mikenov on Twitter: Happy Birthday, Donald The Brezhnev! – by mikenov – Wednesday June 14th, 2017 at 11:59 AM

mikenov on Twitter: Happy Birthday, Donald The Brezhnev!

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Happy Birthday, Donald The Brezhnev!


Posted by mikenov on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 11:11am

mikenov on Twitter

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Syrian Artist Paints Trump, Putin And Other World Leaders as Refugees

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Syrian Artist Paints Trump, Putin And Other World Leaders as Refugees

Syrian Artist Paints Trump, Putin And Other World Leaders as Refugees

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mueller – Google News: Robert Mueller Chooses His Investigatory Dream Team – WIRED

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WIRED
Robert Mueller Chooses His Investigatory Dream Team
WIRED
As Mueller begins investigating Russia’s interference in last year’s election and its possible links to Donald Trump’s campaign, he is quietly recruiting lawyers and staff to the team. And in recent days, Trump associates have stepped up criticism of

mueller – Google News

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: UN Investigators Decry ‘Staggering’ Loss Of Civilian Lives In Raqqa Air Strikes

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UN war crimes investigators have expressed alarm over what one called the “staggering” number of civilian deaths caused by U.S.-led coalition air strikes on Islamic State (IS) targets in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Washington Free Beacon: Brooks Recounts Alexandria Shooting: ‘It Is Hard to Contain the Emotions’

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Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) was on-deck when a shooting broke out at a baseball practice for Republican congressman Wednesday morning that wounded several people.

Among the injured was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.), and Brooks had difficulty containing himself as he described the shooting to CNN’s “New Day.” He told them semiautomatic fire began to ring out during practice, and he realized it was an active shooting situation.

“I see a rifle, and I see a little bit of a body and then I hear another bam and I realize there’s still an active shooter. At the same time I hear Steve Scalise over at second base scream — he was shot,” he said.

The shooting occurred in Alexandria, Virginia’s Del Ray neighborhood. Brooks estimated the assailant and Capitol Police exchanged 50 to 100 shots. Police said the gunman had been taken into custody.

Five people were medically transferred from the scene, although it is unclear how many of them were shot. Brooks said he believed five people were shot, however. No fatalities have been reported.

Alexandria Police say “5 people were transported medically from the scene” following shooting at a baseball practice

Brooks said Scalise crawled into the outfield leaving a “trail of blood” 10 to 15 yards long, and he helped put pressure on Scalise’s wound. He also described helping put pressure on a congressional staffer’s leg wound to minimize blood loss.

Brooks praised the law enforcement response to the shooting, describing one wounded officer who came over to tend to Scalise’s wound.

“It is hard to contain the emotions. My adrenaline is raging, and of course it’s never easy to take when you see people around you getting shot, and you don’t have a weapon yourself so you are not in a position where you can help defend,” he said. “So you’re pretty helpless.”

The post Brooks Recounts Alexandria Shooting: ‘It Is Hard to Contain the Emotions’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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mikenov on Twitter: Donald, when will you fire Putin? Ain’t it enough?! Show them who is the Boss. That’s your real task, not fighting with the Democrats. Hurry

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Donald, when will you fire Putin? Ain’t it enough?! Show them who is the Boss. That’s your real task, not fighting with the Democrats. Hurry


Posted by mikenov on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 1:36pm

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: Gunman Attacks Republican Politicians Playing Baseball In Washington Suburb

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A gunman opened fire at U.S. Republican politicians playing baseball in a Washington suburb, wounding a senior U.S. congressman and three other other people, officials and news reports said.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

AP Top News at 9:53 a.m. EDT: The Latest: Congressman says member of his staff wounded

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (all times local):…

AP Top News at 9:53 a.m. EDT

Voice of America: Congressman Scalise Shot Outside Washington

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U.S. Congressman Stephen Scalise was shot in Alexandria, Virginia, just south of Washington, while he and other Republican congressional lawmakers were practicing for an annual baseball game.

Voice of America

Business & Financial News, U.S & International Breaking News | Reuters

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The Early Edition: June 14, 2017

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

JEFF SESSIONS TESTIFIES

“An appalling and detestable lie.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee he never met with any Russian officials last year to discuss the Trump campaign and that he couldn’t remember whether he had a passing encounter with the Russian ambassador at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington or any other undisclosed Russian officials. Aruna Viswanatha, Paul Sonne and Del Quentin Wilber examine yesterday’s hearing at the Wall Street Journal.

“I guess I’ll just have to let his words speak for himself.” Sessions would not say whether he believed President Trump would have fired former F.B.I. director James Comey without recommendations from top Justice Department officials, as Trump himself said, Nolan D. McCaskill identifying this and other key moments from Session’s testimony yesterday at POLITICO.

Sessions was in a meeting at the Oval Office in February with Comey and Trump when the president said he wanted to talk to the then-F.B.I. director privately, and Comey did come to talk to him the next day about that meeting, Sessions acknowledged, confirming elements of Comey’s own testimony last week, report Sari Horwitz, Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post.

Comey’s claim that Sessions did not respond when he asked for protection from Trump was inaccurate, Sessions told the committee, countering this and other key assertions made by Comey last week. Betsy Woodruff, Andrew Desiderio and Spencer Ackerman write at The Daily Beast.

Sessions defended his misstatements in January to the Judiciary Committee as being taken out of context and refused to answer questions about his conversations with the president about Comey’s firing on the basis of an unspecified longstanding policy at the Justice Department predicated on “protecting the right of the president to assert [executive privilege] if he chooses,” the New York Times editorial board proposing a few more questions the attorney general should answer, but probably won’t, following his testimony yesterday.

An important evolution in Sessions’ account of a critical conversation he had with Comey and a “strange lack of curiosity” about President Trump’s “inappropriate, and possibly illegal” interactions with the former F.B.I. director are revealed by examining Sessions’ comments on the subject during his hearing yesterday, writes Just Security‘s Editor Alex Whiting.

Sessions’ recusal from Trump-Russia investigations was merely a procedural matter precipitated by his position as a prominent Trump campaign surrogate in 2016, not a product of any wrongdoing, Sessions insisted in a testimony that did little to move the White House out of the shadow of the Russia investigations, write Matt Flegenheimer and Rebecca R. Ruiz at the New York Times.

Sessions willingly misled senators during his January confirmation hearing and was trying to brush aside suggestions that he may have lied to lawmakers under oath, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said in a statement following Sessions’ testimony yesterday, Max Greenwood reporting at the Hill.

The attorney general was particularly weak in explaining how his recusal from the Trump-Russia investigations allowed him to take part in Comey’s firing, his reason for doing so seemingly that he felt he still had to perform all his duties so – reasoning backwards – his recusal could not prevent him from involvement in Comey’s firing. Jennifer Rubin examines Sessions’ testimony at the Washington Post.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refused to answer question about the scope of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from Trump-Russia investigations during a Senate hearing yesterday on the basis that Sessions is recused from Department of Justice investigations and ongoing investigations are not discussed, Katie Bo Williams reports at the Hill.

Legal analysts are divided on whether Sessions was correct to refuse to answer questions on the basis of executive privilege, a long legal and political tradition which allows private deliberations involving the president and his top advisers to be kept private, for which he was lambasted by lawmakers during his hearing yesterday, Matt Zapotosky writes at the Washington Post.

“A master class in bamboozling, blustering and butt-covering.” Sessions reacted with outrage at any suggestions of wrongdoing on his part and relied on supposedly long-standing Department of Justice rules against talking about private communications in public whenever he met with uncomfortable questions, writes Andrew Rosenthal at the New York Times.

A transcript of Sessions’ testimony is provided at POLITICO.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

President Trump has “no intention” of firing special counsel Robert Mueller who is leading the Trump-Russia investigation, White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckerbee Sanders confirmed yesterday, Jordan Fabian reporting at the Hill.

Trump’s top aides talked him down from firing Robert Mueller after he was angered by reports that Mueller was close to former F.B.I. director James Comey, Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman and Julie Hirschfeld Davis report at the New York Times.

Friend of James Comey Daniel Richman has handed over copies of his memos describing encounters with President Trump to the F.B.I., the same friend who acted as the go-between in disseminating the content of the memos to the press last month, Kyle Cheney reports at POLITICO.

President Trump “keeps trying to delay and disrupt our honest efforts to get to the bottom of what happened.” The president needs to allow Congress and the F.B.I. to get on with their investigations into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said yesterday, John Bowden reporting at the Hill.

Firing Robert Mueller would firm up a case that the President is obstructing justice more than anything else Trump has done in office so far, writes the Washington Post editorial board.

Former president Bill Clinton was impeached for charges less serious than the ones attaching to President Trump now, with the fired former F.B.I. director looking into the possibility of American collusion in the Russian plot to influence the presidential election, a treasonous offense, and while it is not time to start drafting articles of impeachment it is certainly time to pursue the Trump-Russia investigation with energy, writes former Rep. Bob Inglis, who was on the House Judiciary Committee that started the consideration of impeaching Clinton and drafted articles of impeachment, at the Washington Post.

James Comey may have revealed that he gave his memos detailing his conversations with the president to his friend Daniel Richman to the Senate Intelligence Committee last Thursday in order to put his own character and judgement in issue and so preemptively inoculate himself from future attack if he gets called as a witness in a future criminal trial, suggests Asha Rangappa at POLITICO.

The KOREAN PENINSULA

American student Otto F. Warmbier was medically evacuated from North Korea in a coma yesterday after he was detained there last year, charged with a “hostile act” and sentenced to 15 years hard labor, his released following secret negotiations between U.S. officials and the Pyongyang government, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Russell Goldman and Adam Goldman report at the New York Times.

Former N.B.A. star Dennis Rodman’s fifth visit to North Korea got off to a low-key start yesterday, with no clear sign yet that he will meet with leader Kim Jong-un, reports Eric Talmadge at the AP.

Technical details about the methods behind North Korea’s cyberattacks were released by the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security yesterday, the Hill’s Harber Neidig reports.

The release of Otto F. Warmbier raises the prospect of broader U.S.-North Korea talks, though this may depend on the student’s condition, while White House officials have declined to comment on the geopolitical implications of his case, write David Nakamura and Karen DeYoung at the Washington Post.

Otto F. Warmbier’s treatment at the hands of North Korea is outrageous even by the standards of one of the world’s “most vicious and isolated regimes” and should not go unpunished, writes the Washington Post editorial board.

Three Americans remain imprisoned in North Korea after Warmbier’s release, the striking similarities in their circumstances as “pawns in a complex geopolitical game” examined by Russell Goldman at the New York Times.

The “enduring strangeness” of North Korea as a world stage actor is demonstrated by the confluence of Warmbier’s release and the arrival in North Korea of former N.B.A. start Dennis Rodman in North Korea, observes Ishaan Tharoor at the Washington Post.

GULF-ARAB DISPUTE

The Gulf crisis is “trending in a positive direction,” the State Department said following a discussion between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on the need to work together in relation to the decision by four Arab nations to diplomatically isolate Qatar, Al Jazeera reports.

Russia is “trying to break any kind of multilateral alliance,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday, speculating that if the stories about Russia hacking a Qatari news agency are true, the motivation could be Russia’s desire to subvert the international order. Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

There is no military component to the steps taken by Arab nations against Qatar, the U.A.E. ambassador to the U.S. said today, Al Jazeera reports in rolling coverage.

Several high-ranking Iranian officials repeated accusations that Saudi Arabia was behind the twin terror attacks in Tehran last week yesterday, despite the fact that the Islamic State group claimed responsibility, Thomas Erdbrink reports at the New York Times.

Qatar has pulled all its troops from the Djibouti-Eritrea border, it said yesterday, offering no explanation for the move, which comes at a time of Qatar’s diplomatic isolation by other Arab nations. Malak Harb and Elias Meseret report at the AP.

Calls to reopen airspace to flights from Qatar were rejected by Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority yesterday, arguing that the measure is necessary to protect Saudi citizens, U.A.E. and Bahrain also issued similar statements, Al Jazeera reports.

Russia cannot officially take sides in the Gulf crisis but it has an interest in maintaining good relations with Saudi Arabia and keeping Qatar on side due to regional politics and access to natural gas reserves, Leonid Issaev writes at Al Jazeera.

AFGHANISTAN

President Trump has delegated control over the number of troops to be deployed to Afghanistan to the Pentagon, the Afghanistan strategy now expected to be completed by next month, according to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Dion Nissenbaum and Gordon Lubold report at the Wall Street Journal.

“We are not winning in Afghanistan right now,” Mattis conceded yesterday in response to questioning by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) over the lack of a strategy, adding that “we will correct this as soon as possible.” Connor O’Brien reports at POLITICO.

Nine insurgents were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a checkpoint in Helmand province today, no group yet claiming responsibility, the AP reports.

SYRIA

The ongoing confrontation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia may deepen divisions within the opposition to the Assad Regime in Syria, Qatar and Saudi Arabia two of the rebels’ biggest state backers along with Turkey and the U.S., Tom Perry and Suleiman Al-Khalidi reporting at Reuters.

The Gulf crisis “does not help consolidate joint efforts in resolving the conflict in Syria and fighting the terrorist threat,” President Putin said in a conversation with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud yesterday, according to a statement issued by the Kremlin, Al Jazeera reporting.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) made significant progress in the battle for Raqqa yesterday, human rights organizations urging U.S.-backed forces to prioritize protecting the thousands of civilians still trapped in the city, Louisa Loveluck and Zakaria Zakaria report at the Washington Post.

U.S.-backed airstrikes on Raqqa are causing a “staggering loss of civilian life,” U.N. war crimes investigators said today, Stephanie Nebehay reporting at Reuters.

Reports that white phosphorous was used in the Syrian city of Raqqa have been condemned by human rights organizations who claim that, whether used legally or not, its use can cause horrific and long-lasting harm to civilians, the AP reports.

IRAQ

Islamic State fighters in the dozens wearing suicide vests attacked police lines in Mosul today, successfully retaking ground in a large-scale attack starting around 3 a.m. this morning. Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim report at the Washington Post.

The U.S.-led coalition admitted to using white phosphorous during operations in the city of Mosul to try and get civilians out safely, but human rights organizations have warned of the effects of white phosphorous and warned that its use could amount to a war crime, Alison Meuse reports at NPR.

US-led airstrikes continue. US and coalition forces carried out 29 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on June 12. Separately, partner forces conducted eight strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

THE PHILIPPINES

U.S. troops are on the ground near the Philippine city of Marawi but are not involved in fighting the Islamic State-linked militants holding parts of the city after four weeks of fighting, a Philippines military spokesperson said today. Neil Jerome Morales and Simon Lewis report at Reuters.

A strategy of destroying Marawi to save it seems to have been adopted by the Philippine military, bombing it at least twice a day in an attempt to remove the militants holed up there, observe Richard C. Paddock and Felipe Villamor at the New York Times.

The U.S. presence near Marawi providing “technical assistance” is an embarrassment for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who ordered American forces to leave Mindanao last year and announced that the Philippines would establish closer ties with China and who now says he did not request U.S. help with Marawi, writes the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

RUSSIA

Democrats and Republicans are backing an Russia-Iran sanctions bill that includes an agreement for further penalties against the Russian government, setting hurdles for President Trump should he seek to lift them, Elana Schor reports at POLITICO.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pushed back against the bipartisan sanctions bill, arguing that the measures included could close channels with Russia which would be detrimental to anti-terrorism efforts and for seeking a resolution to the Syrian civil war, Elana Schor reports at POLITICO.

The decision to veto sanctions against Russia poses a dilemma for President Trump, who has to walk the line between his desire to engage more with Russia and pressure not to appear too friendly to Moscow, David E. Sanger and Matt Flegenheimer write at the New York Times.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Donald Trump’s proposed arms sale to Saudi Arabia was narrowly backed by the Senate yesterday, Helene Cooper report at the New York Times.

“Our budget will never determine our ability to be effective.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended the Trump administration’s plans to cut the State Department’s budget by around 30 percent before senators yesterday, Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

A federal lawsuit alleging that President Trump violated the Constitution by profiting from business dealings with foreign governments is expected to be filed by almost 200 Democratic members of Congress today, the third suit on the issue against President Trump since he took office, and involving what is believed to be the most members of Congress to ever sue a sitting president, reports Sharon LaFraniere at the New York Times.

The Trump administration was given more time to explain why the high court should consider its revised travel ban by the Supreme Court yesterday, a move that risks delaying the Supreme Court’s consideration of the case until October, Ted Hesson reports at POLITICO.

A Jordanian soldier entered a not guilty plea today to murder charges in the killing of three U.S. military trainers whose convoy came under fire near an air base in U.S.-allied nation last year, the AP reports.

F.A.R.C. rebels in Colombia handed over another 30 percent of their weapons to U.N. inspectors today, the BBC reports.

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Putin taunts Trump as he claims the US thinks it ‘can do anything without consequences’ | World | News

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Speaking to US filmmaker Oliver Stone as part of a tell-all documentary on the Russian president, Mr Putin revealed his true feelings about the US, claiming it “got a false sense that it is able to do everything without any consequences,” in particular after the Soviet Union’s collapse.

He said: “In such a situation, a man or a country begins to make mistakes… The state begins to function ineffectively. One mistake follows another.

“That is the trap in which, as I believe, the United States got caught into.”

He continued: “I believe that if you think you are the only world power, trying to impose on the whole nation the idea of their exclusiveness, this creates an imperialistic mentality in society, which in turn requires an adequate foreign policy expected by society. And the country’s leaders are forced to follow this logic. And in practice this might go contrary to the interest of the Americans… It demonstrates it’s impossible to control everything.”

He even claimed the US “has nurtured both al-Qaeda and [Osama] bin Laden” in a shocking suggestion that will no doubt anger his US counterpart.

Mr Putin explained: “Al-Qaeda is not the result of our activities. This is the result of activities of our US friends. This all started in the times of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, when the US security services supported different movements of Islamic fundamentalism in their struggle against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.”

The 64-year-old went on to describe the collapse of the Soviet Union as “one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century”, claiming “25 million Russians found themselves abroad in one night”.

Mr Putin also addressed recent allegations that Moscow meddled in the 2016 US election, suggesting that accusers do not consider the consequences these claims have on international relations.

He said: “Unfortunately, the United States developed a fashion to speculate and, I’d say, abuse the Russian issue during election campaigns.

“Then they tell us, ‘Don’t you pay attention to this! You need to understand that this is just election rhetoric, we will come to agreement with you later.’ But sacrificing international relations in the course of current political processes is, I believe, a big mistake.”

Mr Putin added Moscow can no longer accept statements coming out of the Pentagon saying Russia was the main threat to the United States.

He said: “On the contrary, we were always ready for the dialogue pretty much on any track of cooperation.”

The Russian leader also said instead of the US spending large amounts on defence it should focus on building a stronger relationship with Russia.

Putin stated: “In 2016, under various estimations, [the US spent] more than $600billion [on defence]. This, of course, is beyond limits. This is more than all the countries of the world spend for this purpose put together.

“The main thing that Russia has, is its people with its self-consciousness.

“This people cannot exist outside its sovereignty, its statehood, and this understanding, and not the threat of a retaliatory nuclear strike, should set all our Western partners on building long-term equitable relations with Russia.

“And then one will not need to spend such money on defence.”

The first episode of the four-part documentary series aired on Showtime on Monday night.

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Washington Free Beacon: Gunman Shoots Congressman, Police at Virginia Baseball Practice

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by: Daniel Wallis

A gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington early on Wednesday, wounding several people including House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise before being taken into custody, police and media reports said.

The shooter appeared to be a white male, “a little bit on the chubby side,” Representative Mo Brooks told CNN, adding that he only saw the man for second.

Brooks said he heard 10 to 20 rounds from the gunman’s rifle before the security detail returned fire. He said there were 20 to 25 members of team at the practice in Alexandria, Virginia, when the gunfire erupted.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information comes in.

The post Gunman Shoots Congressman, Police at Virginia Baseball Practice appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Washington Free Beacon

DEBKAFile: A gunman shot US House Majority Whip Steve Scalise

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June 14, 2017, 3:32 PM (IDT)Louisiana Rep Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip was shot with two police guards during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va, early Wednesday in which a dozen Republican congressman took part. All three men were injured. Witnesses say more than 15 rounds were fired in ten minutes by a man with a rifle at 7:15 am ET. Scalise was reported hit in the hip and an aide used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. The gunman was hit in an exchange of fire. According to some sources, he was apprehended and taken to hospital.
Scalise was elected to congress eight years ago and is one of the leaders of the conservative group.

One congressman reported that as he left the practice field, he was approached by a man in running clothes who asked whether the players on the field were Republicans or Democrats. He did not appear to be holding a weapon. Police are looking for him.

DEBKAFile

Steve Scalise shot in Virginia, aides also hit

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House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot and multiple congressional aides were also hit by a gunman with a rifle who opened fire at a GOP baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday morning, Fox News confirmed.

Scalise was in stable condition. Five people were “transported medically” from the scene, Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown said; however, it was unclear how many people had been shot.

The gunman was shot by U.S. Capitol Police, apprehended and taken to the hospital, officials said. Sen. Mike Lee told Fox News, however, the gunman was killed. The incident occurred at Simpson Field in Alexandria, about 10 miles from Washington D.C.

“The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely,” President Trump said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”

Trump later tweeted: “Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.”

The Department of Homeland Security was monitoring the episode and the FBI was also involved.

Rep. Roger Williams, R-Tex., was seen being taken from the field in a stretcher but it was unclear if he was struck by a bullet.

“Finally the shooter was shot behind home plate as he was circling around to the first base dugout where there were a number of us congressmen and other folks,” Rep. Mo Brooks told FMTALK1065. “Our security detail was able to incapacitate him at that point. I don’t know if he [shooter] was dead. He was wounded. I don’t know how many times he was wounded.”

Brooks reportedly used a belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding of an aide who was shot in the leg. Two law enforcement officers were also injured, included one who was hit in the leg, Brooks said.

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., told Fox News he left just before the shooting. As he walked to his car, a man asked DeSantis if it was Republicans or Democrats practicing. About three minutes later, at around 7:15 a.m. the shooting began, DeSantis said. It reportedly last about 10 minutes.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup told Fox News he “felt like I was in Iraq but without my weapon.” Sen. Jeff Flake said the congressional group were “sitting ducks.”

“Without the Capitol Hill police it would have been a massacre,” Sen. Rand Paul told Fox News, describing the scene as “sort of a killing field.”

Scalise was shot in the hip, sources told Fox News.

“Behind third base, I see a rifle…I hear Steve Scalise over near 2nd base scream,” Brooks said. “…While all of this is going on, Steve Scalise our whip was lying on the ground near the second base position crawling into right field, leaving a trail of blood.”

Brooks said the gunman was using the dugout as cover and estimated the assailant got off 50-100 shots during the attack on the 15-25 people gathered at the field.

“We were there within three minutes,” Brown said. “Two of our officers engaged in gunfire and returned fire.”

Alexandria schools were placed on lockdown as the incident unfolded.

Scalise, 51, is the House majority whip. He has represented Louisiana’s First Congressional District since 2008 and chairs the House Republican Study Committee. He is married with two children. Scalise’s district includes New Orleans.

Since he’s in leadership, Scalise has a security detail.

Scalise, who studied computer science at Louisiana State University, worked as a systems engineer before launching his political career. Scalise endorsed President Trump during last year’s presidential campaign, and has been a vocal backer of Trump’s travel ban. As leader of the powerful study group, he has also spearheaded the effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

The Congressional Baseball Game is scheduled for June 15 at Nationals Park. The game, which has been a tradition since 1909, pits Senate and House members of each party who sport the uniform of their home state.

This is a developing story; check back for updates. Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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Steve Scalise – Google Search

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Story image for Steve Scalise from Fox News

Steve Scalise, Roger Williams shot in Virginia, aides also hit

Fox News1 hour ago
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Roger Williams were shot and multiple congressional aides were also hit by a gunman with a rifle …
Rep. Scalise shot in Virginia
CNN25 minutes ago
Congressman Steve Scalise among 5 shot by gunman at GOP …
In-Depth<a href=”http://Syracuse.com” rel=”nofollow”>Syracuse.com</a>36 minutes ago
Rep. Steve Scalise and Others Shot at Congressional Baseball …
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Who is Steve Scalise, the Congressman who was shot this morning?

MyDaytonDailyNews16 minutes ago
NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, Majority Whip and (R-La. 1st District),, speaks at President Trump’s press …
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The National Interest: The U.S. Air Force’s Next Killer Drone Is Disposable

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David Axe

Security,

The U.S. Air Force’s latest unmanned aerial vehicle is small, stealthy and cheap enough to be essentially disposable. The Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft, or LCAA, could radically change the way the world’s leading air arm wages war.

The U.S. Defense Department revealed the first LCAA prototype as part of the annual DoD Lab Day, an official even highlighting the work of various military research institutions. A photo accompanying a Lab Day handout depicts an angular, jet-powered drone with a silvery paint job that could have radar-absorbing qualities.

The Air Force wants the LCAA to have a Mach .9 top speed and a 1,500-mile mission-radius with a 500-pound payload in an internal bay.

The LCAA prototype, built by San Diego Kratos under a $41-million contract that the Air Force awarded in July 2016, bears a striking resemblance to Kratos’ XQ-222 drone concept.

Kratos pitched the 29-foot-long XQ-222 as an “affordable alternative” to traditional manned aircraft for strike, air-to-air and electronic-attack missions. Notably, the XQ-222 can be launched via catapult, making it “runway-independent,” according to the company. The LCAA appears to share this catapult-launch capability.

The idea behind the LCAA is to build lots of inexpensive drones and send them into combat without worrying about losing them. Not coincidentally, Kratos made its reputation building expendable target drones.

“These [LCAA] UAVs deliver long-range responsive capability in near-peer environments where forward basing is difficult or prohibited,” the Pentagon stated in its Lab Day handout. “LCAA can fly into highly contested areas ahead of a manned craft. The manned aircraft will thus be supported by UAVs, thereby increasing the engagement abilities in contested areas.”

It’s unclear how autonomous the LCAA would be and who would control them. But it’s worth noting that the Air Force is working on new technologies for combining manned and unmanned aircraft in mixed formations, with the crew of the manned planes issuing commands to highly-autonomous robotic wingmen.

But to be “attritable,” the LCAA must be cheap. The Air Force’s contract with Kratos requires that the LCAA cost no more than $3 million apiece for 99 copies and $2 million or less for batches of 100 or more drones.

To drive down the cost, the Defense Department wants contractors to “use a product-line approach distinguished by continual aircraft design and capability refresh to incorporate emerging technologies in a timely and cost-effective manner.” In other words, the Air Force could slightly improve the LCAA design after each small production batch.

“LCAA can be manufactured at a high rate, reducing touch labor and ultimately reducing cost,” the Pentagon stated. The drones would be relatively flimsy. “LCAA are not built for longevity: acceptance criteria should become less complex, resulting in a quicker production-to-air timeline.”

“This approach has several benefits,” said Dan Ward, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and former project manager. “The main one is that it is easier to experiment — and learn! — when the device in question is cheap and expendable. We can more readily try new ideas — new technologies, new tactics, etc. — because our exposure to loss is low.”

The LCAA program is potentially revolutionary for the Air Force. Hundreds or even thousands of the new drones could augment dwindling numbers of expensive manned warplanes that take decades to develop and field.

But the LCAA is, at present, just an experiment. There’s no guarantee the wider Air Force will embrace the concept of a “throw-away” plane. “There is a long history of great prototypes and small programs started up at various labs,” P.W. Singer, a strategist at the Washington, D.C.-based New America Foundation. “Too few make it into a program of record, where they are deployed widely.”

This first appeared in WarIsBoring here.

The National Interest

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Palmer Report: Twitter heckles Donald Trump over the birthday balloons on his Twitter page

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Donald Trump has spent all week promoting his own birthday in ridiculously inappropriate fashion, plugging it during cabinet meetings and elsewhere. And now that the the three year old Trump has finally turned seventy-one today, his Twitter page is covered with birthday balloons. That set off a round of heckling and backlash.

Twitter automatically places birthday balloons on the pages of all users who have entered their birthday into their profile. But not all users are aware of it, leading to some confusion when Donald Trump’s @realdonaldtrump page was suddenly covered with floating balloons once the clock struck midnight and June 14th arrived. Some users heckled him for the incongruity, while others thought he had somehow rigged it himself, or that Twitter was showing him special treatment. The responses were widely negative.

For instance there was the obligatory “hot air” joke:

Then there was just the general weirdness of it all:

“I went on his Twitter to block him…”:

And of course there’s the Russia scandal:

But the irony award went to the fact that the Trump-manufactured crisis in Qatar is in danger of causing a worldwide shortage of helium for balloons:

Meanwhile Donald Trump’s birthday present today is an all time low approval rating, along with a lawsuit jointly filed by hundreds of Democrats in Congress (link).

The post Twitter heckles Donald Trump over the birthday balloons on his Twitter page appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

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Donald, when will you fire Putin? Ain’t it enough?! Show them who is the Boss. That’s your real task, not fighting with the Democrats. Hurry!

mikenov on Twitter: Donald, when will you fire Putin? Ain’t it enough?! Show them who is the Boss. That’s your real task, not fighting with the Democrats. Hurry

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Donald, when will you fire Putin? Ain’t it enough?! Show them who is the Boss. That’s your real task, not fighting with the Democrats. Hurry


Posted by mikenov on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 1:36pm

mikenov on Twitter

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: Gunman Attacks Republican Politicians Playing Baseball In Washington Suburb

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A gunman opened fire at U.S. Republican politicians playing baseball in a Washington suburb, wounding a senior U.S. congressman and three other other people, officials and news reports said.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

AP Top News at 9:53 a.m. EDT: The Latest: Congressman says member of his staff wounded

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (all times local):…

AP Top News at 9:53 a.m. EDT

Voice of America: Congressman Scalise Shot Outside Washington

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U.S. Congressman Stephen Scalise was shot in Alexandria, Virginia, just south of Washington, while he and other Republican congressional lawmakers were practicing for an annual baseball game.

Voice of America

Business & Financial News, U.S & International Breaking News | Reuters

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The Early Edition: June 14, 2017

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

JEFF SESSIONS TESTIFIES

“An appalling and detestable lie.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee he never met with any Russian officials last year to discuss the Trump campaign and that he couldn’t remember whether he had a passing encounter with the Russian ambassador at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington or any other undisclosed Russian officials. Aruna Viswanatha, Paul Sonne and Del Quentin Wilber examine yesterday’s hearing at the Wall Street Journal.

“I guess I’ll just have to let his words speak for himself.” Sessions would not say whether he believed President Trump would have fired former F.B.I. director James Comey without recommendations from top Justice Department officials, as Trump himself said, Nolan D. McCaskill identifying this and other key moments from Session’s testimony yesterday at POLITICO.

Sessions was in a meeting at the Oval Office in February with Comey and Trump when the president said he wanted to talk to the then-F.B.I. director privately, and Comey did come to talk to him the next day about that meeting, Sessions acknowledged, confirming elements of Comey’s own testimony last week, report Sari Horwitz, Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post.

Comey’s claim that Sessions did not respond when he asked for protection from Trump was inaccurate, Sessions told the committee, countering this and other key assertions made by Comey last week. Betsy Woodruff, Andrew Desiderio and Spencer Ackerman write at The Daily Beast.

Sessions defended his misstatements in January to the Judiciary Committee as being taken out of context and refused to answer questions about his conversations with the president about Comey’s firing on the basis of an unspecified longstanding policy at the Justice Department predicated on “protecting the right of the president to assert [executive privilege] if he chooses,” the New York Times editorial board proposing a few more questions the attorney general should answer, but probably won’t, following his testimony yesterday.

An important evolution in Sessions’ account of a critical conversation he had with Comey and a “strange lack of curiosity” about President Trump’s “inappropriate, and possibly illegal” interactions with the former F.B.I. director are revealed by examining Sessions’ comments on the subject during his hearing yesterday, writes Just Security‘s Editor Alex Whiting.

Sessions’ recusal from Trump-Russia investigations was merely a procedural matter precipitated by his position as a prominent Trump campaign surrogate in 2016, not a product of any wrongdoing, Sessions insisted in a testimony that did little to move the White House out of the shadow of the Russia investigations, write Matt Flegenheimer and Rebecca R. Ruiz at the New York Times.

Sessions willingly misled senators during his January confirmation hearing and was trying to brush aside suggestions that he may have lied to lawmakers under oath, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said in a statement following Sessions’ testimony yesterday, Max Greenwood reporting at the Hill.

The attorney general was particularly weak in explaining how his recusal from the Trump-Russia investigations allowed him to take part in Comey’s firing, his reason for doing so seemingly that he felt he still had to perform all his duties so – reasoning backwards – his recusal could not prevent him from involvement in Comey’s firing. Jennifer Rubin examines Sessions’ testimony at the Washington Post.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refused to answer question about the scope of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from Trump-Russia investigations during a Senate hearing yesterday on the basis that Sessions is recused from Department of Justice investigations and ongoing investigations are not discussed, Katie Bo Williams reports at the Hill.

Legal analysts are divided on whether Sessions was correct to refuse to answer questions on the basis of executive privilege, a long legal and political tradition which allows private deliberations involving the president and his top advisers to be kept private, for which he was lambasted by lawmakers during his hearing yesterday, Matt Zapotosky writes at the Washington Post.

“A master class in bamboozling, blustering and butt-covering.” Sessions reacted with outrage at any suggestions of wrongdoing on his part and relied on supposedly long-standing Department of Justice rules against talking about private communications in public whenever he met with uncomfortable questions, writes Andrew Rosenthal at the New York Times.

A transcript of Sessions’ testimony is provided at POLITICO.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

President Trump has “no intention” of firing special counsel Robert Mueller who is leading the Trump-Russia investigation, White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckerbee Sanders confirmed yesterday, Jordan Fabian reporting at the Hill.

Trump’s top aides talked him down from firing Robert Mueller after he was angered by reports that Mueller was close to former F.B.I. director James Comey, Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman and Julie Hirschfeld Davis report at the New York Times.

Friend of James Comey Daniel Richman has handed over copies of his memos describing encounters with President Trump to the F.B.I., the same friend who acted as the go-between in disseminating the content of the memos to the press last month, Kyle Cheney reports at POLITICO.

President Trump “keeps trying to delay and disrupt our honest efforts to get to the bottom of what happened.” The president needs to allow Congress and the F.B.I. to get on with their investigations into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said yesterday, John Bowden reporting at the Hill.

Firing Robert Mueller would firm up a case that the President is obstructing justice more than anything else Trump has done in office so far, writes the Washington Post editorial board.

Former president Bill Clinton was impeached for charges less serious than the ones attaching to President Trump now, with the fired former F.B.I. director looking into the possibility of American collusion in the Russian plot to influence the presidential election, a treasonous offense, and while it is not time to start drafting articles of impeachment it is certainly time to pursue the Trump-Russia investigation with energy, writes former Rep. Bob Inglis, who was on the House Judiciary Committee that started the consideration of impeaching Clinton and drafted articles of impeachment, at the Washington Post.

James Comey may have revealed that he gave his memos detailing his conversations with the president to his friend Daniel Richman to the Senate Intelligence Committee last Thursday in order to put his own character and judgement in issue and so preemptively inoculate himself from future attack if he gets called as a witness in a future criminal trial, suggests Asha Rangappa at POLITICO.

The KOREAN PENINSULA

American student Otto F. Warmbier was medically evacuated from North Korea in a coma yesterday after he was detained there last year, charged with a “hostile act” and sentenced to 15 years hard labor, his released following secret negotiations between U.S. officials and the Pyongyang government, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Russell Goldman and Adam Goldman report at the New York Times.

Former N.B.A. star Dennis Rodman’s fifth visit to North Korea got off to a low-key start yesterday, with no clear sign yet that he will meet with leader Kim Jong-un, reports Eric Talmadge at the AP.

Technical details about the methods behind North Korea’s cyberattacks were released by the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security yesterday, the Hill’s Harber Neidig reports.

The release of Otto F. Warmbier raises the prospect of broader U.S.-North Korea talks, though this may depend on the student’s condition, while White House officials have declined to comment on the geopolitical implications of his case, write David Nakamura and Karen DeYoung at the Washington Post.

Otto F. Warmbier’s treatment at the hands of North Korea is outrageous even by the standards of one of the world’s “most vicious and isolated regimes” and should not go unpunished, writes the Washington Post editorial board.

Three Americans remain imprisoned in North Korea after Warmbier’s release, the striking similarities in their circumstances as “pawns in a complex geopolitical game” examined by Russell Goldman at the New York Times.

The “enduring strangeness” of North Korea as a world stage actor is demonstrated by the confluence of Warmbier’s release and the arrival in North Korea of former N.B.A. start Dennis Rodman in North Korea, observes Ishaan Tharoor at the Washington Post.

GULF-ARAB DISPUTE

The Gulf crisis is “trending in a positive direction,” the State Department said following a discussion between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on the need to work together in relation to the decision by four Arab nations to diplomatically isolate Qatar, Al Jazeera reports.

Russia is “trying to break any kind of multilateral alliance,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday, speculating that if the stories about Russia hacking a Qatari news agency are true, the motivation could be Russia’s desire to subvert the international order. Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

There is no military component to the steps taken by Arab nations against Qatar, the U.A.E. ambassador to the U.S. said today, Al Jazeera reports in rolling coverage.

Several high-ranking Iranian officials repeated accusations that Saudi Arabia was behind the twin terror attacks in Tehran last week yesterday, despite the fact that the Islamic State group claimed responsibility, Thomas Erdbrink reports at the New York Times.

Qatar has pulled all its troops from the Djibouti-Eritrea border, it said yesterday, offering no explanation for the move, which comes at a time of Qatar’s diplomatic isolation by other Arab nations. Malak Harb and Elias Meseret report at the AP.

Calls to reopen airspace to flights from Qatar were rejected by Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority yesterday, arguing that the measure is necessary to protect Saudi citizens, U.A.E. and Bahrain also issued similar statements, Al Jazeera reports.

Russia cannot officially take sides in the Gulf crisis but it has an interest in maintaining good relations with Saudi Arabia and keeping Qatar on side due to regional politics and access to natural gas reserves, Leonid Issaev writes at Al Jazeera.

AFGHANISTAN

President Trump has delegated control over the number of troops to be deployed to Afghanistan to the Pentagon, the Afghanistan strategy now expected to be completed by next month, according to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Dion Nissenbaum and Gordon Lubold report at the Wall Street Journal.

“We are not winning in Afghanistan right now,” Mattis conceded yesterday in response to questioning by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) over the lack of a strategy, adding that “we will correct this as soon as possible.” Connor O’Brien reports at POLITICO.

Nine insurgents were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a checkpoint in Helmand province today, no group yet claiming responsibility, the AP reports.

SYRIA

The ongoing confrontation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia may deepen divisions within the opposition to the Assad Regime in Syria, Qatar and Saudi Arabia two of the rebels’ biggest state backers along with Turkey and the U.S., Tom Perry and Suleiman Al-Khalidi reporting at Reuters.

The Gulf crisis “does not help consolidate joint efforts in resolving the conflict in Syria and fighting the terrorist threat,” President Putin said in a conversation with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud yesterday, according to a statement issued by the Kremlin, Al Jazeera reporting.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) made significant progress in the battle for Raqqa yesterday, human rights organizations urging U.S.-backed forces to prioritize protecting the thousands of civilians still trapped in the city, Louisa Loveluck and Zakaria Zakaria report at the Washington Post.

U.S.-backed airstrikes on Raqqa are causing a “staggering loss of civilian life,” U.N. war crimes investigators said today, Stephanie Nebehay reporting at Reuters.

Reports that white phosphorous was used in the Syrian city of Raqqa have been condemned by human rights organizations who claim that, whether used legally or not, its use can cause horrific and long-lasting harm to civilians, the AP reports.

IRAQ

Islamic State fighters in the dozens wearing suicide vests attacked police lines in Mosul today, successfully retaking ground in a large-scale attack starting around 3 a.m. this morning. Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim report at the Washington Post.

The U.S.-led coalition admitted to using white phosphorous during operations in the city of Mosul to try and get civilians out safely, but human rights organizations have warned of the effects of white phosphorous and warned that its use could amount to a war crime, Alison Meuse reports at NPR.

US-led airstrikes continue. US and coalition forces carried out 29 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on June 12. Separately, partner forces conducted eight strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

THE PHILIPPINES

U.S. troops are on the ground near the Philippine city of Marawi but are not involved in fighting the Islamic State-linked militants holding parts of the city after four weeks of fighting, a Philippines military spokesperson said today. Neil Jerome Morales and Simon Lewis report at Reuters.

A strategy of destroying Marawi to save it seems to have been adopted by the Philippine military, bombing it at least twice a day in an attempt to remove the militants holed up there, observe Richard C. Paddock and Felipe Villamor at the New York Times.

The U.S. presence near Marawi providing “technical assistance” is an embarrassment for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who ordered American forces to leave Mindanao last year and announced that the Philippines would establish closer ties with China and who now says he did not request U.S. help with Marawi, writes the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

RUSSIA

Democrats and Republicans are backing an Russia-Iran sanctions bill that includes an agreement for further penalties against the Russian government, setting hurdles for President Trump should he seek to lift them, Elana Schor reports at POLITICO.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pushed back against the bipartisan sanctions bill, arguing that the measures included could close channels with Russia which would be detrimental to anti-terrorism efforts and for seeking a resolution to the Syrian civil war, Elana Schor reports at POLITICO.

The decision to veto sanctions against Russia poses a dilemma for President Trump, who has to walk the line between his desire to engage more with Russia and pressure not to appear too friendly to Moscow, David E. Sanger and Matt Flegenheimer write at the New York Times.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Donald Trump’s proposed arms sale to Saudi Arabia was narrowly backed by the Senate yesterday, Helene Cooper report at the New York Times.

“Our budget will never determine our ability to be effective.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended the Trump administration’s plans to cut the State Department’s budget by around 30 percent before senators yesterday, Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

A federal lawsuit alleging that President Trump violated the Constitution by profiting from business dealings with foreign governments is expected to be filed by almost 200 Democratic members of Congress today, the third suit on the issue against President Trump since he took office, and involving what is believed to be the most members of Congress to ever sue a sitting president, reports Sharon LaFraniere at the New York Times.

The Trump administration was given more time to explain why the high court should consider its revised travel ban by the Supreme Court yesterday, a move that risks delaying the Supreme Court’s consideration of the case until October, Ted Hesson reports at POLITICO.

A Jordanian soldier entered a not guilty plea today to murder charges in the killing of three U.S. military trainers whose convoy came under fire near an air base in U.S.-allied nation last year, the AP reports.

F.A.R.C. rebels in Colombia handed over another 30 percent of their weapons to U.N. inspectors today, the BBC reports.

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Putin taunts Trump as he claims the US thinks it ‘can do anything without consequences’ | World | News

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Speaking to US filmmaker Oliver Stone as part of a tell-all documentary on the Russian president, Mr Putin revealed his true feelings about the US, claiming it “got a false sense that it is able to do everything without any consequences,” in particular after the Soviet Union’s collapse.

He said: “In such a situation, a man or a country begins to make mistakes… The state begins to function ineffectively. One mistake follows another.

“That is the trap in which, as I believe, the United States got caught into.”

He continued: “I believe that if you think you are the only world power, trying to impose on the whole nation the idea of their exclusiveness, this creates an imperialistic mentality in society, which in turn requires an adequate foreign policy expected by society. And the country’s leaders are forced to follow this logic. And in practice this might go contrary to the interest of the Americans… It demonstrates it’s impossible to control everything.”

He even claimed the US “has nurtured both al-Qaeda and [Osama] bin Laden” in a shocking suggestion that will no doubt anger his US counterpart.

Mr Putin explained: “Al-Qaeda is not the result of our activities. This is the result of activities of our US friends. This all started in the times of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, when the US security services supported different movements of Islamic fundamentalism in their struggle against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.”

The 64-year-old went on to describe the collapse of the Soviet Union as “one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century”, claiming “25 million Russians found themselves abroad in one night”.

Mr Putin also addressed recent allegations that Moscow meddled in the 2016 US election, suggesting that accusers do not consider the consequences these claims have on international relations.

He said: “Unfortunately, the United States developed a fashion to speculate and, I’d say, abuse the Russian issue during election campaigns.

“Then they tell us, ‘Don’t you pay attention to this! You need to understand that this is just election rhetoric, we will come to agreement with you later.’ But sacrificing international relations in the course of current political processes is, I believe, a big mistake.”

Mr Putin added Moscow can no longer accept statements coming out of the Pentagon saying Russia was the main threat to the United States.

He said: “On the contrary, we were always ready for the dialogue pretty much on any track of cooperation.”

The Russian leader also said instead of the US spending large amounts on defence it should focus on building a stronger relationship with Russia.

Putin stated: “In 2016, under various estimations, [the US spent] more than $600billion [on defence]. This, of course, is beyond limits. This is more than all the countries of the world spend for this purpose put together.

“The main thing that Russia has, is its people with its self-consciousness.

“This people cannot exist outside its sovereignty, its statehood, and this understanding, and not the threat of a retaliatory nuclear strike, should set all our Western partners on building long-term equitable relations with Russia.

“And then one will not need to spend such money on defence.”

The first episode of the four-part documentary series aired on Showtime on Monday night.

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Washington Free Beacon: Gunman Shoots Congressman, Police at Virginia Baseball Practice

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by: Daniel Wallis

A gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington early on Wednesday, wounding several people including House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise before being taken into custody, police and media reports said.

The shooter appeared to be a white male, “a little bit on the chubby side,” Representative Mo Brooks told CNN, adding that he only saw the man for second.

Brooks said he heard 10 to 20 rounds from the gunman’s rifle before the security detail returned fire. He said there were 20 to 25 members of team at the practice in Alexandria, Virginia, when the gunfire erupted.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information comes in.

The post Gunman Shoots Congressman, Police at Virginia Baseball Practice appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Washington Free Beacon

DEBKAFile: A gunman shot US House Majority Whip Steve Scalise

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June 14, 2017, 3:32 PM (IDT)Louisiana Rep Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip was shot with two police guards during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va, early Wednesday in which a dozen Republican congressman took part. All three men were injured. Witnesses say more than 15 rounds were fired in ten minutes by a man with a rifle at 7:15 am ET. Scalise was reported hit in the hip and an aide used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. The gunman was hit in an exchange of fire. According to some sources, he was apprehended and taken to hospital.
Scalise was elected to congress eight years ago and is one of the leaders of the conservative group.

One congressman reported that as he left the practice field, he was approached by a man in running clothes who asked whether the players on the field were Republicans or Democrats. He did not appear to be holding a weapon. Police are looking for him.

DEBKAFile

Steve Scalise shot in Virginia, aides also hit

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House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot and multiple congressional aides were also hit by a gunman with a rifle who opened fire at a GOP baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday morning, Fox News confirmed.

Scalise was in stable condition. Five people were “transported medically” from the scene, Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown said; however, it was unclear how many people had been shot.

The gunman was shot by U.S. Capitol Police, apprehended and taken to the hospital, officials said. Sen. Mike Lee told Fox News, however, the gunman was killed. The incident occurred at Simpson Field in Alexandria, about 10 miles from Washington D.C.

“The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely,” President Trump said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”

Trump later tweeted: “Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.”

The Department of Homeland Security was monitoring the episode and the FBI was also involved.

Rep. Roger Williams, R-Tex., was seen being taken from the field in a stretcher but it was unclear if he was struck by a bullet.

“Finally the shooter was shot behind home plate as he was circling around to the first base dugout where there were a number of us congressmen and other folks,” Rep. Mo Brooks told FMTALK1065. “Our security detail was able to incapacitate him at that point. I don’t know if he [shooter] was dead. He was wounded. I don’t know how many times he was wounded.”

Brooks reportedly used a belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding of an aide who was shot in the leg. Two law enforcement officers were also injured, included one who was hit in the leg, Brooks said.

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., told Fox News he left just before the shooting. As he walked to his car, a man asked DeSantis if it was Republicans or Democrats practicing. About three minutes later, at around 7:15 a.m. the shooting began, DeSantis said. It reportedly last about 10 minutes.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup told Fox News he “felt like I was in Iraq but without my weapon.” Sen. Jeff Flake said the congressional group were “sitting ducks.”

“Without the Capitol Hill police it would have been a massacre,” Sen. Rand Paul told Fox News, describing the scene as “sort of a killing field.”

Scalise was shot in the hip, sources told Fox News.

“Behind third base, I see a rifle…I hear Steve Scalise over near 2nd base scream,” Brooks said. “…While all of this is going on, Steve Scalise our whip was lying on the ground near the second base position crawling into right field, leaving a trail of blood.”

Brooks said the gunman was using the dugout as cover and estimated the assailant got off 50-100 shots during the attack on the 15-25 people gathered at the field.

“We were there within three minutes,” Brown said. “Two of our officers engaged in gunfire and returned fire.”

Alexandria schools were placed on lockdown as the incident unfolded.

Scalise, 51, is the House majority whip. He has represented Louisiana’s First Congressional District since 2008 and chairs the House Republican Study Committee. He is married with two children. Scalise’s district includes New Orleans.

Since he’s in leadership, Scalise has a security detail.

Scalise, who studied computer science at Louisiana State University, worked as a systems engineer before launching his political career. Scalise endorsed President Trump during last year’s presidential campaign, and has been a vocal backer of Trump’s travel ban. As leader of the powerful study group, he has also spearheaded the effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

The Congressional Baseball Game is scheduled for June 15 at Nationals Park. The game, which has been a tradition since 1909, pits Senate and House members of each party who sport the uniform of their home state.

This is a developing story; check back for updates. Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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Steve Scalise – Google Search

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Story image for Steve Scalise from Fox News

Steve Scalise, Roger Williams shot in Virginia, aides also hit

Fox News1 hour ago
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Roger Williams were shot and multiple congressional aides were also hit by a gunman with a rifle …
Rep. Scalise shot in Virginia
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Congressman Steve Scalise among 5 shot by gunman at GOP …
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Rep. Steve Scalise and Others Shot at Congressional Baseball …
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GOP baseball practice shooting: House Whip Steve Scalise, 2 police …
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Who is Steve Scalise, the Congressman who was shot this morning?

MyDaytonDailyNews16 minutes ago
NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, Majority Whip and (R-La. 1st District),, speaks at President Trump’s press …
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The National Interest: The U.S. Air Force’s Next Killer Drone Is Disposable

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David Axe

Security,

The U.S. Air Force’s latest unmanned aerial vehicle is small, stealthy and cheap enough to be essentially disposable. The Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft, or LCAA, could radically change the way the world’s leading air arm wages war.

The U.S. Defense Department revealed the first LCAA prototype as part of the annual DoD Lab Day, an official even highlighting the work of various military research institutions. A photo accompanying a Lab Day handout depicts an angular, jet-powered drone with a silvery paint job that could have radar-absorbing qualities.

The Air Force wants the LCAA to have a Mach .9 top speed and a 1,500-mile mission-radius with a 500-pound payload in an internal bay.

The LCAA prototype, built by San Diego Kratos under a $41-million contract that the Air Force awarded in July 2016, bears a striking resemblance to Kratos’ XQ-222 drone concept.

Kratos pitched the 29-foot-long XQ-222 as an “affordable alternative” to traditional manned aircraft for strike, air-to-air and electronic-attack missions. Notably, the XQ-222 can be launched via catapult, making it “runway-independent,” according to the company. The LCAA appears to share this catapult-launch capability.

The idea behind the LCAA is to build lots of inexpensive drones and send them into combat without worrying about losing them. Not coincidentally, Kratos made its reputation building expendable target drones.

“These [LCAA] UAVs deliver long-range responsive capability in near-peer environments where forward basing is difficult or prohibited,” the Pentagon stated in its Lab Day handout. “LCAA can fly into highly contested areas ahead of a manned craft. The manned aircraft will thus be supported by UAVs, thereby increasing the engagement abilities in contested areas.”

It’s unclear how autonomous the LCAA would be and who would control them. But it’s worth noting that the Air Force is working on new technologies for combining manned and unmanned aircraft in mixed formations, with the crew of the manned planes issuing commands to highly-autonomous robotic wingmen.

But to be “attritable,” the LCAA must be cheap. The Air Force’s contract with Kratos requires that the LCAA cost no more than $3 million apiece for 99 copies and $2 million or less for batches of 100 or more drones.

To drive down the cost, the Defense Department wants contractors to “use a product-line approach distinguished by continual aircraft design and capability refresh to incorporate emerging technologies in a timely and cost-effective manner.” In other words, the Air Force could slightly improve the LCAA design after each small production batch.

“LCAA can be manufactured at a high rate, reducing touch labor and ultimately reducing cost,” the Pentagon stated. The drones would be relatively flimsy. “LCAA are not built for longevity: acceptance criteria should become less complex, resulting in a quicker production-to-air timeline.”

“This approach has several benefits,” said Dan Ward, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and former project manager. “The main one is that it is easier to experiment — and learn! — when the device in question is cheap and expendable. We can more readily try new ideas — new technologies, new tactics, etc. — because our exposure to loss is low.”

The LCAA program is potentially revolutionary for the Air Force. Hundreds or even thousands of the new drones could augment dwindling numbers of expensive manned warplanes that take decades to develop and field.

But the LCAA is, at present, just an experiment. There’s no guarantee the wider Air Force will embrace the concept of a “throw-away” plane. “There is a long history of great prototypes and small programs started up at various labs,” P.W. Singer, a strategist at the Washington, D.C.-based New America Foundation. “Too few make it into a program of record, where they are deployed widely.”

This first appeared in WarIsBoring here.

The National Interest

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Palmer Report: Twitter heckles Donald Trump over the birthday balloons on his Twitter page

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Donald Trump has spent all week promoting his own birthday in ridiculously inappropriate fashion, plugging it during cabinet meetings and elsewhere. And now that the the three year old Trump has finally turned seventy-one today, his Twitter page is covered with birthday balloons. That set off a round of heckling and backlash.

Twitter automatically places birthday balloons on the pages of all users who have entered their birthday into their profile. But not all users are aware of it, leading to some confusion when Donald Trump’s @realdonaldtrump page was suddenly covered with floating balloons once the clock struck midnight and June 14th arrived. Some users heckled him for the incongruity, while others thought he had somehow rigged it himself, or that Twitter was showing him special treatment. The responses were widely negative.

For instance there was the obligatory “hot air” joke:

Then there was just the general weirdness of it all:

“I went on his Twitter to block him…”:

And of course there’s the Russia scandal:

But the irony award went to the fact that the Trump-manufactured crisis in Qatar is in danger of causing a worldwide shortage of helium for balloons:

Meanwhile Donald Trump’s birthday present today is an all time low approval rating, along with a lawsuit jointly filed by hundreds of Democrats in Congress (link).

The post Twitter heckles Donald Trump over the birthday balloons on his Twitter page appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

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· · · ·

Palmer Report: Even Donald Trump’s staff knows he’s committing political suicide

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The optimists among Donald Trump’s base, and the pessimists among Trump’s detractors, have convinced themselves that he’s somehow getting away with all of his antics and scandals. They’re certain that his six-gun approach to the Russia scandal, which has involved making up a new lie about it each week and firing everyone who’s in position to expose the truth, is just crazy enough to work. But one need look no further than Trump’s own petrified staff to see that no such deviously brilliant strategy exists.

After Donald Trump’s friend revealed that Trump was thinking about firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Democrats double dog dared him to do it, while the Republicans publicly begged him not to. Why? It would have assured, with absolute certainly, his already near-certain eventual demise. Moreover, it would have backed the Republicans in Congress into a corner where, just to avoid having an albatross hung around their necks in the midterm races, they’d have had to reluctantly appoint Mueller as a more powerful Independent Counsel so that he could continue his investigation.

But now comes word that Trump won’t try to fire Robert Mueller after all, and only because his own White House senior staff spent the day begging him not to, according to the NY Times (link). The inference is obvious enough: even Trump’s own staff knows that he’s on a path to self destruction – and they know that if they can’t stop him from committing political suicide, they’ll end up out of a job just as surely as he will.

So no, Donald Trump hasn’t gotten away with any of this. His staff would have tried to stop him from firing FBI Director James Comey if they’d known in advance that he was planning to do it. And now they’re begging him not to fire Robert Mueller, because they know Trump is circling the drain as it is. Take it from his own staff: Donald Trump’s presidency has one foot in the grave, and he’s digging as quickly as he can. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report.

The post Even Donald Trump’s staff knows he’s committing political suicide appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

Syrian Artist Paints Trump, Putin And Other World Leaders as Refugees – Google Search

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Palmer Report: Twitter heckles Donald Trump over the birthday balloons on his Twitter page by Bill Palmer Wednesday June 14th, 2017 at 8:20 AM

Palmer Report: Twitter heckles Donald Trump over the birthday balloons on his Twitter page

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Donald Trump has spent all week promoting his own birthday in ridiculously inappropriate fashion, plugging it during cabinet meetings and elsewhere. And now that the the three year old Trump has finally turned seventy-one today, his Twitter page is covered with birthday balloons. That set off a round of heckling and backlash.

Twitter automatically places birthday balloons on the pages of all users who have entered their birthday into their profile. But not all users are aware of it, leading to some confusion when Donald Trump’s @realdonaldtrump page was suddenly covered with floating balloons once the clock struck midnight and June 14th arrived. Some users heckled him for the incongruity, while others thought he had somehow rigged it himself, or that Twitter was showing him special treatment. The responses were widely negative.

For instance there was the obligatory “hot air” joke:

Then there was just the general weirdness of it all:

“I went on his Twitter to block him…”:

And of course there’s the Russia scandal:

But the irony award went to the fact that the Trump-manufactured crisis in Qatar is in danger of causing a worldwide shortage of helium for balloons:

Meanwhile Donald Trump’s birthday present today is an all time low approval rating, along with a lawsuit jointly filed by hundreds of Democrats in Congress (link).

The post Twitter heckles Donald Trump over the birthday balloons on his Twitter page appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

Read the whole story
· · · ·

Palmer Report: Even Donald Trump’s staff knows he’s committing political suicide

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The optimists among Donald Trump’s base, and the pessimists among Trump’s detractors, have convinced themselves that he’s somehow getting away with all of his antics and scandals. They’re certain that his six-gun approach to the Russia scandal, which has involved making up a new lie about it each week and firing everyone who’s in position to expose the truth, is just crazy enough to work. But one need look no further than Trump’s own petrified staff to see that no such deviously brilliant strategy exists.

After Donald Trump’s friend revealed that Trump was thinking about firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Democrats double dog dared him to do it, while the Republicans publicly begged him not to. Why? It would have assured, with absolute certainly, his already near-certain eventual demise. Moreover, it would have backed the Republicans in Congress into a corner where, just to avoid having an albatross hung around their necks in the midterm races, they’d have had to reluctantly appoint Mueller as a more powerful Independent Counsel so that he could continue his investigation.

But now comes word that Trump won’t try to fire Robert Mueller after all, and only because his own White House senior staff spent the day begging him not to, according to the NY Times (link). The inference is obvious enough: even Trump’s own staff knows that he’s on a path to self destruction – and they know that if they can’t stop him from committing political suicide, they’ll end up out of a job just as surely as he will.

So no, Donald Trump hasn’t gotten away with any of this. His staff would have tried to stop him from firing FBI Director James Comey if they’d known in advance that he was planning to do it. And now they’re begging him not to fire Robert Mueller, because they know Trump is circling the drain as it is. Take it from his own staff: Donald Trump’s presidency has one foot in the grave, and he’s digging as quickly as he can. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report.

The post Even Donald Trump’s staff knows he’s committing political suicide appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

Syrian Artist Paints Trump, Putin And Other World Leaders as Refugees – Google Search

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Syrian Artist Paints Trump, Putin And Other World Leaders as Refugees – Google Search

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putin and trump – Google News: Syrian Artist Paints Trump, Putin And Other World Leaders as Refugees – News18

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News18
Syrian Artist Paints Trump, Putin And Other World Leaders as Refugees
News18
Syrian refugee artist Abdalla Al Omari’s work, which took 19 months to make and was created in his Brussels studio, includes paintings US president Donald Trump, Russian president VladimirPutin, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, Kim Jong-un, former …

and more »

putin and trump – Google News

rferlonline’s YouTube Videos: Many Casualties In London High-Rise Fire

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From: rferlonline
Duration: 01:17

British officials said several people have died in a huge fire that raged through a high-rise building in London. Flames engulfed the tower block on June 14 trapping many people inside including children. (AP)
Originally published at – https://www.rferl.org/a/many-casualties-in-london-fire/28548155.html

rferlonline’s YouTube Videos

Day in Photos – Voice of America: June 11, 2017

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A look at the best news photos from around the world.

Day in Photos – Voice of America

Day in Photos – Voice of America: June 13, 2017

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A look at the best news photos from around the world.

Day in Photos – Voice of America

WSJ.com: World News: Firefighters Battle Massive Blaze in London High-Rise

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Residents were being evacuated from the burning 27-floor building in London’s Kensington neighborhood early Wednesday morning.

WSJ.com: World News

Day in Photos – Voice of America: June 11, 2017 Wednesday June 14th, 2017 at 7:37 AM

Day in Photos – Voice of America: June 11, 2017

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A look at the best news photos from around the world.

Day in Photos – Voice of America

Day in Photos – Voice of America: June 13, 2017

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A look at the best news photos from around the world.

Day in Photos – Voice of America

WSJ.com: World News: Firefighters Battle Massive Blaze in London High-Rise

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Residents were being evacuated from the burning 27-floor building in London’s Kensington neighborhood early Wednesday morning.

WSJ.com: World News

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: U.S. Democratic Lawmakers Sue Trump Over Foreign Payments

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More than 190 Democratic members of the U.S. Congress are suing President Donald Trump in federal court over foreign money flowing into his real estate group.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Grenfell Tower – Google Search

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Story image for Grenfell Tower from Telegraph.co.uk

Everything we know about the Grenfell Tower blaze: What caused it …

Telegraph.co.uk4 hours ago
It took place in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in Kensington, West London. The residential highrise was built in 1974 and contains 120 homes.
Grenfell Tower fire LIVE: Six people confirmed dead in London blaze
Local SourceEvening Standard1 hour ago
Where is Grenfell Tower and how many people live there?
InternationalMetro47 minutes ago
Media image for Grenfell Tower from Metro

Metro

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CNN

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BuzzFeed News

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NBCNews.com

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The Independent

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The Guardian
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fire in london – Google Search

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Story image for fire in london from ABC News

Massive fire engulfs London high-rise, leaving at least six people dead

ABC News36 minutes ago
A massive fire engulfed a residential high-rise building in London on Wednesday, leaving scores injured and at least six people dead.
London tower fire: Residents predicted a catastrophe in chilling …
Local SourceEvening Standard2 hours ago
Massive tower block fire in London and fears people are trapped
InternationalDaily Post North Wales3 hours ago
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New York Times

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CNBC

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NPR

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Washington Post

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NBCNews.com

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Sky News Australia
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fire in london – Google Search

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fire in london – Google Search

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Despite Vote in Favor, Puerto Rico Faces a Daunting Road Toward Statehood

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The Republicans are also considered highly unlikely to do something that could result in five more Democrats in the House and two in the Senate.

Members of Ms. González’s governing New Progressive Party went to Washington to emphasize the large margin of victory. The people have spoken, and so statehood for Puerto Rico, they insisted, is about a decade away.

Others knocked on doors right behind them, pleading the opposite.

“There are 535 offices. We started today, and it’s going to take time,” said Juan E. Hernández Mayoral, a former senator in Puerto Rico who opposes statehood. “It’s hard work, but we have to do it.”

By noon, he had visited more than a dozen congressional offices, showing up without an appointment to tell staffers that the ballot was manipulated, the vote boycotted and the results invalid.

“Sometimes when you go to a congressional office, you’re walking in and a member of the opposition is coming out,” said Kenneth D. McClintock, a former Puerto Rico secretary of state who as a registered lobbyist spends several days a month advocating statehood. “I would have the last laugh and get to say: ‘Everything they told you was totally incorrect.’”

In a statement, Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló said he would soon head to the capital with the plebiscite results to demand action. He rattled off states, such as Arizona and Wisconsin, whose requests for statehood were made in votes with woefully low turnouts.

“It will be up to this new generation of Puerto Ricans to demand and claim in Washington the end of the current improper colonial relationship, and begin a transition process to fully incorporate Puerto Rico as the next state of the Union,” he said.

Sunday’s plebiscite was the fifth taken since the United States acquired Puerto Rico in 1898. This time, only about 500,000 of Puerto Rico’s 2.2 million registered voters voiced their preference for statehood, independence or remaining a United States commonwealth, far fewer than in previous elections.

But the electoral process was managed by the statehood party, and many critics argued that the ballot was deliberately written to favor statehood. Opposition parties urged their members to boycott the vote.

Even the handful of Puerto Rican members of Congress had mixed opinions.

“Not even Putin gets 97 percent of the vote,” said Luis V. Gutiérrez, an Illinois Democrat. “We’re going to take that seriously?”

Representative José E. Serrano, Democrat of New York, on the other hand, called the boycott “cynical and unnecessary.”

“Now Puerto Rico needs to come before Congress to ask for a change in status,” he said in a statement. “In democracies, the will of the voters is respected, and Congress has a duty to listen and act upon these results so that Puerto Rico can be decolonized once and for all.”

Mr. McClintock said the 23 percent turnout figure was misleading because so many Puerto Ricans have moved to the mainland in recent years. Puerto Rico is losing about 90,000 people a year to states such as Florida and Texas. Many members of Congress are elected with much lower participation than that, and even President Trump got to the White House on the voice of about a quarter of the United States electorate, he said.

But records show the government purged more than half a million voters from the rolls in the months before the vote. Had the elections commission used the rolls from the November general election, the official turnout percentage would have been even lower.

The numbers matter, because it will probably take an overwhelming vote to force Congress to take the issue seriously. So both sides were breaking out calculators and past vote results to make arguments in their favor.

“It’s all spin,” José Fuentes, a statehood advocate, said by phone as he boarded a flight to Washington. “We can spin as well.”

During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump had said the people of Puerto Rico deserved the right of self-determination. “The will of the Puerto Rican people in any status referendum should be considered as Congress follows through on any desired change in status for Puerto Rico, including statehood,” he said.

On Monday, the Trump administration was more circumspect.

“This referendum is nonbinding and only Congress can change Puerto Rico’s status,” the White House said in a statement.

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Paul Krugman: This is how President Trump operates like a glorified mobster

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Signed in as mikenova

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trump as mobster president – Google Search

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11:44 AM 6/13/2017 – Links – The New York Web News – newyorkwebnews.com

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Published on Feb 2, 2016

You Must Believe in Spring is an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans,

11:44 AM 6/13/2017 – Links

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6.13.17

The Early Edition: June 13, 2017 | Just Security

Sessions and his Testimony

Sessions – Google Search
Attorney General Sessions Set Respond Comey | Video | C-SPAN.org
Senate Intel Committee holds last minute meeting with NSA before Jeff Sessions testimony – Palmer Report
AG Sessions to Testify Before Senate Committee Probing Trump Campaign’s Russia Ties
Sessions’ loyalty to Trump will be…
Jeff Sessions is a coward – Palmer Report
Sessions’s Senate Testimony: How to Watch and What to Expect – The New York Times
Sessions to face sharp questions on…
Things to Know About Jeff Sessions on Day of Senate Hearing

Mueller under Fire?

Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel – The New York Times
“Mass hysteria” inside White House as Donald Trump considers trying to fire Robert Mueller – Palmer Report
mueller – Google Search
Trump Is Flirting with Another…
Expert: Donald Trump may be trying to get himself impeached by targeting Robert Mueller – Palmer Report
Conservative David Frum: If Trump fires Mueller he should write ‘I’m super guilty’ in the sky over the White House
Trump Friend Says President Weighing Firing Counsel Probing Russia Ties
Can the president fire special counsel Robert Mueller? (And then what?) – The Washington Post
Today: Mueller Under Fire, Sessions Under Oath – LA Times
Trump supporters turn on special…
Collins: Firing Mueller would be a ‘disaster’ – YouTube
Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel – The New York Times
TheUnion local.com | TheUnion.com

Trump as Brezhnev: Cabinet Meeting

trump cabinet meeting – Google Search
Trump Is a Mobster President | New Republic
(44) Совещание кабинета Трампа стало объектом насмешек – YouTube
Mike Nova on Twitter: “Donald is not just first American Mobster President. He is the first Secretary General of America, Inc.! https://t.co/QRMlglen3Y.”
Mike Nova on Twitter: “Donald is morphing into Brezhnev! Maybe, he was programmed years ago?! Ah?!”
(44) Trump: ‘I love getting even with people’ – YouTube
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What stops Republicans from behaving rationally – The Washington Post
The current American project seems to be privatizing totalitarianism – The Washington Post

Russia Sanctions in the Senate

russia sanctions – Google Search
New Bipartisan Sanctions Would Punish Russia for Election Meddling – The New York Times
Senators strike comprehensive deal to increase Russia sanctions – The Washington Post
Senate Strikes Deal on Russia Sanctions, Stripping Power From Trump – NBC News
Senate reaches deal on Russia sanctions | TheHill
U.S. Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal On Bill To Increase Sanctions On Russia
US senators reach deal to stop White House easing Russia sanctions without approval | US news | The Guardian
Tough new sanctions on Russia agreed…
Horsey: Trump’s big crime: Ignoring Russia’s assault on US elections – Google Search
Top Armed Services Dem to propose bill to address Russian aggression | TheHill
US Senators Back Legislation Strengthening Russia Sanctions
New Bipartisan Sanctions Would Punish Russia for Election Meddling – The New York Times
Senate Draws Up Bill to Impose More Sanctions on Russia | Fox Business
Senate leaders reached a bipartisan…
Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known – Bloomberg

Russia News

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The Daily Vertical: One Man’s Terrorist…
Путин: США загнали себя в ловушку идеей о собственной исключительности – «Life.ru» — информационный портал
Mattis: No Indication Russia Wants Positive Relationship With US
Russian Police Detain Hundreds at Corruption Protest on National Day
The Shadow of Stalin Hangs Over Russian Anti-Putin Protests
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“Как я заснул под беседу Оливера…
Oliver Stone Doubles Down on Putin…
The Putin Interviews review – first Oliver Stone loses. Then the gloves come off | Television & radio | The Guardian
Навального арестовали на 30 суток / Новости – YouTube
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Kislyak

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Russian ambassador hosted Washington insiders, diplomats at embassy | TheHill

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Syrian army advances west of Raqqa: Hezbollah military media unit | Reuters
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Iraq: Mass Food Poisoning, 2 Die at Mosul Camp for Displaced
(44) Several wounded by shots at German rail station, man detained – YouTube
Shooting at Munich, Germany, Train Station After Cop’s Gun Is Grabbed – NBC News
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Mattis

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Mattis slams Congress for…
Defense chief ‘shocked’ by poor state of US combat readiness – U.S. – Stripes
Mattis is “Shocked” by U.S. Military Readiness Crisis | The National Interest Blog
Mattis: ‘Shocked’ by Poor State of Military’s Readiness
Mattis: North Korea has ramped up missile, nuclear programs
Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis
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Opinions: The current American project seems to be privatizing totalitarianism

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Opinions

Donald is morphing into Brezhnev! Maybe, he was programmed years ago?! Ah?!

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Donald is morphing into Brezhnev! Maybe, he was programmed years ago?! Ah?!

The main difference between them: Brezhnev’s eyebrows were thicker and bushier. Maybe, Kremlin should send him his secret barber, to bring them in line…

YouTube Videos: Совещание кабинета Трампа стало объектом насмешек

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From: euronewsru
Duration: 01:18

Президент США Дональд Трамп в понедельник провёл первое совещание своего кабинета в полном составе. Он начал с того, что попросил представиться всех присутствующих.
– Благодарю вас, господин Президент, для меня величайшая честь занимать пост вице-президента при президенте, который держит слово, данное американскому народу.
– Хотел бы поблагодарить вас за вашу преданность американским рабочим.
– Я представлял США на саммите «Большой двадцатки» в Берлине и на Всемирной ассамблее здравоохранения…
ЧИТАТЬ ДАЛЕЕ: http://ru.euronews.com/2017/06/13/soveshhanie-kabineta-trampa-stalo-obektom-nasmeshek

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Donald is not just first American Mobster President. He is the first Secretary General of America, Inc.!

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Donald is not just first American Mobster President. He is the first Secretary General of America, Inc.!

 

Saved Stories – None: International Security – Google News: Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis – Firstpost

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Firstpost
Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis
Firstpost
“The most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security is North Korea,” Mattis said. “The regime’s nuclear weapons program is a clear and present danger to all, and the regime’s provocative actions, manifestly illegal under international law, have
Pentagon chief declares North Korea the new top threat to US securityWashington Post
North Korea ‘most urgent’ threat to security: MattisReuters
North Korea Can Hit The US Mainland With Ballistic Missiles At Any Time, Warns Head Of US Missile DefenseThe Inquisitr

all 263 news articles »

International Security – Google News

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International Security – Google News: Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis – Firstpost

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Firstpost
Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis
Firstpost
“The most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security is North Korea,” Mattis said. “The regime’s nuclear weapons program is a clear and present danger to all, and the regime’s provocative actions, manifestly illegal under international law, have
Pentagon chief declares North Korea the new top threat to US securityWashington Post
North Korea ‘most urgent’ threat to security: MattisReuters
North Korea Can Hit The US Mainland With Ballistic Missiles At Any Time, Warns Head Of US Missile DefenseThe Inquisitr

all 263 news articles »

International Security – Google News

Saved Stories – None: Trump – Google News: Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel – New York Times

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New York Times
Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel
New York Times
WASHINGTON — A longtime friend of President Trump said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering whether to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the president’s campaign and Russian officials. The
Trump friend says president might fire special counsel Robert MuellerLos Angeles Times
Trump friend floats possibility of firing special counsel in Russian probeWashington Post
A Friend of Trump’s Reports That He Is Considering Firing Robert MuellerThe Atlantic
CNN –Politico –The Hill
all 184 news articles »

Trump – Google News

Saved Stories – None

11:44 AM 6/13/2017 – Links

11:44 AM 6/13/2017 – Links

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6.13.17

The Early Edition: June 13, 2017 | Just Security

Sessions and his Testimony

Sessions – Google Search
Attorney General Sessions Set Respond Comey | Video | C-SPAN.org
Senate Intel Committee holds last minute meeting with NSA before Jeff Sessions testimony – Palmer Report
AG Sessions to Testify Before Senate Committee Probing Trump Campaign’s Russia Ties
Sessions’ loyalty to Trump will be…
Jeff Sessions is a coward – Palmer Report
Sessions’s Senate Testimony: How to Watch and What to Expect – The New York Times
Sessions to face sharp questions on…
Things to Know About Jeff Sessions on Day of Senate Hearing

Mueller under Fire?

Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel – The New York Times
“Mass hysteria” inside White House as Donald Trump considers trying to fire Robert Mueller – Palmer Report
mueller – Google Search
Trump Is Flirting with Another…
Expert: Donald Trump may be trying to get himself impeached by targeting Robert Mueller – Palmer Report
Conservative David Frum: If Trump fires Mueller he should write ‘I’m super guilty’ in the sky over the White House
Trump Friend Says President Weighing Firing Counsel Probing Russia Ties
Can the president fire special counsel Robert Mueller? (And then what?) – The Washington Post
Today: Mueller Under Fire, Sessions Under Oath – LA Times
Trump supporters turn on special…
Collins: Firing Mueller would be a ‘disaster’ – YouTube
Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel – The New York Times
TheUnion local.com | TheUnion.com

Trump as Brezhnev: Cabinet Meeting

trump cabinet meeting – Google Search
Trump Is a Mobster President | New Republic
(44) Совещание кабинета Трампа стало объектом насмешек – YouTube
Mike Nova on Twitter: “Donald is not just first American Mobster President. He is the first Secretary General of America, Inc.! https://t.co/QRMlglen3Y.”
Mike Nova on Twitter: “Donald is morphing into Brezhnev! Maybe, he was programmed years ago?! Ah?!”
(44) Trump: ‘I love getting even with people’ – YouTube
(132,381/58) NewsBlur
What stops Republicans from behaving rationally – The Washington Post
The current American project seems to be privatizing totalitarianism – The Washington Post

Russia Sanctions in the Senate

russia sanctions – Google Search
New Bipartisan Sanctions Would Punish Russia for Election Meddling – The New York Times
Senators strike comprehensive deal to increase Russia sanctions – The Washington Post
Senate Strikes Deal on Russia Sanctions, Stripping Power From Trump – NBC News
Senate reaches deal on Russia sanctions | TheHill
U.S. Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal On Bill To Increase Sanctions On Russia
US senators reach deal to stop White House easing Russia sanctions without approval | US news | The Guardian
Tough new sanctions on Russia agreed…
Horsey: Trump’s big crime: Ignoring Russia’s assault on US elections – Google Search
Top Armed Services Dem to propose bill to address Russian aggression | TheHill
US Senators Back Legislation Strengthening Russia Sanctions
New Bipartisan Sanctions Would Punish Russia for Election Meddling – The New York Times
Senate Draws Up Bill to Impose More Sanctions on Russia | Fox Business
Senate leaders reached a bipartisan…
Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known – Bloomberg

Russia News

Russia – Google Search
The Daily Vertical: One Man’s Terrorist…
Путин: США загнали себя в ловушку идеей о собственной исключительности – «Life.ru» — информационный портал
Mattis: No Indication Russia Wants Positive Relationship With US
Russian Police Detain Hundreds at Corruption Protest on National Day
The Shadow of Stalin Hangs Over Russian Anti-Putin Protests
Пресса Британии: Путин предает российскую молодежь – BBC Русская служба
“Как я заснул под беседу Оливера…
Oliver Stone Doubles Down on Putin…
The Putin Interviews review – first Oliver Stone loses. Then the gloves come off | Television & radio | The Guardian
Навального арестовали на 30 суток / Новости – YouTube
“Как я заснул под беседу Оливера…

Kislyak

kislyak – Google Search
Russian ambassador hosted Washington insiders, diplomats at embassy | TheHill

Other News

Is Comey frenzy a distraction? Six questions about U.S. strategy and growing threats in the Middle East | Fox News
Not against any religion, it’s about national security: US on visa ban | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
Liveblog: Rod Rosenstein Testifies Before Senate Appropriations Subcommittee – Lawfare
Syrian army advances west of Raqqa: Hezbollah military media unit | Reuters
Food poisoning sickens hundreds at camp for displaced people – YouTube
Iraq: Mass Food Poisoning, 2 Die at Mosul Camp for Displaced
(44) Several wounded by shots at German rail station, man detained – YouTube
Shooting at Munich, Germany, Train Station After Cop’s Gun Is Grabbed – NBC News
(44) Life Inside Kerobokan – YouTube

Mattis

Mattis – Google Search
Mattis slams Congress for…
Defense chief ‘shocked’ by poor state of US combat readiness – U.S. – Stripes
Mattis is “Shocked” by U.S. Military Readiness Crisis | The National Interest Blog
Mattis: ‘Shocked’ by Poor State of Military’s Readiness
Mattis: North Korea has ramped up missile, nuclear programs
Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis
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Opinions: The current American project seems to be privatizing totalitarianism

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Opinions

Donald is morphing into Brezhnev! Maybe, he was programmed years ago?! Ah?!

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Donald is morphing into Brezhnev! Maybe, he was programmed years ago?! Ah?!

The main difference between them: Brezhnev’s eyebrows were thicker and bushier. Maybe, Kremlin should send him his secret barber, to bring them in line…

YouTube Videos: Совещание кабинета Трампа стало объектом насмешек

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From: euronewsru
Duration: 01:18

Президент США Дональд Трамп в понедельник провёл первое совещание своего кабинета в полном составе. Он начал с того, что попросил представиться всех присутствующих.
– Благодарю вас, господин Президент, для меня величайшая честь занимать пост вице-президента при президенте, который держит слово, данное американскому народу.
– Хотел бы поблагодарить вас за вашу преданность американским рабочим.
– Я представлял США на саммите «Большой двадцатки» в Берлине и на Всемирной ассамблее здравоохранения…
ЧИТАТЬ ДАЛЕЕ: http://ru.euronews.com/2017/06/13/soveshhanie-kabineta-trampa-stalo-obektom-nasmeshek

Donald is not just first American Mobster President. He is the first Secretary General of America, Inc.!

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Donald is not just first American Mobster President. He is the first Secretary General of America, Inc.!

 

Saved Stories – None: International Security – Google News: Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis – Firstpost

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Firstpost
Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis
Firstpost
“The most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security is North Korea,” Mattis said. “The regime’s nuclear weapons program is a clear and present danger to all, and the regime’s provocative actions, manifestly illegal under international law, have
Pentagon chief declares North Korea the new top threat to US securityWashington Post
North Korea ‘most urgent’ threat to security: MattisReuters
North Korea Can Hit The US Mainland With Ballistic Missiles At Any Time, Warns Head Of US Missile DefenseThe Inquisitr

all 263 news articles »

International Security – Google News

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International Security – Google News: Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis – Firstpost

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Firstpost
Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea poses most urgent threat to international security: Pentagon chief Mattis
Firstpost
“The most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security is North Korea,” Mattis said. “The regime’s nuclear weapons program is a clear and present danger to all, and the regime’s provocative actions, manifestly illegal under international law, have
Pentagon chief declares North Korea the new top threat to US securityWashington Post
North Korea ‘most urgent’ threat to security: MattisReuters
North Korea Can Hit The US Mainland With Ballistic Missiles At Any Time, Warns Head Of US Missile DefenseThe Inquisitr

all 263 news articles »

International Security – Google News

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Saved Stories – None: Trump – Google News: Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel – New York Times

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New York Times
Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel
New York Times
WASHINGTON — A longtime friend of President Trump said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering whether to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the president’s campaign and Russian officials. The
Trump friend says president might fire special counsel Robert MuellerLos Angeles Times
Trump friend floats possibility of firing special counsel in Russian probeWashington Post
A Friend of Trump’s Reports That He Is Considering Firing Robert MuellerThe Atlantic
CNN –Politico –The Hill
all 184 news articles »

Trump – Google News

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Voice of America: Sessions Expected to Face Sharp Questioning in Senate

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Now it’s Jeff Sessions’ turn in the spotlight. Less than a week after fired FBI Director James Comey delivered riveting testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee about a series of what he described as “awkward” and “inappropriate” interactions with President Trump, Sessions, the attorney general, appears before the same panel Tuesday to take issue with some of Comey’s statements. But while Sessions says he wants to address the “matters” brought up by Comey during his testimony last Thursday, Democrats are aiming for a broader line of questioning that will include his meetings with the Russian ambassador to Washington during the 2016 presidential campaign and his role in Comey’s firing on May 9. “The attorney general of the United States needs to tell the American people why he testified untruthfully about his Russian contacts, and he needs to explain all of his conversations with the Russians that have been concealed, and also why he failed to protect the FBI and why he participated in firing the FBI director when he had recused himself because of those Russian conversations,” said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal. Sessions’ testimony, his first since he recused himself from the Russian investigation in early March, comes less than a week after Comey recounted during widely viewed testimony before the intelligence panel how Trump had sought to pressure him into dropping an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump’s request, Comey testified, came during an unusual, one-on-one February 14 Oval Office conversation that followed other senior officials briefing Trump on counter-terrorism, including Sessions. Comey later complained to the attorney general about what he described as a “highly inappropriate” meeting, but he said Sessions “did not reply.” In a closed session that followed his public testimony, Comey told senators that Sessions may have had a third meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, leading officials to conclude the attorney would have to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, several media outlets reported.  The Department of Justice has dismissed the purported third meeting between Sessions and Kislyak and denied Sessions ignored Comey’s complaint.  Nevertheless, Sessions will face tough questioning about whether he perjured himself when he failed to disclose the meetings, said Jed Shugerman, a professor of at Fordham University School of Law in New York. “That was a problem already. The problem only gets deeper if there is in fact a third contact he did not report,” Shugerman said. Sessions has denied charges that he misled the senators about his contacts with Kisliyak. Another key question on senators’ minds: Sessions’ role in Comey’s firing.  The White House had initially said Trump fired Comey on the recommendations of Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  But Trump later said he dismissed Comey because of the Russia investigation. Stephen Gillers, a professor of law at New York University, said Sessions has not answered why he played a role in Comey’s firing given that he had recused himself from the Russia investigation. “If he was recused, as he says he was, he should not have participated in the Comey firing,” Gillers said. Trump was never happy with Sessions’ March 2 decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe.  Sessions reportedly threatened to resign as tensions with Trump grew. The Department of Justice says Sessions has adhered to the terms of his recusal from the Russia investigation, but Democrats are likely to press the attorney general about it. “I believe that answer should be made to the American people,” said Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. The recusal likely will limit the scope of his answers. “What can he possibly tell the Senate committee if indeed he’s done what he said he was going to do, which would include staying away from any intelligence on the ongoing investigation,” Gillers said.  Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Sessions asked that his appearance be open to the public. “He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee’s questions,” she said. The testimony will be scrutinized as much for what Sessions says as what he declines to say.  Shugerman said Sessions is unlikely to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-recrimination in order to avoid answering certain questions.  “He’s trying to defend his reputation and hold on to his job,” Shugerman said.  Asked if the White House thought Sessions should invoke executive privilege to avoid answering questions about his conversations with Trump, press secretary Sean Spicer said, “It depends on the scope of the questions.” Spicer did not explicitly endorse Sessions’ appearance, saying in response to a question, “We’re aware of it, and we’ll go from there.” VOA’s Michael Bowman contributed to this article.

Voice of America

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mueller – Google News: Swamp Fights Back: Mueller Hires Clinton Foundation Lawyer for Russia Probe – Breitbart News

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Breitbart News
Swamp Fights Back: Mueller Hires Clinton Foundation Lawyer for Russia Probe
Breitbart News
Mueller — who, on his appointment by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, took independent control of the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 elections — had a shadow cast on his impartiality when Comey, a one-time mentee of …

and more »

mueller – Google News

Trump – Google News: Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel – New York Times

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New York Times
Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel
New York Times
WASHINGTON — A longtime friend of President Trump said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering whether to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the president’s campaign and Russian officials. The
Trump friend says president might fire special counsel Robert MuellerLos Angeles Times
Trump friend floats possibility of firing special counsel in Russian probeWashington Post
A Friend of Trump’s Reports That He Is Considering Firing Robert MuellerThe Atlantic
CNN –Politico –The Hill
all 184 news articles »

Trump – Google News

Voice of America: Mattis: No Indication Russia Wants Positive Relationship With US

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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday there was no indication that Russia wanted a positive relationship with the United States, saying it had chosen to be a strategic competitor. “At this time … I do not see any indication that Mr. Putin would want a positive relationship with us. That is not to say we can’t get there as we look for common ground,” Mattis told a House Armed Services Committee hearing, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “But at this point, he has chosen to be competitive, a strategic competitor with us and we will have to deal with that as we see it,” he said. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, added that the United States had an adversarial relationship with Russia. Russia and the United States have a number of diverging interests, including in Syria. Russia said on Saturday it had told the United States it was unacceptable for Washington to strike pro-government forces in Syria after the U.S. military carried out air strikes on pro-Syrian government militia. U.S. senators said on Monday they were close to an agreement on legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia, including a possible provision that would prevent the White House from easing sanctions without congressional approval. Democrats and Republicans on the Foreign Relations and Banking Committees have been negotiating for about a week on an amendment to an Iran sanctions bill that also would impose sanctions to punish Russia over issues including its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and support for the government of Syria in that country’s six-year-long civil war.

Voice of America

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1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): euronewsru’s YouTube Videos: Совещание кабинета Трампа стало объектом насмешек

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From: euronewsru
Duration: 01:18

Президент США Дональд Трамп в понедельник провёл первое совещание своего кабинета в полном составе. Он начал с того, что попросил представиться всех присутствующих.
– Благодарю вас, господин Президент, для меня величайшая честь занимать пост вице-президента при президенте, который держит слово, данное американскому народу.
– Хотел бы поблагодарить вас за вашу преданность американским рабочим.
– Я представлял США на саммите «Большой двадцатки» в Берлине и на Всемирной ассамблее здравоохранения…
ЧИТАТЬ ДАЛЕЕ: http://ru.euronews.com/2017/06/13/soveshhanie-kabineta-trampa-stalo-obektom-nasmeshek

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Russia – Google News: Senators strike comprehensive deal to increase Russia sanctions – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Senators strike comprehensive deal to increase Russia sanctions
Washington Post
Senators have struck a deal to put a comprehensive Russia sanctions bill on the floor this week, according to those negotiating the legislation. The measure, which will be attached to a bill to stiffen Iran sanctions that is under consideration
Senate Strikes Deal on Russia Sanctions, Stripping Power From TrumpNBCNews.com
Senate deal to boost Russia sanctions seen as imminentPolitico
US senators reach deal on Russia sanctionsReuters
The Hill (blog) –Minneapolis Star Tribune –PoliticusUSA
all 19 news articles »

Russia – Google News

Russia and US Presidential Elections of 2016 – Google News: Senators strike comprehensive deal to increase Russia sanctions – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Senators strike comprehensive deal to increase Russia sanctions
Washington Post
Various senators involved in the discussions had filed three different bills to increase sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the wars in Ukraine and Syria, as well as over allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential
Senate GOP, Dems Agree on New Sanctions on RussiaU.S. News & World Report
Senate Republicans Smack Down Trump’s Attempt To Lift Sanctions On RussiaPoliticusUSA
US Senate looks to jab RussiaPOLITICO.eu
The Hill (blog) –Chicago Tribune –Sputnik International
all 23 news articles »

Russia and US Presidential Elections of 2016 – Google News

World – Google News: Senators strike comprehensive deal to increase Russia sanctions – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Senators strike comprehensive deal to increase Russia sanctions
Washington Post
Senators have struck a deal to put a comprehensive Russia sanctions bill on the floor this week, according to those negotiating the legislation. The measure, which will be attached to a bill to stiffen Iran sanctions that is under consideration
Senate Strikes Deal on Russia Sanctions, Stripping Power From TrumpNBCNews.com

all 22 news articles »

World – Google News

US – Russia relations – Google News: Mattis: No Indication Russia Wants Positive Relationship With US – Voice of America

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Voice of America
Mattis: No Indication Russia Wants Positive Relationship With US
Voice of America
I do not see any indication that Mr. Putin would want a positive relationship with us. That is not to say we can’t get there as we look for common ground,” Mattis told a House Armed Services Committee hearing, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
US Taking ‘Regional Approach’ In New Afghanistan Strategy, Mattis SaysRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

all 52 news articles »

US – Russia relations – Google News

russia helping trump – Google News: Senate Strikes Deal on Russia Sanctions, Stripping Power From Trump – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com
Senate Strikes Deal on Russia Sanctions, Stripping Power From Trump
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a new round of sanctions against Russia, a move that will likely force President Donald Trump to either sign or veto a measure that he has not said he supports. The sanctions are in
Senate reaches deal on Russia sanctions, reining in TrumpThe Hill (blog)
Senate strikes bipartisan deal to boost Russia sanctionsPolitico
By Going After Russia, Are Senate Republicans Breaking with Trump?GQ Magazine
PoliticusUSA –The Guardian –Washington Times
all 78 news articles »

russia helping trump – Google News

Stars and Stripes: Defense chief ‘shocked’ by poor state of US combat readiness

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared Monday that he was “shocked” upon his return to the Pentagon by the poor state of the U.S. military’s readiness for combat.

Stars and Stripes

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Putinism – Google News: Top Armed Services Dem to propose bill to address Russian aggression – The Hill

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The Hill
Top Armed Services Dem to propose bill to address Russian aggression
The Hill
The ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee will introduce in the coming weeks a bill aimed at forcing the Trump administration to craft a comprehensive policy to deter Russian aggression, he said Tuesday. “Today, we are witnessing some …

Putinism – Google News

Palmer Report: Senate Intel Committee holds last minute meeting with NSA before Jeff Sessions testimony

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It’s not clear what Attorney General Jeff Sessions is prepared to admit during his public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. But it does appear the committee is getting its hands on some more of the answers in advance, so it knows precisely what to hit Sessions on when it comes to his involvement in several aspects of Donald Trump’s Russia scandal.

The Senate Intel Committee scheduled a last minute after-hours meeting with NSA Director Mike Rogers on Monday evening, according to NBC News (link). The details of the meeting haven’t been revealed, and some of them won’t be, as it’s a closed session in a secure classified room. The committee’s website only lists it as “Closed Briefing: Intelligence Matters” without even acknowledging the NSA’s participation. But it’s not that difficult to guess what’s likely being discussed.

Jeff Sessions has admitted to multiple secret meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the course of the election, which he had initially lied about during his confirmation hearings. But there have since been multiple reports of an additional meeting between Sessions and Kislyak, which he failed disclose even when he amended his testimony. The Senate Intel Committee is expected to grill Sessions on that additional meeting during his testimony tomorrow.

So this last minute after-hours meeting with the NSA suggests that the U.S. intelligence community may have additional classified evidence about Jeff Sessions’ phantom Russia meeting that it’s been able to share with the committee. If so, Sessions will go into his testimony on Tuesday afternoon without knowing what all the committee knows about his Russia meetings. If he tries to lie about it, the committee may be in a position to call him out for it on the spot, while the whole thing plays out on live national television. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report.

The post Senate Intel Committee holds last minute meeting with NSA before Jeff Sessions testimony appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): AssociatedPress’s YouTube Videos: Today in History for June 13th

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:42

Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress

Highlights of this day in history: The Pentagon Papers hits newsstands amid the Vietnam War; Thurgood Marshall nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court; The ‘Miranda’ warning; Pioneer 10 leaves solar system; Swing legend Benny Goodman dies. (June 13)

Highlights of the day in history – a retrospective view on political events, historic battles, and life changing decisions. More: http://smarturl.it/TodayInHistory

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats.
AP’s commitment to independent, comprehensive journalism has deep roots. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings. AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information.
Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content – we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress

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AssociatedPress’s YouTube Videos

1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites)

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1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): AssociatedPress’s YouTube Videos: Names of Pulse Shooting Victims Read

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 02:31

The names of the 49 people killed in the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016 were read at a ceremony in Orlando on Monday night. (June 13)

Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress
Get updates and more Breaking News here: http://smarturl.it/APBreakingNews

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats.
AP’s commitment to independent, comprehensive journalism has deep roots. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings. AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information.
Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content – we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress

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AssociatedPress’s YouTube Videos

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Voice of America: Mattis Describes Qatar Situation as ‘Difficult’

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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis described the diplomatic spat between Qatar and several other American allies in the Middle East as a “complex situation” that the United States needed to help solve. “I believe that (Qatar’s) Prince Thani inherited a difficult, very tough situation, and he’s trying to turn the society in the right direction,” Mattis told lawmakers at a House Armed Services Committee hearing late Monday. “But we all agree that funding of any kind of terrorist group is inimical to all of our interest.” Mattis said President Donald Trump was focused on stopping all terrorist funding, including what he called “grey funding.” “It’s not black and white; it goes into some kind of nebulous area,” he said. He added that he believed Qatar is “moving in the right direction” when it comes to curtailing its funding of terrorism and said the United States needed to find common ground with Qatar due to the two countries’ shared interest. Qatar’s Al-Udeid Air Base is the largest American air base in the Middle East, serving as the forward operational headquarters of U.S. Central Command and the host to about 10,000 American troops. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and stopped transportation to and from the tiny Gulf nation, accusing Qatar of funding terrorists groups including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. During the hearing, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Washington) said he was “not clear” on the administration’s strategy concerning Qatar, accusing President Trump of being unhelpful Friday when he lashed out against Qatar and sided with Saudi Arabia. “We should be finding ways to solve that problem, not throwing gasoline on the fire,” Smith said. Afghanistan When asked about the military strategy in Afghanistan, Secretary Mattis said he would present options “very soon” to the president. Mattis added that it was important to include the relationships between India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran in the U.S. strategy. “We are taking a regional approach to this,” he said, “because if we look at it in isolation, we’ll probably have something that’s lacking.” Earlier this year, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, described the situation in the war-torn country as a “stalemate.”  Officials have said the strategy in Afghanistan needs to be flexible enough to provide the tools needed for Afghan forces to put more pressure on the Taliban. “It’s not just about numbers of troops. It’s about authorities. It’s about other things we can do diplomatically and economically as well,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, the top U.S. general, told lawmakers Monday.  Increased authorities could allow American troops to work with Afghan troops below the corps level, potentially putting them closer to fighting.

Voice of America

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intelNews.org: Former head of Qatar spy agency sides with Saudis in diplomatic quarrel

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A former director of Qatar’s intelligence agency broke ranks with the government of Qatar and accused Doha of supporting terrorism. He also warned that the United States, which has a base in Qatar, would not allow the presence of foreign troops there.

intelNews.org

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: U.S. Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal On Bill To Increase Sanctions On Russia

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U.S. senators have announced a bipartisan agreement on legislation to impose new sanctions on Russia over human rights abuses, for arming Syria, and for allegedly meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: Trump Friend Says President Weighing Firing Counsel Probing Russia Ties

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A close associate of U.S. President Donald Trump has said Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who the Justice Department appointed last month to investigate Russian ties with Trump’s campaign.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Voice of America: Russian Police Detain Hundreds at Corruption Protest on National Day

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Police in Russia have detained hundreds of protesters and some journalists at anti-corruption demonstrations in cities across the country on Russia’s national day.  The protests were organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was detained in Moscow as he left his home to try to join a demonstration in the capital.  VOA’s Moscow Correspondent Daniel Schearf reports that the White House condemned the detentions and said it is monitoring the situation.

Voice of America

Voice of America: Seeds of Change Offer Hope in Lebanon

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Just south of Aleppo there was once a research center where Syria’s agricultural heritage was preserved with a view to helping feed the world. The seed bank may have been abandoned due to the country’s civil war, but efforts of scientists and farmers now continue in neighboring Lebanon. With harvesting just begun for the year, the vital work taking place there could prove crucial. John Owens reports.

Voice of America

Voice of America: AG Sessions to Testify Before Senate Committee Probing Trump Campaign’s Russia Ties

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies in open session Tuesday before the Senate committee investigating alleged ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Kremlin election meddling. VOA White House correspondent Peter Heinlein reports that Sessions wants to explain why he recused himself from the collusion probe. But senators have other questions.

Voice of America

1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): AlJazeeraEnglish’s YouTube Videos: Donald Trump sued over president’s business benefits

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From: AlJazeeraEnglish
Duration: 02:20

A new lawsuit has been filed against US President Donald Trump over his alleged use of business interests for personal gain.

Officials in Maryland and Washington DC are suing Trump for accepting payments and benefits from foreign governments through his business empire.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo reports from Washington, DC.

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Voice of America: Trump Uniquely Vulnerable to ‘Emoluments’ Lawsuit

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The state of Maryland and the District of Columbia on Monday filed what they described as a “major” lawsuit against President Donald Trump. The suit claims Trump’s sprawling business empire represents a conflict of interest and is violating the U.S. Constitution, as VOA’s Bill Gallo reports from the White House.

Voice of America

Comey – Google News: It’s Jeff Sessions’ turn in the hot seat – CNN

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Washington Examiner
It’s Jeff Sessions’ turn in the hot seat
CNN
And while Sessions agreed to testify publicly, there are questions about his motivations. Does he simply want to get his side of the story out following Comey’s testimony? Or does his appearance represent a White House-orchestrated counter attack
House Judiciary Democrats ask Sessions to confirm or deny Comey’s storyWashington Examiner
The Note: Comey saga gets new playersABC News
Attorney general to face questions on Comey firing, RussiaCNBC
Bloomberg –Slate Magazine (blog) –The Independent –ThinkProgress
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Russia | The Guardian: US senators reach deal to stop White House easing Russia sanctions without approval

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The agreement, which includes new sanctions, is intended to punish Russia over issues including its alleged meddling in the 2016 US election

US senators have reached an agreement on legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia, including a provision that would prevent the White House from easing, suspending or ending sanctions without congressional approval.

The agreement, to be filed as an amendment to an Iran sanctions bill, is intended to punish Russia over issues including its alleged meddling in the 2016 US election, annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and support for the government of Syria in that country’s six-year-long civil war.

Related: Senators sound calls to release Comey ‘tapes’ as Trump attacks ‘cowardly’ leak

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Russia | The Guardian

Palmer Report: Jeff Sessions is a coward

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When Jeff Sessions heads into his nationally televised Senate testimony today, the choices he makes and the answers he provides will define how history remembers him. He could do the right thing, helping to salvage his own legacy and the sanctity of the United States in the process. Or he could do the wrong but loyal thing by helping out a guilty friend. But he’s already shown us that he’s not going to do either one, because he’s a coward.

Donald Trump elevated Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General for one reason: so that Sessions could protect him from the Russia scandal in which they both conspired. But at the very first sign of trouble, when Sessions got caught lying under oath about his Russia role, he all but immediately recused himself from the investigation in the hope that the Senate wouldn’t come after him for perjury. Sessions turned out to be too much of a coward to carry out the backstop duty he’d been given when Trump appointed him.

But lest anyone think Jeff Sessions may have recused himself because it was the right thing to do, look no further than when Donald Trump began trying to obstruct the Russia investigation by leaning on FBI Director James Comey. What did Sessions do? Nothing, one way or the other. Because he’s a coward. And when Trump made the extraordinarily wrong move of firing Comey? Sessions once again did nothing – because he’s a coward.

So when Jeff Sessions heads into his testimony today, his moment in the history books will be defined by what he’s not willing to do. Sessions won’t do the right thing and rat out Donald Trump for his crimes. Sessions won’t do the loyal thing and defend Trump either. Instead, Sessions will give the kind of noncommittal answers, aimed only at protecting himself, that have defined him from start to finish as nothing more than a coward. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report.

The post Jeff Sessions is a coward appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

Voice of America: US Senators Back Legislation Strengthening Russia Sanctions

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A group of U.S. Senators agreed Monday on legislation to strengthen sanctions against Russia, including a provision that would require congressional review if the White House relaxed, suspended or terminated sanctions already in place. The bipartisan agreement comes in the form of an amendment to legislation the Senate is already considering on sanctions for Iran.  The bill is expected to have strong support when it goes before the full Senate, and would have to then pass in the House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump. A statement from Republican and Democratic leaders on the Senate banking committee said the amendment “expands sanctions against the government of Russia in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyberattacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria.” The measure would strengthen existing sanctions targeting Russian energy projects, while imposing new sanctions on those involved in serious human rights abuses, supplying weapons to the Syrian government, carrying out malicious cyber activities and doing business with Russian intelligence and defense. The House and Senate, as well as a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, are all investigating Russia’s activities related to last year’s U.S. elections, as well as potential links to Trump’s campaign.  The U.S. intelligence community concluded in a January report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign meant to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump’s chances of winning. “These additional sanctions will also send a powerful and bipartisan statement to Russia and any other country who might try to interfere in our elections that they will be punished,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

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Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel

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“Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said in a statement hours later. “With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment.”

Allies of the president cast doubt on the idea that Mr. Trump would take such a drastic step, and White House officials said Mr. Ruddy had not met directly with the president while he was there.

Firing Mr. Mueller would be a politically explosive move that would raise new questions about Mr. Trump, whose abrupt dismissal of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director generated accusations of obstruction of justice and led to Mr. Mueller’s appointment.

Mr. Trump has been known, in moments of frustration and stress, to vent threats of action to members of his inner circle. In the past, some of those private expressions of anger have been made public by friends and associates, only to generate speculation about moves that never take place — including a senior staff shake-up that has yet to happen.

Such moments sometimes reflect the deep division among Mr. Trump’s White House advisers about the best course for the president to take in the face of political or legal adversity.

Under Justice Department rules, Mr. Trump would seemingly have to order Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to rescind department regulations protecting a special counsel from being fired for no good reason, and then to fire Mr. Mueller. If Mr. Rosenstein refused, Mr. Trump could fire him, too — a series of events that would recall the “Saturday Night Massacre” during Watergate, when President Richard M. Nixon sought to dismiss a special prosecutor, Archibald Cox.

White House officials referred questions to Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, as they have recently on all matters relating to the Russia investigation. A spokesman for Mr. Kasowitz declined to comment.

The former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime supporter of Mr. Trump’s, said in a tweet on Monday that it was time to “rethink” Mr. Mueller’s ability to be fair.

“Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair,” Mr. Gingrich tweeted after praising Mr. Mueller’s integrity in recent weeks. Apparently referring to Federal Election Commission reports, he added: “Look who he is hiring. check fec reports. Time to rethink.”

The idea that the investigation is illegitimate and politically motivated has been gaining currency on the political right for months. Conservative writers, radio hosts and cable personalities — emboldened by the president himself, who has called it a witch hunt — have repeatedly sought to discredit the inquiry, its investigators, the mainstream news accounts of it, and the lawmakers on Capitol Hill who are demanding more answers.

Initially, Mr. Comey was the subject of much of their derision. Now they have moved on to Mr. Mueller, whom they are attacking as too compromised and conflicted to lead an independent inquiry.

In the PBS interview, Mr. Ruddy said Mr. Trump had considered replacing Mr. Comey with Mr. Mueller, who served as F.B.I. director during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. A senior White House official confirmed that the president had interviewed Mr. Mueller for the F.B.I. post in the Oval Office the day before Mr. Rosenstein tapped him to be the special counsel in the Russia investigation.

Mr. Ruddy said the president was weighing whether to dismiss Mr. Mueller because of concerns about conflicts of interest. He said those concerns included the interview for the F.B.I. post and connections between Mr. Mueller’s law firm and White House officials.

“There are some real conflicts. He comes from a law firm that represents members of the Trump family,” Mr. Ruddy said. “I know for a fact that he was under consideration and that the president did talk with him in the days before he was named special counsel. I think there’s a conflict there.”

He also said that he believed it would be “a very significant mistake” for Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Mueller, but emphasized that he was concerned about what he described as conflicts.

The criticism of Mr. Mueller has intensified in recent days, spreading from Trump surrogates like Mr. Gingrich to powerful media personalities like Rush Limbaugh. On his radio program last week, Mr. Limbaugh endorsed the suggestion that Mr. Trump fire Mr. Mueller.

Mark Levin, another prominent radio host, has also called for Mr. Mueller’s firing. “Mueller must step aside,” he wrote on Facebook over the weekend.

Much of the criticism has focused on whether Mr. Mueller is too close to Mr. Comey. The two became friends after working closely together during the Bush administration.

Democrats accused Republicans on Monday of beginning a campaign to smear Mr. Mueller’s reputation as he engages in a broad investigation that could include whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice by pressuring Mr. Comey to end parts of the inquiry and then by firing him.

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, scoffed at the idea that the president might fire Mr. Mueller.

“If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller,” Mr. Schiff said in a tweet. “Don’t waste our time.”

The independent counsel statute, passed after Watergate, allowed the appointment of a prosecutor who would look into high-level executive branch wrongdoing and answer to a panel of judges, and who could not be fired by the president, as Mr. Nixon sought to do.

Both Republicans and Democrats came to dislike the statute, which they saw as permitting prosecutors to run amok in the Iran-contra and Whitewater investigations during the Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton administrations. Congress let it lapse when it expired in 1999.

It would take a two-thirds supermajority in both chambers of Congress to overcome Mr. Trump’s likely veto of any similar legislation. It is far from clear that Mr. Schiff’s proposal could command such support.

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New Bipartisan Sanctions Would Punish Russia for Election Meddling

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Russia: New Bipartisan Sanctions Would Punish Russia for Election Meddling

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Senate leaders said they had reached an agreement to approve the new sanctions, which would place the White House in an uncomfortable position.

Russia

russia and the west – Google News: Senate Draws Up Bill to Impose More Sanctions on Russia – Fox Business

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Chicago Tribune
Senate Draws Up Bill to Impose More Sanctions on Russia
Fox Business
The Russian government has denied any involvement in the hacks, though Russian President Vladimir Putin recently suggested that Russian “patriotic” hackers may have been behind the cyberintrusions that affected Western elections. “These additional …
Senate GOP, Democrats reach agreement on new sanctions on RussiaChicago Tribune

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1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): AssociatedPress’s YouTube Videos: ‘Summer of Love’ Remembered 50 Years Later

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 02:24

They came for the music, the mind-bending drugs, to resist the Vietnam War, or simply to escape summer boredom. And they left an enduring legacy. This season marks the 50th anniversary of that legendary “Summer of Love,” in San Francisco. (June 13)

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NYT > Contributing Writers: You’re Probably Going to Need Medicaid

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Don’t let the government destroy it….

NYT > Contributing Writers

Russia and US Presidential Elections of 2016 – Google News: Russian Breach of 39 States Threatens Future US Elections – Bloomberg

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Bloomberg
Russian Breach of 39 States Threatens Future US Elections
Bloomberg
One of the mysteries about the 2016 presidential election is why Russian intelligence, after gaining access to state and local systems, didn’t try to disrupt the vote. One possibility is that theAmerican warning was effective. Another former senior U

Russia and US Presidential Elections of 2016 – Google News

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: Haqqani Network Commander Reportedly Killed By Drone Strike In Pakistan

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A suspected U.S. drone strike in northwestern Pakistan has killed a commander of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, local officials say.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Opinions: The Trump family shouldn’t fight Shakespeare. They’ll lose.

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Queen Elizabeth I knew better than to persecute the bard or his company for putting on plays about assassinations.

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Washington Free Beacon: Friend Claims Trump ‘Considering’ Firing Mueller, Schiff Says ‘Don’t Waste Our Time’

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A close friend of President Donald Trump said Monday that Trump is “considering” firing special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI Director the Justice Department put in charge of the Russia investigation.

NewsMax Media founder Christopher Ruddy said on the PBS program Newshour that he thought Trump is “weighing that option” but added it would be a mistake.

“I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. I think he’s weighing that option,” Ruddy said. “I think it’s pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently. I personally think it would be a very significant mistake, even though I don’t think there’s a justification [for the special counsel].”

Ruddy could not say, however, that Trump suggested that to him directly. Instead he told Fox News he was “confident of my sourcing.” The White House responded that Ruddy did not speak to Trump on the matter:

When reached by Fox News after the remarks, Ruddy said, “while I am not claiming the president said it to me, I am confident of my sourcing. He is definitely considering it as an option.”

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said Ruddy “never spoke to the president regarding this issue. With respect to this subject, only the president [or] his attorneys are authorized to comment.”

The New York Times reported that to fire Mueller, Trump would have to order Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to turn back regulations that protect ta special counsel from being fired for no good reason. If Rosenstein refused, Trump could fire Rosenstein.

A CNN source said Trump is being advised not to fire Mueller. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will likely be asked about the matter when he testifies Tuesday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted Trump would waste everyone’s time by dismissing Mueller.

If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller. Don’t waste our time.

“They’re clearly afraid of Mueller and his independence and the thoroughness of the investigation he’s likely to lead,” Schiff told MSNBC on Monday. “You can’t exclude the possibility, but I think it’s just a way of raising doubts about this very good man respected by people on both sides of the aisle.”

Mueller was appointed to lead the investigation in May, fulfilling the wishes of former FBI Director James Comey. Comey testified Thursday that, after he was fired by Trump, he leaked the memo of when Trump hoped Comey would let go of the Michael Flynn investigation, in hopes of prompting the appointment of a special counsel.

CNN reported Mueller has been “quietly and methodically” building a team of seasoned legal minds that have worked on high-profile cases like Watergate and Enron.

The post Friend Claims Trump ‘Considering’ Firing Mueller, Schiff Says ‘Don’t Waste Our Time’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Washington Free Beacon

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Russian Intelligence services and international organized crime and terrorism – Google News: TRUMP’S lunch companions today — FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Sergey Kislyak plays host for Russia Day — the DAWSEY … – Politico

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TRUMP’S lunch companions today — FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Sergey Kislyak plays host for Russia Day — the DAWSEY …
Politico
PLAYBOOK EXCLUSIVE — SERGEY KISLYAK TRYING TO REPAIR FRAYED U.S.-RUSSIA RELATIONS: Embattled Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak played host to Washington insiders and diplomats at the Russian Embassy Monday night, greeting guests one-by-one in a long

Russian Intelligence services and international organized crime and terrorism – Google News

US elections and russia – Google News: Russian Breach of 39 States Threatens Future US Elections – Bloomberg

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Bloomberg
Russian Breach of 39 States Threatens Future US Elections
Bloomberg
Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously

US elections and russia – Google News

Putin Trump – Google News: From Russia With Chaos: Putin Doesn’t Support Donald Trump, He Supports American Political Paralysis – Fox News

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From Russia With Chaos: Putin Doesn’t Support Donald Trump, He Supports American Political Paralysis
Fox News
The reset was intended to support Dmitry Medvedev, who was Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012 before Mr. Putin returned for a third term. But while Mr. Medvedev was chairman of Gazprom from 2001 to 2007, 6.4% of the state energy conglomerate’s …

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mueller – Google News: Trump Weighs Firing Mueller, According To Confidante – NPR

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NPR
Trump Weighs Firing Mueller, According To Confidante
NPR
In what is sure to ignite another firestorm of debate in polarized Washington, a longtime friend of President Trump said Monday night that Trump is “weighing” whether to dismiss Robert Mueller, the Justice Department special counsel investigating
Rumor That Trump May Fire Mueller Sets Washington AlightNBCNews.com
Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special CounselNew York Times
Trump considering ‘terminating’ Mueller, friend saysUSA TODAY
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Comey – Google News: Between the Lines of Jim Comey’s Testimony – The Atlantic

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The Atlantic
Between the Lines of Jim Comey’s Testimony
The Atlantic
The White House did get some good news: Comey said that the president was not personally under investigation while he led the bureau, and that a New York Times article detailing contacts between Russian intelligence and the Trump campaign was “in the …

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trump as putin’s puppet – Google News: Donald Trump’s foreign policy is so much more corrupt and dangerous than his possible ties to Putin – Salon

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Salon
Donald Trump’s foreign policy is so much more corrupt and dangerous than his possible ties to Putin
Salon
How to make sense of Donald Trump’s foreign policy? Is Trump an “America First” Jacksonian nationalist? An isolationist? A neoconservative? A conventional captive of the DC foreign policy establishment? A Russian puppet? An unhinged warmonger?

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trump as putin’s puppet – Google News

Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Horsey: Trump’s big crime: Ignoring Russia’s assault on US elections – Baltimore Sun

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Baltimore Sun
Horsey: Trump’s big crime: Ignoring Russia’s assault on US elections
Baltimore Sun
He has asserted that no one really knows who hacked what, despite the universal conclusion of U.S. intelligence services that it was the Russians. He has repeatedly alleged that the concern about Russian activities is being manufactured by the
Beginning of the End of Trump EraHuffPost
BREAKING: AG Sessions to Testify in Open Hearing Before the Senate’s IntelligenceCommitteeYellowhammer News
The Latest: Secret Service says it has no Trump tapesBoston Herald
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cia – Google News: Marc Thiessen: New York Times endangered life of CIA operative – The Columbus Dispatch

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Marc Thiessen: New York Times endangered life of CIA operative
The Columbus Dispatch
When President Donald Trump declared the media the “enemy of the American people,” I called it an outrage. Well, The New York Times seems to be working overtime to prove me wrong and Trump right. In a front-page story, the Times recently exposed the …

cia – Google News

1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): ReutersVideo’s YouTube Videos: Putin critic Navalny jailed in Russia protests

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From: ReutersVideo
Duration: 01:45

Baton-wielding riot police broke up anti-corruption protests and detained hundreds of demonstrators in Moscow and other Russian cities on Monday, before a court sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to his second prison term this year. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: Two Dead, Hundreds Critically Ill From Food Poisoning At Iraqi IDP Camp

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Two people have died and hundreds are critically ill from what Iraq’s health minister says was food poisoning at a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

organized crime and intelligence – Google News: When Organized Crime Becomes Official – OZY

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OZY
When Organized Crime Becomes Official
OZY
Russia is increasingly subcontracting its dirty work abroad to organized crime syndicates. Whether it’s stirring up insurgencies, hacking elections, or knocking off enemies, it turns out gangsters and other rank-and-file criminals have the skills the

organized crime and intelligence – Google News

putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Report: Russia hacked election systems in 39 US states – Engadget

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Engadget
Report: Russia hacked election systems in 39 US states
Engadget
Russia’s US election meddling was much more widespread than the public has been told, according to a report from Bloomberg. Hackers attacked vote systems in 39 states, accessed campaign finance databases in one state and tried to delete or alter voter …
Russian Breach of 39 States Threatens Future US ElectionsBloomberg

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putin won US 2016 election – Google News

Voice of America: Sessions to Testify at Public Senate Intelligence Hearing

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to testify in a public hearing Tuesday, with members of a Senate panel likely to ask him about his contacts with the Russian ambassador and his involvement in the firing of the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Senate Intelligence Committee hearing is the latest step in multiple ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in last year’s U.S. presidential election. Sessions recused himself from the FBI’s investigation in March after acknowledging he had spoken twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the months before the November vote.  During his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions said he had not met with any Russians during the campaign.  The Justice Department said the conversations were part of Sessions’ job as a senator. His testimony comes less than a week after James Comey, the fired FBI director, said during his own appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he felt Trump had gone against the normal separation of criminal investigations from White House oversight by directing him to end the investigation into Russia’s activities. Comey said Trump told him he hoped Comey would “let go” of investigating the president’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and also asked Comey to pledge his personal loyalty and to “lift the cloud” of the Russia probe. Comey also said the FBI had “additional facts” about Sessions that he could “not discuss in an open setting.” Trump has disputed Comey’s account of the conversation about Flynn as inaccurate, although his oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., a frequent defender of his father’s White House performance, seemed to confirm the gist of it. “When he tells you to do something, guess what, there’s no ambiguity in it,” Trump Jr., speaking of his father, told Fox News on Sunday. “There’s no, ‘Hey, I’m hoping.’  You and I are friends, ‘Hey I hope this happens, but you’ve got to do your job.’  That’s what he told Comey.” Before Comey testified, Trump suggested there might be a White House recording of their private dinner, which Comey said he hopes there is.  But the president and his aides have not definitively said so. Pressed on the issue Friday, he said, “I’ll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future.” The White House again Monday refused to say one way or the other whether there was a tape. But Republican lawmakers are urging the Trump administration to release the recordings, if they exist. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee that heard Comey’s testimony, said Sunday, “I don’t understand why the president just doesn’t clear this matter up once and for all.” Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, another member of the Senate panel, said, “We’ve obviously pressed the White House.” Trump fired Comey last month. Trump later said he was thinking about “this Russia thing” as he decided to dismiss him because he considered claims that Russian interference in the election influenced it in his favor to be bogus, an excuse by Democrats to account for his stunning upset of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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FOX News: Sen. Rand Paul: If you support Israel, you can’t support more arms sales to Saudi Arabia

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We must pause and ask ourselves, does providing additional weapons to the Saudis make Israel safer or more dangerous in the long run?

FOX News

RSS: Глава российского военного ведомства генерал армии Сергей Шойгу прибыл в Минск для участия в заседании Совета министров обороны ОДКБ

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Руководители оборонных ведомств Армении, Белоруссии, Казахстана, Киргизии, России и Таджикистана обсудят, в частности, вопросы, связанные с развитием сил и средств системы коллективной безопасности, а также совершенствованием нормативно-правовой базы Организации.

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: Russia Criticized For Detaining More Than 1,500 Anticorruption Protesters

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The United States, the European Union, and human rights groups have condemned the detention of hundreds of peaceful protesters across Russia.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

AP Top News at 5:49 a.m. EDT: Senate GOP, Dems agree on new sanctions on Russia

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans and Democrats reached agreement late Monday on a new package of sanctions on Russia amid the firestorm over Russia&apos;s meddling in the presidential election and investigations into Moscow&apos;s possible collusion with members of President Donald Trump&apos;s campaign….

AP Top News at 5:49 a.m. EDT

donald trump russia – Google News: US Senate agrees to new sanctions on Russia and Donald Trump can’t override them – Express.co.uk

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Express.co.uk
US Senate agrees to new sanctions on Russia and Donald Trump can’t override them
Express.co.uk
… amid an intense focus in the US capital on relations with Russia, and investigations by the Department of Justice and congressional committees of whether Russia sought to influence the 2016 US elections to help elect Republican President Donald
Senate Strikes Deal on Russia Sanctions, Stripping Power From TrumpNBCNews.com
Senate looks to jab RussiaPolitico
By Going After Russia, Are Senate Republicans Breaking with Trump?GQ Magazine
The Guardian
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Trump Is a Mobster President

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My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship. That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch.

I replied that I loved my work and intended to stay and serve out my ten-year term as Director. And then, because the set-up made me uneasy, I added that I was not “reliable” in the way politicians use that word, but he could always count on me to tell him the truth. I added that I was not on anybody’s side politically and could not be counted on in the traditional political sense, a stance I said was in his best interest as the President.

A few moments later, the President said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner.

On Sunday, Preet Bharara, who was the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York until Trump fired him earlier this year, said that Trump also tried to “cultivate some kind of relationship” with him. “When I’ve been reading the stories about how the president has been contacting Jim Comey over time, it felt a little bit like déjà vu,” Bharara said on ABC’s This Week, going on to say it was “a very weird and peculiar thing.” Bharara said Trump called him three times—twice as president-elect, and again as president. Bharara didn’t return the third call, “and 22 hours later I was asked to resign.”

The mafia analogies aren’t just casual gibes, but speak to something fundamental in Trump’s background and character. In his younger days, Trump was mentored by Roy Cohn, a mob lawyer, and he consorted with criminals, notably convicted felon Felix Sater. Trump’s record shows “repeated social and business dealings with mobsters, swindlers, and other crooks,” David Cay Johnston, who has extensively investigated Trump’s mafia tieswrote in Politico last year, and “Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service.”

It was perhaps inevitable that Trump would run into conflict with the likes of Comey, Bharara, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates (whom Trump also fired, after she refused to defend his executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries). Trump supporters might dismiss these figures as Washington insiders—inhabitants of “the swamp”—but they are more accurately seen as representatives of the legal and administrative state. They are all experts in the law and bureaucracy; they know the rules, understand why the rules exist, and enforce them. In other words, they are the polar opposite of Trump, an anti-professional to whom laws were meant to be broken.

But the mafia shouldn’t be seen as the antithesis of government, and rather as an alternative apparatus. The mafia tends to thrive when the administrative state is weak or corrupt, and thus unable to protect and provide for its citizens. Trump’s message as an outsider candidate was that normal politicians were unable to protect ordinary Americans, in part because they were too hamstrung by laws and regulations. Like a mafia don, Trump promised he’d deliver for the people, even if it meant breaking the rules (as when he boasted he’d break the Geneva convention to fight terrorism).

Trump didn’t just want loyalty from Comey and Bharara; he expects it from everyone. As White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said last month, the president “expects people who are serving in his administration to be loyal to the country and to be loyal to the administration.” That goes for the public, too. During campaign rallies last year, he’d occasionally ask his followers to raise their hands and pledge allegiance to him:

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Russian Intelligence, organized crime and political interference – Google News: Horsey: Trump’s big crime: Ignoring Russia’s assault on US elections – Baltimore Sun

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Trump’s Meddlesome Priest – The New York Times

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By now many people will have googled the words “meddlesome priest.” The phrase was uttered by James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, during his testimony on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. When he was asked if he took President Trump’s “hope” that he would drop the Flynn-Russia investigation “as a directive,” Mr. Comey responded, “Yes, yes. It rings in my ears as kind of ‘Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?’ ”

These are the words that King Henry II of England allegedly cried out in 1170, frustrated by the political opposition of Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury. Four royal knights immediately rushed off to Canterbury and murdered the meddlesome priest.

Unlike many contemporary references to medieval history, this one is apt. Mr. Comey’s point was that a desire expressed by a powerful leader is tantamount to an order. When Senator James E. Risch, a Republican, noted that the president had merely “hoped for an outcome,” Mr. Comey replied, “I mean, this is the president of the United States, with me alone, saying ‘I hope this.’ I took it as, this is what he wants me to do.”

King Henry’s contemporaries likewise assumed that a ruler’s wish constituted a command: Although he denied any intention of inciting murder, Henry was widely held responsible for Becket’s death. The pope issued an order prohibiting Henry from attending church services or participating in the sacraments, and the king was eventually forced to do penance for the violence perpetrated in his name.

There are even more instructive parallels. Although the administration offered various reasons for the firing of Mr. Comey, it is clear that Mr. Trump considered his allegiance to F.B.I. protocol over presidential preference to be a form of disloyalty. Likewise, the main issues at stake in 1170 were divided loyalty and institutional independence.

Before Becket had been elected archbishop, he had been a close friend and faithful servant to the king. Henry had engineered Becket’s election in the expectation that, as archbishop, Becket would continue to serve royal interests. This was not an unreasonable assumption; for centuries bishops had performed dual roles, acting as temporal as well as spiritual lords. They commanded armies, enforced royal decrees, and took it for granted that the rulers who appointed them could claim their loyalty.

It was not until the 1070s that secular control over bishops began to be challenged by a series of reformist popes who sought to free clerics from secular influence and insisted that bishops’ first allegiance was to the church. This goal was rarely fully realized — kings were generally closer than the pope and more able to dispense both patronage and punishment. But to Henry’s fury, Becket unexpectedly embraced reform, becoming a vigorous defender of church privileges and critic of royal interference. Henry felt intensely betrayed. Becket died not because he was “meddlesome,” but because, in the king’s view, he was disloyal.

The Becket episode may likewise help explain why Mr. Trump’s advisers did not prevent him from firing Mr. Comey. King Henry expected all his officials to share his fury at Becket and saw any failure to do so as a betrayal as well. The phrase “meddlesome priest” was a later invention, made famous by Hollywood in the 1964 film “Becket.” Henry’s actual exclamation — or at least the cry attributed to him in the medieval sources — was “What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a lowborn clerk!’”

No wonder the four knights were so eager to take the hint. Henry’s courtiers may well have feared that if they didn’t make a conspicuous display of loyalty, the king might turn on them next. Treachery was a capital offense.

The aftermath of the Becket episode may, moreover, resonate in one final way. Although Henry had longed to get rid of Becket for years, he presumably came to rue the day his words of rage were heeded. In addition to performing humiliating penance, he had to swear obedience to the pope, make a series of concessions to the church and eventually face rebellion. One suspects that Mr. Trump, too, might come to feel the wisdom of the words “be careful what you wish for.”

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NYT > Opinion: The Stone: Trump and the True Meaning of ‘Idiot’

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The ancient roots of the word reveal more than just a routine insult.

NYT > Opinion

Trump FBI file – Google News: Attorneys general of Maryland and DC plan ‘major lawsuit’ against Trump – Los Angeles Times

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Attorneys general of Maryland and DC plan ‘major lawsuit’ against Trump
Los Angeles Times
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Already used in Ukraine, the malware could be modified to target U.S. systems.

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Why did James Comey say, ‘Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?’

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Trump’s Meddlesome Priest – The New York Times

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By now many people will have googled the words “meddlesome priest.” The phrase was uttered by James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, during his testimony on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. When he was asked if he took President Trump’s “hope” that he would drop the Flynn-Russia investigation “as a directive,” Mr. Comey responded, “Yes, yes. It rings in my ears as kind of ‘Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?’ ”

These are the words that King Henry II of England allegedly cried out in 1170, frustrated by the political opposition of Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury. Four royal knights immediately rushed off to Canterbury and murdered the meddlesome priest.

Unlike many contemporary references to medieval history, this one is apt. Mr. Comey’s point was that a desire expressed by a powerful leader is tantamount to an order. When Senator James E. Risch, a Republican, noted that the president had merely “hoped for an outcome,” Mr. Comey replied, “I mean, this is the president of the United States, with me alone, saying ‘I hope this.’ I took it as, this is what he wants me to do.”

King Henry’s contemporaries likewise assumed that a ruler’s wish constituted a command: Although he denied any intention of inciting murder, Henry was widely held responsible for Becket’s death. The pope issued an order prohibiting Henry from attending church services or participating in the sacraments, and the king was eventually forced to do penance for the violence perpetrated in his name.

There are even more instructive parallels. Although the administration offered various reasons for the firing of Mr. Comey, it is clear that Mr. Trump considered his allegiance to F.B.I. protocol over presidential preference to be a form of disloyalty. Likewise, the main issues at stake in 1170 were divided loyalty and institutional independence.

Before Becket had been elected archbishop, he had been a close friend and faithful servant to the king. Henry had engineered Becket’s election in the expectation that, as archbishop, Becket would continue to serve royal interests. This was not an unreasonable assumption; for centuries bishops had performed dual roles, acting as temporal as well as spiritual lords. They commanded armies, enforced royal decrees, and took it for granted that the rulers who appointed them could claim their loyalty.

It was not until the 1070s that secular control over bishops began to be challenged by a series of reformist popes who sought to free clerics from secular influence and insisted that bishops’ first allegiance was to the church. This goal was rarely fully realized — kings were generally closer than the pope and more able to dispense both patronage and punishment. But to Henry’s fury, Becket unexpectedly embraced reform, becoming a vigorous defender of church privileges and critic of royal interference. Henry felt intensely betrayed. Becket died not because he was “meddlesome,” but because, in the king’s view, he was disloyal.

The Becket episode may likewise help explain why Mr. Trump’s advisers did not prevent him from firing Mr. Comey. King Henry expected all his officials to share his fury at Becket and saw any failure to do so as a betrayal as well. The phrase “meddlesome priest” was a later invention, made famous by Hollywood in the 1964 film “Becket.” Henry’s actual exclamation — or at least the cry attributed to him in the medieval sources — was “What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a lowborn clerk!’”

No wonder the four knights were so eager to take the hint. Henry’s courtiers may well have feared that if they didn’t make a conspicuous display of loyalty, the king might turn on them next. Treachery was a capital offense.

The aftermath of the Becket episode may, moreover, resonate in one final way. Although Henry had longed to get rid of Becket for years, he presumably came to rue the day his words of rage were heeded. In addition to performing humiliating penance, he had to swear obedience to the pope, make a series of concessions to the church and eventually face rebellion. One suspects that Mr. Trump, too, might come to feel the wisdom of the words “be careful what you wish for.”

Continue reading the main story

Read the whole story
· · ·

Trump-Comey Affair Is Modern Adaptation of Classic Elite Political Theatre

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The Russian connection appears to be a red herring serving the Democratic and Republican parties’ purposes of disciplining the White House and providing pseudo-dramas for the news-hungry media.

donald trump, james comey, USA, US president Trump, Trump, US-Russia, Trump RussiaCredit: Reuters

This is a murky story of skulduggery on a massive scale; political theatre unseen since the 1970s political Watergate scandal, but more closely resembling Cold War McCarthyism – with political charges levelled on the basis of suspicion, innuendo, half-truths, unnamed sources and leaks from federal agencies. It’s a tale of accusations against a pluto-populist president – a billionaire from the mainstream American establishment, parading as a man of the people; the powers that be horrified by the pluto-populist POTUS. They have forced through congressional hearings, FBI investigations, CIA intelligence and a special counsel. This political circus is officially focused on alleged Russian hackers and their Trump-collaborators.

But the real story is hardly heard. This is a war of attrition by the political establishment – a vast network across the two parties, the media, think tanks, foundations, military and intelligence communities and other state intellectuals united in disciplining a president and his tightly-knit coterie of unorthodox advisers that neither party wanted in the White House.

The irony is that this is precisely the sort of politics that Donald Trump practised and practices – fake claims, ill-founded accusations, smears, name-calling, repetition of falsehoods to hide his own chaotic style, political and governing inexperience and simple incompetence – now hoist with his own petard. But I doubt he wants the show to end – it’s easier than actually governing a nation, a pursuit in which he has little competence or talent. He is deconstructing the state by not engaging at all with it in any ‘normal’ way.

Yet both sides of this political performance, worthy of Hollywood or Broadway, seem very keen to keep it going. Each protagonist has their audience lapping up their champions and calling out the villain of the piece. Trump, self-declared people’s champion, plays to his anti-establishment core voters, who despise the political class in Washington, DC. They are yet to see through the Trump-fog that this is a road to nowhere: Trump is playing the very game that he was elected to terminate – he is of the swamp.

Trump’s array of opponents are doing the same – duping progressives into thinking that they are really going after Trump’s reactionary administration and exposing him as a fellow-traveller or agent, in McCarthyite style, of a foreign power – Vladimir Putin’s Russia. So far, there has been precious little hard evidence of any such collusion.

The soap opera continues – a Trump tweet calls James Comey “a coward” and hints darkly about investigating the former FBI director’s “illegal” leaks. Meanwhile US attorney general Jeff Sessions plans to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee next week. The drama takes another twist and the media salivates at ratings-driven advertising revenues.

Therein lies a major problem, especially for those who find odious in the extreme the xenophobia, misogyny and crass Islamophobia, among other things, of the Trump administration. Americans are being encouraged to support, even take pleasure in a McCarthyite witch-hunt because we disagree with the administration on so many fronts and therefore, no holds are barred in order to block Trump, to tie him up in proceedings, hearings and investigations and question on the flimsiest of bases anyone associated with him. That is, Trump is being ‘out-Trumped’.

The problem is not even that there’s little, if any, evidence for the charges being levelled at the administration. It is the deeper problem that for good or ill, Trump is the elected president of the US, who broke the political rules but won within the constitutional set up governing US elections.

Is it okay to block and divert just because we oppose his politics? I submit that we are in danger of becoming or may have become the unwitting instruments of a new instance of an old elite strategy against one who rejects the status quo, as defined by an establishment of power.

If that establishment succeeds, who’s to say that when we get someone in office that we might actually like, who happens to be a ‘radical’, that very power elite will not do exactly the same to ‘our’ democratically-elected POTUS.

While Washington’s abuzz with the psychodrama of the Trump-Comey-Russia affair, the central faultline exposed by the tumult of 2016 remains unaddressed and unattended, festering, simmering, breaking out in symptoms, random and organised violence and political clashes on the streets. That’s all about a racialised class system – working, middle and billionaire, the former in conflict with the latter and with unorthodox ideas and candidates demonstrating the fragility of the established order, opening up new horizons, hopes and aspirations for radical change.

For the fact is that the Comey affair is classic elite political theatre posing as real politics, with corporate media lapping up, whipping up the drama with each upcoming set piece – John Brennan’s testimony, what James Clapper knew, what Comey might say and whether Trump has taped conversations with the fired FBI director. There are investigations to feed the media frenzy – the House and the Senate have several committees that provide a form of outdoor relief for the people’s representatives to gain notoriety through air time. All of them are all gainfully employed, very busy “doing politics”.

The circus was perhaps predictable given the unprecedented character of the 2016 campaign and the election of the unpredictable and wild card Trump. The whole Trump style and message was extraordinarily offensive on race, gender, xenophobia. But it was also anti-conservative, opposed to the party establishment, galvanising a racially-anxious white Republican electorate with promises of realising the American dream – which had been snatched from them by usurping minorities on the march since the 1960s.

The Trump message was also totally opposed to the post-1945 liberal international order – NATO, the Japan and South Korea security treaties, military intervention in the Middle East and America’s role in upholding it. This latter message was the one that truly galvanised the foreign policy establishment – from the Council on Foreign Relations to the American Enterprise Institute, the CIA to NSA and FBI, not to mention the military and other armed forces. Practically all of those groups were forged in the heat of war – WWI, WWII and the Cold War. They helped make the world the way it is and America’s hegemonic role within it. They are not going to allow the maverick Trump to upset their apple-cart. Except it isn’t just Trump they’re really taking on – he is a proxy for American anti-elitism, the major movement and lesson of 2016.

For those who live in the evidence-based community, the Russian connection appears to be, at the moment, a red herring serving the leaders of both Democratic and Republican parties and providing pseudo-dramas galore for the news-hungry media. For Democrats and their corporate media allies, Russian hackers for or on behalf of Trump snatched the election from them, and would overturn the liberal international order, including free trade agreements. For the Republicans, Trump’s unreliability and crisis-prone style and character threatens to derail a domestic neoliberal agenda and NATO, their much-loved bulwark against Russian expansionism.

It is instructive to note that both parties and their media supporters are unanimous in applauding Trump when he bombs Syria and Afghanistan with reckless abandon, sells arms to the Saudis, backs the illegal war on Yemen and continues Obama-era military aid to Israel to maintain its qualitative military edge over other US allies in the Middle East.

That’s their view of what it is to be presidential. On that front, Trump remains unreliable, is not ‘one of us’ and has odd friends. He needs to be monitored and disciplined.

Inderjeet Parmar is head of international politics at City University of London. He is chair of the Research Network on the Presidency of Barack Obama.

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You Must Believe in Spring is an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans, recorded by Evans, bassist Eddie Gómez, and drummer Eliot Zigmund in August 1977 and released after Evans’ death in September 1980. It was Evans’s last recording sessions done with Gomez on bass, who left after eleven years with Evans to pursue other musical projects. Evans also recorded the title song as a duet with jazz vocalist Tony Bennett on their second album of duets titled Together Again (1977)

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U.S. National Security and Military News Review: President Trump’s War Room on Russia, As If Russia Were Running It

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President Trump is setting up a “war room” to counter the Russia probe. With all of the talk about Russian government tactics for meddling in Western democratic processes, I thought it would be interesting to tease out what the Russians might do in such a war room.

There are several timely monographs detailing Russian tactics in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including from the Center for Strategic and International StudiesJamestown Foundation, the journal of Comparative Strategies, and Yale Press. Together, these pieces highlight three tactics that Russia might use if it were running Trump’s new war room:  high-level pressure, information dissemination and persuasion, and revisionism.

We have already witnessed high-level pressure in the form of Trump asking investigators in federal agencies to halt a line of query and pledge loyalty to the president, or be fired. The White House could next offer deceptive interactions, such as pretending to support an investigation by slowly offering information, while at the same time trying to subvert it.

This has been used by Russia in regard to conflict resolution measures in separatist and war torn parts of Eurasia. By pretending to be for peace, Russia has been able to delay resolving conflicts, while aiding one side, or sometimes both.

Meanwhile, the White House could find an otherwise legitimate actor to apply pressure on members of the investigation teams. This could include carrots, such as favors, or sticks, such as the collection and threat of dissemination of personally embarrassing information or threatening to support a politician’s opponent in the next race. This has done by Russia to gain leverage over political outcomes and business assets in CEE.

Another means to apply pressure could be a significant increase in White House staff allegiant to the president. Tens more people working the case for the White House could substantially strengthen their collection of information and abilities to counter information. Since Putin came to power, Russian embassy staff in every CEE capital has increased, including hundreds of intelligence agents working across Europe. This has strengthened counterespionage efforts, as well as recruitment.

The Trump team could tap into a growing admiration of the ‘strongman’ Putin and his way of governing.  Among broader society, there is already a sympathetic base that does not like the ‘Russia bashing’ by the liberal media.

A counter effort to recruit businesspeople, journalists, academics, and other public figures in the U.S. to speak more positively about ties to Russia could take place. Russia has covert and overt funds for this and has managed to retain a list of pro-Russian voices throughout Europe.

he Trump Administration could also infiltrate and pressure civil society in America by creating a fund to cultivate divides, and then offer mediation services, all the while recruiting subversives. By manipulating societal tensions, the government and society will turn their attention to addressing this issue rather than the Russia probe. In Russia’s case, this has included encouraging campaigns for minorities, advising on separatist tactics, and even arming groups in third countries.

The second tactic—sophisticated information dissemination—has become a hallmark of Russia in CEE, including the buying up of media outlets.

More recently, Russia’s toolkit includes cyber, trolling, and propaganda dissemination combined with actions, or “active measures,” such as disinformation campaigns, media manipulation (particularly on political and public opinion), media creation, or spreading confusion and fear, i.e. “psychological operations.” The White House has several loyal media outlets that could ramp up their operations.

Ideologically, the White House could claim victimization by creating an alternative story behind the “witch hunt” on Russia. Russia has gone after foreign funded NGOs, multinational institutions, and the media, labeling them “enemies of the state” and crippling their capability, including jailing citizens and closing down organizations.

An image of the wounded Russians at the hands of the sinful, racist, and fascist Russophobic Westerners could translate into the wounded conservative at the hands of sinful, violent, and irrational liberals.

Finally, rewriting the wrongs of history by literally revising history is a Russian tactic. According to current historical rewriting, Russia tried to join the West, but was rebuffed. So, it had no option but to create new alliances by revising borders and international alliances. In blaming ‘the other’ by revising the Obama/Clinton years as sacrificing American greatness and making America weak, the Trump Administration is righting wrongs by making relations with Russia great again.

Trump’s war room against the Russia probe, if run by the Russians, could employ the tactics of high-level pressure, information dissemination and persuasion, and revisionism. Governments in CEE, meanwhile, are taking measures to counter Russian tactics.

The first step is recognizing what is happening and mobilizing to counter it.

The second step is informing society about potential subterfuge, such as false media reports and disruptive organizations.

The third step is to strengthen government institutions and ensure they remain independent and immune from corrupt practices.

The fourth step is ensuring freedom of the press, protecting journalists from influence as well as external financing for media outlets.

Fifth and final, educational bodies must continue to check for historical accuracies and take measures to reeducate society.

Perhaps most important of these countermeasures is that we, the people, make more of an effort to discern when these tactics are being used and urge our lawmakers to take action. We face a critical point in preserving our democratic system, our freedom of the press, and our own interpretation of ourselves.

Stacy Closson is a Global Fellow with the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. and a Truman National Security Fellow. She lives with her family in Bismarck. Views expressed are her own.

The post President Trump’s War Room on Russia, As If Russia Were Running It appeared first on Foreign Policy Blogs.

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Many of the protesters said they feared some of the progress made could be reversed under Trump.

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NPR News: 06-11-2017 1PM ET

Download audio: https://play.podtrac.com/npr-500005/npr.mc.tritondigital.com/NPR_500005/media/anon.npr-mp3/npr/newscasts/2017/06/11/newscast130624.mp3?orgId=1&d=300&p=500005&story=532486295&t=podcast&e=532486295&ft=pod&f=500005

Hourly News Summary

CNN’s YouTube Videos: Investigations continue on key players in Trump’s orbit

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From: CNN
Duration: 02:14

The FBI and both chambers of Congress are investigating whether there were improper contacts between the Trump orbit and Russia during the 2016 election.

CNN’s YouTube Videos

FBI – Google News: Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation? – LifeZette

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fbi – Google News: Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation? – LifeZette Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 9:24 AM 1. FBI From Mikenova (8 Sites) 1 Share LifeZette Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation? LifeZette The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering whether to …

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mikenov on Twitter: RT @nytimes: The front page of today’s New York Times. pic.twitter.com/Briwm92Hnb by nytimes Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 10:38 AM

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mikenov on Twitter: RT @nytimes: The front page of today’s New York Times. pic.twitter.com/Briwm92Hnb by nytimes Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 10:38 AM 1. My News Blogs From Mikenova (3 Sites) 1 Share The front page of today’s New York Times. pic.twitter.com/Briwm92Hnb Posted by nytimes on Friday, June 9th, 2017 2:30pm Retweeted by mikenov on …

WSJ.com: World News: Iran Rounds Up ISIS Suspects Following Deadly Attack in Tehran Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 10:48 AM

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WSJ.com: World News: Iran Rounds Up ISIS Suspects Following Deadly Attack in Tehran Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 10:48 AM 1. News In Photos From Mikenova (4 Sites) 1 Share Intelligence Ministry says 41 people were taken into custody, and a large number of weapons, bomb-making materials and explosives vests were seized, as authorities try …

Defense One – All Content: Is America Getting Sucked Into More War in Syria?by Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas A. Heras, The Atlantic Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 11:19 AM

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Defense One – All Content: Is America Getting Sucked Into More War in Syria?by Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas A. Heras, The Atlantic Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 11:19 AM 1. US Security From Mikenova (71 Sites) 1 Share This Tuesday, March 7, 2017 frame grab from video provided by Arab 24 network, shows U.S. forces …

Defense One – All Content: Is America Getting Sucked Into More War in Syria?

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This Tuesday, March 7, 2017 frame grab from video provided by Arab 24 network, shows U.S. forces take up positions on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Manbij.

Defense One – All Content

Washington Free Beacon: Manchin: We Haven’t Seen Any Evidence of Collusion ‘Whatsoever’

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) said Sunday that he has seen no evidence of collusion “whatsoever” between the Trump campaign and Russian entities.

Manchin was interviewed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning regarding former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which Manchin sits on, which delved into the investigations into the Trump campaign and Russian entities.

Stephanopoulos asked Manchin if he felt there was collusion, which President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied.

“Do you agree with the conclusion that the president has reached that there was no evidence of collusion?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“You know, we haven’t seen any of that whatsoever, George,” Manchin said. “We’ve been looking and showing everything that they possibly have. That has not led to that.”

Manchin went on to praise the special counsel Robert Mueller for his integrity in the Russia investigation and said he would accept Mueller’s conclusion.

The post Manchin: We Haven’t Seen Any Evidence of Collusion ‘Whatsoever’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Washington Free Beacon

Donald Trump | The Guardian: How Trump’s actions and tone affect US alliances and perception on global stage

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Trump’s foreign policy approach has stunned observers, but recent weeks have underscored potential ramifications of his loose rhetoric and abrupt policy shifts

In less than 140 characters, Donald Trump had left the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee speechless.

Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, could barely mask his disbelief when reporters on Capitol Hill informed him of tweets in which Trump accused Qatar, a close US ally, of being a state sponsor of terrorism. “The president?” Corker asked, lowering his register.

Related: Gulf crisis: Trump escalates row by accusing Qatar of sponsoring terror

It’d be easier if Trump wasn’t tweeting so much. In terms of foreign policy, this is going to have serious consequences

What do you think the message is? The message is that America doesn’t want to lead

Related: Trump defends chaotic foreign policy: ‘We’re going to straighten it out, OK?’

Continue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian

Defense One – All Content: Is America Getting Sucked Into More War in Syria?by Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas A. Heras, The Atlantic Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 11:19 AM

Defense One – All Content: Is America Getting Sucked Into More War in Syria?

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This Tuesday, March 7, 2017 frame grab from video provided by Arab 24 network, shows U.S. forces take up positions on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Manbij.

Defense One – All Content

Washington Free Beacon: Manchin: We Haven’t Seen Any Evidence of Collusion ‘Whatsoever’

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) said Sunday that he has seen no evidence of collusion “whatsoever” between the Trump campaign and Russian entities.

Manchin was interviewed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning regarding former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which Manchin sits on, which delved into the investigations into the Trump campaign and Russian entities.

Stephanopoulos asked Manchin if he felt there was collusion, which President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied.

“Do you agree with the conclusion that the president has reached that there was no evidence of collusion?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“You know, we haven’t seen any of that whatsoever, George,” Manchin said. “We’ve been looking and showing everything that they possibly have. That has not led to that.”

Manchin went on to praise the special counsel Robert Mueller for his integrity in the Russia investigation and said he would accept Mueller’s conclusion.

The post Manchin: We Haven’t Seen Any Evidence of Collusion ‘Whatsoever’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Washington Free Beacon

Donald Trump | The Guardian: How Trump’s actions and tone affect US alliances and perception on global stage

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Trump’s foreign policy approach has stunned observers, but recent weeks have underscored potential ramifications of his loose rhetoric and abrupt policy shifts

In less than 140 characters, Donald Trump had left the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee speechless.

Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, could barely mask his disbelief when reporters on Capitol Hill informed him of tweets in which Trump accused Qatar, a close US ally, of being a state sponsor of terrorism. “The president?” Corker asked, lowering his register.

Related: Gulf crisis: Trump escalates row by accusing Qatar of sponsoring terror

It’d be easier if Trump wasn’t tweeting so much. In terms of foreign policy, this is going to have serious consequences

What do you think the message is? The message is that America doesn’t want to lead

Related: Trump defends chaotic foreign policy: ‘We’re going to straighten it out, OK?’

Continue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian

organized crime and intelligence – Google News: Mueller adds muscle for Russia investigation – Axios

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Mueller adds muscle for Russia investigation
Axios
Why it matters: “[H]e is quite possibly the best criminal appellate lawyer in America (at least on the government’s side). That Mueller has sought his assistance attests both to the seriousness of his effort and the depth of the intellectual bench he

and more »

organized crime and intelligence – Google News

Comey’s ‘truth’ crusade is really an anti-Trump one

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As we sift through the rubble of the James Comey ­ hearing, I have a confession to make: My descriptions of the former FBI boss as J. Edgar Comey are accurate but incomplete.

By his actions, Comey reveals himself to be a fellow traveler with Never Trumpers. His firing brought him out of the shadows and into the open “resistance” to the president.

In hindsight, their clash was ­inevitable.

Yes, the FBI does enormous good in catching bad guys. But the same could be said of the bureau during the long, sordid tenure of J. Edgar Hoover.

The founding G-man, Hoover kept his job because five presidents were afraid to fire him. His insurance was the dirt he secretly collected on them.

Comey is cut from the same cloth, but Trump wasn’t afraid to fire him. For his trouble, and for his mistakes in how he did it, Trump faces an investigation that could consume his presidency.

And Comey is now a driving force in the scheme to overturn the 2016 election.

Comey testified that he leaked a secret memo in hopes a special counsel would be appointed. He hit the jackpot with Robert Mueller, a long associate and mutual admirer.

Like many of our government betters, Comey forgot he was a public servant. The arrogance of unaccountable power drips from him like sweat from a racehorse.

You see it in his decision to write memos after every meeting with Trump, including the first one. He never did this with previous presidents, but didn’t trust his new boss.

Curiously for a man who claims to be nonpartisan, Comey wasn’t bothered nearly as much when a Democratic attorney general tried to meddle in the election by smothering his investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. Or when the IRS went after conservatives.

If Comey didn’t trust a duly elected president, the honorable thing would be to resign. But Comey was not honorable.

Instead, he was a sneaky note-taker collecting grievances as insurance for himself. But he didn’t create a national crisis alone.

He colluded with the anti-Trump media, which recognized the FBI director as a kindred spirit; he cemented their brotherhood with leaks.

He admitted to the Senate he leaked just one memo criticizing Trump over the Gen. Michael Flynn case, asking a friend to give it to The New York Times. In its May 16 story, the paper identified its sources only as “two people who read the memo.”

But that was not the first leak, for the Times had reported five days earlier on a separate, personal Comey memo attacking Trump for demanding “loyalty,” calling its anonymous sources “Mr. Comey’s associates.”

Wait, that wasn’t the first leak, either. On March 5, one day after Trump accused President Barack Obama of wiretapping him at Trump Tower, the Times reported that Comey was furious at the charge. Its unnamed sources were “senior American officials.”

All three stories carried the byline of Michael Schmidt, as did others describing intimate details of Comey’s dealings with Trump. Clearly, Schmidt had very, very good sources close to Comey.

The Washington Post also had “Justice Department officials” as anonymous sources for a bombshell report saying Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions failed to disclose two meetings with the Russian ambassador.

In calling Comey a “leaker,” Trump may have made the first understatement of his life. My bet is that Comey was a fountain of leaks, and didn’t show interest in prosecuting others because of his own guilt.

The scorned avenger’s disclosures softened the ground for his Senate appearance. And showing his talent for grabbing headlines, Comey released his prepared testimony a day early, giving him two days of stories attacking the president.

The career prosecutor also ratcheted up his accusations, making Trump’s alleged words sound increasingly more sinister.

For example, in his prepared remarks, Comey said Trump made a “request” that he drop the Flynn probe and quoted the president saying “I hope you can let this go.”

But in Comey’s answers to senators’ questions, Trump’s request became “an order,” with Comey saying “I took it as a direction.”

When a senator asked if he considered language like “I hope” as a presidential directive, Comey likened himself to a player in a medieval martyr drama, saying, “Yes, it kind of rings in my ears as, ‘Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?’ ”

Those are supposedly the words an English king used in 1170 about the Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon, knights loyal to the king murdered Thomas Becket.

This is beyond theatrics. Comey’s claim that he was ordered to end the Flynn probe is the heart of the case that Trump obstructed justice.

Yet it’s a stretch for several reasons. First, Comey testified as head of the FBI on May 3, long after his key meetings with Trump, that he was never asked to end an investigation for political reasons, saying “It’s not happened in my experience.” Now fired, he’s changed his tune.

Second, Comey also believes “I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” which he admits is completely separate from the Flynn probe.

Third, Comey testified that Trump himself was never under investigation and never asked him to stop the Russia probe. Trump only asked that Comey announce the president was not being investigated — but Comey repeatedly refused.

Those facts undercut Comey’s case, so they are ignored or minimized. No surprise there.

Determined to bring down the president, J. Edgar Comey couldn’t let the truth interfere.

Scaring terrorists

With an urgent need to stop jihadists from carrying out attacks on nations that gave them freedom, more people are exploring an idea best expressed by David Marshall, a friend.

He writes: “Plans to curtail terrorism fail because our enemy doesn’t perceive any consequences for their heinous acts. They are under the ridiculous belief that they will be rewarded in heaven with 72 virgins.

“So we have to create consequences they care about. Since they came to the West to get away from awful conditions in their homelands, is it possible that returning their families to their place of origin would cause them to stop to save their families?”

De Blas’ bad PR

By the end of Sunday, the Puerto Rican Day Parade will have come and gone, but the political stench will endure. The decision to “celebrate” a convicted terrorist marks a new low for Mayor Putz.

Despite the city being in the terror crosshairs, he never took a stand against the madness led by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and thus bears ultimate responsibility.

Mayoral leadership means many things, but by any definition, de Blasio failed.

“And perhaps fear of punishment would give families reason to prevent their children from becoming radicalized in the first place.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand drops more F-bombs

New York’s vacuous junior senator is starved for attention. Her cheap resort to foul language illustrates why.

Read the whole story
· · · · ·

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: U.S. Attorney General Agrees To Appear Before Panel Probing Russian Actions

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he has agreed to appear on June 13 before a Senate committee investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

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Voice of America: What’s Next for Comey? Maybe Law, Corporate Work, Politics

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The former FBI director boldly challenged the president who fired him, accused the Trump administration of lying and supplied material that could be used to build a case against President Donald Trump. But after stepping away from the Capitol Hill spotlight, where he’s always seemed comfortable, the 56-year-old veteran lawman now confronts the same question long faced by Washington officials after their government service. His dry quip at a riveting Senate hearing that he was “between opportunities” vastly understates the career prospects now available to him – not to mention potential benefits from the public’s fascination with a man who has commanded respect while drawing outrage from both political parties. Comey was pilloried for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, yet is now seen as a critical cog in the inquiry into possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. He may be called upon to provide more detail about his interactions with Trump, which he documented in a series of memos, even as he turns attention to potential opportunities in law, corporate work or perhaps even politics. “There’s some jobs where the controversy would not be a benefit, but that’s why I see him ending up in a place where he can be himself,” said Evan Barr, a former federal prosecutor in New York City who worked under Comey in the U.S. attorney’s office. “If he were the president of a college or an important think tank, he could pursue the issues that mean the most to him and not be worried about trying to make anyone happy.” Comey is unlikely to play any sort of direct role in the investigation now led by special counsel Robert Mueller, his predecessor as FBI director. But he almost certainly would avail himself as a witness to Mueller in any obstruction of justice investigation centered on his firing, or to further discuss requests he received from Trump that he interpreted as directives. Comey’s carefully crafted memos are laden with contemporaneously recorded details and verbatim quotes that could easily lay down a path for investigators, and already have been turned over to Mueller. In one note, Comey says Trump cleared the room before encouraging Comey to end an investigation into Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Comey’s decision to share with reporters, through an intermediary, details from those conversations, and his insistence on testifying in public attest to his determination to confront the president head-on. “I do think he is unquestionably, if this thing goes anywhere, one of the star witnesses,” said Robert Anderson, a retired FBI executive assistant director. “It really comes down to his testimony, in some avenues.” Career options are generally plentiful for departing FBI leaders and attorneys general. Both Mueller and former Attorney General Eric Holder, for instance, took jobs with prestigious law firms after leaving public service. But few if any have as public a profile as Comey or have generated such intense feelings. Even Democrats who disagree with his firing remain stung by his revival of the Clinton email investigation days before the November election. Pro-Trump Republicans who were pleased by Comey some seven months ago may now concur with the president’s assessment of Comey as a “showboat.” And companies that do business with the government might find it risky to bring aboard someone who’s so publicly at odds with the current administration. Comey’s name over the years has been floated in politics, though it’s not clear the former Republican – now an independent – has any interest. Educated at the College of William & Mary, where he wrote a senior thesis on a 20th century theologian, Comey went on to law school at the University of Chicago. The bulk of his work has been in government, with the exception of private practice legal work in Virginia early in his career, lucrative general counsel stints at defense contractor Lockheed Martin and a Connecticut hedge fund, and a teaching job at Columbia University. He was the U.S. attorney in Manhattan who in 2003 charged Martha Stewart with obstructing justice in a stock trade investigation. He then became deputy attorney general, the No. 2 spot at the Justice Department, where he famously faced down fellow Bush administration officials over a surveillance program authorization. In 2013, he was sworn in as FBI director, a job he’s called the honor of his life. Friends and colleagues say the father of five reveled in his public service. “Anyone who has ever worked with Jim as far as I know, certainly speaking for myself, holds him in incredibly high esteem,” said Sharon McCarthy, who worked for him at the U.S. attorney’s office. “You’d be working late, he’d have a Coke in his hand and he’d come in, sit down, put his feet on your desk and start talking,” Though Comey joked at a Senate hearing one week before his May 9 firing that he perhaps regretted picking up the phone when he was recruited for the FBI job while living comfortably in Connecticut, he also was known to pepper speeches with cracks about the “soulless” private sector. He’d urge young audiences to imagine asking themselves on their death beds who they would want to have been, saying he hoped everyone’s answer would be that they tried to help others. His own law firm life, he’d say, was lacking despite the matching furniture, parking space and Colonial-style home that accompanied the job. “You do not make much money working for the FBI. You will not get famous working for the FBI. But you will be rich beyond belief if you look at it from [the public service] vantage point,” he has said. One other question for Comey regardless of his next job will be how much he chooses, either directly or through intermediaries, to respond to allegations from Trump or Republicans rallying to the president’s defense. On Friday, Trump strongly suggested Comey had lied about their encounters and accused him of being a “leaker.” “In the days to come,” Comey friend Ben Wittes wrote on his Lawfare blog, “we’re going to see a full-court press against Comey; indeed it is already well under way.”

Voice of America

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· · · ·

NYT > Opinion: Op-Ed Contributor: Will Iran Descend Into Chaos?

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Islamic State attacks on Tehran might signal an end to Iran being exempt from sectarian violence.

NYT > Opinion

WSJ.com: World News: Iran Rounds Up ISIS Suspects Following Deadly Attack in Tehran

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Intelligence Ministry says 41 people were taken into custody, and a large number of weapons, bomb-making materials and explosives vests were seized, as authorities try to root out the Sunni Muslim extremist group.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Notre Dame Attacker Charged With Attempted Murder, Terrorism

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The hammer-wielding man who allegedly attacked police officers patrolling in front of Notre Dame Cathedral described himself as a Sunni Muslim who started radical religious observance about 10 months ago.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Iran Rounds Up ISIS Suspects Following Deadly Attack in Tehran Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 10:48 AM

WSJ.com: World News: Iran Rounds Up ISIS Suspects Following Deadly Attack in Tehran

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Intelligence Ministry says 41 people were taken into custody, and a large number of weapons, bomb-making materials and explosives vests were seized, as authorities try to root out the Sunni Muslim extremist group.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Notre Dame Attacker Charged With Attempted Murder, Terrorism

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The hammer-wielding man who allegedly attacked police officers patrolling in front of Notre Dame Cathedral described himself as a Sunni Muslim who started radical religious observance about 10 months ago.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: China Engages California on Climate After Trump’s Paris Snub

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China’s government is sidestepping the White House on climate change and pursuing closer ties with U.S. state leaders who oppose President Donald Trump’s decision to exit from the Paris climate accord.

WSJ.com: World News

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Lawmakers ask whether looming debt left Jared Kushner vulnerable to Russian influence – ABC News – https://t.co/CTUNpuRzgT via @ABC

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Lawmakers ask whether looming debt left Jared Kushner vulnerable to Russian influence – ABC News – https://t.co/CTUNpuRzgT via @ABC

Lawmakers ask whether debt left Kushner vulnerable to Russian influence

Congressional investigators are seeking to determine whether President Trump’s son-in-law was vulnerable to Russian influence during and after the campaign.

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: The Problem With Jared Kushner

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The Problem With Jared Kushner

Opinion | The Problem With Jared Kushner

The president’s son-in-law, with a sprawling portfolio and no government experience, is in way over his head. And then there’s Russia.

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova

mikenov on Twitter: RT @mikenov: pic.twitter.com/GOkgWNHWPz

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Posted by mikenov on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 2:34pm
Retweeted by mikenov on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 11:11pm

1 retweet

mikenov on Twitter

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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Video – Trump wants to re-engage with Moscow, Tillerson says https://t.co/KZMBW85ajB via @YouTube

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Trump wants to re-engage with Moscow, Tillerson says https://t.co/KZMBW85ajB via @YouTube

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Trump Picks Christopher Wray to Be F.B.I. Director

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Trump Picks Christopher Wray to Be F.B.I. Director

Trump Picks Christopher Wray to Be F.B.I. Director

The selection of Mr. Wray, a former federal prosecutor, comes a day before the former F.B.I. director, James Comey, is set to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Ex-FBI head Comey accuses Trump of pressure on Russia probe https://t.co/Szvmk4pNcD via @Reuters

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Ex-FBI head Comey accuses Trump of pressure on Russia probe https://t.co/Szvmk4pNcD via @Reuters

Ex-FBI head Comey accuses Trump of pressure on Russia probe

Former FBI director James Comey accused U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday of asking him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn as part of a probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova

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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Russian Gang Hacked Slot Machines and Plotted Over Stolen Sweets, U.S. Says

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Russian Gang Hacked Slot Machines and Plotted Over Stolen Sweets, U.S. Says

Russian Gang Hacked Slot Machines and Plotted Over Stolen Sweets, U.S. Says

Federal authorities on Wednesday charged 31 people with roles in an organized-crime scheme that pursued old-fashioned and novel forms of racketeering.

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Trump’s Russia scandal is looking a lot more like Watergate

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Trump’s Russia scandal is looking a lot more like Watergate

Trump’s Russia scandal is looking a lot more like Watergate

Could Donald Trump’s days in office be numbered? Here’s how his Russia scandal compares with what brought down Richard Nixon.

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Retweeted The New York Times (@nytimes):The front page of today’s New York Times. https://t.co/Briwm92Hnb

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Retweeted The New York Times (@nytimes):

The front page of today’s New York Times. https://t.co/Briwm92Hnb

The New York Times (@nytimes) posted a photo on Twitter

Get the whole picture – and other photos from The New York Times

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mikenov on Twitter: RT @nytimes: The front page of today’s New York Times. pic.twitter.com/Briwm92Hnb by nytimes Sunday June 11th, 2017 at 10:38 AM

mikenov on Twitter: RT @nytimes: The front page of today’s New York Times. pic.twitter.com/Briwm92Hnb

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The front page of today’s New York Times. pic.twitter.com/Briwm92Hnb



Posted by nytimes on Friday, June 9th, 2017 2:30pm
Retweeted by mikenov on Friday, June 9th, 2017 5:19pm

5640 likes, 2181 retweets

mikenov on Twitter

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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Video – Retweeted CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics):President Trump: “I was not elected to continue a failed system, I was elected to change it”

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Retweeted CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics):

President Trump: “I was not elected to continue a failed system, I was elected to change it”

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova

mikenov on Twitter: RT @thedailybeast: James Comey says FBI Russia probe may reach Donald Trump personally thebea.st/2r6xSBN #ComeyDay https://t.co/EOv6d…

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James Comey says FBI Russia probe may reach Donald Trump personally thebea.st/2r6xSBN #ComeyDay pic.twitter.com/EOv6dDvCZX



Posted by thedailybeast on Friday, June 9th, 2017 1:00am
Retweeted by mikenov on Friday, June 9th, 2017 5:21pm

829 likes, 398 retweets

mikenov on Twitter

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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Retweeted POLITICO (@politico):James Comey’s devastating indictment of President Donald Trump https://t.co/yF55lKsgbr https://t.co/GUsjoeQlrC

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Retweeted POLITICO (@politico):

James Comey’s devastating indictment of President Donald Trump https://t.co/yF55lKsgbr https://t.co/GUsjoeQlrC

POLITICO (@politico) posted a photo on Twitter

Get the whole picture – and other photos from POLITICO

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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Retweeted The Hill (@thehill):Schumer to Trump: “Play the tapes for all of America to hear or admit that there were no tapes” https://t.co/dAuD2s2xwz https://t.co/YUJ1Vg56AM

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Retweeted The Hill (@thehill):

Schumer to Trump: “Play the tapes for all of America to hear or admit that there were no tapes” https://t.co/dAuD2s2xwz https://t.co/YUJ1Vg56AM

Schumer to Trump: Play Comey tapes or admit they don’t exist

“The cloud hanging over this administration has just gotten a whole lot darker,” Schumer said.

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova

FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Retweeted The Hill (@thehill):”It’s not Comey versus Trump — it’s Putin versus America” https://t.co/U9KX1P9T2b https://t.co/aI77opJT1i

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Retweeted The Hill (@thehill):

“It’s not Comey versus Trump — it’s Putin versus America” https://t.co/U9KX1P9T2b https://t.co/aI77opJT1i

The Hill (@thehill) posted a photo on Twitter

Get the whole picture – and other photos from The Hill

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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Ryan, Trump, GOP Message: Bear With Us, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing | Thomas Jefferson Street | US News

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Ryan, Trump, GOP Message: Bear With Us, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing | Thomas Jefferson Street | US News

The GOP’s New Message: Bear With Us, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing

Paul Ryan saying Donald Trump is ‘just new to this’ is the latest in a series of ludicrous excuses.

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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: 2:51 PM 6/9/2017 – Links

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2:51 PM 6/9/2017 – Links

2:51 PM 6/9/2017 – Links

Дело о смерти бывшего министра печати Михаила Лесина может получить продолжение

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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Trump Accuses Comey of Lying Under Oath

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Trump Accuses Comey of Lying Under Oath

Trump Accuses Comey of Lying Under Oath

The president emerges defiant after James B. Comey’s harsh testimony to Congress, saying he is vindicated and targeting him for leaking private talks.

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mueller – Google News: Special Counsel Tag Team, James Comey and Robert Mueller – Canada Free Press

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Canada Free Press
Special Counsel Tag Team, James Comey and Robert Mueller
Canada Free Press
Former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) Directors James Comey and Robert Muellerhave a tag-team history in the arena of Special Prosecutor-led investigations. Their past performance in that venue was duplicitous. Comey and Mueller teamed …

mueller – Google News

fbi – Google News: Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation? – LifeZette

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LifeZette
Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation?
LifeZette
The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering whether to subpoena former FBI Director James Comey to appear before the committee following his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. He initially had refused a request to testify …
James Comey memo: Did the former FBI director admit to leaking classified information in hearings?PolitiFact

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fbi – Google News

fbi – Google News: Former assistant FBI director rips Comey: ‘Not a strong enough person’ to be FBI director – The Hill (blog)

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The Hill (blog)
Former assistant FBI director rips Comey: ‘Not a strong enough person’ to be FBI director
The Hill (blog)
Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom knocked recently ousted FBI director James Comey, saying he was “not strong enough” to hold the FBI’s top post. “He just doesn’t have it in him to be FBI director. He is not a strong enough person

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fbi – Google News

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Trump and Russia – Google News: Trump, Russia and Comey: Where it all stands – The Hill

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The Hill
Trump, Russia and Comey: Where it all stands
The Hill
Ousted FBI Director James Comey has offered his testimony, and President Trump and his lawyers have come back with their response. In one of the most memorable congressional hearings in U.S. history, Comey called the man who fired him a liar, and said …
Trump-Comey Feud Eclipses a Warning on Russia: ‘They Will Be Back’New York Times
Where the TrumpRussia saga goes from hereBusiness Insider
I was an FBI agent. Trump’s lack of concern about Russian hacking shocks me.Washington Post
Newsweek –CNN
all 14,118 news articles »

Trump and Russia – Google News

Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: Forget Comey. The Real Story Is Russia’s War on America – Politico

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Politico
Forget Comey. The Real Story Is Russia’s War on America
Politico
No one is leading a unified effort to roll back Russian influence in Europe or Asia or the MiddleEast. No one is commenting on Russia’s new efforts to entrench its presence near easternUkraine, escalate the fighting there and destabilize the

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Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News

FBI – Google News: Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation? – LifeZette

fbi – Google News: Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation? – LifeZette

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LifeZette
Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation?
LifeZette
The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering whether to subpoena former FBI Director James Comey to appear before the committee following his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. He initially had refused a request to testify …
James Comey memo: Did the former FBI director admit to leaking classified information in hearings?PolitiFact

all 92 news articles »

fbi – Google News

fbi – Google News: Former assistant FBI director rips Comey: ‘Not a strong enough person’ to be FBI director – The Hill (blog)

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The Hill (blog)
Former assistant FBI director rips Comey: ‘Not a strong enough person’ to be FBI director
The Hill (blog)
Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom knocked recently ousted FBI director James Comey, saying he was “not strong enough” to hold the FBI’s top post. “He just doesn’t have it in him to be FBI director. He is not a strong enough person

and more »

fbi – Google News

Trump and Russia – Google News: Trump, Russia and Comey: Where it all stands – The Hill

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The Hill
Trump, Russia and Comey: Where it all stands
The Hill
Ousted FBI Director James Comey has offered his testimony, and President Trump and his lawyers have come back with their response. In one of the most memorable congressional hearings in U.S. history, Comey called the man who fired him a liar, and said …
Trump-Comey Feud Eclipses a Warning on Russia: ‘They Will Be Back’New York Times
Where the TrumpRussia saga goes from hereBusiness Insider
I was an FBI agent. Trump’s lack of concern about Russian hacking shocks me.Washington Post
Newsweek –CNN
all 14,118 news articles »

Trump and Russia – Google News

Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: Forget Comey. The Real Story Is Russia’s War on America – Politico

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Politico
Forget Comey. The Real Story Is Russia’s War on America
Politico
No one is leading a unified effort to roll back Russian influence in Europe or Asia or the MiddleEast. No one is commenting on Russia’s new efforts to entrench its presence near easternUkraine, escalate the fighting there and destabilize the

and more »

Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News

A record number of LGBTQ people were just elected to the British Parliament

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cia – Google News: Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation? – LifeZette

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LifeZette
Did James Comey Cover Up a Massive and Illegal FBI-CIA Spying Operation?
LifeZette
But he may also face questions about the bombshell lawsuit filed Monday by a former U.S. intelligence contractor that accused the FBI and CIA of illegally spying on millions of Americans, including Donald Trump, and accuses Comey of covering it up.
Comey’s ‘radar must have been set off’ by Trump’s call for loyalty – former CIAchiefIndependent.ie
Top intelligence official told associates Trump asked him if he could intervene with Comey on FBI Russia probeWashington Post
Comey Testimony: What He Didn’t Say on Russia Probe Should Worry Trump MostNewsweek

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cia – Google News

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Donald Trump | The Guardian: The Observer view on Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain | Observer editorial

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By his every deed, the US president proves he should not be welcome hereDonald Trump is not a fit and proper person to hold the office of president of the United States. That is a view widely held in the US and among America’s European allies, by politicians and diplomats in government and by rank-and-file voters repelled by his gross egoism, narcissism and what Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has rightly termed his “stupefying ignorance”. It is a view we wholeheartedly share and have repeatedly expressed, before and after Trump’s narrow election victory last November.

Trump is an habitual liar, as evidenced again in last week’s sworn congressional testimony by his sacked FBI director, James Comey. Trump is a bully, as Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, among many others, can testify from personal experience. And Trump is a coward. When put on the spot, as over his authorisation of a disastrous special forces raid in Yemen in January or his bogus claim that Britain’s GCHQ bugged him, his craven instinct was to shift blame to others.

Continue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian

Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search Saturday June 10th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

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Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search Saturday June 10th, 2017 at 2:00 PM 1 Share Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search Saturday June 10th, 2017 at 1:59 PM 1 Share Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search Saturday June 10th, 2017 at 1:58 PM 1 Share russian …

Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search

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Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search

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Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search

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russian organized crime in us – Google News: FBI Nabs Russian Mob that Hacked Casino Slots and Stole Five Tons of Chocolate – Casino.Org News

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Casino.Org News
FBI Nabs Russian Mob that Hacked Casino Slots and Stole Five Tons of Chocolate
Casino.Org News
In addition to casino fraud, the outfit allegedly engaged in racketeering, narcotics, firearms offenses and murder-for-hire, as well as the theft and trafficking of over five tons of illegal chocolate into the United States, according to the indictment

russian organized crime in us – Google News

Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search Saturday June 10th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search

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Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search

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Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family – Google Search

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russian organized crime in us – Google News: FBI Nabs Russian Mob that Hacked Casino Slots and Stole Five Tons of Chocolate – Casino.Org News

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Casino.Org News
FBI Nabs Russian Mob that Hacked Casino Slots and Stole Five Tons of Chocolate
Casino.Org News
In addition to casino fraud, the outfit allegedly engaged in racketeering, narcotics, firearms offenses and murder-for-hire, as well as the theft and trafficking of over five tons of illegal chocolate into the United States, according to the indictment

russian organized crime in us – Google News

Where a Rockefeller Raised His Family

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David Rockefeller’s historic double-wide mansion on the Upper East Side, where he and his wife, Peggy, raised their six children and created a comfortable family residence with museum-quality artwork mixed in with a homey décor, is being put on the market by his estate.

The price for this townhouse at 146 East 65th Street — a red brick Colonial Revival with limestone details, 40 feet wide and four stories high — will be $32.5 million, according to Hall F. Willkie, the president of Brown Harris Stevens, which is listing the property. Its annual property taxes are $137,680.

Mr. Rockefeller, a banker and philanthropist who was a grandson of the oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, died in March at the age of 101; his wife died 21 years earlier. The estate is also planning to auction off the couple’s personal art collection at Christie’s, with the proceeds benefiting charities.

A significant portion of their artwork has been housed throughout the sprawling Manhattan home, which the Rockefellers purchased in 1948 and had used as a primary residence after renovations. Their art collection included works by Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso, along with Chinese and European porcelains and 18th-century furniture.

The mansion, built in 1924 and situated on a quiet tree-lined block between Lexington and Third Avenues, became part of the Upper East Side Historic District extension about seven years ago. It has around 9,777 square feet of interior space that includes eight bedrooms, eight full baths and three half baths, in addition to six smaller staff bedrooms. The basement level has nearly 2,500 square feet of additional space that contains a laundry area, storage and two vaults — one for storing wine, another for valuables.

Throughout the home are high ceilings, ornate dentil moldings and paneling, pegged oak floors and numerous oversize windows that bring in an abundance of natural light.

There is also ample outdoor space, totaling nearly 3,000 square feet, that features a south-facing landscaped garden in the rear — with silver birch trees, mature rhododendrons and trimmed moss — along with a small garden in the front and several planting balconies.

“When you walk in, you can see through the house right into the garden,” Mr. Willkie said. “You don’t even feel like you’re in the city.”

The main entrance opens to a spacious gallery that flows into a large dining room with bright floral wallpaper and display shelves, as well as a sitting room. Each of these rooms faces the rear garden and has a wood-burning fireplace of carved wood and marble surround. There are eight fireplaces in all. This first level also includes the kitchen, butler’s pantry and offices.

A grand spiral staircase with a domed skylight at the top leads to the other floors — and, yes, there is also an elevator that serves all levels.

On the second, or parlor, floor, which has ceilings rising to just over 13 feet and another spacious gallery, is an enormous south-facing living room of knotted paneling, with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows. It extends to the width of the house. (A baby grand piano looks almost small in this space.) At the north end is a partly paneled library with built-in bookcases and an en-suite guest bedroom; both rooms have fireplaces.

The other remaining bedrooms, some with fireplaces and en-suite baths, are on the top levels, including the master suite on the third floor, and five of the six staff bedrooms on the fourth. At that top level, “there’s a family side and a staff side,” Mr. Willkie said.

Mr. Rockefeller’s son David Rockefeller Jr., who is also a philanthropist, said that he and his siblings loved the house.

“It was our home,” he said in an email. “We walked and rode to school from there. We celebrated Christmas there.”

He said he remembered small concerts being held at the house, including a piano performance by Van Cliburn, and dinner parties with distinguished guests (the Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kofi Annan was among them).

In addition to Mr. Willkie, the listing brokers are Mary K. Rutherfurd, Paula Del Nunzio and Leslie R. Coleman, all of Brown Harris Stevens.

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1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): CNN’s YouTube Videos: Criminal law expert joins Mueller’s Russia probe

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From: CNN
Duration: 01:23

Deputy Solicitor General and criminal law expert Michael Dreeben will join special counsel Robert Mueller’s quietly growing team of legal minds assisting with the probe into Russia’s involvement with the 2016 election.

CNN’s YouTube Videos

1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites)

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Michael Walsh – New York Post: Comey’s testimony proves he’s the biggest loser

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If you want a visible symbol of all that’s wrong with Washington these days, look no further than the 6-foot-8-inch frame of James B. Comey Jr., whose DC circus act finally closed on Thursday with an unctuous performance before the Senate intelligence committee. Seeking to take down the president of the United States for unceremoniously…

Michael Walsh – New York Post

2016 elections and mental health – Google News: Darryl Paulson: Will Donald Trump be dumped? — The 25th Amendment – SaintPetersBlog (blog)

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SaintPetersBlog (blog)
Darryl Paulson: Will Donald Trump be dumped? — The 25th Amendment
SaintPetersBlog (blog)
The FBI investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election discovered that at least five members of the Trump administration or campaign team had met with Russian officials. Many had failed to disclose these meetings as was … The Goldwater Rule

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2016 elections and mental health – Google News

The Dark Architecture of National Security

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The NSA headquarters building is as compelling as it is unsettling—much like the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters for the FBI. The hundreds of cars parked around the building stand in for the thousands of intelligence workers inside—the serfs of the deep state, as it were. The photo anonymizes them: It’s not possible to make out the make or model of most of the vehicles, much less any information about the lives of the employees who drive them. Dots of colors of vehicles reflected in the mirrored building envelope betray nothing about what happens inside. Fort Meade looks like it might be the end of the earth, an exurb you never hope to have reason to visit. Like the FBI Building, the NSA headquarters is a metaphor for the agency it hosts.


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters, pictured in 2008. (Ketzirah Lesser and Art Drauglis/Flickr)


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters in Washington, D.C., is another piece of security architecture with a design pedigree. It was built by Moshe Safdie, who is best known for designing Expo 67 in Montreal and Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas. Elsewhere in D.C., he designed the U.S. Institute of Peace, a building that is more frequently mentioned in connection with Safdie’s name locally than the ATF Building.

But the latter is absolutely more distinctive, especially as an example of security theater in the built environment. ATF’s headquarters, completed in 2008, was the first to abide by new security standards set forth for federal buildings after the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995. Blast-resistant glass is a defining feature, as are deep setbacks—a “landscaped demilitarized zone between the building and the street,” as critic Witold Rybczynski once put it. Much of the ATF campus is given over to pure design: Two giant arching wings form a crescent “garden wall” along the north and west sides of the building, which face out to the busy intersection of New York and Florida Avenue NW. (A grave concern, then and now: As far back as 2003, al Qaeda was pledging that “cars of death” would rain destruction down on D.C.)


The Embassy of the United States in London, designed by KieranTimberlake. (KieranTimberlake)


A paranoid style is easy to spot in even the more sophisticated national security designs from the post–9/11 era. Consider the forthcoming U.S. Embassy in London, a $1 billion landmark designed by KieranTimberlake. While (soon-to-be former) Rep. Jason Chaffetz described the project’s glass curtain wall as “opulent looking,” his comments came during a discussion about whether Congress could rely on claims that this façade would be utterly blast proof. As my colleague Amanda Kolson Hurley explains for CNN, critics say that the embassy—which also gets its own moat—is too forbidding. The architecture of the security state is awesome: terr