Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Killing of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

A CIA investigation has concluded that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in early October, officials with knowledge of the investigation told The Washington Post.

The CIA made its assessment with “high confidence” that the 15 Saudi agents who flew on government aircraft to Istanbul were acting on Mohammed’s orders, despite denials from Saudi Arabia that the crown prince had any involvement.

A U.S. official told The Washington Post that “The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without [Mohammed] being aware or involved.” Meanwhile, a Saudi spokeswoman said the CIA’s claims in the “purported assessment are false. We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations.” . . .

What’s the possible motive? Mohammed had reportedly told Bolton and White House adviser Jared Kushner that he felt Khashoggi was a dangerous Islamist who was too sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Sanctions come down: The Trump administration sanctioned 17 people: The 15 people directly involved in the killing, the Saudi consul general in Turkey, and a senior adviser to the crown prince. The Saudi government agreed with the U.S. about the 17 people involved, despite the disagreement about crown prince Mohammed’s knowledge and involvement. (Read more from “Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Killing of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi” HERE)

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Tijuana Mayor Denounces ‘Horde’ of Caravan Migrants

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said Thursday that caravan migrants arriving by the hundreds are no longer welcome, an increasingly common sentiment among residents of the Mexican border city.

Gastelum described the caravan of Central American migrants as a “horde” that has been infiltrated by criminals who now threaten the community, in an interview with Milenio Television.

“Tijuana is a city of immigrants, but we don’t want them in this way,” the mayor, a member of the conservative National Action Party, said. “It was different with the Haitians, they carried papers, they were in order. It wasn’t a horde, pardon the expression.” . . .

The 4,000-strong caravan, a mix of families seeking asylum and economic migrants, continues to arrive in Tijuana after a journey of more than 2,500 miles from Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border. Caravan organizers could have chosen a much shorter route to the border near the southern tip of Texas, but opted for Tijuana in part because the city had already hosted a similar group in April.

But the arrival of another caravan has frustrated local officials and residents who worry that the massive group of homeless Central Americans will be stuck in Tijuana indefinitely. U.S. border authorities are processing about 90 asylum seekers per day at the ports of entry near Tijuana, where there was a wait list of more than 3,000 people even before the caravan arrived. (Read more from “Tijuana Mayor Denounces ‘Horde’ of Caravan Migrants” HERE)

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Iran to Be Declared in Breach of Chemical Weapons Bans

The Trump administration is set to announce that Iran is not in compliance with the Chemical Weapons Conventions, marking a significant departure from that of the Obama administration, which refrained from making such a declaration amid efforts to solidify the landmark nuclear agreement.

The declaration comes in the aftermath of a flurry of activity by both the White House and State Department highlighting Iran’s malign activities across the globe. A bevy of economic sanctions on Iran were reimposed earlier this month, and the chemical weapons action is likely to further tighten the noose on the Iranian regime as part of what the administration has called a “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran. . .

Multiple sources with knowledge of the matter confirmed that next week the Trump administration will transmit a formal finding to Congress regarding Iran’s non-compliance with the conventions, which ban stockpiling and use of these lethal weapons. . .

“No one who’s actually an adult is surprised by this news,” said the source, who could only speak on background about upcoming actions. “The Iranians have never met an arms control agreement they didn’t violate. That’s why the nuclear deal was such a transparent joke. The IAEA verifies what it’s allowed to verify and on everything else the Iranians cheat. The Trump administration should draw the logical conclusion and force the Europeans out of the deal, which so far they’ve refused to do.” (Read more from “Iran to Be Declared in Breach of Chemical Weapons Bans” HERE)

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North Korea Just Released Another American Citizen

The State Department announced Friday afternoon North Korea has released an American citizen.

“The United States appreciates the cooperation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the embassy of Sweden in facilitating the release of an American citizen,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released in a statement. “The United States is grateful for the sustained support of Sweden, our protecting power in North Korea, for its advocacy on behalf of American citizens. The safety and well-being of Americans remains one of the highest priorities of the Trump Administration.” . . .

“Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo’s meeting with officials from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, scheduled for this week in New York, will now take place at a later date,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert released in a statement last week. “We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit. Ongoing conversations continue to take place. The United States remains focused on fulfilling the commitments agreed to by President Trump and Chairman Kim at the Singapore Summit in June.” (Read more from “North Korea Just Released Another American Citizen” HERE)

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Central American Caravan Has Arrived at the Southern Border. Here’s Their Plan Moving Forward.

The caravan traveling from Central America to the United States has officially arrived at the United States-Mexico border in Tijuana, just south of San Diego, California, The New York Times reported. The illegal aliens on the caravan have survived the dangerous trek thus far but now they’re in for real trouble: figuring out how to get into the United States, especially now that the military was deployed.

President Donald Trump has promised to make it impossible for illegal aliens to seek asylum so caravan riders are considering their options. Some are setting up appointments with border patrol officials in hopes of pleading their case, others are contemplating staying in Mexico while another section will probably cross the border illegally. . .

According to César Anibal Palencia Chavez, Tijuana’s director of migrant services, 2,800 illegal aliens not associated with the group are currently waiting for asylum in the United States. They, too, are waiting in local shelters.

Chavez said Tijuana and Baja Mexico pleaded for the Mexican federal government to help the city with the influx of people – something they consider a “humanitarian crisis” – but they have not received a response.

“The federal government is not accompanying us,” he said. “It’s worrisome for a city to be left alone.” (Read more from “Central American Caravan Has Arrived at the Southern Border. Here’s Their Plan Moving Forward.” HERE)

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Trump v. Macron Defines the Clash of Nationalism Against European Progressivism

The fundamental philosophical differences between the leaders of the United States and France have spilled out into a full-blown public rhetorical spat. On Tuesday, President Trump fired back at French President Emmanuel Macron following the latter’s rhetorical shots directed at the America-first policies of the Trump White House.

In a tweetstorm this morning, the president unleashed a series of messages directed at Macron’s government:

Surely, the legacy media will denounce President Trump for his attack on the legitimacy of the elected President of France and his promotion of Macron’s nationalist rivals in Paris. However, it’s important to note that POTUS is merely counterpunching here, following the French president’s passive-aggressive attack this weekend.

Over the weekend, Macron delivered a speech at the Armistice Day anniversary (a ceremony recognizing the soldiers of World War I) in which he denounced the concept of nationalism. The denunciation was widely interpreted as a not-so-veiled shot at President Trump’s political philosophy.

“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron proclaimed, adding, “By saying, ‘Our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace and what is essential: its moral values.”

The two world leaders have had a complicated relationship since President Trump took office. They have for quite some time maintained somewhat cordial personal relations, even though they remain at odds over major policy issues, such as the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accords, tax and tariff policies, and their personal political philosophies. It appears their political differences have finally morphed into a fiercely personal clash.

Macron’s “globalist” political philosophy, which denounces nationalism as a force for evil, accurately represents the progressive movement in Western Europe, which seeks to continually centralize power in the bureaucratic behemoth that is the European Union. Macron has anti-nationalist allies in several progressive Western European nations. Today, one of Macron’s staunchest ideological allies, Germany’s Angela Merkel, called for an EU-backed joint army, which would wholly undermine the NATO alliance and the transatlantic alliance with the United States.

Macron’s campaign against nationalism comes in the heat of a legacy media and progressive political smear campaign against the tenets of nationalism. Many are weaponizing the term and smearing nationalism as a “white supremacist” philosophy akin to the Nazi regime’s ideology.

Simply put, nationalism is the preference for one’s country over another, while patriotism can be defined as having immense pride in one’s country. For conservatives, both nationalism and patriotism are healthy forces when focused in a state that advances and protects the individual rights of its citizens. Those two forces provide for a more stable world, in which sovereign states can treat each other with mutual respect and dignity. (For more from the author of “Trump v. Macron Defines the Clash of Nationalism Against European Progressivism” please click HERE)

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Vatican Halts U.S. Bishop Attempts to Address Sex Abuse Scandal

On Monday, Catholic News Agency reported that the Vatican has cancelled the US bishops’ vote on reform measures that were intended to address the clergy sex abuse crisis.

The article from CNA states that according to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), American bishops will not be permitted to vote on two important proposals set before them. The proposals had been expected to lay the foundation for the Church’s response to widespread accusations of sexual abuse from around the country. . .

The bishops had been considering–and planning to vote upon–both a new code of conduct for bishops, and the establishment of a body of lay-led people to investigate bishops accused of sexual misconduct.

But now the Vatican has decided that the discussion and vote will, at the very least, be delayed–supposedly until after Pope Francis has held a special meeting in Rome slated for February. The meeting, according to the Vatican, will include bishops’ conference presidents from all over the world, and will allegedly address the sexual abuse crisis from a global perspective.

Prior to the US bishops’ assembly in Baltimore, two documents had been circulating. One of them was a draft for a new Standards of Conduct for bishops, and the other was a proposal to form a special lay “investigative commission” intended to look into claims of abuse against bishops. (Read more from “Vatican Halts U.S. Bishop Attempts to Address Sex Abuse Scandal” HERE)

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Hamas Fires Record Number of Rockets at Israel

Starting on Monday afternoon, Hamas fired at least 400 rockets at southern Israel, the highest number or rockets fired by Hamas in its years-long war against the Jewish state. A 40-year-old Palestinian man was killed and a 40-year-old woman was critically injured when a rocket fired from Gaza hit a residential building in Ashkelon, as Israel National News reported.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, asked the U.N. Security council to condemn the firing of rockets from Gaza, but while Hamas was attempting to murder as many Jews as they could, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pusillanimously urged all sides to exercise maximum restraint. His spokesman, Farhan Haq, stated, “He urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint. The United Nations Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, is working closely with Egypt and all concerned parties to restore calm.”

anon had stated, ” … after a day of rocket barrages, there is no room for any other definition of Hamas except that of terrorist organization. To the world it presents its civilians as victims, but then uses them as human shields … Israel cooperated with all international bodies, including the U.N., but the aggressive escalation from Gaza indicates that there are elements pushing for another round of violence that will cause destruction and losses within the Gaza Strip.”

Israel Defense Force fighter jets, attack helicopters, aircraft and tanks retaliated by aiming at 70 Hamas and Islamic Jihad military targets, including the Al-Aqsa TV Broadcasting Station and Hamas’ military intelligence headquarters. The high rise building is located in the Al-Farqan neighborhood of the northern Gaza Strip and serves Hamas’ intelligence operatives for intelligence gathering against the State of Israel.

(Read more from “Hamas Fires Record Number of Rockets at Israel” HERE)

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Clueless Alert: Macron Says He Needs an Army to Defend France From the United States

Displaying a dazzling lack of connection with reality and utter contempt for the United States, last week French President Emmanuel Macron called for creating an independent European army.

“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia, and even the United States of America,” he said. Such a thought is not new in France. However, the idea that Europe needs an army to defend itself against the United States demonstrates a hitherto unknown level of hostility by an “allied” leader.

The timing of Macron’s remarks is also baffling. He said this just days before the centennial commemoration of the end of the First World War. One hundred years ago, the United States of America deployed 2.1 million men to Europe to expel the German Imperial Army from France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The war was nearly lost to the Germans in 1917 after the French army mutinied and Czarist Russia quit the war as a result of the Bolshevik (Communist) Revolution. . .

After the bloody losses of Verdun and the blunders at the Somme in 1916, there was no way the Allies could win the war without the might and power of the United States. One of America’s largest and bloodiest campaigns in its history was the Meuse Argonne Offensive, which began on September 26, 1918 and lasted until the Germans signed an armistice to end the war on November 11, 1918.

The American Expeditionary Forces, under the command of Gen. John “Blackjack” Pershing, were asked to attack the most heavily fortified and thickly defended part of the Western Front between the Meuse River and the ancient Argonne Forest. This would threaten German supply lines and thereby draw off their strategic reserve divisions. (Read more from “Clueless Alert: Macron Says He Needs an Army to Defend France From the United States” HERE)

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LGBT Members of Migrant Caravan First to Reach U.S. Border, Received Anonymous Help

A group of LGBT migrants arrived in Tijuana this weekend after reportedly breaking off from the larger U.S.-bound caravan due to verbal harassment and poor living conditions.

About 76 LGBT members of the caravan, which has about 3,600 members, described inter-caravan persecution and poor planning interfering with the members’ ability to eat and bathe on a regular basis, according to Telemundo 20 in San Diego. . .

An anonymous group paid for the small group of LGBT migrants to take a bus to the border. They said just like in their native country, they endured verbal abuse while they traveled with the large migrant group, which is expected to reach the U.S. border in about 2-3 weeks. . .

Sunday night, the rest of the caravan spent the night in Guanajuato, with plans to head to Guadalajara on Monday. The caravan continues to be spread out, with young men 100 miles or so ahead and women, children and families following behind.

A second caravan of 1,800 people is in Puebla, three days behind the main caravan, according to Mexican media reports. A third caravan of 2,000 people is about four days behind the main caravan. (Read more from “LGBT Members of Migrant Caravan First to Reach U.S. Border, Received Anonymous Help” HERE)

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