Articles from Juan Cole

Schoolboy’s Angst over School Shootings chokes up Sarah Sanders, who offers a “Commission” (Video)

“The White House press secretary appeared to become emotional when answering an elementary school reporter’s question about the danger facing children in schools. Following a spate of school shootings in the US, Donald Trump this month gave his backing to the National Rifle Association.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders chokes up at child’s question about guns | ITV News

Iran gives French Oil Giant a Deadline for Choosing between its NatGas or Trump

Tehran (AFP) – Iran’s oil minister on Wednesday gave French energy giant Total 60 days to win a sanctions waiver from Washington or it would lose its stake in a multi-billion-dollar gas project.

“Total has 60 days to negotiate with the US government,” said Bijan Zanganeh, according to the oil ministry’s Shana news agency.

“The French government too can have negotiations with the US government during these 60 days for Total to stay in Iran.”

Rumors of Shakira Israel Concert Cancellation called Incorrect

Lebanon’s Al-Nahar newspaper refuted reports that Shakira had cancelled a performance in Israel before her appearance in Bshareh in Lebanon. There appears never to have been a scheduled such performance on her schedule. The initial news was carried widely, including by the Jerusalem Post.

Her concert producer, Live Nation, tweeted the below:

Israeli Banks in Palestinian West Bank Profit from Squatter Settlements (HRW)

New York (Human Rights Watch) – Israel’s largest banks are providing services that help support, maintain, and expand unlawful settlements by financing their construction in the occupied West Bank, including partnering with developers to build homes on land unlawfully seized from Palestinians. The banks’ involvement is direct and substantial: they acquire a property interest in the development projects and shepherd them through to completion.

After arrest of Feminists, Saudi Arabia sets Harsh Penalties for Sexual Harassment

Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi Arabia is preparing to outlaw sexual harassment, officials said Tuesday, less than a month before the conservative kingdom lifts its decades-long ban on women driving.

The kingdom’s Shura Council, which advises the cabinet, approved a draft law on Monday which would introduce a prison term of up to five years and a penalty of 300,000 riyals ($80,000).

The draft bill “is a very important addition to the history of regulations in the kingdom”, Shura Council member Latifa al-Shaalan was quoted as saying in an information ministry statement.

India stands with Iran against Trump Sanctions

India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, on Monday did not mince words in delivering a sharp rebuke to US plans for sanctions on trade with Iran, including National Security Adviser John Bolton’s threats against third parties like India. She said, according to The Hindu,