Operation ‘No deal’? UK army braces for Brexit chaos as May faces fierce rejection of divorce plan

The military is reportedly drafting contingency plans that could see British troops deployed in the streets, as the prospects of a chaotic Brexit seem increasingly realistic, with Theresa May facing a potential no-confidence vote.

“About 20 officers who normally oversee Operation Temperer… were ordered last week to step up no-deal Brexit planning,” the Sunday Times reported, citing a well-placed military source.

While Operation Temperer officers are reserved as a response to terror attacks, this time they were tasked with devising a strategy to maintain public order and secure the flow of medical supplies to hospitals. As many as 10,000 members of the military could be deployed on British streets should UK exit the EU on March 29 with no deal with Brussels.

Read more

© Reuters / Peter Nicholls

“The armed forces stand ready to support Britain on a practical basis,” British defense minister Tobias Ellwood said on the ‘Ridge on Sunday’ television program last week. “There are contingency plans being made, there are discussions being held behind the scenes as to what support our armed forces will do.”

The army always makes “sensible contingency plans” to deal with all types of events, Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter told the BBC last week. “At this stage I think people are confident there will be a deal, if there’s not one then we stand ready to help in any way we can.”

British society remains highly divided over Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement with the EU which was made public on Wednesday night and prompted the resignation of seven ministers. A YouGov poll conducted on Thursday found twice as many Britons oppose the deal as those who support it (42 to 19 percent).

Amid wide discontent with the deal, May now faces a nearly impossible challenge to get the Parliament to approve the agreement, which makes the chance of no-deal Brexit a very real possibility.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT UK News

‘Golan Heights forever ours!’ Israel praises US for its vote against UN anti-occupation resolution

Israel said its sovereignty over the Golan Heights is permanent, after the US for the first time rejected a symbolic UN resolution that calls on the Jewish state to end its occupation of the Syrian territory it captured in 1967.

“Israel will remain forever on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will forever remain in our hands,” Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, thanking the US leadership for voting against calls at the United Nations on Friday for the return of the Golan to Syria.

Read more

Israeli police fire tear gas at Druze protesters in Majdal Shams © Reuters / Ammar Awad

Netanyahu noted that Israel has been working with the US “for some time” towards the abandonment of Washington’s passive support for the non-binding resolution titled “The occupied Syrian Golan.” Previous US leadership had abstained from the vote on the symbolic document but, this year, under Donald Trump, the US became the only state to vote ‘No’ alongside Israel. However, with 151 votes in favor and 14 abstentions, the Special Political and Decolonization Committee’s resolution passed anyway.

The document demands the end of Israeli occupation of the Golan while urging Tel Aviv to refrain from establishing settlements and from imposing Israeli citizenship on Syrians living there.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six Day War. While Tel Aviv refrained from extending sovereignty over the Golan for over a decade, in 1981 the Jewish state annexed the area. The Druze of the Golan were offered full Israeli citizenship under the Golan Heights Law of 1981, however, only a small minority changed their allegiance from Syria to Israel. Despite strong condemnation by Damascus, last month Israel introduced elections to the local Druze councils in the territory.

Read more

An Israeli flag is seen placed on Mount Bental in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on May 10, 2018 © AFP / Jalaa Marey

Israel has enjoyed the most favorable relations with the US under the Trump administration, which has bowed to a strong domestic Israeli lobby to support Tel Aviv’s demands, ignored by previous American governments.

During Trump’s presidency, Washington has been blocking Palestinian aspirations for statehood. In the most controversial move, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocated the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. Months following the move, US ambassador David Friedman hinted that Washington might soon recognize Israel’s claims over the Golan.

“I personally cannot imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights will be returned to Syria,” he told the Israel Hayom newspaper in September. “I frankly cannot imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights is not part of Israel forever.”

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT World News

‘Mexico First’? Riot police deployed in Tijuana against anti-migrant protesters (VIDEOS)

Tijuana residents have staged a rally against migrants gathering in the Mexican border city in hopes of crossing to the US. Donald Trump supported their outrage, saying even his country is ill-prepared to survive such an invasion.

Anti-migrant sentiment is running high in Tijuana, as hundreds of locals shouting “no to the invasion” and “Mexico First” staged a protest rally on Sunday. Starting at a major traffic roundabout they marched north toward a makeshift shelter which now hosts thousands of migrants. The protesters carried placards reading “enough of uncontrolled migration” and “migrants yes, invaders no.”

Before the procession managed to reach Benito Juarez migrant camp, riot police officers were deployed to block them. Some brief scuffles followed but, according to local media, law enforcement officers managed to disperse the crowd without making any arrests.

Tensions in the city exploded last Wednesday when first clashes were reported between the newcomers and locals, that latter angry that migrants “illegally” forced their way into Mexico and now accumulate at the US border, posing a growing “security risk.” Responding to the public sentiment, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum made clear that anyone who endangers public order will be deported.

“No city in the world is prepared to receive this –if I’m allowed– this avalanche,” he said, during a news conference at City Hall last week.

It is a tsunami. There is concern among all citizens of Tijuana.

Not all Tijuana locals oppose the influx of asylum seekers though. Just before the Sunday anti-caravan march began, a small demonstration was held in support of the Central Americans, condemning what they call “racism” and “discrimination.”

Some 3,200 Central American migrants had arrived in Tijuana over the past week, their last stop before attempting to cross into the United States. In the coming weeks the number of migrants in Tijuana is expected to reach 10,000 as thousands are heading to a city already stretched beyond its capacity to host the newcomers.

Donald Trump, who has deployed thousands of troops at the border to reinforce the frontier with Mexico, said last week that the US, just like Tijuana, is “ill-prepared” to host such a migrant “invasion” and urged the Central Americans to “go home.” Those who try to cross the border illegally “will be detained or turned away,” the US president warned in another tweet.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT World News

Netanyahu takes over as defense minister, says early election ‘irresponsible’ at such difficult time

Assuming the position of Defense Minister after several high-profile resignations, Israeli Pime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, for the sake of national security, warned remaining ministers against pushing for an early election.

While Netanyahu is known for cleverly playing the security card in the past, there’s no guarantee that it will be enough to hold his crumbling coalition together this time. The crisis was sparked by the resignation of hawkish Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, due to his outrage with the ceasefire deal agreed by Israel and Palestinian armed group Hamas.

I would like to say that now when we are witnessing one of the most difficult periods in terms of security, we cannot topple the government and hold an early election. That is irresponsible.

A week ago, Israel and Hamas were on the brink of a large-scale conflict after Hamas fired more than 400 rockets and mortars at Israel, while the IDF retaliated by sending its warplanes to bomb around a hundred sites in Gaza. When a truce was reached through UN and Egyptian mediation on Tuesday, Lieberman blasted the deal as “capitulation to terror” and quit.

Read more

© Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

The Defense Minister didn’t go alone, but took his whole Yisrael Beitenu party with him, which left the coalition with just a single seat majority in the Israeli parliament. Following the shock move, Netanyahu’s partners said that the government won’t be able to work effectively anymore and mulled an early election.

“We remember well what happened when sources from within the coalition caused the government’s dissolution in 1992 and 1999, leading to the Oslo disaster and the disaster of the Second Intifada,” Netanyahu argued, during a government meeting on Sunday.

By the ‘Oslo disaster’ he meant the initiation of the historic yet fruitless peace process with Palestine after secret talks in the Norwegian capital in 1993 under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. As for the Second Intifada, it was a wave of violent attacks against Israel by Palestinians, provoked by the visit of then-PM Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount.

Netanyahu believes an early election would be a “mistake” that Israel can’t afford “repeating” at this time. However, finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the head of the Kulanu party, said that the crisis situation doesn’t allow for the necessary stability of Israeli economy and that a new strong government was needed. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri of the Shas party also called for an election “as soon as possible, for the sake of the country.”

READ MORE: Israeli fighter jets strike dozens of Gaza targets as 300 rockets rain down on towns (VIDEOS)

Despite Netanyahu announcing that he would take the defense minister portfolio only temporarily, Haaretz sources indicated that he intends to keep it in the near future. But his main coalition partners from the Habayit Hayehudi party insist that the job should go to their man, Naftali Bennett, who now holds the post of Education Minister.

Unless the defense minister’s portfolio is given to Bennett to rescue Israel from the serious crisis of confidence in security that it is in, there is no point in the existence of a left-wing government.

“The public is fed up with voting right wing and getting the left,” Habayit Hayehudi said.

Netanyahu met with Kahlon on Sunday in order to find a solution to the deadlock, but the talks brought no results. They agreed to meet again next week, with Kahlon telling Israel Television News Company that the PM would need to “pull a rabbit from a hat” to keep the government running.

Despite his high ratings, Netanyahu dreads fresh elections as the corruption probe against him might potentially disqualify him from the vote. Investigators believe the PM provided favors to two media groups in exchange for favorable coverage and also received gifts worth $ 280,000 from businessmen.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT World News

Officer accuses Nashville police of vengeance for her reporting discrimination & rape by colleague

A female officer who became a pariah among Nashville police has sued the force and her commander for allegedly retaliating against her after she alleged a rape by a colleague, as well as racial and gender-based discrimination.

Monica Blake, an African-American officer 14 years on the job, has been at odds with her department for a while and her lawsuit includes a long list of grievances, from being treated differently than male colleagues to free speech suppression and retaliation for reporting a rape in 2016.

In April this year the officer who she accused –who went under nickname Hulk– made a plea deal with the District Attorney’s office and had his rape charges reduced to aggravated assault. Blake told local media that the DA’s office explained to her that a top officer in her department told them she was “untruthful.” She had earlier been the subject of an internal probe, which included looking into complaints that she was lying in a child abuse case. The investigation found that she was telling the truth.

But Blakes’ tensions with Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) started after a card game, according her lawsuit, a report by the Tennessean suggests. h

Read more

The photo of the alleged gang-rape victim from social media. © gorobzor.ru

The woman claims the penalties she received from her supervisors were unjustifiably tough. She recalled that she was once suspended for three days for simply playing a game of cards, while white male officers escaped almost all culpability for much harsher violations – like skipping work to hang out with their buddies or arresting a sober person for driving under influence.

But all of her complaints “fell on deaf ear,” Blake said, adding that the sexual assault charges against the man who was alleged to have raped her were eventually dropped too.

It got worse when she publicly supported an initiative to create a Community Oversight Board, which would impartially investigate police shootings and other misconduct by cops, dedicating several social media posts to the issue.

The officer recently learnt of a closed Facebook group where current and retired police officers teamed up against her and suggested that she should be swiftly sacked from the department.

“Never thought I would see the day that a Metro Officer would turn against her fellow officers. Wonder, who’s back she is watching, or better yet who is watching hers. What goes around comes around,” one of the comments in the group read.

“For a long time, I lived in fear. I was terrified for a long time,” Blake told News4, adding that she was also verbally attacked by colleagues, who branded her “a traitor.”

The officer said she filed a federal lawsuit against MNPD and Commander Janet Pardue on Friday “to protect me and you. Let citizens of Nashville know this is what’s going on right in your city.”

“I want justice, and justice at this point, I can’t quite define it but I do know that people need to be held accountable for the things that they have done,” Blake said in an interview with News Channel 5.

READ MORE: 300 police officers fired in Russia this year after complaints from citizens

The lawsuit also pushes for the Nashville Police to amend their strict social media policy, which now states that service personnel may be subject to “corrective and/or disciplinary action” for online activities viewed as “inappropriate” by MNPD.

The officer claimed the department had also considered suspending her after she recently gave an interview to a website supporting the Community Oversight Board.

“What hurt me the most is that inclusiveness, in my opinion, is what’s going to help bring us to a better place but with this Code Of Silence it was evident that… officers were more concerned with banding together than they were with the interest of the public and that in and of itself made me question why I am in policing in the first place,” Blake said.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

A star is born: Zverev beats Djokovic in straight sets to clinch ATP Finals (PHOTOS)

German Alexander Zverev, 21, has sensationally beaten all-time great Novak Djokovic in the ATP Finals to clinch the championship in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 in London.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a bold move by Sascha’: Roger Federer opens up on Zverev ATP controversy

Zverev, also known as ‘Sascha’, had beaten another tennis icon in Roger Federer in the semi-finals, and carried his form into the final against he imperious Serbian, who had no answer to the young star’s game, who became the first German since Boris Becker to win tour championship.

The youngster showed he was giving Djokovic no respect on the court, matching the veteran – himself a 5-time winner of the championships – every step of the way, smashing four aces early on in the first set, a measure of his focus early on.

READ MORE: Zverev shocks Federer in straight sets to reach ATP final

Zverev’s confidence from the outset seemed to unnerve the 31-year-old, who dropped four points in four of his service games on his way to losing the opening set by a tight margin. Another ace brought Zverev set point, which he seized with both hands, forcing Djokovic to play his forehand long to claim the lead against a man who had not dropped a set all week.

With the first set over, the atmosphere bubbled inside the O2 Arena, as the crowd, which included an onlooking David Beckham, sat up and took notice of the powerful young Zverev pacing the court, and realized he could well be on the verge of pulling a huge upset.

The second set began with Zverev breaking Djokovic for the second consecutive time, and by that time it looke das though Djokovic was a broken man, gasping for air with every run and appearing to follow Zverev’s every shot, and the writing was on the wall when Zverev held serve to take a 5-3 lead and come within touching distance of the championship.

In the final game, Zverev took a vital championship point that was saved with a serve and volley from Djokovic, but then a second was converted with an exquisite forehand passing shot to take the title 6-4, 6-3 to signal a new star of tennis was born.

The 6ft 6in frame of Zverev collapsed to the floor upon winning, and in the post match speech paid tribute to Djokovic and his team, as well as his own coach, former legendary player Ivan Lendl. 

“Right now I really can’t describe it. First of all I want to congratulate Novak.
You barely lost a match and I’m very thankful you lost one to me today!” the German, who joins the company of only his trainer Ivan Lendl, Becker, Djokovic to win the finals at his age.

“Obviously you can win any match you want but I appreciate you letting me win one today. Also huge congratulations to whole Novak’s team.

“Having surgery this year and finishing world number one, I don’t know if that’s ever been done before.

READ MORE: ‘No need to apologize’: Federer defends Zverev after controversial incident in ATP Finals defeat

“Then, of course, my team. I want to start with my dad, he’s been coaching me my whole life He might be the best coach in tennis and I really mean that.

‘I want to thank the crowd, the crowd has been absolutely amazing all week even though we had a bit of a moment yesterday. I still appreciate you coming out and supporting and really showing love for the sport. It’s such a pleasure to play in front of such an amazing crowd, so thank you very much for that.”

Losing finalist Djokovic, who was first up on the mic, was full of praise for his young conqueror. “First of all congratulations Sascha to you and to your team. You definitely played much better than you have in the group stage and you deserve to win!” the jovial 14-time Grand Slam-winner began.

“Obviously, well done. You’re still quite young but you have an amazing career ahead and I wish you all the best for the future.

“Hopefully I’ll play many more years and I’ll see you all here for years to come. Obviously today was not a great day for us. If we put things in perspective it was a great year and an amazing comeback.

“Last but not least, you fans have made this tournament very special for all of us.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Sport News

New York Times under fire for asking if ‘Jared & Ivanka are good for Jews’

The New York Times has seemingly carelessly stepped on thin ice by issuing a piece titled ‘Are Jared and Ivanka Good for the Jews?’ … and it apparently fell through that ice by provoking a storm of criticism on social media.

A pretty long piece issued by the Gray Lady appears to be in fact another thinly veiled jab at President Donald Trump as it mostly focuses on the fact that Trump’s presidency somehow led to the rise of anti-Semitism in the US while his staunchly pro-Israel policies had not found support, even among some parts of the US Jewish community.

Read more

Ivanka Trump poses with members of the Girls of Steel Robotics initiative. © Reuters / Jason Cohn

All these issues are carefully wrapped up in speculation on the fact that his essentially Judaist daughter and Jewish son-in-law, who both act as the president’s advisers, do not make the situation any better … including for themselves and the US Jewish community, which is divided over the whole issue.

Regardless of whether the role Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner play for the US Jews was up for debate, the New York Times’ attempt to speculate on an increasingly complicated topic of intra-ethnic relations, mixed with the already pretty-much divisive issue of Trump’s policies, apparently backfired. After all, even though the online community might be divided on some issues, it mostly agreed that the NYT piece on this issue was no good.

Many commenters said that the NYT actually does not understand the Jewish communities, as “if it is visiting Mars,” as one professor put it in a tweet. Others called the headline “disgusting” and actually accused the media outlet of anti-Semitism.

Some ridiculed the very idea of such a piece and called it “absurd.”

Members of the US journalism community also joined the overall wave of criticism, saying the article is “beyond questionable” and calling its headline “outrageous.”

A number of prominent members of the US Jewish community and Israeli media figures rallied to Ivanka and Jared’s defense by saying that posing the question that the NYT actually asked would be wrong.

Some also said that the piece is in fact just another attack by liberals on Trump and his inner circle.

Apart from the backlash the NYT received over its choice of topic, some people on social media also criticized it over an entirely different perceived bias, i.e. the lack of women in its choice of people the media quoted in its article.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

Painting found under tree in Romania believed to be Picasso stolen in ‘theft of the century’

Experts in Romania are examining a painting to determine whether it is Pablo Picasso’s “Tête d’Arlequin” which was lifted from a Dutch museum in 2012 as part of the “theft of the century.”

In one of the most dramatic art heists ever accomplished robbers swiped seven paintings, worth millions of dollars, by Picasso, Monet, Gauguin and others from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum six years ago.

The Romanian mastermind of the break-in and three of his accomplices were convicted of theft in 2013 but none of the artworks were ever recovered. It was believed that at least three of the works had been burned in a bid to destroy evidence.

READ MORE: No Louvre lost: Insta model claims revealing outfit got her barred from art gallery (PHOTOS)

However, prosecutors announced a major breakthrough on Sunday saying that a novelist said she found the Picasso under a tree after receiving an anonymous tip. The piece was handed into the Dutch embassy in Romania on Saturday.

“Anti-organized crime prosecutors are investigating the circumstances under which a painting signed by Picasso worth roughly €800,000 ($ 913,440) was found on Saturday evening in Tulcea county,” they said in a statement, Reuters reports. Investigators are now working to authenticate the painting.

Dutch media dubbed the heist “the theft of the Century” after it took place in 2012. Dramatic security camera footage released at the time of the heist showed the robbers entering the museum through a back door. Moments later they emerged from the building carrying the valuable works.

The police previously said the works were destroyed after the thieves failed to find a buyer. One of those convicted, Olga Dogaru, told investigators she burned the paintings in her stove to protect her son, who was the alleged leader of the operation. She later retracted the statement.

READ MORE: Picasso’s secrets: Cutting edge tech reveals what lies beneath ‘Crouching Woman’ (PHOTOS)

The other works stolen were Matisse’s “La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune”, Gauguin’s “Femme devant une fenêtre ouverte”, Meijer De Haan’s “Autoportrait”, Monet’s “Waterloo Bridge, London” and “Charing Cross Bridge, London” and Lucian Freud’s “Woman with Eyes Closed”.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT World News

Hilarious Russian rugby players troll fans with 'fight' and ridiculous dance routine (VIDEO)

Normally a scrum between two Russian rugby sides means a no-nonsense, testosterone-fueled struggle for possession – not in this hilarious friendly match in which features fighting and then frollicking in a conga.

READ MORE: ‘Ruthless cyborgs!’: New Zealand media dissects 111-year Irish win over All Blacks

Moscow Dragons Rugby Football Club met Sarmatians from North Ossetia-Alania, in Russia’s Caucasus region, for a friendly game of rugger.

Suddenly, during the all-important scrum, it looks as though the ubiquitous hairy brawl was about to break out between stocky men with lots of pushing and shoving, but just as it looked like all hell would break loose, music begins to play.

Instead of swapping punches, the colossal men suddenly grab each over by the hips and form a conga line around the pitch, prancing along to the music. The stunt had been arranged pre-match, and was an effort to popularize the sport in the country.

“We made it to entertain the audience and to let people now that it’s safe in Caucasus and even in time of troubles, everything can be solved in a good manner as it always being solved in rugby,” a spokesman for the Dragons, who were founded in 1997, said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Sport News

‘It’s a suffering tape’: Sensitive Trump says he won’t listen to audio record of Khashoggi killing

Donald Trump said he has no desire to listen to an audio allegedly depicting the murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, but added that he had been briefed that it was a “very violent, very vicious and terrible” recording.

“We have the tape. I don’t want to hear the tape. No reason for me to hear the tape,” the US president told the ‘Fox News Sunday’ program.

When asked by Chris Wallace why he doesn’t want to get acquainted with the critical piece of evidence in the killing of the journalist, who was a US resident and wrote for the Washington Post, Trump replied “because it’s a suffering tape.”

Read more

© AFP / Jim Watson

However, he assured the group that he was “fully briefed” on the contents of the recording. It’s a “very violent, very vicious and terrible” tape, Trump said, adding that “there’s no reason for me to hear it.”

Khashoggi was brutally murdered and dismembered by a group of assassins at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Riyadh first claimed that it was unaware of the fate of the journalist, who was critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MbS) in his articles.

But with all evidence pointing at them, the Saudis eventually admitted that Khashoggi was accidentally killed during an interrogation gone wrong. The key piece of proof is claimed to be a recording from the journalist’s Apple Watch that he turned on as a precaution before entering the consulate.

Turkish authorities said they’ve obtained this gruesome audio and have shared it with several countries, including the US.

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that the CIA concluded “with high confidence” that the killing of its columnist was ordered by the Crown Prince himself.

Wallace wondered if MbS was lying when he personally assured Trump that he had nothing to do with the crime.

“Who can really know? But I can say this: he’s got many people now that say he had no knowledge.” 

Since the outbreak of the scandal, Trump has been reluctant to yield to calls for punishing Riyadh –coming from both sides of the aisle– and spoil relations with one of America’s key security and business partners.

In Sunday’s interview, he reiterated his commitment to “stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good.”

READ MORE: Premature but possible? Trump awaits ‘full report’ on Khashoggi murder after CIA implicates MbS

Earlier this week, Washington sanctioned 17 Saudi officials, some close to the Crown Prince, over Khashoggi’s death, freezing their assets in the US and refusing them entry to the country. But the move was seen as an attempt to pander to global outrage, while delivering no real damage to the US-Saudi ties.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

1 2 3 1,722
Page 1 of 1722
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons