NEWS 5 JANUARY 2018

UN Security Council to discuss Iran as US calls to back anti-govt protests

The United Nations has announced the UN Security Council will convene Friday to discuss the situation in the Middle East, following calls by the US to hold an emergency session on the protests in Iran. On Tuesday, US Ambassador Haley called for urgent meetings in the UNSC and the UN Human Rights Council to back the anti-government protesters. [source]


Iranian prosecutor points fingers at CIA, Israel and Saudi Arabia for the unrest

Iran’s public prosecutor has blamed the CIA, Israel and Saudi Arabia for stirring unrest in the Islamic Republic which resulted in the deaths of more than 20 people over the last week. Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said Thursday that the “main protector” of the agitation plan was an American national called Michael Andrea, a man he claims is a former CIA agent who formed a group tasked with fermenting discord in the country. [source]


US plans would open oceans to offshore drilling for total 'energy dominance'

Bucking a three-decades-old prohibition, the Trump administration announced it plans to expand offshore drilling leases in 90 percent of US oceans. The move is stirring strong public opposition. “We’re embarking on a new path for energy dominance in America, particularly on offshore,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday as he unveiled the plan, according to the New York Times. “This is a clear difference between energy weakness and energy dominance. We are going to become the strongest energy superpower.” [source]


NEWS 5 JANUARY 2018

Seoul: North Korea accepts offer to talk on January 9

North Korea has accepted Seoul's offer to hold talks next Tuesday to discuss Pyongyang's participation in the Winter Olympics and other matters of mutual interest, South Korea's Ministry of Unification said, Yonhap reports. On Friday, Pyongyang sent a statement to Seoul accepting the offer made on Tuesday to hold high-level negotiations on the border between the two Koreas. The discussions will cover possible North Korean participation at the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics as well as other issues of "mutual interest," South Korea's unification ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a briefing. [source]


Middle Eastern Christians are in dire straits, yet the West doesn’t want to know

Since the nineties it has been apparent even in secular company that persecution of Christians was rampant in some countries. Yet beyond lip service, there is no international effort to change this disastrous situation. More Christians died for their faith in the past century alone than in the history of Christianity to that point  – chiefly at the hands of atheist regimes (mainly in the past) and Salafist militants like ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and others (now). The destabilization of the Middle East over the past two decades has had a devastating impact on the region’s native Christian population. In Iraq, a population that numbered more than a million in the 1990s dwindled to less than a third of that in the wake of the US-led invasion and removal of the secular government of Saddam Hussein. In Syria, under threat since 2011 by Salafist groups armed and funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and other countries – the US shamefully included – Christians seemed to be facing a similar fate. [source]