Audrey Conklin


Twitter is allowing Chinese and Iranian state media to push content while blocking a New York Post article that purports to show emails from Hunter Biden linking his father to his Ukraine business dealings.

The social media site followed Facebook Wednesday when it began blocking people attempting to share the article in tweets and private messages because the article violated its “Hacked Materials Policy.” Twitter also locked users, including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, out of their accounts for attempting to share the article on Wednesday.

“Censoring political speech is what you’d expect in countries like China, North Korea, or Iran — NOT America,” McEnany wrote in a Thursday tweet. “This should scare every single American who values free and open discourse. Do NOT let Big Tech silence YOU.”

Trump 2020 campaign social media director Mike Hahn said in a Thursday tweet that Twitter locked the campaign’s account after it shared a video relating to the Post article.

Trump 2020 campaign social media director Mike Hahn said in a Thursday tweet that Twitter locked the campaign’s account after it shared a video relating to the Post article.

“Twitter has suspended ⁦[Team Trump] for posting a video calling Joe Biden a liar who has been ripping off our country for years, as it relates to the ⁦[New York Post]⁩ article. 19 days out from the election,” he wrote.

While the website labels foreign state media, it continues to allow state media accounts to push media critical of the U.S. less than three weeks ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

A Twitter spokesperson told Fox News that in accordance with the company’s different enforcement options, violations may require account owners to remove certain tweets, and once they do so, they will be able to continue using the platform. The company did not comment specifically on why it does not block or label tweets from foreign state media condemning the U.S. ahead of Nov. 3 the same way it did the New York Post.

“Before the [U.S.] election, truth, honesty and responsibility toward people’s well-being and world peace do not exist in the U.S.,” Chinese state media newspaper The Global Times, which Twitter has labeled as Chinese state media, wrote in a Thursday tweet with a link to an op-ed on its website. “The U.S. presidential election has increased, rather than reduced, the world’s sense of insecurity.”

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, tweeted on Thursday that while “China focuses on developing itself and doing its own thing well every day …the U.S. is thinking about how to suppress and spoil other countries. No wonder China is growing rapidly but the US lacks development momentum.”

Xijin also tweeted about the U.S. presidential election on Oct. 11, calling it “the equivalent to a carnival on the stage of international politics.”

Iranian state media IRNA on Thursday retweeted a post that says “nuclear power will remain in the dominance of the Iranian nation for ever” with a screenshot of Defense Secretary Mike Pompeo’s tweets saying the U.S. “will never allow the world’s leading state sponsor of terror to have the world’s deadliest weapon.”

Iranian state media Press TV tweeted an article on Thursday saying the Trump administration is using Iran “as campaign cudgel for own gains.” The official Twitter page for The Iran Project shared an article saying “U.S unilateralism [is a] real threat to human rights,” which accused the U.S. of “economic terrorism.”

Additionally, Twitter has allowed foreign leaders such as Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei and Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao to post tweets condemning the United States and its policies less than three weeks ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.

Twitter has labeled Chinese spokesman Lijian’s account as a “Chinese government account” but did not remove a post from his account blaming the U.S. Army for the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. It did, however, add a fact-check label.

“It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! U.S. owe us an explanation!” Lijian wrote in March.

Lijian also blamed the United States for “the visa problem journalists face,” adding that it “has been escalating political repression of Chinese news outlets” in a Sept. 7 tweet.

Twitter has also not censored Iranian leader Khamenei, who has repeated the phrase, “Down with the U.S.A.,” specifying that the term means “down with” Trump, Defense Secretary Mike Pompeo and former Ambassador John Bolton in a February 2019 tweet.

“It means death to the American politicians currently in power. It means death to the few people running that country; we have nothing against the American nation,” he wrote at the time.

In a Monday tweet, Khamenei said Iran will “make” the U.S. “regret” sanctions that Trump recently implemented against the country. “God willing this maximum pressure will lead to the maximum disgrace of the U.S. With God’s grace, we will make them regret,” he wrote.

In another Monday tweet, Khamenei commemorated the United States’ Indigenous People’s Holiday by tweeting that the U.S. does not “consider blacks and whites to be equal yet.”

“The U.S. introduces freedom, human dignity, human rights and the like as American principles,” Khamenei wrote in a Monday tweet commemorating Indigenous People’s Day. “…Wasn’t it you who massacred the indigenous people of America? Wasn’t it you who enslaved millions of Africans in the most barbaric manner? Equality?! You don’t consider blacks and whites to be equal yet. To this day, you still consider having Native American blood to be a weak point when applying for a job.”

The Iranian leader has also shared a number of tweets calling for the “elimination” of Israel. In a May 21 tweet, he wrote, “The only remedy until the removal of the Zionist regime is firm, armed resistance.”

Author: Audrey Conklin

Source: Fox News: While censoring Hunter Biden story, Twitter allows China, Iran state media

Democratic Ohio state Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent on Tuesday endorsed President Trump over former Vice President Joe Biden.

The endorsement comes after a history of feuding with Ohio Democrats, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

“Not only am I Black, I am a proud American and delighted to endorse President Trump for re-election,” Kennedy Kent, who represents Ohio’s 25th District, wrote in her endorsement posted to the president’s 2020 campaign website. “Furthermore, I am honored to share with people my intent to vote for him and spread the word on the value of his leadership and his dedication to the American people.”

She also said that despite her feelings toward the Democratic Party, her “values” align more with Trump’s than with “Joe Biden’s divisive rhetoric, promotion of mass incarceration, and disrespectful, insensitive ideologies that substantiates his infamous comment ‘…if you’re still deciding between me and Trump, then you ain’t Black…’ during an interview on a popular African American radio program earlier this year.”

Kennedy Kent said in a separate press release that her husband, also “a lifelong Democrat,” is also supporting Trump’s reelection.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, Black Americans have experienced record unemployment and the poverty rate among the Black community has fallen to its lowest level in U.S. history,” she wrote in the release. She praised Trump’s “willingness to listen to” Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., “and the concerns of invested citizens from diverse communities in economic distress.

Kennedy Kent served two years before being voted out of state’s House Democratic Caucus in June 2018 after sending a letter on official Ohio Legislative Black Caucus letterhead without permission and has not returned to the Statehouse since May 2019, when she was blocked from entering a room, The Enquirer reported.

House Democrats also accused the state congresswoman of forging electronic signatures in June 2018, according to The Colombus Dispatch.

“She basically hasn’t been involved with the party or her Statehouse job for a long time,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper told the outlet. “This is the first I’ve heard of her in a while. Obviously, she checked out of her public position a long time ago.”

Kennedy Kent, who is not seeking reelection in 2020, blamed House Democrats’ “muddied mistreatment and unlawful action” as the reason why she left the party.

“Following my traumatic experience on May [22] caught on Statehouse security video, my husband proclaimed his intent to vote for President Trump and walked away from the Democrat Party,” she wrote in her release, referencing the date she was barred from re-entering the House Democratic Caucus.

Kennedy Kent has not attended meetings or voted on legislation since but told the Columbus Dispatch in July that she has been working on issues affecting her constituents, such as unemployment and coronavirus relief, from home.

After the May 22 incident, “as well as other negative experiences” Kennedy Kent said she experienced as a state lawmaker, she and others” came to the conclusion that the Democrat Party does not have the people’s best interest in mind.”

Author: Audrey Conklin

Source: Fox News: Ohio Dem backs Trump after history of feuds with her party

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that his entire office, including himself, will be furloughed for a week to help fight the city’s multibillion-dollar budget crisis.

De Blasio, wife Chirlane McCray and 493 others will take unpaid furlough at some point between Oct. 1, 2020 and March 2021, which is expected to save $860,000, according toZ The New York Times.

“We have to make tough choices to move this city forward and keep our budget balanced,” de Blasio told reporters. The city has been facing a roughly $9 billion budget deficit since the coronavirus pandemic started in the earlier months of 2020.

He added that the “current fiscal year budget is $7 billion less” than what the city projected in February. New York City lost $336 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30, according to an August report.

The mayor’s office budget will be 12% less this fiscal year compared to last year’s, which ended in June.

“I couldn’t have imagined no action by Washington, D.C., up until this point,” de Blasio said. “I thought it would be an article of faith that there would be a federal stimulus, but there hasn’t been, and I see no indication that there will be for the remainder of this year.”

With a mayoral salary of $258,541 per year, de Blasio is expected to miss out on around $4,972 in a week-long furlough.

The mayor’s office found $12 million in savings over previous budgets, he said.

“We’ve already had to make some tough cuts that have affected this city and the services we provide. We’re tried everything we can to stop from those cuts becoming worse. We don’t want to take away jobs from public employees, we don’t want to take away services from communities that need [them],” de Blasio said.

He added that New York City will continue to fight for a stimulus bill from Washington and borrowing from the state government.

The mayor mentioned later, while taking questions from reporters, that the city is “looking for every possible way to make the moves that [it] can make while continuing the conversations with long-term borrowing,” but a property tax on wealthier individuals is “off the table, period.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, in July urged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to implement a wealth tax on billionaires in the state to garner aid for residents impacted by COVID-19. Cuomo rejected the idea in August, saying the city is “trying to get people to come back.”

New York City’s top 1% pays 50% of taxes in New York, the governor noted at the time.

Author: Audrey Conklin

Source: Fox News: NYC mayor’s office, including de Blasio, to be furloughed for a week amid budget crisis

California could be on track to release a total of 17,600 inmates early to make space in crowded facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) told Fox News that “in total, 8,032 [inmates] have had their releases expedited and overall, we have reduced the total incarcerated population by more than 18,300 since March as a result of suspension of county jail intake, the expedited releases” and those released in accordance with their sentences.

“We’re glad the governor is taking action to release more people,” Californians for Safety and Justice Executive Director Jay Johnson said in a July statement. “This is absolutely critical for the health and safety of every Californian. Too many people are incarcerated for too long in facilities that spread poor health.”

Inmates stand outside at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2016. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The first 3,500 inmates were freed in April to create space in crowded prisons and 6,900 more were deemed eligible for release in early July, totaling 10,400 releases.

Additionally, early releases could include “700 eligible offenders who have less than one-year to serve who reside within identified institutions that house large populations of high-risk patients” and “approximately 6,500 persons identified by the court-appointed Federal Receiver as medically high-risk for complications should they contract COVID-19,” the CDRC spokesperson said. That totals about 17,600 potential early releases.

“This is not a blanket release, the point-in-time numbers are just a step in the review process as the department works tirelessly to conduct these releases in a way that aligns public health and public safety,” the spokesperson said.

In a filing last week with a federal judge who oversees one of the major lawsuits facing the prison system, officials increased the estimated total of releases from 10,400 to 17,600. However, prison officials say Corrections Secretary Ralph Diaz is likely to block the release of about 5,500, in part because many are serving life prison sentences.

The Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution in San Pedro, Calif., on April 29, 2020. (Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images)

Nearly 2,000 state prison system employees also have been infected with COVID-19 and eight have died. The latest, Sgt. Seeyengkee Ly, who worked at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, died on Aug. 2 from pneumonia complications after contracting COVID-19.

Officials have been under intense pressure from advocates, some state lawmakers and two federal judges to release more inmates, particularly after a botched transfer of infected inmates into San Quentin State Prison led to the state’s worst prison outbreak. Nearly 170 inmates still are infected there and 23 died, including 11 on death row. More than 2,000 have either recovered or were released while infected.

City police departments across the country have altered their operations due to the pandemic, including arrests that require less contact and efforts to avoid prosecutions for people for low-level crimes to prevent jail overcrowding.

Nationwide, more than 100,000 people were released from state and federal prisons between March and June, a decrease of 8 percent, according to an analysis by The Marshall Project and The Associated Press.

Human rights activists prepare for a car caravan protest through Los Angeles to call on officials to release inmates from jails to prevent the spread of coronavirus on April 7, 2020. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

California, New York, Ohio and Texas are among some of the first states that issued orders to release elderly and sick inmates home early, the Wall Street Journal reported in March.

California Police Chiefs Association president Eric Nuñez said he understands the urgency of reducing the prison population but is alarmed by the release of some violent criminals “without a consideration for the larger impact on public safety.” He said the chiefs want to work with prison officials on improving the decision-making process.

So far there have been two reported incidents in which inmates who were released early shot and killed two victims in Denver and Tampa, Florida.

Close-up on the insignia and slogan of an LAPD vehicle. (iStock)

Big cities like New York, LA, Detroit, Boston and others are calling on city and state officials to defund police departments or allocate funds previously given to police departments to other public services.

Chicago, Louisville, Kentucky, Detroit, Baltimore and Philadelphia have seen spikes in crime and shooting amid nationwide civil unrest that came on the tail of months-long lockdown restrictions and the officer-involved death of George Floyd on May 25. Among the countries 50 largest cities, homicides have increased 24 percent so far in 2020 to 3,612, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“It’s no surprise that when politicians insist on releasing violent felons into our communities, emptying our jails, refusing to require bond for persons charged with crimes, and all the while calling for the defunding or abolition of police, that violent crime goes through the roof,” Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations told Fox News.

He added that “more violent offenders on the street plus reduced law enforcement equals death and destruction in our communities.”

Author: Audrey Conklin

Source: Fox News: Nearly 18,000 California inmates could be released early due to coronavirus

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