Kremlin appeals to Trump for NATO withdrawal: Alternatively appealing for President-elect Donald Trump to press NATO members to remove troops from Russia’s border and hinting Russia can exercise alternatives, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Pskov told the AP the removal of the alliance’s troops would be viewed as a detente by Moscow.
Stating security concerns, Pskov told reporters NATO troops ringing Russia’s western frontier and a recent increase of NATO troops make Russia feel “unsafe.”
Taliban demands Trump pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan: Immediately following the election of New York businessman Donald Trump to the White House, Islamic fundamentalist group, the Taliban, issued a statement demanding the U.S. President-elect remove troops from the central Asian country.
Declaring the U.S. should draft policies which “do not take away the independence and sovereignty of other nations,” Taliban officials stated Trump should immediately end troop presence in Afghanistan.
French MPs move to impeach Hollande: 79 deputies in France’s Assemblée Nationale have drafted a resolution calling for the impeachment of French president Francois Hollande.
Submitted to the High Court, the legislative body tasked with administering the French impeachment process, the draft law accuses Hollande of breaches of duties and violations of defense secrecy.
Unlikely to move forward, only 79 MPs affixed signatures to the motion. A majority of MPs in the assembly are required for the proposal to pass. There are 577 MPs in the Assemblée Nationale.
ISIS mass graves discovered outside Mosul: Iraqi troops advancing on Mosul as part of the recently-launched ground offensive against ISIS unearthed mass graves believed to contain the remains of up to 100 civilians killed by ISIS.
According to investigators, most of the bodies examined showed signs of torture and the cause of death was decapitation.
The discovery follows reports of retreating ISIS militants using civilians as human shields and the public execution of civilians in territory ceded to advancing Iraqi troops.
China bars pro-democracy activists from office: The Chinese National People’s Congress has taken the step to bar two elected pro-democracy activists from assuming their position in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council.
At their swearing-in ceremony, two activists, Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung, swore allegiance to the “Hong Kong nation” and held banners declaring “Hong Kong is not China.”
The People’s Congress has demanded the pair must swear allegiance to Beijing and affirm Hong Kong is part of China prior to being seated in the Council.
Israel rejects French peace talks: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a French offer for Middle East peace talks, stating the government prefers direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
No peace talks between Palestinian or Israeli officials have taken place since 2014 when meetings unraveled over the question of settlements and Israel’s objection to the PA’s unity with terror group, Hamas.
Undeterred, spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said the PA was committed to meeting regardless of Israeli participation or not.
[Reuters] [AP via The Telegraph] [Euronews] [The Hill] [RT News]