Saudi Arabia’s crown prince hosted a delegation of American Christian evangelicals on Tuesday, state media said, the latest such visit as the conservative Muslim kingdom seeks to repair its image of religious intolerance.
The visit comes on the eve of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, in which most of the hijackers who crashed jetliners into the twin towers in New York were identified as Saudi nationals.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met the delegation, led by Israeli-American author Joel Rosenberg, at his palace in the western city of Jeddah, the official Saudi Press Agency said.
“Honored to be back in kingdom of Saudi Arabia for (the second) time in less than a year,” Rosenberg said on Twitter.
“We met (with) his royal highness the crown prince (and) other senior officials to discuss terrorism, peace, religious freedom and human rights.”
The delegation also met Prince Khalid bin Salman, the kingdom’s deputy defense minister, and secretary-general of the Muslim World League Mohammed al-Issa, SPA reported.
The crown prince hosted a similar delegation led by Rosenberg that travelled last November to Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina and where the practice of other religions is banned.
Saudi leaders have courted a flurry of representatives of various Christian traditions in recent months.
In April 2018, Saudi Arabia hosted French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who headed the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Tauran, who died in July 2018, was seen as an energetic promoter of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam.
And in November 2017, the head of Lebanon’s Maronite church, Beshara Rai, paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia where he met King Salman and Prince Mohammed.
Prince Mohammed, the heir to the Saudi throne, has sought to project a moderate image of his austere kingdom, often associated in the West with jihadist ideology.
The self-styled reformer has faced global criticism for the kingdom’s poor human rights record including the jailing of political activists and critics.
© 2019 AFP
Brian Williams compares Corey Lewandowski’s opening statement to the North Korean news lady
MSNBC host Brian Williams on Tuesday noted the similarities between former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and North Korean news anchor Ri Chun Hee.
"Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who is now considering a Senate run in New Hampshire, testified before the House Judiciary Committee today," Williams reported. "It is likely his North Korean anchorwoman-quality opening remarks were meant were one viewer (Donald Trump)."
Ri, who has earned the nickname "Pink Lady," is known for her enthusiastic reading of government-approved news.
Watch the video below from MSNBC.
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Political commentator Catherine Rampell disagreed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that the Democrats faltered during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. Former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig called Lewandowski a "train-wreck of a witness."
She explained that Democrats had an extremely low bar: they had to prove Trump obstructed justice and that Corey Lewandowski gave one of the examples of such obstructions. In that sense, Rampell said they accomplished their goals.
"I don’t think this was a great day for Corey Lewandowski," she began. "This is a guy who went on TV and announced to the world -- apparently at the same time he is also trying to fundraise for Senate -- that he lies most of the time. Except when he's under oath."
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