Zio-Watch News Round-up

North Korea nuclear test needs ‘swift response,’ Israel hypocritically says: Zio-Watch, January 13, 2016


Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

North Korea nuclear test needs ‘swift response,’ Israel says

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel said last week’s nuclear test by North Korea “must be met with a swift response by the international community.”

“Israel condemns North Korea’s nuclear test, and joins the international community in expressing concern of the danger that this act poses to regional stability and international peace and security,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday in a statement.

North Korea announced the hydrogen bomb test on Jan. 6 after South Korea recorded a seismic event located near the site where the neighboring country has previously conducted nuclear tests.

“A clear message must be sent to [North Korea] and to other countries that such activities are unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” Israel’s statement said.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Iran frees 10 US Navy sailors

(JTA) — Iran freed the 10 U.S. Navy sailors it detained after their two boats accidentally floated into Iranian territorial waters.

The sailors, nine men and one woman, were released Wednesday, a day after being detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and held at an Iranian base on Farsi Island. They left on their boats.

“After determining that their entry into Iran’s territorial waters was not intentional and their apology, the detained American sailors were released in international waters,” a statement posted online by the Revolutionary Guard said Wednesday.

U.S. officials, including Vice President Joe Biden and State Department spokesman John Kirby, denied there was any U.S. apology.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Groom from wedding that celebrated Palestinian deaths charged with animal abuse

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The groom from the wedding where Jewish revelers were captured on video celebrating the deaths of members of a Palestinian family in a firebombing has been charged with animal abuse.

Yakir Eshbal, who was arrested and questioned after the wedding video was made public, was indicted Tuesday along with three friends.

The indictment filed in Jerusalem Magistrates Court accuses Eshbal and the other men of trying to hang a dog by his neck from a tree in an incident that was recorded on video. The incident came to light during the investigation into the West Bank firebombing in the village of Duma that killed three members of the Dawabshe family — an 18-month-old baby and his parents.

The wedding video shows friends of the suspected assailants in the July attack in Duma stabbing a photo of the family and waving knives, rifles, pistols and Molotov cocktails. The revelers also chant the words to a song that includes a verse from Judges 16:28, in which Samson says, “Let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” The crowd substitutes “Palestinians” for Philistines.
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From Russia Today

Turkey blockades Syrian Kurdish areas surrounded by ISIS (RT EXCLUSIVE)

Published time: 13 Jan, 2016 20:46

Turkey has established a strict blockade of the Kurdish regions in Syria surrounded by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), depriving Syrian Kurds of essential supplies and shooting people trying to enter Turkey from Syria, RT’s Murad Gazdiev reports.

The Turkish border with the Kurdish territories in the northern Syria, which stretches for 750 kilometers, has been fitted with two layers of barbed wire, a huge minefield, and sniper towers at regular intervals. It has only two border crossings that are closed most of the time.

“They [Turks] do not let anything across: neither food, nor humanitarian aid, nor medicine. They only let returning refugees cross,” Hadir Mustafa, the head of one of the border crossings on the Syrian side, told RT.

“The Turkish soldiers do not cooperate, they are aggressive and hostile. They push, hit people and tell them to never come back,” he added.

Murad Gazdiev reported from the border that Turkish border guards had refused to let an ambulance cross the border that was transporting a man critically injured in a terrorist act in a nearby Syrian Kurdish town, saying they needed to receive permission from Turkish provincial authorities first.
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From Russia Today

Fortress mentality: Eurotunnel flooding creates ‘moat’ to keep out refugees

Published time: 13 Jan, 2016 13:55

© Pascal Rossignol Eurotunnel has intentionally flooded the area near the tunnel entrance in northern France to keep refugees who try to break into the Channel Tunnel out.

This is yet another step in a series of radical decisions taken by the tunnel’s bosses in their fight with illegal migration.

In September, 103 hectares of vegetation were destroyed to open up a clear view for CCTV and eradicate any potential hiding spots and infrared cameras were installed.

Even though the tracks are hidden behind a high 29 km long security fence, a new measure was introduced to tighten security even more – deliberate flooding.

“The terminal is elevated, it’s built on a marshy area,” a spokesman for Eurotunnel told La Voix du Nord newspaper. “Since the construction of the site, there existed a drainage system with trenches. This network is used now to create natural barriers that prevent access to the fence.”
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From Russia Today

‘1,000 deportations a day’: Merkel ally calls for tougher anti-refugee line

Published time: 13 Jan, 2016 13:03

© Fabrizio Bensch The secretary-general of Angela Merkel’s CDU party made an unusually harsh call to toughen rules for asylum seekers, proposing that German states deport 1,000 asylum seekers daily, as the number of refugees arriving in the country is “too big.”

“If on average one in two [asylum] applications is decided negatively, then the federal states have a duty to deport 1,000 rejected asylum seekers every day,” Peter Tauber, Secretary-General of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told the Rheinische Post newspaper in an interview.

Linking the refugee issue with the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults on women that took place in Cologne and other German cities, Tauber said he was sure some refugees were among the offenders. “We must react to that,” he said.

He said the CDU was working on a step-by-step policy to reduce the number of refugees, though promising not every refugee would be affected: “Hundreds of thousands gratefully receive help, learn German and want to integrate,” Tauber said. “And those who don’t do so and lose their chance will be then told: ‘You can’t stay here!’”

Tauber also went on to cite approximate figures to back up his proposals. “[The number of refugees] is indeed smaller than in November, with 10,000 [asylum applications] each day,” he said. “We must prevent the numbers from growing again in March. But it’s clear even 3,000 [applications] a day we’ve seen over the course of a year, that’s still too many.”
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From The Independent

Ten US sailors released from Iranian custody

White House officials say they are aware of the situation and are working to return the sailors home safely
  • Justin Carissimo New York
  • A riverine command boat from Riverine Detachment 23 is shown. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zane Ecklund/Released

Ten American sailors were released from Iranian custody on Wednesday after two small US Navy ships were detained in the Persian Gulf.

A senior US Defense Department official told The Independent two small US Navy ships went missing for some time on Tuesday but said that Iranian officials had ensured the crews’ safety.

“Earlier today, we lost contact with two small US naval craft en route from Kuwait to Bahrain,” the official said.

“We subsequently have been in communication with Iranian authorities, who have informed us of the safety and well-being of our personnel.”

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Israel shutting out Swedish officials following PM’s remarks

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will not welcome visits by Swedish officials, the deputy foreign minister of Israel said a day after Sweden’s foreign minister called for an investigation into Israel’s killing of Palestinian attackers.

“Israel is closing its gates to official visits from Sweden,” Tzipi Hotovely said at a meeting with members of the Foreign Ministry’s cadet course. The remarks were widely published in the Israeli media.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Associated Press that “given the incendiary and aggressive nature” of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s comments, “we have made it clear that she is not welcome in Israel.”

But an official in the Prime Minister’s Office told Haaretz that Netanyahu had not made a decision to halt official visits from Swedish officials.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Major Protestant branch divests from Israeli banks

(JTA) — The pension fund for the United Methodist Church, one of the largest Protestant denominations in the United States, has removed five Israeli banks from its investment portfolio.

The church’s General Board of Pension and Health Benefits said this week on its website that along with its Wespath Investment Management division, the fund was attempting to divest from “high-risk” countries and was “committed to protecting human rights.”

“Israel-Palestine” is one of the areas identified as “‘high-risk’ countries and areas that demonstrate a prolonged and systematic pattern of human rights abuses.” Other countries listed include North Korea, Syria, Sudan and Turkey-Northern Cyprus.

Some 39 companies appear on the fund’s list of excluded entities.
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From PressTV

Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:48PM

The Syrian foreign minister says the countries, which have been supporting terrorism during the militancy gripping Syria, are now suffering from the unwelcome repercussions of this phenomenon.

In a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday, visiting Walid al-Muallem said Syria and India agree that terrorism knows neither country nor religion.

“We’re beginning to see terrorism backfiring on the states that supported it like France and the United States, and yesterday Turkey, and before that Saudi Arabia,” Muallem said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the top Syrian diplomat further noted that the military cooperation between Damascus and Moscow in the fight against terrorism has achieved remarkable results.

Russia launched its aerial campaign against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria on September 30, 2015, upon a request by the Damascus government.

Unlike the US-led coalition that claims to target Daesh positions in Syria, the effectiveness of which has been questioned, the Russian campaign has facilitated the battle against terror in the crisis-hit Middle Eastern country.
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From PressTV

Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:40PM

Syrian military and allied volunteer fighters have liberated six major villages in the north and the west of the country as a massive anti-Takfiri mop-up operation picks up speed. 

Syrian military officials said allied forces on Wednesday retook control of the village of Harbanafseh in the southern countryside of Hama Province in western Syria.

There were also reports of pro-government forces taking control of the village of Ayn al-Baydha and its surrounding farms in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, a major province in northern Syria.

The advances came as Syria’s military continued clearing areas surrounding the strategic town of Salma, in the northwestern province of Latakia, which was liberated on Tuesday. Syrian media said the villages of al-Sheikh Khalil, Marj Khukhah, al-Maruniyat and Bait Miro were recaptured on Wednesday.

Syria’s official SANA news agency said the retaking of villages came in the wake of fierce clashes with Takfiri militants, which began late on Tuesday. It added that “many” terrorists had been killed.

Fierce clashes were also under way in Aleppo’s north, where Syrian forces are trying to recapture the Baghdayn village. At least 10 militants were reportedly killed in the confrontation.
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From Russia Today

3yo boy allegedly ‘gang raped’ at Norwegian refugee center

Published time: 13 Jan, 2016 13:30

Edited time: 13 Jan, 2016 13:44

© Jonathan Nackstrand Norwegian police are investigating an alleged rape of a three-year-old boy at a center housing asylum seekers in Stavanger, the country’s third-largest city. Precise details of the case are scarce, but police said multiple perpetrators may have been involved.

The alleged assault happened at the Forus Akuttinnkvartering center on January 6, but remained unreported until Wednesday.

The police were called by the center’s personnel, who received a tip from a telephone located outside of the facility.

“We are investigating the case as if the worst thing has happened, we are talking about the rape of a child,” police superintendent Bjorn Kare Dahl told Stavanger Aftenblad. “We have no suspects yet.”

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From Russia Today

Russia concerns won’t restrict NATO missile defense – US official

Published time: 13 Jan, 2016 09:39

© Gene Blevins NATO will carry on setting up missile defense sites across Eastern Europe despite Russian calls to limit them, a senior US State Department official said, citing a “threat posed by North Korea.”

“We are not going to agree to limitations on our systems because we need to have the flexibility to deal with the dynamic and evolving threat,” Frank Rose, deputy assistant secretary of state for arms control, told journalists at NATO HQ in Brussels on Tuesday.

“The key Russian concern … is that in the future, absent legally binding constraints, we will develop systems that could potentially negate their strategic deterrent,” Rose added.

Rose admitted Russian officials had repeatedly voiced concerns about the kinds of weapons brought in to Europe by the US, such as ground-based and sea-based missile defense interceptors. Continuing to build up the missile defenses in Europe off Russia’s borders, NATO insists North Korean ballistic missiles are likely able to reach the US.

“North Korea has large numbers of ballistic missiles and they test them often,” Rose said. While there is considerable doubt that last week’s detonation by Pyongyang was a fully-fledged test of a hydrogen bomb, Washington already warned North Korea is seeking technology to build an intercontinental nuclear-armed ballistic missile.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Uruguayan store investigated for selling Nazi-related articles

(JTA) — Uruguayan police have launched an investigation into a Montevideo store that displayed and sold a concentration camp prisoner uniform.

The investigation of Camouflaged in Combat, which specializes in military and historic articles, was launched over the weekend. The uniform, which includes a yellow Star of David, is the main target, but the downtown store also sells other Nazi-related articles, including copies of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

The polemic outfit is a replica supplied by an international vendor and remained on display until it was sold to a local customer who requested it for a theater play, said store owner Luis O’Neill.

“Displaying for sale is not the same thing as displaying at a museum,” Juan Faroppa, president of the National Institute of Human Rights and Defense of the People, who said that the store is being investigated under the racism, xenophobia and discrimination law.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Dennis Ross, Shulem Deen among National Jewish Book Awards winners

(JTA) — Dennis Ross, a former top U.S. official, and Shulem Deen, who wrote about leaving the Hasidic world, were among the winners of 2015 National Jewish Book Awards.

“Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle For Israel, 1917-1947,” a book by Bruce Hoffman about Jewish operations in prestate Israel, was tapped as the Jewish Book of the Year.

The Jewish Book Council announced the award winners on Wednesday.

Ross, President Barack Obama’s top Iran adviser from 2009 to 2011, was the winner in the history category for “Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama.” In the book, Ross said National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s failure to cultivate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contributed to a breakdown in U.S.-Israel communication.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Former envoy to Prague, 2 others named to Holocaust council

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A former ambassador to the Czech Republic, a scholar of gender studies and the Holocaust, and a counsel for a human rights watchdog were named to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Norm Eisen, the ambassador to Prague from 2011 to 2014, was among the three tapped for the council by President Barack Obama for five-year terms. Eisen, whose mother was a Holocaust survivor, also was a senior member of Obama’s 2008 election campaign.

Ethel Brooks, a professor of women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University, has published papers on the Holocaust and Jewish identity, and has also worked to advance recognition of the genocide of Roma during the Holocaust.

Sara Darehshori is the senior counsel for the U.S. program at Human Rights Watch, where her specialty is sexual assault cases. She has worked on bringing justice following ethnic cleansing and genocide in Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia.
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From Ynet News

Iran holds Holocaust-denying cartoon contest

Two weeks ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Iran has announced a contest aimed at creating cartoons that deny the genocidal event occurred. Iran has announced that it will be holding a cartoon contest aimed at creating caricatures denying the Holocaust. This year, the contest’s grand prize has been increased from $12,000 to $50,000.
The contest, organized by the Teheran municipal authority, is calling for cartoonists worldwide to send in works denying and satirizing the Holocaust. Unlike previous contests of this kind, this one is especially significant due the fact that it is organized by official authorities of the Iranian capital, and has an international emphasis. The prize money is also several times what it was before.
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