“Jared Kushner” – Google News: US mulls increasing merit-based immigration to 57% – BusinessLine

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US mulls increasing merit-based immigration to 57%  BusinessLine The Trump administration is proposing a nearly five-fold increase in merit-based legal immigration and half those based on family and humanitarian system, … “Jared Kushner” – Google News

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1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (116 sites): “Russia Ukraine” – Google News: Lavrov hopes Ukrainian leader to implement Minsk deal after parliamentary polls – TASS

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Lavrov hopes Ukrainian leader to implement Minsk deal after parliamentary polls  TASS

“So far, almost nothing was done in order to cease the fire, and shelling attacks continue,” Lavrov said.

“Russia Ukraine” – Google News

1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (116 sites)


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1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (116 sites): “russia ukraine” – Google News: Lavrov hopes Ukrainian leader to implement Minsk deal after parliamentary polls – TASS

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Lavrov hopes Ukrainian leader to implement Minsk deal after parliamentary polls  TASS

“So far, almost nothing was done in order to cease the fire, and shelling attacks continue,” Lavrov said.

“russia ukraine” – Google News

1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (116 sites)


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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: How Iraq Is Helping Iran Survive US Sanctions – OpEd

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By Yigal Chazan*

Iran is attempting to ease the economic pain of US sanctions by
developing closer economic ties with its neighbor Iraq, which could
leave America’s fragile Middle East ally falling increasingly under
Iranian influence.

Iraq sees itself as a regional economic hub, establishing good
trading relations with all its neighbors, and has stressed that it does
not want to be part of any international or regional axes. Yet Tehran’s
growing commercial relations with Baghdad may strengthen the Iranians’
already significant political leverage.

Sweeping US sanctions against Iran imposed last year after
Washington’s withdrawal from the international nuclear agreement – which
granted Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its atomic
energy program – have caused considerable harm to Iranian finances.

The US was critical of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for
failing to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and “malign
influence” across the Middle East. But the Trump administration’s
ability to pressure Iran into addressing these issues as part of a
renegotiation of the nuclear deal may be hindered by gaps in its
sanctions regime.

For Tehran, Iraq’s dependence on Iranian gas, electricity, refined
petroleum products and non-energy exports generates revenue streams that
help it to limit at least some of the economic damage resulting from
American trade and investment restrictions. Washington cannot do much to
reduce Baghdad’s reliance on its neighbor. Pressuring it to do so risks
destabilizing the politically volatile country, just as it recovers
from the devastation wrought by Islamic State.

America has little option but to continue extending sanctions waivers
for Iraqi purchases of Iranian electricity and gas to supply its
generators because of the poor condition of Iraq’s power-generation
facilities. The US wants Baghdad to wean itself off Iranian energy, but
Iraqi officials say it could take several years to find alternative
sources. It may take just as long to fix the country’s electricity
infrastructure.

The critical importance of Iranian energy was underlined last summer
when Iraq’s failure to pay its bills prompted Iran temporarily to shut
off supplies, leaving many Iraqis with limited air conditioning as
temperatures soared. The suspension contributed in part to rioting in the oil-rich yet impoverished Basra region, where locals also protested over corruption and the lack of drinking water and jobs.

Overall, bilateral trade between the two countries is growing. Valued at $12 billion, three quarters comprised Iranian exports
for the period March 2018 to March 2019 – a year-on-year increase of 36
per cent. The sanctions-induced fall in the value of the rial has
contributed to the rise by making Iranian goods cheaper.

Tehran is hopeful that bilateral trade could increase to $20 billion
in the coming years. Iraq is Iran’s second-biggest non-oil export
destination after China, with Iranian merchants reportedly seeing Iraq as potentially replacing Dubai as a conduit through which their international trade could be channelled. Indeed, the Iraqi president Barham Saleh has spoken of his country becoming “the heart of a new Silk Route to the Mediterranean.”

Planned Iraqi-Iranian projects aimed at boosting commercial links
include the setting up of industrial parks along their borders; the
development of the Naft Shahr and Khorramshahr natural gas fields; the
dredging of Shatt al-Arab waterway to facilitate shipping and provide
clean water for Basra province; and the linking of the Iraqi and Iranian
railway networks as part of a wider plan to enable Iran to transport
goods to Syria and its Mediterranean ports.

In order to ensure economic cooperation does not run the risk of violating American sanctions, the two countries are reportedly setting up a non-dollar payment system similar to Europe’s special purpose vehicle, INSTEX, established to allow European companies to do business in Iran without incurring US penalties. Iranian conservatives are said to be pressing
their government to rely more on Iraq than the Europeans. Tehran
appears to be losing hope in the latter engaging, with good reason – the
risks of being penalized by the US are too high for many.

Washington is no doubt monitoring Iran-Iraq business ties closely for sanctions infractions, recently penalizing a Baghdad-based company
for allegedly trafficking hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of
weapons to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-backed Iraqi
militias.  Last year, an Iraq-based bank
was sanctioned for alleged involvement in the funneling money on behalf
of the IRGC to Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Iraq does not want
to put its relations with the US at risk by serving as a
sanctions-busting front for Iran, notably informing the Iranians that the planned joint railway project must be under Iraqi supervision and cannot be used to break the US embargo.

Yet the Iraqi government may struggle to curb commercial links with
sanctioned entities in Iran given that the pro-Tehran Fatah Alliance,
representing Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, the Popular Mobilisation
Units, which played a critical role in defeating ISIS, is the
second-largest group in the Iraqi parliament. Significantly, a spokesman
for Fatah condemned the US decision in April to sanction the IRGC.

For the US, there is also the risk that if it were to escalate its
conflict with Iran, Tehran might enlist its allies in Iraq to trigger a
proxy war against American interests, unraveling efforts to stabilize
the country. In May, as tension between Washington and Tehran rose over
attacks on Saudi oil tankers and energy infrastructure, non-essential US diplomatic staff in the country were evacuated. Days later, a rocket hit a government compound in the center of Baghdad where foreign government offices, including the US embassy, are based.

Iraqi politicians are divided over the country’s ties with Iran.
Fatah’s rival is Sairoon, part of the largest coalition in parliament,
led by the nationalist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who is vehemently opposed
to both American and Iranian influence in the country. But given the
strong likelihood that US sanctions against Tehran will deepen, Iran
will probably look to expand its economic ties with Iraq to offset the
impact of the embargo. And given the poor state of its economy, Baghdad
would be in no position to resist.

At present, the Iraqi government is trying to remain as even-handed
as possible in its dealings with the US and Iran, though in time greater
reliance on the latter may tip the balance of power in Iraq in favor of
pro-Iranian factions, especially if the US penalizes more Iraqi
companies for breaking the Iran embargo and restricts, or ends, its
sanctions waivers.

Yigal Chazan is the head of content at Alaco, a London-based business intelligence consultancy. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect Geopoliticalmonitor.com or any institutions with which the author is associated.

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: How Iraq Is Helping Iran Survive US Sanctions – OpEd

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By Yigal Chazan*

Iran is attempting to ease the economic pain of US sanctions by
developing closer economic ties with its neighbor Iraq, which could
leave America’s fragile Middle East ally falling increasingly under
Iranian influence.

Iraq sees itself as a regional economic hub, establishing good
trading relations with all its neighbors, and has stressed that it does
not want to be part of any international or regional axes. Yet Tehran’s
growing commercial relations with Baghdad may strengthen the Iranians’
already significant political leverage.

Sweeping US sanctions against Iran imposed last year after
Washington’s withdrawal from the international nuclear agreement – which
granted Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its atomic
energy program – have caused considerable harm to Iranian finances.

The US was critical of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for
failing to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and “malign
influence” across the Middle East. But the Trump administration’s
ability to pressure Iran into addressing these issues as part of a
renegotiation of the nuclear deal may be hindered by gaps in its
sanctions regime.

For Tehran, Iraq’s dependence on Iranian gas, electricity, refined
petroleum products and non-energy exports generates revenue streams that
help it to limit at least some of the economic damage resulting from
American trade and investment restrictions. Washington cannot do much to
reduce Baghdad’s reliance on its neighbor. Pressuring it to do so risks
destabilizing the politically volatile country, just as it recovers
from the devastation wrought by Islamic State.

America has little option but to continue extending sanctions waivers
for Iraqi purchases of Iranian electricity and gas to supply its
generators because of the poor condition of Iraq’s power-generation
facilities. The US wants Baghdad to wean itself off Iranian energy, but
Iraqi officials say it could take several years to find alternative
sources. It may take just as long to fix the country’s electricity
infrastructure.

The critical importance of Iranian energy was underlined last summer
when Iraq’s failure to pay its bills prompted Iran temporarily to shut
off supplies, leaving many Iraqis with limited air conditioning as
temperatures soared. The suspension contributed in part to rioting in the oil-rich yet impoverished Basra region, where locals also protested over corruption and the lack of drinking water and jobs.

Overall, bilateral trade between the two countries is growing. Valued at $12 billion, three quarters comprised Iranian exports
for the period March 2018 to March 2019 – a year-on-year increase of 36
per cent. The sanctions-induced fall in the value of the rial has
contributed to the rise by making Iranian goods cheaper.

Tehran is hopeful that bilateral trade could increase to $20 billion
in the coming years. Iraq is Iran’s second-biggest non-oil export
destination after China, with Iranian merchants reportedly seeing Iraq as potentially replacing Dubai as a conduit through which their international trade could be channelled. Indeed, the Iraqi president Barham Saleh has spoken of his country becoming “the heart of a new Silk Route to the Mediterranean.”

Planned Iraqi-Iranian projects aimed at boosting commercial links
include the setting up of industrial parks along their borders; the
development of the Naft Shahr and Khorramshahr natural gas fields; the
dredging of Shatt al-Arab waterway to facilitate shipping and provide
clean water for Basra province; and the linking of the Iraqi and Iranian
railway networks as part of a wider plan to enable Iran to transport
goods to Syria and its Mediterranean ports.

In order to ensure economic cooperation does not run the risk of violating American sanctions, the two countries are reportedly setting up a non-dollar payment system similar to Europe’s special purpose vehicle, INSTEX, established to allow European companies to do business in Iran without incurring US penalties. Iranian conservatives are said to be pressing
their government to rely more on Iraq than the Europeans. Tehran
appears to be losing hope in the latter engaging, with good reason – the
risks of being penalized by the US are too high for many.

Washington is no doubt monitoring Iran-Iraq business ties closely for sanctions infractions, recently penalizing a Baghdad-based company
for allegedly trafficking hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of
weapons to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-backed Iraqi
militias.  Last year, an Iraq-based bank
was sanctioned for alleged involvement in the funneling money on behalf
of the IRGC to Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Iraq does not want
to put its relations with the US at risk by serving as a
sanctions-busting front for Iran, notably informing the Iranians that the planned joint railway project must be under Iraqi supervision and cannot be used to break the US embargo.

Yet the Iraqi government may struggle to curb commercial links with
sanctioned entities in Iran given that the pro-Tehran Fatah Alliance,
representing Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, the Popular Mobilisation
Units, which played a critical role in defeating ISIS, is the
second-largest group in the Iraqi parliament. Significantly, a spokesman
for Fatah condemned the US decision in April to sanction the IRGC.

For the US, there is also the risk that if it were to escalate its
conflict with Iran, Tehran might enlist its allies in Iraq to trigger a
proxy war against American interests, unraveling efforts to stabilize
the country. In May, as tension between Washington and Tehran rose over
attacks on Saudi oil tankers and energy infrastructure, non-essential US diplomatic staff in the country were evacuated. Days later, a rocket hit a government compound in the center of Baghdad where foreign government offices, including the US embassy, are based.

Iraqi politicians are divided over the country’s ties with Iran.
Fatah’s rival is Sairoon, part of the largest coalition in parliament,
led by the nationalist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who is vehemently opposed
to both American and Iranian influence in the country. But given the
strong likelihood that US sanctions against Tehran will deepen, Iran
will probably look to expand its economic ties with Iraq to offset the
impact of the embargo. And given the poor state of its economy, Baghdad
would be in no position to resist.

At present, the Iraqi government is trying to remain as even-handed
as possible in its dealings with the US and Iran, though in time greater
reliance on the latter may tip the balance of power in Iraq in favor of
pro-Iranian factions, especially if the US penalizes more Iraqi
companies for breaking the Iran embargo and restricts, or ends, its
sanctions waivers.

Yigal Chazan is the head of content at Alaco, a London-based business intelligence consultancy. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect Geopoliticalmonitor.com or any institutions with which the author is associated.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)


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Twitter Search / PalmerReport: John Lewis and Eric Swalwell send the House Republicans into a panic https://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/john-lewis-eric-swalwell-house-republicans-panic/19351 …

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John Lewis and Eric Swalwell send the House Republicans into a panic https://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/john-lewis-eric-swalwell-house-republicans-panic/19351 … Twitter Search / PalmerReport

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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Bishops Condemn New Asylum Policy For US-Mexico Border

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By Christine Rousselle

The president of U.S. bishops’ conference issued a statement on Tuesday condemning a newly-announced rule on asylum eligibility at the southern border, suggesting that countries like Mexico are not a safe final destination for asylum seekers, and encouraging the Trump administration to change the policy. 

“The rule adds further barriers to asylum-seekers’ ability to access
life-saving protection, shirks our moral duty, and will prevent the
United States from taking its usual leading role in the international
community as a provider of asylum protection,” said Cardinal Daniel
DiNardo, president of the USCCB, in a statement released July 16. 

Cardinal DiNardo also said that “initial analysis raises serious questions” about the new rule’s legal soundness. 

The new policy establishes that claimants are ineligible to apply for
asylum in the United States if they failed to first apply for asylum in
any third country they passed through after departing their country of
origin. 

Practically, the new rule requires that asylum seekers traveling
through Mexico from Central or South American countries must first apply
for asylum in Mexico before being eligible to claim asylum in the U.S.
The rule contains a number of exceptions.

Those who arrive at an American port of entry having passed through a
country that has not signed up to certain refugee agreements are
exempt, as are survivors of human trafficking.  Those who apply for
asylum in a pass-through country and are denied there my still claim
asylum in the United States. 

Similar asylum policies are already in force along the northern border of the United States, as well as in the European Union. 

The Canada-United States Safe Third Country Agreement, enacted in
2004, requires a person to claim asylum in either the U.S. or Canada,
depending on which country they arrived in first. The Dublin Regulation
in the European Union requires asylum seekers to register their claim in
the first European country in which they arrive. 

Speaking to CNA about the new rule, Bill Canny, the executive
director for the USCCB’s Migration Relief Services, told CNA that he
does not believe that Mexico, or other Central American countries, can
safely care for migrants or asylees.  

“We do not have an agreement with Mexico in the same capacity in
which we do with Canada, and while some of the countries that Central
American migrants are traveling through may have some protections, we do
not believe they are adequate enough to provide the type of protection
that is necessary to assure their safety,” Canny told CNA. “It would be
immoral for us to keep those who seek asylum in harm’s way.”

The number of asylum claims has dramatically increased over the last
decade, with very few asylees being allowed to stay. In 2009, there were
35,811 people who applied for asylum in the United States, and 8,384
were granted. In 2018, that number had more than quadrupled to 162,060
claims, with 13,168 actually granted. 

DiNardo also used his statement, issued through the USCCB, to
denounce the “climate of fear” created by ICE enforcement raids which
began over the weekend. The raids were announced by the administration
as targeting more than 2,000 people who had exhausted all legal options
to remain in the country. 

“Enforcement actions like those anticipated this week by the
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency separate families, cause the
unacceptable suffering of thousands of children and their parents, and
create widespread panic in our communities,” said DiNardo.

“I condemn such an approach, which has created a climate of fear in
our parishes and communities across the country. I recently wrote the
President asking him to reconsider this action.”

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): “trump in financial times” – Google News: Nancy Pelosi slams Donald Trump over ‘racist’ tweets – Financial Times

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Nancy Pelosi slams Donald Trump over ‘racist’ tweets  Financial Times Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi describes US President Donald Trump’s remarks as “not only divisive but dangerous” “trump in financial times” – Google News 1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites)

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realDonaldTrump on Twitter: ….visible members of the House Democrats, who are now wedded to this bitterness and hate. The Republican vote was 187-4. Wow! Also, this was the first time since 1984 that the Speaker of the House was ruled Out of Order and broke the Rules of the House. Quite a day!

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….visible members of the House Democrats, who are now wedded to this bitterness and hate. The Republican vote was 187-4. Wow! Also, this was the first time since 1984 that the Speaker of the House was ruled Out of Order and broke the Rules of the House. Quite a day! Posted by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday, … Continue reading “realDonaldTrump on Twitter: ….visible members of the House Democrats, who are now wedded to this bitterness and hate. The Republican vote was 187-4. Wow! Also, this was the first time since 1984 that the Speaker of the House was ruled Out of Order and broke the Rules of the House. Quite a day!”

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realDonaldTrump on Twitter: So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat Congresswomen. If you really want to see statements, look at the horrible things they said about our Country, Israel, and much more. They are now the top, most…

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So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat Congresswomen. If you really want to see statements, look at the horrible things they said about our Country, Israel, and much more. They are now the top, most… Posted by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday, July 17th, … Continue reading “realDonaldTrump on Twitter: So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat Congresswomen. If you really want to see statements, look at the horrible things they said about our Country, Israel, and much more. They are now the top, most…”

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