Archive for Frances Martel

Reports: North Korean State Media Announced Nuclear Program Shutdown

This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 21, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visiting a fruit farm at Kwail-?p County, South Hwanghae Province. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIS KNS AND AFP PHOTO / STR / South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PHOTO IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY AFP. / (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Various reports in American and South Korean state media Friday evening indicated that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un announced the halt of nuclear and missile tests in his country. The reports did not specify whether the tests would conclude permanently.

Turkish Islamist Party Calls Parliamentary Elections to ‘Overcome Uncertainties’

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suprised many observers by moving forward the date of Turkey's elections to June this year
Turkey's Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced on Wednesday that it would hold snap parliamentary elections on June 24, expected to reinforce President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's control of national policy.

Cuba’s New ‘President’: ‘Raúl Will Remain at the Forefront of the Political Vanguard’


In his debut speech as the "President" of Cuba on Thursday, Miguel Díaz-Canel, billed as Raúl Castro's hand-picked successor, made abundantly clear that Castro would continue to govern the country, telling the National Assembly that Castro "will preside over all major decisions for the present and future of the nation."

‘Only Victories and Glory’: North Korea State Media Silent on Pompeo Visit

Mike Pompeo, Kim Jong Un
North Korea's state media outlets, which have remained largely silent on talks for an in-person meeting between communist dictator Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump, did not disclose on Wednesday the news that CIA Director Mike Pompeo met Kim personally in Pyongyang.

Four Years After Chibok Kidnappings, Nigeria Unsure of Fate of over 100 Girls

Freed Dapchi schoolgirls wait to meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who has vowed to do 'everything in our power to bring Leah back safely'
Nigerian officials failed to confirm or deny news this week that nearly 100 girls had died in captivity as the nation observed four years since Boko Haram abducted over 200 girls from the northeastern village of Chibok.

Trump to Univisión: ‘We’ve Been Very Tough on Cuba Because We Want People to Be Free’

President Donald Trump says the US could re-enter the TPP if it could get a 'better' deal, a major U-turn after leaving the Pacific trade pact last year
President Donald Trump promised his administration would continue to be "very tough" of the communist regime of Cuba and its Venezuelan proxy in an exclusive Spanish-language interview with Univisión during his visit to Hialeah, Florida, on Monday.

Cuba Begins ‘Transition’ That Will Leave Raúl Castro Still Running the Country

Cuban Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, on the right in this 2017 file photo, is expected to be selected Thursday to succeed President Raul Castro, left, ending nearly 60 years of rule by Castro and his older brother Fidel
International news outlets were abuzz Tuesday with the news that the Cuban General Assembly, the nation's legislature, will vote a new president in to replace Raúl Castro, leaving the head of state running only the Communist Party.

Brazil: Homeless Activists Occupy Jailed Leftist President’s Luxury Beach Property

Brazilian ex-president (2003-2011) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, seen gesturing during a Catholic mass in memory of his late wife Marisa Leticia on April 7, 2018, has begun serving a 12 year sentence for corruption
Two far leftist groups occupied a luxury beachfront triplex property Monday that Brazilian police say leftist ex-president and current presidential frontrunner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva received as part of a kickback from companies benefitting from corruption during his tenure.

Chinese Media: Trump Has ‘No Clue’ What He Is Doing in Syria

President Donald Trump listens while meeting with women small business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Investors on Monday further unwound trades initiated in November resting on the idea that the election of Trump and a Republican Congress meant smooth passage of an agenda that featured business-friendly tax cuts and regulatory changes. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
The Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times condemned the Western strikes on Syrian regime assets in Damascus in a column on Sunday, declaring the strikes the behavior of "rogues" and positing that U.S. President Donald Trump has "no clue" what his Syria policy is.

Syria Strike: Assad Regime Condemns ‘Western Arrogance’; Touts Cuba, China Support

In this handout released by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) fires a Tomahawk land attack missile at Syria as part of an allied strike April 14, 2018. Monterey is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region. President Donald Trump has ordered a joint force strike on Syria with Britain and France over the recent suspected chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.(Photo by Matthew Daniels/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
Syria's Ministry of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs vehemently protested targeted airstrikes against Assad regime scientific research centers in Damascus early Saturday morning local time in response to alleged chemical attacks by the regime, blaming them on "western arrogance and hegemony."

Xi Hosts China’s Largest Naval Parade Ever in ‘Potential Combat Zone’ South China Sea

In this April 12, 2018 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines conducting an exercises in the South China Sea. China has announced live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions over increased American support for Taiwan. The announcement by authorities in the coastal province of Fujian on Thursday was accompanied by a statement that the navy was ending a three-day exercise in the South China one day early. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)
Chinese Communist Party leader traveled to the South China Sea on Thursday to preside over what state media are calling "the country's largest ever maritime military parade," a series of exercises meant to intimidate rival powers in a region where Beijing has illegally colonized foreign territory.

Trump: Meeting with North Korea’s Kim Will Be ‘Terrific’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump may meet before the end of May -- but Pyongyang is keeping quiet about it
American President Donald Trump expressed optimism about a planned meeting with North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un to occur in May or early June, telling reporters on Thursday, "I think it will be terrific."

Pro-Castro Mob Heckles, Shuts Down Americas Summit Event

EN VIVO: La delegación del régimen sabotea foro en la Cumbre de Lima
Dozens of Cuban government agents forced the shutdown of a forum on civil society in the hemisphere at the Summit of the Americas Thursday by shouting over all the speakers until organizers postponed the meeting. The incident is an example of what pro-democracy activists call a "climate of violence" that the regime has brought to the event.

Martel: If Trump Truly Wants to Curb Iranian Influence, He Should Go to Latin America

US President Donald Trump, shown attending a meeting with senior military leaders at the White House on Monday, will not go to Latin America later this week as planned
The White House announced this week that President Donald Trump will be the first president to skip the Summit of the Americas in the history of that event, blaming tensions erupting in Syria for his decision.

Saudi Crown Prince: We Would Join Anti-Assad Effort in Syria if Invited

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, shown here on October 24, 2017, has denounced Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the "new Hitler of the Middle East"
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman suggested Tuesday that his nation's military could join an international coalition against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad if the U.S.-led coalition against the regime requests Saudi aid.

Kim Jong-Un Finally Mentions ‘U.S. Dialogue’ in North Korea Party Meeting

In this April 9, 2018, photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. A U.S. university institute at the cutting edge of research on North Korea says the South Korean government has terminated its funding, forcing it to close after it rejected demands to change its leadership. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un mentioned "the prospect of the DPRK-U.S. dialogue" during a high-level meeting of the communist Korean Workers' Party on Monday, state-controlled media reported over a month after South Korean officials announced that President Donald Trump had accepted an invitation to meet Kim in person.

China’s Xi to U.N. Chief: ‘We Need to Be Pushing for’ Global Governance

Chinese President Xi Jinping stands by national flags at the Schloss Bellevue presidential residency in Berlin on March 28, 2014. Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a landmark visit to fellow export powerhouse Germany Friday, the third leg of his European tour, expected to cement flourishing trade ties and focus on the Crimea crisis. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE / AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping met United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Beijing this weekend and reportedly urged the leader to further promote "global governance" to solve the world's problems.

Martel: with Lula Arrest Imminent, Brazil’s Conservatives Need Jair Bolsonaro to Get Serious

Key Speakers At The Veja Political Summit
With the election six months away, Brazil awoke Thursday morning to an open presidential race. The overwhelming frontrunner, corrupt socialist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, would now begin his 12-year prison sentence for money laundering and accepting bribes.

Brazil: Leftists Tailgate, Prepare ‘Human Chain’ to Block Arrest of Ex-President Lula


Leftist supporters of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have surrounded Sao Paulo, Brazil's Metalworkers' Union headquarters, where Lula has remained in hiding after the nation's top court decreed he could begin serving a 12-year prison sentence on corruption charges immediately.

Iraq Demands Cuba Pay Its Saddam-Era Debt

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq's Foreign Minister, attends the Mediterranean Dialogues (MED) summit, a three-day conference on security in the Mediterranean region, on November 30, 2017 in Rome. / AFP PHOTO / Andreas SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
The government of Iraq confronted Cuban non-resident ambassador to Baghdad, Alexis Bandrich Vega, this week about the island nation's significant debt to the country, urging Havana to cooperate with finding a way for Iraq to regain its funds.

Iraq Demands Cuba Pay Its Saddam-Era Debt

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iraq's Foreign Minister, attends the Mediterranean Dialogues (MED) summit, a three-day conference on security in the Mediterranean region, on November 30, 2017 in Rome. / AFP PHOTO / Andreas SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
The government of Iraq confronted Cuban non-resident ambassador to Baghdad, Alexis Bandrich Vega, this week about the island nation's significant debt to the country, urging Havana to cooperate with finding a way for Iraq to regain its funds.

China Attacks U.S. Pet Food Company for Not Importing Chinese Ingredients

A bowl of Blue Buffalo Blue brand Life Protection Formula dry dog food is arranged for a photograph in Princeton, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on August 8. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
China's official Communist Party newspaper, the People's Daily, published a tirade this weekend against family-owned American pet food company The Honest Kitchen for advertising that it locally sources ingredients and does not use and Chinese products in its recipes.

In 11-Hour Session, Brazil’s Supreme Court Rules to Send Presidential Frontrunner to Prison


Brazil's Supreme Federal Tribunal (STF) ruled early Thursday morning against a habeas corpus petition that would have kept socialist former president and presidential frontrunner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from beginning to serve a 12-year prison sentence for corruption.

Kim Jong-Un Requested South Korean Singer Perform Song She ‘Didn’t Even Know’


North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un enjoyed attending a concert by popular South Korean musicians this weekend that he took excited photos with the artists and requested they perform a song, which reportedly received the loudest applause of the night, South Korean outlets revealed Tuesday.

North Korean Media: Kim Jong-un ‘Enthusiastic,’ ‘Deeply Moved’ by South’s K-Pop Stars

This picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 2, 2018 and taken on April 1, 2018 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (centre L) speaking to South Korean musicians as his wife Ri Sol-Ju (far L) and South Korea's Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong-whan (centre R) look on, after a rare concert by South Korean musicians at the 1,500-seat East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang. Top South Korean musical acts including a K-pop girlband held a rare concert in North Korea on April 1 in the latest reconciliatory gesture before a rare inter-Korean summit. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIA KNS / KCNA VIA KNS / South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PHOTO IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY AFP. / (Photo credit should read KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and wife Ri Sol-ju were "deeply moved" by a delegation of South Korean artists, including popular "K-pop" stars, performing in Pyongyang as part of a cultural exchange, according to North Korean state media.

North Korean Media: Kim Jong-un ‘Enthusiastic,’ ‘Deeply Moved’ by South’s K-Pop Stars

This picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 2, 2018 and taken on April 1, 2018 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (centre L) speaking to South Korean musicians as his wife Ri Sol-Ju (far L) and South Korea's Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong-whan (centre R) look on, after a rare concert by South Korean musicians at the 1,500-seat East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang. Top South Korean musical acts including a K-pop girlband held a rare concert in North Korea on April 1 in the latest reconciliatory gesture before a rare inter-Korean summit. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIA KNS / KCNA VIA KNS / South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PHOTO IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY AFP. / (Photo credit should read KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and wife Ri Sol-ju were "deeply moved" by a delegation of South Korean artists, including popular "K-pop" stars, performing in Pyongyang as part of a cultural exchange, according to North Korean state media.

Erdogan Recites Islamic Prayer in Hagia Sophia on Easter Weekend

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, centre, accompanied by his wife Emine, right, waves to supporters as he walks in the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia an UNESCO world heritage site and one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions, in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, Saturday, March 31, 2018. Turkey's president has recited an Islamic prayer in the Hagia Sophia, an Istanbul landmark that has become a symbol of interfaith and diplomatic tensions. Erdogan recited the Quran's first verse to the "souls of all, especially Istanbul's conqueror." The Hagia Sophia was built as an Orthodox Christian church, converted into a mosque in 1453 and made into a museum in 1935. Erdogan's Islamic-leaning government has discussed converting the structure back into a mosque. (Kayhan Ozer/Pool Photo via AP)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan led an audience at what was billed as a classical Turkish art event in reciting a Quranic prayer at the Hagia Sophia on Saturday, dedicating it to "Istanbul's conquerer," Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.

6 Christian Communities Who Can’t Practice Their Religion Freely This Easter

FaithWorld About 100 million Christians are persecuted around the world: Open Doors report By Tom Heneghan January 8, 2013 Tags: OPEN DOORS CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION NORTH KOREA SAUDI ARABIA AFGHANISTAN MALI SYRIA ETHIOPIA REPORT (School children listen to a speech by a Christian leader during a protest rally in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata August 29, 2008 after Hindu mobs ransacked a church and clashed with Christian villagers in the eastern state of Orissa. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw)
As Christians around the world prepare to observe the holy weekend of Easter, many will be asked at their services to pray for the persecuted around the world.

Distributor: Cuba Blocking Modern Translations Despite End of Bible Ban

Bible
A Bible publisher protested this week that the Cuban communist regime has prevented them from distributing 17,000 copies printed for the island of the New International Version of the text, an update only legally available to Cuba since the regime lifted its ban on printing new Bibles in 2015.

Philippines: Christians Nailed to Cross in Good Friday Observances


Christians congregated in the town of San Pedro Cutud, Philippines, this Friday to crucify volunteer devotees participating in an annual reenactment of the death of Jesus according to the Gospels. Christians in the Philippines also observe Good Friday with floggings and processions.

Philippines: Christians Nailed to Cross in Good Friday Observances


Christians congregated in the town of San Pedro Cutud, Philippines, this Friday to crucify volunteer devotees participating in an annual reenactment of the death of Jesus according to the Gospels. Christians in the Philippines also observe Good Friday with floggings and processions.

South African Convicted of Murdering Four Children to Sell Ears to Witch Doctor

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
A judge in South Africa sentenced a man to four life sentences in prison on Tuesday for the murder of his nieces and nephews – whose ears, the court found, he planned to sell at a high price to a witch doctor for use in potions.

Brazil: Leftist Presidential Frontrunner Attacked with Gunfire as Court Rejects Corruption Appeal

Campaign caravan of Brazil's da Silva shot at; no one hurt
Brazil's leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva lost a final appeal on his corruption conviction that could soon land him in prison and keep him out of the 2018 presidential race. While still a heavy favorite to win, signs of opposition are starting to grow, including recent eggings at campaign stops and gunfire aimed at his campaign convoy on Tuesday.

Palm Sunday in Cuba: Dozens of Women Beaten, Arrested for Practicing Christianity

Ladies in White, a women's dissident group that calls for the release of political prisoners, begin their weekly march in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20, 2016. U.S. President Barack Obama arrives Sunday afternoon for a three-day visit to Cuba, the first visit by a U.S. president to the island in nearly 90 years. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
The Cuban dissident group Ladies in White reports that at least 36 of their members were arrested violently this weekend while participating in pro-democracy protests and attempting to attend Catholic Mass on Palm Sunday.

North Korea’s Media Rail Against ‘Globalization,’ ‘War Merchant’ U.S.

Kim Trump (Jung Yeon-je / AFP / Getty)
After a respite following the announcement that President Donald Trump had accepted an invitation to meet with dictator Kim Jong-un, North Korea's state media have returned with gusto to their usual invective against the United States, railing in columns published Tuesday against the "world [sic] biggest arms seller."

China: ‘No Idea’ if Mysterious North Korea Train Carried Kim Jong-un to Beijing

A special train is seen at Beijing Railway Station in Beijing Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Speculation about a visit to Beijing by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or another high-level Pyongyang official was running high Tuesday amid talk of preparations for a meeting between the North's reclusive leader and President Donald Trump. (Photo: AP)
Neither the governments of China nor North Korea has confirmed persistent rumors that dictator Kim Jong-un traveled via train to Beijing on Monday. On Tuesday, following the departure of a mysterious North Korean train from the Chinese capital, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters she had "no idea" whether such a visit occurred.

Martel: in John Bolton, Kurds Finally Get an Ally in the Trump Administration

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (UN), speaks during the American Conservative Unions Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, March 3, 2016. CPAC runs until March 5 with the five remaining 2016 Republican presidential candidates speaking. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The announcement Thursday night that former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton would replace Gen. H.R. McMaster as President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor confirms the arrival of a new, distinctive voice in the Trump administration.

Cuba Adopts Trump-Style Slogan for Leftist Summit: ‘Latin America First’

PANAMA, Panama City : Cuba's supporters shout slogans outside the hotel where a press conference of Cuban dissidents took place in Panama on April 8, 2015, days before the opening of the VII Summit of the Americas which starts next April 10 and 11, in Panama City. AFP PHOTO / RAUL ARBOLEDA
Cuban state propaganda newspaper Granma called for a regional "Latin America First" policy to combat the alleged "Monroe doctrine" revival occurring under President Donald Trump this week, promoting a "Thinking Americas Forum" to replace the pro-democracy Summit of the Americas that Trump is expected to attend.

State Department Confirms Silence from North Korea on Trump/Kim Meeting

President Donald Trump has agreed to a first face-to-face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which could take place by the end of May 2018
Two weeks after the White House announced that President Donald Trump would accept an invitation to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in person by May, the State Department confirmed that they have not heard any word from Pyongyang on planning that summit.

Turkish Singer Sentenced to 10 Months in Prison for Mentioning Erdogan in Song

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
A Turkish singer will spend ten months in prison after being convicted this week of the crime of "insulting the president." Zuhal Olcay stood accused of changing the lyrics to one of her hits songs during a concert to condemn President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's policies.
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