While global financial markets, not to mention Europe’s political elite, rushes to preempt the global political fallout from Brexit, the UK itself is undergoing a chaotic and very much ad hoc politcal transformation, one which has seen no precedent in UK history, in the short day since David Cameron announced his resignation while the Chancellor George Osborne appears to have vaporized, just days after spending every waking moment prognosticating about doom and gloom should the Leave camp win.
In the middle of this transformation is none other than Boris Johnson, the leader of the successful “Leave” campaign, who however has cause to celebrate tonight because according to the Sunday Times, the former London mayor has won the backing of a key colleague to replace David Cameron as prime minister. Justice minister Michael Gove, who together with Johnson led the “Leave” campaign, called Johnson on Saturday to say he would back him for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party,Reuters added.
The Sunday Times said interior minister Theresa May was expected to enter the leadership contest in the coming days and was likely to get support from allies of Cameron who see her as the best candidate to take on Johnson, a former London mayor.
May supported the “Remain” campaign but took a lower profile than Cameron and finance minister George Osborne, whose hopes of becoming the party’s next leader took a big blow with the outcome of the referendum.
As the US government cuts into people’s social security payments in order to reduce costs, it is not lost on everyone that the US is simultaneously jacking up expenses for things such as massive warships that cost taxpayers $4.4 billion, and extending the war in Afghanistan which will cost another $10 billion.
However, it’s not only the massive defense spending projects that the government does that bleeds US taxpayers dry, it’s little one’s as well. As the Washington Free Beacon reports, the State Department plans on spending $1.25 million in order to produce two 13-episode seasons of a superhero cartoon. Oh, and the cartoon will be “fully immersed in Pakistani culture” and will air on public television in Pakistan.
Why would the US government spend hard earned taxpayer dollars on a cartoon to be aired in Pakistan rational minds may wonder – why to engage in propaganda of course. The State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) division issued a grant solicitation for two seasons of an animated series in order to “promote security and stability” in Pakistan. To make a long story short, with the intended target audience being ages 14-25, the US is engaging in propaganda in order to try and deter teenagers in Pakistan from joining terrorist organizations.
The show will attempt to present “positive messages” on the topics of gender equality, anti-corruption, and the “role of police in civil society.”
Other topics covered in the superhero cartoon include: “The promotion of non-violence in conflicts,” “women’s empowerment,” “the importance of living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle,” and “inter-faith peace and religious tolerance.”
The State Department said the mission of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs is to “minimize the impact of international crime and illegal drugs on the United States, its citizens, and partner nations by providing effective foreign assistance and fostering global cooperation.”
The agency hopes the superhero cartoon will appeal to teenagers in Pakistan and persuade them to not join terrorist organizations.
Donald Trump attempted to right his struggling presidential campaign on Wednesday, delivering a stinging but carefully-crafted attack on Hillary Clinton that accused her of being a “corrupt” politician more interested in enriching herself than helping average Americans.
Eschewing his freewheeling style, the Republican candidate used a rare scripted speech to call Mrs Clinton a “world-class liar” who had “spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched” and later took money from regimes that repress women and gays.
The on-message broadside came after weeks in which his campaign had become sidelined by a public spat with a Mexican-American federal judge adjudicating a case against Trump University and controversy over perceptions he attempted to exploit the Orlando shootings for political gain.
Amid mounting concerns among Republicans that the New York real estate developer was failing to make the crucial pivot towards the general election, Mr Trump fired his campaign manager and the attack on Mrs Clinton, read from teleprompters, appeared to be part of a co-ordinated effort to return the focus on to his Democratic rival.
There were signs controversy would continue to dog his candidacy, however. Marco Rubio, his one time rival for the Republican nomination, announced on Wednesday he would seek re-election to his Florida Senate seat, citing Mr Trump’s “worrisome” positions.
Japan’s military is on alert for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, a government source said on Tuesday, with media reporting its navy and anti-missile Patriot batteries have been told to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan.
North Korea appears to have moved an intermediate-range missile to its east coast, but there are no signs of an imminent launch, South Korea’s Yonhap news reported, citing an unnamed government source. South Korea’s defense ministry did not have an immediate comment.
Tension in the region has been high since North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and followed that with a satellite launch and test launches of various missiles, including one in May.
The Japanese government source said there were signs North Korea might be preparing a launch of the intermediate-range Musudan missile, the same missile it attempted to launch in May, prompting the order for the military to go on alert.
The May launch, which took place a day after Japan put its military on alert, failed. North Korea tried unsuccessfully to test launch the Musudan three other times in April, according to U.S. and South Korean officials.
Japan has put its anti-ballistic missile forces on alert several times this year after detecting signs of launches by North Korea.
Reliable intelligence sources in the West have indicated that warnings had been received that the Russian Government could in the near future release the text of email messages intercepted from U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server from the time she was U.S. Secretary of State. The release would, the messaging indicated, prove that Secretary Clinton had, in fact, laid open U.S. secrets to foreign interception by putting highly-classified Government reports onto a private server in violation of U.S. law, and that, as suspected, the server had been targeted and hacked by foreign intelligence services.
The reports indicated that the decision as to whether to reveal the intercepts would be made by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, and it was possible that the release would, if made, be through a third party, such as Wikileaks. The apparent message from Moscow, through the intelligence community, seemed to indicate frustration with the pace of the official U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the so-called server scandal, which seemed to offer prima facie evidence that U.S. law had been violated by Mrs Clinton’s decision to use a private server through which to conduct official and often highly-secret communications during her time as Secretary of State.
U.S. sources indicated that the extensive Department of Justice probe was more focused on the possibility that the private server was used to protect messaging in which Secretary Clinton allegedly discussed quid pro quo transactions with private donors to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for influence on U.S. policy.
In what may be the pinnacle of hypocrisy, moments ago Hillary Clinton, while speaking live on national security and addressing the Orlando shooting took some time from her constant bashing of the Second Amendment and calling for a ban on assault rifles, to say some less than kind words about Saudi Arabia whom it accused of supporting radical organizations. This is what she said:
The third area that demands attention is preventing radicalization and countering efforts by ISIS and other international terrorist networks to recruit in the United States and Europe. For starters, it is long past time for the Saudis, the Qataris and the Kuwaitis and others to stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations.And they should stop supporting radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism. We also have to use all our capabilities to counter jihadist propaganda online. This is something that I spend a lot of time on at the State Department.
There is nothing wrong with that statement, as it is the whole truth – Saudi Arabia’s involvement in supporting terrorism stretches from Sept 11 all the way through to ISIS – however, where there is a big, and potentially law-breaking, problem is what Jordan’s official news agency, Petra News Agency, reported on Sunday citing the Saudi crown price, namely that Saudi Arabia is a major funder of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to become the next president of the United States.
As MEE notes, the Petra News Agency published on Sunday what it described as exclusive comments from Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman which included a claim that Riyadh has provided 20 percent of the total funding to the prospective Democratic candidate’s campaign.
The report was later deleted and the news agency has not responded to requests for comment from Middle East Eye. However, the deletion took place too late, as the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs managed to capture the report and has re-published the original Arabic Petra report, which quoted Prince Mohammed as having said Saudi Arabia had provided with “full enthusiasm” an undisclosed amount of money to Clinton.
Islamic State has called the Orlando shooter “one of the soldiers of the caliphate of America” in a radio bulletin.
Site Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda, noted the declaration in a tweet.
According to Reuters, the radio bulletin stated:
One of the Caliphate’s soldiers in America carried out a security invasion where he was able to enter a crusader gathering at a nightclub for homosexuals in Orlando, Florida … where he killed and injured more than a hundred of them before he was killed.
As reported earlier, Donald Trump tweeted that since Obama did not mention the words “radical islamic terrorism” in his address to the nation today in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in US history, that he should step down. Moments ago, using perhaps the reaction to the tweet as a trial balloon to shape his official position, he released the following statement on the terrorist attack, in which he openly calls upon Obama to step down because the president “disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam’”, and called on Hillary to “get out of this race for the presidency” if she too can not say those two words.
Trump’s full statement below
Last night, our nation was attacked by a radical Islamic terrorist. It was the worst terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11, and the second of its kind in 6 months. My deepest sympathy and support goes out to the victims, the wounded, and their families.
In his remarks today, President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam’. For that reason alone, he should step down. If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words ‘Radical Islam’ she should get out of this race for the Presidency.
The Islamic State’s official media arm, Amaq News Agency, issued a statement taking credit for the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., that killed 50 people and wounded dozens more.
“The armed attack that targeted a gay night club in the city of Orlando in the American state of Florida which left over 100 people dead or injured was carried out by an Islamic State fighter,” Amaq said, according to Reuters.
According to a report by NBC News citing “law enforcement sources,” the gunman responsible for the shooting pledged allegiance to ISIL leader Omar al-Baghdadi in a phone call to 911. NBC named the shooter as 29-year-old Florida resident Omar Mateen, and said he had mentioned the Tsarnaev brothers — the men responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings — during the 911 call.