‘Merkel is on a destructive course, refuses to correct her policies’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s momentum is clearly downward, and she is going to be in an even weaker position if snap elections are called. She should step aside and recognize time has been called, political experts told RT.

After talks on forming a coalition government collapsed, Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to seek advice from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The president will now try to persuade the members of the failed coalition to rethink their decision and return to talks.

RT talked to political experts about the uncertain future Merkel's currently facing.

RT: Merkel says she'd prefer a snap election to the formation of a minority government. Would that not be a retrograde step?

 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) speaks to media after the exploratory talks about forming a new coalition government collapsed in Berlin, Germany, November 20, 2017 © Hannibal Hanschke

Steven Meissner, independent political observer: It will be a step backward for her. I don’t think there is any chance that she will be able to make the 34 percent that she made in September. Her momentum is clearly down. The voting population will be fairly disappointed in the outcome of her negotiations. Her standing has been hurt. She is on the way out. I said this on the eve of the elections that her days are numbered, and it is becoming more and more apparent to other observers that her days are numbered. If they have to go through another election, I would guess a number something like 29 to 30 percent is all she will do. In other words, she is going to be in an even weaker position than she is right now. Ideally, the CDU before they go into another election should have a new candidate and start over with a fresh face, but they are not going to be able to do that very quickly.

RT: Why is she calling for the snap elections?

SM: She is between a rock and a hard place. Where is she going to go? This Jamaica coalition has basically not been doable. A minority government in Germany on a federal level has never been done. Nobody really thinks that that would work or would be stable. In other words, within a year or two, it would probably collapse anyway, and you would have elections. If she had any real honor as a leader, she would have stepped back on election night, and she didn’t. So I don’t expect her to step down now either… she could step back and say I’m giving it up to a new leader of the party, and he or she will go into the election with better chances than she will...

RT: Could you explain the situation with the possible snap elections in Germany? What does it mean? Is it a step back for Merkel?

Dr. Max Otte, professor for general and international business administration at the University of Applied Sciences, Worms: It was very surprising to me. So far, she has always clung to power. I thought she would have sought another negotiated solution, so this is a surprise. Everybody is putting this to FDP. In the end, the Jamaica coalition, comprised of Greens, FDP, CDU/CSU was a very unlikely and strange construct. That cannot work, and we can see that the country is in some turmoil here. This is indeed an unprecedented situation.

 
Migrants take selfies with German Chancellor Angela Merkel © Fabrizio Bensch

RT: The German president has called this an unprecedented situation in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, and he is calling for fresh negotiations. How likely is it they will lead to anything new?

MO: The FDP is really for a change in the course. The FDP is maintaining its senses. I think it could have the power to bring the CDU back to its senses. It is unfortunate that the FDP was singled out as a culprit in this. I think they have a very sensible direction. We don’t know if there is going to be new elections, but if there are going to be new elections, I am pretty certain the FDP and probably also the AfD - the opposition party that came into a parliament with 13.6 percent of votes - will gain because there is quite silent and significant part of the population that wants a change in the immigration policy. I would be surprised if we had fresh elections, but Merkel has apparently stated that we are going to have them…

The Greens want this immigration policy to continue, and I think this is a big detriment for Germany, so the FDP had to walk out because there was no possibility of a consensus… Merkel is apparently closer to the Greens than to the FDP, which is really not surprising, but it’s a shame for the country. Why not form a minority government with the CDU/CSU being tolerated by the AfD and the other parties? That’s a very sensible option, but nobody talks about that. Everything is in the air, and we just have to wait and see how things develop.

RT: How likely is it that Merkel will win again if there are snap elections?

MO: I was surprised that she actually called for fresh elections because I think that she will lose further. I think she is past her prime and she should step aside. She hasn’t recognized the call of time. And sometime now or later the reality will hit her. I think she should resign, she has completely failed and this is the receipt for it.

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Senate committee to interview Trump Jr. behind closed doors

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will privately interview Donald Trump, Jr., Thursday -- and are expected to ask about his meeting with a Russian lawyer in New York City during last year's presidential campaign.

Senators had sought to interview the president's son publicly in July but he instead offered to be privately interviewed and provide documents.

"We look forward to a professional and productive meeting and appreciate the opportunity to assist the committee," Trump, Jr.'s attorney, Alan S. Futerfas, said in a statement.

Last week, Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California issued a joint statement confirming the interview with the president's eldest son was imminent.

Trump, Jr., has acknowledged he met with a Russian lawyer -- who he said had damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton that could help his father's presidential campaign. He released emails this summer that showed it was "part of Russia and its government's support for [President Donald] Trump."

Also attending the meeting were Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, now a senior adviser to the president, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Kushner and Manafort have already been interviewed by the Senate Committee on Intelligence.

The Senate and House intelligence committees are investigating Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump's campaign, but the judiciary panel wants to investigate whether any federal criminal statutes that ban solicitation from foreign nationals were violated.

Feinstein told reporters Wednesday the committee staff will conduct the interview, and a public hearing will be conducted later. Feinstein said she doesn't plan to attend the interview.

Other committee members, including Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said they plan to attend.

"There are penalties if he lies, and he presumably is aware that he is testifying with very severe penalties if he fails to tell the truth, so we presume he will," Blumenthal told reporters.

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Trump ratifies his fight against the “tyranny of communism” in Cuba

“The fact is that the deal with Cuba is bad”, claimed Trump, who reaffirmed his aim to sweep with the great agreements signed by the previous Administration.

U.S. President Donald Trump pledged on Wednesday to fight the “tyranny of communism”, which in his opinion is applied on the island of Cuba.

"The United States will fight the tyranny of communism”, he stated during a speech before his supporters in the state of Iowa.

Trump, who retook actions against Cuba, ratified his interest in dismantling the agreements signed by former US President Barack Obama, particularly the warming of relations between Washington and Havana.

"The fact is that the deal with Cuba is bad”, said Trump, who advocated to achieving “a much better deal”.

The move announced by Trump last June 16 confirms the continuity of the economic, commercial and financial blockade on Cuba and toughens the restrictions over businesses with enterprises linked to authorities of Havana, besides banning private trips to the island.

Several countries in the world, especially from the American continent, have rejected the measures taken by Donald Trump and urged to resume the warming of relations started by the previous US Administration.

In his statements, Trump criticised again his predecessor in the White House, the “catastrophic” Paris Agreement and the “dishonest” media.

"This is great: Obama made a deal with Cuba, where thousands of people are incarcerated, made a deal with Iran; and then they say that Trump is a horrible person”, this is incredible”, he asserted.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

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Trump: Increases Opposition to His “Cuban” Politics

Another analyst from a far-right publication from Florida, this time Guillermo Descalzi, wrote a harsh critic to President Donald Trump.

He did it in the New Herald and it revolved about his Miami speech where last Friday he established changes in his behavior toward Cuba.

Descalzi began saying, there is lack of unity, logic, kindness, and generosity in our politics, trade and society.

Then he crushed Washington Congress when he said that most of its members say to work for the nation, “but it’s not like way.”

And he claimed, first they struggle for their positions, then their party, third to defeat the “others”, fourth with ordinary ideas to deviate the attention.

Fifth, he kept saying, for their well-being, sixth to ‘please', seventh to convince.

“There is ranting,” added Guillermo Descalzi, when he who pushed him to throw James Comey off the FBI headquarters now investigates him for doing so.”

After that he says that in the White House there’s a president that either supports them or goes against them.

But the journalist's toughest criterion came when he wrote that “Trump is cracking the floor beneath his feet” with Nixonian attitudes.

He even dares saying that being in the President’s proximity is dangerous and his closest relatives are beginning to get protection.

Even Pence, his second in command, a lawyer hired to defend his interests.

Descalzi comments, if the United States vice-president does that, you can just imagine the rest.

Then he quotes the example of the famous medical reformation which content has not been read yet by the democrats and only for a handful of republicans.

As a conclusion the analyst outlines: Trump hardened the politics toward Cuba for human rights violation.

He also ordered to strengthen the efforts to widen Internet access in Cuba.

Although this is a positive action, it’s aimed at pleasing his Cuban voters in Florida.

If it was a decision of principle, estimates Descalzi, he would also harden our politics toward Saudi Arabia, where human rights are violated.

But there isn’t a Saudi Arabian exile to please here, where seeking money is the goal, and they have plenty over here.

Something seems objective, the changes Trump imposed to the politics toward Cuba cannot hit home smoothly, they’ll never will.

All of these happens while his Administration is still spattered of many and bothersome suspicions.

Argentina's Cristina Fernandez Calls for Unity Against Neoliberalism, Launches New Political Movement

The former President announced the new "Citizen's Unity" alliance that wil against the conservative government 

Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner launched Tuesday a new political alliance called Citizen's Unity that will put forward candidates to context seats in the country's upcoming legislative elections in the name of checking President Mauricio Macri's power in Congress.

RELATED: Macri's Conservative Coalition Loses Support Ahead of Legislative Elections

"I call for a citizen's unity, the unity of all Argentines," Fernandez said to a crowd of tens of thousands in Buenos Aires.

The politician criticized the rise in prices in basic services, incudluding gas and electricity, under the neoliberal agenda of the Macri administration.  

"We need to put a limit on this government in the next elections to stop this adjustment," Fernandez said. "With them we don't have a future, I don't think it's fair that we are suffering."

Social organizations and civil groups gathered at the packed stadium where the local Arsenal Football Club plays shouted, "We will return, we will return," a chorus made famous by her supporters. Some 30,000 people were expected to attend her announcement.

Fernandez, known in Argentina by her initials CFK, was expected to announce whether or not she will run for senator in Argentina's most populous province in the legislative elections scheduled for Oct. 22.

RELATED: Argentina's Workers Prepare Massive March Against Neoliberalism

"I come here to join as one more, to put my body, my head and my heart," Fernandez said. "To represent the interests of the men and women of flesh and bone."

The new alliance is made up of five political parties — New Gathering, Broad Front, Victory Party, Kolina and Federal Commitment — four of which were previously part of Fernandez' former political alliance, the Front for Victory. The Citizen's Unity coalition does not include Fernandez party with which she was elected president, the Justicialist Party, which is part of the Front for Victory. 

If Fernandez decides to run in this election, she could end up competing against her former Transportation Minister Florencio Randazzo, who has already announced his candidacy. Two sources close to her told Reuters she intends to run in Buenos Aires.

Rather than affiliating for the election with Peronism, the country's dominant progressive political movement, Fernandez and her allies' party aims to fight "the reinstatement of the neo-liberal model" under President Macri.

Candidates have until Saturday to confirm their plans to run in the legislative elections.

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Trump Divides the Cuban “Exile” in Miami

The Spanish news agency EFE insinuated so from Miami.

It highlights the controversy between followers and opponents of approaching Cuba, “it can grow larger” with the changes announced by Donald Trump scheduled next Friday.

According to the same source, this will come amidst great expectation.

Such setback they say that the “anti-Castro groups” of Miami are eagerly expecting the so-called concessions to the island.

EFE says that the core is whether or not, a turning in the politics set under Barack Obama’s administration towards Cuba.

Such a setback, it underlined, it was a promise made by Trump in his electoral campaign of 2016 at the headquarters of Brigade 2506.

That military group, created by the CIA in 1961, attacked Cuba and became symbol of the far-right with Cuban origins.

EFE highlights that its association of veterans trusts Trump to meet his end regarding the Cuban issue.

This group, and other anti-Cuban groups financed by Washington, has asked the president “a zero politics towards Havana”, reads the comment.

“Obama’s concessions were an insult to 57 years of dictatorship”, declared the head of what is left of the failed brigade, Humberto Díaz-Argüelles.

The priority for Orlando Gutiérrez, head of the group Directorio Democratico, is still “reestablishment of freedom and democracy as objective of the North American politics towards Cuba.”

A commitment that, according to Gutiérrez, passes by turning back those “unilateral concessions” towards Cuba and in the “economic opening carried out without the régime granting anything back.”

On the contrary, The CubaOne Foundation, integrated by young Cuban-Americans, asked the leader not to return to the Cold War tactics and defend the North American interests as well as the well-being of the Cuban people.

Ramón Saúl Sánchez, leader of the Democracy Movement and opposed to the so-called blockade against the island, pled that any restriction doesn't affect the ties “of people to people.”

In that panorama, a survey published last Monday by Engage Cuba Coalition dismantles the thesis that republicans oppose the politics passed by Obama toward this.

In fact, the organization asserts, a majority of republican voters want to keep ties with the Cubans.

The study, carried out last May by the entity that comprises private companies, indicates that 64% of republican voters support the changes made by President Obama, while 22% is against it.

“Our new politics towards Cuba has strengthened the economy, created employments in the United States, and reinforced national security”, said the coalition.

They also alerted that it would be a shame that Trump pull back the current politics with Havana.

“If the President is willing to negotiate with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and the Philippines, why not with Cuba?”, wondered the president of Engage Cuba, James Williams.

Last Tuesday a journalist from the New Herald, Nora Gámez Torres added:

Even when President Trump has not announced yet what his politics toward the island will consist on, a result is already evident:

Cuban opponents of different political trends approve the need to make changes to press their government.

One of the leaders who command the labyrinth of groups directed from Washington, José Daniel Ferrer, wrote to favor the change because Cuba supports Venezuela.

Ferrer, let’s remember, supported the approach that started in 2014 by Barack Obama toward Cuba.

The “dissident”, remarked Gámez Torres, didn't specify which measures the U.S. president should revert.

The journalist remembered that Obama favored changes “boosted by the private sector and not by the dissidents.”

That, according to her point of view, divided to a degree the Cuban opposition.

But now, she emphasized, many of its members prefer a political change that joins the defense of human rights and the blockade to the investing of foreign currencies in a difficult moment for the Cuban nation.

There is the true face of Cuba’s enemies, only hours away from Trump to unroll his new politics towards Cuba.

Time to assassinate Syrian President Assad & get to his allies in Iran – Israeli minister

An Israeli minister has bluntly called for Syrian leader Bashar Assad to be assassinated after unsourced media reports claimed Damascus was using a “crematorium” to cover-up mass killings. He said the “serpent’s head” in Tehran should be dealt with next.

“The reality whereby Syria executes people, intentionally uses chemical weapons to hurt them and, now, in the most recent move of extremism, is burning their bodies – this has not been seen in the world in 70 years,” said Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant, as cited by Haaretz. 

 
© Kacper Pempel

“We are crossing a red line and, in my view, the time has come to assassinate Assad,” he continued.

“And when we finish with the tail of the serpent, we will reach the head of the serpent, which can be found in Tehran, and we will deal with it, too,” he said.

What appears to be the first recorded Israeli threat to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Assad came after the US Department of State alleged, without presenting any hard evidence, that the Syrian government is using “a crematorium” outside Damascus to burn the bodies of people killed by the government.

Earlier on Tuesday, Galant told Israeli Army Radio that Assad’s rule has been the worst since Nazi Germany. “What is happening in Syria is defined as genocide, under all its classifications,” he said on Army Radio, according to Jerusalem Post.

Galant, a retired IDF general, added that Israel wants to see Assad and his Alawite government ousted from power and replaced by a “moderate Sunni ruler.”

READ MORE: More Arabs view Israel positively than Jews, poll reveals

Some previous attempts to compare Assad’s government to the Nazi regime have been met with public outcry. White House spokesman Sean Spicer, who claimed that Hitler’s death squads hadn’t used chemical agents during the Holocaust “in the way that Assad used them” sparked outrage in the US and beyond.

Certain journalists have used the Assad-Hitler comparison when covering claims that Syrian forces have used chemical weapons, but those remarks were dismissed by the public.

Assad, a UK-educated doctor, has been in power since the 1999 passing of his father, Syria’s long-time president, Hafez Assad. Syria is one of the few Arab countries where the president is elected through a nationwide vote.

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