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NATO: Turkey’s President Says No Support For Sweden’s NATO Bid

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ISTANBUL, Turkey — Following weekend protests in Stockholm by an anti-Islam activist and pro-Kurdish groups, Turkey’s president cast serious doubt on NATO’s expansion on Monday, warning Sweden not to expect support for its bid for membership in the military alliance.

On Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Rasmus Paludan’s Quran-burning protest, calling it an insult to everyone, especially Muslims. He was especially enraged at Swedish authorities for allowing the demonstration outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm to take place under “the protection” of security forces.

“Those who allowed such vileness to occur in front of our embassy can no longer expect any charity from us regarding their NATO membership application,” Erdogan said in his first remarks about the weekend protests, adding that Sweden must have calculated the consequences of allowing Paludan’s demonstration.

The burning of Islam’s holy book in Turkey infuriated people across the political spectrum, just as Sweden and Finland appeared on the verge of NATO membership after abandoning their long-standing policies of military nonalignment in the aftermath of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin now stands to benefit as the world’s most powerful military alliance’s potential expansion appears to be stalled.

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Sweden And Findland Bid For NATO

Erdogan also chastised Sweden for allowing pro-Kurdish protests in which demonstrators waved flags of various Kurdish groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has been fighting Turkey for decades. Although the PKK is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, the European Union, and the United States, its symbols are not prohibited in Sweden.

“So you will let terror organizations run wild on your avenues and streets and expect our support for getting into NATO. That is not going to happen,” Erdogan said, referring to Sweden and Finland’s bids to join the military alliance. He stated that if Sweden does not respect NATO member Turkey or Muslims, “they will not see any support from us on the NATO issue.”

A joint memorandum signed in June by Turkey, Sweden, and Finland averted a Turkish veto of their NATO membership bid at the Madrid summit, where they recognized the PKK as a terrorist organization and committed to preventing its activities. Protests have enraged Ankara, which has stated that Sweden must address Turkey’s security concerns and demand that the Turkish parliament ratifies their NATO request.

“If they love terrorists and Islamophobes so much, we recommend that they entrust their countries’ security to them,” he added. On Saturday, several hundred pro-Kurdish protestors walked over a photograph of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and an Erdogan effigy was hung from a lamppost in a previous protest. In response, Turkish officials canceled bilateral meetings.

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Swedish Constitution Guarantees Freedom Of Expression

Swedish officials have emphasized that the Swedish Constitution guarantees freedom of expression and gives people broad rights to express themselves publicly, though incitement to violence or hate speech is not permitted. Demonstrators must apply to the police for a public gathering permit. Only in exceptional circumstances, such as threats to public safety, can police deny such permits. Top Swedish officials have stated that freedom of expression is critical to democracy while criticizing Paludan’s actions as disrespectful and ones with which they disagree.

Paludan, a Danish and Swedish citizen, founded far-right parties in both countries that have failed to win any seats in national, regional, or municipal elections. In Sweden’s parliamentary election last year, his party received only 156 votes nationwide. Over the weekend, protesters in Turkey burned his photograph and a Swedish flag in response to his burning of the Quran.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

 

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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US Speaker Mike Johnson Facing “Motion to Vacate” Over Ukraine Funding

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Mike Johnson Facing "Motion to Vacate"
Mike Johnson Facing Motion to Vacate: Image VOA

Mike Johnson, the Republican Speaker of the House, may suffer political consequences for approving $61 billion in fresh aid to Ukraine on Saturday. He relied largely on Democratic cooperation not only for final votes, but also to clear procedural hurdles before those votes.

His decision to turn to Democrats was forced by fierce opposition from a small group of Republicans, some in positions of authority in the House, who opposed any further help to Ukraine. Now, the Republicans may force a vote on whether to remove Mr Johnson from the speaker’s chair.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) announced Sunday that her motion to vacate the Speakership is “coming” regardless of what House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) decides, while also avoiding questions about an alternate plan if Johnson is removed.

“Mike Johnson’s Speakership is gone. He ought to do the right thing and resign so that we can move on in a controlled process, and if he doesn’t, he will be removed,” she said Sunday on Fox News.

Maria Bartiromo of “Sunday Morning Futures” then asked Greene if she intends to proceed with her motion to vacate, which she filed last month. She has not yet brought the vote to the House floor or stated what might motivate her to do so.

“It’s coming regardless of what Mike Johnson does. And three more Republicans have joined us for a special election coming up soon. “People need to be aware that this is possible,” Greene said.

Greene: Motion to vacate is “coming soon” for Mike Johnson

Greene took the initial step toward Speaker Mike Johnson’s removal after the House passed a funding bill to avoid a partial government shutdown only hours before the deadline. The deal received support from both parties, but House conservatives questioned it.

At the time, Greene described the move as “basically a warning,” but tensions rose in recent weeks when Johnson endorsed stand-alone funding to Ukraine, after previously asking that help to Kyiv be linked to security measures for the US southern border.

“[Johnson] has completely betrayed Republican voters all over the country, and he is absolutely working for the Democrats, pipe-passing, the Biden administration’s agenda,” Greene said in a statement on Sunday.

“So, this Speakership is utterly swamped. Mike Johnson is the only one who has tried to hold on to it and is in utter denial.”

Johnson termed the ouster threat “absurd” last week and refused to resign. His comments came shortly after Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) became the first Republican to publicly support Greene’s move. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) publicly supported the motion last week.

Uni’ party is in control of the government

Bartiromo asked Greene for her reaction to critics who claim she is “creating chaos” for the GOP conference, to which she replied, “Those who are calling this ‘drama’ are the very people that are responsible for the drama that the American people are having to live through every single day.”

“Those on the left, those on the right, the ‘uni’ party that’s in control of our government are the ones that have inflicted the American people with nearly $35 trillion in debt, ripped our border wide open,” she went on to say.

Bartiromo then asked Greene for an alternative strategy in the event that Johnson was fired.

“Our strategy is to offer the American people a reason to trust and fight for us. The American people support President Trump as the next president of the United States because they have seen him in action. He battled against the Democrats agenda. He put America first.

They badly want him to lead this country again because they believe he will do so,” Greene said. Bartiromo then informed Greene that she had “not given a plan for the Speaker’s role,” before inquiring about the motion’s timing.

The motion to vacate is the House’s procedure for removing its speaker. The chamber’s existing procedures allow any member, Democrat or Republican, to introduce the motion.

If introduced as a “privileged” resolution, the House must consider it at some point, albeit procedural votes may delay it. It need simply a simple majority to pass. The motion to vacate received 216 votes to 210 votes.

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Biden Administration Bans Drilling In Nearly Half Of Alaska Petroleum Reserve In Sweeping Win For Climate Advocates

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In a big victory for climate and environmental groups, the Biden administration completed a rule on Friday that prohibits fossil fuel drilling on nearly half of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, among other substantial conservation measures.

The Interior Department will prohibit oil drilling on more than 13 million acres in the Western Arctic, including approximately 40% of the NPR-A, a remote area home to protected wildlife species such as polar bears and caribou.

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Biden Administration Bans Drilling In Nearly Half Of Alaska Petroleum Reserve In Sweeping Win For Climate Advocates

The reserve consists of more than 23 million acres of public land and an underground emergency oil supply for the United States Navy, which was established in the early 1920s. It has lately been the site of the Willow project, which is owned by ConocoPhillips and is a contentious Arctic oil drilling operation.

When the Biden administration approved Willow in March 2023, it generated a social media reaction from young people, as well as environmental and climate activists. Friday’s measure could boost President Joe Biden’s support among young voters.

“These natural wonders demand our protection,” Biden said in a statement. Biden said he was “proud” of his administration’s decision to protect more than 13 million acres in the Western Arctic, but added that “as the climate crisis threatens communities across the country, more must be done.”

Some Alaska Natives are critical of the drilling restriction covering such a large area of the NPR-A. It has sparked debate among Alaska’s bipartisan congressional delegation, as well as Alaska Native groups, who claim they rely on oil drilling tax money to pay schools and basic services.

The final rule “does not reflect our communities’ wishes,” said Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat President Nagruk Harcharek. The move “will hurt the very residents the federal government purports to help by rolling back years of progress, impoverishing our communities, and imperiling our Iñupiaq culture.”

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Biden Administration Bans Drilling In Nearly Half Of Alaska Petroleum Reserve In Sweeping Win For Climate Advocates

The restriction will also expose the president to Republican criticism for failing to prioritize American energy independence and driving up fuel prices. However, during Biden’s presidency, the United States has produced more oil than any other country in history, according to CNN Business, and petrol prices have dropped $1.35 since their all-time high in June 2022.

In addition to conserving a large portion of the NPR-A on Friday, the Biden administration tried to stop the Trump administration-approved Ambler road in the Alaskan wilderness. If developed, the road would provide access to a proposed copper mine. The government indicated that it intended to take “no action” on the mine, essentially limiting the road’s access to federal territory.

Ambler Metals, the business seeking to mine copper in the region, said it was “deeply disappointed” by Interior’s decision. According to Ambler’s managing director, Kaleb Froehlich, the move would deprive local communities of jobs and tax income, as well as prevent the United States from building a domestic supply of minerals important to renewable energy technologies and national security.

The Alaska announcements cap off a busy week for Biden’s Interior Department. On Thursday, the agency unveiled a new regulation that elevates conservation to the same level as other public land uses such as grazing, mining, and energy production. The new conservation law applies to 245 million acres, the most of which are in the Western United States, or roughly one-tenth of the country’s territory.

According to CNN, Biden plans to enlarge two national monuments in California next week, adding to the ones he has already named during his presidency.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland stated that the administration’s Alaska conservation announcements “underscore our commitment to ensure that places too special to develop remain intact for the communities and species that rely on them.”

In a statement, Haaland stated that the move would be a significant step toward preserving “the way of life for the Indigenous people who have called this special place home since time immemorial.”

Environmentalists and several indigenous groups praised Biden’s statements on Alaska conservation as a “important step.”

“It’s no secret that the Reserve–a vast region of tundra and wetlands teeming with wildlife–has frequently landed in the crosshairs of the insatiable fossil fuel industry,” said Earthjustice attorney Jeremy Lieb in a statement. “We applaud this move and call for even bolder action to keep the fossil fuel industry out of the Arctic, for the sake of the climate and future generations.”

alaska

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Biden Administration Bans Drilling In Nearly Half Of Alaska Petroleum Reserve In Sweeping Win For Climate Advocates

In a statement, Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, the former mayor of the North Slope village of Nuiqsut and a staunch opponent of Willow, called on the Biden administration to build on the protections, saying it would help Alaska Natives “continue to sustain and pass along the traditions and activities of our elders for years to come.”

In a recent interview with CNN, Ahtuangaruak stated that building of infrastructure, as well as ice and gravel roads for the Willow project, is well advanced. Ahtuangaruak is concerned that the project is already having an impact on the annual caribou migration, which is a major source of food for people.

“The animals have already begun their migration; we also have animals that get impeded and get stuck on the ice road areas,” Ahtuangaruak, a reporter for CNN, said “It’s really tough to work through all these issues.”

SOURCE – CNN

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G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

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Paris police find no weapons on a man detained at Iran’s consulate.

Police said Friday that they discovered no weapons on a man held at the Iranian consulate in Paris after responding to a report of a suspicious man carrying a grenade and an explosives vest.

A Paris police spokesperson told The Associated Press that authorities were verifying the man’s identity but discovered no such weapons on him or in his car.

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G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to be publicly identified under police procedure.

Some of the police, special agents, and firefighters who rushed to the situation at the consulate were later spotted leaving the area after being arrested. A police cordon remained in place, although traffic had resumed in the area.

According to the official, the individual was observed late Friday morning, and police initiated a special operation as soon as they were notified.

The event occurred at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East, as Paris prepares to host the summer Olympics.

The director of the United Nations’ nuclear inspector says there was no damage to the Isfahan nuclear facility following a purported Israeli drone attack on a major air base near the Iranian city.

When asked about the nuclear facility on Sky News, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi stated, “There hasn’t been any damage at the site or anything that would indicate that (there) were hits nearby or something that could lead you to believe that there was an intention to reach these places.”

The Isfahan facility has three small research reactors supplied by China, as well as fuel production and other activities for Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

iran

G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

Isfahan also contains locations related with Iran’s nuclear program, such as the subterranean Natanz enrichment facility, which has been frequently attacked by suspected Israeli sabotage strikes.

Iranian authorities claim that air defenses fired on a key air base in Isfahan, which has long housed Iran’s fleet of American-made F-14 Tomcats, purchased prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Missile remnants were discovered Friday near Latifiya, southwest of Baghdad.

An official with an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with journalists, said the missile was shot down due to jamming efforts. The Iraqi army lacks jamming systems similar to those used to destroy the rocket, but Iran has handed such gear to its allied militias.

It was unclear whether the rocket was part of an Israeli attack on Iran or last weekend’s Iranian attack on Israel. Local media images of the site showed what seemed to be an air-to-surface missile. There were no reports of Iran firing air-to-surface missiles during Saturday’s onslaught, which comprised over 300 drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles.

iran

G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

Tehran launched the attack in response to a purported Israeli strike in Syria on April 1, which killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consulate building.

SOURCE (AP)

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