Friday, June 22, 2018

Venezuela Says UN Human Rights Council Can Now Operate Without US ‘Disturbances’

Venezuela’s Maduro regime says the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council means that the body is now free to operate without “disturbances” and “pressure” from the United States. Read

Trump-Putin Summit Looks Likely This Summer

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week he is ready to meet with President Trump “as soon as the U.S. side is ready,” and now the administration has confirmed that National Security Advisor John Bolton will visit Moscow in the coming days “to discuss a potential meeting” between the two. Read

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pro-Iranian Militias Vow to Hit US and Israel After Unclaimed Airstrike Near Syria-Iraq Border

Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in Iraq are threatening to attack the United States and Israel after dozens of their fighters were killed in an airstrike early this week on a base inside Syrian territory, near the Iraq-Syria border. Read

Khamenei: Immigrant Family Separations Show ‘How Evil' U.S. Really Is

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday waded into the controversy surrounding separations of illegal immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, deploring images of crying children and saying the policy shows how “evil” the Americans are. Read

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Bolton: U.S.Will Also Stop Funding U.N. Human Rights Council

The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council is being accompanied by an end to U.S. funding for both the council and the office of the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Tuesday night. Read

Haley: We Tried For More Than a Year to Reform UN Human Rights Council, With Virtually No Open Support

Critics of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council suggested it was a sign of hostility towards global human rights promotion, but Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the move came after more than a year of unsuccessful attempts to reform the controversial institution. Read

‘An Exercise in Shameless Hypocrisy’: US Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council

The United States is not willing to lend credibility to the U.N.’s “misnamed” Human Rights Council by remaining a member any longer, Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Tuesday, joining Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in announcing that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Geneva-based body. Read

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hitting Back at Erdogan’s Policies, Senate Targets Sale of F-35 Fighters

The National Defense Authorization Act passed by the U.S. Senate on Monday night includes a provision preventing the transfer of the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft to Turkey, a NATO ally whose Islamist government’s policies have set off alarm bells in Washington. Read

UN Rights Chief Swipes Trump Over ‘Unconscionable’ Immigration Policy

The outgoing U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, criticized the Trump administration Monday over what he called “recently adopted policies which punish children for their parents’ actions.” Read

Monday, June 18, 2018

Taliban Won’t Extend Ceasefire; Orders Fighters to Resume ‘Operations Against The Foreign Invaders'

The Taliban on Sunday ruled out appeals by Afghanistan’s government – echoed by the United States – to extend an unprecedented three-day end-of-Ramadan ceasefire, saying in a statement that the truce “has to end tonight.” Read

New Human Rights Council Session Begins With Possibility of US Pull Out

A year after Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley gave the U.N. Human Rights Council notice that the U.S. may withdraw, the Geneva-based body opens a new, three-week-long session on Monday, with neither of the administration’s two primary declared concerns addressed. Read

Friday, June 15, 2018

Unprecedented: Haley-Backed Candidate for Key UN Human Rights Committee Fails to Win Seat

United Nations member states voting by secret ballot Thursday to fill nine vacancies on a key human rights treaty body sidelined a U.S. candidate who, as a war crimes prosecutor, successfully secured the first genocide conviction in history. Read

Beijing Reluctant to Say NK Sanctions Should Remain Until Complete Denuclearization

After the Trump-Kim summit, China and Russia both suggested that sanctions relief should be considered for North Korea, but on a visit to Beijing Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China agrees with the U.S. that sanctions should remain in place until North Korea completely denuclearizes. Read

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Haley Amendment Condemning Hamas Wins Simple Majority – But Fails to Advance as UN Censures Israel Again

It would have been unprecedented: A decision by the U.N. General Assembly to include strong and direct condemnation of Hamas in an Islamic bloc-drafted resolution critical of Israel. Read

Pompeo: No Economic Relief Until ‘Complete Denuclearization’ of North Korea Has Been Achieved

As President Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un continues to draw flak, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday declared unequivocally that, unlike past agreements with Pyongyang, the one being pursued by the Trump administration will not provide economic benefits until the “complete denuclearization” of North Korea has been achieved. Read

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Guam’s Governor to Trump: Summit With Kim Brought ‘Big Sigh of Relief’ for Territory’s 165,000 People

On his way home from his summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, President Trump met briefly during an early morning refueling stopover with the governor of Guam, the U.S. Pacific island territory which Kim last year threatened to target with ballistic missiles. Read

North Korean Media: Kim Stressed Urgency of ‘Halting Irritating and Hostile Military Actions’

North Korean state media said Wednesday that during his summit with President Trump, Kim Jong Un had described as urgent the need to make bold decisions on “halting irritating and hostile military actions against each other.” Read

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Kim Signs Document Agreeing to ‘Work Towards Complete Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’

Predicting a very “different” relationship with North Korea, President Trump joined Kim Jong Un Tuesday in signing a document in which he “committed to provide security guarantees” and Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” Read

Trump Predicts ‘Tremendously Successful’ Talks as Summit With Kim Jong Un Gets Underway

President Trump and Kim Jong Un have met in Singapore, shaking hands at the start of an unprecedented summit that carries the weight of the world’s expectations. Read

Mattis: ‘I Don’t Believe’ US Troop Reduction is On The Table at Trump-Kim Summit

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Monday he does not believe the reduction of U.S. troop numbers in South Korea will be on the table in President Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un, which is about to get underway. Read

Monday, June 11, 2018

Putin: Happy to Welcome G7 Partners to Moscow; Ready to Meet With Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday gave a cautiously positive response to President Trump’s calls for his country’s readmission to what used to be the G8, and played down what he called the “internal problems” in the G7 following the forum’s tumultuous summit in Canada. Read

‘Fool Trade’ and NATO Defense Spending: Trump Tweets From Singapore

President Trump began his first day in Singapore with a series of tweets in defense of his trade policies, criticizing Canada and the European Union over trade surpluses and saying the Europeans should be spending more on defense. Read

All Eyes on Singapore as Trump, Kim Prepare For Tuesday’s Unprecendented Summit

President Trump has a relatively quiet day scheduled in Singapore Monday, following the weekend’s fractious G7 gathering in Canada and ahead of Tuesday’s historic summit with Kim Jong Un. Read

Friday, June 08, 2018

Pompeo: Congress Should ‘Have a Say’ in Any NK Nuke Deal--Unlike Obama’s ‘Flimsy Piece of Paper’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday the administration would like Congress to “have a say” in any nuclear agreement reached with North Korea, contrasting that approach to what he called the Obama administration’s “flimsy piece of paper” – apparently a reference to the Iran nuclear deal. Read

Putin Likens Trump’s Tariffs to Sanctions; Tells US Allies, ‘Dinner is Served. Enjoy’

On the eve of a G7 summit in Canada that could be awkward for President Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin took a dig at members of the bloc that has excluded him for the past four years, seemingly relishing spats over Trump’s trade tariffs and other policies. Read

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Trump Hosts Muslim Envoys for ‘a Sacred Tradition of One of The World’s Great Religions’

President Donald Trump on Wednesday night wished Muslims across the globe a blessed Ramadan, hosting ambassadors from Muslim-majority nations for a fast-breaking iftar meal which he described as “a sacred tradition of one of the world’s great religions.” Read

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

‘Shameless’: Muslim Reform Advocate Criticizes CAIR’s Planned Iftar Protest Outside White House

“Shameless, if not bizarrely against the spirit of Ramadan.” That was American Islamic Forum for Democracy president M. Zuhdi Jasser’s reaction Tuesday to plans by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to hold a protest outside the White House Wednesday, as President Trump hosts an official iftar inside. Read

Top Senate Dems Demand a North Korea Deal That’s Tougher Than Obama’s Iran Deal

In a letter to President Trump, seven ranking Democratic senators have laid out conditions for any nuclear deal with North Korea, including some that were conspicuously absent in the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. Read

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Britain, France Join U.S. in Responding to Chinese 'Intimidation and Coercion' in South China Sea

Britain and France are backing U.S.-led efforts to challenge what Defense Secretary James Mattis at the weekend called Chinese “intimidation and coercion” in the disputed South China Sea. Read

Taliban Distances Itself From Suicide Bombing Targeting Clerics

The Taliban on Monday distanced itself from a suicide bombing that targeted religious scholars shortly after they issued a fatwa rejecting the jihad against the Afghan government, but the group continues to maintain that its own jihad is Islamically legitimate. Read

Friday, June 01, 2018

US Marine General on China: ‘Military Has Had a Lot of Experience…Taking Down Small Islands’

Amid simmering U.S.-China tensions in the South China Sea, a top U.S. general on Thursday underlined the military’s readiness to “protect U.S. and allied interests in the region,” and made a reference to the U.S. experience in “taking down small islands” in the Pacific during World War II. Read

Pompeo Cannot Yet Say Whether Trump-Kim Summit Will Happen, But Reports ‘Real Progress’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday he could not yet say whether an envisaged summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un will go ahead, but that his talks in New York with Kim’s deputy had “made real progress towards that.” Read

Haley: US Will Veto ‘Morally Bankrupt’ UN Resolution That Slams Israel, Fails to Name Hamas

Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Thursday the United States will veto an Arab-sponsored Security Council resolution seeking “an international protection mechanism” for Palestinian civilians, pointing out that it fails to mention by name the Hamas terrorist group at the center of current tensions in Gaza. Read

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Administration Targets Iranian Rights Abusers, Including Maker of ‘Spying’ App

As the Trump administration works towards imposing what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says will ultimately be the “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran, the Treasury Department on Wednesday targeted three Iranian organizations and six individuals for “serious human rights abuses.” Read

Ukraine’s Faked Assassination Reportedly Exposed Russian Plot – But Draws Sharp Criticism

Press freedom groups have expressed dismay at the revelation that Ukrainian security officials collaborated with an exiled Russian journalist and Kremlin critic to fake his assassination, in what they said was an operation to foil an actual Russian plot to kill him. Read

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

US Calls it a ‘Travesty’ As Syria Assumes Presidency of UN-Funded Disarmament Body

The United States led a chorus of condemnation Tuesday as Syria assumed the rotating presidency of the U.N.-linked Conference on Disarmament, calling it a “travesty” that a regime guilty of using chemical weapons against its own people should preside over the very body that created to Chemical Weapons Convention. Read

Report: ‘Praying, Singing Hymns, and Reading the Bible’ Can Lead to Prison Camp in North Korea

Weeks before President Trump is expected to meet with Kim Jong Un, a State Department report issued Tuesday painted a grim picture of religious freedom abuses at the hands of the Stalinist regime – including “executions, torture, beatings, and arrests” of people of faith. Read

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

South Korean President Won’t Say If Kim Jong Un Is Willing to Denuclearize

Is Kim Jong Un ready to accept a long-standing U.S. demand for “complete, verifiable and irreversible” relinquishing of his nuclear weapons arsenal? South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday sidestepped the question, saying that would have to be discussed at working-level talks between the U.S. and North Korea. Read

Sanctioned North Korean General Heading to the U.S. for Talks

As preparations continue for a summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, a hardline North Korean general targeted for sanctions by both the United States and South Korea for acts including terrorism is heading Tuesday to the U.S. on Tuesday. Read

Monday, May 28, 2018

Irish Pro-Lifers After Referendum Defeat: ‘We Fight On’

Pro-life campaigners in Ireland have vowed to keep fighting after sustaining a crushing blow in Friday’s referendum on repealing the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, which for 35 years has given equal status to a mother and her unborn child. Read

Friday, May 25, 2018

Trump Suggests China is Responsible For Setbacks With North Korea

President Trump’s decision to call off a planned summit with Kim Jong Un comes after heavy hints that China may have had something to do with the change in attitude and tone from Pyongyang, which recently resumed its customary U.S.-baiting rhetoric. Read

State Dep’t to Russia: Stop Lying and Account For Your Role in Shooting Down Malaysian Airplane

The State Department Thursday called on Russia to “cease its lies” about the shooting down of a civilian aircraft over Ukraine in 2014 and account for its role in the atrocity, after investigators concluded that the plane was brought down by a Russian surface-to-air missile that originated from a Russian military unit. Read

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tempers Flare as US, China Clash at UN Over Activist Beijing Calls ‘Terrorist’

A U.S. delegate lashed out at the U.N. this week at an attempt by China to punish a non-governmental organization based on its ties to a Uighur activist whom Beijing accuses of terrorism. Read

Under Obama, US Twice Invited China to Take Part in Major Pacific Exercises; Now Pentagon Says No

An administration decision to “disinvite” China from taking part in an international military exercise in the Pacific this summer comes two years after the Obama administration allowed it to participate, despite concerns about its aggressive behavior in the South China Sea. Read

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trump: ‘Gotta Get Out and Vote’ to Secure Pro-Life Gains

President Trump on Tuesday night urged pro-life Americans to campaign and vote this November for conservative lawmakers to safeguard gains and further advance the pro-life agenda. Read

Pompeo: ‘We Wouldn’t Tolerate Iceland Doing What the Iranians Are Doing’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed back Tuesday on criticism that the administration is making foolishly unrealistic demands of Iran, saying it was actually setting a low bar, and that Iran’s behavior would not be tolerated if coming from another nation. Read

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

US Seeks Support for Campaign to Force Radical Change in Iran’s Behavior

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday laid out an ambitious plan for an international campaign aimed at bringing about a radical change in the conduct at home and abroad of the Iranian regime as it approaches its 40th anniversary. Read

Trump’s New Iran Strategy Seen As a Push for Regime Change

Some prominent supporters of the Iran nuclear deal say the Trump administration’s proposed campaign of “unprecedented financial pressure” designed to change Iran’s conduct is in fact aimed at bringing about regime change. Read

US-Europe Rift Widens Over Trump Policy to Crack Down on Iran

Signaling a widening transatlantic split over Iran, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday dismissed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call for unprecedented financial pressure to force a drastic change in behavior from Tehran, saying there is no alternative to the nuclear deal which the U.S. has now abandoned. Read

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hillary Clinton Decries a ‘More Polarized Than Ever’ America; Whips Out Russian Hat

America is “more polarized than ever,” with deep political, racial and religious divisions, Hillary Clinton said Sunday, pointing a finger of blame squarely at one side of the political spectrum. Read

Kerry in Abu Dhabi Swipes Trump Policies: US ‘Cannot Turn its Back on The World’

Former Secretary of State John Kerry, in a speech in the Middle East Sunday, implicitly criticized President Trump for policies such as withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, saying that the United States “needs to build partnerships and cannot turn its back on the world.” Read

Friday, May 18, 2018

Trump: We’re Not Looking at ‘Libya Model’ For North Korea, But a Deal That Would See Kim Jong Un ‘Running His Country’

Any denuclearization deal the United States strikes with North Korea will differ from the disarmament of Libya 14 years ago because it would entail Kim Jong Un remaining in power, and presiding over a country enriched as a result of the agreement, President Trump said Thursday. Read

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Two Reportedly Killed by Regime Forces as New Protests Erupt in Iran

At least two people were reportedly killed by Iranian regime forces after protests erupted in the small southwestern city of Kazeroon on Wednesday, the latest in a series of anti-government demonstrations across the country since late last year. Read

Iran’s FM Cries ‘Shame’ As US and Sunni Allies Sanction Top Hezbollah Terrorists

The U.S. joined six Arab Gulf states on Wednesday in targeting Hezbollah’s leadership for sanctions, an orchestrated push aimed at disrupting the destabilizing influence of the Shi’ite terrorist group and its Iranian patron in the region. Read

Senior Hamas Official Says 50 of 62 Palestinians Killed in Gaza This Week Were ‘From Hamas’

Israel stands accused of massacring “Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest” along the Gaza-Israel border this week, but a senior member of Hamas told Palestinian television on Wednesday that 50 of the 62 Palestinians killed in the rioting were members of the terrorist organization. Read

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Now North Korea Says It’s Not Interested in Talks That Will ‘Force Us to Give Up Nukes’

A day after North Korea hinted that next month’s summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump could be in jeopardy, a senior official in Pyongyang said the regime is “not interested” in nuclear talks where it comes under pressure to “unilaterally” abandon its nuclear weapons. Read

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

European Ministers Scramble to Salvage Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran’s foreign minister will meet with his British, French and German counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday as the governments scramble to salvage the nuclear deal in the wake of President Trump’s withdrawal. Read

Israel, U.S. Blame Hamas for Palestinian Deaths; Hamas Blames ‘American-Zionist Aggression’

Israel’s military blamed Hamas for Monday’s deadly violence along the Gaza-Israel border, and said impoverished Palestinians were being offered cash incentives, bankrolled by Iran, to storm the security fence. Read

Monday, May 14, 2018

Pompeo: Denuclearization Deal Would Allow ‘Real Economic Prosperity’ in North Korea

In the event a denuclearization deal is struck with North Korea, the private sector, not American taxpayers, would account for the benefits that the impoverished Stalinist nation could expect, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday. Read

Mother, Father and Four Children Bomb Three Churches in Indonesia

“Violence and terrorism should not be associated with any religion,” the bloc of Islamic nations declared on Sunday, condemning a series of suicide bombings on Christian churches in Indonesia reportedly carried out by six members of the same family – mother, father, two teenage sons, and daughters aged nine and 12. Read

Hamas Gears Up For Mass Border-Breaching Protest as US Embassy in Jerusalem to Open

Israel is bracing Monday for a culmination of weeks of Hamas-instigated protests along the border with the Gaza Strip, as the terrorist group that rules Gaza declared in a propaganda video that masses will breach the border and that “we will not die alone.” Read

Friday, May 11, 2018

Trump Swipes Obama Over Iran: We Got Americans Back From North Korea ‘For Nothing’

President Trump on Thursday night contrasted this week’s release of three Americans from North Korea with the release in 2016 of five Americans held by Iran, and alluded to the view that the Obama administration had effectively paid a ransom for their freedom. Read

Pro-Iran Group Predicts Strong Showing in Iraqi Elections

As Iraqis prepare to go to the polls on Saturday, a pro-Iran alliance closely linked to Shi’ite militias is banking on winning enough support to play a key role in the next government, 15 years after the U.S. invasion toppled Saddam Hussein. Read