18 February 2018

English

Israel rushes to take action as BDS bites deeper

KONFRONTASI - Israel is planning to step up its crackdown on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by defining stricter regulations against those who support the pro-Palestine campaign.

To contain some of the damage, the regime is preparing a blacklist of individuals and companies that have sided against Israel in order to deny them tax breaks and participation in tenders, Israeli media reported Thursday.

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is expected to approve the new regulations over the next few days.

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Gaza's only power plant stops working over fuel shortage

KONFRONTASI-The sole electricity plant in the Gaza Strip has stopped working because of a lack of fuel as concerns grow over worsening humanitarian conditions in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Mohammed Thabet, spokesman for Gaza's energy distribution company, said on Thursday that it was informed by the energy authority that the power station had stopped functioning at midnight because of the lack of fuel.

Ramaphosa elected president of South Africa

KONFRONTASI-Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as South Africa’s president in a parliamentary vote on Thursday after scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma reluctantly resigned on orders from the ruling African National Congress.

South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4 percent, putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations.

Lebanese presidency denies U.S. Secretary of State kept waiting at palace

KONFRONTASI-The Lebanese presidency denied that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been kept waiting ahead of a meeting with President Michel Aoun on Thursday at the presidential palace, where he sat for several minutes before his Lebanese counterpart greeted him.

Television footage showed Tillerson sitting in a room alongside an empty seat before Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil walked in and shook his hand.

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Trump greatest danger to US, not Russia or China: Analyst

KONFRONTASI-The "greatest danger" to the United States comes from President Donald Trump and his grand plan to expand the US military industrial complex, says an analyst.

“The biggest danger to the United States is not Russia, or China, or North Korea or Iran. The biggest danger to the United States is the corporate system and its puppet Donald Trump,” Rob Kall, executive editor at OpedNews.com. told Press TV.  

Trump lawyer admits he paid $130,000 to adult film actress

KONFRONTASI-US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer confirmed he paid $130,000 to an adult film actress who allegedly had a sexual relationship with the president.

Michael Cohen, who worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, said in a statement to The New York Times that he paid the money to Stephanie Clifford out of his own pocket.

Israel's Netanyahu says government coalition remains stable

KONFRONTASI-Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday his coalition government remained stable and would continue to govern despite police recommendations he be indicted for bribery.

“I want to reassure you, the coalition is stable. No one, not I, not anyone else, has plans to go to an election. We will continue to work with you for the good of Israel’s citizens until the end of the term,” Netanyahu said at a conference in Tel Aviv.

His remarks came the morning after Israeli police made public their recommendations, presenting Netanyahu with one of the biggest challenges in his political career. It is now up to Israel’s attorney general to decide whether to file charges, a process that could take months.

Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing in both police criminal investigations that have gone on for more than a year.

One of the cases, known as Case 1000, alleged the “committing of crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust by the prime minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu.”

ANC orders Zuma to step down as South African president

KONFRONTASI-outh Africa’s ruling party ordered Jacob Zuma on Tuesday to step down as head of state after marathon talks over the fate of a leader whose scandal-plagued years in power darkened and divided Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid ‘Rainbow Nation’.

Leading members of the African National Congress now want new party leader Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Zuma as president, ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule told a news conference.

But the party’s national executive was split on precisely when Zuma should go, Magashule added, leaving the president’s immediate fate still hanging in the balance.

There was no word from Zuma or his spokesman but Magashule said the president had promised to respond to the order by Wednesday. The rand weakened, with traders blaming uncertainty caused by the lack of a clear timetable.

Magashule said he had met Zuma personally to pass on the decision. “We haven’t given him any deadline to respond,” he said. “The organization expects him to go.”

Zuma had asked the party to give him a notice period of three to six months but that had been rejected, Magashule said. “Timelines? No. The NEC believes that this is an urgent matter so it should be treated with urgency,” he said.

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US funding of Kurdish militants in Syria to impact Turkey’s decisions: Erdogan

KONFRONTASI-Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that Washington’s refusal to stop funding the Kurdish militants in Syria will affect Ankara’s decisions, ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week.

Addressing members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in parliament on Tuesday, Erdogan criticized Washington for supporting militants from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

UK's Oxfam faces more pressure after new report of sex abuse by aid workers

KONFRONTASI-British aid organization Oxfam faced fresh pressure on Tuesday after a former senior member of staff said her concerns about “a culture of sexual abuse” involving aid workers in some the organization’s offices had been ignored.

Helen Evans, who was in charge of investigating allegations against Oxfam staff members between 2012 and 2015, told Channel 4 television that abuse cases she had heard of included a woman who had been coerced to have sex in exchange for aid.

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