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Knesset launches Abraham Accords caucus; Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend event



Early results show record low turnout in Iraq’s election

Voter turnout in Iraq’s elections was 41 percent, according to preliminary results, a record low in the post-Saddam Hussein era, signaling widespread distrust of the country’s leaders and the vote for a new parliament.

The weekend’s election was held months ahead of schedule as a concession to a youth-led popular uprising against corruption and mismanagement. But the vote was marred by widespread apathy and a boycott by many of the same young activists who thronged the streets of Baghdad and Iraq’s southern provinces in late 2019, calling for sweeping reforms and new elections.

The Independent High Electoral Commission says preliminary results show turnout from Sunday’s election was 41 percent. That’s down from 44 percent in the 2018 elections, which was an all-time low.

Tens of thousands of people protested in late 2019 and early 2020, and were met by security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas. More than 600 people were killed and thousands injured within just a few months.

Although authorities gave in and called the early elections, the death toll and the heavy-handed crackdown — as well as a string of targeted assassinations — prompted many protesters to later call for a boycott of the vote.

Populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr casts his vote during parliamentary elections in Najaf, Iraq, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. Iraq closed its airspace and land border crossings on Sunday as voters headed to the polls to elect a parliament that many hope will deliver much needed reforms after decades of conflict and mismanagement. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

More definitive results were expected later Monday, with groups drawn from Iraq’s majority Shiite Muslim factions expected to come out on top as has been the case since 2003. Influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who was the major winner in the 2018 elections, is expected to sweep up more seats. Still, none of the parties are expected to win a clear majority, and negotiations to choose a prime minister tasked with forming a government were expected to drag on for weeks or even months.

The Fatah Alliance, led by paramilitary leader Hadi al-Ameri, is expected to come in second. The alliance is comprised of parties and affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group of mostly pro-Iran Shiite militias that rose to prominence during the war against the Sunni extremist Islamic State group. It includes some of the most hardline Iran-backed factions, such as the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia.

Al-Sadr, a black-turbaned nationalist leader, is also close to Iran, but publicly rejects its political influence.

The election was the sixth held since the fall of Saddam Hussein after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Many were skeptical that independent candidates from the protest movement stood a chance against well-entrenched parties and politicians, many of them backed by powerful armed militias.

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Police Log | News, Sports, Jobs




EDITOR’S NOTE: The following information is collected from Marquette City Police Department dispatch log books recorded at the time the calls were received. The incidents reported may have proven to be unfounded once police investigated. Some log entries may be edited or omitted due to space constraints.

June 15

≤ 9:02 a.m., retail fraud complaint, suspect left prior to officer arrival, business requested subject be trespassed only, do not wish to pursue charges for retail fraud, 1100 block West Washington Street

≤ 9:04 a.m., parking complaint regarding a private property tow, advice given on how to go about towing a vehicle located on private property, 100 block West Washington Street

≤ 9:47 a.m., permission given to park construction trailer if moved within 48 hours, 400 block East Arch Street

≤ 11:54 a.m., property inspection, 2100 block Sugarloaf Avenue

≤ 1:18 p.m., property inspection, Mount Marquette Road

≤ 1:32 p.m., officer flagged down in parking lot, elderly subject fell and dislocated finger, emergency medical services arrived on scene, turned over to emergency medical services, 400 block East Fair Avenue

≤ 1:54 p.m., harassment complaint, had already been reported, other agency to handle, 200 block West Crescent Street

≤ 2:18 p.m., fingerprints, 300 West Baraga Avenue

≤ 2:25 p.m., found property, 100 block North Front Street

≤ 3:04 p.m., report of a subject laying on top of a picnic table, subject checked on, all okay, 200 block West Washington Street

≤ 3:13 p.m., report of items/garbage near the beach, items disposed of, South Lakeshore Boulevard

≤ 4:18 p.m., report of loud music from the commons area, subjects moved along, 200 block West Washington Street

≤ 4:34 p.m., property inspection, 2700 block Powder Mill Road

≤ 4:48 p.m., car vs deer property damage accident, U.S. 41 bypass near West Washington Street

≤ 4:59 p.m., property inspection, 500 block North Lakeshore Boulevard

≤ 5:58 p.m., assistance given, 300 West Baraga Avenue

≤ 6:09 p.m., property inspection, Founders Landing

≤ 6:10 p.m., two-vehicle property-damage accident, Fisher Street near Altamont Street

≤ 7:05 p.m., report of unwanted contact by a former acquaintance, complainant just wanted advice and will follow up if the contacts continue, 300 West Baraga Avenue

≤ 8:01 p.m., stolen bicycle recovered, bicycle was returned to the owner, 3400 block U.S. 41 West

≤ 9:41 p.m., caller reports ex-boyfriend drove past friend’s house as they were sitting outside, other party spoken to and advised to cease any attempted contacts with subject, 300 block Hawley Street

≤ 10:02 p.m., property inspection, 2100 block Sugarloaf Avenue

≤ 10:04 p.m., property inspection, County Road 550 near Dead River Bridge

≤ 10:19 p.m., property inspection, Peter White Drive

≤ 10:37 p.m., property inspection, 2100 block Sugar Loaf Avenue

≤ 10:51 p.m., property inspection, 500 block North Lakeshore Boulevard

≤ 11:08 p.m., property inspection, 400 block North Seventh Street

June 16

≤ 12:10 a.m., property inspection, 600 block West Washington Street

≤ 12:37 a.m., report of loud subjects on a porch, not loud upon arrival, made contact with subjects, advised of complaint, 300 block East Arch Street

≤ 1:30 a.m., animal complaint, McClellan Avenue near Grove Street

≤ 2:39 a.m., barking dog complaint, dog was back in house upon officer arrival, 1400 block Garfield Avenue

≤ 3:51 a.m., traffic stop resulting in arrest for traffic offense, processed and released, West Fair Avenue near Eighth Street

≤ 4:00 a.m., property inspection, Peter White Drive

≤ 4:13 a.m., assisted emergency medical services, subject turned over to emergency medical services, 2000 block West Ridge Street

≤ 5:00 a.m., property inspection, 1100 block West Washington Street

≤ 7:14 a.m., parking complaint, vehicle cited, 600 block Oak Street

≤ 7:33 a.m., report of a tent located in empty lot behind caller’s property, tent found to be located on neighbor’s property, nobody inside, no trash around the area, 600 block West Baraga Avenue

≤ 8:07 a.m., property inspection, 2100 block Sugarloaf Avenue

≤ 9:50 a.m., report of a vehicle parked in front of fire hydrant, vehicle cited, 300 block East Park Street

≤ 10:08 a.m., property inspection, County Road 550 near Dead River Bridge

≤ 10:58 a.m., property inspection, 1100 block Albion Street

≤ 11:35 a.m., fingerprints, 300 West Baraga Avenue

≤ 11:56 a.m., property inspection, 1 Peter White Drive

≤ 1:39 p.m., 911 hang up, accidental, all okay, 400 block East Hewitt Avenue

≤ 3:03 p.m., property inspection, Peter White Drive

≤ 3:12 p.m., found property, owner contacted, 800 block South Lakeshore Drive

≤ 4:15 p.m., found property, returned to owner, 600 block North Front Street

≤ 5:09 p.m., property inspection, 500-1300 blocks North Lakeshore Boulevard

≤ 6:20 p.m., traffic enforcement, West Fair Avenue near Pine Street

≤ 7:14 p.m., single vehicle property damage accident, South Seventh Street near Fisher Street

≤ 7:15 p.m., officer conducted 45 minutes of foot patrol for music on Third Street, 600-900 blocks Third Street

≤ 7:26 p.m., alarm, building checked and secure, 400 Coast Guard Road

≤ 9:01 p.m., report of a disorderly person in one of the checkout lines, the person left prior to officers arriving, officers were cancelled en route, 1400 block O’Dovero Drive

≤ 9:02 p.m., elevator secured, 100 block West Washington Street

≤ 9:24 p.m., report of a subject slumped over the wheel of a parked car, contact made, all OK, just sleeping, moved along, 200 Lakeshore Boulevard

≤ 9:36 p.m., parking lot property damage accident, no damage, 500 block North Lakeshore Boulevard

≤ 10:15 p.m., report of an intoxicated female arguing with staff, subject left prior to officer arrival, 100 block Genesee Street

≤ 10:22 p.m., property inspection, County Road 550 near Dead River Bridge

≤ 10:54 p.m., report of cars racing down the street, officers checked the area, unable to locate, North Third Street near West College Avenue

≤ 11:05 p.m., assist Michigan State Police

≤ 11:17 p.m., property inspection, 1 Peter White Drive

≤ 11:24 p.m., liquor inspection, 100 block West Washington Street

≤ 11:32 p.m., liquor inspection, 100 block South Third Street

≤ 11:36 p.m., property inspection, County Road 550 near Dead River Bridge

≤ 11:37 p.m., property inspection, 2700 block Powder Mill Road

June 17

≤ 12:28 a.m., property inspection, County Road 550 near Dead River Bridge

≤ 12:44 a.m., property inspection, 2100 block Sugar Loaf Avenue

≤ 2:23 a.m., officer came across juveniles taking shopping carts from business, juveniles were identified, parents were contacted and carts were returned, South McClellan Avenue near O’Dovero Drive

≤ 2:40 a.m., school checks, north Marquette

≤ 2:58 a.m., property inspection, Peter White Drive

≤ 3:40 a.m., possible breaking and entering, caller fell asleep and woke up to items missing and a window open, no signs of forced entry or anything being taken, 1300 block Waldo Street

≤ 4:25 a.m., property inspection, 400 block North Seventh Street

≤ 5:25 a.m., property inspection, 600 block West Washington Street

≤ 5:37 a.m., school checks, South Marquette

≤ 7:34 a.m., property check, Peter White Drive

≤ 8:02 a.m., alarm, officers canceled prior to arrival, 1900 block Industrial Parkway

≤ 8:16 a.m., property check, 1300 block Lakeshore Boulevard

≤ 9:14 a.m., vehicle lockout, assistance, 500 block North Front Street

≤ 10:34 a.m., property check, 200 block North Lakeshore Boulevard

≤ 10:59 a.m., juvenile issue, 900 block South Lake Street

≤ 11:26 a.m., property check, County Road 550 near Dead River Bridge

≤ 11:42 a.m., vehicle blocking driveway, vehicle was moved, 1100 block North Third Street

≤ 11:57 a.m., post office employee believed elderly customer was being scammed, contact made with customer, money order not yet sent, post office was to attempt to intercept money order sent the previous day through U.S. mail, 200 block West Washington Street

≤ 12:08 p.m., 911 hang-up, accidental, all OK, 200 block West Spring Street

≤ 12:13 p.m., vehicle lockout, assistance, 2400 block North Lakeshore Boulevard

≤ 12:20 p.m., vehicle lockout, assistance, 1900 block Division Street

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EXCLUSIVE: Disquiet In Nigerian Army As Officers, Soldiers Plan One-day Protest Over Poor Equipment, Welfare, Corruption Under General Yahaya




There is disquiet presently in the Nigerian military as some officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army are said to be planning to storm Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, to protest over unpaid emoluments, poor working conditions and others.

SaharaReporters learnt that the officers and soldiers, mainly those prosecuting the war against insurgency in the North-East and other parts of the country, said they had perfected plans to stage a one-day protest against the leadership of the Nigerian Army.

According to the source who pleaded for anonymity, the protest was intended to expose the rot in the operations of the Nigerian Army under General Faruk Yahaya, the Chief of Army Staff.

He stated that the operations of the Nigerian Army had been marred by ethnic and religious jingoisms that favoured only a segment of the army.

“General Yahaya has done what no other Army Chief has done in the history of the Nigerian Army. He has divided the Nigerian Army along religious and ethnic lines. You are not considered an officer if you do not share a certain faith or religion, which has affected operational efficiency numerous times,” a Colonel told SaharaReporters.

“Let me tell you this, the present leadership crop of the Nigerian Army is busy making retirement plans. Contracts are shared amongst themselves, monies meant for troops on the battlefront are diverted to private pockets, allowances of soldiers are not paid, and it is generally an atmosphere of delusion in the army as we speak.”

SaharaReporters gathered that the army authorities were making efforts to avert what they tagged the “embarrassment of the year should the soldiers embark on the protest.”

A source added at that the army authorities had issued directives to all Divisions and Commands to withdraw all passes granted to officers and soldiers and direct those already permitted to travel to return to their bases immediately. 

“All commands of the Nigerian Army have been directed to suspend the issuance of a travel pass to officers and soldiers. It was a terse statement from the Army Headquarters some days ago, with a warning to ensure strict compliance,” a captain at the army headquarters also told SaharaReporters.

This fact was buttressed by the surge in the requests for passes experienced in North-East Nigeria and other areas with ongoing military operations.


A soldier currently engaged in an operation in one of the states in North West stated that the surge in requests for passes was because the bulk of the soldiers in operation had gone through exacerbating conditions in operations. 

“Our allowances are unpaid; we don’t have food or water. Maybe our “Ogas” in Abuja want us to perform magic. We have not experienced such in the history of the Nigerian Army. Even the police and other paramilitary services are doing better than us. All of this started under General Faruk Yahaya,” he said.

“This is a shame for the Nigerian Army. Other people have been Chief of Army Staff before him. Was this how he was treated? Our prayer is for President Buhari to sack him immediately; else there will be problems.

“The President must do something urgently. I can tell you that there is a rumble in the barracks. The soldiers are not happy. The suffering is too much, and we are now a laughing stock in the Armed Forces.”

Earlier in March, their counterparts in the Nigeria Police Force said they would embark on the warning strike to protest poor working conditions, poor salaries, lack of genuine welfare benefits and outdated weapons.

A protest tagged “We are tired of negligence” was also scheduled to be held at the Eagles Square in Abuja to reiterate their demands to the Nigerian government.

The officers had condemned the continuous killing of their colleagues by armed robbers and terrorists, without adequate compensation for their families.

They had accused the Nigerian government of lying about the increment of police salary and other promised benefits and demanded improved conditions of service, particularly salary increase and provision of modern weapons as they tackle the security challenges facing the country.

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Voter ID should have been settled




Movie sequels are almost always worse than the original films. Notable exceptions, such as this summer’s Top Gun: Maverick, merely prove the rule. For every Empire Strikes Back, there’s a Highlander 2: The Quickening, Halloween Kills, and Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.

If efforts to enact a voter-identification requirement in North Carolina were a motion-picture franchise, the current box-office bomb would be titled something like Carolina ID 5: Voters Against Democracy. Its baldly implausible plot is that self-styled defenders of democracy have gone to court to overturn a voter-ID requirement added to the state constitution by a voter referendum. “Let the will of the majority prevail,” warns one of the supposed protagonists, “and that will destroy democracy!”

As I have argued many times, an overwhelming preponderance of evidence shows little-to-no effect of ID requirements on voter turnout. In other words, progressives are mistaken when they claim such rules constitute voter suppression. By the same token, conservatives are mistaken when they claim voter fraud would be rampant without ID requirements. (If true, imposing such a requirement should significantly reduce the number of ballots cast. But that’s never happened.)

In reality, the types of misbehavior to which voter IDs pose a barrier or deterrent — impersonation fraud, most obviously, but also residency fraud — are rare but hardly nonexistent. Although nearly all electoral outcomes involve margins far too large to be determined by fraud, a handful of illegal votes could be decisive in some local races or extreme circumstances. As long as the requirements are clearly stated and citizens without an ID receive state assistance to get one, the policy is reasonable. Its modest benefits, in the form of public confidence in elections and greater convenience for those previously lacking IDs, easily surpass its modest costs.

Such arguments should have settled the matter years ago. In 2013, the General Assembly enacted an election-law bill that included voter ID among its provisions. Republican Pat McCrory, then governor, signed it into law.

Progressive plaintiffs sued in federal court. They lost at the trial court. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder concluded that however debatable the bill’s merits might be, there was no evidence of discriminatory intent or other violations of federal laws or constitutional provisions.

The plaintiffs appealed. In 2016, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Court of Appeals tossed aside Schroeder’s findings of fact — itself a rare and questionable act — and famously proclaimed that the bill’s provisions “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

I bet you’ve heard that phrase many times since. But it never had any basis in fact. And it should never have been the last word.

McCrory, House Speaker Tim Moore, and Senate leader Phil Berger assumed that the state would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. They had every reason to expect — and subsequent decisions in other cases have buttressed their expectation — that the Supreme Court would have overturned the Fourth Circuit and allowed North Carolina’s voter-ID rule to take effect.

Roy Cooper defeated McCrory to become governor. He and his Democratic replacement as attorney general, Josh Stein, surely agreed with the Republicans that the state would likely prevail on appeal. So they sabotaged North Carolina’s case. They refused to appeal. Moore and Berger tried to do it themselves, using their own counsel, but the justices were apparently unsure who was representing whom and declined to accept it.

Cooper and Stein have never received the scorn they deserve for their misbehavior. Nevertheless, I also hold the U.S. Supreme Court responsible for failing to sort the matter out properly back in 2017. Fortunately, they’ve now done so in yet another installment in the franchise — perhaps Carolina ID 6: Disorder in the Court — by issuing this month an 8-1 decision affirming Moore and Berger’s right to hire legal representation on the state’s behalf in yet another voter ID case.

The justices should have accepted that argument back in 2017. It would have saved us from some truly dreadful sequels.

John Hood is a John Locke Foundation board member. His latest books, Mountain Folk and Forest Folk, combine epic fantasy with early American history.

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