International, Issues

Mexico Flinches, Shuts Down Migrant Caravan

Earlier in the week, the horde of Central American migrants had swelled to as many as 1,500 as it made its way through multiple towns in southern Mexico, en route to the U.S. border.

For days, the crowd had been untouched by Mexican authorities despite that Mexican immigration laws are some of the toughest in the western hemisphere.

Then the Trump administration responded with plans to mobilize the National Guard.

And curiously the Mexican government suddenly became interested in enforcing their immigration laws.

As of yesterday, the horde has been shut down and is no longer moving north.

Here’s more from Washington Examiner…

President Trump praised Mexico Thursday morning for using its immigration laws to stop the caravan of more than 1,000 Central American citizens from reaching the border.

Although Trump said border crossings are at a 46-year low, he still feels the rate at which immigrants can unlawfully enter the U.S. is “unacceptable.”

“The Caravan is largely broken up thanks to the strong immigration laws of Mexico and their willingness to use them so as not to cause a giant scene at our Border,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Because of the Trump Administrations actions, Border crossings are at a still UNACCEPTABLE 46 year low. Stop drugs!”

Over the past week, Trump has been critical of those migrants walking, riding in vans, or traveling by train from Honduras and other Central American countries to seek refuge in Mexico and America. Mexico said the caravan is an annual demonstration that was never going to swarm the border, although the government acknowledged that some might try.

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International, Issues

National Guard Troops Being Sent To The Border Immediately

Perhaps prompted by the massive 1,500-strong throng of migrants making their way through Mexico, the Trump administration announced yesterday that National Guard troops will be deployed immediately to the Mexican border.

The other issue is that Congress has refused to deal with the so-called ‘catch and release’ policy from the previous administration as well as an inability to fully fund the border wall.

So Trump’s DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen detailed that these troops will be deployed in similar fashion to those under George W. Bush in order to fill the gaping holes in the border and to back up the US Border Patrol.

So in short, President Trump “has a pen and cellphone” and is willing to use them.

Here’s more from Hotair…

No word yet on how many or for how long, but WaPo cites a source who says the operation will continue until Congress ends “catch and release” for illegals detained in the U.S.

So in other words, it’ll continue forever.

There was some question yesterday as to what Trump has in mind. Was he talking National Guard or regular military, which would potentially create a problem under the Posse Comitatus Act? Is he contemplating a presence much larger than Dubya’s deployment of several thousand troops more than a decade ago? “We’re going to be guarding our border with the military,” he said yesterday during a White House photo op, and “we really haven’t done that before.” That suggested something novel to come. When reporters pressed Kirstjen Nielsen about it today, though, she said no, this’ll be in line with what Bush and Obama did. It’ll be “strong” but familiar. Via the IJR:

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International, Issues

An Army Of Illegal Aliens Is Marching On America

If ever we needed proof why Trump’s wall is needed, this may be it.

A massive thousand-person ‘army’ of Central American refugees is marching through Mexico — completely unassailed by Mexican authorities — on their way to the U.S.

Their plan is that by marching as unarmed civilians in massive numbers, no one will dare stop them.

So they intend to cross the U.S. border as soon as possible where they hope Border Patrol may just let them stroll right in.

Get ready for a big media kerfuffle.

The Trump administration won’t allow this to happen, and the media will play it up as a huge humanitarian crisis.

This could push the immigration fight in Congress to boiling point.

We’ll keep you posted.

Here’s more from Hotair…

I first became aware of this developing tale thanks to a tweet from Nicolas Medina Mora lionizing the work of Adolfo Flores of Buzzfeed. What is Adolfo up to? Take a look.

You won’t see much in the way of coverage of this on the major networks or CNN, but Buzzfeed is covering it.

For five days now hundreds of Central Americans — children, women, and men, most of them from Honduras — have boldly crossed immigration checkpoints, military bases, and police in a desperate, sometimes chaotic march toward the United States. Despite their being in Mexico without authorization, no one has made any effort to stop them.

Organized by a group of volunteers called Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, the caravan is intended to help migrants safely reach the United States, bypassing not only authorities who would seek to deport them, but gangs and cartels who are known to assault vulnerable migrants.

Organizers like Rodrigo Abeja hope that the sheer size of the crowd will give immigration authorities and criminals pause before trying to stop them.

“If we all protect each other we’ll get through this together,” Abeja yelled through a loudspeaker on the morning they left Tapachula, on Mexico’s border with Guatemala, for the nearly monthlong trek.

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Culture, International

Venezuela Easter: Churches Face Shortage of Communion Wafers

In case you haven’t been following international news very closely, recall that the Communist government in Venezuela has destroyed the economy which has resulted literally in massive hyperinflation and starvation.

And now that Easter is here, the heavily Catholic nation’s suffering is of a spiritual nature as there is such a shortage of flour that churches cannot make enough bread wafers for Sunday communion.

The communion rite for Catholics is central to their liturgy, particular on Easter. Without wine or bread, communion cannot be celebrated.

This is the fruit of communism, which many wayward youth in America clearly don’t understand.

In no place or time that communism has been attempted has it been successful.

Here’s more from PJ Media…

Thanks to the socialist big government policies of Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro, the country has long faced famines and shortages of all sorts: toilet paper, food and drink, and even the vital wafers for the sacrament of Communion, a central celebration during Holy Week and Easter in the mostly Roman Catholic country.

Venezuela is suffering from a shortage of wheat and grain, and that means a shortage of Communion wafers. As Communion is a sacrament in the Catholic faith — a means of attaining grace from God, and a central part of the celebration of the high holiday of Easter — this constitutes a spiritual famine in the land. A full 71 percent of Venezuelans identify as Roman Catholic, and 17 percent as Protestant or other Christian.

A church organization from across the border in Colombia drudged through the rain to deliver 250,000 Communion wafers just before Easter.

A priest in the city of Mérida, in the Andes, told the Catholic newspaper La Croix that he and fellow ministers had to “appeal to churchgoers to take flour to the nuns who make the hosts.”

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International, War on Terror

Rumors of War: Israelis Strike Uprising on Gaza Strip

Israeli military forces fired upon a crowd of over ten thousand Palestinian protestors yesterday during the beginning of what has been called a six-week campaign for Palestinian refugees.

At least 12 people were killed and hundreds wounded both by live fire and tear gas as Israeli forces pushed back to keep the insurgents from crossing the 40-mile Gaza barrier into Israeli territory.

Protestors were also seen burning pictures of President Trump in defiance of the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

The planned protest has no doubt been emboldened by the decidedly anti-Israel UN Security Council, which US Ambassador Nikki Haley has called to task in recent months.

This likely will not end well.

Here’s more from Daily Mail…

At least 12 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds hurt during one of the largest Palestinian demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border in recent years.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians, pressing for a right of return for refugees to what is now Israel, gathered at five locations along the fenced 40-mile frontier where tents were erected for a planned six-week protest, local officials said.

Demonstrators were also seen burning and stamping on posters with the face of U.S. President Donald Trump, who ordered the US embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The protesters have vowed to remain at the border until the embassy moves to Jerusalem on May 14.

The Israeli military estimated there were 30,000 demonstrators and used a drone to drop tear gas on the massive crowds.

Gaza health officials said one of the 12 dead was aged 16 and at least 400 people were wounded by live gunfire, while others were struck by rubber bullets or treated for tear gas inhalation.

Families brought their children to the encampments just a few hundred yards from the Israeli security barrier with the Hamas Islamist-run enclave and football fields were marked in the sand and scout bands played.

But as the day wore on, hundreds of Palestinian youths ignored calls from the organizers and the Israeli military to stay away from the frontier, where Israeli soldiers across the border kept watch from dirt mound embankments.

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International, Politics

Retaliation: Russia to Expel 60 US Diplomats

The new Cold War between Russia and the West is heating up this week as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced a reciprocal expulsion of US diplomats in response to President Trump’s announcement earlier in the week.

Trump announced dozens of Russian diplomats would be ordered out of the U.S. in support of the United Kingdom’s similar move after an English double-agent was poisoned to death by the Russian government.

This added to the already tense situation regarding Russian hacking around the globe is threatening to widen the chasm between East and West.

Meanwhile, Putin continues to consolidate power and support rogue nations like Syria and Iran which routinely threaten US allies.

It’s not a pretty picture.

Here’s more from Bloomberg…

Russia said it’s expelling 60 U.S. diplomats and closing the American consulate in St. Petersburg and will retaliate in kind to other countries that ousted its envoys after the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the measures against the U.S. “include the expulsion of the same number of diplomats” as the Russian envoys ordered out by President Donald Trump.

The measures came in a crisis over a nerve-agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter that the U.K. government is blaming on Russia. While the Kremlin’s action underscores the tense relations between Washington and Moscow, the use of a customary tit-for-tat response suggested that President Vladimir Putin isn’t looking to escalate the situation.

But the U.S. quickly dismissed the notion that Russia was entitled to take mirror-image action.

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Economy & Investments, International

Art of the Deal: China Flinches First in Trade War

Last week President Trump made good on promises to force the Chinese into a position of better trade balance after years of currency manipulation and tariffs on US exports.

But the Dow dropped like a rock after fears that US exporters would be hit hard with the negative effects of a trade war with China.

Then came Monday and China flinched. Rather than responding with reciprocal import tariffs on US products, Chinese leaders offered to negotiate better trade deals to avoid a massive fight.

That was likely the entire motive behind Trump’s announcement in the first place.

And the Chinese bit hard.

Here’s more from Newsmax…

Following Friday’s massive losses on Wall Street amid reports of a trade war between the United States and China, the market bounced back Monday after China signaled it is willing to negotiate better trade deals with the Trump administration.

The Dow’s point increase was the largest single-day gain since 2008. The Financial Times reported early Monday morning that China is offering to buy more U.S.-made semiconductors to help reduce the $375 billion merchandise trade surplus it has with America.

Gordon Chang, an expert on North Korea and China, told Newsmax TV Americans shouldn’t worry about a trade war anyway because it would be a one-sided affair.

“Everyone has been worried about a trade war, but we shouldn’t because we hold most of the high cards,” Chang said. “And the Chinese really have no way to win a trade war with the United States if they face a determined American president.”

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International, Politics

Left Forgets Obama Congratulated Putin’s Victory Too

Rabid leftists have been on the latest bone of contention with President Trump after his public congratulations to Vladimir Putin for his victory in the Russian election for a fourth term.

For some on the left, such a gesture is confirmation of his pro-Russia, conspiratorial attitude.

But wait, didn’t Barack Obama congratulate Putin as well?

Let’s check the fact checker. Oh, yes, indeed he did.

And not only that, he promised in a hot-mic remark to Putin he could work more closely with him after his re-election in 2012.

Gosh, we almost forgot also: Obama remained quiet after receiving intel of Russian election meddling.

Who’s the pro-Russia conspirator again?

Here’s more from Check Your Facts…

After controversially calling Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his recent election victory, President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that former President Barack Obama had also given Putin a congratulatory call.

“I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory (in past, Obama called him also),” he tweeted.

Verdict: True

Obama called Putin in 2012 several days after the results were announced to congratulate him on winning his presidential election.

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International, Politics

Cold War Part 2: Russia Expels British Diplomats

The war of words between the West and Russia escalated late this week after the Kremlin announced the expulsion of multiple British diplomats in response to Prime Minister Teresa May’s announcement that 23 Russian spies were being deported from London.

The Russo-British kerfuffle doubles down on the pressure announced by the Trump administration of new sanctions in retaliation for hacking and meddling in US elections.

And all of it comes amid a breaking report that Russian agents hacked into US aviation systems.

The long and short is Putin is on no one’s most favored world leader list these days, which has us moving ever so swiftly toward another Cold War.

Here’s more from Reuters…

Russia is set to expel British diplomats in retaliation for Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to kick out 23 Russians as relations with London crashed to a post-Cold War low over an attack involving a military-grade nerve agent on English soil.

After the first known offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War Two, Britain has pointed the finger at President Vladimir Putin and on Thursday May gave the 23 Russians who she said were spies working under diplomatic cover at the embassy in London a week to leave.

Moscow has denied any involvement in the attempted murder of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. It has cast Britain as a post-colonial power unsettled by its impending exit from the European Union, and even suggested London fabricated the attack to whip up anti-Russian hysteria.

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International, Issues

Report: Russia Promoted Pipeline Protests, Climate Debate

The House Committee on Science has been conducting its own investigation of Russian tampering with American politics.

A new 21-page report reveals that Russian meddling in the 2016 election cycle was not limited to faux presidential rallies.

Additionally, according to data provided by social media platforms, the Russian government funneled millions both into social media promotion of anti-pipeline rallies and climate change forums and also directly to socialist groups in order to disrupt the U.S. energy industry.

The irony is Russia may have been largely responsible for Obama’s blocking of the XTO pipeline, which fits the textbook definition of collusion.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

The House Committee on Science Space and Technology released a report on Thursday detailing how Russia has been using social media platforms to disrupt domestic energy markets and influence domestic energy policies.

The 21-page report includes Russian posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, some with photographs and slogans.

“The committee began investigating Russian attempts to influence U.S. energy markets in the summer of 2017 when Chairman [Lamar] Smith wrote [to] the Secretary of Treasury regarding Russia’s intricate money-laundering scheme. Russian-sponsored agents funneled money to U.S. environmental organizations in an attempt to portray energy companies in a negative way and disrupt domestic energy markets,” the report states.

“Upon discovering that Russia may have exploited American social media platforms to accomplish its disruptive objectives, the committee broadened the scope of its investigation,” the report outlines. “On September 26, 2017, the Committee requested data from Facebook and Twitter as part of this expanded investigation.”

The documents social media companies provided to the committee confirm Russia’s influence peddling, according to the report.

The report also includes an article posted on the Buzzfeed News website that revealed how the Russians used Instagram to influence Native Americans on oil and gas pipelines, including the Dakota Access Pipeline, the site of Native American protests.

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