Detailed Lebanese & Lebanese Related LCCC English New Bulletin For October 13/2018
Compiled & Prepared by: Elias Bejjani

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Bible Quotations
The kingdom of God is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.
Luke 13/18-21: "He said therefore, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches. ’And again he said, ‘To what should I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened."

نشرات اخبار عربية وانكليزية مطولة ومفصلة يومية على موقعنا الألكتروني على الرابط التالي

Daily Lebanese/Arabic - English news bulletins on our LCCC web site.Click on the link below

Titles For The Latest LCCC Bulletin analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on October 12-13/18
Hezbollah & The Majority of Those Who Allege To Oppose Its Occupation Are Two faces for the same coin/Elias Bejjani/October 12/18
Lebanon's ‘Assayad’ publisher and the end of an era/Radwan al-Sayed/Al Arabiya/October 12/18
Spain: Islamic State Recruiting in Prisons/Soeren Kern/Gatestone Institute/October 12/18
Trump Is Up a China Cold War Without a Plan/Mark Gongloff/Bloomberg/October 12/18
Why America Has a Two-Track Economy/Barry Ritholtz/Bloomberg/October 12/18
From Truman to Trump: The Rise and Fall of a Paradigm/Amir Taheri/Asharq Al Awsat/October 12/18
Wars of chaos against Egypt and Saudi Arabia/Mashari Althaydi/Al Arabiya/October 12/18
On the curious case of Khashoggi’s disappearance/Faisal J. Abbas/Arab News/October 12/18
Why are Washington, Moscow and Beijing competing on New Delhi/Shehab Al-Makahleh/Al Arabiya/October 12/18
Iran’s nuclear defiance should not be ignored/Dr. Majid Rafizadeh/Arab News/October 12/18
We must go back to basics to save our planet/Mohamed Chebaro/Arab News/October 12/18

Titles For The Latest LCCC Lebanese Related News published on October 12-13/18
Hezbollah & The Majority of Those Who Allege To Oppose Its Occupation Are Two faces for the same coin
President Aoun back from Armenia
Berri in Geneva to participate in IPU meetings
Juny concludes hearings over LBC ownership, verdict to be issued on February 28
Battle of Portfolios Kicks off in Lebanon
Aoun: Presence of Francophone Community in the East is Proof of Interaction with Arab Culture
Lebanon’s Justice Minister Calls for Speeding up STL Work to Avoid High Costs
Aoun: Government Formation ‘a Lebanese Affair’
Report: All Eyes On Aoun-Macron Meeting in Yerevan
Government 'Unlikely' to Be Formed Soon, Says Hizbullah
Qabalan Says ‘Ruling Class’ Fighting over Oil ‘Spoils’
Bassil: Govt. to be Formed when Aoun, Hariri Agree on Formation Standards
32 Rescued after UNIFIL Locates Missing Boat between Cyprus and Lebanon
Nasrallah Calls Netanyahu's Claims a 'Farce', Says Iran, Syria Not Blocking Govt.
MP Geagea Slams Bassil's 'Malicious, Evil' Remarks
STL President Ends Working Visit to Lebanon
Souaid Deplores Blatant Suppression in Lebanon
Foreign Ministry Allocated Sum to Buy Three Cars
Lebanon's ‘Assayad’ publisher and the end of an era

Titles For The Latest LCCC Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published on October 12-13/18
US pastor Andrew brunson freed in Turkey despite 3-year jail term
US-Russian Dispute on Syria Reconstruction
Syria Kurds Say they Hold 900 Foreign ISIS Militants
Bulldozers Scoop Slow Way to Recovery in Syria's Yarmuk
Fear Grips Syria City Seized from Kurds by Turkish-Backed Rebels
UK refuses to take back British ISIS fighters detained in Syria
Jordanian King Approves 1st Reshuffle of Razzaz’s Cabinet
Ashmawy Expected to Be Handed over to Egypt Next Week
Arrest of Financiers Deals Fresh Blow to ISIS in Iraq
Five Palestinians killed in border protests - Gaza medics
UN envoy ‘no longer acceptable’ for Palestinians
Israel Captures Palestinian Knife Attack Suspect
Erdogan says Kurdish militia still in Syria’s Manbij, Turkey to act
Macron Says Disappearance of Saudi Journalist 'Very Serious'
Saudi Ambassador 'Concerned' about Missing Journalist
Saudi official welcomes Turkey response for joint team in Khashoggi’s case
Saudi Delegation in Turkey for Talks on Missing Writer
Branson Suspends Saudi Links over Missing Journalist
Japan PM Abe to Make Rare China Visit
Egyptian military court sentences 17 to death for ISIS church attacks

The Latest LCCC Lebanese Related News published on October 12-13/18
Hezbollah & The Majority of Those Who Allege To Oppose Its Occupation Are Two faces for the same coin
Elias Bejjani/October 12/18
Hezbollah and its governing political figures, Trojans, media puppets’ team and all the subservient tools are actual national disasters.
Yes, they are the oppressive occupation, but those hypocrites and opportunists who falsely pose themselves as the opposition under the banners of sovereignty, freedoms, public representation, realism and martyrs’ sacrifices are millions of times worse than them in all domains and on all levels.. and more dangerous especially in regards to the Lebanese distinguishable identity.
Sadly both are in reality and in all political and patriotic stances two faces for the same coin.
Those politicians and political parties as well as activists who have no conscience, self respect or faith and do not fear the God or His Judgement Day, can not be a substitute to Hezbollah, the occupier or to its Trojan tools because they are real and actual threats to the Lebanese people and to all that is Lebanon and Lebanese.

President Aoun back from Armenia
Fri 12 Oct 2018/NNA - President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, Lebanese First Lady, Nadia Al-Shami Aoun, and the official accompanying delegation have returned to Beirut after participating in the Francophone Summit held in Armenia's Yerevan.

Berri in Geneva to participate in IPU meetings
Fri 12 Oct 2018/NNA - Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri arrived in Geneva, heading a delegation of deputies including Yassine Jaber, Michel Moussa, Hagop Pakradounian and Roula Al-Tabash, to participate in the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which will discuss a number of international issues as well as environmental and youth problems.
Berri will attend tomorrow (Saturday) two meetings for parliaments of Arab and Islamic countries which will focus on the agenda of the conference and issues of concern to the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Juny concludes hearings over LBC ownership, verdict to be issued on February 28
Fri 12 Oct 2018/NNA - Judge Fatima Juny concluded the hearings into the suit filed by the Lebanese Forces and its leader Samir Geagea against Pierre Daher over the ownership of the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation LBC. The judge set February 28 as the date for the issuance of the verdict in this case.
Battle of Portfolios Kicks off in Lebanon
Beirut - Caroline Akoum/Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 12 October, 2018/Despite a positive climate surrounding Lebanon's cabinet formation process, the two principal Christian and Druze obstacles remained unsolved Thursday after concerned parties said they had not received any official proposals on their ministerial shares. The Lebanese Forces and the Progressive Socialist Party confirmed that Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri did not propose to them any formula. A source from the LF told Asharq Al-Awsat, “The climate is neither positive nor negative.”He said Hariri was exerting stronger efforts to solve the cabinet crisis. “Results of those efforts will see light next week. Either Hariri succeeds in forming the government, or things would return to the previous phase,” the source explained. There have been reports that the LF would receive four ministerial portfolios, including the deputy PM’s seat. However, the party has rejected a proposal to get the Ministries of Social Affairs, Education and Culture. The LF position was echoed by PSP officials, who said that the party was not informed of any ministerial formula. A member of the Democratic Gathering parliamentary bloc, deputy Bilal Abdullah, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the main obstacle now lies in the Christian camp after PSP leader Walid Jumblat expressed willingness to give up one of the Druze seats. On Thursday, the Central News Agency quoted sources as saying that the distribution of ministerial shares is almost complete, and that discussions have kicked off on the type of portfolios allocated to each party. The sources assert that “Hezbollah” would receive the Health Ministry, which will be headed by a nonpartisan doctor from Baalbek. Hariri’s Mustaqbal Movement would keep the Interior, Telecommunications and Labor portfolios while the Free Patriotic Movement favors appointing women at the Energy or Foreign ministries. Reports also stated that caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil prefers to head the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs.

Aoun: Presence of Francophone Community in the East is Proof of Interaction with Arab Culture
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 12 October, 2018/Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said on Thursday that Francophone countries aimed to “deepen the dialogue between civilizations and bring people closer to know each other”, as well as making the French language close and beloved by the communities. In a speech delivered at the opening of the 17th Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, Armenia, the president said: “Lebanon, with its pluralistic society and where different sects and religions meet, is a world in miniature.”He continued: “After years of tribulations, we have succeeded in overcoming [divisions] and embracing coexistence… Amid the rise of dark forces based on extremism... and marginalization, the francophone people are required today more than ever to continue to underscore the message of coexistence.”Aoun emphasized “the need to establish international institutions specialized in training and the dissemination of dialogue among civilizations, religions and races, to establish a culture of peace.”“Languages are the link between different cultures and identities. Francophone aims not only at making the French language familiar within communities, but to deepening dialogue between civilizations and bringing people closer together,” he said. He went on to say that the presence of Francophone communities in the East was evidence of the solidarity and interaction with the Arabic language and culture. He also expressed his appreciation and pleasure for the decision taken by the International Organization of the Francophonie to designate Beirut its regional Middle East headquarters. He thanked “all those who contributed to this decision”, promising to “provide all necessary support for the new office to be able to assume its role and functions.”

Lebanon’s Justice Minister Calls for Speeding up STL Work to Avoid High Costs

Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 12 October, 2018/Minister of Justice in the caretaker government Salim Jreissati has called for speeding up the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to limit its high expenses. During a meeting on Thursday, Jreissati discussed with STL President Judge Ivana Hrdlickova the course of the judicial stages of the tribunal. The meeting was held in the presence of STL Deputy President Judge Ralph Riachi and a number of STL officials. “In my capacity as Minister of Justice, I expressed in the name of the Lebanese government a concern that has two aspects: the first is revealing the truth in the case of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and his companions, which is STL’s main mission, while the second is the question of time, because in Lebanon time is costly,” Jreissati said, noting that the STL was the only court in the world that gets half of its funding from the concerned country. “The international tribunal is the only court in the world that is financed by the concerned country on a half expenses basis,” he explained. The minister noted in this regard that he agreed with the STL president to speed up verdicts in the preliminary phase, adding that discussions also touched on the appeals phase and the so-called linked cases. “Time is the basis for the truth in accordance with the highest standards of international criminal justice, as stated in Resolution 1757, its annexes and the rules of procedure and evidence of the court. This time is also precious in terms of the high annual financial cost of this court. It was agreed to accelerate the issuance of verdicts in their preliminary stage,” he stated.

Aoun: Government Formation ‘a Lebanese Affair’
Naharnet/October 12/18/President Michel stressed on Friday after meeting French President Emmanuel Macron that the formation of Lebanon’s government is strictly a Lebanese affair, noting that his presence in Armenia is not meant to discuss the formation process. “Forming a Lebanese government is strictly a Lebanese affair. I did not come to Armenia to discuss the government issue,” said Aoun after a closed-door meeting with Macron on the sidelines of the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan. Aoun added saying that “Macron wants Lebanon to have a new government after the parliamentary elections.” After meeting Macron, the President held talks with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, the National News Agency said. Essebsi noted Aoun’s “role in supporting Arab issues and in leading Lebanon to a shore of safety, stability and sovereignty.” He invited Aoun to visit Tunisia, NNA said.

Report: All Eyes On Aoun-Macron Meeting in Yerevan
Naharnet/October 12/18/An anticipated meeting on Friday between President Michel Aoun and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the Francophone Summit in Yerevan, draws attention as it highlights the future of loans pledged for Lebanon at the CEDRE conference, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday. Sources of the official Lebanese delegation to Armenia, said the two men are to meet in a side hall of the building that hosts the Francophone Summit. Talks are expected to focus on the “government formation, the CEDRE Lebanon support conference and the Syrian refugees crisis,” they said. Caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil will join the meeting, added the sources. Whether Macron carries an initiative for Lebanon, they said “he is expected to urge the expedition of the government formation in order to save the pledges made at CEDRE.”French Presidential Envoy Ambassador Pierre Dukan had on Thursday held talks with Speaker Nabih Berri and PM-designate Saad Hariri. He emphasized the need to expedite the formation. Last month, Dukan had urged Berri to speed up the formation, otherwise the money allocated at CEDRE will be given to other countries. International donors pledged $11 billion for Lebanon at the CEDRE economic conference in Paris held in April. But political disagreements have led to a delay in the implementation of loans and grants.

Government 'Unlikely' to Be Formed Soon, Says Hizbullah
Naharnet/October 12/18/Hizbullah reportedly said a government is unlikely to be formed within the time limit pledged by PM-designate Saad Hariri in light of the obstacles hampering the process, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday. “In light of the internal difficulties and obstacles hampering the formation, it is unlikely for the government to be formed within the ten-day time limit set by Hariri,” Hizbullah sources told the daily. However the sources did not elaborate further. Last week, Hariri had expected a Cabinet be formed within a week to ten days. Hariri was designated on May 24 to form a new government, but his mission has since been delayed because of disagreements among political parties over shares and portfolios.

Qabalan Says ‘Ruling Class’ Fighting over Oil ‘Spoils’
Naharnet/October 12/18/Grand Jaafarite Shiite Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Qabalan urged the “ruling class” in Lebanon to end wrangling over the country’s oil and gas wealth, asking them to focus instead on the people’s concerns and livelihood matters. “It is painful to see the people in power trying to secretly put their hand on the oil wealth, while the country is passing through the most difficult circumstances. This wealth belongs to the people, it is their right and we warn against any attempts to steal it,” said Qabalan in a speech during Friday prayers. He added: “Oil wealth is a red line. We urge everyone to stop wrangling over oil spoils and remember that the (government) budget deficit has exceeded $84 billion, unemployment hit unprecedented numbers adding to the crisis of Syrian refugees and foreign employment,” and many other problems. Qabalan accused the ruling class of being “power greedy” and indifferent of the people’s concerns while focusing on wrangling over ministerial shares and quotas in the government.

Bassil: Govt. to be Formed when Aoun, Hariri Agree on Formation Standards
Naharnet/October 12/18/The new government will be formed when President Michel Aoun and PM-designate Saad Hariri agree on unified “formation standards,” Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil said on Thursday. “Lebanon's government will be created in Lebanon when the president and the PM-designate agree on formation standards. Those who accept it can stay in it and those who don't want it can leave,” Bassil said in an interview with MTV. “We understand the situation of the PM-designate and we are helping him. We are sacrificing for Hariri and for the sake of the country,” Bassil said. “Hariri will overcome the crises and obstacles. I'm one of the parties and the issue is in the hand of the president and the PM-designate,” the FPM chief added. Reassuring the Lebanese that “there will be a government,” Bassi lamented that “unfortunately, some parties waste time during every formation process before we eventually reach the same result.”As for the controversy over the Lebanese Forces' share in the new government, Bassil said “the LF is only entitled to three ministerial seats.”“But we don't mind if someone wants to give them seats from his share,” he added. “We're not against giving the LF a sovereign portfolio and we suggested that they get the foreign affairs portfolio but we were told that there is opposition to that, so we asked Hariri to give them the interior portfolio and take the foreign portfolio for his movement but this did not happen,” Bassil revealed. “I'm paying the price daily through political assassination and the falsification has reached the extent of accusing us of sabotaging our interests through blocking the formation of the government,” the FPM chief decried. And noting that it is “not important” whether or not he gets re-appointed as a minister, Bassil emphasized that he is “not a presidential candidate” out of respect for himself and for President Aoun. As for his relation with Hariri, Bassil underlined that he does not have a problem with the premier-designate. “I have not obstructed the formation of the government but rather facilitated it through saying that we're willing to stay outside the government,” the FPM chief said about the press conference he held after Hariri's latest optimistic remarks regarding the formation process.

32 Rescued after UNIFIL Locates Missing Boat between Cyprus and Lebanon

Naharnet/October 12/18/The Maritime Task Force (MTF) of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) participated in a search and rescue operation at sea after receiving reports on Wednesday of a missing boat off the coast of Lebanon, the U.N. force said on Friday.
“UNIFIL was informed that a small boat, allegedly heading towards Cyprus, was missing. UNIFIL tasked its Maritime Force to locate the missing vessel. On 11 October at 1130 hrs, UNIFIL’s flagship, BRS Liberal, found a small white boat northwest of Beirut in the area of responsibility of Rescue Coordinator Center Beirut,” a UNIFIL statement said. “There were 32 passengers on board: 19 men, six women and seven children. The boat was out of fuel and the passengers had been without food and water for four days. While waiting for the Lebanese Navy to arrive, UNIFIL naval peacekeepers distributed water and food, and provided medical assistance,” it added. “After the Lebanese Navy arrived at the scene, the passengers were able to board the Lebanese patrol boats and arrived at Beirut port at 0145 hrs on Friday 12 October, escorted by UNIFIL,” UNIFIL said. In a statement, the Lebanese Army said the boat was carrying 32 Syrian and Lebanese citizens. “They were heading towards Cyprus illegally,” the army confirmed, noting that the boat was intercepted by UNIFIL off the city of Tripoli and outside the Lebanese territorial waters. “Crews from the Military Healthcare and the Lebanese Red Cross examined them and investigations got underway under the supervision of the relevant judicial authorities,” the army added. Caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil had warned the international community in an interview overnight Thursday that the displaced Syrians in Lebanon have started heading by sea to Cyprus. The United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR) has registered nearly one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Humanitarian representatives and government officials say the number is likely much higher, since many Syrians who have fled to Lebanon are not officially registered with the United Nations.
In September, EU member Cyprus announced it was looking to broker a repatriation agreement with Lebanon because of an increased influx of migrants from the nearby country. Cyprus Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said his country faces one of the largest migratory flows per capita, with 4,022 asylum requests in the first eight months of 2018 -- 55 percent more than in the same period last year.

Nasrallah Calls Netanyahu's Claims a 'Farce', Says Iran, Syria Not Blocking Govt.
Naharnet/October 12/18/Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claims about the presence of missile plants near Beirut airport as a “farce,” as he emphasized that Tehran and Damascus are not blocking the formation of the new government.
“Netanyahu's psychological warfare over the missiles was a farce,” said Nasrallah in a televised speech commemorating the late mother of slain Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh. “Our silence over our weapons is deliberate and purposeful,” Nasrallah noted.Referring to the tour of the alleged missile sites that caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil organized for the foreign ambassadors in Lebanon and the press, Nasrallah described it as “an initiative from the Lebanese Foreign Ministry” that was not coordinated with his party. “We laud this move,” Nasrallah added, thanking Bassil for the initiative and hailing his "advanced diplomacy." “Our policy is based on 'constructive silence' and we do not give 'free information' to the enemy,” Nasrallah went on to say, while noting that he understands the Lebanese government's concerns over the image of a sensitive public facility such as Beirut's airport.
“No one must aid the enemy in its psychological warfare against our country and government,” Nasrallah emphasized, pointing out that Israel had sought to “scare and intimidate people” through SMS messages that were sent during the peak of Israel's diplomatic and social media offensive over the alleged missile sites. “I want to thank people for their sarcastic responses to the allegations of the incompetent Israeli officials. This is the responsibility of everyone in Lebanon,” Nasrallah added. Turning to the stalled cabinet formation process, Hizbullah's chief said his party has “nothing new to say” regarding the issue. “We are waiting for what the coming days will carry and we stress the importance of speeding up the formation process,” Nasrallah said. “Iran is not interfering in the cabinet formation process in any way and I can confirm that Syria is not interfering. This is a Lebanese affair and a Lebanese decision can be taken,” Nasrallah added, noting that “the region and the world are preoccupied” with other issues.

MP Geagea Slams Bassil's 'Malicious, Evil' Remarks

Naharnet/October 12/18/MP Sethrida Geagea of the Lebanese Forces on Friday lashed out at Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil over remarks he voiced in a TV interview overnight Thursday. Referring to Bassil's remarks on the expected reconciliation between the LF and the Marada Movement, Geagea said the FPM chief “spoke of the issue in the worst and most malicious way possible, in remarks filled with spite, evil and bad intentions towards the two parties.” “His opening of this wound was based on totally false information and those who have passed away know very well who decided and who carried out” the 1978 massacre against Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh's family, the MP added. In his interview on MTV on Thursday, Bassil said that “if Franjieh manages to forgive the person who killed his family, then he can also forgive the person whom he thinks has taken the presidency from him.” Bassil's remarks carried an apparent accusation that LF leader Samir Geagea played a role in the massacre. Turning to Bassil's stance on the LF's share in the new government, Sethrida Geagea denied the FPM chief's claim that “all political forces are against giving the LF a sovereign portfolio.” “This is pure misinformation. It is enough to demonstrate the stances of all parties since the beginning of the cabinet formation process to verify that no one has opposed the allocation of a sovereign portfolio to the LF other than Minister Bassil,” Geagea added. The four so-called sovereign portfolios are foreign affairs, defense, interior and finance.

STL President Ends Working Visit to Lebanon
Naharnet/October 12/18/The President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), Judge Ivana Hrdličková, visited Beirut this week and met with Lebanese officials and counterparts to update them on the work of the Tribunal, STL said Friday. “Hrdličková and Vice President Judge Ralph Riachi met with the Minister of Justice Salim Jreissati and the Prosecutor General Judge Samir Hammoud. They also met representatives of the diplomatic community in Lebanon,” an STL statement said. Hrdličková and Riachi participated in a number of outreach events, including two briefings on the STL's latest judicial developments to a group of Lebanese NGOs, and ambassadors and academics at the American University of Science and Technology (AUST). “My visit this week to Lebanon aimed at meeting with the Lebanese officials, the diplomatic community as well as the civil society to update them on the latest judicial developments at the Tribunal and more specifically on the end of trial hearings preceding the upcoming Judgment in the Ayyash et al. case,” said Judge Hrdličková. The STL President also gave a lecture on “Evidence before international criminal tribunals and the specifics of evidence before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon" to students and professors at the Beirut Arab University. Finally, Judge Riachi, Vice President of the Tribunal, was presented with the Légion d’honneur by the Ambassador of France to Lebanon during a ceremony at the Pine Residence.

Souaid Deplores Blatant Suppression in Lebanon 12th October 2018/Former MP Fares Souaid on Friday said that the forcible cancellation of the meeting of Saydet Al-Jabal Gathering for two consecutive times has become a public opinion case that revolves around the state of freedom in Lebanon. Gefinor Rotana Hotel on Thursday informed former MP Fares Souaid that it can no longer host the meeting of Saydet Al-Jabal Gathering that was set to take place on Sunday. This is the second hotel to abruptly call off the event, after the forcible cancellation of the meeting that was set to be held at the Bristol Hotel in Beirut last week. In the wake of the first cancellation, Hezbollah's senior official Wafik Safa admitted that he had personally asked the hotel to not host the event. “The Saydet Al-Jabal Gathering is legal, orderly and democratic; its funding is transparent and its members are experts with a respectful political experience,” Souaid said during a press conference. “Lebanon is subject to a blatant suppression that is being enforced unashamedly; the situation today is worse than it was in the past,” he added. “The ruling authority is yielding to Hezbollah which is trying to eliminate whoever speaks up against Iranian tutelage over Lebanon,” he deplored, warning that “the ruling authority's silence over such suppressive actions makes it an accomplice.”Souaid pointed out that both the Kataeb party and the National Liberal party have put their headquarters at the disposal of Saydet Al-Jabal Gathering so that it can hold its meetings, also praising former President Amine Gemayel for doing the same. Earlier this week, the Kataeb party hosted a broad meeting of Saydet Al-Jabal Gathering at its headquarters in Saifi to voice absolute opposition to the growing political oppression in the country and to renew unwavering commitment to all forms of freedom.

Foreign Ministry Allocated Sum to Buy Three Cars 12th October 2018/The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been alloted a sum of LBP 325 million (almost $217,000) to buy three cars, journalist Nawfal Daou revealed on Friday. Daou posted on his Twitter page photos from the Official Gazette, issued on October 11, showing the decree which stipulates said allocation. The decree number 3279 allows the transfer of LBP 325 million from the 2018 public budget reserves to enable the Foreign Affairs Ministry to purchase three BMW 530i type cars, as per the Cabinet decision approved on May 21, 2018. “The Foreign Ministry’s austerity, prevention of squandering, as well as commitment to reforms and change have all been manifested in Minister Gebran Bassil’s purchase of three brand new cars for approximately $225,000,” Daou wrote.
Lebanon's ‘Assayad’ publisher and the end of an era
Radwan al-Sayed/Al Arabiya/October 12/18
When Dar Assayad announced suspending its publications, including Al-Anwar newspaper and Assayad Magazine, I felt really sad. I haven’t been a reader of Dar Assyad publications for a while except for the articles of Rafiq Khoury in Al-Anwar. However, for the 70s generation, Al-Anwar was considered Gamal Abdel Nasser’s newspaper. It is reminiscent of the union between Egypt and Syria. The daily and the magazine followed up on the efforts of the late great Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in founding the UAE and on the establishment of the united Yemeni state in 1990. It was an Arab era that is full of moments of pride and happiness and the worries of despair and disappointments. It was the era of the Arab dream, hopes and horizons even if mixed up with defeats. Did Dar Assayad close because the Arab dream has ended? The technical reason for closing is that the time for paper printing and publication is over. This has affected major magazines and newspapers around the world, and it’s something that cannot be ignored because its repercussions can be seen everywhere. It’s the era of “social media”, and even satellite channels are heavily impacted.It is not just paper publications that face extinction, but also the political times that Al-Anwar covered and stood for. Thus suspending Dar Assayad publications did not cause any sadness, but it actually was reminder of past grief
Extinction of paper publications
Paper publications depend on advertisements so why would businessmen publish an advertisement in a paper that no one reads? Lebanese newspapers, which are private dailies that are not funded by the government and that rarely benefit from official advertisements, received what was known as political money.
The money was offered by parties that wanted to promote the opinion of the concerned newspaper and that wanted to get closer to a specific audience which supports this newspaper’s viewpoints or ideology. The time of paper publications is about to come to an end, and the Arab or Arabist movement which Assayad publications adopted has actually ended. There are no longer people buying this newspaper or advertising in it since it humors a movement that no longer exists or that’s no longer active at least in Lebanon. It is not just paper publications that face extinction, but also the political times that Al-Anwar covered and stood for. Thus suspending Dar Assayad publications did not cause any sadness, but it actually reminded of past grief, the end of the second Arab era. The first Arab era came with the end of Western colonialism while the second Arab era was the time of building nation states. Since individuals die and nations do not, we are waiting for the third and fourth Arab eras, though the indicators and signs of them rising are not clear yet. My generation had another reason for grief. Due to the old prestigious Egyptian and Lebanese press, we have several distinguished journalists. Most of them crossed the ages of 70 and 80 years. Each one of them is famous for at least one unforgettable article, report, opinion or analysis. Each one of them wrote more than one book.
No one should think that these books were made up of a collection of articles written by the writer. These are mostly books or novels that contain a lot of creativity and profundity. Every one of us can tell the distinction between a real writer and journalist and an unprofessional one.Usually the unoriginal owners of newspapers turn into businessmen or politicians, while real journalists stick to daily or weekly writings throughout their lives. All of us know 20 or more journalists in Egypt and Lebanon who have preserved their work in this difficult enlightening career for decades. We do not want those to die because they had to stop writing. If any one of us dies, he dies alone, but the real or worse death happens when you witness your friends dying, either by death or due to the end of an era. Famous poet Jarir ibn Atiyah once stood outside the door of Omar bin Abd al-Aziz but was refused entry. When he saw an orator enter, he said: “O man with the loose turban! This is your time, since my time has been left out.”
Yes, it’s the time of hustle and social media!

The Latest LCCC Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published on
October 12-13/18
US pastor Andrew brunson freed in Turkey despite 3-year jail term
Reuters/October 12/18/ANKARA: A Turkish court ruled on Friday that the American evangelical Christian pastor at the center of a row between Ankara and Washington could go free, a move that could be the first step towards mending ties between the NATO allies.
The court sentenced Andrew Brunson to three years and 1-1/2 months in prison on terrorism charges, but said he would not serve any further jail time. The pastor, who has lived in Turkey for more than 20 years, was put in prison two years ago and has been under house arrest since July.
US President Donald Trump, who has imposed sanctions on Turkey in an attempt to secure Brunson's release, tweeted: "PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED. WILL BE HOME SOON!" Dressed in a black suit, white shirt and red tie, the North Carolina native wept as the decision was announced, witnesses said. Before the judge's ruling he had told the court: "I am an innocent man. I love Jesus, I love Turkey." After the ruling, Brunson's lawyer told reporters the pastor was likely to leave Turkey. The diplomatic stand-off over Brunson, who had been pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church, had accelerated a selloff in Turkey's lira, worsening a financial crisis. Brunson had been accused of links to Kurdish militants and supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the cleric blamed by Turkey for a coup attempt in 2016. Brunson denied the accusation and Washington had demanded his immediate release. Witnesses told the court in the western town of Aliaga that testimonies against the pastor attributed to them were inaccurate. After the judge questioned one witness, Brunson said the judge was asking about incidents Brunson had not been involved in. His wife Norine looked on from the visitors' area. Trump has scored points with evangelical Christians, a large part of his political base, by focusing on the Brunson case. The pastor's release could boost Trump's ability to spur such voters to vote in large numbers for Republicans in the Nov. 6 elections, which will determine whether they keep control of Congress. The heavily conservative constituency voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016. He has called Brunson a "great Christian", and Vice President Mike Pence, the White House's top emissary to evangelicals, has urged Americans to pray for Brunson. US broadcaster NBC said on Thursday that Washington had had done a secret deal with Ankara to secure Brunson's release. The lira stood at 5.910 to the dollar at 1336 GMT, little changed on the day after firming 3 percent on Thursday on expectations that Brunson would be released. Relations between the two NATO allies are also under strain from disputes over U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, Turkey's plans to buy a Russian missile defence system, and the jailing of a Turkish bank executive for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. With Brunson's release, attention may now turn to the fate of a Turkish-U.S. national and former NASA scientist in jail in Turkey on terrorism charges, as well as local employees of the US consulate who have also been detained.
US-Russian Dispute on Syria Reconstruction
Moscow - London - Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 12 October, 2018/A dispute between the US and Russia on the reconstruction of Syria grew on Thursday after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that Washington would not make any financial contribution as long as there are Iranian forces or their backed militias in the war-torn country. On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope that the international community would join forces to rebuild Syria. During a ceremony at the Kremlin where he received credentials from 23 new ambassadors representing five Kingdoms and 18 other countries, Putin stressed the importance of international unity to facilitate the recovery of Syrian economy and infrastructure as well as the return of the displaced. A day earlier, Pompeo made remarks reflecting for the first time Washington’s new policy towards Syria, after a number of US officials had issued statements signaling similar positions in the past weeks. “If Syria doesn’t ensure the total withdrawal of Iranian-backed troops, it will not receive one single dollar from the United States for reconstruction,” Pompeo told the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.
According to the UN, rebuilding Syria could cost $250 billion. “The onus for expelling Iran from the country falls on the Syrian government, which bears responsibility for its presence there,” said the US Secretary of State. Over the past months, the US and the European Union have rejecting Russian appeals to help with reconstruction until an agreement is reached on power-sharing in Syria. The United States has some 2,000 troops in Syria, mainly training and advising opposition fighters. Pompeo said that fighting ISIS “continues to be a top priority” but listed rolling back Iran as another. For his part, Putin said Russia’s role was very decisive in directing the final blow against terrorism to protect the entity of the Syrian state.
Syria Kurds Say they Hold 900 Foreign ISIS Militants
Qamishli (Syria) - Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 12 October, 2018/Syrian Kurdish forces battling ISIS hold around 900 of the terrorist organization's foreign militants, a spokesman said on Thursday, a sharp increase from a previous figure. In lengthy battles against ISIS in the war-torn country, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have rounded up thousands of alleged ISIS members, Syrian and otherwise. "Around 900 ISIS terrorists are in our jails... from 44 countries," YPG spokesman Nuri Mahmud told Agence France Presse. That is a sharp rise from the figure of 520, given by another Kurdish official last month. "The war is ongoing and until now we are arresting terrorists," Mahmud explained, referring to ongoing battles against ISIS in eastern Syria. "The numbers have increased over the past months from the battles between our forces and ISIS," he said. Syrian Kurds also hold 550 women and around 1,200 children from the families of ISIS members, according to local officials. ISIS seized large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, declaring a so-called "caliphate" in areas they controlled. But multiple offensives in both countries have since decimated that proto-state. In Syria, the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces last month launched a battle to expel the militants from their last eastern redoubt of Hajin near the Iraqi border.
Bulldozers Scoop Slow Way to Recovery in Syria's Yarmuk
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/October 12/18/Not far from where he used to live, Palestinian engineer Mahmud Khaled watched as bulldozers rumbled back and forth scooping up smashed concrete from the devastated streets of Syria's Yarmuk. Once home to 160,000 Palestinian refugees, the camp in the Damascus suburbs has been emptied of its inhabitants and pounded to rubble in Syria's seven-year war. But five months after regime forces expelled the last jihadists in the area, soldiers now stand guard at the camp's entrance, wearing face masks to protect themselves against the dust billowing up into the air. On a narrow street inside the camp where he grew up, Khaled has returned to help oversee bulldozers and diggers engaged in joint Palestinian-Syrian clean-up operations. "When we first entered, we were horrified by what we saw," said the 56-year-old engineer, wearing a light grey and white checkered shirt.
"But after we started the clean-up, it all started to look up," Khaled said. Off Yarmuk's main artery, recently cleared side streets are flanked by buildings ravaged by years of fighting. Some have been reduced to mountains of grey rubble and mangled rebar. In others, entire floors dangle dangerously downwards, their steel rods jutting out. "We have shifted 50,000 cubic metres of rubble and reopened all the main roads," Khaled said. But "it will be a while before families can come back", he added. As Khaled surveyed the neighbourhood, a yellow bulldozer spilled rubble into a large red truck behind him. Tens of thousands have fled Yarmuk since Syria's conflict started in 2011 and government forces imposed a crippling siege on the then rebel-held camp a year later. Since the latest round of fighting to expel the Islamic State group ended in May, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said no residents have been allowed to return. Walking through the camp, Khaled pointed out his former home and the office where he used to work. The first had been damaged in fighting, while the second was completely destroyed.
The very beginning'
With about a fifth of Yarmuk reduced to rubble in the war, according to an initial estimate, Khaled said there is still much work to be done. And although he estimates 40 percent of the buildings could be lived in, another 40 percent need major work before their residents can return. When he visited the camp in May, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness described it as lying "in ruins".Basic services such as water and electricity were so severely damaged, he said, that it was hard to imagine people returning any time soon. Funded by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Syrian government, the clearing operation has been ongoing for 20 days and is expected to take another month to complete. But there are no clear plans yet for the reconstruction of the neighbourhood or its ravaged infrastructure. PLO official Anwar Abdel Hadi told AFP he hoped reconstruction would start "as soon as possible so that our people can return to the camp". "But the rebuilding is still awaiting a government decision," he said. Back in Yarmuk, Ibrahim Am Ali walked between the bulldozers, oblivious to the dust permeating his clothes. "I was desperate when I saw how destroyed the building was where my brothers and I had gathered over the past years," said the 74-year-old, also part of the team overseeing the clean-up work. Now "we have started rebuilding the camp," the Syrian-Palestinian said, wearing a light purple shirt. "Perhaps I will never see it completely rebuilt, but it's enough for me to have taken part in the very beginning."

Fear Grips Syria City Seized from Kurds by Turkish-Backed Rebels

Agence France Presse/Naharnet/October 12/18/From kidnappings for ransom to armed robberies and torture: residents of Syria's Afrin region say they are suffering a litany of abuses at the hands of Turkish-backed rebels. They say the fear of harassment has kept them shuttered inside their homes since Ankara and its Arab rebel allies overran the then overwhelmingly Kurdish city in March after a two-month air and ground offensive. Their testimonies, given under pseudonyms because of fear of retribution, paint a picture of a chaotic city with little protection for civilians. "They robbed my son's house and didn't leave a thing -- not even the clothes," says 55-year-old resident Ahmad. His own motorcycle and 20 gas canisters were seized by rebels, who also looted his family's liquor store. Since Turkish troops and pro-Ankara Arab rebels captured the city from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), the United Nations and human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have documented widespread abuses. Half of the enclave's 320,000 residents fled, according to a recent report by the UN Commission of Inquiry, and most are unable to return. Those who have often found their homes occupied by fighters or by Arab civilians displaced from other parta of Syria, the UN said. Other returned to homes "stripped of furniture, electrical appliances and all decor," in large-scale looting. Ahmad and his family fled the fighting but came back recently to scenes of devastation with their property looted and their hometown barely recognisable. "When we came back, not even our tractor was left," he said. "They don't even let us sleep at night, with all the shooting."
Kidnap for ransom
Other residents have been forced to buy back stolen cars for up to $5,000 or pay bribes at checkpoints to access their property, according to the UN commission.Salim, 50, owns several olive groves in the fertile agricultural land outside the city but he can no longer reach them without permission from the new authorities. "If you don't get a paper from the local council, you can't enter your own land," the father of three complains. Even with authorisation, the roads are dangerous for Kurdish civilians. "A rebel faction could find you on the way to your land and kidnap you for a ransom," ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, he tells AFP. "Kurds don't dare leave their homes."Both the UN and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported cases of kidnapping for ransom. The Britain-based Observatory said it documented at least 40 people abducted and taken to "hostage houses" in recent weeks.
Detainees are tortured and beaten, their relatives asked to pay to secure their release. Abductions have become "a way to make money," the monitor said. Rebel factions have accused Kurdish residents of being loyalists of the Damascus regime, or members of the YPG or its Turkish rebel ally, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). "They accused me once of being a shabiha (pro-government militiaman), and another time of being a PKK member," says Ibrahim, an industrial worker in Afrin. Ankara is bitterly opposed to the YPG, which also holds swathes of northern and northeastern Syria with the backing of a US-led coalition, regarding it as an extension of the PKK, which has waged a deadly insurgency against Kurdish troops in southeastern Turkey since 1984. "They arrested me, took me to a base outside Afrin, hung me on the balango and hit me," says Ibrahim. The "balango" is a torture method notorious across Syria, by which the victim is hoisted in the air for hours from wrists tied behind the back.
'Blood spilt for nothing'
Turkey has denied allegations of abuses, and rebels say proven offenders are punished.But residents say not enough is done to curb violations. And it is not only Kurds who have fallen victim to the lawlessness. Samia, an Arab student in Afrin, says she has been permanently scarred by her father's brutal killing by armed men trying to steal their family car. "The first time they tried, my father kicked them out of the house. They came back a second time for revenge and killed him," she recounts. Rebels investigated, but "the killer went to jail for just one month," she said. "My father's blood was spilt for nothing." The UN and Amnesty have also reported patterns of house appropriations by fighters and civilians bussed to Afrin during the April surrender to government forces of the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta suburb outside Damascus. Some relocated families have opened businesses in Afrin, including the Ghouta Pastryshop and Damascene Dame restaurant. Parts of Afrin have even been renamed to reflect its new authorities. One is a traffic roundabout formerly called Kawa, after the legendary blacksmith and Kurdish symbol of resistance whose statue once stood there but was destroyed by the rebels after their capture of the city. Now, a banner in Arabic and Turkish identifies it as "Olive Branch Circle," after the name that Turkish commanders gave to their operation to drive Kurdish forces out of the enclave on the border with Turkey. Another sign reads: "President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Square." Abu Jihad, 60, misses Afrin's calmer days, before its seizure by the Turkish-backed rebels. "Injustice, injustice, injustice, and no one is holding them accountable," he sighs.
UK refuses to take back British ISIS fighters detained in Syria
Staff Writer, Al Arabiya English/Friday, 12 October 2018/The United Kingdom is refusing to take back at least nine Britons held in Syria with links to ISIS, which include two members of the so-called Beatles cell as well as two unidentified women and their children, according to The Telegraph. The newspaper reported that the British government wants Syria to deport El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, the two members of ISIS's execution squad, to the United States. In an attempt to find out more about the two men arrested by the Kurdish internal security forces, Al Arabiya English reached out to a Kurdish senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qamishli. However, he refused to disclose any information. The Kurdish official stressed that “security requirements” prevent the disclosure of additional information on the detainees. “Two of the detainees are dual nationals and have both British and Canadian citizenship,” Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of the Foreign Relations Commission in north Syria, told Al Arabiya English. Elsheikh and Kotey have had their British passports revoked, however the other held fighters all have British passports. Meanwhile, some of the children are thought to have been born in ISIS camps in Syria and are therefore considered stateless. The Telegraph reported that the British government admitted to the difficulty it faces bringing foreign fighters to justice, but denied blocking their return. Those arrested include members of the “Jihadi John” organization, known for killing and torturing foreign hostages and executing Western journalists in Syria and Iraq. One of the detained ISIS fighters, Jack Letts’ parents are being tried for three charges of funding terrorism after they had sent money to their son. “Western countries refuse to accept their detained citizens because they pose a threat to [their countries],” Omar said. US military advisers and experts are investigating the detainees held by the internal security forces in northern Kurdish areas.

Jordanian King Approves 1st Reshuffle of Razzaz’s Cabinet
Amman - Mohamed Al-Daameh/ Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 12 October, 2018/Jordanian King Abdullah II approved Thursday the first reshuffle of Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz’s cabinet, which had faced severe criticism regarding services and disclosure of corruption in several ministries that were included in the reshuffle. The move saw six cabinet portfolios merged with other ministries, while a new portfolio -- that of "Administrative and Institutional Development" -- was created. Five new ministers entered the cabinet for the first time while ten others were dismissed. Majd Shweikeh was appointed as minister of institutional and administrative development, Ghazi Al Zaben as minister of health, Falah Omoush as minister of public works, Basma Ishaqat as minister of social development, Mohammad Abu Rumman as minister of youth and culture, and Ibrahim Shahahdeh as minister of agriculture and environment.
Those who joined the government included Bassam Talhouni, appointed as minister of justice, Raed Abu Saoud (minister of water and irrigation) and the new Minister of Education, Azmi Mahafzah.

Ashmawy Expected to Be Handed over to Egypt Next Week
Cairo - Khalid MahmoudAsharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 12 October, 2018/Leader of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar might visit Cairo next week after Egypt demanded the delivery of one of its most wanted terrorists, Hisham al-Ashmawy, captured early this week by the LNA in the city of Derna, Libyan and Egyptian sources have said.Egyptian sources predicted on Thursday that Ashmawy would be sent to Cairo next week after Libyan security apparatuses complete their investigations into the case. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi asked for the militant to be returned to the country.
"We want him to serve time in prison," Sisi said during his speech at the 29th Educational Seminar of the Armed forces, titled "October; Continuity of Generations.”Sisi also drew a comparison between Ashmawy and Colonel Ahmed el-Mansy, an Egyptian officer who was killed in clashes with terrorists in North Sinai and who was part of the same Army Special Forces unit as the newly captured militant. The Egyptian president said there is a huge difference between Ashmawy and Mansy, stressing that both were officers, but one of them chose to betray the country, while the other remained loyal. Ashmawy left the Egyptian army in 2012 and joined Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, based in the eastern Sinai Peninsula. He is believed to have gone to Libya in 2013 and had pledged allegiance to ISIS in November 2014. When captured in Libya this week, Ashmawy was with the wife and the sons of Omar Rifai Sorour, the Mufti of the Shura Council of Mujahedeen in Derna, who succumbed in June to injuries he had sustained in clashes with the Libyan forces. Egyptian authorities accuse Ashmawy of heading the Ansar al-Islam network, which claimed responsibility for a deadly desert ambush against Egyptian police last October. The Dignity Operations Room of the Libyan Army said Monday Ashmawy was wearing an explosive belt when he was captured in Derna’s neighborhood of Al-Maghar, which lies 250 kilometers away from the Egyptian border. Libyan observers consider his arrest a blow to extremists in Libya.

Arrest of Financiers Deals Fresh Blow to ISIS in Iraq

Asharq Al-Awsat/Friday, 12 October, 2018/Ten members of a key financial network for ISIS have been arrested in Iraq, the US-led coalition fighting the militants announced Thursday. Iraqi commandos and Kurdish counter-terrorism forces arrested the members of the al-Rawi network in operations October 7-9 in Baghdad and Erbil in northern Iraq, the coalition said in a statement. According to the coalition commander, US Army Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera, the arrests "deal a major blow to the desperate attempts by ISIS to re-emerge in Iraq."
"Those who provide support to ISIS, in any way, will face the consequences," he said.
Five Palestinians killed in border protests - Gaza medics
Reuters, Jerusalem/Friday, 12 October 2018/Israeli forces killed five Palestinians on Friday during border protests along Gaza’s border, a spokesman for Gaza's Health Ministry said. Israeli military officials said they were checking the reports, amid weekly Palestinian protests along Israel’s border fence with Gaza. Israel accuses Hamas that controls Gaza, of orchestrating the protests to provide cover for attacks.
UN envoy ‘no longer acceptable’ for Palestinians
AFP, Ramallah/Friday, 12 October 2018/The Palestinian leadership will no longer work with the UN peace envoy, a senior official said Thursday, accusing him of overstepping his role by seeking a deal between Israel and the extremist movement Hamas. Ahmed Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) executive committee, said it had informed the UN secretary general that envoy Nickolay Mladenov was “no longer acceptable” to the Palestinian government. Mladenov had “gone beyond his role” in seeking agreements between Israel and rival Palestinian faction Hamas, which controls Gaza, he said, adding that his actions impacted “Palestinian national security and the unity of our people.”There was no immediate comment from Mladenov or confirmation from the United Nations. “After the Palestinians said ‘no’ to Israel and ‘no’ to the Americans, they are now saying ‘no’ to the UN as well,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon said in a statement. “In this decision, Abu Mazen (Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas) is continuing to lead the Palestinian Authority to international isolation, which ultimately harm the Palestinians.” Mladenov, alongside Egypt, has been seeking a long-term truce agreement between Hamas and the Jewish state, without including Abbas’s internationally recognized government in the indirect negotiations. The talks have stalled, partly due to pressure form Abbas, but on Tuesday a smaller UN-brokered agreement was reached for Qatar to finance fuel deliveries to Gaza for six months.Abbas’s government was not involved in that deal and Mladenov’s strategy has angered Palestinian politicians. The Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas has semi autonomy in parts of the occupied West Bank but lost control of Gaza to Hamas in a near-civil war in 2007.
The international community has since worked with the PA. The PLO has recognized Israel and signed a series of peace treaties with it, while Hamas has fought three wars with the Jewish state since 2008.

Israel Captures Palestinian Knife Attack Suspect
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/October 12/18/Israeli forces detained a Palestinian suspected of stabbing and wounding a soldier but a manhunt continued for a second Palestinian who shot dead two Israeli civilians, the army said Friday. The army spokesman's office released video it said had been taken late on Thursday showing a cuffed and blindfolded man being led by soldiers in what appears to be a military facility. "A short while ago, the terrorist who committed the terror attack... this afternoon was caught," regional commander Colonel Sagiv Dahan said in the Hebrew-language clip. An army spokesman told AFP that details of the suspect and his arrest were being withheld for the time being as his interrogation was still in progress. He is suspected of stabbing and wounding an army reservist on guard at a junction near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday afternoon. A civilian was moderately wounded from shrapnel when soldiers fired in the direction of the fleeing assailant, the army said. The fugitive who remains on the run is suspected of killing two Israelis and wounding a third in a shooting on Sunday in the Israeli-owned industrial zone where they all worked near the northern West Bank Jewish settlement of Barkan. "Activity continues to catch the terrorist who carried out the shooting attack at Barkan," an army statement said in Hebrew. The army has named the wanted man as Ashraf Naalwa, 23, from the northern West Bank village of Shuweika. The two attack sites and Shuweika village all lie within a 32 kilometre (20 mile) radius but so far there has been no indication of any connection. A wave of mainly lone-wolf Palestinian attacks against Israelis erupted in 2015 but it has since largely abated.

Erdogan says Kurdish militia still in Syria’s Manbij, Turkey to act

Reuters, Istanbul/Friday, 12 October 2018/Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that the Kurdish YPG militia has not left the northern Syrian town of Manbij, contrary to a US-Turkish agreement, and Turkey will do what is necessary. “They are now digging trenches in Manbij. What does this mean? It means ‘we’ve prepared the graves, come and bury us’,” Erdogan said at a rally in southern Turkey. “They said they would abandon the area in 90 days, but they haven't. We will do what is necessary.”

Macron Says Disappearance of Saudi Journalist 'Very Serious'

Agence France Presse/Naharnet/October 12/18/French President Emmanuel Macron said the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "very serious" and called for an investigation to yield "complete clarity" on what had happened to him. "What has been described is serious, very serious," Macron told French broadcasters France 24 and RFI in his first comments on the case. "I await the truth and complete clarity being established."

Saudi Ambassador 'Concerned' about Missing Journalist
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/October 12/18/Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Britain expressed concern on Friday about the fate of a journalist who vanished after entering its Istanbul consulate last week.But Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf al Saud told the BBC he needed to wait for the results of an investigation before commenting further about Jamal Khashoggi's fate. "We are concerned about our citizen Jamal," he said. "There is an ongoing investigation and it would be premature for me to comment until we see the final results of the investigation."Asked when he would have an answer, the envoy replied: "Hopefully soon." Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who has been critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Turkish officials have said the journalist was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents, a charge Riyadh denies, insisting he left the mission a short time later. The Saudi ambassador did not repeat the earlier claim of Khashoggi leaving the building or explain why he was concerned.
Saudi official welcomes Turkey response for joint team in Khashoggi’s case
Staff writer, Al Arabiya English/Friday, 12 October 2018/A senior Saudi source welcomed the positive Turkish response to Saudi Arabia‘s request to set up a joint working group to investigate the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
The Saudi source speaking in the capital Riyadh expressed his full confidence in the joint Saudi-Turkish working group’s ability to carry out its tasks into the Jamal Khashoggi case. The Saudi source further affirmed the kingdom’s keenness on the security and safety of all its citizens.With SPA

Saudi Delegation in Turkey for Talks on Missing Writer
Associated Press/Naharnet/October 12/18/Turkey's state-run news agency says a delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Turkey as part of an investigation into missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.Anadolu Agency said Friday that the delegation would hold talks with Turkish officials over the weekend. It did not provide further details. On Thursday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey and Saudi Arabia would form a "joint working group" to look into Khashoggi's disappearance. The journalist vanished last week after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials have said The Washington Post contributor may have been killed inside the consulate, but they haven't offered any evidence. Saudi Arabia has denied the allegation as "baseless."

Branson Suspends Saudi Links over Missing Journalist
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/October 12/18/British entrepreneur Richard Branson is suspending two directorships linked to tourism projects in Saudi Arabia following the unexplained disappearance in Turkey of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In a statement late Thursday, Branson said also that his Virgin group would suspend discussions with Saudi Arabia over proposed investment in Virgin Galactic, which is set to carry out its first space flight within weeks. "I had high hopes for the current government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and it is why I was delighted to accept two directorships in the tourism projects around the Red Sea," Branson said in the statement posted on the Virgin website. "I felt that I could give practical development advice and also help protect the precious environment around the coastline and islands."But he added: "What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government. "We have asked for more information from the authorities in Saudi and to clarify their position in relation to Mr Khashoggi. "While those investigations are ongoing and Mr Khashoggi’s whereabouts are not known, I will suspend my directorships of the two tourism projects. "Virgin will also suspend its discussions with the Public Investment Fund over the proposed investment in our space companies Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit," Branson added.In comments Tuesday, Branson said he expected his Virgin Galactic company to conduct its first space flight "within weeks, not months".

Japan PM Abe to Make Rare China Visit

Agence France Presse/Naharnet/October 12/18/Shinzo Abe will pay the first visit to China by a Japanese prime minister since 2011 later this month, Beijing announced Friday, in the latest sign of warming ties between the rivals. Abe will visit from October 25 to 27 and mark the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the two nations, said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang. The visit will "elevate our bilateral ties and put bilateral cooperation back on the right track," Lu said at a regular press briefing. Lu added that the two sides will work to "jointly uphold multilateralism and the free trade system" -- a comment that comes as China and the United States are mired in a trade war that the IMF said this week will hobble global growth. Lu said there a reception was planned to celebrate the Sino-Japanese friendship treaty, which was signed on October 23, 1978. Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met numerous times over the last few years on the sidelines of international events. But no Japanese prime minister has paid an official visit to China since 2011 and no Chinese president has visited Japan since 2010.
'New stage'
Relations between Beijing and Tokyo soured in 2012 over a territorial dispute over several tiny Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea. Upon returning to power in 2012, Abe took a firm position on Japan's sovereignty over the island chain, aggravating tensions with Beijing.
But he has since softened his rhetoric and called on China to press North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programmes. Abe announced last month that he planned to visit China later this year. "After that, I very much wish to invite President Xi to Japan," Abe said after meeting the Chinese leader on the sidelines of an economic forum in Russia. "Through this exchange of visits at the leaders' level, I hope to raise Japan-China relations to a new stage. I am firmly determined in this regard," he said at the time. Japanese businesses have also voiced desire for closer ties with China to boost trade. Despite the rapprochement, sources of tension linger.Last month, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said China had been "unilaterally escalating" its military activities in the past year, including carrying out new airborne operations around Japan and running a nuclear submarine near disputed East Coast isles.
Japan also carried out in September its first submarine drills in the disputed South China Sea, which Beijing mostly claims. At the time, the Chinese foreign ministry said Tokyo "should act cautiously and avoid doing anything which would harm regional peace and stability".

Egyptian military court sentences 17 to death for ISIS church attacks
AFP, Cairo/Thursday, 11 October 2018/An Egyptian military court on Thursday sentenced 17 people to death over a series of suicide bombings of churches claimed by the ISIS extremist group that left dozens dead. Seventy-four people were killed in the attacks in 2016 and 2017, targeting Coptic Christians in Cairo, Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta. The court also sentenced 19 people to life in prison and 10 others to between 10 and 15 years, judicial and security officials said. Christian sites of worship across Egypt have been repeatedly targeted in attacks claimed by ISIS, prompting the authorities to impose a state of emergency 18 months ago. A suicide attack on December 11, 2016 on the Saint Peter and Saint Paul church killed 29 in the heart of Cairo. The following April, 45 people were killed as Christians gathered to celebrate Palm Sunday in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s predominantly Sunni Muslim population. Since 2013, hundreds of police officers, soldiers and civilians have been killed in extremist attacks. In November last year, suspected ISIS member killed more than 300 Muslim worshippers in a gun and bomb assault on a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian army is waging a major operation focused on the Sinai aimed at wiping out ISIS. In April, a military court had initially condemned 36 people to death over the church bombings. The retrial came after the case was referred to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, as required by law whenever a death sentence is passed.
The Latest LCCC Bulletin analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on October 12-13/18
Spain: Islamic State Recruiting in Prisons
Soeren Kern/Gatestone Institute/October 12/18
The group — which Spain's Interior Ministry described as a jihadi "Prisons Front" ("frente de cárceles") — was engaged in recruiting, indoctrinating and radicalizing other inmates, as well as in plotting new jihadi attacks.
"We want to prepare ourselves for the jihad for Allah. I have good news: I have created a new group, we are willing to die for Allah at any moment. We are waiting to be released from prison so that we can begin working. We have men, we have weapons and we have targets. All we need is practice." — Mohamed Achraf, in a letter written from prison to another inmate.
"The majority of the individuals being investigated, far from being deradicalized, have not only remained active in jihadi militancy, but have become even more radical during their incarceration." — Spanish Interior Ministry.
On October 1, Spanish counterterrorism police searched Mohamed Achraf's prison cell in Campos del Río penitentiary in Murcia and discovered that he was running a "disciplined and organized" network of jihadi inmates dedicated to recruiting and radicalizing other inmates, as well as to plotting attacks against specific targets. (Image source: Spanish Interior Ministry)
Spanish police have dismantled a jihadi network operating inside and across more than a dozen Spanish prisons. The network, allegedly linked to the Islamic State, was established and operated by one of the most implacable jihadis in the Spanish prison system — apparently under the noses of prison authorities.
The network's existence has called into question not only the effectiveness of security procedures in Spanish prisons, but also of Spanish "deradicalization" programs, which are aimed at "rehabilitating" Islamic militants for eventual "reinsertion" into society.
The group's core members included 25 jihadis in 17 different prisons (accounting for more than half of the 30 Spanish prisons equipped to house jihadi convicts), according to the Interior Ministry, which provided details of the counterterrorism operation on October 2.
The group — which the Interior Ministry described as a jihadi "Prisons Front" ("frente de cárceles") — was engaged in recruiting, indoctrinating and radicalizing other inmates, as well as in plotting new jihadi attacks.
The network's members included convicted jihadis as well as common inmates who were radicalized in prison. Among them were several Spanish citizens who are converts to Islam. Some members were nearing the end of their sentences and were waiting to be released from prison.
The group's ringleader, Mohamed Achraf, a 44-year-old Moroccan whose real name is Abderramane Tahiri, was serving a 14-year prison sentence for plotting truck bomb attacks against high-profile targets in Madrid, including the Spanish Supreme Court and the Príncipe Pío railway station.
Achraf was scheduled to be released from prison on October 14, 2018 — almost four years early. He was incarcerated in 2008 and served most of his sentence by being moved from one prison to another, a standard protocol aimed at preventing Islamists from establishing a foothold in any one facility and radicalizing other inmates. In February 2018, Achraf was transferred to the Campos del Río penitentiary in Murcia, where he was held in solitary confinement.
On October 1, counterterrorism police searched Achraf's prison cell and discovered that he was running a "disciplined and organized" network of jihadi inmates dedicated to recruiting and radicalizing other inmates, as well as to plotting attacks against specific targets.
The Interior Ministry said that the network carried out its activities through physical interaction between inmates within the same prisons, as well as through "epistolary relationships" among inmates located in different prisons. The network evaded monitoring mechanisms by carrying out communications through the use of inmates who were not subject to special surveillance.
The Murcia-based newspaper La Verdad, quoting police sources, reported that Achraf will likely be prosecuted for new terrorism offenses and, rather than be released early, will be held in preventive detention.
Achraf has a long history of jihadi militancy in Spain. During an earlier prison sentence, served between 1999 and 2002 at the Topas penitentiary in Salamanca, Achraf organized a similar jihadi network — called "Martyrs for Morocco" — which operated inside and across at least five Spanish prisons. The network consisted of four cells that were, according to prosecutors, "perfectly structured and connected to each other."
After the 2004 Madrid train bombings, in which 193 people were killed and 2,000 others injured, Spanish authorities launched a nationwide crackdown on Islamic fundamentalists. A counterterrorism operation — Operation Nova — resulted in the arrest of 36 jihadis, including several members of Achraf's network. Investigators found correspondence which revealed that Achraf was plotting to bomb the Audiencia Nacional, the upper court in Madrid where judicial authorities were investigating the Madrid train bombings.
Investigators also found correspondence between Achraf and other jihadis, including a letter that stated: "Muslims now have two places to go: jail or jihad." Another letter read:
"We want to prepare ourselves for the jihad for Allah. I have good news: I have created a new group, we are willing to die for Allah at any moment. We are waiting to be released from prison so that we can begin working. We have men, we have weapons and we have targets. All we need is practice."
In April 2005, Achraf was extradited to Spain from Switzerland, where he fled after his release from prison, and where he unsuccessfully sought asylum by claiming to be Palestinian.
In February 2008, Achraf was sentenced to 14 years in prison for "promoting and directing a terrorist group." During his trial, the court learned how Achraf, who referred to himself as "Emir," used a makeshift mosque in a prison gymnasium to "indoctrinate" other inmates in the hardline Salafist-takfiri jihadist ideology promoted by the Islamic State.
Given Achraf's history of Salafi-jihadism, and his previous efforts to proselytize and indoctrinate inmates during his first stint in prison, it remains unclear why Spanish authorities allowed him to establish another, even larger jihadi network during his second time in prison.
The newspaper La Verdad reported that Achraf's network "was very organized... and already had specific targets" and "had threatened certain prison officials, some of higher rank." The group had "its own iconography and slogan" and "was perfectly structured, with precise orders of action in prison courtyards and in methods of training."
Achraf's network may be just the tip of the iceberg. A recent analysis of official prison data by the online publication El Independiente found that more than 150 inmates are currently serving time in 28 different Spanish prisons for jihad-related crimes.
Nearly half (72) of the jihad-related convicts are Moroccans, followed by Spaniards (57). Other inmates are from Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, Egypt, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The most frequent crime among jihad-related convicts is membership in a terrorist group, followed by recruitment, indoctrination and training for terrorism and support for an armed group.
In addition, another 120 inmates serving time for non-jihad-related crimes are being monitored for signs of "Islamist fanaticism," according to the newspaper El País, quoting sources from the Interior Ministry.
Achraf's network has also cast a spotlight on the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of Spanish deradicalization programs for jihadi inmates. According to human rights protections guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution, such programs can only be applied on a voluntary basis.
Of the roughly 270 inmates being monitored for jihadist tendencies, only 20 are participating in deradicalization programs, according to the Spanish news agency EFE. The Interior Ministry admitted:
"The majority of the individuals being investigated, far from being deradicalized, have not only remained active in jihadi militancy, but have become even more radical during their incarceration."
*Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.
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Trump Is Up a China Cold War Without a Plan
Mark Gongloff/Bloomberg/October 12/18
They say no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. But what if the genius way around that is to just … have no plan? President Donald Trump may soon find out in his brewing cold war with China. On trade, he has launched tariffs and threatened more, while also calling for China to stop spying, technology theft and other corporate misdeeds. But the tariffs are dumb weapons that hurt US companies and growth too; and cracking down on corporate espionage is harder than it looks, writes Noah Smith. A much more effective and straightforward approach, Noah writes, would be to convince China to stop keeping its currency so cheap to boost its export. This would make global trade more fair and curb the trade deficit Trump hates so much. Last week, Vice President Mike Pence laid out Trump’s broader complaints about China, on everything from military aggression to human-rights abuses. Most of this was legitimate and welcome, writes Hal Brands – but Trump doesn’t seem to be really doing much about it. Nor is it clear what his goal is: A new cold war? A quick-and-dirty deal that maintains the status quo, a la Nafta? “The US is finally starting to say the right things when it comes to the China challenge,” Hal writes. “But it is still struggling to do what is necessary to succeed.”On the plus side for Trump, China’s response hasn’t exactly been brilliant. It has pulled old policy levers, such as cutting bank reserve ratios, to stoke its production-centered economic engine. In the process, it has abandoned efforts to modernize its economy. Mohamed El-Erian writes this will only keep China on a collision course with the US.

Why America Has a Two-Track Economy
Barry Ritholtz/Bloomberg/October 12/18
Which of these two scenarios describes the US economy?
No. 1. The economy is better than ever: The stock market is near a record high, wages are rising, there are more job openings than applicants, household wealth has hit a record, gross domestic product is growing briskly, house values have recovered from the bust, and consumer confidence is back — and so is America! No. 2. Real Americans are suffering: Inflation-adjusted wages are stagnant or even declining, economic mobility is nonexistent, gasoline is getting expensive as oil prices rise, labor force participation rates are stuck at levels not seen since the late 1970s, health care is brutally expensive and getting more so, and rents have been rising. There is a looming retirement crisis coming, as households have too little savings, and pensions are underfunded — the average American is getting crushed! In reality, this binary choice is a false construct and both of these scenarios are very true. But who you are, where you live, your job and educational background very much determine which of those two descriptions you relate to more. And while there has always been a divide between rich and poor, it has grown especially acute during the past decade.
In broad terms, since 2010 the US has seen a modest, post-credit crisis recovery slowly taking hold. True, there has been lots of very encouraging economic news, especially during the past five years. But it has been lumpy and unevenly distributed by geography, industry and educational attainment. Even the gig economy hasn’t worked out as hoped, with many workers being paid much less than needed to support a family.
There are more than enough economic data series for dishonest commentators to cherry pick one in support of their biased positions. My preference instead is to look at the big picture to try to discern why we have such a bifurcated economy. The usual suspects — globalization, automation and the shift to service industries — have all been picked over. So let’s try to consider this in terms of historical shifts. I have four theories worth exploring: No 1. The credit crisis changed everything: The financial crisis was so large and all-encompassing that even now it’s hard to grasp its import. It revealed enormous stresses that weren’t readily apparent before. You can draw a straight line from weak wage gains to rising home-equity withdrawals and from rising real-estate prices to aggressive home refinancing.
After the crisis, many families were forced to honestly recognize their own financial situations. Even though real wages had been mostly flat for decades, the easy credit made it possible for millions of people to pretend otherwise. It’s a social and psychological stress event when people must accept that, despite working long and hard, their living standard is falling. This is as true for hedge funds as it is for middle-class families. No. 2. Unions declined: Unions once guaranteed the middle-class good jobs at a living wage. The trade-off was increased labor costs for companies and higher-priced manufactured goods for consumers.
That was then. Membership in labor unions has been falling since the 1950s. As of 2017, just 10.7 percent of wage and salary workers in the US belonged to a union; that is half of what it was in 1983. The share of unionized workers in the private sector is even lower, at 6.5 percent.
A turning point in the fate of unions came when President Ronald Reagan fired striking members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization. A number of states, especially in the South, passed laws making it harder for unions to organize. As union membership declined, so did the ability of workers to win pay increases from employers. This ties in to the next point. No. 3. Capital was rewarded instead of labor: We can point to the Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Trump administrations for various changes to the tax code that were much friendlier to capital than to labor. Capital gains taxes fell, as did the top income-tax brackets. Policies that were extremely shareholder friendly were also put into place. Although income inequality has been rising for decades, these four administrations had an outsized impact.
Despite huge increases in output and productivity during the past six decades, a shrinking share of those gains have been falling to workers. Although household income rose during this period, much of the gain can be attributed to the rise of the two-income family, as large numbers of women entered the workforce.
No. 4. The vast American middle class was a historical aberration: My pet thesis, admittedly not particularly one well-supported by data, is that the broad sharing of so much of the nation’s wealth was an anomaly, the result of an unusual confluence of forces that sprang from the Great Depression and World War II. It was a one-off that couldn’t resist powerful historical forces.
Let’s back up a bit. During the feudal era and early stages of capitalism, much of the population was impoverished and either engaged in agriculture, and later on, factory work; above that was a small cohort of craftsmen, shop owners and merchants; above that was an even smaller class of nobles and royals — and later on, industrial magnates — with fabulous wealth at their disposal. Extrapolate that to the present, and we have the working poor, the middle class and the professional class, and a similar pyramid-shaped wealth distribution.
The Great Depression wiped out much of the wealth of the richest Americans. Then, after World War II, 16 million American soldiers returned home. The GI Bill gave them a chance to get a college education; pent up postwar consumer demand meant manufacturing jobs were plentiful and well-paying. Most of the rest of the world was in ruins at the time so there was little competition for US industry. From the American perspective, all seemed good.
Or it was until mean reversion began to rear its head. These postwar factors faded during the following decades. Eventually, the economy returned to its prewar stratifications.
The US economic expansion is both robust and weak, broad and narrow, higher and lower than before the financial crisis. How these economic gains have been distributed is likely to have an impact for decades to come.

From Truman to Trump: The Rise and Fall of a Paradigm
Amir Taheri/Asharq Al Awsat/October 12/18
Because of their intense dislike of President Donald Trump, the mainstream media seem to have missed the potential importance of his recent address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Parts of the media either ignored it while some dismissed it as a consignment of Trumpian balderdash.
However, leaving aside its sentimental approach and provocative lexicon, the address merits attention for at least two reasons. The first is that, in it, Trump signaled what he sees as the looming end of globalization, a paradigm that, with varying degrees of intensity, has dominated international life for seven decades.
The second reason is that the alternative that Trump implicitly suggested, albeit in a round-about-way, could put the so-called world order on a new trajectory with unknown consequences.
According to some historians the average life of a paradigm is around eight decades. It starts as a seductive novelty before morphing into received wisdom on its way to inevitable decline and eventual atrophy.
The globalization paradigm was an invention of the ruling elite in the United States when faced with the challenge of creating a new world order in the aftermath of the Second World War. A handful of American statesmen, known as the “Egg Heads”, emerged as the architects of what became Pax Americana. They included George Marshall, Dean Acheson, Cordell Hull, Charles Bohlen, Averell Harriman, John McCloy and Robert Lovett with Presidents Franklin D Roosevelt and then Harry S Truman in the helm.
Addressing the first UN General Assembly in 1945 in San Francisco, Truman highlighted the need for multinationalism.
He said: “We fully realize today that victory in war required a mighty united effort. Certainly, victory in peace calls for, and must receive, an equal effort. Man has learned long ago, that it is impossible to live unto himself. This same basic principle applies today to nations. We were not isolated during the war. We dare not now become isolated in peace. “
Truman went on to urge the creation of a “sensible machinery for the settlement of disputes among nations. Without this, peace cannot exist.”
However, he was quick to point out that the creation of such a machinery did not mean the effacement of differences among nations.
He said: “Differences between men, and between nations, will always remain. In fact, if held within reasonable limits, such disagreements are actually wholesome. All progress begins with differences of opinion and moves onward as the differences are adjusted through reason and mutual understanding.”
The new world order needed to establish Pax Americana succeeded in creating its mechanisms in a record time. The United Nations and its various addenda were fully in place within a few years along with The International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, The General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) and more exclusive outfits such as the Atlantic Council and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
By the 1980s, the American gospel of fee trade, pluralist democracy and market economy had been established as the paradigm of the international order when even the Soviet Union, through its massive reliance on loans from Western banks, and the People’s Republic of China with its switch to capitalism appeared as new converts at least in part.
However, by the end of the last century, the established order was beginning to show fundamental weaknesses.
The United Nations was exposed as a dilatory mechanism that merely froze international problems. One stark example was the Israel-Palestine problem which the UN danced around for almost five decades eventually putting it on the backburner. The UN was also absent when one of the worst genocides in history was enacted in Rwanda. Nor did the UN provide leadership in ending the tragedies triggered in the heart of Europe, by the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
The free-trade ideology did help raise hundreds of millions out of poverty but produced a reduction in the living standards of some strata in the older industrial societies, fomenting anger and despair.
Globalization enabled even the medium and small nations to secure enough resilience to stand up to the diktats of the World Bank and the IMF. In the 1980s, the twins dictated the economic policies of more than 60 nations across the globe. In 2018 they were active in fewer than a dozen and expelled from several others, most recently Turkey.
The decline in the power of international organizations was partly due to the dramatic rise in the economic and financial clout wielded by global business empires based on modern technology.
The globalization paradigm enjoyed the support of most countries for as long as the very relevance of the nation-state was not challenged. However, the 2008 global financial crisis revealed the inability of nation-states to exert meaningful control through the international mechanisms in place.
Trump won the presidency at a time that the global system fathered by the American “Wise Men” had entered its phase of decline. Together with elections in a dozen other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, Trump’s election was an emotional response to a malaise felt across the world.
But what is to be done?
The British tried to provide an answer with their Brexit. The Hungarians, Poles, Czechs, Swedes, Germans, Austrians and Italians have opted for various forms of nationalism with a taste of xenophobia. In Russia, Vladimir Putin has embarked on a strategy of power projection to hide fundamental weaknesses. In Xi Jinping’s China, sino-centrism rather than classical Maoism now sets the tone. Trump has tried to offer a mixture of strategic isolationism and tactical activism with “America First” as ideological topos. Some Western luminaries, for example German philosopher Jurgen Habermas and former Pope Benedict, preach a return to “Christian culture” as the backbone of an alternative global order, at least for Europe and the Americas. Both Truman in San Francisco and Trump in New York tried to attract world attention to a real problem. Truman had a solution in the form of the global architecture the US erected around the concept of globalization. Trump, in contrast, has confined himself to guerrilla attacks on aspects of globalization to attract interest in the problem. That in itself merits the quest for a new paradigm.

Wars of chaos against Egypt and Saudi Arabia
Mashari Althaydi/Al Arabiya/October 12/18
During the ceremony that the Egyptian armed forces held for the 45th anniversary of their October 6 war victory, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi addressed important points, including the arrest of Hisham al-Ashmawy, the most dangerous Egyptian terrorist leader. He was behind plenty of tragedies that harmed the Egyptian people’s security, of which the most despicable targeted security forces and innocent Coptic families.
Sisi spoke realistically about the future that awaits Egypt following the series of difficult measures which the country has went through during his term, to improve the country’s situation and prepare it to enter the new world.
Sisi voiced the importance of formulating a real awareness of the current scene in Egyptians, because if there’s no awareness in all state apparatuses and the public opinion, everything that’s been built will be destroyed.
Egypt is headed towards the best. However, there are those who do not want stability for Egypt, and for it to head towards development. They want to take revenge on Egypt which refused to be soft with the Muslim Brotherhood and those who support it.
He asserted that on June 30, 2020, Egypt will have a different status. “You will see Egypt as a different country,” he said. Some may think of this is as an exaggerated optimism, such as those with good intentions and Egypt’s lovers or the ones who complain about the difficult cost of economic and administrative reform, and those are easy to deal with as there’s no real and deep dispute with them. There are also the “enemies” of Egypt’s current era who excused the likes of terrorist and Sa’ka Forces officer Hisham al-Ashmawy.
A different Egypt
Regardless of all these stances, Egypt is headed towards the best. However, there are those who do not want stability for Egypt, and for it to head towards development. They want to take revenge on Egypt which refused to be soft with the Muslim Brotherhood and those who support it. It was a rare moment as President Sisi spoke with more frankness about the so-called January revolution, the chaotic movement led by the Brotherhood who also led a bunch of “revolutionary” youths who were an easy target for it.
During his speech, Sisi said the battle did not end, but is ongoing with a different vocabulary. He said: “The 2011 events are a wrong treatment for a wrong diagnosis.”
This is one of the most accurate descriptions of what happened at the beginning of 2011 when the political and security earthquake struck Egypt and the agents of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood who tampered with Egyptian prisons and archives under the fuss of “romantic” revolutionary chants.
So has the battle of the chaotic Arab Spring ended?
No, and it’s just like Egypt’s man who saved his country from a black fate said: “The battle did not end but is ongoing with different vocabulary.”
What applies to Egypt applies to Saudi Arabia, which repelled the waves of strife from its land, people and neighbors during the season of Arab destruction but has the Saudi battle ended?
No, the battle is ongoing in Saudi Arabia but with different vocabulary. What we see and hear today in terms of all this fuss about Saudi Arabia every day and under several headlines, including the Jamal Khashoggi headline, is part of the battle of the Arab Spring remnants.

On the curious case of Khashoggi’s disappearance
Faisal J. Abbas/Arab News/October 12/18
Let us start with the obvious: There is certainly much more than meets the eye when it comes to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.
As a friend, a fellow journalist — and a former deputy editor of Arab News — his sudden vanishing certainly raises serious concerns, particularly as the incident happened in Turkey, a country known for its hostility toward the media.
Indeed, it is surreal that the Turkish authorities are suddenly championing freedom of expression. One would think they ought to start with looking in their own back garden.
More importantly, Khashoggi is not a Turkish citizen but a Saudi one. We should not forget that the Kingdom has instructed an official investigation to take place. Riyadh has also, through its ambassador in the US, which was Khashoggi’s last place of residence, expressed solidarity and great concern about his disappearance.
The only thing Saudi Arabia is not doing is responding to every piece of unsubstantiated reporting or wild claims out there. Emotions aside, this is the correct thing to do. After all, there is a formal investigation in place and it must be allowed to be conducted without interruptions or distractions.
Of course, the Saudi silence may trigger people to point fingers. This is understandable, given that Khashoggi was last seen entering the consulate in Istanbul more than a week ago. There is also the fact that he had been critical of the government since he moved to the US late last year.
Yet people forget that Khashoggi was part of the establishment until recently. He left the Kingdom — voluntarily — at around the same time the Anti-Terror Quartet (comprising Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt) decided to impose a boycott on Qatar which, along with Turkey, supported the Muslim Brotherhood.
Khashoggi also expressed — via his official Twitter account — unfavorable views that could have been deemed sympathetic to Al-Qaeda and Daesh. In other words, he was more than just a journalist and somewhat of a political Islam activist as well.
So, while on one hand concerned journalists have a right to question Khashoggi’s disappearance, we should not ignore that there is also much at play here from a Qatari point of view considering Khashoggi’s political affiliations, and his most recent stance which was critical of Riyadh.
Was his vanishing used to embarrass Saudi Arabia? As we wait for the facts to unravel, what is clear is that this is definitely the case, at least from Al Jazeera and other Qatari media outlets’ way of reporting unconfirmed facts and relying on speculation and anonymous sources.
This is not the first time Doha, in particular, has tried to undermine the change happening in Saudi Arabia. It has resorted to every possible method of standing in the way of Riyadh’s sweeping reforms. It has constantly tried to portray the Kingdom as the aggressor, ignoring — in the case of the boycott — that there are written confessions signed by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim himself pledging to stop meddling in the internal affairs of neighboring states.
There is no question that the Saudi authorities are doing — and will do — everything possible to resolve the mystery behind Khashoggi’s disappearance.
There is a team working alongside Turkish authorities to find out what it can. In the meantime, the only thing that can be said is that my thoughts and prayers are with the Khashoggi family at this very difficult time.
• Faisal J. Abbas is the Editor in Chief of Arab News. Twitter: @FaisalJAbbas

Why are Washington, Moscow and Beijing competing on New Delhi?
Shehab Al-Makahleh/Al Arabiya/October 12/18
America is in relative decline, but this is not attributed to the rise of China, India, Brazil and Russia, but to internal US political, economic and even cultural deterioration.
As known through history, the decline of a great power does not necessarily lead to its demise unless there is a force or other forces collectively working to ending one civilisation and starting another. The world is undergoing major shifts in the balance of power due to the rise of the three major Euro-Asian powers (China, India and Russia) together for the first time in history, but it is also true that none is individually capable of defeating the American leadership of the world at current stage without setting up a strong alliance.
This is why China, Russia and the US are now approaching Indian government by signing many economic and military agreements to ensure that India stays either neutral or join any of the two blocs: Western led by the Americans and Eastern led by Chinese and Russians.
Reasons for change
India’s interest in following up the rapid developments in regional crises in the Middle East is due to several considerations: First, the increasing involvement of a number of international forces in those calamities, such as Russia and China, which also sought to raise the level of economic relations with the countries of the region through major economic and investment deals in various fields and military agreements in defence cooperation in tandem with American bids to copy Chinese and Russian deals in the Middle East and India to be able to corner China, Russia, India and even Mideast states.
The reasons for India’s interest in Russia’s military has stemmed from Moscow’s involvement in the Syrian crisis, the high level of cooperation between Russia and Iran after the nuclear agreement reached on 14 July 2015, and the regional tour by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran in January 2016, which aimed to deepen economic relations with the three countries.
The world is undergoing major shifts in the balance of power due to the rise of the three major Euro-Asian powers (China, India and Russia) together for the first time in history
The other reasons hinge on the likelihood of increased terrorist operations in India along the lines of the Bombay operation in 2008 and recent threats to India. Several reports indicate that India has dismantled a terrorist cell that was planning terrorist attacks.
The city of Mumbai was attacked by insurgents in January 2016, which was an important indicator that India is no longer immune from operations. Thus, countering terrorism is one of the areas of cooperation between India, China, Russia and the USA as millions of Indians work in the Middle East, and they can be easily recruited.
It seems that security cooperation was one of the main axes of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan on Dec. 25, 2015, the first Indian prime minister to visit Pakistan since the Mumbai attacks in 2008. Moreover, India was one of the forces that sought to support peace efforts in Afghanistan.
The other motives are that India tends to increase the level of trade cooperation with international powers and Middle Eastern states, which are considered a major market for Indian products.
The US, with sanctions on Iran, has tried to convince India through high-level economic and military cooperation to cease oil imports from Iran as New Delhi purchases about 80 of its crude oil needs from the Middle East, mainly from Tehran which is strategically closer to India than Arab states.
New Delhi also takes into account the increasing number of Indian workers in the Gulf countries, which are a major source of remittances to the country’s economy. India attempts to compete with Pakistan to establish strong relations with the states of the region and to draw support from some regional powers for its position on the Kashmir issue. This is evident in India’s relentless efforts to strengthen its relations with Iran, especially on the economic front. India has begun to accelerate the work in the port of Chabahar, which will be the gateway to resource-rich Central Asia and Afghanistan. The port is located in southeastern Iran, a vital point for India’s quest to overtake Pakistan. On May 22, 2016, a tripartite agreement was signed between India, Iran and Afghanistan to develop the port. India is developing closer security ties and economic interests with Iranians as the port, which India is co-financing, is another gateway for Iran itself to trade not only with India but also with China and Far East.
Vying for New Delhi
Russian President Vladimir Putin has worked to restore the glories of the Russian Empire through several pragmatic stratagems based on the tenets of the most important policies: not to engage in confrontation with the United States, to enhance Russian economy which is primarily based on its huge gas and oil reserves, to pursue a multi-polar world and to form alliances with China and India. The Americans have recently realized that to win over China they have to neutralize Russia and India. American politicians are working hard to win India or neutralise its government as they seek to do the same with Russia to ensure that their next confrontation would only be with one enemy: China. The traits of success would be very difficult as each international country has its own considerations and future calculations.

Iran’s nuclear defiance should not be ignored
الدكتور ماجد ربيزاده: لا ينبغي تجاهل التحدي النووي الإيراني
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh/Arab News/October 12/18
History appears to be repeating itself as the international community continues to disregard reports about Iran’s clandestine nuclear activities.
More than a decade ago, the opposition National Council for Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed that Tehran was conducting secret nuclear activities at two major sites, Natanz and Arak. Yet initially, the revelation was not taken seriously by the international community or relevant organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It took years for the international community to act, giving Iran the opportunity to speedily advance its nuclear program and reduce its nuclear breakout time (the amount of time needed to obtain necessary materials, such as weapons-grade uranium, in order to develop a nuclear weapon). At one point, Iran’s nuclear breakout time reached a dangerous level of approximately two to three months, according to many experts. Recently, several sources have revealed data about Iran’s nuclear defiance, but the international community and the IAEA do not appear to be taking the issue seriously. Israeli intelligence, which is considered one of the most robust in the world, gained access to tens of thousands of documents from inside Iran’s nuclear program. It revealed several developments, including the fact that Iran has been seeking to weaponize its nuclear program for a long time. In one of the documents, an Iranian scientist writes: “The (nuclear) work would be divided in two: Covert and overt.” Since the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, it seems that Tehran has not halted its nuclear activities.
The international community and the IAEA must conduct more comprehensive inspections of Iran’s nuclear program. Its military bases that are reportedly linked to the program, such as Parchin, should be monitored and inspected regularly.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out recently that Iran has enriched 3 tons of uranium to 3.5 percent, doubled its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium, added thousands of new centrifuges (including advanced ones), and continued work on the heavy water reactor at Arak. Since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s election, “this vast and feverish effort has continued unabated,” Netanyahu said.
Any increase in Iran’s nuclear activities under Rouhani should come as no surprise. He used to be Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator during the presidency of hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and in his book published in 2011, Rouhani boasted about his role in deluding the West.
“While we were talking to the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in Isfahan,” he wrote. “By creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the (nuclear) work in Isfahan.” Besides the revelations by Israeli intelligence, critical information about Iran’s nuclear activities was also recently disclosed by the NCRI, whose report states: “Reliable information shows that the ‘nerve center’ of the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons project, responsible for designing the bomb, has been continuing its work. Following the nuclear deal reached in 2015, not only has the unit remained in place and its activities have not subsided, but it is now clear that in some fields its activities have even expanded.”Such illegal activities are most likely carried out in Iran’s military bases, such as the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran. Interestingly, during the nuclear negotiations Iranian leaders succeeded in persuading the Obama administration, Germany, the UK and France to exclude Parchin from IAEA inspection. Other intelligence agencies have also detected Iran’s nuclear defiance. For example, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, revealed in its annual report that Tehran has pursued a “clandestine” path to obtain illicit nuclear technology and equipment from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”
It is intriguing that despite all these intelligence reports, several European countries are still appeasing Iran and ensuring that it enjoys trade and sanctions relief. The EU should know that this is not the first time Tehran has been caught advancing its nuclear program in violation of international rules.
It had previously kept secret some of its nuclear-related operations (such as in Arak and Natanz, which were revealed in 2002), in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the terms of the IAEA. The agency’s regular reports that Tehran is complying with the NPT and the nuclear deal ought to be taken with a pinch of salt. We should not forget that the IAEA failed on several occasions to detect Iran’s secret military-nuclear activities. The international community and the IAEA must conduct more comprehensive inspections of Iran’s nuclear program. Its military bases that are reportedly linked to the program, such as Parchin, should be monitored and inspected regularly. The IAEA should also investigate the leading scientists and researchers linked to the program.
• Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist. He is a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, a businessman and president of the International American Council.
Twitter: @Dr_Rafizadeh

We must go back to basics to save our planet
Mohamed Chebaro/Arab News/October 12/18
Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, we came to believe that the use of a plastic bag was a luxury and a sign of development at the expense of the more sustainable paper bag. We were also led to believe then that owning a gas-guzzling motor car was a sign of success. Today we are told that these modern necessities and many more are polluting our planet, and that we must drastically change our attitude to saving the environment if we are to protect it from global warming.
The findings of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, which convened in South Korea on Monday, make for gloomy reading about the well-being of our planet. Its key message and warning was a call to end our addiction to fossil fuels before 2030, or life on Earth as we know it would start to become unsustainable from 2052.
The authors of the report warned that avoiding climate chaos will require major transformations in governments, societies, economic models and our day-to-day lives. Their main concern is to limit the rise in the planet’s temperature, keeping it below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, if we are to avert worsening ecosystem damage across the globe, which in time will fail to maintain life on Earth.
The findings of the scientists of 2018 are not new. The world has been listening to the same warning annually since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, when the Rio Convention set out a framework aimed at reducing greenhouse gases to a level that protects the planet’s climate system, with approval from 195 countries.
However, despite governmental legislation and regulation, our addiction to fossil fuel consumption has continued to increase.
We have simply sleepwalked into a lifestyle that encroaches negatively on the planet’s fragile ecosystem.
The world’s open skies policy encouraged more air travel, so now we can boast how the world has become one large, accessible village, despite the large carbon dioxide footprint left by air travel. And look at the household items used by consumers across the globe in the early part of the 20th century. Gradually they were all replaced by plastic and other environmentally damaging products, since they were cheaper to produce and sell, regardless of their impact on the planet’s future.
So has modernity polluted our environment, or is it our greed for economic and financial success that has led us to cutting industrial corners that impact the environment in order to achieve better profits? In short, many agree that we have simply sleepwalked into a lifestyle that encroaches negatively on the planet’s fragile ecosystem — but who should we blame?
I believe we are all guilty and, unless there is a call for a return to basics, the limits set up by the UN report will not be met in 2030 or 2050.
Saving the ecosystem that preserves our fragile world needs a global mindset change. But, in a world that is polarized politically, ideologically and commercially, this could be challenging to achieve, since sustainable growth in countries and economies around the world is based on access to fossil fuels.
The EU was the first to react to last week’s report, and its leaders have decided to act to meet interim targets that envision car emissions being reduced in the bloc by 35 percent by 2030. This, they claim, could be done by banning the use of diesel vehicles in European cities, while also migrating infrastructure to cleaner energy sources like wind and solar power instead of coal and oil.
Europe has been at the forefront of attempts to reduce fossil fuel consumption, but countries suffering from war, conflict or breakdowns in upholding the rule of law elsewhere in the world will find it harder to educate people on the importance of saving the environment, when many people are still living in poverty and instability.
For the Middle East, where some countries are key producers of the oil that has helped turn the wheels of the world’s economy in the last few years, the challenges are equally daunting. How do they reconcile economic models reliant on fuel production for income and stop producing this key commodity, which is seen as strategic and essential for their gross domestic product.
In other Middle Eastern countries, discord, conflict and the absence of the rule of law will make it more challenging for governments to meet the UN’s demands. In some of the region’s countries, it is inconceivable to have a greener policy to encourage people to protect the environment while law and order is failing and the coffers of the state are empty.
Having lived in a Western society for decades I have learned to recycle my newspapers, my tin cans, plastic and food waste. I have learned to reduce my water consumption and insulated my home to save energy and pollute less. Many like me have adapted their daily routines to better meet targets set to reduce our carbon dioxide footprint. The latest report is telling us, however, that this is not enough, and that more dramatic efforts are needed to avert the point of no return and save life on our planet.
When the world came together in Rio 26 years ago, cooperation and multilateral work fueled the conversation and the desire to work together to save the environment. In today’s world, where populism, nationalism, patriotism and economic protectionism are on the rise and multilateralism is waning, there are serious doubts about our ability to meet UN targets. Large and small nations must realize that we are once again in it together. We must make an effort to go back to basics and make it a personal and social priority to reduce emissions and limit global warming before it is too late.
• Mohamed Chebaro is a British-Lebanese journalist with more than 25 years’ experience covering war, terrorism, defense, current affairs and diplomacy. He is also a media consultant and trainer.