3.12.19

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WORLD

A16 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

M 1 • TUeSDAy • 03.12.2019

Sen. Graham to seek U.S. recognition of Israeli rule in Golan JERUSALEM • U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday vowed to push for U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, in what would represent a new contentious political gift to Israel from President Donald Trump’s administration.

The South Carolina Republican said he aimed to change the current U.S.designation of the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967, as disputed territory. He spoke during a tour of the frontier with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The Golan is not disputed. It is in the hands of Israel and will always

Algeria’s president of two decades abandoned his bid for a fifth term Monday following unprecedented protests over his fitness for office, but his simultaneous postponement of an election set for next month had critics worried he intends to hold on to power. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has rarely been seen in public since he had a stroke in 2013 and just returned from two weeks in a Geneva hospital, promised to establish a panel to plan a rescheduled vote and to put an interim government in place. In a letter to the nation released by state news agency APS on Monday, Bouteflika, 82, stressed the importance of including Algeria’s disillusioned youths in the reform process and putting the country “in the hands of new generations.” But for many of the protesters the most important sentence in the president’s letter read, “There will be no fifth term.” Celebrations popped up instead of protests on the streets of the capital, Algiers, at the news. Car horns rang out while people waved flags, jumped up and down, and sang the national anthem. North Macedonia honors those lost to Nazis • North Macedonia is commemorating the deportation of almost the country’s entire Jewish community to the Nazi death camp of Treblinka with a ceremony in the capital, Skopje. The Holocaust Memorial Center in Skopje unveiled its permanent exhibit Monday, 76 years since 98 percent of the Jewish population of what was then a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was rounded up and transported to Treblinka, in occupied Poland. A 500-year-old Torah scroll, smuggled from Spain when the Jews fled the Inquisition to settle in the Balkans, is part of the exhibit. U.N. leader supports fight for women’s rights • Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that there is a “deep, pervasive and relentless” resistance to women’s rights and called for a fight to “push back against the pushback.” Guterres spoke at the opening of the annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women, which since its establishment in 1947 has been committed to achieving “equality with men in all fields of human enterprise.” While advocates for gender equality are mobilizing as never before, Guterres said, “around the world, there is a pushback on women’s rights.” He pointed to increased violence against women, especially defenders of human rights and women running for political office. He cited “online abuse of women who speak out,” women 26 percent less likely to be employed than men, and “an ongoing uphill battle for reproductive rights.” U.S. warns Germany over 5G security risks • The United States is warning Germany that allowing untrustworthy companies to supply equipment for its 5G networks could jeopardize sharing of sensitive information among allies. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, sent a letter to German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier specifically naming Chinese tech firm Huawei.

concern over Iranian entrenchment in neighboring Syria. Israel has admitted to carrying out scores of airstrikes in Syria against Iranian targets in recent years. A beaming Netanyahu applauded Graham’s remarks and asserted that Israel would never give up the land. “I think it’s very impor-

tant that the international community recognize this fact, and accept it, and most especially our great friend, the United States of America,” Netanyahu said, thanking Graham for his “unbelievable support.” Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, a move not recognized by most of the international community.

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DIGEST Algerians celebrate prospect of change

withdrawal from the Golan as part of any peace deal. With Syria ravaged by a nearly eight-year-old civil war, peace talks with Israel seem unlikely anytime soon. Graham called the prospect of Israeli withdrawal from the Golan “a strategic nightmare” and political “suicide,” citing shared Israeli and American

remain in the hands of Israel,” Graham said from a cliff overlooking Syria, where Syrian flags could be seen fluttering in the distance on buildings damaged in the country’s civil war. “My goal is to try to explain this to the administration,” he said. In past negotiations, Syria has demanded a

Washington has been trying to dissuade its allies from allowing Huawei to provide equipment for fifthgeneration cell networks, claiming it could facilitate digital espionage by the Chinese government. Mexican leader proud of U.S. ties • Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador celebrated what he called his administration’s “cordial” relations with the United States on Monday as he marked his first 100 days in office. When Lopez Obrador took office Dec. 1, many feared the leftist was headed for a certain clash with conservative U.S. President Donald Trump. But the two have maintained civil relations, without the frequent insults and name-calling Trump had once subjected Mexico to. Mexico has quietly cooperated with the United States by allowing asylum applicants to be sent back to Mexico while they await resolution of their cases. Corruption inquiry material on hold in Israel • Israel’s attorney general says he will only release material from the corruption investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the country’s April 9 election. The Justice Ministry said in a statement Monday that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit agreed to delay handing Netanyahu’s attorneys evidence in the corruption cases until after the elections out of concern over media leaks. Mandelblit recommended criminal charges against Netanyahu in three corruption cases last month, shaking up re-election prospects for the longserving Israeli leader. Charges can only be filed after a hearing. The Justice Ministry said that would take place by July 10. The charges include allegations that he accepted gifts from billionaire friends, and promoted beneficial regulations for a telecom magnate in exchange for positive coverage on a news site. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing. Syrian forces advance on militants • U.S.-backed Syrian forces pounded the last village held by the Islamic State group with artillery and heavy weapons from multiple sides Monday and made slow advances on its edges, battling militants holed up in underground tunnels. The fighters of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces moved toward a tent encampment in the village of Baghouz and at one point encircled a group of Islamic State militants, killing a number of them in an hourlong battle, an SDF spokesman said. After weeks of besieging Baghouz, the operation launched Sunday night aims at finally taking the last tiny patch of land held by the militants, a pocket on the banks of the Euphrates River in eastern Syria near the border with Iraq. Operations against Islamic State “will continue until we totally wipe them out,” the SDF vowed in a statement Monday, saying SDF fighters had made “tangible progress” since Sunday, with 37 militants killed and five SDF fighters wounded. Some 500 Islamic State fighters are believed to be still in the territory, along with possibly 3,000 to 4,000 civilians, mainly family members who remained after thousands of civilians streamed out of Baghouz in past week during pauses in the fighting. From news services

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