A Turkish Court released US Pastor Andrew Brunson after two years of captivity Friday; ending a dramatic diplomatic fight between the Trump administration and Turkey’s President Erdogan.
According to Reuters, “A Turkish court ruled on Friday to release the U.S. evangelical Christian pastor at the centre of a bitter diplomatic row between Ankara and Washington, a move that could be the first step towards mending ties between the NATO allies.”
The court slammed Brunson with a 37 month sentence but released the pastor after serving two years. He was detained in October 2016 for allegedly “plotting” against the Erdogan regime with “Kurdish militants.”
The North Carolina native vehemently denies the accusation.
“I am an innocent man. I love Jesus, I love Turkey,” said Brunson upon hearing of his release.
Read the full story here.
TROUBLE IN TURKEY: Currency PLUNGES 20% After Trump DOUBLES Metal Tariff
The Turkish lira plunged 20% Friday after President Trump announced he would be doubling the import tariff on metal produced in that country, sending Turkey’s currency to a record low against the US dollar.
Turkish President Erdogan urged all residents to rapidly convert dollars and other foreign currency into liras, saying the nation was facing an escalating financial crisis that would likely get worse in the coming weeks.
“Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks. This is a domestic and national struggle,” Erdogan said according to CNBC.
The President announced the stiff tariffs on social media Friday morning, saying he was “authorizing a doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminum with respect to Turkey.”
I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
The President threatened to levy harsh tariffs on Turkey last month, demanding the release of an American pastor currently held by Erdogan’s government.
Read the full story at CNBC.
MAN OF THE PEOPLE: Venezuela’s Maduro Dines on $100 Steak, Smokes Cigars as Nation Starves
Venezuelan Socialist President Nicolas Maduro was caught on camera eating a $100 steak and smoking lavish cigars during a recent trip to Asia; infuriating millions of starving residents struggling with a collapsing economy and vanishing food supplies.
According to Bloomberg, images of Maduro dining at a famous steak restaurant in Turkey went viral on social media within minutes. The socialist president was traveling back from China where he sought aid for his impoverished nation.
“Maduro visited Nusr-Et, known for its $100 rib-eye, after making an official trip to China in hopes of securing financing for cash-strapped Venezuela. In videos posted by Nusret to Twitter and Instagram, Maduro is seen eating steak next to his wife, Cilia Flores, while also holding a cigar and trying on a t-shirt depicting Nusret, also known as Salt Bae and famous for how he prepares and seasons steaks,” writes Bloomberg.
Venezuela is struggling to clampdown on a devastating financial crisis. Recent reports say nearly 79% of the nation’s residents are unable to “feed themselves” on a daily basis.