Alice Bianco alleges the abuse started with a forced kiss by her boss shortly after she began working at the Trump National Golf Club in May 2021. She claims it quickly escalated into a quid pro quo sexual relationship required for job “protection,” according to her lawsuit, filed Thursday in state court.
Alleging discrimination and fraud, Bianco is asking the court to void the settlement and bar the golf club from trying to enforce it. If she succeeds, she could file a suit over the alleged acts that seeks more money, and she wouldn’t be exposed to legal action for publicly discussing her claims. She is also seeking disciplinary action against the lawyer, Alina Habba.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Q: Hi, General Ryder. Thanks for doing this. Just on that aid shipment, is that the first time that U.S. military aircraft has been used to fly aid to -- for Gazans?
GEN. RYDER: Yes, that is correct.
Q: OK. And...
GEN. RYDER: In terms of humanitarian...
Q: I'm sorry?
GEN. RYDER: In terms of humanitarian assistance, aid, correct.
Q: OK. And then secondly, with the ceasefire announcement, it seems like there have been no attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria since last week. Have -- our facilities, have they been reaching out at all to groups in the area to make sure that that peace lasts or is there any communication at all?
GEN. RYDER: Yes, thanks, Tara. So, as you highlight, there have been no attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria since November 23rd, since the operational pause began in Israel. Again, our forces are there for one reason and that's to stay focused on the Defeat ISIS mission. And so we will continue to focus on that mission, as well as ensuring that our forces are protected. Should there be any additional attacks, we would certainly hope that that's not the case, but we will be prepared to respond accordingly if there are any additional attacks on our forces.
The regional reverberations of the Israel-Gaza war demonstrate why the White House should scrap, not reinforce, America’s outdated and unnecessarily provocative troop presence in Syria and Iraq.
President Joe Biden should redeploy these forces to a safer position offshore and leave it to self-interested Syrians and Iraqis to prevent ISIS from reemerging. As Biden’s own policy on Afghanistan demonstrated — and as I observed on the ground earlier this fall — withdrawing U.S. soldiers and Marines can bolster American security by turning the fight against Islamic State over to well-motivated local belligerents while freeing up U.S. personnel to serve in more vital areas.
Likewise, pivoting out of Syria and Iraq will not make Americans any less safe, but it will deny local militias, and their presumptive patrons in Iran, the chance to use unneeded outposts for leverage over our national strategy.
Since October 17, some 900 U.S. troops in Syria and 2,500 in Iraq have been taking fire from Iran-linked militias and, subsequently, drawing retaliatory air support, including an attack by a C-130 gunship that killed eight members of the Kataib Hezbollah group in Iraq last week. The U.S. service members are the lingering footprint of Operation Inherent Resolve, which began in 2015 to defeat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and succeeded in 2019 in eliminating the physical ISIS caliphate, thereby reducing ISIS to “a survival posture” without territory.
Rather than taking the win and packing up, the Trump and Biden administrations kept in place some troops, who have become a recurring target of opportunity for Iran and its surrogates during moments of tension. In the past five weeks, the Iran-linked militants’ rockets and one-way attack drones have injured over sixty of these Americans.
The prolonged American deployment, driven by policy inertia more than strategic necessity, has added tinder to a potential U.S.-Iranian conflagration that would eclipse the Israel-Gaza War. One Pentagon official has remarked in defiance, “Iran’s objective… has been to force a withdrawal of the U.S. military from the region… What I would observe is that we’re still there [in Iraq and Syria].”
This reluctance to relinquish former ISIS territory to independently-minded governments recapitulates the mindset that made the Afghanistan and Iraq wars so unnecessarily costly. Rather than cutting its losses, the White House and Pentagon have doubled down, with two aircraft carrier groups in the Eastern Mediterranean, an airstrike on an Iran-linked weapons depot in Syria, and an additional 1,200 troops for staffing regional air defenses, and now strikes inside Iraq — over the objections of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, whose coalition is linked to Kataib Hezbollah.
When it comes to escalating or winding down U.S. military interventions, the deciding factor should not be what Iran’s leaders want in largely deserted corners of Iraq and Syria, but what policies best serve American interests. On this question, Biden’s controversial decision in 2021 to pull all U.S. forces from Afghanistan offers an important lesson. As I have seen firsthand, complete withdrawal can serve Washington’s counterterrorism and strategic goals, even if the policy cedes physical terrain to governments with which U.S. officials do not see eye to eye.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki demanded a permanent cease-fire on Wednesday and said life in Gaza must prevail against those who seek to destroy it.
Al-Maliki thanked Qatar and Egypt for their efforts that led to a truce between Israel and the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, as he addressed a UN Security Council session on the Gaza conflict.
"But the truce must become a cease-fire -- a permanent cease-fire. The massacres cannot be allowed to resume. This is not a war. This is a carnage that nothing and no one can justify. It must be brought to an end," he said.
Al-Maliki said the dire needs of residents in Gaza must be addressed throughout the enclave "without further delay and constraints."
He said residents must be allowed to go back to their homes and start rebuilding their lives, and the siege imposed by Israel must be lifted.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told the meeting that the Palestinian people "are faced with an existential threat" amid the conflict.
"We are owed respect to our inherent dignity... Israel has no right to self-defense against a people that it occupies," he said.
The ongoing truce in the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas is scheduled to expire early Thursday after a six-day pause in the fighting, which was sparked by deadly Hamas attacks on October 7 that prompted a devastating Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip in return.
In what local residents described as the largest military raid since 7 October, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) killed two children and levelled an entire street in the West Bank city of Jenin Wednesday. The continuation of daily raids on the West Bank during the six-day truce in the bombardment of Gaza underscores the fact that the Israeli regime remains committed to a policy of genocide against the Palestinian people, for which it enjoys the support of the imperialist powers in North America and Europe.
The two fatalities were identified as 8-year-old Adam Samer al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu al-Wafa. Both were shot by Israeli soldiers, one in the head and the other in the chest. The IDF claimed to have killed two senior commanders of armed resistance groups operating in Jenin and called in a drone air strike to demolish a house. Roads and water mains were also destroyed.
In total, Israel detained 35 Palestinians in ''West Bank raids during the night into Wednesday, more than the 30 released in the latest exchange as part of the Gaza truce. Over 3,325 Palestinians have been detained by Israel in the West Bank since 7 October, adding to the more than 5,000 Palestinians already languishing in Israeli jails. Of the 300 Palestinians identified for possible release as part of the truce brokered by Qatar and the US, fully 80 percent have not been charged with any crime, let alone convicted.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have surrounded three hospitals and are blocking medical teams as they conduct a major raid in the Jenin refugee camp. The head of Doctors Without Borders, Christos Christou, posted this video last night while trapped with staff at the Khalil Suleiman Hospital.
Christos Christou: It’s been already two-and-a-half hours that we are trapped in our hospital here in Jenin, while the Israeli forces are operating in another incursion in Jenin camp. There is no way for any of the injured patients to reach the hospital, and there’s no way for us to reach these people.”
Christou said at least two Palestinians died of their wounds while ambulances could not reach them during the siege. This comes amid reports a 9-year-old Palestinian boy was shot by Israeli soldiers in Jenin this morning.
The IDF has also destroyed at least two homes in Jenin, as well as roads and water mains, and rounded up at least 20 people. Rights groups say Israel has arrested 35 Palestinians throughout the occupied West Bank within the past 24 hours, including a 12-year-old child.
Prominent Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi was one of those freed by Israel last night.
Tamimi was one of hundreds arrested in the West Bank in November on charges of inciting terror. Tamimi’s mother has denied the charges against her daughter, saying they were based on fake social media posts.
Tamimi, 22, has been a prominent activist for Palestinian land rights since childhood. In 2017, she was arrested and imprisoned for eight months for slapping an IDF soldier during a raid of her home village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank.
NBC News visited Nabi Saleh in 2014 and interviewed Tamimi, then 14, who had recently become famous for biting and hitting an IDF soldier as he restrained her 12-year-old brother after a protest against the illegal expansion of the Jewish Halamish settlement near Ramallah, captured in viral images celebrated in the occupied territories and around the world as depicting the spirit of the Palestinian resistance.
“We the Palestinians are not going to wait for Saladin to liberate us,” Tamimi said in an interview with NBC News at that time, referring to a 12th-century leader who united Middle Eastern armies to fight European crusaders. “We are going to make our own Saladin and liberate ourselves.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah II has urged UN aid officials and international NGOs to pile pressure on Israel to allow more aid into Gaza, officials and aid workers have said.
They said the monarch told an emergency meeting in Amman of UN officials, heads of Western non-governmental organisations and representatives of Arab donors it was unacceptable that Israel continued to hold back sufficient aid flows.
“The monarch urged the international aid community to do their bit and save [Palestinians in Gaza] who have endured a brutal war that has turned their land into an unliveable place,” said one delegate who requested anonymity since deliberations were taking place confidentially.
The COP28 climate summit has opening in Dubai with a minute’s silence for the civilians killed in the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, who served as president of COP27, opened the first session of the day by asking attendees to join him in remembering two officials involved in previous summits who had recently died of natural causes as well as “all civilians who have perished during the current conflict in Gaza”.
“Antisemites are taking advantage of the pro-Palestinian movement to espouse hatred and bigotry towards Jewish people,” Schumer asserted, without providing evidence to back up the claim. “[W]e see so many of our friends and fellow citizens, particularly young people who yearn for justice, unknowingly aiding and abetting their cause.”
After accusing students on college campuses and in high schools in the United States of being useful idiots for fascists and antisemites because they object to genocide, collective punishment and ethnic cleansing directed against the Palestinian people, Schumer lamented that following the armed incursion of Hamas on October 7, “some of our fellow citizens” justified a “brutal terrorist attack” because of “the actions of the Israeli government.”
Schumer neglected to mention the attacks by the far-right Netanyahu government against the Palestinian people prior to October 7 this year. He said nothing about the seizure of Palestinian lands by Zionist-fascist settlers, military raids in the occupied West Bank or calls by Jewish supremacist legislators to “subdue” Palestinians in Gaza “once and for all.”
Schumer was similarly silent on “actions” taken by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since October 7:
Saturation bombing and ground attacks on hospitals, mosques and schools that have killed an estimated 20,000 Palestinians, most children and women. According to figures from Iraq Body Count, more Palestinian civilians have been killed in less than two months in Gaza than during every year of the American occupation of Iraq, except 2006 (29,526), 2007 (26,112) and 2014 (20,218).
The killing of “at least 57 journalists” as of November 29, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). This compares to 10 journalist fatalities recorded by the organization in the 21 months since the Russian incursion into Ukraine.
Schumer’s speech, billed as an “address on antisemitism,” was an incitement to more intense repression directed against anti-war protests on college campuses and in high schools.
While Schumer repeatedly smeared students protesting the Israeli military campaign and the apartheid policies of Israel as promoters of antisemitism, he never criticized his “Republican colleagues,” many of whom regularly trade in antisemitic conspiracy theories and dog whistles, from tirades against the “globalist” George Soros to promotion of the “Great Replacement Theory.”
With the death toll in Gaza exceeding 15,000 and the horror of Israel’s war of annihilation made even more clear by on-the-spot reports during the temporary lull in the bombing, and worldwide protests against the genocide continuing unabated, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is seeking to present himself as an even-handed advocate for both the Israeli state and the Palestinians.
One would expect nothing less from this pro-Zionist, pro-imperialist political imposter. On November 22, he published an op-ed in the New York Times headlined “Justice for the Palestinians and Security for Israel.”
It is worth discussing this piece of political sophistry in some detail, but it must first be placed in its proper context.
On Sunday, November 5, Sanders appeared on CNN to oppose mounting calls for a ceasefire in the Israeli slaughter. Parroting the line of the Netanyahu government as well as the Biden administration, Sanders cast Israel’s campaign of ethnic cleansing as a necessary act of self-defense following the armed breakout and incursion into southern Israel carried out by Hamas on October 7.
“I don’t know how you can have a ceasefire, a permanent ceasefire, with an organization like Hamas, which is dedicated to turmoil and chaos and destroying the State of Israel,” he told “State of the Union” moderator Dana Bash. “I think what the Arab countries in the region understand is that Hamas has got to go.”
This defense of the Israeli onslaught was welcomed by the war criminals and their accomplices. White House Deputy Communications Director Herbie Ziskind tweeted out quotes from Sanders’ interview. Within an hour of Sanders’ appearance, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) posted a clip of his remarks on X/Twitter. In a subsequent tweet, the Zionist lobby said, “Thank you @SenSanders for your clear and principled opposition to calls for a ceasefire with Hamas.”
Sanders’ comments were praised by Israeli officials, and Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy shared a clip of the interview on X/Twitter.
When Sanders made his public denunciation of calls to halt Israel’s mass bombing, the official death toll in Gaza had already reached 9,770, with children and women comprising a majority of the victims. Israel was systematically targeting hospitals, schools, UN facilities and other buildings where Palestinians whose homes had been destroyed sought refuge. This included the October 17 bombing of Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, which, according to Gazan officials, killed at least 471 people and wounded more than 300 others.
I've been very busy today and had no idea what I was going to write about. So I pull up GOOGLE NEWS and, goodness, someone died.
War Criminal Henry Kissinger has died. Proving Billy Joel right ("Only The Good Die Young"), Killer Kissinger was 100 years old.
Sadly, his many victims were not so fortunate.
Vietnam, Chile, East Timor . . . He transformed the entire world into a killing field.
By the way, sluts. I will slut shame and I don't care if someone's offended. Numerous sluts let Kissinger stick it in them -- Candy Bergan, I'm looking at you. A lot of people were shocked how, in the early '00s, she started in with her b.s. of Dan Quayle was right. Dan The Idiot was not right. (He had attacked her fictional character Murphy Brown in the 90s.) But that's Candy Bergen, pretending to be left and pretending to care and just driving Bert Schneider crazy with her her constant cavings. A real fake ass. That's what you had to be to bed down with Henry -- right, Gloria Steinem? Don't ever pretend to care about the world if you've been underneath Henry Kissinger. You're just a slut and a slut with really bad taste in men. Need another example of that? Failed actress Jill St. John.
Not only did his judgments and policy manuevers leave children and adults dead across the world in real time but these evil actions had long term implications. Let's note the Kurds. This is from 2014, C.I.'s "Little ditty 'bout Iraq and Iran:"
Meanwhile there is the matter of the oil deal between the Kurdish Regional Government and the central Iraqi government out of Baghdad. The deal has received much praise, but David L. Phillips points out at CNBC:
U.S. officials heralded the agreement as a victory for the unity of Iraq. It is a positive, but they should not rush to judgment. The agreement must be enshrined in Iraq's budget bill and passed by the Iraqi parliament. If the agreement is authorized, it must then be implemented—both sides must deliver.
The Baghdad Agreement defers decisions on important issues. It is silent on "disputed internal boundaries." The central government stills claims Kirkuk and Khanaqin, where Kurds predominate. Successive Iraqi governments ignored article 140 of the constitution, which requires a referendum on Kirkuk's status.
The agreement will be in force for just one year. Negotiations will resume before the ink is dry, pre-empting a period of confidence-building.
Those are very important points and everyone should have been more skeptical of the announcements regarding the deal.
Everyone includes me.
I should have been much more cautious in my remarks. That was my error.
Here, we noted it in terms of the Kurds exercising their power.
And certainly, they did that to get the deal announced; however, a deal means nothing until it's implemented. Look at all the starts and stops to Nouri's weapons deal with Russia not all that long ago, for example.
And this week, there has been muttering from Hadier al-Abadi's staff (to the Iraq press) about the deal which makes the question mark a little bolder.
But the biggest lesson is and remains the Pike Report. As that Congressional report documented, the US government (Nixon was President, Henry Kissinger was the go-to for the issue) deliberately encouraged the Kurds to stand, pledged support and much more only to then pull all support without a second thought since the whole thing had been a con and the Kurds were used as a pawn.
For those late to the party, February 16, 1976, The Village Voice published Aaron Latham's "Introduction to the Pike Papers." Latham explained:
In 1972, Dr. Henry Kissinger met with the Shah of Iran, who asked the U.S. to aid the Kurds in their rebellion against Iraq, an enemy of the Shah. Kissinger later presented the proposal to President Nixon who approved what would become a $16 million program. Then John B. Connally, the former Nixon Treasury Secretary, was dispatched to Iran to inform the Shah, one oil man to another.
The committee report charges that: "The President, Dr. Kissinger and the foreign head of state [the Shah] hoped our clients would not prevail. They preferred instead that the insurgents simply continue a level of hostilities sufficient to sap the resources of our ally's neighboring country [Iraq]. The policy was not imparted to our clients, who were encouraged to continue fighting. Even in the context of covert action, ours was a cynical enterprise."
During the Arab-Israeli war, when the Kurds might have been able to strike at a distracted Iraqi government, Kissinger, according to the report, "personally restrained the insurgents from an all-out offensive on the one occasion when such an attack might have been successful."
Then, when Iran resolved its border dispute with Iraq, the U.S. summarily dropped the Kurds. And Iraq, knowing aid would be cut off, launched a search-and-destroy campaign the day after the border agreement was signed.
A high U.S. official later explained to the Pike committee staff: "Covert action should not be confused with missionary work."
The arrogance, the disdain for human life and human rights. That is the hallmark of Kissinger's work. There's nothing to take pride in. He damaged the world. Millions are dead because of him.
While the US refused to admit it, he was a War Criminal. That is why, for the last decades, he wasn't able to travel freely. He would have been arrested in certain countries.
“Arrest Kissinger!” read the ads that ran in 2012 in the Tagesspiegel, Berliner Zeitung and taz, the three daily newspapers in Berlin. A collaborative art event by the Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar and us, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. Along with German and English versions, the ads also appeared in Spanish, Vietnamese, Khmer, Portuguese and Timorese dialects, i.e. the languages of the people living in countries where the population endured great suffering under former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s realpolitik. And for these policies he is still lauded by many today.
World renowned artist Jaar’s piece focuses primarily on his home country and the Pinochet dictatorship. It begins with a date: 11/9/1973, the day coup fighters began bombing the Moneda Palace in Santiago de Chile. A date that still carries a terrible significance for Chile, for Latin America as a whole and for the Left movement everywhere. It marks the moment when the states of the West made it clear that they were unwilling to accept a democratically elected socialist – Salvador Allende – as president of Chile.
Since then, the 11th of September has been etched in the Latin American consciousness as a reminder of the USA’s ultimate act of dominion. After 11th of September 2001, the date has of course come to be associated with the Al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. And so it is an aching example of imperialist language usage when people in Latin America now hear the 11th of September 1973 being referred to merely as Once de Septiembre chico: the little 11th of September.
In “Searching For Mr. K” Jaar quotes from a recorded dialogue between Kissinger and President Richard Nixon on 16th of September 1973 about the putsch which had taken place in Chile five days earlier:
P: Hi Henry.
K: Mr. President.
P: Where are you. In New York?
K: No. I am in Washington. I am working. I may go to a football game this afternoon if I get through.
P: Good. Good. Well it is the opener. It is better than television. Nothing new of any importance…?
K: Nothing of very great consequence. The Chilean thing is getting consolidated and of course the newspapers are bleeding because a pro-Communist government has been overthrown.
P: Isn’t that something? Isn’t that something?
K: I mean instead of celebrating, in the Eisenhower period we would be heroes.
The results of the military coup, which was supported by the calculated assistance of the USA: thousands dead, many, many thousands more tortured and exiled, the destruction for decades of democracy in Chile. “Nothing of very great consequence”, was the summary of events from Kissinger, a man who continues to be held in high regard, honored at countless gala events and most recently in Germany by Der Spiegel.
The University of Bonn and the German Ministry of Defense have gone one step further. In March 2014 they named a university professorship after this war criminal. Yes, those are the words I use to describe this man, even if by law he has not been found guilty. Kissinger continues to go unpunished and largely free from any prosecution. The laws in place at the time his crimes were committed did not allow for universal jurisdiction in criminal cases, as would be possible today. No investigations into his criminal contributions were held anywhere. In the USA, criminal proceedings against powerful political figures remain largely off-limits.
“Arrest Kissinger!” is thus more of a symbolic plea. But things are quite different for the Kissingers of today, as shown by the decision against former Liberian president Charles Taylor, whose active support of the rebel army in Sierra Leone saw him face charges at a UN tribunal for his role in human rights violations.
He was a disgusting person. He killed millions and should have rotted in jail. Now he's most likely going to rot in hell and he more than deserves it. Remember, America, every time a War Criminal dies, a demon in hell gets his horns.