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Australia Changes Stance On Israeli Capital

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Canberra no longer recognizes West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs

Australia’s new Labor government has quietly rescinded the country’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and has called for the final status of the city to be determined during peace negotiations. 

In a recent update on its website, first reported by The Guardian, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) removed two sentences describing the country’s policy on the Israel-Palestinian issue that had previously been adopted by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government.

The deleted section reads: “Consistent with this longstanding policy, in December 2018, Australia recognised West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of the Israeli government.”

It added that Australia “looks forward to moving its embassy to West Jerusalem when practical, in support of, and after the final status determination of, a two-state solution.”

Nevertheless, the new Australian government, led by Labor PM Anthony Albanese, has retained its position that it is “committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state co-exist, in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders.”

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FILE PHOTO. Liz Truss and Yair Lapid meet in New York.
Truss declares herself a ‘huge Zionist’

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong had said in 2018 that the Labor Party “does not support unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Wong said at the time that Morrison’s announcement that Australia’s embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a decision of “all risk and no gain.”

A DFAT spokesperson told Guardian Australia that the government in Canberra “continues to consider the final status of Jerusalem as a matter to be resolved as part of any peace negotiations” between Israel and Palestine.

Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their national capitals. Under international law, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip have been considered occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 while the capital of Israel is consider to be Tel Aviv.

In 2017, then-US president Donald Trump officially declared that Washington would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the State Department to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

Trump’s move at the time was only supported by a handful of other nations, including Australia, Guatemala, Czech Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, and Romania. Others, including France, Germany and the UK condemned the move, saying it risked escalating tensions in the region and undermining efforts to reach a peace deal.

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Sanctioned Son Of Russian Tycoon Records ‘I’m A Ukrainian’ Video Appeal

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Mikhail Fridman’s son Alexander Ozhelskiy accused Kiev’s “f****** bureaucrats” of sanctioning him despite his stance

Alexander Ozhelskiy, son of a Russian business tycoon Mikhail Fridman, has called on Kiev to lift “unfair” sanctions against him. In a YouTube video address, recorded in English, the 22-year-old businessman accused the “f****** bureaucrats” of ignoring his pro-Ukrainian stance.

I can’t believe that my position regarding the war wasn’t even taken into consideration. And I can’t believe that the sole reason for these sanctions is my relation to another person,” Ozhelskiy said.

He emphasized that he is “appalled and offended” by the Ukrainian authorities’ October 20 decision to include him in their list of 256 sanctioned Russian businessmen and their relatives.

Ozhelskiy explained that he has been opposing the Russian military operation in Ukraine “since day one,” left Russia immediately after its launch on February 24 and has no plans to return.

I left a lot, I left my friends, I left my business and I left it because I value my freedom more,” the businessman explained, revealing that he is now based in Dubai and lives in an Airbnb apartment, rather than in a “f****** mansion.”

Ozhelskiy said that in the past he had participated in “pro-Ukrainian protests” in London and in some demonstartions in Russia and that he doesn’t understand why “a bunch of f****** bureaucrats” is ignoring those facts.

I think that this decision should be overturned,” he said.

Fridman’s son emphasized that he considers himself Ukrainian and “can’t believe” that he cannot visit his relatives in the country anymore.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Zelensky sanctions thousands of Russians

Ozhelskiy is the only son of Lviv-born Fridman. In May, he, along with his four sisters, featured on the Forbes’ list of the richest heirs of Russian billionaires, with his inheritance share estimated at $2,6 billion.

Fridman, however, made it clear several years ago that he was going to leave almost all of his wealth to the charity rather than to his children.

In March, the $13-billion worth magnate said that the sanctions imposed against him and  against other Russian businessmen by the Western countries are “unfair” and “useless.”

He also described an assumption that being close to the Kremlin is paramount to make billions in Russia, as a “very typical and inappropriate” myth.

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US-Led Force Might Intervene In Ukraine Conflict – Ex-CIA Chief

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The US and its allies may join the conflict between Moscow and Kiev even if there is no threat to NATO, David Petraeus believes

The US and its allies might directly intervene in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, even when there is no threat to any NATO member states, retired US Army general David Petraeus told France’s L’Express weekly on Saturday. Washington might form a new coalition of the willing in such a scenario and use it instead of NATO, Petraeus, who also briefly served as the CIA director, believes.

Russia could take some actions in Ukraine that would be “so shocking and so horrific” that it would prompt a response from the US and other nations, he said, adding that they “might react in one way or another, but as a multinational force led by the US and not as a NATO force.”

The military alliance would still likely be bound by its treaty and would only join the conflict if Article 5 is invoked, i.e. if one of its members is attacked, the general believes. Petraeus also said that Moscow is not interested in escalating the conflict and turning it into a global war. A wider conflict is “the last thing” Russian President Vladimir Putin needs right now, he added.

Earlier in October, Petraeus claimed that the US could wipe out all Russian forces in Ukraine, alongside with the Russian Black Sea fleet, if Moscow uses nuclear arms in Ukraine. On Saturday, he doubled down on these words by saying that Washington’s response to such a move on Russia’s part would involve “more than diplomatic … economic and legal actions.”

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Ex-CIA chief outlines potential US response if Russia uses nukes

At the same time, Petraeus said that his earlier words had described “just one” of “many options” America has in store in case Russia resorts to the use of nuclear arms, which he called an “extremely bad decision.”

The general also said that he still thinks there is nothing Russia could do to change the situation on the frontlines, which, according to Petraeus, is unfavorable to Moscow.

Petraeus commanded US forces in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011, presiding over America’s highest death tolls during the 20-year war, and increased civilian casualties.

The general helped persuade then-President Barack Obama to deploy an additional 30,000 US troops to the country, but his counterinsurgency plan, which hinged on “securing and serving” the local population, flopped.

He then became CIA director in 2011, only to resign the following year after having an extramarital affair with the woman who was writing his biography.

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Russia Offers ‘heating Points’ In EU Cities

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Russian cultural centers in Finland and Luxembourg have welcomed their first visitors

Russian cultural centers in Finland and Luxembourg are welcoming visitors who need to “warm up” as energy prices continue to skyrocket, according to the country’s federal agency for compatriots living abroad and international humanitarian cooperation.

The agency, Rossotrudnichestvo, has opened “heating points” in its centers, which provide those in need with an opportunity to warm up while enjoying tea or watching a movie.

“Little by little, [the people] are coming. In Finland, Luxembourg, they were already warming up yesterday. The film program is up to February,” a spokesperson told the Russian media on Saturday.

As the energy crisis continues in the European Union, exacerbated by anti-Russia sanctions and a sharp decrease in Russian energy supplies, Rossotrudnichestvo said on Friday. It added that “human warmth from Russia” and its “traditional hospitality” is what “freezing European families” need.

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Katharina natural gas storage facility in Bernburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
EU says its gas reserves are ready for winter. But there’s a catch

While the agency emphasized that its Russian houses “are outside of politics,” the head of the agency, Evgeny Primakov, made it clear who he believes is responsible for the unfolding crisis.

Europeans, do not freeze because of your stupid and evil leaders! If your children are wrapped in jackets at home and you have started to save heavily on electricity because Ursula [von der Leyen], Olaf [Scholz] and Emmanuel [Macron] gave away your money for weapons for the Ukrainian Nazis, come and warm up in our cultural centers in your capitals,” he wrote on Telegram.

Apart from having tea and enjoying movies and cartoons, visitors to the Russian houses will also be able to recharge their phones and get involved in “a lot of interesting things going on,” Primakov said.

Following the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, the EU authorities pledged to end their dependence on Russian energy supplies as quickly as possible. 

President Vladimir Putin likened the bloc’s attempts to cut itself off from Russian fossil fuels to economic “suicide.”

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