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House lawmakers allege that the Biden Administration funded group with Hamas ties to the Oct. 7 attack

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Washington, D.C. – House Oversight lawmakers are seeking answers regarding the Biden administration’s decision to fund the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), amid allegations of the agency’s ties to the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 11, detailing UNRWA’s alleged connections to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization currently engaged in conflict with Israel. The letter expressed concerns over the Biden administration’s decision to restore funding to UNRWA in 2021, reversing a previous suspension of funds.

“As we wrote previously, the Committee is concerned by the Biden Administration’s decision to renew funding for UNRWA. The underlying concerns have not changed,” the letter stated. It further cited reports from February indicating that several UNRWA staff members participated in the October 7, 2023, terrorist attacks by Hamas. Additionally, the letter mentioned recent reports of Hamas compounds located under UNRWA buildings in Gaza City. The previous administration had suspended funding for the agency, deeming it “irredeemably flawed” due to its alleged use of classrooms to promote violence, hate speech, jihad, martyrdom, and antisemitism.

The House Oversight Committee has been requesting information for months but claims to have received an “inadequate” response from the State Department. Israel has also called for the dissolution of the U.N. agency, citing security concerns.

“Rockets have been found on multiple occasions in UNRWA schools,” the letter continued. “Following the October 7 terrorist attacks, there was widespread enthusiasm for the attacks by UNRWA teachers and staff.”

The State Department released a “framework for cooperation” with UNRWA last year, aimed at providing humanitarian assistance and protection to Palestinian refugees. The framework was restarted in 2021 after being halted between 2005 and 2018.

“The United States and UNRWA are jointly committed to addressing the needs of Palestinian refugees through effective provision of humanitarian assistance and protection, and to promoting the enhanced human development potential of Palestinian refugees,” the State Department document stated.

However, lawmakers argue that UNRWA has a “pattern of extremism and antisemitism” and that the State Department has not demonstrated effective oversight of the group. The letter emphasized that the State Department has not adequately explained the decision to renew funding for UNRWA.

“Importantly, the State Department still has not explained why it decided to renew funding to UNRWA,” the letter said. “The list of safeguards and oversight mechanisms provided in your response only underscores the Committee’s initial concerns. Given the Committee’s previously raised concerns regarding the decision to renew cooperation with UNRWA, and the State Department’s failure to comply with the request, we seek information directly from Ms. Valls Noyes.”

The House Oversight Committee is now seeking further evidence from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to verify whether risky experiments were conducted, adding to the scrutiny surrounding the Biden administration’s funding decisions for international aid organizations.

Biden Administration

Former Obama-Biden Advisor Claims “The First Amendment Is Out of Control,” Hinders Government Action

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In a controversial opinion piece published recently, Tim Wu, an advisor to both the Obama and Biden administrations, argued that the First Amendment is becoming a significant obstacle to effective governance. The essay, titled “The First Amendment is Out of Control,” has sparked widespread debate and criticism.

Wu’s argument centers on the assertion that the First Amendment, designed to protect free speech, is now being exploited by powerful entities, including Big Tech companies, to resist regulation and oversight. He cites recent Supreme Court rulings regarding Texas and Florida laws aimed at regulating social media platforms as examples of this exploitation.

According to Wu, the collaboration between the government and major social media platforms is often hindered by the First Amendment, which is used as a defense to protect free speech in digital public forums. He suggests that this constitutional protection is being misused to prevent necessary government action aimed at safeguarding citizens.

Critics, however, argue that Wu’s perspective misinterprets the fundamental purpose of the First Amendment. They contend that the amendment’s role is precisely to protect citizens from government overreach and censorship, ensuring that free speech remains a cornerstone of democracy. The idea that the First Amendment is an obstacle rather than a protector is seen by many as a dangerous and misguided interpretation.

Furthermore, Wu’s essay touches on the issue of banning platforms like TikTok and implementing age verification laws, such as California’s Age-Appropriate Design Code. He suggests that the First Amendment stands in the way of these actions, which he believes are necessary for national security and protecting minors online. Critics counter that these measures, if implemented, could set precedents for broader and potentially harmful censorship practices.

Wu’s reference to the First Amendment as a “suicide pact,” borrowing language from a 1949 dissenting opinion in the Terminiello v. City of Chicago case, underscores the dramatic tone of his argument. He suggests that the amendment, while intended to safeguard freedoms, can also be interpreted in ways that undermine societal safety and security.

In conclusion, Tim Wu’s essay has reignited the debate over the balance between free speech and governmental regulation. While Wu argues that the First Amendment’s current application hinders effective governance and protection of citizens, his critics maintain that the amendment is essential for safeguarding democratic principles and preventing government overreach. As this debate continues, the interpretation and application of the First Amendment remain at the forefront of discussions about free speech and public safety in the digital age.

SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

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DHS and FBI Issue Warning About Large Fourth of July Events as ‘Attractive’ Targets for

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning on Wednesday regarding potential threats to large Fourth of July celebrations. According to an internal bulletin obtained by ABC News, these events are considered “attractive” targets for lone offenders and small groups with malicious intentions.

The bulletin emphasizes the risk posed by individuals and small groups who might exploit the gatherings for terrorism or other harmful activities. The warning comes as the nation prepares for Independence Day festivities, which traditionally draw large crowds to public spaces.

The FBI and DHS are urging local law enforcement and event organizers to increase vigilance and security measures. The agencies highlight the importance of public awareness and cooperation, encouraging individuals to report any suspicious activities immediately.

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Biden is 7 Times More Popular with Ukrainians than Trump, Poll Reveals

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In a recent poll conducted by The Counteroffensive/Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, President Joe Biden emerges as significantly more popular among Ukrainians compared to former President Donald Trump. This inaugural poll offers insights into Ukrainian sentiment towards American leadership during their ongoing conflict with Russia.

According to The Hill, a striking 46.7 percent of Ukrainian respondents expressed a preference for President Biden as the leader they believe would better support Ukraine’s war effort. In contrast, only 6.5 percent of those polled favored Trump in this regard.

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