Ties to Saudi intelligence, Muslim Brotherhood and political activism may have led to journalist's disappearance
The prevailing narrative about the bizarre case of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is that Saudi Arabia’s hard-charging young crown prince ordered him kidnapped and perhaps killed in order to silence a particularly effective critic who wrote widely read, disparaging columns about the royal family and the crown prince’s own ambitious reform agenda.
But Middle East insiders say some deeper subplots played into Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance — stemming from his long career of political activism, ties to Saudi intelligence and Mr. Khashoggi’s past relationship with the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mr. Khashoggi, who was 59 when he disappeared at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, is said to have withdrawn years ago from any formal affiliation with the Brotherhood, but his past ties to the transnational Islamist group are believed to have been a source of distrust for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Trump threatens to shut down southern border if Mexico doesn't stop migrant caravan
President Trump threatened Thursday to close the southern border if Mexico does not stop the caravan of migrants from reaching the U.S.
Mr. Trump said Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are effectively assaulting the country as hundreds of immigrants flee those nations. He once again warned that the U.S. would stop spending money on those nations if the migrants succeeded in making it to the border.
The president also blamed Democrats for the massive migrant movement.
The group, which started out in Honduras, defied the orders of Guatemalan police on Monday and proceeded to pass through the country. Police estimated that the group was around 2,000 on Monday.
EPA cheers decline in U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions under Trump administration
U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions declined 2.7% in 2017
President Trump has come under scorching criticism for his climate change policies, but apparently he is doing something right.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 2.7 percent last year, the first year of the Trump presidency, even as the administration slashed environmental regulations and global emissions continued to climb.
“Thanks to President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda, the economy is booming, energy production is surging and we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions from major industrial sources,” said Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA.
The yearslong decline in U.S. emissions has been widely credited to the oil and gas boom. Power plants increasingly turned from coal to natural gas as innovations in extraction technology resulted in lower prices.
Sen. Doug Jones faces tricky political challenges in conservative Alabama ahead of 2020 re-election
While other senators’ votes got more attention, perhaps the most curious “No” vote on Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh came from Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, a Democrat who represents one of the reddest states in the country but has been voting, at times, like a New England liberal.
After his surprise win in a special election in late 2017 some analysts had predicted Mr. Jones would join Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, as the chamber’s middle, backing Mr. Trump on some key disputes.
But those occasions have been few, and more often Mr. Jones has sided with his party’s leadership on spending cuts, immigration, abortion and those critical presidential nominations such as Justice Kavanaugh.
“He would fit perfectly in New York or California, but in Alabama he is digging his own grave,” Terry Lathan, chairwoman of the Alabama GOP, told The Washington Times.
Professor calls for harassing Republicans at restaurants, sticking 'fingers in their salads'
The University of Mississippi has condemned a tweet by a faculty member that called on activists to abandon civility and harass Republican senators in public.
“Don’t just interrupt a Senator’s meal, y’all,” James Thomas, an assistant professor of sociology, tweeted from his @Insurgent_Prof account on Oct. 6, the day Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh was sworn into the Supreme Court.
“Put your whole damn fingers in their salads,” he wrote. “Take their apps and distribute them to the other diners. Bring boxes and take their food home with you on the way out. They don’t deserve your civility.”
Without specifically naming Mr. Thomas, Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter issued a statement Sunday condemning a “recent social media post by a UM faculty member,” Campus Reform reported.
Top U.S. general in Afghanistan escapes brazen insider attack
The top U.S. general in Afghanistan barely escaped Thursday after a brazen attack during a high-level security meeting in Kandahar where Afghan guards turned their guns on American forces, claiming the life of a top Afghan official.
Afghan TV reported that members of the Kandahar province governor’s elite guards began firing on Americans and Afghan officials during the meeting, which included Gen. Scott Miller, the head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Two American troops were wounded in the assault, while Afghan police chief Abdul Raziq was killed. At least two other Afghan officials were wounded in the incident, which comes just two days before key elections in Afghanistan.
Judge bucks Cook County law, says boys as young as 10 can be locked up
A Cook County judge on Wednesday declined to follow a new local ordinance that bans boys 12 and younger from being sent to the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, ordering that two 12-year-olds remain confined there.
Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Michael Toomin said a state law allowing children as young as 10 to be locked up not only trumps the county ordinance under the state's constitution but also does a better job of protecting the public. Both boys have gun charges on their records, and both ran away from home after being charged.
"These minors represent a clear and present threat to society to the extent that only secure placement is appropriate," Toomin wrote in a court order. "The county's ordinance offers little aid or guidance in the processing and placement of this cohort of our minors."
Rosenstein Defends Mueller Probe as 'Appropriate,' 'Independent'
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is reportedly standing by the special counsel's investigation into Russian election meddling as both "appropriate and independent."
In a rare interview with The Wall Street Journal posted Wednesday, Rosenstein's message is a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump's frequent criticism of the probe as a "witch hunt" and "rigged."
"People are entitled to be frustrated, I can accept that," Rosenstein told the Journal about attacks on the investigation. "But at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence and that it was an appropriate use of resources."
Dem operative for Soros-funded group arrested for 'battery' against Nevada GOP candidate's campaign manager
A Democratic operative for American Bridge 21st Century, a group funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, was arrested after a female campaign manager for Nevada GOP gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt accused the operative of grabbing her arm and refusing to let go.
A Democratic operative for American Bridge 21st Century, a group founded by David Brock and funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, was arrested Tuesday after the female campaign manager for Nevada GOP gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt accused the operative of grabbing and yanking her arm and refusing to let go.
Kristin Davison and other officials for the Nevada attorney general's campaign said the "battery" left her "terrified and traumatized" -- and with bruises on her neck and arms.
Despite his denials, midterms are about Trump -- and it's not looking good, experts say
Despite his denials, President Trump is very much the center of the 2018 election, political pros say — and the leader of the Republican Party will earn at least some of the blame should the GOP fail to hold its majorities in Congress.
Mr. Trump stirred the pot this week when he told The Associated Press he’s not on the ballot and, while he’s been able to boost some candidates in Republican primaries, he won’t bear responsibility if they lose control of the House.
But he’d opened up the debate, and analysts said there’s little doubt the 2018 election is about Mr. Trump — and right now it doesn’t look good for him.
'Economic security is national security'
Quietly, President Donald J. Trump is putting together one of the greatest performances on the economy and trade in modern presidential history. This is indeed happening quietly because both the actions and results of Mr. Trump’s economic policies are grossly under-reported in the press.
Exhibit A is the president’s impressive, but virtually ignored, “hat trick” at the United Nations (U.N.) last week. At the U.N., President Trump fulfilled an important campaign promise when he sat with President Moon Jae-in and signed a landmark modernization of the trade deficit-inflating 2012 South Korea deal known as “KORUS.” This new Korea deal means more auto, agricultural, and pharmaceutical exports for American producers even as it extends critical protections for our light truck industry out to 2041.
At the U.N., President Trump and his United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer also announced the president’s intention to ask Congress for “fast track” authority to negotiate a new trade deal with Japan. Such a deal would help pry open Japan’s notoriously closed agricultural and auto markets. It was a development hailed from Capitol Hill and Detroit to the wheat fields of Montana — but the news got largely buried.
Trump's rising approval rating among black voters
The provocative Donald Trump certainly seems to be disliked by a majority of African-American professional athletes, cable news hosts, academics and the Black Congressional caucus. Yet there are subtle but increasing indications that his approval among other African-Americans may be reaching historic highs for a modern Republican president.
Some polls have indicated that President Trump’s approval rating among black voters is close to 20 percent. That is far higher than the 8 percent of the African-American vote that Mr. Trump received on Election Day 2016.
A recent, admittedly controversial Rasmussen Reports poll showed African-American approval of Mr. Trump at 36 percent.
Even 20 percent African-American support for Mr. Trump would all but dismantle Democratic Party presidential hopes for 2020. Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election with 88 percent of the black vote. That was about a six-point falloff from Barack Obama’s share of the black vote in 2012.