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Blinken’s ‘good news, bad news’ comment on drug seizures criticized

Blinken’s ‘good news, bad news’ comment on drug seizures criticized

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was criticized late Tuesday after a video emerged of him at a press conference in Ecuador calling a record number of drug seizures in the country a “good news, bad news” story. Blinken was participating in a joint press conference with Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo in Quito, the country’s capital. The two were asked about security and migration and Blinken said narcotrafficking is a shared concern for both nations.The U.S.’s top diplomat said both countries are working to equip police and give law enforcement the tools needed to combat trafficking.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting with Human Rights organizations and civil society in Quito, Ecuador, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Santiago Arcos/Pool via AP)
(Santiago Arcos/Pool via AP)”We are working together and facilitating what had been– in both a good news, bad news story– record drug seizures,” he said. “The good news being we’re effective, the bad news being it’s a record drug seizure—which means the problem, in a sense, is even larger.”The Republican National Committee seized on Blinken’s comment and posted a short clip with the caption, “WATCH: Secretary of State Antony Blinken admits ‘record drug seizures’ at the border, but insists it’s a ‘good news, bad news story.”GOP GOVERNORS UNVEIL 10-POINT PLAN TO END BORDER CRISIS, URGING BIDEN TO ACTBliken seemed to be referring to the trafficking situation in Ecuador. Earlier in the conference, he talked about the exceptional measures that Quito has taken to deal with the narcotrafficking.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens as U.S Ambassador to Ecuador Michael J. Fitzpatrick speaks during a meeting with Human Rights organizations and civil society in Quito, Ecuador, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Santiago Arcos/Pool via AP)
(Santiago Arcos/Pool via AP)Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso late on Monday declared a state of emergency in parts of the country over the issue, Reuters reported.”In the streets of Ecuador there is only one enemy: drug trafficking,” Lasso said in a broadcast, according to the report. “When drug trafficking grows so do assassinations and homicides, robberies of homes, vehicles, goods and people.”The State Department did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News. Supporters of the Biden administration would likely point to Ecuador’s cooperation as an example of the administration taking aim at the “root causes” of the border crisis and working in partnership with key countries. Drug trafficking is also being felt at the U.S. border. Fox News reported earlier this month at a border entry in Pharr, Texas, where Customs and Border Protection seized $1.2 million worth of cocaine and fentanyl on Oct. 1. Mark Daniels, the sheriff of Cochise, Arizona, told “America’s Newsroom” last week that the war on drugs in the U.S. will likely worsen until the border is secure.”They’ve set us up for failure here on the southwest border completely,” he said. “And let me give you some numbers that kind of highlight what’s going on. This fiscal year we’ve had 10,000 pounds of fentanyl, 180,000 pounds of meth, 86,000 pounds of cocaine, 5,000 pounds of heroin, and 311,000 pounds of marijuana come through the southwest border this fiscal year.”Blinken said it was his hope that the U.S. and Ecuador continue to grow their relationship and named the country as one of the first partners in the “Build Back Better World Program.” He said the program will make investments in climate-resilient infrastructure projects, with high environmental as well as labor standards.  “That’s going to create jobs, it’s going to support local communities, it’s going to make progress against the climate crisis – all at the same time. 

Russia suspends its NATO mission as Defense Secretary visits NATO aspirant countries

Russia suspends its NATO mission as Defense Secretary visits NATO aspirant countries

The U.S. Defense Secretary’s itinerary to Eastern Europe was bound to anger Moscow, which announced it was shuttering its NATO mission and kicking NATO diplomats out of Moscow.”We don’t have proper conditions for basic diplomatic activities,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  Moscow blames NATO for not being interested in “equal dialogue or joint efforts to defuse military-political tension.” The decision comes after NATO expelled eight diplomats from Russia’s mission earlier this month, saying they were working as undeclared intelligence officers.En route to NATO this week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Georgia and Ukraine, two NATO aspirant Black Sea neighbors that the Russian military invaded and continue to partly occupy. FBI SWARMS DC HOME OF RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE WITH TIES TO PUTIN
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran share a word as they attend a welcome ceremony ahead of their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Gleb Garanich/Pool Photo via AP)

Biden nominee Saule Omarova calls financial services 'quintessential a****** industry'

Biden nominee Saule Omarova calls financial services 'quintessential a****** industry'

President Joe Biden’s nominee for Comptroller of the Currency in the Department of Treasury once used a strong epithet to refer to those in the financial services industry, raising questions about her objectivity if confirmed to the post.”The financial services industry, in my view, and I don’t think I’m alone here, is the quintessential a****** industry,” Cornell University law professor Saule Omarova can be seen saying in a video circulating on social media. 
President Biden listens during the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)BIDEN’S PICK TO REGULATE NATIONAL BANKS RECEIVED ‘LENIN’ AWARD, PRAISED USSR FOR GENDER EQUALITY”Federal regulators must be fair and impartial, but Joe Biden’s bank regulator, Saule Omarova, has called the financial services industry, the ‘quintessential a****** industry,’” the American Accountability Foundation posted on Twitter. “How could anyone expect to be treated fairly by her office?”Omarova’s comment is the latest controversial move from the Biden nominee, who has already received opposition from at least one Democratic senator in the heavily divided Senate.BIDEN COMPTROLLER PICK SAULE OMAROVA REFUSES TO TURN OVER MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY THESIS ON MARXISMSen. Jon Tester, a member of the Banking Committee that will vet the nominee, has already said that he has “concerns” about Omarova, who has received strong pushback for her position that the Federal Reserve should provide bank accounts for Americans instead of private institutions, which she says will “end banking as we know it.”Additionally, Omarova has drawn scrutiny over her past comments and studies, as she refuses to turn over her thesis on Marxism while a student at Moscow State University. Omarova was born in the Soviet Union in what is now the nation of Kazakhstan and graduated from Moscow State University in 1989. She pointed favorably to the USSR’s practices as recently as 2019, when she tweeted about the gender pay gap, citing the USSR as a better model.U.S. Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey, R-Pa., last week asked Omarova to turn over a copy of her thesis – in both English and the original Russian – for review by the committee no later than Oct. 13. Her thesis, titled “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital,” remains an item of interest to some members of the committee. 
UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1865:  Karl Marx (1818-1883), philosopher and German politician.  (Photo by Roger Viollet Collection/Getty Images)

Youngkin vows to hold Loudoun County officials responsible after alleged sexual assaults

Youngkin vows to hold Loudoun County officials responsible after alleged sexual assaults

Glenn Youngkin lays out his education plan Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin laid out his education plan on Tuesday night, addressing teacher pay, higher standards for students, a ban on critical race theory in schools, and concerns about alleged sexual assaults involving a male student in a girls’ restroom.BURKE, Va. – Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin promised to bring transparency, accountability, choice, and higher standards to the state’s schools, condemning the Loudoun County School Board for allegedly covering up a male student’s alleged sexual assault against a female student in a girls’ restroom. The male student allegedly assaulted another girl at another school months later.”A young girl was sexually assaulted in her school, and the administrators, those who were trusted with not only her education but her safety, tried to cover it up,” Youngkin declared in his speech at the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department Tuesday night. “And they quietly moved the offender, an offender being prosecuted for sexual assault, to another school, where he was able to do it again. Two young girls have been sexually assaulted because our system, our system failed to protect them.”
Glenn Youngkin addresses the crowd in Burke, Va.
(Tyler O’Neil/Fox News)”As a Virginian, I’m heartbroken for these girls and their families,” Youngkin said. “I’m heartbroken at how their government leaders failed them. As a father, I am ignited with an unwavering resolve to not just fix this but to hold those who have failed our children accountable.”YOUNGKIN CAMPAIGN AD USES MCAULIFFE’S WORDS TO SHOWCASE HIS STANCE AGAINST PARENTS INFLUENCING SCHOOLSAfter Loudoun County parents called for the resignation of the superintendent and members of the school board, the superintendent apologized and a board member resigned. Many parents remain unsatisfied. Youngkin spoke to a crowded room, with hundreds unable to enter due to the capacity limit. Many in the crowd held signs reading “Parents for Youngkin,” sending a clear message on education.Youngkin also attacked the Department of Justice under President Biden, which directed to the FBI to investigate what the Justice Department called a “disturbing trend” of “threats of violence” at school board meetings, seemingly acting on the request of an organization that compared some parents to domestic terrorists.LOUDOUN COUNTY PARENTS DEMAND SUPERINTENDENT RESIGN OVER ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULTS IN SCHOOLS”Instead of investigating parents, the Department of Justice should be investigating those who have covered up a heinous crime on our students,” the Republican declared.
Asian Virginians gather to support Glenn Youngkin
(Tyler O’Neil/Fox News)Youngkin laid Virginia’s education failures at the hands of his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who previously served as governor between 2014 and 2018. “Terry McAuliffe had his chance and he failed,” the Republican argued. Younkin faulted McAuliffe for lowering educational standards, “so he could claim fewer failing schools.” Indeed, in 2015, McAuliffe signed a bill ordering a deemphasis on standardized test results in accrediting Virginia public schools. While 88 schools were denied accreditation under the old standards in 2017, no school has been denied accreditation since the new standards went into effect in 2018. 
A girl plays peekaboo with a baby at a Glenn Youngkin rally.
(Tyler O’Neil/Fox News)He cited horrific stats on math and reading, and faulted education bureaucrats for taking instructions from the teachers unions during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping schools closed for longer than they should have been, and causing “unquantifiable learning loss.”MAJORITY OF VIRGINIA PARENTS WANT A SAY IN THEIR KIDS’ EDUCATION, FOX NEWS POLL FINDSYoungkin also hit McAuliffe for his debate remark that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” The Republican said McAuliffe had been “exposed” by this comment, which he “spoke from his heart.”The Democrat recently launched an ad claiming that Youngkin had taken that quote out of context, but the Republican’s campaign shot back with an ad showing McAuliffe standing by the statement seven times.Youngkin laid out his education plan.The Republican promised to address danger in schools by encouraging them to hire school resource officers – and by threatening to withdraw funding if they refused. He also promised that schools would coordinate with law enforcement and that schools would have to report crimes to law enforcement on his watch. He also pledged a full investigation of the Loudoun County School Board.Youngkin also laid out some central principles: transparency for parents to know what schools are teaching their children; democracy for parents to have the right to say what schools teach; equality in judging people by their character rather than their skin color; investment in teacher pay; excellence in raising standards; and school choice.
Virginians gather to support Glenn Youngkin
(Tyler O’Neil/Fox News)He also pledged to ban critical race theory in schools, and to raise standards for all students. He particularly lamented the low success rates of Black and Hispanic students. He also pledged to form a task force of teachers and parents to “expose those areas where politicians have been failing our children.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAfter Youngkin addressed the crowd inside the fire station, he took a bullhorn and addressed the hundreds outside. Due to the small capacity of the fire station, hundreds stood in line as the Republican spoke, but he rewarded their patience with a brief speech outside.
Glenn Youngkin speaks to supporters outside after his speech.
(Tyler O’Neil/Fox News)

Seventeen states ask Biden, Garland to stop intimidating parents into silence at school board meetings

Seventeen states ask Biden, Garland to stop intimidating parents into silence at school board meetings

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, along with 16 other state attorneys general, penned a letter to President Biden and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding the federal government cease efforts to intimidate parents into silence at school board meetings.”Your recent action seeks to chill lawful dissent by parents voiced during local school board meetings by characterizing them as unlawful and threatening,” the attorneys general wrote in the letter, led by Rokita.US COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS MEMBERS BLAST AG GARLAND FOR MEMO ON PARENTS PROTESTING SCHOOL BOARDSA memorandum issued by Garland, which was released shortly after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to Biden claiming some clashes between school boards and parents may amount to “domestic terrorism,” calls for the FBI to take the lead on a task force to address threats against school officials, including creating a centralized way to report such threats. Discussing the memo, the 17 chief law enforcement officers from each state argued that it is “based upon a flawed premise” and violates “First Amendment rights of parents to address school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff on educational matters by seeking to criminalize lawful dissent and intimidate parents into silence.”In addition to its claim of an increase in the “acts of malice, violence and threats against public school officials,” the NSBA letter also called for the Biden administration to invoke the Patriot Act, which Congress passed to deal with terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The attorneys general slammed the ideas promulgated in the letter from the NSBA, claiming the association failed to “document a single legitimate instance of violence.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”To be sure, anyone who attacks or threatens violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, or staff should be prosecuted,” the attorneys general wrote. “However, in its letter demanding action, the NSBA fails to document a single legitimate instance of violence. And even if it did, there are sufficient criminal and civil remedies already available in all 50 states and territories.”The top law enforcement officers from each of the 17 states also concluded that “the NSBA seems more concerned about suppressing speech with which it disagrees than real threats of violence” and that a “physical assault on a school administrator, board member, teacher, or staff is just that, a criminal assault and will be addressed under state law.””Hoosier parents have a First Amendment right to speak their minds to teachers, administrators and school board members,” Rokita said in a statement on the matter. “That’s why I’m demanding that the Biden administration immediately stop attempting to shut down parental participation through scare tactics and intimidation.”

GOP congressman indicted by federal grand jury for lying to FBI

GOP congressman indicted by federal grand jury for lying to FBI

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., was indicted Tuesday for allegedly lying to investigators who were looking into foreign donations to his congressional campaign.Fortenberry, who represents Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District, was charged with one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.Gilbert Chagoury, a billionaire from Nigeria, made illegal contributions to Fortenberry campaigns, as well as several other GOP congressional races from 2012 to 2016.Altogether, Chagoury’s contributed $180,000 to U.S. election campaigns, which violated federal law. Of that, $30,200 went to Fortenberry’s campaign in 2016 through a group in California.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., authored a resolution on Capitol Hill that pledges US support of an automous Christian state.
(IDC/Laurence L. Levin)Fortenberry earlier said he expected to be indicted, releasing a recorded statement Tuesday on YouTube in which he denied the allegations and said he was unaware of the foreign contributions.Claiming he felt “personally betrayed,” Fortenberry said of the FBI agents: “I let them into my house. I answered their questions. Later we went back and answered further questions. I told them what I knew and understood.”NEBRASKA CONGRESSMAN EXPECTS INDICTMENT OVER ALLEGEDLY LYING TO FBI”We will fight these charges. I did not lie to them,” Fortenberry continued in the video, which was recorded in his pickup truck and included his wife and dog. “This is wrong on so many levels.” If convicted of making a false statement to the FBI, Fortenberry could face up to five years in prison.Fortenberry also asked his supporters for prayers, adding, “Hopefully this all ends happily for the sake of justice, for the sake of my own integrity, for the sake of the American system.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPFortenberry has represented Nebraska in Congress since 2005.Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

California school district tells parents their children must eat lunch in the rain due to COVID

California school district tells parents their children must eat lunch in the rain due to COVID

A California school district sent an email to parents telling them their children will be forced eat lunch outside in the rain due to coronavirus restrictions.”Rain is forecasted this week which will present an added challenge to our lunch routines,” Patwin Elementary School Principal Gay Bourguignon notified parents this week. “DJUSD [Davis Joint Unified School District] students are required to eat outside at this time due to COVID restrictions. I am asking you to send your children to school with rain gear and warm jackets.”
FILE – Teachers protest against the COVID-19 vaccination mandates in New York on Wednesday Aug. 25, 2021. New York City teachers and other school staff members are supposed to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when the bell rings Monday morning, Oct. 4 in one of the first districtwide mandates requiring school employees to be inoculated against the coronavirus.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

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