Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Minute of Silence for Fidel Castro, Then UN Resumes Condemnation of Israel

After a minute of silence in honor of Fidel Castro, United Nations member-states on Tuesday turned to the regular General Assembly agenda item entitled “the question of Palestine,” in preparation for votes on several resolutions condemning Israel. Read

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

99,726 Somali Refugees Settled in U.S. Since 9/11

Nearly 100,000 Somali refugees have been admitted into the United States since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including 9,020 during fiscal year 2016 and 2,279 in the last two months alone. Read

U.N. May Hold Special General Assembly Session to Honor Fidel Castro

As the United Nations continues to eulogize Fidel Castro, some of Cuba’s closest allies are pressing for a special U.N. General Assembly session to honor the communist dictator. Read

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rubio on Castro Condolences: Obama’s Response ‘Pathetic’; My Catholic Faith Does Not Bind Me to Pope’s Foreign Policy Stances

Asked Sunday about Pope Francis’ expression of sorrow on the death of Fidel Castro, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that as a Catholic he believes in the Pope’s theological authority but his faith does not bind him when it comes to foreign policy positions. Read

Surviving Communists and Autocrats Mourn Castro

From Pyongyang to Beijing, Vientiane to Hanoi, the leaders of the world’s surviving ruling communist parties showered praise on Fidel Castro over the weekend, recalling with fondness a “comrade” who clung to his ideology long after its ignominious failure across much of the world. Read

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

UN Agency Turns 50 – and Continues to Shed Western Donors

A United Nations agency that the United States once recommended be shut down altogether is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week, grappling with ongoing withdrawals by crucial donor states even as its director-general expresses optimism about its future. Read

State Department: No Reason for Russia to See NATO as a Threat

“NATO is a defensive alliance,” and Russia has no reason to view it as a threat, State Department spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday, after the Kremlin attributed a decision to deploy nuclear-capable missiles in Russia’s westernmost territory to NATO’s “aggressive” behavior. Read

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Day One of Trump Presidency: Withdraw From the TPP

President-elect Donald Trump said Monday that on his first day in office next January he will begin the process of withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a prospective trade deal which has been a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s “rebalance” to Asia, but which Trump while campaigning called “horrible.” Read

Bolton Hopes Trump Will ‘Abrogate’ Iran Nuclear Deal Soon After Taking Office

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, one of several reported contenders to be secretary of state in the Trump administration, said Monday it is important for the next president to rescind the Iran nuclear deal soon after taking office. Read

Monday, November 21, 2016

Priebus: No ‘Registry Based on a Religion,’ But a Temporary Ban ‘Until a Better Vetting System is in Place’

President-elect Donald Trump is not proposing a “registry based on a religion,” his incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus said Sunday, adding that people from countries posing terrorism concerns would be temporarily barred from entry into the U.S. “until a better vetting system is put in place.” Read

Trump’s National Security Picks Are No Fans of Iran or the Nuclear Deal

In his first two key national security picks, President-elect Donald Trump has chosen two men who are fervent critics of the Iranian regime and the Obama administration’s touted nuclear deal. Read

Friday, November 18, 2016

CAIR Unhappy With Trump’s Reported Pick for National Security Adviser

President-elect Donald Trump has offered the key post of national security adviser former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.), the Associated Press reported Thursday, citing an unnamed senior Trump official. Read

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Democrat Lawmaker Calls Trump a ‘Bigot,’ ‘Demagogue,’ ‘Sexual Predator,’ ‘Liar,’ ‘Con Artist’

A Democrat congressman told the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday that the next president of the United States is a bigot, a demagogue, a liar, a sexual predator and a con artist. Read

Kerry: 'Overwhelming Majority' of Americans 'Know Climate Change Is Happening'

Secretary of State John Kerry sought to assure anxious attendees at the U.N. climate megaconference in Morocco Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump will not hit the brakes on Paris climate accord. Read

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

At UN Climate Conference, Ban Ki-Moon Optimistic Trump Will Come Around on Paris Accord

Ahead of a major speech Wednesday by Secretary of State John Kerry to the U.N. climate conference in Morocco, U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon expressed cautious optimism that President-elect Donald Trump will reconsider his opposition to the Paris climate accord. Read

In Clear Signal to Iran, ‘Lame Duck’ House Passes Sanctions Legislation With Overwhelming Support

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 419-1 to reauthorize for another ten years Iran sanctions legislation due to expire at the end of the year – a move the Obama administration has sought to discourage. Read

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

14,074 Syrian Refugees Admitted to US in Year Since Paris Attacks; 99.1% Muslim

The Obama administration has resettled 14,074 Syrian refugees in the United States since the Paris terror attacks a year ago prompted concerns that terrorist groups could exploit refugee admission programs to infiltrate Western countries. Read

UN Compiling Blacklist of Companies Supporting Israeli Settlements in Disputed Territories

The United Nations’ top human rights division is beginning to compile an unprecedented blacklist of private companies doing business in territories disputed between Israel and the Palestinians, a move likely to benefit the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. Read

Monday, November 14, 2016

Obama Administration Agrees to Take Mideast Refugees Refused by Australia

A little over two months before President Obama leaves the White House, Australia’s prime minister has disclosed that the U.S. has agreed to resettle an unspecified number of refugees, mostly from the Middle Eastern region, who are currently housed in offshore detention centers after being prevented from reaching Australia by boat. Read

On 1 Trip, Kerry Producing As Much CO2 as Average American Does in 1 Year

Secretary of State John Kerry winged his way Monday from New Zealand to the Middle East on the next leg of what may be his longest trip yet, a journey during which America’s top diplomat will account for roughly 16.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Read

Friday, November 11, 2016

Top EU Official Disputes That Trump Could Upend Iran Nuclear Deal

Asked Thursday about President-elect Donald Trump's threats to tear up the Iran nuclear deal once in office, the European Union official tasked to oversee its implementation said it was not a bilateral agreement but a multilateral one, enshrined in a U.N. Security Council resolution. Read

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Will Trump Break With Predecessors And Move US Embassy to Jerusalem?

It’s not an issue that came up much during the election campaign, but President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem could have significant consequences – if he honors it. Read

‘American Muslims Are Here to Stay,’ CAIR Tells Trump

The Council on American-Islamic-Relations and other Muslim groups called on President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday to reach out to Muslims and other communities “impacted” by his campaign rhetoric. Read

Kerry Hopes Trump Will Meet Challenges ‘With the Same Spirit’ That Has Characterized All Previous Presidencies

Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday congratulated President-elect Donald Trump, and expressed the hope that the 45th president would work to “protect the interests of our people and uphold the values of our country” with the same spirit as has characterized every American presidency. Read

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump to the World: ‘We Will Seek Common Ground, Not Hostility; Partnership, Not Conflict’

President-elect Donald Trump early Wednesday offered a message to the international community: “We will get along with all other nations, willing to get along with us.” Read

UN Members Pass Nine Measures Targeting Israel – Including One Accusing Israel of ‘Repressive Measures’ Against Syrians

While Americans were voting in an election watched around the world Tuesday, at the U.N. in New York it was business as usual, as a key General Assembly body passed nine draft resolutions condemning Israel. Read

Marijuana Ballot Measures Pass in Six States, Results in Three More Awaited

Voters in Florida were first to pass a ballot initiative Tuesday legalizing the use of medical marijuana by people with specified debilitating diseases and conditions – one of a nine statewide initiatives across the nation this year to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. Read

Democrats’ Hopes of Seizing US Senate Fade

Democrats’ hopes to seize control of the U.S. Senate dimmed on Tuesday night, as one by one key races failed to go their way. Read

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

At UN, African and Islamic States Reject Western-Led LGBT Human Rights Push

In a move that some warn could set a dangerous precedent for the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, a group of countries will try to use a vote in New York Tuesday to reverse an earlier decision, which they were unable to defeat at the Geneva-based HRC. Read

International Election Observer Forgets ‘Strict Impartiality’ Pledge, Tweets Support for Clinton

As hundreds of international observers from dozens of countries fan across the nation ahead of Tuesday’s election, their behavior is governed by their own organizations’ codes of conduct, which call for “strict impartiality.” Read

Monday, November 07, 2016

Federal Judge Concerned About Small Number of Christians Among Syrian Refugees Admitted to US

The American people have been given no good explanation for the “perplexing discrepancy” between the tiny proportion of Christians among Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. and the considerably larger proportion of Christians in the Syrian population, a federal appellate court judge has written. Read

Three American Soldiers Killed in Jordan Were Part of Anti-ISIS Operation

More U.S. deaths linked to the anti-ISIS military operation: The three U.S. special forces soldiers killed in Jordan on Friday were deployed as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the mission aimed at destroying the jihadist group, according to the U.S. Army. Read

Friday, November 04, 2016

Administration Doesn’t Expect Election Outcome to Have Big Impact on Paris Climate Accord

A day after Donald Trump pledged to “cancel billions in global warming payments to the United Nations,” top administration climate officials said Thursday that the outcome of next week’s election would not likely have a major impact on the international momentum driving the Paris climate accord, despite the fact that “the candidates have very different views on climate.” Read

State Dept. on Iran’s ‘Death to America’ Chants: ‘Like Any Country, There’s Heated Political Rhetoric'

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday the administration does not regard the slogan “Death to America” as official Iranian policy, asserting that, “like any country, there’s heated political rhetoric that comes out.” Read

Thursday, November 03, 2016

UN-Backed Int’l Tribunal May Move Ahead With Probe of Alleged War Crimes in Afghanistan

No military or government on earth takes its responsibilities in conducting war more seriously than the United States does, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday when asked about a report indicating that the International Criminal Court may soon upgrade a preliminary probe of allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan to a full-fledged investigation. Read

Kerry Hints at One Last Mideast Peace Push Before Obama Term Ends

Secretary of State John Kerry has hinted that he may be involved in one final push on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, amid growing speculation – and concern among Israel supporters – that President Obama may use the period between next week’s election and the end of his administration to break the deadlock. Read

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Kerry Phones to Congratulate Lebanon’s New Hezbollah-Allied, Iranian-Backed President

Secretary of State John Kerry called Lebanon’s new Hezbollah-aligned president on Tuesday, congratulating a politician whose election has been hailed by Hezbollah’s patron, Iran, as a boost for the U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization and for the Assad regime. Read

Kerry Rejects Syria ‘Red Line’ Criticism: ‘The President Never Decided Not to’ Use Force

Secretary of State John Kerry, for the second time in several days, fretted about the way the Syria chemical weapons “red line” episode is remembered, pushing back on the notion that President Obama’s decision not to bomb Assad regime targets after saying he would do so amounted to a backing down. Read

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

13,210 Syrian Refugees So Far in 2016; Up 675% from 2015; 99.1% Are Muslims

The Obama administration has resettled 13,210 Syrian refugees into the United States since the beginning of 2016 – an increase of 675 percent over the same 10-month period in 2015. Read

Kerry Praises Iran’s Zarif as ‘a Patriot … Who Fought Hard For His Nation’s Interests’ During Nuclear Negotiations

Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday praised his Iranian counterpart as a tough negotiator and “a patriot …who fought hard for his nation’s interests” during the marathon talks that produced the nuclear agreement. Read

Kerry Tells British Audience That US Election Campaign Can Be 'Downright Embarrassing'

The U.S. election campaign “has been difficult for our country’s perception abroad,” Secretary of State John Kerry told an audience in London on Monday. “There are moments when it is downright embarrassing.” Read