In The News:
During a 68-day Eastern Pacific counter drug patrol, a crew with the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a large sea turtle entangled in $53 million worth of cocaine.
President Donald Trump cracked down Thursday on individuals and groups that his administration deems to be perpetrators or enablers of human rights abuses and corruption, the first action under a broad sanctions law passed a year ago.
Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency related to “serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world” and imposed sanctions on 13 individuals, using his authority under the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act.
With the passage of the GOP tax bill this week, the Trump administration has scored 81 major achievements in its first year, making good on campaign promises to provide significant tax cuts, boost U.S. energy production, and restore respect to the United States, according to the White House.
And along the way, President Trump even outdid his own expectations and slashed at least 11 major legacy items of former President Barack Obama, including cracking down on the open border, slowing recognition of communist Cuba and effectively killing Obamacare by ending the mandate that everyone have health insurance or face a tax.
According to the White House, the 81 accomplishments are in 12 major categories and include well over 100 other minor achievements.
A driver of Afghan descent accused of plowing a white SUV into a crowd of pedestrians Thursday in Melbourne, Australia, injuring at least 14 people in a “deliberate act” has a history of drug use and mental illness and was known to police “on historical assault matters,” police said.
When a group of bystanders in South Carolina saw a suspect giving a female police officer a rough time, they jumped in and helped subdue the man. Donald Songster Brown was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, and also for allegedly punching a female gas station clerk before the police arrived.
CINCINNATI – A man carrying two handguns who tried to storm into an Ohio hospital’s psychiatric emergency room shot and wounded a security officer, fired at a police officer and then fatally shot himself, police said Thursday.
A man heading to work on Monday thwarted an attempted rape after he tapped on a truck’s window and spotted a 28-year-old woman in the back with her mouth covered with duct tape and “fear in her eyes,” leading him to contact police, officials said.
Taylor O’Neill told FOX11 LA he was heading to work around 4:30 p.m. Monday when he drove down an alleyway in Santa Ana, but couldn’t get past a pickup truck that was blocking the road. O’Neill said he honked the horn, but the truck didn’t move, prompting him to get out of his vehicle to confront the driver
Government / Politics / Deep State:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered prosecutors at the Department of Justice to begin interviewing FBI agents about evidence they uncovered in a criminal investigation into a highly-controversial uranium deal that involves Bill and Hillary Clinton.
A group of House Republicans has been secretly investigating the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI for weeks, according to Politico.
Politico on Wednesday reported that the coalition is attempting to build a case that senior DOJ and FBI leaders improperly – and maybe criminally – mishandled a controversial dossier.
The newest Democratic congressional candidate in Massachusetts, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, is a prominent official of not one but two Islamist groups: Jamaat ul-Fuqra and the Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR).
Clarion Project was the first to report on Amatul-Wadud’s political aspirations when she expressed her intentions to eventually become the governor of Massachusetts.
Now, the 44-year old attorney just announced that she’s running in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’ 1st Congressional District, challenging Rep. Richard Neal, who has held the seat since 1988. The media coverage has focused on her status as an attorney in Springfield and that she is a four-year member of the Commission on the Status of Women.
BAGHDAD – Now that they’ve helped vanquish the Islamic State from much of Iraq, a battle-hardened militia with close ties to Iran may be training its sights on the remaining U.S.-led coalition troops scattered across the country.
The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday voted 128-9 to condemn the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in defiance of the Trump administration warnings that countries who join in such a rebuke risk a loss of foreign aid.
That warning from the U.S. was met with hostility from other UN members.
Ambassador Nikki Haley tells UN General Assembly: “America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do and it is the right thing to do. No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that.” Nikki Haley at UN General Assembly on America embassy in Jerusalem (C-SPAN)
Iran officially introduced a new ballistic missile the Islamic Republic says is not detectable by radar. Ballistic missiles can be used to deliver nuclear warheads.
The missile, dubbed the Zulfiqar, was unveiled December 17, at the Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran, according to the Iranian Fars News Agency.
According to Shiite tradition, the Zulfiqar was the legendary sword of Ali ibn Abi Talib given to him by Islam’s prophet Mohammed, his cousin and son-in-law. Ali was also the fourth caliph of Islam and the first imam of Shiite Islam. According to tradition, the sword was given to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel.