Mr. Spicer also said that Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump who suggested in an interview that the surveillance could have included a microwave oven, made the comment as a joke. “The microwave is not a sound way of surveilling someone, and I think that has been cleaned up,” Mr. Spicer said. “It was made in jest, so I think we can put that to rest.”
For Jews, well-primed with three generations of post-Holocaust trans-generational trauma and intellectually weakened by their educational system’s abject failure to transmit their rich, fascinating, millennia-old history and culture preceding the Holocaust, this is the result — in Israel at least (and to a much lesser extent in the diaspora): a fearful people, led by a fear-mongering and increasingly authoritarian prime minister, who have become so detached from the norms of civil society that they inform on a fellow citizen who expresses a dissident opinion.Now where have we heard of that kind of behavior before?
The small western German of Saarland moved on Tuesday to ban all foreign politicians from campaigning in the state.While the move prohibits all foreign officials from holding campaign rallies, the policy immediately targets Turkish officials. Allies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been rallying in European cities with large Turkish expatriate populations in a bid to harness the Turkish diaspora vote ahead of a controversial referendum vote next month that seeks to expand the President’s powers.”Internal Turkish conflicts have no place in Germany,” Saarland’s conservative State Premier Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who faces an election of her own next month, said in a statement. “Election appearances which put at risk domestic peace in our country must be banned.”
The Tohono O’odham – the name means desert people – have lived on both sides of the border since their lands were arbitrarily divided between the United States and Mexico some 160 years ago. Around 30,000 members of the nation live in Arizona. Meanwhile, several thousand more – and the majority of the nation’s sacred sites – can be found in Mexico.Trump’s wall would be a coup de grace for a nation whose territory doesn’t respect international borders and the Tohono O’odham have taken the fight to protect their lands to the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
“If they build the wall, it will be over my dead body,” says Verlon José, Vice President of the Tohono O’odham nation.
“This trip falls in the ‘love your neighbour’ category,” said Erik Hoeksema of the group. “We typically send groups down every two or three years to do similar projects.”The 12-member group set off on Saturday. But their road trip came to an abrupt halt at the US border, after officials told them the host church in the US should have provided documentation in advance outlining exactly what they would be doing while in the US.“This was a bit of mistake on our part, and the reason why we got ‘red-flagged’ to start with,” said Hoeksema. “But in the end, I was told that this was not the reason for us being denied entry.”Members of the church had volunteered south of the border before, taking part in projects in Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Canadians do not need a visa if they are volunteering in the US, as long as they are able to show that they will not be compensated for their work.The Reformed Church of Highland Park in central New Jersey responded immediately, sending over a letter that explained that the group was going to join the 3,000 volunteers who have so far helped 200 families get back into homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.AdvertisementBorder officials said the letter was not specific enough. Hoeksema asked the host church to send another letter, this time specifying the types of duties that the group would be carrying out.A second letter soon arrived, explaining that mission groups who travel to New Jersey carry out team building, tour programs that range from food pantries and thrift shops and assist with neighbourhood cleanup projects.It was this last line that border officials seemingly took issue with, said Hoeksema. “This was interpreted as ‘work for hire’ and since we are foreigners, this would be stealing American jobs.”Some five years after Hurricane Sandy hit the region, the need to carry out relief work was also questioned. “We were told that when there is an immediate need, volunteer groups usually are granted entrance,” said Hoeksema.After more than two hours spent at the border, the group – all of whom were carrying Canadian passports and who had travelled to the US before with no incident – was denied entry.
At 105 years old, Li Yuzhen is one of the world’s