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‘Maury’ Show Official Facebook Posts F*CKED UP Caption On Guest That Looks Like Ted Cruz (IMAGE)
Maury is perhaps one of the trashiest shows on television today. It s right in line with the likes of the gutter trash that is Jerry Springer, and the fact that those shows are still on the air with the shit they air really is a sad testament to what Americans find to be entertaining. However, Maury really crossed the line with a Facebook post regarding one of their guest s appearance with a vile, disgusting caption on Tuesday evening.There was a young woman on there doing one of their episodes regarding the paternity of her child. However, on the page, the show posted an image of the woman, who happens to bear a striking resemblance to Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz. The caption from the Maury Show page read: The Lie Detector Test determined .that was a LIE! Ted Cruz is just NOT that SEXY! As if that weren t horrible enough, the caption underneath the Imgur upload reads, Ted Cruz in drag on Maury. Here is an image from the official Maury Facebook page:Here is the embed of the post itself:This is beyond despicable. It s bad enough that this show preys on desperate people to keep their trashy show going and their audience of bottom-feeders entertained, but now they publicly mock them as well? This young woman cannot help how she looks or who she resembles. That is not her fault. Shaming someone s looks on social media is something we d expect from the morons who watch this crap on a daily basis, but it is NOT something the official show page should be doing. Then again, what can you expect from a show that rolls in the mud for a living and continues to show the world that there is now low they will not stoop to? This was more than a step too far, though.Maury, you owe this young woman a public apology. A VERY public apology. There s just no excuse for this, no matter the demographics of your audience or what you do on that disgusting show of yours. I suppose it will be too much to ask that you lose viewers over this, because the people who watch your trashy ass show likely aren t educated enough to understand why this is so wrong in the first place. I don t watch, so I can t deprive you of my viewership, but I CAN call you out.Shame on you, Maury Show and everyone associated with this despicable Facebook post. You really showed your true colors here today.Featured image via Facebook
Trump’s Favorite News Channel Tries To Soothe His Battered Ego – Gets Taken To The Cleaners
Yesterday, after the father of one of the UCLA players arrested in China failed to show Trump proper gratitude for getting his kid released, Trump, predictably, went to Twitter to grouse about it. He seems to expect to be worshiped for his help on this matter, but LaVar Ball wouldn t do it, so Trump tweeted:Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017Fox News put that tweet into a meme portraying Trump as a strong, decisive leader and the UCLA basketball players as weaklings, because of course they did. Then they asked: Do you agree with President Trump? Yes. Fox News seriously asked people whether they agree that Trump should have left them in jail because the father of one is refusing to show proper gratitude:Do you agree with President @realDonaldTrump? Fox News (@FoxNews) November 20, 2017And Twitter is just not having this at all:Nope. He needs adoration- sign of insecurity. That s why he mocks others. Worthless. Billy Depp (@ucla_007) November 20, 2017I ve never seen a Fox tweet critical of the president.All Fox is does is aid and abet insanity, hate and divisiveness that hurts America. American Patriot (@RealPatriot1976) November 20, 2017It s all relative. Shoplifting is a crime but its totally eclipsed by Trump University. Cody Swan (@Lampliighter) November 20, 2017Yeah, POTUS should only do his job if he gets his ass kissed properly. Are you high? Bill Raudenbush (@CandidateBill) November 20, 2017No. He s a child! Opinionated (@letmesharewithu) November 20, 2017nah i know what public service means o (@geofftype) November 20, 2017I think he should stop being petty af. I don t care to hear about this from the President of the United States. He s so insecure, it s beyond troubling. Keisha Venezio (@keishhhha) November 20, 2017No, I don t agree Kelly H (@Kellyk1969) November 20, 2017Do you agree with President @realDonaldTrump? Fox News (@FoxNews) November 20, 2017Nope. I personally would be extraordinarily appreciative if this happened to one of my kids, but i think it s shameful that the prez resents not being thanked enough and doesn t view helping Americans as just part of the job. Liberal Kansan (@pvliberal) November 20, 2017NO Disgusting & embarrassing! Melanie (@Melanie03630436) November 20, 2017Well, I m not convinced that he single-handedly got them out of jail so the question isn t really valid Isaac Simonelli (@DiceTravels) November 20, 2017No normal person does. And YOU know it. Ernie Page (@AngryHatter) November 20, 2017What?! This man is a child in a rumpled suit. In case you haven t noticed, hardly anybody likes him. : Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. DEMOS..We the people (@Windemere22) November 20, 2017China should have thrown #Dotard @realDonaldTrump into the slammer, chucked the key into the bog & flushed it away. Holger \_( )_/ (@hnelke1973) November 20, 2017No. @realDonaldTrump has no idea what it means to do good for the sake of doing good. He is an empty shell of a man with no moral compass. Also not my favorite president. Doreen Graham (@DoreeGraham) November 20, 2017Absolutely not. The fact that our narcissistic baby in chief can t take any criticism without lashing out is disgraceful. We deserve better erin o (@erin0331) November 20, 2017Typical trump .. always about himself forgetting America is for all SARA_PDaily (@sarapdaily) November 20, 2017Typical trump .. always about himself forgetting America is for all SARA_PDaily (@sarapdaily) November 20, 2017Why would anyone agree with this shit? Remember when we mourned the death of the student who died in NK and now we re talking about this? Aditya Sharma (@adityaksharma) November 20, 2017No I do not agree with Donald. As a matter of fact, I wish he was left in the hospital at the time of his birth. RABell (@R_A_Bell) November 20, 2017President Man-Baby needs to grow up. And Fox News needs to stop feeding his bullshit.Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images
Russia warns Iraq, Kurds not to destabilize Middle East after Kurdish vote
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Wednesday warned Iraq and the Kurds against taking any steps that might destabilize the Middle East after a Kurdish independence referendum, encouraging both sides to hold talks to find a solution within the framework of a single Iraqi state. The Russian Foreign Ministry, in the same statement, also said that while Moscow respected the Kurds national ambitions it favored preserving the territorial integrity of Iraq.
WATCH STEVE SCALISE Throw A Strike At The Nationals Baseball Game [Video]
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) threw a strike in his ceremonial first pitch at the Washington National s opening-round playoff game Friday night, which was also his birthday.Scalise was shot in the hip and nearly died in June and he had to throw from a walker but he had no trouble delivering a perfect pitch to Capitol police special agent David Bailey, who was also injured in the shooting.After taking a bullet on a field in Alexandria, Va., Scalise was visibly happy to return to the diamond, and he expressed his gratefulness on Twitter after.What a memorable birthday! I threw the first pitch at tonight's @Nationals vs. @Cubs #NLDS game! Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 7, 2017Scalise returned to the House of Representatives last week to warm greetings from his colleagues, and he expressed thankfulness for his recovery. It s only strengthened my faith in God, and it s really crystallized what shows up as the goodness in people, he said. I got to see that goodness in people, and so while some people might focus on a tragic event and an evil act, to me, all I ll remember are the thousands of acts and kindness and love that came out of this. Read more: WFB
Trump Will HATE What Stephen Colbert Just Did To Him – It’s Pure Comedy Genius (VIDEO)
It can be said that Late Show host Stephen Colbert clearly gives no f*cks about what Donald Trump thinks of him. In addition, if Trump were to decide to angry-tweet Colbert in retaliation, you know that Colbert would wear that Twitter fit as a badge of honor, as he should.Absolutely annihilating Trump, his connection to Putin, the Russian prostitute story, the fact that he wants to take a mini-vacation after the inauguration, and the fact that, well, he s clearly full of sh*t, Colbert didn t hold back even bringing God, yes that God almighty with a gun, into the mix.Colbert even brought up the fact that Trump s approval ratings are absolutely pathetic, especially when compared to President Obama s approval rating upon entering office. Not only that, but Colbert had to admit something terrible that he and white supremacists have one thing in common, they are absolutely disappointed in Trump albeit clearly for different reasons.The Late Show host even pointed out that Trump will blame everything on being rigged if it doesn t go his way. Even if the weather is bad on Inauguration Day, that s clearly a conspiracy against him.Watch Colbert absolutely shred Trump here:Featured image via video screen capture
Trump Blasts Democrats: A ‘disgrace’ that Full Cabinet Not in Place, ‘Obstruction by Democrats!’
21st Century Wire says In a tweet by President Donald Trump on Tuesday he called the Democratic Party out for obstructing the formation of his cabinet. He noted it was a disgrace that his full cabinet was not in place and blamed the Democrat Party for obstruction. It is a disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country. Obstruction by Democrats! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017Does President Trump have a valid point?If we look at the appointments and confirmations of both the Bush and Obama administrations for nominees to lead major departments and agencies there is an undeniable difference when comparing to Trump s appointees. Trump s fifth cabinet member was confirmed on Tuesday. Obama had twelve appointments sworn in at this time in his tenure.The Senate confirmed Education Department lead, Betsy DeVos, on Tuesday after Democrats held an all-nighter with a failed attempt to stop her confirmation. She was confirmed in a vote of 51-50 after two GOP senators joined all the Democrats in voting against her and Vice President Pence cast the vote that broke the tie.Senate Democrats are planning yet another all night debate into Wednesday in protest of President Trump s choice for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Many people are finding it hard to argue with the President s tweet as the Democrats certainly appear to be putting up road blocks at every opportunity.READ MORE TRUMP NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Trump FilesSUPPORT OUR WORK BY SUBSCRIBING & BECOMING A MEMBER @21WIRE.TV
EU's Verhofstadt pokes fun at British PM May but says a Brexit deal can be done
LONDON (Reuters) - The lead Brexit negotiator for the European Parliament poked fun at British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, quipping that she gave her Brexit speech in Florence because she was familiar with the city s 15th century politics of betrayal. In a speech to students at the London School of Economics, Guy Verhofstadt said Brexit was negative and a waste of time and energy, though he also said Britain s decision to leave the bloc was a failure for the European Union. I think she chose Florence because Florentine politics in the 15th century made her feel at home, Verhofstadt said with a smile. Backstabbing, betrayal, noble families fighting for power... It is an environment that she recognized fairly well. He said the one positive outcome of Brexit was that the mood in the EU had reversed since Britain s vote to leave in June 2016 and that now many EU citizens did not want to destroy the Union. After May formally notified the EU in March of Britain s intention to leave the EU, the two sides have about a year left to negotiate the terms of the divorce and the outlines of the future relationship before it is due to leave in March 2019. Both sides need an agreement to keep trade flowing between the world s biggest trading bloc and the fifth largest global economy, though some chief executives and diplomats fear what they term a disorderly Brexit without a deal. May had hoped that a speech she made in Florence on Friday would unblock the three-month-old talks and pave the way for the EU to open discussions on a post-Brexit free trade deal. The EU and Britain made progress in the latest round of divorce talks, but not enough to move to the next phase of discussions on a transition period after Brexit or a future trade deal, top negotiators said on Thursday. When Verhofstadt was asked whether he thought a deal could ultimately be done on Brexit, he said: That s the assumption that I have and it is towards that that we work. And that a withdrawal agreement be done in March 2019 means that there has to be an agreement in fact in October or November because then the agreement will go to the European Parliament and we need four or five months, he said. After what he termed the failure of Brexit, Verhofstadt said the EU needed a major overhaul to give the euro zone a government with its own fiscal capacity and its own treasury and finance minister. We need a management or government of this euro zone with a fiscal capacity, that is in my view the most important. And with a fiscal capacity, normally, you can also give out loans, he said, adding that some type of euro securities could be issued at some point in the future.
Photographer killed in Mexico as journalist death toll nears record
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The bullet-riddled body of a news photographer was found in central Mexico on Friday, state officials, putting 2017 on track to become the deadliest year yet for journalists in the notoriously violent country. Edgar Daniel Esqueda, 23, who worked with Metropoli San Luis and Vox Populi SLP in the state of San Luis Potosi, was found in the state capital with at least three bullet wounds in the back of his neck, authorities said. The news outlets where Esqueda worked reported had reported his abduction from his home by gunmen on Thursday morning. San Luis Potosi s governor, Manuel Carreras, told a press conference an investigation was underway. He did not say whether Esqueda s murder was linked to his work as a journalist. With Esqueda s killing, 2017 could become the bloodiest year yet for reporters in Mexico, according to press freedom and journalists advocacy group Articulo 19. The photo journalist was the 11th reporter killed so far this year, the group said. That matched the total in 2016, which was the highest number on record in a country torn by runaway levels of criminal and drug-related bloodletting. Over the past 17 years, 111 journalists have been killed in Mexico, 38 of them under the current government of President Enrique Pena Nieto. Reporters Without Borders and the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) both rank Mexico among the deadliest countries in the world for reporters. Activists have repeatedly criticized Mexican prosecutors for failing to fully investigate many journalists murders, allowing the killers to operate with impunity. Mexico s human rights commission has asked state authorities to provide protection for Esqueda s family members, who were at home with the photographer when he was taken by force, according to Articulo 19. Witnesses who spoke with the group said Esqueda asked his kidnappers for their identity when they broke into the home where he was asleep with his wife, and they responded that they were police officers. The state police force said via Twitter that there has not been any police action against a reporter in the capital. Criminals, sometimes connected with state actors, know that they can get away with killing journalists in Mexico because of chronic impunity for these crimes. Until that changes, the violence will continue, Alexandra Ellerbeck, the CPJ s program coordinator for North America, said in a statement. Esqueda had reported threats months ago to a government-run human rights group in San Luis Potosi, one of his colleagues told Reuters.
NY Daily News Runs Most Explosive Trump Cover Yet; Says What We’re All Thinking (IMAGE)
The New York Daily News has never been subtle with their covers. This is especially true when the subject of said covers is Donald Trump. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that its Sunday cover will be one of its most explosive yet, considering that Trump spent his Saturday leveling an extraordinary claim at President Barack Obama: That Obama tapped the phones at Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.On the cover, the Daily News shows an unhinged photo of Trump, with a huge headline reading NUTS! Underneath are bullet points highlighting Trump s Saturday Twitter insanity and baseless claims. Here is the image, via Twitter:Tomorrow's front page NUTS!@realDonaldTrump claims Obama tapped his phones before election New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) March 5, 2017The NUTS! part is most important, of course. We can no longer afford to ignore a very important fact: The man currently occupying the Oval Office is dangerously unhinged. His behavior becomes more outrageous and erratic every day. He lies pathologically, peddles conspiracy theories, threatens the free press, decries any story he doesn t like as fake news, and holds his officials hostage and forces them to lie repeatedly to the American public as well.There have been some brave souls in Congress who have openly questioned the president s mental stability most notably Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA). However, the Democrats are not in control, so they can do nothing to put safeguards in place to keep Trump s instability from endangering the nation even more than he has already. So, it s time for the GOP to step up and put country before party, and admit that they know that Donald Trump is stark raving mad and has no business being president.Until then, thank you journalists at papers like the New York Daily News for speaking truth to power. It just might be the Fourth Estate that saves us after all.Featured image via Olivier Douliery Pool/Getty Images
BRILLIANT! CNN ASKS BLACK TRUMP SUPPORTER The Wrong Question…They Get Slammed! [Video]
This is hysterical! CNN asks a Trump supporter the wrong question and they get an earful Awesome!
Trump campaign's digital director to meet House intelligence panel: WSJ
(Reuters) - The digital director for Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign is scheduled to meet the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday as the panel investigates alleged Russian meddling in last year’s election, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. It would be Brad Parscale’s first interview with any of the committees investigating the matter. Neither Parscale nor committee staff could immediately be reached for comment. Foreign nationals cannot spend money on electioneering communications, but the term under U.S. law applies only to communications made by broadcast, cable or satellite - with no mention of the internet. The use of social media platforms was part of what U.S. intelligence agencies concluded was a broader Russian effort to meddle in the election campaign, an allegation the Kremlin has denied. Several congressional committees, as well as special counsel Robert Mueller, are investigating alleged Russian interference, including any potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and Moscow. Trump has denied any such collusion. U.S. lawmakers, alarmed that foreign entities used the internet to influence last year’s election, introduced legislation on Thursday to extend rules governing political advertising on television, print and radio to social media like Facebook Inc. Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Thursday they would send their general counsels to testify on Nov. 1 before public hearings of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. Trump’s election campaign spent some $70 million on highly targeted Facebook advertising last year, Parscale told Reuters this year.
U.S Treasury’s Lew says Colombia peace deal to boost investment, unlock new aid
BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia’s peace deal with the Marxist FARC rebel group will bring more investment to the country, backed partly by new donor aid and loans from multilateral development banks, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and his Colombian counterpart said on Wednesday. Lew told a news conference in Bogota that the peace accord, signed on Monday and set to be voted on by the Colombian people on Sunday, would add to the confidence of foreign investors in Colombia. The 52-year war killed 220,000 people and left millions displaced. “Implementing the agreement, showing that Colombia has a stable future, I think will make Colombia a more attractive place for foreign investment,” Lew said after meeting with Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas and President Juan Manuel Santos. He said Santos’ government already had an “excellent reputation” among foreign investors for sound management of fiscal policy and pursuit of economic reforms, despite major challenges from low oil prices. Cardenas said the peace accord would attract both domestic and foreign investment and spur new spending on infrastructure and schools in former conflict areas. He declined to specify amounts but previously estimated that peace with FARC could boost Colombia’s economic growth by 1 percentage point annually. “It will be at the initial stages, more tourism. That’s one of the areas we think the agreement will have the most direct and immediate impact,” Cardenas said. “We will be able also to secure additional funding through cooperation, donors and lending by multilaterals to support expenditures and investments in the rural communities where the conflict was most acute.” Former FARC fighters are already making plans for eco-tourism ventures and cheesemaking operations in vast jungles largely untouched for decades. The peace deal gives FARC a voice in Colombia’s political process. Cardenas said that put the group “in the competition for ideas” but would not alter the center-right government’s economic reform plan, “which thinks that one of the pillars of the success of any country is having low inflation, low fiscal deficit, low debt, and at the same time having a progressive agenda.” Lew said the United States was still committed to providing bilateral aid to Colombia and that he and Cardenas discussed opportunities to gain support from multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.
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British foreign minister to visit Iran, lobby for jailed aid worker
LONDON (Reuters) - British foreign minister Boris Johnson will travel to Iran on Saturday to lobby counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif for the release of jailed Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. The trip will be only the third by a British foreign minister to Iran in the last 14 years, and takes place against a complex backdrop of historical, regional and bilateral tensions. Johnson has vowed to leave no stone unturned in Britain s efforts to free Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, who was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted by an Iranian court of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment. She denies the charges. The Foreign Secretary will urge the Iranians to release dual nationals where there are humanitarian grounds to do so, a foreign office spokesman said. Zaghari-Ratcliffe is not the only dual national being held in Iran, but has become the most high profile after Johnson said she had been teaching people journalism before her arrest in April 2016, in remarks critics said could have prompted Iran to extend her sentence. The Thomson Reuters Foundation, a charity organization that is independent of Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News, said Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been on holiday and had not been teaching journalism in Iran. Johnson has since apologized for his comments. There were calls for his resignation - something which threatened to destabilize Prime Minister Theresa May s minority government at a crucial point in Britain s Brexit negotiations. Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been told she will appear in court on Dec. 10, her husband Richard has said. The visit will be sandwiched between meetings in Oman and the United Arab Emirates as Johnson - a key proponent of Britain s exit from the European Union - takes advantage of a gap in a domestic parliamentary calendar dominated by Brexit. Johnson was a surprise choice for Britain s top diplomat when he was appointed by May in 2016. He has a record of political gaffes and use of florid and sometimes undiplomatic language. The visit will test his ability to navigate a political landscape littered with potential pitfalls. Iran s 1979 Islamic Revolution turned it into a pariah state for most of the West and many Middle Eastern neighbors. International sanctions have only recently been lifted as part of a multilateral nuclear deal to curb Iran s disputed uranium enrichment program. That deal is under threat after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to decertify Iran s compliance with the terms of the agreement. Britain has voiced its continued support for the nuclear deal but is one of a number of Western powers voicing concerns about Tehran s destabilizing influence in the region. This visit comes at a crucial time for the Gulf region and provides an opportunity to discuss a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen, the future of the Iran nuclear deal and the current volatility in the Middle East, the spokesman said.
Keith Olbermann Lashes Out At Trump For Whining About Leaks With One Perfect Tweet
Keith Olbermann just fired an angry tweet at Donald Trump that will almost certainly leave him seething in fury.Last week, Trump gave highly classified intelligence to Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office in which Russian state media was allowed but American journalists were banned.Spilling the intel puts the source of the information in jeopardy and hurts our national security.The Russians can even use the information in order to silence the source from revealing their own activity in Syria. In short, American intelligence gathering efforts against ISIS and Russia have just been seriously compromised.Outrage immediately ensued after the story broke, with both Democrats and Republicans expressing concern over Trump s actions. The optic are also terrible in light of the fact that Trump is embroiled in a growing scandal involving Russia and had fired FBI Director James Comey the day before the meeting.Of course, Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to defend his actions, ending his rant by whining about leakers despite the fact that he leaked highly classified information to the Russians.As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining . Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017 to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism. Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community .. Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017GQ special correspondent Keith Olbermann was NOT impressed, especially after reading the last tweet. So he lashed out at Trump with words every American wants to say to him right now.YOU are the leaker, you stupid, pea-brained, motherfucking traitor. RESIGN. Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) May 16, 2017Donald Trump is a traitor. He violated his oath of office and violated the trust of an ally by sharing this intel with the Russians, who interfered with the 2016 Election by hacking into our political institutions. Was this the price the Russians demanded in exchange for helping Trump win? Because if it is, our national security is at serious risk. Russia would love nothing more than know everything we know. What s next? Will Trump share NATO strategies with Russia? How about the nuclear codes?Clearly, Trump is willing to give his Russian buddies anything, whether or not they actually ask for it. This is a violation of the American people s trust and there should be consequences. He should either resign in disgrace or be impeached and put behind bars where traitors belong. The Russians have a mole in the White House. His name is Donald Trump.Featured Image: Screenshot
Aghast at Iran's Syria gains, Gulf Arabs see potential in Trump
RIYADH (Reuters) - “Where are you, Oh Arabs, Oh Muslims, while we are being slaughtered?” An old man’s cry, in a video posted online from Aleppo’s ruins, poses an uncomfortable question for the mainly Sunni Muslim Arab states backing rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Iran and Russia. For Saudi Arabia, locked in a regional struggle with Iran, Assad’s capture of the rebel haven reflects a dangerous tilt in the Middle East balance of power toward Tehran. Dismayed by this boost to Iranian ambitions for a “Shi’ite crescent” of influence from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, Riyadh is determined to reverse Tehran’s gains sooner or later. Countering Iran, buoyed by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, remains central to Gulf Arab policy but it is not clear how this might be achieved, especially when other concerns are multiplying. Beset by low oil prices, at war in Yemen, and ties with Egypt strained, Riyadh and Gulf allies are questioning how much armed help they should now give the rebels, diplomats say. The monarchies are frustrated with President Barack Obama’s light touch approach to the war - relying on local fighters instead of large U.S. military deployments or missile strikes. President-elect Donald Trump poses an intriguing contrast. Seen as more decisive than Obama, Trump’s choices of James Mattis, a retired Marine general distrustful of Iran, as Defense Secretary, and oil man Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, have pleased Gulf Arab energy exporters. But much remains uncertain, not least Trump’s admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, an Assad ally. “What we have learned from the U.S. election is to wait for actions, not words,” said former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal. A senior Western diplomat said Saudi officials were curious to see how Trump translates into policy his campaign criticism of Iran and his praise of Putin. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said he had spent time in the United States to sound out the next administration. Officials said Gulf states were asking Trump associates about Syria, to assess whether he would pursue a U.S.-led effort with Gulf states, Turkey and Western nations to arm the rebels. Trump has indicated he may abandon the rebels to focus on fighting Islamic State. Gulf Arab states want to test that view, said one Western official. A Gulf state foreign ministry official described Trump as “a businessman with whom you can make a deal”. Gulf humanitarian aid will remain: Sunni Arab societies will not accept curbs on relief to the mostly Sunni country, after a war that has forced 5 million Syrians to flee and killed 300,000. But the extent of their armed support appears in question. Qatar, with Saudi Arabia the most enthusiastic backer of the rebels, says it would prefer to continue military aid but insists this should remain a collective effort. Proclaiming “great faith” in Trump, Asaad al-Zoubi, Saudi-based chief negotiator for the main opposition body, the High Negotiations Council, said some rebel backers had met Trump advisers to explain their cause. “They did not receive an answer from Trump’s people. They (the advisers) wanted to listen more than they wanted to answer,” he said. Sami alFaraj, a security adviser to the Gulf Cooperation Council of six Gulf Arab states, told Reuters that the Gulf countries “need to regroup, have a strategic pause and look at how we pursue our objectives in the time ahead.” “The Syrian case has not been closed,” he said. They would push for a transitional administration in Syria - something neither Assad nor Tehran accepts. Any notion of Gulf Arab leverage in future negotiations seems far-fetched, given the determination of Assad, Moscow and Tehran to carve out territorial gains. But Jubeir told the Arab League in Cairo that if world powers failed to constrain Assad there would be no political solution to the war. “If we cannot find an effective way to pressure the Syrian regime, we will not reach a political solution and the killing, displacement, and injustice in Syria will go on,” Jubeir said. While drawn to Trump, the Gulf monarchies feel his views are not fully formed, and they want to do nothing that might cause him to harm their interests. AlFaraj said he expected Trump to deal favorably with Gulf states, which have the wealth to help create U.S. jobs. He believed a suggestion by Trump that Gulf states pay for safe zones in Syria was worth considering. “If he wants to create jobs there is no better field than selling weapons,” alFaraj said. “We are the only people who have surplus cash.” However, Arab resentment at Western inaction over Syria appears deep and enduring. Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa, foreign minister of Bahrain, an ally of Riyadh, told Reuters: “The whole thing in Syria was because of disengagement from world powers about how to deal with the matter. So with all the changes in the political leadership (in the West) let’s hope for some new commitment for Syria.” Asked if it was realistic to back rebels who had lost their major urban stronghold, he replied: “Do you think its realistic that we should also allow such bloodshed and people dying to go on and on and on. What’s the next city after Aleppo?”
Mattis sees opportunity for talks if North Korea halts missile tests, development
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Thursday there could be an opportunity for talks between North Korea and the United States if Pyongyang stopped testing and developing its nuclear and missile programs. So long as they stop testing, stop developing, they don t export their weapons, there would be opportunity for talks, Mattis told reporters on a military plane. While Washington has said that all options, including military, are on the table in dealing with North Korea, it has stressed its preference is for a diplomatic solution. Visiting Seoul last week, U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea he was prepared to use the full range of American military power to stop any attack, but also urged Pyongyang to make a deal. Trump, who had previously called negotiations with North Korea a waste of time, has offered no clear path to talks. Pyongyang has made clear it has little interest in negotiations, at least until it has developed a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. The last North Korean missile test was carried out almost two months ago, but U.S. officials say they have seen no signs that Pyongyang has stopped development. Mattis said the U.S. military was closely watching why there had been no missile launches recently, but declined to give potential reasons for it. There are concerns in South Korea that any potential U.S. strikes against North Korea s nuclear and missile programs could provoke devastating North Korean retaliation against South Korea. Earlier this week, a senior South Korean official said Trump should under no circumstances take military action against North Korea without the consent of the government in Seoul. In Colorado, Mattis will visit the U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which are responsible for homeland defense, including tracking and potentially intercepting North Korean missiles.
Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa opens amnesty window for return of stolen funds
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, on Tuesday announced a three-month amnesty window for the return of public funds illegally stashed abroad by individuals and companies. Upon the expiry of the amnesty at end of February next year, the government will arrest and prosecute those who have failed to comply, Mnangagwa said in a statement. Mnangagwa was sworn-in as president on Friday and promised to tackle corruption, which had become endemic under former president Robert Mugabe s 37-year rule. Those affected are thus encouraged to take advantage of the three-month moratorium to return the illegally externalized funds and assets in order to avoid the pain and ignominy of being visited by the long arm of the law, Mnangagwa said. Zimbabwe s new president is under pressure to deliver, especially on the economy, which is in the grip of severe foreign currency shortages that have seen banks failing to give cash to customers. Mnangagwa told heads of government ministries on Tuesday that he was putting together a leaner government, which would see the merging of some departments to enhance efficiency. Critics say Zimbabwe has a bloated civil service, which chews more than 90 percent of the national budget. Mnangagwa, however, said only workers of retirement age would be laid off. He promised to rebuild the economy and improve the livelihoods of Zimbabweans. My government will have no tolerance for bureaucratic slothfulness, which is quick to brandish procedures as an excuse for stalling service delivery to citizens, investors and other stakeholders, Mnangagwa said in a statement read to the government officials. After recovering under a unity government between the ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition between 2009 and 2012, the southern African nation s economy has unraveled with the unemployment rate above 90 percent. Mnangagwa is expected to announce a cabinet this week, with all eyes on whether he breaks with the past and names a broad-based government or selects old guard figures from Mugabe s era. An official at parliament said Mnangagwa had asked for curriculum vitaes of ZANU-PF legislators on Tuesday as he moves to put the new cabinet in place. Meanwhile, deputy parliament speaker Mabel Chinomona told the house that she had been informed by ZANU-PF that the party had recalled five legislators from parliament, indicating the five had been dismissed as ZANU-PF lawmakers. The members, all linked to the G40 group that supported Mugabe s wife Grace, include former ministers Savior Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo and Ignatius Chombo, who is facing corruption charges in court.
EU's Juncker says Dec. 4 meeting with May will show if Brexit progress made
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday that a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on December 4 will allow the EU to see whether sufficient progress was made on Brexit talks. I will meet the British prime minister on 4 December. Then we will see if there has been sufficient progress, he told reporters in Brussels ahead of an EU summit that May is attending. Juncker said there had been progress in Brexit talks.
This Historic Lawsuit May Finally Expose Trump’s Tax Returns
A first-of-its-kind lawsuit was announced on Monday. The lawsuit will be filed jointly by Maryland s Attorney General, Brian Frosh and the District of Columbia s Attorney General, Karl Racine. The lawsuit claims that Trump is in violation of the emolument clause in the Constitution. The emolument clause prevents the POTUS from receiving gifts from foreign governments. It s essentially a charge of corruption. Because of Trump s refusal to disown his company, the Attorney General s believe that they have the grounds to file an injunction against Trump for violating the Constitution. The president is bound by oath to faithfully execute his office and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, the lawsuit says. The lawsuit also alleges that Trump is, deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors. In order for the lawsuit to be successful, the accuser must prove that Trump s business has done harm to Maryland and D.C. A hurdle that the attorney s lawyer will be easy to accomplish.Those who are anxious to take a look at Trump s personal tax returns should follow this case as it develops. Racine and Frosh have stated that the first step in their legal challenge will be to examine Trump s tax returns in order to understand the full extent of his financial holdings. However, the court may impose privacy protections that prevent Trump s tax documents from being released to the public, at least legally. Never in the history of this country have we had a president with these kinds of extensive business entanglements or a president who refused to adequately distance themselves from their holdings, Racine during said during a press conference in Washington D.C. Racine also said that We re getting in here to be the check and balance that it appears Congress is unwilling to be. We re bringing [this] suit because the president has not taken adequate steps to separate himself from his business interests. It is unprecedented that the American people must question day after day whether decisions are made and actions are taken to benefit the United States or to benefit Donald Trump, Frosh said during the press conference.White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dismissed the lawsuit as nothing more than a political attack aimed at Trump. It s not hard to conclude that partisan politics may be one of the motivations, behind the legal case, Spicer said in response to the lawsuit. The suit was filed by two Democratic attorney generals. The lawyers driving the suit are an advocacy group with partisan ties. It actually started with a press conference as opposed to filing it, which is interesting. It should be pointed out that the fact that the suit was announced at a press conference isn t actually very interesting at all. Spicer was blatantly trying to delegitimize the lawsuit by saying that. As per his track record, Spicer actually only continued to be a national embarrassment.What truly is interesting about the case, is that it is being filed by two government officials. Trump s crony corporate administration would absolutely love for the public not recognize that this may prove to be one of the most important lawsuits in this nation s history, given that it will provide likely provide a more concrete legal definition as to what is considered an emolument. Never before has a president been charged successfully as being in violation of the emolument clause. The case could potentially lead to a whole new set of legal restrictions on the president s office.Featured Image: Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Factbox: Contenders, picks for key jobs in Trump's administration
(Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said in an interview aired on Friday that he expected to have most members of his Cabinet announced next week. Trump takes office on Jan. 20. Below are people mentioned as contenders for senior roles as Trump works to form his administration before taking office on Jan. 20, according to Reuters sources and media reports. See the end of list for posts already filled. * Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor * Rudy Giuliani, Republican former mayor of New York City * Bob Corker, Republican U.S. senator from Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee * David Petraeus, retired general and former CIA director who pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information that he shared with his biographer, with whom he was having an affair * Michael McCaul, Republican U.S. representative from Texas and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee * David Clarke, Milwaukee County sheriff and vocal Trump supporter * Retired Marine Corps General John Kelly, former leader of Southern Command * Joe Arpaio, outgoing Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff, after losing his bid for re-election, who campaigned for Trump * Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state * Frances Townsend, who was homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to Republican President George W. Bush * Jeff Holmstead, energy lawyer, former EPA official during George W. Bush administration * Robert Grady, venture capitalist, partner in private equity firm Gryphon Investors * Leslie Rutledge, Republican Arkansas attorney general * Carol Comer, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management * Scott Pruitt, Republican Oklahoma attorney general * Kevin Cramer, Republican U.S. representative from North Dakota * Robert Grady, venture capitalist, partner in private equity firm Gryphon Investors * Heidi Heitkamp, Democratic U.S. senator from North Dakota * Joe Manchin, Democratic U.S. senator from West Virginia * Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc * Larry Nichols, co-founder of Devon Energy Corp * James Connaughton, chief executive of Nautilus Data Technologies and a former environmental adviser to President George W. Bush * Rick Perry, former Republican Texas governor * Forrest Lucas, founder of oil products company Lucas Oil * Heidi Heitkamp, Democratic U.S. senator from North Dakota * Robert Grady, venture capitalist, partner in private equity firm Gryphon Investors * Cathy McMorris Rodgers, U.S. representative from Washington state and House Republican Conference chair * Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee * Jan Brewer, former Republican Arizona governor * Mary Fallin, Republican Oklahoma governor * Ray Washburne, chief executive of investment company Charter Holdings * U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency * Ronald Burgess, retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former Defense Intelligence Agency chief * Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency * Pete Hoekstra, former Republican U.S. representative from Michigan * Rudy Giuliani, former Republican mayor of New York City * Dan DiMicco, former chief executive of steel producer Nucor Corp * Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants * Lou Barletta, Republican U.S. representative from Pennsylvania * Victoria Lipnic, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission member and former Labor Department official during the George W. Bush administration * Dr. Ben Carson, former 2016 Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon * Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc * Mick Mulvaney, Republican U.S. representative from South Carolina * Scott Brown, former Republican U.S. senator from Massachusetts * Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee * Jeff Miller, former Republican U.S. representative from Florida who was chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee The Trump transition team confirmed the president-elect would choose from a list of 21 names he drew up during his campaign, including Republican U.S. Senator Mike Lee of Utah and William Pryor, a federal judge with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. * Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus * Steve Bannon, former head of the conservative website Breitbart News * Jeff Sessions, Republican U.S. senator from Alabama and senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (subject to Senate confirmation) * Republican U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo from Kansas (subject to Senate confirmation) * Michael Flynn, retired Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency * Nikki Haley, Republican South Carolina governor (subject to Senate confirmation) * Betsy DeVos, Republican donor and former chair of the Michigan Republican Party (subject to Senate confirmation) * Tom Price, Republican U.S. representative from Georgia, orthopedic surgeon (subject to Senate confirmation) * Elaine Chao, former labor secretary and deputy transportation secretary under Republican Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, respectively (subject to Senate confirmation). Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell * Steven Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive and Trump’s campaign finance chairman (subject to Senate confirmation) * Wilbur Ross, billionaire investor, chairman of Invesco Ltd subsidiary WL Ross & Co (subject to Senate confirmation) * James Mattis, retired Marine Corps general (subject to Senate confirmation)
White House optimistic Congress will avoid government shutdown
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House legislative director Marc Short said he expects Congress to pass a short-term spending bill to fund the federal government at least into January, he told CNBC in an interview on Monday, days before current funding expires on Friday. “I don’t think anybody wants to see government shut down,” Short told CNBC. “We’re very optimistic that we’re going to find a resolution this week.”
Syrian presidency vows to step up campaign against militants
BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian presidency said a U.S. missile attack on a Syrian army air base in Homs had increased Syria’s resolve to defeat insurgent groups, vowing to step up the pace of operations against them. “This aggression has increased Syria’s resolve to hit those terrorist agents, to continue to crush them, and to raise the pace of action to that end wherever they area,” a statement from the presidency said. The statement described the U.S. attack as rash and irresponsible and showing Washington was “naively pulled behind a false propaganda campaign” - a reference to accusations that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack this week. The U.S. missile strike came in response to the chemical attack, which Washington says was carried out by the Syrian government. The Syrian government has strongly denied launching such an attack.
Germany summons North Korea's ambassador over missile test
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany strongly condemns North Korea s latest ballistic missile test, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday, adding that he would summon North Korea s ambassador. North Korea has again breached international law. North Korea s ruthless behavior poses a huge threat to international security, Gabriel said in a statement. North Korea said on Wednesday it successfully tested a powerful new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put the entire U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.
Trump gives U.S. green light to Keystone XL pipeline
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Friday unveiled his administration’s official go-ahead for the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial project that was rejected by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama. “I’m pleased to announce the official approval of the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “We’re working out the final details as we speak,” he said.
Clinton leads Trump by 3 percentage points: Bloomberg/Selzer poll
(Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a three-point lead over Republican Donald Trump in the final Bloomberg Politics-Selzer & Co poll released on Monday. The poll showed Clinton leading Trump by 44 percent to 41 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson was at 4 percent and Green Party Candidate Jill Stein was at 2 percent.
WATCH: CNN Host Chris Cuomo Just Called Trump’s Campaign Chair A Liar On National TV
It s about time the media started calling out Trump and his team for being the liars they are.The Trump campaign has been vigorously defending Melania Trump for plagiarizing parts of Michelle Obama s 2008 DNC speech for use in her own speech that she delivered on Monday. It s clear that Melania plagiarized the current First Lady because all one has to do is compare the passages side by side, which the New York Times did.Ms. Trump, Monday night: From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily lives. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them. Mrs. Obama, in her 2008 speech: Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don t know them, and even if you don t agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children and all children in this nation to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them. Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort has been especially defensive, even going so far as to blame Hillary Clinton for the plagiarism.But on Wednesday morning, even though it s clear that parts of the speech were plagiarized, Manafort was at it again on CNN denying that there was any plagiarism in the speech. It s as plain as day to look at them side by side, Cuomo said of the plagiarism. Can you acknowledge that and move on, he asked Manafort.Manafort responded by bragging about Melania s speech and how effective it was as Cuomo sighed in frustration that he had to sit there and listen to the bullshit coming out of Manafort s mouth again. The controversy that you are talking about is not meaningful at all, Manafort continued. He excused Mrs. Trump because she is not a political candidate and declared that his words are the final ones to be said on the issue.But Cuomo didn t let that slide. He asked Manafort why he keeps ignoring the fact that parts of the speech were plagiarized but Manafort only repeated himself, bragged about Donald Trump, and insisted the media move on.Cuomo slammed Manafort and the Trump campaign of for not liking the fact that they got caught and blasted them for not just admitting the truth, especially since Trump is constantly accusing Hillary Clinton of being a liar. There s a pattern of denying the obvious, Cuomo said.Manafort attacked the media in response and demanded that everyone move on from the controversy. Again, Cuomo refused to back down and he let Manafort know it in strong words. I can t move on because you keep lying about it! I have to talk about what is true! Here s the video via YouTube.If Donald Trump becomes president he will lie to the American people every day and so will anyone who works for him in his administration. The government will have zero transparency and we will never really know what is going on. The inability to even admit the obvious truth that parts of a speech were plagiarized is damning to Trump s campaign because it means he will not admit the truth when even worse things happen under his watch.As Joy Reid said on Monday night, if Michelle Obama had plagiarized her speech, conservatives would be crying foul and would never let it go as they are demanding the media do now for Melania Trump.Featured image via video screen capture
there are many instances of voter fraud gop vp candidate pence
on today at pm lines profit misses estimates as ads push meets slow growth october by pavel alpeyev and takashi amano bloomberg users increased to million as of september line forecast fullyear sales will climb on ad revenues logged
PRESIDENT TRUMP AND FIRST LADY Visit Rep. Steve Scalise In The Hospital
What a class act! The President and First Lady visited Rep. Steve Scalise in the hospital last night:President #Trump and First Lady Melania visit Rep. Steve Scalise in the hospital and bring him flowers John Binder (@JxhnBinder) June 15, 2017President Trump planned to make a visit past 8 p.m. ET to Medstar Washington Medical Center, where Rep. Steve Scalise, the number three House Republican, underwent surgery earlier Wednesday for wounds sustained in the shooting, which took place outside Washington.The hospital said after the surgery that Scalise remained in critical condition. A US Capitol Police officer who was also hurt in the gun attack was also receiving treatment at the facility, situated about three miles northeast of the White House. THE PRESIDENT TWEETED ABOUT HIS VISIT:Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2017 Ahead of his visit, a White House official said Trump may only be able to visit Scalise s family, which has gathered at the facility, since the lawmaker himself remains critically ill.MARK KNOLLER tweeted out that the First lady brought flowers to the hospital:Press pool told @FLOTUS accompanied Pres to the hospital and has brought flowers for Rep. Scalise, who had to undergo surgery today. Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 15, 2017LEAVING THE HOSPITAL:Photo of @POTUS and @FLOTUS leaving MedStar Hospital following visit to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) June 15, 2017President Trump has been hailed by both sides of the aisle. He came out and spoke almost immediately after this attack on Republicans. Great job!How sweet is this! Back on March 17th President Trump sent a message to the 10-year old daughter of Rep. Scalise:.@POTUS has an important message for my daughter Madison on her 10th birthday! Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 17, 2017 Read more: ABC
WATCH: Trump Aide Goes Into A Bizarre Rant While Evading Sexism Allegations
On Sunday, on CNN s State of the Union, Trump campaign spokesman Stephen Miller got into a bizarre argument with the show s host Jake Tapper.Tapper questioned whether Trump s recent attack on Ted Cruz s wife was befitting of a person running for president. In an apparent attempt to bring the GOP primary election to its rock bottom, Trump recently took to Twitter where he retweeted a photo that attacked Cruz s wife. The image showed two photos, one of Cruz s wife and one of Trump s wife. The image had a weird threat written on it, which said, No need to spill the beans. The images are worth a thousand words. Miller defended the retweet earlier in the week during an earlier interview on CNN.He wanted to evade the question at all costs, so he decided to try and steer the conversation towards immigration.Tapper wasn t having it. He pressed the issue, and that s when Miller got a little erratic. Miller said: We get wrong what we re mad about in America! We don t get mad when Americans are murdered by illegal immigrants. We don t get mad when people have their jobs taken by cheaper foreign workers here on visa programs. We don t get mad when entire cities are crushed by our trade policies that send jobs overseas. Tapper wasn t going to let Miller off the hook that easy. He continued to press Miller, stating that he doesn t want to know why Miller was being so evasive. You want to get into an argument? Then we ll get into an argument! Miller exclaimed. He just accused me of standing up for sexism, and that is absolutely inappropriate! Miller continued, saying: I said in that interview that it is a trivial issue to be debating retweets when it is a fact you have Americans dying every single day as a result of immigration policies! Americans all over this country see their communities destroyed by uncontrolled migration. The irony of the interview is that Miller is using evasion tactics that Cruz is famous for. When pressed on social issues, Cruz often jumps to a completely different topic. This was best exemplified when reporters asked Cruz about his stance on LGBT issues, particularly his lack of support for gay marriage. Cruz, then inexplicably went into a rant about the dangers of the Islamic State.You can watch the segment below. image from video screenshot
how a communist brainwashing method was exported to the united states
a favorite trope of feminists and women claiming workplace discrimination is that female staff are the victims of sexism due to judgments about their appearance but how many times have we all seen girls working in our building or out on their lunch breaks in attire more befitting of a tinder date raunchy nightclub strip joint or even the gym meanwhile men must keep their fashion within a very narrow range of acceptability otherwise they risk failing to get that fancy new job or could lose their current one furthermore guys learn to deal with the fact that the world does judge you based on your appearance many women have zero idea about this concept only accepting the judgments they agree with or those ones that further their interests and career for those opinions they dont like they can always conveniently claim the person giving them is sexist or misogynist or just as amorphously objectifying a woman this is classic attentionseeking attentionwhore jayde phoenix the epitome of this growing female narcissism is a british woman by the name of jayde phoenix touting herself as a it security expert despite her academic and job credentials being a fraction of what it means to be highly qualified or plain nonexistent she suggested a guess the number of usbs in a jar competition to promote her company with her breasts nearly spilling out of a seethrough top she looked at the camera with a lustful gaze what many on the roosh v forum would call a thousand cock stare her clothes and demeanor better suited a street hooker than a professional as we should have expected in our troubled times the many critics of phoenixs contrived appearance were labeled as sexists bullies and misogynists she herself tried to excoriate her detractors emphasizing how good she was at her job and the professional standards she supposedly meets every day but there are a few questions both the original photo exercise and her subsequent justifications failed to answer namely if shes so good at her job why did she need to use a seethrough bra in the picture why doesnt she wear a top size that comfortably contains her breasts rather than flaunting them why is she and not someone else in the photo though the attentionseeking of jayde and her employer first flared up several months ago the dilemma of girls like her is an ongoing one try getting employed in an office as a man with this sort of attire baggy pants with your underwear showing the male office worker could be wearing black pants and not jeans like in the photo and sporting a typical business shirt that doesnt matter no white collar company worth a dime is going to hire a man whose boxers or briefs are showing down to his ass compare this to the parade of female office workers who go beyond showing their arms and the hint of a bra strap to exhibiting half the surface area of their breasts in addition if you havent already noticed the very short crop top is now a staple garment within american office unculture it is not unusual to see a large part of a womans bare stomach and back including overthetop tattoos hawaiian shirts and board shorts some workplaces most notably those trying to appear hip have drastically relaxed the need for business attire but these employers are definitely in the minority a man with a penchant for hawaiian shirts board shirts or other beach clothing will find his career options drastically limited as they should be the way in which you relate to your friends or fellow tourists on a holiday is almost always far different from how you should deal with clients investors stakeholders and the like in your profession men save their best or worst hawaiian shirt for office charity fundraising days company summer parties and related functions not an average day leather lycra or ridiculously tight clothing in general inasmuch as tight clothing on men doesnt tickle your or my fancy its how ironic how an obese woman can wear garments twice or thrice as closefitting in the workplace than a fit male and male office workers of the world dont even consider wearing leather pants during your next boardroom presentation the occasional gay man or metrosexual might escape sanction for some outlandish or garish outfit but most industries if they value their reputation with clients will prohibit you from donning clothing that looks like it came from the wardrobe of lance armstrong or someone from queer eye for the straight guy excuses for female attentionseeking are out of control it seems that lady victoria hervey and jayde phoenix read the same book there is little doubt that jayde phoenixs employer expected a backlash against her in this sense it was a very good marketing and advertising ploy for those prospective clients who do not care about actual professionalism of which there are many as for phoenix and other women like her this situation is winwin at the very least she and those of her ilk can continue their daytoday objectification of themselves generating desperately craved male attention in particular even for girls who do not receive the publics spotlight any roadblock or mishap in their career can later be blamed on misogyny after judgments about their appearance at best as happened in phoenixs situation she gets nationwide and even global coverage for narcissistic girls who take zero responsibility for how others may negatively perceive them this is the coup of a lifetime yet as they age and jayde phoenix looks far older than her early s expect their antics to become more strawclutching and while these girls engage in sexual selfadvancement and wage war over imaginary discriminations the vast majority of male employees have no scapegoat they can use to rationalize their failures and virtually no means of combating institutionalized prejudice against their socalled privilege by the way is jayde phoenixs arabic necklace indicative of some work she may have done in dubai read more types of photos girls use to attention whore on tinder
Trump victory may create new tension between U.S. and Islam: Indonesia clerical body
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Donald Trump’s U.S. election victory may create fresh tension between the United States and the Islamic world, an official at Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body said on Wednesday. Trump, who once proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States, stunned the world by defeating heavily favored Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, ending eight years of Democratic rule. Trump had made “negative, cynical” comments about Muslims in the past, Din Syamsuddin, a senior official at the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), told reporters in Jakarta. “He had forgotten that many Americans are immigrants.” Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population.
Here s how McNaughton describes the painting:Against the background of a darkening sky, all of the past Presidents of the United States gather before the White House, as if to commemorate some great event. In the left hand corner of the painting sits a man. That man, with his head bowed appears distraught and hopeless as he contemplates his future. Some of the past Presidents try to console him while looking in the direction of the modern Presidents as if to say, What have you done? Many of these modern Presidents, seemingly oblivious to anything other than themselves, appear to be congratulating each other on their great accomplishments. In front of the man, paper trash is blowing in the wind. Crumpled dollar bills, legislative documents, and, like a whisper the U.S. Constitution beneath the foot of Barack Obama.THE FORGOTTEN MAN Go to www.jonmcnaughton.comVia: Conservative Treehouse
Russia sets out why it thinks U.N. wrongly accused Syria over sarin attack
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Thursday set out why it disputed U.N. and Western allegations that the Syrian government had been behind a deadly chemical attack on the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in April that killed dozens. A report sent to the United Nations Security Council last week concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad s government was responsible for the attack, which prompted a U.S. missile strike against a Syrian air base. Russia, whose air force and special forces have been supporting the Syrian army, said at the time there was no evidence to show Damascus was responsible and the chemicals that killed civilians belonged to rebels, not Assad s government. On Thursday, with the aid of maps, satellite footage and charts, Moscow set out why it believed the Syrian government had been unfairly maligned. A Russian Defence Ministry official told a media briefing that the Syrian Su-22 jet accused of dropping the chemical bomb was not physically close enough to the attack site to have been involved. Thus, I believe the information provided cannot confirm the use of chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun in the form of an aviation bomb dropped from a Syrian Air Force Su-22 jet, the RIA news agency quoted the official, whom it did not name, as saying. Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, told the same briefing that U.S. accusations that Russia had encouraged the use of chemical weapons in Syria were ungrounded, RIA reported. It was hysteria and a completely open attempt to discredit Russia with rather primitive dirty means, Ulyanov was quoted as saying. The White House on Wednesday admonished Russia after it vetoed a United Nations plan to continue its ongoing investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Russia and the United States. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons during the country s more than six-year civil war.
MOST UNWANTED MAN IN THE WORLD: Argentinians Don’t Want Obama In Their Country…Americans Would Like Him To Stay There
January 2017 can t come fast enough for America, and for the rest of the world who is 100% FED UP with this freeloading, fascist loving family .For two days President Barack Obama has defied calls from Republicans to cancel his trip to South America and return home in the wake of the terror attacks in Brussels.And now it seems even his guests are sick of having him after dozens of human rights protesters took to the streets of Buenos Aires to demand he leave Argentina.But instead of departing Obama chose to carry on regardless this evening as he attended a glitzy banquet alongside wife Michelle, Argentine President Mauricio Macri and first lady Juliana Awada.The foursome were pictured arriving at the Centro Cultural Kirchner, named after Argentina s former Prime Minister and Marci s predecessor, in the country s capital this evening.The group paused for a photo opportunity on a red carpet with Obama and Marci dressed in suits and Michelle and Awada in glamorous evening dresses.From there they made their way into a leafy candlelit courtyard for champagne, where Obama was pictured clinking glasses with Marci. Meanwhile a few streets away human rights protesters were busy burning American flags and demanding Obama leave the country. The protesters accuse America of backing dictatorial regimes during the Cold War in South America, including in Argentina, and hold the U.S. responsible for the thousands who died or were disappeared under their rule.Today marks the 40th anniversary of the military coup in Argentina that ushered in one of the most oppressive dictatorships in Latin American history, which demonstrators argue makes Obama s visit particularly offensive.Earlier in the day, Obama sought to deflect criticism of his foreign travel in the wake of Belgium s terror attacks, saying the U.S. must show ISIS that it does not have power over its citizens. We are strong, our values are right. You offer nothing, except death, Obama said of ISIS.Gesturing in the direction of Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, who was standing to his left at a joint news conference this afternoon in Buenos Aires, Obama said, It is important for the United States president and the United States government to be able to work with people who are building and who are creating things. We have to make sure that we lift up and stay focused, as well, on the things that are most important to us, he said. Because we re on the right side of history. Via: Daily MailYeah right Barry.
Donald Trump Jr. Says Bragging About Sexual Assault Is Just ‘A Fact Of Life’
Donald Trump Jr. tried in vain to brush off his dad s boasts of being able to sexually assault women, arguing that when men talk, these kinds of remarks are just a fact of life. During an interview with KIRO radio 97.3 on Friday, Junior said that men always say such lewd things about women as grab em by the pussy and it is just an inevitability of life. Obviously he s not happy about that, but I think we probably all know guys who have had conversations with other guys that go a little bit in that direction, that s a fact of life, Trump Jr. said. I think he s able to relate to ordinary Americans because in many cases he is still very much like that. He does do that. He hasn t spent his whole life sitting there polishing every statement he s ever made, every conversation he s ever had, he added.Trump Jr. started to say that his father speaks from the heart and then cut himself off, apparently realizing that this argument wasn t exactly helping the situation. He finally admitted that yes, his father s comments were a mistake, but explained that all men who aren t politicians talk like this because the only reason you don t brag about sexual assault is to con people into voting for you. He speaks from the heart, that one is obviously one that we don t want to that was a mistake, he recognizes that, he realizes it but he s able to make a mistake because he hasn t spent his whole life just trying to be a politician. Trump s campaign has been in a tailspin following the release of the 2005 Access Hollywood tape that featured Donald bragging about being able to sexually assault any woman he pleases thanks to his celebrity status. During the second presidential debate, he claimed that he had never actually done these kinds of things to a woman. But in the days that followed, at least ten women have stepped forward to accuse Trump of doing to them exactly what he described on the bombshell tape.Featured image via Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Egyptian security forces kill 10 suspected militants in Cairo raids
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt s security forces killed 10 suspected militants on Sunday in a shootout during a raid on two apartments in central Cairo, the Interior Ministry said. Nine policemen, including four officers, were injured during the two raids, it said in a statement. An insurgency led by Islamic State in Egypt s rugged Sinai peninsula has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the Egyptian military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-2013, but attacks have increasingly moved to the mainland in recent months. Authorities received information about militants fleeing North Sinai to hideouts in Cairo, where they were preparing to carry out attacks on more centrally located provinces, the ministry statement said. The police suffered their injuries after a suspected militant detonated an explosive device to block them from entering the building and during an exchange of fire that followed, security sources said. One of the security sources said authorities suspect the individuals to be members of Hasm, a group which has claimed several attacks around the Egyptian capital targeting judges and policemen since last year. Egypt accuses Hasm of being a militant wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group it outlawed in 2013. The Muslim Brotherhood denies this.
DISRESPECTFUL DEMS EXPOSED! You’ll Never Guess Who Also Boycotted George W. Bush’s Inauguration [VIDEO]
It s a free country, and the nineteen (and counting) members of Congress who are planning to boycott President-elect Trump s inauguration are certainly within their rights. So even is Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who said over the weekend that Trump s election (or his presidency) is illegitimate. That doesn t make his comment true or honorable or helpful to the nation s well-being, but he is free to say it.Reps. Lewis, Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and the other inaugural boycotters are certainly not alone in finding Trump uniquely awful. They are not alone in believing the president-elect has gone out of his way to offend people. Probably they also recognize that, in the safe districts they all represent, an inaugural boycott might even be a political winner.But this is also part of a pattern. Lewis and Lee, along with some other Democratic lawmakers at the time, also boycotted to make a point when President George W. Bush was inaugurated in 2001. The Washington Post reported at the time that Lewis thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush s swearing-in because he doesn t believe Bush is the true elected president. Maybe they had a better excuse that time, as there was so much lingering acrimony surrounding the Florida recount. But we re talking about elected members of Congress who have refused to accept two Republican presidencies in a row. Is there always a good enough excuse whenever a Republican wins? At what point is it fair to ask whether some people are just not committed to democratic or legal processes at all unless the results come out as they hope? Washington ExaminerWatch the video below to see how Democrats protested Bush s inauguration:After skipping Bush's inauguration in '01, @Trish_Regan says there's a pattern of John Lewis's attempts to de-legitimize Presidents! Trish Regan Intel (@TrishIntel) January 16, 2017
WHAT MORATORIUM? These guys in Congress are getting around the moratorium and spending like drunken sailors er pigs Stop the madness!Congress has appropriated over $4 billion earmarks this year despite a ban on pork barrel spending, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) announced on Wednesday.The group unveiled the 23rd edition of its Pig Book at the Phoenix Park Hotel near Capitol Hill, revealing millions in earmarks for fish passage, embryo adoption awareness, and abstinence education. The 2015 Pig Book continues to prove that any earmark is a bad earmark, CAGW president Tom Schatz said. At a time when members of Congress from both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol continue to call for a restoration of earmarks, taxpayers should deliver a loud and clear message that it is time for earmarks to be permanently banned. Congress has been operating under a self-imposed earmark moratorium since 2010. However, lawmakers have found ways to get around the moratorium.CAGW found the cost of earmarks increased from $2.7 billion to $4.2 billion between fiscal years 2014 and 2015.The report highlights $2.6 million earmarked for the Denali Commission, a 1998 program to build infrastructure in rural Alaska that President Obama wanted to eliminate in 2012. Since FY 2000, 26 projects worth $295.8 million have been earmarked for the Denali Commission, including requests by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), Sen. Mark Begich (D., Alaska), and the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R., Alaska), according to the Pig Book.Read more: WFB
On the sidelines of the 2016 presidential campaign
(Reuters) - For the scores of photographers on the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign trail, capturing the characters, the color and the vibe of the election often means turning away from the speaker on the podium. “The audience, the voters and the candidate are equally important,” said Brian Snyder, who has been a photographer for Reuters for more than 20 years. “The voters need the candidates and the candidates need the voters. Any way you can show that visually is a good campaign picture as far as I’m concerned.” Take, for example, the window full of young Bernie Sanders supporters that Snyder photographed at Bronx Community College in New York, waving to the U.S. senator from Vermont. Sanders won enthusiastic support from young people in his hard-fought race against the eventual presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Or look at the tree with umbrellas hanging to dry on it outside a rainy Sanders rally in Buffalo, New York, after the Secret Service prevented supporters from carrying them inside. “I’m sure one person did it, and then the other person thought it was a good idea, and then the next thing you know, there are 30 umbrellas,” Snyder said. “It was just one of those funny things.” Veteran Reuters photographer Mike Segar described covering this year’s U.S. presidential campaign as “strangely fun.” In a 23-year Reuters career, Segar has covered five presidential elections, but said that this one was different, especially with New York businessman Donald Trump, who became the presumptive Republican nominee, playing a starring role. “The tone of the Trump campaign makes everything different for everybody,” Segar said. He added that heightened security around Trump had also impacted how photographers illustrate the campaign. Segar took a photograph of one of his own meals when he was covering a Clinton rally: hamburger meat on a bed of undressed spinach in a tinfoil to-go container. “I was trying to give viewers a little bit of a different taste of what we see on a day to day basis,” Segar said with a laugh. “Your photos don’t necessarily have to capture the most earth-shattering moments of the campaign, but they have to capture people’s interest.” Reuters photographer Lucas Jackson said he always looked for a different angle at rallies. In one of his photos, young reporters can be seen staring into the screens of their Macbook laptops at a Sanders rally in Pennsylvania. “Usually cameras are pointed at the candidate,” Jackson Said. “I’m always looking to add context.”
Trump Humiliates Chris Christie To His Face: ‘I Hated To Do That, But I Had To Make My Point’ (VIDEO)
Chris Christie just had yet another terrible day at the hands of his new boss, Donald Trump. In what is becoming a trend, Trump once again used Christie as his personal punching bag, while the humiliated governor was forced to stand close by and grovel.At a campaign stop in Ohio, Trump took a dig at the state s governor John Kasich by noting that he was such a bad governor, that he may have even been worse than Christie. Christie was standing off to Trump s side, forced to pretend to like it as he was mocked by the man he endorsed for president. It was surreal. Your governor, Kasich, if you look at him, and I m being totally impartial, he goes to New Hampshire, he s living in New Hampshire. Living. Where s Chris? Is Chris around? Even more than Chris Christie he was there. [Trump points at Chris, standing just off camera] Right?! Ouch. The dig is particularly bad because Christie has often been accused of abandoning his state to promote himself. But don t worry, Chris. Trump felt awfully bad about telling a crowd that you are terrible. I hated to do that, Trump said with a smile, but I had to make my point. The scorching by his new best friend comes at a very awkward time for Christie. The New Jersey governor has been getting hammered by critics in his state for abandoning his job to run a failed campaign for president and then immediately jump on the Trump bandwagon, and avoid his job again. Already, many are calling for Christie to resign or face impeachment.On the very same day that he was being shamed by Trump, Christie set off a firestorm of outrage when he announced he would be in Ohio rather than attend the funeral of a police officer who had been killed in the line of duty.Local media outlets reported that hundreds of police officers, family members and friends attended Cullen s funeral in Washington Township, N.J.Christie, however, was not one of them.Instead, the former 2016 White House hopeful hosted a town hall forum with Trump at noon on Monday, the same time Cullen s funeral was scheduled for, at Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C.He then joined Trump for his Ohio event.This isn t the first time Christie has had to stand with a grin while Trump brought him to heel in front of thousands of people and dozens of news cameras. Earlier this year, a hot mic captured Trump telling Christie to get off the stage they were sharing and get on the plane. The incident quickly went viral, confirming many of the rumors swirling about Trump s campaign and his obsession with not letting anyone share his spotlight.Why does Christie suffer through this level of disrespect? That s easy. His career as governor is doomed, and he s shooting for attorney general in Trump s administration. Who needs self-respect when you have a job lined up from your new boss who hates you?Featured image via YouTube
London's East Croydon station to reopen after security check: police
LONDON (Reuters) - London s East Croydon station was due to reopen on Monday after police said an item they had been investigating was not harmful. The item at East Croydon has been declared non-suspicious, Britain s transport police said on Twitter. The station will be reopening very shortly. The temporary closure caused delays for commuters and for travellers using the city s nearby Gatwick Airport. Britain is on its second-highest level of security alert after several attacks in the country in recent months.
China says war must not be allowed on Korean peninsula
BEIJING (Reuters) - The crisis over North Korea s weapons programs must be resolved through talks, not war, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the danger of sleepwalking into conflict. Xi made his comments to visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered on Tuesday to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions. But the White House said on Wednesday that no negotiations could be held until North Korea improved its behaviour. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tillerson s offer of direct contacts with North Korea was a very good signal while warning that any U.S. strike on the country would have catastrophic consequences. Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed North Korea during a phone call, the White House and Kremlin said in separate statements. The two leaders talked about working together to resolve the very dangerous situation, the White House said on Thursday. Tillerson is to attend a U.N. Security Council ministerial meeting on North Korea in New York on Friday at which he plans to urge countries to maintain a U.S.-led campaign to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its weapons programs through sanctions. North Korea tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 29, which it said could put all of the United States within range, in defiance of international pressure and U.N. sanctions. The United States has said all options were on the table in dealing with North Korea, including military action. Meeting in Beijing s Great Hall of the People, Xi told Moon the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula must be stuck to, and war and chaos cannot be allowed, Chinese state media said. The peninsula issue must, in the end, be resolved via dialogue and consultation, Xi was cited as saying. China and South Korea have an important shared interest in maintaining peace, and China was willing to work with South Korea to promote talks and support North and South to improve relations, Xi said. South Korea s Yonhap news agency said Xi and Moon agreed war on the peninsula would not be tolerated and they would cooperate in applying sanctions and pressure on North Korea. The apparently warm tone of their talks followed nearly a year of tense relations between the two countries. China has been furious about the deployment of the U.S.-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, saying its powerful radar can see far into China. China and South Korea agreed in October to normalise exchanges and move past the dispute, which froze trade and business exchanges. Xi reiterated China s position on THAAD and said he hoped South Korea would continue to appropriately handle the issue. Guterres, speaking to reporters in Tokyo after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said Security Council resolutions on North Korea s nuclear and missile programmes must be fully implemented by Pyongyang and other countries. He said he expected Friday s Security Council meeting would deliver a strong expression of unity and the need for diplomacy to resolve the issue. The worst possible thing that could happen is for us all to sleepwalk into a war, he said. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said after meeting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in London on Thursday that military options in North Korea did not look attractive and the best way forward was to intensify economic pressure. Both China and Russia have welcomed Tillerson s apparent overture. Putin said a U.S. strike on North Korea would have catastrophic consequences and that he hoped to work with Washington eventually to resolve the crisis. Putin told a news conference that Russia did not accept North Korea s nuclear status, but some U.S. actions had provoked North Korea. We believe the two sides should now stop aggravating the situation, he said. North Korea justifies its weapons programmes as necessary defence against U.S. plans to invade. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such intention. North Korea s state news agency KCNA said Trump was taking a big step towards nuclear war in seeking a naval blockade and North Korea would take merciless self-defence measures if the United States tried to impose one. North Korea would regard a naval blockade as an act of war and a wanton violation of its sovereignty and dignity, the agency cited a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying, while reiterating that North Korea was a responsible nuclear power that would fulfil its non proliferation commitments. It was not immediately clear if the latter remark was a response to Tillerson s statement this week that Washington could not accept Pyongyang as a nuclear power as it was a proliferation risk. Washington has not publicly called for a blockade of North Korea, but has sought tougher U.N. steps, including non-consensual inspections of shipping to North Korea. Stepped-up U.N. Security Council sanctions imposed in September after North Korea s sixth nuclear test called on states to inspect vessels on the high seas, with the consent of the flag state, if they had reasonable grounds to believe the ships were carrying prohibited cargo. A tougher U.S.-drafted resolution was watered down to win the support of Russia and China.
U.S. court to hold hearing Monday on who will lead CFPB: order
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal court in the District of Columbia is due to hear arguments on Monday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT) on the question of who should lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the court said. Lawyers for the Trump administration and Leandra English, a CFPB official, are due to appear at a hearing to consider whether Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s pick to temporarily lead the agency, should be removed.
In Alabama's Senate race, contenders fight over who is Trump's biggest fan
(Reuters) - At first glance, U.S. Representative Mo Brooks seems exactly the kind of candidate President Donald Trump would love to see win Tuesday’s Republican primary election for Alabama’s open U.S. Senate seat. The 63-year-old Republican is a Freedom Caucus member and an immigration hardliner who calls opponent Luther Strange “Lying Luther,” echoing Trump’s penchant for bestowing insulting nicknames on his political foes. Strange, 64, is the former state attorney general who was appointed to fill the Senate seat left vacant after Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general. “Trump would like to drain the swamp; Brooks would like to blow it up,” said Larry Powell, a professor of communication at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “But their goals are the same.” Yet it was Strange, not Brooks, who earned a coveted prize last week in a race that could measure Trump’s influence in a state he carried easily in last year’s election, despite recent indications that his support among Republicans may be softening. Trump took to Twitter to offer Strange his “complete and total endorsement.” The tweet came as something of a surprise. Known as “Big Luther” thanks to his 6-foot-9-inch (2.1-meter) frame, Strange has a close alliance with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is under fire from Trump for failing to push his agenda through Congress and refusing to eliminate a filibuster that gives Democrats veto power over many key bills. Strange agrees the filibuster should remain in place. In a telephone interview, Brooks noted that Trump followed his endorsement of Strange with a barrage of Twitter criticisms aimed at McConnell, which Brooks called “extraordinarily baffling.” “Any Alabama voter who wants to see President Trump’s legislative agenda pass the United States Senate would be much better served to vote for Mo Brooks than Luther Strange,” Brooks said. “President Trump’s entire legislative agenda is dead so long as the Senate’s 60-percent rule requires President Trump to get the consent of Democrat leader Chuck Schumer to pass it.” Both Brooks and Strange may be losing to the third viable candidate in the nine-way race. Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, 70, has led in several voter surveys, though polling in the race has been limited. The Moore and Strange campaigns did not respond to requests for comment. Assuming no candidate reaches 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will go head-to-head in late September, with the winner a heavy favorite against whoever emerges from the Democratic primary. For weeks, Strange and Brooks have lobbed attacks at one another as insufficiently committed to Trump. Advertisements from supporters of Strange highlighted Brooks’ endorsement of Texas Senator Ted Cruz for president last year, as well as criticism Brooks made of Trump at the time. Brooks, a founder of the House of Representatives’ far-right Freedom Caucus who survived the shooting attack on Congress members at a softball practice in June, has fired back by attacking Strange for his close ties to Senate leadership. Strange and Brooks have largely ignored Moore, though Strange backers have run some anti-Moore ads in recent days. “I think both assume that Moore is going to make the runoff, and whoever gets to the runoff will likely beat him,” Powell said. Moore made his name in 2003 by refusing a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building and losing his position. After winning another term in 2013, he was suspended in 2016 and later resigned after directing state judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court and continue to enforce a ban on same-sex marriage. The former judge is popular among religious conservatives but had trouble expanding his base in previous campaigns for governor. Each contender would likely serve as a reliable Republican vote in the Senate, with little daylight between their policy positions. “All three of these candidates are different intensities of the same flavor,” said Steven Taylor, a political science professor at Troy University in Alabama.
New U.S. government rules restrict travel and trade with Cuba
WASHINGTON/HAVANA (Reuters) - The U.S. government made it tougher on Wednesday for Americans to visit Cuba and do business in the country, making good on a pledge by President Donald Trump to roll back his Democratic predecessor s move toward warmer ties with Havana. The restrictions, which take effect on Thursday, are aimed at preventing the military, intelligence and security arms of Cuba s Communist government from benefiting from American tourists and trade, the White House said. They fill in the regulatory detail on a Trump policy speech in June, in which the Republican president called for a tightening of restrictions. He said then that the Cuban government continued to oppress its people and former President Barack Obama had made too many concessions in his 2014 diplomatic breakthrough with Washington s former Cold War foe. The regulations include a ban on Americans doing business with some 180 Cuban government entities, holding companies, and tourism companies. The list includes 83 state-owned hotels, including famous hotels in Old Havana such as Ernest Hemingway s erstwhile favorite haunt the Hotel Ambos Mundos, as well as the city s new luxury shopping mall. All these measures hurt the Cuban people, said Cuba s Foreign Ministry chief for U.S. Affairs Josefina Vidal. She said that government revenue funds Cuba s free education and healthcare systems. Speaking to reporters in Havana, she called the list arbitrary and the regulations a further setback in U.S.-Cuban relations. The new rules were criticized as too lax by Republican leaders who favor a hard line, but as counterproductive by those who agreed with Obama s rationale for the detente: that Washington s many decades of isolating the Caribbean island failed to force change. The Cuban hotels listed included those run by military-linked chains Gaviota and Habaguanex. Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a Cuban-American, said the list failed to go far enough because it omitted companies like Gran Caribe Hotel Group and Cubanacan that have ties to the Cuban government. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said the regulations were unfair to Cuba, coming as Trump was being feted in Beijing by a Communist government in a country to which Americans can travel freely. The hypocrisy of the White House ideologues is glaring, Leahy said in a statement. While U.S. travelers will still be able to make authorized trips to Cuba with a U.S.-based organization and accompanied by a U.S. representative of the group, it will be harder for them to travel individually, according to the new regulations. Before Obama s opening, travel by many Americans was similarly restricted to such organized trips. Travelers need to be able to show a full-time schedule with activities that support Cuban people and show meaningful interaction, going beyond merely staying in rooms in private homes, eating in private restaurants, or shopping in private stores, a U.S. official told reporters on a conference call. The administration says it is keen to support such small private enterprises that have sprung up around the country under President Raul Castro s reforms to the largely state-controlled economy. Staying or eating or shopping in some of those privately owned places is something that we wanted to encourage. But what we wanted to say is, that alone is not enough, the official said. However, Cubans in the fledgling private sector say the Trump administration s more hostile stance toward Havana has already hurt their business. He is putting us in serious danger by frightening away American visitors looking to rent our properties, said Norma Hernandez, who rents out rooms on Airbnb and who said her business flourished over the last year thanks to a surge in U.S. visitors. Trump s rollback of Obama s opening has not affected a centerpiece of the detente, the restoration of diplomatic ties and the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington. Business contracts and travel arrangements already in place will be allowed to go ahead and will not be subject to the restrictions, officials told reporters. The list of entities that Americans cannot do business with includes a special development zone at Cuba s Mariel port, which Cuba hopes to develop into a major Caribbean industrial and shipping hub with tax and customs breaks. The National Foreign Trade Council, a business lobby group in Washington, called the Mariel restriction counterproductive because it would hurt a Cuban government initiative that could potentially benefit Cuban workers. The head of an educational travel company said there were still many legal avenues - as well as commercial flights, cruise ships, U.S.-owned hotels, and tour providers - to enable Americans to visit Cuba. But he said the new restrictions would hurt Cuba s private sector, at a time when the economy is already struggling. U.S. backtracking on Cuba could not come at a worse time, said Collin Laverty, president of Cuba Educational Travel.
CLEAR DISCRIMINATION: SNAP Still Gives Preference to Illegals Over American Citizens
THE CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES is a great resource for all the facts on illegals and taxpayer dollars. Patty and I were lucky enough to attend a two-day workshop with them in DC. The main fact that stuck with us is that the current immigration system is UNSUSTAINABLE They used facts and figures to lay out the truth for us and it was frightening! This is why it is even more frightening that the feds are STILL giving preferential treatment to illegals when it comes to SNAP.CIS s David North gives us the low down:It s been six months since Donald Trump took office, and some families with illegal aliens get food stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) while identical all-citizen families of the same size and with the same income do not receive them.This is not a question of treating illegal aliens like other residents of this country, it is clear-cut discrimination against citizens and in favor of illegals.This long-standing (and peculiar) arrangement is the sort of thing that one would expect to be corrected by the third, if not the first, month of a new get-tough-on-illegal-immigration administration, such as that of the campaigning Donald Trump.I checked with the Department of Agriculture s Food and Nutrition Service this week, the $110 billion-a-year agency that runs food stamps and some other nutrition programs.Two questions were on my mind: 1) does the food stamp program still, under a particular set of circumstances, operate with this anti-citizen bias, and 2) has the Trump administration made an appointment of one or more outsiders to help run the agency?The answer to the second question came quickly: No, but there is a civil servant running the program on an acting basis who was placed in that job by the White House. Does an agency have to have a budget of, say, $200 billion a year before the administration notices its existence?It took a little longer to get the answer to the first question, because the nature of the discrimination is subtle and a lot of professionals in the welfare business do not want to make the distinction between legal and illegal residents of this country.Here s how the system works: Illegal aliens are not allocated food stamps, but if the family is mixed, with some citizens and some illegals, the mixed family still gets some benefits. States are allowed, to some extent, to pick and choose among benefit-determination methods. Most states have chosen a technique that does not record some of the earnings of illegal aliens, while always recording all the income of citizens.Let s look at the system as applied to two similar families who live in adjacent houses; both have incomes of $2,400 a month, both have the same assets, both families consist of a working male, his stay-at-home spouse, and their stay-at-home toddler. The only difference is that one of the men is a native-born citizen and the other is an illegal alien. Everyone else in the two households is a citizen.OK, so far. Now let s walk through Alice s special mirror, and see how the government handles the situation. It sees the three-citizen family as three people and says that $2,400 a month is too high an income for food stamps. It looks at the other family and sees it as a two-member family, because the man is an illegal, and then here s the key the government decides that only two-thirds of the family income should be counted, and that $1,600 is not too high for a family of two, hence the family with the illegal alien in it gets food stamps and the other family does not.There are bands of income in which this situation plays out with different sized families, giving benefits to some mixed families, and denying them to all-citizen families of the same size and with the same income. For more on these strange arrangements, see the CIS report An Aid Program that Routinely Discriminates in Favor of Ineligible Aliens .That s the way it was under Obama, and after I explained the (admittedly bizarre) matter to the Food and Nutrition Service publicist, she told me that it remains that way under Trump.This story is symptomatic of two larger realities. Both the Obama and Trump administrations managed to conduct big immigration operations to their own liking; think of DACA with Obama, and, under Trump, the way that enforcement people were given the freedom to do their jobs.But Obama was much more successful in the minutia of immigration policy than Trump; for years I wrote about this little move to admit a small class of migrants, or that little move that prevented another subclass from being deported. We are not seeing that, or maybe not yet, with the Trump administration. You can t change policy, at least at the retail level, without people to write and push the new policies.So an unknown but substantial number of mixed (illegals plus citizens) families are getting food stamps when equally poor neighbors, who happen to be in all-citizen families, go hungry.Read more and please check out the CIS websiteJESSICA VAUGHAN OF CIS DISCUSSES EXPEDITED REMOVAL OF ILLEGALS UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION:Please use this website as a resource for facts when it comes to immigration!
Corporate sponsors like Coke should think again before hiring this potty mouthed anti-American hack singer for anything.Rihanna performed American Oxygen live for the first time at Saturday s March Madness Music Festival.If, by chance, corporate sponsors, broadcasters and the NCAA advised acts playing the March Madness Music Festival to not comment on the controversy that s gripped Indiana, Rihanna and supporting act Bleachers didn t heed that memo on Saturday.Rihanna paused during her performance to verbally slam RFRA in two expletive-laden sentences.The 2015 installment of the annual three-day event was held in Indianapolis, timed to the NCAA s Final Four competition. Rihanna was the headliner of the Coke Zero Countdown concert at White River State Park.Rihanna sang American Oxygen . It s a sluggish number that frames itself as a 21st-century The Times They Are A-Changin . We are the new America, sang Rihanna in a performance that TBS picked up for broadcast during Saturday s basketball coverage.Rihanna wrote on Twitter afterward, Thank you Indiana!!!! I would never forget how much fun I had with you tonight!! You blew me away!!! Thank you man!! One love always. And even though American Oxygen hasn t been officially released, the crowd responded to the performance quite strongly. You SANG EVERY F*CKING WORD!!!! tweeted Rihanna. That sh*t legit give me goosebumps!! GAG! WHAT IS NEW AMERICA? IS IT THE HATE AND DIVISION PROMOTED BY OUR PRESIDENT? IS IT THE TURMOIL AND CHAOS IN THE MIDDLE EAST CAUSED BY OUR PRESIDENT? IS IT THE SOARING NATIONAL DEBT IGNORED BY OUR PRESIDENT? IS IT THE COLONIZATION VIA INVASION OF ILLEGALS FROM CENTRAL AMERICA THAT S THE NEW AMERICA ?Via: indystar
North Korea sentences South Korean reporters to death over review of book about country
SEOUL (Reuters) - A North Korean court sentenced two South Korean journalists and their publishers to death for seriously insulting the dignity of the country by reviewing and interviewing the British authors of a book about life in the North, its state media said on Thursday. North Korea has previously issued harshly worded accusations against South Korean entities and individuals for allegedly violating its dignity, by slandering its leadership and its political system. The book in English titled North Korea Confidential was authored by James Pearson, a Seoul-based correspondent for Reuters, and Daniel Tudor, former correspondent in South Korea for the Economist magazine. The book, based on interviews with North Korean defectors, diplomats and traders, depicts a growing market economy where ordinary North Koreans enjoy access to South Korea music and TV dramas, fashion and smuggled Chinese and American films. Pearson wrote the book, published in 2015, before joining Reuters. The Korean-language edition, published earlier this month with the title translated as Capitalist Republic of Korea , was reviewed by South Korea s Dong-A Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo newspapers. A spokesman for the North s Central Court said in a statement carried by the country s official KCNA news agency that the book viciously slandered the reality of the DPRK , the initials for North Korea s official name of the Democratic People s Republic of Korea. The book painted life in the country as increasingly capitalistic where money can buy power and influence, the spokesman said. The South Korean journalists who reviewed the book committed a hideous crime of seriously insulting the dignity of the DPRK with the use of dishonest contents carried by North Korea Confidential , the court spokesman said. The Central Court has ordered the execution of the journalists, Son Hyo-rim of the Dong-A Ilbo and Yang Ji-ho of the Chosun Ilbo, and the publishers of the newspapers. It also demanded the South Korean government investigate their crimes and punish them, the state media said. The court statement did not make any mention of punishment for the book s authors. A Dong-A Ilbo representative said the newspaper declined to comment and its reporter Son did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Chosun Ilbo reporter Yang declined to comment while a newspaper representative could not be immediately reached for comment. Tudor, the co-author of the book, declined to comment. A Reuters spokeswoman declined to comment. Dong-A Ilbo, Chosun Ilbo and other conservative media in South Korea have so far committed smear campaign against the DPRK nonstop, KCNA quoted the court as saying. The criminals hold no right to appeal and the execution will be carried out any moment and at any place without going through any additional procedures.
Cambodia's political prince submits to its strongman
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - With Cambodia s opposition warning of the imminent death of its democracy, the historic rival who once beat Prime Minister Hun Sen in an election said there was no option but to work with the strongman. Seventy three year-old Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Hun Sen s opponent in U.N.-supervised elections in 1993, has horrified Cambodia s main opposition party with a call for it to be dissolved after its leader was charged with treason. Ranariddh s career exemplifies not only the swings in Cambodian politics, but also the way Hun Sen, 65, has used force and cunning to neutralize enemies since defecting from the genocidal Khmer Rouge in the 1970s to help drive it from power. Samdech Hun Sen, you want or you don t want, you like him or you don t like him, he brings about this national unity, Ranariddh said, using the prime minister s formal title. According to the law you are not allowed to harm national unity, the white haired Ranariddh told Reuters on Saturday. Beside him, four aides nodded and pressed together their palms in deferential emphasis. Ranariddh s royalist Funcinpec party won no parliamentary seats in 2013 elections, but would be allocated most of those held by the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) if it is dissolved after the arrest of leader Kem Sokha last month. Alongside the government, Funcinpec has sought a ban on the CNRP because of the arrest. Kem Sokha and his party dismiss the charges against him as bogus and an attempt to extend Hun Sen s 32-year rule at the head of the Cambodian People s Party (CPP) amid the biggest crackdown on critics of the prime minister in years. The prince failed his people when he had the mandate to bring real peace, said Mu Sochua, a deputy to Kem Sokha who recently fled to exile in fear of arrest. Now, he is robbing his people of their right to choose the leader of their choice by collaborating with the CPP in the dissolution of the CNRP. Ranariddh was summoned to politics from his post as a French law lecturer by his wily father, the late King Norodom Sihanouk. With royalist sentiment strong, Ranariddh beat Hun Sen in the 1993 election organized by the United Nations. But when Hun Sen threatened a return to war, Sihanouk did a deal that sidelined his son as a co-prime minister. Ranariddh was driven into exile in 1997 after his forces were defeated by those of Hun Sen in bloody clashes in Phnom Penh. After international pressure, Ranariddh was allowed to contest elections a year after, but never again came close to winning and entered on and off alliances with Hun Sen. Splits in the party followed and after a spell overseas following accusations of financial scandal, Ranariddh returned in 2015. As he speaks, he switches between English and Khmer with a peppering of French. We are not puppets, Ranariddh said beside a huge portrait of his father. We are definitely not an opposition party but we don t always, always, always say yes, yes, yes, yes, yes . We can say no . Although the United States and other Western countries helped secure Ranariddh s return to Cambodia in the 1990s, he dismissed their criticism of Kem Sokha s arrest and calls on the government to stop moves to ban the CNRP. I, Norodom Ranariddh, would like them to leave us free to decide, he said.
BREAKING BAD: John McCain’s Campaign Rocked by Meth Lab Scandal
21st Century Wire asks Will this be the beginning of the end for John McCain s re-election campaign? BUSTED The police raid in Phoenix that targeted a McCain fundraiser. (Photo link scoopnest)Earlier the week, US Senator John McCain s campaign fundraiser Emily Pitha was arrested at her Phoenix residence by Maricopa County sheriff s deputies after an operational meth lab was discovered on the premises by authorities.Pitha, an independent consultant at the political organization LovasCo Consulting Group has been involved in Arizona political fundraising for nearly 3 years according to her Linkedin profile.The LovasCo Consulting Group is operated by Corinne Lovas, wife of Arizona Representative Phil Lovas. McCain s re-election campaign parted ties with Pitha after her arrest but said it will continue to work with LovasCo. FUNDRAISER TO FELON? Emily Pitha, McCain s campaign fundraiser seen here in an image from LinkedIn. (Photo link phoenixnewtimes)Dirty MoneyPitha, 34, along with her boyfriend, Christopher Hustrulid, 36, face a host of felony drug charges after authorities were tipped off by package that arrived at her residence from the Netherlands containing 250 grams of MDMA.The Phoenix New Times recently reported that the couple s Phoenix home turned up a large quantity of contraband and evidence of drug dealing. The New Times also stated in an ironic twist that The top Republican fundraising company that employed drug-bust suspect Emily Pitha also raised money for Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, an anti-marijuana-legalization group. Prior to Pitha serving as a constituent service representative for former Senator Jon Kyl, Senator Jeff Flake, she recently worked as a logistics manager for former Ambassador Barbara Barrett in 2013, according to her LinkedIn profile.Barrett is chairman of the Aerospace Corporation and served as the US Ambassador to Finland from 2008-2009. Aerospace has direct ties to the Senate Armed Services Committee with some of its former board members serving as counsel for the CIA, Department of Defense and Department of State. US Senator John McCain curently serves as Chairman for the Senate Armed Services Committee. BREAKING BAD Emily Pitha with boyfriend Christopher Hustrulid arrested after being implicated in multiple drug related charges. (Photo link phoenixnewtimes)Political PlagueOver the past few years, 21WIRE has outlined a virtual wrap sheet of items that have led to McCain s fall from grace on the political scene. Most notably, in May of 2013, Senator McCain illegally entered into northern Syria to meet with known members of terrorist factions while claiming that they were moderate rebels not connected to extremist fighting groups.Following this trip, the false chemical weapons allegations implicating Syria s Assad soon appeared on the scene just months after McCain s planned visit.McCain later met with NeoNazi fascist leaders in Kiev, a few short months before Maidan Square melted down and the West s regime change took shape in the Ukraine.In the face of all this, McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee continues to be hawkish on Syria and calling for more than the 250 troops recently deployed to Syria.Will authorities account for all of the funds raised by Pitha and look at how they were appropriated?McCain s political career has been plagued by a series of blunders and scandals one wonders if his campaign will be derailed by the charges against his former fundraiser or will this inconvenient truth get swept under the rug?Read more from Sputnik below SCANDAL US Senator John McCain (Photo link the beleaguered US Senator s reelection bid taking a page from the hit series Breaking Bad in a desperate attempt to appeal to young voters? On Tuesday, 34-year-old Emily Pitha was arrested for narcotics distribution and manufacturing when Maricopa County sheriff s deputies found an active meth lab and illicit drugs during a search of her north-central Phoenix home.Pitha, a former staffer for retired Arizona Republican US Senator Jon Kyl, was serving as the chief fundraiser for Arizona Republican Senator John McCain s 2016 reelection bid at the time of her arrest. The McCain campaign immediately released a statement saying Pitha was immediately terminated upon our learning of her alleged involvement in narcotics distribution The sheriff s office spokesperson said that they were alerted to criminal activity at the residence after a package was identified in transit from the Netherlands carrying over 250 grams of MDMA, street name ecstasy, a popular and illegal psychoactive drug. Pitha s boyfriend, 36-year-old Christopher Hustrulid, signed for the package when it was delivered Tuesday afternoon, right before a search warrant was served.Detective Doug Matteson said that the two children, ages 5 and 10, had easy access to all of (the) drugs and materials, even the bomb-making materials that were located in the back with the meth lab. Methamphetamine production involves volatile elements also used in manufacturing explosives.The news comes as McCain finds himself in the most competitive reelection campaign of his career. In the Republican Primary, the embattled US Senator faces an insurgent challenge from Tea Party Republican state senator Kelli Ward who has successfully tapped into the anti-establishment narrative of the 2016 election cycle.Continue this story at Sputnik READ MORE ELECTION NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire 2016 Files
Republicans Cruz, Kasich reach 'stop-Trump' deal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican White House rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich announced a deal on Sunday to stay out of each other’s way in some upcoming state primaries in hopes of blocking front-runner Donald Trump from winning the party’s presidential nomination. Cruz’s campaign said in a statement he would focus on the Indiana and give Kasich a clearer shot in Oregon and New Mexico, states where the Ohio governor expects to do well. Kasich, in turn, agreed to shift resources west and away from Indiana. The Indiana primary is on May 3, Oregon’s is May 17 and New Mexico’s June 7. Trump has won the most state nominating contests, but he has a tough path to earn the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination. The Cruz and Kasich campaigns believe their agreement to cede states where the other candidate appears strong could help limit Trump’s ability to win more delegates. Some Republican strategists who oppose Trump have been calling for such a deal for weeks. The question for Cruz and Kasich is whether their agreement is too late. If no candidate has enough support by the first vote at the Republican National Convention in July, many delegates will be allowed to switch sides on subsequent ballots. Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe said Trump, who has offended women, Hispanics and other groups with controversial statements, would lose a general election contest against the eventual Democratic nominee in the Nov. 8 election. “Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee,” Kasich chief strategist John Weaver said in a statement. Late Sunday, Trump tweeted his reaction to the deal: “Wow, just announced that Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!” Trump has frequently complained that the Republican Party’s nominating process is “rigged” against him because establishment party members oppose him. Party officials argue that the delegate selection rules have been known for some time. The stop-Trump group #NeverTrump welcomed news of the pact. “Whether you support Ted Cruz or John Kasich, a second ballot at the Convention is imperative to stopping Donald Trump. We’re happy to see the Kasich and Cruz campaigns strategically using their resources to deny Donald Trump delegates where they are in the strongest position to do so,” said the group’s senior adviser, Rory Cooper.
UK's Johnson makes fuller apology for remarks on jailed aid worker in Iran
LONDON (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson issued a second, fuller apology on Monday for remarks about an Iranian-British aid worker jailed in Iran that critics said might have prompted Iran to extend her prison sentence. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was sentenced to five years after being convicted by an Iranian court of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment. She denies the charges. Johnson told a parliamentary committee on Nov. 1 that she had been teaching people journalism before her arrest in April 2016, contradicting her and her employer, who said she had been on holiday visiting her family. It was my mistake. I should have been clearer. I apologize for the distress and anguish that has been caused to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family, Johnson told lawmakers on Monday. Our priority now is to do everything we can to get her out of Iran on humanitarian grounds. On Nov. 7 Johnson said in the course of an exchange with an opposition MP in parliament that I am sorry if any words of mine have been so taken out of context and so misconstrued as to cause any kind of anxiety for the family. Opposition British lawmakers had said the remarks could land the aid worker a longer term in jail. Johnson, whose job has come under pressure over the case, said he would meet Zaghari-Ratcliffe s husband this week, adding that the issue was casting a shadow over relations with Iran. I shall travel to Iran myself later this year to review the full state of our bilateral relations and to drive home the strength of feeling in this House and in the country at large, Johnson said. Earlier on Monday, the government said it was considering granting diplomatic protection to Zaghari-Ratcliffe as part of an effort to secure her release from jail. It is unclear how such protection could be offered retrospectively to a dual Iranian-British citizen, or whether such a move could help to secure her release, but a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said it was one option being considered. The prime minister has been involved with this case from the outset, she s raised it with the Iranian president on at least two occasions, the entire government is working towards securing her release as quickly as possible, he said. A legal opinion prepared for the human rights charity Redress on Zaghari-Ratcliffe s case said the British government could grant her diplomatic protection as she is predominantly a British citizen who has been denied a fair trial. It is unclear how Tehran would view such a step, which would explicitly make Zaghari-Ratcliffe s fate an issue in state-to-state relations rather than a purely consular case. Zaghari-Ratcliffe s fate become a major political issue in Britain after Johnson made remarks on Nov. 1 that appeared to cast doubt on statements from her employer. The Thomson Reuters Foundation, a charity organization that is independent of Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News, said she had been on holiday and had not been teaching journalism in Iran. Iranian state television said Johnson s comments showed Zaghari-Ratcliffe s guilt and that she was involved in spying. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said the case had become a bargaining chip for Iran in its relations with Britain, and that it would not be helpful for Johnson to resign. He has asked to come with Johnson on a trip to Tehran planned for later this year and called for her to be given diplomatic protection. Nazanin is being held because she is British and is being used as a bargaining chip against the UK, now justified by your words, he said in an article in the Evening Standard newspaper. Nazanin is no longer simply a consular case as she has been endangered in a deeper way, he wrote. He added the uncertainty had affected his wife s health and she had gone to hospital for tests after finding lumps on her breasts, which the specialist thought were benign and stress-related. British ministers have rallied round Johnson but one of his allies, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, was accused of muddying the waters in a television interview on Sunday when he said he did not know what Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing in Iran.
Soccer star and VP maintain early leads in Liberia election
MONROVIA (Reuters) - Former soccer star George Weah maintained his lead over Vice President Joseph Boakai as more provisional results from Liberia s presidential election were announced on Friday. If current trends hold, they would contest a run-off next month to decide which of them will succeed Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in what would be Liberia s first democratic transfer of power in decades. Based on returns from about a third of the country s more than 5,000 polling stations, Weah has obtained 39.6 percent of votes cast, with Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP) at 31.1 percent, the elections commission said. We are still confident that there are places that we believe are our strong support ... We are very optimistic that with reports coming in, UP is going to take the lead, Boakai told Reuters after Friday s results announcement. Charles Brumskine, a lawyer, was running third with 9.3 percent. The final certified results from Tuesday s poll must be announced by Oct. 25, although the provisional first-round winner is expected to be known in the coming days. Weah, a striker for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan who won FIFA s World Player of the Year in 1995, came second to Johnson Sirleaf in a 2005 election that drew a line under years of civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. He has served in the senate since 2014 for the opposition Congress for Democratic Change. Boakai, the former head of Liberia s petroleum refinery company and agriculture minister, has served as vice president since 2006. Brumskine and the parties of two other candidates have said the vote was marred by fraud and vowed to contest the results. But they have not provided evidence of cheating and international observers said they saw no major problems. Liberia, Africa s oldest modern republic, was founded by freed U.S. slaves in 1847 but its last democratic power transfer occurred in 1944. Johnson Sirleaf s nearly 12 years in office have seen the country s post-war peace consolidated, although Liberians complain about poor public services and widespread corruption.
Sweden OPENLY Makes Fun Of Trump On Twitter With All-Female Signing Pic; It’s AMAZING
If you haven t noticed by now, Donald Trump has been signing a lot of executive orders, and the scene usually looks something like this:WASHINGTON, DC JANUARY 23: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump shows the Executive Order (Photo by Ron Sachs Pool/Getty Images)Most of the pictures are of Trump surrounded by a bunch of men. One of the orders even reinstated the global gag rule on overseas discussion of abortion by individuals and organizations receiving federal funding. Needless to say, Trump is no friend to women. After all, he s admitted to being a sexual predator. So, in response to all these obscenely male-dominated photos, Sweden just trolled Trump back with an image of their own.Isabella L vin, Sweden s Deputy Prime Minister, who is also Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, tweeted out: Just signed referral of Swedish #climate law, binding all future governments to net zero emissions by 2045. For a safer and better future. Just signed referral of Swedish #climate law, binding all future governments to net zero emissions by 2045. For a safer and better future. Isabella L vin (@IsabellaLovin) February 3, 2017If you ll notice, that photo is all women, and in the same positioning as several photos that have been taken of Trump signing orders that include all men.And while it s not for certain that this was taken to troll Trump, it definitely seems to be the case.So, if you thought it was just most of the women in the United States that think Trump is ridiculous, you can clearly include most of the rest of the world with that, too.Well played, Sweden!Featured image by Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images
The DIRTY TRUTH About DACA Recipients…Where They’re REALLY Coming From…Their CRIMINAL Records…And How They REALLY Got Here
Yesterday, a second U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump s decision to end a program that protects immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation.U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, cannot end in March as the Republican administration had planned, a victory for Democratic state attorneys general and immigrants who sued the federal government.The decision is similar to a Jan. 9 ruling by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco that DACA must remain in place while litigation challenging Trump s decision continues.The legal battle over DACA complicates a debate currently underway in Congress on whether to change the nation s immigration laws.The Supreme Court on Friday is due to consider whether to take up the administration s appeal of the San Francisco ruling. The court could announce as soon as Friday afternoon whether it will hearing the case. ReutersSince when does a judge unilaterally decide that a program based on an executive order by a radical and lawless president, with an expiration date, can be extended?Peel back the layers of lies that are being told to the American public by Democrats like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, and their allies in the media, and discover the shocking truth about the Dreamers (or voters) they re fighting so hard to keep in America. According to The Hill, the narrative surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program holds that it was put in place to protect kids who were brought here through no fault of their own. DACA supporters implied that applicants were mostly Hispanic and that as citizens of distressed republics a short distance away from the wealthy United States, their violation of our immigration laws was somehow understandable. Program applicants were also portrayed as brilliant valedictorians and proud members of the military.From the outset, that narrative rang hollow. In a column for the Washington Post, Mickey Kaus described it as public-relations-style hooey. Here s why.New data released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) definitively establishes that most of the DACA narrative is false. Particularly overblown are claims that deported DACA recipients would inevitably be strangers in a strange land.USCIS lists 149 countries of origin for DACA applicants. English is the national language in at least 26 of those countries. Those include the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. A large number of applicants are from India, Hong Kong and the Philippines, where there are enormous English-speaking communities.Other statistics also undermine claims that the United States must take care of the DACAs or condemn them to a life of isolation and poverty.In fact, many DACA applicant s birth countries are listed on the higher end of the common standard of living indexes. Which means that DACA advocates are arguing that the United States has a moral obligation to undermine its own laws in order to avoid returning illegal aliens to countries whose citizens are considered to have a higher standard of living than many Americans.One wonders why it has never occurred to Congress that its primary obligation should be protecting native-born American kids from illegal aliens who compete with them for entry-level jobs and seats at colleges and universities. Curiously, our elected representatives seem remarkably unconcerned about protecting America s standard of living.What is most disturbing about the data released by USCIS, however, is the number of DACA applicants who come from countries associated with terrorism or overt anti-Americanism. This is cause for concern given the lean and lite vetting used to quickly approve DACA applications:Based on the facts rather than the myth it seems clear the individuals who applied for, and received, DACA were not the oppressed, well-meaning, high-achievers that the media and the open-borders lobby portrayed them to be.
Boston men jailed for Trump-inspired hate crime attack
BOSTON (Reuters) - Two Boston brothers accused of urinating on and beating a homeless Mexican man and telling police “Donald Trump was right: All these illegals need to be deported,” were sentenced to prison on Monday, prosecutors said. Scott Leader, 38, and Steve Leader, 30, had previously pleaded guilty to indictments charging them with causing bodily injury while committing a civil rights violation, as well as assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, among other charges. Scott Leader was sentenced to three years in prison and Steve Leader was sentenced to 1-1/2 years, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. The pair will also be on probation for three years after their prison sentences end. The Leaders were arrested on Aug. 19 on suspicion of beating Rodriguez, then 58, as he slept in a subway station. The men told police they targeted their victim because they believed he was an illegal immigrant. The victim, Guillermo Rodriguez, said in a statement that he was in fact a permanent resident. “I came to this country many years ago and worked hard in the farm fields to provide produce to people here. I actually became a permanent resident of this country years ago, although if I had been undocumented I still would not have deserved to be beaten this way,” Rodriguez said in a prepared statement read by Assistant District Attorney Nicole Rimar before the sentencing. The pair punched and kicked Rodriguez, and one of the men repeatedly struck him with a metal pole, before the two walked off laughing, prosecutors said. According to a police report, they told officers, “Donald Trump was right: All these illegals need to be deported.” Prosecutors said Scott Leader told arresting officers that he believed the attack was justified because the victim was homeless and Hispanic. The pair also allegedly threatened police officers while in custody. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the U.S. presidential race, has been vocal on immigration, proposing to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and promising, if elected, to deport the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States. Trump, a real estate developer and reality television personality, initially described the attack as an outcome of passionate views on immigration but later called it “terrible.” Lawyers for the two men could not be reached for immediate comment on Monday night.
DEMOCRATS EAT THEIR OWN: Secret Service Protect Angry Bernie As Leftist Protesters Rush Stage [VIDEO]
It s really quite ironic that the guy who has paid and non-paid protesters inciting violence and riots at virtually every Trump rally across America is being attacked by leftists on him home turf. Seriously though Bernie Sanders is as far left as a politician can go without becoming a declared Communist. What bone could a leftist protester possibly have to pick with Bernie? The guy is like Santa Claus, but with other people s money. He s promising to punish every rich person in American while rewarding the lazy. What more do these freaks want? At least four people at a Bernie Sanders rally in Oakland rushed the stage Monday evening, spurring Secret Service agents to jump onto the raised platform and protect him.The Democratic presidential candidate was uninjured and continued speaking, but not before several agents hugged him and pushed him away from the microphone. The identities of the individuals, who yelled as they approached the stage, were not immediately known. They were apprehended and led away by Secret Service from the podium at the Frank Ogawa Plaza, where the rally was being held. After the events of Monday night in Northern California, Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said, It was handled professionally by the Secret Service. Watch here:The Vermont senator began receiving Secret Service protection in early February during the early part of the presidential primary season, in his challenge to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Via: CNN
After Jeb Tweets Pic Of His New Gun, His Pandering Earns Him Deplorable New Follower (IMAGE)
Desperate times call for desperate measures, or something like that, and that s exactly what floundering Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has resorted to.In what could be considered the lamest attempt ever to pander to the right wing, who loves their guns more than, well, pretty much anything, Jeb Bush decided he would tweet out a pic of his brand new fancy gun with his name engraved on it with the caption, America. Honestly, if you haven t vomited by now, prepare yourself, because in a moment, you just may.America. Jeb Bush (@JebBush) February 16, 2016It wasn t long after Jeb tweeted this image that he likely got exactly what he was aiming for (pun intended). He received a follow from the National Rifle Association on Twitter. Apparently, they weren t following him already, and Jeb knew that if he had any hope of doing well in the South, he d have to up his gun-toting game. And it worked.Check out the interaction that was captured via Tweetdeck:Tweetdeck via TheTrace.orgSweet that we can watch that romance bloom in real-time, huh?As it turns out, it was revealed last fall that Bush, while having an A+ rating with the NRA, didn t actually own a firearm. However, all that has changed now with the tweet of the candidate s manhood new gun. And of course, he had it engraved. Although, I wouldn t put it past his mom to have put his name on it for him, as she likely did on his underwear when he went away to camp as a teenager.Apparently, this sort of pandering knows no boundaries, and it has paid off for the former governor of Florida with his new deplorable follower who prefers endless amounts of gun sales with no restrictions over common sense reform and saving lives. You know, we all have our priorities, the NRA s just happens to be profit motivated, and now Jeb has fallen in lockstep behind them. Pretty pathetic, yet not at all surprising.Featured image: Twitter/Flickr
Iran warns U.S. against imposing further sanctions
BEIRUT/DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran warned the United States against designating its Revolutionary Guards Corp as a terrorist group and said U.S. regional military bases would be at risk if further sanctions were passed. The warning came after the White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump would announce new U.S. responses to Iran s missile tests, support for terrorism and cyber operations as part of his new Iran strategy. As we ve announced in the past, if America s new law for sanctions is passed, this country will have to move their regional bases outside the 2,000 km range of Iran s missiles, Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, according to state media. Jafari also said that additional sanctions would end the chances for future dialogue with the United States, according to state media, and issued a stark warning to American troops. If the news is correct about the stupidity of the American government in considering the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group, then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world particularly in the Middle East, Jafari said. The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) are Iran s most powerful internal and external security force. The Quds Force, the IRGC s foreign espionage and paramilitary wing, and individuals and entities associated with the IRGC are on the US list of foreign terrorist organizations, but the organization as a whole is not. Iran sees the Sunni Muslim militants of Islamic State as an existential threat to the Islamic Republic where the majority of the population are Shi ites. On June 7, Islamic State claimed an attack on Tehran s parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, killing 18 people. The Guards fired missiles at Islamic State bases in Syria on June 18 in response. Guards commanders have framed their military involvement in Iraq and Syria, where they are fighting to support the government of President Bashar al-Assad, as a fight against Islamic State. Dozens of members of the Guards, including senior commanders, have been killed in Syria and Iraq. The website for state TV reported Jafari as adding that the United States was mistaken if it thought it could pressure Iran into negotiating on regional issues. Jafari also said that Tehran would ramp up its defense capabilities, including its missile program, if the U.S. undermined a nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers. Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to limit its disputed nuclear program in return for the easing of economic sanctions. However, Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the deal, a senior administration official has said, in a step that potentially could cause the accord to unravel. The Americans should know that the Trump government s stupid behavior with the nuclear deal will be used by the Islamic Republic as an opportunity to move ahead with its missile, regional and conventional defense program, Jafari said, according to state media. The prospect of Washington backtracking on the deal has worried some of the U.S. allies that helped negotiate it, especially as the world grapples with another nuclear crisis in the shape of North Korea. If Trump does not certify that Iran is in compliance, the U.S. Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions waived under the deal. U.N. inspectors have verified Iranian compliance with the terms. The Guards navy was also carrying out a military exercise on Sunday in the Gulf, an area of tension with the U.S. navy in recent months. More than 110 vessels were involved in the exercise, including some that have rocket and missile capabilities, a state media report quoted a Guards commander as saying.
Ohio Fireman In Deep Sh*t For HORRIBLE Remarks About Saving ‘N*****s’
A firefighter in Ohio recently came under fire for expressing his economic uncertainty (a synonym the media concocted for racism while attempting to explain why people voted for Trump) about rescuing black people.If it came down to choosing to rescue a single dog or a million n*ggers, Franklin township firefighter Tyler Roysdon says he would save the dog, which is more important than all those African-Americans he hates.According to Roysdon s Facebook likes, he is a fan of Donald Trump, Duck Dynasty, and far-Right Facebook group Uncle Sam s Misguided Children just so you know what sort of person we re dealing with.Roysdon was suspended from his position indefinitely as soon as township officials learned of the post, which went viral on social media because that s what happens when terrible people say terrible things. It s also very likely he will lose his job according to a statement from officials: Recently, a Franklin Township volunteer firefighter posted unacceptable remarks on social media. Upon gaining knowledge of this information, Fire Chief Steve Bishop immediately contacted the firefighter and directed the comments be removed. The firefighter was suspended without pay until the Board of Township Trustees could meet to determine a course of action. Chief Bishop does not have the authority to terminate employees. Termination of any township employee requires a vote by the Board of Trustees. It s unclear if Roysdon s racism has ever affected his work or if he has caused anyone to die, but this is absolutely something that should be investigated.Featured image via screengrab
Chrissy Teigen Hilariously Fires Back At Trump’s Pathetic Whining About Celebrities Rejecting Him
Donald Trump just got his ass handed to him by Chrissy Teigen.On Thursday, Trump responded to reports that his team is desperate for A-list celebrities to perform at his inauguration because none of them want to be there.The so-called A list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016Trump is literally pretending that all A-list celebrities actually do want to be there, but he wants us to believe that he is the one rejecting them. It s really pathetic.Well, model Chrissy Teigen thinks it s pathetic, too, and she had no problem slamming Trump for it on Twitter.Hi we are people. You are our president too. I don t want you to be, but u are. Also we ALL know you are dying without the approval, dear christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 23, 2016But have fun with DJ Buttcrack spinning the hot shit and Lil Banana dropping bars at your inauguration christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 23, 2016Teigen is not wrong. Celebrities are people, too.Of course, Trump supporters attacked Teigen and her husband John Legend and she had no problem mocking them either.Apparently, many have been telling her that she isn t an A-list celebrity. So, she set them straight.I just have floods of people saying I am not a-list. I thought it was obvious I was talking about john but nothing is obvious to deplorables christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 23, 2016And just for the record, Teigen may not be an A-list celebrity but she s an A-list human being.One Trump supporter attacked her husband s education. YUUUGE mistake.John went to the same University as the Donald, silly billy. Only difference was John went at the young age of 16 ? christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 23, 2016One Trump supporter even sent Teigen a threat.Retweeting for reference, just in case! christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 23, 2016Donald Trump and his supporters are truly pathetic and deplorable.Featured Image: Twitter/Flickr
Cruz chairs contentious U.S. Senate hearing on 'radical Islam'
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz on Tuesday accused the Obama administration of under-emphasizing the “threat of radical Islam” as he presided over a Senate hearing for the second time since suspending his presidential campaign in early May. President Barack Obama and top Justice Department officials have come under fire from conservatives for avoiding the term “radical Islam” when denouncing attacks by violent extremists who claim inspiration from Islamic State, such as the Orlando nightclub shooter. Administration officials have countered that focusing on the use of the phrase is a political distraction and gives fuel to Islamic State propagandists who say the United States has waged war against all of Islam. Absent from Tuesday’s hearing before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee were the two top Justice Department counter-terrorism officials whom Cruz had invited to testify. “The Obama administration of course has declined to appear and explain its policies,” Cruz said at the hearing, noting that the officials had not provided any reason for staying away. Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi said in an emailed statement that the department is “focused on aggressively and successfully pursuing terrorist adversaries” and on denying them “unchallenged recruiting platforms to spread their messages of hate and intolerance.” Democratic members of the subcommittee said national security policies more targeted at Muslims, such as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigrants, would be unconstitutional and counter-productive. “We cannot fight radicalization with further radicalization,” said Democratic Senator Christopher Coons of Delaware, adding at the end of the hearing that he did not think “arguing over semantics” for three hours had helped improve American national security. Experts from Muslim and Arab advocacy groups as well as former government national security officials testified at the hearing, representing both sides of the debate over whether the administration emphasizes Islam too much or too little in its counter-extremism policies. Protesters with Code Pink, an anti-war advocacy group, offered Cruz packs of gum labeled “Islamophobin” as he entered the hearing room, telling him it could cure Islamophobia.
The FBI’s Russia Investigation Just Took A Turn That Will TERRIFY Trump (DETAILS)
The FBI is doing something with its probe into Russia s interference in our election that should terrify Trump and anybody in his administration, or who worked on his campaign, that has ties to Russia. Put simply, they re creating a special unit dedicated to better coordination of investigation efforts, and to give James Comey better insight into the probe s details.One FBI agent said that it s meant to surge resources. This looks both like an expansion and streamlining of things. This particular investigation is getting so big that they re starting to have trouble managing it. It s not the first time they ve created a special unit for a high-profile, sprawling investigation of this nature. They did it when looking into Wikileaks release of classified documents, and (because of course) when they were looking into Hillary s emails.It does signify just how seriously the FBI is taking this.There is a growing possibility that Trump or at least high-level members of his campaign colluded with Russia during the election to bring down Hillary Clinton and elevate Trump to the White House. They look so bad that the Obama administration created a document numbering system to personally hand over to the Senate Intelligence Committee to make it harder for Trump and company to hide documents relating to Russia.Trump was dismissive of the intelligence community s findings on Russia s hacking, saying that nobody had any idea who could have done it: It could be Russia, but it could also be China, it could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. Since then, he s continued to dismiss findings and allegations, refusing to believe either that his buddy Putin would do this, or that the intelligence community could possibly get so close to nailing him for collusion.Either way, the new unit will make the FBI s investigation run more smoothly and efficiently, and it will give Director Comey better knowledge and understanding of what s going on things that he may have to present to Congress at a later date.Featured image by Win McNamee via Getty Images
Russian foreign ministry says eyes better ties with U.S. under Trump
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is ready to work on improving bilateral relations win the United States after Donald Trump won presidential elections, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. Speaking at a weekly briefing, Zakharova said that it was premature to expect more specific steps in improving relations with the U.S. as Trump is yet to form his own team.
LIBERAL JOURNALIST Goes To Border Gets Shocking Answers About Wall With Mexico [Video]
A liberal Reporter for Esquire got a dose of reality when he went along the border and asked anyone he saw to weigh in on what needs to be done on the border to stop illegals. What he got was a very surprising result! Most everyone he asked wanted a border wall but most shocking to the journalist was the positive Hispanic response.Esquire sent a journalist to Texas with orders to survey the people living along the border and ask them what they think needs to be done to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.The magazine s editor-in-chief, Jay Fielden, recently appeared on MSNBC s Morning Joe to explain what happened when Esquire sent what host Joe Scarborough referred to as a liberal journalist to the Texas-Mexico border. Fielden said he instructed the reporter to go down there with no preconceived notions, just an empty notebook. Fielden, a former Texan, explained the assignment was to drive or walk the 800-mile border and talk to whoever you see and let them tell us what s really going on and whether we need a wall, he told Scarborough and his panel. They said, Build the wall, Fielden said, adding, Hispanic, Anglo, Democratic, Republican, uncommitted, clueless, whatever, they said, We want a wall, and we want it tied to some compassion. Most of those Hispanics are first-generation and they see it as unfair, he said. I think they feel, as one guy said, Get in line. Via: The Blaze
Democrats raise doubts about Trump's high court nominee Gorsuch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, on Monday emphasized the need for judicial independence even as Trump castigates jurists who have ruled against him, while Democrats questioned whether he would rule against abortion rights and gun control while favoring corporations. With the ideological balance of the Supreme Court at stake, the Senate Judiciary Committee opened its confirmation hearing for Gorsuch, a conservative federal appeals court judge from Colorado. Republicans praised Gorsuch, 49, as highly qualified for a lifetime appointment as a justice. “I think we’re off to a good start,” Republican Chuck Grassley, the committee’s chairman, said afterward, with senators getting their first shot at questioning Gorsuch on Tuesday. Committee Democrats noted Gorsuch has the chance to join the court only because Senate Republicans last year refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal appellate judge Merrick Garland. Despite slim chances of blocking his nomination in the Republican-led Senate, Democrats raised questions about Gorsuch’s suitability for the job. “Our job is to determine whether Judge Gorsuch is a reasonable, mainstream conservative or is he not,” said the panel’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein. Speaking publicly for the first time since Trump nominated him on Jan. 31, Gorsuch defended his judicial record in the face of Democratic criticism of his rulings. Gorsuch, speaking mostly in generalities that could not cause him any trouble, emphasized the need for “neutral and independent judges to apply the law,” warned against judicial overreach, and referred to “the modest station we judges are meant to occupy in a democracy.” “If judges were just secret legislators, declaring not what the law is but what they would like it to be, the very idea of a government by the people and for the people would be at risk,” Gorsuch said in comments in harmony with conservative criticism of unelected “activist judges.” Gorsuch, a cool-headed and amiable jurist, gave Democrats very little ammunition to use against him, although there could be more drama when he takes questions. The hearing could last four days, providing classic Washington political theater. Grassley said the panel is likely to vote on the nomination on April 3, with the full Senate vote likely soon after. If Gorsuch is confirmed by the Senate, as expected, he would restore a narrow 5-4 conservative court majority. The seat has been vacant for 13 months, since the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal underscored the importance of judicial independence at a time when Trump has excoriated federal judges who have ruled against him on matters including two executive orders, put on hold by courts, to block people from several Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States. Blumenthal said it was not “idle speculation” to suggest the Supreme Court might be asked to enforce a subpoena against Trump, citing FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress on Monday confirming an ongoing investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. Republican Ted Cruz said there is no reason for Gorsuch to be questioned about Trump, noting that previous nominees have not had to speak about allegations made against the president who nominated them. Democrats highlighted cases on which Gorsuch has ruled and questioned the influence of conservative interest groups in advising Trump on his selection. Feinstein emphasized abortion. Conservatives have long opposed the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion nationwide. Feinstein called that ruling and others since then buttressing abortion rights “super precedents” deserving special deference. Feinstein cited two Gorsuch legal opinions in which she said he “argued in favor of making it harder to convict felons who possess guns.” Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said he was worried that Gorsuch’s conservative method of interpreting the Constitution “goes beyond being a philosophy and becomes an agenda” that is anti-abortion, anti-environment and pro-business. “Will you allow the government to intrude on Americans’ personal privacy and freedoms? Will you elevate the rights of corporations over those of real people? Will you rubberstamp a president whose administration has asserted that executive power is not subject to judicial review?” Leahy said. Many Democrats contend Trump’s party “stole” a Supreme Court seat by freezing out Garland. “Your nomination is part of a Republican strategy to capture our judicial branch of government,” Senator Dick Durbin told Gorsuch. “That is why the Senate Republicans kept this Supreme Court seat vacant for more than a year and why they left 30 judicial nominees who had received bipartisan approval of this committee to die on the Senate calendar as President Obama left office.” Gorsuch said he has tried to treat all who come to court fairly and with respect. “I have decided cases for Native Americans seeking to protect tribal lands, for class actions like one that ensured compensation for victims of nuclear waste pollution by corporations in Colorado,” he said. He also said he has ruled for disabled students, prisoners and workers alleging civil rights violations, and for immigrants who entered the country illegally. The court’s ideological leaning could help determine the outcome of cases involving the death penalty, abortion, gun control, environmental regulations, transgender rights, voting rights, immigration, religious liberty, presidential powers and more. Republicans hold 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats. Under present rules, Gorsuch would need 60 votes to secure confirmation. If Gorsuch cannot muster 60, Republicans could change the rules to allow confirmation by a simple majority.
Bette Midler Sums Up The Republican Party In One Amazing Tweet Everyone Should Read (IMAGE)
It really is perfect.And it s from a book that was published in 1961.When Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22 over 50 years ago, he had no idea that a particular passage in his classic novel would one day be the EXACT description of the Republican Party.But Twitter user Maris Kreizman certainly noticed the similarities, which is why she shared the discovery, only for it to then be shared worldwide by singing and acting icon Bette Midler.In a post last month that seems to have gone largely unnoticed for some reason, Midler posted the passage, aiming particularly at Donald Trump. However, the paragraph really can be be applied to the GOP in general. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character. ~Joseph Heller, Catch-22Here s the tweet via Twitter.With credit. Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) January 4, 2016For years, Republicans have been hypocrites when it comes to lawbreaking, claiming that it s okay when white conservatives use their guns to seize federal property or use their bibles as an excuse to violate the rights of others. In other words, they want us all to think of these vices as virtues.The slander into truth part is pretty easy since Republicans have been lying about liberals and liberal policies throughout the last eight years while insisting that they are telling the truth.Republicans have also disguised arrogance as humility, although they really aren t hiding it anymore.The way conservative donors like the Koch brothers use pretended philanthropy to give themselves more power is one of the more disgusting aspects of Republicans today, and it was perfectly described by Heller.Republicans have also pretended for decades that stealing from the poor to give to the wealthy is honorable, but it s only caused great suffering among the American people as the middle class shrinks and families struggle to put food on the table.Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have made it very clear during the GOP primary that they intend to bring back torture, which they think is a patriotic and just way of fighting the war on terror. For years, Republicans have displayed fake patriotism while at the same time sending our troops to their deaths in wars for profit and once our troops come home, they refuse to take care of them. This is evident in their blockage of bills that would aid veterans and first responders.And finally, the conservative support of the death penalty and cops who kill unarmed black men are the ultimate examples of how Republicans see sadism as justice.Make no mistake, this paragraph from Joseph Heller is downright prophetic, and Bette Midler did us all a favor by bringing it to our attention. Featured image from Twitter
TRUMP: “We have to get them out” Says He’ll Deport 11 Million Illegal Aliens In 18-24 Months
Of course he s a racist for defending legal American citizens Unlike Obama, Trump s not looking to make friends with illegal aliens. Legal American citizens will reward his dedication to defending our borders with their votes Donald Trump, business mogul and current Republican front-runner, has reiterated his stand on the issue of illegal immigration, saying that he would deport up to 11 million illegals and then build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.Trump has taken plenty of heat from Democrats and his Republican challengers, some of whom tried to get him to back down from his non-politically correct views. The Donald will have none of it.In nearly every recent public appearance, and in the second Republican debates on Sept. 16, Trump noted that the number of illegals is likely much higher than 11 million, and that he would deport the lot of them forthwith.Specifically, Mr. Trump said he could facilitate the mass deportation and rid the U.S. of nearly all illegal immigrants within two years, and possibly as fast as 18 months. Saying We have to get them out, and We are a nation of laws, Trump employed his typically colorful language when he concluded that he would deport the illegals so quickly, Your head will spin. Trump s 2-year plan would deport, on average, 15,068.4 illegal immigrants per day in order to reach the 11 million mark successfully.Until now, one of the starting points in most debates about illegal immigration, especially among moderate Republicans and Democrats, has been the notion that there are so many undocumented immigrants in the U.S., it would be impossible to deport them all.Trump proposes a fast deportation plan followed by the building of a massive border wall to keep future illegal crossers from coming over. Further, the candidate s proposal includes a provision whereby those who are deported can apply to re-enter the U.S., but they must follow the formal, legal procedures already in place.The formal entry process is lengthy, involves a significant amount of paperwork, and is intended to keep criminals and unsavory characters (like potential terrorists) out of the country. In fact, most developed nations have more stringent immigration policies than the U.S. does. Mexico, for example, is quite strict about its own southern border, where many Central American immigrants attempt to sneak into the country without proper documentation. Typically those illegal entrants are caught, jailed, and then quickly deported.Trump s views are not lost on African Americans, many of whom responded to a recent SurveyUSA poll about their preferences in the upcoming general election. One-fourth of the respondents said they would choose Trump over Hillary Clinton if that were the matchup in November 2016. In most national elections, blacks vote for the Democrat candidate about nine-to-one over the Republican. Many blacks see illegal immigration as one of the reasons for the exceedingly high unemployment rate in their communities. Via: US World Report
Right Wing Elites Declare Total War On Poor White Communities
For decades (centuries?), the right has perpetuated the myth of white superiority by pointing at black communities that are being crushed by poverty and crime. It was, they said, evidence that black people were inferior because white communities didn t have those kinds of problems.Republicans played to this racism with the Southern Strategy, which told poor white people that everything was OK as long as they were better than Those People. More importantly, if they just voted for the GOP, Republicans would stop Those People from taking their jobs/white women/opportunities/etc. And it worked really REALLY well. Poor white people flocked to elect Republicans who then gave trillions away to the rich and threw some crumbs at the poor people that elected them in the first place.But then the economy collapsed and while it hit the black community harder, millions of working class white people were suddenly in the same situation: No job, no money and no future. The result? A massive increase in dug and alcohol abuse, suicide and crime.In other words, they responded in much the same way economically devastated black communities did (but for your own safety, don t TELL them that!)Now, a rational person would look at this and say, Aha! So it s NOT some kind of moral failing on the black of Those People! It s Poverty and the lack of Economic Opportunities! But the conservative elite are not rational. They re the new French Aristocracy. They re so dedicated to the premise that the Have Nots are morally, intellectually and spiritually inferior that they have begun to turn on their own base despite their matching skin tone.Over at the National Review Online, the right wing s premiere thought leader, you will find a growing hostility to poor white people. In a piece by Kevin Williamson, you will find this lengthy screed denouncing the Republican base for siding with Trump against their masters:It is immoral because it perpetuates a lie: that the white working class that finds itself attracted to Trump has been victimized by outside forces. It hasn t. The white middle class may like the idea of Trump as a giant pulsing humanoid middle finger held up in the face of the Cathedral, they may sing hymns to Trump the destroyer and whisper darkly about globalists and odious, stupid term the Establishment, but nobody did this to them. They failed themselves.If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog you will come to an awful realization. It wasn t Beijing. It wasn t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn t any of that.Nothing happened to them. There wasn t some awful disaster. There wasn t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence and the incomprehensible malice of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul. I was shocked at the tone. The absolute loathing for poor and working class whites is so thick you couldn t cut it with a chainsaw. This is the kind of hatred usually reserved for black people and liberals. But it s obvious this is not a newly formed opinion by Williamson. The dripping condescension of Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs reveals a long held contempt for what conservative elites like Williamson usually refer to as The REAL America. And just to make sure the conservative elites are on board with how terrible and degenerate these poor (white) people are, NRO s David French quotes that entire segment above and then adds his own hate:These are strong words, but they are fundamentally true and important to say. My childhood was different from Kevin s, but I grew up in Kentucky, live in a rural county in Tennessee, and have seen the challenges of the white working-class first-hand. Simply put, Americans are killing themselves and destroying their families at an alarming rate. No one is making them do it. The economy isn t putting a bottle in their hand. Immigrants aren t making them cheat on their wives or snort OxyContin. Obama isn t walking them into the lawyer s office to force them to file a bogus disability claim.He goes on and on and on about how they ve been seduced by welfare checks and food stamps and now they re just lazy (sound familiar?).These two rich and privileged men are finally dropping the charade that the real war in this country is based on race. It never was. Race was a ruse used by the rich to keep the poor squabbling while they stole the country. But now that the 1% has broken the economy for EVERYONE, not just minorities, poor white people are furious at the people that promised them they would be better than Those People.The rich and their mouthpieces can t help but be enraged by the lack of gratitude on display. Did they not drop crumbs for the poor to feast upon? Did they not pass laws to make life even worse for blacks and gay people? Now the poor whites that give the rich their political power are expecting to be treated like people? How DARE they?!We are witnessing the end of conservative politics as we know it. The rich were able to keep the poor distracted with shiny objects and race baiting but now they re in open warfare against each other with no realistic way to mend the schism between the greed of the rich and the needs of the poor.Get more popcorn, it s going to be quite a show.Featured image author generated
TRUMP TELLS State Department To Make CUT More Than 50% Of Funding To U.N.
President Trump s administration has told the State Department to cut more than 50 percent of U.S. funding to United Nations programs, Foreign Policy reported.The push for the drastic reductions comes as the White House is scheduled to release its 2018 topline budget proposal Thursday, which is expected to include a 37 percent cut to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development budgets.It s not clear if Trump s budget plan, from the Office of Management and Budget, would reflect the full extent of Trump s proposed cuts to the U.N.Richard Gowan, a U.N. expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the alterations would spark chaos if true. [It would] leave a gaping hole that other big donors would struggle to fill, he told FP, pointing to how the U.S. provided $1.5 billion of the U.N. refugee agency s $4 billion budget last year.Via: The Hill
The Resistance Just Gave Trump A Huge F**CK YOU On Election Night
Tuesday was a big election night for an off-year election. This was especially true for Democrats. It was a true test of the power of The Resistance, because despite Donald Trump s awfulness, initially we lost five straight special elections for Congressional seats vacated by people who went to work in Cabinet positions in the Trump Administration. Therefore, it was a HUGE relief as the election results rolled in on Tuesday night.The Democrats gained a governorship, as Democrat Phil Murphy roundly thumped Republican and LT. Governor and ally to outgoing Governor Chris Christie Kim Guadagno, and Democrat Ralph Northam beat Republican Ed Gillespie in Virginia. Despite the fact that Gillespie ran a positively Trumpian campaign, full of racism and anti-immigrant fear-mongering, it didn t work. Gillespie is not Teflon Don. Also, Danica Roem made history by becoming the first transgender person to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. The icing on the cake here is that she beat incumbent Robert G. Marshall, who is a proud homophobe who regularly peddled so-called bathroom bills. After twenty-six years, the very embodiment of everything this man hates has pushed him from public office.Further, of course liberal New York City re-elected Mayor Bill de Blasio, who won in a landslide. This is the first time the Democrats have swept all three big off-year races New York Mayor, New Jersey Governor, and Virginia Governor since 1989.Dems have won all three of the marquee off-year races NJGov, VAGov, NYC Mayor for the first time since 1989. Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 8, 2017Tuesday night was a round rejection of the bigotry and divisiveness that has characterized everything about Donald Trump, the campaign he ran, and his entire administration from his racist Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, to his bigoted Vice President Mike Pence, to the white nationalists that have paraded in and out of Trump s adult daycare center White House. All in all, it s a great night for the Resistance. But remember celebrate tonight, get back to work tomorrow. 2018 is just around the corner.Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images
Trump Team Didn’t Just Collude with Israel, Kushner was Acting as Foreign Agent for Tel Aviv
Patrick Henningsen 21st Century WireMuch was made this week in the US media about Michael Flynn s recent guilty plea to making false statements to the FBI, as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller s never-ending Russia probe. Beyond the political window dressing however, there s a much bigger and more profound story lingering in the background. Although court documents show Flynn has admitted to giving false statements in reference to his reaching out to Russia s ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak the mere act of initiating contact with any foreign official is neither illegal nor is it a violation of ethics. Putting the current Red Scare aside, this would normally be viewed as standard statecraft for members of any incoming US administration. Even if Flynn had promised the Russian Ambassador, as claimed this week by Resistance leader Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, that a Trump government would rip-up sanctions, such a promise by Flynn would not be unlawful. Anyone can make a promise, we should point out here that neither Flynn, nor Donald Trump would be in any position to make good on such a promise without the blessing of the US Congress and Senate. Just look at what happened when Trump took office. Were any sanctions lifted?That said, after 18 months of fabricating fake news about Russian hacking, Russian meddling and Russian collusion, it s not surprising that the New York Times would get the Flynn story wrong too, and on an even bigger scale than many of their past made-up stories about Trump scandals. Here we have yet another hand-wringing Resistance writer, Harry Litman, claiming that Flynn s testimony will go down in history next to Watergate and Iran-Contra: The repercussions of the plea will be months in the making, but it s not an exaggeration to say that the events to which Mr. Flynn has agreed to testify will take their place in the history books alongside the Watergate and Iran-contra scandals. He might be right, if only the media coverage and the federal hearing would focus on the correct country with whom the Trump team was colluding, which unfortunately was not Russia. Funny how partisan writer Litman did not even mention the word Israel once in his report. Perhaps this is why certain persons in Washington like Adam Schiff, Chuck Schumer, John McCain and others, along with their corrupt media counterparts like CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times have been incessantly pushing their fictional Russia did it narrative for the last 18 months because Russiagate serves as a convenient overlay for Israelgate.Mehdi Hassan from The Intercept writes: Why aren t more members of Congress or the media discussing the Trump transition team s pretty brazen collusion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to undermine both U.S. government policy and international law? Shouldn t that be treated as a major scandal? Thanks to Mueller s ongoing investigation, we now know that prior to President Donald Trump s inauguration, members of his inner circle went to bat on behalf of Israel, and specifically on behalf of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, behind the scenes and in opposition to official U.S. foreign policy. That s the kind of collusion with a foreign state that has gotten a lot of attention with respect to the Kremlin but colluding with Israel seems to be of far less interest, strangely. Yes, you heard that right. This was at minimum collusion with Israel. But it goes much deeper than that. If this story is accurate, and we have every reason to believe it is (especially by the large silence in the American media, usually a positive indication of media avoidance), this would indicate that the then President-elect s close advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was clearly acting as a foreign agent on behalf of the state of Israel. The fact the US media are not taking this story more seriously should serve as a reminder as to how much power the Israeli Lobby wields in the US, not just over politicians, but over mainstream media as well. Granted, this is a very serious charge which comes with some serious consequences if Kushner would ever be indicted, but the facts clearly demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt, that then President-elect s son-in-law was using his proximity to the incoming Commander and Chief to execute a series of highly sensitive foreign policy maneuvers at the request of a foreign country.The history of Israeli spying and outright meddling in US affairs is no secret to anyone willing to research it (unofficially a forbidden topic in US mainstream media), but this latest episode with Trump and Kushner is even more disturbing considering this week s controversial East Jerusalem announcement (21WIRE warned about an East Jerusalem provocation 12 months ago).Beyond this, many will argue that the radical fundamentalist Zionist agenda which Kushner is aggressively pursuing on behalf of Tel Aviv is not in the interest of the wider Middle East, nor is it good for America s European partners, and may even contribute to a further destablization of the region as evidenced by recent violence which has erupted following Trump s provocative move. The result is not necessarily in America s interests, even if it is certainly in Israel s interests.Author Mehdi Hassan continues:Here s what we learned last week when Mueller s team unveiled its plea deal with Trump s former national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn. In December 2016, the United Nations Security Council was debating a draft resolution that condemned Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied territories as a flagrant violation under international law that was dangerously imperiling the viability of an independent Palestinian state.The Obama administration had made it clear that the U.S. was planning to abstain on the resolution, while noting that the settlements have no legal validity and observing how the settlement problem has gotten so much worse that it is now putting at risk the two-state solution. (Rhetorically, at least, U.S. opposition to Israeli settlements has been a long-standing and bipartisan position for decades: Ronald Reagan called for a real settlement freeze in 1982 while George H.W. Bush tried to curb Israeli settlement-building plans by briefly cutting off U.S. loan guarantees to the Jewish state in 1991.)Everyone expected that the upcoming UN vote on illegal Israeli settlements was going to be a divisive issue, but with only weeks before Trump s fast approaching inauguration, Israel had its trojan horse in position. Hassan goes on to explain Tel Aviv s covert mechanism for manipulating the UN vote: On or about December 22, 2016, a very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team directed Flynn to contact officials from foreign governments, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on the resolution and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution, reads the statement of offense against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. On or about December 22, 2016, Flynn contacted the Russian Ambassador about the pending vote. Flynn informed the Russian Ambassador about the incoming administration s opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution. BFFs: Donald Trump talks to his chief foreign policy advisor, Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu.So who was this very senior member of Trump s team who sought to execute orders from the office of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu? Hassan explains:Who was the very senior member of the transition team who directed Flynn to do all this? Multiple news outlets have confirmed that it was Jared Kushner, Trump s son-in-law and main point man on the Middle East peace process. Jared called Flynn and told him you need to get on the phone to every member of the Security Council and tell them to delay the vote, a Trump transition official revealed to BuzzFeed News on Friday, adding that Kushner told Flynn this was a top priority for the president. According to BuzzFeed: After hanging up, Flynn told the entire room [at the Trump transition team HQ] that they d have to start pushing to lobby against the U.N. vote, saying the president wants this done ASAP. Flynn s guilty plea, BuzzFeed continued, revealed for the first time how Trump transition officials solicited Russia s help to head off the UN vote and undermine the Obama administration s policy on Middle East peace before ever setting foot in the White House. Even during the height of the Neocon era, with multiple Israeli loyalists in the cabinet (including some dual passport holders) shaping White House Middle East policy ultimately into a ditch with Iraq, the level of manipulation wasn t this overt. Trump s decision to reverse successive US administrations new policy on East Jerusalem is inconceivable, if not for some other x-factor which the PNAC-dominated George W. Bush could not even manage.The facts of the case against Kushner have not been contested, and in fact Kushner has even been gloating out on the speaking circuit, with his doting wife Ivanka proudly advertizing her husband s accomplishment on behalf Israel.My husband, Jared Kushner, had a great conversation on the Middle East with Haim Saban today at the Saban Forum. #Saban17 Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) December 4, 2017 None of this has been contested. In fact, on Sunday, Kushner made a rare public appearance at the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., to discuss the Trump administration s plans for the Middle East and was welcomed by the forum s sponsor, the Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban, who said he personally wanted to thank Kushner for taking steps to try and get the United Nations Security Council to not go along with what ended up being an abstention by the U.S. Kushner s response? The first son-in-law smiled, nodded, and mouthed thank you to Saban.Meanwhile, the Israelis have been pretty forthcoming about their own role in all of this, too. On Monday, Ron Dermer, Israel s ambassador to the U.S. and a close friend and ally of Netanyahu, told Politico s Susan Glasser that, in December 2016, obviously we reached out to [the Trump transition team] in the hope that they would help us, and we were hopeful that they would speak to other governments in order to prevent this vote from happening. Got that? The Trump transition team in the form of key Trump advisers Kushner and Flynn reached out to the Russian government in order to undermine the U.S. government because the Israeli government asked them to. According to these reports, Kushner was using his position in the transition team to act on Israel s behalf outside of any governmental framework of accountability. If Flynn inadvertently found himself in a Russian trap, it was because Israel and its in-house operative demanded it.If Flynn is guilty of anything, it would be going along with Kushner s Israel First scheme ahead of the United Nations vote. What is odd though, is why the entire US mainstream media is not interested in this part of the story. Even the Never Trump Resistance seem to be afraid of taking this narrative on. I guess even the Resistance has its limits. Rather than go for a case where the evidence is sitting right there on a silver salver, instead they will go for the Russian conspiracy theory. Alas, old habits die hard.SEE ALSO: The Genealogy of Trump s U-Turn on PalestineThis series of events is all the more pertinent when considering this week s announcement by President Trump that the US is to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and will be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to East Jerusalem. Many are already calling this the kiss of death to the Israel-Palestine peace process. In a predictable succession of events, the Jerusalem provocation was a fait accompli after Trump had announced in October that the US would be withdrawing from support for UNESCO, the UN body which is meant to help maintain the neutrality of Jerusalem as an internationally protected area. The Trump administration justified its resignation from the key UN agency on the grounds that it is biased against Israel. But the neutrality of Jerusalem is an essential policy for maintaining peace in a less than ideal situation with Palestine still under a brutal military occupation by an illegitimate and illegal (by international law and successive UN Resolutions) Israeli jackboot.In addition to all this, this past summer the United States announced the establishment of a permanent military installation inside of Israel. What s scary is how many people do not know this has happened.So Trump s minence grise, the wunderkind, who some people have called the President In-Law, is really Israel s man inside the White House.Landed on his feet: President In-law Jared Kushner.So what exactly are Jared Kushner s credentials in international relations and diplomacy that he has been charged with negotiating Middle East affairs for the United States of America? Without sounding too cruel here, it s difficult to find anything to say in his defense. In the end, his only visible qualification is that he s married to the President s daughter, and that s he s a good friend of Netanyahu. That s really it.Credit where credit s due though. Aside from marrying into the dynasty, Kushner is also the former owner of a mediocre website, The New York Observer, and has also managed to parlay his family status to help finance a number of high-profile New York City property deals with foreign buyers (no doubt with the help of his father-in-law).Isn t that what Kushner is doing right now using his inherited clout to help close friend Benjamin Netanyahu broker property deals (highly illegal by international law) in the Middle East, only this time with his Uncle Sam acting as the guarantor? It certainly looks that way. The question is, will anyone in the US do anything about it?When this latest episode of hubris by the White House and Israel eventually unravels, the public and the media might then turn on Kushner and Trump, but by then the damage will have already been done.Meanwhile, men like Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer will still be chasing those illusive Russian hackers clear into the 2020 election cycle, which is probably a stupid move for the Resistance, but if the last 18 months have taught us anything it s that there isn t much clear thinking going on in that corner of the galaxy.Until then, Netanyahu can feel safe in the knowledge that Israel, not Washington, is currently in control of US foreign policy.One final note to the brave Never-Trump Resistance: if a foreign state actor is blackmailing this President or the White House, it s probably not Russia.*** Author Patrick Henningsen is an American writer and global affairs analyst and founder of independent news and analysis site 21st Century Wire, and is host of the SUNDAY WIRE weekly radio show broadcast globally over the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR). He has written for a number of international publications and has done extensive on-the-ground reporting of the conflict Syria, Iraq and the Middle East.READ MORE ISRAEL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Israel FilesSUPPORT 21WIRE SUBSCRIBE NOW & BECOME A MEMBER @21WIRE.TV
The Russia Investigation’s Special Counsel Just Made Trump’s Problems A Whole Lot Worse
First, he impaneled a grand jury. Then the grand jury began issuing subpoenas. Now, investigators working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller have issued an official request for White House documents pertaining to the Russia investigation. Specifically, they re looking for things related to Michael Flynn, Russia, and Turkey. The requests aren t subpoenas, but they could become subpoenas if the White House refuses to hand them over.Investigators are interested in payments that Flynn received for speeches given to Russian companies. Flynn s financial disclosure forms initially didn t include the payments from the Russian companies, and he had to file an amended version with those payments later on.Gee, it almost looks like he tried to hide his contacts with anyone Russian, just like Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions.But Mueller s team is also looking into Trump s own financial ties with Russia, and other possible financial crimes on Trump s part, too. Trump tried to intimidate Mueller on that front, warning him not to go that far and to keep the investigation s focus on Russian collusion. Mueller has, more or less, told Trump to go screw himself. Trump s outside counsel says that they ll resist anything from Mueller s office that goes beyond the mandate specified in the appointment. Oh, please. That positively reeks of fear. It s also further evidence that the Trump administration doesn t believe that the Department of Justice or any agency within it should be independent of the White House.The FBI is also interested in a $530,000 payment made to the Flynn Intel Group for work on discrediting an opponent of the Turkish government. They re looking to see if the Turkish government was behind those payments, or if it really was a private deal between Flynn s company and a Turkish American businessman. They ve begun questioning people on this very thing, too.It s not illegal to be paid by foreign governments. It is illegal to fail to register as a foreign agent while taking those payments. Flynn s registration as a foreign agent only happened after his company s work with Turkey was revealed.The fear is there and it s real. Mueller has cast a very wide net and it s beginning to catch some fish. Trump s 17-day vacation has a dark cloud over it, as does the White House.Featured image via Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images
WOW! KY Dem House Speaker Makes Insane Speech Following Crushing Defeat In Gov Race [Video]
State Reps Forced To Stand Awkwardly In BackgroundAt one point it appears as though someone approaches the two State Representatives who appear to be trapped behind the rambling, incoherent train wreck, Kentucy House Speaker and Democrat, Greg Stumbo and offers them an opportunity to get off the stage. This wealth accumulation in America has to cease. Kentucky Republicans had a very good election day. Matt Bevin defeated Democrat Jack Conway to become only the second Republican Kentucky governor in four decades. Jenean Hampton won her quest for lieutenant governor, becoming the commonwealth s first African-American to hold a statewide office. Rising Democratic star State Auditor, Adam Edelen, was ousted by Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon, despite raising nearly $900,000 to Harmon s $37,000.Democrats held on to some seats, but the defeats were crushing in part because Conway was ahead in polling up to election day. With so many Democrats ousted from office or unable to win their campaigns, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is one of the top-ranking Democrats still standing.He gave a speech that was striking for its odd content and rambling delivery. Flanked by state Reps. Martha Jane King and Jeff Greer, Stumbo discussed his thoughts on the political affiliation of Jesus and his view on what Scripture really is and how it influences politics. And the other thing I know is that if in fact the Bible is a book of parables, like I believe it is, think about this: Mary did not ride an elephant into Bethlehem that night, he said to a restrained crowd.[ ] For entire story:The Federalist h/t:Weasel ZippersHmmmm .I wonder where he got the idea America is beginning to think of the Democrats as the Godless party? Maybe Conway missed the last DNC convention where the members voted to remove God from the platform:And then of course, there is Reverend Wright who preached hate and anything but the truth about God s love for all of his people to Barack Hussein Obama (the ultimate Democrat Community Organizer) for roughly 20 years:
Mexico foreign minister heads to U.S. to meet with Dreamers
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray will travel to the United States this week to meet with local leaders and beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the ministry said on Monday. Videgaray will travel to Sacramento and Los Angeles on Sept. 11-12 and then to Washington D.C. on Sept. 13, the ministry said in a statement. Videgaray will meet with California Gov. Jerry Brown as well as other officials, the statement said.
Guatemala president retains immunity from prosecution in graft probe
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala s Congress on Monday voted overwhelmingly to preserve President Jimmy Morales immunity from prosecution after the attorney general submitted a request to investigate him over suspected financing irregularities during his 2015 election campaign. The vote to protect Morales from possible prosecution was lopsided, with only 25 of the 158 members of Congress voting to strip Morales of his legal protections. Presidential immunity can only be lifted with the backing of at least two-thirds of the chamber, or 105 members. Backers of Morales argued their vote to stop the probe from advancing favored political stability in the Central American nation. Democracy isn t built by changing the president every two years, said Congressman Raul Romero, head of the Fuerza party, referring to the corruption cases that led to the 2015 resignation of Morales predecessor, Otto Perez Molina. The vote in Congress was a blow to the U.N.-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which was pushing to determine the origin of some $800,000 in funds Morales managed as secretary general of the conservative National Convergence Front (FCN) party he led from 2015 to 2016. It was widely believed that those in favor of stripping Morales of his impunity would struggle to win enough support in Congress to green light an eventual prosecution as CICIG is also investigating all the major parties in Guatemala over suspected illegal financing. Members of Congress are making a pact of corrupt officials now that they are afraid of being investigated themselves for illegal electoral financing, said Alvaro Montenegro, head of the anti-corruption organization Justicia Ya. Morales, who has denied any wrongdoing, issued a statement late on Monday praising the vote as a sign of the country s unity and democratic maturity of its institutions. I call for an end to the political and ideological confrontations and together we ll continue to build the Guatemala we all desire, the statement said. The congressional vote reversed the recommendation of a Guatemalan congressional committee on Sunday that Morales immunity be revoked. Last month, Guatemala s attorney general and CICIG jointly sought to investigate Morales, a former comedian, over the illegal financing allegation. Two days later, Morales declared the head of the U.N. body persona non grata. Under the leadership of Ivan Velasquez, a veteran Colombian prosecutor, CICIG has caused problems for Morales, first investigating his son and brother, and then training its sights on him. The Guatemalan president won office in 2015 running on a platform of honest governance after Perez Molina was forced to resign and imprisoned in a multi-million dollar graft case stemming from a CICIG investigation.
Republicans Are Livid After Seeing This Photo Of Martha Stewart In Front Of Donald Trump
The right is up in arms. No, not because Sally Yates threw a huge snowball down avalanche hill and not because millions of Americans could lose their health insurance. They are losing their shizzle because Martha Stewart posed in a picture in front of photos of Donald Trump and Snoop Dogg. It was a thing of beauty if you aren t a Trump lover.In the photo, Stewart posed in a corner between the two portraits with her arms crossed. To Snoop, it was all peace and love. To Trump, though, she flipped the portrait the bird.Can confirm this Martha Stewart photo is real Yashar (@yashar) May 8, 2017There are questions about the photo s legitimacy but New York Magazine and Daily Beast writer Yashar confirms its validity.Stewart, who once hosted a spinoff of Trump s Apprentice is no fan of the man. During the election, she was firmly in Hillary Clinton s camp, and she said this about Trump and Clinton: There is so much to know and so much to learn and so much diplomacy and kindness and introspection that goes with that kind of job, Stewart told CNNMoney during a luncheon for Andrea Bocelli s foundation Sunday. And it does not exist in the world of Donald Trump. This is the most important election of the last hundred years, she said. We have to be very certain that we elect a person who has experience, knowledge, a base of education in the world of world politics as well as domestic politics and so obviously I m voting for Hillary Clinton. And we just can t have a country run by someone who is totally unprepared for what comes.Source: CNNConservatives, who are having a tough day/month/year are not amused:@2ALAW @bfraser747 @MarthaStewart MARTHA OBAMACLINTON PUT YOU IN PRISON+HILLARY DID SAME CRIME+ZERO IN PRISON!! FLIP OFF THEM THEY DID THIS! tvogvo (@tvogvo) May 8, 2017@2ALAW @justanavywife @MarthaStewart @SandraTXAS @RightWingAngel @FreedomChild3 @AMTrump4PRES @tteegar @LeahR77 @SpecialKMB1969 @JustMy_NameHere @LVNancy Martha can give @POTUS The Finger But ONE THING FOR SURE our @POTUS HAS NOT BEEN IN JAIL ?Martha HAS ?SO HAS SNOOP DOGGIE ?Gold Figure? Mstweetie For Trump (@Mtweetie4848gm2) May 8, 2017@2ALAW @MarthaStewart @SandraTXAS @RightWingAngel @FreedomChild3 @AMTrump4PRES @tteegar @justanavywife @LeahR77 @SpecialKMB1969 @JustMy_NameHere @LVNancy Disappointed in Martha I will not buy one item with her name on it period ENOUGH IS Enough respect America or get out Irene von Lau Riddle (@vonlauriddle) May 8, 2017@MediaJuggernaut @MarthaStewart Martha Stewart has no class, she thinks she s all bad now that she s done time. Shirley ???? (@shirley081261) May 8, 2017#TrumpUSA Martha Stewart and the rest of her drug addict friends have lost their minds and all credibility!!! #MAGA With Dignity & Respect!! Trump USA (@MADE__USA) May 8, 2017Adding @MarthaStewart to my very long list of people companies & products I ve #BOYCOTTED for disrespecting @POTUS!#BoycottMarthaStewart! Lynn Ratner (@RatnerLynn) May 8, 2017I think I ll be heading to Macy s to buy something from Martha Stewart s collection.Featured image via Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Yemen 'dismayed' by Trump's immigration order: official
(Reuters) - Yemen is “dismayed” by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to temporarily ban its citizens from traveling to the United States, saying that the country was a victim of attacks itself, an official said on Saturday. “We are dismayed by the decision to unilaterally ban, even for only a month, travel to the United States for people holding Yemeni passports,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Yemen is one of seven Muslim-majority countries affected by a Trump’s 90-day curb on travelers while his administration studies new ways to prevent potential militants from trying to enter the United States.
Iceland leans toward leftist government in snap election
REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Icelanders, angry over a string of political scandals, ousted their center-right government in an election that could pave the way for a charismatic young opposition leader to form a left-leaning coalition, final vote counts showed on Sunday. With the defeat of incumbent Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson s coalition government, his main opponent, the Left-Green Movement s Katrin Jakobsdottir, is likely to get a chance to form a narrow majority in parliament. Still, the composition of any coalition government remained uncertain, as the president had not yet mandated a party to form one. The Nordic island of 340,000 people, one of the countries hit hardest by the 2008 financial crisis, has staged a remarkable economic rebound spurred by a tourism boom. Benediktsson called the snap election in September, after less than a year in government, as a scandal involving his father prompted the Bright Future party to drop out of his ruling coalition, citing a breach of trust. The previous government was defeated last year following revelations in the Panama Papers about then-Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson s use of offshore tax havens. In addition to the political scandals, a growing sense of inequality and unease about immigration in one of the world s most ethnically homogeneous nations have rattled a democracy known for its political and social stability. After the final vote count, Jakobsdottir, 41, of the Left-Greens stood to gain a narrow majority in parliament with three other opposition parties. The result showed a Left-Green-led coalition was possible if they joined forces with the Social Democrats, the Progressive Party and the Pirate Party. Together, they would hold 32 of parliament s 63 seats. The opposition has a majority, so that s a message. But we ve also talked about that maybe things should be done differently and create a broader government, Jakobsdottir said in a TV debate on Sunday. The Left-Greens want to reduce inequality and fund an increase in public health care, education and infrastructure spending by raising taxes for the wealthy and introducing a property tax. The parliament will be split among eight parties. There are two new parties, and one of the parties in the current tri-party government failed to get enough votes to remain in parliament. The Independence Party, the main partner in the current government coalition, lost 4 percentage points from last year s election to take 25 percent of the vote. It remains the biggest party, but the election was the worst since 2009 for a party that has dominated Iceland s politics for decades, getting support of as much as 40 percent of voters. Asked during the TV debate if the Independence Party would get the chance to form a new government, Benediktsson said: I think so. We are the biggest party, and I think it s normal that we should be a part of a future government. We are attacked as a party that bears responsibility for certain things, he said. We are in a new environment, and considering that I am happy with the result. His party wants to reduce the national debt and cut taxes on individuals and businesses. The Left-Greens came in second with 17 percent, up 1 percentage point from last year s election, and its probable ally the Social Democrats in third with 12 percent, almost doubling its share. I think that the opposition with one extra party can create a really strong government, said Social Democrat leader Logi Einarsson, hinting at the possibility of a five-party government. The new Centre Party, which was formed in September by former Prime Minister Gunnlaugsson, won 11 percent of the votes. The Pirate Party, which last year rode a wave of anger against the establishment to become the third biggest party in parliament, stood to get 9 percent of votes in Saturday s election down from 14 percent last year.
Greedy Oil CEO Fires 20 Percent Of Employees, Awards Himself $18 Million
The World s largest oil field service, Schlumberger, has been bleeding profits since an oversupply of oil drove the cost per barrel from $100 in 2014 to $33.01. CEO Paal Kibsgaard saw his company profits decrease 40 percent since the downward trend in oil prices began, and as a result he fired 25,000 people in 2015, roughly 20 percent of the company s workforce.The CEO felt the pain in his company s loss of profits though as his salary decreased from $18.5 million in 2014 to $18.3 million in 2015. The drop was only due to the performance in his pension plan though, as his base salary and stock values increased from 2014.Despite running a failing company, Kibsgaard remains one of the highest paid CEOs in the World. In 2014, CNN Money ranked him as number 9 on their list of the 12 highest paid CEOs in the World.Forbes listed Schlumberger as #123 on its list of largest public companies, with a market cap of $109.8 billion as of May 2015. The sheer size, scope and profits the company makes should inoculate it to some degree from making enormous employee layoffs, leaving thousands of men and women with families unemployed, facing inadequate compensation and the stressors inherent with re-entering the job market. Layoffs are often a sign of failure by top executives to properly manage a business and forecast needs, wrote Eleanor Boxham in a 2013 Fortune magazine article. And failure of board members to ensure that the right management is in place. Given this sign of failure from Schlumberger s CEO, it is ethically abhorrent he receives such a high salary the same year the company lays off thousands of lower level employees. Despite the layoffs, the company s stock has steadily increased lately, and unfortunately that is all these corporate leaders, especially in the oil industry, care about. These attitudes are what contribute to the growing income and wealthy inequality not just in America, but all over the World. The 62 wealthiest people in the world have as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of the world, nearly 3.6 billion people. The wealthiest 1 percent of the World s population have as much wealth as the other 99 percent. For nearly fifty years, wages of working people in the United States have remained stagnant while the top income earners have seen their salaries grow exponentially. In the United States since the 2008 recession, nearly 99 percent of all new generated income has gone to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Current trends suggest these enormous disparities in wealth are expanding, and if CEOs like Kibsgaard are allowed to take home huge salaries while simultaneously firing thousands of people, things are only going to get worse.Featured Image Courtesy of Flickr
Being Transgender Could Soon Mean You’re A Sex Offender In Arkansas If GOPer Gets Her Way
Some people like to create solutions to problems that just simply do not exist, and this time around it s a solution to a non-existent problem that insinuates individuals who are transgender are somehow sex abusers or pedophiles and are sneaking into restrooms to harm people. We re seeing transphobic legislation in North Carolina, and now Arkansas looks to be trying to add to the discriminatory hate.These legislative actions are nothing but hate, because laws already exist on the books that don t allow assault or intrusion of privacy. These laws and proposals are just purely anti-transgender bigotry.That doesn t seem to be stopping Republican Arkansas State Senator Missy Irvin, who, according to a blog at Looks like Sen. Missy Irvin will win the race to the bottom. A reliable source has seen an amendment Irvin has drafted for a minor bill aimed at clearing up a problem in a sexual indecency law (a Supreme Court ruling says the language doesn t currently apply to guardians of children). Her amendment says anyone who is caught in a bathroom whose gender doesn t match their birth certificate will be charged as a sex offender. New low: Arkansas plans to make trans people sex offenders for existing. Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) May 18, 2016What the actual fuck?Not only does she seem to be trying to make transgender individuals criminals, she s allegedly trying to do so by sneaking it into another law. She apparently doesn t think trans people deserve the right to pee in peace. And how exactly does Irvin propose enforcing this sort of thing? The bathroom police? Does she intend of having bathroom attendants in every bathroom across the state asking to see birth certificates while simultaneously also asking everyone to drop their pants or lift their skirts? What s going to determine who gets checked? Short hair? Long hair? Intuition? The whole thing is just absolutely ridiculous.Aren t there actual problems that need to be solved? Infrastructure, education, healthcare? This is really getting absurd. Transgender individuals aren t criminals. They are human beings living their truth and should be lifted up, not torn down.Featured Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images
BOOM! 4 MEN STEAL TRUMP HAT…Trump Supporter ‘Takes Care Of Business’ [Video]
Four men saw this man wearing a Donald Trump Make America Great Again hat inside of a store, so they took it. The man casually asked him to walk outside and handle it, they stupidly obliged
Pentagon says reviewing 'adjustments' to arms for Syrian Kurds
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Monday it was reviewing adjustments in arms for U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria but stopped short of declaring a halt to weapons transfers, suggesting such decisions would be based on battlefield requirements. Turkey said on Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump told President Tayyip Erdogan he had issued instructions that weapons should not be provided to Syrian Kurdish fighters, which Ankara views as threat. It called on Monday for Washington to follow through on its pledge. We are reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided to our Kurdish partners in as much as the military requirements of our defeat-ISIS and stabilization efforts will allow to prevent ISIS from returning, said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon, using an acronym for Islamic State, which U.S. and U.S.-backed forces are battling in Syria.
German vote could doom Merkel-Macron deal on Europe
BERLIN (Reuters) - Weakened by the worst result for her party since 1949 and facing a more fractious political landscape at home, Germany s Angela Merkel could be forced to rein in plans to re-shape Europe together with France s Emmanuel Macron. Merkel s conservatives garnered more support than any other party in the German election on Sunday, projections showed, ensuring that she will return for a fourth term as chancellor. But her party appeared on track for its poorest performance since the first German election after World War Two and its only path to power may be through an unwieldy, untested three-way coalition with the ecologist Greens and liberal Free Democrats (FDP), fierce critics of Macron s ideas for Europe. Over the next four years, Merkel will also have to cope with a more confrontational opposition force in the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a eurosceptic, anti-immigration party that rode a wave of public anger after her decision to open Germany s borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants in 2015. The AfD was on track to win over 13 percent, above what polls had predicted. They will become the first far-right party to enter the German parliament since the 1950s. This will be a new world for Merkel, who has grown accustomed to cozy coalitions and toothless Bundestag opposition during her 12 years in power. In my mind, reform of the euro zone is the single most important foreign policy issue that the new government has in front of it, said Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, who runs the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund. But he predicted a so-called Jamaica coalition between Merkel s conservatives, the FDP and the Greens - whose combined party colors of black, yellow and green are like those the Jamaican national flag - would struggle to deliver. Whereas the Greens said on Sunday night that a stronger Europe was a priority for the party, the FDP is averse to further steps to integrate policies at European level. It would be the party of no, the party of yes and an incrementalist chancellor. Those are not ideal conditions for a Franco-German grand bargain, he said. Macron ran for the French presidency on a pledge to relaunch Europe, in tandem with Germany, after years of economic and financial crisis and the new shock dealt by Britain s vote last year to leave the bloc. He is due to flesh out his ideas in a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris on Tuesday. Macron has called for a finance minister and budget for the single currency bloc, ideas that Merkel has tentatively supported even though scepticism in her own party runs high. But with the FDP as a partner and the AfD pushing back loudly in parliament, the prospect of selling deeper European integration to her new coalition and the wider public looks far more challenging. In its election program, the FDP called for a phasing out of Europe s ESM bailout fund and changes to EU treaties that would allow countries to leave the euro zone. Its young leader Christian Lindner openly called for Greece to return to the drachma during the campaign. On Europe, the FDP is not so far from the AfD on some issues. If all of their ideas were implemented we would be plunged back into a euro zone crisis, Franziska Brantner, a Greens lawmaker, told Reuters. The FDP would not be the only difficult ally in Merkel s coalition. The AfD s strong performance could push her Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) already a thorn in her side during the refugee crisis further to the right ahead of an election next year in its home state. Winning back voters who fled to the AfD could become one of the main priorities for Merkel s conservative bloc over the coming four years. That would mean tougher stances on migration and on Europe. Even before the election, officials close to Merkel were playing down the urgency of a reform of the euro zone, describing efforts to secure Europe s borders and agree a fair distribution of refugees across the bloc as higher priorities. A second refugee crisis would be more devastating to Europe than a second euro zone crisis, a senior German official told Reuters last month. These officials point to the strengthening of the European economy and suggest that Macron was elected despite rather than because of his grand plans for the euro zone. A Bertelsmann Foundation survey last year showed just 41 percent of French believe Europe needs more political and economic integration, 10 points below the EU average. The survey also showed that Germans and French are the most skeptical toward Macron s ideas for a European finance minister and dedicated euro zone budget. Only 31 percent of French and 39 percent of Germans thought a euro zone budget should be used to support economically weaker states, as Macron suggests.
Tanzanian minister quits after diamond mining investigation: state TV
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - A Tanzanian minister who was named in reports on the results of an investigation into the diamond mining industry has resigned, state-run television broadcaster TBC1 said on Thursday. TBC1 said that George Simbachawene, the Minister of State in the President s Office, had relinquished his post.
Grasping At Straws (The Illusion of Choice)
Art by Dan Lacey via Etsy (See his work here)Zen GardnerIt s pitiful to watch the US election gyrations in the midst of this calculated societal breakdown. Americans have historically had such guts and strength, while albeit pitiful little is left, as they direct their vestigial frustration in such futile directions in the throes of their certain demise.So many have attached their grievances and hence hopes for change to this new set of puppet false promises it s absolutely not just alarming, but seriously disturbing. The very nature of looking to others to change their circumstances, never mind via such obvious psychopathic, self-serving, self-appointed dupes and character actors, is just overwhelming.The fundamental full-frontal reality that they seem hypnotically destined to participate in such an obviously manipulated environment truly boggles the mind.The same can be said for the sleeping and compliant European population, but I don t think it s quite as vast as the American phenomenon we re witnessing but it s getting closer. Either example, it s clearly a pathetic display of uninformed ignorance and subservient compliance on a massive, disheartening scale.When will people wake up to the obvious truth of what s transpiring around them and realize their innate power of personal manifestation and all it would entail?All 0f this is an ongoing and ever present challenge, but apparently part of the learning process we re undergoing here. It s No Easy TransitionGranted, such a complex interactive world seems to have no simple solution, but I contend it essentially does. When individuals wake up to their true power everything takes on new dimensions of reality. Not only does our active role become manifest, but the futility of reacting to the paradigm that s been laid out to be our assumed playing ground inherently reveals itself.And begins to lose its power and thus crumbles.Not an easy transition to make for the system-ingrained mindset. But it s happening. Why? Because the system itself is breaking down and showing its illusory nature, day by day, staged event by falsely reported announcement and propaganda piece. The so-called news is nothing but one shallow, misleading and disempowering non sequitur news story at a time.It s not an easy process to go through, waking up to the fact that we ve been literally bullshitted to death for so long. People understandably don t react well most of the time to this news. Some take it on and see the deep significance and sit back and learn to digest it and draw conscious conclusions. However, most try to bury this reality, or just get mad and even psychotic to some degree which leads to the mass hysteria we re witnessing today.In a way I can t blame them yet I can. The voice of conscience is there for all. It appears continually. Whether we listen to and pursue its beckoning call is a choice, one heart signal at a time. It s not once and forever gone it continually appears, giving opportunities right, left and center despite the misinformation and the dystopic psycho-chemical-electromagnetic and even nuclear storm we live in.The results are before our eyes of what people have currently chosen on the macro scale. Quite sad to behold in a mass spectrum knowing these are individuals making bad decisions, but then look at the shining examples of those who have taken up the torch for truth and consciousness!Therein lies the difference.Don t Circle the Drain with the Rest of ThemIt does no good, intrinsic or otherwise, to ride the mass wave of further willful ignorance and eventual destruction as if participating in some act of resonant compassion.As real as that subconscious impulse is it s crap, and full on programmed co-dependent fear-of-arising-as-an-authentic-self form of self disempowered thinking!Snap out of it. We are each majestic manifestations of Universe in co-creative action. This subject is way deep with extremely empowering and revelatory notions but one thing is certain. We are not who they say we are. We are not destined to be tooled about by others and forced to petition these entities for changes they have no intention of implementing while giving us the illusion we can make any kind of difference in their paradigm.It s time for truly revolutionary change based on radically transcendent thinking and resultant realizations.And to have the guts to venture into the realms where we can manifest this true revolution for the sake of our planet and co-inhabitants.Are you up to it? Get there and be there.It s sure time.Take up the call.Love, ZenZenGardner.comFor more articles and interviews by Zen go to his Timeline.READ MORE ELECTION NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire 2016 Files
West Virginia GOP Push Bill To Literally Give Conservative Christians Ability To Break The Law At Will
If West Virginia Republicans have their way, conservative Christians will be able to break any law they don t like and use religious freedom as a defense.Outrageous legislation known as Senate Bill 11 would create anarchy across the state by giving conservative Christians the ability to ignore any law they think doesn t have a governmental interest of the highest magnitude that cannot otherwise be achieved without burdening the exercise of religion. For instance, bigoted Christians could argue that they can ignore anti-discrimination laws that protect racial and religious minorities as well as gay people. They could also argue that they can ignore sexual harassment laws, traffic laws, gun control laws, environmental laws, or any other law they don t like and all they have to do is claim that such laws impede their sincerely held religious beliefs.SB 11 states: Exercise of religion means the sincere practice or observance of religion or religious conscience. It includes, but is not limited to, the ability to act or refuse to act in a manner substantially motivated by one s sincerely held religious beliefs or religious conscience, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.This is perhaps the most dangerous piece of legislation Republicans have ever dreamed up.It s basically a get out of jail free card for Christians who think they should be able to hide behind their Bibles to get away with disobeying the law.According to civil rights advocate Tim Peacock,SB 11 would literally create a new class of rights superior to all other protections afforded at the local, state or federal level. It would create a special class of rights wherein one civil right comes into conflict with another, religious belief would always prevail.As Peacock further explains, it would fall to government to offer a compelling state interest in violating the person s beliefs. In short, West Virginia would be turned into an anarchy as conservatives use their Christian beliefs as an excuse to violate the laws while everyone else has to follow the law to the letter since they wouldn t have these new special rights.And you can bet that conservative lawmakers across the country are looking at passing the same legislation in their own states as they continue to desperately try anything to replace civil law with biblical law. This is what religious tyranny looks like. Featured Image: Wikimedia
Syrian government push for Damascus rebel enclave kills at least 23
BEIRUT (Reuters) - An intensifying push by the Syrian government and allied forces to take the last major rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus killed at least 23 people on Sunday and injured many, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The group said at least 127 people, including 30 children, have been killed by air strikes and shelling since the Syrian army backed by Russian jets began an offensive nearly two weeks ago to take the besieged rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area. Eastern Ghouta is one of several de-escalation zones across western Syria, where Russia has brokered deals to ease the fighting between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad s government. A Reuters witness said there had been drones in the sky since Sunday morning and warplanes had heavily bombarded the towns of Mesraba and Harasta. Heavy shelling also hit Eastern Ghouta and dozens had been injured. Assad s forces have besieged Eastern Ghouta since 2012 and the area is suffering a humanitarian crisis. Ghouta residents are so short of food that they are eating trash, fainting from hunger and forcing their children to eat on alternate days, the U.N. World Food Programme said in a report this week. The opposition Eastern Ghouta Damascus Countryside local council said this week the escalating bombardment was forcing people to seek shelter in unsuitable and unsanitary places which it feared could lead to disease outbreaks. A number of shells from the rebel enclave have hit government-held Damascus in the past two weeks. Syria s six-year-old civil war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced millions to flee in the worst refugee crisis since World War Two. U.N.-backed peace negotiations are due to begin in Geneva on Nov. 28. Several previous rounds of Geneva talks have failed to agree a political transition for Syria or a way to stop the violence. Yahya Aridi, spokesman for the Syrian opposition Geneva delegation, said on Sunday it was now time for the Syrian government and the opposition to get to the table and start talking about transition, from dictatorship to freedom in Geneva.
U.S. Senate finance panel unlikely to support import tax: chairman
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 20 percent import tax, backed by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, is unlikely to win enough support from the Senate Finance Committee to be part of any Senate tax reform bill, the panel’s Republican chairman said on Tuesday. The comment by Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah is the strongest sign yet of the daunting legislative challenge that lies ahead for the border adjustment tax, or BAT, a controversial House Republican proposal that has already divided the business community and Republicans in Congress. Hatch’s finance committee, which consists of 14 Republicans and 12 Democrats, has oversight authority for tax policy and would need to approve any tax reform legislation considered in the Senate. “It’s going to be tough to pass. I don’t think we can move it through the Finance Committee,” the Utah Republican told reporters after discussing the BAT proposal at a meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Hatch said the administration also opposes BAT: “They’re against that ... if I interpret it correctly.” The proposal, which would exempt U.S. export revenues from federal taxation but impose a flat 20 percent tax on imports, is strongly backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady. Neither Ryan’s office nor Brady’s had an immediate comment on Hatch’s remarks. If the House approved BAT but the Senate excluded it from legislation, House Republicans would need to use bicameral negotiations to get it included in final legislation for President Donald Trump’s signature. House Republicans have billed border adjustment as a way to meet Trump’s pledge to create jobs at home while preventing American companies from moving manufacturing jobs and production facilities overseas. But it has divided U.S. business by drawing enthusiastic support from exporters and fierce opposition from import-dependent industries, leaving many Republican lawmakers wary of the proposal. Republican supporters say BAT is needed to pay for steep business tax cuts, citing independent analyses that estimate it would raise more than $1 trillion over a decade. Administration officials have called for financing tax cuts with future economic growth. Some lawmakers have suggested deficit-financed tax cuts instead. “We have to raise revenue,” Hatch said. “There’s no question about that. And we will. We know where it all is anyway.”
Zimbabwe court grants bail to U.S. citizen charged with subversion
HARARE (Reuters) - A high court judge in Zimbabwe said on Thursday the state s case against a U.S. citizen charged with trying to subvert President Robert Mugabe s government lacked facts and ordered that she be granted bail. Martha O Donovan has been in prison since Saturday, a day after she was arrested on accusations of insulting Mugabe in a Twitter post. Police later leveled the more serious charge of subversion, which carries a possible 20-year jail term. She denies both charges. O Donovan works for Magamba TV, which describes itself as Zimbabwe s leading producer of political satire. In granting her bail, High Court Judge Clement Phiri said there was a patent absence of facts in the state s case. The applicant has demonstrated that she should be granted bail. It is my finding that it is in the interests of justice that the applicant be given bail, Phiri said. O Donovan was not in court. Phiri ordered her to deposit $1,000 with the court, surrender her passport and report to the criminal investigations department twice a week as part of her bail conditions. Her lawyer Obey Shava said O Donovan would be released on Friday after completing administrative procedures. Amnesty International said in a statement the case showed that Zimbabwean authorities had contempt for freedom of expression. The state s case centers on a Twitter post it says she wrote in October calling Mugabe a selfish and sick man . The government set up a Ministry of Cyber Security last month. Zimbabwe is facing acute shortages of foreign exchange and cash. The country is also concerned with who will succeed Mugabe, 93, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980. He plans to contest next year s election. This week Mugabe fired his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa from the government and ruling party for disloyalty . Mnangagawa was seen as a potential successor. Formal opposition to Mugabe is limited but the government is wary of social media. Last year, activists including pastor Evan Mawarire used it to organize the #ThisFlag movement. Its stay-at-home demonstration was the biggest protest in a decade.
Ex-Goldman banker Mnuchin installed as Treasury secretary
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump swore in former Goldman Sachs banker and Hollywood financier Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary on Monday, putting him to work on tax reform, financial de-regulation and economic diplomacy efforts. The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Mnuchin 53-47, with all but one Democrat opposing him over his handling of thousands of foreclosures as head of OneWest Bank after the 2007-2009 housing collapse. At a White House swearing-in ceremony, Trump said Mnuchin would be a “great champion” for U.S. citizens. “He will fight for middle-class tax reductions, financial reforms that open up lending and create millions of new jobs, and fiercely defend the American tax dollar and your financial security,” Trump said. “And he will also defend our manufacturing jobs from those who cheat and steal and rob us blind.” Lawmakers, lobbyists and business groups have been nervously waiting for Mnuchin to take office and fill in the many blanks on how he will pursue tax reform and handle delicate economic cooperation efforts with China, Mexico and other trading partners worried that Trump’s “America First” strategy will upend decades-old trade rules and currency practices. Mnuchin, 54, provided no details of his plans as he was sworn in. “I am committed to using the full powers of this office to create more jobs, to combat terrorist activities and financing, and to make America great again,” Mnuchin said. Trump has pledged to roll back the stricter financial regulation under the Dodd-Frank reform law enacted after the financial crisis, pursue tougher trade policies on China and Mexico to reduce U.S. trade deficits, and reduce business tax rates. Mnuchin faces immediate challenges with the March 15 expiration of a U.S. debt ceiling suspension, ushering in the threat of a new default showdown, and a March 17 meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies, where he will face tough questions about Trump’s plans to increase trade protections. In April, Mnuchin will have to determine whether to declare China a currency manipulator as part of Treasury’s semi-annual currency report. “There is a real open question as to whether this administration is going to cut itself off from international monetary cooperation, whether it’s exchange rate policies or attitudes towards multilateral institutions or international regulatory policy,” said Edwin Truman, a former Treasury and Federal Reserve official now with the Peterson Institute for International Economics Among Mnuchin’s biggest jobs is managing a sprawling congressional tax reform effort that seeks to slash business tax rates and enact a new border tax adjustment system aimed at boosting U.S. exports. Mnuchin will quickly need to build a core management team to handle such challenges. Treasury and White House representatives did not respond to requests for comment on Monday on reports that Trump would soon nominate David Malpass, a former economist at failed Wall Street bank Bear Stearns, as Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, the agency’s top economic diplomacy job. Malpass, a Trump campaign adviser who had been leading Treasury transition efforts, was seen as a leading candidate for the job, with experience from international economic posts in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. Other names that have been floated for senior posts include Goldman Sachs banker Jim Donovan for deputy Treasury secretary and Justin Muzinich, a former Morgan Stanley banker, for undersecretary of domestic finance. Mnuchin, a second-generation Goldman Sachs banker who led the firm’s mortgage bond trading but left the bank in 2002, came under fire from Democrats over his investor group’s 2009 acquisition of another failed lender, IndyMac Bank, from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The bank, rebranded as OneWest, subsequently foreclosed on more than 36,000 homeowners, drawing charges from housing advocates that it was a “foreclosure machine.” Mnuchin grew OneWest into Southern California’s largest lender and sold it for $3.4 billion in 2015. He has also helped finance Hollywood blockbusters such as “Avatar,” “American Sniper” and this past weekend’s box office champion, “The Lego Batman Movie,” which took in $55.6 million. The Senate on Monday also unanimously confirmed David Shulkin as secretary of veterans affairs, putting the only holdover from the Obama administration in charge of the second largest federal agency. Shulkin had been in charge of the VA’s sprawling health system for the past 18 months.
Pope meets Myanmar's military chief in shadow of Rohingya crisis
YANGON (Reuters) - Pope Francis held talks on Monday with Myanmar s military chief at the start of a delicate visit to a majority-Buddhist country that the United States has accused of ethnic cleansing against its Muslim Rohingya people. The leader of the Roman Catholic church will also visit Bangladesh, where more than 620,000 Rohingya have fled to escape what Amnesty International has called crimes against humanity . Myanmar s army has denied accusations of murder, rape, torture and forced displacement that have been made against it. The pope s first meeting in Yangon was with military commander Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in St. Mary s Cathedral in the heart of the Southeast Asian nation s largest city. They discussed the great responsibility of authorities of the country in this time of transition, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said after the 15 minutes of talks, which were followed by an exchange of gifts. Francis presented the general with a commemorative medal of his visit, and Min Aung Hlaing gave the pope a harp in the shape of a boat and an ornate rice bowl, Burke said. The army chief told the pope that there s no religious discrimination in Myanmar and there s the freedom of religion, according to a statement on the Facebook page of Min Aung Hlaing. Every soldier s goal is to build a stable and peaceful country, the army chief was paraphrased as saying in the statement. Members of ethnic minority groups in traditional dress welcomed Francis at Yangon airport, and children presented him with flowers as he stepped off his plane. He waved through an open window at dozens of children waving Vatican and Myanmar flags and wearing T-shirts with the motto of the trip love and peace as he set off in a car. Only about 700,000 of Myanmar s 51 million people are Roman Catholic. Thousands of them traveled by train and bus to Yangon, and they joined crowds at several roadside points along the way from the airport to catch a glimpse of the pope. More than 150,000 people have registered for a mass that Francis will say in Yangon on Wednesday, according to Catholic Myanmar Church spokesman Mariano Soe Naing. We come here to see the Holy Father. It happens once in hundreds of years, said Win Min Set, a community leader who brought a group of 1,800 Catholics from the south and west of the country. He is very knowledgeable when it comes to political affairs. He will handle the issue smartly, he said, referring to the sensitivity of the pope s discussions about the Rohingya. Large numbers of riot police were mobilized in Yangon but there were no signs of any protests. The trip is so delicate that some papal advisers have warned Francis against even saying the word Rohingya , lest he set off a diplomatic incident that could turn the country s military and government against minority Christians. The Rohingya exodus from Rakhine state to Bangladesh s southern tip began at the end of August, when Rohingya militants attacked security posts and the Myanmar army launched a counter-offensive. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week called the military operation ethnic cleansing and threatened targeted sanctions for horrendous atrocities . Myanmar s government has denied most of the accusations made against it, and the army says its own investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by troops. Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya as citizens nor as members of a distinct ethnic group with their own identity, and it even rejects the term Rohingya and its use. Many people in Myanmar instead refer to members of the Muslim minority in Rakhine state as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Francis is expected to meet a group of Rohingya refugees in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on the second leg of his trip. The most tense moments of his Myanmar visit were expected to be the private meeting with the army chief and, separately, with civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday. Vatican sources say some in the Holy See believe the trip was decided too hastily after full diplomatic ties were established in May during a visit by Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi s reputation as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been tarnished because she has expressed doubts about the reports of rights abuses against the Rohingya and failed to condemn the military. The pope has already used the word Rohingya in two appeals from the Vatican this year. Asked if he would say it in Myanmar, Burke said Francis was taking the advice he had been given seriously, but added: We will find out together during the trip ... it is not a forbidden word . A hardline group of Buddhist monks, previously known as Ma Ba Tha, said it welcomed the pope s visit but warned, without elaborating, of a response if he spoke openly about the Rohingya. I hope he doesn t touch on sensitive issues that Myanmar people couldn t accept, said Tawparka, a spokesman for the group, who goes by a single name. There s no problem if he talks about Islam, but it s unacceptable if he speaks about Rohingya and extreme terrorists.
German parties in coalition talks agree to stick to balanced budget
BERLIN (Reuters) - Politicians from four German parties seeking to form a coalition government agreed on Tuesday to stick to the policy of balanced budget, a document seen by Reuters showed. Chancellor Angela Merkel s Christian Democrats, their Christian Social Union Bavarian allies, the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats also agreed to explore at later talks what fiscal flexibility they have to fund investments and tax cuts.
A house divided: How Saudi Crown Prince purged royal family rivals
BEIRUT/RIYADH (Reuters) - The first hint that something was amiss came in a letter. On Saturday Nov. 4, guests at Riyadh s Ritz Carlton were notified by the opulent hotel that: Due to unforeseen booking by local authorities which requires an elevated level of security, we are unable to accommodate guests ... until normal operations are restored. The purge was already under way. Within hours security forces had rounded up dozens of members of Saudi Arabia s political and business elite, mostly in the capital and the coastal city of Jeddah. Among them were 11 princes as well as ministers and wealthy tycoons. Some were invited to meetings where they were detained. Others were arrested at their homes and flown to Riyadh or driven to the Ritz Carlton, which has been turned into a temporary prison. The detainees were allowed a single, brief phone call home, a person familiar with the arrests told Reuters. They don t receive calls and are kept under tight security. No one can go in or out, the insider said. It is obvious that there was a lot of preparation for it. The purge was ordered by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Officially next in line to the throne to his father, King Salman, he is now in effect running the country which he has said he will transform into a modern state. To do that - and in an attempt to shore up his own power - he has decided to go after the Saudi elite, including some members of the royal family, on accusations such as taking bribes and inflating the cost of business projects. Those arrested could not be reached for comment. At stake is political stability in the world s largest oil producer. The Crown Prince s ability to rule unchallenged depends on whether the purge is successful. The Crown Prince believes that unless the country changes, the economy will sink into a crisis that could fan unrest. That could threaten the royal family and weaken the country in its regional rivalry with Iran. (See this graphic on the Saudi family and the royal arrests: Prince Mohammed decided to move on his family, the person familiar with events said, when he realized more relatives opposed him becoming king than he had thought. The signal was that anyone wavering in their support should watch out, said the person familiar with the events. The whole idea of the anti-corruption campaign was targeted towards the family. The rest is window dressing. King Salman said the purge was in response to exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly, accrue money . Insiders said the accusations were based on evidence gathered by the intelligence service. Government backers have rejected suggestions that the campaign is really about eliminating political enemies. There was no immediate comment from the royal court on this story. Among those now holed up at the Ritz Carlton hotel is Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who is head of the powerful National Guard and Prince Mohammed s cousin. Miteb was in his farm house in Riyadh when he was called to a meeting with the Crown Prince. Such an invitation, even at night, would not be unusual for a senior official and would not have aroused suspicion. He went to the meeting and never came back, said a second insider who has connections to some of those who were detained. Others held include Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is chairman of international investment firm Kingdom Holding and a cousin of Prince Mohammed, and Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former governor of Riyadh province and a son of the late King Abdullah. Some royal watchers said tensions were laid bare during family meetings over the summer. One insider said it was widely known to Prince Mohammed that some of the powerful royals, including Miteb, were resentful about his elevation. Prince Mohammed, who is widely known in Saudi Arabia by his initials MbS, had said openly in interviews that he would investigate the kingdom s endemic corruption and would not hesitate to go after top officials. The vehicle was an anti-corruption committee created by King Salman, and announced on Nov. 4. The king put the Crown Prince in charge, adding another power to the many he has been given in the past three years. Saudi authorities have questioned 208 people in the anti-corruption investigation and estimate at least $100 billion has been stolen through graft, the attorney-general said on Thursday. The head of the committee said investigators had been collecting evidence for three years. By launching a war on corruption, the prince has combined a popular cause with the elimination of an obstacle to acceding to the throne. MbS used the corruption stick which can reach any one of them, said Jamal Khashoggi, a former adviser to Prince Turki al-Faisal, intelligence chief from 1979 to 2001. For the first time we Saudis see princes being tried for their corruption. But Khashoggi, who lives in the United States, said Prince Mohammed was being selective in his purge. I believe MbS is a nationalist who loves his country and wants it to be the strongest but his problem is that he wants to rule alone, he said. (See this graphic on Saudi Prince Alwaleed s investments: Prince Mohammed was appointed defense minister in 2015 when King Salman became monarch. In June, the King named him heir to the throne, pushing aside his older cousin Mohammed bin Nayef, a veteran head of the security apparatus. The royal family acquiesced and by September the Crown Prince had rounded up and jailed religious and intellectual opponents. The latest detentions are intended to help him push through reforms that promise the greatest change since the reign of King Abdulaziz, founder of the current Saudi state in the 1930s. That state has rested on an enduring accommodation between the royal family and the Wahhabist clerics who control the hardline version of Islam that originated in Saudi Arabia. The ruling family promised to give Saudis comfortable lives and a share of the country s oil wealth. In return, their subjects have offered political submission and promised to follow the country s strict religious and social codes. King Abdulaziz, who was also known as Ibn Saud, died in 1953. Since then, Saudi Arabia has been run by the king and below him there has been a group of princes, none of them strong enough to impose his will against the wishes of the others. Decisions have mostly come through consensus. That arrangement has meant social and political change has been glacial although it has also kept the kingdom stable. But in moves that position Prince Mohammed as the new Ibn Saud, the Crown Prince is tearing down pillars of rule that had been eroding under the weight of population growth and low oil prices. Consensus has been replaced by what critics say is one-man rule, opposed by some princes although they would not risk saying so in public. In the past few decades, every Saudi king had one or two of his brothers, sons or nephews by his side advising and sharing in governance. But Prince Mohammed has not appointed any of his brothers or other close family to top positions, instead relying on a team of advisers mainly Saudis though some are U.S.- or British-trained. King Salman, 82, still has the last word on everything. But he has delegated the running of the kingdom s military, security, economic, foreign and social affairs to Prince Mohammed. There has been speculation for months, denied by court officials, that the king will soon abdicate the throne to MbS. Even the Crown Prince s age is remarkable. The last three kings have reached the throne aged 61, 80 and 79. Prince Mohammed is effectively in charge at 32. Prince Mohammed says he offers a new social contract: A state that functions better than the rigid bureaucracy of the past, opportunities to have fun and an economy that will create jobs that can last, whatever happens in oil markets. In September he announced that Saudi women will be given the right to drive. Just three weeks ago, during a conference for investors at the same Ritz Carlton that now houses the targets of his purge, he unveiled a plan for a $500-billion futuristic city where sexes could mingle and robots outnumber humans. The prince has also drawn up a blueprint to wean Saudi Arabia off its dependence on oil and its subjects off state subsidies and government jobs. The public listing of national oil company Saudi Aramco, planned next year, is its centerpiece. There are no guarantees the prince s ambitions will succeed. Even some admirers ask whether his reach exceeds his grasp. His top-down approach, brooking no opposition, could scare off investors wanting assurances about rule of law and security. Without huge investor support, he will struggle to meet the aspirations of Saudi youth. War in Yemen, a dispute with the Gulf emirate of Qatar and growing tension with Iran is a concern to investors too. It should help that Prince Mohammed, following the example of Ibn Saud, sees the importance of forging a special bond with the United States. During a visit to Saudi Arabia in May, U.S. President Donald Trump urged Riyadh to lead an alliance against Iran and its attempt to cut a Shi ite axis through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Soon afterwards, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates blockaded Qatar, accusing its ruling Al Thani dynasty of supporting Iran and Islamist terrorism. Trump gave his backing. After the arrests of the past week, Trump tweeted support, saying those arrested had been milking their country for years . One insider close to the royal family said the National Guard was unlikely to react strongly to Miteb s removal. He said there had been no resistance to the ousting of Mohammed bin Nayef at the interior ministry and the National Guard would be no different.
OBAMA WILL SEND REPRESENTATIVE To Alton Sterling Funeral…Couldn’t Be Bothered With Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s Funeral
It s almost like our Community Agitator in Chief purposefully won t acknowledge anyone who isn t in lock-step with his radical agenda Hope Change Division and Hate The Obama White House sent three officials to robber Michael Brown s funeral in Ferguson. Obama sent more officials to Brown s funeral than to Margaret Thatcher s funeral.Obama sent three White House officials to criminal Freddie Gray s funeral.The White House sent no one to NYPD Officer Brian Moore s funeral.Obama skipped Antonin Scalia s funeral and went golfing instead.The Obama White House will send a representative to Alton Sterling s funeral on Thursday. GPThe Advocate reported:Gary Chambers, spokesman for the Sterling family, confirmed Thursday that both Civil Rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a White House representative would be attending the funeral of Alton Sterling on Friday. Jackson will be a speaker at the event along with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond.The family of Alton Sterling is inviting the community to mourn with them on Friday at a public funeral held at Southern University.Chambers said both Richmond and Sharpton immediately reached out to the Sterling family in the wake of Alton Sterling s death and offered to help in any way.
Clinton gains in online betting markets after U.S. presidential debate
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s probability of winning the White House gained in online betting markets following the first debate of the campaign on Monday night between her and Republican Donald Trump. A Clinton contract on the popular PredictIt betting market gained 6 cents from the previous day’s level to 69 cents, while a contract favoring Donald Trump’s prospects for victory tumbled 7 cents to 31 cents. Contracts are priced from 0 cents to 100 cents, with the contract price equating to a probability of whether that candidate will win the Nov. 8 election. The price swings for both candidates were the largest since early August, and placed Clinton’s lead in that market at the widest in about two weeks. Clinton’s prospects also improved on the Irish betting site Paddy Power. About halfway through Monday’s debate, she was shown as a 1-to-2 favorite, and those odds shortened to 4-to-9 in the moments after the debate ended. Trump’s odds lengthened to 23-to-10 from 9-to-4. The swing following the debate put the brakes on a big Trump price rally on PredictIt that coincided with a tightening in most public opinion polls. The implied probability of him winning had risen to 38 cents on Sunday from just 28 cents at the end of August. Bets on Trump fell as low as 5 cents on February but went up as high as 44 cents in May. Bets on Clinton, the persistent favorite in most wagering markets, went as low as 37 cents in January and as high as 79 cents in August. The debate on Monday was the first of three scheduled face-offs between the two candidates before the Nov. 8 election.
Saudi King Salman demands Iran stop meddling in Middle East: Ifax
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Iran must stop meddling in the Middle East, visiting Saudi King Salman told Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in the Kremlin on Thursday, Russia s Interfax news agency reported. We emphasize that the security and stability of the Gulf region and the Middle East is an urgent necessity for achieving stability and security in Yemen, Salman said, quoted by the agency. This would demand that Iran give up interference with the internal affairs of the region, to give up actions destabilizing the situation in this region.
IT BEGINS: ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI FIRES Suspected Leaker, Anti-Trumper With Ties To Reince Priebus
Scaramucci promised the heads of White House leakers would roll. He clearly wasn t kidding Suspected leaker Michael Short has been terminated from the White House communications office, Breitbart News can confirm. Short, an ally of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and now former Press Secretary Sean Spicer who resigned last week was terminated on Tuesday by new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.Politico s Tara Palmeri was the first to report the news.Short disputes his resignations, says he was assigned to campaign from RNC and merely went back to the RNC to work for campaign from HQ Tara Palmeri (@tarapalmeri) July 25, 2017 Newly appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said on Tuesday that he plans to dismiss assistant press secretary Michael Short, Palmeri wrote on Tuesday morning. It would be Scaramucci s first step toward shaking up the communications shop, which has been dominated by former Republican National Committee staffers loyal to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, a former RNC chairman. Short originally worked for the Trump campaign placed on it by Priebus and quit the campaign, sources tell Breitbart News, after the Access Hollywood tape came out. Politico confirmed this report, noting that Short walked out in the middle of the campaign leaving his computer behind only to show back up in January at the behest of the Republican National Committee (RNC) allies in the White House. He was scorned by many of his colleagues for quitting the Trump campaign, only to rejoin as a White House staffer because of Priebus, Palmeri wrote of Short. In a story often retold by campaign staffers, they arrived at Trump Tower one morning, months before the election, to see Short s computer left open on his otherwise empty desk. He had quit the campaign that day and never returned. The next time he was seen by former campaign staffers was in January on their first day in the White House, where some were stunned to learn that they were going to have to work alongside him or for some of the press assistants subordinate to him. Multiple White House sources tell Breitbart News that Short was a leaker, and worked closely with now former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh another RNC wing official who was terminated earlier this year for her own suspected leaking. Breitbart NewsCould Reince Priebus be next?Heavy Could Short s and Spicer s resignations be a bad omen for the future of Priebus, the former RNC chairman turned chief of staff who once ran the Republican Party in Wisconsin?There certainly seems to be a diminishing in the ranks of his supporters inside the Trump bubble (and he was reported to have opposed the hiring of Scaramucci by The New York Times and other publications). However, Priebus and Scaramucci have publicly spoken positively about each other since Scaramucci was hired. Trump seems to be relying more than before on a tight circle of family members and political outsiders like Scaramucci. The potential shake-up has exacerbated long-simmering tensions between Scaramucci and chief of staff Reince Priebus, reported The Washington Post. Scaramucci reports to Trump, not Priebus.
Bloomberg Has Some News About Running For President
In an announcement that can put a lot of minds at ease, former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg has decided that he will not be running for president. If he had decided to run, it would have undoubtedly split the vote, and could have in turn resulted in Donald Trump being president.In an editorial on Bloomberg View, the former mayor wrote: Over the last several months, many Americans have urged me to run for president as an independent, and some who don t like the current candidates have said it is my patriotic duty to do so. I appreciate their appeals, and I have given the question serious consideration. The deadline to answer it is now, because of ballot access requirements. But when I look at the data, it s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win. I believe I could win a number of diverse states but not enough to win the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency. Bloomberg Politics pointed out: In order to win, Bloomberg would have had to win pluralities in enough states to capture 270 electoral votes. The Constitution also provides for the election to be thrown into the House of Representatives to decide if no candidate can secure those votes, though that method has been used only twice, after the elections in 1800 and 1824. That body is controlled by a Republican majority. It would be almost certain the Republican nominated would ve won the presidency by any way the votes tallied.This was a very smart move on behalf of Bloomberg, putting country before his personal want to be the next Commander-in Chief. It s looking more and more like Trump will be the Republican nominee and Clinton the Democratic. Bloomberg seems to realize that in order for the Democratic candidate to win in the general election they are going to need all the votes they can get. Good on Bloomberg for this move.Featured image via Flickr
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Dataset Card for [Fake_News_TFG]

Dataset Summary

The GonzaloA / Fake_News_TFG Dataset repository is an English-language dataset containing just over 45k unique news articles. This articles are classified as true (1) or false (0). The current version is the first of the study the Fake News identification using Transformers models.

Supported Tasks and Leaderboards

[More Information Needed]


The dataset is code for English as generally spoken in the United States is en-US

Dataset Structure

The structure of this dataSet is composed by 40587 fields about News. This fields are composed by three types of fields; title of the news, the text or content of the news, and finally, the value of the news, who said if the new are fake (0) or true (1).

Data Instances

For each instance, there is a string for the title, a string for the article and a label to mark if it's true or false. See the CNN / Daily Mail dataset viewer to explore more examples.

{'id': '1',
'title': Palestinians switch off Christmas lights in Bethlehem in anti-Trump protest'
'text': 'RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinians switched off Christmas lights at Jesus  traditional birthplace in Bethlehem on Wednesday night in protest at U.S. President Donald Trump s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel s capital. A Christmas tree adorned with lights outside Bethlehem s Church of the Nativity, where Christians believe Jesus was born, and another in Ramallah, next to the burial site of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, were plunged into darkness.  The Christmas tree was switched off on the order of the mayor today in protest at Trump s decision,  said Fady Ghattas, Bethlehem s municipal media officer.  He said it was unclear whether the illuminations would be turned on again before the main Christmas festivities. In a speech in Washington, Trump said he had decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel s capital and move the U.S. embassy to the city. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Trump s move  marked the beginning of a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and said it was an  historic landmark . Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East condemned the U.S. decision, calling it an incendiary move in a volatile region and the European Union and United Nations also voiced alarm at the possible repercussions for any chances of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.'
'label': '1'}

Data Fields

  • id: an integer value to count the rows in the dataset
  • title: a string that summarize the article
  • text: a string that contains the article
  • label: a boolean that mark the article true or false

Data Splits

The GonzaloA/FakeNews dataset has 3 splits: train, evaluation, and test. Below are the statistics for the version 1.0 of the dataset:

Dataset Split Number of Instances in Split
Train 24,353
Validation 8,117
Test 8,117

Dataset Creation

This dataset was created with python, using pandas library as the main processing data. Also, this dataset are the mix of other datasets which are the same scope, the Fake News.

Source Data

The source data is a mix of multiple fake_news datasets in Kaggle, a platform for train your skills and learnings about Artificial Intelligence. The main datasets who are based this dataset are:

Initial Data Collection and Normalization

Version 1.0.0 aimed to support supervised neural methodologies for deep learning and study the new Transformers models in the Natural Language Processing with News of the United States.


Annotation process

[More Information Needed]

Who are the annotators?

[More Information Needed]

Personal and Sensitive Information

[More Information Needed]

Considerations for Using the Data

This Dataset is compose for 3 types: Training phase, for training your model of NLP, validation phase, because we need to validate if the training was successful or our model has overfitting, and train phase, who count the probability and the mistakes in the model fine-tuning.

Social Impact of Dataset

[More Information Needed]

Discussion of Biases

[More Information Needed]

Other Known Limitations

[More Information Needed]

Additional Information

Dataset Curators

[More Information Needed]

Licensing Information

[More Information Needed]

Citation Information

[More Information Needed]


Thanks to @github-username for adding this dataset.

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