National/International News

CLG: U.S. launches new ‘self-defense’ strike in Syria – Pentagon 

File photo via Arab News

National and international media news & headlines compiled by CLG

Ex-CIA boss gets Ukrainian cellphone firm directorship | 14 Nov 2023 | Telecom giant Veon announced on Wednesday that it has appointed ex-CIA director and former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the board of directors of its Ukrainian subsidiary, Kievstar. Pompeo is joining the Kiev-based operator as “an independent non-executive director,” in his capacity as a partner of Impact Investments, described by Veon as “a newly established US-based strategic and financial advisory and investment firm.” Kievstar’s new board chairman will be Kaan Terzioglu, the CEO of the Veon Group. The appointments reflect Veon’s “commitment to Ukraine and to the recovery and reconstruction of the country,” the company said.  

IDF says it has entered Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital in ‘targeted’ operation against Hamas –Gaza health ministry says tanks and ‘dozens of soldiers’ inside complex where thousands of Palestinian patients, doctors and displaced people are believed to be sheltering | 14 Nov 2023 | Israel’s military has said it was carrying out a raid against Hamas in al-Shifa hospital early on Wednesday, conducting what it called a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area” of the medical complex. Less than an hour earlier, around 1am local time, a Gaza health ministry spokesperson said Israel had told officials in the territory that it would raid the hospital complex “in the coming minutes.” Al-Shifa is Gaza’s biggest hospital. Dr Munir al-Bursh, director-general of the Gaza health ministry, told Al Jazeera television that Israeli forces had raided the western side of the sprawling site. “There are big explosions and dust entered the areas where we are. We believe an explosion occurred inside the hospital,” Bursh said.

Aircraft Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Now in Gulf of Oman | 13 Nov 2023 | Navy aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and its escorts are operating in the Gulf of Oman after leaving the Red Sea earlier this weekend, USNI News learned. Ike and its escorts were operating off the coast of Oman as of Monday, according to the USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker, based on publicly available satellite imagery. The carrier passed through the Suez Canal on Nov. 4 and sailed through the Red Sea and past the Bab el Mandeb through the Gulf of Aden to its current location. The move is part of the overall U.S. naval buildup in Europe and the Middle East following the Hamas attacks outside of Gaza and the ongoing conflict in Southern Israel. While Ike is operating off the Arabian Peninsula, carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) and its escorts remain on station in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea along with U.S. command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20), the amphibious warship USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19), elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and French and U.K. warships.

Israel strikes ‘landmark’ air defense deal –Finland, NATO’s newest member, is the first foreign country to acquire the David’s Sling system | 12 Nov 2023 | Finland has reached an agreement to acquire Israel’s David’s Sling air defense system, making it the first foreign country to do so, the Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement on Sunday as the deal was signed. The agreement was hailed by the Israeli military as “historic,” while the country’s media was quick to call it a “landmark deal.” The estimated sum of the purchase amounts to 317 euros million (339 million), according to the ministry’s statement. Produced by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, David’s Sling is capable of intercepting missiles and rockets with a range of between 40km and 300km.

U.S. launches new ‘self-defense’ strike in Syria – Pentagon | 8 Nov 2023 | Joe Biden has ordered an airstrike against a weapons depot in Syria that is allegedly used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups, marking Washington’s latest response to drone and rocket attacks on its bases in the region. Two U.S. F-15 fighter jets carried out the latest airstrike on Wednesday in eastern Syria, the Pentagon said in a statement. It followed strikes in the same region on October 26 against the Iranian-backed militant groups that Washington has blamed for attacks on its bases. Illegal U.S. outposts in Syria and military bases Iraq have come under attacks at least 38 times since October 17, reflecting rising tensions in the region amid the Israel-Hamas war. 

Columbia suspends anti-Israel student groups for ‘threatening rhetoric and intimidation’ | 10 Nov 2023 | Columbia University is suspending the far-left groups Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) as official student groups through the end of the fall term, it announced on Friday, saying they had violated university policies. The university said it made the decision after the groups “repeatedly violated University policies related to holding campus events, culminating in an unauthorized event Thursday afternoon that proceeded despite warnings and included threatening rhetoric and intimidation.” It marks the second university to take action against SJP in recent days, with Brandeis University banning the group this week for its statements supporting Hamas. Gerald Rosberg, Senior Executive Vice President of the University, released a statement explaining Columbia’s decision. 

January 6 ‘Shaman’ Says No Investigation Opened Into Ukrainian Spy at U.S. Capitol Riot | 13 Nov 2023 | There have been no investigations or arrests in connection with Ukrainian spy Serhiy Dybynyn who infiltrated the pro-Trump crowd at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 alongside multiple other individuals in a clear “setup” aimed at the former US president, Jacob “Shaman” Chansley told Sputnik. “Ukrainian spy Sergei Dybynyn…was there on that day with 1+1 media, a media organization tied to Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, who largely was responsible for the rise of [Volodymyr] Zelensky…And there’s no investigation into that. There’s no arrests being made there,” Chansley said. Chansley said that various factions, including Antifa and Black Lives Matter, infiltrated the pro-Trump group to create the illusion that Trump supporters were violent.

Infant Son of J6 Defendant Placed on Quiet Skies Suspected Terrorist Watchlist | 13 Nov 2023 | An eight-week-old infant was placed on a secretive terrorist watchlist known as Quiet Skies last week, according to AJ Fischer. The only suspected, but not so reasonable, explanation for the designation is that Fischer is a J6 defendant and the infant’s father. Most alarmingly, it was not even Fischer who booked the ticket for his child. Fischer’s fiancée booked the ticket for herself and the infant, but neither was anywhere close to D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. They booked separately, weeks apart from Fischer, because he was still awaiting court approval for travel due to his ongoing case with the DOJ. So now, any time Fischer’s fiancée or their infant son travels, their boarding passes are stamped “SSSS” to indicate they are “suspected domestic terrorists” and listed in the Quiet Skies database because of their association with Fischer.  

These 70 Republicans Just Rewarded the FBI With New Headquarters Worth $375 Million | 10 Nov 2023 | On the day that the DOJ announced arrests related to a brothel that focused on political clients, these 70 Republicans voted to give the FBI brand new headquarters. Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz moved to defund plans for the new office building with an amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for 2024. House Democrats were unanimous in opposing the Gaetz proposal and were joined by 70 Republicans. Gaetz’s proposal failed 273 to 145 in a Wednesday vote, the same day the Justice Department unveiled three arrests over a “sophisticated high-end brothel” ring operating in Virginia and Massachusetts. Despite decades of misconduct revealing an agency politicized beyond repair on behalf of Democrats dispatched to prosecute political opponents, House Republicans have given the FBI a multi-million-d-llar new complex to interfere in foreseeable elections.  

House Kills Mayorkas Impeachment Resolution While Preparing to Punt Border Fight to 2024 | 13 Nov 2023 | The House voted 209-201 Monday night to sideline a resolution introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his disastrous mishandling of the border, even as House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) greases the skids on a funding package that punts a broader border policy battle until the new year. Greene introduced the privileged resolution Friday, one day after two of her constituents were killed in Texas in a head-on collision with a car driven by a human smuggler evading police. Privileged resolutions require House floor action within two legislative days after introduction. Rather than voting on the underlying motion, Republican leadership chose to address the resolution through a Democratic motion to refer it to the Homeland Security Committee. 

Feds keep hidden books on vaccine injury reports, barely follow up – investigation | 13 Nov 2023 | Federal public health agencies are reportedly withholding the most accurate and up-to-date reports of vaccine injury from the public, allegedly to protect privacy. Patients don’t necessarily see it that way, and it’s not clear the feds told Congress. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, jointly managed by the CDC and FDA, has a secret “back end” privy only to regulators, an FDA official told advocates of VAERS reform nearly a year ago, according to a British Medical Journal investigation published Friday. “Anything derived from medical records by law” cannot be included in the “front end system” accessible to the public, Narayan Nair, director of the Division of Pharmacovigilance, allegedly told advocates… The journal also estimated that Pfizer has about 1,000 more full-time employees than the CDC tasked with “vaccine surveillance,” citing FOIA requests it had viewed and Pfizer’s last public accounting of its adverse-event hiring plans from February 2021.  

Appeals court forces Biden admin to hold offshore oil lease sale without eco restrictions | 14 Nov 2023 | A federal appeals court panel ruled in favor of energy industry groups in an order Tuesday evening requiring the Biden administration to hold a massive offshore oil and gas lease sale without eco restrictions. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the decision that the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) must move forward with Lease Sale 261, a large Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale mandated under the Inflation Reduction Act. The sale was originally scheduled for September, but was postponed after BOEM implemented last-minute environmental restrictions. The ruling Tuesday upholds a lower court decision which struck down the federal government’s late modification of Lease Sale 261. 

Team Trump takes victory lap as Michigan dismisses 14th Amendment cases against candidacy | 14 Nov 2023 | Former President Donald Trump’s campaign is celebrating the dismissal of a litany of cases in Michigan challenging his eligibility to run for president again. Trump has struggled to fend off challenges to his appearing on the ballot in multiple states. The litany of challenges have largely asserted that he was ineligible to hold public office under the 14th Amendment for having led an “insurrection” against the nation in the form of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Riot. He recently notched a win at the Minnesota Supreme Court allowing him to appear on the GOP primary ballot. On Tuesday, a Michigan court dismissed similar challenges to his eligibility, prompting triumphant declarations from the campaign.

Top Republican files ethics complaint about judge in Trump trial over ‘bizarre behavior’ –Stefanik said Engoron’s ‘behavior has no place in our judicial system’ | 10 Nov 2023 | The No. 3 House Republican leader is wading into the dramatic New York civil trial of former President Donald Trump, accusing the judge involved of exhibiting “bias” and “bizarre behavior” in the courtroom. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., filed an ethics complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron on Friday morning in a letter to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. “I write today to express my serious concerns about the inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance shown by Judge Arthur F. Engoron in New York’s lawsuit against President Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization,” Stefanik said in her letter. “This judge’s bizarre behavior has no place in our judicial system, where Judge Engoron is not honoring the defendant’s rights to due process and a fair trial,” the letter continued.

Pennsylvania county voting machines flipping votes for superior court retention races | 7 Nov 2023 | “Voting” machines in a Pennsylvania county are flipping votes for elections regarding whether two state appeals court judges should be retained, according to county officials. Tuesday is Election Day in Pennsylvania for judicial positions and county, local, and municipal offices. However, county officials said that electronic voting machines are flipping votes in Northampton County for deciding whether Pennsylvania Superior Court Judges Jack Panella and Victor Stabile should remain on the bench for additional 10-year terms. The office of Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure released a statement on Tuesday explaining the issue. “It appears that when a voter selects a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ for one of the candidates for retention to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, the selection is recorded on the paper ballot and on the machine for the other candidate,” the county office wrote.