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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of Islamic State on Tuesday in an address broadcast live on state TV.

A senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Major General Qassem Soleimani, also declared the end of IS in a message sent to the country’s supreme leader and published on Sepah News, the news site of the Revolutionary Guards.

The Guards’ statement also thanked the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah – its ally – for its ‘decisive’ role in the fight against the Islamic State.

Soleimani commands the Quds Force, the branch of the Guards responsible for operations outside of Iran´s borders.

The senior commander was frequently seen at frontline positions in battles against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in videos and pictures posted by Iranian media in recent years.

Last week, Iranian media published pictures of Soleimani at Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, a town which Soleimani said Tuesday was the last territory retaken from Islamic State control in the region.

The Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s most powerful military force which also oversees an economic empire worth billions of dollars, has been fighting in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the central government in Baghdad for several years.

More than a thousand members of the Guards, including senior commanders, have been killed in Syria and Iraq.

While making his statement about the Islamic State, Rouhani also criticized the Arab League for supporting Saudi Arabia and its role in the war in Yemen.

He said on Tuesday that it’s unfortunate the organization expressed regret that the Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis, launched a ballistic missile into Saudi Arabia earlier this month in response to “so much bombing” by the Saudi-led coalition.

He also called the regional organization of Arab countries “old, worn-out, exhausted and ineffective’.

Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday accused Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of destabilizing the region.

Tensions spiked between Saudi Arabia and Iran after the Houthis fired the missile that was intercepted outside Riyadh.

Meanwhile, Rouhani will meet with the presidents of Russia and Turkey on Wednesday for the first in a series of summits aimed at re-booting the peace process in Syria, now regime forces have an upper hand over rebels and the Islamic State group.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin will host Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Rouhani in the Black Sea resort of Sochi ahead of parallel UN-led talks in Geneva set for November 28.

The meeting – the first such three-way summit between the trio – comes as Ankara, Moscow and Tehran cooperate with increasing intensity on ending the over six-year civil war in Syria that has left 330,000 dead and millions homeless.

The cooperation comes despite Turkey still officially being on an opposite side of the Syria conflict from Russia and Iran, which are key backers of President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey has backed the rebels seeking Assad’s ouster but has muted its criticism of the Syrian regime.

‘The open-war phase in the Syria conflict will soon be over and the question of a political solution will become more pressing than before,’ Russian political analyst Azhdar Kurtov told AFP.

‘Russia, Iran and Turkey each have their own interest in Syria. It is clear that they also have disagreements. And they are meeting to try to smooth over these disagreements,’ he said.

The three countries have backed negotiations in the Kazakh capital Astana that have brought together the representatives of the opposition and the regime seven times this year.

The talks have led the creation of four so-called ‘de-escalation zones’ that have produced a drop in violence, but sporadic fighting and bombardment has continued.

Moscow is now seeking to steer the process, which has so far focused on military questions, in a political direction.

The Sochi summit will help to ‘relaunch direct negotiations between the Syrian government and the range of the opposition’, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

‘As a victory over Islamic State in Syria…grows closer, there are conditions for the relaunch of political negotiations,’ he said Friday.

Moscow’s military intervention in Syria from 2015 is widely seen as tipping the balance in the conflict.
Since then the Syrian army has reclaimed the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State group and driven rebels out of their northern bastion Aleppo.

This week regime forces ousted the Islamic State group from its last urban stronghold in the country, Albu Kamal, which has changed hands several times.

Previous attempts to end the war have stalled over the question of the fate of Assad.

But Turkey is showing greater flexibility on that issue, even if it remains unlikely that it will officially accept the prospect of the Syrian president remaining in power, said Timur Akhmetov, an Ankara-based Turkey expert at the Russian International Affairs Council.

‘For now, to keep a say in the future political negotiations is more important for Turkey than to have Assad departed from power,’ he told AFP.

At the Sochi summit ‘Turkey may try once again to persuade Russia from giving diplomatic support to the Kurds’, whose militia controls part of northern Syria, he said.

The last attempt by Moscow to bring together the regime and the opposition in Russia was coldly received by the rebels and no date has been fixed for a meeting which was originally set for November 18.

Different factions of the Syrian opposition will meet from Wednesday in Riyadh in talks hosted by Saudi Arabia.
The aim of the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee is to reach consensus on a strategy for talks in Geneva, which will focus on a new constitution for Syria and fresh elections.

Hadi al-Bahra, a member of the opposition Syrian Coalition’s political bureau, said the Sochi summit was an attempt to undermine UN-backed talks in Geneva.

‘We see that holding this (Sochi) summit now, before reaching an agreement in Geneva, represents an attempt to render void all relevant UN Security Council resolutions,’ he told AFP.

‘Any international effort must contribute to supporting the Geneva political track, not weakening or dispersing it.’

Russia and the United States this month issued a rare joint statement on Syria, saying there was ‘no military solution’ to the conflict, but Moscow and Washington remain at loggerheads over the war.

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Pelosi’s Son – Who Secretly Joined Mom on Her Controversial Trip to Taiwan – Is a Top Investor in Chinese Telecoms Company

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Nancy Pelosi’s son is the second largest investor in a $22million Chinese company whose senior executive was arrested in a fraud investigation, DailyMail.com can reveal, raising questions about his secretive visit to Taiwan with his mother.

As well as investing, Paul Pelosi Jr, 53, also worked for the telecoms company, Borqs Technologies, in a board or consultancy role, Securities and Exchange Commission documents show.

He was awarded 700,000 shares for his services, making him the fifth largest shareholder in the company. After other insiders sold stock in June 2021 he became the second largest – more stock than one of its two co-founders and topped only by CEO Pat Sek Yuen Chan.

In September 2019 Chinese law enforcement detained the president of one of Borq’s subsidiaries and seized copies of contracts and accounting records in a reported fraud investigation.

A later SEC filing from May 2022 listed the top 10 shareholders which did not include Pelosi Jr., suggesting he has slipped down the rankings of top shareholders since last year.

Nancy’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, also told DailyMail.com neither company has ties to Asia and neither processes mined lithium. Neither currently have revenue.

DailyMail.com’s revelation of Pelosi Jr.’s role in the Beijing-based company comes after he and his powerful mother visited Taiwan in a show of solidarity for the nation that China controversially claims is part of its sovereign territory.

Pelosi Jr.’s name was not listed in the official delegation sent out by the Speaker’s office. In a statement this week the Speaker admitted her son was her ‘escort’ on the trip in lieu of her husband when questioned by the press.

Nancy’s son’s ties to the Chinese firm could put the House Speaker in an awkward position over her current campaign to tackle the Chinese government’s aggression abroad and its corporate influence in the United States.

During their 19-hour visit the House Speaker and Pelosi Jr. were photographed alongside Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and other top Taiwanese officials.

The Chinese government labeled the visit ‘vicious’ and ‘provocative’ and even announced unspecified sanctions against Pelosi and her family – leaving the fate of her son’s Chinese investments in question.

Borqs is a Chinese telecoms company that specializes in ‘Internet of Things’ products and is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange with a current market capitalization of $22million.

In 2020 Nancy Pelosi announced her backing of a bipartisan bill to bar some Chinese companies from listing on US stock exchanges, and has been building a coalition in the House for a sprawling anti-China bill that originated in the Senate.

Borqs disclosed the Yunnan province police action against one of their senior executives in a September 2019 SEC filing.

‘On September 11, 2019, the Yunnan Public Security Bureau (the ‘Bureau’) detained the president, one employee and one former employee of Yuantel, the MVNO business unit that the Company is in the process of selling, for questioning,’ the company filing said.

‘Officers of the Bureau also took copies of contracts between Yuantel and Shandong Yafeida Information Technology Co., Ltd. (‘Yafeida’) and a copy of Yuantel’s accounting records.

‘According to an article published online in China on June 10, 2019 by the Economic Report, four persons from the management of Yafeida had been arrested and accused of fraudulent activities, and no further details have been released as of the date hereof. Yafeida purchases SIM cards from Yuantel and other MVNOs and mobile operators in China.

‘No charges have been made against the president or any employee of Yuantel. The Company will cooperate with the Bureau in connection with this proceeding. The operations of Yuantel and the Company are continuing as in the past. There have been no other details released by the Bureau as of the date of this report.’

Chinese authorities do not appear to have released further information on the investigation since.

According to Borqs’ SEC filings in June 2021, Pelosi Jr. acquired 700,000 shares of the company in an ’employee benefit plan’.

‘These are shares that were acquired by our officers, directors and affiliates, or that were acquired by our employees or consultants, under an employee benefit plan. Such officers, directors, affiliates, employees and consultants are the selling stockholders identified in the reoffer prospectus,’ the document said.

After a sale of stock, Pelosi Jr. was left with 400,000 shares, the second largest holding. The firm’s founder and CEO Chan owned 1,108,569, the chief financial officer Anthony Chan owned 262,938, and Borqs India managing director Hareesh Ramanna owned 193,380.

The 400,000 shares Pelosi Jr. owned at the time were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, though the stock price has fallen precipitously since.

A March 2022 letter submitted to the SEC suggested Pelosi Jr. was still a shareholder.

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Trump Responds to Garland Press Conference

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Former President Donald Trump responded to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s press conference Thursday afternoon by saying that the FBI raid on his property in Florida was not needed because his legal team had been cooperating with the Justice Department.

“Just now the Justice Department has filed a motion in the southern district of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt relating to a court-approved search that the F.B.I. conducted earlier this week” at Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago, Garland said. “The department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter.”

“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland later added. “Second, the department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”

Garland’s announcement came after federal law enforcement officials raided the property early Monday morning to search for classified material that was supposed to be sent back to the National Archives earlier this year.

“My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established,” Trump said in response to the press conference. “The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it. They asked us to put an additional lock on a certain area – DONE! Everything was fine, better than that of most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even ‘safecrackers.’ They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy!”

“Just learned that agents went through the First Lady’s closets and rummaged through her clothing and personal items,” Trump continued. “Surprisingly, left area in a relative mess. Wow!”

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Shots Fired at FBI HQ After Armed Subject Attempts to Breach Building — UPDATE: Suspect Identified

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The man who allegedly attacked FBI offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, earlier on Thursday — and who was shot as police attempted to apprehend him — has died from his injuries after a shootout, law enforcement officials said. Official sources also identified him as Ricky Shiffer, a man who had attended the protest at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Officials said a man tried to enter the FBI offices at about 9:15 a.m. but was unsuccessful and fled the area.

Later, an Ohio state trooper spotted the suspect’s car and tried to initiate a stop that led to a chase.

“The suspect vehicle did fire shots during that pursuit,” said Lt. Nathan Dennis to reporters. “Gunfire was exchanged between officers on scene and the suspect.”

CNN reported that a source told them law enforcement believed he was armed with an AR-15 and a nail gun. One report said that he had been wearing body armor and fired the nail gun into the building.

Police set a perimeter around the suspect’s car after it came to a stop in in Clinton County, north of the FBI offices.

Officials said they negotiated with him for about 6 hours before they moved in after those negotiations failed. They said he raised his gun and pointed at them before they shot and killed him.

Law enforcement officials confirmed to NBC News that they had identified the man as Ricky Walter Shiffer and that he had been present at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Also on Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced in a media briefing that the Department of Justice would be seeking the release of the search warrant involved in the Mar-a-Lago raid. He also admitted that he had personally signed off on the search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence.

Many on the left have criticized overheated rhetoric against the FBI by those angry over the bureau’s actions at Mar-a-Lago.

FBI Director Christopher Wray defended the department’s actions in an email to employees.

“There has been a lot of commentary about the FBI this week questioning our work and motives,” Wray said. “Much of it is from critics and pundits on the outside who don’t know what we know and don’t see what we see. What I know – and what I see – is an organization made up of men and women who are committed to doing their jobs professionally and by the book every day; this week is no exception.”

Here’s more about the attack on FBI offices:

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‘Motherf*cker!’ – Texas Dem Candidate Beto O’Rourke Snaps at Heckler at Town Hall Event

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Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke on Wednesday snapped at a man at a town hall event in Mineral Wells.

Beto was talking about the Uvalde school shooting and arguing why AR-15s should be banned when he snapped at an Abbott supporter.

“I’m gonna make sure that now, 11 weeks since we lost 19 kids and their two teachers, shot to death with a weapon originally designed for use in combat, legally purchased by an 18-year-old… a weapon that was originally designed for use on the battlefields in Vietnam to penetrate an enemy soldier’s helmet at 500 feet and knock him down dead,” Beto said.

“It may be funny to you motherf*cker, but it is not funny to me,” Beto said to an Abbott supporter.

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke called for Communist-style gun confiscation during a recent town hall in San Angelo.

“And I just took the position that may not be politically popular or maybe too honest that only should no one be able to purchase an AR-15 or an AK-47, because they’re designed to kill humans and that high-impact, high-velocity round will just tear up everything inside you. You’ll bleed out before we can get you back to life,” Beto said on May 21 at a town hall with veterans.

“But I don’t think that the people who have them right now in civilian use should be able to keep them,” he added.

This isn’t the first time Beto has threatened gun confiscation.

In 2019, Beto said during a Democrat debate, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15.”

WATCH:

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‘No Longer Muzzled’: Whole Foods Founder Issues Dire Warning About Socialists

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Whole Foods founder John Mackey warned that socialists are “taking over” every facet of American society, and promised he’ll have much more to say when he steps down as CEO of the trailblazing supermarket chain.

Mackey, who founded the company in 1980 and stayed on to run it after selling it to Amazon for $13.7 billion in 2017, said freedom-hating fascists have seized control of companies, education, and even the military. The explosive comments came in an interview with Reason magazine.

“They’re marching through the institutions — they’re taking everything over,” said Mackey, who is stepping down at the end of September. “They’ve taken over education. It looks like they’ve taken over a lot of the corporations. It looks like they’ve taken over the military. And it’s just continuing.”

Although many consider Whole Foods and its parent company progressive, Mackey said he is a “capitalist at heart.” While building the company, Mackey espoused what he called “conscious capitalism,” and sought to “create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical, and ecological wealth for all of [its] stakeholders.” The company promoted environmentally sound agriculture, paid living wages, and was a pioneer in providing health care to entry-level employees.

But incompetent Leftist governance, especially during the COVID pandemic, has made it difficult to champion those values while still making a profit, he said. He cited increased government unemployment benefits that made it more lucrative for prospective workers to stay jobless.

“A lot of people were making as much money, if not more money, not working at all,” he said. “And so guess what? They chose not to come back to work. They got used to it,” he said.

Even now, the younger generation that the supermarket industry relies on to unload trucks, stock shelves, and man the registers “don’t seem to want to work,” he said. The problem is most acute in Democrat-run big cities, he said.

“They only wanna work if it’s really purposeful, and [something] they feel aligned to,” he said. “You can’t hope to start with meaningful work. You’re going to have to earn it over time. Some of the younger generation doesn’t seem to be willing to pay that price, and I don’t know why.”

Mackey also lamented the Left’s ongoing assault on freedom of speech and other constitutional rights.

“I feel like with the way freedom of speech is today — the movement on gun control — a lot of the liberties that I’ve taken for granted most of my life, I think, are under threat,” he said.

The comments were apparently just a hint of what’s to come, when Mackey steps down and can speak even more freely.

“Pretty soon, you’re gonna hear about ‘Crazy John’ who’s no longer muzzled,” he said. “I’ve got six weeks. I can talk more about politics in six weeks than I can today.”

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Elon Musk Weighs in on IRS Preparing to Hire Army of Agents

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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk poked fun at his fellow Americans on Thursday for allowing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to more than double in size.

Musk posted a meme depicting a laughing British redcoat, along with the caption: “when the country that revolted over taxes hires 87,000 new IRS agents.”

Musk, a South African who lived in Canada before becoming an American citizen, told a user that he already gets “audited every year by default.”

Indeed, top Biden administration officials — including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig — have argued that the 87,000 new employees, who will be hired through an $80 billion carveout from the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act, will focus primarily upon wealthy Americans. The IRS employed nearly 79,000 full-time employees as of fiscal year 2021, according to the agency, which also reported $13.7 billion in operating costs.

“I direct that any additional resources — including any new personnel or auditors that are hired — shall not be used to increase the share of small business or households below the $400,000 threshold that are audited relative to historical levels,” Yellen told Rettig in a Wednesday letter. “This means that, contrary to the misinformation from opponents of this legislation, small business or households earning $400,000 per year or less will not see an increase in the chances that they are audited.”

Yellen did not mention, however, that “historical levels” of audits were significantly higher as recently as one decade ago. According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, audit rates for Americans earning between $25,000 to $200,000 fell 76% between 2010 and 2019, while those earning less than $25,000 saw audit rates fall by 61%. Taxpayers earning between $200,000 and $500,000 — representing those at the upper end of the Biden administration’s vow to not raise taxes for those earning less than $400,000 — saw a 92% decline in audits.

The report added that IRS officials “attributed the overall decline in audit rates to decreased funding, and therefore reduced staffing to conduct audits” — constraints which are directly addressed by the Inflation Reduction Act. The agency’s job description for new agents says that employees must “carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.”

Yet Rettig vowed that his agency will “absolutely not” use its new employees to target middle-class Americans and small businesses. Instead, he promised that the new funding will create better information technology systems that will help Americans more easily comply with tax laws.

For his part, Musk has repeatedly warned about the dangers of unsustainable fiscal habits. “True national debt, including unfunded entitlements, is at least $60 trillion — roughly three times the size of the entire US economy,” he commented on social media earlier this year. “Something has got to give.”

Even as several left-wing lawmakers — such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) — accused Musk of “freeloading off everyone else” and failing to pay his “fair share,” the entrepreneur revealed that he paid $11 billion in taxes last year.

“And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year,” Musk retorted. “Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already.”

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Anne Heche’s Blood Test Results Raise More Questions About Fiery Crash

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Anne Heche was allegedly under the influence of cocaine and possibly fentanyl at the time of her horrific car crash last Friday.

Los Angeles Police Department sources told TMZ Thursday that the actress’ blood test results came up positive for both substances.

However, the law enforcement insiders cautioned that fentanyl may have been administered to Heche at the hospital to help manage her pain after the accident, so they will do more testing to determine whether the fentanyl was in her system when she crashed.

The actress, 53, was not under the influence of alcohol, reports TMZ, despite a photo taken shortly before the accident that showed a red-capped bottle in her car’s cupholder.

Additionally, the outlet described her condition as “dire,” as she has “not improved” since being admitted to the hospital.

Heche’s “close friend” echoed those sentiments, telling the Daily Mail she is “in terrible condition” and that “the smoke inhalation is life-threatening.”

The friend requested that people “please pray” for the actress and felt that “only God can save her now.”

On Wednesday, officials escalated their investigation to a felony DUI after the woman whose home Heche crashed into claimed she was injured and needed medical assistance as a result.

We confirmed on Monday that the department had obtained a warrant to test the actress’ blood to determine whether she was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs when she plowed her blue Mini Cooper into the woman’s LA home, igniting a massive fire.

Later that day, her rep told us she was “in critical condition.”

“Shortly after the accident, Anne Heche became unconscious, slipping into a coma,” her spokesperson shared.

“She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention.”

It’s unclear how much progress doctors have been able to make.

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