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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.

“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.

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“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.”

“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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‘Psychedelic Nazi’ arrested on AK-47 charges attended ‘Unite the Right’ in Charlottesville: report

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Federal authorities in Virginia arrested a far-right political activist who had attended the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville during which Heather Heyer was murdered in 2017.

Andrew "Thomasberg was arrested at his home in McLean on Thursday, according to court filings, accused of possessing guns as a drug user and illegally buying an AK-47 in 2017 for that friend, who is cooperating with authorities," The Washington Post reported Friday.

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Bill de Blasio learned of federal investigation — and suspended his 2020 bid the next day: report

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday that he was ending his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

There may have been more to the timing than previously reported.

"Federal election officials asked Mayor de Blasio for more information about his presidential campaign fundraising after he used a state political action committee to pay for expenses related to the bid – seemingly against the law," the New York Daily News reported Friday. "The Federal Election Commission demanded that de Blasio 2020 clarify a debt the campaign owed his NY Fairness PAC in a letter Thursday – the day before Hizzoner dropped out of the race."

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White House Counsel busted working to keep whistleblower report from Congress: report

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President Donald Trump's White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

"The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president," The Washington Post reported Friday. "The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint."

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