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After the Election

Comey Testimony Leads to Probe of Former Attorney General Lynch

June 29th 2017

Capitol Senate

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sought information about alleged political interference by President Barack Obama’s handpicked Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the midst of the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private — and unauthorized — email server. The Senate’s inquiry comes as the result of the Judiciary Committee examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director by President Donald Trump.

In April, journalists reported that the FBI had obtained a large number of hacked documents, one of them was alleged to have been written by a Democratic Party minion who said he was confident that Attorney General Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far and causing damage to her presidential campaign. Read more ..


Media on Edge

White House calls out CNN as a 'Disgrace' to Journalism

June 29th 2017

Journalists at press conference

see the video

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders accused CNN of being a "disgrace" to journalism. During a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday, she cited a new undercover video released by Project Veritas in which a CNN news producer suggested that the news media are sensationalizing its coverage of the supposed collusion between Russian agents and members of Donald Trump’s campaign organization. She said that President Trump is "frustrated" by the "constant barrage of fake news" about his administration and the federal investigation into whether his 2016 campaign. 

Read more ..

Media on Edge

Three CNN Journalists Resign after Trump Aide Article Removed

June 27th 2017

CNN

Three journalists have resigned from CNN after the US news network retracted an article alleging a Trump aide was under investigation by Congress.

The story was taken down on Friday following an internal investigation, with an apology to Anthony Scaramucci, an outspoken ally of the president.

Mr Scaramucci said it was not true, accusing the network of attacking President Donald Trump's friends.

Mr Trump responded by taunting CNN in a tweet saying: "FAKE NEWS!"

"Wow, CNN had to retract big story on 'Russia,' with 3 employees forced to resign," he posted on Tuesday morning.

"What about all the other phony stories they do?" Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

White House Releases Late-night Warning to Syria, Iran and Russia

June 27th 2017

Standard Missile 3

In a late-night statement, the White House said the United States discovered "potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack" by the Syrian government.

The statement said the activites are similar to prepartion the "regime made before its April 4, 2017, chemical weapons attack." The US responded to that attack that killed 100 people, including 25 children, by firing 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield that was believed to have carried out the strike on a rebel-held area.

In the statement, the US warned Syria would "pay a heave price" if it proceeds with the attack

"As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," the White House warned Syria. "If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price."

Shortly after the release of the statement, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, sent a warning to Iran and Russia that the US would also blame them if Syria proceeds with another chemical attack. Read more ..


Media on Edge

CNN Deletes and Retracts Story Linking Trump and Russia

June 26th 2017

CNN

CNN is making changes in how it handles stories involving Donald Trump’s potential connections to Russia after the network deleted and retracted a report about a Russian investment fund’s potential ties to several associates of the president.

“No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason first,” CNNMoney executive editor Rich Barbieri said in an email to staff over the weekend, referring to Jason Farkas, a CNN vice president. BuzzFeed was first to report on the email, which said the changes will apply “to social, video, editorial, and MoneyStream. No exceptions.”

So far, CNN hasn’t offered any details why the report was pulled. Brian Stelter, host of the network’s Reliable Sources Sunday show which covers the intersection of media and politics, said in his daily newsletter he had questions about the incident. Read more ..


Europe on Edge

Czech Republic Joins Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in Refusing EU-Imposed Migrants

June 20th 2017

euro flags

The Czech Republic has joined its Central European neighbors in officially announcing a withdrawal from the European Union’s 2015 migrant resettlement program.

After much criticism of the scheme, which seeks to resettle an initial 160,000 migrants from Italy and Greece across EU member states, the Czechs have finally withdrawn citing concerns over security and the ‘’dysfunctionality’’ of what has been criticized as a shambolic program.

Prague had accepted only 12 of the 1,600 migrants required by Brussels before leaving the program, which imposes quotas on all 28 member states under threat of sanction.

The resettlement scheme was the EU’s initial response to the near Biblical wave of migrants which arrived in autumn 2015 following Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders. Read more ..


The Trump Era

AG Jeff Session Calls Out Comey's 'Stunning' Usurpation of Authority

June 14th 2017

Capitol Hill

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that former FBI Director James B. Comey's decision to supersede the authority of Barack Obama's Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, was “stunning.” He explained during his sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that Comey's usurpation of Lynch's authority: “It violates fundamental powers.” It was Comey who announced the termination of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server instead of deferring to Lynch.

Sessions said, that when Comey defended his decision in testimony before last week's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, “that was additional confirmation that the director’s thinking was not clear.” Read more ..


Media on Edge

Kathy Griffin Shows Canceled as Backlash Over Trump Photos Grow

June 3rd 2017

Trump1

Four more theaters announced Thursday they had canceled performances with Kathy Griffin after the comedian posed with a likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head.

Venues in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania canceled November shows. The Community Arts Theater in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, posted on its website that the show had been dropped "due to the recent controversy surrounding Kathy Griffin and the concern for the safety and security of our patrons and staff...."

Earlier this week, CNN said Griffin would no longer co-host its live New Year's Eve special from Times Square, a gig she'd had for more than a decade, and another show was canceled at a New Mexico casino. An endorsement deal with Squatty Potty also ended. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Family of Terror Victim Files Lawsuit Against Pro-Palestinian Groups in U.S.

May 12th 2017

Nathan Lewin and Alyza D. Lewin

Attorneys representing Stanley and Joyce Boim announced today that they have filed a lawsuit against American Muslims for Palestine (“AMP”); Americans for Justice in Palestine Educational Foundation (“AJP”); Rafeeq Jaber; Abdelbasset Hamayel; and Osama Abu Irshaid to hold them liable for a 2004 jury verdict and subsequent federal judgments under the Anti-Terrorism Act that awarded $156 million in damages to the parents of a 17-year-old American student murdered by Hamas.  

The parents of David Boim, who was shot and killed by Hamas gunmen while waiting for a bus to Jerusalem, initiated a lawsuit in 2000 against individual organizations in the United States that provided material support to Hamas.  These groups included the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”); The American Muslim Society (“AMS”); and the Holy Land Foundation (“HLF”). A jury in Chicago’s federal court returned a verdict in the Boims’ favor of $52 million, which was trebled under the 1992 Anti-Terrorism Act (18 USC 2333). Read more ..


After the Vote

FBI Acknowledges Comey Misspoke in Testimony about Clinton emails on Weiner's Laptop

May 9th 2017

Hilary Clinton

FBI Director James Comey misstated key issues in the Hillary Clinton email investigation during his testimony before Congress last week, two people familiar with the investigation have confirmed. 

Comey last week told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Clinton aide Huma Abedin made it a regular practice to forward "hundreds and thousands" of the former Secretary of State's messages -- including those containing classified information -- to her husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner. But, the sources say that while Abedin did occasionally forward emails to Weiner's laptop for printing, the number was far smaller than Comey claimed and it wasn't a usual practice. Furthermore, none of the emails forwarded were marked classified, but later, a small number were found to contain classified information. 

The FBI also acknowledged that Comey misspoke, but did not elaborate on the extent of those inaccuracies or how they might be corrected. The emails on Weiner's laptops were discovered as a part of a sex crimes investigation into Weiner, and threw a wrench into Clinton's campaign just days before the election, when Comey disclosed that more Clinton-related emails were under review. 

Some consider the late October revelation that more Clinton-related emails were discovered tipped the election in favor of now-President Donald Trump. Clinton herself claimed as much last week, when she said she was "on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off."

Mr. Comey, in his recent testimony, said the thought that his actions may have influenced the election made him "mildly nauseous," but that he wouldn't have changed his actions. Read more ..


Broken Borders

Toughest anti-Sanctuary Sanction Signed into Law

May 9th 2017

Border Patrol

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed on Sunday Senate Bill 4, which will ban sanctuary cities in the Lone Star state. Abbott signed the bill, unheralded, during a Facebook Live video. The law allows law enforcement officers, on the one hand, to ask persons they stop or detain about their immigration status, while on the other hand, the law may mean jail time for police, sheriffs, and constables who refuse to comply with detainer requests from federal immigration officials. 
 
Some local law enforcement officials have announced they will comply, while others say the law will be problematic. "SB 4 is bad for public safety," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Friday. "It will not make our streets safer." He and Sheriff Javier Salazar of Bexar County contend that the law will comprise public trust in law enforcement among illegal aliens. "They feel they can't come to me, their Bexar County sheriff, because they're more terrified of being deported," Salazar said.
Read more ..

Broken Borders

President Trump Releases Data on Imprisoned Criminal Aliens for First Time

May 6th 2017

Prison bars

For years, the federal government has failed to report the number of criminal aliens locked up in federal and state prisons, as well as local jails. Experts in penology have often complained that politicians and members of the news media are hesitant to discuss any connection between illegal aliens — many of whom are already felons since they’ve re-entered the country after being deported — and criminal acts such as murder, rape, robbery and other felonies.

President Trump’s Executive Order on Public Safety in the Interior of the United States now requires the Department of Justice to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on data collection efforts. The data in this release shows a significant prison population of incarcerated aliens. Read more ..


The Edge of Justice

Huma Abedin's Cousin Revealed Indicted

April 30th 2017

Hillary Clinton

Huma Abedin is once again attracting the attention of federal law enforcement in spite of the Democratic Party and news media cabal covering up reports and other documents revealing allegations of criminal activity by Abedin family members.

Two of Abedin’s relativesboth of them first cousins — are in serious trouble with the FBI and both Abedin and her former boss, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, are said to be an important characters in a very intricate investigation.

Besides covering up her alleged connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, Huma Abedin had all of the Democrats calling the Muslim Brotherhood a “moderate” Islamic organization, despite its being listed on terrorism watch lists from a number of Muslim countries including Egypt, the nation from where the group sprang.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have been prosecuting two of Huma Abedin’s family members for conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud. According to the investigators, Huma Abedin and the U.S. Department of State, where she served as Hillary Clinton’s “right-hand woman,” are mentioned in the case files. Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

Assad Still Has 'Hundreds Of Tons' Of Chemicals Stockpiled--Former Syrian Weapons Research Chief

April 29th 2017

Syria's chemicals

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to retain hundreds of tonnes of his country's chemical stockpile after deceiving United Nations inspectors sent in to dismantle it, according to Syria’s former chemical weapons research chief and other experts.

Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat – who served as head of chemical warfare in the powerful 5th Division of the military until he defected in 2013 – told The Telegraph that Assad’s regime failed to declare large amounts of sarin and its precursor chemicals. 

Syria handed over what it said was its entire chemical arsenal to the UN’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2014 under a deal negotiated by the US and Russia after hundreds of people were killed in a sarin gas attack in the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.

Read more ..

The North Korean Threat

North Korea Missile Attempts Fails

April 16th 2017

N Korean troops

A North Korean missile fired from the east coast of the country Sunday “blew up almost immediately,” officials said.

The U.S. Pacific Command said the missile, which came near the city of Sinpo, “blew up almost immediately,” but the type of missile was still being assessed.

The failure came one day after Pyongyang celebrated one of the biggest propaganda events of the year – the 105th birthday of the late North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather.

The failed launch also comes ahead of Vice President Pence’s arrival in Seoul, South Korea for talks about how to handle Kim’s regime. Pence had been in contact with President Trump about the test. Read more ..


The Wall

Trump’s Top Cop Announces Plan to Prioritize Criminal Alien Cases

April 15th 2017

US Border Patrol arrest

Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to the US-Mexico border, to speak with Department of Homeland Security personnel. Sessions told U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the Port of Nogales in Arizona that more illegal immigrants should be prosecuted as criminals. According to Sessions’ memo (See video below), The person in the position known as a border security coordinator, will be directed to coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure border security prosecutions.

During his remarks, the Attorney General announced that he has issued a memorandum  to United States Attorneys that mandates the prioritization of criminal immigration enforcement. The memo directs federal prosecutors to focus on particular offenses that, if aggressively charged and prosecuted, can help prevent and deter illegal immigration. Read more ..


Christians at Risk

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Church Bombings In Egypt

April 10th 2017

Coptic Girl

Egypt's president called for a three-month state of emergency Sunday after at least 44 people were killed and more than 100 more were injured in two Palm Sunday suicide attacks at Coptic Christian churches, each carried out by the ISIS terror group.

Sunday's first blast happened at St. George Church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, where at least 27 people were killed and 78 others wounded, officials said.

Television footage showed the inside of the church, where a large number of people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers.

A second explosion – which Egypt’s Interior Ministry says was caused by a suicide bomber who tried to storm St. Mark's Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria -- left at least 17 dead, and 48 injured. The attack came just after Pope Tawadros II -- leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria -- finished services, but aides told local media that he was unharmed. Read more ..


Israel on Edge

Russia Recognizes ‘West Jerusalem’ as Israel’s Capital

April 7th 2017

Jerusalem flags

In a statement released today by its Foreign Ministry on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Russia took the unusual step of removing ambiguity about its stance on West Jerusalem. After explaining that it is “deeply concerned” about the absence of active negotiations between Israel and the Arabs on the creation of an Arab state in Judea and Samaria, Russia spelled out its stance on Jerusalem. “We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” read the statement.

Read more ..

The Edge of Defense

Glove Biosensor Detects Nerve Agents

April 6th 2017

Worker contemplates nuclear waste

An international team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the Australia-based Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have devised a disposable 'lab-on-a-glove' enabling the wearer to identify health-threatening biochemical agents through a simple and secure swipe across a surface to be tested.

The researchers used tailor-made printable inks stencil-printed as serpentine patterns on regular purple nitrile powder-free exam gloves to create stretchable, yet robust conductive circuits. The thumb is used as a sample collection surface and only sports a printed stretchable carbon disk to ensure the adhesion of analyte residues.

At the tip of the index, part of an electrochemical cell is printed, immobilizing the enzyme organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH) capped with a conductive semi-solid gel matrix (covering an enzymatic OPH/Nafion layer) for analyte diffusion from the collection pad towards the OPH enzyme layer on the working electrode. The enzyme reacts to the presence of organophosphate (OP) compounds, also known as nerve agents for their high neurotoxicity.

Read more ..

Combatting Jew Hatred

Initial Victory For Plaintiffs in Path-Breaking Lawsuit Against ASA For its Boycott of Israel

April 3rd 2017

boycott Israel t-shirt

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia (D.C.) has rejected efforts by the American Studies Association (ASA) to suppress a lawsuit filed against the Association by its own members challenging the ASA’s adoption of a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. The judge ruled in favor of the ASA professors in four out of six claims, and authorized the case to go forward.

According to the plaintiffs, the boycott adopted by ASA in December 2013 was a concerted effort by a small number of BDS activists, including founding members of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), who abused their leadership positions in ASA to make anti-Israel activism the central focus of the Association. They charge that ASA’s activism breached its contractual duty to its members, and that the boycott was pushed through in violation of the ASA’s own rules governing how votes should be conducted. Read more ..


The Trump Era

Republican Trump Supporter leaves Freedom Caucus

March 27th 2017

Capitol Building at night

Republican Rep. Ted Poe of Texas has left the House Freedom Caucus after the group of Tea Party-oriented Republicans opposed the American Health Care Act, which had received support from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) as a replacement for Obamacare. A vote on what has come to be termed “Ryancare” was scheduled for a vote on Friday, but was pulled because of opposition it faced from the Freedom Caucus and other Republicans.
 
"I have resigned from the House Freedom Caucus," Poe said in a statement. "In order to deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward. Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do. Leaving this caucus will allow me to be a more effective Member of Congress and advocate for the people of Texas. It is time to lead."
 
The Freedom Caucus does not publish the names of its members. However, among those who had acknowledged their membership are Reps. Joe Barton, Louie Gohmert, and Randy Weber.
Read more ..

The Trump Era

Court Decision Upholds Trump's Travel Ban

March 25th 2017

airplanes shadows

A federal judge in Virginia ruled Friday against blocking President Trump’s executive order that called for temporarily stopping the entry of immigrants from six majority-Muslim nations and refugee admittance overall.

 
Judge Anthony Trenga of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found on Friday that President Trump indeed has the authority to impose a travel ban on certain Muslim-majority countries, while he also agreed that the president’s executive order does not discriminate against Muslims. Linda Sarsour -- a Muslim activist who was an organizer of the January 21 Women’s March on Washington -- had initiated an injunction against the executive order with legal counsel from an attorney of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Mayor of London: "Terror is Just a Part of City Life"

March 23rd 2017

Armed British police 10 Downing Street

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has come in for more scrutiny in the wake of a terrorist incident in the British capital that left three innocent persons dead at the hands of a terrorist. When Khan visited New York in September 2016, he was shocked to hear a terrorist bomb detonate on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood. An Afghan national was later arrested in connection with the incident. In response to the bombing in New York, Khan said that living with terrorism is "part and parcel of living in a big city." In an interview with the Evening Standard, Khan said, "is a reality I’m afraid that London, New York, other major cities around the world have got to be prepared for these sorts of things. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

EMET Issues Praise for DOJ Tamimi Extradition Request

March 19th 2017

Sorrow-Pain

The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to publicly charge Palestinian terrorist Ahlam Tamimi. Ahlam Tamimi planned and implemented a bombing that killed and injured American citizens in a Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem in 2001. The group issued the following statement.

"On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, the DOJ’s criminal complaint was unsealed, charging Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, also known as “Khalti” and “Halati,” a Jordanian national in her mid-30s, with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals outside the U.S., resulting in death. Also unsealed was a warrant for Al-Tamimi’s arrest and an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint and arrest warrant. The DOJ charge is related to Tamimi’s planning and implementing of a suicide bombing at a Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem on Aug. 9, 2001, that killed 15 people. Read more ..


The Edeg of Terrorism

DOJ Charges Hamas Member For 2001 Jerusalem Attack That Killed Americans

March 15th 2017

Hamas Terrorists

Read more ..

Jewry on Edge

Stunning Court Decision Approves Passover Punishment

February 6th 2017

judge's gavel

Three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit surprisingly rejected the appeal of Susan Abeles a Washington D.C., Orthodox Jew, who was punished by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) because she took off work for the last two days of Passover 2013, as she had done for the past 26 years that she worked at the agency. Abeles’ closely-watched case evoked amicus briefs by the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs (COLPA) as well as The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the American Jewish Committee. Ms. Abeles' lawyer is Nathan Lewin, the well-known advocate for Jewish religious rights."

For each of the 26 years Abeles worked for the Airports Authority since 1987, she took off for all Jewish holidays on which work is prohibited, including the last two days of Passover. Everyone at her job knew she was an Orthodox Jew. She consistently gave her supervisors a list of the dates of Jewish holidays at the beginning of each calendar year and her supervisors accepted that list as a request for annual leave on the specified Jewish holidays.

Read more ..

The Trump Era

US Ambassador Friedman to Reside in Jerusalem

January 24th 2017

Jerusalem flags

The new American Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has decided not to live in the Ambassador's Residence in Herzliya, and rather declared his intention to "work and live in Jerusalem." Although his appointment has not yet been approved by the Senate, Friedman is expected to arrive in Israel at the end of February and assume his position as ambassador. In private talks, Friedman expressed his intention to live in Jerusalem regardless of the decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Friedman owns a spacious apartment in the Talbiyeh neighborhood of Jerusalem, which he visits several times per year.

Read more ..

The Trump Era

Trump Meets Son of Martin Luther King Jr.

January 17th 2017

Donald Trump Laconia NM Michael Vadon Jul 16 2015 03

Besides posting on Twitter his call for Americans to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President-elect Donald Trump received the son of the civil rights icon today at Trump Tower. Martin Luther King III said in the lobby of the building that the meeting with Trump was “constructive.”

The son of the revered civil rights leader, when asked what his father’s message to Trump would be, answered: “I think my father would be concerned about the fact that there are 50 million people living in poverty in this country. We have to create a climate for all votes to be lifted. It’s insanity we have poor people in nation.”

“When we work together, we know we can roll up our sleeves,” he said. “There is nothing we as Americans can’t do.”

Read more ..

The Race for EVs

Tesla Gigafactory Starts Vattery Production

January 9th 2017

Better Place EV charging

Tesla (Palo Alto, CA) and Panasonic (Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture, Japan) have started production of lithium ion battery cells at Tesla's 'Gigafactory' in Nevada.

The factory started production of cylindrical 2170 cells that will be used for battery packs in Tesla's Powerpack and Powerwall home energy storage systems (above). Cells for the Model 3 electric vehicles will follow in Q2 of 2017.

The cells are jointly developed by the two companies and are 21mm in diameter and 70mm high, giving the 2170 designation, with a capacity of 5175mAh. This is wider and longer than the previous cells that have been used in Tesla systems from third party suppliers. 

Read more ..

The Trump Era

Sen. Charles Schumer Regrets Democrats Created "Nuclear Option"

January 5th 2017

Lobbyist

The new Senate minority leader, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) said this week that he regrets using the so-called “nuclear option” that changed the deliberative body’s parliamentary rules. The “nuclear option” allows the confirmation of Cabinet nominees with just 51 votes instead of 60 votes. Speaking in an interview with CNN, Schumer mused, “Wish it hadn’t happened.”
 
 
Democrats were in the majority in 2013 when the reform was passed and when they were anxious to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominees. Ironically, it now makes confirming President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees easier for Republicans.
Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Slain Partiers Came To Istanbul From Near And Far To Celebrate The New Year

January 2nd 2017

Turkish KFOR soldiers riot training

Leanne Nasser was a bright-eyed Arab Israeli teenager, in Istanbul with friends for New Year’s despite her father’s concerns about safety. Fatih Cakmak, who survived a bomb attack only weeks ago, was hired to work security for a popular nightclub.

Both were among those who died early Sunday when a gunman, brandishing an assault rifle, stormed Istanbul’s famed Reina club on the banks of the Bosporus, gunning down unsuspecting New Year’s revelers in a rampage that was one of the city’s worst mass killings in recent memory.

The assailant remained at large Sunday night and unidentified except for blurred glimpses of him in security camera footage that showed gunshots sparking off the pavement and victims crumpling to the ground. Thirty-nine people were killed, many of them foreigners, in the latest in a string of assaults that have roiled Turkey as it battles insurgents at home and across the border in war-torn Syria. At least 70 people were wounded.

Read more ..

Vote 2016

Judges Rule that Hillary Clinton's Hidden Emails Must Be Referred for Criminal Action

December 28th 2016

Hillary Clinton

The three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously today that an Obama appointee to a lower court had erred when he threw out a pair of lawsuits that had sought to force the State Department and the National Archives to refer thousands of Hillary Clinton’s hidden emails to the Department of Justice. Judicial Watch and Cause of Action both filed separate lawsuits in 2015 that called on Secretary of State John Kerry and National Archivist David Ferriero to require that they refer Clinton’s emails for a possible civil suit.
 
The issue of Clinton’s private email server and the thousands of emails she has yet to submit for scrutiny dogged her throughout her unsuccessful presidential campaign. Donald Trump said during one of their several debates that he would demand a criminal investigation of her tenure at the State Department.
 
Writing for the federal appeals court, D.C. Circuit Judge Stephen Williams stated that the State Department’s multiple requests to Clinton and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for copies of Clinton's emails were not necessarily enough to fulfill the department's obligation to seek missing messages. "Even though those efforts bore some fruit, the Department has not explained why shaking the tree harder — e.g., by following the statutory mandate to seek action by the Attorney General — might not bear more still.
Read more ..

The Caliphate

'Islamic State' Claims Responsibility for Berlin Attack

December 21st 2016

ISIS Army

The so-called "Islamic State" (IS) on Tuesday said the driver of the truck that plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday evening was "targeting citizens of the Crusader coalition," according to the group's news agency Amaq. 

Earlier, German prosecutors announced the release of a 23-year-old Pakistani detained in connection with the truck attack, citing a lack of evidence.

On Tuesday night, following the announcement that the suspect had been released, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told broadcaster ZDF that "it is true that one cannot rule out that the perpetrator is still at large." He also warned that it was too early to draw political conclusions from the incident.

Authorities had arrested the asylum seeker on suspicion of driving the truck, which killed 12 and injured at least 48.  Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Prosecutors Try to Refocus Rasmieh Odeh Case

December 14th 2016

jail door blue

Attorneys for Palestinian bomber Rasmieh Odeh want to delay her re-trial on naturalization fraud for two months, pointing to a superseding indictment in the case.

The new charging document, which has not yet been filed publicly, still includes just the one count of naturalization fraud against Odeh, who has become a heroic figure among Palestinian advocates. But it includes "additional facts to support the charges," a press release Tuesday from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit said.

The original indictment emphasized Odeh's "no" answers to immigration officials when asked several times whether she ever had been arrested, convicted or imprisoned. During her 2014 trial, Odeh claimed she thought the question only applied to her time in the United States. In fact, she was arrested and spent 10 years in an Israeli prison for her role in two 1969 bombings, one of which killed two college students.

"The new indictment ... also alleges that Odeh, in seeking naturalization, also falsely answered two additional questions on her application form relating to her association with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization," the government news release said.

By emphasizing Odeh's membership in a terrorist organization, the prosecution appears to be trying to narrow the focus of the case just a week after a federal judge's ruling broadly expanded it.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain granted Odeh a new trial, this time allowing testimony claiming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, triggered by alleged Israeli torture, caused her to "filter" out her terrorist past when answering the immigration questions. Read more ..


Iran's Nukes

Democrats Challenge Obama on Withholding Unclassified Iran Deal Docs

December 7th 2016

Iranian clerics

Top Democratic lawmakers are challenging the Obama administration's decision to keep a range of unclassified documents related to the Iran nuclear deal away from the public eye, amid mounting calls from Trump insiders and Republican lawmakers urging the incoming Trump administration to release the documents.

Democratic senators who both supported and opposed the Iran deal told THE WEEKLY STANDARD on Tuesday that the relevant documents, which have been reported to include secret concessions to Iran, should not be kept in the secure locations on Capitol Hill known as Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs), where they cannot be accessed by the public and some congressional staffers. Read more ..


Vote 2016

Obama-appointed Judge allows Stein to Jump Gun in Vote Recount

December 5th 2016

Vote Buttons

A federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama has ordered a hand recount of 4.8 million ballots in the state of Michigan. The order was issued past midnight during the pre-dawn hours of December 5. Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has succeeded in getting recounts considered in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, while Hillary Clinton’s campaign has decided to participate as well.
 
The decision came even though the balloting for Michigan was called in favor of Donald Trump on November 28, twenty days after the general election. Trump won by a bare margin of 11,000 votes. Michigan has sixteen Electoral College votes. 
 
A full recount of the ballots in Michigan is believed to be impossible by the December 13 deadline. There has been no evidence offered of fraud. In addition, Michigan uses paper ballots instead of electronic voting machines (as is the case in Pennsylvania) that can be remotely hacked.
Read more ..

The Iranian Threat

Iran May Seek Naval Bases In Yemen Or Syria: Chief Of Staff

November 28th 2016

Iranian navy ship and guard

Iran may seek to set up naval bases in Yemen or Syria in the future, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces said in remarks published on Sunday.

His comments, likely to be of concern to Shi'ite Iran's Sunni regional rival Saudi Arabia and its allies, raised the prospect of distant footholds perhaps being more valuable militarily to Tehran than nuclear technology.

"We need distant bases, and it may become possible one day to have bases on the shores of Yemen or Syria, or bases on islands or floating (bases)," said General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, quoted by the Shargh daily newspaper.

"Is having distant bases less than nuclear technology? I say it is worth dozens of times more," added Baqeri, who was speaking at a gathering of naval commanders.

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Japan on Edge

All Tsunami Alerts Lifted After 7.4 Quake Rocks Northern Japan

November 22nd 2016

sunset in japan

Japan lifted all tsunami alerts after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake off the coast of Fukushima, home to the nuclear power plant crippled in the March 2011 triple disaster.

The temblor, an aftershock of the magnitude 9 quake five years ago, briefly knocked offline a cooling system for spent nuclear fuel at a separate Fukushima plant, and prompted authorities to issue the highest tsunami warnings for five years.

It struck at 5:59 a.m. local time Tuesday at a depth of 25 kilometers (15.5 miles), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, causing a tsunami of more than 1 meter on the coast of Miyagi prefecture and smaller waves elsewhere. Read more ..


The Trump Era

Bernie Marcus, Home Depot Founder/Pro-Israel Philanthropist Defends Bannon

November 17th 2016

Donald Trump Laconia NM Michael Vadon Jul 16 2015 03

The Republican Jewish Coalition is defending Breitbart News chairman and newly-named chief White House strategist Steve Bannon from charges of anti-Semitism.

“I have been shocked and saddened to see the recent personal attacks on Steve,” RJC board member Bernie Marcus said in a Tuesday statement to Time. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

President-elect Donald Trump drew criticism on Monday by granting Bannon a senior role in his administration despite Breitbart’s prominent role in promoting the anti-Semitic alt-right. The Anti-Defamation League said that “he & his alt right are so hostile to core American values,” while the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed outthat Bannon’s appointment was met with cheers from white supremacist websites. Read more ..


Vote 2016

Trump Affirms U.S. Embassy Move To Jerusalem

November 3rd 2016

Jerusalem-Temple and Wall

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has signed onto a pro-Israel letter, presented to him by a Christian Zionist group, calling for, among other things, the U.S. Embassy to be moved to Jerusalem.

The letter was initiated by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, a Christian Zionist organization, and its network, the American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI), which represents 60 million evangelical Christians.

In the letter, the ACLI asked both presidential candidates to affirm the following: relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, renew and strengthen America’s Memorandum of Understanding with Israel, combat efforts to boycott, divest or sanction Israel, monitor and impose any new sanctions on Iran and oppose any outside solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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