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World News
Sun, 15 Sep 2019 15:28
Yahoo News - Latest News &Headlines
Trump does not rule out Rouhani meeting after Saudi oil attacks, as Iran denies involvementDonald Trump has not ruled out a potential meeting with Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, despite blaming Iran for devastating drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil installations. Iran denied it was behind the attacks on Saturday, including a strike on the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility, which slashed Saudi Arabia's output in half and threatened to destabilise global markets. Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebel group claimed responsibility, but there were questions over whether it had the capability to carry out the operation alone. Kellyanne Conway, Mr Trump's counsellor, said the development "did not help" prospects for a meeting between the US and Iranian leaders during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, but she left open the possibility it could still happen. Mrs Conway said: "I'll allow the president to announce a meeting or a non-meeting. The president will at least consider his options." She added: "The Iranian regime is responsible for this attack on civilian areas and infrastructure vital to our global energy supply, and we're not going to stand for that... We will continue our maximum pressure campaign in Iran." Saudi television showed the aftermath of the attack over the weekend Credit: Al-Arabiya via AP Mr Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal last year, saying it would not stop Iran developing a nuclear bomb, and reimposed sanctions. But the president has made clear he is willing to meet Iran's leadership to renegotiate a nuclear deal. Following the Saudi attacks, Lindsey Graham, the Republican US senator and friend of the president, urged more aggressive action. He said: "It is now time for the US to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries if they continue their provocations or increase nuclear enrichment." A spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry said: "Such fruitless and blind accusations and remarks are incomprehensible and meaningless." Satellite imagery showed the apparent drone attack on a Saudi oil facility Credit: Planet Labs Inc via REUTERS Mr Trump spoke by telephone with Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to "offer his support for Saudi Arabia’s self defence," a White House spokesman said. Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, called the strikes an “egregious attack on the security of Saudi Arabia" and a "reckless attempt" to disrupt global oil supplies. The targeted sites were 500 miles from the Yemeni border. Two sources told CNN the drones could have been launched from Iraq, an allegation the country’s leadership forcefully denied.
Trump does not rule out Rouhani meeting after Saudi oil attacks, as Iran denies involvement
Senior U.S. official: Saudi attacks did not come from YemenThe scope and precision of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities suggest the launch was not made by Houthis and came from a west-northwest direction, not south from Yemen, a U.S. official said on Sunday. "There's no doubt that Iran is responsible for this. Evidence points in no other direction than that Iran was responsible for this," the official told Reuters.
Senior U.S. official: Saudi attacks did not come from Yemen
Syrian president issues new amnesty, reduces sentencesSyrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree Sunday granting amnesty and reducing sentences for all crimes committed before Sept. 14, state news agency SANA said. Similar amnesties have been issued on several occasions — most recently last year — since Syria's crisis began in March 2011. According to Sunday's pardon, life-long terms would replace death sentences, and a 20-year-long sentence at hard labor would replace life-long sentences at hard labor, and a 20-year sentence would replace long-life sentences.
Syrian president issues new amnesty, reduces sentences
Lawyers seek testimony for US woman charged with aiding ISAttorneys for an Indiana woman accused of providing support to the Islamic State group received a judge's approval to seek depositions from three Yazidis who were taken as slaves by her husband, who she says died while fighting for IS. A federal judge in Hammond gave Samantha Elhassani's lawyers permission Tuesday to seek depositions from the two Yazidi women and a young Yazidi boy in hopes of bolstering her defense, the Post-Tribune reported. One of the women and the boy are in the Kurdish-controlled city of Erbil, Iraq, and the other woman lives nearby.
Lawyers seek testimony for US woman charged with aiding IS
Israeli PM convenes Cabinet in West Bank ahead of electionPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his final pre-election Cabinet meeting on Sunday in a part of the West Bank he has vowed to annex if re-elected and laid out a plan to build a new settlement there, amid a last-ditch drive to galvanize his nationalistic base. The meeting, along with the new pledges, came despite an international outcry over Netanyahu's promise to annex the West Bank's Jordan Valley. Annexing the area, considered to be the heartland of any future Palestinian state, would all but extinguish any remaining Palestinian hopes for independence.
Israeli PM convenes Cabinet in West Bank ahead of election
German state considers offer of €5000 to former residents to return to the region amid brain drainIn the central German state of Thuringia, Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party is hoping to lure former residents back to their "homeland" by offering a one-off payment of €5,000 for anyone who returns to live and work in the state. The plan was approved at the CDU state conference in Giesa on Saturday as part of its package of proposals for the upcoming state elections, with party chief Mike Mohring saying it was “an invitation to come back home and shape the future here”. Thuringia is one of several formerly East German states which has experienced an ongoing brain drain in the three decades since Germany’s reunification, with younger residents moving to the former West in search of job opportunities and higher wages. According to government statistics, Thuringia's population has fallen by hundreds of thousands since reunification. The CDU has not said how many people it hopes will return under the bonus scheme.  While councils and state governments elsewhere in Europe have considered making payments to encourage immigration, most notably in Italy, the proposal is the first of its kind in Germany.  The CDU's leader in Thuringia, Mike Mohring (right), said it was “an invitation to come back home and shape the future here” Credit: CLEMENS BILAN/EPA-EFE/REX The CDU are looking to reclaim political relevance in Thuringia ahead of the state election on Oct. 27. The party had held power in Thuringia since reunification, but lost the 2014 election to a centre-left coalition. They are also concerned about losing votes to the far-right Alternative für Deutschland, or AFD, which has eroded some of the CDU’s support across Germany. The AFD picked up 23 per cent of votes in the state at the 2017 federal election, well above the national average of12.6 per cent. “The question is, in the future, will Thuringia be governed from the margins or the middle?” Mohring said. Recent polls in Thuringia have the CDU at 24 per cent, trailing the left-wing Die Linke at 26 per cent but ahead of the AFD at 21 per cent. Earlier in September, Thuringia’s Minister-President Bodo Ramelow of Die Linke lamented the state’s economic situation, saying that the former East was still seen by those in the former West “as a colony”. He ascribed the AFD's recent ascendancy in the region at least in part to economic uncertainty.
German state considers offer of €5000 to former residents to return to the region amid brain drain
Yes, Iran Was Behind the Saudi Oil Attack. Now What?(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Following the Houthi attack on Saturday on Saudi Aramco’s crude-oil processing facility, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an obvious and necessary point: Blame Iran.It is obvious because the Houthi rebels in Yemen lack the drones, missiles or expertise to attack infrastructure inside Saudi Arabia. In 2018, a United Nations panel of experts on Yemenexamined the debris of missiles fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into Saudi Arabia and concluded there was high probability the weapons were shipped in components from Iran. As one Hezbollah commander told two George Washington University analysts in 2016: “Who do you think fires Tochka missiles into Saudi Arabia? It’s not the Houthis in their sandals, it’s us.” Hezbollah, of course, is a subsidiary of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.Pompeo’s response is necessary because, historically, Iran pretends to seek peace as it makes war. This is why it sent Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to France last month to plead with the world’s great economic powers as it escalated its proxy war against Saudi Arabia. Iranian diplomacy depends on its adversaries treating the aggression of its proxies as distinct from its statecraft.What is surprising is that Pompeo’s remarks havealready drawn fire from leading Democrats. Even Senator Chris Murphy’s more nuanced view (or at least as much nuance as is possible in a tweet) gets the big picture wrong — and it’s worth dwelling on why.Murphy starts by lamenting the secretary’s “irresponsible simplification” of “Houthis=Iran.” He is smart enough to acknowledge that Iran “is backing the Houthis and has been a bad actor.” He then strikes a note of naivete. “The Saudis and Houthis are at war,” he tweeted. “The Saudis attack the Houthis and the Houthis attack back.”This kind of neutralism is regrettable for a few reasons. To start, the sheer scale and devastation of Saturday’s attack (the Saudis estimate that half of their oil production has been taken out) counts as an escalation. The effects are not limited to Yemen or the Persian Gulf. The world economy will suffer.And while Murphy is correct to criticize Saudi brutality, as he has in the past, the two sides in this regional conflict are not equivalent. Iran is a revisionist power, challenging the status quo throughout the Levant and the Gulf. The U.S. and its allies are trying to keep Iran in check. The U.S. has tried to pressure Saudi Arabia to de-escalate, whereas Iran is pushing the Houthis to dig in.Fortunately, Murphy and other Democrats will not decide how to respond to this latest aggression. This decision falls to President Donald Trump. And now is a good time to re-evaluate his recent push to negotiate with Iran. The president could start by reaffirming Pompeo’s 12 conditions for sanctions relief for Iran. Last month, Trump pared them down to three, narrowly related to its nuclear program. Indeed, the Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia shows just how important it is that any future deal commit the Iranian regime toending its adventures in the Middle East.Trump also now needs to reconsider military options to deter future escalations. As I have reported, U.S. intelligence agencies have mapped the precise locations of Iranian bases and commanders in Yemen and the Middle East. If Trump wants to respond militarily without attacking Iranian territory, he has many targets outside the country.If Trump continues to pursue negotiations with Iran’s regime, he will be inviting more attacks on America’s allies. This is exactly the strategy — and the consequences — followed and paid by his predecessor, Barack Obama, in his second term. During and after the negotiations for the nuclear deal, Iran armed and trained its proxies in Syria and later in Yemen. The Middle East is now paying for these mistakes. Trump would be a fool to repeat them.To contact the author of this story: Eli Lake at elake1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Eli Lake is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering national security and foreign policy. He was the senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast and covered national security and intelligence for the Washington Times, the New York Sun and UPI.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Yes, Iran Was Behind the Saudi Oil Attack. Now What?
Yes, Iran Was Behind the Saudi Oil Attack. Now What?(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Following the Houthi attack on Saturday on Saudi Aramco’s crude-oil processing facility, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an obvious and necessary point: Blame Iran.It is obvious because the Houthi rebels in Yemen lack the drones, missiles or expertise to attack infrastructure inside Saudi Arabia. In 2018, a United Nations panel of experts on Yemenexamined the debris of missiles fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into Saudi Arabia and concluded there was high probability the weapons were shipped in components from Iran. As one Hezbollah commander told two George Washington University analysts in 2016: “Who do you think fires Tochka missiles into Saudi Arabia? It’s not the Houthis in their sandals, it’s us.” Hezbollah, of course, is a subsidiary of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.Pompeo’s response is necessary because, historically, Iran pretends to seek peace as it makes war. This is why it sent Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to France last month to plead with the world’s great economic powers as it escalated its proxy war against Saudi Arabia. Iranian diplomacy depends on its adversaries treating the aggression of its proxies as distinct from its statecraft.What is surprising is that Pompeo’s remarks havealready drawn fire from leading Democrats. Even Senator Chris Murphy’s more nuanced view (or at least as much nuance as is possible in a tweet) gets the big picture wrong — and it’s worth dwelling on why.Murphy starts by lamenting the secretary’s “irresponsible simplification” of “Houthis=Iran.” He is smart enough to acknowledge that Iran “is backing the Houthis and has been a bad actor.” He then strikes a note of naivete. “The Saudis and Houthis are at war,” he tweeted. “The Saudis attack the Houthis and the Houthis attack back.”This kind of neutralism is regrettable for a few reasons. To start, the sheer scale and devastation of Saturday’s attack (the Saudis estimate that half of their oil production has been taken out) counts as an escalation. The effects are not limited to Yemen or the Persian Gulf. The world economy will suffer.And while Murphy is correct to criticize Saudi brutality, as he has in the past, the two sides in this regional conflict are not equivalent. Iran is a revisionist power, challenging the status quo throughout the Levant and the Gulf. The U.S. and its allies are trying to keep Iran in check. The U.S. has tried to pressure Saudi Arabia to de-escalate, whereas Iran is pushing the Houthis to dig in.Fortunately, Murphy and other Democrats will not decide how to respond to this latest aggression. This decision falls to President Donald Trump. And now is a good time to re-evaluate his recent push to negotiate with Iran. The president could start by reaffirming Pompeo’s 12 conditions for sanctions relief for Iran. Last month, Trump pared them down to three, narrowly related to its nuclear program. Indeed, the Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia shows just how important it is that any future deal commit the Iranian regime toending its adventures in the Middle East.Trump also now needs to reconsider military options to deter future escalations. As I have reported, U.S. intelligence agencies have mapped the precise locations of Iranian bases and commanders in Yemen and the Middle East. If Trump wants to respond militarily without attacking Iranian territory, he has many targets outside the country.If Trump continues to pursue negotiations with Iran’s regime, he will be inviting more attacks on America’s allies. This is exactly the strategy — and the consequences — followed and paid by his predecessor, Barack Obama, in his second term. During and after the negotiations for the nuclear deal, Iran armed and trained its proxies in Syria and later in Yemen. The Middle East is now paying for these mistakes. Trump would be a fool to repeat them.To contact the author of this story: Eli Lake at elake1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Eli Lake is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering national security and foreign policy. He was the senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast and covered national security and intelligence for the Washington Times, the New York Sun and UPI.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Yes, Iran Was Behind the Saudi Oil Attack. Now What?
A look at the corruption scandals facing Israel's NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to hold on to power in Tuesday's historic repeat election as the shadow of various corruption charges loom over his future. Israel's attorney general has recommended pressing criminal charges against him in three separate corruption cases, pending a long delayed pre-trial hearing scheduled for early October — just three weeks after the election.
A look at the corruption scandals facing Israel's Netanyahu
Netanyahu Takes Cabinet to West Bank to Hammer Home Vote Message(Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought his cabinet to the West Bank on Sunday to legalize a Jewish settlement outpost, as he recycles a familiar litany of promises and warnings to try to win a tight re-election race.Polls show his Likud party and former military chief Benny Gantz’s Blue and White bloc in a dead heat ahead of Tuesday’s election, and Netanyahu has gone on a campaign blitz warning that a government led by his rival would make dangerous concessions to the Palestinians and Iran. Facing a potential indictment for bribery and fraud, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister is in the fight of his political life.The prime minister has been in power a total of 13 years, but annexing West Bank territory -- a cause dear to hawkish voters’ hearts but widely opposed internationally -- hadn’t been a part of his agenda until the last election in April. Yet with nationalist rivals making it a centerpiece of their platforms in Tuesday’s revote, Netanyahu called a “dramatic” news conference last week to announce plans to go ahead with such a move.He followed up on Sunday by convening his cabinet in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley to approve the legalization and expansion of a previously unauthorized settler outpost.“It is important that we ensure the future of the Jordan Valley as part of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.Annexation of West Bank land is anathema to Palestinians who see that territory as the core of any future state. Netanyahu’s plan has been denounced by the United Nations and European powers who see annexation as a violation of international law.Final polls released Friday gave Likud a slight bump, but if they’re on the mark, his right-wing and religious allies will still need help forming a governing coalition either from fickle former protege Avigdor Liberman or the opposing camp. His political messaging is designed to avoid that scenario and assure his political survival with a clean win at the polls.Besides annexation vows, other tactics Netanyahu’s repeddling include:Donald TrumpNetanyahu is drawing on his close bond with the U.S. president and the rewards that’s produced, like the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and American recognition of Israeli control over the Golan Heights. Trump tossed out another bonbon on Saturday when he announced that he and Netanyahu discussed the possibility of moving forward with a U.S.-Israel defense treaty.Frequent FlyerJust in case Trump is not enough of an ace in the hole, Netanyahu’s jetted off this month to London and Russia to display his diplomatic chops in meetings with Boris Johnson, Vladimir Putin and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper.IranOne of Netanyahu’s signature issues is keeping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In the lead-up to voting he laid out new allegations that Iran conducted nuclear experiments it sought to hide and confirmed Israeli military action against Iranian targets in Syria. Rivals accuse him of politicizing national security and intelligence.ArabsThere was a late-day surge in 2015 voting after Netanyahu warned that Arabs were “coming out in droves” to vote. This time he’s trying to juice Likud turnout by warning that a Gantz-led government would be propped up by an Israeli Arab party. His party’s Facebook chat bot was suspended after it called on voters to block formation of a left-wing government that will rest on “Arabs who want to destroy us all -- women, children and men -- and allow a nuclearized Iran that will annihilate us,” the Haaretz newspaper said. Netanyahu said the message was posted “mistakenly” by a campaign employee.Vote-Splitting BogeymanNetanyahu has warned nationalist voters that if they vote for other parties, his party might not be the largest and won’t be tapped by President Reuven Rivlin to form the next government. While party size isn’t the only determiner, he’s trying to avoid giving Blue and White any possible edge -- and deny leverage to his would-be governing allies.To contact the reporter on this story: Ivan Levingston in New York at ilevingston@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Amy Teibel, Tarek El-TablawyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Netanyahu Takes Cabinet to West Bank to Hammer Home Vote Message
Underfire PM calls up Hulk, claims 'huge' Brexit progressPrime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday declared Britain would break out of the European Union just like the comic book hero "The Incredible Hulk" and hailed "huge" progress towards getting a divorce deal. The Conservative leader made the comments ahead of meetings with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg on Monday. Johnson told the Mail on Sunday newspaper he was "very confident" of getting a divorce deal at an EU summit on October 17, in time for Brexit on October 31.
Underfire PM calls up Hulk, claims 'huge' Brexit progress
Iran refutes US accusations over Saudi attacksIran on Sunday dismissed US accusations it was behind drone attacks on Saudi oil installations, suggesting Washington was seeking a pretext to retaliate against the Islamic republic. "Such fruitless and blind accusations and remarks are incomprehensible and meaningless," foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying in a statement. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Iran after Saturday's attacks, which knocked out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production.
Iran refutes US accusations over Saudi attacks
Egypt says no 'breakthrough' with Ethiopia over Nile damForeign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters that talks over the $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam have stopped for more than a year before restarting in Cairo on Sunday. The long-running dispute centers on the filling and operation of what will be Africa's largest hydroelectric dam. Shoukry says he hopes that Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia can agree a timetable to reach a deal over the soon-to-be-completed dam.
Egypt says no 'breakthrough' with Ethiopia over Nile dam
No Release Date Set So Far for Brazil's Bolsonaro After Surgery(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro continues to improve after surgery, but there is as yet no date scheduled for his release from hospital, according to the presidential spokesman.Speaking to journalists in Sao Paulo, Otavio Rego Barros said that the doctors left Bolsonaro’s room “visibly impressed”with his progress Sunday morning. The president is reacting well to his new diet, which includes thicker porridge and soups, he added.Bolsonaro, 64, this month underwent his fourth surgery since he was stabbed in the abdomen during a campaign rally in September 2018. Initially, he was supposed to leave hospital on Friday, but his medical team suggested a longer rest period.The president is determined to recover in time to travel to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24. Rego Barros said that the medical team would reassess the president before he travels.A bulletin released by the hospital earlier on Sunday also stated that Bolsonaro’s clinical condition continues to improve. The president isn’t suffering from any pain or fever and his bowel movements are better, the hospital said in the update. Bolsonaro will continue physiotherapy and visitors will remain restricted.The president has been joined at the hospital by his wife, Michelle, son Carlos and some close advisers.To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Douglas in Brasilia Newsroom at bdouglas24@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Linus ChuaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
No Release Date Set So Far for Brazil's Bolsonaro After Surgery
UPDATE 1-U.S. won't rule out Trump-Rouhani meeting after blaming Iran for Saudi attacksThe White House on Sunday did not rule out a potential meeting between President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, even after Washington accused Iran of being behind drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said the attacks on Saturday "did not help" prospects for a meeting between the two leaders during the United Nations General Assembly this month but she left open the possibility it could happen.
UPDATE 1-U.S. won't rule out Trump-Rouhani meeting after blaming Iran for Saudi attacks

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