Saturday, February 27, 2021

White House News (白宮消息) | Feb.27, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (

Benjamin Gantz (Hebrew: בִּנְיָמִין "בֵּנִי" גַּנְץ‎; born 9 June 1959) is an Israeli soldier and politician serving as Alternate Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Defense since 2020. He served as the 20th Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 2011 to 2015[1][2] and the 17th Speaker of the Knesset from 26 March 2020[3] to 17 May 2020.[4][5][6]
In December 2018, he established a new political party named Israel Resilience.[7][8] The party later allied itself with Telem and Yesh Atid to form Blue and White (HebrewKaḥol Lavan), the colours of the Israeli national flag.[9] Gantz's Blue and White alliance platform includes introducing prime ministerial term limits, barring indicted politicians from serving in the Knesset, amending the nation-state law to include Israeli minorities, limiting the power of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel over marriages, investing in early education, expanding health care, and re-entering negotiations with the Palestinian Authority for a peace agreement.[10]
On 20 April 2020, Gantz agreed to join a unity government with Prime Minister Netanyahu which would see Gantz serve as prime minister in a rotation deal in 18 months.[11] Gantz was scheduled to become prime minister on 17 November 2021;[12] however, the coalition collapsed with a new election scheduled for 2021.     from Wikipedia

Mr Netanyahu (left) and his political rival Benny Gantz have shared power since April
Israel election: New poll due after unity government crumbles

Israel is to hold its fourth elections in two years after the two main parties in its unity government failed to meet a deadline in a row over state budgets.

Feb. 27 - Voters will return to the polls in March, just 12 months after the last round.

Two previous elections were inconclusive, resulting in a rare government of national unity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on trial for alleged corruption, is hoping to return to office for a sixth time.
He denies the criminal charges against him, dismissing them as politically motivated.     continue to read

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Israel’s defense minister has appointed a committee to investigate the government’s controversial purchase of German submarines several years ago — a step that further strains his already poor relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Feb. 27 - Israel’s defense minister on Sunday appointed a committee to investigate the government's controversial purchase of German submarines several years ago — a step that further strained his already poor relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The $2 billion purchase of the submarines and warships made by Thyssenkrupp is the focus of a sweeping corruption scandal in which seven businessmen, including confidants of Netanyahu, have been named as suspects.

Netanyahu, who is on trial for his involvement in three other corruption scandals, is not a suspect in the submarine case. But critics, including his defense minister at the time of the purchase in 2015, have said Netanyahu behaved improperly and may have had a conflict of interest.     more to read

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Jamal Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018
Jamal Khashoggi: Joe Biden tells Saudi Arabia's king that he will 'hold them accountable for human rights abuses'

Jamal Khashoggi, an exiled journalist who was a frequent critic of the crown prince, was murdered in October 2018.
Joe Biden has told Saudi Arabia's King Salman that he will "hold them accountable for human rights abuses".

Feb. 27 - The president's warning came after a newly declassified intelligence report concluded that the kingdom's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is likely to have approved an operation to kill or capture a US-based journalist inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Jamal Khashoggi, an exiled journalist who was a frequent critic of the crown prince, was murdered in October 2018.

Speaking to Univision News, Mr Biden confirmed that he had spoken to King Salman on Thursday, and had warned there will be "significant changes" in the country's relationship with the US.

The report, contributed to mostly by the CIA, said the crown prince's "absolute control" of the kingdom's intelligence organisations would make it highly unlikely that such an operation could have been carried out without his authorisation.
Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry rejected the accusation, calling the report's assessment "negative, false and unacceptable" and its conclusion "unjustified and inaccurate".

A statement called the murder "an abhorrent crime and a flagrant violation of the kingdom's laws and values".

The central conclusion of the report was widely expected - given that intelligence officials were said to have reached it soon after the brutal murder of Mr Khashoggi. He had written opinion columns for the Washington Post that were critical of the crown prince's policies.

But it will be seen as an extraordinary rebuke of the ambitious 35-year-old Saudi leader, and is likely to set the tone for the Biden administration's relationship with the kingdom.     more details

Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations has warned of a growing tendency among some countries to resort to threats or use of force under the pretext of exercising their right to self-defense, referring to the assassination by the US of Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani as a case in point.
Iran warns US claim of using ‘right to self-defense’ in assassination of Gen. Soleimani

Feb. 7 - AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations has warned of a growing tendency among some countries to resort to threats or use of force under the pretext of exercising their right to self-defense, referring to the assassination by the US of Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani as a case in point.

“If unchecked, the right to self-defense will not only be abused more frequently by such states, but also they will institute further exceptions to the principle of the prohibition of the threat or use of force,” IRAN quoted Majid Takht-Ravanchi as saying in an address to the UN Security Council Open Arria Formula Meeting on right to self-defense in New York on Wednesday.

He pointed to the US’s brutal assassination of Lt. General Soleimani, the Commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, in Iraq early in 2020 in a gross violation of the basic norms and principles of international law.     continue to read
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Feb 26, 2021

Iraqi President Barham Salih hailed ties with Iran as unique, saying that that Iraqi relations with Iran are helpful for prosperity of Iraqi people and for the Iraqi Government fighting ISIS terrorism.
Iraqi president calls for collective resolve to fight ISIS terrorism

Feb. 27 - Addressing a meeting of US Brookings Institution, he added that during the era of Saddam Hussein, Iraq had turned into a problem for the region and the entire world.

Noting that all Iraq's neighbors should respect its sovereignty and independence, he said that stability in Iraq can help the situation in Syria, which is very important. Stability in Iraq will mean less conflict with Turkey and Iran.

Salih also called for collective resolve with the neighbors to fight terrorism and extremism and participation to modernize economic infrastructures.

Reiterating that Iraq is committed to liberating its entire territory from ISIS, he added that regardless of the US government's decision, Iraq is committed to fighting ISIS to bring terrorism to an end.

He called for regional and international co-operation to fight terrorism, saying that without cooperation of the neighboring states to counter the challenge of extremism and the terrorist groups throughout the Middle East, the humanitarian plight will not end.     source from

Thursday, February 25, 2021

White House News (白宮消息) | Feb.26, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (

History of Armenia: A Captivating Guide to Armenian History, Starting from Ancient Armenia to Its Declaration of Sovereignty from the Soviet Union (Captivating History)

US says Armenian army should not intervene in politics
Washington has been steadfast supporter of development of democratic processes, says State Dept.

Feb. 26 - The US on Thursday urged the Armenia army not to intervene in domestic politics, after its military called for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan,
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Washington is closely monitoring the situation and urged all parties to exercise restraint to avoid any violent actions.

"We remind all parties of the bedrock democratic principle that the state's armed forces should not intervene in domestic politics," Price told reporters while adding that the US has been a steadfast supporter of the development of democratic processes and institutions in Armenia.

"We continue to support Armenia's democracy, and its sovereignty, and we urge its leaders to resolve their differences peacefully, while respecting the rule of law, Armenians' democracy, and its institutions," he said.

The Armenian armed forces chief Onik Gasparyan, along with other senior commanders, released a statement Thursday that called for Pashinyan to step down.

Pashinyan blasted demand as a coup attempt and urged his supporters to take to the streets to resist.
Turkey strongly condemned the attempted coup in Armenia.

“We condemn all military coups or coup attempts, no matter where they take place across the world,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference in Hungary.     source from

EU leaders to discuss security cooperation with NATO chief

Feb. 26 - Brussels (dpa) - The 27 leaders of the European Union are to shift their focus to defence and security issues on Friday when regrouping for a second day of virtual talks.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is to join the videoconference for a discussion on cooperation between the bloc and the defence alliance.

The EU has been trying to coordinate more closely on defence and security matters in recent years, for example with plans to jointly fund defence development projects.

The overarching aim is greater strategic autonomy, allowing Europe to project its interests and values on a world stage where the United States seems to be pulling back as China and Russia grow more assertive

EU leaders are to hold a strategic debate on European security and defence policy, according to official information published by the European Council.

They are also discuss how to increase their resilience to cyberattacks and hybrid threats, and debate relations with their southern neighbours.     source from

欧盟27国制裁俄罗斯 普京:做好准备应对最艰巨挑战 20210224 |《今日关注》 CCTV中文国际
Feb 25, 2021

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian addresses supporters at Republic Square, Yerevan, February 25, 2021.

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinian Warns Of 'Attempted Military Coup' As U.S. And Russia Call For Restraint

​Feb. 26 - Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has rejected calls to resign and warned of "an attempted military coup" as the United States and Russia urged all sides to deescalate an intensifying political crisis.

Speaking to around 20,000 supporters in the center of the capital Yerevan on February 25, Pashinian said Armenians would not allow the armed forces to interfere after top military brass joined opposition demands for his resignation.

“As prime minister, my order to all soldiers, officers and generals of the armed forces is – gentlemen, do your job – the protection of the Armenian borders and its territorial integrity. This is my order, and no one can dare to [violate] this order,” Pashinian told the rally.     continue to read

Merkel rules out border controls with France despite rising cases

Feb. 26 - Berlin (dpa) - Despite the rising number of infections in the French border region of Moselle, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she did not plan to tighten controls on the border, as is the case with the Czech Republic or the Austrian province of Tyrol.

"Border controls are not on the agenda at the moment," Merkel said on Thursday after an EU summit that took place by video.

Referring to other border controls, Merkel said this situation was different and that the German states of Bavaria and Saxony, bordering Austria and the Czech Republic, had called for the border controls.

The district of Moselle borders the western German states of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate. There has been growing concern about the situation there in recent weeks, due to the spread of new and more transmissible strains of the coronavirus.
Merkel's comments came as France tightens entry regulations for Germans entering the district.

As of March 1, cross-border commuters who are not travelling for work will have to present a negative PCR test upon arrival that is not older than 72 hours, the French government said in a statement published on Thursday morning.

Health Minister Olivier Veran and Clement Beaune, French secretary of state for European affairs, said that close consultations had been held with the German side in the last days.

"On both sides of the border, we share the goal of maintaining freedom of movement and enabling cross-border workers to pursue their professional activities," they said in the statement.

Until now, the obligation to present a coronavirus test has generally applied for entry into France, but there were a number of exceptions.

The possibility of remote working was also to be strengthened, according to the statement.

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White House News (白宮消息) | Feb.25, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (

Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic: محمد بن سلمان بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود‎, romanizedMuḥammad bin Salmān bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āl Su‘ūd; born 31 August 1985),[1][2][3] colloquially known as MBS,[4][5] is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. He is currently serving as the country's deputy prime minister[6] (the title of prime minister being held by the king) and is also Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, Chairman of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, and Minister of Defense – the world's youngest at the time of his appointment.[7] He has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman. He was appointed crown prince[8] in June 2017 following King Salman's decision to remove Muhammad bin Nayef from all positions, making Mohammed bin Salman heir-designate to the throne.[9][10][11]

He has led several successful reforms, which include regulations restricting the powers of the religious police,[12] the removal of the ban on female drivers in June 2018,[13] and weakening the male-guardianship system in August 2019.[14] Other cultural developments under his reign include the first Saudi public concerts by a female singer, the first Saudi sports stadium to admit women,[15] an increased presence of women in the workforce,[16] and opening the country to international tourists by introducing an e-visa system, allowing foreign visas to be applied for and issued via the Internet.[17] His Vision 2030 program aims to diversify the Saudi economy through investment in non-oil sectors including technology and tourism. In 2016, he announced plans to list the shares of the state oil company Saudi Aramco.[18]

​Despite praise for his strides towards the social and economic liberalisation of Saudi Arabia, international commentators and human rights groups have been openly critical of bin Salman's leadership and the shortfalls of his reform program, citing a rising number of detentions and alleged torture of human rights activists,[19] the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen which has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis and famine,[20] the escalation of the Qatar diplomatic crisis,[21] the start of the Lebanon–Saudi Arabia dispute, the start of a diplomatic spat with Canada, the arrest of members of the Saudi royal family in November 2017, a crackdown on feminists,[22][23][24] the hacking and blackmailing of The Washington Post owner and world's second wealthiest person, Jeff Bezos; and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.[25][26] He has been described by observers as an autocratic leader with no tolerance for dissent against him or the Saudi royal family.[27] He was honoured by the Government of Pakistan with the highest civil decoration for having strong ties with the country in 2019.     from Wikipedia

'Top Secret' Saudi documents show Khashoggi assassins used company seized by Saudi crown prince

Feb. 25 - Washington (CNN)The two private jets used by a Saudi Arabian assassination squad that killed and allegedly dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi were owned by a company that less than a year prior had been seized by the Kingdom's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, according to recently filed court documents seen by CNN.

The documents, filed as part of a Canadian civil lawsuit earlier this year, are labeled "Top Secret" and signed by a Saudi minister who relayed the orders of the crown prince, the young de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

"According to the instruction of His Highness the Crown Prince," the minister wrote according to a translation, "immediately approve the completion of the necessary procedures for this."​     more to read

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
‘Successful’ appendicitis surgery for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
The heir left hospital shortly after the operation.

Feb. 25 - Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman underwent a “successful surgery” for appendicitis, the royal court said, and he left the hospital soon after the operation.

The 35-year-old prince had surgery at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the morning, according to the royal court.

The official statement described the operation as laparoscopic, meaning that no large incision was made.

Late on Wednesday, Saudi state-run media published footage of the crown prince, surrounded by an entourage clad in traditional chequered headdress, striding out of the fluorescent-lit hospital and into an awaiting black Mercedes.

“He has left the hospital in health and wellness,” the royal court announced, without providing further details.
Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman, has amassed immense powers in the kingdom since being appointed heir to the throne in 2017.

His swift rise to power, brash unpredictability and and ambitious efforts to liberalise the deeply conservative society as well as overhaul the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy has attracted international attention.     source from
疫情死亡超50万 得州严寒危机 美国“病”了?20210223 |《今日关注》 CCTV中文国际
Feb 24, 2021

'Dangerous' law enforcement leaders refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Biden's government: Ex-FBI agent

Feb. 25 - As Capitol attackers are slowly being identified and indicted, Americans are learning that many of them were former military or current and former police officers.

During her Wednesday show, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cited a Justice Department indictment for former Marine Thomas Webster, who used his Marine flag to beat a police officer. When the officer took the flag, Webster came after him with clenched fists.

Webster's "lawyer says Webster attended the rally at the behest of the president of the United States," Wallace explained.

Former FBI special agent Clint Watts explained that Webster and others like him who served in the military or in law enforcement truly believed that it was acceptable to go in and attack the Capitol.

"It's just strange. I don't understand that sort of thinking and I think this really speaks to what four years of President Trump politicizing the military and law enforcement can do," said Watts. "We have a significant problem right now in a couple of different ways. The Department of Defense coming in after four strange years going through many secretaries of defense. Their first priority seems to be cleaning out their own ranks, trying to make sure they don't have extremists or people that are anti-government in the ranks of the military which is paid for by the government."

In the world of law enforcement, he said another issue is that there are community law enforcement members who don't believe that President Joe Biden is the president and don't recognize his authority.

"They are essentially not going to believe in the rule of law from the federal level, and I think that's an incredibly dangerous phenomenon we have in this country, both between federal, state and local law enforcement, but who are you as a citizen, as an American citizen if you're not on that team whenever you go into their jurisdiction? How are you going to be treated? will you fairly be meted out in terms of what the law is?"     source from

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