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Missing or murdered? Erdogan dares Saudi Arabia to produce Jamal Khashoggi (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 128.

Alex Christoforou

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Is Erdogan calling out a Saudi lie and possible brutal murder of an exiled journalist?

The Turkish President is calling on Saudi Arabia to prove that journalist Jamal Khashoggi is still alive, and that he left the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, alive and well.

Erdogan said that the burden lies with Saudi Arabia to prove that missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is still alive and had left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, as the Saudi officials claim.

Speaking at a news conference in Budapest, the Turkish President said…

“Mere words are not enough evidence”…

“We have to get an outcome from this investigation as soon as possible. The consulate officials cannot save themselves by simply saying ‘he has left’.”

“We have been working on it since they came to us, our intelligence and police department have been working on it. Our aim is to reach a conclusion. We look at the media and see various reports that make us think about it. We have to get a conclusion as soon as possible.”

Commenting for the first time since Khashoggi went missing, Erdogan told reporters…

“I am following the issue, and we will inform the world of the outcome of the official probe, which was launched on Saturday.”

“God willing we will not be faced with a situation we do not want.”

Erdogan noted that he hoped to have the results “very quickly” over the incident involving a “journalist I knew for a long time” and a “friend”.

The Turkish President said that CCTV footage of entrances and exits at the Saudi consulate and the airport in Istanbul were being studied by Turkish police.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the case of the missing or murdered Jamal Khashoggi, and what this means for an already tense relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

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Via The Middle East Eye

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Turkish officials told Reuters over the weekend that they believed Khashoggi had been killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, while a senior adviser to Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey had “concrete information” on the abduction of the Washington Post columnist.

A senior Turkish police source told Middle East Eye that police believed that Khashoggi was “brutally tortured, killed and cut into pieces” inside the consulate after visiting the building on 2 October.

However, Erdogan – who said he was personally following the case – said Turkey had no documents or evidence at hand regarding the case.

A source told MEE on Monday that a Turkish forensics team was poised to enter the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Yasin Aktay, a former MP for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the man Khashoggi told his fiancee to call if he did not emerge from the consulate, voiced concerns over the Saudi national’s whereabouts.

Speaking to CNN Turk, Aktay said that Khashoggi’s friends had told him to not go to the Saudi embassy and that the consulate was “not safe”.

“His friends had warned him [Khashoggi], ‘Do not go there, it is not safe,’ but he said they [the Saudis] could not do anything in Turkey,” said Aktay.

“Khashoggi discussed whether to go there with his fiancee beforehand. Our security officials are investigating the issue in every detail. We have some concrete information; it won’t be an unsolved crime.

“We could determine his entrance but not any exit. That’s confirmed. We asked them [the Saudis], they say ‘he left,’ but there is no such thing on the camera footage.

“That’s underestimating Turkey. They are wrong if they think Turkey is as it was in the ’90s. The consulate should make a clear statement.”

According to Reuters, “the initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr. Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate,” one Turkish official told Reuters.

The sources did not say how they believed the killing was carried out. Saudi Arabia’s consul-general told Reuters on Saturday his country was helping search for Khashoggi, and dismissed talk of his possible abduction.

Via The Middle East Eye

Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, said on Twitter she was “waiting for an official confirmation from the Turkish government to believe” the claims.

In his newspaper columns, Khashoggi has been critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies and Riyadh’s intervention in the war in Yemen.

A legal representative from Khashoggi’s family in Saudi Arabia said they trusted Saudi authorities and were cooperating with them, according to al-Arabiya news.

In a statement on Sunday, Mutasem Khashoggi, the legal adviser to the Khashoggi family in Saudi Arabia, told al-Arabiya news that he believed external parties were using his brother’s disappearance to “push their agenda”.

The Washington Post late on Sunday said the United States should “demand answers” from Riyadh on Khashoggi’s disappearance – and punish the kingdom if it becomes clear the journalist was indeed murdered.

“The United States must now make a concerted effort to determine all the facts about Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance,” the Post wrote in an editorial. The US must “demand answers, loud and clear,” the paper said.

The editorial noted that the Trump administration has made great efforts to build ties with Mohammed bin Salman, and should now use the relationship as leverage.

“If the crown prince does not respond with full cooperation, Congress must, as a first step, suspend all military cooperation with the kingdom,” it said.

US President Donald Trump broke several days of silence on Monday, saying he was “concerned” about reports on Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“I am concerned about it. I don’t like hearing about it,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “Hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now nobody knows anything about it.”

His comments came after several prominent US lawmakers also expressed their own concerns.

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted on Monday that it was “imperative” to find out what happened to Khashoggi.

“Honest answers must be forthcoming for the sake of the Saudi-US relationship,” he wrote.

Graham also said that if allegations of Saudi wrongdoing prove true, “it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid – economically and otherwise”.

Bob Corker, another Republican senator and chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said he personally raised the issue of Khashoggi’s disappearance with the Saudi ambassador.

“And while we await more information, know we will respond accordingly to any state that targets journalists abroad,” Corker tweeted on Monday afternoon.

Another Republican senator, Marco Rubio, also tweeted on Sunday that he was concerned by the reports of Khashoggi’s disappearance and called on the government to respond:

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Joe
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Joe

Seems that Saudi has scored an own goal. If this is the case it will be interesting to see what the US does about it since the US relies very much on petrodollar generated through Saudi oil sales.

christianblood
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christianblood

US supports ISIS. They will never do anything against their ISIS=Saudi allies!

Vince Dhimos
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This is moving things forward, like the the shooting of MBS. If this had been left up to Trump, he’d have stonewalled as usual. NOW maybe the US will show they care about the slaughter of Yemenis. (No thanks to Donnie).

christianblood
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christianblood

Arab men look to be very stupid folks indeed! I remember two decades ago Saddam Hussein’s two sons in laws returning from Jordan to Iraq a few months after they have escaped to Jordan and asked for asylum there and were openly briefed by the CIA.
Then they were foolishly persuaded by Sadam’s people to return to Iraq and were murdered there a few days after they returned. This Jamal Kashoggi did the same thing by returning to the Saudi embassy in Turkey, he should NEVER have done that, he should have known better! He acted like a dumb-ass!

Tjoe
Guest
Tjoe

Here is an interesting angle on Las Vegas shooting…probably the most correct of all.

Was Las Vegas a Saudi Crown Prince Salman Assassination Attempt?
https://americandigitalnews.com/2017/11/07/las-vegas-saudi-crown-prince-salman-assassination-attempt/#.WmLNk66nF9M

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European Court of Justice rules Britain free to revoke Brexit unilaterally

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Britain can reverse Article 50.

RT

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Via RT…


The UK is free to unilaterally revoke a notification to depart from the EU, the European Court has ruled. The judicial body said this could be done without changing the terms of London’s membership in the bloc.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) opined in a document issued on Monday that Britain can reverse Article 50, which stipulates the way a member state leaves the bloc. The potentially important ruling comes only one day before the House of Commons votes on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU.

“When a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that Member State is free to revoke unilaterally that notification,” the court’s decision reads.

By doing so, the respective state “reflects a sovereign decision to retain its status as a Member State of the European Union.”

That said, this possibility remains in place “as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that Member State has not entered into force.” Another condition is: “If no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU.”

The case was opened when a cross-party group of British politicians asked the court whether an EU member such as the UK can decide on its own to revoke the withdrawal process. It included Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, Scottish MPs Joanna Cherry Alyn Smith, along with Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer.

They argued that unilateral revocation is possible and believe it could provide an opening to an alternative to Brexit, namely holding another popular vote to allow the UK to remain in the EU.

“If the UK chooses to change their minds on Brexit, then revoking Article 50 is an option and the European side should make every effort to welcome the UK back with open arms,” Smith, the SNP member, was quoted by Reuters.

However, May’s environment minister, Michael Gove, a staunch Brexit supporter, denounced the ECJ ruling, insisting the cabinet will not reverse its decision to leave. “We will leave on March 29, [2019]” he said, referring to the date set out in the UK-EU Brexit deal.

In the wake of the landmark vote on the Brexit deal, a group of senior ministers threatened to step down en masse if May does not try to negotiate a better deal in Brussels, according to the Telegraph. The ministers demanded that an alternative deal does not leave the UK trapped within the EU customs union indefinitely.

On Sunday, Will Quince resigned as parliamentary private secretary in the Ministry of Defense, saying in a Telegraph editorial that “I do not want to be explaining to my constituents why Brexit is still not over and we are still obeying EU rules in the early 2020s or beyond.”

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Seven Days of Failures for the American Empire

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


On November 25, two artillery boats of the Gyurza-M class, the Berdiansk and Nikopol, one tugboat, the Yany Kapu, as well as 24 crew members of the Ukrainian Navy, including two SBU counterintelligence officers, were detained by Russian border forces. In the incident, the Russian Federation employed Sobol-class patrol boats Izumrud and Don, as  well as two Ka-52, two Su-25 and one Su-30 aircraft.

Ukraine’s provocation follows the advice of several American think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, which have been calling for NATO involvement in the Sea of Azov for months. The area is strategically important for Moscow, which views its southern borders, above all the Sea of Azov, as a potential flash point for conflict due to the Kiev’s NATO-backed provocations.

To deter such adventurism, Moscow has deployed to the Kerch Strait and the surrounding coastal area S-400 batteries, modernized S-300s, anti-ship Bal missile systems, as well as numerous electronic-warfare systems, not to mention the Russian assets and personnel arrayed in the military districts abutting Ukraine. Such provocations, egged on by NATO and American policy makers, are meant to provide a pretext for further sanctions against Moscow and further sabotage Russia’s relations with European countries like Germany, France and Italy, as well as, quite naturally, to frustrate any personal interaction between Trump and Putin.

This last objective seems to have been achieved, with the planned meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires being cancelled. As to the the other objectives, they seem to have failed miserably, with Berlin, Paris and Rome showing no intention of imposing additional sanctions against Russia, recognizing the Ukrainian provocation fow what it is. The intention to further isolate Moscow by the neocons, neoliberals and most of the Anglo-Saxon establishment seems to have failed, demonstrated in Buenos Aires with the meeting between the BRICS countries on the sidelines and the bilateral meetings between Putin and Merkel.

On November 30, following almost two-and-a-half months of silence, the Israeli air force bombed Syria with three waves of cruise missiles. The first and second waves were repulsed over southern Syria, and the third, composed of surface-to-surface missiles, were also downed. At the same time, a loud explosion was heard in al-Kiswah, resulting in the blackout of Israeli positions in the area.

The Israeli attack was fully repulsed, with possibly two IDF drones being downed as well. This effectiveness of Syria’s air defenses corresponds with Russia’s integration of Syria’s air defenses with its own systems, manifestly improving the Syrians’ kill ratios even without employing the new S-300 systems delivered to Damascus, let alone Russia’s own S-400s. The Pantsirs and S-200s are enough for the moment, confirming my hypothesis more than two months ago that the modernized S-300 in the hands of the Syrian army is a potentially lethal weapon even for the F-35, forbidding the Israelis from employing their F-35s.

With the failed Israeli attack testifying to effectiveness of Russian air-defense measures recently deployed to the country, even the United States is finding it difficult to operate in the country. As the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War confirms:

“Russia has finished an advanced anti-access/area denial (A2AD) network in Syria that combines its own air defense and electronic warfare systems with modernized equipment. Russia can use these capabilities to mount the long-term strategic challenge of the US and NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East, significantly widen the geographic reach of Russia’s air defense network. Russia stands to gain a long-term strategic advantage over NATO through its new capabilities in Syria. The US and NATO must now account for the risk of a dangerous escalation in the Middle East amidst any confrontation with Russia in Eastern Europe.”

The final blow in a decidedly negative week for Washington’s ambitions came in Buenos Aires during the G20, where Xi Jinping was clearly the most awaited guest, bringing in his wake investments and opportunities for cooperation and mutual benefit, as opposed to Washington’s sanctions and tariffs for its own benefit to the detriment of others. The key event of the summit was the dinner between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump that signalled Washington’s defeat in the trade war with Beijing. Donald Trump fired the first shot of the economic war, only to succumb just 12 months later with GM closing five plants and leaving 14,000 unemployed at home as Trump tweeted about his economic achievements.

Trump was forced to suspend any new tariffs for a period of ninety days, with his Chinese counterpart intent on demonstrating how an economic war between the two greatest commercial powers had always been a pointless propagandistic exercise. Trump’s backtracking highlights Washington’s vulnerability to de-dollarization, the Achilles’ heel of US hegemony.

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn. The struggle between the Western elites seems to be reaching a boil, with Frau Merkel ever more isolated and seeing her 14-year political dominance as chancellor petering out. Macron seems to be vying for the honor of being the most unpopular French leader in history, provoking violent protests that have lasted now for weeks, involving every sector of the population. Macron will probably be able to survive this political storm, but his political future looks dire.

The neocons/neoliberals have played one of the last cards available to them using the Ukrainian provocation, with Kiev only useful as the West’s cannon fodder against Russia. In Syria, with the conflict coming to a close and Turkey only able to look on even as it maintains a strong foothold in Idlib, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States are similarly unable to affect the course of the conflict. The latest Israeli aggression proved to be a humiliation for Tel Aviv and may have signalled a clear, possibly definitive warning from Moscow, Tehran and Damascus to all the forces in the region. The message seems to be that there is no longer any possibility of changing the course of the conflict in Syria, and every provocation from here on will be decisively slapped down. Idlib is going to be liberated and America’s illegal presence in the north of Syria will have to be dealt with at the right time.

Ukraine’s provocation has only strengthened Russia’s military footprint in Crimea and reinforced Russia’s sovereign control over the region. Israel’s recent failure in Syria only highlights how the various interventions of the US, the UK, France and Turkey over the years have only obliged the imposition of an almost unparalleled A2AD space that severely limits the range of options available to Damascus’s opponents.

The G20 also served to confirm Washington’s economic diminution commensurate with its military one in the face of an encroaching multipolar environment. The constant attempts to delegitimize the Trump administration by America’s elites, also declared an enemy by the European establishment, creates a picture of confusion in the West that benefits capitals like New Delhi, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran who offer instead stability, cooperation and dialogue.

As stated in previous articles, the confusion reigning amongst the Western elites only accelerates the transition to a multipolar world, progressively eroding the military and economic power of the US.

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Is Silicon Valley Morphing Into The Morality Police?

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

The Duran

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Authored by Adrian Cohen via Creators.com:


Silicon Valley used to be technology companies. But it has become the “morality police,” controlling free speech on its platforms.

What could go wrong?

In a speech Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said:

“Hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world. At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge. There is no time to get tied up in knots. That’s why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms.”

Here’s the goliath problem:

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

Will Christians who don’t support abortion rights or having their tax dollars go toward Planned Parenthood be considered purveyors of hate for denying women the right to choose? Will millions of Americans who support legal immigration, as opposed to illegal immigration, be labeled xenophobes or racists and be banned from the digital world?

Yes and yes. How do we know? It’s already happening, as scores of conservatives nationwide are being shadow banned and/or censored on social media, YouTube, Google and beyond.

Their crime?

Running afoul of leftist Silicon Valley executives who demand conformity of thought and simply won’t tolerate any viewpoint that strays from their rigid political orthodoxy.

For context, consider that in oppressive Islamist regimes throughout the Middle East, the “morality police” take it upon themselves to judge women’s appearance, and if a woman doesn’t conform with their mandatory and highly restrictive dress code — e.g., wearing an identity-cloaking burqa — she could be publicly shamed, arrested or even stoned in the town square.

In modern-day America, powerful technology companies are actively taking the role of the de facto morality police — not when it comes to dress but when it comes to speech — affecting millions. Yes, to date, those affected are not getting stoned, but they are being blocked in the digital town square, where billions around the globe do their business, cultivate their livelihoods, connect with others and get news.

That is a powerful cudgel to levy against individuals and groups of people. Wouldn’t you say?

Right now, unelected tech billionaires living in a bubble in Palo Alto — when they’re not flying private to cushy climate summits in Davos — are deciding who gets to enjoy the freedom of speech enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and who does not based on whether they agree with people’s political views and opinions or not.

You see how dangerous this can get — real fast — as partisan liberal elites running Twitter, Facebook, Google (including YouTube), Apple and the like are now dictating to Americans what they can and cannot say online.

In communist regimes, these types of folks are known as central planners.

The election of Donald Trump was supposed to safeguard our freedoms, especially regarding speech — a foundational pillar of a democracy. It’s disappointing that hasn’t happened, as the censorship of conservative thought online has gotten so extreme and out of control many are simply logging off for good.

A failure to address this mammoth issue could cost Trump in 2020. If his supporters are blocked online — where most voters get their news — he’ll be a one-term president.

It’s time for Congress to act before the morality police use political correctness as a Trojan horse to decide our next election.

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