Articles from Juan Cole

Sen. Collins “Appalled” as Trump Taunts Dr. Blasey Ford for not Filing Police Report at 15

By Sebastian Smith | –

Washington (AFP) – The woman whose sexual assault allegation threatens to bring down Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee rejected an ultimatum Friday for testifying in the Senate after the US president turned against her, claiming her accusation could not be true.

The increasingly ugly fight over the fate of Trump’s bid to put conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh into the lifetime position on the Supreme Court appeared to be nearing its end game, though still with no clarity on whether the woman at the center of the row will testify.

Syrian Extremist Militias Reject Turkey-Russia Agreement, Will Attack Syrian Troops

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that Syrian armed factions have rejected an agreement reached by Turkey and Russia on setting up a demilitarised zone between the armed opposition and Syrian government troops in Idlib as of 15 October.

The Observatory said in a statement that the factions of Religious Guards Ansar Al-Tawheed, Ansar Al-Din, Ansar Allah, Al-Furqan and the Soldiers of the Caucasus Army as well as other jihadi factions operating within the Al-Sham Liberation Army have refused to withdraw from contact lines with the regime forces in Idlib.

Spain to Recognize Palestinian State, work for European Union Acceptance

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Spain has become the latest country to voice its readiness to recognize the State of Palestine and that it will promote a European Union (EU) move to recognize Palestine as an independent state.

Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, spoke at a conference of EU leaders in Austria, saying that the Spanish government will promote an EU move to recognize Palestine.

Borrell said that “if the EU is not able to reach a unanimous decision, then each to their own.”

Israel Asserts it can Bomb Syria at Will despite Downing of Russian Plane

Jerusalem (AFP) – Israel’s coordination with Russia on its attacks in Syria remains unchanged despite the deadly downing of a Russian plane, and the Jewish state retains its right to decide on military actions, an Israeli official said Friday.

Syrian air defences mistakenly shot down the military plane following an Israeli raid on Monday night, killing 15 Russians and fuelling speculation Moscow would seek to curb Israeli actions in Syria.

Pakistan Invites Saudi Arabia to Invest in China Economic Corridor

Islamabad (AFP) – Islamabad has invited Saudi Arabia to invest in the Beijing-funded, multi-billion dollar infrastructure corridor being constructed in Pakistan, its information minister said Thursday, as concerns grow over the country’s debt levels.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an ambitious plan to build energy and transport links connecting the western Chinese region of Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea via Pakistan, as part of Beijing’s broader Belt and Road initiative.

A Wall Across the Sahara Desert? Trump’s Advice to Spain

Trump is believed to have made the comment on building a wall when Borrell accompanied King Felipe and Queen Letizia to the White House in June.

Spain’s foreign minister and former president of European Parliament Joseph Borrell has confirmed United States President Donald Trump suggestion that Spain build a wall across the Sahara Desert to tackle the Mediterranean migration crisis.