Monday, August 31, 2015

Obama’s Focus in Oil-Rich Alaska Is Climate Change--As Putin Deploys Warships

As President Obama prepares to become the first sitting president to travel north of the Arctic Circle this week, the administration’s concerns revolve largely around climate change. Read

Royce: Obama ‘Betting Against History’ With Iran Deal; Just 3 Votes Needed to Sustain Veto

The Republican lawmaker sponsoring a resolution to disapprove the administration’s Iran nuclear agreement said at the weekend it was a “deeply flawed” deal that “makes the world less safe.” Read

Friday, August 28, 2015

Trump Says He and Cruz Have ‘Something Very Big’ Planned in Washington

Days before the U.S. Congress votes on the administration’s Iran nuclear agreement, Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are scheduled to appear at a mass rally opposing the deal on Capitol Hill, organizers said Thursday. Read

State Dept.: Iran’s Parchin Base Is ‘Conventional Military Site,’ So No Restrictions on Construction There

A new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report says there are signs of new construction work at Iran’s controversial Parchin military complex, but State Department spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that the base is “a conventional military site, not a nuclear site,” and as such there would be no restrictions on new construction there. Read

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vatican Removes Itself From 'Battle of Flags' at U.N.

The Palestinian Authority’s ongoing campaign to extend its international standing hit an unexpected snag this week when the Vatican dissociated itself from a P.A. initiative to have the “State of Palestine” and Holy See flags fly at U.N. headquarters next month. Read

Reported Arrest in Khobar Towers Bombing Renews Focus on Iran’s Anti-U.S. Terrorism

The reported arrest of the key suspect in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, in which 19 U.S. military personnel were killed, will renew attention on Iran’s suspected role in the attack, at a time when the Obama administration is seeking congressional and public support for its nuclear agreement with Tehran. Read

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

After Urging Caution, Admin. Says It Respects Court Ruling Awarding Damages to US Victims of Palestinian Terror

The State Department said Tuesday the administration will respect a judge’s ruling requiring the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority to post $10 million in bond or cash pending their appeals of a verdict awarding hundreds of millions of dollars to families of U.S. victims of Palestinian terrorism. Read

IAEA Seeks More Funding for Iran Inspections

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday it is going to need extra funding to verify the Iran nuclear deal. Read

Head of IAEA Insists Side Deal With Iran Is ‘Technically Sound’

The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog declared Tuesday that his agency would carry out robust verification of the Iran nuclear deal, and he defended its plan to investigate Iran’s past actions. That plan has drawn fire over reports that Iran will collect its own evidence at a key suspect site. Read

Support for Iran Deal Grows Among Senate Dems; Only 5 More Needed to Sustain Veto

A growing number of U.S. senators now support the Iran nuclear deal. Just five more are needed to sustain President Obama’s promised veto of a resolution to disapprove the agreement. Read

Monday, August 24, 2015

Defiant Iran Says No One Will Stop It From Developing Ballistic Missiles

Iran reaffirmed at the weekend that it will scorn any international attempts to restrain its missile program, unveiling a new missile and announcing it will soon hold large-scale ballistic missile war-games. Read

Korean Tensions Heighten: North Deploys Assets, South Refuses to Back Down

North Korea ratcheted up tensions with its U.S.-backed neighbor on Monday, moving special forces on amphibious landing craft closer to the frontline, one day after reports that most of its submarines eveidently had been forward deployed. Read

Friday, August 21, 2015

Carter: Prospects for Israeli-Palestinian Peace ‘More Dismal Than Any Time I Can Remember in the Last 50 Years’

Former President Jimmy Carter gave a gloomy assessment Thursday of the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, describing them as “more dismal than any time I can remember in the last 50 years” and laying the blame at the door of the Israeli government. Read

Will Int’l Inspectors Be Admitted to Iran’s Suspect Site? No Answers From State Dept.

The issue of Iran’s role in inspecting a military base where nuclear weapons work is suspected to have taken place took up more than one-third of Thursday’s 66 minute-long State Department daily briefing, but the one question not answered relates to the central point – whether or not Iran will admit international inspectors to the site. Read

Thursday, August 20, 2015

WH 'Confident' in IAEA's Reported Plan to Let Iran Inspect Its Own Suspect Nuclear Site

The White House says it is “confident” in the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s plans to investigate the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program – plans which, according to an Associated Press report, include allowing the Iranians themselves to inspect one of the most controversial sites linked to the program. Read

Huckabee: West Bank--'Judea and Samaria'--Is Part of Israel

When reporters asked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee why he was visiting a “settlement” in the “West Bank” this week, he replied that “if you’re going to visit Israel, you should visit all of Israel – and that would include Judea and Samaria.” Read

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Clinton Jokes Again About Wiping Email Server: 'What, Like With a Cloth?'

For the second time in four days, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton on Tuesday tried to make light in public of the deepening controversy surrounding her use of an unsecured, private email server while secretary of state. Read

Menendez Is 2nd Dem to Oppose Iran Deal: ‘Hope…Is Not a National Security Strategy’

Twelve days after Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) became the lone Democratic senator to declare opposition to the administration’s Iran nuclear agreement, a second senior Democrat has joined him, with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) announcing Tuesday that he too will vote against the deal. Read

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

4 Years Later, Obama Still Calling for Assad to Go, As Death Toll Hits 250K

Four years after President Obama first called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, the administration on Monday said again that the regime has “lost legitimacy,” and it condemned the deaths of more than 100 civilians in an airstrike on a market. Read

Thailand Searches for Suspects, Motives After ‘Worst Ever’ Bombing

As the death toll rose to at least 20 in what is being described as the country’s worst ever terror attack, authorities in Thailand said Tuesday they were hunting a male suspect seen on security camera footage near the bomb site, a popular Hindu shrine in central Bangkok. Read

Monday, August 17, 2015

Carson: ‘Stop Listening to These People Who Tell Us That We Cannot Talk About God’

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson won an enthusiastic response from an audience at the Iowa State Fair Sunday as he called for Americans to unify to confront problems facing the nation – and made a fervent case for talking about God. Read

GOP Candidates Grapple With Question of Sending US Ground Troops Against ISIS

As presidential hopefuls in the crowded Republican field strive to break out of the pack, the question of sending U.S. troops back to the Middle East, this time to tackle Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists, is gaining prominence. Read

Friday, August 14, 2015

Royce: Russia and Iran ‘Already Violating’ Nuclear Deal

The U.S. must call both Russia and Iran to account for “already violating” the nuclear agreement, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said Thursday. He was responding to a reported trip to Moscow by Iran’s Qods force commander, who is subject to U.N. travel sanctions. Read

20 of 46 Senate Dems Now Support Iran Deal, Which Administration Is Plugging on Twitter

The number of Senate Democrats who say they will support the Iran nuclear deal when a resolution of disapproval is voted on next month continues to tick up, with 20 of the 46 now publicly endorsing it. Read

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cuban Dissidents Excluded From Flag-Raising at US Embassy in Havana: ‘Limited Space’

Secretary of State John Kerry and his department pushed back Wednesday on claims that the administration has excluded dissidents from Friday’s historic opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana to avoid upsetting the Castro regime, attributing the decision to a lack of space and the fact the flag-raising is a “government-to-government” event. Read

Kerry Hails Iranian FM for Regional Outreach As FM Meets With Hezbollah Chief

Secretary of State John Kerry noted this week that Iran’s foreign minister was visiting Lebanon, and he suggested the outreach was a sign that ostensible moderates in the Iranian government want a different, more positive role in the region. Read

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jeb Bush Slams Obama Administration’s Policies on ISIS, Iraq, Iran

In a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush slammed the Obama administration for policies which he said have allowed the spread of Iran’s malign influence and the “pandemic” of Islamic terrorism. Read

Buying Sex Is a Human Right? Amnesty International Endorses ‘Decriminalization' of Prostitution

Amnesty International, long the darling of the non-governmental human rights movement, has sparked an uproar with a decision to endorse the decriminalization of prostitution, infuriating women’s groups who accuse it of essentially characterizing pimping and the buying of sex as a human right. Read

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

As President, Cruz Would ‘Rip Up’ Iran Deal, Instruct US Embassy to Move to Jerusalem

Among five key actions he would take on his first day in the Oval Office, Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said at the weekend, are two foreign policy priorities – “rip up and rescind this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal,” and start the process of moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Read

Clinton Ignores Question on Her Ally Schumer’s Opposition to Iran Nuclear Deal

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Monday sidestepped a question on Sen. Chuck Schumer’s decision to break with their party and the administration over the Iran nuclear agreement. Read

Monday, August 10, 2015

Corker Threatens to Subpoena Emails, Memos Relating to Alleged Politicization of Human Trafficking Report

After a senior State Department official declined to discuss with a Senate committee “internal deliberations” relating to the decision to upgrade certain countries in this year’s human trafficking report, its chairman is threatening to subpoena information if the administration fails to hand it over. Read

Democrat Jim Webb Opposes Iran Deal: ‘We Need to Put Country Ahead of Party’

Democratic presidential hopeful Jim Webb on Sunday criticized those in his party who have attacked Democratic lawmakers like Sen. Chuck Schumer for saying they will vote against the Iran nuclear agreement. Read

Friday, August 07, 2015

Jindal: ‘Planned Parenthood Had Better Hope’ for a Clinton Victory

“Planned Parenthood had better hope that Hillary Clinton wins this election,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said during Thursday’s second-tier Republican presidential debate, suggesting that if he is in the White House he will launch a federal investigation into the abortion provider. Read

Two Top Democrats Signal They Will Vote Against Obama’s Iran Deal

In a significant setback for the Obama administration’s no-holds-barred lobbying for its nuclear agreement with Iran, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), in line to be the next Democratic leader in the Senate, announced Thursday he will vote against the deal. Read

Perry: I Would Rather Have Had Carly Fiorina Negotiating With the Iranians Than Kerry

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that he would far rather have had former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program than Secretary of State John Kerry. Read

Thursday, August 06, 2015

US Negotiator: Best for U.S. National Security That Iran-IAEA Agreements Stay Confidential

It is both “appropriate” and in the U.S. national security interest for side agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to remain secret, the State Department’s top nuclear negotiator told senators on Wednesday. Read

Obama: ‘Death to America’ Iranians Are ‘Making Common Cause With the Republican Caucus’

President Obama’s quip Wednesday linking “Death to America”-chanting Iranians to Republicans in Congress earned him laughs and whoops from his American University audience, but an unamused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on the president to “retract his bizarre and preposterous comments.” Read

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

As Republicans Introduce Bill Rejecting Iran Deal, Focus Is on Democrats

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to disapprove the Iran nuclear agreement, amid an intensifying lobbying campaign as supporters and opponents of the deal seek support, especially from Democrats. Read

State Dep’t Again Insists: Human Trafficking Assessments 'Not Influenced by Other Considerations'

The State Department on Tuesday again defended its annual human trafficking report, in the face of growing allegations that this year’s assessment process was compromised by political decisions to give better-than-deserved grades to certain countries. Read

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Sen. Graham Draws a Laugh After Stumbling Over Words in Presidential Panel

The “voters first presidential forum” in New Hampshire on Monday night got some light relief when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of 14 Republican candidates taking part, stumbled over his words. Read

Fiorina: Clinton ‘Lied’ About Benghazi, Emails; ‘These Go to the Core of Her Character’

Carly Fiorina had strong words for Hillary Clinton and President Obama at Monday's “voters first presidential forum” in New Hampshire, questioning Clinton’s character over Benghazi and the email scandal, and charging that Obama is offering a “false choice” of agreeing with his actions or going to war. Read

Clinton on Bid to Defund Planned Parenthood: ‘We’re Not Going Back, We’re Going to Fight Back’

Less than a week after saying she found videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the salvaging and sale of body parts of aborted babies “disturbing,” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out in strong support for the controversial abortion provider. Read

Monday, August 03, 2015

Speech on Khamenei Website: Hillary Clinton ‘Confessed’ That US Created ISIS

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a speech last month repeated his periodic claim of a U.S. hand behind the creation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the posted text alluded to a year-old conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton had admitted as much in her memoir. Read

UN-Endorsed ‘Post-2015 Agenda’ Mentions ‘Foreign Occupation,’ Omits ‘Sexual Orientation’

The U.N. General Assembly on Sunday agreed to a set of far-reaching “sustainable development goals” for the next 15 years, but some key points pushed by the Obama administration were not reflected in the final document. Read