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PBC News & Comment: Partying With Despotic Monarchs, Trump Tries to Divide Muslims

Exhibiting his ignorance and attraction to dictators, Trump delivers weapons deal to Saudis, attempts to split Sunni and Shia Muslims…

--while Iran is hardly a western-style democracy, Rouhani’s re-election contrasts with Trump’s embrace of Saudi and Egyptian despots

--Prof. Juan Cole of UMich has some good analysis here and here

--in latest sordid transaction, Jared Kushner negotiated $110 billion arms deal, then Saudis agree to kick back $100 million to Ivanka’s fund for women entrepreneurs

--federal ethics watchdog battles White House over waivers given to former lobbyists appointed by Trump

--Trump arrived in Israel today, as Netanyahu battles hardline Zionists over meaningless gestures to Palestinians

--in major disclosure, NY Times reveals that under Obama, China shut down more than a dozen US spies by killing or imprisoning them

--using passive-aggressive tactics, TrumpCo works to kill Obamacare by rattling insurance markets and prolonging uncertainty over 2018

--new estimates show 629,000 visitors overstayed US visas in 2016

--Loathesome Bills: Cosby trial enters jury selection phase; O’Reilly is eyed by smaller networks after Fox firing

--Assange says he will stay at London embassy of Ecuador, NY Times offers weak support in editorial

--turning the tables, Turkey protests DC security last week during Erdogan visit where Turkish goons attacked protesters

--in tight race for state party chair, California Dems battle and Berniecrat demands audit after narrow loss

--Notre Dame grads walked out of Mike Pence speech in healthy numbers, but some commencement speakers are being silenced