Ex-Honduran Lawmaker Wanted By US For Cocaine Trafficking Captured

Former Honduras lawmaker, Midence Oqueli Martinez Turcios.

 

A former Honduran lawmaker who spent years on the run avoiding a US extradition order for alleged cocaine trafficking has been captured, according to the Central American country’s security minister.

Midence Oqueli Martinez Turcios, 62, was apprehended on Saturday, Ramon Sabillon told local station Radio America.

Martinez was a lawmaker for the centrist Liberal Party from 2010 to 2018.

He had been on the run since 2018 after a New York court requested his extradition, accusing him of working with the Los Cachiros cartel to traffic cocaine to the United States between 2004 and 2014.

Martinez took more than $1 million in bribes from the cartel to fund his political activities and used his position to provide cover for businesses run by the gang, according to the indictment.

Hundreds of Hondurans have been extradited, captured or voluntarily turned themselves in to US authorities for drug trafficking since 2010.

In April, former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez was extradited on drug charges.

He is accused of exporting 500 tons of cocaine to the United States since 2004.

AFP

Netherlands Beat USA To Reach World Cup Quarter-Finals

Netherlands’ defender #22 Denzel Dumfries (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between the Netherlands and USA at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on December 3, 2022. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

 

A clinical Netherlands ended the United States’ World Cup dream on Saturday, sweeping into the quarter-finals with a ruthless 3-1 victory.

First-half goals from Memphis Depay and Daley Blind and a late strike from Denzel Dumfries sealed a deserved victory as the Dutch handed out a painful lesson in finishing to their American opponents.

The Netherlands, bidding to win their first World Cup after losing in three previous finals, will face Argentina or Australia in the last eight.

Veteran coach Louis van Gaal’s men were worthy victors in Saturday’s last-16 clash at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Although the USA enjoyed long periods of possession in a bright first-half display, all too often a lack of composure in the final third let them down.

Instead, it was the Dutch who calmly bided their time before carving open the Americans with forensic precision.

USA forward Christian Pulisic squandered a golden chance to put his team 1-0 up after only three minutes when he found himself in space only to see a scuffed shot saved by Andries Noppert.

Buoyed by that early chance, the US remained on the front foot, attacking high up the field.

But in the 10 minutes, the Netherlands took the lead. The superb interplay in midfield saw the ball worked to Inter Milan’s Dumfries down the right.

Dumfries picked out Depay, who swept home the finish to cap a majestic 20-pass move that was in the best traditions of the Netherlands’ total footballing heritage.

Again the Americans advanced purposefully into Dutch territory through Pulisic, only for the Chelsea player to deliver a cross that fell behind his US teammates.

Tim Weah had the best American chance of the remainder of the half on 43 minutes, letting fly with a rasping shot that Noppert parried away.

But in first-half stoppage time, the Netherlands delivered the hammer blow.

Dumfries again found space down the right and drilled a cross to Blind, who had ghosted clear of Sergino Dest, for an emphatic low finish.

The Netherlands nearly extended their lead early in the second half when Dumfries’ low cross was prodded towards the US goal by defender Walker Zimmerman, forcing a smart save from Matt Turner.

[READ ALSO] Qatar 2022: Full Last 16 Fixtures, Date And Time

USA coach Gregg Berhalter introduced Gio Reyna for the ineffective Jesus Ferreira in attack at half-time in an effort to provide a sharper cutting edge.

The Borussia Dortmund player made an instant impression after setting up a shot for Weston McKennie that sailed over the bar.

Berhalter brought on Haji Wright for McKennie midway through the second half and the move sparked a fleeting revival.

After seeing a goal-bound chance cleared at the near post on 75 minutes, Wright scored a minute later when his flick from Pulisic’s cross looped over Noppert into the Dutch net for 2-1.

Yet the American fightback was short-lived. In the 81st minute, another Dutch attack pulled the USA defence out of position, and Blind calmly crossed to an unmarked Dumfries at the far post, who made it 3-1.

AFP

US, South Korea And Japan Impose Fresh Sanctions On North Korea

File photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaking during the third-day of the 2nd plenary meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in North Korea. AFP

 

The United States, Japan and South Korea have imposed fresh sanctions on North Korean individuals and entities in response to Pyongyang’s recent slew of missile tests.

Washington’s action, announced Thursday, blocks any assets of three North Korean officials in the United States, a largely symbolic step against an isolated country that has defied international pressure over its weapons programs.

The US Treasury Department also threatened sanctions against anyone who conducts transactions with Jon Il Ho, Yu Jin and Kim Su Gil, who were identified as directly involved in weapons development.

The recent North Korean missile launches, including the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile with the range to hit the US mainland, “pose grave security risks to the region and entire world,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The sanctions “underscore our sustained resolve to promote accountability in response to Pyongyang’s pace, scale and scope of ballistic missile launches.”

Blinken added that the action was taken in coordination with US allies South Korea and Japan, and noted that the European Union issued similar designations of the three in April.

Tokyo and Seoul on Friday also announced new sanctions.

South Korea said it would target eight individuals, including a Taiwanese and a Singaporean national.

They have “contributed to North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and evasion of (pre-existing) sanctions”, the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement.

All are already subject to US sanctions, the ministry added, and South Korea’s new restrictions are expected to “alert the domestic and international community of the risks of transactions with these entities”.

And Japan said that in response to Pyongyang’s “provocative acts”, it was freezing the assets of three North Korean groups — Korea Haegumgang Trading Corp, Korea Namgang Trading Corp and Lazarus Group — and one person, Kim Su Il.

The United States has voiced frustration that China, North Korea’s closest ally, and Russia have blocked efforts at the UN Security Council to impose tougher sanctions.

AFP

US Treasury Makes Trump Tax Returns Available To Congressional Committee

File photo: Former US President Donald Trump delivers an update on “Operation Warp Speed” in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2020.
MANDEL NGAN / AFP

The US Treasury Department said on Wednesday it complied with a court order to make former president Donald Trump’s tax returns, which he has long fought to keep under wraps, available to a congressional committee.

The 76-year-old Trump, who recently announced he will seek the presidency again in 2024, refused to release his tax returns while in office — as presidents have done since the 1970s — and took to the courts to block a congressional request.

Earlier in November, however, the Supreme Court cleared the way for his returns to be handed over to the Ways and Means Committee of the Democratic-majority House of Representatives.

READ ALSO: US House Approves Bill To Avert Freight Rail Strike

“Treasury has complied with last week’s court decision,” a department spokesperson told AFP.

The department did not disclose whether the committee had accessed the documents, according to an official.

Committee members did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The committee has been seeking tax returns from Trump and business entities related to him for the period of 2015 to 2020.

The Supreme Court decision came with just a few weeks remaining in the term of the current Congress, with Republican lawmakers due to take over the House in January after winning a slight majority in the November 8 midterm elections.

Hawaii Volcano Shoots Lava Fountains 200 Feet High

 

Fountains of lava up to 200 feet (60 meters) high have been fired into the air from Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, geologists say, generating rivers of molten rock from the world’s largest active volcano.

Four fissures have now opened up on the mammoth mountain, which burst into life on Sunday for the first time in almost 40 years.

Vast clouds of steam and smoke were billowing into the sky from the volcano, which makes up half of Hawaii’s Big Island.

“Estimates of the tallest fountain heights are between 100–200 feet” but most are much smaller, the United States Geological Survey said in an update Monday.

“There is a visible gas plume from the erupting fissure fountains and lava flows, with the plume primarily being blown to the Northwest.”

Geologists say there is currently no risk to people and property below the eruption.

“The longest and largest lava flow is issuing from fissure three,” the USGS said Tuesday.

“This lava flow crossed the Mauna Loa Weather Observatory Road… and the flow front was located approximately six miles (10 kilometers) from Saddle Road (the main road at the foot of the northern flank).”

The lava fountain from the newest fissure was up to 33 feet high, the agency said.

Everything is currently contained in the Northeast Rift Zone, the USGS said, but warned Mauna Loa is a dynamic volcano.

“Additional fissures could open along the Northeast Rift Zone below the current location, and lava flows can continue to travel downslope.”

Pressure has been building at Mauna Loa for years, the USGS said, and the eruption — which lit up the night sky — could be seen 45 miles (72 kilometers) away, in the west coast town of Kona.

While lava is not presently a risk to populations, scientists have said winds could carry volcanic gas and fine ash downslope, as well as Pele’s Hair — fine strands of volcanic glass formed when lava skeins cool quickly in the air.

Named after Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, the strands can be very sharp and pose potential danger to skin and eyes.

‘Long Mountain’

Authorities in Hawaii have not issued any evacuation orders, although the summit area and several roads in the region were closed, and two shelters have been opened as a precaution.

The largest volcano on Earth by volume, Mauna Loa, whose name means “Long Mountain,” is larger than the rest of the Hawaiian islands combined.

The volcano’s submarine flanks stretch for miles to an ocean floor that is in turn depressed by Mauna Loa’s great mass — making its summit some 11 miles above its base, according to the USGS.

One of six active volcanoes on the Hawaiian islands, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843.

Its most recent eruption, in 1984, lasted 22 days and produced lava flows reached to within about four miles of Hilo.

Kilauea, a volcano on the southeastern flank of Mauna Loa, erupted almost continuously between 1983 and 2019, and a minor eruption there has been ongoing for months.

Australian PM Asks US To End Assange’s Proceeding

File photo of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange / AFP

 

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Wednesday he had personally called on US officials to end legal proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, declaring: “Enough is enough.”

Assange, an Australian citizen, has been held in a London prison since 2019 pending a US extradition request to face trial for divulging US military secrets in 2010 about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

READ ALSO: US Militia Leader Guilty Of Sedition In Capitol Assault

“I some time ago made my point that enough is enough. It is time for this matter to be brought to a conclusion,” Albanese told parliament.

“I have raised this personally with representatives of the United  States government. My position is clear.”

The Australian leader said he did not have sympathy for many of the 51-year-old’s actions.

But he asked: “What is the point of this continuing, this legal action, which could be caught up now for many years into the future?”

Assange has been held in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison since 2019, after serving time for skipping bail in a previous case and spending years holed up in Ecuador’s embassy.

He could face decades in jail if found guilty in the United States.

Albanese compared Assange’s treatment to that of Chelsea Manning, whose 35-year jail sentence for stealing secret documents was commuted by then-president Barack Obama in 2017.

Manning “is now able to able to participate freely in US society,” Albanese said.

AFP

US Militia Leader Guilty Of Sedition In Capitol Assault

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 9, 2022 Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, is seen on a screen during a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) / NO USE AFTER DECEMBER 29, 2022 22:14:15 GMT

 

 

Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was found guilty of sedition on Tuesday for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump.

Another member of the Oath Keepers, Kelly Meggs, was also found guilty of seditious conspiracy while three other co-defendants were acquitted of the same charge, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The verdict capped a nearly two-month, high-stakes trial in which the government sought to prove that the violent January 6 assault, which temporarily halted Joe Biden’s confirmation as president, amounted to a rebellion against the government by Trump backers.


READ ALSO: Pakistan Taliban Claim Suicide Blast Killing Three


The five were the first of the nearly 800 people accused in the uprising to go on trial for the hefty charge.

The Justice Department said Rhodes and the Oath Keepers “concocted a plan for an armed rebellion… plotting to oppose by force the government of the United States.”

Prosecutors showed videos of the attack by dozens of group members dressed in military-style combat gear.

But the defendants characterized the case as a political trial carried out by the Biden administration against supporters of his predecessor, Trump.

US Bans Gear From China’s Huawei And ZTE Over Security Risk

This file photo taken on May 31, 2021 shows a Huawei logo at the flagship store in Shenzhen, in China's southern Guangdong province. STR / AFP
This file photo taken on May 31, 2021 shows a Huawei logo at the flagship store in Shenzhen, in China’s southern Guangdong province. STR / AFP

 

US authorities announced a ban Friday on the import or sale of communications equipment deemed “an unacceptable risk to national security” — including gear from Chinese giants Huawei Technologies and ZTE.

Both firms have been on a roster of companies listed as a threat by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the new rules bar future authorizations of their equipment.

The move is the latest in a series of actions to limit the access of Chinese telecom firms to US networks, and comes during a long-running standoff between the world’s two biggest economies.

US officials have shown growing wariness in recent years of Chinese telecommunications companies and technology.

“The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders,” said chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement.

She added that the new rules are a part of ongoing work to guard against security threats.

A Huawei spokesperson offered no comment on the ban when contacted by AFP.

The order also affects other companies, including video surveillance equipment firms Hangzhou Hikvision and Dahua Technology.

The FCC said Friday that it was also seeking comment on future action relating to existing authorizations.

Previously, Washington had banned Huawei from supplying US government systems and strongly discouraged the use of its equipment in the private sector, with fears that Huawei equipment could be compromised by Chinese intelligence.

In 2019, it put Huawei on a trade blacklist that barred US suppliers from doing business with it, cutting off the Chinese firm — also a top smartphone brand — from Google’s Android mobile operating system.

The United States has cited national security fears as well to restrict the operations of China’s big three state-owned mobile carriers.

At Least Six Killed In US Walmart Shooting

 

An attacker shot and killed at least six people at a Walmart late Tuesday in the US state of Virginia, police said, adding the single shooter suspect is also dead.

The mass shooting in the city of Chesapeake comes just before Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and follows a weekend gun attack at an LGBTQ club in Colorado that left five people dead.

“Chesapeake Police confirm 7 fatalities, including the shooter, from last night’s shooting at Walmart on Sam’s Circle,” the city confirmed on its Twitter account.

Chesapeake Police Department officer Leo Kosinski had earlier told reporters that there had been “multiple fatalities” at the megastore, which local media reported was busy with holiday shoppers.

Emergency calls were first made just after 10:00 pm Tuesday (0300 GMT Wednesday) while the store was still open, with rapid response officers and tactical teams entering “immediately” after arriving on the scene, Kosinski said.

Local media reported that witnesses said the shooting began at the back of the store and that at least five wounded had been rushed to the hospital.

Police did not provide any details about the suspected shooter’s identity or how the assailant died.

“We believe it is a single shooter and that single shooter is deceased at this time,” Kosinski said, adding he did not believe any shots had been fired by police.

In the hours afterwards, news footage showed a major police presence around the Walmart, which is located about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southeast of the US capital Washington.

Kosinski said officers and investigators were carefully sweeping the store and securing the area.

Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, issued a statement early Wednesday saying: “We are shocked at this tragic event.”

The company added that it was “praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”

‘Senseless violence’

Virginia state Senator Louise Lucas, who represents the Chesapeake region, said she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place… in my district.”

“I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives,” she wrote on Twitter.

The shooting occurred at a major retailer less than 48 hours before Americans nationwide celebrate Thanksgiving.

“Tragically, our community is suffering from yet another incident of senseless gun violence just as families are gathering for Thanksgiving,” tweeted Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia.

The incident occurred three nights after a gunman in Colorado, in the country’s Rocky Mountain west, opened fire inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and injuring at least 18, in what is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Authorities said that suspect, identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, had used a long rifle at the club, where partygoers were marking the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which pays tribute to trans people targeted in violent attacks.

Gun violence occurs at an alarming rate in the United States, where more than 600 mass shootings have occurred so far in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.

Bale To The Rescue As Wales Snatch US Draw On World Cup Return

Wales' forward #11 Gareth Bale (L) celebrates after scoring his team's first goal from the penalty spot during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between USA and Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Antonin THUILLIER / AFP)
Wales’ forward #11 Gareth Bale (L) celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal from the penalty spot during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between USA and Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Antonin THUILLIER / AFP)

 

Gareth Bale rescued Wales with a late penalty to snatch a 1-1 draw with the United States in their World Cup Group B clash on Monday in Qatar.

Welsh skipper Bale lashed home an 82nd-minute spot kick after earning the penalty moments earlier when defender Walker Zimmerman crashed into the former Real Madrid star.

It cancelled out Tim Weah’s superb first-half goal for the Americans which had threatened to ruin Wales’s return to the World Cup after a 64-year absence.

Bale’s equaliser triggered roars from a large and raucous contingent of Wales fans in a crowd of 43,418 fans at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on the outskirts of Doha.

Until that moment it looked as if Wales were heading for a defeat, struggling to break down a skillful and energetic US squad that is the second youngest at the tournament.

Wales were outplayed for long periods of the first half, with manager Rob Page’s decision not to start towering centre-forward Kieffer Moore depriving them of an attacking outlet.

Instead it was the US who made all the early running, with Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic a constant darting menace.

The positive early play almost resulted in a goal after just nine minutes when Sergino Dest played in Weah down the right.

The Lille winger’s cross caused panic in the Welsh area as Joe Rodon powered a header that cannoned off goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey’s midriff.

The danger was not over as Pulisic gathered and crossed for Norwich striker Josh Sargent, who beat Rodon easily but headed just wide.

The early US exuberance led to a flurry of cards for the Americans early on, with Dest and Weston McKennie both booked in quick succession for a pair of wild tackles on Neco Williams.

The relentless US pressing game meant Wales were unable to construct anything in midfield, where Aaron Ramsey and Ethan Ampadu were rarely afforded time or space.

The breakthrough came on 36 minutes. Good hold-up play by Sargent near halfway sent Pulisic accelerating towards goal before picking out Weah who had darted in behind goal.

The son of African football icon George Weah showed terrific composure, dinking a cool finish with the outside of his right foot over Hennessey for a goal that was no less than the positive US opening deserved.

Wales were in disciplinary trouble again soon afterwards, Bale earning a yellow card for clattering into Yunus Musah on 40 minutes.

Chris Mepham joined the Welsh captain in the book after hauling Pulisic down near half-time.

Page brought on Moore at half-time for Daniel James and the substitution immediately started to have an effect.

Tottenham’s Ben Davies almost headed Wales level on 64 minutes but was denied by US goalkeeper Matt Turner with an acrobatic parry over the bar.

Moore powered a header just over from the ensuing corner.

The US dropped deeper and Wales pressed more aggressively as they chased an equaliser.

On 80 minutes Ramsey surged down the right and cut back for Bale, who shielded the ball and tempted Zimmerman into a wild lunge.

Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim pointed to the spot and Bale stepped up to save Wales.

Wales face Iran on Friday in their second Group B game while the United States face England, 6-2 winners over the Iranians earlier on Monday.

AFP

Biden Turns 80, But White House In No Mood For A Party

 

For the first time in history, a sitting president turned 80 years old in the White House on Sunday but did not celebrate in any public way.

It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that First Lady Jill Biden posted an affectionate message, with two photos of the couple dancing in tuxedos and gala attire.

“There’s no one else I’d rather dance with than you. Happy Birthday Joe! I love you,” Jill Biden tweeted.

It was the sole mention from the White House of the birthday, and with no public event scheduled no indication emerged of how, or even if, the president would celebrate his birthday.


READ ALSO: At Least 44 Dead, 300 Injured In Indonesia Quake


Just a day earlier, the Biden family hosted a large-scale fete at the White House — the wedding of Biden’s granddaughter Naomi, which was closed to the press.

Biden does have an important matter to discuss with his family in the coming days — whether he will seek re-election in 2024.

He said at a press conference November 9 that he “intends” to run, and said he and his wife will “sneak away” for a week at some point between Thanksgiving and Christmas to decide with his family.

He promised to make his decision public in early 2023.

Various recent polls say a majority of Americans do not want Biden to run again.

While influential figures who are over 70 or even 75 years old are ample in the American political landscape, the midterm elections have brought some initial generational change in the Democratic Party.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 82, announced her decision Thursday not to run for a new term as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Biden underwent a thorough medical checkup about a year ago, and the results concluded that he was “a healthy, vigorous” man who is fit to serve as president.

But the rigors of the Oval Office also have made their mark on Biden, who walks now with a stiffer gait and suffers moments of confusion.

Trump Gets Warm Reception At Republican Gathering As Rivals Lash Out

 

Donald Trump received a standing ovation at a Republican Party gathering Saturday, even as several possible White House rivals lashed out at his election denialism and insisted it was time to move on from the former US president.

In his first major appearance since announcing his intention to run again in 2024, Trump told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas that the party had grown under his leadership.

The 76-year-old falsely insisted once again that the 2020 presidential election — which he lost — was rigged, and rejected responsibility for the GOP’s poor performance in the November midterms.

In 2020 “we had a really disgraceful election, many millions of votes more than we had in 2016… and the result was, in my opinion, an absolute sham,” he told the audience by video link.

“The election as rigged, and it’s too bad it was.”

Asked about how he could improve the party’s appeal to suburban voters, among whom it did badly in this month’s midterms, Trump insisted he had a record of picking winners.

“In the midterms, as you’ve probably heard, I was 222 wins and 16 losses, the press doesn’t want to mention that, and the Republican Party got five million more votes than the Democrats,” he said, despite the final vote tallies not yet being finalized.

“The Republican Party is a much bigger and more powerful party than it was before I got there,” he said.

Trump was warmly welcomed by the crowd, which had earlier heard from key party figures whose names are often mentioned as possibly 2024 presidential contenders.

Many of them hit out at Trump’s grievance-laden style of politicking, which Republican Party operatives have said was to blame for their tepid showing on November 8.

‘Joy and a smile’

New Jersey’s former governor and one-time Trump confidante Chris Christie said candidate quality had been the issue.

“Donald Trump picked candidates with one criteria. Not electability, not experience, not wisdom, not charisma, not the ability to govern, but ‘do you believe the 2020 election was stolen or not?’ If you do I endorse you. If you don’t I reject you,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is the reason we’re losing is because Donald Trump has put himself before everybody else.”

Chris Sununu, governor of New Hampshire, agreed.

“I got a great policy for the Republican Party. Let’s stop supporting crazy unelectable candidates in our primaries,” he said.

On Friday evening, Trump’s former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who is also understood to be mulling a run at the White House, urged fellow Republicans to be more forward-looking and more positive.

While he did not mention his old boss by name, Pompeo made none-too-subtle digs about the need to be doers, rather than complainers.

“As we present the conservative case, as we make the argument… we do so with joy, and a smile,” he said.

“We don’t simply rail against the machine… we don’t simply go on Fox News or send tweets, we actually do the hard work.”

Trump did not address the potential rivals in his appearance on Saturday, but has already begun his customary bomb-throwing about potential presidential competitors, dubbing Ron DeSantis, who is set to speak later Saturday, “Ron DeSanctimonious” and saying Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s name “sounds Chinese.”

The gathering, which also featured an address by Israel’s prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, runs until Sunday.