Trump claims his campaign was spied on illegally and FBI misled courts

In the four decades that FISA has been in effect, it’s not clear that any application for surveillance has ever been released.

Materials related to FISA operations and legal process are among the most highly classified and closely guarded in the government.

Visible portions of the 412 pages, mostly heavily redacted, show the FBI telling the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Page “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government” to undermine the election.

The agency also told the court that “the FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government”.

The secretive court signed off on surveilling Page.


Page, who left the Trump campaign in September 2016, has denied being an agent of the Russian government and has not been charged with any crime.

In his first public response to the documents’ release, Page said on Sunday that law enforcement officials had fabricated information to strengthen their bid to monitor his communications.

He said claims that he spoke with Russian nationals about incriminating information about Hillary Clinton were “totally false” and e denied he ever discussed lifting Western sanctions with Igor Sachin, a high-ranking Russian official.

“I’ve never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination,” Page said on CNN’s State of the Union. He said allegations he was a Russian agent or an informal adviser to the Kremlin are “ridiculous” and a “complete joke.”

“It’s really spin,” he said. “I sat in on some meetings. To call me an adviser is way over the top. This is really nothing.”

Trump tweeted on Sunday that the documents about Page confirmed the Department of Justice and FBI misled the courts.

In his tweets, Trump also took aim at defeated Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), her party’s governing body.

“Looking more & more like the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon (surveillance) for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC,” he said.

“Republicans must get tough now. An illegal Scam!”

Referring to the Page documents, he said: “As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of ‘Justice’ and FBI misled the courts. Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!”

The documents released include applications and renewal warrants filed in 2017 after Trump took office.

They said: “The FBI believes that the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Trump’s campaign].”

And: “[Page] has established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers.”

And further: “The FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.”

Last week, a federal grand jury charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic computer networks in 2016, in the most detailed US accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the presidential election to help Trump.

Reuters, The Washington Post, AP

Most Viewed in World


Morning & Afternoon Newsletter

Delivered Mon–Fri.

Source link

The Latest: Libyan coast guard intercepts 40 migrants at sea

The Latest on immigration into Europe (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

Libya’s coast guard says it has intercepted 40 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, near its shores, bound for Europe.

Coast guard spokesman Ayoub Gassim says a boat carrying 31 men, eight women and a child was stopped on Saturday off the coast of the western city of Zuwara. He said Sunday that the migrants — who are from Morocco, Egypt, Syria and Nigeria, were taken to a naval base in Tripoli.

Libya has emerged as a major transit point to Europe for people fleeing poverty and war in Africa and the Mideast, as human traffickers take advantage of the country’s lawlessness.

Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants with the help of training and money from European nations. Aid workers, however, say migrants who are returned to Libya often risk facing beatings, rape or slavery.


12:45 p.m.

Pope Francis has lamented the latest migrant deaths in shipwrecks of smugglers’ boats and entreated nations to act swiftly to prevent more tragedies.

Francis in his traditional Sunday appearance to faithful in St. Peter’s Square expressed sorrow over recent deaths in the Mediterranean Sea and assured victims’ loved ones of his prayers.

He called on “the international community to act decisively and quickly so similar tragedies aren’t repeated” and said the “safety, respect of rights and the dignity of all must be guaranteed.”

Far fewer migrants have arrived in Italy this year compared to the same period in 2017, but U.N. refugee officials say recent crossings have been deadlier.

With Italy’s new populist government and Malta not allowing aid groups’ boats to dock, rescued migrants lately have been stranded at sea for days.

Source link

Israel to reopen Gaza terminal, extend fishing on Tuesday if quiet holds

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel will reopen Gaza’s main commercial crossing and expand its fishing zone on Tuesday if a lull in cross-border tensions holds after a truce with the enclave’s dominant Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, the Israeli defense minister said.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman visits Gaza’s Kerem Shalom crossing, the strip’s main commercial border terminal, July 22, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israel shut the Kerem Shalom border terminal and reduced the fishing zone to 11 km (6 miles) from 17 km (9 miles) on July 9 in response to fire-starting kites and helium balloons flown over by Palestinians as part of weeks of border protests.

Hostilities escalated last week, with Palestinian gunfire killing an Israeli soldier and Israel’s military killing three Hamas fighters and a fourth Palestinian. The violence subsided on Saturday after Egypt and the United Nations mediated a truce.

Slideshow (5 Images)

“We saw, yesterday, what might have been the calmest day since March 30,” Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters on Sunday.

In weekly Gaza protests since then, at least 140 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army in what it called border protection.

“If today and tomorrow see a continuation of the situation as it was yesterday, then on Tuesday we will resume routine activity here at Kerem Shalom (border terminal) and return the fishing zone to the ranges previously in place.”

Kerem Shalom is the main export-import conduit for the 2 million Palestinians of Gaza, which also borders Egypt.

During the terminal’s closure, humanitarian aid was still allowed through Lieberman said traffic slowed to about 140 trucks a day from some 1,000 to 1,100 trucks per day.

Writing by Dan Williams; editing by Jason Neely

Source link

Israel rescues Syrian volunteers stranded in border area

The Israeli military said Sunday it had rescued members of a Syrian volunteer civil organization from the volatile frontier area and evacuated them to a third country, the first such Israeli intervention in Syria’s lengthy civil war.

Jordan confirmed that 800 Syrian citizens have entered its territory to be resettled in Western countries. The volunteers, known as White Helmets, had been stranded along the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights following the latest Syrian government offensive in southwestern Syria.

The Israeli military said the overnight operation was an “exceptional humanitarian gesture” done at the request of the United States and its European allies due to “an immediate threat to the (Syrians’) lives.”

The military said its actions did not reflect a change to Israel’s non-intervention policy in Syria’s war, now in its eight year, where all the warring parties are considered hostile.

The Syrians would remain in Jordan for three months before moving on to Britain, Germany and Canada, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Mohammed al-Kayed said.

“The request was approved based on pure humanitarian reasons,” he added.

Raed Saleh, head of the Syrian Civil Defense as the White Helmets are also known, said a number of volunteers and their families were evacuated from a dangerous, besieged area and had reached Jordan. He did not elaborate on the numbers of those evacuated.

The Associated Press first reported on Friday that U.S. officials were finalizing plans to evacuate several hundred Syrian civil defense workers and their families from southwest Syria as Russian-backed government forces closed in on the Quneitra province, along the Golan Heights frontier.

The officials said the White Helmets, who have enjoyed backing from the United States and other Western nations for years, were likely to be targeted by Syrian forces as they retook control of the southwest. Evacuation plans were accelerated after last week’s NATO summit in Brussels.

Since the Syrian government offensive began in June, the area along the frontier in the Golan Heights has been the safest in the southwestern region, attracting hundreds of displaced because of its location along the disengagement line with Israel, demarcated in 1974 after a war. Thousands of civilians had taken shelter near the frontier to escape the government offensive.

The Syrian government is unlikely to fire there or carry out airstrikes for fear of an Israeli response.

The White Helmets typically have operated in opposition-held areas across Syria, places where government services are almost non-existent, voluntarily risking their lives to save hundreds of civilian lives during relentless government airstrikes and bombardments.

The government and Russia view the White Helmets as “agents” of foreign powers and have regularly accused them of staging rescue missions or chemical attacks.

Over the last month, Syrian government forces aided by Russian air power have swept through southwestern Syria to consolidate government control over this strategic corner of the country that straddles the border with Jordan and the frontier with Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

With its new advances, government forces are, for the first time since the civil war began in 2011, retaking this territory from the rebels and restoring their positions along the disengagement line in the Golan Heights.

Since the offensive began, Jordan said it will not open its borders to the newly displaced Syrians. Jordan hosts at least 650,000 registered Syrian refugees, according to the U.N., but Amman says a similar number of undocumented Syrians are also in the kingdom.

During the latest Syrian government offensive, which began on June 19, around 300,000 Syrians have been displaced, heading toward the sealed Israeli and Jordanian borders in what the U.N. said was the largest single displacement since the Syrian civil war started in 2011.

Al-Kayed, the Jordanian spokesman, said the transfer of the 800 Syrians does not put the kingdom under any further obligations.

Israel has been sending aid into Syria for several years and has provided medical treatment to thousands of Syrians who reached the Golan Heights frontier. In the past two years, the Israeli military says it has delivered more than 1,500 tons of food, 250 tons of clothing and nearly a million liters of fuel.

The Israeli military said it will continue to aid those in need but won’t allow a massive influx of refugees into the country.


El Deeb reported from Beirut. Associated Press writer Fares Akram in Amman, Jordan, contributed to this report.

Source link

Zimbabwe’s leader tries to rally white voters as gap narrows

Harare:  Zimbabwe’s president is trying to rally the country’s white minority voters, who traditionally back the opposition, as the race in this month’s historic election becomes too close to call.

A child plays next to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa's election campaign poster during a rally organised for the white community in Harare on Saturday.

A child plays next to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election campaign poster during a rally organised for the white community in Harare on Saturday.

Photo: AP

President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the gathering of a few hundred people in the capital, Harare, that the era of land seizures from white farmers is over. The deeply unpopular, often violent land grabs under former leader Robert Mugabe contributed to the economic collapse of the once-prosperous southern African nation.

Just 3 percentage points now separate former Mugabe deputy Mnangagwa and leading opposition challenger Nelson Chamisa, according to a new survey by the Afrobarometer research group. It surveyed 2400 voters across the country between June 25 and July 6.

Campaigning ahead of the July 30 vote, the first without Mugabe since independence in 1980 from white minority rule, has been largely peaceful but the opposition has expressed concern about possible fraud and the role of the military, which pressured Mugabe to resign in November.

The 75-year-old Mnangagwa has repeatedly vowed to hold a credible election after past votes under Mugabe were marked by alleged violence and intimidation. While Mugabe scorned Western election observers Mnangagwa has welcomed them for the first time in almost 20 years.

Source link

Concern about “sexualised” children often misses the point

IN JAPAN it is hard to avoid the disturbing spectacle of young girls being treated as sex objects. Rorikon, an abbreviation of “Lolita complex”, is ubiquitous. In M’s Pop Life, a sex shop in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, known for its pop subculture, life-size models of girls, their breasts at various stages of puberty, are openly on sale. Elsewhere big-bosomed cartoon girls are splashed across posters; children (or grown-ups made to look like children) pose in magazines in bikinis.

Rorikon is a peculiarly Japanese phenomenon. But across the world there are growing concerns about children being portrayed sexually, and the effects on the children themselves. This comes in two forms. The first, “direct” sexualisation, includes advertising, television programmes and magazine content that portray children, especially girls, as sexually aware or active. It also includes goods aimed at children who are seen as trying to make themselves “sexier”—such as padded bras or hot-pants, make-up or pole-dancing toys. The second is “indirect”—the worry that, thanks to the internet, children witness ever more depictions of sexual activity. They are likely to see far more pornography than earlier generations, and at a younger age. In Britain, for instance, around half of 11- to 16-year-olds have seen pornography online, mostly by accident, according to a 2016 study by the NSPCC, a British children’s charity.

Japan has belatedly been reining in some excesses. In 2014 it banned the possession of child pornography—although it is still a hub for making and selling the illegal stuff. Last year the Tokyo metropolitan government banned under-18s from working in the JK (joshi kosei, schoolgirl) industry, where men pay, for example, to go for a walk with a schoolgirl or to lie down next to one (or, under the new rules, a woman pretending to be one). This year, after a few customer complaints, Aeon, a big retail chain, said it would stop stocking pornographic magazines in some of its shops. But they remain widely on sale in convenience stores. Keiji Goto, a police officer turned children’s-rights lawyer, says “Japan remains behind other countries.”

Don’t grow up

Indeed, across the rich world, countries are grappling with how to deal with the over-sexualisation of children. The assumption—often unspoken—is that exposure to sexualised images is linked to a growing number of sexual incidents involving children. Amanda Hulme, the head of a primary school in north-western England, says it is seeing more peer-on-peer abuse. Across Britain, the police received almost 30,000 reports of sexual assaults by children on other children over the past four years, including 2,625 allegedly on school grounds. And “sexting”—sending explicit images—is widespread. It can ruin young lives. A boy who opens a forwarded sext might find himself on a sex-offenders’ register. A girl whose intimate photo ends up widely shared online may be driven to despair or even suicide.

But it is not known whether all this is really linked to the sexual content children are exposed to. Their youth precludes most research. And Deevia Bhana, a South African academic, says that some of the concern stems from moral attitudes about the way children—almost always girls—should act, rather than from actual evidence of harm. In fact, in some ways risky behaviour is decreasing. Surveys show that in much of the rich world young people are waiting longer to lose their virginity. Teenage pregnancies are falling.

Precocious sexualisation, however, is recognised as causing some forms of harm. One is to mental health. Sharon Lamb, a child psychologist and professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, says she sees children, mainly girls, losing self-esteem when they feel that the only way they are valued is if they act sexually. This feeds into problems such as eating disorders, and can affect future relationships. Boys suffer, too. Ms Lamb says stereotypes portraying them as always wanting sex put them under pressure to act in a certain way.

A second possible type of harm is that a sexualised, pornographic culture may give children damaging ideas about sex. Ms Hulme reckons that the increase in children inappropriately touching each other is linked to pornography. No one has ever proved how pornography relates to action, but children (more boys than girls) have told pollsters from the NSPCC that it gave them ideas about what to try. This highlights the need for good sex education, if only to inform children about real life.

A third sort would be if such material encouraged paedophilia. Risa Yasojima of M’s Pop Life says, without citing evidence, that she reckons its products can help paedophiles refrain from touching actual children. But others fear that ubiquitous images of sexualised children and child pornography foster the paedophile delusion that sees ordinary, spontaneous and tactile children as flirtatious.

Not in front of the children

Efforts to tackle these dangers need to accept that in the internet age it may be possible to limit children’s exposure to sexual images, but not to eliminate it. Better to prepare them to be able to cope, and to recognise that the images themselves are a symptom of a broader problem: how society turns women into sexual objects.

In the past decade countries have started to act on worries about the over-sexualisation of children. The turning-point in Britain was a 2010 report on the issue that the government commissioned from Reg Bailey, then at Mothers’ Union, a British Christian charity, and now a council member at the Advertising Standards Authority, the industry’s self-regulatory body.

Published in 2011, his report made 14 recommendations, such as keeping explicit magazines out of children’s sight. It also advocated raising parents’ awareness of sales techniques, and developing codes of practice among retailers covering goods marketed to children. Since 2011 guidelines about what can be shown on street billboards and magazine displays have been tightened. Internet-service providers offer parental filters to limit what their children may see. A new law, coming into force this year, obliges pornography sites to require evidence that users are over 18.

Other countries are following suit. In 2014, France outlawed beauty contests for under-13s. La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, has moved to do the same. Some Cubans are fretting about a craze among girls as young as five for quinceañeras, coming-of-age parties intended for 15-year-old girls, in which the girls often pose for photos, dolled up and looking sultry. Pressure groups and individual complaints also have an impact. In 2006 Tesco, a British supermarket chain, removed a children’s pole-dancing kit from the toys section of its website. In 2010 Primark, an Irish clothing company, withdrew children’s bikinis with padded tops.

If driven by online vigilantism alone, however, measures to prevent premature sexualisation may infringe freedom of expression—or simply go too far. In May, after a storm of online condemnation, Sweaty Betty, a boutique British fitness-wear brand, withdrew from its website an image of three girls around 15 or 16 clad in tropical-patterned leggings and crop-tops, which, in hindsight, looks fairly inoffensive.

Criticism is almost always directed at girls, not at boys or the culture around them. Girls are told not to wear short skirts to school so as not to distract boys, or even teachers—yet not enough is done to teach boys about consent. “I am a bit sick of the simplistic ‘sexy-so-soon’ discourse out there,” says Ms Lamb, the child psychologist. “A girl playing at being Beyoncé isn’t harmful. But a society that only values her for being Beyoncé is a problem.”

Research from places such as South Africa and Sweden suggests children can be better at dealing with sexualised advertising than adults realise. Ms Bhana, the South African academic, says her research suggests children are “highly sophisticated consumers”. But children need help to navigate the culture they grow up in. Mr Bailey says too little is done to develop children’s resilience to the stuff they inevitably stumble across, especially pornography.

If parents and teachers were matter-of-fact and honest about sex, young people would find it easier to talk about their worries and less likely to let what they see bother them. Research by the NSPCC suggests parents tend not to be too concerned by some things their children do—wearing “sexy” clothes or make-up, for example—seeing children as wanting to grow up quicker than they do. But they do worry about them seeing hard-core pornography.

Britain’s Department for Education is in the process of updating its sex-and-relationships guidance for the first time since 2000. Martha Kirby of the NSPCC says this is long overdue. The government is to hold consultations on new approaches, such as teaching primary-school children about the idea of consent, and those in secondary school about the laws on sexual abuse and the dangers of online grooming by paedophiles.

In many places even basic sex education is lacking. Ms Bhana sees a danger in the extreme positions of some lobbies, especially religious ones, and countries such as Saudi Arabia that resist teaching children about sex at all, in the hope of keeping them “pure”. Religious groups in America, such as the Abstinence Clearinghouse, also argue that sex education encourages children to have sex. In Myanmar similar concerns mean schools barely cover the birds and the bees.

Better to accept that children will naturally want to explore their desires and feelings, and equip them to do so safely with factual information, awareness of online dangers, access to contraception—and the power to know what they want and to say no to what they don’t want.

Don’t worry, be happy

Countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark are closer to this healthier approach. They expect children to be well informed about their bodies, and see the purpose of sex education as not just to warn of the risks, but to help prepare for a happy sex life. This may be one reason why, according to Anna Sparrman, a professor of child studies at Linkoping University in Sweden, Scandinavian countries have not really seen premature-sexualisation panics. It is not because of an anything-goes attitude; Sweden, for example, bans all broadcast advertising aimed at children under 12.

Just as important, countries need to face up to the cultural backdrop behind over-sexualisation, says Michelle Jongenelis, a researcher at Australia’s Curtin University. That images of girls looking sexy are so much more prevalent than those of boys reflects sexism and the sexual objectification of women; so does the way much pornography shows women being treated in a degrading manner. Children assimilate these norms through the images of their peers and the products pushed at them—including, at the extreme, pornography.

Happily, this broader cultural context does seem to be under scrutiny in some parts of the world, though the process is at a very early stage. Basic ideas about gender—such as shops labelling baby clothes as “boys’” and “girls’”—are being challenged, and more nuanced understanding of the meaning of “consent” are gaining ground. The #MeToo debate, which has pushed sexual assault to the fore, leads Ms Jongenelis to conclude that there is a shift in norms about what is acceptable. If so, then children should be among the greatest beneficiaries.

Source link

‘Suffering’ ends with Honduran baby back in parents’ arms

Baby Johan spent his first day home chasing his family’s kitten, bouncing to music and playing like any 15-month-old boy.

But his mom said Saturday he also seemed lost in his own home — not recognizing his favorite aunt and only able to sleep with the lights on after spending five months in U.S. custody forcibly separated from his parents.

“We have to give him time, be patient,” his mother, Adalicia Montecinos said with a tired smile after her first night back with her son, who only slept for a few hours.

He also seemed to be speaking words that his mom figured were likely in English.

For months, the couple watched their only son grow up in videos while he was kept at a U.S. government-contracted shelter in Phoenix. That’s where he took his first steps and spoke his first words.

Johan, who grabbed the world’s attention when he appeared in a U.S. courtroom in diapers, at first also didn’t recognize his mom and dad after he was flown to San Pedro Sula on Friday.

Adalicia broke down Friday in tears as she talked about how her son had become a poster child for outrage over the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“He suffered everything that we have been suffering,” she said.

His father soon won him over by playing ball. Within an hour, the tiny boy in an orange tank top, blue shorts but no shoes laughed as both parents kissed him outside a center where they finished final legal paperwork before heading home.

And so ended the extraordinary journey of a baby whose short life has ranged from Honduran poverty to a desperate dash across the U.S. border to the front pages of the world’s newspapers.

Captured by Border Patrol agents almost instantly upon arrival, Johan’s father was deported — and the 10-month-old was kept at the Arizona shelter. Over the next five months, he spoke and walked for the first time and had his first birthday; his parents, hundreds of miles away, would miss it all.

“The nightmare is over,” Adalicia said Saturday as she washed clothes in an outdoor sink outside their cement home in the steamy mountains in central Honduras.

But the family faces new challenges as their son readjusts and she fears the effects of their separation will be lasting.

Johan shook his head “no” over and over when his aunt who lives with the family picked him up. He has been fussier and Adalicia wondered if it was because of tiredness from his long journey or something more serious.

Only time will tell, said Clara Long, a researcher with Human Rights Watch. At least a dozen parents were deported back to their homelands without their children.

“I think we don’t know the future impact on these kids who were separated from their parents, but it could be life-long,” she said.

In early July, Johan went before an immigration judge. An Associated Press account of that court appearance — of the judge’s befuddlement over how to deal with this tiny detainee in diapers, sucking on a bottle — set off an international furor.

“I never thought they could be so cruel,” said his father, Rolando Antonio Bueso Castillo, 37.

Rolando said he thought his plan was a beautiful one. He would escape his hard life in the tiny town of Libertad — Freedom, in Spanish. His children would not grow up in the same poverty that he had endured — he had dropped out of the fourth grade to sell burritos to help his single mom support him and his four siblings.

His younger brother left the coffee-growing mountains of central Honduras for the United States seven years ago and thrived in Maryland with his wife and children. His sister followed, and also did well. Their eldest brother was killed in a drive-by shooting in San Pedro Sula, one of Latin America’s most dangerous cities.

Rolando earned $10 a day driving a bus; his brother in America sent back hundreds of dollars to help out.

An easy-going and hard-working man, Rolando was well aware of the dangers of crossing Mexico. Scores of Central Americans have fallen to their deaths jumping on trains or been shaken down by Mexican police, murdered, kidnapped, robbed or raped on their way to the United States.

He paid a smuggler $6,000, money his brother sent to him. Everything was supposed to be included — hotel stays, three meals daily and transport in an SUV with two other mothers and three children to the U.S. border. He packed five onesies, three jackets, a blue-and-white baby blanket, lotion, cream, 50 diapers, two bottles and cans of formula.

His wife, in her first trimester of pregnancy, would stay behind, working at her market stand selling Nike baseball hats, “California Dreaming” T-shirts and jewelry. In Maryland, their family would help mind Johan while Rolando worked. Adalicia would join them in a few months.

The father and son made it as far as Tampico, Mexico, 500 kilometers (300 miles) from the Texas border, when their beautiful plan started to unravel.

The smuggler drove them into a warehouse in the port city and told them to board a tractor trailer filled with scores of other parents and children from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru.

Rolando and his son would spend three days locked in the trailer, before arriving to the Mexican border city of Reynosa, where they boarded a makeshift raft and floated across the Rio Grande to Texas.

He thought the worst was over, but his troubles were only beginning.

Within minutes a Border Patrol agent stopped them and they were taken to a detention center.

On the fifth day, immigration officers told Rolando they needed to take him to an office for questioning. One agent removed Johan from his arms. As they walked away, Johan turned, reaching for his dad.

It would be the last time they would see each other for five months.

The agents told Rolando he was going to be separated from the boy and deported to Honduras because this was the fourth time he had attempted to enter the United States. Each time, he was caught almost immediately.

Rolando spent 22 days locked up in various detention centers along the Texas border. He knew nothing of his son.

His wife would wake up reaching for her baby and remember again what had happened. She watched videos of Johan over and over of him kicking and wiggling, laughing with his dad, staring into the camera.

Rolando said he had first been told by immigration authorities that the two would be deported together, so he agreed to go. Then, they told him his son would follow in two weeks. But months passed.

The boy’s parents learned he took his first steps from the social worker, who also sent a video of him on his first birthday, waking up and crying. From the AP’s news story on Johan’s appearance before a judge, they learned that he had started to talk.

The father said he was overwhelmed by guilt over the dismal failure of his beautiful plan. Someday, he knows, his son will ask what happened, and why he had left him in the United States.

“I’ll tell him the truth,” he said. “We thought we had a good plan to give him a better life.”

Will Rolando concoct yet another plan to reach America? He says only that he is a fighter and will work hard to survive, as he always has.

But he knows that his life and that of his family will never be the same.

“They broke something in me over there,” Rolando said. “This was never my son’s fault. Why did he have to be punished?”


Associated Press writer Astrid Galvan in Phoenix contributed to this report.

Source link

Panelists clash over trade war with China

‘);$vidEndSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–active’);}};CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;var configObj = {thumb: ‘none’,video: ‘cnnmoney/2018/07/06/trump-china-trade-war-panel-new-day-vpx.cnn’,width: ‘100%’,height: ‘100%’,section: ‘international’,profile: ‘expansion’,network: ‘cnn’,markupId: ‘large-media_0’,adsection: ‘const-video-leaf’,frameWidth: ‘100%’,frameHeight: ‘100%’,posterImageOverride: {“mini”:{“width”:220,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//”,”height”:124},”xsmall”:{“width”:307,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//”,”height”:173},”small”:{“width”:460,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//”,”height”:259},”medium”:{“width”:780,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//”,”height”:438},”large”:{“width”:1100,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//”,”height”:619},”full16x9″:{“width”:1600,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//”,”height”:900},”mini1x1″:{“width”:120,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//”,”height”:120}}},autoStartVideo = false,isVideoReplayClicked = false,callbackObj,containerEl,currentVideoCollection = [{“descriptionPlainText”:”China has accused the US of starting “the biggest trade war in economic history” as the two sides imposed steep new tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other’s exports.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Panelists clash over trade war with China”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/07/06/trump-china-trade-war-panel-new-day-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/07/06/trump-china-trade-war-panel-new-day-vpx.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/07/06/trump-china-trade-war-panel-new-day-vpx.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/07/06/trump-china-trade-war-panel-new-day-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”The trade confrontation with China is intensifying, but the White House is confident the US will come out on top. CNNMoney’s Christine Romans explains why.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Can the US win a trade war with China?”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/27/can-the-us-win-a-trade-war-with-china-cnnmoney-orig.cnnmoney/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/27/can-the-us-win-a-trade-war-with-china-cnnmoney-orig.cnnmoney”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/27/can-the-us-win-a-trade-war-with-china-cnnmoney-orig.cnnmoney”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/27/can-the-us-win-a-trade-war-with-china-cnnmoney-orig.cnnmoney/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”President Donald Trump released a series of tweets attacking Harley-Davidson after the company announced it will move some production overseas to avoid tariffs from the European Union. CNN’s Tom Foreman reports.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Trump blasts Harley-Davidson over production”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/06/26/trump-vs-harley-davidson-foreman-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/06/26/trump-vs-harley-davidson-foreman-pkg-vpx.cnn”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/06/26/trump-vs-harley-davidson-foreman-pkg-vpx.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/06/26/trump-vs-harley-davidson-foreman-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”The Supreme Court ruled that states are allowed to compel retailers to collect taxes from out-of-state online sales. CNN’s Joe Johns reports.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”SCOTUS: States can force tax on online shoppers”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/21/supreme-court-rules-states-collect-taxes-out-of-state-online-sales-nr.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/21/supreme-court-rules-states-collect-taxes-out-of-state-online-sales-nr.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/21/supreme-court-rules-states-collect-taxes-out-of-state-online-sales-nr.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/21/supreme-court-rules-states-collect-taxes-out-of-state-online-sales-nr.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”Jon Stewart visits “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to directly address President Donald Trump.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Jon Stewart takes over Colbert”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/29/jon-stewart-message-trump-colbert-orig-wmj.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/29/jon-stewart-message-trump-colbert-orig-wmj.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/29/jon-stewart-message-trump-colbert-orig-wmj.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/29/jon-stewart-message-trump-colbert-orig-wmj.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”Late-night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien team up to address President Donald Trump’s rally attacks.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Late-night hosts conspire against Trump”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/27/late-night-host-fight-back-trump-ctn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/27/late-night-host-fight-back-trump-ctn-vpx.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/27/late-night-host-fight-back-trump-ctn-vpx.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/27/late-night-host-fight-back-trump-ctn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”President Trump escalated trade tensions with China when he threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing follows through with its promise to retaliate against a previous round of US tariffs. CNN’s Tom Foreman reports.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Trump threatens tariffs on more Chinese goods “,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/china-us-trade-war-trump-foreman-dnt-lead.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/china-us-trade-war-trump-foreman-dnt-lead.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/19/china-us-trade-war-trump-foreman-dnt-lead.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/china-us-trade-war-trump-foreman-dnt-lead.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”Seth Rogen told Stephen Colbert what happened when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan asked for a photo with the comedian.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Rogen to Ryan: ‘I hate what you’re doing to the country'”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/23/seth-rogen-and-paul-ryan-orig-tc.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/23/seth-rogen-and-paul-ryan-orig-tc.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/23/seth-rogen-and-paul-ryan-orig-tc.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/23/seth-rogen-and-paul-ryan-orig-tc.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”Jack Kingston calls actor Seth Rogen a punk because Rogen did not want to take a photo with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Panelist: Seth Rogen ‘punk’ for refusing photo”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/23/seth-rogen-paul-ryan-colbert-navarro-kingston-whitfield-nr.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/23/seth-rogen-paul-ryan-colbert-navarro-kingston-whitfield-nr.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/23/seth-rogen-paul-ryan-colbert-navarro-kingston-whitfield-nr.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/23/seth-rogen-paul-ryan-colbert-navarro-kingston-whitfield-nr.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”Actor Peter Fonda has apologized for a tweet in which he said that President Trump’s youngest son Barron should be separated from his mother and put “in a cage with pedophiles.””,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Peter Fonda apologizes for Barron Trump tweet”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/21/peter-fonda-apologizes-for-barron-trump-tweet-stelter.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/21/peter-fonda-apologizes-for-barron-trump-tweet-stelter.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/21/peter-fonda-apologizes-for-barron-trump-tweet-stelter.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/21/peter-fonda-apologizes-for-barron-trump-tweet-stelter.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”After the factory where he worked was raided, Miguel Gonzalez no longer wanted to live in fear as an undocumented immigrant. He moved his family back to Mexico. Now his daughter Casandra, an American citizen, must learn to live in a country that was never home.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”An ICE raid shattered family’s American Dream “,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/undocumented-ice-family-american-dream-orig.cnnmoney/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/undocumented-ice-family-american-dream-orig.cnnmoney”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/19/undocumented-ice-family-american-dream-orig.cnnmoney”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/undocumented-ice-family-american-dream-orig.cnnmoney/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”Filmmaker Judd Apatow called out Fox News’ coverage of the White House’s separations of families at the border in a series of tweets. CNN’s Brian Stelter reports.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Director slams Fox News coverage of families”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/fox-coverage-immigration-separation-of-families-judd-apatow-stelter-nr.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/fox-coverage-immigration-separation-of-families-judd-apatow-stelter-nr.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/19/fox-coverage-immigration-separation-of-families-judd-apatow-stelter-nr.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/fox-coverage-immigration-separation-of-families-judd-apatow-stelter-nr.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”The separation of children from their parents at the US-Mexico border is no laughing matter for late-night TV hosts, who tackled the topic with a touch of commentary.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Late night blisters WH over family separations”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/late-night-family-separation-practice-sot-es.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/late-night-family-separation-practice-sot-es.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/19/late-night-family-separation-practice-sot-es.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/19/late-night-family-separation-practice-sot-es.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”Celebrity couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen have donated $72,000 to the ACLU in honor of President Trump’s 72nd birthday, to bring attention to the crisis at the border. HLN’s Michaela Pereira reports.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Chrissy Teigen, John Legend donate 72K to ACLU”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/06/14/teigen-john-legend-aclu-donation-trump-birthday-michaela.hln/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/14/teigen-john-legend-aclu-donation-trump-birthday-michaela.hln”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/06/14/teigen-john-legend-aclu-donation-trump-birthday-michaela.hln”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/06/14/teigen-john-legend-aclu-donation-trump-birthday-michaela.hln/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”Mark Zuckerberg is doing damage control after comments he made on Holocaust deniers.”,”imageUrl”:”//”,”title”:”Listen: Zuckerberg on Holocaust deniers”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/cnnmoney/2018/07/19/mark-zuckerberg-holocaust-deniers-facebook-cnnmoney-orig-js.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/07/19/mark-zuckerberg-holocaust-deniers-facebook-cnnmoney-orig-js.cnn”,”videoId”:”cnnmoney/2018/07/19/mark-zuckerberg-holocaust-deniers-facebook-cnnmoney-orig-js.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/cnnmoney/2018/07/19/mark-zuckerberg-holocaust-deniers-facebook-cnnmoney-orig-js.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-politics/”}],currentVideoCollectionId = ”,isLivePlayer = false,mediaMetadataCallbacks,moveToNextTimeout,mutePlayerEnabled = false,nextVideoId = ”,nextVideoUrl = ”,turnOnFlashMessaging = false,videoPinner,videoEndSlateImpl;if (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === false) {autoStartVideo = true;if (autoStartVideo === true) {if (turnOnFlashMessaging === true) {autoStartVideo = false;containerEl = jQuery(document.getElementById(configObj.markupId));CNN.VideoPlayer.showFlashSlate(containerEl);} else {CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = true;}}}configObj.autostart = autoStartVideo;CNN.VideoPlayer.setPlayerProperties(configObj.markupId, autoStartVideo, isLivePlayer, isVideoReplayClicked, mutePlayerEnabled);CNN.VideoPlayer.setFirstVideoInCollection(currentVideoCollection, configObj.markupId);var embedLinkHandler = {},videoPinner,embedCodeCopy;function onVideoCarouselItemClicked(evt) {‘use strict’;var videoId,articleElem,videoPlayer,thumbImageElem,thumbImageLargeSource,overrides = {autostart: false,muteOverlayClicked: true,videoCollection: this.videoCollection},shouldStartVideo = false,playerInstance;try {articleElem = jQuery(evt.currentTarget).find(‘article’);thumbImageElem = jQuery(articleElem).find(‘.media__image’);videoId =;if (CNN.VideoPlayer.getLibraryName(configObj.markupId) === ‘fave’) {playerInstance = FAVE.player.getInstance(configObj.markupId);if (CNN.Utils.existsObject(playerInstance) &&typeof playerInstance.getVideoData === ‘function’ &&playerInstance.getVideoData().id !== videoId) {jQuery(articleElem).closest(‘.cn-carousel-medium-strip’).parent().find(‘script[name=”metaScript”]’).remove();, overrides);}} else {videoPlayer = CNNVIDEOAPI.CNNVideoManager.getInstance().getPlayerByContainer(configObj.markupId);if (videoPlayer && videoPlayer.videoInstance) {if (!videoPlayer.videoInstance.cvp) {if (typeof thumbImageElem !== ‘undefined’ && thumbImageElem !== null) {thumbImageLargeSource = && ? : ‘none’;}overrides.thumb = thumbImageLargeSource ? thumbImageLargeSource : ‘none’;shouldStartVideo = true;}if (videoPlayer.videoInstance.config) {if ( !== videoId) {jQuery(articleElem).closest(‘.cn-carousel-medium-strip’).parent().find(‘script[name=”metaScript”]’).remove();CNNVIDEOAPI.CNNVideoManager.getInstance().playVideo(configObj.markupId, videoId, overrides);}}}}} catch (error) {console.log(“error in initializing video player” + error);}}function setInitialVideoEmbed() {}function initialize(){var carousel = jQuery(document.getElementById(‘cn-current_video_collection’)).find(‘.js-owl-carousel’),owl;if (carousel) {carousel.find(‘.cn__column.carousel__content__item’).find(‘a’).removeAttr(‘href’);jQuery(carousel).on(‘click’, ‘.cn__column.carousel__content__item’, onVideoCarouselItemClicked);}}if (CNN.VideoPlayer.getLibraryName(configObj.markupId) === ‘videoLoader’) {window.CNNVideoAPILoadCompleteHandlers = window.CNNVideoAPILoadCompleteHandlers ? window.CNNVideoAPILoadCompleteHandlers : [];window.CNNVideoAPILoadCompleteHandlers.push(initialize);window.CNNVideoAPILoadCompleteHandlers.push(setInitialVideoEmbed);} else {initialize();}CNN.INJECTOR.executeFeature(‘videx’).done(function () {var initMeta = {id:”cnnmoney/2018/07/06/trump-china-trade-war-panel-new-day-vpx.cnn”, isEmbeddable: “yes”};CNN.Videx.EmbedButton.updateCode(initMeta);}).fail(function () {throw ‘Unable to fetch the videx bundle.’;});function updateCurrentlyPlaying(videoId) {var videoCollectionId = ‘current_video_collection’,videocardContents = getCurrentVideoCardContents(videoId),carousel = jQuery(document.getElementById(‘cn-current_video_collection’)).find(‘.js-owl-carousel’),domain = CNN.Host.domain || (document.location.protocol + ‘//’ + document.location.hostname),owl,$owlFirstItem,$owlPrevItem,showDetailsSpanContent = ”,gigyaShareElement,showIndex,whatsappShareElement,$carouselContentItems = jQuery(‘.carousel__content__item’, document.getElementById(‘cn-current_video_collection’));gigyaShareElement = jQuery(‘div.js-gigya-sharebar’);if (typeof gigyaShareElement !== ‘undefined’ && CNN.Utils.existsObject(videocardContents)) {jQuery(gigyaShareElement).attr(‘data-title’, videocardContents.headlinePlainText || ”);jQuery(gigyaShareElement).attr(‘data-description’, videocardContents.descriptionPlainText || ”);jQuery(gigyaShareElement).attr(‘data-link’, domain + videocardContents.url || ”);jQuery(gigyaShareElement).attr(‘data-image-src’, ( && && || ”);}whatsappShareElement = jQuery(‘div.share-bar-whatsapp-container’);if (typeof whatsappShareElement !== ‘undefined’) {jQuery(whatsappShareElement).attr(‘data-title’, videocardContents.headlinePlainText || ”);jQuery(whatsappShareElement).attr(‘data-storyurl’, domain + videocardContents.url || ”);}if (carousel && currentVideoCollectionContainsId(videoId)) {owl =‘owl.carousel’) || {};showIndex = getCurrentVideoIndex(videoId);if (typeof === ‘function’) {;}$owlPrevItem = CNN.Utils.exists(owl.$element) ? owl.$element.find(‘–active’) : $carouselContentItems.find(‘–active’);$owlPrevItem.removeClass(‘cd–active’);$owlPrevItem.find(‘.media__over-text’).remove();$owlPrevItem.find(‘.media__icon’).show();$owlFirstItem = CNN.Utils.exists(owl._items) ? jQuery(owl._items[showIndex]) : $carouselContentItems.eq(showIndex);$owlFirstItem.find(‘.cd’).addClass(‘cd–active’);$owlFirstItem.find(‘.media a:first-child’).append(‘

Now Playing

‘);if (Modernizr && ! {$owlFirstItem.find(‘.media__icon’).hide();}}CNN.Videx.Metadata.init({dateCreated: videocardContents.dateCreated,descriptionText: videocardContents.descriptionText,duration: videocardContents.duration,sourceLink: videocardContents.sourceLink,sourceName: videocardContents.sourceName,title: videocardContents.headlineText},{videoCollectionDivId: ‘cn-1m88wfi’,videoDescriptionDivId: ‘js-video_description-1m88wfi’,videoDurationDivId: ‘js-video_duration-1m88wfi’,videoTitleDivId: ‘js-leaf-video_headline-1m88wfi’,videoSourceDivId: ‘js-video_sourceName-1m88wfi’});if (CNN.Utils.exists(videocardContents.showName)) {if (CNN.Utils.exists(videocardContents.showUrl)) {showDetailsSpanContent = ‘‘ + videocardContents.showName + ‘ | ‘;} else {showDetailsSpanContent = videocardContents.showName + ‘ | ‘;}}fastdom.measure(function getShowInfo() {var $show = jQuery(‘.metadata__show’),$isShowDetailsSpanExists = $show.find(‘span’).hasClass(‘metadata–show__name’),$showName = jQuery(‘.metadata–show__name’);fastdom.mutate(function updateShowInfo() {if (!$isShowDetailsSpanExists) {$show.prepend(‘

Source link

Syrian army pushes into Quneitra province: state tv, rebels

AMMAN (Reuters) – The Syrian army and allied forces made advances in the southwest that bring it closer to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as rebels refusing to return to state rule boarded buses for opposition controlled northern Syria, state television and rebels said.

The army, backed by a Russian air campaign, has been pushing into the edges of Quneitra province following an offensive last month that routed rebels in adjoining Deraa province who were once backed by Washington, Jordan and Gulf states.

The offensive has restored Syrian government control over a swathe of the southwest, strategic territory at the borders with Jordan and Israel.

The capture of a string of villages, announced by the army on Saturday, comes as evacuation of rebels and their families resumed for the second day from villages along the Golan frontier towards rebel-controlled northern Syria.

“We are in a bus with around sixty people young men and families and about to leave and become uprooted from our homes,” said Maher Ali, 38, an activist who decided with his family to leave than risk retribution for his long record of peaceful opposition to President Bashar al Assad’s authoritarian rule.

The army was consolidating its control of a series of commanding heights that overlook the Golan frontier that had allowed mainly Islamist rebels who once controlled it a strong position in the sensitive border area.

A deal negotiated by Russian officers with rebels in the Quneitra area last week allows safe passage to rebels opposed to a return to state rule, while offering others who decide to stay Russian guarantees against army encroachments in their own localities, rebels say.

It also allows the return of Syrian army brigades, that existed before the 2011 conflict, back to where they were stationed near a 1974 demilitarized zone with Israel on the Golan frontier.


More than 2,500 people, among them fighters from Islamist groups who have rejected the deal, left on Friday headed to opposition areas in northern Syria.

A bus drives on a road near Quneitra at the Syrian side of the Israeli Syrian border as it is seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israel July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Russia’s Interfax news agency, citing the Russian military, confirmed the same number have been taken by bus to the Idlib zone.

The Syrian army wants full control over Quneitra province where Israel has deep concerns over the presence of Iranian backed militias in the so called Triangle of Death area.

The area is a bastion of Iranian-backed militias including Hezbollah, according to Western intelligence sources.

Israel signaled it would not impede the Syrian army presence in Quneitra as long as it steered away from the demilitarized zone, and said it will continue to escalate attacks along its frontier and elsewhere in Syria where it suspects Iranian-backed forces are stationed.

A commander in the regional alliance that backs Assad said the army’s victory in southwestern Syria forced Israel to accept the Syrian army’s return to the old 1974 armistice lines.

“The Israelis has been forced into submission…..the file of the south has ended in favor of the Syrian army,” the commander told Reuters, saying Quneitra’s complete recapture was expected in the coming days.

Some rebels say Russia, which led the military campaign and negotiated most of the surrender deals and committed military police to oversee its implementation, has been trying to push back the army and its Iranian-backed militias from committing excesses in former rebel-held towns.

Other phases of the agreement, which includes the handover of weapons and the entry of Russian military police to some villages, were expected to be implemented in the coming days, a rebel source said.

Tens of thousands of people have been sheltering at the frontier since the Russian and Syrian aerial bombing campaign that the opposition called a scorched earth policy began a month ago.

Russia has been exerting pressure on the Syrian army to facilitate the return of many of the displaced and has also asked the United Nations to send regular convoys of aid to ease the humanitarian crisis triggered by the offensive, U.N. officials said.

A senior Western diplomatic source said Moscow, which has reached understandings with Israel and Jordan that made it possible to move on with the offensive, was keen to stabilize the border area to prove that its Syria intervention sought a political settlement to the seven-year-old conflict.

Slideshow (5 Images)

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow and Laila Bassam in Beirut; Editing by Andrew Bolton

Source link

British financier says Putin wants him dead Video

  • Now Playing: First legislation movement since Trump-Putin summit

  • Now Playing: Helsinki Summit: President Trump and Vladimir Putin meet

  • Now Playing: Trump plans to invite Putin to the White House

  • Now Playing: Trump meets Putin in Helsinki amid Russian meddling indictments

  • Now Playing: Trump, Putin field questions during joint press conference

  • Now Playing: British financier says Putin wants him dead

  • Now Playing: Bill Browder on Putin and new book

  • Now Playing: Bill Browder on Putin and new book

  • Now Playing: ‘Bullet Man’ survives mishap

  • Now Playing: Video captures last-known member of Amazon tribe in Brazil

  • Now Playing: Meghan Markle’s royal homecoming

  • Now Playing: Rare footage shows last surviving member of Amazonian tribe

  • Now Playing: Bus passengers injured in knife attack

  • Now Playing: Students pray for rain in India, a corpse flower blooms in Michigan

  • Now Playing: One-on-one with boy who was stuck in Thailand cave

  • Now Playing: Boy rescued from cave finally returns home to his family

  • Now Playing: Details on accused Russian agent emerge from court hearing

  • Now Playing: England’s swan population counted in annual ‘swan-upping’

  • Now Playing: Anak Krakatau volcano erupts in Indonesia, firefighters battle fire in Illinois

  • Now Playing: ABC News exclusive: Youngest Thai soccer player describes rescue

  • Source link