Thursday, June 30, 2016

Should Saudis Be Suspended From UN Human Rights Council? State Dep’t Won’t Say

A State Department spokesman on Wednesday declined to give an opinion on whether Saudi Arabia should be suspended from the U.N. Human Rights Council over its widely-criticized rights record, on the grounds that the U.S. is “just an observer.” Read

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Kerry: US Is Letting Boeing Sell Planes to Terror-Sponsor Iran to Further ‘Transformation’

Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that the Obama administration will hold Iran accountable for its sponsorship of terrorism, but at the same time he hopes to use the promotion of trade – like the Boeing deal – to advance “transformation” in the country. Read

Anti-EU British Politician to Euro-MPs: ‘Virtually None of You Have Ever Done a Proper Job in Your Lives’

Members of the European Parliament jeered as British anti-E.U. politician Nigel Farage accused them of being “in denial” over the failure of the European project, and declared that “virtually none of you have ever done a proper job in your lives.” Read

Lawsuit Aims to Get to the Bottom of State Department’s ‘Shameful Cover-Up’ of Press Briefing

The State Department may have hoped a furor over a censored press briefing video was over, but now it faces a federal lawsuit brought by a group determined to get to the bottom of what it calls a “shameful cover-up” relating to the Iran nuclear deal. Read

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Trump Spokeswoman: ‘We’re Not Going to Base National Security Off PolitiFact, or Even the United Nations’

A Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman sparred with a CNN anchor Monday over the process for vetting Syrian refugees, and when the journalist cited a fact-checking website’s assessment of the process the spokeswoman retorted, “We’re not going to base national security off PolitiFact, or even the United Nations.” Read

Pakistan Berates Israel for Complaining About Being Singled Out, Again, at U.N. Human Right Council

As the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday held its once-a-session ritual condemnation of Israel, Pakistan’s representative blasted the Jewish state for complaining about being singled out at the U.N.s top human rights body. Read

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pope Francis: ‘Suffering for One’s Religious Belief Has Become a Daily Reality’

Pope Francis joined an Armenian leader Sunday in lamenting the persecution of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East – and angered Turkey by once again referring to the atrocities committed against Armenian Christians a century ago as “genocide.” Read

Kerry Heads for Europe After Brexit Result the Administration Neither Wanted Nor Predicted

As the world scrambles to come to terms with British voters’ decision to leave the European Union, Secretary of State John Kerry was jetting in Monday for talks with both partners in the impending divorce. Read

Terrorist Chief: ‘As Long as Iran Has Money We Will Have Money’

The leader of Hezbollah, in a rare public admission, has boasted that due to Iran’s generous support, new U.S. sanctions targeting his group – a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization – will have no impact. Read

Friday, June 24, 2016

State Dep’t: We Didn’t Strike Nuclear Deal to Help Boeing Sell Planes to Iran

The Obama administration did not pursue a nuclear deal with Iran in order to help Boeing conclude a multi-billion deal to sell aircraft to its national carrier, State Department spokesman John Kirby said Thursday. Read

Thursday, June 23, 2016

State Dep’t Denies Turning ‘Blind Eye’ to Iran’s Terror Sponsorship After Striking Iran Air From Sanctions List

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday any suggestion that the administration would turn a blind eye to Iran's support for terrorism in implementing the nuclear deal was “completely without merit.” Read

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Iranian General Predicts ‘Armed Resistance’ and ‘Annihilation’ of Regime in U.S. Ally Bahrain

The bitter sectarian rivalry roiling the Middle East escalated sharply this week, as Bahrain – a Saudi and U.S. ally – stripped a senior Shia cleric of his citizenship, prompting a rare and threatening public statement from the top general of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Read

Has U.S. Ever Allowed Sale of Aircraft to State-Sponsors of Terror? State Dep’t Doesn’t Think So

The State Department on Tuesday welcomed Boeing’s announcement of a deal to sell aircraft to Iran, but spokesman John Kirby seemed uncomfortable at the suggestion this marked the first time a U.S. aircraft manufacturer has been given a license to sell planes to a state-sponsor of terrorism. Read

CAIR Sees 64 Percent Jump in Muslims Registered to Vote Since 2012

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) estimates that the number of American Muslims registered to vote has jumped from around 500,000 in 2012 to at least 824,000 ahead of November’s election – a 64 percent increase. Read

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kerry: ‘Zero Evidence’ Refugees Making It Through US Screening Pose Greater Risk Than Other Groups

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday evening there was “zero evidence” that refugee applicants who go through the rigorous screening involved in the U.S. refugee admission program pose a greater security threat than members of any other group. Read

Pakistan Provincial Gov’t Funds Madrassa Where Taliban Leaders Learned Jihad

Just weeks after a U.S. drone strike killed Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour inside Pakistan, the government of the country’s northwestern province reportedly has agreed to provide $2.86 million to a madrassa (privately-run religious school) where Mansour, his predecessor Mullah Omar, and other top terrorists studied. Read

Monday, June 20, 2016

Homeland Security Advisory Body: ‘Reject Religiously-Charged Terminology’ Such As 'Jihad,' 'Shari’a'

A new report by the Homeland Security Advisory Council recommends that government agencies “reject religious terminology” such as "jihad" and "shari’a" and avoid using language that frames the discussion as “us versus them.” Read

Gohmert on Anti-Terror Bill: ‘It Never Mentions The Term Radical Islam’

In the aftermath of the Orlando terrorist attack, the vast majority of House Republicans voted in favor of legislation designed to enhance efforts to combat “violent extremism,” but one of the three who voted against it, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, said he did so because it fails to identify “radical Islam” as the problem. Read

Friday, June 17, 2016

ISIS Yazidi Genocide Finding Prompts Calls for Urgent UN Action

U.N. investigators declared Thursday that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) is carrying out genocide against the Yazidi minority, prompting rights advocates to urge the world body’s organs to act urgently in response to that finding. Read

Thursday, June 16, 2016

‘Lone Hacker’ Posts Campaign Documents Purportedly Stolen From DNC

Documents posted on the Internet Wednesday by a self-described “lone hacker” were presented as examples of some of the material hacked from the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems, including opposition research on Donald Trump, suggested campaign talking points for Hillary Clinton, and strategies for confronting Republican candidates. Read

Kerry Acknowledges That Some Terrorists Are ‘Radicalized for Reasons Having to do With Religion’

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday cited “reasons having to do with religion or politics” in a list of “root causes” of terrorism in which he also included factors ranging from tribalism to frustration and the desire for a sense of identity and purpose. Read

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Arab, Islamic Campaign to Isolate Israel at U.N. Dealt a Setback As Israel Wins Key Post

Arab and Islamic countries have witnessed a major setback to an effective, decades-long campaign to isolate Israel at the United Nations, as the reviled Jewish state was elected to head a key U.N. committee for the first time. Read

U.N. Human Rights Chief Says U.S. Needs 'Robust Gun Regulation'

The United Nations’ human rights chief called on the United States Tuesday to enforce more effective gun control measures in the aftermath of the Orlando terrorist attack, dismissing as “irresponsible pro-gun propaganda” the notion that firearms make societies safer. Read

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

2009-2014: 831,221 Green Cards to Migrants from Muslim-Majority Countries, 322,882 to Those from EU Countries

Between fiscal years 2009 and 2014 the federal government issued green cards to 831,221 migrants from Muslim-majority countries, compared to 322,882 from European Union member-states. Read

Half of the Countries Where Same-Sex Acts Are Prohibited Are Islamic; Death Penalty in 13

Half of the countries in the world where homosexual behavior is legally prohibited are Islamic states, and in 13 of those countries, the death penalty is codified in shari’a (Islamic law), in some cases implemented by governments or non-state actors. Read

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sessions: More Than 570 Charged, Convicted or Connected to Terror Since 9/11; Almost All Muslims

Sen. Jeff Sessions warned Sunday that more attacks like the one on an Orlando nightclub were likely, and disclosed that more than 570 people have been “convicted or charged or connected to terrorism” since 9/11. Read

Friday, June 10, 2016

GOP Lawmakers: Administration Preparing to ‘Give the Internet Away’ to Foreign Despots

A federal agency on Thursday moved the U.S. closer to relinquishing oversight of the Internet’s domain name system, prompting some Republican critics to warn that doing so could allow authoritarian governments to “try to undermine the new system of Internet governance and thereby Read

UN Chief Admits He Was Pressured Into Removing Saudi Arabia From Child Conflict Blacklist

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday effectively admitted caving in to pressure from member-states which threatened to withdraw funding to U.N. projects if he didn’t remove Saudi Arabia’s name from a blacklist of states and groups that violate children’s rights in conflict. Read

Thursday, June 09, 2016

New U.N. Declaration on Ending AIDS Omits ‘Abstinence,’ ‘Fidelity’

The U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday adopted “by consensus” a political statement on ending the AIDS epidemic, but several delegations lodged reservations to parts of the declaration, including the absence of references to sexual abstinence and faithfulness. Read

India’s Warm Ties With US Not Reflected in Its Voting at U.N.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a warm reception from the U.S. Congress on Wednesday as he hailed close ties and called the U.S. an “indispensable partner” – but voting patterns at the United Nations show that the world’s two biggest democracies continue to differ on a number of issues of key importance to the U.S. Read

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Corker: Resignation of Whistleblower Who Exposed Peacekeepers' Child Sex Abuse 'Damning Indictment' of U.N.

The resignation of a U.N. official who was pilloried and punished after exposing sexual abuse by peacekeepers in Africa was a “damning indictment” of the world body leadership, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Tuesday. Read

State Dept. Expects Syrian Refugees to U.S. to ‘Increase Exponentially’ This Summer

The State Department is committed to meeting President Obama’s goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States this fiscal year, and expects the numbers to “increase exponentially” over the summer, a spokesman said Tuesday. Read

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Kerry: ‘Successful’ Iran Nuclear Deal a ‘Model’ For How to Deal With North Korea

The “successful” achievement of a nuclear deal with Iran was a “model” for how the international community should deal with North Korea, Secretary of State John Kerry said in Beijing Monday. Read

WH Spokesman Evasive When Asked if Any Senior Official Ever Lied About Iran Nuclear Deal

White House press secretary Josh Earnest twice on Monday did not give a direct, yes or no response to a reporter’s question about whether any senior administration official had ever lied publicly about the Iran nuclear deal. Read

5 Days After Deadline Passes, UN Backs Away From Syria Aid Airdrop

Faced with evident intransigence from the Assad regime, the United Nations edged away Monday from a plan to arrange airdrops of humanitarian aid to Syrians in need, despite an earlier pledge by powers including the United States and Russia to get the deliveries underway by June 1. Read

Monday, June 06, 2016

Tehran May Name a Street After Muhammad Ali, Once Quoted Calling Iran ‘The Greatest’ Country

As fans around the world remembered Muhammad Ali at the weekend, a member of Tehran’s city council suggested that a street in the Iranian capital be named after the American boxing legend, a convert to Islam who during a 1993 trip to Iran was quoted as calling the Islamic republic “the greatest.” Read

Censored State Department Briefing: VP Biden Also Pledged Transparency

As it fends off criticism over the censoring of a briefing video, the State Department is justifying a former spokeswoman’s Feb. 2013 denial that U.S. and Iranian officials had held talks by saying “she had no knowledge at that date that we were conducting bilateral talks with Iran.” Read

Friday, June 03, 2016

State Dept. on Censored Video: Excised Portion Was Not ‘All That Sensitive’

Amid continuing fallout over the deliberate censoring of a State Department briefing video, a spokesman on Thursday denied that the edited section had been “all that sensitive” or embarrassing in some way to the department. Read

Thursday, June 02, 2016

US-Sanctioned Assad Accomplice to Take Part in Event at National Press Club

The National Press Club on Wednesday defended its decision to host a speech – by Skype – from a close associate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Bouthaina Shaaban, a top Assad adviser, has been sanctioned in the U.S. since 2011 for her propaganda on behalf of the regime. Read

Former State Dep’t Briefer Denies Asking for Video to be Edited to Remove Sensitive Reference to Iran Talks

Former State Department spokesman Jen Psaki denied Wednesday that she was the department official who asked for a portion of a 2013 press briefing video to be edited to remove comments she made relating to the Iran nuclear talks. Read

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

1,037 Syrian Refugees Admitted in May: Two Christians, 1,035 Muslims

The number of Syrian refugees admitted into the United States jumped to 1,037 during May – an increase of 130 percent over the previous month – but the proportion of Christians among them remains miniscule: two Christians (0.19 percent) compared to 1,035 Muslims. Read

Holocaust Cartoon Contest Organizer: Ayatollah’s Office Called the Event ‘Excellent’

As Iran’s controversial Holocaust-themed cartoon contest ended this week, the organizer disclosed that he had received a call of congratulations from the office of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Read