Hamas and Fatah kiss and make up?

•September 19, 2017 • 2 Comments

http://www.newsweek.com/what-does-hamas-want-islamist-olive-branch-could-be-thorn-side-mahmoud-abbas-666560

Ever since it seized the Gaza Strip from rivals Fatah in 2007, Palestinian militant group Hamas has been anything but predictable.

In April 2014, it had looked as if Hamas was finally ready to come in from the cold in a short-lived unity deal with Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah. But only a few weeks later Hamas picked a fight with Israel that descended into a third bloody conflict with the Israelis since 2008, leaving 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis dead—and effectively torpedoing any deal with Fatah.

Then in May 2017, Hamas again surprised with a pledge to alter its charter and accept in principle a deal with Israel based on 1967 borders, effectively abandoning its commitment to Israel’s destruction and paving the way for peace talks. But less than a month later, it appointed Yahya Sinwar as its new leader—an individual so extreme that he had opposed his own release from Israeli jail in a prisoner swap.

On Sunday, Hamas threw another curveball, announcing that it was dissolving its administration in Gaza and would agree to a general election that would end its decade-long feud with Abbas and Fatah. Fatah officials have cautiously welcomed the announcement, coming as it does just two days before Abbas is due to head to New York for what could well be the 82-year-old president’s final United Nations visit.

Whether Abbas takes the bait—and the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) re-enters the strip from which it has been absent since 2007—remains to be seen. Abbas is 13 years into what was supposed to be a four-year term, and last time he called parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Territories (in 2006), Hamas not only took Gaza but won significant majorities in Nablus, Hebron and even Ramallah, a Fatah stronghold.

The reason for that defeat was not only Hamas’s popularity (although that was a significant factor). Fatah botched the election campaign, managing to anger its base to the extent that many of its members ran as independents, splitting the vote and handing an easy majority to Hamas. Abbas, who had won presidential elections a year earlier, initially tried to work with a Hamas-dominated parliament, but within a year Fatah had been violently ousted from the strip and Hamas all but banned in the West Bank.

Since then, Gaza has been sealed on three sides by Israel and on its southern border by Egypt. Hamas has had various suitors—including Egypt under Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar—but three wars and an ongoing blockade has made life all but impossible. Since early 2017, the P.A. has refused to pay Gaza’s electricity bills, making life even more difficult for 1.4 million Palestinians in the strip.

Meanwhile, Hamas has found itself challenged not only by Israel, Egypt and Fatah but by religious fanatics inside the strip inspired by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). These militants, buoyed by an ISIS-inspired militancy in Sinai, have launched rockets into Israel, for which Hamas is usually blamed.

As life has gotten worse in Gaza, Hamas leader Sinwar has struck a more conciliatory pose with regard to Ramallah. Speaking earlier this year, he described the split between the West Bank and Gaza as “suicide for the Palestinian national liberation project” and signaled that Hamas was ready to disband its executive committee—a promise that Sinwar made good on this Sunday.

The ball is very much in Abbas’s court ahead of next week’s U.N. meeting, but re-engaging in Gaza is by no means simple. If Abbas consents to elections, Fatah could lose, provoking not only a political crisis for his party but for the Palestinian Territories as a whole. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., which may slash funding to the P.A. should the Islamists join a Palestinian government.

But there are personal reasons too. Commentators such as Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab, writing in al-Jazeera, pointed out that at the forefront of negotiations in Cairo between Hamas and Egypt that preempted the September 17 statement was Mohammed Dahlan, the former Fatah leader in Gaza and arch nemesis of Abbas since both men vied for influence under the late Yasser Arafat.

Dahlan, 55, is a favorite within the international community as successor to Abbas, particularly with Cairo and with the deep-pocketed United Arab Emirates (UAE). Although Dahlan is very much a persona non grata in Gaza since the 2007 war—when his Fatah militia was renowned for its violence towards Hamas rivals—the Islamists may be willing to overlook his role in a deal that helped boost its coffers with UAE funds.

Whether Abbas—whose hatred for Dahlan is vitriolic even by the standards of Palestinian politics—is willing to forgive and forget remains to be seen.

And then, of course, there is Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Abbas in April 2014 for his efforts towards reconciliation with Hamas, accusing him of preferring peace with a terrorist group over Israel. Indeed, the inclusion of Hamas at any senior level within a Palestinian negotiation team would likely be resisted by Tel Aviv—let alone by the U.S.

Whatever happens, Abbas and Netanyahu—whose performances in recent years at the U.N. have tended to be rather predictable and anti-climatic—have gone from optional viewing to must-sees at next week’s summit in New York.

———-

something is going on..

“Hamas threw another curveball, announcing that it was dissolving its administration in Gaza and would agree to a general election that would end its decade-long feud with Abbas and Fatah. Fatah officials have cautiously welcomed the announcement, coming as it does just two days before Abbas is due to head to New York for what could well be the 82-year-old president’s final United Nations visit.”

thoughts?

“If Abbas consents to elections, Fatah could lose, provoking not only a political crisis for his party but for the Palestinian Territories as a whole. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., which may slash funding to the P.A. should the Islamists join a Palestinian government.”

401

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Army chief calls for unity over Rohingya

•September 19, 2017 • 1 Comment

http://www.9news.com.au/world/2017/09/18/07/38/myanmar-army-chief-calls-for-unity-over-rohingyas

Myanmar’s army chief has urged the country to unite over the “issue” of the Rohingya, a Muslim group he says has no roots in the country, and which his troops are accused of systematically purging.

The military says its “clearance operations” in northern Rakhine state are aimed at flushing out Rohingya militants who attacked police posts on August 25.

But the violence has engulfed the border region and triggered an exodus of more than 400,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh, where they have told of soldiers slaughtering civilians and burning down entire villages.

UN leaders have described the campaign as having all the hallmarks of “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya, a stateless group that has endured years of persecution and repression.

The status of the Muslim minority has long been a explosive topic in Myanmar.

Many in the Buddhist majority view the group as foreign interlopers from Bangladesh and deny the existence of a Rohingya ethnicity, insisting they be called “Bengalis”.

General Min Aung Hiaing, Myanmar’s globe-trotting army chief, trumpeted that view in comments posted on his official Facebook page Saturday.

“They have demanded recognition as Rohingya, which has never been an ethnic group in Myanmar. (The) Bengali issue is a national cause and we need to be united in establishing the truth,” the post said.

The defence of his army’s operations comes amid strident global condemnation of the violence, which has strapped Bangladesh with the overwhelming task of providing shelter and food to a rising tide of desperate refugees.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41300247

Myanmar’s top general has blamed Rohingya people for the crisis that has led to hundreds of thousands crossing into Bangladesh.

Gen Min Aung Hlaing said the Rohingya “has never been an ethnic group”, and accused “extremists” of trying to form a stronghold in northern Rakhine state.

His army is accused of targeting civilians in an offensive there, forcing Rohingya to flee.

Myanmar denies this, and says it is responding to deadly militant attacks.

The UN has warned that offensive against the Rohingya – most of whom are Muslims, while Myanmar is 90% Buddhist – could amount to ethnic cleansing.

———–

muslims in myanmar seem to be more important than muslims in yemen..as per the UN..

“UN leaders have described the campaign as having all the hallmarks of “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya, a stateless group that has endured years of persecution and repression.”

step up aung..

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Alphabet is reportedly mulling a $1B investment in Lyft

•September 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Alphabet is reportedly mulling a $1B investment in Lyft

It’s about as good a timing as any for Lyft to capitalize on the tidal wave of negative publicity that Uber is facing right now, and it looks like it might end up with a significant investment from Alphabet in the middle of that train wreck, according to a report by Axios.

That’s not to say that this is directly related to Uber, which has a new CEO and is trying to move on from the disaster of the past few months. Still, Alphabet appears to be discussing a $1 billion investment in Lyft in an effort led by CEO Larry Page, according to the report. Lyft last raised $600 million at a $7.5 billion valuation in April.

This would be an interesting move for Google, which invested in Uber early in its life through its investment arm GV. We’d heard some murmurs of something brewing between Alphabet and Lyft for a few weeks, but it was unclear what was actually outcome would be. Bloomberg also reported the news this afternoon. In the end, it appears that Lyft may get a big infusion of cash to fuel its efforts to pick away at Uber — especially as it appears primed to begin its move internationally, according to a report from The Information.

A big financing round like this would go a long way for Lyft, which can use the capital to provide aggressive driver and rider benefits through promotions. Lyft may have an opportunity to snag momentum away from Uber in key cities by ramping up in marketing and discounts. That is an expensive proposition, to be sure, but Lyft also has the benefit of the wave of troubles Uber has had recently. Such a large investment would also help Lyft remain independent.

Alphabet’s self-driving division, Waymo, has been fighting with Uber in court over allegations of theft of files. Earlier this week, a judge ruled that Uber had to turn over the due diligence report for its acquisition of Otto to Waymo.

Lyft announced that it had begun self-driving car development in earnest in July, saying it would ramp up hiring and had signed a lease for a big Palo Alto facility.

Representatives from Google and Lyft have not yet responded to requests for comment.

———-

“Lyft may have an opportunity to snag momentum away from Uber in key cities by ramping up in marketing and discounts. That is an expensive proposition, to be sure, but Lyft also has the benefit of the wave of troubles Uber has had recently. Such a large investment would also help Lyft remain independent.”

independent..really?

“Alphabet’s self-driving division, Waymo, has been fighting with Uber in court over allegations of theft of files.”

oic..

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Images 17/9/17

•September 18, 2017 • 24 Comments

pope copped a blackeye when his head the pope mobile..possibly deserved it..

he almost has horns..

about right..the money tree grows well at elons house..

see the unicorn?..this painting is from the 15th century..

kim channeling jackie..

and more..not sure jackie had dogs like that though..

truth burp from shia..

heh..

prophetic time cover from 1997..

the new taylor..badder than the old one..lady in red..snakes..the clip has it all..

nearly all mainstream media is fake..left or right..this is how it works on the left..

natalie portman..(((actress)))..

cheers hunter..

thou shalt not one star review HRC..amazon just changes it anyway..from 1 to 5..in the blink of an eye..trust nothing and believe nobody..

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Bitcoin crashes as Beijing orders cryptocurrency exchange shutdown

•September 18, 2017 • 2 Comments

https://www.rt.com/business/403328-china-bitcoin-exchanges-shutdown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

The price of bitcoin plunged on Thursday after Chinese authorities crack down on cryptocurrencies, with the country’s biggest exchange announcing the suspension of operations.

The virtual currency fell more than 11 percent, trading at $3,544.14 as of 14:00pm GMT. This is far below the all-time high of $5,013.91 set earlier this month.

According to China Business News, regulators in Shanghai and the country’s financial center gave verbal instructions to exchange operators to end services. The exchanges will reportedly shut down at the end of September.

BTC China, one of the country’s top three exchanges, tweeted on Thursday it will close down operations by September 30.

Last week, China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), referring to them as an unauthorized fundraising tool that may involve financial scams. The Chinese central bank said those who have already raised money should pay it back.

China accounts for about 90 percent of all bitcoin trading on exchanges, and demand for the virtual currency was on the rise.

Beijing has strengthened control over bitcoin trading platforms to prevent them from becoming money laundering sites. It tried to curb capital outflow following fears of continued weakness in the domestic currency.

———–

“China accounts for about 90 percent of all bitcoin trading on exchanges, and demand for the virtual currency was on the rise.”

and that makes china very important..

“The price of bitcoin plunged on Thursday after Chinese authorities crack down on cryptocurrencies, with the country’s biggest exchange announcing the suspension of operations.”

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Trump may replace Obama’s big climate rule..what about Paris?

•September 18, 2017 • 2 Comments

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/14/trump-administration-may-replace-key-obama-climate-rule-242747

The Trump administration is opening the door to offering its own replacement for former President Barack Obama’s landmark climate regulation — rather than just erasing it altogether.

A mend-it-don’t-end-it approach on Obama’s 2015 rule could appease power companies that say the EPA needs to impose some kind of climate regulation — even if it’s much weaker — to avoid triggering courtroom challenges that would cloud the industry in years of uncertainty. But it would run afoul of demands from some conservative activists, who have pressured EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to reject the idea that climate change is a problem requiring federal action.

The agency aims by early October to issue a proposal to undo Obama’s climate rule, along with a separate advance notice of its intent to consider a replacement, a source close to the process told POLITICO.

That approach still leaves a wide array of options on the table — including ultimately deciding against a new rule. It could allow Pruitt to stretch out the process for years without ultimately resolving how the agency should address greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, one of the largest contributors to human-caused climate change.

But leaving open the option of writing a new rule would avoid repeating the dramatic break with mainstream science that President Donald Trump made in June, when he announced he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Pruitt had pushed Trump to pull out of the deal.

For now, conservatives appear willing to give Pruitt the benefit of the doubt on the future of Obama’s rule, known as the Clean Power Plan.

“I would prefer the EPA do everything in its power to obliterate the Clean Power Plan,” said Tom Pyle, a conservative lobbyist with the American Energy Alliance who led Trump’s Energy Department transition team. But he said he wouldn’t oppose a replacement rule.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/09/18/us-could-stay-paris-climate-accord-under-right-conditions-says-tillerson

The United States could remain in the Paris climate accord under the right conditions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday, signaling a shift in tone from the Trump administration, which angered allies with its decision to pull out of the agreement.

President Donald Trump is willing to work with partners in the Paris agreement if the United States could construct a set of terms that are fair and balanced for Americans, Tillerson said on the CBS’ “Face The Nation.”

Asked if there was a chance the United States could stay in the accord, Tillerson responded, “I think under the right conditions.”

“The president said he is open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue,” Tillerson said.

Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, struck a similar tone in television interviews on Sunday in which he said Trump had always been willing to consider changes on the climate pact.

“He left the door open to re-entering at some later time if there can be a better deal for the United States,” said McMaster said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “If there’s an agreement that benefits the American people, certainly.”

The accord, reached by nearly 200 countries in 2015, was meant to limit global warming to 2 degrees or less by 2100, mainly through pledges to cut carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

The Republican president fulfilled his campaign promise to pull out of the 2015 accord in June, when he announced tersely “We’re getting out.” Trump maintained the pact would undermine the US economy and national sovereignty and his decision drew anger and condemnation from world leaders.

It takes four years for a country to withdraw from the Paris agreement, so the United States will be a party to the agreement until two days after Trump’s first term ends.

———–

“I would prefer the EPA do everything in its power to obliterate the Clean Power Plan,” said Tom Pyle, a conservative lobbyist with the American Energy Alliance who led Trump’s Energy Department transition team. But he said he wouldn’t oppose a replacement rule.”

but..

“President Donald Trump is willing to work with partners in the Paris agreement if the United States could construct a set of terms that are fair and balanced for Americans, Tillerson said on the CBS’ “Face The Nation.”

this could be a defining moment..

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Catalonia: More than 700 mayors summoned to court

•September 15, 2017 • 27 Comments

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41262254

Spain’s public prosecutor has summoned more than 700 Catalan mayors to appear for questioning over their support for a banned independence referendum.

Jose Manuel Maza said that any of the municipal leaders who agreed to help stage next month’s vote should be arrested if they fail to appear.

Prosecutors earlier ordered the seizure of ballot papers and voting materials.

Catalonia’s vote on breaking away from Spain is deemed illegal and has been suspended by the constitutional court.

But Catalonia’s pro-independence government has said that the referendum, which is planned for 1 October, will go ahead.

If the vote is held, prosecutors could charge the council leaders with misuse of public funds.

The Association of Municipalities for Independence has written to hundreds of Catalan officials assuring them that they are doing nothing wrong in helping to run the ballot, despite such actions defying Spain’s constitutional court.

In response to the Spanish government’s latest move, the Catalan authorities have urged the region’s mayors to take to the streets of Barcelona in protest on Saturday.

On Tuesday, the Spanish Public Prosecutor’s Office instructed security forces to remove all voting materials which it said could help with the “consummation of the crime”.

The order included promotional materials and the ballots themselves, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported [in Spanish].

With their own language and customs, Catalans already have much autonomy, but opinion polls suggest that the vote, if it takes place, will be very close.

There is a widespread feeling in the region – one of Spain’s richest – that too much of its tax revenue goes to Madrid.

Meanwhile Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his conservative Popular Party have vowed to do everything within their power to stop the referendum, which they argue cannot take place according to Spain’s 1978 constitution.

On Wednesday, the official referendum website was shut down following a court order, Spain’s Guardia Civil police said.

———–

the masters of the system are not happy..

you will not leave the union!

look out for bombs..

401

 
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