Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Mexican President Warns 'Caravan'; UN Spokesman Mum on How Officials Should Respond to Invasion of Mexico

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Monday warned Central American migrants who entered Mexico illegally in recent days as part of a U.S.-bound “caravan” that they were unlikely to achieve either the goal of staying in Mexico or of entering the United States. Read

Obama Campaigns in Las Vegas: ‘Remember Who Started’ Economic Growth

Former President Barack Obama told supporters in Las Vegas on Monday they should “remember who started” the economic growth America is experiencing, suggesting that every time Republican administrations mess things up, Democrats need to pick up the pieces afterwards. Read

Monday, October 22, 2018

Migrant ‘Caravan’ Moves North, After Trump Says Again He’ll Deploy Military to ‘Seal Off the Border’

Thousands of Central Americans continue to push through southern Mexico, aiming to reach the U.S. border, after efforts by Mexican police to stop them from entering that country met with mixed results. Read

Russia: Trump Pulling Out of Arms-Control Treaty ‘Would Be a Very Dangerous Step’

President Trump’s plan to withdraw from a key Cold War-era arms-control treaty drew sharp criticism from Moscow and handwringing from Berlin Sunday, but Washington and NATO have been urging Russia to comply with its obligations since the Obama administration first accused it of a breach in 2014. Read

Friday, October 19, 2018

Pompeo Welcomes Mexico-UN Plan to Deal With Migrant ‘Caravan’ at Mexico’s Southern Border

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday night welcomed Mexico’s request for the U.N. refugee agency to help Mexican authorities deal with the “caravan” of some 4,000 Central American migrants trying to transit Mexico en route to the United States. Read

Anti-Terror Finance Group Deciding Whether to Keep Terror-Sponsor Iran on Blacklist

A meeting of the global anti-money laundering body in Paris on Friday could have a significant impact on Iran’s financial future as U.S. sanctions tighten, as it decides on whether to remove the regime from a blacklist which makes some foreign investors leery of doing business there. Read

Thursday, October 18, 2018

US Diplomat in Honduras Tells ‘Caravan’ Migrants to Return Home, But Still They Come

The senior-most U.S. diplomat in Honduras on Wednesday urged illegal migrants making the “perilous journey” north not to do so, echoing President Trump’s warnings that anyone entering the U.S. illegally will be arrested and deported. Read

Snubbing the US, UN Empowers Palestinian Observer Mission to Lead Major Bloc

In another move unlikely to endear the Trump administration to the United Nations, the General Assembly has endorsed, by an overwhelming margin, an “enabling” resolution giving the Palestinian observer mission powers of a member-state, albeit for a limited amount of time. Read

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Russians Are Among the Foreign Observers of U.S. Midterm Elections

When American voters go to the polls on November 6, an international team invited by the State Department to observe the elections will include six Russians, selected and paid for by President Vladimir Putin’s government. Read

‘Revolutionary Diplomacy’: Cuban Diplomats Shout Down US Event on Political Prisoners

Cuban diplomats at the United Nations shouted down speakers and disrupted a U.S.-hosted event Tuesday highlighting the plight of Cuban political prisoners, prompting an American ambassador to say if the communist regime’s diplomats behave that way, one can only wonder how its police behave. Read

Monday, October 15, 2018

Saudi Arabia Threatens to Retaliate Against Any Western Sanctions – Then Tweets to ‘Clarify’

Under fire over the disappearance of a prominent writer, Saudi Arabia in a sharply-worded statement Sunday warned it would retaliate for any sanctions that it may face – but then in a later tweet its embassy in Washington seemed keen to soften the tone. Read

Taliban Says It Told US Envoy That Foreign Troops’ Presence Is ‘Greatest Obstacle’ to Peace

The Taliban says it held talks in Qatar on Friday with the Trump administration’s newly-appointed special envoy to Afghanistan, aimed at “working towards finding a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict.” Read

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Pastor Brunson, Freed From Turkey, Prays For Trump in the Oval Office

Released American pastor Andrew Brunson thanked President Trump Saturday for fighting for his freedom, and prayed in the Oval Office for God to give the president “supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him.” Read

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pakistan Court Threatened Ahead of Verdict on Christian Woman Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy

Pakistan’s Supreme Court judges are facing threats from Muslim hardliners as they mull when to announce their verdict in one of the most notorious cases of abuse of the country’s controversial blasphemy laws. Read

Obama Associates Slam Trump Over Saudi Arabia – Despite His Own Track Record

Former key members of the Obama administration are taking President Trump to task over his approach to the missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi – but that administration’s response to the kingdom’s poor human rights record drew considerable criticism too. Read

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Iranian ‘Diplomat’ Extradited For Trial; Pompeo Says Bomb Plot ‘Lays Bare’ Continued Terror Support in Europe

The Iranian regime’s efforts to quietly resolve a potentially explosive dispute with Europe faced another setback Wednesday when Belgium took into custody an Iranian “diplomat” suspected of involvement in a plot to bomb a dissidents’ rally in France last June. Read

Trump, Congress Boost Pressure on Saudis Over Missing Writer

The United States is ramping up pressure on Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of a prominent writer, with President Trump “demanding” information and pledging to “get to the bottom of it,” while the U.S. Senate initiates a process that could lead to sanctions on senior Saudi officials. Read

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Haley Resignation Prompts Speculation About Motivation, Future Plans, Successor

Nikki Haley’s decision to resign as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. at the end of President Trump’s first term stoked furious speculation Tuesday, as pundits of all types wondered about her “real” reason for leaving, her future plans, and likely successors. Read

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Human Rights Council Elections Set to Deliver Another Record-High Number of Rights-Abusing Members

The U.N. holds annual “elections” for its Human Rights Council this week and, once again, none of the five regional groups are offering any competition for the vacant seats. Instead all five are putting up “closed slates” of candidates – a practice seen as one of the main reasons rights-abusing regimes are able to secure seats. Read

At Swearing-In, Trump Apologizes to Kavanaugh and Family After ‘Campaign of Political and Personal Destruction’

Overseeing the swearing-in of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Monday evening, President Trump apologized “on behalf of our nation” to him and his family for the ordeal they had gone through during the confirmation process. Read

Trump Voices Concern, Senators Warn of Consequences Over Saudi Journalist Murder Claims

President Trump on Monday gave his first public reaction to startling claims that a prominent Saudi journalist critical of the ruling family was murdered inside a Saudi diplomatic mission in Turkey, expressing concern and the hope that the situation would be resolved. Read

Monday, October 08, 2018

China Lifts Lid on Mystery of Missing Interpol President: He’s Under Criminal Investigation

China’s secretive “anti-corruption” drive appears to have hit one of its most high-profile targets yet, with the news late Sunday that a top public security official – who also happens to be the president of the global policing agency Interpol – is under investigation. Read

Iran Trying to Stave Off Terror-Related Blacklisting But Won’t Relent on ‘Foreign Occupation’ Exception

With a prospect of an investment blacklist looming, Iran’s government succeeded Sunday in securing parliamentary approval for a bill on terror financing in a bid to stave off even more international pressure than it is already under with the reimposition of U.S. sanctions. Read

Friday, October 05, 2018

Trump: Before Jerusalem Move, I Wouldn’t Take Fretting Leaders’ Calls – Then Phoned Them Back Afterwards

President Trump told cheering supporters on Thursday night that he refused to take phone calls from world leaders wanting to urge him not to go through on relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem – and phoned them back afterwards when it was too late. Read

‘Malicious Slander’: Beijing Hits Back at Pence Accusations of Election Meddling

Beijing reacted angrily early Friday to Vice President Mike Pence’s accusations that the communist government is “meddling” in U.S. domestic politics, calling the claims unjustified and slanderous. Read

In Austria, A Bid to Outlaw Symbols Including … The ‘V For Victory’ Sign?

In a sign of the censoriousness of our times, Austria’s interior minister wants to ban a series of symbols used by controversial groups in the Middle East and Turkey – but may find it a bit tricky when it comes to hand signals, considering they include such common and innocuous gestures as the “V for victory” sign. Read

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Bolton Sets Reporter Straight on ‘Palestine’: ‘It’s Not a State’

A White House reporter took issue Wednesday with John Bolton for referring to the “so-called State of Palestine,” prompting the National Security Advisor to explain that it is, in fact, “not a state.” Read

Iran's Ayatollah Tells 'Western Women' How to Solve #MeToo Problem: Wear Hijab

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took to social media on Wednesday to contend that Islam holds the answer to the problems of sexual mistreatment of women in Western societies. Read

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

State Dep’t on Russian Assertion That Iran Does Not Sponsor Terror: ‘We’re Not Buying It’

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday the United States was “not buying” Russia’s assertions that Iran does not support terror. She cited attacks against Americans, Europeans and Syrians by a regime which she described as “the world’s top sponsor of terrorism.” Read

Following Discovery of Iran Terror Plot, France Freezes Assets; German Court Okays Extradition

The Iranian regime’s charm offensive in Europe has suffered a double blow with a decision by France to freeze the assets of two suspected intelligence operatives, shortly after a German court approved the extradition of one of the two – an accredited diplomat – who is accused of planning a terror bombing on European soil. Read

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Iranian Missile Strike Called a Warning to U.S. Military in Syria

An Iranian regime mouthpiece said Monday that an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) missile and drone strike purportedly targeting terrorists inside Syria was a warning to the United States, which has been told by the Assad regime to end its unwelcome military presence there. Read

FY 2018 Refugee Admission Figures the Lowest in 38 Years

The Trump administration admitted a total of 22,491 refugees into the United States during fiscal year 2018 – by a sizeable margin the lowest number in the history of the 38-year-old modern refugee resettlement program. Read

Monday, October 01, 2018

Balkan Nation Wrestles With Controversial Name-Change Deal to Join NATO

The small Balkan country of Macedonia edged a little closer to joining NATO and the European Union on Sunday, when a controversial referendum on changing its official name passed, albeit with a very low turnout. Read

Pyongyang Tells US to End Sanctions: ‘There is No Way We Will Unilaterally Disarm Ourselves First’

Kim Jong Un’s regime warned at the weekend that unless the U.S. implements “trust-building” measures – including lifting sanctions – “there is no way we will unilaterally disarm.” Read

Assad Regime Vows to Purge Territory of Remaining Terrorists and Uninvited Foreigners, Including U.S. Troops

The Assad regime’s foreign minister on Saturday accused the United States and Israel of supporting and protecting terrorists, pledged that Syrian forces will retake the Golan Heights from Israel, and demanded that U.S. and other uninvited foreign troops leave Syria immediately. Read

Friday, September 28, 2018

Abbas to UN: We ‘Never Resort to Violence or Terrorism’

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday that his people resist Israeli occupation through solely peaceful means, and “never resort to violence or terrorism.” Read

UN Human Rights Council Adopts ‘Feeble’ Resolution on Venezuela That Lays No Blame For Crisis

The U.N. Human Rights Council has finally adopted a resolution on the crisis in Venezuela, but one that neither details human rights abuses occurring in the country nor attributes them to anyone. Read

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Maduro Attacks US ‘Imperialists’ in Speech – But Also Says He’s Ready to Meet With Trump

Venezuela’s beleaguered President Nicolás Maduro turned up unexpectedly at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday to deliver a rambling speech mostly criticizing the U.S. – but also surprising the gathering by expressing a willingness to meet with President Trump. Read

Ukraine’s President to UN: The Kremlin ‘Weaponizes’ Your Silence Against My Country

If the international community does not take a united stand against Russia’s aggression, nothing will stop it, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said at the United Nations Wednesday, charging that Moscow “weaponizes” the world body’s silence to use against his country. Read

Trump Dismisses as ‘Fake News’ Media Portrayal of World Leaders Laughing At Him: ‘They Were Laughing With Me’

President Trump on Wednesday rejected the view – widespread in media coverage of this year’s U.N. General Assembly high-level session – that the world had laughed at him during his speech in New York City. Read

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Iran’s Rouhani Uses the Term ‘Nazi’ in Oblique Reference to Trump

Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani used his address to the United Nations on Tuesday to obliquely accuse President Trump of Nazi-like xenophobia and the undermining of international norms, while calling Israel the greatest threat to regional and global peace and stability. Read

Bolton Takes Aim at ‘Ayatollah Khamenei’s Hitman’

National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday unveiled a plan to target the commander of Iran’s military division responsible for terror operations abroad, saying the U.S. “will use every tool available to pursue” Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and to counter his “insidious designs.” Read

Pompeo Slams EU For Trying to Evade Iran Sanctions: ‘I Imagine the Corrupt Ayatollahs and the IRGC Were Laughing’

Attempts by the European Union to undermine U.S. sanctions against the Iranian regime – despite its global terror sponsorship – brought a sharp response Tuesday from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said the ayatollahs and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were likely “laughing.” Read

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Russia to Arm Assad With Advanced Air Defenses Designed to Counter Warplanes and Cruise Missiles

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday he will raise with the Russians in New York this week Moscow’s decision to provide the Assad regime with sophisticated S300 surface-to-air missiles. Read

Trump Secures First Trade Deal, Hailing It As 'Historic Milestone'

President Trump and his South Korean counterpart on Monday signed the first major trade agreement finalized during Trump’s presidency – a deal which U.S. officials say will reduce a U.S. trade deficit that more than doubled since the original U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) came into effect in 2012. Read

Monday, September 24, 2018

Pompeo Says Pastor Andrew Brunson Will Come Home and 'Our Hearts Will be Filled With Joy’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo struggled not to show his emotions Friday as he recalled the “greatest highlight” of his job to date – bringing home three Americans held in North Korea – saying that the memory of the experience, even now, “reminds me of the greatness of our nation.” Read

Clashes Possible at UN After Iran Blames US for Terror Attack

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in New York Sunday to attend this week’s high-level U.N. General Assembly session, shortly after the regime blamed the United States and regional allies for a deadly terror attack on a military parade on Saturday. Read

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Pompeo on Administration Officials Not Committed to Trump’s Mission: ‘Find Something Else to Do’

If officials in the administration are not supportive of President Trump’s “mission” they should leave and “find something else to do,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in comments aired Sunday. Read

Friday, September 21, 2018

State Dep’t Challenges Reporter Over Palestinian Terror Payments: ‘That’s Not a Normal Thing to Do’

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert gave short shrift Thursday to a Palestinian journalist who questioned U.S. opposition to one of the Palestinian Authority’s most controversial policies. Paying the families of convicted and dead terrorists, she told him, is “not a normal thing to do.” Read

FY 2018 Refugee Admissions: 70.8 Percent Christians; 15.4 Percent Muslims

The proportion of Christians to Muslims among refugees from around the world admitted to the United States has changed significantly in FY 2018, with Christians comprising seven in ten new arrivals, and Muslims fewer than two in ten. Read

Trump Tweets About Kavanaugh: Dems 'Just Want to Destroy and Delay. Facts Don't Matter'

At a campaign rally on Thursday night, President Trump expressed optimism that Kavanaugh would be confirmed, praising him generously but also maintaining a respectful tone regarding the woman who alleges Kavanaugh “sexually assaulted” her during a high school party in the 1980s. Read

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Human Rights Council Challenged Over Killing of Israeli-American: ‘Why Is The UN Silent?’

The U.N. Human Rights Council was castigated by a non-governmental organization this week for its silence over the murder of a dual Israeli-American citizen, whose killer’s family stands to receive a monthly stipend from the Palestinian Authority. Read

German Auto Giant Volkswagen is Pulling Out of Iran, Says US Ambassador

In a significant symbolic blow to the Iranian regime, the Volkswagen Group – the world’s biggest selling car manufacturer last year – has reportedly agreed to end almost all of its operations in Iran, in line with the restoration of U.S. sanctions on Tehran. Read

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Putin Refrains From Accusing Israel of Deliberately Causing Syrian Shootdown of Russian Plane

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday the deadly downing of a Russian air force plane by Syrian anti-aircraft fire resulted from “a chain of tragic circumstances,” stopping short of publicly accusing Israel of responsibility, as his defense ministry has done. Read

Record-Low Proposed Refugee Admission Ceiling Could Change, State Dep’t Says

The State Department said Tuesday that the Trump administration’s proposed ceiling of 30,000 refugee admissions in the upcoming fiscal year is just that – a proposal – and the figure could be amended by the president, following consultations with Congress. Read

Kim Jong Un Agrees to Work Towards a Peninsula Without Nukes or Threats

Kim Jong Un said Wednesday he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have made a “firm commitment” to work towards transforming the Korean peninsula into a land of peace, without nuclear weapons and threats. Read

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Administration Sets Record-Low Refugee Admission Ceiling; Will Prioritize Asylum Applications of Those Already in the US

The Trump administration has set a refugee admission ceiling for fiscal year 2019 of 30,000 – the lowest ceiling set by an administration since the Refugee Act was passed in 1980 – but is arguing that that number should be viewed in the context of broader humanitarian programs. Read

Haley Slams Russian Conduct in Int’l Community: ‘Deny, Distract, and Lie’

Accusing Russia of “lying, cheating and rogue behavior,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley charged Monday that Moscow was working to “undermine the sanctions regime” designed to push North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programs. Read

Monday, September 17, 2018

Russia-US Clash Looms at UN Over North Korea Sanctions Violations

The Trump administration is confronting Russia again at the United Nations – this time over allegations that Moscow is not only undermining U.N. sanctions against North Korea but trying to cover its tracks as well. Read

Kerry to Climate Summit: ‘The American People Are Way Smarter Than This President’

President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord was “one of the single greatest acts of irresponsibility by a president of the United States anywhere at any time,” former Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday. Read

Friday, September 14, 2018

Trump: Kerry’s Meetings With Iranians ‘Illegal,’ ‘Can Only Serve to Undercut Our Great Work’

President Trump on Thursday night described former Secretary of State John Kerry’s meetings with Iran’s foreign minister since leaving the State Department as “illegal,” and said that they “can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people.” Read

Fearing Carnage, U.N. Panel Urges Rebels and Terrorists to Withdraw From Civilian Areas in Idlib

A U.N. expert panel on Syria is urging anti-Assad rebels – which include jihadist groups with ties to al-Qaeda – to withdraw from populated areas in Idlib, to avoid civilian carnage as an Assad regime offensive gets underway. Read

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Xi’s ‘Atheist Ideology' Driving Crackdown on Chinese Christians

China’s communist authorities have for decades imposed rigorous controls on Christians – and other minority faith groups – but the forced closure of a large church in Beijing is underlining concerns of rising persecution levels under President Xi Jinping. Read

Brunson Described As 'Political Prisoner Being Held as a Bargaining Chip for Turkey’

Almost two years since American pastor Andrew Brunson was first arrested in Turkey, a Christian advocacy group on Wednesday appealed to the United Nations’ top human rights body to do all in its power to secure his release, describing him as “a political prisoner being held as a bargaining chip for Turkey.” Read