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Saudi Arabia wants to construct a moat around Qatar

QatarFlagmap
© All Flags World/Fahad Almaymoni
Saudi Arabia wants to cut off Qatar - literally.

The Middle Eastern kingdom is considering building a 60-kilometer-long moat around Qatar, which would virtually isolate the country.

Saudi state-linked news outlets reported this week that digging the so-called Salwa Marine Canal project would cost $750 million and aims to generate economic activity and tourism in the area. Other reports, from Saudi's Al-Riyadh newspaper, suggest the kingdom would construct a military base on one part of the border, while the other portion would be used as a dumping ground for nuclear waste. The project is still awaiting official approval, according to the reports.

The construction plans come nine months after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE imposed a blockade on Qatar - cutting off trade and transport routes - in response to Qatar's ties with Iran and alleged terrorism financing. Food imports were blocked, air travel barred, and Qatari diplomats were expelled from the quartet of countries.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, met in Washington this week to discuss de-escalating the tensions in the region and fighting ISIS.

Comment: Well this will be truly 'ground breaking' news should the Saudis follow through with their plans. The proposed nuclear waste dumping ground is a perfect place for this idea.


Snakes in Suits

Supreme Court strikes down Trump felon deportation law

SupremeCourt
© Raw Story
The US Supreme Court has struck out part of a federal law that makes it easier to deport immigrants convicted of crimes. Justice Neil Gorsuch, appointed by Trump in 2017, cast the deciding vote.

In a 5-4 decision on Tuesday, the court found that the law, which mandated deportations for immigrants convicted of a "violent felony," was vague and unenforceable and therefore unconstitutional.

The decision was made in the case of James Dimaya, a Filipino immigrant living in the US since 1992. Dimaya was found guilty of two charges of burglary in California in 2007 and 2009, and the US government pressed for his removal from the country, arguing that his crimes were sufficiently violent to trigger deportation.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco had previously struck down the deportation provision, when it heard the case in 2015.

Comment: See also:


Quenelle

US cities sees protest against tripartite aggression on Syria

US protest syrian attack
Anti-war on Syria protests broke out in Washington and Los Angeles cities on Sunday.

The demonstrators gathered in front of the White House and chanted slogans condemning the tripartite US-British-French aggression which was launched on Syria Saturday.

Another protest was set up in downtown Los Angeles, demanding the US and its allies to refrain from launching further attacks and to not interfere in the Middle East's affairs.

Coffee

Starbucks to temporarily close all 8,000 US cafes for racial bias training

starbucks Philadelphia
© Mark Makela / Reuters
Police officers monitor activity outside as protestors demonstrate inside a Center City Starbucks, where two black men were arrested, in Philadelphia, US
The world's biggest coffee company Starbucks has announced that it will close all of its company-owned cafes in the United States for one afternoon on May 29 to educate employees about racial bias.

The announcement comes as the company tries to cool tensions following an incident in its Philadelphia store, in which two black men were arrested.

Starbucks said the training for its 175,000 employees will be developed with guidance from experts including former attorney general Eric Holder. It will also provide training materials for non-company workers at roughly 6,000 licensed Starbucks cafes that will remain open in locations such as grocery stores and airports.

Comment: This Twitter user summed up the situation rather well:

Most stores have anti-loitering policies. Was this this really a case a racism, or is this another instance where the left's cynical view of the world has displaced facts in favor of 'social justice'?


Handcuffs

US Navy faces allegations of stealing ship plans and software from vendors

us navy destroyer
© CC0
A pair of legal battles has entangled the United States Navy with allegations of intellectual property theft.

The US Navy is facing significant legal scrutiny after it allegedly installed software on hundreds of thousands of computers through its vendor for the software, Germany-based Bitmanagement, says the service was only allowed to download 100 copies according to their agreement.

Bitmanagement stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the July 2016 lawsuit. The company has now requested that federal court in the United States provide a summary judgement on the matter in the protracted legal dispute, Torrent Freak reported March 16.

Phoenix

The return of Roseanne and how working class women would like snooty feminists to butt out of their lives

roseanne

Roseanne Barr says Hollywood’s meddling sisterhood should butt out of the lives of regular women
Roseanne Barr is back. After 20 years, she's back on the screen with her loud mouth, her blue-collar humour, the same couch, same sister, husband and kids.

They're older, and ­Donald Trump is in the White House, but not much else has changed.

And Roseanne's television resurrection couldn't have come at a better time. Plenty are keen to hear more from the woman who mercilessly mocked the snooty sisterhood in her first iteration as "America's bourgeois nightmare".

Speaking to John Lahr for his profile of her in The New Yorker in July 1995, Barr aimed both barrels at Hollywood women such as Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon and Jodie Foster, saying they were "talented but f..kin' deluded".

Bizarro Earth

Alabama governor defends Confederate monuments, says call for removal 'Politically correct nonsense'

confederated monument alabama
© Hal Yeager / Getty Images / Agence France-PresseFP
A covered confederate monument in Linn Park, Birmingham, Alabama.
Alabama's Republican Governor Kay Ivey released a campaign ad Tuesday, defending a bill she signed last year to protect her state's Confederate monuments. Ivey called demands to remove the monuments "politically correct nonsense."

"Up in Washington they always know better...politically correct nonsense I say," runs the ad. "When special interests wanted to tear down our historical monuments, I said no!"

Last May, Ivey signed the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, legislation that blocked local governments from removing monuments or renaming public schools that have existed for more than 40 years.

Comment: More libtard snowflake-y nonsense. "If I don't see it, it didn't happen" is the logic of a child.


Pistol

OPCW head: UN security team shot at in Syria's Douma delaying arrival of chemical weapons inspectors

OPCW Syria
© AP Photo / Bassem Mroue
OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu has told a meeting at the OPCW headquarters in The Hague that the UN security team was forced to retreat, delaying the arrival of chemical weapons inspectors due to visit the site.

The UN team had reportedly arrived in the town to see if it was safe enough to start investigating an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government. When they were shot at, they decided to withdraw from the city, according to Uzumcu.

Earlier, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Ja'afari stated the UN security team had traveled to the Syrian town of Douma on April 17 ahead of a planned visit by the international chemical weapons experts on April 18 to look into the suspected chemical weapons attack.

Comment: Random violence - or a concerted effort on the part of the White Helmets, head-choppers and Western powers to keep the UN security team and OPCW from getting to the bottom of the "chemical attack" in Douma?


No Entry

Facebook may be banned if it does not comply with Russian data storage law

Facebook ban Russia
© Shailesh Andrade / Reuters
Russian law requires all social networks to move data on Russian users to Russia. Facebook is also obliged to remove all prohibited information.
Facebook has until the end of 2018 to comply with Russia's data storage law, or be banned like messenger service Telegram or professional networking website LinkedIn.

The law requires all social networks to move data on Russian users to Russia. Facebook is also obliged to remove all prohibited information, according to the head of Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor, Aleksandr Zharov.

"If none of [the steps are taken by Facebook] or some of this is not fulfilled, or the Russian state is not informed of the intention to do so, then obviously there will be a question of blocking," Zharov told Izvestia daily.

The professional network website LinkedIn has already been banned in Russia for refusing to comply. The popular messenger Telegram was blocked in Russia after refusing to provide Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) with keys to decrypt its messages.

Comment: See also: Moscow blasts Facebook's totalitarian tendencies for banning Russian accounts


Briefcase

Judge rules to unseal 11 cases related to Starr's Clinton investigation, could be possible source of strategies for Mueller investigation

Bill Clinton Monica Lewinsky
© Getty
White House intern Monica Lewinsky with then President Clinton
Eleven court cases associated with independent counsel Ken Starr's investigation into President Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky will largely be made public, a federal judge decided Monday in response to a request from CNN.

The opinion in DC federal court outlines how judges may step in to disclose grand jury matters, especially after enough time has passed and when the public has an interest in them.

Though Chief Judge Beryl Howell's opinion Monday deals with secret legal proceedings from 20 years ago, it could offer a road map for making court records in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation public eventually.

"The district court is notably absent from this list of the persons bound by" rules governing grand jury secrecy, Howell wrote.

Howell also oversees proceedings related to the grand jury assembled by Mueller.