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Political Weekly Magazine

SYRIA POLITICS: SDF ‘Liberated’ Raqqah But Won’t Hand It to Syrian Government

SYRIA POLITICS: SDF ‘Liberated’ Raqqah But Won’t Hand It to Syrian Government

SDF spokesman Talal Silo has said the group would hand over the control of the city to what he called “the Raqqah Civil Council,” likely a Kurdish body. Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar reacted by saying that Raqqah’s future could only be discussed “as part of the final political structure of the Syrian state.”

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has, meanwhile, said that the SDF’s purported operations in Raqqah have killed civilians and damaged infrastructure in the city.

“When you’re killing around 1,200 civilians — nearly half of them women and children — and destroying 80 percent of the city, that’s not liberating Raqqah,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the SOHR, told Arab News daily.

The SDF is dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia.

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USA POLITICS: Trump to Release Classified John Kennedy Files

USA POLITICS: Trump to Release Classified John Kennedy Files

Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump said in a tweet.

Philip Shenon, the author of the Politico article and of a book on the assassination, said he did not think the last batch of papers contained any major bombshells, but may shed light on the activities of Oswald while he was traveling in Mexico City in late September 1963, and courting Cuban and Soviet spies.

“From the record we already have, we know he met there with Soviet spies and Cuban spies and other people who might have wanted to see Kennedy dead,” Shenon said.

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UK POLITICS: 5 Year Old Syrian Girl Dies in ‘Concentration Camp’ Funded By UK Taxpayers

UK POLITICS: 5 Year Old Syrian Girl Dies in ‘Concentration Camp’ Funded By UK Taxpayers

“I crawled inside and the blankets on the floor were wet, it was so cold and dirty and damp,” Daliah, a volunteer and former protection team employee who visited the family, told RT UK.

“Their daughter had just died and they were left there. They had nothing. No visit from a psychiatrist. The mother was silent. They were in shock and the children were saying ‘my sister died – she died just here.’

“There was a volunteer there in tears. He told me they just pulled her out like a dog and took her away. There was no dignity.”

Following her “unexplained” death, her tiny body was buried without an Islamic funeral and without her mother being present.

“She became nothing but a number – she didn’t even get her last respect,” Daliah said.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Nuclear Weapons ‘Matter of Life and Death’: North Korea Says

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Nuclear Weapons ‘Matter of Life and Death’: North Korea Says

North Korea is under mounting international pressure over its missile and military nuclear programs and has been subjected to an array of sanctions by the United Nations. However, Pyongyang says it needs to continue and develop the programs as a deterrent against hostility by the US and its regional allies, including South Korea and Japan.

“This is a matter of life and death for us. The current situation deepens our understanding that we need nuclear weapons to repel a potential attack.” Choe Son-hui, the director-general of the North American department of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry.

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IRAN POLITICS: Iran Nuclear Deal Vital for Strategic Stability: Russia

IRAN POLITICS: Iran Nuclear Deal Vital for Strategic Stability: Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rejected the need for further inspection of Iran’s nuclear sites beyond the JCPOA requirements, noting that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “performs regular checks and confirms their [Iran’s] strict fulfillment of obligations.”

Touching on US demands for renegotiating the JCPOA, Lavrov stated that any changes to the deal would require the approval of all the parties to the accord, including Iran.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Graft Probe into Enrique Pena Nieto’s Ally Tricky Challenge Ahead of Election

MEXICO POLITICS: Graft Probe into Enrique Pena Nieto’s Ally Tricky Challenge Ahead of Election

Odebrecht has admitted to U.S. and Brazilian prosecutors that it paid $10.5 million in bribes in Mexico.

Details of the payments have not been made public, though in August, Brazilian and Mexican media reported that Lozoya had asked Odebrecht executives for bribes in 2012 in return for contracts, citing testimony from Odebrecht employees.

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CANADA POLITICS: Badly Shaken By Ethics Scandal Trudeau’s Government Offers to Reset Public Focus on Economy

CANADA POLITICS: Badly Shaken By Ethics Scandal Trudeau’s Government Offers to Reset Public Focus on Economy

Opposition parties from both the political left and right have seized on the ethics scandal, trying to tie Trudeau’s team to what they say is an entitled Liberal Party that has previously faced corruption charges.

“The opposition has changed the focus from substance to ethics, and they won’t let that go that easily,” said Genevieve Tellier, a political professor at the University of Ottawa.

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LIBERIA POLITICS: Official! 7 November Boakai, Weah to Contest in Presidential Election Run-Off: NEC

LIBERIA POLITICS: Official! 7 November Boakai, Weah to Contest in Presidential Election Run-Off: NEC

While many people blame Joseph Boakai for what they see as the lapses of the Unity Party under President Sirleaf, others see in him, comparing him with George Weah as an erudite statesman capable of handling the issues of the country aright. Hence, many think it is a situation that voters should take into consideration in the runoff.

Another issue being held against Boakai is the statement attributed to him that the Unity Party government “squandered lots of opportunities.” Though Boakai did not offer an explanation about the “opportunities squandered” his partisans say he could do things differently, as his famous slogan, says “Think Liberia, Love Liberia, Build Liberia.”

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AUSTRIA POLITICS: Sebastian Kurz on Track to Become Austria’s Next Leader

AUSTRIA POLITICS: Sebastian Kurz on Track to Become Austria’s Next Leader

FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache, who has accused Kurz of stealing his party’s ideas, declined to be drawn on his preferred partner.

“Anything is possible,” he told ORF. “We are pleased with this great success and one thing is clear: nearly 60 percent of the Austrian population voted for the FPO program.”

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syria Slams Trump for Refusal to Certify Iran’s Nuclear Deal

SYRIA POLITICS: Syria Slams Trump for Refusal to Certify Iran’s Nuclear Deal

Trump’s decertification of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was “unacceptable,” Syria’s state news agency, SANA, quoted an official source at the Arab country’s Foreign and Expatriates Ministry as saying in a statement on Sunday.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Biggest Clampdown on Federal Lobbying Takes Center Stage

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Biggest Clampdown on Federal Lobbying Takes Center Stage

“I am seeing people in my office like Stephen Conroy, or there’s Martin Ferguson representing the mining industry, Adam Giles representing Gina Rinehart – these are doyens of the labor movement suddenly spruiking for big business, it’s surreal,” he said.

“There should be a far bigger firebreak between what they did and what they start to do again.”

However, Senator Hinch questioned whether five years was too long: “My gut says two years is enough to break the nexus. “The way information is spread so fast these days, if you have been out of the loop for two years, well, you’re pretty much out of the loop.”

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Not Ready to Meet With South Korea in Russia: Agencies

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Not Ready to Meet With South Korea in Russia: Agencies

Politicians from North Korea and South Korea will not hold direct talks in Russia on Monday about Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program despite attending the same event and being urged to do so by Moscow, Russian news agencies said on

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USA POLITICS: Hillary Clinton to UK: Don’t Strike Trade Deal With Trump

USA POLITICS: Hillary Clinton to UK: Don’t Strike Trade Deal With Trump

“You’re making a trade deal with somebody who says he doesn’t believe in trade, so I‘m not quite sure how that’s going to play out over the next few years,” Hillary Clinton said.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have been playing up the prospects of increasing trade with “old friends” like the US and “new partners” like China, India and Japan after Brexit.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Gubernatorial Elections Take Center Stage

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Gubernatorial Elections Take Center Stage

“When you vote, you will be sending a message to the imperialists,” the Socialist Party’s powerful No. 2 Diosdado Cabello said at a campaign rally this week, blasting the United States which has imposed some sanctions on Venezuela.

“We must vote for the legacy of Hugo Chavez,” Cabello added, referring to the populist firebrand and Maduro predecessor who ruled between 1999-2013 before dying from cancer.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Carlos Ocariz Hopes for Victory in Regional Elections

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Carlos Ocariz Hopes for Victory in Regional Elections

Polls project opposition candidates like Ocariz are likely to win a majority of the 23 governorships up for grabs Sunday. If opponents of President Nicolas Maduro win a decisive victory, it would be the first time since 2000 that the late President Hugo Chavez’s ruling socialist party faces a nation led primarily by opposition governors.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: North Korea Just Sent Chilling Threat to Australia for Joining US, South Korea

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: North Korea Just Sent Chilling Threat to Australia for Joining US, South Korea

“Should Australia continue to follow the US in imposing military, economic and diplomatic pressure upon the DPRK despite our repeated warnings, they will not be able to avoid a disaster,” Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned.

The warning comes after Ms Bishop pledged solidarity with South Korea in the face of the North’s ongoing nuclear threat.

“We stand united with (South Korea) against the provocative and threatening behaviour of North Korea,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters.

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KENYA POLITICS: Police Bullets Killed Opposition Protesters

KENYA POLITICS: Police Bullets Killed Opposition Protesters

Opposition coalition Chief Executive Officer Norman Magaya said police have allowed government supporters into the banned protest areas and that they were attacking opposition supporters.

Opposition leaders have called for daily demonstrations. Odinga, whose legal challenge led the court to nullify President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, this week said he has left the race because no reforms to electoral commission have been made.

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Says, Trump’s Anti-Iran Speech Defies Norms of Civility, ‘Doomed to Fail’

RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Says, Trump’s Anti-Iran Speech Defies Norms of Civility, ‘Doomed to Fail’

Just before Trump’s speech, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had called his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to tell him that Russia remained fully committed to the Iran nuclear deal.

Additionally, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had said that spiking the deal “would undoubtedly hurt the atmosphere of predictability, security, stability and non-proliferation in the entire world.”

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syria Chemical Probe Seriously Flawed: Russia Says

SYRIA POLITICS: Syria Chemical Probe Seriously Flawed: Russia Says

“In order to judge if it deserves an extension of the mandate, we need to see the report to be issued on October 26 and assess it,” Mikhail Ulyanov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department said.

“I ask myself what is the reason for the extension of the mandate of this mechanism if it is not capable and is not willing to fulfill its mandate,” he added, noting, “We will wait for the report and then we will define our position.”

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PHILIPPINE POLITICS: ‘I Will Declare a Revolutionary Government’: Duterte Warns

PHILIPPINE POLITICS: ‘I Will Declare a Revolutionary Government’: Duterte Warns

“If your destabilization is taking place and there is chaos already, I will not hesitate to declare a revolutionary government until the end of my term and I will arrest all of you and we can go to a full-scale war against the reds,” Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said, in reference to communist rebels who have waged a nearly 50-year insurgency.

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