USA wants escalation (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

Alexandre Meneghini/REUTERS

Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel at the demonstration in Havana on Sunday

Even before US President Donald Trump has to resign on January 20, his administration is trying to instigate a “color revolution” in Cuba. After the State Department there rejected Washington’s support for an opposition group calling itself the “San Isidro Movement” as “interference in the island’s internal affairs”, a State Department spokesman said on Wednesday that the US diplomats in Havana would be theirs “Maintain usual contacts”. Opposite the state US propaganda station Radio and TV Martí the spokesman even described the promotion of opposition activists in Cuba as “imperative.”

Washington is thereby intensifying the conflict with Havana. At the end of last week, the State Department director for US affairs, Carlos Fernández de Cossio, summoned the US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Timothy Zúñiga-Brown. De Cossio accused the US diplomat of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, as he had repeatedly visited the system opponents and chauffeured some activists around in his official vehicle.

The group, named after the bohemian district of San Isidro in Havana’s old town, caught the media’s attention after a hunger strike for the release of its comrade-in-arms Denis Solís. Solís, who came out as a supporter of Trump, whom he calls “his President”, was sentenced to eight months in prison after he refused to testify about contacts with terrorists in the USA and a police officer who then brought him a summons for questioning , attacked with homophobic and obscene insults. Meanwhile, Solís admitted in a televised statement that he had received payments from Jorge Luis Fernández Figueras, a Florida-based terrorist who committed arson and other acts of sabotage in Cuba in 2017. Fernández Figueras also tried to influence the actions of the “San Isidro activists”, he said.

The information triggered an alarm among the authorities. The daily newspaper Granma reported on Tuesday about “an escalation of sabotage and attacks” against facilities in Cuba since Trump took office. For example, incendiary devices with Molotov cocktails were most recently carried out in Havana in August and September 2020 on a cafeteria, a hairdressing salon and a bodega for the distribution of subsidized food. The US investigative authorities are aware of those who commissioned the terrorist actions, but they are not being held responsible for their criminal activities.

Released in response to revelations by several Cuban media outlets Radio and TV Martí on Wednesday an article on his website under the heading “The regime instigates a civil war among Cubans”. Among other things, the government in Havana is accused of “inciting lynching of those who have criteria other than the official line”. The US propaganda broadcaster also claimed that there was “unrest and popular rebellion” in Cuba.

Such a scenario corresponds to the script of the »Color Revolutions for a Regime Change« and the ambitions of the US government, but not to the reality in Cuba. In fact, several thousand, mostly young people had shown their support for the socialist system on Sunday at a large demonstration in the capital’s central Trillo Park. “We will not allow our enemies to interfere. We solve our problems among ourselves, ”President Miguel Díaz-Canel said at the rally. Sober sympathizers of the “San Isidro Group” are apparently ready to do so. After around 200 supporters, including some artists, marched in front of the Ministry of Culture in Havana on Friday, Deputy Minister Fernando Rojas received a delegation for a discussion lasting several hours, during which, among other things, a dialogue about their demands was agreed.


USA: Corona quarantine disregarded – arrest at the airport in Hawaii – News abroad

Kauai – A couple flew from San Francisco to Hawaii with their four-year-old son – even though both had tested positive for Corona. When they arrived at the Lihue airport, the police were waiting for them.

Wesley Moribe (41) and Courtney Peterson (46) knew they were infected with SARS-CoV, said police spokeswoman Coco Zickos on Wednesday in Kauai. At the San Francisco airport, the two were ordered to quarantine and not fly. But they ignored the order and traveled back home with their son.

Not only inconsiderate, but not particularly clever either. Because the health department of the respective state is informed if someone has tested positive for the corona virus, said a spokesman according to ABC News.

When Moribe and Peterson arrived at the airport in Lihue, the police took them away. The two were charged with second-degree negligence and released on bail of $ 1,000 each.

If convicted, they face a prison term of up to a year and a $ 2,000 fine. The child was temporarily placed in the care of a relative.

In Hawaii there have been more than 18,000 confirmed corona infections and 242 deaths since the pandemic began.


New York opens its saddest Christmas with the lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree

The city of New York inaugurated its Christmas season this Wednesday with the traditional lighting of lights of the gigantic tree of the Rockefeller Center, although this year, due to the coronavirus, it was a ceremony that only a handful of people could see live, and the rest of the fans of this event could only follow it through the television screen.

The protagonist of the night, a Canadian fir tree almost 23 meters high and 11 tons of weight that traveled to the Big Apple a little over two weeks ago from the town of Oneonta, more than 270 kilometers from the city of skyscrapers, It was illuminated with more than 50,000 multi-color LED lights.

A huge star that was designed in 2018 by the architect also came to the fore, atop the treetop Daniel Libeskind, and that it is made up of about 3 million Swarovski crystals, so its weight amounts to about 400 kilos.

To celebrate the lighting of the tree, several music stars joined in an event lasting about two hours, before the formal lighting, which took place at 22:00 local time (03:00 GMT).

Among the participants, the singer Dolly Parton, who performed the song ‘Mary Did You Know’, which is part of their new Christmas album, the band The Goo Goo Dolls, who sang the Christmas carol ‘Let it Snow’, Tory Kelly with ‘Slay Ride’, the singing group a capella Pentatonix, con ‘Amazing Grace’, Gwen Stefani with ‘You Make it Feel Like Christmas’, and as a final culmination a performance of the famous Rockettes of the Radio City Music Hall.

The owl ‘Rocky’

Despite the lack of public, there are several peculiarities that have led this Rockefeller tree to take over social networks this year, which received a long list of mocking comments for its irregular foliage in recent weeks, with jokes in the style of that he has “cut his hair himself” and that perfectly represents an abrupt 2020 marked by the pandemic and the elections.

But above all, it caused a sensation due to the surprise it had hidden among its branches: a small owl that was found with the arrival of the fir tree in Manhattan after having spent two days traveling in a truck.

‘Rockefeller’ or ‘Rocky’, as the tiny bird of about 12 centimeters (5 inches) was baptized, traveled more than 270 kilometers, despite which it was in good condition, “despite everything that had happened” when it was taken for recovery to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, the center reported on its website.

The bird, an adult specimen of the Saw-whet species, was released a few days later after having been fed, and the video and photos of its arrival at the center in a cardboard box and then comfortably wrapped with a blanket, were shared by thousands of people and have helped raise more than $ 17,000 for the organization.

Since 1931

The first Christmas tree to be installed at the site was erected in 1931 by construction workers on the site where Rockefeller Center was being built.

The first formal Monday lighting ceremony took place in 1933, and the tradition has continued since then with some variations.

At times there have been two pines in place, but in 1942 there were three, adorned with red, white and blue balls, to support the troops fighting in World War II.

The trees of that year and those that were placed in the following Christmases, until the end of the war, were not adorned with lights because of the regulations that governed the armed conflict.

The tallest tree that has been placed so far was the one that was installed in 1999, at 30.5 meters, originally from the town of Killingworth, in the state of Connecticut.


For “fantastic people”: Trump wants to hold rally in Georgia

The majority in the US Senate is of paramount importance for future US policy. And again it will be exciting in Georgia. Because four candidates are fighting for two Senate seats, which will decide on the majority ratio. Trump is now announcing a big show for the two Republican contenders.

The incumbent US President Donald Trump wants to hold an election rally in the state of Georgia in support of two Republican candidates for the US Senate. The president has now announced “a big Trump rally” for David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler on Twitter. The event is to take place on Saturday (local time / Sunday 1 a.m.CET) in Valdosta in the far south of the state, as Trump’s election campaign team later specified.

Purdue and Loeffler should also be there. They are going to a runoff election on January 5th against their Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The election is of paramount importance because it determines the majority in the powerful US Senate.

Republican Trump lost the presidential election on November 3 to his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Trump has so far refused to admit defeat. The Democrats were also able to defend their majority in the House of Representatives in the simultaneous congressional election.

Should they succeed in winning the two Senate seats in Georgia on January 5, there would be a stalemate in this chamber. Then the elected Vice President Kamala Harris would have the last word in the event of a tie – and the Democrats would effectively have a majority.

Trump has rarely appeared in public since the election. The Georgia rally is his first rally since his defeat. The outgoing US president claims that he was only deprived of his victory by large-scale electoral fraud. On Tuesday, however, a close ally, US Attorney General William Barr, said there was no evidence of fraud to the extent that it would change the outcome of the election. Biden is due to be sworn in as the new US President on January 20.


Partial lockdown will be extended until January 10th – Söder indicates tougher measures

The time has not yet come to evaluate the measures, said Söder. “But my feeling is, and many citizens also ask me, that we mustn’t shy away from being very consistent in the end – and perhaps shorter more consistent than longer semi-consistent.” This question will still be faced in case of doubt said Söder.


Captain charged with manslaughter after boat fire

The burning submersible “Conception” in a bay off the island of Santa Cruz off the southern California coast in early September 2019.
Image: dpa

After the boat fire off the coast of California in September 2019, the captain is charged with manslaughter on 34 counts. 33 passengers and one crew member were killed in the fire.

Mor more than a year after a boat fire killing 34 in the American state of California, the captain is charged with manslaughter in 34 cases. The 67-year-old man is accused of having caused the deaths of 33 passengers and a crew member “through his misconduct, negligence and neglect of his duties,” said the Los Angeles prosecutor on Tuesday (local time). At the time of the fire, there was no mandatory night watch. The crew was also not adequately trained and not enough fire exercises were carried out.

At the beginning of September 2019, the excursion ship “Conception” was on a three-day diving trip and anchored in a bay off the island of Santa Cruz. A fire broke out on board during the night. The flames enclosed the passengers sleeping in a cabin below deck. The captain was one of the five crew members who managed to get to safety in time and survived the fire. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each of the charges.


After the attack on nuclear scientists: Iran does not want to fall into the trap

After the murder of the head of its nuclear weapons program, the Iranian leadership is reluctant. Revenge would be in the interests of the attacker.

People carry the coffin of the murdered Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fachrisadeh Foto: Iranian Defense Ministry/ap/dpa

KAIRO taz | After the attack on the Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fachrisadeh, Iran’s leadership is looking for a suitable reaction. Fachrisadeh was killed in a suburb of Tehran on Friday. According to the Iranian state television, a bomb placed on a truck exploded just as Fachrisadeh’s car drove by. Armed men then came out of hiding and shot the car, reported the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

So far, no one has officially committed to the murder. Iran accused the US and Israel of being responsible for the attack. Fachrisadeh was considered an important head in the Iranian nuclear program. He is said to have headed the Amad (Hope) military nuclear program in the early 2000s. The program was discontinued in 2003 and the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Fachrisadeh due to its activities.

According to the US State Department, the murdered man was most recently headed the Iranian Defense Innovation and Research Organization and unofficially continued the program. For Iran, his death means not only the loss of important nuclear knowledge, but also, due to the great public interest, considerable pressure to take military revenge.

The attack has been seen in a series of explosions and attacks on Iranian nuclear enrichment facilities, missile sites, petrochemical centers and power plants this summer, for which Iran’s leadership also blames the US and Israel. In January, a US drone attack also killed the Iranian General Kassem Soleimani. At the time, Iran responded with rocket attacks on US positions in Iraq.

A retaliatory strike would be a reason for Trump to attack

If the Iranian leadership responds with a retaliatory strike this time, it would be a justification for President Trump to officially attack nuclear centers. Iran’s President Hassan Ruhani responded accordingly cautiously. He said the Iranian nation will respond to Mohsen Fachrisadeh’s death “in due course”. In contrast, the supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on Saturday for a “decisive punishment” of the perpetrators and those who pulled the strings.

But Ruhani and the moderate forces have to keep a cool head – not least so that the murder of Fachrisadeh does not stand in the way of rapprochement with the new US administration under Joe Biden. Because President Ruhani has high hopes for Biden and his administration: he wants to negotiate with her about an end to the sanctions. This should improve the miserable economic situation in the country.

The location of the attack on the Iranian nuclear physicist

The fatal attack on Mohsen Fachrisadeh occurred in Absard, east of Tehran Foto: West Asia News Agency/reuters

The attack certainly has an impact on possible recurring negotiations for a new nuclear deal with Iran. The deal, reached in 2015, had been negotiated for 12 years. It stipulated that Iran would restrict its nuclear activities and allow controls by the United Nations, the European Union and the USA – at that time under Barack Obama. In return, sanctions were lifted and more trading allowed. But in 2018 Trump overturned the deal.

The attack may now provoke a military confrontation before Trump’s term ends on January 20. Because with Biden’s election victory, Trump’s strategy of strengthening Israel and reducing Iranian influence is at stake. Security experts are therefore discussing whether the US and Israel are jointly behind the murder. After his election defeat, Trump asked the US media about options for military action against Iran.

US intelligence officials blame Israel

The New York Times reported that Israel was responsible for the attack, citing three unnamed US intelligence officials. Israel’s Cabinet Minister Tzachi Hanegbi replied that he had “no idea” who was behind the murder. “I urge the Israeli leadership to remain silent,” said the former head of the Directorate for Military Intelligence of the Israel Defense Forces, Aluf Yadlin, at a press conference in Jerusalem. “Any further information that would help Iran decide to retaliate against Israel should be avoided.”

Because President Ruhani wants to avoid an escalation before Biden takes office, Iran’s government spokesman Ali Rabiei said they would “not fall into the trap” of putting diplomatic efforts on hold. There were also attacks on Iranian nuclear physicists during the nuclear talks between 2005 and 2015, but the negotiations continued, he told the Iranian news portal Alef.

Although President Ruhani is considered moderate, his term of office ends in June 2021. So there is not much time to strengthen diplomatic relations with the USA during this crisis.


China’s probe landed on the moon

EFor the first time in decades, a space probe has landed on the moon to take rock samples. It is the first time that China has undertaken such a rock-collecting mission on the moon – and is considered an important step in the nation’s ambitious space program.

A lander of the space probe named after the Chinese moon goddess “Chang’e 5” landed “successfully” on the surface on Tuesday, as China’s state news agency Xinhua and the state broadcaster CCTV unanimously reported. The aim of the Chinese mission is to bring rock samples back to earth for the first time in 44 years. On a successful return to earth, China would be only the third nation after America and the Soviet Union to have succeeded in such an undertaking.

“Chang’e 5” was launched on November 23 (German time) from the space station in Wenchang on the southern Chinese island of Hainan. A greater challenge for the researchers than the arrival on the moon, where Chinese probes had landed twice before, is the further course of the mission.

At 8,200 kilograms, the “Chang’e 5” is the largest spacecraft in the “Chang’e” fleet to date and consists of four modules: the orbiter with the return capsule and the lander with the ascent stage. After touching down on the lunar surface, the lander is supposed to use a long arm to collect lunar rocks and samples from holes up to two meters deep and stow them in a chamber. This action should take two days. Then the return journey is due.

Technicians are working on the space mission at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) in Beijing.

Image: dpa

The plan is to bring around two kilograms of material back to earth. Researchers hope that the samples will provide new information about the volcanic activity of the moon. For comparison: the American Apollo missions brought with them around 380 kilograms of lunar rock. The Soviet Union collected around 300 grams with unmanned missions.

China has an ambitious space program. The plan is not only to send people to the moon again in the medium term. A Chinese probe is currently on its way to Mars. In addition, the construction of a space station is to begin next year. In the current lunar journey of the Chinese, space experts see not just a geological mission, but an important technology test, for example for future manned flights to the moon.

“Chang’e 5” is the Chinese’s second moon mission in two years. In January 2019, China landed as the first space travel nation with “Chang’e 4” on the relatively unexplored far side of the moon. A rover has been abandoned to continue exploring the surface. With “Chang’e 3”, the Chinese landed a probe on the front of the Earth’s satellite in 2013 – far later than the Russians and Americans. After unmanned probes, America also brought twelve astronauts to the moon between 1969 and 1972.


Take a break on Wall Street – investors are buying Biontech papers again

Wall Street

A trader on the trading floor.

(Photo: AP)

Düsseldorf Surprisingly weak labor market data put a temporary end to Wall Street’s record hunt. The leading indices Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P 500 lost up to one percent at the opening on Wednesday after the latter two climbed to new record highs on Tuesday.

According to the private employment agency ADP, US firms created just 307,000 new jobs in November, about a quarter fewer than expected. The bottom line was that 307,000 jobs were created in the private sector, as shown in the survey by the personnel service provider ADP published on Wednesday. By contrast, experts surveyed by the Reuters news agency had expected 410,000 new jobs. In October the increase was 404,000, in September even 754,000.

The general mood remains positive, however, said Derek Halpenny, chief analyst for Europe at Bank Mitsubishi UFJ. The current profit-taking is understandable against the background of the price gains of the past few weeks.

The market has been fueled in the past few weeks by optimism that Covid-19 vaccines will help accelerate the economic recovery. That has skyrocketed in stocks that are responsive to economic growth, including energy and banks.

The US House of Representatives is expected to pass laws on the listing of Chinese stocks on Wall Street later Wednesday. These could lead to delisting on the US stock exchanges for some Chinese companies if they do not adhere to US auditing standards, said congressional advisors.

The bill is supposed to give Chinese companies like Alibaba, tech company Pinduoduo and oil giant Petrochina three years to comply with US rules before delisting in US markets.

Look at the individual values

Tesla: The stock pauses after the previous rally with one record high after the other on Wednesday, trading at 5.6 percent in the red and trading at $ 551.

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Biontech, Moderna, Curevac, Novavax: These vaccine stocks are still worthwhile

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