Monday, January 23, 2017

Bill H.R. 193: “American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017”, U.S. to pull out of the UN?

Bill H.R. 193: “American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017”, U.S. to pull out of the UN?

A new bill proposed by five duly elected Republican Congressmen: Text - H.R.193 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of CongressA BILL

To end membership of the United States in the United Nations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. Short title.
This Act may be cited as the “American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017”. 
SEC. 2. Repeal of United Nations Participation Act of 1945. 
(a) Repeal.—The United Nations Participation Act of 1945 (Public Law 79–264; 22 U.S.C. 287 et seq.) is repealed. 
(b) Termination of membership in United Nations.—The President shall terminate all membership by the United States in the United Nations, and in any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations.
(c) Closure of United States Mission to United Nations.—The United States Mission to the United Nations is closed. Any remaining functions of such office shall not be carried out. 
SEC. 3. Repeal of United Nations Headquarters Agreement Act. 
(a) Repeal.—The United Nations Headquarters Agreement Act (Public Law 80–357) is repealed. 
(b) Withdrawal.—The United States withdraws from the agreement between the United States of America and the United Nations regarding the headquarters of the United Nations (signed at Lake Success, New York, on June 26, 1947, which was brought into effect by the United Nations Headquarters Agreement Act). 
SEC. 4. United States assessed and voluntary contributions to the United Nations.
No funds are authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available for assessed or voluntary contributions of the United States to the United Nations or to any organ, specialized agency, commission or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations, except that funds may be appropriated to facilitate termination of United States membership and withdrawal of United States personnel and equipment, in accordance with sections 2 and 3, respectively. 
Upon termination of United States membership, no payments shall be made to the United Nations or to any organ, specialized agency, commission or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations, out of any funds appropriated prior to such termination or out of any other funds available for such purposes. 
SEC. 5. United Nations peacekeeping operations. 
(a) Termination.—No funds are authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available for any United States contribution to any United Nations military or peacekeeping operation or force. 
(b) Terminations of United States participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations.—No funds may be obligated or expended to support the participation of any member of the Armed Forces of the United States as part of any United Nations military or peacekeeping operation or force. No member of the Armed Forces of the United States may serve under the command of the United Nations. 
SEC. 6. Withdrawal of United Nations presence in facilities of the government of the United States and repeal of diplomatic immunity. 
(a) Withdrawal from United States Government property.—The United Nations (including any organ, specialized agency, commission or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations) may not occupy or use any property or facility of the United States Government. 
(b) Diplomatic immunity.—No officer or employee of the United Nations (including any organ, specialized agency, commission or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations) or any representative, officer, or employee of any mission to the United Nations of any foreign government shall be entitled to enjoy the privileges and immunities of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, nor may any such privileges and immunities be extended to any such individual. The privileges, exemptions, and immunities provided for in the International Organizations Immunities Act of December 29, 1945 (59 Stat. 669; 22 U.S.C. 288 et seq.), or in any agreement or treaty to which the United States is a party, including the agreement entitled “Agreement Between the United Nations and the United States of America Regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations”, signed June 26, 1947 (22 U.S.C. 287 note), and the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, entered into force with respect to the United States on April 29, 1970 (21 UST 1418; TIAS 6900; UNTS 16), shall not apply to the United Nations or to any organ, specialized agency, commission or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations, to the officers and employees of the United Nations, or of any organ, specialized agency, commission or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations, or to the families, suites, or servants of such officers or employees. 
SEC. 7. Repeal of United States membership and participation in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
The joint resolution entitled “A joint resolution providing for membership and participation by the United States in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, and authorizing an appropriation therefor”, approved July 30, 1946 (Public Law 79–565, 22 U.S.C. 287m et seq.), is repealed. 
SEC. 8. Repeal of United Nations Environment Program Participation Act of 1973.
The United Nations Environment Program Participation Act of 1973 (22 U.S.C. 287 note) is repealed. 
SEC. 9. Repeal of United States participation in the World Health Organization.
The joint resolution entitled “Joint Resolution providing for membership and participation by the United States in the World Health Organization and authorizing an appropriation therefor”, approved June 14, 1948 (22 U.S.C. 290), is repealed. 
SEC. 10. Repeal of involvement in United Nations conventions and agreements.
Effective on the date of the enactment of this Act, the United States will end any participation in any conventions and agreements with the United Nations and any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations. Any remaining functions of such conventions and agreements shall not be carried out. 
SEC. 11. Reemployment with United States Government after service with an international organization. 
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect the rights of employees under subchapter IV of chapter 35 of title 5, United States Code, relating to reemployment after service with an international organization.
SEC. 12. Notification.
Effective on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall notify the United Nations and any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations of the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 13. Effective date.
Except as otherwise provided, this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date that is two years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

French company Total preparing to drill off Cyprus for natural gas, says ministry source.


French company Total preparing to drill off Cyprus for natural gas, says ministry source. (Famagusta).

Total, along with Italy's ENI and Exxon Mobil, was awarded licenses for hydrocarbons exploration by Cyprus last month.

The ministry source said Total plans to drill in block 11 of Cyprus' exclusive economic zone, which shares a boundary to the south with the giant Egyptian Zohr natural gas well, the largest ever field discovered in the eastern Mediterranean.

"We do not know yet when the drill will start, but we were notified that it will be soon," the source said.

The Zohr discovery by ENI reinvigorated interest in the eastern Mediterranean natural gas as the drilling was done in carbonate layers, whereas previous successful natural gas drilling was carried out in lime layers.

A Total official said recently that the company's interest in Cypriot block 11 was prompted by its proximity to the Zohr discovery, estimated to contain 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Cypriot experts have said that block 11 sits on an undersea mountain range known as Eratosthenis, which was considered to be the source of all hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean.

The news about the impending drilling comes as efforts to solve the Cyprus problem are nearing a peak, with guarantor countries Greece, Turkey and Britain joining in discussions about security arrangements.

Turkey objects to drilling by Cyprus without the active participation of Turkish Cypriots, who pulled out of the government and the state 53 years ago.

The discovery of natural gas in Cyprus' continental shelf by United States-based Noble Energy and nearby discoveries by Israel is considered by analysts to be a factor strongly influencing Turkey's interest in solving the Cyprus dispute.

Cyprus and Egypt signed a framework agreement last August for the transfer of natural gas discovered by Noble Energy via pipe to Egypt's liquefaction terminals. The gas field, about 85 km off Cyprus' southern shores, is estimated to contain 4.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Some analysts say that Turkey counts on joining in on the proceeds from the gas by offering facilities for a gas pipe through its territory to Europe.
An alternative route for the pipe is from the gas fields to Cyprus and Greece and from there to Prindisi in southern Italy.

This route had originally been excluded because of the high cost involved in the project which calls for a pipe 2,000 km long, most of it on the sea bed, capable of a yearly capacity of 12 billion cubic meters of gas.

But recent revised estimates by the European Union lowered the cost to around 5 billion euros, which is considered by specialists to be a viable proposition.

The director general of the energy ministries of Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy are to meet in Brussels on Monday to consider plans for the project.

Their talks will prepare a meeting of the Energy Ministers of the four countries scheduled for next month in Jerusalem.

The World’s Most – And Least – Miserable Countries in 2016, Islamist Turkey ranks Eight most miserable.


The World’s Most – And Least – Miserable Countries in 2016, Islamist Turkey ranks 8 most miserable. (CATO).

Turkey faces a despotic leader in Islamist Erdogan, who devotes all of his resources to staying in power rather than governing the state, leading to a strongly depreciating currency and a populous mired in fear.

The Turkish lira has lost over 24 percent of its value against the dollar in the last year, and the economy is in the process of spontaneously dollarizing.

Not surprisingly, Turkey is a member of the Fragile Five, which also include Brazil, India, Indonesia, and South Africa.

The reasons for Iran’s rank on this list are almost too obvious and plentiful to enumerate, but it’s safe to say that a combination of corruption, incompetence, theocratic-authoritarian rule, and more have led to its state of misery. Hmmm..........How do you say 'Les Miserables' in Turkish? Read the full story here.

Video - Turkish gov’t-funded Albanian religious teacher recorded praising ISIL & Bin Laden in classroom.


Video - Turkish gov’t-funded Albanian madrasas teacher recorded praising ISIL & Bin Laden in classroom. (TP).

A recording has revealed a teacher who works at a Turkish government-funded religious school in Albania speaking with a student about how Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants seek to “provide protection to the Muslim people of Syria, Palestine and Egypt.”

During his 35-second video, a student says he does not understand if ISIL militants are Muslim or not. In her answer, the teacher says ISIL seeks to protect Muslims and that therefore they are good people.

The controversial teacher works at an imam-hatip school established by the state-run Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), which has largely been funded by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since 2002.


The Turkish government’s education projects in foreign countries are for the most part managed by TİKA. Full transcript can be read here.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Israeli artist made a website to shame people who take light-hearted 'Holocaust selfies'.


Israeli artist made a website to shame people who take light-hearted 'Holocaust selfies'. (TheLocal).


An Israeli satirist in Germany has launched a website using savage humour and shocking images to publicly shame visitors to Berlin's Holocaust memorial who post light-hearted selfies on social media.


The website by Berlin-based artist and activist Shahak Shapira, 28, is called Yolocaust, combining the words Holocaust and Yolo - hashtag shorthand for "you only live once", and went live this week (www.yolocaust.de).

It features a breathtakingly tasteless collection of photos Shapira says he found posted on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and also dating sites like Tinder and Grindr.
The subjects are dancing, smiling, juggling and even doing yoga at the sprawling maze-like memorial.
Hovering the mouse over each "goofy" picture on the website photoshops in an authentic historical image showing the naked corpses of concentration camp victims.

Shapira says the provocative project is intended as a wake-up call for social media enthusiasts who may be unaware that they are on what many see as sacred ground. It is also timed to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th.

 Answering a list of "frequently asked questions", Shapira addresses issues such as what kind of behaviour is "allowed" at the Berlin site, whose full title is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and which he says draws an average 10,000 visitors per day.

"No historical event compares to the Holocaust. It's up to you how to behave at a memorial site that marks the death of six million people," is his tart reply.

He also preempts potential criticism of his use of the distressing images on the site with a bit of gallows humour.

"'Isn't this disrespectful towards the victims of the Holocaust?' Yes, some people's behaviour at the memorial site is indeed disrespectful," he writes.

"But the victims are dead, so they're probably busy doing dead people's stuff rather than caring about that."

Along with the original selfies, Yolocaust includes the comments, hashtags and "likes" from the original social media accounts, including a caption reading "Jumping on dead Jews @Holocaust Memorial".

  Shapira invites people who feel embarrassed by their photo being featured on the page to get in touch and he will remove it.

"Just send an email to undouche.me@yolocaust.de," he quips.

'Warning to Germany' 


Reaction on social media to the website has been largely positive, and it crashed during its first hours online as it drew half a million clicks, according to his representatives. Read the full story here.

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