From The Editors Politics

U.S. President Donald Trump Unleashes His “Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards”

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced the winners of his much-hyped “Fake News Awards” through a blog post on the official Republican National Committee website.

For at least an hour after the announcement, the link to the page could not be accessed and kept throwing up a “temporarily offline” message. “The site is temporarily offline, we are working to bring it back up. Please try back later,” the message read.

However, the site did come back up to unveil the winners of the ignominious awards.

Trump had first spoken of the Fake News Awards in a November tweet last year – what he had then referred to as the “Fake News Trophy.”

What wasn’t clear at the time was, if he really was serious or simply taking a dig at the media as he has been known to do, much too often.

His subsequent tweet on the subject on Jan 2, 2018, however, did make it apparent that the man was actually going ahead with the idea.

This time around he had a different name for the awards, calling it the “Most Dishonest & Corrupt Media Awards of the Year” and wrote that the winners for “dishonesty and bad reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media” would be announced on January 8, at 5 pm.

On January 7, Trump rescheduled the release date to January 17, citing heightened interest in the awards.

This time he stuck to the schedule and revealed the winners through a post titled, “The Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards.”

“2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news. Studies have shown that over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative,” read the short introduction.

Here are the 11 winners of President Trump’s “2017 Fake News Awards.”

1. “The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.”

2. “ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.”

3. “CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.”

4. “TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.”

5. “Washington Post FALSELY reported the President’s massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. Dishonest reporter showed picture of empty arena HOURS before crowd started pouring in.”

6. “CNN FALSELY edited a video to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding.”

7. “CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a “significant breakdown in process.”

8.” Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.”

9. “CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation.”

10. “The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.”

11. “And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!”

The Wednesday evening announcement of the winners came on a day when Republican Senator Jeff Flake compared Trump to Stalin for his hatred towards the media, saying that Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people,” was malicious. Even Stalin’s reference to the phrase was denounced by Nikita Khrushchev, he said.

“Mr. President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase “enemy of the people,” that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of “annihilating such individuals” who disagreed with the supreme leader,” said the Arizona senator.

He said it was the “birthright” of the people to question those who were in power and that Americans did not pay “obeisance to the powerful.”

“Mr. President, so powerful is the presidency that the damage done by the sustained attack on the truth will not be confined to the president’s time in office. Here in America, we do not pay obeisance to the powerful — in fact, we question the powerful most ardently — to do so is our birthright and a requirement of our citizenship — and so, we know well that no matter how powerful, no president will ever have dominion over objective reality,” he said.

Politicians, activists and, of course, media representatives used words like “terrifying”, “chilling” and “disgusting” to describe the awards.

Here’s how some of the media personalities reacted.

Fox News Channel’s John Roberts said Trump was even more hostile towards the media than Nixon.

“I have seen various levels of threats around the world; that said, I would posit that this president is more antagonistic to the press than any president I think including Nixon,” he said.

“This is the President of the United States and when you have people not just black, not just white, wondering about comments that you have been making over and over a pattern, I had a right to ask and it’s unfortunate. It’s a sad day when you have to ask a sitting US President if he is a racist,” April Ryan of Urban American Radio Networks said.

CNN’s Jim Acosta said that he himself had been called Fake News; however, he thought that POTUS was the “king of Fake News.”

“He is the king of fake news. He said Barack Obama was not born in this country. He said Mexicans are rapists and criminals,” Acosta said. “He said he lost the election because undocumented people voted by the millions. He said that he had the largest inauguration crowd of all times,” added Acosta.

He went to say that “it’s unfortunate that the president has sunk to that level where he has to go around issuing these kinds of awards. It’s just not what you would think would happen in this country.”

From The Editors Politics

Twitter Refuses to Ban Trump Citing People’s Right to “See and Debate Important” Information from World Leaders

Amid growing pressure from different quarters to ban U.S. President Donald Trump on Twitter for his vitriolic and inflammatory tweets, particularly in the wake of his Tuesday night outburst against North Korea, Twitter released a statement explaining why the company was against the proposed ban.

Twitter said in a Friday blog post titled “World Leaders on Twitter” that blocking political figures and world leaders or removing controversial tweets from them would amount to depriving people of access to important information, which they are entitled to see and debate on.

While such a decision would not silence the leader it would most definitely come in the way of “necessary discussion around their words and actions,” the statement said.

“Twitter is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation. Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society,” read the post.

“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions,” further explained the blog post.

The statement went on to say that the company reviewed tweets by leaders “within the political context that defines them” and implemented rules accordingly.

“No one person’s account drives Twitter’s growth or influences these decisions. We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind,” the statement said.

“We are working to make Twitter the best place to see and freely discuss everything that matters. We believe that’s the best way to help our society make progress,” the statement concluded.

The call for the ban on Trump gained momentum after his controversial Tuesday tweet, in which the U.S. President has responded to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Day threat, saying that whole of America was within the range of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and that “a nuclear button is always on his desk.”

Trigger happy Trump shot right back with this tweet:

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

Many took offense to the tweet, while others saw it as a childish and irresponsible remark from POTUS. Whatever the case, it drew protests such as, “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is complicit!” “Twitter should ban Trump!” “Doesn’t this violate Twitter’s terms of service?”

However, Twitter’s stand on the issue does not mention Trump by name even once and has, also, conveniently avoided addressing the questions asked about Trump’s violation of the terms of service of his Twitter account. All it does is put its foot down against banning world leaders even if their comments are in violation of the company’s terms and conditions, or so it would seem.

Whether Trump’s tweet was in contravention of Twitter policies, or not, in so far as user behavior is concerned, is again open to debate and there are varying opinions on the subject.

As Techcrunch’s Taylor Hatmaker has rightly noted, “Most users can’t back up their casual threats with a nuclear arsenal, so it’s safe to say that the Trump Twitter situation poses some uniquely weighty questions. Some even argue that Trump’s Twitter threats are an exercise in nuclear deterrence and can be categorized more as bizarrely articulated military policy than the kind of tweet that might violate Twitter’s rules banning “specific threats of violence.”

The impression that Twitter’s explanation gives is that world leaders are exempt from saying anything in the name of “necessary discussion around their words and actions,” at least as far as the social media platform is considered.

Hatmaker is, therefore, right again in questioning if a Rodrigo Duterte or a Kim Jong-un would also be allowed to get away with their own brand of inflammatory statements. “According to this, it sounds like yes,” he observes.

A group which calls itself “Resistance SF” has claimed responsibility for projecting a message targeting the social media site’s CEO on the side of Twitter’s headquarters building in San Francisco. The message read “jack is #complicit.”

A post from the group on its Facebook page offers readers a four-point line-of-action if they are “outraged at @jack for being #complicit” and “want to stop Trump from starting a nuclear war.”

“1. Contact your members of Congress, ask them to co-sponsor HR 669 / S 200, bi-partisan legislation which would require Congressional approval for any nuclear first strike. SF’s Congressional delegation has yet to get on board.

2. Write or tweet at Twitter Board members. Tell them politely but firmly that Trump or @jack needs to go. Thank you, ‎Kathy and Eric, for making this easy!…/call-on-twitter-to-enforce-their…

3. Demonetize Twitter. If #quitTwitter would be a burden to you, at least deny the company the dollars they don’t deserve. Go to: and deselect all. You may also use an ad blocker to block Twitter ads and promotions.

4. Attend our next protest, in person and or by sharing digitally. More information to follow soon.”

Another group that goes by the name “Color of Change” has appealed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to get rid of Trump from its platform citing multiple violations of Twitter user terms by the president.

“Please kick Donald Trump off Twitter. Now, he’s using the social media platform to threaten nuclear war. Donald Trump has launched an assault on the very communities that drives Twitter to flourish,” it said.

“His abusive behavior has violated your user agreement multiple times while rising to power by promoting hateful conduct towards Black people by providing succor to white nationalists after Charlottesville, he has promoted violent threats against protesters, he’s called for the mass harassment of Latinx folks, and Muslims.

Trump has used Twitter to destroy the very discourse and community your company has aided in fostering.”

If this doesn’t convince Twitter, one doubts if anything will.

Then, there are those who feel Twitter is doing the right thing by not banning the president, including New Republic’s Jeet Heer who wrote earlier this year that “banning Trump from Twitter is a really stupid idea.”

“Twitter’s response is correct and could be extended. Suspending Trump’s account is a singularly idiotic idea. The problem with Trump is not that he tweets out mean things but that he’s president of the United States. Because he’s a powerful figure, there is a manifest public interest in being able to access his thoughts and get a sense of what he considers to be important, which Twitter allows the public to do,” wrote Heer.

CNN’s Brian Stelter referred to Trump’s tweet as “madness,”

“There’s a word for this. Madness. This is madness,” he wrote.

“What would we say if the leader of Germany or China or Brazil posted tweets like Trump’s? How would we cover it? We’d say: That person is not well. We’d wonder whether that person is fit to hold office,” he said.

From The Editors Politics

“RED ALERT” for the World: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Calls for World Unity to Combat Emerging “New Dangers”

In a New Year’s message to the world, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a “red alert,” not an “appeal”, urging world leaders to unite against multiple issues that afflict our planet and its inhabitants today.

“On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert, a red alert, for our world,” Guterres said in a recorded message, reaching out to a global audience.

Lamenting about a world that has “gone in reverse,” the UN numero uno warned about the deepening conflicts, and emerging new dangers, and “global anxieties about nuclear weapons” being the “highest since the Cold War.”

He expressed his own anxiety over growing inequalities and climate change, which he said is “moving faster than we are.”

He worried about “horrific violations of human rights” and “rising nationalism and xenophobia,” calling for unity.

“I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure. We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values. But we can only do that together,” he said, urging global leaders “everywhere” to make a New Year’s resolution to come together to address shared issues and achieve “common goals.”

“I urge leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution: Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals. Unity is the path. Our future depends on it,” he said, signing off his “red alert” with, “I wish you peace and health in 2018,” thanking his intended viewers in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese.

“Thank you. Shokran. Xie Xie. Merci. Spasiba. Gracias. Obrigado.”

The ninth United Nations Secretary-General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres is a diplomat and politician of Portuguese origin and has previously served as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 until 2015.

He has also had the distinction of serving as Portugal’s Prime Minister from 1995 until 2002 and as the Socialist Party Secretary-General between 1992 and 2002. He was the President of Socialist International from 1999 to 2005.

When Cavaco Silva opted not to run for a fourth term as Portugal’s Prime Minister in 1995, after having completed a 10-year term – the longest by any prime minister of the country since António de Oliveira Salazar – António Guterres was appointed Prime Minister by President Soares after the Socialist Party emerged victorious in the 1995 parliamentary elections.

Guterres served as UN High Commissioner from June 2005 until December 31, 2015, a period devoted to organizational reform, controlling staff and administrative expenses at the UNHCR head office in Geneva.

He was instrumental in expanding the UNHCR emergency response capabilities at a time when the world was witnessing the worst displacement crisis since World War II.

When he finally finished his term at the end of 2015, the UNCHR had a workforce of 10,000 people working in 126 countries around the world, ensuring protection and assistance to more than 60 million displaced people.

Antonio Guterres has been the recipient of some of the highest honors from several countries over the years. Here they are:

  • Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (9 October 2000)
  • Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross (23 July 1996)
  • Cape Verde: First Degree of the Order of Amílcar Cabral (27 April 2001)
  • France: Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit (4 February 2002)
  • Chile: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (30 September 2001)
  • Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour (17 March 2000)
  • Italy: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (3 December 2001)
  • Japan: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (2002)
  • Mexico: Sash of Special Category of the Order of the Aztec Eagle (2 July 1999)
  • Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (22 September 1997)
  • Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Christ (9 June 2002)
  • Spain: Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (14 June 2002)
  • Spain: Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III (8 September 2000)
  • Tunisia: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Republic (2002)
  • Uruguay: Grand Officer of the Order of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay (10 December 1998)

(Source: Wikipedia)

From The Editors Politics

Saudi Arabia Arrests Top Govt Officials and Several Members of the Royal Family in a Massive Anti-Corruption Sweep

In an unprecedented anti-corruption operation, Saudi Arabia has detained eleven princes, four current ministers and tens of former ministers, according to Al Arabiya TV.

One of the detainees is none other than Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the richest men in the Middle East, with investments in Twitter and Apple; Four Seasons, Fairmont and Movenpick hotel chains; Citigroup; Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp as well as stakes in ride-sharing companies Lyft and Careem.

The arrests were made on the orders of Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, 32, following his appointment as Chairman of a new anti-corruption committee announced by King Salman on Saturday.

Shortly before the crackdown, the King removed one of the royal family’s most prominent members, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, as head of the National Guard and appointed two new ministers to key economic and security posts.

Reports suggest that the ousted prince was one of the detainees along with his brother and erstwhile governor of Riyadh Prince Turki bin Abdullah; both are sons of the late King Abdullah.

Reportedly the Riyadh Ritz Carlton, as well as other five-star properties across the capital, are being used as holding cells for the detained group. It must be mentioned that the Ritz Carlton is the same hotel which hosted the investment conference with global economic giants from the U.S., Japan, and other countries just days ago.

The Crown Prince was declared heir to the throne in a major reshuffle in June, sidelining his older cousin Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was replaced by a lesser known royal, Prince Khalid bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin, to head the National Guard — a prestigious entity responsible for protecting the royal family, important holy sites in Mecca and Medina, and oil and gas sites.

Prince Salman has since been wearing many a hat in the Saudi scheme of things. From managing the country’s energy policy and planning an oil-independent economy to controlling Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, the young Prince is proving himself worthy of the throne he is in line to occupy.

“As a leader who is set to remain in power for decades, Mohammed bin Salman is remaking the kingdom in his own image and signaling a potentially significant move away from the consensual balancing of competing interests that characterized Saudi rule in the past,” said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

The unprecedented high-profile arrests have been generally hailed by the media and public who were fed up with the rampant corruption prevalent in the government and among several members of the Saudi royals. Prince Salman is indeed living up to his promise of ridding the kingdom of corruption at the highest levels.

Some of the other detainees whose names have been released by Saudi Twitter accounts are:

Alwalid al-Ibrahim: Saudi businessman with ties to the royal family who runs the Arabic satellite group MBC

Amr al-Dabbagh: Former head of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority

Ibrahim Assaf: Former finance minister;

Bakr Binladin: Head of the Saudi Binladin Group, a major business conglomerate.

This is how James M. Dorsey – a Gulf specialist and senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore – has analyzed the latest Saudi developments.

“The dismissals and detentions suggest that Prince Mohammed rather than forging alliances is extending his iron grip to the ruling family, the military, and the national guard to counter what appears to be more widespread opposition within the family as well as the military to his reforms and the Yemen war.”

Late on Saturday, Saudi Arabia claimed that they had intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Iran-backed Yemeni rebels, with Riyadh International Airport as the intended target.

President Donald Trump was quick to blame Iran for the attack.

“A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. And our system knocked it down,” Trump was obviously boasting about the Patriot missile batteries the United States has sold to Saudi Arabia. “That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make and now we’re selling it all over the world.”

Whether the US was kept in the loop about the impending arrests is a matter of conjecture at this point of time. However, the point to be noted is the recent unannounced visit to the Saudi capital by Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner and others. Also, earlier on Saturday Trump claimed to have spoken with King Salman about listing Saudi Aramco – the kingdom’s state-run oil company – in the United States.

Although the exact nature of charges against those arrested, including the billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is not yet clear, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel reports that the anti-corruption investigation involves the Jeddah flooding that killed around 120 people in 2009 and devastated the city again in 2011. The agency is also probing the government’s gross mishandling of the Coronavirus crisis in recent years that has resulted in the loss of several hundred lives.

Apparently, the arrests have the backing of the country’s top council of clerics who have commended the move in a statement which says fighting corruption is an Islamic duty.

On Sunday, Badr al-Asaker, a top royal court official, as good as confirmed the arrests with a twitter post that read “historic and black night against the corrupt.”

According to the Saudi government, the King’s newly announced anti-corruption committee being headed by the Crown Prince has the unbridled license to issue arrest warrants, freeze or ban accounts, impose travel restrictions and do whatever else it deems necessary to bring the corrupt to the book.

The arrests coincided with Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s televised resignation from Riyadh – just hours before the high-level crackdown. A close ally of Saudi Arabia, Hariri lashed out at Iran and Hezbollah accusing them of meddling in Arab affairs.

“Iran’s arms in the region will be cut off,” he said.


From The Editors Politics

Trump’s Former Campaign Head Paul Manafort and his Deputy Rick Gates Indicted by Federal Court for Money Laundering and Tax Evasion

President Donald Trump’s former campaign head, Paul Manafort, 68, has been indicted for Federal crimes of money laundering and tax fraud. According to investigators, he was involved in funneling millions of dollars through overseas shell companies and using the money, later, to buy luxury cars, antique rugs, and real estate.

His longtime business associate and campaign deputy, Rick Gates, 61, was also implicated and charged with transferring funds to the tune of at least $3 million from offshore accounts.

The charges are the outcome of a probe into the possible involvement of the Russian government in collusion with Trump’s campaign administration to influence the 2016 election.

However, both the accused, who surrendered to the FBI Monday morning, have pleaded not guilty to the charges in a federal courthouse in Washington. They have been confined to their homes by order of a Federal judge, with bail set on $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates.

Gates spokesman, Glenn Selig, said Monday afternoon that while Gates “welcomes the opportunity to confront these charges in court” further comments will be reserved until the indictment was reviewed by his legal team.

Manafort’s legal team has not volunteered any comment.

The ongoing investigation is headed by special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who was assigned the seemingly unenviable task in May this year.

Here are the 12 counts of charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.

  • One count of conspiracy to defraud the United States
  • One count of conspiracy to launder money
  • One count of making false statements in submissions to the Department of Justice
  • One count of making false and misleading statement related to the foreign agents registration act
  • One count of acting as unregistered foreign agents of the Ukrainian government, the Party of Regions and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych
  • Four counts of failure by Manafort to report foreign bank and financial accounts.
  • Three counts of failure by Gates to report foreign bank and financial accounts.

Having joined the Trump election campaign in March last year, Manafort was terminated from his position as chief strategist and chairman following press revelations that he was the beneficiary of undisclosed payments of millions of dollars for consulting work in Ukraine.

It was also learned through court files unsealed on Monday by the Department of Justice that earlier this month, Trump’s former campaign advisor George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to perjury in the Trump-Russia collusion investigation.

Papadopoulos, who was arrested at the Washington Dulles Airport on July 27, is believed to have lied to investigators about his interaction with Russian professor Joseph Mifsud, with close links to Moscow officials, concerning embarrassing emails of Hillary Clinton.

The emails were hacked by the Russian government with the intent of halting her progress in the presidential race and helping Trump’s campaign in the bargain.

“They have dirt on her,” the Russian professor is believed to have told Papadopoulos, according to the documents. “They have thousands of emails.”

Papadopoulos is also accused of attempting to negotiate a meeting between Trump or his campaign staff and Putin representatives. However, no evidence has emerged, thus far, to unequivocally prove that any such meeting ever took place.

If Papadopoulos is to be believed, he made the arrangements before he could join the Trump team, but evidence uncovered by the FBI is in contradiction to his claims.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to be defiant, denying all allegations of his direct involvement with Russian officials. He has conveniently distanced himself from Manafort claiming “NO COLLUSION” and has even questioned why “crooked Hillary & the Dems” are not the focus.

Papadopoulos’ guilty plea, however, is conspicuously missing from his statements.


From The Editors Politics

Ex-Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barak Obama Come Together for Hurricane Relief Concert

Former Democratic Party Presidents Barak Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter joined ex-Republican Commanders-in-Chief George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush for a fundraising concert for hurricane-ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The event titled “Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal” was held at the Texas A&M University’s Reed Arena in College Station on Saturday.

Grammy award winner Lady Gaga’s surprise appearance added to the entertainment quotient of the concert, which also featured country music band Alabama, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer ‘Soul Man’ Sam Moore, gospel legend Yolanda Adams and Texas musicians Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. Country music singer Lee Greenwood was the event’s emcee.

Here’s what Lady Gaga said this morning in a tweeted message accompanied by a photograph of herself and the famous five in the foreground.

Jim McGrath, a spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush, told The Associated Press that prior to the Saturday event, One America Appeal had already raised a whopping $31 million since it kicked off in September.

Trump lauded the “tremendous” efforts of the former presidents in a pre-recorded message.

“To Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Melania and I want to express our deep gratitude for your tremendous assistance,” the message said. “This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another.”

What a sight it was when five former Commanders-in-Chief of the United States of America stood united on stage, hands held over their hearts in obeisance while the American anthem played.

The first among the former presidents to address the audience was Jimmy Carter who said that “America is known for volunteer work,” adding that the previous year “67 million Americans volunteered to help other people in America.”

“Last year there were 67 million Americans who volunteered to help other people in America and that came to 8 billion hours of work worth $184 billion. So that’s what volunteers did last year and I hope this year they are going to a lot more,” he said. “Let’s all work together and make America still a greater volunteer nation,” he added.

Bill Clinton took the podium next and started by praising George H.W. Bush.

“When President George HW Bush was trying to persuade the Congress to pass one of his noblest endeavors, the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said: ‘Our problems are great, but the heart of America is greater’,” Clinton said. “That’s what we’re here to celebrate. We were all citizens – even us – before we were politicians,” he added.

He further stated that “there is still work to be done in Texas and in Florida and our friends in Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands have only begun to dig their way out of what could be still a calamitous disaster, but it can be a new beginning if we just do what we ought to do and prove that the heart of America – without regard to race or religion or political party – is greater than our problems.”

Next in line to address the crowd was the popular President Barak Obama evident from the more than generous ovation he received.

“All of us on this stage tonight could not be prouder of the response of Americans,’ said the dapper looking Obama.

“When they see their neighbors, when they see their friends, when they see strangers in need, Americans step up,” he said in praise of the American spirit.

Like Clinton, Obama also hailed the senior Bush calling him “an outstanding American, somebody who has always shown grace and character and courage and served America nobly throughout the years.”

“We are so proud to be here with him today,” Obama said. “He sets an example for all of us, as does First Lady Barbara Bush.”

George W. Bush’s address was brief, receiving a thunderous applause and a standing ovation when he praised his father and said that the audience loves him.

The five former presidents had last come together in 2013 at the dedication of George W Bush’s presidential library in Dallas when Obama was still incumbent at the Oval Office.

The elder Bush was the only one who did not address the gathering, probably due to health constraints, but he did smile and wave to the crowd.

From The Editors Politics

“Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un Calls Trump a “Mentally Deranged Dotard” in Response to His Threats to North Korea

North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un recently referred to as ”Rocket Man” and threatened with annihilation by U.S. President Donald Trump, spewed venom in response, promising to “tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.” The supreme leader’s vitriolic statement was released by official Korean Central News Agency.

Earlier this week President Donald Trump in his first, rather contentious, address to the United Nations General Assembly had threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea.

“No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Trump said.

Kim Jong-un, who is known to have made threats against the U.S in the past , said in his Thursday statement, “Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”

Kim Jong-un further said that he “will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.”

The North Korean leader ended his diatribe saying “Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation. I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U. S. dotard with fire.”

While the threats from both sides may have been clear and present, on a lighter note, it was the use of the word “dotard” that captured the attention of Americans who went on a tweeting spree having a field day at the expense of POTUS. However, in all fairness, the word “dotard” is the translated version – the Korean connotation is more like “lunatic old man.”

Many Americans, unfamiliar with the dated word, made a dash for the dictionary as confirmed by Merriam-Webster who said that online searches for the word were “high as a kite.” However, this time around they were searching for a word which actually exists unlike the word “”covfefe” coined by Trump – it’s okay to laugh out loud.

This tweet says it all.

Here’s Merriam-Webster tweeting about the high number of searches for “dotard” and her explanation of the term.

Kim Jong-un’s taunting of Trump attracted some really interesting and amusing, if not downright hilarious, tweets. Here they are.

Getting back to the seriousness of the ongoing war of words and exchange of rhetoric between Washington D.C. and Pyongyang, there is strong likelihood of North Korea carrying out another nuclear test – a hydrogen bomb of an unprecedented magnitude this time around, if the DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho’s statement to reporters in New York is anything to go by. This is what he had to say in the wake of Kim’s scathing statement.

“This could probably mean the strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean. Regarding which measures to take, I don’t really know since it is what Kim Jong Un does,” the minister stated.

Meanwhile, Japan’s defense minister Itsunori Onodera stressed on his country’s need for preparedness to counter the threat of a North Korean missile launch over its territory again.

“We cannot deny the possibility it may fly over our country,” Onodera said in response to Ri’s statement. It must be mentioned that North Korea has already launched two test missiles over Japanese territory in recent weeks.

From The Editors Politics

President Trump Talks Politics After Promising Not To at the 19th National Boy Scout Jamboree

President Donald Trump’s 19th National Boy Scout Jamboree speech Monday evening in West Virginia was received with mixed reactions – well, more negative than he would have liked.

While his tirade may have drawn cheers and applause from his supporters in attendance and elsewhere, the general response was that of shock and awe – many just listened in utter disbelief, including yours truly.

“Who the hell wants to talk about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” is what he said soon after opening his speech with a potshot at the press. “Boy, you have a lot of people. The press will say it’s about 200 people. It looks like about 45,000 people.”

It hardly took the man any time to go back on his word – which, he is pretty much adept at – of putting aside “policy fights in Washington DC” that the public has “been hearing about with the fake news and all of that.”

He did not break a sweat demeaning DC politicians when he, unabashedly, tried to tarnish them and the politics of the country which he is the Commander in Chief of.

“You know I go to Washington and I see all these politicians. And I see the swamp, and it’s not a good place. In fact, today I said we ought to change it from the word ‘swamp,’ to the word ‘cesspool,’ or perhaps to the word ‘sewer.’

Now, what could be worse than that? Profanities? Well, the way things are going, it shouldn’t be long before we get to hear some real heavy ones, worthy of the man and the office he holds – sarcasm intended.

President Barak Obama – another perennial target of his ire – expectedly, was not spared this time around as well.

“By the way, just a question, did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?”

This, coming from a man who was never a boy scout himself for a former two-term president who was!

Not content with his “fake news” dig earlier, he made sure he added insult to injury – at least that’s what he thought he was doing – by further ridiculing the media.

“By the way, what do you think the chances are that this incredible, massive crowd, record-setting is going to be shown on television tonight? One percent or zero?” he jibed.

“The fake media will say, President Trump spoke before a small crowd of boy scouts today,” he mocked.

Moving away from his by-now-to-be-expected attacks on President Obama, the media, politicians, and Obamacare – yes, that too came up and we will discuss it later – let’s take a look at what he said to the boy scouts for whom he was actually there.

“I’ll tell you a story that’s very interesting for me when I was young. There was a man named William Levitt — Levittowns, you have some here, you have some in different states.”

And he goes on and on talking about how the man became successful; how he met him at a cocktail party in New York; how he admitted to a young Trump that he had lost his momentum and how he finally lost everything he possessed.

Who wrote the speech for him? For heaven’s sake, he is addressing a crowd of teenagers and talking about something, actually, negative and way before their time. What happened to the unwritten commandment “know thy audience”?

Self-glorification had to feature in the speech at some stage. And, you know what? It did! It’s just that we’ve lost count of the number of times it has come up since the election 260 days ago.

“But do you remember that incredible night with the maps and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red, it was unbelievable, and they didn’t know what to say?”

Oh yes! Obamacare! Almost forgot!

The audience, mainly comprising tens of thousands of young people, mostly teenagers, got to meet the health secretary Tom Price who received a veiled threat from the Commander-in-Chief.

Talking about the vote to repeal Obamacare, which was scheduled in the Senate for Tuesday, he joked about firing Price if he failed in his bid to convince senators to support the bill.

“He better get them. He better get them. Oh, he better – otherwise, I’ll say ‘Tom, you’re fired!’ I’ll get somebody.”

Here’s a look at some of the reactions on social media;

From The Editors Politics

Qatar Diplomatic Crisis Resonates Across the Gulf

On June 5, 2017, the Qatar diplomatic crisis saw Saudi Arabia and its allies namely Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt sever diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar accusing the peninsula nation of supporting and funding terrorist organizations in cahoots with Iran.

Libya, Yemen, and Maldives also joined the fray cutting off all diplomatic ties and banning the country’s state-owned carrier, Qatar Airways, from entering their airspace.

This latest move, coming barely two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia where he vowed to improve ties with Riyadh and Cairo to fight terrorism and restrain Iran, has thrown the already turbulent region into further chaos and uncertainty.

Saudi Arabia and its allies said they would close down all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, throw out its diplomats and expel Qatari citizens from the Gulf States within 14 days.

The countries involved in the ban have also denied Qatar Airways access to their airspace which is expected to affect the airline adversely – especially the airspace restrictions put in place by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways has suspended all its flights to Saudi Arabia while Etihad Airways, Emirates, and Flydubai, canceled all flights to and from Doha effective Tuesday.

The kingdom nation has justified its rather drastic action citing Qatar’s inclination to support “various terrorist and sectarian groups” like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, the Islamic State and other militant organizations backed by Iran “aimed at destabilizing the region.”

Saudi Arabia’s state news agency stated that the decision to cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar was primarily to “protect national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” The statement confirmed that all ports of entry between the two countries would be closed.

“Funding and hosting” the Muslim Brotherhood, an almost 100-year-old Islamist group deemed a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia and its allies, is the reason given by the UAE for its decision to sever ties with Qatar.

It also stated that Qatar’s “ongoing policies that rattle the security and sovereignty of the region as well as its manipulation and evasion of its commitments and treaties”, have been instrumental in UAE’s decision to boycott the gas-rich state.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has blamed Qatar of adopting an “antagonist approach” toward Cairo stating that all efforts to stop it from providing support to terrorist organizations have been an exercise in futility.

Qatar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, however, has denied all accusations and allegations made by the seven countries involved in the sanctions against it saying there was “no legitimate justification” for the extreme decision and asserted that Qataris would not be affected by it.

The Qatar foreign ministry in an online statement posted in Arabic stated “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar expressed its deep regret and surprise at the decisions by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain to close their borders and airspace, and sever diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar, bearing in mind that these measures are unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.”

“That reasons were fabricated in order to take action against a brotherly GCC nation is clear evidence that there is no legitimate justification for such measures, which have been implemented in coordination with Egypt,” it said.

“…..these measures will not affect the normal course of the life of citizens and residents of Qatar. The Qatari government will take all necessary measures to ensure this and thwart attempts to influence and harm Qatari society and economy,” said the online statement.

Following the embargo announcement, panicked shopping was witnessed in the Qatari capital of Doha, amid apprehensions that there was a possibility of acute food shortage resulting from Saudi Arabia closing its land border with Qatar – it must be mentioned that the peninsula nation is dependent on Saudi Arabia for about 40% of its food requirements.

Despite assurances from Qatar’s foreign ministry that the border closing would not affect normal life, people made a dash for the supermarkets to stock up on essentials like rice, water, milk, and meat. Photographs of cleaned-out supermarket shelves were soon doing the rounds on social media.

The QDC (Qatar Diplomatic Crisis) could well prove to be an embarrassment for the small gas-rich state which is gearing up for the prestigious Fifa World Cup it is due to host in 2022.

The preparation for the tournament involving multi-billion dollar stadia and infrastructure development is certainly threatened, if not jeopardized, with the current state of affairs and is sure to be a major cause for worry for the organizers of the tournament.

Not to forget, Qatar is host to the largest U.S. airbase in the Middle East and the current crisis has the potential to affect the base activities and functionality causing the Qatar government even more discomfiture.

However, the presence of a strategic U.S. airbase in the oil-rich peninsula did not deter POTUS from shooting off a series of tweets in support of the action against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies.

“So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off,” he tweeted about his recent visit to Riyadh.

“They said they would take a hard line on funding… extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!”

However, later Tuesday, not too long after the tweets lauding the move against Qatar, President Donald Trump appealed for Gulf unity during a telephone conversation with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.

A Whitehouse statement regarding the call said that “the two leaders discussed the critical goals of preventing the financing of terrorist organizations and eliminating the promotion of extremism by any nation in the region.”

“The president underscored that a United Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability,” said the Whitehouse statement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was critical of the ban imposed on Qatar and pledged to continue maintaining and developing ties with the energy-rich state.

He was all praise for Doha’s “cool-headedness” and “constructive approach” in handling the sudden crisis to have befallen the nation.

Jordan, after assessing the Qatar crisis and the causes that led to it, is relegating its diplomatic representation and withdrawing licenses for the Amman bureau of Al-Jazeera, the Doha-based TV news channel.

The West African state of Mauritania has also voiced its support for the Riyadh initiative emphasizing that Qatar has been backing terrorist groups and has “promoted chaos in many Arab countries.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has shown his willingness to support “all initiatives to encourage calm.”

While Qatar is open to talks, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir feels that it is imperative the Gulf nation “change their policies” and stop supporting “extremist groups”.

Fearing major travel snafus, International Air Transport Association has appealed to the states that have initiated the ban against Qatar to resume air links with the country.

According to Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, the Australian government does not intend to take any action against Qatar or their national carrier, Qatar Airways.

“We encourage leaders in the Gulf to maintain dialogue to repair ties as soon as possible and we welcome any efforts to mediate a resolution,” said the minister.

“Australia maintains good relations with all member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Qatar,” she added.

From The Editors Politics

Ivanka Trump Defends Father’s Reputation With Women, Gets Hissed

At the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the first daughter participated in the W20 Summit alongside Merkel, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and five others for a panel on women’s entrepreneurship on Tuesday.

Ivanka was met with groans as she described her father President Trump as a ‘tremendous champion of families’.

Asked about President Donald Trump’s past attitudes toward women, Ivanka said: “I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media, and that’s been perpetuated.”

Ivanka Trump Attends W20 Conference In Berlin
Ivanka Trump Attends W20 Conference In Berlin

She added: “He encouraged me and enabled me to thrive. I grew up in a house where there were no barriers to what I could accomplish.” The audience interrupted Trump with hissing and boos during a discussion on paid leave when she began describing her father as an advocate for women.

“I know from my personal experience and I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man,” she said.

“As a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level,” she added, according to Politico. “I grew up in a house where there were no barriers to what I could accomplish beyond my own perseverance and tenacity. That’s not an easy thing to do, he provided that for us.”

During the Berlin discussion, Donald Trump tweeted that he was “proud” of Ivanka for “her leadership on these important issues”.