A man walks next to a road sign directing to the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem
A man walks next to a road sign directing to the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, February 18, 2019. Picture taken February 18, 2019 REUTERS/Ammar Awad

February 19, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The United States Consulate General in Jerusalem, which serves Palestinians, will be absorbed into the new U.S. Embassy to Israel in March, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, giving a date for a merger that has been condemned by Palestinians.

The decision to create a single diplomatic mission was announced last October by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who did not say at the time when this would take place.

“The merger of the consulate and the embassy will take place on March 4th or 5th, at which point the position of the consul-general will end, said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the date has not been announced yet by Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump outraged the Arab world and stoked international concern by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December and moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. Palestinian leaders suspended ties with the U.S. administration after the embassy move.

The consulate general in Jerusalem is the top mission for Palestinians, who with broad international backing seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they want to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

At the time of Pompeo’s announcement, senior Palestinian leader Saeb Erekat denounced the decision to eliminate the consulate as the latest evidence the Trump administration is working with Israel to impose a “Greater Israel” rather than a two-state solution.

Asked on Tuesday about the merger, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Reuters that nothing had changed from their point of view.

“Contacts at the political level with the American administration have been cut off and will remain so unless the American administration changes its positions on Jerusalem and the refugees,” said Abu Rudeineh.

However, he said, there were still “contacts at the security level to fight terrorism.”

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest disputes between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel regards the entire city, including the eastern sector it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed, as its “eternal and indivisible capital,” but that is not recognized internationally.

The Trump administration has said that the city’s final borders should be decided by the parties.

(Reporting by Dan Williams; Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

Peter Schiff recently appeared on InfoWars with Alex Jones to talk about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal.

He said the real problem isn’t the climate deniers, it’s the economy deniers. 

Peter noted that we were in the great recession the last time retail sales came in as poorly as they did in December. He also mentioned the all-time high in auto loan delinquencies and the fact that restaurant sales are falling at the fastest pace in 25 years.

“We’d all be better off if Cortez was still waiting tables instead of working in Congress. But these crazy policies she’s advocating – look, the public just might turn to them in 2020 if we are in a bad recession and it’s all blamed on the tax cuts, on Trump, on deregulation, and the only solution left for people to grasp for is socialism. Of course, you know, it’s never worked. It’s failed every time it’s been tried. But that doesn’t stop people from trying it again.”

Peter also addressed the upward spiraling national debt, taking issue with Alex’s contention we could at least do something positive with the inflation such as build infrastructure.

“You cannot make a country rich by printing money. You know, unfortunately, that’s how Cortez is going to try to finance any type of Green New Deal that we get.”

Peter said the craziest thing about Cortez and the Green New Deal is the idea that it will actually be good for the economy.

“If we actually had to do this, if we really faced this threat, this is going to be mutually shared sacrifice. Everybody is going to suffer to implement this, particularly the poor and the middle class. They’re going to feel the burden the heaviest. But she is trying to wrap this thing up as if everybody is going to benefit from a huge reduction in our standard of living, which would be required.”

(Photo by Jesse Korman / Wiki)

Cortez says we can pay for the Green New Deal just like we paid for World War II. Peter pointed out that we paid for the war by drastically raising taxes on the middle class.

“If AOC wants to pay for the Green New Deal the same way, then it has to be through huge tax increases on her constituents.”

Peter and Alex also talked about Trump and the economy. Peter made a pretty poignant statement.

“If Trump really wanted to make America great again, the only way to do that is to make government small again. The problem is he hasn’t been building a wall but Trump’s been building up government. He’s made government bigger. He’s been building bigger national debt, bigger deficits. So, building up debt and building up government is not the secret to making America Great.”

Smollett’s assault hoax keeps delivering bombshell revelations.

Source: InfoWars

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

President Donald Trump refuted ex-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s claim that the president called McCabe’s wife “a loser,” on Twitter Tuesday.

“I never said anything bad about Andrew McCabe’s wife other than she (they) should not have taken large amounts of campaign money from a Crooked Hillary source when Clinton was under investigation by the FBI,” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “I never called his wife a loser to him (another McCabe made up lie)!”

McCabe claimed that Trump called his wife Jill McCabe “a loser” in relation to her failed 2015 bid for Virginia state Senate, Andrew McCabe said during a “60 Minutes” interview Sunday.

“[Trump asked:] ‘What was it like when your wife lost her race for state Senate? It must have been really tough to lose,’” Andrew McCabe told “60 Minutes.” “And I said, ‘Well, it’s tough to lose anything. But my wife has refocused her efforts on her career.’ And he then said, ‘Ask her what it was like to lose. It must be tough to be a loser.’” (RELATED: Trump Calls Out ‘Puppet’ Andrew McCabe After News That McCabe Ordered Obstruction Of Justice Probe)

“No man wants to hear anyone call his wife a loser, most of all me,” Andrew McCabe continued. “My wife is a wonderful, brilliant, dedicated physician who tried to help her community. So she is no loser. It was just bullying. So rather than get into an argument with the president of the United States, we, I said, ‘Okay, sir.’ And we hung up and ended the call.”

Andrew McCabe said the conversation with Trump occurred in the days after the president fired Andrew McCabe’s predecessor, former FBI Director James Comey. Andrew McCabe’s wife “received several hundred thousand dollars in campaign donations from a PAC linked to the Clintons,” reported Fox News.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe arrives to testify before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe arrives to testify before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

The “60 Minutes” interview occurred days before Andrew McCabe’s book “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump” was released Tuesday.

Andrew McCabe has used his spotlight to make claims including that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to wear a wire to secretly record conversations with Trump. Rosenstein plans to leave the Justice Department in mid-March, agency officials told news outlets Monday.

Andrew McCabe was fired on the recommendation of the Department of Justice’s inspector general in March 2018, just two days before he was set to retire and receive his government pension. Investigators found that Andrew McCabe authorized his deputy, Lisa Page, to give information to The Wall Street Journal about a probe into the Clinton Foundation. (RELATED: IG: McCabe Used Strzok’s Mistress To Bypass Chain Of Command To Monitor Clinton Probe)

Andrew McCabe denies accusations from the Office of the Inspector General that he purposefully misled investigators.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

“Fox & Friends” reached out to Florida voters at a diner Tuesday to gauge their reaction to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ announcement about his 2020 plans to run for president.

“I can’t stop laughing,” the first voter said. “It’s a gift. It’s a gift to the Republican Party and Trump, that’s all.” (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Announces He’s Jumping In The 2020 Presidential Race)

“They’re so out of touch with reality. They’re selling Kool-Aid,” he continued. “They’ve been doing it on the campuses for years. And now it’s spread out and they have this Utopian idea of everything is wonderful. I saw the results in Europe and eastern Europe. And you look in South America. You see Cuba. You look at Venezuela. People don’t get it. It doesn’t work. But they keep wanting to try to make it work.”


The same voter also said it’s hypocritical to help other countries protect their borders without first securing America’s border.

“There are 195 countries in the world. We have American troops in 150 of them,” he said. “Seventy-five percent. So why are we out there helping them protect their borders, their national identity and we can’t protect our own? It doesn’t make sense. It’s illogical.”

The second voter, whose parents were Cuban immigrants, also reacted to Sanders’ announcement and said his candidacy has become a circus.

“Send in the clowns,” he replied. “Look at their list of characters running. It’s a socialist who’s who? So I think our president is going to do just fine. We love him.”

“[Socialism] goes against human nature,” he continued. “It has three very dark ingredients. It has jealousy, division, and hatred. Sounds like the Democrat Party to me.”

You can Follow Nick on Twitter

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Source: The Daily Caller

As we reported last week, a record 7 million Americans have fallen 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments.

That’s 1 million more than the previous peak in auto loan delinquencies in 2010. But as Wolf Street points out, there is a big difference between then and now.

“Serious auto-loan delinquencies are now on par with Q2 2009 when millions of people had lost their jobs and when the economy was in free-fall. But today unemployment is low and the economy appears to be humming. What gives? “

Currently, there is about $1.3 trillion in auto loans outstanding. Looking at auto loan delinquencies in terms of a percentage of the total outstanding, the number hit 4.5% at the end of 2018. This is the same percentage as in the second quarter of 2009 as the economy was feeling the full effect of the 2008 crash.

Wolf Richter of Wolf Street highlighted some of the reasons for the surge in auto loan delinquencies in a recent episode of the Wolf Street Report.

In the first place, a lot of Americans are struggling with their jobs.

“While the unemployment rate is at around 4% and has been as low as 3.7%, there are many pockets of weakness in the labor market. A lot of people have gig work. A lot of people are underpaid. Their wages have not gone up with inflation. People have been discouraged and they’re not participating in the labor force anymore, and so they don’t show up in unemployment figures. So, there are many weaknesses in this labor market.”

Even so, Richter said it’s still the “cleanest dirty shirt of the labor market” we’ve had in a number of years, so the labor market itself cannot completely explain the surge in auto loan delinquencies.

A second issue is the rapidly rising cost of new cars. The average price of a new vehicle is now around $36,000. This represents a significant increase in the cost of vehicles and there has not been a corresponding rise in wages. Subprime borrowers face a double whammy. They not only have to pay the higher price; they also get hit with a higher interest rate.

A third, and according to Richter probably the most significant issue, is the number of subprime lenders who have plowed into the auto business over the last 10 years. This is an extremely profitable business for the lender, but an extremely risky position for the borrower.

“These are precisely the kind of customers who can’t afford those payments, and cannot afford to make those payments based on high-interest rates, and they can’t even afford that expensive of a car.”

The auto business actually looks a lot like the subprime housing market we saw blow up in the years leading up to the 2008 crash. These companies make risky loans. They use sloppy underwriting techniques. And then they package the loans together in auto loan-backed securities and sell them.

By 2018, the air was coming out of the auto bubble. A number of these specialized subprime auto lenders had already collapsed. Richter said now we’re starting to see many of these companies curtail their lending.

Of course, it’s not just specialized companies making subprime loans. According to Richter, about 25% of the auto loans on the books of big banks are subprime. Credit unions have also gotten into the business.

The big difference between the subprime auto loan market today and the subprime housing market in the years before the crash is one of scale. A collapse in the subprime auto market will cause some pain, but it won’t likely bring down financial institutions.

(Photo by Mussi Katz, Flickr, Public Domain)

But that doesn’t mean this isn’t extremely problematic. The real question is how will the looming credit crunch affect the auto industry – an important part of the US economy? Richter says we’re already seeing the impact.

In 2015 and 2016, US automakers experienced record years. Since then, we’ve seen a downturn. As default ratios spike, lenders become more careful and that squeezed more and more potential customers out of the market.

“As auto-loan delinquencies continue to surge, as those losses are spreading, underwriting will continue to tighten and will make it more difficult for an entire layer of customers to buy new vehicles.”

And this is the rosy scenario. The real question is what happens if the economy goes into recession? What happens if we see growing job losses?

This gives us a glimpse of the underlying rot in the US economy. The Federal Reserve flooded the country with easy money. That blew up all kinds of bubbles, including the auto lone bubble. The simple truth is economies built on debt aren’t sustainable.

Roger Stone joins Alex Jones to break down the democrats’ plan to unconstitutionally use the 25th Amendment to unjustly remove President Trump, and likely VP Mike Pence as well, from office to place Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in the highest seat of the Executive branch of our government.

Source: InfoWars

The former leading spokeswoman for the Department of Justice under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is joining CNN as a political editor for the 2020 presidential campaign, Politico reported Tuesday.

Sarah Isgur, who has no experience in news, is joining CNN next month to coordinate political coverage of the White House run, the news outlet reported.

Isgur joined the Trump administration in 2017, overcoming resistance from President Donald Trump, whom she regularly criticized as deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina’s 2016 presidential campaign, Politico reported.

She began working with Sessions ahead of his confirmation hearing, Politico reported.

At CNN, she won’t lay a role in covering the Department of Justice, Politico reported, citing an unnamed CNN official.

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: Casino magnate Adelson attends ceremony as his wife Miriam is awarded a 2018 Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Casino magnate and Republican political contributor Sheldon Adelson stands to be recognized as he attends a ceremony where U.S. President Donald Trump is awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to his wife Miriam Adelson in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

February 19, 2019

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court has revived a $1 billion lawsuit by Palestinians seeking to hold billionaire Sheldon Adelson and more than 30 other pro-Israel defendants liable for alleged war crimes and support of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

In a 3-0 decision on Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said a federal district judge wrongly concluded in August 2017 that all of the plaintiffs’ claims raised political questions that could not be decided in American courts.

The plaintiffs, including 18 Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans as well as a Palestinian village council, alleged a conspiracy among many defendants to expel non-Jews from the disputed territories, and accused the defendants of committing or aiding in genocide and other war crimes.

Other defendants included the billionaire Larry Ellison, Bank Leumi BM and Bank Hapoalim BM, construction and support companies such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co and Volvo AB, 13 nonprofits, and the United States.

The lawyer for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for the individual, nonprofit and corporate defendants, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, did not immediately respond to similar requests.

In dismissing the case, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington had said it was “inappropriate” for her to resolve the issue of the settlements, because it was “close to the heart of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and central to the United States’ foreign policy decision-making in the region.”

But in Tuesday’s decision, without ruling on the merits, Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said the only political question concerned who had sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied territories.

She said courts could rule on whether the defendants conspired to expel non-Jews or committed war crimes “without touching the sovereignty question, if it concluded that Israeli settlers are committing genocide.”

Henderson said that presented a “purely legal issue” because genocide violated the law of nations, and could support the plaintiffs’ claim under the federal Alien Tort Statute.

Adelson is the chief executive of casino company Las Vegas Sands Corp. Ellison is the chairman of Oracle Corp, the database software company he co-founded.

The case is Al-Tamimi et al v Adelson et al, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 17-5207.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

A young Texas boy faced both praise and ridicule from adults after he opened a hot chocolate stand to raise money for President Donald Trumps’ border wall.

Benton Stevens — a seven-year-old from Austin — wanted to help raise funds for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border after watching Trump deliver the State of the Union address earlier in February. He set up a hot chocolate stand near a local strip mall as a way to collect money.


The stand, which is explicitly advertised as a fundraiser to help Trump build the wall, sells hot chocolate for $2 a cup. People can customize their drinks by paying an extra 50 cents for a big “Nancy Pelosi” marshmallow or grab smaller “Beto O’Rourke” marshmallows for free.

“I think it’s important that [our children] know what’s going on in the world, where we stand, what we believe in,” said Jennifer Stevens, Benton’s mother. Both Jennifer and her husband, Shane, are members of the Republican National Committee and say their dinner table conversations have clearly influenced Benton. The boy’s parents say he begged them to raise money for the border wall and set up the stand over the weekend.

“Every day he would get off the bus and say, ‘mom can we go do my stand,’” Jennifer stated.

The fundraiser appears to be quite successful, with Benton reportedly raising nearly $1,400 in two days.

Trump recently signed a spending bill that appropriates $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of new wall on the U.S. southern border. The president has taken the controversial step of declaring a national emergency, which is allowing him to grab billions more for wall construction funding. (RELATED: Democrats Fundraise Off Trump’s Plan To Declare National Emergency)

While Benton says some adults were “really happy” to see his stand, others were not so thrilled to see him raising money for a border wall.

“Some people were mad and calling me a ‘little Hitler’ and stuff, and some people were really happy,” Benton explained.

Border Wall And Migration In Focus As Negotiations Over Border Security Continue

EL PASO, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 12: People work on the U.S./ Mexican border wall on February 12, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. U.S. President Donald Trump visited the border city yesterday as he continues to campaign for more wall to be built along the border. Democrats in Congress are asking for other additional border security measures. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

This isn’t the first time Benton has faced backlash for his political beliefs. He said that while he attended Trump’s presidential inauguration three women in pink hats ridiculed his “Make America Great Again” hat.

However, Benton’s parents want it to be a learning experience for him.

“If he’s going to do it, he needs to learn that there’s going to be a little backlash,” Shane stated. “But I just wish [the critics] would do it in a little more respectful, adult-like manner.”

Benton, in the meantime, has big plans for the money he’s raised. The young boy wants to mail the funds to Trump or deliver it to him in person “so that the illegal immigrants can’t get into our town illegally.”

Follow Jason on Twitter

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Source: The Daily Caller

Graeme Gallagher | Contributor

The alleged hate crime attack on actor Jussie Smollett took a dramatic turn this week when Chicago Police issued a report suggesting that Smollett orchestrated the attack himself.

The 36-year-old “Empire” actor and singer alleged that he was attacked in Chicago by two individuals at a Subway on a late January night. His attackers allegedly shouted racist and homophobic slurs, beat him, put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance over him. (RELATED: Kamala Harris Stammers When Asked About Smollett ‘Lynching’ Comments)

The narrative of the story shifted, however, when two law enforcement sources told CNN that the Chicago Police believe Smollett paid his two attackers to assault him. The attackers, who are brothers from Nigeria and were also hired as extras on Smollett’s show, were released without charges on Friday and are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.

With backlash quickly forming against Smollet’s hate-crime hoax, his attorneys issued a statement denying the latest development. (RELATED: Here’s A List Of Hoax ‘Hate Crimes’ In The Trump Era)

“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,” said attorneys Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson to CNN.

Smollet’s attorneys said that they will continue to cooperate with authorities and are expecting further updates on the investigation.

In light of Smollett’s alleged orchestration of the attack, we want to know what has been the actor’s most convincing performance. Was it his interview with ABC on the attack? Or was it his kid actor role on “The Mighty Ducks”? Let us know and vote below.

Source: The Daily Caller

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Source: InfoWars

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