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Simpson to be released in October

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he former football star O.J. Simpson was just granted parole in Nevada and will be scheduled for release this October.

Simpson, serving 33 years for armed robbery, was granted parole by a four-member parole board panel unanimously ruling just minutes after hearing testimony from Simpson himself as well as his primary victim, who spoke and argued in support of Simpson’s release.

One of the board members called Simpson a “low risk” to re-offend.

Simpson was convicted of 10 criminal counts in 2008 and sentenced to 33 years, with his first eligibility for release on parole being this October. Simpson has claimed that he was not robbing sports memorabilia in 2007 when he broke into a hotel room and seized signed goods, but retaking items he claimed were previously taken from him. Simpson maintained those claims at today’s hearing.

Simpson’s victim in the 2007 break-in to a Nevada hotel room, memorabilia dealer Bruce Fromong, said Simpson “never held a gun to me” and “never laid a hand on me,” and said Simpson’s sentence was “way too long.”

Simpson testified on his behalf in the hearing, saying: “I’ve made no excuses…I take full responsibility…I had no intent to commit a crime…no inmate has represented this prison better than I.”

Simpson apologized to the state of Nevada and then expressed regret for his actions trying to said “nine years away from my family…it’s just not worth it.”

Fromong, the sports memorabilia dealer, called Simpson “a good man who’s made a mistake.” He said he never stole from O.J. Simpson, and said, “O.J. never held a gun to me,” instead identifying someone else. “He [O.J. Simpson] never laid a hand on me.”

Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of charges in the murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, who was killed in June 1994. That was after Simpson was infamously chased in a Ford Bronco by police in a highway chase captured by helicopter video on nationwide live television during one of the championship games in the 1994 National Basketball Association finals.

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Foreign Affairs

Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

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Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

The foreign relations mess stemming from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder continues to grow more chaotic despite Saudi Arabia’s attempt to cover it up with regularly changing stories. The latest attempt at damage control comes from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Fox News’ Bret Baier him, pressing multiple times about Mohammad bin Salman’s role in or knowledge of the operation that led to Khashoggi’s murder. The blame is being placed on the individuals who carried out the operation; as much space is being created between the direct actors and Saudi leadership as possible.

One important note in the interview was when al-Jubier said they do not believe the entire 15-man “kill team” was at the consulate where when Khashoggi was killed there. He admitted he did not know whether Turkey really had a recording of what happened during the incident, nor whether the United States had intelligence that contradicted the Kingdom’s story.

The responses from the foreign minister were in stark contrast to the indignation exuding from the Kingdom for two weeks following the initial report of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

My Take

As I wrote last week, Saudi Arabia gravely underestimated the international response to this incident. They thought they could get rid of a dissident as they have done in the past and the response would be muted. They didn’t take into account his American ties and the desire of the Turks to expose them at every turn.

How is this going to end? It won’t, at least not for a while. Unlike other international news stories of similar magnitude, this one has multiple forces bent on keeping the story going until a satisfactory resolution is reached. It won’t be reached. The White House and the Kingdom will do whatever they can to sweep this under the rug and make people forget.

This stinks, but here’s the sad reality: “Justice” will not be delivered the way it should and the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States will return to the status quo in a few months.

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Foreign Affairs

Pulling out of the INF treaty isn’t just about Russia

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Pulling out of the INF treaty has very little to do with Russia

Russia has broken the treaty already, according to this administration as well as its predecessor. That’s enough to prompt President Trump to put out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, famously signed by President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev in 1987.

President Trump to pull US from Russia missile treaty

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45930206The US will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump has confirmed.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said Russia had “violated” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles).

My Take

This isn’t about Russia. Their actions are the excuse for pulling out, but the reason for doing so is because China has no such restrictions. They’re advancements in weaponry have prompted the United States and our allies to explore means of warfare that have been prohibited.

Until now.

This is a counter to China’s continued aggressive actions. Russia will keep doing what Presidents Obama and Trump already acknowledged. No we can step up our missile program as well.

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The cover up begins: 18 Saudis arrested in death of Jamal Khashoggi

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The cover up begins 18 Saudis arrested in death of Jamal Khashoggi

The cover up has begun. Saudi Arabia has arrested 18 people in connection to the death of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. This is the first step in an alleged plan to separate the top levels of Saudi government, particularly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from any involvement in the journalist’s murder.

Soon, we will hear that “rogue killers” were responsible for the death. It will be positioned as a simple argument that escalated until Khashoggi was “inadvertently” killed. Once dead, the people responsible reacted by trying to cover up the incident, choosing to dismember his body for easier transport from the consulate.

This has been the dominant story in the West and Middle East since his disappearance on October 2nd. He went to the consulate with his fiancee to finalize his divorce. He went in and hasn’t been seen since.

The Turkish government obtained a plethora of circumstantial evidence against the Saudis to the point that any flat denial was no longer tenable. This is the best course of action in their opinion, to cover up an obvious hit against a Saudi dissident and harsh critic of the Crown Prince. It will be interesting to see how those charged with the crime treat their situation.

The story doesn’t end here. America and the world must watch closely as this perversion of justice unfolds.

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