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Pompeo announces new global body on religious freedom

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the United States will create a new international body to campaign for religious freedom, following a major meeting in Washington.

Dubbed the International Religious Freedom Alliance, Pompeo said that details of the group were still being worked out but that it would “bring like-minded countries together” to make the issue a priority.

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“It will provide a space for the work that we do here to flourish throughout the year and, importantly, it will defend the unalienable rights of all human beings to believe, or not to believe, whatever it is that they choose,” Pompeo told the ministerial-level meeting.

The three-day gathering at the State Department, which is being held for the second straight year, is bringing together dozens of countries and hundreds of activists to promote religious freedom.

Pompeo said Albania, Colombia, Morocco and the Vatican were planning events to follow up on the Washington ministerial.

After the first year’s edition, Britain, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates organized related conferences.

Pompeo in his remarks harshly criticized US adversaries Iran and China for their human rights records, calling Beijing’s incarceration of more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking people “truly the stain of the century.”

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Uighur activists say that China has sought to indoctrinate peaceful Muslims, forcing them to eat pork among other actions that are sinful in Islam.

China describes the camps as vocational training and says it is trying to root out extremism.

Religious freedom has been one of the few human rights causes that has energized President Donald Trump’s administration, which counts on support from an evangelical Christian base.

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While the State Department has kept the focus of the meeting on international issues and welcomed representatives of all faiths, “religious freedom” is also increasingly cited by right-wing Christians in the United States as justification for anti-gay policies.


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McConnell shredded for lying about ‘impeachment obsession’ slowing Senate’s work

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Democrats have called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's hypocrisy on a stalled legislative agenda.

The Kentucky Republican accuses the Democratic minority of holding up legislation and failing to do their jobs as the House conducts impeachment hearings, and taunted them to help him pass GOP-backed bills, reported Newsweek.

We’re a few weeks from the end of 2019 and Congress is feeling the impact from months of Democrat heel-dragging. The impeachment obsession has brought us into December with core, routine governing duties still unfulfilled. It is past time to get serious and pass these key bills.

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Kamala Harris leads 27 Senate Democrats in call for Trump to fire Stephen Miller

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More than half the Democrats in the Senate have issued a letter to the White House calling on President Donald Trump to fire White House senior adviser Stephen Miller after leaked emails showed Miller promoting white nationalist outlets and ideology.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and 26 other Senate Democrats, including presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., signed the letter.

“We write to demand the immediate removal of Stephen Miller as your advisor,” said the letter, which was first obtained by HuffPost. “What is driving Mr. Miller” is “not national security, it’s white supremacy — something that has no place in our country, federal government, and especially not the White House.”

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‘Any other attorney general would resign’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe scalds Barr for ‘lying’ about FBI

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough scalded Attorney General William Barr for lying about the inspector general report he ordered to justify President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories.

The Department of Justice's inspector general failed to find evidence of an FBI plot against Trump's 2016 campaign, but Barr publicly disagreed with those findings and insisted there was not enough justification to launch the Russia investigation.

"His lie about Barack Obama, you know, crawling around Trump Tower like bugging his phone, a lie," Scarborough said. "The lie from the attorney general of the United States, just shocking, that FBI agents, quote, 'spied,' spied on the president of the United States -- a lie."

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