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Netanyahu unveils illegal settlement named ‘Trump Heights’ in occupied Syrian territory

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In what critics denounced as an obscene celebration of land theft and a violation of international law, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday showed his appreciation for U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory by unveiling a new illegal settlement named “Trump Heights.”

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As Common Dreams reported, Trump’s recognition of the occupied Syrian territory as Israeli property in March was widely condemned by international observers.

“This is a historic day,” Netanyahu said after dramatically uncovering the “Trump Heights” entry sign, emblazoned with large gold letters.

As Haaretz reported, no new community was actually established in the occupied Syrian territory on Sunday, as the move must be approved and finalized by the government.

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“There isn’t really any settlement there yet, just a sign, just as there isn’t any reality to Trump more generally, just an empty suit,” historian and Middle East expert Juan Cole wrote in a blog post on Monday.

“Given that Trump is a narcissistic fraud, it is appropriate that his name be attached to the illegal Israeli theft of Syrian territory. In fact, we should just call the Occupied Palestinian Territories in general Trumpland, a fraud and form of robbery like his ‘university’ and ‘steaks’ and ‘airline,'” Cole wrote. “Trump Heights is such a great name for the colony built on theft, since Trump’s whole life has been about being wealthy and powerful enough to escape the consequences of his crimes.”

Others expressed similar disgust at Netanyahu’s announcement, which was quickly hailed by Trump as a “great honor.”

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“Blatant theft: with no legal jurisdiction whatsoever and in flagrant violation of international law, Israel re-names part of Syria after Trump,” tweeted activist Sarah Wilkinson.

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2020 Election

Trump preparing to question legitimacy of results if he loses 2020 election: Michigan lieutenant governor

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Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, D-Mich., has accused President Donald Trump of sowing doubt about November's election months before voting even begins in an attempt to question the "legitimacy of an election that he is looking to lose."

Gilchrist criticized Trump for pushing debunked conspiracy theories about voting by mail after the state sent absentee ballot applications to every registered voter amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"I think that the president wants to set us up so that there can be a conversation about the legitimacy of an election that he is looking to lose," Gilchrist told MSNBC over the weekend. "That is a really unfortunate thing. That's not how we do democracy here in the United States, and we need to be ready to respond to that forcefully."

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Trump economic task force member once called minimum wage law the ‘Black Teenage Unemployment Act’

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Art Laffer, a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus economic task force who last year was honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, once referred to the federal minimum wage law as the "Black Teenage Unemployment Act" on Fox News while he attempted to claim that it made "no sense whatsoever."

"The minimum wage makes no sense whatsoever to me," Laffer told host Jenna Lee on the since-canceled Fox News show "Happening Now." "Honestly, it's just the teenage — 'Black Teenage Unemployment Act.' And this is the very group that we need to have jobs — not be put out of work because of a minimum wage. So, I'm very much in favor of, at least for teenagers, getting rid of the minimum wage."

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COVID-19

Why COVID-19 immunity passports may violate US law

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As the COVID-19 crisis wreaks havoc across the globe, a handful of countries, including Germany, Chile and the United States, are mulling the use of immunity passports to make clear who is immune from coronavirus infection.

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