted in a strong code of silence.

Clashes break out in central London after Conservative victory

LONDON, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Clashes broke out in central London on Friday as hundreds of protesters took to Downing Street to "defy Tory rule" after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's election victory.

A heavy police presence was seen close to the Cenotaph in Whitehall, which was cordoned off as clashes broke out.

Videos on social media showed a huge police presence trying to contain the crowds, who could be seen scuffling with officers.

Iowa Democrats worry ‘Medicare for All’ hurts key industry

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Kim Motl doesn’t work in the health insurance industry. But her friends and neighbors do. So when she saw Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Motl pressed the Democratic presidential candidate about her “Medicare for All” plan, which would replace private insurance with a government-run system.

“What about the little guys that work in the insurance business, that support our communities? The secretary that works for them, but maybe supports their family, what happens to them?” the 64-year-old housing advocate asked the senator.

North Korea conducts another test at long-range rocket site

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Saturday it successfully performed another “crucial test” at its long-range rocket launch site that would further strengthen its “reliable strategic nuclear deterrent.”

The announcement comes as North Korea continues to pressure the Trump administration over an end-of-year deadline set by leader Kim Jong Un to salvage faltering nuclear negotiations.

Nearly 900,000 need humanitarian assistance in Libya in 2020: OCHA

TRIPOLI, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 900,000 people in Libya will need humanitarian assistance in 2020, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday.

"An estimate of 897,000 people are considered to be in need of humanitarian assistance in Libya in 2020. This reflects the most vulnerable people that have been identified as having the most severe needs," OCHA said.

California governor rejects $13.5 billion PG&E settlement

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has rejected a $13.5 billion settlement that Pacific Gas & Electric struck just last week with thousands of people who lost homes, businesses and family members in a series of devastating fires that drove the nation’s largest utility into bankruptcy.

The decision announced Friday in a five-page letter to PG&E CEO William D. Johnson marks a major setback in the utility’s race to meet a June 30 deadline to emerge from bankruptcy protection.


Boy, 13, arrested in killing of Barnard College freshman

NEW YORK (AP) — A 13-year-old boy was arrested Friday in the stabbing death of a Barnard College freshman who was approached in a park by as many as three youths as she ventured from her New York City campus on the eve of final exams.

The arrest of such a young suspect added another tragic element to the slaying of 18-year-old Tessa Majors, a case that has troubled city and campus leaders.

Brazil: Amazon deforestation climbs more than 100% in November over same month last year

SAO PAULO, Dec 14 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon jumped to the highest level for the month of November since record-keeping began in 2015, according to preliminary government data published on Friday.

Destruction of the world’s largest tropical rainforest totalled 563 square km in November, 103 per cent more than in the same month last year, according to the country’s space research agency INPE.

Turkey urges US to resist ‘anti-Turkey lobbying’ groups

14 Dec 2019; MEMO: A top Turkish official on Friday urged “reasonable statesmen” to push back lobbying groups in Washington which damage Turkish-US ties for the sake of “narrow domestic political interests”, reports Anadolu Agency.

“US foreign policy must find a way to escape sacrificing US national interests for narrow domestic political interests,” Fahrettin Altun, Turkish communications director, said on Twitter.

Hezbollah wants everyone in Lebanon government

14 Dec 2019; MEMO: Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Friday the next government must bring together all sides so that it can tackle the country’s worst economic crisis in decades, signalling no progress in talks on a new cabinet.

"How can a government of one colour tackle a crisis this dangerous?. The crisis requires that everyone stand together."

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

China, Kazakhstan to further promote synergy of BRI, Kazakh economic policy: ambassador

NUR-SULTAN, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- China and Kazakhstan will continue to promote high-quality alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Bright Path new economic policy, Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao said Friday.

Two-way trade is expected to reach a new record of more than 20 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, Zhang said at a reception for representatives of business circles from China and Kazakhstan, adding that a number of important industrial projects have been launched.

Former Turkish PM forms new party

ANKARA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's former Prime Minister and Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ahmet Davutoglu announced the establishment of his Future Party on Friday.

"The future is our nation's, the future is Turkey. Despite all the pressures and the climate of fear, we came together to draw a prosperous future for our country," he said at a ceremony marking the launch of the new party.

Served as foreign minister and then Prime Minister until 2016, he was once a close adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Red Cross Societies of China, Myanmar to strengthen cooperation

YANGON, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Red Cross Societies of China and Myanmar agreed on Friday to further strengthen cooperation in a meeting between officials from both sides.

Chen Zhu, vice president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and president of Red Cross Society of China, visited Myanmar and held a meeting with Tin Nyunt, acting president of Myanmar Red Cross Society.

BSEC members call for closer cooperation to promote growth, peace, stability in Athens meeting

ATHENS, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The 41st Meeting of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs was held here on Friday, ending with a call for closer cooperation within the group, with the EU and other organizations to promote economic growth, peace and stability.

Greece, which hands over the rotating six-month chairmanship-in-office to Romania in January 2020, welcomed officials from the 12-member organization for an assessment of work done in recent months and planning for next steps.

‘There’ll be war’ if Bolivia cuts coca growing, farmers warn

COROICO (Bolivia), Dec 14 (NNN-AGENCIES) — For the coca farmers of western Bolivia’s Las Yungas region, the loss of president Evo Morales – himself a one-time coca grower, and a champion of indigenous rights – is less worrying than the drop in price of their “holy leaf” crop.

And the growers of the coca leaf – the raw material for making cocaine but also a mainstay of pre-colonial life – are warning of “war” if the amount of land under legal cultivation is reduced by the interim government in power since Morales resigned last month.

Indian PM's visit altered look of 150-feet road in Jajmau

Kanpur: On the day of the Prime Minister's visit to the city, the 150-feet road in Jajmau appeared in its full width with cleanliness all over the road. Even lime powder on both the sides of the road drew our attention.

Reacting on this sudden change of the wide road the residents of the area expressed their satisfaction and elation. They added such a day comes very rarely. Would that there were weekly visits to the very very important persons in the city. 

French police kill man who threatened officers with knife in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - Police officers shot dead a man who threatened them with a knife in the Paris business district of La Defense on Friday, police sources said.

A security man had alerted police to the presence of a man armed with a knife in La Defense Square.

The suspect rushed towards the three-men patrol that had gone to check the situation, wielding the knife and shouting: “I am going to kill you”, the sources said.

Seven shots were fired, with two shots hitting the man in the chest and in the thigh. The man carried no identify papers.

Indian president signs citizenship Bill into law, disregards protests

NEW DELHI, Dec 13 (NNN-AGENCIES) — A divisive citizenship Bill has been signed into law in India, a move that comes amid widespread protests in the country’s northeast that could force the cancellation of a visit by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Two people were killed and 11 injured on Thursday when police opened fire on mobs in Assam state torching buildings and attacking railway stations. Protesters say the law would convert thousands of illegal immigrants into legal residents.

Europe tells US to back off over Russian gas pipeline

BRUSSELS, Dec 113 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Europe warned Washington to mind its own business after US lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill that would sanction contractors working on a Russian pipeline to the continent.

Brussels “opposes the imposition of sanctions against any EU companies conducting legitimate business,” EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said.


Iran's economy impacted, but survives U.S. sanctions

by Mu Dong, Hassan Rouhvand

TEHRAN, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- One year since the United States fully re-imposed its maximum sanctions against Iran, its economy has experienced impact but survives.

When the United States quit the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018, and then re-imposed nuclear sanctions in August and November 2018, there was an expectation among U.S. decision-makers that the Iranian economy would collapse within months.

RCEP; A Dangerous Agreement to Sign by India

by Prabhat Patnaik

On  October 24-25, there were widespread peasant protests all over the country against the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) involving sixteen nations which India is currently negotiating. As negotiations near completion, such protests are escalating, with the All India Kisan Sabha planning to organise a nation-wide protest on November 4, just before the RCEP agreement is due to be signed. And the Kerala government too is organising a protest.

‘This city is not livable’: New Delhi citizens face foul air


NEW DELHI (AP) — Sakshi Chauhan has not left her house in a quiet inner-city slum in the Indian capital for the past six days on her doctor’s orders.

The 22-year-old call center operator is recovering from a severe throat infection and the thick smog now blanketing New Delhi has made even breathing dangerous.

“The moment I step outside, I can’t breathe properly,” she said. “I have never seen this level of pollution in my entire life.”

NAM nations stand to gain through economic cooperation

By R.Ravichandran

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 (NNN-BERNAMA) — The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), with 120 members, is a movement with a promising prospect for economic cooperation, said Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan for Public and Political Issues Ali Hasanov.

Hasanov said currently, 55 per cent of the world’s population lives in NAM member countries, and more than 75 per cent of the world’s oil reserves and 50 per cent of the natural gas reserves are also in these countries. 


Erdogan: The revolutionary enigma who holds the West in sway

by Muhammad Hussein

There are few political enigmas these days – strongmen, yes, but not enigmas. We have US President Donald Trump, who is far from it; we have UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is Trump without the charm, and we have various leaders across Europe and the world who somehow fit on either side of the right vs left political spectrum. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, is an exception.

Netanyahu condenses Israel’s history into one sentence

by Ibrahim Hewitt

A few days ago, Benjamin Netanyahu condensed the history of the Zionist state of Israel into one sentence: “These European countries should be ashamed of themselves. Have they learned nothing from history? … They are enabling a fanatic terrorist state to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, thereby bringing disaster to themselves and upon everyone else.”

How to Commit War Crimes and Get Away With It


U.S. President Donald Trump sacked his Navy secretary on Twitter. The main reason is that the Navy secretary did not follow Trump’s advice regarding Navy Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher. Trump wanted Gallagher to retain his position as a Navy Seal.

Gallagher was accused of stabbing to death a wounded fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in 2017; he was also accused of other incidents of murder (of a schoolgirl and an elderly man), and then of obstruction of justice.

It may not know it, but the US is accelerating the end of Israel’s apartheid regime

by Asa Winstanley

Last week US President Donald Trump’s administration made a notable move. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US is reversing previous policy which basically accepted that Israel’s colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank are a violation of international law.

Preservation of Turkey’s energy rights is key to maritime stability in the eastern Mediterranean

by Elif Selin Calik

In collaboration with major industrial countries like the US and France, several Mediterranean countries have discovered oil and gas resources under the sea bed. The aim of these countries is twofold: to achieve energy self-sufficiency, and to sell any surplus on the open market.