A hearing is scheduled for today over the fate of the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park.
A hearing is scheduled for today over the fate of the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park.
The dozens of attendees were all mask-less at Caligula, an illegal sex club, violating New York state COVID-19 regulations.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Monday criticized President Trump’s legal team over their chaotic press conference last week that failed to provide any evidence to back up their claims that the 2020 election was rigged.“You call a gigantic press conference like that — one that lasts an hour — and you announce massive bombshells, then you better have some bombshells,” Limbaugh said during his show on Monday. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got…I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference. They promised blockbuster stuff and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”He added, “If you’re gonna do a press conference like that with the promise of blockbusters, then there has to be something more than what that press conference delivered.”He also questioned the role of lawyer Sidney Powell, who was present at the press conference but has since cut ties with Trump’s legal team.Though Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said Powell is “not a member of the Trump legal team” or a personal lawyer to the president, Limbaugh argued it’s a “tough thing to deny she was ever part of it because they introduced her as part of it."“She was at that press conference last week,” he said.During the press conference on Thursday, Giuliani claimed to have evidence of a "national conspiracy" to steal the election for President-elect Joe Biden, though he said he could not yet release any evidence as the judges presiding over the campaign's lawsuit might object and because his witnesses might face retribution if their names became public. He said he had “at least ten” witnesses ready to describe instances of voter fraud, he couldn’t reveal them publicly because “they don’t want to be harassed.”
President-elect Joe Biden's pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, "was known for his unimpeachable ethics," according to The American Prospect's prior report. That may be true, but how he's spent his time since the end of the Obama administration has left some critics bristling at his selection.In a July report, TAP put a spotlight on the strategic consultancy firm WestExec Advisers, of which Blinken and Michele Fourney, the favorite to lead the Pentagon in the Biden administration, were founding partners. The firm has ties to an array of industries, including: tech, financial services, aerospace, defense, and pharmaceuticals. But it's not exactly clear who the individual clients are since the firm, which is not registered to lobby, doesn't have to disclose them. The lack of transparency is a cause for concern among some observers, who are worried about people in the Biden, or any, administration getting too wrapped up in the interests of global corporations, TAP reported.Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group, told The New York Times that "those kinds of consulting shops," like WestExec, "take advantage of current laws, so there is no transparency in their clients and how they are trying to influence public policy for them. That's exactly the kind of people who should not be in an administration."There likely will be some clarity, however, since Blinken, as a political appointee, will have to disclose clients who paid $5,000 or more for his services in the past year. Read more about WestExec Advisers at The American Prospect. > Federal political appointees are required to disclose clients who paid $5k or more for their services in the past year. So Blinken's financial disclosure will be a rare glimpse into this sort of consultancy's clientele https://t.co/QqfICsYpx4> > -- Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 23, 2020More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' I was wrong about Mitt Romney
People uneasy over Donald Trump’s obstinance should hope he isn’t inspired by North Carolina sheriff’s shocking example of political defiance.
Two top Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee have asked the Justice Department to declassify notes from an FBI interview of Miles Taylor, who authored the anonymous New York Times op-ed about the resistance to President Trump within his own administration.Taylor was interviewed as a possible witness in the Crossfire Hurricane probe and is identified in briefing notes intended for former FBI director James Comey dated May 1, 2017. It is not clear who wrote the notes, which span eleven pages and are heavily redacted, and were released by the Justice Department on October 30 of this year. Taylor's role in the Flynn probe is also unclear.Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), head of the committee, and colleague Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Monday requesting the declassification."We request all records relating to the FBI’s interview of Miles Taylor, including all 302s and notes, to better understand his role in the Flynn investigation," Johnson and Grassley wrote.The 2017 briefing notes refer to a "witness interview of Miles Taylor" in connection with Flynn Intel Group, the lobbying firm of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the group's work in Turkey. Taylor was a staffer on the House Committee on Homeland Security at the time, and met with Flynn's firm on several occasions in October 2016. In 2017, Taylor moved to the Department of Homeland Security, where he wrote an anonymousop-ed for the Times touting himself as part of a "resistance" within the Trump administration.Following his win in the 2016 election, President Trump appointed Flynn as national security adviser. Flynn was fired following allegations that he lied to FBI agents investigating suspicions of cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents in 2017.However, after a protracted legal fight, the Justice Department dropped its case against Flynn.
A Russian warship caught the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain operating illegally in Russia's territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, but chased it off, Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday. Moscow said that the Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, had verbally warned the U.S. ship and threatened to ram it in order to force it to leave the area. The U.S ship had immediately returned to neutral waters after being warned off, the defence ministry said in a statement.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is no longer sure Trump will "do the right thing" and acknowledge his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, but he's certain Biden will be sworn in Jan. 20, 2021, he told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday's State of the Union. Hogan, who has been critical of Trump, said he voted for the late President Ronald Reagan this year.Pressuring state legislators in Michigan and other states to "somehow change the outcome with electors was completely outrageous," Hogan said. "We used to go supervise elections around the world, and we were the most respected country with respect to elections. And now we're beginning to look like we're a banana republic. It's time for them to stop the nonsense. It gets more bizarre every single day, and frankly, I'm embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up."> Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he is "embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up" regarding President Trumps' refusal to concede https://t.co/2wEl0kWIoX CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/ht8v9oi0O5> > -- CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 22, 2020John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, was also critical of both Trump and his Republican Party, but he did offer some advice to those Republican officials scared of Trump. "Look, for those who are worried about Trump's reaction, there's strength in numbers," he said. "The more who come out and say, 'He doesn't represent us, he is not following a Republican game plan here,' the safer they will be." > "The Republican Party is not going to be saved by hiding in a spider hole. We need all of our leaders to come out and say, 'the election is over.' We're not talking about an abstract right for Trump to use his legal remedies. We've past that," John Bolton says. CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/pUFsiFj7PC> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 22, 2020More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' I was wrong about Mitt Romney
A federal court has thrown out the Trump campaign’s lawsuit in Pennsylvania, which challenged presumptive President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the commonwealth. In so doing, district judge Matthew Brann refused the campaign’s eleventh-hour attempt to file a new complaint that would have reinstated election fraud claims the Trump campaign had abandoned a few days earlier. (I outlined the lawsuit here, and explained the Trump campaign’s last-ditch effort to amend it here.)Judge Brann’s 37-page opinion sets forth a variety of reasons for dismissing the case. Most of them are directed toward the complaints of two individual plaintiffs — voters who claimed that their ballots had been improperly discounted. By contrast, the court found that the Trump campaign had no standing to sue, having posited no evidence that President Trump was harmed in any cognizable way by the manner in which the election was conducted in Pennsylvania.At bottom, though, the court found that the fatal flaw in the case is the one that we have repeatedly stressed: The mismatch between the harm alleged and the remedy sought.As the judge explained, even if one accepted the dubious premise that the two voters in question were improperly denied the right to vote while others similarly situated were not, the commensurate relief would be for their votes to be counted.That, however, was not the remedy they sought. Instead, supported by the Trump campaign, the two voters petitioned the court to stop Pennsylvania from certifying — on Monday as state law requires — the commonwealth’s election result, which had Biden winning by 83,000 votes. Brann countered:> Prohibiting certification of the election results would not reinstate the Individual Plaintiffs’ right to vote. It would simply deny more than 6.8 million [Pennsylvanians] their right to vote. “Standing is measured based on the theory of harm and the specific relief requested.” It is not “dispensed in gross: A plaintiff's remedy must be tailored to redress the plaintiff's particular injury.” Here, the answer to invalidated ballots is not to invalidate millions more. [Footnotes omitted.]As we detailed on Friday, the case was in a strange posture.In filing its original complaint on November 9, the Trump campaign claimed extensive vote fraud, relying mainly on the allegation that Republican poll-watchers had been denied a meaningful opportunity to observe the canvassing of ballots. But, as Brann notes (and we discussed here), on November 13, the federal appeals court for the Third Circuit (which has binding effect on Brann’s district court) issued its opinion in Bognet v. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Though not directly connected to the campaign’s case, Bognet’s reasoning substantially undercut its claims.The campaign reacted by amending its complaint, reducing the case to the narrow claim that Trump voters’ equal-protection rights (and, derivatively, the campaign’s rights) had been violated by an allegedly skewed procedure: Mail-in voters in Biden-friendly counties had been permitted to cure defects in the ballots they’d submitted, while voters in Trump-friendly counties were not. Brann rejected this claim, accepting Pennsylvania’s argument that Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar had encouraged ballot curing all over the state. Thus the state government was not at fault if not all counties availed themselves of this opportunity.That is largely beside the point, though. Even if there had been a violation of the voters’ rights, the remedy would be to count their votes. Instead, as the court observed,> Plaintiffs seek to remedy the denial of their votes by invalidating the votes of millions of others. Rather than requesting that their votes be counted, they seek to discredit scores of other votes, but only for one race [i.e., the presidential race, not the other contests down-ballot]. This is simply not how the Constitution works. [Emphasis added.]Moreover:> Granting Paintiffs’ requested relief would necessarily require invalidating the ballots of every person who voted in Pennsylvania. Because this Court has no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let along millions of citizens, it cannot grant Plaintiffs’ requested relief.Brann concluded that the Trump campaign had no standing to sue based, derivatively, on the harm alleged by the two voters, particularly after the Bognet ruling. He specifically rejected both of the campaign’s main equal-protection complaints: (1) that its poll-watchers were discriminatorily excluded from observing the canvass, and (2) that the opportunity for voters to cure defective ballots was deliberately done in counties the state knew to favor Biden.On the former, Brann held that this was not, as the Trump campaign maintained, an equal-protection issue. The campaign was not claiming that Trump observers were treated differently from Biden observers. On the latter, Brann concluded that the campaign was misinterpreting Bush v. Gore, and, in any event, was not claiming that Boockvar’s guidance on curing ballots differed from county to county.Most significantly, Brann denied the Trump campaign’s dilatory attempt to amend its complaint yet again late this past week, in order to reinstate claims from their original complaint, which they’d withdrawn last weekend. The court reasoned that this would “unduly delay resolution of the issues” in light of the fact that Monday, November 23, is the deadline for Pennsylvania counties to certify their election results to the state government — a necessary prelude to appointing the slate of electors who will cast the commonwealth’s Electoral College votes.In reaction to the ruling, the Trump campaign lawyers issued a statement asserting that, though they disagreed with the decision by “the Obama-appointed judge,” it was actually a boon to “our strategy to get expeditiously to the U.S. Supreme Court.”It is true that Brann was appointed by former President Barack Obama, but he is a Republican and Federalist Society member who was sponsored by the state’s Republican senator Pat Toomey — a common situation when a state’s two senators are from different parties, and an administration has to horse-trade on appointments.Trump lawyers added that the ruling denied them “the opportunity to present our evidence at a hearing.” They described that as “censorship” of “50 witnesses” who would have testified that state election officials denied the “independent review” required by Pennsylvania law. This is an apparent reference to the campaign’s claim that its poll-watchers were not given a meaningful opportunity to observe the canvass, which the lawyers say, “resulted in 682,777 ballots being cast illegally.” The campaign did not mention that it had dropped this charge from its original complaint. Nor did it allude to Brann’s conclusion that the allegation was not a cognizable equal-protection claim under federal law.The campaign says it will seek an expedited appeal to the Third Circuit — the tribunal that just decided the Bognet case, the precedent that appears to have induced the campaign to withdraw the claims it is now seeking to revive. In any event, it is anything but clear that the Supreme Court, which has thus far declined to act on Pennsylvania election-law claims relevant to the 2020 election, would agree to hear the campaign’s case — even assuming that the Third Circuit grants expedited appeal and, as even the campaign plainly expects, rules against the campaign.
President Trump’s efforts to undermine the results of the November election in Georgia will “absolutely” hurt Republicans in two U.S. Senate runoff races there, an election official in the state said Monday. “We’ve crossed a tipping point where ... there may be some Republicans who don’t trust the outcomes of the system at all, and say, ‘Why bother to vote,’” Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, told Yahoo News.
Pope Francis met with a delegation of NBA players at the Vatican on Monday, lauding them as “champions" and saying he supported their work on social injustice. Five players — Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver — were joined by NBA players' union executive director Michele Roberts and two other union executives, Sherrie Deans and Matteo Zuretti.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and his family will quarantine for 14 days following an exposure to COVID-19. Newsom on Twitter said that three of his children were recently "exposed to an officer from the California Highway Patrol who had tested positive for COVID-19." The California Highway Patrol provides the governor and his family with security, according to the Los Angeles Times.Newsom said he and his wife had "no direct interaction with the officer" who tested positive for COVID-19, and his "entire family tested negative" for the coronavirus on Sunday. "However, consistent with local guidance, we will be quarantining for 14 days," Newsom said.The governor's office previously announced on Friday that one of Newsom's children would be quarantining after a classmate tested positive for COVID-19, the Los Angeles Times reports.News of Newsom's COVID-19 quarantine comes after the governor recently received criticism for attending a birthday party amid the pandemic. He apologized and called his decision to attend the party a "bad mistake," admitting, "The spirit of what I'm preaching all the time was contradicted. I need to preach and practice, not just preach." More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' I was wrong about Mitt Romney
Facebook will promote vaccine and climate change information in a bid to please the Biden administration, sources told the Financial Times.
Conservative operatives and a super PAC with ties to infamous GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone are calling for Trump supporters to punish Republicans by sitting out Georgia’s crucial Senate runoffs or writing in Trump’s name instead. And though their efforts remains on the party’s fringes, the trajectory of the movement has Republicans fearful that it could cost the GOP control of the Senate.The most aggressive call to boycott or cast protest ballots in the two runoff races has, so far, come from a dormant pro-Trump super PAC with ties to Stone, which unveiled a new initiative to retaliate against the Republican Party’s supposed turncoats by handing Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.The group, dubbed the Committee for American Sovereignty, unveiled a new website encouraging Georgia Republicans to write in Trump’s name in both of the upcoming Senate runoff elections, which could determine the party that controls the upper chamber during President-elect Joe Biden’s first two years in office. The PAC argued that doing so will show support for the president in addition to forcing Republicans to address the wild election-fraud conspiracy theories floated by Trump supporters and members of his own legal team.“If we can do this, we have a real chance at getting these RINO senators to act on the illegitimate and corrupt election presided over by a Democrat party that is invested in the Communist takeover of Our Great Nation,” the group wrote on its new website, writeintrumpforgeorgiasenate.com. “We will not stop fighting for you, the American Patriot, against the evils of Socialism and inferior Religions.”Justice Dept. Watchdog Looking Into Abrupt Change in Roger Stone Sentencing Recommendation, Says ReportThe effort is representative of a broader push among some of President Trump’s most devoted supporters to withhold support for the two Georgia Republican senators facing competitive runoff challenges, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, in the hope of leveraging the party’s fear of losing the U.S. Senate to get more establishment backing for their drive to change the result of the election. The goal, those operatives say, is to expose a supposed vast election fraud conspiracy abetted by high-level Republicans in Georgia’s state government, including Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.The Committee for American Sovereignty and a sister nonprofit group were set up in 2016 as vehicles for prominent pro-Trump operatives—most notably Stone and former Blackwater chief Erik Prince—to attempt to suppress the Black vote by amplifying claims that Bill Clinton had an illegitimate biracial son. It’s been mostly quiet since then. The PAC’s recent filings with the Federal Election Commission disclose nothing but outstanding federal and state tax liabilities, and its new effort in Georgia doesn’t appear to have received much pickup yet.A request for comment sent to the Committee for American Sovereignty email address on file with the FEC was not returned. Efforts to reach Pamela Jensen, a California political activist who leads the group, were not successful. Her husband, an attorney named Paul Jensen who describes Stone as a “long time client,” told The Daily Beast in an email his wife “has no comment, and nor do I.” Stone did not respond to inquiries about his present involvement with the group.Efforts by the super PAC and other pro-Trump activists to kneecap Georgia Republicans nonetheless gained major traction over the past week thanks largely to the public utterances of Powell, who claimed in a Saturday interview on Newsmax that her imagined voter fraud conspiracy involving Dominion voting machines and Venezuelan bribes extended all the way to Kemp and Raffensperger. Powell even suggested that Loeffler would have lost this month to Rep. Doug Collins, her top Republican challenger, had it not been for the supposed voter fraud that tainted Georgia elections.“Mr. Kemp and the secretary of state need to go with it because they're in on the Dominion scam with their last-minute purchase or reward of a contract to Dominion of $100 million,” Powell said.Fears of an intra-party disaster in Georgia fueled by Trump fans livid about Powell’s conspiracy theories have been tempered a bit by internal polling showing a relatively slim portion of Trump voters in the state are so disgruntled they might rebuke the GOP’s own Senate candidates. One Republican operative who’s seen that polling told The Daily Beast that the number was “in the single digits.”But the Jan. 5 runoff contests are expected to be extremely tight even barring any defections. And even Republicans who fully buy into the conspiracy theories around the Trump election defeat say they worry that it will depress GOP turnout, potentially enough to cost the party the two Senate seats and the majority.“The anger over the secretary of state’s incompetence and the governor’s failure to lead could mean that Republicans just stay home,” said Newt Gingrich, the former Georgia congressman and speaker of the House. “I think there’s a very big problem with getting Republicans to turn out.”Gingrich told The Daily Beast in an interview on Monday that he is fully convinced that Democrats will attempt to steal both Senate elections. Republicans “could actually win the popular vote but not win the counted vote,” Gingrich predicted. “They actually have a fairly easy campaign... The problem is when you get done doing all of that—traditional, classic campaigning—if the other side then has sufficient control of the election machinery, they just beat you.”But Gingrich said he hoped such dire predictions of inevitable election-stealing would drive Republicans to the polls, rather than reinforcing the very voter apathy that he said he was concerned about. “I have a very simple model,” he said. “You have to win by a bigger margin than they can steal.”Rush Limbaugh Does Full 180, Blasts Sidney Powell After Team Trump Disavowed HerThough Gingrich may see the stakes of the runoffs in clear terms, others Republicans don’t. On conservative media social site Parler, grieving Trump fans said they’ll express their displeasure with the GOP by skipping the runoffs or by writing in Trump’s name. Last week, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh told his audience that “Never Trump” Republicans were desperate for their votes in the runoffs, suggesting that Trump supporters’ votes could be up for grabs.“It’s funny how these Never Trump people want us to save their bacon right now while they sat on their butts and ridiculed Trump and us for voting for him,” Limbaugh said.Limbaugh eventually urged his audience to vote for Loeffler and Perdue anyway. But pro-Trump Georgia lawyer Lin Wood, who sued Georgia in an attempt to stop the state’s vote certification, tweeted Saturday that he wouldn’t vote in the runoff unless Loeffler and Perdue took more actions against his claims of Election Day voter fraud.“Threaten to withhold your votes & money,” Wood tweeted. “Demand that they represent you.”Conservative operative Ali Alexander, who has organized “Stop the Steal” protests around the country, demanded that Perdue and Loeffler call on Kemp to order a special session of the Georgia legislature to investigate claims of voter fraud. If they didn’t, Alexander said, Trump supporters would boycott the runoff.“Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue can either do what we said, because we are their voters, we are their donors, we are their volunteers, or we literally won’t vote,” Alexander said, before mimicking his critics’ concerns about Senate control. “‘Oh, but Ali, then Democrats will take the Senate?’ I would rather an enemy in my face than a traitor behind.”Alexander, who has nearly 200,000 Twitter followers and is prone to grandiose pronouncements about his own influence within the party, threatened to launch primary campaigns across the country under the “Stop the Steal” brand against Republicans deemed insufficiently supportive of Trump’s post-election legal efforts. He claimed he could convince 100,000 Georgia voters to boycott the Jan. 5 runoff, and urged his fans not to donate to the Georgia Senate candidates or Republican groups, saying they had enough money already.“Nobody should be donating to the NRSC, the RNC, Kelly Loeffler, or David Perdue,” Alexander said.Alexander’s comments prompted pushback from Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), the one-time QAnon supporter now set to be sworn into Congress in January. Greene tweeted that the threats would “hand over the Senate to the Socialist Democrats!”“People taking donations to their personal PayPal should spend it on elections,” Greene tweeted, an apparent jab at Alexander for soliciting donations to his PayPal account from Trump voters.Other Republicans have rushed to make sure Trump voters angry at the GOP still show up to vote in the runoffs. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Monday for Trump supporters to buck calls from conservative activists to sit out the vote.“That is NONSENSE,” Trump Jr. tweeted. “IGNORE those people.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
We rounded up a mix of gifts that help others, keep folks healthy, and add a little something-something to the home Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is encouraging residents to call the police on any neighbors who flout state COVID-19 restrictions, which include limiting in-home gatherings to a maximum of six people.“This is no different than what happens if there's a party down the street and it's keeping everyone awake,” Brown said in an interview Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it's too noisy. This is just like that. It's like a violation of a noise ordinance.”Last week the Democratic governor instituted a new round of restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of coronavirus in the state via executive order, including a two-week “freeze” limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than six people from no more than two households just ahead of Thanksgiving. Residents are also prohibited from eating out at restaurants and going to the gym, though faith-based gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors are allowed.Violators can face up to 30 days in jail, $1,250 fines or both. The Marion County Sheriff’s office said in a statement on Friday that it believes “we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic.”“We believe both are counterproductive to public health goals.”Brown pushed back, calling criticisms of the new restrictions "irresponsible."“This is about saving lives and it's about protecting our fellow Oregonians,” she said. “We have too many sporadic cases in Oregon. We can't trace these cases to a particular source. We have to limit gatherings and social interactions.”On Sunday, new COVID-19 cases reached a record high in the state for the third straight day, with 1,517 new infections recorded, bringing the state total to 65,170.
The Japanese government is preparing to pause its domestic travel campaign in two cities following sharp rises in COVID-19 cases, the minister handling the government's coronavirus response said on Tuesday. The move would be a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's aim to use the Go To Travel campaign to prop up regional economies, while critics said the programme risked spreading the infection from major cities to the countryside. Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said he hoped a final decision on the temporary exclusion of the cities of Osaka and Sapporo from the programme could be made later in the day.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a private jet to Neom, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday for a secret meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli media and The Wall Street Journal report. Two Saudi government advisers tell the Journal that in their first known face-to-face meeting, Netanyahu and bin Salman discussed Iran and normalizing relations, but no substantial agreements were reached. Yossi Cohen, the director of Israeli spy agency Mossad, was also on the trip, Israel's Army Radio reports.Flight data showed a Gulfstream IV private jet Netanyahu likes to use traveling from Tel Aviv to Neom, a Saudi resort city being developed on the Red Sea.> MBS and Pompeo were at NEOM at the time. https://t.co/bc2H4hETk8> > — avi scharf (@avischarf) November 23, 2020"Pompeo traveled with an American press pool on his trip throughout the Mideast, but left them at the Neom airport when he went into his visit with the crown prince," The Associated Press reports. The Trump administration has recently helped broker deals to normalize relations between Israel and several Gulf Arab states, including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates. and Sudan. "Saudi Arabia is seen as the ultimate prize in the high-stakes diplomatic campaign," the Journal notes."The Saudi government, under the direction of King Salman, has so far balked at formal ties with Israel so long as its conflict with the Palestinians remained unresolved," the Journal reports. "But Saudi Arabia's king has been at odds with his son, Prince Mohammed, over embracing the Jewish state. The king is a longtime supporter of the Arab boycott of Israel and the Palestinians' demand for an independent state, while the prince wants to move past what he sees as an intractable conflict to join with Israel in business and align against Iran."Benny Gantz, Israel's alternate prime minister under a power-sharing agreement with Netanyahu, and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi were in the dark about the meeting, Haaretz reports. "Israel has long had clandestine ties to Gulf Arab states that have strengthened in recent years as they have confronted a shared threat in Iran," AP adds.More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life' I was wrong about Mitt Romney
Parishioners of St. Andrews Catholic Church in Fort Worth, Texas, know that the Rev. Jim Gigliotti does not water down Catholic teaching for the sake of his flock’s comfort. He doesn’t mince words when explaining it, either.
Western Union closed its 407 locations across Cuba on Monday, a sanctions-driven move that will leave thousands bereft of remittances on an island that depends heavily on them — or force them to use less reliable ways to bring in money. The closure of offices that have operated for more than 20 years in Cuba resulted from a barrage of sanctions that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed while courting conservative Cuban-American voters in Florida ahead of the Nov. 3 election. “The problem is not the closure of Western Union, but that Western Union is practically the only U.S.-to-Cuba provider of remittance payments,” said Manuel Orozco, director of the Center for Migration and Economic Stabilization at Creative Associates International, a development-oriented advisory firm in Washington, D.C. “The impact will be felt.”