Friday, February 8, 2019



Amazon magnte, the world's richest man and owner of "The Washington Post", Jeff Bezos, says he's being blackmailed by the "National Enquirer", a media outlet friendly to President Trump.

Bezos says that the Enquirer's parent firm was trying to shut down his probe into how they got his private messages.

The "National Enquirer" has been publishing stories related to Bezos divorce in recent weeks including details of an extramarital affair.

Bezos alleges that American Media Inc., the Enquirer's parent company, is threatening through intermediaries, to publish intimate photos of Bezos with his lover, Lauren Sanchez, a former TV host.

President Trump has been critical of Bezos over news reports by the "Post".

The Justice Department filing its opening brief in the appeal of last year's dismissal of charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, two of  his sons and another key defendant in the Bunkerville Standoff case.

A US District Judge found the federal prosecutors in the case had engaged in "outrageous" conduct justifying her dismissal of the case.

The federal government prosecuted some 19 individuals who exercised their First and Second Amendment rights in defense of  Bundy Ranch in April 2014 when Cliven Bundy's cattle were seized by the federal government and federal law enforcement snipers appeared in the area.

Attorney Larry Klayman, who represents Cliven Bundy, filed a motion with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike the government's brief and other appeal actions saying they are:

"void and of no force and effect"

France has pulled its ambassador out of Italy for consultations two days after the leader of one of Italy's governing parties met Yellow Vests protesters in Paris.

Among the Yellow Vests who met Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement were Yellow Vests candidates in the European Parliament elections this coming spring.

Di Maio defended his right to meet opponents of French president Emmanuel Macron, noting that the opposition Democratic Party in Italy has relations with Macron's political party in France,  Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi supported the French action Thursday.

Also word today that France will not take some of the 47 migrants who arrived in Italy from a rescue ship, reversing an earlier decision to take them in.

The Battle of Brexit.

After all the conflict or at least it appeared to be conflict between the British government and the EU over Brexit, the two sides will be talking.

There is deep concern among Brexit supporters about what trick Prime Minister Theresa May will come up with in her talks with the European Union to create a fake and phony Brexit so it can pass Parliament.

Her comments about "workers rights" Thursday seemed to point to use of the Labor Party and its votes in the House of Commons to overcome Conservative Party MP's who won't support her plans.

Mrs. May has promised a meaningful Brexit vote by the middle of next week so a sudden dramatic media event signaling a "breakthrough" on Brexit and a "deal" is likely in the hours and days ahead.

President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner joining US peace deal envoy Jason Greenblatt for a visit to at least five Arab countries at the end of this month to discuss financial aspects of the "Deal of the Century" peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.  That plan will not be publicly announced until after Israel's election in early April.

One stop is Saudi Arabia whose de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman has a close relationship with Kushner.

Today is the deadline for Congress to be informed by the Executive Branch regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd.    Congress wants to know if top Saudi officials like Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman were involved in the murder.

The "New York Times" reporting that US intelligence intercepted a conversation between the Crown Prince and an aide in 2017 where he told his aide he would use a bullet on Khashoggi unless the journalist ended his criticism and returned to Saudi Arabia.

A UN report says that the Saudis seriously impeded the investigation by Turkish authorities into Khashoggi's murder.

The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visiting Turkey this week.   Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking of peaceful relations between Greece and Turkey, something that was difficult at best in the past.

But the Greek and Turkish governments seem closer together in the international arena today.  Relations strained with the EU nations and more friendliness towards Russia than the EU nations.

Iran has released pictures of an underground missile factory and announced a new surface to surface missile that fires conventional warheads one-thousand kilometers, that's 621 miles.

The chairman of Israel's Central Elections Commission is warning about foreign influences as the country moves into the 60 day period before the April 9th general election.

Deputy Chief Justice Hanan Melcer says:

"There is fear of foreign influences, the impact of social networks and surveys"

Melcer is urging electronic media companies to "ignore" anonymous messages related to the election.

He also said fear of foreign influences has caused Israel to decide against computerizing its voting system.

The latest polling for Israel's election showing the Likud Party in the lead in the proportional system getting 32 seats with the new Israel Resilience Party of ex-IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz at 24.    The secularist Yesh Atid Party at 10 seats with the New Right Party of Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked at 9 seats.

Many other parties showing up in the polling as well further down the list contenting for the 120 seats in the Knesset.

Ten are reported dead in a fire at a youth soccer training center in Rio de Janeiro.   The victims were sleeping in a dormitory when the fire broke out at the training center of the Flamengo soccer club, one of the biggest and best known clubs in Brazil.

And the relief trucks for Venezuela are backing up in Colombia.  That's because the government of Nicolas Maduro has erected a barricade on a bridge saying the humanitarian assistance is cover for a military invasion.  50 tons of aid has been flown into Colombia by the United States.

The Interim President of Venezuela recognized by the United States and dozens of other nations, National Assembly leader Juan Guaido, requested the aid to meet shortages of food and medicine  in his country.

Commenting on the situation is opposition blogger Daniel Duquenal…..HERE

Word is out that the slow withdrawal of US troops from Syria is set to be finished by the end of April.  That story from the "Wall Street Journal".

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin told Russia media that "arbitrary attacks" by Israel on Iranian targets in Syria "should be stopped".   He repeated a Russian position previously stated in regards to Syria.

Israel's Channel 12 reporting Thursday that a joint Iran, Syria, Hezbollah missile factory is being established in Tartus province in northern Syria.

He served in Congress for 59 years before his 2015 retirement, the longest that a member of the House has served.  Former Democrat Congressman John Dingell of Michigan is dead at the age of 92.

And a baseball legend, Frank Robinson, has died at the age of 83.  He played for the Cinncinati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles, then in 1975 he became the manager of the Cleveland Indians.  Robinson is remember as the first African-American to manage a major league club.     Robinson hit 586 home runs in his career, making him 10th on the list of top home run hitters.

And that's the way it really is on this Friday morning February 8th, 2019.

No comments:

Post a Comment