Benjamin Netanyahu has barred two Muslim-American Democrat congresswomen from entering Israel after Donald Trump said it would show “great weakness” if he allowed them in. The move will inflame tensions between the Israeli prime minister and the Democratic Party but will also delight Mr Trump, who has repeatedly targeted both women with racial attacks. It may also set a precedent that could see Jeremy Corbyn barred from visiting Israel or the Palestinian territories because he supports boycotting Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim women in Congress, were due to arrive this weekend for a tour of Jerusalem and several West Bank Palestinian cities. Both have expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, which encourages boycotts of Israel in protest of its treatment of the Palestinians. Under Israeli law, BDS supporters can be barred from entering the country. But Israel’s ambassador in Washington said previously that Ms Omar and Ms Tlaib would be allowed in “out of respect for the US Congress”. Israel’s government reversed course amid pressure from Mr Trump, who made it clear he wanted the women to be barred. “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit,” he said on Twitter. “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds.” It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019 Mr Netanyahu called the congresswomen “leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress”. “The itinerary of the two congresswomen reveals that their sole purpose is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it,” he said. Miftah, a Palestinian group helping to organise the trip, said Israel was trying to “impose a blackout on reality in occupied Palestine and prevent Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar from having direct contact with Palestinian people”. “This ban is a clear case of discrimination and hostility based on political views and ethnic background, deserving of moral indignation and unequivocal condemnation in Palestine and the United States,” the group said. Donald Trump has repeatedly launched racial attacks against Ms Omar Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images Ms Omar released a statement comparing the ban to Mr Trump's ban on people from Muslim-majority countries entering the US. "It is an affront that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the US government," she said. "Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress." David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, gave Mr Netanyahu America's full backing. "In contrast to the nearly 70 freshmen members of Congress who just recently completed, or who are currently pursuing, a balanced visit to Israel that includes meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the Tlaib/Omar Delegation has limited its exposure to tours organized by the most strident of BDS activists," he said. "This trip, pure and simple, is nothing more than an effort to fuel the BDS engine that Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar so vigorously support." He said the BDS movement was "no less than economic warfare designed to delegitimise and ultimately destroy the Jewish State." He added: "Israel properly has enacted laws to bar entry of BDS activists under the circumstances present here, and it has every right to protect its borders against those activists in the same manner as it would bar entrants with more conventional weapons." David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, greets Ivanka Trump on her arrival in Israel in May 2018 Ms Omar and Ms Tlaib were among a wave of Left-wing Democrats elected in the 2018 midterm elections. Ms Tlaib is of Palestinian origin and both women are strong supporters of Palestinian rights. However, both have also been accused of veering into anti-Semitism while criticising Israel. Mr Trump has taken aim at both women in a series of tweets, suggesting that they “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”. Mr Trump’s supporters chanted “send her back” about Ms Omar at a recent rally, a chorus that the president later distanced himself from. Mr Netanyahu’s decision was immediately condemned by Democrat presidential candidates. “This would be a shameful, unprecedented move,” said Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat senator who is among the leading candidates for president. Israel doesn't advance its case as a tolerant democracy or unwavering US ally by barring elected members of Congress from visiting because of their political views. This would be a shameful, unprecedented move. I urge Israel’s government to allow @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib entry.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 15, 2019 Democrats have become openly critical of the Right-wing Israeli leader in recent years and several Democrat presidential candidates have accused him of racism. Many Democrats have not forgiven Mr Netanyahu for a 2015 speech he gave in Washington lambasting Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. The speech was seen by Democrats as disrespectful of Mr Obama. Thursday’s decision has potential implications for any future visits to Israel by Mr Corbyn, who has called for boycotts of Israeli settlements and for a halt to arms sales to the Jewish state. Israeli officials had previously said that an exception would be made for Mr Corbyn out of respect for the British-Israeli partnership. However, if Israel is prepared to risk a confrontation with the Democratic Party it seems they could also bar the Labour leader. Mr Netanyahu’s decision was criticised by some Israeli liberals. “A country with a smart foreign policy would invite members of congress who do not like its positions and make sure that the visit exposes the complexity of the conflict,” said Stav Shaffir, an opposition MP. “The cowardly Netanyahu slams the door and gives a gift to BDS, who gives back to Bibi gift: fear and disconnection.”
Tennessee executed its third inmate in the electric chair since November, killing a man Thursday who maintained that he didn't stab a mother and her 15-year-old daughter to death in 1986. State officials pronounced 56-year-old Stephen West dead at 7:27 p.m. at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. This week, West decided he preferred to die in the electric chair after previously voicing no preference, which would have defaulted him to lethal injection.
Less than two weeks after the El Paso mass shooting in which the accused shooter targeted Mexicans after complaining of a “Hispanic invasion” of America, Fox News anchor Sandra Smith confronted a guest on Thursday for using similar rhetoric, telling him “people will take issue with you for calling it that.”Appearing on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, National Border Patrol Council vice president Art Del Cueto directly blamed critics of ICE and Border Patrol for recent attacks on ICE facilities.“It’s disgusting to see something like that,” he said in reaction to video of last month’s incident at a Washington facility. “And I think it’s been triggered by way too many individuals that have had a platform to speak against the men and women that are trying to defend our nation’s borders, the law enforcement communities. That is where it comes from.”Del Cueto, however, took issue with studies showing how conservatives' anti-immigration rhetoric echoed that of the shooter, claiming he and Fox News were just “talking about actual facts.”“And the facts that we spoke about are simple,” the frequent Fox News guest declared. “When you have individuals in large quantities that enter another country by force or illegally, waving the flag of another country, that is an invasion. I stand by those words.”“Hold on now,” Smith quickly interjected. “Obviously, we have to push back on comments like that. People will take issue with you calling it that. It is obviously a sensitive issue right now."The Fox anchor went on to steer the conversation back towards the recent incidents at ICE buildings and what steps should be taken moving forward.Smith’s pushback against Del Cueto comes just a day after Fox Nation host Todd Starnes not only doubled down on saying migrants are invading the United States but also likened immigrants to Nazis.In the immediate aftermath of the El Paso shooting, meanwhile, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade defended the network’s repeated use of the term “invasion” to describe immigration, claiming it was not “anti-Hispanic” but was instead a “fact.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
A woman cheated death when she fell nearly a mile to the ground after her parachute and emergency back-up apparently both failed to open.Witnesses who saw her plunge nearly 5000ft to the ground said it was a miracle she wasn’t killed.She hit a clump of trees, breaking her fall, and escaped with only fractured bones, including broken vertebrae.Police Quebec in Canada are investigating whether there was any criminal negligence.After jumping from the plane at a skydiving centre in Trois-Rivieres, the woman escaped with her life by hitting a wooded area.Denis Demers, who saw her fall, told Radio-Canada: "It’s a miracle. I don’t know how a person can survive a fall from an airplane like that."He said it appeared that neither the main parachute nor the emergency back-up had opened.Police told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the 30-year-old parachutist, who has not yet been identified, was an experienced skydiver.She was admitted to hospital but her life was not in danger, they said.Another witness, Oceane Duplessis, said she was getting ready to get on another plane when she saw the woman."We watched all the way to the end. We kept hoping something would happen," she said. "We were very worried. Very."According to Scienceabc.com, a person without a parachute will fall at a typical speed of 120mph – or 60 metres (196ft) a second.The skydive company, which is reported to be investigating, has been contacted for comment.
A 72-year-old man was seriously injured after attempting to break up a fight between his pet dog and a giant Goanna lizard.
'It was a shocking escalation of violence,' says a witness
Mexican authorities arrested a U.S. citizen suspected of supporting militant Islamists in an example of Mexico's security cooperation with the United States even as the two neighbors grapple with sharp disagreements over trade and migration. The unidentified American man sought by Interpol was under investigation for supporting terrorist groups and will be deported to the United States later on Friday, the Mexico's attorney general's office said in a statement. The man was detained at a migrants office near Mexico's border with Guatemala in the town of Huehuetan with the help of officials from Mexico's National Migration Institute.
A rights activist in Kazakhstan who faced seven years imprisonment over his outspoken opposition to neighbouring China was unexpectedly freed Friday as public and international pressure over his case mounted. Serikjan Bilash, whose activism in defence of Muslim and Turkic minorities in Xinjiang earned him global media attention, told AFP he struck a plea bargain with the court that allowed him freedom but will end his activism. "I had to end my activism against China.
FBI gears up to assist in clashes; Leadership Institute regional field coordinator Gabriel Nadales weighs in.
(Bloomberg) -- House Democrats announced Friday that the Judiciary Committee will cut short its six-week August recess to begin work on a flurry of gun control bills in response to deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.The massacres of 31 people in El Paso and Dayton reignited the debate on gun laws, though it’s unclear how far Senate Republicans are willing to go even with President Donald Trump saying he’s open to expanding background checks and so-called red flag laws to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people.“There is more that we can and must do to address the gun violence epidemic,” committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement. “I call on my Senate colleagues to join us in this effort by swiftly passing gun safety bills the House has already passed and also by acting on the additional bills we will be considering.”At the top of the committee agenda is a measure (H.R. 1186) to restrict the sale and importation of large capacity ammunition magazines such as those used in several mass shootings. Other bills are aimed at preventing gun ownership by those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes and against those who have a protection order issued against them.The list doesn’t include an assault weapons ban. The committee will examine that issue at a separate Sept. 25 hearing. The now-expired assault weapons ban, passed in 1994, caused massive political fallout for Democrats, contributing to their loss of the House that year.The House has already passed a bill to increase background checks and Senate Republicans and the Trump administration have shown some openness to considering some version of that bill.At a rally Thursday night in New Hampshire, Trump focused on keeping weapons away from “deranged and dangerous people” while adding that, “We will always uphold the right to self defense and we will always uphold the Second Amendment.”To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Wasson in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at email@example.com, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.