Tuesday, March 20, 2018

US, South Korea Prepare For Large-Scale War Games That Have Angered Pyongyang

Amid ongoing silence from North Korea about a proposed summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump, the U.S. and South Korea are soon to begin massive joint military exercises of the type that have infuriated the dictator in Pyongyang in the past. Read

Cardinal Says Vatican Is Surrendering to China's Communist Government With Deal on Catholic Worship

The outspoken former bishop of Hong Kong has launched a fresh attack on a proposed agreement between the Vatican and China’s communist government. Read

Monday, March 19, 2018

Putin Wins Another Term, Securing Biggest Margin of Victory Yet

As widely anticipated, Vladimir Putin has won another six-year term as president of Russia, securing his biggest victory yet in this his fourth presidential election campaign. Read

Prosecutors Call For Lengthy Sentence For US Pastor in Turkish Prison

American pastor Andrew Brunson faces up to 35 years in a Turkish prison after prosecutors presented a court with an indictment demanding a 20-year term for espionage and another 15 years for committing crimes on behalf of terror organizations. Read

Putin: ‘Russia Does Not Possess’ Nerve Agents; UK: Russia Has Been ‘Stockpiling’ Nerve Agents

Russia does not possess nerve agents of the type used against a former Russian spy in Britain and has destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles, President Vladimir Putin said Sunday. Read

Friday, March 16, 2018

Russian Presidential Election Won’t be Affected by Rift With West, Kremlin Says

Russian presidential elections are on track for this weekend, unaffected by a deepening rift with the West over allegations relating to a nerve agent attack in Britain, the Kremlin’s spokesman said Thursday. Read

Joe Lieberman Predicts Pompeo at State Will be a ‘Strong Ally’ of a Free Iran

Former Democratic Sen. Lieberman expressed enthusiasm Thursday about President Trump’s nomination of Mike Pompeo to head the State Department, calling the CIA director “tremendously gifted” and a likely ally in the cause for a free Iran. Read

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Nauert, Elevated to Senior State Dep’t Post, Slams Russia Over Crimea

In her first statement as acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, Heather Nauert on Wednesday marked the fourth anniversary of the controversial referendum that led to Russia’s annexation of Crimea by declaring that “Crimea is Ukraine.” Read

As Irish PM Heads for WH, US Pro-Lifers Urge Him Not to Repeal Pro-Life Constitutional Amendment

On the eve of his visit to the White House for Thursday’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar received a hand-delivered appeal from 18 pro-life leaders in the U.S. urging him to uphold a 35-year-old constitutional amendment that gives equal status to a mother and her unborn child. Read

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pelosi in 2016: Tillerson’s Too ‘Cozy’ With Putin; Pelosi in 2018: Tillerson Fired For Being ‘Outspoken’ Against Putin

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doubled down Tuesday on her inference that the Russians have some sort of hold over President Trump, charging that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been fired for “standing up for our allies against Russian aggression.” Read

No One Gives Russia 24-Hour Ultimatums, Says Moscow’s Foreign Ministry

Russia is rejecting an ultimatum from Prime Minister Theresa May to provide answers over the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter, while warning of retaliation for any British punitive actions that may be taken in response to claims of Russian responsibility. Read

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tillerson Backs Britain’s Assessment That Russians Poisoned Ex-Spy

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed support Monday for Britain’s assessment that Russia was likely responsible for the deliberate poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter this month. "We are outraged that Russia appears to have again engaged in such behavior,” Tillerson said. Read

With Ceasefire in Tatters, Haley Warns Assad He Could Face Another US Military Strike

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned Monday that the U.S. could take military action against the Assad regime to stop violent attacks on civilians that have only escalated since the Security Council a fortnight ago voted for a 30-day ceasefire. Read

Pyongyang Still Silent on Proposed Kim-Trump Summit

Five days after the White House confirmed that President Trump would accept an invitation to meet with Kim Jong-un, the regime he heads in Pyongyang is maintaining absolute silence on what would be an historic summit. Read

Monday, March 12, 2018

Putin Says Missile Defense and 9/11 Not Linked: ‘An Explanation for the Housewives’

In a NBC News interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin ridiculed a suggestion that the U.S. development of ballistic missile defenses should be seen in the context of a post-9/11 strategic posture reevaluation, telling interviewer Megyn Kelly that that was “an explanation for the housewives watching your program.” Read

Iran Protests Intrusion at Its Embassy in London

Iran slammed British authorities this past weekend for their handling of an incident in which four men scaled the walls of the Iranian Embassy in London and took down the country’s flag. Read

Friday, March 09, 2018

Trump to Meet With Kim Jong-un; Says ‘Sanctions Will Remain Until an Agreement Is Reached’

President Trump has accepted an invitation to meet with Kim Jong-un “at a place and time to be determined,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed on Thursday night. Read

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Iran Breaks Up Women’s Protest as Khamenei Extols Hijab, Deplores Western ‘Nudity’

International Women’s Day in Tehran saw reports of police breaking up a protest by a group of women, on the same day as supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei extolled the virtues of covered-up Muslim women in contrast to those in the West, where “the female role model is her nudity.” Read

Bolton: Kim Jong-un Is Trying to ‘Divert Our Attention’ As He Races to Nuclear Finish Line

Kim Jong-un is using an offer of dialogue with the United States as a “temporary device” to buy time as it races towards acquiring deliverable nuclear weapons – “before the end of this year,” former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said Wednesday. Read

Suspected Nerve Agent Assassination Attempt Roils UK-Russia Ties

Hinting strongly that Russia is suspected of being behind the deliberate poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter this week, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson promised that the government “will respond appropriately and robustly” if evidence of state responsibility emerges. Read

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

‘Me’: President Trump Takes Credit for Kim Jong-un’s Willingness to Talk

Asked Tuesday to what he attributes Kim Jong-un’s declared willingness to talk, President Trump deadpanned, “Me,” – then went on to say he believes the North Koreans want to talk because of the “very, very strong and very biting” sanctions they are facing. Read

School Bus-Sized Space Station Plunging to Earth; China Says, Nothing to Worry About

Chinese state media have been disputing reports that the country’s first experimental space station is out of control as it heads for Earth, but Western scientists tracking its movement are warning that its re-entry in the next few weeks could see a small amount of debris landing across a sizeable area of the planet, possibly emitting toxic vapor. Read

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Bloomberg on Paris Climate Accord: ‘It’s Fair to Say This President Does Change His Views’

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, newly appointed U.N. climate change envoy, said Monday he hopes President Trump will drop his opposition to the Paris climate accord, and noted that he was not averse to changing his stance on issues. Read

Russia Flips the Narrative: The US Is Interfering in Our Elections

Amid continuing investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, a senior Russian diplomat on Monday accused the U.S. of trying to interfere in his country’s upcoming presidential vote, referring to efforts to “sway” young voters. Read

Monday, March 05, 2018

Inter-Korean Talks to Begin After Regime Slams Trump for Saying It Will ‘Have to De-Nuke’

Senior South Korean envoys headed to Pyongyang on Monday for exploratory talks, shortly after North Korea criticized President Trump for insisting over the weekend that the regime will “have to de-nuke.” Read

Thanking Trump for ‘Leading the Way,’ Guatemala’s President Announces Jerusalem Embassy Move

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced in Washington on Sunday that his country will follow President Trump’s lead on Jerusalem and move its embassy to the city – two days after the U.S. does so in May. Read

Friday, March 02, 2018

France’s Le Pen Charged Over Gory ISIS Tweets: ‘World Upside Down’

French far-right leader Marine le Pen said Thursday that the bringing of criminal charges for tweeting graphic images of ISIS violence was clearly an attempt to silence her. She said the world was “upside down.” Read

‘I’m Not Bluffing’ Putin Tells the West, Announcing Advanced Nuclear Weaponry

Ahead of his anticipated re-election this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin in an upbeat speech Thursday unveiled what he characterized as peerless nuclear weaponry, and warned would-be aggressors that Russia is ready to defend itself. “I’m not bluffing,” he declared. Read

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Afghan President Offers Taliban Recognition, Office Space, Passports, Prisoner Releases, Lifting of Sanctions…

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday offered the Taliban a deal: come to peace talks and recognize the government, in return for incentives including recognition as a legitimate political organization, office space in Kabul, passports, and help towards lifting sanctions on Taliban leaders. Read

Iran to Hold Festival Dedicated to Eventual Destruction of Israel

Iran, the country that brought the world Holocaust cartoons and “Down with America” awards, has a new offering – an art and media festival with the theme of the coming destruction of Israel. Read

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Scrapping Term Limits in China: Party Paper Dismisses Western ‘Hysteria’

A proposal that would allow Chinese President Xi Jinping to stay in power after his second presidential term expires in 2023 is making waves, but a Communist Party mouthpiece on Wednesday dismissed reaction in the West as “hysteria.” Read

Blacklisted Iranian Uses UN Human Rights Platform to Bash the US

As scores of protestors demonstrated outside, the U.N.’s top human rights body on Tuesday gave a platform to an Iranian regime official sanctioned by the European Union for his role in “human rights violations, arbitrary arrests, denials of prisoners’ rights and an increase in executions.” Read

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hungary Says UN Rights Chief Should Step Down After Calling Its PM a Racist

Hungary’s foreign minister called Monday for U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to be removed from his post, after the U.N. official singled out Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for sharp criticism. Read

Hungary Slams UN: ‘It Is Not a Human Right to Pick a Country Where One Would Like to Live’

Hungary’s populist government ramped up a dispute with international institutions on Monday, accusing U.N. officials of promoting migration as a right, at the expense of “the right to a safe and secure life, where we live.” Read

For 17th Time in 10 Years, Russia Vetoes UNSC Resolution, This Time to Protect Iran

Russia on Monday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution expressing concern over Iranian violations of U.N. sanctions on Yemen – just hours after the U.N.’s top human rights official appealed to the council’s permanent members to stop using their veto power to block measures that would reduce the suffering of innocent people. Read

Monday, February 26, 2018

UN Human Rights Council Opens With Poorest Membership Yet; Sanctioned Iranian to Speak

The United Nations’ top human rights body begins a four-week session in Geneva on Monday, boasting the largest numbers of autocratic and repressive regimes among its members in its 13-year history. Read

Palestinians Accuse Israel of ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Over Church Tax Row

Palestinian leaders on Sunday seized on a dispute between the Jerusalem municipality and church denominations over unpaid taxes for commercial enterprises, accusing Israel of violating religious freedom and “ethnic cleansing.” Read

Friday, February 23, 2018

Bolton: North Korea Sees Nukes as Way to Reunify Peninsula Under Its Control

Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons program is designed not merely to defend his regime, but in pursuit of its ultimate aim to reunify the peninsula under its grip, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said this week. Read

Iranian Minister Sanctioned by EU For Rights Violations Due to Speak at UN Human Rights Council

The Iranian regime’s justice minister is scheduled to address the United Nations’ top human rights body in Geneva next week, despite being subject to European Union sanctions for “human rights violations, arbitrary arrests, denials of prisoners’ rights and an increase in executions.” Read

Hawkish North Korean General Will be Ivanka Trump’s Counterpart at Olympics Closing Ceremony

North Korea is sending to the Winter Olympics closing ceremony in South Korea a man Seoul blames for the regime’s deadliest armed attack in more than two decades – the sinking in 2010 of a South Korean navy ship and killing of 46 sailors. Read

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Attacker Throws Explosive Device at US Embassy in Montenegro, Blows Himself Up

In what U.S. officials described as an “active security situation,” a person threw an explosive device early Thursday at the U.S. Embassy compound in the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica, before reportedly blowing himself up. Read

‘Dictator,’ ‘Idiot’: Tempers Flare Over Hungary’s Anti-Migrant Campaign

Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, has called his counterpart from Luxembourg an “idiot” who wants to “flood” Europe with migrants, illustrating again a widening rift between the country’s populist government and the liberal European establishment over immigration policies. Read

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

State Dep’t Regrets N. Korea’s Refusal to Meet With Pence; Regime Calls Him ‘Human Scum’

The State Department on Tuesday confirmed that Vice President Mike Pence, during his recent visit to South Korea, was prepared to hold a “brief meeting” with representatives of North Korea’s Stalinist regime, but they pulled out “at the last minute.” Read

Haley to Palestinian Leader: ‘I Will Not Shut Up’ and Jerusalem Decision ‘Will Not Change’

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday delivered a lengthy speech at the U.N. condemning Israel and the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but left the Security Council chamber before the U.S. and Israeli ambassadors could respond. Read

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Russian FM: US ‘Playing With Fire’ in Push to Divide Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday warned the U.S. against “playing with fire” in Syria, accusing it of trying to dismember the country by supporting Kurdish groups in the northeast, thereby undermining Syria’s territorial integrity. Read

Proposal to Outlaw Circumcision Stokes Debate, Religious Freedom Concerns

Male circumcision has long been a controversial topic, and a proposal by lawmakers in Iceland to criminalize the practice – apparently for the first time anywhere in modern history – is making waves far from the small North Atlantic island nation. Read

Monday, February 19, 2018

Turkey’s Erdogan: The US Needs to ‘Correct Their Mistakes,’ ‘Pull Themselves Together’

Following Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s fence-mending visit to Turkey, the country’s leaders remain insistent that the U.S. is to blame for the tensions in the relationship between the NATO partners. Read

Wielding Piece of Shot-Down Drone, Netanyahu Warns Iran

“Do you recognize this?” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked Iran’s foreign minister at a conference in Germany on Sunday, holding aloft a piece of a spy drone shot down over Israeli airspace this month. Read

Kerry: It Was ‘Strategic Thinking,’ Not a ‘Concession,’ to Leave Missiles Out of Iran Nuclear Deal

Setting aside Iran’s ballistic missile threats, support for terrorism and regional destabilization when crafting the nuclear deal was not a concession but “strategic thinking” on the part of the negotiators, former Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday. Read

Friday, February 16, 2018

Iranian Opposition: IRGC Uses Globally-Available Messaging Apps to Spy on Citizens

Rattled by recent protests against the 39-year-old regime, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is accelerating its cyber warfare capabilities, including embedding spyware into apps used by millions of Iranians, a new report claims. Those affected could potentially include expats in the West, who use the apps to contact relatives inside Iran. Read

Top Iranians Laud Dead Hezbollah Terrorist, Call for Israel’s Destruction

Marking the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah’s top terrorist, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force said Thursday the price for his blood will be the eradication of Israel. Read

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Tillerson Under Fire for Saying Hezbollah Is Part of Lebanon’s ‘Political Process’

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the reality that Hezbollah is “part of the political process in Lebanon” has to be acknowledged, drawing fire on social media for a perceived “softening” in Washington’s approach to the U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. Read

Haley: ‘Iran and Hezbollah Are Making Plans to Stay in Syria’

The weekend breaching of Israel’s airspace by an Iranian drone was a “wake-up call for all of us” and underlines that “Iran and Hezbollah are making plans to stay in Syria,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said on Wednesday. Read

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shi’ite Militia Leader Threatens to Attack US Troops If They Stay in Iraq

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told an Iraq reconstruction conference Tuesday that the U.S. will remain the country’s “strong partner,” but the head of an Iranian-backed Shi’ite militia with American blood on its hands warned it will target U.S. forces if they remain in the country. Read

State Dep’t: Moscow, Ankara Welcome to Rename Streets Where US Embassies Are Located

Authorities in Moscow and Ankara are considering renaming streets where U.S. Embassies are located, evidently to embarrass the United States. Citing free speech, the State Department says that as long as they are complying with local laws “they can call it whatever they want.” Read

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ahead of Tillerson Visit, Turkey’s Islamist Gov’t Sees Ties at Make-or-Break Point

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heads for Turkey later this week at a time of escalating tensions in the relationship, as the Turks’ military operation against U.S.-backed Kurds in northwestern Syria takes its toll and an American pastor remains in jail 16 months after being arrested on purported security charges. Read

State Dep’t Official: Israel-Iran Clash Not a 'Distraction’ but ‘Predictable Symptom’ of Iranian Behavior

The armed clash between Israel and Iran over Syria at the weekend was not a “distraction” from efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict but a regrettable and “predictable symptom” of Iran’s ever more aggressive behavior, a senior State Department official said Monday. Read

Monday, February 12, 2018

Ayatollah: Anniversary Rallies Are a ‘Crushing Response’ to Iran’s Enemies

In what supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called a “crushing response” to Iran’s enemies, hundreds of thousands of Iranians rallied on Sunday to mark the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, and to reaffirm that the United States remains “enemy number one.” Read

Kim Jong-un’s Sister Oversees Brutal Regime’s Propaganda Efforts

Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, the subject of breathless media coverage as she smiled her way through a three-day visit to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, heads up the regime’s department responsible for lying to its people about the behavior of a regime whose atrocities have been described as “without parallel in the modern world.” Read

Friday, February 09, 2018

Kim’s Pre-‘Peace Olympics’ Parade Showcases ICBM ‘Capable of Striking The Whole Mainland of The US’

One day before the opening of the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the Kim Jong-un regime displayed at a military parade the intercontinental ballistic missile which it claimed after its maiden test flight last November could reach anywhere in the continental United States. Read

After Deadly Coalition Counterstrike on Pro-Assad Forces, Pentagon Says: ‘We Are Not Looking For a Conflict With The Regime’

Russia and the Assad regime cried foul on Thursday after the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition in Syria carried out airstrikes on pro-regime forces, in response to what the U.S. called an “unprovoked attack” on its allies. Read

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Tillerson on Trump’s Foreign Aid Stance: ‘This is the American People’s Money …What Are We Supporting?

The American people are the source of foreign assistance provided by the U.S., Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday, adding that questions raised by President Trump about exactly what that aid is supporting have “not been examined in quite some time – if ever.” Read

On Eve of ‘Peace’ Olympics, North Korean Regime Calls Trump ‘Dolt,’ ‘Lunatic’

Despite speculation about the possibility of a U.S.-North Korea encounter on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics in South Korea, there has been no let-up in the anti-U.S. invective coming from the regime in Pyongyang, and the insulting of President Trump continues. Read

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

As Allies Wrangle, Tillerson Says New Polish Holocaust Law ‘Adversely Affects Freedom of Speech’

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday expressed dismay at a decision by Polish President Andrzej Duda to sign controversial legislation criminalizing references to Poles’ complicity in the Holocaust. Read

Haley: UN Committee is ‘Being Steamrolled by Countries With Terrible Human Rights Records’

An influential committee responsible for accrediting non-governmental organizations at the United Nations is drawing criticism for shooting down applications from U.S.-based groups dealing with human rights in Iran and North Korea. Read