UNRWA condemns trimming US aid to Palestinian refugees

The head of UNRWA – the UN agency that administers Palestinian refugees – strongly condemns the massive budget cuts by the Americans. "UNRWA commissioner Pierre Krahenbuhl says the agency is facing the worst financial crisis in its history because of America's decision to drastically reduce its financial contribution.

" Last year America provided 360 million dollars for UNRWA. This year they announced it would give 60 million dollars. So there is a difference of 300 million dollars. We need 1.2 to 1.3 billion dollars per year. This is a big enough part of what we need, "said Krahenbuhl.

American President Donald Trump announced the cuts in the UNRWA budget after the UN General Assembly voted in a majority to condemn its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Krahenbuhl told VOA, the humanitarian fund should be linked to the performance of an organization, not because of political considerations. He said the situation was so bad in Gaza that it would get worse if there was a shortage of funds, and the needs of Palestinians were not met.

"Clearly if it is not bridged, there will be an increase in instability … because of the many other problems facing the Middle East – insecurity, radicalization and other problems. On the contrary, I think the investment to stabilize UNRWA and our ability to provide services should be the main thing everyone thinks, "added Krahenbuhl.

UNRWA has just submitted an appeal for an 800 million-dollar emergency aid to help Palestinian refugees in Gaza, and Syria. The assistance will provide urgently needed food, cash and emergency medical supplies, and support for various mental health programs and assistance for victims of gender based violence. [em/ii]

US Defends No Decision Sanctions on '210 People Near the Kremlin'

The Trump Administration defended its decision not to immediately impose sanctions on the Russian people mentioned in the report detailing the wealth and political activities of Russian insiders and billionaires.

The report details financial links and politics of Russian politicians and the 96 so-called affluent "oligarchs" under Putin's control.

But the report does not mention the imposition of new sanctions against the Russian government or the people on the list and raises the question of whether Trump is too (19659003) When pressed before the Senate Banking Committee, Finance Minister Steve Mnuchin said the sanctions are being processed.

"Our sanctions require enormous intelligence work." There is an enormous effort to make this report , and that's what we're doing Now we'll use the report as a basis and decide d imana deserves to impose sanctions. So this should not mean that 'we do not impose sanctions on anyone in the report', "Mnuchin said.

In a statement accompanying the release of the report, State Department spokesman Heather Nauert explained there was no plan to immediately impose sanctions on Russia or those mentioned in the document.

Nauert said the report was already detrimental to Russian companies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the report "hostile action," but said Russia chose not to take immediate retaliation .

"What does this action mean? I do not understand. But of course this action is not friendly. This complicates the already difficult Russian-American relationship and is certainly detrimental to international relations as a whole, "Putin said.

The Democrats and many foreign policy analysts question Trump's reluctance to take action against Russia, given the evidence of Russian interference in the selection of Trump which brought him to power. [my/ii]

US Enter Hamas Leaders to a Global Terrorist List

Less than a week after threatening to cut aid to Palestine if it does not seek peace with Israel, the Americans impose sanctions on Hamas political leaders, the terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip.

The US State Department announced on Tuesday (30/1) Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, is on his terrorist list as Specially Designated Global Terrorist, AnGRT.

The United States has listed Hamas as a terrorist organization, and the State Department says Haniyeh has close ties to the military wing of the organization and is reportedly involved in the attacks against the citizens of Israel.

Harakat al-Sabireen, Iran-backed group and mainly operating outside Gaza and the West Bank are also included on the list. According to officials, Harakat al-Sabireen planned and carried out attacks on Israel and fired rockets at Israeli targets.

The two Egyptian organizations, Liwa al-Thawra, and Harakat Sawa'd Misr, were also added to the terrorist list the. The two have previously been linked to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood branch. [ka/ds]

Head of Intelligence and Home Affairs of Afghanistan Visit Pakistan

Two top Afghan security officials made a surprise visit to Pakistan to discuss mutual cooperation with civilian and military leaders following a series of deadly attacks by Taliban and other militants in Afghanistan.

The visit took place on Wednesday (31/1) hours after US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan urged Afghan leaders to hold bilateral discussions with their counterparts in Pakistan.

The escalation of militant violence in Afghanistan sparked tensions between the country and Islamabad amid allegations that militants used places taking refuge in Pakistan to plan a recent suicide bombing, with the help of Pakistan's spy agency ISI.

The Pakistani authorities condemned the terrorist attack and rejected Afghanistan's allegations, calling it unfounded and stressed the need for a "credible inquiry" against the attack. [ka/ds]

Use Monkey to Test the Muffler, Daimler Fires Manager

Daimler's automaker fired executives representing it in an organization that regulates exhaust diesel engine test, using a monkey.

Daimler AG did not name the executive on the grounds of personal matters. It said the executive sat on the EUGT senior management board that has now been disbanded.

Volkswagen on Tuesday fired the head of external relations, who knew the experiment but did not inform the company CEO, who was then Martin Winterkorn.

Exhaust test the diesel engine was conducted in a laboratory in New Mexico, using monkeys exposed to exhaust from a Volkswagen diesel car to measure the success of diesel technology in reducing harmful emissions. The New York Times reported that the car was carved out to reduce emissions levels in testing. [ka/ii]