Monday, January 25, 2021

Confronting Democrat Party structural anti Semitism

NYC Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang Vows to Fight Anti-Israel Boycott: “BDS Rooted in Antisemitic Thought”

Posted by     Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 12:00pm

BDS “rooted in antisemitic thought and history, hearkening back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses.”

New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang has vowed to fight the antisemitic boycott movement if he becomes the city’s next mayor. In a column penned for the left-leaning Jewish magazine Forward, Yang likened the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to Nazi boycotts of Jewish businesses. 

“Not only is BDS rooted in antisemitic thought and history, hearkening back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses, it’s also a direct shot at New York City’s economy. Yang wrote. “Strong ties with Israel are essential for a global city such as ours, which boasts the highest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel,” he added.

By coming out against the anti-Israel boycott movement, which Yang rightly characterizes as antisemitic, he is at odds with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Some upcoming leaders of the party, including Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, support the BDS campaign and have argued in favor of a boycott of Israel.

The former Democratic presidential candidate recently announced his bid to run for mayor of New York City. Yang dropped out of the primaries in February 2020 after a poor showing and endorsed Joe Biden the following month.

Addressing New York’s Jewish voters in his Forward op-od, Yang wrote:


China Authorizes Coastguard to Fire on Foreign Ships in Disputed Waters

China Authorizes Coastguard to Fire on Foreign Ships in Disputed Waters

Posted by     Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 2:00pm

A new law allows China’s “coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning.”

Just days after Joe Biden’s inauguration as the U.S. president, Communist China has escalated tension in the Asia Pacific, authorizing its coastguards to fire on foreign ships and to destroy structures in disputed waters.

A new law passed by the Communist Party’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, allows “the coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning if commanders deem it necessary,” the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reportedSaturday.

The Chinese legislation does not specify the location of the maritime territories under dispute, but Beijing has built and fortified several artificial islands in the South China Sea, as well as laid claim to island chains belonging to its neighboring countries. The outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called those territorial claims ‘unlawful.’

It is unclear if China informed the members of the Biden administration ahead of launching these hostile naval measures against the U.S. allies in the region. Since November, Beijing is reportedly in ‘backchannel’ talks with individuals close to President Biden. According to Chinese media reports, “several people closely associated with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden [in November] contacted China and talked to Chinese think tanks about how to reset the relationship.”

The South China Morning Post, on Saturday, reported the new Chinese coastguard law:

China has risked stoking tensions with its neighbours after it passed a law that for the first time explicitly allows its coastguards to fire on foreign vessels and demolish structures built in disputed waters.

The coastguard law, passed on Friday by China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, came two years after China’s military assumed control of the previously civilian maritime body in 2018.

The law empowers the coastguard to use “all necessary means” to deter threats posed by foreign vessels in waters “under China’s jurisdiction”. It will also allow the coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning if commanders deem it necessary. (…)

Under the new bill, coastguard personnel can demolish structures built or installed by other countries in Chinese-claimed waters and board and inspect foreign ships in the area.

The Trump administration strengthened ties with regional powers to contain China’s militarist expansion. Secretary Pompeo played a key role in creating an Asia-Pacific alliance to counter Beijing’s growing military threat.

Under President Trump’s leadership, the U.S.-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue initiative, or the quad, which comprises of Australia, Japan, and India, has emerged a strong counterweight to Beijing. This U.S.-backed coalition created a framework for security cooperation, including joint defense exercises and access to each others’ military and naval bases.

Communist China has criticized the creation of this regional security bloc, accusing the Trump administration of building an ‘Indo-Pacific Nato,’ similar to the military alliance which countered the Soviet threat during the Cold War.

With Democrats in the White House, China hopes to undo this legacy of strength forged under the leadership of President Trump. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently called for a ‘reset’ in U.S. ties with the incoming administration.

During President Barack Obama’s watch, China launched a massive project to create artificial islands in the South China Sea, encroaching neighboring territories and threatening international waterways. Beijing has since built military bases, naval installations, and aircraft landing strips on these islands.

With its growing economic clout, China purses a policy of territorial and maritime expansion. Beijing has staked territorial claims on 18 of its neighbors.

Biden to tap swamp dweller that Obama had to fire

       Former Iranian Hostage Slams Biden’s Iran Envoy Pick     

A Chinese-American academic who was wrongly imprisoned in Iran for more than three years said the Biden administration’s likely nominee to serve as the next Iran envoy "played no positive role" in securing his release.

Xiyue Wang, who spent more than three years in an Iranian prison before being freed by the Trump administration in 2019, raised numerous concerns about reports that President Joe Biden is set to tap Robert Malley as his new envoy to Iran. Malley, a veteran foreign policy hand, was fired from former president Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign after it was revealed he held unauthorized talks with Hamas, the Iranian-backed terror group that has murdered Americans. Malley was hired by the Obama White House in 2014 and is now being considered as the new administration’s top Iran envoy, which would put him in charge of conducting diplomacy with Tehran.

Malley’s possible appointment in the new administration has drawn widespread criticism from Republican hawks in Congress but has been praised by former Obama administration officials, such as Ben Rhodes, the onetime White House National Security Council member who helmed the Obama administration’s self-described pro-Iran "echo chamber," which was used to push the Iran nuclear deal. Rhodes, on Twitter this week, dismissed concerns about Malley’s appointment, saying that prominent Iran hardliners like Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and others should not have a say in the matter.

Wang, in response to Rhodes, accused him and other Malley allies of "dismissing the concerns of former political prisoners and U.S. hostages," calling it "unprofessional and offensive."

"As my own story illustrates, not everything is about partisan D.C. politics," he said.

Wang claimed that Malley did nothing to secure his release when he was abducted by the Iranians in 2016, a year after the Obama administration inked the landmark nuclear accord, which provided Tehran with sanctions relief and billions in cash windfalls.

"During my imprisonment Mr. Malley was a senior White House official," Wang wrote. "He played no positive role in facilitating my release, a view shared by present and past hostages and their families. If he is appointed, it’d suggest releasing U.S. hostages from Iran won’t be a priority."

Wang said he has a unique understanding of the hardline regime in Iran: "I’ve likely had more intensive contact with Iranian hardliners than most Iran watchers in the U.S., especially U.S. government officials like Mr. Rhodes and Malley."

A long tradition carries on.

Biden Plagiarizes Trump With "Made In America" Executive Order

The all purpose climate change narrative and fear porn


Climate change hit poorest countries hardest in 2019

Heavy rain and storms exacerbated by climate change particularly affected East Africa, Asia and South America in 2019, according to the latest Climate Risk Index.

A schoolchild in Beira, Mozambique, walking across a flooded schoolyard

Rains have flooded cities that were still being rebuilt a year after Cyclone Idai devastated Mozambique

Violent storms caused more damage than any other type of extreme weather in 2019, with poorest nations bearing the brunt, according to a study published Monday by environmental organization Germanwatch.

Made stronger by climate change, they wreaked havoc across the world.

"On the one hand, there was Cyclone Idai on the southeast coast of Africa, which caused damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi; and, on the other hand, a hurricane in the Caribbean that hit the Bahamas," said David Eckstein, a policy advisor at Germanwatch and co-author of the report, which has been published each year since 2006.

More than 1,000 people lost their lives Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in March 2019, causing "catastrophic damage and a humanitarian crisis," the authors wrote.

The global index is based on data from the German reinsurance company Munich Re. It compares the number of deaths and property damage caused by extreme weather to the number of inhabitants and the gross domestic product of the country in which it strikes.

Evacuation center in Mozambique

Cyclone Idai was more devastating than similar-strength storms that year because of a lack of early-warning systems

Man lights a cigarette next to the rubble of his home after Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas in 2019 and unleashed flooding that reached up to 8 meters in some areas

Major damage from storms and heavy rainfall 

Japan was also hit hard by Typhoon Hagibis, which killed 290 people. Prolonged rainfall caused more than 2,200 deaths in India. Several hundred people also died in Afghanistan, South Sudan and Niger as heavy rains triggered landslides and destroyed homes.

In Bolivia, heavy rains led to flooding; 34 people died and 23,000 families were left homeless. Firesalso destroyed 2 million hectares of forest, grassland and protected areas.

While storms have always claimed lives and damaged homes, they are "increasing in intensity, and that can be attributed to climate change," said Eckstein. "We did interviews with people from Mozambique who said that there have always been cyclones on the southeast coast of Africa, but never with the ferocity as in 2019 with Idai."

Fire-ravaged trees in the Bolivian Pantanal

Bolivia's Pantanal was ravaged by wildfires in 2019 and again in 2020

More severe cyclones with every tenth of a degree

In 2019, all 10 of the countries most severely affected by extreme weather suffered from heavy floods, according to the report. Last year, large amounts of rain hit eight of the 10 most-affected countries, while two others, Germany and Canada, were exposed to extreme heat.

"The rain actually causes the most damage in a cyclone due to the extreme amounts of water," said Eckstein. "Climate change plays a special role in this on several levels."

One reason for the increase in rain is that the sea and the air are getting warmer as the planet heats. Warm air holds more moisture, which means more rain.

Climate scientists say storms are not becoming more common, but, rather, stronger. The report projects that the number of tropical cyclones that are classed as severe will increase with every tenth of a degree rise in average global temperature. 



Poor hit hardest

Since 2000, more than 475,000 people have died in more than 11,000 extreme weather events, according to the report. Eight of the 10 countries hardest-hit between 2000 and 2019 are poorer nations. "They are the hardest-hit because they are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of a hazard and have a lower coping capacity," said report co-author Vera Kuenzel.

These countries have less money to build back than industrial countries. "Countries like Haiti, the Philippines and Pakistan are repeatedly affected by extreme weather events and do not have time to fully recover before the next event occurs," says Kuenzel. "Strengthening their resilience must therefore not only address adaptation, but also provide the necessary support to deal with loss and damage."

Datteln 4 coal plant in Germany

Historic polluter Germany built another power plant last year to burn coal

Polluters do not yet pay for damage

Most developing countries have contributed little to the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere and bear less responsibility for the damages of global warming than historic emitters like the US and Germany. "Now, however, they urgently need financial and technical support to adapt to the consequences as far as possible," said Eckstein.

The rise in CO2 in the atmosphere has mostly been caused by industrialized countries burning coal, oil and gas.

But so far, the energy companies that profited from this have not paid anything for the damage that has followed. Leaders of industrialized countries have promised poorer countries $100 billion (€82.3 billion) in climate finance each year from 2020 to cope with the crises.

But "recent studies show that the $100 billion per year pledged by industrialized nations is not being met and only a small part of it has been allocated to climate adaptation," said Eckstein.  

Volume 90%
Watch video05:22

Extreme weather in Vietnam

Hoping for more responsibility 

That might soon change.

Former US President Donald Trump, who stopped all US payments to the International Climate Fund, took the country out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

But within hours of taking office last week, President Biden signed an executive order for the US to rejoin. "We hope that there will be a positive change in position and that the US will significantly revise the climate protection goals formulated under Obama upward," said Eckstein. "We also hope that a dynamic is sparked between the US, China and the EU."

The pandemic shows how important financial aid is for many countries, said Laura Schaefer of Germanwatch. Risks in different areas, such as health and the economy, are closely linked. In the future, "it will be important to improve the crisis resilience of these countries — especially climate resilience."

West Africa: Pirates launch deadly attack on Turkish ship off Nigeria

West Africa: Pirates launch deadly attack on Turkish ship off Nigeria

The Gulf of Guinea, where the attack took place, is considered the most dangerous sea in the world for piracy. One crew member was killed and 15 others were taken hostage after a struggle on board.

a picture of a container ship on the horizon

The ship was sailing through the most dangerous sea in the world for piracy when it was attacked

Pirates attacked a Turkish cargo ship off the West African coast, killing a sailor and kidnapping 15 others, officials said Sunday.

The M/V Mozart, which sails under a Liberian flag, was traveling from the Nigerian city of Lagos to Cape Town, South Africa, when the attack took place.

The abducted crew members are reportedly from Turkey.

Turkey's Maritime Directorate said the man who was killed was an engineer from Azerbaijan. 

What happened?

The ship was attacked 185 kilometers (100 nautical miles) northwest of the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday morning.

Turkey's Maritime Directorate said the crew initially locked themselves in a safe area but the pirates forced entry after six hours. The engineer died during the struggle.

After taking most of the crew hostage on Saturday, the pirates left the ship in the Gulf of Guinea with three sailors aboard, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Before they left, the pirates disabled most of the ship's systems, leaving only the navigation system for the remaining crew members to find their way to port, according to reports.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has twice spoken to the senior officer remaining on the ship, the Turkish presidency said in a tweet.

What happens now?

The vessel is currently heading to Port-Gentil in the Central African state of Gabon.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said "coordinated negotiations" were underway to secure the release of the abducted sailors.

"The pirates have yet to make any response," he said.

How common are pirate attacks?

According to data from the International Maritime Bureau, there were 195 pirate attacks on vesselslast year — 33 more than in 2019.

The Gulf of Guinea, off the coasts of Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Cameroon, is the most dangerous sea in the world for piracy, according to the bureau.

In July 2019, 10 Turkish seamen were kidnapped off the coast of Nigeria. They were released less than a month later.

Volume 90%
Watch video03:38

Ghana: Smuggling hub for drugs, computers and weapons