KIM BROWN: This is your Real News of the Day Update. I’m Kim Brown in Baltimore. Civil Rights groups are outraged after a German bank announced on Tuesday they are closing the accounts of a Jewish organization. The German Bank for Social Economy said that it closed the accounts of the Jewish Voice, a human rights group, because it supports the BDS, the Boycott Divest Sanctions movement against Israel. According to The Jerusalem Post, however, some German Jews support the bank’s move to close the accounts, saying that the Jewish Voice is a “Anti-Semitic BDS Movement”.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer was slapped with $170 million fine by the British government for price-gouging an anti-epilepsy medication. Phenytoin sodium capsules are used to prevent and control seizures and a prescription used to cost about $3.50 per bottle. But it now costs over $85, a price hike of over 2600%. US-based Pfizer said they plan to appeal the fine which is the largest such fine in UK history.
A new international survey finds that there is less support for countries to intervene in stopping war crimes. An increasing number of people said that torture is “part of war” including 33% of Americans and more than half of Palestinians. When asked if enemy captives may be tortured for information, only 30% of Americans said no. The countries where a majority opposed torture and favored treating the sick and injured were Colombia, Yemen and Switzerland. The survey was published Monday by the Red Cross and asked respondents in 16 countries about what they thought was acceptable behavior in war time.
Syrian State Television is reporting that Israel has fired missiles into Syria for the second time this week. The Syrian government has claimed that the missiles struck near the Mezzeh Air Base which is only several miles away from Damascus and houses the Airforce Intelligence Service along with a prison. There were no casualties reported.
Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain will deepen its “defense cooperation” with the Gulf Arab monarchies. She made the announcement in Bahrain while attending the annual Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council. May also stated that she would work with countries like Saudi Arabia to push back against what she called “Iran’s aggressive regional actions”. The UK is now the world’s second largest arms exporter after the United States. The majority of UK armaments are sold to Gulf States with Saudi Arabia purchasing about $4.2 billion worth since last year.
Journalist Gareth Porter spoke with The Real News about Western complicity in Middle East conflicts.
GARETH PORTER: United States has provided not just the bombs that have been used, including the cluster munitions that have been dropped on civilian targets in Yemen, but also has refueled every, or all, of those flights that required refueling in the process. So, it is directly implicated in the entire war. It is a direct party to it, it is responsible for.
KIM BROWN: And that’s your Real News of the Day Update. In Baltimore, I’m Kim Brown.