Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari and his Russian and Turkish counterparts held a trilateral meeting in Moscow on the latest developments in war hit Syria and the upcoming peace talks attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, focused on the arrangements made for the Syrian peace talks due to be held in Astana on January 23.
President of the National Assembly Julio Borges along with other members of Parliament to Fuerte Paramacay visited the Deputy Gilber Caro who’s held by the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin) in its structure near Valencia( state of Carabobo) since Wednesday. Borges did not exclude the possibility that the next National Assembly meeting will take place in the city of Valencia, so that the whole Parliament will be able to express the closeness to Caro for his detention.
The Party for Democracy (PPD) today voted its candidate for the presidential elections of 2018. At the voting session, participated by 400 councilors who have chosen unanimously, the 92.6% of the vote was for the former President Ricardo Lagos, who was confronting Deputy Jorge Tarud. The President of the PPD Gonzalo Navarrete expressed satisfaction for the results of the voting. Now Lagos must face the candidates of the other parties who are forming the coalition “Nueva Mayoría” before he can be an official candidate in the presidential elections of 2018.
A survey reveals that, contrary to those that have been the voting choices, the majority of Americans see Russia today as a greater danger than at the beginning of the election campaign. A sample containing both Democrats and Republican voters reveals that the perception of dangerousness of Russia in the electorate increased from 76% in March 2015 up to 82% today, more precisely the 84% of Democrats and 82% of Republicans see in Russia a danger level 5, on a scale ranging from 0 to 5, behind only to North Korea, which is considered to level 5 from 86% of the sample. The results show how to the story of cyber-espionage against the DNC at the hands of Russian agents has increased the feeling of fear towards Russia in the electorate.
Iraqi Parliament’s Deputy Speaker said the central government is responsible for the lives of the Kurdistan Region’s people. “According to the constitution, the Kurdistan Region is part of the Iraqi federal state. That means Baghdad is responsible for the lives of the people of the Kurdistan Region”. He called on the Iraqi government to resolve suspended issues.Crises inside the Kurdistan Region have deepened after the five major political parties failed to reach an agreement on the Kurdistan presidency issue. Along with this political crisis, the Kurdistan Region has faced an economic crisis following a budget share cut from Baghdad.
Iraqi Special Forces recaptured the district of Yarimja on Saturday, one of the last areas that was under the control of Islamic State militants in the south of the city. “This morning, the Rapid Response Unit troops reached the banks of the Tigris river… it separates us from the Mosul airport,” said Rapid Response Unit captain Ali Hussein.”The Rapid Response Unit reached a hospital used by Daesh [ISIS] militants. This medical unit was used to treat their fighters when they were injured.”Iraqi forces have now reached Mosul’s two southern-most bridges, having battled their way to the 4th Bridge several days ago.
Remigio Ceballos, Commander of the Operational Strategic Command of the National Armed Forces, said during an interview with the Venezuelan National Television that on Saturday there will be civic-military exercise across the country involving about 115,000 people and almost 600 military means including aircraft, ships and armored vehicles. The operation was planned from December 28 and is part of a broader program to train civilians to defend the nation from imperialist danger and grow the pro-Bolivarian feeling.
The Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said during an interview with the PBS broadcaster that the US government does not know with certainty the hiding place of ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,but according to Carter the Caliph would move all the time but despite this, the Secretary said with certainty that al-Baghdadi: “days are numbered.” A source, remained anonymous, has informed that the government would be aware of some of the movements of al-Baghdadi from the last days of December, the Intelligence official line remains that leads to Raqqa and surroundings, whereas according to the spokesman of Iraq’s Shiite-led Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), the Caliph would be hidden in the west of Mosul. The latest statement of Ahmed Assadi, spokesman for the PMU, placed al-Baghdadi in the area of Al-Baaj and Al-Qairawan, on the border between Syria and Iraq.
President Obama has officially put an end to the policy of indiscriminate reception for Cuban citizens , renamed “wet foot, dry foot” and inaugurated by President Clinton in ’95. This choice is part of the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba. For 20 years, the Cuban government was widely criticized by the American policy which in fact has encouraged the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Cuban citizens tired of the oppression of the communist government. The large Cuban community living in the US, especially in Florida, is divided on the subject, some see an opportunity for many Cubans who have found a better life in America to return to their country by virtue of the improved medium living conditions, but others worry that this measure will be exploited by the government of L’Havana to pursue all those exiles who left Cuba for political reasons, also fear that the government makes it impossible to leave for the US.
Afghan politicians and the civil society critized the meeting held on 27 december in Moscow. According to them, this is an interference in the Afghan affairs and they are worried about the growing ties beetwen Russia and Talibans. They said that Russia should support the Afghan government and not funding and arming militants. Ayar, head of the United Afghanistan Party, criticized US and NATO troops for failure to eliminate terrorist groups in the over past 15 years, and he will not allow to turn Afghanistan into a ground for a proxy war. Also the Chairman of the National Peace Party Popal said that the foreign troops arrived in the country to achieve some objects, but these are unachieved. Politicians and civil activists released a declaration in which they pointed out that the relatioship beetwen Talibans, Pakistan and Russia is a clear sign of the support of the foreign countries to the rebel cause.