“It seems unlikely that anything will happen today (1 July),” said Israeli Foreign Miinister Gabi Ashkenazi.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (pictured) said on Wednesday (1 July) that the government’s plan to extend sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria was unlikely to be carried out as scheduled, writes Yossi Lempkowicz.
“It seems unlikely that anything will happen today [1 July],” he told Army Radio.
Ashkenazi’s statement echoes that of Regional Cooperation Minister Ofer Akunis, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that Israeli officials are still working out final details with their American counterparts, but he expects move to take place later this month
“Coordination with the American administration is not something that can be dismissed,” he said.
Netanyahu had aimed to start the process by Wednesday, saying he wanted to begin annexing West Bank territory in line with US President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan. The plan, unveiled in January, envisions bringing some 30 percent of the territory under permanent Israeli control.
The Israeli prime minister met on Tuesday (30 June) with US Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz, US.Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin and National Security Council head Meir Ben Shabbat to discuss Israel’s proposed sovereignty moves.
In a recorded addressto the Christians United for Israel Virtual Summit 2020 on Sunday night, Netanyahu touted the application of Israeli law to areas of Judea and Samaria — part of the 'Peace to Prosperity' plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump in January — as a step that would “advance peace”.
In a front-page article in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, one of Israel’s largest newspapers, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote Wednesday that as a “passionate defender of Israel” he was particularly troubled by its intentions. He noted his long links to Israel, dating back to when volunteered on a kibbutz as an 18-year-old and his “many visits” since then.
“I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead. If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties,” he said.
The EU and U.S are doing a lot for Ukraine on the issue of reforms, not only to economic reforms but reform of the justice system,writes Martin Banks.
Over the past six years, as part of legal reforms, Ukraine has developed and adopted amendments to its constitution, adopting about a dozen laws.
The new Supreme Court, the Higher Anti-Corruption Court were created, the qualification assessment of judges and other processes have started, all designed to have a positive impact on the judicial system and the fight against corruption. The EU was actively involved in all these reforms.
The result, though, has not yet met expectations. In 2019, an opinion poll by the Razumkov Centre for the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine showed 46% believe that the judicial reform has “not yet begun at all” and that 43% have a negative attitude towards a judicial reform.
Corruption in Ukraine continues to thrive, and the judicial system has become even more ineffective than before. At the same time, some Ukrainian politicians are actively using the topic of judicial reform for their own interests. In particular, former President Petro Poroshenko used the topic of judicial reform to gain control over the courts. And he succeeded with only a few judges daring to make decisions against Poroshenko's will.
As a result, the number of experienced judges who have left the system has increased since 2014. Some Ukrainian courts have no judges left at all and the courts have suspended their work, making it difficult or impossible for citizens to access justice at all.
As of early 2020, the shortage of judicial personnel in the courts was almost 30%. This affects the quality of court proceedings and the timing of consideration of cases. Suspects stay in pretrial detention centers for an inordinate time, cases accumulate, and the dynamics of justice slow down, leading to social tensions.
Almost everybody agrees that the implemented reforms proved to be totally ineffective but why is this happening? Why have all efforts been in vain? The question was to be discussed at an international conference "Dialogue about justice - 2" in Kiev, but the event was badly disrupted.
EU policy makers and civil servants cancelled their participation in the conference, when they learned the day before that the panel consisted of some people with a “dubious” reputation.
Even those who decided to take part faced with problems. Immediately after it started, an anonymous message was received about the mining of the Parkovyi ECC building, where the conference participants were gathered.
All those present had to leave the premises and wait outside for an hour while police checked the building.
Why did someone try to disrupt the conference? The Ukrainian edition of "Vzglyad” said the conference tried to “disrupt” organizations and structures that focus on Poroshenko.
Journalists talked to a representative of one such organization engaged in promoting judicial reform in Ukraine who said that in Ukraine only certain NGOs have the right to contact with Europeans on the topic of judicial and other reforms.
Ukraine, he said, has formed a "caste" of reformers who do not allow anyone else to discuss reforms without their permission and it is these who determine who in Ukraine is "dubious", that is, who EU representatives have no right to communicate.
One of the conference participants was a well-known Ukrainian lawyer, Rostislav Popovich who noted it was the second such high-level discussion on judicial reform - the first one was held last year in the European Parliament. He wrote on his Facebook page:“The Kiev event was attended by people's deputies, judges of higher courts, leading lawyers, MEPs and specialists from Europe, the U.S and Israel. The composition was representative and the topics discussed were topical. But it was very difficult to hold it in Kiev - not because of the coronavirus, but because the conference was disrupted by people who wrote letters to MEPs, demanding that they refuse to participate, speaking of 'odious' participants.
“Why such a strange reaction? It was because the conference wasn't held by them and they didn't select the participants. They did not want to allow Europeans to learn the truth about the real situation in the country and about those 'reforms' that have been implemented here.”
He believes that in Ukraine there are people “parasitizing on the problems of the judicial system and many other problems.”
According to Popovich, they “monopolize” the right to speak on behalf of the country with Europe and other Western partners."These people, as a rule, do not understand the topic, do not understand the real situation and promote "reforms" that fail one after another and only make the situation worse. At the same time, activists do not bear any responsibility for the result. Moreover, for them, worse is better. As long as there are problems in the country, these people receive grants to fight these problems.”
He argues that the EU communicates in Ukraine exclusively with a small group of people who call themselves civil society - mostly activists, funded by grants from the EU and international organizations. They purport to represent all Ukrainian people and are often the ones with whom European politicians often come into contact to discuss reforms.
In reality, says the lawyer, these activists “represent no one - they have neither support nor even respect among Ukrainians, and are often accused of corruption themselves”.
It was, he states at the insistence of those pushing for judicial reform that those who work directly in the judicial system were “eliminated” - judges, lawyers and lawyers. He says this is an abnormal situation for any country and one reason why the reforms failed.
It is quite understandable why few people in Europe seem to have a good understanding of what is happening in Ukraine, on reason why Europeans involved in promoting certain models of unworkable judicial reform worsen the situation.
Europe should maintain contacts not only with professional activists, but also with a wider range of people in Ukraine to be able to form an objective picture of what is happening in the country. That would ensure the reforms really benefit Ukraine.Ukrainians have already shown that they are against external management by Russia. But now they say that Ukraine has fallen under the external control of the West and Ukrainian people will not accept such a situation.
This could have dramatic consequences and some politicians are already calling for a rejection of European integration with such appeals gaining support among voters.
The crackdown on China’s largest technology company has given startups such asAltiostar Networks Inc. and new entrants includingQualcomm Inc. a rare opportunity to grab a slice of the $35 billion the telecom industry spends each year on this crucial part of mobile phone networks.
“This could break up that tech vendor lock-in that’s been around for decades,” said Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer of network services atAT&T Inc., the third largest U.S. wireless carrier. “It’s about how do you create a much more competitive, innovative ecosystem.”
Base stations are the heart of cellular networks, powering millions of antennas that perch on cell towers and city rooftops all over the world. Until recently, these boxes were a proprietary combination of processors and software that had to be purchased all at once. Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia account for three quarters of this market, which is worth as much as $35 billion a year, according to researcher Dell’Oro Group.
Open radio access network, or O-RAN, changes this by creating an open standard for base station design and ensuring all the software and components work well together -- no matter who is supplying the ingredients.
This is a potentially radical shift. When telecom giants such as AT&Tand China Mobile Ltd. want to expand their network they usually have to call their existing supplier and order more of the same because a box from Nokia won’t work with one from Ericsson. The new technology lets wireless carriers mix and match more easily.
The initiative also means that new suppliers can succeed by focusing on one or two components, or a single piece of software, rather than spending lots of time and money building a whole base station from the ground up.
O-RAN gear has been used sparingly since an industry alliance was formed to promote the technology in 2018. But when the U.S. toughened its stance against Huawei last year and encouraged other countries to crack down, interest in O-RAN adoption increased. The Chinese tech giant is a low-cost provider. Now it’s unavailable in some markets, carriers are more willing to look at alternative suppliers embracing the more flexible O-RAN approach.
“Increased geopolitical uncertainty is helping them to get an invite to the table they would not normally have had,” Dell’Oro Group analyst Stefan Pongratz said. “Multiple vendors, not just in Europe but across the world, are basically reassessing their exposure to Huawei.”
Open standard base stations will generate sales of about $5 billion in the next five years, more than originally predicted, according to Dell’Oro.
Ericsson questions the performance and cost-efficiency of current O-RAN offerings. But the telecom companies, who decide where the money is spent, aren’t being shy about telling incumbent providers to get on board or risk being left behind.
“We’ve been candid with them: This is the architecture that the operator community is pursuing,” said Adam Koeppe, who oversees technology strategy, architecture and planning atVerizon Communications Inc., the biggest U.S. wireless carrier.
O-RAN proponents point to the success ofRakuten Inc., a Japanese e-commerce provider that has used the technology to break into mobile phone services. The company began 4G wireless service in April and is upgrading to 5G now, using O-RAN suppliers including NEC, Qualcomm, Intel, Altiostar and Airspan. Rakuten said using this more open approach has cut capital expenditure by 40% and reduced operating costs 30%.
Dish Network Corp. is building a 5G wireless network in the U.S. with help from Altiostar. New projects like this are great, but the real opportunity is with operators that are shifting their existing networks to O-RAN, according to Thierry Maupilé, Altiostar’s executive vice president of strategy and product management. The Tewksbury, Massachusetts-based company has raised more than $300 million from investors such as Rakuten, Qualcomm and Cisco.
O-RAN is part of a broader push to make all kinds of computer networks more flexible and easy to control. By standardizing hardware and using more software in centralized data centers, companies can run networks more cheaply, while fixing and upgrading them more easily. 5G will need this flexibility to work well.
For AT&T, the new approach has already started to help. The company has introduced Samsung equipment based on O-RAN in areas where it had previously been limited to Ericsson gear, AT&T’s Fuetsch said.
Nokia expects to have a full range of O-RAN offerings available in 2021. Some of the final standards aren’t yet set and they need to be completed and tested which will take time, according to Sandro Tavares, global head of marketing.
“O-RAN is supported by more than 20 major operators around the world, so it is pretty clear that there is a strong push for it to happen,” he said. “This is a big move for our industry, and it is clear for the main players that we should not be cutting corners in this process.”
The Irish government on Friday (18 September) announced strict new COVID-19 restrictions for the capital Dublin, banning indoor restaurant dining and advising against all non-essential travel, after a surge in cases in recent days. Ireland, which was one of the slowest countries in Europe to emerge from lockdown, has seen average daily case numbers roughly double in the past two weeks and significant increases in those being treated for the virus in hospitals,writes Conor Humphries.
“Here in the capital, despite people’s best efforts over recent weeks, we are in a very dangerous place,” Prime Minister Micheal Martin said in a televised address to the country, announcing the restrictions.
“Without further urgent and decisive action, there is a very real threat that Dublin could return to the worst days of this crisis.” The measures, which include a ban on indoor events, will last for three weeks, he said. Ireland had the 17th highest COVID-19 infection rate out of 31 European countries monitored by the European Centre for Disease Control on Friday, with 57.4 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days.
The government reported three deaths from the virus on Friday, bringing the total toll to 1,792. Countries across Europe, including Britain, Greece and Denmark, on Friday announced new restrictions to curb surging coronavirus infections in some of their largest cities. Ireland on Thursday tightened its COVID-19 travel restrictions by imposing quarantines on travellers from major holiday markets Italy and Greece.