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The Middle East is making a change that is well appreciated by Trump voters.

A source close to the royal family of Saudi Arabia said that the king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud plans to step down within the next week and leaves Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his son, as his inheritor.

The source said that MBS (as he is known) plans to gather the support from the Israeli people to destroy Hezbollah, a Lebanon Islamic group that behaves as a proxy for Iran.

“MBS is convinced that he has to hit Iran and Hezbollah,” the source said. “MBS’s plan is to start the fire in Lebanon, but he’s hoping to count on Israeli military backing. He has already promised Israel billions of dollars in direct financial aid if they agree.”

While this statement may appear just as an unconfirmed speculation, even Hezbollah seems to be alerted by MBS’s intents.

Last week, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah’s secretary general, issued a statement accusing Saudi Arabia of “inciting Israel to launch a war against Lebanon” and claiming the MBS “is ready to pay tens of billions of dollars to Israel for that.”

This comes at a time when the tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia are rising. The Saudi king blames Iran for the Houthi rebels’ attempt in Yemen this month to attack the Saudi capital of Riyadh with a missile.

“The Coalition’s command considers the Iranian regime’s action in supplying the Houthi militias that it commands with these missiles to be a blatant violation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions that prohibit nations from arming these militias,” the state-run Saudi Press Agency issued a statement then.

The agency was referring to the Saudi-led effort issued in 2015 to impact the Yemeni civil war in favor of Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

“Further, Iran’s role and its direct command of its Houthi proxy in this matter constitutes a clear act of aggression that targets neighboring countries, and threatens peace and security in the region and globally,” the statement continued.

“Therefore, the Coalition’s Command considers this a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime, and could rise to be considered as an act of war against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia and Lebanon tensions are also rising, with Lebanon prime minister Saad Hariri resigning this month during a trip to Saudi Arabia, saying his life is at risk due to Hezbollah and Iran.

Speculations are emerging that Saudi Arabia is pressuring Hariri after he announced that he will be resigning in a televised address from the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The Riyadh officials have denied pressuring him to resign or placing him under house arrest. Hariri has dual citizenship in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

According to BBC, Hariri landed in Paris “for talks” about the crisis emerged by his sudden resignation.

In the meantime, the Saudi Arabia and Israel continue to improve their relations, with Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff Lt. General Gadi Eisenkot stating for Saudi newspaper that because of President Trump’s influence, the relationship is getting stronger.

“With President Donald Trump, there is an opportunity for a new international alliance in the region and a major strategic plan to stop the Iranian threat,” he stated. “We are ready to share intelligence (with Saudi Arabia) if necessary. There are many common interests between us.”

“Iran seeks to take control of the Middle East, creating a Shi’ite crescent from Lebanon to Iran, and then from the Gulf to the Red Sea,” he continued. “We must prevent this from happening.”

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Trump Expects Twitter Will Ban Him Shortly Before November Election — Says He Might Join Parler

As the Trump administration ratchets up the pressure on big technology, President Donald Trump said he expects that Twitter will strike back.

Trump sounded off about Twitter in the course of an interview Friday with Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist.

In recent weeks, Twitter has become aggressive in its handling of Trump’s tweets, posting warnings on one tweet about rioters breaking the law and on another in which Trump mocked CNN.

That led to Domenech asking the president if he expects Twitter will follow up by placing a ban on his personal Twitter account.

“Yes, I do,” the president replied.

Trump said he expects the ax will fall this autumn, as the presidential election nears.

“Some people say I should join Parler,” Trump said, referring to the platform that touts itself as “an unbiased social media focused on real user experiences and engagement.”

“Maybe. We do have over 194 million followers, though, across multiple sites,” the president added.

John Daniel Davidson, political editor for The Federalist, expressed similar sentiments regarding Twitter in an Op-Ed published on the site.

“Twitter’s criteria for what’s misleading, abusive, or harassing, or what ‘glorifies violence,’ is entirely one-sided and almost always enforced against conservatives and Republicans but never against leftists or Democrats. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Twitter to ban videos of rioters beating up passersby and torching storefronts, or Democrats lying, or left-wing accounts abusing copyrights. It’s not going to happen,” he wrote Thursday.

“On the other hand, you can be sure that before we get too much closer to the November election, Twitter will drop any pretense about being a neutral platform and ban Trump outright.”

In the interview with Domenech, Trump contrasted Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to Twitter, saying Facebook was less biased.

He also predicted that if Twitter bans him, “I expect it will hurt them more than they realize.”

The Trump administration has been looking closely at America’s giant technology companies, with various reports indicating that Attorney General William Barr is considering a possible antitrust lawsuit against Google.

Trump said reform of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides some lawsuit protection for big technology companies, could be necessary.

However, he said that reform cannot amount to government smothering the tech giants.

“Section 230 is a double-edged sword,” Trump said, but “would be a much bigger problem for these companies than even just breaking them up … because you would have to be fighting lawsuits all the time. And believe me, I know a little about that.”

“But I want these companies to be successful, and to be based here in America because if you go too far, they end up looking at what is being offered by China instead,” he added.

“And I don’t want that.”

Trump also noted that his Republican allies “need to be stronger” in defending statues and monuments targeted by rioters.

“They’ve got to get much tougher,” he said.

“They have to be stronger, have to come together,” Trump added, or find themselves losing political ground.

“Republicans need to be fighting,” the president said, arguing that radicals who have hijacked the protest movement that began after the death of George Floyd are not seeking just equality.

“You see their leaders on TV saying ‘give us what we want, or we’ll burn down this system and replace it,’” he added.

“That’s almost terrorism.”

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Trump Administration Will Approve Work Requirements in Medicaid

The Trump administration is considering to allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Before National Association of Medicaid Directors, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma stated that Trump is backing all the measures which help recipients “move up, move on, and move out” of the program.

“Believing that community engagement requirements do not support or promote the objectives of Medicaid is a tragic example of the soft bigotry of low expectations consistently espoused by the prior administration,” Verma stated.

“Those days are over.”

She “defined community engagement as working, volunteering, going to school or obtaining job training.”

“Let me be clear to everyone in this room — we will approve proposals that promote community engagement activities,” she said.

“Every American deserves the dignity and respect of high expectations, and as public officials we should deliver programs that instill hope and say to each beneficiary that we believe in your potential.”

These remarks infuriated the liberals almost immediately.

“Not only will work requirements impede access to health care coverage for individuals who aren’t able to work, but they will also create difficult administrative hurdles for the vast majority of individuals on Medicaid who are already working,” said Catherine McKee, a senior attorney with the National Health Law Program.

According to the rules right now the induvial states can get waivers to Medicaid policies only if they prove that the goal is to extend greater coverage to the poor, McKee said.

“Work requirements do not meet these standards,” McKee said.

First, this will only apply to able-bodied people without kids who can work but opt not to.

Second, the waiver programs are going to be administered under the section of the Social Security Act — known as “Section 1115,” which allows the states to experiment with demonstration projects in order to improve or get federal help.

For example, Kentucky believes it could save up to $2.4 billion over 5 years if able-bodied people without kids could get proper job training for five hours per week.

Other five states, Indiana, Arkansas, Utah, Maine, and Wisconsin also have waivers programs which require for those people to participate or work in some community engagement.

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The Federal Appeals Court Allowed Texas To Implement New Voter ID Law

The federal appeals court gave a green light for Texas to enforce a new revised version of its voter identification law.

“The State has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits. SB5 allows voters without qualifying photo ID to cast regular ballots by executing a declaration that they face a reasonable impediment to obtaining qualifying photo ID. This declaration is made under the penalty of perjury,” Judges Jerry Smith and Jennifer Elrod wrote in a joint order Tuesday. “The State has made a strong showing that this reasonable-impediment procedure remedies plaintiffs’ alleged harm and thus forecloses plaintiffs’ injunctive relief.”

They criticized U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos expanding the scope of the prior ruling instructing her to evaluate whether or not SB5 solved issues with SB14, another voter ID measure passed in Texas in 2011. Speculations were that the previous measure was an attempt to discriminate and that SB5 didn’t solve the issue.

“The district court went beyond the scope of the mandate on remand,” Smith and Elrod said. “Simply put, whether SB 5 should be enjoined — as opposed to whether it remedies SB 14’s ills — was not an issue before the district court on remand.”

“The third judge on the 5th Circuit panel handling Texas’ request to stay Ramos’ ruling, Judge James Graves Jr., said it was far from clear Texas would prevail. He noted that the 4th Circuit ruled last year that a North Carolina voter ID measure which the courts found was motivated by race was not adequately redressed by fixes to the law, and instead needed to be removed “root and branch.”

Graves also said preserving the status quo would mean returning to the procedures used during last year’s elections, rather than letting Texas go through with the process set up by the new law.

“If a stay is granted at all, then it should be comprehensive. In other words, the correct approach would be to stay both the district court’s order and the new legislation,” Graves said.

Lauren Ehrsam, a spokesperson for Trump’s Justice Department said they supported the ruling, stating that they were “pleased that the Fifth Circuit has stayed the injunction and allowed Texas to proceed with its duly enacted voter identification laws. Preserving the integrity of the ballot is vital to our democracy, and the Fifth Circuit’s order allows Texas to continue to fulfill that duty as this case moves forward.”

But this is not the end, the Civil rights activists can still intervene and request the Supreme Court to pause the improved voter id law, at least till the November elections are over.

Judge Jerry Smith is a Reagan appointee, Jennifer Elrod is a George W. Bush appointee, while James Graves and Nelva Gonzalez Ramos are Obama appointees.

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