Monday, July 31, 2017

Security Beefed Up at Australian Airports After Police Uncover ‘Islamic-Inspired’ Bomb Plot

As Australian police and intelligence agencies try to piece together pieces of an alleged plot to bomb a commercial aircraft, the country’s two busiest airports witnessed lengthy lines and delays Monday, with passengers urged to minimize baggage and arrive earlier than usual for enhanced security checks. Read

Haley: ‘No Point’ in Another Consequence-Free UNSC Meeting on NK Missiles; US is ‘Done Talking’

The United States sees no point in holding an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting Monday on North Korea’s second long-range missile test in 24 days “if it produces nothing of consequence,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Sunday, after tweeting that the U.S. is “done talking” about the issue. Read

Putin on Expulsion of 755 US Diplomats and Staff: ‘We Are Not Going to Leave Anything Unanswered’

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday 755 U.S. diplomats and staff in Russia will have to “terminate their activity” and warned that further restrictions could be taken in response to U.S. sanctions – although he added he hoped they would not be necessary. Read

Friday, July 28, 2017

Brownback’s Nomination to Int’l Religious Freedom Post Wins Praise – But Not From CAIR

President Trump’s decision to nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to the post of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom was applauded by religious freedom advocates and colleagues Thursday, while an Islamic lobby group expressed alarm, accusing the conservative Republican of anti-Muslim actions. Read

WH: Trump ‘May Veto’ Russia-Iran-North-Korea Sanctions Bill

The U.S. Senate Thursday passed legislation targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea by an overwhelming margin, sending to President Trump’s desk a measure which the White House has not wholeheartedly endorsed. Read

Thursday, July 27, 2017

EU Taking Legal Action Against 3 Nations Resisting Mandatory Refugee Resettlement

The European Union on Wednesday moved ahead with legal action against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for refusing to comply with a controversial E.U. scheme to redistribute refugees and migrants for resettlement across the bloc. Read

Trump: Iran May be Declared Non-Compliant With Nuclear Deal Next Time

President Trump is obliged by law to certify every 90 days whether Iran is complying with the nuclear deal negotiated and championed by his predecessor, but in an interview this week he said that he “personally” expects to find Iran in violation of its commitments the next time. Read

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Israel Removes Metal Detectors From Mosque Compound; Islamic Leaders Not Satisfied

Israel’s government bowed Tuesday to Islamic demands to remove anti-terror metal detectors from the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, but protestors turned their attention to a new grievance – plans to install “smart technology” cameras at the site. Read

Trump: Hezbollah ‘a Menace’ That Is Pursuing Its Own Interests and Those of Iran

Lebanon’s prime minister said at the White House Tuesday he was committed to a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for Hezbollah’s disarmament – but back home his government’s failure to rein in the Iranian-backed group is being starkly illustrated by a fierce terrorist-versus-terrorist battle underway along the Lebanon-Syria border. Read

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Charlie Gard’s Parents: ‘We Are So Sorry That We Couldn’t Save You’

The parents of British baby Charlie Gard said Monday the time wasted in their long legal battle to secure treatment for him in the U.S. has made it too late for their son, leading to their agonizing decision to stop fighting and allow him to “go and be with the angels.” Read

House to Vote on Russia-Iran-North Korea Sanctions Bill; Will Trump Sign It?

Ahead of a vote in the House Tuesday on new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, two of the targeted countries warned against the move and some leading Russian trading partners in Europe are also unhappy. Read

Monday, July 24, 2017

Charlie Gard’s Parents: ‘Disgraceful That Doctors Have Received Death Threats’

Charlie Gard’s parents on Sunday disavowed any abuse and death threats directed at staff at the hospital where he is being treated, and said that they, too, had faced vicious criticism from people who disagree with their fight to secure experimental treatment in the U.S. for their severely ill baby. Read

Hungary’s PM: E.U. is ‘in Alliance’ With Soros to Flood Europe With Refugees

European Union bureaucrats are “in alliance” with billionaire financier George Soros in an attempt to flood Europe with refugees and migrants, Hungary’s outspoken prime minister charged at the weekend, saying each E.U. member-state should be empowered to control its own borders. Read

Friday, July 21, 2017

Metal Detectors, Cameras at Mosques Aren’t Controversial – Except in Jerusalem

Islamic critics of Israel have for years alleged that “al-Aqsa is in danger,” but Israel’s installation of metal detectors that could prevent weapons or bombs entering what Muslims call the “Noble Sanctuary” – the third holiest site in Islam – has sparked an uproar that prompted threats of violence. Read

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Major US Aid Recipients Pakistan, Lebanon Among ‘Terrorist Safe Havens’ in State Dep’t Report

Countries identified as “terrorist safe havens” in the annual State Department terrorism report released Wednesday include major recipients of U.S. foreign assistance, including military aid. Read

Lawmaker Whose Child Miraculously Survived Proposes Amendment Offering Charlie Gard US Residency

A push in Congress to grant residency in the U.S. to the terminally-ill British baby Charlie Gard and his parents is moving ahead, driven by a lawmaker whose own fight to save her severely-ill baby had a happy outcome. Read

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

PLO Official Calls Jerusalem Metal Detectors ‘Intrusive and Dehumanizing’

In what has become a familiar ritual, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization called for a “day of rage” Wednesday over the perceived desecration of Islam’s third-holiest site. The anger is not in reaction to a deadly terror attack at the revered site in Jerusalem, however, but to but Israel’s response – the installation of metal detectors designed to prevent a recurrence. Read

Tehran Hits Back at Trump’s New Sanctions, Vows to Retaliate

Iran pledged Tuesday to retaliate after the Trump administration coupled its certification of the regime’s conduct with regard to the nuclear deal with new sanctions targeting the ballistic missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Read

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CAIR Celebrates Rejection of Amendment Requiring Gov't to Evaluate ‘Violent or Unorthodox Islamic Religious Doctrine’

The Council on American-Islamic Relations urged its supporters Monday to thank their members of Congress after the narrow defeat of a legislative amendment that would have required the Pentagon to assess “the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine to support extremist or terrorist messaging and justification.” Read

Monday, July 17, 2017

Iran Accuses Trump of Violating Nuclear Deal, Jails Another US Citizen

On the eve of the deadline for President Trump to grade Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal, Iran’s foreign minister accused him of violating the accord, while the administration called on the regime to release U.S. citizens held on “fabricated” security charges. Read

Friday, July 14, 2017

Chinese Party Newspaper: The West Bestowed on Dead Dissident ‘A Halo Which Will Not Linger’

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others in Washington mourned the death of the long-imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, a Communist Party-affiliated newspaper in Beijing said the Nobel peace prize laureate had been “kidnapped” by the West and bestowed with “a halo which will not linger.” Read

China Insists Its 1st Overseas Military Base Has Nothing to Do With Military Expansion

The establishment of China’s first military base beyond its shores is making headlines, but Beijing seems bemused by the attention, insisting the outpost in Djibouti – just miles from a key U.S. Special Forces base – is for logistics and supply, not a step towards extending Chinese “hegemony” abroad. Read

Trump on the Paris Climate Accord: ‘Something Could Happen … We’ll See’

“Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord,” President Trump told reporters in the French capital on Thursday, in reference to the international climate agreement that he withdrew from six weeks ago, to the dismay of governments around the world. Read

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sudan Bristles Over Trump’s 3-Month Delay in Sanctions Decision

The Trump administration’s deferral by three months of a decision on lifting sanctions against Sudan has drawn a chilly response from Khartoum, where the ICC-indicted Islamist president has suspended talks with Washington and his foreign minister is blaming U.S.-based advocacy groups for the setback. Read

GOP Senators Urge Trump Administration to Say Iran Is Not Complying With Nuclear Deal

A lobbying battle between critics and supporters of the Iran nuclear deal is becoming more heated, days before the Trump administration is due to give Congress a periodic verdict on Iran’s compliance and whether U.S. national security interests are being served. Read

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Russia Warns It Could Take Reciprocal Steps If Its Real Estate in US Isn’t Returned

The State Department on Tuesday played down Russian warnings of retaliation if the U.S. does not return two recreational compounds seized by the Obama administration late last year in response to alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election. Read

EU Says Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Does Not Belong to One Country’ But to the World

In response to President Trump’s calls for countries to stop doing business with Tehran, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday that the Iran nuclear deal – under which many sanctions have been lifted – does not belong to one country but to the world. Read

Israeli Envoy Says His Toilet More Important Than UNESCO World Heritage Decision

An Israeli diplomat demonstrated his contempt for a U.N. Education Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decision to designate the traditional burial place of the biblical patriarchs as part of Palestinian territory by saying a call from his plumber about a leaking toilet was more important, and excusing himself from the proceedings. Read

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ex-Ambassador: Don’t Do Prisoner Swap Deal With Turkey’s Erdogan

A former U.S. ambassador to Turkey is urging the Trump administration not to consider swapping a Turkish businessman facing Iran sanctions-busting charges in the U.S. with an American pastor incarcerated in Turkey for nine months. The pastor is accused of having links to “terrorists.” Read

Monday, July 10, 2017

Calls for ‘Justice’ in Mass Gathering of Erdogan’s Opponents in Istanbul

Opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a huge rally in Istanbul Sunday evening, the culmination of a 280-mile “justice march” by the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), aimed at highlighting the Islamist government’s crackdown on its critics since the failed coup attempt almost a year ago. Read

As N. Korea Warns of Nuclear War; Haley Seeks Strong Response From U.N.

As the U.S. looks towards securing a strong U.N. Security Council resolution responding to North Korea’s missile launch, Pyongyang on Sunday ratcheted up the rhetoric, warning of a nuclear conflict and “another world war.” Read

Charlie Gard Case Returns to Court as 2 US Lawmakers Aim to Make Baby Permanent US Resident

Monday may bring new hope for the parents of terminally-ill British baby Charlie Gard, after the London hospital at the center of the drama decided to seek a new court decision following fresh claims relating to experimental treatment available in the United States. Read

Friday, July 07, 2017

Russia and U.S. Clash Over Response to N. Korean Missile Launch

Ahead of President Trump’s scheduled first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two governments are sparring over how to respond to North Korea’s latest provocation – unable even to agree on the nature of the missile launched by the regime on July 4, let alone what to do about it. Read

Refugee Arrivals Now at 49,793; 937 Since Supreme Court Decision

President Trump’s four-month ban on refugee admissions will only come into effect once the 50,000 ceiling for this fiscal year is reached – and that is still several days away, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. Read

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Poland Hopes for Trump’s Support on Troop Presence and Migration Spat With EU

President Trump has arrived in Poland, where the conservative government is hoping he will reaffirm a “permanent” U.S. troop presence, and back Warsaw’s rejection of a European Union refugee/migrant admission quota. Read

N. Korea Threat: Haley Warns of ‘Considerable Military Forces,’ Tough Economic Measures

The United States will use its “considerable military forces” if it must, to defend itself and its allies from the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea and its ballistic missiles, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned on Wednesday. Read

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

At UN Meeting Near Auschwitz, Israel Calls for Minute’s Silence; Cuba Requests One for the Palestinians

Cuba’s delegate at a U.N. meeting an hour’s drive from the site of a Nazi extermination camp in Poland objected Tuesday to an Israeli request for a minute’s silence for Holocaust victims – then called for another one, for the Palestinians. Read

Tillerson Says North Korean ICBM Test a ‘New Escalation’ of Threat to US, World

North Korea’s testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile “represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday, calling for global action “to stop a global threat.” Read

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

North Korea Claims to Have Test-Launched an ICBM

North Korea marked the eve of U.S. Independence Day by launching what it claims to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, six months after Kim Jong-un in a new year speech declared that preparations for test-firing an ICBM had “entered the final stage.” Read

Monday, July 03, 2017

John Bolton at ‘Free Iran’ Rally: 1979 Revolution Should Not Reach 40th Birthday

The outcome of the Trump administration’s review of Iran policy should be that the Islamic revolution ushered in under the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini should not reach its 40th birthday in two years’ time, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said at the weekend. Read

Iran’s President Rouhani: Let’s Isolate the US

For years the U.S. has worked to isolate the Iranian regime on the international stage, but Iranian President Hasan Rouhani sees an opportunity to reverse that situation, proposing on Sunday that Iran adopt policies to leave the United States isolated. Read