"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it." -- John F. Kennedy

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Former President Donald Trump had a lot to say about President Joe Biden during his speech at the Minnesota Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner on Friday evening. A huge chunk of his criticism of the president had to do with Bidenomics and the rising inflation.

“Groceries are up 22 percent, eggs are up 50 percent, electricity’s up 40, 50, 60 percent, gasoline is up 56 percent, car insurance — you can’t even get it,” Trump stated.

“It’s up 52 percent if it’s available, and then if you need it, they don’t give it to you. They fight you like hell. And, meanwhile, real wages are down by almost five percent. This is what we have. This is Bidenomics,” Trump added.

Trump went on to note that inflation under the Biden administration has made it impossible for Americans to afford to buy homes, cars or even pay their rents.

“His inflation catastrophe is, in effect, a colossal tax on American families. We will call it the ‘Biden Inflation Tax. It’s the biggest tax in history. It’s called an inflation tax. It’s about 50 percent. This is like going to Congress and raising your hand for a 50 percent tax — that’s what it is. When I left office, and we had virtually no inflation we had nothing, only success,” Trump said.

The GOP presumptive nominee then said that the Biden price hikes are continuing to drain $1,165 dollars from the typical Minnesota family budget every single month.”

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The Russian air defense shot down 9 ATACMS missiles and 61 Ukrainian drones over the past night, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

Since 2023, Ukraine has been attacking Russian civilian infrastructure in the wake of apparent military setbacks. Russian officials have repeatedly stressed that deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure is an act of terrorism that represents the criminal nature of the Kiev regime.

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The third saturday of May is celebrated in the United States as Armed Forces Day, an observance honoring all members of the country’s military. But many experts are not joining the celebrations, raising concerns about the state of the US troops.

This year’s Armed Forces Day in the United States takes place as Washington's war machine appears to be but a shadow of its former self, its reputation tarnished by the de facto humiliating defeat in Afghanistan in 2021 and the inability to stop Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping lanes.

The decline of the once-powerful US Armed Forces could be traced to the 1990s, the time right after the end of the Cold War, argued former US State Department counterterrorism analyst Scott Bennett.

What started with reforms to those who could serve eventually “cascaded into an avalanche of social justice, acquainted theorems and attitudes towards the military," he said.

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The proxy war has put NATO weaponry to the test and found it to be lacking.

“The US has been Ukraine's single most important ally” in its conflict with Russia, observes analysis from Business Insider Friday, but Kiev’s use of American weapons systems has left it reliant on technology with “serious flaws.”

The website’s investigation reveals Russian superiority in a number of areas, including drones and electronic warfare, as well as the deficiencies of the United States’ military production sector.

“One area in which the US has revealed its shortcomings is in electronic warfare,” the author writes. “Russia's jamming systems have created major issues with Western precision weaponry, including GMLRS rockets and Excalibur artillery shells. Russia's electronic warfare units have become increasingly adept at scrambling the GPS navigation systems used to guide the missiles and shells to their targets, sending them off course and rendering them useless.”

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The protests also marked the 76th anniversary of the mass expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians by Zionists upon the establishment of the Israeli regime in 1948. 

Palestinians refer to the tragic event, which falls on May 15 each year, as the Nakba, Arabic for catastrophe. 

Protesters in the United States rallied to commemorate the Nakba and call for an end to Israel’s war on Gaza.

NY police grab protesters 

A peaceful protest was held in the Bay Ridge neighborhood in southwest Brooklyn in New York on Saturday but police used violence to prevent it and disperse the participants.

According to Al Jazeera, New York police made over a dozen arrests, grabbed some protesters in random, and dragged them away as people yelled at officers to stop.  

The Doha-based news outlet said officers also beat and punched demonstrators on their upper bodies and around their heads. 

“Genocide is Biden’s legacy”

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This exchange of fire has diminished their hope of returning to their settlements at the beginning of September, as expressed in statements by Israeli officials at both political and military-security levels, as well as by heads of authorities in the north, along with experts, commentators, and settlers. 

Overall, their statements indicate that Hezbollah has made strategic achievements against Israel, dragging it into a war of attrition, causing military, economic, and social damage that will take a long time to recover from.

Settlers in the north are feeling humiliated. Israeli political and military officials acknowledge the challenging situation, with no immediate solutions in sight. 

Politically, Israeli Minister of Internal Security, Moshe Arbel, described the situation for northern settlers as difficult, highlighting that even holding a meeting with members of the Kiryat Shmona municipality outside their city has proven too risky. 

Arbel has urged the Israeli government to address the situation in the north, emphasizing that abandoning an entire area is not an option. 

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Texas landowners along the border with Mexico are sharing their experiences with border-related crime, property damage, and illegal immigrant sightings.

For Eslabon Ranch owner Greg Genitempo, border policies hit close to home. “The house has been broken into, illegals leave refrigerators and freezers open, and by the time I get there … it’s a mess,” Genitempo shared with The Texan on Thursday.

Genitempo’s ranch is located near Carrizo Springs, situated approximately 22 miles from the southern border. A 40-year-old native of Dimmit County, Genitempo says he has a good knowledge of the area’s happenings.

When asked about specific property damages he has dealt with due to illegal traffic from the border, Genitempo shared “I had a tremendous amount of fence work that had to be done because the illegals like to cut fences.”

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) agreed with Fox News host Sean Hannity during a Friday interview that Attorney General Merrick Garland’s refusal to hand over a recorded interview to his committee between former special counsel Robert Hur and Joe Biden is akin to tipping the 2024 election scale in favor of the president.

In February, Hur released a report detailing his investigation into Biden’s possession of classified documents which he obtained during his time as a U.S. senator and vice president. Hur determined that to be a criminal act, but he declined to file charges because he reasoned that a jury likely would not convict Biden on account of his significant mental capacity decline.

Just the news noted at the time:

Hur’s 388-page report released Thursday may have spared Biden the spectacle of a criminal prosecution similar to that his Justice Department imposed on Donald Trump, but it delivered a devastating blow to the 46th president’s re-election hopes by going out of its way to explain criminal charges weren’t levied in part because jurors might see Biden as a dottering, forgetful old man incapable of criminal intent.

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Judge Merchan has quite a family business afloat. Judge Merchan’s son in law, Taylor Harper, who is married to Loren Merchan, works for Joe Biden’s United States Census Bureau as a geographer. Harper has access to America’s most sensitive data. This could allow Loren Merchan to use the data for her Authentic Campaigns Firm, and Judge Merchan could use the data in his courtroom. Judge Merchan’s conflict of interests keeps piling up. Laura Loomer exclusively reported that New York Democart Rep. Dan Goldman had been mailing checks from his campaign to Judge Merchan’s daughter’s personal home in Richmond, Virginia. In an apparent attempt to cover up the fact that he was sending checks to Merchan’s daughter’s home, Rep.Goldman wrote the checks to Authentic Campaign instead of Authentic Campaigns. This is a major FEC violation. Loomer was the first to report that Judge Merchan’s daughter, Loren, is the partner and part-owner of Authentic Campaigns, a firm whose “featured client “is the Biden-Harris Campaign. Merchan’s conflicts of interests are playing a significant role in the growing lawlessness happening in Joe Biden’s America.

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War Cabinet Minister and former Army General Benny Gantz has threatened to resign unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepts his plan for the resolution of the Gaza conflict that could lead to Palestinian statehood.

Tel Aviv faces increasing demands to resolve the Gaza War amid domestic toil, an expert has told Sputnik.

His comments come after Israel's War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz threatened to resign unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepts Gantz’s plan for the resolution of the Gaza conflict.

The plan in question involves the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip and the creation of a multinational civilian administration.

While Gantz set the deadline for this plan at June 8, Netanyahu claimed that acquiescing to these demands would result in a defeat for Israel.

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Facing a severe crisis in the number of Ukrainians willing to fight, the regime in Kiev has resorted to press-ganging people who would normally be considered unfit for military service.

Under the auspices of Ukraine's new mobilization bill, convicted criminals who committed crimes deemed not serious by Kiev are now eligible to fight on the front lines.

While the new bill is unlikely to drastically change things for Ukrainian military recruiters - who have received carte blanche from Kiev to meet recruitment quotas - it may eventually lead to residents rising up against Zelensky and his regime, suggested Russian military expert and political analyst Ivan Konovalov.

Konovalov did point out, however, that Kiev’s security services have proven to be quite adept at suppressing political opposition and dissidents within the country, although even their efforts may not be enough to stop the people fed up with the Ukrainian government’s press-ganging.

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A wealthy Austin neighborhood has 'given the finger' to the state's capital and voted en masse to leave the city amid a spiraling crime crisis. 

Lost Creek, a rich enclave in the west side of Austin, saw an overwhelming majority of 91 percent of residents vote to break away from the city during a May 4 election. 

Many never wanted to be part of City of Austin to begin with when it was annexed nine years ago in 2015.

But as Democrat-run Texas capital faces a public safety crisis - with a shortfall of nearly 500 police officers - tempers have reached boiling point and many residents believe they'd be better off on their own. 

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A teenager has been convicted of murder after a man was stabbed with a machete in a confrontation near a children's play area.

Tieran Carmody, 19, was found guilty of the murder of Max Richardson, 35, in Harlow, Essex, after a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Carmody was seen smoking cannabis by young people near a playground at Joyners Field on the evening of 21 August, who alerted adults because they were scared.

Mr Richardson confronted Carmody and challenged him on what he was doing in the area before he was stabbed with his hands held up in a surrender pose.

Mr Richardson, from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, died in an ambulance on the way to hospital of a single stab wound to the torso.

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Having served as the chief of the Detroit Police Department, and after seeing the issues facing our cities and neighborhoods, I can tell you firsthand that President Joe Biden’s policies are devastating our community. Whether it is “Bidenomics” or the crisis at the southern border, the Biden Administration has proven that it will stop at nothing to continue its failed agendas, even if it means turning its back on the Black community. 

The truth is, we are being left behind by Biden’s economic policies. “Bidenomics,” Biden’s label for his $11 trillion in new federal spending for green jobs and infrastructure, has led to lower real wages. Michigan has dropped five places since 2019 in terms of median household income, a Bridge Michigan analysis found, and according to 2022 U.S. Census data, we’re below the national median household income average. In the Black community, we are feeling that pain at the grocery store and at the gas pump. In fact, a poll from October 2023 found that 80% of Black voters have a negative view of Biden’s economy. Hardworking American families everywhere are feeling it, too. But what you may not know is that the Biden Administration’s inflation is hurting Black households more than white households, with 53.7% of Black respondents to a Dallas Federal Reserve Bank survey reporting inflation stress, compared to 43.6% of whites. 

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According to Russian sources, the president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, is
dead. According to the same sources, his helicopter was shot down either
by a bomb or by a MANPADS anti-aircraft missile.

There were three helicopters in the presidential convoy. The only thing
that didn't make it was the helicopter of the Iranian president. The
remaining two landed safely in Tabriz, a large city in northwestern Iran.

Webmaster addition: Original article is in Greek.

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The UK High Court is set to start a long-anticipated hearing on the case of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces extradition to the US on espionage charges for the website’s coverage of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

The long-running legal battle has seen Assange’s lawyers attempt to appeal the extradition request, arguing that the 52-year-old would not be given a fair trial in the US and could potentially be sentenced to death. 

During Monday’s hearing, London’s High Court is expected to rule on whether it accepts diplomatic assurances by the US that Assange would not be held in a maximum security prison or be put into solitary confinement for extensive periods of time, would not face the death penalty, and would be guaranteed a First Amendment right to free speech. 

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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken admitted during his visit to Kiev this week that the situation in Ukraine has deteriorated. This is mainly due to the Russian offensive in Kharkov Region. He promised not to leave Ukraine without support, promising that the next batches of Western weapons would soon – in particular air defense systems. He also reiterated that Ukraine’s future membership in NATO is still on the table and that Russia must pay for the country’s reconstruction.

Blinken’s arrival was unexpected, and it betrayed the critical stage currently reached in the conflict. The US is urging Kiev to carry out an effective mobilization, and seems to hope society will reorganize itself in some way. By the way, this is the most important question: what do Ukrainians themselves think they should do next, and how do they want things to be? But let us continue.

At almost the same time, Olaf Scholz was addressing journalists. The German chancellor announced a €7 billion ($7.6 billion) bailout for Ukraine. Previously, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the threat of nuclear war could be even greater now than during the Cuban missile crisis, more than 60 years ago. 

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President Joe Biden's motorcade drove through deep blue Atlanta this weekend to little fanfare, leading many to wonder about the enthusiasm for his 2024 campaign.

In 2020, the president became the first Democrat to win a presidential election in Georgia in 30 years. The party also won both senate seats in the Southern state.  

But the state's landscape has shifted significantly over the last four years, with recent polls suggesting former president Donald Trump is in the lead in the Peach State.

On Saturday, video showed his motorcade driving through the Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead with only about a dozen people in the streets to greet him or catch a glimpse.

As conservative account RNC Research put it: 'If a presidential motorcade passes through town but absolutely nobody cares — did it really pass through town?' 

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The Republican-led House of Representatives recently approved a resolution that condemns the “defund the police” movement that gained popularity during the nationwide riots that took place in 2020 and 2021. The bill was passed with a bipartisan 337-61 vote, with all 61 votes against the measure coming from Democratic lawmakers, including every member of the far-left “Squad.”

The nonbinding resolution that should have been unanimously passed, introduced by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) expresses condolences to families of officers killed in the line of duty and recognizes the need for better data collection on assaults against law enforcement.

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A 17-year-old rapper in Virginia has fatally shot himself while filming a TikTok video playing with a gun, according to reports.

The teenager uses the name “Rylo Huncho.”

According to a report from Hip Hob Vibe, “Rylo Huncho’s real name has not been disclosed. However, he was known for his energetic performances and promising music career…he was filming content for his TikTok account when the gun discharged. So, this resulted in a fatal injury.”

Webmaster addition: This is why we need to go back to teaching gun safety in the schools, instead of Drag Queen story hours and how to use sex toys!

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Gen. Charles Brown, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says it is only a matter of time before NATO military trainers are sent to Ukraine, according to a report in the New York Times.

It comes as Ukraine battles to hold the line against Russian offensives in Ukraine's northeast such as the city of Kharkiv as well as in the east and south – and just weeks after the U.S. agreed to send an extra $60 billion in aid to the war-torn country.

Ukrainian officials have asked their U.S. and NATO counterparts to help train 150,000 new recruits closer to the front line for faster deployment, the New York Times reports. 

Webmaster addition: That is how Vietnam started, with "advisors!"

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he International Criminal Court is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and three leaders of Hamas, on the grounds of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the prosecutor's office announced on Monday. 

Alongside Gallant and Netanyahu, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, its military wing's commander-in-chief Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, better known as Mohammed Deif, and its political leader Ismail Haniyeh were named in a statement by chief prosecutor Karim Khan. 

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Nearly 800,000 Palestinians have fled the southern Gaza city of Rafah, the UN said, as Israeli planes and tanks pounded areas across the besieged strip on Sunday.

The United Nations said there has been a massive movement of people since Israel launched its military operation in Rafah on 6 May.

Philippe Lazzarini of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said on Saturday that Palestinians were fleeing to areas without water supplies or adequate sanitation.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who had sought Rafah as one of their few remaining places of refuge are now forced once again to relocate.

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This story is told in three parts. The first documents the unequal system of justice that grew around Jewish settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. The second shows how extremists targeted not only Palestinians but also Israeli officials trying to make peace. The third explores how this movement gained control of the state itself. Taken together, they tell the story of how a radical ideology moved from the fringes to the heart of Israeli political power.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that the purpose of Russia’s offensive in the northeastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv was to create a “buffer zone” in response to Ukraine’s attacks on Russia’s Belgorod Oblast.

“Now, about what is happening in the Kharkiv direction. They [the Ukrainian authorities] are also to blame for that because they shelled and continue shelling, unfortunately, residential areas of borderline territories, including Belgorod,” Putin said, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.

“I have said publicly that if this continues, we’ll have to create a security buffer zone. This is what we are doing,” he added. Belgorod has been targeted by Ukrainian forces throughout the war, and those attacks have ramped up in recent months.

Also on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned the Kharkiv offensive could just be the “first wave” of a wider Russian assault. Ukrainian officials have previously said that Ukraine’s lines risk collapsing wherever Russia focuses its offensive.

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Since WWII was arguably the nation’s last “good war”, an illuminating way to measure the folly that has unfolded during the seven decades since then is to unpack the cost of veterans disability compensation and medical care by cohort of war service. The following figures are extremely conservative and exclude survivors, dependents, pensioners, housing, education and other VA benefits. But they do encompass roughly $180 billion or 52% of the current $346 billion per year Veterans Administration (VA) budget.

The disability compensation cost for each cohort is detailed by the VA, while the cost of medical care is assumed to be equal to the current annual average of $8,200 for each of the 9.18 million enrollees. Self evidently, the $286 million cost for WWII beneficiaries is a rounding error.

Number of beneficiaries and current budget cost for Disability Compensation And Medical Care:

  • WWII: 11,488 vets and $286 million.
  • Korean War: 59,092 vets and $1.4 billion.
  • Vietnam Era: 1,385,131 vets and $44.3 billion.
  • Gulf War era: 3,374,670 vets and $112.1 billion.
  • Other Peacetime: 831,932 vets and $20.5 billion.
  • Total: 5,662,273 vets at an average of $31,705/beneficiary= $179.5 billion.

For want of doubt, it is now nearly universally agreed that the two Iraq wars were sheer folly in which upwards of $1.5 trillion was wasted, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed or injured by these pointless invasions and occupations. Yet the compensation and medical care cost for the 3.375 million disability beneficiaries of this cohort currently totals $112 billion per annum.

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A great, novel experiment in political physics is under way in the United States, as the unstoppable moral force of youth-led protests against Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza runs into the immovable object of the American power elite’s support for it.

In this clash, two critical forces have been weaponised: the US mainstream media that heavily disseminates Israeli propaganda and shapes many local, state and national policies, and the scourge of anti-Semitism that has been unfairly used to demonise and silence Palestinians and shift attention away from the US-enabled Israeli genocide in Gaza.

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In the middle of this testing, Johnson suddenly announced that he would be taking early retirement. After he packed up his office and left, Hansen felt adrift. She was so new to corporate life that her office clothes — pleated pants and dress shirts — still felt like a costume. Johnson had always guided her research, and he hadn’t told Hansen what she should do next. She reminded herself of what he had said — that the chemical wasn’t harmful in factory workers. But she couldn’t be sure that it was harmless. She knew that PCBs, for example, were mass-produced for years before studies showed that they accumulate in the food chain and cause a range of health issues, including damage to the brain. The most reliable way to gauge the safety of chemicals is to study them over time, in animals and, if possible, in humans.

What Hansen didn’t know was that 3M had already conducted animal studies — two decades earlier. They had shown PFOS to be toxic, yet the results remained secret, even to many at the company. In one early experiment, conducted in the late ’70s, a group of 3M scientists fed PFOS to rats on a daily basis. Starting at the second-lowest dose that the scientists tested, about 10 milligrams for every kilogram of body weight, the rats showed signs of possible harm to their livers, and half of them died. At higher doses, every rat died. Soon afterward, 3M scientists found that a relatively low daily dose, 4.5 milligrams for every kilogram of body weight, could kill a monkey within weeks. (Based on this result, the chemical would currently fall into the highest of five toxicity levels recognized by the United Nations.) This daily dose of PFOS was orders of magnitude greater than the amount that the average person would ingest, but it was still relatively low — roughly comparable to the dose of aspirin in a standard tablet.

In 1979, an internal company report deemed PFOS “certainly more toxic than anticipated” and recommended longer-term studies. That year, 3M executives flew to San Francisco to consult Harold Hodge, a respected toxicologist. They told Hodge only part of what they knew: that PFOS had sickened and even killed laboratory animals and had caused liver abnormalities in factory workers. According to a 3M document that was marked “CONFIDENTIAL,” Hodge urged the executives to study whether the company’s fluorochemicals caused reproductive issues or cancer. After reviewing more data, he told one of them to find out whether the chemicals were present “in man,” and he added, “If the levels are high and widespread and the half-life is long, we could have a serious problem.” Yet Hodge’s warning was omitted from official meeting notes, and the company’s fluorochemical production increased over time.

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Earlier this month, Democratic Texas congressman Henry Cuellar was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of “bribery, unlawful foreign influence, and money laundering.” The accusations revolve around a set of deals in which Cuellar allegedly accepted money from a state-owned Azerbaijani oil company and a Mexican bank in exchange for an agreement to push U.S. foreign policy in their favor.

As concerning as this may be, it’s not even the first such indictment against a sitting member of Congress this year. In March, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) received a superseding indictment which expands further upon earlier accusations that the former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman took bribes to advocate on behalf of the Egyptian and Qatari governments.

These cases make it clear that foreign bribery, in which representatives of one country pay money to manipulate the representatives of another, is still a serious problem in the United States. As the world’s most powerful and interventionist nation, no other government has more influence over the rest of the world’s affairs — influence which can be bought. The recent charges against Rep. Cuellar and Sen. Mendendez show how significant of a problem bribery and undue influence has been for the U.S. congress, while also drawing attention to the ongoing efforts to prevent this corruption from continuing.

Webmaster addition: Does that include the Burisma deal?

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