U.S.-Backed “Relentless War” in Yemen Causing Widespread Threat of Starvation

The United Nations has warned that the world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War. Nearly 20 million people are at risk of starvation in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. Last month, the U.N. declared a famine in parts of South Sudan. Earlier this week, aid officials said they’re in a race against time to prevent a famine brought on by a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war and blockade. Almost 19 million people in Yemen, two-thirds of the total population, are in need of assistance, and more than 7 million are facing starvation.

Last month, the U.N. declared a famine in parts of South Sudan, but O’Brien said the biggest crisis is in Yemen. Earlier this week, aid officials said they’re in a race against time to prevent a famine brought on by a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war and blockade. Almost 19 million people in Yemen, two-thirds of the total population, are in need of assistance, and more than 7 million are facing starvation—an increase of 3 million since January. The executive director of the World Food Programme said her agency had just three months’ worth of food stored and that officials were only able to provide hungry Yemenis with about a third of the rations they need. This all comes as the Trump administration is seeking billions of dollars in cuts in funding to the United Nations.

Joel Charny talking:

Stephen O’Brien described it very well. In four countries, because of conflict—only in one case, Somalia, do we have drought, which is also driving the deprivation. But in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and northern Nigeria, millions of people are on the—are on the brink of famine, largely because of the disruption of food production, the inability of aid agencies to get in, and just ongoing conflict, which is making life a misery for millions of people.

It’s been a relentless war, with violations of international humanitarian law by the Saudis and the coalition that they’re a part of, as well as by the Houthis that are resisting the Saudi assault. And from the beginning of the bombing—I mean, I vividly remember, when the bombing first started, in—within the space of a couple weeks, the warehouses and office buildings of three or four nongovernmental organizations working in Yemen were hit by the Saudi assault. And what’s happened, Yemen imports 90 percent of its food even in normal times, so this is not so much a disruption of food production, but it’s a disruption of commerce due to the bombing, due to the blockade, due to the movement of the national bank from Sana’a down to Aden. And taken all together, it’s just creating an impossible situation in a country that’s completely dependent on food imports for its survival.

At this point, really the only solution is some kind of agreement between the parties to the conflict—the Saudis and their allies and the Houthis. And over the last year, 18 months, several times we’ve been close to seeing an agreement that would at least produce a ceasefire or end some of the relentless bombing that’s been going on. Yet, every time, the agreement breaks down. And, I mean, this is a case where if the war continues, people will die from famine. I don’t think there’s any question about that. We just have to find a way for the war to end. And right now, there’s just a complete lack of diplomatic effort to try and solve this situation. And I think, as a humanitarian representing the Norwegian Refugee Council, we can do what we can, you know, in the face of this conflict, but the fundamental solution is an agreement between the parties that will stop the war, open up commerce, you know, have the port be open, and allow, therefore, the aid machinery from the World Food Programme and nongovernmental organizations like NRC to function.

it needs to be stressed that this is not something that, you know, started on January 20th. Humanitarian agencies in Washington, you know, myself and my colleagues, we’ve been pointing out, dating back well into the last year of the Obama administration, that, you know, the bombing campaign was leading to an untenable humanitarian situation, and the U.S. support of that bombing campaign was highly problematic from a humanitarian standpoint. So, you know, this is something that the U.S. has been driving for some time. And again, as with many things right now, it has to be seen within the context of the war or the proxy war between, you know, the Saudis and Iran for control and supremacy in the Middle East. The Houthis are perceived as an Iranian proxy. Many dispute that, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is an ongoing war that seems unable to be resolved. And we need—and again, it doesn’t necessarily have to come from the U.S. Perhaps it can come from the U.N. under the leadership of their new secretary-general, António Guterres. But we need a diplomatic initiative as it relates to Yemen to avert the famine.

United Nations budget will come out tomorrow, but the report is that there will be a 50 percent cut across the board in Trump’s budget for 2018. Now, the U.S. is a very significant supporter of the humanitarian arms of the United Nations, as well as the U.N. across the board. But in the context of 20 million people being on the brink of famine, you’re proposing to cut funding for the high commissioner for refugees, the U.N. refugee agency; for the World Food Programmme, that Ertharin Cousin represents; and for UNICEF. And those three agencies are, on the U.N.’s behalf, on the front line of responding to the situations that we’re talking about. So, to call this ill-timed is an incredible understatement. I mean, to—and the other rumor, Amy, is that, you know, there are going to be devastating cuts to the U.S.’s own humanitarian funding through agencies like the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the refugee bureau at the State Department. So, we’re anxiously awaiting the release of the Trump budget tomorrow, but it—we’re obviously quite concerned that, in the context of the massive need that we’re facing and the normal U.S. leadership that we see in responding to famine situations, these cuts, not just for the U.N. but also for domestic—you know, for our international response agencies in the U.S. government, will be devastating.

South Sudan is a place where, you know, there was so much hope in 2011, when the country was founded, after years of support from around the world, including from the United States. And basically, the leaders of South Sudan decided that they would rather fight over ultimate control than govern their country in a way that worked for all their people. So, South Sudan is a classic example of another famine or food shortage that’s driven purely by conflict in this—with an ethnic dimension, but also a political dimension, unresolved political conflicts within the South Sudanese ruling class that date all the way back to the ’90s, that were covered up during the independence struggle but have since emerged.

And again, in South Sudan, we face just immense logistical difficulties in reaching people, like the woman you just showed. And we have to overcome obstacles from the government itself. We have to overcome logistical difficulties. We have to make sure that we can work safely in the midst of conflict. And South Sudan has oil. South Sudan has relatively fertile soil to feed itself. And the issue is just the inability of the authorities, and working with the—with outside aid agencies, to come together to meet the needs of the people of South Sudan. And it is a desperate situation. Of the four—of the four countries that we’re discussing, South Sudan is the one place where a famine has officially been declared in one part of the country, affecting 100,000 people.

Somalia is the one place, I think, where a rapid response actually can make a difference, because the—although there is conflict in Somalia, the famine threat this time, the severe drought, is mainly in parts of the country that are reachable by the government, as weak as it is, and reachable by the international aid community. So if we’re able to mobilize quickly—and this is what everyone’s saying right now—if we’re able to mobilize food and cash quickly, we can—we can overcome the situation of Somalia, in Somalia, if we get—if we get moving.

In Nigeria, it’s a question of—you know, Boko Haram is disrupting areas in the northern part of the country. There’s been a response by the Nigerian government that has, you know, led to people being driven into camps and away from their homes. And because of the conflict there, food production has been disrupted. It’s very difficult to reach people. And again, from the perspective of an outside agency like Norwegian Refugee Council, the key in northern Nigeria is either to reach some kind of peace agreement or at least a way to prosecute the war that doesn’t disrupt life in villages and doesn’t harm people who are so vulnerable.

as people have pointed out, four of the six countries in the ban are currently in conflict, in which the U.S. is involved. And our view on the ban is very simple. The people in these countries and, indeed, refugees worldwide are among the most vulnerable in the world. They are vetted before they come to the United States. And it’s just an absolute priority, from our standpoint, that the U.S. remain open to the most vulnerable refugees and that we have an immigration program from these countries that allows people to reunify with their families, to study in the U.S. and so on. So, you know, this contrast between assaulting—you know, having wars going on, yet not being able to be a safe haven, is obviously a clear and worrying contrast.
____

Joel Charny
director of the Norwegian Refugee Council USA.

— source democracynow.org

US ‘Has the Gall’ to Ask Cambodia to Pay War Debt

A U.S. Air Force Boeing Stratofortress dropping bombs over Vietnam. | Photo: Wikimedia

Almost half a century after dropping 500,000 tons of explosives and killing hundreds of thousands of people in Cambodia, the United States seems to be demanding that the country pay back US$500 million in war debts, a move that sparked outcry across the political spectrum in Cambodia.

“To me, Cambodia does not look like a country that should be in arrears … buildings coming up all over the city, foreign investment coming in, government revenue is rapidly rising,” William Heidt, the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, told local newspaper Cambodia Daily.

Since the elections of President Donald Trump, the Cambodian government has been urging Washington to cancel the debt, but the ambassador dismissed any plans to do so by the new administration.

“I will say that the issue of cancellation … that wasn’t on the table when I was here in the 1990s. It has never been on the table since then. So we have never discussed seriously or considered canceling that debt with Cambodia,” he said, while also calling for a deal to be struck between the two countries for debt payment.

Speaking at a conference earlier this month, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former commander with the Cambodian communists, slammed the ambassador for his comments and recalled the atrocities committed by the U.S. in the 1970s.

“They dropped bombs on our heads and then ask up to repay. When we do not repay, they tell the IMF (International Monetary Fund) not to lend us money,” Sen said, according to local media. “We should raise our voices to talk about the issue of the country that has invaded other (countries) and has killed children.”

In the late 1960s, the U.S. had given US$274 million loan, mostly for food supplies to the U.S.-backed Lon Nol government who had taken over the country in a coup a year earlier. The debt has almost doubled over the years as Cambodia refused to enter into a repayment program.

As Nol fought against the Khmer Rouge between 1970 and 1975, U.S. fighter jets carried out secret carpet-bombings against the group in support of the right-wing government killing more than 500,000 people, many of them women and children.

After the Khmer Rouge took over the country in 1975, more than 2 million people died as a result of political executions, disease and forced labor.

The idea that Cambodia owed the United States money is rejected by many, including those who witnessed the massacres.

“He (Heidt) has the gall to demand the ‘loans’ back even though either the Khmer Rouge or the current government have been in power since 1975, that this money was still due,” James Pringle, who served as the bureau chief for Reuters in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh City during the invasion of Cambodia, wrote for The Cambodia Daily.

“Cambodia does not owe even a brass farthing to the U.S. for help in destroying its people, its wild animals, its rice fields and forest cover.”

— source telesurtv.net

A Record 65.3 Million Displaced

Glen Ford

DHARNA NOOR, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Dharna Noor coming to you from Baltimore.

Today, on World Refugee Day, the UN Refugee Agency issued a new report which shows that global displacement is at an all-time high. 2015 saw 65.3 million people displaced. This is the first time in history that this number has been over 60 million.

Glen Ford is joining us from Plainfield, New Jersey, to talk about this. He’s the co-founder and executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, and the author of The Big Lie: Analysis of the U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion. Thanks for joining us, Glen.

GLEN FORD: Well, thank you for the opportunity.

NOOR: So, Glen, these numbers are just staggering. This report shows that around 24 people around the world were displaced every minute in 2015. Can I just get your initial reactions?

FORD: Well, what really is staggering is the culpability of one country in the world for this huge mass of suffering around the planet. If you create a kind of top 10 of the worst refugee crises afflicting the world, you’ll find that all but one or maybe arguably two of these refugee crises are direct results of U.S. foreign policy.

So we can go down the list, and I think that we can see what ails U.S. foreign policy in, through the list of countries that are afflicted with refugee crises. The number one country on that top 10 list is, of course, Syria. And we all know that the United States and its allies have armed and financed those folks who are, who have been waging war against the government of Syria for the last five years or so. A quarter million people have died in that war, and about 11 million people are some kind of refugee, according to the United Nations.

If we go down to number two on the list, that’s on another continent, Colombia in South America. It’s notable because it’s the biggest exporter of cocaine on the planet. But it is also the place where we have the largest number of internal refugees in the world. That is, refugees who don’t move across their nation’s borders, but have been forced out of their homes nonetheless. And that is due to U.S. foreign policy in Colombia, which backs a government which has created policies that have forced millions of indigenous Colombians and Afro-Colombians off of their land.

Iraq is number three, and of course, that is a situation in which the united States is complicit. Iraq, for a time, had the highest number of internal refugees in the world, surpassing Colombia. Many of them have since left the country. So Iraq is number three overall in worldwide refugees.

Number four is Afghanistan, where the United States has waged a kind of 21st century type of war, but one that began around 1980, when the U.S. and the Saudi Arabians and the Pakistanis created for the first time, never witnessed on the face of the earth, an international jihadist network in order to wage war against the Soviets. Well, these jihadist networks have been waging war ever since, with varying degrees of aid from the United States and the Saudis and the Pakistanis, and thus generating millions of refugees all around the world.

The only nation in the top 10 in which the United States is not arguably complicit is the nation of Sudan, which is number five, and it has 4 million refugees. But even Sudan bears the mark of U.S. interference, because the United States and Israel have been seeking to undermine the Sudanese government for about the last 30 years, and that has contributed to the instability that creates refugees. And that drive by the United States, especially against the Sudanese government, created the new country of South Sudan, which gained its independence with massive help from the Americans and their allies. Now, South Sudan is number seven in the list of countries that contribute to refugees in the world. Its civil war has generated millions, about 2.5 million refugees.

We also have Yemen, a war in which the United States backs the Saudis, who are waging a fight against a Houthi and other faction government that has put Yemen in position number, I believe, nine in the world in terms of refugees. One out of every ten people in Yemen is a refugee.

I think a very special case, and I’ll leave it at this one, can be made for the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC is one of the top 10 in refugees. It’s got about 3 million people who have been displaced from their homes. But this really understates the case, and it understates U.S. involvement, because twice as many people in the Congo are now dead, 6 million of them, because of invasions of the Congo carried out by U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda. The United States not only backed those countries and their invasions, but tried to cover up the consequences, the resulting genocide. And so Congo is number one in terms of genocide since the end of World War II, as well as way up there in the number of refugees.

If we look at the world in its totality, we get the distinct impression that much of the misery that people who have lost their homes and even their countries are suffering is because of the United States. We see what the world looks like when there is one superpower in charge.

NOOR: So, going back to the top of the list, in Syria specifically it’s like half of the Syrian population that’s been displaced from their homes. In light of that, can you speak about the letter that 51 diplomats wrote last week, this open letter calling for Obama to overthrow Bashar al-Assad?

FORD: They want to double down on the worst refugee crisis in the world, and on a quarter million deaths. They seem to believe that the U.S. policy of destabilization, which has led directly to this crisis, needs to be toned up, or tuned up. That we need more bombs, not less, in order to solve the problem. And we need to stack more bodies in the pile and drive more families out into a world that they have been forced to confront without a country.

NOOR: And what about the internal struggles within these countries? You know, people often bring up the fact that, you know, what about the fact that Bashar al-Assad is issuing more strikes against the people of Syria himself?

FORD: Well, that is an internal problem of Syria. But the United States as a country that is clearly violating international law, and doing so every day, and threatening to carry out acts that are even more illegal, is in no position to criticize the way the Assad government defends itself against the troops that the United States has arrayed against it. I don’t even understand how that kind of logic makes any sense to folks, unless they believe that the U.S. can do no harm and no wrong in the world, despite the illegality of its policies, and despite the human suffering that they cause.

NOOR: Right. And can we talk about who’s hosting these refugees? The report shows that it’s mostly mid-income nation-states near conflict areas that are taking them in, even though the mainstream media has been so focused on this European refugee crisis. And then also, the U.S. has promised to take in 10,000 this year, but it’s not actually looking like that promise will be met.

FORD: Well, Turkey’s taking in the largest number. They’re being paid by the Europeans to hold the Syrians there, to keep them from crossing over into European territory. But Turkey is not doing the world a humanitarian service by taking in these refugees, given that Turkey bears the responsibility, along with the United States and the Saudis and the Gulf countries, and of course Britain and France, the whole gang for this war that created the refugees. Turkey is sowing the seeds that it has planted in Syria, in the form of refugees.

NOOR: And how should the U.S. be facing this crisis? What kind of foreign policy would be correct in addressing this huge refugee crisis?

FORD: Call off the war. The war is the cause of the refugee crisis. The war was started by the United States and its allies. We know when it began. We know when the Libyan jihadists who had been fighting in collaboration with the United States in their own country in 2011, we know when they began arriving in Syria. It’s all a matter of public record. The United States is obligated to unwind the crime that it’s committed.

NOOR: Right. Thank you so much for joining us to talk about this, Glen, and we’ll certainly be continuing to follow the unraveling of this UN report.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=16572

The United States Used Depleted Uranium in Syria

Officials have confirmed that the U.S. military, despite vowing not to use depleted uranium weapons on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, fired thousands of rounds of the munitions during two high-profile raids on oil trucks in Islamic State-controlled Syria in late 2015. The air assaults mark the first confirmed use of this armament since the 2003 Iraq invasion, when it was used hundreds of thousands of times, setting off outrage among local communities, which alleged that its toxic material caused cancer and birth defects.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques told Airwars and Foreign Policy that 5,265 armor-piercing 30 mm rounds containing depleted uranium (DU) were shot from Air Force A-10 fixed-wing aircraft on Nov. 16 and Nov. 22, 2015, destroying about 350 vehicles* in the country’s eastern desert.

Earlier in the campaign, both coalition and U.S. officials said the ammunition had not and would not be used in anti-Islamic State operations. In March 2015, coalition spokesman John Moore said, “U.S. and coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.” Later that month, a Pentagon representative told War is Boring that A-10s deployed in the region would not have access to armor-piercing ammunition containing DU because the Islamic State didn’t possess the tanks it is designed to penetrate.

It remains unclear if the November 2015 strikes occurred near populated areas. In 2003, hundreds of thousands of rounds were shot in densely settled areas during the American invasion, leading to deep resentment and fear among Iraqi civilians and anger at the highest levels of government in Baghdad. In 2014, in a U.N. report on DU, the Iraqi government expressed “its deep concern over the harmful effects” of the material. DU weapons, it said, “constitute a danger to human beings and the environment” and urged the United Nations to conduct in-depth studies on their effects. Such studies of DU have not yet been completed, and scientists and doctors say as a result there is still very limited credible “direct epidemiological evidence” connecting DU to negative health effects.

The potential popular blowback from using DU, however, is very real. While the United States insists it has the right to use the weapon, experts call the decision to use the weapon in such quantities against targets it wasn’t designed for — such as tanks — peculiar at best.

The U.S. raids were part of “Tidal Wave II” — an operation aimed at crippling infrastructure that the Islamic State relied on to sell millions of dollars’ worth of oil. The Pentagon said the Nov. 16 attacks happened in the early morning near Al-Bukamal, a city in the governorate of Deir Ezzor near the border with Iraq, and destroyed 116 tanker trucks. Though the coalition said that the strikes occurred entirely in Syrian territory, both sides of the frontier were completely under the control of the militant group at the time. Any firing of DU in Iraqi territory would have far greater political repercussions, given the anger over its previous use there. The Nov. 16 video below shows tankers hit first by larger ordnances, before others are engulfed in sparks and ripped apart by fire from 30 mm cannons.

Video of the second DU run on Nov. 22 destroyed what is described as 283 “Daesh Oil trucks” in the desert between Al-Hasakeh and Deir Ezzor — both capitals of governorates of the same names.

The use of DU in Syria was first reported by this author in IRIN News last October. CENTCOM and the U.S. Air Force at first denied it was fired, then offered differing accounts of what happened, including an admission in October that the weapon had been used. However, the dates confirmed by CENTCOM at that point were off by several days. It is now clear that the munitions were used in the most publicized of the Tidal Wave II attacks.

Depleted uranium is left over from the enrichment of uranium 235. It is exceptionally hard, and has been employed by militaries both to penetrate armored targets and to reinforce their potential targets like tanks against enemy fire. Though less radioactive than the original uranium, DU is toxic and is considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be a “radiation health hazard when inside the body.”

The most likely way for such intake to occur is through the inhalation of small particles near where a weapon is used. But doctors and anti-nuclear activists alike say there hasn’t been enough research done to prove the precise health effects and exposure thresholds for humans. Most important, the lack of comprehensive research on illnesses and health outcomes in post-conflict areas where DU was used has led to a proliferation of assumptions and theories about DU’s potential to cause birth defects and cancer. Firing rounds near civilian populations has a powerful psychological effect, causing distress and severe anxiety, as the International Atomic Energy Agency noted in 2014

Internationally, DU exists in a legal gray area. It is not explicitly banned by U.N. conventions like those that restrict land mines or chemical weapons. And although the United States applies restrictions on the weapon’s handling domestically, it does not regulate its use overseas in civilian areas with nearly the same caution.

“I think this is an area of international humanitarian law that needs a lot more attention,” said Cymie Payne, a legal scholar and professor of ecology at Rutgers University who has researched DU. “As we’ve been focusing more in recent years on the post-conflict period and thinking about peace building …we need a clean environment so people can use the environment.”

Jacques, the CENTCOM spokesman, says the ammunition was fired that November because of a “higher probability of destruction for targets.” Shortly after both attacks, the U.S.-led coalition released the videos showing multiple vehicles lit up by bombs, missiles, and prolonged fire from the 30 mm cannons of Air Force A-10s — but did not specify that the flight crews had loaded those cannons with DU. Those videos — along with dozens of other strike recordings — have been removed from official coalition channels in recent months.

When DU rounds are loaded in A-10s, they are combined with a lesser amount of non-DU high-explosive incendiary (HEI) rounds, amounting to a “combat mix.” In November 2015, a total of 6,320 rounds of the mix were used in Syria: According to CENTCOM, 1,790 30 mm rounds — including 1,490 with DU — were fired on Nov. 16; on Nov. 22, 4,530 rounds of combat mix were fired containing 3,775 DU armor-piercing munitions. Though DU rounds have been fired in other theaters — including the Balkans — much of the attention centers on Iraq, where an estimated 1 million rounds were shot during the first Gulf War and the 2003 invasion.

A recent analysis of previously undisclosed firing data from the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq showed that most DU rounds were fired at so-called soft targets, such as vehicles or troop positions, instead of targeting the tanks and armored vehicles according to Pentagon guidelines that date back at least to a 1975 review by the U.S. Air Force. The Pentagon’s current Law of War Manual states, “Depleted uranium (DU) is used in some munitions because its density and physical properties create a particularly effective penetrating combination to defeat enemy armored vehicles, including tanks.”

The oil trucks hit in November 2015 were also unarmored and would qualify as soft targets, the researchers who performed the analysis of the 2003 targeting cache contend. The trucks, in fact, were most likely manned by civilians rather than Islamic State members, according to U.S. officials. A Pentagon representative said the United States had dropped leaflets warning of an imminent attack before the Nov. 16 strike, in an effort to minimize casualties.

“The use of DU ammunition against oil tankers seems difficult to justify militarily on the basis of the arguments used by the U.S. to support its use — that it is for destroying armored targets,” said Doug Weir, head of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons. “Tankers are clearly not armored, and the alternative non-DU HEI [high-explosive incendiary] rounds would likely have been sufficient for the task.”

The spent ammunition littering eastern Syria after the attack, along with the wreckage of the trucks, was almost surely not handled appropriately by the occupying authority — that is, the Islamic State. Even if civilians driving the trucks were not initially exposed to the toxic remnants of DU, scavengers and other local residents will likely be placed at risk for years to come.

“What will happen with the destroyed vehicles? Usually they end up in scrapyards, are stripped of valuable parts and components, and dumped,” said Wim Zwijnenburg, senior researcher at the Dutch NGO Pax. “This puts scrap-metal workers, most likely local civilians, at risk of exposure.”

If there are few ideas for what post-Islamic State governance will resemble in eastern Syria, there are none at all about how to safely handle the depleted uranium that the U.S.-led coalition has placed into the environment.

— source foreignpolicy.com by Samuel Oakford

Ancient Syrian treasures worth $26m shipped to US

Since the start of Syria’s war in 2011, $26 million worth of antiquities have been imported to the United States from the war-torn country, according to Live Science. The news website gathered its information from US Census Bureau documents, which listed many unidentified and undated items, marked only as “over 100 years old.”

The documents did not reveal, however, whether the items were imported illegally or whether profits were being made from their resale. The bulk of the antiques in the Census Bureau documents had arrived in New York, a hub for collectors and dealers.

Ancient historical sites in Egypt, Iraq and Syria have been targeted by robbers since the upheaval brought about by the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. The Census Bureau data also showed that more than $12 million-worth of Iraqi antiques had been shipped to the US since that same year.

“The profit derived by the Islamists from the illicit trade in antiquities and archaeological treasures is estimated at $150-200 million per year,” Vitaly Churkin wrote in a letter to the UN’s Security Council.

— source alaraby.co.uk

Raytheon Stocks Surge After missile Attack, Personally Benefiting Trump

the stocks of the military contractor Raytheon surged following the missile attack, which used 59 of the company’s Tomahawk missiles, estimated to cost $1.4 million apiece. As stocks surged, Raytheon added about $1 billion to its market value Friday morning. According to financial disclosure filings, President Trump personally invests in Raytheon, meaning he profited directly from the attack.

— source democracynow.org