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Monday, April 24, 2017

Report: Iran Violating Nuclear Deal with Secret Development Near ‘Off-Limits’ Parchin Site

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, members of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) presented satellite imagery and intelligence, said to be provided by informants working covertly inside the Iranian military, that indicates the Iranian regime is far from complying with the terms of the nuclear deal.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of NCRI’s Washington office, presented the findings in a presentation covered by major media outlets. He said the People’s Mojahedin Organization’s network within Iran acquired the information.
“We are talking about an extensive covert operation by the Iranian regime,” Jafarzadeh said. “Our information shows that their activities have been continuing in full gear despite the JCPOA,” he said using the acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the nuclear deal.
“The engineering unit that is charged and tasked with actually building the bomb in a secret way for the Iranian regime is called the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research,” Jafarzadeh said. It is known by its Persian acronym SPND (which is Sazman-e Pazhouheshhaye Novin-e Defa’i in Farsi). It has seven subdivisions, each of which carries out a certain portion of Iran’s nuclear program. READ MORE

The Russians Hacked Democrats’ Plans to Cheat in the General Election, Too

New York Times report on Saturday claimed that FBI Director James Comey decided to reveal last year that he was re-opening the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton because he suspected Attorney General Loretta Lynch was covering up for her — and because an email found by Russian hackers seemed to support those suspicions.
The Times’ investigative report suggests that a U.S. intelligence agency managed to intercept some of what Russian hackers were stealing — and that one document, “described as both a memo and an email, was written by a Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.”
According to the Times, Comey feared that Lynch — who had insisted the Clinton probe be referred to as a “matter” and not as an “investigation,” and who suggested it the investigation was not criminal when, in fact, it was — would declare the case closed, and then Russian hackers would leak the document to undermine the FBI’s image of independence.
The Times notes: “Mr. Comey’s defenders regard this as one of the untold stories of the Clinton investigation, one they say helps explain his decision-making.” And if a local news reporter in Phoenix had not caught Lynch meeting with former President Bill Clinton, she might have succeeded in sheltering the Clintons even more effectively than she had.
When Comey’s letter to Congress about the re-opening of the investigation was revealed on October 28, it changed the contours of the presidential race — arguably by uniting reluctant conservatives around Donald Trump’s candidacy. READ MORE

Netanyahu: Those who threaten us risk being destroyed

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday spoke at the Yom Hashoah ceremony in Yad Vashem, vowing not to remain silent against those who call for the destruction of Israel.
At the start of his speech, Netanyahu mentioned a new book which revealed that the United States, Britain and the Soviet bloc were aware of the murder of at least two million Jews by the Nazis at the end of 1942, and not two years later as originally believed.
“The world powers knew and didn't take action. They could have saved four million Jews,” he said.
"The anti-Semitism of radical Islam, Iran and the Islamic State wants to destroy us. The hatred for Jews is now being directed towards the Jewish state. As for the indifference of the world, has anything changed in that regard? The answer is no. There are many instances in which the world stands by and fails to prevent genocide,” said Netanyahu.
"Since World War II, there has been no tragedy like the Holocaust, but in many cases the world stands by and does not prevent genocide. In Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan and Syria,” he added. “At the same time, there are several points of light within the darkness. One of them just recently occurred and that is [U.S. President Donald] Trump's decisive response to the massacre of Syrian children using chemical weapons.”
"Those who threaten to destroy us risk being destroyed themselves," Netanyahu then warned.
"From being defenseless people, we have become a state with a defensive capacity that is among the strongest in the world," he added.

North Korea threatens to sink US aircraft carrier

The North Korean regime threatened a US supercarrier on Sunday, pledging to sink the 100,000 ton behemoth “with a single strike”.
The USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class nuclear powered carrier, was ordered to the Korean coast by President Trump after an attempted North Korean ballistic missile test.
Pyongyang’s official mouthpiece, Rodong Sinmum, publicized the statement which included an explicit threat to use force against the carrier.
“Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," the statement read.
President Trump has demanded North Korea halt efforts to develop and deploy long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to the west coast of the United States.
Earlier this month, Trump pressured China, North Korea’s patron, to rein in Pyongyang. The Chinese government later turned away North Korean coal exports – a major source of foreign currency and one of Pyongyang’s sole exports – after the Trump administration announced it would drop plans to label China a currency manipulator.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Palestinian Jihadist Claims Islamic State Planning to Encircle Israel’s Borders

The Islamic State group is determined to move closer to Israel’s borders, Gaza-based Palestinian jihadist and IS supporter Abu Baker Almaqdesi told Breitbart Jerusalem in an interview.
Addressing a recent attack against a monastery in Sinai in which an Egyptian police officer was killed, Almaqdesi said, “It’s clear that the goal of the brothers is to close in on all sides in the direction of occupied Palestine and fight the Jews with the intent of expelling them from Islamic lands.”
Almaqdesi refers to the entire state of Israel as “occupied Palestine.”
According to Almaqdesi, despite IS’s fronts in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Afghanistan, “our guiding compass is still the liberation of Jerusalem. The Jews have benefited from the abandonment of Islam’s holy places; they did so because of the estrangement of Muslims from their faith.”
Almaqdesi also addressed the attempts of the Islamic State group to continue firing rockets from Sinai and the Gaza Strip toward Israel. “We will continue firing at the Jews and we will continue in our attempts to commit attacks with the goal of harming Jews and their government in Palestine and in all the holy places.”
According to Almaqdesi, “The war in Sinai, the consolidation in the Gaza Strip, the attempt to gain a serious hold in Jordan and of course the war in Syria, will end with the control of the Caliphate and Sharia, and will end with the liberation of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestine.
“Syria is important and central and its place in Allah’s Sharia is central, but al-Quds (Jerusalem) is also central … and I know that it’s high on the agenda of the brothers leading the (Islamic) State. We won’t let the Jews continue defiling the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We won’t continue to let the Jews prevent Muslims from praying at Al-Aqsa.” READ MORE

'There will be no Palestinian state without Gaza'

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said the "state of Palestine" bases its stance on international law and legitimacy, and sees the international community as responsible for enforcing the pre-1967 borders.
According to Erekat, the international community has a responsibility to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict.
This, Erekat claimed, is because it is "a fact" that the Middle East's security, peace, and stability depends on ending the fifty-year Israeli "occupation."
In a Ramallah meeting with representative of the European Union, Japan, and Russia, Erekat praised Europe, Russia, and Japan for their support of a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders in which Jerusalem serves as the capital city of both countries.
Regarding the internal Arab conflicts, Erekat stressed the importance of creating a "national unity government" which will adopt the PLO's policies and hold new elections as soon as possible.
Erekat claimed a unity government is essential since there cannot be an independent Palestinian state within Gaza, and there cannot be a Palestinian state which does not include Gaza.

North Korea threatens to nuke Australia

North Korea may strike Australia for "blindly and zealously toeing the US line," sources said.
The Australian government had "better think twice" about Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's "reckless tongue-lashing," North Korea said, warning the country was "inching close to the brink of war."
"What she uttered can never be pardoned," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said. "The present Government of Australia is blindly and zealously toeing the US line."
"If Australia persists in following the US' moves to isolate and stifle North Korea … this will be a suicidal act of coming within the range of the nuclear strike of the strategic force of North Korea," North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.
They also accused Australia of shielding a hostile US policy of nuclear threats and blackmail against North Korea, and said North Korea's nuclear weapons were "entirely just steps for self defense" and Bishop's statement was "an act against peace" which "can never be pardoned."
In response, Bishop said, "These present a grave threat to its neighbors, and if left unchecked, to the broader region including Australia. The North Korean Government should invest in the welfare of its long-suffering citizens, rather than weapons of mass destruction."
Earlier this week, Bishop told ABC that North Korea's nuclear weapons "posed a serious threat" to Australia and must be stopped.

Report: Israel struck government army bases in Syria

Arab media on Sunday morning reported that Israel struck a military base under the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
Before the civil war, my friends on the left said that it is possible for us to leave the Golan Heights in return for peace [between Syria and] Israel," he added.The base was located in the village of Nbaa Al-Fawwar, on the outskirts of Quneitra.
According to Al Mayadeen TV, three people were killed and two were injured in the attack.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the attack had targeted a "weapons warehouse" in the camp.
Additional details have not been released.
On Friday, just before the Sabbat, air raid sirens sounded in various locations in Israel's Golan, and shortly thereafter two mortar shells were found in Israeli territory.
No one was injured and no damage was caused.
In an earlier air strike on Friday, a mortar shell was found in an open area in the northern Golan Heights.
The IDF attacked the Syrian sites from which the mortars were fired.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Transgender, LGBT issues should be taught to kids as young as 2, British teacher’s union declares

Transgender and LGBT issues should be taught in nursery school to children as young as 2, according to a British teacher’s union, the Telegraph reported.
“It is important for a modern forward-thinking society to understand and embrace differences within our communities,” National Union of Teachers General Secretary Kevin Courtney told the paper, which is published in London
More from the Telegraph:
Currently only council-controlled secondary schools are required to teach children about sex in biology classes. But there is no such requirement on academies or free schools which make up the majority of secondary schools in England.
But teachers passed a motion which called on members to “campaign to ensure a comprehensive age-appropriate content including promotion of LGBT+ matters for all schools from nursery throughout all phases of state education.”
The group Christian Concern took issue with this development — and said so on the home page of its website.
“Education can shape a generation. Currently, there is pressure on schools from lobby groups and some [members of Parliament] to promote homosexuality and impose inappropriate sex education on younger children,” Christian Concern noted.
“There are also attempts to remove the freedom that parents currently have to withdraw their children from sex education. At Christian Concern, we believe that ultimate responsibility for educating children lies with the parents, not the State,” the group said. “We campaign for parental freedoms and education that reflects Biblical values.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive at Christian Concern, told the Telegraph that teaching sex and relationship education to children that young would be “devastating” and risks “robbing them of their innocence.”
“Sexuality is not an issue for toddlers,” Williams said, according to Christian Concern.
“The more paper tigers we create, the more confused our children will become,” she said. “When will common sense prevail?”
Laura Perins, co-editor of the Conservative Woman website, also criticized the initiative, Christian Concern noted.
“It seems nothing is off-limits for adult bullies who want to use young children as a tool in their misguided agenda,” Perins said in a statement, the group said.

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 Obama administration reportedly approved the Iranian request in its final weeks, but it was ultimately blocked by the United Kingdom. Iran has indicated of late that it will revive the request, setting up a key test for the Trump administration, which has placed the nuclear deal under a comprehensive review.

Trump officials suggested to TWS that the administration has not yet decided whether it will overturn the Obama-era decision and prohibit Iran from importing the natural uranium.

"I would certainly hope we would use all our leverage to prevent such a purchase by Iran," one senior White House official said.

The White House's weapons of mass destruction directorate refused to comment to TWS.

"We do not comment on the deliberations of the Joint Commission, as has been agreed to by all participating parties." READ MORE

Syria: Israeli retaliation proof it supports rebels

Syria claimed on Friday that Israel’s retaliation for the explosion of mortar shells in the Golan Heights was proof that Israel provides assistance to rebels trying to topple Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
In a statement quoted by the official Syrian news agency SANA, a Syrian military source confirmed that Israel struck a military position in the Quneitra region.
The strike caused “material damage”, according to the statement.
The source said that the Israeli “aggression” came after an attempt by “terrorists” to infiltrate military positions in Quneitra was foiled. This, claimed the source, proves that Israel provides direct support to “terrorist organizations”.
The Assad regime uses the term “terrorists” to describe all the rebel groups trying to oust the president.
The military source further declared that such “desperate attempts will not dissuade the Army and Armed Forces from continuing to crush the terrorist groups that act as Israel’s proxy in the area.”
The Israeli action came after three mortar shells exploded in the Golan Heights, causing no physical injuries or damages.
“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its residents and views the Syrian regime as being responsible for what is happening in its territory,” the IDF Spokesperson said.
The incident is the latest example of the Syrian war spilling over into northern Israel.
Earlier this month, a stray bullet fired by combatants on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights struck an Israeli girl, wounding her in the back but miraculously causing no serious damage.
Previous incidents included projectiles from Syria exploding in open regions in the Golan Heights.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Archbishop of Washington: Nearly One Christian Killed Every Hour for Practicing Faith

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly one Christian is killed every hour around the world for practicing their faith, said the Archbishop of the U.S. capital.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl made those comments on Thursday while delivering the keynote address during the one-day symposium at the National Press Club focused on Christian prosecution.
The event featured the release of a report by the University of Notre Dame’s Under Caesar’s Sword project titled, “In Response to Persecution.”
Christian persecution is a worldwide phenomenon, noted the Washington archbishop.
“Reports suggest that about 200 million Christians around the world are at risk of physical violence, arrest, torture, even death simply because they live and practice a faith that is not acceptable to the rulers in that part of the world,” he pointed out.
“The journalist John Allen recently estimated that, this is a quote, the number of Christians killed for religious reasons is ‘roughly one every hour, 365 days a year,’” added the cardinal.
That amounts to about 9,000 Christians killed per year, which is consistent with a study by the Turin-based Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR).
According to the study, about 9,000 Christians were killed worldwide for practicing their faith last year.
The estimate marks a nearly 20-percent increase from the 7,100 Christians whom Open Doors USA said lost their lives for religious reasons in 2015. READ MORE

At UN debate, Arab states heed Haley’s plea to focus on Iran

JTA - A number of Arab states heeded the plea by Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, to focus more in a Middle East debate on the threat posed by Iran than on the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Haley, this month the president by rotation of the U.N. Security Council, convened a council session on the Middle East.
“How one chooses to spend one’s time is an indication of one’s priorities,” she said in her opening remarks.
“The same is true for the United Nations Security Council,” she said. “The Israel-Palestinian issue is an important one, deserving of attention. But that is one issue that surely has no lack of attention around here. The incredibly destructive nature of Iranian and Hezbollah activities throughout the Middle East demands much more of our attention. It should become this Council’s priority in the region.”
All U.N. member states — not just the 15 on the council — were invited to deliver short addresses on the Middle East.
The plea appeared to resonate with a number of states joining the debate, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as well as European states and some in Africa, including Ethiopia.
These states did not ignore the Israeli-Arab issue, and were often critical of Israel, but the greater part of their addresses looked to the threat posed by Iran and its allies in the region, with a special focus on Syria, where a sarin gas attack killed 89 civilians earlier this month. Western states have blamed the Assad regime, allied with Iran, for the attack.
The UAE envoy, for instance, said that Iran’s involvement in other regional conflicts posed “an existential threat to the Middle East.”
Other nations, including leftist governments in South America like Venezuela, as well as South Africa, focused more on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The South African envoy said the Security Council “should not stray away from the core issue” when discussing the region.
Haley has repeatedly said the United States will no longer tolerate anti-Israel bias at the body, a key difference between the Trump administration and its predecessor, the Obama administration, which sought to tamp down anti-Israel bias through quiet diplomacy.
Haley was behind successful efforts earlier this year to get the U.N. Secretary General, António Guterres, to withdraw a report by a U.N. affiliate that was heavily biased against Israel, comparing it to apartheid-ridden South Africa.