Ukraine Says Rebels Massing Forces Amid Germany’s Warning- Nov 12, 2014 Photographer: Max Vetrov/AFP via Getty Images Ukrainian servicemen pet a dog on their position near the village of Peski, next to… Read More Ukraine’s military said the separatists battling government troops are regrouping and mobilizing forces across the country’s war-torn east.Pro-Russian insurgents are reinforcing their positions on the outskirts of the port city of Mariupol and massing armored vehicles in other parts of the Donetsk region, Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, said at a briefing in Kiev yesterday, adding that a full mobilization was announced in four rebel-held towns.The cease-fire negotiated two months ago is coming undone as Ukraine and its allies in the U.S. and Europe accuse Russia of continuing to arm rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied military involvement. More than 4,000 people have been killed and about 9,000 wounded in the conflict, according to the United Nations.“Everything suggests that the parties are making renewed preparations for violent conflict,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters at a foreign-policy conference in Berlin. “We have to prevent that.”European Union foreign ministers will discuss “restrictive measures” against Russia when they meet next week, Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign-affairs chief Federica Mogherini, told reporters in Brussels.Clashes Flare Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone yesterday that insurgents are failing to honor the truce accord signed Sept. 5 in Minsk, Belarus, according to a statement on Poroshenko’s website.Rebels shelled government troops more than 30 times yesterday, leaving four soldiers wounded, Vladyslav Seleznyov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military, said on Facebook. More than 1,000 troops have died and some 4,000 have been wounded, as of Oct. 11, since military operations began in April, according to Lysenko.The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said its monitors yesterday saw a convoy of 43 unmarked military trucks move near the center of Donetsk, the biggest city in the conflict zone. Several of the vehicles were towing howitzers and multi-launch rocket systems, according to the OSCE.Arms Shipments “We are certainly examining all reports that say weapons are being shipped into the region again,” Merkel said. “That certainly wouldn’t contribute to stabilizing the situation.”Merkel said further economic penalties aren’t planned for now even as the EU is considering expanding sanctions on Russians to people associated with “illegal” elections in rebel-held areas of Ukraine. The bloc’s focus is on the humanitarian situation and “actually getting a cease-fire,” she said at a news conference in Berlin yesterday.The U.S. and its allies are stepping up criticism of Russia after a Nov. 2 election by the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk raised tensions and threatened to plunge the region into open warfare again.Russia’s actions pose a “grave danger to the rest of Europe,” U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said. InWashington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the “costs to Russia will rise” if Putin ignores commitments signed under the cease-fire agreement.On a visit to Moscow two days ago, Andrei Purgin, deputy premier of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told Russian lawmakers that high turnout at the Nov. 2 votes “is a sign people trust the current authorities.”To contact the reporters on this story: Kateryna Choursina in Kiev at firstname.lastname@example.org; Brian Parkin in Berlin at email@example.com; Volodymyr Verbyany in Kiev at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at email@example.com Paul Abelsky, Ben Holland
Here’s Why Russia Just Escalated Its Military Action In UkraineROBERT COALSON, RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTYSee AlsoHere Are The ‘Complex’ Russian Air Incursions That NATO Is So Concerned AboutPutin: Europe Can’t Stop Buying Russian GasPutin Is Reverting To The Cold War Era, And It’s Incredibly Troubling Fighting in eastern Ukraine — and particularly around the city of Donetsk — has flared up again, more intensely than anything since a shaky ceasefire was agreed to in Minsk on September 5.Journalists and other observers on November 7 reported seeing dozens of military vehicles, including tanks and armored personnel carriers, entering separatist-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine from Russia. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)confirmed the sightings the following day.Numerous videos of the convoy have appeared online.Moscow has denied Russia is involved in the fighting and has called for all parties to observe the Minsk agreement. The separatists claim that the convoys are merely reinforcements being moved toward Donetsk from other parts of the breakaway region.Pro-Kremlin analyst Sergei Markov, however, told the Daily Beast that Moscow is providing „multilayered support” to the separatist movement.What is the cause of the renewed military activity in eastern Ukraine?Here are a few possibilities: ‘Election’ Reaction On November 2, the separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine held disputed elections that Kiev, the OSCE, the EU, and the United States said were illegitimate and a violation of the Minsk agreement. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the voting „torpedoed” the Minsk process.In response, Poroshenko sent additional troops to the region and asked parliament to repeal a law on autonomy for the breakaway regions that was passed as part of the Minsk process.”I think the recent transfer of equipment [from Russia to the separatists] is primarily defensive at this stage,” said Tom Frear, a researcher at the European Leadership Network (ELN), in a written interview. „The rhetoric coming out of Kiev following the elections in the Donbass and the revocation of the autonomy agreement means that Russia and the Donbas leadership can’t rule out a renewed Ukrainian offensive.”Tactical Considerations The influx of equipment to the separatists could also signal a desire to solidify their positions and make some small local gains that could make it easier to get through the winter.The separatists may be seeking control of specific objects, such as a power plant to the north of Luhansk and Donetsk airport, Frear says. Such moves, he says, are „aimed at securing economic assets that make the long-term survival of the Luhansk People’s Republic [LNR] and the Donetsk People’s Republic [DNR] more plausible.”Russian analyst Markov also told the Daily Beast that the separatists are seeking to take control over „Piski, Avdiivka, and Schastye, a town with a central heating station.” In addition, he speculated they might want to recapture Slovyansk and Kramotorsk, which are „symbolically and strategically important towns for them.”Building A Land Bridge More dramatically, Moscow may be intent on adding territory to the separatist region that would give Russia a land bridge across eastern Ukraine to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Moscow annexed in March.The region is currently accessible to Russia only by air and across the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Such a land bridge would make it much easier for Moscow to supply Crimea.Ivan Lozowy, an independent policy analyst based in Kiev, says establishing this land bridge is Putin’s „unfinished business in eastern Ukraine” and „a priority” for him.It would, however, have to include the key city of Mariupol, which would be a difficult objective to capture.Mariupol „is pretty much dead set against letting the Russian troops through,” Lozowy says. „The local residents have even been helping to build fortifications.”And What About Kharkiv? The so-called Novorossia project has foundered in recent months, and could be strengthened if the separatists were able to get control of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.Lozowy notes that the city has „symbolic significance,” as well as being a major industrial center.In December 1917, Kharkiv was the first Ukrainian city to recognize the Bolshevik coup in Russia, and the city served as Ukraine’s capital until 1935. Ukraine’s largest tank producer is located in the region, among many other military-industrial enterprises.”Undoubtedly, Kharkiv, which has remained on the whole indifferent to calls to join ‘Novorossia,’ really upsets certain circles both in Moscow and in the LNR and DNR,” Russian military analyst Aleksandr Golts told on November 10.Lozowy says achieving the two goals of establishing a land bridge to Crimea and incorporating Kharkiv into the separatist territory would „bring Putin and the Kremlin very close to their original goal of building — or carving out, rather — a ‘Novorossia’ from Ukrainian territory.”Read more: http://www.rferl.org/content/news-analysis-east-ukraine-fighting-resurgence/26685705.html#ixzz3IpRQdEyu
Ukraine rebels: a disunited front run by warlords By NATALIYA VASILYEVA15 hours ago PEREVALSK, Ukraine (AP) — They don’t call Nikolai Kozitsyn „Daddy” for nothing. In this rebel-held eastern Ukrainian town, the mustachioed Cossack lords it over the locals and pays little heed to the bosses of the breakaway movement.Related Stories
Patches of Ukraine’s depressed industrial basin in the east — in the throes of a pro-Russian separatist insurgency — have fallen under the control of such warlords, who run towns as their personal fiefdoms.Accountable seemingly to nobody, except perhaps Russia, these domains are a further destabilizing element in a six-month conflict that has left more than 4,000 dead and displaced a million.Kozitsyn, a stocky 58-year old Russian who says he has fighting experience in Yugoslavia and in several conflicts across the former Soviet Union, rules over the town of Perevalsk with a stern hand. Capital punishment is a necessary deterrent to crime in unruly times, Kozitsyn told The Associated Press in an interview at his headquarters, situated in a gloomy 1950s neo-classical building known as the House of Culture.”It has had a positive effect,” he said. „We have no marauding, no burglaries or car-jacking.”But it’s not clear whether such tough talk is mere bravado, for Kozitsyn demurs when pressed on whether any executions have actually been carried out. „People here have a quiet and simple life,” he said, when pressed on the matter.In this Wednesday Nov. 5, 2014 photo Nikolai Kozitsyn, the „Daddy”, leader of so-called Gr …Wooden ammunition crates are stacked up in front of the windows of Kozitsyn’s sparse office. Behind him hang portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Kremlin chief of staff Vladislav Surkov — renowned for being the eminence grise of the Moscow leadership.Outside, four parked tanks carry Russian and rebel flags. Burly Cossacks with wind-burned faces wearing black-and-red astrakhan hats fix Ukrainian military hardware seized in fighting. In the lobby of the House of Culture, an elderly female barber shaves and gives haircuts to a line of Cossacks — members of a semi-military group which traditionally guarded the far-flung outposts of the Russian empire — waiting to pay court to a commander they affectionately call Batya, or Daddy.Kozitsyn imposed his authority quickly in the area.As armed pro-Russian separatists were seizing one town after another in eastern Ukraine, groups of Cossacks in early May crossed from southern Russia to occupy territories along the border. They claimed they did so to defend the interests of the native Russian-speaking population.”I’m fighting for this people and together with this people,” said Kozistyn, „defending our rights to own this territory and the riches with which our Lord and forefathers endowed us.”In this Wednesday Nov. 5, 2014 photo, a tank is parked in Perevalsk, Eastern Ukraine. Perevalsk and …Kozitsyn, who leads a Cossack unit calling itself the Great Don Army, claims to rule over four-fifths of the rebel-controlled section of the Luhansk region, with thousands of men under his command. Rival rebels disagree.On the other side of the highway running by Perevalsk, in the town of Alchevsk, native son Alexei Mozgovoi runs things in similarly uncompromising and independent fashion. Mozgovoi has attracted controversy for his openness to dialogue with pro-Ukraine unity supporters — and his ruthless stance on law and order.At the end of October, two alleged rapists stood trial in Alchevsk before a „people’s court” presided over by Mozgovoi and two other rebel commanders. Amid cries of „execution,” the 300-strong audience — and jury — gave a show of hands that condemned one of the men to death. They spared the other man the death penalty to faint ripples of applause.Mozgovoi associate Yuri Shevchenko said this was justice in its purest form.”We gathered and presented the evidence for the people to pass judgment,” Shevchenko said. „What we are saying is: ‘We are giving you the right to judge.'”In this Wednesday Nov. 5, 2014 photo, workers to repair an APC engine at the military base in Pereva …The rebels argue that public trials for heinous crimes — they claimed that one alleged rape victims was 12 years old — would serve as a deterrent. The condemned man remains in custody and it is unclear his jailers plan go through with execution.In extolling the virtues of the people’s court, Mozgovoi condemned Ukrainian courts as „soaked with (corruption) like a cake with syrup.”Nothing quite like this form of crowd justice has been sanctioned anywhere else in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, underscoring the fragmented nature of the rebel command.The leaders in Perevalsk and Alchevsk try to refrain from excessively harsh criticism of their nominal superiors in Luhansk, but their disdain is transparent.Mozgovoi said he would rather work with Ukrainian officials, some of whom he said are good at what they do, rather than promote the flag-waving rebel commanders „who shout the loudest.”
China agrees to target emissions peak ‘around 2030’: White House 20 minutes agoBeijing (AFP) – China and the US agreed ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets on Wednesday, the White House said in a statement, with Beijing setting a goal for its emissions to peak „around 2030”.Related Stories
It is the first time China — the world’s biggest polluter — has set a date, even approximate, for its emissions to stop increasing, and the White House said China would „try to peak early”.At the same time the US set a goal to cut its own emissions of the gases blamed for climate change by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.The declaration came as President Barack Obama met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for talks in Beijing.China will look to „increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20 percent by 2030”, the White House said. The proportion stood at 10 percent last year, Chinese officials have previously said.Scientists argue that drastic measures must be taken if the world is to limit global warming to the UN’s target of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels, and failing to do so could have disastrous results.A woman and child wear masks on a polluted day in Beijing on October 20, 2014 (AFP Photo/Greg Baker)China and the US, which together produce around 45 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide, will be key to ensuring that a global deal on reducing emissions after 2020 is reached in Paris next year.The two countries have long been at loggerheads over global targets, with each saying the other should bear more responsibility for cutting emissions of gases blamed for heating up the atmosphere.Wednesday’s promises are equally fraught with challenges.While the US — which never ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change — has pledged to cut emissions in the past, goals have shifted or been missed altogether.Its greenhouse gas emissions increased last year, despite Washington setting emissions reduction goals during a climate summit in 2009.The deadline for Obama’s new pledge is in more than a decade’s time but he only has two years left in his presidency and faces a Congress controlled by opposition Republicans in both houses, which will make passing crucial environmental legislation more difficult.Much of his action on climate change so far has been done with executive orders rather than co-operation from an often confrontational legislature.While it was the first time China agreed to a target date for emissions to peak — officials have previously only spoken of doing so „as soon as possible” — the commitment was qualified, leaving considerable room for manoeuvre.China has trumpeted its efforts to reduce dependence on coal and oil in the past, and is the world’s largest hydropower producer, with a growing nuclear sector.But economic growth remains a vitally important priority and has seen demand for energy soar.The European Union pledged last month to reduce emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.But efforts to make meaningful progress on climate change will by stymied unless the US sets „a concrete and ambitious” goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner, said in October.The EU accounts for 11 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 16 percent for the United States and 29 percent for China.
Obama, Putin circle each other warily in China By JOSH LEDERMAN16 hours ago Reuters Videos Beijing summit reveals chill between Obama and PutinReuters Beijing summit reveals chill between Obama and Putin BEIJING (AP) — On the surface, President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin were all niceties — a pat on the back here, a pleasantry there. But away from the cameras, the two leaders circled each other warily at a global summit in China, coming face to face while relations between their countries continue to deteriorate.Related Stories
The White House said Obama and Putin spoke three times Tuesday on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic meeting, tackling some of the tough issues that have strained their relationship, including Russia’s provocations in Ukraine and support for Syria’s embattled government. They also discussed the fast-approaching deadline in nuclear talks with Iran, in which the U.S. and Russia find themselves on the same negotiating team.Unlike at some of their past meetings, Obama and Putin kept their deep-seated policy disagreements behind the scenes. But their public encounters suggested their relationship remains tense.Picturesque Yanqi Lake, just outside of Beijing, became the venue for an awkward pas de deux between two of the most powerful leaders in the world. Entering an ornate, wood-paneled room for the start of the summit, Obama and Putin looked a bit like sidekicks to Chinese President Xi Jinping. The summit’s host led the way, with the American on one side and the Russian on the other.”It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Putin said in Obama’s direction. Yes, it is, concurred a reticent Obama, avoiding eye contact with Putin and addressing his response to no one in particular.As the three presidents came to a stop at the head of the table, Putin reached out to give Obama a slap on the back. But Obama had turned in a different direction, and it didn’t appear that the Putin’s hand landed on its intended target.Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) speaks with US President Barack Obama (R) before the Asia-Pacif …A few hours later, the two again found themselves in close quarters under an overcast sky as leaders planted trees in honor of their countries. Putin strode confidently up to his tree, ahead of Obama, who clasped his hands behind his back before picking up a shovel and greeting a Spanish TV crew with a wave.Neither the White House nor the Kremlin offered much in the way of detail about the policy conversations Obama and Putin had on the sidelines of the summit. Putin’s spokesman said only that the two had spoken a few times, touching on „bilateral relations, the situation around Ukraine, Syria and Iran.”The U.S. is furious over Russia’s presumed role in fueling pro-Russian rebels in neighboring Ukraine. White House officials have accused Russia of sending heavy weapons to the separatists and shelling Ukrainian troops, and have denounced Russia’s buildup of forces along the border.A truce reached in September between the rebels and Ukraine’s government is teetering, destabilized by what the White House calls a „blatant escalation” by Russia and rebel-organized elections in eastern Ukraine that the U.S. condemned as a „sham.” Vice President Joe Biden, in a phone call last week with Ukraine’s president, vowed further U.S. sanctions against Moscow „if Russia continued to willfully violate the terms” of the cease-fire.Russia’s economy has taken a major hit following U.S. and EU sanctions — the ruble has plunged by a third this year and hit an all-time low last week — but Putin has dismissed the notion that he’s hurting at the hands of the West. Addressing the Asia-Pacific economic summit here Monday, Putin said his government had the resources to stabilize its currency without taking any emergency measures.U.S. President Barack Obama, left, walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, as he gestures t …”We want Russia to play a different role,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday. „We want Russia to be a stabilizing force on issues that we care about. But they’re not going to be able to do that … if they’re violating the sovereignty of a country next door.”Rhodes said Obama wouldn’t not be seeking out a meeting with Putin while in Beijing — nor in Brisbane, Australia, where the leaders will once again run into each other during a Group of 20 economic summit this weekend. „Putin knows where we stand,” Rhodes said, adding that Obama may discuss Russia’s actions with other G-20 leaders.For Obama and Putin, awkward encounters at international gatherings have become almost expected. But the optics have gained even greater attention as the Ukraine crisis has taken center stage.In June, on the sidelines of D-Day anniversary commemorations in Normandy, France, Obama and Putin avoided each other during a group photo, with Obama even using Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as a buffer. The two later spoke briefly during a private leaders’ lunch.And during a formal meeting last year during a summit in Northern Ireland, Putin slumped in his chair and sat stone-faced as Obama tried to joke about the Russian leader’s athletic ability. Obama later said Putin frequently looks like „the bored kid in the back of the classroom.”__AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace in Beijing and AP writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report._Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP
U.S. and China to Eliminate Tariffs on $1 Trillion Worth of Tech Products By Lauren Walker | 11/11/14 at 8:31 PMFiled Under: World, Trade, World Trade Organization, Treaties, China, U.S., Technology The U.S. and China reached a breakthrough in trade negotiations late on Monday, agreeing to drop tariffs on a slew of tech products amounting to $1 trillion in global sales, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday.After more than a year of stalled talks amid strained relations, the countries were able to reach an agreement to eliminate tariffs on products ranging from medical devices and video game consoles to semiconductors and GPS devices. The deal includes 200 tariff categories in all, The Wall Street Journal reports.Analysts consider the deal to be encouraging news for the two countries’ relationship. The expanded pact could create as many as 60,000 jobs in the U.S. and increase global annual gross domestic product by $190 billion, according to a White House fact sheet.Newsweek Magazine is Back In Print The agreement, announced by Obama at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Beijing on Tuesday morning, expands upon a 1997 global trade pact known as the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which could be ratified as early as December by World Trade Organization (WTO) members in Geneva. Since the ITA is under the jurisdiction of the WTO, parties to the ITA must offer the same deal to all WTO members.The agreement would eliminate tariffs on devices such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, which have reached as high as 8 percent. It is said to mark the WTO’s first major tariff-cutting deal in 17 years.Addressing leaders at APEC on Tuesday, Obama said the pact “will contribute to a rapid conclusion to the broader negotiations in Geneva.”Among the issues still to be resolved, China wants certain tariffs to be phased in over time, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told the Journal. But American officials believe the broader deal will be swiftly secured, as China represented the main obstacle.Negotiators say China was reluctant to make the deal in the past because it was trying to protect its growing semiconductor industry. But as the world’s leading exporter of electronics, it stands to gain from tariff elimination. Additionally, the U.S. claimed an agreement on technology would convince Congress, as well as the Obama administration, that the countries are ready for a more complex investment treaty.A U.S.-China summit, which is set to begin Tuesday evening after the APEC forum closes, will partially focus on this investment pact, known as the Bilateral Investment Treaty.
Iran orders two new nuclear reactors from Russia By Maria Antonova12 hours ago Moscow (AFP) – Russia signed Tuesday a contract to build two nuclear reactors in Iran and announced plans for a total of nine, less than two weeks before a deadline on for deal on the country’s disputed atomic programme.Related Stories
A series of agreements signed during a visit to Moscow by Iran’s nuclear programme chief Ali Akbar Salehi includes a contract for two new reactors at the existing Russian-built Bushehr plant.The agreements foresee increasing the total number of Russian-built reactors in the country to nine as well as possibly transferring some sensitive technology relating to the production of fuel rod components.The announcement comes amid last-minute diplomacy before a November 24 deadline to find a solution to ease Western suspicions over Tehran’s nuclear intentions as well as damaging sanctions on the Iranian economy.The contract is for the construction of two reactors at the same Gulf coast site as the existing 1,000 megawatt reactor at Bushehr that Russia launched last year.Construction of the two reactors will be bankrolled by Iran, said Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom.No value for the contract was disclosed.Russia has signed a deal with Iran to build two new nuclear reactors at the Bushehr plant, pictured, …Another agreement foresees eventually expanding the number of Russian-built reactors to nine.In addition to the contract for the two reactors at Bushehr under the so-called Phase II of the project, another two could be built at the site, taking the total there to five.Rosatom said another four similar units could be built at a site that Tehran has yet to decide upon.Iran plans to build 20 more nuclear plants in the future, including four in Bushehr, to decrease its dependence on oil and gas.- Turning point -Salehi praised the agreement as a „turning point” for Russia-Iran relations.Officials and engineers at the official launch of the Bushehr nuclear power plant on August 21, 2010 …”These acts of friendship by Russia will remain in our memory,” he said at the signing ceremony, according to Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.The nuclear project „will be under the IAEA safeguards and fully meet the nuclear nonproliferation regime,” Rosatom said.Nuclear fuel will be produced in Russia through the entire life cycle of the eight plants and spent fuel returned to Russia.However Rosatom also announced plans to look into ways of producing fuel rod components for the project in Iran.The countries „plan to go into the issue of economic expediency and feasibility of fabricating fuel rod components in Iran, which will be used at these power units,” it said.Fuel rods used at Bushehr contain Russian low-enriched uranium. It was not clear whether Russia is considering switching to uranium enriched in Iran.At the heart of the thorny nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers, including the United States and Russia, is Iran’s capability to enrich uranium.Tehran argues it is needed to be able to reliably power Bushehr and other eventual reactors, but Israel and Western powers fear Iran will use the technology to enrich uranium to the much higher levels used to make an atomic bomb.The 5+1 group, which also includes China, Britain, France and Germany, want Iran to reduce the scope of its enrichment capability in exchange for easing biting economic sanctions imposed since 2012.Tehran agreed under an interim deal reached last year to halt enrichment in exchange for unblocking frozen oil revenues.Iran and world powers met in Muscat Tuesday amid growing signs that a long-bargained deal on Tehran’s nuclear drive will not be struck by the November 24 deadline.The meetings followed a meeting Monday between Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry in an effort to narrow their differences but which ended with no signs of progress as both delegations indicated that big obstacles still remain.
Israeli forces kill Palestinian as clashes flare in West Bank By Jeffrey Heller10 hours agoA Palestinian uses a slingshot to throw stones toward Israeli soldiers during clashes in Siear town near …By Jeffrey Heller Related Stories
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian during clashes on Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, a day after Palestinian assailants fatally stabbed an Israeli soldier and a woman in attacks that raised fears of a new uprising.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would seek to crush the spiraling violence by meting out stiffer punishments, deploying more forces and destroying assailants’ homes.”We have defeated terrorism until now and shall do so again,” Netanyahu said in nationally televised remarks after consulting with security chiefs.The military said soldiers killed a 21-year-old Palestinian man at a refugee camp after coming under attack by a crowd hurling petrol bombs and stones. Residents said he was on his roof, away from the clashes when he was shot.Confrontations also erupted in at least two other West Bank areas, where the army said soldiers shot and wounded two Palestinians.Brenda Lemkus (C in black) mourns beside the covered body of her daughter Dalia during her funeral i …Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said „it’s clear there is an escalation”, but that the violence was not organised and it was not clear if it would lead to an Intifada, like the last Palestinian revolt that began in 2001 and died down in 2005.”We’re not seeing masses pouring into the street. We’re seeing, in certain places, young people using grassroots terrorism and lone attackers,” Yaalon told reporters.With the rise in violence, Israelis wondered if they would again have to worry about security in their daily lives.”This is the same soundtrack we all remember from the days of the Intifada: you haven’t had time to come to terms with the morning’s terror attack and you’re already wallowing in the next one,” military affairs analyst Alex Fishman wrote in the Yedioth Ahronot daily.The last Palestinian uprising brought a surge in suicide bombings in Israel and crushing military operations in Palestinian cities.The new bloodshed has been fuelled by tension over Israeli-controlled access to Jerusalem’s holiest site, revered by Muslims as Noble Sanctuary, where al-Aqsa mosque stands, and by Jews as the mount where Biblical Temples once stood.”We ask you (Israel) to keep settlers and extremists far away from al-Aqsa mosque and our holy places,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday, following recent visits to the site by far-right legislators. „Keep them away from us and we’ll stay away from them.”Last week, a Palestinian rammed his car into pedestrians in central Jerusalem, the second such incident at a light railway station in as many weeks.(Additional reporting by Allyn Fisher-Ilan, Maayan Lubell and Noah Browning; Editing by Ralph Boulton)
Russia balks at UN support for Bosnia amid Ukraine rift 6 hours agoRussia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin speaks during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on September 19, 2014 in New York (AFP Photo/Don Emmert)United Nations (United States) (AFP) – Russia on Tuesday refused to endorse a UN resolution on Bosnia that Moscow said would push the Balkan country towards NATO and the European Union — a scenario that led to the conflict in Ukraine.The UN Security Council adopted the resolution backing the EU military force in Bosnia despite Russia’s abstention, but the outcome reflected East-West tensions over Ukraine.Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said the European military force EUFOR, which has been working in Bosnia for over 10 years, played an important role after the 1991-1995 war.”But at the same time, we are against having an international presence in the field of security that could be viewed as an instrument to accelerate the integration for the country into the European Union and NATO,” he said.French diplomat Philippe Bertoux noted that Russia had not in past years raised objections to UN support of the EU force.”Russia imports the bad Ukraine atmospherics in an unrelated issue. Dangerous game,” Bertoux tweeted.British diplomat Michael Tatham added „Russia’s UN obstructive position shows contempt for support in Bosnia-Hercegovina for country’s Euro-Atlantic direction.”Post-war Bosnia has been struggling to unite on the way forward, with the country divided between a Serb Republic in the east and the Bosnian-Croat federation to the west.
‘Keystone XL Clone’ to Pump Tar Sands Oil Starting Next Year | November 11, 2014 3:53 pm | As Republicans get set to test their new majority in the U.S. Senate and their complete control of Congress to push through approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a new investigative reportby editor Lou Dubose at the Washington Spectator reveals that the construction of a “Keystone XL clone” pipeline with almost the same capacity is already taking place. While TransCanada continues to battle the public outcry against its Keystone XL project, another company, Enbridge, is quietly building the Alberta Clipper pipeline. Like Keystone XL, it will pumped 830,000 oil barrels (bbl) a day of tar sands bitumen crude oil from the Alberta oil fields to U.S. refineries.The Alberta Clipper is an already-existing pipeline with a 450,000 bbl a day capacity. In November 2012 Enbridge applied for the permit to ramp up capacity to 800,000 bbl for the pipeline which runs from Alberta to Wisconsin to Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast where the oil will be refined and exported.“In six to eight months the Canadian tar-sands spigot opens to full capacity,” wrote Dubose. “Barring litigation or action by the State Department, Enbridge will achieve what has eluded TransCanada. And it will have done so with scant attention from the media and without the public debate generated by campaigns against the Keystone XL.”The Spectator analyzed State Department documents, annual reports and interviews with Enbridge officials and lawyers to learn how the company pushed through a pipeline virtually identical to Keystone XL without a public process or attracting much attention. While a pipeline that crosses international borders requires presidential and State Department approval declaring that the project is “in the national interest,” the Spectator says Enbridge used a creative interpretation of an existing 1967 permit to circumvent the law and public opinion.The Alberta Clipper is an already-existing pipeline with a 450,000 bbl a day capacity. In November 2012 Enbridge applied for the permit to ramp up capacity to 800,000 bbl for the pipeline which runs from Alberta to Wisconsin to Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast where the oil will be refined and exported. Fed up with delays, the company wrote to the State Department last June, telling it that they planned to go ahead with upgrades with or without a permit.“Enbridge wasn’t asking,” said the Spectator. “It was informing the State Department of its plans to press ahead.”Its evasion of the approval process involved hooking up two existing pipelines, one on the Canadian side, one on the U.S. side. It already had a cross-border connector built in 1968 for light oil, long before mining the heavy-oil tar sands became a reality. It maintained that upgrading the old pipe with pipe capable of carrying tar sands oil is merely “maintenance” and therefore doesn’t require a new permit. And it’s already telling investors it’s a done deal, set to begin pumping its new contents by the middle of next year.The State Department has denied Freedom of Information Act requests in what the Spectatorsaid “appears to be a deliberate effort to keep the press and public in the dark.” It said that the Sierra Club had filed such a request in March and was denied. Environmental groups have announced they will sue the State Department for working with Enbridge to circumvent the legal process.“The State Department is charged with determining if the importing of Canadian tar-sands oil is in the national interest,” Sierra Club staff attorney Doug Hayes told the Spectator. “Enbridge applied for a permit a year ago [sic], then in June informed the State Department that the process was taking too long. So they came up with their scheme to avoid, to try to avoid, the State Department permitting process and expand the pipeline immediately. And the State Department basically looked the other way and said, ‘That’s fine with us.’ But what they are doing is illegal. First of all, it is illegal because it violates the National Environmental Policy Act. It also violates the existing presidential permits for the Alberta Clipper and the adjacent Line 3 Pipeline. This is all happening behind closed doors. It is a deliberate effort to keep the public out of the process.”Pipeline opponents, including environmentalists and community activitists, will find Enbridge’s history of negligence and secrecy unsettling.Enbridge is the company behind the July 2010 oil spill on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history, when a segment of its pipeline ruptured. Three inspections over the previous five years had detected a defect in the pipeline which the company had not repaired because in its judgment it did not reach required repair level under federal standards. It did not provide this information when an Enbridge executive testified about pipeline integrity and spill detection to a House committee ten days before the rupture. And it has repeatedly fought attempts to require safety measures to protect communities and the environment against the impacts of possible spills.