Archive for September 13th, 2017

13. September 2017

Fight against desertification in China

NEW YORK — China has made important progress in its fight against desertification and will endeavor to promote international cooperation by sharing experiences and technologies, a Chinese envoy to the United Nations said here Tuesday at a meeting on combating desertification.

China will host an international conference on countering desertification in September, Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the Unite Nations, told the meeting of the Group of Friends of A Pollution-Free World on Combating Desertification.

The meeting, the 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, will be held in the city of Ordos, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China.

„The focus of the conference will be technical exchange, experience sharing and international cooperation on combating desertification,“ Liu said at the meeting he co-chaired with Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

Desertification threatens one fifth of the world’s population in two thirds of the world’s countries and regions. In the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda adopted in 2015, the goal to stop land-degradation is also included.

Liu introduced some of China’s ideas and practices in the fight against desertification.

„China has introduced innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development in its macro policy framework, the 13th five-year plan for economic and social development and has been implementing the vision when combating desertification and eradicating poverty,“ said he.

He added that China has channeled more funds into environmental protection and encouraged all sectors of the society to participate in conservation.

The country has also been spreading the good practices, techniques and models drawn from key projects such as the Beijing-Tianjin Sandstorm Source Control Project and the Three-North Shelter Forest Program.

„China has been actively engaged in South-South cooperation under frameworks such as the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation and China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. We have established demonstration centers in developing countries and held many training courses to promote relevant technologies,“ Liu said.

Talking about the coming conference to be held in Ordos, Liu said, „I hope that in the spirit of win-win cooperation, our Group of Friends will continue to make joint efforts to build a community of shared future for mankind and eco-friendly and green homeland for everyone.“

13. September 2017

The world cannot afford such countries as the United States and Russia being at odds – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in an interview with Russia’s Media Network Sputniknews

The UN chief has told Sputnik that he believes that the US and Russia are „essential pillars“ of the international community and should be engaged in a dialogue.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — The world cannot afford such countries as the United States and Russia being at odds, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with Sputnik.

„I think it’s clear that the relations are difficult… [and] face many problems. But I am a strong believer that peace, security in the world are still very strongly dependent on the possibility of these two countries that are absolutely essential pillars of our international community – these two countries – to engage in a meaningful dialogue and to reach consensus in a number of areas that are of primary interest for both of us,“ Guterres said.

„The world cannot afford that countries as large, as powerful and as important as the United States and the Russian Federation are [being] at odds with each other,“ he said.

The relations between Moscow and Washington have even further deteriorated since President Donald Trump, who initially wanted to „get along with Russia,“ assumed office. The US imposed new sanctions on Russia, targeting its energy projects among other restrictions. Moreover, Russian diplomatic property has been seized by the US since late December. Recently US law enforcers conducted searches inside the buildings, prompting Moscow’s strong condemnation.
Despite tensions with the United States over several issues, Russian officials have repeatedly voiced readiness to conduct an equal and mutually beneficial dialogue on global problems.

see article here:

13. September 2017

Lebanon interested in weapons purchases from Russia (TASS)

MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri hopes to discuss the possibility of purchasing Russian military hardware during his visit to Russia.

„My visit in the capacity of Lebanon’s Prime Minister is geared to developing relations with Russia in all spheres. The same concerns the military sphere,“ Hariri said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday. „We do hope that the visit will allow for discussing the possibility of purchasing Russian weapons in order to make the Lebanese army stronger and more combat-ready.“

„Lebanon, just as the whole international community, is determined to resist terrorism. The Lebanese army has achieved considerable successes along these lines,“ Hariri said.
He added that he was going to discuss regional problems with Lavrov.
„Lebanon, just as other countries in the region, suffers a great deal from the problems that have hit this part of the world, including the large number of Syrian refugees who have taken shelter in Lebanon. We do hope that the political steps being taken for the sake of resolving the Syrian crisis will contribute to the solution of these problems, too,“ he said in conclusion.


13. September 2017

„Diplomatie zur Lösung der nuklearen Korea-Krise!“ 10 Organisationen und 200 Vertreter der Zivilgesellschaft aus 44 Ländern fordern in einem gemeinsamen Appell an die Präsidenten der USA und Nordkoreas und an den UN-Sicherheitsrat

Die Vereinigten Staaten und Nordkorea sollten vom Abgrund des Krieges in Nordostasien zurücktreten und stattdessen einen diplomatischen Ansatz verfolgen, um den Krieg zu verhindern, heißt es in einem Appell, der gestern an die beiden Regierungen, den UN-Sicherheitsrat, Mitgliedern und Mitgliedsorganisationen des weltweiten Netzes „Abolition 2000“ zur Beseitigung von Atomwaffen zugesandt wurde.
110 Organisationen und über 200 weitere Vertreter der Zivilgesellschaft aus 44 Ländern haben den Appell unterzeichnet. Der Appell hebt die zunehmende Kriegsgefahr hervor – und das Risiko der Einsatzes von Atomwaffen durch Fehleinschätzung, Unfall oder Absicht. Er fordert den „sofortigen Beginn von Verhandlungen, um den Ausbruch eines militärischen Konflikt zu verhindern“ und „drängt den UN-Sicherheitsrat, der diplomatischen Lösung des Konflikts höchste Priorität zu geben.“
Zu den Unterstützern des Appells gehören Parlamentarier, Bürgermeister und Stadträte, Wissenschaftler, Wissenschaftler, Führungskräfte der Wirtschaft und der Medizin, Veteranen, Pädagogen und Lehrer, Friedensnobelpreisträger, Preisträger des „Right Livelihood Awards“ (der „alternative Friedensnobelpreis“), religiöse Führer, Künstler, Nuklearopfer, Rechtsanwälte, Frauenorganisationen, Jugendliche, ehemalige UN-Beamte & Diplomaten, Vorsitzende von Nichtregierungsorganisationen und andere Aktivisten der Zivilgesellschaft.
„Die Diplomatie mit Nordkorea hat in der Vergangenheit Erfolge gehabt und könnte wieder erfolgreich eingesetzt werden, wenn die Sicherheitsbedürfnisse aller Länder der Region berücksichtigt werden“, sagte Alyn Ware, Internationaler Koordinator PNND (Parlamentarisches Netzwerk für Nukleare Abrüstung und Nichtverbreitung), Mitinitiator der Initiative für „Entspannungspolitik JETZT!“ und Koordinator des Appells. (…)

Quelle: Appeal for Diplomacy in the Korean Nuclear Crisis

Original Appeal with list of endorsers:

13. September 2017

Der Russe ist nicht unser Feind. Warum hat Washington der Welt seine gesetzlose Seite gezeigt? von Paul Craig Roberts (Rubikon)

Die Russen sind besorgt über Washingtons willkürliche Schließung ihres Konsulats in San Francisco und die illegale Durchsuchung ihrer diplomatischen Grundstücke. Es steht außer Frage, dass Washington den diplomatischen Schutz und das Völkerrecht verletzt hat.

weiter hier

13. September 2017

Russian Defense Minister met Assad in Damascus, discussed military operations in Syria (RT)

The Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has held talks with the Syrian President Bashar Assad during his visit to Damascus. The two sides discussed military cooperation and joint actions against jihadists in Syria.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the military and military-technical cooperation between [Russia and Syria] in view of the successful operations of Syrian government troops supported by the Russian Air Force aimed at defeating Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL),” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

more here

13. September 2017

Russia’s ‚Potential Influence‘ Could Help Resolve North Korean Crisis (sputniknews)

Russia could influence North Korea, which in the current situation brings hope for the settlement of the ongoing crisis on the Korean Peninsula, according to Prof. Hideshi Takesada from Takushoku University in Tokyo.
In an interview with Sputnik, Takesada, who is a prominent defense specialist and expert on North Korea, commented on a recent proposal by the head of the Russian upper parliamentary house Valentina Matvienko to defuse the tensions around Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

read more

13. September 2017

German Election – NOT A DUEL BUT A DUET Berlin Bulletin No. 133, September 2017 – by Victor Grossman


by by Victor Grossman:

Not even the stubbornest non-voters can ignore the coming Election Day in Germany, as always on a Sunday, September 24. For just one month before voting booths open, lantern poles may be decorated with political posters, two, three, even four to a pole, tied on with wire, with a race to get the best spots. Most posters offer copious color and little substance, but with 34 parties, some state or local but most of them national, every stroll offers a wide choice of handsome, smiling candidate photos and bold clichés. Bigger parties which can afford them also set up wordier billboards, usually at crossings where cars waiting for a green light can read their many promises.

There are no political ads on TV, but lots of interviews, talk shows and analyses. For weeks a major ballyhoo effort promoted a “TV duel” between Chancellor Angela Merkel, running for re-election, and top Social Democratic Party (SPD) candidate Martin Schulz. As she insisted (and she was in a position to insist – ”Otherwise I won’t take part!”), it would be their only confrontation, would last 90 minutes, with no audience participation but questions by moderators from the four biggest channels. Schulz enjoyed an upwards swoop when he became new party leader in February but his and his party’s star sagged back to almost 15 points behind Merkel’s CDU (with its Bavarian sister CSU). This duel gave him a chance to close the gap and aggressive attacks and counter-attacks were expected.

What happened was less a duel than a duet! I recalled old US comics characters, two Frenchman so polite, with „After you, my dear Alphonse“ and „No, you first, my dear Gaston!“ that every open door proved an obstacle. Merkel and Schulz were almost equally courteous and friendly. For me (and many others who stuck it out) the only fight that evening was to keep our eyes open!

After all, their parties have cohabited in a coalition government since 2005. As with so many couples there were disagreements, even minor quarrels, but their vows remained unviolated.

About two-thirds of their TV time was spent talking about refugees and immigrants, with both trying to sound very humanitarian while tightening enough screws to keep anti-foreigner voters on board. Then they turned to relations with Turkey, promising to get tough with Erdogan for arresting German citizens, but aware that he can always hit back by re-opening Aegean Sea routes for hundreds of thousands of Syrians and others risking flight to Europe – and if possible Germany. But here too, and on “getting tough with foreign terrorists”, the two spoke as with one voice – and hardly raised theirs.

Brushed aside almost completely were matters like soaring rent costs, stagnating wages, more and more short-term, underpaid, temp jobs, child care costs too high and pensions too low. Also unmentioned were the European Union mess, the huge military expense account, heavy weapons export and a growing danger of conflicts; on-going sanctions against Russia while German troops maneuver close to Russian population centers. The two found few differences. Schulz made no percentage gains so now, as always when election losses loom, the worried Social Democrats have disinterred more militant but tattered raiment; Schulz recalled that he really should oppose further extending pension age or complying with Trump’s demands for disastrous, doubled military spending.

Despite polite CDU-SPD manners the media still do their best to play up a two-party boxing match. But what about the other parties? Most are very small, like the German Communist Party, which decided (after much dispute) not to support LINKE candidates this year but rather to field its own. There are also a tiny Maoist and a Trotskyist party, a pensioners’ party, animal and climate protection parties, a hip-hop, a vegan and a “garden” party, and one featuring only satirical jokes. One small party is run by the wife of Lyndon Larouche, for years a fishy right/left candidate in the USA.

It’s easy to get on the ballot, but to get Bundestag seats a party must win constituencies directly or achieve 5 percent of the total vote – goals now possible for only four other parties.

One, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), whose main goal is to protect the prosperous, would most likely be Merkel’s favorite to help her strong CDU (now at almost 40%) set up a new government. Then she would no longer have to stay – or sound – moderate enough to satisfy Social Democrats fearful of losing more working-class voters and ties with most union leaders (like the US Democratic Party). FDP posters boldly show its leader in casual wear and a 5-day beard praising “Schoolbook satchels not legal briefcases” or warning “The time has come, Germany”. Figure it out!

The Greens, different from any in the USA, are no longer the leftist party they once seemed to be. They still stress ecology, women’s equality and LGBT rights but as their membership grows older and more prosperous, often in the professions or civil service, they grow increasingly conservative and willing to swallow any compromise if they can join the SPD or the CDU at any government level; they fully backed the war against Serbia, ignore workers’ rights, and lead the way in hitting at Russia.

The newest party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), is viciously opposed to immigrants, foreigners generally and Muslims in particular but also same-gender marriages, abortion, workers’ rights and demilitarization. It is riddled with politicians leaning perilously close to openly fascist views. Some leaders try to cover up for them, at least until they achieve their goal, getting seats in the Bundestag at last and thus obtaining even more media presence than already granted them. Their posters? Two bathing beauties and the words: “Burkas? We prefer bikinis!” Or a very pregnant woman; “’New Germans’? We make them ourselves!” We can have great expectations!

Then there is DIE LINKE, the Left Party. It now has 64 Bundestag seats (35 held by women) and hopes to surpass or at least repeat that number. It alone has consistently opposed all militarization, all arms shipments to conflict areas, all deployment of troops outside the country. Despite only sparse ties to union leaders above the regional level it is most aggressive in fighting for workers’ rights, a higher minimum wage (12 euros, now 8.84), decent pensions and higher taxes on the wealthy. But in Berlin and two other states where it is in a ruling coalition (it heads the one in Thuringia), and despite some achievements, often unreported, it has also been forced into “responsible government” compromises – to meet budgets or lure capital. Some worried and disappointed voters see it as part of “the Establishment” and stay home on Election Day or even make their cross (no electronic voting in Germany) on the “truly oppositional” AfD line. Some Left leaders still hope for an SPD, Green and LINKE coalition on a national level, but the failure of Schulz to gain in the polls seems to bar such a possibility, which would require earnest LINKE compromises, even in its status as “the only Peace party”. A large LINKE poster quotes Sahra Wagenknecht, 48, co-chair of the LINKE caucus in the Bundestag, the party’s main theoretician has another message: “Opposition to corporations and banks demands a strong backbone – and your support.”

All four “lesser parties” now get unusually similar poll results, daily changing their rank, mostly in the 8-9 range, almost always between 7 and 11 percent. The Greens are usually weakest. It is this race which provides the only real suspense, since all hope to win come in third, after the two main parties. Whatever happens, the CDU, certain to come in first, must choose between FDP, SPD or Greens, (but not yet the AfD and never the LINKE!). Whichever, its Defense Minister is continuing to build up the armed forces while the Interior Minister develops more stringent ways of detecting every step of every citizen, now including possible facial recognition cameras at railway stations. Especially after the sharply misleading accounts of violence at the G-20 summit meeting in Hamburg in July, such measures aim at “terrorists and criminals on both right and left”. Who gets to define these categories, and where all this can lead, may well be affected by any rightward drift on September 24th. How comforting it is to know that in democratic, civilized Germany nasty elements could never ever gain or misuse power! If you don’t believe it just look at the history books!

13. September 2017

US-Waffenlieferungen via Ramstein an syrischen „Rebellen“ ohne Genehmigung der BRD? (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

ScreenHunter 182

Die US-Regierung hat offenbar Waffen über den Militärstützpunkt Ramstein an syrische Rebellen liefern lassen.
Eine Genehmigung hatte sie dafür nach Angaben der Bundesregierung nicht.

13. September 2017

Giftgas in Syrien Anschuldigungen, Gegenargumente und Interessen – von Karin Leukefeld (Rubikon)


Die Syrer beseitigen die Trümmer der vergangenen Kriegsjahre und hoffen auf den Wiederaufbau. Die syrische Armee kämpft mit ihren Verbündeten im Osten des Landes in der Provinz Deir Ezzor um die Sicherung der nationalen Öl- und Gasressourcen und der Landesgrenze. Ein Israellobbyist fordert die US-Administration auf, sich auf einen Krieg gegen Syrien, Iran und die Hisbollah vorzubereiten, und in Genf beschuldigt eine Unterkommission des UN-Menschenrechtsrates die syrische Regierung, Giftgas einzusetzen. Daraufhin greifen israelische Kampfjets syrische Armeestellungen an.

Hier weiterlesen

13. September 2017

Israel mobilisiert zum Krieg – Gegen Netanyahu laufen mehrere Ermittlungsverfahren wegen Korruption

Mehr als 10 Jahre sind vergangenen seit dem letzten Krieg Israels gegen Libanon, nun droht ein neuer Krieg zwischen den beiden Ländern. Israels Armee fährt an der Grenze zum Libanon auf und führt dabei die schwerste Truppenübung seit mehr als 20 Jahren durch. Israels Minister sagen sie würden sich nur auf Ausnahmefälle vorbereiten, aber der Aufmarsch stellt eine neue Eskalationsstufe in einer der unsichersten Regionen der Welt dar.

Israel und die Hisbollah pflegen eine lange und intensive Feindschaft, allerdings war es in den letzten Jahren etwas ruhiger geworden, da die Hisbollah auf Seiten Assads in Syrien kämpfte und Israel sich dem Ausbau von Siedlungen im Westjordanland widmte. Nun scheint es, dass Israel seinen Fokus umlegt und gegen die Hisbollah vorgehen will, da diese nicht nur im Libanon an Macht gewonnen hat, sondern auch in den syrischen Grenzregionen zu Israel.

Mit mehreren zehntausenden Soldaten führt die israelische Armee deswegen ein Manöver in den besetzten Golanhöhen an der Grenze zum Libanon und Syrien durch an dem mehrere zehntausende Soldaten teilnahmen. Im Libanon wurde diese Nachricht von der Bevölkerung mit Schrecken aufgenommen, denn die Bilder der israelischen Bomber, die über das Land flogen und mehr als 1000 Zivilisten das Leben kosteten sind noch lebendig, wie auch die Erinnerungen an die Besatzung durch Israel.

Derweil ist Israels Ministerpräsident Netanyahu in Lateinamerika unterwegs.

Dort hat er das internationale Atomabkommen mit dem Iran erneut scharf kritisiert. „Das Abkommen ist schlecht, entweder wird es geändert oder es wird gekündigt“, sagte Netanyahu am Dienstag in Buenos Aires zum Auftakt einer viertägigen Lateinamerika-Reise. Er will am Mittwoch nach Kolumbien und Mexiko weiterreisen, um anschließend an der UN-Vollversammlung in New York teilzunehmen.

Zuvor hatte Netanjahu am 29. August erneut Syrien bedroht, falls der Iran sein Engagement in dem Land nicht beenden solle. Bei einem Treffen mit UN-Generalsekretär Antonio Guterres beschuldigte er Teheran, in Syrien und im Libanon Fabriken für Raketen bauen zu lassen. Ziel sei es, Israel zu zerstören… Würde die iranische Präsenz weiterhin bestehen, werde Israel den Präsidentenpalast in Damaskus bombardieren.“ („Hintergrund – Jordaniens Interessen“ von (kl), junge Welt, 4.9.2017)


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