Demand for Russian wheat drives export prices to three-year high

By ethan / April 25, 2018

Average prices for wheat produced by Russian farmers have increased to $ 215 per ton, according to Moscow-based agricultural markets research firm SovEcon. The figure marks the highest level since the 2014-2015 agricultural season.

According to analysts’ estimates, Russia exported 1.6 million tons of grains, including 1.2 million tons of wheat, as of April 18. As a comparison, during the previous week, Russian farmers sold 800,000 tons of grain abroad, including 600,000 tons of wheat.

The growth of the quoted price is reportedly triggered by effective demand from importers. Another driver is a decrease in domestic market supply in the southern exporting regions.

According to Andrey Sizov, the managing director of the research firm, the sharp hike in shipping might be boosted by increased seasonal river traffic. The analyst also said that the decline in supply was triggered by the weakening of the ruble against the US dollar earlier this month.

The weak national currency reportedly forced many farmers to suspend sales of grain and even abandon previously sealed contracts. Sizov stressed that some farmers resumed sales due to the recent strengthening demonstrated of the ruble.

Earlier this week, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture reported that Russian wheat exports grew by 43 percent from last year to 32.96 million tons. The farmers shipped a total of 1.19 million tons of wheat as of April 23.

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Iran has no reason to trust any new deal Macron & Trump devise – experts

By ethan / April 25, 2018

Now that French President Emmanuel Macron wants to work out a new deal on Iran together with the US, in addition to the 2015 agreement, experts told RT it’ll be hard to work out, since Iran won’t trust the West anymore.

Macron, who is on a state visit to the US, said on Wednesday that while he is not ready to discard the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it must be supplemented by a broader new agreement. The new deal, according to Macron, should ensure that Iran will not have a nuclear program “in the long run,” and put an end to the country’s ballistic missile development. Any far-reaching solution to the Iranian issue should also involve containing Tehran’s activities in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, Macron said, calling the embattled nuclear deal “the first pillar of this framework.”

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© Leonhard Foeger

The attitude toward the Iranian nuclear issue had been a bone of contention between Macron, who was one of the staunchest proponents of the original deal, and US President Donald Trump, who is one of its fiercest opponents. As the deadline that Trump gave Washington’s European allies to come up with changes to the agreement inches closer, Macron apparently tried to appease his US counterpart at the expense of his own ambitions and prestige, Kaveh Afrasiabi, a former adviser to the Iran nuclear negotiators, told RT.

However, any deal that is broadened to include issues unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program will be likely met with counter-demands by Tehran, he said.

“This is completely self-illusion to think that you can arrive at a new deal by linking it to non-nuclear issues, regional issues et cetera, because Iran, for its part, can advance its counter-argument that Yemen should be brought in, and the US and the French misbehavior, the rogue unilateral aggression against Syria,” Afrasiabi pointed out.

Dave Lindorff, an American investigative journalist and founder of Thiscantbehappening.net, agreed that there is no way Iran would trust the US again after it undermined its credibility with constant threats to quit the 2015 deal.

“This whole thing is a farce. It looks all Macron has got out of this is a cleaner suit without dandruff,” Lindorff said. Should Trump follow through on his ultimatum and pull the US out of the deal on May 12, Lindorff believes it will destroy any chances of a new agreement being reached.

“There’s going to be no other deals if they back out of the nuclear deal. I don’t see why Iran would reach any agreements with the United States and its allies in Europe once they back out of the deal that was already struck,” he said.

Trump on Tuesday again lashed out at the deal, calling it “insane” and adding that it “should have never ever been made.”

He also threatened Iran with repercussions in case it undermines US security in any way, vowing that it “will pay a price few countries have ever paid.”

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War-torn Yemen's infrastructure in full collapse, crisis is one of the worst – Red Cross

By ethan / April 25, 2018

Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is waging a bombing campaign with thousands of civilian victims, is facing the collapse of its whole infrastructure and not enough aid is coming in, the former Red Cross head in Yemen told RT.

“It’s wider than a famine,” Alexandre Faite said of the situation in the country. “There’s a problem with structural collapse of the system in Yemen. You have problems of water, you have problems of sanitation… There’s also a crisis that has led to a million suspected cases of cholera last year.”

With the country’s infrastructure falling apart due to the ongoing fighting, “it’s not only one of the most serious crises that I’ve seen, it’s one of the most complicated,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) official said.

The Red Cross has been doing everything in its power to fix the problems in Yemen, but its efforts are not sufficient, he said. “There is no doubt that what’s coming into the country at the moment isn’t enough and more should be done. Humanitarian aid to a large extent is allowed in, but the problem is that more is needed to ensure a decent level of life for the population otherwise the country is going downhill,” Faite, whose two-year mission to Yemen concluded earlier in April, warned.

When asked if the partial blockade of Yemen by Saudi Arabia, which intervened in the country in 2015 to fight the Houthi rebels and help reinstate ousted President Mansour Hadi, was the reason for lack of aide, the ICRC official replied that there was a “combination of reasons” for the complications, including the fact that shipping companies “think twice” before sending cargo to Yemen due to the risks created by the volatile security situation.

The death of Red Cross worker Hanna Lahoud in Yemen last week is “a stark reminder that working in Yemen remains extremely difficult” for humanitarian organizations, he said.

Faite also commented on the Sunday airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition, which killed 20 to 50 people at a wedding in Yemen’s Hajjah province. “In the two years that I have been in Yemen, I have seen unfortunately quite a few other cases just like this one. When you have a military operation on the scale which is now taking place in Yemen, these things unfortunately happen,” he said.

READ MORE: Up to 50 killed in Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen wedding – local health officials

He assured that the attack was documented by the Red Cross staff on the ground, as it’s done with all potential violations in order to submit reports that will “hopefully help for the future to bring more care to the way operations are conducted.” 

He urged the “attack side,” which is apparently Saudi Arabia, to “take percussion in the way they carry out attacks because they use vastly destructive forces… It’s also crucially important that all those, who are on the other side, don’t place their military assets near villages and towns.”

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© Ruptly

Faite also said that “there’s more awareness” about the Yemeni crisis now than when he began his work in the country two years ago. “For a long time, Yemen used to be not under the spotlight. At least, I feel now that the Yemen conflict is getting the attention it deserves.”

More than 5,500 civilians were killed and over 9,000 injured in Yemen as of the end of 2017, the UN said. Human right groups have been blaming the casualties on indiscriminate airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, with the US and UK also criticized for supplyin

After three years of fighting, more than 22.2 million people in Yemen need assistance, with 60 percent of the population lacking food and more than half of the country left without basic medical services, according to the UN.

g Riyadh with arms.

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Russia ready to build another pipeline & provide Europe with as much gas as it needs

By ethan / April 25, 2018

Gazprom, Russia’s leading natural gas producer, says it’s ready to supply as much blue fuel as Europe wants. The company is ready to build the Nord Stream 3 pipeline, if necessary.

“We have proven reserves, we have transport, we are building new transport routes. If Europe is ready… I do not rule out new gas transportation projects – Nord Stream 3, for example,” said Gazprom Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee Aleksandr Medvedev in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

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© Lex Van Lieshout

Groningen, the largest gas field in Europe, which is located in the Netherlands, has seen a significant output slowdown, which has resulted in declining European gas production. Gazprom has said it is ready to compensate for the decline with Russian gas.

Gazprom’s exports to Europe amounted to a record high 194.4 billion cubic meters in 2017, an increase of 8.4 percent. The share of Russian gas in the European Union last year increased to 34.7 percent from 33.1 percent in 2016.

Russia has been implementing the Nord Stream 2 project, which intends to double the existing capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany. Despite the opposition of the Baltic states, some Eastern European countries and the United States, Gazprom has received permission to build the pipeline.

Brussels has repeatedly said it wants to cut its dependence on Russian gas by building liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. However, cheaper Russian gas has shelved most LNG projects.

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Qatar govt. must send troops to Syria or lose US support and be toppled – Saudi FM

By ethan / April 25, 2018

Riyadh appears to be trying to bully regional rival and fellow US ally Qatar into going to war in Syria, with the Saudi foreign minister citing the US leader’s call for “wealthy” nations to stump up and send boots to the ground.

In his interpretation of US President Donald Trump’s appeal to the affluent states in the region, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir issued a thinly veiled threat to Doha, arguing the Qatari government will not last a week after the US cuts off its military support.

Qatar must “send its military forces (to Syria), before the US president cancels US protection of Qatar, which consists of the presence of a US military base on its territory,” Jubeir said on Wednesday, as cited by the ministry’s media center.

Should the US withdraw some 10,000 servicemen currently stationed at Al-Udeid air base near Doha, the government “would fall there in less than a week,” Jubeir argued.

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Royal Saudi Air Force jets fly in formation during a graduation ceremony for air force officers at King Faisal Air Academy in Riyadh January 1, 2013. © Fahad Shadeed

The Saudi top diplomat was referring to the remark Trump made during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.

Reiterating his pledge to pull US forces out of Syria “as soon as possible,” Trump pointed to “countries that are in the area, some of which are immensely wealthy” that should pick up the baton in Syria after the US withdraws.

“They wouldn’t last a week. We’re protecting them,” the US leader said, urging for those who enjoy America’s goodwill to “step up and pay for what’s happening.”

Al-Udeid is currently the largest US military base in the Middle East, and since the launch of the US-led coalition campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) it has gained importance for the US military. Qatar’s own army is one of the smallest in the region, with some 12,000 active military personnel, according to the GlobalFirepower.com.

In January, the Qatari Defense Minister outlined a far-reaching expansion of US military presence in the country and a potential US Navy deployment after it completes renovations of its naval ports. He also expressed hope that the base will one day become permanent. “Colleagues in the US Department of Defense are reluctant to mention the word permanent, but we are working from our side to make it permanent,” he said.

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress aircraft from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, arrive at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar © U.S. Air Force

During his press conference with Macron, Trump implied that the US has already persuaded its allies in the region to splash on the costly Syria campaign and deploy troops there.

“We’ve spoken to them. They will pay for it. The United States will not continue to pay. And they will also put soldiers on the ground, which they’re not doing,” Trump said.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Washington reached out to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, asking them to fork out billions of dollars for Syria’s redevelopment and also to send troops.

While Trump has been courting Saudi Arabia, choosing the conservative Gulf Kingdom as the first stop on his maiden foreign trip as the US president and striking arms deals worth billions of dollars with Riyadh, Qatar remains a stern US ally as well, despite its lingering beef with the Saudis.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been embroiled in ongoing diplomatic strife since June last year, when Saudi Arabia, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Yemen, cut ties with the country over claims that it supports terrorism.

Immediately after, Trump fueled the row with an unlikely intervention, calling Qatar a “high-level sponsor of terrorism” and claiming credit for inciting the crisis. While the dispute is still not settled, the tensions between the Saudi-led block and Qatar appeared to have calmed down recently. Earlier this month, the Qatari military took part in joint Gulf Shield exercises that ended in Saudi Arabia on April 16 and saw 23 countries participating.

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Kippah and the city: German Jews urged to avoid wearing skull caps after Berlin attack

By ethan / April 25, 2018

A Jewish community leader in Germany has advised Jews to not publicly wear kippahs in parts of big cities in the wake of a recent anti-Semitic assault on a man wearing one in Berlin.

Germany is becoming increasingly unsafe for Jews to publicly identify themselves amid a wave of anti-Semitic incidents, Josef Schuster, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said in an interview with local radio RBB24. The comment follows the April 16 attack on Jewish man Adam Armush and his friend in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. Armush, who was wearing a kippah – a traditional Jewish head garment – filmed and shared the assault online, provoking a massive reaction. In response, the local Jewish community has planned a protest dubbed “Berlin wears a kippah,” which has since been supported in other cities.

However, while Schuster believes that defiantly wearing a kippah would be the right response “in principle,” he advised Jews to stay on the safe side in big cities, and maybe settle for a baseball cap instead. In “problem neighborhoods with large Muslim populations… it might be better to choose a different head covering,” he said.

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© Majed Jaber

When directly asked if he links the rise in anti-Semitic incidents to the recent influx of migrants and refugees from Muslim-majority countries, Schuster insisted that it contributed to it, but was not the only factor. He believes that racist and xenophobic sentiments still linger within a sizeable portion of the German population, Muslims included. At the same time, he called to avoid “casting suspicion on all Muslims.”

The assault on Armush, who was confronted by a young man swinging his belt and shouting “Yahudi,” which is Arabic for “Jew,” became all the more controversial after it was uncovered that the attacker was a 19-year-old Syrian refugee.

The problem of Muslim immigrants bringing anti-Semitism into Germany has since been publicly acknowledged, even by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose unchanging course for an open-door policy has cost her a chunk of her former ratings and boosted her right-wing opponents.

“We have a new phenomenon, as we have many refugees among who there are, for example, people of Arab origin who bring another form of anti-Semitism into the country,” Merkel said an interview with Israeli Channel 10. While she was reacting to the assault on Armush, it was only the latest case of anti-Semitism in German media’s spotlight.

In March, a report emerged, claiming a Jewish Girl was verbally assaulted by her Muslim classmate, who threatened to beat and even kill her because of her religion. Another case took place in Berlin where a Jewish student was forced to change schools, following violent bullying by classmates.

Merkel’s party CDU and the sister Bavarian party CSU have been trying to score some points with frustrated voters ever since CDU showed the worst election result since 1949 at the 2017 polls. Earlier, CDU/CSU announced that they were preparing legislation that could see migrants expressing anti-Semitic views deported from the country. The conservative CSU has recently symbolically introduced Christian crosses in public institutions to strengthen the display of Bavarian “cultural identity and Christian-western influence.” 

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US nukes in Europe & low strike threshold are direct violations of non-proliferation treaty – Moscow

By ethan / April 25, 2018

Washington has failed to live up to its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Russia’s Foreign Ministry concluded, citing the US nuclear build-up in Europe and its new hawkish nuclear doctrine.

The ministry was commenting on the 2017 Report on Adherence to and Compliance With Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments released by the US State Department last week. The report found the US to be in full compliance with the NPT Treaty. “All US activities during the reporting period were consistent with obligations set forth in the NPT,” it states.

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AFP Photo / Natalia Kolesnikova

Moscow argues that this could not be further from the truth, since the US not only continues to carry out the so-called “joint nuclear missions” with European states, but, according to its own Nuclear Posture Review, also eyes expanding the practice.

“All this is a direct violation of the Articles I and II of the Treaty,” the ministry states, referring to the provisions that expressly prohibit nations to “transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons” or hand over control over them.

Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Turkey currently host some 150 US-made B61 bombs at six bases, according to data cited by the Federation of American Scientists, which tracks US nukes. The weapons, the oldest in the US nuclear stockpile, are set to be replaced with new model B61-12 bombs starting in 2020. The estimated cost of the mammoth project has doubled over the years to over $ 10 billion, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Cost Estimating and Program Evaluation updated assessment.

Moscow previously warned Washington that the deployment of new B61-12 bombs to its allies in Europe would run counter to the US obligation under the NPT, but to no avail.

The US plans to upgrade and expand its already vast nuclear arsenal were outlined in the Trump administration’s hawkish Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). The review states the need to develop new types of low-yield warheads that would be placed on Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs)  and on sea-launched nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

READ MORE: Trump says he will meet Putin to discuss ‘arms race that is getting out of control’

Such an “unprecedented” nuclear build-up, partially justified by the “Russia threat” and Moscow’s “troubling” behavior, “significantly lowers the threshold of the use of nuclear weapons,” the Foreign Ministry warned.

Washington also lists a conventional attack as a valid reason for nuclear retaliation. The provision, which is the key shift from the previous US nuclear strategy, allows it to deploy nukes in response to an attack that results in mass casualties or targets key infrastructure.

“Against this backdrop, completely baseless allegations of a growing ‘Russian nuclear threat,’ peddled by Americans, look particularly cynical,” the Foreign Ministry states as it goes on to brush off the claims that Moscow, in turn, is mulling an overhaul of its nuclear policies arsenals.

“The provisions of our military doctrine concerning the use of nuclear weapons are deliberately distorted. The western public is being continuously told that Russia appears to review its stance on the place and the role of the nuclear weapons and focuses more and more on that. This does not correspond to the reality.”

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FILE PHOTO. © Roger Ressmeyer / Getty Images

Russia’s military doctrine, last updated in 2014, states that it would only use its nuclear arsenal if under attack by weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, or in case of a conventional attack when Russia’s sovereignty is at stake.

Shortly after Trump’s Nuclear Posture release, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that while it essentially allows US policymakers “to treat almost any use of military force as a reason for carrying out a nuclear strike against those deemed aggressors,” it, at the same time, is an “attempt to question [Moscow’s] right for self-defense.”

Pointing at the US’ refusal to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), that bans all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes, the ministry said that it “deals a serious blow” to the treaty, which “has been signed and ratified by the majority of countries, including Russia,” and might be a part of a preparation for the renewal of nuclear tests by the US.

“Such policy by Washington runs contrary to their declared commitment to the goals of the nuclear non-proliferation,” the ministry said, arguing that other countries key to the regime may follow its lead, which can untimely lead to a new arms race.

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Moscow: US ever-expanding missile shield creates illusion of impunity, leads to dangerous escalation

By ethan / April 25, 2018

The US wants to have the entire globe under its missile defense dome, Russia says, which is disproportionate to any potential threat and disrupts international security systems, ultimately pushing the world to greater instability.

“Reckless development of the missile defense system by the US could have dire consequences for the international security system not only in the Euro-Atlantic region but in the Asia-Pacific one as well,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It added that the US policy in this field has turned into “one of the major obstacles to the further nuclear disarmament” and created “dangerous conditions for a renewed arms race.”

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FILE PHOTO: The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island  © U.S. Navy

Washington did not slow down the development of its missile defense system after it, together with five other major international powers, reached a deal with Iran on its nuclear program back in 2015, even though the Iranian nuclear program was presented by the US as the major reason for the deployment of missile defense systems in Europe, the ministry noted. In the meantime, the US global missile shield has already become “disproportionate” to any potential threats, it added.

The missile defense systems deployed across the world appear to be “parts of a dangerous global project aimed at ensuring the US overwhelming military superiority at the expense of other nations’ security,” the statement said. They “change the strategic balance of power in the field of offensive weapons” and pose “serious risks of global instability.”

This missile defense “umbrella” could create “an illusion of invulnerability and impunity” in Washington, fueling “dangerous unilateral steps” in pursuit of its goals.

US blames others in attempts to conceal its own violations of international law

The US declares itself the “paragon of adherence to the international law” and never hesitates to judge whether other states fulfill their obligations – the real criteria being whether they serve American interests, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement goes on. When accusing someone of violations, the US often “does not bother with providing any proof” and mixes “facts and speculations together.”

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FILE PHOTO: Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile launch system © Toru Hanai

“There is a growing number of reasons to believe that the real motive behind the US actions is… the fear that it would be exposed as [a nation] that throws baseless accusations at other countries… in attempt to conceal the numerous violations of international law in the field of arms control and non-proliferation committed by the US itself,” the statement reads.

In the meantime, Washington de facto violated a number of major international treaties in the field of arms control, including the biological weapons convention and the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. It also still has not ratified the agreement on the comprehensive ban of any nuclear weapons tests, while creating conditions for such testing, the Russian ministry said.

It then points out that the US remains the only party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that still has a vast arsenal of chemical agents and is apparently in no rush to destroy them. On the contrary, Washington develops new means for the use of such chemical substances, the ministry said, citing information from open sources.

In early November 2017, US legislators allocated $ 58 million to a set of measures that include a “research and development program on a ground-launched intermediate-range missile” as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018. Such actions directly violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by Moscow and Washington back in 1987.

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The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Alaska © U.S. Navy

The American drone program is also technically a violation of the INF Treaty, Moscow says, since the unmanned aircraft fit the definition of land-based cruise missiles outlined in the treaty.

Russia is also concerned about the placement of naval vertical launch systems as part of the AEGIS Ashore deployment in Eastern Europe. The launchers are the same as those used by US warships to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles, which makes it possible to use the missile shield sites to launch mid-range missiles.

All that said, the US blames other nations, Russia in particular, for the escalation of tensions in the international arena to justify its own aggressive policies. In its latest Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), adopted in early 2018, Washington accused Moscow of a “troubling” adoption of military strategies and capabilities that rely on nuclear escalation.

In response, Russia rebuked the US for its attempts to justify its own “large-scale nuclear weapons buildup” with anti-Russian rhetoric. It also said that the new NPR significantly lowers the nuclear threshold, as it allows the US strategists “to treat almost any use of military force as a reason for carrying out a nuclear strike against those deemed aggressors.”

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Bavaria orders Christian crosses to be displayed on govt buildings

By ethan / April 24, 2018

Germany’s Bavaria has ordered Christian crosses to be placed over the entrances of government buildings to reflect its “cultural identity” as the state continues its feud with Berlin over multiculturalism and open-door policies.

The crosses should not be seen as “the sign of a religion,” according to Bavarian Minister President Markus Söder, but as a way to reflect the conservative state’s “cultural identity and Christian-western influence.”

Bavaria has already made displaying crosses compulsory in public schools and courtrooms. The new rule will reportedly not be applied to municipal and federal government buildings.

The governing Christian Social Union, which is the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, is trying to stave off competition from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has run anti-Muslim campaigns that have played well with many German voters that are unhappy with Merkel’s open border approach to the refugee crisis. The AfD was up 12 percent in the most recent election in the southern region.

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The German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) (L), the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) (C) and the Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) (R) hold a discussion in the German parliament on March 22, 2018. © M. Popow

Merkel recently agreed to take in 10,000 more migrants that have been selected by the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR). The chancellor said the new refugees would be part of a resettlement programme in Germany, but did not confirm which countries the refugees were coming from or where they would be settled in Germany.

Horst Seehofer, Germany’s federal interior minister and the former head of Bavaria, has been a thorn in Merkel’s side when it comes to migration and worsening relations with Russia.

Seehofer has called on Germany to lift economic sanctions on Russia and said that he believed the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries should be reopened to include Russia. “I’m arguing for realpolitik not saber-rattling,” he told a German newspaper last year.

Seehofer visited Moscow last March with a delegation aiming to revive business links that had been damaged by EU sanctions imposed on Russia. “Many trouble spots in the world will not be resolved without Moscow,” he said at the time.

Following the reelection of Viktor Orban as Hungarian prime minister earlier this month, Seehofer warned Brussels against the “arrogance and paternalism” the EU had been showing to member states like Hungary.

Söder, who is considered to be equally, if not more, conservative than Seehofer when it comes to traditional values, has been previously quoted as saying: “one thing is clear for the CSU: Crucifixes belong in classrooms, headscarves don’t.”

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Russia’s air defenses destroy targets heading towards Khmeimim in Syria

By ethan / April 24, 2018

Russian air defenses have intercepted and destroyed several aerial targets heading towards the country’s Khmeimim airbase in Syria late on Tuesday, a military spokesman said.

“After the fall of dark, the means of airspace control at the Russian Khmeimim base detected small-sized aerial targets of unknown origin in the distance from the airfield,” the airbase spokesman said. “All of the targets were destroyed by the antiaircraft fire means of the Russian airbase.”

There were no casualties as result of the incident, with the base returning to routine operations, he added.

According to an unconfirmed report by the South Front“analytics and intelligence” website, the Russian airbase was attacked by two drones armed with projectiles, which were launched by one of the militant groups from northern Latakia or the southern Idlib province of Syria. The website also shared footage, which it said showed the Russian air defenses at Khmeimim airbase in action.

In mid-January, Russian air defenses thwarted a drone attack targeting both the Khmeimim airbase and a port site in Tartus. The terrorists launched 13 crude-looking unmanned aircraft, which the Russian military said contained arms and technologies beyond those the militants could come up with on their own. All the aircraft were intercepted and captured by Russian troops by means of radio control.

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