Zio-Watch News Round-up

Merkel: Refugees should ‘go home’ once war in Syria & Iraq is over: Zio-Watch, January 31, 2016


Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup
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From Russia Today

Merkel: Refugees should ‘go home’ once war in Syria & Iraq is over

Published time: 31 Jan, 2016 17:03

Refugees wait for their registration in front of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees at Berlin's Spandau district, Germany, January 29, 2016. © Fabrizio Bensch Refugees wait for their registration in front of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees at Berlin’s Spandau district, Germany, January 29, 2016. © Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that most of the refugees entering Germany from Syria and Iraq are expected to return home once conflicts in their countries have ended. The statement comes as Merkel facing mounting pressure over her open-door policy. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel © Fabrizio Bensch

40% of Germans want Merkel to quit over refugee policy – poll

“We need… to say to people that this is a temporary residential status and we expect that, once there is peace in Syria again, once IS has been defeated in Iraq, that you go back to your home country with the knowledge that you have gained,” Merkel told a regional meeting of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on Saturday, Reuters reports.

Germany accepted around 1.1 million refugees in 2015 and more are expected to arrive this year. The issue of asylum seekers came to the fore after a number of sexual assaults were recorded on women celebrating New Year’s Eve in Cologne, carried out by men of North African and Arab appearance.
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From The Independent

Donald Trump has clear lead over rivals in final poll before Iowa caucus

The same poll also gave Hillary Clinton a slight lead over Bernie Sanders

Hillary Clinton is holding onto a slim lead over Bernie Sanders in Iowa as Democrats prepare for Monday’s caucuses, according to a highly respected poll. The poll also gives a clear lead to Republican Donald Trump.

The polls by Bloomberg News and the Des Moines Register put Ms  Clinton leading Mr Sanders, 45 percent to 42 percent. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has three per cent in the survey conducted January 26-29.

Meanwhile, Saturday evening’s poll found Mr Trump leading Senator Ted Cruz 28% to 23% among likely GOP caucus-goers.

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From The Independent

Syrian civil war: Could Turkey be gambling on an invasion?

Kurdish forces, close to sealing the border, must beware – President Erdogan is unpredictable
  • Patrick Cockburn
  • An anti-Assad fighter, in rebel-held Arbeen, near Damascus AFP

A month before Turkey shot down a Russian bomber which it accused of entering its airspace, Russian military intelligence had warned President Vladimir Putin that this was the Turkish plan. Diplomats familiar with the events say that Putin dismissed the warning, probably because he did not believe that Turkey would risk provoking Russia into deeper military engagement in the Syrian war.

In the event, on 24 November last year a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian bomber, killing one of the pilots, in an attack that had every sign of being a well-prepared ambush. Turkey claimed that it was responding to the Russian plane entering its airspace for 17 seconds, but the Turkish fighters made every effort to conceal themselves by flying at low altitude, and they appear to have been on a special mission to destroy the Russian aircraft.

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From PressTV

Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:11PM

Yemeni army forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have killed five Saudi forces in retaliatory attacks inside Saudi Arabia.

Yemeni army sharpshooters killed five Saudi troops near Shabakeh and Ghaviyeh military bases in Khubeh area in Jizan region, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported on Sunday.

Yemeni forces also destroyed a US-made Abrams tank used by the Saudi forces during clashes near the Shabakeh military base.

Yemeni retaliatory rocket attacks against targets within Saudi territory resumed on Sunday as well. The Mosfagh military base in Jizan was hit in one such strike, causing a huge fire at the base.

Yemeni rockets also targeted other Saudi military bases, including Mojazeh, Khurmah and Sho’ab.

However, there is yet no news on the casualties and damage left from these attacks.

Meanwhile, Riyadh’s airstrikes continue to pound targets in Yemen on a daily basis. In one attack, Saudi jets bombed the town of Baqim in Sa’ada Province. In another attack, Saudi bombers hit the town of Munabbih in the same province.
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From PressTV

Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:18PM

The head of the Syrian government delegation to the UN-brokered peace talks has reiterated the readiness of Damascus to find a solution to end the foreign-backed crisis in the country.

Bashar al-Ja’afari, who is also the Syrian ambassador to the UN, made the remarks at a press conference during peace talks for Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Al-Ja’afari told reporters that the Syrian government wants to put an “end to the bloodshed” that is going on in Syria.

“The point is that we are still unaware of whom we will talk to. The full list of participants is unknown as of yet. UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura does not know it either,” he complained, however.

He slammed the opposition for its foot-dragging before the talks, saying it goes to show that the opposition is not serious in its intention to resolve the conflict.

“The negotiations were due to begin on January 25. Now this is the 31st. The second party has protracted the decision by six days. This indicates that their intentions are not serious,” he said.
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From Russia Today

Pentagon insists Russia violated Turkish airspace, calls for calm on both sides

Published time: 31 Jan, 2016 10:04

A Su-34 fullback bomber performs air strikes in the provinces of Raqqah and Aleppo © Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation A Su-34 fullback bomber performs air strikes in the provinces of Raqqah and Aleppo © Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation / Sputnik

The US Department of Defense “can confirm” that a Russian Su-34 strike fighter violated Turkish airspace on Friday, the Pentagon’s spokesman said in a statement. Yet Washington has called on both Moscow and Ankara to “take measures to prevent escalation.”

“We are aware of reports and can confirm that yesterday another Russian combat aircraft violated Turkish — and NATO – airspace,” Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright told RIA Novosti in a written statement Saturday.

“We call on Russia to respect Turkish airspace and cease activities that risk further heightening instability in the region,” Wright’s statement goes on.

Taking the side of its NATO ally, Pentagon also stressed that it was important that Russia and Turkey “talk to each other and take measures to prevent escalation.”
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From Ynet News

Anti-Semitic comedian’s show canceled

French comedian Dieudonne had been due to perform in Thailand, but his show was called off when the Israeli ambassador in Bangkok discovered it was due to take place. The performer was forced to fly to Hong Kong, from where he was deported following the intervention of the Israeli consulate.

French comedian Dieudonné, who has been roundly condemned for his anti-Semitic outbursts, had his show in Thailand canceled last week following the intervention of the Israeli ambassador in Bangkok.

The show was due to take place at Phuket island’s well-known Illuzion club on Wednesday. When Ambassador Simon Roded found out about the performance, he approached the club’s owners, who didn’t respond.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Sheldon Adelson in talks to build Las Vegas stadium for Oakland Raiders

On Friday, the same day of the meeting, Mark Davis also toured the site of Adelson’s proposed 65,000-seat stadium on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus. The UNLV football team would share it with the professional franchise, which would become the NFL’s first Las Vegas-based team.

Hours after Davis’ meeting with Adelson, the National Football League sent a memo to all 32 team owners saying the league has no rule against moving to any particular market, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal daily newspaper, which is owned by the Adelson family. The memo comes in the wake of questions as to whether the league would bar a team move to Las Vegas because of the state’s legalized gambling.
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