By Patrick J. BuchananBy firing off five dozen Tomahawk missiles at a military airfield, our “America First” president may have plunged us into another Middle East war that his countrymen do not want to fight.Thus far Bashar Assad seems unintimidated. Brushing off the strikes, he has defiantly gone back to bombing the rebels from the same Shayrat air base that the U.S. missiles hit.Trump “will not stop here,” warned U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Sunday. “If he needs to do more, he will.”If Trump fails to back up Haley’s threat, the hawks now cheering him on will begin deriding him as “Donald Obama.”But if he throbs to the war drums of John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio and orders Syria’s air force destroyed, we could be at war not only with ISIS and al-Qaida, but with Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.A Syrian war would consume Trump’s presidency.Are we ready for that? How would we win such a war without raising a large army and sending it back into the Middle East?Another problem: Trump’s missile attack was unconstitutional. Assad had not attacked or threatened us, and Congress, which alone has the power to authorize war on Syria, has never done so.Indeed, Congress denied President Obama that specific authority in 2013.What was Trump thinking? Here was his strategic rational:“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies — babies, little babies — with a chemical gas … that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. … And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me … my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.”Two days later, Trump was still emoting: “Beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”Now, that gas attack was an atrocity, a war crime, and pictures of its tiny victims are heart-rending. But 400,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war, among them thousands of children and infants.Have they been killed by Assad’s forces? Surely, but also by U.S., Russian, Israeli and Turkish planes and drones — and by Kurds, Iranians, Hezbollah, al-Qaida, ISIS, U.S.-backed rebels and Shiite militia.Assad is battling insurgents and jihadists who would slaughter his Alawite brethren and the Christians in Syria just as those Copts were massacred in Egypt on Palm Sunday. Why is Assad more responsible for all the deaths in Syria than those fighting to overthrow and kill him?Have something to say about this column?Visit Pat’s FaceBook page and post your comments….Are we certain Assad personally ordered a gas attack on civilians?For it makes no sense. Why would Assad, who is winning the war and had been told America was no longer demanding his removal, order a nerve gas attack on children, certain to ignite America’s rage, for no military gain?Like the gas attack in 2013, this has the marks of a false flag operation to stampede America into Syria’s civil war.And as in most wars, the first shots fired receive the loudest cheers. But if the president has thrown in with the neocons and War Party, and we are plunging back into the Mideast maelstrom, Trump should know that many of those who helped to nominate and elect him — to keep us out of unnecessary wars — may not be standing by him.We have no vital national interest in Syria’s civil war. It is those doing the fighting who have causes they deem worth dying for.For ISIS, it is the dream of a caliphate. For al-Qaida, it is about driving the Crusaders out of the Dar al Islam. For the Turks, it is, as always, about the Kurds.For Assad, this war is about his survival and that of his regime. For Putin, it is about Russia remaining a great power and not losing its last naval base in the Med. For Iran, this is about preserving a land bridge to its Shiite ally Hezbollah. For Hezbollah it is about not being cut off from the Shiite world and isolated in Lebanon.Because all have vital interests in Syria, all have invested more blood in this conflict than have we. And they are not going to give up their gains or goals in Syria and yield to the Americans without a fight.And if we go to war in Syria, what would we be fighting for?A New World Order? Democracy? Separation of mosque and state? Diversity? Free speech for Muslim heretics? LGBT rights?In 2013, a great national coalition came together to compel Congress to deny Barack Obama authority to take us to war in Syria.We are back at that barricade. An after-Easter battle is shaping up in Congress on the same issue: Is the president authorized to take us into war against Assad and his allies inside Syria?If, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, we do not want America in yet another Mideast war, the time to stop it is before the War Party has us already in it. That time is now.
* North Korea media warns of nuclear strike on U.S. if provoked* U.S. warships head for Korean peninsula* Trump says North Korea “looking for trouble”* Russia “really worried” about possible U.S. attack on North (Adds Trump Tweet)By Sue-Lin WongPYONGYANG, April 11 (Reuters) – North Korean state media on Tuesday warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of U.S. aggression as a U.S. Navy strike group steamed towards the western Pacific.U.S. President Donald Trump, who has urged China to do more to rein in its impoverished neighbour, said in a Tweet North Korea was “looking for trouble” and the United States would “solve the problem” with or without China’s help.Tension has escalated sharply on the Korean peninsula with talk of military action by the United States gaining traction following its strikes last week against Syria and amid concerns the reclusive North may soon conduct a sixth nuclear test.
North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the country was prepared to respond to any aggression by the United States.
“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theatre but also in the U.S. mainland,” it said.
South Korean acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn warned of “greater provocations” by North Korea and ordered the military to intensify monitoring and to ensure close communication with the United States.
“It is possible the North may wage greater provocations such as a nuclear test timed with various anniversaries including the Supreme People’s Assembly,” said Hwang, acting leader since former president Park Geun-hye was removed amid a graft scandal.
Trump said in a Tweet a trade deal between China and the United States would be “far better for them if they solved the North Korea problem”.
“If China decides to help, that would be great,” he said. “If not, we will solve the problem without them!”
Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, met in Florida last week and Trump pressed Xi to do more to rein in North Korea.
The North convened a Supreme People’s Assembly session on Tuesday, one of its twice-yearly sessions in which major appointments are announced and national policy goals are formally approved. It did not immediately release details.
But South Korean officials took pains to quell talk in social media of an impending security crisis or outbreak of war.
“We’d like to ask precaution so as not to get blinded by exaggerated assessment about the security situation on the Korean peninsula,” Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun said.
Saturday is the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the country’s founding father and grandfather of current ruler, Kim Jong Un.
A military parade is expected in the North’s capital, Pyongyang, to mark the day. North Korea often also marks important anniversaries with tests of its nuclear or missile capabilities in breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Men and women in colourful outfits were singing and dancing on the streets of Pyongyang, illuminated by better lighting than that seen in previous years, apparently practising for the parade planned.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent a message of congratulations to mark the event, lambasting “big powers” for their “expansionist” policy.
“The friendly two countries are celebrating this anniversary and, at the same time, conducting a war against big powers’ wild ambition to subject all countries to their expansionist and dominationist policy and deprive them of their rights to self-determination,” the North’s KCNA news agency quoted the message as saying.
The North’s foreign ministry, in a statement carried by KCNA, said the U.S. navy strike group’s approach showed America’s “reckless moves for invading had reached a serious phase”.
“We never beg for peace but we will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms and keep to the road chosen by ourselves,” an unidentified ministry spokesman said.
North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.
Nearly two years after publicly announcing her transition from male to female, Caitlyn Jenner has undergone sex reassignment surgery and tells the world about the decision in her upcoming memoir, a new report claims.“The surgery was a success, and I feel not only wonderful but liberated,” Jenner reportedly writes in “The Secrets of My Life,” out April 25 (as excerpted by RadarOnline).The former Olympian reportedly underwent the below-the-belt surgery in January of this year.A rep for Jenner had no comment.The 67-year-old formerly known as Bruce Jenner gets very candid in the memoir, reportedly writing that, for her, a penis “has no special gifts or use for me other than what I have said before, the ability to take a whiz in the woods. I just want to have all the right parts. I am also tired of tucking the damn thing in all the time.”She decided to go public about her latest surgery “so all of you can stop staring. You want to know, so now you know. Which is why this is the first time, and the last time, I will ever speak of it,” according to Radar. Having the operation apparently was a “complex decision,” and Jenner considered potential health risks.It was previously known that Jenner had undergone facial feminization surgery and gotten breast implants.Jenner — who is parent to six children with ex-wives including Kris Jenner — came out as transgender in April 2015, during a highly publicized interview with Diane Sawyer. A few months later, she made her public debut as Caitlyn on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Paris (AFP) – What if Marine Le Pen wins in May?
Two weeks before the French cast their first presidential ballots, the spectre of victory for the far-right leader who promises to crack down on immigration and outlaw gay marriage sends shivers down many a spine.
Pollsters say the anti-EU firebrand can count on the unwavering support of about one in four voters to get her past the first round of voting on April 23.
Although they also say the National Front (FN) leader cannot win in the decisive May 7 runoff whoever she faces, a great many pundits were wrong about Brexit and Donald Trump after failing to feel the populist pulse.
And with one in three voters still undecided at this late stage, pollsters would be wise to hedge their bets.
Predictions of a “nightmare” Le Pen presidency abound in bookstores and the media.
The 48-year-old candidate poses a “genuine peril”, according to Matthieu Croissandeau, editor-in-chief of the left-leaning newsweekly L’Obs, which ran a special report last month titled “Black Scenario of the First 100 Days”.
Dozens of actors, singers and other artists put their names to an op-ed in the Liberation daily last Sunday warning: “The National Front is on the threshold of power. We call for a bulwark against Marine Le Pen… in the name of freedom of thought and creativity.”
– Exile in Canada? –
Reminiscent of the runup to Trump’s election last year, many artists have said they would prefer exile to living under Le Pen. Like Americans virulently opposed to Trump, they say they are looking to Canada as a refuge.
“Just in case, I’m making plans to move to Quebec,” leftwing comedian Guy Bedos wrote in a book published in March. “I have an absolute aversion for the Le Pen family,” the 82-year-old told AFP.
In 2002, Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen, now sidelined from the FN because of views even farther to the right than his daughter’s, caused a political earthquake in France by winning through to the runoff.
But in that second round, voters of various political stripes reluctantly joined conservatives to elect Jacques Chirac and block the far right.
Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, the French-Mauritian author who won the Nobel prize for literature in 2008, said as far back as 2015 that he would hand in his French passport if Le Pen becomes president.
Others, including public figures, are promising active resistance to a government led by the far right.
France’s ambassador to Japan, Thierry Dana, wrote in an op-ed last month that he would “shelve all diplomatic duties” if Le Pen is elected.
– ‘Judges are fighting Trump’ –
The foreign ministry had to remind Dana of his obligation to remain neutral over the election.
Also throwing neutrality to the wind was Francois Durpaire, an educator and historian who co-authored a comic book titled “La Presidente” (using the feminine form of the noun) depicting France under Le Pen.
“For me as a professor of education sciences the question I would ask the next day (after a Le Pen victory) is: ‘How do you teach in French schools under Le Pen?'” he told AFP.
“I know what to do. I’ll stay in France, I’ll respect the outcome of the democratic vote, but I will resist with all my might any measure that goes against French law,” he said, citing Le Pen’s pledge to give French nationals priority access to public services including schools.
Keeping non-citizens out of French schools would be a “red line” for Durpaire.
“We will be able to mount not just moral resistance, but also legal resistance,” he said, noting: “Judges are fighting Trump, not just far-left activists.”
Trump’s efforts to bar entry to nationals of a string of mainly Muslim countries have been blocked by federal courts in several US states.
The head of the International Human Rights Federation, Dimitri Christopoulos, also said he would join the battle against a President Le Pen.
Her victory “would be a political defeat for human rights, but we would continue to fight,” he told AFP. “The ideological battle will be an existential priority for our societies,” said Christopoulos, a staunch defender of migrants’ rights who divides his time between France and Greece.
Laurent Joffrin, editor-in-chief of the leftwing daily Liberation, said resistance should begin with the legislative elections in June that will determine the shape of the future government.
“We won’t have fascism on day one,” he said. “France has a constitution and institutions, and laws need a majority to pass in parliament. So the immediate fight is to prevent the FN from winning a majority to implement its agenda.”
Joffrin also noted that if Le Pen wins, she is unlikely to have enough support outside her party to form a coalition government and would be forced into a co-habitation arrangement.
Iran and Russia have threatened to hit back if the US follows up on its air strike in Syria last week, ramping up tensions in the Middle East.
It comes after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cancelled a trip to Moscow and prepared a new diplomatic offensive against Russia.
He is also set to urge the Russians to pull their forces out, something which would involve a major loss of face for President Putin.
Eighty-nine people, including 33 children, died on Tuesday after a nerve agent was used in an attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria.
The Assad regime has denied it was responsible and the Russians have claimed it was a ‘false flag’ incident carried out by jihadists who want to stir up tensions between Russia and the US.
President Trump infuriated Moscow when he authorised an airstrike on a Syrian air base on Friday, which killed at least six people.
British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said today it was the ‘right call’ for the Americans to bomb the air base as retribiution for a ‘barbaric, immoral and illegal’ act by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who he described as a Russian ‘proxy’.
But in a joint statement the Russian and Iranians said: ‘We will respond to any aggression’.
The Sun reported that a joint command centre in Syria said: ‘What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier condemned ‘flagrant US aggression on Syria’ following the Tomahawk strike on al-Shayrat.
While Russia’s support for the Assad regime dates back to the 1970s and 80s when Bashar’s father, Hafez, was a stalwart supporter of the Soviet Union and an implacable enemy of Israel, Iran’s support is based on religion.
Assad is from the Alawite minority and has long nursed fears of a rebellion by the Sunni majority and has welcomed the support of Iran, an overwhelmingly Shia Muslim country which also has reason to fear Sunnis.
Boris Johnson, who was due to visit Russia tomorrow for talks with counterpart Sergey Lavrov, said yesterday: ‘We deplore Russia’s continued defence of the Assad regime’.
He called off the visit at the last minute after a midnight phone call with US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, which led to accusations by Russia that Britain had no independent foreign policy.
Lavrov spoke to Tillerson last night and he reportedly told the American ‘that an attack on a country whose government is fighting against terrorism is only playing into extremists’ hands’.
Mr Johnson said: ‘We deplore Russia’s continued defence of the Assad regime even after the chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians,’ he said.
‘My priority is now to continue contact with the US and others in the run up to the G7 meeting on 10-11 April.’
Mr Johnson then called on Russia to do ‘everything possible to bring about a political settlement in Syria and work with the rest of the international community to ensure that the shocking events of the last week are never repeated’.
But Alex Salmond, the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman, said Johnson’s move made him look him ‘some sort of Mini Me’ who cannot be trusted to hold his own talks withLavrov.
Salmond said : ‘Boris Johnson just looks daft. What is the argument for not going ahead with a visit? Rex Tillerson is going on Wednesday so it can’t be that we have moved to a Cold War position of no talking whatsoever.
‘The idea the Foreign Secretary can’t be trusted because he might pursue his own line or have an independent thought or crossover what the Americans are going to say just makes him look like some sort of Mini Me to the United States of America.’
But the Sunday Telegraph claims Johnson is trying to persuade Tillerson to move back to the original plan for regime change in Damascus.
Johnson’s visit would have been the first visit by a UK foreign secretary in more than five years.
It comes as Britain gave full backing to the dramatic US missile strike on a Syrian air base in response to Bashar al-Assad’s ‘barbaric’ chemical attack – with Theresa May having given her blessing to Donald Trump before it happened.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4395504/Iran-Russia-threaten-aggression-Syria.html#ixzz4do8GCufQ
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Bodies lie among blood-stained pews in images of one of the attacks – the latest on Egypt’s Christian minority.
Bomb attacks that killed at least 36 people marking Palm Sunday at two Egyptian churches have been claimed by Islamic State.
The first explosion in Tanta, about 70 miles north of Cairo, killed at least 25 worshippers at the Mar Girgis Coptic Church.
Officials said the blast happened “in the front rows, near the altar, during the mass” and that dozens more had been injured.
Video and pictures show crowds gathered around bodies and large blood stains on the pews and church walls.
Several hours later, a bombing in front of Saint Mark’s Church in the coastal city of Alexandria killed at least 11 people and injured many more, according to the health ministry.
Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic church, had earlier attended mass there.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombings through its Amaq news agency.
Speaking to Nile TV about the Tanta blast, governor Ahmad Deif said: “Either a bomb was planted or someone blew himself up.”
A witness told the Reuters news agency: “There was a huge explosion in the hall. Fire and smoke filled the room and the injuries were extremely severe.
The Kremlin has warned the US it is ‘one step from war’ over Syria – but the Trump administration hit back by saying it would be prepared to carry out airstrikes again.In the first direct American raid on Bashar al Assad’s forces, President Trump authorised the firing of 59 cruise missiles at a military airfield.Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev denounced the US for attacking ‘the legitimate government of Syria’ and for allegedly breaking international law without the approval of the UN.Mr Medvedev said: ‘This military action is a clear indication of the US president’s extreme dependency on the views of the Washington establishment, the one that the new president strongly criticised in his inauguration speech.’ ‘Soon after his victory, I noted that everything would depend on how soon Trump’s election promises would be broken by the existing power machine. It took only two and a half months.’The last remaining election fog has lifted. Instead of an overworked statement about a joint fight against the biggest enemy, ISIS, the Trump administration proved that it will fiercely fight the legitimate Syrian government’.But the US President warned he would do it again after unleashing a surprise attack on the Syrian regime with a massive show of firepower.
Officials said it was retaliation for Assad’s use of chemical weapons and would ‘deter’ further atrocities. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that her country had taken ‘a very measured step’.
She added: ‘We are prepared to do more but we hope that will not be necessary.’
Vladimir Putin yesterday also denounced the US missile strikes as an illegal act of aggression against a sovereign nation.
The furious Russian president responded to the attack against his ally by diverting warship the Admiral Grigorovich to protect the Syrian coast and vowing to bolster Assad’s missile defences against further bombing raids.
He also suspended a military hotline known as the ‘deconfliction line’ which is designed to avoid mid-air collisions and confrontations between Russian and US fighter jets over the war-torn country.
The two old Cold War superpowers clashed at the UN Security Council where a Russian envoy claimed US ‘aggression’ had strengthened terrorism.
But Mrs Haley said the Russian government held ‘considerable responsibility’ for Assad’s use of chemical weapons.
‘Every time Assad has crossed the line of human decency, Russia has stood beside him,’ she said.
He had terrorised his country and shocked the conscience of the world, Mrs Haley added.
‘He murdered hundreds of thousands and displaced millions’.
On Tuesday Assad launched ‘yet another chemical attack, murdering men women and children in the most gruesome way’, Mrs Haley said.
‘Assad did this because he thought he could get away with it. He thought he knew Russia would have his back.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4392058/Kremlin-tells-one-step-war.html#ixzz4dfJLs9yE
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Donald Trump Jr. wants to run for political office, telling members of an elite gun club that he could set his sights on becoming governor of New York.Don Jr. spoke to members of the F6 Labs gun club in Hicksville, NY, and, when asked about his political ambitions, said he would love to follow his father, President Donald Trump, into office.A guest at Tuesday’s meeting told Page Six, “Don Jr. said he is interested in running for office, such as governor of New York, but the position of mayor of New York would be less interesting to him.”Don Jr. added that he didn’t want to be one of 100 Senators, nor a member of Congress.Campaigning alongside his father made him think about his future, with him saying, “Do I want to be behind the scenes and be a mouthpiece and fight back against crazy liberal media? Maybe.” Don Jr. joked that he missed the intensity of the presidential campaign: “Going back to doing deals is boring after 18 months. The politics bug bit me.”Since his father was sworn in, he and his brother Eric have taken over the Trump Organization.While Don Jr. didn’t indicate when he’d run, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is up for re-election in 2018, although he’s been named as a possible presidential candidate for 2020.Cuomo’s clashed with President Trump on immigration, climate change and Obamacare, and has also pushed for regulation of firearms.Don Jr., meanwhile, seems to be laying the groundwork with gun advocates. He’s an avid hunter who’s stalked elephants and posed with a dead leopard in a controversial Twitter post.Modal TriggerDonald Trump Jr., Melania Trump and Donald TrumpWireImageSpeaking in front of a group that included Nassau Police Commish Thomas Krumpter, vodka company owner Marty Silver, lawyer and lobbyist Brad Gerstman and restaurateur Chris Tsarsi, Don Jr. said he would oppose anything that restricts the Second Amendment, and he supports state reciprocity laws, which allow guns to be carried from state to state with a permit.He also spends every weekend in the Catskills hunting, fishing and shooting with his family.A Trump source added, “Don [Jr.] has no intentions of running for political office at this time . . . [He] is totally focused on running the Trump Organization with his brother.”
Prowling wolflike around the sex party at a downtown hotel, hopeful guest Josh (who doesn’t want his last name mentioned) goes from black-lingerie-clad girl to black-lingerie-clad girl, asking for French kisses.The 26-year-old Russian gets lucky a few times, but has a consolation prize for those who reject his advances — he hands them his business card, which boasts his job title of “chief technology officer” and a swank address on Park Avenue.Last Saturday, about 100 of New York’s rich and beautiful gathered in the presidential suite of a downtown five-star hotel for orgies and live sex shows. It was the first of several Manhattan parties held by Snctm, an elite erotic club based in Los Angeles that counts Gwyneth Paltrow and Bill Maher among its fans. The Post had exclusive access to the party but agreed not to name the location, where partiers got kinky on an outdoor terrace, tiptoeing around a giant, glass-bottomed Jacuzzi.Modal TriggerMatthew McDermottAlthough there is sex aplenty, Gothamites are found to be a bit less freewheeling and more interested in professional connections than their laid-back California counterparts.“It’s so new, and a lot of first-timers are voyeurs,” Snctm director of operations Nicolas de la Kethulle tells The Post. “Maybe we are more frivolous in LA because it’s been happening there for five years.”Men pay $1,500 to $1,875 (the discount rate applies when you bring a female partner) to attend each party, or buy an annual VIP membership for $75,000, which includes admission to all parties, access to private rooms, unlimited Cristal Champagne and a sterling silver pendant that shows they’re at the top of the food chain. Carefully vetted, beautiful women — who outnumber the guys by about three to one — pay zilch.“We had close to 1,000 applications for this event and we’re letting in about 100,” explains Snctm founder Damon Lawner, a divorced father of two. “It’s a highly curated crowd.”Fashion student Katie*, a Mormon raised in Utah, does more than just watch. The 22-year-old came with a 31-year-old Tinder date, but after he fails to rise to the occasion in a foursome, she goes looking for hotter prospects.“It’s great, but a little overwhelming,” the pretty brunette, clad in a black thong, garter belt and Wolford lace stockings, tells The Post as she surveys the room. “It’s a very sexy crowd.”Lawner describes the New York men who made the cut as “masters of the universe.” Certainly, Wall Street is well-represented, as is the tech industry. There are no recognizable celebrities, but there are around 25 relatively attractive 20- to 60-something males sharply dressed in tuxedos.Modal TriggerMatthew McDermottThe 75 women, meanwhile, range in age from early 20s to mid-40s. Slightly more filled-out than their LA peers — we’re talking an average size 4 in New York, compared to a half-starved size 0 on the West Coast — they channel the movie “Eyes Wide Shut,” wearing designer lingerie and heels. Unlike the beautiful people of the Golden State, they don’t all look camera-ready for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. But most are well-manicured and immaculately coiffed, although one girl has (gasp!) a little muffin top going on.Black is the favored color. A woman in her early 40s — surgically enhanced with long black hair extensions — stands out in a virginal all-white number made up of a bustier, thong and garter. Perhaps it’s her wedding night.She is mesmerized by an opening show set to deep house music in which a priestlike man in a golden mask has sex with a woman clad in a tight PVC skirt with a conveniently placed zipper. Just feet away from the guests, another performer is simultaneously using a sex toy on Ms. PVC.Later in the evening, a similarly masked man leads, on a chain, a woman on all fours around the party. Dressed in a black G-string and cat ears, her breasts exposed under a sheer black cape, she playfully licks the legs of the women in the room.“I like to be a pet,” she purrs. “You can pet me.”‘It’s a very sexy crowd … I was expecting older, fatter men.’ – Katie, Snctm guestShe and four other extroverted performers and “fluffers” were specially flown in by Lawner from LA. Another seven are local to New York. According to the boss, their job is to “set the tone for a night of erotic freedom.”Katie certainly lets loose. By 3 a.m., she’s had sex with six people, including a threesome with a 50-something sugar daddy who possesses an enviable six-pack and his beautiful Latina “baby.”“I was expecting older, fatter men, to be honest, so I’m pleasantly surprised,” she says.Thanks to the sugar daddy, Katie secures tuition for her third year of college and a round-trip flight to Los Angeles. The sugar daddy wants her to come with him to the next Snctm party in Hollywood, set for the end of April. (Manhattan’s next event is May 13.)De la Kethulle surveys the room and declares the event a success.“People are actually having sex,” he says. “It’s nice that New Yorkers are having f
The city has used 30 Manhattan hotels to house the homeless, including the iconic New Yorker, the upscale Excelsior and the tourist-friendly The Manhattan at Times Square.Modal TriggerHoliday Inn Express at 126 Water St. where the city will start housing the homeless.. Helayne SeidmanThe city’s use of Manhattan hotels shot up 58 percent in the last year as bookings expanded from the outer boroughs to prime tourist destinations in Midtown and Soho.And the homeless lodging has reached beyond fleabag flophouses to boutique hotels and brand names sought by visitors who don’t necessarily want to mingle with the down-and-out.“We rode the elevator up to our room with homeless people who were barefoot,” one guest at the Art Deco New Yorker hotel griped on the site Trip Advisor in August.A total of 1,453 Manhattan hotel rooms were listed on the city’s “Shelter Scorecard” for February. The citywide average per room is $222 per day, including social services. The average cost per day at a shelter is $150.The city spent $72.9 million on hotel housing in the year ending Oct. 31, 2016, a report by Comptroller Scott Stringer says.“This is a massive crisis, and the city is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars — per night — on hotels. They’re ill-suited to help families get back on theirfeet, and they’re extraordinarily costly,” Stringer told The Post.The use of hotels for the homeless has climbed despite Mayor de Blasio’s pledge last year to end the practice after the stabbing death of a mother and her two children in a Staten Island hotel.SEE ALSO Homeless could get more hotels as de Blasio vows to get rid of themOn Friday, a Queens toddler was found unconscious inside a Quality Inn used as a family homeless shelter. Kimio Williams was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital. No arrests have been made and no criminality is suspected, authorities said.There are now 7,500 homeless people staying in hotels throughout the city, up from 6,100 in October 2016 and 2,600 in February 2016. The total shelter population, including those in hotels, was 59,240 as of Thursday.De Blasio’s new plan to tackle the city’s homeless crisis calls for opening 90 new shelters and expanding others during the next five years in order to get people out of hotels and “cluster site” housing by 2023.But the plan has already hit roadblocks, with a judge last month temporarily halting the opening of a new men’s shelter in Crown Heights that is opposed by community residents.Social services at 16 of the Manhattan hotels are provided by Children’s Community Services (CCS), a Queens nonprofit that has amassed $19.3 million in current and pending city contracts in just two years.The nonprofit is headed by Thomas Bransky, whose bio says he used to work in his family’s Illinois hotel-management business. He loaned the organization $100,000 to get it started.Modal TriggerClarion Hotel on Park Ave. South., another hotel where the city will house the homeless .Helayne SeidmanModal TriggerInside the Clarion Hotel on Park Avenue.Helayne SeidmanBy July 2015, the group had a $1.9 million deficit, according to its financial filings. But two months later, it secured a $3 million contract to provide homeless housing in hotels, city records show. It now oversees hundreds of units.Bransky refused to talk to The Post, directing questions to the Department of Homeless Services.The nonprofit’s contract calls for using no more than 39 percent of a hotel’s rooms unless the city gives special permission, according to a copy obtained by The Post under a Freedom of Information Law request.The MAve Hotel on Madison Avenue is among those in Manhattan under CCS supervision. The Post revealed in October that the city was paying for rooms there at the sametime it was suing the property’s owner for operating “illegal” and dangerous rentals at Midtown apartment buildings.The hotel had nine open FDNY and building-code violations last month, according to the Shelter Scorecard. The document says all of the hotel’s 74 rooms were in use for the homeless, although the city insisted in October it was still a commercial hotel.The Frant Hotel on West 101st Street had the most open violations in Manhattan, with 62 last month.The city abruptly stopped using The New Yorker in early February. A manager there would not comment.“To address the citywide challenge of homelessness, we are ending the use of all 360 cluster sites and hotel facilities across the five boroughs. At the same time, we continue to review all our providers to ensure they meet the standards our clients deserve,” said DHS spokesman Isaac McGinn.
A gang runs an open-air drug-and-sex ring in the heart of Times Square, brazenly hawking cocaine, pot, pills and women to passers-by — all right in front of NYPD cops.Three times this month, ring members approached a Post reporter and asked if he wanted drugs or prostitutes, with one trying to lead him into an office building for sex with a hooker.Another offered a “happy ending” massage at an unnamed hotel nearby. A third said he would provide “free samples” of illegal drugs.
Modal TriggerIsa Karim, a leader of the Times Square gang.The ring has set up shop on Seventh Avenue between 48th and 49th streets in front of the bar Tonic and next to the Lace Gentleman’s Club, a strip joint.It was there that two young men with foreign accents tried to get the reporter to buy drugs or pay for sex with 20-something “ladies” they said were available. Each offer was made as patrol cops stood nearby or sat in a police van on the block.“Russian girls, Spanish,” gang member Junior said to the reporter.“Go to the hotel there,” he said and pointed up the block. “Happy ending. On the second floor. The girl come and meet you downstairs. Take you upstairs . . . Everything straight.”The cost: $250, Junior said. “Hotel room is included.”Another member claimed the ring had a room for illicit sex in a 10-story office building at 723 Seventh Ave., where one of its leaders, Isa Karim, 37, was arrested for allegedly slicing up a man in January, leaving a pool of blood on the sidewalk at the corner of 48th Street.It’s the same building where rapper Tupac Shakur got shot five times in 1994 but survived.But a security guard in the building said no such room exists.
ReutersHe said the gang lures in tourists with its offers, then takes their money and walks off.“These gentlemen, if you could call them that, are out there steering individuals,” a police source said. “There might be some drugs involved. There might be prostitution. Or they might be scamming.”A worker for a business on the block said the gang was a scourge.“We hate that they are out there,” the worker said.“I’m frustrated as hell. It’s epidemic. I think there about 15 to 20 guys. Most of them tend to be of African descent. From Africa. We let the cops know. They’re not oblivious.”Cops say they are doing all they can to stop the gang, making 128 arrests on the block in 2016, including 39 that were drug related, and an additional 22 busts so far this year.“We’re aware of it and conduct numerous arrests in that area,” Lt. John Grimpel said.He said that the Midtown North precinct, which covers that block, made 131 prostitution arrests in 2016 and 28 in 2017.
For 20 years, a Connecticut-based prostitution ring trafficked in mentally disabled young men, court papers revealed this week.The ring catered to wealthy male clients in Connecticut and Massachusetts who paid $250 for sex, according to court papers cited in the News-Times.At least 15 young men in their early 20s were exploited in the ring, authorities allege.The young men suffered illnesses that include schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; some were severely disabled and living in group homes, authorities allege.The ring had been under investigation since January 2016; the first big break came last year with the arrest of Danbury resident Robert King, described by Connecticut prosecutors as running the operation.King would befriend vulnerable young men, including one he found rummaging through a dumpster, according to court papers cited by the News-Times.He would then allegedly get them hooked on cocaine and heroin, pushing them to prostitute themselves to pay for their mounting drug debts.“I’m just a gay guy trying to help people,” King claimed to Danbury detectives, when they approached him in August 2016, according to one affidavit.King has been charged with prostitution and witness tampering.Two alleged clients have been arrested and charged with patronizing a trafficked person.One, Bruce J. Bemer, of Glastonbury, is the owner of the Waterford Speedbowl and New England Motor Sports. He allegedly told authorities that King had been sending young men to him for sex for more than 20 years.
Kendall claims she was sold by her parents at birth to a powerful international sex trafficker. She says when she wasn’t locked in a cage with other kidnapped children, she was flown all over the world on private planes, being sold to wealthy and powerful men. Kendall says as she grew older, she would often escort these rich and prominent clients to black tie affairs and high profile sporting events. From doctors and politicians to even law enforcement, Kendall says she was taught how to act and dress in order to never raise suspicion. For the first time since she says she left her life of sex trafficking three years ago, Kendall tells her story and explains why she is still petrified that the boss of this operation, whom she calls “the man who owns her,” will find her and bring her back.