Monday, February 4, 2019



France's leading opposition politician says  President Emmanuel Macron is ultimately responsible for the Yellow Vests protests and any violent incidents surrounding them.

National Rally leader Marine Le Pen told BFM-TV Sunday that new elections for the National Assembly and the Citizen Initiative Referendum are needed.    She supported a proportional representation in the National Assembly as opposed to the current system of individual seats and runoff elections among top candidates in the first round.

Le Pen also said that President Macron is fearful and paranoid about the Yellow Vests, blaming foreign governments and suggested the government may be deliberately allowing people who commit acts of violence into protests to discredit them.

She also spoke out against proposed laws that would allow individuals to be banned from protesting and grant power for banning protests entirely.    She called them an attack on democracy.

Yellow Vests protesting Saturday with an independent estimate of 13,800 protesters in Paris done for media outlet BFM-TV.   That's not the official government estimate of 10,500. 

The government claims some 58-thousand plus protesters nationwide Saturday but if their estimates nationwide mirrored the Paris numbers maybe there were 87-thousand people this last weekend, more than the 84-thousand estimated by the government the previous weekend.

The next phase of protest, a general strike called for tomorrow (Tuesday February 5th) in France.

A Syrian Army artillery position attacked in an air strike by the US-led coalition late Saturday night followed by an ISIS ground attack.

The attacks happened in Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria where the Syrians are facing off against Islamic State forces.

The Syrian defense ministry says an artillery piece was destroyed and two solider injured in the attack.   The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 11 ISIS militants were killed in the fighting.

The Syrian army position helps keep ISIS boxed into the Middle Euphrates River Valley and away from another pocket of their forces to the west in a desert region.

The US led coalition issued a statement Sunday saying militia friendly to the US was attacked before the US airstrike.

President Trump says the US military is "slowly" withdrawing from Syria and that the large US air base in Iraq will be a place to "watch Iran" from.   His comments in a wide ranging TV interview with CBS Sunday.

Iraq's president took exception to that comment saying his country wasn't asked permission by the US to do that.

If there's an invasion of Venezuela as some say is coming its looks the first wave is humanitarian relief.

Humanitarian aid is enroute to Venezuela at the request of Interim President Juan Guaido.  Guaido has called for an international coalition to bring relief supplies to points on the country's borders for distribution.

Guaido is hoping the Venezuelan army will act to distribute the aid in defiance of Nicolas Maduro from the border distribution points.

A Venezuelan air force general out with a video over the weekend in support of Juan Guaido saying 90 percent of the military does not support Maduro.

Today Spain and other European nations from France to the Netherlands to Germany and Poland among others recognizing Juan Guaido as the President of Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro has failed to agree to new presidential elections in the country.

The United Kingdom also recognizing Juan Guaido as Venezuela's new president.

An historic visit by Pope Francis.   The pontiff arriving in the heart of Islam, the Arabian Peninsula.  His visit to the United Arab Emirates.

Before he left for the visit the Pope expressed his concern about the war in Yemen and the humanitarian crisis caused there.    The United Arab Emirates is one of the players in the conflict.

The lights back on at a federal prison in Brooklyn, New York Sunday.   The more than 1,600 inmates at the 14 story Metropolitan Detention Center without electricity and heat for more than a week during the recent extreme cold.

Pepper spray being used against protesters storming the prison earlier Sunday.   Prisoners beating on their cell doors and using flashlights to communicate with protesters on the outside.

Visiting the prison twice over the weekend Democrat Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  Nadler says inmates should have been evacuated to other facilities while heat and electricity were out.

He  blames the problems on the warden.    Some inmates have not had access to their medications for more than a week.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam denying he was in the picture on his medical school yearbook page of a man in blackface and another robed and hooded as a KKK member.

A host of Democrats including the two US Senators from Virginia still calling for Northam's resignation.

Show biz with actor singer Jussie Smollett on stage in West Hollywood over the weekend reading from notes apparently and fretting about his lawyer's reaction to his comments.

Smollett alleges a "racist-homophobic" attack in Chicago last week by two men making reference to "Make America Great Again".    Police still trying to find suspects in the case and figure out what happened.

Smollett telling his audience:

"We are proud, we are gay"

The Super Bowl well the New England Patriots continue their reign with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles rams in Atlanta last night.

And that's the way it really is, Monday morning February 4th, 2019.

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