Category: International

Senator Murphy’s Defense Of Hunter Biden Conspicuously Leaves Out One Word . . .

If, as expected, the House impeaches President Donald Trump on the basis of the Ukrainian controversy, the contract of Hunter Biden with the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, will likely be a focus of the defense. That has made some members uneasy since the $50,000 paid every month to Biden is widely viewed as a classic scheme to influence his father, who was the key official in charge of Ukrainian aid and assistance. For that reason, the defense of the Bidens by Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) on CNN’s “State of The Union” drew many Beltway insiders. Murphy however may have highlighted the problem with the omission of a single word.

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Airline Cracks Down On Fat Cats

MIKHAIL_GALIN/INSTAGRAM

Well, at least it does for one fat cat. Mikhail Galin, 34, was barred from taking his cat Viktor on board an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Vladivostok because his cat was too heavy. Faced with a cat over the 17 pound limit and unwilling to put Viktor in with baggage, Galin came up with a clever idea. He got a thinner cat and checked in with it. After the substitute cat was weighed and approved, he swapped the cat with Viktor and tried to board. The problem is Galin boasted on social media and that consequently left him with an engorged feline and no flight pass.

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Saudi Princess: Women Have More Rights In The Kingdom Than The West

Sometimes it takes a princess to truly make a royal fool out of yourself. Last week, Princess Lamia bint Majid spoke to the World Tolerance Summit in Dubai. That appearance alone raised issues of hypocrisy and absurdity. However, what the princess said was breathtaking: that in a country where women have been arrested for driving or moving about without permissions of male relatives, Saudi women enjoy more rights than their apparently oppressed counterparts in the West.

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If The Glands Don’t Fit, You Must Acquit: Prince Andrew Advances Curious Perspiration-Based Defense To Epstein Allegations

It was a defense that would make Johnnie Cochran proud. In an exclusive BBC interview, Prince Andrew insisted that he could not have had sex with an underaged girl arranged by Jeffrey Epstein because he does not perspire and she referenced his “sweating all over me.” This ultimate “no sweat” response is unlikely to convince many given the infamous pictures of the Prince with his arm around Virginia Giuffre at the home of Epstein. It is bad enough to be considered criminal without adding comical in the eyes of your critics. Hence the New York Post headline “His Royal Dryness.”

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Roman Polanski Accused Of New Rape By Former French Model

The concerted public rehabilitation of Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski, 86, took another blow this month after a former French model came forward with a detailed account of a rape that was also supported by two women (including a former girlfriend of Polanski). Valentine Monnier recounted the rape at his chalet to Le Parisien newspaper which allegedly occurred in 1975 when she was 18.

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No, The U.S. Does Not Need European-Style Hate Speech Laws

Below is my column in USA Today on the latest calls for limiting free speech and imposing censorship on political speech. Last week, we discussed the refusal of students to allow former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to speak at Northwestern University and a New Yorker writer calling for the curtailment of free speech. These attacks are coming largely from the left where speech criminalization and censorship has become an article of faith for activists and some Democratic members.

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Toronto Public Library Under Fire For Defending Free Speech

A Canadian library has become the latest flash point over free speech as hundreds of protesters tried to prevent others from hearing the views of a feminist writer who has been critical of transsexual laws guaranteeing equal access to bathrooms and other spaces. To its credit, Toronto Public Library held firm in favor of free speech and refused to be bullied into cancelling the event. Nevertheless, police had to escort the audience out the back to avoid threats from protesters who objected to event featuring Meghan Murphy. It is a disheartening scene in a city with a seal professing “Diversity our strength.” Apparently, diversity of ideas is not one of those strengthens according to the Mayor and city council.

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“Is New Mexico Going To Pay For It?”: Colorado Leaders Respond To Trump’s Declaration That He Is Building A Wall In Colorado

Pundits had a field day after President Donald Trump announced at the Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh that “We’re building a wall in Colorado” when talking about border wall progress on Wednesday afternoon. The best zinger came from Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette who simply asked “Is NEW Mexico going to pay for it?”

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Russians Warn Greeks That United States Will Abandon Them Like It Abandoned The Kurds

We have been discussing the disastrous decision of President Donald Trump to withdraw U.S. forces from the Turkish border with virtually no warning to his own agencies and allies. While some of us support the effort to remove troops from these countries, there is overwhelming condemnation from Republicans and Democrats in how this was done. The Turks have been accused of war crimes and ethnic cleansing as Russia occupies former U.S. bases in the area. Worse yet, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU, has warned our other allies that the United States cannot be trusted and that they must now look to Moscow for a reliable friend: “We warned the Kurds that the Americans would abandon them. And here in Rhodes, I can personally warn the Greeks to think about whether a similar fate awaits them.”

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Rick Perry Accused Of Role In Pushing Ukrainian Gas Company To Appoint A Donor To Its Board

I have been writing on the deepening questions concerning the business deals of Hunter Biden during the Obama Administration — and the failure of media to fully pursue the story. At the same time, I have also supported the investigation into President Donald Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president as a possible impeachable offense. The fact is that corruption is rampant in this city and neither party can credibly claim to be against such corruption. This weekend, a new controversy has arisen over Ukrainian dealings by figures tied to the GOP. At issue are efforts to push for the appointment of Republican allies to the controlling board of Ukraine’s state gas company, Naftogaz, including former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry who allegedly pressured the country to appoint one of his political donors.

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Turkish President Throws Trump Letter Into Trash as Aides Promise “Necessary Steps” Over Disrespect

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s aides made a point of telling U.S. media that Erdogan threw Donald Trump controversial letter to him into the trash and promised to take actions against the United States for the disrespectful content. In the meantime, the Turks are promising to “crush the heads” of the Kurds if they do not withdraw entirely from border areas. Erdogan himself said “we have not forgotten” the letter or its insulting tone.

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Washington Post: Giuliani Pushed To Turn Over Elderly Cleric Wanted By Erdogan

Over the years, I have been highly critical of the performance of Rudolph W. Giuliani as counsel for President Donald Trump. Nevertheless, I was floored by a story in the Washington Post this morning that Giuliani pressed Trump to transfer an elderly Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, to Turkey where he is widely expected to be tortured and killed by the authoritarian Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If true, the effort by Giuliani would succeed in reaching a new low in the various scandals swirling around the White House. Notably, former national security adviser Michael Flynn was reportedly working on the same effort, which I previously criticized as one of lowest tasks ever undertaken for profit. The story reminds me of the old joke about why scientists have started to use lawyers rather than rats in experiments because there are certain things that even rats won’t do.

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LeBron James Denounces Pro-Hong Kong Support By Morey As “Misinformed”

It appears that social justice causes have a strict geographic (and financial) limit — at least for NBA player LeBron James. James, who has defended such protests as the NFL kneelers, ridiculed the tweet by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey in supporting protesters in Hong Kong fighting for the most basic human rights and democratic power. James said that Morey was “misinformed”  and an example of being “not informed about something.” What was Morey misinformed of? The denial of free speech, democratic rights, or basic human rights? How about the threat of Chinese President Xi Jinping to fill the streets with “crushed bodies and shattered bones“? The view of the NBA, and James, appears that Morey was not informed about the billions of dollars to be made in China or the price of supporting people fighting for freedom.

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He Who Must Not Be Named: How Hunter Biden Became A Conversation Stopper

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the media treatment of the Hunter Biden controversy in Ukraine. I continue to marvel at the non sequitur in the mantra that there is “no evidence of wrongdoing” in the contract. What does that mean? Is the sole measure whether the Ukrainians (or even the U.S.) would prosecute a contract as a crime? Wrongdoing would seem to cover any form of corruption or influence peddling — whether or not it constitutes a crime. The fact is that the payment of sweetheart deals to the spouses and siblings is common in both the Ukraine and the United States. Does that make it right? The suggestion is that there is nothing wrong with this contract. Wrongdoing would seemingly include ethical violations and not just what Ukraine would prosecute as a crime (a curious standard for one of the most corrupt countries on Earth). Indeed, many of us have criticized Trump for sometimes suggesting that the criminal code as the measure of presidential conduct. With Biden, Democrats seem to be doing the same thing in dismissing any objections since “it is all perfectly legal.” If that is the case, then most of the criticism of Trump’s conduct can be dismissed as devoid of “evidence of wrongdoing.”

The fact is that there is a great deal wrong with this contract and no one has actually put forward evidence to suggest that the Ukrainians seriously selected Hunter Biden for his energy or business experience. What is left is a raw effort to curry favor with his father with an unjustified and lucrative contract.

Here is the column:

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Turkey’s Proxy Fighters Now Executing Kurdish Civilians in Syria

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

As part of the Turkish Government’s invasion of Syria and attacking of Kurdish border towns–officially known as “Operation Peace Spring”–pro-Ankara mercenary forces began the execution of civilians in Tel Abyad. This included the assassination of a prominent Syrian Kurdish leader and her driver.

Hevrin Khalaf and her driver were “taken out of her car during a Turkish-backed attack and executed by Turkish-backed mercenary factions”, the political arm of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement. “This is a clear evidence that the Turkish state is continuing its criminal policy towards unarmed civilians,” it added. Khalaf was the secretary-general of the Future Syria Party.

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