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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Concerned With Obama’s Iran Policy,

Sunni Countries Turn To China And Russia

Responding to President Obama’s diplomatic outreach to Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab countries are exploring closer relationships with China and Russia at the expense of the U.S.

According to a senior Jordanian diplomat speaking to this column, the Kingdom of Jordan last week participated in a meeting with high-level Saudi officials to discuss the ramifications of Obama’s phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rohani. The Arab countries expressed deep concern about talk of the U.S. easing ties with their foe, Iran.

In the meeting, the leaders discussed having the Saudis and other Sunni Arab nations offer Russia and China larger roles in diplomacy and trade. In exchange, the Russians and Chinese would be expected to scale back some of their support for Iran and Syria while taking a more balanced approach toward the Sunni Arab world.

Currently, Russia and China exert heavy influence on Syria and Iran while the U.S. has closer relations with the Sunni Arab axis in the Middle East.

The Saudis raised the possibility of offering Chinese and Russian companies lower prices on oil to compete with Iran.

According to the Jordanian diplomat, Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi ambassador to Washington, expressed concern that escalated economic outreach to Russia and China could negatively impact the U.S. economy. Saudi Arabia is already the largest oil exporter to China.

 

John Bolton: Obama Is Playing

Into Iran’s Charm Offensive

President Obama’s phone call and diplomatic outreach to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is playing into Tehran’s “fraudulent” charm offensive and represents a victory for Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton warned in a radio interview earlier this week.

“I think for those who are opposed to Iran getting nuclear weapons, the best we can hope for is that no deal is reached; that the fraudulent nature of this diplomatic charm offensive will be revealed,” Bolton told WABC’s Aaron Klein Investigative Radio. The former diplomat warned that “Iran is not prepared to make any real concession on its program.”

He continued: “People will see that Iran is determined to keep the capability to build a nuclear weapon. I am afraid, however, that both the United States under the Obama administration and Europe have been all too ready for some period of time to legitimize the Iranian nuclear weapons program.”

Bolton warned that if Iran retains the capability to enrich uranium to reactor grade levels, “it retains the critical capability to enrich to weapons-grade levels.”

 

Congressional Bill Would Tie Border Agents’ Hands

The type of constraints placed on the immigration enforcement efforts of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office will soon be implemented nationwide if the immigration-reform bill currently under consideration by Congress is passed.

On Wednesday media outlets reported that U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow issued a ruling that requires the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to collect data on law enforcement actions to ensure against the discrimination of Latinos and other minorities when asking for a suspect’s immigrant status.

Snow imposed further measures to stop so-called discrimination, including cameras in every deputy’s car, oversight by a community advisory board, and a court-appointed monitor.

The measures are not simply the designs of a district judge. The immigration bill being considered in Congress has many of the same requirements, including some that could shackle U.S. border agents in their attempts to halt illegal immigration.

Amid a government shutdown over partisan debates about Obamacare, some Republicans are reportedly working behind the scenes to negotiate the passage of immigration reform.

Under the immigration-reform bill, reviewed by this column, Border Patrol agents or any other law-enforcement officer who stops a vehicle to demand identification of suspected illegal aliens might be found in violation of the law.

The legislation bars all federal law-enforcement officers, including border agents, from using race or ethnicity “to any degree” while making routine or spontaneous law-enforcement decisions.

Similar to the measures imposed on Sheriff Joe’s office, the immigration bill further calls for the Homeland Security Department to collect data on immigration enforcement activities to determine the existence of racial profiling. The data would be utilized to issue future guidelines to officers regarding the use of race or ethnicity during routine enforcement.

 

Foreign Company To U.S. Voters: Trust Us

Scytl, the foreign-headquartered company that recently purchased the leading U.S. electronic voting firm, wants the public to know it can be trusted in the election process. To back its claim, Scytl issued a press release last week boasting that the company continues to receive “industry expert recognition” for its election technology breakthroughs.

This column, however, has learned the firm vouching for Scytl has links to billionaire activist George Soros.

KleinOnline recently reported Scyrl acquired the software division of a non-profit election organization tied to Soros’s Open Society Institute. KleinOnline also reported that Scytl announced its technology will be deployed at more U.S. jurisdictions ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

Now the company has issued a press release announcing Scytl “continues receiving electoral and industry expert recognition for its end-to-end election modernization technology and electoral roadmap implementation approach from organizations such as IDC, Ovum and ACEEEO.” Ovum is a technology advisory firm.

Scytl’s release further quotes Nishant Shah, research analyst at Ovum. Shah authored a recent report, “On the Radar,” that hailed Scytl’s election offerings. The Scytl release quoted Shah stating: “We believe Scytl’s wide variety of offerings, investment into certifications, and emphasis on security, auditing, and testing position the company as a dominant provider in election modernization.”

Shah’s biography page at Ovum’s website says he facilitated large-scale, public-private partnerships in international health for the Global Business Coalition. He also worked with the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS issues.

Soros is the Global Business Coalition’s founding supporter.

Shah’s bio further notes the analyst provided management services support to technology investees of the Acumen Fund in Pakistan. Soros’s daughter, Andrea Soros Colombel, serves on Acumen’s board. She is also a member of the global board of Soros’s Open Society Foundation.

Another Ovum author is Margaret Goldberg. Her Ovum bio notes that prior to joining the firm, she interned for three years at the Soros Economic Development Fund.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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