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The Spill: Trump at the Border

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President Donald Trump Visits the US-Mexico Border

Former President Trump visited the Rio Grande sector in Texas with other Republicans this past week at the invitation of Governor Greg Abbott. This sector is the hardest hit section in terms of illegal border crossings. Trump went directly to the front lines to visit residents and tour the towns of Weslaco and Granjeno on the southern tip of the nation.

The trip was timed to coincide with a delegation from the Republican Study Committee (RSC) in the region. RSC members, led by Representative Jim Banks, hiked into dangerous desert terrain to talk with asylum seekers – most of whom were minors.

Trump and Abbott jointly held a discussion with the RSC and other officials. A widescreen to the right of the podium flashed photos of illegal immigrants crossing through dangerous border sections without any barrier or deterrent.

Both leaders gave remarks. Mr. Abbott spoke of the heroics of Border Patrol agents in rescuing abandoned children and immigrants who could not make it across the harsh landscape. President Trump said it was important to erect border barriers in an effort to keep both Americans and those who seek asylum safe from drug and human traffickers.

Mr. Biden’s Military Airstrikes

Photo by jlhervàs

Tensions in the Middle East have escalated once again. President Biden ordered several airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups near the Iraq-Syria border.

Immediately, Iraq condemned the airstrikes and called for revenge against the U.S.

Pentagon Public Affairs Secretary John Kirby clarified that militias were using the targeted facilities to launch drone attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq.

Kirby explained that the U.S. military bombed three weapons storage facilities, one in Iraq and two in Syria.

Kirby went further, claiming the strikes were defensive and necessary: “The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation — but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message.”

Biden’s decision to bomb the area was controversial, bring debate amongst both his supporters and opponents.

Picasso and Mondrian Recovered

Pablo Picasso, Three Musicians Photo by Andrew Milligan sumo

After nearly a decade-long mystery, two priceless works of art have been located in a forest on the outskirts of Athens. Greek authorities recovered Pablo Picasso’s 1939 painting, Woman’s Head, and Piet Mondrian’s 1905 work, Stammer Windmill. Both were reported stolen in 2012 from Greece’s National Gallery by an art-loving construction worker who finally came clean, confessed, and led police to his stash. Sadly, yet another work was marred in the pilfering and subsequently destroyed: a sketch by Italian painter Guglielmo Caccia, who died in 1625. The thief claimed to have flushed the sketch in the toilet.

But Athens reacted with joy upon the recovery. Culture Minister Lina Mendoni praised authorities for returning the gift from Picasso for Greece’s assistance against the Nazi regime during WWII: “This painting is of particular importance and sentimental value … as it was personally dedicated by the great painter to the Greek people for their fight against fascist and Nazi forces.” During the happy news conference, Mendoni told reporters, “It would have been impossible to sell.”

Listed on the black market, no one offered to buy the cubist-style painting, which is why the perpetrator was caught. As authorities were closing in, they knew the paintings would not be an easy sell and had likely remained in the country. But the larceny was a near-perfect crime, taking only seven minutes: The lone guard was distracted, the canvasses stripped off frames, and the art-loving bandit crashed through a balcony and was away. The alarm system has now been upgraded.

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