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Tags: 400000 | Anchor-Babies | Each | Year | Iran Reveals Attack on Jerusalem | Opinion of Russia Low Around World | Chinese Air Pollution Kills Up to 2.2 Million a Year

400,000 Anchor Babies Each Year; Iran Reveals Attack on Jerusalem

By    |   Monday, 24 August 2015 12:24 AM EDT

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. 400,000 'Anchor Babies' Born in U.S. Each Year
2. Opinion of Russia Low Around World
3. Study: Chinese Air Pollution Kills Up to 2.2 Million a Year
4. Support for Common Core Falls Below 50 Percent
5. Venezuelan Uses Worthless Currency As a Napkin
6. Iranian Video Depicts Muslim Attack on Jerusalem


1. 400,000 'Anchor Babies' Born in U.S. Each Year

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for an end to birthright citizenship has focused new attention on the law deemed to grant automatic citizenship to children born in the U.S. to illegal alien parents.

Children gaining birthright citizenship are pejoratively referred to as "anchor babies" because they provide an anchor in the U.S. for family members seeking to enter the country legally.

When anchor babies reach age 21, they can petition the government to grant their parents and siblings permanent resident status.

The number of babies gaining birthright citizenship has been steadily rising and is now estimated to top 300,000 and reach as high as 400,000 a year, according to John Feere of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). The Pew Hispanic Center puts the estimate at 340,000 a year.

In the most recent analysis, nearly three-quarters of all children of undocumented immigrants were U.S. citizens, and the children of illegals cost taxpayers some $52 billion a year in education expenses alone, Judicial Watch disclosed.

Nearly 4 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. have at least one child who is a citizen. And 66 percent of the immigrants who were granted permanent residency in a recent year were sponsored by family members who were American citizens.

Federal agents recent raided several sites in California that allegedly provided thousands of pregnant Chinese women the opportunity to give birth in the U.S. and thereby gain American citizenship for their children, The Fiscal Times reported.

But critics charge that providing citizenship to the children of illegal aliens was never the intent of the law.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1868, reads in part: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

The law was intended to protect the rights of native-born freed slaves in the years following the Civil War. The U.S. did not limit immigration in 1868, so there were no illegal immigrants and the granting of citizenship to illegals was therefore not an issue.

In 1866, Sen. Jacob Howard from Michigan indicated the intent of the amendment by stating: "Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."

Now several members of Congress are taking aim at birthright citizenship along with Donald Trump.

"I don't have any doubt that the immigration statement that Trump put out is going to help provide momentum for a number of different pieces of immigration enforcement legislation, and especially birthright citizenship," Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who has co-sponsored a bill to restrict birthright citizenship, told the Washington Examiner.

Although some argue that changing the law would require a constitutional amendment, Feere of the CIS said: "Congress could without a doubt clarify the scope of the 14th Amendment through legislation."

King's bill would confer citizenship only on children born in the U.S. who have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or member of the U.S. military.

Said King: "I'm glad Donald Trump has set this up on the table and now the American public can have an open discussion."

Editor's Note:


2. Opinions of Russia Low Around World

People around the world outside Russia hold that nation in low regard, and most do not have confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin will do the right thing in world affairs, a Pew Research Center poll reveals.

In the survey conducted in 40 nations among more than 45,000 respondents, a majority had an unfavorable opinion of Russia in 19 countries.

In most of the other countries, more respondents' opinions were unfavorable than favorable, although there was not a majority expressing unfavorable opinions. In Pakistan, for example, 43 percent had an unfavorable opinion and 12 percent had a favorable view, while the rest had no opinion.

In only three nations did a majority of respondents have a favorable view of Russia — Vietnam (75 percent), Ghana (56 percent), and China (51 percent).

The strongest negative sentiment was in Poland and Jordan, both 80 percent unfavorable.

"The former is a legacy of a long history of bilateral tensions. Public opinion in Jordan may be influenced by Moscow's current support for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Jordan's neighbor and the source of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Jordan," Pew observed.

Anti-Russian sentiment was also especially strong in Israel (74 percent), Japan (73 percent), and Germany and France (both 70 percent).

In the United States, 67 percent of respondents had an unfavorable view, compared to 22 percent with a favorable view. As recently as 2011, 49 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of Russia.

The U.S. is viewed more favorably than Russia in Europe (U.S. 69 percent, Russia 26 percent), and in Africa (U.S. 79 percent, Russia 37 percent).

In the Middle East, just 29 percent have a favorable view of the U.S. and 25 percent have that opinion of Russia.

In Russia, favorable views of America have plunged from 51 percent in 2013 to just 15 percent today.

Respondents were also asked: "How much confidence do you have in Russian President Putin to do the right thing regarding world affairs?"

A median of 58 percent of all respondents have no confidence and just 24 percent have confidence, Pew found.

Only in Vietnam (70 percent) and China (54 percent) do more than half of respondents have confidence in the Russian leader.

His strongest critics are in Spain (92 percent have no confidence), Poland (87 percent), France (85 percent), and Ukraine (84 percent).

Three-quarters of Americans have no confidence in Putin. But he remains popular in Russia, with 88 percent expressing confidence. And just 11 percent of Russians have confidence that President Barack Obama will do the right thing in world affairs.

Editor's Note:


3. Study: Chinese Air Pollution Kills Up to 2.2 Million a Year

Outdoor air pollution in China contributes to the deaths of as many as 2.2 million people every year, according to a new scientific paper.

The authors are members of Berkeley Earth, a research organization based in Berkeley, Calif., that uses statistical data to analyze environmental issues.

The researchers say air pollution contributes to 17 percent of all deaths in China each year. They calculate that the annual toll is likely to fall somewhere between 700,000 and 2.2 million deaths, and their official estimate is near the middle of that range, 1.6 million — 4,400 deaths each day.

The paper concludes that much of the smog that plagues Beijing comes from an industrial zone some 200 miles away, "a finding that may complicate the government's efforts to clean up the capital city's air in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics," The New York Times observed in an article about the paper.

The most dangerous pollutants studied were airborne particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which can wind up deep inside human lungs, be absorbed into the bloodstream, and cause health problems including asthma, stroke, lung cancer, and heart attacks.

During the period covered by their analysis, 38 percent of the population of China "experienced average concentrations [of pollutants] that were unhealthy," the researchers said.

"China has recently made available hourly air pollution data from over 1,500 sites," they stated. "Sources of pollution are widespread, but are particularly intense in a northeast corridor that extends from near Shanghai to north of Beijing."

A large percentage of the air pollution in China comes from the burning of coal, and much of Beijing's pollution comes from coal-burning factories 200 miles southwest in the industrial hub Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province.

According to an analysis released by Tsinghua University and the Asian Development Bank in January 2013, Shijiazhuang is one of the 10 most-polluted cities in the world.

The Chinese government "is sensitive about public data showing that air pollution is killing its citizens, or even allusions to such a conclusion," The Times noted.

In March, after a documentary about the health effects of air pollution circulated online, the Communist Party's central propaganda department ordered Chinese websites to delete it.

Editor's Note:

4. Support for Common Core Falls Below 50 Percent

Less than half of Americans now support the Common Core State Standards for reading and math that have been promoted by the Obama administration.

Support for Common Core polls at 49 percent, down from 65 percent in 2013, according to the ninth annual Education Next survey released on Tuesday. But just 19 percent say they "strongly" support the standards, while 35 percent oppose the program and 16 percent neither support nor oppose it.

Among teachers, support has fallen even further. In 2013, 76 percent of teachers said they were in favor of Common Core. In the new poll, only 40 percent say they favor it, including 11 percent who strongly favor it, while 50 percent say they oppose it, including 31 percent who strongly oppose it.

Among parents, 47 percent support Common Core, including 33 percent who say they "somewhat" support it, while 41 percent oppose it, including 24 percent who strongly oppose it.

The poll, whose creators include experts at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, asked a representative sample of Americans: "As you may know, in the last few years states have been deciding whether or not to use the Common Core, which are standards for reading and math that are the same across the states. In the states that have these standards, they will be used to hold public schools accountable for their performance. Do you support or oppose the use of the Common Core standards at your school?"

When a group of respondents were not told that the standards would be "used to hold public schools accountable for their performance," support for Common Core among the public dropped to just 39 percent, with 37 percent opposed.

Democrats are more supportive of Common Core than are Republicans — 57 percent of Democrats support it, compared to 37 percent of Republicans, down from 57 percent in 2013.

Among teachers and parents, 51 percent believe the standards have had a negative effect on schools, while 28 percent say they have had a positive effect.

The Common Core standards already have been adopted by 42 states and the District of Columbia.

Four states – Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia – have never adopted Common Core. Four other states – Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina – initially adopted the standards but later abandoned them.

Minnesota adopted the Common Core English language arts standards in 2010, but not the mathematics standards.

Proponents claim that standardizing kindergarten through 12th grade curriculums across the U.S. will better prepare future American workers for the competition they will face in a global economy.

But Common Core has been criticized on several fronts, including for eliminating poetry and classic literature and for requiring school children to solve unnecessarily complicated math problems.

During the 2014-15 school year, tens of thousands of students opted out of the new standardized tests that align with Common Core, CNS News reported. Some school districts reported participation rates of less than 50 percent.

Adopting the Common Core national standards and tests "surrenders control of the content taught in local schools to distant national organizations and bureaucrats in Washington," wrote Lindsey Burke, education fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

The Education Next survey also found that 34 percent of the public supports giving vouchers to low-income families, 46 percent favor universal vouchers, 51 percent support merit pay for teachers, and 51 percent favor ending tenure for teachers.

Editor's Note:


5. Venezuelan Uses Worthless Currency As a Napkin

According to Venezuela's official exchange rate, it costs about 6.3 bolivars — the nation's currency unit — to buy one U.S. dollar.

But on the black market, it costs a Venezuelan more than 676 bolivars to buy a single American buck.

The worthlessness of the bolivar — officially known as the bolivar fuerte — was put in sharp focus when a photo was recently uploaded to the Internet showing a man using a 2-bolivar note as a napkin to hold an empanada.

According to the official rate, the note was worth about 31 U.S. cents, but with the black market rate, it was worth less than a third of one cent, Business Insider observed.

As recently as May, a dollar cost less than 300 bolivars, but its price has more than doubled since then.

Venezuela puts its official inflation rate at 68.5 percent. But Professor Steve Hanke, who runs the Troubled Currencies Project, a joint program of the Cato Institute and Johns Hopkins University, said the real inflation rate is more than 800 percent.

Oil exports are the nation's major source of revenue, and the plunge in worldwide oil prices, along with the economic policies of the socialist government, has led to the currency crisis and a shortage of food and basic necessities, which Venezuela must import.

Citizens are suffering a shortage of everything from flour, coffee, cooking oil, and cornmeal to soap, diapers, even toilet paper.

An AFP reporter spoke to a woman in the city of Valencia who said she waited in line at a store for five hours to buy a chicken, only to find that the store had no chickens to sell.

Another would-be shopper said Venezuelans call the queues "holding out hope lines” because once you get inside a store, there is often nothing on the shelves.

At another shop in Valencia, 600 people stood in line to buy powdered milk.

In January, one person died and dozens were arrested in a looting outbreak at stores in the town of San Felix, AFP reported.

Economist Pedro Palma told AFP that the government has tried to keep stores in the capital, Caracas, better stocked with essentials, to the detriment of other cities.

He said: "It is in their interest to avoid critical situations in Caracas so as not to see a social explosion with truly dramatic consequences."

Editor's Note:


6. Iranian Video Depicts Muslim Attack on Jerusalem

Two weeks after the Iran nuclear deal was announced, a video was released under the auspices of the Iranian regime which depicts an attack on Jerusalem by the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Muslim allies. The video declares: "Israel must be obliterated."

The animated video, produced by the Islamic Revolution Design House, shows soldiers preparing for battle. One has the Revolutionary Guard insignia on his arm, another sports the emblem of the Iran-based Iraqi Shia Badr Organization, and a third wears a headband with Hezbollah's logo.

All three, brandishing weapons and wearing helmets, are poised on a hill overlooking Jerusalem, according to a report from The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based publication paper covering Jewish and Israel-related news.

The video then pans to show hundreds of soldiers before transitioning to a black screen with script reading "Israel must be obliterated" and "the youth will definitely see that day when it comes."

The soldiers are then seen marching toward Jerusalem's Temple Mount and Old City.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has also called for the destruction of Israel. He recently tweeted: "We spare no opportunity to support anyone fighting the Zionists," The Blaze website reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly pointed to Iran's continuing sponsorship of terrorist groups including Hezbollah and to its vow to destroy Israel as reasons he believes the nuclear deal with Iran is dangerous for Israel.

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Editor's Note:


Editor's Notes:

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. 400,000 'Anchor Babies' Born in U.S. Each Year 2. Opinion of Russia Low Around World 3. Study: Chinese Air Pollution Kills Up to 2.2 Million a Year 4. Support for Common Core Falls Below 50 Percent 5. Venezuelan...
400000, Anchor-Babies, Each, Year, Iran Reveals Attack on Jerusalem, Opinion of Russia Low Around World, Chinese Air Pollution Kills Up to 2.2 Million a Year, Support for Common Core Falls Below 50 Percent, Venezuelan Uses Worthless Currency As a Napkin
Monday, 24 August 2015 12:24 AM
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