Saudi women charge government still resistant to their driving

Driving

The Middle East Media Research Institute says that while Saudi women will soon be allowed to drive, the kingdom has been slow to implement necessary measures such as driver training, says Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The decreed by the Saudi king allowing women to drive will take effect June 24. Authorities have been making adjustments and changes in policies and practices, MEMRI reported.

But a Saudi columnist says it’s not enough.

“Saudi academic and women’s rights activist Dr. Hotoon Al-Fassi, who writes for the daily Al-Riyadh, complained that the measures being taken are inadequate and that the authorities are creating difficulties for women who wish to drive – although, she underlines it has been proven around the world that women are safer drivers than men,” reported MEMRI.

“Writing in the press and on her Twitter account, she noted, for example, that not enough driving schools for women have been opened, and that the task of teaching women to drive has for some illogical reason been assigned to universities. Moreover, she said, women are charged six times as much as men for driving lessons, suggesting that some people are trying to make profits at their expense.”

In her writings, translated by MEMRI, she states: “Women in Saudi Arabia are looking forward anxiously to Shawwal 10, 1439H [June 24, 2018] when they will be allowed to sit behind the wheel. On that particular day, the Saudi women will end their dependence on their private drivers and begin their normal lives in which they will not be waiting for a diver to drive them to their destination and back and drive them on errands. It would also end their dependence on the driver, who might have gone out with no one knowing when he would come back. The women will no longer be seeing a car parked outside the building [and have to look at its driver with] scorn, unable to touch [the car]. They will not be calculating their money to pay the limousine, the taxi or the app-share cars.”

But she said she’s pessimistic about the accommodations made so far.

For the rest of this report, and more, please go to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

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Here’s hoping nobody’s buried in your yard

The U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court

The concept isn’t complicated, lawyers with the Pacific Legal Foundation argue.

“The right to exclude others from private land is a fundamental and protected property right, the denial of which amounts to a taking requiring just compensation.”

But they contend that’s exactly what Scott Township in Pennsylvania refused to do for Rose Mary Knick when it required her to provide public access to a historic burial plot on her land.

The case faced a stalemate when state courts refused to intervene, and federal courts insisted precedent prevented them from intervening until state courts addressed the matter.

Pacific Legal Foundation now has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Knick, who owns farmland in a rural area of the state.

“The specific issue before the Supreme Court is whether property owners like Ms. Knick have a right to a free and fair hearing in federal court on par with other constitutional plaintiffs (like free speech or religion plaintiffs) – or whether property owners alone have no right to their day in federal court,” PLF said.

The dispute began when a law was passed requiring that private property containing a cemetery of any size and history, including a family plot, be made accessible to the general public.

“The township subsequently trespassed on Ms. Knick’s farmland and asserted that it had found some ‘stones’ believed to be a burial ground monument. The town then notified Ms. Knick that she was subject to the new cemetery access ordinance and ordered her to immediately allow anyone to enter her property, at their discretion, to walk on her land and observe the area of stones,” PLF said.

She also was told there is “no limit” on what people can do on her property when they come to visit the cemetery.

Knick sued, but the state court said it would not take up the case until the city sued her for fines, which hasn’t happened.

Then federal courts said they were bound to leave the case alone until the state courts ruled.

Knick has claimed a right to have her day in court, whether state or federal, since “she asserted an interference with her property rights that the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized as a quintessential unconstitutional ‘taking’ – namely, the imposition of a public right-of-way on her private land.”

Without some way to enforce constitutional rights, PLF argued, “constitutional rights are little more than paper rights.”

WND reported state courts refused Knick’s plea because the town “had withdrawn its notice of violation and agreed not to enforce the law,” an analysis said. But the requirement still would exist and could be enforced at any point.

Knick’s land is used for grazing cattle, horses and other animals. It’s bounded by fences, stone walls and “No Trespassing” signs.

“There is no cemetery mentioned in the chain of title going back hundreds of years,” said Pacific Legal Foundation, which has won numerous property-rights cases at the Supreme Court.

Isolated grave sites are common in parts of the country where there is no ban on burials on private ground. And some burial sites date back to before rules and regulations were in place. The plains of Pennsylvania contain many small burial plots for families.

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Judicial Watch: What about Mueller aide’s bias?

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

There’s been much discussion about the fact that most of the investigators in Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe of Democrat claims that the 2016 Trump campaign colluded with Russia donated money to the party’s candidate, Hillary Clinton.

The government contends it is barred by regulation from considering such financial support when it reviews candidates for jobs.

Nevertheless, the government watchdog Judicial Watch is trying to ferret out the influence of that perceived bias on the investigation by demanding the Justice Department release any text messages regarding Clinton or President Trump by Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s senior deputy.

Now more than a year old, the investigation has presented no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

During that time, however, evidence has surfaced that the Hillary Clinton campaign funded a political organization that hired a former British spy who produced a dossier of “salacious and unverified” claims about Trump derived from Russian sources.

The dossier, which was leaked to media, had a significant role in launching the special counsel investigation.

Judicial Watch noted Weissmann has been described as a “pit bull” for Mueller.

“Andrew Weissmann is demonstrably an anti-Trump/pro-Clinton activist,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And it is suspicious the Justice Department refuses to turn over any Weissmann text messages, especially given the anti-Trump bias documented in the FBI’s Strzok-Page texts.”

He was referring to FBI counterespionage agent Peter Strzok, who led both the FBI’s Clinton email probe and, initially, the bureau’s Russia probe, and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Strzok was escorted out of FBI headquarters Tuesday.

In an August 2016 text message revealed last week through Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, Page expressed fear to Strzok that Trump and might win the election. “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.

Until the release of Horowitz’s report, congressional investigators had only a copy of Page’s text. Strzok’s reply had been redacted, Republican House members pointed out, illustrating further their charge that the Justice Department has been obstructing justice by refusing to hand over requested documents regarding the Clinton email probe.

Judicial Watch said Weissmann’s lack of objectivity previously was documented in an email he wrote praising former acting Attorney General Sally Yates for defying Trump on enforcement of the president’s so-called travel ban.

Weissmann wrote to Obama appointee Yates in the email: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.”

Trump fired Yates over her refusal to defend the policy. Yates was appointed by President Obama and was serving in an acting capacity as attorney general for Trump.

Judicial Watch noted the Wall Street Journal reported that Weissmann had been in attendance at the party Hillary Clinton held on election night in 2016.

The Los Angeles Times reported Weissmann was the one who orchestrated the door-knockdown raid on Paul Manafort Jr.’s home last year, “with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.”

He gave nearly $7,000 to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns, and was one of nearly 10 Mueller team members to financially support the candidate Trump defeated.

Weissmann’s career includes prosecuting cases against organized crime in New York.

The Times pointed out that Weissmann is well known for pushing legal boundaries.

In the prosecution of “Big Five” accounting firm Arthur Andersen in the Enron case, he convinced a judge to tell jurors they could convict the firm whether the employees knew there were violations of the law or not.

The U.S. Supreme Court soon slapped him down, but Arthur Andersen  never recovered.

“Defense lawyers also have argued that Weissmann and his colleagues failed to turn over potentially favorable evidence in some cases,” the Times reported.

Defense counsel Sidney Powell later wrote about the issue in a book, “Licensed to Lie.”

She told the Times, “Andrew Weissmann is not fit to practice law.

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Amazon employees protest sale of tech to police

(POLICE MAG) – In a letter posted to an internal company Wiki page and later obtained by The Hill, a group of Amazon employees have asked company executives to discontinue its sale of the company’s Rekognition facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies. They also asked the company to stop providing services to a company called Palantir – a data analytics concern that provides “mission critical software” to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in support of their detention and deportation efforts.

“We refuse to build the platform that powers ICE, and we refuse to contribute to tools that violate human rights. As ethically concerned Amazonians, we demand a choice in what we build, and a say in how it is used,” the document said.

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Study claims harassment of religious minorities up

hijab

Harassment of religious minorities, especially in Europe, has ticked upward, according to a new report from the Pew Forum.

The organization’s ninth annual study of global restrictions on religion marks “the second year in a row of increases in the overall level of restrictions imposed either by governments or by private actors (groups and individuals) in the 198 countries examined in the study.”

“The share of countries with ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of government restrictions – that is, laws, policies and actions by officials that restrict religious beliefs and practices – rose from 25 percent in 2015 to 28 percent in 2016. This is the largest percentage of countries to have high or very high levels of government restrictions since 2013, and falls just below the 10-year peak of 29 percent in 2012,” the assessment said.

Further, 27 percent of the countries had the same level of “acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organizations or groups in society.”

“In total in 2016, 83 countries (42 percent) had high or very high levels of overall restrictions on religion – whether resulting from government actions or from hostile acts by private individuals, organizations and social groups – up from 80 (40 percent) in 2015 and 58 (29 percent) in 2007,” the report said.

“At the same time, most countries in the world continued to have low to moderate levels of religious restrictions. Looking separately at the global median scores on the Government Restrictions Index (a 10-point scale based on 20 indicators of government restrictions on religion) and the Social Hostilities Index (a 10-point scale based on 13 measures of social hostilities involving religion) offers a mixed picture of how religious restrictions are changing. In 2016, the global median score on the Government Restrictions Index ticked upward, from 2.7 to 2.8, while the median score on the Social Hostilities Index fell slightly, from 2.0 to 1.8.”

The report said “nationalist” groups and organizations were behind the new uptick in restrictions.

The report named Geert Wilder’s Freedom Party in the Netherlands, which that called for the “de-Islamization” of the nation, and a Czech group that opposes allowing Muslim refugees into the country.

“About a third of European countries (33 percent) had nationalist parties that made political statements against religious minorities, an increase from 20 percent of countries in 2015. In France, for example, Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, promised to continue the ban on religious clothing and symbols in public places specifically to ‘fight the advance of political Islam.’

“Overall, Muslims were the most common target of harassment by nationalist political parties or officials in 2016, typically in the form of derogatory statements or adverse policies. This was the case in Denmark, where the Danish People’s Party (DPP) backed a measure passed by the city council in Randers that made ‘traditional’ meals – including pork products – mandatory in public institutions, including schools. Martin Henriksen, a spokesperson for the DPP, said the bill would preserve Danish culture and that the party was ‘fighting against Islamic rules and misguided considerations dictating what Danish children should eat.’ The bill was opposed by members of the Muslim community because they saw it as stigmatizing; Muslims traditionally do not eat pork ,” the report said.

The report also cited President Trump’s statements regarding the ban on travel from nations that foment terrorism, which mostly are Muslim-majority.

The report said “nationalist parties also singled out Jews, Christians and members of other minority faiths. In Bulgaria, Jehovah’s Witnesses reported an ongoing campaign against their religion by two nationalist parties, the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria and the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, which together form the Patriotic Front political alliance in the country’s legislature. And, in Sweden, representatives of the Sweden Democrats Party made anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim remarks on multiple occasions during the year.”

The report is the part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, which analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world. The project is jointly funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation.

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Novice day trader accidentally makes $10 million

trade_agreement

A day trader made a profit of $10 million while he was “practicing,” making trades on what he thought was a disconnected account.

Instead, apparently it was a live account.

But the company through which he was working found out and canceled his profits.

Ouch.

The report comes from Zerohedge, which explained that the dispute now is in court.

It was French daytrader trainee Harouna Traoré who used a demonstration version of the Valbury Capital brokerage platform “to become familiar with the basics of trading,” before eventually building up the courage to open a live, 20,000 euro ($23,200) account last summer for the occasional “real” trade, the report said.

Drawing from other reports, including the Financial Times, Zerohedge said the trader had opened the live account but thought he was working with practice software.

He ran up $1 million in losses, then realized his predicament.

“Now he wouldn’t be the first amateur trader to fall into a deep hole by trading without knowing what he was doing; however, he may be one of the very few who continued trading and managed to not only dig himself out of the hole, but to eventually build up an even bigger, $5 billion position – rapidly approaching Jerome Kerviel levels – in S&P futures while turning the original loss into a profit of more than €10 million! ”

But then, Zerohedge reports, “inexplicably,” he called Valbury to talk about what had happened.

The brokerage said he had breached his contract and canceled his profits.

“One almost wonders if Valbury would have ‘voided and cancelled’ the positions if Traore held a multi-million paper loss. Almost. Because with a profit on the books, what the brokerage effectively did was confiscate the funds,” Zerohedge reported.

“As one would expect, the day trader, who was recently fired by Reuters, was furious, and in January he sued the brokerage in French court, claiming breach of contract and negligence by the British brokerage and calling for it to pay him the €10 m he says it owes him,” the report said.

The company, the report said, denied any wrongdoing.

Valbury said it treated his trades as a “manifest error.”

“It is an absolute certainty that if the tables were turned, and if Traoire was the one who owed $10 M due to trading mistakes, it would be him that was being sued by the brokerage, not the other way around,” Zerohedge claimed.

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GOP candidate recovering from surgery after severe car crash

(TOWNHALL) – South Carolina Republican congressional candidate, Katie Arrington, is out of surgery and recovering after being critically injured in a severe car crash on Friday night.

Arrington, who recently defeated incumbent Mark Sanford in the South Carolina GOP primary, was driving “south along Highway 17 when their vehicle was struck by a vehicle driving in the wrong direction in the same lane, according to Charleston County Sheriff’s Capt. Roger Antonio.”

Arrington and her friend underwent surgery last night and were released this morning. The driver of the other vehicle passed away. It is unclear if alcohol was involved.

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White House spokeswoman kicked out of restaurant by Trump hater

(DAILY MAIL UK) – Sarah Sanders has slammed the manager of a Virginia restaurant who refused to serve her and seven family members on Friday night, saying: “Her actions say far more about her than about me.”

The White House Press Secretary tweeted on Saturday morning that she ‘politely left’ The Red Hen in Lexington after it was made clear she was not welcome ‘because I work for POTUS’.

Sanders has received intense criticism over recent days as one of the most public defenders of President Trump’s now reversed policy to separate migrant children from their families.

The incident first came to light when staff member Jaike Foley-Schultz said he was only able to serve Sanders for two minutes before the manager came over and kicked her out.

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MS-13 posing as minors to enter U.S. illegally

(BREITBART) – President Trump has repeatedly asked the Republican-controlled Congress to close immigration loopholes in order to end the trafficking and smuggling of children across the border by illegal aliens who hope to be released into the interior of the United States.

While Trump has enacted a “zero tolerance” policy at the border — where all adult border crossers, no matter if they are traveling with children, are criminally prosecuted — Democrats have rallied around ending all immigration enforcement.

As Breitbart News noted, every Senate Democrat has signed onto legislation that would end all border enforcement, a plan that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said should be called the “Child Trafficking Encouragement Act,” as it sets free every adult border crosser so long as they smuggle a child across the border with them.

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It’s official: No more military exercises with South Korea

(MILITARY.COM) – Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made it official Friday: the annual big military exercises with the South Koreans won’t be happening as long as North Korea bargains in good faith on denuclearization.

President Donald Trump said after the Singapore summit last week with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that the exercises – he called them “war games” – would be suspended, although no mention of the exercises was included in the joint declaration after the summit.

In a late Friday statement, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said that Mattis “has indefinitely suspended select exercises” to include the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise that had been scheduled to begin in late August. Last year’s Freedom Guardian exercise involved about 50,000 South Korean and 17,500 U.S. troops.

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