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Media Editors / February 21, 2019

Thursday Top Headline Summary

Smollett charged, U.S.-China trade-deal headwinds, surge in illegals, domestic terrorism, Syria withdrawal, and more.

  • Jussie Smollett’s hate-hoax theatrics may well land him behind bars. Authorities have officially leveled a felony charge against the actor, accusing him of fabricating a police report. A guilty verdict comes with the possibility of three years in prison.

  • Economic headwinds: “The United States and China have started to outline commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their trade dispute, marking the most significant progress yet toward ending a seven-month trade war,” Reuters reports. Despite being “far apart on demands made by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration for structural changes to China’s economy,” the report notes that “a deal is beginning to emerge from the talks … as the two sides push for an agreement by March 1.”

  • The Associated Press says that “House Democrats will file a resolution Friday aimed at blocking the national emergency declaration that President Donald Trump has issued to help finance his wall along the Southwest border,” even as “the effort seems almost certain to ultimately fall short.” The resolution may pass the Democrat-controlled House, but its prospects in the Senate are fuzzy. “The law that spells out the rules for emergency declarations seems to require the Senate to address the issue too, but there’s never been a congressional effort to block one and some procedural uncertainties remain.”

  • Alarmingly, 47,893 illegal immigrants were nabbed this past January along the southern border, which represents an 84% increase over January 2018, the Washington Examiner reveals. Data extrapolators “suggest that border officers will make over 600,000 apprehensions this year,” according to the Examiner. On a related note, Fox News reports, “At least 25 people affiliated with the MS-13 gang were deported from Mexico after they were revealed to be concealed within the caravan of 1,600 Central American migrants just across the U.S. border.” Nevertheless, Democrats insist there is no border crisis.

  • Good idea from Rep. Mark Green and Rep. Chip Roy in an appeal to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “We write to urge the Department of State to consider designating many of the world’s most violent drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). … Violent drug cartels are not just a domestic policy issue limited to their home countries. These groups view America’s sovereign borders as merely minor inconveniences. In 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement made more than 2,300 fentanyl arrests and 405 seizures of fentanyl totaling 2,383 pounds. Additionally, cartels operate human trafficking operations into the U.S. that compel victims into forced labor or sexual slavery.”

  • “America’s foreign-born population has reached its highest level in over 100 years, driven by immigrants from Latin America, according to new Census Bureau data. What’s more, the Pew Research Center has found that most Latinos feel the percentage of foreigners in the United States is just about right, though 14 percent said America needs more. The analysis from Pew showed that the last 50 years have seen the biggest surge in immigration into the U.S. since before the Civil War. There are currently 44-45 million foreign-born in the U.S., 14 percent of the total population.” (Washington Examiner)

  • Here we go again: According to The Daily Wire, “Legislators in the Vermont House are expected to approve an abortion bill that is so insane it allows abortion at any time, with no qualifications at all. … New York’s abortion law states that abortion is permitted after 24 weeks of pregnancy only if ‘there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.’ Vermont’s law has no similar statement.” Meanwhile, The Hill says, “Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Tuesday signed into a law a measure that would automatically ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.”

  • The ugly face of identity politics: “A Coast Guard lieutenant who was arrested last week is a ‘domestic terrorist’ who drafted an email discussing biological attacks and had what appeared to be a hit list that included prominent Democrats and media figures, prosecutors said in court papers. Christopher Paul Hasson is due to appear Thursday in federal court in Maryland after his arrest on gun and drug offenses, but prosecutors say those charges are the ‘proverbial tip of the iceberg.’” (Associated Press)

  • In 2014, Alabama resident Hoda Muthana relocated to Syria to consort with the Islamic State. A year later she encouraged Americans to “Go on drivebys, and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them [infidels].” But according to National Review, “In a recent interview … Muthana pleaded with U.S. officials to allow her return to America, citing her youth and immaturity at the time she fled to Syria.” Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reminded us that actions have consequences. He stated: “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. We continue to strongly advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria.” And as Matt Walsh points out, “Obama had an American citizen executed by drone strike. Then he killed the guy’s teenaged son, too. Trump’s treatment of the ISIS bride is extremely merciful by comparison.”

  • “As the deadline approaches for the withdrawal of U.S. forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, America’s closest European allies have turned down a Trump administration request to fill the gap with their own troops, according to U.S. and foreign officials,” The Washington Post reports. “Allies have ‘unanimously’ told the United States that they ‘won’t stay if you pull out,’ a senior administration official said. France and Britain are the only other countries with troops on the ground in the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State.” Some countries rightly view America as the world leader, while others demand we do all the heavy lifting. This development is likely a combination of both attitudes.

  • Humor “Opinion”: Everyone who makes more money than I do isn’t paying their fair share (The Babylon Bee)

  • Policy: The Washington Free Beacon’s Aaron Kliegman says, “The U.S. needs to recognize the connection between Iran’s internal strife and the regime’s imperial foreign policy.” Read more in “Beyond Sanctions: How to Exert Maximum Pressure on Iran.”

  • Policy: “For many in the Republican party, the political imperative in 2020 is to claw back support among the moderate white women who have fled the party in droves, especially in America’s suburbs, apparently because of the president’s caustic style and divisive tone,” writes Albert Eisenberg at National Review. “But the GOP path to victory in 2020 may run through minority communities that have been neglected for too long.” See “How Republicans Can Win Over Minority Voters.”

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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