Tuesday, July 11, 2017

U.S. May Go It Alone Against N Korea, Rising Infectious Diseases And Refugees, Gaza: 10 Years Later, Post-Hamas Rule

US May Go it Alone Against DPRK as Beijing Tires of Shouldering Responsibility

China announced Tuesday that it has grown weary of the US placing undue pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea, saying that all nations involved should do their part to counter Pyongyang’s ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile activity, and calling for an end to the "China responsibility theory."

Though US President Donald Trump didn’t press the issue during his Saturday meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, prior to the talk he expressed frustration with Beijing’s diplomatic and economic ties with the North on Twitter, a feeling that has sharpened since Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4.

The US is preparing its own sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by targeting Chinese businesses and individuals that financially support the North Korean government, with special focus on Chi Yupeng, a Chinese national the Justice Department says may be funneling money to Pyongyang’s military, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"China has many times talked about its principled position, namely that at the same time as the international community [is] making necessary responses to North Korean acts that go against UN Security Council resolutions, they must step up efforts to promote talks and manage and control the situation," Chinese News Agency Xinhua quoted Xi as saying during his meetings with Trump. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that since China isn’t responsible for heightening tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the duty of solving the North Korean issue shouldn’t fall on China’s shoulders.

Beijing was riled by Pyongyang’s launch, but blames the US and South Korea for increasing tensions by carrying out missile exercises in response to the North’s behavior.

Geng stressed that China has been doing its part, but other concerned parties have to pull their weight as well.
"Asking others to do work but doing nothing themselves is not OK … Being stabbed in the back is really not OK," he remarked. "The 'China responsibility theory' on the peninsula nuclear issue can stop."

Minnesota pays out millions every year in welfare for refugees, but there are secondary costs that never get tabulated.

In fiscal 2017, which ended last last week, the state spent $1.5 million to combat three infectious disease outbreaks — including the largest measles outbreak in three decades, which was concentrated in the Somali refugee community.  And health officials notified legislative leaders this week that they want to tap a special public-health fund to offset additional costs.

Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Health commissioner, told the Star-Tribunehis department will need another $600,000 for fiscal 2018 to help control the spread of measles, drug-resistant tuberculosis and syphilis.
The state has had 78 confirmed cases of measles this year, in an outbreak that began in March. Of those 78 cases, 64 have been in the Somali refugee community. The outbreak is now showing signs of being under control, with no new cases reported this month. But the costs continue to pile up.
Meanwhile, the state is also grappling with an outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis, primarily among Hmong immigrants, which has already cost the taxpayers $626,000 over the past year. Now state health officials are asking for another $224,635 for the coming year to fight TB.

The balance of the $600,000 request will go to treat a 30 percent increase in syphilis cases in the American Indian community in north-central Minnesota.

Ann Corcoran, an expert on the resettlement industry who blogs at Refugee Resettlement Watch, said the industry is fond of churning out “bogus economic studies” that falsely inflate the value of refugees to U.S. communities.

The United Nations is being forced to come to grips with the reality of the results of a decade of rule over Gaza by the Hamas terrorist faction.
The UN Country Team which carried out the study points out in its new report that in fact, the enclave has become almost unlivable while Hamas has been governing the region.
The report, “Gaza – 10 Years Later” was released Tuesday with a Foreword written by Maxwell Gaylard, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. 
“Building on what is known now, the resulting study seeks to highlight the formidable developmental, humanitarian and social imperatives which need to be addressed and resolved, irrespective of the political context,” Gaylard wrote.
The document “does implicitly assume a peace process which leads ultimately to a solution of two sovereign states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and harmony,” he added.
Nevertheless, the future looks grim. In the introduction, the report points out: “The people of Gaza remain worse off than they were
in the 1990s, despite increases in real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita over the past three years. Unemployment is high and affects women and youth in particular.” The projected population is expected to grow by half a million residents between now and 2020.
But anyone who is remotely familiar with life in Gaza as ruled by the Hamas terrorist organization and its allied terror groups must know the complex situation that exists between Israel and Gaza – let alone between Israel and the rest of the “Palestinian Authority,” which enthusiastically urges its population to murder Jews via a legal ‘pay to slay’ policy, largely funded by foreign aid.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon issued the following statement on the UNSCO report “Gaza – 10 Years Later” released today:
“This United Nations report proves without a doubt that the rule of Hamas terrorists over the past ten years has not only led to unending attacks on innocent Israelis, but has also brought nothing but pain and destruction to the residents of Gaza,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, in response to the report.

“The continued exploitation of humanitarian aid by this terrorist organization harms Palestinian civilians and sabotages the efforts of the international community,” Danon pointed out. “It is time for the UN to finally designate Hamas a terrorist organization and to demand that the Palestinian leadership abandon its support of incitement and terror.”

[This article is a few years old, but completely germane to the change in Gaza following Israel's pull out. Additionally, the suffering of the Israeli citizens who were forcefully removed from their homes should never be forgotten]

It has been ten years since one of the most dramatic events in recent Israeli history nearly tore the nation apart: Between August and September 2005, Israel unilaterally pulled out of the Gaza Strip and four northern West Bank settlements. Thousands of citizens were relocated within the Green Line in a plan masterminded by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon better known as the Disengagement.

After seizing the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Six-Day War and occupying it for 38 years, Israel evacuated 21 settlements in the coastal territory that was home to some 1.3 million Palestinians at the time of the disengagement, along with the four West Bank settlements. The plan aimed to bolster security for Israelis and lessen the tensions between them and the Palestinians. All in all, some 9,000 Israeli citizens were relocated.

The Disengagement produced images that shocked the nation and reverberate to this day. On the tenth anniversary of the historic event, Haaretz takes a look back at some of them.

Over a two-day period, Israeli soldiers went from house to house, asking Israeli residents to leave voluntarily. In this August 16 photograph, a man is seen weeping at the Kissufim checkpoint between Israel and Gaza. In the background are vehicles carrying others leaving the Strip of their own volition. As the midnight deadline for voluntary evacuation neared, around half of the residents of Gush Katif had left. Meanwhile, it was believed that thousands of nonresidents had entered the Strip in the weeks leading up to the pullout in order to protest it. (Credit: Eyal Warshavky / BauBau).
The evacuation was a painful process, both for the settlers and for the security forces carrying out the plan. Haaretz’s front page from August 16, 2005 shows a resident of the settlement of Nisanit weeping in the arms of a soldier during the dismantling of a synagogue there the previous day.

After the 48-hour voluntary evacuation period ended, thousands of troops in the Strip removed the hundreds of families who hadn’t left of their own volition, along with opponents to the pullouts who had infiltrated the Strip. The settlements with the most resistance, Neve Dekalim and Kfar Darom, were evacuated on August 18. Both evacuations ended with hours-long standoffs, as settlers barricaded themselves in synagogues. Haaretz’s front page on August 19 showed young settlers on the roof of Kfar Darom’s synagogue, where they attacked security forces.

The last Gaza settlement to be evacuated was Netzarim, on August 22. That day, residents and soldiers - some of whom had guarded over the settlers for years - prayed together in the synagogue. Then, the Torah scrolls and the menorah that had been removed from the synagogue’s roof, were carried through the streets. “The scene was reminiscent of images depicted on the Arch of Titus, which shows Romans carrying away a menorah and other booty looted from the Second Temple during the fall of Jerusalem in 70,” Haaretz reported at the time. (Credit: Reuters)

A strong and hallow earthquake has struck in the ocean south of New Zealand’s main islands on July 11, 2017.

The magnitude 6.6 quake struck 458 kilometres (285 miles) south of the town of Bluff and near the uninhabited Auckland Islands and was felt by hundreds of people in the cities of Invercargill and Dunedin.

The quake was shallow, with a depth of only 10 kilometres (6 miles). There are no reports of serious damage or injuries and there was no threat of a tsunami as reported by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre and New Zealand civil defence officials. Emergency authorities did not report any significant damage or injuries.
The earthquake was widely felt in much of the southern South Island. Hundreds of people in the cities of Invercargill and Dunedin reported feeling a light shaking.
A M5.0 ghost quake was recorded in Blenheim, when waves from the M6.4 arrived at many of the seismic stations in central New Zealand. Such earthquakes is a consequence of tuning the New Zealnd’s seismic network to have maximum sensitivity to earthquakes that matter most to New Zealanders, which are large earthquakes that occur on land or very close to our coastlines.

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