The Department of Homeland Security has issued a waiver to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers in the vicinity of the international border near Calexico, California. The waiver was published in the Federal Register today. This waiver is pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress and covers a variety of environmental, natural resource, and land management laws.
The Department has exercised the waiver authority in Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), as amended, on five previous occasions from 2005 to 2008, as well as exercising this waiver authority earlier this year for a project in the San Diego area, which was announced in August. This current waiver covers certain border infrastructure projects in the United States Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector, a critical sector for border security. In fiscal year 2016 alone, the United States Border Patrol apprehended more than 19,400 undocumented immigrants and seized approximately 2,899 pounds of marijuana and approximately 126 pounds of cocaine in the El Centro Sector. The El Centro Sector remains an area of high illegal entry, and replacing the existing fencing, which was built in the 1990s and no longer meets the Border Patrol’s operational needs, is a high priority.
To begin to meet the need for additional border infrastructure in this area, DHS will implement a border fence replacement project. This project will focus on an approximately three-mile segment of the border within the El Centro Sector that starts at the Calexico West port of entry and extends westward, replacing approximately two miles of the existing primary pedestrian fence with a new bollard wall. Congress funded the project in the FY 2017 DHS Appropriations Act. Congress provided the Secretary of Homeland Security with a number of authorities necessary to carry out DHS’s border security mission. One of these authorities is found at section 102 of the IIRIRA. Section 102(a) of IIRIRA provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States. In section 102(b) of IIRIRA, Congress has called for the installation of additional fencing, barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors on the southwest border. Finally, in section 102(c) of IIRIRA, Congress granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive all legal requirements that the Secretary, in his sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads authorized by section 102 of IIRIRA. The Department is implementing President Trump’s Executive Order 13767, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, and continues to take steps to immediately plan, design and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border. While the waiver eliminates DHS’s obligation to comply with various laws with respect to covered projects, the Department remains committed to environmental stewardship with respect to these projects. DHS has been coordinating and consulting — and intends to continue doing so — with other federal and state resource agencies to ensure impacts to the environment, wildlife, and cultural and historic artifacts are analyzed and minimized, to the extent possible.
Exclusive: DOJ let Russian lawyer into US before she met with Trump team
The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews. This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.
Later, a series of events between an intermediary for the attorney and the Trump campaign ultimately led to the controversy surrounding the president’s eldest son.
Just five days after meeting in June 2016 at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya showed up in Washington in the front row of a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia policy, video footage of the hearing shows.
She also helped arrange an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. where pro-Russian supporters showed a movie that challenged the underpinnings of the U.S. human rights law known as the Magnitysky Act, which Russian leader Vladimir Putin has reviled and tried to reverse. The Magnitsky Act imposed financial and other sanctions on Russia for alleged human rights violations connected to the death of a Russian lawyer who claimed to uncover fraud during Putin’s reign. Russia retaliated after the law was passed in 2012 by suspending Americans’ ability to adopt Russian children. At least five congressional staffers and State Department officials attended that movie showing, according to a Foreign Agent Registration Act complaint filed with the Justice Department about Veselnitskaya’s efforts. And Veselnitskaya also attended a dinner with the chairman of the House subcommittee overseeing Russia policy, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and roughly 20 other guests at a dinner club frequented by Republicans. In an interview with The Hill on Wednesday, Rohrabacher said, “There was a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club here with about 20 people. I think I was the only congressman there. They were talking about the Magnitysky case. But that wasn’t just the topic. There was a lot of other things going on. So I think she was there but I don’t remember any type of conversation with her between us. But I understand she was at the table.” Rohrabacher said he believed Veselnitskaya and her U.S. colleagues, which included former Democratic Congressman Ronald Dellums, were lobbying other lawmakers to reverse the Magnitysky Act and restore the ability of Americans to adopt Russian children that Moscow had suspended. “I don’t think this was very heavily lobbied at all compared with the other issues we deal with,” he said. As for his former congressional colleague Dellums, Rohrabacher said he recalled having a conversation about the Magnitsky Act and the adoption issue, “Ron and I like each other … I have to believe he was hired a lobbyist but I don’t know.” Veselnitskaya did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday at her Moscow office. Dellums also did not return a call to his office seeking comment. But in an interview with NBC News earlier this week, Veselnitskaya acknowledged her contacts with Donald Trump Jr. and in Washington were part of a lobbying campaign to get members of Congress and American political figures to see “the real circumstances behind the Magnitsky Act.” That work was a far cry from the narrow reason the U.S. government initially gave for allowing Veselnitskaya into the U.S. in late 2015, according to federal court records. The Moscow lawyer had been turned down for a visa to enter the U.S. lawfully but then was granted special immigration parole by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch for the limited purpose of helping a company owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, her client, defend itself against a Justice Department asset forfeiture case in federal court in New York City. During a court hearing in early January 2016 as Veselnitskaya’s permission to stay in the country was about to expire, federal prosecutors described how rare the grant of parole immigration was as Veselnitskaya pleaded for more time to remain in the United States. “In October the government bypassed the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary permission to enter the country called immigration parole,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni explained to the judge during a hearing Jan. 6, 2016. “That’s a discretionary act that the statute allows the Attorney General to do in extraordinary circumstances. In this case, we did that so that Mr. Katsyv could testify. And we made the further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the country to assist,” he added. The prosecutor said Justice was willing to allow the Russian lawyer to enter the United States again as the trial in the case approached so she could help prepare and attend the proceedings. The court record indicates the presiding judge asked the Justice Department to extend Veselnitskaya’s immigration parole another week until he decided motions in the case. There are no other records in the court file indicating what happened with that request or how Veselnitskaya appeared in the country later that spring. The U.S. Attorney’s office in New York confirmed Wednesday to The Hill that it let Veselnitskaya into the country on a grant of immigration parole from October 2015 to early January 2016. Justice Department and State Department officials could not immediately explain how the Russian lawyer was still in the country in June for the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and the events in Washington D.C.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has demanded the U.S. government provide him all records on how Veselnitskaya entered and traveled in the U.S., a request that could shed additional light on her activities. Interviews with a half dozen Americans who came in contact with Veselnitskaya or monitored her U.S. activities in 2016 make clear that one of her primary goals was to see if the Congress and/or other political leaders would be interested in repealing the 2012 Magnitsky Act punishing Russia or at least ensure the Magnitsky name would not be used on a new law working its way through Congress in 2016 to punish human rights violators across the globe. “There’s zero doubt that she and her U.S. colleagues were lobbying to repeal Magnitsky or at least ensure his name was removed from the global law Congress was considering,” said U.S. businessman William Browder, who was the main proponent for the Magnitsky Act and who filed a FARA complaint against Veselnitskaya, Dellums and other U.S. officials claiming they should have registered as foreign agent lobbyists because of the work. The 2012 law punished Russia for the prison death of Moscow lawyer/accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who U.S. authorities allege uncovered a massive $230 million money laundering scheme involving Russian government official that hurt U.S. companies. Magnitsky became a cause celeb in the United States after his mysterious death in a Russian prison, but Russian officials have disputed his version of events and in 2011 posthumously convicted him of fraud in Russia. It is that alternate theory of the Magnitsky fraud cause that Veselnitskaya and her U.S. allies tried to get into the hands of American officials, including Rohrabacher, the Trump team and other leaders. Browder’s complaint, which alleges that Washington lobbyists working with Veselnitskaya failed to register as foreign agents, is still pending at the Justice Department. It identified several events in Washington that Veselnitskaya and her allies attended or staged in June 2016. All of them occurred in the days immediately after the Russian lawyer used a music promoter friend to get an audience June 9 with Trump’s eldest son promising dirt on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and instead using the meeting to talk about Magnitsky and the adoption issue, according to Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya. On June 13, Veselnitskaya attended the screening of an anti-Magnitsky movie at the Newseum, which drew a handful of congressional staffers and State Department officials, according to Browder’s complaint. The next day, she appeared in the front row of a hearing chaired by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), sitting right behind a former U.S. ambassador who testified on the future of U.S-Russia policy. Rohrabacher said he recalled around the same time a conversation with Dellums about Magnitsky and the adoption issue and then attending a dinner that included Veselnitskaya at the Capitol Hill Club with about 20 people. Sources close to the lobbying effort to rename the Magnisky Act, conducted over the summer of 2016, said it fizzled after only a month or two. They described Veselnitskaya, who does not speak English, as a mysterious and shadowy figure. They said they were confused as to whether she had an official role in the lobbying campaign, although she was present for several meetings. The sources also described their interactions with Veselnitskaya in the same way that Trump Jr. did. They claimed not to know who she worked for or what her motives were. “Natalia didn’t speak a word of English,” said one source. “Don’t let anyone tell you this was a sophisticated lobbying effort. It was the least professional campaign I’ve ever seen. If she’s the cream of the Moscow intelligence community then we have nothing to worry about.” The sources added they met with Veselnitksaya only once or twice over the course of the lobbying campaign, which culminated with airing of a Russian documentary that challenged the notion that Magnitsky was beaten to death in a Russian prison About 80 people, including congressional staffers and State Department employees attended the viewing at the Newseum.
Caught between their own country’s corrupt ineptitude and the innate desire for a peaceful existence to provide for their families.
Thought: Purchase guns and ammo with the US$8,500 otherwise paid to coyote smugglers, the same cartel bastards who make your life miserable. You can buy an AR-15 carbine in the US for less than $500 now, and a .45 pistol for $350. So what’s your excuse? If you organize with other “bullied types” such as yourself, you can wipe out the chingadero chupacabras, enslave their bitches for your own benefit. War is war, be bold. When your country is overrun by a$$holes, you need to become a merciless a$$hole yourself. Kill these bastards at night, in their sleep.
Surround the place
Shoot the sleepy guard
Burn it to the ground
Shoot anyone trying to escape
I’m certain you can buy some acreage in Honduras or Guatemala for a few hundred US dollars. Grow something, make something, sell it. That’s exactly what Americans do! Kill any bastard that dares to steal from you, or harm your family. Stay home where you belong. America is not a destination for cowards.
Eswin Josué Fuentes and his daughter, Andrea Belen, in their one-room house in Choloma, Honduras. He said he had canceled plans to have a smuggler get them into the United States. Credit Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times
CHOLOMA, Honduras — His bags were packed, and the smuggler was ready. If all went well, Eswin Josué Fuentes figured he and his 10-year-old daughter would slip into the United States within days.
Then, the night before he planned to leave, he had a phone conversation with a Honduran friend living illegally in New York. Under President Trump, the friend warned, the United States was no longer a place for undocumented migrants.
Shaken, Mr. Fuentes abruptly ditched his plans in May and decided to stay here in Honduras, despite its unrelenting violence and poverty. He even passed up the $12,000 in smuggler fees that his sister in the United States had lined up for the journey.
“I got scared of what’s happening there,” Mr. Fuentes said.
While some of Mr. Trump’s most ambitious plans to tighten the border are still a long way off, particularly his campaign pledge to build a massive wall, his hard-line approach to immigration already seems to have led to sharp declines in the flow of migrants from Central America bound for the United States.
From February through May, the number of undocumented immigrants stopped or caught along the southwest border of the United States fell 60 percent from the same period last year, according to United States Customs and Border Protection — evidence that far fewer migrants are heading north, officials on both sides of the border say.
Residents in a poor neighborhood of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, which has gang activity and is one of the most violent cities in the world.
Inside the United States, the Trump administration has cast a broader enforcement net, including reversing Obama-era rules that put a priority on arresting serious criminals and mostly left other undocumented immigrants alone. Arrests of immigrants living illegally in the United States have soared, with the biggest increase coming among those migrants with no criminal records.
The shift has sown a new sense of fear among undocumented immigrants in the United States. In turn, they have sent a warning back to relatives and friends in their homelands: Don’t come.
The message is loud and clear here in Honduras. Manuel de Jesús Ríos Reyes, 55, stood in the unforgiving sun outside a reception center for deportees from the United States. His wife, who tried to cross the American border illegally in March, was on an incoming flight.
Families waiting for loved ones outside a reception center for deportees flown from the United States to San Pedro Sula.
Mindful of the warnings from the United States, Mr. Ríos had urged her not to go. “She didn’t pay attention,” he recalled. “Now she’s here. Thank God, she’s alive.”
If his wife talks about trying to cross again, he said, he will redouble his pleas. “Ah, my love,” he planned to tell her. “Stay here.”
Many in the Central American countries known as the Northern Triangle — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — appear to be doing just that. Those nations have accounted for many of the undocumented immigrants who have tried to cross the American border in recent years. Now the wariness about Mr. Trump’s immigration policies is palpable, the impact visible.
Migrant smugglers in Honduras say their business has dried up since Mr. Trump took office. Fewer buses have been leaving the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula bound for the border with Guatemala, the usual route for Honduran migrants heading overland to the United States. In hotels and shelters along the migrant trail, once-occupied beds go empty night after night.
Marcos, a migrant smuggler based near San Pedro Sula, said that last year he had taken one or two groups each month from Honduras to the United States border. Since Mr. Trump’s inauguration, however, he has had only one client. He blames Mr. Trump.
“People think he’s going to kick everyone out of the country,” Marcos said, asking that his full name not be published because of the illegal nature of his work. “Almost nobody’s going.”
Instead, many potential migrants in the Northern Triangle are choosing to sit tight and endure the poverty and violence that have driven hundreds of thousands to seek work and sanctuary in the United States in recent years.
Juan Ángel Pérez, 31, an unemployed factory worker in the northern Honduran city of Villanueva, had planned to head overland to the United States in June and had lined up a smuggler for $8,500. But after speaking with his sister, an undocumented immigrant in North Carolina, he decided against it.
“She said, ‘Think about it very carefully because the situation is getting more difficult,’” Mr. Perez recalled last week. “I was scared of losing the money.”
“If I stay here, life is complicated,” he said, “and if I go there, it’s complicated. I’m between the sword and the wall.”
Instead of going to the United States, some are migrating within their own countries in search of opportunity and safety, or they are seeking to move elsewhere in Latin America and even to Europe or Asia.
Around midnight, Roberto, 24, sat on the grimy steps outside the main bus station in San Pedro Sula, waiting for a night bus bound for Guatemala City. His intended destination was Mexico — at least for now. In time, he hoped to press on to the United States, but now was not the moment — “because of the current policies” under Mr. Trump, he said.
“Every day, it’s on the news” here in Honduras, Roberto said, asking that his last name not be used because he planned to sneak into Mexico illegally. “People are being deported every day.”
He chuckled uncomfortably at the thought of paying a lot of money to a smuggler to reach the United States, only to be detained and deported once he got there. “Imagine paying and losing everything,” he said.
Experts in the region warn that the decline in migration could put additional pressure on Central American countries, increasing competition for work, which is already in short supply, and potentially driving more people into the criminal gangs that have terrorized the region.
Mr. Trump is also proposing to cut American assistance for the sorts of economic and social development programs that seek to alleviate the poverty and violence that have compelled so many people to flee their homes.
The president’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year would slash economic assistance to Central America by 42 percent from 2016 levels, according to an analysis by the Washington Office on Latin America, a research group.
“The effect on judicial reform, job creation and violence prevention efforts would be severe,” the organization said.
Since abandoning his plan to migrate with his daughter to the United States, Mr. Fuentes, a widower, has not found work here in the violent northern city of Choloma or in nearby San Pedro Sula.
Every morning he awakes with his daughter, Andrea Belen, at dawn in their one-room cinder block house. He walks Andrea to a friend’s house, where she waits until it is time to go to school, then he heads into the city and spends the day knocking on doors and asking for a job. As tough as their life is, though, he does not regret canceling the journey to the United States.
“I have to think about my daughter,” he said. “You don’t want to make a mistake.”
Because much of the migration to the United States from the Northern Triangle is illegal and undocumented, its precise volume is hard to pin down.
But the decline in migrants heading north has been registered at many points along the way. The Mexican authorities recorded a 56 percent drop in the number of undocumented immigrants detained in their country — many of them presumably on their way to the United States — in the first four months of the Trump administration, compared with the same period last year.
The drop was stark among Hondurans. Nearly 9,000 were detained in Mexico from February to May, compared with more than 18,600 during the same period last year.
“Fewer Hondurans are being detained because fewer are leaving,” María Andrea Matamoros, vice minister for foreign relations in Honduras, told reporters last month.
That said, the two general populations of migrants — those principally fleeing poverty and those principally fleeing violence — seem to be responding in different ways.
Honduras has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, and many people fleeing the violence continue to leave Honduras in significant numbers, experts say.
“There isn’t an institution in the country that can protect them,” said Sister Lidia Mara Silva de Souza, national coordinator of the Human Mobility Pastoral in Honduras and a member of the Scalabrinian missionary order.
According to the United Nations, more people from the Northern Triangle filed for asylum through the Department of Homeland Security in the first three months of this year than during the same period last year.
An increasing number of Northern Triangle residents have also filed for asylum in other countries, particularly Mexico, migration experts said. Some who might have sought sanctuary in the United States have gone elsewhere, citing Mr. Trump’s policies.
The stream of Central American migrants like Mr. Fuentes, who are principally fleeing poverty, has dropped significantly, immigrants’ advocates say.
For generations, the migration of people from Central America seeking work elsewhere has served as a safety valve for the region, relieving pressure on the labor market and public services. Now, community leaders in Honduras fear that with fewer people migrating in search of opportunities in the United States, poverty will worsen and criminal gangs will find new recruits.
“People don’t have an opportunity to work in this country,” said Daniel Pacheco, an evangelical pastor in a gang-controlled sector of San Pedro Sula, one of the most violent cities in the world. “We’re very worried.”
Still, many here do not think the decrease in migration will endure for too long. The hardships of life in Honduras are too many, the government’s solutions are too few — and the allure of the United States is too great.
“The smoke of fear will drop, the migration will return,” said Sister Valdete Wilemann, who runs a center at the San Pedro Sula airport where Honduran migrants are processed after being deported from the United States.
The dream of going to the United States is “the culture,” she said. “You’re not going to rid Hondurans of that.”
Now, isn’t that a pathetic statement? That “the dream of Hondurans is to go to the United States?” GET WEAPONS, KILL BAD PEOPLE AT HOME is the better solution.
Trump is a president like no other, at least not since Republican President Teddy Roosevelt
University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, said to be in a coma, released from North Korea
TOKYO — University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, who had been detained in North Korea for 17 months, was to arrive home in Cincinnati on Tuesday night in a coma — his family stricken yet relieved to have him back, but his return a harbinger of more difficulties in the already-tense relationship between Pyongyang and Washington.
After a senior State Department official flew to Pyongyang to demand the 22-year-old’s release on humanitarian grounds, he was flown out in a medical evacuation. His parents and siblings were waiting for him at a municipal airport in Cincinnati.
“We get to see our son Otto tonight,” Fred Warmbier said in an interview Tuesday morning after his son was evacuated. “We’ll be relieved to have him home and are looking forward to surrounding him with people who love him.”
Warmbier’s parents hadn’t heard from or seen him since he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor in March last year for attempting to steal a propaganda poster at the end of a five-day tour of North Korea.
But amid the relief, there were also new questions about what happened to him: How did a healthy young man fall into such a deep coma? The North Korean government told his parents that food poisoning was to blame. And how does the Trump administration respond?
Three other American citizens are being detained in North Korea, at a time when Kim Jong Un has been firing missiles and threatening to strike the United States. President Trump has been vowing to exert “maximum pressure” on North Korea to make it abandon its nuclear weapons program but has also dangled the prospect of talks with Kim, whom he called a “smart cookie.”
Warmbier was flown out of North Korea on the same day that Dennis Rodman, the controversial former basketball star, arrived for his fifth visit to Pyongyang.
Officials involved in securing Warmbier’s release told The Washington Post that it had nothing to do with Rodman’s trip to Pyongyang, calling it a “bizarre coincidence” that might have been a deliberate ploy from North Korea to distract from Warmbier’s condition.
“Dennis Rodman had nothing to do with the release of Mr. Warmbier,” said Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman, adding that the government was “thankful” that he would soon be home in his parents’ arms.
She also reiterated the State Department’s travel advice against going to North Korea, with which the United States has no diplomatic relations.
“Let me reiterate this: We strongly, strongly suggest that Americans do not go to North Korea,” Nauert said.
At the time of his arrest, Warmbier had been on an organized New Year’s tour in North Korea, a five-day stopover on his way to Hong Kong for a study-abroad trip.
But on his final night in Pyongyang — New Year’s Eve — he apparently went to a staff-only floor of his hotel and attempted to take down a large propaganda sign lauding the regime. He was charged with “hostile acts against the state.”
Surrounded by North Korean guards, Warmbier delivered a highly scripted “confession” that appeared to have been written for him, and after an hour-long sham trial in March 2016, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor.
He had not been seen in public since, and Swedish diplomats, representing U.S. interests, had been denied consular access to him. Officials involved in negotiations to free Warmbier and another American citizen being detained were told they were being treated as prisoners of war.
During a secret meeting in Oslo last month with Joseph Yun, the State Department’s special representative for North Korea, high-level North Korean officials agreed that Swedish diplomats in Pyongyang would be allowed to visit the four Americans imprisoned by the North.
But in Pyongyang, the Swedes were allowed to see only one detainee, and it wasn’t Warmbier.
As the Americans continued to push for the Swedish diplomats to see all four, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations urgently requested a meeting with Yun in New York, according to Trump administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the still-secret arrangements. There, North Korean officials told Yun about Warmbier’s condition.
He informed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who consulted with the president, the officials said.
Yun was instructed to prepare to travel to Pyongyang with the intention of bringing Warmbier back to the United States. A medical team and aircraft were organized, and North Korea was informed that a delegation would travel there.
“It wasn’t a situation where they asked,” one official said of the U.S. representatives. The North Koreans “were informed that the airplane would land, American and medical officials would get out.”
Yun was under orders, which the official said came directly from Trump, to demand to see Warmbier immediately, and, “if he was in bad shape,” to demand his immediate release and evacuation on the plane’s return flight to the United States.
Yun arrived in Pyongyang early Monday with two American physicians. They were immediately taken to Warmbier. Yun insisted on Warmbier’s immediate release on humanitarian grounds, officials said, and the North Koreans agreed.
Tillerson called Trump at 8:35 a.m. Tuesday to inform him that Warmbier was on an airplane en route to the United States, an official said. The last instruction the president left Tillerson was: “Take care of Otto,” the official said.
The Warmbier family said they were informed that North Korean officials had told American envoys that their son became ill with botulism soon after his show trial.
The North Korean account, the family said, claimed Warmbier then fell into a coma after being given a sleeping pill. The Warmbiers said they were told their son has remained in a coma since then.
There was no immediate confirmation from U.S. officials of North Korea’s description of his illness — including whether he was stricken with botulism, a potentially fatal disease that is caused by a toxin but is not usually associated with loss of consciousness. U.S. officials in touch with Yun and medical personnel declined to say whether Warmbier remains in a coma or to make any comment on his current medical condition.
North Korean representatives at the United Nations did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
North Korea has woefully inadequate medical care, and it is not clear how North Korean doctors had been caring for Warmbier for more than a year in an unconscious state.
Warmbier was to have graduated last month had he not been detained.
“While the entire University of Virginia community is relieved to learn of Otto’s release from North Korea, we are deeply concerned and saddened to learn from his family that he is in a coma,” U-Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said in a statement Tuesday.
Annabella Vagonis, a family friend from Reston, Va., whose daughter was close with Warmbier at U-Va., said, “We were at turns incredulous, shocked, surprised, joyful and sad, all kind of emotions within a nanosecond of each other when we got the news this morning.
“We are so incredibly joyful that he is finally coming home. We are concerned about his overall health and not knowing the details of his being in a coma. We’re hopeful that with the excellent medical care that he’ll receive that we’ll receive some good news once they examine him. “
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) called Warmbier’s arrest and trial “unnecessary and appalling,” while lawmakers from Virginia also denounced North Korea’s actions.
The other three Americans detained by North Korea remain there.
A former Virginia resident and naturalized American citizen, Kim Dong-chul, was arrested shortly after Warmbier on accusations of espionage and was sentenced to 10 years with hard labor.
In April and May, North Korea detained two other Korean Americans, both of them affiliated with the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a private institution run by Korean American Christians.
Previous detainees have been released after visits from high-profile Americans, including former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. But efforts to persuade North Korea to release the men now held had not been successful until Warmbier’s release Tuesday.
DeYoung reported from Washington. Susan Svrluga in Cincinnati, and David Nakamura and Jenna Portnoy in Washington contributed to this report.
The History and Meaning of “Palestine” and “Palestinians”
“There is no such thing as a Palestinian Arab nation . . . Palestine is a name the Romans gave to Eretz Yisrael with the express purpose of infuriating the Jews . . . . Why should we use the spiteful name meant to humiliate us?
The British chose to call the land they mandated Palestine, and the Arabs picked it up as their nation’s supposed ancient name, though they couldn’t even pronounce it correctly and turned it into Falastin a fictional entity.” — Golda Meir quoted by Sarah Honig, Jerusalem Post, 25 November 1995
Palestine has never existed . . . as an autonomous entity. There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.
Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. But that’s too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today . . . No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough. — from “Myths of the Middle East”, Joseph Farah, Arab-American editor and journalist, WorldNetDaily, 11 October 2000
From the end of the Jewish state in antiquity to the beginning of British rule, the area now designated by the name Palestine was not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries . . . . — Professor Bernard Lewis, Commentary Magazine, January 1975
Talk and writing about Israel and the Middle East feature the nouns “Palestine” and Palestinian”, and the phrases “Palestinian territory” and even “Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory”. All too often, these terms are used with regard to their historical or geographical meaning, so that the usage creates illusions rather than clarifies reality.
What Does “Palestine” Mean?
It has never been the name of a nation or state. It is a geographical term, used to designate the region at those times in history when there is no nation or state there.
The Philistines were not Arabs, they were not Semites. They had no connection … with Arabia or Arabs.
The word itself derives from “Peleshet“, a name that appears frequently in the Bible and has come into English as “Philistine”. The name began to be used in the Thirteenth Century BCE, for a wave of migrant “Sea Peoples” who came from the area of the Aegean Sea and the Greek Islands and settled on the southern coast of the land of Canaan. There they established five independent city-states (including Gaza) on a narrow strip of land known as Philistia. The Greeks and Romans called it “Palastina“.
The Philistines were not Arabs, they were not Semites. They had no connection, ethnic, linguistic or historical with Arabia or Arabs. The name “Falastin” that Arabs today use for “Palestine” is not an Arabic name. It is the Arab pronunciation of the Greco-Roman “Palastina” derived from the Peleshet.
How Did the Land of Israel Become “Palestine”?
In the First Century CE, the Romans crushed the independent kingdom of Judea. After the failed rebellion of Bar Kokhba in the Second Century CE, the Roman Emperor Hadrian determined to wipe out the identity of Israel-Judah-Judea. Therefore, he took the name Palastina and imposed it on all the Land of Israel. At the same time, he changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina.
The Romans killed many Jews and sold many more in slavery. Some of those who survived still alive and free left the devastated country, but there was never a complete abandonment of the Land. There was never a time when there were not Jews and Jewish communities, though the size and conditions of those communities fluctuated greatly.
The History of Palestine
Thousands of years before the Romans invented “Palastina” the land had been known as “Canaan”. The Canaanites had many tiny city-states, each one at times independent and at times a vassal of an Egyptian or Hittite king. The Canaanites never united into a state.
After the Exodus from Egypt — probably in the Thirteenth Century BCE but perhaps earlier — the Children of Israel settled in the land of Canaan. There they formed first a tribal confederation, and then the Biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and the post-Biblical kingdom of Judea.
Israel-Judah-Judea has the only united, independent, sovereign nation-state that ever existed in “Palestine” west of the Jordan River.
From the beginning of history to this day, Israel-Judah-Judea has the only united, independent, sovereign nation-state that ever existed in “Palestine” west of the Jordan River. (In Biblical times, Ammon, Moab and Edom as well as Israel had land east of the Jordan, but they disappeared in antiquity and no other nation took their place until the British invented Trans-Jordan in the 1920s.)
After the Roman conquest of Judea, “Palastina” became a province of the pagan Roman Empire and then of the Christian Byzantine Empire, and very briefly of the Zoroastrian Persian Empire. In 638 CE, an Arab-Muslim Caliph took Palastina away from the Byzantine Empire and made it part of an Arab-Muslim Empire. The Arabs, who had no name of their own for this region, adopted the Greco-Roman name Palastina, that they pronounced “Falastin“.
In that period, much of the mixed population of Palastina converted to Islam and adopted the Arabic language. They were subjects of a distant Caliph who ruled them from his capital, that was first in Damascus and later in Baghdad. They did not become a nation or an independent state, or develop a distinct society or culture.
In 1099, Christian Crusaders from Europe conquered Palestina-Falastin. After 1099, it was never again under Arab rule. The Christian Crusader kingdom was politically independent, but never developed a national identity. It remained a military outpost of Christian Europe, and lasted less than 100 years. Thereafter, Palestine was joined to Syria as a subject province first of the Mameluks, ethnically mixed slave-warriors whose center was in Egypt, and then of the Ottoman Turks, whose capital was in Istanbul.
During the First World War, the British took Palestine from the Ottoman Turks. At the end of the war, the Ottoman Empire collapsed and among its subject provinces “Palestine” was assigned to the British, to govern temporarily as a mandate from the League of Nations.
The Jewish National Home
Travellers to Palestine from the Western world left records of what they saw there. The theme throughout their reports is dismal: The land was empty, neglected, abandoned, desolate, fallen into ruins
Nothing there [Jerusalem] to be seen but a little of the old walls which is yet remaining and all the rest is grass, moss and weeds. — English pilgrim in 1590
The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population — British consul in 1857
There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent [valley of Jezreel] — not for 30 miles in either direction. . . . One may ride 10 miles hereabouts and not see 10 human beings.
For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee . . . Nazareth is forlorn . . . Jericho lies a moldering ruin . . . Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation . . . untenanted by any living creature . . . .
A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds . . a silent, mournful expanse . . . a desolation . . . . We never saw a human being on the whole route . . . . Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country . . . .
Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes . . . desolate and unlovely . . . . — Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, 1867
Their [the Jews] labors created newer and better conditions and opportunities
The restoration of the “desolate and unlovely” land began in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century with the first Jewish pioneers. Their labors created newer and better conditions and opportunities, which in turn attracted migrants from many parts of the Middle East, both Arabs and others.
The Balfour Declaration of 1917, confirmed by the League of Nations Mandate, commited the British Government to the principle that “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish National Home, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object. . . . ” It was specified both that this area be open to “close Jewish settlement” and that the rights of all inhabitants already in the country be preserved and protected.
Mandate Palestine originally included all of what is now Jordan, as well as all of what is now Israel, and the territories between them. However, when Great Britain’s protégé Emir Abdullah was forced to leave the ancestral Hashemite domain in Arabia, the British created a realm for him that included all of Manfate Palestine east of the Jordan River. There was no traditional or historic Arab name for this land, so it was called after the river: first Trans-Jordan and later Jordan.
By this political act, that violated the conditions of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate, the British cut more than 75 percent out of the Jewish National Home. No Jew has ever been permitted to reside in Trans-Jordan/Jordan.
Less than 25 percent then remained of Mandate Palestine, and even in this remnant, the British violated the Balfour and Mandate requirements for a “Jewish National Home” and for “close Jewish settlement”. They progressively restricted where Jews could buy land, where they could live, build, farm or work.
After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel was finally able to settle some small part of those lands from which the Jews had been debarred by the British. Successive British governments regularly condemn their settlement as “illegal”. In truth, it was the British who had acted illegally in banning Jews from these parts of the Jewish National Home.
Who Is A Palestinian?
During the period of the Mandate, it was the Jewish population that was known as “Palestinians” including those who served in the British Army in World War II.
Jews who might have developed the empty lands of ‘Palestine’ … instead died in the gas chambers of Europe
British policy was to curtail their numbers and progressively limit Jewish immigration. By 1939, the White Paper virtually put an end to admission of Jews to Palestine. This policy was imposed the most stringently at the very time this Home was most desperately needed — after the rise of Nazi power in Europe. Jews who might have developed the empty lands of Palestine and left progeny there, instead died in the gas chambers of Europe or in the seas they were trying to cross to the Promised Land.
At the same time that the British slammed the gates on Jews, they permitted or ignored massive illegal immigration into Western Palestine from Arab countries Jordan, Syria, Egypt, North Africa. In 1939, Winston Churchill noted that “So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied . . . .” Exact population statistics may be problematic, but it seems that by 1947 the number of Arabs west of the Jordan River was approximately triple of what it had been in 1900.
The current myth is that these Arabs were long established in Palestine, until the Jews came and “displaced” them. The fact is, that recent Arab immigration into Palestine “displaced” the Jews. That the massive increase in Arab population was very recent is attested by the ruling of the United Nations: That any Arab who had lived in Palestine for two years and then left in 1948 qualifies as a “Palestinian refugees“.
Casual use of population statistics for Jews and Arabs in Palestine rarely consider how the proportions came to be. One factor was the British policy of keeping out Jews while bringing in Arabs. Another factor was the violence used to kill or drive out Jews even where they had been long established.
For one example: The Jewish connection with Hebron goes back to Abraham, and there has been an Israelite/Jewish community there since Joshua long before it was King David’s first capital. In 1929, Arab rioters with the passive consent of the British — killed or drove out virtually the entire Jewish community.
It is now often proposed as a principle of international law and morality that all places that the British and the Arabs rendered Judenrein must forever remain so.
For another example: In 1948, Trans-Jordan seized much of Judea and Samaria (which they called The West Bank) and East Jerusalem and the Old City. They killed or drove out every Jew.
It is now often proposed as a principle of international law and morality that all places that the British and the Arabs rendered Judenrein must forever remain so. In contrast, Israel eventually allotted 17 percent of Mandate Palestine has a large and growing population of Arab citizens.
From Palestine To Israel
What was to become of “Palestine” after the Mandate? This question was taken up by various British and international commissions and other bodies, culminating with the United Nations in 1947. During the various deliberations, Arab officials, spokesmen and writers expressed their views on “Palestine”.
“There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. . . . Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine’ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it.” — Local Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937
“There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not” — Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian to Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, 1946
“It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.” — Ahmed Shukairy, United Nations Security Council, 1956
By 1948, the Arabs had still not yet discovered their ancient nation of Falastin. When they were offered half of Palestine west of the Jordan River for a state, the offer was violently rejected. Six Arab states launched a war of annihilation against the nascent State of Israel. Their purpose was not to establish an independent Falastin. Their aim was to partition western Palestine amongst themselves.
They did not succeed in killing Israel, but Trans-Jordan succeeded in taking Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem, killing or driving out all the Jews who had lived in those places, and banning Jews of all nations from Jewish holy places. Egypt succeeded in taking the Gaza Strip. These two Arab states held these lands until 1967. Then they launched another war of annihilation against Israel, and in consequence lost the lands they had taken by war in 1948.
During those 19 years, 1948-1967, Jordan and Egypt never offered to surrendar those lands to make up an independent state of Falastin. The “Palestinians” never sought it. Nobody in the world ever suggested it, much less demanded it.
Finally, in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Movement was founded. Ahmed Shukairy, who less than 10 years earlier had denied the existence of Palestine, was its first chairman. Its charter proclaimed its sole purpose to be the destruction of Israel. To that end it helped to precipitate the Arab attack on Israel in 1967.
The outcome of that attack then inspired an alteration in public rhetoric. As propaganda, it sounds better to speak of the liberation of Falastin than of the destruction of Israel. Much of the world, governments and media and public opinion, accept virtually without question of serious analysis the new-sprung myth of an Arab nation of Falastin, whose territory is unlawfully occupied by the Jews.
Since the end of World War I, the Arabs of the Middle East and North Africa have been given independent states in 99.5 percent of the land they claimed. Lord Balfour once expressed his hope that when the Arabs had been given so much, they would “not begrudge” the Jews the “little notch” promised to them.
[Note: Some of the material cited above is drawn from the book From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters.]
Germany Confiscating Homes To Use For Migrants
In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.
Similar expropriation measures have been proposed in Berlin, the German capital, but abandoned because they were deemed unconstitutional.
Some Germans are asking what is next: Will authorities now limit the maximum amount of living space per person, and force those with large apartments to share them with strangers?
Authorities in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, have begun confiscating private dwellings to ease a housing shortage — one that has been acutely exacerbated by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than two million migrants into the country in recent years.
City officials have been seizing commercial properties and converting them into migrant shelters since late 2015, when Merkel opened German borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Now, however, the city is expropriating residential property units owned by private citizens.
In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities recently confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center.The units, which are owned by a private landlord, are in need of repair and have been vacant since 2012. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.
The expropriation is authorized by the Hamburg Housing Protection Act (Hamburger Wohnraumschutzgesetz), a 1982 law that was updatedby the city’s Socialist government in May 2013 to enable the city to seize any residential property unit that has been vacant for more than four months.
The forced lease, the first of its kind in Germany, is said to be aimed at pressuring the owners of other vacant residences in the city to make them available for rent. Of the 700,000 rental units in Hamburg, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 (less than one percent) are believed to be vacant, according an estimate by the Hamburg Senate.
Socialists and Greens in Hamburg recently established a “hotline” where local residents can report vacant properties. Activists have also created a website — Leerstandsmelder (Vacancy Detector) — to identify unoccupied real estate in Hamburg and other German cities.
It remains unclear why the landlord in Hamm left his apartments vacant for more than five years. Some have posited that, given the location of the properties, the renovation costs may have been too high and probably would not have been offset by the rental income.
Others are blaming city officials for not approving more building permits to allow for the construction of new residential units. A study conducted in 2012 — well before the migrant crisis reached epic proportions — forecast that by 2017, Hamburg would have a deficit of at least 50,000 rental properties.
In 2016, however, only 2,433 new residential units came onto the market, while only 2,290 new building permits were approved, accordingto statistics provided by the City of Hamburg. These numbers were up slightly from 2,192 new units and 2,041 new permit approvals in 2015.
In 2012, Hamburg’s Socialist government presented a plan to build 6,000 new residential units per year. The plan never materialized, however, because prospective builders were constricted by government-imposed rental caps which would have made it impossible for them to even recover their construction costs.
Since then, the city has turned to seizing private property to resolve its self-inflicted housing crisis.
On October 1, 2015, the Hamburg Parliament (Hamburgische Bürgerschaft) approved a new law that allows the city to seize vacant commercial real estate (office buildings and land) and use it to house migrants.
City officials said the measure was necessary because, at the time, more than 400 new migrants were arriving in Hamburg each day and all the existing refugee shelters were full. They said that because the owners of vacant real estate refused to make their property available to the city on a voluntary basis, the city should be given the right to take it by force.
The measure was applauded by those on the left of the political spectrum. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that the refugees are not homeless during the coming winter,” said Senator Till Steffen of the Green Party. “For this reason, we need to use vacant commercial properties.”
Others have argued that efforts by the state to seize private property are autocratic and reek of Communism. “The proposed confiscation of private land and buildings is a massive attack on the property rights of the citizens of Hamburg,” said André Trepoll of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU). “It amounts to an expropriation by the state.” He said the proposed measure is a “law of intimidation” that amounts to a “political dam-break with far-reaching implications.” He added: “The ends do not justify any and all means.”
Katja Suding, the leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) in Hamburg, said that the proposed law is an “unacceptable crossing of red lines… Such coercive measures will only fuel resentment against refugees.”
Similar expropriation measures have been proposed in Berlin, the German capital, but abandoned because they were deemed unconstitutional.
In November 2015, lawmakers in Berlin considered emergency legislation that would have allowed local authorities to seize private residences to accommodate asylum seekers. The proposal would have authorized police forcibly to enter private homes and apartments without a warrant to determine their suitability as housing for refugees and migrants.
The legislation, proposed by Berlin Mayor Michael Müller of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), would have amended Section 36 of Berlin’s Public Order and Safety Law (Allgemeine Gesetz zum Schutz der öffentlichen Sicherheit und Ordnung, ASOG), which currently allows police to enter private residences only in extreme instances, to “avert acute threats,” that is, to fight serious crime. Müller wanted to expand the scope for warrantless inspections to include “preventing homelessness.”
The proposal was kept secret from the public until the leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) in Berlin, Sebastian Czaja, warned the measure would violate the German constitution. He said:
“The plans of the Berlin Senate to requisition residential and commercial property without the consent of the owner to accommodate refugees is an open breach of the constitution. The attempt by the Senate to undermine the constitutional right to property and the inviolability of the home must be resolutely opposed.”
Since then, both the mayor’s office and the Senate appear to have abandoned their plans.
Following an investigation, Gunnar Schupelius, a columnist with the Berlin newspaper BZ, wrote:
“A strange report made the rounds at the weekend: The Senate would authorize the police to enter private homes to house refugees, even against the will of the owner. I thought it was only satire, then a misunderstanding, because the Basic Law, Article 13, states: ‘The home is inviolable.’
“So I went on a search for the source of this strange report and found it. There is a ‘proposal’ which the Senate Chancellery (Senatskanzlei) has apparently circulated among the senators. The Senate Chancellery is another name for the mayor’s office. The permanent secretary is Björn Böhning (SPD)…
“The proposal is clear: The police can enter private property without a court order in order to search for housing for refugees when these are threatened with homelessness. You can do that ‘without the consent of the owner.’ And not only should the police be allowed to do this, but also the regulatory agencies.
“This delicate ‘proposal’ attracted little public attention. Only Berlin FDP General Secretary Sebastian Czaja spoke up and warned of an ‘open preparation for breach of the constitution.’ Internally, there should have been protests. The ‘proposal’ suddenly disappeared from the table. Is it completely gone or will it return?”
It remains unclear why no one has challenged the constitutionality of Hamburg’s expropriation law.
Meanwhile, some Germans are asking what is next: Will authorities now limit the maximum amount of living space per person, and force those with large apartments to share them with strangers?
Why does the United States of America get criticized for wanting to control its own immigration?
The citizens of the United States are the legitimate stakeholders of their Republic; the citizens own the country. What we decide to do within the bounds and confines of our US Constitution and our country is our own business. Our Constitution says we have the sovereign right to protect and defend our nation, and that includes securing our borders.
The Southern Border
I find it odd that virtually no scrutiny nor blame is ever placed on the governments Latin America – from the US-Mexico frontier south. I shall take the liberty and cut through the thicket so there is little chance here for you to misunderstand me: The Latin American countries that experience substantial exodus are corrupt and incompetent.
I have been to Mexico dozens of times; I have never seen a starving Mexican! Starvation simply does not exist in Mexico. Mexico has an abundance of every resource imaginable, including its hardworking and industrious people. I have never seen a beggar there either. So why are there 12 million Mexican nationals in the US?
The two ton elephant in the room everyone ignores; why is a significant portion of their citizens in the US? Incidentally, I am using Mexico because it is the only country along the entire length of our southern border.
Mexicans do themselves a great disfavor by not openly and loudly criticizing their own government; one reason I theorize is latinos inextricably associate their country with its government. They love their country, as they should, so they feel compelled not to criticize the government. Oh, but they complain a lot about the US Government, how it doesn’t give them a fair shake and let them work here etc. Isn’t that weird?
While Russia and Iran may be up in arms over Thursday’s tomahawk missile strike on an airbase in Syria, virtually all of the U.S.’s traditional allies have lines up to support the action.
Here’s a list of nations that have signaled their support for U.S. military action.
“This was a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters. “The use of these (chemical) weapons under any circumstance is illegal and abhorrent. It is a violation of international law. It is a war crime. It is a blatant contravention of basic principles of humanity.”
“[I] emphasized that Canada agrees that Assad’s repeated use of chemical weapons must not continue. In the face of such heinous war crimes, all civilized people must speak with one voice,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told MPs.
“That is why Canada fully supports the United States’ limited, focused action to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to launch such attacks. We continue to support diplomatic efforts with our international partners to resolve the crisis in Syria.”
“President Trump sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision and hopes that this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and elsewhere.”
“The United States for sure are a guarantor of world peace and order. And there are situations when you need to react, situations when you need to take actual action,” spokesman Rafal Bochenek told state television TVP Info. “We have seen the abuses of the Syrian regime over the last years – no one had reacted to that.”
“The source praised this courageous decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to respond to the regime’s crimes against its people in light of the failure of the international community to stop the regime from brutalizing its people.”
“The Spanish government considers that the action taken by the United States in recent hours against a military base in Syria is a measured and proportionate response to the use of chemical weapons against the civil population of the country by the Syrian army,” said the Spanish government statement.
“The destruction of Sharyat airbase marks an important step to ensure that chemical and conventional attacks against the civilian population do not go unpunished.”
United Arab Emirates
“The attack on the civilians is a continuation of the heinous crimes committed by the regime against the Syrian people. It is a blatant violation of international and humanitarian conventions,” said foreign affairs minister, Anwar Gargash.
The immediate and drastic results of Prrsident Trump’s Immigration Policy –
Under President Trump, Illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border has continued to fall – 67 % by March 31st, as was reported to Congress on Tuesday – well exceeding th 40% drop reported for the month of February.
This sharp decline in border crossings is attributed to President Trump’s executive orders to permit agents to do their jobs and enforce immigration laws at the Southern border and the plans to build a border wall.
Stories of ICE roundups in the interior have spread quickly to would-be illegal border crossers, diminishing the attractiveness to would-be illegal migrants.