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Journal Archives

Russian Lower House To Ban Access To All US Reporters

Published time: 1 Dec, 2017 11:03
Edited time: 1 Dec, 2017 14:41

The head of the State Duma Regulations Committee has said that the Russian Lower House will ban all visits by journalists working for US mass media. This is in reply to the US Congress’s hostile moves towards Russia’s RT America television.

“By our decision we are offering this move for the consideration of the State Duma Council and plenary session. We are expressing our attitude to the inadmissibility of attacks on democratic values, freedom of speech and the right to receive objective information,” MP Olga Savastyanova told RIA Novosti on Friday.

The lawmaker added that she expected the corresponding motion to be passed on the State Duma plenary session on Wednesday and come into force before the end of next week. Federal lawmakers also plan to approve of a recommendation to Russian regional legislatures to introduce similar measures.

Savastyanova emphasized that the ban was a reciprocal action introduced after RT America was stripped of accreditation with the US Congress.

According to current regulations any foreign reporter must receive an accreditation with the Foreign Ministry to work in Russia. Once received, this document grants free access to the Parliament.

In late November this year a congressional committee in the US revoked RT America's accreditation on Capitol Hill, citing its ‘foreign agent’ status. A short time before this the US Justice Department ordered RT America to register as a foreign agent or face harsh punishment, such as frozen assets and the arrest of the head of the company. On November 10, RT America (officially registered as T & R Productions LLC) filed as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice.


Putin Hails 'Traditional Values' In First Church Congress

AFP•December 1, 2017

Moscow (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday participated in a congress of top clerics in Moscow, a first for a Russian leader, in a drive for ever tighter relations between the Kremlin and the Orthodox Church.

The symbolic gesture, hailed by Patriarch Kirill as a "historic event," shows Putin's eagerness to fortify already strong ties with the church ahead of March presidential polls, despite a constitutional separation between church and state in the country.

"The state, while it respects the self-sufficiency and independence of the church, expects to continue our cooperation in such important spheres like education and healthcare, cultural and historical heritage, and helping families bring up youth," Putin told the assembly.

Putin is the first Russian president to visit the meeting of Orthodox bishops, the Russian church's top decision-making body that meets at least every four years and which, among other things, elects the patriarch.


Anglican Minister Urges Prayers for Prince George to Be Gay


LONDON — A prominent Anglican cleric and gay rights campaigner known for contentious gestures has urged believers to pray for Prince George — age 4, and third in line to the throne — to find the love “of a fine young gentleman” when he grows up so as to advance the cause of same-sex marriage in church.

Coming just days after Prince Harry — George’s uncle, and fifth in line — announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, a divorced American actress, the suggestion by the Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth seemed to illuminate once more the role of royal romance in Britain’s imagination and conversation, especially when it collides with tradition.

Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have said they will marry in May at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, west of London. But it is only since 2002 that the Church of England has permitted church marriages for divorced people, “in exceptional circumstances” at the discretion of parish priests. The church teaching is that marriage is for life.

While same-sex marriage is permitted by law in most of Britain, the Church of England says on its website, “it remains the case that it is not legally possible for same-sex couples to marry” in its churches.


Kamala The Inevitable? 'Female Obama,' 'New Kennedy'...

The Inevitability of Kamala Harris

The freshman Democratic senator from California carefully navigates expectations she’ll morph into a 2020 contender.

By David Catanese, Senior Politics Writer | Dec. 1, 2017, at 6:00 a.m.

For a couple of hours on a recent Thursday, Sen. Kamala Harris of California became the favorite to win the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination.

According to the oddsmakers, that is.

PredictIt, a website that allows election junkies to place real money behind their political prognostications, has been asking thousands of its traders whom they think will be the party's next White House standard-bearer. Harris, just entering her 12th month as a senator, has remained among the top three candidates since the market opened Aug. 30.

The trio of other front-runners – Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joe Biden – are no surprise given their well-established national followings.

It's the 53-year-old Harris who has rocketed up the chain of fresh possibilities this year, as she's been feted by elite donors, fawned over by the Democratic establishment and elevated by a smitten national press corps.

As the cultural and ideological antidote to the current president, her ascension was almost inevitable. But it's also been in motion for years.

Ever since she stepped into the public arena, Harris has been bathed in great expectations. When he was president of NBC Universal, CNN's Jeff Zucker broke his policy of supporting candidates and introduced her to New York power players as "important for the entire country."


Embarrassed Geraldo Rivera Apologizes For Tawdry Memoir

NEW YORK (AP) — Geraldo Rivera is apologizing for a memoir published a quarter-century ago that recounts sexual experiences he says he’s now “embarrassed” about.

In a tweet on Friday, Rivera, now a Fox News Channel reporter, cites his “tawdry” book and what he calls “consensual events” it recounts. He describes its tone as “distasteful” and “disrespectful.” He says he’s “profoundly sorry” to the women involved and to anyone offended by it.

In the tweet posted by the actress-singer, she included a video from a 1991 interview with Barbara Walters in which she first made her allegation against Rivera.

In that clip, Midler hesitates in recounting what she alleges happened with Rivera during his visit to interview her in the early 1970s, saying it will get her in trouble. “Get in a little trouble,” Walters encourages her.

After Rivera and the producer left their TV crew in another room, they “pushed me into my bathroom. They broke two poppers and pushed them under my nose and proceeded to grope me,” Midler told Walters. “Poppers” is slang for the alkyl nitrites class of drugs.


Laughable: Tillerson Dismisses Reports He'll Be Ousted

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday brushed off reports that the White House wants him out, calling the idea “laughable” as he carried on with his a diplomatic schedule amid a swirl of speculation about his future.

“It’s laughable. It’s laughable,” Tillerson told reporters when asked about comments by senior U.S. officials a day earlier, who said President Donald Trump is considering pushing out his top diplomat. The officials said the president’s top pick for replacing Tillerson is CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Tillerson’s brief retort came as he met with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj at the State Department.

Tillerson was scheduled to join Trump’s meeting with al-Sarraj at the White House later Friday, and then have lunch with the president and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Mattis is a Tillerson ally within Trump’s often fractious Cabinet who declared Thursday there was “nothing to” the reports of Tillerson’s imminent demise.

Alongside al-Sarraj, Tillerson smiled and tried to appear unconcerned by the rumors about him. He is scheduled to begin an official trip to Europe next week.


Latest: Conyers Atty: He Intends To "Defend Himself Until The Cows Come Home"...


Michael Flynn, Trump's Ex-National Security Adviser, Is Expected To Plead Guilty Friday To Lying...

Michael Flynn, Trump's ex-national security adviser, is expected to plead guilty Friday to lying to the FBI
Tucker Higgins | Dan Mangan

President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn is expected to plead guilty Friday morning for lying to the FBI about his post-election discussions with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

A plea hearing for Flynn, the first Trump administration official charged in the ongoing Russia probe, has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in Washington D.C. federal court, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office said.

Flynn is expected to plead guilty to a criminal information charging him with knowingly making materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements to FBI agents.

Specifically, Flynn is accused of falsely claiming that he had not asked Russia's ambassador to the United States last Dec. 29 "to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day."

Flynn also allegedly lied by telling the FBI "he did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request," the information says.


ICE Seeks To Deport Immigrant Acquitted In Kate Steinle Case

BY JOHN BOWDEN - 11/30/17 10:33 PM EST 416

U.S. immigration officials announced Thursday that they will seek to deport Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the undocumented immigrant acquitted earlier in the day of murder in the 2015 shooting death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle in San Francisco.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a statement Thursday night blasting San Francisco for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities before the deadly shooting, arguing the city could have prevented Steinle's death.

"San Francisco’s policy of refusing to honor ICE detainers is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law," ICE Deputy Director Tom Homan said in the statement. "This tragedy could have been prevented if San Francisco had simply turned the alien over to ICE, as we requested, instead of releasing him back onto the streets."

"It is unconscionable that politicians across this country continue to endanger the lives of Americans with sanctuary policies while ignoring the harm inflicted on their constituents," he added. "Following the conclusion of this case, ICE will work to take custody of Mr. Garcia Zarate and ultimately remove him from the country."

Steinle's death was widely politicized, including by President Trump, who argued that sanctuary city policies like those in San Francisco led to her death.


Poll: 71 Percent Of Millennials Want A Third Political Party

Nearly three-quarters of millennials say that a third political party is needed, according to an NBC News/GenForward survey released Wednesday.

The poll found that 80 percent of white Millennial men think that a third party is needed, as do 71 percent of Asian millennial men, 67 percent of Hispanic millennial men and 65 percent of black millennial men. Seventy-three percent of black millennial women, 70 percent of white millennial women, 67 percent of Asian American women and 61 percent of Hispanic millennial women.

Fifty-nine percent said that they view the Republican Party unfavorably and 42 percent view the Democratic Party unfavorably, the poll found. Sixty percent said that they disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.

Nearly two-thirds of millennials, 63 percent, said that they disapprove of the way President Trump is handling his job, the survey found. A substantial majority, 65 percent, said that the country is heading in the wrong direction.

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