Khashoggi Case Could Be Death Of US-Saudi Friendship

This could be a chaotic week for U.S. policy in the Middle East and for oil. Responding in advance to expected comments by President Trump on “60 Minutes” last night, Saudi Arabia issued a statement of “total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it.” Al Arabiya News Channel wrote an editorial warning of 30 potential retaliatory measures against any U.S. sanctions, including “$100 oil, $200 oil, double that.”

What President Trump actually said, half-buried in his responses to aggressive questioning about Russia, North Korea, China and other issues, was that the kingdom could face “severe punishment” if the U.S. confirms that exiled Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2….

>>> continue reading: Khashoggi Case Could Be Death Of US-Saudi Friendship

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New ISIS Drone Attack Threat As Feds Warn Of Drone ‘Swarm Attacks’

As national security officials warned lawmakers Thursday that “emerging threats” such as drones “are outpacing our defenses,” an ISIS-affiliated media group circulated a poster online showing a drone doing the work of the jihadist to attack Paris.

The poster from Muharir al-Ansar shows a commercial drone grasping a sizable object flying next to the Eiffel Tower, which is framed in crosshairs. A jihadist is depicted walking away.

“Await for our surprises,” says the message on the poster….

>>> continue reading: New ISIS Drone Attack Threat As Feds Warn Of Drone ‘Swarm Attacks’

‘Last Pocket Of ISIS’ Fighters Surrounded, DoD Official Says

U.S. troops and their local partner forces have surrounded what has been called the “last pocket of ISIS resistance,” according to military officials involved in the campaign.

The final push, known as Operation Roundup, is in its third week. It is occurring in the Middle Euphrates River Valley’s Deir ez-Zor province, close to the Iraq-Syria border.

Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition’s fire support, have dialed back the Islamic State precipitously over the past few years.

“As ISIS retreats, they’re employing improvised explosive devices along routes and booby-trapping houses to inflict casualties as the SDF fighters clear through the terrain,” Col. Sean Ryan, Operation Inherent Resolve’s spokesman, told reporters Tuesday….

>>> continue reading: ‘Last Pocket Of ISIS’ Fighters Surrounded, DoD Official Says

Google Claims It Didn’t Manipulate Search Results For “Islam” And “Muslim”

But we have known for well over a year that it did.

Now that even President Trump has complained about Google manipulating its search results, the social media giant’s underhanded practices are finally getting some attention. A Fox News report Friday noted that at Google, “internal emails show conversations between employees highlighting a desire to manipulate search results on the heels of President Trump’s controversial travel ban in order to mute conservative viewpoints and push ways to combat the ban.” Google claims that this remained on the level of discussion, and wasn’t implemented, but there is considerable evidence to the contrary.

The emails show that “Google employees suggested ways to ‘leverage’ the search engine to combat what the tech giant staffers considered anti-immigration rhetoric and news.” Specifically, “Google staffers suggested actively countering ‘islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms “Islam,” “Muslim,” “Iran,” etc.’” But all is well, Google would have us believe, because this wasn’t done….

>>> continue reading: Google Claims It Didn’t Manipulate Search Results For “Islam” And “Muslim”

Trump Rejects Globalism In UN Speech, Slams Iran, Emphasizes “America First”

President Trump’s second address to the UN General Assembly didn’t include any bombshell revelations (like last year’s speech where Trump threatened North Korea with nuclear annihilation and referred to Kim Jong Un as ‘Little Rocket Man’), but it was just as much of a repudiation of the global order that the UN represents. In a speech that rejected internationalism and embraced the nationalist populism that Trump has long championed, Trump blasted “the ideology of globalism” and multinational organizations like the UN that he said infringe on national sovereignty. During the speech, Trump urged other nations to look out for themselves and their own interests – and allow the US to do the same.

“I honor every nation to pursue its own customs, beliefs and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship,” Mr. Trump said. “We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.

In a speech that lasted roughly 30 minutes, Trump vowed that the US would “not be taken advantage of any longer” and slammed both its friends and foes for taking advantage of the US’s defense spending and its trading largess….

>>> continue reading: Trump Rejects Globalism In UN Speech, Slams Iran, Emphasizes “America First”

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