attack

The New York University (NYU) student who partly blamed Chelsea Clinton for the New Zealand mosque shootings also expressed her displeasure Monday with Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar for supporting a two-state solution.

NYU senior Leen Dweik quote-tweeted Omar’s tweet, which reads, “When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we must fight for self-determination, security and people for both peoples. That’s why I support a two-state solution,” adding that she is “very disappointed w[ith] this, two-state is neither viable nor just.”

Omar’s tweet was a part of a thread detailing her foreign policy stances that she also addressed in a Friday op-ed with The Washington Post.

Leen Dweik twitter screenshot

Leen Dweik twitter screenshot (3/18/2019)

Dweik was one of the activists who confronted Clinton at the school’s vigil for those killed in New Zealand on Friday, claiming that her rhetoric toward Omar led to the attack. Dweik’s criticism of Clinton was in response to the comments Clinton made against Omar last month after the Minnesota congresswoman accused the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of buying pro-Israel support.

Clinton tweeted to Omar in response to the accusation, saying, “Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.” (RELATED: House Overwhelmingly Approves Motion To Condemn Anti-Semitism Amid Omar Fallout)

Omar’s comments were widely criticized by members of both political parties, and she eventually apologized and deleted the tweet.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

The hate-Trump media's attempts to tie the mass shootings in New Zealand to President Donald Trump "is hateful, dishonest, and insulting the American public," Bill O'Reilly said on Newsmax TV.

"As soon as I saw the Trump haters try to tie the president of the United States into mass murder in New Zealand, I turned the channel – I turned it off," O'Reilly said during an appearance on Monday night's "The Wayne Allyn Root Show."

"Because I've had enough. And I think my feeling reflects the majority of Americans: Enough.

"President Trump didn't have anything to do with the New Zealand mass murder, and to try to tie him into it is hateful, dishonest, and insulting the American public."

O'Reilly lamented the American media's weak effort to damage their own president at any opportunity, no matter how remote the attack is, because of a nonstop anti-Trump agenda.

"There's no other story for the media other than Donald Trump," O'Reilly told Root. "If Donald Trump isn't in the news, they don't have anything to report on.

"And that's really sad for this country. Really, really, sad."

Important: Newsmax TV is now carried in 65 million cable homes on DirecTV Ch. 349, Dish Network Ch. 216, Comcast/Xfinity Ch. 1115, U-verse Ch. 1220, FiOS Ch. 615 or More Systems Here.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

  • Five Democratic presidential candidates are contemplating proposals to expand the Supreme Court. 
  • The push to “pack the courts” follows a concerted Republican effort to install judicial conservatives at every level of the federal judiciary.
  • The threat of court expansion could itself deter the Supreme Court’s conservatives from moving the law sharply in new directions.

A growing number of Democratic presidential candidates are entertaining a push to add seats to the Supreme Court, as Republican success at filling the courts with judicial conservatives has infuriated progressive voters.

Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, and Kirsten Gillibrand have expressed willingness to consider proposals for expanding the composition of the Supreme Court as of this writing.

The Trump campaign charged that those suggestions, called court-packing, keeps with other structural reforms to the U.S. political system some Democrats have endorsed since the 2016 election.

“This is just what the Democrats always do,” the Trump campaign told TheDCNF. “When they lose, they try to change the rules. This is no different from when they attack the Electoral College every time they lose the White House. Now it’s court-packing. They want to change our institutions to fit their own political desires.”

Another presidential candidate, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, advanced a more modest proposition. Speaking Monday night on MSNBC, the senator said term limits for Supreme Court justices might be appropriate, but he seemed reluctant to endorse expansion of the Court.

Democrats frame the issue as a credibility problem. By their telling, the campaign began when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to fill the vacancy occasioned by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death until after the 2016 election, and continued apace with the abolition of the filibuster for high court nominees.

“We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court,” Harris told Politico. “We have to take this challenge head on, and everything is on the table to do that.”

O’Rourke struck a similar note Friday at a Burlington, Iowa coffee shop, telling onlookers that an expanded Court is “an idea that we should explore” to curb partisanship and political dysfunction. The former El Paso congressman floated a proposal to add six justices to the high court. Under that system, Democrats and Republicans would each appoint five justices. Those 10 would then unanimously select the remaining five.

Other procedural changes for lower court nominations have inflamed Democratic anger, such that packing the courts — once thought radical — is now a viable political position.

“The GOP has also undermined virtually all of the customs that protected the minority and home state senators in the judicial selection process, such as White House consultation and blue slips, while ramming through circuit nominees with little process,” Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

After President Donald Trump took office, the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee began holding confirmation hearings in which multiple circuit court nominees appear for testimony. Democrats say that’s a break with historical practice. (RELATED: Is Chief Justice John Roberts Tacking Left?)

The committee has also effectively abandoned the minority party’s blue slip veto for appeals court nominations, which allows senators to block nominees tapped for judgeships in their state. Republicans say the blue slip process has not been consistently observed for circuit court confirmations and makes little sense for appellate nominees.

Interest in court-packing has also waxed due to a sustained interest group campaign. Career Democratic operatives, attempting to put liberal interest in the judiciary at parity with conservatives, founded a dark money political group that is urging Democratic candidates to endorse court-expansion ideas.

A Democratic Court-packing bid would likely require a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Given that daunting prospect, a near-term effort to expand the Court is unlikely to succeed. Yet the Democratic flirtation with court-packing might itself bring the justices to heel. Tobias suggested that a threat to the institution’s composition, even if unlikely, could deter the justices from moving the law rightward.

“Discussing that prospect and other proposals like term limits for justices or adding lower court judges may signal to the Court that it should not veer sharply to the right, as Chief Justice John Roberts seemed to be signaling to Trump and the nation with his rebuff of Trump regarding ‘Obama judges,’” Tobias said, referencing an episode in 2018 in which Roberts rebuked Trump for deriding a district court judge who enjoined the administration’s asylum reforms.

The justices of the Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on November 30, 2018. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The justices of the Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on November 30, 2018. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, accused Democrats of browbeating the Court’s newly entrenched conservative majority.

“Democrats will try anything to politicize the judicial selection process and the courts,” Severino told TheDCNF. “Now they are trying to bully and intimidate the Supreme Court’s justices into serving as a rubber stamp for a liberal political agenda.”

Popular history holds that a similar tactic animated an important change on the Supreme Court during the 1930s. A conservative coalition on the high court struck down much of President Franklin Roosevelt’s domestic economic program during his first term. Flush with victory after his landslide reelection in 1936, Roosevelt asked Congress for authority to appoint as many as six new justices.

Though the Democratic Congress overwhelmingly repudiated that request, Justice Owen Roberts, then the “swing vote” on the bench, began voting to uphold progressive economic measures, like the constitutionality of minimum wage laws. That shift was widely interpreted as a strategic move to protect the Court from Roosevelt’s scheme. Recent scholarship questions the accuracy of this view, sometimes called “the switch in time that saved nine.”

Still, Roosevelt’s plot is widely seen as notorious and misguided, and may explain why no candidate has yet given a court-packing alternative their unqualified endorsement. Instead, the Democratic 2020 contenders urge further discussions or decline to rule out the possibility.

Follow Kevin on Twitter

Send tips to kevin@dailycallernewsfoundation.org

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Source: The Daily Caller

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and China's Premier Li Keqiang leave after a signing ceremony in Beijing
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) and China’s Premier Li Keqiang leave after a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Pool

March 19, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – China played a “constructive role” in reducing tension between Pakistan and India, the foreign ministry said, after the nuclear-armed rivals almost came to blows last month following an attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy in disputed Kashmir.

The sparring threatened to spiral out of control and only interventions by U.S. officials, including National Security Adviser John Bolton, headed off a bigger conflict, five sources familiar with the events have told Reuters.

At one stage, India threatened to fire at least six missiles at Pakistan, and Islamabad said it would respond with its own missile strikes “three times over”, said Western diplomats and government sources in New Delhi, Islamabad and Washington.

A Pakistani minister said China and the United Arab Emirates also intervened to lessen tension between the south Asian neighbors.

In a faxed statement to Reuters late on Monday, responding to a question on China’s role in reining in the crisis, its foreign ministry said peaceful coexistence between Pakistan and India was in everyone’s interest.

“As a friendly neighbor of both India and Pakistan, China pro-actively promoted peace talks and played a constructive role in easing the tense situation,” it said.

“Some other countries also made positive efforts in this regard,” the ministry added.

China is willing to work with the international community to continue to encourage the neighbors to meet each other half way and use dialogue and peaceful means to resolve differences, it said, without elaborating.

The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, is set to meet Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Beijing later on Tuesday.

The Feb. 14 attack that killed at least 40 paramilitary police was the deadliest in Kashmir’s 30-year-long insurgency, escalating tension between the neighbors, who said they shot down each other’s fighter jets late last month.

China and Pakistan call each other “all-weather” friends, but China has also been trying to improve ties with New Delhi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held an informal summit in China last year agreeing to reset relations, and Xi is expected to visit India sometime this year, diplomatic sources say.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

A general view of green zone in Kabul, Afghanistan
A general view of green zone in Kabul, Afghanistan March 13, 2019. Picture taken March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

March 19, 2019

By Abdul Qadir Sediqi, Rod Nickel and Rupam Jain

KABUL, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Kabul’s green zone is a place where diplomats fly in cheesecake from New York and cases of wine from Europe, but many of those residing inside the heavily fortified enclave are not allowed to walk without an armed guard even for a distance of 100 meters.

The walled-off compound of embassies and newsrooms, which is set to expand dramatically, imposes extreme limitations on its sheltered residents and stokes resentment among Afghans living outside.

“The best possible argument to be in Afghanistan is to be a sort of introvert,” said Czech Republic Ambassador Petr Stepanek. “You don’t expect a blossoming social life.”

Kabul’s central green zone is set in the affluent Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood. Trees pre-dating decades of war still stretch above the razor-wire topped walls that line once-tony streets patrolled by police and private security.

It grew from a cluster of fortified embassies after the Taliban’s 2001 overthrow by U.S.-led forces. In 2017, a truck bomb near the German embassy, one of the green zone’s entry points, killed or wounded hundreds, prompting further enlargement.

Its rapid expansion reflects the Taliban’s increasing attacks on Kabul in recent years, in a strategy shift to counter its disadvantages against U.S.-backed air power outside the capital.

Kabul police commander Sayed Mohammad Roshandil said in an interview that the green zone has been a major success.

Since the Germany embassy attack, there have been no security breaches of the zone, which spans three police districts, he said. A maximum of 150 trucks are allowed inside per day, with drivers verified by biometric scanners.

EXPANSION PLAN

Police are now preparing to create a “blue zone” to surround the green zone, stretching the fortified area by between 1.5 and four kilometers, said Roshandil.

The number of closed-circuit cameras throughout Kabul would more than double to 800 within the same period, he said, helped by a $42 million contribution from the Australian government.

But beyond the grey concrete “T-walls” that surround the green zone, some Afghans resent the dangers and hassles they say such secure enclaves create.

Taxi driver Mohammad Taher, 37, avoids the area around the green zone because of police checkpoints that grind traffic to a halt, though he adds that Afghans working in the foreign offices collect “huge salaries”, giving the economy a much-needed boost.

“Sometimes I feel that they are living a life completely different from us,” said Tamim, 28, a shopkeeper, of the “western style of life” inside the green zone.

Afghans living near the Green Village compound in eastern Kabul, another fortified zone that is home to international companies and charities, bore the brunt of casualties and damage after a bomb-laden car blew up nearby in January.

“We villagers cannot tolerate this camp here because our lives are in danger,” said Noor Alam, 46, a shopkeeper and resident of nearby Qala-e-Chaman Qabelbay. “The presence of foreign camps close to the common residential area is like a death threat to the people.”

But Roshandil, the police commander, said residents near green zones were better off.

“So far, people are welcoming this plan,” he said. “When people are living in an area with security restrictions, they should accept that. Overall, (residents) are happy.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the green zone provided government and foreign officials mere “psychological relief”.

“The green zone is not that safe as they think,” he said, adding that past Taliban attacks on it have succeeded. If the militant group agrees to a peace deal and fighting stops, the Taliban would insist that its walls were removed, Mujahid said.

The development of the green zone, including NATO’s military base, in the middle of a crowded city demonstrated “sheer disrespect” for the security of local people, said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of Afghanistan Analysts Network, an independent think-tank.

RARE COMFORTS

For those on the inside, the green zone features comforts that are rare elsewhere in Kabul. Generators fire up during the city’s frequent power cuts, living quarters are well-heated in winter and, during hot summers, swimming pools offer relief.

In an officially dry country, liquor flows at most embassies. Pet peacocks stroll the grounds of a United Nations compound.

But green zone embassies offer little of the freedom common to most diplomatic postings.

“Even though I get out almost every day, the places we can go are limited. It’s very difficult to get a feeling” for what regular Afghans think, said German ambassador to Afghanistan Peter Prügel. Embassies only host those Afghans who pass the green zone’s security requirements, further narrowing expats’ contacts with the country.

Even travel within the zone is regulated. Security details forbid some diplomats from walking to neighboring embassies, making necessary absurdly slow, short-distance drives through internal gates and over speed bumps.

“We are in a total bubble here,” a Canadian diplomat said. “There is a bit of an illusion here that what you see in Kabul is common to the rest of the country.”

(Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi, Rod Nickel and Rupam Jain in Kabul; additional reporting by John Davison in Baghdad; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Afghanistan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before their meeting in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Afghanistan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before their meeting at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing, China January 10, 2019. Andy Wong/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

March 18, 2019

By Jonathan Landay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In fallout from a feud over U.S.-Taliban peace talks, a senior U.S. diplomat has told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that U.S. officials will no longer deal with his national security adviser, four knowledgable sources said on Monday.

The decision to end U.S. contacts with Hamdullah Mohib will almost certainly raise tensions between the allies over Kabul’s exclusion from negotiations that have mainly focused on a U.S. troop pullout and how the Taliban would stop militant groups from using Afghanistan as a springboard for attacks.

Mohib had launched a blistering public attack last Thursday on the chief U.S. negotiator, Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad.

The following day, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale told Ghani by phone that Mohib would no longer be received in Washington and U.S. civilian and military officials would not do business with him, the sources said.

“Hale called Ghani and told him that Mohib is no longer welcome in D.C. The U.S. will not deal with him in Kabul or in D.C. any more,” said a former senior Afghan official, who like the other sources requested anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity.

Kabul fears that Washington is intent on finalizing a U.S. troop pullout to fulfill a vow by President Donald Trump, undermining its ability to reach a political pact with the Taliban that preserves gains, such as women’s education, won since the 2001 U.S. invasion ended the militants’ harsh version of Islamic rule.

The former Afghan official said he saw the move as an effort to compel Ghani to “oust” Mohib, who became the president’s national security adviser after serving as his envoy to Washington.

A second source, a congressional aide, agreed that pressuring Ghani to end contacts with Mohib was “one way of looking at this” because the State Department provides funding for the Afghan president’s national security council staff.

The State Department declined to comment. The Afghan embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Simmering tensions over the Afghan government’s exclusion from the U.S.-Taliban talks in Doha, Qatar, erupted with Mohib’s attack on Khalilzad, an Afghan-born U.S. diplomat, at a news conference in Washington.

He accused Khalilzad of giving the Taliban legitimacy while “delegitimizing the Afghan government.” He added that Khalilzad perhaps was trying to create “a caretaker government of which he would then become viceroy.”

Viceroy was the title of the colonial administrator of British-ruled India.

The State Department responded with a strong statement quoting Hale as telling Mohib later Thursday that his comments “only serve to hinder the bilateral relationship and the peace process.”

The latest round of peace talks ended on March 11 after 16 days. The sides reported progress, but no accord on a withdrawal of U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban’s counter-extremist assurances.

U.S. negotiators also are pressing the insurgents to accept a ceasefire and talks with Afghan society representatives, including government officials. The Taliban have refused to talk to Ghani’s government, which they deride as a U.S. puppet.

In an interview on Monday with Reuters, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Qatar, Faizullah Kakar, said that another country should not be negotiating on the use of Afghan territory by militants.

“It is the government that should be deciding, whoever the government is, that the territory is used or not used against another country,” he said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Additional reporting by Erich Knecht in Doha; Editing by Alistair Bell)

Source: OANN

People visit a memorial site for victims of Friday's shooting, in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch
People visit a memorial site for victims of Friday’s shooting, in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

March 18, 2019

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – After days of intense grieving for New Zealand’s worst-ever mass shooting, attention began to turn to how the country’s gun laws need to change and what warning signs might have been missed ahead of a gunman’s attack on two mosques that killed 50 people.

Bodies of the victims of Friday’s attacks in Christchurch were being washed and prepared for burial in a Muslim ritual process, with teams of volunteers flown in from overseas to assist with the heavy workload.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her Cabinet had made in-principle decisions on changes to gun laws which she would announce next Monday, saying now was the time to act on tightening access to firearms.

Simon Bridges, leader of the opposition National Party, said he wanted to get details of the changes to see if there could be bipartisan support in Parliament. The National Party draws support from rural areas, where gun ownership is higher than in urban areas.

“We know that change is required. I’m willing to look at anything that is going to enhance our safety – that’s our position,” Bridges told TVNZ.

In addition to the 50 killed, dozens were wounded at the two mosques in the South Island city during Friday prayers.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist who was living in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island, was charged with murder on Saturday. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5, where police said he was likely to face more charges.

Andrew Little, the minister who oversees New Zealand’s intelligence agencies, said monitoring of online activity had been stepped up in the wake of the Christchurch attacks.

“There are people who have been online making statements who have been interviewed by the police; that will continue. There is a level of intervention, there is a heightened level of monitoring,” Little said on TVNZ on Monday night.

Ardern said there would be an inquiry into what government agencies “knew, or could or should have known” about the alleged gunman and whether the attack could be prevented.

“We have to know whether there have been failings, whether there have been gaps,” Little said on TVNZ. “We have to leave no stone unturned to not only deal with the perpetrator and ensure the criminal justice system gets to deal with him, but to understand how this could have happened in this country.”

More than 250 New Zealand police staff are working on the inquiry in the attacks, with staff from the U.S. FBI and Australia’s Federal Police working with local investigators.

In the wake of the deadly attack, other incidents were drawing scrutiny. A gun club in the northern town of Kaitaia burned down early on Tuesday morning, and police were treating the blaze as suspicious. A bomb hoax that closed Dunedin Airport on Sunday night and caused some flights to be diverted was under investigation, police said.

A black laptop bag was thought to have been bought onto the airfield by someone climbing over fences around the Dunedin airport. Police found a note written by the person who left the “hoax device,” which was dealt with by defense force experts.

“The insensitive nature of this act in light of recent events cannot be overstated,” police said in a statement.

(Writing by John Mair; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Venezuelan flag hangs from a building near the national election board as acting President Maduro registered as a candidate for president in the April 14 election in Caracas
FILE PHOTO: A Venezuelan flag hangs from a building in Caracas March 11, 2013. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo/File Photo

March 18, 2019

By Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the United States makes its biggest diplomatic push in Latin America in years to try to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the U.S. military is zeroing in on a byproduct of the crisis: a strengthening of Colombian rebels on both sides of Venezuela’s border.

U.S. Admiral Craig Faller, the head of the U.S. military’s Southern Command that oversees U.S. forces in Latin America, told Reuters the United States had sharpened its focus on the rebels and increased its sharing of intelligence with Colombian officials. 

U.S. officials see a growing threat from both Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) and factions of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that refuse to adhere to a 2016 peace agreement to end five decades of civil war.

The United States believes the rebels are taking advantage of Venezuela’s crisis to expand their reach in that country and the scope of long-standing illegal activities, including drug trafficking.

“Our principal role working with our Colombian partners is to assist in intelligence sharing. What we know, we share,” Faller said. Asked whether the intelligence sharing on the rebels had ramped up as Venezuela’s crisis deepened, Faller responded: “Absolutely.”

The risks from the insurgents on both sides of the Colombia-Venezuela border add another layer of complexity to the crisis in Venezuela, where U.S. President Donald Trump says all options are on the table to remove Maduro from office.

U.S. officials have uniformly emphasized diplomatic and economic tools to accelerate Maduro’s departure, like sanctions, but Faller acknowledged the U.S. military stood ready to provide options if needed.

At the same time, he noted that no U.S. allies in the region were seeking a military solution to the crisis in Venezuela.

“My job is to be ready, be on the balls of my feet, at all times. But we’ve been talking to our partners and no one, no one, thinks that a military option is a good idea,” Faller said.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido says the May 2018 vote in which Maduro won a second term was a sham and he invoked a constitutional provision on Jan. 23 to assume the interim presidency. Most Western nations including the United States have backed Guaido as head of state.

Maduro, a socialist who has denounced Guaido as a U.S. puppet seeking to foment a coup, retains the support of the armed forces and control of state functions.

Jeremy McDermott, a Colombia-based expert on the insurgencies and co-founder of the Insight Crime think tank, said he believed the Colombian insurgents were operating in Venezuela with at least the blessing of Maduro.

The rebels’ aim is to exploit Venezuela’s lawlessness for safe haven and for economic gain, he said. But he noted there could be an added benefit for Maduro.

“If the Americans invade, or if Colombia promotes a military intervention, then they (Maduro’s supporters) would be able to call upon an insurgent force with more than 50 years of combat experience,” McDermott said.

Asked whether the United States had any evidence of communications between Maduro and the guerrilla groups, Faller said: “I’d rather not discuss the details of the exact connections but we’re watching it very closely.”

Venezuela’s Information Ministry and ELN contacts did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Colombia’s ambassador to Washington, former Vice President Francisco Santos, said ELN and FARC factions had long been present in Venezuela but had grown stronger and more integrated into the country as a result of Venezuela’s crisis.

“They have become the paramilitary groups of the Maduro administration,” Santos told Reuters.

ELN EXPANSION

A Cuba-inspired Marxist insurgency formed in 1964, the ELN claimed responsibility for a January car bomb attack against a police academy in Bogota that killed 22 cadets. It was an escalation by insurgents who have kidnapped Colombian security forces, attacked police stations and bombed oil pipelines.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the ELN is increasingly using Venezuelan territory to carry out narco-trafficking and illegal mining of minerals like gold and coltan.

The Venezuelan security forces were believed to be getting kickbacks from the guerrillas, they said.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. collection of intelligence on the guerrilla groups had increased in recent weeks, including looking at the militants’ activities on the Venezuelan side of the border with Colombia.

Several U.S. officials said they believed senior leaders of both the ELN and the so-called FARC dissidents who do not adhere to the peace agreement were now located inside of Venezuela.

“Their leadership is there,” a second U.S. official said, who also declined to be named, without providing evidence.

An International Crisis Group report cited estimates that the ELN had been active in a minimum of 13 of Venezuela’s 24 states, “absorbing new recruits and shifting from a guerrilla force that embraced armed resistance against Colombia’s ruling elites to one with many core operations in Venezuela.”

Opposition lawmakers in Venezuela also regularly denounce growing ELN activities in Venezuela, but Reuters has been unable to independently verify the extent of its presence or its operations.

Faller declined to discuss any specifics about the collection of U.S. intelligence or identify which insurgent leaders were in Venezuela.

But he acknowledged the trend and added that the flow of illegal narcotics “from Colombia into Venezuela, and then from Venezuela out in the region, has risen as the misery of the Venezuelan people has risen.”

“It’s essentially a lawless region now inside Venezuela along the border and the FARC dissidents and the ELN have taken advantage of that,” Faller said, adding: “They operate with impunity inside Venezuela.”

Santos said the big concern for Colombia was that the strengthening rebel forces would upend efforts to crack down on narcotics trafficking.

“That’s a big worry because in this situation of chaos, obviously they are going to grow. They are growing,” he said.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Additional reporting by Brian Ellsworth in Caracas and Helen Murphy in Bogota; Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

An Australian MP was asked if she felt “complicit” in the New Zealand mosque attack due to her anti-mass migration positions during a heated interview on one of the country’s most-watched morning shows.

Sunrise host David Koch launched an aggressive ambush on Queensland MP Pauline Hanson, who heads her own nationalist-populist party, One Nation, asserting that most terror attacks are carried out by “right wing, white supremacists.”

“This terrorist manifesto almost reads like One Nation immigration and Muslim policy,” said Koch. “Do you feel in any way complicit with this atrocity?”

“The anti-Muslim rhetoric that you espouse constantly here, that you did in your maiden speech when you came to Parliament in 2016 — do you understand?”

“David, I feel for these people,” Hanson responded. “I feel for those families and who lost their lives — the same as just across the road from here where you had the Lindt cafe massacre that happened, the terrorist attacks, the ones that have been carried and the 14 that have been foiled.”

“We have problems, but you actually have to discuss it and debate the issues. Why do we have these terrorist attacks in this country? Why is it happening around the world?”

Koch responded by claiming, “Most of the terror attacks are right wing, white supremacists that are egged on by your comments.”

Koch went on to assert that Hanson’s warnings about the Islamization of Australia and Sharia creep could be seen as a “call to arms” by extremists.

“David, have a look at what has happened in England,” Hanson said. “I speak to people who are leaving England now to come out here because they’ve lost their country. England is not the country that they grew up in.”

“Women cannot walk down the streets in Sweden, and in France, the same thing.”

Koch replied, “That’s just tripe.”


Australian PM Scott Morrison has called for the “full force of the law” to be applied against Senator Fraser Anning, who defended himself after an attacker smashed an egg on his head during an interview.

Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst

Source: InfoWars

Malmö, Sweden, was rocked by multiple blasts overnight, according to local media.

A “heavy explosion” in central Malmö leveled the entrance to a nightclub and the surrounding area, and even blew out the windows of nearby buildings, police say.

“There is a reason to suspect that they have used something more powerful than fireworks,” police press officer Patric Fors told SVT Nyheter. “The extent of the damage gives little insight into what may have been used.”

The nightclub was closed at the time of the detonation, and no injuries were reported.

“A bomb technician is on the way to the site to ensure that there is no dangerous material left there that can explode,” said an SVT reporter on the scene.

Mere hours earlier, police were called to the scene of another blast at a residence in Malmö.

The entrance to a multi-family home was destroyed in what police believe was a fireworks-related detonation.

“That explosion, on the other hand, is classified as a vandalism,” SVT Nyheter reports.

Multi-explosion nights have become a frequent occurrence in Sweden’s ‘multicultural paradise.’

International logistics giant UPS recently suspended all home deliveries in the Malmö district of Rosengård, citing attacks on drivers.

Malmö has seen a surge in crime in recent years, ranging from grenade and firebombing attacks, to rape and gang violence — a reality even mainstream media has been forced to acknowledge.

Western civilization is under attack on multiple fronts. Paul Joseph Watson’s newest report reveals we may now be seeing the end of the West as we have known it for hundreds of years.

(PHOTO: JOHAN NILSSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Source: InfoWars


Current track

Title

Artist