Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Beijing Rejects UN's Criticism of Its ‘Re-Education’ Camps for Muslim Uighurs

The Chinese government responded heatedly Tuesday to rare human rights criticism in a U.N. forum, hitting back at U.N. experts and media for drawing attention to the plight of ethnic minority Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, including claims that millions are being held in “re-education” camps. Read

CNN Accuses Trump of Calling U.K. Incident a Terror Attack ‘Before Officials in London’ Did. He Didn’t

CNN published a report on Tuesday taking President Trump to task for calling an incident outside the British parliament a terrorist attack “before officials in London” did. He did not. Read

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Ayatollah: I’m Banning All Negotiations With the US – Until Iran Grows More Powerful

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday rejected President Trump’s recent offer of dialogue, saying moreover he was also banning outright all negotiations with the U.S., until such time as Iran is powerful enough to be impervious to U.S. pressure. Read

Defense Bill Signed by Trump Requires Foreign Gov’t-Owned News Outlets to Report to FCC

The $716 billion defense bill signed into law by President Trump on Monday includes a provision that will require outlets like Qatar’s Al Jazeera for the first time to start reporting regularly on its funding and ownership. Read

Monday, August 13, 2018

Leading UK Politician Sparks Uproar With Comments About Burqa-Clad Women

One of Europe’s most liberal countries has joined several others in outlawing the burqa, but when a prominent British politician argued in a column against such a ban he sparked an uproar – for suggesting that women who wear the Islamic covering look like mailboxes or bank robbers. Read

US Clashes With Cuba, Venezuela As UN Approves Leftist Human Rights Chief

The U.N. General Assembly’s quick approval – without a vote – of the next U.N. human rights chief produced a clash between representatives of the U.S., Cuba and Venezuela, following concerns that the Latin American socialist nominated to the post has been sympathetic to the two leftist regimes. Read

Friday, August 10, 2018

Russia Calls New US Sanctions a Deliberate Attempt to Worsen Relations

Moscow accused the Trump administration Thursday of using an alleged nerve gas attack in Britain earlier this year as a “far-fetched pretext” to impose new sanctions on Russia, accusing it of intentionally seeking to worsen bilateral relations. Read

Thursday, August 09, 2018

UN’s New Human Rights Chief, a Socialist, Criticized for Stance on Cuba, Venezuela

Chile’s socialist former president, in line to become the U.N.’s next human rights chief, faces criticism over an apparent reluctance to criticize fellow leftists in Latin America, notably the leaders of Cuba and Venezuela. Read

Rouhani to North Korea: The Americans Can’t Be Trusted

The United States cannot be trusted, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told North Korea’s visiting foreign minister on Wednesday, pointing to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal at a time when he is seeking a denuclearization agreement with Pyongyang. Read

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Trump Dings Mideast Countries With Flashy Official Planes: ‘We Protect Them For Nothing, But That’s Changing’

President Trump took a veiled swipe at unnamed Mideast allies Tuesday night, as he spoke to business leaders about plans to replace the ageing U.S. presidential jet. Read

Ten Years After Short But Costly War, Russian PM Warns of ‘Terrible Conflict’ if NATO Admits Georgia

As Georgia and its supporters mark the tenth anniversary of Russia’s invasion, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned Tuesday that any move by NATO to admit the former Soviet republic “could provoke a terrible conflict.” Read

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Saudi-Canada Spat Over Human Rights Leads to Major Diplomatic Rift

A spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia over human rights has escalated into a major diplomatic rift, with the kingdom expelling Canada’s ambassador, suspending air links, and threatening to relocate thousands of Saudi students from Canada to other countries. Read

Iran Sanctions Restored; Rouhani Scorns Trump’s Offer to Talk

Hours after President Trump signed an executive order reimposing many sanctions on the Iranian regime, President Hassan Rouhani responded distrustfully to his recent offer of talks, calling it an attempt to create divisions within Iran and to win support at home ahead of the midterm congressional elections. Read

Monday, August 06, 2018

Rouhani Under Growing Pressure With US Sanctions, ‘Death to the Dictator’ Protests

As the first U.S. sanctions that were lifted under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resume on Monday, President Hassan Rouhani has agreed to appear on state television and in parliament to address concerns about a deepening crisis, including ongoing anti-regime demonstrations where a protestor was shot dead late last week. Read

Pompeo Shrugs Off North Korean Reproach: ‘Compare It To Last Year’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday played down his North Korean counterpart’s criticism of the U.S. at a regional security conference in Singapore, pointing to the sharp contrast to a year ago, when missiles and threats were flying. Read

Friday, August 03, 2018

Palestinian Authority Labels Terrorist a ‘Martyr,’ Criticizes US Ambassador Over Condolence Visit

The Palestinian Authority looks set to pay the family of a terrorist who stabbed an Israeli to death last week, after condemning as “provocative” a condolence visit paid by the U.S. ambassador to the victim’s widow and two young children. Read

US Military ‘Closely’ Monitoring Iran’s Naval Exercises, After Threats to Gulf Shipping

Iranian forces have launched naval exercises in the Persian Gulf – following veiled threats to oil shipments through the crucial waterway – and the U.S. military says it is keeping a close eye on the situation. Read

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Turkey Vows to Retaliate After US Sanctions Two Ministers Over Brunson Case

Turkey’s Islamist government vowed late Wednesday to respond to the imposition of U.S. sanctions against two of its government ministers over the treatment of an American pastor, and one of the targeted ministers shrugged off the move, saying he had no financial interests in the United States. Read

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Days After US Sanction Threats, Turkish Court Rejects Brunson's Appeal for Release

A diplomatic dispute between the U.S. and Turkey showed no sign of easing Tuesday, with a court rejecting American pastor Andrew Brunson’s appeal against house arrest and a presidential spokesman in Ankara saying that Turkey is “not without alternatives” should the U.S. withhold the sale of F-35 fighter jets. Read

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Chief to Trump: Stay in Your ‘Black House’ and Dream About Talks

The people of Iran will never allow their government to negotiate with “the Great Satan,” the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Tuesday, telling President Trump that he will take his wish “to the grave.” Read

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Iranian Regime Says It’s Not Interested in Negotiating With US

President Trump’s comment Monday that he was ready to meet with Iranian leaders came just hours after the regime’s foreign ministry rejected the idea of negotiations with the U.S., saying Washington had proven to be “untrustworthy” and dismissing reports speculating that mediation efforts may be underway. Read

Chinese Communist Newspaper: Stationing US Marines at Mission in Taiwan Would Amount to ‘Invasion’

A Chinese Communist Party organ has reacted sharply to unconfirmed reports that U.S. Marines may be stationed at Washington’s de facto diplomatic mission in Taiwan, charging that any such move would amount to “invasion” of Chinese territory. Read

Monday, July 30, 2018

UN Chief: UN ‘Running Out of Cash'

With two of out every five member-states of the United Nations not yet having paid their dues for 2018, the world body says it has never been so far behind in receiving contributions by this time of the year, and officials are looking for belt-tightening options. Read

With New Iran Sanctions Looming, GOP Senators Warn Europeans Not to Evade Them

A group of Republican U.S. senators is advising European governments that any attempts to evade U.S. sanctions that were imposed against Iran under U.S. legislation that enjoyed broad bipartisan support could invite retaliatory action by the U.S. Congress. Read

Friday, July 27, 2018

Iran Qods Force Chief to Trump: ‘Don’t Threaten Us. We Are a Nation of Martyrs’

The commander of Iran’s military division responsible for terror operations abroad escalated the regime’s war of words with Washington Thursday, warning President Trump that his Qods Force was “ready,” and saying that “you may start the war, but we will be the ones who end it.” Read

Turkey Advises US to ‘Review its Manners’ After Sanctions Threat Over Pastor’s Trial

Turkey on Thursday sharply criticized President Trump’s threats to impose sanctions unless it releases an American pastor on trial for espionage and terrorism, saying it would “never tolerate threats from anybody” and urging the U.S. to “review its manners.” Read

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Bloc Comprising a Majority of UN Member States Hands Presidency to ‘State of Palestine’

At a time when the Trump administration’s robust defense of Israel at the United Nations is shaking up an institution that has long been hostile to the Jewish state, the biggest bloc of developing nations at the U.N. has decided to bestow its presidency on the “State of Palestine.” Read

Ukraine’s President Says US Stance on Crimea Will ‘Deprive Kremlin of Its Imperial Ambitions’

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday welcomed the Trump administration’s unequivocal declaration on Crimea, expressing optimism that the declaration “will finally deprive [the] Kremlin of its imperial ambitions.” Read

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

US Airlines Move to Comply With Beijing’s Demands on How They Refer to Taiwan

U.S. airlines are moving to comply with China’s requirement that they stop treating Taiwan like a separate country, falling in line with a demand which the White House has labeled “Orwellian nonsense.” Read

Mattis: Trump in His Iran Tweet Was ‘Making Very Clear That They’re On The Wrong Track’

Defense Secretary James Mattis on Tuesday joined the administration’s sharp criticism of Iran, choosing not to take up a reporter’s implied invitation to express concern about President Trump’s threatening tweet directed at the regime early this week. Read

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

50,000 US Troops in Range of Iranian Weapons, Regime Figure Wanted For Terrorism Warns Trump

As the Iranian regime responded to President Trump’s fiery warning tweet, one official issued a veiled threat against 50,000 U.S. troops within range of Iranian weapons, another reminded him of the rise and fall of empires, and a media mouthpiece envisaged the president facing divine retribution for threatening a country whose laws are based on Allah’s commandments. Read

Haley on Defending Israel at the UN: US Has ‘a Moral Duty to Take Sides’

The United States does not have a “moral duty to be neutral between right and wrong” at the United Nations, Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told a pro-Israel audience in Washington on Monday night. Read

Monday, July 23, 2018

Israel Praised For Rescuing Syrian Volunteer Rescuers, Reviled by Assad and Russia as ‘Terrorists’

Israel won praise from the United States, the European Union and Britain for evacuating more than 400 Syrian civil defense volunteers and their families from the country’s southwest ahead of the advancing forces of the Assad regime which portrays them as terrorists. Read

Pompeo Gives Short Shrift to Shrieking Heckler: ‘If There Were Only So Much Freedom of Expression in Iran’

A heckler who interrupted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech on Sunday night in support of the Iranian people got little sympathy from the audience or from her target, who used the disturbance to underline his message about the plight of those living under the regime in Tehran. Read

‘Hypocritical Holy Men’: Pompeo Accuses Senior Iranians of Corruption

Signaling a determination to spotlight corruption as well as ideology at the top levels of Iran’s government, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday night listed by name several prominent officials and ayatollahs who, he said, were “more concerned with riches than religion.” Read

Trump Hits Back at Rouhani in ALL CAPS: ‘NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN …’

Responding to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s warning Sunday that a war with Iran would be “the mother of all wars,” President Trump used his Twitter feed for a warning of his own directed at the regime in Tehran. Read

Iran’s Rouhani to Trump: ‘War With Iran is The Mother of All Wars’

Iran’s “moderate” president lashed out at the United States on Sunday, accusing it of using after failing in earlier attempts to overthrow the regime, and warning President Trump not to “play with the lion’s tail.” Read

Friday, July 20, 2018

Pompeo Heads to UN As US Tries to Stop North Korea From Violating Sanctions

As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to discuss the North Korean denuclearization drive with the U.N. Security Council on Friday, there are growing indications that Pyongyang is egregiously violating oil sanctions – and China and Russia are hampering U.S. efforts to stop it. Read

Putin: Relations With U.S. in Many Ways ‘Worse Than During the Cold War’

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday relations between Russia and the United States were in many respects “worse than during the Cold War,” and complained that attempts to improve matters were being jeopardized by “forces” in the U.S. who “put their narrow group and party interests before national ones.” Read

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Haley Slaps NGOs Over Failed UN Human Rights Council Reform

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Wednesday accused prominent international human rights groups of resisting U.S. efforts to reform the U.N. Human Rights Council, partly for reasons of self-interest. Read

Trump Calls Incarcerated American Pastor a ‘Hostage,’ Urges Turkey’s Erdogan to Act

President Trump has tweeted again in support of an American pastor on trial in Turkey on terrorism and espionage-related charges, this time using the term “hostage” and urging Turkey’s Islamist president by name to “do something.” Read

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Time For US to Grasp ‘Reality,’ Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan, Experts Say

The long-held conventional wisdom that Israel must at some point surrender the Golan Heights to Syria has crashed on the rocks of hard realities in the region, and experts told a congressional panel on Tuesday it’s time for the U.S. to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the strategic ridge. Read

Four Years After Airliner Atrocity, Russia Still Denies Responsibility, Accusing Ukraine

Four years after a Russian-made surface-to-air missile downed a Malaysian airliner over separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, Moscow marked Tuesday’s anniversary with recycled denials of responsibility and finger-pointing at the authorities in Kiev. Read

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump Slammed For Press Conference Comments But Signaled No Change in Russia Policy

President Trump’s press conference remarks in Helsinki are drawing fire from Democrats and Republicans at home, but one thing he did not do publicly was announce any concessions or tempering of administration policies that have arguably been tougher on Russia than those of his predecessors. Read

‘Treasonous’! ‘Insanity!’ Ex-Obama Officials Slam Trump for Comments With Putin

Former Obama administration officials came out firing in response to President Trump’s press conference comments with Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him variously of treasonous behavior, siding with Russia against his own country, “bowing to Putin” and having become a threat to U.S. national interests. Read

Monday, July 16, 2018

Bolton: US Troops Will Remain in Syria 'As Long As the Iranian Menace Continues'

Iran’s involvement in Syria is expected to come up when President Trump talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. Ahead of the meeting, National Security Advisor John Bolton linked the continued presence of U.S. troops there with the “menace” posed by Iran in the region. Read

Trump on Meeting With Putin: ‘Nothing Bad is Going to Come Out of It, And Maybe Some Good Will Come Out’

Ahead of his first one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, President Trump played down the significance of the closely-watched encounter, saying he was going into the talks “with low expectations” and adding his trademark, “we’ll see.” Read

Friday, July 13, 2018

Trump Says Migration Has Changed Europe’s ‘Fabric,’ As UN Chief Calls It a ‘Positive Global Phenomenon’

Allowing “millions and millions” of migrants to enter Europe has changed its “fabric,” President Trump said Thursday, telling a mass-circulation British tabloid newspaper that unless the Europeans “act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was, and I don’t mean that in a positive way.” Read

Muslim Reformer Urges Terror Designation for Muslim Brotherhood

The U.S. should designate the Muslim Brotherhood – or at least some of its factions – for terrorism, experts told a congressional panel on Wednesday, weighing in on a long running debate about the threats posed by the Islamist movement. Read

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Trump Draws Attention to Controversial Role of Putin-Friendly Former German Chancellor

In his criticism of Germany’s energy ties with Russia in Brussels on Wednesday, President Trump touched on a sensitive issue in Germany – the conduct of a former chancellor whose close ties with President Vladimir Putin, key involvement in lucrative energy deals, and support for Russian policies have long stoked controversy. Read

Congress Authorized Sanctions Against Russia’s Nord Stream Pipeline Last Summer

U.S. legislation signed into law by President Donald Trump last August authorizes the federal government to impose sanctions on European companies involved in Nord Stream 2. Read

Trump’s Criticism of Russia-Germany Gas Links Mirrors Eastern European Concerns

President Trump’s explosive criticism of Germany on the first day of the NATO summit tapped into deep unease in eastern Europe about Moscow’s use of natural gas as a political tool in its disputes with countries once in its orbit. Read

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

As NATO Summit Begins, Trump Says Allies ‘Must Pay MORE,’ the US ‘Must Pay LESS’

On the eve of NATO’s annual summit, secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg reported that all 29 alliance members are increasing their military spending, adding that President Trump’s “leadership” on the issue “is clearly having an impact.” Read

Pointing to Paris Bomb Plot, US Warns That Iran Is ‘Using Diplomatic Cover to Plot Terrorism’

The United States believes the Iranian regime is responsible for a foiled plot to bomb an opposition group’s rally in Paris late last month, and is working closely with authorities in three European countries to investigate, according to a senior State Department official. Read

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

North Korea’s Response to Pompeo’s Visit Not as Negative as Portrayed?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, commenting Monday on the North Koreans’ response to his recent meetings there – largely characterized in media reporting as extremely negative – suggested that a fairer assessment of the regime’s reaction would be “mixed.” Read

Iranian Diplomats’ Expulsion Likely Linked to Terror Operations on European Soil

Iran’s foreign ministry is condemning the Netherlands for expelling two Iranian diplomats, the latest in a series of developments evidently tied to allegations of Iranian terror activity in Europe. Read

Monday, July 09, 2018

Pompeo Cites US-Vietnam Ties In Message to Kim Jong Un: ‘The Miracle Could Be Yours’

Undeterred by North Korea’s stinging criticism following his difficult meetings in Pyongyang, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Sunday used a visit to Vietnam to highlight the revolutionized relationship with a former foe and to reiterate that Kim Jong Un could guide his impoverished country to a similar future. Read

UK-Russia Dispute Over Nerve Agent Attack Intensifies After Woman Dies

A simmering diplomatic row between Moscow and London has returned to the front burner after a British woman died late Sunday, after exposure to the same deadly nerve agent which Britain suspects Russia used in the attempted murder of a former Russian spy earlier this year. Read

US Ambassador Says Russia Trying to Destabilize NATO, ‘Flip’ Turkey

Days before President Trump meets with NATO partners ahead of a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the U.S. ambassador to NATO warned Sunday that Moscow is attempting to destabilize the transatlantic alliance – among other things, by trying to draw away Turkey. Read

Friday, July 06, 2018

Rising Optimism in South Korea, Caution in Japan, Amid US Diplomacy With Pyongyang

President Trump’s June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un appears to have contributed to a surge of optimism in South Korea, although majorities polled in both South Korea and Japan do not expect North Korea to completely shut down its nuclear programs in the near future. Read

Iran Scrambles to Salvage Nuclear Deal Amid Row Over Suspected Europe Bomb Plot

Iran’s foreign minister is meeting with five foreign counterparts in Vienna Friday in a bid to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal following President Trump’s recent withdrawal, but the meeting could be overshadowed by fresh claims of Iranian terror plotting on European soil. Read

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Iranian Diplomat Arrested in Connection With Plot to Bomb Dissidents' Rally in Paris

Iran is demanding the immediate release of a diplomat arrested in Germany in connection with an alleged plot to bomb a rally in Paris of an exiled opposition group that has been locked in a decades-long confrontation with the regime in Tehran. Read

Iran’s Military Chief Welcomes Rouhani’s Implied Threat to Disrupt Regional Oil Supplies

The head of Iran’s most notorious military organization has voiced support for President Hassan Rouhani’s implied threats to oil shipments in the Persian Gulf in response to U.S. calls for all countries to stop buying Iranian oil. Read