Archive | January 15, 2017

70 Nations in Paris to Discuss Two-state Solution without Palestine and Israel*

70 Nations in Paris to Discuss Two-state Solution without Palestine and Israel*

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault addresses delegates at the opening of the Mideast peace conference in Paris, January 15, 2017 © Thomas Samson / Reuters

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault addresses delegates at the opening of the Mideast peace conference in Paris, January 15, 2017 © Thomas Samson / Reuters

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault addresses delegates at the opening of the Mideast peace conference in Paris, January 15, 2017 © Thomas Samson / Reuters

France is hosting an international conference aimed at strengthening a global commitment to a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both principal parties are skipping the event, however.

Some 70 nations, including members of the Middle East Quartet (the U.S., Russia, the E.U., and the U.N.), other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (China, Britain, and France), and leading Arab and European nations are attending the all-day conference in the French capital. The event was called last year by France as an initiative to reinvigorate the peace process.

However, neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority will be attending the conference, despite having been invited. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the meeting “futile,” complaining that the Europeans and the Palestinians had “rigged” it against Israeli interests.

The Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, called Israel’s position regrettable. However, despite initial expectations, he didn’t arrive in Paris on Sunday either, with Reuters sources indicating that the decision to cancel his visit had come from the French government. Abbas will reportedly meet with French President Francois Hollande sometime later, possibly in a matter of weeks.

The conference is focusing on three key areas, including helping the Palestinian economy, strengthening its civil society, and assisting in building the future Palestinian state, according to the French Foreign Ministry. The ultimate goal is not to impose a solution on Israel or the PA, but rather help them to reengage in direct negotiations, Paris explained.

“There is no time to waste,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told delegates at the opening ceremony, adding “we are not sheltered from an explosion of violence.”

The conference comes at a moment of increased tensions in the Middle East. Israel was outraged when the U.S. abstained from vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for halting the construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Consecutive right-wing governments under Netanyahu have brushed aside criticisms of the settlement building and continued to take more land from the Palestinians. The PA sees this practice as an obstacle to direct talks.

The passage of the resolution, and a subsequent speech that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave on his vision for a solution of the decades-old crisis, have underscored years of strained relations between Israel and the Obama administration.

President-elect Donald Trump, who is to be sworn in less than a week after the Paris conference, has indicated that his administration will be more supportive of Israeli interests. He has also indicated that he will move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, practically enshrining it as an exclusively Israeli capital. The suggestion has been strongly rejected by the Palestinians.

The gathering in the French capital is seen by many as a message to Trump not to undermine the proposed two-state solution, which would see Jerusalem as the capital of both states.

A draft communique sent to media outlets ahead of the conference also calls on Israel and the PA to disavow officials in their governments who reject the two-state solution.

Interestingly, Britain, unlike other major European nations, has sent only a junior delegation to the event in an apparent attempt to preserve its special relations with the U.S. under the Trump administration, the Guardian noted. The E.U.-departing nation is represented in Paris by Michael Howells, the head of the Middle East desk of the British Foreign Office, and two advisers to Edward Llewellyn, the U.K.’s ambassador to France.


Related Topics:

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Inside the Hotbed of Israeli Settler Terrorism*

Spirituality in the New World Order is a One World Religious Authority*

When Palestine was 85% Arab, 15% Israeli and U.K. and U.S. Paid the Jews from the Caucasus to Live There*

Palestine to Sue U.K. for the Creation of ‘Israel’*

Red Cross cuts Family Visits to Palestinian Prisoners*

Israeli Geneticist: Ashkenazi Jews come from Turkey, not Palestine*

72 Percent of Aid to Palestine Ends Up ‘In Israeli Hands*

Abbas Rejected Biden’s New U.S. Peace Initiative, which Makes Palestine Jewish*

Palestine Before Israel*

Israel Harvesting Slain Palestinians’ Organs*

Israeli Forces Invade Palestinian Hospitals*

Israel’s Undeclared Final War Killed 2,600 Palestinians in October Alone*

Palestine Ends Two-State System, Returns to Occupied Status*

An honest Israeli Jew tells the Real Truth about Israel

Hospitals across England Declare ‘black alert’ as NHS Crisis Worsens*

Hospitals across England Declare ‘black alert’ as NHS Crisis Worsens*

By Ashitha Nagesh

23 hospitals were forced to declare black alerts

More than 20 hospitals in England have been forced to declare a black alert as the NHS crisis deepens.

According to figures obtained by the Guardian, at least 23 hospitals had to issue the warning declaring that they cannot cope with increasingly overwhelming patient numbers.

One hospital trust was under so much pressure on Tuesday that it had to declare a ‘system critical incident’ – even higher than a black alert.

Staff at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS trust were reportedly forced to make patients wait in ambulances before they could be offloaded into A&E.

As hospitals struggle to manage a surge in the demand for care, they have been forced to take unprecedented actions – such as treating adults in children’s wards, cancelling cancer operations, and even closing a birthing centre.


What is a ‘black alert’?

Last October, in anticipation of a winter crisis, NHS England issued guidance to NHS acute trusts telling them to declare a ‘black alert’ if they become ‘unable to deliver comprehensive care’, and if there is ‘increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised’.

The document outlined a system hospital trusts could use – the operational pressures escalation levels (Opel) scale.

A black alert is around Opel 4 – which means that ‘decisive action must be taken… to recover capacity and ensure patient safety’ as they experience ‘rising system pressure’.

After running out of beds, staff working at Lewisham hospital in south London received an email describing the situation as ‘critical’ and ‘not safe’.

These stark cases showing the extent of the crisis came to light just one day after the Prime Minister dismissed the Red Cross’s warnings about the NHS as ‘overblown’.

Addressing the Commons at PMQs, Theresa May attacked the Red Cross for calling the situation a ‘humanitarian crisis’, admonishing them for what she said was an ‘irresponsible and overblown’ statement.

However, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the British Medical Association have all also issued warnings about the NHS crisis.

And the trusts declaring black alerts could be just the tip of the iceberg.

One doctor at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS trust in Kent told the Guardian it hadn’t declared an internal emergency because trust bosses didn’t want the negative publicity.

But the situation is no less dire. The doctor apparently described how a patient with urinary problems was given a bed bath in the middle of a corridor, with nothing to shield her but a plastic sheet.


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Hundreds of Britons Dying from Hunger*

U.K. Secretively Scraps Free Meal Grants for Poorest Primary School Children*

Five Hundred Strangers Prevent Bailiffs from Evicting Man Dying of Cancer*

U.K. Cuts to Social Services has Caused the ‘biggest rise in death rates’ since WWII*

U.K. Ground Foot Soldiers, the Social Services to Run the NHS*

Thousands Set to Die of Fuel Poverty this Winter, while Tories Makes a Killing from U.K.’s Energy Supply*

How Homeopathy is Being Kicked Out of the U.K.’s Health System*

U.K. is at Bottom Of O.E.C.D. In Healthcare – But Leaders Still Deny Austerity Is to Blame*

Unfair Health Contract Sparks Exodus of U.K. Medical Professionals*

Syphilis Pandemic Rises 163% in U.K.*

U.K. Cuts to Social Services has Caused the ‘biggest rise in death rates’ since WWII*

Food Poverty in the U.K. Causing Soar in ‘Victorian’ Illnesses*


Victory for Guatemala’s Mayan People over Hydroelectric Plants*

Victory for Guatemala’s Mayan People over Hydroelectric Plants*

Fierce opposition to hydroelectric plants in Guatemala have been ongoing since October of last year.

Guatemala’s Supreme Court has suspended the construction of two major hydroelectric plants fiercely opposed by the region’s Mayan people.

Citing irregularities in the community consultation process, the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), Silvia Patricia Valdés, ruled against the construction of the Oxec I and Oxec II hydroelectric plants. Until that issue is resolved, she said, the operation remains suspended.

For its part, the company claimed to be “very surprised by the decision” since it had carried out the consultation “fulfilling all the requirements of the law.”

“In any case we are waiting to be notified of this resolution,” it added.

Opposition to those and other projects have been ongoing since October of last year.

At the time, Indigenous people from the department of Alta Verapaz, in the north of Guatemala, marched to the capital to denounce a group of companies that had practically exhausted the entire Cahabon River, leaving the community without access to water.

Women from along the Cahabón River demonstrate in Guatemala City on October 17 by holding inverted water containers to symbolize the privatization of their water. (Prensa Comunitaria/Nelton Rivera)

Women from along the Cahabón River demonstrate in Guatemala City on October 17 by holding inverted water containers to symbolize the privatization of their water. (Prensa Comunitaria/Nelton Rivera)

Women from along the Cahabón River demonstrate in Guatemala City on October 17 by holding inverted water containers to symbolize the privatization of their water. (Prensa Comunitaria/Nelton Rivera)

The community took that fight to the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala to denounce the environmental impact of those hydroelectric plants.

The company is owned by the president of the Real Madrid Club, Florentino Pérez, who diverted the river channels and now affects the populations of the Alta Verapaz department.


Related Topics:

‘We will not buy what is ours’. Challenging terra nullius in the Courts of Guatemala*

Indigenous Communities in Guatemala Fight against the Privatization of Sacred Sites*

Sexual Violence Ruled a Crime against Humanity in Guatemalan Court*

Mayan People’s Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala*

Mayans Expel Jews from Guatemala Village*

A Groundswell of People Power Takes on Corruption in Guatemala*

Guatemala’s Mayans Defeat Goldcorp in Court*

Guatemala: Gold Mine Plundering Sacred Resources

Canadian First Nations Sue the Government to Protect Land*

Canadian First Nations Sue the Government to Protect Land*

Canadian First Nations Sue the Government to Protect Land*

The pipeline project is marred by a troubled past, including a 1999 spill of more than 20,000 barrels of heavy crude oil.


Canada’s Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs – a self-proclaimed political unit that picks up where the regional government fails – wants to take the federal government to court to challenge the approval of a controversial pipeline with an already troubled past.

The organization wants a judicial review of Enbridge’s line 3 $7.5-billion replacement project, which would, as its name suggests, replace the aging pipeline so that it may run at full capacity – 760,000 barrels of oil per day.  Currently, the pipeline, built in the 1960s, is only operating at half capacity due to “reliability concerns” the company found, according to CBC News. It runs from Hardisty, Alberta through Saskatchewan and ending at Superior, Wisconsin.

AMC’s outgoing Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, argues that the project will increase the risks of spills in Manitoba’s watershed. It will also betray the commitments to environmental sustainability the country made at the Paris climate summit last year, he said.

“Canada committed to restoring public confidence and modernizing the [National Energy Board] with a specific focus on Indigenous and traditional knowledge,” Nepinak said, as quoted by CBC News.

“Instead, the Enbridge Line 3 decision is founded upon a process that marginalized Indigenous voices and legal orders.”

The project was approved by the National Energy Board back in April. The federal government then gave it the green light last November despite massive opposition from Indigenous communities. This was reflected in the concerns that several First Nations in Saskatchewan submitted to the NEB in 2015.

Nepinak therefore argued that the Great Binding Law – the result of meetings among Indigenous elders that focused on the impact of tar sands and pipelines in ancestral lands ‘– should have been included in the NEB’s evaluation and in the federal Order in Council.

The Order not only authorized the project, but went as far as alleging that “the consultation process undertaken is consistent with the honour of the Crown,” as quoted by the CBC.

The organization will therefore argue that the consultation process was inadequate given that the Great Binding Law was ignored, and after the NEB declined two invitations to learn about it.

The pipeline is already marred by a troubled past, including a spill in 1999 that released more than 20,000 barrels of heavy crude oil near Pilot Butte, east of Regina.

That spill had “economic, financial, emotional, lasting and devastating”  impacts “beyond description,” the Ochapowace First Nation said in a statement submitted to the NEB opposing the project.

Other First Nations affected by the pipeline include the Keeseekoose First Nation, which is also concerned about the proximity of the pipeline to the land; the George Gordon First Nation, worried about the waste management during the pipeline’s decommissioning and operation; and the Pasqua First Nation, located downstream from Line 3 replacement’s crossing of the Qu’Appelle Valley.

The company claims it takes the concerns seriously and, according to CBC News, it has entered into an agreement with the Pasqua First Nation.

Nevertheless, the AMC vehemently opposes it and demands that the prime minister live up to his election promises.

“It is unfortunate we have to go to court when there clearly is no political will with the current federal government to live up to Prime Minister Trudeau’s comment that no other relationship is as important as the one with indigenous people in Canada,” he said, CBC News reported.


Related Topics:

Native Tribes in U.S. and Canada Sign Treaty Again Opposing Oil Pipelines*

Indigenous Women Shut Down Tar Sands Pipeline Hearing*

Canada Forcing the Indigenous to Give Up their Land*

A Ruling that Highlights Indigenous Love of the Land and Canada’s Destruction of It*

Nestlé to Control Canadian Water Supply that Effect 6 Indigenous Tribes*

The Neo-Colonial Context of Canada’s Multiculturalism*

Indigenous Canadians Sue Government over White Adoptions*

Face It Canada has No Sovereignty*

The Clinton Foundation Is Shutting Down the Clinton Global Initiative*

The Clinton Foundation Is Shutting Down the Clinton Global Initiative*

By Tyler Durden

In a “mass layoff” event reported late last week by the Department of Labor, the Clinton Foundation announced it would lay off some 22 employees at the Clinton Global Initiative, which attained notoriety during the John Podesta leaks, when the various details of the fallout between between CGI head Doug Band and Chelsea Clinton were revealed; it also emerged that long-time Bill Clinton friend Band was soliciting donations for Clinton through his PR firm, Teneo in an sordid example of “pay for play” which most of the mainstream media refused to cover, especially after Band emailed Podesta “If this story gets out, we are screwed.”

Filed as mandated by the Department of Labor’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN notice, on January 12, the Clinton Foundation’s Veronika Shiroka advised the DOL that as part of a “Plant Layoff” it would layoff 22 workers on April 15, with reason for the dislocation stated as “Discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative.” The layoffs are part of the Clinton plan put in motion ahead of the presidential election, to offset a storm of criticism regarding pay-to-play allegations during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

Trump Demands That The Clinton Foundation Should Shut Down In Wake of  New Leaked Emails.

As the Daily Caller notes, the layoffs were reportedly announced internally in September, ahead of Clinton’s stunning loss to President-elect Donald Trump. Many other employees had already begun looking for or accepting other jobs at that time, as it had become clear the future of the initiative was in doubt. It’s unclear how many of the once 200 strong staff might remain at the Clinton Foundation in some other capacity.

As a reminder, while the FBI has cleared Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing regarding her use of a private email server, a parallel probe into the Clinton Foundation regarding allegations of corruption is still ongoing.

The decision to sunset the Clinton Global Initiative reportedly set off a dispute within Clinton Foundation circles regarding the best way to handle the fallout from the allegations. Some complained the layoff process was “insensitively” handled, Politico reported, while others took issue with the optics of allowing anyone with the Clinton Global Initiative to stay on.

And while CGI is now officially being “discontinued”, the same fate likely awaits the Clinton Foundation itself following news in the aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump that Australia has cut its donations to the foundation to $0, while the far more generous Norway likewise slashed its donations by 87% as the political clout of the “charitable” organization dried up and as the opportunity for any future “quid pro quo” is now effectively gone.


Related Topics:

U.K. Ambassador “I’ve met the person who leaked them [Podesta emails]…not Russian and it’s an insider”*

FBI Resume Clinton Foundation Investigation*

Donations to Clinton Foundation Dry-up as Killary no Longer has a ‘product to sell’*

FBI Now Investigating Clinton Foundation Despite DoJ Objections*

Hurricane Matthew and the Clinton Foundation Theft from Haiti*

IRS Launches Investigation of Clinton Foundation*

FBI Leak: Hillary Clinton Foundation Guilty of Treason*


‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

Nearly 19 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the U.N., but the worst of the civilian impact of the two-year civil war in the country has fallen on the district of Tuhayat on the Red Sea coast.

As RT’s Arabic-language crew visited the area, they witnessed scenes of chaos – as locals scrambled to acquire food – and quiet desperation, with many residents swollen with hunger, waiting for outside help, or resigned to their fate.

Salem is an eight-year-old boy, though like many in similar struggling areas around the world, he looks small enough to be mistaken for a toddler.

“We have no energy left, and I have no money with which to treat my child,” says his mother, admitting that the boy is severely malnourished, just one of more than 1.5 million children suffering from the same fate in the country, according to the United Nations.

Fishing used to be the prime source of subsistence for villagers here, prior to the break out of the full-scale civil war between the insurgent Shia Houthis, and the incumbent Sunni government in early 2015.

The area remains under control of the Houthis, but the Saudi-led international coalition, which is supporting the Sunnis, who constitute just under half of the population, has blockaded the coastal areas.

The Saudis have repeatedly fired on fishing boats operated by the locals, saying that some have been used on weapons runs to supply the rebels, even if keeping them moored on land means that innocent civilians will die.

Abdallah and Taga are two brothers, who have become so weak – their skeletons are clearly visible underneath the skin – that they have suffered bone damage, and can now only crawl.

“It is very difficult for us, as we are invalids, and we have no money. Sometimes we get a little, and then we can get tea and bread – people help us, but not very often, and not very much,” says Abdallah.

Over 7,000 people have been killed in the conflict, according to international observers – a large minority of them civilians, who died in airstrikes – and more than 3 million have been displaced.

“The situation is only going to get worse, because there is no functioning government. Social welfare has not been paid for two years,” Baraa Shiban, an activist for the nonprofit Reprieve, told RT.

Shiban believes that the Houthis have to hand back power to the previous Sunni regime, and in return the international coalition must ease its stranglehold on the region, while any other means of help is temporary.

“Humanitarian aid has been delivered to some of these areas, but just depending on it is not a viable solution. We need a comprehensive solution.”

But Jamal Wakeem, professor of history and international relations at the Lebanese University in Beirut, says that the Saudis are purposefully worsening the humanitarian crisis to achieve their political aims.

“This is a conscious strategy of the Saudis, they have been trying to exert economic pressure,” he told RT from Beirut, saying that it equates to “genocide.”

While the Sunnis have more material resources, the Houthi rebels still hold most of the land, and enjoy considerable manpower, so the conflict remains finely balanced. For ordinary Yemenis, regardless of creed, this likely means more instability, hunger and fear.


Related Topics:

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The Anguish, Bloodshed and Forgotten Heroes in the Ignored War on Yemen*

How Israel Was Busted Nuking Yemen*

U.S. Cluster Bombs Kill Children for Decades in Laos, and Now Yemen*