Archive for May, 2014

US, China, Japan, Quandary.

May 2, 2014

( As I write this, President Obama has ended his Asian tour (sounds rockstaresque). Although he was met by major protest nearly everywhere he went, from the Philippines where protestors were sprayed with water hoses to Malaysia, his main worry continues to be how to deal with Japan, an ally but at the same time not offend one of America’s largest holder of U.S. debt – China.

In word, President Obama stated that the US Japan alliance was “stronger than ever” adding in so many words that America opposes any efforts (by China) to undermine Japan’s administration of the disputed and uninhabited Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea (note East China not East Japan). By taking this position, The President basically questioned China’s sovereignty and “legitimate interest,” to use the words of foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang, in the Diaoyu Islands, which they feel have nothing to do the Japan-US security treaty. Also, there remains the effort of the U.S. to implement Obamas GATT and NAFTA, the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which excludes China.

Some may argue otherwise, but it should be remembered that since the fall of japan after WW 2, it was clear that a primary objective of the occupation of Japan would be U.S. military control in the region for decades to come albeit not originally outlined in the Potsdam Declaration as such. This was achieved when General Douglas MacArthur, along with a few staff WROTE the entire new constitution of Japan that has lasted ever since. Specifically via But the most unique and one of the most important provisions came in Article 9, which outlawed the creation of armed forces and the right to make war.

This is a difficult prospectus for the U.S. while mainstream media incessantly pounds that China is faltering economically, the question is compared to whom? Not the U.S. for certain.   First, U.S. bureaucrats insist that the Chinese economy is in deep trouble, although the Chinese economy grewat 7.4% year-on-year for the first quarter of 2014. In particular when compared with the miniscule expanded 0.10 percent growth in the U.S. Gross DomesticProduct (GDP) observed in the first quarter of 2014 over the previous quarter. And loot will continue to flow in to China given the global demand for copper, soybeans and multiple investments and trade arrangements between China and South America. China has a large hand and equal investment in Copper in both Chile and Peru and Iron in Brazil as well as sustainable energy development in Venezuela. Plus one must recognize the long standing relationship China and Trinidad have in the Caribbean. The reality is that South America now imports more from China than it does from the European Union, according to the U.N. economic agency for the region.

Then there is the issue with China and Russia , which appear to be making moves toward quitting using (diversifying) the US dollar or at least significantly cutting the dollar share in their forex reserves (a move that will most likely broaden the Yuan’s daily trading range). Add to this that from of January 2013 to the end of July, the Bank of Russia reduced its stockpile of US Treasury securities from USD 164.4 billion to USD 131.6 billion (a reduction of US Treasury obligations by USD 32.8 billion, or by 20 percent), there are some serious issues on the table for the administration to address and not just give window dressing.

Even more important is that the military containment of China for the U.S. is the main reason this administration has proffered unequivocal support for Japan, although they are well aware that such may have a dire impact and strain on the U.S. economy. Specifically, speaking, if China desires to retaliate, in concert with Russia and other BRIC nations, the result could led to starting the demise of the dollar – meaning the American way of living will be severely impacted as a consequence with growing levels of inflation in the form of increases in the cost of food, clothing and gasoline and utilities.

It should be reminded, give the manner in which the U.S. has targeted Russia for what has occurred in the Ukraine, and leaving China out of the TPP talks, what we observe as closer interaction between Beijing and Moscow are really about protecting their domestic economies. But it is not farfetched to see that is they continue this close corporate, an outcome of bad and poorly thought-out U.S. foreign policy could be a direct challenge and attack on the dollar.

The U.S. concerns in China will prove to be challenging for the present administration. For one they are all over the place in policy and tend to reflect a moderately satirical ineptness to the goals and aims of their foreign policy efforts. On the other, I am still waiting (as I suspect others) for Mr. Obama to define what he means by “rebalancing” U.S. policy towards Asia, when his actions show opposite and even worse, the same old U.S. approach. By this I mean the neocolonial zeal reflected in President Obama’s desire to re-occupy the Philippines consequently continuing the United States historical imperialist agenda in Asia.

China has the second largest economy in the world and recently it has been project to pass the U.S, before the next year, with some economist suggesting that the size of the Chinese economy will become three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040. The concern is that much of the U.S. dollar’s valuation stems from its lock on the oil industry and if China and Russia and the BRIC nations can accomplish this, next thing is the dollar is gone and gold will rise. As I write and you read, Iran is already in the field trying out a non-dollar based international trade system.

It will be hard for Obama to both keep from upsetting China and at the same time appease Japan, as current news reports in the region have noted. It is the administration desire to maintain U.S. military hegemony in both Malaysiaand Philippines, by making sure neither nation ever reach the strength militarily equal to Vietnam, as well as do all possible to prevent China from reaching parity with the U.S as a naval power that could eventually challenge American in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. The obstacle is, has the Obama administration really thought about what their actions may result in, or are they just making it up as they go like they were in a game of pick-up and run?

Staff Writer; Torrance Stephens
For more articles by this talented brother do visit; Raw Dawg Buffalo.

Germany’s interest in Adolf Hitler at record levels

May 2, 2014

Germans more interested in Adolf Hitler than at any time since the Allied defeat of his Third Reich at the end of the Second World War, study finds

Some 2,000 books on Hitler were published in Germany last year

Some 2,000 books on Hitler were published in Germany last year Photo: ALAMY

Germans are more interested in Adolf Hitler that at any time since the end of the Second World War, a new study has concluded.

The German Media Control research group, which monitors broadcasting, found that documentaries about Hitler are aired twice a day on German television channels and that books and films about the Nazi leader are being produced in record numbers.

It established that 242 programmes dealing specifically with Hitler had been shown on television during the first four months of 2013, while 500 other films and documentaries that had dealt with the Nazi era in general had also been aired.

Some 2,000 books on Hitler were published in Germany last year.

The documentaries had titles which included Hitler’s Wonder Weapons, Hitler and the Holy Lance, Hitler’s War and Hitler’s Blitzkrieg.

Another film dealt with Hitler’s decision to ban traditional Rhineland Catholic carnivals. Germany’s public ZDF Info channel was found to have screened 109 documentaries on Hitler this year alone.

Robert Bachem, its director said: “As history is one of our main fields of interest, it is not surprising that we run many programmes about National Socialism.”

Sociologists have attributed the rise of interest in Hitler and the Nazis to the fact that the majority of today’s Germans have had no experience of the Second World War, are less ashamed of the period than previous generations and more eager to learn about it.

They point out that most of today’s Germans had family experience of the war only through parents or grandparents.

In many German families, the Second World War remained a taboo subject for decades after 1945.

However, this aspect is now also under scrutiny. A rash of new books by German authors in their fifties and sixties have sought to lift the lid on their families’ dark past.

In several cases the authors have been shocked to discover that their parents were dedicated, and sometimes brutal, Nazis.

Merkel With Obama In White House says No More Sanctions: German Firms Including Siemens, Volkswagen, Adidas, Deutsche Bank and BASF Reject Obama Foreign Policy

May 2, 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with President Obama on Friday to discuss economic sanctions on Russia. However, she is in a difficult position because many German businesses could be negatively affected.

By Matthew Karnitschnig
The Wall Street Journal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office Friday. Reuters

BERLIN— Angela Merkel is carrying a clear message from Germany’s business lobby to the White House: No more sanctions.

Several of the biggest names in German business—including chemical giant BASF   SE, engineering group, Siemens AG, Volkswagen AG, Adidas AG, and  Deutsche Bank   —have made their opposition to broader economic sanctions against Russia clear in recent weeks, both in public and in private. (Read the latest updates on the crisis in Ukraine.)

As a result, Germany’s position on additional, tougher sanctions is unlikely to shift, barring a dramatic escalation of the conflict in Ukraine—a message Ms. Merkel is expected to deliver to President Barack Obama when they meet in Washington on Friday, officials in Berlin say.

As the Ukraine crisis has worsened, German officials have faced a barrage of telephone calls from senior corporate executives, urging them not to take steps that would damage business interests in Russia, people familiar with the matter say.

Until now, Western sanctions have targeted individuals and companies, but the U.S. is pushing for broader sanctions that could hit entire Russian sectors if the situation escalates.

In public, some German corporate chieftains have warned against escalating the measures.

“If there’s a single message we have as business leaders, then it’s this: sit down at the negotiating table and resolve these matters peacefully,” Eckhard Cordes, a former Daimler AG executive who now heads the Ostauschuss, German industry’s lobbying arm for Eastern Europe, told a recent conference in Berlin.

BASF Chief Executive Kurt Bock, whose company is a close partner with Russia’s state-owned gas giant OAO Gazprom, recently admonished European politicians to consider the costs of sanctions and warned that unwinding the measures is often difficult. “It’s up to politicians and historians to determine efficacy of boycotts, but I have my doubts,” Mr. Bock said in an interview with the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Herbert Hainer, chief executive of Adidas—which outfitted Russian athletes in the Soviet era and operates more than 1,000 retail outlets in the country—has suggested the West should have done more to engage Mr. Putin. “One has to wonder if someone like Putin shouldn’t have been included in the process much earlier, instead of waiting until it was too late,” he said.

In most countries, it would be highly unusual for corporate executives to inject themselves into geopolitics and matters of national security with the forcefulness that a number of German business leaders have. But many of Germany’s largest companies have substantial Russian operations, built in some cases over decades, and worry that tough economic sanctions would rob them of a key growth market when their home market—Europe—is stagnant.

That has led to intense pressure on Berlin. Germany’s chancellor has repeatedly criticized Russia for its actions in Ukraine and warned the Kremlin it would face serious consequences if it doesn’t change course. Yet Ms. Merkel has stopped short of endorsing broader economic sanctions, opting instead to impose travel bans and asset freezes on individuals with close ties to the Kremlin.

“Merkel is coming knowing that she faces a heavy debate with the Americans,” said John C. Kornblum, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany who also previously served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for European affairs.

U.S. companies, which have less at stake in Russia compared with their European competitors, are expressing their concerns about further sanctions more privately with the Obama administration. American companies have stressed in Washington that proposed sanctions on broad sectors of the Russian economy, if pursued unilaterally, would cause Russian state-dominated industries to back out of deals with U.S. firms and open the market to competitors from Europe and elsewhere. Business officials in Washington say International Business Machines Corp.   , for instance, has urged the Obama administration to take as multilateral of an approach as possible to further penalties.

“The concern for business is that if it becomes a fragmented approach, with the U.S. going out in front of the Europeans, it won’t be effective,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president for international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “And we are worried about the boomerang effect of getting caught in the crossfire.”

U.S. business dealings in Russia include Boeing Co., Exxon Mobil’s Arctic venture with state-controlled oil giant OAO Rosneft. This week, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Rosneft’s chief, Igor Sechin, as well as Sergei Chemezov, head of a state conglomerate that includes aircraft production and Russian titanium used to build Boeing planes. 

Exxon Mobil said it is pushing ahead with its plans to drill in Russia’s Arctic seas—its biggest opportunity to discover oil and gas—though deteriorating relations between Moscow and the U.S. have increased the risks.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration was continuing to hold “informational conversations” with American companies over Russian sanctions. The White House has urged top U.S. executives to scrap plans to go to the coming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which Mr. Putin formally hosts.

On Thursday, PepsiCo Inc. said Chief Executive and Chairman Indra Nooyi canceled plans to participate in the forum. The company, though, said that the change of plans was due to a scheduling conflict rather than political tensions and that other executives from the snack-and-beverage giant would attend.

Germany isn’t alone in Europe in its reluctance to take a harsher line with Moscow. Italy and Greece also have resisted a more aggressive response because of the potential impact on their economies. Some of Washington’s closest military allies, including Japan, Egypt and Israel, also are cautioning the Obama administration against taking steps that could permanently rupture Mr. Putin’s ties to the West, according to Asian and Middle East officials.

But Germany’s size and economic weight make its voice especially crucial. Without Berlin’s backing, U.S. attempts to box in Russia through sanctions and other measures will be hampered.

Some 6,200 German companies, from industrial giants such as Volkswagen to small family-owned machine-makers, are active in Russia, more than those in the rest of the EU combined. Many of those companies, both in public and behind the scenes, have warned that any sanctions affecting trade with Russia could cost tens of thousands of German jobs and hit the economy hard, officials in Berlin say.

“There’s no question that Germany’s economic interests would be best served by avoiding sanctions,” said Klaus-Jürgen Gern, an economist at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a leading German economic institute.

German economic growth could decline by as much as two percentage points if harsh sanctions were leveled against Russia, according to an analysis by the Kiel Institute led by Mr. Gern. Under current economic forecasts, that could push Europe’s largest economy into recession.

A breakdown in Germany’s trade relations with Russia could cost as many as 300,000 German jobs, according to the German government.

Germany’s bilateral trade with Russia is relatively modest, at €76 billion ($105.4 billion) in 2013, and Russia accounts for about 3% of German exports. But Germany derives one third of both its gas and oil from Russia. The latter point is critical, Mr. Gern said, because a loss of access to Russian oil would hit the German economy hard. A $20-per-barrel increase in the price of crude alone would shave about one percentage point off German growth, according to the institute’s analysis.

Many big German companies were active in the Soviet Union and began an aggressive expansion into Russia and its neighbors after the fall of communism. German industry’s focus on heavy engineering made it well-suited to service a vast region hungry to modernize everything from its railroads to its energy sector.

Russia itself accounts for a fairly modest, though not inconsequential, proportion of total revenue for most big German companies. What the figures don’t reflect is the importance of Russia as a growth market.

Just days after Russia annexed Crimea, Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser visited Mr. Putin at his residence outside Moscow, posing for the cameras with the Russian leader.

While Ms. Merkel has censured Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Mr. Kaeser described the geopolitical crisis as “temporary turbulence.”

One reason German companies have been more vocal on German foreign policy is that their home market has waned in importance. Siemens, for example, generated less than 15% of its €77 billion in global revenue in Germany last year, compared with 28% in the Americas.

That dynamic has made some German companies less beholden to their own governments than in previous decades.

“You’re dealing with a global German industry that barely hangs onto its German identity, while at the same time using it to its advantage to do business in places like Russia,” Mr. Kornblum said.

Deutsche Bank would suffer little direct impact from economic sanctions against Russia, but Jürgen Fitschen, the bank’s co-CEO, recently warned against taking further punitive measures against Moscow, arguing that the broader economic damage could be substantial.

Volkswagen, which sells about 300,000 vehicles in Russia and considers the country its key European growth market, has also urged against a rash response. “”We’re counting on everyone in the East and the West to handle this situation with prudence,” Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said recently.

Ms. Merkel’s efforts to build a united front at home against Russia have been further undermined by her predecessor as chancellor, Gerhard Schröder.

Mr. Schröder, who is the chairman of Gazprom’s Nord Stream AG pipeline subsidiary and a personal friend of Mr. Putin’s, traveled to St. Petersburg this week to celebrate his 70th birthday. He was photographed embracing Mr. Putin upon the Russian president’s arrival.

Though Mr. Schröder’s affinity for Russia and Mr. Putin are well known, the symbolism of the party as German soldiers were in the custody of pro-Russian forces in Ukraine drew harsh criticism from some in Germany.

The party, organized by Nord Stream, underscored the close ties between Gazprom and Germany’s business community. Several German executives, including representatives from BASF’s gas subsidiary, Wintershall, and German power company E. ON SE, attended the party, as did Germany’s ambassador to Russia.

Philipp Missfelder, the foreign affairs speaker for Ms. Merkel’s center-right bloc in parliament, also joined the celebration.

—William Mauldin, Mike
Esterl and Jay Solomon
contributed to this article.

Write to Matthew Karnitschnig at


Angela Merkel arrives at White House to talk of Ukraine crisis

May 2, 2014

Washington: President Barack Obama welcomed Germany’s Angela Merkel to the White House Friday, seeking to secure united European backing for tougher sanctions on Russia’s economy should the Kremlin escalate the crisis in Ukraine.

The president and the Chancellor met days after both the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on key political and business figures around President Vladimir Putin.

The measures followed the failure of a deal brokered in Geneva to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine and the refusal of Russia to rein in pro-Moscow separatist groups in southeastern Ukraine.

So far, the sanctions adopted by either side have been limited to personal visa and asset bans against prominent people in Putin’s inner circle, branded “cronies” by the White House.

But Washington warns that it will impose tougher sanctions that will hit directly at key sectors of the Russian economy, if Putin for instance marches troops currently massed on the border of Ukraine directly into the country.

Such a scenario would entail a tough political choice for European leaders like Merkel, who are under intense pressure from powerful business interests dismayed at the potential loss of important markets and investments in Russia.

On Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney denied Washington and the EU had butted heads over possible new sanctions.

“There has been a great deal of collaboration and cooperation in that effort between the United States and the EU, as well as all the members of the G7, so we expect that effort to continue,” he said.

“We expect to continue a path that sees an international coalition escalating the costs that Russia will have to endure and pay if Russia refuses to keep its commitments.”

Carney added that the United States and EU members each have “a different kind of economic relationship with Russia, and so sanctions will affect different nations differently.”

After their talks Merkel and Obama will hold a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, the site of a sumptuous state dinner hosted by the US leader for his guest three years ago. Since then, relations between Berlin and Washington have been hit by the continuing damaging fallout over revelations of National Security Agency (NSA) spying in Germany, including the tapping of Merkel’s mobile phone, which the US says has now been stopped.

Obama has sought to mend fences with Merkel after the revelations by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Obama said in an interview broadcast in Germany in January that Merkel had no need to worry about the United States spying on her in future.

But after Obama extended the invitation for a visit, Merkel noted that it would take “more than one trip” to repair the damage.

Her spokesman Steffen Seibert has said that, although Berlin last year pressed for a mutual “no-spy” pact with Washington, “concrete results” were not expected during Merkel’s brief stay.

The United States never seemed willing to sign on to such an agreement, observers say, while Obama stressed that his country would continue to conduct intelligence operations.

The two leaders will also try to give new momentum to the proposed EU-US free trade deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Merkel supports the treaty in seeking opportunities for German companies, but there are doubts on both sides of the Atlantic whether the pact is politically viable.

During her trip to Washington, Merkel will also address the US Chamber of Commerce, and meet International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, and US senators.

As Merkel met Obama, German lawmakers fumed over criticism by top Republican Senator John McCain’s stinging criticism of her over Ukraine, saying she was blocking the adoption of tougher sanctions.

“I would tell her that I am not surprised but embarrassed at their failure of leadership. They’re the leaders, they’re being governed by the industrial complex from Germany,” McCain said.

Top-selling German newspaper Bild said McCain had “attacked” Merkel with “crass” comments.

A leading lawmaker from Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, Karl-Georg Wellmann, told news website Spiegel Online that McCain’s accusation that industry called the shots for the German government was “vicious nonsense.”




National Day of Prayer: James Dobson Calls Obama The ‘Abortion President’

May 2, 2014


By Shadee Ashtari
The Huffington Post

Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) walked out of the National Day of Prayer event at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, saying she was “outraged” after James Dobson, founder of the conservative Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family, called President Barack Obama the “abortion president.”

“President Obama, before he was elected, made it very clear that he wanted to be the abortion president. He didn’t make any bones about it,” Dobson, whose organization recently won a temporary injunction against the Affordable Care Act’s employer contraception mandate, said on Thursday. “This is something that he really was going to promote and support, and he has done that, and in a sense he is the abortion president.”

In an interview with The Huffington Post on Thursday, Hahn called the speech deeply “inappropriate” and a violation of the event’s symbol as a nonpartisan day of unity.

“He goes on about health care and … providing abortions, and at that point I stood up and I pointed my finger at Dr. Dobson and I said, ‘This is inappropriate!’ and walked out,” Hahn told HuffPost.

“Dobson just blew a hole into this idea of being a nonpartisan National Day of Prayer. It was very disturbing to me … and really a shame,” Hahn, the co-chair of the weekly congressional prayer breakfast, added. “James Dobson hijacked the National Day of Prayer — this nonpartisan, nonpolitical National Day of Prayer — to promote his own distorted political agenda.”

Dobson also read from a recent letter he said he had sent to “250,000 people,” in which he proclaimed that “The Creator will not hold us guiltless if we turn a deaf ear to the cries of innocent babies.”

“So come and get me, Mr. President, if you must,” Dobson concluded his letter. “I will not yield to your wicked regulations.”

The event, sponsored by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), was organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a conservative evangelical Christian non-profit, whose chairwoman is James Dobson’s wife, Shirley Dobson.

In April, task force vice chairman John Bornschein defended the event against criticism that it was promoting evangelical beliefs, describing the day as a nonsectarian gathering.

“This is not about proselytizing,” Bornschein said in April. “This is purely about prayer and praying for our leadership and asking for God’s wisdom and blessing over our leaders.”


Dobson to Obama: “Come and Get Me”

Christian leader refuses to bow to ‘wicked regulations’ of ‘abortion president’

WASHINGTON – James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and Family Talk Radio, a harsh critic of President Obama and an opponent in court, on Thursday described him as the “abortion president” during an address at the National Day of Prayer.
Dobson, whose organization recently won a court fight against Obama over a mandate in Obamacare that would have required his ministry to pay for abortion pills, has not been shy about challenging the president on his abortion agenda.

At one point during the fight over the imposition of the abortion mandate, he said to the president: “Come and get me. I will not yield to your wicked regulations.”

The fact that Obama is more supportive of abortion than any other chief executive in the U.S. was touted by none other than Planned Parenthood.

In a report on his 2013 keynote address to a gala by Planned Parenthood, the largest player in the nation’s abortion industry, Cecile Richards, chief of the organization, said: “President Obama has done more than any president in history for women’s health and rights. He understands that access to birth control and preventive health care are economic issues for women and their families.

“We fought alongside him to ensure that women’s health access was expanded in the landmark Affordable Care Act, and now we have to fight hard to ensure that the full promise of health care reform is realized for millions of women.”

At the prayer day event, where he was one of several speakers, Dobson described how Obama said he would become the abortion president.

“He has made it so that every American will have to pay toward the support of abortion,” he said, noting the $250 million in taxpayer funds that already goes toward Planned Parenthood’s funding.

He implored listeners to “keep fighting.”

“We can win. And keep prayer because that’s what really made a difference here.”

WND reported just days ago when U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn issued an injunction preventing the federal government from imposing the abortifacient mandate or its penalties against Dobson and his radio ministry, Family Talk.

Dobson wrote then in a note to friends: “We are celebrating and thanking the Lord this morning. Victory is ours. We won our case against [former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and the Obama administration.”

Get James Dobson’s classic, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense,” from the WND Superstore.

He continued: “Judge Blackburn wrote a powerful statement, which even used pro-life language, (i.e., referring to a ‘human fetus’). He defended my right to follow the dictates of my conscience. It was eloquent.”

Dobson explained then what the ministry and its few dozen employees were facing.

“The mandate requiring that we provide abortifacients such as the morning after pill would have begun on May 1st. After that, if we hadn’t prevailed, fines amounting to $800,000 per year would have kicked in,” he said.

“We would have closed our doors.”

See Dobson’s comments:


WASHINGTON – James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and Family Talk Radio, a harsh critic of President Obama and an opponent in court, on Thursday described him as the “abortion president” during an address at the National Day of Prayer.

China’s war on Christians — Communist Government Destroys Church Building, Now Tears Down Christian Statues

May 2, 2014

The Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou had been demolished by April 28.

The Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou had been demolished by April 28.
  • Government officials destroyed statues on Longgang Hill, a pilgrimage site in city of Wenzhou
  • Authorities claim it is because buildings are illegal but it is being seen as part of a wider crackdown on Christianity
  • A church was also demolished after six weeks of protests to try and save it

By Sam Creighton

Christian monuments have been destroyed by the Chinese government in a move that will fuel fears of a state sponsored crackdown on the religion.

On Saturday, fifty officials blocked entry to Longgang Hill, in the city of Wenzhou – know as China’s Jerusalem – a site of pilgrimage for the country’s Christians. They used cranes to rip up statues and built walls around three others – depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Saint Jospeh – which weigh up to five tonnes each.

There were no clashes with worshipers, as government workmen kept a promise not to damage the three bricked-off statues.

The torn up monuments are being stored at a church property in Hengdaiqiao, a Wenzhou suburb, but all other relgious decoration on the hilltop park was destroyed.

The authorities are claiming the construction of the park was illegal but Christians say this is just a pretext to justify their persecution.



Joseph, a Wnnzhou Catholic who declined to give his full name for security reasons, told UCA News: ‘Even if the authorities determined that erecting religious articles on the site is against the law, they should allow us to appeal through legal means. This could help build the rule of law in society and stop corruption.’

Another anonymous witness to the destruction said: ‘About 100 Catholics who came to watch the removals were blocked at the entrance. Some who managed to sneak in sang hymns and prayed while watching. Some could not hold back their tears.’

Two days later, bulldozers were sent in to demolish the city’s Sanjiang Church, which was only completed last year at a cost of £2.84million.

The church’s destruction is the end of a six-week-long struggle which had seen thousands of Christians camped outside the building in a bit to save it.

UCA News also reported that last week, state officals beat up four Christians who were trying to prevent the demolition of a four-storey building, owned by a Catholic laymen.

The authorities claimed that the building’s top two floors had been built illegally and that it was being used as a site for underground worship.

Four bulldozers started demolishing Sanjiang church in Wenzhou on Monday, after six weeks of protests

Four bulldozers started demolishing Sanjiang church in Wenzhou on Monday, after six weeks of protests

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(CNN) — A massive church was razed to the ground this week in Wenzhou, a coastal Chinese city nicknamed the “Jerusalem of the East” for its large Christian population.

Local officials responsible for the demolition say the church was an illegal structure that was four times the permitted structure size. But Christian groups are concerned that the demolition signals an official campaign against religious organizations.

The Sanjiang Church took 12 years and 30 million yuan ($4.7 million) to build, reports Chinese media. Its soaring spires were a symbol of worship in a city that is fifteen percent Christian.

The church was originally a government-approved project under the official “Three-Self Patriotic Movement,” a state-sanctioned Protestant church. Last September it was lauded by the local government as a model engineering project.

But the official rhetoric has since changed entirely.

Jin Leibo, a spokesperson from the propaganda department of Yongjia County, where Sanjiang Church was located, told CNN that the church was destroyed as it was “illegal.”

“The building area should be within 1,881 square meters, but they built 7,928 square meters illegally,” Jin said. The church was asked to “self-rectify” by April 22, but workers only managed to tear down 500 square meters by deadline, according to officials.

By Monday evening the church had been flattened by bulldozers.

Five local government officials are currently under investigation in relation to the illegal construction of the church, according to Jin. One official was arrested, and another is in custody.

Representatives of the church could not be reached for comment by CNN.

U.S.-based Christian rights group China Aid says the faithful are worried that the church demolition could be a sign that the government is tightening its grip over the spread of Christianity in China.

The organization claims that churches in different parts of Wenzhou and Hangzhou are currently “facing persecution” as a result of a provincial campaign against religious structures that was set into motion after Zhejiang Party Secretary Xia Baolong visited churches across the province and deemed them “too conspicuous.”

Under Communist Party rule since 1949, China is officially an atheist country, but Christianity is growing. According to the Pew Research Center, China’s Christian population had reached 67 million by 2010, the second largest in Asia.

The church’s demolition on Monday was preceded by a month-long standoff between supporters of the church and local authorities, with supporters occupying the church to protest its destruction.


Officials in eastern China must abandon plans to demolish churches and crosses and stop their
Parishioners line up outside the Sanjiang church in Wenzhou hoping to save it from demolition Photo: Tom Philips

Russia warns of “catastrophic consequences” after “full-scale attack” has been launched by Ukrainian military

May 2, 2014

Eastern Ukraine: Insurgents claimed to have shot down two helicopters and the skies are filled with acrid smoke

Ukraine has launched a military assault on the flashpoint town of Slavyansk, raising the stakes in the showdown with Russia, which has promised “catastrophic consequences” if Kiev stepped up operations.

Insurgents shot down two army helicopters, killing two servicemen, including a pilot, as the army tightened its noose around the rebel-held town of 160,000 people.

Ukrainian soldiers and a helicopter near Slavyansk (EPA)

The predawn offensive drew a sharp response from Moscow, where a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said it dealt a “final blow” to a deal clinched last month in Geneva meant to ease the crisis.

A spokeswoman for insurgents in Slavyansk, the epicentre of tensions in eastern Ukraine, said the army had staged a “full-scale attack” on the town.

An AFP reporter on the scene saw a column of eight armoured vehicles breaching a rebel-held checkpoint just south of Slavyansk and heard explosions and sporadic small arms fire as helicopters circled overhead.

A pro-Russian checkpoint in Slavyansk (REUTERS)

The raid marked a dramatic escalation in the crisis and jeopardised negotiations to release seven European OSCE inspectors being held by Slavyank’s insurgents.

The Kremlin said it had an envoy in east Ukraine negotiating for their freedom.

A day earlier, Ukraine’s interim president reintroduced conscription amid fears of an imminent Russian invasion.

Oleksander Turchynov has also put his armed forces on “full-combat alert” in response to the estimated 40,000 Russian troops massed on the border.

He has admitted police are powerless to stop a growing insurgency in the eastern part of the country, where pro-Russian rebels have seized control of more than a dozen towns and cities.

As the crisis rapidly spirals into the worse East-West confrontation since the end of the Cold War, US President Barack Obama was due to discuss the tensions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House later Friday.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced the Slavyansk death toll on his Facebook page, adding that there were also personnel wounded in the operation.

“It’s a real battle we are waging against professional mercenaries,” he wrote, warning local residents to stay indoors and keep away from windows.

“Our demands for the terrorists are simple: release their hostages, lay down their arms, leave administrative buildings and restore the normal functioning of the urban infrastructure.”

One Slavyansk resident, Vladimir Pader, told Russian television: “Everyone – rebels and Slavyansk residents – is determined not to surrender the city.”

Eight armoured vehicles and several soldiers were seen retrenching positions at checkpoints and warned off anybody trying to approach.

Authorities said they had retaken nine rebel checkpoints.

Central Slavyansk remained relatively calm, although rebels parked a previously captured armoured vehicle in front of the town hall where the OSCE monitors are being held.

In what they called an “antiterrorist” operation, the Ukrainian forces had for days encircled the town to prevent the insurgents receiving reinforcements.

Russia’s foreign ministry warned Thursday that any effort by Kiev to intensify its military operation “against its own people” in the east could have “catastrophic consequences”.

And Russian news agencies quoted Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that while Moscow was “making efforts to de-escalate and settle the conflict”, Kiev had launched a “reprisal raid”.

He said the raid was “essentially finishing off the last hope for the feasibility of the Geneva accord”.

Russia’s envoy to the OSCE, Andrei Kelin, said Moscow had urged the pan-European body to “take steps to stop this reprisal raid,” according to the ITAR-TASS news agency.

Hopes had been raised in recent days that the seven OSCE hostages in Slavyansk – four Germans, a Dane, a Czech and a Pole – might soon be released but Ukraine has accused the rebels of wanting to use them as human shields.

The West and Kiev believe the chaos in eastern Ukraine is being sown by Moscow in a bid to destabilise the former Soviet republic ahead of planned presidential elections on May 25.

The Kremlin denies the charges, but has reserved the right to use troops to protect Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine, a region with deep cultural and historical ties to Moscow.

The Western response has been to launch sanctions against members of Putin’s inner circle and target key firms in a bid to attack Russia’s already recession-hit economy.

Moscow has reacted angrily, threatening to retaliate against Western interests in the lucrative energy sector but has vowed a measured response.

All eyes are now on Obama and Merkel’s meeting in Washington to see what the West’s next move will be.

Also later Friday, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union will hold talks over debts running into billions of dollars that state-run Russian gas firm Gazprom says Kiev owes.

Putin has warned that not paying the bill, which Gazprom estimates at $3.5 billion, could lead to him turning off the taps, which would also affect several European countries.

Kiev is expected to use part of a $17-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, announced on Wednesday, to settle the bill.

Financial market analyst Holder Schmieding said the situation in Ukraine was “a whale of a risk” for the European economy.

The unrest in Ukraine, which started with peaceful demonstrations in Kiev in November against pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to ditch a pact for closer integration with the EU, has rapidly degenerated into a full-blown global crisis.

After a deadly crackdown on protesters, Yanukovych was forced out in February, sparking fury in Moscow which responded with a blitz annexation of Crimea.

The pro-Russia rebels who have been steadily taking more ground in the east vow to hold their own Crimea-style “referendum” on independence on May 11 – two weeks before the nationwide presidential vote.

Pro-Russian rebels shoot down two Ukraine government helicopters on Friday, killing two crew — Putin says helicopters destroyed international peace plan

May 2, 2014


Ukrainian soldiers stay near of a checkpoint seized by them not far of Slaviansk, May 2, 2014..


Ukrainian soldiers stay near of a checkpoint seized by them not far of Slavyansk, May 2, 2014. Roman Pilipey—EPA


(Reuters) – Pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian helicopters on Friday, killing two crew, as troops tightened their siege of separatist-held Slaviansk and Moscow accused Kiev of launching a “criminal” assault that wrecked hopes of peace.

Though Ukrainian forces appeared to be carrying out one of their most concerted military operations yet, their advance on the ground was limited. Nevertheless, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman accused Kiev of firing on civilians from the air in a “punitive operation” that destroyed an international peace plan.

A Ukrainian military helicopter lands near a Ukrainian checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014. REUTERS-Baz Ratner

A Ukrainian military helicopter lands near a Ukrainian checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014.   REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Russia was “extremely worried” about the fate of Russians in the city, including an envoy sent to help free German and other foreign hostages, the Kremlin spokesman said.

The dramatic language seems to raise the stakes, as Moscow has tens of thousands of troops massed on the border and claims the right to invade if needed to protect Russian speakers.

Reuters journalists in Slaviansk, the most heavily fortified bastion of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, heard shooting break out and saw one helicopter opening fire before dawn. Ten hours later, the city was largely quiet, with shops shut and armed separatists in control of the streets.

A pro-Russian separatist guards a checkpoint as tyres burn behind him near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014. REUTERS-Baz Ratner

A pro-Russian separatist guards a checkpoint as tyres burn behind him near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014.   REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Advancing Ukrainian forces in armored vehicles took up positions closer in to the suburbs, but rebels still controlled most of the city of 130,000.

The separatist pro-Russian militants also made more moves on Thursday, seizing a rail control center for the Donetsk region, a railway official said. By cutting off power, they had all but paralyzed train traffic.

Kiev said the firing of missiles that brought down its helicopters was evidence that Russian forces were present in the town. Moscow denies that its troops are on the ground.

Nonetheless, Kremlin accounts of grave threats to civilians highlight the risk of a Russian move to seize territory ahead of a vote the rebels aim to hold on May 11 seeking a mandate to break with Kiev, like one held in the Crimea region before Moscow annexed it in March.

For Russians, the Kremlin’s rhetoric of “fascists” in Kiev launching a “punitive operation” evokes the depredations of Nazi German invaders in World War Two, being given extensive state media coverage as next week’s anniversary of the Soviet victory is used to foster national pride and nostalgia.


On the square outside city hall in Slaviansk, about 100 people gathered on Friday and said they were appealing to Putin to send troops to help them.

Businesswoman Tamara Voshchanaya said: “What can you think when the sound of cannon makes you jump out of bed, when helicopters are flying over and shooting at our guys?

“We are ready to stand firm, we will not abandon the guys. Give us weapons, and we too will go against the Right Sector,” she said, referring to a Ukrainian nationalist group, which Moscow says is menacing Russian speakers across Ukraine.

On the town’s southern outskirts, eight Ukrainian armored personnel carriers cut off the road but faced a cordon two deep of local residents shouting at them to go home.

Some rebels threw up new barricades of felled trees.

Putin’s popularity has soared with the seizure of Crimea and talk of restoring Moscow’s former empire. This week he restored the Soviet-era tradition of holding a May Day parade on Red Square, where marchers carried banners hailing the acquisition of Ukrainian territory.

The European Union said it was watching events in eastern Ukraine with growing concern. But Kiev is not a member of NATO and Western leaders have made clear they will not fight to defend Ukraine.


The Ukrainian Defence Ministry said in a statement that two Mi-24 attack helicopters had been shot down by shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles while on patrol overnight around Slaviansk. Two airmen were killed and others wounded.

The aircraft normally has two crew but can carry more.

Other Ukrainian officials and the separatist leader in Slaviansk said earlier that one airman was taken prisoner.

A Ukrainian military helicopter flies near a Ukrainian checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014. REUTERS-Baz Ratner

A Ukrainian military helicopter flies near a Ukrainian checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A third helicopter, an Mi-8 transport aircraft, was also hit and a serviceman wounded, the Defence Ministry said. The SBU security service said this helicopter was carrying medics.

Ukrainian officials said their troops overran rebel checkpoints and Slaviansk was now “tightly encircled”.

Putin’s spokesman heaped blame on the Ukrainian government, which took power two months ago after pro-Western protests forced the Kremlin-backed elected president to flee to Russia.

Noting that Putin had warned before that any “punitive operation” would be a “criminal act”, Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies that this was what had now happened at Slaviansk.

Peskov said Putin had sent an envoy, Vladimir Lukin, to southeast Ukraine to negotiate the release of European military observers held by the rebels, and that Lukin had not been heard from since the Ukrainian operation began.

“While Russia is making efforts to de-escalate and settle the conflict, the Kiev regime has turned to firing on civilian towns with military aircraft and has begun a punitive operation, effectively destroying the last hope of survival for the Geneva accord,” he said, referring to a deal on April 17 signed by Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union.

Mi-8 transport helicopter

Under that agreement, separatists were supposed to lay down their arms and vacate the public buildings they have seized in about a dozen towns they have seized across the Russian-speaking east. Since then, however, they have tightened their grip.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said it persuaded separatists to leave two buildings in the city of Luhansk on Friday.

The SBU said the deadly use by the separatists of shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles was evidence that “trained, highly qualified foreign military specialists” were operating in the area “and not local civilians, as the Russian government says, armed only with guns taken from hunting stores”.

On his Facebook page, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov posted: “The goal of our anti-terrorist operation and, at the same time, our demands to the terrorists are simple:

“Free the hostages, lay down weapons, vacate administrative buildings and get municipal infrastructure back to normal.”

He urged local people to stay indoors and said Ukrainian forces, from the Interior Ministry, National Guard and the armed forces, had orders not to fire on residential buildings.

The rebels said they had the upper hand.

“They wanted to carry out some small-scale tactical operations just to scare the people,” said a militant manning a checkpoint leading to the army-held airfield.

“But so far things have not worked out the way they wanted.”

(Additional reporting by Natalia Zinets and Elizabeth Piper in Kiev; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Peter Graff)


A pro-Russian separatist stands guard on top of an armoured personnel carrier in the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014. REUTERS-Baz Ratner

By David Stout
TIME Magazine

The mayor of separatist-held Slavyansk, in the country’s restive eastern region, claimed on Friday that pro-Russian insurgents shot down several helicopters as the Ukrainian military launched an unspecified operation near the city

Updated 8:23 a.m. ET

The tense situation in eastern Ukraine appeared in danger of spiraling out of control Friday, as the government launched its first big assault on pro-Russian insurgents occupying cities, the insurgents shot down government helicopters, and Russia said the renewed violence that killed at least three people had ended any hope of a peaceful end to the standoff.

The insurgent-appointed mayor of the east Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, claimed that pro-Russian forces occupying the city shot down helicopters on Friday morning as the Ukrainian military kicked off an operation near the rebel enclave, the Associated Press reports. There were conflicting reports about how many helicopters were shot down—Russian state news outlet RT reported that at least three helicopters had been downed by pro-Kremlin militia fighters, but that couldn’t be immediately confirmed and other reports said two choppers were downed. At least one helicopter pilot was killed during the fighting, while another had been detained, the AP reports.

That came after the Ukrainian military launched an unspecified operation near the rebel-held city on Friday morning, with news of sporadic gunfire and explosions erupting on the city outskirts. The new pro-Western government in Kiev has been grappling with Russian encroachment for month, starting with a crisis in Crimea that led Russia to eventually annex the peninsula, and more recently with insurgents who have been occupying buildings in several Russian cities.

Russia signaled that the latest violence would doom any hope of a sustaining a peace deal that was reached last month in Geneva, one the United States and Ukraine have accused Russia of never respecting in the first place. Dmitri S. Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, called the latest Ukrainian military moves a “punitive operation” that had killed “all hope for the viability of the Geneva agreements,” the New York Times reports.

During a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, Putin called for the withdrawal of “all military units” in southeastern Ukraine.

Insurgents have taken over state buildings in at least a dozen cities in Ukraine’s southeast since Russia annexed Crimea in late March.


Donald Sterling Destroyed Himself. But Who Is The Woman Donald Trump Called “The Girlfriend from Hell”?

May 2, 2014
Billionaire Donald Trump weighed in on the alleged racist comments from Clippers owner and fellow Billionaire Donald Sterling over the weekend, condemning the comments but also calling the woman involved in the conversation “the girlfriend from hell.” Image: Donald Trump, Darryl Dennis/Icon SMI
  • Model Vanessa Stiviano, 31, at center of Donald Sterling race hate scandal after recording his rants
  • Pictured celebrating with a basketball-themed cake at the Staples Center restaurant with Sterling in October
  • Spotted going to the nail salon today with her signature visor hat
  • Friends say she has started seeing a counsellor to deal with the stress of the scandal and has enlisted security guards because of death threats
  • Announced she would President of the United States earlier this week

By Ryan Parry In San Antonio, Texas and Martin Dryan and Meghan Keneally

Donald Sterling’s mistress was not only able to trick him on the phone but new photos reveal that she was able to convince him she was a decade younger as well.

Pictures show that V. Stiviano and her octogenarian lover celebrating her ’21st’ birthday on October 25 even though she is actually 31-years-old.

The photos show Sterling standing next to his model girlfriend as she is presented with a cake in the style of a basketball.

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Donald Sterling's former girlfriend Vanessa Stiviano and her entourage arriving at KOI Restaurant for dinner

Donald Sterling's former girlfriend Vanessa Stiviano and her entourage arriving at KOI Restaurant for dinner

Masked: Donald Sterling’s former girlfriend Vanessa Stiviano and her entourage arriving at KOI Restaurant in LA for dinner

Donald Sterling's former girlfriend showed off some skin wearing a mesh blouse with a black bra underneath, black leather shorts matching her Chanel tote bag and Gladiator style black leather open toe booties

Donald Sterling’s former girlfriend showed off some skin wearing a mesh blouse with a black bra underneath, black leather shorts matching her Chanel tote bag and Gladiator style black leather open toe booties

Personalized cake: V. Stiviano is pictured with Donald Sterling at her birthday celebration last October, and she was presented with a cake saying 'Happy 21st Birthday' even though she is 31-years-old

Personalized cake: V. Stiviano is pictured with Donald Sterling at her birthday celebration last October, and she was presented with a cake saying ‘Happy 21st Birthday’ even though she is 31-years-old


Playful: Stiviano threatened to put icing on her 80-year-old lover's face at the party which was held in the Staples Center where the LA Clippers play their home games

Playful: Stiviano threatened to put icing on her 80-year-old lover’s face at the party which was held in the Staples Center where the LA Clippers play their home games

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Birthday girl: Stiviano was pictured attending a home game at the stadium that evening in unusually formal attire

Birthday girl: Stiviano was pictured attending a home game at the stadium that evening in unusually formal attire

Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, right, and V. Stiviano, left, the woman who recorded his racist rants

Trump on the “Girlfriend from Hell.” —


 — Ball Don’t Lie

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has cancer, according to a Thursday report in the New York Post later confirmed by ESPN.

Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski wrote Saturday that, in recent years, “The commissioner’s office believed Sterling was sick and dying.” The Post reported that Sterling, 80, is fighting prostate cancer, and has been in failing health for some time:

“They thought he would die two years ago,” one source said of Sterling […]

“People have been predicting his imminent demise. I’m sure he has the best . . . drugs money can buy,” said the source, who works closely with pro sports teams. “He can do anything to keep himself alive.”

On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the NBA for life and fined him $2.5 million following a league investigation confirming that Sterling did make the racist comments featured on audio recordings published last weekend. Silver also announced that the NBA would immediately begin working to force Sterling to sell the team he purchased for $12.5 million back in 1981.

That process began in earnest on Thursday, with the Advisory/Finance Committee of the NBA’s Board of Governors unanimously agreeing to move forward with the termination of Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers. Sterling has said that the Clippers are not for sale, and it is expected that he would contest any sale without his consent in court.

Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

Stay connected with Ball Don’t Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL, “Like” BDL on Facebook and follow BDL’s Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.–according-to-reports-051503312.html

Nancy Pelosi: “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. Why aren’t we talking about something else?”

May 2, 2014


“Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. Why aren’t we talking about something else?”

By David Sherfinski
The Washington Times

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday dismissed newly unveiled communications suggesting the White House helped shape the public message that blamed a video for the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

“What I will say is, again, diversion, subterfuge: Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. Why aren’t we talking about something else?” she said at her weekly press briefing. “Whatever was in that — what I know of what I’ve read in the press about those emails was very consistent with what was put out there before. I don’t think there’s anything new there.”

SEE ALSO: House GOP: Obama withholding Benghazi email is ‘criminal’

Mrs. Pelosi made the remarks on the same day the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on the attack that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, said at the hearing that it was “perhaps criminal” of the White House to withhold information surrounding the attacks.

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, echoed the White House’s line that the information was not turned over despite a subpoena because it wasn’t specifically about Benghazi. The information was obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch through an open-records request.

She said the public would be better served by more focus on issues like raising the minimum wage, immigration reform, and reinstating unemployment insurance benefits.

“We want to be everybody on the same side of the American people, and that is why many of us do what we do to engage in the political process because of the policy that makes a difference to the American people,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

“It’s going to be an exciting debate, and if you all want to sit around and talk about Benghazi, you can sit around and talk about Benghazi. But the fact is, that’s a subterfuge that they don’t want to talk about — jobs, growth, immigration reform, voting rights, you name it,” she said.

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