Top News Stories for Today – May 16, 2016
Netanyahu lashed out at Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at Iran Sunday for staging a Holocaust-themed cartoon contest that mocked the Nazi genocide of six million Jews during World War II and said the Islamic Republic was busy planning for another one.
Iran has long backed armed groups committed to Israel’s destruction and its leaders have called for it to be wiped off the map. Israel fears that Iran’s nuclear program is designed to threaten its very existence. But Netanyahu said that it not just Iran’s belligerent policies that Israel opposed, but its values.
“It denies the Holocaust, it mocks the Holocaust and it is also preparing another Holocaust,” Netanyahu said at his weekly Cabinet meeting. “I think that every country in the world must stand up and fully condemn this.”
State Department spokesman Mark Toner, traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry in Saudi Arabia, said the United States was concerned the contest could “be used as a platform for Holocaust denial and revisionism and egregiously anti-Semitic speech, as it has in the past.” VOA
China’s 50th Cultural Revolution
Fifty years ago today, the Chinese Communist Party started the country down a path to the Cultural Revolution, which it said would bring about a more just society, but in practice led to complete social and economic disaster. This seemingly momentous anniversary was all but ignored and met with virtual silence from China’s state-run media.
On May 16, 1966, Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong began the campaign by purging several top party officials and announcing his agenda that ostensibly sought to return power to the working class that had been usurped by the bourgeois.
What followed wasn’t the communist utopia Mao had planned, but a brutal period of violence, food shortage and economic hardship that led to the persecution and death of millions of people. Now it seems as if the Chinese government would rather forget the Cultural Revolution entirely. There were no official events being held Monday and no newspapers on mainland China made mention of the anniversary. VOA
Philippine to bring back death penalty
On Sunday night, Rodrigo Duterte, the presumptive president-elect of the Philippines, said he plans to bring back capital punishment, banned in 2006, and allow police to “shoot to kill” in certain cases.
“What I would do is urge Congress to restore the death penalty by hanging, especially if you use drugs,” Duterte told reporters in Davao City, where he has been mayor for 22 years. He would also reportedly seek the death penalty for rape and robbery. Duterte further warned that “if you resist, show violent resistance, my order to police [will be] to shoot to kill,” especially “for organized crime.” Set to be sworn in June 30, Duterte ran on a tough-on-crime platform. AFP, GMA News via The Week
Glenn Beck to meet Zuckerberg
Conservative pundit Glenn Beck is set to meet with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday to discuss the social network’s approach to covering conservative news, Beck said in a Facebook post Sunday.
In an earlier report, Gizmodo alleged that Facebook intentionally suppresses conservative-leaning news stories. “Mark wanted to meet with 8 or 10 of us to explain what happened and assure us that it won’t happen again,” Beck wrote. Facebook, Re/code via The Week
US Presidential election
Obama swipes Trump: On Sunday, President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to give the commencement speech at New Jersey’s Rutgers University, celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. In a 45-minute speech before 10,000 graduates and 40,000 guests, Obama joked about local sandwiches, a local bar, and also threw several sharp elbows at presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, without mentioning him by name. “The world is more interconnected than ever before, and it’s becoming more connected every day,” Obama said at one point. “Building walls won’t change that.” At another, he took implicit aim at Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan: “When you hear someone longing for the good old days, take it with a grain of salt.” SA Today, The Washington Post via The Week
Trump won’t have good relationship with Cameron: Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump dismissed criticism from British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday by saying, “It looks like we are not going to have a very good relationship.” Trump has been heavily criticized by Cameron — who has called him “divisive, stupid, and wrong” — as well as by London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan. In an interview with Piers Morgan, Trump said, “I’m not stupid, OK?” Also in the interview, Trump said he has no skin in Britain’s upcoming vote on whether or not to leave the European Union, claiming a “Brexit” would not impact trade with the U.S., contrary to recent statements from President Obama insisting it would put Britain at “the back of the queue” for a U.S. trade deal. Time, Politico via The Week
Trump keep dominates US media: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has kept a lower public profile in recent days, but remains a focal point of the nation’s political discussion. But despite having cut back on campaign events and speaking engagements, he continues to dominate America’s political and media landscape. From impersonations on late-night comedy shows to political talk shows, viewers cannot escape Trump on U.S. television or fail to hear him mentioned at almost any political event. VOA
Voters don’t care Trump’s personal life: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Donald Trump will have to answer questions about his conduct toward women, but said Republicans voters aren’t “judging” the party’s presumptive nominee on his personal life. “I don’t think Donald Trump is being judged based on his personal life,” Priebus said. “I think people are judging Donald Trump as to whether or not he’s someone that’s going to go to Washington and shake things up. That’s why he’s doing so well.” USA Today
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Related articles from around the web
- Riot Control Robot Unveiled in China Looks Ominously Like a ‘Doctor Who’ Dalek, May In Fact Be One (boingboing.net)
- The limits to Chinese political power (eastasiaforum.org)
- 83 Senators Demand Obama Boost Aid To Israel (mintpressnews.com)
- Lt. Gov. Colyer returns from one-week trip to Israel (cjonline.com)