Category Archives: Ephemera

Israel launches widest Gaza daytime assault since 2014 war

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The Israeli military carried out its largest daytime airstrike campaign in Gaza since the 2014 war Saturday as Hamas militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel, threatening to spark a wider conflagration after weeks of tensions along the volatile border. No casualties or major damage was reported on either side, and Israel said it was focused on hitting military targets and was warning Gaza civilians to keep their distance from certain sites. But it still marked a significant flare-up after a long period of a generally low-level, simmering conflict. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the latest Israeli sortie, the third of the day, struck some 40 Hamas targets including tunnels, logistical centers and a Hamas battalion headquarters. He said the escalation was the result of the sustained Hamas rocket attacks, its fomenting of violence along the border and its campaign of launching incendiary kites and balloons that have devastated Israeli farmlands and nature reserves.” (07/14/18)

Thailand: Four of 12 boys trapped in cave have been rescued

Source: Yahoo! News

“Four members of a youth soccer team in Thailand have been rescued from a cave where the group has been trapped for more than two weeks. Twelve boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a game, reports said. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days, CBS News reported. … The mission reportedly paused due to depleted oxygen levels in the cave.” (07/08/18)

Thailand: Officials clear media as cave rescue seems imminent

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Thai authorities asked media to leave the area around the entrance of the cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped for two weeks, fueling speculation on Sunday morning that a rescue mission could be imminent. Dozens of divers arrived at the Tham Luang cave on Sunday morning and officials set up more tarpaulin sheets blocking off the divers’ operating area. Officials declined to comment but a news conference was expected at any time. Thai officials said Saturday they are worried that heavy monsoon rain could soon make the job even more difficult and they may need to quickly rescue the boys and the coach by helping them make risky dives to safety.” (07/07/18)

G7: Trump calls for end to tariffs and trade barriers

Source: BBC [UK state media]

“US President Donald Trump says he proposed the elimination of tariffs in talks at the G7 summit in Canada, as the major industrial nations struggled to resolve differences on trade. Mr Trump said talks with fellow leaders were ‘extremely productive’ despite tensions over his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. US allies were furious over the move, raising fears of a global trade war. However, a joint communique was signed on trade and tariffs. The communique, announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was signed by all of the G7 leaders. Mr Trump left early for a landmark meeting with North Korea’s leader. He is traveling to Singapore to meet with Kim Jong-un on Tuesday to try to persuade him to give up the country’s nuclear weapons.” (06/09/18)

China: Regime agrees to bolster purchases of US goods, in move to “substantially reduce” “trade gap”


Source: CNBC

“China and the U.S. have mutually agreed to ‘substantially reduce’ the yawning trade imbalance [sic] between the two countries, a joint statement read on Saturday, in a move that will involve the Chinese boosting more of what they buy from American producers. Amid fears of a global trade war and rising tensions between the world’s two largest economies, both China and the U.S. have entered bilateral talks to bolster cooperation. In a statement issued by the White House, both parties forged a ‘consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit [sic] in goods with China.'” [editor’s note: In English, this means that both regimes will more thoroughly rape their own consumers to benefit enterprises operated by or generous to the political class – TLK] (05/19/18)

Armenia: Protesters march after regime forces abduct opposition leader

Source: Straits Times [Singapore]

“Hundreds of opposition supporters took to the streets of Armenia’s capital on Monday (April 23) amid rising political turmoil as the whereabouts of the protest leader remained unclear a day after he was detained. On the 11th day of demonstrations in the ex-Soviet country, young men in small groups briefly blocked roads in Yerevan and shouted slogans such as ‘Join us!’ and ‘Victory’ and the name of protest leader Nikol Pashinyan as drivers beeped their horns in support. Hundreds of students, some medical students in white coats, also marched arm-in-arm through the streets, holding Armenian flags. A group of uniformed former soldiers and veterans who fought in Nagorny Karabakh — a breakaway region seized by Armenian separatists from neighbouring Azerbaijan in a conflict that broke out at the end of the Soviet era — marched with the protesters to Parliament.” (04/23/18)

Report: Ryan won’t seek reelection

Source: Washington Post

“House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has told friends and several colleagues that he has decided not to seek reelection this year and will soon inform colleagues of his plans, according to several people familiar with his plans. The decision comes ahead of mid-term elections that were already looking treacherous for Republicans, who risk losing control of the House. The party has seen a large number of retirements, and Ryan’s exit is certain to sap morale as Republicans seek to contain a surge in enthusiasm from Democrats, whose fortunes have been buoyed by the unpopularity of President Trump.” (04/11/18)

Senate, Trump clash over Saudi Arabia

Source: The Hill

“The Senate is headed for a clash with the Trump administration over Saudi Arabia this week. The chamber is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution directing the U.S. military to stop cooperating with Saudi bombing operations in Yemen, an action the administration strongly opposes. The vote comes at an awkward time, as President Trump is meeting Tuesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his first trip to Washington since becoming next in line to the throne. … Senate sources are split over what chance the bill would have of passing. Because it is a privileged resolution, it only needs a simple majority to pass. Two Senate aides said it has a good shot of rounding up 51 votes, but [US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)], one of the original sponsors, cautioned that success is far from a sure thing. He said votes on the Democratic side of the aisle are ‘fluid,’ and the administration is going all-out to persuade Republicans to vote against it.” (03/20/18)

Romania: Court rejects cook’s claim that he’s alive

Source: New York Daily News

“Constantin Reliu learned in January that he was dead. After more than 20 years of working as a cook in Turkey, the 63-year-old returned home to Romania to discover that his wife had had him officially registered as dead. He has since been living a legalistic nightmare of trying to prove to authorities that he is, in fact, alive. He faced a major setback Thursday when a court in the northeastern city of Vaslui refused to overturn his death certificate because his request was filed ‘too late.’ The decision, the court said, is final.” (03/16/18)