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EU leaders fail to identify ‘European solution’ to migration crisis at informal meeting

Europeans now agree that a migrant crisis faces Europe, and but can’t agree on what to do about it

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On Sunday, an informal meeting was hosted in Brussels at the request of (for now) German Chancellor Angela Merkel to tackle the issue of migration and to potentially identify a ‘European solution’.

Merkel is between a rock and a hard spot over the migration issue as it threatens to split her governmental coalition, and Merkel’s position as Chancellor.

Italian Prime Minister almost didn’t agree to show up at the meeting over the proposals included a leaded draft, which objection Merkel overcame by assuring Conte was being shelved.

Meanwhile, Macron announced that he would back economic sanctions on EU member states which refuse to admit migrants.

France and Italy have been in some disagreement over the matter of migrants lately, refusing to accept refugee ships loaded with hundreds of migrants.

The four Visegrad countries were entirely absent from the meeting.

Politico reports:

An emergency mini summit Sunday of EU leaders seeking a common solution on migration yielded a breakthrough, of sorts: a general agreement to stop seeking an overall, common solution.

It was not exactly a failure, with leaders hailing new momentum in addressing the bloc’s most divisive political problem, and a commitment to continue their discussion at a regular EU summit later this week.

But the talks did not deliver any immediate prize for Germany’s Angela Merkel, who is under pressure at home, where her Bavarian coalition partners are demanding tougher border enforcement policies.

“Wherever possible we want to find European solutions, where this is not possible we want to bring those who are willing together and develop a common framework for action,” the chancellor said as she left the summit.

Other leaders were more blunt about the lack of any concrete outcome.

“Today we didn’t take decisions,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told reporters on his way out.

Still, that did not stop officials in the senior echelon of the European Commission, which hosted the mini summit, from quickly summarizing Sunday’s discussion into a potpourri of policy proposals and firing off an e-mail message at 9:18 p.m, urging the European Council to rewrite its draft conclusions on migration for the formal leaders’ summit later this week — the latest salvo in a running institutional fight over how best to manage the issue.

Merkel had arrived at European Commission headquarters stressing the need for “bilateral or trilateral agreements,” in the absence of a broader consensus among all 28 EU nations, which she plainly declared did not yet exist.

But after roughly four hours of discussions, she didn’t announce any new agreement like the deal she struck last week with President Emmanuel Macron, who agreed to take back any asylum applicants registered in France who cross illegally into Germany.

Merkel seemed intent on addressing Rome’s complaint that she puts her domestic imperatives ahead of Italy’s struggle to deal with a flood of migrants.

“We all agree that we have to stop illegal immigration and that we have to secure our borders, and that we are all responsible for all topics,” Merkel said as she left. “It can’t be that some countries only care about primary migration, and others about secondary migration.”

Nonetheless, the diverging priorities of different EU nations were on clear display at the meeting. Tsipras, lending support to Italy as a fellow frontier country, urged leaders to recognize that secondary movement — in which asylum seekers cross internal EU borders after making their initial application — is not a concern for Greece. “Our northern borders are unilaterally closed,” he said inside the meeting, according to a Greek official.

‘European vision’
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who arrived declaring he would deliver a “completely new proposal,” left without addressing the press. Other leaders said his proposal, which focused on easing the burden of frontier countries, was well-received but would require more study.

“The prime minister presented his plan in the meeting, and there are many things that were included in the conversation, and others he just shared with us his views, his opinion,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said. “And of course we just received that proposal and we are going to study it.”

Sanchez, attending his first major EU meeting, said “everyone agreed on the need to have a European vision.”

But if there was agreement on the need for a European vision, there was also recognition that it was virtually impossible to achieve unanimity, particularly among Central European nations like Hungary and Poland that adamantly refuse to accept refugees as part of an EU relocation system.

EU leaders have been struggling for the better part of three years to resolve seriously divisive disagreements over refugee and migration policy.

The EU mini summit was called at the behest of Merkel, who faces an acute crisis at home over tough new border control policies being pushed by Horst Seehofer, her interior minister and the leader of her coalition partner, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

Merkel bought herself time in the crisis by convincing Seehofer to wait until after the European Council this week so she could pursue a broader, European solution. But her plan for a mini summit caused yet another brouhaha because the Commission initially put forward a draft leaders’ statement that infuriated Italy, and prompted Conte to threaten to boycott the gathering. At Merkel’s urging, the draft text was dropped, and Conte agreed to attend.

Partnerships of the willing
After Sunday’s meeting there appeared to be consensus, at least among most of the 16 leaders who attended, that the challenges would be better tackled with partnerships among willing nations, rather than waiting for unanimity among all 28. That suggested a watershed realization: At times the best way to preserve EU unity may be to forego seeking EU unity.

One senior official who attended Sunday’s meeting said Merkel’s position was remarkably altered from 2015, when she pushed hard for an all-EU solution to the migration crisis.

“This time Merkel was not in the position of coming here with an European solution because she had first to settle the situation at home,” the official said. “It’s something that leaders start to feel.”

Instead, Merkel stressed the need to strengthen partnerships with countries outside the EU, citing the EU agreement with Turkey, which she characterized as a success.

“We want to develop further agreements with countries of origin,” Merkel said. “Member states will divide up the work; some will do the work for all of Europe.” She also called for greater control of external and internal EU borders.

“Smugglers and refugees cannot choose in which of the European member states they turn in their asylum applications,” she said.

But it was Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who summed up Sunday’s mini summit best. “The issue,” he said, “is still not solved.”

While a European solution was not identified, two points were agreed upon by participants, and they are that there is in fact a migrant crisis facing Europe, and secondly, that EU members can’t agree on what to do about it. The unity in the Union on this matter, therefore, is that the Union is not unified on this highly divisive matter. From this point, it appears that possible solutions to handling the influx of migrants is a matter to be dealt with bi and trilaterally.

Of course, addressing the core problems of why migrants are fleeing their home countries, and how the EU can play a role in influencing the situations for the better both for the migrants and in the EU’s own interests, as well as those of the UN’s charter, appear to be totally off the radar.

 

 

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James Woods Suspended From Twitter Over Satirical Meme That Could “Impact An Election”

James Woods crushes Jack Dorsey: “You are a coward, @Jack.”

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Outspoken conservative actor James Woods was suspended from posting to Twitter over a two-month-old satirical meme which very clearly parodies a Democratic advertisement campaign. While the actor’s tweets are still visible, he is unable to post new content.

The offending tweet from July 20, features three millennial-aged men with “nu-male smiles” and text that reads “We’re making a Woman’s Vote Worth more by staying home.” Above it, Woods writes “Pretty scary that there is a distinct possibility this could be real. Not likely, but in this day and age of absolute liberal insanity, it is at least possible.”

According to screenshots provided by an associate of Woods’, Twitter directed the actor to delete the post on the grounds that it contained “text and imagery that has the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election.

In other words, James Woods, who has approximately 1.72 million followers, was suspended because liberals who don’t identify as women might actually take the meme seriously and not vote. 

In a statement released through associate Sara Miller, Woods said “You are a coward, @Jack,” referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “There is no free speech for Conservatives on @Twitter.

Earlier this month, Woods opined on the mass-platform ban of Alex Jones, tweeting: ““I’ve never read Alex Jones nor watched any of his video presence on the internet. A friend told me he was an extremist. Believe me that I know nothing about him. That said, I think banning him from the internet is a slippery slope. This is the beginning of real fascism. Trust me.”

Nu-males everywhere non-threateningly smirk at Woods’ bad fortune…

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Another witness named by Ford becomes third person to deny being at party

A woman believed to have been one of five people at a party 35 years ago where Ford claims she was assaulted by Kavanaugh is now the fourth person to deny being at any such party.

The Duran

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Via The Washington Examiner


A witness, reportedly named by Christine Blasey Ford as one of the people at the high school party where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday she was not there.

The attorney for Leland Ingham Keyser told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Keyser does not remember being at the party Ford described as the location of the alleged assault.

“Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” Keyser said in the statement. CNN reported Keyser is a lifelong friend of Ford’s.

Keyser, whom the New York Times reported is one of the people Ford named as being in attendance at the party, is the third witness who has denied knowing about the alleged assault. Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth said earlier this week they did not remember the party in question.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegation.

The news comes after Ford, through her attorneys, tentatively agreed to testify on Thursday, after days of negotiations over the timing and conditions of her

Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had repeatedly extended deadlines set for Ford’s team on the decision, including three on Friday and one at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Grassley threatened to proceed with a committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Monday if he did not hear from Ford.

“Five times now we [have] granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed [with] her desire stated one [week] ago that she wants to tell senate her story,” Grassley tweeted Friday. “Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u.”

The extended discussions have been labeled a delaying tactic by some Republicans.

Ford’s attorneys and Grassley’s aides will reportedly continue negotiations Sunday on the details of the conditions of Ford’s testimony, per the New York Times.

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Was NYT Story About Rosenstein ‘Coup Attempt’ A Setup?

The New York Times is reporting that Rod Rosenstein pushed a plan to record President Trump and invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

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Via Zerohedge


Is the FBI trying to goad President Trump into firing the man in charge of supervising the Mueller probe? That’s what Sean Hannity and a handful of  Trump’s Congressional allies think.

According to a report in Politico, Republicans in Congress are approaching a story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein attempting to organize a palace coup with extreme caution, despite having twice nearly gathered the votes to remove him in the recent past.

On Friday, the NYT reported a bombshell story alleging that Rosenstein had tried to recruit administration officials to secretly tape conversations with the president in order to help justify removing Trump under the 25th amendment. Rosenstein vehemently denied the story, which was largely based on confidential memos written by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. And others who were reportedly in attendance at meeting between McCabe and Rosenstein said the Deputy AG was being “sarcastic” when he suggested that the president be taped.

Meanwhile, Trump allies including Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz are saying that the story should be treated with suspicion. Jordan and Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows once filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. But now, both Meadows and Jordan intend to proceed with caution, telling Politico that he would like to see the memos that the story was based on.

House Freedom Caucus leaders Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, who led a charge to impeach Rosenstein this summer, have said they want to hear from Rosenstein and see documents allegedly describing the comments before they decide what to do.That’s awarded Rosenstein a courtesy they’ve never given him in the past.

“I think Rod needs to come before Congress this week and explain under oath what exactly he said and didn’t say,” Meadows said at the Values Voters Summit Saturday.

The newfound hesitation to oust Rosenstein highlights a cautious approach Trump allies have adopted as the Republican party barrels toward a potential bloodbath in the midterms. Some Republicans fear Trump firing Rosenstein now would only further energize Democrats making the case to voters that the president is corrupt and needs to be reined in by a Democratic House.

[…]

In a Friday interview, Jordan, one of Rosenstein’s fiercest critics in Congress, sidestepped questions about whether the House should revisit Rosenstein’s impeachment or try to hold him in contempt of Congress. Rather, he said, a more focused push to obtain sensitive documents from the Justice Department — which Trump’s allies say would expose anti-Trump bias and corruption the FBI — is the most urgent priority.

“I want to see those memos and evaluate them,” said Jordan, who has clashed publicly with Rosenstein over access to documents and accused him of threatening House Intelligence Committee staffers, an allegation Rosenstein denied.

Politico cites two possible explanations for lawmakers’ hesitation: Republicans are running out of time before members devote themselves full-time to their reelection campaigns. Republicans are worried that the story could have been intentionally planted to provoke Rosenstein’s firing in order to improve Democrats’ chances of retaking the Senate AND the House (Trump actively moving to crush the Mueller probe would be quite the propaganda win for the Dems).

Sean Hannity took this latter theory a step further during his show on Friday evening, where he urged Trump not to fire Rosie and instead insisted that the story could have been a “trap”. He added that he had been told by “multiple sources” that the story was planted by unspecified “enemies of Trump.”

“I have a message for the president tonight,” Hannity said Friday night. “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody…the president needs to know it is all a setup.”

Still, a handful of conservative commentators, including Laura Ingraham, urged Trump to fire Rosenstein immediately. And for Trump’s part, he hinted at a rally Friday night in Missouri that he planned to “get rid” of the “lingering stench” at the DOJ, which many interpreted as a hint that his firing is imminent.

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