Archive for Frances Martel

China Bans Social Media Sites from Video Streaming, Citing ‘Negative Speech’

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China has banned three social media sites – the popular Sina Weibo, ACFUN, and iFeng.com, from streaming video until they are subject to a rigorous government review of their activity. The media involved include live video streaming.

Turkey Claims U.S. Promised to Confiscate Weapons from Syrian Kurds After Raqqa Siege

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Turkey's National Defense Ministry claims that Secretary of Defense James Mattis has promised Ankara that American officials are only lending, not giving, weapons to Syrian Kurdish militias fighting the Islamic State and plan to retrieve those weapons following the liberation of Raqqa.

Daniel Llorente, Cuban Protester Who Waved U.S. Flag During May Day Parade, Starts Hunger Strike

Cuban dissident Daniel Llorente Miranda, an anti-communist, pro-American protester, has been placed in one of the nation’s most notorious mental institutions following his interruption of the annual May Day parade, where he ran down the parade route waving an American flag.
Daniel Llorente, a Cuban dissident who made international headlines after interrupting the island's May Day parade waving a U.S. flag, has begun a hunger strike in the Havana mental ward where the government imprisoned him following the patriotic display.

Tour Group That Led Otto Warmbier to His Death Keeps North Korea Trips, Bans Americans

FILE - In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea. Warmbier, whose parents say has been in a coma while serving a 15-year prison term in North Korea, was released and returned to the United States Tuesday, June 13, 2017, as the Trump administration revealed a rare exchange with the reclusive country. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin, File)
Young Pioneer Tours, a travel operation that brings Western communist sympathizers into North Korea, Cuba, and other danger zones, announced Tuesday it will no longer accept Americans on its trips to North Korea following the death of Otto Warmbier.

Cuba State Media: Violinist at Trump Event ‘Off-Key,’ Father Killed by Castro ‘a Murderer’

President Donald Trump cheers Cuban born violinist Luis Haza after the playing of the national anthem during a speech on Cuba policy, Friday, June 16, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Granma, the official state newspaper of the communist government of Cuba, has published a column calling the father of violinist Luis Haza, who played "The Star-Spangled Banner" at President Donald Trump's address last week, a "murderer" and "Batista henchman."

With Brothers to the Rescue Nod, Trump Takes Subtle Jab at Clintons

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 16: U.S. President Donald Trump points as he speaks about policy changes he is making toward Cuba at the Manuel Artime Theater in the Little Havana neighborhood on June 16, 2017 in Miami, Florida. The President will re-institute some of the restrictions on travel to Cuba and U.S. business dealings with entities tied to the Cuban military and intelligence services. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
In a heart-wrenching address to the Cuban exile community, President Donald Trump announced in Miami Friday a reversal of Obama-era policy that significantly emboldened the Castro regime.

In Miami, Trump Applauds Cuban Victims of Communism: ‘Now We Hold the Cards’


In Miami, the heart of America’s Cuban exile community, President Donald Trump sounded the death knell of predecessor Barack Obama’s “normalization” policy towards Cuba, vowing,” we will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer.” Opening with a recognition of recent victims of leftist violence – U.S. citizen Otto Warmbier, recently released by Cuba ally North Korea, and Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) – Trump called for the audience to pray for them and all the American and Cuban people. He then listed some of the Cuban dissidents present for his speech in Florida, including Jorge Luis García Pérez (Antúnez), who suffered 17 years in prison for objecting to communism, and Cary Roque, a dissident who Trump allowed to deliver a few short words. Trump also took a moment to acknowledge two dissidents not present in Miami – José Daniel Ferrer of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) and Berta Soler of the Ladies in White – who were banned from traveling to the event by the communist regime. The president honored  the “great people” who fought at Bay of Pigs, the 2506 Brigade veterans present at the event, and the “children of Operation Peter Pan.” “We want to

11 Photos that Show the Human Rights Failures of Obama’s Cuba Policy

FILE - In this March 21, 2016 file photo, Cuban President Raul Castro, right, lifts up the arm of U.S. President Barack Obama, at the conclusion of their joint news conference at the Palace of the Revolution, in Havana, Cuba. Next year will likely be Castro’s toughest year in office since he took power in 2006, as the 85-year-old general faces a possible economic recession alongside a hostile new U.S. administration promising to undo measures that gave many Cubans expectations of a better future. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)
As President Donald Trump prepares to unveil his administration's diplomatic policy towards Cuba, expected to repeal reforms that had made it easier for Americans to give money to the repressive Castro regime, corporations and lobbyists that have benefitted from Obama's "normalization" have gone into attack mode.

Cuban Dissidents on Trump Policy: ‘Without a Doubt a Positive Step for Us’

People march with Cuban flags during the May Day parade at Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, Monday, May 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Cuban dissident leaders who protested President Barack Obama's "normalization" concessions to the Castro regime are eagerly awaiting President Donald Trump's anticipated rollback of these reforms, expecting Trump to be "fair to dissidents and the exile community."

Cuban Dissidents on Trump Policy: ‘Without a Doubt a Positive Step for Us’

People march with Cuban flags during the May Day parade at Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, Monday, May 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Cuban dissident leaders who protested President Barack Obama's "normalization" concessions to the Castro regime are eagerly awaiting President Donald Trump's anticipated rollback of these reforms, expecting Trump to be "fair to dissidents and the exile community."

Islamic State in Philippines Recruits Child Soldiers, Promises Islamic Education to Poor Parents

AP
In a breathtaking interview with the local Philippine outlet Rappler, a former jihadist with the nation's Maute terrorist group recalls his recruitment as a child, when Maute leaders offered his parents a shot at an Islamic education.

China Applauds Dennis Rodman Trip to North Korea: ‘Surely a Positive Move’

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, right, is seen in a security queue at Beijing's International Airport's terminal 2 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Beijing, China. North Korea is expecting another visit by former NBA bad boy Rodman on Tuesday in what would be his first to the country since President Donald Trump took office. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has welcomed basketball player Dennis Rodman's fifth visit to North Korea, responding that both his presence there and the release of American citizen Otto Warmbier on Tuesday were "surely a positive move."

China Applauds Dennis Rodman Trip to North Korea: ‘Surely a Positive Move’

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman, right, is seen in a security queue at Beijing's International Airport's terminal 2 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Beijing, China. North Korea is expecting another visit by former NBA bad boy Rodman on Tuesday in what would be his first to the country since President Donald Trump took office. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has welcomed basketball player Dennis Rodman's fifth visit to North Korea, responding that both his presence there and the release of American citizen Otto Warmbier on Tuesday were "surely a positive move."

White House: Release of U.S. Citizen Imprisoned in North Korea ‘A Big Priority’ for Trump

US student Otto Frederick Warmbier has been sentenced in North Korea to 15 years hard labour for crimes against the state
American officials have confirmed that the release of Otto Warmbier, a U.S. citizen imprisoned in a labor camp in North Korea for "hostile acts" against the communist state, resulted from high-level diplomacy and was "a big priority" for President Donald Trump.

Battle for Raqqa Underway as U.S.-Backed Militias Surround Islamic State ‘Capital’

FILE -- This April 30, 2017, file photo, provided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), shows fighters from the SDF looking toward the northern town of Tabqa, Syria. U.S.-backed Syrian forces have launched their attack on the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa, in northern Syria, just as the jihadist group is making its last stand in Mosul in neighboring Iraq.. (Syrian Democratic Forces, via AP, File)
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a multi-ethnic coalition of militias in the country, have reportedly made gains on either side of the city of Raqqa, slowly surrounding an estimated 4,000 jihadists preparing to fight for their "capital."

The Fruits of Socialism: Venezuela in 20 Photos


As Venezuela enters year eighteen of the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution, the international community is finally paying attention, as Venezuelans struggle to find food, medicine, and an outlet for their frustration that will not trigger rampant state violence.

U.S. Flying Bombers Above Disputed South China Sea Irks ‘Vigilant’ Beijing

U.S. Air Force
The U.S. military confirmed a military exercise by Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers over the South China Sea Thursday, a move that prompted Beijing, which illegally claims most of the sea, to remind Washington that it remains "vigilant" before U.S. exercises.

U.S. Flying Bombers Above Disputed South China Sea Irks ‘Vigilant’ Beijing

U.S. Air Force
The U.S. military confirmed a military exercise by Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers over the South China Sea Thursday, a move that prompted Beijing, which illegally claims most of the sea, to remind Washington that it remains "vigilant" before U.S. exercises.

U.S. Flying Bombers Above Disputed South China Sea Irks ‘Vigilant’ Beijing

U.S. Air Force
The U.S. military confirmed a military exercise by Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers over the South China Sea Thursday, a move that prompted Beijing, which illegally claims most of the sea, to remind Washington that it remains "vigilant" before U.S. exercises.

Baghdad Pans Kurdish Freedom Referendum as U.S. Warns Against Islamic State Distractions

Iraqi Kurds protest and wave flags of their autonomous Kurdistan region during a demonstration to claim for its independence on July 3, 2014 outside the Kurdistan parliament building in Arbil, in northern Iraq. The Kurdish leader, Massud Barzani asked its parliament to start organizing a referendum on independence. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued a statement Friday rejecting the call by Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani for a national independence referendum, declaring that the Kurdish people cannot "decide its fate unilaterally."

Pakistan: Toxic Sewage Kills Christian After Muslim Doctors Refuse Treatment During Ramadan

Pakistan: Toxic Sewage Kills Christian After Muslim Doctors Refuse Treatment During Ramadan
Pakistani Christians in Sindh province are demanding justice after a 35-year-old sanitation worker died, having been exposed to toxic sewage and refused medical care by Muslim doctors who refused to touch his "unclean" body during Ramadan.

U.S. Baby Boomer Gentrification Wreaks Havoc on City in Socialist Ecuador


The small city of Cuenca, Ecuador is struggling to address a growing wave of American "Baby Boomers" who have decided to retire there to take advantage of a socialist welfare state designed for its locals.

Iran Blames Saudi Arabia for Islamic State Parliament, Ayatollah Shrine Rampage


The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have accused Saudi Arabia of organizing an Islamic State attack on Iran's Parliament and the shrine of the leader of the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Islamic State have officially taken responsibility for the attack.

Video: Islamic State Destroys Statues, Burns Down Cathedral in Philippines

Islamic State jihadis fighting to establish a caliphate in Marawi, the Philippines’ only “Islamic city,” released a video this week showing the complete destruction of the city’s St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Islamic State jihadis fighting to establish a caliphate in Marawi, the Philippines' only "Islamic city," released a video this week showing the complete destruction of the city's St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Cuban Who Waved U.S. Flag During May Day Rally in Mental Institution for ‘Believing in God’

Cuban dissident Daniel Llorente Miranda, an anti-communist, pro-American protester, has been placed in one of the nation’s most notorious mental institutions following his interruption of the annual May Day parade, where he ran down the parade route waving an American flag.
The Cuban regime has placed an anti-communist, pro-American protester in one of the nation's most notorious mental institutions following his interruption of the annual May Day parade, where he ran down the parade route waving an American flag.

China Demands James Mattis Stop ‘Irresponsible’ Remarks About South China Sea

Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis listens to questions from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., about his views on women and gays serving in the military, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has expressed its "firm opposition" to "irresponsible remarks" by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who demanded at a security conference in Singapore this weekend that China cease its mission to colonize the entire South China Sea.

New York Deploys Counterterror Critical Response Command Following London Terror Spree


The NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau has deployed its Critical Response Command unit and increased security throughout New York City following the multiple terrorist attacks late Saturday night in London.

Snipers Surround Venezuelan State TV Building as Protesters Demand Real News

An anti-government demonstrator walks past two National Guard soldiers' motorcycles that were set on fire by protesters when the soldiers ran from their bikes after falling during clashes with protesters in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Protesters have flooded the streets of Venezuela for months, demanding new elections and faulting President Nicolas Maduro's leadership for the country's triple-digit inflation, surging crime rates, and dire shortages of food and medicine. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Venezuelan student groups and opposition leaders who assembled before the doors of Venezuela's state television network VTV Friday afternoon were met with armored tanks, dozens of soldiers, and snipers awaiting them on the network building's rooftop.

Islamic State Releases Video of Jihadis Storming Southern Philippines City

Images previously released by the Islamic State from Marawi showed gunmen patrolling the streets, holding checkpoints, and planting their notorious black banner.
A video has surfaced on social media apparently produced by the Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency depicting jihadists fighting in Marawi, southern Philippines, where foreign fighters are attempting to establish a Caliphate.

Islamic State Releases Video of Jihadis Storming Southern Philippines City

Images previously released by the Islamic State from Marawi showed gunmen patrolling the streets, holding checkpoints, and planting their notorious black banner.
A video has surfaced on social media apparently produced by the Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency depicting jihadists fighting in Marawi, southern Philippines, where foreign fighters are attempting to establish a Caliphate.

Venezuelan Military Sergeant to Soldiers: Do Not Obey ‘Illegitimate President’ Maduro

Venezuelans living in Colombia and local people protest against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in Bogota, Colombia, on April 19, 2017. Clashes broke out Wednesday in Venezuela at massive protests against Maduro, as riot police fired tear gas to push back stone-throwing demonstrators and a young protester was shot dead. Violence erupted when thousands of opposition protesters tried to march on central Caracas, a pro-government bastion where red-clad Maduro supporters were massing for a counter-demonstration. / AFP PHOTO / RAUL ARBOLEDA (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)
A sergeant in the Venezuelan Armed Forces has released a video calling for his fellow soldiers to rise up against dictator Nicolás Maduro and reject orders to attack unarmed civilians, the latest indication that Maduro is losing the support of the military amid a wave of violent crackdowns on dissidents.

China Observes Ramadan by Praising Itself for ‘Religious Freedom’ in Muslim Xinjiang

TURPAN, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 13: (CHINA OUT) Uyghur men gather for a holiday meal during the Corban Festival on September 13, 2016 in Turpan County, in the far western Xinjiang province, China. The Corban festival, known to Muslims worldwide as Eid al-Adha or 'feast of the sacrifice', is celebrated by ethnic Uyghurs across Xinjiang, the far-western region of China bordering Central Asia that is home to roughly half of the country's 23 million Muslims. The festival, considered the most important of the year, involves religious rites and visits to the graves of relatives, as well as sharing meals with family. Although Islam is a 'recognized' religion in the constitution of officially atheist China, ethnic Uyghurs are subjected to restrictions on religious and cultural practices that are imposed by China's Communist Party. Ethnic tensions have fueled violence that Chinese authorities point to as justification for the restrictions. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
The government of China is ringing in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with a report praising itself for its commitment to human rights in Xinjiang, the westernmost Muslim-populated province in which communist officials have taken large strides to strip public life of Islamic customs.

Philippines Kills 11 of Its Own Soldiers in ‘Friendly Fire’ Airstrike

In this file photo, a Philippine Marines armored personnel carrier speeds away as black smoke billows from burning houses after military helicopters fired rockets at militant positions in Marawi City on May 30, 2017. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP
The operation to defeat an attempt to establish an Islamic State Caliphate in the Philippines suffered a major setback Tuesday as the nation's air force conducted an airstrike that killed eleven of its own soldiers.

Turkey: U.S. Arms Shipments to Syrian Kurds Endanger ‘All Humanity’

FLE - In this Sunday, March. 3, 2013 file photo, Kurdish female members, foreground and background, of the Popular Protection Units stand guard at a check point near the northeastern city of Qamishli, Syria. Syria’s Kurds have dramatically strengthened their hold on the far northeast reaches of the country, carving out territory as they drive out Islamic militant fighters allied to the rebellion and declaring their own civil administration in areas under their control this week amid the chaos of the civil war. The moves could be a first step toward creating an autonomous region similar to one Kurds run across the border as virtually a separate country within Iraq. But the Kurds’ drive has angered rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. It even worries some Kurds, who suspect the main faction leading the fighting and the new administration is actually acting on behalf of Assad to undermine the rebellion.(AP Photo/Manu Brabo, File)
Following Turkish media reports last week, the U.S. military has confirmed that it has begun shipping weapons to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG/YPJ) to prepare for the battle to liberate Raqqa, Syria from the Islamic State.

Eyewitnesses: Islamic State Jihadis Killing in Philippines as Young as 13 Years Old

A military helicopter hovering by a mosque is seen through a shattered glass brought about by the fighting between government troops and Muslim militants who continue to hold their ground in some areas of Marawi city for almost a week Monday, May 29, 2017 in southern Philippines. Philippine forces control most of a southern city where militants linked to the Islamic State group launched a bloody siege nearly a week ago, authorities said Monday, as the army launched airstrikes and went house-to-house to crush areas of resistance. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Civilians who have escaped the besieged city of Marawi in the southern Philippines say the Islamic State-affiliated jihadis fighting to establish a caliphate there are largely teenaged, with some as young as thirteen participating in the killing.

Kathy Griffin ‘Beheading’: Hollywood’s Feminist A-List Cashes In on Global Suffering of People of Color


New Year's Eve personality Kathy Griffin has a message for Donald Trump: she wants to hold his bloody severed head in her hands.

‘It’s Not Charity’: Russia Questions Cuba’s Ability to Pay for Russian Oil to Replace Venezuela’s

Oil pumpjacks, also known as nodding donkeys, operate at a state-owned Cupet SA facility along the northern coast of Cuba on Tuesday, March 16, 2010. The Greater Antilles, which includes Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and their offshore waters, probably hold at least 142 million barrels of oil and 159 billion cubic feet of gas, according to a 2000 report by the U.S. Geological Survey. Undiscovered amounts may be as high as 941 million barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the report. Photographer: Noah Friedman-Rudovsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The government of Russia has expressed skepticism that the communist regime controlling Cuba would be able to afford oil shipments from its former patron to replace the free shipments from Venezuela that have largely ended as that nation descends into socialism-driven poverty and chaos.

Philippines: Duterte Jokes He Will Protect Soldiers Who Rape During Martial Law

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte joked in an address to soldiers this weekend that he would protect them if they raped up to three women--but not four--a remark that has aroused the ire of feminist groups and recalled a major controversy during his presidential campaign.

‘Invasion’: Officials Confirm Foreigners Fighting for Islamic State in 90% Christian Philippines

Abu Sayyaf rebels are seen in the Philippines in this video grab made available February 6, 2009. REUTERS/Philippine National Red Cross via Reuters TV
Government officials in the Philippines have confirmed that some terrorists fighting with the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf, both Islamic State affiliates, are foreigners who traveled to the country to help the jihadists establish themselves.

Venezuela: Media Count 71 Deaths – over a Dozen Teens – in Anti-Socialist Protests

Opposition activist Wuilly Arteaga stands with a violin in front of an armoured vehicle of the riot police during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, on May 24, 2017. Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro formally launched moves to rewrite the constitution on Tuesday, defying opponents who accuse him of clinging to power in a political crisis that has prompted deadly unrest. / AFP PHOTO / FEDERICO PARRA (Photo credit should read FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images)
At least 55 Venezuelans have died during protests against Nicolás Maduro's socialist dictatorship since April 5, according to official tallies. Venezuelan media claim the number is much higher, however, tallying up 71 dead, among them over one dozen teens as young as 14.
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