Friday, August 31, 2018

Trump Warns FBI, DOJ to ‘Do Their Job’ or ‘I Will Get Involved’

The FBI and Justice Department had better “start doing their job and doing it right,” President Trump said on Thursday night, warning that if they did not do so, then he would “get involved.” Read

Thursday, August 30, 2018

As Idlib Offensive Looms, State Dep’t and Pentagon Troubled by Russian Warnings of New ‘Staged’ Chemical Attack

Russia claims that opponents of the Assad regime are planning to use chemical weapons in rebel-held Idlib as a pretext to invite more U.S. airstrikes, but the State Department raised doubts Wednesday about the claims – while expressing concern about what they may portend. Read

State Dep’t Praises France For Curtailing Diplomatic Travel to Iran Over Alleged Bomb Plot

A Trump administration official has praised France for suspending most diplomatic travel to Iran following the exposure of an alleged regime plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in Paris last June. Read

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Iranian President Rouhani Says Regime Won’t be Deterred by Anti-Iranians in Trump Administration

President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday faced questions about Iran’s economic crisis from skeptical lawmakers and declared that the regime would not allow “a bunch of anti-Iranians” in the Trump administration to plot against it. Read

Haley on Countries That Oppose US at the UN: ‘Why Should We Give Them a Single Penny?’

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley recalled Tuesday that on her arrival at the United Nations she was confronted by “resentment” towards the U.S. from countries that were happy to take American aid, prompting her to draw President Trump’s attention to the voting records of countries that receive U.S. assistance. Read

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

EU Chief: Putin Was ‘Unpleasantly Struck’ by Obama’s Slighting of Russia as a ‘Regional Power’

Russian President Vladimir Putin was “very unpleasantly struck” by a dismissive comment President Obama made in 2014 to the effect that Russia is a “regional power, the president of the European Union’s executive Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said in a weekend interview. Read

Trump: We’ve Stopped Government Effort to Undermine Religious Freedom

President Trump on Monday night thanked prominent evangelical leaders for their “incredible” support, and in turn listed measures his administration has advanced on issues of importance to them – from restricting federal funding for abortions to confronting religious persecution around the world. Read

Monday, August 27, 2018

Pro-Kremlin Media Portray McCain as a Russia-Hater

Pro-Kremlin media outlets’ characterized Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Sunday as a war-mongering Russia-hater, reacting to the death of a man who was a critic of Vladimir Putin before he first became president, and who called it an honor when Putin hit back with reciprocal sanctions in 2014. Read

N. Korea Accuses US of Conducting Provocative Military Drills While Holding Talks ‘With a Smile on Its Face’

The Trump administration’s North Korea diplomacy faced a new setback Monday, with one of the regime’s leading media outlets railing against a “double-dealing” U.S. over alleged recent special operations movements in the region. Read

Friday, August 24, 2018

WH Slams El Salvador For Dumping Taiwan, Accuses China of Regional Interference

The White House late Thursday accused China of interfering in the Western Hemisphere after El Salvador became the latest of a dwindling number of allies to abandon Taiwan in favor of relations with Beijing. Read

Bolton Confirms That the U.S. Will Defund UN Human Rights Office

National Security Advisor John Bolton on Thursday reaffirmed that the administration’s withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council is being accompanied by an end to U.S. funding for the world body’s human rights office. U.S. taxpayers have long paid the largest share. Read

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Trump Says He’s Told Pompeo to ‘Closely Study’ Land Expropriation, Farm Murders in South Africa

After a Fox News segment Wednesday night focusing on the controversial issue of land expropriation in South Africa, President Trump tweeted that he has asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate. Read

U.N. Rights Expert Calls US Sanctions on Iran ‘Unjust and Harmful,’ Praises EU Efforts to Counter Them

A U.N. human rights “special rapporteur” whose appointment stoked controversy has come out against the Trump administration’s reimposition of sanctions against Iran, calling the move “unjust and harmful” and praising the European Union for opposing it. Read

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Iranian Opposition Group Targeted in Alleged Spying Plot Calls for Action Against Regime Agents

An Iranian opposition group targeted in an alleged Tehran spying operation in the U.S. said Tuesday its exposure reinforces the need for Western governments to take action against regime agents whose undercover operations were facilitated by “appeasement” policies of past years. Read

Trump Says He Told NATO Counterparts, ‘I Will Leave You If You Don’t Pay Your Bills’

President Trump said Tuesday night he threatened recently to withdraw the United States from NATO if allied nations did not increase their defense spending – or as he termed it, “pay their bills” – and that it had worked. Read

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Taliban Answer to Ceasefire Offer Awaited, But its Goal Remains Restoring Fundamentalist ‘Emirate’

The Taliban has yet to respond to the Afghan government’s offer of a conditional ceasefire, but in a lengthy statement a day before Sunday’s offer it made clear its goal remains restoring its “emirate” across the country, 17 years after being toppled by U.S.-led forces. Read

Two Men Accused of Spying for Iranian Regime on Potential Targets in US

An Iranian man charged in D.C. with conspiracy and other offenses was so incensed by a U.S. senator who participated in a New York rally against the Tehran regime last fall that he suggested to his alleged co-conspirator that the “motherf—er” needs to be shot, according to documents unsealed on Monday. Read

Monday, August 20, 2018

Marking Anniversary of US-Backed Coup, Iranian Regime Says New US Pressure Campaign is Aimed at its Overthrow

A new “Iran Action Group” set up by the State Department “dreams” of overthrowing the Islamic government in Tehran but will fail, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Sunday, linking the move to the anniversary of a U.S.- and British-supported coup in 1953. Read

US Troops to Remain in Iraq and Syria to Ensure ‘Enduring Defeat’ of ISIS

Two days after the State Department reiterated that U.S. forces will “remain in Syria until the enduring defeat of ISIS,” the spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition made a similar commitment regarding Iraq. Read

As Hajj Begins, Ayatollah Urges Pilgrims to ‘Ask Allah to Cut The Hands of the US’

As the annual hajj rituals got underway in Mecca on Sunday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a rallying call to Muslim pilgrims: “Ask Allah to cut the hands of the U.S. and other arrogant powers.” Read

Friday, August 17, 2018

Kim Jong Un’s Brother Assassination Trial to Proceed, But North Korean Suspects Still at Large

A court in Malaysia has decided to move ahead with the trial of two young women accused of murdering Kim Jong Un’s estranged brother – a death by lethal nerve agent that is widely suspected to have been an assassination ordered by the regime in Pyongyang. Read

Court Documents: ISIS Fighter Killed a Iraqi Police Officer Days After Being Approved for US Refugee Status

An Iraqi refugee arrested in California Wednesday is accused of murdering a man in Anbar province on behalf of ISIS – less than three weeks after U.S. officials in Turkey approved his application for asylum in the United States. Read

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Clapper: By Revoking Security Clearances, Trump’s ‘Going to Help Mike Hayden and Me Sell More Books’

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, one of the nine former security officials named by the White House as having their security clearances evaluated, said on Wednesday night that President Trump, ironically, was giving his critics’ views more exposure. Read

WH Says It ‘Won’t Forget’ After Turkish Court Again Rejects Pastor Brunson Appeal

Despite growing U.S. pressure on Turkey’s government that has contributed to its currency troubles, a Turkish court on Wednesday rejected a second appeal to lift American pastor Andrew Brunson’s house arrest and travel ban orders. Read

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Beijing Rejects UN's Criticism of Its ‘Re-Education’ Camps for Muslim Uighurs

The Chinese government responded heatedly Tuesday to rare human rights criticism in a U.N. forum, hitting back at U.N. experts and media for drawing attention to the plight of ethnic minority Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, including claims that millions are being held in “re-education” camps. Read

CNN Accuses Trump of Calling U.K. Incident a Terror Attack ‘Before Officials in London’ Did. He Didn’t

CNN published a report on Tuesday taking President Trump to task for calling an incident outside the British parliament a terrorist attack “before officials in London” did. He did not. Read

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Ayatollah: I’m Banning All Negotiations With the US – Until Iran Grows More Powerful

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday rejected President Trump’s recent offer of dialogue, saying moreover he was also banning outright all negotiations with the U.S., until such time as Iran is powerful enough to be impervious to U.S. pressure. Read

Defense Bill Signed by Trump Requires Foreign Gov’t-Owned News Outlets to Report to FCC

The $716 billion defense bill signed into law by President Trump on Monday includes a provision that will require outlets like Qatar’s Al Jazeera for the first time to start reporting regularly on its funding and ownership. Read

Monday, August 13, 2018

Leading UK Politician Sparks Uproar With Comments About Burqa-Clad Women

One of Europe’s most liberal countries has joined several others in outlawing the burqa, but when a prominent British politician argued in a column against such a ban he sparked an uproar – for suggesting that women who wear the Islamic covering look like mailboxes or bank robbers. Read

US Clashes With Cuba, Venezuela As UN Approves Leftist Human Rights Chief

The U.N. General Assembly’s quick approval – without a vote – of the next U.N. human rights chief produced a clash between representatives of the U.S., Cuba and Venezuela, following concerns that the Latin American socialist nominated to the post has been sympathetic to the two leftist regimes. Read

Friday, August 10, 2018

Russia Calls New US Sanctions a Deliberate Attempt to Worsen Relations

Moscow accused the Trump administration Thursday of using an alleged nerve gas attack in Britain earlier this year as a “far-fetched pretext” to impose new sanctions on Russia, accusing it of intentionally seeking to worsen bilateral relations. Read

Thursday, August 09, 2018

UN’s New Human Rights Chief, a Socialist, Criticized for Stance on Cuba, Venezuela

Chile’s socialist former president, in line to become the U.N.’s next human rights chief, faces criticism over an apparent reluctance to criticize fellow leftists in Latin America, notably the leaders of Cuba and Venezuela. Read

Rouhani to North Korea: The Americans Can’t Be Trusted

The United States cannot be trusted, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told North Korea’s visiting foreign minister on Wednesday, pointing to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal at a time when he is seeking a denuclearization agreement with Pyongyang. Read

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Trump Dings Mideast Countries With Flashy Official Planes: ‘We Protect Them For Nothing, But That’s Changing’

President Trump took a veiled swipe at unnamed Mideast allies Tuesday night, as he spoke to business leaders about plans to replace the ageing U.S. presidential jet. Read

Ten Years After Short But Costly War, Russian PM Warns of ‘Terrible Conflict’ if NATO Admits Georgia

As Georgia and its supporters mark the tenth anniversary of Russia’s invasion, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned Tuesday that any move by NATO to admit the former Soviet republic “could provoke a terrible conflict.” Read

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Saudi-Canada Spat Over Human Rights Leads to Major Diplomatic Rift

A spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia over human rights has escalated into a major diplomatic rift, with the kingdom expelling Canada’s ambassador, suspending air links, and threatening to relocate thousands of Saudi students from Canada to other countries. Read

Iran Sanctions Restored; Rouhani Scorns Trump’s Offer to Talk

Hours after President Trump signed an executive order reimposing many sanctions on the Iranian regime, President Hassan Rouhani responded distrustfully to his recent offer of talks, calling it an attempt to create divisions within Iran and to win support at home ahead of the midterm congressional elections. Read

Monday, August 06, 2018

Rouhani Under Growing Pressure With US Sanctions, ‘Death to the Dictator’ Protests

As the first U.S. sanctions that were lifted under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resume on Monday, President Hassan Rouhani has agreed to appear on state television and in parliament to address concerns about a deepening crisis, including ongoing anti-regime demonstrations where a protestor was shot dead late last week. Read

Pompeo Shrugs Off North Korean Reproach: ‘Compare It To Last Year’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday played down his North Korean counterpart’s criticism of the U.S. at a regional security conference in Singapore, pointing to the sharp contrast to a year ago, when missiles and threats were flying. Read

Friday, August 03, 2018

Palestinian Authority Labels Terrorist a ‘Martyr,’ Criticizes US Ambassador Over Condolence Visit

The Palestinian Authority looks set to pay the family of a terrorist who stabbed an Israeli to death last week, after condemning as “provocative” a condolence visit paid by the U.S. ambassador to the victim’s widow and two young children. Read

US Military ‘Closely’ Monitoring Iran’s Naval Exercises, After Threats to Gulf Shipping

Iranian forces have launched naval exercises in the Persian Gulf – following veiled threats to oil shipments through the crucial waterway – and the U.S. military says it is keeping a close eye on the situation. Read

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Turkey Vows to Retaliate After US Sanctions Two Ministers Over Brunson Case

Turkey’s Islamist government vowed late Wednesday to respond to the imposition of U.S. sanctions against two of its government ministers over the treatment of an American pastor, and one of the targeted ministers shrugged off the move, saying he had no financial interests in the United States. Read

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Days After US Sanction Threats, Turkish Court Rejects Brunson's Appeal for Release

A diplomatic dispute between the U.S. and Turkey showed no sign of easing Tuesday, with a court rejecting American pastor Andrew Brunson’s appeal against house arrest and a presidential spokesman in Ankara saying that Turkey is “not without alternatives” should the U.S. withhold the sale of F-35 fighter jets. Read

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Chief to Trump: Stay in Your ‘Black House’ and Dream About Talks

The people of Iran will never allow their government to negotiate with “the Great Satan,” the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Tuesday, telling President Trump that he will take his wish “to the grave.” Read