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Tea party linking up with Koran-burning British far right: report

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‘It seems now that America and Europe are acting as one, and united we can never fail’

The tea party movement is forging links with the English Defence League, a nascent anti-Islamic movement in Great Britain that has made a habit of rioting in Muslim neighborhoods, says a report at the Observer.

The news comes a day after the EDL clashed with anti-fascist protesters in the city of Leicester, which has a large Muslim population. Eight people were arrested in those clashes. It is part of a pattern of behavior for the EDL, which has in the past burned Korans and carried signs declaring “We hate Muslims.”

The Observer reports that the EDL has forged an alliance with Pamela Geller, one of the leaders of the movement to stop the so-called “Ground Zero mosque.”

The Observer quotes Geller’s blog as declaring, “I share the EDL’s goals … We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups that oppose the Islamization of the west.”

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“Geller is acting as the bridge between the EDL and the tea party,” Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights in Kansas told the Observer. “She plays an important role in bringing Islamophobia into the tea party. Her stature has increased substantially inside the tea party ranks after the Ground Zero mosque controversy. She has gained a lot of credibility with that stuff.”

Additionally, the EDL has invited an anti-Islamic rabbi, Machum Schifren, to speak to the EDL in London about sharia law this month. Schifren, who is mounting a campaign for California state Senate, has been described as “a West Bank Settler, a teacher in the Los Angeles educational system and a surfer.”

The “surfing rabbi,” as he calls himself on his Web site, is urging the Jewish community to join forces with the EDL.

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“The Jewish community is paralyzed with fear, exactly what most radical Muslim agitators want,” he said, as quoted at the Observer. “The people of England are in the forefront of this war – and it is a war. One of the purposes of this visit is to put the kibosh on the notion in the Jewish community that they cannot co-operate with the EDL, which is rubbish.”

In an opinion column earlier this year, Rabbi Schifren argued that Muslim students protesting Islamophobia “are the front line of an army of Muslims that is waiting patiently to take over and subvert our country.”

He seemingly also argued in favor of censorship of academic debate, declaring, “This will be a hard bullet for America to bite, but we are at war with Islam! Those who deny this are quislings or fifth-columnists — and very often, university professors and chancellors. With strong leadership, there would be no notions of ‘academic freedom’ for those who come here to subvert and destroy.”

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The Observer also reports on growing cooperation between the EDL and the tea party movement in the online world:

[T]wo members of the EDL leadership, a British businessman called Alan Lake who is believed to fund the group and a man known by the alias Kinana, are regular contributors to web forum 4Freedoms. The forum claims to be “organising US activities” and has links to the anti-jihad group, American Congress for Truth, which in turn has supporters within the Tea Party.

Lake is also believed to have been in touch with a number of anti-Islamic Christian evangelical groups in the US. One posting by Lake on 4Freedoms warns that the UK of the future will start to fragment into Islamic enclaves. Lake, believed to be a principal bankroller of the EDL, which claims to be a peaceful, non-racist organisation, is understood to be keen on the possibility of setting up the UK equivalent of the Tea Party….

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Another Tea Party-associated grouping, the International Civil Liberties Alliance, which campaigns against Sharia law, confirmed that EDL leaders have made “contacts with members of important organisations within the American counter-jihad movement”. A statement said: “It seems now that America and Europe are acting as one, and united we can never fail.”


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‘Do you love Puerto Rico?’: Fox News’ Shep Smith rips governor to shreds

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Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was outed for cold and heartless comments he exchanged about his own island in wake of the horrific hurricanes that destroyed the island in 2017. He's also being forced to ask questions about the corruption involving the funding for hurricane relief. Nearly 1 million people have taken to the streets demanding accountability and action.

In his first interview, Rosselló may have assumed he'd meet a friendly audience on Fox News, but Shep Smith let him have it.

"The corruption is rampant in Puerto Rico," Smith said. "Economically Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis, $70 billion in debt and a 13-year recession. In the leaked 900 pages of profanity-laced messages, dubbed RickyGate, after you, sir, you made light of the casualties of the Hurricane Maria, you tossed homophobic and misogynistic remarks, You were calling the former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverit a whore. Of the oversight board that rules Puerto Rico's finances, you said, 'Go F-yourself. And when your representative to that board said he is salivating to shoot the woman who is the mayor of San Juan, you said, 'You’d be doing me a grand favor.' So, attacks on woman, gays, dead relatives on your own island and after that who is left to support you? Is it even safe for you to govern?"

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Puerto Ricans launch biggest protest yet against governor

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Angry protesters blocked the main road in Puerto Rico's capital on Monday as they launched what was expected to be the largest yet of a wave of demonstrations seeking the resignation of the US territory's embattled governor.

Marching under sunny skies in San Juan, the demonstrators sang, chanted, danced and carried the territory's red, white and blue flag with a lone star.

Altogether, hundreds of thousands were expected to turn out.

Puerto Ricans are up in arms over alleged corruption involving money meant to be for victims of Hurricane Maria in 2017, which left nearly 3,000 dead.

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‘Simply astonishing’: Retired general sounds the alarm on Trump’s ‘utter breakdown’ in foreign policy process

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Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey on Monday sounded the alarm on President Donald Trump's foreign policy team, which he said had shown no indications that it is capable of dealing with a real crisis on the world stage.

While appearing on MSNBC, McCaffrey was asked about a quote from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in which he said that the entire Trump foreign policy team is being held hostage to the president's impulsive tweets.

"I think the most important thing Panetta said here was the utter breakdown of a national security process," he explained. "It's simply astonishing! [Defense Secretary nominee Mark] Esper still hasn't been confirmed, you've had a series of acting secretaries of defense, no one really understands what [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, who is a very intelligent person, is up to."

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