Articles from Juan Cole

Taylor Swift to GOP & Kanye: I’ma Let you Finish but First I’m Registering 65K New Dem Voters

Washington (AFP) – The bad blood between Taylor Swift and Kanye West goes way back.

At the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, he famously interrupted an acceptance speech by the then 19-year-old Swift for Best Female Video to say that Beyonce deserved the honor.

“Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!” he said, leaving Swift in tears.

Now, their on-off feud has made the somewhat unlikely shift from the stage to the political arena.

Top 5 Reasons for Americans to Admire the Prophet Muhammad

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – In his presidential campaign, Donald Trump notoriously said, “I think Islam hates us.” As is usual with this erratic, fact-free president, the assertion is not true.

If we take Muslim-Americans, who at about 3.4 million persons constitute some 1.1 percent of Americans, over 90% say they are proud to be Americans. Does that sound like hatred to you?

Trump Claims America owes Kavanaugh an Apology after Senate Sexual Assault Testimony

by Sebastian Smith | –

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump said Monday he was apologizing on behalf of the whole country to his new conservative Supreme Court justice after one of the most contentious confirmation processes in US history.

At a White House swearing-in ceremony, Trump stood next to Justice Brett Kavanaugh and said he’d been “proven innocent” of the sexual assault allegations that threatened to derail him in a Senate confirmation process revealing the depth of the left-right split tearing through American politics.

Trump Official Sought Help of Israeli Tech Firm to Disrupt Rival Campaigns: Report

Washington (AFP) – A top official in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign requested proposals from an Israeli company to help defeat Republican primary opponents and Trump’s challenger Hillary Clinton with online manipulation, The New York Times reported Monday.

The Times said there was no evidence that the Trump campaign followed through on the proposals to use social media manipulation and intelligence gathering.

Israel Imprisoning Canary-Blackballed American Student at Airport despite Valid Visa

An American student has become the latest victim of Israel’s law targeting supporters of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Lara Alqasem, 22, has been held since last Tuesday at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.

Alqasem is a graduate of the University of Florida and a US citizen whose grandparents are Palestinian She tried to enter Israel to study on a Master’s degree programme at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, having been granted a student visa by the Israeli Consulate General in Miami.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Top Trump Ally, Warns on Ties if Saudi State Murdered Journalist Khashoggi

Washington (AFP) – A top Senate ally of President Donald Trump warned Monday of a “devastating” impact on the US alliance with Saudi Arabia if allegations are confirmed that the kingdom killed a prominent journalist.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Riyadh must provide “honest answers” after a Turkish government source said that the Saudis killed Washington Post opinion contributor Jamal Khashoggi when he visited the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

Israel to Build World’s Largest Desalinization Plant as Occupied Palestinians Thirst for Water

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli Ministry of Finance announced that it had received bids from seven various groups to build the world’s largest desalination plant, which will be able to produce about 200 million cubic meters of water per year.

The ministry said, in a statement to the Reuters news agency, that the tender is for a new desalination plant in the area of Sorek, in central Israel.

Sources added that there is another desalination facility that already operates at the same site.

Fate of 190,000-years-old Human Race depends on Massive Greening Effort over just 30 Years

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – It strikes me as darkly humorous that we, the most intelligent species ever to have evolved on earth, homo sapiens (evolved circa 190,000 years ago), were so clever that around 1750 we started burning so much wood, coal and later on oil and natural gas that we started changing our own climate so much that it may threaten our survival.

Israeli Chronic Occupation depriving Palestinians in Gaza of Access to Health Care: WHO

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed in its annual report, “Right to Health: Crossing Barriers to Access Health in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 2017,” that Israeli restrictions were the major obstacle to health access for Gaza patients.

The report examined obstacles to achieving the highest attainable standard of health for Palestinians living under occupation, including barriers to health access and attacks on health care.