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Right-wing radio host Jesse Lee Peterson claimed Muslims in America are “treated better” than white people as he expressed concern that repressed white Americans may be incited to carry out an attack in the U.S. similar to the recent massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left at least 50 dead.
Peterson said during his Friday radio show that “white people are getting angry rather than speaking up prior to anger” because “normal whites” and Christians are treated more poorly in the U.S. than Muslims are.
The controversial pro–Donald Trump host rejected the labeling of suspected Christchurch mosque shooter as a “white supremacist,” claiming he doesn’t understand the news media’s definition. Peterson warned listeners not to support politicians, including Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, because “if white people get angry, this is what’s going to happen” in the United States.
Peterson, who is black, claimed on his national show he doesn’t “really know what it means” for someone to be a white supremacist in New Zealand and derided the term.
“But I know here in this country, the antifa people are protected,” he said, referring to anti-fascist militant groups. “And they are more violent and terrorist than normal whites. But the normal whites are called ‘white supremacy’ while the radical, antifa whites are being protected” by the Democratic Party and news media.
Peterson went on to justify his claim that Muslims in America are treated better than white people by pointing to the 2018 election of Minnesota Democrat Omar and Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib, the nation’s first two Muslim congresswomen.
“In this country, the Muslims are treated better than the Christians and white people,” Peterson continued. “We just saw where they allow two Muslims to become congressmen [sic] in our government, and that is not good. Those two women hate Israel, and they hate America.”
Both Tlaib and Omar expressed their sadness and shock with the news last Friday of the New Zealand massacre. Tlaib issued a statement saying, “This morning I tried to hold back tears as I hugged my two brown, Muslim boys a little tighter and longer. I am so angry at those who follow the ‘white supremacy’ agenda in my own country that sends a signal across the world that massacres like this is some kind of call to action.”
Peterson gave some advice to angry white people who may be considering mimicking the New Zealand mosque shooting: “You’ve got to start standing up before you get your anger out of control in this country.”
On Sunday morning, Peterson tweeted a headline from the right-wing New American magazine to his nearly 55,000 followers: “Christchurch Shooter Praises Communist China, Condemns Conservatism and Capitalism: Media Call Him a Trump Supporter.” The right-wing minister is only one of dozens of high-profile conservatives defending Trump and his rhetoric against accusations he influenced the New Zealand shooter.
Last year, Peterson claimed there wasn’t one thing he could think of that black people went into and “made better.” And a white producer of his show proclaimed on the air that the n-word is not racist.
Donald Trump has been on another P.R. tear this week, following a certain gaffe involving Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook. During a White House event, Trump mistakenly referred to Cook as “Tim Apple”—a simple slip of the tongue, the type of mistake all of us make sometimes. Of course, rather than admitting to that, the president has fabricated multiple stories to explain the mistake away—claims including that he actually said “Tim Cook Apple,” and that he deliberately omitted “Cook” in order to save time. But as Stephen Colbert put it during Monday’s Late Show, “Mr. President, words don’t just disappear from the middle of sentences. Unless it’s CBS bleeping me when I say, ‘Excuses like this are fucking insane.’”
On Sunday, Axios reported that Trump had tried to save face by telling Republican donors that he’d actually quickly said “Tim Cook Apple,” but that his soft “Cook” got lost in the audio—a thing that totally happens. “Even Trump’s own donors, who had to donate at least six figures to get into this event where he told this lie, knew the story was nuts,” Colbert said. “One of these donors told reporters, ‘I just thought, why would you lie about that. . . . It doesn’t even matter!’”
“Yes,” Colbert added, mocking a rich donor’s voice. “I was there at the donor event and I turned to my wife and I said, ‘This man will lie about literally anything; hand me my chequebook. Trump 2020!’”
And as for Trump’s second story? On Monday, the president tweeted, “At a recent round table meeting of business executives, & long after formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words. The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another bad Trump story!”
“You know, on their deathbed, I think everyone says the same thing,” Colbert quipped. “I have only one regret—that I wasted so much of my life on saying last names instead of occupations. Don’t make the same mistakes I did, little Johnny Paper Route!”
On Late Night,Seth Meyers agreed that this whole ordeal has to be “one of the dumbest things Trump has ever lied about.”
“A normal person would have just let it go, written it off as a slip of the tongue, and moved on,” Meyers said. “But Donald Trump is not a normal person.”
And Meyers has some issues of his own with Trump’s shifting excuses. For one thing, the comedian noted, “Tim Cook Apple” doesn’t actually make more sense than “Tim Apple.” As Meyers put it, “Tim Cook Apple sounds like how Tarzan would describe someone making a pie.” If you’re going to lie, Meyers suggested, at least make sure the lie improves everyone’s perception of the situation. Trump’s maneuver, Meyers said, was basically the equivalent of telling a cop, “‘Officer, I have not been drinking, because I was doing too much cocaine!’”
At the end of the day, “Trump lies for the same reason Forrest Gump runs: he just does,” Meyers said. “Only Trump could claim that he was trying to save time and words by writing a long tweet that takes up time and words. You know, if you really want to save time and words, you could just not talk at all; do all your campaign rallies with duct tape over your mouth.”
While Labour’s anti-Semitism row continues to rumble on, the US has been embroiled in its own version over the past week.
An ugly backlash erupted within the Democratic Party over comments made by Ilhan Omar, a recently-elected congresswoman from Minnesota.
There is an ongoing dispute about how to deal with the fall-out, and of course, Donald Trump has waded in by tweeting his disgust about how it’s being dealt with – despite well-documented issues with anti-Semitism among his support base.
The controversy has echoes of the anti-Semitism row that has engulfed UK politics, with Omar’s outspoken comments about Israel similar to those voiced by some on the British left-wing.
Who is Ilhan Omar?
Omar, 37, became one of the first Muslim women to sit in Congress – along with Rashida Tlaib, who represents Detroit – when she was elected last year.
Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, her family were forced to flee the civil war and spent four years of her childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya, before settling in Virginia in 1995.
What did she do?
Last month, she apologised after tweeting that American political leaders defending Israel was “all about the Benjamins”, a reference to $100 banknotes featuring Benjamin Franklin and the financial clout of the pro-Israel lobby.
At the time, she issued a statement acknowledging that anti-Semitism is “real” while expressing gratitude to colleagues “who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes”.
However, she has faced a further backlash this week after making comments about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies.
She said: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.
“Why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the [National Rifle Association], of fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy?”
In response to the criticism she faced, she tweeted on Sunday: “Being opposed to [Israel’s prime minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and the occupation is not the same as being anti-Semitic.”
Senior Democrats condemned her remark, but the party has itself been accused of antipathy to Israel and Jews.
To try to counter this, Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat speaker of the House of Representatives, has prepared a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. However, backroom arguments mean the wording has so far failed to materialise, and the first draft was reworked to also include condemnation of anti-Muslim comments.
Some observers and politicians, however, have pointed out others have said similar things about Israel, but have not faced the same backlash Omar has. Moves to reprimand the Congresswoman have been resisted by some of her recently elected colleagues, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“Like some of my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk,” Kamala Harris, the senator for California running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination told reporters. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who want to face Trump in the 2020 election, have also voiced their support for Omar.
What did Donald Trump say?
Republicans, right-wing commentators and Fox News have seized on her comments, and so has Trump. He said it was “shameful” the Democrats haven’t taken a stronger stand against anti-Semitism.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Only a small number of Americans have not yet made up their minds about whether Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign coordinated with Russian officials, according to new Reuters/Ipsos polling, which also showed deep divisions in the United States in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.
Eight out of 10 Americans decided almost immediately about Trump campaign ties to Moscow and only about two in 10 appear to be undecided, the opinion poll released on Friday showed.
Both the Judge and the lawyer in the Paul Manafort case stated loudly and for the world to hear that there was NO COLLUSION with Russia. But the Witch Hunt Hoax continues as you now add these statements to House & Senate Intelligence & Senator Burr. So bad for our Country!
About half of Americans believe President Trump tried to stop federal investigations into his campaign, the survey found.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to soon wrap up his investigation into U.S. allegations that Moscow interfered in the U.S. political process as well as the Trump campaign links and possible obstruction of justice. Moscow and Trump deny the allegations.
Barring bombshell revelations, the survey results suggest the investigation’s influence on voters in the 2020 campaign may already have run its course.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll has tracked public opinion of the investigation since Mueller was appointed in May 2017 following Trump’s firing of FBI chief James Comey, gathering responses from more than 72,000 adults.
Public opinion appears to have hardened early, changing little over the past two years despite a string of highly publicised criminal charges against people associated with the Trump campaign.
Every time respondents were asked about the investigation, about 8 in 10 Democrats said they thought the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, while 7 in 10 Republicans said they did not.
Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido said in an interview that the expulsion of the German ambassador by Caracas was a threat against Germany, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.
“This action represents a threat against Germany,” Guaido was quoted as saying on Thursday.
German ambassador Daniel Kriener was expelled two days after he and diplomats from other embassies welcomed home Guaido at Caracas airport.
Wednesday, March 6
US to revoke more visas of Venezuelans
Vice President Mike Pence said the US will revoke more visas from prominent Venezuelans as it seeks to increase pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to give up power.
Pence told the Latino Coalition that the US will revoke 77 visas held by officials in the Maduro government or their relatives.
He said, “The time has come to liberate Venezuela from Cuba.”
Venezuela expels German ambassador for meddling, detains American journalist
Venezuela’s government expelled the German ambassador while press advocacy groups said an American journalist had been detained.
Ambassador Daniel Kriener was expelled two days after he and diplomats from other embassies welcomed home opposition leader Juan Guaido at the Caracas airport.
The government declared Kriener persona non grata and gave him 48 hours to leave the country, accusing him of meddling in internal affairs, although it did not give specific details.
Addressing the National Assembly, Guaido said Maduro’s government is the “persona non grata” in Venezuela.
Separately, Venezuela’s National Press Workers Union said on Twitter that American journalist Cody Weddle was arrested at his home on Wednesday by military counterintelligence agents. Espacio Publico, a free speech group, said he had been accused of treachery and that the agents took his computer and equipment.
US to punish foreign entities funding Maduro
The United States will impose sanctions on foreign institutions helping to finance President Maduro, the White House said on Wednesday.
The measure was announced by President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton.
“The United States is putting foreign financial institutions on notice that they will face sanctions for being involved in facilitating illegitimate transactions that benefit Nicolas Maduro and his corrupt network,” Bolton said in a statement.
Venezuela crisis worsened by sanctions, UN says Sanctions have worsened Venezuela’s crippling economic and political crisis, the UN human rights chief said.
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said sanctions had exacerbated the crisis but also slammed Maduro’s “violations of civil and political rights” in her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“Venezuela clearly illustrates the way violations of civil and political rights – including failure to uphold fundamental freedoms, and the independence of key institutions – can accentuate a decline of economic and social rights,” said former Chile president Bachelet.
Tuesday, March 5
Maduro says he will defeat opposition
Maduro said he would defeat a “crazed minority” determined to destabilise the country in his first public comments since opposition leader Guaido defied him by returning home on Monday.
Maduro, during a ceremony to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the death of his predecessor Hugo Chavez, called on supporters to attend “anti-imperialist” demonstrations on March 9, coinciding with an opposition march announced by Guaido.
Guaido vows to paralyse public sector to squeeze Maduro
Guaido held talks with Venezuela’s public sector unions on Tuesday about staging strikes to help bring down the government.
The strikes would ratchet up pressure on a weakened Maduro by giving several million state employees, a traditional bastion of government support, a chance to demonstrate their frustration with an administration that has overseen Venezuela’s deepest ever economic crisis.
The opposition is also seeking to capitalise on momentum spurred by Guaido’s triumphant return to Venezuela on Monday to press for an end to Maduro’s rule.
Monday, March 4
Guaido returns home, calls for fresh protests
Guaido defied the threat of arrest to return home on Monday, arriving at Caracas international airport where he was met by cheering supporters, television footage showed.
Flag-waving Venezuelans turned out to await the return of opposition leader who embarks on a renewed push against embattled President Maduro.
“We know the risks we face, that’s never stopped us. The regime, the dictatorship must understand,” Guaido told a delirious crowd.
“We’re stronger than ever, let’s carry on in the streets, mobilised,” he said.
Guaido called on people to flood the streets of cities across the country on Saturday [March 9] to protest Maduro’s hold on power.
Earlier, in a video shared on social networks, Guaido warned that if Maduro’s government “tries to kidnap us … it will be one of the last mistakes it makes.”
The self-declared acting president added on Twitter that should he be detained, he has left “clear instructions to our international allies and parliamentary brothers.”
Also on Monday, US warned of “swift response” to any “threats” against Guaido.
Sunday, March 3
‘Mobilise all over the country’ – Guaido
Venezuela’s opposition leader called for mass protests across the country on Monday as he announced his return to the country after a week touring Latin American allies.
“I’m announcing my return to the country. I am calling on the Venezuelan people to mobilise all over the country tomorrow at 11:00 am (1500 GMT),” Guaido said on Twitter.
Guaido, who has been recognised by more than 50 countries as interim president, gave no details of when or how he would return, however.
Russia vows to prevent US military intervention
Russia will do all possible to prevent a US military intervention in Venezuela, the TASS news agency quoted the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament as saying on Sunday.
“We are very much concerned that the USA could carry out any provocations to shed blood, to find a cause and reasons for an intervention in Venezuela,” Valentina Matvienko told Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow.
“But we will do all in order not to allow this,” said Matvienko, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin.
Saturday, March 2
Guaido to return home after Ecuador visit
Guaido said he would return to Venezuela from Ecuador, where he was meeting with President Lenin Moreno during a tour of Latin American nations to muster support.
Guaido told reporters that he was calling for new protests on Monday and Tuesday in Venezuela. He did not say when or how he planned to return.
Venezuela’s education system crumbles
Venezuela’s economic crisis has impacted the entire economy, particularly health and education.
Many schools across the country don’t have food or running water. And with low salaries, it’s becoming increasingly hard to keep teachers employed.