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#MagaFirstNews 8-26-19

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

China signaled on Monday it was now seeking a “calm” end to its ongoing trade war with the U.S., as Asian markets crumbled and China’s currency plummeted to an 11-year low following the latest tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods announced last Friday by the Trump administration.

News of the possible opening in negotiations came shortly after President Trump threatened to declare a national emergency that would result in American businesses freezing their relationships with China.

Trump’s tariff barrage on Friday was a response to China imposing its own retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods. At the Group of Seven summit in France on Sunday, White House officials rejected suggestions the president was wavering and insisted that his only regret was not implementing even more tariffs on China.

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

President Trump on Monday said the U.S. is not seeking regime change in Iran and told reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, that he hopes to see a strong Iran. Trump’s comments came after a day of tense meetings with his European counterparts about how best to approach Iran and the recent tensions in the region. On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit at the summit at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump insisted that he knew about Zarif’s appearance but did not meet with him.

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong police have confirmed an officer fired a warning shot as protesters surrounded them and said they arrested 36 people during the latest round of pro-democracy demonstrations. A police news release Monday said that one police officer fell to the ground as protesters threw hard objects at a small group of officers the previous night. The officers could be seen holding up their shields as protesters surged forward swinging sticks and rods. The incident happened after an earlier clash with hundreds of protesters who occupied a main street following a peaceful protest march. Police used tear gas to clear the street, but some protesters remained in the neighborhood. Hardliners confronted police anew after largely holding back the previous weekend. The police deployed two water cannon trucks Sunday for the first time during the 11 weeks of protests. – The Associated Press

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Bernie Sanders renewed his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a rally in the top Republican’s home state of Kentucky on Sunday afternoon, demanding that McConnell stop his “cowardice” and “have the guts” to immediately take up legislation aimed at reducing gun violence, strengthening election security and raising the federal minimum wage. The blistering address in Louisville came as national Democrats, hoping to retake not only the White House but also the Senate in 2020, increasingly have set their sights on the 77-year-old McConnell.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and Sanders’ national campaign co-chair, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he believed former Vice President Joe Biden “regretted” making a comment over the weekend about what would have happened had former President Barack Obama been assassinated while on the campaign trail in 2008. The comment stirred up controversy, but a Biden aide said the candidate has used the analogy before when speaking to younger generations who were not alive during the turbulent 1960s. Biden asserted the assassinations of King and Kennedy raised his political awareness and propelled him to run for office.

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

The Wild West came to Midtown on Sunday when at least three armed bandits — one of whom wore what witnesses described as a cowboy hat — bound workers in a massive jewelry-store heist, according to police. The crooks coolly posed as customers at Avianne and Co. in the heart of the Diamond District, browsing the bling before pulling handguns on the four workers in the shop at the time of the high-noon hold-up, cops said. After restraining the workers with zip ties, the robbers raided the safe and display cases, dumping nearly all of the sparklers into at least one duffle bag before high-tailing it out onto surveillance-camera-lined West 47th Street, according to authorities. – Reported by the New York Post


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President Trump met with dozens of victims of religious persecution at the White House on Wednesday as part of an ongoing effort by the administration to push for religious freedom abroad.

Twenty-seven people, including Christians from Burma, Vietnam, North Korea, Iran, Turkey, Cuba, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Sudan, Muslims from Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan and New Zealand, Jewish persecution victims from Yemen and Germany, a practitioner of Cao Dai from Vietnam and a Yazidi from Iraq all joined the president in the Oval Office as part of a four-day conference, called the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Four of the participants were from China, and one, a Uighur Muslim victim, claimed the government has locked devotees in concentration camps.

RELIGIOUS HARASSMENT WORSENING ACROSS WORLD, PEW STUDY SHOWS

U.N. Human Rights Council experts estimated at least 1 million Uighurs have been held in detention centers within China, and at least two dozen countries have urged China to cease the religious persecution of the group that has over 11 million worshippers in the country, as Reuters reported.

The U.S., which already has a tenuous relationship with China over accusations of intellectual property theft, has touted the idea of sanctioning Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party chief of Xinjiang, along with other Chinese officials over the persecution of the Uighurs.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to address efforts to advance international religious freedom, a top foreign policy agenda for Trump, at the final event of the conference on Thursday.

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said “additional measures” to tackle persecution would be announced at the State Department meeting Thursday.

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How Many Times Do We Have To Warn Iran? Trump Says If He Is Forced To Do Something It’s Going To Be A Large Response.

After showing military restraint, Trump warns Iran in ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ interview
President Trump, after calling off a military strike on Iran following the downing of an American drone last month, delivered a stern warning to the regime during an interview with Fox News. Speaking exclusively with Tucker Carlson, Trump said he “built up a lot of See More great capital” after his decision — but said that means “if something should happen, we’re in a positionto do far worse by not doing it.” He quickly added, “But, hopefully, we don’t have to do anything.” The president’s comments on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” were made before it was reported on Monday that Iran has exceeded the threshold for the Islamic Republic’s low-enriched uranium stockpile agreed upon in the 2015 nuclear deal. But at a White House event on Monday, he said Iran was “playing with fire.”

During the “Tucker” interview, President Trump also shared his plans to combat rising homelessness and mental illness in America.

Cory Booker unveils plan to ‘virtually eliminate immigrant detention’
Sen. Cory Booker, trying to jolt his 2020 presidential campaign, is unveiling a comprehensive plan to “virtually eliminate immigrant detention” and expand protections for illegal immigrants through executive order — bypassing Congress entirely — “on day one of his presidency.” The aggressive proposal comes as polls consistently have shown Booker trailing many fellow Democrats in the White House race, including Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Although several of his rivals already have announced similar proposals and even endorsed decriminalizing border crossing entirely, Booker’s plan was unique in focusing on the immigrant detention facilities that have attracted national attention in recent weeks.

Booker’s plan comes as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is facing a lingering political backlash from liberal House Democrats over his role in the passage of a bipartisan border bill last week, which saw House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced to back down from a push to include restrictions on immigration enforcement. It also comes amidoutrage over claims made by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., that women at a southern border facility are being forced to drink “out of toilets.” U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials have strongly denied AOC’s allegations.

Report: Nike dropped Betsy Ross-themed Fourth of July sneaker after Colin Kaepernick complained
Just don’t do it. That was the message ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick delivered to Nikeover the planned release of a USA-themed sneaker, which featured a Betsy Ross flag on the heel, according to a report. Nike nixed the released of the Air Max 1 USA after having already sent the sneakers to retailers because the protesting quarterback said he felt the use of the Betsy Ross flag was offensive and carried slavery connotations, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

Accused Navy SEAL’s fate in jury’s hands
Jurors will begin their first full day of deliberations in the court-martial of a decorated Navy SEAL accused of murdering a wounded ISIS war prisoner in Iraq. Jury deliberations started Monday following closing argumentswhere military prosecutors said Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher’s words and actions proved he murdered a member of the Islamic State terror network in May 2017. The defense argued the prosecution’s case had “huge gaping holes” and that Gallagher was a subject of “fixation” by military prosecutors. “They started with a conclusion … [and] … ignored everything that didn’t fit,” Timothy Parlatore told the jury of five Marines and two sailors during his closing argument.

Charlie Kirk launches GOTV campaign to enlist 1 million ‘Students for Trump’ in 2020
Conservative activist Charlie Kirk is launching a massive get-out-the-vote campaign Tuesday aimed at identifying and enlisting 1 million student supporters of President Trump ahead of the 2020 election. The “Students for Trump” campaign will look to target students on more than 300 campuses, in what Kirk describes as the biggest operation of its kind. “This is the most aggressivevoter identification GOTV program targeting students on college campuses for a Republican president ever,” Kirk told Fox News.

TUNE IN: Charlie Kirk will appear on “Fox & Friends” today at 6:30 a.m. ET

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Hunter Biden didn’t invite father, Joe, to his recent wedding: report.
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No foul play suspected in sudden death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27.

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These are the best and worst run cities in the US, report finds.
US economy breaks record with post-recession expansion.
Apple CEO Tim Cook disputes ‘absurd’ report on Jony Ive’s exitfrom company.

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IRAN Says The Channel For Diplomacy Is Closed ‘Forever’ Should We Or Trump Worry?

Iran blasts new US sanctions, says channel for diplomacy is closed ‘forever’
A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a tweet Tuesday that the new U.S. sanctions that target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials close any channel for diplomacybetween the two countries “forever.” President Trump signed an executive order Monday issuing See More “hard-hitting” financial sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his associates. The U.S. and Iran have seen tensions increase exponentially in the past few weeks after an initial U.S. sanctions squeeze that Washington said led to the attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. The situation became increasingly dire last week after Tehran admitted to downing a $100 million U.S. Navy drone. Trump said the sanctions “will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader’s office and those closely affiliated with him and the office access to key financial resources and support.”

Trump wonders if Biden has a ‘big secret’
Ahead of the first Democratic primary presidential debates on Wednesday and Thursday, President Trump has renewed his attacks on Joe Biden, this time questioning why former President Barack Obama hasn’t endorsed his former vice president. In a new interview with the Hill, Trump wondered if there was a “big secret” as to why Obama has not backed Biden. “How he doesn’t get President Obama to endorse him, there has to be some reason why he’s not endorsing him,” Trump told The Hill. “He was the vice president. They seemed to have gotten along. President Obama not endorsing him is rather… a big secret.”

Report: White House moves to prevent Conway from testifying about alleged Hatch Act violations
The White House has reportedly moved to prevent counselor Kellyanne Counselor from testifying before Congress about allegations of violations of the Hatch Act, the Washington Post reported Monday. The House Oversight Committee, anticipating a lack of cooperation from Conway and the White House, plans to vote Wednesday on a subpoena to force her testimony. In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Conway pushed back against a finding that she violated the Hatch Act and dismissed a recommendation that she be fired as an attempt to “silence” her and prevent her from working toward President Trump’s re-election.

Newly-released video footage show Jussie Smollett with rope around his neck
Chicago police released hundreds of files and nearly 70 hours of video footage on Monday from the investigation into Jussie Smollett’s claim back in January that he was attacked by two men — an allegation that police later characterized as a hoax. In one ofthe videos, police body-cam footage showed Smollett — with his face blurred — wearing a white rope that he told detectives his attackers looped around his neck. When one of the officers asked Smollett if he wanted to take the rope off of his neck, the 37-year-old actor did while stating: “Yeah. I do. I just wanted you all to see it.” The release of the footage, marked the latest chapter in a story that began with Smollett’s allegations that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. He eventually was arrested on charges that he lied to police, but prosecutors later dismissed the charges.

Missing mother’s family denies her case is a ‘Gone Girl’ disappearance
Family and friends of missing Connecticut mother of five Jennifer Dulos on Monday countered a claim from her estranged husband’s lawyer that the author was “deeply troubled,” and rejected any suggestions that she was faking her disappearancein a plot similar in the 2015 cinematic thriller “Gone Girl.” In a Fox News interview on Friday, lawyer Norm Pattis said his client, Fotis Dulos, was “emotional, tired, distraught” over the “exhausting ordeal” and disappearance of his estranged wife. He said Jennifer Dulos “had a troubled past,” describing her as a writer who “wrote a manuscript similar to ‘Gone Girl,'” a thriller that later became a hit Hollywood movie. In response, Carrie Luft, a spokeswoman for family and friends of the missing mother, said: “This is not fiction or a movie. This is real life, as experienced every single day by Jennifer’s five young children, her family, and her friends.”

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EXCLUSIVE: After Stephen Moore’s failed Fed bid, he’s creating a crypto central bank. 
Bitcoin hits $11K: A timeline of cryptocurrency’s rise, fall and rebound.
Average retirement-age Americans have this much in their 401(k), report says.

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