World Politics

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A whole mass of s**t going on south of Miami -
Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaidó landed at the Simón Bolívar international airport Monday, ignoring arrest threats as he continues his high-stakes effort to push Nicolás Maduro out of office.
“I’m coming home,” he also wrote on Twitter. “I am returning to keep working on our path to strengthen the internal pressure that will allow us to liberate the country.”

On Monday, representatives of European nations that recognize Guaidó arrived at the airport, driving speculation that he would land, provocatively, at the country’s main entry point.

“We are hoping he will have a safe return,” Germany’s ambassador to Venezuela Daniel Kriener told reporters at the airport, saying Guaidó had a “very important role to play in overcoming the crisis.”

Guaidó’s “safe return to Venezuela is of the highest importance to the U.S.,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a tweet. “Any threats, violence, or intimidation against him will not be tolerated and will be met with swift response.”
The White House will allow Americans to file suit in U.S courts against about 200 Cuban companies that now control property on the island that was seized by the Havana government decades ago.

But the Trump administration stopped short of allowing Americans to sue foreign companies, delaying that measure by at least 30 days as Washington tries to see what levers it should pull to build international support for a U.S. pressure campaign against Venezuela.
“With this decision, the United States is holding the Cuban regime accountable and opening a path of redress for us claimants whose property was illegally and unjustly seized by the regime,” a senior State Department official said. “It also sends a strong signal to our partners that we take democracy in Cuba seriously. And anybody who traffics in property in Cuba should be mindful of whether that is confiscated property. “

The administration has been warning such a decision was coming. National Security Council advisor John Bolton told el Nuevo Herald in November that the administration was “seriously considering” the proposal not to suspend the provision in Helms-Burton that allows Americans to sue.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been among those pushing for implementation of Title III, said Trump is sending a strong message that the United States “will not sit idly” by while the Cuban regime continues to support the government of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.

“By beginning the process of implementing Title III and Title IV of the Helms-Burton Libertad Act, the United States is holding the Cuban regime accountable for its crimes, including its support for the murderous Maduro crime family,” Rubio said. “Justice is coming — and it is just getting started.”

Those who pushed back at the State Department have raised concerns about the potential burden on U.S. courts and increased tensions between European allies and others who have criticized the extra-territorial application of the law.
and Rubio's elder brother lands a nice job -
The older brother of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has landed a high-ranking position in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ job creation department, the latest in Rubio’s orbit to find a home working for DeSantis.

Mario Rubio started as the new director of community development on Jan. 22, a position that puts him in charge of millions of dollars of federal and state grants earmarked for local communities. Rubio will make $115,000 a year.
Cody Weddle, a freelance reporter who lives in Caracas, Venezuela, has been detained by authorities, according to the National Union of Journalists, SNTP.

In a tweet, the organization said Venezuela’s Military Counterintelligence had raided Weddle’s home early Wednesday and had also detained his Venezuelan colleague Carlos Camacho. The team’s equipment was also seized. The organization said the journalists hadn’t been heard from since 8 a.m. local time.

Weddle, 28, a Virginia native, has lived in Caracas since 2014 where and has worked for South Florida’s WPLG Local 10, the Miami Herald, ABC, CBC and the Telegraph, among others.

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon that the State Department “is aware of and deeply concerned with reports that another U.S. journalist has been detained in #Venezuela by #Maduro, who prefers to stifle the truth rather than face it. Being a journalist is not a crime. We demand the journalist’s immediate release, unharmed.”
Florida Republican Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio demanded Weddle’s quick release.

In a tweet, Scott said Weddle “must be released immediately and the U.S. will not stand for this kind of intimidation!”
I suppose Maduro should saw him up into small pieces and throw the bits down a well. Then there'll be no problems.
Two members of the far-right Jewish Power party will be allowed to run in Israel's upcoming April elections, despite a recommendation by the attorney general that the party should be disqualified for inciting racism.

Debate in the Knesset reached a fever pitch on Wednesday as lawmakers demanded that representatives of the Jewish Power party, acolytes of the late far-right rabbi Meir Kahane, be ruled ineligible to run in Israel’s upcoming national elections.

However, the Central Election Committee eventually ruled, by a vote of 16 to 15, that the party's chairman Michael Ben-Ari would not be banned.

A second Jewish Power candidate, Itamar Ben-Gvir, was also approved by the same tally.

Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg said the approval was "embarrassing" and said her party would take the issue to the High Court.

"Moshe Kahlon should take down the photo of Menachem Begin from his billboards in light of his decision to skirt the vote and grant the Kahanists an entry ticket to the Knesset," she said referring to one of the MKs that makes up the committee.

MK Issawi Frej, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, slammed the move to allow the party into the Knesset.

“There is a candidate here for Jewish Power, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who on television showed off a photograph of the Jewish murderer Baruch Goldstein,” railed Frej. Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinian men and boys in Hebron in 1994, once ran for the Knesset with Kahane’s Kach party.

“This man who is coming to expel me will become a member of the Israeli parliament?”,7340,L-5474805,00.html
MK Stav Shaffir (Labor) announced that she would appeal to the Supreme Court against the committee’s ruling. “We will ensure that these violent racists and instigators — followers of Kahane who even the Likud compared with Nazism — are kept out of the only parliament of the Jewish people,” she said.

Meretz Chairwoman MK Tamar Zandberg also criticized the committee’s decision calling it a mark of Cain on the Knesset and saying that she will appeal to the Supreme Court. She also called out Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon whose representative abstained from the vote.
A panel of seven Supreme Court justices is expected to rule on the committee’s decisions, which are ultimately political in nature, due to the composition of the committee.

The committee is also set to rule on whether Hadash MK Ofer Ksif can participate in the elections considering statements he made in the past. They are also scheduled to rule on whether the Balad Party should be allowed to run.

In their recommendation against Ben-Ari but for the candidacy of Ben-Gvir and the Arab parties, the attorney general and state attorney brought examples of statements made by Ben-Ari regarding the Arab population as a whole, and not just those involved in terrorism. For example, at a Kahane memorial event in 2017, Ben-Ari sais that the Arabs like us slaughtered, but Rabbi Kahane taught us that there is no coexistence with them.”
Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special envoy for Venezuela, said Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans residing in the United States is currently “under review,” during a Senate Foreign Relations Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing on Thursday chaired by Rubio. Abrams’ public remarks come days after unnamed sources said the White House was weighing TPS for Venezuelans.
Abrams, a longtime diplomat and White House official under three different Republican presidents, did not receive a hostile reception from Senate Democrats as he did three weeks ago during a House hearing. In that appearance, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar questioned his past work supporting violent paramilitary groups in El Salvador and his withholding information from Congress about his involvement in the Iran-contra affair.

Abrams did acknowledge that he secretly met with Maduro’s foreign minister in February, weeks after the United States and dozens of other countries acknowledged Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate leader. He declined to discuss the specifics of those conversations. He also met with Russia’s ambassador in the U.S. but hasn’t yet met the Chinese on the issue. Russia and China hold billions in Venezuelan debt, and have provided resources to Maduro as other countries decided to back Guaidó.
Not quite finished -
Six fighters from the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitias were killed and 31 injured in an Islamic State (ISIS) ambush in Makhmour on Wednesday, the Iraqi Defense Ministry confirmed.

"Hashd al-Shaabi forces were attacked by ISIS fighters Wednesday evening near Mosul city,” Ali Husseini, spokesperson for the paramilitary’s northern branch, told Rudaw.

The Hashd fighters were traveling in a bus on their way from Mosul to Kirkuk.

Those injured are being treated in hospital.

Sirwan Barzani, commander of the Gwer-Makhmour front, told Rudaw the situation in Makhmour is “calm” and that the Peshmerga has opened the road to Hashd to allow them access to Erbil’s hospitals.

Between 14,000 and 18,000 ISIS militants are estimated to still be operating in Iraq and Syria, despite military victories on both sides of the border. Iraq declared the group defeated in 2017. In Syria, the militants are corralled into a tent camp near Baghouz.

In Iraq, they frequently carry out attacks against security forces and civilians, especially in security vacuums between Kurdish and Iraq forces.

The ambush on Wednesday happened in a mountainous area between Makhmour and Dubiz. The terrain makes it “even more difficult to reclaim the region from ISIS,” said Husseini.
Most of Venezuela has been hit by an electricity blackout.

The power cut plunged the capital Caracas into almost complete darkness during rush hour on Thursday, before extending to other areas.

The government of President Nicolás Maduro has blamed the opposition, accusing them of sabotage.

It comes amid rising tensions over opposition efforts - backed by the US and some Latin American countries - to remove Mr Maduro from power.
Mr Guaidó said the blackout was a matter of "chaos, concern and anger" and "evidence of the usurper's inefficiency".

"Light would return" once Mr Maduro was removed from power," he said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also weighed in, blaming the "Maduro regime's incompetence".

"No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro," he tweeted.
The massive power outage that has plunged much of Venezuela into darkness is also creating an information blackout.

NetBlocks, an internet monitoring organization, said much of Venezuela’s internet is down, making it one of the largest network collapses recently recorded across Latin America.
Venezuelan authorities say “sabotage” and an unspecified “attack” on the Guri dam hydroelectric station in Bolivar state — one of the world’s largest — are causing the problem. Vice President Delcy Rodriguez suggested that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was behind the attack.

The opposition says the dam’s failure is one more symptom of government mismanagement, corruption and economic collapse.

The power outages began Thursday at about 5 p.m. local time and hit vital infrastructure. Venezuela’s international airport in Maiquetia was plunged into darkness and service on the Caracas Metro rail was suspended as thousands of people spilled onto the streets of the capital. Government offices and schools are being kept shut Friday.

The lack of internet connectivity — a lifeline for many people looking for information outside of official government channels — comes at a critical moment, as interim President Juan Guaidó is trying to unseat leader Nicolás Maduro.
Citgo Petroleum Corp. is looking to get a $1.2 billion loan to fund its daily operations as U.S. sanctions cripple its parent company, state oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela SA.
Citgo has been reaching out to alternative asset managers and existing investors for the new financing, people with knowledge of the matter said. The loan would replace a $900 million secured revolver and an accounts receivable facility, according to the presentation.
Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, has an upcoming interest payment of around $70 million coming due next month on its 2020 bonds. Those notes are backed by a stake in Citgo. Failure to pay could be catastrophic for PDVSA, and may lead bondholders and other creditors to attempt to seize the Citgo assets. The presentation doesn’t mention the PDVSA notes, and U.S. sanctions currently prevent Citgo from paying dividends to PDVSA.

A new Citgo board appointed by Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido has considered using an escrow account that may hold up to $560 million to pay the PDVSA 2020 bond. It’s unclear how the U.S.-backed Guaido, the Venezuelan legislature or President Nicolas Maduro are involved in the new Citgo loan.
After Maduro was sworn in for a new term Jan. 10, Guaido emerged to stake his claim to the presidency citing articles in the constitution. Since then, Venezuela has had two presidents of sorts and Guaido named his own boards to state oil company PDVSA and to Citgo. Despite not having physical control over PDVSA assets in Venezuela, given that the U.S. government has recognized him as the rightful leader of the South American country, he could receive favorable rulings to actions brought before U.S. courts.
State-owned electricity operator Corpoelec blamed the power cut on act of “sabotage” at the Guri Dam, one of the world’s largest hydroelectric stations and the cornerstone of Venezuela’s electrical grid. (Vice President for Communications Jorge) Rodriguez described it as a cyberattack intended to take down the whole system. He said electricity in Venezuela’s eastern region was restored within two hours.

“What’s the intention?” he said. “To submit the Venezuelan people to various days without electricity to attack, to mistreat, so that vital areas would be without power.”

Pro-government officials often blame power outages on Venezuela’s opposition, accusing them of attacking power substations with Molotov cocktails.
I heard on the radio this morning about the live-streaming and it still popping up in people's twitter feeds. As such I've been very careful about where I look and what I read online today. Now I've just seen that The Mirror ran edited footage from the gunman on its website.

Let that sink in. The Mirror had someone sit down, edit footage of people being murdered, and upload it to their website. That's not an accident, it is utterly despicable.
Thats ghoulish. It reminds me of the recent story that talked about the poorly paid people who moderate facebook content. Of course, I have heard that full unedited videos of the massacre aren't difficult to find on YT using straightforward queries.
The moderators told me it’s a place where the conspiracy videos and memes that they see each day gradually lead them to embrace fringe views. One auditor walks the floor promoting the idea that the Earth is flat. A former employee told me he has begun to question certain aspects of the Holocaust. Another former employee, who told me he has mapped every escape route out of his house and sleeps with a gun at his side, said: “I no longer believe 9/11 was a terrorist attack.”
Jul 25, 2010
A right-wing Australian politician Fraser Anning has more or less stated that Muslims have brought this on themselves. This will no doubt buy him votes in upcoming election.
Incidently NZ has fairly lax gun laws.
We all should try and internalize some of this..try and think of the rage and hate and reject it..
We should think of the victims,families and friends of the massacred and hope that they can survive this. The pain for all involved is unimaginable.,7340,L-5480139,00.html
The Supreme Court invalidated the candidacy of Right wing Otzma Yehudit candidate Dr Michael Ben-Ari and approved the candidacy of far-Left Hadash candidate Dr Ofer Cassif. The court also approved the candidacy of the Arab parties Ra’am-Balad and Hadash’Ta’al.
more at

Apartheid is still with us - more on Otzma Yehudit at
Who is Candace Owens? Tarrant, the NZ mass murderer, cited her as an inspiration to him. She's a not quite 30 year old African-American woman who started out as liberal and a strong critic of Trump, and has flipped around to becoming an ultra-conservative.
Merckx index said:
Who is Candace Owens? Tarrant, the NZ mass murderer, cited her as an inspiration to him. She's a not quite 30 year old African-American woman who started out as liberal and a strong critic of Trump, and has flipped around to becoming an ultra-conservative.
I think a look at Turning Point USA - - will explain everything. "Winning America's culture war" according to - Young GOPers, the next generation rat[bleep]ers.
Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut NAACP, expressed shock at the news that Owens is now a conservative. According to Mic (see ), Esdaile and the NAACP aided the then-17-year-old when a group of white teens at her school left several racist and threatening voicemails on her phone in 2007. The teens even threatened to kill Owens.

Thanks to the NAACP (which Owens now claims she hates), her family was able to settle a lawsuit against Stamford schools for nearly $38,000. A lot has clearly changed since then.
Merckx index said:
Who is Candace Owens? Tarrant, the NZ mass murderer, cited her as an inspiration to him. She's a not quite 30 year old African-American woman who started out as liberal and a strong critic of Trump, and has flipped around to becoming an ultra-conservative.
With a really shite grasp of history
The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s Minerven state gold mining company which it says illicitly props up the regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

Minerven, whose full name is Compania General de Mineria de Venezuela CA, and its president, Adrian Antonio Perdomo Mata, are now designated under the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, the Treasury Department said. The company’s property and assets in the U.S. are blocked and all U.S. citizens are barred from dealing with them. Anyone doing business with them could also face U.S. actions.

This is the sixth round of sanctions since January by the U.S., which is seeking to wrest power and the military’s loyalty away from Maduro and toward interim President Juan Guaido. Persuading the military has been a central challenge in the two months since Guaido, with U.S. backing, declared himself interim leader.

“The regime has apportioned responsibility for oversight of gold extraction to select military officers who take their cut,” Marshall Billingslea, assistant secretary for terrorist financing at Treasury, said in an interview. “As oil production has plummeted, they have turned to gold trade as a final frontier for their kleptocratic activities. The money Maduro has generated is used to purchase loyalty. Outside of buying loyalty, he certainly doesn’t command respect.”

King Boonen said:
I heard on the radio this morning about the live-streaming and it still popping up in people's twitter feeds. As such I've been very careful about where I look and what I read online today. Now I've just seen that The Mirror ran edited footage from the gunman on its website.

Let that sink in. The Mirror had someone sit down, edit footage of people being murdered, and upload it to their website. That's not an accident, it is utterly despicable.
I heard it reported last night that over 300,00 people were watching the live feed and kept watching..........
A world court would offer a much-needed mechanism to address the Islamic State group's horrendous crimes but the path to its creation is fraught with obstacles, experts said.

Syrian Kurds who spearheaded the battle that finished off the ISIS "caliphate" last week called Monday for an international tribunal to try suspected jihadists.

"The call... is really a call for help by the authorities in northeast Syria," said Nadim Houry, from the New York-based watchdog Human Rights Watch.

"They have been abandoned by the international community to deal with the aftermath of IS [ISIS]."

The Syrian Democratic Forces have waged the US-led coalition's ground battle against ISIS for years but are getting little help to handle the thousands of suspected jihadists now filling their jails.

They and their relatives hail from more than 50 countries, most of which have refused to take them back.
The eight-year-old conflict in Syria has left more than 370,000 people dead. Almost a third are civilians and most were not killed by ISIS.

- Huge challenges -

HRW has documented deadly rights violations perpetrated by all sides: the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, rebel groups, and the US-led coalition, as well as ISIS jihadists.

"Are we going to tell the victims we are only going to look at ISIS perpetrators? When you start distinguishing between victims, you don't help reconciliation, you create a new conflict," Houry said.
The same day we get
May’s bombshell means the Little English nationalist revolution is over
Erdogan suffers local election defeats
Turkey’s elections show the limits of Erdogan’s nationalism
Is this the beginning of the end of this idiotic nationalist movement around the globe? If Bibi leaves the stage after april 9 it can really signal something.
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