White South African farmers trained by Israeli special forces to fight off violent attacks

With rising violence, being a farmer in South Africa has become a dangerous job. Some are hiring former Israeli special forces experts to teach them self-defense.

There were 74 farm murders and 638 attacks primarily on white farmers in 2016-17, according to minority rights group AfriForum. “Current murder tendencies indicate that we will lose more people on farms than in the past three years,” AfriForum’s Ian Cameron recently wrote.

The situation has forced white farmers to begin preparing themselves to survive a possible assault. Some of them turned to Idan Abolnik, a former member of the Israeli special forces, who trains them in hand-to-hand combat and weapons handling, Sky News reported.

The self-defense system is called Krav Maga, which was developed for the Israel Defense Forces. Abolnik has brought it to South Africa. “It’s open to everyone and anyone who wants a specially designed system for farmers. We train them to deal with a variety of different attacks,” Abolnik told South Africa’s News24 TV channel.

“We teach them hand-to-hand combat, bush warfare, semi-bush warfare, urban warfare and how to collect information.” The program costs about R20 000 per person (about $ 1,500) for an intensive two-week course.

White farmers, despite being a minority in South Africa, own 72 percent of the country’s farms. The new South African government recently announced a plan to redistribute land to the black population. Critics have warned South Africa may repeat the disastrous experiment by the Zimbabwean government in 1999-2000. The measure plunged the country into famine.

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Robert De Niro launches lazy F-bomb at Trump on live TV, crowd goes way too wild

Actor Robert De Niro used the opportunity of the Tony Award ceremony to fling insults at the US president. Two expletives earned him a standing ovation and a shower of admiration from the liberal crowd.

De Niro, a respected Oscar-winning actor, opened his introduction of rocker Bruce Springsteen with a brief quip: “I’m gonna to say one thing. F*ck Trump. It’s no longer ‘down with Trump,’ it’s f*ck Trump.” He then immediately switched to the matters at hand and went on with introducing Springsteen. Most of that was bleeped out by CBS, who broadcast the ceremony to a 6-million-strong American audience.

READ MORE: ‘A tragic, dumbass comedy’: Robert De Niro’s verdict on life in the US

The brief, almost token, insult provoked a disproportionately strong reaction from the audience at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The crowd sprang to their feet in a standing ovation and a wave of cheers.

De Niro is a well-known opponent of Trump and has launched verbal attacks against him on multiple occasions. The Tony Awards crowd proved a perfectly suitable liberal environment for a fresh statement, featuring for example, the outspoken anti-Trump survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Online, left-wing sentiment echoed the admiration, De Niro’s off-hand comment earned him the titles of ‘genius’ and ‘national treasure.’ Others assumed the glittering Broadway crowd was the perfect representation of the entire American population.

Trump’s supporters, on the other hand, were predictably annoyed.

And the more level-headed commenters pointed out the ultimate hollowness of De Niro’s habitual statement.

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‘There’s a special place in hell’ for Trudeau for backstabbing Trump, White House trade adviser says

It’s open season on Justin Trudeau in the Trump administration, with the White House trade council chief launching an attack on the Canadian PM, saying there is a “special place in hell” for anyone who double-crosses his boss.

Director of the White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro preached against the Canadian Prime Minister during an interview with Fox News Sunday when asked whether US President Donald Trump’s very personal attack on Trudeau was warranted, given that Canada is the second biggest trading partner of the US.

Navarro, who was introduced as the “architect” behind Trump’s plan to slap Canada, Mexico and the EU with tariffs on steel and aluminum, did not hold back his fury, turning the heat up even higher.

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Larry Kudlow (file photo) © Kevin Lamarque

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” Navarro said, echoing the words of Trump’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

Kudlow faced a massive backlash on social media earlier on Sunday after he accused Trudeau of “stabbing the US in the back” with his promise to retaliate against US tariffs at the final presser.

Navarro, who said his words reflect the general sentiment on Air Force One, where Trump launched his Twitter rant against Trudeau, argued that the Canadian PM acted in “bad faith” with his “stunt press conference.”

“That’s what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did,” he said, lashing out at the Canadian PM with exactly the same words Trump used on Saturday evening when he abruptly withdrew his approval for a joint statement of the G7 country leaders while he was already on his way to Singapore.

While Trump’s Twitter outburst has drawn stark criticism from other G7 members, including France and Germany, Trudeau was hailed by European Council President Donald Tusk, who tweeted there should be “a special place in heaven” for the Canadian for his impeccable host skills.

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Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with US President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, on June 8, 2018. © Yves Herman

Navarro argued that it’s not Trump who showed bad attitude during the summit, arriving late and leaving early, but Trudeau who is responsible for the diplomatic disaster.

“All Justin Trudeau had to do was take the win. President Trump did the courtesy to Justin Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit. He had other things, bigger things on his plate in Singapore,” Navarro said.

In order to please his Canadian counterpart, Trump was ready to go to such great lengths as to “sign that socialist communique,” Navarro noted, referring to the joint statement that called for “free, fair and mutually beneficial trade.”

But instead, as soon as Trump’s plane departed for Singapore, Trudeau “stabbed our President in the back,” Navarro said. “That will not stand,” he stressed.

Navarro called the threat of a tit-for-tat response “nothing short of an attack on our political system,” accusing Canada of raising “its high protectionist barriers even higher.”

In his final press conference, Trudeau announced that he had to “move forward with retaliatory measures, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones Americans have unjustly applied to us.”

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'Permanent' peace will be discussed at Trump-Kim meeting – KCNA

North Korean state media has confirmed that the leaders of North Korea and the US will focus on ensuring permanent peace and a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula in Singapore. Pyongyang says it hopes for a “new” start with the US.

The expected key points on the agenda of the much-anticipated meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump were unveiled by KCNA, North Korea’s state news agency, on Monday.

As it was widely expected, the two leaders will discuss the issue of denuclearization, a concept that is feared to become the main stumbling block on the way to a diplomatic breakthrough. The report came the closest so far to an official confirmation that a permanent peace deal may be in the works, with KCNA saying that “the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism” on the peninsula will be one of the main priorities during the talks.

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FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo © KCNA

It was reported last month that South Korean President Moon Jae-in might join in the talks between Kim and Trump if their summit in Singapore proves successful. Moon later proposed a tri-lateral meeting to put a formal end to the Korean war after the summit. While hostilities ended with an armistice in 1953, no peace treaty has been signed yet.

Apart from breaking a year-long deadlock on nuclear negotiations, Pyongyang also eyes an overall improvement of the US-North Korea bilateral ties and “other issues of mutual concern as required by the changed era,” KCNA reported, adding that the delegations will share “wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-US relations.”

The agency revealed that Kim flew in on a Chinese plane, provided for his “personal use,” accompanied by a host of senior officials, including his influential sister, Kim Yo-jong.

While both sides have repeatedly spoken on the need for “complete denuclearization” on the Korean Peninsula, Kim indicated that he would be ready to give up his nukes only if all of his security concerns are met. Trump has previously sought to assure the North Korean leader that Washington will not seek to wreck his rule by turning his country into the next Libya.

“He would be there, he would be running his country, his country would be very rich,” Trump said in May, noting that Libya “was a much different model” and not applicable in this case. In return for safeguards and potential economic help, Trump demanded “complete, verifiable and irreversible” destruction of North Korea’s nukes.

However, according to Moon, Kim remains skeptical of the US leaders’ pledges.

“Chairman Kim is worried about whether he can trust that the US will end the policy of hostility and guarantee the stability of his regime,” the South Korean President told the media upon his secretive meeting with Kim in May.

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Fox host calls Trump & Kim 2 dictators, Twitter erupts

Fox & Friends host and daughter of the US ambassador to Russia, Abby Huntsman, was forced to apologize after she touted the Trump-Kim summit as a “meeting between two dictators” on air. The gaffe caused a storm of ridicule online.

Fox & Friends, regularly lauded by Trump for its coverage, including for “exposing the truth,” ran footage showing him landing in Singapore on Sunday while Huntsman discussed the prospects of the summit with former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Back in July, Scaramucci, nicknamed the Mooch, broke a record for the shortest stint in the White House after serving just 11 days before he was fired in the wake of his very public foul-mouthed rant against fellow staffers.

What Huntsman said in the broadcast was no less eyebrow-raising.

Asking Scramucci to weigh in on the historic meeting, Huntsman made what her critics believe was a “Freudian slip,” saying  that, “regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators, what we are seeing right now, this is history.”

The gaffe did not seem to register with Scaramucci, who proceeded to give his own opinion, praising Trump for “breaking the usual bonds” by sitting down for talks with Kim.

The segment was shared on Fox News’ social media, including on Instagram and Twitter, the president’s favorite communication medium.

While Trump himself is yet to react to the blunder, Huntsman has publicly apologized, claiming she misspoke.

“I do want to point out that earlier, as you know sometimes on live TV sometimes you don’t always say things perfectly. I called both President Trump and Kim Jong-un a dictator. I did not mean that, my mistake, so I apologize for that,” she said on air.

However, the remark had already set off a barrage of mockery on Twitter, which, unlike Scaramucci, was quick to pick on the embarrassing slip. Many users suggested it was self-revealing. 

Fox News, criticized by the Left for essentially turning into a “mouthpiece” for Trump, finally has “intellectual reporting,” one user wrote.

“Finally something true,” another chimed in.

Some commentators went a step further, fanning a conspiracy theory that Fox tries to normalize the concept of “Trump as a dictator,” since the White House seems to be okay with the reporting.

Faced with a torrent of Twitter scorn, Huntsman fired back, tweeting it’s time to “move on to things that actually matter.”

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West supported terrorists & is in no position to assign guilty party in Syria – Assad

The US, the UK and France have supported terrorists in Syria and are responsible for the bloodshed in the country, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in responce to Western claims that he has been attacking his own people.

“It doesn’t even hold together – this narrative,” Assad told Mail on Sunday, talking about the accusations that he was behind the chemical attacks against civilians on Syrian soil and other repressions. He added that the war against the terrorists has been underway for seven years and he has been in charge of the country all this time because “this president… has support of his own people. How could he have the support, while he’s killing the same people?”

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FILE PHOTO: A US fighter stands near a military vehicle, north of Raqqa city © Rodi Said

“That’s’ why are advancing. We can’t make those advancements just because we have Russian and Iranian support. They can substitute the popular support,” he explained in English.

The terrorists, whom the Syrian military is fighting with the help of its allies, are “supported by the British government, the French government and the American [government] and their puppets whether in Europe or in our region.”

During the conflict, the West backed the so-called “moderate opposition” units in Syria, that, on many occasions, were almost impossible to distinguish from the jihadist groups. It was used by Islamic State and Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra to get possession of an abundance of US and British-made arms, which they used against the government and population.

On several occasions, the US-led coalition carried out strikes against Syrian government forces, which were claimed to have been carried out by mistake, but they were swiftly exploited by the terrorists. Both Damascus and Moscow have been accusing the West of working in coordination with the terrorists in pursuit of their announced task of removing Assad from power.

“It’s not the role of the West to tell us, who’s responsible in Syria. He interfered in sovereign country and is responsible of the killing in our country regardless of his narrative and his lies,” the Syrian leader said.

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“The West supported the war from the very beginning and he supported the terrorists, who started exploding everywhere and killing everyone and beheading [people]. The West supported Al-Qaeda.”

Assad was also questioned about Moscow’s important role in the Syrian conflict, with the British paper’s reporter asking: “Does Russia now make your decisions?”

“Russia is fighting for the international law and part of this international law [is] the sovereignty of different countries… Syria is one of them. Their values isn’t about interference or dictate… We’ve had good relations with Russia for nearly seven decades now. They neve, during our relations, tried to dictate, even if there’s differences,” he replied.

“The only decision about what’s going on in Syria and what’s going to happen – it’s the Syrian decision,” the president concluded.

The Russian Air Force was first dispatched to Syria back in September 2015 on the official request of Damascus. The successful bombing campaign against the terrorists has helped reverse the military situation on the ground and paved the way for the advances of government forces, while the establishment of de-escalation zone has led to most of the Syrian territory currently being liberated.

READ MORE: When Private Ryan is shamed by quiet heroes in the Syrian Arab Army

In one of his rare interviews with the Western media, Assad recalled his stay in London where he took postgraduate training in ophthalmology in the early 1990s. “It’s impossible for you to live in a city and don’t feel the special link with that city,” he said of the British capital, and stressed the sad irony of the current situation when “the same city that you like is in the same country that’s’ been attacking your country.”

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US fighter jet crashes into sea in Japan

A US F-15 fighter jet has crashed into the sea near the Japanese island of Okinawa, the US military has confirmed. Okinawa houses a controversial American military presence, which has been the subject of numerous protests.

The pilot ejected from the fighter jet and was safely recovered. Earlier reports suggested there were possibly two crew members on board, but the aircraft has now been confirmed to be a single-seat F-15C Eagle. The jet reportedly took off from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and crashed some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the coast.

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FILE PHOTO. © Mike Blake / Action Images

The US Air Force base at Okinawa has been plagued with technical mishaps. At least 25 incidents and emergencies have taken place over Japan in 2017. On at least three occasions, objects fell from US military aircraft and onto Japanese school grounds, prompting a high alert. One school close to US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma reportedly advises students to take shelter every time helicopters approach, which has happened over 300 times since October.

US personnel themselves, about 25,000 of whom are stationed at Okinawa, have also been causing concern for the locals. Violent, sometimes deadly incidents involving that they have been involved in have triggered massive protests and calls to relocate the Okinawa bases. These include the 2016 rape and murder of a Japanese woman by an American army base worker and a drunk-driving case where a Japanese man was killed in 2017. The US military temporarily imposed restrictions on movement and drinking alcohol to curtail the incidents, but local officials demand more decisive action and Okinawa residents stage massive protests against American deployment.

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‘Depressing’: Merkel slams Trump’s ‘withdrawal in tweet’ following G7 summit fallout

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lambasted the US President Donald Trump’s decision to renege on the G7 joint statement. She also said that Europe will not let itself be “deceived” again.

Merkel described Trump’s decision to withdraw his approval of the joint communique following the G7 summit in Canada as a “sobering experience.” She also praised the joint statement itself as a “laboriously negotiated” document. “The withdrawal by tweet is, of course, sobering and a bit depressing as well,” she told Germany’s Anne Will talk show on Sunday evening.

“I don’t think that inflammatory language makes things better. Sometimes it seems that the American president thinks that only one side wins and everyone else loses,” Merkel said, apparently speaking about Trump’s verbal attacks against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She also praised Trudeau by saying that she is glad that he is “on the EU’s side.”

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© Leah Millis

Europe will not let Trump do “whatever he pleases,” the German chancellor said, adding that “we will not allow ourselves to be deceived again and again.” She also doubted if the US leader still has what she called “the spirit of G7.”

“We asked him about that,” she told Anne Will, adding that his answers “did not sound convincing” to her. She also described her impression from Trump’s behavior at the summit as “disillusionment.”

At the same time, she stresses that it is too early to give up the dialogue with Washington. She said that she still believes Trump shares the principled stance of the G7 on “many issues.”

“There are still good reasons to continue our fight [aimed at keeping close transatlantic partnership], even though we cannot just rely on it anymore,” she added.

However, Merkel avoided giving a definitive answer to the question of whether Germany will stop seeing the US as an “important partner.” Instead, she said that she would still try to achieve compromises through dialogue and “go her own way” if the dialogue brings no results.

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The German chancellor also said she is not ready to “give up on G7” but would seek dialogue with Russia and try to “work very closely” with Japan, Canada, India and China. Her interview came about a day after Trump refused to endorse the G7 summit’s communique that called for reducing tariff barriers.

In his tweets, Trump attacked Trudeau by calling him “dishonest and weak” and denouncing statements as “false.” At a press conference following the summit, Trudeau repeated his earlier description of US trade tariffs as “insulting” and vowed retaliatory measures would come in July. In his turn, Trump announced that the US would be looking to impose tariffs on car imports.

The US and its allies have been locked in a bitter dispute of trade tariffs and perceived trade “inequality” for quite some time. In late May, Washington slapped its allies with import tariffs on steel and aluminum after it failed to win concessions from its trading partners. The move immediately provoked an angry reaction from the EU, which already presented its own list of American goods that will be taxed in retaliation to the US move.

Canada also plans to impose similar taxes on steel and aluminum imports from the US, as well as levy taxes on such goods as whiskey, orange juice and other food products in addition to that. In the run-up to the G7 summit, Trump continued to rile up his fellow world leaders with accusations of unfair trade practices, provoking angry responses from both Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron, who even suggested that the G7 could fare as the G6, without the US if need be.

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Mo Salah is the best footballer and a perfect person – Kadyrov (VIDEO)

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov had a very warm greeting for Egypt star player Mo Salah after the team’s first public training session in Grozny. The Egypt squad chose the Chechen capital as their World Cup 2018 base of operations.

Salah himself was not taking part in the kickabout, as he is recovering from a serious shoulder injury, but he was at the stadium and posed in front of the cameras, hand in hand with Kadyrov. The Chechen leader was later accosted by reporters eager for his take on the Egyptians.

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© Mohamed Abd El Ghany

“I consider them to be one of the strongest teams in the world,” a smiling Kadyrov answered. “Mohammed Salah is the best footballer in the world, and an overall perfect person.”

Salah is considered a rival for Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the fight for the title of the world’s best footballer this season after he scored 32 goals in 36 appearances for Liverpool and led his team to the Champions League final. The 25-year-old striker’s participation in the World Cup was in question after he suffered a shoulder injury in that very final after what many believe was a dirty play by Real Madrid’s defender Sergio Ramos.

Salah has been included in Egypt’s lineup for the Mundial, but it’s currently unclear if he’ll be able to appear for his country’s opening march against Uruguay on June 15 or the crucial second game against host Russia.

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Benghazi before and after NATO intervention: Young man’s photos highlight devastation in Libya

Before and after images are good for promoting healthy eating, but they have a dramatically different effect when it comes to war-torn countries, as proven by a Libyan man who took photos of himself in Benghazi in 2000 and 2018.

His photos posted on Twitter show the same locations in Benghazi after 18 years. Where there were once tall buildings and clean, wide streets, there are now bullet-ridden ruins following the 2011 uprising, which was backed by a bombing campaign by the US-led NATO bloc and led to the deposing and murder of long-time Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.  

Benghazi gained infamy a year later after the US diplomatic facilities in the city were attacked by terrorists, who killed several American citizens, including US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Libya, which used to be one of the most important players in the region, plunged into chaos as various groups competed for power. There are currently has two rival governments in the country – one in Tobruk and the other in Tripoli – which are unable to find common ground after years of negotiations, while large parts of the country are also run by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other radical groups.

READ MORE: All talk, no action: Civilians suffer in Libya as Macron praises ‘peace summit’ (VIDEO)

The dreadful security situation in the country also became one of the main reasons for the migrant crisis of 2015 in Europe, as traffickers turned Libya into a launch pad to send hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the violence in the North Africa and the Middle East across the Mediterranean Sea.

The before and after pictures were shared online by the account that posts historical photos and videos from Libya under Gaddafi’s rule between 1969 and 2011.

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