Russia, Turkey Tensions Heating Up
Vladimir Putin was dead serious when he warned Turkey that it would “regret more than once” shooting down a Russian fighter yet. Not only has the Russian president announced all kinds of sanctions against Turkey, but he’s now also surrounding the Islamist-led country with his military.
As Hurriyet Daily News reports, Putin has sent 14 helicopters to Erebuni air base in Armenia. Half of these helicopters are armored Mi-24 attack helicopters, while the other seven are Mi-8 model transport helicopters.
Meanwhile, Putin has also sent a submarine called the Rostov-on-Don to the Mediterranean. Russia has a naval base there, and the Russian president is apparently looking to give it a major boost: the submarine is armed with Caliber cruise missiles. PJ Media
Middle class no longer dominates in U.S.
Middle class Americans now comprise less than half, or 49.9%, of the nation’s population, down from 61% in 1971, according to a new Pew Research Center report. For Pew, middle class Americans live in households earning between two-thirds to two times the nation’s median income. In 2014, that ranged from $41,900 to $125,600 for a three-person household.
For decades, the middle class had been the core of the country. A healthy middle class kept America strong, experts and politicians said.
But more recently, these residents have struggled under stagnating wages and soaring costs. Presidential candidates on both sides of the political aisle are campaigning on ways to bolster the nation’s middle class and increase opportunities to climb the economic ladder. CNN
65 percent of Republican voters support Trump’s Muslim ban
A Bloomberg Politics poll out Wednesday reveals that Donald Trump’s controversial plan to ban all Muslims from entering the United States might not lose him many votes in the GOP presidential primary.
Just under two-thirds — 65 percent — of likely Republican primary voters say they “favor” the GOP frontrunner’s proposal and more than a third say that it “makes them more likely to vote for him,” Bloomberg reports. Among the general voting population, Trump’s plan doesn’t go over quite so well: 37 percent of likely voters favor Trump’s proposal and 50 percent oppose it. Just 18 percent of Democrats support the plan, with 75 percent against it. Bloomberg via The Week
Korean said it has built powerful H-bomb
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is suggesting his isolated regime has developed a hydrogen bomb. Kim was quoted Thursday by the official KCNA news agency saying North Korea is now “a powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant A (atomic)-bomb and H-bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty.”
KCNA said Kim made the comments while touring Phyongchon Revolutionary Site, a historic military site, in Pyongyang. A hydrogen bomb, also known as a thermonuclear bomb, is far more powerful than an atomic bomb because of the advanced technology involved.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said it was told by an official with the country’s intelligence agency that there is no evidence to support Kim’s claims. North Korea is under strict economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council for conducting three underground nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013. VOA
Muhammad Ali Denounces Anti-Muslim Rhetoric
One of the most well-known Muslims in the United States appears to have joined the rising chorus of criticism of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
In a short statement issued Wednesday titled “Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States,” former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali urged his fellow Muslims to push back against “those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda.”
Originally born Cassius Clay in 1942, Ali joined the Nation of Islam in 1964 and changed his name shortly after winning the first of his three heavyweight titles. He was stripped of his title after he was convicted on draft evasion charges for refusing to be drafted in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. His conviction was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ali, who has since converted to Sunni Islam, also lashed out against the recent ISIL-directed or inspired terrorist attacks, saying “there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.” VOA
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