Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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Tag: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Is There a Political Reason Twitter Won’t Do More to Combat White Supremacy?

But according to a new report from Motherboard, Twitter has avoided censoring white supremacists out of fear that it could impact the accounts of Republican politicians. Twitter hasn’t made the same commitment to rid itself of white supremacist content, the speaker later said in another conversation confirmed by Motherboard, because it could have a similar effect on the accounts of Republican politicians. To do so for white supremacist content would inevitably impact Republican accounts because of the extent to which white supremacist and white nationalist rhetoric has bled into American political discourse. On Tuesday, CEO Jack Dorsey met with Trump at the White House hours after Trump took to the platform to complain that “they don’t treat me well as a Republican,” that Twitter is “very discriminatory,” that it is “hard for people to sign on” and that it is “[c]onstantly taking people off list.” Thank you for the time. Last August, Dorsey drew criticism for his decision to apologize to conservative activist Candace Owens after a Twitter Moment labeled her a “far-right” personality. Thanks for calling out.” At a Turning Point USA event in London a few months later, Owens said Hitler’s ambitions were “OK” until he wanted to take them outside of Germany’s borders. I want to apologize for our labeling you “far right.” Team completed a full review of how this was published and why we corrected far too late (12 hrs after). “[There’s an] intentional conflation by a bunch of conservatives to say that white supremacist accounts and average Republican accounts are the same thing,” Collins said of conservatives who claim bias. It should be in the interest of conservatives to try to make a delineation between white supremacist content and [conservative content].” One prominent Republican politician whose account may be hard to distinguish from those of white supremacists is Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who has regularly promoted white supremacists and neo-Nazis. “There is a very strong conviction on this side of the aisle that the algorithms are written with a bias against conservatives,” he told Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a congressional hearing in December.

Trump’s 2020 Campaign: A Traditional Operation With a Wild-Card Candidate

“We won 306 to 223.” (Mrs. Clinton’s total was actually 232.) Advisers say privately that he has been distracted by the Mueller report, which he regards as a clear political victory, and has not focused on message for the coming months. As the campaign tries to build a traditional re-election operation, which officials often compare to President George W. Bush’s 2004 race, the tension may build between campaign officials and Mr. Trump, who trusts his gut above all else. “One of the differences is time. “It’s easy to build a beautiful operation,” said Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 race. To staff the campaign, advisers have brought in a mix of new hires and veterans of the 2016 effort. The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, meanwhile, is planning to play a large managerial role overseeing the campaign from the West Wing and speaks to Mr. Parscale multiple times a day. Mr. Stepien, meanwhile, has been focused on the delegate selection process and state chairman races in places like Massachusetts, Florida and Maine, to ensure that the Republican National Convention next year will be an uninterrupted celebration of the president. Mr. Parscale has discussed with Mr. Trump the potential advantages of targeting the Green New Deal, the ambitious Democratic proposal to combat climate change. The rally may still happen, people familiar with the plans said, but only because campaign officials insisted on it.

Libya’s political instability makes room for ISIS to regroup

Christopher Livesay: The city of Sirte. Colonel Ibrahim Bin Rabaa is the commander of Libyan counter-terrorism forces in Sirte. ISIS killed him. Christopher Livesay: So far this year in Libya there have already been more than twice the number of ISIS attacks. But we ask and we hope for help from other countries. Christopher Livesay: That's largely because ISIS isn't Libya's only problem. Christopher Livesay: And take this border crossing, between Libya's rival governments in the East and West. When ISIS was around, trafficking was at its peak. Sometimes they would even put terrorists on the migrant ships to Europe. Christopher Livesay: The two cousins eventually met in battle.

On Politics: Trump Ordered Kushner’s Security Clearance

Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today. _____________________ • Internal memos reveal that President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns from intelligence officials. • Mr. Trump bet that his self-described skills as a master negotiator would be enough to persuade North Korea to renounce its nuclear weapons program. In failing, he laid bare the risks of one-to-one diplomacy. • Under a new Pentagon plan being offered in peace talks with the Taliban, all American and foreign troops would leave Afghanistan in the next three to five years. “It’s 100 percent not true,” one senior official said. • For many Americans, the testimony of Mr. Trump’s ex-fixer Michael Cohen was just one more television show, doing little to change how they already felt about the president, good or bad. • Mr. Cohen’s testimony about Mr. Trump’s potentially felonious conduct has not moved House Democratic leaders closer to initiating impeachment proceedings. They see endless, overlapping investigations as a more damaging course of action. • Mr. Trump and his top economic advisers have sent a series of conflicting messages about the status of trade talks with China: A deal is either imminent, still out of reach or somewhere in between.

Graham says Trump slowing down planned withdrawal from Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has ordered a slowdown to the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday. The president had declared victory over the Islamic State group in Syria, though pockets of fighting remain. Graham had been an outspoken critic of Trump's decision, which had drawn bipartisan criticism. The announcement also had shocked lawmakers and American allies, including Kurds who have fought alongside the U.S. against the Islamic State group and face an expected assault by Turkey. "I think we're slowing things down in a smart way," Graham said, adding that Trump was very aware of the plight of the Kurds. Critics had contended that the U.S. withdrawal would embolden Iran and Russia, which have supported the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. National security adviser John Bolton was expected to travel to Israel and Turkey next weekend to discuss the president's plans with the American allies. During his appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Graham previewed his arguments to Trump for reconsidering the Syria pullout. "I'm going to ask him to sit down with his generals and reconsider how to do this. Slow this down.

After criticism, Trump pushes out Mattis sooner than planned

In a series of tweets, Trump appeared to question why he had put Mattis in his Cabinet in the first place and said Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will take over as acting secretary on Jan. 1 to cover the accelerated departure. Mattis resigned in protest over Trump's decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria. A White House official said Trump decided Mattis should leave the administration earlier than planned to avoid a drawn-out transition when someone on hand whom they consider a qualified deputy capable of running the Pentagon in an acting capacity. "Deputy Secretary will continue to serve as directed by the president, and the Department of Defense will remain focused on the defense of the nation," Buccino said on Sunday. It is unusual for the Pentagon to have an acting secretary of defense. While Mattis' resignation followed Trump's announcement that he would soon pull all of the approximately 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, officials said that the decision was the result of an accumulation of disagreements. Earlier Sunday, Trump's acting chief of staff said that Trump had known for "quite some time now" that he and Mattis "did not share some of the same philosophies ... have the same world view." Mattis had been at work on Friday, and defense officials had insisted he was planning to stay through February, when he would attend a NATO defense ministers meeting. But Mulvaney, asked on ABC whether there was any chance the president might change his mind on Syria decision, said: "No. I think the president has told people from the very beginning that he doesn't want us to stay in Syria forever.

Trump Named Man of the Year by ISIS

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Capping an extraordinary 2018, Donald J. Trump announced on Thursday that he had been named Man of the Year by the terrorist organization known as ISIS. Trump made the announcement after receiving the news from the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom Trump called “a terrific, fabulous guy.” “I got along great with him, and he said a lot of nice things about me,” Trump said. “He said ISIS didn’t even consider anyone else.” Trump, who is expecting to receive an official Man of the Year plaque from ISIS in the next few weeks, said that the award “came as a total surprise to me.” “It’s a particularly impressive honor when you consider ISIS was co-founded by Hillary and Obama,” he said. Andy Borowitz is the New York Times best-selling author of “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news, for newyorker.com. Read more »

Leaders of ISIS and Al Qaeda Puzzled Why Trump Has Not Invited Them to...

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The leaders of ISIS and Al Qaeda said on Friday that they were totally perplexed as to why Donald J. Trump had not yet invited them to the White House. The terror chiefs said that, as sworn enemies of the United States, they had certainly attacked the country enough to warrant an invitation for an official visit, and possibly a state dinner. “Maybe we haven’t done anything to directly undermine their democracy—I get that,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, said. “But we’ve been nemeses of America for years, and that ought to be worth something.” Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, said that he also feels snubbed. “No invitation. Not even a save-the-date,” he said. “At this point, I’d settle for the White House Easter Egg Roll, but I’m not counting on anything.” Calling the absence of a White House invitation for Al Qaeda “the height of unfairness,” the evildoer added, bitterly, “The whole thing seems political.” Hibatullah Akhundzada, the current leader of the Taliban, said that, like his terrorist colleagues, he was “dumbfounded” that Trump invited Vladimir Putin and not him to the White House. “At some point you have to wonder, what does Putin have on this guy?” he said.

White House: ‘Indisputable’ Trump has done more to defeat ISIS than Obama

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that it’s “indisputable” that President Trump has done more to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) than President Obama did. Sanders’s tweets come after The New York Times reported Sunday that more than 1,000 ISIS fighters had surrendered in Iraq over the last week. The Times reports that the mass surrenders came after the Iraqi military captured the city of Hawija from the ISIS fighters after just 15 days of fighting.