Who’s protesting? How long has Portland seen the protests? Here’s what you need to know about the demonstrations.
The fatal shooting of a protester in Portland on Saturday has brought increased scrutiny on demonstrations across the country in light of the deadly shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Demonstrators in both cities are calling for criminal justice reform and an end to systemic racism. Kenosha’s demonstrations began in earnest after the shooting of Jacob Blake last week. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, is accused of opening fire and killing three Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters
The victim of the fatal shooting in Portland was reportedly a right-wing supporter of US President Donald Trump. Tensions look set to rise in Portland, already a pivotal city in the continuing nationwide protests. Critics are saying Trump is encouraging the violence.
This is what we know about the protests:
For how long have the demonstrations occurred? Portland has seen almost 100 consecutive nights of demonstrations since May, following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, which set off nationwide protests.
The demonstrations have been both peaceful and violent. Protesters have vandalised police vehicles and Portland’s Federal Courthouse. There have been reports of looting, too.
Portland police have responded with arrests, tear gas and so-called “less-lethal munitions”, such as stun and smoke grenades and plastic bullets. Federal troops faced serious criticism after reports and videos showed them “kidnapping” unarmed protesters and taking them away in unmarked vehicles.
They have also faced criticism for attacking legal observers and journalists, prompting lawsuits.
Under a deal between Trump and Oregon Governor Kate Brown at the end of July, federal troops withdrew from Portland to be replaced by local and state police.
Who’s protesting? Various groups of activists, organisers and unaffiliated people. Many of the groups are supportive of the BLM movement that has gained momentum since Floyd’s alleged murder.
The groups have reportedly included the Albina Ministers Alliance, Rose City Justice and the Portland Black Panthers, among others.
There have been complaints from local organisers that some are not there for the BLM movement or to support its goals, but simply for carnage.
Saturday saw right-wing group Patriot Prayer return to Portland. The group has faced allegations it is connected to the far-right and white nationalists, though its leader has denied the claims.
Is Antifa involved? Antifa is a broad, loosely organised left-wing movement that includes self-described socialists, anarchists, communists and anti-capitalists. The group has faced accusations from President Donald Trump and others in the Republican Party of being a “terrorist” organisation.
While likely there are some people associated with Antifa at the protests, it is difficult to determine their level of involvement, given the loose nature of the organisation.
Facebook purged numerous accounts it claimed are linked to violence at protests on August 19. One of these groups, the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front (PNWYLF), has been alleged to have links to Antifa by some on the political right.
PNWYLF has denied it organises protests, saying it serves as an information outlet.
Are things calming down? No. Following the death of a Patriot Prayer member, other right-wing Trump supporters posted videos on social media that appear to show they plan to go to Portland. This could cause increased tension.
Trump, who is gaining in the polls on a “Law and Order” campaign for president, appeared to be encouraging his supporters to move into Portland in the wake of the shooting.
After the shooting, the president shared a video of his supporters driving into Portland and called those in Saturday’s caravan “GREAT PATRIOTS!”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler asked those who wanted to come to Portland to “seek retribution” to stay away.
“If you’re from out of town and you’re reading something on social media – if you’re reading any facts on social media – they’re probably wrong because we don’t have all the facts yet,” Wheeler said. “This is not the time to get hotheaded because you read something on Twitter that some guy made up in his mother’s basement.”
India’s economic growth suffered a historic 23.9 percent decline between April and June, official figures showed Monday, as manufacturing and productivity were battered by a strict coronavirus lockdown.
The contraction was the biggest since New Delhi started publishing quarterly statistics in 1996, and the latest figures came as the country’s coronavirus cases surged past the 3.6 million mark.
The steep dip in Asia’s third-largest economy reflected the impact of a months-long nationwide shutdown that saw most industrial and manufacturing activity grind to a halt.
The virus restrictions dealt a severe blow to an economy that was already struggling with a protracted slowdown through 2019, hit by the twin shocks of shrinking consumer demand and rising unemployment levels.
The decline was worse than expected, with a survey of economists by Bloomberg earlier predicting a contraction of 18 percent.
On Monday the government warned that the figures could be revised further since the pandemic had also affected the ability to collect accurate data on economic activity.
“The entire quarter was spent in lockdown and it was a complete washout for the Indian economy,” Mumbai-based economist Ashutosh Datar told AFP.
He added that the clouds of gloom were unlikely to lift “for the next few quarters”.
“We started publishing quarterly growth figures only from 1996 and this is the worst quarterly performance on record ever since,” he said.
The sudden shutdown from late March prompted a huge exodus by millions of migrant workers who fled cities for their villages due to a lack of food and money.
Many have yet to return even as restrictions have eased, leaving factories struggling with labour shortages.
Bleak outlook “This is a health crisis that has metamorphosed into an economic crisis,” State Bank of Baroda chief economist Sameer Narang told AFP.
“Manufacturing, trade, construction, transport and communication have all suffered.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a $266 billion package — 10 percent of the country’s GDP — to revive the battered economy, while India’s central bank has slashed interest rates and transferred billions of rupees in annual dividends to the government.
But the measures have yet to yield any positive economic impact or spur a pick-up in demand, while inflation has jumped to over six percent — far above the bank’s target range of four percent.
Rising inflation and unemployment have sharply hit demand, analysts said, underlining the need for the government to act quickly to jumpstart the economy.
“We have ample reasons to be pessimistic about demand as there is a huge… job and income loss so demand will not (return) rapidly,” said Sujan Hajra, a Mumbai-based economist with Anand Rathi securities.
“The Modi government has to come forward with some form of fiscal stimulus urgently to help economic recovery.”
Meanwhile, coronavirus infections have hit new records across the country. India on Monday reached almost 65,000 virus deaths, overtaking Mexico as the world’s third-highest fatality toll behind the United States and Brazil.
The nation of 1.3 billion also has the third-highest number of infections worldwide.
The lockdown has failed to contain the spread of the disease which has travelled from crowded cities to remote villages where access to healthcare remains a huge issue.
The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) in Abuja will begin indefinite strike action with effect from 8am, 1st September 2020 until the payment of the COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowance is received and the variation of the 2018 promotion exercise implemented.
President of the chapter, Dr Roland Aigbovo said this in a communique on Monday evening after its virtual emergency general meeting following expiration of a 14-day ultimatum given to the FCT Administration over the non-payment of covid-19 hazard and inducement allowance to health workers and other pending issues as contained in the communique submitted to the administration dated 14th August, 2020.
He observed that the decision followed the insensitivity displayed by the Office of the Permanent Secretary, FCT and wide spread agitations among members of the association in the various FCT hospitals and isolation/treatment centres.
Aigbovo, who said that the association regrets any inconveniences this decision might cause the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the general public needing healthcare delivery during this period, implored the FCT administration to also look into the other myriads of problems raised in their earlier communication to the administration.
“The congress observes with dismay that despite timelines and promises made to pay the covid-19 hazard and inducement allowance within the period of the issued ultimatum, the allowance is still yet to be paid to health care workers in the various FCT Hospitals and the covid-19 isolation and treatment centres thereby negating the positive gains already achieved,” Aigbovo said.
“As an association, we believe in dialogue as a means of dispute resolution and we have always stood by this principle in all our dealings with the FCTA management even in the face of financial burden but we note with dismay the care free approach exhibited by the office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory in handling this issue.”
Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden on Monday castigated President Donald Trump as a “weak” and morally deficient leader who has sown chaos and fomented the violence that has recently gripped US cities.
“This president long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country. He can’t stop the violence — because for years he has fomented it,” the Democratic presidential nominee will say in a speech in Pittsburgh, according to excerpts released by his campaign.
“He may believe mouthing the words ‘law and order’ makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows you how weak he is,” Biden will say.
Two US cities in particular — Kenosha, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon — have been battered by fierce protests and accompanying deadly violence, with supporters of Trump and Biden facing off in dangerous encounters.
Biden is expected to address the multitude of crises currently affecting the United States, including the coronavirus pandemic that has now left more than 183,000 Americans dead, the resulting “economic devastation,” and violent incidents by “emboldened” white nationalists.
He will also present a counter-argument to Trump’s messaging during last week’s Republican National Convention when he warned that people would not be safe “in Joe Biden’s America.”
“Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?” Biden will say in his speech.
The common thread to the multiple crises is “an incumbent president who makes things worse, not better. An incumbent president who sows chaos rather than providing order,” Biden will say.
Trump has repeatedly tweeted “LAW & ORDER!” in recent days, accused Portland’s “radical left” Democratic mayor of losing control of his city, and threatened to “go in” with federal forces to restore order.
Supporters of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, who lives in Belgium after being tried by the International Criminal Court, on Monday filed his candidacy for October’s presidential election.
Gbagbo, who was freed conditionally by the ICC after he was cleared in 2019 of crimes against humanity, had been barred by the country’s electoral commission from running.
“We have just submitted the candidacy file of our political leader, president Laurent Gbagbo, the father of democracy in Ivory Coast who we have applied to be our candidate for the presidential election,” said Georges-Armand Ouegnin, president of the pro-Gbagbo coalition called Together for Democracy and Sovereignty (EDS).
The October 31 election in the world’s top cocoa grower is set to be tense after years of political turbulence and civil war, and Gbagbo’s return to national politics is highly sensitive.
The country remains scarred by a conflict that erupted after the 2010 vote when Gbagbo refused to hand over power to the victor, current President Alassane Ouattara. Around 3,000 people lost their lives in several months of violence.
Gbagbo, who has not made any public statement about whether he wishes to run again, is living in Brussels pending the outcome of an appeal against the ICC ruling.
In the meantime, he can travel, provided the country of destination accepts him.
Struck from electoral lists Independent Electoral Commission chief Ibrahime Coulibaly-Kuibiert has said that anyone convicted of a crime would be struck from the electoral lists for the ballot.
Gbagbo, 75, was sentenced in absentia to a 20-year term last November for the looting of the local branch of the Central Bank of West African States during the post-election crisis.
In theory he could be jailed if he were to set foot in Ivory Coast, which makes any return a hot-button issue in the election run-up.
Ouegnin said the decision to block Gbagbo from running was political, while judicial sources said they believe his candidacy is unlikely to be validated.
“The Constitutional Council will have the heavy responsibility before the Ivorian people and history to decide on the validity” of blocking him from the electoral roll, said Ouegnin.
He called for the release of all political prisoners and the return of political exiles including Gbagbo.
The 2020 election is already set to be tense.
Violence erupted after Ouattara’s announcement he is seeking a third term, claiming the lives of at least eight people in August.
The constitution limits presidents to two terms, but Ouattara and his supporters argue that a 2016 constitutional tweak reset the clock.
Candidates have until midnight Monday to submit their files with the electoral commission.
Relatives of the former rebel leader Guillaume Soro, forced into self-imposed exile in France in the face of a long list of legal problems at home, are expected to submit his candidacy on Monday.
Former president Henri Konan Bedie, 86, who also contested the 2010 election, is also expected to run.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received the general overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God Pastor Enoch Adeboye at the State House, Abuja.
Adeboye’s visit came when religious bodies are protesting against a section Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 recently signed by the president which had generated widespread criticisms from religious bodies in the country.
Buhari had on August 7 signed the bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organisations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and a supervising minister.
Congo’s opposition leader Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko returned to Brazzaville on Sunday after a month’s medical attention in Turkey.
The 73-year-old general, who ran against President Denis Sassou Nguesso in the 2016 polls, was imprisoned for 20 years in 2019 on charges for compromising national security and unlawful possession of arms and ammunition.
On July 2, Mokoko was first admitted to a military hospital in Congo due to overall fatigue and loss of appetite. The authorities then allowed him to fly to Ankara on July 30, following weeks of negotiations. A prison source said he would be returned to his cell after being checked by doctors.
Prosecutors had accused Mokoko and several co-defendants of amassing arms as far back as 2005 in the aim of overthrowing Sassou Nguesso’s government. He was arrested later in June 2016 and subsequently tried.
For many of Mokoko’s supporters and observers, the prosecution was an attempt by Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled the central African nation for all but five of the past 38 years, to use the courts to stifle dissent.
People Have Been Passing Away Over 14,000 lives claimed by covid-19 in South Africa since the onset of the pandemic. Hence, the government has since put strict virus-prevention regulations in place. A cautionary move that seems to be exacerbating an already traumatic experience for those looking to mourn their loved ones as per the cultural tradition.
People in South Africa usually hold funerals over the weekend. Now, with the rise in the frequency of the number deaths due to coronavirus infections, funeral houses are busier than ever and many families are forced to hold burial ceremonies during the week.
Traditions Viewed as Risky Tagu Sibeko, operations manager at Maziya Funerals in the township of Katlehong east of Johannesburg, explains the custom, “On Thursday, the family would come, wash the body and then after that we would coffin the body and then on a Friday we’re going to live with the body and the body would stay at home till Saturday when the funeral happens. And obviously the body would be moved and taken to the cemetery. That has completely changed.”
The usual cultural rituals to say goodbye to deceased loved ones are also not advised as they mainly include washing the body of the person by family. Much hygiene care and sanitary precautions have been in effect worldwide amongst essential workers handling corpses of those who pass away during these covid-times.
Usually, bodies are recovered from the hospital already heavily bagged for protection – and in some cases even labelled as “highly contagious,” without the intention of being opened. As such, the corporal washing custom is not possible.
Sibeko, also noted that this aspect of the South African burial tradition is what has been most disrupted during the pandemic.
A Downsized Affair In addition, a South African burial ceremony is typically an elaborate occasion where several people gather to mourn the deceased – many even coming from out of town and staying for overnight vigils. However, the current sanitary guidelines restrict the number of attendees to only 50 when normally they can go up to 100 in light of around 200 cases identified earlier this year by officials in the Eastern Cape province which were linked to funerals held in the cities of Port Elizabeth and Port St. Johns.
Carl van der Riet, Chief Operating Officer of Avbob funeral insurance company, explains how the attendee-restrictions on funeral services are affecting the South African people, “People process trauma in different ways and people rely on family networks to assist them and support them through times of bereavement like this. And that’s, you know, the one potential area of impact is that people no longer have that level of support and are no longer able to process trauma.”
People are finding different ways to mourn and cope In an already challenging time, the drastic change to the traditional burial rituals amongst family is daunting for many South Africans; However, so is having to pay a fine or face jail time for those found guilty of breaking these post-mortem sanitary regulations.
Pandemic Dying Down? As the country continues to gradually ease lockdown regulations, many South Africans are hopeful that these traditional rituals will be permitted once again.
South Africa has over half a million confirmed covid-19 cases and currently claims the sixth-highest number in the world.
Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters marched through the streets of London, blocking traffic outside Notting Hill tube station and lying down in the road staging die-in.
The “Million People March” is advocating against racial injustice and is taking place instead of this year’s Notting Hill carnival.
Organisers have said the event is more important than ever amid the worldwide campaign for justice after George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis.
Naomi Bennett, protester and nurse spoke to the press;
“I’ve known about deaths in custody of black people, from when I was, from back in the 90s. We’ve been protesting all these years. Fortunately the George Floyd (death), has just highlighted that to the rest of the world. Now this is a fight that is not new to black people in this country.”
Aside from highlighting racial injustice in the UK, organisers said the march was also to denounce forthcoming government spending on prisons.
The “Million People March” was held in place of the annual Notting Hill Carnival, which will be streamed online this year due to coronavirus restrictions.
Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street fair, tracing its roots to the late 1950s.
The Million People March comes the day after thousands of people gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London to protest against lockdown restrictions and the wearing of face masks.
Reality TV star, Laycon has said that his former love interest, Erica, is his only contender to the N85 million grand prize money the BBNaija show has to offer.
Laycon and Erica have never been on bottom four since eviction started in the ongoing reality TV show.
When asked to speak on who is his major contender to the prize money, Laycon said, “I don’t know if I have a strong contender at the finals because I don’t know how each individual is being perceived out there by the viewers because no one is safe.
Barcelona continue to work on their summer rebuild, despite the obvious elephant in the room, and Ivan Rakitic could be one of the first to leave with the Croatian a mere step away from re-joining Sevilla.
Negotiations between the Andalusian club and Barcelona have accelerated in the last hours, with Ronald Koeman making it clear to Rakitic that he wasn’t in his plans.
MARCA has learned that the player is undergoing the requisite medical tests in Barcelona, ahead of his imminent transfer.
Monchi completed his third signing of the window after Suso and Oscar Rodriguez both arrived on permanent deals, and Rakitic will take the place of the departing Ever Banega.
Rakitic had always been clear that he didn’t want to leave Barcelona, although events of recent months have made that stance waver somewhat.
A departure from Spain itself, though, was always going to be impossible with his family settled and comfortable, so it looked like it would be a direct battle between Sevilla and Atletico Madrid.
The latter never appeared though, and now Rakitic will go back to the place he considers to be home, where he enjoyed some of his finest footballing moments.
Grealish called into the England squad following the withdrawals of Rashford & Winks
Jack Grealish has been called up to the England squad to face Iceland and Denmark in the UEFA Nations League.
There were some eyebrows raised when the Aston Villa star was left out of Gareth Southgate’s 24-man squad yet again last week given his fine performances in the Premier League last season.
But after Marcus Rashford (ankle) and Harry Winks pulled out of action, Grealish has finally been given the nod.
Grealish scored eight goals and created six assists to help Villa escape the drop last season, and many will think the call-up is just reward for his performances.
When asked about his decision to omit Grealish initially, Southgate said: “The difficulty for Jack is Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford.
“Those four have either been with us for a long time and been exceptional, in terms of Marcus and Raheem. Jadon is just breaking through and I think everybody is aware of his potential, and Mason Greenwood’s goalscoring record and performances with Manchester United were outstanding.
“It is an area of the field where we have people like Callum Hudson-Odoi as well. I know at times Villa play Jack as a midfield player – that is not as I see him in the way we play.
“So, with us he would be a wide player or a 10 and, at the moment, I think we have got players who deserve to be in just ahead of him.”
Grealish will now be determined to seize his opportunity, and it will be intriguing to see how many minutes he gets in the two upcoming games.
He has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in the last few weeks, although the Red Devils now appear to have turned their attentions towards Ajax attacking midfielder Donny van de Beek, who they are expected to sign in a £40m deal in the next few days.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa will appear before an integrity commission to answer questions about a controversial campaign donation. This is according to his governing party officials.
Senior member of the African National Congress, ANC Jessie Duarte, however has not specified when Mr Ramaphosa would present himself before the party panel.
Mr Ramaphosa, according to South Africa’s anti-corruption watchdog, is alleged to have misled parliament about money he received in 2017, worth more than $36,000 (£27,000). Mr Ramaphosa maintains it was a donation towards his campaign for the ANC leadership.
As President, Mr Ramaphosa has staked his reputation on cleaning up the country’s politics since he replaced Jacob Zuma.
High-level delegations flew from Israel to the UAE to cement the ‘normalisation’ deal.
High-level delegations from Israel and the US have arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), via the first-ever commercial flight between the Middle Eastern nations, to put final touches on a controversial pact establishing open relations.
Top aides to US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were on board the direct flight from Tel Aviv to the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on Israel’s flag carrier El Al on Monday.
Flight LY971 flew over Saudi Arabia after Riyadh agreed to the Israeli request on Sunday – also a first.
The plane carrying the US and Israeli delegations to Abu Dhabi has the word “peace” written on it in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.
It is also named after Kiryat Gat, a Jewish settlement built on the remains of two ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages, Iraq al-Manshiyya and al-Faluja.
Announced on August 13, the “normalisation” deal is the first such accommodation between an Arab country and Israel in more than 20 years and was catalysed largely by shared fears of Iran.
Palestinians were dismayed by the UAE’s move, worried it would weaken a long-standing pan-Arab position that called for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal relations with Arab countries.
Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien head the US delegation. The Israeli team is led by O’Brien’s counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat.
Kushner voiced hope for a more peaceful era in the region.
“While this is a historic flight, we hope that it will start an even more historic journey in the Middle East and beyond,” Kushner said before boarding the El Al aircraft.
Officials will explore bilateral cooperation in areas such as commerce and tourism, and Israeli defence envoys are due to visit the UAE separately.
Israeli officials hope the two-day trip will produce a date for a Washington signing ceremony, perhaps as early as September, between Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
That could give Trump a foreign policy boost ahead of his re-election bid in November.
In Jerusalem on Sunday, Kushner called the UAE-Israel deal a “giant step forward”.
“To have played a role in its creation, and I say this as the grandson of two Holocaust survivors, it means more to me and to my family that I can ever express,” Kushner said.
The Trump administration has tried to coax other Arab countries concerned about Iran to engage with Israel. The most powerful of those, Saudi Arabia, has signalled that it is not ready.
But in what could presage a more relaxed posture by Riyadh, the El Al plane will be allowed to overfly Saudi territory to cut flight time.
On Sunday, Israeli TV channel Kan reported there was Israeli concern that Riyadh may revoke permission to use Saudi airspace at the last moment. If the flight is allowed, it would mark the first time an Israeli commercial plane uses Saudi territory for an overflight. There was no comment from Saudi officials.
‘Soon follow’ O’Brien said on Sunday more Arab and Muslim countries were likely to follow Abu Dhabi’s move.
“We believe that other Arab and Muslim countries will soon follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead and normalise relations with Israel,” O’Brien told reporters after talks at Netanyahu’s residence.
He did not name the states, but Israeli officials have publicly mentioned Oman, Bahrain and Sudan.
Recent news reports suggested Morocco may also be considering a similar agreement with Israel in exchange for military and economic aid.
However, Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine el-Othmani said last week “we refuse any normalisation with the Zionist entity because this emboldens it to go further in breaching the rights of the Palestinian people”.
Palestinians have condemned the UAE’s move as an abandonment of a policy of linking official relations with Israel to the achievement of Palestinian statehood in territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war.
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, said Kushner and his team were “scrambling to convince as many Arab and Muslim leaders as possible” to give Trump an election boost.
“They will be a prop at the backdrop of a meaningless spectacle for a ridiculous agreement that will not bring peace to the region,” she said.
The UAE-Israel agreement hit an immediate speed bump after it was announced, as contradictory comments on the planned Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank and Jordan Valley were made.
In spite of earlier comments by the UAE and a joint statement by the three countries that indicated the annexation plan would be “suspended”, senior UAE official Omar Ghobash, has admitted his government did not “have any guarantees as such” that Israel would not annex occupied Palestinian territory in the future.
Kushner has said as part of the Israeli-UAE deal that the United States will not consent to Israeli annexation for “some time”.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, cast the annexation plan – already dogged by disagreements within his governing coalition on the proposed timing – as temporarily on hold. But Israeli officials have signalled they want approval from Israel’s main ally – the US – first.
Weapons sales The Israel-UAE accord also faces another problem: a possible sale of stealth F-35 fighter jets to Abu Dhabi that could challenge the Israeli technological edge in the Middle East.
Netanyahu has denied reports the UAE deal hinges on the sale of F-35s to the Emirates, saying he opposes a move that could reduce Israel’s military advantage.
“This deal did not include Israel’s acceptance of any arms deal,” the Israeli leader said last week.
Ever since the 1960s, the US has guaranteed to maintain Israel’s “qualitative military edge” in the region.
The policy was enhanced two years ago with a law that Washington must ensure, when selling weapons to another country in the Middle East, that Israel retains the ability to defend itself if the arms were to fall into the wrong hands.
Israel has already received a first consignment of American F-35s, a fighter also coveted by other Gulf powers.
Yoel Guzansky, a senior analyst at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, told AFP there is no doubt of the importance of the F-35s.
“I absolutely think that without the F-35, the possibility of buying it, they [the Emiratis] wouldn’t sign the agreement,” said Guzansky. “This is a big hurdle to the fulfilment of the agreement.”
Guzansky noted before Iran’s Islamic revolution of 1979, the US sold Turkey and Iran sophisticated weaponry, “and now these countries are hostile towards Israel”.
But some analysts say a deal can be struck to the satisfaction of both Israel and the UAE, and ultimately Saudi Arabia, a longtime customer of US armaments.
“Although this is not really public, from what I understand arrangements are being made that the version that the Arab country gets is not the absolute latest version,” Joshua Teitelbaum, a Gulf specialist at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University told AFP.
Economic ties On Saturday, the UAE announced it was scrapping its economic boycott against Israel. Officials from the two countries have said they are looking at cooperation in defence, medicine, agriculture, tourism and technology.
Netanyahu told reporters abolishing “the anachronistic boycott” opened the door for “unbridled” trade, tourism and investment.
Statements issued by the UAE and Israel on Sunday said the UAE minister of state and Israel’s agriculture minister had spoken by phone and “pledged to collaborate on projects that address food and water security”.
The UAE, a desert state, relies on imports for about 80 percent of its food, and has heavily encouraged investment in agricultural technology and farmland abroad in recent years.
Israel and the UAE say they want to promote trade – especially the sale of Emirati oil to Israel and Israeli technology to the UAE – establish direct air links, and boost tourism.
Noble Reporters Media recall evicted housemate, Tolanibaj crying out to Wathoni about the Head of House bed sheet been stained with cum the week Kiddwaya was head of house and Erica visited hims severally.
The duo has now been ‘caught’ again. This time around, they were both covered with a duvet and they can be seen moving under the duvet.
After 27 yrs of marriage and 2 kids, Phillip Schofield ‘comes out of the closet’ (Photo) After their hot session, Kiddwaya is seen wearing his shorts.
Diplomat won votes from 90 MPs and must form a government to push through long-overdue reforms.
Lebanese diplomat Mustapha Adib has been tasked with forming a government by an overwhelming majority of parliamentarians representing the country’s political establishment.
Adib received the votes of 90 MPs out of a possible 120, garnering the support of Hezbollah and its allies the Free Patriotic Movement and the Amal Movement, in addition to the Future Movement of former prime minister Saad Hariri and a number of smaller blocs.
Adib said it was no longer the time for words and promises.
“It’s time for work to dovetail efforts and join hands, to restore hope among the Lebanese,” Adib told reporters on Monday.
“By the grace of God Almighty, we hope we will be successful in selecting professionals with proven expertise and efficiency to implement the necessary financial and economic reforms.”
Seventeen MPs voted for other candidates, including 14 votes by the Lebanese Forces for International Court of Justice judge Nawaf Salam. About a dozen MPs either voted for no one or did not show up.
Like his predecessor Hassan Diab, who was named by a narrower margin by the country’s establishment following unprecedented anti-government protests that toppled a government last year, 48-year-old Adib is little-known to the public.
He has been Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany since 2013, has for two decades been an advisor to billionaire former prime minister Najib Mikati, and is seen as being close to the country’s major parties.
Monday’s binding consultations between President Michel Aoun and MPs amounted to little more than a rubber stamp on a decision that had been hashed out among the country’s sectarian leaders in the lead-up to French President Emmanuel Macron’s second visit to Beirut in under a month.
Macron arrives Monday night and has been in direct contact with Lebanese officials since his early August visit in the wake of a massive Beirut explosion that left at least 190 people dead and damaged large parts of the city.
Macron has urged Lebanon’s ossified politicians to come to a political understanding in order to pass through sweeping reforms and halt decades of corruption and mismanagement, which led the country into its deepest-ever economic crisis.
Blast fallout Adib will now have to form a government that can push through long-overdue economic, financial and governance reforms in order to unlock international support for the crisis-hit nation, which was already collapsing before the explosion.
The World Bank on Monday estimated the blast caused between $3.2bn and $4.6bn in physical damage, mostly to the transport sector, housing and cultural sites, and incurred an additional $2.9bn to $3.2bn in losses to economic output.
The organisation estimated Lebanon’s immediate needs until the end of 2020 at between $605m and $760m, including for cash assistance, housing, and support for businesses.
Western donors see a resumption of stalled negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, as well as reforms to the electricity and financial sectors, as key conditions for providing large-scale financial assistance.
Adib’s predecessor, Diab, was unable to push through reforms because of high-level political meddling that is common in Lebanon, a country where major decisions are traditionally made between the handful of ruling sectarian leaders rather than governments.
“We know there are political forces behind these governments that don’t necessarily align with the governments that they appoint, and that makes it difficult to have a programme and solutions to these complicated problems,” Mike Azar, a senior financial advisor, told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).
He noted Diab’s government had faltered because it didn’t have a clear plan for how to adress the country’s challenges, and included a “hodge-podge of different people with different views,” which led to chronic dysfunction.
Up-hill struggle According to Azar, the country faces four key challenges: the recovery and reconstruction after the explosion, the criminal investigation into the explosion, the economic reform programme and financial restructuring, and the restructuring of the political system itself, “which is root cause of most of Lebanon’s current problems”.
“Most of the needed reforms will be politically and personally costly to the key political decision-makers behind any government that emerges,” he said. “Without a clear strategy for how Adib intends to address these challenges in the face of great political resistance, there is no reason to believe that Adib’s government will be any more successful than Diab’s.”
Adib, therefore, will find it difficult to push forward changes unless top politicians agree to them, even though many of these reforms go against their entrenched interests.
Lebanon’s President Aoun and Hezbollah’s powerful leader, Hasan Nasrallah, have both indicated they are ready to agree to a new political system in Lebanon, as long as it is based on consensus.
But Rima Majed, an assistant professor of sociology at the American University of Beirut who was involved in organising during Lebanon’s uprising, said it was clear Adib had been picked to maintain and protect the interests of the country’s ruling class.
“It still remains a republic of billionaires but its now run by their men, their advisers,” Majed told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media). “It’s disturbing from a class aspect because they are reproducing the system and Adib is clearly coming to preserve the interests of those billionaires, be it Hariri, Mikati or [House Speaker Nabih] Berri.”
She said Adib’s government, once formed, would continue the “counter-revolution” that Diab’s government had begun, putting an end to any chance of a “political process that includes the uprising”.
Part of this is also due to circumstance: Local actors had become more empowered to take part in national politics during the uprising, but the Beirut blast has thrown the process almost-entirely to the international level.
“There’s something bigger being cooked up that the uprising is unable to grasp,” she said.