Tens of Thousands Turn Out in Baghdad for Anti-US Protest

Tens of thousands of people poured into a central Baghdad square Friday for what had been billed as a “million-man” march, carrying Iraqi flags and signs and shouting “No, No America.”  

Many wore white fabric, symbolizing their determination to see the U.S. military either leave Iraq, or be expelled. “

Many protesters wear white fabric, symbolizing their determination to expel the U.S. from Iraq on Jan. 24, 2020 in Baghdad. (Halan Akoy/VOA)

We want the invaders out,” said Ra’ad, a protester and father who does piecemeal work to feed his five children. “If the politicians don’t make them leave the military will.”  

Prominent Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called for a “million-man” march to demand the expulsion of American forces after the U.S. killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful general, in a Jan. 3 airstrike at the Baghdad airport. Six others died in the airstrike, including Iraqi Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of a Shi’ite militia groups known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.   

Iran retaliated with airstrikes on U.S. bases in Iraq, and both sides have threatened grave consequences if they are struck again.

Shi’ite politicians subsequently used their majority in parliament to push through a resolution calling for the U.S. military to be expelled from Iraq, while Sunni and Kurdish politicians, representing the country’s two largest minorities, boycotted the vote. Iraq’s president, a Kurd, declared that “the vote is not good for Iraq.”

Despite the vote, the United States has said it has no plans to leave the country and the Iraqi government has given no indication that it can or will try to force the U.S. troops out.

This protesters sign says “I am an Iraqi against the presence of America on Jan. 24, 2020 in Baghdad. (H.Murdock/VOA)

At the rally, some men expressed their anger by burning a paper American flag, while others carried signs saying, “I am an Iraqi against the presence of America.”   

Some signs said more directly, “Death to America” or “Death to Israel.”  

Anti-government protesters in Iraq have rallied every day since early October to demand government action on basic human needs like jobs, security and health care. At least 600 people have died in these demonstrations, but protesters say they are not giving up.   

Friday’s protest was not related to those protests and was held in a different part of Baghdad.

Ambulances line up outside the protest during morning hours on Jan. 24, 2020 in Baghdad. (H.Murdock/VOA)

Ambulances were lined up outside the rally, but by 2:30 p.m. the day remained peaceful. Gunshots rang out late the night before in the area, but no deaths or injuries were reported. “

It’s not good for our economy to have the U.S. here,” said Ra’ad, the protester. “They come here and they take our resources out.” 



Top Indonesian Official: US Reporter Should Be ‘Deported Immediately’

Indonesia’s top security official said Friday that detained U.S. journalist Philip Jacobson should be deported immediately. 

Jacobson, 30, a reporter for the California-headquartered environmental news outlet Mongabay, was detained December 17 in Borneo for an alleged visa violation. 

The reporter was held without formal due process after attending a regional parliamentary hearing involving the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago, Indonesia’s largest indigenous rights advocacy group. 

This week, Jacobson was formally arrested and told he faced up to five years in prison for visiting Indonesia with the wrong visa, a claim his employer and U.S. officials have disputed. 

Official: Reporter’s work, arrest not linked

Speaking with VOA on Friday, Indonesia’s Chief Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud MD reiterated claims made by Borneo officials that Jacobson’s arrest was not linked to his reporting on sensitive stories about Indonesia’s myriad environmental and corruption woes. 

But then he said Jacobson should be released. 

“He came to Indonesia on a visit visa and then turned out he did journalism activities to write the news,” said Mahfud. “There was already evidence and then he was detained. Yes, that’s the fact, Indonesian law is like that, but he should just be deported immediately.” 

Mahfud’s comments preceded by hours a report published by Mangobay that said Jacobson had been “moved from prison to ‘city detention’ in Palangkaraya.” 

“We are grateful that authorities have made this accommodation and remain hopeful that Phil’s case can be treated as an administrative matter rather than a criminal one,” said Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler. “We thank everyone for their continued support.” 

Employer surprised by response

According to Mongabay, Jacobson traveled to the country on a multiple-entry business visa. The news outlet expressed surprise that Indonesian immigration officials took such stringent actions against its reporter for the perceived administrative violation. 

According to various news reports, Jacobson repeatedly had entered and left Indonesia on a non-journalist visa. The Jakarta-based Legal Aid Center for the Press told VOA the hearings Jacobson attended and his activities were “in accordance with applicable legal norms.” 

Summoned Friday by the Indonesia Security Ministry, U.S. Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan said: “It is important for us to deal with issues like this through the proper channels.” 

This story originated in VOA’s Indonesian service. Some information is from AFP. 



Thousands of Iraqis Call for US Troops to Leave, But Protests Smaller Than Planned

Tens of thousands took to the streets in Baghdad Friday calling for U.S. troops to leave Iraq. The protests come as James Jeffrey, U.S. special envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, acknowledged that the fight against the terrorist group in Iraq is paused, and the American and coalition troops stationed there are now focused on self protection amid rocket attacks from Iran. VOA’s diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Washington.



Путин меняет евреев на здания!!!

Путин меняет евреев на здания.

Израиль отдал Путину Александровское подворье в обмен на Нааму Иссахар!!!
 

 
 
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Вердикт по вояжу Зеленского в Давос

Вердикт по вояжу Зеленского в Давос
 

 
 
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або на email: [email protected]
 
 
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Чому скандальні судді Сергій Вовк та Павло Вовк продовжують вершити правосуддя?

Чому скандальні судді Сергій Вовк та Павло Вовк продовжують вершити правосуддя?

Через резонансні рішення та дії українські судді Сергій Вовк та Павло Вовк вже давно отримали характеристику «скандальні». На початку січня вони знову змусили про себе заговорити: першого виправдали у справі про «завідомо неправосудне рішення», другий, попри скандал з плівками, знову став головою Окружного адмінсуду Києва. Про що це свідчить? І чому до репутації цих суддів є питання?
 

 
 
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або на email: [email protected]
 
 
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NPR Reporter: Pompeo Lashed Out at Her After Testy Interview

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cursed at a National Public Radio reporter and repeatedly “used the F-word” in a shouted diatribe after she questioned him about Ukraine and the ousted American ambassador to Kiev in an interview on Friday, the reporter said.

Mary Louise Kelly conducted a testy interview lasting about nine minutes with Pompeo for NPR’s “All Things Considered” program, asking him about Iran and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was ousted by President Donald Trump last May. Yovanovitch’s removal was a key event in the actions that prompted Trump’s impeachment in the House of Representatives last month.

“Afterwards, Pompeo proceeded to shout his displeasure at being questioned about Ukraine. He used repeated expletives, according to Kelly,” NPR said in a statement.

“He asked, ‘Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’ He used the F-word in that sentence and many others,” Kelly said in an interview of her own with NPR later Friday.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kelly said Pompeo shouted at her “for about the same amount of time as the interview itself.” Pompeo then had aides bring a blank map of the world and asked Kelly to show Ukraine.

“People will hear about this,” Pompeo said after Kelly pointed at Ukraine on the map, she said.

Questions on Ukraine

When Kelly turned her questioning to Ukraine in the latter part of the interview with Pompeo, he said he had agreed to discuss only Iran.

Kelly said she had informed Pompeo’s aides that she would ask also about Ukraine, and posed several questions, including whether Pompeo owed an apology to Yovanovitch, who testified last year in the House impeachment inquiry about her ouster. The incident also has figured in Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.

“I have defended every State Department official. … I’ve defended every single person on this team,” Pompeo replied.

In November, Pompeo declined to defend Yovanovitch after Trump attacked her on Twitter.

Yovanovitch was removed by Trump following a negative campaign against her by his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and others. Giuliani at the time was pushing to have Ukraine investigate Trump’s political rival Joe Biden.



У київському метро вибухівки не виявили

Правоохоронці провели необхідні перевірки на центральних станціях київського метро і не виявили вибухонебезпечних предметів.

«Усі станції працюють у звичайному режимі», – інформує в соцмережах Київський метрополітен.

 

Раніше це комунальне підприємство повідомило про закриття ввечері 24 січня приблизно з 18:00 п’яти з шести пересадкових станцій.

«У зв’язку з анонімним дзвінком щодо мінування станцій правоохоронці проводять почергово перевірку станцій «Хрещатик», «Площа Льва Толстого», «Палац спорту», «Золоті ворота», «Театральна» з тимчасовим закриттям станцій», – ідеться в повідомленні у соцмережах.

Не закритою з центральних станцій залишалася лише «Майдан Незалежності».

У поліції Києва минулого місяця повідомили, що за неповних 11 місяців 2019 року відкрили понад 460 кримінальних проваджень через неправдиві повідомлення про мінування.