After an unceremonious meeting with US President Donald Trump, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was summarily dispatched to the land of the unemployed. She was fired, or as they like to say in Washington, DC, circles, asked to resign. Also, Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles will remain in his position as of now but has been asked to leave. Trump has instructed acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to fire Alles, CNN reported, citing numerous administration officials. Commenting on the decision, one of the officials mentioned "a near-systematic purge" at the Department of Homeland Security. What does this signal for immigration policy
Israeli voters will elect a prime minister Tuesday, in what's expected to be the Jewish state's closest election in years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is running for a fifth term. He also could be running to stay out of prison. Netanyahu is facing serious corruption charges, and winning another term might shield him from prosecution. He's facing a tough competitor in former military chief of staff Benny Gantz. Analysts say Gantz can match Netanyahu on security while promising cleaner Israeli politics. Public opinion polls show Netanyahu and Gantz running very close. How close is this race? Can Gantz win this, or is the talk of a close race more hype than reality? What's been the impact of Netanyahu's pledge to extend Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank?
There's a great piece in MintPress News, entitled "The Syrian American Council's Pressure Campaign to Censor One of Its Major Critics," by Alexander Rubinstein. It's about a book entitled "The Management of Savagery," by Max Blumenthal. The Syrian American Council and a collection of pro-war lobbyists have led an intimidation campaign aimed at bullying a major Washington-based bookstore, Politics and Prose, into canceling the book's launch event. The store had already made onerous demands of Blumenthal, including requiring him to have an "interlocutor" on stage, specifically, one who would appease the Syrian American Council. Blumenthal selected Andrew Cockburn, one of the premier journalists covering US and Middle East politics and a longtime correspondent for Harper's Magazine. But Blumenthal told MintPress that Cockburn was denied; Politics and Prose management insisted that Cockburn was "too sympathetic" to Blumenthal's views. What's going on here?
Helena Olea — Human rights adviser for Alianza Americas.
Nicole Roussell — Producer for Loud & Clear on Sputnik News.
Max Blumenthal — Co-founder of the Grayzone Project.
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