Roger Stone is entering a not guilty plea. Stone is charged with obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements. We talked about this last week in the context of the indictment, but now Stone has gone to court. Specifically, special counsel Robert Mueller has accused Mr. Stone of lying to investigators for the House Intelligence Committee about the alleged Russian election interference campaign, and of pressuring another witness in that investigation to lie to the committee. The indictment also said that Trump campaign officials dispatched Mr. Stone to make contact with WikiLeaks during the summer of 2016 when the website was releasing a trove of damaging information about Hillary Clinton that had been allegedly stolen by Russian intelligence operatives. Stone is not at this point accused of playing a role in the alleged hacking, and the indictment does not make a case that the Trump campaign engaged in a conspiracy with Russia to disrupt the election.
The Justice Department is indicting a Chinese telecom giant. In Britain and other European countries, officials are also under pressure from the United States to bar Huawei from building its fifth generation, or 5G, network. Also, the allegations behind the Department of Justice's two new sets of charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei, announced Monday, had been discussed for years. But the US made its move against Huawei at a critical moment for the Trump administration's high-stakes trade negotiations, as a Chinese delegation arrives in the US for talks that begin today. What's really at stake here? Could this further complicate efforts by Washington and Beijing to negotiate an end to their bruising trade war?
The US Senate voted to advance the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 — sometimes called the "anti-BDS bill." In a recent MintPress News article by Whitney Webb, she writes that the bill "allows state and local governments to punish companies or individuals who support the non-violent Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement aimed at promoting Palestinian rights and ending Israeli apartheid and military occupation of the West Bank. Numerous rights groups, politicians and civil rights advocates have accused this measure of violating freedom of speech and setting a dangerous precedent for the private political activism of American citizens, all on behalf of a foreign country. In order to become law, the measure would still need to pass the Democrat-run House of Representatives. However, given the amount of support for the measure among Democrats and the power of the Israel lobby, the bill stands a considerable chance of passing the House." What's really at stake here?
Lee Stranahan — Co-host of Fault Lines on Sputnik Radio.
David Ewing — Chair of the San Francisco chapter of the US-China People's Friendship Association.
Robert McCaw — Director of Government Affairs for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
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