Connect with us


US Slashes UN Budget By $285 Million Following Jerusalem Rebuke



(Via Zerohedge)

The United States announced a $285 million cut in the United Nations’ “bloated” budget for next year, negotiated by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. A statement by the United States Mission to the United Nations reads:

Today, the United Nations agreed on a budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. ‎Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget. In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U.S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system.

Pleased with the cuts, Haley added “you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting our interests.”

The move follows a contentious week at the U.N., after 128 nations voted in a “stunning rebuke” of President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Prior to the vote, Trump threatened to cut foreign financial aid to any countries who opposed the move – first with a tweet by Ambassador Nikki Haley threatening that the US would be “taking names,” followed by comments made by Trump to reporters last Tuesday, according to Reuters.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote in favor of a draft United Nations resolution against his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Haley also circulated a letter to all UN member states effectively warning them not to vote against Trump’s decision. “As you consider your vote, I want you to know that the President and U.S. take this vote personally,” she wrote. “The President will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us.”

As we now know, this accomplished absolutely nothing:

As we wrote last week, The outcome of the vote was hailed as a “victory” by Palestine. “We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudainah said. Predictably, both Israel and the US were displeased.

The General Assembly vote came days after the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution in the U.N. Security Council. The panel’s other 14 members voted in favor of that measure – a move that Haley called an “insult” to the U.S. Shortly after the Security Council vote, Arab and Muslim leaders at U.N. called for an emergency special session of the General Assembly to discuss the U.S.’s Jerusalem decision.

In a defiant speech ahead of the General Assembly vote on Thursday, Riyad Al Maliki, the Palestinian foreign affairs minister, cast the Trump administration’s Jerusalem decision as an affront on regional peace and security that has isolated the U.S. from the international community. “Does the United States not wonder why it stands isolated in this position?” he asked.

Turkey, which has led the Muslim opposition to the US Jerusalem declaration, was among the first to speak at the meeting. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that only a two-state solution and sticking to the 1967 borders can be a foundation for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. The minister said that since Jerusalem is the cradle for the “three monotheistic religions,” all of humanity should come together to preserve the status quo.

“The recent decision of a UN member state to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel violates the international law, including all relevant UN resolutions. This decision is an outrageous assault on all universal values,” Cavusoglu said.

The United States contributes approximately 22 percent of the U.N. budget – or around $3.3 billion, which President Trump asked the State Department to cut by over 50% in March.

U.S. officials in Washington and New York learned during the past week that they will be asked to find ways to cut spending on obligatory and voluntary U.N. programs by 50 to 60 percent from the International Organization Affairs Bureau’s account. State Department officials, for instance, were told that they should try to identify up to $1 billion in cuts in the U.N. peacekeeping budget, according to one source. The United States provides about $2.5 billion per year to fund peacekeepers. -Foreign Policy

U.S. diplomats warned key U.N. members during a March 9 meeting in New York to “expect a big financial restraint” on American spending – which is not surprising following President Trump’s comments from last December:

Ambassador Haley was clear in her comments after the budget cut, telling the press “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked,” adding “This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN – is a big step in the right direction.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


“Might Need Wall Between Arizona And California” Says Republican Rep. From Arizona



(Via The Hill)

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) proposed building a border wall between California and Arizona to protect the state.

“As we look in Arizona, we often look into the dangers of the southern border,” McSally said during a round-table discussion about “sanctuary cities” Tuesday at the White House.

Sanctuary cities are municipalities that do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

“But if these dangerous policies continue out of California, we might need to build a wall between California and Arizona as well to keep these dangerous criminals out of our state,” she said, smiling.

She added that California can’t just “provide sanctuary for these criminals and think that it’s only impacting California dangerously.”

Earlier this month, the Trump administration filed a lawsuit against California over the state’s immigration laws.

The Trump administration has been highly critical of California’s sanctuary cities, and administration officials have said they will crack down on policies that limit local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal authorities.

Full Article

Continue Reading


‘Don’t Accessorize The Cross’ – Pope Francis



(Via Breitbart)

In the lead-up to the commemoration of Holy Week and Easter, Pope Francis has urged Christians to see the crucifix not as an piece of jewelry but rather as a profound symbol of faith in Jesus.
Commenting on the gospel reading March 18, where Jesus says that when he is “lifted up” he will draw all people to himself, the pope said that the passage invites us to contemplate the crucifix, where Christ’s glory is revealed.

“Those who want to know Jesus must look inside the cross, where his glory is revealed,” Francis told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday before reciting the Angelus prayer with them. “Look inside the cross.”

The gospel, he said, “invites us to direct our gaze to the crucifix, which is not a decoration or a fashion accessory.” It is, rather, “a religious symbol to be contemplated and understood.”

“The image of Jesus crucified reveals the mystery of the death of the Son as the supreme act of love, the source of life and salvation for humanity of all times,” he added. “In his wounds we have been healed.”

The pope warned that like other holy objects, the crucifix is sometimes “abused” by people who treat it simply as a piece of jewelry, disregarding its deeper religious significance.

Francis invited his hearers to ask themselves, “How do I look at the crucifix? Like a work of art, to see whether it is beautiful or not? Or do I look inside, entering the wounds of Jesus even to his heart? Do I look at the mystery of God brought low to the point of death, like a slave, like a criminal?”

The pope also encouraged his audience to meditate on the wounds of Christ, which he suffered for the salvation of the world.

In this way, “we will learn the great wisdom of the mystery of Christ, the great wisdom of the cross,” he said.

Despite his criticism of wearing the crucifix as a piece of jewelry, on the following day the pope told a group of young people that he has nothing against tattoos, even in the form of a cross.

Full Article

Continue Reading


McCabe Supposedly Authorized Investigation Into Sessions



(Via ABC News)

Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a “lack of candor,” McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe’s previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.

One source told ABC News that Sessions was not aware of the investigation when he decided to fire McCabe last Friday less than 48 hours before McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, was due to retire from government and obtain a full pension, but an attorney representing Sessions declined to confirm that.

Last year, several top Republican and Democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe, ABC News was told.

In his own words: McCabe claims firing part of ‘ongoing assault’ on Russia probe
DOJ gives special counsel internal docs on proposed Sessions resignation, source says
By then, Sessions had recused himself from the FBI’s probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, giving Rosenstein oversight of the growing effort.

Within weeks, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to take over the investigation and related inquiries, including the Sessions matter.

Two months ago, Sessions was interviewed by Mueller’s team, and the federal inquiry related to his candor during his confirmation process has since been shuttered, according to a lawyer representing Sessions.

“The Special Counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress,” attorney Chuck Cooper told ABC News on Wednesday.

Full Article Here

Continue Reading