Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Israel Removes Metal Detectors From Mosque Compound; Islamic Leaders Not Satisfied

Israel’s government bowed Tuesday to Islamic demands to remove anti-terror metal detectors from the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, but protestors turned their attention to a new grievance – plans to install “smart technology” cameras at the site. Read

Trump: Hezbollah ‘a Menace’ That Is Pursuing Its Own Interests and Those of Iran

Lebanon’s prime minister said at the White House Tuesday he was committed to a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for Hezbollah’s disarmament – but back home his government’s failure to rein in the Iranian-backed group is being starkly illustrated by a fierce terrorist-versus-terrorist battle underway along the Lebanon-Syria border. Read

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Charlie Gard’s Parents: ‘We Are So Sorry That We Couldn’t Save You’

The parents of British baby Charlie Gard said Monday the time wasted in their long legal battle to secure treatment for him in the U.S. has made it too late for their son, leading to their agonizing decision to stop fighting and allow him to “go and be with the angels.” Read

House to Vote on Russia-Iran-North Korea Sanctions Bill; Will Trump Sign It?

Ahead of a vote in the House Tuesday on new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, two of the targeted countries warned against the move and some leading Russian trading partners in Europe are also unhappy. Read

Monday, July 24, 2017

Charlie Gard’s Parents: ‘Disgraceful That Doctors Have Received Death Threats’

Charlie Gard’s parents on Sunday disavowed any abuse and death threats directed at staff at the hospital where he is being treated, and said that they, too, had faced vicious criticism from people who disagree with their fight to secure experimental treatment in the U.S. for their severely ill baby. Read

Hungary’s PM: E.U. is ‘in Alliance’ With Soros to Flood Europe With Refugees

European Union bureaucrats are “in alliance” with billionaire financier George Soros in an attempt to flood Europe with refugees and migrants, Hungary’s outspoken prime minister charged at the weekend, saying each E.U. member-state should be empowered to control its own borders. Read

Friday, July 21, 2017

Metal Detectors, Cameras at Mosques Aren’t Controversial – Except in Jerusalem

Islamic critics of Israel have for years alleged that “al-Aqsa is in danger,” but Israel’s installation of metal detectors that could prevent weapons or bombs entering what Muslims call the “Noble Sanctuary” – the third holiest site in Islam – has sparked an uproar that prompted threats of violence. Read

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Major US Aid Recipients Pakistan, Lebanon Among ‘Terrorist Safe Havens’ in State Dep’t Report

Countries identified as “terrorist safe havens” in the annual State Department terrorism report released Wednesday include major recipients of U.S. foreign assistance, including military aid. Read

Lawmaker Whose Child Miraculously Survived Proposes Amendment Offering Charlie Gard US Residency

A push in Congress to grant residency in the U.S. to the terminally-ill British baby Charlie Gard and his parents is moving ahead, driven by a lawmaker whose own fight to save her severely-ill baby had a happy outcome. Read

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

PLO Official Calls Jerusalem Metal Detectors ‘Intrusive and Dehumanizing’

In what has become a familiar ritual, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization called for a “day of rage” Wednesday over the perceived desecration of Islam’s third-holiest site. The anger is not in reaction to a deadly terror attack at the revered site in Jerusalem, however, but to but Israel’s response – the installation of metal detectors designed to prevent a recurrence. Read

Tehran Hits Back at Trump’s New Sanctions, Vows to Retaliate

Iran pledged Tuesday to retaliate after the Trump administration coupled its certification of the regime’s conduct with regard to the nuclear deal with new sanctions targeting the ballistic missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Read

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CAIR Celebrates Rejection of Amendment Requiring Gov't to Evaluate ‘Violent or Unorthodox Islamic Religious Doctrine’

The Council on American-Islamic Relations urged its supporters Monday to thank their members of Congress after the narrow defeat of a legislative amendment that would have required the Pentagon to assess “the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine to support extremist or terrorist messaging and justification.” Read

Monday, July 17, 2017

Iran Accuses Trump of Violating Nuclear Deal, Jails Another US Citizen

On the eve of the deadline for President Trump to grade Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal, Iran’s foreign minister accused him of violating the accord, while the administration called on the regime to release U.S. citizens held on “fabricated” security charges. Read

Friday, July 14, 2017

Chinese Party Newspaper: The West Bestowed on Dead Dissident ‘A Halo Which Will Not Linger’

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others in Washington mourned the death of the long-imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, a Communist Party-affiliated newspaper in Beijing said the Nobel peace prize laureate had been “kidnapped” by the West and bestowed with “a halo which will not linger.” Read

China Insists Its 1st Overseas Military Base Has Nothing to Do With Military Expansion

The establishment of China’s first military base beyond its shores is making headlines, but Beijing seems bemused by the attention, insisting the outpost in Djibouti – just miles from a key U.S. Special Forces base – is for logistics and supply, not a step towards extending Chinese “hegemony” abroad. Read

Trump on the Paris Climate Accord: ‘Something Could Happen … We’ll See’

“Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord,” President Trump told reporters in the French capital on Thursday, in reference to the international climate agreement that he withdrew from six weeks ago, to the dismay of governments around the world. Read

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sudan Bristles Over Trump’s 3-Month Delay in Sanctions Decision

The Trump administration’s deferral by three months of a decision on lifting sanctions against Sudan has drawn a chilly response from Khartoum, where the ICC-indicted Islamist president has suspended talks with Washington and his foreign minister is blaming U.S.-based advocacy groups for the setback. Read

GOP Senators Urge Trump Administration to Say Iran Is Not Complying With Nuclear Deal

A lobbying battle between critics and supporters of the Iran nuclear deal is becoming more heated, days before the Trump administration is due to give Congress a periodic verdict on Iran’s compliance and whether U.S. national security interests are being served. Read

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Russia Warns It Could Take Reciprocal Steps If Its Real Estate in US Isn’t Returned

The State Department on Tuesday played down Russian warnings of retaliation if the U.S. does not return two recreational compounds seized by the Obama administration late last year in response to alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election. Read

EU Says Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Does Not Belong to One Country’ But to the World

In response to President Trump’s calls for countries to stop doing business with Tehran, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday that the Iran nuclear deal – under which many sanctions have been lifted – does not belong to one country but to the world. Read

Israeli Envoy Says His Toilet More Important Than UNESCO World Heritage Decision

An Israeli diplomat demonstrated his contempt for a U.N. Education Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decision to designate the traditional burial place of the biblical patriarchs as part of Palestinian territory by saying a call from his plumber about a leaking toilet was more important, and excusing himself from the proceedings. Read

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ex-Ambassador: Don’t Do Prisoner Swap Deal With Turkey’s Erdogan

A former U.S. ambassador to Turkey is urging the Trump administration not to consider swapping a Turkish businessman facing Iran sanctions-busting charges in the U.S. with an American pastor incarcerated in Turkey for nine months. The pastor is accused of having links to “terrorists.” Read

Monday, July 10, 2017

Calls for ‘Justice’ in Mass Gathering of Erdogan’s Opponents in Istanbul

Opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a huge rally in Istanbul Sunday evening, the culmination of a 280-mile “justice march” by the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), aimed at highlighting the Islamist government’s crackdown on its critics since the failed coup attempt almost a year ago. Read

As N. Korea Warns of Nuclear War; Haley Seeks Strong Response From U.N.

As the U.S. looks towards securing a strong U.N. Security Council resolution responding to North Korea’s missile launch, Pyongyang on Sunday ratcheted up the rhetoric, warning of a nuclear conflict and “another world war.” Read

Charlie Gard Case Returns to Court as 2 US Lawmakers Aim to Make Baby Permanent US Resident

Monday may bring new hope for the parents of terminally-ill British baby Charlie Gard, after the London hospital at the center of the drama decided to seek a new court decision following fresh claims relating to experimental treatment available in the United States. Read

Friday, July 07, 2017

Russia and U.S. Clash Over Response to N. Korean Missile Launch

Ahead of President Trump’s scheduled first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two governments are sparring over how to respond to North Korea’s latest provocation – unable even to agree on the nature of the missile launched by the regime on July 4, let alone what to do about it. Read

Refugee Arrivals Now at 49,793; 937 Since Supreme Court Decision

President Trump’s four-month ban on refugee admissions will only come into effect once the 50,000 ceiling for this fiscal year is reached – and that is still several days away, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. Read

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Poland Hopes for Trump’s Support on Troop Presence and Migration Spat With EU

President Trump has arrived in Poland, where the conservative government is hoping he will reaffirm a “permanent” U.S. troop presence, and back Warsaw’s rejection of a European Union refugee/migrant admission quota. Read

N. Korea Threat: Haley Warns of ‘Considerable Military Forces,’ Tough Economic Measures

The United States will use its “considerable military forces” if it must, to defend itself and its allies from the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea and its ballistic missiles, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned on Wednesday. Read

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

At UN Meeting Near Auschwitz, Israel Calls for Minute’s Silence; Cuba Requests One for the Palestinians

Cuba’s delegate at a U.N. meeting an hour’s drive from the site of a Nazi extermination camp in Poland objected Tuesday to an Israeli request for a minute’s silence for Holocaust victims – then called for another one, for the Palestinians. Read

Tillerson Says North Korean ICBM Test a ‘New Escalation’ of Threat to US, World

North Korea’s testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile “represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday, calling for global action “to stop a global threat.” Read

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

North Korea Claims to Have Test-Launched an ICBM

North Korea marked the eve of U.S. Independence Day by launching what it claims to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, six months after Kim Jong-un in a new year speech declared that preparations for test-firing an ICBM had “entered the final stage.” Read

Monday, July 03, 2017

John Bolton at ‘Free Iran’ Rally: 1979 Revolution Should Not Reach 40th Birthday

The outcome of the Trump administration’s review of Iran policy should be that the Islamic revolution ushered in under the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini should not reach its 40th birthday in two years’ time, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said at the weekend. Read

Iran’s President Rouhani: Let’s Isolate the US

For years the U.S. has worked to isolate the Iranian regime on the international stage, but Iranian President Hasan Rouhani sees an opportunity to reverse that situation, proposing on Sunday that Iran adopt policies to leave the United States isolated. Read

Friday, June 30, 2017

State Dept. to RT Reporter: ‘Make Excuses For the Assad Regime…You’ve Got a Lot of Cameras on You Right Now’

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Thursday sparred with an American reporter with the pro-Kremlin RT television network, slapping him down as he pushed her on the issue of terrorists’ use of chemical weapons in Syria. Read

Recapture of Mosul Mosque Is Symbolic Victory on 3rd Anniversary of ISIS’ ‘Caliphate’ Announcement

Iraqi forces on Thursday recaptured the ruins of an ancient mosque in Mosul where Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first public appearance nearly three years ago. Read

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Russia Says Its Reaction to Any U.S. Action Against Syria Will Be ‘Proportionate’

Russia’s reaction to any U.S. provocation against the Syrian government would be “proportionate,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday, responding to a White House warning about “potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.” Read

'Free Iran' Activists Report Hundreds of Acts of Defiance Inside the Country

Ahead of a large annual “Free Iran” gathering in Paris on Saturday, the exiled Iranian opposition movement says hundreds of incidents of risky expressions of support have been taking place inside Iran – from distribution of pamphlets to the appearance of posters and graffiti. Read

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

China’s ‘Modern Slavery’ Demotion Comes After Years of Waivers

China was downgraded Tuesday to the lowest ranking in an annual U.S. report on human trafficking, marking only the second time it has been relegated to “tier-three” status. The last time it happened, the Obama administration was required by law to do so. Read

Haley: Not 'Necessarily a Bad Thing' That U.S. Budget Request Sent ‘Shockwaves’ Through UN

The Trump administration’s FY 2018 budget request, which includes a significant drop in funding for the United Nations, sent “shockwaves” through the world body, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley agreed Tuesday. Read

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

WH Chemical Attack Warning Comes After Russia Laid Down Its Own Red Lines on Syria

A White House warning late on Monday night about “potential preparations” by the Assad regime for a chemical weapons attack comes at a particularly tense time in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad’s Russia ally a week ago effectively warned that it could shoot down U.S. aircraft there. Read

FY17 Refugee Admissions at 48,856 – 1,144 Below Trump's Ceiling

Monday’s Supreme Court decision allowing President Trump’s travel ban to take partial effect pending a hearing in the fall, also impacts the president’s 50,000 ceiling on refugee admissions this fiscal year – a limit that is fast approaching. Read

Monday, June 26, 2017

Turkey’s Erdogan: Demands for Qatar to Shut Airbase ‘Disrespectful’

Turkey on Sunday rejected demands by a Saudi-led quartet of Arab states for the shutdown of a Turkish airbase in Qatar, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the countries involved in the dispute of attacking Qatar’s sovereign rights. Read

Missiles and Threats Fly Over Syria, As Israel Responds to Syrian Mortar Fire

It’s been even more strained than usual these past few days in Syria, where the Assad regime on Sunday warned Israel of retaliation after Israeli jets targeted Syrian tanks in response to mortar shells from Syria landing on Israeli soil. Read

Friday, June 23, 2017

Trump Administration Rejects UN Human Rights Council’s ‘Safe Abortion’ Text

What a difference a year makes. Last summer, the Obama administration not only supported a text at the U.N. Human Rights Council that included a call for access to “safe abortion where such services are permitted by national law” but also co-sponsored it, despite not then being a member of the Geneva-based body. Read

Qatar Told to Sever Ties With Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Shut Down Al-Jazeera

Saudi Arabia and three allies that have cut ties to Qatar want the small Gulf state to cut ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and all U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations and shut down the Al-Jazeera TV network, according to a list of demands seen by the Associated Press. Read

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Saudi’s New King-in-Waiting Accused by Tehran of Promoting Anti-Iran Terror

Weeks after the Iranian regime was infuriated by provocative comments made by the second-in-line to the Saudi throne, the target of that anger was promoted Wednesday to the position of king-in-waiting. The move could worsen the already seething rivalry between the Sunni and Shi’ite near-neighbors. Read

Trump Takes a Dig at Wind Farms: ‘As the Birds Fall to the Ground’

President Trump said Wednesday he was supportive of a range of energy sources, from coal to solar to nuclear, but took a dig at wind power. Read

S. Korea Irked by Suggestion Trump May Not ‘Allow’ Its New President to Talk to Pyongyang

A week before South Korea’s liberal new leader is due to meet with President Trump at the White House, his office expressed irritation Wednesday at the notion he would need the American president’s consent to initiate dialogue with Kim Jong-un’s regime. Read

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Venezuelan Minister Sneers at U.S. Diplomat: ‘Send In Your Marines’

Venezuela’s fiery foreign minister clashed with a senior U.S. diplomat at an Organization of American States meeting Tuesday, saying mockingly that the only way a regional mediation initiative responding to the crisis in her country could be imposed on Venezuela would be to “send in your Marines.” Read

Report: Iran Collaborating With N. Korea on Extensive Ballistic Missile Development

Iran has intensified its development of ballistic missiles in recent years, particularly since the conclusion of the nuclear deal, and is doing so with significant collaboration with fellow pariah state North Korea, according to the exiled opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Read

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Iran Says Its First Known Ballistic Missile Strike in Syria Sends Message to USA

Iranian lawmakers say the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ unprecedented firing of missiles at terrorist targets inside Syria sends a message not just to terrorists but also signals Iran’s dismissal of recent initiatives in the U.S. Congress targeting their country. Read

New Calls to Ban Tourist Travel to North Korea After Otto Warmbier’s Death

The U.S. government should ban tourist travel to North Korea, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said Monday following news that Otto Warmbier, the American student released from a North Korean prison last week and returned home in a coma, has died. Read

Monday, June 19, 2017

U.S. Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Plane: ‘Will Not Hesitate to Defend Coalition or Partner Forces From Any Threat’

For the first time, a U.S. fighter plane on Sunday shot down a Syrian aircraft, after the Assad regime’s Su-22 dropped bombs near U.S.-backed rebels near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. The Syrian army said the pilot was missing. Read

Moscow Accuses Trump of Returning to Cold War-Style Rhetoric on Cuba

Russia has accused the Trump administration of a return to “Cold War-style” rhetoric in rolling back some of its predecessor’s policies designed to normalize relations with communist-ruled Cuba. Read

Terror Flags Waved Openly in Streets of London

Fifteen days after London was targeted in a deadly terrorist attack – its second in less than three months – police in the British capital stood by Sunday as flags of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah were carried openly during a small pro-Palestine march through the city center. Read

Friday, June 16, 2017

Erdogan Rejects Arrest Warrants Over DC Assaults: ‘What Kind of Law is This?’

A diplomatic row between the Trump administration and Turkey’s Islamist leader deepened Thursday, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angrily rejected U.S. arrest warrants for members of his bodyguard accused of assaulting protesters in Washington last month. Read

In Near-Unanimous Vote, Senate Passes Iran Sanctions Bill That Kerry Opposed

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed new Iran sanctions legislation by an overwhelming margin, despite earlier fretting by former Secretary of State John Kerry that it could jeopardize the nuclear deal he worked so hard to negotiate. Read

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Iran’s Zarif Responds to Trump’s Gulf Stance: Suicide Bombers are Saudis, Not Iranians

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif suggested this week that President Trump is trying to whitewash Saudi Arabia despite its links to terrorism, while tarnishing Iran’s name. Read

Kerry: Mideast Leaders Urged US to ‘Bomb’ Iran; ‘We Chose a Different Path’

Former Secretary of State John Kerry used an appearance in Oslo this week to tout the nuclear deal he helped to negotiate with Iran, arguing that it helped avoid conflict at a time when some leaders in the region had been urging the U.S. to “bomb” Iran. Read