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Last week, a media frenzy ensued over President Donald Trump’s words about North Korea.

Here is MSNBC’s Brian Williams on the subject. From August 9, 2017:

He actually does say at the beginning of that segment:

Our job, actually, tonight, Malcolm, is to scare people to death.

For those who do not know, Williams has told some whopping lies in the past. In fact, they were so outrageous that he was suspended from his job as NBC news anchor in 2015. Before his suspension, he was the 23rd most trusted person in America. Afterwards, he plummeted to the 835th spot.

Unfortunately, he was given his own show on sister channel MSNBC, The 11th Hour. (The video above is from that programme.) In February 2017, Williams had the gall to devote an entire segment on his show to President Trump’s ‘lying’. Amazing.

I’m writing this post on Tuesday, August 15. This is what has happened recently between the US, North Korea and China. China holds much control over North Korea, particularly in terms of trade and labour.

It’s also worth noting that the Korean War never came to an official end (emphases mine below):

The United States has remained technically at war with North Korea since the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty. The past six decades have been punctuated by periodic rises in antagonism and rhetoric that have always stopped short of a resumption of active hostilities.

On August 8, CNBC News reported that China would pay a heavy price for abiding by UN sanctions against North Korea:

China will pay the biggest price from the new United Nations sanctions against North Korea because of its close economic relationship with the country, but will always enforce the resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday that could slash its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third

China has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing increasingly tough U.N. resolutions on North Korea, though it has also said what it terms “normal” trade and ordinary North Koreans should not be affected.

The latest U.N. resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It also prohibits countries from increasing the numbers of North Korean laborers currently working abroad, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures

China appreciated comments earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the United States does not seek to topple the North Korean government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang at some point, Wang added.

The United States does not seek regime change, the collapse of the regime, an accelerated reunification of the peninsula or an excuse to send the U.S. military into North Korea, Tillerson said.

That same day, North Korea threatened to launch missiles at Guam, a strategic US territory. CNBC News reported:

North Korea said on Wednesday it is “carefully examining” a plan to strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with “fire and fury”.

A spokesman for the Korean People’s Army, in a statement carried by the North’s state-run KCNA news agency, said the strike plan will be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment” once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.

In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea also said it could carry out a pre-emptive operation if the United States showed signs of provocation …

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump told reporters at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

On Sunday, August 13, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson posted an op-ed, ‘We’re Holding Pyongyang to Account’, lucidly explaining what the US is doing and why. An excerpt follows:

The object of our peaceful pressure campaign is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. has no interest in regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea. We do not seek an excuse to garrison U.S. troops north of the Demilitarized Zone. We have no desire to inflict harm on the long-suffering North Korean people, who are distinct from the hostile regime in Pyongyang.

Our diplomatic approach is shared by many nations supporting our goals, including China, which has dominant economic leverage over Pyongyang. China is North Korea’s neighbor, sole treaty ally and main commercial partner. Chinese entities are, in one way or another, involved with roughly 90% of North Korean trade. This affords China an unparalleled opportunity to assert its influence with the regime. Recent statements by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as other regional and global voices, have made clear the international community holds one view regarding North Korea’s provocative and dangerous actions: They must stop. Pyongyang must stand down on those actions.

China has a strong incentive to pursue the same goals as the U.S. The North Korean regime’s actions and the prospect of nuclear proliferation or conflict threaten the economic, political and military security China has worked to build over decades. North Korea’s behavior further threatens China’s long-term interest in regional peace and stability. If China wishes to play a more active role in securing regional peace and stability—from which all of us, especially China, derive such great benefit—it must make the decision to exercise its decisive diplomatic and economic leverage over North Korea

This 2017 Brookings Institution paper written by Fu Ying, a Chinese lady who has been part of China’s government for many years, namely in foreign affairs and ambassadorships, backs up Tillerson’s words about China’s desire to secure regional peace and stability.

On Monday, August 14, President Trump took action on trade with China to level the playing field for the United States.

The first of the three actions relates to intellectual property rights:

The People’s Republic of China has implemented laws, policies, and practices and has taken actions related to intellectual property, innovation, and technology that encourage the transfer of American technology and intellectual property to enterprises in China and otherwise affect American economic interests. This restricts U.S. exports, deprives U.S. citizens of the right to fair remuneration for their innovation, contributes to our trade deficit with respect to China, and undermines efforts to strengthen American manufacturing, services, and innovation.

For example, U.S. companies can be required to enter into joint ventures with Chinese companies if they want to do business in China, resulting in Chinese companies forcibly acquiring U.S. intellectual property. Americans are the world’s most prolific innovators, creating the greatest technologies, products, and companies. They should not be forced or coerced to turn over the fruits of their labor.

The President is also standing strong against the theft of American IP, including defense-related technologies. The costs of intellectual property theft alone to the U.S. economy are estimated to be as high as $600 billion a year. Such thefts not only damage American companies, they also threaten our national security.

Consequences of China’s reported actions may include: lost or reduced U.S. sales, exports, and jobs in key technology sectors; loss of intellectual property or proprietary technology to Chinese companies; loss of competitive position in the marketplace or in business negotiations; and network security costs, legal fees, and other costs.

The president then issued a memorandum for the US trade representative. This is Section 2, allowing him to authorise an investigation into China’s practices with regard to US trade:

The United States Trade Representative shall determine, consistent with section 302(b) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2412(b)), whether to investigate any of China’s laws, policies, practices, or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory and that may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development.

The third action was the issuance of a fact sheet with regard to American intellectual property and China. This fact is worth noting:

According to the IP Commission Report, China is estimated to be responsible for between 50 percent and 80 percent of all IP theft costs that harm the United States economy.

These actions met with praise by a variety of people — retired military officers, heads of defence companies, think tank experts and others. One of them, Professor Stefan Halper of the University of Cambridge, stated:

Since China joined the WTO in 2001, 2.4 million U.S. jobs have been lost and 60,000 U.S. manufacturing firms have been forced out of business. Entire regions of the country have been hollowed out. Intellectual property theft–70% by China–now costs the U.S. some $600 billion a year. A thorough review of this problem, and a rebalancing of the trade relationship, is urgent. The Administration is to be commended for initiating that today.

Later that day, North Korea backed down for now on the threats to launch missiles. Surprisingly, CNBC News was effusive:

After a weekend filled with a series of conciliatory statements from China, some of them downright surprising, the situation with North Korea seems to be less tense right now, which could be construed as a major win for the Trump team

While these developments do not fully constitute a real solution to the potential threats North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs pose to the region and the world, everyone’s nervous meter seems to have gone down several notches

Now if these sanctions hold and North Korea simply halts its ICBM launch tests, what many saw as some kind of massive fumble by the Trump team could easily turn into the administration’s biggest triumph of the year.

It will be a very easy narrative for President Trump and his aides to pursue if they make the point that the president’s tougher talk—that so many of his domestic critics condemned—seems to have moved China to finally do something meaningful to rein in North Korea.

By replacing President Trump’s threatening rhetoric with the more conciliatory and reasoned statements of Mattis and Tillerson, the U.S. has given up nothing. But those words may have forced China’s hand at long last.

All of this stems from a classic miscalculation by both Beijing and Pyongyang

And Big Media, who fuelled the fire.

When will they learn?

You can’t stump the Trump!

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On July 7 and 8, 2017, Angela Merkel hosted the G20 conference in Hamburg.

I covered the riots and looting yesterday.

Today’s post looks at the conference itself — a first for Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron.

On Thursday, July 6, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump spent the day in Poland. Later that day, he tweeted:

That evening, the Trumps flew to Hamburg, where the US president had meetings before the conference started:

One wonders if he and Merkel discussed the climate change pact. Only days before — on June 30 — the German chancellor appeared to be backing down because of Trump’s rejection of American participation. Breitbart reported that, publicly, Merkel is taking a strong stance, but:

Behind the scenes, however, it would appear that Merkel’s negotiating teams have been bending over backwards to tone down the climate action plan and avoid an embarrassing rejection by Donald Trump.

This can be seen by comparing the two draft climate action plans for the summit, one from March and the revised one from May. According to Climate Change News, American negotiators have watered it down considerably.

As for the conference:

Elsewhere, Trump supporters expressed concern for his safety. Click on the images below for more detail. It is true that the Trumps stayed in a guest house of the German senate:

Day 1 of G20 unfolded.

Trump was ready:

He was the only leader who refused to wear the hideous G20 lapel pin and wore his American flag pin instead.

He received questions about the Democrats:

The group photo piqued people’s interest, and not just in the media. Emmanuel Macron weirded out, making a nuisance of himself to stand next to Donald Trump.

Technically, that was the correct place for him to stand. The newest G20 participants are placed at the edges of the photo. More long-serving world leaders are in the centre. However, perhaps Macron should have stayed in the back row. He not only left a gap but disturbed everyone in attempting to get down to the first row:

It did not go unnoticed:

The same thing happened later that day in the group photo before the concert that evening. Watch Merkel position Trump and Macron:

The Macrons sat next to the Trumps at the concert, too:

The Conservative Treehouse said:

*Note* There is a coordinated effort by global political leftists (control entities within multinationals and political constructs) to physically position Emmanuel Macron next to President Trump at every opportunity. This is a structurally coordinated effort to enlarge the presence of Macron as an oppositional entity to the looming and dominant presence (figurative and literal) of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump had a successful day.

He and Russian president Vladimir Putin put a ceasefire in Syria in place:

Trade Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said:

We had a very productive dinner last night — Secretary Tillerson, myself, General McMaster — with President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Abe and their teams, discussing the importance of what’s going on in North Korea and the issues there. And then today we’ve had, already, several other bilats, and tomorrow we have another six.

The President also participated in a very important session today on trade and an important session on the environment and the economy. So I would just generally say we’ve had very productive economic meetings. There’s been very substantive issues discussed. The North Korea issue has been discussed very significantly, about the escalation in North Korea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, in part (same link, emphases mine):

President Trump and President Putin met this afternoon for 2 hours and 15 minutes here on the sidelines of the G20. The two leaders exchanged views on the current nature of the U.S.-Russia relationship and the future of the U.S.-Russia relationship.

They discussed important progress that was made in Syria, and I think all of you have seen some of the news that just broke regarding a de-escalation agreement and memorandum, which was agreed between the United States, Russia and Jordan, for an important area in southwest Syria that affects Jordan’s security, but also is a very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield.

This de-escalation area was agreed, it’s well-defined, agreements on who will secure this area. A ceasefire has been entered into. And I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria. And as a result of that, we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together on to de-escalate the areas and violence once we defeat ISIS, and to work together toward a political process that will secure the future of the Syrian people.

As a result, at the request of President Putin, the United States has appointed — and you’ve seen, I think, the announcement of Special Representative for Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker. Ambassador Volker will draw on his decades of experience in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, both as a representative to NATO and also his time as a permanent political appointment.

The two leaders also acknowledged the challenges of cyber threats and interference in the democratic processes of the United States and other countries, and agreed to explore creating a framework around which the two countries can work together to better understand how to deal with these cyber threats, both in terms of how these tools are used to in interfere with the internal affairs of countries, but also how these tools are used to threaten infrastructure, how these tools are used from a terrorism standpoint as well.

Trump also held a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico:

President Trump emphasized the strong bilateral relationship that the United States enjoys with Mexico and noted the importance of renegotiating NAFTA to help workers in both countries. President Trump thanked President Peña Nieto for Mexico’s partnership on the Central America Conference last month. The leaders also discussed regional challenges, including drug trafficking, illegal migration, and the crisis in Venezuela.

After the day’s business concluded, the leaders and their spouses attended the aforementioned concert — then had dinner.

Mrs Trump was seated next to Mr Putin:

The Daily Mail has loads of photos and more on both the concert and the dinner.

Then it was time for some rest:

Trump was happy:

Tomorrow’s post discusses Day 2.

President Donald Trump just completed a historic trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

It was his first trip abroad as president and the Saudis gave him and his family a royal reception the entire time.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the media continued to weigh in on possible impeachment proceedings, James Comey and anything else that detracted from the present occupant of the White House.

This is what many American viewers of Big Media missed.

The Arab Islamic American Summit — the Riyadh Summit — took place on Saturday and Sunday, May 20-21, 2017 in Riyadh. Fifty-five of the 57 Islamic nations — see the list — sent representatives to discuss with President Trump how they could prevent the spread of extremist ideology.

The summit’s slogan was ‘Together We Prevail’. Al Arabiya reported (emphases mine below):

In an unprecedented political event, Riyadh will host three summits on Saturday and Sunday

The three summits advertised under the slogan “Together We Prevail” are hosted by Riyadh, to reaffirm the shared commitment to global security, profound economic partnerships and to enforce the determination for constructive political and cultural cooperation.

Although it appeared, from White House releases, that this was a rather spur-of-the-moment trip, it had been in the planning for months:

Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi told Egypt Daily News:

… co-operation with Saudi Arabia is currently “at its highest point.”

… In response to a question about efforts to revive long-stalled negotiations between Palestine and Israel, El-Sisi said that Trump is the “decisive player” in this matter.

“I believe he does not take time in resolving matters he’s a capable person who does not work like others,” he said. The president also said that the country’s counter-terrorism situation “has significantly improved.”

He said the government is formulating a law to create a supreme council that will combat terrorism and extremism. This initiative was announced in April following two deadly bombings on churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria …

The Saudis gave the president and first lady a right royal welcome. White House cabinet members and other close aides also accompanied him on this trip.

.

There was also a flypast:

The Saudis also had special lighting effects on the Ritz Carlton where the Americans stayed.

The Saudi king presented the American president with the highest civilian honour, the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, at the royal palace. The Arab News reported that only other non-Islamic leaders this has been given to are:

Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

The king gave the Trumps a sumptuous lunch, which Arab News said was:

replete with cuisines from around the world.

You can see a photo of the menu at the link above.

Trump signed a historic agreement to help bolster KSA’s defence needs:

More about that in Trump’s speech below.

During the summit, Trump met separately with the Emir of Kuwait, the Emir of Qatar, the President of Egypt and the King of Bahrain. He also held a private meeting with the President of Afghanistan. The White House issued a brief statement.

Melania and Ivanka Trump had also attracted much attention and were fully accepted without veils. The Saudis treated them like a queen and a princess, respectively.

Arab News reported that Saudis viewed the first lady’s arrival attire as ‘classy and conservative’:

“Melania Trump before leaving the United States vs. Melania while landing in Saudi Arabia. Respect for the country’s traditions,” one Twitter user said with a thumbs-up. “Not only modest, but elegant at the same time.”

The loose outfit almost resembled the traditional black abaya — a loose over-garment, essentially a robe-like dress — worn by Saudi women.

Later, Mrs Trump changed into a striking magenta full length evening gown with long, flowing sleeves:

.

One report said that the Kushners received a rabbinic pass to travel on the Sabbath. Whatever the case, Arab News reported that Ivanka took the country ‘by storm’:

The hashtag #Trump’s_daughter, in Arabic, is the top trending hashtag in the country as Twitter fans heaped praise on the first daughter.

Ivanka, who is set to take part in roundtable discussions during the president’s first official visit abroad, wore a long navy dress as she arrived in Saudi Arabia as part of the US delegation.

That Saudi gave Ivanka instructions on how to stop coffee refills:

Arab women were annoyed at the attention Ivanka received. This is also worth checking out for a chuckle.

The Trump ladies had planned visits.

Mrs Trump visited the American International School:

She then went to the GE Saudi Service Center:

Ivanka met with Princess Reema to discuss women’s initiatives:

On Saturday evening, a sword dance took place. This celebrated the coming together of Arab and American leaders to celebrate a unified alliance — peace after conflict:

A Saudi-American popular music concert also took place, starring Rabeh Saqer and Toby Keith.

On Sunday, May 21, Trump gave a speech that lasted 34 minutes. The incomparable Stephen Miller co-wrote it. Excerpts follow:

My meetings with King Salman, the Crown Prince, and the Deputy Crown Prince, have been filled with great warmth, good will, and tremendous cooperation. Yesterday, we signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia.

This landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase – and we will be sure to help our Saudi friends to get a good deal from our great American defense companies. This agreement will help the Saudi military to take a greater role in security operations.

We have also started discussions with many of the countries present today on strengthening partnerships, and forming new ones, to advance security and stability across the Middle East and beyond

I have had the pleasure of welcoming several of the leaders present today to the White House, and I look forward to working with all of you.

America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership – based on shared interests and values – to pursue a better future for us all …

The Middle East is rich with natural beauty, vibrant cultures, and massive amounts of historic treasures. It should increasingly become one of the great global centers of commerce and opportunity.

This region should not be a place from which refugees flee, but to which newcomers flock

Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.

If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered …

This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.

This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.

This is a battle between Good and Evil.

When we see the scenes of destruction in the wake of terror, we see no signs that those murdered were Jewish or Christian, Shia or Sunni. When we look upon the streams of innocent blood soaked into the ancient ground, we cannot see the faith or sect or tribe of the victims – we see only that they were Children of God whose deaths are an insult to all that is holy

America is prepared to stand with you – in pursuit of shared interests and common security.

But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.

It is a choice between two futures – and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.

A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and

DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH …

Amazingly — and I saw the YouTube of Trump delivering his rousing speech — Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, 78, fell asleep. Maybe the sword dance the night before exhausted him. It’s just as well that Reince Priebus was between him and Ivanka:

After Trump’s speech, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, a brief excerpt of which follows:

I think on this trip, I know the entire delegation traveling with the President has gained a much greater appreciation for this region, the rich history, the rich traditions and cultures of this region, and also a much better understanding of the Muslim faith by traveling to this special place, the special place of the two holiest sites. All of this is, I think, useful to us understanding everyone better here, and we hope – we hope people in the Muslim community will make a similar effort to understand the American people’s interest and concerns that they may have.

But I think importantly, out of this speech the President delivered this afternoon, what he said, again, is this fight is ours together. It is not between us. It is ours together. And it’s only together that we will ultimately prevail and that it is not a fight among religions, not a fight between Shia, Sunni, it’s not a fight between Christians, Jews, any of the faiths. This is a fight of good against evil, and in all of those three great faiths that millions of Americans follow, we are guided by that same tenet. This is what unites us in attacking this evil face of terrorism that has befallen us and has hurt so many around the world.

Breitbart‘s London editor Raheem Kassam contrasted Trump’s speech with Obama’s. Kassam points out that Obama prostrated himself before the Saudis in an Islam-heavy speech apologising for colonialism. Trump, on the other hand:

continued full speed into making demands of the people in the room.

Trump’s introduction of thanks was gracious yet brief:

Instead, President Trump dived right in, spending less than a page on the flattery — and there was scarcely any in that section anyway — getting to the first action point by page two of his speech: “This landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase…”

If America is going to deal with the Arab world under a Trump presidency, it is at least going to get something out of it for the American people. Cash, jobs, and importantly, leverage.

Wait, you thought that was all? The very next sentence announced the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.

On matters spiritual:

Where Obama declared “Islam has a proud history of tolerance” as the Mullahs prepared their latest homosexual to be thrown from a building, and the most recent woman to be stoned in the street, President Trump demanded: “Your soul will be condemned” for barbaric acts, a sentiment that found its crescendo when he declared: “This is a battle between Good and Evil”, insisting that Arab and Muslim leaders “drive out” the forces of terror and extremism within their ranks.

With regard to the ‘T’ word:

President Trump used the word “terror” in some way — terror, terrorism, terrorists — a whopping 31 times in his speech in Riyadh. In Cairo, President Obama used the word an even more whopping ZERO times.

Obama described 9/11 as an “enormous trauma” rather than a terrorist atrocity, opting to deploy the word “extremism” 11 times in his speech, which President Trump also used nine times.

As a result, Obama lacked action points, policy goals, or anything of substance when it came to tacking terrorism. President Trump on the other hand announced the formulation of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, insisting: “Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion”.

Oh yeah, and President Trump said: “Islamic terrorism”, just FYI.

The summit’s climax was the the Inauguration of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology. This included a symbolic gesture of international unity as the principal leaders involved touched a glowing orb. With Trump below are his new good friends Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi:

Many online viewers compared the scene to Lord of the Rings, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and other films.

The United States and Saudi Arabia will also co-chair the new Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), a collaborative approach to confronting new and evolving threats arising from terrorist financing. The initiative will also include partners from the Gulf states. A statement from the US Department of the Treasury explained:

With today’s announcements, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other strategic partners in the Gulf are confronting new and evolving terrorist networks including ISIS, al Qa’ida, Hizballah, Lashkar–e-Tayyiba, the Taliban, and the Haqqani Network. This collaboration will also address a host of other transnational threats emanating throughout the Middle East, including from Iran, the Assad regime, and the situation in Yemen.

The Riyadh Summit concluded:

The Saudis have clearly been forward planning for the KSA.

The Saudi press viewed the visit — and the Trumps — most favourably. It must have irked CNN’s Jim Acosta to tweet these photos (click on each one to enlarge):

The Trump entourage left Riyadh the morning of Monday, May 22. Note that Melania is wearing a long dress with a slit up the back. The strong winds revealed a view of the back of her calves. Ivanka wore a midi-dress revealing her lower legs. How long before modernising Saudis change their dress code for women?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders (yes, Mike’s daughter, who works with Sean Spicer) tweeted this:

They arrived in Israel a short time later. Like the RSA, the Israelis were also preparing and rehearsing for Trump’s visit.

As I was writing this, welcome speeches took place at the airport:

More to come on Trump’s visit to Israel.

Further reading:

Multibillion dollar deals sealed at Saudi-US CEO Forum

Kingdom, Washington agree ‘Joint Strategic Vision Declaration’

Raytheon, Saudi Arabia Military Industries in strategic partnership

On Thursday, March 30, 2017, The Daily Caller reported that, during his brief trip to Turkey, the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, visited the wife of a Protestant pastor who is currently in a Turkish prison.

Tillerson had no previous plan to meet with Norine Brunson. His scheduled event was a meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In November 2016, Turkish authorities imprisoned the Revd Andrew Brunson on suspicion of terrorism.

The Daily Caller explains:

The Brunsons, who have worked in Turkey for 23 years as missionaries, were detained by Turkish authorities in October and held for deportation. Norine was released shortly after, but Andrew was kept in jail and accused of being part of a terrorist organization.

Which terrorist organization is unclear. Turkish authorities have not disclosed that information or anything else about its supposed case.

Brunson has been in a prison in Izmir since November and has had limited contact with his lawyers and Norine. The case against Brunson appears to be part of a larger crackdown against anyone who the Erdogan regime arbitrarily deems an enemy …

Erdogan’s enemy list includes Christians.

How Mrs Brunson came to meet Rex Tillerson in Ankara is somewhat supernatural. Mr Brunson (emphases mine):

had told her that he felt that God had told him she would meet America’s top diplomat.

And it turned out that he was right.

On Monday, Andrew told me he felt the Lord had said I would meet with Sec of State Tillerson. On Tuesday, I was told by the embassy and another senator that the meeting would NOT happen. I decided to come to Ankara anyway and arrived last night,” Norine Brunson wrote on Facebook Thursday, just after she met for 20 minutes with Tillerson.

That is amazing.

Details of how the meeting came to pass are unknown. The State Department is not commenting on the matter or on the Brunsons.

However, the fact that Tillerson met with Mrs Brunson is significant:

Jordan Sekulow, the executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), says that Tillerson’s meeting with Norine Brunson is a positive development in the case to help free Andrew.

“This is a powerful sign that the Trump Administration is taking the plight of this wrongfully imprisoned U.S. citizen very seriously,” said Sekulow, who is working to help free the pastor.

Let us keep the Brunsons in our prayers and thank the Lord that Rex Tillerson met with Mrs Brunson. May God continue to bless all three of them.

I wrote more than once that the hand of God was all over last year’s election.

This year, I believe that the hand of God is all over the Trump administration.

This incredible news story goes some way in proving that.

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