Study Guide: What's coming

#1: France's ruling party discusses Islam

UMP members hold criticised debate about Islam's place in secular France, days before ban on face veils is implemented.

#2: U.S. 'deeply concerned' about Israel settlement expansion

State Department issues statement calling on Israel to halt settlement building in light of possible building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

#3: Islamists look for gains in Egypt's freer politics

(AP) – 21 hours ago

CAIRO (AP) — Islamic hard-liners, some of them heavily suppressed under three decades of Hosni Mubarak's regime, are enthusiastically diving into Egypt's new freedoms, forming political parties to enter upcoming elections and raising alarm that they will try to lead the country into fundamentalist rule.

Turkey/Russia

http://www.rferl.org/content/Nuclear_Cooperation_Russian_President_Meets_Turkish/2039436.html

· Dec. 5, 2010: Russia signed an agreement today to help build and operate Turkey's first nuclear power plant.

· Turkish Prime Minister called the estimated $20 billion project "a very important step."

· Medvedev praised bilateral ties, saying, "In recent years, our relations have changed radically, and today we can say that these relations are strategic, multidimensional, and reflect in practice all aspects of our life."

Russia/Iran (unheard of)

http://www.irantracker.org/foreign-relations/russia-iran-foreign-relations

· Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov characterized the Iranian elections as an "internal affair" and stated that "we welcome the fact that elections took place, we welcome the ... [Iranian] president on Russian soil and see it as symbolic that he made his first visit to Russia. This allows hope for progress in bilateral relations.

· Iran is Russia's biggest trading partner in the Middle East

· Russia has publicly supported Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology and has helped supply the materials and expertise to build the Bushehr nuclear plant, which Iran has claimed it will complete in 2009

Turkey/Iran

· June 2009: Turkish President  called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to congratulate him on his re-election and wished Iran continued success

· March 2010, Turkish Prime Minister said his belief that Iran’s nuclear program was only for civilian purposes. He called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a “friend” and added, “I told him I don’t want to see nuclear weapons in the region.”

· In July 2010, a Turkish firm sign a $1.3 billion deal with Iran to “build a gas pipeline from Iran to Turkey that would supply gas to Europe

Iran/Egypt

· April 5, 2011: Foreign Minister said that he recieved an invitation to visit Tehran and that he is planning to accept this invitation at some point.

· Egypt is also working on "easing tensions" with Syria. A recent visit by Mamdouh Mawafi, the new chief of Egyptian intelligence, to Damascus last month conveyed a "message of friendship

· March 30, 2011: Foreign Minister said he wants to turn over a new leaf with Iran

Saudi Arabia/China, Russia

TOM BROKAW: The Saudis are so unhappy with the Obama Administration for the way it pushed out President Mubarak of Egypt, that it sent high level adversaries to China and Russia to tell those two countries that Saudi Arabia is now prepared to do more business with them.

ACORN

GLENN ON ACORN, 5/29/09

I think that when all is said and done, acorn is going to be disowned and it's going to collapse under its own weight, but none of the people are ever going to get caught, it is just going to shift over to another entity, and everybody will say, oh, it's solved, in hopes that that will

ACORN Pleads Guilty to Voter Registration Fraud in Nevada

· The defunct political advocacy group ACORN has pleaded guilty to one count of an election law violation in Las Vegas, Nevada.

· ACORN attorney Lisa Rasmussen told Fox News that a plea agreement was worked out with the state attorney general. The violation was for unlawfully providing compensation for registering voters based on the total number of people registered. Sentencing for the organization is set for Aug. 10, and the potential fine is a maximum of $5,000.

· ACORN itself was named as a criminal defendant in the case for allegedly running an illegal voter registration scheme called "21," or "Blackjack," which paid ACORN workersarned bonuses based on the number of voters they registered in Nevada during the 2008 election.

· This is the only case in the country in which ACORN itself was named as a felony defendant. The organization, a one-time community-based activist group, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after dozens of its workers allegedly committed voter fraud in cases that led to numerous convictions.

NY Communities for Change, Feb. 2011

· A coalition organized by New York Communities for Change of elected officials, unions, clergy, and those victimized by JP Morgan Chase is continuing a statewide campaign to urge the previously bailed-out bank to stop all filed and unfiled foreclosure actions, and take more action to protect New Yorkers from foreclosure. Frustrated by the lack of response from Chase, community leaders are beginning to take their money out of Chase.

http://www.nycommunities.org/node/871 <http://www.nycommunities.org/node/871>

· The village of Hempstead on Long Island is pulling its money from JPMorgan Chase and severing its ties with the bank to protest lending and foreclosure policies, according to local officials there. “Chase has been identified as one of the banks that have a high rate of predatory lending and also for not helping to modify loans,” the mayor, Wayne Hall, said on Tuesday.

· The treasurer, Ray Calame, said the village would soon begin to

slowly withdraw the $12.5 million in operating funds and investments it

had in Chase, ultimately ending Hempstead’s more than 20-year

relationship with the bank.

· The move is part of a two-month-old campaign led by New York Communities for Change, the community organization formerly known as Acorn , to urge elected officials, unions and religious leaders to divest their Chase assets.

The number of people serving life sentences now exceeds the entire prison population in 1970, according to newly-released data from the Sentencing Project. The continued growth of life sentences is largely the result of "tough on crime" policies pushed by legislators in the 1990s, including presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden has since apologized for backing those types of policies, but it seems he has yet to learn his lesson. Indeed, Biden is backing yet another criminal justice policy with disastrous consequences—mandatory drug treatment for all drug offenders.

Proponents of this policy argue that forced drug treatment will reduce drug usage and recidivism and save lives. But the evidence simply isn't on their side. Mandatory treatment isn't just patently unethical, it's also ineffective—and dangerous.

Many well-meaning people view mandatory treatment as a positive alternative to incarceration. But there's a reason that mandatory treatment is also known as "compulsory confinement." As author Maya Schenwar asks in The Guardian, "If shepherding live human bodies off to prison to isolate and manipulate them without their permission isn't ethical, why is shipping those bodies off to compulsory rehab an acceptable alternative?" Compulsory treatment isn't an alternative to incarceration. It is incarceration.

Compulsory treatment is also arguably a breach of international human rights agreements and ethical standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made it clear that the standards of ethical treatment also apply to the treatment of drug dependence—standards that include the right to autonomy and self-determination. Indeed, according to UNODC, "people who use or are dependent on drugs do not automatically lack the capacity to consent to treatment...consent of the patient should be obtained before any treatment intervention." Forced treatment violates a person's right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment.

It's a useless endeavor, anyway, because studies have shown that it doesn't improve outcomes in reducing drug use and criminal recidivism. A review of nine studies, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, failed to find sufficient evidence that compulsory drug treatment approaches are effective. The results didn't suggest improved outcomes in reducing drug use among drug-dependent individuals enrolled in compulsory treatment. However, some studies did suggest potential harm.

According to one study, 33% of compulsorily-treated participants were reincarcerated, compared to a mere 5% of the non-treatment sample population. Moreover, rates of post-release illicit drug use were higher among those who received compulsory treatment. Even worse, a 2016 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that people who received involuntary treatment were more than twice as likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than those with a history of only voluntary treatment.

These findings echo studies published in medical journals like Addiction and BMJ. A study in Addiction found that involuntary drug treatment was a risk factor for a non-fatal drug overdose. Similarly, a study in BMJ found that patients who successfully completed inpatient detoxification were more likely than other patients to die within a year. The high rate of overdose deaths by people previously involuntarily treated is likely because most people who are taken involuntarily aren't ready to stop using drugs, authors of the Addiction study reported. That makes sense. People who aren't ready to get clean will likely use again when they are released. For them, the only post-treatment difference will be lower tolerance, thanks to forced detoxification and abstinence. Indeed, a loss of tolerance, combined with the lack of a desire to stop using drugs, likely puts compulsorily-treated patients at a higher risk of overdose.

The UNODC agrees. In their words, compulsory treatment is "expensive, not cost-effective, and neither benefits the individual nor the community." So, then, why would we even try?

Biden is right to look for ways to combat addiction and drug crime outside of the criminal justice system. But forced drug treatment for all drug offenders is a flawed, unethical policy, with deadly consequences. If the goal is to help people and reduce harm, then there are plenty of ways to get there. Mandatory treatment isn't one of them.

Lindsay Marie is a policy analyst for the Lone Star Policy Institute, an independent think tank that promotes freedom and prosperity for all Texans. You can follow her on Twitter @LindsayMarieLP.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani joined Glenn Beck on Tuesday's radio program discuss the Senate's ongoing investigation into former vice president Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and reveal new bombshell documents he's currently releasing.

Giuliani told Glenn he has evidence of "very, very serious crime at the highest levels of government," that the "corrupt media" is doing everything in their power to discredit.

He also dropped some major, previously unreported news: not only was Hunter Biden under investigation in 2016, when then-Vice President Biden "forced" the firing of Ukraine's prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, but so was the vice president himself.

"Shokin can prove he was investigating Biden and his son. And I now have the prosecutorial documents that show, all during that period of time, not only was Hunter Biden under investigation -- Joe Biden was under investigation," Giuliani explained. "It wasn't just Hunter."

Watch this clip to get a rundown of everything Giuliani has uncovered so far.

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For most Americans, the 1980s was marked by big hair, epic lightsaber battles, and school-skipping Ferris Bueller dancing his way into the hearts of millions.

But for Bernie Sanders — who, by the way, was at that time the oldest-looking 40-year-old in human history — the 1980s was a period of important personal milestones.

Prior to his successful 1980 campaign to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders was mostly known around the Green Mountain State as a crazy, wildly idealistic socialist. (Think Karl Marx meets Don Quixote.) But everything started to change for Sanders when he became famous—or, in the eyes of many, notorious—for being "America's socialist mayor."

As mayor, Sanders' radical ideas were finally given the attention he had always craved but couldn't manage to capture. This makes this period of his career particularly interesting to study. Unlike today, the Bernie Sanders of the 1980s wasn't concerned with winning over an entire nation — just the wave of far-left New York City exiles that flooded Vermont in the 1960s and 1970s — and he was much more willing to openly align himself with local and national socialist and communist parties.


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Over the past few weeks, I have been reading news reports of Sanders recorded in the 1980s — because, you know, that's how guys like me spend their Saturday nights — and what I've found is pretty remarkable.

For starters, Sanders had (during the height of the Soviet Union) a very cozy relationship with people who openly advocated for Marxism and communism. He was an elector for the Socialist Workers Party and promoted the party's presidential candidates in 1980 and 1984.

To say the Socialist Workers Party was radical would be a tremendous understatement. It was widely known SWP was a communist organization mostly dedicated to the teachings of Marx and Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution.

Among other radical things I've discovered in interviews Sanders conducted with the SWP's newspaper — appropriately named The Militant (seriously, you can't make this stuff up) — is a statement by Sanders published in June 1981 suggesting that some police departments "are dominated by fascists and Nazis," a comment that is just now being rediscovered for the first time in decades.

In 1980, Sanders lauded the Socialist Workers Party's "continued defense of the Cuban revolution." And later in the 1980s, Sanders reportedly endorsed a collection of speeches by the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, even though there had been widespread media reports of the Sandinistas' many human rights violations prior to Sanders' endorsement, including "restrictions on free movement; torture; denial of due process; lack of freedom of thought, conscience and religion; denial of the right of association and of free labor unions."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Comrade Bernie's disturbing Marxist past, which is far more extensive than what can be covered in this short article, shouldn't be treated as a mere historical footnote. It clearly illustrates that Sanders' brand of "democratic socialism" is much more than a $15 minimum wage and calls for single-payer health care. It's full of Marxist philosophy, radical revolutionary thinking, anti-police rhetoric, and even support for authoritarian governments.

Millions of Americans have been tricked into thinking Sanders isn't the radical communist the historical record — and even Sanders' own words — clearly show that he is. But the deeper I have dug into Comrade Bernie's past, the more evident it has become that his thinking is much darker and more dangerous and twisted than many of his followers ever imagined.

Tomorrow night, don't miss Glenn Beck's special exposing the radicals who are running Bernie Sanders' campaign. From top to bottom, his campaign is staffed with hard-left extremists who are eager to burn down the system. The threat to our constitution is very real from Bernie's team, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before in a U.S. election. Join Glenn on Wednesday, at 9 PM Eastern on BlazeTV's YouTube page, and on BlazeTV.com. And just in case you miss it live, the only way to catch all of Glenn's specials on-demand is by subscribing to Blaze TV.

Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is editorial director of The Heartland Institute and editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com.

Candace Owens, BLEXIT founder and author of the upcoming book, "Blackout," joined Glenn Beck on Friday's GlennTV for an exclusive interview. available only to BlazeTV subscribers.

Candace dropped a few truth-bombs about the progressive movement and what's happening to the Democratic Party. She said people are practically running away from the left due to their incessant push to dig up dirt on anybody who disagrees with their radical ideology. She explained how -- like China and its "social credit score" -- the left is shaping America into its own nightmarish episode of "Black Mirror."

"This game of making sure that everyone is politically correct is a societal atom bomb. There are no survivors. There's no one that is perfect," Candace said. "The idea that humanity can be perfect is Godless. If you accept that there is something greater than us, then you accept that we a flawed. To be human is to be flawed."

Enjoy this clip from the full episode below:

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BlazeTV subscribers can watch the full interview on BlazeTV.com. Use code GLENN to save $10 off one year of your subscription.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.