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Israeli teens tell Netanyahu they won’t serve in IDF, slam occupation of Palestine

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Sixty-three Israeli students signed a letter stating they would defy mandatory military service despite the risk of jail. Citing the occupation of Palestine, the letter criticizes the policies of Israel’s “racist government.”[contfnewc]

The letter, signed on Thursday by sixty-three high school students from across Israel, is addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.

[contfnewc]

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Russia to deny US planes overnight stays at 3 airfields amid observation flights row

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Moscow is set to cancel several agreements with Washington under the Open Skies Treaty, in response to the US creating obstacles for Russian observation activities, the Foreign Ministry said.[contfnewc]

Russia will cancel overnight stops at three airfields for US observation planes, as well as scrap a number of bilateral agreements that were made to facilitate observation flights, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday. The measures will take effect on January 1.

[contfnewc]

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Sign a contract before sex? Political correctness could destroy passion

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In the West, at least, everyone has become massively aware of the extent of coercion and exploitation in sexual relations.[contfnewc]

However, we should bear in mind also the (no less significant) fact that millions of people on a daily basis flirt and play the game of seduction, with the clear aim of finding a partner for making love. The result of the modern Western culture is that both sexes are expected to play an active role in this game.

When women dress provocatively to attract the male gaze or when they “objectify” themselves to seduce them, they don’t do it offering themselves as passive objects: instead they are the active agents of their own “objectification,” manipulating men, playing ambiguous games, including reserving the full right to step out of the game at any moment even if, to the male gaze, this appears in contradiction with previous “signals.”

This freedom women enjoy bothers all kinds of fundamentalists, from Muslims who recently prohibited women touching and playing with bananas and other fruit which resembles the penis to our own ordinary male chauvinist who explodes in violence against a woman who first “provokes” him and then rejects his advances.

Female sexual liberation is not just a puritan withdrawal from being “objectivized” (as a sexual object for men) but the right to actively play with self-objectivization, offering herself and withdrawing at will. But will it be still possible to proclaim these simple facts, or will the politically-correct pressure compel us to accompany all these games with some formal-legal proclamation (of consensuality, etc.)?

A recent, politically-correct idea is the so-called “Consent Conscious Kit,” currently on sale in the US: a small bag with a condom, a pen, some breath mints, and a simple contract stating that both participants freely consent to a shared sexual act. The suggestion is that a couple ready to have sex either takes a photo holding in their hands the contract, or that they both date and sign it.

Yet, although the “Consent Conscious Kit” addresses a very real problem, it does it in a way which is not only silly but directly counter-productive – and why is that?
The underlying idea is how a sex act, if it to be cleansed of any suspicion of coercion, has to be declared, in advance, as a freely-made conscious decision of both participants – to put it in Lacanian terms, it has to be registered by the big Other, and inscribed into the symbolic order.

As such, the “Consent Conscious Kit” is just an extreme expression of an attitude that grows all around the US – for example, the state of California passed a law requiring all colleges that accept state funding to adopt policies requiring their students to obtain affirmative consent — which it defines as “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity” that is “ongoing” and not given when too drunk, before engaging in sexual activity, or else risk punishment for sexual assault.

Bigger picture

“Affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” – by whom? The first thing to do here is to mobilize the Freudian triad of Ego, Superego, and Id (in a simplified version: my conscious self-awareness, the agency of moral responsibility enforcing norms on me, and my deepest half-disavowed passions).

What if there is a conflict between the three? If, under the pressure of the Superego, my Ego say NO, but my Id resists and clings to the denied desire? Or (a much more interesting case) the opposite: I say YES to the sexual invitation, surrendering to my Id passion, but in the midst of performing the act, my Superego triggers an unbearable guilt feeling?

Thus, to bring things to the absurd, should the contract be signed by the Ego, Superego, and Id of each party, so that it is valid only if all three say YES? Plus, what if the male partner also uses his contractual right to step back and cancel the agreement at any moment in the sexual activity? Imagine that, after obtaining the woman’s consent, when the prospective lovers find themselves naked in bed, some tiny bodily detail (an unpleasant sound like a vulgar belching) dispels the erotic charm and makes the man withdraw? Is this not in itself an extreme humiliation for the woman?

‘You have no idea of damage he caused’: Colorado child sex trafficker gets record 472-year sentence

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A child sex trafficker in Colorado has been sentenced to 472 years in prison. It’s been said to be the longest sentence in a human trafficking case in US history, with prosecutors originally seeking 600 years.
Brock Franklin, 31, was sentenced Tuesday by Arapahoe County Judge Peter Michaelson. In March, an Arapahoe County jury found Franklin guilty of 30 counts of operating a prostitution ring that preyed on young girls and women. Among the counts were violations of Colorado’s organized crime control act, charges of pimping a child, human trafficking and sexual assault.

“A 400-year sentence sends a strong message across the country that we’re not going to tolerate this kind of violence to women and vulnerable populations,” Janet Drake of the Colorado Attorney General’s office told Fox News.

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Mazhar: Barghouti Saadat prisoners made victory

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A member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and its branch in the Gaza Strip Jamil muzher, that the prisoner Marwan Barghuti, Commander Ahmad Sa’adat and the prisoners are made victory achieved their demands and no one else.

He called Mazhar in his speech to the fields, on Saturday evening, all Palestinian not to bet on the variables in the region, and demanded the Palestinian Authority to intensify its move to end the suffering of the prisoners in the occupation prisons.

He commented Hunger-striking prisoners in the occupation prisons, Saturday, a hunger strike, which began on April 17 last year, to reach understandings and agreement with the management of the occupation prisons, to respond to the demands of the prisoners, in conjunction with the first day of the month of Ramadan

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Reasons to doubt the veracity of the ‘Steele dossier’ on Trump are still emerging

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There is a parallel but lesser-publicized narrative running alongside the dominant media-favored Trump-Russia collusion story.[contfnewc]

It centers not on Trump and his alleged collusion with Moscow, but on Fusion GPS, the shady firm behind the infamous Steele dossier.

Stories about the 35-page ‘intelligence report’ written by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele very often do not make so much as a passing mention of Fusion GPS or its co-founder, former journalist Glenn Simpson, but both are crucial players in what could potentially be a scandal of massive proportions.

A recent investigation by online magazine Tablet using public sources to “trace the evolution” of the dossier has pieced together information which suggests central elements of the Russiagate story emerged “not from the British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s top-secret “sources” in the Russian government” but from a series of stories co-written by Simpson and his wife Mary Jacoby, which were published in the Wall Street Journal before Fusion GPS ever existed.

[contfnewc]

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Qatar’s embassy in Spain releases QND magazine

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The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Madrid has issued a magazine in Spanish and a national song entitled ‘Qatar and the World’ to celebrate Qatar National Day (QND).
The magazine discussed the State’s achievements on the political, economic, sports and cultural levels. It also provided an overview of Qatar’s history and its important role in the Middle East and the world.

The magazine also addressed the efforts of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser in achieving the best education levels and social reforms, through several local and international projects that she launched as the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation.

Ambassador of Qatar to Spain HE Mohammed Jaham al Kuwari was featured in the magazine, who spoke of the historic ties between Qatar and Spain. He noted that Qatar was moving ahead with its projects despite the siege. The ambassador added that the country was also betting on building a prosperous future by diversifying its economy, investing in education and sports, spreading a culture of dialogue and tolerance and promoting respect for human rights and freedom of expression.

In an interview with the magazine, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr Ali bin Smaikh al Marri discussed the human rights violations by the siege countries, especially the separation of families, including of children from their parents as well as of persons with special needs and the elderly from their families.

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Call on HSBC to stop supporting the arms trade with Israel

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The UK is complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights through our arms trade. Despite the illegality of Israel’s occupation and apartheid system, the UK is one of the main arms exporters to Israel as well as a major purchaser of Israeli weapons and weapon technology. The chain of complexity extends to various corporate stakeholders who profit from Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, including UK high street bank, HSBC.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is currently working with a range of partner organisations on a national Stop Arming Israel campaign. The campaign is twofold: first, it asks the UK government to implement a two-way arms embargo with Israel, as long as it does not abide by international law and respect Palestinian rights. Second, the campaign aims to tackle corporate complicity by calling on HSBC to cut ties with companies trading weapons with Israel. HSBC is complicit of Israel’s crimes and violations of human rights through the bank’s investments in arms companies as well as through providing a range of financial services to these companies, such as loans.

In July 2017, the Stop Arming Israel coalition organised a week of action targeting HSBC, with 18 different actions taking place across the UK. Activists closed down factories and two branches of HSBC bank, held public meetings, took action online and distributed 1000’s of information flyers.

To go further, please download and read our factsheet on the UK-Israel arms trade, as well as the Deadly Investments report on UK banks’ complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.

Please get in touch for more information on the Stop Arming Israel campaign: [email protected]

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London Digital Divides Discussion Show on World’s Biggest news

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Digital Divides is Nedka Babliku’s weekly discussion show that delves deep into the world’s biggest news stories without mercy or restraint.

The show explores the key global events with an emphasis on heavy hitting geo-political analysis that is not afraid to expose the absurdity, injustice and macabre humour implicit in a world on edge.

Frequent topics on the show include: the new political alignments of the Middle East, Syria and Iraq’s war against Takfiri terrorism, China and the emergence of One Belt—One Road, the shifting dynamics in South Asian alliances, South East Asia’s political and economic revolution, the Palestinian campaign for justice, Russia’s role as a Eurasian superpower, the decline of the US Dollar and much more.

Each week, Nedka welcomes Adam Garrie of Eurasia Future to run down the most important world developments in a fast paced style that leaves no stone unturned.

Be sure to subscribe to Nedka Babliku’s YouTube channel to see the latest episodes and more!

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