Thursday, December 28, 2017

Int’l Chess Federation Takes Flak For Allowing Saudis to Bar Israelis From World Champs

The international chess federation is under fire for a decision to allow Saudi Arabia to host the world championships – for the first time – despite the kingdom’s refusal to comply with the body’s non-discrimination statutes. Read

Disqualified Putin Opponent Calls For Massive Protest Rallies Ahead of Election

The Russian anti-corruption activist disqualified from running against Vladimir Putin in presidential elections in March is calling for mass street protests next month in support of an election boycott. Read

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Supreme Leader Tweets About Jesus, But Iran is One of World’s Worst Persecutors of Religious Minorities

Iranian leaders have been relaying their customary Christmas goodwill messages, but behind the tweets and statements the regime in Tehran continues to be accused of persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. Read

Pakistan, Headed to UN Human Rights Council, Expands Crackdown on Online ‘Blasphemy’

Days before it takes up a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council – for its fourth term in the council’s 11-year history – Pakistan’s federal cabinet has approved a legal amendment designed to facilitate an ongoing crackdown on “blasphemy” on social media. Read

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Guatemala Follows US Lead on Jerusalem; Netanyahu: ‘It’s Only The Beginning’

fter Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced his country will follow President Trump’s lead on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy to the city, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu suggested that the logjam is starting to break. Read

U.S. Takes Credit for $285 Million U.N. Budget Cut

The Trump administration is taking credit for cutting more than $285 million off the United Nations regular budget for the 2018-2019 biennium, an achievement that will entail a sizeable saving for a country that accounts for 22 percent of that budget. Read

Friday, December 22, 2017

FLASHBACK: U.S. Pays $3B for UN--More Than 185 Other Countries Combined

American taxpayers will pony up around $3.024 billion this year towards the United Nations’ regular and peacekeeping budgets, more than what 185 other countries combined are paying, an expert on the international body told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday. Read

Before UN Passes Jerusalem Resolution by 128-9, Haley Warns Again: ‘This Vote Will be Remembered’

The U.N. General Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution by 128 votes to nine declaring President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void,” after Trump implicitly warned countries that U.S. foreign aid could be in jeopardy depending on their vote. Read

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Trump on U.S. Aid Recipients: ‘Let Them Vote Against Us’ at U.N., ‘We’ll Save a Lot’

President Trump had a blunt warning Wednesday for countries that “take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars” in U.S. aid, and then vote against U.S. interests at the United Nations. Read

Egypt, Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria: Countries That Should Take Trump’s UN Warning Seriously

Some of the biggest beneficiaries of U.S. assistance regularly vote at the United Nations in opposition to the position taken by the United States. President Trump warned Wednesday that the U.S. will “save a lot” if countries receiving aid “vote against us.” Read

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ahead of UN Vote on Trump’s Jerusalem Move, Haley Warns Countries: ‘The US Will be Taking Names’

As the United Nations prepares for another vote condemning President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley is warning countries that the U.S. will be taking note of how they vote. Read

Saudis Intercept Another Ballistic Missile From Yemen, Days After US Accused Iran of Supplying Them

Days after the Trump administration presented what it said was evidence of Iran’s hand behind ballistic missile attacks targeting Saudi Arabia, the kingdom on Tuesday shot down another incoming projectile fired by Iranian-backed militias in Yemen. Read

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Haley Vetoes Jerusalem Resolution; Slams Obama For Not Backing Israel a Year Ago

As U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Monday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution seeking to overturn President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, she also sharply criticized the Obama administration’s decision a year ago not to back Israel in the same forum, calling the implications of that move “a stain on America’s conscience.” Read

Trump Policy Recognizes That ‘Israel Is Not the Cause of the Region’s Problems’

President Trump in his National Security Strategy released Monday laid out two very different foreign policy positions from those of his predecessor – a priority on countering Iran’s behavior, and a challenge to the notion that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the primary cause of instability in the Middle East. Read

Monday, December 18, 2017

Chicago Police Chief Reminds County Official: ‘The UN Has No Jurisdiction Here’

Not for the first time, the United Nations is getting appeals from Chicago to step in and help deal with a crisis – this time, the Windy City’s staggering levels of violent crime. Read

Putin Thanks Trump For Helping Avert ISIS Bombing at Russian Cathedral

Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Trump Sunday to thank the U.S. for intelligence that helped to avert an ISIS bombing of targets in St. Petersburg – Putin’s hometown – including the city’s landmark 19th century Kazan Cathedral. Read

Pope Tackles Fake News, Warns Journalists to Avoid Slander, Sensationalism and Bias

Pope Francis at the weekend waded into the topical “fake news” controversy, warning journalists against the “sins of communication” – which he said included telling only one side of a story, sensationalism, slander, and dredging up “outdated and old” issues. Read

Friday, December 15, 2017

Abbas Says He Will Press UN to ‘Annul’ Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has signaled plans to have the U.N. Security Council “annul” President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but according to an international law expert, the proposal is “fantasy.” Read

Haley: Iran Claims to be Putting Out Fires in the Region, But Iran is ‘The Arsonist’

In line with its pledge to confront Iran over activities beyond its nuclear program, the Trump administration on Thursday unveiled what it said was evidence that Iran supplied Shi’ite rebels in Yemen with a missile that last month targeted Riyadh’s international airport – “through which tens of thousands of passengers travel each day.” Read

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Islamic Bloc Asserts ‘Centrality’ of Jerusalem – But Where Were the Leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Iraq …?

An emergency summit of Islamic leaders ended in Istanbul Wednesday with calls on all countries to recognize East Jerusalem as the “capital of the State of Palestine,” in response to President Trump’s recent announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Read

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tillerson Offers a No-Preconditions Sit-Down With North Koreans: ‘Let’s Just Meet’

Two months after President Trump chided him for “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with Kim Jong-un, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday the U.S. was ready to talk to the regime in Pyongyang without preconditions, arguing that it was unrealistic to expect it to be willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions at the outset. Read

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NYC Bomber a Beneficiary of Chain Migration and the Visa Lottery Program

The Bangladesh-born man who detonated a pipe bomb near Times Square on Monday morning was able to live in the United States because of chain migration and the diversity visa lottery system -- two features of the immigration system that the Trump administration wants to end. Read

NY Times: Attack Motivated by ‘Christmas-Themed Posters’; CNN: Motivation Was Anger at Israel

CNN on Monday cited an unnamed “law enforcement source” as saying that the terrorist who tried to detonate a suicide bomb in New York City was angered by Israel’s “incursion into Gaza.” Read

Putin, in Surprise Visit to Syria, Signals End of Military Intervention

Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a surprise visit to Syria Monday, announced the abrupt withdrawal of Russian forces after a deployment that has evidently succeeded in preventing the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Read

Monday, December 11, 2017

North Korea Threatens ‘Merciless Countermeasures’ if Interdictions-at-Sea Begin

North Korea at the weekend lashed out at the Trump administration’s promotion of a maritime blockade to prevent the regime in Pyongyang from circumventing U.N.-imposed sanctions designed to curb its nuclear and missile ambitions. Read

Netanyahu on Turkey’s Erdogan: We Don’t Take ‘Lectures in Morality’ From Leader ‘Who Helps Terrorists … Kill Innocent People’

Hitting back at harsh criticism from Turkey’s Islamist president over President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday Israel doesn’t take “lectures in morality” from a leader “who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people.” Read

Friday, December 08, 2017

Abbas’ Fatah Teams Up With Hamas for Orchestrated Riots After Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement

The Hamas terrorist group and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization jointly laid the groundwork Thursday for violent rioting on Friday in response to President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Read

Argentine Judge Orders Ex-President’s Arrest in Case That Sheds Light on Iran’s Global Terrorism

A judge in Argentina has ordered the arrest of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, accusing her of “treason” for allegedly covering up Iran’s suspected responsibility for the deadliest terrorist attack in the country’s history. Read

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Netanyahu: ‘All Countries That Seek Peace’ Should Follow Trump’s Example on Jerusalem; No Takers Yet

Welcoming President Trump’s momentous Jerusalem policy shift, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday urged other countries to follow suit, although there was little sign of any immediate steps to do so. Read

From Enthusiastic Support to Stinging Criticism, Democrats Divided Over Jerusalem Move

Senior Democratic lawmakers took varied stands on President Trump’s Jerusalem policy shift Wednesday, ranging from unequivocal support to sharp criticism and warnings of harm to U.S. interests. Read

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Feinstein Urges Trump Not to Change Jerusalem Policy, Six Months After Voting for Him to Do So

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has written to President Trump, urging him not to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or to announce he is moving the U.S. Embassy to the city. Read

Hamas Calls for ‘Day of Rage’ in Response to U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

U.S. diplomatic missions in Israel and Jordan are barring employees and families from personal visits to Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank and cautioning citizens to take care, citing “widespread calls for demonstrations” starting Wednesday in response to President Trump’s planned policy announcement on Jerusalem. Read

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Ahead of Jerusalem Announcement, House Passes Bill Withholding Funding Until Abbas Stops Paying Terrorists

With all eyes on President Trump’s expected Jerusalem policy announcement, the House of Representatives on Tuesday dealt the Palestinian Authority another potential blow by passing legislation withholding funds until the P.A. stops paying terrorists. Read

Turkey’s Erdogan Consults With Palestinian Terrorists Over Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement

Turkey’s Islamist president has pledged to intervene with President Trump to urge him not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to the U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization Hamas. Read

Trump’s Eight-Country Travel Order Back on Track, For Now

President Trump’s most recent travel order, targeting nationals of eight countries of security- or terror-related concern, can be enforced while opponents pursue legal challenges in lower courts, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday. Read

Monday, December 04, 2017

Refugee Admissions to U.S. Down 83% So Far in FY18

Refugee admissions to the United States were down 83 percent in the first two months of fiscal 2018 (October and November) compared to the first two months of fiscal 2017. Read

As Trump Weighs Jerusalem Embassy Decision, Palestinian Leaders Warn of Violence

Warning that violence is likely to be unleashed, Palestinian leaders at the weekend stepped up efforts to pressure President Trump not to move ahead with relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Read

Friday, December 01, 2017

As Jerusalem Embassy Waiver Deadline Looms, Conflicting Reports on What Trump Will Do

President Trump is required by this weekend to issue a waiver if he does not intend to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and the White House has played down reports that a significant announcement is imminent. Read

Trump Invokes ‘Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’ at Christmas Tree Lighting

Presiding over the annual lighting of the national Christmas tree on Thursday night, President Trump highlighted the season’s Christian message, invoking “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and a life that “forever changed the course of human history.” Read

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Trump Administration to World: Sever All Ties With North Korea

The Trump administration on Wednesday called on all countries to sever all ties with North Korea, and for the regime in Pyongyang to be deprived of its “rights and privileges” as a U.N. member-state. Read

Haley: US Doesn’t Want War, But if it Comes, ‘North Korean Regime Will be Utterly Destroyed’

The U.S. does not seek a war on the Korean peninsula, but if one breaks out, “the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned Wednesday. Read

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

North Korea After Latest Test: Entire U.S. Is Now Within Nuclear Missile Range

North Korea declared Wednesday that its latest intercontinental ballistic missile test has achieved for the regime the goal of bringing the entire continental United States within range of its nuclear warheads. Read

Pence to Kim Jong-un: Don’t ‘Test the Resolve of This President’

Vice President Mike Pence late Tuesday warned the North Korean dictator not to test President Trump’s resolve or the capabilities of the U.S. military, and indicated that the administration is considering “additional measures” in response to Pyongyang’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch. Read

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Pakistan Submits to Hardliners Again: ‘We Shall Die to Protect the Honor of the Prophet’

Pakistani authorities have done a deal with Muslim radicals who paralyzed the capital to protest a proposed law change, which they suspected was designed to appease a sect regarded as heretical. Read

Iran to Europe: Don’t Challenge Our ‘Defensive’ Missiles Or We’ll Extend Their Range

A senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has warned European governments not to challenge its ballistic missile program unless it wants Iran to boost its missile capabilities to bring Europe within range. Read

Monday, November 27, 2017

Pakistani Terrorist Released After Provisions Applying to His Group Were Dropped From US Legislation

A Pakistani court order releasing the suspected mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack came just days after a provision linking U.S. military aid to Pakistan to its actions against his terrorist group was dropped from a defense policy bill. Read

Trump Berated for Voting Against Russia’s Annual ‘Nazism’ Resolution; Obama and Bush Did Too

Critics of the Trump administration continued to vent outrage on social media over the holiday weekend for its vote earlier this month against a U.N. resolution condemning the “glorification of Nazism” – but were mostly silent about the fact the Obama and Bush administration both did the same thing each year. Read

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Chief of Lebanon’s US-Backed Army Urges Troops to Prepare to Face ‘Israeli Enemy’

A day after Lebanon’s president defended the legitimacy of the Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah, the chief of Lebanon’s U.S.-backed army on Tuesday urged his forces to stand by to face threats from “the Israeli enemy.” Read

Feted at the UN For Decades, Africa’s Third Longest-Ruling Autocrat Bows Out

As Zimbabweans celebrated the resignation Tuesday of 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, a United Nations spokesman declined to get into an “abstract philosophical” discussion on the longevity of autocrats who over decades are fixtures at the U.N. Read

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Supporters of Bid to Have Muslim Brotherhood Labeled a Terrorist Group Try a New Approach

Sponsors of a long running but unsuccessful congressional push to have the Muslim Brotherhood designated a foreign terrorist organization are trying a different approach, urging the administration to focus initially on specific country branches of the global Islamist organization. Read

US General in Afghanistan: From 2011 to 2016, ‘The Enemy Believed … We Had Lost Our Will’

Five years of “telegraphing” to the Taliban that U.S. and coalition forces were leaving Afghanistan prompted the enemy to believe “we had lost our will,” the top U.S. military officer leading the campaign there said Monday. Read

Monday, November 20, 2017

Zimbabwe’s Strongman Clings to Power

Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old ruler defied his opponents again Sunday when his presumed resignation speech ended without him signaling his departure. Read

Palestinians Threaten to ‘Put on Hold’ All Communications With Trump Administration

Two months after Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas called publicly for Israeli officials to be tried by the International Criminal Court, the Trump administration, in line with U.S. law, is threatening to close the Palestinian mission in Washington – and the P.A. is furious. Read

Friday, November 17, 2017

Expert: ICC Has No Jurisdiction to Investigate Alleged Crimes by US Troops in Afghanistan

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to investigate alleged wrongdoing by U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and the Trump administration should not cooperate with the tribunal, a Heritage Foundation scholar argued this week. Read

China Disputes That Xi Agreed With Trump to Reject North Korea ‘Freeze-for-Freeze’ Proposal

Beijing is disputing that Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed during his recent meetings with President Trump to reject a proposal which China and Russia have been pushing as the solution to the North Korean standoff. Read

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Iran Turns Down Offers of Earthquake Aid, Including From Its Arch-Foe Israel

Survivors of an earthquake near Iran’s border with Iraq – the deadliest in the world so far this year – have been calling for more help than they’re getting, but their government says it doesn’t need help from abroad. Read

Zimbabwe ‘Coup’ Unlikely to Bring the Real Change the Misruled Country Needs

However Zimbabwe’s current crisis resolves itself, the short-term outcome is unlikely to be good for the people of the southern African country, impoverished under the almost four-decade-long misrule of President Robert Mugabe. Read

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Iran: U.S. and Canada, ‘Self-Proclaimed Champions of Human Rights,’ Have Killed ‘Millions’

An Iranian representative at the United Nations on Tuesday accused Canada, the U.S. and other “self-proclaimed champions of human rights” of hypocrisy and said their policies have killed “millions of people.” Read

Russian FM: We Never Agreed With US That The Iranians Would Leave Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has poured cold water on U.S. expectations that recent U.S.-Russian understandings on Syria would pave the way for the ejection of Iranian forces. He reiterated Moscow’s stance that Iran and Russia are in Syria legitimately, while it is the U.S. and its allies that are the unwanted outside parties. Read

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Australia May Become Last Major English-Speaking Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Australia looks set to become the latest country to legalize same-sex marriage, after the results of a three-month-long postal survey on changing the country’s one man-one woman marriage law are announced on Wednesday. Read

At UN Climate Conference, Administration Defends ‘Cleaner’ Fossil Fuels, Draws Protests

Venturing deep into hostile territory, Trump administration delegates at U.N. climate talks in Bonn on Monday made the argument for fossil fuels to be part of the solution to climate change – and ran into some vocal opposition. Read