Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 20, 2017

Newsline: New US Ambassador To The Vatican Nominated

President Trump’s choice to represent the United States at the Vatican, Callista Gingrich, has one especially prominent achievement as a Catholic: She is responsible for her husband, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, converting to Roman Catholicism in 2009. “When Newt became a Catholic, it was one of the happiest moments of my life,” she said in a 2012 interview with The New Yorker. Callista Gingrich has been an accomplished pianist since childhood and also plays the French horn. For the past 20 years, she has sung professionally in the choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. Her husband began attending mass at the Basilica largely to watch her perform in the choir, and he told the Catholic TV network EWTN in 2011 that it was that worship experience that led him to convert to Catholicism. Before marrying her, the twice-divorced Gingrich had his previous marriage annulled. Under Catholic church teaching, divorced Catholics are not supposed to receive communion unless they have their former marriages officially annulled. Newt Gingrich is one of President Trump’s strongest supporters, and Callista Gingrich may well be seen by Vatican authorities as carrying her husband’s political clout.

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/20/529276806/callista-gingrich-nominated-as-ambassador-to-the-vatican

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Newsline: Russian Embassy in London joins in US murder speculation

The Russian Embassy in London has joined in the speculation surrounding the unsolved murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. The embassy tweeted an image featuring Rich and Hillary Clinton in the background, with text saying, “Who Killed Seth Rich?” The tweet also says, “#WikiLeaks informer Seth Rich murdered in US but MSM [mainstream media] was so busy accusing Russian hackers to take notice.” Rich, 27, was shot and killed on July 10, 2016, as he was walking home from a bar in Washington, D.C. Police found him still in possession of his credit cards, wallet and phone, and believe the murder was a botched robbery. On July 22, WikiLeaks released 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments belonging to the DNC. Because Rich had worked for the committee, people on the political right speculated that Rich had been behind the leak, and that the DNC or Clinton may have arranged his murder. The Russian Embassy’s tweet comes days after Rod Wheeler, a private investigator working on behalf of Rich’s family, told a Fox affiliate there was evidence that Rich had communicated with WikiLeaks. A day later, on Tuesday, Fox News reported that a “federal investigator” had corroborated Wheeler’s account, and that an FBI analysis of Rich’s computer showed he had transferred the 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments to Gavin MacFayden, a man who had ties to WikiLeaks before he died last October.

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/russian-embassy-joins-in-seth-rich-murder-speculation/