イラン・トルコ貿易額が70%縮小 米国制裁の影響


Iran-Turkey trade down by 70% in first quarter: Report
Thursday, 14 May 2020 5:40 PM

Trade between Iran and Turkey has declined significantly in the first quarter of 2020, a new report shows, as the two neighbors struggle to maintain exchanges despite the American sanctions imposed on Iran and a pandemic that has seriously affected movement across the borders.

The Tehran Chamber of Commerce, or TCCIMA, said in a survey published on Thursday that Iran-Turkey trade topped a total value of $645 million at the end of March, a decline of 70 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019.

It said Iran’s exports to Turkey totaled $270 million over the period, a slight increase compared to the last quarter of 2019 but significantly down from figures seen over the first three months of the same year.

The report insisted that a main reason for declining Iranian exports to Turkey, a trend visible since the end of the first quarter last year, was restrictions imposed by the United States on Iran’s trade of crude and petrochemicals.

Iran had maintained a trade surplus of over 1$ billion with Turkey at the beginning of 2019 mainly because of its growing exports of products derived from crude.

However, the TCCIMA survey said that Iranian petchem exports to Turkey declined by a staggering figure of 99 percent over the past year causing Iran’s balance of trade with Turkey to slide into the negative territory.

Trade deficit narrowed from $250 million in early 2019 to $117 million in the first quarter this year, said the report.

It said Iran’s total imports from Turkey amounted to $376 million over the first quarter, a decline of 35 percent compared to the similar period last year. The reduction was mainly blamed on fewer shipments of tobacco, plastic products and cardboard from Turkey into Iran.

The report concluded that first quarter trade between Iran and Turkey was significantly down in March when a new coronavirus pandemic caused a closure of border crossings between the two neighbors.





Report reveals UK attempt to turn Syria Alawites against Assad
Thursday, 14 May 2020 10:08 AM

A new report sheds light on Britain’s role in the formation of a so-called protest campaign online against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the name of the Arab country’s Alawite community, a key source of support for Damascus in its years-long fight against foreign-sponsored terrorists.

The Middle East Eye (MEE) news portal reported on Wednesday that although Sarkha – or “The Cry” – claimed to be a grassroots campaign by the Alawites, it was actually created on behalf of London.

The community — from which Assad’s family hails — has played a key role in the Damascus government’s successful fight to liberate Syria from the foreign-backed militant groups wreaking havoc on the country since 2011.

Citing official documents, the MEE found that Sarkha was devised by an American company, Pechter Polls of Princeton, New Jersey, working under contract to the British government.

The contract, the report said, was initially managed by a unit at the UK’s Ministry of Defense called Military Strategic Effects and later by a British government fund called the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

It added that British strategic communications officials used the term “AWBP” —the Alawite web-based platform for Sarkha, one of five main propaganda programs that the UK was operating in Syria.

According to a review of the programs in July 2016, Sarkha — whose budget from the CSSF during that financial year stood at $746,000 — was said to be aimed at creating “a safe, secure, social media platform for the Alawite people to discuss and exchange idea about their needs, lives and future roles in a post-revolutionary Syria.”

Launched in 2014, Sarkha raised concerns about what it called high casualty rates among Alawites serving in the Syrian army. It was later re-branded as a campaign called Same Pain.

One activist who was involved in the campaign said, “I do not think we were completely successful. When the campaign ended, the contact person for Alawites left for Europe.”

“This campaign had no actual impact or presence,” said a journalist in the city of Tartus.

Back in February, the MEE disclosed that the British government covertly established a network of citizen journalists across Syria during the early years of the war in an attempt to shape perceptions of the conflict.

Frequently, those recruited were unaware that they were being directed from London, the report said, adding that a number of them were killed during the crisis.

IS(イスラム国)ゲリラ発言 武器は米国からもらいました

Captured Daesh terrorists confess to cooperation with US forces in Syria’s al-Tanf
Friday, 15 May 2020 5:26 AM

A number of captured members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have confessed to close cooperation with US military forces stationed at al-Tanf base in the central Syrian province of Homs to carry out various acts of terror and sabotage.

During confessions broadcast on Syria’s state-run television network on Thursday night, three extremists – identified as Salah Jaber al-Zaher, Ali Salim Yahya and Amer Abd al-Ghafar Nemah but better known by their noms de guerres as Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Salafi, Abu al-Bara’a al-Homsi and Abu Sawan, revealed that they were instructed by American forces to target Syrian government troops in and around the ancient city of Palmyra, the Tiyas Military Airbase – also known as the T-4 Airbase, the Shaer gas field as well as nearby oil wells, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

“Once a close aid to our commander Hassan Alqam al-Jazrawi came to me and said he was in contact with the Americans at al-Tanf base. The man, whose name was Hassan al-Wali, added it was necessary to target Palmyra and T4 Airbase, and that US forces would provide us with rocket launchers and machine guns, besides financial support, cars and whatever we needed.

“He added that Americans would also launch reconnaissance aircraft to monitor the movements of Syrian army soldiers in Palmyra region, and inform us of their activities,” one of the terrorists said.

The militants, who were recently arrested during a security operation in the Syrian Desert, later pointed to the existence of coordination between their commanders and those of the so-called Revolutionary Commando Army.

Elsewhere in their confessions, the Takfiris touched on negotiations between their leaders and senior officials with the US-sponsored and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

One of the terrorists said there were such talks between the two sides once in Raqqah, the former de facto capital of Daesh.

“There was coordination for any operation we carried out. With the knowledge of Americans, we moved from Raqqa to Dayr al-Zawr. We had the protection of three Cougar (infantry mobility) vehicles and two Hummers, which belonged to US forces and accompanies us. Helicopter gunships also flew overhead all the way to Dayr al-Zawr,” he said.

On the sources of financial and logistical support, the terrorists explained that their masters coordinated the matters monthly through the al-Tanf base.

“They used to go to the base every month, and bring some three shipments of food, ammunition and weapons, most of which were US-made… We used to obtain all our supplies from the base. Anytime one of us was injured, we would take him there for treatment. Al-Tanf base was a refuge for us. We would go there every time the Syrian army besieged a region, waiting there for several weeks and receiving food as well as first aid,” the captured Daesh members said.

The US trains anti-Damascus militants at the al-Tanf base, which is situated near Syria's borders with Iraq and Jordan.

Washington has unilaterally declared a 55-kilometer “de-confliction zone” around the facility, and frequently threatened to target Syrian forces within the area.

世界食糧計画 シリアで食糧危機 → 犯人は米軍でした



Millions of Syrians food insecure amid coronavirus pandemic: WFP
Thursday, 14 May 2020 6:01 PM

The United Nations food agency says a record 9.3 million people are now food insecure in Syria, which has endured almost a decade of foreign-backed militancy and is under rounds of crippling economic sanctions imposed by the United States.

The World Food Program said on Thursday that spiraling prices and the coronavirus pandemic have compounded the damage of the nine-year war.

"Record high food prices & now COVID-19 have pushed families in Syria beyond their limits," the WFP wrote on Twitter. "WFP estimates that a record 9.3 million people are now food insecure," it added.

A WFP spokeswoman said the figure has leapt from 7.9 million six months ago.

Last month, WFP said food prices had doubled in a year to an all-time high across Syria. It blamed a slowing of dollar inflows due to the financial crisis in neighboring Lebanon, along with the coronavirus lockdown.

Despite recent victories by government forces in battlefields, much of the Syrian economy was shuttered in March to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Syria blasts “inhuman sanctions” imposed by the United States against a number of countries, raising the alarm that the restrictive measures were hampering global efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Damascus has announced over 50 cases of the novel coronavirus, including four deaths across the country. The COVID-19 disease, caused by the new coronavirus, has since late last year affected about 210 countries and territories across the globe.

The Syrian government has taken a number of measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus, including postponing parliamentary elections and suspending the work of certain public institutions and services.

Syria has recently officially asked for Russia’s assistance to combat the spread of the COVID-19 disease in the Arab country.

Damascus has blamed Western sanctions for its struggling economy. In a letter to the United Nations last month, Syria’s Ambassador to the world body Bashar al-Ja’afari reiterated a call for the immediate and unconditional lifting of all US economic sanctions.

Syria asks Russia to help the Arab country with combating the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

Since 1979, Syria has been under arrays of unilateral and crippling economic sanctions by the US. The country has also been battling a foreign-backed militancy since 2011.

US aircraft drops incendiary balloons, sets fire to wheat crops in NE Syria
Sunday, 17 May 2020 3:45 PM

An American aircraft has reportedly dropped thermal balloons over agricultural lands in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah, setting fire to wheat crops in the area.

Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources who requested anonymity, reported on Sunday that the targeted area was part of agricultural lands in the countryside of al-Shaddadi town.

The report added that the fire gutted 200 dunums (0.2 square kilometers) of wheat fields.

Thermal balloons dropped by US plane set fire to wheat crops in Hasaka countrysidehttps://t.co/nj3sKL3apr pic.twitter.com/BjlcprkJdf
— SANAEnglishOfficial (@SANAEnOfficial) May 17, 2020

The sources highlighted that US planes also flew at low altitude very close to the people's homes in the agricultural fields, causing panic and fear among local residents.

Since late October 2019, the US has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of President Donald Trump’s earlier order to withdraw all troops from the Arab country.

The Pentagon claims the move aims to “protect” the fields and prevent possible attacks by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, though Trump had earlier suggested that Washington sought economic interests in controlling the oil fields.

Syria, which has not authorized American military presence in its territory, has condemned the US, saying it is “plundering” the country’s oil.

Turkish gunfire kills civilian, injures another near Ra’s al-Ayn

Separately, a civilian lost his life and another sustained injuries when Turkish forces and their allied Takfiri militants opened fire on a van near a checkpoint northwest of the key border town of Ra's al-Ayn.

SANA reported that the vehicle was coming from the city of Raqqah, when it was intentionally targeted.

The report identified the victim as a school employee, while the injured man is said to be a retired worker at the national electrical company.

Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northern Syria last October after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push militants of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

On October 22 last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.

コロナ期間の家庭学習 富裕層の子の勉強時間は貧困層より75分間長い



Better off children are doing 75 minutes a DAY more home learning than the poorest – as academies and Church of England heap pressure on unions threatening to block government plans to reopen schools on June 1

Mental health charities also raised concerns about time spent away from school
Ministers have drawn up proposals for a 'phased' return starting on June 1
Pupils will be placed in smaller classes with staggered start times and breaks

By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline and Josh White and John Stevens for the Daily Mail
Published: 23:04 BST, 17 May 2020

IFS: Children from better-off families are spending 30% more time on home learning than are those from poorer families

The report released today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies presents evidence for how children are spending their time in lockdown.

One of the most startling revelations from it is that children in the highest-income fifth of families spend 5.8 hours a day on educational activities, over 75 minutes more than their peers in the poorest fifth of households (4.5 hours).

Over the 34 days (minimum) that schools will be closed, students in the best-off families will have done more than 7 full school days’ worth of extra learning time.

If schools do not go back until September and current rates of home learning continue, the gap would double to 15 full school days.

The authors of the report say that 'this could have very substantial long-term consequences in light of evidence that even one extra hour a week of instructional time can significantly raise achievement.'


コロナ死にしておけば病院の収入が増える 米国でコロナ死が多いもう一つの理由



The US is Dramatically Overcounting Coronavirus Deaths
John R. Lott, Jr.
Posted: May 16, 2020 12:01 AM
Editor's Note: Timothy Craig Allen, MD, JD, contributed to this column.

Over 86,500 people have reportedly died in the United States from the Coronavirus, and the fear generated by those deaths is driving the public policy debate. But that number is a dramatic overcount. Our metrics include deaths that have nothing to do with the virus. The problem is even worse as the Centers for Disease Control over counts even some of these cases and the government has created financial incentives for this misreporting. Relying on these flawed numbers is destroying businesses and jobs and costing lives.

“The case definition is very simplistic,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health, explains. “It means, at the time of death, it was a COVID positive diagnosis. That means, that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means, technically even if you died of clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death.”

Medical examiners in Michigan use the same definition. In Macomb and Oakland Counties, where most of the deaths occurred, medical examiners classify any deaths as Coronavirus deaths when the postmortem test is positive. Even people who died in suicides and automobile accidents meet that definition.

Still, these broad definitions are not due to a few rogue public health officials. The rules direct them to do this. Unlike other countries, “if someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death,” as Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, recently noted.

Classifications go beyond even these broad categories. New York is classifying cases as Coronavirus deaths even when postmortem tests have been negative. Despite negative tests, classifications are based on symptoms, even though the symptoms are often very similar to those of the seasonal flu. The Centers for Disease Control guidance explicitly acknowledges the uncertainty that doctors can face. When Coronavirus cases are “suspected,” they advise doctors that “it is acceptable to report COVID-19 on a death certificate.”

That isn’t just a theoretical issue. On April 21st, when New York City’s death toll rose above 10,000, the New York Times reported that the city included “3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive” – a more than 50 percent increase in the number of cases.

But the problem is worse than this broad definition implies. Birx and others believe that the CDC is over counting cases. The Washington Post reports they are concerned that the CDC’s “antiquated” accounting system is double counting cases and inflating mortality and case counts “by as much as 25 percent.”

There are additional reasons for concern. Some doctors feel pressure from hospitals to list deaths as due to the Coronavirus, even when they don’t believe that is the case, “to make it look a little bit worse than it is.” There are financial incentives that might make a difference for hospitals and doctors. The CARES Act adds a 20 percent premium for COVID-19 Medicare patients.

Incentives matter. When the government increased the disability compensation for air traffic controllers, a lot more controllers suddenly started claiming to be disabled. When unemployment insurance payments increase, more people become unemployed and stay unemployed for longer periods. When the government offers flood insurance that charges everyone the same insurance premium regardless of the risk level in their area, more people build homes in frequently flooded areas.

The Washington Post and others claim that we are undercounting the true number of deaths. They reach that conclusion by showing the total number of deaths from all causes is greater than we would normally expect from March through early May, and that this excess is actually due to deaths not being accurately labeled as due to the Coronavirus. But these are simply not normal times. Lots of people with heart and other problems aren’t going to the hospital for fear of the virus. Surgeries for many serious conditions are being put off. The stress of the situation is increasing suicides and other illnesses.
Why the Lockdown Lost
Kevin McCullough

Deaths that have absolutely nothing to do with the Coronavirus count as virus deaths. Add to that claims that the CDC is double counting some of these improperly identified cases and the perverse financial incentives created by the government, and you have a real mess when crucial decisions are being made based in large part on this data.

Erroneous data unduly scare people about the risks of the disease. It keeps the country locked down longer than necessary, which destroys peoples’ lives and livelihoods in many other ways. Exaggerated fears of the virus endanger lives by keeping people from obtaining treatment for other medical problems. It also makes it impossible to accurately compare policies across countries.

It is hard to believe that we are basing such crucial decisions on such flawed data.

Lott is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. Allen is a Governor of the College of American Pathologists and Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He is also on the Board of Directors and the Academic advisory board for the Crime Prevention Research Center.