Deloitte estimated that the U.S. contraction in in 2020 would be the second mildest (behind only Japan) among G7 nations, with all the other countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. — estimated to take a harder hit.”
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Chicago Fed, the Conference Board, and Goldman Sachs have all expected growth to be between 30% and 35%, on an annualized basis. This level of growth, economists note, would be the highest in the history of American GDP calculations, which began during the Great Depression.
“It’s the best-ever recovery,” economist Art Laffer told Just the News. “But you know, bottom line, the reason that’s the best is because the first and second quarter were the two worst. They were caused by something not economic, they were caused by the pandemic. And so it’s not a normal recovery in the sense of the Great Depression.”
By Jennie Taer
During Wednesday’s State Department press briefing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo teased that Sudan could be the next country to sign a deal to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel. Pompeo also revealed that the U.S. is moving to lift the state sponsorship of terror designation still imposed against Sudan.
The Trump administration recently brokered similar deals with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Israel, dubbed “The Abraham Accords.” The two gulf countries signed deals with Israel at the White House last month, signaling a “new era of Middle East Peace.” A delegation from Sudan was reportedly in attendance at the signing ceremony.
“I might get #cancelled for this, but my undecided focus group doesn’t like how Kamala Harris interacts with her opponent. We saw this in the Dem debates – she is applauded for her knowledge, but they just don’t like her ‘condescending reactions.’ #VPDebate” — Pollster Frank Luntz
Iran backs Azerbaijan, sends arms to Armenia
Iran like Turkey consistently supports Azerbaijan, the fourth Shiite Islamic majority nation in the world, while refraining from roundly condemning Christian Armenia, at a time that the two Caucasian nations are locked in fierce combat over the Nagorno Karabakh enclave. The fighting this week escalated to reciprocal attacks on their major cities.
Iran, whose supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an ethnic Azeri, is home to four Azeri-speaking northwestern provinces, to which some separatist extremists refer as “South Azerbaijan.” Encouraging them could spark secessionist movements among Iran’s other minority groups. So while Iranian officials have voiced support for Azerbaijan’s integrity – Nagorno Karabakh was internationally recognized as part of its territory although the majority of it population are Armenian Christians – they did not echo Azeri lawmakers in Tehran, who this week accused Armenia of forming “an evil Islamophobic trio in the region” with Israel and the United States.
Condemning Armenia as the aggressor would present Tehran with another problem: its clandestine supply of arms to Azerbaijan’s enemy. Video footage of Iranian arms trucks in Karabakh last April evoked strong denials in Tehran as being “utterly false,” after raising hackles in Baku. In the current outbreak, Iran was accused of allowing the transit of Russian arms to Armenia through its East Azerbaijan Province. This prompted another denial. Iran and Armenia are moreover long trade partners, and Tehran looks after important Armenian churches in the Azeri northwest.
Caught in the middle, Tehran has not surprisingly joined US, Russian and French calls for a ceasefire in the hostilities which erupted last month.
Those hostilities intensified this week, Nagorno-Karabakh claimed to have destroyed Azerbaijan’s military airport in Ganja, a city of 300,000 after its own town of Stepanakert was hit by enemy missiles. Both reported heavy casualties including many civilians.
Turkey had no qualms about accusing Armenia of “targeting civilians” in Ganja, after reportedly sending fighters from its Syrian proxy rebel groups to fight for Azerbaijan. Over and above Erdogan’s Islamic leadership pretentions, his stake in the former Soviet republic is substantial, two pipelines run from Baku’s oilfields into Turkey for re-export to Europe. It is also Ankara’s only supplier of gas.
Russia is a traditional ally of Armenia and maintains a large military base in that country.
Azerbaijan acknowledged using Israel-made drones in the fighting, with “devastating effect.” According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Israel sold Azerbaijan some $825 million worth of weapons between 2006 and 2019. Those exports included drones, loitering munitions, anti-tank missiles, and a surface-to-air missile system.
Azerbaijan’s ties with Israel are another factor in Tehran’s preference for a truce in the conflict. Iran certainly does not want to see Israel’s influence taking root near its borders.
The secretary of state said the Obama administration did not grasp the threat posed by China
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Chinese Communist Party represents the most significant outside threat to the United States.
“The greatest external threat that the United States faces over the medium and long term is the threat by the regime in China today, the Chinese Communist Party lead by General Secretary Xi Jinping,” Pompeo said during an interview Sunday on Fox News with conservative commentator Mark Levin.
Pompeo also said that the Obama administration did not grasp the threat posed by the Asian superpower.
America is a nation founded on religious freedom. I am thankful that we have a President willing to stand up and be counted to promote religious freedom here in America and around the world. Please pray with me today.
Heavenly father we come to you today and we pray not only in this country of America, but around the world that people would be able to worship you as they see fit without fear of retribution from oppressive governments. Lord I thank you for a president and administration that is promoting and lifting up freedom of religion.
Dear Lord I am praying against the blue state governors and mayors who are forcing Christians to make a decision between worshiping you and going to jail or being fined for gathering together. Lord I pray that this religious persecution will stop in the United States of America. We will obey God rather than man.
“The PRC’s actions, including missile tests, further destabilize the situation in the South China Sea,” the Pentagon declared in a statement.
The Defense Department on Thursday warned the People’s Republic of China for carrying out military exercises with ballistic- missile launches in the disputed South China Sea, calling them “counterproductive” when it comes to successfully “maintaining stability.”
“Conducting military exercises over disputed territory in the South China Sea is counterproductive to easing tensions and maintaining stability. The PRC’s actions, including missile tests, further destabilize the situation in the South China Sea,” the Pentagon declared in a statement about China’s activities that started on August 23 and will run through Saturday.
China’s recent actions represents a breach of the nation’s commitments in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, the U.S. said.