Protests broke out in various parts of Catalonia Monday after the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced nine independence leaders to between 9 and 13 years for sedition and embezzlement. Thousands gathered at Barcelona–El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport in Barcelona.
US President Donald Trump, on Monday, announced the imposition of economic sanctions against Turkey for starting military operations in northern Syria. The Turkish invasion has already killed 80 civilians and displaced 160,000 residents. The operation began shortly after the withdrawal of the US military from the region last week.
Nobel Prize in Physics is a yearly award given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for those who have made the most outstanding contributions for mankind in the field of physics. The 2019 Nobel Prize in physics depends on the atomic physics.
The 2019 Nobel Prize is split between Michel Mayor (University Geneva), Didier Queloz (University of Geneva, University of Cambridge) and James Peebles ( Princeton University) for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star, which is based on the radial velocity method. Also known as Doppler spectroscopy, it is the most effective method for locating extrasolar planets with existing technology.
Russian military officials are voicing concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Syria due to Turkish involvement. Turkey started an operation against the Kurds on October 9, 2019 under the guise of “counterterrorism.” The Kurdish population of Syria is that country’s largest ethnic minority, comprising between 7% and 10% of the population. Kurds are one of the indigenous peoples of the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands in what is now south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia.
Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine separatist leaders involved in Catalonia’s attempted independence in October 2017, to terms ranging from nine to 13 years in prison. All defendants were acquitted of the most serious charge of rebellion. The group was convicted of crimes ranging from sedition to embezzlement of public funds, in an expected decision. Three defendants were found guilty of disobedience crimes and were not sentenced to prison.
Syrian troops were dispatched to the border with Turkey Monday, just hours after Kurdish militias, which were allies of the United States, announced an agreement with the Bashar al-Assad regime to help them counter the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria. Turkey’s invasion began after the withdrawal of American troops from the region.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Berlin on Sunday in protest against extreme right-wing violence and anti-Semitism, in a gesture of repudiation of the attack that left two dead this week in the east German city of Halle. The protest began on Bebelplatz square, in front of the Humboldt University in the heart of the German capital. It was in this square where, in 1933, the Nazis burned books by Jewish authors considered “subversive” by Adolf Hitler’s regime.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Saudi Arabia Monday to meet with Saudi leaders. Putin also held talks with King Salman, as well as with Saudi Arabia over Iran and Syria. The leaders’ talks focused on the issue of oil production and the price of the product in world markets. Political analysts believe that tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as Turkey’s progress in Syria, are among the issues to be discussed at the summit of the leaders of the two countries.
Poles went to the polls on Sunday to decide general elections, and whether the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) will repeat its victory and win an absolute majority in Parliament. The polling stations in Poland opened today at 07:00 local time (05:00 GMT). More than 25,000 polling stations are enabled for this day and remained open until 9 PM local time (19.00 GMT).
In reaction to the Turkish offensive in Syria, both France and Germany have decided to immediately halt the selling any military equipment that Ankara may use in its ongoing invasion. Notably, Turkey is the largest buyer of German weapons.
The Kurds, who have faced Turkish attacks in northern Syria, are calling on Americans to assume their moral obligation to help them. They accuse the United States of leaving them alone, despite promises to provide them security. The Kurds, in a statement, also called on the United States to close the area’s airspace for Turkish planes. Meanwhile, France has suspended arms exports to its NATO ally because of Turkish military action.
Despite the deaths of dozens, including civilians, and the displacement of about 100,000 people from border towns in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists on continuing his military campaign, “Operation Spring Peace,” against Kurdish fighters. Erdogan said he would continue this “battle until all terrorists go south 32 kilometers away from our border.”
US President Donald Trump says there are three options to resolve the crisis between Turkey and the Kurds in northeastern Syria, and talked Thursday on the importance of the option of “US mediation” between Ankara and the Kurds. Turkey launched a military attack in northern Syria this week, however, Washington confirmed that at this stage, Turkey did not cross the red line.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his first statement regarding the US withdrawal from Syria, strongly condemning the Turkish military action and offering humanitarian assistance to the Kurds. He stated “Israel condemns the Turkish invasion of Kurdish areas in Syria and warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds by Turkey and its proxies. Israel is prepared to extend humanitarian assistance to the gallant Kurdish people.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to send the millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey to Europe if the EU continues showing opposition to the ongoing Turkey’s military offensive in Syria. “Hey EU, wake up. I say it again: if you try to frame our operation there as an invasion, our task is simple: we will open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants to you,” he said in a speech to MPs from his AKP party.
As soon as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the start of the military operation in northern Syria, there was a strong Western reaction, with governments demanding a halt. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was among them, condemning the Turkish attack “strongly,” and calling for the European Commission President to stop it.
After the start of the Turkish offensive against Kurdish areas in northern Syria, the risk of jihadists detained by the SDF escaping, or being released, has become a reality, prompting Washington to transfer the most dangerous jihadists to Iraq to ensure they are put on trial. A US defense official said on Wednesday night that the US military had taken responsibility for the detention of two Islamic State jihadi fighters previously held by Kurdish forces in Syria, in a decision made in the wake of the Turkish attack on northern Syria.
On Wednesday throughout the world the Jewish people celebrated the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur, that comes 10 days after the New Year Holiday of Rosh Hashanna. In the city of Halle, Germany 80 congregants were praying in a synagogue when an assailant dressed in military garb tried to shoot his way into the synagogue which was locked with a security bell as is the custom in Europe.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed Wednesday that Turkey had launched a long-planned military operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The move comes two days after the start of the withdrawal of American troops from the region. According to Erdogan, the Turkish army will attack armed groups in the region, such as Daesh (IS) and the People’s Protection Army (YPG). The groups are considered terrorist groups by Ankara.
German police say at least two people were killed during a shooting in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt. According to eyewitnesses, several armed attackers may have been involved in the incident, and one of the suspects has been arrested. Eyewitnesses also said at least one gunman fled the shooting scene with another in the neighborhood. The shooting occurred near a Jewish synagogue, and police say the body of a victim was found within 3 meters from the synagogue.
The World Bank has downgraded Russia’s economic growth forecasts this year, from 1.2% to 1%, and GDP growth next year from 1.8% to 1.7%. The forecast for 2021 remains unchanged, at 1.8%. The bank said “the slowdown stems from multiple factors, which are compounded by the continuation of international economic sanctions.”
There is an intriguing new analysis of the findings pertaining to the genome-wide markers in the current Eurasian population. Apparently, there are two streams of genes.
1) Mongoloid from Central Asia to the territories of Turkey and Syria. (Mongoloid is a grouping of various people indigenous to East Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, North Asia, Polynesia and the Americas. It is one of the traditional three races first introduced in the 1780s by members of the Göttingen School of History)
2) Uralid from Eastern Siberia to the Estonian border. (West Sibirid subtype, especially common in the basin of the Ob River among Khanty and Mansi people. Sometimes in Altai and Khakassia. Due to the harsh Siberian climate, this type was never very numerous. Today, the indigenous groups are largely outnumbered by Russians)
Up until now, I supported almost everything President Trump has on his agenda upto 2020 when we elect the President of the United States again. He reduced unemployment to a rate we have never seen in the last 50 years. Yes, underemployment is down, as well. However, I never realized that a part of his agenda, we would have the potential to create additional terrorist acts either in the United States or against US interests abroad.
Iran has stated that it opposes any possible military operations in Syria, and that the US decision to withdraw its troops from the north should be made sooner. The Foreign Ministry of Iran issued a statement on Tuesday referring to the possibility of Turkish troops entering Syrian territory. Such a move would not only address Turkey’s security concerns but also cause damage, they said. Iran has called US military presence in Syria “illegitimate,” and has insisted that the US decision to withdraw its troops “should have happened much sooner.”
A Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) is “virtually impossible,” British government sources told local media on Tuesday after a telephone call between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Johnson and Merkel spoke on Tuesday morning about Johnson’s proposals to the EU last week.
Portuguese voters on Sunday bucked the European trend and re-elected a center-left party to the helm of the country’s leadership. The Socialist Party, and Prime Minister António Costa, again won the general election, according to early results.
The German Government launched an official search for secret tunnels at the former Buchenwald Nazi Concentration camp in the beginning of this month. The camp was established on the Ettersberg hill near Weimar, Germany, in July 1937. Buchenwald was one of the first and the largest of the concentration camps within Germany’s 1937 borders. The name of the camp translated in English means “Beech forest.” The Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe is a transnational composite nature UNESCO World Heritage site, encompassing forests in 12 European countries. Many actual or suspected communists were among the first internees at the camp.
Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel made a veiled attack on the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party on the 29th anniversary of German Unification Thursday, saying that economic grievances in the east were no excuse for racism. She said, ”It should never be the case that disappointment with politics however significant be accepted as a legitimate reason to marginalize, threaten or attack others because of their skin, color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. The values of our constitution must guide each and every debate in our country. In concrete terms this means Yes to Open debate, Yes to tough demands from politics, No to intolerance, No to marginalization, No to hate and anti-Semitism, No to living at the expense of the weak and minorities.”
A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry has described his French counterpart’s remarks regarding the situation of Fariba Adelkhah, a jailed dual national, “intrusive and unacceptable.” At the same time, the French foreign minister expressed concern that Iran’s decision to continue reducing its binding commitments was stressful.
Germany is continuing its export of military equipment to countries involved in Yemen’s civil war. The German government has authorized the sale of weapons to the United Arab Emirates, which is involved in the Yemen war as part of the Saudi-led “Arab coalition.”
On Thursday, a police officer stabbed four of his fellow workers at a police station in central Paris and was eventually shot dead by police. It is unclear whether the murder by their co-worker was a terrorist act or personal. The investigation into the killer’s residential home and interrogation of his wife did not reveal his motive for killing his colleagues.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer met with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara Friday in attempt to sign a new agreement between Turkey and the European Union. Seehofer praised Turkey’s efforts in refugee matters, and said that Turkey could get more funding support from the EU. He said it was difficult to control immigration to Europe without Turkey’s support, and Germany was ready to help Turkey.
The European Union’s highest court has ordered Facebook to remove offensive remarks. The EU court has tightened its rules for internet service providers, including Facebook. According to EU regulations, social media groups are not responsible for what users publish unless they are aware that the content of the post is illegal. The same rules say that social media groups as a whole have no responsibility for monitoring the content of stored information and are not required to search for it.
Four people are dead after an employee at police headquarters in Paris stabbed his colleagues Thursday. The attacker was later killed by police. His name has not been released and there is no official statement about the incident yet. Meanwhile, the Ila de la Cite area, situated in central Paris, is under siege by the police.
At least two migrants died after a fire broke out in a crowded refugee camp in Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos. Two fires in Moria refugee camp, and another nearby camp on Lesbos, killed a mother and her child on Sunday night. The crowded reception center witnessed unexpected riots yesterday.
Dozens of world leaders, including German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian President Vladimir Putin, attended the funeral of former French Present Jacques Chirac, which began on Monday. His body arrived at the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris. The archbishop of Paris, Michel Obetit, leaned in front of the coffin of Chirac, wrapped in a French flag, before being moved from the hall outside the church, where he was greeted by a large crowd of citizens.
In news reports carried by several media outlets, a journalist claims that Boris Johnson stroked her thigh insistently in 1999. Charlotte Edwardes said the incident occurred during a luncheon at the offices of The Spectator magazine in London shortly after Boris Johnson became editor-in-chief.
The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), led by former Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, has emerged the winner in snap parliamentary elections in Austria Sunday. The conservatives won 38.4% of the vote, up from 31% at the last election in 2017, thoroughly beating the Social Democrats, which only managed 21.5%.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem called the US and Turkish military presence in northern Turkey illegal and demanded the immediate withdrawal of its troops from its territory. Speaking at the UN General Assembly’s annual summit in New York on Saturday, Waleed Muallem stressed that the US and Turkey’s refusal to withdraw from Syria could trigger a response from Syrian forces.
The British ship Stena Impero, captured by Iran in the waters of the Strait of Hormuz, at the gates of the Persian Gulf, has left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas to international waters, according to the maritime authorities on Friday. The Organization of Ports and Navigation of Hormozgan province, whose capital is Bandar Abas, announced that the ship left the port at 09:00 local time. The commander and crew of Stena Impero gave their formal and written commitment that they have no claims, despite the fact that the ship was seized. The judicial case against the ship remains, “open” in Iranian courts.
Current political turmoil on the continent may have some believing that international cooperation may be entering a strategic winter. But, despite some areas of irrational decision-making, France and England will continue to be the West’s most reliable defence partner on the old continent, come what may.
On September 23, 2019 Thomas Cook halted its operations. The company owned Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia. Thomas Cook was formed in 2007 by the merger of Thomas Cook AG and MyTravel Group. The group operated in two separate segments: a tour operator and an airline. Thomas Cook went into compulsory liquidation on September 23, 2019 and is now under the control of the Official Receiver. The company went into liquidation due to £1.7 billion debt. As a result, the UK Government is having to fly home over 150,000 customers from 18 countries. Brexit uncertainty contributed to the faster demise of Thomas Cook. The company was known for its all-inclusive travel model.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to arrange a meeting between the US and Iranian leaders continued in New York on Tuesday. Hassan Rouhani described Mr. Macron’s efforts to lift US sanctions against Iran as a success, but Donald Trump said in a speech at the UN General Assembly that sanctions would not be lifted as long as Iran’s threatening behavior continues. Mr. Macron first met with Mr. Rouhani on Monday night. He said on Tuesday evening that Mr. Rouhani was accompanying British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to meet with the British Prime Minister.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attack on Aramco. The United Kingdom is one of the countries participating in the US-led offshore Gulf security mission. According to the Associated Press, Prime Minister Johnson made his announcement and accusation on Sunday.
The UK citizen Charlie Rowley, who is a victim of the Novichok poisoning revealed he plans to sue Russia for £1m ($1.25 million). Rowley spent two weeks in a coma due to the neuro-paralizing Russian poison. His girlfriend Dawn Sturgess died after being exposed to the nerve agent.
Germany’s Minister of the Environment, Svenja Schulze, will announce Germany’s joining an alliance of countries committed to phasing out coal in electricity generation. The announcement to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance comes ahead of a United Nations climate summit in New York on Monday.
A beyond-line-of-sight land battlefield missile project has been signed by the ministers of defense of Belgium, Cyprus and France. The purpose of the project is to create a new category of missiles for integration with an extensive variety of platforms (ground-to-ground and air-to-ground) and to provide integrated and autonomous target designation capability as per the project description.
Dozens of “Yellow Vest” protesters were arrested in Paris on Saturday. Several hundred activists gathered at various points in the French capital, and police detained at least 40 people. Concerns were expressed that the participants in these demonstrations would disrupt a climate protest march in the capital on Saturday.
While the spine of Saracens’ side head out to Japan to represent England on the biggest stage of international rugby, the 2019 Rugby World Cup, it won’t be long before the Gallagher Premiership is underway for another season. Current champions, Saracens rise to glory may be controversial to some, but there’s no doubting that the North London club are history makers.